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than usual importance. In addition to the progress made in regard to the general objects of the Alliance-the promotion of Christian union-the speaker gave illustrations of the value of such an organised expression of unity among Christians of various names and nations, as is presented by the efforts of the Alliance on behalf of persecuted and oppressed Christians in Turkey, Russia, Persia, Spain and other countries. The particulars given respecting the modus operandi of the Society in dealing with such cases showed not only the extreme care and caution needed, but also how successfully these matters, requiring so much delicacy of treatment, had been handled. In Spain several cases of religious persecution had required attention, and in each the Protestants, against whom false charges were brought, had been acquitted before competent legal tribunals, thus showing the value of making use of the ordinary channels of redress before challenging the influence of public opinion. In Turkey and Armenia, the Alliance had secured several important concessions from the Sultan's Government, and was still pleading on behalf of those who are oppressed on account of their religion. Russia was, of all countries, the most difficult to approach on the subject of religious freedom, the authorities seeming to be determined to stamp out every form of dissent from the Orthodox Church. The Stundists were the greatest sufferers from this repressive action of the Greek Church, and the Alliance had been able to help these poor people through trustworthy agents, who had distributed some £900, collected privately among members of the Alliance for the starving families of these poor Christians in Russia. Many touching details were given on these various points.-Colonel Barker, president of the Devonport Branch of the Evangelical Alliance, presided at the first meeting, held at Mrs. Fox's, and Mr. Francis E. Fox, J.P., president of the Plymouth Branch, presided at the second meeting held at Mrs. Stolls, in Whitefield Terrace. There was a good attendance, especially of ministers, at each meeting. Arnold also had a conference with the Plymouth Committee of the Alliance during his visit."
Mr. Arnold then proceeded to Edinburgh, where he had engaged to address the General Assemblies of the Church of Scotland and of the Free Church, on the subject of the persecutions of the Stundists in Russia, and with a view to evoking prayer amongst the churches of Scotland on behalf of these suffering brethren.
On his return journey from Scotland, Mr. Arnold visited Northampton, where a drawing-room meeting had again been kindly arranged by Mrs. Page. There was a large attendance, including many ministers. The chair was occupied by the Rev. R. A. White. After the singing of a hymn and prayer, Mr. Arnold was called upon to give his address, in which he dwelt principally upon the work of the past year, and since he was last in Northampton. Much sympathy was evoked as he gave details regarding the efforts of the Alliance on behalf of persecuted Christians in Russia, Persia, Turkey, and other lands. At the close of the address several friends expressed themselves as more interested than ever in the work of the Alliance. A collection was taken on behalf of the funds, and several new members were obtained.
Following this meeting, Mr. Arnold had the opportunity of a private conference with a number of Northampton ministers, fourteen of whom were present at the meeting.
We quote the following from The Christian :—
"The Evangelical Alliance.-At the recent General Assemblies in Edinburgh Mr. A. J. Arnold, general secretary of the Evangelical Alliance, had the opportunity, by special invitation, of giving addresses on the subject of religious liberty, particularly with reference to the persecutions of the Stundists in Russia. The object of these addresses was not only to evoke the sympathy of ministers and Christian people generally in Scotland, but also to urge the importance of earnest prayer to God on behalf of his suffering people in Russia. Mr. Arnold explained that in a recent interview with some of the Russian exiles he had been asked to urge upon British Christians the need for earnest prayer to God on behalf of these oppressed people. The brethren, with whom the secretary of the Alliance had a long conference, came to the conclusion that the Evangelical Alliance could not do better than follow the course it had hitherto adopted, seeking privately to bring influence
to bear upon those in authority in Russia, with a view to staying the persecutions, and also continuing its beneficent efforts to alleviate the physical sufferings of the Stundists and their families. It was felt, however, that the most important work to be done was for the Evangelical Alliance to seek to evoke wide and sympathetic prayer in regard to the matter. Dr. Baedeker, who has recently returned from an extended visit through Russia and Siberia, fully confirmed the views of the brethren, who said to Mr. Arnold that the Stundists had come to the conclusion that their only hope now was in God.' It was very opportune that this subject should come before the Assemblies this year, under the presidency, in each case, of a member of the Council of the Alliance. Both Dr. Marshall Lang and Dr. Douglas have long been associated with the Evangelical Alliance, as members of its Council and as frequently taking part in its annual and international conferences.-At the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Mr. Arnold was included as a speaker in the programme for the morning session of May 29, but owing to important discussions upon home work, foreign matters were deferred to the evening sederunt. At this meeting, Dr. Marshall Lang, exModerator, presided, and the statement made regarding the persecution of the Stundists elicited many expressions of sympathetic interest. Two or three instances were given as showing the kind of work the Evangelical Alliance had been able to accomplish with its special fund raised for the relief of the suffering Stundists last year, and which amounted to about £900. At the conclusion of the address, Dr. Marshall Lang was requested to express to Mr. Arnold the thanks of the assembly for the information he had given, and also to assure him of the deep interest of those assembled in the great work of the Evangelical Alliance, and particularly in its efforts on behalf of persecuted Christians, not only in Russia, of which an account has just been given, but also in many other lands. Dr. Lang voiced the feeling of the assembly when he stated that they would pray earnestly for God's blessing to rest upon this important work. At the Free Church Assembly the chair was occupied by the Moderator, Principal Douglas. The evening meeting of Tuesday, May 29, was a very full one owing to important addresses which were given, but Mr. Arnold's statement was listened to with deep interest, and before he had proceeded far, he was requested by the Moderator, before speaking of Russia, to give some particulars of the efforts of the Alliance in favour of religious liberty in Turkey and Armenia. Briefly touching upon this point, the speaker stated that he was glad to announce an important concession just obtained from the Turkish Government in favour of the Christians at Ordou, who had been deprived of liberty of worship for a long time past, but which was now restored to them by the direct interposition of the Grand Vizier at Constantinople. This was due to earnest representations made by the Evangelical Alliance, and to the cordial support given by her Majesty's Ambassador at Constantinople. Speaking of Russia, Mr. Arnold gave details of the recent action taken by the Alliance, not only with regard to relieving the sufferings of the families of the Stundists, but also in seeking to bring influence to bear to mitigate the persecutions. Though it was not possible to report much improvement in regard to the state of things in Russia, yet there were some hopeful signs. The speaker concluded by conveying a message from the exiles begging that British Christians would pray earnestly to God on behalf of the persecuted in Russia, pleading that they might be kept faithful and true to the Lord Jesus Christ, and that, even through their afflictions, the Gospel might be extended throughout the Russian Empire. The Moderator, at the request of the Assembly, expressed hearty thanks to Mr. Arnold for his interesting address, and assured him that the matter which he had brought before the Assembly would have their cordial sympathy and their earnest prayers. Dr. Douglas spoke of his own warm interest in the Alliance, and his high appreciation of the noble work which it had done and was still doing in favour of religious liberty in many lands."
On Wednesday afternoon, May 23, by the kindness of the Rev. Claude Bosanquet, vicar of Christ Church, Folkestone, Mr. Consterdine addressed a meeting for the Alliance in the Christ Church Mission Room. Mr. Bosanquet took the chair, and was supported by the Rev. A. J. Palmer (Congregationalist), who, it may be remembered, presented the Nonconformist address of welcome to the
Archbishop of Canterbury at the Church Congress. A collection was made at the close of the meeting.
On Thursday afternoon, May 24, Mr. Consterdine addressed a meeting arranged by Major-General Heath, in Y.W.C.A. Rooms, Dover. The chair was taken by the Rev. E. J. Edwards (Baptist), supported by General Heath. A collection was made on behalf of the funds of the Alliance.
In the evening of the same day, by kind permission of the Vicar, the Rev. Hugh Falloon, Mr. Consterdine preached in Christ Church, Dover, explaining the principles and aims of the Alliance.
On Thursday, May 31, Mr. Consterdine addressed a meeting of friends gathered together by Major-General Graydon, in his house at Norwood, after which a collection was made.
THE recent meetings of this Branch have been particularly interesting; and as we have not referred to them month by month, we give the following summary of the proceedings of the last three of these monthly social gatherings.
On February 9 the Committee of the South London Branch, with a large number of their friends, assembled at the invitation of Mrs. Fletcher Bennett, of Upper Tulse Hill. The chair was occupied by the Rev. John Stevinson. After the usual devotional proceedings, the Rev. James Consterdine gave an address on the value of Christian Union-defined that aimed at by the Evangelical Alliance, insisted that churches which did not realise it were great losers, and gave statements reminding the meeting of some successes achieved by the Alliance.
Pastor Th. Merle d'Aubigne, delegate from the Belgian Missionary Church, son of the historian of the Reformation, gave a very deeply interesting account of the work at Liege and in other parts of the country. After showing what hold Romanism had on the minds of men, forbidding all discussion, he proved how utterly inefficient it was to benefit those it held in bondage. In Belgium 40 per cent. of the population cannot read or write; in Switzerland only four in every thousand remain in such ignorance. Pastor d'Aubigne went on to show that in the great industrial centres a work for Christ was going on nowhere more manifestly than among the miners. From five to six hundred converts were made every year.
On April 13, the meeting was held at the house of J. W. Jepps, Esq., Clapham Common, who very cordially welcomed the members and friends of the Alliance. After the meeting had engaged in singing, reading of Scripture, and prayer.
The Rev. Signor Maurin gave a very interesting account of the Protestant Mission work carried on by the Waldensian Church at Rome, and in other parts of Italy and in Sicily. He drew a striking contrast between the present state of religious freedom and the persecutions carried on forty years ago. Pastor Geymonat, who at that time suffered imprisonment, was chairman of the Evangelical Alliance Conference held at Florence three years ago. The Waldensian Church has fortythree ordained ministers in the mission fields and 6,000 children in the Mission Sunday-schools, chiefly of Roman Catholic parentage. Other bodies were carrying on similar work with a great blessing on them all.
The Rev. M. Hovhannessian, from Aintab, Asia Minor, followed and told of the remarkable work in which he had been engaged in the orphanage at Aintab. It was opened in 1876 for children from all parts of Asia Minor, of all creeds-Nestorian, Greek Church, Roman Catholics, Protestants, &c. Of ninety who have left the orphanage two have studied medicine in the American College at Beyrout, others have become preachers and teachers, and exerted a powerful influence for good in the country.
On Friday evening, June 8, a very numerous company assembled, at the invitation of Mr. and Mrs. Derry, at their residence on Tooting Common. The weather was propitious, and, while tea and coffee were being served in the dining-room, a number of the guests spent half-an-hour in the beautiful grounds surrounding the house. At a quarter to eight the company assembled in the drawing-room, under the presidency of the Rev. T. Simon. After devotional exercises, the Chairman
referred to his interest in the work of the Evangelical Alliance, and especially that concerning the defence of persecuted Christians. He had seen something of the value of this work in a recent visit to Turkey and Asia Minor.
Dr. Baedeker followed with an address, in which he expressed the opinion that the Gospel was most needed in prisons both at home and abroad. In Russia he found people in prison not as criminals but as confessors. Stundists were simple Christian people who had embraced Divine truth and proceeded to commend it to others. He gave instances of individuals in Russia both in high life and in low who had found the Gospel all sufficient to save them and enable them to save others by simply reading it. This propagation of the Gospel the Russian State Church had declared to be illegal, and they proceeded to punish for it, declaring such punishment not to be persecution but Church discipline. Dr. Baedeker called upon his hearers to sympathise with succour and pray for the Stundists.
Pastor Saillens, a member of the Paris branch of the Evangelical Alliance, spoke of his work in a Mission Hall, in the centre of Paris: this he described as being full every Sunday and well used every week-day. During his ministry 400 persons had been baptised and 320 were at present in membership, most of these were converted Roman Catholics. He did not look upon Romanism as a legitimate form of Christianity but as thinly-varnished heathenism.
Mr. Arnold added a few words about the progress of events in Russia, Turkey, and Persia, and invited the friends to the forthcoming Conference at Tunbridge Wells, September 25-27.
A MEETING of Council was held in the Christian Union Buildings, Dublin, on Monday, May 7, David Drummond, Esq., J.P., presiding.
Prayer was offered by the Rev. T. Preston Ball.
The following persons were unanimously admitted to membership: Miss Cousins, John Joseph Black, Esq., E. W. Seale, Esq., Robert Martin, Esq., Edward Armour, Esq., Dublin.
DAY OF PRAYER FOR IRELAND.
Mr. Mullan reported that the 17th day of March (St. Patrick's Day) had been widely observed as a day of united and special prayer for Ireland. Though the day this year being Saturday, was not so convenient, there was a large attendance at the central meeting held at noon in the Christian Union Buildings. Paul Askin, Esq., J.P., presided. He spoke of the blessing which the united work in which they were engaged had been to himself personally in the valued Christian friendship to which it had introduced him, and which, begun here, would be continued throughout eternity. An address was delivered by the Rev. W. J. Clarke, D.D., on the life and teachings of St. Patrick, in which he pointed out the evangelical character of his writings, which had come down to them, and impressed upon his audience the importance of fidelity to his teaching and a similar devotedness, He read, in the original Irish, a portion of St. Patrick's hymn. Prayer was offered by Canon Marrable, the Rev. T. T. N. Hull, the Rev. Samuel Prenter and other friends.
A meeting was held in the afternoon in the large hall of the Men's Christian Institute, Kingston, Colonel Yates, R.A., presiding. There was a crowded attendance, a number being unable to gain admission. An appropriate address was delivered by the Rev. W. E. Burroughs, B.D., and prayer was offered by the Rev. James Ervine, the Rev. John E. Green, the Rev. F. S. Gardiner, and others.
Meetings were also held in Belfast, Cork, Limerick, Waterford, Newry, and many other places throughout Ireland.
Mr. Mullan reported that the arrangements for the annual Christian Convention were proceeding satisfactorily. The Conference would be held, as usual, in Dublin,
in the month of September, and the services of several eminent speakers had been already secured.
The examination in Protestant theology had been held, as usual, in the month of April. Candidates had come forward for examination in different parts of the country. Six prizes had been awarded by the examiner in the Senior grade, and six in the Junior grade to candidates in Dublin, Cork, Sligo, Galway, and Armagh.
The object of this scheme is to afford to young people of both sexes, and of all denominations, throughout the country, special training in the doctrines of the Reformation. Warm testimony has been borne by clergymen and others to the good which has been accomplished by this means.
Alliance House, 7 Adam Street, Strand, London, W.C.
**Remittances may be made payable to the order of the secretary (Mr. A. J. Arnold), or to the Treasurer.
President.-The Right Hon. LORD POLWARTH.
Vice-Presidents.-The Right Hon. LORD KINNAIRD; The LORD BISHOP of EXETER; The Right Hon. VISCOUNT BANGOR; The Very Rev. the DEAN of CANTERBURY, D.D.; Sir WILLIAM MUIR, K.C.S.J., LL.D.; The Hon. & Rev. E. V. BLIGH, M.A.; General Sir R. PHAYRE, k.c.b.
Vice-President and Treasurer.-DONALD MATHESON, Esq.
Honorary Secretaries.—Rev. WILLIAM ARTHUR, M.A.; Rev. CANON Fleming, M.A., B.D.; Rev. John