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III. CAUSES OF DEPRESSION IN SOME
PARTS OF THE COUNTY.
says :-—"I am sorry you have met greatest blessings of life, and the loss with such poor encouragement, and of him amongst its greatest calamities.” especially with any ill treatment from Mr. Norris, of Welford, during this the people in Northamptonshire. I period was very popular as a preacher, know them well; some of them are much beloved as a minister, and esnarrow and bigoted, but in general pecially by his brethren in the ministry. they are serious, exemplary Christians, Then followed Mr. Benjamin Boyce, at and the bulk of them are not disposed Kettering, whose successful ministry to use a minister ill who is not im- continued for thirty years; and Dr. prudent, and does not directly oppose Addington, of Market Harborough, who their favourite notions, which is the afterwards removed to Miles - lane, only way to make people hold them London, where he became tutor of the faster. They are not disposed to an academy. From this brief statecensure a person who preaches in a ment we have given of the attainments, serious experimental strain, though he character, and ministry of some of the does not use many of their favourite pastors of the principal churches in phrases, but will bear almost anything the county at this period, one great from the pulpit where the main thing reason is apparent of their flourishing is not wanting.”
state. The Rev. Thomas Sanders, to whom reference has been made, was a descendant from the martyred Sanders, who was burnt at Coventry, in Queen When Christian Churches have atMary's reign; of him Mr. Some re- tained to a prosperous condition, marked in his funeral sermon :—“He changes will occur amidst the fluctuawas diligent in his work, and in tions of time, and the imperfections of labours more abundant. Besides the human beings, that will have an uncare of his own congregation, which favourable influence.
When a very was very large, he frequently visited acceptable and useful pastor is rehis friends abroad, preached several moved by death, difficulties attend the lectures, and was ready to lay hold on choice of a successor, and where every opportunity to do good, and unanimity does not prevail, or where God wonderfully owned and blessed his the one that is chosen fails to give labours.
.. His course was short, general satisfaction when he has but it was well run. He had not quite entered on his stated engagements, the twenty years allowed him for public prosperity of the Church is hindered. service in the Church of Christ, but This was the case for a short period there are few in these later times that in the generally advancing Church at have done so much in so short a Kettering. The Rev. Benjamin Boyce, time."
who had served them for thirty years, After the death of Mr. Some, of died in 1770 ; his immediate successor Harborough, Doddridge wrote :—“I failing to give satisfaction to the people, am well satisfied that, considering how saw it to be his duty to resign, but very generally he was known, he has after his removal great discord and left a most honourable testimony in confusion prevailed. The friends of the hearts of thousands, that he was the late pastor, who were attached to one of the brightest ornaments to the his person and ministry, were greatly gospel and the ministry which the age displeased with the conduct of those has produced; and that all who have who had been the means of his
any intimacy with him must have removal, so that much ill feeling preesteemed his friendship amongst the vailed among them. But at length
the cause of truth and peace became
Mr. Scott's services were highly valued, amply vindicated. The late Rev. and his influence was considerable in Thomas Northcote Toller commenced the county. For a number of years he his ministry here in the year 1775, and
received students preparatory to their he continued for forty-five years to be
entrance into Highbury College. They the very highly esteemed pastor of the supplied with occasional services the Church. By the eminence of his talents villages in the vicinity, and were as a preacher, and by the excellency of
useful in taking the place of stated his spirit and character, the cause was
ministers when from home. Mr. maintained in full efficiency, and in
Scott removed to take the presiuninterrupted harmony, during that dency of Airedale College, near Bradlengthened period. His eldest son ford, which proved a loss to his was unanimously invited to succeed Church and to this county. But the him in the year 1821 ; and during Church, we are informed, is flourishing forty-seven years he has presided over under its present pastor, and has the Church and congregation, and now,
received considerable additions to its in the seventy-second year of his age,
is number of members. preaching with his accustomed ability, When any circumstances arise which while members are still added to the give a speculative bias to the studies of Church, and the schools and congrega
the rising ministry, it will for a time tion are in an encouraging state. Here act unfavourably as to the well-being of is an instance scarcely to be equalled,
some of the Churches. The state of the we think, throughout the country, of Academy, which, after the death of father and son filling the office of Doddridge, was removed to Daventry, pastor in the same place for ninety
and placed under the care of Dr. Caleb two years-going beyond the course of Ashworth, was at one time considered three generations.
to be unfavourable to the interests of A younger son also of the late Mr. evangelical truth and piety. Though Toller became the pastor of the Church the Doctor maintained, what we conat Market Harborough in the year sider to be, the great principles of the 1836, when it had been for some time Gospel, as to the person and work of in a divided state. He was the means
the Redeemer; and this would be the of restoring it to peace and prosperity ;
case with his immediate successor, Mr. continuing his ministry for twenty- Robins, * who was remarkable for his three years, when, in the midst of his fine taste and classical attainments, days and his usefulness he was and not less so for his attachment to moved by death. But the influence of the truths of the Gospel, and for his his spirit and his ministry still remains devotional spirit; yet the assistants in among the people.
the Academy were regarded as deficient In another town a separation from in these points; and Mr. Belsham, who one of the congregations took place,
had been assistant tutor, was appointed which exerted an unfavourable in- to the presidency in the year 1781, fluence for some time, but all the until, having fully embraced Unitarian unhappy feelings it once excited have sentiments, he resigned his office. now passed away. The Church at After this, the Institution returned Rothwell was considered to be in a again to Northampton ; but the state depressed state for some years under of things proving unsatisfactory there, one of its pastors, but he was succeeded by the Rev. Walter Scott, under whose * See the character of Mr. Robins as ministry, which continued here for
drawn by Mr. Toller in “ The Memorials twenty years, it was greatly improved. of the Northamptonshire Churches," p.201.
it was broken up, to be placed on a new foundation, at Wymondley, Herts, under Dr. Parry. It would be vain to say that this state of things had no unfavourable influence on any of the Churches in the county; but we believe that it did not extend widely; and there is reason to conclude that they have fully recovered from its influence. Their attachment to the doctrines relating to the divine nature and atoning sacrifice of the Redeemer, with the personality and agency of the Holy Spirit, is strong and decided; while these doctrines are maintained by the pastors in their truth and glory, and in their invaluable influence on the Christian life, and on the cause of God.
IV.--SUMMARY OF THE STATE OF NONCONFORMITY IN THE COUNTY, WITH THE RECENT EFFORTS MADE TO EVANGELIZE THE VILLAGES,
worthy to be called their successors. We think we might do more than we have yet done to advance the interests of vital, voluntary Christianity."
During some years past the meetings of the County Association, which were held half-yearly, excited but little interest in the Churches. Though different methods were tried to increase that interest, yet, for a time, they all failed. But now, having taken up more fully the cause of county evangelization, new interest is awakened, which we trust will continue and increase. There are four agents employed, whose labours extend over seventy villages. There is now an annual meeting, held in the month of April, when the agents present their statement before the assembly, the report is read by the Secretary, and the state of things in the county is considered; and a sermon, by a minister chosen for the occasion, is preached in the evening
In their last report of the County Mission we have the following statement:-“We have the great satisfaction of knowing that there is not an accessible family within their wide range unvisited, or destitute of the Gospel. About seventy villages, with all their outlying homesteads, are included in these four districts. Summer and winter do the evangelists perambulate them, holding cottage and outdoor services, visiting the sick, distributing tracts, lending good books, reading and dispensing the Holy Scriptures, thoroughly
thoroughly acquainting themselves with the people, entering into the peculiar trials of the poor, and in every way striving to be to them Christ's messengers of mercy and peace.”
“The villages of the county are 380 in number, and allowing that fifty of these are cared for by the large towns which they surround, and fifty more are supplied with faithful ministers, more than 200 still remain to be provided for, that is, we want ten more evangelists at least to cover the
The following statement was printed in the year 1862:—“We reckon that there are now rather more than seventy Churches in the county formed on the Congregational model of Church government, including the Independent and the Baptist denominations; that there are near upon
hundred villages supplied by the ministers and members of these Churches. In addition to these, there are about a hundred and twenty places supplied by the Wesleyan body, all of whom took shelter under the 'Act of Toleration,' first passed for the relief of our Nonconformist forefathers, who had done and suffered so much to promote both civil and religious liberty in the land. As a comparatively small, and chiefly agricultural county, we cannot
say much of increasing numbers, wealth, or influence, but under the blessing of the great Head of the Church, we are still doing something to promote His cause, both at home and abroad. But when we reflect on the spirit, the labours, the sacrifices, and sufferings, of those who have gone before us, we fear that we are scarcely
county. It is to be hoped that our
the instruction of the young. At Baptist brethren will see their way, Peterborough, Oundle, and the village either to the employment of such an of Desborough, new chapels have been agency as our own, or a village ministry, erected. In remembrance of the past, more missionary in its character than and with hopes of the highest character at present exists. We shall greatly for the future, the pastors and their rejoice to divide the work with Churches would still plead—“The Lord them.
our God be with us, as He was with Of late years several of the oldest our fathers; let Him not leave us, nor chapels in the county have been much forsake us." “Let Thy work appear improved-repewed—with the seats unto Thy servants, and Thy glory unto newly arranged for the further accom- their children; and let the beauty of modation of the hearers, at a considerable the Lord our God be upon us; and cost; convenient school-rooms have been establish Thou the work of our hands erected in connection with them, so upon us, yea, the work of our hands that there are increased facilities for establish Thou it."
COLONIAL MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
Quarterly Record. The position of the Colonial Missionary It is not, perhaps, to be expected that Society as a minister to the colonies in men who find that they can serve spiritual things is being steadily main- Christ in the ministry of the gospel at tained. There is not the strain upon home, with acceptance and success, will the resources and energies of the Society in large numbers volunteer for the to which it has been subjected in times ministry abroad. But the committee when new colonies were being settled, of the Colonial Society have regarded and large emigration was taking place it as a reasonable expectation that & from the mother country, nor do the knowledge of the spiritual destitution reports of its agents contain those racy which prevails in some of the colonies and piquant descriptions for which would move a sufficient number of wellonly new enterprises can furnish the equipped Christian teachers to go forth materials; but not the less is the work and meet it. And in this expectation for which the Society was organized they have been disappointed. The being earnestly carried forward. Weak enthusiasm with which the work of positions are being strengthened, young foreign missions is often sought is rarely causes are being carefully fostered, and manifested in the proposals which are churches, which passing changes have made for colonial service. They are embarrassed, are being encouraged and far from grudging the Foreign Missionhelped.
ary Societies the supreme position
they occupy in the regards of men who MINISTERS WANTED.
are moved by the missionary spirit, The Society has recently had to but they cannot regard their virtual contend with many discouragements in monopoly of the service which such men its work. Not the least among these is offer as a sign of healthy Christian the difficulty they find in inducing feeling. Why should not the colonies ministers of approved character and of Great Britain, in the proportion of ability to undertake colonial service. their wants, occupy a prominent position in the thought of English Christians The people value their Christian privias fields of missionary labour ?
leges, if possible, more highly than they For some time the Society has sought ever did before, and make greater in vain to find a minister for the capital of sacrifices than they ever made before Natal, where ecclesiastical controversy to preserve them ; but they are, for the and religious revival have combined to time being, disabled from rendering the make the people specially accessible to substantial pecuniary aid which they the influences of Christian teaching. have rendered in years past. One of Recently the Church of St. John's, the pastors of that colony, whose Newfoundland, has appealed to the fidelity and courage in very trying Society to send a minister who should circumstances are beyond all praise, preach the gospel to them, and preside writes :—“We have just held our anniover them in the spirit and according versary services, and they have been to the forms of Congregational order. more successful than we anticipated ; In the Canadian dominion, while the the contributions of the people were College in Montreal, in part supported (for their circumstances) most liberal. by the Society, provides a considerable The proceeds were enough to pay off number of efficiently trained ministers; all debts for incidental expenses, leaving there are three or four separate spheres only the minister's stipend to be made up. now open for which ministers are wanted During the past year, at the end of from home. There is a position of great each quarter, there has been a deficiency, importance in Melbourne, also, to which owing to the reduced circumstances of it is desirable that a minister of con- the subscribers, some giving only half, siderable power and experience should while others have felt obliged to disgo forth. The committee avail them- continue their subscriptions altogether. selves of this opportunity of advertising It is only by the kind forbearance and their wants to the ministers and the patience of my deacons, who supply churches, and they earnestly pray the me with provisions, waiting for payment Lord of the harvest to thrust forth until the money can be raised, that I labourers into the harvest.
am able to continue here." There,
however, our brother continues, working THE SOCIETY'S OPERATIONS.
with vigour and even with cheerfulness. In this brief paper no attempt can be Our chief difficulty,” he says, “lies in made to review the wide and various making provision for the future, but fields which the Society occupies; but a we will not anticipate trial. Sufficient glance at some of them will disclose the unto the day is the evil thereof. nature of the work in which the Society The glimpse which these words give of is engaged.
this one sphere of labour may be taken,
with slight modifications of circumQUEENSLAND.
stance, as true of every church in This colony has suffered very severely Queensland. Some have been estafrom the depression of trade, and the blished for a greater length of time, and loss of confidence consequent upon the have greater breadth of organization and late monetary panic. The effects of fulness of resource, but all have been that panic upon the well-consolidated seriously crippled. The committee institutions of this country have been have felt that they could make no serious enough; but they furnish no better use of the funds placed at their standard by which to judge of its effects disposal than to vote special sums in upon the institutions of the colonies, aid of our brethren, some of whose where all is new and immature, and churches had been self-supporting, and where there is little realised wealth. some of which, in ordinary circum