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Great Britain and Her Queen by Anne E. Keeling

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wrought her woe--of the Pharisaism that is a mask for fraud, of the
mammon-worship cloaked as respectability, of scepticism lightly
mocking, of the bolder enmity of the blasphemer--we cannot
contemplate the story of Christianity throughout our epoch, even in
these islands and this empire, without seeing that the advance of the
Faith is real and constant, the advance of the rising tide, and that
her seeming defeats are but the deceptive reflux of the ever-mounting



[Illustration: Duke of Connaught.]

Resuming our pen after an interval of ten years, we have thought it
well, not only to carry on our story of the Sovereign and her realm
to the latest attainable point, but also to give some account of the
advance made and the work accomplished by the Methodist Church,
which, youngest of the greater Nonconformist denominations, has acted
more powerfully than any other among them on the religious and social
life, not only of the United Kingdom and the Empire, but of the
world. This account, very brief, but giving details little known to
outsiders, will form a valuable pendant to the sketch of the general
history of Victoria's England that we are now about to continue.

[Illustration: The Imperial Institute.]

Many thousands who rejoiced in the Queen's Jubilee of 1887 are glad
to-day that the close of the decade should find the beloved Lady of
these isles, true woman and true Queen, still living and reigning.

On September 23, 1896, Queen Victoria had reigned longer than any
other English monarch, and the desire was general for some immediate
celebration of the event; but, by the Queen's express wish, all
recognition of the fact was deferred until the sixtieth year should
be fully completed, and the nation prepared to celebrate the "Diamond
Jubilee" on June 22, 1897, with a fervour of loyalty that should far
outshine that of the Jubilee year of 1887.

In the personal history of our Queen during those ten years we may
note with reverent sympathy some events that must shadow the festival
for her. The calm and kindly course of her home-life has again been
broken in upon by bereavement. All seemed fair in the Jubilee year
itself, and the Queen was appearing more in public than had been her
wont--laying the foundations of the Imperial Institute; unveiling in
Windsor Park a statue of the Prince Consort, Jubilee gift of the
women of England; taking part in a magnificent naval review at
Spithead. But a shadow was already visible to some; and early in 1888
sinister rumours were afloat as to the health of the Crown Prince of
Germany, consort of the Queen's eldest daughter. Too soon those
rumours proved true. Even when the prince rode in the splendid
Jubilee procession, a commanding figure in his dazzling white
uniform, the cruel malady had fastened on him that was to slay him in
less than a year, proving fatal three months after the death of his
aged father had called him to fill the imperial throne. The nation
followed the course of this tragedy with a feverish interest never
before excited by the lot of any foreign potentate, and deeply
sympathised with, the distress of the Queen and of the bereaved

[Illustration: Duke of Clarence. _From a Photograph by Lafayette,

But the year 1892 held in store a blow yet more cruelly felt. The
English people were still rejoicing with the Queen over the betrothal
of the Duke of Clarence, eldest son of the Prince of Wales, to his
kinswoman Princess May of Teck, when the death of the bridegroom
elect in January plunged court and people into mourning. That the
Queen was greatly touched by the universal sympathy with her and hers
was proved by the pathetic letter she wrote to the nation, and by the
frank reliance on their affection which marked the second letter in
which, eighteen months later, she asked them to share her joy in the
wedding of the Duke of York, now heir-presumptive, to the bride-elect
of his late brother. This union has been highly popular, and the
Queen's evident delight in the birth of the little Prince Edward of
York in June, 1894, touched the hearts of her subjects, who
remembered the deep sorrow of 1892.

[Illustration: Duke of York. _From a Photograph by Russell & Sons,
Baker Street, W_.]

[Illustration: Duchess of York. _From a Photograph by Russell & Sons,
Baker Street, W_.]

Once more they were called to grieve with her, when the husband of
her youngest daughter Beatrice, Prince Henry of Battenberg, who for
years had formed part of her immediate circle, died far from home and
England, having fallen a victim to fever ere he could distinguish
himself, as he had hoped, in our last expedition to Ashanti. The
pathos of such a death was deeply felt when the prince's remains were
brought home and laid to rest, in the presence of his widow and her
royal mother, in the very church at Whippingham that he had entered
an ardent bridegroom. Not all gloom, however, has been Her Majesty's
domestic life in these recent years; she has taken joy in the
marriages of many of her descendants; and the visits of her
grandchildren--of whom one, Princess Alice of Hesse, daughter of the
well-beloved Alice of England, became Czarina of Russia only the
other day--are a source of keen interest to her.

[Illustration: Princess Henry of Battenberg. _From a Photograph by
Hughes & Mullins, Ryde, Isle of Wight_.]

[Illustration: Prince Henry of Battenberg. _From a Photograph by
Hughes & Mullins, Ryde, Isle of Wight_.]

[Illustration: The Czarina of Russia.]

But there is no selfish absorption in her own family affairs, no
neglect of essential duty. The Prince of Wales and "the Princess"
relieve the Queen of many irksome social functions; but she does not
shun these when it is clear to her that her people wish her to
undertake them. Witness her willingness to take part in the Jubilee
Thanksgiving services and pageant, despite the feebleness of her
advanced age.

We need not dwell long on the rather stormy Parliamentary history of
the last decade, on the divisions and disappointments of the Irish
Home Rule party, once so powerful, or on the various attacks aimed at
the Welsh and Scottish Church establishments and at the principle of
"hereditary legislation" as embodied in the House of Lords. Some
useful legislation has been accomplished amid all the strife. We may
instance the Act in 1888 creating the new system of County Councils,
the Parish Councils Act, the Factory and Workshops Amendment Act, and
the Education Act of 1891--measures designed to protect the toiling
millions from the evils of "sweating," and to assure their children
of practically free education.

Substantial good has been done, whether the reins of power have been
held by Mr. Gladstone or by Lord Salisbury--whose long tenure of
office expiring in 1892, the veteran statesman whom he had displaced
again took the helm--or by Lord Rosebery, in whose favour the great
leader finally withdrew in 1894 into private life, weary of the
burden of State. In 1897 we again see Lord Salisbury directing the
destinies of the mighty empire--a task of exceptional difficulty, now
that the gravest complications exist in Europe itself and in Africa.
The horrors suffered by the Armenian subjects of the Turk have called
for intervention by the great powers; but no sooner had Turkish
reforms been promised in response to the joint note of Great Britain,
France, and Russia, than new troubles began in Crete, its people
rising in arms to shake off the Turkish yoke.

Meanwhile our occupation of Egypt is compelling us to use armed force
against the wild, threatening dervishes in the Soudan, and
well-grounded uneasiness is felt as to the position and action of our
countrymen in Southeastern Africa in connexion with the Boer republic
of the Transvaal. The British South Africa Chartered Company, formed
in 1889, adventurous and ambitious, loomed large in men's eyes during
1896, when the historic and disastrous raid of Dr. Jameson and his
followers startled the civilised world. The whole story of that
enterprise is yet to unfold; but it has added considerably to the
embarrassments of the British government. Hopes were entertained in
1890 that the British East Africa Company, by the pressure it could
put on the Sultan of Zanzibar, had secured the cessation of the slave
trade on the East African shore; these hopes are not yet fulfilled,
but it may be trusted that a step has been taken towards the
mitigation of the evil--the "open sore of the world."

If we turn to India, we see it in 1896-7 still in the grip of a cruel
famine, aggravated by an outbreak of the bubonic plague too well
known to our fathers, which, appearing three years ago at Hong-Kong,
has committed new ravages at Bombay. Government is making giant
efforts to meet both evils, and is aided by large free-will offerings
of money, sent not only from this country, but also from Canada. "Ten
years ago such a manifestation would have been unlikely. The sense of
kinship is stronger, the imperial sentiment has grown deeper, the
feeling of responsibility has broadened." Kinship with a starving
race is felt and shown by the Empress on her throne, and her subjects
learn to follow her example.

But the sense of brotherhood seems somewhat deficient when we look at
the continual labour wars that mark the period in our own land. From
the Hyde Park riots of socialists and unemployed, in the end of 1887,
to the railway strikes of 1897, the story is one of strikes among all
sorts and conditions of workers, paralysing trade, and witnessing to
strained relations between labour and capital; the great London
strike of dock labourers, lasting five weeks, and keeping 2,500 men
out of work, may yet be keenly remembered. There seems an imperative
need for the wide diffusion of a true, practical Christianity among
employers and employed; some signs point to the growth of that
healing spirit: and we may note with delight that while never was
there so much wealth and never such deep poverty as during this
period, never also were there so many religious and charitable
organisations at work for the relief of poverty and the uplifting of
the fallen; while not a few of the wealthy, and even one or two
millionaires, have shown by generous giving their painful sense of
the contrast between their own wealth and the destitution of others.

It has been a period of sharp religious disputes, and every religious
and benevolent institution is keenly criticised; but great good is
being done notwithstanding by devoted men and women. The centenary of
the Baptist Missionary Society, observed in 1892, recalled to mind
the vast work accomplished by missions since that pioneer society
sent out the apostolic "shoemaker" Carey, to labour in India, and
reminds us of the great change wrought in public opinion since he and
his enterprise were so bitterly attacked. The heroic missionary
spirit is still alive, as is proved by the readiness of new
evangelists to step into the place of the missionaries to China,
cruelly murdered at Ku-Cheng in 1895 by heathen fanatics.

The immense development of our colonies during the reign has already
been noticed; some of them have made surprising advances during the
last ten years. In southern and eastern Africa British enterprise has
done much to develop the great natural wealth of the land; but the
frequent troubles in Matabeleland and the complications with the
Transvaal since the discovery of gold there may be regarded as
counterbalancing the material advantages secured. Ceylon has a
happier record, having more than regained her imperilled prosperity
through the successful enterprise of her settlers in cultivating the
fine tea which has almost displaced China tea in the British market,
Ceylon exporting 100,000,000 lbs. in 1895 as against 2,000,000 lbs.
ten years previously. Canada also now takes rank as a great maritime
state, and the fortunes of Australia, though much shaken a few years
ago by a great financial crisis, are again brilliant; in the world of
social progress and democracy it is still the colonial marvel of our

[Illustration: H. M. Stanley.]

The last census, taken in 1891, in Great Britain and Ireland showed a
vast increase of population, sixty-two towns in England and Wales
returning more than 50,000 inhabitants, and the total population of
the United Kingdom being 38,104,975. Alarmists warned us that, with
the ratio of increase shown, neither food nor place would soon be
found for our people; and a great impetus being given to emigration,
our colonies benefited. But despite such alarms, articles of luxury
were in greater demand than ever, the tobacco duty reaching in 1892
the sum of L10,135,666, half a million, more than in the previous
year; and the consumption of tea and spirits increased in due
proportion. The same year saw great improvements in sanitation put
into practice as the result of an alarm of cholera, that plague
ravaging Hamburg.

[Illustration: Dr. Fridtjof Nansen.]

[Illustration: Miss Kingsley.]

Vast engineering works, of which the Manchester Ship Canal is the
most familiar instance, have been carried on. This great waterway,
thirty-five miles long, and placing an inland town in touch with the
sea, was begun in 1887 and finished in 1894. Numerous exhibitions, at
home and abroad, have stimulated industrial and aesthetic progress;
and science has continued to advance with bewildering rapidity,
developing chiefly in practical directions. The bacteriologist has
unveiled much of the mystery of disease, showing that seed-germs
produce it; the photographer comes in aid of surgery, for the
discovery of the X or Roentgen rays, by the German professor whose
name is associated with them, now enables the surgeon to discover
foreign bodies lodged within the human frame, and to decide with
authority their position and the means of removing them. Burial
reforms, in the interests of health and economy, have been
introduced, and nursing, elevated into a science, has become an
honourable profession for cultured women. In 1894 that eminent
_savant_ Lord Rayleigh brought before the British Association his
discovery of a hitherto unknown constituent in the atmosphere. The
use of steam as a motive power, almost contemporaneous with the
Queen's reign, has bound our land in a network of railways: now it is
electricity which is being utilised in the same sense, and to the
telephone and the telegraph as means of verbal communication is added
the motorcar as a means of rapid progression, 1896 seeing its use in
streets sanctioned by Parliament. It may not yet supersede the
bicycle, which in ten years has greatly increased in favour. Electric
lighting, in the same period, has become very general; and further
adaptations of this mysterious force to man's service are in the air.

[Illustration: J. M. Barrie.]

[Illustration: Richard Jefferies.]

This is an age of great explorers. Stanley has succeeded to
Livingstone, Nansen to Franklin; but it has been only within
comparatively recent years that women have emulated men in
penetrating to remote regions. Within the decade we have seen Mrs.
Bishop a veteran traveller, visiting south-west Persia; Mrs. French
Sheldon has shown how far beyond the beaten track a woman's
adventurous spirit may lead her; and Miss Mary Kingsley, a niece of
the late Charles Kingsley, has intrepidly explored the interior of
Africa, her scientific observations being welcomed by British
_savants_. In 1896 women, who had long sought the privilege, were
permitted to compete for the diploma of the Royal College of
Surgeons, and in many other walks of usefulness the barriers
excluding women have been removed, with benefit to all concerned. It
is not other than natural that under the reign of a noble woman there
should arise women noble-minded as herself, cherishing ideas of life
and duty lofty as her own, and that their greatest elevation of
purpose should tent to raise the moral standard among the men who
work with them for the uplifting of their fellow subjects. Such signs
of the times may be noticed now, more evident than even ten years

[Illustration: Professor Huxley. _From a Photograph by the London
Stereoscopic Co_.]

[Illustration: Professor Tyndall. _From a Photograph by Alexander
Bassano, Ltd_.]

The educational progress of the last decade has been very great,
especially as regards the instruction of women; yet the period has
not been noticeably fruitful of literature in the highest sense. In
the world of fiction there is much that looks like degeneration; the
lighter magazines and serials have multiplied past computation, and
form all the reading of not a few persons. To counteract the
unhealthy "modern novel" has arisen the Scottish school, the
"literature of the kailyard," as it has been termed in scorn; yet a
purer air breathes in the pages of J. M. Barrie, "Ian Maclaren," and
Crockett. Their many imitators are in some danger of impairing the
vogue of these masters, but still the tendency of the school is
wholesome. Other artists in fiction assume the part of censors of
society, and write of its doings with a bitterness that may or may
not profit; the unveiling of cancerous sores is of doubtful advantage
to health.

[Illustration: C. H. Spurgeon.]

[Illustration: Dr. Horatius Bonar.]

The death-roll from 1887 to 1897 is exceptionally heavy; in every
department of science, art, literary and religious life, the loss has
been great. Many musicians have been taken from us since the
well-beloved Jenny Lind Goldschmidt; Canon Sir E. A. Gore Ouseley,
Sir G. Macfarren, Principal of the Royal Academy of Music,
Rubinstein, Carrodus, and others.

[Illustration: Rev. J. G. Wood.]

[Illustration: Dean Church.]

English letters have suffered by the removal of many whose services
in one way or another have been great: the prose-painter Richard
Jefferies; the pure and beneficent Mrs. Craik, better known as Miss
Muloch; Matthew Arnold, poet, educationalist, critic, whose verse
should outlive his criticisms; the noble astronomer Richard Proctor;
Gustave Masson, the careful biographer of Milton; Laurence Oliphant,
gifted and eccentric visionary; the naturalist J. G. Wood; the
explorer and orientalist Burton; the historians Kinglake, Froude, and
Freeman; the great ecclesiastics Bishop Lightfoot, Canon Liddon,
Archbishop Magee of York, Dean Church, Dean Plumptre, and the
Cardinals Newman and Manning; Tennyson and Browning, poets whose
mantle has yet fallen on none; Huxley and Tyndall, eminent in
science; the justly popular preacher and writer Charles H. Spurgeon;
the orator and philanthropist John Bright, whose speeches delight
many in book-form; and Robert Louis Stevenson, novelist, essayist,
poet. To these we may add Eliza Cook and Martin Tapper, widely
popular a generation ago, and surviving into our own day; Lord
Lytton, known as "Owen Meredith," a literary artist, before he became
viceroy of India and British ambassador at Paris; and Professor Henry
Drummond, dead since 1897 began, and widely known by his "Natural Law
in the Spiritual World." Even so our list is far from complete.

[Illustration: J. E. Millais, P.R.A. _From a Photograph by Elliott &

Of painters and sculptors we have lost since 1887 Frank Holl; Sir
Edgar Boehm, buried in St. Paul's by express wish of the Queen; Edwin
Long; John Pettie; Sir Noel Paton; Sir Frederick Leighton; and Sir
J. E. Millais. The last two illustrious painters were successively
Presidents of the Royal Academy, Millais, who followed Leighton in
that office, surviving him but a short time. Sir Frederick had been
raised to the peerage as Lord Leighton only a few days before he
died, the patent arriving too late for him to receive it.

[Illustration: Sir Frederick Leighton, P.R.A. _From a Photograph by
J. R. Mayall, Piccadilly, W_.]

The English world is the poorer for these many losses, some of which
took place under tragic circumstances; yet hope may well be cherished
that amongst us are those, not yet fully recognised, who will nobly
fill the places of the dead. Some hymn-writer may arise whose note
will be as sweet as that of the much loved singer, Dr. Horatius
Bonar, some painter as spiritual and powerful as Paton, some poet as
grandly gifted as the late laureate and his compeer Browning. We do
not at once recognise our greatest while they are with us; therefore
we need not think despairingly of our age because the good and the
great pass away, and we see not their place immediately filled. Nor,
though there be great and crying evils in our midst, need we tremble
lest these should prevail, while there is so much earnest and
energetic endeavour to cope with and overcome them.


UNDER QUEEN VICTORIA, 1837-1897. [Footnote]


[Illustration: Wesley preaching on his father's tomb.]

When the Queen ascended the throne Wesleyan Methodism in this country
was recovering from the effects of the agitation occasioned by Dr.
Warren, who had been expelled from its ministry; the erection of an
organ in a Leeds chapel had caused another small secession. But the
Conference of 1837, assembled in Leeds under the presidency of the
Rev. Edmund Grindrod, with the Rev. Robert Newton as secretary, had
no reason to be discouraged. Faithful to the loyal tradition of
Methodism, it promptly attended to the duty of congratulating the
young Sovereign who had ascended the throne on June 20, a few weeks

[Footnote: The writer desires to acknowledge special obligation to
the Rev. J. Wesley Davies for invaluable aid rendered by him in
collecting and arranging the material embodied in this chapter.]

We may read in its Minutes of the vote in favour of an address, which
should assure the Queen of the sincere attachment cherished by her
Methodist subjects for her person and government, and of their
fervent prayers to Almighty God "for her personal happiness and the
prosperity of her reign." By a singular coincidence, it will probably
be one of the first acts of a Leeds Conference in 1897 to forward
another address, congratulating Her Majesty on the long and
successful reign which has realised these aspirations of unaffected
devotion. The address of 1837 had gracious acknowledgment, conveyed
through Lord John Russell.

[Illustration: Group of Presidents Number One]

At this time Methodism had spread throughout the world. Its
membership in Great Britain and Ireland numbered 318,716; in foreign
mission stations 66,007; in Upper Canada 14,000; while the American
Conferences had charge of 650,678 members; thus the total for the
world, exclusive of ministers, was 1,049,401.

Of ministers there were 1,162 in the United Kingdom and 3,316
elsewhere. It will be obvious that British and Irish Methodism even
then formed a body whose allegiance was highly valuable.

The 1837 Conference had to discuss the subject of the approaching
Centenary of Methodism, which had for years been anticipated with
great interest. With Mr. Butterworth--a Member of Parliament and a
loyal Methodist and generous supporter of our funds--originated the
idea of commemorating God's goodness in a fitting manner, not in a
boastful spirit; a committee which had been appointed reported to the
next Conference "that the primary object of the said celebration
should be the religious and devotional improvement of the centenary";
and that there should also be "thank-offering to Almighty God" in
money contributions for some of the institutions of the Church. The
Conference approved these suggestions, and appointed a day of united
prayer in January, 1839, "for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit" on
the Connexion during the year.

[Illustration: Centenary meeting at Manchester.]

There had been some difficulty in fixing the date of the birth of
Methodism; but 1739 was determined on, because then the first
class-meetings were held, the first chapel at Bristol was opened, the
first hymn-book published; then the United Societies were formed,
then field-preaching began, and then Whitefield, Charles Wesley, and
others held that historic lovefeast in Fetter Lane when the Holy
Spirit came so mightily on them that all were awed into silence, some
sank down insensible, and on recovering they sang with one voice
their Te Deum of reverent praise.

The centenary year being decided, a three days' convention of
ministers and laymen was held at Manchester to make the needful
arrangements; its proceedings were marked by a wonderful enthusiasm
and liberality.

The Centenary Conference assembled at Liverpool in 1839. It could
report an increase of 13,000 members. On August 5 it suspended its
ordinary business for the centenary services--a prayer-meeting at six
in the morning being followed by sermons preached by the Rev. Thomas
Jackson and the President, the Rev. Theophilus Lessey. A few weeks
later came the festal day, October 25, morning prayer-meetings and
special afternoon and evening services being held throughout the
country. Never had there been such large gatherings for rejoicing and
thanksgiving; there were festivities for the poor and for the
children of the day and Sunday schools. These celebrations, in which
the whole Methodist Church joined, aroused the interest of the
nation, and called forth appreciative criticism from press and

[Illustration: Wesleyan Centenary Hall.]

When the idea of this first great Thanksgiving Fund was originally
contemplated, the most hopeful only dared look for L10,000; but when
the accounts were closed the treasurers were in possession of
L222,589, one meeting at City Road having produced L10,000; and the
effort was made at a time of great commercial depression. This
remarkable liberality drew the attention of the Pope, who said in an
encyclical that _the heretics were putting to shame the offerings of
the faithful_.

Not a few meetings took the form of lovefeasts, where generous giving
proved the reality of the religious experiences; for there has ever
been an intimate connexion between the fellowship and the finance of
Methodism. Part of the great sum raised went to the Theological
Institution, part to Foreign Missions; Wesleyan education was helped
by a grant, L1,000 were paid over to the British and Foreign Bible
Society; and the laymen desiring to help the worn-out ministers and
their widows and children, L16,000 were set aside to form the
Auxiliary Fund for this purpose.

It was now that the Missionary Committee were enabled to secure the
Centenary Hall, the present headquarters of the Missionary Society.
The remaining sums were given to other useful purposes.

Methodism in 1839 in all its branches [Footnote] reckoned more than
1,400,000 members, with 6,080 itinerant preachers and 350
missionaries; 50,000 pupils were instructed in the mission schools,
and there were upwards of 70,000 communicants and at least 200,000
hearers of the gospel in Methodist mission chapels. In England alone
the Wesleyan Methodists owned 3,000 chapels, and had many other
preaching places; there were 3,300 Sunday schools, 341,000 scholars,
and 4,000 local preachers. These figures, when, compared with those
given at the end of our sketch, will furnish some idea of the
numerical advance of Methodism throughout the world during the
Queen's reign.

[Footnote: "Methodism in all its branches" must be understood of
_all_ bodies bearing the name of Methodist, including the New
Connexion and the Primitive Methodists. The membership of Wesleyan
Methodism alone throughout the world, according to the _Minutes of
Conference_ for 1839, was 1,112,519; and the total ministry,
including 335 missionaries, 4,957.]

The centenary celebrations marked the high flood-tide of spiritual
prosperity for many ensuing years, for a time of great trial
followed. Gladly would we forget the misunderstandings of our
fathers; yet this sketch would be incomplete without reference to
unhappy occurrences which caused the loss of 100,000 members, and
allowance must be made for this terrible loss in estimating the
progress of Wesleyan Methodism. The troubles began when certain
anonymous productions, known as "Fly Sheets," severely criticised the
administration of Methodism and libellously assailed the characters
of leading ministers, especially Dr. Bunting, who stood head and
shoulders above all others in this Methodist war. He was chosen
President when only forty-one, and on three other occasions filled
the chair of the Conference. He became an authority on Methodist
government and policy. Dr. Gregory says, "As an administrator, he was
unapproached in sagacity, aptitude, personal influence, and
indefatigability... his character was spotless." He was a born
commander. The "Liverpool Minutes," describing the ideal Methodist
preacher, are his work.

Dr. Bunting volunteered to be tried by the Conference as to the
anonymous charges against him, but no one came forward with proofs to
sustain them. Three ministers, Messrs. Everett, Dunn, and Griffiths,
supposed to be the chief movers of this agitation, refused to be
questioned on the matter, and defying the Conference, were expelled.
Thereafter the agitation was kept up, and caused great disaffection
in the Societies, resulting in the loss we have referred to. The
seceders called themselves "Reformers"; many of them eventually
joined similar bodies of seceders, forming with them the "United
Methodist Free Churches." These in 1857 reported a membership of
41,000, less than half that which was lost to Wesleyan Methodism. But
now they may be congratulated on better success, the statistics for
1896 showing, at home and abroad, a total of nearly 90,000 members,
with 1,622 chapels, 417 ministers, 3,448 local preachers, 1,350
Sunday schools, and 203,712 scholars. It may be noted with pleasure
that the leaders of the movement outlived all hostility to the mother
Church; one of them attended the Ecumenical Conference of 1881, and
took the sacrament with the other delegates.

With great regret we speak of this painful disruption, now that so
much better feeling animates the various Methodist Churches.
Practically there is no difference of doctrine among them. It has
been well said, "Our articles of faith stand to-day precisely as in
the last century, which makes us think that, like Minerva from the
brain of Jupiter, they were born full-grown and heavily armoured."

An influential committee has been appointed to ascertain how
concerted action may be taken by the Methodist Churches; and the hope
is cherished that their suggestions may lead to the adoption of
methods which will prevent strife and friction and unworthy rivalry.
The New Connexion and Methodist Free Church Conferences also
appointed a joint committee to consider the same subject. The
brotherly desire for spiritual fellowship and mutual help and counsel
thus indicated must be held as a very hopeful token of something
better than numerical advance.

[Illustration: Group of Presidents Number Two.]

The bitter experiences through which the Church passed called
attention to the need for modification and expansion of Wesleyan
Methodist polity. The Conference of 1851 appointed a committee of
ministers to consider the question; 745 laymen were invited to join
them. Their recommendations led Conference to adopt resolutions
defining the proper constitution of the quarterly meeting, and to
provide for special circuit meetings to re-try cases of discipline,
which had been brought before the leaders' meeting, when there was
reason to think that the verdict had been given in a factious spirit.
The chairman of the district, with twelve elected by the quarterly
meeting, formed a tribunal to re-try the case. From this decision
there was an appeal to the district synods, and also to the
Conference. Provision was made for the trial of trustees, so that
every justice should be done them. Local Church meetings were
guaranteed the right of appeal to Conference, and circuits were
allowed to memorialise Conference on Connexional subjects, within
proper limits. The quarterly meetings, having considered these
resolutions, gave them a cordial reception, and they were confirmed
by the Conference of 1853.

No new rule is enforced by Conference until opportunity is given to
bring it before all the quarterly meetings, and it is not likely to
become Methodist law if the majority object. The enlarged district
synods are an additional safeguard for the privileges of the people.
By ballot the circuit quarterly meetings may now elect one, or in
some cases two gentlemen, who, with the circuit steward, shall
represent the circuit in the district synod.

In 1889, Conference sanctioned the formation of Methodist councils,
composed of ministers and laymen, to consult on matters pertaining to
Methodist institutions in the towns. Their decisions of course do not
bind any particular Society.

The disaffection so fruitful of suffering had been due to a suspicion
that men were retained in departmental offices when they no longer
had the confidence of the people. Now such officials are only elected
for six years, though eligible for re-election. One-sixth of the
laymen on Connexional committees retire yearly; they may be
re-elected, but must receive a four-fifths vote. Visitors may be
present when the President is inducted into office, and during the
representative session, when also reporters other than ministers are
now allowed to take notes.

It was the year 1878 which witnessed that most important development
of Methodist economy, the introduction of lay representatives to take
part with ministers in the deliberations of Conference. This was no
sudden revolution; laymen had long had their share in the work of
quarterly meetings, district synods, and great Connexional
committees; in 1861 they were admitted to the Committees of Review,
which arranged the business of Conference; they sat in the nomination
committee each year, and had power to scrutinise, and even to alter,
the lists of names for the various committees. Now in natural
sequence they were to be endowed with legislative as well as
consultative functions; it might be said they had been educated to
this end.

The committee appointed to consider the matter having done its work,
the report was submitted to the district synods and then to
Conference. Long, earnest, animated, but loving was the debate that
ensued; the assembled ministers, by a large majority, determined that
the laity should henceforth share in their deliberations on all
questions not strictly pastoral.

It was resolved that there should be a representative session of 240
ministers and 240 laymen. The ministerial quota was to consist of
President and secretary, members of the Legal Hundred, assistant
secretary, chairmen of districts not members of the Hundred, and
representatives of the great departments; six ministers stationed in
foreign countries, but visiting England at the time; and the
remainder elected by their brethren in the district synods; the
laymen to be elected in the synods by laymen only. A small proportion
at one Conference is chosen to attend the next.

Such were the new arrangements that came into force in 1878, causing
no friction, since they secured "a maximum of adaptation with a
minimum of change"; there was no difficulty in deciding what business
should belong to either session of Conference. It is needless to
dwell here on minor alterations, introduced in the past, or
contemplated for the future, as to the order of the sessions; it may
amply suffice us to remark that Wesleyan Methodism, thanks to the
modifications of its constitution which we have briefly touched upon,
is one of the most truly popular Church systems ever devised. For, as
the Pastoral Address of 1896 puts it, "Methodism gives every class,
every member, all the rights which can be reasonably claimed, listens
to every complaint, asserts no exclusive privilege, but insures that
all things are done 'decently and in order.'"

The great change just described, being the work of the ministers
themselves, and accomplished by them before there was any loud demand
for it, was effected with such moderation and discretion as not to
entail the loss of a single member or minister. This was justly held
a cause for great thankfulness; and it was determined to raise a
thanksgiving fund for the relief of the various departments.

Great central meetings, extending over two years (1878--1880), were
held throughout the country, and were characterised by enthusiasm and
wonderful generosity. At a time when the country was suffering almost
unheard of commercial depression, the sum of L297,500 was raised, to
be apportioned between Foreign Missions, the Extension of Methodism
in Great Britain, Education, Home Missions, Methodism in Scotland,
the Sunday-school Union, a new Theological College, the "Children's
Home," the Welsh and German chapels in London, a chapel at Oxford,
the relief of necessitous local preachers, and the promotion of
temperance. The missionary debt was paid, and the buildings for
soldiers and sailors at Malta and Aldershot were cleared of debt.

Such work could not be done if the circuits acted independently; but
united as they are, and forming one vast connexion, much which would
otherwise be impossible can be achieved by means of the great
Connexional funds. Of these funds not a few have been established
since 1837; but the most important among them, the Foreign Mission
fund, can boast an earlier origin.

Wesleyanism, indeed, is essentially missionary in spirit, her
original aim being to spread scriptural holiness throughout the
world. "The world is my parish," said Wesley though he himself could
never visit the whole of that parish, his followers have at least
explored the greater part of it, causing the darkness to flee before
the radiance of the lamp of truth.

British Methodism has now missions in almost every quarter of the
globe--in Asia, in Africa, on the Continent of Europe, in the Western
Hemisphere. Her mission agencies include medical missions, hospitals,
schools for the blind, homes for lepers, orphanages, training and
industrial schools, etc.

In Europe we have set on foot missions in countries that are
nominally Christian, where the people are too often the victims of
ignorance, wickedness, vice, scepticism, and superstition; France,
Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, and Portugal have all been objects of
our missionary enterprise during the present reign, and in some
instances conspicuous success has been attained. Witness the good
work still going on in Italy, and the independent position attained
by the _Conference, Methodiste de France_.

In India, Ceylon, China, and Burma, our agents are working amongst
races in which they have to combat heathenism strong in its
antiquity. The progress is necessarily slow, but a point has been
reached where great success may be prophesied, as the result largely
of the work of the pioneers. The schools are turning out many who, if
they do not all become decided Christians, are intellectually
convinced that Christianity is right, and will put fewer difficulties
in the way of their children than they themselves had to contend
with. This educational work prepares the way for the gospel;
observers declare that nearly all converts in Ceylon have been
trained in our schools.

The important missions in Southern and Western Africa must not be
forgotten, nor those in Honduras and the Bahamas.

The present policy throughout our actual mission-field is as far as
possible to raise up native agents. Probably the heathen lands will
be won for the great Captain of salvation by native soldiers; but for
a long time they will need officers trained in countries familiar for
generations with the blessings of the gospel. The number of our
missionaries may be stated at 400, more than half being native
agents; there are 2,680 other mission workers, 52,058 Church members;
84,113 children and young people having instruction in the schools.
But these figures would give a false idea of the progress of the work
if compared with the statistics of 1837; for _then_ our missions
included vast regions that have now their own Conferences. When the
Queen ascended the throne Fiji was a nation of cannibals. Two years
before her accession our Missionary Society commenced operations in
those islands. John Hunt laboured with apostolic zeal, and died
breathing the prayer, "God, for Christ's sake, bless Fiji, save
Fiji." The prayer is already answered. All these islands have been
won for Christ, and are trophies of Wesleyan missionary toil. There
are 3,100 native preachers under the care of nine white missionaries;
1,322 chapels, 43,339 members and catechumens, and more than 42,000
scholars. Fiji has become almost a nation of Methodists. But it were
vain to look for traces of this vast achievement in the "Minutes of
Conference" of 1896; for a special feature of our missionary policy
is the establishment of affiliated Conferences, which in course of
time become self-supporting. In 1883 all the branches of the Canadian
Methodists united to form one Canadian Conference. The first French
Conference met in 1852. In 1855 the Conference of Eastern British
America was formed. The same year the first Australian Conference
met, and took charge of the Missions in Fiji, the Friendly Isles, and
New Zealand. The first South African Conference met in 1882, and the
two West Indian Conferences in 1884. Although more or less
independent of the mother Conference, they still retain the
characteristics of Methodism. A distinct branch of Mission work,
known as the Women's Auxiliary, has been established, and sends forth
ladies to engage in educational, zenana, and medical work. They are
doing good service in India, China, and other parts of the world. In
1896 they expended more than L10,000.

The total expenditure last year (1896) was L124,700, incurred by our
own Mission work and by grants to the affiliated Conferences. It is
satisfactory to note that in the districts helped, including those
covered by these Conferences, an additional L185,000 was raised. We
have magnificent opportunities; and with full consecration of our
people's wealth there would be glorious successes in the future.
Foreign Missions have been the chief honour of Methodism, and it is
to be hoped the same affection for them will be maintained; for
wherever Methodism is found throughout the world, it is the result of
mission work.

Meanwhile there has been no sacrificing of home interests. Never were
greater efforts made by Methodism for the evangelisation of the
masses in Great Britain. The Home Mission Fund, first instituted in
1756, was remodelled in 1856. Its business is to assist the dependent
circuits in maintaining the administration of the gospel, to provide
means for employing additional ministers, and to meet various
contingencies with which the circuits could not cope unassisted. Our
needs as a Connexion demand such a Contingent Fund. One-third of the
amount raised by the Juvenile Home and Foreign Missionary Association
is devoted to Home Missions. The income, which in 1837 was less than
L10.000, is now more than L36,000; an increase witnessing to a spirit
of aggression and enterprise in modern Methodism. This fund provides
for the support of the Connexional evangelists and district

In the year 1882, under the head "Home Missions," there was a new and
important departure, by the appointment of the first "Connexional
evangelists," of whom there are now four; they have already been the
means of great blessing throughout the country, showing that the old
gospel, preached as in the old days, is still mighty to awaken and

Under the direction of the Home Mission Committee, commissioners
visit certain districts, to give advice and discover the best methods
for improving the condition of Methodism where it appears to be low.

Special attention is given to the villages. The "Out-and-Out Band"
subscribed for four Gospel Mission vans, each carrying two
evangelists, and a large quantity of literature, to the villages; the
evangelists in charge conducting services in the village chapels and
in the open air. The sale of books and the voluntary contributions of
the people help to defray the expenses. This agency is now under the
direction of the Home Mission committee, and the gospel cars will be
known as "Wesleyan Home Mission Cars."

Another new movement, helpful to village Methodism, is the "Joyful
News" mission, originating with the Rev. Thomas Champness, who has
been set free from ordinary circuit work to manage it. He trains lay
agents, for whose services there is a great demand in villages where
the people are too poor to maintain additional ministers, and where
the supply of local preachers is deficient. Some of these agents are
at work abroad.

The energetic Home Mission Committee has also set on foot missions
where Methodism was feeble. Nor are those forgotten who "go down to
the sea in ships, and do business in great waters." As far as means
permit, efforts are made for the spiritual benefit of our sailors in
all the great ports of the world; our soldiers, too, are equally
cared for. Methodism has always been interested in the army, in which
some of Wesley's best converts were found; yet there was no
systematic work in it before 1839, when an order by the
commander-in-chief permitted every soldier to attend the church of
his choice. Some years afterwards, the Rev. Dr. Rule strove hard to
secure the recognition of the rights of Wesleyans, and after much
struggle the War Office recognised Wesleyan chaplains. The work and
position of Wesleyan Methodism are now thoroughly organised
throughout the world. The government allows a capitation grant for
all declared Wesleyans, and it amounts to a large sum of money every
year. In 1896 there were, including the Militia, 22,663 declared
Wesleyans in the army and 1,485 Church members. There are 28 Sailors'
and Soldiers' Homes, providing 432 beds, and these Homes have been
established at a cost of L35,000. In them are coffee bars, libraries,
lecture halls, and, what is most appreciated by Christian soldiers,
rooms for private prayer. The officiating ministers, who give the
whole or part of their time to the soldiers and their families,
number 195.

There are many local preachers among the soldiers, and at least two
have left the ranks to become ministers.

On the Mission field, soldiers render valuable aid to the missionary
in building chapels, distributing tracts, and often teaching and
preaching to the natives and others. Thus, whilst helping to hold the
empire for their Queen, they are hastening on the day when all the
kingdoms of the world shall be the kingdom of our Lord and of His

This deeply interesting work in the Army and Royal Navy is
appropriately mentioned in connexion with our Home and Foreign
Missions, both intimately concerned in its maintenance and
management. It is right to mention that the Soldiers' and Sailors'
Homes described are free to all members of H.M.'s sea and land
forces, irrespective of religious denomination.


One great event in Methodist history since 1837 now calls for
notice--the assembling of the first Oecumenical Conference in
Wesley's Chapel, City Road, London, in 1861. This idea was in strict
keeping with the spirit Wesley discovered when, five weeks before his
death, he wrote to his children in America: "See that you never give
place to one thought of separating from your brethren in Europe. Lose
no opportunity of declaring to all men that the Methodists are one
people in all the world, and that it is their full determination so
to continue,

"'Though mountains rise, and oceans roll,
To sever us in vain.'"

The growing affection among Methodists of all branches made the idea
of an Oecumenical Conference practicable.

[Illustration: Sir Francis Lycett.]

The suggestion took form at the Joint Conference of the Methodist
Episcopal Church of America in 1876. The American Methodists sent a
delegate to the British Conference, proposing a United Conference
which should demonstrate to the world the essential oneness in
doctrine, spirit, and principle of all the Churches which
historically trace their origin to John Wesley; such a manifestation,
it was hoped, would strengthen and perpetuate that unity.

Further, the Conference was to discover how to adjust our mission
work so as to prevent waste and friction; suggesting also modes and
agencies for the most successful work of evangelisation. Nor was this
all; its promoters trusted to gain light on the relation of universal
Methodism to education, civil government, other Christian bodies, and
missionary enterprise at large, and looked for a vast increase in
spiritual power and intelligent, enthusiastic activity among the
various branches of Methodism, whose gathering together might well
draw "the attention of scholars and reformers and thinkers to the
whole Methodist history, work, and mission," while a new impulse
should be given to every good work, and a more daring purpose of
evangelisation kindled. The British Conference pointed out the need
of frankly recognising the not unimportant differences amongst the
various Methodist bodies, so as to rule out of discussion any points
which had a suggestion of past controversies. The American Conference
accepted this.

[Illustration: The Methodist Settlement, Bermondsey, London, S.E.]

The smaller Methodist bodies being invited to join, the four hundred
delegates were sent up by the various branches of the Methodist
Church as nearly as possible in proportion to their numerical
strength; seven sections of British Methodism and thirteen from the
United States and the Mission fields, numbering probably twenty
millions, were represented. It was fitting that the first Oecumenical
Conference should meet in City Road, the cathedral of Methodism.
Bishop Simpson preached the opening sermon; the delegates then
partook of the sacrament together, and Dr. Osborn, President of the
Conference, gave the opening address. The Oecumenical Conference did
not aim at determining any debated condition of Church membership, or
at defining any controverted doctrine, or settling any question of
ritual; it met for consultative, not legislative purposes. As such,
the gathering brought about the thing which is written: "Thy watchmen
shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they
sing... Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall
fear, and be enlarged."

By a happy coincidence, that largehearted son of Methodism, the late
Sir William M'Arthur, was then Lord Mayor of London, and he gave a
congratulatory welcome to the delegates at a magnificent reception in
the Mansion House.

The next important event in Methodist history during the Queen's
reign is the rise and progress of the great Wesleyan Missions in the
towns--a vast beneficent movement, in which some at least of the
aspirations cherished by the promoters of the first Oecumenical
Conference appeared to have been realised.

The tendency of our day is towards a steady flow of population from
the villages to the towns, especially to London. In 1837, there was
only one London district, covering a very wide area, and including
six circuits, whose total membership was only 11,460, after a hundred
years of Methodism. The various branches of the recently established
London Mission report more than a third of this number after less
than ten years' labour.

[Illustration: Theological Institution, Richmond.]

The success of London Methodism in late years is largely due to the
establishment of the Metropolitan Chapel Building fund in 1862. The
late Sir Francis Lycett gave L50,000, on condition that an equal
amount should be raised throughout the country, and that ten chapels,
each seating at least a thousand persons, should in ten years be
built in the metropolitan area. The noble challenge called forth a
fit response. In his will he left a large sum to the same fund, so
the committee could offer an additional L500 pounds to every chapel
commenced before the end of 1898, with a proportionate grant to
smaller chapels; aid will also be given by the committee in securing
additional ministerial supply. Such offers should stimulate chapel
building for the two years. Already, since the establishment of the
fund, more than ninety chapels have been built in London at a cost of
L630,000, towards which the fund contributed in grants and loans
L213,000. Before 1862, there were only three important chapels south
of the Thames, and now there are thirty-seven. During the last ten or
twelve years unprecedented prosperity has been shown, not only in
chapel building, but in chapel filling, and the establishment of
successful missions.

In 1885 the earnest attention of the Churches was directed to
"outcast London." The deepest interest was aroused, especially in
Methodist circles; and that year great meetings were held in City
Road, to initiate a movement that should benefit London's outcasts. A
large sum of money was raised, and the London Mission formed. The
West London Mission at St. James's Hall, the East End branch, and the
almost deserted chapel in Clerkenwell became notable centres. Thus at
one time efforts were put forth to reach the rich, the artisans, and
the outcasts. The success has abundantly justified the enterprise. In
addition to evangelistic work, the missions make strenuous efforts to
improve the social condition of the people, for Methodism realises
that she is called to minister not only to the souls, but also to the
bodies of men. Already, as a result of the London Mission, a new,
fully organised circuit has grown up; the West London Mission alone
reporting a membership which is one-tenth of the whole membership of
London in 1837.

The latest and most novel branch of the work is the "Bermondsey
Settlement," established six years ago in the poorest district of
south-east London. In this hall of residence live devoted workers who
have been trained in our universities or in our high-class schools,
and who spend their leisure in benefiting their poor neighbours by
religious, educational, and social effort. A home for women, in which
about ten ladies reside, is connected with the settlement, which is
in special connexion with Wesleyan schools throughout the country.
The programme of work is extensive, and in addition the settlement
takes an increasing part in local administration and philanthropy,
many non-resident workers assisting.

[Illustration: Theological Institution, Didsbury.]

To support the London Mission, appeal is made to Methodists
throughout the country and the world. The meetings held on its behalf
in the provinces have greatly blessed the people, stimulating them to
fresh efforts in their own localities. Similar agencies had
previously been established in various great trading centres, where
the tendency is for the people who can afford it to leave the towns
and to live in the suburbs. Thus many chapels have become almost
deserted. The Conference decided that the best method of filling
these chapels would be to utilise them as Mission halls, for
aggressive evangelistic and social effort; which has been done with
surprising success in Manchester, Leeds, Hull, Birmingham, and many
other large towns. In Manchester there are from ten to twelve
thousand people reached by the Mission agencies, and already a new
circuit has been formed, the members of its Society having been
gathered in from the army of distress and destitution. It would be
impossible here to enumerate the thousand ways in which the Mission
workers toil for the redemption of the downfallen, or to tell half
the tale of their success. But all this work could not be so well
carried on without the assistance of another important department.
The Wesleyan Chapel Building Committee, instituted in 1818, was
reconstituted in 1854; it meets monthly in Manchester to dispose of
grants and loans, to consider cases of erections, alterations,
purchases, and sales of Wesleyan trust property, and to afford advice
in difficult cases. It has also to see that all our trust property is
duly secured to the Connexion. The erection of the Central Hall in
Manchester, to be at once the headquarters of our Chapel Committee
and of the great Mission, marked a most important era in Methodist
aggressive enterprise. The income of the Chapel Fund from all sources
last year was L9,115. It was reported that the entire debt discharged
or provided for during the last forty-one years was L2,389,073, and
the total debt remaining on trust property is not more than L800,000;
while L9,000,000 had been expended on chapel buildings during the
thirty years preceding 1893.

[Illustration: Theological Institution, Headingley.]

The Extension of Methodism Fund was established in 1874, to
supplement the ordinary funds of the Connexion and the local
resources of the people, by aiding in the increase of chapel
accommodation throughout the country, and in the extension of
Methodism by Home Mission and similar agencies. At first the building
of a thousand chapels was contemplated; but already 1,796 cases have
been helped, with grants and loans amounting to L122,999. In 1867 a
fund was started for the relief and extension of Methodism in
Scotland; a Chapel Fund for the North Wales District was instituted
in 1867, and for South Wales in 1873. There are now in Great Britain
10,000 Wesleyan chapels, which will accommodate 2,156,209 hearers,
more than four times the number of members returned; for there is
something misleading, as far as the general public is concerned, in
the published statistics of Methodism, which take account of
class-meeting membership only. Estimating the other Methodist bodies
at the same rate, Methodist chapels provide accommodation for
3,000,000 people; so that the united Methodist Church in this country
is second only to the Established Church of England.

The Wesleyan Methodist Trust Assurance Company was established in
1872, for the insurance of Methodist Trust property only. The Board
of Trustees for Chapel Purposes was formed in 1866, which undertakes
to invest money intended for the chapel trust and for Methodist
objects. Seeing that there are so many funds in Methodism, and that
while some have a balance, others might be obliged to borrow at a
high rate of interest, it was suggested that a Common Cash Fund
should be established, making it possible for the committees to
borrow from and lend to one another, the borrowers paying the
ordinary bank rate of interest, and the profits being equally divided
among the funds.

[Illustration: Theological Institution, Handsworth.]

A passing reference must be made to another committee, instituted in
1803--the Committee of Privileges and Exigency: and in 1845 an acting
special committee for cases of great emergency was formed. Between
the sessions of the Conference this committee often renders great
service, safeguarding Methodist interests when they would be
endangered by proposed government measures, or in any other way. At
present it is engaged in trying to get through Parliament several
measures in the interests of Nonconformity generally.

The subject of education drew the anxious attention of Wesley; his
followers were less alive to its importance, until just before the
Queen came to the throne. The training of the ministry was neglected,
and the young ministers had to educate themselves. Though Wesley
approved the idea of a seminary for his preachers, it was only three
years before the Queen's accession that the first Theological
Institution was opened at Hoxton. The Centenary Fund provided for one
such institution at Richmond, and another at Didsbury. The Headingley
branch was opened in 1868, and the Birmingham branch, built with part
of the Thanksgiving Fund, in 1881. Our ministers are now far better
trained than were the old Methodist preachers, and, taking them as a
whole, they do not come short of their predecessors in any necessary
qualification for their work.

[Illustration: Kingswood School, Bath.]

Their culture must not be judged by the scantiness of their literary
production. The empress Catherine once said to a French _savant_, "My
dear philosopher, it is not so easy to write on human flesh as on
paper." Much more difficult is the task of our ministers, whose
religious, social, and financial work leaves them little of that
learned leisure enjoyed by Anglican divines, who by their masterly
works have made the entire Christian Church their debtor. But in the
period we are reviewing, despite the demands made on the time of the
ministers, many have written that which will not easily be forgotten.
The Church that nurtured Dr. Moulton, whose edition of Winer's "Greek
Grammar" is a standard work, used by all the greatest Greek New
Testament scholars, need not be ashamed of her learning. Dr. Moulton
and Dr. Geden were on the revision committee which undertook the
fresh translation of the Old and New Testaments. Other Wesleyan
ministers have made their mark as commentators, apologists, scholars,
and scientists in the last few decades. The _Fernley Lectures_ have
proved the ability of many Methodist preachers; we lack space to
refer to the many able writers who have ceased from their labours.

The _London Quarterly Review_ has kept up the literary reputation of
Methodism: nor are we behind any Nonconformist Church in journalistic
matters. Two newspapers represent the varying shades of opinion in
Methodism, and give full scope to its expression. A high level of
excellence is seen in the publications of the Book Room, and our
people when supporting it are also helping important Connexional
funds, to which the profits are given.

[Illustration: The North House, Leys School, Cambridge.]

While increasing care has been taken with the training of the
ministry, lay education has not been neglected. Kingswood School,
founded by Wesley, continues, as in his day, to give excellent
instruction to ministers' sons. In 1837 a Methodist school, Wesley
College, was opened at Sheffield, and a few years later one at
Taunton, well known as Queen's College. The Leys School at Cambridge,
under the head-mastership of Dr. Moulton, was opened in 1874, and has
shown "the possibility of reconciling Methodist training with the
breadth and freedom of English public school life." There are in
Ireland excellent colleges at Belfast and Dublin.

In 1875, a scheme for establishing middle-class schools was adopted,
resulting in the opening of such schools at Truro, Jersey, Bury St.
Edmunds, Woodhouse Grove, Congleton, Canterbury, Folkestone,
Trowbridge, Penzance, Camborne, and Queenswood; all report

Elementary education, which has made such great progress during the
Queen's reign, engaged the anxious attention of our authorities long
before the initiation of the School Board system, under which the
average attendance in twenty-five years increased almost fourfold.
Methodism has been in the forefront of the long battle with

The establishment of "week-day schools" in connexion with this great
Church owed its origin to the declaration of the Conference in 1833.
that "such institutions, placed under an efficient spiritual control,
cannot fail to promote those high and holy ends for which we exist as
a religious community." The object was to give the scholars "an
education which might begin in the infant school and end in heaven,"
thus subserving the lofty aim of Methodism, "to fill the world with
saints, and Paradise with glorified spirits"; a more ambitious idea
than that expressed by Huxley when he said, "We want a great highway,
along which the child of the peasant as well as of the peer can climb
to the highest seats of learning."

[Illustration: Queen's College, Taunton.]

In 1836 the attention of the Conference was directed to education in
general, and especially to Wesleyan day schools; the Pastoral Address
of 1837, regretting that children had to be trained outside the
Church or be left untaught, expressed the hope that soon, in the
larger circuits, schools might be established which would give a
scriptural and Wesleyan education. Already some schools had been
commenced; and the plan was devised which has been the basis of all
subsequent Methodist day-school work.

In 1840 it was decided to spend the interest of the L5,000 given from
the Centenary Fund for the training of teachers, work which was at
first carried on at Glasgow. The determination of Conference to
perfect its plan of Wesleyan education was quickened when an unfair
Education Bill, not the last of its kind, was introduced into
Parliament in 1843, proposing to hand over the children in factory
districts to the Church of England. An Education Fund was
established. Government, in 1847, offered grants for the training of
elementary school teachers; and in 1851 the Westminster Training
College was opened, with room for 130 men students. In 1872, in
response to an increased demand for Wesleyan teachers, a separate
college for mistresses was opened at Southlands, Battersea. Already
four thousand have been trained in these institutions. Many hold
positions in Board schools. In 1896 the number in Wesleyan and Board
schools was 2,400.

The system thus inaugurated met a great and real need, and under it
excellent work has been done on the lines laid down by the Department
at Whitehall; for, receiving State aid, the training colleges and all
the schools, like other similar denominational institutions on the
same footing, are inspected and in a measure controlled by the
national educational authority. In 1837 there were only 31 Wesleyan
day schools; to-day there are 753 school departments, and on their
books 162,609 scholars. But the introduction of free education has
made it difficult for the Methodist Church to maintain her schools,
efficient though they be. Since 1870, when school boards were
introduced, the number of Wesleyan day schools has only increased by
10, while 9,752 Board schools have arisen, and the Church of England
schools have increased from 9,331 to 16,517; the Roman Catholic
schools actually trebling in number and attendance.

[Illustration: Wesley College, Sheffield.]

In view of these changed conditions, Conference has expressed itself
anxious for such a complete national system of education as might
place a Christian unsectarian school within reasonable distance of
every family, especially in rural districts, with "adequate
representative public management"; it has most earnestly deprecated
the exclusion of the Bible, and suitable religious instruction
therefrom by the teachers, from the day schools; but, so long as
denominational schools form part of the national system, it is
resolved to maintain our schools and Training Colleges, in full
vigour. Difficulties, undreamed of sixty years ago, surround this
great question; but assuredly Methodism will be true to its trust and
its traditions.

The cost of Wesleyan schools last year was L215,634, and was met by
school fees, subscriptions, and a government grant of L185,780. The
Education Fund of 1896, amounting to L7,115, was spent on the
Training Colleges, grants to necessitous schools, etc.

Wesley approved of Sunday schools as means of giving religious
instruction to the children of the poor, and Hannah Ball at High
Wycombe, a good Methodist, and Silas Told, teaching at the Foundery,
both anticipated the work of Raikes by several years. In 1837 there
were already 3,339 Sunday schools, with 341,442 scholars. Today the
schools number 7,147, the officers and teachers 131,145, and there
are in the schools 965,201 children and young people. The formation
in 1869 of the Circuit Sunday-school Union, and in 1874 of the
Connexional Sunday-school Union, has done much for the schools, in
providing suitable literature for teachers and scholars, and in
organising their work. An additional motive to Scripture study is
furnished by the "Religious Knowledge Examinations" instituted by
Conference; certificates, signed by the President, being granted to
teachers and scholars who succeed in passing the examinations. In
recognition of the value of so important a department of the Church,
adequate representation at the quarterly meetings is now accorded to
the Sunday schools.

It is not in our day only that the pastoral oversight of the young
has been deemed worthy of attention; the duty has always been
enforced on ministers; but in 1878 there were first formed junior
Society classes, to prepare children for full membership. There are
now seventy-two thousand in such classes.

In 1896 we note a new effort to bring young people into the kingdom,
in the foundation of the "Wesley Guild," of which the President of
Conference is the head, with four vice-presidents, two being laymen.
The guild is "a union of the young people of a congregation. Its
keynote is comradeship, and its aim is to encourage the young people
of our Church in the highest aims of life." The story of its origin
may be briefly told.

The Rev. Charles H. Kelly introduced the subject in the London
Methodist Council, and then brought the matter before the Plymouth
Conference of 1895, dwelling on the desire existing to form a Wesley
Guild that should do for Britain what the Epworth League does for
American Methodism, and secure the best advantages not only of that
league, but of the Boys' Brigade, Bands of Hope, Christian Endeavour
and Mutual Improvement Societies, which it should federate. The
Liverpool Conference of 1896 therefore sanctioned the formation of
the "Wesley Guild." Its three grades of members include young people
already attached to the Church, with others not yet ripe for such
identification, and "older people young in heart," who all join in
guild friendship, and aid in forming this federation of the existing
societies interesting to young people.

By periodical meetings, weekly if possible, for devotional, social,
and literary purposes, a healthy common life and beneficent activity
are stimulated, and the rising generation is happily and usefully
drawn into relation with the older Church workers, whom it aids by
seeking out the young, lonely, and unattached, and bringing them into
the warm circle of youthful fellowship.

Such in brief is the programme of the Guild, which may yet greatly
enrich the Church with which it is connected.

We turn now to one of the most notable changes in Methodism during
the Queen's reign--the wonderful advance in the temperance movement.
Wesley himself was an ardent temperance reformer, but his preachers
were slow to follow him. A few prominent men strove long to induce
Conference to institute a temperance branch of our work, and finally
succeeded, their efforts having effected a great change in opinion.
For many years our theological students, though not compelled
thereto, have almost all been pledged abstainers. 1873 saw Conference
appoint a temperance committee "to promote legislation for the more
effectual control of the liquor traffic--and in general for the
suppression of intemperance." In 1879 a scheme was sanctioned for the
formation of Methodist Bands of Hope and Circuit Temperance Unions;
and a special Sunday, the last in November, is devoted to considering
"the appalling extent and dire result" of our national sin, one of
the greatest obstacles to that "spread of scriptural holiness" which
is the aim of the true Wesleyan Methodist, whose chosen Church, with
its manifold organisation, has unequalled facilities for temperance
work. In 1896 the report showed 1,374 temperance societies, with
80,000 members--figures that do not include all the abstainers in
Methodism; some societies have no temperance association, and some
Methodists are connected with other than our own temperance work. The
4,393 Bands of Hope count 433,027 members.

[Illustration: Children's Home, Bolton.]

We have already spoken of the growth and development of social
philanthropic work in connexion with the great Methodist missions in
towns; there remains one most important movement in this direction to
notice--the establishment of the "Children's Home," which, begun in
1869 by Dr. Stephenson, received Conference recognition in 1871. It
has now branches in London, Lancashire, Gravesend, Birmingham, and
the Isle of Man, and an emigration depot in Canada. Over 900 girls
and boys are in residence, while more than 2,900 have been sent forth
well equipped for the battle of life; some of them becoming
ministers, local preachers, Sunday-school workers, and in many ways
most useful citizens. The committee of management has the sanction of
Conference. This "powerful arm of Christian work" not only rescues
helpless little ones from degradation and misery; it undertakes the
special training of the workers amongst the children in industrial
homes and orphanages; and hence has arisen the institution in 1895 of
the order of Methodist deaconesses, which is recommended by
Conference to Connexional sympathy and confidence, the deaconesses
rendering to our Church such services as the Sisters of Mercy give to
the Church of Rome. One example may suffice. A London superintendent
minister describes the work of one of the Sisters during the past
twelvemonth as "simply invaluable. She has visited the poor, nursed
the sick, held services in lodging-houses, met Society classes and
Bible-classes, gathered round her a godly band of mission-workers,
and in a hundred ways has promoted the interests of God's work."

Two events made 1891 memorable for Methodists, the centenary of
Wesley's death and its commemoration being the first.

The Conference decided that suitable memorial services should be
held, and an appeal made to Methodists everywhere for funds to
improve Wesley's Chapel and the graveyard containing his tomb.
Universal interest was aroused; all branches of Methodism were
represented; the leading ministers of Nonconformist Churches also
shared in the services. Crowded and enthusiastic congregations
assembled in City Road when on Sunday, March 1, the Rev. Charles H.
Kelly, Ex-President, preached on "The Man, his Teaching, and his
Work," and when the Rev. Dr. Moulton delivered the centenary sermon.
On March 2, a statue of Wesley was unveiled--exactly one hundred
years after his death--Dean Farrar and Sir Henry H. Fowler addressing
the meeting.

[Illustration: Westminster Training College.]

The Allan Library, the gift of the late Thomas R. Allan, containing
more than 30,000 books and dissertations, was opened by the
President; it has since been enriched by gifts of modern books from
the Fernley Trustees and others, and a circulating library is now
connected with it. Accessible on easy terms to ministers and local
preachers, and within the reach of many others, this library should
be a useful stimulus to the taste for study among ministers and

The other event of the year was the meeting of the second Oecumenical
Conference in October, at Washington, in the country where Methodism
obtained great triumphs. The Conference lasted twelve days, like its
predecessor; the opening sermon, prepared by the Rev. William Arthur,
was read for him, Mr. Arthur's voice being too weak to be heard; and
the President of the United States gave a reception at the Executive
Mansion, and also visited the Conference. Many topics of deep
interest were discussed on this occasion, and not the least
attractive subject was the statistical report presented. The
difficulty of estimating the actual strength and influence of
Methodism is very great.

In the present year the membership of the Wesleyan Methodists, for
Great Britain and Ireland, is estimated at 494,287; of other
Methodist bodies in the United Kingdom at 373,700; the affiliated
Conferences of Wesleyan Methodists in France, South Africa, the West
Indies, and Australasia at 212,849, being 1,942 for France, 62,812
for South Africa, 50,365 for the two West Indian, and 97,730 for the
Australasian Conferences. American Methodism in all its branches,
white and coloured, returns a membership of 5,573,118, while the
united Methodism of Canada shows 272,392, and the foreign missions of
British Wesleyan Methodism 52,058 members. These figures, giving a
total of 6,978,404 members, exclusive of the ministers, estimated at
43,368, are sufficiently gratifying; yet they do not represent the
real strength of the Church at large, and give only a faint idea of
its influence.

The Oecumenical Report gave the number of Methodist "adherents" as
24,899,421, intending, by the term _adherents_, those whose religious
home is the Methodist chapel, though their visits to it be irregular.
For the British Wesleyans the two millions of sittings were supposed
to represent the number of adherents (yet should all the occasional
worshippers wish to attend at once, it may be doubted if they could
be accommodated); for the other branches of Methodism in the United
Kingdom, four additional persons were reckoned to each member
reported. The statistics for Ireland and Canada were checked by the
census returns. Probably in the case of missions the adherents would
be more than four times the membership. Varying principles were
adopted for the United States, and the adherents reckoned at less
than four times the members reported. Should we to-day treat the
returns of membership on the same principle (Sunday scholars being
now as then included in the term "adherents "), we should find nearly
thirty millions of persons in immediate touch with Methodism and
strongly bound to it. Compare these figures with those of 1837, and
we must exclaim, "What hath God wrought!"

Estimating the increase of British Methodism, we have to remember
that the population has almost doubled in the sixty years, while
British Wesleyan Methodism has not doubled; but the great losses
occasioned by the agitations must be taken into account, and also the
curious fact that the ratio of increase for Methodism at large, in
the ten years between the two Oecumenical Conferences, was thirty per
cent--twice as great as the increase of population in the countries
represented; the Methodist Church in Ireland actually increasing
thirteen per cent, while the population of the country was
diminishing and the other Protestant Churches reported loss.

If the increase in Great Britain be proportionally smaller, this need
not cause surprise, in view of that vast development of energy in the
Established Church which is really due to the reflex action of
Methodism itself; that Church, with all the old advantages of wealth
and prestige and connexion with the universities and grammar schools
which she possessed in the days of her comparative supine-ness, with
her clergy roll of 23,000, and her many voluntary workers, having in
twenty-seven years almost doubled the number of her elementary
schools, largely attended by Methodist children. But the indirect
influence of Methodism is such as cannot be represented in our
returns; figures cannot show us the true spiritual status of a
Church. The total cost of the maintenance of our work in all its
branches can be estimated; and so able an authority as the Rev. Dr.
H. J. Pope stated it at from L1,500,000 to L1,750,000 pounds
annually, a sum more than equal to a dividend on fifty millions of
consols; but it is impossible to compute the profit to the human race
from that expenditure and the work it maintains. This may be said
with certainty, that other Churches have been greatly enriched
thereby. We may just refer to that remarkable religious movement, the
Salvation Army, of Methodist origin, though working on new lines;
doing such work, social and evangelistic, as Methodism has chosen for
its own, and absorbing into its ranks many of our own trained
workers. "The Salvationists, taught by Wesley," said the late Bishop
of Durham, "have learned and taught to the Church again the lost
secret of the compulsion of human souls to the Saviour."

"The Methodists themselves," says John Richard Green, "are the least
result of the Methodist revival"; the creation of "a large and
powerful and active sect," numbering many millions, extending over
both hemispheres, was, says Lecky, but one consequence of that
revival, which exercised "a large influence upon the Established
Church, upon the amount and distribution of the moral forces of the
nation, and even upon its political history"; an influence which
continues, the sons of Methodism taking their due part in local and
imperial government. Eloquent tributes to the work of Wesley are
frequent to-day, the _Times_, in an article on the centenary of his
death, saying: "The Evangelical movement in the Church of England was
the direct result of his influence and example, and since the
movements and ideas which have moulded the Church of England to-day
could have found no fitting soil for their development if they had
not been preceded by the Evangelical movement, it is no paradox to
say that the Church of England to-day is what it is because John
Wesley lived and taught in the last century.... He remains the
greatest, the most potent, the most far-reaching spiritual influence
which Anglo-Saxon Christianity has felt since the days of the
Reformation." So far the _Times_, of him whom it styles "the restorer
of the Church of England." Many impartial writers, some being ardent
friends of the English Church, have also recognised a gracious
overflow from Methodism which has blessed that Church, the
Nonconformist bodies, and the nation at large. If a man would
understand "the religious history of the last hundred years," that
"most important ecclesiastical fact of modern times," the rise and
progress of Methodism, must be studied in relation to the Anglican
and the older Nonconformist Churches, and the general "missionary
interests of Christianity": so we are taught by Dr. Stoughton, who
has traced the influence of Methodism in the general moral condition
of the country and the voluntary institutions of our age. The
doctrines once almost peculiar to Wesley and his followers--such as
entire sanctification--are now accepted and taught by many Churches,
and the religious usages of Methodism are imitated, watchnight
services being held, and revival mission services and prayer-meetings
being conducted, in Anglican churches; while the hymns of Charles
Wesley, sung by all English-speaking Protestants, and translated into
many languages, enrich the devotional life of the Christian world.

It was a fit tribute to the benefits which the English Church has
derived from the Methodist movement, when the memorial tablet to the
brothers John and Charles Wesley was unveiled in Westminster Abbey by
the late Dean Stanley, in 1872.

"The bracing breezes," said Dr. Stoughton, "came sweeping down from
the hills of Methodism on Baptist meadows as well as upon Independent
fields." We may give some few instances that will show what blessings
have come to Nonconformist Churches by the agency of Methodism.

A remarkable incident that occurred in 1872 was recorded in the
_Wesleyan Methodist Magazine_. Dr. Jobson had invited five eminent
ministers to meet the President of Conference at his house. After
breakfast their conversation quite naturally took the form of a
lovefeast, all being familiar with Methodist custom; when Dr. Allon,
Dr. Raleigh, and Dr. Stoughton all said they were converted in
Methodist chapels, and began Christian work as Methodists. Thomas
Binney said that "the direct instrumentality in his conversion was
Wesleyan," and Dr. Fraser was induced to enter the ministry by a
Wesleyan lady. Charles H. Spurgeon was converted through the
instrumentality of a Primitive Methodist local preacher; William Jay
of Bath was converted at a Methodist service; John Angell James
caught fire among the Methodists; and Thomas Raffles was a member of
the Wesleyan Society; Dr. Parker began his ministrations as a
Methodist local preacher; while Dr. Dale has shown the indebtedness
of Nonconformity to Methodism. In France and Germany Methodist agency
has been one of the strongest forces in re-awakening the old
Protestant Churches; the services held by our Connexional evangelists
send many converts to swell the fellowship of Churches not our own.
And the same effects followed the great Methodist revival in America;
out of 1,300 converts, 800 joined the Presbyterian and other
denominations. But while calling attention to the spiritual wealth
and the beneficent overflow of Methodism, we would not be unmindful
of the debt which Methodism owes to other Churches, and in special of
its obligations to those Anglican divines of our day who have
enriched the whole Church of Christ by their scholarly contributions
to sacred literature; and we would ascribe all the praise of
Methodist achievement to the almighty Author of good, whom the spirit
of ostentation and vain glorifying must displease, while it would
surely hinder His work.

The great desire of Methodism to-day--its great need, as Dr. Handles
expressed it in his presidential address--is "fulness of spiritual
life." If this be attained, the actual resources of the Church will
amply suffice to carry on its glorious future mission; it will not
fail in its primary duties of giving prominence to the spirituality
of religion, of maintaining strict fidelity to scriptural doctrine,
of giving persevering illustration of the fellowship of believers,
nor in upholding the expansion of home and foreign missions, nor in
ceaseless efforts to promote social advancement. "There is no rigid
system of Church mechanism, nor restraining dogma," to hinder

[Illustration: Group of Presidents Number Three.]

At present four-sevenths of the human race are in heathen darkness.
To win the world for Christ demands that Methodists should unite with
all His true soldiers. Wesley said: "We have strong reason to hope
that the work He hath begun He will carry on until the day of the
Lord Jesus; that He will never intermit this blessed work of His
Spirit until He has fulfilled all His promises, until He hath put a
period to sin and misery, infirmity and death, re-established
universal holiness and happiness, and caused all the inhabitants of
the earth to sing, 'Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.'"
If Methodism be faithful to her mission, this prophecy may be

When the second temple was built, Haggai exhorted Zerubbabel and
Joshua to be strong, and all the people to be strong, and to work,
for the Lord was with them. Let Methodists be strong in God's
strength, and work with the consciousness that the Lord of hosts is
with them, and they will insure success to the great mission of their

We will conclude with the last paragraph of the Rev. Charles H.
Kelly's sermon at the celebration of the centenary of Wesley's death
in 1891.

"Surely the lesson to the Methodists of to-day is clear enough. Let
us cherish the memory of our forefathers, let us emulate their
spirit, let us cling to their God-given doctrines, let us cultivate,
as they did, communion with the Master and fellowship with each
other. Let us aim to be one, to do our duty. Let us strive to make
our Church a greater power for evangelism among the people of the
earth than ever, let us look to the Holy Spirit for the richer
baptism of grace, and Methodism, so blest of the Lord in the past,
will yet be blest. Her mission is not accomplished, her work is not
done; long may she live and prosper. Peace be within her walls, and
prosperity within her palaces. For my brethren and companions' sake,
the faithful living and the sainted dead, I will now say, Peace be
within her; peace be within her."


The last days of the half-century are fleeting fast as we write, and
we are yet at peace with Europe, as when Victoria's reign began. How
long that peace shall last, who shall say? who can say how long it
may be ere the elements of internal discord that have threatened to
wreck the prosperity of the empire, shall be composed to a lasting
peace, and leave the nation free to follow its better destiny? But
foes within and foes without have many times assailed us in vain in
past years; many times has the political horizon been shadowed with
clouds portending war and strife no less gloomily than those which
now darken it, and as yet the Crimean war is the only war on which we
have entered that can be called European; many times have grave
discontents broken our domestic peace, but wise statesmanship has
found a timely remedy. We need not, if we learn the lessons of the
past aright, fear greatly to confront the future. Not to us the glory
or the praise, but to a merciful overruling Providence, ever raising
up amongst us noble hearts in time, that we are found to-day

"A nation yet, the rulers and the ruled,"

not quite bankrupt in heart or hope or faith, but possessing

"Some sense of duty, something of a faith,
Some reverence for the laws ourselves have made,
Some patient force to change them when we will;"

and we may justly acknowledge, in thankfulness not vainglorious, the
happier fate that has been ours above many another land, that may
still be ours, "if England to itself do rest but true."

We have seen during these sixty years the map of Europe remodelled to
an undreamed of extent. Fair Italy, though still possessing her fatal
gift of beauty, though still suffering many things, is no longer the
prey of foreign unloved rulers, but has become a nation, a mere
"geographical expression" no longer; Germany, whose many little
princedoms were once a favourite theme of British mockery, is now one
great and formidable empire; the power of Russia has, despite the
Crimean check, continued to expand, while desperate internal
struggles have shaken that half-developed people, proving fatal to
the gentle successor of Nicholas, the emancipator of the Russian
serfs, and often threatening the life of _his_ successors; and the
once formidable American slave-system has been swept away, with
appalling loss of human life; a second President of the United States
has fallen by the hand of an assassin; and new difficulties, scarce
inferior to those connected with slavery, have followed on its
abolition. Our record shows no calamity comparable to the greatest of
these, if we set aside the Indian horrors so terribly avenged at the
moment, but by their teaching resulting ultimately in good rather
than evil.

Besides the furious strife and convulsion that have rent other lands,
how inconsiderable seem the disturbances that disfigure our home
annals, how peaceful the changes in our constitutional system,
brought about orderly in due form of law, how purely domestic the
saddest events of our internal history! We wept with our Sovereign in
her early widowhood, a bereavement to the people as well as to the
Queen; we trembled with her when the shadow of death hung over her
eldest son, rejoicing with her when it passed away; we shared her
grief for two other of her children, inheritors of the noble
qualities of their father, and for the doom which took from us one
whom we had loved to call "our future king"; we deplored the other
bereavements which darkened her advancing years; we have lamented
great men taken from us, some, like the conqueror of Waterloo, "the
great world-victor's victor," in the fulness of age and honour,
others with their glorious work seemingly half done, their career of
usefulness mysteriously cut short; we have shuddered when the hateful
terrorism, traditional pest of Ireland through centuries of wrong and
outrage, has once and again lifted its head among ourselves; we have
suffered--though far less severely than other lands, even than some
under our own rule--from plague, pestilence, and famine, from dearth
of work and food. But what are these woes compared to those that
other peoples have endured, when it has been said to the sword,
"Sword, go through the land," and the dread word has been obeyed;
when war has slain its thousands, and want its tens of thousands; or
when terrible convulsions of nature have shaken down cities, and
turned the fruitful land into a wilderness?

Events have moved fast since the already distant day when the
Colonial and Industrial Exhibition was ministering exultation to many
a British heart by its wonderful display of the various wealth of our
distant domains and their great industrial resources. We were even
then tempted--as have been nations that are no more--to pride
ourselves on having reached an unassailable height of grandeur. Since
then our territory has expanded and our wealth increased; but with
them have increased the evils and the dangers inseparable from great
possessions, and the responsibilities involved in them. We can only
"rejoice with trembling" in this our second year of Jubilee.
Remembering with all gratitude how we have been spared hitherto, and
mindful of the perils that wait on power and prosperity, let it be
ours to offer such sacrifices of thanksgiving as can be pleasing to
the almighty Ruler of the ways of men, whom too often in pride of
power, in selfish satisfaction with our own achievements, we forget.

Many are the works of mercy, well pleasing in His sight, with which
we can associate ourselves, even in this favoured land, whose ever
increasing wealth is balanced by terrible poverty, and its affluence
of intellectual and spiritual light by grossest heathen darkness. Day
by day, as our brief account has shown, are increasing efforts put
forth by our Christian men and women to overcome these evils; and
through such agencies our country may yet be saved, and may not
perish like other mighty empires, dragged down by its own
over-swollen greatness, and by neglect of the eternal truth that
"righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any

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