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shall supply his place?" whether in the church of God, in the busy spheres of active philanthropy, in the pursuits of literature and science, or in the cheerful intercourse of social life. His mental powers and acquirements were great and various. He was unquestionably an original as well as an energetic thinker, uniformly preferring to choose his own mode of conducting the inquiry, rather than to pursue the track of others; he delighted to investigate every subject of importance which presented itself to his notice.
“But above all his luxury supreme,
And his chief glory was the Gospel theme." A striking proof of this overruling preference, and of his benevolent activity of mind, was very recently afforded by his lectures to the Mechanics' Institute of Norwich, on the “ Harmony of Natural and Revealed Religion.” In public he was an attractive and impressive speaker, commanding attention by his very aspect and presence, and secure of retaining and rewarding it by the variety and liveliness, as well as by the dignity and force of his observations. His conversation was remarkable, both for the force of argument and the sparkle of pleasantry. But if ever aware that, in the warmth of debate, his argument had fallen too heavily, or his repartee too keenly, on the feelings of others, no one more truly regretted it than himself: for he added in no common degree to the graces of a superior and a cultivated understanding, the immeasurably more valuable attractions of a kind and affectionate heart. By those who knew him best he was most beloved, and by the whole circle of his acquaintance his removal will be deeply lamented, and his memory long revered.
On Friday, January 20th, at Ruell House, Brighton, Mrs. TURNBULL, the beloved wife of the Rev. Joseph Turnbull, B.A., in the 51st year of her age. This painful bereavement, which has left a numerous family without a mother, was ocasioned by Influenza, which rendered the lamented sufferer unconscious of her circumstances for many hours before her death. Although her family were thus deprived of the testimony of her confidence in the merits of her Saviour in her dying hour, yet they knew too well her constant devotion, her daily prayer, and diligent attention to the word of God-her holy conversation, and her fervent charity, to doubt of the blissful results of her unexpected departure. Unquestionably their irreparable loss is her eternal gain. "Happy is that servant who, when his Lord cometh, is found thus ready.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS, &c. Favours have been received from Drs. Bennett - Shoveller-Payne - and Urwick-Rev. Joseph Wall-J. Jefferson-W. Owen-T. Milner-Wm. Thorn J. East-J. F. Girton-J. Carlile-J. Peggs-Wm. Gear.
Also from Messrs. E. WallisJ. Latham-J. Risdon Bennett, M.D-J. Wick-Josiah Roberts-J. C. Turnbull.
We shall be happy to hear from Pastor on the subject to which he refers, without, however, pledging ourselves to the expediency or practicability of the measure he wishes to advocate.
Just as we are going to press, we have ascertained the agreeable fact, that his Majesty's Ministers are very favourably disposed respecting the entire Abolition of Church Rates, but they must be sustained before Parliament and the country, by the unanimous voice of the dissenting congregations throughout the kingdom, who we earnestly recommend to forward to Parliament petitions without further delay.
The subject of the Regium Donum will be considered in our next. Many of our readers will rejoice to learn that our able correspondent, Mr. Henry Rogers, the author of the Life of Mr. John Howe, &c. has been appointed Professor of the English Language and Literature in the University College, London.
We would suggest to the Rev. J. F. Girton, and any others of our brethren in the ministry, who have not received the circular letter of his Majesty's Commissioners of Registration, to address a letter to their Secretary, informing him of the omission, in the manner prescribed in our last, page 65.
THE ROYAL AND PARLIAMENTARY GRANT TO POOR
The time has now arrived when no consideration of private bene. volence towards our needy brethren, nor of personal respect for the trustees who distribute this bounty of the state, can be allowed any longer to prevent a full, faithful, and candid investigation of a subject, which has unquestionably excited in our churches the greatest dissatisfaction, and will tend, unless speedily adjusted, to a controversy very disreputable to the dissenting communities, and most embarrassing to their friends in parliament.
Four years ago the principal representative bodies of Dissenters in the metropolis recorded their opinions on this question, and recent events have demonstrated that their sentiments are cordially entertained by great masses of the dissenting public in various parts of the empire.
At that time two pamphlets were put forth, one by the trustees conjointly, and the other by one of their number,* supposed to be intimately acquainted with the whole question, in vindication of their acceptance of “ the royal bounty,” and as no reply has been published, those reverend gentlemen may imagine that the dissenting communities generally acknowledge the correctness of their statements and the conclusiveness of their reasonings.
It is not the design of this paper formally to answer these publications, but as many wish that the subject should be brought under the notice of the readers of this Magazine, it is intended to review the “ statements” that have been put forth, to collect the protests
* Brief Statement of the Regium Donum and Parliamentary Grant to Poor Dissenting Ministers. By the Trustees. 8vo. pp. 8.
A Sketch of the History of the Regium Donum and Parliamentary Grant to Poor Dissenting Ministers of England and Wales : with a Vindication of the Distributors and Recipients from the charge of Political Subserviency. By Thomas Rees, 'LL.D. F.S. A. 8vo. pp. 104.
Vol. I. N. S.-Vol. XX.
that have been recorded, and to suggest some expedients by which the poor ministers of Christ amongst us may be relieved without a compromise of those principles for which the Dissenters at the present moment feel it to be their duty to contend.
As Dr. Rees and his colleagues boast of the accuracy with which the accounts of this royal charity have been kept, it is somewhat strange that they do not produce from the records of their predecessors any facts to explain its origin or illustrate its history; but instead of appealing to unpublished records that must be in their possession, which might place the whole subject in a true, if not in a satisfactory light, they have contented themselves with citing historical fragments already before the public. How partially their historian Dr. Rees has made those citations, will appear before we close this article.
THE FIRST ACCOunt of the Regium Donum that was published, appeared in Baldwin's London Magazine for November, 1774, the history of which was given by a writer in the Times Newspaper, who assumed the name of Cephas, Saturday, May 19, 1828.
In January 1773, the learned John Fell, then of Thaxted, published a pamphlet, entitled, “ Genuine Protestantism : or, the Unalienable Rights of Conscience Defended, in opposition to the late and new mode of Subscription proposed by some Dissenting Ministers.” On the last page of this Tract, and immediately below the signature, “ Thaxted in Essex, January 30, 1773.
J. Fell." is the following advertisement :
Soon will be published, Achan's Golden WEDGE: or, Royal Bounty Influence, traced and displayed from March 1723 to the present time, with Seasonable Advice to Lord North, and the Body of Protestant Dissenting Ministers.
Every reader naturally supposed that the forthcoming pamphlet was announced by Mr. Fell, and that it would be a production of his able pen. “ Startling doubts," says Cephas, “ and suspicions arose from the mere title, and confident rumours and expectations arose that it would contain extraordinary disclosures concerning a private government pension to some of their confidential leaders. A general and loud demand for the tract was only answered by its non-appearance, without the least explanation. Fell was next publicly called on in the London Evening Post for the promised pamphlet, and an answer on his part, disclaiming all acquaintance with Achan's Golden Wedge, threw the onus of the advertisementon Dilly, his publisher, who had subjoined it to Fell's Tract without his leave or knowledge. Dilly, a thriving and wary tradesman, who, as publisher in chief to the ministers of “the three denominations,” kept an open table for them, became embarrassed by frowns and remonstrances from some of his principal patrons, and by incessant claims upon him for the Wedge from a multitude of the weak brethren; and, with bitter regret that he had allowed himself to be the means of imprudently communicating to the dissenters at large that Achan's Golden Wedge was in the camp of their ministers, he finally refused the publication of 'the accursed thing.' It appeared, however, that the proprietor of a popular monthly miscellany, as anxious for the diffusion of useful knowledge' then, as his son and successor is now, proffered the use of his columns to the author of the pamphlet rejected by Dilly, and the account of Achan's Golden Wedge appeared in Baldwin's London Magazine for November, 1774.”
We have not been able to see this article in its original state in the pages of The London Magazine, but Dr. Rees says that " it was reprinted nearly verbatim," in 1792, under the title of “ An Address to Protestant Dissenters, on the origin and influence of the Regium Donum.” 12mo. p. 34.
This tract is in our possession, and as the account it gives is very imperfectly quoted by Dr. Rees, we insert it entire, excepting the introductory and closing paragraphs.
“ The origin of the Regium Donum was in April, 1723.-Fatal æra ! for then protestant dissenting ministers first became state pensioners, and ministerial tools. At that time the dissenters expected, what for years before they had justly merited of the Brunswick line,
-a complete restoration of all their natural rights and religious privileges. They had often reason to complain of bishops and statesmen for violating their agreements and promises, in former reigns; but under George the wise and steady, they depended on obtaining the repeal of every statute which infringed the right of private judgment, violated the liberty of conscience, and made odious distinctions betweeen one good subject and another.
" Sir Robert Walpole was then chancellor of the exchequer, a statesman, who knew too well, for the real interests of his country, the passions which are most apt to be predominant in the heart, and whom no man ever equalled in the application of gold. By this he daily converted his enemies into friends, and so charmed even the flaming votaries of liberty, dissenting ministers not excepted, as to reconcile them to corruption, and even to court fetters, and rejoice in them. He had observed, from year to year, the wonderful effects, which the smiles of the treasury-bench had on all ranks of men; and finding that the protestant dissenters, after being years trifled with, were moving in earnest to obtain deliverance from their bondage, he closeted a few of their ministers whom he thought to have the most influence among their brethren, and who would best answer his purposes. In their presence, he wore the mask of friendship and sanctity-he complimented them on their great abilities--assured them he had the heartiest zeal for the protestant dissenters, and their interests—lamented the poverty and small incomes of many of their ministers through the kingdom, and that any laws should hang over their heads. The reverend gentlemen (like their successors of the present day) were soon overpowered with his condescension, eloquence, and goodness.-He then declared his readiness to serve them any way, even in parliament, for the repeal of the cruel statutes against them: but the present year, 1723, was a very improper time
he, the greatest friend they had, would not advise them to apply that session; if they did, it would greatly injure, if not ruin the cause; but the postponing it would greatly promote its success in a
future period. A respectful postponing of it was very likely to obtain its success; whereas, to bring it on, without any regard to circumstances, or contrary to the advice of the best judges, and their most able advocates, might be called rashness, and would do dishonour to the cause. The language of courtiers and their tools is the same from one generation to another.
" To enforce this reasoning, he drew £500 out of the treasury, by a warrant payable to a surgeon, and which was paid by another agent into the hands of nine ministers. The bait was, · Pray receive this for the use and comfort of the widows of dissenting ministers, till administration can more effectually serve your cause. But a strict charge was given with the money, that the matter should be kept very secret. Grateful Sir Robert! to conceal the virtues of his royal master, and not suffer his favourites so much as to speak of this considerable taste of royal bounty, which was also promised to be annual.
“Very soon afterwards, the crafty statesman, finding that this money had produced just the same effects in the conversation of the dissenting clergy, as benefices and bishoprics always had done with respect to many ecclesiastical members of the establishment, he doubled the pension, and ordered that £500, half-yearly, should be paid to those nine ministers, and with larger powers, to be applied to any uses as the distributors should think proper.' The form of the warrant was, and still is, ' without being accountable to his Majesty's exchequer. Accordingly, these royal almoners, alias Regium Donum men, equally divided the sum, and each person disposed of his divdend as he pleased.
“ Thus a minister of state triumphed over many ministers of religion, if not over the whole dissenting interest in the kingdom! Many reverend and religious men now bowed weekly before his golden image! Walpole had but to speak, and they were silent as to rights; or, as hirelings, they executed his orders in city and country, particularly in the election of representatives. Authentic documents can be produced of the Regium Donum men, recommending to their country brethren, as fit representatives, Rank Tories, (but Walpole's creatures) men, who had even voted against the repeal of the Test Act, in opposition to Whig candidates, who had exerted themselves in Parliament to obtain it.
"Some few years after, for their good services to administration, and to enable them to do more, the sum was increased and advanced to £850 half yearly. This is the present value of the treasury warrant; but there are large fees and other deductions.
"As there is no account required of the almoners, so the treasury, knowing their care, diligence, and fidelity, leave them to fill up the vacancies occasioned by death. This makes many of their city brethren to pay them uncommon respect, and bow humbly before them, hoping in time to be nominated, and succeed to the very honourable, if not profitable, post. We have now seen their conduct in 1723- they played the same part in 1732. The Dissenters at that time would have been unanimous in applying for the repeal of the Corporation and Test Acts—the reproach of a Protestant State! Had