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Observer, Sept. 1, '75.
We now pass over to Douglas, Isle of Man, where Bro. Pittman has spent fifteen weeks ; Bro. McDougall one week; Bro. Greenwell three weeks; and Bro. King three or four weeks. From Bro. King, who has only recently returned, no report has been received ; but we are glad to know that the little church is growing ; and that there are amongst them earnest souls is demonstrated by their desire to extend the knowledge which has blissed them to other parts of the Island.
The good work which has been progressing in the Furness District, North Lancashire, during the past year, must have been a comfort and blessing to all who have read the reports sent to the E.O. Our Bro. McDougall, towards the close of September last, went there, and found the work of so blessed a nature that he was induced to return, and has since, during the greater part of the year, remained there. Bro. Hindle, likewise, after having spent eleven weeks in Banff, proceeded to Lindal. Much blessing has been the result of their endeavours to serve the Master. The whole district woke up from the slumber of years, and eighty-nine souls have turned to the Lord, and there is well-grounded hope of steadfast continuance and increase. Bro. McDougall says :
“After the first three weeks experience I found it necessary to carry wherever I went, not only my New Testament in my pocket, but also a set of baptizing garments in my bag." Bren. King and Greenwell have also made passing, but acceptable and useful visits to this neighbourhood.
In addition to the foregoing Bro. Hindle has visited Wigan, Hindley, Skelmersdale, and Liverpool ; and Bro. McDougall, Southport, Liverpool, Birkenhead, and Skelmeredale. Bro. Coles, besides the tinie given to Southport, visited the brethren in Dumfries, immediately after the last Annual Meeting. Two Lords days have been given to each Wigan and Liverpool, and one each to St. Helen's, Blackburn, and Birkenhead. Bro. King spent one week at Southport, on the return journey after our last gathering. Bro. Ellis has given eight weeks to Hindley, Wigan, Birkenhead, and Liverpool. Bro. Abercrombie's visits to the churches in this district have been unsatisfactorily short. Much good, substantial work has been accomplished by these brethren in the towns above enumerated, and very acceptable help given to the various churches.
NORTHERN DIVISION.-Bro. D. Scott has spent nine weeks in Carlisle, eight in Whitehaven, and eight in Newcastle, five in Maryport, four in each Spittal and Annan, three in Broomhill and Amble, and one each in Aspatria and Bedlington. He has done good service in preaching the gospel in this division; the seed of the kingdom has been sown, and some has taken root and is prospering. The churches too have been benefited. The brethren deem him a very suitable Evangelist for their districts. Following a visit of some length from Bro. D. Scott :-"The church in Whitehaven had a series of discourses by Bro. D. King, extending over four Lord's days, and resulting in the immersion of four persons, who are added to the church."
In all probability the statistics of the past year will show an amount of progress hitherto unprecedented in our history, which should stir our hearts to gratitude and thanksgivirg, and our lives to greater exertions in the Master's service.
We now turn to notice resolution 48, passed at our last Annual Gathering, which reads as follows:--"That the Evangelist Committee be instructed to communicate with the Divisional Committees, and the Evangelists, immediately previous to our next Annual Meeting, with the view of arranging a plan of Evangelistic labour for the ensuing year, in order that the same may be submitted to that meeting for its approval.". What your Committee have to say in answer to this is, that in consequence of the action taken by the various divisions, in making their own arrangements, and forming plans for Evangelistic labour during the ensuing year; we can only partially carry out the above resolution. We have communicated with the Divisional Committees, and the Evangelists, and now give you the information received ; but on account of the movement above referred to, it was found impossible to submit a plan for your consideration.
To the various Secretaries of the Divisions we wrote, giving them the purport of the above resolution and asking them to inform us whom they would desire as labourers during the ensuing year and also, if possible, to give us some idea as to the amount of support they were likely to render. From the Secretary of the Southern Division, the following reply was received :-"We have carefully considered the requirements of this division, and think we cannot ask for less than two Evangelists, for the coming year. We feel that we need not state any facts to show the need for this
Observer, Sept. 1, '75.
amount of labour. London alone is in need of far more than we ask for the whole division. Then as to funds, owing to the unhappy dispute between the churches of Chelsea and Kentish Town, the zeal of many has grown cold. But we think you may look for from £70 to £100 from the churches in this Southern Division. We have thought of the following Bren., viz. : Adam, Brown, and Coles. In reference to the first-named, we have consulted the churches, and find a majority desirous of prolonging his labours amongst us. We, therefore, hope you will arrange for either Bro. Brown, or Bro. Coles to labour with Bro. Adam, during the coming year.
The Secretary of the Midland Division, says :-" That as we are unable to promise any contribution at present to the General Fund, we cannot ask for service from Evangelists sustained by that fund; but should the General Evangelist Committee think it right to recommend the Annual Meeting to send any aid to this division, which comprises some twenty churches, such service as can be given by Bren. Ellis, Coles, or Hindle, will be very gratefully accepted.”
The Secretary of the Yorkshire Division writes—"The unanimous voice of the representatives of our Association Meeting, held at Wortley, is, that we should endeavour to secure the labours of our esteemed Bro. Pittman for this division, for the twelve months subsequent to the Annual Meeting. From what was promised at the Meeting by the four churches—Leeds, Wortley Liversedge, and Huddersfieldwe may calculate upon subscribing from £45 to £50 during the twelve months.
From the North Lancashire District, we have the following :-“The brethren here considering the conversion of sinners, and how our enjoyment of Jesus has been increased by clearer teaching, and the steps being taken towards setting the churches in order, and the help now given to brethren who desire to be useful, unanimously request, that Bro. McDougall’s labour be continued. And we should be glad if Bro. Hindlo's help could be spared to us, for no one man can do the work of the whole district. In answer to your question about support, we think brethren of Committee know us well enough to believe that we should be ashamed to give less than we can. But how can we say anything as to the amount, until our new chapels are finished. We wish we could promise you a large amount, but we dare not, but will send not less than during the last year, and as much more as possible.”
The western portion of the North Division, proposes to raise, during the year, commencing at next Annual Meeting, about £86. They would like Bro. McDougall six months, and Bro. Hindle as long as possible besides. Failing these brethren, they would choose Bro. Ellis, or Bro. J. C. Hay, from the United States of America.
We also wrote to the Evangelists, asking to be informed as to the field of labour they would deem most adapted to themselves, and when their services were likely to be most useful, they were also asked whether concentrated or scattered labour would in their individual cases be likely to be most productive. Bro. Adam feels it highly desirable that his labour should be confined within a narrower sphere than the two hundred miles of the Southern Division. He has been invited to labour in Dundee, and is willing either to go to Scotland, or to remain South, to work in a narrower circuit. Bro. Ellis says :- -“ As to future arrangements, I cannot at present say anything, not having decided in my own mind the best course to pursue. From Bro. King, we learn the following :-"I do not see my way clear to say your Committee that I can put at its disposal so many months, or weeks, during the year ; but I say this, that if in looking over the applications and recommendations as to labour, for the coming year, the Committee see some want, or opening, which can be better met, by having some measure of help from me, it is most likely they would be able to bring that about by application to myself.”. Bro. l'hompson writes to say, that he is engaged to labour in the Midland Division for the next twelve months. Bro. Pittman says :-"If the General Meeting grant the request of the Yorkshire brethren, I shall be happy to serve in that division to the best of my abilities. Personally I feel more useful whilst working with an inexperienced church. I believe concentration of labour is the thing for me." Bro. Evans replies to our inquiries as follows :-"The real need of churches reported, and acknowledged fitness on my part to meet that need, would be to me the voice of Providence, saying: • Come and help us.' It
appears me, that in addition to labour in Blackburn, some fragmentary or scattered labour in the Lancashire Division, and occasionally elsewhere, is the kind of work, which will achieve most good, and will best suit my case,' Bro. Greenwell thinks he could render three months' service in the Nottingham District, and two months in Carlisle and Dumfries. As to any other field of labour, he places himself in the hands of the brethren who have charge of such arrangements.
Observer, Sept. 1, '75.
Bro. McDougall says :-"You ask, what locality would be likely to furnish hope of most usefulness ; at present I do not know any place where I can work with so clear a conviction of being where the Lord would have me, as in the Lindal and Kirkby District : there is much to do yet in the gathered converts before they can be well left. But it will be a pleasure to aid in Wigan and Southport as the way may be opened.” Bro. W. Hindle thinks the churches in the Furness Distriot (viz. : Lindal, Barrow and Kirkby), will need a considerable portion of his time during the coming year, but he also desires to render help to Wigan, Southport, and the churches in their neighbourhoods, thinking that he would thus be most useful. Bro. Brown is engaged by the Manchester brethren for the coming year. Bro. Coles feels some difficulty in expressing himself, as to the field of labour, and would prefer being permitted to pass it by for the time being. He adds :- In the position in which I am placed, I believe that a large amount of concentration of labour is desirable, I would, therefore, prefer labouring in a single division to labouring in several, and would prefer still more a district, to the whole of a division. The field of labour Bro. Abercrombie would prefer, is the place where he can gather most fruit. He thinks the district in which he would be most useful, would be one, with plenty of work, and little walking, and is free to confess, that were he located with one church, instead of scouring the country, it would be more productive and useful to all concerned. Bro. Scott's reply is, that he has engaged with the church in Newcastle for the ensuing year.
This closes our report for the present year. We now, once more, roturn into your bands the trust which has been committed to us, and still Remain your servants in the Lord Jesus,
GILBERT Y. TICKLE,
John CROOK. After hearing the report objection was urged that it contained either too much or too little, inasmuch as evangelistic labour not in any way under the direction of the Committee was introduced in some instances and omitted in others. On the understanding that in future the Committee should either report only the work under its own supervision, or clearly distinguish between that work and any other it might be deemed desirable to allude to, the report was adopted.
The Treasurer's Balance Sheet was read and adopted, showing the following results, d.
£ 3. d. To Contributions from Churches
By Balance due to Treasurer at and Individuals....
commencement of year...... 118 2 9 D. Graham's Legacy.
Salaries of Evangelists... 854 0 0 5 Balance due to the Ireasurer...
9 Travelling Expenses of ditto... 110 14 4 Committee Expenses
2 12 10 * Stamps, Stationery, &c., &c.... 18 3 3 £1,103 13 24
£1,103 13 21
761 13 5
The Reference Committee was next appointed, consisting of Bren. Linn, McLintock, King, Collin, Senr., and the Evangelist Committee.
Wednesday morning, after worship, the Reference Committee reported concerning the church at Forest Gate, that in Northwich, and that in Barrow, when it was resolved
That the church in Forest Gate, Essex, and the church in Northwich, Cheshire, be placed upon the list of churches co-operating.
That the church at Barrow-in-Furness be re-entered upon the list of churches cooperating, if they express a wish to that effect in answer to a note from the Secretary of the Evangelist Committee.
Subsequently to a further report from the Reference Committee the following resolutions were adopted
That we counsel the two churches in Dundee to endearour to obtain reconciliation with each other, and, failing to arrive at this desirable conclusion themselves, to call in the help of two or three brethren to be mutually agreed upon.
That the church in Belfast (Ireland), be added to the list of churches co-operating.
The clearly manifested inclination on the part of certain divisions to support their own Evangelists from divisional funds led to a discussion which occupied a very large part of the morning. Ultimately it was resolved
That this meeting recommends such Divisions as find themselves ready for such a step to form separate divisional funds, and to engage their own Evangelists; and that the general co-operation be kept up for breaking up new ground, assisting weak districts, and for work not taken up by the divisions.
The requirements and requests of divisions and churches received careful attention, resulting in the following resolutions
That Bro. Adam be located in the Southern Division for the whole of the ensuing year.
That Bro. Pittman be located in the Yorkshire Division during the ensuing year, and that he give special attention to the wants of Sheffield.
That the Northern Division be divided into two parts, and designated the North Eastern, and the North Western Division.
That Bro. Hindle be located in the Western Division for six months, and that the remaining part of his time be left in the hands of the Committee.
That Bro. Ellis be asked to go to Wigan for two months, to assist in a special effort there.
That Bro. Ellis be asked to go to Scotland for two months.
That Bro. Evans be desired to labour in Scotland for from four to six months during the ensuing year.
That Bro. Abercrombie be located in Scotland for the ensuing year, and that he be desired to spend a portion of the time in England, as may be arranged between tho General Evangelist Committee, and the Scotch Committee.
On Thursday morning the locating of Evangelists was proceeded with, and the following resolutions passed
That Bro. McDougall be located in the Lancashire Division for six months.
That Bro. Greenwell be asked to give one month's labour to Loughborough, and that the remainder of his time be left at the disposal of the Evangelist Committee.
That the remainder of Bro. Evans's time be left at the disposal of the Evangelist Committee.
The appointment of Committee for the ensuing year next called for attention, the result being expressed thus
That the best thanks of the meeting be given the Evangelist Committee for their services during the past year, and that they be now appointed to act during the ensuing year.
Upon reading the resolution of last year concerning the offer of brethren in Lancashire to extend the Building Fund they had inaugurated to the co-operation generally, the meeting was informed that said
Observer, Sept. 1, '75.
brethren had withdrawn the offer, but would still be glad for its proposed doctrinal statement, for trust deeds, to have consideration in order to perfect it, as in that case it might be useful as a model should other Divisional Building Funds be instituted. The result was the adoption of the following resolution
That as the Lancashire Local Building Committee has withdrawn its offer, lo extend to the whole country the benefit of its lunds, this ineeting is not disposed to enter into any discussion of the clauses of its trust deed, and that we now proceed to the next business.
There being no report forthcoming from the Committee appointed last year to propose a scheme for a permanent Training Institution for brethren desirous to devote themselves to evangelistic work, it was resolved
That Bren. Tickle, Linn, Aitken, Black, King, Marsden, and A. Brown, be appointed a Committee to mature a plan for the bettter training of preaching brethren.
Certain churches in Scotland, not yet upon the list, though acting with the Scotch divisional co-operation, having been brought under notice, the following resolution was the result,
That the churches in the following places-Aberchirder, Bathgate, Carluke, Crofthead, Perth, Slamancan, Falkirk, and Wilson Town-be added to the list of cburches co-operating.
According to the following resolution the church known as in Camden Town will hereafter appear as Kentish Town
That on account of remoral of meeting place, the church formerly known as Camden Town, is to be in future called the church in Kentish Town.
On the Wednesday evening Bro. Aitken read, to a large and most attentive audience, a paper on The Relation of the Churches of this cooperation to the surrounding Religious Associations. There was only one opinion as to the general excellence of the paper, but as the subject involved points upon which it was not possible for anyone to express conclusions entirely acceptable to all present, exceptions were urged on several points. The following resolutions ensued
That the best thanks of the meeting be given to Bro. Aitken, for his very able essay.
That this meeting acquiesce in the expressed desire of Bro. Aitken to publish bis paper himself, as read, with any foot note he may be pleased to add.
The Reference Committee having further reported, the next given resolutions were adopted
That the church in Woking be added to the list of churches co-operating in the event of their desiring it, when communicated with on the subject.
That the Brethren in Bradford Street, Birmingham, be referred to the resolutions of former meetings, and that we further recommend that their expressed desire for reconciliation with the church in Charles Henry Street, be submitted by them to the brethren there, in order to have such reconciliation brought about, and in hope that the Charles Henry Street brethren will receive it with ail due consideration.
That this meeting expresses its profound sympathy with Bro. Devnld, in his endeavour to spread the Gospel in Norway, and recommends bretlıren individually to send contributions through Bro. Linn, of Glasgow, to help him in such work.