THE WORKINGTON PRIMITIVE METHODIST CHAPEL continued....................Page 3
While upon the whole, the Connexion was evangelical in doctrine, it was largely democratic. He was aware that the word democratic might not be approved of by some of his brethren, but he would try with the aid of a single illustration, to put before them what he meant. In the Connexion there was nothing to make it impracticable or improbable for a layman to hold the highest position, namely, President of the Conference and a layman had held that very responsible and honourable position. When he used the word democratic in regard to the polity of their church, he thought it was right to add that he had formed a conviction that the spirit of the church in carrying it out was more democratic than the Constitution itself.
In the interpretation of doctrine, it was not possible for them to have a High Church, a Low Church, and a Broad Church; but they certainly had one creed by which all abide. In the interpretation of that creed there might be minor shades of difference, but, at the same time, they all stood fast by the evangelical doctrine as preached at the present day (applause).
MR. SCOTT, the architect, said it gave him great pleasure in the name of the congregation - in the interests of whom they were that day assembled to witness the laying of four memorial stones of the new chapel now in course of erection - to have the honour to hand to the four gentlemen, the instruments with which to perform the ceremony, and to say that their presence would help and greatly encourage the committee and congregation of the Primitive Methodists in Workington in the work they had undertaken; all the more so, seeing that they were members of other and far more wealthy communities. If they read between the lines, he trusted they would all see in this, a disposition on the part of the strong to help the weak, and for so doing, the desire of each heart was that they might receive the blessing of Him who said, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me".
Turing to MR. SNELUS, DR. DOUGLAS, MR. BOWES, and MR. VALENTINE, and presenting each with a silver trowel and small mallet, MR. SCOTT said he trusted they would receive them in the same spirit as the congregation desired him to convey their gift, and the wish of the congregation was that when MR. SNELUS, DR. DOUGLAS, MR. BOWES, and MR. VALENTINE looked upon the articles in after years, they might carry with them a pleasant memorial of that day's proceedings; and that when the day arrived to bid adieu to time, they might obtain an entrance into that kingdom in the interests of which the chapel was being built to promote. He now invited them to discharge their duties in the order which the committee had arranged (loud applause).
MR. G. SNELUS then laid the first stone, in the cavity of which was deposited a bottle containing several newspapers, a list of the chapel trustees, the names of the contractors, architect, and circuit ministers, a circuit plan, a bill of the day's services, the names of the teachers in the Sunday-school, and the choir, and several small coins. He said it gave him great pleasure to assist in laying the foundation stone of that chapel, for he was sure that those who were connected with it were doing a good work, and he trusted they would continue to do so.
As they were all aware, he was not connected with the Primitive Methodists, but it always afforded him pleasure to join in anything, and assist as far as lay in his power, what he thought would be of public service. As they were aware, it was customary to put in a memorial stone of their public buildings some coins of the realm, and some papers and other articles which might be of interest in the future.
He did not know if the New Zealander they had so often heard of would find them or not; at any rate he hoped that stone would never be disturbed for many centuries, and that so long as it remained, a good
work would be done within the walls of that building. In conclusion, he could only repeat that he had very much pleasure in joining in that day's proceedings (applause).
~~~~~~~~~~~The Memorial Stone Laying report will continue~~~~~~~~~