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mory of former worth and talent to surround a living, example of much nobleness and generosity of mind, courage, fidelity, and perseverance, unremunerated and self-sacrificing philanthropy? Is it inappropriate, or is it not most appropriate to such an occasion, that a man, who has by such rare virtue deserved your bonour, should be honoured also by the imagined presence of former benefactors and honourable examples, summoned, as it were, around him, to hear the voices of your gratitude, and witness your emotion? Emotion,-yes, emotion,--who can be without it, who thinks of Mr. Gibbs' long and gratuitous labours; who thinks of the many years which he has spent on the spiritual welfare of his fellow-beings, while providing for himself and his household, by other unremitted and un-neglected duties; who thinks of all the days of sunshine and cloud, rain and snow, which have passed over him, and many of you, as you met together under his ministry, and waited for his appearance at your accustomed place of meeting, to join in his prayers to the common Father of Spirits, and listen to his instructions, as he presented to you renewed supplies of the food of your spiritual life—that food which man's soul requires, desires, seeks, and grows by-which Mr. Gibbs, untired, unremunerated, offered to you, for so long a portion of his life prepared to set before you, out of the vast storehouse of God's works, and the riches of his grace in Jesus Christ our Lord? You cannot think of this, without feeling the inadequacy of all the thanks you have offered or can offer to Mr. Gibbs. You have, however, thanked him this night, sincerely and freely; and I add to your thanks mine, as an affected spectator and sympathiser; and with my thanks for Mr. Gibbs' labours and example in so good a cause, I tender also the expression of my hopeful conviction, that he will not at any time believe that what he has done was undesigned, or can be unrewarded by Him who also
gave their mission to those other enterprising spirits whom I have referred to, and whom I have summoned to do honour to a brother--to one who has deserved, and acquired, the reputation of A GREAT AND GOOD MAN.”
The following resolution was proposed by Mr. N. Rundell, seconded by Mr. Sloggett, and spoken to by Mr. John James:
That, in desiring the universal diffusion and triumph of genuino uncorrupted Christianity-enlightening, animating, and extending its blessings-we offer our best wishes for the good of every one who sincerely endeavours to promote that end, and, in particular, to our friends from Plymouth and elsewhere, who have so kindly joined us on this interesting occasion."
Isaac Nichols, Esq. of Plymouth replied:—He said, that he acknowledged the compliment paid to the Plymouth Congregation, and others who were present, in the true spirit of that religious feeling which was their bond of unity; of which no plainer purpose could be pointed out, than the promotion of human brotherhood. He called the recollection of the meeting to some of their forefathers, who, in bygone days of persecution, maintained their integrity through all scenes of trial and embitterment, trusting in the ultimate triumph of virtue. And he appealed to them, whether such self-denial and honest perseverance could have been produced by the influence of any religion that carried with it a doubt of its Divine origin. He then impressed on the friends present, that it was their bounden duty, as inquiring Christians, to promote the power of judgment, and advance education in the mass of the people, that the Wise might be the many, and not the few. Reason being the test of all inquiry, it was necessary to do everything to maintain its freedom and authority, and extend its influence. Reason was the faculty without which no one could discriminate an opponent's doctrine from his own, or distinguish between the grand moral and spiritual lessons of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the absurdities opposed to them. So necessary was the use of reason to all formation of opinion, that even Churchmen, who decry the right of reasoning on matters of religion, make use of this faculty in denouncing us who freely employ it, and contend for its exercise. The speaker contended for the free exercise of reason on the part of every individual, allowing to others the same right as himself. And this, he maintained, was a better way of reverencing the God and Father of all, than by making pretensions to an exclusive knowledge of God's word and purpose, which was the basis of all bigotry, intolerance, and persecution. The speaker beautifully alluded to the power of the steam-engine, to whose influence we could assign no limits; and with this he compared reason, whose future bounds no one can predict. Reason is power, ever-increasing power, as much as the steam-engine. We regret that we cannot give a fuller report of Mr. Nichols' able speech. He concluded with saying, that while he found, as he did, that Unitarianism continued to satisfy the intellect and the heart, no scoffs nor cavils of infidelity would tempt bim to renounce it, being sanguine in the hope, that the Stone which the builders rejected, would become the head stone of the corner.' And, finally, he expressed his conviction, which through Christian charity he knew to be true, that whatever our earthly differences were, with earth they must terminate;-
• Whate'er may be man's fate or creed,
'Tis-Father! hallowed be thy name.' Mr. Edgecumbe proposed, and Mr. Ryder seconded, the next resolution:" That it affords us sincere pleasure to see amongst us, at this time, the long-tried friend of Mr. Gibbs, of ourselves, and of the cause of Christian truth and virtue, the Rev. William Evans of Tavistock. We pray that the remaining years of his useful life may be many and peaceful, cheered by the recollections of a well-employed past, and the hopes of a bright and joyous futurity.”
To this, Mr. Evans replied as follows:-“Mr. Norman, I am always glad to see you, and especially at this time, while we are met under your auspices, to pay a spontaneous tribute of respect to Mr: Gibbs. Whether in his private or public deportment, weighed in the balance he will not be found wanting. If we advert to the habitual modesty of bis conversation, his meekness of wisdom, and, in dispensing the Word of truth, his self-diffidence that bordered on fear and trembling, it is manifest that, until it was recently proffered to his acceptance, he had never expected any such demonstration of friendly regard. Did I know him as well as he is self-known, I might be able to speak of him with more accuracy; but, admitting his deep sense of his own inferiority to the standard of Christian excellence, I should err in pointing to a degree too low in the scale of merit, were I to appeal to his own self-estimate. Were it possible for near and dear relations, who blessed him in their lifetime, to witness this testimony of affection, their spirits would rejoice, and they would exclaim, • Well done, good friends, your favour is just, and redounds to your credit.'
" In acknowledging your too particular notice of myself, I ought not to divert your attention from the superior claims of the admirable remarks, already addressed to you, on the interesting subject which principally occupies our thoughts. It is particularly gratifying to witness the concurrent expressions of brotherly kindness and heartfelt acknowledgment towards our worthy friend, both from his neighbours of the same appellation at Plymouth, and from his own immediate fellow-worshippers at Devonport. The little society of devout and intelligent disciples at this place, resemble the Bereans of old; concerning whom the sacred historian has recorded, that they were noble indeed, and unwilling to accept the words of an Apostle upon trust, but searched the Scriptures so as to judge for themselves. They are gratefully sensible of the substantial services rendered to their interest
in their house of prayer, by the active interposition of the Rev. Mr. Odgers, who was able to work for them, and to beg for them was not ashamed,' provided they were ‘partakers of the benefit.' A few words have dropped from his lips in commendation of the ladies now present, for their benevolent assistance. It is not good for man to be alone even in Paradise it was not; and the Evangelists relate the co-operation of the daughters of Eve in sustaining the infancy of the Gospel. Need I remind you of Mary, the mother of Jesus ; of the sisters of Lazarus at Bethany; and Mary of Madala,—who contributed of their substance to aid our Lord in his miuistry, and who, having accompanied him from Galilee to Jerusalem, deserted him not when the twelve had fled from his sufferings; but, with love stronger than death, watched, with the tenderness of a mother and the fortitude of an angel, his last expiring moments on the cross? Were the men of England so infatuated, by spiritual pride, as to renounce the tidings of life and immortality, the women would retain this last, best gift of heaven, and cherish it in their bosom, as the pearl of great price. To them is consigned the charge of training the young, of whom is the kingdom of heaven.
“ May the new Minister, who succeeds Mr. Gibbs, prosper in his vocation. Let those who are planted under his care yield blossoms of promise, -not merely · Flowers of the Forest,' but • Fruits of Righteousness,' that others may join them to glorify our Father in heaven!
“The honourable testimony borne by Jesus himself to Nathanael, is sufficient to justify us in doing honour to whom hon is due. Behold an sraelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Whoever would deserve this encomium, must needs be sincere and upright as that ingenuous Israelite was. Where now are the deceitful honours received by the invidious Pharisee? The name of Nathanael shall bloom, and be revered, while the Gospel itself endures. Why should not our faithful brother Silvanus, be reconciled without dismay to accept our unanimous assurance of approbation and friendship? Did not our hearts beat in accord with the touching letter of endearment from my friend Commins? Next to the witness of a good conscience, is the esteem of the virtuous, as a prelude to the favour of the Best of Beings.
* That Portrait shows his form and lineaments in colours that will fade away. But to the mind's eye, the virtues and graces of his character are portrayed in heavenly tints, which will prove more just and lovely, the more they are refined and mellowed by time, as it flows into eternity. The memorials of those whom we venerate and love, furnish the
most valuable and endearing images, or paintings, to enrich and embellish the picture gallery' of the mind. Neither moth nor rust can corrupt, nor thieves break through and steal them from the sanctuary in which they are enshrined.
It is for the interest of mankind, that their prime benefactors be had in reverence, and be encouraged in their arduous career, by the prospect of unfading renown. The forlorn hope of Truth is a service of peril; who will undertake it, if it be not an enterprise of honour? It is easy, when the ramparts are taken, to find men who will plant the flag-staff on the topmost tower. The difficulty is, to prevail on those who are first, to enter the breach; and if they fall in the attempt, their daring is not to be dishonoured, because they lived not to penetrate into the citadel. Those who go forth bearing precious seed, and weeping while they sow, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing their sheaves with them.'
“Just and enlightened principles grow firm and durable by degrees, in proportion to the tardiness of their progress to maturity. The mustard-seed is very long, in our estimation, in springing up and expanding itself into a tree, that the birds of the air may lodge in its branches. Great are our obligations to those enlarged and generous souls, who, in a frivolous and sceptical age, have led the way in the path of true honour, and dared to set an example of heroic zeal in asserting the native dignity and freedom of the human mind. Of such is our honoured friend, to whose individual and single-handed exertions for truth and righteousness' sake so many in this vicinity are indebted. Many more, in future times, will rise up and call him blessed. The cloud, no bigger than a man's hand, is spreading through the expanse of heaven, by the power of Jehovah, who will send it down in showers of blessing.–Our excellent friend studied to show himself approved unto God, not under the shade of academic groves, but on the platform of the timber-yard; thus reminding us of the carpenter's son, the illustrious Nazarene.
In your resolution, you have been pleased to allude to my long friendship with Mr. Gibbs, who, in his masterly address this evening, has mentioned that he has arrived at the borders of threescore. He will concede to me the advantage, in that I have experienced the tender care and gracious providence of our eavenly Father, during a considerable term beyond his years, as I am advancing towards the of threescore years and ten,—the usual duration of the age
of man! From the confines of this transitory scene, may our views be elevated to nobler prospects, and our hearts be prepared to enter in due time into the possession of our final