TO THE EDITOR.
Sir,— With your permission I would like to make a few comments on the ptoceedings of Presbytery this week as far as concerns the above church. The Rev. Gibson Smith thinks that a mere handful of Presbyterians in Dunedin, who are stout-hearted enough to buy and maintain their own church without any aid from the funds of the Presbyterian Church of Otago, should not be allowed to worship in peace—because they are not orthodox Presbyterians and might cause a scandal in the church ? Oh, no; but because they have put a clause in the deed of transfer of the property excluding the nee of hymns and instrumental music from their form of worship. Most people were of opinion that in these latter days of perfect freedom of opinion in religion, as in other things, the spirit of intolerance was well nigh dead, but those who believe that a little persecution is good for the church will rejoice that the spirit which animated Grahame, of Claverhouse, is not dead yet. Ido not like to say hard things of the clergy, and least of all of Mr Gibson Smith, who appears to have been made a catspaw of by an older and more astute parson. It is quite well understood that the motion brought forward by Mr Smith was not concocted in North Dunedin manse, but in one much more central; and I feel for Mr Smith because he really got frightened at the storm ho raised, and wished to withdraw his motion. The Rev. Mr Ryley, of Port Chalmers, acted nobly as becometh a man of Christian spirit, and he rightly characterised the motion as only a bit of miserable persecution. Miserable indeed shall be its result, as far as moving the Chalmers Church people from their position is concerned. In common with the great majority of Scotchmen in Otago, I have the very deepest respect for Dr Stuart, but I cannot understand how he could have made use of such a term as " peculiar people ” in speaking of Chalmers Church congregation. Pray in what way are we peculiar ? Is it because we wish to worship according to the forms which obtained in the Old Country, and which were considered good enough by our brave Covenanting forefathers. How did the church do such good work without hymns and organs when Dr Stuart was a young man at Home? I think, sir, the peculiar people are those who cannot worship their Creator without the aid of hymns and fine music, nor maintain their churches without bazaars, raffles, lucky bags, church socials, and such like.— lam, etc,, Member. Dunedin, July 6,
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CHALMERS CHURCH., Evening Star, Issue 7953, 8 July 1889
CHALMERS CHURCH. Evening Star, Issue 7953, 8 July 1889
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