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tioned again in Hull, and from Hull he was removed to Liverpool. To a superstitious mind there might seem something ominous in this; and to a mind free from superstition it was forcibly suggestive of the closing of life's circle. This was the impression imparted : " Here you began your life as a preacher ; here, in all probability, it may be the will of God that you should end it.” This reflection did not exactly make his heart sad, but it certainly filled it with solemn feeling.
His heart, however, was made sad from another cause. Thirty-seven years had elapsed since he first knew Liverpool, thirty since he had received
his second appointment to it, and during the interval what had been the history of our denomination in the town? The town itself had grown prodigiously; hundreds of thousands had been added to its population ; but, instead of our denomination growing with its growth, there had been decline and decay unto death. A few years previous to his coming especially, disaster after disaster had befallen us. One of our places of worship (Oakleigh) had been burnt down; another (Chatham Place) had been sold to the Independents; the principal one (Bethesda, Hotham Street) had also been disposed of; and a fourth (Bevington Hill) was in the market for sale. It would not be difficult to trace out the causes which led to this sad con
dition of things; they were partly of human origin, and partly beyond human control. The effect of such a state of things, however, from whatever cause proceeding, could not but be depressing. They were so to the writer, and for a time he felt like one whose heart had died out of him.
But amidst all, there was something to encourage. And what encouraged him greatly was the noble way in which some of the friends bore their Church misfortunes, They did not desert the cause, nor did they adhere to it despondingly. Like the fabled Phænix, they sought to rise renewed and strengthened out of their ashes. Of course the sale of the chapels, while involving a considerable pecuniary loss compared with what had been expended upon them, yet left a residue of considerable amount wherewith to begin fresh operations. But why should the future be better than the past ? What security is there that the failure which has been our lot shall not be repeated ? Thus some reasoned, and sought a religious home in other communions; nor could they be excessively blamed for so doing. But others had braver hearts, and acted a braver part. An eligible site of land was attainable, but prompt action was required or it would be lost. That prompt action, to their honour be it recorded, was taken by our friends Mr. Joseph Robinson and Mr. Joseph Wade, and by it they secured for us one of the best situations for a place of worship in Liverpool. As has been stated in this Magazine before, the plot of land purchased is situated at the top of St. Domingo Vale, Breckfield Road North, Everton. It contains nearly 2000 square yards, and was bought for £2,235. At this point the writer came into the circuit. As speedily as practicable, the property was settled on our Connexional trust-deed, and a body of trustees appointed, who at once proceeded to execute the work they had taken in hand. Mr. Hill, of Leeds, was chosen architect, and the kind of structure decided upon is seen in the engraving that accompanies this account.
It was determined to proceed first with the schools, that in them Divine worship might be conducted while the church was erected. On the 13th of December, 1869, the writer had the honour to lay the first stone of these schools. Those interested in recalling the proceedings of the occasion may do so by referring to this Magazine for January, 1870.
On May 29, 1870, the school was opened for worship and religious instruction. The services were well attended, and the collections amounted to about £90.
Instead of laying the first stone of the chapel with ceremony, the trustees decided to have a memorial stone in the front of the building. On Monday, September 12th, 1870, this stone was deposited in its place by the treasurer of the building furd, Mr. Joseph Wade--an honour most cheersally accorded to him for the valuable help he had in various ways given to the undertaking. The proceedings of the ceremony are given in the Magazine for October, 1870.
In July, 1871, the entire edifice was completed, and the dedicatory serrices were commenced by a meeting for prayer on the morning of Thursday, the 20th of that month. In the evening, the Rev. Samuel Hulme preached the first sermon within its walls. The initiatory services were continued the two following Sundays by the Revs. J. Hudston, J. Medicraft, J. H. Robinson, J. L. Fox, with Dr. Macleod (Presbyterian), and the Rev. F. J. Sharr and Dr. Lyth (Wesleyans). These services were closed with a public tea-meeting, held on Monday, July 31st. After tea, the meeting adjourned to the chapel
, and was presided over by Henry Atherton, Esq., dow of Bouthport.
The dedicatory services were of a delightful character: congregations good, pulpit ministrations excellent, and collections liberal, amounting to about £200, exclusive of profits from the tea, provisions for which were given. What was recorded at this period the writer wishes now to repeat: “Never was a house built for God with more unanimity than this.” From the beginning to the end of the work all engaged in it were of one heart and of one mind. When differences of views occurred, they were adjusted
by friendly conversation, and all immediately concurred in the decision come to. The writer does not remember a single exception to this statement. And the material building, raised with such harmony of judgment and feeling, gave the greatest satisfaction when completed. With its beauty and commodiousness all were charmed, and the feeling of satisfaction also extended to the excellent manner in which the contractor, Mr. Thomas Cheetham, fulfilled his work. A house for God shabbily built is an offence alike to piety and good taste.
The account of the recent effort to reduce the debt on the estate, given at the close of this, will show what has been done by the friends in the way of giving. To this summary statement a few details may be added.
As stated in Mr. Longbottom's report, the cost of the entire estate, land and buildings, has been £7092 6s. 7d. Towards that, the sales of Bethesda and Chatham Place Chapels yielded the sum of £2766 8s. 1d. And then a grant of £500 made to Bevington Hill Chapel some years ago, but which had not been paid, was transferred to this interest by direction of Conference. Only £430 nett, however, came to the new estate, the balance being required to pay a loan on Bevington Hill. These two sums make a total of £3196 8s. 1d., and that subtracted from £7092 6s. 7d., leaves to be found a balance of £3895 18s. 6d. Towards this the Ladies' Sewing Meeting made grants to the total of £196 18s. 9d. By two bazaars were raised £264 6s. 7d. So that to the present effort, but not including it, the estate had received from the exertions of the ladies the sum of £461 5s. 4d. From subscriptions, collections, gifts from Sunday-school, and bank interest, there had been contributed £1459 19s. 4d. This will show how the finances of the estate stood up to the time when the bazaar was held in December, 1874, an account of which follows this narrative. There is a mortgage of £2000 upon the estate. A year ago it was decided to form a redemption fund, as it is called, to make preparation for paying off at least half the mortgage, which was taken for ten years definite, when it became due. The sums paid to this fund are deposited in the bank in the names of Messrs. J. Robinson, J. Wade, and W. Shone. The Ladies' Sewing Meeting contributed £40 to begin with, and some £50 more had been invested by the trustees out of their ordinary income.
No public record has hitherto been given of the ladies to whose devotedness the trust estate is so much indebted. As this defect is due to the writer, he wishes now to remedy it, not in the spirit of mere adulation, but of sincere esteem-for the services of these ladies have been such, and still continue to be such, that their names deserve to be had in lasting remembrance. The list comprises Mrs. Joseph Robinson, treasurer ; Mrs. J. R. Williams, secretary ; Mrs. Hudston, Mrs. Wade, Mrs. Hamner, Mrs. Shone, Miss Hart, Mrs. Neil, Mrs. Delamere, Mrs. E. Roberts, Mrs. T. Roberts, Mrs. Henderson, Mrs. Cuff, Mrs. Asbury, Mrs. Lee, Mrs. Green, Mrs. Carr, Mrs. Howell. With these matrons are associated a good number of younger ladies, who, we have no doubt, will excuse the mention of their names. The list as given contains the names of those who constituted the Sewing Meeting at the beginning; of course other ladies have been added subsequently, but the writer has not the complete list, and for fear he should omit any whose names ought to be inserted, he refrains trom putting them down from memory. On some suitable occasion his successor will no doubt give them the honourable mention they deserve.
So much for the material structure. What can be said about spiritual results? These certainly must be regarded as all-important. Well, for them there is abundant cause for thankfulness, God has not withheld His blessing from the labours of His servants. Both in the church and the Sunday-school there has been prosperity, and prosperity of a very cheering kind. The liberality of the friends has been most praiseworthy. For their number and means, very few surpass them in their contributions for religious and benevolent purposes. While struggling to provide themselves with a home, and free it from burdensome encumbrances, they have not been un
mindful of the mission cause, nor of our various Connexional institutions. Surely their generous giving will, by the Divine blessing, be fruit which will abound to their account!
In closing this account, the writer feels bound by a sense of gratitude to the friends with whom for five years he was associated in Christian fellowship and work, to mention to their honour what for personal reasons he would rather not name. As the time of his ministry was approaching its necessary termination, unknown to bim, in their liberal minds they devised liberal things, and presented him with a testimonial of money and plate to an amount never before given in our community by a single congregation. It is not his habit to practise a mock humility, he never seeks to depreciate his services beyond his consciousness of their worth, but while he knows he sympathised with the friends in all their difficulties and struggles, an d gave them the best help his intelligence and energy enabled him to do, yet their kindness to him and his during the whole time of his ministry surpassed bis deserts, and was most refreshing to his spirit; while the munificence of the crowning act of it filled him with wonder as well as joy, and made him feel that he should erer be indebted to those who for the spiritual things he had given them, could so generously return to him of their temporal things.
With this preliminary narrative we refer with pleasure to the following account from the Rev. W. Longbottom of the
EFFORT TO REDUCE THE DEBT ON ST. DOMINGO CHAPEL AND SCHOOLS
So far as the progress of a denomination depends upon subordinate means, there are none more important than the erection of suitable chapels, and the speedy placing of them in an easy financial position. There is a natural gratification in attending chapels which are commodious and plea sant looking, and it is difficult, especially in towns where much choice of accommodation is offered to people, to draw them to those which are comfortless and uninviting: It is also important that the debts left upon chapels at the time of their erection should be as small as possible, and that they should be extinguished as soon as practicable. The stronger denominations show an increasing regard to these conditions, nor can the smaller denominations, except to their own great loss, afford to disregard them. In the erection of our new chapel in Liverpool the first of these conditions has been fairly regarded, and the second, I trust, has now a brighter prospect of accomplishment.
I find by a reference to the treasurer's book, that the total cost of the St. Domingo Chapel and Schools has been £7092 6s. 7d. This includes a spacious freehold site, with a valuable house upon it, purchased at the price of £2235. The mortgage on the estate is £2000. There is also a slight temporary loan remaining to be removed.
Some time back the trustees resolved to form a redemption fund with a view to the payment of the mortgage at the time it falls due, but without fixing upon a definite plan for the working out of this resolve. The amount deposited in the bank up to last July was £90. The Ladies' Sewing Meeting which, from the commencement of our cause at St. Domingo has rendered valuable help to the trustees, decided to help the fund by a bazaar. This was opened December 16th, 1874, and was continued the two following days. The secretary, Mr. Wm. Shone, reports the nett sum cleared to be £361 13s. 11d. This has more than equalled our expectation, and considering the number of our friends and the continuous effort they have had to make the last few years, testifies to their industry and liberality. We have had few expenses, for the cost of cleaning and beautifying the large school-room, erecting and covering the stalls, has been generously borne by J. Robinson, Esq. In the same way also we have been relieved of the expense of the printer's bill. The amount realised by the bazaar
has been further augmented by £40, the proceeds of the sewing meeting during the year. The redemption fund now stands at £500.
I irust that with this successful commencement of the fund our friends will be encouraged to persevere in their efforts until the estate is practically clear of debt. Better still if they keep in view the entire extinction of the debt, for then there will be a free house on the estate which, if too large for the minister to occupy, will more than cover the cost of the convenient house in which he now lives. The precise form these efforts for the reduction of the debt will take is not at present determined; but I hope each year will witness something done. However modest the diminution of one year may be, it leaves so much less to be done the year following, and in such proportion makes the ultimate extinction more practicable. If our chapel debts could only be reduced five per cent. per year, in a comparatively limited time our chapels would be free. But the probability is that when a congregation begins earnestly to grapple with a debt it will fall by a much more rapid process than by five per cent. stages.
Allow me respectfully to urge upon our friends in Liverpool who have been engaged in this effort to keep in view a free chapel and a free manse. May I apply the appeal to our circuits generally. They will then be able more generously to support their church institutions, and will be stronger by far to sustain aggressive enterprises.
WOLVERHAMPTON. Our chapel in this town has been burdened with debt for a long time. The last Conference made such an offer of financial help as induced the friends to set seriously about reducing their liabilities by the sum of £1070. The efforts culminated in special services held on Sunday and Monday last, January 10th and 11th. Sermons were preached on the Sunday by the Revs. J. Pritchard and E. Franks. Above 300 attended the public tea on the Monday. The public meeting was most enthusiastic and successful. The Rev. 1. G. Horton (Congregationalist), and the Rev. G. Hallatt, a former superintendent of the circuit, gave addresses. The Mayor (a Churchman) called Mr. J. Whitehouse, treasurer of the building fund, who said that, owing to serious difficulties with the contractor, and with legal expenses, the cost of the premises had amounted to nearly £5000, and for some time the debt had been standing at £2700; and as the building had been erected for the good of the population around, he had good ground for asking public support. Rev. E. Franks then said that he had received from all sources £878 10s. 60.- viz., Conference grant £350, several donations of £50 and £25 and smaller sums, and one of £100. Sunday's collections and tea about £50. Mr. E. Sunderland, of Birmingham (Wesleyan) was the next speaker, and he challenged the congregation to make up what was required there and then, and he would give £50, or, if there was an absolute necessity, £85, leaving £100 for the congregation. Rev. E. Franks said he would undertake to get £50. The Mayor added £5 to the 10 guineas he had given. A lady handed a £5 note; others sent in their names for guinea, half-guinea, and two-guinea subscriptions. Mr. W. H. Jones (Congregationalist), ex-mayor, gave an address, and added £2 to his former £5; and it was announced that the total had been promised and the £1070 were realised. Rev. J. Pritchard (Primitive) then addressed the meeting, and another or two of Sankey's hymns were sung. The usual votes of thanks were given, and the meeting closed with prayer by Rev. G. Hallatt.
LEICESTER, DEAR MR. EDITOR.— I gladly avail myself of your promise to allow me a little space for a few lines about our effort to extinguish the debt of £1200