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has prosecuted his labours of love in other parts we know not; but if this exposure meet his eye, we would humbly take upon us to advise him, when destitute of other introduction, to pursue his present commendable and sagacious plan of paying a visit to the post-office ; and when cast down for want of suitable encouragement, we would strenuously exhort him to reflect for a moment on his noble exploits in the town of Wigan !
But to be serious. It may be added that the contributions to the Mission Fund in this circuit are this year a considerable advance upon those of the preceding, and that the Missionary meeting which has lately been held in Wigan was characterised by a delightful harmony of feeling. The yearly collection also, that test of waperers, was found in the district meeting recently held in Liverpool, to be an increase upon that of last year, practically proving that the friends of the old cause have abjured the democratic resolution to stop the supplies !
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ILLUMINATOR. Sir At a time when Dr. Warren and a number of other ambitious and disappointed men are, with a ruthless zeal, endeavouring to agitate the Wesleyan connexion from its centre to its circumference; and, under the pretext of effecting a reformation, are labouring to devastate the fairest and most flourishing section of the Christian church; it becomes the duty of every lover of genuine piety, to “come up to the help, of the Lord.” And hence, though I am not the occupant of any office in the church of God, I feel induced, by your leave, to fill a place in your phalanx. I consider the fell principle of this unhallowed course of agitation to be the political mania of a spurious liberality which equally animates the avowed infidel and the professed Christian, and constitutes to a considerable extent the “hobby-horse” of the age in which we live. The evil of this principle and the ruinous effects of which it is productive, must be manifest to every calm and impartial beholder. It is a strange kind of tyranny which man exercises over his fellow, when the victims of it are insensible of its existence. And yet the “Central Association,” in its warfare upon social order and Christian feeling, assumes-nay, ventures to assert, this; and on the same ground urges the importance of agitation in order to accomplish its unworthy object. A short time ago, the pioneers connected with this warfare came to a circuit town in this county, and endeavoured to conjure up a public meeting, in order to disturb the harmony and prosperity of an excellent and peaceful society; but the person to whom they made application, to his lasting honour, assured them that he would have nothing to do with their cause, and stated that the society was in a peaceable and prosperous condition, and it would be cruel (he might have added, extremely wicked ), to disturb its quiet; and they were obliged to leave the town without effecting their purpose. We need only refer to the effect of this system of agitation upon individual piety, in order to ascertain its turpitude. I have plainly and pointedly asked more than one of those who are favourable to Dr. Warren's proceedings—"Is it as well with you in spiritual things now as it was before you turned your attention to these subjects ? Are you as holy and happy now as you were before you listened to these men ?" And the answer has uni. formly been-"No!" generally accompanied with a sigh. And the answer inust be “no," if the sacred scriptures are to be the rule of judgment; for if we form our estimate of the spirit and temper of these agitators from the speeches which they deliver, and the publications which they circulate; the conclusion to which we are forced is, that they are as far removed from the mind of Christ, and as diametrically opposed to the mild temper of the gospel, as we can possibly conceive men to be who lay any claim to Christian truth. In some of the letters which have been published, an attempt is made to account for the declarations which have proceeded from some of the circuits in favour of “Methodism as it is,” by stating that they either have been, or now are dependant upon the Conference funds for assistance. This certainly proves that these circuits rightly estimate the benefits they have received, and are not guilty of the sin of ingratitude. But what shall we say of some of those circuits which have been madly endeavouring to “cut off all supplies," and yet have been dependant for thirty years upon the Contingent Fund ? Several cases might be selected from the circuits which are said to have sent delegates to the late meeting at Manchester; we will for the present notice one, viz. the Carlisle circuit; from which came a Mr. T. J. Cox-whether he was appointed by the quarterly meeting, the local preachers' meeting, or by a leaders' meeting, I know not; but as an asterisk is not affixed to his name, I naturally conclude that he was LEGALLY appointed, and not like some others in that heterogeneous assembly-self-elected. By referring to the Minutes of Conference, I find that Carlisle was made a distinct circuit in 1801 ; from which time to the year 1832,
it received assistance from the Contingent Fund, every year without any exception. The total amount which this circuit has obtained, since its formation, is £2521 175 4d !! viz.—for what in the Minutes of Conference are designated, “ordinary deficiencies,” £2384 5s 6d, and for “extraordinary deficiencies,”, £137 lls 10d. While in the whole time that it has been a circuit, up to the Conference of 1834, Carlisle hias raised to the Contingent Fund, by yearly subscription £358 38 5d; and by July collection, £88 178 4d; making a total of £447 Os 9d! Thus this circuit has received £2074 16s 78 from this fund more than it has paid into it! We will now turn to another fund from which they have endeavoured to cut off the supplies; viz., the Chapel Fund. By referring to the reports, I find that the Carlisle circuit has raised £133 19s lld, by collections for this fund since its establishment in 1818. While the trustees of the Carlisle chapel alone have received from it a total amount of £732 !! Yes, sir, those very trustees, who on the 25th of last March, in opposition to the wish of the superintendent, held a meeting in the said chapel for the formation of a branch of the “Grand Central Association," have received £598 Os ld from the Chapel Fund inore than the circuit has ever paid into it. A circuit which has received from two of the funds of Wesleyan Methodism £2672 16s 8d more than it has ever paid into them, heartily engages in a system, one principle object of which is to destroy those very funds by "cutting off the supplies.” This is the circuit which complains of the tyranny of the Conference; this is the circuit which asserts that “ peace has existed too long;" these are the people who declare that they will “submit no longer to the yoke of despotism !” O tempora ! O mores! While we contemplate this precious specimen of the materials of which the “Grand Central Association is composed, we are naturally induced to ask, whither is gratitude-xhither is common justice-whither is heathen honesty—fed ?-I am, &c. Cheshire, May 29th, 1835.
ONE OF THE MEN “SINGULARLY FITTED FOR GREAT ACTIONS."
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ILLUMINATOR. Sir I had often heard of these wonderful men, and was somewhat anxious to see one of them, that I might, if possible, learn how they managed to secure such singular greatness. Truly great actions are certainly things to which we may all very laudably aspire; and it is, therefore, natural to ask how may a man be best fitted for such actions ? A short time ago, one of the Association delegates visited Tarporley; in the Chester circuit, for the purpose, I suppose, of letting us plain Cheshire folks into the secret, and we stared like men suddenly åwakened by the watchmau springing his rattle. On his journey to this place, the holy crusader availed himself of almost every inn on the road, until the numerous "little drops” aroused, and made a mighty man of him—"singularly fitted for great actions." Thus inspired, he became valiant for the truth, and his fellow-passengers, long anxious to know who and what he was, at length learnt that Methodist preachers and the Methodist Conference were the objects against whom he was arming himself.
On the Sunday evening, our pious reformer attended the Methodist chapel; and behaved himself quite as indecorously as circumstances and the law would allow, often responding to the minister, with an air of contempt, and in a manner evidently designed to attract attention, to the great annoyance of all who sat near him. At the close of the service, a prayer meeting was announced, and a verse or two given out by the preacher, upon which the stranger immediately rushed forward towards the communion table, and with “singular" impudence and irreverence took the lead of the meeting. All present were astonished; and looked one at another as if thunder-struck, not being prepared, poor souls, for so great an action. Now you must understand, Mr. Editor, that through the instrumentality of the Methodist preachers, God is graciously performing a good work in our neighbourhood : the society is in great peace, and many souls have recently been brought to a knowledge of the truth; a spirit of prayer rest's upon the people, and numbers who formerly indulged strong prejudices against Methodism have lately become regular hearers. This spirited and, of course, respectable representative of the “ Grand Central Association” could, therefore, make no way amongst us; consequently, after sneaking about for a day or two, like another snake in the grass, and unsuccessfully trying various schemes to secure a lodgment in some of the dirty corners of our old town, he returned to Banbridge, in the Nantwich circuit, and being there joined by an equally zealous companion, engaged in a “singularly great action,” not far from the public house. Happily, the peace of society, even there, has not been very seriously broken; but this was not his fault.
The above is merely designed as a friendly hint; but should this Puritan trouble üs again, I shall probably furnish you with his name at full length. I have two or three other notables in my cye, belonging to a neighbouring circuit, whose Association zeal is red hot, and rapidly bringing them within the range of a flash. It is not unlikely but we may enable you, by and bye, to throw a few rays upon them also, being pretty well acquainted with their importance in the scale of society. It may be enough at present to observe, that they promise fair for becoming capital customers to the Dudley delegate. This ci devant divine is, doubtless, making his scheme pay well-the transcendant excellency of his spirit being strongly recommended throughout the country. When the priest himself turns gin-seller, no one can wonder that his adherents should be gin-drinkers. And I find that the instances alluded to above are by no means solitary ones. Having occasion, a week or two ago, to call upon one of the principal officers of the Association in Manchester, a friend of mine found him well charged with something more than Warrenism—though with that he was sufficiently intoxicated to render him rather foolish. Now if this “Grand” assemblage of wise men and orators will make their boast of such characters, truth and justice require that they should at least be illuminated, that the world may really know how much they have to expect from them.
NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS.
The Association DOES NOT INTEND TO SUBMIT TO THE NEW TESTAMENT.-The following expressions are selected from a great pumber more of the same kind, and all contained in a recent sin. gle Number of the Lantern of the preachers it is said, “their depraved appetite for every species of filthy slander and coarse abuse has been sufficiently demonstrated." “No difference of opinion can exist as to the impudence. tolly, and barbarity," of the “lawless and tyrannical proceedings sanctioned by the Conference." “ The preachers always say one thing and mean another." “ When it is thought convenient to expel an unoffending member, the cause assigned is never the true one." “The Conference would equal Rome itself in the spirit of persecution." Their “ maxim is--divide and destroy." A highwayman is an honourable man when compared with “the Conference party in this town." “ We
could a tale unfold' of several instances of this assassin-like conduct." In the preachers “there is no squeamish hesitation, no remaius of pity or compassion; but, "like a staunch murderer, steady to his purpose," they urge on their cruel course; and leave behind them nothing but the sighs of the wounded spirit, and the cries of injured innocence." "That is just the case with you preachers, you are just like highwaymen. If you can bring me down alone you will ; but, if not, you call in two or three more of your companions, and then you may rob and murder me. That is just what the majority of
have done the devil's work just as the devil wished." Yet the organs of the Association say, “ there is no division-and there shall be no division" But if they believe half of their own statements they have left themselves no choice as to the course to be pursued. That has been settled by an authority from which there lies no appeal. “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly," and surely it is disorderly to be just like highwaymen and murderers, and to “do the devil's work." No: say the Association, though we affirm that the preachers are “ disorderly," doing the work of Satan himself. yet we will neither “ withdraw" from them, nor even suffer them to withdraw from us, for
there needs no division, and there shall be no division," and, though Paul may recommend it, “su. perior skill," will be shown in preventing it."
The Association not so bad as they could wish.—The preachers are charged with “ denying to Chris. tian men the tokens of the love of their dying Lord, and closing the doors of the lovefeast to them." For the members of the Association do not think their characters complete, unless they be consummated by "ineffable hypocrisy," and, therefore, all this bad and bitter feeling-all these foul and abusive words they wish to be connected with a profession, made in the use of these holy ordinances, of their great and special “ love" and "charity" towards the men of whom they deem it their duty to say all these tremendously awful things.
The Association mean to insult the whole body of the preachers__"if they can."—Here follows an account of the treatment of two preachers, by J. Gordon, and the “leaders" who are the ecclesiastical patrons of his gin-shop.* A meeting was called for the purpose of trying two men, who were charged with having broken Methodist law. In the first place, the Lantern says there were, “about a thousand people in the chapel, when it was near eleven o'clock;" how many there might be at the beginning we are not told. Though there was a “great rush" at the vestry door, yet we are assured it was “not a mob," as some of the most respectable persons in the place were there, including some dissenting ministers, who, conceiving themselves to be members of the Methodist leaders' meetin to see justice done. The superintendent wished to have the vestry door closed, “You had better close it yourself, Sir," said some of the respectable persons near it. He attempted to give out a hymn, but it being a time for popular interference, “ this was resisted by several persons ; they earnestly entreated him not to commit the mockery of singing and praying on such an occasion." “It was then determined that Mr. Lester, a man of great determination of character, should go into the chair," and he, nothing loth, said to the preacher, “Now, Sir, I am Chairman ; and shall keep you in order as well as the rest." Even the heart of the gin-seller was softened when he beheld the condition of these degraded and insulted ministers of Christ. “I never saw two men placed in such a pitiable situation, and hope I never shall again." However, his obduracy speedily returned, and he went on to say that the “preachers were just like highwaymen" and pick-pockets. At length one of the preachers, thinking he had staid long enough, and we think much too long, wishing to retire, was led through the crowd, “as a little child, receiving some personal indignities," from the respectable persons present, which, says the dram-seller, “I was sorry for," feeling, it would seem, something like compunction, a second time. The other preacher“sat for nearly three quarters of an hour, looking at the table, one and another person (respectable, of course), making observations, and calling him all things indifferent." Finally, “a meeting of the whole circuit was called on the following Friday, when a resolution was proposed, that the circuit, from that moment should witHHOLD ALL SUPPORT from the two preachers in question." No sooner said than done; “ we have since met the classes regularly, and the money that is collected will be devoted to the trustees.'' It is added, “we told Mr. Edwards that we should not place ourselves under the lash of the law, by interfering with the chapels.” Indeed! We thought the principle laid down was the right of popular interference in all the affairs of the church. However, it seems an exception is to be made in favour of the chapels. They have had quite enough of law, at least, till the millstone is removed. Mr. Rowe will derive either comfort or something else from the fact, that, in the opinion of such men as these, “ his conduct has been exemplary." From these facts, it would appear, that popular interference with ministers means, in plain English, offering them all kinds of insult and indignity; and then dooming them to starvation; and all this without even the form of a trial. These too are the exploits of men who say they are in slavery, what they will do when invested with freedom, we cannot even guess. But the poor hare and the hounds are not to be separated just yet; for the organs of the Association say, “there is no division, there need be no division, and there shall be no division." Doubtless, it is already determined. in due time, to make every preacher who happens to offend, subm ject, of course, to J. Gordon's memorable provision, that is--if they can.
* To this statement we beg to direct the special attention of our readers, as it is the first application of the great principle laid down by the delegates, namely-the right of popular interference in all the affairs of the church, and was doubtless intended to be a practical exemplification of the thing, by its great 'mover and author.
The Association are determined to have no division, although they have made one themselves. The ceremony performed at Dudley was prepared and intended for the superintendent of the Liverpool North circuit. He was to be insulted, expelled, and what not; and then, as the Lantern has it, to sit
of an hour, looking at the table, one and another person making observations, and calling him all things indifferent. Yet, whatever he and his friends might do, there was to be no division, because of the superior skill of their opponents in preventing it. A minister of the gospel was to spend his time in squabbles with a set of jurors who were so utterly unprincipled, that, with deliberation and of set purpose, they were first eager to return a verdict before hearing a single tittle of the evidence, and then after they had heard it, would return no verdict at all; and, finally, determined that the question. guilty or not guilty, should not even be submitted to their consideration. Then these idle contests were to be reported in the Lantern from week to week, of course, to the disadvantage of the preacher. and thus he, like another Sampson, was to be made to tread the stage and to make sport for the Philistines. If ever a servant of God owed a duty to his Master, it was to bring such a temple of Dagon about the ears of its constructors. When, therefore, he was kindly set at liberty by being voted out of the chair, he determined, in return for such an act of mercy, to put an end to all the wrongs and grievances of the complainers, by whom he was surrounded, by giving them no farther trouble. When St. Paul was rejected by the Jews, he turned to the Gentiles. We don't know that any of these unbelieving Jews ever said that he could not possibly tell what was the reason why he was not a member of the Christian church. But we do know that Barns, of the White Lion, did say to the good people of Warrington, that he could not possibly tell, or even conceive, the reason why he and some of his friends had been expelled from the society. They certainly ought to have known, for it was their own act and deed. Most assuredly he was never expelled while the preacher was in the chair. Barns himself was his immediate successor in that office, and ought to be able to account for what happened under his own administration. If he really cannot solve this knotty point, he must ask some of his friends “what can possibly be the reason why a man's hands and feet should die after he has cut off his own head ?" Or when a Methodist vreacher has been insulted and formally rejected by a set of men, and he choose to leave them and to go to others who receive and treat him more kindly-and moreover resolve to stand by him, and to have nothing more to do with the unruly people by whom he has been expelled-why and how it is that a division should actually take place, although the Lantern says, “there is no division—there need be no division and there shall be no division." As this is something of a mystery, we shall not attempt to unravel it ourselves; but leave it to the superior skill of the men who are “singularly fitted for great actions " to set the mind of the wondering publican at rest.
- The members of the Association are resolved to live in church fellowship with the people who will have nothing to do with them.—There shall be no division say the members of the “Grand Central.”
-Not to travel far from home, at present, do they suppose that the high minded and really respectable Methodists, of Liverpool, are prepared, at once, to unite in Christian fellowship with the leaders of that unrighteous confederacy, called the Association? These noble people have not yet learned to make Is ing a virtue. The members of the Association may talk with complacency of the tickets they have
issued being “a fac-simile” of those issued by the preachers, and tell us that it is a singular proof of their love to old Methodism. Men of honourable minds look with abhorrence upon the whole affair.Teaching all sorts of people to make their way into lovefeasts and to the Lord's table, with a lie in their right hand, is a rather serious thing. Those who hope to be separated from common liars hereafter will not hastily unite, even here, with those who are singularly fitted for g eat actions” in that line. And what “honest man can be connected” with a set of people who have been compelled to disgorge £18 83 4d of public money, after having unanimously resolved” not to apply it to the purposes for which it had been put into their hands? It may, indeed, be convenient to some persons to forget the Leeds-street society's book, but others will remember it: whether returned or not, it has illustrated the characters of the men who took it away. As book stealing and purse stealing both proceed from the same principle, should these gentry ever come into the Methodist society, the honest people must go out. "So there is a division, there must be a division, and there shall be a division.”
Whether the Sunderland tale be true or false is of no public importance. “Dr. Warren's friend” says he was adimitted to the company and confidence of Mr. Vint and a Methodist preacher-that he heard these two persons exchange an observation that he has kept the thing in his heart during some half-dozen years-and that he takes the present opportunity of showing his real character, by lodging a dagger in the bowels of each of them, for Solomon says, “the words of a tale bearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.” During these days of reform, we must attend to Jeremiah's advice, “take ye heed every one of his neighbour, and trust ye not in any brother."
As “Oliver" was thought to possess a sharp genius, he was engaged to write a “caustic letter” on the subject of the new chapel. He has done his job pretty well, with the exception of a little mistake, for he has burnt himself and his friends, instead of his foes. According to him, the agitators and disturbers of the societies have “humbugged” themselves, by way of showing how “ singularly they are fitted for great actions.” As he cannot prevail upon any body to imitate the late Leeds-street leaders' meeting, and “rob a church," he has again placed that “matchless jury” before the public, and “left them alone in their glory.” So “ Oliver” has had enough of “caustics,” and is gone, it seems, to be healed of his wounds. The editor now takes up the cause, and says, “we ask for the money to be returned on the principles of common honesty.” “On the principles of common honesty,” we hope they will oblige us by having a little patience; because, 1-The town clerk of Ephesus advises people to do “ nothing rashly.” 2—The money in question is really not theirs, but church property: and sacrilege is a serious thing. 3-The fund was formed, and the managers appointed, by the unanimous resolution of the agitators and disturbers of the societies ;” and servants must not undo what their masters have done. 4-The persons who gave their money, and now wish to have it back again, it is clear, have changed their minds once, and, perhaps, if time be allowed, may change again. 5—They say great things are to be done at Conference, and so we had better first see the issue. 6— People who respect their characters cannot, at present, hold Christian fellowship with the men who stole £18 8s 4d and a society's book; and therefore, should any thing happen to bring them in, the honest folks, of course, will go out, and hence need chapel accommodation. 7-The heads of the Association ought to have an opportunity of practising the good advice they have long, given to their dupes, which is this: “we mean to stand firm; and you must have patience, and all will be well at last."
We pity the plight in which “Mr. John B. alias Ignatius, &c. &c." finds himself; that unpleasant complaint, which, in this instance, is beyond the skill of the Association doctor to eradicate, the ca coëthes scribendi has placed him in rather awkward circumstances. We hope, however, by the things he has suffered, he will learn wisdom. A greater pest in society of any description cannot be found than an anonymous letter-writer. At this work, to our certain knowledge, Mr. B. has been engaged for the last ten months. It is a cowardly, dishonourable, and assassin-like mode of attack. Why should Mr. B. write any thing to which he is ashamed to affix his signature? If our correspondents are pestered again with such things as anonymous letters, and will forward them to us, we will compare them with similar documents in our possession; and give Mr. B. all the disgraceful notoriety which such conduct merits. A private communication from “Ignatius" has been received, which supersedes the necessity of any further illumination just now, as “ Ignatius” and ourselves are happily agreed. He says of himself, “whoever he may be, whether of the ani. mal genus or any other, is no matter.” We are precisely of the same opinion. “Whoever he may be,” whether “John B.,” some other portion of humanity-an orang-outang, or not of the “ animal genus,” or a lifeless automaton of the Association, is really “no matter.
We thank our correspondent for the illumination of the Warrington delegate, the account of the York meeting, the doings of the Association in the Isle of Man; and the account of the Sheffield meeting, to all of which we hope to give speedy insertion.
We inform our kind correspondent, “A Wesleyan,'' that we have by no means overlooked the valuable pamphlet, by the Rev. G. Turner, entitled “The Wesleyan Economy." It is a most useful and welltimed production, for which the author deserves the thanks of the connexion at large. It is a reply to certain portions of a slanderous publication, written by a Kilhamite preacher of the name of Allin, now resident, as a supernumerary, in Sheffield, In the hands of Mr. Turner, this officious meddler with the affairs of another Christian society, and the recognised champion of Kilhamitism, appears truly contemptible, and is another among the many instances we have lately met with in this controversy, how simple unadorned truth casts into the shade error of every kind, no matter how garnished by the flowers of rhe. toric. or how decorated with the deceitful garments of sophistry. A Kilhamitish preacher in the Lantern wonders why we should attack his community. This is somewhat singular. He must have forgotten Mr. Allin's crusade against the old connexion. We heartily wish a most extensive circulation of Mr. Turner's excellent publication.
Communications have also been received from “G. C.”_" Aliquis,"L" À Wesleyan Methodist Layman,"-"Mentor,”-“Sigma,”_"Y, Z,,” and “A Wesleyan.”
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