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the Clergy of the Establishment.” They “ dare not expect so much, unless the Ministers of the Church were selected from some more pers fect order of beings than the fallen sons of Adam."
“ There is, as your Reviewer observes, an unsuspecting liberality, as some call it, about them (both Clergy and Laity) which will not suffer them to allow that their antagonists employ any artifices against them, nor to admit that they are or can be maliciously set against them."? This is the very danger that the author apprehends; and the consequences of this mistaken liberality have been already very serious. The consequences yet to come are such as must be the subject of alarm and apprehension to every one who considers what has been, and what again must be the effect of causes so similar and so active on the part of its enemies, opposed to efforts so feeble, or rather to dispositions so, inactive, so indifferent, so insensible on the part of its friends Despondence is not a trait in the character of the Author ; but there is a wide and serious difference between careless security, and that timely apprehension of danger which is necessary to call forth watchfulness and exertion to oppose it; and it is this disposition which he wishes to arouse, most thoroughly convinced that to despise, or to be insensible of our danger, is not the way to secure our country, or our church from the perils to which either may be exposed. He has given the facts on which his apprehensions are founded. He has left it to the public (if they be not too indifferent to give themselves the trouble to peruse them) to draw a conclusion for themselves more favourable than he has been able to do. His are not the feelings of the moment, but the calm and sober apprehensions that have dwelt upon his mind, not without sometimes intruding his observations upon them, from time to time, as he saw the progress of the evil, and the rapid acceleration of its progress within the few last years of an active life, which afforded much scope for observation, and some opportunities to oppose his feeble arm to check it.
In reviewing the Christian Observer's review, the author doubts not but the following among many other unfair criticisms will occur to your able reviewer. After allowing the importance of the subject which the writer has taken in hand it is added “ In discussing so important a subject, and in pursuing so laudable a design it is much to be wished that the utmost care had been taken to state no facts as the ground of argumentation but such as could be verified; and that the arguments built upon those facts had been fair and legitimate.” Now the only facts which they have ventured to dispute are those which have respect to young men educated for the ministry from the funds of the zealous friends of the evangelical party, and to the purchase of presentations to introduce them afterwards into the Church, whose formidable opponents they are intended to become. With respect to the former, though they say no other objection can be made to this part of the work, “than that the observations therein contained have no solid foundation," yet they afterwards seem to admit the fact themselves, in adding that our in formation, limited as it is on the subject, induces us to suspect that the author has received his account of a simple and harmless fact, from some one who was interested in misrepresenting it.” Now this simple and harmless fact (harmless and meritorious enough in the eyes of evangelical
reviewers) the author asserted from an authority which cannot be ques. tioned, from the resolutions of the Society itself, which was established for thai purpose : and he has given his authority and referred his readers to the number of the Evangelical Magazine, in which those resolutions are contained. He received his account from no one interested in misrepresenting it. The Editors of the Evangelical Ma. gazine so far from inisrepresenting; were rejoiced to be able to com. municate to their readers the welcome news of so glorious an event, so great an acquisition to their cause.
With respect to the other fact which they call in question, the pura chase or procuring of livings for their evangelical friends on the subject of lectureships they are silent) they say." Of the subjects of the 143 and following pages the author appears to us to have either received very incorrect information, or formed very crude opinions." Whether his opinions be crude or otherwise, becomes not him to say; but the fact is known to all who are conversant with the proceedings of those who “ have evil will at Zion.” What the precise amount of this effort of reforming zeal may be, it is not easy to say.
But that it was one of the schemes for overturning the establishment in the former period of its depression, is a fact which he has established upon the solid ground ot hi tory; and that it is now employed for the same pura pose, no one who is at all acquainted with the Thorntons, the Wilberforces and the Mores of the present day will hesitate a moment to admit. You, Mr. Exitors, could no doubt point your finger to Churches in the City and its vicinity which have been filled by the zealous exertions of the opulent, among the friends of the party : and in the country the instances are still more abundant in which their influence has been employed with Bishops and Ministers to obtain for their favourite preachers a station in the Church from which they may best assail its constitution and discipline, by loosening the attachment of their hearers and conquering those prejudices which rendered them less easy to be. come the followers of the Itinerant teacher, and to join in the cry ignorance, idolatry and formality against all but their own enlightened selves, and men of their description.
The Reviewers might and ought to have observed, that it is not to this alone that the Author attributes the increase of schism ; and they must not think that they can silence the fears or remove the suspicions of the friends of our Church by that triumphant air of exultation which they indulge upon this occasion. " These deep designers," say they, with an einphatic sneer," have taken the most extraordinary method of adapting the means to the end, that either ancient or modern times have witnessed the .sums which they expend in encouraging active and pious ministers in the church, would serve to rear and support at least ten times the number of dissenting preachers, who would be rather better disposed to assist these patrons in their supposed design of overturning the establishment.” But do tell those “ active and pious ministers, the Editors of the Christian Observer, if they are so little acquainted with the “ vigorous steps" of their active and pious friends, the Society for propagating the Gospel, the County and District Associations, the Itinerant Society, &c. &c. that it is not exclusive of plher zealous services in the same cause that the author has introduced this to the notice of his readers. There are plenty of other means to do what is to be done out of the Church. He forbears here to enumerate those means which he hath already laid before the public for their serious consideration. He will only mention a single instance of zeal out of the Church, to show that there is no want of the services of those pious patrons of active and pious ministers there. A zealous friend of that description; who died a few months ago at Homerton (Mr. Towna shend) had given and engaged to give during his life, five hundred pounds a year, and ten thousand pounds at his death, for the purpose of training up itinerant preachers, and propagating the gospel in villages or towns, notorious for their ignorance or vice. By his will he fulfilled this intention, and though dead, he still liveth to introduce his enlightened sons into those " dark villages and towns," where the sound of the Gospel hath never yet been heard. Other instances of like zeal might be added to shew the Editors of the Christian Observer (if they be so little acquainted with what is passing in the Christian world) that there is no want of zeal or opulence in this way. If they dispute the fact, I refer them to the Evangelical Magazine for the last month (June) where they will see it stated in the Memoirs of the late Mr. Eyre, who was the founder of the society; " composed at first, of five or six affluent and pious persons of his own congregation,” and if a single individual, or a single congregation, could raise congregations, erect buildings, send forth ministers to supply them, and lay the foundation of an academy to "educate under their own eye, and in their own made, those young men they might in future send out,” what may not be expected from the combined zeal and combined efforts of afluent and pious persons in all the congregations throughout the kingdom.
Oh! Mr. Editors, where shall we find like zeal, and like displays of affluence in support of our Church? And can you wonder that the author of the work before you is so apprehensive of the consequences ?
He would have noticed some other parts of their criticism, but he has already trespassed far beyond his intentions. Your Reviewer will not pass over what they say upon the subject of Prayer Meetings, and other auxiliary means of serving the cause of schism.
The illegality of a clergyman's attendance at the former, which they call upon the author to prove, he has already proved from the canon which was expressly provided for that purpose.
And now, with hearty good wishes for the success of the Orthodox Churchman's Magazine, he takes his leave for the present.
Deeming this excellent Letter too interesting to be deferred, we trust the author will excuse us for giving it a place at the end of this month's Magazine, the preceding sheets being made up before it came to hand.
MAGAZINE AND REVIEW,
For AUGUST, 1803.
And they continued stedfastly in the A POSTLES' Doctrine and Fellowship, and in breaking of Bread and in Prayers.
Acts ii, 42.
MEMOIRS OF THE REV. THOMAS TOWNSON, D, D.
Continued from page 3 of our last. THE "HE parish of Malpas, Cheshire, consists of twenty-four hamlets, or,
as they are styled in that county palatine, townships; and is, in some directions, about ten miles long. There are two rectors to superintend this ample district; but when or on what occasion the partition originated is not known. "It has subsisted more than five hundred years; and the portions, from the relative situation of the two parsonages, have; for more than half that length of time, been commonly called the upper and lower rectory or mediety. The two rectors have each of them a curate, with whose assistance they perform the duty alternately by weeks. There are two sermons on Sunday, prayers twice a week and on holidays, and every day of the week before the sacrament, which is administered the first Sunday in every month, and at the great festivals. There are two chapels, to one of which the rector or his curate, who is not engaged in the parish church, goes every Sunday, except on sacrament days, when they all assist at the mother church. In the duties thus apportioned, Dr. T. always took his full share, as well in the desk as the pulpit ; and the service of the Church of England is no where performed with greater decency and solemnity, and rubrical exactness. Indeed, from the number and order of its clergy, this large and lofty edifice has somewhat of the appearance of a collegiate church, and the constitution of it is such as to give peculiar advantages to the ministers, by concentrating their talents for the 'edification of their hearers. The honest plainness and authority of one preacher rouses the torpid; the energetic pathos of an. other bears along with it the soul of sensibility, and the mild, persuasive eloquence of a third, profitable to all, has its best effect and Vol. V. Churchm. Mag. Aug. 1803.
influence upon the virtuous and the good. This latter was universally the manner of Dr. T. In his looks there was meekness joined with intelligence; in his conversation gentleness, and yet authority; in his whole deportment, condescension with dignity. When he read prayers in the congregation, there was a warmth and fervor in his manner that was at once awful and edifying : his utterance was never rapturous, it was never languid; and a service, highly reasonable in itself, wherein human wisdom and evangelical devotion are so happily combined, appeared and was felt, from his lips, as more strikingly reasonable. When he ascended the pulpit, the same meekness of majesty attended him ; every eye was fixed on him, every ear listened with eagerness. His sermons were various in method and manner, as the subject required or suggested; but what was most peculiar and characteristic in him, were infections
easy and natural, but without the strict form of a studied discourse, on some portion of scripturé, on some memorable event, or some distinguished personage; on a psalm or a parable. A discourse, thus constructed, was not an abstract dissertation, remote from life and common apprehension, but delineating real events and real characters, which, by the observations and arguments of the preacher, were hrought home to present times, and rendered applicable to all; instruction was thus united with and enforced by example : you saw misery as the sure consequence of sin in all ages ; you saw present tranquillity and everlasting peace, by the constitution of things, and by divine promise, the attendants and rewards of obedience. When he spoke professedly on points of Christian doctrine, on the blessed sacraments, or the prime festivals, though the form and manner were less removed from the common track, his words, elevated and warmed with the superior grandeur of the subject, were, if possible, still more highly awful and impressive. All his sermons were distinguished by ingenuity; in all there was strong sense conveyed in easy and familiar words; in all of them piety and humility were prominent and conspicuous features. At the same time his elocution, which was clear and well modulated, and his gesture, which was graceful and easy, grave and correct, set off and adorned the matter. There was, indeed, when time had shed a more venerable lustre on his countenance, the air and dignity of an apostle about him, tempered only and softened by the recollection that he was a man of our own days; easy, unaffected, and affable in private, as he was powerful and commanding when he spoke as a minister of the gospel and ambassador of heaven, you would pledge your soul on his sincerity ; you were sure he longed for nothing so fervently as your salvation"; your heart glowed within you; and you went home resolved to love God above all, and your neighbour as yourself.
He greatly admired, from full conviction of its excellence, the Common Prayer of the Church of England. The spirit of devotion that pervades and animates it, the energy and simplicity of it, are incontestible; but it was his opinion that the prayers, compressed as they are in short collects, or couched in single petitions, were at once well adapted for the family or the closet, and incomparably the best for social and public worship for though, possibly, an individual' may with equal improvement use a longer form, the words of which he himself utters, yet, when numbers join mentally in prayers spoken by one,