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some plans, with accurate estimates annexed. The latter consists of directions in the choice of schoolmasters, an exhortation to unwearied attention on the part of the visitors, and some very necessary advice with respect to the prejudices of parents, not the least of the stumbling-blocks, which caution only can avoid, and discretion surmount. The miscellaneous observations in the tenth chapter have the same character, and its concluding passages relate to a subject of such importance in the present day that we are tempted to quote them.
“Want of room in the places of worship belonging to our established church has long been an acknowledged and lamentable fact, and though, in some few instances, individual munificence, or public spirit, may have been the means of diminishing the evil, still its existence at all, where so close and indissoluble a connexion subsists between the church and state, is a mortifying and painful reflection. To cement and strengthen, if it were possible, this union, should be the object of all who are concerned in our present national undertaking, and there is surely an imperious call on the constituted authorities of every town, where a school on the new plan is established, to give it their decided support and sanction. It is thus, by core dially co-operating with the clergy, and exerting their influence as well as the means they possess, of extending and encouraging the pious work, that its success may be materially forwarded. When they witness, as they may do at the present moment, in many of the large towns, the-want of sufficient room to admit into our churches the children now under instruction, when they look forward to the daily increasing numbers brought up in the doctrine and discipline of the established church, they may, in their corporate capacity, assisted by the representations of the clergy, second and promote any legislative measures for the removal of this growing evil, attended as it is with so many mischievous consequences. If any consideration were wanting to awaken, and to bring into action the energies of those who can by their influence, by their situation, or by their authority, conduce to the attainment of this desirable object, it is the reflection, that we are now most laudably engaged in attaching the rising generation to our established church, in bringing them up from their earliest years, habitually to frequent our public worship, and shall we leave them, in after life, for want of the proper means of attendance, to desert that very establishment to which we are now teaching them to cling, as to an affectionate parent? Shall we leave them, after they have been accustomed to adore their Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier, according to the liturgy of our most excellent church, to go whither inclination or chance may lead them, because we are unable to provide room for them? Let us not be such enemies to ourselves, but let us follow up the good work we have begun by providing in time against an evil, which, if suffered to continue, may prevent the very end we are so anxious to produce! We should invariably bear in mind, what
Art. XIII.-Memoirs of the Life and Ministry of the late
W. Huntington, S. S. with an Estimate of his Character. By Onesimus. London. 1813.
Tue dignity of our undertaking in the cause of the public would assuredly have kept us from contaminating our pages with the trash of which the pamphlet before us consists, did it not bring across our minds with irresistible force the twenty-first article in our last number on the admirable address of Dr. Middleton to the parishioners of St. Pancras, Middlesex, on the subject of the intended application to parliament. There is no vanity in thinking that we put the case in that article forcibly to our readers. We had little else to do than to state in appropriate terms the unavoidable inferences arising from the melancholy fact, that in Pancras parish there are nearly fifty thousand souls (we mean to lay soine stress upon the word “souls”) out of whom the church establishment of England has provided a regular place of worship for two hundred only, and that a district in the sanie parish containing eight thousand out of these fifty thousand has po place of worship in the communion of the mother church, being divided between catholic and dissenting congregations,
That in a parish so circumstanced, self-constituted preachers should abound, can only surprise those who are ignorant of the greatness and littleness of the mind of man; great in its aptitude to receīve spiritual instruction, little in its liability to be made the sport of religious imposture and impudent pretensions.
The church of England was designed to be a visible church : it is in yain for it to say to the people-You that cannot worship within my visible pale for want of room, you must worship towards iny porch, as the Moslems turn towards the tomb of their prophet; make your houses your exterior sanctuary; so long as you offer up to God your prayers and praises in the faith and formularies of the church of England, you are members of that church :--but this the church does say in effect in the parish of St. Pancras; adopting a mystical divinity in its most practical
The most fanatical sect that ever existed could not impose upon its followers greater absurdities, or lay a better foundation for a wild and distempered creed. What are we then to think of those sons of the church who have opposed in parliament the erection of a church niore proportioned to the population of this parish; or of the gross mockery of educating the poor in the established religion without providing accommodation for them within the walls of the establishment.
We were thrown upon these reflections by an accidental
perusal of the little work, whose title 'stands at the head of this article. We have often looked with mortified and indignant feelings at the new and spacious structure raised by the very low, illiterate, and presumptuous person whose memoirs we have alluded to, but a little before the unhappy failure of the application to parliament on behalf of the church and sound religion in the same parish.. And upon reading of the success of this preacher ealling himself a prophet, and comparing it with his deserts, we have blushed for human nature, and almost wept at the torpid indifference of the professed friends of the church concerning her vital interests.
the professed friends of the chur Whatever space the church of England does not cover (we do not mean with its glebe, or its tenths,) but with its pastoral care, falls to the self-constituted preacher as a sort of derelict portion, an hæreditas jacens. It is his by right of occupancy. He finds the people reduced by spiritual famine to the necessity of taking up with an unwholesome aliment, which, in their forlorn state, is received by them as manna miraculously afforded them. We have called these preachers self-constituted ;---they are more properly the creatures of necessity; they stand upon that authority with which the right to be instructed invests the poor : they receive a sort of negative ordination from the church herself: if she refuses to shelter her brood under her wings, and to point out to them their proper nutriment, they will seek for warmth in the dunghill, and rake in rubbish for the supply of their necessities, and
We have spoken our minds already in our last number on the inadequacy of the chapel system as a supplement to this lamentable deficiency of our church establishment. It is infinitely better than nothing--it is infinitely better than a meeting-house, like that of “ Providence chapel,” but it is shocking to reflect that it is all. The church of St. Pancras is sindsome, respects worse than nothing. It stands more in mock than mark.” Like the sepulchre of our Lord amidst mosques and minarets and domes and crescents, it stands a melancholy and frowning witness of man's ingratitude and inconstancy.streu peitasi ton s.
We have been, indeed, by these considerations induced to say something on the pestiferous success of this preacher of preachers, who has happily preached his last. Those who are curious to look into the particulars of his life, or into any of his numerous and misa chievous writings, will find him to have been a manof strong natural parts, and of singular dexterity in availing himself of that gross ignorance in which the lower ordersy till lately, have been left by those who are the legitimate sources of instructionisVery illiterate, lyutquick enough at seizing, appropriating, and accommodating the
language of Scripture, he has found the readiest ways of bringing the imaginations and affections of his hearers under the influence of his fanatical ravings. His great aim, like that of all founders of sects, was to make himself appear the favourite of the most High; and with a shocking presumption, little short of blasphemy, he has proclaimed himself to the world, and has persuaded a vast number of weak persons to believe him to have been fed, supported, or advanced by no natural or ordinary means, but conducted through life by special providences, receiving his instructions and appointments in dreams, or inward suggestions, and avenged upon those who derided his pretensions by the rod of divine justice.
From cobbling, and carting, and coal-heaving, the finger of Providence, according to the testimony which Huntington has left of himself, exalted him to a situation in which he was enabled to draw from the bank of ignorance and credulity an affluent income, and to minister, or rather prophecy, (to use his own word) before thousands of silly beings, persuaded of his divine commission by his declarations in their favour, his adulation of the poor, his arrogance towards persons in authority (who, according to bim, are all blind guides,”) and his cheap offers of pardon and reconciliation to the professing penitent
..! We have waded, with unspeakable disgust, through the stories which he tells by hundreds in his Bank of Faith, of the special providences on which he subsisted. If he was out of tea, or had a hole in his clothes, or was threadbare, hungry, or cold, his breakfast table was supplied from an unknown hand; a pair of small-clothes, or a surtout coat, found its way to him, he knew not by what human agency, and always fitted him with exactness, the river threw its tish from day to day upon its banks; the silver eels lay invitingly on the surface of the pool; mortal combats took place in the air, and wounded partridges fell expiring at his feet; money came whenever his wants were urgent, and sometimes the splendid shilling," threw itself on his pathi A horse to ride on, or a bed to sleep on, were equally obsequious to his wishes. He not unfrequently compared himself to Moses and Elijah, and condescended to say, he was sometimes" as bad off (this is his exact phrase) as poor Paul.? Sometimes he gave Providence, in his prayers, tan alternative: : he must have more strength, less work, or a horse." In the end, however, the point was determined for him. He was well and gratuitously mounted by some of his followers, and obtained a pair of riding breeches, which precisely fitted him, without any measure having been taken. He was entirely maintained by these windfalls, which came always in obedience to his prayers; and his wife, being directed to pray