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THE OLD MEETING-HOUSE AND

ITS MINISTERS,

WITH SUPPLEMENTARY CHAPTERS.

A NARRATION,

BY

WILLIAM BLAZEBY, B.A.

(TWELFTH MINISTER)

IN

COMMEMORATION OF THE BI-CENTENARY,

UTH OCTOBER, 1906.

“Who in this temple, plain and unadorn'd,

Duly as Sabbath came, throughout the year,
The word of Him in Jewry heard and scorn'd,
In Jewry scourged and slain, rejoiced to hear ;
While Age shed oft th' in voluntary tear,
And younger voices sweetly join'd to sing
The warbled anthem, plaintive, soft, and clear,
Till soar'd the soul on pure devotion's wing,
And God look'd down, and angels, listening."

Ebenexer Elliott.

ROTHERHAM:
H. GARNETT & CO., LTD., PRINTERS & BOOKBINDERS.

1906.

HARVARD COLLEGE L'ER: Y

GIFT OF
CHARLES WILLIAM ELIOT

MAR 7 1924

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Under pressure of time and circumstance, this voluminous narrative has had to be printed, as it has developed, to insure its appearance for the Bicentenary Celebration. Though a more concise history might have resulted from prolonged execution, yet, it is hoped, the general reader may appreciate the diffusiveness of treatment. The chapters may be read separately, or in consecutive order. The general aim has been, to present in a fairly readable form, sketches of biographical and historical interest, associated chiefly with Puritan Life and Worship, of which Rotherham affords such instructive and interesting illustrations. At the same time, in the Introductory Chapters, and in other parts of the volume, historical and ecclesiastical notices are given relating to the Catholic and Anglican Churches. The narrative, indeed, indicates, how even a small town's records may present an epitome of national religious history.

The major portions of the book are concerned with English Presby. terianism, dominant for a period in church and state, whose adherents, in allegiance to strict principles of church government, according to the Scriptures, were compelled by the Act of Uniformity, 1662, to relinquish their cherished communion in and with the national church, rather than falsify conscience, and forfeit religious freedom. These Non-Conformist ancestors, finding return to the Church of England rendered more and more impossible by unjust legal enactments, erected, when the law allowed, Meeting-houses of their own, with “ Open Trusts,” dedicating them simply to the worship and service of Almighty God.”

Of the Rotherham old Meeting-house, and its successive ministers, this volume is a commemorative narration, describing, also, the three developments of Christian Faith professed, TRINITARIAN, ARIAN, UNITARIAN. The well-understood designation, Protestant Dissenters," is the only name applied in the Trust Deeds to those worshipping within the building.

Various details, some of antiquarian research, are introduced into the pages, affording to ordinary readers information not readily accessible. Needless to say, such references and minutiæ, serve to the production of more important history.

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Indulgent judgment is entreated for scriptor and printer, on the plea of too rapid completion, for the regrettable errata-mistakes in words, spelling, &c., &c.

It remains to express grateful acknowledgment to the several kind friends, who have rendered to the narrator most willing and valuable assistance.

TO PREBENDARY BENNETT, of Lincoln, and Miss M. Crossley, of Maltby, for permission to utilize copies of photographic illustrations in the Prebend's exhaustive Volume,—“ Archbishop Rotherham, a Sketch of his Life and Environment.”

To Mr. W. T. FREEMANTLE, of Barbot Hall, Rotherham, for loans of rare books, pamphlets, documents, &c., relating to the history of local Nonconformity, &c.

To the Rev. Geo. EYRE Evans, of Tan-y-bryn, Aberystwyth, for his very great assistance in revising the text, adding antiquarian notes, and supplying the epitomized biographical headings to the chapters of the Ministers.

To the Rev. GILES HESTER, Sheffield's Nonconformist Historian, for kind permission to use the illustrations in his Treatises, “Some Memorials of the Hollis Family,” and “Attercliffe, as a Seat of Learning and Ministerial Education."

To Mr. EDWARD BRAMLEY, M.A., for a complete List of the Trustees, from the first Appointment, copies of Deeds, &c.

To Miss WARWICK and Miss RAWLINS, grand-daughters of Dr. Warwick, for the loan of his interesting portrait, and for many valuable memorials of him never before published.

To MR. JAMES LEADBEATER for his superior photographic illustrations, some of them specially produced for the volume, and to Messrs. J. W. RUDDOCK, of Lincoln, and H. GRAHAM GLEN, of Leeds, for a limited number of excellent reproductions.

To Mr. C. ROBERT BRETTELL for Memorials of his Reverend grandfather.

To the CHURCHWARDENS, MESSRS. ANDREW THOMSON und THOMAS COCKER, for their considerable assistance.

To the PRINTERS, H. GARNETT & Co., LTD., for their praiseworthy expedition.

And to His Old CONGREGATION AND THEIR PASTOR hearty congratulations on the celebration of the Bi-centenary, thereby worthily displaying

their New hurch, cherished memories of the Old Meeting-house.

WILLIAM BLAZEBY.

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