Изображения страниц

reap also bountifully." " Though in this text the general principle is stated, he hesitates about the particular applic tion, since, as he justly remarks, "It is not certain whether a single spiriual blessing, even for this world, much less for the next, is promised in the whole chapter." But though he prudently declines availing himself of these passages, he is of opinion that a sufficient number remain to prove his point.

The first portion of scripture which he adduces is, the conversation between our Lord and th two sons of Zebedee, Matt. xx. 81—83- Mark x. 37—40. The second is the parable of the Talents, Luke xix. 18,86. The next is Luke xxii. 88—30 From this he proceeds to 1 for. iii. 8. and ch. xv. 23. 2 Cor. iv. 17. 1 Thess. xi. 19,80. 1 Cor. iii. 15. 8 Pet. i. 11. all of which he has happily illustrated, and the evidence thence arising for the " diversity of future rewards" is placed in that luminous point of view, that the man who can read his pamphlet without conviction, must be inveterate indeed in his prejudices! But our columns warn us that we must not enlarge. The pleasure and satisfaction which we have derived from this pamphlet has induced us to present our readers with a pretty copious analysis of its contents—for it is of the nature of true benevolence to wish to communicate to others the happiness which itself enjoys. We must apprise them however, that it is only a very imperfect and inadequate idea which they can have of the whole pamphlet from our brief review of it, and that if they find any interest in the subject (which surely every Christian must) they will act wisely in having recourse to the work itself. With the author we have not the slightest acquaintance, having never exchanged a syllable with him; and for aught we know, we are equally unknown to him. No impartial person, however, can go through his pages without perceiving the clearest proofs in it of an originality of mind that is rarely met with, and argumentative powers that are of the very first class. We doubt whether the Baptist denomination can produce five men of equal talent; yet the author of this masterly pamphlet, whose abilities qualify him for taking the lead in their most important concerns as a body, is scarcely ever heard of, be

Vol. m.

yond the precincts of his own hamlet. We sincerely tender him our thanks for his pamphlet, and hope the time is at no great distance when he will encrease our obligation by publishing * volume of Sermons, such as we know him to be capable of producing. We will answer for their success—and surely to himself it can be no light affair to communicate the benefits of his ministry beyond the narrow circle in which he is at present destined t» move. He may possibly do something towards elevating the tone of preaching which, alas, now prevails in most of the churches both Inde» pendent and Baptist—a consummation most devoutly to be wished!

The Evil of Separation from the Church of England, &jc. London; Seelejr: Vriee 6s. pp. 233. 8vo. 1817. The Rev. Peter Roe, a Gentleman professing Evangelical principles, has, it would seem, been much disturbed, by the principles of Dissenterism (as our neighbour, Mr. Cunningham, would phrase it) which have latterly made a rapid progress in Ireland, greatly to his annoyance as the minister of St. Mary's, Kilkenny. It would appear too that conscience acted rather a troublesome part, and he was somewhat difticulted to quiet its clamours. In this unpleasant posture of affairs, he instituted a correspondence with some of hia conforming brethren; whose letters had the desired effect of producing a salvo to his conscience, and he has therefore laid them before the public. But as it is not likely that any thing we had to offer on the subject woukfbe thought entitled to regard, we shall spare ourselves the trouble, but in parting with Mr. Roe and his learned correspondents, we with all due submission recommend to their considerai ion, the-character which Bishop Warburton gave of this same excellent Church of England, to his brother Bishop Hurd. "The Church," says the learned prelate, "like the Ark of Noah, is worth saving; not for the sake of the unclean beasts and vermin that almost filled it, and probably made most noise and clamour in it, but for th* little corner of rationality, that was as much distressed by the stink within, as by the tempest without." See Letters from a late eminent Prektt to om of hts/ritndsf Letter xlvit

a s


asUUgiousi an& ^Literary Intelligence.


Remarks on a paper signed " Onesimus," in the Baptist Magazine for May.

To the Editor of the Baptist Magazine.


That the Minislers who have "conducted Zion's warfare and enlarged her borders," should be "cherished with the warmest glow of benevolence," is past dispute. Without question, our churches will be exposed to just reproach, if they do not anticipate the wants of their veteran leaders, and provide accordingly. But the Patrons of a " Society just formed," are at issue with Onesimus respecting the manner of rolling anay that reproach—and on this account they offer the following remarks to your readers.

From the tenor of the " thoughts" of Onesimus, a person, not acquainted with the Rules of the above Society, would imagine it was instituted exclusively for the benefit of Old Agb; notwithstanding it was announced to the Public that "The object of this Institution is to make provision for such pastors of Baptist churches as may be incapable of discharging the duties of their office through age or infirmity." Omitting all notice of their avowed object, Onesimus represents this Society as " restricting its beneficence to those who are from age And infirmity permanently unable to exercise their office." This quotation is palpably imperfect, and the change of a word in what it quoted, perverts the whole meaning of the sentence. The sixth Rule states "That any beneficiary member, appearing to be permanently incapable of exercising the pastoral or ministerial office by reason of age or infirmity, shall he intitled to benefits according to the Rules of this Society." It will be doubtless granted that the "duties" of the pastoral or ministerial office include all the customary exercises thereof. If any beneficiary member of this Society should be incapable of discharging these, by reason of age or infirmity of any description, and such incapacity appear likely

to be permanent, such members will be intitled to the benefits of the Funds. The mere preaching once on the Lord's day, or administering the Lord's supper once a month, (though in many instances these would be justly esteemed an " invaluable portion of sacred service,") would not be regarded as the exercise or discharge of the duties of the ministerial or pastoral office contemplated in the above Rule, but the honoured invalid would be equally intitled to suppoit as if be were wholly laid aside.*

Onesimus covertly accuses the Society just formed of want of liberality. To rebut such a charge, let the plan speak for itself. It proposes to provide a CerTain asylum for the aged or infirm, to which the annual receipt signed by the Secretary, and sent to every subscribing minister, in his Title Deed, under which he will demand his proportion of tie funds, which are already considerable— but one guinea a year for the purchase of this Title, Onesimus thinks, will be an "unjustifiable claim on their immediate income."t

How unhappy it is for reasoners when they labour under a misconception of first principles. Onesimus here seems to advert to a long series of years which must elapse before a beneficiary number will be in a state to require and obtain our aid. We wish, for our churches's sake, his premises were correct. But those of your readers who recollect the value, and lament the brevity, of the labours of a Pearce, a Webb, a Rowe, and many other honoured and beloved names, will judge of the validity of an objection built on such precarious ground".

Having, as he thinks, set aside a "Society just formed," as illiberal and useless, not reaching the case calling for relief; Onesimus writes, very finely, about and about another incipient institution which is to secure—we know not what: for he gives his propositions in so lax a form, that he sends us rambling among old ministers and poor churches without its being clear to us what he intends to do for either. Only this appeal very plainly that all his provisions, what ever they may be, are to -be independent

• Viewing the liberal intentions of this Society la this particular, some have expressed their alarm, lest any should relinquish half their labours, in order to make a claim on ure

Society! These objectors have little knowledge of Baptist Ministers: though man)


them labour much with a small pittance, they are not the men to relinquish the work they love on any such considerations as this alarm supposes.

i Four Members of any church, at a penny per week, may free their Minister from any more charge than an additional naif-penny towards this "unj ustifiable claim." A Hint to poor Ministers.

One penny a week from nine Members of each Baptist church would pay the Subscription required, from the Ministers, and provide a fund equal to the constant supply of 26 N iiu««r» with £bO. a year each.

•f any ' claims; and every claim made upon bis funds will be considered as an incumbrance!

If wealthy people choose to make a fund out of their abundance, and give it away by the hands of Onesimus, we shall not object. Our object is wholly of a different class from his. It is our wish to insure to the disinterested and incessant labourer in the Lord's vineyard, that he thall have an asylum if age or infirmity should suspend his exertions or lay him aside. We do not covet that independence which would bring our afflicted brethren, or the grey hairs of our venerable fathers, before us as paupers seeking our alms; nor will the sacred opportunity of applying our funds to their relief ever be deemed our incumbrance. While they know and feel that its objects present the tenderest and strongest claim to general support this Society has no wish to impose the tax of a Collection on any Congregation in order to secure its benefits to their Minister, as his title would then rest on the willingness and ability of others.

More need not be said. Many of onr brethren have already appreciated the value of this Institution, and every week adds to the number of its patrons and beneficiary members. The spirit which pervades the paper signed Onesimus, and the misrepresentation it contains, have called forth these remarks! but neither Onesimus nor his " more liberal Institution" can prevent continual accessions to a Society whose arrangements unite impartial justice with liberality, and the tenderest benevolence with independence. Signed by order of the Committee, John Paul Porter. Secretary.

At a Special Meeting of the Committee held to take into consideration the paper signed Onesimus in the Baptist Magazine, It was Resolved,

That a Letter now read, addressed to

the Editors of the Baptist Magazine, be

forthwith forwarded to the Editor of the

New Evangelical Magazine, respectfully

and earnestly requesting his insertiou

thereof in the next number of that work.

George Evill,

Chairman to the Committee.

John Paul Porter,



•For the Protection of Religious Liberty.

On Saturday, May 17, this Society met, agreeable to their annual custom, at the New London Tavern, Cheapside.

The Right Hon. the Lord Mayor in <he Chair.

His Lordship opened the business of

5 ^avi by stating the great pleasure "Web. he felt in meeting the present com

pany, as he understood that their Society was not mixed up with any political object (which as chief magistrate he felt it his duty to avoid) but was founded on the broad principles of civil and religious liberty, in supporting which be conceived he maintained the authority of Government, while he protected the privileges of the people: for no government certainly had any right to interfere with our religious principles or forms of worship.

Tho. Pellatt, Esq. read the minutes of the Committee for the last year, which detailed a number of facts that had called for the interference of the Society; but as they are referred to, both in the resolutions adopted, and in the speeches of the gentlemen who introduced or seconded those resolutions, we think it unnecessary to particularize them in this place.

After the minutes were read, J. Wilks, Esq. the other Secretary of the 'Society, in a strain of powerful eloquence, commented on the various facts which had been referred to. With respect to the different prosecutions conducted by the Society, he thought it sufficient generally to mention the results rather than enter into the detail. The first case alluded to was that of Midhurst in Sussex, where the parties had pleaded guilty, apologized to the public, paid £42 of the expences, and entered into recognizances to keep the peace. But the riots at Abbots Ann, near Audover, which had been mentioned at their last annual meeting, presented a case of the most violent and atrocious outrage. The persecutors were masked and armed; in this disguise they assaulted and beat the minister and some of his congregation severely, and even dangerously, and bade defiance to all law and justice, conceiving themselves to be under the protection of the clergyman, and of his brother, who was Chairman of the Quarter Sessions; twoor three and twenty of them had in consequence been sued in the Court of King's Bench, and the expences had amounted to between 2 and .£300. They also, after a long course of prosecution, had at last been brought to confess their guilt, to ask pardon in the public prints, to pay £100 towards the expenses of the prosecution, and to enter into recognizances to keepthe peace; which result was effected by the interposition of one of the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas—and had at length been convinced that this Society would not suffer the poor and defenceless to be persecuted by their most powerful or exalted enemies.

In the three cases of refusing burial which had this year occurred, the respective clergymen had been taught, that their conduct in so doing subjected them to suspension and penalty, and in one case the Minister had submitted to read the service over the corpse two months after it had been buried.

With respect to Sunday tolls, the law had been accustomed to rank Dissenters with Episcopalians; and though attempts Were continually made to alter the law by clauses in local acts Parliament, they had hitherto been detected and successfully resisted. To persons in London this might seem a trifling; matter, bat there are congregations in the country to Whom the toll would amount to i30 per annum.

The assessment of Cbap.>ls to the poorrates is an oppressive and litigious measure, to which in more than twelve cases, the attention of the Society has been di'rected, and which was certainly unjust

where the trustees, who are the persons to be assessed, have no beneficial interest in the concern; and the inquisitorial power which Magistrates claim of interfering with their concerns, and even controlling their expencet, and determining whether they were "necessary" was, in many instances, worse than the sum asseised, and in principle yet more objectionable than the payment of the amount of assessments required. The case of Surrey Chapel had been long litigated, and five or six times the promoters had been foiled; and though at last the magistrates determined it to be rateable, and it had been rated at £650, yet the rate bad Hot been enforced—the parish was decidedly hostile to its enforcement, and in the last assessment the Chapel had been omitted. This case seemea therefore to be set at rest. But he wished ministers to understand, that, in point of law, all chapels were certainly rateable where any profit arose after the payment of the necessary expences, including the requisite salaries of ministers and others employed.

As to Riots they had been numerous. Another case of riot had occurred at JITf'rf4ksham, in Suffolk, where SO persons Were concerned in disturbing a Baptist Minister, and the magistrates, several of them being clergymen, refused to listen to any complaint. At Bracknell, in Berks; at Moorchelsea, near Maidstone; at a tillage near 7'ciekesbury, Baptist congregations had been also disturbed by such proceedings.

At Anstey.oear Tisbary, in Wilts, Mr. Hopkins, late of Christ Church, had been persecuted inaway almostunprecedented. The persecutors, among whom were the curate of the parish, and the constable •f the village, hud not indeed come into the place ta disturb the worship; but they had made such noises without, that it was impossible to carry it on—noises that might be heard for 3 miles; and yet the Magistrates refused to interfere, and dismissed the complainants. The parties had, however, been indicted for conspiracy, and remained to be tried at the next Assizes, the cause having been removed, by certiorari, from the Quarter Session, iaW the Court of King's Beach.

In 'Wales, where there was much Christian simplicity, and honest zeal, they had met with great opposition, and many attempts to suppress their energy. At Ptlwhelly a clergyman thought he had found a law inflicting £100 penalty on any Dissenter who should administer the Lord's Supper to his congregation, and so threatened, till he was better informed by the Secretaries of the Society.

At Tenhury, in Glostershire, a placard was stuck up to revive certain obsolete persecuting laws of the Stuarts, and threatening with heavy penalties all who omitted to attend their parish rhnrch. This was signed by the principal attorney of the place; but to counteract this, they had another placard stuck up by the side of the former, offering a reward of five guineas for discovering the author of this illegal libel.

At Portsmouth, a hand-bill was circulated, in which the Rev. R. Hill, was denounced by name as having reared the standard of insurrection and rebellion; and the Dissenters were charged generally with the rebellion of the 16th century, and with the like designing at present to overthrow both Church and State.

Mr. W. would be very cautious of abusing the doctrine of a special providence; but a circumstance had occurred at Llanbrynfair, which he could not forbear to mention. A Captain Iivans had attempted to eject a congregation, wbe held of him their chapel, which lie threatened to turn into a dog-kennel, and vowed to eradicate Methodism from the country. He went much farther; be said he had had atrial with the elect, and now he would have one with their God— aud be knew if he got the better, he would send him to hell!—But alas! "whoever hardened himself against God and prospered?" The same evening he spent his hours as usual at the Unicorn Inn, and going home soon after midnight, much intoxicated, he lost his way, fell into a pool, not more than two feet deep, and there most unhappily perished.

The audience had undoubtedly heard ef the case of Mr. Wright, of Liverpool; and though the majority of the Committee differed widely from bis theological opinions, they thought it their duty to protect his rights, (applauses,) and he was glad to hear the present company thought with them.

In this case, liowever, there were some circumstances, as to the place where be had preached, which made it notdesirable further to dispute his conviction in a penalty of 80s. for preaching in an unregistered place; but contending, as the Committee did, that a place once registered is registered for ever, they pledge themselves to try the point, whenever• fair opportunity shall offer i for if it were admitted that the application of a registered place to secular purposes vitiate) the registration, it would be necessary, i" many cases, to procure a new certificate every week. On the point of blasphemy, the Committee conld not interfere in a question of fact; but should any die/a be advanced to restrain liberty of conscience, and set aside the law of 1813, in favour of anti-trinitarian Dissenters, he (Mr. W.) should consider it as his duty, and as the duty of the Committee, to protect them.

In the county of Lancaster (and indeed in many other places) there had been discovered a strong disposition to raise difficulties in the registry of chapels; for which reason he always recommended registrations in the Archdeacon's Court. But in this county, the Magistrates being called upon to license a house and barn, refused to license both, presuming to determine that one must be sufficient. They had also come to a determination to grant no licences without application through counsel; so that one, or perhaps two guineas, must he paid to counsel, merely to ask for that privilege which the law formerly allowed for sixpence, and for which the last act generously allows lialfa-crowo, and no more!

When the Catholic Question was about to come under agitation, it had been whispered, that there was an intention to grant to Catholics those rights from which Protestant Dissenters were to be still debarred: the former were to be emancipated, (as they called it,) and Dissenters to be left under the inhibitions of the Corporation nnd Test Acts. With respect to the laws, he always considered them indefensible, oppressive, and unjust, and the test itself as highly improper, being a gross profanation of an important ordinance of Christianity.

In the conclusion of this animated and most impressive speech, (to which we feel our incapacity to do any tolerable justice,) Mr. W. alluded to the cases of the Hon. Air. Noel, Mr. Kent, and Dr. Free's prosecution of an Hon. Baronet, for not attending his church, as specimens of the narrow and illiberal spirit of (he times— another symptom of which he remarked in the exclusive principleof National Schools, in opposition to " Schools for All," He therefore warned the Committee not to sleep at their posts, but to be active and persevering like their enemies, who studied night and day to take every possible advantage of their ignorance or supineness.

With respect to their funds, he regretted to say, that the expences for the last four years had been more than double their receipts, which had so cramped their exertions, that they had been obliged to return to various applications the cold and frigid answer, that they did not come exactly within their laws. He was glad, however, to see a number of ladies in the room whose office it was to form the human character. It was to the female *x the Spartans wet* indebted for their

glory: for they taught their sons never to shrink from danger, but always to receive their wounds in front. And though he (Mr. W.) deprecated the feroeioni spirit of that people, yet intrepidity and courage, in the cause of civil and religions liberty might probably be inculcated on their children by Christian females, who would thus facilitate the progress of knowledge and of virtue, and become a blessing to the world.

The R. H. the Lord Mayor now stated, that he was quite sure the Society must be fully satisfied with the exertion! of the Committee, especially if they considered not only the good they had done, but the evil they had prevented; for the very existence of such a Society must be a great check on the prevailing disposition to encroach upon the rights and liberties of Methodists and Dissenters. He was sorry to inform them, however, that he was obliged to leave the chair, having an appointment on public business with an honourable member of the House of Commons.

The Lord Mayor havmg accordingly withdrawn, Robert Steven,] Esq. the Treasurer, was called to the Chair, and announced that he had just received a collertion of =£80 from the Rev. Rowland Hill, and £95 from a congregation of Calvinistic Methodists in North Wales.

The following RraoLOTiovs were then proposed, and unanimously adopted by the Meeting.

1. That the statement delivered to this Meeting, composed of members of the Established Church, and of Dissenters and Methodists, of the proceedings of I he Committee of this 8ociety during-the past yeas, as to the exemption of Dissenters from tolls—as to refusals by Ministers of the Established Church to inter children who had not beenepiscopally baptized as to the demand of poors rates from congregations not liable to tho-e demands— as to illegal and riotous disturbances of congregations assembled for worship—as to the rights of Dissenters to the-repeil of the Test and Corporation Acts—as to the recent persecution of Mr. Wright, of Liverpool—and as to various rases of individual and public oppression, merits the very serious attention of all persons attached to Relig oos Liberty, and desirous to transmit, unimpaired, to their children, even those in>perfeo* . rights which their forefathers.long and strenuously struggl d to acquire.

9. That the exertions which have been additionally demanded during the past year, and many notorious circumstances which have recently occurred, demonstrate that the maintenance and promotion of religions freedom, even in this country, and in this age, can alone He effected by the man'y. but Christian avowal of thosegreat principles on wWll that freedom must depend—by unabated

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »