« PreviousContinue »
the elders of Israel, characterizes the Deity as "the Rock, whose work is perfect, whose ways are judgment, as a God of truth, and without iniquity, as the Father that had bought them, made them and established them." And had all these sentiments no reference to futurity?
When Moses died, it is said "the Lord buried him, and no man knew of his sepulchre:" this, to a believing Israelite, must have conveyed a peculiar and encouraging idea. As we proceed, we meet with numerous allusions and references to something greater and better than mere earthly felicity. In the prophecies, the Deity is represented as loving his people "with an everlasting love," far exceeding the love of parents to their infant offspring! A kingdom is described, where the work of righteousness shall be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance for ever;" and Daniel saw a vision, similar to that of John, where "the Ancient of Days did sit, the judgment was set, and the books were opened;" and he prophesied, that hereafter some shall arise to everlasting life, and some to shame and lasting contempt; and they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firma ment, and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars for ever
and ever" !
(To be continued.)
Account of the Establishment of Presbyterianism in Manchester. No. III.
tween Mr. Benson and the Elders, at Chollerton. See the 13th Meeting; concerning which the following is the decision of the Classis :
"James Chorlton acknowledged that he had wronged Mr. Benson, and that he was sorry for it. This he was ordered to do by the Classis.
"The 17th Meeting at Manchester, March 8o, 1647.
(Elder at Flixton) brought in a charge against Mr. Woolmer, minister there, for clandestine marriages.
"4. Henry Gregory and Richard Rogers
"Mr. Woolmer to bee summoned to
the next Meeting. The said H. Gregory and R. Rogers to have warrant for witnesses.
"5. Summons to be given to James Chorlton, Elder at Chollerton, to shew cause why he doth not act as an Elder.
"6. John Barlow, Elder at Chorlton, desired to give notice to Mr. Clayton, minister of Didsbury, to shew cause at the next Meeting, why he proceedeth not to election of Elders.
"The 18th Meeting at Manchester, April 50, 1648.
4. Mr. Angier desired to joyne with Mr. Clayton to move the Elders elect at Didsbury to come and undertake the worke, and to return answer thereof at the next Meeting.
"8. James Chorlton being called to shew cause why he doth not execute his office of Elder, alledged, that they have never sitten as an Eldershipp, that he is unfit, desires to be freed from his office.
The businesse differ'd till the next Classis, till Mr. Benson be acquainted therewith.
"10. Mr. Constantine being desired to shew cause, why the government is not settled with them, answered, That the Classis gave liberty to deferr it. Mr. Angier and Mr. Harison are desired to
(For Nos. I. and II., see Vol. XVI. pp. take cognizance of the causes, and repre
387 and 528.)
"The 19th Meeting at Manchester, May 30, 1648.
16. Ouldham Congregation desire that they might not bee pressed to set up the government at present, because of some obstructions, (though they be willinge and desireouse of it,) but they hope those obstructions will shortly be removed; and they have tyme given till the next Classe, to see if those obstructions bee then removed.
"The 20th Meeting at Manchester, June 14th, 1648.
"3. It was ordered that the businesse concerninge the Congregation of Ouldham shall be called upon the next Classe.
"4. Mr. Anthonie Allen desired Or
dination, brought certificate of his abilitie and good life and conversation, hee sheweth a request and desire from manie of the people at Oulton in Lincolneshire, that hee might bee their minister, it is enjoyned unto him to bringe a certificate to the next Classis that the saide place is without a minister, and that he hath the consent of the patron.
"A letter is to be written to the members of the congregation at Oulton to give them notice what is requested of us by Mr. Allen, and to desire of them sa tisfaction that no other minister hath right unto, or is in the place; and that Mr. Allen hath the consent of the Pa
"6. Mr. Walton came to the Classis and shewed his dismission from the congregation of Horwich, and a dismission from the congregation of Boulton, and Samuel Tayler (one of the Members at Blakeley) witnesseth hee had the assent and desire of the people at Blakeley to be their Minister; it was ordered, more of the congregation should come to the next Classis to give satisfaction thereof.
"The 21st Meeting at Manchester, July 120, 1648.
"2. Mr. Walton manifested the desire of the congregation at Blakely to have him to bee theire Minister, by a further testimonie of Josephe Costerdine, Lawrence Walworke, Thomas Clough, John Travis and William Cheetham, who affirmed they were sent by the Congregation there to testifie there assent as aforesaid.
"3. It is thought fitt, that Mr. Walton proceede according to ordinance of Parliament to make a preparatory Sermon, and so to proceede to election of Elders in his the said congregation with what convenient speede hee cann,
"4. The businesse that concerneth Ouldham is continued, and ordered to be called upon the next Classis.
"7. Mr. Angier, Mr. Clayton and William Boothe are still desired to deale with those elected Elders at Didsburie to accept there office before the next Classis."
Two or three similar minutes of former Meetings relative to the appointment of Elders at Didsbury, have not been transcribed.
"8. Mr. Hollinworth gave account of Mr. Harrison's and his journey to Preston by the appointment of the Classis, viz., "First, that there was an appearance from each Classis.
"Secondly, that all those that appeared did agree that they may acte provincially, and appointe tyme, and place and delegates for the provinciall assem
blie upon the late ordinance of Parlia ment.
"Thirdly, that the first provinciall meetinge to bee the eight of August next, in the Church at Preston, and Mr. Ambrose to preach the same day at ten of the clocke.
"Fourthly, that three Ministers and six ruleing Elders shall be delegated to the provincial assemblie from everie Classis, and have letters of credence from the moderator of the said Classis under his hand.
"10. It was this day agreed in the Classis, that every Minister in this Classis should in there several congregations give notice of the Provinciall Assemblie, August the eight, and shall instructe there people touchinge the nature, use and benefitt thereof. And desire there congregations jointly and earnestly to pray to the Lord for his blessinge upon that meetinge the next nationall Fast-day.
"The 22d Meeting at Manchester, August 1o, 1648.
4. Delegates appointed by the first Classis within the province of the Coun tie of Lancaster, for the Provinciall Assemblie at Preston, the eight of August, 1648.
"5. Ministers, Mr. John Angier, Mr. John Harrison, Mr Richard Hollinworth.
"Elders, Peter Egerton, Robert Hyde, Richard Haworth, Esqrs.; Robert Ashton, Peter Sergeant, Edward Johnson, Gents., Ruleinge Elders.
"6. The unwillingenes of those chosen Elders for Didsburie to undergoe there office, was certified by a note under there hands, delivered in by William Boothe.
"7. Certaine things were reade and approved to bee propounded to the Provinciall Assemblie, and submitted there unto by the Delegates assigned by this Classis, and the moderator is to subscribe the same.
"The 23d Meetinge at Manchester, September 5o, 1648.
"5. It was reported from the Provinciall Meetinge at Preston, that exception was taken, for that all the Elders delegated from this Classis did not appeare. It was for there excuse declared, that they
and that the necessitie of the affaires of were of the Comittee for this countie; the countie would not, in regarde of the present dangers, permit there then ap pearinge at that tyme.
"9. Samuel Pendleton chosen an Elder for Blakely Chappell came to be examined, was examined and approved for his knowledge.
"The 24th Meetinge at Manchester, September 29o, 1648.
"4. There was a petition brought in and attest by foure men from Ouldham
"The 25th Meetinge at Manchester, the 7th October, 1648.
"2. There came some of the congregation of Rostourne, and declared that they were desireouse to have Mr. Martindale to be there Minister at Rostourne aforesaid, and hee with them desired Ordination from this Classis; they tendered a certificate to manifest his call to that place under the hands of above 268 of the said congregation. Hee delivered in a certificate of his age, that hee was 25 years of age; and hee brought like wise a certificate that hee had taken the nationall covenant. Hee was admitted to examination to the end the Classis might receive satisfaction of his fitnes for the Ministrie, and so might certifie the same to the Comittee above, to the end his civil right may be cleared to Rostorne aforesaid; hee was approved so far as he was proceeded with in his examination.
"6. Mr. Anthonie Allen came to the Classis, and brought a presentation from the patron at Oulton, and satisfyed the Classis of the vacancie of the place at Oulton; hee is admitted to examination, and approved so farr as hee was proceed ed with in examination.
"7. Mr. Joseph Kellett came out of Notinghamshire to desire ordination; hee brought certificate of his call to Hauton, neare Newarke, affirmed he was Batchloure in Arts, brought testimonie of his good life and conversation and fittnes for the Ministrie, was admitted to examination, and approved soe far as was proceeded with in his examination.
"8. Mr. Thomas Fowler came out of the countie of Derbie," &c. same as last minute, mutatis mutandis.
"The question given to Mr. Kellett, -An sint distincti ordines Presbiteron. Afirm.
"The question given to Mr. Fowler, -An Presbiteri sint ejusdem ordinis. Affirm.
"The question given to Mr. Martindale, An liceat mere privato in ecclesia constituta publice concionare. Neg.
"The question given to Mr. Alleu,An gratia salutifera possit amitti. Neg.
9. Those of the congregation of Ouldham that had petitioned against the election of Elders at Ouldham, were appointed to bring in there exceptions, if they have any more than are in there petition, the next Classis.
"40. There is noe cause shewed by anie of the congregation of Prestwich to hinder Mr. Furuess his dismission from that place.
"il. This day there was a petition preferred to this Classis from manie of the parishioners of Prestwich, takeing notice of Mr. Furnesse intention to remove from thence; and desireing no Minister may be placed there without the consent of the major part of the parishioners.
"It was agreed to give them answeare, that the Classis hath taken there petition into consideration, and will give them due and meete satisfaction accordinge to there desire.
"The 26th Meetinge at Manchester, the 210 November, 1648.
"2. There appeared divers of the parishoners of Rostorne delivered a writeinge unto which there names were subscribed, and by such as were there present attested, and subscribed by a publicke notarie, as they said, who was present and attested it, wherein they objected against Mr. Martindale's ordination.
"3. It was resolved not to proceeed to ordaine the said Mr. Martindale to Rostorne, till the tytle he had to the place was cleared.
"4. Mr. Anthonie Allen, Mr. Josephe Kellett, Mr. Thomas Fowler, did all bringe in there thesis, and disputed, and were approved, and resolved to proceede to ordayne them.
"The 27th Meetinge at Manchester, 19th December, 1648.
"4. The parishioners of Ouldham were appointed to produce witnesses to prove theire exceptions against the election of Elders at Ouldham the next Classis."
N. B. A similar minute is registered under the next Meetinge.
"The 28th Meetinge at Manchester, 6th Januarie, 1648.
"6. Evann Clarke, by generall consent of the Classis, is appointed, pro tempore, for their Register. And Mr. Hollinworth entreated to overlooke and to have an eye upon him,
"Mr. Birch, schoolmaster, at Prestwich, is by the Elders thereof to be appointed to appeare at the next Classical
Meetinge at Manchester, for baptiseinge children, and for makeinge clandestine marriages.
"The 29th Meetiuge at Manchester, February 13, 1648.
"None of the Elders of Flixton appeared."
This minute is entered in the Regis ter of several former Meetings.
"2. There appeared severall other Eldershipps to the number appointed for a Classe.
"3. The generalitie of the people of Newton did appeare before this Classe, and there did declare theire willingnes to have Mr. John Walker to bee there Minister.
"4. Mr. John Walker appointed to preach the next Classicall Meetinge, at Manchester, being the 13th of March next. "5. Mr. Dury hath beene examined in Logicke, Phisicks, Ethicks, Metaphisicks, Greeke and Hebrae.
"8. Mr. Birch, schoolmaster, at Prestwich is once more to be advertised by the Elders there, to appeare before this Classe for baptiseinge children privately without order, and to appeare upon Tuesday the 13th of March next.
9. It is ordered, that the Elders elected for Ouldham come in the next Classe to bee examined in point of knowledge, and that the said Elders elected have notice of it publickely in the said congregation.
The 30th Meetinge at Manchester,
March 13th, 1648.
"2. This Classe have rendred thanks
to Mr. John Walker for his paines in preacheinge before the said Classe.
"4. Agreed that the exhortation from the Provincial Assemblie be reade in everie congregation within this Classis the next Lord's Day, beinge the 18th of March instant.
7. A warrant to bee drawne up to bringe in the witnesses to testifie what they can against Mr. Birch, schoolmaster, at Prestwich, for private baptizeinge of children, and makeinge clandestine marriages.
8. Agreed that there bee a solemne day of humiliation to be kept at Manchester, upon the grounds and reasons in a petition presented to us by some of the well-affected in Manchester.
"At the first Classe within the province of the Countie of Lancaster, April 10th, 1649. "A copie of a warrant for Mr. Birch, schoolmaster, at Prestwich.
"Forasmuch as Mr. Birch, schoolemaister, at Prestwich, beinge not apby
of anie part of the Ministeriall function within these bounds, hath beene heretofore admonished for baptizeinge of children, and hath contemned theire order; whose offence herein is furth aggravated by his baptiseing in private contrarie to the directorie, and hath been proved before them by oath; and haveinge alsoe beene divers tymes sumoned to appeare before this Classe, has refused to make due appeareance, these are therefore publicklie to give notice to your conegation at Prestwich, that the said Mr. is prohibited by this Classe to baptize anc children either publickly or privately, or to exercise anie other parte of the Ministeriall function. And these are further to give notice to the said Mr. Birch, to appcare before this Classe at theire next Meeteinge at Manchester, the 8th day of May, or otherwise they must proceede to the further censure of him for his severall contempts, and makeinge clandestine marriages, whereof there are complaints made unto us."
Your readers will perceive that the change of the date of the year in the Register is made in April.
In my selections from the Register, though many items, by no means devoid of interest, have been necessarily omitted, to the best of my judgment I have given the preference to those which appeared most generally interesting. Perhaps I may be thought to give too much rather than too little or more probably in this, as in almost every thing else, different tastes will decide differently. I shall be guided by any hint which you, Mr. Editor, may deem necessary.
My next communication I intend to contain the Resolutions of the "Provinciall Syrod at Preston," being in number forty-three.
Number for October, 1820, Vol. XV. pp. 606-609, has been made the pretext for a very heavy charge against the Monthly Repository. It is preferred by a Constant Reader and Occasional Contributor to the Christian Observer, in the Number for November, 1821, Vol. XX. p. 690, under the signature of T. P. His letter is without date, but says, were the month to pass away without bringing to my door its Number of the Christian Observer, I should feel as though that month had lost a day of sunshine." He adds, "It happened, not long since, that my favourite pamphlet found its way to me in company with a number of the Monthly Repository. I am no reader of the latter production; but my bookseller observing in it some private letters, from a family to which I am related, now residing in the Illinois State, North America, sent it for my perusal."
T. P. describes himself, moreover, as "residing in a small town at a great distance from the metropolis." He is of opinion the said letters should not have been published without the permission of the writers. Adding, "This liberty, however, if not justifiable, loses its fainter hue of enormity, when compared with the attacks on public opinion, for which the Monthly Repository is so justly celebrated" As he is "no reader of this work, though his censure is intended to convey no slight hue of enormity, it seems as if T. P. judged it not from examination, but from report. He should have been more careful to avoid even the appearance of "defamation and detraction," against which the Society of Friends, of which I suppose he is a member, give salutary cautions, and profess to bear a religious testimony. He should also have considered, that an attack on public opinion," may be sometimes not only innocent, but useful and commendable. The writers of the New Testament attacked it boldly and with great effect, as faithful witnesses and servants of their Lord and Master.
T. P. does not think he is "wholly ignorant of the channel through which those letters found their way to publication," or of "one of the motives for printing them;" viz. " to catch the little, quiet, undisputing brother
hood, called Quakers-in the comprehensive fraternal embrace" of the Unitarians. This, he thinks, has of late "been a favourite design with them. And as those letters from the Illinois were written in the style and language" of the Quakers, he says, "it would seem to the undiscerning public to corroborate this claim to association."
Yet I think the public are not so blind as this attack of T. P. supposes, for not one word do those letters contain respecting Unitarians, or any of their distinguishing doctrines. "This error, however," adds he," can only operate on minds totally unacquainted with the opinions, feelings and worship of the Quakers." It should, therefore, seem, if his object was to correct the error into which the style of his relatives had led your readers, that he should have addressed you on the subject, not the Editor of the Christian Observer. His next sentence may, however, explain why he did not, though he fancies you have fewer readers among Friends than the latter work, and being otherwise curious, I shall give it entire. He says, "As this people have found their happiness materially guarded, by avoiding, as much as possible, all dis putes on theological questions, I am not going to drag them into the arena of controversy. But I cannot apprehend any danger, from throwing into the pages of the Christian Observer (for no periodical work is so much read, or so well received by them) a passage I have lately met with, which I think explains their feelings on certain points of difficulty, in a manner that places them at an immense dis→ tance from the hardy Unitarian ;” a character as little alarmed at controversy, as any he could have mentioned, because it is not apt to build on the sand of human invention, but " on that foundation which cannot be moved."
The document T. P. quotes for the above purpose, is not from Penn's
Sandy Foundation Shaken," or any other approved work of the early Friends, but from "Dr. Waterland's controversy with Dr. Clarke," as cited "in a letter from Edward Nares to Francis Stone," two entire strangers to me. This quotation informs us,