William Burt Pope

William Burt Pope, D. D. Bom, 1822 : Entered the Ministry, 1841

REVIVALS have been characteristic of Methodism through the whole course of its history. Methodism itself is an extensive revival of the spirit of primitive Christianity. The most powerful agent in vivifying the Church of England, for a century past, has been the work of Methodism throughout the land, impelling clerical activity as the only means of retaining the hold they had upon the people. Revivals and Methodism should be synonymous terms ; thousands of families have been made happy, and led to become Methodists, as the result of revivals. Pioneers in the cause have visited neglected villages in many parts of England, and they have found rough and uncultivated lads, working hard all day, seeking their evening recreation in vanity and folly, unconcerned about divine things, uncared for by the Church to which they were supposed to belong ; without anything to stimulate their intellects, or call out their powers; having no higher ambition than to become apprentices, then journeymen or foremen, and so go through life as their fathers had done before them. Methodist preaching, as the instrument of God's grace, has led to the conversion of thousands of lads in both villages and towns, and that has given new being, and opened to them a new prospect both for this world and the next. It revealed to them a spiritual world, a Saviour, and a heaven; and touched also the hidden springs of their mental life ; taught them the value of their intellects, as well as of their souls; set them on a course of study for self-improvement, and lighted in them the purest flame that can fire the hearts of young men—the desire to serve God and do good to their fellow-creatures. In 1809, when three Methodist preachers—Messrs. K. Waddy, G. Roberts, and E. Gellard—were sent to Plymouth, it pleased God to own their preaching, so that a revival broke out at a place called Turnchapel. A Methodist society was formed there; five young men—four brothers named Pope, and one William Burt—were amongst the converts, and the first members of that village society. Those five youths were but specimens of a great number throughout the land, to whom Methodism came with the triple power of a spiritual, mental, and social resurrection. As a band of converts they had not many parallels ; they were all pressed into the service ot the Gospel, all became preachers, and four of them went abroad as missionaries. Henry Pope, after a life of honourable service as a Methodist preacher, died, well in advanced life, in British America; Richard Pope was cut down by cholera, in Canada, in the midst of his work as a preacher. William Pope was for many years a useful Methodist local preacher at Liverpool; William Burt survived half-a- century as a preacher abroad, but closed his useful career as a preacher, at a good old age, in Plymouth ; and John Pope, the twin-brother of Richard, began to preach in 181 G, went out in 1818 to Prince Edward Island, where he became a Methodist missionary, afterwards removed to Nova Scotia, and whilst residing there, a sou was born in the family, who must now be introduced.

William Burt Pope was the son of a Methodist missionary, born 19th February, 1822, in Nova Scotia, and was named after his father's early friend. The same year his father was removed, by the Missionary Committee in London, to the Island of St. Vincent, in the West Indies, where he laboured as a pure-minded, faithful, and indefatigable missionary, preaching the Gospel to both black and white people, lovingly and earnestly, for four years. In 182G, Mr. Pope's elder brother died suddenly in the west of England, leaving considerable property, and the guardianship of a young family, to the management of John Pope, who, having laid the matter before the Missionary Committee, honourably released him from service abroad, to fulfil the obligation laid upon him by his brother's will, and he came to reside at Plymouth. His mind was greatly exercised by those events, as his heart was really in the work of the ministry; but when he found that the way was closed against him, he obeyed the direction of Providence, and settled in that locality to carry on his brother's business, and, as a local preacher, exercising his gifts in that service nearly every Sabbath day. He gave to his son the advantage of a classical education at Plymouth, and he was brought up amongst the Methodists. He was converted in his youth, joined the society, and became a local preacher whilst in his teens. His services in that capacity were so acceptable, that he was recommended for the itinerant ministry when only nineteen years old, and was, in 1841, sent to the Theological Institution at Hoxton, where he had for his Tutor in Theology the Rev. John Hannah, with whom he formed an acquaintance which ripened into sincere friendship.

He was a very apt and diligent student at the Institution, and his preaching on Sunday in the various chapels, in and around London, gave evidence of so much ability, that at the end of one year the Conference appointed him to his first circuit, and he began his career as an itinerant preacher at Kingsbridge, Devon, at the early age of twenty. He remained there two years, which was a favourable sign for a preacher so young. In 1844, he was stationed at Liskeard, and in 1845 was removed to Jersey. At the Conference of 1845, he was one of thirty young men in England received into full connexion, amongst whom were William H. Cornforth, John Harvard, Edward Lightwood, and Thomas Sheldon,—no one more vigorous, after the lapse of forty years, than Dr. Pope himself. He had the privilege of having the Rev. William Burt, his namesake, for his superintendent at Jersey; they both left at the end of the year. The Conference of 1846 located him at Sandhurst. In 1846, he began the earnest study of German theology, which some thought a dangerous pursuit for a young minister; in that year appeared his translation of the " First Epistle of St. John " by Haupt. During more than ten years, he devoted much time and attention to the work of translation, in which he was very successful, and earned for himself considerable reputation, whilst not neglecting his pastoral work in Methodism. With the translation of Haupt's " First Epistle of St. John," he closed his labours

In 1848, he was stationed as the third preacher at Dover, where he remained three years. In 1851, he removed to Halifax ; but his preaching had attracted so much attention, that in 1852 he was transferred to the First circuit in Methodism, that of City Road, in London. In the metropolis he devoted himself to literature more fully, and in 1854, English readerswere made acquainted,for the first time, with Dr. Rudolph Stier's " Words of the Lord Jesus," translated by the Rev. William Burt Pope. The wide circulation of that work, by Messrs. T. & T. Clark, of Edinburgh, placed the name of the translator in a foremost position amongst the clergy. Dr. Stier, as an author, was terrible to the rationalists in Germany, but dear to the orthodox, and his " Discourses of the Lord Jesus" proved a most welcome addition to English theological students. That work secured a large circulation on the Continent, in America, and also in England, and exerted upon English Biblical Criticism a good and gracious influence. Mr. Pope's three years' residence in London, had the effect of directing unusual attention to him as a scholar, as well as a preacher.

The next circuit to which Mr. Pope was appointed was Waltham Street, Hull, to which he removed in 1855. There Methodism had flourished, and been a great power for good, since 1771. There he was the third of three preachers, and during the third year, his former friend and his father's friend, the Rev. William Burt, was his superintendent. The Wesley an Methodist Magazine for January, 1856, opens with a New Year's Address, written by Mr. Pope, entitled, "The Rest of our Time," based on 1 Peter iv. 2. As a theological essay it met with much favour. In August, 1858, he was appointed to the large and important Oxford Road circuit, in Manchester, under the Rev. John Hall, with Samuel Coley as his genial junior colleague. Both Mr. Pope and Mr. Coley became theological tutors in the Connexion during the following decade. Whilst at Manchester, he was making friends with whom he was to have frequent, familiar, and happy intercourse for over a quarter of a century. During his stay in that city, in 1859, Messrs. Clark, of Edinburgh, published in their Foreign Theological Library, Mr. Pope's English translation of Dr. John H. A. Ebrard's " Biblical Commentary on the Epistles of St. John, with an Appendix on the Catholic Epistles, and an Introductory Essay on the Life and Writings of St. John." By undertaking these translations, and the eminently satisfactory way in which the work was done and received by the clergy generally, we can see how favourable were the circumstances in which the translator was placed for preparing himself to become a teacher in theology. In 1862, in the April number of the Wesleyan Magazine, there is an extract from a beautiful sermon of Mr. Pope's, on the " Love of the Commandments," addressed by him to the sons of Wesleyan ministers at the Woodhouse Grove School. Extracts from another sermon of his were printed in the same work for October, 1865, entitled, "The Abiding Word," preached on behalf of the Wesleyan Foreign Missionary Society, in 1865, and printed by request. It may be described as a great sermon, eminently instructive, almost every sentence of which contains some great truth. In the same work for December, 1866, the sermon is printed in detail, with the title, " The Presence of Christ in His Church." Mr. Pope preached it in September, at the opening of the Wesleyan Chapel at Ainsdale, a poor neighbourhood near Southport. Mr. Pope's industry in the school of theology, was the best qualification he could have as a preparation for the eminently distinguished sphere to which he has since been called. Mr. Pope's teaching is sound and Scriptural, thoroughly Methodistic in spirit and phraseology. There is a possibility " that we may be theologians, but not Christians ; ecclesiastics, but not children of God; clever, but not good ; controversial, but not prayerful." Mr. Pope's theological teaching is the outcome of Scripture truth, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God.

From Manchester, Mr. Pope was removed in August, 1861, to the Brunswick, or first circuit in Leeds. There for two years he was the second preacher, the Rev. William T. Radcliffe being the superintendent; but during the third year Mr. Pope was himself promoted to the office of superintendent of one of the largest and most important circuits in the Connexion. His colleagues during that year were the Revs. George C. Harvard, James Sugden, and Frederick E. Toyne. Removing from Leeds, he was appointed to Southport in 1864, one of the most attractive and opulent circuits in England, where he was superintendent, and had the Rev. Francis W. Greevcs for his colleague. On the occasion of his selection for Southport, the Conference recognised his services in various departments, by electing him by nomination a member of the Legal Hundred of Methodist Preachers, one of the guardians of the Connexion. He had previously, in 1863, published the fourth and last of his translations from the German, "Winer's Confessions of Christendom." The three years which Mr. Pope spent at Southport closed his itinerant career as a preacher. He has since been located as one of the Connexional officials.

The Rev. Dr. John Hannah, who had for many years been the Theological Tutor at the Didsbury Wesleyan College, died before the Conference of 1867 ; to supply his place was not very difficult, with such a master of theology at command as William Burt Pope. He had for twenty-five years served the Connexion in circuit work; he was therefore well acquainted with all the requirements of the people as regards ministers, and his transfer to the Theological Professor's Chair at Didsbury, in 1867, was a wise decision of the Conference. His Inaugural Address, delivered on the occasion of commencing his duties there, forms a printed pamphlet of thirty pages, which was read with eager interest when printed, and only served to confirm the Conference in the wisdom of their choice. Some time afterwards, the " Lectures on Theology," prepared by his predecessor, were placed in his hands to prepare for publication, and to that work he added a very graceful " Memoir " of his own former tutor, in which he spoke gratefully of the kindness he had received from Dr. Hannah, and of the friendship which had long subsisted between them. In the meantime, Mr. Pope himself had been devoting all his time and energies to the preparation of a work on theology, which was designed to be of an enduring character as a Text-book. Accordingly, in 1875, he published the first of a series of important works on Systematic Theology, with the title, " A Compendium of Christian Theology; being Analytical Outlines of a Course of Theological Study, Biblical, Dogmatic, Historical." That work called forth much criticism, both in England and America, and it soon became evident that such a work was much needed, and that the field was not fully covered by the publication then given to the Church and the public. A spirit of inquiry was aroused :it was evident that a master-mind had arisen in the theological world, with a firm grasp of the subject in hand, and something more important might be expected. Taking advantage of suggestions offered, the work was revised and enlarged, and then republished in three large volumes, at ten shillings and sixpence each, and eagerly read and studied.

A recent writer has said, in speaking of Dr Pope (for the publication of that valuable " Compendium " soon afterwards secured for him, from the University of Edinburgh, the diploma of Doctor of Divinity), that his " Compendium of Christian Theology "—

"Is certain to exert great influence on the author's own denomination, whose belief it has stated, compared with other forms of belief, vindicated, and reduced for the first time into scholastic order and elaborate expression. On ecclesiastical grounds the service is a high one. Dr. Pope is one of the most notable men of his denomination, and he fills a niche in Methodism hitherto unappropriated. Methodism can count by hundreds its fervent preachers, who, probably beyond any other body of men, have evangelised the masses; it can count able expositors and teachers, like Benson, Sutcliffe, Watson, and Farrar; it can in the dominion of sound scholarship point to Dr. Adam Clarke and Dr. Etheridge ; but Dr. Pope, in the strictest sense a teacher, is the first who has with professional method expressed its theology in scholastic lines, and reduced it into a perfectly formal system. Dr. Pope has himself remarked, that Richard Watson's " Institutes" is not exactly systematic. The teaching of the apostles and early Christians consisted chiefly of Jesus, His life, death, and resurrection; but in the course of time, opinions and theories were originated concerning this religious life, and men set up schools of thought which required study, and then investigation and comparison with the primitive standards of the Gospel. Methodism, like primitive Christianity, possesses a standard of doctrine : though somewhat roughly expressed, it is largely experimental in its character; but with the Methodists religion meant pardon, conversion, sanctity— truths proved, certainly, by all children of God. Methodism hardly busied itself with the exact niceties or profound subtleties of scholastic theology. But every Church— and Methodism in time attained the full dimensions of a Church—displays commonly its Confession of Faith; and now at last the philosophy of the Faith has been thought out on a Methodistic basis. Dr. Pope has given the Methodist public a 'Body of Divinity'—homogeneous, compact, systematised; a marvel of acuteness, analytic power, industry, and research."

Dr. Pope attracted notice as a preacher early in his ministerial career, particularly among the more intellectual class of his hearers. This was no doubt largely due, not only to his own attainments, but to the disposition of his mind. It must not be supposed that Dr. Pope is a preacher aiming at affording intellectual gratification: on the contrary, he has been described as having—

"No ostentation, no parade of words, no glittering allurements. He can aim at the heart simply, directly, tenderly, in words nervous, simple, and chaste ; and one of his best printed sermons was addressed during his residence at Leeds, 1862, to little Sunday- school children. But he appears to have a gift of acute analysis, of patient thought—of those very qualifications, in a word, which have so pre-eminently made him the setter in scholastic shape of the theology of his denomination. He loves to meditate on the deep things of God, to compare one truth with another, to justify the ways of God to man. His treatment of the doctrine of atonement in his ' Compendium ' will illustrate this ; but it is also apparent in the cast and structure of his productions generally. Had he not been a Methodist preacher, he would have become eminent as a mathematician or a chemist. Dr. Pope holds his ratiocinative processes strictly in subjection to his ecclesiastical opinions. We should say that he is most able in analysis of thought, in comparison, in formal process of logic; by no means is he an original speculator. He seems inclined to pay immense deference to ecclesiastical opinion; at times his references to counsels and confessions might amusingly suggest a High Church treatise. Dr. Pope stands out from his brethren as eminently a professional theologian of the ecclesiastical type. As a preacher he is thoughtful, severe at times in style, earnest but subdued in appeals to his hearers, aiming always to fulfil the work of a Christian pastor with all diligence and fidelity.

At the Bristol Methodist Conference, held in July, 1877, Dr. Pope was chosen President; he received 205 votes, whilst Dr. Rigg had 162, which indicated his turn for the office next year. The highest dignity in Methodism was reached as the reward of patient labour, after a career in the ministry of thirty-six years, modestly pursued, but not unblest. His brethren had designed him for the chair on a previous occasion, but the state of his health obliged him to decline the honour. His excellent father had died in 1863, aged seventy-two, so did not live to share with his son the honour thus conferred. His pen had made him more extensively known than many of his brethren, not only by his excellent translations from the German, but by his separate published sermons, by his contributions to the Conuexional Magazine, and more particularly by some able articles he had contributed to the early issues of the London Quarterly Review, a Methodist publication of high literary character. The one question of Lay Representation had been shaping itself steadily for adoption by the Conference, during several years, and it was expected to be permanently decided that year. It was well known that Dr. Pope approached that question in a spirit of great caution; his attitude had been determined by views of church order which to some of his brethren appeared a little extreme. He had an undoubted right to hold his views, but some feared that such opinions might retard the work, the progress of which was so much desired, if the President was not favourable to it. When, however, the reservation of ministerial rights was conceded by the laymen, he was satisfied with the proposed scheme, and became one of its advocates. The Conference over which he presided was one of the most memorable in the history of English Methodism, as during its deliberations the scheme of Lay Representation was adopted, by which lay officers of the Connexion are now permitted, during one week out of three, to take part in the deliberations of the Conference, and by the mixed assembly of ministers and laymen, all questions relating to finance are considered and disposed of. Great and needless fear had been felt by some that the change thus introduced might lead to opposition, or division ; but as there was such uniform harmony attending all the preliminary arrangements, and also the final settlement of the question, it was resolved to raise a general Thanksgiving Fund to mark the auspicious occasion; that Fund has nearly reached in payments £300,000, and by its judicious distribution, a large amount of Connexional indebtedness, which had long oppressed various agencies, was entirely cancelled.

It may be well to preserve, in this connection, some of the words spoken by Dr. Pope at the time of his election to the Presidency, as giving the key-note to the happy results which followed. He said:— "

My first impulse is to place you, and myself, and all our common interests, under the blessing and guidance of Him who is the Supreme President of this Conference— our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who, as I believe, and you believe, has as certainly called us together to this city, as His servant called the elders together at Miletus, to confer with us, and to watch us in our deliberations in matters that affect His Church and kingdom. That is my steadfast faith. I think it is our steadfast faith. By many it may be mocked as presumptuous or unreal; we believe it, and in that confidence invoke the presence of our Lord ; and all our thoughts and words, our deliberations and resolves—all our public conversations and private thoughts as a body of men, are ordered as in His sacred presence. That gives us our dignity, and that only. Let us not seek it elsewhere: not in any imaginary ecclesiastical authority we may have,—there is very little ecclesiastical authority presumably in the Church,—not in the thought that we have reached our 134th Conference: not in that; not in the fact that we constitute perhaps the largest, certainly the purest, Presbyterian body in Christendom; not in any of these things, but in that blessed truth to which I revert, and cannot help reverting—that our Lord has summoned us into His presence that He may speak to us concerning His kingdom. That imposes upon us, of course, a very solemn responsibility, which we should shrink from utterly, were it not for the conviction that to know the responsibility, and to feel it, is to be prepared for it. Our cause is not ours; it is His; and whether we regard it as the maintenance of what in our prayer this morning we have called, ' Our Beloved Connection,' 'Our Methodism'—whatever that word may mean—we regard ourselves as representing pastoral relation over a large number of Christian Churches. All that we do must be done with a direct reference to Him. We have our Methodism to conserve: that is our annual responsibility; for, whatever else this Conference is, and whatever else it does, it is our annual avowal before each other, and before the world, that are determined to maintain our ancient principles—viz., the doctrines of the Christian faith, which we hold in common with all Christendom, and certain peculiarities of doctrine that we cherish very deeply, though Christendom generally may disavow them; and our peculiar discipline in some of its most select, distinguishing features; our peculiar and very choice, and very precious relation to other Christian institutions, denominations, and parties in this land; and, above all, our supreme vocation—a vocation more clear and distinct in our case than, we think, in the case of any other Christian body upon earth, for the whole world. All these we declare that we re-assert, re-affirm, and are determined to uphold. ... I have been in the habit of making a clear, sharp, definite distinction in my own thoughts between the Methodist Churches or Church, and the Methodist ' Society.' It has been a comfortable distinction, whether you like it or not. As Methodist Churches, I do not think that we meet in this place to legislate at all. 'Ecclesiastical laws' is a misnomer. In the early days of the Church it was ' Canons' rather than 'law.' We have nothing to do but to administer the laws which have been assigned to us from the Sacred Hand itself, and with ecclesiastical legislation we have little or nothing to do. Touching the old ' Society,' I suppose it is not so. I suppose there must be legislation. So long as the Methodist Society exists, it must constantly be more or less adapting itself to circumstances and times. I have said before that it was the common hand of our Lord Himself that fashioned Methodism, but not without our obvious and patent co-operation; and my quiet maxim is, ' The maximum of adaptation with the minimum of change' in this matter."

A few days after the election of the President, an address of congratulation to Dr. Pope was got up and signed by nearly thirty young preachers, who had been under his tuition at Didsbury, and who were then awaiting ordination at that Conference. The presentation was made in the Old Market Street Chapel, Bristol, and after it had been read, the President said, the presentation had given him as much delight as anything he had ever received, and he should give it a prominent place amongst his household treasures. The address made allusion to the degree of D.D., then recently conferred on Dr. Pope by the University of Edinburgh.

In closing the proceedings of that memorable and now historical Conference, the President delivered an address, which was so characteristic of the man himself, that an extract from it must form part of his life-work. He said :—

" I can hardly command the self-possession and calmness to speak, for to me there is something very pathetic in the service with which we close the sessions of Conference, especially THIS CONFERENCE. It is very touching to come to the last of a series of associations of any kind. We shall find it so in our homes to-morrow. There is something pathetic in the last session of this Conference; for it ia no secret—it is known to us all— that the old Conference—the old historical Conference—the Conference that has been interwoven with our memories and associations, most of us, from the beginning, for better or worse—is drawing near to its last hour; indeed, its last hour has come. There is to be a change ; a very great change—a change that we accept as the ordinance of God—a change that we do not all accept in the same spirit, and we do not all equally approve and delight in: some regard it with more fear, some with more hope ; but we all accept it. And I am bound to say that it is the duty of all of us, waiving our theoretical scruples and doubts, to do our very best, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, to shield the new arrangement from all its possible dangers, and to help it to work out the best possible issues. We have had, to my mind, a very happy Conference. It has been to me an unspeakable joy to perceive the manifest tokens of the presence of our Master with us. We have had the influence of His Spirit in the public assemblies, and in the private assemblies there has been that umistakable evidence and proof of the Saviour's presence that cannot be defined in words, but that is experienced by the heart—of which the heart alone can give account . We shall enter into our common pastoral life, enriched by the blessings which have descended upon us in Bristol . In a certain sense it is the result of the legacy and labours of the past year, but it is also the earnest of a pledge and benediction that is to rejoice us in the year to come. As soon as we reach our homes, let us shut our doors and bow down before our Saviour, our Master and Lord ; and let us feel it to be our bounden duty to spend one solemn day of intense devotion, pleading with Him that He may bestow upon us His most abundant blessing, to rest upon our pulpits, upon our congregations, upon our Sunday schools and day-schools, upon our local preachers, upon our class-leaders, upon all our agents, and all our organisations, and all our instrumentalities, and those innumerable servants of Christ amongst us who find no place in statistics, but who are following their invisible Master everywhere, and are going about doing good. God bless them all. Pray that the sacred unction, which is represented as descending from the High Priest's head to the very skirts of his garments, may descend in a very blessed and abundant effusion on the whole corporate body of Methodism to the ends of the earth. I cannot help remembering that in this Conference we have renewed a most solemn pledge of fidelity to the truth of God as committed to us in the Scriptures—to the Confession of Faith handed down to us by our fathers. I do not remember a more clear and distinct witness, testimony, and protest than this Conference has sent forth. See to it, brethren, that you remember this. Let all remember that we have taken anew those vows that are upon us, and let us remember the solemnity of them. Let us not enthusiastically rally round our standards, and profess our Methodist orthodoxy, and then go and forget our obligations and vows ; but let us in all our reading and preaching, and in all our public and private ministrations, remember that we are pledged to the truth which Christ has given to us, with all its difficulties. We cannot receive Him without the severities of His doctrine. . . . Let us be faithful. I do not like to approach the subject of self—before that I always falter—but let me thank you from the depths of my heart for your kindness and love to me—for your prayers and for your sympathy. Let me say that there will be nothing that will delight me so much as to have fellowship with my brethren, and that it is my purpose, by the blessing of God, without neglecting my theological chair, to diffuse myself and to go about, and to the utmost of my ability to be a presence in the Connexion. May God bless us !"

At the end of his official year, a very cordial vote of thanks was accorded to Dr. Pope, by the Conference, spoken to by Mr. M'Aulay, Mr. Hartley, Mr. M'Mullen, and Mr. William Jackson, the Rev. Dr. Rigg being the new President. The office is honorary, the reward the thanks of the brethren; those having been officially tendered, Dr. Pope said in reply :— "

There was a time when it seemed, by the indications of Providence, that I should be prepared to place myself at the disposal of my brethren in the Conference for possible election to this office. I have only now to say that it was the hand of divine Providence that kept me from the counsels of my brethren and from co-operation with them in the most difficult business they had in hand, and no feeling of my own whatsoever. God was pleased at that time, to overshadow me for my humiliation and for the good of my soul—that was the reason why I did not come to give them my poor help at a crisis of great difficulty. The accident of my name happening to be in the records, a year or two in advance of my honoured chief, Dr. Rigg, explains my preceding him in this office. Comparing my gifts and knowledge, and experience with his, and my service to the Connexion with his, the order ought to have been inverted. Howover, when I went to Bristol last year, it was the deep desire of my heart that I should not be President—I do not know how far you understand that ad literam — I do not know whether it is entirely accepted by the Conference, but it is strictly and literally true; and when it pleased God to place me, through your suffrages, in the chair of that Conference, I did most unreservedly give myself to Him, and determined that whilst I endeavoured to do all the good I could in the Connexion, I would extract as much profit from the office to myself as it was capable of giving me. I am not ashamed to say that nearly all the words of my generous friend, Mr. M'Aulay, are literally and strictly true. God did by His grace send down upon me, as your chief, and in answer to your prayers, an influence of His Holy Spirit that I never could have had any right to expect by any antecedent in myself. He did accompany His Word, and has done throughout the year, with the demonstration of the Spirit, and has been drawing me nearer to Himself, and has given mo a closer view of that sublime perfection which by His grace I should like to attain. I desired above everything, during the year, to go down into Cornwall, for I am a Cornish man after a fashion (I came from Devonshire), to measure my strength with the Bishop of Cornwall—but it pleased God to humble me — I was going too fast—and He gave me a season of comparative retirement. I most humbly and heartily thank you. Whatever good it has pleased God to do through my instrumentality, let Him have the glory of it; but I can most unfeignedly say that I have received very much more benefit from this Connexion during the year than it has been possible for me to confer upon it. I have learned very much I never knew before. In fact I have had a thorough education in many things. I have learnt to love my brethren more ; I have learnt to admire the economy of Methodism more even at this time and in this year ; I have entered more profoundly than ever before, by a sympathy which only my office could give me, into the difficulties, and hardships, and trials of my brethren ; and I have come back from all my itinerancies with this deep feeling in my heart, that I am not worthy to be either their brother or their servant, and He who looks down upon us now knows that I do not speak officially or perfunctorily, but from the depth of my heart. I shall go back to the office which has been assigned to me by your confidence and love—an office the functions of which are not ended at the end of the year—and give all diligence, and show my gratitude to you by trying to be a better, a more earnest—I cannot say more faithful, but equally faithful—Tutor of Theology, and I shall go back to that more retired office and function comforted and encouraged by the kind words you have spoken to-day."

The free manner in which Dr. Pope has used his pen is marvellous, considered in connection with the responsible and important daily duties of the professorial chair. In 1863, he preached and published a Sermon on the occasion of the death of the Rev. John Lomas. In 1869, he published, in Manchester, "Discourses on the Kingdom and Reign of Christ, delivered in the Chapel at Didsbury College." To the reader they open views of truth, which will both chasten and refresh the devout mind. In 1871, Dr. Pope delivered the second of the Fernley Lectures, a discourse with notes, on the " Person of Christ." It is one of the most important of the author's publications, and has awakened a large amount of interesting theological inquiry. In 1872, he published several articles in the Wesleyan Magazine, which included a "Memoir of Mrs. Fishwick, of Southport"; a "Memoir" of his own, and his father's friend, the Rev. William Burt; and a Sermon on the occasion of his death in 1870, at nearly four-score; also his Sermon on the death of the Rev. Dr. Dixon. In 1873, there was printed, in the same Magazine, a lengthy article on "The Life and Writings of Dr. Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg," whose work, the " History of the Kingdom of God in the Old Testament," Dr. Pope had translated for Clark's Foreign Theological Library. In the same Magazine, for 1874, Dr. Pope printed a "Memoir" and Funeral Sermon on the occasion of the death of the Rev. Thomas Stead ; also a lengthy " Memoir" of the unselfish and benevolently pious John Fernley, of Southport, the generous founder of the Fernley Lecture, whose bounty has endowed the Lecture in perpetuity, and who founded the College for Methodist Preachers' Daughters, at Southport; also a " Memoir " of another eminently pious and benevolent Methodist layman, and Member of Parliament, Mr. James Heald, of Stockport.

Amongst his more recent publications must be named the issue, in 1878, of "Sermons, Addresses, and Charges," delivered by him during his Presidency, which have been described as " master conceptions of Scripture truth and human need." In 1880, he issued "Discourses on the Lordship of the Incarnate Redeemer," which had soon to be reprinted, and a third enlarged edition was soon called for. In 1881, he published "Death and Life in Christ, a Funeral Sermon on occasion of the Death of the Rev. Dr. F. J. Jobson." He has since published three other works, with the titles, " The Prayers of St Paul," " The Person of Christ," and " A Higher Catechism of Theology," also " God Glorified in His Works and Word; a Discourse delivered in Bradford, September, 1873, on occasion of the Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science." He has also re-written the " Second Conference Catechism," for use in Methodist families and Sunday schools. Such a catalogue of solid and valuable works, intended to live for the use of oncoming generations, is a marvellous record, and it indicates a wonderful amount of mental power and physical endurance; but Dr. Pope has strong faith in God, in His omnipresence as well as in His omnipotence, and His willingness to help those who fully trust in Him to perform even the daily duties of life.

Dr. Pope was one of the elected delegates to the Ecumenical Methodist Conference of 1881, and he has left for himself a worthy representation of his reputation in the discussions in which he took part. He is also a member of several important Committees in Methodism. His name and fame are widely known in ecclesiastical circles outside of English Methodism, and especially in America; his published works are extensively read and studied, and some of them have been accepted as permanent college text-books in theology.