When the Queen ascended the throne Wesleyan Methodism in this country was recovering from the effects of the agitation occasioned by Dr. Warren, who had been expelled from its ministry; the erection of an organ in a Leeds chapel had caused another small secession. But the Conference of 1837, assembled in Leeds under the presidency of the Rev. Edmund Grindrod, with the Rev. Robert Newton as secretary, had no reason to be discouraged. Faithful to the loyal tradition of Methodism, it promptly attended to the duty of congratulating the young Sovereign who had ascended the throne on June 20, a few weeks before.

[Footnote: The writer desires to acknowledge special obligation to the Rev. J. Wesley Davies for invaluable aid rendered by him in collecting and arranging the material embodied in this chapter.]

We may read in its Minutes of the vote in favour of an address, which should assure the Queen of the sincere attachment cherished by her Methodist subjects for her person and government, and of their fervent prayers to Almighty God "for her personal happiness and the prosperity of her reign." By a singular coincidence, it will probably be one of the first acts of a Leeds Conference in 1897 to forward another address, congratulating Her Majesty on the long and successful reign which has realised these aspirations of unaffected devotion. The address of 1837 had gracious acknowledgment, conveyed through Lord John Russell.

At this time Methodism had spread throughout the world. Its membership in Great Britain and Ireland numbered 318,716; in foreign mission stations 66,007; in Upper Canada 14,000; while the American Conferences had charge of 650,678 members; thus the total for the world, exclusive of ministers, was 1,049,401.

Of ministers there were 1,162 in the United Kingdom and 3,316 elsewhere. It will be obvious that British and Irish Methodism even then formed a body whose allegiance was highly valuable.

The 1837 Conference had to discuss the subject of the approaching Centenary of Methodism, which had for years been anticipated with great interest. With Mr. Butterworth - a Member of Parliament and a loyal Methodist and generous supporter of our funds - originated the idea of commemorating God's goodness in a fitting manner, not in a boastful spirit; a committee which had been appointed reported to the next Conference "that the primary object of the said celebration should be the religious and devotional improvement of the centenary"; and that there should also be "thank-offering to Almighty God" in money contributions for some of the institutions of the Church. The Conference approved these suggestions, and appointed a day of united prayer in January, 1839, "for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit" on the Connexion during the year.

There had been some difficulty in fixing the date of the birth of Methodism; but 1739 was determined on, because then the first class-meetings were held, the first chapel at Bristol was opened, the first hymn-book published; then the United Societies were formed, then field-preaching began, and then Whitefield, Charles Wesley, and others held that historic lovefeast in Fetter Lane when the Holy Spirit came so mightily on them that all were awed into silence, some sank down insensible, and on recovering they sang with one voice their Te Deum of reverent praise.

The centenary year being decided, a three days' convention of ministers and laymen was held at Manchester to make the needful arrangements; its proceedings were marked by a wonderful enthusiasm and liberality.

The Centenary Conference assembled at Liverpool in 1839. It could report an increase of 13,000 members. On August 5 it suspended its ordinary business for the centenary services - a prayer-meeting at six in the morning being followed by sermons preached by the Rev. Thomas Jackson and the President, the Rev. Theophilus Lessey. A few weeks later came the festal day, October 25, morning prayer-meetings and special afternoon and evening services being held throughout the country. Never had there been such large gatherings for rejoicing and thanksgiving; there were festivities for the poor and for the children of the day and Sunday schools. These celebrations, in which the whole Methodist Church joined, aroused the interest of the nation, and called forth appreciative criticism from press and pulpit.

When the idea of this first great Thanksgiving Fund was originally contemplated, the most hopeful only dared look for L10,000; but when the accounts were closed the treasurers were in possession of L222,589, one meeting at City Road having produced L10,000; and the effort was made at a time of great commercial depression. This remarkable liberality drew the attention of the Pope, who said in an encyclical that the heretics were putting to shame the offerings of the faithful.

Not a few meetings took the form of lovefeasts, where generous giving proved the reality of the religious experiences; for there has ever been an intimate connexion between the fellowship and the finance of Methodism. Part of the great sum raised went to the Theological Institution, part to Foreign Missions; Wesleyan education was helped by a grant, L1,000 were paid over to the British and Foreign Bible Society; and the laymen desiring to help the worn-out ministers and their widows and children, L16,000 were set aside to form the Auxiliary Fund for this purpose.

It was now that the Missionary Committee were enabled to secure the Centenary Hall, the present headquarters of the Missionary Society. The remaining sums were given to other useful purposes.

Methodism in 1839 in all its branches [Footnote] reckoned more than 1,400,000 members, with 6,080 itinerant preachers and 350 missionaries; 50,000 pupils were instructed in the mission schools, and there were upwards of 70,000 communicants and at least 200,000 hearers of the gospel in Methodist mission chapels. In England alone the Wesleyan Methodists owned 3,000 chapels, and had many other preaching places; there were 3,300 Sunday schools, 341,000 scholars, and 4,000 local preachers. These figures, when, compared with those given at the end of our sketch, will furnish some idea of the numerical advance of Methodism throughout the world during the Queen's reign.

[Footnote: "Methodism in all its branches" must be understood of all bodies bearing the name of Methodist, including the New Connexion and the Primitive Methodists. The membership of Wesleyan Methodism alone throughout the world, according to the Minutes of Conference for 1839, was 1,112,519; and the total ministry, including 335 missionaries, 4,957.]

The centenary celebrations marked the high flood-tide of spiritual prosperity for many ensuing years, for a time of great trial followed. Gladly would we forget the misunderstandings of our fathers; yet this sketch would be incomplete without reference to unhappy occurrences which caused the loss of 100,000 members, and allowance must be made for this terrible loss in estimating the progress of Wesleyan Methodism. The troubles began when certain anonymous productions, known as "Fly Sheets," severely criticised the administration of Methodism and libellously assailed the characters of leading ministers, especially Dr. Bunting, who stood head and shoulders above all others in this Methodist war. He was chosen President when only forty-one, and on three other occasions filled the chair of the Conference. He became an authority on Methodist government and policy. Dr. Gregory says, "As an administrator, he was unapproached in sagacity, aptitude, personal influence, and indefatigability... his character was spotless." He was a born commander. The "Liverpool Minutes," describing the ideal Methodist preacher, are his work.

Dr. Bunting volunteered to be tried by the Conference as to the anonymous charges against him, but no one came forward with proofs to sustain them. Three ministers, Messrs. Everett, Dunn, and Griffiths, supposed to be the chief movers of this agitation, refused to be questioned on the matter, and defying the Conference, were expelled. Thereafter the agitation was kept up, and caused great disaffection in the Societies, resulting in the loss we have referred to. The seceders called themselves "Reformers"; many of them eventually joined similar bodies of seceders, forming with them the "United Methodist Free Churches." These in 1857 reported a membership of 41,000, less than half that which was lost to Wesleyan Methodism. But now they may be congratulated on better success, the statistics for 1896 showing, at home and abroad, a total of nearly 90,000 members, with 1,622 chapels, 417 ministers, 3,448 local preachers, 1,350 Sunday schools, and 203,712 scholars. It may be noted with pleasure that the leaders of the movement outlived all hostility to the mother Church; one of them attended the Ecumenical Conference of 1881, and took the sacrament with the other delegates.

With great regret we speak of this painful disruption, now that so much better feeling animates the various Methodist Churches. Practically there is no difference of doctrine among them. It has been well said, "Our articles of faith stand to-day precisely as in the last century, which makes us think that, like Minerva from the brain of Jupiter, they were born full-grown and heavily armoured."

An influential committee has been appointed to ascertain how concerted action may be taken by the Methodist Churches; and the hope is cherished that their suggestions may lead to the adoption of methods which will prevent strife and friction and unworthy rivalry. The New Connexion and Methodist Free Church Conferences also appointed a joint committee to consider the same subject. The brotherly desire for spiritual fellowship and mutual help and counsel thus indicated must be held as a very hopeful token of something better than numerical advance.

The bitter experiences through which the Church passed called attention to the need for modification and expansion of Wesleyan Methodist polity. The Conference of 1851 appointed a committee of ministers to consider the question; 745 laymen were invited to join them. Their recommendations led Conference to adopt resolutions defining the proper constitution of the quarterly meeting, and to provide for special circuit meetings to re-try cases of discipline, which had been brought before the leaders' meeting, when there was reason to think that the verdict had been given in a factious spirit. The chairman of the district, with twelve elected by the quarterly meeting, formed a tribunal to re-try the case. From this decision there was an appeal to the district synods, and also to the Conference. Provision was made for the trial of trustees, so that every justice should be done them. Local Church meetings were guaranteed the right of appeal to Conference, and circuits were allowed to memorialise Conference on Connexional subjects, within proper limits. The quarterly meetings, having considered these resolutions, gave them a cordial reception, and they were confirmed by the Conference of 1853.

No new rule is enforced by Conference until opportunity is given to bring it before all the quarterly meetings, and it is not likely to become Methodist law if the majority object. The enlarged district synods are an additional safeguard for the privileges of the people. By ballot the circuit quarterly meetings may now elect one, or in some cases two gentlemen, who, with the circuit steward, shall represent the circuit in the district synod.

In 1889, Conference sanctioned the formation of Methodist councils, composed of ministers and laymen, to consult on matters pertaining to Methodist institutions in the towns. Their decisions of course do not bind any particular Society.

The disaffection so fruitful of suffering had been due to a suspicion that men were retained in departmental offices when they no longer had the confidence of the people. Now such officials are only elected for six years, though eligible for re-election. One-sixth of the laymen on Connexional committees retire yearly; they may be re-elected, but must receive a four-fifths vote. Visitors may be present when the President is inducted into office, and during the representative session, when also reporters other than ministers are now allowed to take notes.

It was the year 1878 which witnessed that most important development of Methodist economy, the introduction of lay representatives to take part with ministers in the deliberations of Conference. This was no sudden revolution; laymen had long had their share in the work of quarterly meetings, district synods, and great Connexional committees; in 1861 they were admitted to the Committees of Review, which arranged the business of Conference; they sat in the nomination committee each year, and had power to scrutinise, and even to alter, the lists of names for the various committees. Now in natural sequence they were to be endowed with legislative as well as consultative functions; it might be said they had been educated to this end.

The committee appointed to consider the matter having done its work, the report was submitted to the district synods and then to Conference. Long, earnest, animated, but loving was the debate that ensued; the assembled ministers, by a large majority, determined that the laity should henceforth share in their deliberations on all questions not strictly pastoral.

It was resolved that there should be a representative session of 240 ministers and 240 laymen. The ministerial quota was to consist of President and secretary, members of the Legal Hundred, assistant secretary, chairmen of districts not members of the Hundred, and representatives of the great departments; six ministers stationed in foreign countries, but visiting England at the time; and the remainder elected by their brethren in the district synods; the laymen to be elected in the synods by laymen only. A small proportion at one Conference is chosen to attend the next.

Such were the new arrangements that came into force in 1878, causing no friction, since they secured "a maximum of adaptation with a minimum of change"; there was no difficulty in deciding what business should belong to either session of Conference. It is needless to dwell here on minor alterations, introduced in the past, or contemplated for the future, as to the order of the sessions; it may amply suffice us to remark that Wesleyan Methodism, thanks to the modifications of its constitution which we have briefly touched upon, is one of the most truly popular Church systems ever devised. For, as the Pastoral Address of 1896 puts it, "Methodism gives every class, every member, all the rights which can be reasonably claimed, listens to every complaint, asserts no exclusive privilege, but insures that all things are done 'decently and in order.'"

The great change just described, being the work of the ministers themselves, and accomplished by them before there was any loud demand for it, was effected with such moderation and discretion as not to entail the loss of a single member or minister. This was justly held a cause for great thankfulness; and it was determined to raise a thanksgiving fund for the relief of the various departments.

Great central meetings, extending over two years (1878 - 1880), were held throughout the country, and were characterised by enthusiasm and wonderful generosity. At a time when the country was suffering almost unheard of commercial depression, the sum of L297,500 was raised, to be apportioned between Foreign Missions, the Extension of Methodism in Great Britain, Education, Home Missions, Methodism in Scotland, the Sunday-school Union, a new Theological College, the "Children's Home," the Welsh and German chapels in London, a chapel at Oxford, the relief of necessitous local preachers, and the promotion of temperance. The missionary debt was paid, and the buildings for soldiers and sailors at Malta and Aldershot were cleared of debt.

Such work could not be done if the circuits acted independently; but united as they are, and forming one vast connexion, much which would otherwise be impossible can be achieved by means of the great Connexional funds. Of these funds not a few have been established since 1837; but the most important among them, the Foreign Mission fund, can boast an earlier origin.

Wesleyanism, indeed, is essentially missionary in spirit, her original aim being to spread scriptural holiness throughout the world. "The world is my parish," said Wesley though he himself could never visit the whole of that parish, his followers have at least explored the greater part of it, causing the darkness to flee before the radiance of the lamp of truth.

British Methodism has now missions in almost every quarter of the globe - in Asia, in Africa, on the Continent of Europe, in the Western Hemisphere. Her mission agencies include medical missions, hospitals, schools for the blind, homes for lepers, orphanages, training and industrial schools, etc.

In Europe we have set on foot missions in countries that are nominally Christian, where the people are too often the victims of ignorance, wickedness, vice, scepticism, and superstition; France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, and Portugal have all been objects of our missionary enterprise during the present reign, and in some instances conspicuous success has been attained. Witness the good work still going on in Italy, and the independent position attained by the Conference, Methodiste de France.

In India, Ceylon, China, and Burma, our agents are working amongst races in which they have to combat heathenism strong in its antiquity. The progress is necessarily slow, but a point has been reached where great success may be prophesied, as the result largely of the work of the pioneers. The schools are turning out many who, if they do not all become decided Christians, are intellectually convinced that Christianity is right, and will put fewer difficulties in the way of their children than they themselves had to contend with. This educational work prepares the way for the gospel; observers declare that nearly all converts in Ceylon have been trained in our schools.

The important missions in Southern and Western Africa must not be forgotten, nor those in Honduras and the Bahamas.

The present policy throughout our actual mission-field is as far as possible to raise up native agents. Probably the heathen lands will be won for the great Captain of salvation by native soldiers; but for a long time they will need officers trained in countries familiar for generations with the blessings of the gospel. The number of our missionaries may be stated at 400, more than half being native agents; there are 2,680 other mission workers, 52,058 Church members; 84,113 children and young people having instruction in the schools. But these figures would give a false idea of the progress of the work if compared with the statistics of 1837; for then our missions included vast regions that have now their own Conferences. When the Queen ascended the throne Fiji was a nation of cannibals. Two years before her accession our Missionary Society commenced operations in those islands. John Hunt laboured with apostolic zeal, and died breathing the prayer, "God, for Christ's sake, bless Fiji, save Fiji." The prayer is already answered. All these islands have been won for Christ, and are trophies of Wesleyan missionary toil. There are 3,100 native preachers under the care of nine white missionaries; 1,322 chapels, 43,339 members and catechumens, and more than 42,000 scholars. Fiji has become almost a nation of Methodists. But it were vain to look for traces of this vast achievement in the "Minutes of Conference" of 1896; for a special feature of our missionary policy is the establishment of affiliated Conferences, which in course of time become self-supporting. In 1883 all the branches of the Canadian Methodists united to form one Canadian Conference. The first French Conference met in 1852. In 1855 the Conference of Eastern British America was formed. The same year the first Australian Conference met, and took charge of the Missions in Fiji, the Friendly Isles, and New Zealand. The first South African Conference met in 1882, and the two West Indian Conferences in 1884. Although more or less independent of the mother Conference, they still retain the characteristics of Methodism. A distinct branch of Mission work, known as the Women's Auxiliary, has been established, and sends forth ladies to engage in educational, zenana, and medical work. They are doing good service in India, China, and other parts of the world. In 1896 they expended more than L10,000.

The total expenditure last year (1896) was L124,700, incurred by our own Mission work and by grants to the affiliated Conferences. It is satisfactory to note that in the districts helped, including those covered by these Conferences, an additional L185,000 was raised. We have magnificent opportunities; and with full consecration of our people's wealth there would be glorious successes in the future. Foreign Missions have been the chief honour of Methodism, and it is to be hoped the same affection for them will be maintained; for wherever Methodism is found throughout the world, it is the result of mission work.

Meanwhile there has been no sacrificing of home interests. Never were greater efforts made by Methodism for the evangelisation of the masses in Great Britain. The Home Mission Fund, first instituted in 1756, was remodelled in 1856. Its business is to assist the dependent circuits in maintaining the administration of the gospel, to provide means for employing additional ministers, and to meet various contingencies with which the circuits could not cope unassisted. Our needs as a Connexion demand such a Contingent Fund. One-third of the amount raised by the Juvenile Home and Foreign Missionary Association is devoted to Home Missions. The income, which in 1837 was less than L10.000, is now more than L36,000; an increase witnessing to a spirit of aggression and enterprise in modern Methodism. This fund provides for the support of the Connexional evangelists and district missionaries.

In the year 1882, under the head "Home Missions," there was a new and important departure, by the appointment of the first "Connexional evangelists," of whom there are now four; they have already been the means of great blessing throughout the country, showing that the old gospel, preached as in the old days, is still mighty to awaken and convert.

Under the direction of the Home Mission Committee, commissioners visit certain districts, to give advice and discover the best methods for improving the condition of Methodism where it appears to be low.

Special attention is given to the villages. The "Out-and-Out Band" subscribed for four Gospel Mission vans, each carrying two evangelists, and a large quantity of literature, to the villages; the evangelists in charge conducting services in the village chapels and in the open air. The sale of books and the voluntary contributions of the people help to defray the expenses. This agency is now under the direction of the Home Mission committee, and the gospel cars will be known as "Wesleyan Home Mission Cars."

Another new movement, helpful to village Methodism, is the "Joyful News" mission, originating with the Rev. Thomas Champness, who has been set free from ordinary circuit work to manage it. He trains lay agents, for whose services there is a great demand in villages where the people are too poor to maintain additional ministers, and where the supply of local preachers is deficient. Some of these agents are at work abroad.

The energetic Home Mission Committee has also set on foot missions where Methodism was feeble. Nor are those forgotten who "go down to the sea in ships, and do business in great waters." As far as means permit, efforts are made for the spiritual benefit of our sailors in all the great ports of the world; our soldiers, too, are equally cared for. Methodism has always been interested in the army, in which some of Wesley's best converts were found; yet there was no systematic work in it before 1839, when an order by the commander-in-chief permitted every soldier to attend the church of his choice. Some years afterwards, the Rev. Dr. Rule strove hard to secure the recognition of the rights of Wesleyans, and after much struggle the War Office recognised Wesleyan chaplains. The work and position of Wesleyan Methodism are now thoroughly organised throughout the world. The government allows a capitation grant for all declared Wesleyans, and it amounts to a large sum of money every year. In 1896 there were, including the Militia, 22,663 declared Wesleyans in the army and 1,485 Church members. There are 28 Sailors' and Soldiers' Homes, providing 432 beds, and these Homes have been established at a cost of L35,000. In them are coffee bars, libraries, lecture halls, and, what is most appreciated by Christian soldiers, rooms for private prayer. The officiating ministers, who give the whole or part of their time to the soldiers and their families, number 195.

There are many local preachers among the soldiers, and at least two have left the ranks to become ministers.

On the Mission field, soldiers render valuable aid to the missionary in building chapels, distributing tracts, and often teaching and preaching to the natives and others. Thus, whilst helping to hold the empire for their Queen, they are hastening on the day when all the kingdoms of the world shall be the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ.

This deeply interesting work in the Army and Royal Navy is appropriately mentioned in connexion with our Home and Foreign Missions, both intimately concerned in its maintenance and management. It is right to mention that the Soldiers' and Sailors' Homes described are free to all members of H.M.'s sea and land forces, irrespective of religious denomination.


One great event in Methodist history since 1837 now calls for notice - the assembling of the first Oecumenical Conference in Wesley's Chapel, City Road, London, in 1861. This idea was in strict keeping with the spirit Wesley discovered when, five weeks before his death, he wrote to his children in America: "See that you never give place to one thought of separating from your brethren in Europe. Lose no opportunity of declaring to all men that the Methodists are one people in all the world, and that it is their full determination so to continue,

       "'Though mountains rise, and oceans roll, 
            To sever us in vain.'"

The growing affection among Methodists of all branches made the idea of an Oecumenical Conference practicable.

The suggestion took form at the Joint Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church of America in 1876. The American Methodists sent a delegate to the British Conference, proposing a United Conference which should demonstrate to the world the essential oneness in doctrine, spirit, and principle of all the Churches which historically trace their origin to John Wesley; such a manifestation, it was hoped, would strengthen and perpetuate that unity.

Further, the Conference was to discover how to adjust our mission work so as to prevent waste and friction; suggesting also modes and agencies for the most successful work of evangelisation. Nor was this all; its promoters trusted to gain light on the relation of universal Methodism to education, civil government, other Christian bodies, and missionary enterprise at large, and looked for a vast increase in spiritual power and intelligent, enthusiastic activity among the various branches of Methodism, whose gathering together might well draw "the attention of scholars and reformers and thinkers to the whole Methodist history, work, and mission," while a new impulse should be given to every good work, and a more daring purpose of evangelisation kindled. The British Conference pointed out the need of frankly recognising the not unimportant differences amongst the various Methodist bodies, so as to rule out of discussion any points which had a suggestion of past controversies. The American Conference accepted this.

The smaller Methodist bodies being invited to join, the four hundred delegates were sent up by the various branches of the Methodist Church as nearly as possible in proportion to their numerical strength; seven sections of British Methodism and thirteen from the United States and the Mission fields, numbering probably twenty millions, were represented. It was fitting that the first Oecumenical Conference should meet in City Road, the cathedral of Methodism. Bishop Simpson preached the opening sermon; the delegates then partook of the sacrament together, and Dr. Osborn, President of the Conference, gave the opening address. The Oecumenical Conference did not aim at determining any debated condition of Church membership, or at defining any controverted doctrine, or settling any question of ritual; it met for consultative, not legislative purposes. As such, the gathering brought about the thing which is written: "Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing... Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged."

By a happy coincidence, that largehearted son of Methodism, the late Sir William M'Arthur, was then Lord Mayor of London, and he gave a congratulatory welcome to the delegates at a magnificent reception in the Mansion House.

The next important event in Methodist history during the Queen's reign is the rise and progress of the great Wesleyan Missions in the towns - a vast beneficent movement, in which some at least of the aspirations cherished by the promoters of the first Oecumenical Conference appeared to have been realised.

The tendency of our day is towards a steady flow of population from the villages to the towns, especially to London. In 1837, there was only one London district, covering a very wide area, and including six circuits, whose total membership was only 11,460, after a hundred years of Methodism. The various branches of the recently established London Mission report more than a third of this number after less than ten years' labour.

The success of London Methodism in late years is largely due to the establishment of the Metropolitan Chapel Building fund in 1862. The late Sir Francis Lycett gave L50,000, on condition that an equal amount should be raised throughout the country, and that ten chapels, each seating at least a thousand persons, should in ten years be built in the metropolitan area. The noble challenge called forth a fit response. In his will he left a large sum to the same fund, so the committee could offer an additional L500 pounds to every chapel commenced before the end of 1898, with a proportionate grant to smaller chapels; aid will also be given by the committee in securing additional ministerial supply. Such offers should stimulate chapel building for the two years. Already, since the establishment of the fund, more than ninety chapels have been built in London at a cost of L630,000, towards which the fund contributed in grants and loans L213,000. Before 1862, there were only three important chapels south of the Thames, and now there are thirty-seven. During the last ten or twelve years unprecedented prosperity has been shown, not only in chapel building, but in chapel filling, and the establishment of successful missions.

In 1885 the earnest attention of the Churches was directed to "outcast London." The deepest interest was aroused, especially in Methodist circles; and that year great meetings were held in City Road, to initiate a movement that should benefit London's outcasts. A large sum of money was raised, and the London Mission formed. The West London Mission at St. James's Hall, the East End branch, and the almost deserted chapel in Clerkenwell became notable centres. Thus at one time efforts were put forth to reach the rich, the artisans, and the outcasts. The success has abundantly justified the enterprise. In addition to evangelistic work, the missions make strenuous efforts to improve the social condition of the people, for Methodism realises that she is called to minister not only to the souls, but also to the bodies of men. Already, as a result of the London Mission, a new, fully organised circuit has grown up; the West London Mission alone reporting a membership which is one-tenth of the whole membership of London in 1837.

The latest and most novel branch of the work is the "Bermondsey Settlement," established six years ago in the poorest district of south-east London. In this hall of residence live devoted workers who have been trained in our universities or in our high-class schools, and who spend their leisure in benefiting their poor neighbours by religious, educational, and social effort. A home for women, in which about ten ladies reside, is connected with the settlement, which is in special connexion with Wesleyan schools throughout the country. The programme of work is extensive, and in addition the settlement takes an increasing part in local administration and philanthropy, many non-resident workers assisting.

To support the London Mission, appeal is made to Methodists throughout the country and the world. The meetings held on its behalf in the provinces have greatly blessed the people, stimulating them to fresh efforts in their own localities. Similar agencies had previously been established in various great trading centres, where the tendency is for the people who can afford it to leave the towns and to live in the suburbs. Thus many chapels have become almost deserted. The Conference decided that the best method of filling these chapels would be to utilise them as Mission halls, for aggressive evangelistic and social effort; which has been done with surprising success in Manchester, Leeds, Hull, Birmingham, and many other large towns. In Manchester there are from ten to twelve thousand people reached by the Mission agencies, and already a new circuit has been formed, the members of its Society having been gathered in from the army of distress and destitution. It would be impossible here to enumerate the thousand ways in which the Mission workers toil for the redemption of the downfallen, or to tell half the tale of their success. But all this work could not be so well carried on without the assistance of another important department. The Wesleyan Chapel Building Committee, instituted in 1818, was reconstituted in 1854; it meets monthly in Manchester to dispose of grants and loans, to consider cases of erections, alterations, purchases, and sales of Wesleyan trust property, and to afford advice in difficult cases. It has also to see that all our trust property is duly secured to the Connexion. The erection of the Central Hall in Manchester, to be at once the headquarters of our Chapel Committee and of the great Mission, marked a most important era in Methodist aggressive enterprise. The income of the Chapel Fund from all sources last year was L9,115. It was reported that the entire debt discharged or provided for during the last forty-one years was L2,389,073, and the total debt remaining on trust property is not more than L800,000; while L9,000,000 had been expended on chapel buildings during the thirty years preceding 1893.

The Extension of Methodism Fund was established in 1874, to supplement the ordinary funds of the Connexion and the local resources of the people, by aiding in the increase of chapel accommodation throughout the country, and in the extension of Methodism by Home Mission and similar agencies. At first the building of a thousand chapels was contemplated; but already 1,796 cases have been helped, with grants and loans amounting to L122,999. In 1867 a fund was started for the relief and extension of Methodism in Scotland; a Chapel Fund for the North Wales District was instituted in 1867, and for South Wales in 1873. There are now in Great Britain 10,000 Wesleyan chapels, which will accommodate 2,156,209 hearers, more than four times the number of members returned; for there is something misleading, as far as the general public is concerned, in the published statistics of Methodism, which take account of class-meeting membership only. Estimating the other Methodist bodies at the same rate, Methodist chapels provide accommodation for 3,000,000 people; so that the united Methodist Church in this country is second only to the Established Church of England.

The Wesleyan Methodist Trust Assurance Company was established in 1872, for the insurance of Methodist Trust property only. The Board of Trustees for Chapel Purposes was formed in 1866, which undertakes to invest money intended for the chapel trust and for Methodist objects. Seeing that there are so many funds in Methodism, and that while some have a balance, others might be obliged to borrow at a high rate of interest, it was suggested that a Common Cash Fund should be established, making it possible for the committees to borrow from and lend to one another, the borrowers paying the ordinary bank rate of interest, and the profits being equally divided among the funds.

A passing reference must be made to another committee, instituted in 1803 - the Committee of Privileges and Exigency: and in 1845 an acting special committee for cases of great emergency was formed. Between the sessions of the Conference this committee often renders great service, safeguarding Methodist interests when they would be endangered by proposed government measures, or in any other way. At present it is engaged in trying to get through Parliament several measures in the interests of Nonconformity generally.

The subject of education drew the anxious attention of Wesley; his followers were less alive to its importance, until just before the Queen came to the throne. The training of the ministry was neglected, and the young ministers had to educate themselves. Though Wesley approved the idea of a seminary for his preachers, it was only three years before the Queen's accession that the first Theological Institution was opened at Hoxton. The Centenary Fund provided for one such institution at Richmond, and another at Didsbury. The Headingley branch was opened in 1868, and the Birmingham branch, built with part of the Thanksgiving Fund, in 1881. Our ministers are now far better trained than were the old Methodist preachers, and, taking them as a whole, they do not come short of their predecessors in any necessary qualification for their work.

Their culture must not be judged by the scantiness of their literary production. The empress Catherine once said to a French savant, "My dear philosopher, it is not so easy to write on human flesh as on paper." Much more difficult is the task of our ministers, whose religious, social, and financial work leaves them little of that learned leisure enjoyed by Anglican divines, who by their masterly works have made the entire Christian Church their debtor. But in the period we are reviewing, despite the demands made on the time of the ministers, many have written that which will not easily be forgotten. The Church that nurtured Dr. Moulton, whose edition of Winer's "Greek Grammar" is a standard work, used by all the greatest Greek New Testament scholars, need not be ashamed of her learning. Dr. Moulton and Dr. Geden were on the revision committee which undertook the fresh translation of the Old and New Testaments. Other Wesleyan ministers have made their mark as commentators, apologists, scholars, and scientists in the last few decades. The Fernley Lectures have proved the ability of many Methodist preachers; we lack space to refer to the many able writers who have ceased from their labours.

The London Quarterly Review has kept up the literary reputation of Methodism: nor are we behind any Nonconformist Church in journalistic matters. Two newspapers represent the varying shades of opinion in Methodism, and give full scope to its expression. A high level of excellence is seen in the publications of the Book Room, and our people when supporting it are also helping important Connexional funds, to which the profits are given.

While increasing care has been taken with the training of the ministry, lay education has not been neglected. Kingswood School, founded by Wesley, continues, as in his day, to give excellent instruction to ministers' sons. In 1837 a Methodist school, Wesley College, was opened at Sheffield, and a few years later one at Taunton, well known as Queen's College. The Leys School at Cambridge, under the head-mastership of Dr. Moulton, was opened in 1874, and has shown "the possibility of reconciling Methodist training with the breadth and freedom of English public school life." There are in Ireland excellent colleges at Belfast and Dublin.

In 1875, a scheme for establishing middle-class schools was adopted, resulting in the opening of such schools at Truro, Jersey, Bury St. Edmunds, Woodhouse Grove, Congleton, Canterbury, Folkestone, Trowbridge, Penzance, Camborne, and Queenswood; all report satisfactorily.

Elementary education, which has made such great progress during the Queen's reign, engaged the anxious attention of our authorities long before the initiation of the School Board system, under which the average attendance in twenty-five years increased almost fourfold. Methodism has been in the forefront of the long battle with ignorance.

The establishment of "week-day schools" in connexion with this great Church owed its origin to the declaration of the Conference in 1833. that "such institutions, placed under an efficient spiritual control, cannot fail to promote those high and holy ends for which we exist as a religious community." The object was to give the scholars "an education which might begin in the infant school and end in heaven," thus subserving the lofty aim of Methodism, "to fill the world with saints, and Paradise with glorified spirits"; a more ambitious idea than that expressed by Huxley when he said, "We want a great highway, along which the child of the peasant as well as of the peer can climb to the highest seats of learning."

In 1836 the attention of the Conference was directed to education in general, and especially to Wesleyan day schools; the Pastoral Address of 1837, regretting that children had to be trained outside the Church or be left untaught, expressed the hope that soon, in the larger circuits, schools might be established which would give a scriptural and Wesleyan education. Already some schools had been commenced; and the plan was devised which has been the basis of all subsequent Methodist day-school work.

In 1840 it was decided to spend the interest of the L5,000 given from the Centenary Fund for the training of teachers, work which was at first carried on at Glasgow. The determination of Conference to perfect its plan of Wesleyan education was quickened when an unfair Education Bill, not the last of its kind, was introduced into Parliament in 1843, proposing to hand over the children in factory districts to the Church of England. An Education Fund was established. Government, in 1847, offered grants for the training of elementary school teachers; and in 1851 the Westminster Training College was opened, with room for 130 men students. In 1872, in response to an increased demand for Wesleyan teachers, a separate college for mistresses was opened at Southlands, Battersea. Already four thousand have been trained in these institutions. Many hold positions in Board schools. In 1896 the number in Wesleyan and Board schools was 2,400.

The system thus inaugurated met a great and real need, and under it excellent work has been done on the lines laid down by the Department at Whitehall; for, receiving State aid, the training colleges and all the schools, like other similar denominational institutions on the same footing, are inspected and in a measure controlled by the national educational authority. In 1837 there were only 31 Wesleyan day schools; to-day there are 753 school departments, and on their books 162,609 scholars. But the introduction of free education has made it difficult for the Methodist Church to maintain her schools, efficient though they be. Since 1870, when school boards were introduced, the number of Wesleyan day schools has only increased by 10, while 9,752 Board schools have arisen, and the Church of England schools have increased from 9,331 to 16,517; the Roman Catholic schools actually trebling in number and attendance.

In view of these changed conditions, Conference has expressed itself anxious for such a complete national system of education as might place a Christian unsectarian school within reasonable distance of every family, especially in rural districts, with "adequate representative public management"; it has most earnestly deprecated the exclusion of the Bible, and suitable religious instruction therefrom by the teachers, from the day schools; but, so long as denominational schools form part of the national system, it is resolved to maintain our schools and Training Colleges, in full vigour. Difficulties, undreamed of sixty years ago, surround this great question; but assuredly Methodism will be true to its trust and its traditions.

The cost of Wesleyan schools last year was L215,634, and was met by school fees, subscriptions, and a government grant of L185,780. The Education Fund of 1896, amounting to L7,115, was spent on the Training Colleges, grants to necessitous schools, etc.

Wesley approved of Sunday schools as means of giving religious instruction to the children of the poor, and Hannah Ball at High Wycombe, a good Methodist, and Silas Told, teaching at the Foundery, both anticipated the work of Raikes by several years. In 1837 there were already 3,339 Sunday schools, with 341,442 scholars. Today the schools number 7,147, the officers and teachers 131,145, and there are in the schools 965,201 children and young people. The formation in 1869 of the Circuit Sunday-school Union, and in 1874 of the Connexional Sunday-school Union, has done much for the schools, in providing suitable literature for teachers and scholars, and in organising their work. An additional motive to Scripture study is furnished by the "Religious Knowledge Examinations" instituted by Conference; certificates, signed by the President, being granted to teachers and scholars who succeed in passing the examinations. In recognition of the value of so important a department of the Church, adequate representation at the quarterly meetings is now accorded to the Sunday schools.

It is not in our day only that the pastoral oversight of the young has been deemed worthy of attention; the duty has always been enforced on ministers; but in 1878 there were first formed junior Society classes, to prepare children for full membership. There are now seventy-two thousand in such classes.

In 1896 we note a new effort to bring young people into the kingdom, in the foundation of the "Wesley Guild," of which the President of Conference is the head, with four vice-presidents, two being laymen. The guild is "a union of the young people of a congregation. Its keynote is comradeship, and its aim is to encourage the young people of our Church in the highest aims of life." The story of its origin may be briefly told.

The Rev. Charles H. Kelly introduced the subject in the London Methodist Council, and then brought the matter before the Plymouth Conference of 1895, dwelling on the desire existing to form a Wesley Guild that should do for Britain what the Epworth League does for American Methodism, and secure the best advantages not only of that league, but of the Boys' Brigade, Bands of Hope, Christian Endeavour and Mutual Improvement Societies, which it should federate. The Liverpool Conference of 1896 therefore sanctioned the formation of the "Wesley Guild." Its three grades of members include young people already attached to the Church, with others not yet ripe for such identification, and "older people young in heart," who all join in guild friendship, and aid in forming this federation of the existing societies interesting to young people.

By periodical meetings, weekly if possible, for devotional, social, and literary purposes, a healthy common life and beneficent activity are stimulated, and the rising generation is happily and usefully drawn into relation with the older Church workers, whom it aids by seeking out the young, lonely, and unattached, and bringing them into the warm circle of youthful fellowship.

Such in brief is the programme of the Guild, which may yet greatly enrich the Church with which it is connected.

We turn now to one of the most notable changes in Methodism during the Queen's reign - the wonderful advance in the temperance movement. Wesley himself was an ardent temperance reformer, but his preachers were slow to follow him. A few prominent men strove long to induce Conference to institute a temperance branch of our work, and finally succeeded, their efforts having effected a great change in opinion. For many years our theological students, though not compelled thereto, have almost all been pledged abstainers. 1873 saw Conference appoint a temperance committee "to promote legislation for the more effectual control of the liquor traffic - and in general for the suppression of intemperance." In 1879 a scheme was sanctioned for the formation of Methodist Bands of Hope and Circuit Temperance Unions; and a special Sunday, the last in November, is devoted to considering "the appalling extent and dire result" of our national sin, one of the greatest obstacles to that "spread of scriptural holiness" which is the aim of the true Wesleyan Methodist, whose chosen Church, with its manifold organisation, has unequalled facilities for temperance work. In 1896 the report showed 1,374 temperance societies, with 80,000 members - figures that do not include all the abstainers in Methodism; some societies have no temperance association, and some Methodists are connected with other than our own temperance work. The 4,393 Bands of Hope count 433,027 members.

We have already spoken of the growth and development of social philanthropic work in connexion with the great Methodist missions in towns; there remains one most important movement in this direction to notice - the establishment of the "Children's Home," which, begun in 1869 by Dr. Stephenson, received Conference recognition in 1871. It has now branches in London, Lancashire, Gravesend, Birmingham, and the Isle of Man, and an emigration depot in Canada. Over 900 girls and boys are in residence, while more than 2,900 have been sent forth well equipped for the battle of life; some of them becoming ministers, local preachers, Sunday-school workers, and in many ways most useful citizens. The committee of management has the sanction of Conference. This "powerful arm of Christian work" not only rescues helpless little ones from degradation and misery; it undertakes the special training of the workers amongst the children in industrial homes and orphanages; and hence has arisen the institution in 1895 of the order of Methodist deaconesses, which is recommended by Conference to Connexional sympathy and confidence, the deaconesses rendering to our Church such services as the Sisters of Mercy give to the Church of Rome. One example may suffice. A London superintendent minister describes the work of one of the Sisters during the past twelvemonth as "simply invaluable. She has visited the poor, nursed the sick, held services in lodging-houses, met Society classes and Bible-classes, gathered round her a godly band of mission-workers, and in a hundred ways has promoted the interests of God's work."

Two events made 1891 memorable for Methodists, the centenary of Wesley's death and its commemoration being the first.

The Conference decided that suitable memorial services should be held, and an appeal made to Methodists everywhere for funds to improve Wesley's Chapel and the graveyard containing his tomb. Universal interest was aroused; all branches of Methodism were represented; the leading ministers of Nonconformist Churches also shared in the services. Crowded and enthusiastic congregations assembled in City Road when on Sunday, March 1, the Rev. Charles H. Kelly, Ex-President, preached on "The Man, his Teaching, and his Work," and when the Rev. Dr. Moulton delivered the centenary sermon. On March 2, a statue of Wesley was unveiled - exactly one hundred years after his death - Dean Farrar and Sir Henry H. Fowler addressing the meeting.

The Allan Library, the gift of the late Thomas R. Allan, containing more than 30,000 books and dissertations, was opened by the President; it has since been enriched by gifts of modern books from the Fernley Trustees and others, and a circulating library is now connected with it. Accessible on easy terms to ministers and local preachers, and within the reach of many others, this library should be a useful stimulus to the taste for study among ministers and people.

The other event of the year was the meeting of the second Oecumenical Conference in October, at Washington, in the country where Methodism obtained great triumphs. The Conference lasted twelve days, like its predecessor; the opening sermon, prepared by the Rev. William Arthur, was read for him, Mr. Arthur's voice being too weak to be heard; and the President of the United States gave a reception at the Executive Mansion, and also visited the Conference. Many topics of deep interest were discussed on this occasion, and not the least attractive subject was the statistical report presented. The difficulty of estimating the actual strength and influence of Methodism is very great.

In the present year the membership of the Wesleyan Methodists, for Great Britain and Ireland, is estimated at 494,287; of other Methodist bodies in the United Kingdom at 373,700; the affiliated Conferences of Wesleyan Methodists in France, South Africa, the West Indies, and Australasia at 212,849, being 1,942 for France, 62,812 for South Africa, 50,365 for the two West Indian, and 97,730 for the Australasian Conferences. American Methodism in all its branches, white and coloured, returns a membership of 5,573,118, while the united Methodism of Canada shows 272,392, and the foreign missions of British Wesleyan Methodism 52,058 members. These figures, giving a total of 6,978,404 members, exclusive of the ministers, estimated at 43,368, are sufficiently gratifying; yet they do not represent the real strength of the Church at large, and give only a faint idea of its influence.

The Oecumenical Report gave the number of Methodist "adherents" as 24,899,421, intending, by the term adherents, those whose religious home is the Methodist chapel, though their visits to it be irregular. For the British Wesleyans the two millions of sittings were supposed to represent the number of adherents (yet should all the occasional worshippers wish to attend at once, it may be doubted if they could be accommodated); for the other branches of Methodism in the United Kingdom, four additional persons were reckoned to each member reported. The statistics for Ireland and Canada were checked by the census returns. Probably in the case of missions the adherents would be more than four times the membership. Varying principles were adopted for the United States, and the adherents reckoned at less than four times the members reported. Should we to-day treat the returns of membership on the same principle (Sunday scholars being now as then included in the term "adherents "), we should find nearly thirty millions of persons in immediate touch with Methodism and strongly bound to it. Compare these figures with those of 1837, and we must exclaim, "What hath God wrought!"

Estimating the increase of British Methodism, we have to remember that the population has almost doubled in the sixty years, while British Wesleyan Methodism has not doubled; but the great losses occasioned by the agitations must be taken into account, and also the curious fact that the ratio of increase for Methodism at large, in the ten years between the two Oecumenical Conferences, was thirty per cent - twice as great as the increase of population in the countries represented; the Methodist Church in Ireland actually increasing thirteen per cent, while the population of the country was diminishing and the other Protestant Churches reported loss.

If the increase in Great Britain be proportionally smaller, this need not cause surprise, in view of that vast development of energy in the Established Church which is really due to the reflex action of Methodism itself; that Church, with all the old advantages of wealth and prestige and connexion with the universities and grammar schools which she possessed in the days of her comparative supine-ness, with her clergy roll of 23,000, and her many voluntary workers, having in twenty-seven years almost doubled the number of her elementary schools, largely attended by Methodist children. But the indirect influence of Methodism is such as cannot be represented in our returns; figures cannot show us the true spiritual status of a Church. The total cost of the maintenance of our work in all its branches can be estimated; and so able an authority as the Rev. Dr. H. J. Pope stated it at from L1,500,000 to L1,750,000 pounds annually, a sum more than equal to a dividend on fifty millions of consols; but it is impossible to compute the profit to the human race from that expenditure and the work it maintains. This may be said with certainty, that other Churches have been greatly enriched thereby. We may just refer to that remarkable religious movement, the Salvation Army, of Methodist origin, though working on new lines; doing such work, social and evangelistic, as Methodism has chosen for its own, and absorbing into its ranks many of our own trained workers. "The Salvationists, taught by Wesley," said the late Bishop of Durham, "have learned and taught to the Church again the lost secret of the compulsion of human souls to the Saviour."

"The Methodists themselves," says John Richard Green, "are the least result of the Methodist revival"; the creation of "a large and powerful and active sect," numbering many millions, extending over both hemispheres, was, says Lecky, but one consequence of that revival, which exercised "a large influence upon the Established Church, upon the amount and distribution of the moral forces of the nation, and even upon its political history"; an influence which continues, the sons of Methodism taking their due part in local and imperial government. Eloquent tributes to the work of Wesley are frequent to-day, the Times, in an article on the centenary of his death, saying: "The Evangelical movement in the Church of England was the direct result of his influence and example, and since the movements and ideas which have moulded the Church of England to-day could have found no fitting soil for their development if they had not been preceded by the Evangelical movement, it is no paradox to say that the Church of England to-day is what it is because John Wesley lived and taught in the last century.... He remains the greatest, the most potent, the most far-reaching spiritual influence which Anglo-Saxon Christianity has felt since the days of the Reformation." So far the Times, of him whom it styles "the restorer of the Church of England." Many impartial writers, some being ardent friends of the English Church, have also recognised a gracious overflow from Methodism which has blessed that Church, the Nonconformist bodies, and the nation at large. If a man would understand "the religious history of the last hundred years," that "most important ecclesiastical fact of modern times," the rise and progress of Methodism, must be studied in relation to the Anglican and the older Nonconformist Churches, and the general "missionary interests of Christianity": so we are taught by Dr. Stoughton, who has traced the influence of Methodism in the general moral condition of the country and the voluntary institutions of our age. The doctrines once almost peculiar to Wesley and his followers - such as entire sanctification - are now accepted and taught by many Churches, and the religious usages of Methodism are imitated, watchnight services being held, and revival mission services and prayer-meetings being conducted, in Anglican churches; while the hymns of Charles Wesley, sung by all English-speaking Protestants, and translated into many languages, enrich the devotional life of the Christian world.

It was a fit tribute to the benefits which the English Church has derived from the Methodist movement, when the memorial tablet to the brothers John and Charles Wesley was unveiled in Westminster Abbey by the late Dean Stanley, in 1872.

"The bracing breezes," said Dr. Stoughton, "came sweeping down from the hills of Methodism on Baptist meadows as well as upon Independent fields." We may give some few instances that will show what blessings have come to Nonconformist Churches by the agency of Methodism.

A remarkable incident that occurred in 1872 was recorded in the Wesleyan Methodist Magazine. Dr. Jobson had invited five eminent ministers to meet the President of Conference at his house. After breakfast their conversation quite naturally took the form of a lovefeast, all being familiar with Methodist custom; when Dr. Allon, Dr. Raleigh, and Dr. Stoughton all said they were converted in Methodist chapels, and began Christian work as Methodists. Thomas Binney said that "the direct instrumentality in his conversion was Wesleyan," and Dr. Fraser was induced to enter the ministry by a Wesleyan lady. Charles H. Spurgeon was converted through the instrumentality of a Primitive Methodist local preacher; William Jay of Bath was converted at a Methodist service; John Angell James caught fire among the Methodists; and Thomas Raffles was a member of the Wesleyan Society; Dr. Parker began his ministrations as a Methodist local preacher; while Dr. Dale has shown the indebtedness of Nonconformity to Methodism. In France and Germany Methodist agency has been one of the strongest forces in re-awakening the old Protestant Churches; the services held by our Connexional evangelists send many converts to swell the fellowship of Churches not our own. And the same effects followed the great Methodist revival in America; out of 1,300 converts, 800 joined the Presbyterian and other denominations. But while calling attention to the spiritual wealth and the beneficent overflow of Methodism, we would not be unmindful of the debt which Methodism owes to other Churches, and in special of its obligations to those Anglican divines of our day who have enriched the whole Church of Christ by their scholarly contributions to sacred literature; and we would ascribe all the praise of Methodist achievement to the almighty Author of good, whom the spirit of ostentation and vain glorifying must displease, while it would surely hinder His work.

The great desire of Methodism to-day - its great need, as Dr. Handles expressed it in his presidential address - is "fulness of spiritual life." If this be attained, the actual resources of the Church will amply suffice to carry on its glorious future mission; it will not fail in its primary duties of giving prominence to the spirituality of religion, of maintaining strict fidelity to scriptural doctrine, of giving persevering illustration of the fellowship of believers, nor in upholding the expansion of home and foreign missions, nor in ceaseless efforts to promote social advancement. "There is no rigid system of Church mechanism, nor restraining dogma," to hinder missions.

At present four-sevenths of the human race are in heathen darkness. To win the world for Christ demands that Methodists should unite with all His true soldiers. Wesley said: "We have strong reason to hope that the work He hath begun He will carry on until the day of the Lord Jesus; that He will never intermit this blessed work of His Spirit until He has fulfilled all His promises, until He hath put a period to sin and misery, infirmity and death, re-established universal holiness and happiness, and caused all the inhabitants of the earth to sing, 'Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.'" If Methodism be faithful to her mission, this prophecy may be fulfilled.

When the second temple was built, Haggai exhorted Zerubbabel and Joshua to be strong, and all the people to be strong, and to work, for the Lord was with them. Let Methodists be strong in God's strength, and work with the consciousness that the Lord of hosts is with them, and they will insure success to the great mission of their Church.

We will conclude with the last paragraph of the Rev. Charles H. Kelly's sermon at the celebration of the centenary of Wesley's death in 1891.

"Surely the lesson to the Methodists of to-day is clear enough. Let us cherish the memory of our forefathers, let us emulate their spirit, let us cling to their God-given doctrines, let us cultivate, as they did, communion with the Master and fellowship with each other. Let us aim to be one, to do our duty. Let us strive to make our Church a greater power for evangelism among the people of the earth than ever, let us look to the Holy Spirit for the richer baptism of grace, and Methodism, so blest of the Lord in the past, will yet be blest. Her mission is not accomplished, her work is not done; long may she live and prosper. Peace be within her walls, and prosperity within her palaces. For my brethren and companions' sake, the faithful living and the sainted dead, I will now say, Peace be within her; peace be within her."


The last days of the half-century are fleeting fast as we write, and we are yet at peace with Europe, as when Victoria's reign began. How long that peace shall last, who shall say? who can say how long it may be ere the elements of internal discord that have threatened to wreck the prosperity of the empire, shall be composed to a lasting peace, and leave the nation free to follow its better destiny? But foes within and foes without have many times assailed us in vain in past years; many times has the political horizon been shadowed with clouds portending war and strife no less gloomily than those which now darken it, and as yet the Crimean war is the only war on which we have entered that can be called European; many times have grave discontents broken our domestic peace, but wise statesmanship has found a timely remedy. We need not, if we learn the lessons of the past aright, fear greatly to confront the future. Not to us the glory or the praise, but to a merciful overruling Providence, ever raising up amongst us noble hearts in time, that we are found to-day

        "A nation yet, the rulers and the ruled,"

not quite bankrupt in heart or hope or faith, but possessing

        "Some sense of duty, something of a faith, 
        Some reverence for the laws ourselves have made, 
        Some patient force to change them when we will;"

and we may justly acknowledge, in thankfulness not vainglorious, the happier fate that has been ours above many another land, that may still be ours, "if England to itself do rest but true."

We have seen during these sixty years the map of Europe remodelled to an undreamed of extent. Fair Italy, though still possessing her fatal gift of beauty, though still suffering many things, is no longer the prey of foreign unloved rulers, but has become a nation, a mere "geographical expression" no longer; Germany, whose many little princedoms were once a favourite theme of British mockery, is now one great and formidable empire; the power of Russia has, despite the Crimean check, continued to expand, while desperate internal struggles have shaken that half-developed people, proving fatal to the gentle successor of Nicholas, the emancipator of the Russian serfs, and often threatening the life of his successors; and the once formidable American slave-system has been swept away, with appalling loss of human life; a second President of the United States has fallen by the hand of an assassin; and new difficulties, scarce inferior to those connected with slavery, have followed on its abolition. Our record shows no calamity comparable to the greatest of these, if we set aside the Indian horrors so terribly avenged at the moment, but by their teaching resulting ultimately in good rather than evil.

Besides the furious strife and convulsion that have rent other lands, how inconsiderable seem the disturbances that disfigure our home annals, how peaceful the changes in our constitutional system, brought about orderly in due form of law, how purely domestic the saddest events of our internal history! We wept with our Sovereign in her early widowhood, a bereavement to the people as well as to the Queen; we trembled with her when the shadow of death hung over her eldest son, rejoicing with her when it passed away; we shared her grief for two other of her children, inheritors of the noble qualities of their father, and for the doom which took from us one whom we had loved to call "our future king"; we deplored the other bereavements which darkened her advancing years; we have lamented great men taken from us, some, like the conqueror of Waterloo, "the great world-victor's victor," in the fulness of age and honour, others with their glorious work seemingly half done, their career of usefulness mysteriously cut short; we have shuddered when the hateful terrorism, traditional pest of Ireland through centuries of wrong and outrage, has once and again lifted its head among ourselves; we have suffered - though far less severely than other lands, even than some under our own rule - from plague, pestilence, and famine, from dearth of work and food. But what are these woes compared to those that other peoples have endured, when it has been said to the sword, "Sword, go through the land," and the dread word has been obeyed; when war has slain its thousands, and want its tens of thousands; or when terrible convulsions of nature have shaken down cities, and turned the fruitful land into a wilderness?

Events have moved fast since the already distant day when the Colonial and Industrial Exhibition was ministering exultation to many a British heart by its wonderful display of the various wealth of our distant domains and their great industrial resources. We were even then tempted - as have been nations that are no more - to pride ourselves on having reached an unassailable height of grandeur. Since then our territory has expanded and our wealth increased; but with them have increased the evils and the dangers inseparable from great possessions, and the responsibilities involved in them. We can only "rejoice with trembling" in this our second year of Jubilee. Remembering with all gratitude how we have been spared hitherto, and mindful of the perils that wait on power and prosperity, let it be ours to offer such sacrifices of thanksgiving as can be pleasing to the almighty Ruler of the ways of men, whom too often in pride of power, in selfish satisfaction with our own achievements, we forget.

Many are the works of mercy, well pleasing in His sight, with which we can associate ourselves, even in this favoured land, whose ever increasing wealth is balanced by terrible poverty, and its affluence of intellectual and spiritual light by grossest heathen darkness. Day by day, as our brief account has shown, are increasing efforts put forth by our Christian men and women to overcome these evils; and through such agencies our country may yet be saved, and may not perish like other mighty empires, dragged down by its own over-swollen greatness, and by neglect of the eternal truth that "righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people."