means of suggesting thoughts and motives to Brethren in this Coun-
try : so that, I trust, there will be a reciprocal influence, ā we
being blessed through you, and you through us. With that hope,
we desire to be admitted into the Alliance. I began to despair
when this subject was first introduced: but I cease to despair. I
am now rejoicing in the confident hope, that some way will be
devised, by which we shall all be harmonized. And, if on this sub-
ject ā this most delicate and difficult subject ā we are united, there
is no other point of equal magnitude about which to disagree.
Rev. Dr. Wardlaw, in explanation, remarked, ā With regard to
the appeals which had been made to him on special cases, that he
was not disposed to say what he should do in such cases. But the
question was, what ought he to do ? He would make two remarks.
The first was, that he thought it ought at least to be well weighed
in such a case, whether, in doing a personal benefit to one or two
individuals, the effect of the example in purchasing human be-
ings, and thus acknowledging them to be articles of property, might
not do far more public evil than the private benefit would do good ?
His second remark was, that they must either have universal ex-
clusion or inclusion. They could not draw the line for special
cases. If the principle of admitting slaveholders were once al-
lowed, all slaveholders must be admitted without exception.
Rev. James Pringle had not intended to have troubled the
Meeting upon this occasion, ā especially feeling, as they all felt,
that their time was precious, ā that they were very much ex-
hausted, ā and that there was much business to do : ā but, as he
must leave town early to-morrow morning, and as it was very un-
certain, whether that great question would be decided that evening,
he felt it necessary to discharge his own conscience respecting this
question, which was of deep and vital interest to the Alliance. He
would, just for a moment at the outset, refer to an observation,
which had been made by the American Brethren generally, and by
834 EYAXr.ET.HWL ALLIANCE*
the last speaker from beyond the Atlantic in particular, with respect
to the distinction which ought to be made, between a system and
an individual upholding that system. Such distinctions, he knew,
must be made, in many cases, for practical purposes : but there were
circumstances in human society, to which these metaphysical dis-
tinctions would not reach. If a man committed a crime,, ā say a
theft, ā he would be amenable to the law, and would be punished
by it ; and, if an individual theft were an infringement of human
and Divine law, did the multiplicity of the offence render it less or
more aggravated? They had been entreated, in most impressive
.language, by their American Brethren, ā in one instance, he believed
with tears, ā not to cast them off from the Alliance, to which they
had been consenting parties. He knew not of one individual in
that great Alliance, who wished to cast off the American Brethren.
It was not wished that they should cast themselves off. They had
become parties to the stipulations and principles upon which the
Alliance was formed. They had entered into the Alliance with
enlightened consent ; and had taken a part, and an influential one,
in the discussions which had been carried on ; and none could
desire their exclusion from its future proceedings. He did not
desire to treat the Conference as an Anti-Slavery Meeting ; nor
would he go into any statement of the nature and evils of Slavery ;
for it had been admitted on all sides, and by every individual who
had spoken on that great and stirring question, that Slavery was a
" gigantic evil" ā an " abominable thing "ā ff one of the greatest
evils under the sun." All such expressions had been used in
characterizing that system ; and none had used stronger terms than
the American Brethren when speaking upon this subject. The more
he thought upon it, the deeper did he feel, that Slavery, and espe-
cially American Slavery as he had been made acquainted with it,
was ā what the American Brethren had emphatically described it ā
w One of the greatest and most abominable things which could be con-
ceived to exist." He should not detain the Conference, by at-
tempting to depict the condition of the slave from the earliest period
of childhood: he would not attempt to state all that had been recorded
about the Slave-rearing, the Slave-trading and driving, which pre-
vailed in the Slaveholding States. These facts were all well known by
many Members of that great Assembly ; and, he believed, were well
known, and deeply deplored, by the respected and learned Fathers
who had come to visit them from beyond the Western waves. He
would not, therefore, speak of these things ā of the husband being
torn from the wife, and the parent torn from the child : but he
would make a few observations, in reference to what he conceived
NINTH DAY. ā EVENING BE8SI0N. 835
to l>e really the point in question. And he did so, because he con-
sidered, that the system of Slavery, as it was now existing ā and
embodied in the Western and Southern States of America, ā had
a bearing upon questions which had been taken up in former dis-
cussions, as being connected with the great object, ā at which, he
believed, they were all aiming, ā the Glory of their common Master,
and the common good of their fellow creatures. They had resolved
that the objects of the Alliance were, by means of education,ā and
especially of Christian knowledge, and by the advancement of the
blessed Gospel of the Lord and Savour Jesus, ā to exert a holy
influence upon such systems as Popery and Infidelity. But how
could this be done, if they should admit as Members of the
Alliance, men, who made the laws which, when made, they often
pleaded as the reason why they did not liberate their slaves ? and
who condemned it as a crime, to teach a slave to read ; and had
passed enactments, that ā for the first committal of that so-called
crime ā he (Mr. Pringle) spoke under correction, but he had de-
rived his knowledge from the most accurate authorities he could
possibly obtain ā
Rev. Dr. S. H. Cox, of America, rose to order. He was very
willing that Mr. Pringle should proceed with the statistics of
Slavery, if they were allowed to reply.
The Chairman thought it would be better to avoid entering
Mr. Pringle continued. ā His only object was, to show the
bearing of the Slave system upon education, ā one of the objects to
be promoted by the Alliance. He believed, that, for the first offence
of teaching a Slave, the fine was thirty dollars, for the second
offence, sixty dollars, and for the third, death.
A Gentleman said, that he was prepared to bear his testimony,
which was altogether adverse to the statements now made.
The Chairman thought, the line of argument which Mr. Pringle
was pursuing, had better be avoided.
Mr. Pringle continued. His design was to shew, that Slavery,
as it existed in certain parts of the Western World, was, not only
indirectly, but directly, in opposition to the circulation, and to the
teaching and reading of that blessed Book, which came from Heaven
to shew men the way of Salvation, through Jesus Christ the Lord.
Slavery exercised a withering influence upon the Slave. In its
nature and tendency, and its ascertained results, American Slavery
was directly antagonistic to the great objects which the Alliance
had in view.
336 EYANGELICAL ALLIANCE.
Rev. Dr. Elder rose to order. The Conference was not dis-
cussing American Slavery.
The Chairman decided, that the Speaker was quite justified
in referring to American Slavery, as a part of the system, and as an
argument in proof of his assertions. At the same time, he repeated
his opinion, that it would be better to avoid reference to the effect
of Slavery. This was admitted by all to be injurious.
Rev. Dr. Massie hoped, that Brethren would not interrupt
Mr. Pringle. It was not intended to hurt the feelings of any one.
Rev. W. Bevan wished to know, whether the Conference in-
tended to go into an examination of the state and aspect of Slavery?
or whether they meant to discuss the question of the admissibility
of Slaveholders into the Alliance ?
Mr. Pringle said, he would come at once directly to the point.
He did not think, that Slaveholders ought to be admitted into the
Alliance ; and, in stating this, he was not taking new ground, but
was adhering to the ground which had been taken after the interest-
ing discussion at the Preparatory Meeting at Birmingham ; and,
at that Meeting, ā which he had not the privilege of attending, ā a
Resolution had been passed, that the Conference was to be com-
posed of persons that were not Slaveholders. And, if the same
principle were not adopted with regard to the Membership of the
Alliance, a very withering influence would be produced upon the
cause of three millions of their fellow creatures who were in bondage.
He sat down, expressing his wish, that the Amendment should
receive the sanction of the present assembly.
Rev. Adolphe Monod. ā I still hope, Mr. Chairman, that by
the blessing of God, we may, in this instance, ā as we have in other
preceding cases, ā find such an intermediate course as may satisfy
conscience on both sides. But let us pray, that we may not con-
found opinions with conscience ; and those matters in which conces-
sion is practicable, with those other matters where concession is
impossible. Now, when I see on both sides, men so pious, and
whom I know to have studied so deeply the Word of God, ā being,
on this very question, so perfectly united in the principle on which
they all start ; ā I am disposed to think, some way might be found
to reconcile and harmonize our views. This, I think, may be found
in the principle proposed by Dr. Urwick. But, if that be not
adopted, I, for one, will vote against the Amendment. I will not,
on such a solemn question, dwell much on a question of form ; but
I think, in point of form, the Amendment has come too late. The
introduction of the principle of personal holiness, of which this is
NINTH DAY EVENIXG BES8I0N. 387
certainly one branch, has been already proposed and objected to.
It is, therefore, out of place ; and, if introduced at all, should have
been introduced before. But ā not to dwell on that matter of order
ā I pass on to observe, that, when I hear men, ā in whose piety,
wisdom, and experience we trust, ā who know the subject which we
discuss better than we probably know it ā much better than I do ;
and when, among these men, there are some who have suffered for
the cause of Abolition, ā we ought to pay great attention to their
advice; audi ask myself, when I hear them, "Do I really know-
all the circumstances of the case? ā what is practicable and what
is possible in such a situation ? " I do not mean to conclude, that,
therefore, at once, we ought to reject the Amendment. I simply
mean, that we ought not to introduce this new principle into the
Alliance, ā except we are absolutely and unavoidably bound by
conscience ā guided by the Law of God. That is the question. Is
this a case, in which we are absolutely bound by conscience ā guided
by the Word of God ? I think not. I certainly consider Slave-
holding as a sin : but I do not go so far as some respected Brethren
have gone on that subject, ā simply on this account ā because I
could not clearly prove, by the very expressions of the Word of
God, that such is the fact. I think I can prove it by inference :
but that is a very different thing. It is one thing to have the clear
declarations of the Word of God; and another tiling to infer from
the declarations of the Sacred Scriptures. If Slaveholding be a sin
before God, in a sense so absolute as I have heard it stated, I
cannot conceive that the Apostles should have acted about it as they
have done. I know how it is answered. ā that the cases are not the
same, ā that the circumstances have changed. It is very true, that
Slaveholding in the present day is very different from what it was
when the Apostles preached. But still, this is our inference ā our
reasoning ā not the positive declarations of the Word of God.
Therefore, this is not one of those cases in which conscience is
absolutely bound by the Law of God.
I say more. Suppose it were proved that it was a sin of this order,
ā how are we to rule in this case ? Have we not rejected the intro-
duction of the principle of personal holiness, as being somewhat of
an inquisitorial character ? and will not that, which is true about
holiness in general, be true about each of its branches in particular ?
And if we rule against Slaveholding, why not also rule against war
and duelling, or any other sort of sin ā the practice of which is
positively declared, by the Word of God, to render entrance into
Heaven impossible ?
338 EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE.
I believe, too, that, in so difficult a question as the present, the
Apostles, if they were present, would have avoided ruling j and that
the spirit of the New Testament would rather lead us to remain
silent, or to adopt the principle proposed by Dr. Urwick, ā letting
time decide by degrees, under the blessing and light of God. Who
knows but within seven years, that, either by some new circum-
stances or discoveries, w r e may be all brought to one and the same
mind on this subject ? and what a pity it will be, that we should
now split on a question, on which we might agree a few years hence.
Is there not less inconvenience, in letting the question remain un-
decided for a short period, than in forming several Alliances, which
would almost be tantamount to the extinction of all Alliance?
When I saw that it was impossible certain subjects should be
avoided, and when I saw the probability of several things being
ruled which I did not consider best for the Continent, I proposed
the question to myself, Would it not be well to have an Alliance
for the Continent? But, the thought arose, that this would
destroy the principle of Union ; and that it would be better to
make some concessions, and have one Alliance only. The manifes-
tation of several Alliances before the World and the Church would
have an injurious tendency, as not being an exhibition of that
universal Union which it is desirable to present. I, therefore,
propose the adoption of the principle laid down by Dr. Urwick.
Let us not rule without absolute necessity : even if we think our
Brethren mistaken, let us at least give them time, and allow it
to decide this most difficult question.
Rev. Dr. F. A. Cox did not rise to make a speech, though
he had twenty times been tempted to do so ; but he rose for
another purpose. Convinced of the very deep and serious im-
portance of the matter, he rose to propose, (according to the
primary suggestion of Mr. James) the referring of the whole subject
to a Committee. Under such circumstances of profound interest,
the decision, whatsoever it might be, ought to be approached with
the utmost carefulness. The hour was growing late. They were
not prepared to hear twenty more speeches. He therefore proposed
a Committee, as the only possible means of arriving at a harmonious
conclusion, ā though, from the conscientious feelings which existed
in different minds, he feared they could not all be brought, under
any circumstances, to concur in what might be the determination
of such a Committee.
Rev. E. Bickersteth rose, with all his heart, to second the
Proposition of his friend Dr. Cox, ā being in substance, that which
Mr. James had recommended before he left London.
NTNTH DAY ā EVENING SESSION. 339
The Chairman. ā I must know whether Mr. Ilinton consents to
that arrangement ?
After some explanations as to the point of order, Mr. Hinton
and Mr. Himes agreed to the withdrawal of the Amendment, and
The Conference gave its consent.
Mf. Bickeiisteth, as Seconder of the Motion for the appoint-
ment of a Committee, rose to make a few additional remarks. He
highly approved of such a Resolution,, as God had so graciously, in
former difficulties, conducted them to safe and harmonious conclu-
sions by referring such cases to Committees. And he should not he
doing justice to his own feelings, if he did not bear his testimony
before that Meeting to his almost astonishment at the grace of God,
which had been bestowed upon the American Brethren, and which
had enabled them to sit patiently, and to hear, without interrup-
tion, the things which they had heard that evening. He felt most
strongly, that there had been a rich manifestation of the grace of
the Lord Jesus Christ, which had enabled their friends, in the
difficult situation in which they were placed, to listen with meek-
ness and patience to all the things, which, on the other hand,
Brethren had felt conscientiously obliged to utter. The present
case was full of perplexity and anxiety ; and, by referring it to a
Committee, they would all have an opportunity for prayer, and
calm thought on their beds ; and he trusted, that ā by the help of
God ā who had so graciously delivered them from former difficul-
ties, ā they w r ould be able, ā without breaking up the Evangelical
Alliance, and becoming a mockery to the whole World, ā to come to
an harmonious conclusion, which might satisfy the consciences of
Brethren on all sides.
Rev. Thomas Scales said, that, if he had any character at all
among his countrymen, it was that of being an Anti-Slavery man.
Since 1813, he had been engaged in almost every movement con-
nected with that question : he therefore believed his Brethren would
give him credit for a deep and anxious concern and solicitude
respecting that cause. But he was also deeply anxious for the
maintenance of the Evangelical Alliance ; and he thought, that all
they had a right to expect and demand from those who stood con-
nected with them, was, that the sanction of the Alliance should not
be given to Slavery, or to any other great evil. If the American
Brethren committed themselves to any engagements on that subject,
he thought the Conference should trust in their honour and integrity.
It struck him that an agreement or statement of this kind Was
desirable : ā
(i That this Meeting affectionately urges upon the Members of this Alliance, who
may be called to organize Branches of it, in any part of the World, where
Slavery, or any other similar and acknowledged form of evil exists, so to
organize such Branches as to prevent the sanction of this Alliance from being
given to the evils in question."
This was as much as they had a right to expect or demand. If
this question were settled, he could go home with grateful thank-
fulness of heart ā feeling that the Alliance was secured, and that
nothing disastrous was to be apprehended.
The following Resolution was then submitted, as Moved by
Rev. Dr. F. A. Cox, and Seconded by Rev. Edward Bickrr-
steth : ā
" That the Motion now before the Conference, the Amendment proposed by the
Rev. J. H. Hinton, ā together with other suggestions offered by Members of
the Conference thereon, ā be referred to the following Committee for mature
consideration, and that they report to the next Sitting of the Conference : ā
Rev Dr. Beecher,
Rev. Dr. S. H. Cox,
Rev. Dr. Patton,
Rev. Dr. Schmucker,
Rev. Dr. Olin,
Rev. Dr. Erskine Mason,
Rev. S. L. Pomroy,
Rev. E. N. Kirk,
S. E. Morse, Esq.,
Rev. Dr. De Witt,
Rev. Dr. Skinner,
Hon. and Rev. B. W. Noel,
Rev: J. H. Hinton,
Rev. Thos. Scales,
Rev. Isaac Nelson,
Rev. Adolphe Monod,
Rev. Thomas Binney,
Rev. Dr. F. A. Cox,
Rev. Dr. Morison,
Rev. Abercrombie L. Gordon,
Rev. Dr. Wardlaw,
Thomas Farmer, Esq.
John Henderson, Esq.,
Rev. Dr. Urwick,
R. T. Haynes, Esq.,
Rev. T. Brainerd,
Rev. Dr. Baird,
Charles Baker, Esq.,
J. B. Bacon, Esq.,
Rev. Dr. Peck,
Rev. J. V. Himes,
Sir C. E. Smith,
Rev. Dr. Bunting,
Rev. Edw. Bickersteth,
Rev. Dr. Alder,
Rev. W. M. Bunting,
John Hamilton, Esq., ;
James Stanfield, Esq.,
Rev. A. S. Thelwall,
Rev. Dr. Massie,
Rev. G. Osborn,
Rev. Robert Eckett,
Rev. Dr. Tholuck,
Rev. Jabez Burns,
J. S. Blackwood, Esq., LL.D.,
Rev. Dr. Hoby."
fit was agreed that the Committee should meet at the conclusion
of the present Session of the Conference, to arrange their mode of
procedure. It accordingly met, and decided to adjourn to Eight
o'clock on the following morning.]
NINTH PAY ā EVENING SESSION. 311
A few verses were sung of Cowper's beautiful Hymn, com-
" God moves in a mysterious way."
Rev. Jacob Stanley pronounced the Benediction : after
which, the Conference adjourned to Saturday, at Ten o'clock a.m.,
to sit, with a interval of half an hour, until Five o'clock, p.m.
TENTH DAY.ā August 29th.
The Conference re-assembled at ten o'clock, a. m.
Captain Caldwell moved, and Rev. W. Bevan seconded,
" That Rev. Thomas Waugh preside over the Devotional Exercises."
The Brethren then sung 78th Hymn, Wesley's Collection. The
Chairman read parts of Philippians i. and ii.
Rev. Thomas Mortimer engaged in prayer.
Rev. W. Bevan remarked, that, under a deep conviction
of the importance of the crisis which had arrived, the American
Brethren had yesterday, after dinner, retired into another apart-
ment ; where they were engaged in earnest supplications before the
Throne of Grace for Divine guidance ; and he was sure, that the
spirit of solemnity which rested upon the Conference during the
Evening Session might be considered as an answer to the private
supplications of those dear Brethren. He would remind the Con-
ference, that the Committee appointed last evening were in de-
liberation in another apartment ; and he would suggest, that Special
Devotional Exercises should be continued on their behalf, that the
Holy Spirit might guide them to such an harmonious and satisfactory
issue as should gladden every heart, and accomplish the will of Him
whom, as their Lord, they had met to honour, and who was the
first object of their love.
The Chairman trusted, that the excellent remarks just made
would have their full effect on every heart.
The assembled Brethren then sung 680th Hymn, Wesley's Col-
lection. Rev. Jonathan Edmondson engaged in prayer. The 72nd
Psalm (l. m.), Dr. Watts's Version, was then sung, and Rev. T.
R. Birks engaged in prayer.
Sir Culling Eardley Smith took the Chair.
A Gentleman rose to refer to the case of their aged Brother
(Dr. Young of Whitby), who wished to address the Conference
yesterday, see p. 281. Would he, if present, be now permitted to
address the Meeting ?
TENTH DAY MORNING SESSION. 343
The Chairman said, that he had endeavoured impartially tu dis-
charge his duty yesterday, in his difficult post : and he was sorry if
anything had passed which had inflicted pain upon the mind of
their friend. Was Dr. Young present ? [[No answer was given.]
He (the Chairman) trusted, that Dr. Young would be made ac-
quainted with what had taken place that morning.
Rev. W. Bevan read the Minutes of the previous Session,, which
Thomas Farmer, Esq. moved, Rev. A. D. Campbell seconded,
* That a Collection be made at the Fourth Public Meeting, on Monday, the
The Chairman rose to issue invitations to the Members of the
Conference present, to meet him at his house, at eight o'clock on
Monday morning, to breakfast, when a project would be submitted
ā quite unconnected with the Alliance, (for he was more and more
convinced, that, if the Alliance, as a Body, were to undertake any
organized action, it would risk its existence.) The object was one, in
which they could, if they felt disposed, unite, in their individual
capacity, for its accomplishment in this Country. It had been
thought, that the circumstance of such an assembly meeting in
London might be brought, in some way, to bear upon the
Foreigners who resided in this City, and who were their Brethren
by birth, if not by grace. It was computed, that there were 5000
Italians, 30,000 Germans, and a vast number of Swedes and
French in London ; and it was deemed desirable, that the assem-
bling of the Evangelical Alliance should be made an occasion of
mercy to them, by putting in motion some organization which
would have a strict regard to their spiritual interests. In bringing
this subject, yesterday, before the French Brethren, the thought