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This village contains upwards of 3000 inhabitants, and is the centre of a wide field for village preaching. There has been a small chapel, for many years, in the independent connection; but as it was very inconvenient, the trustees, at the wish of the church and congregation, have built this new place at an expense of upwards of £1400. More than half of this has been already raised, and it is a gratifying fact, that on the day of the opening of the chapel, £100 were collected towards liquidating the debt.
CHAPEL AT ST. LEONARD's, Sussex. This place of worship, which has now been closed for many months, and towards the erection of which many friends of Congregational nonconformity have liberally contributed, will, it is hoped, be soon re-opened for the regular performance of public worship, and the proclamation of the Gospel. It has been deeply involved in debt and difficulties; but the kind efforts of the friends to the diffusion of the Gospel in Sussex will, it is hoped, enable the Ministers of the county to keep it permanently and usefully occupied. A more ample statement of the present circumstances of the above chapel will, we hope, be presented in our next number. In the mean time, it will conduce to the accomplishment of this object, if the friends to it will signify their intentions to afford pecuniary aid, to the Rev. W. Davis, of Hastings; to the Rev. J. Edwards, or the Rev. J. N. Goulty, of Brighton; or Apsley Pellatt, Esq., Blackfriars; or to the Secretary of the Congregational Union, Library, Blomfield Street, London.
NEW CHAPEL, SANDBACH, CHESHIRE. On July 5th, a commodious chapel, with convenient school-rooms, measuring together forty-eight feet by thirty-six, was opened at Sandbach, Cheshire, for the accommodation of the Independent church and congregation under the pastoral care of the Rev. W. Silvester. The Rev. James Hill, of Oxford, preached an excellent Sermon in the morning of the day. The ministers present, and a very pleasing assemblage of Christian friends, from neighbouring churches in Cheshire and Staffordshire, afterwards dined together in the shell of the old chapel, when a number of interesting addresses were delivered, on subjects connected with the delightful occasion which had brought them together. In the evening an appropriate sermon was preached by the Rev. S. Luke, of Chester. The devotional parts of the public services of the day were conducted by the Rev. John Chalmers, of Stafford; the Rev. Job Wilson, of Northwich ; the Rev. R. W. Newland, of Hanley; and the Rev. Jas. Turner, of Knutsford. The Rev. Jas. Hill also preached in the new chapel in the morning and evening of the following Sabbath day. The amount of the collections made after the several services was £56. 178. 9 d. The expense incurred has been considerable,as a convenient burial-ground has been secured in connexion with the new premises; but the subscriptions and contributions of friends to the undertaking, both at Sandbach and other places, have been very liberal and encouraging; and it is presumed that the great esteem in which the pastor and church at Sandbach are held, will operate still so much in their favour, with friends to whom the case has not yet been presented, as to leave them without any oppressive burden remaining.
NEW CONGREGATIONAL CHAPELS IN THE METROPOLIS. Within a few weeks two new chapels have been commenced. The former, at Stoke Newington, to be called Abney Chapel, for the church and congregation under the pastoral care of the Rev. Mr. Jefferson; and the latter, near Sun Street, Spitalfields, to be called Bishopsgate Chapel, for the church and congregation under the Rev. Henry Townley, recently meeting at White Row.
We hope to be able to announce in our next that the Chapel Building Fund Society have commenced their important labours. VOL. I. N. S.
THB OLD MERCHANTS' LECTURE, BROAD STREET. This lecture was established in the year 1672, and conducted by some of the most eminent ministers of the age. For a long course of time it was very pumerously attended; many of the leading merchants and tradesmen of the city regularly devoted a part of Tuesday morning to this instructive and devotional service. Evening lectures were not then prevalent, as they have been in our own times. In consequence of the change of habits in this and in other respects, and the multiplication of religious and benevolent societies, which make a perpetual demand on time and attention, morning lectures have usually failed to attract, in our day, any considerable number of hearers. So observable has this been, that even the lecture delivered at the monthly meeting of ministers and churches had been transferred from the morning to the evening. Unwilling, however, to abandon altogether the Tuesday morning lecture, the ministers engaged in this service have resolved to make it a monthly instead of a weekly lecture, and to deliver discourses on subjects previously arranged and announced in a printed list. The present lecturers are, the Rev. John Clayton, Jun. Dr. Smith, Dr. Fletcher, Dr. Burder, the Rev. George Clayton, and the Rev. Thomas Binney. This arrangement will commence on Tuesday, October the 3d, and be continued on the Tuesday after the first Sabbath in every month. The service will begin at twelve o'clock.
Subject, for Oct. 3d — The imminent danger of deaying the divinity of Jesus Christ. Preacher, J. Clayton.
SETTLEMENTS, REMOVALS, &c. On Thursday, July 27, the Rev. Ebenezer Prout was recognized as the pastor of the Independent church assembling at the Old Meeting-house, Halstead, on which occasion the Rev. A. Wells, Secretary of the Congregational Union, delivered the introductory discourse; the Rev. S. Steer, of Castle Hedingham, asked the usual questions; the Rev. T. Craig, of Bocking, offered the designation prayer; and the Rev. H. March, of Colchester, addressed the pastor and people. In the evening another sermon was preached by the Rev. I. Williams, missionary from the South Sea Islands. The Rev. J. Clements, (Baptist) of Halstead, and the Rev. Messrs. Crisp and Williams, (missionaries) assisted in conducting the devotional parts of the service.
The Rev. Edward Gatley, of New Malton, Yorkshire, has accepted an unanimous invitation from the Independent church and congregation at Lichfield, and intends (D. V.) entering upon his labours next month.
The Rev. William Brewis having resigned the pastoral charge at Gainsbo rough, Lincolnshire, and accepted a unanimous invitation from the church assembling in Ebenezer Chapel, Penrith, Cumberland, entered upon his stated labours there, on the 10th of September last. On the Thursday evening preceding, (Aug. 31st,) at a numerous meeting held in the Boys' School-room, attached to the Independent chapel, Gainsborough, a very elegant silver teapot was presented to Mr. Brewis, having upon it the following motto and inscription.
“ Et decus et pretium recti. “This piece of silver, with a purse of gold, value together forty-five sovereigns, was presented by the church and congregation assembling in Cask-gate Street Chapel, Gainsborough, to their much esteemed Pastor, the Rev. William Brewis, Aug. 31st, A. D. 1837, in token of their high estimate of his talents, and great regard for his character as a minister of the gospel; and as expressive of their entire approbation of his and Mrs. Brewis's exemplary and amiable deportment during a seven years' labour of love' among them."
PERSECUTION OF PIOUS DISSENTERS IN HOLLAND. [Translated from the Archives du Christianisme, Paris, Aug. 12.] For some time past, the Government of the Dutch United Provinces has proceeded to the employment of persecuting measures against the Christians in that country, who have held meetings for religious worship out of the National Church. These have amounted to kinds and degrees of violence, which oblige us to regard them as the most deplorable attacks upon liberty of conscience that we have ever had to relate. The rulers of the land, which was the chief place of refuge from the dragoonings of Louis XIV, seem, after a century and a half, to have borrowed the scheme of the man who revoked the Edict of Nantz, and to be now putting it into practice. Like some other Protestant Governments, they have got into their heads the popish dream of establishing a uniformity of faith, and worship; and this they fancy, that they can attain in Holland, hy quartering soldiers in companies of twenty, thirty, or fifty upon persons, who hold a religious meeting in their houses, or who attend it ; by inflicting fines, for the payment of which the furniture and clothes of the sufferers are sold by auction ; by throwing them into prison; and by allowing the violence of mobs against them to pass without restraint or punishment. To such melancholy proceedings we, indeed, can oppose nothing but our protests and our publication; but we will make the publicity as extensive and as complete as we can. To testify in this manner our christian sympathy in the sufferings of those who descend from the generous men, who, of old, received our fathers, exiled from the soil of France; to arouse the just indignation of all Protestants against a wretched formalism, which muffles itself in the worn-out rags of fanatical intolerance; to awaken PRAYER on behalf of our brethren, upon whon this remorseless war is pouring its fury; and to attempt whatever other measures these serious circumstances may require : this is our duty, and we shall labour to perform it.
The present is no dispute about outward forms and modes. It is, indeed, an adherence to the most distinguishing doctrines of revelation that has aroused this savage opposition. But it is not our wish to raise questions of theological controversy. In a practical application of the principles of religious liberty, the inquiry is not what are the doctrines maintained or denied by those who are the objects of persecution from men in power? It is enough to be informed that, in Holland, persons are imprisoned, are fined, and have soldiers quartered on them, for their religious faith.
On Dec. 18, last, Mr. Smith, of Osterlwode, having had a religious meeting in his house, was, on the same evening, compelled to receive into his house, for four days, a detachment, consisting of an officer, four subalterns, and twenty-six soldiers. Complaint of this intolerable grievance was made to the king, but in vain ! Similar proceedings have been repeated many times.
The dissenting Christians, in Friesland, have already paid in fines 9140 francs, snear £370,) and have further to pay 4900 francs, near £200.] Those of South Holland and Nether Guelderland have paid, in fines and expenses of suit against themselves, 12,597 fr. (£500.] Some are still lying in prison. Yet, notwithstanding these extreme oppressions, the number of the separatist churches, in the seven Dutch Provinces, has increased, so as to be now nearly two hundred
To these general facts we shall add a few particular instances, which we derive from Nos. 6, 7, and 8 of The Reformation, a monthly journal, published at Amsterdam.
On March 26,Mr. G. Pellikaan was apprehended by the armed police, his arms tied with ropes, and dragged to Woudrickem, in South Brabant. On the 28th, Mr. J. Van Ryswyk was treated in the same way. The offence of the former was his having read a sermon and prayed at a private meeting ; that of the second, that the meeting was held in his house. After having been kept some days in the prison at Woudrickem, they were taken to Bois-le-duc, handcuffed and tied together, like criminals. At Bois-le-duc, they were thrown into a prison, full of malefactors. Mr. Van Ryswyk has been set at liberty, having found friends to pay the fines exacted; but his companion is still detained.
Amsterdam, Sunday, April 16.-Towards evening, a mob gathered round the house of one of the members of the church, burst the door open, broke the windows, and shamefully treated his wife, who was near her confinement; and no protection was afforded to this sufferer.
Kesteren, near Rhenen.- In the evening of March 29, a meeting was held at Mr. A. de Weert's. The service was not interrupted, though there was a mob round the house. A remarkable noise was heard on the roof, and soon the entire roof and part of the house were in flames. The persons within had scarcely time to escape, before they saw the house burnt down.
Last Easter, the Rev. Mr. Brummelkamp visited a church near the Prussian frontier. He was entertained by Mr. Haastert, pastor of the Reformed church, at Wertherbruch, within the Prussian territory; who invited him to preach in his church twice. The pious people on the Dutch side, being informed, flocked thither in crowds; and, thanks to the kindness of the foreign clergyman, they enjoyed the preaching of the gospel without molestation or fear.
Herwynen, Sunday, May 21.-The country-police-guard, authorized by the Burgomaster, came to a meeting, held this forenoon, and ordered the persons assembled to separate that instant. Upon a refusal, they threatened to fetch soldiers. It was replied, “ Our weapons are not carnal: we must then yield to force." The threat was speedily realized. The Burgomaster came with five dragoons, who drove all out of the house, not excepting its proprietor, and then attacked them by beating with the flat of their swords, uttering horrid imprecations. These wretched soldiers passed the rest of the sacred day, drinking and rioting in the house. In the afternoon, a meeting was held in another house, and happily without disturbance.
In the province of Over-Yssel, nearly all the soldiers have been withdrawn from the villages. The persecutors now content themselves with suits in the law-courts. In consequence of this greater liberty, the Rev. Mr. Van Raalte, has preached eight times in three weeks, to congregations of usually 1,500 persons.
Amsterdam, Sunday morning, May 28.–At the house of Mr. Hiddes, eighteen persons were assembled. About nine o'clock, a mob gathered, insulted the worshippers, and knocked violently at the door. Two hours after, the windows were broken with stones. Upon the representation of the neighbours, a civil officer came, attended by two police-men. He twice counted the persons in the room; and finding them to be only eighteen, he went out and told the people, who were manifesting mischievous intentions, that the number was within that permitted by law, and that consequently they ought not to be disturbed in their religious exercises. A body of soldiers soon arrived, and was posted in front of the house. From one o'clock to five, no molestation occurred; but in the evening till eleven, the mob was anew excited, and the soldiers used no means to cause them to disperse. We are however informed, that the names of some of the rioters have been taken down, and that they will be prosecuted. Among them is a woman, who had said that the Scholtians (a name of reproach, from Mr. Scholten, given to the Dissenters,) ought to be burned.
The churches of Oudloos-drecht and Bunschotten, whose meetings were troubled a few months ago by soldiers, have just, by a most merciful providence,
received the privilege of a gospel ministry. (We suppose this means, in the National church.]
Friday, June 9.-Mr. Scholten visited the church at Oudloos-drecht. The moment of his arrival, two soldiers were set to track his steps, night and day. They even entered a house in which some children were to be baptized, and prevented the service. Seeing no prospect of being able to meet for worship on land, the Dissenters though of holding a meeting on the water. One of their deacons, Mr. N. Goss, prepared his barge for this purpose. On Sunday, at seven in the morning, many went on board. About half-past seven, armed soldiers came up. At eight, the barge was moved off from the bank. The soldiers on shore with loaded muskets, followed as far as any path allowed them; till at last they were obliged to desist. A sloop was provided to bring these soldiers to disturb and harass those in the barge: but, by God's good providence the wind prevented. A number of persons came in boats to attend the worship, and the pastor with them. Thus this church, which had been long deprived of the public ordinances of religion, had the bappiness of hearing two sermons, and having three children baptized. The following Monday and Tuesday, preaching and the administration of baptism took place at Oukoop and Kockinge; and without any impediment, for no soldiers were there.
Sunday, June 18.-Mr. Scholten held a new meeting for worship, in the Zuyder-zee, on board a barge belonging to a pious man, in the province of Drontheim. He preached twice, and baptized two children. When he landed, a patrole followed him, and stood before the house into which he had gone, to prevent any from entering beyond the number of twenty ; and a soldier was placed within, to prevent any act of worship from taking place.
The Burgomaster of Bunschoten had sent a policeman to be near the barge, in order to report what took place. This leads us to apprehend a prosecution.
Zwolle, May 31.-Three members of the Dissenting church have been sent to prison, for non-payment of fines incurred by attending meetings.
Hoorn, June 2.–The Dissenting pastor, Mr. H. de Cock, on July 13, of last year, ordained some brethren as Elders and Deacons, in the Isle of Urk. For this be has just been tried. He and Mr. Smitt, are fined 200f. /£8.) the Elders and Deacons, 50f. (each, we suppose,] and a widow, in whose house the service was held, 100f.
Before this decision of the judges, the populace were quiet; but as soon as it was made known, they became very tumultuous, and followed persons whom they knew to be Dissenters with hootings, and throwing at them stones and dirt. The policemen quietly witnessed these assaults. The mob gathered before the house Mr. Van de Velde; and the police did nothing at all, either to disperse them or to prevent mischief. Mr. V. de V. then applied, and obtained the sending of some soldiers, who dispersed the mob and restored order. At half-past ten, all was quiet.
STATE OF RELIGION IN FRANCE.
Annual Meetings, held in Paris, 1837. We have received very cheering reports of the above meetings, and regret that the pressure of other matters has prevented our earlier insertion of the following abstract. The introduction to the details before us contain sentiments of much spiritual simplicity and beauty, expressive of the views and prospects entertained by our esteemed brethren on the other side of the British Channel, in reference to the arduous enterprize in which, amid many and great difficulties, they are engaged. They observe
* In presenting a summary account of the meetings of our religious societies, we must, first, acknowledge the deep feeling of lively and joyful gratitude to the Author of all good which penetrates us. Once more we are assembled to deliberate on the condition and progress of the Redeemer's kingdom in our beloved