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At last, after all this “careful deliberation," the following "formal reply” was duly received in New Haven:

EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE, British Organization,

7 Adam Street, Strand.,

London, W. C., February 13th, 1863. Rev. Wm. Patrox, D.D.,

DEAR SIR :-Your lengthened communication, dated December 12th, 1862, and addressed to me as Foreign Secretary of the Evangelical Alliance, was duly laid before the Committee at their first meeting held after it had been receired.

From their high regard for yourself personally, as well as from the grave importance of the subject upon which you have written, they have been anxious to give your letter their serious and deliberate consideration. This will account for the delay in returning a reply.

You will scarcely expect the Committee of the Evangelical Alliance to enter upon a discussion of the complaints contained in your letter respecting the course alleged to have been taken by the Christian public and the press of Great Britain with reference to the circumstances of the war now unhappily affecting your country. They feel confident, however, that they do not misinterpret the feeling on this subject prevailing among all intelligent classes of their fellow countrymen, when they say--that it is a feeling of deep and sincere grief at the existence and prolongation of civil war among a people to whom they are so closely allied, and one of undiminished abhorrence of the system of slavery.

The Committee regret to learn from you that the Resolution of the Annual Conference of the British Organization of the Evangelical Alliance, held last autumn, relative to the war in America, is, “on the whole, very far from being acceptable to American Christians in the North.” “Not so much,” you add, “because of what it does express, as what, in a time like this, it fails to utter.” The Committee cannot perceive how, under all circumstances, and considering especially the character and objects of the Evangelical Alliance, the Conference could consistently have expressed itself more fully than it did, or have ventured to give a more specific judgment regarding the war. As a Christian Assembly, and not a political body, the discussion of such topics did not fall

within its legitimate province. The Christian brethren assembled at the Conference did, however, as they were bound to do—they recorded their "

sorrow for

the continuance of civil war in America, and the fearful amount of bloodshed and suffering to which it has led :"—they gave to the Paris Committee of the Evangelical Alliance," the assurance that they participated in their deep sympathy with their common brethren in America ;” and they “ renewed the expression of their earnest prayer that peace might be restored, and that the evils connected with slavery, and all others which had led to these calamities, might be removed, and the immense resources and energies of the people be set free to promote the cause of the gospel of peace and love."

Be assured, dear Sir, that the whole body of this Alliance does suffer with and constantly pray for its suffering brethren in America. On more than one occasion the Committee have solicted Christians in this and other lands to unite in special supplications to God on behalf of your country; and on the approach of the Week of Prayer, at the commencement of the present year, as the din of battle still continued to be heard across the Atlantic, the following request was published and widely circulated in the United Kingdom and on the Continent of Europe :

"The Committee of the Evangelical Alliance earnestly request that, at the Prayer Meetings which may be held in this and other countries during the

proposed Week of Special Prayer, January 4-11, 1863, Christian brethren throughout the States of America may be remembered, and that supplication may be especially made for the extinction, by wise and Christian measures, of the evil of slavery."

The Committee are assured that the above request was very extensively complied with. How deep and heartfelt was the reponse to it, heard throughout the week, at the Central United Prayer Meetings, held by arrangement of the Committee in the metropolis, is attested by an honored American citizen, the Rev. Dr. Wood, one of the Secretaries of the American Board of Foreign Missions. That beloved brother, when it was known that he was in London, was asked by the Committee to take part in the meetings, to which he kindly assented, and in an address delivered by him at one of the meetings, he is reported to have said, “ It has been no small comfort and joy to me, unknown, to mingle my prayers with yours during this week, and especially the many which have been so tenderly put up for my beloved and afflicted

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country.” “Christians in America will be pleased to hear that in your prayers this week, the restoration of peace and the overthrow of slavery have been so coupled together."

Surely, dear brother Patton, the Evangelical Alliance, having so acted and so spoken, cannot justly be chargeable with want of Christian sympathy with their American brethren in the sore evils which have befallen them. And if doubt on this point could possibly have existed, the Committee would earnestly wish to dispel that doubt by an emphatic avowal that they do not witness, unmoved, either the conflict in which your country is engaged, or the prospect which is afforded that by the overruling providence of God it will be made to contribute towards the freedom of the millions among you who have so long wickedly been held in cruel bondage. Heartily and unanimously does this Committee thank God for erery fact which shows that an advance has been made in the cause of emancipation. And, while they do not feel themselves called upon to express an opinion as to the motives which have led to the waging and the carrying on of this war, it is yet their earnest prayer and their ardent hope that God, who is wonderful in working, and who maketh even the wrath of man to praise Ilim, will so overrule this terrible and long continued strife as that it may issue in the entire destruction of the iniquitous system of slavery, and in the promotion among you, and through you, of the glorious kingdom of "the Prince of Peace.”

With the cordial salutations of our Committee to yourself and their other Christian brethren in America,

I remain, dear Sir,
Yours very faithfully,

Foreign Secretary of the Evangelical Alliance, British Organization.

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We scarcely need to say that American Christians will be as little satisfied with this “formal reply” as they were with the " carefully worded ” Resolution of last autumn. This whole correspondence with Rev. Dr. Patton shows that the Evangelical Alliance has as yet, unfortunately, no sympathy with the people of the United States in their great struggle; and we charge it, therefore, with having as yet proved false to itself and false to the progress of liberty.

At the time of the formation of the Alliance, so great was the professed abhorrence with which slavery was regarded in England, that the Society took the extreme ground of excluding from its fellowship all persons who, "by their own fault, or otherwise, were in the unhappy position of holding their fellowmen as slaves;" and it was decided that if an “organization” should be afterwards formed in the United States which should admit slaveholders of any description to its membership, the Alliance of Great Britain “would not touch its hand.” We were told, too, that “on no other ground could the Alliance sustain itself before the British people." Only a few years have since passed. The Alliance, how

a ever, has won some laurels in its chosen field of labor. It has been active in diffusing intelligence of whatever is calculated to cheer the hearts of Christians. It has repeatedly uttered its testimony in favor of liberty and against oppression. It has taken prompt and generous action in behalf of the victims of tyranny on the continent of Europe. It has not held back, but has dared to speak out and oppose even the political acts of those governments that have attempted deeds of oppression. The world will not soon forget how eloquently and successfully its voice was heard in behalf of the Madai. All honor to it for what has been done, and what has been attempted! Yet, after all, these things are but the tithing of mint, anise, and cummin in comparison with the weightier services which it has now failed to render. Let us see!

In the providence of God, the time came three years ago when the moral sense of this nation was so aroused with regard to the evils of slavery that at the Presidential election of 1860, the people of the United States declared by their votes that this Government, which was founded in the interests of liberty, should no longer be perverted, as it had been, to serve the interests of slavery. This election was the death blow to the institution which acknowledges the right of man to own his fellowman. Without the active interference of the National Government in its behalf, all admitted it must speedily die; die here, and then die everywhere throughout the world. We had been reminded, it seemed to us in our sensitiveness, too often, in the years that we were struggling against it, that the

system of American slavery was one of the most gigantic forms of evil in the world. Now the axe was laid at the root of the tree, and we listened for the voice of cheer and sympathy. But no response came from that nation which had ever been so unsparing in its denunciations. The Alliance, too, preserved an ominous silence.

From the hour when the result of the Presidential election was known, there began a new contest. The position assumed by the people was not to be maintained without the shedding of blood. The conspirators, who had been secretly working for years, threw off the mask, and began 'openly to carry out their plans. The people of one state after another, without consent on their part, and in many cases against their express will, were carried into the vortex of rebellion ; and at last the people of nearly all the slave states stood united in their opposition to the Government, and determined on secession, and the establishment of a new confederacy, whose corner stone should be African slavery. Then came the uprising of the people of the loyal states to meet the rebellion. The tide was at once turned. The conspirators failed in what was to have been their first triumph,—the seizure of the national capital, and the public archives at Washington. From that time to this the gigantic rebellion has been gradually losing ground. But from first to last the question at issue has been a simple one. It is the question to-day still undecided--the question of momentous interest to the whole world-Shall this American nation-for there will never be but one nation here—shall this nation, spread over a continent, be ranged on the side of freedom or slavery? The question is as full of interest to Englishmen as it is to Americans. Their house will soon be on fire if ours is destroyed !

Now what has been the position of the Alliance during all these anxious months? In its official paper, The Evangelical Christendom, its comments on American affairs have been such as even to call out the condemnation of the other British journals, whose sympathies have not been with the South in this slaveholders' war. A very few extracts will show how they have looked upon our struggle.


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