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R. M'Cheyne Edgar, Rev. Dr. M*Kee. Among the Methodist clergymen were-Rev. James Wilson, President of the Primitive Wesleyan Conference ; Rev. Thomas Maguire, Rev. Edward Best, Rev. James Donnelly, Rev. J. D. Powell, Rev. Gibson M‘Millen, Rev. J. H. Price, Rev. R. Boyd, Rev. J. Todd, Rev. F. Elliott, Rev. John II. Martin, Rev. A. English, Rev. F. A. Trotter, Rev. Robert IIuston, Rev. John Kerr, Rev. John Dodd, Rev. J. E. Green, Rev. John Hadden. The Rev. J. Denham Smith was also present, and a large number of eminent laymen. Sir E. S. Hutchin. son was the chairman.
The chairman introduced the speakers in a few very appropriate remarks, in which he said that the efforts of Messrs. Moody and Sankey had his entire confidence. He thanked them for coming over from America, and believed they had done a great work in Dublin. He hoped the effects would be visible after their visit came to a close, in a greater evidence of Christian unity among all denominations of Christians in Ireland. The spirit of unity and concord which had been brought about was delightful, and he thanked God every day for it, adding “Let us be all out-and-out for Christ."
Mr. Moody said that was the first meeting of the kind he had ever attended. In a number of places it had been suggested to hold meetings for the promotion of unity, and quite a number had pressed him and Mr. Sankey to have conferences to talk about Christian unity ; but the one principle upon which they started was, that they would preach Jesus Christ, believing that He would draw His people together. People had asked him how they had got so many ministers of different denominations into the movement; lis answer was, that they had done nothing about it. They had just tried to hold up Christ, and to talk of Him only, knowing that if that did not make friends rally round them, nothing else would. The question had been asked, “What was to be done to keep up Christian unity?" He would tell them. Keep preaching Christ, and don't talk about their church, or creed, or doctrine, and then people would be attracted to them as surely as iron filings to a magnet. By this should all meu know that they were Christ's disciples, that they loved one another. He hoped they would preach Clirist simply, treating men not as of this denomination or that, but as sinners. He would leave them one word, “Advance."
When General Grant, after a career of victory in the West, was put in command of the Potomac Army, which had been before invariably defeated, he was asked to retreat. Retreat had been the constant word, and at his council of war all his commanders were in favour of falling back; but he remained silent, and an hour after, the army were astonished to receive from him the command, “Advance in solid column at daybreak.” This was his counsel to them. They might have their differences, but there was the one foc, and they should advance in solid column upon the common enemy.
Mr. Sankey said he blessed God for having been permitted to come with his brother to that land of Ireland. He knew many of their countrymen in his own land, and he loved them dearly. He prayed that the blessed unity which he had witnessed might continue. He believed that many dear men who were still outside the movement would be drawn into it. He knew of some who would be glad to come in; but they had their prejudices, and these should be respected ; mistakes had been made in evangelical movements, which to some extent might account for this. Mr. Sankey then sang with deep feeling the hymn, “Here am I, send me, send me."
A special service for soldiers was held by Messrs. Moody and Eankey in the Metropolitan Hall. The invitation extended to the garrison was largely responded to, and a considerable number of non-commissioned oflicers and privates came to town by special train from the Curragh, to take part in the devotional reunion. The body of the hall was occupied by soldiers, and the galleries were fairly filled. A good many came and went during the progress of the service, so that it was rather difficult to estimate the number of the congregation ; but it was reckoned that about a thousand soldiers were present.
Mr. Sankey, accompanied by Mrs. Drummond, Mrs. Douglas, and Mr. Henry Drummond, paid a visit to this hospital at two o'clock, where they were received by a few friends, when they proceeded to the Abercorn ward, and Mr. Sankey, presiding at the harmonium, opened a short service, by leading one of the hymns of “Sacred Songs.” After prayer, offered up by Mr. Henry Drummond, Mr. Sankey gave a most impressive address from the 15th chapter of Luke's Gospel, and then most touchingly sang the beautiful hymn, “ The Ninety and Nine.” Another hymn was then sung by the congregation, and after bidding an affectionate farewell to moet of the patients individually, Mr. Sankey proceeded to the meu's ward, No. 1, downstairs, where he addressed the assembled patients, and with Mrs. Douglas, in the sweetest manner eang Hymn No. 5, “Go, bury thy sorrow,” without any accompaniment.
A Convention of Ministers of the Gospel in Ireland took place on the 24th and 25th of November, in the Exhibition Palace. Upwards of 750 clergymen from all parts of Ireland, and of all denominations, responded to the invitation to take part in the proceedings. The rev. gentlemen occupied a considerable part of the glass building immediately in front of the platform. The other portions of the Palace presented very much the aspect that they have done during the Sunday afternoon services, being crowded with the public, chiefly of the higher and middle classes, but scattered amongst the audience were numbers belonging to the humbler spheres of life. The proceedings commenced at ten o'clock, and lasted until four. For each hour a subject was appointed, and at the expiration of each hour the doors, which had been kept closed during the interval were opened, and a few persons went out, while large numbers who had been eagerly waiting outside availed themselves of the opportunity to pour in like a tide until the doors were shut again. At the commencement of the proceedings, after prayer and praise, Mr. Moody read an apology from Mr. C. H. Spurgeon, London, in which the great preacher invoked a blessing on the meeting, but said that such were his engagements he could not leave England as a matter of choice even if asked to go to heaven.
It may be interesting to note the reception the evangelists met with from the people of Dublin generally, and from the Catholics especially. We have already mentioned that a theatrical performance was stopped, because the audience in the gallery detected, in a stupid joke, an attempt to insult Messrs. Moody and Sankey, and the more intelligent of the Catholics treated them with respect. Cardinal Cullen indeed denounced them; but the Catholic newspapers assumed a very different tone. The Nation said :
“With much regret we notice indications of an attempt to excite the hostility of our Catholic population against the religious services in this city by some Protestant missionaries from America.
We trust we shall not appeal in vain to the spirit of tolerance, of honourable fair play, of respect for conscience, in the breasts of Irish Catholics, when we call upon them to crush the slightest attempt at offensive demonstration against the religious exercises which some sections of the Protestant community are holding under the auspices of the gentlemen we refer to. The deadly danger of the age comes upon us all from the opposite pole: from religious indifference, from scepticism and unbelief, comes from the direction of Huxley, and Darwin, and Tyndall, rather than from Moody, or Sankey, or Hamilton. Irish Catholics desire to see Protestants deeply imbued with religious feeling, rather than tinged with rationalism and infidelity; and as long as the religious services of our Protestant neighbours are honestly directed to quickening religious thought in their own body, without offering aggression or intentional insult to us, it is our duty to pay the homage of our respect to their conscientious convictions; in a word, to do as we would be done by. We Catholics should ever discriminate between the Protestantism of sincere men devoted to their own convictions, but seeking no unjust interference with ours, and the wretched kind of Protestantism' that consists in wanton insult and aggression."
RETURN TO ENGLAND.
After their visit to Dublin, Messrs. Moody and Sankey held their first English meeting at the Oxford Hall, Manchester, on Sunday, the 29th November. The first meeting for Christian workers, at 8 a.m., was attended by at least 2000 persons. In the afternoon the Oxford and Free Trade Halls, which are the largest in Manchester, were both filled with eager, appreciative crowds. Mr. Moody spoke in cach place.
While at Manchester, where daily services and meetings wc "e held, attended by very large numbers of persons, Mr. Sankey addressed the following letter “ To those who are singing the War Song :"
“ DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS,—Permit ine to wish you a very happy Christmas, and that the New Year may be to you even more joyous than the last. What a blessed year eighteen hundred and seventy-four has been to many of us! Truly it has been a Christmas year, so many having received God's great gift to the world, IIis well-beloved Son. Is this not the cause of the great joy we see in the land ? Yea, He bringeth joy into the heart, which the world knoweth not of. I most earnestly hope that all who have, during these times of blessing, found refuge in Christ, will not be content to live just for self alone, but that each one may resolve to put forth an extra effort during the first weeks of the New Year to lead some poor lost sheep to the Shepherd. Thank God it is not so hard now to speak for Jesus. May He give us warm and tender loving hearts to speak from, and may we ever speak of Him and not of ourselves. Christ says, ' And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto Me.' If we cannot speak for Jesus, let us sing of Him. May the sweet message of His love find an entrance into thousands of hearts which are yet barred and bolted against Him who standeth knocking, knocking, even should it reach them only on the wings of sacred song. And while you sing, remember it is the message and not the music that saves the soul. I am glad to be able to tell you that the good work is going on well in Manchester, and many are coming into the light. I might tell of many cases which have come under my own notice, but it would only be the old, old story of the blind getting sight, and the troubled heart finding rest. We do not forget the dear young converts, as we look over our backward track, but always love to remember you in prayer. I want to ask the prayers of all who love the Lord Jesus, that my brother and I may be granted strength and grace to go on in the work now marked out for us while we remain in this country. And pray not only for us, but for all who are labouring in the vineyard, gathering golden sheaves for the Master. And this shall be our hearts' desire for you