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Layman's Convention.
third day--evening session.

Staunton, Va., March 16th, 1861.
The Convention assembled at 7 1-2 P. M.--After the usual religious exercises, the minutes were read and approved.

R. Stockett Matthews, of Baltimore, addressed the Convention. He came here to represent East Fairfax Circuit. He would plead for the Church. He thought something must be done, but he was not for immediate secession. The New Chapter was an evasion by the General Conference of that which they had neither the courage nor the power to accomplish by law. Tear out everything from the Discipline on Slavery, but let us wait until a request for this can be accepted or refused.--Then, Maryland and Virginia can go hand in hand; otherwise, we must part.

Judge Bend came to save the Church on the Border. Baltimore was for secession. He was not for delay. The life of the Church was at stake. Sixteen years delay have but imposed new burdens. The General Conference will do nothing for us. Delay one year and the Virginia membership will have gone to other Churches for rest. If we separate, and the General Conference abrogates the Chapter, he was for return to the M. E. Church. In law we are entitled to our property, and the Courts will sustain us in our demand. He believed all Baltimore would stand by our action. He believed that cessation of the slavery agitation would check fanaticism and disunion.

John C. Harkness, of Washington city, said that hither to he had been laboring for division. Now he must cease those efforts. In view of the fact that without compromise we must be ruined, he was for delay. He then offered a substitute for all plans before the Convention. This paper proposed one year's delay, and pledged for separation then, if the fullest redress was not given.

Mr. Daniel, of Baltimore, was willing to go for any plan by which separation could be delayed one year — otherwise the plough share is run through Baltimore and the District of Columbia. The old, honored men of Baltimore are now on their knees pleading with God for the unity of the Church. Brethren, don't go yet! He quoted from Calhoun, Clay, and Webster, to show the disastrous effects of separation in Church upon the State.

S. V. Taylor, of Springfield, Va., thought he knew the disease of Virginia better than the Baltimore lawyers. He reviewed the work in Virginia, and plead for the life of the Church. This was to be preserved by immediate separation. Baltimore might suffer, but would not be slain. But we of Virginia must go!

The discussion was continued by W. Smith and Col. McPherson, of Virginia, and W. R. Woodward, of Washington, each pleading for one year's delay as necessary to save the Conference.

By a vote of 48 to 41, the Convention adjourned at about 12 P. M.

Saturday--10 o' clock P. M.

The Laymen's Convention passed the majority report about 7 P. M., on Saturday, by a vote of 91 to 32. All the Washington city and Alexandria, and part of the Baltimore delegates voted against it.

Its provisions are:

  1. Separation, immediate, from M. E. Church.
  2. The possibility of a re-union, if during the coming season, the Annual Conferences guarantee an extra General Conference, an ignoring of slavery in the discipline, and the control of a suitable part of the periodicals of the Church by the border.
The Convention adjourned sine die.

The Virginia delegates are elated. The Washington city and many Maryland delegates are much depressed, considering the action too precipitate, and calculated to split their Societies.

The memorial will be offered to the Conference to-morrow.

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