consideration of the Branches ; trusting that they will study to promote the
general purity and the Christian honour of this Confederation, by all proper
means. And, in respect especially to the system of Slavery, and every other
form of oppression in any country, the Alliance are unanimous in deploring
them, as in many ways obstructing the progress of the Gospel; and express
their confidence, that no Branch will admit to Membership slaveholders, who,
by their own fault, continue in that position, retaining their fellow-men in
slavery, from regard to their own interest.-.' 1
Rev. J. H. Hinton moved the adoption of the Resolution now
read. It differed in some measure, from his Amendment of yester-
day; it was less rigid; but he believed it comprehended all that was
substantially necessary. He had great pleasure in that exercise of
Christian confidence in his American Brethren, which the phrase-
ology of the Resolution implied, â believing that they would work
it according to its tenor and spirit. He most cheerfully anticipated,
that future practical results would flow from it ; and, therefore, felt
happy in the decision to which the Committee had come, and at
which, he hoped, the Conference would arrive ; and he trusted, that
a similar feeling would spread itself among the anti-slavery men in
Rev. A. T. Hopkins, from Buffalo, New York, seconded the
Motion. He would not detain the audience a moment, when there
was such a perfect carnival of their affections. He was unable, by
any language of which he could conceive, fully to express the enjoy-
ment he felt. He only said, â and in saying it, he was persuaded
he uttered, â not merely the voice of his Brethren then present,
but the voice of the entire American Church, â God speed such a
James Stanfield, Esq. dissented : he objected to the Resolu-
tion, and protested against the admission of Slaveholders into the
Evangelical Alliance being recognized in any form. And the rea-
son which made him continue so firm was, that a talented Member
of the Alliance, then present, â when he was in Boston, (as we
understood)â was told by the Committee there, that it was abso-
lutely necessary to adhere â QCries of " Order."]
B B 2
372 EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE.
He (Mr. Stanfield) agreed with the venerable Dr. Wardlaw, that
they must legislate on general principles, and not for exceptions.
Rev. Isaac Nelson. â I never stood up in a Public Meeting
with feelings of such deep emotion as I do at this moment. I am
very unwilling to appear to mar the harmony of this hour ; but I
must do justice to my own feelings, and I must do justice to the
Body of Christians with which I am connected : and I may just
state to the Conference, that, in Belfast, forty-six Ministers, of
various Denominations, have attached their names to a Resolution,
passed at a Public Meeting of 2,000 individuals, that they would
have no fellowship with Slaveholders. I trust, Mr. Chairman, that
this evening you have decided correctly ; I pray that God may bless
your decision, if it be for His glory, and for the freedom of the
down-trodden slave : but I should not be acting conscientiously,
were I not to say, that I have fears, and the reasons of my fears I
will state in a few minutes, if my Brethren will bear with me.
The Chairman. â I think our friend should be heard, â espe-
cially on account of the very becoming manner in which he
Rev. Is. Nelson. â I have a little claim on your indulgence,
because, previous to the introduction of Mr. Hinton's Motion, I
gave notice of a Motion to the Business Committee, in reference to
the Birmingham decision on the subject of Slavery. And let me
say, that the Resolution passed at Birmingham gladdened our
hearts in Belfast ; but I see that it has been differently understood
in different Countries. You have now adopted a new Resolution ;
and, in that Resolution, there is expressed confidence in the
Branches. â Will you read the words again ?
Â£Dr. S. H. Cox read the paragraph referred to.]
Now, I cannot assent to this ; for I believe, that no Ecclesiastical
â no Religious Community ought to legislate for exceptions. I
will grant, for the sake of argument, that there may be exceptions,
where men are compelled by the law to hold slaves. I will take
the case, put by Dr. Skinner last night, of the two little negro chil-
dren, about whom it was asked, " Would you not have me pay the
money to save them from the evils of Slavery ?" Yes ! I would.
But my sympathies would only go with the payment of the
money, rather than allow them to be sold; because the money
would be paid in order to set them free. But I think it is not fair
to introduce such ultra cases as an argument for the sinless charac-
ter of Slave-holding. You have decided, that there are men who
may be Slaveholders, and yet it may not be their own fault â or
something tantamount. I fear, under that single sentence or
TENTH DAY EYENING SESSION. 373
clause, Slaveholders will be in the Alliance. I said, I did not
wish to make any secession from this Alliance, â which has sprung,
not like the fabled deity, from the brain of human wisdom, â but
from the hearts of Christian men â fragrant with Christian love
and knowledge. Therefore you will prosper ; and I know you will
do much for the cause of Abolition : but I must state my fears, as
to what will be the result in the American Branch of the Alliance.
There is a class in America, who take the ground of acknowledging
Slavery to be a sin; but they say, they cannot get rid of it. Some-
times they lay the fault at the door of Britain, and sometimes at
the door of Congress: sometimes they make it what is called a
National question, and sometimes a political question. Now I
fear, that â under the plea, that they cannot get rid of it â Slave-
holders will be found in your ranks ; and then the Evangelical
Alliance will be quoted on the side of Slavery. (" No.")
A Gentleman asked, whether it were proper for the speaker to
impugn the motives of Brethren from America belonging to the
Mr. Nelson. â I was not impugning the motives of any of the
American Brethren. I was only expressing my fear on the sub-
ject of legislation ; that, â under the phraseology, " It is not our
fault," â Slaveholders would come into the ranks of the Alliance.
Or if a Slaveholder were to come to the Committee, and say, " I
live where the Law compels me to be a Slaveholder ; it is not my
fault ;" â I cannot see how, by the terms of this Resolution, you
can refuse him admission. Remember the parties who are now
earnestly regarding our proceedings. The Slaveholders are looking
on, to take advantage of any terms we may use. After the decision
of the Free Church, when Dr. Chalmers eulogized â
The Chairman. â I cannot admit any reference to the Debates
of the Free Church of Scotland.
Dr. S. H. Cox. â This gentleman was a Member of the Com-
mittee; and, by proceeding as he is now doing, I consider he is
stealing a march upon us.
The Chairman. â I beg that Mr. Nelson will abstain from these
points which may give offence to our American Brethren.
Mr. Nelson. â I do not wish to give offence to a single Member of
the Evangelical Alliance: but my meaning is, that the Slaveholding
Body in America will try to take advantage of the phraseology of
our decision: they are watching us. Then again, Christians, who say
that the Bible is opposed to Slavery, and that the Gospel of Jesus
is the enemy of Slavery, are watching us. And the poor slaves are
watching us: thev will bo anxious to know the decision we come t<>.
374 EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE.
And Infidels are watching us. I have had some little experience
with men professing the philosophy of Robert Dale Owen, (I men-
tion him not unkindly;) and those men say, <: The Bible is a bad
book :" â and how do they attempt to prove it ? By asserting, that
the Bible countenances Slavery ! Infidels will take hold of our
decision : therefore, we cannot be too cautious in giving it.
Â£There were here loud cries of "time." The speaker said, he
would say no more, if such were the wish of the Meeting.]
A Gentleman enquired, whether they were going to enter into
the discussion again ? And whether the statements now made,
which bore strongly upon the American Brethren, would go forth
without a word being allowed in reply ?
Rev. W. Bevan rose to another point of order, which he
wished the Conference to decide with all calmness, and in consis-
tency with the rules of debate. Was it competent for a gentleman,
being a Member of a Committee, to raise an argument, when the
Report of that Committee is presented, which he had not raised in
the Committee ?
The Chairman could not settle the question in the abstract.
The point to which it was directed must be known first.
Rev. Dr. Morison thought, that no gentleman had a right to
speak against the Motion, unless he had an Amendment to make.
It was exceedingly inconvenient for things to proceed in this vague
The Chairman. â Every body has a right to speak for or
against the Motion. Our friend is simply speaking in the negative ;
and he has a right to be heard.
Mr. Nelson. â I submit to the Chair, will it not be competent
for me to move an Amendment if I please ?
The Chairman. â Certainly. You are justified, however, in
speaking, on the ground that you are speaking only on the
negative. Of course, you can also add an Amendment, if you
A Gentleman. â I submit one point of order. Is it right for
a Member of a Committee, when their Report is brought up, to
object to it, â when he did not express that dissent in the Committee?
The Chairman. â That is a begging of the question.
Mr. Nelson. â It was understood by the Committee, that I
reserved my right to speak in the Conference.
Rev. Dr. S. H. Cox. â If the Gentleman said anything in the
Committee, he said it when the Americans were absent. Was it
orderly, then, for him to speak against a Report made by that Com-
mittee almost unanimously ?
TENTH DAY â EVENING 8E88ION. 375
The Chairman. â I must refer to the Chairman of that Com-
mittee. If our friend gave notice to the Committee of his ob-
jections, and expressed his dissent from the conclusions at which
they had arrived, he is not debarred from repeating his objections
here : but, if he abstained from expressing his dissent in the Com-
mittee, it is not becoming of him to bring forward the question now.
Rev. Dr. F. A. Cox. â The Committee, at a certain period, Mas
divided into three Sub-Committees for specific purposes ; and our
friend made his objections in one of these Sub-Committees : but he
did not bring them forward, when the Committee were all associated
together, and came to the conclusion to adopt the present Report.
Rev. T. Binney. â He stated, that he reserved to himself the
right to speak here.
Rev. Dr. Alder. â He dissented from the decision of the Com-
mittee : but he did not indulge in remarks affecting the American
Brethren when they were present.
The Chairman. â If our Brother did not refer to that branch
of the argument which affects the feelings of our American friends,
when they were present in the full Committee, he is debarred from
referring to that branch of the argument now.
Mr. Nelson. â When the American Brethren joined us, when
the Committee was made up, and when we were coming towards
the conclusion, I intimated and I think the Chairman will bear
me witness â that I reserved to myself the right to speak here.
However, Sir Culling, it is a very trifling matter, for my own
individual influence is not great. I have endeavoured to pursue my
course, rather as a spectator and student, than as a man of business.
My attention was strongly directed to this subject, because I con-
sidered the honour and glory of my Master concerned in it. I
took up the Word of God, and I read it with attention; and my
conclusions from it may be worth nothing to others, but they are
everything to myself. I own no authority but the authority of my
God and His Word ; and my conclusions from that Book are these â
That the right to hold a property in man is denounced in God's Word
by the very strongest expressions condemnatory of sin, â that to hold
man as property is stealing; and, therefore, that the man who does so,
is a thief â not of the coin of earth, â not a thief of the metal which
is dug from the mine, and on which there is the impress of an earthly
monarch, â but of men, bearing the impress of Heaven's Sovereign â
men, made in the image of God. I maybe mistaken in my opinion â
that a Slaveholder will ever be a Member of this Alliance ; it may
be Utopian: and, perhaps, when the fervour of youth, of inex-
perience, and of ignorance, has passed away, I may come to the
37G evangelical alliance.
Alliance, and meet with my American friends, and rejoice with them
over the liberation of the slave. I trust it will be so : but, in jus-
tice to my conscience, I have made this statement ; and, in order
that it may appear upon the books, I must now, from the position
in which I am placed, move an Amendment, â which is, â
"That, whereas it is impossible for this Conference to legislate for particular cases
or exceptions, no Slaveholder be admitted to any Branch of the Alliance."
James Stanfield, Esq. seconded the Amendment.
Rev. Dr. Urwick. â I have the happiness of knowing personally
â I might almost say, intimately â the two respected friends who
have moved and seconded this Amendment. I am sure we shall all
give them unqualified credit for having, according to their judge-
ment, discharged their consciences in this matter. I dissent from
that Amendment, most decidedly : and, if they will allow me, I
would earnestly entreat them to re-consider it. I think it is not
their purpose to leave the Alliance, even if their Amendment is
negatived, which it certainly will be if put to the vote : and I
ask of them kindly to wait in Christian patience and forbearance,
and to watch the working of this Resolution, if it be carried.
I have full confidence in our American Brethren. I came
to this Conference with feelings of high respect and sincere
brotherly regard towards them, which I had cherished for many
years, so far as I had known them personally or by their writings :
but those feelings of regard to them, as worthy of implicit con-
fidence, have been immeasurably raised by what I have seen of
them in this Conference. I have admired â and I am sure we all
have admired â the very great Christian temper, Christian coolness,
Christian intelligence, and Christian affection, which they have dis-
played throughout the whole of the proceedings. A reference has
been made by a friend (Mr. Stanfield) to a remark uttered by Dr.
Wardlaw on a former evening. Although not commissioned by
him, â yet I may state, and I think all who were present in the
Committee will be prepared to say, that Dr. Wardlaw substantially
concurs in the proposal of the Report which has been adopted. I
think we are warranted in understanding that. There is another
point, to which I wish to allude before I sit down. We have had
anxieties in the course of the progress of this Alliance, profound
and intense. Time after time it has seemed to have been all but
wrecked. Yesterday, the generality, perhaps, imagined, that all
hope was gone. It was not so with me. I felt a confidence, firm,
and clear, and strong, that this our work is doing the will of
Almighty God ; and an unwavering belief, that He permits us to
be brought into these circumstances, merely to bring us nearer to
TENTH DAY EVENING SESSION. ;)77
Himself, and to inspire us with more assured confidence in Him.
This is Saturday evening : and I think, that to-morrow morning
a Sabbath will break upon the World, such as the World the
Church, and the slave, has never before seen. Ignorant as at
present the slave, the World, and most portions of the Church may
be of the fact, â I think, if this Report shall be adopted, a step
will be taken in the cause of truth, humanity, freedom, and
piety, such as we have seldom had to thank God for. And, if this
Report be adopted, I think our Brethren in the Ministry, who have
to preach to-morrow, will go to their pulpits with hearts far more
full of joy and gratitude and liberty, than they otherwise could
have gone, or have been accustomed to go : and I think our cono-re-
gations, so far as they may be aware of the circumstance, will have
an elevation, a pleasure, and a sublimity given to their devotions,
which have not frequently been felt in the sanctuaries of our God
on earth. â "Ebenezer" â "hitherto hath the Lord helped us."
Let us thank God and take courage. He is with us.
" God is with us â This has cheered us
Even in the darkest day :
God is with us â and will hear us
When for His own cause we pray :
God is with us â nor shall triumph long delay."
The Chairman. â The circumstances are only few, in which a
Chairman is justified in speaking on the point before the Chair :
but I have for so many days possessed, and so thankfully received,
the kind confidence of every Member of this Conference, that I
venture for once to say a word upon this subject. Brethren, I am
only speaking the honest feelings of my heart, when I tell you,
that â if there has been one subject upon which I hoped the
Alliance would tell, â besides its immediate object, which is the
Union of Christians, â it has been the question of Slavery. My
own personal friends can assure you, that again and again I have
said to them, that I did hope, that the concentration of Chris-
tianity in England in the month of August would tell, in its
influence, upon the system of Slavery in America : and I desire,
that the results of this evening may have that effect. But, â to ex-
press in one word the feeling which is now upon my mind, â I
believe, that such a result will probably greatly depend upon this,
â whether the deliverance of this Assembly will go forth unani-
mously or not. Therefore, even for a moment admitting â which I
cannot admit â that our dear Brother's proposal would have, if
carried, a better effect upon Slavery than that Motion to which it
378 EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE.
is an Amendment; still, I believe, that an unanimous deliverance
from this Assembly, â which is, I trust I may say, without boasting,
to a great extent, the representative of Christendom,â will have a
far mightier effect, even if the standard be lower, than a deliver-
ance not unanimous,â even if the object be a right and proper one.
Believing then, that unanimity is every thing now,â and that, if
the Resolution of the Committee pass unanimously, it will have a
mighty and glorious effect in producing the emancipation of the
slave, â I venture, for once, to throw myself into this chasm ; and
to entreat our dear friends, for the sake of the slave and his
emancipation, and the success of that cause which is dear to all
our hearts, that they will consent to withdraw the Amendment, and
let us go unanimously to the Resolution which is before us.
Rev. Dr. Smyth, of Glasgow. â As a Minister of the Free
Church of Scotland, I desire to express my gratitude to God, who
has, as I trust, brought this most complex and difficult subject to,
what I believe to be, a wise and Christian conclusion. No one has
a greater abhorrence of Slavery, in all its forms, than I have. For
many years, I was a member of the Anti-Slavery Society of Glas-
gow ; and suffered not a little from that connexion, as Minister of a
Cono-reo-ation which contained some very influential Slave-Proprie-
tors. The name of Dr. Chalmers has been introduced this evening ;
and I may be allowed to say, that I have had the honour of being
his personal friend for nearly thirty years ; six months I was under
his roof; I, therefore, know what all his sentiments and feelings
are in relation to the subject of Slavery ; and I trust, it will never
go forth from this Meeting, that the honored name of Chalmers is
identified with anything approaching to an eulogium on Slavehold-
ers. As a Minister of the Free Church of Scotland, â knowing tho-
roughly the sentiments of many of my Brethren who have been
unavoidably called home, â I can say, that this decision will gladden
their hearts. I do think, we have had especial cause to thank God
for this decision. We can raise our Ebenezer â our Stone of Re-
membrance â on the approaching Sabbath ; and, though we met
with a trembling solicitude, we shall return from this Conference
with hearts burning with grateful love to that God, who has
enjoined upon us to love all our Brethren, and to do good unto all
who love our Saviour. And I do trust and believe, that the results
of this day will have a mighty effect, in the Providence of God, in
hastening the realization of that blessed time, when all the op-
pressed shall go free !
Rev. W. Bevan. â In this Hall, this morning, we commended
our Brethren of the Committee, and the cause which was in their
TENTH DAY EVENING SESSION. 379
hands, to the God of all wisdom, truth, and love. In this Hall, too,
it has been my privilege to occupy the place on which I now stand,
and to do the work which 1 now gladly do for you, in connexion
with the Anti-Slavery Cause. And I do rejoice, that our Brethren
have been brought to the issue which is now in the Motion before
this Conference ; â believing, as I do, that it will go forth to the
World, as our combined and honest, our solemn and sincere testi-
mony, upon a subject which has excited so much of our anxiety, â
and which, I trust, we shall be able to dispose of, so that we may
hasten the consummation which the largest desires of Anti-
Slavery hearts can anticipate and long for; â not only that the
oppressed may go free, but that those who hold them in bonds may
rejoice in sharing the abundant blessing. It it, then, with these
honest convictions, as a labourer in the Anti-Slavery enterprise
and with these honest convictions, as a labourer in your behalf, that
I implore our Brethren not to weaken the force of this strong, this
Scriptural, this honest testimony, by suffering it to go forth to the
World, that we have had to come to a divided vote. At the best,
Sir Culling, their predictions are but predictions of fear ; and I
would, with all brotherly affection, suggest to them, whether it
would not be time to take the step they now propose to take, and
make the stand they now propose to make, when they see that the
danger is impending ? â believing, as I do, that this Resolution will
have a decided tendency to preserve us from the probability of such
danger. I trust our friends will see the desirableness of not pre-
cipitating a step, that may damage the very cause, which, I believe
most sincerely, they are desirous to promote.
Rev. O. Scott. â I know the difficult circumstances in which
the English portion of this Conference have been placed; and I
have strongly sympathised with them. I do think, that they have
done everlasting honour to themselves, and to the cause in which
they are engaged, by the manner in which they have met our views
and feelings on this subject. I beg to say, I honour Mr. Ilinton
for the very Christian manner in which he introduced this subject.
He certainly said some very hard things; but they were against
Slavery; and everything he did say, he said in a kind and
brotherly spirit. For this I greatly loved him ; and now I love
and honour him more, for the manner in which he has met the
Committee and the Conference this evening. I, for one, am per-
fectly satisfied with the decision to which the Committee have
come. I cannot but consider it as a special answer to the prayers
which were offered to God this morning, on behalf of the honoured
men who composed that Committee; and, I trust, we are prepared.
380 EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE.
as a Conference, to receive it in this view. I would also join you
Sir Culling, and Mr. Bevan, in requesting the Brethren who have
moved and seconded the Amendment, not to push matters to extre-
mities. Let us not be divided : but let us go, with an unanimous vote
upon this matter, to our friends to-morrow, and to our friends in the
Country, â and declare, that we are united. I conclude with ex-
pressing the hope, that this very strong expression of opinion
against Slavery will produce a very salutary effect in America;
and that, while our decision will show us to be one in heart and
one in action, it will also operate most visibly upon the emancipa-