Page images

The tone which it adopts is a striking instance of this feeling. It divides the dissenters into four classes. 1st and 2nd.“ Those who resemble the first nonconformists,' not objecting to church establishments, but to particular evils, &c. ;” and who do not desire, or would rather prevent the overthrow of the church. 3. "Those who have not only arrived at the opinion, that all church establishments are pernicious ;” but who think this the time for overturning our's. 4. The larger part of dissenters who agree perfectly in principle with the third, &c.," but who do not think the time yet come for enforcing these ulterior views. To this body the editor belongs, and he presses such considerations as these upon his brethren.—That the country is not yet with them, [how curious a contrast to their magnificent calculations of their numbers, made for different purposes]—that an attempt made now might throw back “their main design” for some years—that, therefore, their course should be at present to agitate more vigorously, and press “ their detailed demands," with a view to the main business.” Now, there are in all this, two or three matters of especial moment which should be put clearly forward. 1st. The altered intentions and desires of the dissenting body; it is no more that they may have liberty of conscience, but that it may be denied to us. It is no longer that they may be protected in worshipping out of an established church, to which they object; it is that they may overthrow an establishment, towards the injury of which the great bulk of the nation are (by their own confession) indisposed. They seek not their prosperity, but our destruction. 2ndly. That in agreement with this altered spirit, they do not seek for their“ particular" objects, with a view to obtaining immediate relief for their own consciences, but as affording them a better ground from which to attack the church itself hereafter. That“ the abolition of church rates,” &c. are to be sought earnestly now ; not because they are their real grievances, but because, they shall thus most successfully advance to “ the main business in hand,” “the demoli. tion of the establishment," and, therefore—3rdly. That those members of our church who aid them in these demands, are acting the same part with those churchmen who helped them of old. They loosed fetters which galled the wearer ; they took a burden from the weary shoulder; their helpers now put into their hands a weapon which they profess to desire, for the sake of assaulting us. It is aggressive warfare in which they unite. They are not delivering captives from the dungeon ; they are furnishing enemies with arms.

The dissenters speak out. They publish to the world why they desire these concessions; whoever grants it to them acquiesces in the object of their desire. The church must hold those as guilty of treason to her cause who aid and abet such endeavours. He who furnishes the murderer's hand with the weapon of offence, is acquitted of participation in the guilt, according to his ignorance or privity of the offender's purpose. No one who now does any thing to assist dissenters in any of their several demands, can pretend to be ignorant of their purpose. They have blazoned it to the world. Let men see, then, the drift of what they are doing ;-it is not easing conscientious scruples of an obnoxious rate, it is not conceding something to promote unity and concord ; it is offering a fitting weapon to the hand of violence, when the black purpose of the heart has been explicitly announced, when his own voice has declared“ Hic niger esthunc tu Romane Caveto.”

II. E. K.


The difference of parties among the dissenters, alluded to in the Congregational Magazine, and already spoken of in another paper, receives curious illustration from fresh articles in the dissenting papers; and it is important that this should be known. The three denominations

have put forward a sort of authoritative memorial, which, while it “ bears a testimony" against establishments, does not demand their overthrow; and then goes through the five grievances in the usual form, and in decent language. This is the tone also of the Preston meeting. The Patriot is chosen as the organ of this moderate party; and that journal will thus, perhaps, be saved from starvation. This appearance of moderation kindles another party into absolute fury; and they have hired the un-Christian Adrocate, which is, by nature, inclined (as it must, in candour, be owned) to take the unchristian tone. It is really a pity, for the moment, that these dissenting papers are so utterly worthless and obscure; for it would be well that all the world should see the scene of discord presented by dissent, at this moment, and the mutual revilings and hatred which exist. But, more than this, it would be desirable that (now that the un-Christian Advocate is unchained, unmuzzled, and fairly enlisted on the violent side) all men should see the temper of the party of dissenters which it represents. Even the Independents of Cromwell's time were, (making allowance for the difference of times and general temper,) as much inferior to these people as haters, as they were superior in mental powers and attainments. At Nottingham* a meeting has been held, where they shewed themselves in their true colours; and an outpouring of virulence took place, which has, probably, no parallel in modern times, and which is only saved from becoming famous, or infamous, as a specimen of malignity, by the weakness and vulgarity of the speeches. Mr. Howitt was properly selected to write the memorial of such a meeting,-properly, because the learned historian of priestcraft, who, time after time, makes Selden a bishop, and Tillotson one of the Assembly of Divines, was well qualified to draw up a memorial in which history was to be perverted, partly in malice, and partly in ignorance,-properly, because one who has chosen, in his own work, to exhibit an anti-Christian temper, was well qualified to embody the expression of the same feeling for others.

There are many politicians and legislators who have little regard for religion, but knowledge enough of human nature to know that some religion it must have. What do they think of letting this spirit have the ascendant? How will men, who thus speak and think, act towards those who are not so religious as they think men ought to be, or not religious in the right way? What will be the tender mercies of such persons ? what the Christian weapons of persuasion with which they will bring the careless, the worldly, or the dissentient from them, into the right way? Some of the amiable M.P.s, who advocate their cause in public, and “ hate and deprecate all intercourse with canting puritans” in private, had better look to these things in time.

One remarkable fact is, that while the modern puritans are crying

Within these few days, the Christian Advocate proposes the Nottingham proceedings as the rule for all, and says that the dissenters must have a bumping (!) meeting at Exeter Hall. Such a writer is worthy of such a cause. On the whole, it is clear that the violent dissenters are strong in a few towns, but not elsewhere, and that their feelings are disavowed elsewhere. Vol. V.- Feb. 1834.

2 h

out so loudly about their grievances, when we examine their statements, we find abuse of our liturgy, articles, cold devotion, and connexion with the state. Their toleration is not to tolerate our worshipping God in our way; and this has always been their spirit. Their notion of a redress of grievances is to inflict grievances on us.

In the Nottingham memorial, in which the destruction of the great grievance of an established church is not asked, but insisted on, the learned Mr. Howitt (Selden's friend) thus, after many laboured paragraphs, displays the evils of an established church in England :

“ In our own country it has led to the certain results of all establishments—a clergy, in part degraded and oppressed by poverty; in part over endowed and indolent; many of whose lives are the scandal of the island, and the wonder of foreigners, and, consequently, a fruitful source of ignorance, immorality, and infidelity, amongst the people.”

Now, how can all this be a grievance to the dissenters ? On higher grounds, if it were not in vain to hope that in any thing written by this wretched man, any notion of a good feeling, or any shame for a bad one, could be found, one would ask-Do the dissenters mean to come forward, in the face of day, and charge the clergy of England, as this poor slanderer does, with being immoral and worthless ?

The next paragraph here extracted is pressed on Lord Grey's attention. If it came from Mr. Howitt only, it could be of no consequence; but the petition is that of the Nottingham dissenters. Lord Grey will indeed find that he has pleasant people to deal with :

“ These demands (the destruction of the establishment, among others] we make upon the British Government, not as soliciting favours, but claiming the most unquestionable rights ; and we earnestly seek your Lordship's assistance in obtaining them. We confidently anticipate, from the granting of these demands, that an impulse will be given to true religion, such as has not yet been witnessed amongst us; that it will unite all parties in those bonds of amity which never can exist while the Establishment exists ; that it will, more than any other measure, strengthen the hands of Government, by gathering about it the affections of nearly the whole community; that by destroying the corrupt system of patronage, it will take away from amongst us the scandal of non-resident pastors, dissipated pluralists, and power-hunting prelates; and thus wonderfully change and elevate the character of the clergy.

“We finally declare that we have no bostility to the episcopalian church, as a branch of the church of Christ ; but earnestly desire to see Christianity prospering under every form to which men can attach themselves with heart and understanding ; but we would solemnly press upon your attention, as the head of his Majesty's Government, this undoubted truth that while the speedy granting of these fair demands would justify the zealous support which dissenters have given to the present ministry, and will anew draw their affections towards them, nothing can possibly prevent us, backed as we are by the general sentiment, from ere long ohtaining our desires, and that we would far rather receive the grant with feelings of warm gratitude than of mere selfish satisfaction."

The following specimen is not bad. This comes from a dissenting minister at the Nottingham meeting :

“Mr. Bakewell, a minister of the Methodist New Connexion, distinctly repudiated the tame recommendation of the United Committee, and was loudly cheered. They had been advised to confine themselves, at the present moment, to a redress of personal grievances; but, if they were only now to ask a part, their opponents would be likely to say, * These canting dissenters are

only creeping forward now, in order to enable them hereafter to grasp the Establishment itself;' it was, therefore, the most manly and honest course to ask for all they wanted. The spirit of liberty was now abroad, and it behoved them to push their claims with the boldness of men, and the earnestness of Britons. They did not say that they wished to drive episcopacy out of the country, but that an established creed should not exist. If they abominated slavery of the body, how much more should they detest that of the mind; as Protestaat dissenters, they would say, WE WILL BE FREE! Then there would not be that air

about the clergymen of the Establishment, as if they considered it a condescension to be on the same platform with a dissenter, or a look, as if to say, Stand off, I am greater and holier than thou. Let every congregation pour in its petition to the legislature, and, if not regarded, let them be renewed until they were compelled to grant what we MEAN to have.'

One cannot but wish Lord Grey joy of his friends—those who, as Mr. Howitt's memorial says, have supported the ministry so well, and now expect to be paid.

It seems, from the two following paragraphs from the Globe, that marriages and registrations are to be conceded. It is added (but the matter is too atrocious to believe) that some force is to be put on the Universities. The Nottingham Memorial, as will be seen by the following extract, demands office, not education. Indeed every one knows that, at this time, a man may be senior wrangler at Cambridge without subscribing the articles ; so that there is no grievance felt, but strength is to be tried :

“We look, therefore, with confidence to the speedy abolition of tithes, church-rates, and of all other ecclesiastical demands upon us; and that the Universities be thrown open to the education of all parties, without any impediment of oath or subscription-that no peculiar religious opinions shall give eligibility to office in them ; in short, that they shall be the schools of the nation, and not of a faction." --( Nottingham Memorial.)

“ We are glad to find that the dissenters are adopting the course which we thought it our duty to point out to them as the only one which could lead to a satisfactory result. Retaining, as they have a right to do, their opinion in favour of the voluntary principle as opposed to a national establishment of Christianity, they have, we hear, resolved to press only for the removal of actual grievances, and to rely, as they may safely do, on the good-will, confidence, and zeal of those friends in the Government who ever stood forward as their defenders, when they needed help, to afford them all practicable relief. We have reason to believe that their claims are at present under the consideration of those friends, and we trust that, very early in the ensuing session, the influential persons who carried, in more adverse times, the repeal of the sacramental test, will take upon themselves the work of introducing measures for their relief. From the Revolution downwards, the Whigs and Protestant dissenters have always worked together advantageously for themselves and their country; and no real friend to the cause of religious liberty will desire to see them separated. The dissenters will do well to make their parliamentary representatives fully acquainted with their wishes, that so they may come prepared to support the Government in any measure of relief which, they may think it right to bring forward, and we hope it may be done very early in the approaching session.”


“We hear that a deputation from the United Committee of Protestant Dissenters waited on Lord Grey on Wednesday, still further to explain to his Lordship and the Government the views they take and the remedies they have to propose for the grievances of which they and their friends throughout the country complain. We believe that they have no intention to ask at the hands of Government any thing beyond the redress of actual grievances; and we repeat the expression of our conviction that they will meet with the best support from those who have hitherto always felt a pleasure in rendering them every assistance which it was in their power to render them consistent with the duties they owed to the community at large. We understand that bills have been prepared, or are now in preparation, for a national system of registration, and also of marriage considered as a civil contract, to which the members of the various communities may add what religious service they best approve; and we should think, and indeed believe, that such bills will either be introduced by members of his Majesty's government, or that they will receive the best support of all who have hitherto been considered as the advocates of civil and religious liberty." - Ibid.

It need only be added, that the ministerial paper which is reckoned respectable, the Globe, blows hot and cold from day to day of course, by order, that no one may guess what is to be done, and that all may be kept quiet,—that the organ of one part of the ministry, the Times, as late as Jan. 16, put forth, in its most indecent and coarse style, a paper full of threats and abuse of the church. This too is, doubtless, upon system.

MR. BEVERLEY. It is a matter of no small satisfaction to see this person at last exposed, as he deserves, by a person like Professor Sedgwick.* It wants no small degree of moral courage in a gentleman to descend into the arena with such a man as Mr. Beverley. But there can be no doubt that it was necessary, and that, consequently, the best thanks of the country are due to Professor Sedgwick for having condescended to use his great powers in the exposure of Mr. Beverley's low and unblushing falsehoods. It was necessary not because Mr. Beverley's abilities were such as to have brought him into notice had he been left to himself, but because he had been forced into notice, on occasion of his former book, for the basest political purposes. It is understood to be an incontrovertible fact, that a certain meek, spiritual, and gentle sect actually bought and circulated three editions of his former work against the clergy, in order to prejudice the county against them before a late Yorkshire election. When thus forced into notice, his book contained so much personal slander, so much licentiousness, and so much malice, that it was sure to be read. It was through these circumstances, and not his own merits, that he has become of any

By the way, how is it that the dissenters, when they affect to believe Mr. Beverley's stories of the profligacy of the English universities, and are perpetually asserting the great superiority of dissenters in knowledge to the ignorant English clergy, are so extremely eloquent in all their petitions on the grievance of being excluded from the universities? Do they really wish their children to be instructed by the ignorant, and corrupted by the profligate ? or do they believe one word of the stories which they retail ?


Bishop of London, St. James's Church
Bishop of Chester, Chester Cathedral
Bishop of Chichester, Chichester Cathedral
Bishop of Hereford......
Bishop of Bath and Wells, Wells ........

Dec. 22, 1833.
Dec. 22.
Dec. 22.
Dec. 22.
Jan. 19, 1834.







Degree. College. University Ordaining Bishop. Allen, John........


Camb. Bishop of London Antrobus, Edmund

St. John's Camb.

Bishop of London Applegate, Thomas IIill, (Literate) for the Colonies Bishop of London Barker, T. Francis

Brasennose Oxford Bishop of Chester Burrowes, John........

Trinity Dublin Bishop of Bath and Wells Bussell, John G.........

Wadham Oxford Bishop of Bath and Wells Calthorp, Charles

St. John's Camb. Bishop of London Cooper, Thomas........ Magdalen Hall Oxford Bishop of Chester Figgins, J. Leighton... Queen's Camb. Bishop of Chester Fisher, Alfred........... St. Alban's Hall Oxford | Bp. of Bath & Wells by l. d.

from Bishop of Bristol Fox, John, (Student)

St. Bees

Bishop of Chester Goodday, Septimus

Pembroke Camb. Bishop of London






• It is to be hoped, that every one has read or will read his eloquent Sermon or Address on Education.

† It is highly to the credit of the junior part of the University, that three young men have written answers to Mr. Beverley. Professor Sedgwick has spoken of one; and there is another very creditable pamphlet by Mr. Russell.

« PreviousContinue »