The New Zealand Evangelist
Wellington — Annual Meeting Of The Evangelical Alliance.—
Annual Meeting Of The Evangelical Alliance.—
On Monday Evening, the 7th ult., the first Annual Meeting of the Wellington Branch of the Evangelical Alliance was held in the Scotch Church, Lambton Quay, the Rev. John Inglis in the Chair. After devotional exercises, the Chairman recapitulated the principles and objects of the Alliance, and gave a brief sketch of its history down to the latest accounts received in the colony. In the unavoidable absence of the Secretary, Mr. Woodward, the Rev. James Watkin read the following report for 1848–9:—
The Committee of the New Zealand Evangelical Alliance have much pleasure in presenting to the members their first Report. It is short but upon the whole, satisfactory.
The existence of the Evangelical Alliance, embracing as it does so many of the Evangelical Churches of both the Old and the New World, is one of the wonders of this wonderful age. We live in an extraordinary period, and many things now occurring are startling, and some of them painful; but that to which we now refer is, on the contrary pleasing. The progress towards union among Evangelical christians, was a fact which in due course became known in these “ends of the earth,” and the desire to co-operate in the good work was incited or strengthened in many breasts, in Van Diemen's land, and in this land, at least, in this place. Substantial unity, we are happy to say, existed among such as could be expected to act in concert, but it was thought that a more formal union would subserve the cause of Christ, and the Evangelical Allianc was formed. The union them formed has not been broken, nor has it, we are happy to say, been interrupted.— It may be asked—“What good has it done? “If in reply to this we had to acknowledge that but little good had been done, still there would be cause for “thanking God and taking courage.”—Some evil has been prevented. some good has been effected.— Christians of different denominations have been brought into con-page 287tact, and have found out the fact that upon small points, they differ from each other, that on main questions they are agreed.— Many delightful meetings have been held, in which the presence of the Prince of Peace has been felt; and the peace of Jerusalem has been prayed for, it is hoped not without effect. Among the positive benefits conferred upon this district by the formation of the Alliance must be mentioned, the Bible and Tract Societies now in active operation, and by which the Best Book, and various religious publications have been diffused in considerable numbers, and thus a very pressing want has been met. But for this Alliance these supplies; of books might not have been forthcoming of two consignments we may speak positively.
The British and Foreign Bible Society (to which be all honour) have sent out two consignments of Bibles and Testaments. The first at the instance of Mr. G. Hart, to the care of Mr. Woodward, of the value of £69, 4s. 5d. The second was despatched at the instance of the Rev. Mr. Ironside, and is of the value of £30, making a total of £99,4s. 5d. which will be repaid to the parent society in due course. The consignments included more than 1300 volumes. From the British and Foreign Tract Society books to the amount of £53 1s, 6d have been received, besides a free grant of Tracts to the amount of £7. The Committee desire to express their gratitude to this useful Society, and confidently anticipate that much good will result from the diffusion of so many vehicles of religious and entertaining knowledge. The Committee are happy to state that Mr. W. Lyon kindly acceded to the request that he would act as Depositary. and that the Holy Scriptures and the Tract Society's publications are to be procured at his Store.
In connection with the Alliance the New Zealand Evangelist was commenced, and in one other month will have completed its first year, (its being continued longer is a question.) That it should have lasted so long, is we believe, a thing unprecedented in the Australian Colonies. All former efforts to establish a perodical, religious, scientific, or entertaining having died before the completion of the first year. We may therefore congratulate the Alliance upon having achieved something. In connection with this subject however, the Committee have to express their fears that it must be given up. If the requisite support can be obtained the Editors are willing to continue their disinterested labours, but if not they must decline publishing the Evangelist. No pecuniary loss is likely to be sustained by the publication for the current year.
The Committee have to announce their regret at losing the Rev. S. Ironside, who was Secretary to the Book and Publication Schemes, they hope however, that his removal will subserve the great object they have at heart, that is, the promotion of true religion, and the diffusion of saving knowledge.
The Union begun, the Committee hope will be continued, and that in this place the beautiful picture of Unity drawn by the Psalmist will be realized,
“Behold how good and pleasant it is for Brethern to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that page 288 ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to to the skirts of his garment.
“As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.”
The Meeting, which was numerously and respectably attended, was afterwards addressed by the Rev. Messrs. Green, and Watkin, Mr. Tomlin, and the Chairman, on the importance and necessity of earnest prayer and active efforts to secure success for the great objects contemplated by the members of the Alliance.
The following Office-bearers were elected for the ensuing year:—President, Rev. John Inglis; Treasurer, Rev. James Watkin; Secretary, Mr. Jonas Woodward; Committee, Revs. H. Green, J. Aldred, Messrs. Wilson, Edwards, Quin, Lewis, Hunt, Booth, Tomlin, Crowther, Fisher, Blyth, G. P. Wallace, Marshman, with power to add to their number.
Before the close of the meeting the Rev. J. Watkin called attention to the imminent peril to which the religion, and the morality, and all the best interests of the settlement would be exposed, if the proposed measure of Earl Grey were carried out, and Convicts under the name of Exiles, or Ticket-of-leave men, were introduced into New Zealand; and he moved that a Committee consisting of the members of the Committee of the Evangelical Alliance, and others, be appointed to make arrangements for holding a public meeting, or for taking whatever steps they might consider most advisable for securing the settlement against this threatened calamity. This was unanimously agreed to, and a Committee was appointed.
This Committee have put themselves in communication with the Magistrates and other influential parties, and are using their utmost endeavours to array as much as possible of the moral strength of the community against an evil the greatest by far that ever threatened this settlement or this country.Printed at the Office of the "Wellington Independent," Corner of Willis-street and Lambmon Quay.