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GOMERY.- PUBLIC MEETING.
PORTRAIT OF THE REV. DR. MONT- all your fellow-men, of whatever party
or creed, have deservedly secured for On Thursday, Jan, 1st, a large and you a proud and enduring place in the most influential meeting was held in grateful estimation of your fellowthe Commercial Buildings, Belfast, citizens. for the purpose of presenting the Rev. “ The occasion in which this presenDr. Montgomery with his portrait, tation originated was one of deep painted by Knight, of London. It is public and private interest. The rea work of great merit: the likeness is ligious rights and congregational proinimitable, and the intellectual pro- perties of a large number of Christian portions are brought out in the most Societies in this country and in Eng. faithful manner.
land were threatened to be invaded, William Sharman Crawford, Esq. under the operation of antiquated peM.P. having taken the chair, read nal enactments. You, Sir, as well the address to the Rev. Dr. Mont- befitted you, took a leading part in gomery, which had been handed to resisting that extraordinary attack; him by the committee who had ar- and we recognised in the triumph of ranged the proceedings of that day. justice and liberty the operation of
your great personal influence and dis“TO THE REV. HENRY MONTGOMERY, LL.D. tinguished abilities. It pleased God
“Rev. and dear Sir,- We, a number to afilict you in the midst of your exof your friends, of different religious ertions with heavy and protracted denominations and political parties, sickness; but even when prostrated have been anxious to procure a good on a bed of suffering, your zeal never portrait of yourself, for the purpose of abated, and your energies never flag. having an engraving made from it, ged; and we recollect, with mingled and presenting the original to your gratitude and amazement, that even family.
then your unbending energies and “With this view, we commissioned cloudless genius manifested themsome gentlemen of our number to selves in a splendid and unanswerable ascertain, among the most eminent refutation and exposure of the oppoartists, one whose style and talents nents of the Dissenters' Chapels Bill, they might think best fitted to produce whereby you disconcerted their proat önce à faithfullikeness, and a work jects, and afforded resistless aid in the of high art. After minute examina- achievement of the glorious triumph tion, these gentlemen judiciously de- of truth and justice which speedily termined to make choice of Mr. Knight ensued. of London, whose picture of you we “At that time it occurred to a have now the
pleasure of presenting; number of us, reflecting upon the unSir, in offering to you this mark certainty of human life, to obtain a of respect, it is scarcely necessary that faithful portrait of you, in order therewe should dwell upon your character by, at the same time, to indicate our and services, both of which aro well respect and gratitude towards yourknown to the public. Though we self, and provide for perpetuating a differ among ourselves, and some of representation of your features, when us, of course, from you, in religious you and we shall have long passed and political opinions, we are fully away. The present painting is the agreed in paying to your private worth, result; and, whilst we request your public merits, and commanding ta- acceptance of it, we fervently pray lents, the strongest tribute of our that the time may be far distant affection, gratitude, and admiration. when the honoured original shall be Whilst in your intercourse with so- no more, but that you may long live, ciety, your example and demeanour happy. in yourself and your family, are calculated alike to improve and receiving, as you must ever do, the delight those who enjoy the honour respect and admiration of your fellowand advantage of your acquaintance, countrymen. your efforts in the maintenance and "(Signed on the part of the subpromotion of the civil liberties, and scribers), religious and social rights, not alone " W. SHARMAN CRAWFORD, Chairman. of those whose opinions and objects
"GEORGE K. SMITH, Secretary. are in harmony with your own, but of "Belfast, Ist Jan. 1846."
The Rev. Dr. MoxtGOMERY then crowned my life with blessings, nor rose, amidst the loudest demonstra- libel my brethren of mankind, who tions of applause, and proceeded to have so abundantly strewn my path read his
“ The very occasion which has “Mr. Crawford, Ladies, and Gen- brought us together, is a sufficient tlemen, my very kind and truly-va- refutation of the calumny sometimes lued Friends,-It is now almost eigh- heaped upon human nature, by those teen years since my earliest exertions who only view it through the jaunin the cause of Religious Liberty were diced medium of their own unworthy spontaneously acknowledged by my spirits ; for you state, in the first senfellow-countrymen in the presentation tence of your Address, that the gratiof a Service of Plate, more valuable, fying distinction now conferred upon I believe, than any testimonial which me has emanated from friends of had ever been conferred upon any different religious denominations and private individual in this province. political parties. Any man of comSix years ago, on my retiring from mon attainments may easily become my Headmastership in the Belfast the idol of a sect or party, by flatterInstitution, your kindness was re- ing their prejudices and passions; but peated in a munificent pecuniary gift; when men of various opinions upon two years ago you more than sus- the two great subjects which most tained all the expenses of my pro- excite the world, concur in heaping tracted illness in London and at favours upon one who has never home : and, this day, in a regular shrunk from the full and open avowal and delightful climax of unwearied of his own religious and political conkindness, you have brought me hither victions, it evinces a forbearance, a to enjoy another testimony of your generosity, and a magnanimity, not continued approbation. So long and so honourable to him upon whom they so perseveringly favoured, I think you are bestowed, as to those by whom will believe me when I say, that it is they are conferred. I tell you, ‘from not in the hackneyed expression of my heart of hearts,' that I prize this gratitude I call this the proudest and token of your approbation infinitely happiest day in my life. Blessed more than I should have done, had it be Almighty God, many, very many, come exclusively from those of my have been my, proud and happy own creed and party; for I perceive days—cheered by the generous af- in this manifestation of kindness tofection of valued friends, and bright- wards myself the happy evidence of a ened by the approbation of the wise, Christian and tolerant spirit, nobly the liberal, and the excellent amongst elevated above all contracted views my beloved countrymen. I know that whilst, at the same time, I cannot it is quite common to speak of man- conceal the honest pride which I exkind as cold, selfish, worthless, and in- perience in looking upon it as a proof sincere; and I cannot deny that there that I have been able, at least in some have been, and that there are, some degree, to accomplish my own consuch men in the world : but they are stant design of so advocating my own only, to the great mass of society, like peculiar sentiments, as never to cast. the small spots which astronomers one unworthy reflection upon the concan perceive upon the face of the glo- scientious convictions of my brethren. rious luminary of day; and which in “I do trust, therefore, that I am not nowise impair its splendour, or di- altogether undeserving of the gratifyminish its benignant influences. The ing terms in which you have spoken world, on the whole, I maintain, is a of my efforts to promote the civil good world, and a kind world í nay liberties and the religious and social must be so, for it is God's own world; rights of all my fellow-men, of whatand although, like others, I have had ever creed and party;' for 'I declare my private sorrows and public anxie- before you, from my inmost soul, that ties, I know that good has so largely I never advocated a right or privilege preponderated over evil and suffering, for myself or my friends, either civil as to make me rejoice in existence, or religious, which I was not most and to feel that ‘it is good for me to anxious to see enjoyed by all my felbe here! I will not, therefore, on low-countrymen, of every creed and account of occasional trials, complain party. I do not deny that I am 'a of that gracious Providence that has strenuous sectarian, and a liberal po
litician; but I can say for myself, in the passing of the Dissenters' Chawhat would equally apply to all those pels Bill, as the occasion in which with whom it is my privilege, gene- their presentation originated,' and to rally, to co-operate, that I hold a prin- speak of my labours in the promotion ciple infinitely exalted above the low of that measure in terms of eulogy, sphere of sect and party-I mean the more suited to your own generous exlove of liberty, and truth, and charity; aggeration of my exertions, than to without which, in my estimation, all the actual value of my services themreligious profession is but a sounding selves. That I laboured zealously, brass,' and all political pretences perseveringly, and amid some discounothing more than the miserable ex- ragement, but with a spirit worthy of hibitions of personal vanity, selfish- a good cause, is quite true: that I renness, or ambition.
dered some service also, I am happy to “ You speak in terms which have believe; but, under God, we owe the setruly reached my heart, of my inter- curity of our properties to a Governcourse with society,' and of the suc- ment magnanimousenough to do an act cess of my efforts to contribute some- of justice to their political opponents thing to the rational and cheering en- -to Christian and enlightened statesjoyments of private life. Whatsoever men of all parties, in both houses of I may have done in this way, has Parliament to the disinterested supbeen but a poor return for courtesies port all our Catholic, and many of and hospitalities as kind, and disinte- our Protestant countrymen — and, I rested, and gratifying, as ever man firmly believe, in no small degree, to experienced, amidst enlightened and the uncompromising pertinacity with generous friends-manifestations of which our opponents declined meeting social kindness extending, uninter- every overture for a settlement on the ruptedly, over more than thirty years principles of substantial justice. I of a somewhat chequered life, whose often think of the sad scenes through anxieties have been always soothed which I then passed, as upon a trouby your sympathies, and whose sunny bled dream—wondering how we were days have been rendered still brighter ever assailed, but wondering, still by your smiles. In my estimation, more, how we ever obtained protec. there is nothing in true religion incon- tion. Those sad scenes cannot fade sistent with the innocent hilarity and from my memory; but the irritation pleasing converse of social life. On of conflict, thank God, has died within the contrary, these things recreate my heart; and, if I cannot yet enthe mind, expand the generous affec- tirely recall my esteem for those who tions of the heart, ripen ordinary ac- would have left me without a temple quaintance into lasting friendships, or a home, for no crime but the honest and prepare men to return with re- worship of my Creator, I can, at least, novated energies, to the anxious and obey our great Master, by 'forgiving important duties of the world. It is them from my heart ! often incumbent upon a minister of “ Your reference to the alarming the gospel-indeed, it is his blessed indisposition by which I was visited privilege—to mingle in scenes of sor- in London, during the crisis of the row- to weep with those that weep.' Chapels Bill, and your too flattering -to bind up the broken hearts that estimate of my mental labours, whilst are bursting around him: and bles- my wasted body seemed to be lying on sed be God, he has seasons of abun- the brink of the grave, afford me the dant compensation, when he is not opportunity which I have long deonly permitted, but commanded, to sired, of assuring you and the world rejoice with those that do rejoice.' that I look back to that illness with When, therefore, I enter the happy feelings of unbounded gratitude tohome of social kindness, and contri- wards God and man; and that I shall bute my share to the increase of its ever consider it, in all its attendant innocent enjoyments, I feel that I am circumstances and results, as preno more violating any religious duty eminently sanctified and blessed. Althan I should be in visiting the house though suddenly struck down in the of mourning,' to pour the balm of heart of a great city, I soon experiChristian consolation into the wound- enced among strangers the symed spirit of the distressed.
pathy of friends in all around me ; "You have been pleased to refer to whilst the first in office and in station the great act of justice consummated manifested a soothing interest in my recovery; and not only you, Sir, year 1846 ever dear to their memowhose general political views are my ries; and I trust that it will not only own, but several of my warm-hearted encourage them all (especially my countrymen, equally opposed to me in sons), but many others in more imreligion and politics, pressed around portant stations, to hold fast their in. my bed of suffering, as if you had all tegrity,' amidst all the changing been brothers of my blood, with the scenes of the world. look and the voice of unfeigned kind- “Permit me to say, in conclusion, ness, and with liberal offers of service, that, whilst I ascribe the glowing to any extent and in any way which language in which you have been I might require. And then, when pleased to speak of my talents, exermy strength and my spirit failed, and tions, and character, to the pardonthere was no hope in life, my ever- able exaggeration of generous friendgenerous friends of this town and ship, I, at the same time, heartily reneighbourhood, with a promptitude joice in its expression by so numerous and liberality worthy of their ex- a body of the most enlightened, estipanded hearts, sent my eminent and mable, and influential members of confidential Physician to London, and society, as a delightful evidence that thereby, under God's gracious provi- the great principles of civil and relidence, as I sincerely believe, snatched gious liberty, which I have humbly me from the jaws of the grave. I endeavoured to advocate, have taken dare not trust myself to speak of my deep and permanent root amongst the return to my country and my home best men and women, of all sects and of the anxious crowding of tried and parties, in our native land. early friends—of the public sympathy “ Again, I assure you of the affecamong all classes of the kind and tionate regard of a heart as grateful persevering inquiries of my warmest as any that ever warmed a human religious and political opponents of breast—a heart that can only forget the overwhelming affection of my own the repeated testimonies of your genebeloved flock! These things, believe rosity and esteem, when, at God's apme, are deeply enshrined in the me- pointed time, it shall cease to beat. mory of my heart; and I shall ever "(Signed), think better of all mankind than I did
« H. MONTGOMERY. before ; for, in despite of the competi- “Dunmurry Glebe, Jan. 1, 1846." tions, and jealousies, and irritations of After some complimentary remarks the world, there is a rich mine of ster- from Mr. Crawford, expressing his ling goodness and charity in human concurrence in the sentiments of the nature.
Address, “ The presentation of your most ap- Mr. Thomson Tennent was called propriate and gratifying gift to my to the chair; and the meeting sepafamily will render this first day of the rated.
OBITUARY, DIED - On Tuesday, December some time minister of the Unitarian 30th, 1845, at his house, Grove, Hack- congregation at Newport, Isle of ney, near London, the Rev. Robert Wight; and on the removal of Mr. Aspland, Minister of the New Gravel- Belsham from the Gravel-pit Chapel, pit Chapel, Hackney, and for many Hackney, to Essex -street, he was years one of the leading Unitarian chosen to succeed him at the former divines in London.
station, where he continued his pasMr. Aspland was born in Cam- toral labours so long as strength rebridgeshire, of parents who were at- mained. tached to the Calvinistic Baptist per- He was an earnest, zealous, and suasion; and, having early chosen the powerful preacher of the gospel ; his ministry for his profession, he received ardent and earnest nature rendered it his academical education partly at the impossible for him to trifle with his seminary belonging to the Baptist own time and that of his auditors by body at Bristol, and partly at one of the introduction of topics of little vathe Scottish universities. "He soon, lue or interest ; and what he deemed however, saw ground for renouncing important for himself to state, and for the principles with which he had set his fellow-men to hear, he enforced ont in life, and adopted those held by with the authority of a vigorous intelUnitarian Christians. He was for lect, a manly elocution, and a commanding eloquence. It was imposst- pation of the slaves—for the abolition ble to hear him without being deeply of the sacramental test--for the reimpressed, for his word was with moval of the disabilities affecting the power." Many of his occasional dis- Roman Catholics—and for the reform courses, and an entire volume of his of the representation of the people in practical sermons have been given to Parliament, -were arduous, incessant, the public; they have proved of emi- and eminently useful. On commitnent utility, and fully sustain the au- tees and deputations, so long as he had thor's high reputation. He also gave strength to serve in such capacities, to the world a catechism for children, he had no equal. He had an honoura little volume of prayers, and a Col- able and useful share in the prelimilection of Psalms and Hymns for nary measures for bringing the case of Unitarian Worship-all of which have Unitarian Christians, in reference to met with much acceptance.
the attempts made to deprive them of Mr. Aspland's principal engagement their chapels and other trust property, as a literary man was the editorship under the notice of the Government; of the Monthly Repository, and of the but, long before that application was Christian Reformer. The former work brought to its triumphant close, he he set on foot in the year 1806, and was rendered incapable of active excontinued to conduct till 1827, when ertion, by a severe complaint, which his property in it was purchased by the rendered his last years one continued British and Foreign 'Unitarian Asso- scene of bodily suffering. He rejoiced, ciation. But this respectable body however, in the good that was done by having afterwards parted with their the instrumentality of others; and interest in the publication, and as- closed his life with the blessed consigned it to other hands, under whose sciousness that he had fulfilled his management it ceased altogether to be part, and had not lived in vain. a religious periodical, Mr. Aspland en- Talents and acquirements such as larged his other magazine, entitled the Mr. Aspland possessed not only called Christian Reformer, to meet the want forth the approbation of the body with which was felt of an organ of commu- which he was connected, but-united nication between the Unitarians of as they were with a warm, a sympaEngland, and issued it thenceforth in thising, and a generous nature_ihe that form in which it is now so well affectionate regard of many attached known to all the friends of that cause friends ; among whom may be reckthroughout the world. It is superfluous oned his late Royal Highness the to add that these works have been the Duke of Sussex, the late Lord Holmedium through which many most land, the late William Smith, Wilvaluable papers have been given to liam Sturch, Charles Butler the emithe world'; and that an acquaintance nent jurist, and many other names with their contents is of absolute ne- eminent in science and literature, and cessity to the student of the religious belonging to various churches and history of England for the last thirty communities. He was, indeed, a great years.
and a good man, and his name will But though distinguished in the re- not speedily perish from the memory ligious literature of his church and of of those who knew him. In the brief his country, Mr. Aspland was still more compass of a notice like the present, it useful to his fellow-creatures by his is impossible to do justice to a characrare talents for business, by his capa- ter like his; but tlie public feeling of city for simplifying questions appa- the Unitarian body, and the friends of rently most difficult and complicated, liberty in Ireland as well as in Engby the happy union of courage and land, will supply the deficiencies of wisdom which enabled him to conduct this necessarily imperfect memorial. a good cause, through the most unpromising circumstances, to a success- Died - On the 7th instant, at his ful termination, and by the hearty residence, Greenogue, Mr. ANDREW zeal with which he embarked in every M.Can. For many years he was one well-considered plan for proinoting the of the elders of the First Presbyterian liberty and happiness of mankind. Congregation of Dromore ; and, wheHis eilorts for the dillusion of educa- ther as a Christian, or in the social tion without distinction of sect-for relations of life, few men have left be. putting down prosecutions on account hind them a better name, or taken of religious opinions--for the emanci- with them a more ingenuous character.