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" And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me to be king oyer 
you, then come and put your trust under my shadow ; and if not, let fire come 
out of the bramble and consume the cedars of Lebanon."— Parable of .fathom. 

"And there passed by a wild |fjjast that was in Lebanon, and trode down the 
thistle."— J V<n'.b/f 



^fy: ~ "■ 120* 9 

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" And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me to be king over 
you, then come and put your trust under my shadow ; and if not, let fire come 
out of the bramble and consume the cedars of Lebanon." — Parable ofJotham. 

"And there passed by a wild beast that was in Lebanon, and trode down the 
thistle." — Parable o/Jehoash. 





When the Canada Conference and its adherents and 
friends in 1833 congratulated themselves that they had pro- 
vided against the possibility of a divided Methodism in the 
Upper Province by an arrangement with the British Wes- 
leyan Conference, including an organic union with that 
body, which nevertheless preserved the essential integrity 
of the Canadian Church, it was very disappointing to have 
another rival body, within a year or two, spring up to spread 
dissension and to " draw away disciples after them," on such 
trivial grounds of dissatisfaction as the non-continuance of 
local preachers' ordination and whether or not their business 
should be best conducted in a " District Conference " or in a 
circuit "Local Preachers' Meeting." 

None felt the sorrow and discouragement more than my- 
self. I had been personally attached to many of those who 
were induced, earlier or later, to go with that movement, 
among whom were such men as John Reynolds, Joshua 
Webster, Jabez Bullis, G. P. Selden, Mr. Bickford, and 
others I could name. After the line of separation was dis- 
tinctly drawn, I found it very sad to ride or drive past the 
doors which erst had been thrown open to me, and to see 
. once happy societies sundered in twain ; and I yearned over 
them still " in the bowels of Jesus Christ." 

It is true, the course of procedure to effect these changes, 
embracing blind prejudices, absurd apprehensions, un- 


founded representations and allegations, and secret plottings 
and misunderstandings, cooled my sympathies, estranged m3^ 
attachments, and in time reconciled me to their absence. 

For many years my maxim in regard to this doubtful 
organization was the Scriptural one, to " let them alone " 
and to have as little intercourse as possible — on the ground 
that if they were doing good I should not hinder them (and 
I had no doubt that there was some incidental good) ; and, 
if the aggregate of harm arising from the division should ex- 
ceed the individual good, and I feared it would, I would not 
be accessory to it. 

But after some years, regarding the separate organization 
as an accomplished fact ; and flattering myself that under 
such a Superintendent as the venerable Richardson, and 
such an editor as the amiable Abbs, much of the tierce 
sectarianism and overt proselytizing of the earlier stages of 
the movement had passed away, I not only reciprocated 
brotherly advances, but made them myself, and interchanged 
denominational courtesies. I also dedicated my biographical 
history to all the Methodist bodies, inclusive of this one ; 
and when forced to trench on matters which could not be 
ignored, with regard to which we differed, I touched them 
as tenderly and delicately as possible— so much so, indeed, 
as caused some to think I was compromising the interests of 
stern historic truthfulness. And when I made bold to ad- 
dress a humble overture on the plan of unifying all the 
Methodist bodies, I ventured to propose as part of the 
new machinery that the diaconate should be restored, that 
a modified Presiding Eldership should be accepted, and that 
there should be a General Superintendency, though without 
ordination. So much so that some of the other contracting 
parties said that I had " conceded everything to the 

After organic Methodist union began to be generally 
talked of, even by men who were traditionally conservative 
of things as they had been, a trustful, unsuspicious feeling 
sprung up in my heart ; and I allowed myself, with many 
others, in freedom of communication with not a few of that 
body whom I found ready to reciprocate those advances — 
albeit, I must confess at the most encouraging of times, the 
majority of those brethren seemed hard to inspire with any- 
thing like a generous spirit of candor and reciprocity on the 
questions which had torn us asunder. 

The stand the Episcopal section of the General Com- 
mittee on Methodist Unification took in their unyielding 
aspect on Episcopacy, as though their own was of the most 
hereditary and unquestionable character, although not 
averse myself to a General Superintendency and several 
other features of this system (which would have been 
accepted by the other parties to the engagement if the 
" Episcopals " had been reasonably tolerant) ; when I saw 
this, I say, I confess I did experience surprise at such de- 
mands from such a quarter ; and when negotiations were 
broken off by them on those grounds, the feeling of dis- 
appointment partook largely of the element of disgust. 

Still, I confessed none of this to those on my own side, 
but continued to hope against hope for many months. To 
many less trustful than myself it became apparent that from 
the time of his installation the new " bishop," Dr. Carman, 
would have all to come to their standard, or they could have 
no countenance from those who now trumpetted themselves 
as the Methodist Church, par excellence, of the country. 
And innumerable oral and written utterances of the 
"bishop" and other mouthpieces of that body show that 
this is the policy to be pursued. 

To this there can be no objection, only in view of one 


consideration. They have a natural right to pursue this 
course, if it pleases their fancy ; and they have a moral 
right also, if they can justify it to God and their own con- 
sciences. But the moral rectitude of it ceases when it has 
to be sustained by statements which are false, and when it 
places their neighbors in a false position : such as that the 
Canada Conference did an unwarrantable thing in their 
compact with the parent of all the Methodist bodies in the 
world, making themselves " seceders " and leaving the 
present " Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada " as the 
only true lineal descendant of the original Methodism of the 
country ! These falsifications of facts and of history being 
paraded to prevent a good end and to perpetuate an anomaly 
and an evil, I am at length persuaded to comply with a 
request, often preferred to me by individuals, to present the 
real facts of the disruption of this boastful and pragmatic 
section of our colonial Methodism. 

I am deeply sorry for the necessity of this ; and that the 
rather, because I am persuaded that there are many in that 
community who, unless they have lately and greatly changed, 
cannot approve of the self-asserting course now adopted by 
the present leading influences of the body. To them, and all 
the candid in that community, I commend this exposition. 

I have only given a summary view of the question at 
issue. I have by no means exhausted facts, arguments, 
and illustrations ; but have kept a large store of both one 
and the other. In the meantime, the prophet's determina- 
tion will be mine : " I will stand upon my watch, and set 
me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say 
unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved."* 

Don Mount, July 17th, 1877. 
* Hab. ii. i. 


I. A Brief Epitome of Canadian Methodist History 
from 1790 to 1832. 

Methodism was planted in Canada during the year 1790- 
9.1, by the Rev. William Losee, who came from the then 
newly-organized Methodist Episcopal Church of the United 
States. His ingress was at his own instance, having been 
left for that year, by the Bishop, to " range at large "; but 
he was sent by authority the ensuing year. Several organ- 
ized classes crowned the labors of those two years. In 
1792 an ordained Elder, in the person of the Rev. Darius 
Dunham, was sent in to superintend the whole and dispense 
the ordinances. The work in Canada was thenceforth a 
Presiding Elder's District, in connection with some one of 
the Annual Conferences in the United States connected 
with the M. E. Church. Sometimes the Conference bore one 
name, and sometimes another. In 1810, the Canada work 
fell to the newly-organized Genesee Conference, by whom 
it was thenceforth supplied with preachers. 

In 1812, the war broke out between Great Britain and 
the American Republic, by which some of the preachers de- 
signated to Canada were prevented from coming to their 
stations ; likewise, some that were already in the Provinces, 
being American citizens, through fear, were induced to 
leave. The vacancies created in the Upper Province were 
supplied from among the local preachers by the Presiding 
Elder, the Rev. Henry Ryan. He also gave some oversight 
to the work in Lower Canada, the Presiding Elder for that 


District, the Rev. Nathan Bangs, having been deterred from 
coming to his appointment. From this cause, the Montreal 
and St. Francis Circuits were left destitute, and others but 
partly supplied during a part of the time. The Rev. Thomas 
Burch, a born subject of Britain, appointed to Quebec, think- 
ing that a place of less importance, Methodistically, than 
Montreal, of which the absentee Presiding Elder, Mr. Bangs, 
was to have had the special charge, settled himself in the 
latter city, and went only occasionally to the former ; and 
at length he ceased going altogether. The Quebec Metho- 
dists felt their destitution very much, and being ignorant of 
the new doctrine, that Episcopacy was essential to true 
Methodism, and regarding the Wesleyan Conference in Eng- 
land, not only as co-ordinate with the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, but viewing it as " the mother of all," applied, 
through the chairman of the Nova Scotia District, which 
stood in immediate connection with the British Conference, 
to send them a missionary, which request was granted ; and 
he arrived in Quebec, June, 1814. The larger part of the 
society in Montreal, no doubt on account of prejudices 
created by the war, also desired to be supplied by a preacher 
from the British Conference. In answer to that request, 
the Rev. Richard Williams arrived in that city in 1815 — I 
suspect about the time Mr. Burch returned to the States. 
The majority of the society siding with the- British mis- 
sionary, under the plea that the most of the means for its 
erection was raised in England throughout the Wesleyan 
connexion, put him in possession of the chapel. The Rev. 
Wm. Brown, the appointee of the Genesee Conference, with 
the minority who adhered to him, was forced to set up wor- 
ship in a temporary place ; and there were two sections of 
Methodism in that city until the arrangement between the 
British and American connexions took place in 1820. Soon 


after, other British missionaries arrived, and took up the 
vacated St. Francis country and all accessible places in the 
eastern townships. In 1816, the Revs. Messrs. Black and 
Bennett, from Nova Scotia, by authority of the British Con- 
ference, attended the American General Conference, which 
sat in Baltimore in the month of May of that year, and 
met the two representatives of the Canada work, in the 
persons of the Revs. Messrs. Ryan and Case. The delibera- 
tions in the General Conference led to such a representation 
to the authorities of the British connexion as drew forth a 
letter of instructions from the missionary secretaries to their 
missionaries in Canada, cautioning them from trenching on 
the stations occupied by the appointees of the American 
Church, and against occupying their chapels. Now this pro- 
ceeding is proof that these two Connexions regarded each 
other, reciprocally, as co-ordinate. Nevertheless, upon one 
plea and another, by 1820, Wesleyan Methodist ministers 
had been stationed along the St. Lawrence from Cornwall 
to Prescott ; at Kingston and along the Bay of Quinte ; and 
at length, Niagara and York received European preachers 
and possessed Wesleyan societies. 

In 1820, an interchange of Delegates took place between 
the British and American General Conferences, and the fol- 
lowing arrangement was agreed to :— Mr. Wesley's original 
maxim, uttered at the formation of the American Methodist 
Church, that " the Methodists are one people in all the 
world," was re-affirmed ;* and that, Lot and Abraham-like, 

* The Rev. John Wesley, in a letter to the Rev. E. Cooper, only 
twenty-nine days before his death, uttered this admonition :— " See 
that you never give place to one thought of separating from your 
brethren in Europe. Lose no opportunity of declaring to all men, 
that the Methodists are one people in all the world, and that it is their 
full determination so to continue, — 

" Though mountains rise and oceans roll, 
To sever us in vain ! " 


one was to "go to the right hand and the other to the left." 
The British missionaries were to be withdrawn from Upper 
Canada and the American laborers from Lower Canada.* 

Nevertheless, there were many in Upper Canada of 
Methodist proclivities and name who shrank from a connec- 
tion with American Methodism from national prejudice and 
other reasons ; and either refused to unite in the societies 
governed from that side of the line, or agitated, more or less, 
for a separation from under American jurisdiction As 
some measure of concession to this feeling, by the authority 
of the immediately preceding General Conference, the 
"Canada Annual Conference" was organized in 1824, 
which took place in Hallowell, August 25th, of that year. 

Gradually those most conservative of American connec- 
tion united with the others in asking the American General 
Conference for a peacable separation, which was granted 
May, 1828. And it was agreed that if the Canadians organ- 
ized an Episcopal Church that one of their bishops should 
be permitted to come over and ordain the first bishop, when 

At the next meeting of the Canada Annual Conference, 
which took place in the ensuing October, in Switzer's 
Chapel, Earnestown, independency was assumed, and "The 
Methodist Episcopal Church of Canada " was organized. 
The particulars in which it differed from the parent one in 
the States were the following : There being, as yet, only one 
Annual Conference, the General Conference, instead of being 
composed of delegates by election, should consist " of all 
travelling elders who had travelled four full calendar 

* Resolution of Liverpool Conference, 1820: — "The Conference 
embraces this opportunity of recognizing that great principle which, 
it is hoped, will be prominently maintained — 'That the Wesley an 
Methodists are one body in every part of the world. ' " 


years last past and had been received into fall connexion."* 
This cut off local elders, of course, as they were not in con- 
nection with the Conference of itinerants at all. 

Another marked difference between the Canadian and 
American Discipline was the " Sixth Restriction " on the 
legislative action of the General Conference. 

At the Conference when the Canadian Church was organ- 
ized, a committee was appointed to correspond with the 
Parent Connexion in England, and to inform the British 
Wesleyan Conference officially of the formation of such a 
Church, which committee, however, failed to perform the 
duty assigned it. In default of that, after some time, the 
Rev. Egerton Ryerson, the Secretary of the General Con- 
ference and Editor of the Guardian, opened a correspond- 
ence with the senior Missionary Secretary in London, the 
Rev. Richard Watson, but there was no nearer intimacy. 

No less than three episcopoi were elected by the General 
Conference of the new Church during the five years of its 
existence, but from one cause and another, no bishop was 

* The literal wording of this clause cut off those travelling elders 
from a seat in the General Conference who had graduated to Elders 
orders, and even served the Connexion many years, if they had 
been forced to locate, it might be for only a year, and had not re- 
sumed their place in the Travelling Connexion early enough to 
make "four full years last past" before such General Conference, 
although they might be among the ablest and wisest ministers in 
the Connexion ; so also it might be construed to exclude superan- 
nuated elders, no matter how long their services, how active soever 
in mind, or how desirable their long and thorough experience might 
be in that legislative body ; for though they were travelling 
preachers in the technical sense, as contradistinguished from " local 
preachers," yet in point of reality they had not travelled on a circuit. 
The manifest unwisdom and injustice of excluding these two classes 
was seen upon reflection, therefore at the first meeting of the 
General Conference, held in Belleville in 1830, all beyond the clause 


consecrated. The Rev. Wm. Case was elected by the General 
Conference as " General Superintendent," and each succeed 
ing Annual Conference elected him to occupy its Presidential 

II. The Circumstances which led to the Blending of 

the British and Canadian Methodist Churches to 

be thought of. 

During the four years of the existence of the Canada 

Church, — that is to say from 1828 to 1832, — the members in 

the Canadian society greatly increased, and the work of 

evangelization among the aborigines of the country was so 

greatly extended, that the lack of funds to follow up the 

openings and to mature the missions already planted, by 

translations, schools, churches, &c, was greatly felt. Appeals 

had been made to the Methodists of the United States, and 

very considerable sums had been kindly given; yet the funds 

"travelling elders" was stricken out, so that all elders in the 
Travelling Connexion had a seat in the legislative body. This was 
two years before the Union was proposed. And when that measure 
was under consideration, another omission was found to do a great 
injustice to a large number of ministers. As soon as a preacher was 
received into full connexion, after his two years' probation, he 
could enter on the deliberations and vote in the Annual Conference, 
as it was not ordination but service and experience which prepared 
him to take a part in its deliberations. By the same analogy, when a 
preacher had travelled four years and was elected to Elder's 
orders, though not yet ordained, he had the true qualification for 
sitting and deliberating in the General Conference. If construed 
otherwise, it would have been a great wrong to some of the ablest 
ministers of the body, and a great loss to the body itself. K we 
may anticipate, there were fourteen brethren, at least, in this con- 
dition in 1832, when the changes necessary to the legality of the 
Union measure were submitted to a special meeting of the General 
Conference. These were the following very capable men :— 
Alvah Adams, Cyrus R. Allison, John S. Attwood, John Beatty, 




were inadequate to the work required to be done. As another 
resource, in the spring of 1831, that distinguished Indian 
preacher, Kah-ke-wa-quon-a-by , or Rev. Peter Jones, 
was despatched by the Canadian missionary authorities to 
the Mother Country, — the British Isles — to make an appeal 
for aid. This led the brethren in England to think that 
they were now called to enter this field also, especially as 
they believed that they were released from their pledge to 
the General Conference to vacate the Upper Province by 
the Upper Canada Methodists having passed from under the 
jurisdiction of that Conference. 

Accordingly, in 1832, one of their Missionary Secretaries, 
the Rev. Robert Alder, accompanied by some of their colonial 
ministers, was sent to explore the country, to see what parts 
of it were unsupplied with Methodist ministrations. Coming 

Hamilton Biggar, John C. Davidson, Ephraim Evans, Asahel 
Hurlburt, Richard Jones, Peter Jones (Indian), James Norris, 
Richard Phelps, George Poole, and William Smith. The specific 
purpose for which the General Conference was couvoked was to re- 
ceive the necessary three-fourths majority for the altering the 
second "Restriction," which prohibited the "doing away with 
Episcopacy," (page 18,) Elder Case, the General Superintendent, 
having refused to even put the motion until the restriction was con- 
stitutionally removed. But before that vote was put, the composi- 
tion of the General Conference itself was determined, and the mem- 
bership of the General Conference was made to consist — by legal 
vote of the then undisputed members, — of all the " travelling 
elders and elders elect." This gave the brethren above-named a 
seat, and a more than three-fourths vote was received for removing 
the Second Restriction. These changes were preserved in the 
MS. Journals, but there being no M. E. Discipline published later 
than 1829, the latest changes do not appear therein. The reason for 
there being so many elders elect was this : the Church, although Episco- 
pal in name, had no bishop to ordain them, nor ever had. The " doing 
away" with what never existed, except on paper, was more a fiction 
than reality. 


to York (now Toronto), where a small Wesleyan cause, in an 
irregular way, had been started, fearing strife and division if 
rival societies were permitted to multiply, the Missionary 
Board of the Canada Church, consisting of a large preponder- 
ance of laymen, invited Mr. Alder to meet them, and request- 
ed him to remain until the ensuing session of the Canada Con- 
ference, to see if some method could not be devised by which 
the British and Provincial Methodist bodies might labor in 
concert, — a proof, by the way, that no intelligent Methodist 
of that day ever dreamed that there was any essential differ- 
ence betweeen the two Churches which would make the 
transmutation of the one form into the other occasion the 
loss of its identity. 

III. A Detail of the Unifying Process. 

The Rev. Mr. Alder complied with the request above re- 
ferred to, and made his appearance timely at Hallowell, the 
seat of the Conference, in the month of August, 1832, accom- 
panied by the Wesleyan missionary from the town of King- 
ston, which place had retained a preacher from the British 
Conference from the- first, despite the arrangement of 1820 ; 
this was the Rev. John P. Hetherington. The memorial 
of the Canada Missionary Board to the Conference was 
read, and after much friendly consultation, in_ which the 
representative of the British Conference took part, a com- 
mittee of nine of the most capable and experienced mem- 
bers of the Conference was appointed, who reported Pre- 
liminary Articles of Union between the two Conferences, 
which, after some discussion on some of the details, were 
adopted by large majorities, and a Delegate was appointed to 
carry them to the British Conference the following summer 
of 1833. The Rev. Egerton Ryerson was the representative 


elected, with the Rev. James Richardson as the reserve, or 
substitute, in the event of Mr. Ryerson being prevented 
from going. 

These were the same, in all substantial respects, as those 
finally adopted (which I herewith produce), finally endorsed 
by the two Conferences : — 

Articles of Union between the British Wesleyan 
Methodist Conference and the Conference of the 
Wesleyan Methodist Church in Canada. 

The English Wesleyan Conference, concurring in the 
communication of the Canadian Conference, and deprecat- 
ing the evils which might arise from collision, and believing 
that the cause of religion generally, and the interests of 
Methodism in particular, would, under the blessing of God, 
be greatly promoted by the united exertions of the two 
Connexions ; considering also, that the two Bodies concur 
in holding the doctrines of Methodism as contained in the 
notes of Mr. Wesley on the New Testament, and in his four 
volumes of Sermons, do agree in the adoption of the follow- 
ing Resolutions : — 

I. — That such a union between the English Wesleyan and 
Canadian Connexions, as shall preserve inviolate the rights 
and privileges of the Canadian preachers and societies on 
the one hand, and on the other, shall secure the funds of 
the English Conference against any claims on the part of 
the Canadian preachers, is highly important and desirable. 

II. — That (as proposed in the second and third Resolu- 
tions of the Canadian Conference) in order to effect this 
object the Discipline, Economy, and form of Church Gov- 
ernment in general of the Wesleyan Methodists in England 
be introduced into the societies in Upper Canada, and that 
in particular an Annual Presidency be adopted.* 

* This is understood both by the Canadian Conference and the 
representatives from the British Conference, to refer to no other 
modifications in the economy of Methodism in Upper Canada than 
those which have taken place at this Conference, and that the 
Canadian Book of Discipline has heretofore provided for. 


III. — That the usages of the English Conference, in refer- 
ence to the probation, examination, and admission of candi- 
dates into the itinerant ministry, be adopted. 

IV. — That preachers who have travelled the usual term 
of probation and are accepted by the Canadian Conference 
shall be ordained by the imposition of the hands of he 
President, and of three or more of the senior preachers, ac- 
cording to the form contained in Mr. Wesley's " Sunday 
Morning Service of the Methodists," by which the Wesleyan 
missionaries in England are ordained, and which is the same 
as the form of ordaining Elders in the Discipline of the 
Canadian Conference. 

V. — That the English Conference shall have authority to 
send, from year to year, one of its own body to preside over 
the Canadian Conference ; but the same person shall not be 
appointed oftener than once in four years, unless at the re- 
quest of the Canadian Conference. — When the English Con- 
ference does not send a President from England, the Cana- 
dian Conference shall, on its assembling, choose one of its 
own members. 

The proposal of the Canadian Conference is understood to 
include, as a matter of course, that the President of the 
Conference shall exercise the same functions generally as the 
present General Superintendent now actually exercises ; he 
shall not, however, have authority to appoint any preacher 
to any Circuit or Station, contrary to the counsel and advice 
of a majority of the Chairmen of Districts or Presiding 
Elders, associated with him as a Stationing Committee. 

VI. — That the missions among the Indian tribes and 
destitute settlers which are now, or may be hereafter, estab- 
lished in Upper Canada, shall be regarded as missions of 
the English Wesleyan Missionary Society, under the follow- 
ing regulations : — 

First. The Parent Committee in London shall determine 
the amount to be applied annually to the support and ex- 
tension of the missions ; and this sum shall be distributed 
by a Committee, consisting of the President, General Supeiv 
intendent of the Missions, the Chairmen of Districts, and 


seven other persons appointed by the Canadian Conference. 
A Standing Board or Committee, consisting of an equal 
number of preachers and laymen, shall moreover be ap- 
pointed, as heretofore, at every Conference, which, during 
the year, shall have authority, in concurrence with the 
General Superintendent of missions, to apply any moneys 
granted by the Parent Committee, and not distributed by 
the Conference, in establishing new missions among the 
heathen, and otherwise promoting the missionary work. 

Second. The Methodist Missionary Society in Upper 
Canada shall be auxiliary to the English Wesleyan Mis- 
sionary Society, and the moneys raised by it shall be paid 
into the funds of the Parent Society. 

Third. The missionaries shall be stationed at the Canada 
Conference in the same way as the other preachers ; with 
this proviso, however, that the General Superintendent of 
Missions shall be associated with the President and Chair- 
men of Districts in their appointment. 

Fourth. All the preachers who may be sent from this 
country into the work in Upper Canada, shall be members 
of the Canadian Conference, and shall be placed under the 
same Discipline, and be entitled to the same rights and 
privileges as the native preachers.* 

Fifth. Instead of having the Annual Stations of the 
missionaries sent home to the English Missionary Com- 
mittee and Conference for their "sanction," as is the case 
with our missions generally, and as the Canadian Conference 
have proposed, the English Conference shall appoint, and 
the Parent Committee shall meet the expense of supporting 
a General Superintendent of Missions, who, as the Agent of 
the Committee, shall have the same superintendence of the 
Mission Stations as the Chairmen of Districts, or Presiding 
Elders, exercise over the circuits in their respective districts, 

* The understanding of this article is, that the Canadian Confer- 
ence shall employ such young men in Upper Canada as they may 
judge are called of God into the itinerant work ; but should not a 
sufficient number be found in Upper Canada properly qualified, the 
British Conference will send out as many young men from England 
as may be requested by the Canadian Conference. 


and shall pay the missionaries their allowance as determined 
by the Conference Missionary Committee, on the same scale 
as the Canadian Book of Discipline lays down for the 
preachers on the regular circuits ; — but who, being at the 
same time recognized as a member of the Canadian Confer- 
ence, shall be accountable to it in regard of his religious and 
moral conduct. This General Superintendent of Missions, 
representing the Parent Committee in the Canadian Confer- 
ence, and in the Stationing and Missionary Committees, the 
appointments of the missionaries at the Conference, shall be 

VII. — That the Canadian Conference, in legislating for its 
own members, or the Connexion at large, shall not at any 
time make any rule or introduce any regulation which shall 
infringe these Articles of Agreement between the two Con 

Signed by order and on behalf of the Conference, 

Richard Treffry, President. 
Edmund Crindrod, Secretar;/. 

Manchester, August 7th, 1833. 

Resolved, — That the Canadian Conference cordially con- 
curs in the Resolutions of the British Conference, dated 
" Manchester, August 7th, 1833," as the basis of Union 
between the two Conferences. 

Egerton Ryerson, Secretary. 

York, U. C, October 2nd, 1833. 

The projected arrangement had been freely discussed in 
the organ of the Connexion from the time of Mr. Alder's visit 
to York till the Conference, and the result was a vast con- 
course of visitors to the seat of the Conference, to whom the 
doors were thrown open to hear the deliberations, a proceed- 
ing then very unusual. And I don't remember to have 
heard myself, or heard of, a single objection among the 
assembled laity or local preachers to the measures proposed. 
There certainly were no petitions against them, or outside 
pressure of any kind. And I remember distinctly, that Mr 


John Reynolds, afterwards bishop of the rival organization, 
seemed well enough pleased, and said, that " if there were 
any things proposed which conflicted with the rights of his 
order or of the laity he would have his say when those 
measures were laid before the Quarterly Conferences." He 
made no objection to the surrender of Episcopacy itself, but, 
as I shall have the means of proving hereafter by sworn 
testimony, he was glad that we were about to ''get from 
under the heavy hand of a bishop," as he was pleased to 
phrase it. 

The Canada Conference was purposely appointed to sit two 
months later than usual the ensuing year (1833), to give 
time for the return of the Delegate from the British Confer- 
ence, which sat in August of that year. 

The proposals of the Canada Conference, as we have anti- 
cipated, were substantially affirmed by the British Confer- 
ence, and two eminent members of that body accompanied ' 
the Canada delegate on his return to the Province, to repre- 
sent the views of the British Conference and to fill important 
posts in the Canadian Connexion, in the event of the 
Articles of Union being finally adopted by the Canada Con 
ference. These ministers were the Revs. George Marsden 
and Joseph Stinson. 

There was some little inquiry and discussion on some of 
the details, but the Articles as a whole, upon the urgent re- 
commendation of the Rev. James Richardson, were unani- 
mously adopted by a rising vote, the venerable Thomas 
Whitehead alone demurring; yet he did it in such a way as to 
create a laugh, and to leave the impression that he intended 
it as a joke, for the venerable Superintendent, Rev. Wm, 
Case, pronounced the vote " unanimous," and no one more 
cordially co-operated than Mr. Whitehead himself. 

One aged man, who had stickled very much for the continu- 


ance of Episcopacy, did not vote, but withdrew rather than 
spoil the unanimity of the vote. I had all along thought 
that Mr. Gatchel did not from the first intend to concur, 
but I am now thoroughly convinced, that at that time, and 
for many months after, he had no intention of placing him- 
self in opposition, much less of creating a rival party; and 
my reasons for it are these, he made no disclaimer, — he en- 
tered no protest, — nor did he forbid the continuance of his 
name on the journals and in the minutes, but laboured 
during the next Conference year in holding special services, 
&c, raising collections for the Superannuated Ministers' 
Fund, which he credited against his own claim, and received 
the balance from the Stewards of Conference (as much as 
any other claimant). But my strongest reason is a fact, 
brought to my knowledge only within a few days : he and 
the now very aged Rev. Robert Corson were fellow-lodgers 
during the Conference of 1833. Here is Mr. Corson's testi- 
mony, which has been in print now about thirty-five years and 
never contradicted, and Mr. Corson is still living to be ques- 
tioned if any one is curious. Mr. Corson said in a letter to 
the Rev. C. R. Allison, who made use of it in a printed dis- 
cussion, in ,1842 : — " He " (Mr. Gatchel) " said to me, 
* That although he felt opposed to the Union in some 
degree, yet he should go with the Conference.' " 

When the measure was finally carried, Mr. Marsden 
assumed the Presidential Chair, Rev. Wm, Case having 
vacated it, and conducted the routine business of that session ; 
but, much to the regret of ministers and members, he returned 
to his duties in England at its close. Mr. Stinson remained 
in the country, and became the " Superintendent of Missions," 
according to one of the provisions of the Sixth Article of 
Union, a position which involved duties all the year round. 
Just here I may present — 


IV. Considerations which Prevailed with the Mem- 
bers of Conference to Concur in this Union. 

1st. As thoroughly informed in Methodist views, they 
were entirely persuaded of the co-ordinate character of the 
two bodies as demonstrated by the reciprocal recognition of 
each other by the British and American Connexions from 
their earliest history. 

2nd. Their love of the English Connexion as British, they 
all being British subjects themselves ; no less than 
twenty-one out of the sixty being of the British Isles by 
birth, and largely by education : more than a dozen of them 
had been brought to God by that form of Methodism which 
they were now accepting. 

3rd. They were aware that a larger proportion of the mem- 
bers of the Church were Old Countrymen, with Old Country 
sympathies, and that hundreds on hundreds of these had' 
been converted by the instrumentality of Old Country 
Methodism, who were delighted at the thought of being re- 
united to their spiritual relatives by a closer tie than of late 

4th. They saw that the Articles of Union propounded guar- 
anteed them against any interference with the rights of them- 
selves or the members of the Church. 

5th. They knew by what had passed under their own eyes, 
that all the changes made had been legally and constitution- 
ally effected ; and they believed that many of the changes 
were for the better. 

6th. As to the Episcopacy, they remembered that we had no 
experience of a Provincial one, and the people had little 
knowledge of, or care about, a bishop. The Conference had 
failed in all its attemps to secure one, and the ministers be- 
gan to suspect that God had purposely set us free from his 


jurisdiction. They knew it would be a responsible and hard 
matter to settle if we were shut up to Canadian expect- 
ants. The life-long Episcopacy, they knew, would be an ex- 
pensive institution, and an Annual Presidency could perform 
all the functions and duties as well. 

7th. But it was a very persuasive motive with most of 
them, that we should now be stronger in men and means for 
carrying on our work among the Indians. 

8th. The absence of any declared opposition from the 
people between the Conference of 1832 and that of 1833, 
but a great deal that was of the opposite character, during 
that period, influenced the final vote to a great degree. We 
have seen that a vast number of private and official mem- 
bers were at the inception of the measure, and all were 
rather favourable than otherwise. The Presiding Elders 
were requested to make particular inquiry throughout their 
respective districts, between the Conference of 1832 and the 
time of the delegates leaving in the early spring of 1833, 
relative to the state of feeling on the subject of the prospective 
Union, yet no report adverse was made, but rather the re- 
verse. Some of these letters were published in the Guardian, 
and no contradiction given. As the Canada Church was 
planted by the American Connexion, great respect was held for 
the opinion of its leading authorities: some of these the dele- 
gate took upon him to consult in New York on his way 
to England, and he wrote, on the eve of sailing for Europe, 
as follows: — "I stayed with Dr. Fisk all night and a part of 
two days. He was unreserved in his communications, and 
is in favor of the object of our mission, as were Bro. 
Waugh, Dr. Bangs, Durbin, &c. I have conversed with 
them all, and they seem to approve fully of the proceedings 
of our Conference." There was not a single petition pre- 
sented to the Conference of 1833 against the measure before it. 


V. The Opposition which Afterwards Arose, and the 
Form it Took. 

There was no opposition to notice until the new regula- 
tions affecting the private membership and local preachers 
were submitted to the Quarterly Conferences, as they were 
then called, by the Presiding Elders at the first round on 
their several districts, during the Conference year 1833-34. 

The only thing affecting the private membership related 
to. a sort of capitation tax on the members for the support 
of the work. It is to be found on the thirty-eighth page of 
the Discipline published in 1836, under the heading, The 
Duties of Superintendents. It is to the following effect : — 

" To see that Mr. Wesley's original rule, in regard to 
weekly and quarterly contributions, be observed in all our 
societies as far as possible. The rule was published by Mr. 
Wesley in the Minutes of Conference, held in London, 1782. 
It is as follows : 

" ' Q. Have the weekly and quarterly contributions been 
duly made in all our societies'? 

" ' A. In many it has been shamefully neglected. To 
remedy this, 

"'1. Let every Assistant (Superintendent) remind every 
society, that this was our original rule : Every member 
contributes one penny weekly (unless he is in extreme 
poverty) and one shilling quarterly. Explain the reason- 
ableness of this. 

" ' 2. Let every Leader receive the weekly contribution 
from each person in his class. 

" ' 3. Let the Assistant (Superintendent) ask every person 
at changing his ticket : Can you afford to observe our rules 1 
And receive what he is able to give.' " 

The Methodists of this day will smile to learn that this 


was made the occasion of bitter accusations and agitations, 
and cost the Connexion hundreds of members.* 

The principal changes proposed related to local preachers ; 
and it was that order in the Church, or at least a few of 
them, who created the first dissatisfaction, which spread to 
other things, and made a sad conflagration. The changes 
relating to them were these : — (1) Up to the time of the 
Union, a local preacher, if recommended by the Quarterly 
Conference of his Circuit, and elected thereto by an Annual 
Conference, might receive deacon's orders at the end of four 
years after he had received a regular license as a local 
preacher ; and in four years from the time of his receiving 
deacon's orders, upon the same conditions as above, he 
might receive Elder's orders from the hands of the bishop ; 
but as a concession to the British Wesleyan usage, no per- 
son becoming a local 2weacher after the time of the consum- 
mation of the Union, could be eligible to ordination. (2) 

* It is perhaps but right to say, that all following the word 
"possible " was in the form of a foot-note in the MS. copy of the 
Discipline put in the hands of the printer ; but because there was a 
note to that note explaining the original meaning and use of the 
term "Assistant," the compositor, in a mistake, set it up in the 
text, and the Conference stood charged with foisting a surreptitious 
rule into our code of laws with the design of bringing the members 
under a money condition of membership, and a lamentable "scare " 
was produced. As this epoch was made the occasion of re-enforcing 
the quarterly renewal of tickets, which had fallen too much into 
desuetude (that and the inquiry into the ability of the members to 
support the cause), it was resisted by the malcontents as a usurpation. 
One of the first two delegates to the American General Conference, 
from the new Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada, finding a 
society ticket belonging to some member of his household, held it 
up and asked in a scornful tone, " Who has been purchasing Indul- 
gences?" Such were some of the means by which our members 
were prejudiced against the Union ! 


Under the former economy, the licensing and annually 
renewing the license of local preachers was relegated to 
a District Conference of all the local preachers in a Pre- 
siding Elder's District, of which the Presiding Elder was 
President ; but under the new arrangement, the same 
business was to be transacted in the several circuits to 
which they belonged, in a Local Preachers' Meeting, of which 
the Superintendent of the Circuit was chairman. If there 
were seven or more local preachers in a Circuit, there 
might be such a meeting ; if less, their matters were to be 
attended to in the Quarterly Meeting ; and when the Local 
Preachers' Meeting was not held, the Quarterly Meeting was 
to do it. This arrangement was far more feasible than the 
District Conference, which in some cases required a hun- 
dred miles' travel to attend it, of which most of them 
bitterly complained, yet, when the change was proposed, the 
promoters of disruption resisted it. I remember, in parti- 
cular, Mr. Reynolds in 1828 ridiculing the impracticability 
and senselessness of the arrangement, yet we have cause to 
believe, that his reason for leaving the Church, in 1834, 
arose from his dissatisfaction that the new regulations about 
local preachers had carried in the Quarterly Meetings.* 
(3) Another arrangement of the new Discipline (page 43), 
which made it the duty of the Superintendent of each 
Circuit " To make out a regular plan of appointments for 

* Since the above was written, a now-printed letter of the Rev. 
John Reynolds' to a brother local preacher has bjen put into my 
hands by the person to whom it was addressed, Rev. Philip J. 
Roblin, which implies that at the time of its date, Mr. Reynolds, 
by implication, acknowledged himself a member of the Canada 
Methodist Church under its IVesky m name and form, and shows 
that the new changes relating to local preachers, which had been 
carried by the c institutional majority in the Quarterly Conferences, 
was the cause of his dissatisfaction ; and that if they could have been 



the local preachers and exhorters on the Circuit, with the 
counsel of the Quarterly Meeting where there is no Local 
Preachers' Meeting, " although honorable to this class of 
laborers, was very distasteful to those who went away. The 
changes with regard to their trial under accusation, trans- 
ferred their final appeal from an Annual Conference to a 
District Meeting, gave them an advantage in their first ex 
animation, before a "committee," in giving them the 
privilege of choosing one-half of the jury — a privilege not 
accorded to any other person in the Chnrch, whatever his 
rank or office. 

brought to reverse their vote, he would have remained in the Church. 
With these preliminary remarks, the letter speaks for itself : — 

" Belleville, June 30th, 1834. 

" Dear Bro. Boblin, — In reply to yours of the 24th inst., I have 
to say that I feel no disposition to comply with the resolutions as 
laid down in the new Discipline, by which local preachers are to be 
governed, my parchment or certificate from the bishop shows my 
standing in the Church and my right to its privileges, and therefore 
I see no reason why I should consent to have my name entered on 
a plan. 

" I labor under no fearful apprehension of being disowned in 
consequence of refusing to comply. The resolutions are unreason- 
able and altogther uncalled for, and many of our travelling 
preachers know it. 

" The proper course for us to take is to petition those Quarterly 
Conference who passed the resolutions, to rescind their former vote, 
and thereby do away with them altogether ; for you will observe 
that the preachers tell us that it was the Quarterly Conferences 
that made the law, and I say, if so, the Quarterly Conferences can 
make that law null and void if they choose to do so. Shall we 
make the trial ? If you and the other local preachers of jour Cir- 
cuit think with me on this subject, please say so, and we will get 
up a respectful petition to lay before those Conferences as soon as 

" I am, dear Bro., yours in love, 

" John Reynolds." 


These new regulations, however, received the required 
majority of two-thirds, and passed into a law, and were 
published in the first issue of the new Discipline. They 
also must commend themselves as reasonable and just to all 
dispassionate and reflecting persons. 

The account I have given of the Conference and the 
ample provision made for supplying the work, we naturally 
would have thought augured future prosperity. So thought 
some of the wisest at the time, who had not been before so 
sanguine of the Union measure. This will appear from the 
following short extract from the valedictory of the retiring 
Editor, Rev. James Richardson, never given to view matters 
in rose-color : 

" The Conference closed the important, interesting, and 
difficult business of the Session at one o'clock this day. 
Notwithstanding the multifarious and highly important 
matters transacted, the Session has been distinguished for 
an unusual degree of order, peace, and unanimity in its 
proceedings ; and we trust the ministers go forth to their 
respective appointments and labors with renewed vigor, 
animated with the cheering prospect of an abundant harvest 
of souls the ensuing year. The net increase in the societies, 
during the past year, amounts to 1,138 souls. To God alone 
be the praise and glory ! In reference to the momentous 
change in our relations and economy, arising from the union 
effected with our trans -atlantic brethren, we would just 
remark, that the whole is adjusted and settled on that basis 
which we hope may prove as durable as time, and as bene- 
ficial to the interests of true religion as the most ardent 
wishes of its best friends can desire. And we trust the 
good sense of every member of our Church will lead him to 
see the propriety of cordially assisting, in the spirit of 
Christian love, to carry into effect as extensively and fully 
as possible the arrangements of the Conference in relation 
to the union ; and that no personal, private, or party con- 
siderations whatever will in the least be permitted to 


hinder or interrupt the good understanding which now hap- 
pily exists between the British and Canada Conferences ; 
upon which, under God, the permanency and prosperity of 
that branch of the Church of Christ in Canada, denominated 
Methodist, principally depends. It becomes us to observe, 
that when the preliminary arrangements for effecting the 
union were under consideration, we were not without our 
fears for the results. Not in fear of a union with our 
British brethren, for this we have considered most desirable 
from the first, but it appeared to us that the measures pro- 
posed and adopted to obtain it were not advisable or expe- 
dient, and would ultimately fail of the desired end ; but we 
are now free to confess, and happy to find, that our fears 
were groundless ; and we are fully satisfied that the best 
arrangement and disposition of this important measure is 
made that the respective circumstances of the two Con- 
nexions would possibly permit. To this favorable result 
we are greatly indebted to the prudence, wisdom, and piety 
of those to whom the management of it has been committed 
by their respective Conferences. In the Rev. Mr. Marsden 
the Canadian Conference has found not only a respectable 
and judicious representative of the British Conference, and 
an effective President of their own, but a kind, paternal coun- 
selor and friend. May the choicest blessings of heaven 
attend him ! and prosper his way, not only to his native 
country and the affectionate embraces of his family and 
friends across the great waters, but throughout the days of 
his pilgrimage, till his Divine Master shall be pleased to say, 
' Come up higher and enter into the joy of the Lord !' " 

But alas ! what was so good in the inception, was made 
the occasion of a great deal of harm. First, as to the 
interior of the Church itself, there were some persons (at 
first only a few) opposed to the union, or some of its details, 
but they exemplified a most tireless industry to inoculate as 
many as possible with their own disaffection ; and many 
persons were brought to think their rights had been invaded, 
who, but for these persistent efforts, would not have sus- 


pected they had been injured at all. It began with certain 
local preachers, some of whom had been employed under 
Presiding Elders, and who aspired to membership in the 
Conference, but they had been thought too old, or otherwise 
disqualified for admission into the regular ministry of the 

The writer never heard of but one person opposed to the 
union, absolutely and on principle, before the Conference of 
1833. This was the Rev. David Gulp,* a located minister, 
a very worthy man in his way, but certainly not dis- 
tinguished for very broad views of Church matters. He 
had travelled abeut twelve years in all ; and his active 
ministry had comprehended the whole period of the 
" invasion," as he would have called it, of the Upper Pro- 
vince by the British missionaries, at which time his mind 
had become very much prejudiced against British Method- 
ism. He had been located about eight years at the time 
the union was effected, dining which time he had shown a 
disposition sometimes to criticise the travelling ministers. 

According to Dr. Webster's history, a short time after the 
consummation of the union, Mr. Culp called meetings about 
the " head of the lake," near which he resided, " which 
were approved and attended by several of his brethren." 

* After much attention to the subject, first and last, I am now 
thoroughly persuaded that Mr. Culp wa:i the great origiuator of the 
Episcopal division. He was an almost bigoted Episcopalian, and 
he hated British Methodism with a perfect hatred, besides having 
during the days of his locatiou fostered a disposition to suspect and 
criticise the Conference. Next to him was Mr. Bailey, who was 
bound to be a travelling minister at any hazard ; and was apparently 
unscrupulous of the means. Poor weak-minded old Mr. Gatchcll, he 
was more their dupe than anything else ; and was persuaded by 
them to do duty as the impersonation and embodiment of the 
original Canada Conference ! A wondrous representative truly ! 


"On the 18th of December, 1833, a little more than two 
months after the York Conference, a public meeting was 
held in Saltfleet, at which a decided stand was taken against 
the terms of the union." It purported to be a " meeting of 
the local preachers of the Methodist Episcopal Church." 
Of this meeting Mr. Culp was chairman and Mr. Aaron C. 
Seaver secretary. But the Guardian averred, from infor- 
mation received from parties on the spot, that the meeting 
was attended by but three local preachers besides their two 
selves, five in all, and these, when assembled, constituting a 
meeting no wise provided for by the Discipline of the 

" Another meeting was held on the 9th of January, 1834, 
in the old meeting-house on the Governor's Road, township 
of Blenheim, at which the proceedings of the Saltfleet meet- 
ing were discussed and sanctioned." [Webster.] It is but 
just in connection with the account of this meeting to place 
on record the following extract from the Guardian of March 
19, 1834, which speaks for itself : — 

" Correction. — The following note from an esteemed local 
preacher of long and respectable standing will be read with 
interest and satisfaction by the fi iends of the Church who are 
acquainted with him, as it shows the unworthy measures 
which have been adopted to create disturbance, and that they 
are without the slightest sanction from such pious and intel- 
ligent brethren as the author of the following note — notwith- 
standing the unauthorized and unhallowed use which has 
been made of the name. The best of men in the same Church 
may differ in opinion on prudential matters ; but they will 
be far from making such difference of opinion a ground of 
schism, or of such defamatory and separating resolutions as 
adopted by certain local preachers (have, by their own 
avowal, separated themselves from the Church, and have no 
right to take part in its proceedings), met at the Governor's 
Road referred to below. Men of candor and principle, 


founded on intelligence, feel too much of the spirit of 
genuine liberty and liberality to cherish or give utterance 
to such sentiments of anti-Methodism and narrow-hearted 

'Burford, March 9th, 1834. 

' Dear Brother, — Having lately heard that my name is 
used in many parts of the Province as sanctioning the reso- 
lutions passed at the Local Conference, held on the Govern- 
or's Road the 9th and 10th of January last, I take this 
method of informing the public, that I, as chairman, signed 
the resolutions, yet protested against them in toto at the 
time, and disapproved of the course pursued By the local 
brethren at their meeting, and still do. I assembled with 
others,, expecting the meeting was called for the purpose of 
having our grievances redressed ; but finding this not to 
be the case, and rather a separation intended, my mind 
was grieved, and had to lament that I took the chair. 

' I remain, yours in the bonds of Christian love, 
' Rev. E. Ryerson." ' Abner Matthews. 

"One day later than the Blenheim meeting, the 10th of 
January, 1834, another meeting was held at Belleville, in 
the proceedings of which sixteen local preachers from that 
section of the country took part." [Webster.] Their pro- 
ceedings, however, seem not yet to have been so extreme as 
those before mentioned, and to have turned upon details 
affecting local preachers, and a misapprehension of the guar- 
antee in the Articles of Union for the continuance of the 
privileges of existing local preachers. Certain it is, that the 
principal actors in it practically declared their adhesion to the 
new order of things till after the ensuing -Conference. They 
sat in the Quarterly Meetings in which the changes were dis- 

" On the London Circuit," says Dr. Webster, " a still more 
decided stand was taken than there had been at any of the 
places previously mentioned. Here the j)reachers appointed 


at this Conference " (1833) "to that Circuit were rejected 
by the Quarterly Conference, held January 25th, 1834, be- 
cause, being an official board of the M. E. Church, they 
deemed they could not consistently receive as their preachers 
persons who were ministers of the Wesleyan Methodist 
Church in British North America ; and, accordingly, that 
the work might suffer as little as possible, the Rev. John 
Bailey, who had already travelled some years in the Connex- 
ion, was requested to supply it as far as was practicable, 
which he did." (So says Dr. Webster's History.) 

It was my intention to have passed these events over 
slightly, and especially out of respect for his highly respecta- 
ble friends, to have touched upon Mr. Bailey's very ques- 
tionable course as little as possible ; but after the above 
erroneous version of the case, the interest of historic truth- 
fulness compel me to enter into this matter a little more 
fully. First, then, with regard to Mr. Bailey himself, in 
confirmation of what I said relative to his position at the 
previous Conference, when his name was mentioned in con- 
nection with the report of the Committee on Examinations, 
the following was the minute adopted : " John Bailey was 
not received, his examination, as to qualifications, not being 
satisfactory. It was resolved that the Presiding Elder be 
allowed to employ him during the year, should the work re- 
quire it." Thus was he practically discontinued. But sub- 
sequently some who sympathized with his wounded feelings 
and those of his family, pleaded for and obtained a recon 
sideration of his case, with the understanding that if his 
name were left on the Minutes as a probationer, with an ap- 
pointment attached, he would, of his own free-will, decline 
coming forward at the end of the year. With that view, the 
following minute was made : — " Brother John Bailey's case 
was reconsidered, and he was continued on trial !" His 


name was set down for Goderich, which had been connected 
with London, where his family resided, with the understand- 
ing that he and Mr. Beatty would travel the whole ground 
in conjunction. Now, there was nothing wrong in all this, if 
he had not thus assumed a trust which he deliberately be- 
trayed. He was a man of fifty years of age, more or less ; 
he had been both at the Conference where the union was 
proposed, and the one where it was ratified, and ought to 
have known whether he approved of the proceedings or not. 
There was no blame to him if he did disapprove, if, like an 
honest man, he had said so at the time, and not have allowed 
himself to receive work from a seceding Conference ! But what 
did he do 1 He went back to London, and did his utmost 
to alienate the people before Mr. Beatty, the newly appoint- 
ed preacher in charge, his old friend, should have time to get 
on the Circuit and get acquainted, thus causing him infinite 
vexation and perplexity. Mr. Bailey succeeded in doing this 
by working on the fears and prejudices of good Mr. Mitchell 
and others who were more influential than himself. All this 
time he held the position of a preacher in connection with 
the Conference. By an incidental business note in the 
Guardian of December 25th, 1833, we learn his paper was 
duly mailed to the London Post Office, with all the regulari- 
ty of those of the other Circuit preachers. Secondly, as to 
the Quarterly Meeting which called out Mr. Bailey, it was 
not the regular Quarterly Meeting of the Circuit, for that 
was appointed to meet " November 30 and December 1," 
according to the Presiding Elder's printed plan in the 
Guardian, and this one was held so late as January 25, 1834. 
Nor was it a legal one, for it was presided over by a local 
preacher and not by the proper officer. It may, for aught 
we know, have comprised a majority of the official members 
on the London Circuit, but it was not a legal Quarterly 


Meeting for all that. Thus, for nearly four months, had Mr. 
B. held the position of a Wesleyan preacher, and employed 
the influence the position gave him to divide a people he was 
expected to keep together. 

Dr. Webster resumes : " Following out the plan proposed 
by the London Quarterly Meeting a general convention was 
called, in order to ascertain what the state of feeling really 
was in the different sections of the Province." " The Con- 
vention met at Trafalgar, on the 10th of March, 1834, and 
continued sitting till the 12th. Though the attendance was 
not large, sixteen preachers only being present, the different 
sections of the work were pretty well represented." Then 
follow the resolutions they passed. This meeting was pre- 
sided over by John W. Byam, who had travelled nearly 
two years, but had been discontinued for disciplinary 
reasons, about sixteen years before ; he had, however, for 
several years regained a respectable standing as a local 
preacher. Of Mr. Seaver, who acted as secretary, we know 
nothing beyond this, that he was a local preacher. 

Here is the Guardian's account of this meeting following 
closely upon the time of its being held : " The business, we 
learn from a person present, began with seven persons. The 
number, when our informant left, on the second day, had 
been increased to sixteen. Six of these sixteen we know 
have sought to be employed in the travelling Connexion, but 
were not called out for want of requisite qualifications, or 
other hindrances ; and three of them, we learn, were licensed 
to preach at the last local Conference." There were no 
travelling preachers there, unless Messrs. Gatchel and Bailey 
were present.* These are all the meetings we know of hav- 
ing been held of a similar kind before the Wesleyan Confer- 
ence of 1834. 

* I now doubt either's having been there. 


Occurrences relating to the Connexion (which I will not 
now go into, but which I stand ready to enter upon, when 
any unwarranted use is about to be made of them) ex- 
traneous to the Union, or incidentally growing out of it, of 
a disturbing character having transpired about the middle 
of the Conference year 1833-34, were laid hold of to 
strengthen the opposition, and so far increased its adherents, 
that by the time this ecclesiastical year was ended, or at 
least by the close of September, 1834, there was some sort 
of an organization claiming to be the Methodist Episcopal 
Church in Canada, the challenge of which I will thoroughly 
examine further on j but I will proceed at present to in- 
vestigate their 

VI. Objections to the Identity of the Wesleyan 
Methodist Church in Canada with the Original 
Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada. 

These objections have been variously entertained and put 
forward : thus they have been implied and acted on when 
courage to announce them was wanting — orally stated, either 
by individuals in conversation, or in public discourses of 
various kinds — printed and published in various ways — and 
finally, prosecuted in courts of law. The challenges 
seriatim : — 

1. Abolishing Episcopacy. (1.) According to this, there is 
no Methodist Church in England, South Africa, or Australia 
because they are not Episcopal. That is the fair logical 
eduction, and it is amazingly molest and charitable ! 

(2.) If this objection is valid, there would have been no 
Methodist Church at all in the United States, if its founders 
in 1784, had not adopted the Episcopal form; and that once 
adopted , Episcopacy could not have been done away without 
destroying the Church's identity I Now let us hear what 


some of its actual founders had to say on that subject : — In 
1837, the Rev. Egerton Ryerson addressed the following note 
to every one of the surviving founders of the M. E. Church 
in the United States : — 

" Rev, and Dear Sir, — As you are one of the two or three 
ministers who commenced their labors, as itinerant 
Methodist preachers, before the organization of the Method- 
ist Episcopal Church in America, I beg permission (in con- 
sequence of a case which is at issue in the courts of law 
in Upper Canada, affecting the right of property held by the 
Wesleyan Methodist Church in that Province) to propose a 
few questions relative to the organization of your Church 
and the powers of your General Conference. 

"1. In organizing your Church, had your General Con- 
ference power to adopt any other name for your Church than 
that which it adopted % 

"2. Had your General Conference power to adopt what 
form of Church government it pleased 1 

" 3. Had your General Conference power, after the adop- 
tion of Episcopacy, to dispense with the ceremony of ordina- 
tion in the appointment to the Episcopal office ? 

" 4. Has it always been your understanding, that the 
General Conference had the power to make the Episcopal 
office periodically elective, or to abolish it altogether, if it 
judged it expedient to do so 1 

" I will feel greatly obliged to be favored with your 
views in reply to the foregoing questions, and what has been 
the understanding of your Connexion from the beginning 
respecting the points of ecclesiastical government involved in 

" Yours very respectfully, 

" Egerton Ryerson." 

rev. ezekiel cooper's reply. 

" Philadelphia, Nov. 20th, 1837. 

" Rev. and Dear Sir, — Yours of this day I have looked 
over, containing sundry questions, to which you request an 
answer. Time, indisposition, and other circumstances pre- 


elude me from so full an answer as you wish to receive, and 
as I would be willing, under other circumstances, to give 
most cheerfully, I briefly answer them, viz. : — 

" I. When our Church was organized, the General Confer- 
ence had power, and a right, to adopt any other name than 
that which they did adopt, for the style and name of the 
Church, had they seen proper to do so. The Conference was 
under no necessity, but, from mature deliberation, it was 
voluntarily resolved to choose the name of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church. Had they been disposed, they could have 
taken the name of the Evangelical Church, which some of 
the preachers would have approved of ; or they might have 
called themselves Wesleyan Church, the Reformed Church, or 
any other name, had they chosen it in preference. 

" II. The Conference had power to adopt any form of 
Church government it pleased, or might have chosen ; but it 
was the voluntary choice to adopt the Episcopal form of 
government — modified as we have it, subject to amendments or 
improvements, from time to time, as exigencies might require, 
and circumstances call for, in the judgment of the Confer- 
ence. The Episcopacy was always amenable to the General 
Conference, with power to suspend or even expel the bishop, 
or bishops, for causes sufficient in the judgment of the Confer- 
ence : — which may be seen by collating the several editions of 
the Discipline from the first to the last. 

" III. After the adoption of Episcopacy, the General 
Conference had power to change or dispense with the cere- 
mony of Episcopal ordination in the appointment to the 
Episcopal office, if it appeared proper and necessary to do so. 
Stillingfleet in his " Irenicum," and other Episcopal digni- 
taries of the Church of England, have admitted that the 
power of ordination is inherent in the Elders of the Church, 
or Presbytery ; but in certain canons, made by the ecclesi- 
astical councils, the power was restrained, for the better 
order and regulation in government. And our Church holds 
the same opinion ; therefore, if by expulsion, death, or other- 
wise, we should be without a bishop, the General Conference 
is to elect one, and appoint three or more Elders to ordain 
him to the Episcopal office ; so that the power of ordina- 


tion is, in the Elders, under restraint — but the Conference 
can take off that restraint if necessary ; then the Elders 
have the power of ordination, and are authorized to ordain 
even a bishop. Surely, then, by an appointment to the 
Episcopal office, if an Elder, with the restraint taken off, he 
can exercise the power of ordination without the ceremony 
of re-ordaining him, and perhaps, as in the case above stated, 
by Elders only, with the restraint taken off. If the restraint 
is taken off, and the ceremony is dispensed with in one 
case, surely it can be in another, and the ordination in the 
one case would be fully as valid as in the other ; therefore 
the ceremony can be dispensed with, and the Conference has 
power to do it in the case of Elders ordaining bishops. 

" IV. In my opinion, the General Conference had, and 
has, the power to make the Episcopal office periodically elec- 
tive, and, if necessary for the good of the Church, to abolish 
it, — provided the requirements of the Discipline for making 
alterations be complied with ; or, if the restrictions be 
removed, which there is power to do, and though difficult, 
yet not impossible to accomplish ; then any and every alter- 
ation may be made, which exigencies or circumstances may 
call for, and wisdom may direct. Note. — If Elders can be 
occasionally elected or appointed to exercise Episcopal func- 
tions in ordaining a bishop, and then cease and never exer- 
cise them any more, then why not occasionally or periodically 
elect or appoint to the Episcopal office for a term of time, 
and then to cease or even be abolished, and ordinations be 
performed by the Elders appointed thereto, as in the case of 
ordaining bishops. I am now considering the powers of the 
General Conference in cases of necessity, under existing cir- 
cumstances of exigency that might possibly occur, to make 
the thing necessary for the good of the Church. It is not 
necessary, nor good, nor proper, always to do what is in our 
power to do ; but it is good to have power to do that which 
may possibly, or probably, become necessary, proper, and 
good to do. 

" I hold that government is of Divine right ; but I do not 
hold that any particular or special mode, form, or organiza- 
tion, is of Divine right. Government originates with, and 


emanates from God, and is of Divine authority and sanc- 
tion ; but the mode, form, organization, &c, is human, as to 
the construction and management, order and regulation, and 
may, by human authority, be varied to suit different coun- 
tries, times, circumstances, necessities, &c. • and also may, 
by human authority, be changed, improved, and altered for 
the general good, according to the various occasions and 

" As to the Divine right of an uninterrupted Episcopal 
Prelacy from the Apostles down to the present time, it 
cannot be proved nor supported. In the Apostolic times, 
the terms bishop, elder, overseer, and presbyter, were 
interchangeably applied to the same men and office. (See 
Acts xx., 17 and 28.) The same men called elders in one, 
are called overseers in the other verse. St. Jerome informs 
us that in the Apostolic Church at Alexandria, the elders or 
presbyters, from the Apostolic time, used to choose and 
ordain, or set apart, their own bishop or patriarch. In the 
annals of the Church at Alexandria, written by one of their 
patriarchs, the same is stated and confirmed. We have 
numerous authorities : See JJord King on the subject — 
" Presbyters and bishops the same." The immortal Hooker 
admits the validity of the ordination of the Reformed 
Church, on the Continent, by presbyters, under the necessity 
of the case. Archbishop Cranmer went further, in his 
answer to King Edward's questions, and said, that the 
necessity of the case would make ordinatjen, instituted by a 

* "As to my own judgment," says Wesley, " I still believe the 
Espiscopal form of Church government to be Scriptural and apostolical 
— I mean well agreeing with practice and writings of the Apostles. 
But that it is prescribed in Scripture, I do not believe. This opinion, 
which I once zealously expressed, I have been heartily ashamed of 
ever since I read Bishop Stillingfleet's ' Irenicum.' I think he has un- 
answerably proved, that neither Christ nor his Apostles prescribed 
any particular form of Church government." Wesley's Works, vol. 
13, p. 139 : " Lord King's Act, of the Prmitive Church, convinced 
me many years ago, that bishops and presbyters are the same order, 
and consequently have the same right to ordain." Moor's Life of 
Wesley, p. 327. 


king and laity, in a supposed case, both valid and a duty, 
and that such things had been done. (See Stillingfleet's 
" Irenicum.") Archbishop Usher advised King Charles I., in 
the dispute with Parliament, to admit the Church of Eng- 
land to become a Presbyterial Episcopacy ; the king con- 
sented, but was too late. 

" I have extended further than I intended — must now 
close. I could write a volume had I time and strength. 

v " Yours respectfully, etc., 

" Ezekiel Cooper. 

" N.B. — I commenced my itinerancy in the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, A.D. 1784, though not printed in the 
Minutes till 1785. I was twenty-one years old when 1 
began to travel, and am now seventy-four years of age, and 
in the fifty- fourth year of my ministry. 


"State of New Jersey, Mizabethtown, Nov. ISth, 1837. 
" Rev. Egerton Ryerson, 

" Sir, — Your favor of yesterday was received, wherein 
you request me to answer some questions relative to the 
organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and the 
powers of the General Conference, — I give the answers with 
pleasure : — 

" First, you inquire, ' Had your General Conference the 
power to adopt any other name for your Church than that 
which is adopted 1 ' I answer, certainly it had ; we called it 
by its present name, as Mr. Wesley recommended it, and as 
we conceived it an appropriate term, according with having 
a Superintendent, who was raised to that office by a vote of 
the General Conference, and could have designated it by 
any other name if we could have found one more appro- 

" Second question, — ' Had your General Conference 
power to adopt what kind of Church government it pleased ? ' 
Most assuredly it had ; for though Mr. Wesley recommended 


us to use a form of prayer, in our public services, and gave 
us a ceremony for our baptismal services, yet the General 
Conference laid aside the prayer-book, and it is not used in 
one of our churches in the United States, and altered also 
the form for baptism in a way we thought more suitable for 
such service. 

" Third question, — ' Had your General Conference the 
power, after the adoption of the Episcopacy, to dispense 
with the ceremony of ordination in the appointment to 
the Episcopal office V I am confident they had ; and had 
they thought it necessary, would have done it. 

" Fourth question, — ' Has it always been your under- 
standing that the General Conference had the power to 
make the Episcopal office periodically elective, or to abolish it 
altogether, if they judged it expedient to do so 1 ' Before the 
year 1808, the General Conference had the power to make 
any alterations in the Discipline or government of our Church 
they thought expedient ; but since the year 1808, they 
are restricted from making any alterations in our present 
system without the recommendation of three-fourths of the 
Annual Conference. 

" Yours, &c, very respectfully, 

" Thomas Morkell. 
" Written with my own hand, and within four days of being 
ninety years of age." 

" I fully agree with the above statement by the Rev. T. 
Morrell in all things save that of his supposing the name of 
the Church being recommended by Mr. Wesley. The name, 
Methodist Episcopal Church, was recommended, to the best 
of my recollection, by John Dickens, as I have stated in the 
Methodist Quarterly Review, published by our book-agent, 
for Jan., 1832, page 98. I also agree fully with Bishop 
Hedding, in his letter dated Lansingburgh, S". Y., Oct. 12, 
1837, and addressed to Rev. E. Ryerson. 

" Thomas Ware. 

" I am in the seventy -ninth year of my age, and fifty-sixth of my 

"Salem, New Jersey, 20th Nov., 1837. 


u P.S. — Mr. Morrell not being at the Conference at 
which the Church was organized, accounts for his mistake 
about Mr. Wesley's recommending the name of the Church." 

" I commenced travelling as a Methodist itinerant 
preacher in the year 1777, and have had knowledge of the 
general usage and mode of proceeding in said community to 
this day, and fully concur in the ideas of Messrs. Morrell and 
Ware in their above statements, with the exception Brother 
Ware makes to an item in Brother Morrell 's statement, and 
concur with Bishop Hedding's letter to Brother Ryerson, 
dated Lansingburgh, Oct. 12, 1837. 

" Nelson Reed. 
" Aged eighty-four years. 

"Baltimore, Nov. 22nd, 1837." 

The opinions of leading ministers in the M. E. Church in 
the United States, and the constitution and practice of the 
Church, were in accordance with the above statements down 
to 1837. Letters were addressed by the !Rev. Egerton 
Ryerson to leading ministers of the American Church, whose 
names are given below : the answers which they returned 
speak for themselves : — 

" From the Bev. Samuel Luckey, D.D., elected by the Ameri- 
can General Conference, Editor of the Official Periodi 
cals and Books published for the Methodist Episcopal 
Church in the United States. 

(Copy.) " Perry, Genesee Co., N. Y., Sep. 29th, 1837. 

" Dear Sir, — I am at this place attending the Genesee 
Conference. Your letter came to hand yesterday, via New 
York. I have counselled with several of the preachers who 
were at the Pittsburg General Conference, in company with 
the bishop, who has been in all the General Conferences for 
thirty or forty years past. By their counsel I am sustained 
in the opinion I here offer, on the question you propose. 

" Question. ' Has the General Conference power, under 
any circumstances whatever, by and with the advice of all 
the Annual Conferences, to render the Episcopal office 


periodically elective, and to dispense with the ceremony of 
ordination in the appointment thereto !' 

" Answer. 'In my opinion the General Conference un- 
doubtedly has this right. — This is evident from the fact that 
the Discipline provides for the possibility of their doing so 
— as it is explicitly enumerated among the things which the 
General Conference shall not do without the recommenda- 
tion of the Annual Conferences, plainly implying that it may 
do it with such recommendation.' 

" Add to this, there is an example of an acknowledgement 
of a superintendent without ordination as such. In the 
General Minutes of 1786 or '7, or near that time, the ques- 
tion is asked — ' Who exercise the Episcopal office V " Ans. 
'John Wesley, Thomas Coke, and Francis Asbury.' — This 
is according to the best of my recollection. This shows that 
it was not in the intention, in adopting the Episcopal mode 
of government, to insist on consecration as essential to one 
exercising the Episcopal office. Besides, it is known that 
our entire defence of our Church organization, according to 
our most approved writers on that subject, proceeds on the 
same ground. 

" Yours, most affectionately, 
(Signed) " Saml. Luckey. 

" Rev. Egerton Ryerson. 

" N. B. — The opinion of your Chief Justice is an admir- 
able document ; the best I think I ever saw, showing the 
connection of law with ecclesiastical matters. S. L." 

" From the Rev. Elijah Hedding, D.D., the second senior 
bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United 

(Copy.) " Lansingburgh, N. Y., Oct. 12th, 1837. 

" Dear Brother, — I have just arrived at home, and found 
your letter. I am sorry I did not receive it early enough to 
render the aid you wished. The Genesee Conference did 
not close till the 30th ult. I suppose the law case is de- 
cided ; therefore, anything I can write will be of no use. 
I would have tried to get to Kingston, had I known the re- 
quest at the Genesee Conference. 


"It is clear from the Proviso, added to the Restrictions 
laid on the delegated General Conference, that by and with 
the supposed " Recommendation" said Conference may alter 
the plan, so as to make the Episcopal office periodically 
elective, and also, so as to dispense with the ceremony of 
ordination in the appointment. 

" I believe our Church never supposed the ceremony of 
ordination was necessary to Episcopacy; that is, that it 
could not in any possible circumstances be dispensed with, — 
nor that it was absolutely necessary that one man should 
hold the Episcopal office for life. One evidence of this I 
find in the Minutes of our Conference for the year 1789, 
— four years after our Church was organized. There it is 
asked, ' Who are the persons that exercise the Episcopal 
office in the Methodist Church in Europe and America \ 
Ans. Join Wesley, Thomas Coke, Francis Asbury.' — 
Bound Minutes, Yol. 1, p. 76. From this it appears those 
fathers considered Mr. Wesley in the Episcopal office, though 
he had never been admitted to it by the ceremony, of ordi- 

" I shall be glad to know how the law case is decided. 
Please write me or send me a paper containing it. 

" My best respects to and her parents, your 

brothers, &c. 

"Dear Brother, affectionately yours, 
(Signed) " Elijah Hedding. 

Rev. Egerton Ryerson." 

Mr. Ryerson continues : — " After examining the Disci- 
pline " (the Canadian Discipline), "and mature reflection, 
these gentlemen expressed their concurrence in the views of 
Bishop Hedding, at the bottom of his letter, as follows : — 

" I hereby certify that I fully concur with Bishop Hedding 
in the above opinion. 

(Signed) "J. B. Stratton.* 

"New York, Nov. 16th, 1837." 

* Mr Stratton had been elected bishop of the Canada Church in 
1831, but declined the office, 


" We concur in the opinion of Bishop Hedding expressed 

/a . ,x " Thomas Mason, 

(S lg ned) „ Geqrge LanE) 

" Agents of the General Conference for the publication 
of books for the M. E. Church." 

Mr. Ryerson further continues : — " I also addressed a 
letter on this subject to the Rev. Dr. Fisk, President of the 
Wesleyan University, and late representative of the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church in the United States, to the British 
Connexion. The following are copies of my queries and the 
answers : — 

" 200 Mulberry Street, 

" New York, Nov. \1th, 1837. 

" Rev. and Dear Sir, — A question of law is at issue in 
Upper Canada which involves the Chapel Property held by 
the Wesleyan Methodist Church in that Province. The 
principal points in the case ' on which there are any doubts' 
relate to the views of the Methodist Episcopal Church re- 
specting Episcopacy — the imposition of hands in the conse- 
cration of bishops— and the powers of the General Confer- 
ence to modify the Episcopal office. I have been favored 
by Bishop Hedding, Dr. Luckey, and others with an explicit 
statement of their views on these points, and will feel greatly 
obliged to you to be favored with your views, and what 
you believe to be the views of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, in reply to the following queries : 

" 1st. Is Episcopacy held by you to be a doctrine or 
matter of faith, or a form or rule of Church government as 
expedient or not according to times, places and circum- 
stances 1 

" 2nd. Has the General Conference power, under any cir- 
cumstances whatever, by and with the advice of all the 
Annual Conferences, to render the Episcopal office periodi- 
cally elective, and to dispense with the ceremony of ordina- 
tion in the appointment thereto 1 

" And as you were present at the British Conference in 


1836, as the representative of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church in America, I would beg to propose a third query. 

' 3rd. Do you consider the ordinations performed under the 
direction of the British Conference to be Scriptural and 
Methodistical 1 

" Earnestly soliciting your earliest answers to the foregoing 

" I am, yours very respectfully, 

" Egerton Ryerson. 
" The Rev. Wilbur Fisk, D.D., 

" President of the Wesleyan University. 

"P.S. — I had intended to visit Middletown University; 
but as I am unexpectedly required to go to Philadelphia, 
and cannot get home by Saturday, the 25th inst., without 
proceeding directly from this to Albany, &c, I must deny 
myself that pleasure. Please address me, Kingston, Upper 
Canada. E. R." 


" Rev. Egerton Ryerson, 

" My Dear Sir, — Your favor of late date is before me ; 
making some inquiries respecting the constitution of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. • 

" The first was in reference to the Episcopal form of 

" I, as an individual, believe, and this is also the general 
opinion of our Church, that Episcopacy is not ' a doctrine or 
matter of faith ' — it is not essential to the existence of a 
Gospel Church, but is founded on expediency, and may be 
desirable and proper in some circumstances of the Church, 
and not in others. 

" You next inquire as to the power of the General Con- 
ference to modify or change our Episcopacy. 

; ' On this subject our Discipline is explicit, that ' upon 
the concurrent recommendation of three-fourths of all the 
members of the several Annual Conferences who shall be 
present and vote on suoh recommendation, then a majority 
of two-thirds of the General Conference succeeding shall 


suffi ce ' to ' change or alter any part or rule of our govern 
ment, so as to do away Episcopacy and destroy the plan of 
our itinerant General Superintendency.' Of course, with 
the above-described majority the General Conference might 
make the Episcopal office elective, and, if they chose, dis- 
pense with ordination for the bishop or superintendent. 

" I was a delegate from the Methodist Episcopal Church 
to the Wesleyan Conference in England, in 1836. At that 
Conference I was present at the ordination of those admitted 
to orders, and by request, participated in the ceremony. I 
considered the ordination, as then and there performed, 
valid ; and the ministers thus consecrated, as duly authorized 
ministers of Christ. 

" With kind regards to yourself, personally, and the best 
wishes for the prosperity of your Church, I am, as ever, 

" In friendship and Gospel bonds, 

" W. Fisk. 

" Wesleyan University, Middletown, Ct., Nov. 20, 1837." 

But why am I arguing this point 1 Did not the original 
Canada Discipline, the very Discipline, if the} r have not 
changed it, by which our accusers profess to be governed 
provide for the " doing away " with the Episcopacy (if in- 
deed we had any Episcopacy to do away), as I have already 
shown? Our opponents will say, "The provisions were 
there, but you did not fulfil the conditions." Let us see. 
Here is the sworn testimony of the Secretary of the General 
Conference before a Court of Law : — 

" The witness delivered to the Court the following ex- 
tracts from the Journals of the General Conference : — 

" Special Session of the General Conference, called by th 
General Superintendent, at the request of the Annual Confer- 
ence, Hallo well, August 13th, 1832. 

" Conference met at six o'clock a.m. 

""Names of members : — William Case, Thos. Whitehead, 
Thomas Madden, Peter Jones, 1st. Wyat Chamberlain, Jas. 


"Wilson, Samuel Belton, William Brown, Joseph Gatchel, 
George Ferguson, David Yeomans, Ezra Healey, Phil. Smith, 
F. Metcalf, William H. Williams, John Ryerson, William 
Ryerson, David Wright, William Grifhs, Solomon Waldron, 
Robert Corson ,Jos. Messmore, R. Heyland, Edmond Stoney, 
George Bissel, James Richardson, Egerton Ryerson, John 
Black, Anson Green, Daniel Mc Mullen, Andrew Prindel, 
Ezra Adams, Alexander Irvine, King Barton — 34. 

" Egerton Ryerson was chosen Secretary. 

"Proceeded to elect a General Superintendent pro tem- 
pore. The Rev. William Case was duly elected. 

" Resolved, — That the first answer to the second question 
of the third section of the Discipline be expunged, and the 
following inserted in its place : ' The General Conference 
shall be composed of all the Elders and Elders elect who are 
members of the Annual Conference.' 

" Names of Elders elect : — John C. Davidson, Geo. Poole, 
Richard Jones, John S. Atwood, James Norris, Cyrus R. 
Allison,* Peter Jones, 2nd, Matthew Whiting, William 
Smith, John Beatty, Asahel Hurlburt, Alvah Adams, Richard 
Phelps, Hamilton Biggar, Ephraim Evans, Charles Wood,f 
Thomas Bevittt— 17. 

" Adjourned until nine o'clock a.m. 

" Conference met at nine a.m. Singing, and prayer by the 

* Mr. Allison was ill. 

t The claims of Messrs. Wood and Bevitt to be members of the 
General Conference, even on the terms now established, has been 
disputed : they had, first and last, travelled more than four years — 
Mr. Wood was certainly an ordained deacon when he re-entered the 
work, three years before. When the Secretary of the General Con- 
ference was questioned on the subject many years after, he could re- 
collect nothing about the terms on which they were allowed a seat in 
the General Conference, if indeed they were allowed ; and the Jour- 
nals of that Conference, having never been printed, were not to be 
found — were lying, possibly, in some lawyer's office. If allowed to 
vote without a legitimate claim, it would have no appreciable effect 
on the issue : they were only txoo against fifty -one. Their being in the 
list may have been a clerical error which is my opinion. — Compiler. 


" Resolved, — That this Conference, on the recommendation 
of three-fourths of the Annual Conference, having in view 
the prospect of a union with our British brethren, agree to 
sanction the third resolution of the Report of the Commit- 
tee of the Annual Conference, which is as follows : — 

" That Episcopacy be relinquished, (unless it will jeopard 
our Church property, or as soon as it can be secured,) and 
superseded by an Annual Presidency,' — in connection with 
the 10th Resolution of £he said Report, which says, 'That 
none of the foregoing resolutions shall be considered of any 
force whatever, until they shall have been acceded to on the 
part of the Wesleyan Missionary Committee and the British 
Conference, and the arrangement referred to in them shall 
have been completed by the two Connexions.' — Adopted by 
three-fourths of the members. Adjourned sine die. 

" William Case, Prest. 
" Egerton Ryerson, Secy. 

" Hallowell, Aug. 13th, 1832. 

(Truly Extracted,) 

" Egerton Ryerson." 

"Kingston, 11th Oct., 1837. 

" Counsel — Did the votes of those persons who were ad- 
mitted into the General Conference affect the decision of 
the question 1 T do not think they did, unless they rendered 
it somwhat less unanimous than it would have otherwise 
been. Eight of them were, to the best of my recollection, 
opposed to the then contemplated union, although I cannot 
say whether so large a proportion of them was opposed to the 
relinquishment of Episcopacy. Several who opposed the 
union were in favor of an Annual Presidency. Mr. Richard- 
son, who was the Secretary of the Annual Conference, spoke 
against the union, but in favor of abolishing Episcopacy. 
But they were not admitted with a view to secure the adop- 
tion of the measure, but simply to have as full an expression 
as possible of the views of all the preachers. 

" Counsel — Were the votes of your Annual and General 
Conferences (for they appear in fact to have been substan- 
tially one and the same body under different names, ) pretty 


unanimous 1 More than three-fourths were in favor of 
superseding Episcopacy by an Annual Presidency. 

" Counsel — Was any objection made as to the power of 
your Conference to do what it did in respect to the union 
with the British Conference 1 I never heard of the expres- 
sion or existence of such a doubt. 

"Counsel — Did those members who constituted the minority 
on the question of Episcopacy and the union, show any dis- 
position to persevere in their opposition after the disposition 
of those questions by the voice of so large a majority of their 
brethren 1 By no means. Far otherwise. The discussion 
was conducted in the most friendly manner, such as is usual on 
any merely precedential question ; and, after the close of the 
proceedings on those questions, some of the leading speakers 
in the minority expressed their intention to acquiesce in and 
support the views of the majority. Not a single member left 
or seceded from the Conference on account of those proceed- 
ings, or showed a disposition to do so. 

" Counsel — Were you not appointed by the Hallo well 
Conference to represent the interests of your Church on the 
subject of the Union in England 1 I was. 

" Counsel — Were you aware that, in the interval between 
the sessions of your Conference in Hallowell, 1832, and in 
Toronto, 1833, there was any opposition on the part of any 
considerable portion of the members of your Church to the 
object of your mission to England "? I was not. I employed 
every means in my power to ascertain the views and feelings 
of our members and friends on the subject. Immediately 
after the Hallowell Conference I published the proposed 
Articles of Union in the Christian Guardian. [August 29th, 
1832], and request the Presiding Elders on the different dis- 
tricts to inform me of the state of feeling among our people 
within the bounds of their respective charges, as it would be 
a guide to me in my negotiations. A short time before I left 
the Province for England in March, 1833, I received letters 
from two of the chairmen on the subject. I also conversed with 
the other two chairmen. From these sources I learned that the 
union was, with very few individual exceptions, universally 
approved of by the members of our Church. The only point 


on which I could learn that any apprehension existed was in 
relation to the appointment of preachers to their circuits 
and stations. As the Superintendent or President had the 
power of stationing all the preachers, fears were entertained 
in some instances that a President sent out from England 
might appoint English preachers to the best stations, and 
send the Canadian preachers into the interior. I provided 
against the possibility of an event of this kind, by getting 
the consent of the British Conference to limit the power of 
the President, that whilst he exercised the same functions 
generally as the General Superintendent had heretofore ex- 
ercised, he should not station the preachers contrary to the 
consent of a majority of the Chairmen of Districts associated 
with him as a Stationing Committee. 

"Counsel — I think you said you were at the Toronto Confer- 
ence, held in October, 1833 : will you state to the Court and 
to the Jury, the proceedings of that Conference on the subject 
of the union 1 I arrived in Toronto, from England, a few days 
before the meeting of the Conference, in company with the 
Rev. Mr. Marsden, who had been sent out as the represen- 
tative of the British Conference, and the Rev. Mr. Stinson, 
representative of the Wesleyan Missionary Committee, 
whom I introduced to the Conference. Before the meeting 
of the Conference, the resolutions of the Hallowell Confer- 
ence, and the resolutions agreed to by the British Confer- 
ence, were printed on parallel pages on the same sheet, and 
on the morning of the meeting, were put into the hands of 
each preacher, that he might carefully examine them and 
compare the one with the other. After the Conference was 
organized in the usual way, by calling over the names of all 
the members, and appointing a Secretary, and some other 
preliminary business had been disposed of, the subject of the 
union was taken up, the proceedings of the Conference on 
which I cannot better state than in the words of the Jour- 
nals, or official records. Witness read the following, which 
he delivered in to the Court : 

[Extracts from the Journals of the Annual Conference, held 
Toronto, Oct. 2nd, 1833.] 

" The question of union with the British Conference was 


taken up. The Rev. George Marsden addressed the Confer- 
ence on the object of his mission, giving an account of what 
had taken place in England on the question of the union, the 
deliberate and careful manner in which it had been examined 
and considered, the unanimous and deep interest which the 
English preachers felt in it. Egerton Ryerson presented 
and read the report of his mission to England. — See Letter 
I., No. 4. 

" Conference proceeded to examine the articles agreed to 
by the British Conference seriatim. — Adjourned. 

" Conference met at two o'clock p.m. Singing and 

" The consideration of the Articles of Union was resumed. 
The legal opinion of Messrs. Rolph^and Bidwell, as to the 
effect which relinquishing Episcopacy might have upon the 
titles to Church property, was read. See Letter I., No. 5. — 
After several hours' careful investigation, it was moved 
by E. Ryerson, seconded by J. C. Davidson, and unanimously 

" That this Conference cordially concurs in the adoption 
of the Resolutions agreed to by the British Conference, dated 
Manchester, August 7th, 1833, as the basis of union between 
the two Conferences. 

(Truly * extracted.) 

" Egerton Ryerson. 

"Kingston, Oct. 11th, 1837." 

" Witness proceeded : During the forenoon of the day 
following, a Committee was appointed to revise the Discipline 
and report thereon. Five days afterwards, on the 7th of the 
same month, that committee reported the various modifica- 
tions which constitute the difference between the Discipline 
of 1829 and 1834. The report was carefully considered and 
adopted, when it was proposed and agreed to, to call a meet- 
ing of the General Conference, to confirm what had been 
done by the Annual Conference, in respect to the Discipline 
and the union. Witness handed into the Court the 
following : — 


[Extracts from the Journals of the Annual Conference, held 
Toronto, Oct., 1833.] 

" October 3rd. 
" A committee to revise the Discipline was appointed, con- 
sisting of the President, Secretary, Editor, Chairmen of Dis- 
tricts, W. Case, W. Ryerson, D. Wright, E. Healey, and E. 

" Monday, October 7th. 
" Conference met at eight o'clock a.m. Singing and 

" The Report of the Committee on the Discipline was pre- 
sented and taken up item by item, and agreed to in view of 
its adoption by the General Conference. For Report, see 
Letter I., No. 7. 

" It was moved and resolved, That the President be re- 
quested to call a special session of the General Conference, 
to take into consideration some points of discipline. 

" The President accordingly called a special session of the 
General Conference, to be held forthwith. 

[The above resolutions were, to the best of my knowledge 
and belief, adopted unanimously.] 

(Truly extracted.) 

" Egerton Ryerson. 
"Kingston, Oct. 11th, 1837. 
" Witness then handed in the following : 
[Extracts from the Journals of the General Conference, held 
in Toronto, October 7th, 1833.] 
" Special session of the General Conference, called by the 
President at the request of the Annual Conference, Oct. 7th, 
1833, at York. 


[The same as were present at Hallowell, mentioned on 
page 48, and are therefore omitted here, though they were 
given into the Court.*] 

* Of those mentioned on page 48 as constituting the members of 
the General Conference, J. Gatchell and K. Barton were absent at 
the session in Hallowell. Mr. Gatchell was present, however, at 


" Egerton Ryerson was chosen Secretary. 

" The Report of the Committee of the Annual Conference 
on the Discipline was maturely considered and adopted, nem. 
con. See Letter E., No. 8. 

2. The Church's having Changed her Name was Another 
Reason given why she had lost her Identity. 

This is a frivolous, objection. On the same principle, 
a lady whose name is changed from her maiden one to that 
of her husband by a legal marriage, ceases to be the same 
person she was under her former name ; and forfeits all the 
property to a person who unwarrantably assumes her maiden 
name, after she is known by her husband's name ! As well 
might a noble steamboat, which has undergone some change 
in her ownership and relations, has been refitted, and has 
had the name on her stern somewhat modified, be run off 
the route, and her monied earnings claimed by a tiny craft, 
which has been built out of a few spars and splinters once 
belonging to her outworks and rigging, since these changes 
were legitimately made, receive her original name and claim 
to be the same identical steamship ! Or as well might an 
incorporated college which bore a particular name, because 
it has come into a new affiliation, and has some words in its 
original designation changed, although all the changes have 
been made according to the constitution or charter, and 
according to law, be robbed of all its rights and endow- 
ments by an upstart school got up by a dissatified usher and 
some refractory students, after all the changes have been 
legally made and ratified. 

This very objection was anticipated and provided for 
before any change was made. The Conference of 1832 
ordered the consultation of Messrs. Bidwell and, Rolph, an 
eminent legal firm of that day, on the legal effect of changing 
the name of the Church. And early in the next civil year, 


months before the delegate left for England, the editor and 
the minister in charge of York Station waited on the legal 
gentleman referred to with the categorical questions prepared 
by the Conference, which are implied in the answer they 
received, which I herewith give, and which speaks for 
itself: — 

" York, 5th January, 1833. 

" Gentlemen, — We had the honor to receive last even- 
ing your note of this month, in which you state that 
the Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 
Canada desired us to give our opinion on the question, 
' Whether the abolishing of the Episcopal form of Church 
government from among them would jeopard their Church 

" We are not aware that there has been any adjudication 
exactly in point ; but it has been decided that, if a corpo- 
ration hold lands by grant or prescription, and afterwards 
they are again incorporated by another name, as where 
they were bailiffs and burgesses before and now are Mayor 
and commonalty, or were prior and convent before, and 
afterwards are translated into a dean and chapter, although 
the quality and name of their corporations are altered, yet 
the new body shall enjoy all the rights and property of the 
old. 4 Co. 87—3 Burr., Rep. 1866.— Judging from the 
analogy of this case, as well as from other considerations, 
we are of opinion that, if Episcopacy should be abolished in 
your Church, and some other form of Church government 
should be established in the manner mentioned in your book 
of discipline, the rights and interests of the Conference in 
any Church property, whether they were legal or only 
equitable rights and interests, would not be impaired or 
affected by such a change. 

" We have the honor to be, reverend gentlemen, 
" Your obedient, humble servants, 

" Marshal S. Bidwell. 
"John Rolph. 

" Revs. Messrs. J. Richardson and A. Irvine." 


The soundness of Messrs. Bidwell and Rolph's legal 
opinion was confirmed, as well as the constitutional regu~ 
larity of all the proceedings in the union measure, by the 
issue of no less than six several suits which the self-created 
Episcopals instituted to possess themselves of property 
belonging to the original Methodist Church of the Province 
of Upper Canada, which were as follows : — 

1st. The chapel in the Jersey Settlement, Gore District. 

2nd. The Rock chapel, Gore District. 

3rd. Lundy's Lane chapel, Niagara District. 

4th. The Belleville chapel, Victoria District. 

5th. The Waterloo chapel, Midland District. 

6 th. The chapel ground in By town. 

Further, that the preservation of an original name is in 
no wise indispensable to the solidarity and identity of a 
Church, and its claims are implied in several authoritative 
statements which have been produced, especially that of the 
Rev. Ezekiel Cooper. 

Examples in illustration and confirmation of this position 
might be furnished from other lands and times. Not to 
go back too far, or beyond our own country, many such ex- 
amples might be produced from the Presbyterian chinches of 
this land, in which I do not pretend to claim more than sub- 
stantial correctness. Several of the older Presbyterian 
churches, such as Prescott, Brockville, Perth, York, &c, at 
the first, I believe, stood in connection with the Synod of 
Ulster, in Ireland. Next, they appear in connection with 
the Church of Scotland, which involved some change of 
name, as well as administration, yet their identity was not 
destroyed, or their rights impaired. The same was true, 
after the changes brought about by the union of the 
" Canada " and " United " Presbyterian Churches. The 
same holds good with this united body after its union with 


the residuary Church of the Province, and all attempts to 
prevent the property going into the new organization have 
failed. The union of the first " Canadian Wesley an Metho- 
dist Church" with the "New Connexion," and the combina- 
tion of these two names in one, did not destroy the identity 
and claims of the former. The last and largest unifying 
Methodist measure, because done constitutionally, has with- 
stood all appeals to the law to prevent the property of any 
one of the sections from going into the united body, though 
now under a new name. 

The last objection to the union measure, and the changes 
involved in that measure, was — 

3. Tlie body which previously elected one of its own mem- 
bers to preside over the deliberations of the Conference and to 
superintend the Connexion, afterwards received a President 
from the British Conference, who jjossessed the administrative 
authority also. 

Even so ! The General Conference, both of the United 
States and Canada Churches, had power to change the mode 
of appointing their presiding and superintending officers into 
any form, and to confide the office to what hands they liked. 
A General Superintendent from England, or who resided prin- 
cipally or wholly in England, did not destroy the identitv, 
autonomy, or even independence of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church in the United States, and by consequence did not 
destroy that of the Canada Church. Observe the following 
reiding of the American Minutes in 1789 : "Question 7. 
Who are the persons who exercise the Episcopal office in the 
Methodist Church in Europe and America'? Answer. John 
Wesley, Thomas Coke, Francis Asbury." The intelligent 
reader does not require to be told that Wesley resided 
wholly in England, and Coke principally, yet they belonged 
to both Connexions. The articles of the first union did not 


empower the British Conference to appoint the same person 
to be President oftener than " once in four years"; or in the 
event of failing to do it, as they did in 1840, the Canada 
Conference had power to elect one of its own members to 
that office. For seven years this Conference elected its own 
President and administered its own affairs without any 
change in the name or the essential organization of the 

The immediate, original mother of the Canada Church re- 
ceived the delegates of that Church each succeeding four years, 
at its General Conference, not only without hesitancy, but 
with cordiality, as the lineal descendant of the Church it at 
first planted, and as co-ordinate with itself, on the principle 
that none of its changes of name or administration had de- 
stroyed its identity or impaired its true Methodistic validity. 

The above line of argument might be greatly expanded, 
illustrated, and fortified, but my object has only been to give 
an epitome of the case throughout, as being thus more likely 
to be read and understood than if it had been more extend- 
edly amplified. I have, therefore, reserved plenty of 
materials for strengthening any part of this fortress that 
may be assailed. And here I might stop. 

For what is the fair inference from the facts and argu- 
ments I have adduced 1 If Mr. Wesley and all sound and 
sensible Methodists believe that no exact form of Church 
government is laid down in the Scriptures ; if he and they 
believe that elders and bishops are but one and the same 
order, and may ordain indifferently, yea, that there are 
other modes of ordination than by imposition of hands — 
that any one particular name is not essential to the exist- 
ence of a true Methodist Church, and that its essence con- 
sists in something more vital — that a Presbyterial Wesleyan 
Church in Europe and a Presbyterially Episcopal one in 


America are co ordinate® — and that all the changes involved 
in the translation of the Canada Church, through a brief 
period of independency, from an immediate connection with 
the latter to an immediate connection with the former, were 
constitutionally made, and that one must be the original and 
true Methodist Church of the Province ; and finally, that, 
therefore, any ecclesiastical body claiming that position must 
be a pretence and & fraud. And here I might rest the case, 
but I fear our would-be rivals are so pertinacious that I 
shall be forced to advance one step further, and — 

VII. Examine the Claims of the Redoubtable Chal- 

In order to eliminate the real truth from what some have 
made a tangled, heterogenous mass, I will apply several 
tests in the form of questions, and honestly inquire what 
answers contemporaneous history affords. One of the first 
questions that should be asked is the following : — 

Who originated the body now claiming to be the true 
Methodist Episcopal Church of Canada 1 

In answer, I am justified in saying : — One located elder — 
one who was once a travelling preacher, but who had been 
out of the Connexion twenty-two or twenty-three years — 
(some say expelled) — two that had been on trial two or 
three years, but were never received into full connexion — 
one who had attained deacon's orders as a travelling preacher, 
but had been located twenty years at the time of the union 
in 1833 — one superannuated preacher — one who located to 
escape notification of location for inefficiency, after the union 
was effected — and a few local preachers, one or two of whom 
had been hired by a Presiding Elder to travel on circuits 
for short periods — some exhorters — and a few dissatisfied 
officials and private members, and an augmentation in suc- 
ceeding months and years of other adherents, not dissimilar 


to those who went to David in the cave of Adullum, as re- 
corded in Samuel, chapter xxii. and verse second, which fcee. 

What was the order and the dates of their respective 
adhesions to this enterprise ] 

If we allow Dr. Webster's (their own historian) version 
of the successive opposition movements against the Union 
measure that transformed the Methodist Episcopal Church 
in Canada into the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Canada, 
and his dates as I have given them on a former page, then 
(1) the Rev. David Culp, once a travelling Elder, who had 
located eight years before the union was consummated, was 
about the first who evinced overt hostility to that measure. 
Yet there is no evidence that his opposition at the first went 
any further than dissatisfaction with the prospect that no 
one becoming a local preacher after 1833 would receive ordi- 

The next in order, and probably greater in mischievous- 
ness, was Mr. John Bailey, to whom I have already referred, 
who was given, and took an appointment from the Wesleyan 
Methodist Conference after the union was consummated in 
1833. This was done, as I have shown in another place, to 
save his own and family's feelings ; and he betrayed the 
trust voluntarily assumed by him. Let us hear this gentle- 
man's admissions, on oath, under cross-examination, during 
the progress of the Belleville Chapel Property trial : — "It 
was witness's desire to be admitted a member of the travel- 
ling Connexion at Toronto in 1833. They agreed to the 
union before he received his appointment to a station."* 

One of the earliest who co-operated with Mr. Culp was 
Daniel Pickett, a man who had earned no right to be 
listened to with respect in such a juncture. He had been 
received on trial for the ministry in 1800, and had been 

* Belleville Chapel Property ea^e. 


for some years considered reliable as a preacher, but in 
1809 his name was discontinued from the Minutes with- 
out any reason assigned. He went into business and 
fell into some difficulty. The report was current when 
T became a Methodist, in 182*4, that he had been ex- 
pelled. The probability is that the Rev. Henry Ryan dis- 
membered him during the interregnum which comprised the 
war period (1812-15). As early as 1820, at least, he had 
commenced the attempt to raise a body of " Provincial 
Methodists," and with that view he preached in various 
places about the head of the lake. During the Conference 
year 1831-32, Mr. Ryan being out of the way, he made 
application to the District Conference (" Local Preachers' "), 
and was re-admitted as a local preacher, the Rev. James 
Richardson presiding. The Discipline provided that where 
an ordained local preacher was expelled his orders should be 
demanded and deposited in keeping of the Annual Confer-' 
ence, which was the only authority which could restore the 
parchment again. It is morally certain that the Annual 
Conference never restored Mr. Pickett's orders, but it is 
likely that no person ever challenged his right to dispense 
the ordinances, and the matter went by default ; but, if 
strictly canvassed, it is almost certain, that this person who 
claimed the right of joining in the ordination of a bishop 
was not even a bona-jide local Elder. A pretty man was he 
to fly in the face of the unanimous action of sixty of God's 
servants who had kept on in their proper pastoral work, and 
made all the arrangements with the view of subserving the 
best interests of the Church, and with the utmost scrupu- 
losity in observing constitutional requirements. 

Mr. Bailey was one of the two who had been on trial, but 
not received into full connexion ; John Wesley Byam was 
the other. He was received on trial at the Conference of 


1817, and travelled the year 1817-18 and at least a good 
part of 1818-19, but before the ordination lost his status as 
a preacher. After some time he regained his standing as a 
local preacher, and so far earned the confidence of the cir- 
cuit on which he lived as to be recommended to the Confer- 
ence for orders as a local deacon, which he received at Salt - 
fleet in 1825. Farther than this he had not gone when he 
took part in the earlier Conferences of the new organization. 
If the accuracy of this statement is challenged, I will give 
particulars which I now pass over. 

I have said that one had located to escape notifica 
tion for location ; this was John H. Huston, who, after being 
a long time under a Presiding Elder, without being able to 
secure recommendation by a circuit, was received on trial in 
1827, but had to travel three years, instead of two, before 
he received deacons orders. Three years after, when the 
unk>n was consummated, he received ministerial orders' at 
the hand;* of the new English President, the Pev. George 
Marsden, in 1833; but his chairman, the Pev. James 
Pichardson, finding it hard to procure him a circuit because 
of inefficiency, moved, ''-That Brother Huston receive 
notice of location," which would have gone into effect in a 
year from that time ; upon which he was led to ask for a 
location at once, which was voted without delay. His dis- 
satisfaction of mind prepared him for co-operating with the 
dissatisfied ones ; and in 1835 we find him among the four 
consecrators of the new bishops and ranking among the 
founders of a Church ! 

The remaining two Elders who went to make up the five 
who constituted the first General Conference which elected 
a bishop were Messrs. John Reynolds and Joseph Gatchell. 
For certain reasons, though he gave in his adhesion later 
than any of the rest, I will present the case of Mr. Reynolds 


first. It is quite important to consider it carefully, as this 
was the gentleman chosen to be their first bishop, on whom 
all their claims to Episcopacy, and all the traditional heir- 
ships of the Church, hinged. 

Mr, Reynolds was received on trial in 1808, and travelled 
between three and four years, at which time he had to dis- 
continue for want of health, and before he received Elder's 
orders. But these he received as a local preacher, according 
to the usage which then obtained, at the first session of the 
Canada Annual Conference, in 1824 ; but he never returned 
to membership in the Conference, and was a local preacher 
at the time the union was consummated ; and we have seen, 
and shall further prove, remained in the Church after the 
union, filling various offices, till July, 1834 ; " but it was not 
till the early part of September he finally withdrew;"* so 
that in uniting to reconstruct a Church, which had gone out 
of existence, constitutionally, so far as it respected the 
original name, he was making himself, to all intents and 
purposes, a seceder. 

It must be plain to any one who has studied the question 
in the slightest degree, that neither of the four persons 
already mentioned, Messrs. Culp, Pickett, Huson, and 
Reynolds, had any pretence for claiming to be " travelling 
Elders" and to sit in a General Conference, much less to con- 
stitute one in toto. 

But the pretenders' plea is, that the Rev. Joseph Gatchell 
having now gone with the Union measure, constituted the 
true Conference in himself, and having re-admitted these 
four Elders into the travelling Connexion, they five convoked 
themselves as a General Conference, elected and consecrated 
one of their number as a bishop, and put all the machinery 

* Proven by Rev. Henry Williamson's sworn testimony, who was 
Mr. Reynolds' pastor at the time. 


of the original Church once more in operation ! We shall 
see, by my giving his veritable history, what grounds there 
were for putting in these claims for him and their Church. 
He was a " travelling Elder " in its technical sense at the 
Conference of 1834, in the Minutes of which his name ap- 
pears as a superannuate preacher, and for the last time. 
He had been received on trial in 1810 — travelled three 
years, and located in 1813 — he remained located eleven 
years, that is, till 1824, when he united with the travelling 
Connexion again, and labored as an effective preachei until 
1830, — six years, — when he superannuated — the change of 
the constitution in 1831 gave him a seat in all the General 
Conferences which followed. He was known to be somewhat 
opposed to the Union measure, and when the final vote was 
put in 1834, he withdrdrew from the General Conference 
room to avoid voting either way, but told his fellow-lodger, 
Rev. R. Corson, that he did not intend to dismember him- 
self from the Conference. He continued to labor in protract- 
ed meetings through the Conference year 1833-34, if not 
1834 35 also; but the former year he received his super- 
annuated , allowance from Conference funds, and is duly 
charged with it in printed Minutes of 1834, one year after 
the ratification of the union. He was not at the Wesleyan. 
Conference in Hamilton, which commenced June 10th, 1835, 
and is not mentioned in any form, neither " located," " with- 
drawn," or " expelled." But about that very time, — June 
5th, 1835, — while the second Conference after the union was 
being held, he and the four local Elders already named, 
" met and resolved themselves into what they called a Gene- 
ral Conference, and elected one of their number to the office 
of a bishop." This is stated in the Journals of the American 
General Conference in Cincinnati, to which they had applied 
for recognition, dated May 14 th, 1836, and affirmed by the 


Canada Episcopals themselves, by their publishing it in the 
Minutes of their Annual Conference for 1836, which met in 
" Belleville, June 21st" of that year. That there may be 
no dispute about it I herewith give the Report in extenso as 
they presented it : — 

" General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal 
"Church, Cincinnati, Ohio, May 14, 1836. 

" The committee to whom was referred the address of 
sundry persons in Upper Canada, claiming to be the M. E. 
Church in that Province, beg leave to report— 

" That they have had an interview whh the individuals 
appointed by those persons, and who were the bearers of the 
address, and have availed themselves of such other sources 
of information as were within their reach. And they find 
that in June, 1835, certain persons to the number of five, 
only one of whom was a travelling preacher, the others 
being local Elders, met and resolved themselves into what 
they called a General Conference, and elected one of their 
number to the office of a bishop, and the remaining four pro- 
ceeded to ordain and set him apart for that office, and imme- 
diately held an Annual Conference, from the Minutes of 
which it appears that they then numbered twenty- one sta- 
tioned or travelling preachers, twenty local pieachers, and 
1,243 members of society. It appears there have been addi- 
tions since, both of preachers and members. In view of all 
the circumstances, as far as your committee has been able to 
ascertain and understand them, they are unanimously of 
opinion the case requires no interference of this General Con- 

All of which is respectfully submitted. 

" D. Ostrander, Chairman. 

"Cincinnati, May 14th, 1836." 

I think enough has been said to show that Joseph Gatchell 
et al. had no ground in Methodist or general law to set up 
the claims they did ; nay, that their claims were prepos- 

terous in the extreme. These persons had a natural right to 
organize a Church to their taste; or, to state it more properly, 
to take the responsibility of opposing and thwarting a per- 
fectly legitimate and well-intentioned measure. But their 
proceedings were of a kind for which there was no provision 
in the Discipline of the Methodist Church. It is true the 
Discipline provided, that "If by death, expulsion, or other- 
wise, there be no bishop remaining in our Church," then 
" the General Conference shall elect a bishop ; and the Elders, 
or any three of them, who shall be appointed by the General 
Conference for that purpose, shall ordain him according to 
our form of ordination." But the General Conference of 
yore, by constitutional provision, was merged in the then 
existing Conference of the Wesleyan Methodist Church, and 
certainly did not exist in the five men described, only one of 
whom would have been competent to vote in that General 
Conference, if it had continued ; besides, that General Confer- 
ence, by a unanimous vote, had agreed to "do *away with 
Episcopacy," — to do away with it even in theory. Farther, the 
conditions to which the clause above quoted refer did not, and 
could not, exist. There had never been a bishop to die, be 
expelled, or " otherwise " be disposed of. Although they 
might have had a natural right to create what they called 
an Episcopacy, they had no legal Methodist ic right to do any 
such thing. No wonder, therefore, that one American 
Methodist editor should have pronounced the proceedings 
" little less than a solemn farce." 

Then, also, viewing it on general religious grounds, was 
there anything to justify itl Here is a branch of Methodism 
which at first intends to adopt the Presbyterio-Episcopal 
form of Church government ; but they have never succeeded 
in securing an JEpiscojws. In the meantime, the oldest, or 
parent branch of Methodism, having entered on the same 


ground in the prosecutions of missionary openings, as Church 
government is a secondary matter in Methodism, it has been 
thought best that these two branches should combine for the 
evangelization of the country, each one giving up some pe- 
culiarity, adopting some feature of administrative economy 
from the other, all of which changes were made constitution- 
ally. Was it kind and Christian-like in a very small minority 
to try to force their views on the majority 1 ? or to rend the 
peace and unity of an otherwise prosperous Church because 
their views could not be met 1 Did they not justly lay 
themselves open to the suspicion that their opposition was 
founded in one or more of the following causes — one or two 
in some, and all in others — namely, prejudice, bigotry, vanity, 
ambition, want of humility, and love of ascendency and no- 
toriety 1 If I am forced at last to speak out, I must say I 
have never changed the opinion I had then, that their stand 
was unwarranted and wicked — oh, it was enough to make 
angels weep to witness the strife and evil-speaking which 
were resorted to to rend happy societies apart. 

The manner of prosecuting these devisive objects, and the 
reasons for their success, are honestly put, and expressed in 
the most temperate language and kindest spirit in my 
biographical history, which I here reproduce, as I choose to 
treat this matter in the judicial, rather than in the contro- 
versial, manner : — " At first their accessions were mostly 
from the old body, for a disruptive spirit is not usually the 
spirit of revival. They drew on the Wesleyan Church in 
various ways and for many years. First, there were the 

disaffected local preachers and their immediate friends 

These local preachers showed the most untiring industry. 
They visited nearly every local preacher in the land, and 
tried to shake his adherence to the Conference. Wherever 
they heard of a dissatisfied or susceptible class-leader, they 


visited him, and tried to secure the adhesion of him and his 
class to their measures. They did the same with individual 
members of the Church. The most unfounded stories were 
put in circulation against the Conference and individual 
ministers, adapted very much to weaken the influence of both 
one and the other. These, because of the political prejudices 
awakened by causes already described,* were very largely 
believed, and caused the members of the Conference, in 
many cases, to tread a thorny path ; and this rather in- 
creased than diminished for many years. The Episcopal 
brethren appealed to the sympathy of the so-called reform- 
ing politicians of the day, and received it largely. This to 
them was a great source of gain and support. Then, no 
doubt, as they saw everything depended upon it, their 
preachers labored hard, despite all privations. They went 
into neighborhoods where the "Wesleyans had no services, 
and raised up classes. Many a Wesleyan brother was per- 
suaded to take the leadership of such a class ; many a local 
preacher was lured over with the prospect of obtaining a 
circuit ! " 

Every line of the above is true, and this method was 
pursued with effect for full ten years after the disruption. 
Their misrepresentations relative to their claims of being the 
original Church of the land, long years after, confused and 
inveigled many a quiet, uninformed country society, and 
divided or totally alienated them. A tithe of such proceed- 
ings could not be particularized. I sadly remember Edwards- 
burgh, the Manning Settlement, the Dalson neighborhood, 
and many others. 

But the most embarrassing aspect of this whole matter is, 
that this people, who were directly refused recognition by 

* Reference is here made to some matters which for a time pro- 
cured the Wesleyan Conference the ill-will of the Reform party. 


the American General Conference in 1836 and in 1844, 
after years of endeavor to leaven a certain class of American 
Methodist ministers with their ideas and with sympathy for 
them ; and upon their advice, in 1856, ap plied to that body 
for a "friendly recognition," and going early, before our 
delegates had arrived, it was carried in the sense of a quasi 
acknowledgment. If they had worn their honors meekly, 
although anomalous, it might not be worthy of remark, but 
the use they make of it in this country, I am quite sure, is 
anything but what the most considerable of the American 
ministers intended and expected at the time. This I saw 
from the indignation and regret expressed to me by the two 
Drs. Peck and Dr. Hibbard at the General Conference in 
Philadelphia, in 1864 ; but when a committee was struck to 
examine the matter, there being a portion of their friends 
upon that committee thoroughly schooled in the mode of pro- 
ceeding, when I, as the senior representative, commenced to ' 
make a statement of the facts of the case, I was immediately 
called to order by the Rev. Mr. Blades, their special friend 
and advocate, on the ground that I was " making an attack 
on a Church with which they held fraternal relations." It 
was in vain I plead that " that was the very point to be ex- 
amined ; namely, whether it was intended to give them such 
a recognition as endorsed the regularity of their origin and 
standing ; and if so, was it correct and proper 1 " But Mr. 
Blades having effectually retarded any progress in the 
inquiry, the committee adjourned, and at a subsequent 
secession of the Conference, the committee itself was dis- 

If this spurious section of Methodism had been quiet and 
allowed by-gones to pass, and shown a disposition to deal 
in the spirit of candor and concession with the exigencies of 
general Methodism at the present hour, as a great fact con- 


fronting ns for solution, I think my past course should cause 
me to be believed when I say, I should be the last to revive 
old issues ; but when we find a pseudo-Methodist Episco- 
pacy flaunted in our faces, and we ourselves tolerantly treated 
as erring " seceders" it is a little tough that we have to frater- 
nize and tacitly endorse these pretenders in the largest 
court of Methodism on the continent. 

My own final opinion now is, that if the American Gene- 
ral Conference cannot induce their proteges to conduct 
themselves with decency ; if we must listen to the diatribes 
of " Bishop " Carman in this country, and then meet him 
and endorse him by our representatives there, if we 
hold fraternal relations with that great division of Metho- 
dism at all, then I say, we had better forego the honor alto- 
gether. If these circumstances continue, I deliberately 

RAL Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 



For Sale at the Methodist Book-Room, King Street, 

Case and his Cotemporaries. In five vols $4 90 

The Stripling Preacher o 60 

The School of the Prophets 1 00 

Methodist Baptism o 25 

Past and Present 075 

The latter work out of print, but will be re- 
published at an early day. 


Preface : Page 

One rival forestalled, another arisen- Loss of personal friendship— Un- 
reasonable grounds alienating- iii 

Maxim of non-complicity— Courtesies reciprocated and extended .'.'.".". iv 

Trustfulness ensuing \ v 

Unyieldingness on Episcopacy— Hope disappointed by Bishop Carman's 
course — How far natural and moral right will justify, and when they 

will not v 

Sorry for the necessity laid upon me- Materials not exhausted . ... v i 

A Needed Exposition 7 

I. A Brief Epitome of Canadian Methodist Histort from 1790 to 1832: 
Summary of events from 1790 to 1810— Ditto from 1812 to 1820, including the 

war and its necessities, advent of missionaries, discussions, and tempor- 
ary expedients 7 

British and American Conferences— Interchange of Delegates, and arrange- 
ment of 1820— Unity of Methodism re-affirmed— Wesley's letter to 
Cooper (note)— Resolution of Liverpool Conference (note) 9 

Want of compliance with some and of cordial compliance on the part of 
others — The concession of an Annual Conference in 1824— All ready for 
a separation from the States by 1828— Organization of Canada Church in 
October, 1828, in Earnestown— Dissimilarities between the old and new 
Churches — The " Sixth Restriction '—Committee to correspond with the 
Connexion in England— Non-fulfilment of its duty partly supplied by the 
editor— Three Episcopoi elected, but none consecrated 10 

Note detailing the successive changes in the claims to membership in the 
General Conference, with the reasonableness of the modifications H 

II. The Circumstances wiitch led to the Blending of the British and 

Canadian Methodist Chukciies to be thought of: 
Appeal to England for aid to prosecute the work of Indian evangelization led 
the British Connexion to -think itself required in the colony, as it 
thought itself released from the arrangement of 1820 by the withdrawal 

of American Church's jurisdiction 12 

Visit to Canada of a Missionary Secretary, and his invitation by the Canada 
Missionary Board to attend the next Annual Conference, in 1832 13 

III. A Detail of the Unifying Process : 

Rev. Mr. Alder's visit— Conversations- Committee— Preliminary Articles- 
Delegate and reserve — The whole matter before the Connexion from the 
early summer of 1832 until October, 1833- Affirmation of the British 
Conference — Return of the delegate, accompanied by the Rev. Messrs. 
Marsden and Stinson — Unanimous approval by the Canada Conference 
— Cases of Whitehead and Gatchell 14 

IV. Considerations which prevailed with the Members of Conference to 

to Concur in the Union : 
1. Substantial oneness of the two bodies. 2. Love of the British Connexion, 
for various reasons. 3. The numbers of Old Countrymen in the Church. 
4. No rights surrendered. 5. Saw that the whole had been legally 
brought about. 6. Their relation to Episcopacy. 7. Need of men and 
money. 8. Absence of opposition, and approval of leading American 
ministers 21, 22 

V. The Opposition which Afterwards Arose, and the Form it Took: 

No opposition till the new regulations relating to members and local 
preachers were put and carried in the Quarterly Meetings during- the 
year 1833-34... 23 


A certain note's engrossment in the text of Discipline accounted for— The 

changes with regard to Local Preachers— Circuit Meetings— Plan 24 

Letter of the Rev. John Reynolds (note) 26 

Received the suffrage of the required majority— Hopes inspired— Editor's 

valedictory . 27 

What intended for good made occasion of harm ... 28 

Mr. Culp originator (text and note) 29 

Meeting at Saltfleet— Governor's Road 30 

Belleville meeting— Stand at London 3L 

The facts with regard to Mr. Bailey 32 

Convention at Trafalgar, Guardian's account 34 

Untoward events incidentally arising 35 

VI. Orikctions to the Identity of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in 
Canada with the Original Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada; 

Variously put forth 35 

1. Abolishing Episcopacy — 

Unchurches all other Methodist bodies 35 

Letter of inquiry from Rev. E. Ryerson —Reply of Rev. E. Cooper, showing 
that Episcopacy not necessary to the Church, and that it mi<*ht be modi- 
fied, or done away 36 

Wesley's opinion (infra) 39 

Replies of the Revs Thos. Morell and Thos. Ware to the same effect 40 

Origin of the name M. E. Church 41 

Opinions of leading ministers in that Church in accordance with the above- 
Rev. Dr. Luckey's letter 42 

Do. from Rev. Dr. Hedding, senior bishop— Mr. Stratton's confirmation. . 43, 44 

Two Book Agents' ditto — Letter from Rev. E. Ryerson to Rev. Dr. Fisk.. .. 45 

President Fisk's reply favoring the views of the others 46 

Provisions of the Canada Discipline .. . . : 47 

Sworn testimony of the Secretary of the General Conference— Note on the 

case of Messrs. Wood and Bevitt 48 

Secretary's sworn testimony continued 49, 50, 51, 52, 53 

2. Objection : Change of the Church's Name— 

This objection anticipated by the Conference 64 

Messrs. Bidwell and Kolph's legal opinion 55 

Sustained by the Civil Courts during the six suits for the recovery of the 

Church property 56 

3. Objection : President from England 67 

Wesley and Coke's foreign relations and residence— Summing up of the 

argument 58 

VII. Claims of the Redoubtable Challengers : 

Tests for eliminating the truth— Who originated the challenging body ?. . .. 59 

The order and dates of their respective adhesions — Dr. Webster's version — 

Rev. D. Culp— Mr. John Bailey -D. PicKett 60 

J.W. Byam— J. H. Huston— Messrs. R and G. — Case of Mr. Reynolds— Neither 
he nor Culp, nor Pickett, nor Huston, "Travelling Eiders " to consti- 
tute a General Conference— Rev. H. Wilkinson's testimony in Court 
(infra) — Rev. J. Gatchell having gone with the Union measure, &c— His 
history 62, 63 

Episcopals' own statement as to the time of their first General Confer- 
ence—Report of Committee and deliverance of the Cincinnati General 
Conference, 1836 65 

The provisions of the Canada Discipline did not provide for their action- 
No Episcopos h^d ever existed in Canada Methodism 66 

The manner of prosecuting the devisive objects 67 

Truth and sadness of the above— Matters held in abeyance (infra) -The 
history of the appeals to the American General Conference, and the 
shape the matters finally took 68 

If the Episcopals were not pertinacious and boastful, it might be allowed 
to pass- The present awkwardness of the case -The author's opinion of 
the course to be pursup^ if the present anomaly cannot be mitigated ... 70