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Lord John Russell can only regret, therefore, that he is unable to afford any assistance to the Memorialists.
I am, Sir, To the Rev. J. Blackburn.
Your obedient Servant,
S. M. PHILIPS. While this Memorial was yet before Lord Russell, intelligence of a second suit in the same court, promoted by the same clergyman, against Mr. David Jones, of Llanon, for a similar imputed offence, has been prosecuted, and he also imured in the same prison for the refusal of costs.
These proceedings have awoke a general sympathy. A Deputation from the Committee of Dissenting Deputies have had an interview with Lord Melbourne on the subject; and it is highly probable that the proceedings may yet be brought before a civil tribunal. The Board of Baptist Ministers, and the Committee of the Baptist Union have published some spirited Resolutions, which we regret our inability to insert. There is one sentiment, however, which they express, in which we are compelled to concur, " that it is exceedingly undesirable for Dissenters, under any circumstances whatever, to accept the office of Churchwarden.”
RESOLUTION OF THE COMMITTEE OF THE BLACKBURN ACADEMY.
At a meeting of the Committee and friends of the Blackburn Independent Academy, held in the vestry of Grosvenor Street Chapel, Manchester, on the 20th of December, 1838, the following resolution, introduced and proposed by the Rev. Dr. Raffles, Secretary, and the Rev. R. Fletcher, was coincided in with cordial unanimity, without vote, and in silence :
“That this Committee cannot separate without giving expression to the sense they entertain of the loss which, not the Blackburn Academy alone, but the church of Christ in general, has sustained by the lamented death of the late Rev. Dr. M'All. Eminently qualified as a scholar and a divine, by his profound learning and his powerful eloquence, to be the guardian and advocate of such an institution, he never failed on all occasions to testify his anxious concern for its prosperity. The Committee deeply feel and unfeignedly deplore the loss of his judicious counsels and most efficient advocacy: and while they themselves bow with humble submission to that mysterious providence by which he has been so early removed from the scenes of his extensive usefulness, they desire to tender to his bereaved family and mourning church, the assurance of their unfeigned sympathy." OPENING OF A NEW CHAPEL, AND ORDINATION AT King's LYNN,
NORFOLK. The occasional secessions of dissenting ministers from the ranks of nonconformity, and their submission to re-ordination in the established church, have been hailed, in certain quarters, as a fact of evil omen to us, but of great promise to the Establishment. We wish to respect the conscientious convictions of every man, and to honour those who have courage to obey those which have resulted from impartial inquiry, scriptural investigation, and earnest prayer. We wish it, however, to be understood, that the joy which the adherence of these gentlemen to the episcopal church has occasioned, is far greater than the sorrow which their conformity has excited amongst their former associates. Indeed, we hesitate not to record our conviction, that in the majority of instances of conformity which have occurred, our churches have been disburthened of individuals who, like an incubus, repressed their energies, and often threatened their existence. Having made these general statements, we invite the attention of our readers to the following narrative, which has been addressed to us by a respectable correspondent.
“ The circumstances which attended the Rev. Wm. Snell's resignation of the pastoral care of the Independent church in the borough of King's Lynn, in December, 1837, deserve some record in your valuable journal, connected as it is with the history and prosperity of ihe Congregational churches in this kingdom.
“ That Rev. Gentleman's partiality to the national church, as established by law," had long been observed, and spoken of by many members of his church and congregation; it was, therefore, no matter of surprise to them that be should declare it to be his intention to terminate his nonconformist ministrations with the closing year, nor that he should subsequently take orders in that church, and become a curate in the very same parish in which he had for ten years laboured as a Protestant Dissenting Minister.
“ Immediately after Mr. Snell's resignation, application was made to the venerable Treasurer of Highbury College, T. Wilson, Esq. (who is a Trustee of the chapel) to introduce a supply from that Institution, and in January, 1838, the Rev. Robert Hamilton was sent from the College, whose preaching, notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather, occasioned an evident increase in the congregation, and so much satisfaction was evinced amongst its members, that the result was a unanimous call from the church, which invitation, after mature deliberation, Mr. H. accepted, and commenced his stated labours in April last.
“ The propriety of erecting a new chapel (the old one being a dilapidated and uncomfortable building) had during the previous year been frequently discussed, but the gradual decrease in the congregation by no means warranted such an undertaking: the change, therefore, which was observed in the attendance under the ministry of Mr. Hamilton, coupled with the wide field for usefulness which the increased population of a large sea-port presented to a young and laborious minister of the gospel, could not fail to demand the renewed and serious attention of the church and congregation. A meeting was therefore called, the question decided that a new place of worship should be erected, and a committee was appointed to direct the business. An estate adjacent to the old chapel being at this particular juncture offered for sale, it was immediately purchased by the trustees, and preparations made for the commencement of the undertaking.
“ On May 10, 1838, the foundation stone was laid by the Rev. R. Hamilton, who, after an introductory service in the chapel, proceeded, accompanied by the deacons and congregation, to deposit the stone, (in which was enclosed a document, stating the circumstances which led to the change of site, and other particulars,) and afterwards delivered an excellent address to a large and attentive audience.
“On Wednesday, Oct. 17, the chapel was opened for public worship; the Rev. R. Fairbrother, of Dereham, commenced the series of interesting services, by an appropriate dedicatory prayer, and sermons were delivered, in the morning by the Rev. J. Alexander of Norwich, and in the evening by the Rev. J. Jefferson of Stoke Newington.
“On the following morning the Rev. Robert Hamilton was publicly recognised as pastor over the church and congregation; the Rev. Edwards, of Long Sutton, commenced the service by reading the Scriptures and prayer: the Rev. J. Ely, of Leeds, delivered the introductory discourse from the words, "Hear the church,” &c.; Mr. W. Monement (one of the deacons) on the part of the Church, staled the circumstances which had induced them to request Mr. Hamilton 10 settle amongst them, after which the Rev. R. Fairbrother asked the usual questions, and received a “good confession of faith” before many witnesses; Rev. J. Tippetts, of Gravesend, offered the ordination prayer, accompanied by the imposition of hands; and the Rev. J. Jefferson delivered an earnest, scriptural, and affectionate charge, from Rom. i. 1, “Separated unto the Gospel of God."
“In the evening the Rev. J. Ely preached to the people. The whole of the services were well attended, those in the evenings being crowded. The Rev. Messrs. Creak, Bewley, Blackett, Holmes, Martin, and Poile (Baptist) were present, some of whom took part in the different services. The collections amounted to £101. and through the exertions of several members of the congregation, the additional sum of £80. was added to that amount, as the produce of private collecting books during the erection of the chapel.
“ The comfortable style in which it is fitted up, renders it an attractive place of worship, and but few towns can boast of an edifice which is at once so substantial and commodious, so neat and elegant: it will accommodate between 800 and 900 persons, the dimensions being 47 feet by 67.”
OPENING OF HOPE CHAPEL, SALFORD. This neat and commodious chapel, situate in Liverpool Street, Salford, and the first of a series of chapels which the Associated Congregational Churches of Manchester and Salford have proposed to erect, was opened for public worship on Wednesday, December 5th.
The Rev. Ř. Fletcher, of Grosvenor Street Chapel, Manchester, opened the services with singing and prayer ; after which the Rev. Dr. Ratlles, of Liverpool, preached from 2 Cor. iv. 5. “ For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.” The Doctor remarked, that ministers were not at liberty to choose either the matter or the manner of their preaching; both were specified in the New Testament, and exemplified in the preaching of the Apostles. He enlarged with great power and eloquence, denouncing with peculiar solemnity the minister who derogates from the divinity of our Saviour, or, admitting his divinity, neutralizes the truth by mixing with it vain speculations, or exhibits himself in the place of the gospel. The concluding remarks, contrasting the former economy with the present, excited great interest. The Rev. Mr. Griffin, pastor of the Baptist church, Manchester, concluded with prayer.
The evening services were opened by the Rev. John Birt, Manchester; and the Rev. James Parsons, of York, preached from Psalm lxxxvii. 3. “ Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God.” The preacher gave a succinct and interesting history of all that renders that sacred spot dear to the memory of the people of God, and admirably prepared the minds of the audience for the sequel of his discourse on those events which introduced the present dispensation, under which our faith led to anticipate the New Jerusalem, which is above. The Rev. Mr. Gwyther, of Hulme, concluded with prayer.
The collection after the morning service was £61. 4s. 4d., and after the evening, £61. 118.; together, £122, 15s.
In the afternoon about eighty gentlemen, ministers and influential members, from neighbouring churches, sat down to an excellent dinner in the school-room under the chapel; and the interim between the morning and evening service was spent in the most gratifying manner; indeed there was but one circumstance to abate the pleasure of the meeting; both the highly-gifted gentlemen whose services had been secured for the day were unable to be present with their brethren and friends in consequence of prior engagements. James Carlton, Esq. presided, and James H. Hulme, Esq. acted as Deputy Chairman. The Rev. R. Fletcher, Nolan, and other gentlemen addressed the company in the course of the afternoon.
The death of the late Dr. M'All, so much beloved and lamented, was frequently referred to, and the destitute state of the church over which he presided, and that of several others in that town, at the present time without pastors, formed the subject of a long conversation ; and it was matter of sincere thankfulness to observe the harmony that pervaded the whole body, the warm sympathy expressed and evidently felt on account of the events which have lately spread a cloud over the interests of our denomination in this district. The most sanguine hopes, however, were cherished by the meeting that the cloud was passing away. The union that exists between the churches – the spirit of prayer that has been excited by the visitations of God, filled the minds of the meeting with confidence and joy.*
* This refers to a special prayer-meeting, held first by all the pastors and deacons, and afterwards of the church members by the associated churches. A second service of the same kind was to be held at the close of the past year.
In the course of the afternoon £95. was subscribed in liquidation of the cost of erection, and the enlargement and erection of other chapels in town were contemplated.
The day was remarkably fine, and the attendance large and respectable. We are happy to learn that upwards of forty members, including two of the deacons of the church, assembled at the first Congregational Chapel, Salford, intend, in the best spirit, to retire from their present fellowship, and to identify themselves with the new chapel, and that they have the prospect of an early settlement. OPENING OF A NEW INDEPENDENT CHAPEL, IN BROTHERTON,
YORKSHIRE. On the 15th of June last, a new chapel was opened in the village of Bro. therton, near Ferry Bridge, on which occasion sermons were preached by the Rev. W. Eccles, of Ilopton ; the Rev. J. H. Cooke, of Gomersall; and the Rev. John Ely, of Leeds; and on the following Sabbath, by the Rev. S. M'All, of Doncaster, and the pastor, the Rev D). Senior. The amount collected at the several services was upwards of £50.
This interesting cause originated in the zealous and laudable efforts of the lamented and excellent William Clapham, Esq. and his surviving brother, John Clapham, Esq. of Leeds. In the year 1801, they visited Brotherton and the neighbouring village of Fairburn, and preached the Gospel to the benighted inhabitants; and some of the ministers of the West Riding encouraged them, by their co-operation in this labour of love. In this way these villages were supplied for many years. In 1830, application was made to the West Riding Home Missionary Society for assistance, which was generously and promptly afforded. A small and inconvenient bouse was taken in Brotherton at a small annual rent, and the Rev. D. Senior, of Rotherham College, became the pastor of the little lock assembling there. A larger place was soon required, and an attempt was made to obtain funds for building a chapel, but it was unsuccessful. In the year 1836, a deputation from the Ilome Missionary Society visited Brotherton, and recoinmended the pastor and his flock to make a second attempt to provide suitable and adequate accommodation. They did so, and succeeded so far as to justify the determination to erect a place of worship. An eligible and central piece of land was purchased, and on the 27th of August, 1837, the foundation stone was laid by John Clapham, Esq. The building is a gothic structure, of much neatness and beauty, capable of seating. 300 persons. The plans, working drawings, and other important professional assistance, were gratuitously furnished by J. P. Pritchett, Esq. architect, of York. The cost, including £150. the price of the land, has been about £700, of which sum nearly half has been collected. The claims of the poor saints at Brotherton, upon the christian benevolence of the disciples of Jesus, are urgent and powerful; and donations will be thankfully received by P. Willans, Esq. Leeds; J. P. Clapham, Esq. Burley Hall, and by the Rev. D. Senior, Brotherton.
ENLARGEMENT OF THE INDEPENDENT CHAPEL, ROCHFORD, ESSEX.
It is with much pleasure that we insert another instance of the steady progress of the cause of God, in connexion with our body in the County of Essex.
The origin of the church at Rochford is unknown to us, but it was formed anterior to 1734, as in June of that year the Rev. James Smith was ordained pastor over it, and the Confession of Faith which he delivered was published.
The chapel was built in 1741, for the ministry of the Rev. John Tailor, a student from Dr. Doddridge's Academy, who continued with the people till 1748, when he removed to Stowmarket. The ministers who have succeeded in the pastorate are the Rev. Nathaniel Spurgen, 1750; Samuel Andrews, 1768 ; James Davidson, 1805 ; E. H. May, 1814; G. D. Mudie, G. Harris, and the present pastor, E. Temple, in 1835.
Since that period, the church and congregation have progressively increased beyond the capacity of the original edifice to contain them. A very considerable enlargement, at the cost of £600. having been made, the chapel was re-opened for divine service on Wednesday, November 28, 1838, when ihree sermons were preached ; that in the morning by the Rev. Alexander Fletcher of Finsbury Chapel, London, from Haggai ii. 9; that in the afternoon by the Rev. Robert Burls of Maldon, from Acts ii. 37; and that in the evening, by the Rev. Edward Parsons of Bow, from 1 Cor. x. 33. The ground on which the enlargement is carried out, was the gift of Miss Lambeth, daughter-in-law of the Rev. Alexander Fletcher. Towards the expenses incurred by the enlargement, £350. were raised previously to the day of re-opening. The amount of collections and extra contributions during the day was £107., leaving only £143. to be provided for.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS, &c. Favours have been received from the Rev. Drs. J. P. Smith-HendersonHalley – Murch- Fletcher, and Matheson - Rev. Messrs. G. Taylor – Robert Ashton – J. Mirams-J. Jefferson-S. Dalton-James Spong-C. GilbertE. Temple-Edward Jukes — J. B. Shenston-J. Belsher.
Also from William Stroud, Esq. M.D.-Messrs. J. G. Wigg, jun.-R. Law-W. Hone-J. Wontner-G. Bennet-D. B. Hayward—E. G.
The Editor has been exceedingly annoyed on discovering several most important errors into which he had fallen, in the calculations which are contained in the Summary of the Ecclesiastical Statistics of London, inserted in the last Magazine. He has therefore had a corrected half sheet printed, to accompany the present number, and he begs to direct the attention of his readers to it, that in the binding of the volume, the cancelled half sheet may be destroyed, and the corrected one inserted in its place.
“ May a reader of your Magazine, Mr. Editor, express his hope that your correspondent M. F. has not forgotten his promise to endeavour to explain the difficulties in the history of David's Introduction to Saul ? He seems to have been at considerable pains to make those difficulties out to be very great. Ought a friend of the Bible to stop there, or are the difficulties he has stated too great for him to cope with? I should not ask the question, Mr. Editor, if I did not suspect, from the time that has elapsed, M. F.'s mind on the subject has altered, since he gave the promise; and if I did not feel that in such a matter no personal considerations should prevent his stating what he thinks will serve the interests of both.-G."
“W. S. is happy to state that any doubt which he may have formerly entertained concerning J. C.'s entire recognition of the divine authority of Scripture is completely removed by that gentleman's explicit and satisfactory declaration on the subject. He is still, however, of opinion that some ground was furnished for such a doubt by the general style of J. C.'s previous remarks; which, although otherwise meritorious, were in this respect ambiguous, and defective. See Cong. Mag. for 1838, p. 342. He has since observed,—“that a belief in the plenary inspiration of the Scriptures is by no means incompatible with the use of collateral arguments, especially when those arguments are based on the same premises which an opponent would wish to occupy. J. C. might have roundly asserted that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God,' and so have ended the discussion; but, by asserting that that portion used for devotional purposes was also historically correct, he conceived that he rather strengthened than weakened his argument.”- See Cong. Mag. for 1838, p. 785. Such, doubtless, was his intention ; but, in the execution of it he unfortunately neither adduced the principle of inspiration, nor supplied any other effective evidence. To say that an inspired psalm, although given for devotional purposes, could not be historically incorrect, would be appropriate and sufficient; but to say that an historical event mentioned in such a psalm was “ well known" at the time, would be begging the question; and to say that the psalm quoted on this occasion (Psalm 136) was “ penned when the event took place," would be untrue, While retracting with pleasure a doubt which he expressed with reluctance, W. S. respectfully remommends, with a view to prevent ambiguity and mistake, hat, in future, collateral arguments for the truth of the Scriptures may always be accompanied by a distinct acknowledgment of the superior and infallible claims of their divine authority — London, December, 1838.