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RAVENSBOURNE CHURCH MATTERS., Issue 8019, 23 September 1889
RAVENSBOURNE CHURCH MATTERS.
TO THE EDITOR. Sir, —What has gone wrong with your genial, unfermentod Ravenabourne reporter? Has he imbibed too freely of the “fruit of the vine,” or do his “ vlttles not sit well on hie stnmmick ?”
What has excited him so badly that he huds it necessary to cast grammar, sense, and syntax to the four winds of heaven and exhibit ignorance of his mother tonguein hispresentdistressing fashion? Let him kindly stand some distance away and look at this effort of his genius: The garbled report which appeared in your morning contemporary, and which a member knows well how snch a report got there.” This is a fair sample of “your reporter’s" literary style, and as it cannot be classed either scholarly or edifying, we must presume that it is intended as amusing. “ A Member ” in your issue of the 18th inst. very rightly took exception to your reporter’s statement that Mr Henderson’s motion for “ an open call ” was carried “ by a large majority,” and that the report as supplied to you was wrong in this respect is evidenced by the fact that your reporter corrected this statement after “A Member’s” letter was written, but before it appeared in your columns. “A Member” further goes on to say that the report was incomplete, as no notice was taken of Mr Hugh Brown’s remarks and the reception they received, and in reply to this “Your Reporter ” informs us that the reason for which Mr Brown was hissed was for telling an “ unwholesome truth ” to the effect that the members “ in voting for a minister it was not the minister they were voting for, but the wine,” This remark of Mrßrown’s, characterised as an “unwholesome truth” by your reporter, who has “ no motives,” is thus looked upon by these two gentlemen as something to be proud of, and they are pleased even to be hissed by those who hissed them.
No one speaking from inward conviction and with the desire to unbosom his conscience of a heavy weight can say with more truth than “ Your Reporter” that in voting for a minister he was influenced, not by the merits of the respective candidates, but solely by their “ wine " proclivities. And what is the cause of all this “ ferment ” re the wine question ? And who is responsible for the injury it is doing, and has already done, in the district? “Your Reporter ’’ and the Kirk Session are alone responsible. The session, twelve months ago, introduced the wine question by forcing some alleged unfermonted material upon the congregation without their knowledge or consent, and they have followed up this act of Christian deception by refusing to revert to the status quo and accept the vote of the majority of the members upon the subject. And now that the question of selecting a minister comes on for discussion, and opinion is divided upon the suitability of the candidates, those members who do not vote for “ Your Reporter’s” candidate—and they constitute the great majority—are informed of the “ unwholesome truth ” that they are influenced in coming to their decision by “the wine.” “Your Reporter” and Mr Hugh Brown, in making this statement, cast a gratuitous insult at the congregation and at the minister who was voted for, and, in addition, hold themselves up to the contempt and ridicule of all your readers. —I am, etc,, Minos. Ravensbourne, September 20,
TO THE EDITOR. Siu,—“Your Reporter” in last night’s Stab says his report on this meeting was quite correct, taken in connection with his correction. If he will refer to the date of ray letter he will see it was written previous to his correction appearing. The conduct of Messrs Brown and Henderson was anything but “gentlemanly”— not to use stronger, and, perhaps, more appropriate language—and the report in the ‘ Times' let them down far too lightly. As yon have already stated the reason why Mr
Henderson was hissed, I shall briefly state why the like “honor” was conferred on Mr Brown. At an early part of the meeting Mr Brown read a resolution, agreed to at a meeting of the Kirk Session, to the effect that the two wines were to be used for a time, and the moderator put the question to the congregation, when the motion was carried by a majority, so that the question of the “wine” was settled “for a time,” and the meeting then proceeded to propose a minister. Immediately the name of the Rev. Bruce Todd was proposed Mr Brown, with characteristic bad taste, remarked “it was the question of fermented or unfermented wine again,” which called forth the hisses.
I have heard since that Messrs Brown and Co. (four members) had in their overbearing way made up their minds that MrM'Kenzie was to be called—no matter whether it was the wish of the congregation or not—and Mr Brown could not conceal his annoyance at Mr Todd’s name being proposed. He will yet learn that this is a matter which the congregation have a right to decide on, irrespective of the Kirk Session, and one which they mean to exercise.
Whatever decision is come to at the next meeting, one thing is clear, the Presbytery must accept the resignations of the three elders who have resigned. They have lost the confidence of the congregation by tbeir action throughout this affair, and can never again be respected as they have been in the past as the elders of the chnrch.—l am,etc , A Mem bur. Ravensbourne, September 21.
RAVENSBOURNE CHURCH MATTERS., Issue 8019, 23 September 1889
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