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Observer, Feb. 1, '71,


with an earnestness well befitting the grand importance of a work upon which eternity is looking with a deep and silent interest. Bro. Surber and Mr. Carr have received letters from South Australia, stating that he is working beyond his strength, and that soon he must have help. Bro. Surber would go over and help him, but the question is, where will he get a substitute ? Send more than one evangelist over, dear brethren, and surely the Lord will bless you abundantly, and his name will be glorified. We are praying in faith that Bro. Earl may bring two at least, that Mr. Carr may be relieved temporarily by a change of field, and Bro. Surber permanently. Bro. Surber, on account of his long stay in Melbourne, has desired for some time to change his field of labour, and Mr. Carr, on account of his failing strength, desires to work in a colder climate for a season but both of them are at your mercy, dear brethren, and be merciful if you

I do not understand why brave-hearted young men tremble to go over twenty thousand miles from home on a glorious mission. The Lord, is here as well as in Kentucky; warm hearts are beating here as well as in our childhood's home; heaven is just as near; and when life is over, with all its bitter temptations and disappointments, its toils and tears and heart-aches, parent and child, sister and brother, friend and friend, will be gathered to that better home of many mansions to live and love together throughout eternity. It will matter little then that the ocean rolled between us and the loved of earth. It will matter little when whether the spirit laid aside its draggled earth-dress in a strange land or in a home land. Heaven is the spirit's native land, and whether we are in the Northern hemisphere or the Southern, it matters little, if only through the dim windows of the clay-built tabernacle our spirits' longing eyes are ever looking homeward. It requires some severe training for our dull hearts to feel the truth of this, but when felt it stays many a pang that separation from loved ones would otherwise inflict.

Bro. Green, lately from Sidney, has rented a Baptist chapel in Notham for the proclamation of the gospel, and the prospect of success is encouraging. This move will be very advantageous to the church in Carlton, where the first chapel was built. The Carlton chapel has heretofore been almost filled with members ; but now that a place of worship is soon to be opened in Notham, many of them will attend there, and thus more room will be made for strangers in the Carlton chapel. Bro. Green designs holding a protracted meeting at the opening of the chapel, and anticipates help from Mr. Carr and Bro. Surber. Bro. Green is an humble and a faithful worker, and his labours will surely be blessed. God will attend to that, for it is His promise.

I think that I told you in my last of Bro. Surber's successful meeting at Maryborough, a township in a mining district not far from Melbourne, with a population of about four thousand. A fastidious divine (?) of the loyal persuasion, wearing his spotless white neck tie, could not well understand how Jesus was buried neath the waves of the Jordan, and it was terribly indistinct to him when several of his ill-fed, flock wandered to a richer pasture. Bro. Surber laboured during six weeks, preaching almost every evening, and was assisted during the last fortnight by our esteemed Bro. J. P. Wright. The result of the meeting was twenty-six additions by faith and baptism-two from the Baptists; and several who had wandered were brought back to the green pastures. I think that I made a mistake in my last report in regard to the number baptized.

I have just received a letter from Mr. Carr, telling of a bold step that he has taken in Sidney, and of its successsful effects. He will write you of

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Observer, Feb. 1, '71.

it himself. He will be compelled to limit his stay to two weeks. I know two of his classmates that his heart often yearns for, and I believe they love the Saviour and his cause well enough to come over and help him in his weakness. But the circumstances of life now and then write stern decrees that dash to pieces many a cherished plan. May the Lord direct us all in all things, that his name may be hallowed and kingdom extended.

Yours, sincerely, October 7th, 1870.--Apostolic Times.


DEBATE IN BRISTOL-HARRISON v. BRADLAUGH. The Secularists determined to bring about this debate for the purpose of effacing the thorough defeat Mr. Bradlaugh sustained at the hands of Mr. Harrison, in the Newcastle debate. Mr. Harrison, perfectly satisfied with his former complete and clearly apparent victory, did not appear inclined to renew the contest, but the men of the other side insisted and persisted, and he has indulged them, the result being that they sustain a further humiliation. Mr. Harrison, however, refused to defend Christianity—he says his business is to preach it, and live it, and that then he leaves it to defend itself, to do which it is quite able. We should not like all Christians towput it in that way, believing, as we do, that, now and then, some formal defence is proper and needful. But Mr. Harrison attacks Secularism and Atheism, and he refuses to allow Christianity to be dragged in, and he is right. Let it be shown what Secularism is and what it does, and let Atheism be treated on its own merits. We have to hand several newspaper and periodical comments upon the debate. The Sword and Shield records

"A public debate on 'Atheism and Theism' was held in the Broadmead Rooms, Bristol, between the Rev. A. J. Harrison and Mr. C. Bradlaugh. The debate as a whole, and especially allowing for the degree of popular excitement inseparable from public discussion, was admirably good tempered. The close of the discussion, in particular, was marked by a good feeling that won from the Chairman a confident expression of his belief that the debate would do good. There is one matter, however, requiring some explanation. On the first evening of the debate, Mr. Harrison publicly thanked Mr. Bradlaugh for the willingness and grace with which he had consented to discuss the subject apart from Christianity and the Bible. On the second evening of the debate, however, when it was his turn to open the discussion, Mr. Bradlaugh began with an attack on Christianity. Mr. Harrison objected. The Chairman, however, evidently not understanding the nature of Mr. Harrison's objection, ruled that Mr. Bradlaugh was in order. When Mr. Bradlaugh was done, Mr. Harrison explained that when challenged by the Bristol Secular Society, he had declined to discuss Christianity, but consented to discuss Theism apart from the Bible. He also wrote to Mr. Bradlaugh and obtained his consent to debate without any reference to the Bible ; and, therefore, Mr. Bradlaugh, in attacking Christianity, had not kept to his agreement. Now this is a very serious charge against Mr. Bradlaugh, as it amounts to a declaration of breach of faith. It may be that Mr. Bradlaugh, having exhausted himself the first evening found it impossible to proceed without attacking Christianity; but if so, the attack was a waste of time, as, by Mr. Bradlaugh's own confession, Mr. Harrison was not bound to answer him. We trust some explanation can be given. It may be Mr. Bradlaugh meant that he would not expect Mr. Harrison to defend Christianity, reserving the right of attacking if he pleased. In that case, however, Mr. Bradlaugh would proclaim himself a coward, inasmuch as he knew that Mr. Harrison would not debate the subject, he having written to that effect to Mr. Bradlaugh himself, before the debate was decided upon and the dates fixed. As the case stands at present, Mr. Bradlaugh is charged with breach of faith. We ought to add, however, that after Mr. Harrison's reply, Mr. Bradlaugh did not again attack the Bible.”

The Bristol Post gives considerable attention to the debate and says"Professor Newman occupied the chair the first night. Each of the gentlemen taking part in the debate was supported on the platform by ten or twelve friends, and there

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was a large attendance. The Chairman, in opening the proceedings, offered a few instructive remarks, and pointed out that the good or evil arising from that discussion would depend upon how it was conducted. Unfortunately-he supposed he ought not to have used this word, but he had said it--unfortunately, there were a large number of persons who did not believe in what we called a personal God, and if in the present debate each entered upon it with the desire to learn something of the other, they would doubtless draw more closely together, and this could be looked upon as the only chance of converting the believers in Atheism. The debate then commenced, each debater being allowed half an hour. Mr. Harrison, who received almost an ovation from the audience, started the discussion, and explained that it arose out of a previous debate between himself and Mr. Bradlaugh at Newcastle; and by the arrangement mutually arrived at, he was that evening to state his reasons for not being an Atheist, and his opponent was to reply to them; and on the next evening Mr. Bradlaugh was to give his reasons for not being a Theist, and he (Mr. Harrison) was to reply to those reasons. He then proceeded with his objections to Atheism by affirming that Atheism was a negation without morality as a principle,' and 'without evidence as a theory.' Mr. Bradlaugh replied, and at points of his arguments he was quite as londly cheered as his opponent ; but as the debate proceeded, and Mr. Bradlaugh was speaking of the definition of morality as that which tended to the greatest happiness of the greatest number, without doing injury to any,' there were unmistakeable hisses from a large body of those in the centre of the room, and Mr. Bradlaugh said he reckoned hissing to be immoral, because it did not tend to the greatest happiness to the greatest number. (Laughter and cheers). At another point when he was hissed, he told the audience that if they had not the patience to hear him contradict, don't let them attend a debate. He was again hissed when meeting the assertion that God was the regulator of the Universe, and when he was pointing with sarcasm to the prolonged war and suffering on the Continent; and turning with some severity to those who apparently did not deem it unbecoming to hiss in a debate, he asked them with some irony how they could expect him to believe that God regulated the Universe if He did not give them patience enough even to listen with ordinary courtesy to a debate.

The whole of Mr. Bradlaugh's answers anticipated the discussion of the following evening. It was perfectly obvious that he was unwilling to discuss the character of Atheism considered as a negation, and as a negation without morality,' confining himself to the statement of objections to Theism in reply to the last point in the proposition, that Atheism was 'a negation without evidence as a theory. Mr. Harrison, in reply, promised to answer every objection the following night, which was the proper time to do so. Mr. Bradlaugh answered, and closed the first evening's discussion."

On the second night the Daily Press observes

“Last night the discussion between the Rev. A. J. Harrison and Mr. C. Bradlaugh was resumed at the Broadmead Rooms, Professor Newman again presiding. As the disputants and their friends took their seats on the platform they were loudly applauded. According to the terms of the debate, Mr. Bradlaugh opened on this occasion. He urged that it was less moral to preach a truth as truth, not knowing whether it was really true, than it was to earnestly challenge the most solidly established verity. He would deal with the Theism in this country by law established, and he was punishable if he contradicted it. Mr. Harrison objected to such a course being pursued; but the Chairman said the only Theism in this country was the Theism of Christianity, and he ruled Mr. Bradlaugh to be in order. That gentleman remarked he intended to attack this form in his observations. He was not a Theist because he could not accept such a God as was described in the Bible, and his Atheism was better far than all that was stated in that volume. And having gone seriatim through many leading doctrines set forth in the Scriptures, he remarked that the proof of the superiority of Atheism was that Theism had not the slightest permanent influence over men's lives. Theism did not make men honest, true, and keep them from murder; and in the British Empire, where Theism prohibited him from contradicting it by Act of Parliament, there were so many diverse views of it, they could not get twenty preachers out of twenty churches but what would contradict one another in the attributes they gave to God. He further disbelieved in Theism because there was no revelation which God had made to him of His existence. Mr. Harrison, in following his opponent, said he had told Mr. Bradlaugh he would not discuss the question of Christianity, for he held it was quite possible to be a Theist without believing in the Bible and Christianity, and he would discuss Theism so understood, but no other question. He had, moreover, told this to the Bristol Secular Society when challenged, and he declined to be drawn away from the subject decided upon. Neither could he congratulate Mr. Bradlaugh upon his logic; for belief in God is the

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basis, and Christianity the superstructure. To attack the superstructure was useless and a mere waste of time; whereas, if he could prove that there was no God, he would have disproved the Bible at the same time. Mr. Harrison then replied point by point to Mr. Bradlaugh's arguments, so far as they did not drag in the Bible, showing that they were either misconceptions or fallacies, or else had nothing to do with the subject.”

The Blyth Weekly News says“On the first night Mr. Harrison gave 'My reasons for not being an Atheist,' showing that Atheism was a negation without morality as a principle, and without evidence as a theory. One of the conditions of discussion agreed upon was that Mr. Bradlaugh should not draw the Bible and Christianity into the discussion at all ; but this Mr. Bradlaugh at once violated, shirking the question of the negative character of Atheism, and also the question of its morality, and dashing off into his objections to the belief in God and the Bible generally. Mr. Harrison replied, showing that Mr. Bradlaugh was not discussing according to the agreement, and he was proving nothing whatever by his line of argument, and promising to combat his objections to the belief in God, at the proper time, the following night. On the second night Mr. Bradlaugh opened the discussion by giving 'My reasons for not being a Theist, but had evidently exhausted his matter the first night, as his arguments were merely a repetition of what he had said before; so leaving those reasons' he broke his agreement again, and launched again into a wild attack upon Christianity. Mr. Harrison in reply, tore Mr. Bradlaugh's arguments to shreds, that gentleman (Mr. B). showing great astonishment at the arguments which had confounded Mr. Robertson at Edinburgh, being so easily dissected and destroyed by Mr. Harrison."

These recent debates will be useful, because they show the worthlessness of the chief advocate of Secularism. The Bury Debate, (King v. Bradlaugh) proves that he does not hesitate unblushingly to utter and stand by the most bare-faced falsehoods, while the Bristol Debate proves him a trickster ready to force upon his opponent that which was excluded from the agreement. Not only so, but he glories in the trick and publishes the communication of an unprincipled admirer who compliments him upon tact” by which he thus cheated his opponent. In the Reformer he says

“In handing in this contribution Mr. Adams is pleased to say that 'he considers Mr. Bradlaugh’s denunciatory speech in reference to Christian Theism, in the recent discussion at Bristol, one of the most effective bursts of declamatory oratory he has ever read; and he ventures to hope that such a splendid effort, backed as it was by the tact which enabled it to be produced, has entitled its deliverer to the warm approval and increased support of the entire party.'

Thus a leading Secularist declares the Secular party indebted to Mr. Bradlaugh for another instance of characteristic dishonesty.

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In our last, attention was called to the action of certain Disciples of Christ and certain Baptists in Ohio, United States, with a view ultimately to unite, in one body, the two considerable sections of believers. Some of the Disciples of Christ in America view the effort with alarm, fearing that the great principles of the Reformation and of New Testament Christianity are likely to be sacrificed. Of course there is room for caution, particularly when the tendencies of certain preachers are taken into consideration. But conference with a view to union cannot be bad. Statements of what is taught on both sides cannot be wrong. An exhibition of the points on which there is perfect agreement can scarcely work evil. Of course a wrong use might be made of those statements. We cannot unite with the Baptists upon any human creed, however truthful that creed may be. We must take the Bible, and nothing else. Nor is there anything that we can yield to the Baptists for the sake of union. Had we a man-made creed we could modify it, but as it is, we can only invite them to Christianity as it was when the Apostles left the earth. We

Observer, Feb. 1, 71

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have no sectarian designation for ourselves, nor for the churches, but they have, and, therefore, they have merely to relinquish what the Apostles never heard of, and to designate themselves by New Testament terms, and, in that particular, the thing is done. There can be no compromise

-the case does not admit it. And what holds good in this particular will be found to apply to all others. There are points of difference between the Disciples of Christ and the Baptists which belong to a different category, as there are between the Disciples in one place and those in another; but they belong to the region of expediency, and each church settles them for itself.

A recent exchange intimates a social union-gathering thus :- “ On the evening of the 15th inst. there was a social gathering at R. M. Bishop's of Baptists and Disciples-ministers and their wives, and many others

— with a view to the cultivation of better acquaintance in social and religious intercourse. There were about fifty present. We learn that the occasion was a most delightful one, socially and spiritually, and clearly demonstrated how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.' We may as well say here that in Cincinnati the intercourse between these two branches of the family of immersionists is in all respects pleasant and promising. Last Lord's day Brn. Jeffrey and Moore exchanged pulpits. A Union Ministerial Conference is in process of formation, in which the study of the Word of God and mutual deliberation on the best means of pushing the conquests of the cross in this city and vicinity will be the prime objects. The more freely we mingle, the more closely are we drawn together in bonds of Christian fellowship. At the recent Quarterly Meeting of the Baptist Conference for Hamilton county, meeting at Hamilton, a resolution was passed, cordially inviting our brethren to meet with them in their Conferences. Thus, quietly, carefully, but pleasantly, and we trust effectively, are we realizing the desire expressed at Columbus on our part, and heartily reciprocated on the part. of the Baptists, for a more friendly intercourse, in the hope that it may lead to a union of hearts and hands in the work of the Lord. Let all Christians pray for the blessing of God on all these incipient measures for the union of the children of God.”

The Toronto Baptist observes—“We have had occasion of late, to call the attention of our readers to some hopeful indications of the approach of closer relations between Baptists and Disciples. If these two great bodies of Christ's professed followers really have the 'one Lord, one faith, one baptism,' why should the mere difference in name continue to keep them separate ? A true · Baptist' is a Disciple, that is a learner in the school of Christ; and a true · Disciple' is a Baptist, that is, a baptized believer.

Hitherto, there has been scarcely any fellowship between these two sections of Christians in Canada. But we have recently received an important communication from Bro. D. Oliphant, known to many of our readers as an editor and chief preacher among the Disciples in Ontario, which we are sure will contribute to a better understanding. We have read it with interest, and heartily indorse its statements of important Bible truth. After some pleasing personal references, Bro. Oliphant writes :

• With one mind we proclaim that the Divine Man called the Messiah, appears among the Jews at the proper moment—thầt He enters upon and finishes His personal ministry within a few months--that His ministry includes His miracles, His sacrifices, His rising again, His words of

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