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Our Churches and Chapels by Atticus

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solution of parsons. The interior of Vauxhall-road Particular
Baptist Chapel is specially plain and quiet looking, has nothing
ornamental in it and at present having been newly cleaned, it smells
more of paint than of anything else. The pews are of various
dimensions--some long, some square, all high--and, whilst grained
without, they are all green within. This is not intended as a
reflection upon the occupants, but is done as a simple matter of
taste. The "members" of the chapel at present are neither increasing
nor decreasing--are stationary; and they wilt number altogether
between 50 and 60. Either the chapel is too near the street, or the
street too near the chapel, or the children in the neighbourhood too
numerous and noisy; for on Sundays, mainly during the latter part of
the day, there is an incessant, half-shouting, half-singing din,
from troops of youngsters adjoining, who play all sorts of chorusing
games, which must seriously annoy the worshippers.

The music at the chapel is strong, lively, and congregational.
Sometimes there is more cry than wool in it; but taken altogether,
and considering the place, it is creditable. There is neither an
organ, nor a fiddle, nor a musical instrument of any sort that we
have been able to notice, in the place. All is done directly and
without equivocation from the mouth. The members of the choir sit
downstairs, in a square place fronting the pulpit; the young men--in
their quiet moments--looking very pleasantly at the young women, the
older members maintaining a mild equillibrium at the same time, and
all going off stiffly when singing periods arrive. The hymn books
used contain, principally, pieces selected by the celebrated William
Gadsby, and nobody in the chapel need ever be harassed for either
length or variety of spiritual verse. They have above 1,100 hymns to
choose from, and in length these hymns range from three to twenty-
three verses. Whilst inspecting one of the books recently we came to
a hymn of thirteen verses, and thought that wasn't so bad--was
partly long enough for anybody; but we grew suddenly pale on
directly afterwards finding one nearly twice the size--one with
twenty-three mortal verses in it. It is to be hoped the choir and
the congregation will never he called upon to sing right through any
hymn extending to that disheartening and elastic length. We have
heard a chapel choir sing a hymn of twelve verses, and felt ready
for a stimulant afterwards to revive our exhausted energies; if
twenty-three verses had to be fought through at one standing, in our
hearing, we should smile with a musical ghastliness and perish.

At the back of the chapel there is a Sunday-school. It was built in
1849. The number of scholars "on the books" is 120, and the average
attendance will be about 90. In connection with the school there is
a nice little library, and if the children read the books in it, and
legitimately digest their contents, they will be brighter than some
of their parents. There are two Sunday services at the chapel--one
in the morning, and the other in the evening. No religious meetings
are held in it during weekdays; the minister couldn't stand them; he
is getting old and rotund; and, constitutionally, finds it quite
hard enough to preach on Sundays. "He would be killed," said one of
the deacons to us the other day, in a very earnest and sympathetic
manner, "if he had to preach on week days--he's so stout, you know,
and weighs so heavy." We hardly think he would be killed by it.
Standing in a narrow pulpit for a length of time must necessarily be
fatiguing to him; but why can't things be made easy? If a high seat-
-a tall, broad, easy, elastic-bottomed chair--were procured and
fixed in the pulpit, he could sit and preach comfortably; or a swing
might be procured for him. Such a contrivance would save his feet,
check his perspiration, and console his dorsal vertebra. We suggest
the propriety of securing a chair or a swing. It would be grand
preaching and swinging.

The congregation at Vauxhall-road Chapel is pre-eminently of a
working-class character. Nearly the whole of the pew holders are
factory people; not above six or seven of them find employment
outside of mills. They are a plain, honest, enthusiastic, home-spun
class of folk. A few there may be amongst the lot who are
authoritative, or saucy, or ill-naturedly solemn; but the generality
are simple-dealing, quaintly-exhuberant, oddly-straightforward, and
primitively-pious people--distinctly sincere, periodically
eccentric, and fond of a good religious outburst, a shining
spiritual fandango now, and then.

As we have before intimated the minister of the Chapel is Mr. Thomas
Haworth. During the first 18 years of his ministry he received 20s.
a week for his services; for three years afterwards he got 25s.;
during the last two he has had 30s. per week; and his temporal
consolation is involved in a sovereign and a half at present. Be is
54 years of age, has had very little education, believes in telling
the truth as far as he knows it, and cares for nobody. He has a
strongly intuitive mind; is full of human nature; is broad-faced,
very fat and thoroughly English in look: has a chin which is
neither of the nutmeg nor the cucumber order, but simply double;
weighs heavier than any other parson in Preston; couldn't run; gets
out of breath and pants when he goes up the pulpit stairs; has his
own ideas, and likes sticking to them, about everything; has neither
cunning nor deception in him; is rough but honest; is without polish
but full of common sense; would have been a good companion for Tim
Bobbin in his better moments, and for Sam Slick in his unctuous
periods; cares more for thoughts than grammar; likes to rush out in
a buster when the spell is upon him; can either shout you into fits
or whisper you to sleep--is, in a word, a virtuous and venerable
"caution." He is the right kind of man for humble, queer-thinking;
determined, sincerely-singular Christians; is just the sort of
person you should hear when the "blues" are on you; has much pathos,
much fire, much uncurbed virtue in him; is a sort of theological
Bailey's Dictionary--rough, ready, outspoken, unconventional, and
funny; is a second Gadsby in oddness, and force, and sincerity, but
lacks Gadsby's learning. Unlike the bulk of parsons, Mr. Haworth
does his own marketing. You may see him almost any Saturday in the
market, with a huge orthodox basket in his hand--a basket bulky, and
made not for show, but for holding things. He has no pride in him,
and thinks that a man shouldn't be ashamed of buying what he has to
eat, and needn't blush if he has to carry home what he wants to
digest. His sermons in both manner and matter are essentially
Haworthian. There is no gilt, no mock modesty in his style; there is
to vapid sentimentalism in the ideas he expounds. A broad, unshaven,
every-day Lancashire vigour pervades both; and what he can't make
out he guesses at. In the pulpit he seems earnest but uneasy--
honest, but fidgetty about his eyes, and legs. Watch him: he
preaches extemporaneously, but often peers up and winks, and often
looks down at his bible and squeezes his eyes. He has a great
predilection for turning to the left--that he apparently thinks is
the right side for small appeals of a special character; and when he
gets back again, for the purpose of either looking at his book or
sending out a new idea, he makes a short oscillating waddle--a
sharp, whimsical, wavy motion, as if he either wanted to get his
feet out of something or stir forward about half an inch. He pitches
his hands about with considerable activity, and often flings himself
suddenly into a white-heat, tantrum of virtue, and the brethren like
him when be does this. He is original when stormy; is refreshing
when his temper is up. His style is natural--is a reflection of
himself--is warm with life, is odd, and at times fierce through the
power of his sincerity. His illustrations are all homely; his
theories most original; his expressions most honest and quaint. He
has a fondness for the Old Testament--likes to get into the company
of Isaiah, Jeremiah, &c.; sometimes touches the hem of Habakkuk's
garment; and nods at a distance occasionally at Joel and the other
minor prophets. We should like to see a Biblical Commentary from his
pen; it, would be immortal on account of its straightforwardnsss and
oddity. Adam Clarke and Matthew Henry must sometimes turn over in
their graves when he expounds the more mysterious passages of sacred
writ. To no one does Mr. Haworth hold the candle; he is candid to
all, and pitches into the entire confraternity of his hearers
sometimes. He said one Sunday "None of you are ower much to be
trusted--none of us are ower good, are we? A, bless ya, I sometimes
think if I were to lay my head on a deacon's breast--one of our own
lot--may be there would be a nettle in't or summut at sooart." He is
partial to long "Oh's," and "Ah's" and solemn breathings; and
sometimes tells you more by a look or a subdued, calmly-moulded
groan than by dozens of sentences. He spices his sermons
considerably with the Lancashire dialect; isn't at all nice about
aspirates, inflection, or pronunciation; thinks that if you have got
hold of a good thing the best plan is to out with it, and to out
with it any way, rough or smooth, so that it is understood. He never
stood at philological trifles in his life, and never will do. Those
who listen to him regularly think nothing of his singularities of
gesture and expression; but strangers are bothered with him.
Occasionally the ordinary worshippers look in different directions
and smile rather slyly when he is budding and blossoming in his own
peculiar style; but they never make much ado about the business, and
swallow all that comes very quietly and good-naturedly. Strangers
prick their ears directly, and would laugh right out sometimes if
they durst. There are not many collections at the chapel, but those
which are made are out of the ordinary run. Two were made on the
Sunday we were there, and they realised what?--not 5 pounds, nor 10
pounds, nor 12 pounds, as is the custom at some of our fashionable
places of worship,--no, they just brought in 63 pounds 3s. 9d. At
the request of the minister, who announced the sum, the congregation
set to and sung over it for a short time. Simplicity and liberality,
mingled with much earnestness and a fair amount of self-
righteousness, are the leading traits of the "elect" at Vauxhall-
road chapel; whilst their minister is a curious compilation of
eccentricity, sagacity, waddlement, winking, straightforwardness,
and thorough honesty.


About 33 years since there was a conquest somewhat Norman in Preston
and the neighbourhood; and the "William" of it was an industrious
ex-joiner. In 1836, and during the next two years, four churches--
three in Preston and one in Ashton--were erected through the
exertions of the Rev. Carus Wilson, who was vicar here at that time;
each of them was built in the Norman style; and the general of them
was a plodding man who had burst through the bonds of joinerdom and
winged his way into the purer and more lucrative atmosphere of
architectural constructiveness. One of the sacred edifices whose
form passed through his alembic was Christ Church and to this
complexion of a building we have now come. There is so much and so
little to be said about Christ Church that we neither know where to
begin nor how to end. Nobody has yet said that Christ Church,
architecturally, is a very nice place; and we are not going to say
so. It is a piece of calm sanctity in-buckram, is a stout mass of
undiluted lime stone, has been made ornate with pepper castors,
looks sweetly-clean after a summer shower, is devoid of a steeple,
will never be blown over, couldn't be lifted in one piece, and will
nearly stand forever. It is as strong as a fortress; has walls thick
enough for a castle; is severely plain but full of weft; has no
sympathy with elaboration, and is a standing protest against masonic
gingerbread. It rests on the northern side of Fishergate-hill;
between Bow-lane and Jordan-street, is surrounded with houses, has
two entrances with gateposts which might, owing to their solidity,
have descended lineally from the pillars of Hercules; is entirely
out of sight on the eastern side; and from the other points of the
compass can be seen better a mile off with a magnifying glass than
20 yards off without one. There is something venerable and monastic,
something substantial and coldly powerful about the front; but the
general building lacks beauty of outline and gracefulness of detail.
Christ Church is the only place of worship in Preston built of
limestone; and if it has not the prettiest, it has the cleanest
exterior. There is no "matter in its wrong place" (Palmerston's
definition of dirt) about it. If you had to run your hand all round
the building--climbing the rails at the end to do so--you might get
scratched, but wouldn't get dirtied. The foundation stone of Christ
Church was laid in 1836, and in the following year the place was
opened. Adjoining the church there is a graveyard, which is kept in
excellent condition. Some burial grounds are graced with old hats,
broken pots, ancient cans, and dead cats; but this has no such
ornaments; it is clean and neat, properly levelled, nicely green-
swarded, and well-cared for. The first person interred in the ground
was the wife of the first incumbent--the Rev. T. Clark. Outside and
in front of the building there is a large blue-featured clock with a
cast-iron inside. It was fixed in 1857, and there was considerable
newspaper discussion at the time as to what it would do. Time has
proved how well it can keep time. It is looked after by a gentleman
learned in the deep mysteries of horology, who won't allow its
fingers to get wrong one single second, who used to make his own
solar calculations in his own observatory, on the other side of
Jordan (street), who gets his time now from Greenwich, who has
drilled the clock into a groove of action the most perfect, and who
would have just cause to find fault with the sun if antagonising
with its indications. He his thoroughly master of the clock, and
could almost make it stop or go by simply shouting or putting up his
finger at it. It is a good clock, however blue it may look; it has
gone well constantly; and, if we may credit the words of one of the
clock manager's sanguine brethren, "is likely to do so." At the
entrance doors there are two curious pieces of wood exactly like
spout heads. Some people say they are for money; but we hardly think
so, for during our visits to the church we have seen no one go too
near them with their hands.

The interior of Christ Church is plain, and rather heavy-looking.
But it is very clean and orderly. The chancel of the building is
circular, tastefully painted, with a calm subdued light, and looks
rich. The ceiling of the church is lofty, and very woody--is crossed
by four or five unpoetical-looking beams which deprive the building
of that airiness and capaciousness it would otherwise possess.
Contiguous to the chancel there is a galleried transept; a large
gallery also runs along the sides and at the front end of the
general building. The seats below are substantial and high; very
small people when they sit down in them go right out of sight--if
you are sitting behind you can't see them at all; people less
diminutive show their occiput moderately; ordinarily-sized folk keep
their heads and a portion of their shoulders just fairly in sight.
About 560 people can be accommodated below and 440 in the galleries.
There are several free sittings in front of the pulpit--good seats
for hearing, but rather too conspicuous; just within each entrance
on the ground floor there are more free sittings; and all the pews
in the galleries except the two bottom rows--let at a low figure--
are, we believe, also free. Altogether there are about 400 seats
free and tolerably easy in the building. There are many pretty
stained glass memorial windows in the church; indeed, if it were not
for these the building would have a very cold and unpleasantly
Normanised look. They tone down its severity of style, and cast
gently into it a mellowed light akin to that of the "dim religious"
order. They are narrow, circular-headed; and occupy the front, the
sides, the transept, and the chancel. All the lower windows in the
building, except two or three, are filled in with stained glass. The
windows were put in by the following parties:- Four by Mr. Edward
Gorst (afterwards Lowndes), one in memory of his wife and two
children, another in memory of Mr. Septimus Gorst, his wife and only
child, and two in commemoration of the 20 years services of the late
Rev T. Clark at the church; five by the late Mr. J. Bairstow--two of
them being in memory of his sisters, Miss Bairstow and Mrs. Levy;
two in memory of the late Mr. J. Horrocks, sen., and Mrs. Horrocks
his wife, by their children; one in memory of the late Mr. John
Horrocks, jun., by his widow and two sisters; one to the memory of
Mr. Lowndes by his son; two by the late Mrs. Clark, one, we believe,
being in memory of her mother, whilst the other does not appear to
have any personal reference; one by the Rev. Raywood Firth, the
present incumbent, in memory of Miss Buck, who remembered him kindly
in her will; and one by the Rev. Mr. Firth and his wife, which was
put up when the Rev. T. Clark relinquished the incumbency, and gave
way for his son-in-law. This "in memoriam" act was done out of
affection and not because the incumbency was changing hands. The
pulpit in the Church is tall and somewhat handsome. It occupies a
central position, in front of the chancel, and is flanked by two
reading desks, one being used for prayers and the other for lessons.
There is no clerk at this church; and there were never but two
connected with the place; one being the late Mr. Stephen Wilson, of
the firm of Wilson and Lawson; and the other the late Mr. John
Brewer, of the firm of Bannister and Brewer of this town. The
responses are now said by the choir; and everything appertaining to
the serious problems of surplice and gown arranging, pulpit door
opening and shutting, is solved by black rod in waiting--the beadle.

The first incumbent of Christ Church was the Rev. T. Clark--a
kindly-exact, sincere, quiet-moving gentleman, who did much good in
his district, visited poor people regularly, wasn't afraid of going
down on his knees in their houses, gave away much of that which
parsons and other sinners generally like to keep--money, and was
greatly respected. We shall always remember him--remember him for
his quaint, virtuous preciseness, his humble, kindly plodding ways,
his love of writing with quill pens and spelling words in the old-
fashioned style, his generosity and mild, maidenly fidgetiness, his
veneration for everything evangelical, his dislike of having e put
after his name, and his courteous, accomplished, affable manners.
For 27 years--having previously been curate at the Parish Church in
this town--Mr. Clark was incumbent of Christ Church.

He was succeeded by his son-in-law, the Rev. Raywood Firth, who has
worked through Longfellow's excelsior gamut rapidly and
successfully. The father of Mr. Firth was a Wesleyan Methedist
minister, and, singular to say, was at one time--in some Yorkshire
circuit we believe--the superintendent of a gentlemen who is now,
and has been for some years, the incumbent of a Preston church. A
few years ago Mr. Firth visited Preston as secretary of a society in
connection with the Church of England; then got married to the
daughter of the Rev. T. Clark; subsequently became curate of that
gentlemen's church; and in 1864 was made its incumbent. Well done!
The ascent is good. We like the transition. Mr. Firth is a minute,
russet-featured gentleman; is precise in dress, neat in taste; gets
over the ground quietly and quickly; has a full, clear, dark eye;
has a youthful clerical countenance; has given way a little to
facial sadness; is sharp and serious; has a healthy biliary duct,
and has carried dark hair on his head ever since we knew him; is
clear-sighted, shy unless spoken to, and cautious; is free and
generous in expression if trotted out a little; is no bigot;
dislikes fierce judgments and creed-reviling; likes visiting folk
who are well off; wouldn't object to tea, crumpet, and conversation
with the better end of his flock any day; visits fairly in his
district, and says many a good word to folk in poverty, but would
look at a floor before going down upon it like his predecessor;
thinks that flags and boards should be either very clean or carpeted
before good trousers touch them; minds his own business; is
moderately benevolent, but doesn't phlebotomise himself too
painfully; never sets his district on fire with either phrensied
lectures or polemical tomahawking; takes things easily and
respectably; believes in his own views rather strongly at times;
loves putting the sacred kibosh upon things occasionally; is well
educated, can think out his own divinity; need never buy sermons;
has a clear, quiet-working, fairly-developed brain; is inclined to
thoughtfulness and taciturnity; might advantageously mix up with the
poor of his district a little more; needn't care over much for the
nods of rich folk, or the green tea and toast of antique Spinsters;
might be a little heartier, and less reserved; is a sincere man;
believes in what he teaches; and is thoroughly evangelical; is more
enlightened than three-fourths of our Preston Church of England
parsons, and doesn't brag over his ability. His salary is about 400
pounds a year, and that is a sum which the generality of people
would not object to. He is a good reader, is clear and energetic,
but shakes his head a little too much. In the pulpit he never gets
either fast asleep or hysterical. He can preach good original
sermons--carefully worked out, well-balanced, neatly arranged; and
he can give birth to some which are rather dull and mediocre. His
action is easy, yet earnest--his style quiet yet dignified; his
matter often scholarly, and never stolen. He is not a, "gatherer and
disposer of other men's stuff," like some clerical greengrocers:
what he says is his own, and he sticks to it.

There are two full services, morning and evening, and prayers in an
afternoon, on Sundays, at the church; and on a Tuesday evening there
is another service,--attended only slenderly, and patronised
principally, we are afraid, by elderly females, whose sands have run
down, and who couldn't do much harm now if they were very solicitous
on the subject. The attendance on Sundays is pretty large--
particularly in a morning. The adult congregation used to be very
select and high in the instep--was a kind of second edition of St.
George's, in three volumes. It is still numerous, but not so choice;
still proud but not so well bred; still stiff, serene, lofty-minded,
and elanish, but not so wealthy as is formerly was. The superior
members of the congregation, as a rule, gravitate downwards, have
seats on the ground floor,--it is vulgar to sit in the galleries.
They are all excellently attired; the "latest thing" may be seen in
hair, and bonnets, and dresses; the best of coats and the cleanest
of waistcoats are also observable. A cold tone of gentle-blooded,
high-middle-class respectability prevails. Much special adhesiveness
exists amongst them. Small charmed circles, little isolated
coteries, fond of exclusive devotional dealing, and "keeping
themselves to themselves," are rather numerous. Many good and some
very inquisitive and gossipy people attend--individuals who know all
your concerns, can tell how many glasses you had last week and where
you had them at, and like to make quiet hints on the subject to
others. The congregation is substantial in look, and possesses many
excellent qualities; but there is a great amount of what Dr. Johnson
would call "immiscibility" in it. Nearly every part of it has a very
strong notion that it is better than any other part. As in the
grocer's shop pictured by one of our best wits, so is it here--the
tenpenny nail looks upon the tin tack and calmly snubs it; the long
sixes eye the farthing dips and say they are poor lights; the bigger
articles seem cross and potent in the face of the smaller; the
little look big in the face of the less; and the infinitessimal clap
their wings when they make a comparison with nothing. The
congregation at Christ Church won't mix itself up; is fond of
"distance"; says, in a genteely pious tone, "keep off"; can't be
approached beyond a certain point; isn't sociable; won't stand any
hand-shaking except is its own peculiar circles. We know a person
who has gone for above 20 years to one of our Methodist chapels, and
yet nobody has ever said, on either entering or leaving the place,
"How are you?" The very same thing would have happened if that same
person had gone to Christ Church, unless there had been some
connection with a special circle. In all our churches and chapels
there is sadly too much of this rigid isolation, this frigid "Don't
know you" business. Clanishness and cleanliness occupy front ranks
at Christ Church, and if the Scotch tartans were worn in it, the
theory of distinction would be consummated. We would advise Mr.
Firth to write northward--beyond the Firth of Forth (oh!)--for
samples of plaids. The congregation on the whole is pretty liberal;
can subscribe fair sums of money; but the collections are not now
what they once were; the main reason being that there is not the
same wealth in the place as there used to be.

The music at Christ Church was, until lately, very good; it now
seems to be degenerating a little. There is a splendid organ in the
building. It cost about 1,000 pounds, and, with the exception of
that at St. George's, is about the best in the town. The late Mr. J.
Horrocks, jun., contributed handsomely towards the organ; played it
gratuitously; gave liberally towards the choir expenses; and Christ
Church is under a lasting debt of gratitude to him for his excellent
services. The organ is blown by two small engines, driven by water;
so that its music literally resolves itself into a question of wind
and water. The tones of the instrument are good, and they are very
fairly brought out by the present organist. The services are well
got through, and whilst Puritanism is on the one hand avoided in
them, Ritualism is on the other distinctly discarded. A medium
course, which is the best, is observed in the church, and so long as
Mr. Firth remains at the place there will be nothing bedizened or
foolish in its ceremonies. A small memorial place of worship, which
will operate as a "chapel of ease" for Christ Church, has been built
in Bird-street. Belonging to Christ Church there are some good day
and Sunday schools. They are numerously attended, and well
supervised. Adults have a room to themselves on a Sunday, and they
go through the processes of instruction patiently, benignly, and
without thrashing. At one time there was a school connected with the
church in Wellfield-road; but when St. Mark's was erected the
building and the scholars were transferred to its care. Viewing
everything right round, it may be said that Christ Church is a good
substantial building, but is rather too plain and weighs too much
for its size; that its minister is a mildly-toned, well-educated,
devout gentleman, with no cant in him, with a tender bias to the
side of gentility, and born to be luckier than three-fourths of the
sons of Wesleyan parsons; that its congregation is influential,
rose-coloured, good-looking, numerous, thinks that everybody is not
composed exactly of the same materials, believes that familiarity is
a flower which must be cautiously cultivated; that its religious and
educational operations are extensive; and that if all who are
influenced by them would only carry out what they are taught--none
of us do this over well--they would be models from which plaster
casts might be taken either for artistic purposes or the edification
of heathens generally.


These two places of worship must constitute one dose. They are in
the same circuit, are looked after by the same ministers, and if we
gave a separate description of each we should only be guilty of that
unpleasant "iteration" which Shakspere names so forcibly in one of
his plays. Wesley Chapel is the older of the two, and, therefore,
must be first mentioned. It is situated in North-road, at the corner
of Upper Walker-street, and we dare say that those who christened it
thought they were doing a very hand-some thing--charming the
building with a name, and graciously currying favour with the Wesley
family. People have a particular liking for whoever or whatever may
be called after them, and good old John may sometimes look down
approvingly upon the place and tell Charles that he likes it. The
chapel, which was built in 1838, enjoys the usual society of all
pious buildings: it has two public houses and a beershop within
thirty yards of its entrance, and they often seem to be doing a
brisker business than it can drive, except during portions of the
Sunday when they are shut up, and, consequently, have not a fair
chance of competing with it. The chapel is square in form, has more
brick than stone in its composition, and has a pretty respectable
front, approached by steps, and duly guarded by iron railings.
Neither inside nor outside the building is there anything
architecturally fine. A decent mediocrity generally pervades it. The
entrances are narrow, and there is often a good deal of pushing and
patient squeezing at the neck of them. But nobody is ever hurt, and
not much bad temper is manifested when even the collateral pew doors
mix themselves up with the crowd, and prevent people from getting in
or out too suddenly. The chapel, although simple in style, is clean,
lofty, and light. A gallery of the horse shoe pattern runs round the
greater portion of it. Thin iron pillars support the gallery and the
"chancel" end, which is arched and recessed for orchestral
accomodation, is flanked by fluted imitation columns.

There is accomodation in the place for between 800 and 900 persons;
but it is not often that all the seats are filled. The average
attendance will be about 800; and nearly every one making up that
number belongs to the working-class section of life. Amongst the
body are many genial good-hearted folk-people who believe is doing
right without telling everybody about it, in obliging you without
pulling a face over it; and there are also individuals in the rank
and file of worshippers who are very Pecksniffian and dismal,
cranky, windy, authoritative, who would look sour if eating sugar,
would call a "church meeting" if you wore a lively suit of clothes,
and would tell you that they were entitled to more grace than
anybody else, and had got more. The better washed and more
respectably dressed portion of the congregation sit at the back of
the central range of seats on the ground floor, also along portions
of the sides, and in front of the gallery. Towards the front of the
central seats there is a confraternity of humble earnest-looking
beings, including several aged persons, who are true types in form,
manner, and dress, of unsophisticated Methodists. Here, as
elsewhere, there are very few people in the chapel ten minutes
"before the train starts." Those present at that time are mainly
middle-aged, unpretentious, and very seriously inclined; others of a
higher type follow; and then comes the rush, which lasts for about
five minutes. Worship is conducted in the chapel with considerable
quietness. You may hear the long-drawn gelatinous sigh, the subdued,
quiet, unctuous "amen," and if the thing gets hot a few lively half-
innate exclamations are thrown into the proceedings. But there is
nothing in any of them of a turbulent or riotous character. The
parsons can draw out none of the worshippers into a very
ungovernable frame of mind; and we believe none of the people have
for some time been very violent in either their verbal expressions
or physical contortions. They are beginning to take things quietly,
and to work inwardly during periods of bliss. There are about 400
"members" in connection with Wesley Chapel, and we hope they are
nearly half as good as such like people usually profess to be. The
rule in life is for people to be about one-third as virtuous as they
say they are; and if they can be got a trifle beyond that point by
any legitimate process, it is something to be thankful for.

There is a very fair organ at Wesley Chapel, and the person who
plays it does the requisite manipulative business with good ordinary
skill. The choir is a sort of family compact; the members of one
household preponderate in it; but its arrangements are well worked,
and the music, taking everything into account, is pretty fair. It is
far from being classical; but it will do. The singing in the
galleries and below is full, if not very sweet; is spirited and
generously expressed if not so melodious. Quite the old style of
vocalising prevails in some quarters of the place, and it is mainly
patronised by old people; they swing backwards and forwards gently
and they sing, get into all kinds of keys, experimentally, put their
hands on the pew sides or fronts, beating time with the music as the
business proceeds, and like singing hymn ends over again. There is a
school beneath the chapel. On week-days its average attendance is
about 115; and on Sundays 450.

We must now for a moment pass on to Moor Park Chapel. This is a new,
and somewhat genteel-looking building--has a rather "taking"
outside, and is inclined to be smart within. It was opened on the
26th of June, 1862. A style of architecture closely resembling that
of Lancaster-road Congregational Chapel has been followed in its
construction. There is much circular work in its ornamental details;
its general arrangements are neat, and well finished; nothing cold
or sulkily Puritanical presents itself; a degree of even taste and
polish has been observed in its make. This is a more "respectable"
chapel than its companion at the top of Walker-street; its patrons
are supposed to be a somewhat richer class. It will accommodate
about 900 people; but, as at Wesley Chapel, so here--there are more
sittings than sitters. "It has been known to hold 1,300, on an
excursion," said a quiet-minded young man to us when we were at the
chapel; but we didn't understand the young man, couldn't fathom his
"excursion" sentiments, and afterwards threw ourselves into the arms
of one of the ministers for numeric protection. There is a good
gallery in the building, and the pillars which support it prop up a
sort of arched canopy, like an oblong umbrella, which is too low,
too near the head, and must consequently both confine the air, and
develope sweating when the place is filled. There is a neat pulpit
in the chapel, and it is ornamented with what seem to be panels of
opaque glass. We were rather distressed on first seeing them, being
apprehensive that one of the preachers might, some very fine Sunday,
when in a mood more rapturous than usual, send the points of his
shoes right through them; but our mind was eased when an explanation
was made to the effect: that the "glass" was ornamental zinc, and
that the feet of the preachers couldn't get near it. Behind the
pulpit there is a circular niche for the members of the choir, who,
aided and abetted in musical matters by a pretty good harmonium,
acquit themselves respectably.

The congregation, as hinted, is more "fashionable" than that at
Wesley Chapel: it is more select, has more pride in it, sighs more
gently, moans less audibly, turns up its eyes more delicately,
hardly ever gets into a "religious spree," and is inclined to think
that piety should be genteel as well as vital. The members here
number 280. Immediately adjoining the chapel there is good school
accomodation; and the attendance appears to be very creditable. On
week days the average is two hundred; and on Sundays it reaches
about four hundred. At both Wesley and Moor Park Chapels there are
week-night services and class meetings. The former are rather dull
and badly attended; and a special effort on the part of both those
who talk and those who listen is required to get up the proceedings
into a state of pleasant activity; the latter are fairly managed,
and are somewhat like "experiences meetings;" talking, singing, and
praying are done at them; there is a constant fluctuation, whilst
they are going on, between bliss and contrition; and you are
sometimes puzzled to find out--taking the sounds made as a
criterion--whether the attendants are preparing to fight, or fling
themselves into a fit of crying, or hug and pet each other.

The circuit embraces the two chapels named, also Kirkham,
Freckleton, Bamber Bridge, Longridge, Moon's Mill, Wrea Green, and
Ashton; it has now about 795 members; and all of them, with the
exception of 115, as figures previously given show, are in Preston.
The circuit, so far as members go, is slightly decreasing in power;
but it may recruit its forces by and bye; There has been a species
of duality in it during the past three years; its energies have been
a little divided; faction has reigned in it; there have been too
many Raynerites and Adamites and sadly too few Christians in it;
pious snarling and godly backbiting have been too industriously
exercised; and one consequence has been weakened power and a
declension of progress. But the brethren are getting more cheerful,
much old spleen has subsided, and, we hope, they will all kiss and
get kind again soon.

When this sketch was first printed the Rev. T. A. Rayner was the
superintendent minister; the Rev. J. Adams being second in command;
and they worked the different sections alternately. Mr. Rayner is an
elderly gentleman, with a strong osseous frame, which is well
covered with muscle and adipose matter; he has been about 34 years
in the ministry, and should, therefore, be either very smart or very
dull by this time; he has a portly, grave, reverential look; carries
with him both spectacles and an eye-glass; is slow and coldly-keen
in his mental processes; thinks that he can speak with authority;
and that all minor dogs must cease barking when he mounts the
oracular tripod; he is sincere; works well, for his years, and in
his own way does his best; he is a man of much experience, and has
fair intellectual powers; but his temperament is very icy and
flatulent; his humours heavy and watery, and a phlegmagog purge
would do him good. He is a rigid methodical man; believes in
original rules and ancient prerogatives; is a Wesleyan of the
antique type, but is devoid of force and enthusiasm; he never sets
you on fire with declamation, nor melts you with pathos; he had
rather freeze than burn sinners; he thinks the harrier principle of
catching a hare is the surest, and that travelling on a theological
canal is the safest plan in the long run. He is more cut out for a
country rectory, where the main duties are nodding at the squire and
stunning the bucolic mind with platitudes, than for a large circuit
of active Methodists; he would be more at home at a rural deanery,
surrounded by rookeries and placid fish ponds, than in a town
mission environed by smoke and made up of screaming children and
thin-skinned Christians. Mr. Rayner has many good properties; but
short sermon preaching is not one of them. Some of the descendants
of that man who, according to "Drunken Barnaby," slaughtered his cat
on a Monday, because it killed a mouse on the Sunday, were in the
bait of preaching for three hours at one stretch. Mr. Rayner never
yet preached that length of time, and we hope he never will do; but
he can, like the east wind, blow a long while in one direction. One
Sunday evening; when we heard him, be preached just one hour, and at
the conclusion intimated that he had been requested to give a short
sermon, but had drifted into a rather prolix one. We should like to
know what length he would have run out his rhetoric if be had been
requested to give a long discourse. By the powers! it would have
"tickled the catastrophe" of each listener finely--doctors would
have had to be called in, a vast amount of physic would have been
required, and it would never have got paid for in these hard times
so that bad debts would have been added to the general calamity. We
could never see any good in long sermons and nobody else ever could
except those giving them. Neither could we ever see much fun in a
parson saying--"And now lastly" more than once. In the 60 minutes
discourse to which we have alluded, the preacher got into the lastly
part of the business five times. If that other conclusive phrase--
"And now, finally brethren"--had been taken advantage of, and
similarly worked, we might never have got home till morning.
Summarising Mr. Rayner, it may be stated that he is calm,
phlegmatic, earnest but too prolix, likes to wield the rod of
authority and occupy one of the uppermost seats in the synagogue, is
an industrious minister but adheres to a programme antique and
chilling, is a real Wesleyan in his conceptions, but behind the
times in spirit and mental brilliance, is in a word good, grim,
imperial, cold as ice, steady, and soundly orthodox.

Mr. Adams, the junior minister, is quite of a different mould; he is
sprightly, gamey, wide awake, full of courage, with a smack of
Yankee audacity in his manner, and a fair share of conceit in his
general make up. There is much determination in him, much of the
lively bantam element about him. He has a sharp round face which has
not been spoiled by sanctimoniousness. He is sanguine, combative, go
ahead, and would like a good fight if he got fairly into one. He
cares little for forms and ceremonies; is a good mower; wears a
billycock which has passed through much tribulation --we believe it
was once the subject of a church meeting; can play cricket pretty
well, and enjoys the game; is frank, candid, and speaks straight
out; can say a good thing and knows when he has said it; has an
above-board, clear, decisive style; is not a great scholar, and
would be puzzled, like the generality of parsons, if asked how many
teeth he had in his head, or who was the grandfather of his mother's
first uncle; knows little of Latin and less of Greek, but
understands human nature, and that, says the Clockmaker, beats
scholarship; has been in America, which accounts for the nasal ring
in his talk; is active, sanguine, free, and easy, and would enjoy
either a ridotto or a fast; can utter lively, merry things in his
sermons, and does not object sometimes to recognise the wisdom of
Shakspere. Mr. Adams is a good platform speaker, and he can give
straight shots as a preacher. Sometimes his discourses are only
common-place, wordy, and featherless; but in the general run he is
much above the average of sermonisers. He has good action, can put
out considerable canvas when very warm, smacks the pulpit sides with
his hands when, particularly earnest, and occasionally makes a
direct aim at the Bible before him, and hits it. We rather like his
style; it is free, but not coarse; spirited, but not crazy;
determined, but not bigoted; and it is in no way spice with either
cant or hallowed humbug. Mr. Adams was five years in America, and he
is now completing the tenth year of his career as a regular Wesleyan
minister. He has a large veneration for his own powers and thinks
there are few sons of Adam like him in the Methodist world; still he
is a hard-working, shrewd, clear-headed little man, a good preacher,
with a deal of every day fun and sunshine in his heart, and
calculated to take a considerably higher post than that which he now


"Who are the Presbyterians?" we can imagine many curious, quietly-
inquisitive people asking; and we can further imagine numbers of the
same class coming to various solemn and inaccurate conclusions as to
what the belief of the Presbyterians is. Shortly and sweetly, we may
say that they believe in Calvinism, and profess to be the last sound
link in the chain of olden Puritanism. They do not believe in
knocking down May poles, nor in breaking off the finger and nose
ends of sacred statues, nor in condemning as wicked the eating of
mince pies, nor in having their hair cropped so that no man can get
hold of it, like the ancient members of the Roundhead family; but in
spiritual matters they have a distinct regard for the plain,
unceremonious tenets of ancient Puritanism--for the simplicity,
definitiveness, and absolutism of Calvinism. Some persons fond of
spiritual christenings and mystic gossip have supposed that the
Presbyterians who, during the past few years, have endeavoured to
obtain a local habitation and a name in Preston, were connected with
the Unitarians; others have classed them as a species of
Independents; and many have come to the conclusion that their creed
has much Scotch blood in it--has some affinity to the U.P. style of
theology, and has a moderate amount of the "Holy Fair" business to
it. The most ignorant are generally the most critically audacious;
and men knowing no more about the peculiarities of creeds than of
the capillary action of woolly horses are often the first to run the
gauntlet of opinionism concerning them. The fact of the matter is,
the Preston Presbyterians are no more and no less, in doctrine, than
Calvinists. In discipline and doctrine they are on a par with the
members of the Free Church of Scotland; but they are not connected
with that church, and don't want to be, unless they can get
something worth looking at and taking home.

Historically, the Presbyterians worshipping in Preston don't pretend
to date as far back as some religious sects, but they do start
ancestrally from the first epoch of British Presbyterianism. Their
spiritual forefathers had a stern beginning in this country; they
were cradled in fierce tomes, said their prayers often amid the
smoke of cannons and the tumult of armies; and maintained their
vitality through one of the sternest and most revolutionary periods
of modern history. In the 17th century they were, for a few moments,
paramount in England; in 1648 nearly all the parishes in the land
were declared to be under their form of church government; but the
tide of fortune eventually set in against them; at the Restoration
Episcopacy superseded their faith; and since then they have had to
fight up their way through a long, a circuitous, and an uneven
track. Their creed, as before intimated, is Calvinistic, and that is
a sufficient definition of it. They believe in a sort of universal
suffrage, so far as the election of their pastors is concerned; and
if they have grievances on hand they nurse them for a short time,
then appeal to "the presbytery." and in case they can't get
consolation from that body they go to "the synod." We could give the
history of this sect, but in doing so we should have to quote many
"figures" and numerous "facts"--things which, according to one
British statesman, can never be relied upon--and on that account we
shall avoid the dilemma into which we might be drifted. It will be
sufficient for our purpose to state that in 1866 a few persons in
Preston with a predilection for the ancient form of Presbyterianism
held a consultation, and decided to start a "church." They had a
sprinkling of serious blood in their arteries--a tincture of well-
balanced, modernised Puritanism in their veins--and they honestly
thought that if any balm had to come out of Gilead, it would first
have to pass through Presbyterianism, and that if any physician had
to appear he would have to be a Calvinistic preacher.

They, at first, met privately, and then engaged the theatre of
Avenham Institution--a place which had previously been the nursery
of Fishergate Baptism and Lancaster-road Congregationalism. From the
early part of January, 1866, till September, 1867, they were regaled
with "supplies" from different parts of the kingdom. When they met
on the second Sunday--it would be unfair to criticise the first
Curtian plunge they made--14 persons, including the preacher, put in
an appearance; but the number gradually extended; courage slowly
accumulated, and eventually--in September, 1867--the Rev. A. Bell, a
gentleman young in years, and fresh from the green isle, who pleased
the Preston Presbyterians considerably, was requested to stop with
them and endeavour to make them comfortable. Mr. Bell thought out
the question briefly, got a knowledge of the duties required, &c.,
and then consented to stay with the brethren. And he is still with
them; hoping that they may multiply and replenish the earth, and
spread Presbyterianism muchly. From the period of their
denominational birth up to now the Preston Presbyterians have
worshipped in the theatre of the Institution, Avenham--a place which
everybody knows and which we need not describe. There is nothing
ecclesiastical about it; the place is fit for the operations of
either lecturers, or preachers, or conjurors; and it will do for the
inculcation of Presbyterianism as well as for anything else. The
leaders of the Presbyterian body are looking out for a site upon
which a new chapel may be erected, but they have not yet found one.
By-and-bye we hope they will see a site which will suit their
vision, will come up to their ideal, and, in the words of Butler, be
"Presbyterian true blue."

The members of "the church" number at present about 112; and the
average congregation will be about 200. It includes Scotchmen, Irish
Presbyterians, people who have turned over from Baptism,
Independency, Catholicism, and several other creeds, and all of them
seem to be theologically satisfied. There ought to be elders at the
place; but the denomination seems too young for them; as it
progresses and gets older it will get into the elder stage. There is
no pulpit in the building, and the preacher gets on very well is the
absence of one. If he has no pulpit he has at least this consolation
that he can never fall over such a contrivance, as the South
Staffordshire Methodist once did, when in a fit of fury, and nearly
killed some of the singers below. The congregation consists
principally of middle and working class people. Their demeanour is
calm, their music moderate, and in neither mind nor body do they
appear to be much agitated, like some people, during their moments
of devotion.

The preacher, who has been about six years in the ministry, and gets
250 pounds a year for his duties here, is a dark-complexioned sharp-
featured man--slender, serious-looking, energetic, earnest, with a
sanguine-bilious temperament. He is a ready and rather eloquent
preacher; is fervid, emphatic, determined; has moderate action;
never damages his coat near the armpits by holding his arms too
high; has a touch of the "ould Ireland" brogue in his talk; never
loudly blows his own trumpet, but sometimes rings his own bell a
little; means what he says; is pretty liberal towards other creeds,
but is certain that his own views are by far the best; is a steady
thinker, a sincere minister, a tolerably good scholar, and a warm-
hearted man, who wouldn't torture an enemy if he could avoid it, but
would struggle hard if "put to it." Like the rest of preachers he
has his admirers as well as those who do not think him altogether
immaculate; but taking him in toto--mind, body, and clothes--he is a
fervent, candid, medium-sized, respectable-looking man, worth
listening to as a speaker of the serious school, and calculated, if
regularly heard, to distinctly inoculate you with Presbyterianism.
It is as "clear as a bell" that he is advancing considerably the
cause he is connected with, and that his "church" is making
satisfactory progress. There is a Sabbath school attached to the
denomination. The scholars meet every Sunday afternoon in the
Institution; and their average attendance is about 90. As a
denomination the Presbyterians are pushing onwards vigorously,
though quietly, and their prospects are good.

To the Free Gospel people we next come. They don't occupy very
fashionable quarters; Ashmoor-street, a long way down Adelphi-
street, is the thoroughfare wherein their spiritual refuge is
situated. If they were in a better locality, the probability is they
would be denominationally stronger. In religion, as in everything
else, "respectability" is the charm. We have heard many a laugh at
the expense of these "Free Gospel" folk, but there is more in their
creed, although it may have only Ashmoor-street for its blossoming
ground, than the multitude of people think of. They were brought
into existence through a dispute with a Primitive Methodist preacher
at Saul-street chapel; although previously, men holding opinions
somewhat similar to theirs, were in the town, and built, but through
adverse circumstances had to give up, Vauxhall-road chapel. In the
early stages of their existence the Free Gospellers were called
Quaker Methodists, because they dressed somewhat like Quakers, and
had ways of thinking rather like the followers of George Fox. In
some places they are known as Christian Brethren; in other parts
they are recognised as a kind of independent Ranters.

About ten years ago, the Preston Free Gospel people got Mr. James
Toulmin to build a chapel for them in Ashmoor-street; they having
worshipped up to that time, first at a place on Snow-Hill and then
in Gorst-street. He did not give them the chapel; never said that he
would; couldn't afford to be guilty of an act so curious; but he
erected a place of worship for their pleasure, and they have paid
him something in the shape of rent for it ever since. The chapel is
a plain, small, humble-looking building--a rather respectably
developed cottage, with only one apartment--and we should think that
those who attend it must be in earnest. The place seems to have been
arranged to hold 95 persons--a rather strange number; but upon a
pinch, and by the aid of a few forms planted near the foot of the
pulpit, perhaps 120 could be accommodated in it. There are just
fourteen pews in the chapel, and they run up backwards to the end of
the building, the highest altitude obtained being perhaps four
yards. A good view can be obtained from the pulpit. Not only can the
preacher eye instantaneously every member of his congregation, but
he can get serene glimpses through the windows of eight chimney
pots, five house roofs, and portions of two backyards. In a season
of doubt and difficulty a scene like this must relieve him.

There are about 30 "members" of the chapel. The average attendance
on a Sunday, including all ranks, will be about 50. The worshippers
are humble people--artisans, operatives, small shopkeepers, &c. A
few of the hottest original partisans were the first to leave the
chapel after its opening. There is a Sunday school connected with
the body, and between 40 and 50 children and youths attend it on the
average. Voluntaryism in its most absolute form, is the predominant
principle of the denomination. The sect is, in reality, a "free
community." Their standard is the bible; they believe in both faith
and good works, but place more reliance upon the latter than the
former; they recognise a progressive Christianity, "harmonising," as
we have been told, "with science and common sense;" they object to
the Trinitarian dogma, as commonly accepted by the various churches,
maintaining that both the Bible and reason teach the existence of
but one God; they have no eucharistic sacrament, believing that as
often as they eat and drink they should be imbued with a spirit of
Christian remembrance and thankfulness; they argue that ministers
should not be paid; they dispense with pew-rents; repudiate all
money tests of membership--class-pence, &c.; make voluntary weekly
contributions towards the general expenses, each giving according to
his means; and all have a voice in the regulation of affairs, but
direct executive work is done by a president and a committee. The
independent volition of Quakerism is one of their prime
peculiarities. If they have even a tea-party, no fixed charge for
admission is made; the price paid for demolishing the tea and
currant bread, and crackers being left to the individual ability and
feelings of the participants.

Service is held in the chapel morning and evening every Sunday, and
the business of religious edification is very peacefully conducted.
There is a moderate choir in the chapel, and a small harmonium: The
singing is conducted on the tonic sol fa principle, and it seems to
suit Mr. William Toulmin, brother of the owner of the chapel,
preaches every Sunday, and has done so, more or less, from its
opening. He gets nothing for the job, contributes his share towards
the church expenses as well, and is satisfied. Others going to the
place might preach if they could, but they can't, so the lot
constantly falls upon Jonah, who gives homely practical sermons, and
is well thought of by his hearers. He is a quaint, cold, generous
man; is original, humble, honest; cares little for appearances;
wears neither white bands nor morocco shoes; looks sad, rough and
ready, and unapproachable; works regularly as a shopkeeper on week
days, and earnestly as a preacher on Sundays; passes his life away
in a mild struggle with eggs, bacon, butter, and theology; isn't
learned, nor classical, nor rhetorical, but possesses common sense;
expresses himself so as to be understood--a thing which some regular
parsons have a difficulty in doing; and has laboured Sunday after
Sunday for years all for nothing--a thing which no regular parson
ever did or ever will do. We somewhat respect a man who can preach
for years without pocketing a single dime, and contribute regularly
towards a church which gives him no salary, and never intends doing.
The homilies of the preacher at Ashmoor-street Chapel may neither be
luminous nor eloquent, neither pythonic in utterance nor refined in
diction, but they are at least worth as much as he gets for them.
Any man able to sermonise better, or rhapsodise more cheaply, or
beat the bush of divinity more energetically, can occupy the pulpit
tomorrow. It is open to all England, and possession of it can be
obtained without a struggle. Who bids?


There is a touch of smooth piety and elegance in the name of St.
James. It sounds refined, serious, precise. Two of the quietest and
most devoted pioneers of Christianity were christened James; the
most fashionable quarters in London are St. James's; the Spaniards
have for ages recognised St. James as their patron saint; and on the
whole whether referring to the "elder" or the "less" James, the name
has a very good and Jamesly bearing. An old English poet says that
"Saint James gives oysters" just as St. Swithin attends to the rain;
but we are afraid that in these days he doesn't look very minutely
after the bivalve part of creation: if he does he is determined to
charge us enough for ingurgitation, and that isn't a very saintly
thing. He may be an ichthyofagic benefactors only--we don't see the
oysters as often as we could like. Not many churches are called
after St. James, and very few people swear by him. We have a church
in Preston dedicated to the saint; but it got the name whilst it was
a kind of chapel. St. James's church is situated between Knowsley
and Berry-streets, and directly faces the National school in
Avenham-lane. "Who erected the building?" said we one day to a
churchman, and the curt reply, with a neatly curled lip, was, "A
parcel of Dissenters."

Very few people seem to have a really correct knowledge of the
history of the place, and, for the satisfaction of all and the
singular, we will give an account of it, in the exact words of the
gentleman who had most to do with the building originally. Mr. James
Fielding deposeth:- St. James's was erected by the Rev. James
Fielding and his friends. The occasion of its erection was this--
Vauxhall-road Chapel, in which Mr. Fielding had been preaching four
or five years, had become too small for the accomodation of the
congregation worshipping there, and it was thought advisable to open
a subscription for a new and larger building. The first stone of St.
James's was laid by Mr. Fielding, May 24th, 1837, and the place was
opened for divine worship in January, 1838, under the denomination
of "The Primitive Episcopal Church," [that beats the "Reformed
Church,"--eh?] by the Rev. J. R. Matthews, of Bedford, who was a
clergyman of the Established Church. The building was computed to
seat about 1,300 people. The cost of the place was about 1,500
pounds. After the opening, Mr. Fielding commenced his ministry in
the new church--the congregation removing from Vauxhall Chapel into
that place of worship. Not long afterwards Mr. Fielding had a severe
attack of illness, and was laid aside from his work. From this,
together with the urgency of the contractors for the payment of
their bills, it was thought advisable to sell the premises. The late
vicar of Preston, Rev. Carus Wilson, in conjunction with his
friends, offered 1,000 pounds for the building. This was believed to
be considerably under its real value, being 500 pounds below the
cost amount. However, under the circumstances it was decided to
accept the offer. The transfer of the premises took place in April,
1838. Mr. Fielding continued his ministry in Preston in several
other places for thirteen years after the erection of St. James's.

The late John Addison, Esq., of this town, says, in a document
written by himself, which we have before us, and which is entitled
"Some account of St. James's Church, in the parish of Preston"--"A
body of Dissenters having erected a large building, capable of
holding 1,100 persons, and having opened it for public worship under
the name of St. James's Church, but, being unable to pay the
expenses, offered it for sale. The building being situated directly
opposite the Central National School, and in the immediate
neighbourhood of the infant school and Church Sunday schools, a few
of the committee of the National school thought it desirable that
the building should be purchased and made into a church for the
accomodation of the children of the schools and of the
neighbourhood." And the result was the purchase of the Rev. James
Fielding's "Primitive Episcopal Church."

The building is made mainly of brick, and looks very like a
Dissenting place of worship. It is a tame, moderately tall,
quadrangular edifice, flanked with stone buttresses, heavy enough to
crush in its sides, fronted with a plain gable, pierced with a few
prosaic windows, and surmounted with collateral turrets and a small
bell fit for a school-house, and calculated to swivel whilst being
worked quite as much as any other piece of sacred bell-metal in the
Hundred of Amounderness. There is a small graveyard in front of the
church containing a few flat tombstones and six young trees which
have rather a struggling time of it in windy weather. The ground
spaces at the sides of the church are decorated with ivy, thistles,
chickweed, and a few venerable docks, The internal architecture of
the building is as dull and modest as that of the exterior. The
seats are stiff, between 30 and 40 inches high, and homely. Just at
present they have a scraped care-worn look, as if they had been
getting parish relief; but in time, when cash is more plentiful,
their appearance will be improved. A considerable sum of money was
once spent upon the cleaning and renovation of the church; but the
paint which was put on during the work never suited; it was either
brushed on too thickly or varnished too coarsely; it persisted in
sticking to people rather too keenly at times; would hardly give way
if struggled with; and taking into account its tenacity and ill-
looks--it was finally decided to rub it off, make things easy with
pumice stone, and agitate for fresh paint and varnish when the
opportunity presented itself.

There is a large gallery in the church; but, like everything else,
it is plain, The only striking ornament in the building is a
sixteen-spoked circular window (at the chancel end), and until made
to turn round it will never be popularly attractive. In 1846 the
chancel, which isn't anything very prepossessing, was added to the
church. The pulpit is high and rather elegant in design; the reading
desk is a gothicised fabric, and, with its open sides, reminds one
more of a genteel open gangway on which everything can be seen, than
of a snug high box, like those in which old-fashioned clerks used to
sup gin and go to sleep during the intervals. Until recently there
were two wooden gas stands at the sides of the reading desk. They
looked like candlesticks, and short-sighted people, with thin
theological cuticles, and a horror of Puseyism, disliked them.
Eventually the wood was gilded, and, seeing this, as well as knowing
that candles were never gilded, and that, therefore, the stands
couldn't be candles, the dissatisfied ones were appeased. There are
about 400 free sittings in the church; but few people appear to care
much for them. These seats are situated on each side of the
building, at the rear, and in the gallery; and they will be dying of
inanition by and bye if somebody doesn't come to the rescue. People
don't seem to care about having a thing for nothing in the region of
St. James's church. They would probably flock in greater numbers to
the edifice if there were an abundance of those oysters which it is
said "Saint James gives;" but they appear to have a sacred dread of
free seats. Very recently we were at the church, and on the side we
noticed seventeen free pews. How many people do you think there were
in them? Just one delicious old woman, who wore a brightly-coloured
old shawl, and a finely-spreading old bonnet, which in its weight
and amplitude of trimmings seemed to frown into evanescence the
sprightly half-ounce head gearing of today. Paying for what they get
and giving a good price for it when they have a chance is evidently
an axiom with the believers in St. James's. There is at present a
demand for seats worth from 7s. to 10s. each; but those which can be
obtained for 1s. are not much thought of, and nobody will look on
one side at the pews which are offered for nothing. That which is
not charged for is never cared for; and further, in respect to free
pews, patronage of them is an indication of poverty, and people, as
a rule, don't like to show the white feather in that department.

The congregation is thin, but select--is constituted of substantial
burgeois people, and a few individuals who are comparatively
wealthy. There is a smart elegance about the bonnets and toilettes
of some of the females, and a studied precision in respect to the
linen, vests, and gloves of several of the males. Nothing gloomy,
nor acetose, nor piously-angular can be observed in them; nothing
pre-eminently lustrous is seen in the halo of the respective
worshippers; yet there is a finish about them which indicates that
they have no connection with the canaille, and that they are in some
instances approaching, and in others directly associated with, the
"higher middle class." There are only two services a week--morning
and evening, on a Sunday--at St. James's. Formerly there were more--
one on a Sunday afternoon, and another on a Thursday evening; but as
the former was only attended by about 30, and the latter by eight or
ten, and as the fund for maintaining a curate who had the management
of them was withdrawn, it was decided some time ago to drop the
services. The Sunday congregation, although it does not on many
occasions half fill the church, is gradually increasing, and it is
hoped that during the next twenty-years it will swell into pretty
large proportions.

The choral performances form the main item of attraction in the
services. Without them, the business would be tame and flavourless.
They give a warmth and charm to the proceedings. The members of the
choir sit in collateral rows in the chancel; they are all surpliced;
all very virtuous and clerical in look; seldom put their hands into
their pockets whilst singing; and, whatever quantity of "linen" may
be got out by them they invariably endeavour to obviate violence of
expression. Their appearance reminds one of cathedral choristers. In
precision and harmony they are good; and, as a body, they manage all
their work--responses, psalm-singing, &c.--in a very satisfactory
style. For their services they receive nothing, except, perhaps, an
annual treat in the shape of a country trip or social supper. They
wouldn't have money if it were offered to them. St. James's is the
only Preston church in which surpliced choristers sing, and we
believe they have tended materially to increase the congregation.
The choral system now followed at St. James's was inaugurated in
1865, Originally, the choir consisted of 12 boys and 10 men, but, if
anything, parties who are under the painful necessity of shaving now
preponderate. In one corner at the chancel end there is a moderately
well-made organ; but it is not an A1 affair, although it is played
with ability by a gentleman who is perhaps second to none hereabouts
in his knowledge of ecclesiastical music. Like the singers, the
organist resolves his services into what may be termed a "labour of
love." In other ways much may be fish which cometh to his net; but
he is, ORGANICALLY, of a philanthropic turn of mind. The necessary
expenses of the choir amount to about 25 pounds a-year, and they are
met by private subscriptions from the congregation.

The lessons are read in the church by Mr. Gardner, who comes up to
the lectern undismayed, with a calm, military cast of countenance,
and goes through his articulative duties in a clear, distinct style,
saying nothing to anybody near him which is not contained in the
book before him, and making neither incidental comment nor studied
criticism upon any of the verses be reads. The Rev. John Wilson,
son-in-law of the present vicar of Preston, is the incumbent of St.
James's. He is the seventh minister who has been at the place since
its transference from the Primitive Episcopalians. The first of the
seven was the Rev. W. Harrison; the next was the Rev. P. W. Copeman;
afterwards came the Rev. W. Wailing, who was succeeded by the Rev.
Mr. Betts, whose mantle fell upon the Rev. J. Cousins. Then came the
Rev A. T. Armstrong, and he was followed by the present incumbent.
During the reign of Mr. Cousins there was a rupture at the place,
and many combative letters were written with reference to it. Up to
and for some time after his appointment the Sunday schools of the
Parish and St. James's Churches were amalgamated--were considered as
one lot; but through some misunderstanding a separation ensued. Mr.
Cousins, who had no locus standi as to the possession of the
schools, took with him some scholars, drilled them after his own
fashion for a time, and eventually the present day and Sunday
schools in Knowsley-street were built and opened on behalf of St.
James's. The day school is at present in excellent condition, and
has an average attendance, boys and girls included, of 400; the
Sunday school has an average attendance of something like 200, the
generality of the children being of a respectable, well-dressed
character, although no more disposed, at times, than other
juveniles, to be docile and peaceful.

The Rev. J. Wilson has been at St. James's upwards of 15 years. He
was curate of the Parish Church from 1847 to 1850. In the latter
year he left in order to take the sole charge of a parish in
Norfolk. In 1854 he gravitated to Preston again, and in the course
of a year was made incumbent of St. James's. For some time he had
much to contend with in the district; and he has had up-hill work
all along. He was one of the original agitators for an alteration of
the Parish Church, and in one sense it may be said that the move he
primarily made in the matter eventuated in the restoration of that
building. The creation of St. Saviour's Church is also largely due
to him, and owing to the building being in St. James's district,
which is a "Blandsford parish," and the only one of the kind in
Preston we may remark, he has the right of presentation to it. Mr.
Wilson is a calm, middle-sized, rather eccentric looking gentleman,
tasteful in big hirsute arrangements, and biased towards a small
curl in the front of his forehead. He is light on his feet, has a
forward bend in his walk, as if trying to find something but never
able to get at it; has a passion for an umbrella, which he carries
both in fine and wet weather; likes a dark, thin, closely-buttoned
overcoat, and used to love a down-easter wide-awake hat. He is a
frank, independent, educated man; has no sham in him; is liberal is
far as his means will allow; works hard; has an odd, go-ahead way
with him; cares little about bowing and scraping to people; often
passes folk (unintentionally) without nodding; and has nothing of a
polemically virulent character in his disposition. There is
something genuine, honest, gentlemanly, and unreadable in him. He
almost reminds one of Elia's inexplicable cousin. He has a special
fondness for architecture; plans, specifications, &c., have a charm
for him; he is a sort of clerical Inigo Jones; and ought to have
been an architect. He is a rather polished reader; but he holds his
teeth too tightly together, and there is a tremulousness in his
voice which makes the utterances thereof rather too unctuous. As a
preacher he is clear, calm, and methodical. His sermons, all
written, are scholarly in style cool in tone, short, and, in the
orthodox sense, practical. In their delivery he does not make much
stir, he goes on evenly and rapidly, looking little to either the
right hand or the left, broiling none, and foaming never.
Occasionally, but it is quite an exception, he forgets his sermons--
leaves them at home--and this is somewhat awkward when the mistake
is only found out just before the preaching should be gone on with.
But the company are kept serene by a little extra singing, or
something of that kind, and in the meantime a rapid rush is made to
the parsonage, and the missing manuscript is secured, conveyed to
the church either in a basket or a pocket, taken into the pulpit,
looked at rather fiercely, shook a little, and then read through.
How would it be if the manuscript could not be found? Long official
life appears to be the rule at St. James's. Mr. Wm. Relph, who died
last year, was a churchwarden at the place for 21 years; Mr.
Bannister has been in office as churchwarden for nearly as long; the
person who was beadle up to last year had officiated in that
capacity for nearly eleven years; the organist has been at the
church above 15 years; the mistress of the school belonging the
church has been at her post about as long; and the schoolmaster has
been in office 13 or 14 years. If long service speaks well for a
place, the facts we have given are creditable alike to the church
and the officials. Mr. Wilson, who gets about 300 pounds a year, is
well-respected by all; he manages to keep down unpleasant feuds;
regulates the district peacefully, if slowly, deserves a handsomer
church, and would be quite willing, we believe, to be its architect
if one were ordered.


There are about 1,100 different religious creeds in the world, and
amongst them all there is not one more energetic, more mysterious,
or more wit-shaken than Mormonism. It is a mass of earnest "abysmal
nonsense," an olla-podrida of theological whimsicalities, a saintly
jumble of pious staff made up--if we may borrow an idea--of
Hebraism, Persian Dualism, Brahminism, Buddhistic apotheosis,
heterodox and orthodox Christianity, Mohammedanism, Drusism,
Freemasonry, Methodism, Swedenborgianism, Mesmerism, and Spirit-
rapping. We might go on in our elucidation; but what we have said
will probably be sufficient for present purposes. There are some
deep-swimming fish in the "waters of Mormon;" but the piscatorial
shoal is sincere enough, though mortally odd-brained and dreamy. On
the 22nd of September, 1827, a rough-spun American, named Joseph
Smith, belonging to a family reputed to be fond of laziness, drink,
and untruthfulness, and suspected of being somewhat disposed to
sheep-stealing, had a visit from "the angel of the Lord." He had
previously been told that his sins were forgiven; that he was a
"chosen instrument," &c., and on the day named Joseph found,
somewhere in Ontario, a number of gold plates, eight inches long and
seven wide, nearly as thick as tin, fastened together by three
rings, and bearing inscriptions, in "Reformed Egyptian," relative to
the history of America "from its first settlement by a colony that
came from the Tower of Babel at the confusion of tongues, to the
beginning of the 5th century of the Christian era." These
inscriptions were originally got up by a prophet named Mormon were,
as before stated, found by Joseph Smith, were read off by him to a
man rejoicing in the name of Oliver Cowdery, and they constitute the
contents of what is now known as the Book of Mormon. Smith did not
translate the "Reformed Egyptian" openly--if he had been asked to do
so, he would have said, "not for Joe;" he got behind a blanket in
order to do the job, considering that the plates would be defiled if
seen by profane eyes; and deciphered them by two odd lapidistic
transparencies, called "Urim and Thummin," which he found at the
same time as he met with the records. Report hath it that Joe's
"translation" of the sacred plates is substantially a paraphrase of
a romance written by one Solomon Spalding; but the Mormons, or
rather the members of "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day
Saints," deny this, and say that at least eleven persons saw the
original plates after transcription. They may have seen them; but
nobody else has, and Heaven only knows where they are now.

Did you ever, gentle reader, see the "Book of Mormon?" We have one
before us, purchased from a real live Salt Lake missionary; but it
is so dreadfully dry and intricate, and seems to be such a dodged-up
paraphrase of our own Scriptures, that we are afraid it will never
do us any good. It professes to be a "record of the people of Nephi,
and also of the Lumanites their brethren, and also of the people of
Jared, who came from the tower." The Mormons think it equal in
divine authority to, and a positive corollary of, the Old and New
Testaments. It consists of several books, and many chapters; the
books being those of Nephi, Jacob, Enos, Jarom, Mosiah, Alma,
Helaman, Nephi, Mormon, Ether, and Moroni. The language is quaint
and simple in syllabic construction; but the book altogether is a
mass of dreamy, puzzling history--is either a sacred fiction
plagiarised, or a useless and senile jumble of Christian and Red
Indian tradition. Smith, the founder of Mormonism, had only a rough
time of it. His Church was first organised in 1830, in the State of
New York. Afterwards the Mormons went into Ohio, then established
themselves in Missouri, were next driven into Clay County,
subsequently look refuge in Illinois, and finally planted themselves
in the valley of the great Salt Lake, where they may now be found.
Smith came to grief in 1844, by a pistol shot, administered to him
in Illinois by a number of roughs; and Brigham Young, a man said to
be "very much married," and who will now be the father of perhaps
150 children, was appointed his successor. Mormonism is disliked by
the bulk of people mainly on account of its fondness for wives. The
generality of civilised folk think that one fairly matured creature,
with a ring on one of her left-hand fingers, is sufficient for a
single household--quite sufficient for all the fair purposes of
existence, "lecturing" included; but the Latter-day Saints, who were
originally monogamists, and whose "Book of Mormon" condemns
polygamy, believe in a plurality of housekeepers. They contend that
since the finding of the sacred record by Smith there has been a
"divine" revelation on the subject, and that their dignity in heaven
will be "in proportion to the number of their wives and children" in

Leaving the polygamic part of the business, we may observe that the
Mormons believe that God was once a man, but is now perfect; that
any man may rise into a species of deity if he is good enough; that
mortals will not be punished for what Adam did, but for what they
have done themselves; that there can be no salvation without
repentance, faith, and baptism; that the sacrament--bread and water-
-must be taken every week; that ministerial action must be preceded
by inspiration; that Miraculous gifts have not ceased; that the soul
of man "co-existed equal with God;" that the word of God is recorded
in all good books; that there will be an actual gathering of Israel,
including the Red Indians, whom they regard with much interest as
being the descendants of an ancient tribe whose skins were coloured
on account of disobedience in some part of America about 2,400 years
ago; that the "New Zion" will be established in America; and that
there will be a final resurrection of the flesh and bones--without
the blood--of men. Some of their moral articles of belief are good,
and if carried out, ought to make the Salt Lake Valley a decent,
peaceable place, notwithstanding all the wives therein. In one of
the said articles they express their belief in being "honest, true,
chaste, temperate, benevolent, virtuous, and upright," and further
on they come down with a crash upon idle and lazy persons, by saying
that they can be neither Christians nor enjoy salvation.

In 1837, certain elders of the Mormon church, including Orson Hyde
and Heber C. Kimball, were sent over to England as missionaries; the
first town they commenced operations in, after their arrival, was--
PRESTON; and the first shot they fired in Preston was from the
pulpit of a building in Vauxhall-road, now occupied by the
Particular Baptists. Things got hot in a few minutes here; it became
speedily known that Hyde, Kimball, and Co. were of a sect fond of a
multiplicity of wives; and the "missionaries" had to forthwith look
out for fresh quarters. They secured the old Cock Pit, drove a great
business in it, and at length actually got about 500 "members."
Whilst this movement was going on in the town, the missionaries were
pushing Mormonism in some of the surrounding country places. At
Longton, nearly everybody went into raptures over the "new
doctrine;" Mormonism fairly took the place by storm; it caught up
and entranced old and young, married and single, pious and godless;
it even spread like a sacred rinderpest amongst the Wesleyans, who
at that time were very strong in Longton--captivating leaders,
members, and some of the scholars in fine style; and the chapel of
this body was so emptied by the Mormon crusade, that it was found
expedient to reduce it internally and set apart some of it for
school purposes. To this day the village has not entirely recovered
the shock which Mormonism gave it 30 years ago. During the heat of
the conflict many Longtonians went to the region of Mormondom in
America, and several of them soon wished they were back again. In
Preston, too, whilst the Cock Pit fever was raging numbers "went
out." After the work of "conversion," &c., had been carried on for a
period in the sacred Pit mentioned, the Mormons migrated to a
building, which had been used as a joiners shop, in Park-road;
subsequently they took for their tabernacle an old sizing house in
Friargate; then they went to a building in Lawson-street now used as
the Weavers' Institute, and originally occupied by the Ranters; and
at a later date they made another move--transferred themselves to a
room in the Temperance Hotel, Lime-street, which they continue to
occupy, and in which, every Sunday morning and evening, they ideally
drink of Mormondom's salt-water, and clap their hands gleefully over
Joe Smith's impending millenium.

There are only about 70 members of the Mormon Church in Preston and
the immediate neighbourhood at present; but they are all hopeful,
and fancy that beatification is in store for them. We had recently a
half-solemn, half-comic desire to see the very latest development of
Preston Mormonism in its Lune-street home; but having an idea that
strangers might be objected to whilst the "holding forth" was going
on, that, in fact, the members had resolved themselves, through
diminished numbers, into a species of secret conclave, we were
rather puzzled to know how the business of seeing and hearing could
be accomplished. Nevertheless we went to the Temperance Hotel, and
after some conversation with a person there--not a Mormon--we
decided to go right into the meeting-room, the idea being that,
under any circumstances, we could only be pitched into, and then
pitched out. And with this notion we entered the place, put our hat
upon a table deliberately, took a seat upon a form quietly, and then
looked round coolly in anticipation of a round of sauce or a trifle
of fighting. But peace was preserved. There were just six living
beings in the room--three well-dressed moustached young men, a
thinly-fierce-looking woman, a very red-headed youth, and a quiet
little girl. For about 30 seconds absolute silence prevailed. The
thin woman then looked forward at the red-haired youth and in a
clear voice said "Bin round there yet--eh?" which elicited the
answer "Yea, and comed whoam." "Things are flat there as well as
here aren't they--eh?" And the red-haired youth said "Yea."
"Factories arn't doing much now, are they?" said she next, and the
rejoinder was "They arn't; bin round by Bowton, and its aw alike."
This slightly refreshing prelude was supplemented by sapient remarks
as to the weather &c.; and we were beginning to wonder whether the
general service was simply going to amount to this kind of
conversation or be pushed on "properly" when in stepped a strong-
built dark-complexioned man, who marched forward with the dignity of
an elder, until he got to a small table surmounted by a desk, whence
he drew a brown paper parcel, which he handed to one of the
moustached young men, who undid it cautiously and carefully, "What
is it going to be?" said we, mentally; when, lo! there appeared a
white table cloth, which was duly spread. The strong built man then
dived deeply into one of his coat pockets, and fetched out of it a
small paper parcel, flung it upon a form close by, seized a soup
plate into which he crumbled a slice of bread, then got a double-
handled pewter pot, into which he poured some water, and afterwards
sat down as generalissimo of the business. The individual who
manipulated with the table cloth afterwards made a prayer, universal
in several of its sentiments; but stiffened up tightly with Mormon
notions towards the close.

Two elderly men and a lad entered the room when the orison was
finished, and a discussion followed between the "general" and the
young man who had been praying as to some hymn they should sing.
"Can't find the first hymn," said the young man; and we thought that
a pretty smart thing for a beginning. "Oh, never mind--go farther
on--any--long meter," uttered his interlocutor, and he forthwith
made a sanguine dash into the centre of the book, and gave out a
hymn. The company got into a "peculiar metre" tune at once, and the
singing was about the most comically wretched we ever heard. The lad
who came in with the elderly men tried every range of voice in every
verse, and thought that he had a right to do just as he liked with
the music; the elderly men near him hammed out something in a weak
and time-worn key; the woman got into a high strain and flourished
considerably at the line ends; the little girl said nothing; the
three young men seemed quite unable to get above a monotonous groan,
and the general looked forward, then down, and then smiled a little,
but uttered never a word, and seemed immensely relieved when the
singing was over. The bread which had been broken into the soup
plate was next handed round, and it was succeeded by the pewter pot
measure of water. This was the sacrament, and it was partaken of by
all--the young as well as the old. During the enactment of this part
of the programme a gaily-dressed young female, sporting a Paisley
shawl, ear-rings, a chignon, a small bonnet, and the other
accoutrements of modern fashion, dropped in, and also took the
sacrament. Another hymn was here given out, and the young woman with
the Paisley shawl, &c., rushed straight into the work of singing
without a moment's warning. She carried the others with her, and
enabled them to get through the verses easily. Just when the singing
was ended, a rubicund-featured and bosky female, who had, perhaps,
seen five-and-forty summers, landed in the room, took a seat, and
then took the sacrament. She was the last of the Mohicans, and after
her appearance the door was closed, and the latch dropped.

Speaking succeeded, and the talkers got upon their feet in
accordance with certain nods and memoes from the chairman. They all
eulogised in a joyous strain the glories of Mormonism, but never a
syllable was expressed about wives. A young moustached man led the
way. He told the meeting that he had long been of a religious turn
of mind; that he was a Wesleyan until 17 years of age; that
afterwards he found peace in the Smithsonian church; that the only
true creed was that of Mormonism; that it didn't matter what people
said in condemnation of such creed; and that he should always stick
to it. The thin woman, who seemed to have an awful tongue in her
head, was the second speaker. She panegyrised "the church" in a
phrensied, fierce-tempered, piping strain, talked rapidly about the
"new dispensation," declared that she had accepted it voluntarily,
hadn't been deceived by any one--we hope she never will be--and that
she was happy. Her conclusion was sudden, and she appeared to break
off just before reaching an agony-point. The third talker was one of
the old men, and he commenced with things from "before the
foundations of the world," and brought them down to the present day.
His speech was earnest, florid, and rather argumentative in tone.
After stating that he had a pious spell upon him before visiting the
room, and that the afflatus was still upon him, he entered into a
labyrinthal defence of "the church." "Mormonism," he said, "is more
purer than any other doctrine that is," and "this here faith," he
continued, "has to go on and win." He talked mystically about things
being "resurrectioned," contended that the Solomon Spalding theory
had been exploded, and quoting one of the elders, said that
Mormonism began in a hamlet and got to a village, from a village to
a town, thence to a city, thence to a territory, and that if it got
"just another kick it would as sure as fate be kicked into a great
and mighty nation." This "old man eloquent" seemed over head and
ears in Mormonism, and almost shook with joy at certain points of
his discourse.

The fourth, and the last, speaker was the chairman. He raised his
brawny frame slowly, held a Bible in one hand, and started in this
fashion--"Well I s'pose I've to say something; but I can't tell what
it'll be." This declaration was followed up by a long, wandering
mass of talk, full of repetition and hypothetical theology--a
mixture of Judaism, Christianity, and Mormonism, and from the whole
he endeavoured to distil this "fact" that both Isaiah and St. John
had made certain prophetic statements as to the Book of Mormon and
its transcription by Joe Smith. It did not, however, appear from
what he said that either Isaiah or the seer of Patmos had named
anything about the blanket trick which had to be adopted by Joe is
translating "the Book." But that was perhaps unnecessary; and we
shall not throw a "wet blanket" upon the matter by further alluding
to it. When the chairman had done his speech, the doxology was sung,
and this was supplemented by benediction, pronounced by a young man
who shut his eyes, stretched his hands a quarter of a yard out of
his coat sleeves, and in a most inspired and bishoply style,
delivered the requisite blessing. Hand-shaking, in which we found it
necessary to join, supervened, and then there was a general
disappearance. The whole of the speakers at this meeting--which may
be taken as a fair sample of the gatherings--were illiterate people,
individuals with much zeal and little education; and the manner in
which they crucified sentences, and maltreated the general
principles of logic and common-sense, was really disheartening. They
are very earnest folk; we also believe they are honest; but, after
all, they are "gone coons," beyond the reach of both physic and
argument. We knew none of the Mormons who attended the meeting
described, and singular to say the proprietor of the establishment
wherein they assembled had no knowledge of either their names or
places of abode. They pay him his rent regularly, and he deems that
enough. All that we really know of the sect is, that their chairman
is either a mechanic or a blacksmith somewhere, is plain, muscular,
solemn looking, bass-voiced, and dreamy; and that his flock are a
small, earnest, and preciously-fashioned parcel of sincere, yet
deluded, enthusiasts.


This is a church in charge of the Jesuits, and by them and it we are
reminded of what may fairly be termed the great leg question. The
order of Jesuits, as we lately remarked, was originated by a damaged
leg; and St. Walburge's church, Preston, owes its existence to the
cure of one. Excellent, O legs! Tradition hath it that once upon a
time--about 1160 years ago--a certain West Saxon King had a daughter
born unto him, whose name was Walburge; that she went into Germany
with two of her brothers, became abbess of a convent there, did
marvellous things, was a wonder in her way, couldn't be bitten by
dogs--they, used to snatch half a yard off and then run, that she
died on the 25th February, 778, that her relics were transferred, on
the 12th October following, to Eichstadt, at which place a convent
was built to her memory, that the said relics were put into a bronze
shrine, which was placed upon a table of marble, in the convent
chapel; that every year since then, between the 12th of October and
the 25th of February, the marble upon which the shrine is placed has
"perspired" a liquid which is collected below in a vase of silver;
and that this liquid, which is called "St. Walburge's oil," will
cure, by its application, all manner of physical ailments. This is
the end of our first lesson concerning St. Walburge and the
wonderful oil. The second lesson runneth thus:- About five and
twenty years ago there lived, as housemaid at St. Wilfrid's
presbytery, in this town, one Alice Holderness. She was a comely
woman and pious; but she fell one day on some steps leading to the
presbytery, hurt one of her legs--broke the knee cap of it, we
believe--and had to be carried straight to bed. Medical aid was
obtained; but the injured knee was obstinate, wouldn't be mended,
and when physic and hope alike had been abandoned, so far as the leg
of Alice was concerned, the Rev. Father Norris, who, in conjunction
with the Rev. Father Weston, was at that time stationed at St.
Wilfrid's, was struck with a somewhat bright thought as to the
potency of St. Walburge's oil. A little of that oil was procured,
and this is what a sister of the injured woman says, in a letter
which we have seen on the subject, viz.:--That Father Norris dipped
a pen into the oil and dropped a morsel of it upon her knee,
whereupon "the bones immediately snapped together and she was
perfectly cured, having no longer the slightest weakness in the
broken limb."

This is a strange tale, which people can either believe or
disbelieve at their own pleasure. All Protestants--ourselves
included--will necessarily be dubious; and if any polemical lecturer
should happen to see the story he will go wild with delight, and
consider that there is material enough in it for at least six good
declamatory and paying discourses. Well, whether correct or false,
the priests at St. Wilfrid's believed in the "miraculous cure," and
decided forthwith to agitate for a church in honour of St. Walburge.
That church is the one we now see on Maudlands--a vast and
magnificent pile, larger in its proportions than any other Preston
place of worship, and with a spire which can only be equalled for
altitude by two others in the whole country. What a potent
architectural charm was secreted in that mystic oil with which
Father Norris touched the knee of Alice! In the "Walpurgis dance of
globule and oblate spheroid," there may be something wonderful, but
through this drop of oil from the Walpurgian shrine an obstreperous
knee snapped up into compact health instantly, and then a large
church, ornamental to Preston and creditable to the entire Catholic
population, arose. There used to be a hospital, dedicated to Mary
Magdalen, either actually upon or very near the site occupied by St.
Walburge's Church; but that building disappeared long ago, and no
one can tell the exact character of it. Prior to, and until the
completion of, the erection of St. Walburge's Church, schools
intended for it, and built mainly at the expense of the late Mr. W.
Talbot, were raised on some adjoining land. Service in accordance
with the Catholic ritual was held therein until the completion of
the Church. Father Weston was the leading spirit in the construction
of St. Walburge's, and to him--although well assisted by Father
Williams--may be attributed the main honour of its development into
reality. Father Cobb, of St. Wilfrid's, laid the foundation stone of
St. Walburge's Church, on Whit-Monday, 1850; and on the 3rd of
August, 1854, the building was opened, the ceremony being of a very
grand and imposing description. The spire of the church was not
completed until 1887. The entire cost of the place has been about
15,000 pounds.

St. Walburge's is built in the early decorated Gothic style of
architecture, and it is beyond all controversy, a splendid looking
building. At the eastern end there is a remarkably fine seven-light
stained glass window. This is flanked by a couple of two-light
windows; and the general effect is most imposing. The central window
is 35 feet high. At the western end there is a beautifully-coloured
circular window, 22 feet in diameter, which was given by Miss Roper;
and beneath it there are small coloured lights, put in by Father
Weston out of money left him by Miss Green. Nearly all the side
windows in the church are coloured, and four of them are of the
"presentation" stamp. The most prominent thing about the church is
the spire, which, as well as the tower, is built of limestone, and
surmounted by a cross, the distance from its apex to the ground
being about 301 feet. We saw the weather vane fixed upon this spire,
and how the man who did the job managed to keep his head from
spinning right round, and then right off, was at the time an
exciting mystery to us which we have not yet been able to properly
solve. A little before the actual completion of the spire, we had a
chance of ascending it, but we remained below. The man in charge
wanted half-a-crown for the trip; and as we fancied that something
like 5 pounds ought to be given to us for undertaking a journey so
perilous, it was mutually decided that we should keep down. Why, it
would be a sort of agony to ascend the spire under the most
favourable circumstances; and as one might only tumble down if
ascension were achieved, the safest plan is to keep down altogether.
We have often philosophised on the question of punishment, and,
locally speaking, we have come to this conclusion, that agony would
be sufficiently piled in any case of crime, if the delinquent were
just hoisted to the top of St. Walburge's spire and left there. From
the summit of the tower, which is quite as high as safe-sided human
beings need desire to get, there is a magnificent view: Preston
lurches beneath like a hazy amphitheatre of houses and chimneys; to
the east you have Pendle, Longridge, and the dark hills of Bowland;
northwards, in the far distance, the undulating Lake hills;
westward, the fertile Fylde, flanked by the Ribble, winding its way
like a silver thread to the ocean; and southwards Rivington Pyke and
Hoghton's wooded summit with a dim valley to the left thereof, in
which Blackburn works and dreams out its vigorous existence. The
general scenery from the tower is panoramic and charming. The view
from the spire head must be immense and exquisite, but few people of
this generation, unless a very safe plan of ascension is found out,
will be able to enjoy it. In the tower there is a large bell,
weighing 31 cwt.; and it can make a very considerable sound,
drowning all the smaller ringing arrangements in the neighbourhood.
Some time, but not yet, there will probably be a peal of twelve
bells in the tower, for it has accomodation for that number.

Internally the church is very high and spacious; is decorated
artistically in many places; and a sense of mingled solemnity and
immensity comes over you on entering it. The roof is a tremendous
affair; it is open, and supported by eleven huge Gothic-fashioned
principals, each of which cost 100 pounds, and it is panelled above
with stained timber. But we don't care very much for the roof. No
doubt it is fine; but the whole of the wood work seems too, heavy
and much too dark. There is a cimmerian massiveness about it; and on
a dull day it looks quite bewildering. If it were stained in a
lighter colour its proportions would come out better, and much of
that gigantic gloom which now shadows it would be removed. There are
canopied stands for two and twenty statues towards the base of the
principals; but the whole of them, except about five, are empty.
Saints, &c., will be looked after for these stands when money is
more abundant, and when more essential work has been executed. What
seems to be proximately wanted in the church is a good sanctuary--
something in keeping with the general design of the building and
really worthy of the place. It is intended, we believe, to have a
magnificent sanctuary; but a proper design for one can't be exactly
hit on; when it is, the past liberality of the congregation is a
sufficient guarantee that the needful article--money--will be soon
forthcoming. Notwithstanding the greatness of the church, it will
not seat as many as some smaller places of worship. This is
accounted for through its having no galleries. There is a small
elevation in the shape of a gallery at the western end, which is
seldom used; but the sides of the church are open, the windows
running along them rendering this necessary. The church will
comfortably seat about 1,000 persons; 1,700 have been seen in it;
but there had to be much crushing, and all the aisles, &c., had to
be filled with standing people to admit such a number. The seats are
all well made and all open.

On a Sunday masses are said at eight, nine, ten, and eleven, and
there is an afternoon service at three. The aggregate average
attendance on a Sunday is about 3,000. There are three confessionals
in the church, towards the south-eastern-corner; they stand out like
small square boxes, and although made for everybody seem specially
adapted for thin and Cassius-like people. Falstaff's theory was--
more flesh more frailty. If this be so, then, there are either very
few "great" sinners at St. Walburge's or the large ones confess
somewhere else. The worshippers at this church are, in nine cases
out of ten, working people. The better class of people sit at the
higher end of the central benches; and if one had never seen them
there no difficulty would be experienced in finding out their seats.
You may always ascertain the character of worshippers by what they
sit upon. Working-class people rest upon bare boards; middle-class
individuals develop the cushion scheme to a moderate pitch; the
upper species push it towards consummation-like ease, and therefore
are the owners of good cushions. Very few cushions can be seen in
St. Walburge's; those noticeable are at the higher end; and the
logical inference, therefore, is that not many superb people attend
the place, and that those who do go sit just in the quarter
mentioned. At the doors of this church, as at those of other
Catholic places of worship in the town, you may see men standing
with boxes, asking for alms. These are brothers of the Society of
St. Vincent de Paul. The object of this society is to visit and
relieve the sick and the poor. The brothers are excellent
auxiliaries of the clergy; and, further, do the work of the
mendicity societies, like those now being established in London, by
examing applications for relief, and so disappointing impostors. The
conference of St. Vincent attached to St. Walburge's Church numbers
16 active members, who collected and distributed in food and
clothing during last year 112 pounds. The brothers are deserving of
all praise for spending their evenings in visiting the sick and
distressed, in courts and alleys, after their day's work.

The singers at this church occupy a small balcony on the south side.
They are a pretty musical body--got through their business ever so
creditably; but they are rather short of that which most choirs are
deficient in--tenor power. They would be heard far better if placed
at the western end but a good deal of expense would have to be
incurred in making orchestral arrangements for them there; so that
for some time, at least, they will have to be content with their
grated and curtained musical hoist on the southern side, singing
right out as hard as they can at the pulpit, which exactly faces
them, and at the preacher, if they like, when he gets into it. The
organ, which is placed above the singers, and would crush them into
irrecoverable atoms if it fell, is a fine instrument; but it is
pushed too far into the wall, into the tower which backs it, and if
there are any holes above, much of its music must necessarily escape
up the steeple. The organ is played with taste and precision. The
members of the choir sing gratuitously.

Since the opening of St. Walburge's there have been twelve different
priests at it. Three are in charge of it now. Father Weston was the
first priest, and, as already stated, was the mainspring of the
church. He died on the 14th of November, 1867, and to his memory a
stained glass window will by and bye be fixed in the church. This
window is in Preston now; we have seen it--it is a most beautiful
piece of workmanship; and as soon as the requisite money is
"resubscribed," the original contributions having, through
unfortunate financial circumstances, been more than half sacrificed,
it will be fixed. Father Henry, late rector of Stonyhurst College,
was for some time at St. Walburge's, and during his stay the work
begun by Father Weston, and pushed on considerably by successive
priests, was elaborated and finished. The three priests now at St.
Walburge's are Fathers J. Johnson (principal), Payne, and Papall.
Father Johnson, who has been at the church about fourteen months, is
a spare, long-headed, warm-hearted, unostentatious man. He is
between 50 and 60 years of age; has a practical, weather-beaten,
shrewd look; would be bad to "take in;" has much latent force; is a
kindly, fatherly preacher; is dry in humour till drawn out, and then
can be very genial; is a sharp man, mentally and executively; has
been provincial of the Jesuits and rector of Stonyhurst College;
knows what's what, and knows that he knows it; is determined, but
can be melted down; seems cold and sly, but has a kind spirit and an
honest tongue in his bead; and is the right man for his position.

Father Payne has been at St. Walburge's about four years. He has
passed 40 summers in single blessedness, and says he intends to
"last it out." His preaching is serious and earnest in style. His
eloquence may not be so captivating as that of some men; but it
comes up freely, and involves utterances of import. Father Payne has
not much action, but he has a good voice; he lifts his arms slowly
and regularly, leans forward somewhat, occasionally seizes both his
hands and shakes them a little; but beyond this there is not much
motion observable in him. He has a keen, discreet sense of things,
and, like the rest of his order, can see a long way. In private
life--that is to say when he is out of the pulpit and off general
duty--he is an affable, clear, merry, brisk-talking little
gentleman, fond of a good joke, a blithe chat, and a hearty laugh.
He is a pleasant Payne when in company, and if you knew him you
would say so. The last Daniel who cometh up to judgment is Father
Papall--the very embodiment of vivaciousness, linguistic activity,
and dignity in a nut shell. Dark-haired, sharp-eyed, spectacled;
diminutive, warm-blooded, he is about the most animated priest we
know of. He has English and Italian blood in his veins, and that
vascular mixture works him up beautifully. No man could stand such
an amalgam without being determined, volatile, practical, and at
times dreamy; and you have all these qualities developed in Father
Papall. He is 40 years of age, and has seen more foreign life than
many priests. He has been in Italy, where he resided for years, in
Holland, Belgium, Germany, France, America, &c.; and he has been at
St. Walburge's in this town, for 14 months. He is all animation when
conversing with you; and in the pulpit he talks from head to foot--
stirs all over, fights much with his sleeves, moves his arms, and
hands, and fingers as if under some hot spell of galvanism, and
fairly gets his "four feet" into the general subject, and revels
with a delicious activity in it at intervals. He is an earnest
preacher, has good intellectual constructiveness, and if he had not
to battle so much with our English idioms and curious modes of
pronunciation he would be a very potent speaker, and a racy
homilist. He has a sweeping powerful voice; you could almost hear
him if you were asleep, and this fact may account for the peculiarly
contented movements of several parties we observed recently at the
church whilst Father Papall was preaching. At least 20 near us went
to sleep in about five minutes after he began talking, slept very
well during the whole sermon, and at its conclusion woke up very
refreshed, made brisk crosses, listened awhile to the succeeding
music, &c., and then walked out quite cool and cheerful.

Most excellent schools are situated near and on the northern side of
the church. The average daily attendance of boys is 200; that of the
girls 260; that of the infants, 350. The boys seem well trained; the
girls, who are in charge of nuns--called "Companions of the Holy
Child Jesus"--are likewise industriously cared for; and the infants
are a show in themselves. We saw these 350 babies, for many of them
are nothing more, the other day, and the manner in which they
conducted themselves was simply surprising. The utmost order
prevailed amongst them, and how this was brought about we could not
tell. One little pleasant-looking nun had charge of the whole
confraternity, and she could say them at a word--make them as mute
as mice with the mere lifting of her finger, and turn them into all
sorts of merry moods by a similar motion, in a second. If this
little nun could by some means convey her secret of managing
children to about nineteen-twentieths of the mothers of the kingdom,
who find it a dreadful business to regulate one or two, saying
nothing of 350, babes and sucklings, she would confer a lasting
benefit upon the householders of Britain. Night and Sunday schools--
the latter being attended by about 700 boys and girls--are held in
the same buildings. There are five nuns at St. Walburge's; they live
in a convent hard by; and like the rest of their class they work
hard every day, and sacrifice much of their own pleasure for the
sake of that of other people--a thing which the generality of us
have yet to take first lessons in.


There is something so severely mental, and so theologically daring
in Unitarianism that many can't, whilst others won't, hold communion
with it. Unbiased thinkers, willing to give all men freedom of
conscience, admit the force of its logic in some things, the
sincerity of its intentions in all, but deem it too dry and much too
intellectual for popular digestion. The orthodox brand it as
intolerably heretical and terribly unscriptural; the multitude of
human beings;--like "Oyster Nan" who couldn't live without "running
her vulgar rig"--consider it downright infidelity, the companion of
rationalism, and the "stepping Stone to atheism." Still there are
many good people who are Unitarians; many magnificent scholars who
recognise its principles; and if "respectability" is any proof of
correctness--this age, in the obliquity of its vision, and in the
depth of its respect for simple "appearances," says it is--then
Unitarianism ought to be a very proper article, for its
congregations, though comparatively small, are highly seasoned with
persons who wear capital clothes, take their time from the best of
watches, and have ever so much of what lawyers call "real and
personal" property. Men termed "Monarchians" were the first special
professors of Unitarianism. They made their appearance between the
second and third centuries, and, if Tertullian tells the truth, they
consisted of "the simple and the unlearned." Directly after the
Reformation Unitarianism spread considerably on the continent, and
Transylvania, which now contains about 56,000 of its followers,
became its great stronghold. Unitarianism got into England about the
middle of the 16th century; and many of the Presbyterian divines who
were ejected during the century which followed--in 1662--gradually
became believers in it. In England the Unitarians have now about 314
chapels and emission stations; in Scotland there are only five
congregations recognising Unitarianism; in Ireland about 40; in our
colonies there are a few; in the United States of America the body
has 256 societies; in France, Germany, Holland, &c., the principles
of Unitarianism are pretty extensively believed in. Some of our
greatest thinkers and writers have been Unitarians: Milton was one,
so was John Locke, and so was Newton. In different ages there have
been different classes of Unitarians; in these days there are at
least two--the conservative and the progressive; but in the past the
following points were generally believed, and in the present there
is no diversity of opinion regarding them, viz., that the Godhead is
single and absolute, not triune; that Christ was not God, but a
perfect being inspired with divine wisdom; that there is no efficacy
in His vicarious atonement, in the sense popularly recognised; and
that original sin and eternal damnation are in accordance with
neither the Scriptures nor common sense.

The origin of Unitarianism in Preston, as elsewhere, is mixed up
with the early strivings and operations of emancipated
Nonconformity. We can find no record of Nonconformists in Preston
until the early part of the 18th century. At that period a chapel
was erected at Walton-le-Dale, mainly, if not entirely, by Sir Henry
de Hoghton--fifth baronet, and formerly member of parliament for
Preston--who was one of the principal patrons of Nonconformity in
this district. Very shortly afterwards, and under the same
patronage, a Nonconformist congregation was established to Preston--
meetings having previously been held in private houses--and the Rev.
John Pilkington, great uncle of W. O. Pilkington, Esq., of the
Willows, near this town, who is a Unitarian, was the minister of it,
as well as of that in Walton. In 1718, a little building was erected
for the Nonconformists of Preston on a piece of land near the bottom
and on the north side of Church-street. This was the first
Dissenting chapel raised in Preston, and in it the old
Nonconformists--Presbyterians we ought to say--spent many a free and
spiritually-happy hour. Eventually the generality of the
congregation got into a "Monarchian" frame of mind, and from that
time till this the chapel has been held by those whom we term
Unitarians. The "parsonage house" of the Unitarian minister used to
be in Church-street, near the chapel; but it has since been
transmuted into a shop. One of the ministers at this place of
worship towards the end of the last century, was a certain Mr.
Walker, but he couldn't masticate the Unitarian theory which was
being actively developed in it, so he walked away, and for him a
building in Grimshaw-street--the predecessor of the present
Independent Chapel there--was subsequently erected.

The edifice wherein our Unitarian friends assemble every Sunday, is
an old-fashioned, homely-looking, little building--a tiny,
Quakerised piece of architecture, simple to a degree, prosaic,
diminutive, snug, dull. It is just such a place as you could imagine
old primitive Non-conformists, fonder of strong principles and
inherent virtue than of external embellishment and masonic finery,
would build. It can be approached by two ways, but it is of no use
trying to take advantage of both at once. You would never get to the
place if you made such an effort. There is a road to it from Percy-
street--this is the better entrance, but not much delight can be
found in it; and there is another way to the chapel from Church-
street--up a delicious little passage, edged on the right with a
house-side, and on the left with a wall made fierce with broken
glass, which will be sure to cut the sharpest of the worshippers if
they ever attempt to get over it. What there really is behind that
glass-topped wall we are at a loss to define; but it is evidently
something which the occupier of the premises apprehends the
Unitarians may have an illicit liking for? If they want to get to it
we would recommend the use of some heavy, blunt instrument, by which
they could easily break the glass, after which they might quietly
lift each other over. Recently, a small sign has been fixed at the
end of the passage, and from the letters upon it an inference may be
safely drawn that the Unitarian Chapel is somewhere beyond it. To
strangers this will be useful, for, prior to its exhibition, none
except those familiar with the place, or gifted with an instinct for
threading the mazes of mystery, could find out, with anything like
comfort, the location of the chapel. Whether the people have or have
not "sought for a sign," one has at any rate been given to them
here. A small, and somewhat neat, graveyard is attached to the
chapel; there are several tomb-stones laid flat upon the ground; and
in the centre of it there is a rather elaborate one, substantially
railed round, and surmounting the vault of the Ainsworth family. The
remains of the late W. Ainsworth, Esq., a well-known and respected
Preston gentleman, are interred here.

At the northern side of, and directly adjoining, the chapel there is
a small Sunday school, It was erected about 15 years ago; the
scholars previous to that time having met in a little building in
Lord's-walk. The average attendance of scholars at present is about
60. The chapel, internally, is small, clean, plain, and ancient-
looking. A central aisle runs directly up to the pulpit, and it is
flanked with a range of high old-fashioned pews, some being plain, a
few lined with a red-coloured material, and several with faded green
baize, occasionally tacked back and elaborated with good old-
fashioned brass nails. The seats vary in size, and include both the
moderately narrow and the full square for family use. There are nine
variously shaped windows in the building: through three of them you
can see sundry things, ranging from the spire of the Parish Church
to the before-mentioned wall with the broken glass top; through some
of the others faint outlines of chimneys may be traced. The chapel
is light and comfortable-looking. There seems to be nothing in the
place having the least relationship to ornament except four small
gas brackets, which are trimmed up a little, and surmounted with
small crosses of the Greek pattern. At the west end, supported by
two pillars, there is a small gallery, in which a few elderly
people, the scholars, and the choir are deposited. The body of the
chapel will accommodate about 200 persons. The average attendance,
excluding the scholars, will be perhaps 60. When we visited the
place there were 50 present--45 downstairs and five in the gallery;
and of these, upwards of 30 were females.

The congregation is quite of a genteel and superior character. There
are a few rather poor people embraced in it; but nine out of ten of
the regular worshippers belong to either independent or prosperous
middle class families. The congregation, although still "highly
respectable," is not so influential in tone as it used to be. A few
years ago, six or seven county magistrates might have been seen in
the chapel on a Sunday, and they were all actual "members" of the
body; but death and other causes have reduced the number of this
class very considerably, and now not more than two are constant
worshippers. There is neither sham, shoddy, nor rant amongst them.
From one year end to another you will never hear any of them during
any of the services rush into a florid yell or reduce their
spiritual emotions to a dull groan. They abstain from everything in
the contortional and ejaculative line; quiet contemplative
intellectualism appears to reign amongst them; a dry, tranquil
thoughtfulness, pervades the body. They are eclectical, optimic,
cool; believe in taking things comfortably; never conjure up during
their devotions the olden pictures of orthodoxy; never allow their
nerves to be shattered with notions about the "devil," or the
"burning lake" in which sinners have to be tortured for ever and
ever; never hear of such things from the pulpit, wouldn't tolerate
them if they did; think that they can get on well enough without
them. They may be right or they may be very wrong; but, like all
sections of Christians, they believe their own denominational child
the best.

There are two services every Sunday in the Unitarian chapel--morning
and evening--and both are very good in one sense because both are
very short. There have been many ministers at the chapel since its
transformation into a Unitarian place of worship; but we need not
unearth musty records and name them all. Within modern memory there
have been just a trinity of ministers at the chapel--the Rev. Joseph
Ashton, an exceedingly quiet, unassuming, well learned man, who
would have taken a higher stand in the town than he did if he had
made more fuss about himself; the Rev. W. Croke Squier, who made too
much fuss, who had too big a passion for Easter-due martyrdoms and
the like, for Corn Exchange speeches, patriotic agony points, and
virtuous fighting, but who was nevertheless a sharp-headed, quick-
sighted, energetic little gentleman; and the Rev. R. J. Orr--the
present minister--who came to Preston about a year and a half since.
Mr. Orr is an Irishman, young in years, tall, cold, timid, quiet,
yet excellently educated. He is critical, seems slightly cynical,
and moves along as if he either knew nobody or didn't want to look
at anybody. There is somewhat of the student, and somewhat of the
college professor in his appearance. But he is a very sincere man;
has neither show nor fussiness in him; and practices his duties with
a strict, quiet regularity. He may have moods of mirth and high
moments of sparkling glee, but he looks as if he had never only
laughed right out about once in his life, and had repented of it

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