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The subject, however, is too large for discussion in this article; in some future paper we may again call the attention of the churches to it. By what means a better provision can be made for the spiritual destitution still existing in some districts of our country, is a question involving many political and moral, as well as religious considerations, and ought to take a high stand among the serious and practical speculations of the day: Nor is it a less interesting inquiry to endeavour to ascertain, by an appeal to modern facts—as well as principles laid down or involved in facts recorded in the sacred Scriptures-how far the localizing of religious worship, and the regular administration of christian ordinances, have contributed, and may be made to contribute, to the extension of the kingdom of Christ, in morally destitute localities. In the mean time, let such projects have the prayers and liberal efforts of the churches, that, under the oversight of the great Shepherd of the sheep, they may be found instrumental to the salvation of thousands around us, who are now living without hope and without God in the world.
FOUNDATION OF A NEW CHAPEL, TOTNESS, DEVON. On Thursday evening, July 30th, was held one of the most interesting religious services ever remembered in Totness. On that occasion the foundation stone was laid of the new and much enlarged Independent Chapel now being erected by the church and congregation under the pastoral care of the Rev. William Tarbotton. After singing the 180th Hymn in the Congregational Hymn-book, Richard Peek, Esq. of Hazelwood House, one of the magistrates of the county of Devon, laid the stone, in the presence of a very large assembly, and, in an efficient address, explained the motives and objects which had led to the undertaking. The Rev. T. Stenner, of Dartmouth, then solemnly besought the divine blessing. After singing another hymn, the Rev. George Smith, of Plymouth, delivered an appropriate oration, selecting as his motto, the words of Ezra v. 3: -“Who hath commanded you to build this house ?” Praise was then again offered up, and the Rev. W. Tarbotton concluded the hallowed and interesting engagements of the evening with prayer and the benediction.
It is expected that the intended edifice will be an ornament to the town. A large number of sittings are to be set apart as free for the use of the poor. A considerable portion of the Old Chapel is to be converted into commodious Schoolrooms, inmediately connected with the new place of worship. The undertaking, altogether, is one which, it is hoped, will tend greatly to enlarge the kingdom of the Redeemer. The friends engaged in it respectfully and affectionately solicit the followers of Christ generally to unite with them in the prayer, that the glory of this latter house may exceed the glory of the former,
OPENING OF A NEW CHAPEL FOR THE SECOND INDEPENDENT
CHURCH, CHELMSFORD, ESSEX. On Thursday, the 23d of July last, the spacious and elegant New Chapel which has been erected for the congregation under the care of the Rev, Julius Mark, in London Street, Chelmsford, close to the new Iron Bridge, was opened for divine worship, and great numbers of respectable dissenters from all parts of the county visited the town on the occasion."
The building is of a decorated architectural character, and covers more ground than any other dissenting chapel in the county. The size on the outside is 74 feet by 55, and in the interior 68 feet by 51, and it is 31 feet high. The front consists of two Grecian porticoes, the lower colonnade covering the main entrances, consisting of four large Grecian-Doric columns, fluted, with massive entablature and ierminating pilasters. The upper colonnade consists of four Grecian-Ionic columns, with entablature and corresponding pilasters; the whole being surmounted by a clock-tower, with Grecian trusses supporting it. The building from the New Road bas an excellent effect, and reflects great credit on the taste and judgment of Mr Fenton, the architect, and also on the skill of Messrs. Wray, Dorman, and Thorne, the masons and builder.
N. S. VOL. IV.
The interior is fitted up in a very neat and commodious manner. The pulpit consists of a lower pedestal, surrounded with pilasters, and an upper pedestal, with Grecian fluted Doric columns at the angles, corresponding with those in the front of the building. Behind the pulpit is a recess for the singing gal. lery, with tinted glass windows, and below are the vestry and staircase. A spacious gallery runs along the front and each side of the building. It is to be warmed in winter by a stove placed in a fire-proof room on the basement story, where also are spacious and airy school-rooms. The cost of the chapel, the ground, with the iron railing by which it is inclosed, is about £3500. It will conveniently seat 1150 persons, and if crowded 2000; on the day of opening, probably the congregation exceeded that number, as many were compelled to stand in the passages.
The services of the day commenced with a prayer-meeting at the Old Chapel, at seven o'clock, and there was a public service at the New Chapel. Amongst the ministers present were, the Rev. T. Craig of Bocking, the Rev. J. Carter of Braintree, the Rev. R. Burls of Maldon, the Rev. John Pilkington of Rayleigh, the Rev. J. Johnson of Halsted, the Rev. D. Smith of Brentwood, &c. &c. The proceedings commenced by the Rev. J. Gray, pastor of the first Congregational Church, Chelmsford, offering up an appropriate prayer. The thirty-second Psalm was then sung, after which the Rev. J. Carter, of Braintree, read appropriate portions of the Scriptures, and offered up an appropriate and impressive prayer; the eighty-seventh Psalm was then sung, and the Rev, R. W. Hamilton, of Leeds, preached an able and eloquent sermon from the first Epistle of John, the fourth chapter and part of the 16th verse,“ God is love." In the conclusion of his discourse he congratulated the people on the events of that day. Honour to whom honour was due, first to God, and then to those who had raised that building. Ile appealed to them to contribute towards defraying the debt still due, that it might not remain an incumbrance and a shame on them.
After a hymn of praise, the service of the morning was concluded with a prayer by the Rev. R. Burls of Maldon. A handsome collection was made at the doors.
Shortly after two o'clock a party of upwards of two hundred gentlemen sat down to an excellent dinner served up by Mr. Kent, in a marquee erected in the meadow at the back of the Bell Inn. The Rev. J. Mark took the chait, supported by the ministers who had attended the service in the morning.
In the evening an appropriate sermon was preached by the Rev. A. Wells of Clapton, Secretary to the Congregational Union, and for many years a pastor at Congeshall, in the county of Essex.
The opening of this spacious chapel, which, we are happy to hear, has a crowded audience, is an auspicious omen for the voluntary principle in that town, where ecclesiastical tories have signalized themselves by the imprisonment of John Thorowgood, and by a vote of approbation to the church wardens for prolonging his captivity. The infatuation of this course, in a town so circuinstanced, will be apparent from the following statistics : EPISCOPALIANS. -- The Church will accommodate
Moulsham Chapel of Ease . . . . . 400
Being church and chapel accommodation equal to the whole population of the town, of which the endowed system affords sittings for 1500; the Dissenters for 3850; and the voluntary chapel of ease 400; making 4250 sittings on the voluntary principle, and 1500 on the compulsory.
NEW CONGREGATIONAL CHAPEL, UPPER CANADA. On Wednesday, the 17th of June, 1840, a church was opened in the 7th concession of Vaughan, Upper Canada, intended for the ministrations of the Rev. S. Harris, a missionary from the Colonial Missionary Society in connection with the Congregational Union of England and Wales. It is a neat and commodious edifice, capable of containing about 200 persons, and having been built principally by contributions of small sums and gratuitous labour from the inhabitants, is an interesting exemplification of the people's willingness and ability to provide religious ordinances for themselves. On the occasion of the opening, sermons were preached by the Rev. John Roaf of Toronto, and the Rev. W. P. Wastell of Guelph, and the devotional exercises were conducted by the Rev. T. Machin of Bowmanville, Rev. H. Denney of Esquesing, and the Rev. S. Harris. The congregations were large, the services solemn, and the collections liberal.- Toronto Eraminer.
ORDINATIONS, &c. The Rev. Mr. Bowhay, late of the Western College, was ordained pastor of the Independent church at Throop, in the county of Ilants; the Rev. M. Brown, of Poole, delivered the introductory discourse; the Rev. J. Durant offered the ordination prayer, and in the absence of the Rev. D. Gunn, of Christchurch, asked the usual questions; the Rev. Dr. Payne, Theological Tutor of the Western College, delivered the charge ; and the Rev. W. Thorn, of Winchester, preached to the people in the evening. The congregations were large, every part of the day. The weather was fine, and the whole service highly interesting.
On Thursday, the 18th of June, 1840, the Rev. J. R. Jones, (late student at the Presbyterian College, Caermarthen) was ordained to the pastorate of the Independent church and congregation, Kilsby, Northamptonshire. The Rev. J. Thomas Jesson, of Theddingworth, commenced by reading and prayer; the Rev. Eliezer Jones, of Oxford, delivered a very able discourse on the principles of nonconformity; the Rev. George Nettleship of Yelvertoft, proposed the usual questions; the Rev. B. Hobson, of Welford, offered up the ordination prayer; the Rev. Timothy East, of Birmingham, delivered the charge to the minister, and the Rev. Clement Bicknell, of Crick, concluded the services by prayer.
In the evening the Rev. Charles Bathurst Woodman, of London, commenced by reading and prayer; the Rev.John Sibree, of Coventry, addressed the church and congregation, and the Rev. John Davies, of Daventry, concluded by prayer. The other devotional parts of the services were conducted by the Rev. Messrs. Griffiths, of Long Buckby, Owen, of Smethwick, Cuzens, of Crick, Thomas, of Dunchurch, and Evans and Rowe, students of Spring Hill College, Birmingham.
COLLEGIATE APPOINTMENTS, &c. The Rev. Philip Smith, B.A. of the University of London, and late of Coward College, has been appointed Classical Tutor to Cheshunt College, Herts, by the Trustees of the Countess of Huntingdon's connection, and will enter upon the duties of his office at the commencement of the next session. The successful competition of Mr. Smith, for most of the prizes of his year at the University College examinations, is a testimony to his diligence and talents, and a pledge of the success which, we doubt not, will attend his labours as a college tutor.
The Rev. 0. T. Dobbin, B. A., of Trinity College, Dublin, has resigned his pastoral charge at Harley Street Chapel, Bow, Middlesex, and has accepted the
office of Classical Tutor to the Western Academy, Exeter, where he proposes to commence his official labours early in October.
RECENT DEATHS. On February 10th, in the island of Barbadoes, the Rev. WILLIAM HELLIWELL, pastor of the Congregational Church, Providence Chapel, Whitehaven. He was a zealous, laborious, and useful ininister, much esteemed by his congrega. tion. His remove in the prime of life from a sphere of extensive usefulness, is sincerely and deeply lamented.
On 4th of April, in the 74th year of his age, the Rev. John CAMPBELL, for 37 years the pastor of the Congregational Church at Kingsland. He suffered from a continued fever for a fortnight before his departure, attended by some disturbances of the brain. But, amidst the aberrations of his mind, sacred and missionary subjects still engaged his thoughts. We shall, doubtless, hare opportunities of referring more at length to the useful life of this eminently devoted and venerable servant of Christ.
At Pentonville, on May the 26th, the Rev. James Mainer, late of Uppe Clapton, and formerly pastor of the Congregational Church, Howard Street, Sheffield. This venerable minister was originally a member of the Congregational Church at Bolton, by whom he was highly esteemed, and encouraged to devote himself to the work of the ministry. He was trained for that service by the Rev. William Roby, in the seminary that was established at Manchester by the late Robert Spear, Esq. Mr. M. commenced his stated ministry at New Windsor, near Manchester, and thence he removed to Sheffield, where his labours were crowned with tokens of the divine approbation. After his resignation of the pastoral charge at Upper Clapton, he resided in Pentonville, where, after a short illness, which was endured with unusual patience, peace, and joy, he entered into his rest. His body was buried in the Abney Park Cemetery, and was the first deposited in that interesting grave-yard.
On Tuesday, June 23d, in the 39th year of his age, the Rev. LUKE FORSTER, pastor of the Congregational church assembling at Abbey Lane, Saffron Walden, formerly of Blackburn. His last sermon was delivered on Lord's day morning, June 14th, from Rom. iv. 20,“ He staggered not at the promise of God,” &c. When his indisposition was too great to permit of his preaching again that day, he proposed to resume the subject of the lecture on the following Friday. His weakness, however, prevented him, which gradually increased, with difficulty of breathing, until it became evident that the great Disposer of all events had determined to call him home. On the morning of Tuesday, after bearing testimony how precious Jesus Christ is to all believers, he sunk to rest without a struggle or a groan, or even a sigh, at the delightful residence of a friend in the neighbourhood of Walden, whither he had removed for change of air.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS AND MINOR CORRESPONDENCE.
Favours have been received from Rev. Drs. Henderson and Matheson. Rev. Messrs. J. Jukes-J. Robinson-W. Tarbotton-G. Rose-J. FrostRobert Chamberlain-W. Owen - J. C. Gallaway–J. Bounsall - Algernon Wells.
Also, from W. Stroud, Esq. M.D.-Messrs. Edward Copeland-An Enquirer- A Lawyer-Alethes.
ERRATA. - Page 576, for “ Germanica," read “ Germania."
for “ Wiggens's," read “ Wiggers's."
THE CONGREGATIONAL MAGAZINE.
THE REVEREND JAMES MATHER,
FORMERLY OF SHEFFIELD, AND LATE OF UPPER CLAPTON.
The churches of Christ should ever be ready to adopt the prayer and act in the spirit of Moses, when he cried, “ O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send.” To us, indeed, it seems desirable, that gifted and godly youths should be devoted to the ministry of the gospel from their earliest years, and like Samuel or Timothy, like Watts or Doddridge, bring to the service of the sanctuary the consecrated learning of many years.
But when, on the other hand, we see the grace of God arresting the mind and renewing the heart of a man of great natural talents, which had been long perverted, as was the case with John Bunyan and Robert Bolton, and find him constrained to speak of the power of that gospel which has snatched him from ruin, it is the duty of the churches to aid such in preparatory studies, who, though deficient in the polish of education, may become mighty in the Scriptures, and bring many sinners to God. Such was the happy change effected and the judicious course pursued in reference to the subject of the present Memoir.
Mr. James Mather was born at Leigh, in Lancashire, in the year 1773, and was the youngest of seven children. His father dying when he was only two years old, the care, support, and education of him and her other children devolved entirely upon his widowed mother; and as her circumstances were but limited, he was, at a very early age, put to the loom, and trained to the occupation of a muslin weaver. His youth was spent in folly and sinful ignorance, without the knowledge or fear of God.
When he was about sixteen, his mother died, and he removed to Warrington. From this time, till he was about twenty-six years of age, he was the occasional subject of deep convictions of sin, and N. S. Vol. IV.-Vol. XXIII.