Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

Professor (the Rev. G. Vance Smith) has ture success in the profession to which already adverted to it in such feeling you have devoted yourselves. The best and appropriate terms. We cannot for a wishes of your best friends will be realmoment doubt that the same Almighty ized; the interests of the Church of Being who has seen fit, in the counsels Christ will be materially promoted under of his infinite wisdom, to take from us your fostering care ; and you will see, in one so promising, will raise up other in your respective spheres of ministerial struments, to supply the place which our labour, a generation springing up around departed young friend would have occu- you, who will be prepared to occupy with pied in the church. Yet such events advantage their stations in the church speak to those who remain in a language and in the world, when the individuals which cannot be misunderstood, and say who now fill those stations shall have to all of you, “Be ye also ready; for at finished their allotted task, and been such an bour as ye think not, the Son of called to their account. Man cometh."

The Address was followed by a suitAvail yourselves, then, with all dili. able prayer and benediction. gence, of the advantages and privileges After an interval the Trustees of the afforded you by your connection with this College assembled in the Common Hall seat of learning, for storing your minds for the transaction of the business usuwith that knowledge which is pre-emi. ally following the examination, the nently fitted to qualify you for the duties admission of new students, &c. The of your ministerial profession; and let chair was filled by the Vice-President, it not be said that, when the prize was the Rev. John Kentish. At the close almost within your grasp, you failed to of the business, the meeting was adwin it for want of the requisite degree of journed to the following day, when exertion.

about fifty Trustees assembled. None Let me remind you, however, that the but Trustees were present.* The Com. studies pursued in this place are not all mittee of Inquiry appointed by the that is necessary to fit you for an ade. Trustees at their annual meeting prequate discharge of your duties as Chris. sented their Report. As the proceedtian ministers : for without earnestness ings were private and all reporters exin the prosecution of your work, combined cluded, we can only state that the with a dee sense of responsibility, and a Legal Sub-committee appointed to confeeling of humble dependance upon the sider the College Trust reported that Divine blessing, you will meet with little the institution could not be removed success in your ministerial labours, when to London to join either University you quit your Alma Mater, and are called Hall or University College without a to occupy your respective stations in the breach of trust. The Report was reChurch of Christ

. It may not be in the ceived, and, after discussion, ordered power of all of you to become accom- to be printed exclusively for the use of plished pulpit orators ; but if you labour the Trustees. as those who are to give account, your efforts will not fail to be crowned with success, whatever posts may be assigned Opening of the New Unitarian Chapel at to you, by the providence of God, in the

Gee Cross, Cheshire. great work of extending the triumphs of On Wednesday, July 5, this chapel, the gospel. You will acquire, by this probably the most beautiful Dissenting means, an influence for good, which no place of worship in the kingdom, was mere superiority of talents or attainments opened by a religious service.

The could have given you; and in spite of day was remarkably fine, and the lofty occasional disappointments and discou- and well-proportioned spire, rising toragements, the work of the Lord will wards the clear blue sky, struck every prosper in your hands.

one that beheld it with its architectural I have now only to add, that the result beauty. The bright sunshine set off of this examination, as compared with the interior of the building, with its those of former years, has been deemed profusion of stained and painted glass, satisfactory; and that the answers which to great advantage. On entering at have been given, prove that you have been the South door, we were struck with desirous, in your respective classes, of profiting by the instructions which you * The statement so prominently put have received. If those of you who are forth in a leading article of the Inquirer most advanced in your theological studies, of July 1, that there were student spectaproceed as you have begun, no appre- tors, not Trustees, present, we are requesthensions need be entertained of your fu- ed to state is altogether a mistake.

the effect of the view of the country bold innovation on our simple Nonlying below, on either side of the conformist tastes. Thame and Mersey, as seen through Now that the pulpit is fixed, we may the North door, which was flung widely add that the upper part, or pulpit proopen. Above the North door is the per, which is of solid oak, is a piece of inscription which records the gratitude most elaborate carving, each side of the of the worshipers for “that Act of octagon having rich tracery, and beaupublic justice (Stat. 7 and 8 Vict. c. tiful crocketed canopies, the spandrels 45) which secures to Non-subscribing above being filled in with diaper work. Dissenters peaceful possession of the The entrance to the pulpit is by three Chapels and Endowments of their pious steps off the floor of the chancel. On Forefathers.” The inscription is en- the alternate sides of the octagon stem graved on a stone tablet in old English or pedestal, on which the pulpit rests, letters, red and white. In our March (and which is of solid stone,) are ornaNo. (pp. 184—186) we gave a minute mental moulded panels, in which are account of the chapel as it then was. contained figures emblematical of the Since that time, the unsparing liberality four evangelists, viz., an Angel with a of the congregation, or of some of its book for St. Matthew; a winged Lion principal members, has added several for St. Mark;_a winged Bull for St. things that deserve our notice. The Luke; and an Eagle for St. John. We frame-work of the organ, and the screen profess not to interpret the significancy of the organ gallery or daïs, is one of of these emblems, and are indebted for the most tasteful specimens of richly- the translation of them to the kindness carved oak, ornamented in the chro. of the architects. Whatever may be matic style, that we have ever seen. their value as emblems of the evan. The ornaments of colour are not over- gelists, we can attest the beauty of the done, but are in the best taste. A new panels. The pedestal on which they feature of beauty is added in the West are cut consists of a very handsome window, immediately behind the organ. block of magnesian limestone, which This window, which is situated in the is, we believe, the stone of which the tower, and is seen from the interior of most elaborate portions of our magnifithe chapel, has been filled with stained cent cathedrals are constructed. glass, of a totally different character Much of the ornamental part of the from those at the East end, as it con- chapel is added by individual munifisists of geometrical figures, with leaves cence, and we trust we shall be parand flowers disposed in regular pat- doned if we name the principal donors. terns; and, seen as it is partly above The Altar-table is the gift of Samuel and partly through the open canopy of Ashton, Esq. (J. P.), of Pole Bank. the organ screen, it has a very rich and The Sacramental cups, &c., in silver, splendid effect.

were, we believe, several years ago The Communion-table has also been presented to the congregation by the fixed. It is placed at the East end of lady of Mr. Ashton, now deceased. The the chancel, in the position usually beautiful window to the left of the devoted to that purpose in the churches chancel is the gift of Mrs. Thomas of the Establishment. It consists of a Ashton, of Flowery-field. The pulpit stone slab, supported on three columns is the gift of Mrs. Samuel Ashton, of in front, with moulded bases and foliage Oaklands. The organ screen is the capitals, and at the back, on another gift of Miss Ashton, of Flowery-field. slab of stone, set upright. The whole l'he two beautiful windows at the East is richly painted and gilt in diaper pat- and West were the result of collections terns, and, seen in connection with the made amongst friends, the latter by large stained glass window immediately Mrs. Ashton, of Flowery-field, and the over it, forms a very splendid centre former by Mrs. Ashton, of Oaklands. for the eye to rest upon. This portion We are glad to hear that a lithograof the fitting up of the chapel is perhaps phic print of the chapel, executed, we that alone on which any difference of believe, under the directions of the opinion will exist. We frankly confess architects, is just ready for publication. we should have preferred a table more A very large congregation was gasimple in its style and more subdued thered on the opening day, amongst in its ornaments. At the same time, whom we observed friends from Liverwe have no doubt that the architects pool, Manchester, Stockport, Dukin(Messrs. Bowman and Crowther) can field, Hayfield, Rochdale, Lydiate, Gorproduce authorities and precedents per- ton, Bolton, Monton, Gatley, Knutsfectly unexceptionable to justify this ford. There were of course many Unitarian ministers present; but we have the temple of religion. This should be still greater pleasure in recording the in prayer and aspiration, in the humble presence of some of the principal Inde- consciousness that they had not yet pendent ministers of the district, in- wholly apprehended, and in the effort cluding Rev. Jonathan Sutcliff, of to realize a fuller combination of those Ashton-under-Lyne; Rev. Mr. Calvert, elements which go to form the perfect of Hyde; Rev. Mr. Coward, of Hather Christian character. If there were low, &c. Laurence Heyworth, Esq., churches that counted themselves alof Hatherlow, also attended. The pre- ready to have, and to have exclusively, sence of these gentlemen was a pleasing the whole counsel of God, they were token of the good feeling which Mr. not of the number. They preferred to Brooks and his congregation have habi. be regarded as seekers after God, if tually cherished towards other religious haply they might find him, and not bodies. The service began soon after as content with the beginnings of the 11 o'clock. The first prayer was uttered doctrine already received, but as desiby the minister of the place, Rev. Jas. rous of going on unto perfection. The Brooks, and the hearts of not a few preacher then went into a full descripwere touched by the grateful thanks- tion of the elements which constituted givings and fervent intercessions for the full Christian. These he defined the spiritual welfare of his people poured to be, Faith, Reason, Devout Affection forth by the venerable pastor. The and Virtue. He distinguished Faith other introductory devotional services from knowledge, shewing that while were conducted by Rev. R. B. Aspland, the last belonged most properly to sci. M. A., of Dukinfield. The psalmody ence, the first belonged peculiarly to was simple, but pleasing, and we ad- religion : he shewed that without faith mired the good old tunes selected by we could not become subjects of Christhe choir. The second hymn was com- tianity at all, for that faith was neces. posed for the occasion by Rev. William sary to go a step beyond what we could Gaskell, M. A., of Manchester : see or a moment beyond the present: God of our fathers ! to whose praise,

that as, when Christ was on earth, we With grateful hearts, this shrine we raise, ought not to have approached him with Accept our work of humble love,

the wily question of the Sadducee or And send thy blessing from above.

the doubts of Thomas, so neither ought

we to approach his religion in a cold, While, one by one, we pass away,

suspicious state of mind. To such a Still, as returns each Sabbath day, state of mind the hearty reception of Here may the hymn of holy cheer the gospel was impossible. He said, Ascend through many a distant year. “We have, perhaps, in some measure While earthly pomp and glittering pride yet to learn the loving, hoping, desiring, Sink 'whelmed beneath Time's sweeping sympathizing, confiding state of mind, tide,

which Christ asks in the very first place Here, constant o'er the troubled stream,

from him that would in truth become May Faith its calm, pure sunlight beam.

his disciple. We have yet to learn the

profound philosophy, the everlasting Though all around unhallowed strife

significance of those early words of the Should trample down the flowers of life,

Scripture, Dost thou believe? All Here may fond Hope in quiet breathe, And fresh, unwithering garlands wreathe. lieveth. If ye have faith as a grain

things are possible to him that beMay all who gather here to pray,

of mustard-seed.' And, He did not Grow purer, holier, day by day,

many works there because of their unAnd yearn more perfectly to prove

belief.' •Go in peace; thy faith hath Their Christian faith by Christian love. saved thee.' • Blessed are they who, May each, when Death the call shall give, He then shewed how the second ele

not having seen, have yet believed." Be found prepared again to live Where comes no pain, is heard no sigh,

ment, Reason, came in to distinguish

between what were and what were not And tears are wiped from every eye!

subjects of belief, and thus would preThe sermon was preached by Rev. vent the Comforter from being a deChas. Wicksteed, of Leeds. The text ceiver, or the Faith that should support was taken from Ephes iii. 14—19, and becoming the credulity that might mis. the preacher shewed from it the temper lead. He then described the state of of mind in which disciples of Christ mind in the mere religious debater or should address themselves to the study thinker, and shewed how the third eleof his faith, and place themselves in ment, of the Affections, was necessary to save us from the injurious effects of antiquity its beauty, you would leave with a simple cultivation of the merely argu- antiquity its error: and while you join mentative part of our nature. He de- the Universal Church of Christ in her scribed how many even of our convic- search for solemnity and impressiveness tions arose not from appeals to the of worship, you would have no share in reason, but from the action of the feel the darkness of her superstitions. You ings. He said, “The touching of the dedicate this day the House of Prayer to soul will, in many states of feeling and the Hearer of Prayer,—the labour of your to many forms of character, be more hands to Him who alone hath power to powerful than the best appeal to the bless it. Like Judah of old, you this day intellect, - a visitation of the Divine stand before the Lord with your wives, rod prove the existence of the Divine your children, and your little ones, and Being better than all the conclusions your prayer is, o God! establish the work from design,-and some dear dying one of our hands; yea, the work of our bands bring home to a man the doctrine of establish thou it! You feel that the only immortality better than all the argu- consecration of your House is a consecraments of Paley; for the heart hath tion of your hearts; that without this all convictions as well as the understand. form and ceremony are worthless, and ing.' The systematic and exclusive with this all form and ceremony are needculture of the religion of the imagina. less. May you for many, many years to tion, however, and the worship of the come be permitted to meet within these feelings, to the overlooking of a sin- walls, to seek and to obtain the holy influcerer and more practical service, was ences of your blessed faith! Here may full of danger; for it might cheat the the troubled find their consolation, and heart by the semblance of religion when here the weary the promise of their rest! the reality was wanting, and allure it Here may the sinner be taught the error by the apparent exaltedness of worship, of his ways, and learn that the paths of where in truth the lowest step of the righteousness are the only paths of peace ! altar was not surmounted. Religious Here may the Truth find an earnest longue enthusiasm would often mix itself

to speak, and a willing ear to receive ! up, perhaps unconsciously, with the May Christ reign in your midst ever more passions of earth; and universal hu. and more, and may' his Father and our man nature, when thoroughly aroused, Father, his God and our God, strengthen, visited no sins and weaknesses with stablish and settle you, and give you all greater severity and scorn, than those comfort and joy in believing! Amen.". which cloaked themselves under the Our analysis of and extract from the disarming profession of superior spiri- sermon can, however, give our readers tuality and religion. For this reason, but a faint idea of the impression prothe fourth element, of a holy life, was duced by Mr. Wicksteed on this occaindispensable to the completeness of sion. His delivery of the discourse was the Christian character. Learning was characterized by unction, dignity and but the foliage, and sentiment but the pathos. The thrilling tones of the flower of that tree, the fruit of which preacher, giving utterance to sentiwas a holy life. If we were to have

ments of fervent piety and deep hudeficiency in our religious character manity, evidently came from the heart, any where, it had better be any where and that they reached the hearts of than here. Sweet and holy, would be that crowded assembly was attested by the image of that church which should the tears of not a few. Very earnest unite within itself this spirit of love, of desires were expressed that the sermon power, and of a sound mind. If it fails should be printed, and persons present, us still in ourselves or on earth, it was

not Unitarians, joined in the request. to be found in Christ, who thus gave us At a later period of the proceedings, rest for the sole of our foot and a model Mr. Brooks, in the name of his congrewhich could not fail. The preacher gation, solicited permission from Mr. thus concluded his discourse :

Wicksteed to print the discourse. After “You have sought, in the exercise of a some hesitation, Mr. Wicksteed comlarge and commendable liberality, to make plied, and the sermon is now announced yoar own all those impressive aids and in our Advertising sheet as published. accompaniments of devotion, which the At the close of the sermon a collection history of our race declares to us have was made, which amounted to £75. always exerted a powerful influence on the At the close of the service, the lady spirit of man. While you ask from the visitors were hospitably invited to the past its good, you would leave with the houses of the principal members of the past its evil: while you would take from congregation, and the gentlemen re

paired to the recently erected school- have followed. Of the last-named meabuildings, situate close by the West sure the full fruits had not yet been engate of the chapel ground, where a cold joyed; but certain he was that whencollation was provided. The upper ever the continent of Europe and the room was completely filled with guests. world at large should be at peace, this The chair was occupied by Thomas country would reap a full harvest. Thornely, Esq., M. P. Amongst the Never before was England in such a gentlemen we noticed Samuel Ashton, condition as she now was, both to proEsq. (Vice-Chairman), David Harri. mote and to profit by unrestricted comson, Esq., Samuel Ashton, Esq., Jun., mercial and friendly intercourse with J. Grimshaw, Esq., John Howard, Esq. all the world. (magistrates), John Leech, Esq., Tho- The

toast was acknowledged by Rev. mas Ashton, Esq., James Ashton, Esq., J. G. ROBBERDS, in a speech combining Benjamin Ashton, Esq., Joseph Grim- playful and serious remarks, the spirit shaw, Esq., A. W. Thornely, Esq., of which would evaporate in a report. John Alcock, Esq., H. Bayley, Esq., In conclusion, he said-As a mark of Henry Coppock, Esq., C. Hudson, Esq., the rapid progress of religious liberty, Mr. Samuel Thornely, Messrs. Bow- and as shewing the happy position of man and Crowther, the architects of the Dissenters of the present day, he rechapel, and the following ministers :- joiced at the care and cost that had Revds. J. Brooks, Charles Wicksteed been bestowed upon the beautiful (Leeds), J.G. Robberds and Dr. Beard building in which they had that day (Manchester), C. Berry (Leicester), assembled. Pointing to the spire, he H. H. Piper (Banbury), H. Green continued – There it raises itself aloft (Knutsford), J. Owen (Lydgate), J. over the surrounding country, assertWright (Macclesfield), J. G. Wellsing the right of a Dissenting chapel to (Gorton), T. E. Poynting (Monton), look like a parish church, and to be W. Harrison (Blakeley), J. Robberds used as a parish church, without the (Liverpool), and R. B. Aspland, Du- least danger of our worship being interkinfield. Of the addresses delivered rupted, or of our being exposed to any during the afternoon, we can give only of the persecutions which harassed your a partial sketch. The Chairman gave, good forefathers who raised the first with very appropriate remarks, the chapel on this spot. The House of usual loyal toasts.

Prayer now raised was a noble monuIn proposing

“Civil and Religious ment both of the progress of liberty and Liberty all the World over,'

of the zeal of the congregation. He The CHAIRMAN said, he hoped that trusted it would be put to a noble use, sentiment would never be overlooked by the full and consistent carrying out by any meeting of Protestant Dissent- of the beautiful sentiments to the exers. It behoved them, both as Non. pression of which they had that morn. conformists and as friends of liberty, to ing listened with so much interest. He pay every respect to it. The friends by hoped that during the many centuries whom he was surrounded stood forward which it might stand, it would be not to exercise the right of private judg- only a place for the worship of their ment in religion. As Nonconformists, heavenly Father, but a school for the they declared to the world that they promotion of that true religion which would take neither their creed nor their shall combine all the noblest qualities mode of worship from any churches or of the human mind and heart, conseecclesiastical council; that they would crated to the love of God and the sertake the Scriptures alone as their guide; vice of man. and whatever judgment their reason In proposing the next toast, the led them to put upon those Scriptures, CHAIRMAN said-He and the friends that they would fearlessly avow. As who came from a distance considered to civil liberty, he looked with un- that a proud day for the

Unitarians of mingled satisfaction at its happy pro- Gee Cross, Hyde and Godley. The gress. The mixed form of Government ancient chapel of Gee Cross was built enjoyed by this country had procured in the year 1708. It had, therefore, immense advantage to the people. This been 140 years in existence. Now, was particularly observable during the they could not do justice to their exlast twenty years. In that space the cellent ancestors the founders, if they Test and Corporation Act was repealed; did not remember what a century and the removal of Catholic Disabilities, a half ago must have been the condiReform of Parliament, the Marriage tion of the country around them. The and Registration Acts, and Free Trade, people were then thinly spread over the

« VorigeDoorgaan »