« PoprzedniaDalej »
sixty years of age, or upwards, and under four-score, to be entitled to receive treble his subscription at the end of . the year; that is, his own subscription, and twice as much more. 4. Every subscriber of one penny per week, who is four-score years of age, or upwards, and under ninety, to receive four times his subscription at the end of the year; that is, his own subscription, and three times as much more. 5. And so in proportion for every increase of ten years. 6. Any blind person, of any age, may be a member of the society; and, if under sixty years of age, will be entitled to the same benefit as subscribers who are sixty years of age, and under seventy. 7. Every member who absents himself from church on Sundays, except in case of sickness, or some unavoidable impediment, to forfeit his benefit upon the subscription of that week. 8. If any member of this society should die in the course of the year, his friends will be entitled to receive his subscription, and so much benefit, as is proportioned to the time of subscribing. 9. Any person desirous of promoting the purposes of the society, without partaking of the benefit, may be an honorary member, by subscribing annually arguinea, or half a guinea, or not less than two pence per week; for which they will be entitled to receive weekly one copy of such publications, as may be purchased for the use of the society. - * 10. The subscription to be paid at the time of the weekly meeting, to the member, at whose house the reading is held , to be delivered by him to the secretary, on the Monday following. - 11. The annual subscription to be paid at the time of commencing member. - - - - 12. No member to receive any publication, whose subscription is in arrears. • 13. No benefit member, who is in arrears, to receive any benefit till his arrear are paid. This society consists of four honorary members (who subscribe an annual guinea each for the benefit of the fund), and nine old men and women, one of the age of 101 years, one a poor blind woman, and the other seven fo agesbetween 60 and 80. The honorary meinbers have ". . . - * lt
it in their power, by their weekly or annual subscriptions, not only to enlarge, and improve the means of assisting the poorer members of the society, but at the same time to contribute to the amusement and instruction of their children, and servants, and neighbours, by distributing among them the tracts of the Cheap Repository, and those of the society for promoting Christian, knowledge, which are purchased for the use of the society.
The books which are selected for reading to them are, Orton's Discourses to the aged,-Bishop Wilson's Sermons,-Bishop Wilson on the Sacrament,-Bishop Beveridge's private Thoughts,-Flavell's Husbandry spiritualized, adapted to present use,–Christian Husbandry, Fawcett's religious Weaver. -Burder's Village Sermons, and Peers's Companion for the Aged. :
The origin of this society was as follows.--I spoke to one of the old men, who had some turn for reading, and offered to come and read to him on the next Sunday, evening. The old man thanked me for the offer, and afterwards appeared much gratified with what I had done, I then told him that I would visit him the next Sunday evening; and that any other old persons among his neighbours, who wished it, might be present. A neighbour and his wife attended; and, on tl.e Sunday after, other old persons came, in consequence of leave given them upon their application. Finding the Sunday readings gave pleasure to them, I made an offer of forming a regular society, on the terms before mentioned. This they gladly accepted, and have since expressed great satisfaction in this new employment of their Sunday evening..
There is a cheap but comfortable Sunday dinner provided, for all who attend church. It is prepared from one of the receipts in the first volume of the Society's Reports, the expence of it not exceeding three halfpence a head. They dine at the house of one of the members, which from its situation is most convenient for the infirm members. The dinner is dressed at the Rectory, and sent on the Saturday evening to the house, where they dine.
The oldest and most infirm members are now become very punctual in their attendance on church ;, and by their example and influence, have contributed very much to the better observance of the Sabbath at Winston. . ,
• REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
METILODISM INSPecten, Part II. BY WILLIAM HALES,
D. D. Rector of Killesandra. Including Remarks on a Pamphlet intitled“ The Inspector of Methodism inspected, and the Christian Observer observed” by Joseph Benson,
&c. Svo. pp. 71, IN our Number for August, 1803, we took notice of the
first part of Dr. Hales's work. The present pamphlet may be considered as a Vindication of that performance, against the impertinent attack made upon it by a leading preacher among the Wesleyan Methodists of the name of Benson. This person, it also appears, has bestowed his animadversions upon the Christian Observer, for having spoken favourably of Dr. Hales's former publication. The Editors of that Journal however, endeavour to soften down his asperity, and to ward off his resentment, by « praising his piety, zeal, and benevolence.” This is curious enough; but the reason being told, the wonder ceases. Mr. Benson in the plenitude of his zeal “ threatens to withdraw his countenance and the patronage of many thousands of the Methodist Society from the Christian Observer.” . Here then the truth, in the bitterness of dispute comes out; and notwithstanding all the art and i cunning of the Conductors of the Christian Observer, we are assured from an authority which cannot be disputed, that this miscellany, instead of being as it pretends, fa-. vourable to the Church of England, is in fact supported by the Methodist interest. If such be its patronage, what must be its principles? Its affected moderation and Chrisa tian liberality, is nothing more than a mask of hypocrisy, assumed for the base and sinister purpose of promoting the sectarian interests at the expense of the church.
We have been led to make these remarks from what is related in Dr. Hales's present pamphlet, of the offence taken by Mr. Benson at some commendations. passed by the Christian Observer upon the spirit manifested in the first part of Methodism Inspecteda
: The same spirit of love and tenderness is manifested in the tract before us, though the learned author has been rudely assailed and vilified by the Methodists both in England and in Ireland. He treats them as Christian brethren while he inspects acutely, and reproves strongly, some of their leading errors and inconsistencies.
Blended with the graver matter of argument and critical discussion, are some curious and entertaining anecdotes, which Dr. Hales introduces with happy effect. The following narrative of a conversation with the celebrated John Wesley, is amusing, and strongly displays, the credulity of that eccentric man.
" About the year 1787, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Wesley, Doctor Coke, and some of their assistant preachers, with several of the most respectable members of the Dublin Society, at the hospitable table of a common friend, in Granby-row.
" The conversation during dinner, happening to turn on the subject of Witchcraft, I asked Mr. Wesley whether he had read, and if so, what he thought of Bishop Hutchinson's book upon Witches ?-After some pause, finding that he made no answer, I repeated the question; on which he declared, that Bishop Hutchinson and the whole bench of Bishops together, could not invalidate the reality of witchcraft. And when I expressed some surprise, he repeated a story of a gentleman of consideration in the North of England about twenty years before, who suddenly disappeared, and after a fruitless search for some time, was generally suspected to have been privily murdered. Some time after a person in the neighbourhood, voluntarily came forward, and accused himself and two of his own brothers of having perpetrated the deed; which they percmptorily denied. However, on his persisting in the accrisation, and declaring that nothing but remorse of conscience extorted this confession ; they were all condemned and executed. But strange to relate, shortly after, the gentleman who had been missing, returned liome from France, whither he had absconded for debt. Mr. Wesley then asked me whether the informer's conduct respecting himself and his brothers, was not plain evidence of witchcraft or demoniacul pose session ? I rather ascribed it to phrenzy or madress : upon which one of the preachers, (whose name I forget) to convince my incredulity, told a tale of a haunted house, near Dungannon, in the north of Ireland; which he assured me and the company, happened a year or two before, while he was in that neighbourhood :
An officer, quartered at Dungannon, one evening, when rather pot-valiant, went, by himself, to the haunted house, knocked at the door, and demanded to see the ghost. . An old woman who i opened the door of the cabin, warned him to repress his curiosity, . , for the ghost, if provoked, might make him repent his intrusion;
however he still persisting, she gave him at length admittance; and he advanced into the middle of the floor, when to his great terror and astonishment, he found himself violently assailed by a shower of potatoes from an invisible hand, issuing from the roof! on which, he rushed forward for shelter, and thrust his head up the wide funnel of the chimney; but the angry ghost still pursued him with fresh showers of potatoes down the chimney; until at length he fled out of the house, battered and bruised, swearing that he had got proof enough of the ghost, on his head and sh oulders.
" As the demonstration however, did not appcar to me equally forcible, I turned to Mr. Wesley, and asked, whether such imposing relations of witchcraft and ghosts, might not tend to support the spurious popish miracles? whether, for instance, they might not be urged in favour of the miracles alledged to be wrought at Abbé Paris's tomb? He then asked me, in reply, if I had rcad the president Montgeron's vindication of their authenticity? and when I answered in the negative, he earnestly recommended it to my perusal-sand I now as earnestly recommend to my readers, the perusal of Bishop Douglas's masterly Criterion, in which these lying wonders, and their credulous abettor, are completely confuted and exposed.]— Then, looking on his watch, be said it reminded him of an engagement at that hour, to visit a woman possessed of an evil spirit, which the priests of Liffeystreet chapel, had in vain endeavoured to expel by their exorcisms. And when I expressed some doubt of his success with such a patient, he declared, in a solemn tone of voice, that much might be done in this way by prayer and fasting; alluding, I presume to our Lord's declaration on a similar occasion. Matt. 17, 21.–And so, after an excellent dinner, of which he partook but sparingly, he withdrew for a while from the company.
“ Afterwards he joined us at tea and coffee, in the evening, at the house of a respectable female friend, to which we adjourned, and assured us of his success. A long and formal grace having been pronounced over the tea-lable by one of the assistant preachers; I could not forbear remarking, that the most impressive sermon I ever heard, was couched in a single sentence: that having once visited my venerable friend, the late Bishop Chenevix of Waterford, and congratulated him on his recovery from a violent fever, at a very advanced age; in a faint and languid voice, he said, “ I believe I am not long for this world! I have lost all relish for what formerly gave me pleasure ; even my books no longer entertain me: There is nothing sticks by me, but the recollection of what little good I might have done !”- the rain man! the caiu man ! loudly exclaimed the preacher, boasting of his good works. --By no means, replied 1, by no means, the Bishop with great modesty, mentioned only the little good, not that he actually did, but might possibly have done through God's assist