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Baptist meeting-house in Deritend, and another addition of ten was shortly made to the church, the candidates being baptised in the same place. Four persons were afterwards dismissed to this infant cause from the church in Cannon-street: subsequently eleven others were baptised. The church was now composed of sixty-five members, when the meeting-house in Bond-street was opened. This took place on the 15th of November, 1786. The officiating ministers on the occasion were the Rev. James Butterworth, of Bromsgrove, and the Rev. Henry Taylor, of Cannon-street, Birmingham.
“ Thus was begun the worship of God in Bond-street. May the Lord grant it may ever appear to be for the glory of God, and the good of many precious souls.Amen."
When the infirmities of old age had rendered it necessary for Mr. Edmonds to obtain assistance, Mr. Morgan, formerly the pastor of the church in Cannon-street, whose health was by this time considerably restored, accepted the invitation of the church to be associated with its aged pastor, and entered upon this new connexion in January, 1815. At length Mr. Edmonds fell asleep in Jesus in March, 1823, leaving Mr. Morgan sole pastor. Mr. Edmonds was a man of vigorous intellect, strong passions, considerable humour, and no small share of wit, all of which, and the latter sometimes too much, were exhibited in the pulpit. There was often great power, generally eccentricity, and not unfrequently a strain of remark which excited irresistibly the risible propensities of his hearers. He greatly excelled in prayer, an exercise from which every thing bordering on humour and levity was carefully excluded, and which was often characterized by an uncommon solemnity, unction, and pathos. His labours were suc
cessful, and he raised a large church which was much attached to him.
Finding himself becoming feeble in strength, Mr. Morgan was for awhile assisted by Mr. Edgar, and then resigned the pastorate in 1846. Mr. Morgan published a very useful volume of sermons to the young and one or two tracts. Mr. Edgar continued for a short time, and then retired also.
The present minister of Bond-street meeting-house is Mr. New, formerly of Salisbury, who commenced his ministry in 1848.
NEWHALL-STREET CHAPEL. This place of worship was erected about sixty years ago by the followers of Emmanuel Swedenborg, and passed from them in a way to be afterwards shewn, and was occupied for awhile by a sect of antinomians. While Mr. Birt was pastor of the church in Cannon-street, a portion of the members obtained their dismission, and were formed by him into a separate church in this place of worship, in the year 1814. Since then they have had as their pastors, Mr. Poole, Mr. Ham, Mr. Stokes, Mr. Stewart, and have now Mr. O'Neill.
GRAHAM-STREET CHAPEL, FORMERLY CALLED MOUNT
This spacious and elegant place was erected twenty-five years ago by an individual to whom we might have alluded, when giving an account of the congregation of Mr. Eagleton, in Livery-street meeting. When the building approached towards completion, much curiosity was excited, and many enquiries made concerning the appropriation of this new and commanding place of worship. Nobody could get any information, for the projector had none to give. When it was nearly finished, he was advised to offer it to the celebrated Edward Irving, who was then in the zenith of his popularity. This counsel was taken; a correspondence was entered into with that gentleman, and a treaty concluded for opening the chapel in connexion with the Scotch Church. This was done in March, 1824, when Mr. Irving preached twice on the occasion.
Mr. Crosbie, a minister of that church, first occupied the pulpit; but as he did not attract a congregation, it was soon determined by him and his friends that the place was too large and too expensive, and they withdrew and erected the handsome chapel at the bottom of Newhall-street, at the opening of which Mr. Irving again preached, in conjunction with the author of this narrative
Upon the withdrawment of the Scottish congregation, the pulpit of Mount Zion Chapel, as it was now called, was occupied by Mr. Greig, whose father was a minister of one of the Scotch Presbyterian bodies in London The chapel was now to be used as an Independent place of worship, and Mr. Greig was ordained by some of the neighbouring ministers, in 1826, according to the forms of congregationalists. There were some others of that body, among whom was the author of this history, who declined, for what they considered sufficient reasons, to take any part in that service. Mr. Greig occupied the pulpit only about a year, when he was cut down by consumption, brought on by disappointment in more affairs than one, acting upon a constitution predisposed to pulmonary affection.
The place was then for awhile shut up, when the Baptist denomination stirred up a member of their body to purchase it of the individual by whom it was erected: and in the year 1827, Mr. Thongar, once an Independent, but subsequently a Baptist, became the minister of the place. This gentleman afterwards embraced the views, at least in part, of Mr. Irving, and Mount Zion chapel became again destitute.
The next minister was Dr. Hoby, who had been educated and had graduated at the University of Edinburgh. Before his settlement in Birmingham Dr. Hoby had been pastor of the church at Maze Pond, in London, and of the Baptist church at Weymouth. The finances of the chapel were so low, that Dr. Hoby, being possessed of private fortune, preached for several years without any remuneration, and to the end of his connexion with the congregation received very little for his labours. By his exertions nearly two thousand pounds were raised by the contributions not only of the Baptist body, but of some persons of other denominations, by whom he was much respected and who were desirous of seeing this place of worship freed from its oppressive load of debt. Dr. Hoby resigned his situation in 1844, and accepted the invitation of a Baptist church in London.
To Dr. Hoby succeeded Mr. Dawson, now minister of The Church of the Saviour, whose religious opinions and ritual observances being deemed by the trustees not in accordance with the provisions of the trust deed of the chapel, he resigned the pulpit. Upon Mr. Dawson's removal, the chapel being encumbered with a heavy debt, the Baptist body raised the sum of £2500 to reduce the mortgage and to effect some necessary repairs and improvements. Mr. Mortlock Daniell, who had been settled at Ramsgate, and had built there a handsome chapel, was then invited to become the minister, who has succeeded in raising a considerable congregation, and is now labouring with acceptance and success amidst a united and attached flock.
HENEAGE-STREET CHAPEL, ASHTED. This neat and commodious place of worship, which is situated in the midst of a dense population, is the fruit of the zeal and liberality of the Baptist denomination in this town. It was not the result, as it must be confessed is too frequently the case among dissenters, of a schism in any one of their churches, but of a pure concern for the extension of their body and for the preaching of the gospel to the then destitute population of that neighbourhood. At the time of the origination of this congregation, the only place of worship in that large and increasing neighbourhood was St. James's chapel ; St. Matthew's having been erected since. The congregation in Heneage-street had its origin in two events. When the ever-to-be-remembered emancipation of our negro population in the West Indies was fully and finally accomplished, the Baptists in this town determined to commemorate that event, so auspicious to the interests of humanity and the cause of freedom, by some institution which should be a benefit to the town, and they resolved to accomplish this benevolent design by erecting school rooms, and setting up daily and Sunday schools for the education of poor children. Land in Heneage-street was purchased for this purpose, and a building erected at the cost of £600, the foundation stone of which was laid by Mr. Joseph Sturge, who gave a munificent donation towards the expenses of the erection. One scheme of beneficence often leads to another
-the school often leads on to the chapel—and the school-master is often the precursor of the minister. So it proved here. When the Cannon-street church celebrated its centenary in 1837, the question was mooted whether the event should not be marked by some substantial expression of their gratitude to God for his