Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

Religious and Literary Entelligence.

To the Right Honourable the Lords
Spiritual and Temporal of the United
Kingdom of Great Britain and Ire-
land, in Parliament assembled.
To the Honourable the Commons of
Great Britain and Ireland, in Par-
liament assembled.

The humble Petition of the undersigned
Persons, being PROTESTANT DISSEN-
TERS of the Three Denominations, Pres-
byterian, Independent, and Baptist, in
the Metropolis and its Vicinity.
RESPECTFULLY SHEWETH,

That your Petitioners are the successors and, in many instances, the lineal descendants of those persons who, though dissenting from the Ecclesiastical Establishment of the country, were ever found among the most strenuous defenders of its constitutional liberties; who were universally zealous in assisting to establish the glorious Revolution under King William the Third, and active in opposing the criminal struggles which were subsequently made in favour of the deposed Monarch; and that your Petitioners, early trained in these principles, have ever steadily maintained them as the only solid and rational ground of union between the Sovereign and the subject, in the reciprocal bonds of generous confidence and affectionate duty.

That your Petitioners have always been accustomed to regard the exercise of private judgment, in religious affairs, as a right, natural, absolute, and inalienable; supremely important as affecting the highest interests, and involving the most sacred duties of man; and necessarily including the liberty, not merely of worshipping in the mode his conscience approves, but, also, of publicly declaring and defending the opinions he entertains; without which, indeed, scarcely could any religious freedom be said to be granted; for as freedom of thought cannot be restrained by human power, its most unlimited exercise cannot be the subject of human concession.

civil thraldom to which it was formerly subjected.

be complete, as far as respects your Petitioners, while they remain proscribed and degraded on account of their non-conformity to the National Church.

That, nevertheless, this freedom cannot

That while such non-conformity was held legally criminal, (however unjustly,) it might, consistently at least, have been visited with punishment. But since the religious rights of your Petitioners have been acknowledged, and their profession and worship legalized, the continuance of punishment on these accounts, in whatever shape, or under whatever pretext, is not only unjust in itself, but inconsistent with the principles on which every relaxation in their favour has been granted.

That your Petitioners are not ignorant of the pleas on which their request has been resisted; but they flatter themselves that the justice and liberality of the present times will no longer urge against them, that to be debarred from the common advantages enjoyed by other innocent citizens is not Punishment; especially when such degradation is, indeed, well known to the law, but only as the appropriate penalty upon heinous and disgraceful crimes. They trust that Eligibility to office will no longer be refused to them when asked as a common right, from the' palpable error of confounding it with the actual possession of office; which latter no Dissenter was ever so absurd as to expect, otherwise than in the same course with their fellow-subjects; but in their claim to be held equally eligible, they are corroborated by the well-known declaration of King William the Third, that "he wished a door should be opened for the admission, into his service, of all Protestants who were able and willing to serve him;" and when it is obvious that the principle of the arbitrary exclusion of some from all offices of power, trust, and emolument, for the imagined security of others, may be used to justify every species of restriction and degree of severity, extending to the deprivation of property, liberty, and even life itself; if (as has often been the case) a prejudiced, misjudging, or fanatic majority should choose to deem such extremities necessary for their own satisfaction, or the safety of their religion;--and your Petitioners conceive the infliction of any of these evils, in their higher or lower degrees, on account of religious persuasion or That your Petitioners are farther desi- profession, to be, according to the most rous of acknowledging, with grateful satis-accurate and acknowledged definition, Perfaction, the large improvement of their secution for conscience sake. legal situation in this country, during the That with respect to the relief afforded life of his late Majesty, in which period them by the annual Indemnity Act, so often more was effected than under any preced-held forth as amounting to a virtual repeal ing Reign, to emancipate religion from the of the disqualifying statutes, your Peti2 L

That your Petitioners bow down in the sincerest thankfulness to Divine Providence, for having so accelerated the progress of light and knowledge in the world, that these truths, which but a few generations ago could not have been asserted, but at the risk of personal liberty and even of life, are now almost universally and completely recognized in all Protestant and in many Catholic States.

VOL. X.

tioners decline entering into discussions of its extent or efficacy; nor will they inquire whether it be not more wise (as it certainly would be more magnanimous) at once to repeal laws, whose operation is asserted to be thus kept in continual abeyance: it is enough for them to observe, that a partial and discretional indemnity against penalties still left to be incurred, is neither constitutional security nor equal justice. They well know, that though these Acts may incidentally afford protection to them, as well as to those in whose favour they were meant to operate, (though not to the extent which has been imagined,) yet that for their ease or relief they were never intended; and the injury which your Petitioners most deeply and generally feel, is of a different nature: their universal exclusion from all the Offices of Society conferring honour, trust, and emolument, although they are called on to contribute their full share to all the burthens and expenses of the State, even those levied for purposes purely Ecclesiastical, is, doubtless, a particular injury to some few of their Body, who might otherwise, probably, be occasionally appointed to such situations;-but this is an evil light and trivial, compared with the grievance of which they principally complain, viz. that, by this exclusion, they are all, indiscriminately, held up to public odium, as unworthy to be admitted to such participation; and they ask from what portion of this dishonour can the Indemnity Acts relieve them? or how restore them to that, their just station, from which, for no crime either proved or even imputed, they have been so harshly thrust away? That your Petitioners humbly conceive, that even allowing the abstract right of employing all means for the defence of an Established Religion, it would still remain doubtful whether such restrictive laws confer any real security; and far more so, such a degree of it as to render expedient the use of weapons so questionable; but that, on the contrary, justice and liberality are the natural sources of strength and safety, while danger is the far more common result of suspicious policy and oppressive conduct. In this opinion, also, your Petitioners are again supported by the same royal authority before quoted, as recorded in your journals, viz." that granting ease to Dissenters would contribute very much to the establishment of the Church."

They farther presume to represent, that the specific test imposed, is liable to the imputation of profaning a solemn rite of Christian Worship, to the great disgust of many religious Members of the Established Church, and to the scandal of religion itself: and that it is farther objectionable, because it can only deter the conscientious, while it is wholly powerless against unprincipled ambition. But that on such arguments, as affecting themselves, your Petitioners are little disposed to insist, because, by any other impediment equally efficient, they would still deem themselves equally aggrieved; and that, for the im

propriety of the test, those who ordain it, and not those who suffer under it, are responsible.

On the whole, your Petitioners humbly pray this Honourable House to take the premises into their serious consideration, and to grant them relief: And they persuade themselves, that the improvements of their situation already conceded, so far from affording any just reason for expecting them to continue passive under the remnants of the galling yoke, may rather be regarded as an encouragement from the Legislature, respectfully, but frankly, to submit to its wisdom the expediency of abolishing every fragment of that system of restraint on religious profession, which had its origin in times of darkness and intolerance, and by which your Petitioners are to this day severely, and, as they presume to think, injuriously affected.

And your Petitioners shall ever pray, &c.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Scho

Of these, 188 are in connexion with noblemen and gentlemen resident in the country, 274 under clergymen of the Established Church, 10 under Dissenting ministers, 26 under Roman Catholic priests, and 574 without the benefit of local superintendance. The increase of these Schools, during last year, is 101, and 9,548 scholars. 2ndly. Of Sunday Schools 238, Scholars 17,145. 3rdly. Adult Schools lars 10,117. The Scripture Readers employed by the Society have increased from 22 to 60, and the number of copies issued from the Depository in the course of the year, amounts to 2,005 English Bibles, 12,297 English, and 2,000 Irish Testaments, presenting an increase of 890 Bibles, and 2,368 Testaments, upon the distribution of last year, and a grand total of 108,902 copies since the commencement of the Instilution. The usual resolutions were moved and seconded, by the Right Hon. Earl Rocksavage, and the Hon. Mr. Stanley, M.P.; Lord Barham, and the Hon' Mr. Shore; Hon. G. A. Ellis, and Rev. Dr. Thorpe; Lord Gambier, and Rev. E. Irving; Hon. B. Noel, and Rev. R. Hill; Lord Lilford, and Sir G. H. Rose.

Mr. M'Donald, a Catholic barrister of Dublin, objected to the use of the Bible as a school-book, and said it was not so used in the parish schools of Scotland. This

IRISH EVANGELICAL SOCIETY.-MRS. SMITH'S CASE.

was controverted by Mr. Gordon, and the Rev. Mr. Irving. The latter stated, that he had been in Ireland, and shared in the hospitality of its peasantry; but he could not help remarking the ignorance, and unhappy manner in which their children were brought up. A superstition existed there which had not been surpassed in the middle ages, and he exhorted all denominations of Christians to support so excellent a society as the present, which was to destroy this fatal want of education.

PORT OF LONDON SOCIETY. MONDAY, May 10, a very numerous and highly respectable Meeting of this Society was held at the City of London Tavern, Right Hon. Lord Gambier in the Chair.

His Lordship stated the objects of the Meeting, and after an appropriate prayer by Rev. J. Hooper, the Report of the Committee was read by W. Cooke, Esq. which contained many interesting details of the good effects produced upon seamen by the Floating Chapel in the river Thames by the distribution of religious books and Tracts among sailors-and by other means adopted by the Society.

Sir S. C. Hunter, Lieut. Sanders, Lieut. Fabian, Alderman Brown, - James, Esq. R. H. Marten, Esq. and the Rev. Messrs. Chaplin, Woolridge, Simmons, and other gentlemen, who moved and seconded the various resolutious, addressed the Meeting in favour of the Institution; and Mr. Woolridge (of Bristol,) gave an account of the pleasing results from the Floating Chapel at Bristol, where they were going to have another; and he hoped the people of London would not be behind those of Bristol.

The Treasurer reported a deficiency of about £160, but the collections on board the Floating Chapel on the following day (after sermons by the Rev. J. Clayton, sen. and the Rev. J. Reynolds,) amounted to £90.

IRISH EVANGELICAL SOCIETY.

THE Tenth Anniversary of the above Society was held May 11th, at the City of London Tavern, T. Walker, Esq. Treasurer, in the Chair. Rev. R. Hartley, of Plymouth, opened the Meeting with prayer. Rev. J. Gilbart, Secretary, then read the Report, from which it appears that the cause of evangelization is gathering strength in Ireland. The liberal principles of the Society are recognized by an approving public, and ministers and members of different communions are increasingly coming forward as fellow-helpers in the advancement of its designs. The Theological Academy in Dublin continues to prosper. The labours of the native teachers in the vernacular tongue, warrant the happiest anticipations of success. New stations have been established, and additional labourers introduced during the past year. And, in reference to all the

259

operations of the Society, if increasing numbers of seriously attentive hearers assembling around its preachers of righteousness-if a growing readiness on the part of the Roman Catholic population to send their children to its Sunday and week-day evening Schools-if a cordial welcome, commended by the tears of gratitude and joy, greeting its Scripture readers as they enter the cabins of the poor-if accumulating instances of individuals being reclaimed from the practices of sin, and brought to the foot of the Redeemer's cross to give themselves to the Lord-if the abounding fruits of Christian benevolence and zeal in the several congregations, directed more fully to support the Gospel among themselves, and more widely to extend it through their neighbourhoods-i these be evidences of usefulness and success, then may the members and friends of the Society rejoice, that they have neither exemplified their liberality, nor put forth their efforts in vain. The Committee appear to have numerous applications to extend their labours to various parts of the country, which are yet unsupplied with the word of life, with which they are unable to comply for want of more ample

funds.

The Rev. J. Fletcher, M.A., T. James, J. Julian, M.A., J. Liefchild, J. Shurman, A. Waugh, D.D. and Matthew Wilks ;J. Duncan, Esq. of Castle Bellingham, Ireland, J. Ferrier, Esq. Dublin, T. Pellatt, Esq., T. Ring, Esq. M.D. Reading, and Robert Steven, Esq. severally advocated the interests of the Society, and the Meeting closed with a liberal collection at the doors.

SUBSCRIPTION FOR THE WIDOW OF THE REV. JOHN SMITH, OF DEMERARA.

The case of that unfortunate Gentleman is so fully before the public, that it is needless to advert to the particulars of it, especially in this address to the benevolence and liberality of the British nation.

It is proposed to raise a Subscription, to be managed by the undermentioned persons, and applied to the benefit of his Widow, who, at the age of thirty, is without any certain provision, and with health (perhaps irreparably) injured by her late sufferings.

The individual Subscriptions are limited not to exceed One Pound, but smaller sums will be received, that any benevolent individual, who may so incline, may become a Contributor.

Donations will be received by the Bankers, in town and country, who are requested to remit the amount and Donors' names, on the 1st day of September, to Samuel Hoare, Esq. Lombard-street, who has kindly undertaken to be Treasurer.

Right Hon. Lord Suffield, Sir. T. D. Ackland, Bart. M.P. Sir T. Baring, Bart,

M.P. Charles Barclay, Esq. M.P. Henry to the great cause under which the Widow Brougham, Esq. M.P. J. Butterworth, has so deplorably suffered. The ComEsq. M.P. T. F. Buxton, Esq. M.P. mittee therefore hope, that this will conThomas Denman, Esq. M.P. Pascoe Gren-fidently be left to their discretion, and will shew their love to Missions, by taking that the friends of religious instruction this cause up in their respective circles, and extend their attentions to the humblest members, in order that all may be enabled to manifest their sympathy with the worthy and innocent sufferer.

fell, Esq. M.P. Thomas Lennard, Esq. M.P. S. Lushington, LL.D. M.P. Richard Martin, Esq. M.P. W. T. Money, Esq. M.P. Sir J. Mackintosh, M.P. C. E. Rumbold, Esq. M.P. John Smith, Esq. M.P. George Smith, Esq. M.P. Abel Smith, Esq. M.P. William Smith, Esq. M.P.Sir R. Williams, Bart. M.P. Anthony Brown, Esq. Ald. John Key, Esq. Ald. William Allen, Esq. Thomas Barry, Esq. John Deacon, Esq. Charles Field, Esq. Samuel Hoare, Jun. Esq. W. L. Hanbury, Esq. R. H. Marten, Esq. I. T. Barry, Esq. Benjamin Shaw, Esq. Thomas Sturge, Jun. Esq. Henry Waymouth, Esq.

Letters or communications addressed to the Committee, at the bar of John's Coffee House, Cornhill, (where the Committee will meet,) will be attended to; and where Donations will be received.

ACTING COMMITTEE: Joseph Butterworth, Esq. M.P. Bedford Square. T. F. Buxton, Esq. M.P. Brick Lane, Spitalfields. R. Martin, Esq. M.P. 16, Manchester Buildings. W. T. Money, Esq. M.P. 181, Piccadilly. Ashley, Esq. Tokenhouse Yard. S. Hoare, Esq. Jun. Treasurer, 62, Lombard Street. Benjamin Shaw, Esq. 72, Cornhill. J.T. Barry, Esq. Plough Court. J. Challis, Esq. Leadenhall Market. George Dillwyn, Esq. Walthamstow. William Foster Reynolds, Esq. Great St. Helens. Charles Field. Esq. Lambeth Marsh. Luke Howard, Esq. Tottenham. W. L. Hanbury, Esq. 18, Aldermanbury. John Fry, Esq. St. Mildred's Court. R. H. Marten, Esq. Mincing Lane. Charles Marten, Esq. 9, Finch Lane. Thomas Sturge, Esq. Jun. Newington Butts. Henry Waymouth, Esq. 6, Connaught Place. White, Esq. Nine Elms, or Jamaica Coffee House.

The Committee for raising a Subscription for the Widow Smith think it right to inform those who are expected to feel interested in her welfare, that the limitation of individual Donations to One Pound, and the offer to receive smaller Donations was, with the view of giving opportunity for all to contribute according to their means, without raising a larger sum than would be reasonable for a permanent and suitable support for her future life; but it is with regret they find, from some of their correspondents, that an opposite idea has prevailed, and that because little is asked individually, it is presumed the aggregate will become very large, and therefore many have not contributed at all. Should such an idea become a prevailing one, it will frustrate the purpose proposed, and become a disgrace, rather than an honour

Hitherto the receipts do not by their amount justify any fear of a surplus; but on the contrary, the fear rather preponof such surplus should prevent the Subderates, lest an unfounded apprehension scription rising to the moderate amount which the Committee have expected from this measure. Committee Room, John's Coffee House,

July, 15, 1824.

OBITUARY.

DIED, on Monday, 28th June last, aged fifty-one, LIEUTENANT FRANCIS COLLINS, R. N. well known as the late Depositary to the Religious Tract Society, leaving a disconsolate Widow and Five Children (the eldest not sixteen years old) to lament his loss, and in circumstances wholly inadequate for their support.

Mr. Collins was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in the Royal Navy in the year 1801, through the recommendation of the late Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson, for division of boats, in effecting the landing his gallant behaviour while commanding a of the British Troops composing the Army in Egypt, under the command of the late General Sir Ralph Abercromby. In this distinguished effort he received a wound on his head from a musket ball, which at the time was considered mortal, (every officer and man in the boat being either killed or wounded.) The Lord was pleased to restore him; but from the effects of this wound he sought for, and obtained a retreat on shore, after fifteen years service at sea, having first entered upon his maritime career at eleven years of age.

From his relation to the Religious Tract Society, which, as its Depositary, he continued for fourteen years, he was well known to the religious public, and highly esteemed by all who knew him. His zeal, activity, and piety, he manifested to all around him. His unwearied exertions in visiting and relieving very many of the sick and other poor in, and about the Metropolis; and his readiness to engage in every good work in promoting the enlargement of the Redeemer's kingdom, will long be remembered. Of his talents as a speaker, his occasional pulpit labours, and at the public meetings, will fully attest that they were respectable; and, considering his former habits and pursuits, his publication, "Collins's Voyages," certainly exhibits a mind of no inferior talent, as well as energy and zeal for the Redeemer's cause. His truly benevolent and kind

HAMBURG.-ASSOCIATIONS.

disposition, caused him to submit to very frequent and severe privations, in order to minister to the wants of the destitute. He was indeed indefatigable in his labours for the spiritual and temporal welfare of others: he aimed to follow the bright example of his Lord and Master, "who went about doing good." His widow and children are left in circumstances which are by no means adequate to their support; and it is confidently hoped, that the religious public will not suffer the family of such a useful, zealous, and valuable servant of Christ to want.

With a view to bring this interesting and necessitous case before the Christian public, the undermentioned Gentlemen have formed themselves into a Committee, by whom Subscriptions will be thankfully received:-Capt. C. Allen, R. N. Secretary, 8, Grove, Camberwell-Capt. Lamb, R.N. 5, Lower Southampton Place, Camberwell-Lieut. Norris, R.N. 9, Beresford Street, Walworth-D. A. Com. Gen. Yeoland, Secretary, ditto-Dr. Smith, 62, Hatton Garden-Mr. Thomas Pellatt, Treasurer, Ironmongers' Hall, Fenchurch Street-Thomas Thompson, Esq. Brixton, and at 18, Aldermanbury—J. Ross, New Inn, and at Hammersmith-D. Simpson, 57, Bishopsgate Street-J. Nisbet, 21, Berner Street, Oxford Street-Mr. Fox, 2, Stationers' Court-T. Phillips, Potter's Fields, Tooley Street-J. Dawtry, Carey Lane, Cheapside-Mr. Marriott, 77, Old Broad Street at the Publishers of this Magazine, and at the Depositary of the Religious Tract Society.

[ocr errors]

HAMBURG.

The importance of Hamburg, as a commercial situation, having long been felt by the British nation at large, has, since the restoration of peace, induced many of our fellow countrymen to settle there. In the exchange of countries, however, it was soon found, that they had deprived themselves of their most valuable privilege, the public exercise of religion.

In the year 1818, some Gentlemen obtained from the Senate a concession, allow ing the British residents a full protection in their religion, (otherwise not tolerated), and the evangelical English Reformed Church, thus formed, has since continued with varying success. Some oppressive difficulties owing chiefly to the want of a place of worship of their own, in connexion with some very encouraging appearances at the present time, have induced the Committee to resolve on the erection of a Chapel, in which the pure religion of the Gospel may be maintained, and that with very especial reference to the spiritual good of seamen, of whom, during the greater part of the year, there are some hundreds in the harbour.

The amount of Subscriptions in Hamburg rose above the most sanguine expectations, though far from adequate to the sum required.

261

The minister of the church, therefore, having been desired to visit his native land, in the hope of completing the important design, employs this mode of making known to Christians of all denominations, (for in this foreign object all are equally interested;) his intention of calling on them, under the assurance that his application will not be in vain to those whose hearts are influenced by the Divine precept," Freely ye have received, freely give."

ASSOCIATIONS.

The Baptist Churches in the Midland district, (now including 32,) held their Annual Assembly at Coseley, Staffordshire, June, 8 and 9, 1824. Tuesday, three o'clock. Brother Morrell of Brettell Lane commenced with prayer. Brother Beddow (Minister of the place,) was chosen Moderator. The preliminaries and letters from the churches were read, and Brother Hardcastle of Dudley, closed in prayer. Evening, half past Six. Brother Shoveller of Bridgnorth prayed, Brother Davies of Evesham preached from Luke x. 42. "One thing is needful, and Mary hath chosen that good part which shall not be taken away from her." Brother Poole of New Hall Street, Birmingham, closed in prayer, after which the ministers and messengers heard the circular letter on Church Prosperity, drawn up by Brother Fry, of Coleford, which was approved. Wednesday, at six in the morning, Brethren Bissell from Bilstone, Hall of Nitherton, and Bayliss of Willenhull engaged in prayer, after which the money for the association fund was received and distributed. churches at Rowley, Stourbridge, and Holy Cross were added to the Association. At eleven, Brother Tayler of Boston, Lincolnshire prayed. Brother Shoveller preached from Col. i. 18. "that in all things he might have the pre-eminence;" and Brother Morgan of Bond Street, Birmingham, from Luke xvi. 15. Brother Roaf, (Indep.) of Wolverhampton closed in prayer. After which it was agreed for the next Annual Meeting to be held at Gloucester, at the usual time. Brethren Birt and Page to preach, in case of failure, Brethren Waters and Beddow. Clear increase of members the last year, 75. Evening, half past six. Brother Page prayed, Brother Drayton of Gloucester "A good preached from 2 Tim. ii. 3. soldier of Jesus Christ." Brother Fry prayed, after which the members of the Association finished their business, and the Moderator concluded the whole by

prayer.

The

The Southern Association of Calvinistic Baptists, held their First Meeting, April 21, 1822, at White's Row, Portsea. On the Tuesday evening, Brother Ivimey of London, preached from 2. Cor. ix. 28. On Wednesday morning at half past six,

« AnteriorContinua »