which, the Committee returned, bringing up their Report.
Rev. Dr. Steane. — I have to propose,
" That John Henderson, Esq., take the Chair."
The Resolution having been seconded,
Mr. Henderson took the Chair.
The Chairman. — I am happy to say, that the Committee have
been guided to a unanimous Report — (Some voices, "No, no,") —
nemine contradicenle — without any dissension. Sir Culling Eardley
Smith will bring up the Report.
Sir Culling Eardley Smith. — I feel that, in the previous
steps which have been taken by this Conference, our spirit has ni t
been altogether such as it ought to have been in the sight of God.
I speak for myself — I would not speak for my Brethren, but for
myself. I am here to acknowledge, that, in hearing the con-
F F 2
436 EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE.
elusions that have been come to by assembled and selected
Brethren, and hearing that those conclusions have been unanimous,
or nemine co?it?'adicente, we have on former occasions — at least, I
have — too much yielded to a feeling of exuberant joy ; whereas it
would have become us then, and it will become us more now, to
receive with solemn thankfulness, but combined with solemn awe,
any conclusion to which, in His mercy and providence, God has
brought us. I urge this early in my statement, because I feel that
such an attitude of mind is most becoming to the Christian in all
solemn circumstances, — and also with the greatest confidence in
God, that He will not permit us again — after thinking that we
have come to a conclusion, that He will not permit us again to
separate. Still, I would wish to remember, that, even with the
most delightful hopes before us, it may be compatible with His
mercy, it may be for our best interests, that we should still have
difficulties to contend with. Therefore, while I proceed to tell
you, that our Heavenly Father has led us to an unanimous con-
clusion — (so far united, as Dr. Cox by an audible interference
suggested, that is, a nemine contradicente conclusion, — we are not
at liberty to say, it is unanimous) — it is my request, it may be
received with that humility of heart, and that dependence on God,
that become us when assembled in these solemn circumstances.
It has been an Instruction of the Committee, that the Reception
of this Report be first moved and seconded, and, next, that the
Adoption of the Report be moved and seconded. The Reception of
the Report is to be moved by myself, and seconded by the Rev. J.
H. Hinton. The Adoption of the Report will be moved by Mr.
Hinton, and seconded by myself.
The Committee report : —
" That they resolved to request the Rev. Dr. Steane to join in their deliberations.
" That, on mature consideration of the entire subject remitted to them, the Com-
mittee recommend to the Conference : —
" 1 . That the Amendment of the Hon. Justice Crampton be finally withdrawn.
" 2. That the Resolution adopted on Saturday Evening be rescinded.
" 3. That the Resolution submitted to the Conference by the Rev. Dr.
Schmucker, and seconded by the Rev. Dr. Bunting, on the subject of
' General Organization,' be withdrawn, and the following proposition sub-
mitted to the Conference in its stead : —
" That, whereas Brethren from the Continents of Europe and America, as well as
in this Country, are unable, without consultation with their Countrymen, to
settle the detailed arrangements for their respective Countries, it is expedient
to defer the final and complete organization of the General Alliance, of which
the foundation has now been laid, till another General Conference.
" That the Members of the Alliance be recommended to adopt such organization,
TWELFTH DAY — MORNING 8ES810N. 137
in their several Countries, as, in their judgement, may he most in accordance
with their peculiar circumstances, without involving the responsibility of one
part of the Alliance for another ; on the understanding, that Brethren from
each Country, now present, shall act collectively in originating their respective
national plans. That, in furtherance of the above Plan, it be recommended
for the present, that an Organization be formed in each of the following
Districts, namely : —
" 1. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, exclusive of the North
American British Colonies.
" 2. The United States of America.
" 3. The North American.Colonies of Great Britain.
" 4. The Kingdom of France, Belgium, and French Switzerland.
" 5. The North of Germany.
*'• 6. The South of Germany, and German Switzerland.
" That an official correspondence be maintained between the several Organizations,
and that Reports of their proceedings be mutually interchanged, with a view
to co operation and encouragement in their common object.
" That the next General Conference be held at such time and place as, by corre-
spondence between the Members of the Alliance in different Countries, and by
the leadings of Divine Providence, shall hereafter be settled."
Sir Culling concluded by moving, —
" That this Report be received."
Rev. J. H. HiNTON. — I second the Motion. — Carried.
Rev. J. H. Hinton. — The Reception of the Report is a mere
matter of form, so that that duty was very easily discharged. The
Adoption of the Report now comes under consideration ; and every
part is liable to as free and full a discussion as any one can
desire. It is, of course, implied in my becoming the Mover of
this Resolution, that the Report has met with my concurrence.
I state, frankly and unequivocally, that it is so. Various pro-
positions have been under the consideration of the Committee,
and great and insuperable difficulties have attended them. In the
present plan you will perceive, that we suppose ourselves to be rid
of a good deal of antecedent matter : first, that is, of Mr. Justice
Crampton's Amendment ; and, next, of the whole of the Resolution,
to the rescinding of part of which that Amendment was directed.
The whole of that Resolution is supposed to be thrown overboard
and also the whole of that Section of the Report of the Sub- Com-
mittee which relates to " General Organization." Then we have
clear ground: and now, under the head of " General Organization/'
as a substitute for the whole of that Section in the programme in
your hands, is, in effect, this ; — that the further arrangements for the
final and complete organization of the General Alliance be deferred, in
consequence of the difficulties experienced in proceeding with them —
438 EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE.
deferred, however, not in such a way as to violate or destroy the
unity of the work which has been done. The foundation of the
General Evangelical Alliance has been laid : that is to say, we who
are here constitute a General Alliance; none of us are slaveholders;
none of the American Brethren are slaveholders ; and, with respect
to ourselves, that question has no existence. We are free to unite
one with another, as Members of the General Evangelical Alliance.
But, with respect to any further proceedings, ground is laid for
independent and irresponsible action ; that is to say, the parties are
not involved the one in the proceedings of the other. We may
proceed to the further organization of the Alliance in Great
Britain, without our Brethren in France or America being involved
in the responsibility of what we do in our independent action.
They may do in America what they think good, in their further
organization, without our being responsible for what they do in
their independent action. Whatsoever Members may be hereafter
admitted into the independent Organizations in the several Coun-
tries, they will not be Members of the Evangelical Alliance, and
not entitled to any participation in any proceedings of the Evan-
gelical Alliance. They will be Members of their own National
Organization, but not Members of the General Alliance — neither
the English, nor the American, nor the French, nor those of any
other Country. So that, if they should receive slaveholders into
the American Branch, they do not come into the Evangelical Alli-
ance. I acknowledge none to be Members of it, but those who are
in it now; therefore, it includes no slaveholders. The only point
in which there might be inconsistency, would be in anticipation of
a General Conference. A General Conference would not permit
the mere Members of a National Organization to attend its sittings.
— Yes, they would ; but then there is to be no General Conference,
until all the Committees agree to call one. That is the caveat in
that respect. It is not proposed, that there should be a General
Conference in London, or New York, or Geneva, or anywhere else;
but the place and time shall remain to be determined by the Com-
mittees, after communication one with another. One single Com-
mittee, therefore, can prevent the calling of the General Conference.
It will be in our power, as the Committee of a British Organiza-
tion — (I do not call it a Branch, but a National Organization) — it
will be in our power to object to the calling of a General Con-
ference ; and undoubtedly we should object, until we were satisfied
that there were no slaveholders, or no criminal slaveholders, in the
American Organization. Should there be such, it will constitute
as strong a ground for objection to a General Conference, as now to
TWELFTH DAY — MORNING SESSION. 439
a General Organization. Now, that matter being in the breasts of
the Committees, a General Conference, which is the only thing to
bring ns together, may be postponed for seven, ten, or twenty-one
years — or for ever, if our Committee pleases, or any one of the
Committees. It will be in our power to act independently, and so
as to be sufficiently clear of all responsibility. The American
Brethren tell us, that within seven years the ground will be clear,
and we shall see their Organization such as we shall be glad to
unite with. God grant it may be so ! Our hearts will be clear, as
the ground is clear. But it is not in our breasts when we shall
meet together; and we are at liberty to refuse to meet again, till
the state of things in every country is such as we are satisfied with.
It seems to me, that the arrangement is one with which we may be
content. It does not seem to me, that I come at all into contact
with Slavery in Christian fellowship, or recognize the slaveholders.
This is substantially the plan of separate and independent Alli-
ances — that plan which, some of us have seen and felt for a long
time, is the only practicable one. This is substantially that plan :
it creates a separate and independent Alliance, quoad everything
existing beyond the present company. Here we are conjoined;
but, in relation to everything beyond the actual Members of the
Alliance, the National Organizations are separate and independent.
It is as truly, I think, the principle of mutual independence, as if
this Alliance were broken up, and there were no longer any recog-
nized union among us. If we were to break up, and say, there
shall be a British Alliance — an American Alliance — a French
Alliance — we should feel, that would remedy the mischief. But,
whether the separate character of national proceedings does not
answer the same end, and yet leave us the foundation laid, in exist-
ing arrangements, for a General, or (Ecumenical, Alliance, is the
point to be considered. I have considered it, to the best of my
ability. I have yielded my judgement and understanding to it.
I am happy to have been able to do so. That I have made con-
cessions in the first instance, and great concessions, for the sake of
unity, is plain. We have had much disagreement ; I have wasted
much strength, and so have others, in the Committee; but my head
and heart are now in happy unison. While we have a satisfactory
solution of difficulties ; I am able to rejoice in the existence of a
General Alliance, as here constituted ; and I know I shall have no
difficulty in washing my hands of all proceedings of a National
Organization, be they what they may. I beg to move, —
"That the Report be adopted."
Sir Culling Eardley Smith. — Bv the consent of the Com-
440 EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE.
mittee, I have been allowed to second the adoption ot this Report ;
and I do so with the full feeling, that the conscientious objections
of my dear friend, Mr. Hinton, and of those with whom he is act-
ing, are, as they ought to be, fully and honestly met by this solu-
tion of our difficulties. As this proposition originally stood in our
Committee up stairs, it contemplated a Meeting at Geneva, in a
given year. That appeared the only suitable place at which we
could next come together. The time was 1848. But, — upon the
declaration of our friend, that the postponement of another Con-
ference, until there had been a correspondence with different
Countries, would take away a difficulty in complying with the pro-
position, — we unanimously agreed, whatever might be our desire to
meet again, that it was only due to him and his party, that we
should yield our feeling as to fixing the period, and leave the
matter open, till we could all meet with a safe conscience. I have
no doubt, with safe consciences we shall be able to meet ; because,
I frankly confess, I stand here the seconder of this proposition,
with implicit, unreserved, Christian confidence in those Brethren,
whose national circumstances across the Atlantic are occasioning
this anxiety. I second it as a vote of British confidence in our
Transatlantic Brethren. I believe we shall meet with perfect
safety, perhaps, as soon as we originally contemplated, — certainly,
I expect, at no remote period. But provision is here made, so that,
if my hope should be disappointed, the matter stands over, but
stands over with safety. So much for the period of the Meeting.
Now, with regard to a most important point — the personal and
mutual responsibility in the interim. That point was wisely
alluded to by Mr. Hinton, as constituting the centre, the marrow,
the kernel, of the question. Is there, in the meantime, for the
acts performed in one country, any responsibility devolving upon
the Members of the Alliance in another? Sir, I contend, as
strongly as words can bring it out, there is no such mutual respon-
sibility. We say, in so many words, — " That the Members of the
Alliance be recommended to adopt such organization in their
several Countries as, in their judgement, may be most in accordance
with their peculiar circumstances, without involving the responsi-
bility of one part of the Alliance for another." We are, in this
Hall, the Alliance ; and where is the man that would be prepared
to deny, as an historical fact, that the Alliance is here ? We are
the Alliance, met from different parts of the World. We are
silent as to anything further. All that this commits us to is, that
we have an Alliance of about a Thousand Brethren. Then, here
we recognize one another as Members of this Alliance ; and when,
TWELFTH DAY MORNING SESSION. Ml
in future years, by Divine Providence, we shall meet in another place,
it is then, and only then, that we shall see, in enlarged numbers,
those who constitute the (Ecumenical Alliance. We state, that the
Alliance exists; and upon that basis we leave it to coming months
to raise a superstructure, — every Member of which we shall be
prepared, at the end of these coming months, and not till then, to
recognize, as between man and man, and country and count r v.
Therefore, there is nothing in this Document, as our dear friend
Hinton has said, that commits us to imprudent action, or action
that is opposed to all our consciences : and I merely add, that I
intreat our friends to pass, nemine contradiccntc, this Report.
Allow me, with all the affection and earnestness of which my heart
is capable, to second the Motion.
Rev. Isaac Nelson. — I wish a word of explanation. I feel,
that we are come almost together. On Saturday night, I can as-
sure you, I passed through a few moments of the most fearful
agony that, perhaps, any one man could have endured. Sitting as
an humble Member of the Conference, which I need not eulogize
now, — when I witnessed the general exultation, and heard the
praises of the Lord sung, I, a mere tyro, a mere child, had the au-
dacity to say, I fear the consequences. If there be an American
Brother here, — for I address myself to them as Brethren in Jesus,
— if there be an American Brother, who feels, in their position,
that I wanted to create disunion, or to say an ungracious thing of the
Church of the Lord Jesus Christ beyond the Atlantic, he does me
wrong. It was in the utmost kindness, in the utmost affection,
that I took the position I did. I feared then; and I now put it to
this Conference, have not my fears been realized ? Between Sa-
turday and Monday, the American Brethren found, that they could
not carry out the Resolution to which they had agreed, — that is, their
own declaration : and what strikes me as remarkable is, that I find
the names of Gentlemen appended to a Protest against that Report
which they themselves brought in.
[Here the speaker was very sharply interrupted by Dr. S. H.
Cox, and some excitement followed; which having subsided, on
the interference of Sir C. E. Smith and the Minute Secretary,]
Mr. Nelson proceeded. — I submit, that I am in order. We
are about to adopt a Report ; and I think it is competent to me, as
a Member of the Alliance, to move an Amendment, if I please,
and to speak to that Amendment.
Rev. Dr. Urwick. — I think, it is obligatory upon the conscience
of every speaker in the Conference, to follow after the things which
make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. I
442 EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE.
ask my Brother Nelson, when he sees it is disagreeable, if he will
abstain from reference to what is past, and confine his observations
to his Amendment.
Rev. I. Nelson. — I submit. I have no design, no wish. The
probability is, I shall withdraw any opposition. But I tell my
American Brethren and Fathers, this is not the way to make a man
withdraw opposition. I said, I was a pigmy by the side of Dr.
Cox. He said, "We are subjected in America to a sordid black-
guardism." I am not ultra; nor do I agree with Mr. Garrison
on this point. There is no point on which I have any sympathy
with Mr. Garrison, but one — (Cries of " Question.")
Rev. W. Bevan. — I put it to my friend, as a Christian man —
I put it to him by every consideration that can call for gratitude,
in connexion with the deliverance our Brethren have brought be-
fore us — whether he is serving the purpose for which the Commit-
tee was appointed, by entering into a discussion that has no relevancy
to it ?
Rev. I. Nelson. — I submit, that, on our side, we have not dis-
cussed the question at all. I will read the Amendment ; and, in
doing so, I desire not to be misunderstood. I am speaking for love
and for unity. I have made no appeal to God, or to the Holy
Scriptures ; but I do say, here are the interests of three millions
of human beings at stake. My Amendment must assume this
form : —
" That it is the incumbent duty of this Meeting to express its desire and opinion,
that no person claiming the right to hold property in man be received into any
affiliated Branch of this Alliance ; as the reception of Slaveholders will dis-
parage the character of this Alliance, and cause many Christians in Great
Britain and Ireland to withdraw from its connexion, and be the fruitful source
of dissension hereafter."
I would be willing to withdraw this Amendment, if I understood,
as has been stated by Mr. Hinton, that we have no responsibility
laid on us in Britain for the acts of the American — what shall I
call them ?
Rev. G. Jackson. — It was ruled, the other day, that a Brother
ought to be quite confident, that he has a Seconder for his Reso-
Rev. I. Nelson. — I am in the Metropolis of a Country that has
paid twenty millions sterling to get rid of Slavery ; and yet here I
am not to be heard in taking my own course, on moving an Amend-
ment. I do not, if I know my own heart, wish to give offence to
any Member of the Alliance. I want the point clearly understood ;
and if it be clearly explained, I am willing to withdraw the Amend-
TWELFTH DAY — 1COENZNG SESSION. H;3
ment. I would not have named the Amendment, nor explained
the position in which I have been placed, had it not been lor the
language of Dr. Cox. I want the point distinctly explained, what-
ever it is. I did not clearly catch it from Mr. Ilinton : but, if it be
clearly put on the records, I am satisfied. The question is, as to the
nature of the responsibility which will rest on the British Alliance.
I submit, that the magnificent idea in our hearts, which we were
all anxious about, is at this moment interrupted. I tell you hum-
bly, Mr. Chairman, that, although I might find difficulty in prose-
cuting the argument with regard to Slavery in this Court, there are
courts where I shall have a majority. I want to say nothing behind
the backs of the majority here, that I have not said to their faces. I
want to say nothing that will give them offence : but I am still left
at uncertainty, with regard to the amount of responsibility that will
rest on the Co-ordinate JUliances. I refer to the remark of Mr.
Kirk. He went into the whole of the question. He said, a man
might be in the position of a slaveholder innocently : are we to re-
ceive such a person to the Alliance ? When the Co-ordinate Branch
is working out its project, what will be the effect ? If we in Britain
(and you know, how close the intercourse between us and America
is — you know, there are parties watching — I say to our American
Brethren, that there are parties watching — and, suppose a well-
authenticated case comes up) — (Cries of " Question.") I am will-
ing to sit down.
Rev. A. D. Campbell, — I would intreat a hearing for my
Brother, who is in a small minority. I wish him not to leave Lon-
don with the impression, that there was a want of even-handed
justice in the case.
Rev. I. Nelson. — I repeat again, you are a Co-ordinate Alli-
ance; and I wish to know, if it be found, that there is in the
Co-ordinate Branch in America a man claiming a right to property
in man, will there be an appeal to you ?
Rev. Dr. Carlile, of London. — Might I ask your permission,
Sir, just to give Mr. Nelson an illustration, that, I think, will satisfy
his scruples. I understand Mr. Nelson to have said this : " If you
can show me that it is possible to have independent action, without
mutual responsibility, all my scruples are removed." I will give
him an illustration. My friend, Mr. Nelson, is a very faithful and
devoted Minister of the General Assembly of the Irish Presbyter-
ian Church. That Church holds direct official intercourse with, at
least, the Old-School General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church
in the United States, — as direct as the Report of the Committee pro-
poses that there should be between the affiliated associations, to be
444 EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE.
called the British Branchy and the American Branch of the Alli-
ance. Now, I am quite sure, my friend would not say before this
Meeting, " I am responsible for the Presbyterian Church in
America/' — many of whose Ministers, and a large number of whose
Elders, are slaveholders. He feels no scruple in holding Ecclesi-
astical intercourse with the Presbyterian Church in the United
States ; because there is an independent action in both Churches,
and no mutual responsibility. I rejoice in this Report : it just
takes what I believe to be the proper ground in regard to the Alli-
ance. It will give us independent action. As long as the Mem-
bers in America keep to our common Doctrinal Basis, so long we are
to give them the right hand of fellowship. If ever a slaveholder
comes in, I will discuss that question : but not till then.
Rev. I. Nelson. — Dr. Carlile has touched upon one of the
solemn considerations, that have compelled me to appear so per-
tinacious with this Conference. I am a member of the Irish
General Assembly : and, at our last meeting, we wrote a very strong
letter on this subject to America ; declaring, that there could be
no fellowship between us, if they continued to retain slaveholders.
Now, I am perfectly content with the illustration of Dr. Carlile.
The intercourse between us and the American Presbyterians is
such as, I am afraid, would not be allowed between the Co-
ordinate Alliances. Am I to understand, that, as an independent
Alliance, we shall have the liberty of corresponding, or pleading