Virginia annual Conference
--Third Day. In the Conference, Friday, proposition was made to pledge the members of the different congregations for contributions of twenty-five cents each towards the erection of a church in Washington
Some ministers seemed to doubt the expediency, in view of the present revolutionary state of affairs.
said that as this church was to be built in the Virginia Conference
, it was expected in the South
that this Conference would do a great deal towards that object.--This enterprise was one of great interest.--Numbers of members of the Southern Church visited Washington
, some of them were in Congress.
He wished there were more Christian men there, (Amen.) The ground occupied by the Church
South, was the conservative ground — suitable a like to Kansas
, to Virginia
and to Maryland
--(a voice, and Maine
,) yes, to Maine
, and if anything will suit all New England
, to all New England
It was not proposed to ask any one for a contribution, a quid pro quo
was given in every instance, and more than a quid
for each quo.
Rev. Mr. Edwards
expressed a desire to discuss the question, but said that as the session had already been lengthened, he would prefer to do so to-morrow.
On his motion, the subject was laid on the table.
During the day, in passing the characters of ministers, the name of Wm. P. Twyman
.--‘"Anything against Brother Twyman I"’
, P. E.--‘"Nothing."’
.--‘"Let him ire"’.
P. E.--‘"He has retired from labors to rewards — he is dead!"’
He was faithful and died triumphantly.--[Tears fell freely during the allusion to his last hours.
paid a feeling tribute to his memory.
Shortly afterwards, the Conference adj'd.
On the re-assembling of the Conference Saturday
, the case of the Washington Church was again brought up, by a proposition to sell the pictures--"The Methodist Pulpit of the South
"--for its benefit.
opposed the resolution, on general grounds.
He stated his opinions with reluctance; but he was opposed, as he had always been, to the general policy which had been pursued on "the border." He thought it had been aggressive, and such as gave encouragement to faction.
He argued that the effect had been unhappy, and that the present estrangement between us and the Baltimore Conference, when events had otherwise brought us to common ground, is the proof of the mistake.
He defended himself in advance, and with spirit against any suspicion of disloyalty to his Church or to his State.
He eloquently referred to his ancestry and his Virginia
birth, and to the education Virginia
gave him at her Military Institute, and the oath of allegiance with which he had confirmed his inborn loyalty; an allegiance which he was ready to vindicate at her command anywhere, and at any time, and even with the arms which she had taught him to use. [Sensation.]
W. disapproved the formation of a Southern Methodist Church at Washington city
He thought the arguments by which it was defended insufficient.
But if such a Church shall be there, they should be content with a Church adequate to their necessity,
not a splendid edifice to gratify pride.
W. was also opposed to the mode
of raising the money.
Not because of his indifference as to pictures
--but he objected to the private character of the enterprise.
Suppose Mr. Smithson
, on whom everything depended, should died.
The enterprise would die with him.
deeply regretted the course of remark adopted by Mr. Wheelwright
He argued that the Virginia Conference
was deeply committed to the enterprise of a Church in Washington
The engraving, the sale of which the resolution was designed to promote, is a credit to the brother who had got it up--‘"a thing of beauty is a joy forever."’ This picture was such.
Shall we now, when the foundations of the Church
are about to be laid, turn upon ourselves, and discredit our own nearly fulfilled purpose?
He was astonished and pained at the course of remark to which we had listened.
Are we ready, brothers of the Virginia Conference
, thus to strike down and dishonor our own cherished enterprise?
[Voices--‘"No!"’ ‘"No!"’ ‘" No, sir!"’]
He, too, had been in the border war. He had nothing to reproach himself for, but he was no longer a warrior.
He fought no more.--His were now the calling and the arts of peace.
The fight was over.
His own Church and her sister Church now might gather golden harvests where had been the fields of strife.
He wanted a church in Washington
— he hoped some day to serve it himself.
Me wished to help the enterprise.
He would support the resolution, and carry out what he understood to be its purpose.
He appealed earnestly and eloquently to the Conference to give heart and hand and praises to the work, and stand up cordially and affectionately to the noble hearted man (Mr. Smithson
) who had given himself to this most laudable enterprise.
Without concluding the subject, the Conference adjourned.