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the worth of its object. In the diary mittee, and excited universal surprise. are the remarks which follow:
They have visited between three and “ How mysterious are the ways of four thousand families; the jails, hosProvidence! The Bible Society has pitals, workhouses, and barracks in the lost the most important and useful of neighbourhood. Rarely has so much its agents; but we must indulge no good seed been sown by so few hands, murmuring,—there must be no question and in so short a time. It having been ing either the wisdom, the goodness, or widely circulated, and as generally the justice of the divine government in believed, that the Religious Tract Sothe management of the great concerns ciety originated on the Bible Society, of the Redeemer's kingdom. All power I will here leave for my children, in heaven, and on earth, is His. We a statement of the true and legitimate may say with the Prophet, 'My father, descent of the most important Institumy father, the chariot of Israel, and tions of these times. the horsemen thereof,'—but the great 1st. The London Missionary Society. work in which we are engaged, in the 2ndly. The Religious Tract Society. cause of God and of truth, is under 3rdly. The British and Foreign Bible the direction and influence of His Holy Society. Spirit, and must and will prosper. From the London Missionary Society Never was there an agent more calcu- also sprang, lated for the work in which he was 1st. The Hibernian Society. engaged than the much lamented John 2ndly. The Irish Evangelical Society. Owen ; but the God who gave him his 3rdly. The Society for the Conversion intellect and energy, has the residue of of the Jews. the Spirit. May the committee be 4 thly. The Church Missionary Soguided in the selection of a successor ! ciety. Many who are most desirable and « Unworthy as I am of being dissuitable, will shrink from the arduous tinguished, may I never cease to be services the station demands, and the grateful to God that I have had the deep responsibility which it involves. honour and felicity of taking part in the Physical and mental strength are essen- origin, progress, and final success of tially necessary, and the temper must these great and prosperous Institutions. be the most cool and placid. The great Their utility and prosperity are the subman we have lost, fell a victim to the jects of admiration and praise, even to intense ardour of his gigantic mind, those who have censured agents in them, which was too powerful for his frame. for devoting themselves too much to Fifty years have passed away, since Public Societies. Othat my children Mr. Owen and myself were led by our and my children's children, may ever beexcellent fathers, to worship under the friend the cause of Missions! God greatroof of the despised tabernacle, where ly honoured your grandfather by permitwe sat near each other. May we not ting him to be one of the nine ministers have been greatly indebted to that Whit- who first met to form the London Misfield, whose glorious and successful sionary Society, and may none of his labours still leave an impression of their descendants forsake or slight it! When power and extent ?"-P. 151.
I look at my numerous grandchildren, Mr. T. may be correct as to the
and think how variously they may be
situated in life, the prayer of the Psalmgeneral classification of the Institu
ist for the youth of Israel is mine for tions mentioned in the following
them. That our sons may be as plants extracts. He has not, however, grown up in their youth, that our daugharranged them in the order of their ters may be as corner-stones polished after commencement. The Church Mis- the similitude of a palace. I wish them sionary Society certainly preceded to know and remember this, when I am the London Hibernian Society, and
laid in the silent grave,-may they
become sincere Christians, that we may the Irish Evangelical was not form
meet in our Father's house above !" ed till some years after the Society P. 153–155. for the conversion of the Jews. « Went yesterday afternoon to the
These memoirs are not quite so Sunday School Tract Society, of 41
clearly arranged as is desirable. Orange-street. The annual report de- We have read them, however, with tailed the extent and energy which considerable interest, and recomattended the operations of this com- mend them to the notice of others.
1. The Wesleyan Methodist Maguzine for April, 1828.
2. A statement of the cause, progress, and termination of the two law suits in which Mr. Thomas Hill has been engaged.-By Thomas Hill.
As we are not to be deterred from exposing great evils, by the abusive and contemptuous language of those who are desirous of concealing them ; we shall for once disregard the admonition of the Wesleyan Reviewer, who commends us not very civilly, to “ quieter habits ;” and having begun the investigation of a case which at its first opening was dark enough, we shall show, that like others of similar character, it grows blacker the further it is examined, and becomes more palpably iniquitous, the more it is attempted to be palliated and excused.
If we were disposed to return “railing for railing," or sneer for sneer, the Wesleyan Magazine for April last would furnish us with an example and an apology; but we trust “ we have not so learned Christ;" and although we deem it our duty to express our opinion decidedly and strongly, when the occasion calls for it, yet we hope never to imitate the indecorous and unchristian spirit displayed in the article to which we refer.
Truth does not need such weapons, and falsehood cannot be upheld by them. The styling the Guardian “a degraded publication," or accusing it of “ spurting forth calumnies," and insinuating that it is thus placed infinitely beneath the notice of the Wesleyan Magazine can neither vindicate Mr. Hill nor justify the Conference. Men are often confident when they are ignorant, and overbearing in proportion as they are unjust, and the Writer of this high-toned and contemptuous Review, is utterly uninformed on the subject on which he treats, and has exposed his own ignorance in a way which leaves no room for excuse or escape.
His observations refer to the book published by the friends of Miss Bell, which was reviewed in our Number for January ;-to the documents printed in reply by Mr. Hill;—to our Review ;--and to the proceedings of Conference on the case.
In order to discredit the book printed by the Friends of Miss Bell, it is styled an anonymous pamphlet; although by far the more important parts of the volume consist of documents which cannot be called anonymous. If for instance the letters avowed by Mr. Hill are there faithfully reported, (and no one pretends they are not) it cannot be said that these are anonymous authorities. If the speeches of the counsel on both sides, at the trial, are correctly given, (and Mr. Hill does not deny it) these are no longer anonymous authorities. The same remarks apply to the deposition of the witnesses, and to the summing-up of the judge. And if to these sources of information be added, the minutes of the Conference after the York trial, together with the letters of the Presidents of Conference (which cannot be called in question) then a mass of documentary evidence is produced in the case, which renders the circumstance of the book in behalf of Miss Bell being printed without the compiler's name of no importance whatever.
The Methodist Magazine states that one object of this pamphlet was, “to excite a clamour against a Methodist Preacher for alleged offences which two years before had gained a large share of the public attention;" “ but that the principal design of the publication was to fix a stigma upon the Methodist Ministers generally, by an attempt to implicate them in that unhappy affair.”
An attentive reader of the Statement of Facts will easily perceive, that the principal design of it was to vindicate the injured character of an unoffending woman. If, in order to that vindication, it became necessary to expose the sinful conduct of one Preacher, and the unjust connivance of a whole body of Preachers; the writer is not to be blamed, but they are to be censured whose conduct has rendered them fairly subject to such exposure. The Magazine tries as far as possible to exculpate the chief agent in this evil work, by calling his crimes alleged offences; whereas they are clearly proved offences, and offences of the darkest hue. As to the attempt to implicate the body of Methodist Preachers in the affair, there is nothing on which the attempt is grounded, but the plain fact, that they had implicated themselves in the business. It is perfectly notorious, that while Miss Bell was thought to be unable to gain any legal redress, the Conference would not have any thing to do with her. When she lost her cause by a non-suit, through the mere absence of certain evidence, whichi it was proposed to lay before Conferenee, and which some of the Preachers and principal Methodists actually examined, they refused, with what we may now safely call an affectation of delicacy, to interfere, lest they should impugn the yerdict of a British Jury. Yet, when at length the necessary documents were obtained by Miss Bell, were brought into court, and were found sufficient to condemn her opponent, this grave body rushed to the consideration of the cause, without ever seeing the letters, which formed a principal part of the evidence, and ventured on a decision at direct variance with that of the legal Court! They may well call the affair an unhappy one, but whom have they to censure for implicating them in it? Who compelled them to rejudge the decision of the court ? and who taught them to give such unbeard-of judgment ?
The Wesleyan Magazine is very anxious to possess the public mind in favour of certain publications by Mr. Hill in his own defence. Several of these we have seen; and as far as we can learn, they have all, with only one exception, if indeed it be an exception, been noticed in a very proper manner by the compiler of Miss Bell's Narrative. And we do not hesitate to say, that a more suspicious and self-condemnatory mode of defence was never pursued by an accused or guilty person. We are surprised that the Wesleyan Magazine should have hazarded a reference to them. What will the public say when one of them, professing to be communicated at second-hand by John Simcor Skidmore, is literally an orphan cast upon the world without a father? that no man of the name can be found ? that one who enters so minutely into the history of the case, and knows so much of the parties, and tells so many infamous and actionable stories should to this day be hid, and never have been permitted to look the public in the face? Perhaps some light might have been thrown on the subject by the printer, but John Simcox Skidmore was too wise to expose his secret by a printer's name, and a scallop at the bottom of each circular shows where the name has been, and declares in no insignificant language the whole letter to be a fabrication! Would the Reviewer wish us to receive this as proof of Mr. Hill's innocence ?
The next publication was issued at Northwich, signed by three Methodists of the place, who could know nothing of the affair, but what Mr. Hill told them; and who, after relating his story almost in the words which he afterwards uses, very innocently add—“Mr. Hill pledges himself for the truth of that part of this statement which has not fallen under our knowledge!” How is it possible that any thing material in the statement could have fallen under their knowledge, when the facts took place in Shields and Hull, while they were residents of Northwich? Is this a document to be relied on? Soon after this appeared a formal defence published by Hill himself, and printed at Northwich, of which it is plain that the preceding was an abstract. We will only here say of this, that it also is noticed in Miss Bell's book, and was re-printed at Birmingham during the last year.
To this succeeded an anonymous supplement, for a copy of which, as we doubt pot it would throw much light on the whole transaction, we should be much obliged to any member of the Conference. Of the nature of this publication we know nothing, but what is contained in the Hull pamphlet, which says, that “ Mr. Moss, and another friend of Conference, were attacked in it, in such a way as to be considered libellous. When first questioned, he (Hill) denied the supplement, but afterwards confessed he had seen the MS. and had agreed to its being printed. The pamphlet was ordered into Conference to be destroyed, and an injunction laid upon him not to write another line on the subject, on pain of being expelled the Methodist Connexion.”—p. 141. · If this be true, the Reviewer cannot blame us for not making ourselves acquainted with it; and it furnishes additional proof that the body of preachers were implicated in that unhappy affair!
We come now to the Birmingham publication. This is the book which, aided by its predecessors, “ materially alters the complexion" of the whole business, as the Wesleyan Magazine asserts, and respecting which we are charged with an “ amusing affectation of innocence" in not NOTICING it. Now assuredly there was no affectation in the case; we did not, as the Reviewer states, “ affect to believe that no such document exists." When we said-" Have any documents been printed since the pamphlet, circular, &c. so ably handled in the concluding part of the statement ?” we really asked for information, and not from pretended ignorance. We have at length obtained the boasted vindication; and, will our readers believe it? it is a reprint word for word, errors of the press excepted, of the Northwich pamphlet, canvassed in Miss Bell's book, and which, as we have said before, « leaves the main facts of the case precisely as they were.” At the close, however, of this Birmingham edition of the old book, there are certain fac-similes, similar to those in Miss Bell's pamphlet, and three pages and a half of new matter, chiefly explanatory of those fac-similes.
And here we shall be able to substantiate the charge of ignorance which we brought against the Wesleyan Reviewer. Has he ever read the Birmingham book, which he chides us so rudely for not reading? He cannot have read it, or, if he has (which it were a libel on his common sense to suppose) he cannot have understood its plainest statements. Take the following extract in proof:
“ The writer (i. e. Mr. Hill, says the Wesleyan Reviewer) declares, respecting THE HULL PAMPHLET, which professes to be “ A Statement of Facts,” that “ it contains one hundred and twenty-three falsehoods, or mis-statements, many of which are so artfully interwoven with truth, as to deceive any person who is not fully acquainted with the case.” This passage occurs in page 16 of the Birmingham pamphlet; but it also occurs in page 16 of the Northwich pamphlet, which was published in 1826, one year earlier than the book of Miss Bell, to which the Reviewer supposes it to apply. It was also published, in the circular issued by the Northwich Friends of Mr. Hill, one year earlier still. It was, in fact, intended for quite a different book-a small pamphlet, not one-third the size of that now before the public, and which merely brought down Miss Bell's case to the termination of the Newcastle suit!
Of this assertion of Mr. Hill's we may have to speak again ; but the immediate purpose for which we produce the passage, is to show the competency of the Reviewer for the office which he bas undertaken, and to let the world see before what a grave, enlightened, and disinterested judge, we are called to stand, in order to receive sentence for our crime, and reproof for our “ petulance,” in having dared to speak as we have spoken, after a careful perusal of the principal documents connected with the question at issue.
in it, may properly have a place here. Referring to the Hull Pamphlet, page 142, for more extended remarks upon the statements contained in it, the force of which Mr. Hill appears quite unable in his appendix to diminish, we will quote one passage, and compare it with certain expressions in his acknowledged letters to Sissison.“ It was now ascertained that Sissison had, contrary to the opinion which I gave him in my letters, and contrary to every thing which I conceive to be honourable and just, broken off his engagements with Miss Bell.” Page 17. Let any one read the whole of Mr. Hill's long correspondence with Sissison, and say whether there is any expression, in one of the many letters, of which this extract gives a true report-whether the whole style of the correspondence is not at antipodes to this assertion-and whether the following passages do not falsify, in plain terms, this pretended account of Mr. Hill's opinion. “I will tell you my opinion : I think I could easily find out your anonymous friend” (alluding to those infamous letters already before the public). “I am confident (if I conjecture right) he or she was actuated by pure motives. I. cannot go so far as your friend- I dare not; but I do sincerely believe you could not make a worse choice.”—“ If you can possibly extricate yourself, I think you should without delay; but if you cannot, why marry, and endeavour to make the best of it."-" Can you any way get rid of this person, and be honest ? Can you live without her ? Remember, I don't think you can live with her.”
When Sissison, in consequence of such communication as this, broke off the match, can he be accused of having acted contrary to Hill's opinion given in the above letter, and contrary to all that he conceived honourable and just? And we ask, can that man deserve credit for any statements he may make, even though he solemnly declares he “ will speak the whole truth and nothing but the truth," and who republishes this unblushing assertion after his own letters have been in possession of the public ?
We have before remarked upon the fact that he had denied most confidently having written any ill of Miss Bell to Hull This fact does not rest upon anonymous authority.-It appears in the evidence which Sissison gave in the court at York--he is also declared to have said it in the presence of the Methodist Leaders at Shields--and yet he brings not one of those leaders forward to deny that he
uttered such language. Let us then compare this assertion with his avowed letters. “ She, (that is, Miss Bell) her sister, and her brother are generally considered as a dangerous and disreputable family ;-buried in debt-always squabbling and deceiving, full of religion, even sanctification and full of drunkenness, scandal, and calumny." Is it possible that any correct account of facts can be expected from a quarter where so little regard has been obviously paid to truth? Mr. Hill professes to have detected one hundred and twenty-three falsehoods in a former publication by Miss Bell. If he had been a little more moderate in his charge he would have been more likely to receive credit for his assertion—he has printed this assertion thrice, but has never come one step nearer towards a demonstration of its truth -he does not produce one of these falsehoods and fairly expose it, and therefore this assertion must appear to every impartial person as weak and contemptible as it is unjust and malicious.
We proceed to notice the fac-similes which accompany the Birmingham edition of Hill's defence. They are eight in number. Two of them represent professedly Mr. Hill's natural style of writing. Two more are copies from Miss Bell's book, of the anonymous letters, which were exhibited in Court. One is a copy of a letter which Mr. Hill professes to have received from the true anonymous writer; and another represents Mrs. Hill's hand-writing, which we cannot understand his reason for inserting, because she was never charged with, or suspected of writing the anonymous letters.
The concluding pages of the book are devoted to the explanation of these letters, and to the attempt to prove that Mr. Hill cannot be the author of the anonymous ones. We give the following reasons for coming to the very opposite conclusion.'
1. His anxiety to have the anonymous letters concealed or destroyed when they were in Sissison's possession. If he knew he had not written them, why should he conjure Sissison to keep them out of sight? “ If I rule them (says he, alluding to the prosecution commenced by Miss B.) I believe they will drop proceedings against us. But if they do not, then my safety, and I believe your own, will very much depend upon the defence you make-if you keep all written information out of sight, and especially the anonymous, &c." For what purpose could he desire the anonymous letters to be kept out of sight, but to prevent the comparison between them and his acknowledged letters, which he knew would condemn him.
2. Our convictions are confirmed by the fact, that he at one time confesses the anonymous letters to be very much like his own--and then asserts himself, and prevails with others to assert for him, that they are so unlike as that it was impossible for the same person to have written them. As undesigned coincidences form the most satisfactory evidences on the side of truth-so error is sure to be betrayed by its own inconsistency. The very opposite arguments are used at different times, and under a change of circumstances, to prove the same point; and the only thing which is really proved in the end, by this process, is, that the person who uses it seeks not truth but self-vindication and that in the eagerness to justify himself he is utterly unconcerned about the justice of the means which he adopts.
“ I have now (says he in a letter to Sissison,) some reason to believe that they, (the anonymous letters) were written by some enemy to me, but I am not certain of it.”--Again, “ You will also do well to send me the other anonymous, or burn it, for it is certain now, that my hand has been imitated, either to serve you, or ruin me."-In the evidence on the trial, Dr. Oxley says : “ I have heard the defendant speak regarding these anonymous letters. I have heard him say that he believed that his hand had been imitated, and that some radical rascal' had written them, to ruin him and his family."
Now, after this concession that his hand had been imitated for a purpose ruinous to himself, and after acknowledging, as he does by his anxious wish to have them destroyed, that he feared they would convict him, is it not surprising to find him asserting that Miss B's. friends had “ rendered him essential service, and completely ruined their own cause," by the fac-similes which they had published ? Is it not equally surprising that he should boldly reprint these, and challenge examination, as if by so doing, he could convince the world at once that he was guiltless ? At first he shuns the day, and fears to show the letters; when he finds that tbey must and will see the light in spite of him, he assumes an air of bold defiance, and calls the publication of these fac-similes a triumphant proof of his innocency!! If they are so, why did he not court the investigation of them sooner? Why did he refuse to let them be examined in his presence? Why did he MAY 1828.