Page images


No. Confs.



.32 "


shining lights in the Church of God, and whose 18-10 Baltimore..........34 days.........28................1 to 21......143 1844 New York ...........41 " .........33................1 to 21...... 180 names have become “household words” in all our 1848 Pittsburg...........32“ .23...............1 to 21...... 151

Zion. There were men who have done hard service 1852 Boston....

.........29...............1 to 21......178 1856 Indianapolis...... 35 “ ..........38...............1 to 21......220 in frontier and border regions, as well as in foreign 1860 Buffalo..............34 " .........47...............1 to 27......220

fields. There, too, were men who shine in the eduIt will be remembered that subsequently to the cational departments of the Church-men refined, General conference of 1844 ten of the southern an- chaste, classical in their style of thought and action. nual conferences separated from the Church, forming | But there were also in that body men whose lips had a southern organization. Eight years later the loss been sweetened with the honey of Hymettus—men appears to have been very nearly made up. It gifted with the loftiest powers of eloquence. They should also be observed that there are two mission came from Maine and Missouri, from Virginia and conferences which do not enter into this computation, Minnesota, and from distant California and Oregon. as they have no representation in the General confer- | They came to legislate for the Church of God—to ence. They are the Liberia Mis on conference and devise means for the removal of obstructions that the Foreign German Mission conference.

hinder her progress, and also to devise others to se

cure for her increased efficiency and success. It reSEAT AND ACCOMMODATIONS OF THE LATE CONFERENCE.

mains to look into their transactions and see how Buffalo occupies a commanding position in western they met the questions that came before them. A New York, being the great commercial entrepôt, re- body, composed of men, such as we have described, ceiving the freight brought down the lakes and for- will not be likely to be led away with combustive exwarding it tbrough the Erie canal and by railroad to citement. Nor will it easily be deterred from the New York city. It is a city of about 80,000 or 90,- calm and deliberate execution of what it believes to 000 inhabitants--well laid out, with broad, regular be right and just. streets, and substantially built. Main-street forms a

PROGRESS OF THE CHURCH DURING THE PAST POCR noble avenue, one hundred feet in width, passing

YEARS. through the heart of the city and extending some five or six miles. A bird's-eye view of the city was

The statistics of our Church progress during the given in the Repository in May, 1855.

quadrennial just closed are full of cheer to every There are four principal Methodist Churches in the lover of Zion. city. Two of them—Grace Church and Niagara- In 1855 the membership of the Church numbered Stroet Church-are elegant edifices. The General 799,431; in 1859 it was 974,345_showing an increase conference held its sessions not in any of these

of 174,914. The number of traveling ministers in churches, but in St. Jamos's Hall. This is a spacious 1855 was 5,408; in 1859, 6,877—increase, 1,469. edifice, centrally located. The delegates occupied The progress in church edifices and parsonages is about one-third of the lower floor. Behind them a equally encouraging: bar was fixed, in the rear of which a large number of

Number of Churches in 1857... ... 8,335; Value...... $15,781,310 visitors were accommodated. The galleries on threo

“ 1859......9,305;

18,822,610 sides afforded still more ample space for visitors.

Increase in two years............

$3,041,330 But large as these accommodations were, the Hall

Number of Parsonages in 1857....2,174; Value...... $2,126.874 was not infrequently crowded to its utmost capacity.

“ 1839....2,540;

2,427,168 The platform, about four foet in hight, was large

Increase in two years ............


$300,294 enough to seat over a hundred persons. It was occupied by the presiding officers, secretaries, repre

Total Value of Churches and Parsonages in 1857... $17,998. 184

* 1859... 21,249.808 sentatives of other religious bodies, etc. We doubt

Increase in two years................ whether the General conference was ever before go

$3,341,024 well accommodated in its place of sitting. We may In the missionary department the progress, during say the same of the homes provided for tho delegates. the past four years, has been great, though falling The Buffalonians certainly manifestod a hospitality far below what the great Head of the Church has noble and worthy of commendation. We feel quite given us the ability to do. Still the figures furnish certain that in this we speak the universal sentiment ground of thankfulness for the past and of hope for the of the delegates.

future. In the foreign work the number of mission

aries has been increased from fifty-four to one hunCOMPOSITION OF THE CONFERENCE.

dred and twenty, and still the pressing calls are not As already intimated, the late General conference half supplied. The number of converts has increaswas composed of two hundred and twenty delegates, ed from 2,126 to 3,565. How full of encouragement chosen by the ratio of one delegate for every twenty- that single fact! Souls are being saved in foreign seven members of the respective annual conferences. lands. From among them God shall raise up his own All the Bishops were present and presided in regular messengers to herald salvation to their own people. rotation. Besides, there were delegates and repre- In the domestic missions the number of missionaries sentatives from other Wesleyan bodies.

has increased from two hundred and twenty-two to It was conceded on all hands that it combined an three hundred and five, and the membership from unusual amount of the wisdom, experience, and talent | 15,631 to 22,033. of the Church. There were men venerable for their The Sunday school interests of the Church have years and for their services in the cause of Christ. also been equally prosperous, as the following table There were men who have long been burning and

will show:


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Tima, No, Schools Teabens.


Ladies' Repository....... 1855............. 10,469.

33,400 ,113,159 579,126

Methodist Quarterly Review.... 1859 .............11,755...... 139,299. .732,592

........... 4,250 Christian Advocate and Journal..


Western Christian Advocate..... Increase...........1,286.............26,140 ............153,466

.....31,000 North-Western Christian Advocate....

..13,300 Central Christian Advocate

8,016 What a tremendous power is wielded by these

Pittsburg Christian Advocate (about).

......... 8,000 139,299 teachers and officers in the nearly 12,000

Northern Christian Advocate (about)

..11,000 Pacific Christian Advocate......

1,485 schools committed to their charge! Nearly a million

California Christian Advocate (about)

....... 2,000 of the young are thus being trained up in the Church.

Christian Apologist (German) (about)

....... 10,000 Sunday School Advocate........

... 208,000 From among these shall come forth the giants who Sunday School Bell (German).......

14,000 ander God shall sustain the Church when the fathers Such is an outline of the provision made by the have fallen in sleep; the heroes, who shall perform Church to supply her membership with a Christian noble achierements and win new laurels for the cross literature, and such are some of the results. of Christ.

LAY DELEGATION. The great publishing interests of the Church have also manifested a healthy and substantial growth. It

Lay representation in the General and annual conwill be borne in mind that the “ Book Concern,” as it

ferences has occupied the attention of the Church, is awkwardly termed, was started in 1789—just 71

more or less, for several years. Many of the best years ago. Its projector was a Methodist preacher,

friends of the Church-we are not sure that they make stationed in the city of Philadelphia; and the capital and earnestly desired it. And we think that we may

a large proportion of the whole number-have soberly on which he commenced business was $600, horrowed money. It has not been used as a money-making safely say that the feeling of the great majority of the concern, but to supply a cheap and good literature to

ministry has been in favor of it--conditioned upon the the Church. For this purpose, its funds have often

concurrence of two circumstances, namely: 1. That been diverted to establish depositories, and to sustain

the people approved of the measure; and, 2. That new and weak papers where they were needed by the

some plan should be presented which would not mar people. From the small beginning indicated above,

the unity, nor impair the efficiency of our present systhe Concern has steadily advanced till it now exhibits

tem—especially our itinerancy. It is safo to say that an aggregate capital,

up to this time there has been no such concurrence of

these circumstances. No evidence has been given At New York, of

.$540,721 80

that a majority of our people approve the measure; At Cincinnati, of................

222,212 73

and no plan has as yet been devised against which Total net capital

$762,934 53

there were not insuperable objections. The increase in the capital stock, during the past

Such were the aspects of this question as it came

before the late General conference. With a unanimfour years, is as follows:

ity almost unparalleled, that body ordained, substanAt New York ...........

$86,494 60 tially, the following provisions: First, an approval At Cincinnati

71,806 99

of the principle of lay representation in the General Total increase

.$158,301 69 conference, whenever the people should express their

wish for such a measure. Then, in order to ascertain The sales during the past four years have been:

the voice of the people, each preacher was directed, At New York .................

.$1,175.867 29 at a called meeting of the male members of his charge At Cincinnati....

1,127,851 00

over twenty-one years of age, to take the ballots for and Total......

..$2,303,718 29 the ballots against lay representation, and report the This shows an increase over the preceding quad

same to his annual conference at its session in 1862,

to be entered upon its journals and reported to the rennial:

next General conference. It was also provided that At New York

.$175,133 11 at the sessions of the annual conferences in 1862, the At Cincinnati...

250,636 32

votes of the traveling ministers should be taken and Total increase........

-$425,769 43 recorded, and reported in the same way and to the The number of books issued from the two Concerns

same body. We know of no more just and equitable

method of ascertaining the voice of the Church upon is almost inconceivable. Yet every one is a messen

this subject. A measure like this, so heartily enacted ger of light and truth to the understanding and the

by the General conference, should forever silence those heart. Every one has its mission of beneficence. In

empty blusterers who have been accustomed to charge nothing does the far-reaching wisdom of Mr. Wesley

the ministry with an unrighteous grasping of usurped shine forth more clearly-showing him to have been greatly in advance of the age in which he lived- power. Every lover of Zion must be cheered with the than in his conviction of the necessity of providing

hope that a measure so auspiciously proposed will a religious literature for his people, and in the prac

eventually lead to a happy solution of this difficult tical methods employed to secure that object. The

problem in the Methodist economy. Let the electors

como together in an orderly and brotherly manner, fact is, that after the experience of two-thirds of a

and determine the question. century we have scarcely improved upon the methods

THE SLAVERY QUESTION. of our great Founder.

The following is an approximate to the aggregate This question presented itself to the late General of our periodical force. The figures are for 1859; but conference under new aspects, in its relation to Methwe can not vouch for their entire accuracy.

odist law and usage. The old chapter on slavery,

which in itself was a bundle of crudities and contra

, ,

2. Editor of the Quarterly Review. Rev. D. D. Whedon was elected by acclamation.

Number of votes cast.......

..216 Necessary to a choice.....

.109 Rev. D. Wise, D, D., had..

..........120 Rev. E. Cooke, D. D...

94 Scattering .........

2 Dr. Wise was declared elected.

4. Corresponding Secretary of the Missionary 8o. ciety.

Rev. J. P. Durbin, D. D., was elected by acclamation.

5. Assistant Corresponding Secretary. Number of votes cast..........

218 Necessary to a choice.......

.110 Rev. William L. Harris, D. D., bad..

141 Rev. J. M. Trimble, D. D..... Rev. William H. Goode....

38 Scattering...........

1 Dr. Harris was declared elected.

6. Editor of Western Christian Advocate.

Rev. C. Kingsley, D. D., was elected by acclamation.

7. Editor of Ladies' Repository and Books at the Western Book Concern.

Rev. D. W. Clark, D. D., was elected by acclamation.

8. Editor of German Apologist and Books.
Rev. W. Nast, D. D., was elected by acclamation.
9. Editor of North-Western Christian Advocate.
Rev. T. M. Eddy elected by acclamation.

10. Editor of Central Christian Advocate. Number of votes cast..

217 Necessary to a choice....

.109 Rev. C. Elliott, D. D., had...

.131 Rev. Joseph Brooks... Scattering...

3 Dr. C. Elliott was declared elected.

11. Editor of Northern Christian Advocate.
Rev. I. S. Bingham was elected by acclamation.
12. Editor Pittsburg Christian Advocate.
Rev. S. H. Nesbitt elected by acclamation.
13. Editor California Christian Advocate.
Rev. E. Thomas was elected by acclamation.
14. Editor Pacific Christian Advocate.
Rev. T. H. Pearne was elected by acclamation.
15. Book Agent at New York.
Rev. Thomas Carlton elected by acclamation.
16. Assistant Book Agent at New York.
Rev. James Porter elected by acclamation.

1 17. Book Agent at Cincinnati. Rev. A. Poe elected by acclamation.

18. Assistant Book Agent at Cincinnati. Number of votes cast.............

913 Necessary to a choice.... Rev. Luke Ilitchcock had Rev. J. T. Mitchell...... Scattering.. Rev. L. Hitchcock was declared elected.

All these elections, together with quite an amount of miscellaneous business, were effected in a single ! session of less than three hours.

The Editor again makes his bow to his numerous patrons, and enters once more upon his duties with a determined purpose to make the Repository, more than ever before, a welcome visitor to the family circle.

We shall complete our résumé of the General conference proceedings in our next number.


110 115


scarcely an exception, emancipation is rendered prac. 3. Editor of Sunday School Paper and Books.

tically impossible upon the soil of the slave states. Besides that, a new theory of exposition-making the Methodist Church constitutionally a slaveholding Church-had been propounded, and unfortunately received by those who should have been the first to have repudiated it. Under these circumstances, conservative men who had sought no change of Discipline, so long as its antislavery character was unimpeached, found no way of vindicating their own antislavery position and that of the Church, but by making the language of the Discipline explicit.

The debate upon the question was not always so much to the point as could have been desired. But nevertheless it was conducted with much Christian courtesy and manliness, and with great good feeling. The new chapter clearly sets forth the moral judgment of the Church and the significance of our ecclesiastical rules upon the subject of slaveholding. It is a declaration of principles, on which the Church of Jesus Christ every-where can stand. And standing upon that, firmly and truly, the gates of hell shall not prevail against her.

The passage of this chapter by the decisive vote of 156 yens to 57 nays, will go far, we humbly trust, toward the settlement of this question in the Church for years to come. We trust it will leave the Church more compact and united than ever before. As in 1856, we have to record that when our brethren from different sections came together and compared views, they differed less-far less in principle, than was apprehended. Upon questions of policy—the best, the most judicious method of action-they differed widely. Each viewed it from his peculiar stand-point of observation, and stoutly, as was his right, contended for his view. A cotemporary says

" that in all bodies where this slavery question has been discussed, far too little allowance has been made on both sides for the presence and controlling influence of sincere conviction upon the subject." If any thing of this kind was manifest in the earlier stages of the debate, it was not so in the end. Indeed, when the views, purposes, and action of the majority came to be more fully understood, the partition walls that separated brethren seemed to be so insignificant that the current of sympathy and brotherly feeling was unchecked by them. The General conference then became one in feeling, as it had been all along one in doctrine. God grant that it may ever so remain!


Perhaps never before was the election of General conference officers canvassed with more propriety or effected with greater unanimity. Most of them were made by acclamation, and in no instance was a second ballot necessary. The following are the results in the order of their occurrence:

1. Editor of the Christian Advocate and Journal. Whole number of votes cast.........

.218 Necessary to a choice ......

110 Rev. E. Thomson, D.D., LL.D., had

.142 Rev. A. Stevens, LL. D.... Scattering

3 Dr. Thomson was declared elected.

......... 73

[graphic][merged small][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »