Imágenes de páginas

circuit in 1840; yet, taking the aggregate of all the five collections and subscriptions, and referring back to a period of five years, we shall find that the circuit raised last year near eleven pounds more than in 1844, making a total of £191 3s.; the total in 1844 being £178 5s. 9d. The amount for the Chapel Fund in the latter year, was £8 1s. 2d.; while in 1849, it was £27 8s. 94d. The following statements will briefly show the progress of the other funds :

In 1798, the first year after the separation, there was raised by the circuit for the YEARLY COLLECTION, £19 3s. 6d. ; in 1815, £21 19s.; in 1844, £31 2s. 7d.; and in 1849, £32 13s. 10d. For the PATERNAL FUND, in 1804 was raised £11 17s.; in 1824, £25 17s.; and in 1849, £44 16s. 6d. In 1803-4, the BENEFICENT FUND was commenced, and for the establishment of it, a special effort was made in the way of benefactions by the friends of the Connexion; and next to the effort made by the Manchester Circuit, stands Nottingham, which raised £62 9s., a considerable, if not the greater part of which, it is believed, should be placed to the credit and kindness of the late R. Hall, Esq. In 1824, the annual subscriptions of the circuit to the same fund amounted to £5 14s. 6d. ; and last year to £13 1s. For the MISSIONS, the circuit raised £48 6s. 1d. in 1834; and last year, £73 2s. 11d.

In an historic notice of the circuit, it is but just to place upon record the names of some of the founders and early friends of the Methodist New Itinerancy in Nottingham and its neighbourhood. In May, 1796, a meeting of delegates, from various societies of the Nottingham district, assembled in the town, for the purpose of consulting on their felt grievances, and presenting a memorial to the district meeting, then and there also assembled, praying for the redress of such grievances by the admission of lay representatives into district meetings and into the Conference. The names of those more immediately connected with the Nottingham Circuit, and appended to the memorial, are the following:Samual Barlow, Thomas Tatham, Joseph Woodhouse, Charles Sutton,f Nottingham; Robert Hall, Basford; Joseph Finch, Mansfield; and William Huddlestone, Arnold. The second of these, Mr. Tatham, at the time of the division, decided to continue in the original body; the rest, with a few coadjutors, might be considered as the founders of our community in the Nottingham Circuit. The names of others also, now deceased, deserve to be had in remembrance; some of whom were members and official characters before the separation, and the remainder were amongst its early supporters and friends, viz. :-Salthouse, Peet, Kirk, Manlove, Bassett, Bond, Aldred, Ingham, Chambers, Wells, James, Anderson, Potter, Roberts, N. and Joseph Barnsdell, Cresswell, Upton, Garton, J. and W. Thompson, Broadhurst, Bosworth; and, of the sisterhood in the town, should be recorded the names of Sutton, Bassett, Salthouse, Oldknow, and Amy Wells. In the country parts of the circuit must not be forgotten the names of Posnett, of Stanton; Isaac Atkin and Mrs. Streets, of Stapleford; Spencer, of Adbolton; Porter and Chambers, of Wilne. All honour to the memory of these workers at and supporters of our Zion during its early progress towards its present state of permanency and prosperity; and though a few of them

* Father of the writer of this article.

† Father of R. Sutton, Esq., and one of the Guardian Representatives of our Connexion.


did not die in church-fellowship with us, they continued to be our friends and well-wishers.

The circuit has furnished the Connexion with twenty-five ministers. The following is a list of their names, and the order in which they were taken out:-W. Farmer, T. Shore, G. Wall, G. Hendley, P. Collins, G. Taylor, R. Watson, J. Crisp, S. Woodhouse, W. Salt, J. Manners, Jun., F. Newbery, G. Goodall, W. Burrows, H. Watts, B. Severn, H. Seals, W. Thompson, J. Hudston, W. Pacey, J. Flather, J. Poxon, L. Saxton, W. Brogdale, and H. Piggin. The late Rev. Richard Watson, after he left the Old Connexion, settled for a time at Castle Donington, in the Nottingham Circuit, where he obtained an acquaintance with Mr. Driver, then stationed at Nottingham, and by whose recommendation that eminently-gifted man was introduced into our Connexion. On this account, it was deemed right to place his name in the list. The writer remembers to have heard him preach in Hockley chapel just before he repaired to Stockport, in the Manchester Circuit.*

The statistical returns to last Conference, in reference to members and the funds, having been given in this article, it only remains to say, that from the tabular statement of the Connexion, as given in the last year's minutes, it appears that in the Nottingham Circuit there are 19 chapels, 21 societies, 4 circuit (married) ministers, 51 local preachers, 23 Sabbath schools, 448 teachers, and 2217 scholars. Long may the great Head of the Church vouchsafe to this part of his vineyard the choicest blessings of his grace! Amen.

Mossley, Jan. 9th, 1850.

*As but few persons possess a complete copy of the minutes from the commencement of the Connexion to the present time, it will no doubt be interesting to the friends in the Nottingham Circuit, as well as serve for the purpose of reference, to have a list of the annual appointments of the ministers who have laboured amongst them in "word and doctrine." The appointments stand as follows:-In 1797, J. Grundell, J. Revill; 1798, A. Kilham, G. Matthewson; 1799, W. Thom, J. Winstanley, J. Jones; 1800, W. Thom, W. Haslam, C. Donald; 1801, A. Cumming, W. Driver; 1802, W. Driver, J. Mallinson; 1803, W. Driver, J. Mallinson, J. Revill in part, and partly at Leicester; 1804, G. Wall, T. Bosker; 1805, J. Mort, G. Beaumont; 1806, J. Mort, G. Beaumont; 1807, W. Driver, T. Waterhouse; 1808, A. Scott, A. Jackson; 1809, W. Styan, A. Jackson; 1810, W. Styan, T. Allin; 1811, J. Manners, T. Allin; 1812, J. Manners, S. Barrowclough; 1813, T. Shore, A. Jackson; 1814, T. Shore, C. Atkinson; 1815, W. Chapman, C. Atkinson, W. Jones; 1816, W. Haslam, W. Chapman, W. Jones; 1817, W. Haslam. W. Wood, J. Atherton; 1818, W. Haslam, W. Wood, D. Barker; 1819, W. Shuttleworth, T. Scattergood, D. Barker; 1820, W. Shuttleworth, T. Scattergood, T. Robinson; 1821, J. Ousey, T. Batty, W. Shuttleworth, supernumerary; 1822, W. Styan, J. Ousey, J. Curtis; 1823, W. Styan, S. Woodhouse, W. Seaton; 1824, S. Woodhouse, J. Davies, J. Straw; 1825, S. Woodhouse, J. Davies, W. Hughes; 1826, B. Earnshaw, J. Dawson, H. Seals; 1827, B. Earnshaw, J. Dawson, J. Martin; 1828, W. Ford, J. Henshaw, J. Bott; 1829, W. Ford, W. Salt, J. Bott; 1830, W. Salt, J. Wilson, P. W. Greaves; 1831, J. Wilson, J. Hillock, S. Hulme; 1832, J. Bakewell, J. Hillock, W. Baggaly; 1833, J. Bakewell, T. Robinson, W. Baggaly; 1834, J. Livingstone, T. Robinson, A. Lynn, J. Manners, supernumerary at Derby; 1835, J. Livingstone, W. Jones, A. Lynn, C. Robe; 1836, J. Livingstone, W. Jones, A. Lynn, J. Townend; 1837, S. Woodhouse, W. Hughes, L. Stoney, W. Reynolds; 1838, S. Woodhouse, W. Hughes, L. Stoney, W. Reynolds; 1839, S. Woodhouse, C. Atkinson, S. Smith, T. Coxon; 1840, J. Wilson, J. Wynn, S. Smith, B. Earnshaw, supernumerary; 1841, B. Earnshaw, J. Wynn, S. Mellor; 1842, P. T. Gilton, C. Donald, S. Mellor; 1843, P. T. Gilton, C. Donald, J. Bensley; 1844, W. Mills, W. Innocent, J. Bensley, J. Ramsden; 1845, W. Mills, T. Ridge, S. Jones, T. Boycott; 1846, W. Mills, T. Ridge, S. Jones, T. Boycott; 1847, T. Mills, W. Jones, J. Wilson, T. Boycott; 1848, T. Mills, J. Wilson, G. Grundy, J. Wright; 1849, T. Mills, J. Nelson, G. Grundy, J. Wright.


As Nottingham was one of the scenes where a number of faithful men of the past generation nobly struggled for those rational and scriptural principles of religious freedom which distinguish our denomination, and which principles must ultimately be incorporated in every Methodist community, it will not be unacceptable to give a few extracts from the letters of one or two of those worthy men. We have many of these original documents lying before us, but our space will admit of only a few.

The pious Robert Hall, of Basford, was a frequent correspondent with Mr. Kilham, both before and after the origin of our Community. It was indeed Mr. Hall who opened the correspondence with Mr. Kilham, and introduced him to the Nottingham reformers. The original letter now lies before us. It is sensible, judicious, and breathes a spirit of genuine liberality, combined with a love for all that is good. We give the following extract :—

"Basford, 16th April, 1796.

"DEAR SIR,-I am desired by a committee of Methodists at Nottingham, formed for the purpose of carrying forward the plan recommended by our Newcastle friends, to write to you and desire you to give me a line as soon as convenient, respecting the present situation of your affairs; and, at the same time, to inform us in what manner we can give you any assistance against the many enemies that you will no doubt find on the present occasion, and particularly at the time of your trial at the approaching district meeting. Whatever aspersions may have been cast on us by the tongues of slander and ignorance, there is nothing more certain to all who are well acquainted with us, that we are firmly attached to every part of rational Methodism. We highly revere the itinerant plan in particular, and certainly will do all in our power to support it; but, at the same time, as your conduct and publications do, for the most part, agree with our sentiments, we should think ourselves very remiss not to give you all the support in our power, even though this should further draw on us the calumny of your and our enemies, and should cause us more fully to be represented as factious and disobedient. There never was a time when we laboured under greater pecuniary embarrassments than at present; but that shall not prevent us giving you some assistance of that kind, if you are in want of it, which, if it be the case, you will please to mention it in your answer, and, at the same time, say whether you would have us write in your behalf to the district meeting that is to sit in judgment upon you. If you advise this, you must inform us when and where it is to be held.

"We hope we shall ever revere good men and good laws; but those that will no longer listen to the dictates of wisdom and justice, will certainly become the objects of our just reprehension and indignation.

"I am, dear sir, with prayers for your prosperity,
Your sincere friend,

[ocr errors]


Mr. Kilham having answered this letter, another was sent by Mr. Hall about a month afterwards, giving practical evidence that the Nottingham reformers were not friends in profession merely, but in deed and in truth. In this letter we find, too, the mode of address is changed from "dear sir," into that more emphatically expressive of English cordiality and Christian affection—“ dear friend.”

"Basford, 30th April, 1796. "DEAR FRIEND,-The committee of the Methodists at Nottingham have desired me to remit you five guineas, for which they expect you to send them such pamphlets as you judge best calculated to forward the cause of liberty amongst us. They do not expect you to balance this by value in books, but leave it to your discretion, and will give you further assistance if you want it. With respect to our affairs here, we have written letters to most of the principal societies in the district, requesting them to send delegates to meet at Nottingham to

demand our liberties; they are to meet the day before the district meeting, on the 22nd of May, and as far as we can judge, our letters have been well received, and the people enter into our views. We should by all means have a supply of pamphlets by that time. We never were so well satisfied with our preachers as at this time; they all behave liberally in the present dispute, and we should be sorry to have any part of our conduct as levelled at them. This we shall endeavour to avoid, by a proper explanation. Mr. Hanby desires his love to you and your friends now

"Wrestling in the glorious cause

Of truth, of freedom, and of equal laws.'

And I am persuded were all the preachers of his spirit and liberality, the contest would be at an end.

"We shall be glad of every necessary information, and believe me, dear sir, with prayers for your prosperity,

"Your sincere friend,


The preceding letter to Mr. Kilham refers to a meeting of delegates, to be held preparatory to the Wesleyan district meeting. That meeting. of delegates was held at the time specified, when an address was adopted and sent to the preachers then holding their district meeting. address stated their views as to the important points of Methodistic reform, agreeing substantially with the system which was subsequently adopted by the founders of our Connexion. This address, so far from giving offence, was cordially responded to by all the preachers except one. The justice of the people's claims was admitted, and the following reply was sent.

"TO MESSRS. HALL, BARLOW, TATHAM, &C.-DEAR BRETHREN,-We feel it our desire to promote, as much as possible, the credit and prosperity of that cause in which we, as ministers of the Gospel, are engaged. With this view, we honestly declare our wish, that the grievances of which our people complain may meet with the redress of Conference. We only speak the sentiment of our hearts when we say, that we sincerely love the brethren, and feel it the greatest pleasure of our lives to spend and be spent for their present and future advantage; and we are fully persuaded that while we act disinterestedly, we have nothing to fear, but everything to hope. We are happy to find that Mr. Benson has no objection that all preachers should come into connection with the voice of the people; this, to say nothing of prudence, we consider to be no more than equity and justice will claim. Agrecable to such principles, (principles we wish ever to abide by,) we further observe, that members of society should be admitted, or excluded by a majority of the leaders; that the circuit and society stewards should be the voluntary choice of a majority of our people, together with the preachers; and that all other regulations which concern us, (as a religious body,) should be grounded on a foundation as lasting as it is just, and as prosperous as it is prudent. We see no reason to object to the admission of delegates from our societies into our district meetings, nor of delegates from our circuits into the Conference, to assist and advise with us in all matters which properly concern them as representatives of the people. As the friends of our common cause, as children of one heavenly Father, as fellow-brethren of Christ Jesus, we entreat you "pray for us;" that he who governs in Zion may preside over us, and determine in all our councils.-We are, dear brethren, your servants for Christ's sake, THOMAS HANBY, SIMON DAY, JOHN BEAUMONT, THOMAS DUNN, GEORGE SARGEANT, THOMAS GREAVES, J. PENMAN, THOMAS LONGLEY, JONATHAN PARKIN, JOHN ATKINS, JOHN NELSON, GEORGE DERMOTT, GEORGE MORLEY."

This is an important document, and bears witness to the fact that the above sober-minded ministers did not see any legal barrier, nor apprehend any danger to the interests of the Church or the prerogatives of the ministry, in the admission of lay representatives to the district meetings and the Conference. Happy would it have been for Methodism had those important measures been conceded at that time. That they must

ultimately be granted can admit of no doubt by any considerate mind. This interesting document was printed, and Mr. Hall immediately sent a copy of it to Mr. Kilham, accompanied by an affectionate epistle. which now lies before us. It breathes the same firm, but gentle and affectionate spirit as his other epistles.

A few months afterwards Mr. Hall wrote again to Mr. Kilham, from which letter it appears that, though he had prepared a pamphlet on the cause of Methodistic reform, and was equally firm in the maintainance of his principles, he with many others hoped that a reformation would be effected without a division in the body. Neither he nor others fought for the fame of victory, but for principle.

"Basford, 14th Sep., 1796.

"DEAR FRIEND,-When you were at Nottingham, I promised to write my thoughts on the present state of our affairs, to be laid before the public; this I have now done, and it would make a small pamphlet of fifteen or twenty octavo pages. I have had a jury of friends to give their verdict on it, and they have voted their hearty and unqualified approbation, and advise me to publish it. I am in a strait and don't know how to act. I wish I had some person to advise with in this business of more general knowledge than any I have consulted at present. I pray to God for his direction. I see many sincere souls hurt in this contest, and my heart bleeds on their behalf. But I cannot be satisfied that this is a sufficient reason that I should give up one truth, or forfeit the principles of reason and equity. A Church established on laws as weak and unequal as ours can never ultimately prosper. I cannot adopt the maxim that we ought to make a resignation of truth and substitute error for the sake of peace. You see, I am in a situation that I doubt not you have often experienced. I have a mind at variance with itself. I really love the cause of religion, and particularly that amongst the Methodists, but I abhor its present system of government. How glad I should be to have an hour's conversation with friend Grundall, and a few of your other acquaintances, of whom you speak so highly, in your neighbourhood. I hope a division will not take place. Idon't see that it is necessarily connected with the present contest. I rather should suppose they would prevent a separation, for I can hardly suppose, ignorant as many of the people are, that they would combine against their own interests, and fall in love with the persons that would enslave and oppress them. I hear Mr. B is opening the campaign at Leeds, and is rallying all his forces for the attack. I am sorry to say I much disapprove of that man's conduct. I think I see through and through his mean soul. I believe if his whole frame, mental and corporeal, was submitted to chemical analysis, neither the sublimate nor caput mortuum would afford one grain of that liberality that is the principal ornament of mankind. I beg you will give my kind love to my old friend Grundall. Tell him I intend to write to him shortly; indeed, I have not used him well. I have been long indebted to him, but hope to pay him in a little time, and I know his friendly and forgiving spirit. You see I acknowledge my faults, which is the first step towards reformation. My wife joins me with her kind love to you, and she will be glad to see you whenever you can pay us a friendly visit. "I am, dear friend, yours affectionately,

"Mr. Alexander Kilham.


Mr. C. Sutton, father of the present Mr. Richard Sutton, of Nottingham, took an active part with the faithful men of Nottingham in their honourable contest for religious freedom. We have a number of his letters to Mr. Kilham, but most of them are on matters of business. Thé following brief extract is valuable as indicative of the spirit which actuated him and his colleagues in their arduous efforts.

"Nottingham, Aug. 30th, 1797. “Dear Sir,—Am happy to find your prospects so promising in your quarter. I have no doubt but our cause will be found to be a growing one. We only have to engage in it in the name of the Lord, with firmness and moderation, and prosperity will be the certain consequence. 'Who can harm us, if we be the followers of that which is good?' I have the happiness to inform you that the leaders and

« AnteriorContinuar »