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Barker, Esq. of Wolverhampton, the report read by the Secretary, the Rev. J. C. Gallaway, and addresses delivered by the Rev. Messrs. Brain, Silvester, Fletcher, Hill, Owen, Edmonds, Cooke, Bulmer. The topics embraced in the resolutions at the public meeting were, the present interesting position of the Home Missionary Society, religious revivals, and the increasing progress of those great principles prominently advocated by the Voluntary Church Association. At the meetings of business, representatives were appointed to the next Annual Meeting of the Congregational Union of England and Wales, all of whom were commissioned to recommend the Committee to secure longer time for the transaction of the business of the Union, especially for the announcement of the various reports of the country delegates - a new code of rules, based on those framed by the Lancashire Union, was adopted-several brethren were added to the Union-grants to the extent of £240, were allowed in aid of missionary operations in the county-a benefit and benevolent society for the relief of aged or infirm ministers, their widows and orphan children, was formed - the union effected between the Home Missionary Society and the Congregational Union on the principles adopted at Birmingham in October, 1839, was approved - a congratulary Address to her Majesty and his Royal Highness Prince Albert, on the recent preservation of their most valuable lives, was cordially agreed to -and a number of the excellent addresses of the Committee of the Congregational Union of England and Wales, on the subject of British Missions, was ordered for distribution.
The attendance of ministers and delegates was very numerous. Close attention was paid to business, and a spirit of unbroken harmony pervaded all that was done. Several new Missionary stations were added to the original list. To carry out the present plans of the Union, a great increase of funds will be indispensable. To secure this object, it is the intention of the ministers to endeavour to interest the churches more deeply in the object. A great increase of lay delegation at the anniversary of the Union is much required.
The affairs of the Union are, on the whole, in a more promising state than they have ever been known to be, and it is fully anticipated, that Staffordshire, in proportion to its resources, will not be behind other counties in co-operating with the Congregational Union of England and Wales, in aid of the grand objects lately recommended in the circular of the Committee. Several ministers, in compliance with the suggestion contained in that document, intend having a public collection on the last Sabhath in October, in aid of British Missions. What important results would follow, if all congregations throughout the country, by a simultaneous effort, would raise something on that day!
HIGHBURY COLLEGE. The examinations of the students in this College took place on Friday, the 26th, Tuesday, the 30th, of June, and Wednesday, the 1st of July, occupying between five and six hours each day. The two first were private-embracing the Classics, Mathematics, and the Hebrew and Syriac languages-and were conducted by the gentlemen whose names are attached to the annexed certificate; and the last, which included Logic, Mental Philosophy, and Theology, was held, as usual, in the Library, in the presence of the subscribers to the Institution, and others who honoured it with their company.
“We, the undersigned, having conducted the examination of the students of Highbury College during three days, have much pleasure in bearing testimony to the great attention which the students appear to have paid to the various subjects assigned to them, and to the proficiency which they have made. Their attainments, in our opinion, reflect much credit upon themselves and their tutors.
“ ROBERT HALLEY, “ Highbury College, July 1st, 1840.
ROBERT REDPATH." CONGREGATIONAL SCHOOL, LEWISHAM. The Midsummer examination of the pupils in this institution took place in the School-room, on the 1st and 2d days of July last. On the first day, the Rer. Dr. Vaughan presided over the classical department, assisted by the Rev. George
Rogers, who kindly undertook the whole of the duties of the second day, which embraced English Grammar, Geography, Arithmetic, and Mathematics. The following are extracts from the Report of the Examiners to the Committee :
“ In attending the examination of the pupils in the Congregational School, we were much gratified to witness the progress made by several in the senior classes, and by the promise of proficiency afforded on the part of some of the juniors.
« On the whole, we consider the tuition of the school in this department as sufficient to afford good opportunity for respectable classical attainments, in the case of youths possessing the capacity and the taste necessary to make progress in such studies.
- The plan upon which the English branches of education are taught, appears to be well calculated, with suitable attention on the part of the pupils, to ensure sound and respectable attainments.
“ The Mathematical class gave satisfactory evidence that their knowledge of that science was clear and correct as far as they had proceeded. The Institution, as a whole, offers such advantages to those for whose benefit it is intended, as to entitle it to the christian sympathy and liberality of all our churches."
Contributions thankfully received by Messrs. Hankey, Fenchurch Street; or Rev, G. Rose, Congregational Library, Blomfield Street, Finsbury.
FOUNDATION OF A NEW CHAPEL IN WESTMINSTER.
With an Engraving. We are happy to present our readers with the elevation of the new chapel now in course of erection at St. James's Street, Westminster. The foundation stone of this chapel was laid by C. Hindley, Esq. M.P., a munificent contributor to its funds, on Monday, August the third, amidst a vast concourse of people. The address, giving an able, lucid, and comprehensive sketch of the opinions of Congregational churches, was delivered by the Rev. Dr. Leifchild, of Craven Chapel; Dr. Vaughan, and the Rev. Messrs. Ainslie, Robinson, Blackburn, and Burnet, engaging in other parts of the solemn services of the occasion,
The ground on which the chapel is being erected is freehold, and was formerly the site of the Westminster Ilospital, and was purchased by the Metropolis Chapel Fund Association of the Trustees of the Hospital for the sum of £2500.
The chapel itself is intended to accommodate 1500 persons, with vestries attached, one for the minister, and the other for the private meetings of the church, capable of seating nearly 200 people. The style of the design is Grecian, of the Ionic order. The principal entrance will be a broad flight of six steps twenty-two feet wide, to an open vestibule, with columns, having a centre door of proportional height, leading into a passage, and thence into the aisles on the floor, and side doors for admission into the gallery ; the principal entrances from without being thus kept distinct from the body of the chapel. The front of the chapel internally from the pulpit, will be circular, with pews corresponding, the ceiling will be divided into panels with very chaste enrichments, and behind the pulpit will be a semicircular recess, rising nearly to the ceiling, the upper and concave part being also very neatly and tastefully ornamented. The architect is J. Taning, Esq., who in the design and details of the plan, has displayed great taste and judgment. The whole will constitute a substantial, commodious, and handsome edifice. The cost, including the purchase of the ground, will be upwards of £7500.
The necessity for such an erection in the united parishes of St. Margaret and St. John, Westminster, has long been deeply felt by many a resident in the district, but from a variety of causes, no plot at all eligible could be procured. It was in the year 1833, that the first step was taken, and Thomas Wilson, Esq. with his usual promptitude and liberality, offered one thousand pounds as a donation to the object. As soon, however, as the purpose to which the land was to be appropriated was discovered, a liberal offer was instantly and positively refused by the owners. It is nearly four years ago since the plot now purchased
was first thought of, but it was declined in consequence of its contiguity to Buckingham Chapel. The neglected state of the population, however, demanding a remedy, the case was again brought before the attention of the Committee of the Metropolis Chapel Fund, and as the only alternative left, except leaving 54,000 persons with provision made by all denominations for not more than 11,000, they purchased the plot and determined to commence the erection as soon as the funds applicable to the object should reach an amount to justify them in incurring so serious a responsibility. Four thousand pounds having been promised, the resolution was taken, and the work has been commenced under very favourable auspices. May the prayers offered up at the commencement of the work, be abundantly answered. May the great and cardinal principles then candidly stated by Dr. Leifchild, continue for many years to be asserted within its walk, and by the power of the Holy Ghost made to promote the extension and building up of the church of our Lord Jesus Christ.
By the hospitable arrangements of a local Committee, a numerous and respectable company of gentlemen dined after the service at the Swan Hotel, Westmisster Bridge. Mr. Charles Hindley presided, and the company was addressed by the Rev. Drs. Leifchild and Henderson, Rev. Messrs. Blackburn, Archer, Leach, Ainslie, Burnet and Robinson; Messrs. R. Cunliffe, E. Swaine, G. Wilson, and J. Taning, the architect, took part in the conversation which succeeded. l'pwards of £300 was subscribed on the occasion.
In considering the propriety of the step taken by the Metropolis Chapel Fund, the great end of the organization of a christian church should not be overlooked. The object which the Divine Being has always placed before his people by the institution of social relations in close connexion with religious ordinances is, Dot only that they might promote steadfastness and consistency of behaviour, but that they, in their collective capacity, should be the more manifestly a living epistle to others. The church is essentially an active and aggressive community -its influence is not merely reciprocal and internal, but radiating and diffusive. All the reciprocal and mutual obligations of Christians, in their church relation, and even in all their privileges in their relation to Christ, though primarily tending to the internal welfare and peace of the community, have an ultimate, and most important, and manifest bearing on the world at large. It is when these obligations and privileges are best understood and appreciated, that the church has become fair as the moon, bright as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners. The question, then, in any particular case, is not only how far the erection of a place of meeting for the celebration of public worship, and the administration of the ordinances of Christ, may be desirable for the convenience of persons living in a given district, and who love the house and service of God, but how far the ignorance, wickedness, practical atheism, and impiety of a neighbourhood may render it the duty of such to make some sacrifices to taste and preference, to unite together for the establishment of the ordinances of Christ for the good of their neighbours. It may be replied, that so long as schools are opened, religious tracts distributed, Christian Instruction and City Mission Societies are established, all is done that the case requires ; and, with a good conscience, they that fear God may consult their taste and predilection in the selection of their place of worship. This, it will be admitted, is a delicate point, and it is only adverted to in passing, but it is most manifest that, by the appointment of God, and the uniform practice of the church, no means are so effectual, and quiet, and ultimately none so permanent, as the organization of a church, and the holding of its assemblies, and the celebration of its worship, in a place known and accessible to all. The lamp must be put upon the lamp-stand to give light to all that are in the house, and the city must be set on a hill to be seen by all. This principle needs to be applied very extensively in other districts of the metropolis, as well as to this part of Westminster; and not only in the metropolis, but in most of the large cities and towns of the provinces. It is the simple fact of destitution that directs the liberality of the churches to a foreign shore ; surely it may be allowed with equal strength to influence us in reference to home.