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very robust in making him five times endure the utmost severity of the law. (2 Cor. ii. 24.)
1 Sam. xv. 23. "Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry :" i. e. " That disobedience was as the sin of idolatry, because he that follows his own will sets himself up for a god."
Pythagoras, though but a heathen philosopher, thought it so necessary to call to mind at night the sins of the preceding day, that he advised his scholars not to suffer sleep to seize on the region of their senses before they had three times reflected upon the conversation and accidents of the day past, - a maxim that might with great propriety and advantage be followed by all " who profess and call themselves Christians."
St. Chrysostom says, " Repentance without alms is dead, and without wings, so that it can never soar up to the element of Jove." And St. Jerome observes, that "he never remembers to have read that any charitable person died an evil death."
Apostles' Creed.—It is plain the apostles were not the authors of the creed commonly called theirs, because it is not joined to the sacred books of the New Testament; and also seeing it was not formed in the words we now have it till a long time after their death.
Canaan, "a land flowing with milk and honey," *'. e. with the greatest plenty; for abundance of milk and honey argue a country to be well watered, fruitful, full of fair pastures and flowers, from whence the flocks may fill their dugs with milk, and the bees their cells with honey.
DR. PYE SMITH AND THE CHRISTIAN REMEMBRANCER.
When we sat down to notice Dr. Pye Smith's Sermon for our last Number, it was with the full intention of expressing that cordial commendation, which his high character among Churchmen, as well as the subject of his discourse, led us confidently to believe we should be enabled to offer. We proposed to give him no stinted praise; but gladly to avail ourselves of the opportunity to show that our decided hostility to dissent would not prevent us from doing full justice to learning and candour in a dissenter. But when we had carefully read his most ill-advised publication, we found ourselves compelled to a very different course; and we could only draw from it a powerful argument in support of that line of conduct towards dissent, which we believe to be dictated by the soundest policy,—to have no connexion whatever with it, but to leave it entirely alone, to degrade itself by its own conduct, and to destroy itself by its own factions. The universal prevalence of the delusion we were required to dispel, that of thinking Dr. S. to be still a candid and not unfriendly separatist, made it necessary to guard against all suspicion of prejudice. We therefore made him his own reviewer, showing by extracts, too full to leave a doubt of their integrity, what are his real and avowed sentiments, and only connecting those extracts by a few short remarks, in which we considered rather his former reputation than his present declared hostility. We claim no credit for this forbearance, for with such a man it was our most effectual course. The arrow never flies so truly, and strikes so deeply, as when it is feathered with courtesy.
We have received the following communication from Dr. S., which, in justice to him, we insert; and upon which, injustice to ourselves, we shall offer a few remarks.
"Homerton, February 16. 1835.
"Mr. Editor,—As your expression in p. 75 of your last Number (' we will give him the opportunity, &c.') seems to call upon me, I request your courteous attention to some explanation of the attempted estimate of the number of Dissenters upon which you have amimadverted.
"That the persons who collected those statements, and published them in the work from which I cited them, are men of integrity, I could not doubt. Your remarks, however, have led me to make a careful inquiry, of which the following are the results.
"1. That the accounts which respect the Congregational or Independent denomination of dissenters, were obtained, with great pains and expense, and the utmost care to avoid errors, by correspondence with those who were judged the most competent persons in the respective places, throughout England and Wales. In doubtful cases, the gentlemen who compared and arranged the documents, made it a rule to construe the doubt against Dissenters; in other words, to give the advantage of it to the Established Church. They were especially careful to exclude what you properly call 'village dependencies, and all certified rooms, schools, &c, for occasional or stated services;' so that the list is bond fide of regular congregations assembling in meetinghouses, and having settled ministers, excepting the small number supplied by occasional preachers, or where death or removal occasions a temporary vacancy in the pastoral office. The letters and other documents on which the tables are founded, would be readily shown to any respectable person, who would be furnished with the proper reference, on applying to the publishers of the Congregational Magazine, Messrs. Jackson and Walford.
"2. The returns with regard to the Methodists and other denominations were derived from various documents, chiefly printed, issued by leading persons or credited authorities in each class.
"3. You make a specific objection with regard to Cornwall. I was surprised at your selecting it as ' the county in which the proportion of Nonconformists to the population is greater than in any other:' for I had always supposed that the larger proportionate numbers of those who are generally understood by the words Nonconformist and Dissenter, were to be found in some other counties, especially Devonshire, Essex, Suffolk, Lancashire, and the West Riding of Yorkshire. But on looking at the tables (Congreg. Mag. Suppl. for 1829), I find that the number of Independent congregations in the county of Cornwall is 31, and that of Baptists 12. I presume, therefore, that you, or the gentleman who wrote the article, included the Methodist congregations (which are specified as being 219 + 3 + 39=261), when you stated 318 as being the alleged number. Yet the whole tenor of the paragraph shows that it is treating exclusively of dissenting meeting-houses.
"4. With respect to the second table, I am sure that the persons who collected and arranged its materials (which occupy sixteen pages in the Suppl. to the Congreg. Mag. for 1834) are incapable of any ' dishonest fabrication.' But your remarks have conferred a favour upon me, for which I sincerely thank you. You have led me to discover that, in taking out the general summary, I had committed a great mistake. The tables comprise the ' Places of Worship, Hearers (average), Communicants, and Scholars,' under three heads for each of 203 towns and villages, the Established Church, Dissenters, and Methodists. The middle head comprises sixteen denominations under the title Dissenters; viz., Presbyterians, Independents, Baptists, General Baptists, Scotch Baptists, Methodists of six classes (exclusively of the great body of the Wesleyan Methodists connected with the Conference), Antinomians, Moravians, Friends (called Quakers), Swedenborgians, and Roman Catholics. To my regret and grief, I find that / had overlooked the last of these denominations; and I bow to your reproof for ' blameable carelessness.' I have now extracted, with anxious endeavour to avoid mistake, all of this description, producing the formidable amount of
Roman Catholic Chapels 86
Attendants (of which Liverpool alone claims 50,000, being the
Communicants (in many of the places, no figure is put under this
Children under tuition ........ 5,041
"These numbers, therefore, must be subtracted from the first, the third, and the last lines in my little summary. In a new edition of my Letter, now in the press, this and some other corrections will be made.
"If I could flatter myself with the hope of a favourable attention, I should respectfully entreat you to consider again, whether it is becoming a gentleman and a Christian to describe me as having ' attacked the Church—with calumny enough to satisfy the most rancorous dissenter ;' to hold forth as ' a tenderness for Socinianism,' a passage describing persons who held sentiments far superior to the Socinian hypotheses; so to abridge the title of my pamphlet as to conceal the feet that the Letter to the good and excellent Dr. Lee was not a spontaneous production, but a Reply called for by his published Letter to me; and generally, to represent the spirit and temper of my Sermon and Letter in a way which I think your cool judgment cannot approve. I should not be a Dissenter at all, if I did not find reasons very weighty on the judgment and the conscience for being so: but, in bringing forwards those reasons, it has been my earnest endeavour strictly to observe truth and justice, and to express what I sincerely feel, all respect and kindness to those from whom I am constrained to differ.
"I am, Sir,
"Yours faithfully, J. Pye Smith."
We now proceed to notice each of these sections, and in the order in which Dr. S. has numbered them.
I. II. III. To the numbers of dissenting and Wesleyan meetinghouses given in Dr. Smith's first table, we offered no exception. But the assertion, that forty-three dissenting congregations, twelve Baptist, and thirty-one Independent, are found in Cornwall, exclusive of village dependencies, affords a test, by which the general correctness of that statement may now be tried. Upon this point, therefore, we shall offer some explanation.
There are Baptist meeting-houses in Cornwall in the following towns:—
Penzance.—Population 8,000. Two meetings. One of them was shut up in 1832, and the other has since resorted to the "universal remedy" for all disorders incident to dissenting meetings—changing the minister. The progress of Methodism, and the increasing influence of the Church, are fast destroying dissent in the west of Cornwall. The Methodists are no where more numerous and respectable than in the Penzance circuit; and a new church has lately been built in the town, for which about 4,0002. was subscribed there,—nearly fifty Methodists being among the subscribers. A brother of the distinguished member for Bristol, Sir Richard Vyvyan, is the Clergyman.
Helston.—Population nearly 4,000. A very small meeting-house, assisted by the "Home Mission." The revenue from pew-rents and subscriptions being only 28/. a year, the "universal remedy" was tried a few months since, in the hope that a new minister may unite parties who had quarrelled, and in some degree restore " the cause."
Falmouth.—Population 8,000. The largest dissenting congregation in the county. It is, however, sunk from its former respectability; its friends, who gave it character, having been lost by death, removal, or disgust, and replaced by firebrands of radicalism.
Redruth.—Population of town and parish about 8,000. Meeting small. Since 1812, its existence has been only a struggle against increasing difficulties, with frequent changes of ministers. Its extinction has been postponed for a time, for a tradesman, retired from business, has lately undertaken to be the minister. Reported sixteen members or communicants in 1832.
Truro.—Population 10,000. Wesleyans powerful. Influence of the Church fast increasing. A chapel-of-ease has been opened within a very few years, of which all, except the galleries, is laid out in free sittings. National schools, well conducted; church societies, well organized and active.* Meeting inconsiderable, and the minister has just left it abruptly.
Calstock.—Reported fourteen members in 1832.
Saltash.—Reported ten members in 1832.
These seven are all that were officially reported at the Association of Ministers and Deputies for Cornwall and South Devon, in 1832. Five are yet wanting to make up Dr. Smith's number. These can only he Grampound, Chacewater, St. Austell, St. Day, and Flushing.
Grampound.—A disfranchised borough; population under 1,000. Dissenters so few, that the Independents and Baptists are obliged to unite in a single congregation. Present minister a Baptist.
• The District Committee of the S. P. C. K. at Truro, circulated last year 400 Bibles, 455 Testaments, 816 Common Prayers, and 10,097 other books and tract*. The town was the scene of the most desperate radicalism and violent party spirit. A (rreat change has taken place both in politics anil morals, and Conservative principles have regained the ascendancy. Give the people sound religious instruction, and everywhere radicalism and dissent will vanish.
Chacewater.—A small market town, with a populous mining neighbourhood. Formerly a village dependency upon Redruth, from which it is distant four miles. An attempt has been lately made to establish "a cause" here, but we believe that the experiment has been given up. St. Austell.—Population of town and parish upwards of 8,000. An attempt was made, in 1816, to establish a meeting here, which failed. The experiment has been renewed in the last year. The result is scarcely doubtful.
St. Day has grown, within a few years, from a village to a market town. Population of the parish (not a large one) 8,400. A large church has been built in St. Day, and a house is being erected for the minister. Meeting, a dependency upon Redruth. The house falling to decay," and no congregation.
Flushing.—1,600 inhabitants. Meeting a dependency upon Falmouth. House rotting for want of paint. A china closet would accommodate the congregation.
The last five, it is evident, ought not to be included; and one large church would contain the congregations of the twelve.
The thirty-one congregations of Independents we must profess ourselves unable to discover. In St. Austell, which is near the centre of the county, there was an inconsiderable meeting; which, if it exist now, and we have reason to doubt it, is most insignificant. West of St. Austell, among 200,000 inhabitants, are five Independent meetings. At St. Ives, (3,000 inhabitants), Penzance, Truro, Penryn, (3,500 inhabitants,) and Falmouth. The three former are small, quiet, longestablished congregations, consisting chiefly of the minister's little circle of personal friends, and gradually decaying as these drop off. The two latter enjoyed prosperity for many years, under two of the most respectable ministers of their denomination; but the minister at Falmouth dying, the meeting gradually sunk under the influence of faction and decay, until only one man was left to assist the minister, and it was consequently managed by a female committee. The meeting at Penryn, with all the advantages of a popular, zealous, and highly-respected minister, and of uninterrupted peace, gradually declined, till the revenue fell short of the stipulated, and very moderate stipend, by 50/. A change consequently took place, about two years ago, which has restored Falmouth, but at the expense of Penryn; which, from that time, has been disturbed by party spirit, and has already experienced an unpleasant separation from a minister. Eastward of St. Austell the county is thinly peopled, having scarcely more than 90,000 inhabitants in 700 square miles. Except Bodmin and Launceston, which have each a population of about 4,000, and Liskeard, about 3,000, there is scarcely any thing to deserve the name of town. Fowey and Padstow are sea-ports, but with a population under 2,000; and the others are chiefly village centres of agricultural districts, or boroughs of Schedule A., both too insignificant to claim notice, either for themselves, or for any little meetings they may contain.
IV. We stated fully the grounds upon which we felt it our duty strongly to condemn Dr. Smith's second estimate of the comparative numbers of Churchmen and Dissenters. In the former table, he gives 2,177 as the number of orthodox dissenting congregations, and 4,087, or nearly double, for that of the Methodists. We know that our churches