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PLACES OF WORSHIP.

from the earliest times, a mode of Divine of the hymns which your correspondent would worship; that it was adopted and modified exclude: hymns which celebrate the works, for the service of Israel—and that the prac- | the ways, and the word of God, may thus be tice obtained among the apostles and first made the theme of the most “devout exerChristians. But it does not appear that it cises of the heart,” whether in private, social, was always direct praise to God, or addresses or public worship. The history of the church to the Deity. In the instances of our Lord of God, promises, doctrines, invitations, warnand His disciples, given above, it may have ings; the institutions of Christ, dispositions been so.

It seems to have been so with Paul of mind, joy, sorrow, meekness, fear, prayer, and Silas in prison; and so directed in the meditations, and many other things, may Epistle to the Colossians. The Apostle James thus be brought to bear upon the true inrefers to singing as an expression of ordinary | terests of the congregation, with all the power cheerfulness:-“ Is any merry, let him sing of song, “ making melody in the heart unto psalms." Our Lord spoke of Psalms which the Lord.” were prophetic, not hymns of praise; “ All This view of the subject may lessen our things inust be fulfilled which are written in regret, and account for the fact, that we have thu Psalms concerning me.”

so few hymns of praise, while it will bring Where so little is written, clearly, in the out some of the great truths and duties of New Testament, for our guidance, it would religion in a manner likely to fix them in the be hardly right to build any theory, or enforce memory, and to affect the heart; a form by any particular practice, as to mode or posture. which the greatest things may be remembered Simplicity, spirituality, and edification should (from the very poetry and frequent repetition have their influence in directing us.

of them) when our prose addresses and writAllow me here to say, that I wish this were ings may be forgotten. more, instead of less, the guide of Congre. Hoping that these few remarks may help gationalists. It may not be sinful; but the on the Scriptural correctness of our Psalmody, propriety is questionable, and the effort ha- I leave this paper in your hands, as “one of zardous, if it be even worthy of us, to imitate the brethren.” a service and the peculiarities of a system

G. which would degrade the cultivation of taste and make it supplant the great essentials of TIE ÆSTHETIC IN NONCONFORMISTS' evangelical doctrine by an imposition upon the senses, deluding the heart and destroying Mr. Editor, -I well know that you are the spirit of devotion instead of aiding it. not the man to admit into the pages of the

I cannot help thinking, that chanting, in- work under your control, any paper that toning, emblematical figures, coloured glass, might tend severely to reflect upon members and peculiar architecture, operate upon of your own or any other denomination of many minds as a delusion; inviting back to professing Cliristians. I honour the feeling something which may substitute the form for

too much to violate, in any strictures of the power--appearance for reality-and ex mine, the law of " brotherly kindness and ternal worship for that which should be “in charity.” spirit and in truth."

I do not feel as, in any sense of the term, l'leased with sensible influences, many will a bigot or a partizan. I avow myself a be in personal danger while their excitements Congregationalist; but, in doing so, I desire may be classed with Dr. Watts's "joys of to look at passing events in the light of earth,"

Eternity, rather than through the medium of “ False as the smooth deceitful sea,

Denominational peculiarity. The abandonAnd einpty as the whistling wind;"

ment of state support;-the Independence of of which some little expected will have to our churches under Christ;-the election of say

members and officers by the voice of the “Your streams were floating me along,

Christian people;--and the absolute supre. Down to the gulf of dark despair;

macy of Christ in his own house, are prin. Aud whilst I listened to your song,

ciples for the maintenance of which I should Your streams had ev'n conveyed me there."

be prepared, I trust, by Divine grace, to Employing song in the simplest manner in “suffer the loss of all things." the hallowed service of praise, I submit that

I am thankful to feel persuaded that these there is an object, not, indeed, ditierent, but great elements which distinguish our simple in harmony with direct praise, which is in, polity are not seriously menaced; and that tended by this part of private, social, and the grand peculiarity of a Christian Fellowship public worship-I mean, the celebration of is yet upheld among us, as the distinguishing Divine truth. To speak of the great things feature of an Evangelical Nonconformity, of God " in cxalted verse,” to record the doc. I bless God for this; and pray that the day trines and service of Christ in solemn devo

may never come when worldly principles tion, this will bring into hallowed use many | shall gain the ascendant, and union in the

truth, combined with spirituality and holi- my honoured brethren in or out of the minisness, shall cease to be the ornament and the try; but I would venture to offer a few glory of our Christian profession.

suggestions, which have great weight with I may be old-fashioned, -or, perhaps, fas- my own mind in moments of calın reflectidious ; but, if I have not read history tion on the present and future of our denobackwards, there are manifestations among mination. Evangelical Nonconformists, at the present 1. The Times have a voice of warning in moment, which may, perchance, develop them.-Superstition cannot, perhaps, easily themselves into formidable evils, when they find a lodgment in our simple polity. But have had time to operate. It is with no let us not forget the stern lesson of bistory, censorious spirit that I refer, in illustration of that the monster superstitions which we now my fears, to the sudden advent among us of deplore, had their origin, in many instances, the Æsthetic, in reference to our Christian in slight departures "from the simplicity sanctuaries. A new era has dawned upon us, that is in Christ.” Is it not obvious to every and Nonconformists, north and soutlı, are in one acquainted with our present state of somany instances competing with the most ciety that, in connexion with the rise and zealous of other persuasions for the restora- progress of Anglo-catholicism, a rage has tion of the mediæval style of architecture in been generated for what has been deemed their places of worship. In some instances, the best samples of the ecclesiastical archiwe have reason to believe that spires, and tecture of the middle ages? We cannot have stained-glass, and onk-carvings, and splendid forgotten the “ Camden Society," nor the rank organs, and other appendages, have been superstition which animated its movements. equal to nearly one-third of the entire cost of Have not the Romanizing party in the estabthe gorgeous structures,

lishment been, under the pretence of CathoBefore looking at this new state of things lic usage, getting every symbol into their which has arisen among Evangelical Dis- churches that dare find shelter in a comsenters, allow me to say that I hold as much munity professedly Protestant? I am not as any of my brethren the duty of Noncon- afraid that, in our present state of feeling, we formists, according to their ability, to provide should imitate their stone altars.--their starneat and tasteful places of worship. As the bespangled domes,--their carved images of wealth of Nonconformists has greatly in- saints and angels,-their burning tapers,-or creased, and persons in general live in a the many antique fopperies connected with higher state of social comfort than they did the revival of what has been falsely called fifty years ago, their places of worship should catholic antiquity. But, in an age when such bear a reasonable proportion to the improved things have assumed a somewhat formidable circumstances of the age, and should be built aspect, and when there is actual danger of with a due regard to comfort and edification Popishi ascendency, is it a time for Protestant in all respects.

They ought to be well | Dissenters, anxions to exhibit and perpetuate lighted, well ventilated, well warmed, and, the simplicity of Christian worship, to imitate, withal, well adapted to easy speaking and as near as may be safely, those forms of hearing. If, in addition to these. congrega- architecture which have been most closely tions can afford to provide for a certain allied with the darkness and superstition of amount of elegant and attractive architecture, the middle ages? Is it well, at such a time, whether Corinthian or Gothic, I see no reason or at any time, to surmount our Christian to object, --so long as the ornamental parts of edifices with Greek or Roman crosses? to lay the building have no dash of superstition out hundreds of pounds on printed windows, thrown into them, and are not of that with figures of Apostles and Evangelists, gorgeous character to encourage worldliness, where no authentic resemblance can be to foster pride, or to tempt the worshipper to proved? to multiply ornaments, at vast exthink more of the material than the spiritual pense, for the express purposes of bringing edifice. I would neither revolt the tasteful our places of worsbip into harmony with an by vulgarity, nor minister to the Asthetic by age in which Christianity, overloaded with undue contributions from a bygone antiquity, such things, had well-nigh expired? and to to say the least of doubtful association. designate our places of religious assembly by

From this necessary digression I return to the term church, which, to say the least, has my main point, viz., how far Nonconforinists, been wofully abused ? I cannot but think who adhere to the simplicity of New Testa- that the ominous times in which we live ment doctrine and worship, are likely to ad- should warn Protestant Dissenters against vance the cause most dear to them--the these very questionable inronds upon the power of vital and spiritual Christianity-by simplicity of former times, lest a spirit should cultivating, to any remarkable extent, the be generated among the rising youth of our Asthetic propensity in reference to their churches which will crave for ampler indulplaces for Christian worship? I have no

gence in other circles. When we have done desire to dogmatize-much less to condemn our utmost, in this direction, we shall be far

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outstripped by others with whom conscience | stewardship.” With vast masses of our people, will not allow us to symbolize.

then, without the gospel, with millions of 2. I am not without fear on the score of heathen men sitting in darkness and in the worldly conformity.-Conformity, I mean, in shadow of death, does it not become Christian the form of expensive and unprofitable show. congregations, holding spiritual principles, to We have nothing more, perhaps, to dread, for be content with sanctuaries plainly elegant, the true spiritual standing of our churches, and to expend what might be easily absorbed than the insidious growth of the worldly in costly ornament upon the more legitimate spirit. It is creeping in upon us in a variety object of spreading abroad the savour of the of directions; and many deeply exercised name of Christ? It will be no fitting reply Christians are trembling lest there should be to this suggestion to say that churches which found in our nonconforming circles a marked have expended large sums on their own sancdeclension of the spiritual life. We have all tuaries, have occupied a foremost rank in their to struggle, with earnestness, against such a efforts for the evangelization of their country lamentable catastrophe; and to guard, with and the world. I do not for a moment call conscientious tenderness, against every thing this in question. It is a principle that is conon the surface or in the interior of our fel- tended for; and, if it is worth anything, it is lowships, which might depress our spiritual as telling in its application to the active and tbe energy, or weaken the power of a living faith. generous as to the slothsul and the covetous. Now, will there not be danger of ministering I submit these remarks, with affectionate to the worldly feeling in religion,- to the real candour, to the attention of the churches. I pride of life under disguise of something have no desire to dictate, or to pronounce cenbetter, if a strong feeling for fine Gothic

I have avoided all personalities, for architecture, from the best models of anti- which there can be no possible reason, and quity, springs up among us; and vast sums pray that the Congregationalists of this land of money are expended unnecessarily in rear- may thoroughly know that their strength lies ing model sanctuaries, the most richly orna- in the scriptural simplicity of their principles, mented in a particular district? We confess in the earnestness of their spirit, and in the to a feeling of anxious foreboding; and cannot | holy consistency of their character. help thinking that tasteful simplicity in archi

Φιλαδελφος. tecture is more in accordance with our unpretending modes of religious worship and polity, A WORD TO LORD DERBY IN REFERENCE TO than samples of church-building borrowed

THE CRYSTAL PALACE. from the ecclesiastical Æsthetics of the day. What & dark cloud now hangs over our There may be as wide a scope for pride and beloved country!--more dark and lowering worldliness in the erection of a gorgeous than if war, and pestilence, and famine were sanctuary, as in the erection of a family man. about to spread their dire calamities in the sion, or the laying out of a vast mercantile midst of us! These, as in times past, might establishment. And if we are to have stone be only God's visitations upon a sinful people, crosses, and professed pictures of men who calling them to humiliation and repentance. have been in heaven eighteen hundred years, But the threatened opening of the Crystal this is something more than worldliness,-it Palace, at Sydenham, on God's-day, under borders too closely on the symbolisms of the sanction of a Royal Charter, is an event superstition, to be quite harmless. Let any in our history so thoroughly un-English, and man try to defend it, and he will find that so marked by daring impiety, that we cannot his arguiment will carry him further than he even muse on its possibility but with a shod. wishes to go.

der of inexpressible horror and dismay. 3. The claims of a perishing world may sug- Will Lord Derby venture, in the present gest a doubt on the subject of undue expenditure state of public opinion in reference to the in the erection of Christian sanctuaries.-Be- question of Sabbath sanctification, to carry tween man and man, there can be no doubt out his premature assurances to the Directors that individuals have a right to do as they of the Sydenham Exhibition? Will he adplease with their own. Who are we that we vise our youthful Sovereign, who lives so enshould sit in judgment on the use which men, tirely in the hearts of ber people, to invest as men, make of their property? They may this monstrous scheme of Sabbath desecrahave much of this world's good at their dis- tion with the dignities of a royal charterposal; and they may feel impelled to some We pray God that this may never be. sacrifice of what they possess as an expression We are happy to find that a very alle of their gratitude to God. But Christians letter has been addressed to Lord Derby, erought to feel that all they possess is at the titled, “ À Plea for a Whole Sabbath, in disposal of Him from whom they have re- reference to the “ Proposed Opening of the ceived all. They are only stewards; and Crystal Palace on the Lord's-day." It is a the hour is fast approaching, when it will be Tract of great excellence; and as it is pube said to them, “Give an account of your lished by Wertheim and Macintosh, at one

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penny, it may be circulated very widely at duction, let us not import their Sundays!

We give the following ex- Let not the Sabbath become with us a day of tract:

fétes, and reviews, and elections, and procesMy lord, the proposal is, that the build- sions! Let us still keep our dear English ing be thrown open, and trains begin to run, Sunday; a restraint, it may be, upon the at one o'clock. But cun it be supposed that pleasure-hunter, a weariness to the worldly, any considerable number of those who will | but the foretaste of heaven to the Christianspend the afternoon in pleasure will have the wonder of surrounding nations! I tremble, spent the forenoon in prayer? If they did, my lord, lest, if this fatal license be given, it would there be any harmony between the should prove a step towards a French Suntwo parts of the day, and not rather the most day. I fear lest, if once the Sabbath be reglaring contrariety? Think of the young duced from a whole to a half, the half also family of a mechanic promised, on some Sun- | should gradually diminish, till at length our day afternoon, a trip to Sydenham, by an Lord's day should be reduced to a mere excursion-train, and a visit to the Crystal before breakfast Sabbath, and it should conPalace:--what attention could those poor teut the people of this country to devote to children be expected to pay that morning to religion one early morning hour, and the rest the Sunday-school or Church? Would they of the day to business and pleasure. be found in their class? or their parents in “For the question here involved is not merely their place in church? Alas! my lord, it whether the Crystal Palace shall be open on would too surely be found in practice, that Sunday afternoons, but whether a wide door in taking half the Sabbath the whole was shall be opened for Sabbath desecration gone.

throughout the country. If the most magIt is not enough to say, in answer to nificent place of public entertainment be these considerations, “Oh, but the people are thrown open, places of less importance will free agents, they are not forced to go; let not remain closed; if the metropolis set the them stay at home and go to church if they example, the provinces will not be slow to prefer it. My lord, we whose office it is follow it. to watch for souls as they that must give “ When the Crystal Palace was a National account too often find our efforts unsuccess- Exbibition, honour was done to God and his ful, even when temptation is as far as possi- day; the building was opened with prayer, ble removed, and every inducement and fa- the official Catalogues bore mottoes of a recility offered to a right course; but here a ligious character, and the doors were kept temptation is put in the poor man's way; the strictly closed during the Lord's day. It will door is opened to him, the path made easy; be sad indeed, if a private speculation shall and it is a false and fatal philosophy to main- have power to mar this fair beginning, and to tain that you still leave to the man a free turn this splendid monument of art into a choice, and give him no downward inclin- vast instrument of national Sabbath-breaking. ation.

“My lord, I cannot but think that the “ Our neighbours across the Channel do in- opponents of the scheme come to your lorddeed set us an example of cutting down the ship with a better grace than its promoters. Sabbath into the smallest possible fraction of The latter say, indeed, "Give the poor man a day. I remember, my lord, passing a his Sabbath pleasures ! Let it be a day of Sunday some years ago in a French town. innocent recreation to him! Let him on that Being then new to Continental manners, I day at least breathe fresh air, and see inwas surprised, in the course of an early walk, teresting ohjects, and find something to reto meet crowds of people flocking to the lieve the wearisome monotony of constant chief church of the place at six o'clock. On toil.' But is it a breach of charity to suplooking in, I saw the large building almost pose that private interest enters into the confilled at that early hour; and I began to sideration of these gentlemen, as well as the think that a French Sabbath was a more de- enjoyment of the poor; and that their own votional day than I had supposed. But I dividends are sometimes thought of amid their was soon undeceived. Service was quickly plans for the mechanics' gratification? But over, and through all the rest of the day no- we come to your lordship with clean bands. thing but pleasure seemed to be thought of. We have no private interest to serve. Our Gay parties promenaded the public walks, only objects are the honour of God, the good where refreshments of all kinds were freely of our country, and the preservation of the sold; here dancing was carried on with great Sabbath in its integrity.---My lord, writing spirit, there a military band played the most namelessly and as one of a class, I can use an lively airs ; and a crowded theatre closed the argument which I could not otherwise emday of God. Every Continental traveller ploy. Place the promoters and advocates of knows that what I saw that day is to be com- this scheme on the one side, and its opponents monly seen on Sunday in towns in France. On the other, and see which give most pracOh! my Lord, of all articles of French pro- | tical proofs of a care for the welfare of the

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VOL. XXX

poor. On which side are found the liberal In the afternoon, a meeting of friends was supporters of our great religious societies? held, at which the Chairman of the Building On which side stand the founders of hospic Committee presided, and many fraternal adtals,—the builders of churches, -the pro dresses were delivered by Messrs. Binney, moters of schools, and ragged-schools, and Burnet, and others. At night, the chapel model dwelling-houses? Where do they ap was crowded to excess, when the Rev. James pear whose lives are devoted with untiring Parsons preached one of his truly eloquent earnestness to doing good to the poor pri- and impressive sermons, full of holy unction, vately,—-visiting, teaching, relieving, comfort and telling appeals to the hearts and coning them? I will venture to say, my lord, sciences of the deeply-attentive and penethat the real and tried friends of the poor will trated auditory. be found ranged with those who plead for a May the Lord prosper this great underwhole Sabbath. They were not of old real taking, and shed down upon pastor and flock friends to the poor, who loved gain and found the richest dews of his blessing! the Sabbath a weariness; and I believe the case is very much the same now: 'Hear this, A Brief Statement of the History of NoncorO ye that swallow up the needy, even to

formity in Clapham. make the poor of the land to fail, saying, On an occasion like the present, it will When will the new moon be gone, that we not be unsuitable, if, in the space of a few may sell corn? and the Sabbath, that we may minutes, I present to this audience a concise set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and outline of the history of Nonconformity in the shekel great, and falsifying the balances Clapham. Such an outline may serve to exby deceit?' (Amos viii. 4, 5.)"

cite in us gratitude to God for the noble men, who in dark and troubled times risked every

thing, that they might keep a good conSUNDAY-SCHOOL JUBILEE MOVEMENT. science, and prove their allegiance to their

We are much gratified to find that the heavenly King; and thankfulness, also, that Jubilee Fund is being taken up with great the times in which we live are of so different spirit. Large meetings have been held, of a a complexion. very animating character, at Surrey Chapel, Between the years 1640 and 1650, there Manchester, Birmingham, and other places; was an Independent or Congregational church and there is reason to believe that, before the at Clapham, gathered, as it is supposed, by the close of the Jubilee Year, the funds necessary Rev. W. Bridge, M.A., who was one of the for the erection of the new building will be five more distinguished Independent minisamply supplied.

ters in the Westminster Assembly, which met in 1643. The names of the other four were

Goodwin, Nye, Burroughs, and Simpson. OPENING OF THE REV. JAMES HILL'S NEW

These five were generally known by the apPLACE OF WORSHIP, CLAPHAM; AND HI8

pellation of the Dissenting Brethren, who, in TORY OF NONCONFORMITY IN THE PLACE.

the face of the fiercest opposition, and far in Tuis interesting event took place on Wed- advance of their time, fearlessly and magnesday, the 29th September. The weather nanimously maintained the inalienable rights was fine, and the attendance was large and of conscience, and the utmost latitude of respectable. Many, both from love and cu religious freedom. riosity, were drawn to Clapham, to hear the Bridge afterwards left this country, and respected preachers, and to see the elegant became the joint pastor of a church of the place of worship, which is by far the most same faith and order in Rotterdam. Subseattractive sanctuary in the somewhat aristo- quently, however, he returned to his native cratic vicinity in which it stands. It is a land, and was pastor of an Independent monument of architectural skill, and of the church at Yarmouth, where he died, in 1670, wealth and liberality of the congregation by aged 70. whom it has been erected,

Mr. Bridge was succeeded in the pastoral The service was opened, very impressively, office in Clapham by the Rev. Thomas Lye, by the pastor, who read appropriate portions another of the ejected ministers, who (accord. of Scripture, presented fervent prayer, and ing to Wood) preached in Clapham. He read a brief sketch of the history of Noncon- died January 7, 1684. formity in Clapham, which we have appended After him, the Rev. Henry Wilkinson beto this notice. Dr. Harris then delivered a came pastor.

He had been rector of St. discourse, from Rom. i. 16, 17, of great in- Dunstan's in the East, Canon of Christ. tellectual power, and of marked evangelical church, and Margaret Professor of Divinity character; the very model of a sermon from in the University of Oxford, from which he the lips of a Theological Professor. Dr. Tid. was ejected at the Restoration of Charles II, man then concluded the morning service, and the latter part of his life was spent at which was, indeed, truly refreshing.

Clapham, where he died, 1675.

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