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cular reason for treating this case as a serious evil, as a serious misfortune,—or as an afflicting sore to the Free Church of Scotland. Undoubtedly, with regard to the parties interested, it is a very unseemly affair; it has been the occasion of contention and strife amongst the parties locally interested, and in that light it may have given a triumph to the enemy; but, after all, what is it but a mere local squabble among a few Highlanders in Greenock; but it does not materially affect the character or credit of the Free Church of Scotland. It is not a case where we require to appoint a dictator, in order that the republic may suffer no damage; it is simply a private case, that seems, from the heat of the parties engaged in it, to have assumed an untoward aspect at present; but really, Sir, to deal with such a case as if it were a formal matter, in connection with which there was any danger to the Church accruing, would be greatly to exaggerate its importance. It is really for the parties themselves to go home and agree to make up the differences between them. However that may be, I am quite decided that the Assembly should give a deliverance on one point; and that is, to put an end to the idea of the Rev. Mr M'Leod being the minister of this congregation. For my own part, I cannot agree with the opinion of my friend Mr Carment; but I think I may venture to say that, with the evidence of the conduct of the parties before us, we have abundant evidence to show that this congregation cannot expect to have Mr M'Leod settled amongst them. I think it is quite clear that we ought to give a deliverance to show that if they were to call Mr M'Leod, after all that has occurred, we cannot set our face in favour of such a translation as this. Undoubtedly there is a right on the part of a congregation to call a minister, but there is also a right as sacred on the part of the Church to dispose of such cases, and to consider whether a minister, having already a sphere abundantly useful, is to be translated to another congregation, and we are now in a position to decide upon this as a matter simply of translation. We find that there have been great divisions and heats occasioned in the congregation by the proposal to call Mr M'Leod, and, therefore, I think that we should at once find that it is impossible for the Church at any time to sanction such a call. As to the course to be pursued, I think that the General Assembly should appoint special supply for that Church, by men who cannot possibly be called,—men whom the Gaelic congregation are not likely to cat, although I do not know that such men may be found; but I apprehend we must send the most uncallable men that we can find; and if this were done, I feel assured that the solemn, sober, Christian dispensations, and the wholesome dealings of the ministers of Christ amongst them altogether, might be attended by the most blessed fruits and results. I feel much disposed to concur with Mr Crichton, although I do not like the idea of suspending a congregation; but I think we are warranted, and as it seems to me bound, to require that we should be satisfied that the congregation are in a fitter state than now to proceed to that call. I would not, however, suspend a congregation for a length of time,-I do not think that we should give them a penal sentence in this case, but I do think it is necessary that we should have a report to the General Assembly as to the state of the congregation, before the Presbytery take steps for moderating in a call. In these circumstances, I am disposed to suggest, first, that any call to Mr M'Leod is out of the question; second, that this Assembly shall see to the providing of pastoral superintendence for this congregation for some time, in such a way as possibly to restore harmony, and promote mutual edification; and, lastly, to have a Report given into the Commission, before moderating in a call. After a few further remarks, Dr Candlish concluded by moving in accordance with the above proposition.

Mr Monteith, Mr Gibson, and Dr Cunningham, then said a few words in the way of amending the motion, when it was read in the following amended shape by Dr Candlish and unanimously agreed to,

"Sustain the reference, dismiss the appeal, regret deeply that painful and injurious divisions still prevail in the Gaelic Church of Greenock, and whereas the renewing of the calls to any of the ministers hitherto brought forward, appears to be fitted only to aggravate and perpetuate existing differences, the Assembly find that it is not for edification that any such call should be prosecuted in the General Assembly. Resolve to make provision for a period of three months for supplying divine ord nances to the Gaelic congregation; and so soon thereafter as the congregation shall find itself in a position with sufficient unanimity to give a call to any other minister

or probationer of this Church, authorise the Presbytery to proceed to moderate in the same, according to the laws of the Church."

The Assembly then adjourned about five o'clock in the afternoon.


The Assembly met in the Evening at seven o'clock, and having been constituted with devotional exercises, the Minutes of last diet were read and approved of.

Commission Record produced, and remitted to the Committee on Synod Records to visit and report.

The Assembly remit to the Committee on Sanctioning of Charges, the papers transmitted through the Committee on Bills in the case of Mr Adam Stuart Muir, Congregational Minister at Laurencekirk, craving admission into the Free Church, with a view to his employment as a Missionary under the Colonial Committee.

Presbytery Book of Zetland, and Synod Books of Glenelg and Merse and Teviotdale being produced, were remitted to the Committee for visiting Synod Records.


Dr CUNNINGHAM the Convener, said,—He had now to read the Report of the Committee on the New College. It was intended to be laid before the Assembly without discussion at this time; the discussion on the matters which it contains being fixed to come on upon Wednesday. As however it contained a great many topics connected with business in regard to which it was desirable that the Church should, as soon as possible, have possession, the Committee thought it desirable that the Report should now be read and laid on the table. He hoped that before Wednesday the Report would be printed and in the hands of all the members of Assembly. As, however, he was not quite sure of that, he had to request the Assembly to pay as much attention to its details as possible. Dr Cunningham then read the Report.* The Assembly having heard the Report, reserve the discussion of the matters therein referred to till Wednesday, when the various subjects relative to the College will be taken into consideration as already agreed upon.


Mr GRAY of Perth said,-I am sorry for the cause which brings it about that 'I have the present duty to discharge. My friend Mr Lorimer being, from the state of his health, in consequence of an accident he has received, unable to leave home at this time, I have, at his request, undertaken to present the Report of the Continental Committee to the Assembly. A Report has been drawn up by my friend Mr Lorimer at some length; and I may either read that Report, or state to the Assembly the substance of what it contains. (Cries of "State, state.") Looking to the field of operation, and looking to the state of the political and social condition of that field at the present moment, I think it is scarcely possible to overrate the importance of the functions which the Committee have to discharge. The Committee have not many agents of their own. There is one minister of this Church, however, who is in the service of the Committee, and has been for upwards of a year, namely, Mr Meston, who was ordained by the Presbytery of Aberdeen, and sent over to labour in France for the evangelization of that country, and who has now been labouring there for nearly a year and a half, first at Lyons, and, secondly, at Lisle. Having resided long in France,-for eighteen or nineteen years, I believe, he is well qualified to hold communication with the people of that country in their own language. The Committee have to state that Mr Meston's services have been various and important; and he has held communication with the friends of the evangelical cause in various parts of France, and he has co-operated with them, and explained to them many things in regard to points of government, discipline, and doctrine; and he has carried into France all that knowledge and experience which he was enabled to impart from his connection with the Protestantism of this country. Mr Meston came to be settled ultimately in a congregation of British workmen at Lisle. That congregation has lately been dispersed, in consequence of the proceedings, with which we are all acquainted, in connection with the expulsion of British workmen from France since the institntion of the French

The Report will be found in the Appendix.

Republic. He is still there, and the Committee are in great hopes that they will find new and important openings for the exercise of his ministry. The Committee have also in their employment, conjointly with the Evangelical Church at Lyons, Mr Cuenot, one of the ministers of the Canton de Vaud. He labours at Lyons; and the Committee have received many deeply interesting letters from him, several extracts from which were embraced in the Report. It is an interesting fact to have one instance to give, in connection with the labours of the Committee, of not merely a member, but a priest, of the Church of Rome having heard and attended to the cry -"Come out of her my people, that you may not be partakers of her plagues." Let us hope that this is but the first effort of this great Association, and that the world may witness, ere long, still greater results. The Committee also employ, or at all events pay for, the services of several colporteurs, of whom one of them is now in Belgium, and several in France, who make reports to the Committee from time to time. These colporteurs are not under the superintendence of the Committee, but are under the superintendence of societies on the Continent. It is impossible for the Committee to exercise such a superintendence; but they regularly receive reports of what is done. The Committee have also assisted the Toulouse Book Society, which is a very valuable institution, and one of great importance to the Evangelical cause on the Continent, with a donation of £100 from the funds. The Belgian Evangelical Society is also an institution with which the Committee have corresponded and co-operated. They have also assisted this Society in their operations for the spread of the gospel in Belgium; and, as regards the Evangelical Society of Paris, they have done what they could to assist it. With these three societies the Committee have maintained for some time past a connection, and they have made grants, as their funds would admit, to these societies during the past year. I am sorry that the Committee have not had it in their power to do much last year in Italy in the way of assisting in the publication of Evangelical works in that country. I hold in my hand a letter from Mr Stewart of Leghorn, received this day, from which I will now read a short extract, as it contains the latest intelligence from Tuscany, and will be listened to, I have no doubt, with great interest by the Assembly. (Applause.)

"Here we have had an opportunity lately of testing our Tuscan constitution. Dr Desanctis, a converted priest of Rome, now residing with Dr Achilli at Malta, came here on a mission about the beginning of April, ready and willing to preach the gospel wherever an opportunity might offer. I knew him well by character, and resolved that the opportunity should not be wanting. I asked him to preach to my own congregation in Italian (he can't speak English) on the Sabbath evening of our sacrament; and he did so to our great delight. He is a most eloquent, able, and faithful minister; and we had the joy of feeling that the Lord had made use of the mission station of the Free Church of Scotland, that in its church the gospel might be proclaimed by an Italian priest, in his own language, to many of his own countrymen, for the first time for upwards of two centuries, since the light of the Reformation was extinguished by fire and sword. This is surely an answer to our prayers, and I trust it will excite in the Church at home a deeper interest both in this station and in this country panting for regeneration!

"A deputation of the young men of the congregation were delighted; they begged him to preach again, which he did on a week evening, as faithfully, but a little less guardedly, than before. On the first occasion about twenty, on the second about eighty, Italians were present. Some were much pleased, others were very angry, as his subject condemned their innumerable mediators, with the Madonna at their head. The priests got greatly excited about it, and actually proposed publishing a handbill, exhorting the people to drive him out of the city. They summoned our beadle (an Italian) before them, to give them a full account of all that had gone on, but we have not been troubled about it. Indeed, I took special care to ask him to preach to my own congregation, that I might be able to declare this to the authorities if called in question; and I am not bound to turn Italians out of our church if they choose to come there. Another Sabbath he spent in Lucca, and preached twice there to about twenty people; after which he went to Florence, and preached in the Swiss Church, and administered the sacrament. He left this on his way to Malta last week; and his visit, while it has done good in the way of confirming in

quirers, and stirring up others to think, has been of especial benefit, as shewing that personal liberty at least is secured under the new constitution."

The Committee, also, during the last year, saw it to be their duty to make a grant of £500 in aid of the Free Church of the Canton de Vaud. (Applause.) The Assembly will recollect that at the time when the Disruption in that Canton took place, about two-and-a-half years ago, this Church was prepared, had it been thought desirable, to make an effort to assist our friends with the means of maintaining divine ordinances in their new position; but our friends were desirous, in the first instance, to try what they could do without extrinsic aid, and to do all that was possible to be done in the way of drawing forth the liberalities of those who adhered to them, and sympathized with them in their troubles. Therefore our brethren, in the same spirit of devotion, in the same disinterested and magnanimous spirit which they displayed at the Disruption itself, thought it best that we should delay, in the mean time, any proceedings of that nature. But the time has now come when it is found to be desirable that we should stretch out our hand, as a sister Church, to our brethren under their increasing afflictions. (Applause.) The persecutions there, as is well known to this Church, has waxed hotter and hotter. The enemies of the gospel have become more and more exasperated against the truth, and against its noble champions. They have not been mollified by the cheerful sacrifice made of their emoluments by their brethren of the Free Church in the Canton de Vaud; and perhaps our own experience enables us to regard that fact without astonishment. (Hear, hear.) The persecution, I say, has grown hotter in this case; and to bring an example before your eyes of the extremity to which that persecution has gone, beg at once to inform the Assembly, that on the platform beside me there is a banished minister of the Free Church of the Canton de Vaud. (Applause.) I have directed attention to this case, not only because the Committee, in the discharge of their duty, have to report their proceedings, but because the Committee have further to state to the Assembly that they have now ascertained that the time is come when the long-promised and intended effort on behalf of the Free Church of the Canton de Vaud will require to be made by the Free Church of Scotland. (Applause.) The time, I say, has now come for the collection which we expressed ourselves willing to make about two-and-a-half years ago; and I believe it will be found that time has neither cooled the interests of the parties or people of this Church -that time has not abated our interest in any respect whatever in our little sister Church in Switzerland, and that we are prepared to make common cause with them, and to do what we can for their relief. (Applause.) I have nothing more to report, except to say that the sum raised this year for the Continental Churches, including special donations, has amounted to £2255: 5: 7, or upwards of £800 more than was raised last year. In addition to this, about £400 more have been raised by the Ladies' Continental Committee in correspondence with the Free Church. Hitherto this Committee has laboured under considerable disadvantages, which will not occur in future, in consequence of the arrangements now in progress by the Assembly in regard to the Schemes of the Church. After alluding in eulogistic terms to what had been raised by Ladies' Associations in support of the cause of the gospel in France and neighbouring countries, Mr Gray concluded by saying, that he begged to inform the House that there are some brethren here from the Continent, who were now, he believed, prepared to address the Assembly. In the first place, he would beg to introduce to the Assembly Mr Anet of Brussels, who was there to represent the Evangelical Society of Belgium. (Applause.)

Mr ANET then addressed the Assembly as follows:-Moderator and Dear Friends. -Never before having attempted to address an English audience in their own language, I feel strongly at this moment all the evil consequences of the Tower of Babel; but I put my trust in Him who is called " the Great Restorer of breaches," and it is only the conviction that I am addressing most kind, benevolent, and indulgent friends which gives me courage. Moderator, you will be so good as to allow me to keep this paper in my hand, because I am an impotent man, and this is crutches. bring you this fraternal and Christian salutation of the Evangelical Churches in Belgium, which hold the same ecclesiastical and doctrinal principles with you. I rejoice to find myself in the midst of you; and if I might address you in my own language, I should have very much to say to you. But, thanks to my want of skill


in the English tongue, you will be saved the trouble of listening to a long address. The Church of which I am pastor in Brussels does not belong to the Evangelical Society. Thank God, its own resources are sufficient for its support. Thus my mission to you has reference solely to the Belgium Evangelical Society. I regret that necessity compels me to solicit your co-operation in favour of Belgium. But, Moderator, you will consider this. We ourselves are strangers in Belgium, and we have come to it for the sole purpose of endeavouring to unseat two usurpers, Popery and Infidelity, and to establish in it the sole authority of our Lord Jesus Christ. Were it possible for us to accomplish this alone, we should not seek to share our triumph with any. We should be too glad to have all the honour of it ourselves. But we are compelled to beg you to share with us the labour and the triumph. If you will help us to sow the seed, with us you shall reap the harvest. And the field which we ask you to aid us in cultivating: no barren or ungrateful soil. Already it yields the first-fruits of an abundant harvest. Already many churches have been formed in connection with the Belgian Evangelical Society; and thousands of persons are inquiring after the way of life. At no former period has Belgium been visited with so remarkable an awakening, or offered openings so inviting. (Hear, hear.) It is not necessary for me to take up much of your time in describing the operations of the Society which I have the honour to represent. Our annual report will do so, if you will take the trouble to read it. Besides, I shall be very happy to give you any information, details, or anecdotes which you may require in other meetings, if my bad English is not unbearable to you. Our Society has now twenty-six, labourers in the field as ministers of the gospel, teachers in the schools, venders of tracts. All the parts of our work continue to prosper. In all our churches piety is taking root, and by its fruit the growth of faith has been manifested. This growth in spiritual life is developed in the midst of great difficulties, and is frequently accompanied by violent sensation and spiritual struggles. But these struggles prove the presence of the Divine Spirit ; and we can say with shouts of triumph that God thus marks all our stations with holiness and spiritual life, which attests that we have not laboured in vain. Our colporteurs, conveying tracts and religious books through the country, discover very frequently places fully ripe for the preaching of the gospel. If we had but means to support ministers, we could assemble congregations in all directions to attend the preaching of the cross. And what is particularly worthy of attention, and makes us feel the necessity of redoubling our activity is, that those souls who, in a hundred different directions, occupy their minds with serious subjects, are actuated, not by negative wants, but they come to us because they find no solid food in the Church of Rome. They cannot find rest to their souls, they come to us to direct them to the fountain of living water, that they may drink and thirst no more. The important and industrious town of Verviers is now the

theatre of a remarkable revival. One of our missionaries has visited this station twice a-week for more than twelve months, preaching the Word of Life to numerous and attentive assemblies. There is an urgent want of a stationary missionary. In another important town of the province of Namur, we have a small body of serious persons earnestly desiring that the Lord may send them messengers of good news; and at a small distance from thence resides a nobleman, formerly a Roman Catholic, who has already built a chapel, although he has no minister to preach in it. We have many more localities which present stations fully prepared to receive the gospel of peace. In order to distribute tracts and religious books more abundantly and generally, we have just opened a religious book-shop in Brussels, which was much wanted, so that we find ourselves pressed on all sides for ministers of the gospel and schoolmasters. The Spirit of God breathes upon dry bones, life is created, and a fervent demand for nourishment is the consequence. Besides, our enemy presents himself in all shapes and on all sides; he must be combated to the last; the kingdom of Christ must be defended foot by foot, inch by inch. Unbelief in all its force,immorality in all its hideous forms,-superstition with all its numerous convents, and houses of education under the direction of the sons of Loyola and their associates, who seek, in great numbers, in our liberal country, a refuge from all parts from whence they are driven ;—these are the enemies which we must face and fight, and whom, with your assistance, we desire to fight with increased energy and devotion. Moderator, and Reverend Fathers and Brethren-you have already done something


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