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cannot, or who, till they are brought to a greatly improved state of character, will not go to church, from a want of the decent attire in which they may appear in our congregations. And there are those whom the habit of remaining at home on Sunday, has not only reconciled to the practice, but with whom the indulgences of Sunday, even more than of any other day of the week, are at war with all Christian associations with the day, and with all Christian employments on it. There are even those among us, with whom Sunday is, beyond comparison, the worst day of the week—the day of most outrageous offence against the laws both of God and man. For these, and for others that might be named, a ministry is required, by which our religion shall be carried from house to house; by which these classes of our poor shall have the Gospel preached, in the only way in which it can possibly be preached to them, as individuals, or as families, and in their homes; by which its light can be carried into the darkest places, and into the darkest hearts; by which its consolations and its encouragements may be extended to those who are most in need of them, and who cannot otherwise have them. I have no language in wbich to express the gratitude I feel, that when I was obliged to relinquish a pulpit, the labours of which I had not strength to perform, it pleased God to bring me into a service here, to the claims and interests of which, had I understood them thirty years ago, I would most gladly, and in preference to all other services, have consecrated the beginning of my energies, and the whole of my days."
« These claims, I am happy to know, are now widely felt, and distinctly acknowledged among us. A better evidence of the favourable state of public sentiment on this subject could not have been given, than the appointment which has recently been made by the Church Missionary Society, of a second minister at large for our city.
“My ministry, during the past year, has been confined to about three hundred and fifty families. I have, however, since I have been in this service—that is, during the last thirty months-been connected, I suppose, in a greater or less degree, with about five hundred families. In these families there are those, who, a year or two years ago, were living in the debasement and wretchedness of confirmed intemperance, and are now temperate, industrious, respected, and happy. And if I looked to these alone,
small as is their number, as the compensations of my ministry, they would abundantly repay me for my labours."
“I am happy to be able to inform you, that we have now four ministers at large, or four ministers for the poor. Mr. Conant is acting in this capacity, under the patronage of the Baptist denomination; Mr. Eaton, under that of the Church Missionary Society; and Mr. Shelden is employed in the service, by the Congregational Calvinists."
With one extract or two from the Report of May 1830, we must, though unwillingly, conclude this article:
“ The question, what shall be the character and condition of the poor in a community, or country, depends not more upon themselves, than upon those who belong to the more favoured classes. Their characters are principally formed, and their conditions are determined, by the estimation in which they are held, by the examples which they witness, and by the treatment they receive. It is indeed wonderful, that this very simple truth is not more generally understood.”
“I am aware of the vast amount of poor rates in England and Ireland, and of the millions appropriated for the support of paupers on the continent. But is this a provision which is worthy of the name of charity? Is it not wholly a political expedient? Is there any moral principle that is even concerned in it? Might not the same measures be extended indefinitely, and the main in no degree improved in condition, or character? Why have so many of those whom God has favoured with abundance, been so slow to learn that this class of our fellow-beings have a nature precisely like our own; and that, if they are to be advanced—if they are to be saved from moral evil, and made good and happy, it must be by means similar to those, by which those in more favoured conditions are to be made good and happy? Are they not children of the same Father, and members of the same family, with ourselves? Have they not the same natural rights, and natural wants? And are not their souls as precious in the sight of God as ours?”
“Let the poor, then, be the objects of an active and a Christian interest among us. They need it for themselves. They need it for their children. They must be brought into a connection, into which they have yet been very partially brougbt, with those whom they consider as above them. And they must be assisted, and encouraged in
poor still revirtue, by examples of virtue which they will feel it to be their honour and happiness to imitate. I know of no means, by which so much may be done for the poor, to redeem them from evil, to improve their condition and character, to diminish taxes for their support, and thus to secure property, and life, and the greatest amount of happiness in society, as by strengthening and extending Christian sentiments and babits in the more favoured classes by a. closer approximation of the rich, in their feelings, and habits, and manners, to the standard of the Gospel."
“Our Sunday evening service at the chapel has been continued without interruption, and it has been well attended. But from an increased inability to preach, without great consequent prostration of strength, I have been obliged very often to bave recourse to some of my friends, for assistance in this department of my work. I should be glad and grateful, if any plan can be adopted, by which, without unreasonably tasking those who have already enough to do, I may look for permanent relief in this service.
“My visits, during the last six months, have been somewhat more than nineteen hundred, and have been divided
among a few more than four hundred families. It is a matter of regret to me, that I am obliged to visit so many families; because, however capable another may be of an efficient pastoral service among so large a number, I should be very glad never to have more than two hundred and fifty, or at most, three hundred, to visit. With all the facilities I could have for continued effort, I should find, in either of these numbers, even while I had the best health, sufficient occupation for every working hour of every day.”
THE CHRISTIAN PIONEER.
GLASGOW, September 1, 1830.
Unitarian Methodists.—The Annual Meeting of the Methodist Unitarians of Rochdale, Newchurch, Padiham, Todmorden, Rawtonstall, and Oldham, was held at Tod. morden, on Thursday, June 3. The Rev. H. Clark, U.M. conducted the devotional services in the morning, and the Rev. Franklin Howorth of Rochdale, preached from 2 Cor. x. 7. The preacher insisted on the awakening and elevating nature of the truths of Unitarian Christianity,
and the consequent necessity of exalted purity, benevolence, and boliness in the lives of its advocates.
At one o'clock, the friends of the Association dined together. At half-past two o'clock, they adjourned to the chapel. The Rev. J. R. Beard of Manchester was called to the chair. After singing a bymn, the meeting was addressed successively by Messrs. Howorth, White, Ashworth, J. Taylor, Clark, Robinson, F. Duffield, Fielden, and E. Taylor. The speeches were animated and edifying, and seemed to indicate the existence of elements that need but little to bring them into much more vigorous and efficient action than has manifested itself for some years in this district. Mr. John Ashworth, who may justly be styled the patriarch of the district, stated, that but twenty years ago, he did not know a Unitarian in the world; now, within the circuit of a few miles, there are hundreds that embrace our faith. He sometimes wondered, however, that there were not many more, when he considered how simple, how beautiful, and how blessed are the views we entertain of Christian doctrine.
Mr. Robinson of Padibam, stated, that the Congregation and Sunday School were in a gratifying condition, considering the nature of their circumstances. The pulpit was only supplied by bimself and James Pollard, another poor weaver, and occasionally by strangers.* somewbat arduous, after labouring for the small pittance of four shillings during the six days, to stand up in the midst of much uncharitable opposition as the heralds and defenders of gospel truth on the seventh. But they and all their brethren in affliction and poverty, found abundant consolation and joy in the blessedness of that gospel which was originally preached to the poor. Let this fact, proceeding from the lips of men almost reduced to the grave by famine, for ever silence the calumny, that our doctrines are not fitted for the poor. There is a groundrent of £10 per annum, on the Padiham Chapel, which the members, by joining their halfpenny and penny subscriptions, and by the utmost efforts on extraordinary occasions, have paid, whilst they were able among themselves. They at present suffer much anxiety because they
. We are happy to add, that the Lancashire and Cheshire Unitarian Missionary Society has lately sent out the Rev. H. Clark, to Padiham and its vicinity, and that he is now labouring there with zeal, acceptance,
are a few pounds in arrears. It is to be hoped, that the Unitarian public will not allow so worthy a people to be long thus embarrassed, and to feel the malice of some orthodox neighbours, who, in the charity of their system, exultingly exclaim, " your Unitarian Chapel will have to be sold yet."
The evening service was opened by Mr. Duffield. The Rev. J. R. Beard delivered a masterly and excellent discourse, containing a powerful statement of the positive views of the Unitarian, respecting the character of Christ, and the blessedness of his religion, from the words, “ Unto you therefore who believe he is precious," 1 Pet. ii. 7. This, with singing and prayer, closed the services of the day. All seemed to have been edified and delighted; prejudices, we trust, were removed from the minds of many who differ from us in faith; and those who embraced our views, retired to their homes, we have reason to believe, with an increased zeal for the propagation of Unitarian Christianity, and a holy determination to exemplify its heavenly power, by their future practice. F. H.
Kent & Sussex Unitarian Association.—The Anniversary of this Association was held at Cranbrook, in Kent, on Wednesday, July 7th. A numerous and respectable congregation attended public worship, at the General Baptist Chapel in the town. The Rev. W. Stevens of Maidstone, introduced the service by reading the Scriptures. The Rev. E. Talbot of Tenterden, engaged in prayer, after which a most eloquent and highly instructive discourse was delivered by the Rev. E. Tagart of York-Street Chapel, London, from Acts iii. 32, “and they that believed were of one heart and one mind,” in which he forcibly recommended the importance of Associations for the maintenance of the principles of Unitarianism. Any attempt to eulogise the powerful exhortation contained in this address, would fail in doing ample justice to the talent and eloquence displayed on an occasion that will long be remembered with gratitude by a delighted audience. Cordially do we agree with the preacher, in believing, that it may reasonably be hoped, that when the grand principles of the Unitarian faith are exhibited to the world, arrayed in all the dignity of truth and reason, and sanctioned by the powerful voice of Revelation-directing man to confide in the wisdom and goodness of a