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the

interest," which caused some of the "Brethren" to whisper that
it was doing evil that good might come. Had Dr. Bennett,
the pious and loyal Dr. Bennett, any hand in this dirty piece of
business? Does he recollect whether Barnsley, in the neigh-
bourhood of Rotherham, is the town where this accomplished
trick was transacted! This Mr. Bennett, D.D. is a trans-atlan-
tic Doctor, and the worthy coadjutor of Mr. Cox, L.L.D. in the
Secretaryship of the infamous Ecclesiastical Knowledge Society.
And they are truly a 66
par nobile (mobile?) fratrum.”

No. IX.

[Page 43. "How many thousands” μugiades Acts xxi. 20.] I added what is here said in reference to this text, and the argument founded upon it, at the request of a friend. Not that I did not consider the argument legitimate and good, for of this I have not a doubt; but because as there were strangers at Jerusalem at that time, it is not possible to say whether any of them were or were not included in the number signified by "how many thousands," or tens of thousands, and because I considered my point fully established without it, and my argu. ments fairly unanswerable.

REAL POSITION OF DISSENT.

The following, from "the Standard," contains much usefuk information concerning the relative numbers of Churchmen and Dissenters:

"Our contemporary (The Morning Chronicle) asserted that, in the manufacturing districts, the proportion of Dissenters to Churchmen was four, or at least three to one; and that we replied that the proportion of Dissenters to Churchmen in the district alluded to was not even a proportion of equality, the Churchmen being a majority. It is one of the difficulties against which we have to struggle, that many of the best friends of the Religious and Political Institutions of England have their understandings so completely sophisticated by the everlasting reiteration of falsehood from the ranks of the enemy, that they are unable, almost unwilling, to believe the truth, except upon the very strongest, indeed, upon irresistible evidence. Such evidence, however, we are happily this day able to offer. It will not be denied, that the County of Lancaster constitutes the most exclusively manufacturing district in the kingdom; if, therefore, we are able to prove, upon indisputable testimony, that the proportion of Dissenters to Churchmen in Lancashire is nothing like equal, we presume that we shall be allowed to have redeemed our pledge. We have before us a return, ordered by the House of Commons to be printed, on the 8th of July, 1830. This return is entitled as follows:-" Churches and Chapels-Return of the Number of Parish Churches and Chapels, and Chapels of Ease, of the Church of England, and of the Number of Places of Worship, not of the Church of England, so far as regards the County of

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Lancaster."-The return, we must observe, is incomplete as regards locality-no information having been obtained from parts of the Hundreds of Lonsdale, Salford, and West Derby, severally; the population of these parts, according to the tables of 1831 (the tables used throughout,) amounting to 98,889. The great manufacturing towns, however, of Manchester, Oldham, Bolton, Salford, Preston, and the great commercial town of Liverpool, are all included in the district from which complete information has been obtained. We therefore, are entitled to reject the unreported district, and its 98,889 from calculation on both sides; the reported portion of the county, and its population of 953,978, are to form the subject of our inquiry. The return, as respects Dissenters, specifies the number of Places of Worship of the several classes of Non-conforming Religionists, and the number of each Sect attached to each Place of Worship, in the following order :

BAPTISTS.-Chapels, 60; Members of Sect, 9,248.
CALVINISTS.-Chapels, 23; Members of Sect, 7,569.

ROMAN CATHOLICS.-Chapels, 83; Members of Sect, 144,244..
INDEPENDENTS.-Chapels, 81; Members of Sect, 24,299.
METHODISTS.-Chapels, 264; Members of Sect, 55,083.
PRESPYTERIANS.-Chapels, 13; Members of Sect, 3,954.
QUAKERS.-Chapels, 20; Members of Sect, 1,969.
UNITARIANS.-Chapels, 28; Members of Sect, 5,099.

This

ALL OTHER NON-CONFORMING RELIGIONISTS, INCLUDING MORAVIANS, SWEDENBORGHIANS, BIBLE CHRISTIANS, JOHANNITES, JEWS, &c.-Chapels, 18; Members of Sects, 3,946.--Total Chapels, 590; Members of Sects, 255,411. This, be it remembered, is the return of the Dissenters themselves, who, if they have had any interest in falsifying it, have certainly been interested in falsifying it on the side of excess. is the proportion of Non-conforming Religionists in the most exclusively manufacturing district in England-255,411 out of a population of 953,978, nearer one-fourth than one-third of the whole.-The Morning Chronicle may deny the claim of the Church to some of the remaining 700,000, to use round numbers; but it cannot be pretended that two-thirds of this number consist of persons absolutely without any religion; and if even our Contemporary contends for 400,000 Atheists in Lancashire, that is, for almost half the population of the county, as "living without God in the world," still the Churchmen will be found to exceed the Dissenters in a very great proportion.. We might here close our reply; but this return is fraught with much valuable information, no part of which we can permit to

390

REAL POSITION OF DISSENT.

be lost. The number of Roman Catholics, in proportion to the aggregate of Non-conformists, will surprise most of our readers unacquainted with the state of Lancashire. In Liverpool, Manchester, and all the other great towns of that county, however, nearly the whole of the out-door labour is executed by Irish emigrants. Mr. Cobbett was so struck with this, that he gave to Liverpool the name of "Little Dublin." It is known, however, to all, that this great proportion of Irish does not prevail in the other parts of the kingdom. In settling, therefore, the ratio between Churchmen and Dissenters for the kingdom, we must exclude the Roman Catholics on both sides. Rejecting this class of Religionists from the Lancashire return, how will the account stand

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The Protestant Dissenters in Lancashire, then-in Lancashire the most extensively manufacturing county in the kingdom-are not one in six of the whole Protestant population. Figures cannot lie, and there is the calculation. But we have more yet to deduct from the political Dissenting faction-we have to reduce the number of that faction by the whole body of Methodists-a body which is not hostile to the Church. The return tells us that the Methodists make up 55,083 of the aggregate of Non-conformists; as nearly as may be, one-half of the whole amount of Protestant Dissenters in the return. The whole amount of the anti-Church Dissenting faction in the Lancashire return is, therefore, but 56,804, that is, in the proportion of one-twelfth of the whole Protestant population reported. What will the Morning Chronicle say to this? We shall not be silenced by any exclamations of "ridiculous," "absurd," " contrary to common sense," "opposed to every man's experience," &c. &c. Such phrases as 66 ridiculous," "absurd," &c. mean just nothing; and "common sense" and 46 experience" will, upon a little reflection, satisfy every one that twelve men, active and ambitious, organized and well compacted, and pursuing that one object, can easily, as far as hearing and report are concerned, impose themselves for a majority of 144, provided they are so far unscrupulous as to attempt the fraud, and the remaining 132 so honest and so listless

as neither to imitate nor resist it. But we have not yet done with our return. It will be remembered that we stated 250, or thereabout, as a fair average for the Congregation of each Protestant Dissenting Chapel. Let us apply the information of the return to this point. The whole number of Chapels reported is 590; from this we are to deduct 83 Roman Catholic Chapels, leaving a balance of 507 Chapels to accommodate 111,167 Protestant Dissenters. Now 111,167, divided by 507, give a quotient of 219,-a great deal less than 250. Again we ask, what will the Morning Chronicle say to this? So far from our average being "ridiculously small," it is chargeable with gross excess-an excess of 16 or 17 per cent. above the truth, applying the average collected from the reports of the most exclusively manufacturing county in the kingdom. Applying the average to the 8,000 Chapels stated, we find the whole number of Protestant Dissenters in the kingdom, very improperly including the Methodists, to amount to but 1,752,000, or, curiously and instructively enough, not materially differing from the proportion of one-sixth of the whole Protestant population, the very ratio at which we have arrived by a totally different process of calculation.-The Morning Chronicle yesterday, upon the authority of the Congregational Magazine, rated the average Congregation of the Established Churches at 400, as far as London is concerned-about one-fourth of the truth, but no matter. Admit, for example, that the Westminster Churches average no higher Congregation than 400; the Westminster Meeting-houses cannot pretend to a higher average than the Meeting-houses of Manchester, Liverpool, Salford, Bolton, Oldham, &c. viz. 219. There are 30 Churches in Westminster, and 17 Meeting-houses: 30 multiplied by 400 give us 12,000-17 multiplied by 219 give us 3,723-this, upon the statement of the Dissenters themselves, being the proportion in Westminster. But we need scarcely repeat, that 400 is nothing like the half of the average attendance in the Westminster Churches; the proportion of Churchmen to Dissenters, in Westminster, would, we firmly believe, be truly stated at 10 to 1. We have made these calculations with the utmost care, with the most vigilant jealousy, and we confess that the result has both surprised and gratified us; we are consequently prepared to expect that it will astonish as well as delight very many of our readers, particularly such of them as happen to live in peculiarly Dissenting neighbourhoods. But, litera scripta manet, the return remains in the records of Parliament-the return has been furnished by Dissenters themselves-the evidence is incontestible. It may be imprudent to underrate the force of an opponent; but even that

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