Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

Our Churches and Chapels by Atticus

Part 2 out of 6

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.6 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

time good, and their melody frequently constitutes a treat which
would do a power of good to those who hear the vocalisation of many
ordinary psalm-singers whose great object through life is to kill
old tunes and inflict grevious bodily harm upon new ones. There is a
very good organ at St. Augustine's, and it is blown well and played

Usually there are three priests at the mission; but on our visit
there were only two--the Rev. Canon Walker, and the Rev. J.
Hawkesworth; and if you had to travel from the lowest point in
Cornwall to the farthest house in Caithness you wouldn't find two
more kindly men. We Protestants talk volubly about the grim,
grinding character of priests, about their tyrannous influence, and
their sinister sacerdotalism; but there is a good deal of extra
colouring matter in the picture. Whatever their religion may be, and
however much we may differ from it, this at least we have always
found amongst priests--excellent education, amazing devotion to
duty, gentlemanly behaviour, and in social life much geniality. They
have studied all subjects; they know something about everything;
their profession necessarily makes them acquainted with each phase
and feeling of life. The Rev. Canon Walker is a good type of a
thoroughly English priest and of a genuine Lancashire man. He is
unassuming, obliging in manner, careful in his duties, fonder of a
good pinch of snuff than of warring about creeds, much more in love
with a quiet chat than of platform violence, and would far sooner
offer you a glass of wine, and ask you to take another when you had
done it, than fight with you about piety. He is a man of peace, of
homely, disposition, of kindly thought, unobtrusive in style,
sincere in action, with nothing bombastic in his nature, and nothing
self-righteous in his speech. His sermons are neither profound nor
simple--they are made up of fair medium material; and are discharged
rapidly. There is no effort at rhetorical flourish in his style; a
simple lifting of the right hand, with an easy swaying motion, is
all the "action" you perceive. Canon Walker speaks with a rapidity
seldom noticed. Average talkers can get through about 120 words in a
minute; Canon Walker can manage 200 nicely, and show no signs of
being out of breath.

The Rev. Mr. Hawkesworth--a bright-eyed, rubicund-featured
gentleman, with a slight disposition to corporeal rotundity--is the
second priest. He is a sharp, kindly-humoured gentleman, and does
not appear to have suffered in either mind or body by a four years
residence in Rome. Mr. Hawkesworth is a practical priest, a good
singer, and a hard worker. He resides with Canon Walker in a
spacious house adjoining St. Augustine's. No unusual sounds have
ever been heard to proceed from the residence, and it may fairly be
inferred that they dwell together to harmony. The house is
substantially furnished. The library within it is not very large,
but what it lacks in bulk is made up for by variety. Its contents
range from the Clockmaker of Sam Slick to the Imitation of Thomas a
Kempis, from Little Dorrit to the Greek Lexicon. Not far from St.
Augustine's Church there is a convent. It is the old Larkhill
mansion transmuted, and is one of the most pleasantly situated
houses in this locality. In front of it you have flowers of
delicious hues, shrubs of every kind, grassy undulations, rare old
shady trees, a small artificial lake, a fountain--shall we go on
piling up the agony of beauty until we reach a Claude Melnotte
altitude? It is unnecessary; all we need add is this--that the
grounds are a lovely picture, delightfully formed, and most snugly
set. The convent is a large, clean, airy establishment. The entrance
hall is handsome; some of the apartments are choicely furnished, the
walls being decorated with pictures, &c., made by either the nuns or
their pupils. The convent includes apartments for the reception of
visitors, a small chapel, with deeply-toned light, and exquisitely
arranged; dining rooms, sitting rooms, two or three school rooms,
lavatories, sculleries, dormitories, and a gigantic kitchen,
reminding one of olden houses wherein were vast open fire-places,
massive spits, and every apparatus for making meat palateable and
life enjoyable. The 22 nuns before referred to live at this convent.
They belong to the order of "Faithful Companions;" they lead quiet,
industrious lives--have no Saurin-Starr difficulties, and appear to
be contented.

At the convent there are 33 pupils--some from a distance, others
belonging the town. They are taught every accomplishment; look very
healthy; and, when we saw them, seemed not only comfortable but
merry. Near the convent there is a commodious girls' and infants'
school connected with St. Augustine's, the general average
attendance being about 240. In Vauxhall-road there is another large,
excellently built school belonging to the same Church, and set apart
for boys. The attendance is not very numerous. At both there is room
for many more scholars, and if religious bigotry did not operate in
some quarters, and prevent Catholic children going to those schools
recognising the principles of their own faith, the attendance at
each would be much better than it is. Taking the district in its
entirety, it is industriously worked by the Catholics. They deserve
praise for their energy. Their object is to push on Catholicism and
improve the secular position of the inhabitants, and they do this
with a zeal most praiseworthy. This finishes our Augustinian


I love Quaker ways and Quaker worship. I venerate the Quaker
principles. It does me good for the rest of the day when I meet any
of their people in my path. When I am ruled or disturbed by any
occurrence, the sight or quiet voice of a Quaker acts upon me as a
ventilator, lightening the air, and taking off a load from the
bosom; but I cannot like the Quakers, as Desdemona would say, "to
live with them."--Charles Lamb.

Sheep, leather, and religion were the principal things which George
Fox, the founder of Quakerism, looked after. In boyhood he was a
shepherd, in youth a shoemaker, in manhood an expounder of
Christianity. No one could have had a series of occupations more
comprehensive or practical. The history of the world proves that it
is as important for men to look after their mutton as to "save their
bacon;" that, after all, "there is nothing like leather;" and that
there can be nothing better than religion. 219 years since the
ancestors of those who now follow the "inner light" were termed
Quakers. An English judge--Gervaise Bennet--gave them this name at
Derby, and it is said that he did so because Fox "bid them quake at
the word of the Lord." Theologically, Quakers are a peculiar people;
they believe in neither rites nor ceremonies, in neither prayer-
books nor hymn-books, in neither lesson reading, nor pulpit
homilies, nor sacraments. They are guided by their spiritual
feelings, and have a strong idea that a man has no right to open his
mouth when he has got nothing to say, and that he should avoid
keeping it shut when he has something worth uttering.

This is an excellent plan, and the world would be considerably
benefited if it were universally observed both in religion and
every-day life. Creation is killed and done for daily through an
everlasting torrent of meaningless talk. Compact and quiet as it may
appear, Quakerism has had its schisms and internal feuds. Early in
this century, the White Quakers, who dressed themselves in light
suits when outside and didn't dress at all--stripped themselves
after the manner of Adamites--when within doors, created much furore
in Ireland. About 30 years since, the Hicksite Quakers, who denied
the divinity of Christ and the authority of the Bible, made their
advent; afterwards the Beaconite Quakers put in an appearance; and
then came the Wilburites. Taking all sections into account, there
are at present about 130,000 Quakers in the world, and Preston
contributes just seventy genuine ones to their number. In this
locality they remain unchanged. Today they are neither smaller nor
larger, numerically, than they were thirty years age. In the early
days of local Quakerism, the country rather than the town was its
favourite situation. Newton, Freckleton, Rawcliffe, and Chipping
contained respectively at one time many more Quakers than Preston,
but the old stations were gradually broken up, and Preston
eventually got the majority of their members. A building located
somewhere between Everton-gardens and Spring-gardens was first used
as a meeting-house by them. In 1784 a better place was erected by
the Friends, on a piece of land contiguous to and on the north side
of Friargate; and in 1847 it was rebuilt. Although no one was
officially engaged to map out the place, a good deal of learned
architectural gas was disengaged in its design and construction. It
was made three times larger than its congregational requirements--
the object being to accommodate those who might assemble at the
periodical district meetings. Special attention was also paid to the
loftiness of the building--to the height of its ceiling. One or two
of the amateur designers having a finger in the architectural pie
had serious notions as to the importance of air space. They had
studied the influence of oxygen and hydrogen, of nitrogen and
carbonic acid gas; they had read in scientific books that every
human being requires so many feet of breathing room; and after
deciding upon the number of worshippers which the meeting-house
should accommodate, they agreed to elevate its ceiling in the ratio
of their inspiring and expiring necessities. This was a very good,
salutary, Quakerly idea, and although it may have operated against
the internal appearance of the building it has guaranteed purity of
air to those attending it.

The meeting house is a quiet, secluded, well-made place; but it has
a poor entrance, which you would fancy led to nowhere. A stranger
passing along Friargate on an ordinary day, would never find the
Quakers' meeting house. He might notice at a certain point on the
north-eastern side of that undulating and bustling public
thoroughfare a grey looking gable, having a three-light-window
towards the head, with a large door below, and at its base two
washing pots and a long butter mug, belonging to an industrious
earthenware dealer next door; but he would never fancy that the
disciples of George Fox had a front entrance there to their meeting
house. Yet after passing through a dim broad passage here, and
mounting half a dozen substantial steps, you see a square, neat-
looking, five-windowed building, and this is the Quakers' meeting

Over the passage there is a pretty large room, which is used by the
Friends for Sunday school purposes. The attendance at this school on
ordinary occasions is about 60; at special periods it is
considerably more. During the cotton famine, a few years ago, when
the Quakers were manifesting their proverbial charity--giving money,
food, and clothing--the attendance averaged 160; and if it was known
that they were going to give something extra tomorrow it would reach
that point again. Speaking of the charity of Quakers, it may not be
amiss to state that they keep all their own poor--do not allow any
one belonging their society ever to solicit aid from the parish, or
migrate in the dark hour of poverty to the workhouse. Reverting to
the meeting-house, we may observe that just within its front door
particular provision has been made for umbrellas. There is a long,
low stand, with a channel below it, and this will afford ample
accomodation for about 160 umbrellas. Taking into account the
average attendance at the meeting-house, we have come to the serious
conclusion that if every member carried two umbrellas on wet
Sundays, the said umbrellas could be legitimately provided for. It
is not a pleasant thing for a man to carry a couple of umbrellas,
and we believe it has been found very difficult for any one to put
up and use two at the same time; still it is satisfactory to know
that if ever the Friends of Preston decide upon such a course, there
will be plenty of provision for their umbrellas at the meeting

The inside of the general building is severely plain. There is no
decoration of any description about it, and if the gas pipes running
along the side walls had not a slight Hogarthian line of beauty
touch in their form, everything would look absolutely horizontal and
perpendicular. The seats are plain and strong with open backs. A few
of them have got green cushions running the whole length of the
form. In some small cushions are dotted down here and there for
individual worshippers, who can at any time easily take them up, put
them under their arm, and move from one place to another if they
wish for a change of location. Over the front entrance there is a
gallery, but ordinarily it is empty. There is no pulpit in the
house, and no description of books--neither bibles, nor hymn-books,
nor prayer-books--can be seen anywhere. At the head of the place
there is an elevated strongly-fronted bench, running from one side
to the other, and below it an open form of similar length. The more
matured Quakers and Quakeresses generally gravitate hitherwards. The
males have separate places and so have the females. It is expected
that the former will always direct their steps to the seats on the
right-hand side; that the latter will occupy those on the left; and,
generally, you find them on opposite sides in strict accordance with
this idea. There is nothing to absolutely prevent an enraptured
swain from sitting at the elbow of his love, and basking in the
sunlight of her eyes, nor to stop an elderly man from nestling
peacefully under the wing of his spouse; but it is understood that
they will not do this, and will at least submit to a deed of
separation during hours of worship. In addition to the 70 actual
members of the society there are about 60 persons in Preston who pay
a sort of nominal homage at the shrine of George Fox.

They have two meetings every Sunday, morning and evening, and one
every Thursday--at half-past ten in the morning during winter
months, and at seven in the evening in summer. The average
attendance at each of the Sunday meetings is about 70. The character
of the services is quite unsettled. Throughout Christendom the rule
in religious edifices is to have a preliminary service, and then a
discourse; in Quaker meeting houses there is no such defined course
of action. Sometimes there is a prayer, then another, then an
"exhortation"--Quakers have no sermons; at other times an
exhortation without any prayer; now and then a prayer without any
exhortation; and occasionally they have neither the one nor the
other--they fall into a state of profound silence, keep
astonishingly quiet ever so long, with their eyes shut, and then
walk out. This is called silent meditation. If a pin drops whilst
this is going on you can hear it and tell in which part of the house
it is lying. You can feel the quietude, see the stillness; it is
"tranquil and herd-like--as in the pasture--'forty feeding like
one;'" it is sadly serene, placidly mysterous, like the
"uncommunicating muteness of fishes;" and you wonder how it is kept
up. To those who believe in solemn reticence--in motionless
communion with the "inner light,"--there is nothing curious in this;
it is, in fact, often a source of high spiritual ecstacy; but to an
unitiated spectator the business looks seriously funny, and its
continuance for any length of time causes the mind of such a one to
run in all kinds of dreadfully ludicrous grooves.

Quakers don't believe in singing, and have no faith in sacred music
of any kind. Neither the harp, nor the sackbut, nor the psaltery,
nor the dulcimer will they have; neither organs nor bass fiddles
will they countenance; neither vocalists nor instrumentalists, nor
tune forks of any size or weight, will they patronise. They permit
one another to enter and remain in their meeting house with the hat
on or off, and with the hands either in the pockets or out of them.
They have no regular ministers, and allow either men or women to
speak. None, except Quakers and Ranters--the two most extreme
sections of the religious community, so far as quietude and noise
are concerned--permit this; and it is a good thing for the world
that the system is not extended beyond their circles. If women were
allowed to speak at some places of worship they would all be talking
at once--all be growing eloquent, voluble, and strong minded in two
minutes--and an articulative mystification, much more chaotic than
that which once took place at Babel, would ensue. At the meeting
house in Friargate it is taken for granted that on Sundays the
morning service lasts for an hour and a half, and the evening one an
hour and a quarter; but practically the time is regulated by the
feelings of the worshippers--they come and go as they are "moved,"
and that is a liberal sort of measure harmonising well with human
nature and its varied requirements.

We have paid more than one visit to this meeting house. The other
Sunday evening we were there. The congregation at that time numbered
just thirty-two--fifteen men, twelve women, two boys, and three
girls. This was rather a small assemblage for a place which will
hold between 500 and 600 persons; but it might be gratifying to the
shades of its chemistry-loving, cubic-feet-of-air-admiring
designers, for they would at any rate have the lively satisfaction
of knowing that none of the famous 32 would suffer through want of
breathing space. The members of the congregation came in at various
times; four were there at half-past six; the remainder had got
safely seated, in every instance, by ten minutes to seven. All the
males made their appearance with their hats on; some pulled them off
the moment they got seated; two or three seemed to get their
convictions gradually intensified on the subject, and in about ten
minutes came to the conclusion that they could do without their
hats; some who had cast aside their castors at an early period
reinstated them; whilst odd ones kept on their head coverings during
the entire meeting. For 45 minutes, not the least effort in any
lingual direction was made; no one said a word for three-quarters of
an hour. There was a good deal of stirring on the forms, and
creaking sounds were periodically heard; the whole indicating that
the sitting posture had become uneasy, and that the paint, through
warmth, had got tenacious. There was, however, neither talking nor
whispering indulged in. The elderly Quakers, with their broad-
brimmed, substantial hats, and white neckcloths, kept their eyes
closed for a season, then opened them and looked ahead pensively,
then shut them serenely again,--just

As men of inward light are wont
To turn their optics to upon 't.

The Quakeresses on the other side followed a similar programme. We
saw only three of them in the olden dress--only three with narrow-
barrelled high crowned bonnets, made of brown silk and garnished
with white silk strings. The younger branches of Quakerdom seemed
more conventional than their ancestors in general dress. There was a
slight dash of antiquity in their style; but their hats and bonnets,
their coats and shawls had evidently been made for ornament as well
as use. Originally Quakers were peculiarly stringent in respect to
the plainness of their clothes; what they wore was always good,
always made out of something which could not be beaten for its
excellence of quality; but it was always simple, always out of the
line of shoddy and bespanglement. But Quakerism is neither
immaculate nor invincible; time is changing its simplicity, its
quaint old fashioned solidity of dress; "civilisation" is quietly
eating away its rigidity; and the day is coming when Quakerism will
don the same suit as the rest of the world. For the first ten
minutes we were in the chapel silence was not to us so much of a
singularity; but when the Town Hall clock struck seven, when the
machinery in the dim steeple of Trinity Church, which adjoins, gave
a slow confirmation of it, and when all the little clocks in the
neighbouring houses--for you could hear them on account of the
general silence--chirped out sharply the same thing, one began to
feel dubious and mystified. But the Quakers took all quietly, and
even the children present sat still. The chime of another hour
quarter came in due order; still there was no sign of action. Two
minutes afterwards, an elderly gentleman, whose eyes had been kept
close during the greater part of the time which had passed, suddenly
leaned forward; the "congregation" followed his example in a crack,
and for ten minutes they prayed, the elderly gentleman leading the
way in a rather high-keyed voice, which he singularly modulated. But
there was not much of "the old Foxian orgasm" manifested by him; he
was serene, did not shake, was not agonised. He finished as he began
without any warning; the general assemblage was seated in a second;
and for seven minutes there was another reign of taciturnity. When
that time had elapsed the same elderly party gave an exhortation,
simple in language, kindly in tone, and free from both bewilderment
and fierceness. Mr. Jesper--the person to whom we have been
alluding--is one of the principal speakers at this meeting house.
His colleague in talking is Mrs. Abbatt, a very worthy lady, who has
often the afflatus upon her, and who can hold forth with a good deal
of earnestness and perspicuity. Although Mr. Jesper and Mrs. Abbatt
do the greatest portion of the talking and praying, others break
through the ring fence of Quakerdom's silence periodically. One
little gentleman has often small outbursts; but he is not very
exhilerating. All the "members" attending the meeting house are very
decorous, respectable, middle-class people--substantial well-pursed
folk, who can afford to be independent, and take life easily--men
and women who dislike shoddy and cant as much as they condemn
spangles and lackered gentility.

The aggregate of the people connected with the place are calm,
steady-going beings. We have a large respect for Quakerism. Its
professors are made of strong, enduring, practical metal. They never
neglect business for religion, nor religion for business. They
believe in paying their way and in being paid; in moral rectitude
and yard wands not the millionth part of an inch too long; in yea
and nay; in good trade, good purses, good clothes, and good
language; in clear-headed, cool calculations; in cash, discounts,
sobriety, and clean shirts; in calmness and close bargain driving;
in getting as much as they can, in sticking to it a long while, and
yet in behaving well to the poor. The influence of the creed they
profess has made their uprightness and humanity proverbial. Their
home influence has been powerful; their views in the outer world are
becoming more fully realised every day. Nations have smiled
contemptuously at them as they have gone forth on lonely missions of
freedom and peace; but the inner beatings of the world's great heart
today are in favour of liberty of thought and quietness. The Quakers
have been amongst life's pioneers in the long, hard battle for human
freedom and human peace. Quakerism may be a quaint, hat-loving,
silence-revering concern in its meeting-houses; its Uriahs, and
Abimelechs, and Deborahs, and Abigails, may look curious creatures
in their collarless coats and long drawn bonnets; but they belong to
a race of men and women who have kept the lamp of freedom burning;
who have set a higher price upon conscience than gold; who have
struggled to make everything free--the body, the religion, the bread
and butter, and the trade of the nations; who are now by their
doctrines slowly lifting humanity out of the red track of war, and
teaching it how grand a triumph can be made all the world over by
absolute Peace and Honesty.


Upon a high piece of enclosed land, adjoining Fylde-road, stands St.
Peter's Church. Portions of its precincts are covered with
gravestones; the remainder has been "considerably damaged" of late,
according to the belief of one of the churchwardens, by the vicious
scratching of a number of irreverent hens, whose owners will be
prosecuted if they do not look better after them. The other Sunday,
we saw a notice posted at the front of the church relative to the
great hen-scratching question. It is said that some of these tame
and reclaimed birds have penetrated a foot or two into the ground
for the purpose of lying, not laying, therein; and on this account
it is important that their proprietors should look more
(h)energetically after them. The foundation stone of St. Peter's
Church was laid by Mr. Justice Park, one of the old recorders of
Preston, in 1822; Rickman, an able Birmingham architect, designed
the place; and the edifice (sans steeple, which was built in 1852,
out of money left by the late Thomas German, Esq.), was erected at a
cost of 6,900 pounds, provided by the Commissioners for the building
of new churches. St. Peter's has a lofty, commanding appearance.
Learned people say it is built in the florid Gothic style of
architecture, and we are not inclined to dispute their definition.
It has a very churchly look, and if the steeple were at the other
end, it would be equally orthodox. The world, as a rule, fixes its
steeples westward; but St. Peter's, following a few others we could
name, rises in the opposite direction, and, like a good Mussulman,
turns to the East. There is nothing in its graveyard calling for
special comment. Neither monuments nor lofty tombs relieve it. All
round it has a flat dull aspect, and good arrangements have been
made for walking over the tombstones and obliterating their
inscriptions. There are two ways into the church at the western end;
both are near each other; but one has advantages which the other
does not possess. Passing through the larger you immediately face
the pulpit and the congregation; entering by the other you can hang
your harp on several preliminary willows--sit just sideways and hear
what's going on, stay behind the screen until a point arrives when a
move forward can be made without many people catching your "mould of
form," or inquire who's present and who isn't, and glide out if
nothing suitable is observed.

St. Peter's Church, internally, looks dirty. If cleanliness be next
to godliness, a good cleaning would do it good and improve its
affinities. Whitewash, paint, floorcloths, dusters, wash leathers,
and sundry other articles in the curriculum of scrubbers,
renovators, and purifiers are needed. The walls want mundifying, so
does the ceiling, so do the floors; the Ten Commandments need
improving; the Apostles' Creed isn't plain enough; the spirit of a
time worn grimness requires ostracising from the place. All is
substantial; but there is an ancient unwashed dulness about the
general establishment, which needs transforming into cleanness and
brightness. The pews are high, and on the average they will hold six
persons each. Seven might get into them on a pinch; but if the
number were much extended beyond that point, either abraison or blue
places through violent pressure would be the consequence. Two or
three pews at the top end will hold twelve each; but that apostolic
number is not very often observed in them. The price of a single
sitting in the middle aisle is 10s. per annum; the cost of a side
seat is equal to three civil half-crowns. The long side seats are
free; so are the galleries, excepting that portion of them in front
of the organ. Often the church is not much more than half filled on
a Sunday; but it is said that many sittings, calculated to
accommodate nearly a full congregation, are let. Viewed from the
copperhead standpoint this is right; but taking a higher ground it
would be more satisfactory if even fewer pews were let and more folk
attended. The church is not well arranged for people occupying side
seats. In looking ahead the pillars of the nave constantly intercept
their vision if they care about seeing who is reading or preaching.
Wherever the pulpit were put it would blush unseen, so far as many
are concerned. At present it is fixed on the south-eastern side, and
only about one-fourth of those seated under the galleries can see
either it or the preacher. Some of them at times complain
considerably of sequestration; others feel it a little occasionally;
a few think it a rather snug thing to be out of sight. A large five-
light stained glass window occupies the chancel end; but there is
nothing very entrancing in its appearance. The greater portion of it
has a bright, amber-coloured, monotonous flashiness about it, which
flares the eyes if gazed at long, and makes other things, if looked
at directly afterwards, yellow-hued; and it is surmounted with a
number of minor designs, reminding one of the big oddities in a
mammoth keleidoscope. But the congregation have got used to the
window, and will neither break it nor permit others to do so. Six
spaces for tablet inscriptions occupy the base of the window. Two of
them are blank; two have a great mass of letters packed into them;
and two are but moderately filled in with words. At a distance
nobody can see what is said upon them. It is reported that they
contain the Decalogue and the Apostles' Creed; and if this be so,
the incumbent, the curate, and the clerk must have been the parties
for whose delight they were put up, for they are the nearest to, and
can consequently best read, them. There are the full compliment of
sacred enclosures and resting places at the higher end of the
church--a chair for the ease of the incumbent or curate; a desk for
the prayer reader; a box for the clerk; a lectern for the lesson
reader; and a stout pulpit for the preacher.

The congregation of St. Peter's Church, as we have said, is small.
We cannot tell whether the collections terrify folk; probably they
do; for it is estimated that there are between 30 and 40 of them
annually, and sometimes they come in an unbroken line for several
Sundays together. A plan like this is enough to make people shy in
their attendance,--is certain to make ordinarily generous beings
cover what they give with their finger ends, or slip their gifts
sharply into the boxes and get them instantly mixed up with the
rest, so that nobody can tell whether they have contributed a simple
copper, a roguish little threepenny piece, or a respectable looking
shilling. There are voluntary contribution boxes at the doors, but
they never get very heavy. Those attending the church are mainly
working people. With the exception of about five, all have to fight
briskly for a living. A greater work has been done outside than
within the church. There are many schools and classes belonging, the
place. In Cold Bath-street there is a large school for girls and
infants, and it is very well attended. In Fylde-road there is a club
for working men, open every day; and on Sundays several of the
"wives and mothers of Britain" attend a class in the same building.
In Brook-street there is a regular day school. On Sunday afternoons
the members of an adult male class meet in it. The average
attendance of these members is about 160, and their ages range from
20 to 70. The district has been well worked up; and there are many
of both sexes in it prepared to either pray or fight for St.

The music at the church is good. It costs about 30 pounds a year,
and a rather strong effort is sometimes required to raise that sum.
The organist immediately preceding the present one used to play for
nothing; get one or two collections annually for the choir; and make
up out of his own pocket any financial deficiency there might be.
The gentleman who now operates upon the organ, likewise gives his
services gratuitously; he also has collections for the choir; but if
those said collections come short of the sum required, he is
seriously impressed with the idea that the deficiency ought to come
out of other people's purses, and not his. And so it does. The
organist has considerable musical ability; he plays the instrument
in his care with precision; but he throws too much force into its
effusions--believes too much in high pressure--and the general
boiler of its melody may burst some day, kill the blower instantly,
and dash the choir into space. The internal service arrangements at
St. Peter's are worked by an incumbent, a curate, and a clerk. The
last named gentleman has been a long time at his post; he is a dry,
orthodox, careful man; never mistook a three-penny for a fourpenny
piece in his life; doesn't like slippery sixpences; and he gets for
his general services at the church 15 pounds a year. Nobody hardly
ever hears him; the responses of the choir materially swamp the
music of his voice; but his lips move, and that is at least a sign
of life.

The incumbent is the Rev. D. F. Chapman. He has been at the place a
few years, and receives about 400 pounds a-year for his trouble. Mr.
Chapman is a powerfully-constructed gentleman; is somewhat inclined
to oleaginousness; has contracted a marine swing in his walk; is
heavily clerical in countenance and cloth; believes in keeping his
hair broad at the sides; has a strong will and an enormous opinion
of the incumbent of St. Peter's; will fume if crossed; will crush if
touched; can't be convinced; has his mind made up and rivetted down
on everything; must have his way; thinks every antagonist mistaken;
is washy, windy, ponderous; has a clear notion that each of his
postulates is worth a couple of demonstrations, that all his
theories are tantamount to axioms; and, finally, has quarelled more
with his churchwardens than any other live parson in Preston. He
once fought for weeks, day and night, with a warden as to the
position of a small gas-pipe, because he couldn't get his way about
it. He is well educated, but his erudition is not fairly utilised;
he can read with moderate precision; but there is a lack of
elocutionary finish in his tone; he can talk a long while, and now
and then can say a good thing; he preaches with considerable force,
makes good use of his arms, sometimes rants a little, at intervals
has to pull back his sentences half an inch to get hold of the right
word, talks straight out occasionally, telling the congregation what
they are doing and what they ought to do; but there is much in his
sermons which neither gods nor men will care about digesting, and
there is a theological dogmatism in them which ordinary sinners like
ourselves will never swallow. We are rather inclined to admire the
gentleman who, until lately, officiated as his curate--the Rev. E.
Lee,--and who, after preaching his last sermon, was next day made
the recipient of that most fashionable and threadbare of all things,
a presentation. Originally he indulged in odd pranks, said strange
things, was laughably eccentric, and did for a period appear to be,
in an ecclesiastical sense, what the kangaroo of Artemus Ward was in
a zoological one--"the most amoozin little cuss ever introduced to a
discriminatin public." He has still some of the "amoozin" traits
about him; but during his curacy in St. Peters district he showed
that he could work hard, visit often, look after the poor, be
generous, get up good classes, and never tire of his duty. His
salary was about 120 pounds a year, and he was benevolent with it.
He has a stronger pair of lungs than any parson in Preston, and he
can use them longer than most men without feeling tired. His sermons
are of a practical type; he believes largely in telling people what
he thinks; and never hesitates to hit rich and poor alike in his
discourses. He has been transplanted to the Parish Church, and he
will stir up a few of the respectable otiose souls there if he has
an opportunity. There is a good deal of swagger about him; he
believes in carry a stick and turning it; in admiring himself and
letting other people know that he is of a cypher; there is much
conceit and ever so much bombast about him; he likes giving
historical lectures; thinks he is an authority on everything
appertaining to Elizabeth, Mary, the Prince of Orange, &c.; is fond
of attacking Bishop Goss, and getting into a groove of garrulous
declamation concerning Papists; still he is a determined worker, has
been a laborious curate, has troubled himself more than many people
in looking after those whom parsons are so fond of calling sinners
and so indifferent about visiting. He was well liked in St. Peter's
district, and we hope that in the new one he has gone to he will
gather friends, increase his usefulness, get married, and give fewer
polemical lectures.


De gustibus non est applies with as much force to religious as to
secular life. People's tastes will differ; you can no more account
for them in church-naming than in kissing or child-christening; and
that being so, let no pious piece of perfection dispute with the New
Jerusalem brethren as to their spiritual gustation. If a man were
virtuously inclined to pirate in his religious nomenclature the
oddities of old Carey, who coined that finely flowing word
"aldeborontiphoscophornio," which is only a line ahead of that other
stately polysyllable "chrononhotonthologos," why let him do so, for
somebody with more madness or wisdom than yourself will some day end
or mend him. Let every man have his "cogibundity of cogitation," and
let people suit themselves about the names of their churches.
Swedenborgians is the name commonly given to those who belong to
"the New Church signified by the New Jerusalem in the Revelation."
They might have cut it shorter to be sure; and they might have had a
less mystical but certainly not a cleverer man for their founder
than the Swedish Emanuel. No modern ever knew half so much, or knew
it so oddly, as Swedenborg; and no one ever wrote so immensely on
questions so varied and intractable. He knew something about
everything, from toe nails to the differential and integral
calculus, from iron smelting to star cycles, and in reading his
works you might almost fancy, so familiar does he appear to be with
spirits, that he had a quotidian nod from Michael and a daily "How
are you, old boy?" from Gabriel. Emerson does well when he puts him
down as the representative man of mystery; and when he calls him the
mastodon and missourian of literature, he will have the concurrence
of all unbiased scholars.

There are about 70 persons in Preston who care vitally for that
ideal Church which St. John saw in Patmos--if New Jerusalemism, as
delineated by the followers of Swedenborg, is its symbol. Only about
70 are connected as "members" with its physical temple in Avenham-
road. More may be in embryo; several maybe hanging on the skirts of
conviction, ready for a goodly plunge into reality; but that is the
number of mortals at present associated with the "New Church
signified by the New Jerusalem," in Preston. All of them are
earnest, the bulk are conscientious, and on that account entitled to
respect. About a quarter of a century ago, a few sincere
Swedenborgians met in an office down Cannon-street, which is now
used as a gilding room by a modern Revivalist. They pushed "the
cause" with a fair amount of energy, and increased, though by slow
degrees, the number of their members. During the period of their
spiritual exercises here, the late Mr. Hugh Becconsall, a calm,
benevolent-hearted man, got associated with them, and this was the
means of bringing into fuller life the principles of Swedenborg in
Preston. Mr. Becconsall's thoughts were quickened and changed by
them; he became a devoted and sincere believer in the new Church;
attended its meetings in Cannon-street; was impressed with the idea
that better accomodation was required for them; and finally decided
to build out of his own pocket, and endow from the same source, a
new church in Avenham-road. It was estimated that the cost of the
church would be 1000 pounds, which Mr. Becconsall willingly agreed
to pay; but religion has no aegis against "extras"--they will creep
in, are irrepressible; and, in accordance with this fatal
philosophy, the church in Avenham-road cost in the end nearly 2000
pounds, which he paid without even grumbling--a privilege all
Englishmen have the right to exercise freely after they have paid
the piper well. The foundation stone was laid in 1843, very soon
after which the Rev. James Bonwell, curate of Trinity Church,
Preston, made a virulent attack upon Swedenborgianism and its
followers. This gentleman, who was subsequently unrobed for
immorality, charged both the ministers of the New Church party and
all who listened to them, with the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and
Abiram, and uttered language implying a wish that the earth would
open its mouth and swallow them up. The Rev. Augustus Clissold,
M.A., formerly collegian at Oxford, who is the only profound scholar
in England belonging to the New Church sect, ably answered him.
There are many smart polemics but very few great scholars in the
sect referred to. Twenty-five years ago New Jerusalem Church, in
Avenham-road, was opened, and the believers in it increased for some
time afterwards. Anything new is fashionable, and a new church
always gives an impetus to the number of its worshipers. Those
assembling at the church created much curiosity, and not a little
cynical criticism, at first. They even do so now. Ordinarily
orthodox people look down censoriously upon believers in "the New
Jerusalem," and class them as a mysterious, visionary sect of
religionists, given up to dreams, pious eccentricity, and self-
righteousness. But they have, like other individuals, a reason for
their belief; if it is madness there is method in it; and they are
prepared to "argue the point," and make a respectable disturbance if
their creed is assailed.

We shall not criticise their belief--neither praise nor condemn it--
but just give its chief points for the benefit of unknowing ones.
Here they are: they believe in a trinity, not of persons but
essentials--love, wisdom, and power; they do not believe in the
doctrine of faith alone, but of faith conjoined with good works;
they do not believe in a vicarious atonement, but in a
reconciliation of man to God; they don't believe in a resurrection
of the material body, but a resuscitation of the spirit immediately
after physical death; they don't believe in a physical destruction
of the world by fire, but think that the world as it is now created
will continue to exist--for ever; they have no faith in the Noachian
deluge, and say that the sacred record of it refers to an inundation
of evil and not of water; finally they believe that there will be
marriages in heaven,--not wedding ring unions, not kissing,
courting, and quarrelling amalgamations, but conjunctions of
goodness with truth; and they have further an idea that there will
be "prolifications" in heaven, not of crying children with passions
for sucking bottles and sugar teats, but of truth and goodness.
Swedenborg, by whom they swear, believed in three heavens and three
hells; they have a similar idea, and fancy that common place
sinners, who think one heaven will meet all their requirements, and
that one hell will be too much for their nerves, are wrong.

New Jerusalem Church, in Preston, has a Sunday school beneath it--a
place obtained partly on the celestial and partly on the Irish
principle--by heightening the roof and lowering the foundations. The
school is pretty well managed; but its scholars are not numerous;
they number between 60 and 70, and there is no immediate prospect of
an increase. The endowment of the late Mr. Hugh Becconsall realises
100 pounds a-year for the minister--the Rev. E. D. Rendell, who has
been at the church ever since its opening; and the investment of a
sum of money by the late Mr. John Becconsall, of Ashton, who was a
great believer in Swedenborgianism, brings in on his behalf 50
pounds more. The minister once had a "call" to Accrington, where the
doctrines of the New Church obtain a very large number of admirers,
and in consequence of that call, which necessarily implied a better
salary, as well as a wider sphere of action, five 10 pounds notes
were added to his stipend here. He was appeased by those said notes.
Mr. Rendell also lives rent free in a house adjoining and belonging
to the church. Its situation renders the house very convenient; but
a position more distant would not have been very harrowing if
freedom from rent had accompanied its tenancy.

The Church is built of stone, and has a neat appearance, but the
approach to it is not very good. You have to mount a small flight of
steps to get to it, and their gradient is so acute that if you
should fall on them you would never proceed onward, nor lie still,
but wend your way in a rolling manner to the bottom. Internally the
church is one of the prettiest in Preston. It is not large; we don't
suppose it will accommodate more than about 250; but it is
peculiarly neat and pleasing. The walls are painted and slightly
ornamented; the windows are toned a little and bordered with
elegant, well-finished designs; the chancel is fronted with a gothic
arch painted in marble pattern and edged with gold; beyond there is
a circular window, stained in bright colours. At each end there is a
gallery--one which apparently contains nothing, whilst the other is
devoted to the choir. At one side of the chancel arch there is a
reading desk, which looks piously at a pulpit, made just like it, on
the opposite side. Few churches have windows in the roof; but this
has about four--at least they are circular lights, and, in
conjunction with the side windows, make the place very bright and
cheerful. At the bass of the chancel, beneath the gallery, and
behind the communion table, there are several paintings, some, if
not all, of which were executed by the minister, who has rather
vivid artistic conceptions. In the centre there is an open Bible,
and on each side the Decalogue, or something to that effect, for the
letters, although in gold, can't be seen very clearly at a distance.
Flanking these are sacred figures, which are too small to be
attractive at a greater distance than six yards. But in their
aggregate the representations look well, and they give a good finish
to the chancel. The seats are of various sizes; some will hold three
persons, others four, and a few about six.

The church is not well attended; hardly half of it is occupied
except upon special occasions. At present it appears to be a little
better patronised than formerly; but even now the congregation is
comparatively thin, and there will be no necessity for some time to
do anything in the shape of enlarging the building. If anything is
effected in this way during the present century one of two things
will certainly have to happen--either three times as many as those
now attending it will have to solicit admission, or those actually
visiting it will have to grow three times as stout in their
physiology. They are a quiet, pious-looking class of people who
frequent the church. They may, like their great apostle, have
seasons of inner rapture, and like him revel in the mysteries of the
Arcana Coelestia, but if so they keep the thing very subdued. They
never scream nor shout about anything, and would refuse to do so if
you asked them. Many of them are elderly people, with decorous
countenances; all of them, whether old or young, believe in good
suits; very few of them are wealthy; none of them seem very poor.
Calmness, with a disposition to find you a seat any time, and
provide you with books, characterises them. They have fixed
services, embracing prayers, lessons, psalms, hymns, and chants.
They have an excellent organ, which was given to the place by Mrs.
Becconsall; and their music is "ever so fair." Their services, on
Sundays, are held in the morning and evening, and they can get to
the latter much easier and in much better time than to the former.

Once a month there is an afternoon instead of an evening service,
the minister having to officiate for a few of the followers of
Swedenborg at Blackburn, who can't afford to pay, or won't get, or
don't want, a regular expounder of their views. Mr. Rendell is a
rather learnedly-solemn kind of gentleman. Originally he was a
painter; but he had a greater passion for polemics than brushes, and
was eventually recommended to, and admitted into "the Church" as a
minister. He reads the scriptures and prays in black kid cloves, but
he shows the natural colour of his hands when preaching. While
conducting the preliminary service he wears a white surplice; in the
pulpit he has a black gown. He looks very sacerdotal, coldly-
clerical, singularly-sad in each place. His voice is deep toned and
has a melancholy authoritative ring in it. He is fond of making
critical allusions in his sermons; and is rather lengthy in his
talk. Some of the old Puritans used to get to a "nineteenthly point"
in their discourses, but Mr. Rendell has not reached that numeric
climax. He can occasionally get to a fifth point, and then subdivide
it, before giving that final "word of advice" which parsons are so
enamoured of; but he never branches out beyond this stage. His style
of preaching is easy; but it is very solemn. Occasionally he pushes
a little Latin into his discourses and at intervals be graces them
with morsels of Greek. He can be practical sometimes; can say a wise
and generous thing at intervals; but he is often very mysterious,
and has a large reverence for that which very few people can get at-
-"the spiritual sense." Mr. Rendell is an author as well as a
preacher; he has dived into anti-diluvian history, and has tried to
bring up mystic treasures from the post-diluvian period.
Furthermore, he has written a prize essay on "The Last Judgment."
And in addition to everything he is the editor of "The Juvenile
Magazine;" but the salary is only poor. Still he may console himself
with the thought that he gets as much for his annual services on
behalf of modern juveniles as Milton did for his Paradise Lost on
behalf of all posterity--a clear 5 pounds note. He has a sharp eye
in his head, and there is an aristocratic reverentialness in his
look. Learned he is in some things; but we are afraid he is too
profound and sad. He has a good analytical faculty, and is a very
fair polemical writer; but he is very solemn in tone--very serious,
too wise-looking, and phlegmatic. His style of speaking has the ring
of earnestness in it; and his delivery is accompanied with a
tolerable amount of activity. If he were a little more buoyant, if
he could put on a less learned and more cheerful look, and would not
got so very grave in his style, he would be better relished.
Polemically, he has done fair service for the denomination to which
he belongs--done it sometimes in spite of Lily, and Linacre, and
their descendants; and if he is not immaculate, he has at least the
satisfaction of knowing that nobody else is, and never will be until
they reach the real New Jerusalem.


In a part of the town pre-eminently dim, intricate, and populous
stands "The Church of the Holy Trinity." Father Time and the smoke
of twice five hundred chimneys have darkened its fabric, and
transmuted its chiselled stone walls into a dull pile of masonry.
But it is a beautiful church for all that. If the exterior has been
carbonised and begrimed, the interior has enjoyed a charmed life,
and is apparently as young today as it was on "Friday, the eighth of
December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and
fifteen," when "George H. Chester" consecrated the building and all
thereunto belonging. The first stone of this church was laid on the
4th of June, 1814--the natal anniversary of George III--by Sir Henry
Philip Hoghton, of Hoghton, the lay rector and patron of the parish
of Preston. Under that first stone there were deposited a number of
coins, two scrolls, and one newspaper--the Preston Chronicle. The
first minister of Trinity Church was the Rev. Edward Law, a
gentleman, who, according to a local historian, "ably defended the
belief of the adorable Trinity in a series of letters, assisted by
the Rev. R. Baxter, of Stonyhurst, against a Unitarian minister, the
Rev. T. C. Holland, which appeared in the Preston Chronicle," and
were subsequently reprinted and sold for the enlightenment and
mystification of all polemically-minded men. Trinity Church is built
on a plot of ground once called Patten Field. Moderns know little,
if anything, of that field; but Patten-street--a delicious
thoroughfare proximately fronting the church--still remains as a
lingering topographical reminder of olden days. There were few
houses in the region of Patten Field when Trinity Church was built:
pastures were its colleagues, and patches of greensward its regular
companions. But things have changed since then, and a mile of
houses, stretching northward, and westward, and eastward now fills
up the ancient hiatus. Trinity Church cost 9,080 pounds 9s. 3d., and
that sum was raised partly by subscriptions and donations and partly
by the sale of pews. Who gave the ultimate threepence we cannot
tell, neither are we told in what way it was expended.

The architecture of the building is Gothic. There is nothing very
striking about the exterior; indeed it looks cold, and sad, and
forsaken, and its associations don't improve it. The church is built
upon a hill, and, therefore, can't be hid. Its approaches may have
been good at one time; its environs may have been aristocratic and
healthy in 1814, but they are not so now. Smoky workshops, old
buildings, with the windows awfully smashed in, houses given up to
"lodgings for travellers here," densely packed dingy cottages, and
the tower of a wind mill, which for years nobody has been willing to
either mend or pull down, are its architectural concomitants. The
approaches to the church are varied and aggravatingly awkward. You
can get to the church from any point of the compass, but access to
it may mean anything--perhaps, a wandering up courts and passages, a
turning round the corners of old narrow streets, an unsavoury
acquaintance with the regions of trampery, and an uncomfortable
perambulation along corn-torturing causeways and clumsily paved
roads. Pigeon flyers, dog fanciers, gossipping vagrants, crying
children, old iron, stray hens, women with a passion for sitting on
door steps, men looking at nothing with their hands in their
pockets, ancient rags pushed into broken windows, and the mirage of
perhaps one policeman on duty constitute the sights in the
neighbourhood. The church-yard, which contains several substantial
tombs and monuments, is in a decent state of preservation. It looks
grave as all such places must do; but it is kept in order, and men
of the Hervey type of mind might meditate very beneficially amongst
its tombs. Trinity may not be the longest, but it is certainly about
the widest, church in the town. It is neither a high nor a low, but
an absolutely broad church.

Internally it is excellent. On entering the place you are perfectly
surprised at its capaciousness. Nothing cramped, nothing showy,
nothing dim, grim, nor shabby-genteel enters into its proportions.
It is finely expansive, airy, light, and well made. Goodness of
build without gaudiness, sanctity without sadness, and evenness of
finish without new-fangled intricacy, pervade it. It is fit for
either beggars or plutocrats. There is not a better, not a plainer,
neater, nor more respectable looking church in the town. And there
is not a cleaner. Some of our churches have for years been
cultivating a close and irreligious acquaintance with dirt--with
dust, cobwebs, mould, and other ancient kinds of mild nastiness; but
Trinity Church is a model of cleanliness. Everything in it seems
clean--the windows, pews, cushions, mats, floors, &c., are all
clean; there is even an air of cleanliness about the sweeping
brushes and the venerable dust bin. The church has accomodation for
about 1,400 persons of ordinary proportions. The seats are
constructed on comfortable principles, and that very traditional
article--green baize--plays an important and goodly part in them. At
the top and bottom of the middle range, on the ground floor, the
seats are of various shapes--some narrow, some broad, a few oblong,
and others inclining to the orthodox square. The central ones are
regular, and so are those at the sides. In the galleries there is a
slight irregularity of shape in the seats; but they are all
substantial, and the bulk easy. There are 46 free pews or benches in
the church. They run along the sides on the ground floor, and will
accommodate nearly 280 persons. All the other seats, excepting about
two, were sold to various parties at the time the church was opened-
-not for any fixed price all round, but for just as much as the
trustees could get. Many were bought by high-class local families,
and the names of several of the original and present proprietors--
inscribed on small brass plates--may now be seen on the front sides.
Fifty of the pews have ground rents, amounting respectively to 1
pounds a year, attached to them. Several of the pews are let, the
owners caring little for them, or having removed to other towns;
many have been re-sold at intervals; and three have been forfeited
through their proprietors having neglected to pay certain trifling
rates laid upon them. The pews have deteriorated much in price. Once
upon a time, when nearly all the fashionable families of Preston
went to Trinity Church, neither Platonic love nor current coin could
secure a pew. It was a la mode in its most respectable sense, it was
Sabbatical ton in its genteelest form, to have and to hold a pew at
Holy Trinity when George the Third was king. And for a considerable
period afterwards this continued to be the case. The "exact thing"
on a Sunday in Preston, 40 nay 20 years ago, was to own a pew at
Trinity Church, to walk up to it, and to sit therein: it was
superior to every modern process, and beat "Walking in the Zoo" and
all that species of delightful work hollow. Pews were then worth
something; they are now worth little. Only the other week a pew,
originally bought for about 70 pounds, was sold by auction for 8
pounds! And it is said that some proprietors would not be very
unwilling to give a pew or two now, if nicely asked, just to get out
of the ratepaying clauses.

Trinity Church has a plain, yet pleasing, chancel. It is neat and
good, simple yet well-proportioned and elegant. The chancel window
is but sparingly stained; still it has a tasteful and rather stately
appearance. Amber is the most prominent colour in it, and loyalty
the principal virtue represented on it. There are a few small
emblematic-looking characters towards the base, which few can make
out; but everybody can see and understand the rather large English
outburst of loyalty surmounting the window. The display consists of
the Royal arms, well and broadly defined, with a crown above them,
and a lion above all. This speaks well for the lion, which ought to
be satisfied. Plain Gothic-bordered tablets, with a central
monogram, occupy the wall below the window. They have a good effect,
and give a somewhat artistic richness to the chancel. Within and at
each end of the communion rails there is a fine old oak chair. Both
are beautifully carved and are valuable. The reading-desk and the
pulpit are placed opposite each other, and at the sides of the
chancel. They are very tall, but altitude rather improves than
diminishes their appearance. They are well made, are fashioned of
dark oak, and have carved Gothic canopies. We have seen nothing so
tall nor so respectable-looking in the arena of virtuous rostrumdom
for a long period. On each side of the pulpit-desk there is a small
circular hole, and those said holes have a history. "What are they
used for?" said we one day, whilst in the pulpit, to a friend near
us. "For?" said the sagacious party, "they are for nothing;" and
then followed a history which we thus summarise for the benefit of
parsons in general:- A few years ago a gentleman with a red-hot dash
of Hibernian blood in his veins was the curate here. When he came,
the stands of two gas lights were fixed in the holes named; but one
Sunday, when wilder than usual, he gave the bottom of the right-hand
stand a vehement beating, smashed his ring in the encounter, and
frightened the incumbent, who, being apprehensive as to the fate of
the two stands and their globes, had them shifted further back and
more out of the curate's reach. They were in imminent peril every
minute, and a change was really necessary.

Not many years ago--plenty of people can remember it--the
congregation of Trinity Church was both large and influential. The
elements of influence and the representatives of wealth may still be
seen in it; but few and far between are the worshippers. Pews may be
owned, seats may be taken, few sittings may be to let, but where are
the worshippers? What a pity it is, that a church of proportions so
goodly, an edifice with accomodation so capacious, a building with
arrangements so substantial and excellent should be deserted in a
manner so absolute? A screw of large dimensions is loose somewhere.
The population of the district seems great--dense; many of the
people round about the church stand singularly in need of entire
acres of virtue, some of them are thorough-going heathens, and think
heathenism a rather jolly thing at times. And yet this most
excellent church is comparatively empty--desolate--reminding one
painfully of Ossian's picture of Balclutha's walls. The congregation
of Trinity Church is better than it was a few years ago, but it is
still lamentably, small. There is often "a beggarly account of empty
boxes"--a great deal of nothing in the church, and how to remedy
this defect is a problem. The present congregation consists of a
very moderate number of middle class people, a few elderly well-to-
do individuals, a thin scattering of poor folk, and a small body of
Sunday school scholars. The Recorder of Preston, who has been
connected with the management of the church since the time it was
opened, attends regularly when health permits: Trinity Church is,
of course, in the hands of trustees, and as people of an inquiring
turn of mind sometimes wonder who they are we will give their names.
Here are the trustees: Mr. T. B. Addison, Mr. John Cooper, Mr.
Thos. Walmsley, Mr. John Swainson, Mr. John Bickerstaffe, Mr. Thomas
Houlker, and Mr. Isaac Gate. The present churchwardens are Mr. W.
Fort and Mr. W. H. Smith, and they have discharged their duties--
looked after the church, kept it clean, preserved its order--in
thoroughly commendable style. Testimonials are due for their

The music at Trinity Church has for a considerable period been a
troublesome, irregular, unsatisfactory thing. Years ago it was fine;
there was full cathedral service in the church then; and the
orchestral performances were attractive. But dullness and poorness
are now their characteristics. The organ is one of the best in the
town; its tones are fine and musical; it could perhaps be improved
in one or two particulars; but everything in it is good as far as it
goes. The tunes, however, which come from it are of a very ordinary
character. Some of them may be tasteful; but the bulk seem weak and
wearisome--lack fine-flowing harmony, and can neither be joined in
nor appreciated by many parties. The members of the choir are not a
very lustrous class of vocalists; but they do their best, and appear
to fight through the musical fog surrounding them very patiently. We
believe the tunes are selected by the incumbent. If so, let us hope
that he will see the propriety of recognising something a little
brisker and more classical--something rather livelier and more
popularly relishable. Many clergymen simply select the hymns and
leave the music to the choir: the incumbent might try this plan as
an experiment. Squabbling about music, carping, and fighting, and
biting about it, have in the past done much harm to Trinity Church.
There is more peace now than there used to be amongst the singers;
but there will never be very much contentment, and never much
harmony of music, until they are permitted to moderately follow the
custom of other places--to swim with the tide--and have a reasonable
share of their own way. Singers can, as a rule, quarrel enough among
themselves when in the enjoyment of the fullest privileges; and
interference with their services, if they are really worth anything,
only makes them more ill-natured, angular, and combative. They are
awkward people to deal with, and have strange likings for "hot

The minister of Trinity Church is the Rev. J. T. Brown, and his
salary amounts to about 300 pounds a year. He was christened at the
place; was in after years curate of it; and is now its incumbent.
About two years ago, when he came to the church in the last-named
capacity, the congregation was wretchedly thin--awfully scarce, and
just on the borders of invisibility. It has since improved a little;
but working up a forsaken place into real activity is a difficult
task, which at times staggers the ablest of men. Mr. Brown is a
scholar, and a thoroughly upright man. He believes not in fighting
down other people's creeds; never rails against religious
antagonists; has a natural dislike to platform bigotry and pulpit
wrathfulness; is generously inclined; will give but not lend;
objects to everything in the shape of loud clerical display; is
strongly evangelical in his tastes; is exact, and calm, and orderly,
even to the cut of his whiskers; won't be brought out and exhibited;
doesn't care about seeing other people make exhibitions; and thinks
every minister should mind his own business, and leave other people
alone. But he is far too good for a parson. A gentle melancholy
seems to have got hold of him. He always preaches sincerely; a quiet
spirit of simple unadorned, piety pervades his remarks--but he
depresses you too much; and is rather predisposed to a calm mournful
consideration of the great sulphur question. He never gets into a
lurid passion, never horrifies, but calmly saddens you, in his
discourses. He is fond of quoting good old Richard Baxter and John
Banyan, and he might have worse authorities. But he is very serious,
and his words sometimes chill like a condensation of Young's "Night
Thoughts." If he had more dash and blithesomeness in him, if he
could fling a little more of this world's logic into his sermons, if
he would periodically blow his own trumpet very audibly, and make a
smart "spread" now and then, he would gather force. The best of
things will sink if there be not some noise and show made about
them. If Mr. Brown knew the "Holloway's Pills and Ointment" theory
better than he does, he would have a fuller congregation; but he is
too honest and too good for superficial emblazonry, and he believes
in quietness.

Trinity Church has some excellent schools for boys, girls, and
infants. The attendance is only poor; but it is better than it was.
The boys' school is improving; that of the girls is also recruiting
the strength it lost last Whitsuntide but one, when a number of its
attendants left in a body because Mr. Brown objected to a display of
orange and blue ribbons which they were senselessly enamoured of;
and with respect to the infants they are regularly growing in size
if not in numbers. Mrs. Brown, wife of the incumbent, not only
industriously visits the district, like a genuine Christian lady as
she is, but teaches in the girls school, and at intervals when at
church--here is an example for parsons' wives--looks after a number
of the scholars personally, whilst her own servants are quietly
occupying the family pew. We could like to see both the church and
the schools of Mr. Brown full; he has our best wishes in this
respect; and we hope he may find some talisman by which the
difficulty will be satisfactorily solved.


Preston Congregationalism is a very good, a very respectable, and a
very quarrelsome creature. It is liberal but gingerly; has a large
regard for freedom, but will quarrel if crossed; can achieve
commendable triumphs in the regions of peace, but likes a
conscientious disturbance at intervals; believes in the power of
union, but acts as if a split were occasionally essential; will
nurse its own children well when they are quiet, but recognises the
virtues of a shake if uneasiness supervenes; respects its ministers
much, but will order them to move on if they fret its epidermis too
acutely; can pray well, work well, fight well; and from its
antagonisms can distil benefits. About nine years since, a sacred
stirring of heads, a sharp moving of tongues, and a lively up-
heaving of bristles took place at Cannon-street Congregational
Chapel, in this town. The result of the dispute involved, amongst
other things, a separation--a clear marching from the place of
several parties who, whether rightly or wrongly, matters not now,
felt themselves aggrieved. They did not leave the chapel in
processional order, neither did they throw stones and then run, when
they took their departure. The process of evaporation was quiet and
orderly. For 12 months the seceders worshipped on their own account,
in accordance with the principles of Congregationalism, at the
Institution, Avenham, and whilst there they gathered strength. In
the meantime they negotiated for land upon which to build a new
chapel and schools; and finally they purchased a site on the higher
side of the Orchard, contiguous to the old Vicarage--a rare piece of
antique, rubbishy ruin in these days--and very near, if not actually
upon, ground which once formed the garden of the famous Isaac
Ambrose, who was Vicar of Preston in 1650, and afterwards ejected;
with many more in the land, on account of his religious opinions.
Thinking it good to harmonise with that ancient wisdom which
recommends people to carry the calf before beginning with the cow,
the new band of Congregationalists under notice, commenced
operations on the site named by erecting a large school room in
which for about a year they worshipped. In due time they got the
chapel built, and for about seven years it has been open.

Its position is prominent; but its associations, like those of the
generality of sacred edifices, has a special bearing upon the world
we live in. Above it there is a portion of the old vicarage
buildings, graced in front with various articles, the most prominent
being a string of delapidated red jackets; right facing it we have
the sable Smithsonian Institute, flanked with that gay and festive
lion which is for ever running and never stirring; below there are
classic establishments for rifle-shooting, likeness taking, and hot
pea revelling; and ahead there is the police station. The chapel
stands well, occupies high and commanding ground, and looks rather
stately. Its exterior design is good; and if the stone of its facade
had been of a better quality--had contained fewer flaws and been
more closely jointed--it would have merited one of our best
architectural bows. The chapel and school, and the land upon which
they are erected, cost 7,000 pounds, and about 1,000 pounds of that
sum remains to be paid. This is not bad. Considering the brevity of
their existence and the severe times they have had to pass through,
the Lancaster-road Congregationalists must have worked hard and put
a very vigorous Christian screw into operation to reduce their debt
so rapidly.

The inside of the chapel is plain, very neat, and quite genteel. We
have seen no Congregational place of worship in this part equal to
it in ease and elegance of design. It is amphi-theatrical, is
galleried three quarters round, and derives the bulk of its beauty--
not from ornament, not from rich artistic hues, nor rare mouldings,
nor exquisite carvings, but from its quiet harmony of arrangement,
its simple gracefulness of form, its close adherence in outline and
detail to the laws of symmetry and proportion. The circular style
prevails most in it, and how to make everything round or half-round
seems to have been the supreme job of the designer. The gallery
above, the seats below, the platform, the pulpit on which it stands,
the chairs behind, the orchestra and its canopy, the window-heads,
the surmountings of the entrance screen, the gas pendants, and
scores of other things, have all a strong fondness for circularity;
and the same predilection is manifested outside; the large lamps
there being quite round and fixed upon circular columns. The pews in
the chapel are very strong, have receding backs, and make sitting in
them rather a pleasing, easy, contented affair. The highest price
for a single seat is 3s. 6d. per quarter; the lowest 1s. There are a
few free sittings in the place, and although they may seem a long
way back--being at the rear of the gallery--their position is not to
be despised. They are not so far distant as to render hearing
difficult; and they obviate that unseemly publicity which is given
to poor people in some places of worship. How to give the poorest
and hungriest folk a very good seat in a very prominent place--how
to herd them together and piously pen them up in some particular
place where everybody can see them--appears to be an object in many
religious edifices. But that is a piece of benevolent shabbiness
which must come to grief some day. In the meantime, and until the
period arrives when honest poverty will be considered no crime, and
when a seat next to a poor man will be thought nothing vulgar, or
contaminating, whilst worshipping before Him who cares for souls not
lucre, hearts not wealth, let the poor be put in some place where
they can hear fairly without being unduly exhibited. The chapel we
are noticing has a spacious appearance within, and has none of that
depressing dulness which makes some people very sad long before they
have been ministerially operated upon. From side windows there comes
a good light; and from the roof, which has a central transparency,
additional clearness is obtained. The light from the ceiling would
be improved if the glass it were kept a little cleaner.

The congregation is neither a very large nor a particularly small
one. It is fairly medium--might be worse, and would in no way be
hurt if it were enlarged. The "members" number about 120, and they
are just about as good as the rest of mortals, who have "made their
calling and election sure." The congregation consists almost
entirely of middle and working class people. There is not so much of
that high, gassy pride, that fine mezzotinto, isolated hauteur and
self-righteousness in the place which may be seen in some chapels.
Of course, particles of vanity, morsels of straight-lacedness,
lively little bits of cantankerousness, and odd manifestations of
first person pronoun worship periodically crop up; but altogether
the congregation has a quiet, unassuming, friendly disposition.
Nobody in it appears to be very much better or worse than yourself;
there is an evenness of tone and a sociality of feeling in the spot;
and a stranger can enter it without being violently stared at, and
can sit down without feeling that his room is nearly if not quite as
good as his company. The music is fairly congregational; individuals
in various parts of the chapel have sufficient courage to sing; and
the choir is moderately harmonious; but the melody one hears in the
place is rather flat and meagre; it lacks instrumental relief; and
it will never be really up to the mark until an organ is obtained.

The first regular minister of this chapel was the Rev. G. W.
Clapham; he was connected with it for some years; then had a
"difficulty" with certain parties--deacons amongst the rest, of
course; and afterwards left the place, uttering, in a quiet
Shaksperian tone, as he departed, "Now mark how I will undo myself:"
He threw to the winds his Congregationalism, and a few months ago
joined, in due clerical order, the Church of England. The present
pastor of Lancaster-road Congregational Chapel is the Rev. E.
Bolton. The "church" tried the merits of about 30 ministers before
making a selection. The height, depth, weight, tone of voice,
matter, manner, theology, brains, and spirit of that band of 30 were
duly weighed, and finally, Mr. Bolton was picked out. A salary of
300 pounds was offered him. He might have got other places, and if
he had followed the clerical wisdom of his generation he would have
tried to secure one of them; for they all, more or less, implied a
better salary than that which the Preston people offered him. But he
fixed upon Preston just because he fancied more good might be done
therein than elsewhere. A trick like this--a generosity so distinct
as this--is a real oasis in the ecclesiastical desert. Few parsons
would imitate it. How to get the biggest salary, and lug in the
"will of the Lord" as an excuse for changing to some locality where
it could be snugly got, is the question which many pious men seem
desirous of solving. Mr. Bolton has different ideas, and finds some
compensation in goodness achieved as well as in money pocketed. He
has been at Lancaster-road Chapel three months, and, unlike many new
parsons, he had more sense than preach his best sermons first--than
make a grand pyrotechnic dash at the onset and settle down into a
round of prating mediocrity afterwards. When tried he gave the
people a fair average specimen of what he could do--did not say his
best nor his commonest things; began with a fire which he could keep
up; and the result is not disappointment, but an increasing relish.

Mr. Bolton is a plain, dark-complexioned, clear-headed man--rather
clerical in look; well-built; married; about 38 years of age; fond
of a billycock; teetotal, but averse to drowning other people with
water; doesn't think it sinful to smoke just one pipe of tobacco
after he has done a day's work; had rather visit poor than rich
people; dislikes namby-pambying and making a greater fuss over high
than low class members of his church; thinks that those in poverty
need most looking after, and that those with good homes and decent
purses should try to look a little after themselves; believes in
working hard; cares precious little for deacons--we rather like
that, for deacons are queer birds to encounter; is original in
thought, fairly up in theology, and straightforward in language. It
is rather a treat to see him preach. He does not, like the bulk of
parsons, solemnly work out all his divinity in the pulpit:
preaching is not a sad, up and down, air-sawing, monotonous thing
with him; he steps out of the sacred box when his feelings begin to
warm up, moves to one side of it, then round the back of it, and
then to the other side of it; talks to you and not at you; is quite
conversational in style, and ignores everything conventional and
stereotyped in manner. He exercises his lungs with considerable
force at times; but he never tears nor disturbs the circumambient
air with religious agony. It is as pleasant to hear as to see him.
Good sound sense, neatly adjusted argument, newness of thought, and
clear illustration characterise his expressions. He is liberal and
independent in tone; speaks easily, and if he now and then wanders a
little he always returns to the question with vigour, and freshness.
He has no written sermons; a few notes are sufficient for him; he
does not believe in long discourses; he has an idea that it is
better to say a little and let it be well understood than float into
immensity, let off fireworks there, and dumfounder everybody. But he
has his faults. He has quite as much confidence in himself as is
requisite for the present. He is rather too impervious and too
oracular; but then who would not be if they had the chance? We like
him well on the whole, and as he is new amongst us, it is but right
that we should deliver him with charity. Adjoining the chapel there
are many class-rooms, and a fine school. Boys, girls, and infants
are accommodated in them. The average Sunday attendance is about
200. We believe Mr. Bolton will add numeric strength to both the
chapel and schools. And if he does, let no one make the least
conceivable noise, for there is room enough for all in Preston. The
town isn't a quarter as virtuous as it should be; the bulk of us are
scarcely half as good as we ought to be; and if anybody can do any
good in any way let it be done without a single whimper.


There is nothing very time-worn about Methodism; it is only 140
years old; but during that period its admirers have contrived to
split numerous hairs, and have extended very fairly what is known as
"the dissidence of dissent." The ring of Methodism includes many
sections: it embraces, amongst others, ordinary Wesleyans,
Bryanites, New Connectionists, Primitives, United Free Church men,
and Independent Methodists. They can't all be right; but they think
they are; and that is enough. They have as yet requested nobody to
be responsible for them; and weighing that over well, the fairest
plan is to let the creed of each alone--to condemn none, to give all
legitimate chance, and permit them to "go on." Antique simplicity
seems to be the virtue of those whom we have now to describe. And
yet there is nothing very ancient about them. There is more in the
sound than in the name of primitive Methodists. They are a
comparatively young people with a somewhat venerable name. It was
not until 1810 that they were formed into a society. Originally they
were connected with the Wesleyan Methodists; but they disagreed with
them in the course of time, and left them eventually. The immediate
cause of separation was, we are informed, a dispute as to the
propriety of camp meetings, and the utility of female preaching. The
Wesleyans couldn't see the wisdom of such meetings nor the fun of
such preaching: probably they thought that people could get as much
good as they would reasonably digest in regular chapel gatherings,
and that it was quite enough to hear women talk at home without
extending the business to pulpits. The Primitives believed
otherwise--fancied that camp meetings would be productive of much
Christian blissfulness, and thought that females had as much right
to give pulpit as caudle lectures. With a chivalry nearly knightly
they came to the rescue, and gave woman a free pass into the regions
of language and theology. A third point of difference had reference
to the representative character of Wesleyan conferences; but into
that question we need not enter.

The first regular quarters of Preston Primitive Methodism were in
Friargate, in a yard facing Lune-street--in a small building there,
where a few men with strong lungs and earnest minds had many seasons
of rejoicing. The thermometer afterwards rose; and for some time a
building which they erected in Lawson-street, and which is now used
as the Weavers' Institute, was occupied by them. Often did they get
far up the dreamy ladder of religious joy, and many a time did they
revel with a rich and deafening delightfulness in the regions of
zeal there. They were determined to "keep the thing warm," and to
let outsiders know that if they were not a large, they were a
lively, body. Primitive Methodism does not profess to be a fine, but
an earnest, thing--not a trimmed-up, lackadaisical arrangement, but
a strong, sincere, simple, enthusiastic species of religion. It has
largely to do with the heart and the feelings; is warm-natured, full
of strong, straightforward, devotional vigour; combines homeliness
of soul with intensity of imagination; links a great dash of honest
turbulence with an infinitude of deep earnestness; tells a man that
if he is happy he may shout, that if under a shower of grace he may
fly off at a tangent and sing; makes a sinner wince awfully when
under the pang of repentance, and orders him to jump right out of
his skin for joy the moment he finds peace; gives him a fierce
cathartic during conversion, and a rapturous cataplasm in his
"reconciliation." Primitive Methodism occupies the same place in
religion as the ballad does in poetry. It has an untamed,
blithesome, healthy ring with it; harmonises well with the common
instincts and the broad, common intuitions of common life; can't
hurt a prince, and will improve a peasant; won't teach a king wrong
things; is sure to infuse happiness amongst men of humbler mould.
Its exuberance is necessary on account of the materials it has to
deal with; its spiritual ebullitions and esctacies are required so
that they may accord with, and set all a-blaze, the strong, vehement
spirits who bend the knee under its aegis. Primitive Methodism has
reached deeper depths than many other creeds--has touched harder,
wilder, ruder souls than nearly "all the isms" put together. It may
not have made much numeric progress, may not have grown big in
figures nor loud in facts, but it has done good--has gone down in
the diving bell of hope to the low levels of sin, and brought up to
the clear rippling surface of life and light many a pearl which
would have been lost without it. Primitive Methodism is just the
religion for a certain class of beings just the exact article for
thousands who can't see far ahead, and who wouldn't be able to make
much out if they could. There are people adoring it who would be
stupid, reticent, and recalcitrant under any other banner, who would
"wonder what it all meant" if they were in a calmer, clearer
atmosphere--who would be muddy-mottled and careless in a more
classical and ambrosial arena. After this learned morsel of
theorising, we shall return to the subject.

In 1836 the Primitive Methodists left their Lawson-street seminary
and pitched their tent eastwards--on a piece of land facing Saul-
street and flanking Lamb-street. Its situation is pretty good, and
as it stands right opposite, only about eight yards from, the Baths
and Washhouses, we would suggest to the Saul-street brethren the
propriety of putting up some sign, or getting some inscription made
in front of their chapel, to the effect that "cleanliness is next to
godliness," and that both can be obtained on easy terms. The chapel
is a very ordinary looking building, having a plain brick front,
with sides of similar material, and a roof of Welsh slate, which
would look monotonous if it were not relieved on the western side by
19 bricks and two stones, and on the eastern by four stones, one
brick, and a piece of rod-iron tacked on to keep a contiguous
chimney straight. The chapel has a somewhat spacious interior; and
has a large gallery fixed on six rather slender iron pillars. The
pews have at some time had one or more coats of light delicate green
paint--the worst colour which could be chosen for endurance--put
upon them, and many are now curiously black at the rear, through
people leaning back against them. A glance round shows the various
sombre places, and their relative darkness gives a fair clue as to
the extent of their use.

At one end there is a small gallery for the choir and the organ, and
in front of it the pulpit, a plain moderately-subtantial affair, is
located. The organ is a very poor one. It has a tolerably good
appearance; but it is a serious sinner with reference to its
internal arrangements. We quietly examined it very recently, and
should have gone away with a determination not to be comforted if an
intimation had not been made to the effect that "the organist was
organising a plan for a new organ," and that there was some
probability of a better instrument being fit up before very long.
The members of the choir are of a brisk, warbling turn of mind, and
can push through their work blithely. The singing is thoroughly
congregational--permeates the whole place, is shot out in a quick,
cheerful strain, is always strong and merry, is periodically
excellent, is often jolly and funny, has sometimes a sort of chorus
to it, and altogether is a strong, virtuously-jocund, free and easy
piece of ecstacy which the people enjoy much. It would stagger a man
fond of "linked sweetness long drawn out," it might superinduce a
mortal ague in one too enamoured of Handel and Mozart; but to those
who regularly attend the place, who have got fairly upon the lines
of Primitive action, it is a simple process of pious refreshment and

The chapel will hold between 700 and 800 persons; if hydraulicised
1000 might be got into it; but such a number is rarely seen in the
place; and the average attendance may be set down at about 600.
There are about 400 members in connection with the place, and they
respectively contribute 1d. per week towards the expenses. We may
here remark that in Preston there are two Primitive Methodist
chapels, that in Saul-street being the principal one. The "circuit"
runs mainly westward, its utmost limit in that direction being
Fleetwood. Formerly three ministers were stationed at Saul-street
chapel; but two are now considered sufficient; and they are, as a
rule, married men, the circuit being considered sufficiently large
to keep parties in the "olive branch" category. In the whole circuit
there are between 700 and 800 "members." The congregation of Saul-
street chapel is almost entirely of a working-class character. In
the front and on each side of the body of the building there are a
few free seats, which are mainly used by very poor humble-looking

The ministers are the Rev. J. Judson, who is the superintendent, and
the Rev. W. Graham. They are paid on a systematic and considerate
plan. Money is given to them to accordance with the number of their
family. They get so much per head--the more numerous the family and
the larger the pay becomes. But it is not very extraordinary at the
best of times; and if even a preacher happened to have a complete
houseful of children, if his quiver were absolutely full of them, he
would not be pecuniarly rich. The bulk of Primitive Methodist
preachers are taken from the working classes, and the pay they
receive is not more than they could earn if they kept out of the
ministry altogether. They become parsons for the love of "the
cause," and not for loaves and fishes. Reverting to Mr. Judson, it
may be said that he is a quiet, earnest, elderly, close-shaven,
clerical looking gentleman--has a well-defined, keen solemnity on
his countenance, looks rather like a Catholic priest in facial and
habilimental cut, is one of the old school of Primitive preachers,
is devout but not luminous, good but not erudite, is slow and long-
drawn in his utterances, but he can effervesce on a high key at
intervals, and can occasionally "draw out" the brethren to a hot
pitch of exuberance. His general style is sincere; he means well;
but his words, like cold-drawn castor oil, don't go down with
overmuch gusto.

The junior preacher--Mr. Graham--is more modernised in manner and
matter. He is an earnest, thoughtful, plodding man, can preach a
fair sermon tears a little sometimes, and can "bring down the house"
in tolerably good style. Both of them are hard workers, both are
doing good, and neither must be despised on account of humility of
position. Primitive, like Wesleyan, preachers are changed
periodically; superintendents can, under certain conditions, stay at
one place for three years, but no longer; junior men have to cut
their straps every two years. Since this description was first
published both the ministers named have gone; the Rev. Thomas Doody
having succeeded as superintendent, and the Rev. John Hall as
junior. Mr. Doody is a middle-aged gentleman, is a pretty good
preacher, has considerable zeal in him, and fires up more
energetically than his predecessor. Mr. Hall is a young man with a
rather elderly look. His style is discursive, his lucid intervals
not as electrical as those of some Primitive parsons, but he is a
good fellow, and if he had more physical force and more mental
condensation be would "go down" better.

There are numerous collections, some fixed, and some incidental, at
Saul-street, and on special occasions they can raise sums of money
which would put to the blush the bulk of loftier and more
"respectable" congregations. Not much time is lost by the Saul-
street Primitives: every Monday evening they have preaching at the
place; on Tuesday evening three or four class meetings, in which
singing, praying, and talking are carried on; on Wednesday ditto; on
Thursday evening the singers work up their exercises; on Friday
evening there is a meeting of leaders, or committee men; on Saturday
evening a band of hope meeting; and on Sundays they are throng from
morning till night. Their prayer meetings are pious and gleeful
affairs. Throughout the whole of such gatherings, and in fact
generally when prayer is being gone on with, the steam is kept well
up, and the safety valve often lifts to let off the extra pressure.
Sharp shouts, breezy "Amens," tenderly-attenuated groans, deep
sighs, sudden "Hallelujahs," and vivacious cries of "Just now,"
"Aye," "Glory," "Yes," "Praise the Lord," &c.--all well meant--
characterise them. But prayer meetings are not half so stormy as
they used to be; twenty or thirty years since they were tremendously
boisterous; now, whilst a fair amount of ejaculatory talk is done at
them, they are becoming comparatively quiet, and on Sundays only a
few of the old-fashioned and more passionately devoted members make
noises. Love feasts are held occasionally at Saul-street as at all
other Primitive Methodist chapels. The "members" give their
"experience" at these gatherings--tell with a bitter sorrow how
sinful they once were, mention with a fervid minuteness the exact
moment of their conversion, allude to the temptations they meet and
overcome, the quantity of grace bestowed upon them, the sorrows they
pass through, and the bliss they participate in. We have heard men
romance most terribly at some of these love feasts; but we are not
prepared to say that anybody does so at Saul-street Chapel.

Immediately adjoining the chapel there is a large and well made
building, which has only been erected about two years. The lower
portion of it is used for class rooms; the upper part is
appropriated for Sunday school purposes. The average attendance of
scholars is 350. Belonging the school there is a good library. The
building cost about 1,000 pounds and is entirely free from debt.
Considering everything the Saul-street Primitives are doing a
praiseworthy work; they may lack the spiciness and finish of more
fashionable bodies; they may have little of that wealthiness about
them which gives power and position to many; but they are a class of
earnest, useful, humble souls, drawing to them from the lowly walks
of life men and women who would be repelled by the processes of a
more aesthetic and learned creed. We have a considerable regard for
Primitive Methodism; in some respects we admire its operations; and
for the good it does we are quite willing to tolerate all the
erratic earnestness, musical effervescence, and prayerful
boisterousness it is so enamoured of.


Catholicism owes much to the Jesuits; and, casuistically speaking,
the Jesuits owe their existence to a broken leg. Ignatius of Loyola
was their founder. He was at first a page, then a soldier, then got
one of his legs broken in battle, was captured and confined as an
invalid, had his immortal leg set and re-set, whiled away his time
whilst it was mending in reading romances, got through all within
his reach, could at last find nothing but the Lives of the Saints,
had his latent religious feelings stirred during their perusal,
travelled to different places afterwards, and at last established
the order of Jesuits--an order which has more learning within its
circle than perhaps any other section of men, which has sent out its
missionaries to every clime, has been subjected to every kind of
vicissitude, has been suppressed by kings and emperors, ostracised
by at least one Pope, and shouted down often by excited peoples in
the heated moments of revolution; but which has somehow managed to
live through it all and progress. The men fighting under the
standard of Ignatius have a tenacity, a mysterious irrepressibleness
about them which dumfounds the orthodox and staggers the processes
of ordinary calculators. In Preston we have three churches, besides
an auxiliary chapel, wherein priests of the Jesuit order labour. By
far the largest number of Preston Catholics are in charge of those
priests, and the generality of them don't seem to suffer anything
from the "tyranny"--that is the phrase some of us Protestants
delight to honour--of their supervision. They can breathe, and walk
about, laugh, and grow fat without any difficulty, and they are
sanguine of being landed in ultimate ecstacy if they conduct
themselves fairly.

In a former article we referred to one of the Catholic churches in
this town--St Wilfrid's--which is looked after by Jesuit priests--on
this occasion we purposely alluding to another--St. Ignatius's. The
Catholics in the district of this church are very strong; they
number about 6,000; are mainly of a working-class complexion; and
are conveniently and compactly located for educational and religious
purposes. Catholics are so numerous in the neighbourhood--are so
woven and interwoven amongst the denizens of it--that it is a good
and a safe plan never to begin running down the Pope in any part of
it. Murphyites and patent Christians fond of immolating Rome, &c.,
would have a very poor chance of success in this district. The
church of St. Ignatius stands in the square which bears its name.
The first stone of the edifice was laid on the 27th of May, 1833:
to 1858 the church was enlarged, and in the course of the re-opening
services the famous Dr. Manning (now Archbishop of Westminster)
preached a sermon. The building is erected in the "perpendicular
English" style of architecture--literally, a very general thing, the
horizontal style being yet unworkable; is railed round; and has a
dim, quiet elegance about its exterior. At the southern end there is
a tower, with a spire, (surmounted by a cross) above it; the total
height being 120 feet, It may be information to some people when we
state that the first spire attached to any place of worship in
Preston, was that we now see at St. Ignatius's. Indeed, up to 1836,
it was the only spire which could be found between the Ribble and
the Lune. Spires have since sprang up pretty numerously in Preston;
but there was a time, and not very long since either, when the line
in the well known doggrel verse "High church and LOW STEEPLE" was
descriptively correct. The original cost of St. Ignatius's church,
with the adjoining priests' house, was about 8,000 pounds and of
that sum upwards of 1,000 pounds was raised by small weekly
offerings from the poor. The church has got an outside clock with
three faces, and they would sustain no injury whatever if they were
either washed or re-gilt. We don't think the clock would "strike"
against such a thing. The enlargement of the church, which was at
the chancel end, cost about 3,000 pounds, and the money was quite
ready when the job was finished.

The building is cruciform in shape, and has a fine interior--is
lofty, capacious, and cathedral-like. The high altar is very choice
and beautiful; and the contiguous decorations are profuse and
exquisite. The painting is rich and elaborate, and the most frigid
soul, if blessed with even a morsel of artistic taste, would be
inclined to admire it. There is a large window behind the altar, and
it is a very handsome affair; but it is rather too bright--flashes
and crystalises a little too strongly; and needs a deeper tone
somewhere to make it properly effective. Not very far from the
pulpit, which is massive, elegant, and calculated to hold the
stoutest priest in the country, there are two large statues,
standing on tall stone columns--opposite each other--at the sides of
the nave. One of them represents St. Joseph, and the other, we
believe, St. Ignatius. Not very far from this part of the building
there used to be a statue of St. Patrick; but it was removed to one
side, awhile since, either to make room for some other ornament, or
to edify those belonging "ould Ireland" who may happen to sit near
its present position. Towards the higher end, and on each side of
the church, there is an opening, projecting back several yards. A
gallery occupies each of these spaces, and beneath there are seats.
The roof of the nave, which is finely decorated, depends upon
parallel stone columns; but they are rather heavy--are massive and
numerous enough to support another church, if ever one should be
erected above the present edifice. The seats are of plain stained
wood, and the doors are gradually disappearing. Open seats are
desiderated and whenever the opportunity occurs, the doors are
attacked. Some of the pews have doors to them, and so long as the
present occupiers hold their sittings in them they will not, unless
it is requested, be disturbed; but as soon as they leave, the doors
will be quietly taken off and either sold, or judiciously split up,
or quietly buried.

Adjoining the chancel there are four of those mystic places called
confessionals. The other evening we were in every one of them,
viewed them round from head to foot, asked a priest who was with us
the meaning of everything visible, and left without noticing in any
of them anything to particularly fret at. "Confession is good for
the soul," we are told; and by all means let those who honestly
believe in it "go the entire figure" without molestation or insult.
Every morning, on week days, there is mass in the church at seven,
half-past seven, and eight o'clock; every Friday evening there is
benediction; and on Sundays a great business is done--at eight,
nine, ten, and eleven, in the forenoon, at three in the afternoon,
and at half-past six in the evening, there are masses, combined more
or less with other ceremonies. The "proper services" are understood
to be at eleven and half-past six. The nine and ten o'clock masses
are by far the best attended; partly because they appear to be more
convenient than the others, and partly because the work is cut
comparatively short at them. Human nature, as a rule, can't stand a
very long fire of anything, doesn't like to have even too much
goodness pushed upon it for too long a time, believes in a very
short and very sweet thing. It may have to pay more for it, as it
has at the ten o'clock mass on a Sunday, at St. Ignatius's--for the
price of seats at that time is just double what it is at any other;
only the work is got through sharply, and that is something to be
thankful for. School children have the best seats allotted to them
at the mass just named, and the wealthiest man in the place
occupying the most convenient seat in it has to beat a mild retreat
and take his hat with him when they appear. The more fashionable,
and solemnly-balanced Catholics attend the services at eleven and
half-past six. They are made of respectable metal which will stand a
good deal of calm hammering, and absorb a considerable quantity of
virtuous moisture. At this, as at all other Catholic chapels, the
usual aqueous and genuflecting movements are made; and they are all
done very devotedly. More water, we think, is spilled at the
entrance, than is necessary; and we would recommend the observance
of a quiet, even, calm dip--not too long as if the hand were going
into molasses, nor too fleetingly as if it had got hold of a piece
of hot iron by mistake.

At ten and three on Sundays the music is sung by a number of girls,
occupying one of the small galleries, wherein there is an organ
which is played by a nun. The singing is sweet, and the nun gets
through her work pleasantly. The Catholic soldiers stationed at
Fulwood Barracks make St. Ignatius's their place of devotional
resort. They attend the nine o'clock Sunday morning mass, and muster
sometimes as many as 200. One of the finest sights in the church is
that which the guilds of the place periodically make. On the first
Sunday in every month the girls' and women's guilds, numbering about
600 members, attend one of the morning masses; on the third Sunday
in each month the members of the boys' and men's guilds, numbering
between 400 and 500, do like-wise. Fine order prevails amongst them;
numerous captains are in command; special dresses are worn by many
of the members; some of the girls are in white; all the members wear
sashes, crosses, &c.; and, after entering, their bright golden-hued
banners, are planted in lines at the ends of the seats, giving a
rare and imposing beauty to the general scene. The church will hold
about 1,000 persons; and the complete attendance on a Sunday is
about 3,500. The congregation is principally made up of working-
class people, and they have got a spirit of devotion and generosity
within them which many a richer and more rose-watered assembly would
do well to cultivate.

There are four priests at St. Ignatius's, and in addition to the
duties discharged by them in the church, they have special
departments of labour to look after outside it. Father J. Walker,
the principal priest, superintends the female guilds, and visits the
soldiers at the Barracks; Father R. Brindle attends to the male
guilds; Father Boardman hangs out an educational banner, and has the
management of the various schools; the fourth priest officiates as
auxiliary. Wonders used to be worked in this district by the Rev.
Father Cooper--an indefatigable, far-seeing, mild-moving man, in
very plain clothes, who could any time get more money for religious
and educational purposes than half a score of other priests. He was
always planning something for the improvement of the district; was
always looking after the vital end--the money; and was always
bringing in substantial specimens of the current coin. He included
Protestants among his supporters; people who in nine cases out of
ten would give to nobody else--were always calmly tickled and
trotted into a generous mood by him. St. Ignatius's district was
stirred into full and active life by Father Cooper; he extended and
elaborated the church; improved the schools greatly; touched with
the wand of progress everything belonging the mission; and the
Catholics of the neighbourhood may thank all their stars in one lot
for his 15 years residence amongst them. A man like Father Cooper
was bad to follow; it was no easy matter putting his shoes on and
walking in them regularly through the district; but his successor--
Father Walker, who has seen something of the world, has done service
in the West Indies, has fought with mosquitoes, confronted black and
yellow fever, preached to dark men and soldiers, and made himself
moderately acquainted with the hues and habits of butterflies,
centipedes, and snakes, if the museum at Stonyhurst College is
anything to go by, was not the priest to be either disheartened or

Father Walker is a locomotive, wiry, fibrous man--full of energy,
wide awake,--tenacious, keenly perceptive; could pass his sharp eye
round you in a second and tell your age, weight, and habits; could
nearly look round a corner and say how many people were in the next
street; has a touch of shrewd, sudden-working humour to him; can
stand a joke but won't be played with; has a strong sense of
straightforwardness; is tall, dark complexioned, weird-looking,
wears bushy hair, which is becoming iron grey, and uses a thin
penetrating pair of spectacles. He has been at St. Ignatius's for
two-and-a-half years; the decorations in the church are mainly due
to him; and he has earned the respect and affection of the people.
His style of preaching is clear, sonorously-sounding, and vigorous--
is not rhetorically flashy, but strong, impetuous, and full of
energy. The ardour of his nature makes his utterances rapid; but
they are always distinct, and there is nothing extravagant or tragic
in his action. He is a clear-headed, determined, sagacious man, and
would be formidable, if put to it, with either his logic or fists.

Father Brindle, who has been at the church about ten years, is a
quiet, mildly-flowing, gently-breathing man; has nothing
vituperative or declamatory in his nature; works hard and regularly;
has an easy, gentle, subdued style of preaching; but knows what
common sense means, and can infuse it into his discourses. If he had
a little more force he would be able to knock down sinners better.
The oracle can't always be worked with tranquillity; delinquents
need bruising and smashing sometimes. Father Boardman--an active,
unassuming sort of gentleman--has been at the church for about a
year. He is quick in the regions of education and literature; knows
much about old and new books; has a lively regard for ancient
classical and religions works; is perhaps better acquainted with the
26,000 volumes in Stonyhurst College library than anybody else;
likes to preach on tuitional questions; has a mortal dislike of
secular education. He is plodding, intelligent, up to the mark in
his business, and if 50 changes were made it is quite probable no
improvement would be made upon him.

Father Baron comes next. When we visited St. Ignatius's he had only
been there a few weeks, and since then he has gone to some place
near London. For a long time Father Baron was at Wakefield, and
during his stay there he officiated as Catholic chaplain of the
gaol. He was the first priest in the kingdom who made application,
under the Prison Ministers Act, for permission to hold regular gaol
services. In Wakefield he earned the respect of all classes; and
there was general regret expressed when it became known he had to
leave. Protestants as well as Catholics liked him, and, if he had
stayed in Preston, the very same feeling would have been created. He
is just about the most fatherly and genial man we have seen; has a
venerated, rubicund, cozy look; seems like the descendant of some
festive abbot or blithesome friar; makes religion agree with him--
some people are never happy unless they are being tortured by it;
has hit upon the golden mean--is neither too ascetical nor too
jocund; is simply good and jolly; has ever so much vivacity,
sprightliness, and poetic warmth in his constitution; can preach a
lively, earnest, sermon; has a strong imitative faculty; is brisk in
action; can tell a good tale; is fine company; would'nt hurt
anybody; would step over a fly rather than kill it unkindly; and is
just such a man as we should like for a confessor if we were a
believer in his Church. He has been succeeded by Father Pope, who is
no relative of the old gentleman at Rome, but is we believe, a
nephew of the celebrated Archbishop Whately.

All the priests at St. Ignatius's avoid in their discourses that
which is now-a-days very fashionable--attacking other people's
creeds. A person who has regularly attended the church for twenty
years, said to us the other day that he had never heard one sermon
wherein a single word against other folks creeds had been uttered.
The great object of the priests is to teach those who listen to them
to mind their own business; and that isn't a bad thing at any time.
The music at St. Ignatius's is of a high order. It is not nice and
easy, but rich and vigorous--fine and fierce, comes out warm, and
has with it a strong compact harmony indicative of both ability and
earnestness. The conductor is energetic and efficient, wields his
baton in a lively manner, but hits nobody with it. There is a very
fair organ in the church, and it is pleasantly played. The blowers
also do their duty commendably.

Adjoining the church there is the priests' house--a rather
labrynthal, commodious place with plain, ancient furniture. Beyond,
is a very excellent school for girls as well as infants of the
gentler sex. It is supervised by nuns, some of whom are wonderfully
clever. They are "Sisters of the Holy Child;" are most painstaking,
sincere, and useful; never dream about sweethearts; devote their
whole time to religion and education. All of them are well educated;
two or three of them are smart. The school, which has an average
attendance of 550, is in a high state of efficiency; is, in fact,
one of the best to the country. The sceptical can refer to
Government reports if they wish for absolute proof. Still further on
there is another school, set apart for the instruction of middle
class boys, and in charge of three Xavierian brothers. About 90 boys
attend it, and they are well disciplined. At the rear of the school
there is a fine playground for the boys--it is about the largest in
Preston; and close to it we have the old graveyard of the church,
which is in a tolerably fair state of order. Brothers of the
Xavierian type have been in charge of the school for about nine
years. The three now at it are mild, obliging, quiet-looking men.
They live in a house hard by, and do all the household work
themselves, Well done, Xavierians! you will never be aggravated with
the great difficulty of domestic life--servant-maidism; will never
have to solve the solemn question as to when it is "Susan's Sunday
out;" will never be crossed by a ribbon-wearing Jemima, nor harrowed
up in absent moments by pictures of hungry "followers" fond of cold
joints and pastry. In addition to looking after the school, the
Xavierians in question give religious instruction at nights, and on
Sundays, to the children attending St. Ignatius's school in Walker-
street. The Sunday after we visited the church, about fifty whom
they had been training, received their "first communion," and in
addition, got a medal and their breakfast given,--two things which
nobody despises as a rule, whether on the borders of religious bliss
or several miles therefrom. The school in Walker-street is attended,
every day, by about 400 boys and infants, and is in an improving
condition. The Sunday schools are in a very flourishing state; the
girls attending them numbering about 650, and the boys about 500.
Taking all into account, a great educational work is being carried
on in the district of St. Ignatius. The importance of secular and
religious instruction is fully appreciated by the priests; they know
that such instruction moulds the character, and tells its tale in
after life; they are active and alive to the exigences of the hour;
are on the move daily and nightly for the sake of the mind and the
soul; and they, like the rest of their brethren, set many of our
Protestant parsons an example of tireless industry, which it would
be well for them to imitate, if they wish to maintain their own, and
spread the principles they believe in.


"Don't be so particular" is a particularly popular phrase. It comes
up constantly from the rough quarry of human nature--is a part of
life's untamed protest against punctilliousness and mathematical
virtue. Particular people are never very popular people, just
because they are particular. The world isn't sufficiently ripe for
niceties; it likes a lot, and pouts at eclectical squeamishness; it
believes in a big, vigorous, rough-hewn medley, is choice in some of
its items, but free and easy in the bulk; and it can't masticate
anything too severely didactic, too purely logical, too strongly
distinct, or too acutely exact. But it does not follow,
etymologically, that a man is right because he is particular. He may
be very good or very bad, and yet be only such because he is
particularly so. Singularity, eccentricity, speciality, isolation,
oddity, and hundreds of other things which might be mentioned, all
involve particularity. But we do not intend, to "grammar-out" the
question, nor to disengage and waste our gas in definitions. The
particular enters into all sorts of things, and it has even a local
habitation and a name in religion. What could be more particular
than Particular Baptism? Certain followers of a man belonging the
great Smith family constituted the first congregation of English
Baptists. These were of the General type. The Particular Baptists
trace their origin to a coterie of men and women who had an idea
that their grace was of a special type, and who met in London as far
back as 1616. The doctrines of the Particular Baptists are of the
Calvinistic hue. They believe in eternal election, free
justification, ultimate glorification; they have a firm notion that
they are a special people, known before all time; that not one of
them will be lost; and they differ from the General Baptists, so far
as discipline is concerned, in this--they reject "open communion,"
will allow no membership prior to dipping; or,--to quote the exact
words of one of them, who wrote to us the other day on the subject,
and who paled our ineffectual fire very considerably with his
definition--"All who enter our pail must be baptised." If there is
any water in the "pail" they will; if not, it will be a simple
question of dryness.

The chapel used by the Particular-Baptists, in Vauxhall-road,
Preston, has a curious history. It beats Plato's theory of
transmigration; and is a modern edition of Ovid's Metamorphoses. The
building was erected by Mr. George Smith (father of the late
Alderman G. Smith, of this town), and he preached to it for a short
time. Afterwards it was occupied by a section of Methodists
connected with the "Round Preachers." Then it was purchased by a
gentleman of the General Baptist persuasion, who let it to the late
Mr. Moses Holden--a pious, astronomical person, who held forth in it
for a season with characteristic force. Subsequently it was taken
possession of by the Episcopalians, the Rev. Mr. Pearson, late of
Tockholes, being the minister. He, along with some of his flock, was
in the habit of holding prayer meetings, &c., in different parts of
the town; the Vauxhall-road building being their central depot. But
when the Rev. Carus Wilson was appointed Vicar of Preston an end was
put to both their praying and preaching. When the Episcopalians made
their exit, a section of religious people called the Fieldingites
obtained the building. They drove a moderately thriving business at
the place until permission was unwittingly given for a Mormon
preacher to occupy the pulpit just once--a circumstance which
resulted in a thorough break-up; many of the body liking neither Joe
Smith nor his polygamising followers. After the Mormon fiasco and
the evaporation of the Fieldingites, another denomination took it.
The Particular Baptists--some people call them Gadsbyites--were at
this period working the virtues of their creed in a small room
towards the bottom of Cannon-street; and on hearing that Vauxhall-
road Chapel was on sale, they smiled, made a bid at it, and bought
it. Their first minister, after the removal, was a certain Mr.
Mc.Kenzie, who stimulated the elect with many good things, and
eventually died. The question as to who should be his successor next
presented itself; "supplies" were tried; various men from various
parts were invited into the pulpit, looked at, and listened to; the
object being to get "the right man in the right place."

There was considerable difference of opinion as to that said "right
man;" one portion of "the church" wanting a smart, well-starched,
polished individual, and the other desiring a plain, straightforward
"gospel preacher"--a man of the Gadsby kidney, capable of hitting
people hard, and telling the truth without any fear. This was in
1848, and about this time a plain, homely, broad-hearted "Lancashire
chap," named Thomas Haworth, a block printer by trade, and living in
the neighbourhood of Accrington, who had taken to preaching in his
spare time, was "invited" to supply the Vauxhall-road pulpit.
"Tommy"--that's his recognized name, and he'll not be offended at us
for using it--came, saw, and conquered. He made his appearance in a
plain coat, a plain waist-coat, and a pair of plain blue-coloured
corduroy trousers; and as he went up the steps of the pulpit, people
not only wondered where he came from, but who his tailor was. And if
they had seen his hat, they would have been solicitous as to its
manufacturer. The more elaborate portion of the "church" pulled
uncongenial features at the young block-printer's appearance,
thought him too rough, too unreclaimed, too outspoken, and too
vehement; the plain people, the humble, hard-working, unfashionable
folk liked him, and said he was "just the man" for them. Time kept
moving, Tommy was asked to officiate in the pulpit for 52 Sundays;
he consented; kept up his fire well and in a good Gadsbyfied style;
and when settling day came a majority of the members decided that he
should remain with them. The "non-contents" moved off, said that it
would not do; was too much of a good thing; escaped to Zoar; and, in
the course of this retreat, somebody took--what!--not the pulpit,
nor its Bible, nor the hymn books, nor the collecting boxes, nor the
unpaid bills belonging the chapel, but--the title deeds of the old
place! and to this day they have not been returned. This was indeed
a sharp thing. How Shylock--how the old Jew with his inexorable
pound of flesh-worship, creeps up in every section of human society!
Vauxhall-road Chapel, which has passed through more denominational
agony than any twenty modern places of worship put together, is
situated in a poor locality--in a district where pure air, and less
drink, and more of "the Christ that is to be," as Tennyson would
say, are needed than the majority of places in the town.

Architecturally the chapel is nothing; and if it were not for a few
tall front rails, painted green, a good gable end pointed up, and a
fairly cut inscription thereon, it would, ecclesiastically speaking,
seem less than nothing. It has just been re-painted internally, and
necessarily looks somewhat smart on that account; but there is no
pretension to architecture in the general building. Between 500 and
600 persons might be accomodation in it; but the average attendance
is below 200. People are not "particular" about what church or
chapel they belong to in its locality; and some of them who belong
to no place seem most wickedly comfortable. There is a great deal of
heathenish contentment in Vauxhall-road district, and how to make
the people living there feel properly miserable until they get into
a Christian groove of thought is a mystery which we leave for the

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest