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They saw their influence and their power all crumbling to pieces, their honours and incomes all threatening to leave them. T talked, they scolded, they reviled, they called hard names, t preached orthodox sermons, and some of them even wrote against Reformers. This was the case with W. Cooke. He published se ral tracts against Barker. Barker invited public discussion, a challenged all the orthodox priests in the country. But none accept the challenge. W. Cooke, at the end of a violent and abusive tra. pretended to accept Barker's challenge, while in truth, he did no suc thing. It was this which led to the following Discussion. Thong Cooke did not intend a discussion, yet he had spoken in such a way that he must either accept Barker's challenge, or acknowledge himsel a deceiver—a wilful deceiver. Committees were formed, letters were exchanged, and by the determination of Barker aud his committee to give way on every point on which they conscientiously could give way, Cooke was obliged to come out in discussion. The result you will see on the following pages. We lament that many of the subjects which the disputants agreed to discuss, were not discussed, and that one subject, which was not on the list of subjects for discussion, should have occupied so much of the time. But it is plain that if Cooke had not been allowed to have his way, the discussion must have come to a premature close. We especially lament, that W. Cooke should refuse to resume the discussion, as we cannot but think that a thorough discussion of the great principles of orthodoxy, could not fail to promote the downfal of error, and the triumph of truth and righteousness. But let us hope that the matter will be taken up by some other person, more candid, more generous, less influenced by personal feeling ; by some one who will do more justice to the subjects in debate, and more justice to his opponent. If among the teachers of orthodoxy there be a candid, a truthful, a clever, and a Christian man, let us hope that he will
The first discussion was held in the Lecture Room, in Nelson street, Newcastle, at seven o’clock on the above evening. The depressed platform in the centre of one side of the room was furnished with tables for the use of the disputants, seats for the Chairmen and Umpire, and accommodation for the Committees of the two gentlemen; that of Mr. Cooke being on the right, and that of Mr. Barker on the left of the Umpire. Tickets for the course, transferable, had been at the disposal of each party, in equal numbers of seven hundred each. They were sold at 1s. 6d. ; and well nigh the whole were bought before the commencement of the discussion. Consequently the Lecture Room was crowded on the occasion; but the accommodation it afforded was, notwithstanding, satisfactory. Mr. Joseph Barker entered the platform, alone, about ten minutes to seven. His reception was warm on the part of his friends—several members of his Committee having already occupied the position assigned them. The Rev. Mr. Cooke and his Committee entered in a body about seven o’clock; and the rev. gentleman was likewise greeted with much cordiality. Shortly afterwards, Mr. J. HENDERSON said:—I rise to announce that Dr. Lees will take the chair on behalf of Mr. Barker. (Applause.) Dr. F. R. Lees, of Leeds, took the chair accordingly. Rev. R. BANKs:—And I beg to announce that Mr. Jas. F. Grant will take the chair on behalf of Mr. Cooke. (Applause.) Mr. Grant accordingly took his seat at the head of Mr. Cooke's table. Mr GRANT:-As Chairman for Mr. Cooke, I beg leave to read the terms on which the discussion is to be conducted.— Mr. G. then read the following as the
On which the Discussion was to be conducted, as agre and signed by the Disputants, June 18, 1845 :— 1. That the question be first discussed, “What is a C tian?” . With the principles of the Christian’s faith and tice in their order. And also-1st. That in order to pro the discussion being perverted from its legitimate and av objects, no statements shall be allowed to be made wi impugn either the INFALLIBLE INspiration of the sa, writings, or the Dry INE AUTHoRITY of any book containe, the authorized version, 2nd. That the Holy Scriptures, inc ding all the books of the authorized version, with the Hebr text of Van der Hooght, as the original of the Old Testame, and the Textus Receptus, as the original of the New Test ment, shall, be the only Authoritative standard of appea with the following qualifications, viz.:-Should either | tant quote any passage excepted to by Kennicot or Boothroy, in the Old Testament; or by Griesbach or Schulz, in the New Testament, such passage shall be considered fairly open t legitimate consideration and criticism. 3rd, That all quotations shall be made, in the first instance, by chapter and verse, from the authorized version; but each disputant shall have the Right of reference to the original texts and critics, as above, when the authorized version is disputed. 4th. That the versions whose antiquity and character have weight—say the Septuagint, the Syriac, the Latin Vulgate, and the Chaidee Paraphrases, with the FATHERs of the first three centuries, may be quoted in ILLUSTRATION ; but Not, as the Scriptures above, for AUTHORITIES. All quotations from Versions and Fathers to be made by DIRECT REFERENCE, and the original text of each to be produced at the time, if required. 5th. That Mr Cooke engages to take the lead in the discussions. II. That neither disputant shall exceed one hour and a half each evening, the evenings being equally divided, unless the other relinquish his right, or refuses to occupy the time. III. That the discussion take place in the Music Hall, or failing it, in the Lecture Room. Admission to be by tickets, transferable, pledging the holder to non-interruption and noninterference. The number printed not to exceed the fair contents of the place. To be . by an impartial printer, equally divided between the disputants, each half signed with the initials of the opposing party's secretary, to be disposed of as each party may choose, and any surplus employed as each pleases. Each party giving security, by deposit, to an accredited treasurer, for an equal share of the expense to be
incurred, including a reporter.
impartial reporter; revised by each, under his approval; published by EACH, from the SAME AccREDITED copy; and sold by each party, at his own option. V. That each party choose his own chairman; the chairmen to choose an umpire, “that all things may be done decently and in order.” VI. That the discussions be on A Christian, and his princio only. But the writings and sPEECHEs—published or defivered—of each disputant, to be freely, but FAIRLY, quoted and remarked on by each, for illustration, neither party being allowed to object to this. Each disputant being allowed ten minutes, if he require it, before replying, to arrange papers, notes, references, &c. VII. That the doors be opened at six o'clock each evening, the discussions to commence at seven, and close at ten, or a quarter past ten o’clock. That a copy of this agreement be signed by each disputant respectively, and handed to the other party. To be printed and distributed, as the basis and terms of the discussions, when the other arrangements are made.
Signed by WILLIAM COOKE,
June 18, 1845.
Signed by JOSEPH BARKER,
MR. GRANT:—I now have the pleasure to introduce Mr. Cooke as the gentleman who will lead the discussion; but I think my friend, Dr. Lees, will address a few words to you first. Is Mr. John Nichol present 2 This question was asked with a view to Mr. Nichol taking the third Chair, as Umpire. He was not present at the time. Two or three other gentlemen were nominated, but they declined. The Rev. James Pringle was then requested to take the vacant seat. He seemed reluctant: but finally accepted it, provided his nomination had the full concurrence of both parties; and Mr. Barker having intimated that he had no objection, Mr. Pringle undertook the umpireship for the evening, amidst a few symptoms of disapprobation. This led MR. GRANT immediately to observe :—The company are pledged to non-interference, and I expect they will attend to it. (Hear, hear.) It is not the place of any individual there to dictate what is to be done. (Applause.) Dr. LEEs then rose and said App may state, on behalf of Mr. Barker and his Committee, that they do not consider of much importance the question regarding the election of the Umpire under the present circumstances; because they think it is almost impossible to get a person, on either side, perfect 1. impartial. If partiality be displayed at any time, it is open to Mr. Barker and his friends, and the friends of truth, to object; but I trust that until such manifestation does occur the audience will not interfere with the regulation of the proceedings. Before our friend Mr. Grant calls upon the gentleman who will first address you, permit me to say, that we are assembled to-night upon a most important and solemn subject, the investigation of great and vital questions—questions of truth or error; and that it becomes us as Chairmen, and you as individuals, to dispose ourselves to enter into the discussion with proper feelings, and with that impartial state of mind which will enable us all to see the evidence which is advanced on one side or the other, and to act as wise men. Let us, in the spirit of rational, and, above all, Christian men, be temperate and calm, so that good order may be preserved, and so that we may impartially be brought to a consideration of the evidences regarding o the spirit and the reason of our common faith. Mr. GRANT:—Now hoping that our friends will attend to the advice so-ably and clearly given by Dr. Lees, I beg to call upon Mr. Cooke to commence the discussion. Mr. COOKE then rose, and was received with considerable applause. MR. GRANT:-As the company are divided and differ in opinion, it is extremely desirable that they should endeavour to keep down applause, for this plain reason : it is not an ordinary meeting. The parties are equally divided, and whatever one approves, the other must censure, take which side you please. It is therefore exceedingly desirable to prevent interruption, and thus enable the disputants to proceed quietly. and to lay their reasons calmly and deliberately before you. (Hear, hear, and applause.) MR. Cook E then proceeded:—Mr. Chairman and Christian Friends,--I appear before you this evening, in consequence of the repeated challenges which Mr. Joseph Barker has issued to all orthodox ministers to meet him in public discussion. Most intelligent and respectable ministers treated those challenges with indifference and silence. That silence, however, I am sorry to say, was misconstrued, and represented as an indication of a secret consciousness, on our part, of the unsoundness of our principles: and I appear before you this evening, as an humble individual, to repel that insinuation, and to stand forward in defence of those sacred principles of the truth of which we have an upright consciousness, and 2 which we are prepared to defend to the utmost of our power. ". I could wish, indeed, that a task so important as this, had fallen into abler hands; and I say this with undissembled sincerity,