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The following Letter was sent from the Committee of the EVANGELICAL SOCIETY of Geneva, for the purpose of being read at the Annual Meeting of the FOREIGN AID SOCIETY ; the Committee considering it of a nature to deserve a more extensive circulation than could have been secured for it by merely embodying it in the Society's Annual Report, have with the consent of the Author committed it to the press.
The fraternal relations which DR. MERLE D'AUBIGNE shews to have subsisted between Archbishop Cranmer and the Foreign Reformed Churches of the Continent were continued down to the time of Archbishop Wake: during a period of 150 years several Bishops and Doctors of the Church of England maintained the most friendly intercourse with the Pastors of the French and Swiss Reformed Churches. It is the desire of DR. MERLE D'AUBIGNE and other eminent Pastors who adhere to the doctrinal Articles of the English church, as in perfect harmony with their own Confessions of Faith, to renew, through the medium of the FOREIGN AID SOCIETY, that Christian fellowship which in former times strengthened the cause of the Reformation throughout Europe.
For the Committee,
Vonorary Secretary. 10, EXETER HALL,
14th May, 1849.
Societe Evangelique de Geneur.
ORATOIRE, le 8 Mai, 1849.
To the Most Noble the MARQUIS of CHOLMONDELEY, President of the FOREIGN Aid SOCIETY, and to the members of the Committee, as well as to the friends of Evangelization on the Continent, assembled at London the fifteenth day of May.
My LORD, AND VERY DEAR BRETHREN,
THE Evangelical Society of Geneva, although it sends no representative this year to your annual meeting, is desirous to be present with you, if only by letter ; and it has charged me with the pleasing task of writing one, which we much desire may be read to your assembly. I come, then, to place myself on your platform, as I did four years ago, beside your respected President, whom the churches of Christ honour, your excellent Secretary, devoted friend of the work of God on the Continent, and many other brethren whose memory is precious to me; and then, in presence of you all, friends of Evangelization on the Continent, I address you, so to speak, in the words of St. John, “face to face." (John iii. 14.)
Peace be with you, my very dear Brethren ! May life, eternal life, which sin had banished from the earth, but which has returned to it in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, be the life of each of your souls, the life of your holy Society, the life of your people. If annual meetings are necessary, it is not so much to report what has been done ; it is not so much to stimulate one another by considerations more or less external ; but it is that a whole assembly may cry with one heart and one voice, for that life which is hid in Jesus Christ, even “as the hart panteth after the water-brooks ; and that the day on which the brethren meet may thus become to them as it were another Pentecost, on which they shall be baptized anew, and “made to drink into one Spirit.” (1 Cor. xii. 13.) May it be 80 from the present hour, through the grace of Jesus Christ.
I do not intend, dear brethren, to speak to you of the benedictions God has granted us this year in the several departments of our Society, our Theological School, Bible Colportage, and work of Evangelization. Your Secretary has already done this. I wish to say a few words to you on the fraternal intercourse between England and the Continent, of which your Society is the channel. In doing so, I shall not confine myself in particular to the Geneva Evangelical Society. I might, per laps, say, that small as is Geneva, the God of Nazareth and Bethlehem sometimes employs the weak and despised instruments, sanctifying them to his glory. I might add, that in the days of Calvin, this little town (then of twelve or thirteen thousand inhabitants) had more influence on the destinies of humanity than many a mighty empire. I might call to mind, in fine, how, placed in the centre of Europe, Geneva may, even in our days, exercise a Christian influence on the countries which surround it,-Switzerland, Germany, France, and Italy. Its population, composed partly of families which have quitted those countries from persecution or other causes, may also re-act upon them ; nor, perhaps, has it altogether