Page images

No. VI.

Mr. James and Mr. Scales have both recommended Towgood's Letters. The Eclectic Review, I believe, blamed Mr. Scales for doing so, and urged as its reasons, that Towgood was an Arian, and that his Book was by no means adapted to promote piety. To this, Mr. Scales replied, in a letter to the Congregational Magazine, that "Towgood's being an Arian, and his Book being BY NO MEANS adapted to promote piety, is an objection very unfair, and illiberal, and exceedingly frivolous." Oh! yes, all this is "exceedingly frivolous." If the Book be but" adapted to promote" a "keen hatred," and to afford matter for "now and then a little round abuse of the Church," its "being by no means adapted to promote piety," and its author "being an Arian," an avowed blasphemer of the eternal Son of God; is a matter with the pious Mr. Scales of" exceedingly frivolous" consequence. If, indeed, Mr. Scales is not himself an Arian, he may very justly be suspected of being inclined to that poisonous Heresy. think, I could find it amongst his " Principles of Dissent," not far distant from the sixty-sixth page of his Book.

No. VII.

Let us enquire for a moment or two, into this subject, and see how matters stand in reference to this boasted purity. Let me just ask you, if all the proceedings of your Missionary Society were always conducted with the strictest purity? Was there never TWENTY THOUSAND Pounds collected pretendedly for Missionary purposes, but actually pocketed by a few Dissenting Teachers and others, and never accounted for to the public? Was not a Mr. S, a Dissenting Teacher, asked 66 come into the secret," and told it would be the making of him? But, did he not, like an honest man, refuse to have any thing to do with it? Really, Sir, TWENTY THOUSAND Pounds at one stroke is very fair. Now, if a few Clergymen had conspired together to rob the public of a tithe of Twenty Thousand Pounds, they would have been justly branded as the greatest rogues and villains in the world; but if it be done by a band of Dissenting Teachers, they are still forsooth very pious, holy,


* If any person be desirous of having a few specimens of the honesty and uprightness of the Dissenting Managers of the London Missionary Society, in dealing with the public money, he may consult "Unrefuted charges against the Managing Directors of the London Missionary Society, by Andrew Forbes, formerly a Missionary in the East Indies." London, John Stephens, 153, Fleet-Street. A pamphlet containing a pretty expose.

disinterested men, and men of very "tender consciences" withal. Allow me, also, to ask how your Academies, those fountains of Dissenting purity, are going on? Have none of the pious Students ever got drunk, and smoked, and swore, and fought? Were there never any beef-steak and rum and water clubs at any of them? Did none of the Students of Hoxton or Highbury ever scale the walls by night? Did they never bribe. any of the servants to let them out and in at all times of the night? Did they never frequent the theatres, the taverns, nor the brothels? Anne accidebat quosdam eorum lue venerea correptos. fuisse? Si quidam-quis medicus eos visebat? Anne clamatissimus ille Dr. E-y? Si ille-quantine fuit ejus tabella impensarum et unde soluta? Utrumne ex nummis collectis in eos pios adolescentulous Ministros Evangelii reddendos, vel aliunde? Quantumne fuit temporis antequam convalescebant? Did any of them "puff" on the occasion? And if so, who was he? Does the Dissenting Editor of the Congregational Magazine, and Teacher at Claremont Meeting-house, Pentonville, know the person, or any thing about the matter? He can, perhaps, give you some information on the subject? He can, very probably, answer all the above questions very decisively, one way or the other; and if they cannot be met with direct and unequivocal negatives, what are we to think of Dissenting purity! And of those holy youths recommended to the work of your pretended Ministry too, for their fervent piety and ardent zeal for the glory of God? Such impudent hypocrites, too, have the barefaced wickedness to pretend, that they are specially called by the Holy and ever blessed Spirit, to preach the Gospel of Christ!! Who is not shocked at such daring presumption, profaneness, and downright wickedness? Yet, these are your men of Christian experience-these are your holy and heavenly souls, sent forth from these sinks of iniquity to be the Teachers of Congregations professing Christianity, in greater purity forsooth than their neighbours!! Talk of Oxford and Cambridge, I have never seen either of them, but when we consider on one hand, that their Graduates are most of them the sons of the nobility and gentry just released from the restraints of their Parents and Tutors, with plenty of money, and without any particular pretensions to piety; and, that, not above one-third of them are ever intended for the Church; and on the other hand, that all the Students at the Dissenting Academies pretended to have had an especial Call from the Holy Ghost to their Ministry, and to be very pious, holy, and devoted young men, sent there, indeed, on account of their extraordinary piety and virtue, I hesitate not to say, that as bad as Oxford and Cambridge may be, Dissenting Academies are ten times worse, uniting with their immorality.

the grossest hypocrisy. Besides, the means by which many enter these Dissenting hotbeds of vice, vanity, pride, and fop pery, are not extremely pure. The only enquiry made respecting one young man, whom his Minister was determined to send through his own influence, in spite of the opposition of his Church Members, who quarrelled famously about the matter, was simply, "Is he likely to become ultimately an intelligent intelligible speaker?" Another young man, when examined on his entrance, was asked, "What can you do?" He very gravely replied, "I can play on the violin."!!! The Examiner then said, "I mean, what books have you read?" To this, he doltishly answered, "Well-I have read Pilgrim's Progress."!!! Nevertheless, this "intelligent intelligible" fiddling pilgrim was admitted, and simply because of the influence of an uncle, who was one of the Committee, and who probably thought as ? the late Dissenting Thomas Wilson, Esq. once said, on a similar occasion, that should his request be denied, "he would shake his purse at them”— "—a most powerful argument no doubt. A Mr. Sy, also a Dissenting Teacher, desirous of bringing his eldest son, about fourteen, up to his own trade, and taking it for granted, that he could get "the Call" for him whenever he pleased, sent him entirely against his own will to a Dissenting Academy. The boy, however, said, that "he would be Dd, if he would be subject to any restraint," and he kept his word, for with some of his hopeful and pious companions, he used to spend some of his nights in debauchery and dissipation, not returning sometimes till six o'clock in the morning. Allow me, also, to ask you, where Mr. C., once a Dissenting Teacher of Walworth, now is, and whether he or some other of your self-dubbed Reverends never turned Harlequin, and amongst other manœuvres, pretended to jump into a quart pot? And where is Mr. Mc. K., who was at one time the Teacher of a Congregation in the West-Riding of Yorkshire, not far from two Dissenting Academies? You are aware, that he kicked up a quarrel with his people, which terminated in a law-suit, to his great disappointment. And that, in consequence of this, the worthy Teacher would not return home, but sent to his wife, ordering her to sell off all their goods and chattels, and to meet him at a certain place, which was accordingly done. He immediately demanded all the money from his wife, and set sail for Van Dieman's Land, leaving her with, I believe, two children behind him, almost, if not quite pennyless to the wide world. I may, also, mention another of your pious Brotherhood, who was considered a most eloquent preacher, and who, besides, the pleasure of wearing a gown, was receiving three hundred pounds a year, with a capital residence; but having 66 a Call" to a Meeting-house in London, with five hundred

pounds a year, he immediately obeyed it, took leave of his dear-dear people, telling them the Lord had called him to labour in another part of his Vineyard, and in spite of many solicitations and tears started for Town. How many "Calls" might this worthy have had from three hundred a-year to one hundred before he would have heard them? He had not, however, been long in London before he was discovered to be a drunkard, in consequence of this he hung himself, but whether he designed it or not, he did not kill himself, and is yet in the land of the living. And I perceive he has just emerged from the obscurity in which shame has compelled him ever since to remain, but instead of coming forth in the shape of a Teacher of Spiritual Democracy, he has assumed that of a Teacher of Political Democracy, both which offices are certainly very nearly allied. This pious Divine has metamorphosed himself into the Editor of one of the most Radical of all the Radical Newspapers that infest the country in these our degenerate "TIMES."

I could furnish you with several other illustrations of Dissenting Purity, but I will not pursue the unpleasant subject any further, hoping that I have gone far enough to shew you how little cause you have to find fault with the Clergy.


[ocr errors]

This Doctor Bennett, they say, is a very spruce, affected, and pompous gentleman, and was some time ago a Teacher of Schism and Democracy at a Dissenting Academy at Rotherham, whence he got a "Call" to London. And as this "Call" called him to a larger salary, he being, of course, a very disinterested. man, immediately heard it even from London, and "accepted it." What the Doctor assigned as his motives for leaving his 'dear people' at Rotherham, I know not; but undoubtedly there was the usual cant of a "desire to be employed in a greater sphere of usefulness" of " trust, that the Lord had called him' to labour in another part of his vineyard," and other such 66 good words and fair speeches," to 'deceive the hearts of the simple.' It has often been a matter of surprise to me, that people should be so easily gulled and cheated by these "deceivers," for their pretences are so extremely flimsy, that it might be supposed any person would immediately see through them. In this instance the Doctor had a " Call" to go to London, and, of course, another from his people at Rotherham, to stay with them. Now, the souls of the people at Rotherham were of equal value to those at London, and as there were in London already several Ministers whom the Doctor would ac


knowledge to be quite as holy, pious, and devoted as himself, the people at Rotherham were likely to be in much greater danger for want of his disinterested services, than those in London. And besides, if this disinterested Doctor felt desirous of making himself more useful in "the Cause," why did he not go to some one of the very numerous places which are entirely destitute of what he calls the Gospel, he would then have had abundant opportunity for the display of his holy zeal and devotedness? The Holy and Blessed Spirit called St. Paul to preach amongst the Heathen, and those destitute of the Gospel, without the prospect of a higher salary, or of any salary at all, and the blessed Apostle cheerfully obeyed. But according to the cant of this disinterested Doctor, and his disinterested coadjutors, the Holy Spirit is far more favourable to them, always calling them to higher salaries. It certainly seems rather remarkable, that they should never be called to less salaries, at least if they be, they always take care never to hear, for I never knew one in my life to leave a greater for a less salary, There are, generally, two "Calls," one richer than the other, as in the case of Doctor Bennett; he had a five hundred pound "Call" from London, and a three hundred pound "Call" at Rotherham, the one considerably louder than the other, and as "weak" Calls and "weak consciences" are so widely different, it is not very difficult to divine which the Doctor heard, the weakest always goes to the wall, and so it was with the Rotherham "Call." The Doctor listened to the five hundred pound " Call," satisfied his "tender conscience" that he heard it very distinctly; and soon after went to London, leaving the good easy folks at Rotherham perfectly satisfied, no doubt, as to the disinterestedness of his motives and movement. Thus do such men, "speaking lies in hypocrisy," serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly."

" 66


The engineer of one of the Yorkshire manufactories for making Dissenting Preachers, to supply the country shops in the neighbourhood, attempted a few years ago, by craft, and even bribery, to root a respected old Minister out of his Meeting-house, in order to foist in a lad, whom he had been manufacturing into a pulpit fop," but he could not succeed by direct and honest means. He, therefore, knowing that if he could not find a market for his traffic, that part of his trade must fail, in connexion with some of his comrades, hired the theatre, and opened a shop in opposition to the whiteheaded old man, who had been the Teacher at the place nearly, if not quite, thirty years; and thus the pious engineer, by sowing the seeds of division and discord amongst the old man's hearers, accomplished his holy purposes. The rent of the theatre went, of course, to the support of the "theatrical

« PreviousContinue »