Methodist Conference of 1891
IN THE LORD'S NAME. A Great Gathering of John Wesley's Followers at "Washington. THA LCDMEMCAu MliTHODiST COUNCIL Delegate* from Knglnutl, Ireland, Frunoe, Auatrali.t. Africa urn! tliu West Imllofl to Attend Tills Important Conference. ALT, DIFFEKE.NCES TABOOKO. WASHINGTON, Oct. 7.—To-day the Ecumenical Methodist council will begin its sessions in this city. Once before in the history of the church, founded 150 years ago in England by John Wesley, have the branches springing oft' from the parent stock come together, and, laying aside all differences and avoiding all schismatic discussion, listened to the suggestions of the best men of all divisions and sought to find means to promote the common cause and the common good. That was in London ten years ago, and so fruitful was the seed then sown and so abundant the ensuing harvest of good works that it was resolved to reassemble for conference at the expiration of every decade. The council, which convenes here to-day, is therefore the second in the history of the Methodist church. All denominations and branches of this great church in all parts of the world will be represented by 500 delegates. jS'o less than yOO of these are expected to come from the British division, the oldest wing of the Methodist church, including in its ranks, besides ecclesiastical dignitaries, many statesmen of renown and men of world-wide scientific and legal ability. There will also be delegates (representing twelve distinct branches of Methodism) from France, from Australia, from Ireland, from South Africa and from the West Indies. Then more numerous in sectional divisions there will be 300 delegates from the new world. They represent seventeen branches of the Methodist church in this continent. These delegates are classified as follows: Methodist Episcopal, 126; Methodist Episcopal church, south, 64; African Methodist Epis copal. 18; African Methodist Episcopal Zlon, .15; Colored Methodist Episcopal, 9; American Wesley, 6; Uulon American Methodist Episcopal, 3; African Union Methodist Protestant, 3; Methodist Protestant, 9; Free Methodist, 2; Congregational Methodist, 3; Methodist Church, Canada, 34; Primitive Methodist, 3; Independent Methodist, S; XJnited Brethren in Christ, 7; Union Brethren in Christ (old constitution), It; British Methodist Episcopal, 3. So twenty-nine divisions of the Methodist church will be represented in the council. Among the American churchmen are many bishops. Among the English there are none, as the office is unknown there. This council, like its predecessor, is to be confined to discussions. From its nature there can be no legislation. No delegate or organization will be bound by what is said or done here. Its animating purpose is to bring out the brightest and. most practicable ideas of the most thoughtful and wisest representatives of tVia church, and the application of these ideas will be left to the discretion of the separate divisions. The most radical difference to be noted between the coming council and the one held in London is revealed in the list of subjects selected for discussion. In the first council "Methodism" formed the principal topic of discussion. In this council the programme has been diversified so as to touch upon questions of the day. Discussions of abstract ecclesiastical dogmas find.small Kpace, but whole days are set apart for the consideration of questions relating" to temperance, education, missions, social problems, the issues between capital and labor, the relations of Methodism to scientific thought and practical, church work. The various committees have made all necessary arrangements for the comfort of the delegates and the conduct of the sessions. The council will be held in the Metropolitan Methodist Epi.^opal church and the first session will begin at 10 o'clock to-day.