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Chee, Jew, for teaching us that word !")-“We consider Methodism as it is, as the great obstacle to the triumph of religious libérty in this country,” says the same authority.-Yes, of such religious liberty as prevailed in France amidst the horrors of revolution, and under the “ reign of terror.” " A REVOLUTION,” says the mild and meek Mr. Lamb, “in an ancient kingdom has been effected in three days, and why not in Methodism ?” Lecture delivered in the chapel of the Refugees (!), Bolton- Advocate, Oct. 26.) If, indeed, Wesleyan Methodism has, in any degree, tended (like the salt of the earth) to prevent the occurrence, in our own country, of such scenes as France has witnessed during the last forty-five years, its national importance must entitle it to the approval and veneration of the wise and good; nor can its “ conservative” influence excite the hatred or anger of any but the desperate or the deluded.
But justice will not be done to the “ Reform Methodists,” unless we compare the liberality of their professions with the intolerance of their practice. Their intolerance has been carried to a higher pitch than it could have been imagined possible for Protestants, in the nineteenth century, to be guilty of. Thus, for example, illegal violence has been used to exclude Wesleyan Preachers, itinerant and local, from those chapels which are legally secured to the Connexion, and to which they have been regularly appointed. In other instances similar violence has been employed to interrupt them in their ministrations. In a letter, dated Camelford, Nov. 3, 1835, and inserted in the Christian Advocate of Nov. 9, this is made a matter of boasting and exultation. One of the Preachers now labouring in that Circuit, with a respectable friend who accompanied him, are denounced as “burglars and rioters,” for having, in the best manner they could, entered a chapel which had been illegally shut against them, and the key of it mislaid. The letter goes on to say, that the Preacher had “no sooner commenced the service, than the crowd collected commenced shouting, the children taking the lead, so that it was like the confusion of tongues at Babel.” The children had been purposely dismissed from the Sunday School by their teachers (!) as soon as it was known that the Preacher had entered the town! In the Meeting of Delegates at Sheffield, Mr.Stephens, of Camelford, said, that they had the use of all the chapels in that Circuit. with the exception of one. When the Superintendent went to preach in the chapels, the key was generally missing,* so that he had to return as he came.” And this barefaced a vowal was listened to without disapprobation by the “collective wisdom” and honesty of the would-be Pastorate!
The intolerance of the “reform Methodists” has been further evinced by certain appeals which have recently been made to the higher and the lower powers. I do not now refer to the law-suits which Dr. Warren, at the expense of his followers, has carried on in the Court of Chancery,
“With other promises and other vaunts," Than the event has served to justify. Defeated in their appeals to the courts of law; defeated, too, in their appeal to the Wesleyan Methodist Societies, these liberal and reforming Methodists invoke the executive government to “stretch out its arm, and vex” their former pastors and brethren.—They call on the legislature for persecuting enactments against the system of Methodism, and, at the same time, they endeavour to stir up mobs to pull down Wesleyan chapels. “Is the public aware,” says their weekly organ (the Advocate), "that a map of England and Wales has long since been published with reference to the different Circuits, Societies, &c.? The emblem is the Indian banyan-each branch becoming of itself another root, till the whole land is covered with the deadly shade of this spiritual Upas ! We commend the study of the acts of the hundred apostles of this system to the special notice of the present government..... We would put the government on their guard.”- Advocate, Nov. 16. « The day is not far distant when.... they will be asking the occupants of Downing-street what they think of the matter? Let Lord Melbourne anticipate the inquiry. He will find the Conference, at least, as worthy his attention as the Orange Lodges, and as much entitled to his gratitude.”- Advocate, Nov. 30. “ Either Methodism as it is, puts down the government, or the State, in self-defence, must crush it.”-Advocate, Nov. 16. Thus, as in the apostles' days, “ the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected towards the brethren;" and as “a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a
* “ The keys, indeed! the keys, the power of the keys !" exclaims the Christian Advocate, Nov. 23. The writer knows a chapel, from which the clock was stolen about twelve months since. There were two sets of keys belonging to the chapel, one of which happened to be in the possession of a person at whose house the Reform Methodists held their meetings. No wonder the (hired, if not bribed) Advocate is so anxious that “the power of the keys" should be transferred to the members of the Association. But methinks it was hardly prudent in him to make such an outcry about them, except on the same “ prin. ciple" that persons of a certain description are said to cry out“ Stop thief!"
Jew, whose name was Bar-jesus, withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith ;" so these men seek to stir up the higher powers against Methodism, representing it as “a mighty and most mischievous institution.” In the late appeal of the self-styled “ Wesleyan Methodist Association” to the British public, they not only call on the metropolitan and provincial press, and all parties of politicians, to join in a crusade against the system of Wesleyan Methodism, but they invoke the court of “supreme legislation” to unite with them in the same object; or, as they profanely express it, to “come up to the help of the Lord against the mighty !" In the report given in the Advocate, Nov. 9, of a meeting of Reform Methodists, in Mr. Alexander Fletcher's chapel, London, a Mr. Eckett, who was the principal speaker, said " The meeting of Conference with closed doors * was no longer to be endured. The attention of yovernment should be brought to bear on the subject."-" The Government was putting down Orange Lodges, and Conference Associations must also be broken up.”+ In the same paper, the letter of the Camelford correspondent already quoted concludes with the following significant hint-intended, obviously, to operate in a lower sphere-" I fear, if the Conference can overrule the Trustees and take the chapels, not one stone will be left upon another !!"I
And these are the liberal people! These are the parties who complain that Methodism as it is, is the great obstacle to religious liberty! What would Methodism be, as they wish to make it? These are the proceedings, the wishes, and the spirit of those who call themselves “ Reform Methodists !” And if such is their disposition, now that they are powerless and comparatively uninfluential, what would be their conduct if they could wield the powers of church and state ? If thus they bluster and bellow from the dust and the dunghill, how would they thunder from the high places of the earth ? If under a tolerant, a Protestant dynasty, they sigh for a Court of High Commission, or English Inquisition, what would be their“ tender mercies" if the change of times should afford them a government to their mind-Papal, Sectarian, or Infidel? I leave these questions with all reflecting persons to answer, and remain, yours, &c.
A WESLEYAN METHODIST.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ILLUMINATOR. Sir--In the Southampton Circuit, like many others where faction and falsehood have exerted their baneful influence, the Missionary cause, instead of suffering loss, has prospered far beyond the most sanguine expectations of its managers and supporters; proving, to their complete satisfaction, that the cause they maintain is under the control of Him“ who sitteth in the heavens,” and “ laugheth to scorn the raging of its enemies.”
That the attempts of the faction have succeeded in “ siopping the supplies,” so far as they proceeded from certain individuals who were ready to halt, and from others who, for want of better information, withheld what they were once in the habit of giving with delight, is too true; but that increased contributions, to a far greater amount, have been made in other parts of the Circuit, is equally true; and the present favourable circumstances of this Branch Society, and its future prospects, call for the warmest expressions of thankfulness tn Almighty God.
The amount raised in this Circuit, in the year 1834, was £66 2s ld. Of this sum, Winchester supplied £22 0s 9d. In the past year, the few at Winchester, who
* If the doors of Conference are to be open to the public, why not those of Financial, District, Quarterly, Leaders', and Class Meetings, Lovefeasts, &c. ? This would be but carrying out the principle. I. hardly expected, indeed, to find our reforming censors so soon avowing their wish to have these latter thrown open. Yet so it is! At the Sheffield meeting of delegates-"A resolution was proposed, recommending the Conference to have its sittings, as well as those of the District Meetings, open to the public." “ Mr. Rowland supported the resolution.... Had the meetings of leaders, &c. been less secret during the last nine months the work of Methodist reform would have been greatly facilitated." Thus the hedge is to be broken down, and the Church, instead of being, like the spouse in the Canticles, a garden enclosed, is to be open to all comers, like a fountain in the desert trodden by wild beasts, "where (as Dr. Jeremy Taylor saith) a panther and a lioness descend to drink and lust."
This is certainly more in the spirit of Dr. Eccius, than in that of Luther or the Reformation.
# As the labours of Wickliffe in England had to sustain some share of obloquy, on account of the rebellion headed by Wat Tyler and Jack Straw, which some attributed to his writings and as the Reformation in Germany was disgraced by the fanatacism of John of Leyden, and the rebellion of the boors-so are the violences of Radicalism and of the “ Wesleyan Methodist Reformers," likely to bring a reproach on Methodism, in the estimation of those who will not give themselves the trouble to distinguish between the general tendency of a system, and the excesses of those who seek to identify them selves with it. But I have no fear that any large portion of the British public will confound the principles and practices of the real with those of the pretended followers of Wesley,
remain faithful to the interest of Missions, have contributed £4 4s 0fd: the rest of the Circuit, £75 15s 11 -making a total of £80.
One of the most striking incidents connected with the Missionary operations during the past year is, that in a village, the inhabitants of which had been assailed in the markets, at the corners of the streets, and in which no means had been left untried calculated to prejudice the minds of the people against Wesleyan Methodism and the Missionary cause, the weekly coutributions are increased, and there is an advanee on the public collection of 50 per cent.
It may also be added, that since the secession, which is now more than twelve months ago, the Circuit has enjoyed greater peace and harmony than had fallen to its lot for many previous years, and that the number of new members will, it is believed, soon compensate for the 100 which then ceased to form a part of it.
To Almighty God, who has thus “made the wrath of man to praise him, and who restrains the remainder of wrath,” be all the glory.-Yours, &c.
THE AGITATORS IN THE STOCKTON CIRCUIT.
In consequence of the expulsion of Mr. Emmett, from the Wesleyan body, by the vote of the last Conference, four dissatisfied Local Preachers and one Leader sent in their resignations, and united themselves with Mr. Emmett into a separate body. They have hired a small school-room in Stockton for preaching; and Mr. Emmett has opened his corn warehouse, in Yarm, for the same purpose. In the whole Circuit about fifty persons have left the Wesleyan Society, and joined them. Since that period great peace, unanimity, and considerable indications of prosperity, have been witnessed in this Circuit. Notwithstanding the insidious attempts to injure the contributions to the Missionary subscriptions, we found, on closing the accounts for the past year, the amount raised was £303, being several pounds more than the previous year.
As the separatists did not create all the sensation in this neighbourhood which they expected—nay, finding they were hardly missed, and all matters were going on prosperously in the Old body—they were evidently much disappointed, and therefore calculated much upon the result of a visit from Dr. Warren, and his fellow agitators, to advocate the cause of pretended Mothodist reform. Their wishes have been realized, and I transmit for your information the particulars :-On Sunday evening, January 10th, Dr. Warren, according to announcement by large placards, preached at Yarm, in a large building specially fitted up for the occasion. The congregation is said to have exceeded one thousand persons. That they were chiefly influenced by curiosity, was evident by the kind of sympathy they felt for the Doctor and his cause; for, notwithstanding his fervent appeals to their liberality for the needful to defray the expenses of the Chancery suit, the collection was only three pounds and a few shillings. On the Wednesday following-pamely, the 13th instant-à meeting was held in the shabby old Playhouse of Stockton, where a numerous audience, chiefly consisting of the lower order, assembled. The principal performers at the Playhouse were Dr. Warren, Mr. David Rowland, Mr. Emmett, and Mr. Graham. They dwelt largely on the usual topics of invective, abuse, and slander. The violence of their manner-the wickedness of their wilful misrepresentations--the total want of every thing in the nature of evidence or argument to substantiate their statements were sad manifestations of the reckless and desperate cause in which they are engaged. They reminded us of those striking words of St. Jude :-“ These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts, and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration, because of advantage.” They described the Ministers of the Wesleyan body as a set of usurpers and tyrants-sleepy watchmen nodding over their charge—men who substituted the love of power for the love of souls—the insolence of office for the gentle. ness and meekness of Christ-men whose piety and simplicity crouched to worldliness and wealth-robbing Christians of the rights with which God and reason have invested them-inflicting deep and lasting injury on God's people. Such was the language in which these itinerant agitators abounded; indeed, the bitterness of their spirit could only be exceeded by the violence of their abuse.' Many persons, not religious, left the meet. ing before its close, under excited feelings of the deepest disgust at what they heard and witnessed; many others, who, from common report, thought Dr. Warren and Mr. Emmett had been severely dealt with by the Conference, were fully convinced of the propriety of such a step, and that no well-ordered society could hold intercourse with such men.
Perhaps, a stronger proof could not well have been given of the genreal odium attached to such proceedings, than the manner in which the announcement of the col. lection was received. A general movement took place the collectors were laughed at-and the sum collected, out of which the hiring of the house, lighting it up, door keepers and posting-bills, were to be paid, was only about three pounds. Two meetings of a similar description, were held in Yarm, where much the same kind of impressions were produced-nearly all persons of credit, religion, and decency being disgusted with such irreligious proceedings. By the unanimous request of the Leaders' Meeting, addresses were delivered by the Rev. T. Harris and the Rev. J. C. Pengelley, in the Wesleyan chapel, Stockton, on Monday evening, January 18th, to refute the slanders of Dr. W. and his party; and although a mere announcement of such addresses was given on the Sabbath-day, the chapel was crowded above and below. The Rev. T. Harris confined his observations chiefly to the facts connected with the present agitation in the Wesleyan body-proved, by reading various documents, that Dr. W., by his reckless and obstinate conduct, was the chief cause of all the agitation and divisions which have taken place. The reading of the Rev. James Wood's letter to Dr. Warren, produced a deep impression on the audience. The real principles and designs of the Association were examined and exposed, particularly their blundering attempts to legislate for the government of the Societies, and the unhallowed manner in which they sought to substitute force for argument-violent threats instead of reason and Scripture-and the cry of " stop the supplies !-starve them out !” as the watchword of their revolutionary projects.
The Rev. J. C. Pengelley entered largely into the examination of the spirit and reckless conduct of the agitators-proved its utter variance with the principles and spirit of the New Testament, and the little credit due to wholesale dealers in defamation, and the salaried agents of an Association whose object is to disturb, divide, and destroy. He clearly exposed the sophistry of their reasonings, and the fallacy of their arguments-described the perilous consequences of following such guides and pointed out the sound scriptural principles, excellent economy, and admirable discipline, of Wesleyan Methodism. On the whole, little is to be feared from these agitators, if they proceed in their evil work in the same spirit as in this neighbourhood. Nearly all ranks of people unite in disapprobation of such unrighteous proceedings, in the attempt of men itinerating for the purpose of disturbing and dividing peaceable and prosperous Societies. How little do they partake of that wisilom which is from above-which first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. May the Lord change their hearts, and give them better work.
There is nothing new under the sun. Complaints about tyranny, and professions of uncommon regard for the poor, have been connected with “ineffable hypocrisy," from the beginning. We know who complained about tyranny, even in Paradise, and persuaded our first parents that the laws of their Maker, like the Minutes of Conference, were founded in a jealousy of the rising rights and liberties of mankind, and instead of tending to elevate and bless, were meant to perpetuate degradation and slavery.-" And the serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die, for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”—Gen. iii. 4, 5. Yet this zeal against tyranny was only the “ ineffable hypocrisy” of “ that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan who deceiveth the whole world.”-Rev. xii. 9. But the Preachers are charged with crouching “ to worldliness and wealth ;” and, of course, it is meant to be inferred, that the agitators are the special friends of the poor. So Judas wished to be thought when he said “ Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor ?” Yet this fine speech was nothing better than “ ineffable hypocrisy ;” for “ this he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the bag.” There were three real reasons for the complaints made about the “ tyranny” of the Conference, at the above meeting. 1. The Conference had not made Dr. Warren a great man a thing which it was utterly out of their power to do. 2. They have not made D. Rowland a Travelling Preacher-a thing which he very much wished to be, but his Quarterly Meeting did not recommend him as a proper person. 3. They had some thoughts of putting Mr. Graham on his trial—a compliment to which, in the judgment of some persons, he had fairly entitled himself. Other reasons would, doubtless, be assigned by the orators themselves; but the Stockton people, after hearing the speeches, began, like brother Jonathan over the water, to “guess” that all was not right, and therefore “laughed at the collectors.” Every bubble bursts at last, and so will this.
NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS.
Either the funds or the credit of the “Grand Centrals, or both, are showing symptoms of deep decline. The neatly-printed Lantern has gone out--we suppose, for want of "oil ;"--and in its place. there has come out a filthy-looking little handbill, about four inches square, as dirty in its language as it is in its appearance, and which is sedulously thrust into the hands of our peaceably-disposed people as they come into our chapels, by the agents of the Association, who take care to choose the darkest nights for the purpose, as the most suitable for the deed. We have heard, indeed, from pretty good authority, that on casting up the debits and credits of the “Grand" concern, their class and ticket monies, and other subscriptions, fall short of meeting the charges for printing, travelling, and et ceteras, to the tune of twelve hundred pounds! It is but justice to add that it is also said, that this serious deficiency is subscribed for. The former part of the statement we dare say is true enough; about the latter we have our doubts.
We had noticed the article in the Advocate, beaded “Methodist reform triumphant in Edinburgh." The party who have left our Society there have had a public meeting, and been singing,
« Sound the loud timbrels o'er Egypt's dark sea,
Jehovah hath triumphed, his people are free;" and we are right glad to hear it: for it is well known to the members of the Chapel Loan Fund that these very men have long been so dreadfully oppressed with the spirit of pauperism, that their bondage was completed some time ago. However, they now sing, “ for the pride of the tyrant is broken," and are resolved never more to be entangled in the yoke of bondage, and say, “Scotchmen never will be slaves." They might as well have made a virtue of necessity, and added, “never will be paupers ;" for although these emancipated Stewards had the conscience, last year, to take out of the Contingent Fund upwards of £100 more than they put into it, they are not likely to play the same game again. We do not mean to say that this modern exodus is a proof of perfect soundness of mind.
We beg leave to inform the friend who wishes for information about D. Rowland, that it has been his policy, for some time, to exhibit his wife as beggars do their children-to excite compassion, and to gull the public. It is true, as he told the good people in the North, that he bears some “ blushing honors thick upon him.” It is true, as he said-1. That he “fills two public situations in Liverpool;" that is, he is a clerk, or collector, acting under the committees of two public bodies. We believe he does quite as well as a servant, as he did when a master, and even better. He once managed a small concern of his own, and now very much wishes to manage Methodism in the same way; but, we think, few of its friends would like to see it brought to a similar conclusion. It is true-2. That he was placarded (by his own friends) all over the town, as an expelled Methodist. This, he says, was a very great honor; which is a clear proof that some men can turn brass into gold.” It is true, as he told the meeting-3. That he walked the streets of Liverpool without molestation. This his conscience told him was a very wonderful thing. As to the other “honour” which his modestý allows him to mention, we really cannot say whether it is true or not that he was-4. complimented by a banker, for the “firm stand” he had made for religious liberty. All we know is, that the “ firm stand” was of the Falstaff kind; and consisted (1.) in running away from his ecclesiastical opponent at Leeds-street; and (2.) discreetly resolving, that no consideration on earth should lead him to come up to the scratch again at Sheffield.
Our Glasgow correspondent has our best thanks; we only regret that a press of other matter prevents our giving an extended notice of his communication. But we heartily congratulate the Glasgow Preachers, and the Society there, on the signal failure of the “venerated'? Doctor Warren and his degraded crew, in their late attempt to scatter and destroy a peaceful, united community-hesitating not to employ the unworthiest and most ungenerous means, and practising the grossest impositions (on Dr. Wardlaw for instance) in order to obtain what might appear to bystanders to be, at least, a tacit approval of their proceedings. But this wanton attack has recoiled on the heads of its promoters in their own indelible disgrace, and it has served to unite the Glasgow friends in closer bonds of union. Exertions are now making in behalf of the interest of the chapels there, which are likely to issue in the happiest results.
Several very valuable communications have been received, duriug the month, from Darlington, Stockton, Yarm, Southampton, Manchester, London, and Camelford.
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