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Church of God has to accomplish among them all, has not enough been said to stir us up to an imitation of the first disciples, who "all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication" until in Pentecostal power they received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. (Acts, i. 14.)
Under the influence of these and similar considerations, we address you in the name of the British Organisation of the Evangelical Alliance, and earnestly entreat you to help us in the work which we have thus taken in hand. We desire to have our own hearts profoundly impressed with the conviction, and to be instrumental in impressing that conviction on the hearts of our fellow-Christians, that "times of refreshing" are the imperative want alike of the Church and the world, and that they can only come "from the presence of the Lord" (Acts iii. 19); while we would remind both ourselves and them that the promise of this great blessing is connected with united prayer: "Thus saith the Lord God; I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock. As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men; and they shall know that I am the Lord." (Ezekiel xxxvi. 37, 38.)
If, dear Sir and brother, you entertain our proposal, we ask you to do the following things:
I. To collect a few friends together, and in devout prayer commend the matter to Almighty God.
II. To form a Committee, not necessarily large, to spread the invitation to prayer, and to correspond with us. Such committee should not consist exclusively of the members of any one Christian denomination, unless there are no others in the place or neighbourhood, but of persons holding the Common Faith, although in some matters of smaller moment there may be differences among them.
If it is necessary to define what we mean by the common faith, this is sufficiently done for our purpose, in the well-known doctrinal articles of the Evangelical Alliance, and in the shorter declaration of the French Branch. But lest these should not be known to you or to any other Christian friend into whose hand this letter may come, we subjoin the following extract from the Address of British Christians to their brethren on the Continent, in prospect of the Berlin Conference, as exhibiting the principal
points on which, in relation to this matter, we desire to be explicitly understood:
"We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the Word of God; that they are given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, are of binding authority on the conscience, and able to make men wise unto salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. We would therefore record our sympathy with those who uphold their full authority as the only rule of Christian faith, against all theories which would undermine or destroy it, either by exalting human traditions to the same level with the Word of God, or by placing that on the same footing with the writings of fallible men.
"We believe that Jesus Christ is the onlybegotten Son of God, who took upon Him our flesh, and suffered on the Cross, to make one true and all-sufficient atonement and satisfaction for sin. We believe that there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we can be saved. We therefore bid God speed to all who honour His person and His work, recognising His true godhead as well as true humanity, and the atoning efficacy of His death, as the foundation of the Church, and the sole ground of hope and peace to guilty sinners.
"We believe that salvation is not by the merit of human works, but by the grace of God, through a living faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, His sinless life, atoning death, and glorious resurrection, which have opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. We believe that this faith, by which the sinner is justified, invariably purifies the heart and works by love. And we profess our brotherly fellowship with all who hold and proclaim the Gospel of the grace of God in opposition to all claims of human merit, and those corruptions of the Gospel which would make Christ himself the minister of sin.
"We believe that without holiness no man shall see the Lord, and that this holiness is the work of the Holy Spirit, creating the heart anew, and moulding it into the image of Christ our Lord. We believe that no fellowship with any visible Church, however sound and pure, without this new creation of the heart in true holiness, can ensure a place in the kingdom of God. We believe also that all who share in this heavenly gift are truly brethren in Christ, whose duty it is to exercise mutual forbearance and brotherly love. We would therefore say from the heart, 'grace be with all
them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity,' to whatever outward communion, or whatever nation and country, they belong. And we would earnestly desire for ourselves, and the Christian bodies of which we are members, a growing sympathy and a closer fellowship with all these our brethren in the faith and hope of the Gospel."
III. We affectionately request every Committee thus constituted to translate "The Address" with this letter, if necessary, and to circulate them as widely as possible. We wish them to reach every Christian household, and to be read or heard by every individual Christian.
IV. We suggest to such Committees kindly to propose the following inquiries to those with whom they communicate :
1. Will you join with your brethren all over the world in special prayer for one another, for the Church, and for the world? 2. Will you remember that every Monday morning, before mid-day, many Christians offer such prayer, both privately and in their families? We do not ask for a pledge never to omit doing so weekly; that would fetter conscience; we ask you to remember that it is done.
3. Will you also remember that meetings for prayer on behalf of missions are held on the evenings of the first Monday in every month, in innumerable places of the mission field and all over Christendom?
4. Will you communicate to those from whom you receive this letter any facts on the subject of prayer that you may deem worthy of notice?
V. When your Committee have received answers to these inquiries, we request them to send such answers to us, for the information of the universal Church.
VI. In conclusion, we beg to assure all the Committees that we shall always be happy to hear from them, on this or on any other subject of importance, relating to any portion of the One Church of the living God.
No distance makes us indifferent to our brethren's welfare. No distinctions of race, no national differences, no prejudices, however deeply rooted on either side, no theological or ecclesiastical diversities shall, by God's grace, prevent us from loving our brethren. Even should war at any time unhappily exist between nation and nation, we shall still love our fellow Christians, not in one of them only, but in both. Such a feeling is one mark of the Universal Church. Let us, then, establish and cultivate friendly relations and active correspondence.
VII. In cases in which the Christian brother receiving this letter is from any cause so circumstanced that he cannot form a Committe or entrust the matter to one already existing, we earnestly request him either to act by himself, or to communicate with us, and suggest what he thinks would be the best mode of proceeding in that particular case.
And, now, in drawing this letter to a close, we desire to say to all "who have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord!" (2 Pet. i. 12.)
Finally, dear Sir and brother, to whom this letter is addressed, we beg you personally to receive our affectionate salutations. We cannot hope to meet in this world all those to whom we thus write. But we shall all meet before the judgment seat of Christ! Shall we not all sit down together at the marriage supper of the Lamb? Infinitely happy and perfectly holy shall we be when we are for ever with the Lord! Already are we come to Mount Zion. Even now we are one with the innumerable company of angels, with the general assembly and Church of the first-born which are written in heaven, and with the spirits of just men made perfect. (Heb. xii. 22, 23.) But then we shall behold them all! Nor them alone; but Him also shall we see, our once crucified and now exalted and ever-adorable Lord, the Redeemer and King of the whole Church; and then in one adoring song, like the voice of many waters, shall the everlasting anthem break forth from the multitudinous voices of the ransomed: "Unto Him that loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen!" (Rev. i. 5, 6.)
May the glorious prospect reanimate our courage and our zeal, that each of us may "show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end" (Heb. vi. 11); and that all may be mindful of the apostolic exhortation, "But ye beloved, building up yourselves in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost; keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life." (Jude 20, 21.)
We are, dear Sir and beloved brother in the Lord, yours affectionately in the fellow
ship of Christ, and in the name of the fast the beginning of your confidence steadEvangelical Alliance,
C. E. EARDLEY, President,
T. R. BIRKS, M.A.
W. M. BUNTING.
EDWARD STEANE, D.D.
W. CARDALL, M.A.
H. SCHMETTAU, D. Ph.
Official Secretaries. Foreign Secretary. P.S. Will you kindly send your reply to me, at the above address?
fast unto the end' (Heb. x. 35), and to persevere in a watchful, charitable, and holy life, such as your 'adversaries will not be able to gainsay nor resist.' (Luke xxi. 15.)
"Those of you who are under no such restrictions, but who are yet isolated and imperfectly known to each other, we would earnestly recommend not to neglect 'the assembling of yourselves together' (Heb. x. 25), but to meet for Christian fellowship and worship every Lord's-day; or, when that is impracticable, at the most frequent possible intervals, encouraged by that promise of our Lord, 'Wheresoever two or
ADDRESS OF THE BERLIN CONFERENCE TO THE three are met together in my name, there
BRETHREN IN JESUS CHRIST SCATTERED
Letter adopted at the Conference of Christians
"The Christians from Germany, Great Britain, the United States of America, France, Spain, Denmark, Holland, Sweden, Switzerland, and other countries, assembled for conference in the city of Berlin, in the month of September, 1857,
"To their brethren in Jesus Christ who are scattered abroad in various parts of the globe, send affectionate salutation. "Brethren beloved in the Lord,-While enjoying the happiness of united worship, and of communication of the affairs of the kingdom of our common Lord, our hearts have been directed in brotherly regard to you, who in lands of darkness have been visited with the dayspring from on high.' (Luke i. 78.)
"With you who are restrained from the utterance of your religious convictions we deeply sympathise, and we offer our fervent prayer that there may be granted to you, speedily, times of freedom and enlargement. We would urge you, meanwhile, to 'hold
am I in the midst of them.' (Matt. xviii. 20.) Where it is possible to open communication with evangelical congregations, either near or distant, it will be most desirable to do so; where it is not, the most blessed results may nevertheless be anticipated from gathering together, simply to search the Scriptures' (John v. 39), which are able to make us wise unto salvation through faith that is in Christ Jesus.' (2 Tim. iii. 15.)
"We, though attached in our several countries to various forms of Church government, and holding divers opinions, in harmony with our common love to God, have found it so good to 'dwell together in unity' (Psalm cxxxiii. 1), that we have the greater confidence in offering to you this counsel. We entreat you to receive it as a proof of our affection, and of our readiness to obtain from you any communication which you may desire to make to us, as well as an assurance of our earnest prayers for your prosperity and final acceptance at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.' (2 Cor. v. 9, 10.) "Berlin, Sept. 17, 1859.
"By order of the Conference,
PERSECUTIONS OF THE SYRIAN PROTESTANTS. DEPUTATION TO LORD JOHN RUSSELL, SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS.
The persecutions referred to have been on more than one occasion brought before the readers of this journal (see pp. 76 and 258) in the Transactions of the Alliance. After much correspondence with the authorities, both at home and abroad, the Committee sought an opportunity of laying the matter personally before Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State, which was courteously granted them. On Thursday, therefore, the 11th ult., a deputation from the Committee, headed by Lord Stratford
de Redcliffe, lately British Ambassador at the Porte, and accompanied by many other influential persons, were honoured with an interview by Lord John Russell. In introducing the deputation, Lord Stratford made a few observations explanatory of its object, and expressive of the deep interest which he personally felt in it. In the course of the subsequent conversation, he took occasion to state his conviction that the Hatti-Scheriff of 1856 was honestly acted upon by the Turkish Government;
but in some of the distant provinces of the Empire the Government was weak, and the persecutions now complained of were the result of barbarity, superstition, and corruption on the part of the local authorities. To call these authorities to account would undoubtedly be a gain to religious liberty; and all who concurred in the peace settlement of 1856 were concerned in seeing that its stipulations were fulfilled.
The grievances complained of were stated by the Rev. Mr. Davis, one of the secretaries. They need not be repeated here, as they are fully detailed in the accounts previously referred to,
In replying, Lord John Russell expressed his gratification at seeing on this occasion a nobleman who had done so much for religious liberty in Turkey. He added that he had just received a letter on the subject (of which he read extracts) from Sir Henry Bulwer, our present Ambassador at Constantinople. This letter inclosed a copy of a Vizierial letter, expressed in very distinct terms, requiring justice to be done to native Protestants. It appeared, from a comparison of dates, that it had been written subsequently to the outrages described. His Lordship, however, said that he would again call the attention of the Ambassador to the matter, and urge him to obtain from the Turkish Government a promise of redress, or that the officers by whom the wrongs had been perpetrated should be removed. We are happy in being able to add a copy of the Vizierial letter referred to, cour
teously sent to the Committee from the Foreign-office :(Translation.)
To Nourshed Pasha, Governor of Sidon. Herewith is enclosed, for your perusal in copy, translation of the Memorandum presented to the Porte, concerning the vexatious treatment with which the Protestants established in the province of Sidon are visited.
Considering that it is essential that all classes of his Majesty's subjects should enjoy peace and security under every circumstance, and in every undertaking, and that the Protestants are the legitimate subjects of the Imperial Government, it cannot be in anywise tolerated that they should have to endure the injustice and oppression related in the document aforesaid; and as such things are attributed to the apathy and indifference of the Government, they will not fail in the end to bring down on it responsibility. You will, therefore, consider attentively the contents of the enclosed note, institute a full inquiry into the circumstances and acts therein detailed, and perform in all its entirety the reparation due at the hands of Government.
You will further see that in future, also, Protestants are admitted without interruption to an enjoyment of the benefits of justice and peace. (Sealed) MEHEMED EMIR AALI. July 8, 1859.
(Translated by P. Sarell.)
SERMONS ON BEHALF OF THE ALLIANCE.
A special appeal is about being made to all the Ministerial Members of the Evangelical Alliance for sermons to be preached in their churches and chapels simultaneously in the month of November next, on the great subject of Christian Union, with a view to diffuse information respecting the principles and operations of the Evangelical Alliance, and to enforce its principles and aims. Several reverend brethren have consented to advocate the claims of the Alliance, and it is hoped that all who have the subject at heart will unite in doing so.
UNITED PRAYER MEETING AT HAMPSTEAD.
BY THE REV. E. H. BICKERSTETH.
Norwich, July 25, 1859. My dear Sir Culling,-I much regret that so long a time has elapsed since I received Mr. Cardall's note with your request that I would state what steps we had taken at Hampstead in establishing one united prayer meeting for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Absence from home
and frequent journeys must partly plead my apology. I confess I also somewhat shrink from bringing before others that which is so recent an effort among ourselves.
About five months since, it was strongly impressed upon my own mind that possibl one reason why the showers of Divine blessing were withheld from us in their
fulness might be the want of those confederate prayer meetings which the Lord had so largely blessed in America. The Gospel of the grace of God was, I knew, faithfully preached by ministers of all denominations. Lay agents, city missionaries, Sabbathschool teachers were constantly at work. Private Christians and separate congregations were pleading the fulfilment of those exceeding great and precious promises which encourage us to look for the copious effusion of the Holy Ghost in these last days. Only one instrumentality, so far as I could discover, seemed unemployed-that of united prayer. And it struck me, possibly this may be the one connecting link yet wanting between our necessities and the fulness there is in our risen and exalted Head. The Spirit of unity and concord may not vouchsafe to visit, in the plenitude of His grace, a spot where Christians of different denominations, however one in heart, so seldom meet together in the communion of saints or manifest to the world the reality of their brotherly kindness.
I therefore went to two or three Nonconformist ministers, and asked them whether they would unite with me in such an effort. I met with the most cordial response, and we determined that the meeting should be held in our large Christ Church school-rooms on the second Friday evening in each month, at eight o'clock. We also resolved to urge it upon our respective congregations on the following Sabbath, avowing the especial object of the meeting-viz., prayer for the effusion of the Holy Spirit.
I confess I expected a small gathering the first time, but, to our joy, the rooms were nearly filled; about 250 adults were
counted, and since then it has been well attended every time.
We determined, from the first, that our meeting should be conducted according to a pre-arranged programme. This I have hitherto drawn up, asking the ministers, or any layman of their congregations whom they name, to offer prayer on an especial subject. Our subjects have been of this kind: Confession of sins which have grieved the Holy Spirit; prayer for contrition; prayer for the spirit of prayer; for faithful expectation; for personal holiness; for the ingathering of souls, especially for the conversion of unconverted friends known and near to each suppliant there present; thanksgiving for past services, and particularly that we had been drawn together to pray. This programme I read when first we meet, mentioning the subjects of prayer. Our order has been this
A hymn, and a prayer; a portion of Scripture read, and a second prayer; a second hymn, and a third prayer; another portion of Scripture, and a closing prayer with the doxology; the whole lasting one hour.
I have been the more particular in describing the method we pursue, because I know some shrink from these meetings as thinking they must be conducted, without a pre-arranged order, on the American model. We have only had four meetings, yet I cannot but hope there have been already tokens for good which may well encourage us to continue our cry, "Wilt thou not revive us again, that thy people may rejoice in thee?"-Believe me, dear Sir Culling, yours very faithfully,
EDWD. HENRY BICKERSTETH.
CONFERENCE OF CHRISTIANS AT BARNET.
Rev. and dear Sir,-On the 10th of August, a "Conference" of Christians met at Barnet, on the invitation of the Rev. W. Pennefather, for the express object, as stated in the circular of invitation, "of speaking together of their common Father and their Comforter and King; and that conjointly prayer and praise might rise up to Him in whom they live, and move, and have their being." The meetings were so interesting, and their probable effect so beneficial, that I think your readers may be interested with a few of the details.
The invitations were addressed to ministers and laymen of all the Evangelical sects, and met with a cordial response from about a hundred. All who were invited were pro
vided with accommodation at the parsonage and at the houses of Christian friends in the neighbourhood. The meetings were held on the mornings and evenings of August 10th, 11th, and 12th, in the Christchurch schoolroom, and were open to all. The rooms were crowded on each occasion, and the interest was so sustained that on the two last evenings many, unable to gain admittance, stood round the windows and doors. The morning meetings were strictly devotional. The Conference met at eleven on the morning of the 10th, and after a few moments spent in silent prayer for the Divine blessing, Captain John Trotter opened the meeting with prayer. The Rev. W. Pennefather also prayed, after