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THE FREE CHURCHES.i .I

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THE FREE CHURCHES. i (B, Our London Correspondent.) TBEt NATIONAL FREE CHURCH COTTNCIII. Sufficient time has elapsed aince the meet5 iugs of the National Free Church Council at Leeds last month to calmly sum up their significance and influence. An aid to this will be tie April number of the Free Church Chronicle, which is practically full of the meetings. In addition to a lengthy summary of the proceedings, a number of impressions have been collected, which, coming as they do from men of standing in the Free Church world, are decidedly interesting. The Presi- dent (Dr. Rendel Harris), who delighted everyone with his humour and wisdom, thus not up the meetings ID PRESIDENT'S IMPRESSIONS. M ft. Leeds meetings appear to me to hare been amongst the best we have ever held. The tome was often very high indeed, and there was an almost unbroken current of good feeling, unless, perhaps, when half the audience, together with the President, were kept out in the cold, waiting for the Doxology at the end of a long sermon. Odium theo- loficurn was phenomenally absent, but there was no indifference on great issues, but a quiet determination to let that abide in us which we had heard from the beginning. In tike spiritual exercises, in the care for suffer- ing humanity at home and abroad, and in the direction of necessary business, we felt that the Lord was with us of a truth. So we returned home with Hie praise in our mouths 88d hearts." THE DKLEGATS'S POINT OF VIEW. Of course, it must be difficult for men to whom great meetings are an everyday occur- rence to feel the same enthusiasm as the ordinary rank and file of delegates. One who has attended the National Council gathering for years, who has been present constantly at great meetings, has listened often to front- rank speakers, cannot quite realise what an epoch-making event it is for a country dele- gate, toiling in a lonely furrow in some parson-ridden and squire-ruled village, where nothing happens, to be able for the first time to attend the National Council, to be caught up in the current of the throbbing world of the Free Churches, to be carried to heights of inspiration and devotion by the most spiritually minded preachers among the Churches, and to return with rekindled zeal and courage after a week's communion with kindred spirits drawn together in one great United national movement. To many the National Council is the event of a lifetime. Tlheir impressions are indelible. THE MEETINGS AND THE NEW THEOLOGY." One could easily perceive that the atmos- phere of the meetings was charged with the recent theological agitations, and many an- ticipated that the air would be cleared by something as violent as the thunderstorm. There was great curiosity to hear what Mr. Campbell would say; the New Theology," though not on the programme, could not be hidden away, and there were bound to be references to it. Mr. Campbell came, was re- ceived chivalrously and I stened to attentively. With considerable courage he laid before an assembly not disposed to hear him gladly a scheme vast in conception and revolutionary in character—a scheme for the establishment of an inclusive federation for all the Churches. With the exception of a few indi- vidual interrupters, Mr. Campbell received a splendid hearing, but it is unquestionable tihat the thinly veiled references to the old theology as against the New were more te the taste of the delegates, and the fervour with which they joined in singing the grand old hymns of the Church on the Cross and tlie Atonement were meant to convey their convictions of warm adhesion to the Gospel as orthodoxly received. This, of course, may be only an individual impression, but it seemed to the writer that the Leeds meetings gave vent to the feelings and brought relief to many who had been filled with apprehen- -vionis as to the shifting groundworks of faith. OFFICIAL RECORD OF THE MEETINGS. It is certain that many of the papers and addresses which were delivered at Leeds de- serve more permanent attention than the plaudits of an excited meeting. It is well that a verbatim report is made of these items. The Free Church Year Book," which can, tains the official report of the meetings, will be published by the National Council in a week or two. In addition to the verbatim reports of the sermons, papers, etc., and an account of the year's work, a section is de- voted to Free Church information. The statistics of the various denominations are given, as well as a table comparing theee with the figures'of the Church of England. Various lists of Free Church Council secre- taries, colleges and schools, social and philan- thropic societies and organisations, etc., make the book invaluable to Free Churchmen. In spite of the new features introduced this year, the price remains at 2s. 6d. REV. THOMAS LAW AND AMERICA. For several years past the Rev. Thomas Law, the secretary of the National Free Church Council, has been urged to visit America, but lkjw not hitherto been able to spare time for .the work in England. He is now arranging a slmrt visit to the United States, and leaves Liverpool next Tuesday along with Mr. C. F. Aked, who is about to undertake the respon- sibilities of his American pastorate. Arrange- mente are being made for a reception to Mr. Law on April 22, which will be attended by the ministers of New York and Brooklyn and a number of leading laymen from New York. Mr. Law will go to Providence, R.I., Boston, Chicago, Pittsburg, and Washington. He is to have an interview with the President of the United States, and among other things he will present the thanks of the Congo Re- form Association for the good work Mr. Roose- velt has been able to accomplish in the direc- tion of Congo Reform. On his return in May Mr. Law will be accompanied by Gipsy Smith, the National Council's evangelist, who has had such a remarkable tour in the United States. SUGGESTED CONGO SUNDAY. Rev. Thomas Law, secretary of the National Council, has just sent a letter to the 900 Free Church Councils in England and Wales suggesting that on Sunday, April 14, special sermons should be preached having reference to the position on the Congo. All Free Church miniaterks are urged to join in this simulta- neous effort to bring the terrible state of affairs on the Congo before British Nonoen- formists. WELSH CONVENTION. I hear that arrangements have been made for the holding of a Convention for the deep- ing of Spiritual life at Aberystwyth during the week commencing June 10. These meetings will serve for the whole of Wales, and it is intended that sermons shall be preached and addresses delivered in both Wel>h and English. In addition to the leading ministers of the Principality, several Englkli leaders will be present Dr Rendel Harris, a, President of the National Council, will preside. No doubt many English Free Churchmen will arrange to spend their holidays at Aberystwyth during M? holding of tbsce uutttings. B. J. M.

WORDS OF WISDOM.

HINTS FOR THE HOME.

NICE DISHES.

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