his, her, or their proper parochial church were not subjected to the payment of or chapel, or of or from any person or any greater burden than Charchmen, and persons going to or returning from his, so the Society pot only advised Mr. her, or their usual place of religious Pritchett, but would also have it geneworship, tolerated by law, on Sundays rally understood by all the various conor on any day on which divine service is gregations of the Dissenters. All classes by authority ordered to be celebrated.” of religionists were liable to church rates, It was necessary, to exempt from toll, to to tithes, and Easter offerings ; and prove that the person was going to his though the payment of mortuary fees usual place of worship on the Sabbath or might be hard upon Dissenters, still pro. some national holiday, such as Good fessing themselves as they did to be Friday, Christmas Day, or any other day Protestant Dissenters, claiming the arowordered by authority to be devoted to al of manly principles, and determined religious worship. Many applications for to act on those principles which they advice and assistance had been received approved and cherished ;-—if for the full as to this subject from different parts of enjoyment of these principles—if for the England and Wales. In some instances full and unrestricted exercise of their the persons were not going to their usual peculiar worship, they suffered a little place of worship, and therefore were more than Churchmen, they had no very clearly not entitled to exemption. In peculiar right to complain. The Disall the cases within the view of the law, senters, like others, had to pay the charch the objections had been removed. The and poor rates, and many cases arising assessed taxes, particularly in parts of out of the latter had been brought before Wales, occupied the attention of this the attention of this Society; but as Society. Several of the ministers of the these rates operated on all classes, and Calvinistic Society imagined that they were legally imposed, every one must were entitled to a total exemption, and know the necessity of submitting to the Society removed many of the difficul- them. The complaints upon this head ties resulting from that topic. The So- particularly proceeded from Linton, Camciety received communications on that bridgeshire, from Ware, from Baldock, head from Llanfrothen, from Dolgelly, from Castle Town, near Newport, in and from Hendre-back-Clynog; and the Monmouthshire, from Croydon, from ministers at these several places complain Wheetwel, in Kent, from Middlewich, that they had to pay extra duties on in Cheshire, and from Rotherham, in horses principally employed in going round the same county. A thousand illustra. the circuits for religious purposes. This tions would flow to the mind of any man, was felt to be a very serious evil, and to demonstrate to him the absnrdity of we requested these ministers to apply to claiming a lax, where the result of that the Judges on circuit, who were of opi. tax would be to lessen the means of nion that they were included in the exreligious instruction; every man admitted emptions, and these worthy clergymen its necessity, and the Dissenters should were afterwards relieved from those pe- not suffer like others, in order to secure cuniary burdens to which they had be- it for all who had as yet not tasted of fore been subjected. Besides these as. the heart-consoling sweets which it offersessed taxes, land tax was claimed for ed, of the mind-inspiring elevation which the site of a chapel at 'Tremerchion, in it was its natural teudency to produce. Wales, and of the Rev. J. G. Pike, at The Dissenters asked for no exemptions: Derby. His (Mr. Wilks's) opinion was, all they asked was, that they should not that such a claim was justifiable ; but be compelled to endure greater burdens that it should not extend to the church than their neighbours. Where a beveitself, nor to any improvements which ficial income arose from the chapel, let might have been made in it. The land a poor rate be paid. The law made it tax claimed at Derby was by no means liable; but, if no such beneficial income an enormous claim, being only two shil. arose, if no profit resulted,—if the miJings a year; but there was a claim made nister, who piously attended to the spi. for window duty in a house inhabited by ritual wants and consolations of 350 the minister, although that house was persons received only about thirty pounds in immediate communication with the a year, as was the case at Middlewich, church. There again this Society inter- then surely uo man in his senses could fered, and the result of the interference say that a church, a minister, or a conwas, the abandovment of those charges, gregation so situated should be liable to The charge for chapel rates was also the imposition of a church rate. If these submitted to our consideration, particu- edifices for public worship throughout larly in the case of Lendal Chapel, York; the country were like the proprietary but on this subject the Society had no chapels in this metropolis--if the country right of complaint, inasmuch as they churches were got up and arranged like theatres, as many of those in this me- lowed to fall, all would be prostrated ; tropolis were; let them pay and let them but as long as he (Mr. Wilks) had a pour their little rills into the great food head to think, a heart to feel, or a of general taxation. Strauge, however, purse to open-as long as this Society to say, these metropolitan churches were existed, Mr. Robinson would be defend. not asked for the rate ; and why? Be- ed, and be (Mr. Wilks) was persuaded cause they had advice at law, because he would be so with success. (Loud the ready meaus of resistance to such a applause.)—Upon the subject of Easter charge was at once within their power, Offerings various cases had come from and thus no attempt was made to op- different places—from Pentir, near Banpress. The strong were protected by gor, and from Dudley; but, as he had their strength, the weak were attacked already stated, Dissenters being placed in their weakness; but the outstretched so far in the same situation with others, arm of this Society did not fail to assist they could feel no degradation in bearing and rescue them in the day of their ne. that impost. It was not as Dissenters cessity. In the case of the worthy mi. that they bore, or were called on to nister at Middlewich, mere emolument bear, those burdens, but as Englishmen; was not obviously his object. Thirty and it was only when those fragments pouvds a year was too scanty a pittance of a once dominatiug papacy were put io reward the active piety and exertions down, that they would properly, natuof such an ornament to any religion as rally and wisely cease. The amount of the Rev. Mr. Robinson ; but he had a the Easter Offering should not offer a recompence awaiting him more glorious subject of much contention, for it was than this world's glory, pride, or power, only twopence a head for each person or wealth. He laboured for that recom- above the age of sixteen, to be paid by pence which he was sure to receive at the housekeeper for every such person. the resurrection of the just. It was ge. He was informed of a case in which the nerally in country towns that this demand demand made on this head was eightof rate was made-generally in some pence, and ten shillings were expended to wretched borough, generally in some enforce it; and a case had come to his village hamlet, where a jealousy existed knowledge in which the costs attending of the established clergyman, because of a demand for Easter Offerings had the erection of a Dissenting edifice ; here amounted to the almost incredible sum it was that the wicked demon of oppres- of 501.- The next head of remark was siou stalked abroad-here it was that he the charge made by parish clerks for would lay his imposts-here it was that their fees. At Steventon, near Bedford, he poured forth the full phial of his a man of the name of Parslow, a Diswrath Several of these cases, as he senter, was required to pay two shillings had already stated, were notified to him; as a fee for the burial of his child, and and that to which he more particularly the demand was refused, because the alluded, by the Rev. Mr. Robinson. He child was buried in the Meeting House (Mr. Wilks) was really delighted with Churchyard, and because the clerk had the correspondence of that gentleman ; a not officiated. Ultimately, however, the correspondence which united to extent of parish clerk thought proper not to perinformation and soundness of views, a severe in his demand, and there the affair warmth and affection of heart, with an

would for ever rest. He (Mr. Wilks) humble zeal, which would reflect cre- now came to a topic on which different dit-the highest credit--on any man in opinions prevailed—a topic on which it this enlighteued country. Mr. Robinson was necessary that correct opinions should was one of those ministers who received prevail : he alluded to the charge of morhis education at the school of Rotherham; tuary fees. Perhaps these mortuary fees an education which, in its rich fruits and were amongst the worst of Catholic imabundaut harvest, would have been an positions — amongst the worst of that lwnour to any school or any university system, which made the clergymen of in this kingdoin. That gentleman's flock that church not only obtain all they amounted to 350 persons; his salary was could from the members of their comabout 301. a year; and yet such was the munion while living, but followed them place marked out for extortionate as. with exactions to the grave- and all

He, however, shall be de. these exactions required for the safety of fended, and his defence is the more ne- the souls of the departed. Living and cessary, as Cheshire is a High-Church dead were tributaries to that church : and Tory county. In that county the no home was safe from their inspectionlanguage of liberty was rarely heard; no tomb was sacred from their exaction. and there all attempts at extortion should, He had looked over the canons on this and he hazarded little in saying, would subject, and in doing so he found that be put down. If Mr. Robinson were ale in 1378, Simon Laugham, Archbishop of


Canterbury, had imposed mortuary fees more enlightened on subjects of theology pro salute animi. However, in a few and other topics than he eridently was words, to render the thing familiar, sup- with the law. The Rev. Gentleman was, pose any man had four beasts: one of no doubt, angry with the decision of his those was to go to the Lord of the soil, brother magistrates, and he (Mr. Wilks) another to the Church, &c., and to do must state for himself, that he was glad away with this distribution, mortuary the new Don Quixote had been overcome. fees are instituted aud demanded. By the A similar claim was made by the clergy21st Henry VIII. all such fees received man at Rotherham, whose wife, for so his by the Catholic clergy were continued to (Mr. Wilks's) inforination stated, was the Protestant; but that Act stated that anxious that her husband's fecs should such fees were only to be claimed in suffer no dimunition, particularly in the places where they were before accustomed case of the defunct Dissenter. The deto be paid. It was important to every mand of ten shillivgs was made, and man to know how the law stood ou this resisted, -not for the waut of means, for subject; because, in all cases when the the relation of the deceased, he was glad demand for mortuary fees was made, the to say, had ample means,-but he felt it clergyman was bound to prove that the his duty to resist what he thought an existence of such fees was antecedent to improper claim. When called upon he that Act of Henry VIII. There was no answered as became a Hampden- Tis doubt that the rigbt existed, that pro- not the amount of the claim to which I ceedings to enforce it had occurred in the object, but it is the principle which Ecclesiastical Courts; but when the right I reject." The claim was urged the was denied, these courts could not inter- claim was resisted; the Society co-opepose, and in many instances the claim rated in the resistauce, and the claim had been resisted with success. Let the was eventually withdrawn. (Applause.) meeting bear this in inind, that the cler- -He then said, the long and dreary cagyman was always bound to prove the talogue of grievances which required the existence of the right or custom to pay interposition of this Society, and which such fees, antecedent to the 21st Henry he was annually obliged to notice, was VIII. There was one remarkable case the subject of riots and disturbances on this subject which had occurred, and which took place throughout the country which realized the justness of the pro- at the Dissenting places of public worverb, that it was better for the “cobbler ship. One would have hoped that the to stick to his last.” It was this : the demons of persecution would have alVicar of Christ Church, in Hampshire, lowed Christian worshipers to adore had made a demand for mortuary fees; their God in peace, and would have rethat Vicar, he had no doubt, was a very spected the sanctuary dedicated to his enlightened man; a man not satisfied praise, his honour, and his glory; but, with ecclesiastical learning alone-with no: and as this grievance increased, the ample theology and biblical acquirements; · more the diligence of the Society was but who must needs be a better lawyer rendered necessary. To the necessity thau lawyers. The Rev. Mr. Clapham they were not blind ; to remove it they had put together some ponderous volumes used the most assiduous attention. on the law, and with his twofold know- Schools, as well as churches, were made ledge of theology and law, had made a the scenes of profane riot. The parti. demand on a Dissenter for a mortuarycular scenes of disturbance were Llandifee. Every one trembled at this demand, loes, in Montgomeryshire ; Market-cross, because made by a clergyman, but par- Lancashire; Dalton (Ulverston); Creticularly by a writer on law.

diton, in Devonshire; South Cerney, in looked upon as an oracle. It appeared, Gloucestershire; Chigwell, in Essex ; and however, that this theologico-lawyer mis- in the immediate vicinity of this metrotook the mode of proceeding for the polis, at Elderwalk, Islington. The disrecovery of his demand, inasmuch as an turbance at Hainault House, near ChigAct of George II., which gave to the well, deserved particular notice, from the clergyman an opportunity of summary fact that its amiable owner, Mrs. Ni. proceedings before the magistrates for the cholson, had devoted certain rooms in recovery of “ sinall offerings,” did not her house to the pious object of religious include in “ small offerings" this said instruction to her neighbours. To annoy mortuary fee, and Mr. Clapham was de. her and disturb those who went for infuated in his demand of 10s. The mat. struction, squibs and crackers were ter, however, went before the magis thrown, animals even let loose, cock trates, who differed in opinion with their chaffers and birds were Aying about, brother magistrate, the Rev. Lawyer; extinguishing the candles; but this, by and he (Mr. Wilks) hoped that for the the exertions of this Society, was pnt sake of his dock the Rev. Lawyer was a stop to. The disturbances at South

He was

Cerney also demanded a particular no plause.) The Church did not consist of tice. The Home Missionary who la- the boured there had for a length of time been subjected to the most cruel perse

- long drawn aisle and fretted

vault ;" cuțions, and these persecutions instigated by persons who should have known It was not the gilded roof or gothic better-who should have been actuated architecture, admirable as the lover of by better feelings, and swayed by better art must ever consider them to be ; the sentiments—by persons who should have Church was the place, however unpreknown, that while they placed a torch tending, where the faithful assembled to in vulgar hands to conflagrate, those worship the common God and Father of they might be desirous of removing would all! 'The rioters were convicted; the one day or other employ it against them- magistrates wished some liberality to be selres. These disturbances were not extended towards them, for they found coufined to the lower or more vulgar out that the penalty of forty pounds given classes - the higher orders encouraged by the Act against persons disturbing these disgraceful proceedings-these very public worship must be considered as orders who should encourage the diffu- only one penalty. An application was sion of knowledge-a strict observance made to us, and while we would not of the law-a becomiug respect to the allow the braggart to awe us into silence, religious scruples of the conscientious ; we shewed that the Dissenters could these higher orders instigated those dis- listen to the language of courtesy, and graceful occurrences. Every petty vexa- while having a giant's strength, that we tion had been used towards the worthy were not disposed to use it like a giant. Missionary of South Cerney; his saddle- An apology was written-we accepted it; girths were cut in the night time, when the guilty entered into recognizances to returning from admiuistering consolation keep the peace, and he hoped the result to one of his flock, whose way to heaven would be, that these persons and all he was no doubt facilitating. In the others would perceive, that the Dissentpight time that worthy man was assailed ing clergymen were the ministers of and beaten. The shades of vight covered peace--men who sought not to punish the guilty offenders, and for the time but to benefit and bless their fellowthey escaped the punishment they de. creatures. (Hear, hear.)-The subject served. However, in January last, an of out-door preaching was also referred interruption occurred, and six persons to the Society, and he owned it was one were taken to Cirencester, and bound which he did not approach with much over to the Gloucester Sessions, to an- satisfactiou. He did not like to limit the awer for their outrageous conduct. He right of public worship, but with the fawas almost ashamed to say it, but the cilities which now existed for so laudable fact was so, that every ineans was there an object, he thought it was not needful taken to defeat the ends of justice. Six to excite opposition or spread the flame clergymen were on the bench, and every of discord; the object of the Dissenters species of intermeddling was practised; being to proceed in their course without the Grand Jury were had access to ; in producing clamour or giving the shadow short, every obstruction took place to of offence. The meeting must be already prevent justice being done. The advo- aware of the transaction which occurred cate, however, who was employed, per- at Islington, where a tent was put up, formed well his duty. It is the business in which public worship was performed, of every man to uphold the independence and much good had been done. There of the English bar, for every effort made a constable appeared, with orders from to weaken or destroy the self-possession the local magistrates to disperse the asof the advocate was a vital blow at the sembly; neither had a right to do so, best interests of our country. The case and the worthy clergyman (Mr. Dunu) came on at the Gloucester Sessions, de- persevered in the work of good. At Col. spite the obstacles to prevent it, and the chester a person was apprehended for advocate there declared, that the Dis- preaching in the public streets; a bill senters were equally entitled to the be- was preferred against him, but the Grand nefit and protection of the law, as all Jury, to their credit, did not find it.his Majesty's other subjects ; that the Nest in the order of grievances notified Dissenters, though not endowed, were to this Society, were the refusals to bury, recognized; that the choral symphonies a refusal more particularly applying to of Gloucester Cathedral, or its clergy, their friends of the Baptist denomination. were to be po more protected than the By law, all persons baptized in the name humbler village people, who were met of the Trinity, were entitled to sepulture; together, and who loved with hun ble but the conscientious scruples of the voices to celebrate Zion's songs. (Ap. Baptists not allowing them to have their

children baptized in infancy, they could such candidates that in many parts of not claim the performance of the rites England the Disseyting interest was not of sepulture where they resided, although to be disregarded. In explanation of they subscribed like others to the Church. this assertion, he would mention a fact This was a painful subject ; it was me- of recent occurrence, in a borough pot lancholy to think what custom, nature more than fifty or sixty miles from the and religion prompted, should by any metropolis. That borough had long been law be prohibited ; and that under cir- contended for its representation) by the cumstances of the most distressing na- Treasury and the popular party. The ture—a parent refused to bury the child elections bad cost much money. They in the grave where his fathers lay, over had been protracted frequently, and that which he had often wept and scattered which he would take the liberty of callRowers, and to which his affections were ing the good cause at length triumphed. linked by ties which only the heart could At length an election for the High Bailiff feel. The blood curdled within him of that borough arose, and the people of when he thought of the existence, much the popular interest conceiring ihat they less the use, of such a power in any were quite strong enough without the clergyman, that he could turn to gall Dissenting interest, declared their disrethe tear of weeping widowhood, or ago. spect for that assistance. The Dissenters vise the pang of parental distress. The did then what, he trusted, they would sooner the Legislature applied some re- always do. They retired at once from medy to this, the better it would be. the contest, and the popular party was (Shouts of applause.)-The registry of defeated. (Hear.) Since that time, howbaptisms was also another subject which erer, the best possible understanding has called for immediate legislation, improve grown up between them, and the Disment and regulation. As the law now senters were regarded with abundance of stood, the copy of a baptismal register courtesy. It was by such efforts as these from the Established Clergyman was held he had described that he would prepare to be the best species of evidence, while to repeal the Test Act. He would sug. that of the Dissenter was only regarded gest, however, that no forms should be in the nature of a memorandum. The adopted in their petitions to Parliament Dissenters, therefore, wish to have the - but that each congregation should baptism of the children registered at the prepare their own petition, in order that ottice of the Clerk of the Peace, as a the Legislature might clearly understand security for the preservation of their pro. that they had intelligence enough to es. perty and liberty. The Dissenfers had press their wants, and language originated societies from which the great present them. (Cheers.) He then deest benefits were derived, and their feel- tailed some extraordinary procecdings in ings should be consulted. The most un- the Court of the Bishop of St. David's worthy means were taken to injure their against the Rer. Mr. Thomas, for praying schools, and that by clergymen of the at a grave in a churchyard when the Church of England. He had no hostility Vicar had appointed the time of burialto the Established Church, but if its received the fees—and detained the clergy misconducted themselves, they mourners for an hour; and a prosccumust be censurable for it at the bar of tion in the Court of the Bishop of Oxpublic opinion. He (Mr. Wilks) then ford by the Curate of 'Thame, against cited several instances of their conduct, six females, for complaining of his refusal both as to Dissenting schools and the to admit the corpse of a child into the burial of Dissenting children, and called Church. In the first, the proceedings upon the Dissenters, who were a power- were stayed : and in the last, the clergyful body, to take the necessary and pro- man experienced a deserved and comper means for the protection of their in- plete detcat, accompanied with the payierests. Whenever the time of a generalment of all costs. —He proceeded to election arrived, and it was a period that the cousideration of the recent or pro. could not now be very distant, he hoped jected Parliamentary proceedings affectthat no candidate would obtain a vote ing the rights or honour of Protestant from a Protestant Dissenter, who did not Dissenters, and to which several resolupledge himself to support the repeal of tions refer. He successively discussed those obnoxious measures, as well as the the repeal of the Test and Corporation Test and Corporation Acts, which pro Acts - the rejection of the Unitarian duced continued inconvenience and de- Marriage Bill - the grant of £500,000 for gradation to Protestant Dissenters : and the erection of New Churches-and the if their number was much more limited protection of Dissevting Missionaries in thau it really was, and their intellect the British Colonies throughout the more imbecile, and their intluence less world. A Bill, too, had within the prepowcrful, le could venture to predict to sent Sessiou been introduced, relative to


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