LLFE AS A FREEMAN.
daily newspapers. This day, at Cannon Mills, the
great doctors of the church were to give an answer
to this loud and stern demand. Men of all parties
and all sects were most eager to hear. Something
great was expected. The occasion was great, the men
great, and great speeches were expected from them.
In addition to the outside pressure upon Doctors
Cunninodiam and Candlish, there was waverinp- in
their own ranks. The conscience of the church it¬
self was not at ease. A dissatisfaction with the position
of the church touching slavery, was sensibly manifest
among the members, and something must be done to
counteract this untoward influence. The great Dr.
Chalmers was in feeble health, at the time. His most
potent eloquence could not now be summoned to
Cannon Mills, as formerly. He whose voice was
able to rend asunder and dash down the granite walls
of the established church of Scotland, and to lend a
host in solemn procession from it, as from a doomed
city, was now old and enfeebled. Besides, he had
said his word on this very question ; and his word
had not silenced the clamor without, nor stilled the
anxious heavings within. The occasion was momen¬
tous, and felt to be so. The church was in a perilous
condition. A change of some sort must take jffaee
in her condition, or she must go to pieces. To stand
where she did, was impossible. The whole weight
of the matter fell on Cunningham and Candlish. Xo
shoulders in the church were broader than theirs ;
and I must say, badly as I detest the principles laid
down and defended by them, I was compelled to ac¬
knowledge the vast mental endowments of the men.