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´╗┐Title: Our Churches and Chapels
Author: Atticus
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Our Churches and Chapels" ***

Transcribed by Peter Moulding
p e t e r @ m o u l d i n g n a m e . i n f o
Please visit http://www.mouldingname.info




'T is pleasant through the loopholes of retreat to peep at such a

Reprinted from the Preston Chronicle.



The general satisfaction given by the following sketches when
originally printed in the Preston Chronicle, combined with a desire,
largely expressed, to see them republished, in book form, is the
principal excuse offered for the appearance of this volume. Into the
various descriptions of churches, chapels, priests, parsons,
congregations, &c., which it contains, a lively spirit, which may be
objectionable to the phlegmatic, the sad-faced, and the puritanical,
has been thrown. But the author, who can see no reason why a "man
whose blood is warm within" should "sit like his grandsire cut in
alabaster," on any occasion, has a large respect for cheerfulness,
and has endeavoured to make palatable, by a little genial humour,
what would otherwise have been a heavy enumeration of dry facts.
Those who don't care for the gay will find in these sketches the
grave; those who prefer vivacity to seriousness will meet with what
they want; those who appreciate all will discover each. The solemn
are supplied with facts; the facetious with humour; the analytical
with criticism. The work embodies a general history of each place of
worship in Preston--fuller and more reliable than any yet published;
and for reference it will be found valuable, whilst for general
reading it will be instructive. The author has done his best to be
candid and impartial. If he has failed in the attempt, he can't help
it; if he has succeeded, he is thankful. No writer can suit
everybody; and if an angel had compiled these sketches some men
would have croaked. To the generality of the Church of England,
Catholic, and Dissenting clergymen, &c., in the town, the author
tenders his warmest thanks for the generous manner they have
assisted him, and the kindly way in which they have supplied him
with information essential to the completion of the work.

Preston, Dec. 24th, 1869.


7     Parish Church
13    St. Wilfrid's Catholic Church
18    Cannon-street Independent Chapel
23    Lune-street Wesleyan Methodist Chapel
28    Fishergate Baptist Chapel
34    St. George's Church
39    St. Augustine's Catholic Church
45    Quakers' Meeting House
51    St. Peter's Church
55    New Jerusalem Church
60    Trinity Church
66    Lancaster-road Congregational Chapel
70    Saul-street Primitive Methodist Chapel
75    St. Ignatius's Catholic Church
82    Vauxhall-road Particular Baptist Chapel
88    Christ Church
94    Wesley and Moor Park Methodist Chapels
99    Presbyterian and Free Gospel Chapels
104   St. James's Church
110   The Mormons
116   St. Walburge's Catholic Church
122   Unitarian Chapel
127   All Saints Church
132   United-Methodist Free Church and Pole-street Baptist Chapel
137   Church of the English Martyrs
142   St. Saviour's Church
148   Christian Brethren and Brook-street Primitive Methodists
153   St. Thomas's Church
158   Croft-street Wesleyans & Parker-street United Methodists
164   Grimshaw-street Independent Chapel
169   St. Paul's Church
175   St. Mary's-street and Marsh End Wesleyan Chapels, and
      the Tabernacle of the Revivalists
181   St. Mary's and St. Joseph's Catholic Chapels
187   St. Mark's Church
192   Zoar Particular Baptist Chapel
196   St. Luke's Church
201   Emmanuel Church and Bairstow Memorial Chapel
207   St. Mary's Church


It is important that something should be known about our churches
and chapels; it is more important that we should be acquainted with
their parsons and priests; it is most important that we should have
a correct idea of their congregations, for they show the
consequences of each, and reflect the character and influence of
all. We have a wide field before us. The domain we enter upon is
unexplored. Our streets, with their mid-day bustle and midnight sin;
our public buildings, with their outside elaboration and inside
mysteries; our places of amusement, with their gilded fascinations
and shallow delusions; our clubs, bar parlours, prisons, cellars,
and workhouses, with their amenities, frivolities, and severities,
have all been commented upon; but the most important of our
institutions, the best, the queerest, the solemnest, the oddest--the
churches and chapels of the town--have been left out in the cold
entirely. All our public functionaries have been viewed round,
examined closely, caressed mildly, and sometimes genteely
maltreated; our parochial divinities, who preside over the fate of
the poor; our municipal Gogs and Magogs who exhibit the extreme
points of reticence and garrulity in the council chamber; our brandy
drinkers, chronic carousers, lackered swells, pushing shopkeepers,
otiose policemen, and dim-looking cab-drivers have all been
photographed, framed, and hung up to dry long ago; our workshops and
manufactories, our operatives and artisans, have likewise been duly
pictured and exhibited; the Ribble has had its praises sung in
polite literary strains; the parks have had their beauties depicted
in rhyme and blank verse; nay--but this is hardly necessary--the old
railway station, that walhallah of the gods and paragon of the five
orders of architecture, has had its delightful peculiarities set
forth; all our public places and public bodies have been thrown upon
the canvas, except those of the more serious type--except places of
worship and those belonging them. These have been neglected; nobody
has thought it worth while to give them either a special blessing or
a particular anathema.

There are about 45 churches and chapels and probably 60 parsons and
priests in Preston; but unto this hour they have been treated, so
far as they are individually concerned, with complete silence. We
purpose remedying the defect, supplying the necessary criticism, and
filling up the hiatus. The whole lot must have either something or
nothing in them, must be either useful or useless; parsons must be
either sharp or stupid, sensible or foolish; priests must be either
learned or illiterate, either good, bad, or indifferent; in all,
from the rector in his silken gown to the back street psalm-singer
in his fustian, there must be something worth praising or
condemning. And the churches and chapels, with their congregations,
must likewise present some points of beauty or ugliness, some traits
of grace or godlessness, some features of excellence, dignity,
piety, or sham. There must be either a good deal of gilded
gingerbread or a great let of the genuine article, at our places of
worship. But whether there is or there is not, we have decided to
say something about the church and the chapel, the parson and the
priest, of each district in the town. This is a mere prologue, and
we shall but hint at the general theme "on this occasion."

Churches and chapels are great institutions in the land. Nobody
knows the exact time when the first was thought of; and it has not
yet transpired when the last will be run up. But this is certain, we
are not improving much in the make of them. The Sunday sanctums and
Sabbath conventicles of today may be mere ornate, may be more
flashy, and show more symptoms of polished bedizenment in their
construction; but three-fourths of them sink into dwarflings and
mediocrities when compared with the rare old buildings of the past.
In strength and beauty, in vastness of design and skill of
workmanship, in nobility of outline and richness of detail, the
religious fabrics of these times fall into insignificance beside
their grand old predecessors; and the manner in which they are cut
up into patrician and plebeian quarters, into fashionable coteries
for the perfumed portion of humanity, and into half-starved benches
with the brand of poverty upon them for the poor, is nothing to the
credit of anybody.

All the churches and chapels of the land may profess Christianity;
but the game of the bulk has a powerful reference to money. Those
who have got the most of the current coin of the realm receive the
blandest smile from the parson, the politest nod from the beadle,
the promptest attention from that strange mixture of piety and pay
called "the chapel-keeper;" those who have not got it must take what
they can get, and accept it with Christian resignation, as St. Paul
tells them. This may be all right; we have not said yet that it is
wrong; but it looks suspicious, doesn't it?--shows that in the arena
of conventional Christianity, as in the seething maelstrom of
ordinary life, money is the winner. Our parsons and priests, like
our ecclesiastical architecture and general church management, do
not seem to have improved upon their ancestors. Priests are not as
jolly as they once were. In olden days "holy fathers" could wear
horse-hair shirts and scarify their epidermis with a finer cruelty
than their modern successors, and they could, after all that, make
the blithest songs, sing the merriest melodies, and quaff the oldest
port with an air of jocund conscientiousness, making one slyly like
them, however much inclined to dispute the correctness of their
theology. And the parsons of the past were also a blithesome set of
individuals. They were perhaps rougher than those mild and refined
gentlemen who preach now-a-days; but they were straightforward,
thorough, absolutely English, well educated, and stronger in the
brain than many of them. In each Episcopalian, Catholic, and
Dissenting community there are new some most erudite, most useful
men; but if we take the great multitude of them, and compare their
circumstances--their facilities for education, the varied channels
of usefulness they have--with those of their predecessors, it will
be found that the latter were the cleverer, often the wiser, and
always the merrier men. Plainness, erudition, blithesomeness, were
their characteristics. Aye, look at our modern men given up largely
to threnody-chiming and to polishing off tea and muffin with elderly
females, and compare them, say, for instance, with--

The poet Praed's immortal Vicar,
Who wisely wore the cleric gown,
Sound in theology and liquor;
Quite human, though a true divine,
His fellow-men he would not libel;
He gave his friends good honest wine,
And drew his doctrine from the Bible.

Institute a comparison, and then you will say that whilst modern men
may be very aesthetic and neatly dressed, the ancient apostolic
successors, though less refined, had much more metal in them, were
more kindly, genial; and told their followers to live well, to eat
well, and to mind none of the hair-splitting neological folly which
is now cracking up Christendom. In old times the Lord did not "call"
so many parsons from one church to another as it is said He does
now; in the days which have passed the bulk of subordinate parsons
did not feel a sort of conscientious hankering every three years for
an "enlarged sphere of usefulness," where the salary was
proportionately increased. We have known multitudes of parsons, in
our time, who have been "called" to places where their salaries were
increased; we know of but few who have gravitated to a church where
the salary was less than the one left. "Business" enters largely
into the conceptions of clergymen. As a rule, no teachers of
religion, except Catholic priests and Methodist ministers, leave one
place for another where less of this world's goods and chattels
predominate; and THEY are COMPELLED to do so, else the result might
be different. When a priest gets his mittimus he has to budge; it is
not a question of "he said or she said," but of--go; and when a
Wesleyan is triennially told to either look after the interests of a
fresh circuit or retire into space, he has to do so. It would be
wrong to say that lucre is at the bottom of every parsonic change;
but it is at the foundation of the great majority--eh? If it isn't,
just make an inquiry, as we have done. This may sound like a
deviation from our text--perhaps it is; but the question it refers
to is so closely associated with the subject of parsons and priests,
that we should have scarcely been doing justice to the matter if we
had not had a quiet "fling" at the money part of it. In the letters
which will follow this, we shall deal disinterestedly with all--
shall give Churchmen, Catholics, Quakers, Independents, Baptists,
Wesleyans, Ranters, and Calathumpians, fair play. Our object will be
to present a picture of things as they are, and to avoid all
meddling with creeds. People may believe what they like, so far as
we are concerned, if they behave themselves, and pay their debts. It
is utterly impossible to get all to be of the same opinion; creeds,
like faces, must differ, have differed, always will differ; and the
best plan is to let people have their own way so long as it is
consistent with the general welfare of social and civil life. It
being understood that "the milk of human kindness is within the PALE
of the Church," we shall begin there. The Parish Church of Preston
will constitute our first theme.

No. I.


It doesn't particularly matter when the building we call our Parish
Church was first erected; and, if it did, the world would have to
die of literary inanition before it got the exact date. None of the
larger sort of antiquaries agree absolutely upon the subject, and
the smaller fry go in for all sorts of figures, varying as to time
from about two years to one hundred and fifty. This may be taken as
a homoeopathic dose in respect to its history:- built about 900
years since by Catholics, and dedicated to St. Wilfrid; handed over
to Protestants by somebody, who was perhaps acting on the very
generous principle of giving other folk's property, in the 16th
century; rebuilt in 1581, and dedicated to St. John; rebuilt in
1770; enlarged, elaborated, and rejuvenised in 1853; plagued with
dry rot for a considerable time afterwards; in a pretty good state
of architectural health now; and likely to last out both this
generation and the next. It looks rather genteel and stately
outside; it has a good steeple, kept duly alive by a congregation of
traditional jackdaws; it has a capital set of bells which have put
in a good deal of overtime during the past five months, through a
pressure of election business; and in its entirety, as Baines once
remarked, the building looks like "a good ordinary Parish Church."
There is nothing either snobbish or sublime about it; and, speaking
after Josh Billings, "it's a fair even-going critter," capable of
being either pulled down or made bigger. That is about the length
and breadth of the matter, and if we had to appeal to the
commonwealth as to the correctness of our position it would be found
that the "ayes have it." We don't believe in the Parish Church; but
a good deal of people do, and why shouldn't they have their way in a
small fight as well as the rest of folk? All, except Mormons and
Fenians, who honestly believe in anything, are entitled to respect.

Our Parish Church has a good contour, and many of its exterior
architectural details are well conceived and arranged; but, like
other buildings of the same order, it has got a multiplicity of
strange hobgoblin figure-heads about it which serve no purpose
either earthly or heavenly, and which are understood by hardly one
out of five million. We could never yet make it out why those
grotesque pieces of masonry--gargoyles, we believe, they are called-
-were fixed to any place of worship. Around our Parish Church and
half-way up the steeple, there are, at almost every angle and
prominence, rudely carved monstrosities, conspicuous for nothing but
their ineffable and heathenish ugliness. Huge eyes, great mouths,
immense tooth, savage faces and distorted bodies are their prime
characteristics. The man who invented this species of ecclesiastical
decoration must have been either mad or in "the horrors." An evenly
balanced mind could never have thought of them, and why they should
he specially tacked to churches is a mystery in accordance with
neither King Solomon nor Cocker. The graveyard of our Parish Church
is, we dare say, something which very few people think of. We have
seen many such places in our time; but that in connection with our
Parish Church is about the grimmest specimen in the lot. It has a
barren, cold, dingy, unconsecrated look with it; and why it should
have we can't tell. Either ruffianism or neglect must at some time
have done a good stroke of business in it; for many of the
gravestones are cracked in two; some are nearly broken to pieces;
and a considerable number of those in the principal parts of the
yard are being gradually worn out. We see no fun, for instance, in
"paving" the entrances to the church with gravestones. Somebody
must, at some time, have paid a considerable amount of money in
getting the gravestones of their relatives smoothed and lettered;
and it could never have been intended that they should be flattened
down, close as tile work, for a promiscuous multitude of people to
walk over and efface. The back of the churchyard is in a very weary,
delapidated and melancholy state. Why can't a few shrubs and flowers
be planted in it? Why is not the ground trimmed up and made decent?
From the time when the Egyptians worshipped cats and onions down to
the present hour, religious folk have paid some special attention to
their grave spaces, and we want to see the custom kept up. Our
Parish Church yard has a sad, forsaken appearance; if it had run to
seed and ended in nothing, or had been neglected and closed up by an
army of hypochondriacs, it could not have been more gloomy, barren,
or disheartening. The ground should be looked after, and the stones
preserved as much as possible. It is a question of shoes v.
gravestones at present, and, if there is not some change of
position, the shoes will in the end win.

About the interior of our Parish Church there is nothing
particularly wonderful; it has a respectable, substantial,
reverential appearance, and that is quite as much as any church
should have. There is no emblematic ritualistic moonshine in any
part of it; we hope there never may be; we are sure there never will
be so long as the men now at the helm are in office. But let us
start at the beginning. The principal entrance is through a massive
and somewhat dimly-lighted porch, which, in its time, has
necessarily, like all church porches, been the scene of much pious
gossip, superstition, and sanctimonious scandal. It is rather a snug
place to halt in. If you stand on one side of the large octagonal
font, which is placed in the centre of the inner perch, and
patronised by about 20 of the rising race every Sunday afternoon,
you will be able to see everybody, whilst nobody can distinctly see
you. As a rule, many people are too fired, or too ill, or too idle,
to go to a place of worship on a Sunday morning, and at our Parish
Church one may plainly notice this. A certain number always put in a
regular appearance. If they did not attend the Parish Church twice a
day they would become apprehensive as to both their temporal
respectability awl spiritual welfare. They are descendants of the
old long-horned stock, and have a mighty notion of the importance of
church-going. Probably they don't care very profoundly for the
sermons; but they have got into a safe-sided, orthodox groove, and
some of them have an idea that they will be saved as much by church-
going as by faith. The members of this class have a large notion of
the respectability of their individual pews and seats. If they
belonged to a family of five hundred each, and if every one of them
had to go to Church every Sunday, they would want their respective
seats, Prayer Books, footstools, and all that sort of thing. They
don't like to see strangers rambling about, in search of a resting
place; they are particularly solemn-looking, and give symptoms of
being on the border of some catastrophe, if an unknown being shows
any disposition to enter their pews. And some of them would see a
person a good deal beyond the ether side of Jordan before they would
think of handing him a Prayer Book. We don't suppose any of them are
so precise as the old gentleman who once, when a stranger entered
his pew, doubled up the cushion, sat upon it in a two-fold state,
and intimated that ordinary beards were good enough for interlopers;
but after all there is much of the "number one" principle in the
devotion of these goodly followers of the saints, and they have been
so long at the game that a cure is impossible.

Taking the congregation of our Parish Church in the agregate it is a
fair sample of every class of human life. You have the old maid in
her unspotted, demurely-coloured moire antique, carrying a Prayer
Book belonging to a past generation; you have the ancient bachelor
with plenty of money and possessing a thorough knowledge as to the
safest way of keeping it, his great idea being that the best way of
getting to heaven is to stick to his coins, attend church every
Sunday, and take the sacrament regularly; you have the magistrate,
whose manner, if not his beard, is of formal cut; the retired
tradesman, with his domestic looking wife, and smartly-dressed
daughters, ten times finer than ever their mother was; the
manufacturer absorbed in cotton and wondering when he will be able
to do a good stroke of business on 'change again; the lawyer, who
has carried on a decent business amongst fees during the week, and
has perhaps turned up to join in the general confession; the doctor,
ready to give emphasis to that part of it which says:- "And there is
no health in us;" the pushing tradesman, who has to live by going to
church, as well as by counter work; the speculating shopkeeper, who
has a connection to make; the young finely-feathered lady, got up in
silk and velvet and carrying a chignon sufficient to pull her
cerebellum out of joint; the dandy buttoned up to show his figure,
and heavily dosed with scent; the less developed young swell, who is
always "talking about his pa and his ma," and has only just begun to
have his hair parted down the middle; the broken down middle-aged
man who was once in a good position, but who years since went all in
a piece to pot; the snuff-loving old woman who curtsies before fine
folk, who has always a long tale to tell about her sorrows, and who
is periodically consoled by a "trifle;" the working man who is
rather a scarce article, except upon special occasions; and the
representative of the poorest class, living somewhere in that venal
slum of slime and misery behind the church. A considerable number of
those floating beings called "strags" attend the Parish Church. They
go to no place regularly; they gravitate at intervals to the church,
mainly on the ground that their fathers and mothers used to go
there, and because they were christened there; but they belong a
cunning race; they can scent the battle from afar, and they
generally keep about three-quarters of a mile from the Parish Church
when a collection has to be made. To the ordinary attendants,
collections do not operate as deterrents; but to the "strags" they
are frighteners. "What's the reason there are so few people here?"
we said one day to the beadle, and that most potent, grave, and
reverend seignior replied, with a Rogersonian sparkle in his rolling
eye, "There's a collection and the 'strags' won't take the bait." It
is the same more or less at every place of worship; and to tell the
truth, there's a sort of instinctive dislike of collections in
everybody's composition.

The congregation of our Parish Church is tolerably numerous, and
embraces many fine human specimens. Money and fashion are well
represented at it; and as Zadkiel and the author of Pogmoor Almanac
say those powers have to rule for a long time, we may take it for
granted that the Parish Church will yet outlive many of the minor
raving academies in which they are absent. There is touch more
generalisation than there used to be as to the sittings in our
Parish Church; but "birds of a feather flock together" still. The
rich know their quarters; exquisite gentlemen and smart young ladies
with morrocco-bound gilt-edged Prayer Books still cluster in special
sections; and although it is said that the poor have the best part
of the church allotted to them, the conspicuousness of its position
gives a brand to it neither healthy nor pleasant. They are seated
down the centre aisle; but the place is too demonstrative of their
poverty. If half the seats were empty, situated excellently though
they may be, you wouldn't catch any respectable weasle asleep on
them. If some doctor, or magistrate, or private bib-and-tucker lady
had to anchor here, supposing there were any spare place in any
other part of the house, there would be a good deal of quizzing and
wonderment afloat. If you don't believe it put on a highly refined
dress and try the experiment; and if you are not very specially
spotted we wild give a fifty dollar greenback on behalf of the
society for converting missionary eaters in Chillingowullabadorie.
We shall say nothing with regard to the ordinary service of the
Parish Church, except this, that it would look better of three
fourths of the congregation if they would not leave the responses to
a paid choir. "Lor, bless yer," as Betsy Jane Ward would say, a
choir will sing, anything put before them if it is set to music; and
they think no more of getting through all that sad business about
personal sinfulness, agonising repentance, and a general craving for
forgiveness, than the odd woman did when she used to kiss her cow
and say it was delicious. There was once a period when all Parish
Church goers made open confession joined audibly in the prayers, and
said "Amen" as if they meant it; although we are doubtful about even
that. Now, the choir does all the work, and the congregation are
left behind the distance post to think about the matter. But if it
suits the people it's quite right.

There are three parsons at our Parish Church--Canon Parr, who is the
seventeenth vicar in a regular line of succession since the
Reformation and two curates. As to the curates we shall say nothing
beyond this, that one has got a better situation and is going to it,
and that the other would like one if he could get it--not that the
present is at all bad, only that there are others better. We don't
know how many curates there have been at the Parish Church since the
Reformation; but it, may be safely said that in their turn they
have, as a rule, accepted with calm and Christian resignation better
paid places when they had a fair opportunity of getting them. We are
not going to say very much about Cannon Parr, and let nobody suppose
that we shall make an effort to tear a passion to tatters regarding
any of his peculiarities. Canon Parr is an easy-going, genial,
educated man kindly disposed towards good living, not blessed with
over much money, fond of wearing a billycock, and strongly in love
with a cloak. He has seen much of the world, is shrewd, has a long
head, has both studied and travelled for his learning, and is the
smartest man Preston Protestants could have to defend their cause.
But he has a certain amount of narrowness in his mental vision, and,
like the bulk of parsons, can see his own way best. He has a strong
temper within him, and he can redden up beautifully all over when
his equanimity is disturbed. If you tread upon his ecclesiastical
bunions he will give you either a dark mooner or an eye opener--we
use these classical terms in a figurative sense. He will keep quiet
so long as you do; but if you make an antagonistic move be will
punish you if possible. He can wield a clever pen; his style is
cogent, scholarly, and, unless overburdened with temper, dignified.
He can fling the shafts of satire or distil the balm of pathos; can
be bitter, saucy, and aggravating; can say a hard thing in a cutting
style; and if he does not go to the bone it's no fault of his. He
can also tone down his language to a point of elegance and
tenderness; can express a good thing excellently, and utter a fine
sentiment well. His speaking is modelled after a good style; but it
is inferior to his writing. In the pulpit he expresses himself
easily, often fervently, never rantingly. The pulpit of the Parish
Church will stand for ever before he upsets it, and he will never
approach that altitude of polemical phrenitis which will induce him
to smash any part of it. His pulpit language is invariably well
chosen; some of his subjects may be rather commonplace or
inappropriate, but the words thrown into their exposition are up to
the mark. He seldom falters; he has never above one, "and now,
finally, brethren," in his concluding remarks; he invariably gives
over when he has done--a plan which John Wesley once said many
parsons neglected to observe; and his congregation, whether they
have been awake or fast asleep, generally go away satisfied. Canon
Parr has been at our Parish Church nine and twenty years, and
although we don't subscribe to his ecclesiastical creed, we believe
he has done good in his time. He is largely respected; he would have
been more respected if he had been less exacting towards Dissenters,
and less violent in his hatred of Catholics. Neither his Church-rate
nor Easter Due escapade improved his position; and some of his
fierce anti-Popery denunciations did not increase his circle of
friends. But these things have gone by, and let them be forgotten.
In private life Canon Parr is essentially social:  he can tell a
good tale, is full of humour; he knows a few things as well as the
rest of men, and is charitably disposed--indeed he is too
sympathetic and this causes hint to be pestered with rubbishy tales
from all sorts of individuals, and sometimes to act upon them as if
they were true. As a Protestant vicar--and, remembering that no
angels have yet been born in this country, that everybody is
somewhat imperfect, and that folk will differ--we look upon Canon
Parr as above the average. He has said extravagant and unreasonable
things in his time; but he has rare properties, qualities of sense
and erudition, which are strangers to many pretentious men in his
line of business; and, on the whole, he may be legitimately set
down, in the language of the "gods," as "O.K."

No. II.


It was at one time of the day a rather dangerous sort of thing for a
man, or a woman, or a medium-sized infant, living in this highly-
favoured land of ours, to show any special liking for Roman
Catholicism. But the days of religious bruising have perished; and
Catholics are now, in the main, considered to be human as well as
other people, and to have a right to live, and put their Sunday
clothes on, and go to their own places of worship like the rest of
mortals. No doubt there are a few distempered adherents of the
"immortal William" school who would like to see Catholics driven
into a corner, banished, or squeezed into nothing; probably there
are some of the highly sublimated "no surrender" gentlemen who would
be considerably pleased if they could galvanise the old penal code
and put a barrel able to play the air of "Boyne Water" into every
street organ; but the great mass of men have learned to be tolerant,
and have come to the conclusion that Catholics, civilly and
religiously, are entitled to all the liberty which a free and
enlightened constitution can confer--to all the privileges which
fair-play and even-handed justice call give; and if these are not
fully granted now, the day is coming when they will be possessed.
Lancashire seems to be the great centre of Catholicism in England,
and Preston appears to be its centre in Lancashire. This benign town
of Preston, with its fervent galaxy of lecturing curates, and its
noble army of high falutin' incumbents, is the very fulcrum and
lever of northern Romanism. If Catholics are wrong and on the way to
perdition and blisters there are 33,000 of them here moving in that
very awkward direction at the present. A number so large, whether
right or wrong cannot he despised; a body so great, whether good or
evil, will, by its sheer inherent force, persist in living, moving,
and having, a fair share of being. You can't evaporate 33,000 of
anything in a hurry; and you could no more put a nightcap upon the
Catholics of Preston than you could blacken up the eye of the sun.
That stout old Vatican gentleman who storms this fast world of ours
periodically with his encyclicals, and who is known by the name of
Pius IX., must, if he knows anything of England, know something of
Preston; and if he knows anything of it he will have long since
learned that wherever the faith over which he presides may be going
down the hill, it is at least in Preston "as well as can be
expected," and likely, for a period longer than be will live, to
bloom and flourish.

Our text is--St. Wilfrid's Catholic Church, Preston. This place of
worship is situated in a somewhat sanctified place--Chapel-street;
but as about half of that locality is taken up with lawyers'
offices, and the centre of it by a police station, we fancy that
this world, rather than the next, will occupy the bulk of its
attention. It is to be hoped that St. Wilfrid's, which stands on the
opposite side, will act as a healthy counterpoise--will, at any
rate, maintain its own against such formidable odds. The building in
Chapel-street, dedicated to the old Angle-Saxon bishop--St. Wilfrid-
-who was a combative sort of soul, fond of argumentatively knocking
down obstreperous kings and ecclesiastics and breaking up the
strongholds of paganism--was opened seventy-six years ago. It
signifies little how it looked then. Today it has a large
appearance. There is nothing worth either laughing or crying about
so far as its exterior goes. It doesn't look like a church; it
resembles not a chapel; and it seems too big for a house. There is
no effort at architectural elaboration in its outer arrangements. It
is plain, strong, large; and like big feet or leathern shirts has
evidently been made more for use than ornament. But this style of
phraseology only refers to the extrinsic part. Inside, the church
has a vast, ornate, and magnificent appearance. No place of worship
in Preston is so finely decorated, so skilfully painted, so
artistically got up. In the world of business there is nothing like
leather; in the arena of religion there seems to be nothing like
paint. Every church in the country makes an effort to get deeply
into the region of paint; they will have it upon either windows,
walls, or ceilings. It is true that Dissenters do not dive
profoundly into the coloured abyss; but weakness of funds combined
with defective aesthetic cultivation may have something to do with
their deficiency in this respect. Those who have had the management
and support of St. Wilfrid's in their hands, have studied the theory
of colour to perfection, and whilst we may not theologically agree
with some of its uses, one cannot but admire its general effect.
Saints, angels, rings, squares, floriations, spiralizations, and
everything which the brain or the brush of the most devoted painter
could fairly devise are depicted in this church, and there is such
an array of them that one wonders how anybody could ever have had
the time or patience to finish the work.

The high altar which occupies the southern end is, in its way,
something very fine. A magnificent picture of the crucifixion
occupies the back ground; flowers and candles, in numbers sufficient
to appal the stoutest Evangelical and turn to blue ruin such men as
the editor of the "Bulwark" are elevated in front; over all, as well
as collaterally, there are inscriptions in Latin; designs in gold
and azure and vermilion fill up the details; and on each side there
is a confessional wherein all members, whether large or diminutive,
whether dressed in corduroy or smoothest, blackest broad cloth, in
silk or Surat cotton, must unravel the sins they have committed.
This confession must be a hard sort of job, we know, for some
people; but we are not going to enter upon a discussion of its
merits or demerits. Only this may be said, that if there was full
confession at every place of worship in Preston the parsons would
never get through their work. Every day, from an early hour in the
morning until a late period of the evening, St. Wilfrid's is open to
worshippers; and you may see them, some with smiling faces, and some
with very elongated ones, going to or coming from it constantly.
Like Tennyson's stream, they evince symptoms of constant movement
and the only conclusion we can fairly come to is that the mass of
them are singularly in earnest. There are not many Protestants--
neither Church people, nor Dissenters, neither quiescent Quakers nor
Revivalist dervishes--who would be inclined to go to their religious
exercises before breakfast, and if they did, some of them, like the
old woman who partook of Sacrament in Minnesota, would want to know
what they were going to "get" for it. On Sundays, as on week days,
the same business--laborious as it looks to outsiders--goes on.
There are several services, and they are arranged for every class--
for those who must attend early, for those who can't, for those who
won't, and for those who stir when the afflatus is upon them. There
are many, however, who are regular attendants, soon and late, and if
precision and continuity will assist them in getting to heaven, they
possess those auxiliaries in abundance.

The congregation attending on a Sunday is a mixed one--rags and
satins, moleskins and patent kids, are all duly represented; and it
is quite a study to see their wearers put in an appearance. Directly
after entrance reverential genuflections and holy-water dipping are
indulged in. Some of the congregation do the business gracefully;
others get through it like the very grandfather of awkwardness. The
Irish, who often come first and sit last, are solemnly whimsical in
their movements. The women dip fast and curtsy briskly; the men turn
their hands in and out as if prehensile mysticism was a saving
thing, and bow less rapidly but more angularly than the females;
then you have the slender young lady who knows what deportment and
reverence mean; who dips quietly, and makes a partial descent
gracefully; the servant girl who goes through the preliminary
somewhat roughly but very earnestly; the smart young fellow, who
dips with his gloves on--a "rather lazy kind of thing," as the
cobbler remarked when he said his prayers in bed--and gives a sort
of half and half nod, as if the whole bend were below his dignity;
the business man, who goes into the water and the bowing in a
matter-of-fact style, who gets through the ceremony soon but well,
and moves on for the next comer; the youth, who touches the water in
a come-and-go style, and makes a bow on a similar principle; the
aged worshipper, who takes kindly but slowly to the hallowed liquid,
and goes nearly upon his knees in the fulness of his reverence; and
towards the last you have about six Sisters of Mercy, belonging St.
Wilfrid's convent, who pass through the formality in a calm, easy,
finished manner, and then hurry along, some with veils down and
others with veils up, to a side sitting they have. There is no
religious shoddy amongst these persons. They may look solemn, yet
some of them have finely moulded features; they may dress strangely
and gloomily, yet, if you converse with them, they will always give
indications of serener spirits. Whether their profession be right or
wrong, this is certain:  they keep one of the best schools in the
town, and they teach children manners--a thing which many parents
can't manage. They also make themselves useful in visiting; they
have a certain respect for faith, but more for good works; and if
other folk in Christendom held similar views on this point the good
done would in the end be greater. All these Sisters of Mercy are
accomplished--they are clever in the head, know how to play music,
to paint, and to sew; can cook well if they like; and it's a pity
they are not married. But they are doing more good single than lots
of women are accomplishing in the married state, and we had better
let them alone. Its dangerous to either command or advise the
gentler sex, and as everything finds its own level by having its own
way they will, we suppose, in the end.

One of the most noticeable features in connection with the services
at St. Wilfrid's is the music. It is proverbial that Catholics have
good music. You won't find any of the drawling, face-pulling,
rubbishy melodies worked up to a point of agony in some places of
worship countenanced in the Catholic Church. All is classical--all
from the best masters. There is an enchantment in the music which
binds you--makes you like it whether you will or not. At St.
Wilfrid's there is a choir which can't be excelled by any provincial
body of singers in the kingdom. The learned individual who blows the
organ may say that the comparative perfection attained in the
orchestra is through the very consummate manner in which he "raises
the wind"; the gentleman who manipulates upon its keys may think he
is the primum mobile in the matter; the soprano may fancy she is the
life of the whole concern; the heavy bass or the chief tenor may
respectively lay claim to the honour; but the fact is, its amongst
the lot, so that there may be a general rubbing on the question of
service, and a reciprocal scratching on the point of ability.

There are several priests at St. Wilfrid's; they are all Jesuits to
the marrow; and the chief of them is the Rev. Father Cobb. Each of
them is clever--far cleverer than many of the half-feathered curates
and full-fledged incumbents who are constantly bringing railing
accusations against them; and they work harder--get up sooner, go to
bed later--than the whole of them. They jump at midnight if their
services are required by either a wild Irishman in Canal-street or a
gentleman of the first water in any of our mansions. It is not a
question of cloth but of souls with them. They are afraid of neither
plague, pestilence, nor famine; they administer spiritual
consolation under silken hangings, as well as upon straw lairs; in
the fever stricken garret as well as in the gilded chamber. Neither
the nature of a man's position nor the character of his disease
enters into their considerations. Duty is the star of their
programme; action the object of their lives. They receive no
salaries; their simple necessaries are alone provided for. Some of
them perhaps get half-a-crown a month as pocket money; but that will
neither kill nor cure a man. Sevenpence halfpenny per week is a big
sum--isn't it?--big enough for a Jesuit priest, but calculated to
disturb the Christian balance of any other class of clergymen. If it
isn't, try them.

In reference to the priests of St. Wilfrid's, we shall only
specially mention, and that briefly, the Rev. Father Cobb. No man in
Preston cares less for fine clothes than he does. We once did see
him with a new suit on; but neither before nor since that ever-
memorable day, have we noticed him in anything more ethereal than a
plain well-worn coat, waistcoat, and pair of trousers. He might have
a finer exterior; but he cares not for this kind of bauble. He knows
that trappings make neither the man nor the Christian, and that
elaborate suits are often the synonym of elaborate foolery. He takes
a pleasure in work; is happy inaction; and hates both clerical and
secular indifference. Priests, he thinks, ought to do their duty,
and men of the world ought to discharge theirs. In education, Father
Cobb is far above the ordinary run of men. He has a great natural
capacity, which has been well regulated by study; he is shrewd; has
a strong intuitive sense; can't be got over; won't be beaten out of
the field if you once get him into it; and is sure to either win or
make you believe that he has. Like all strong Catholics he has much
veneration--that "organ," speaking in the vernacular of phrenology,
is at the top of the head, and you never yet saw a thorough Catholic
who did not manifest a good development of it; he is strong in
ideality; has also a fine, vein of humour in him; can laugh, say
jolly as well as serious things; and is a positively earnest and
practical preacher. He speaks right out to his hearers; hits them
hard in reference to both this world and the next; tells them "what
to eat, drink, and avoid;" says that if they get drunk they must
drop it off, that if they stuff and gormandise they will be a long
while before reaching the kingdom of heaven; that they must avoid
dishonesty, falsehood, impurity, and other delinquencies; and,
furthermore, intimates that they won't get to any of the saints they
have a particular liking for by a round of simple religious
formality--that they must be good, do good, and behave themselves
decently, individually and collectively. We have never heard a more
practical preacher:  he will tell young women what sort of husbands
to get, young men what kind of wives to choose, married folk how to
conduct themselves, and old maids and bachelors how to reconcile
themselves virtuously to their fate. There is no half-and-half ring
in the metal he moulds:  it comes out clear, sounds well, and goes
right home. In delivery he is eloquent; in action rather brisk; and
he weighs--one may as well come down from the sublime to the
ridiculous--about thirteen stones. He is a jolly, hearty, earnest,
devoted priest; is cogent in argument; homely in illustration;
tireless in work; determined to do his duty; and, if we were a
Catholic, we should be inclined to fight for him if any one stepped
upon his toes, or said a foul word about him. Here endeth our
"epistle to the Romans."

No. III.


Forty-four years ago the Ebenezer of a few believers in the "Bird-
of-Freedom" school, with a spice of breezy religious courage in
their composition, was raised at the bottom of Cannon-street, in
Preston; and to this day it abideth there. Why it was elevated at
that particular period of the world's history we cannot say. Neither
does it signify. It may have been that the spirit of an
irrepressible Brown, older than the Harper's Ferry gentleman, was
"marching on" at an extra speed just then; for let it be known to
all and singular that it was one of the universal Brown family who
founded the general sect. Or it may have been that certain
Prestonians, with a lingering touch of the "Scot's wha ha'e"
material in their blood, gave a solemn twist to the line in Burns's
epistle, and decided to go in

--for the glorious privilege
Of being Independent.

Be that as it may, it is clear that in 1825 the Independents planted
a chapel in Cannon-street. Places of worship like everything else,
good or evil, grow in these latter days, and so has Cannon-street
chapel. In 1852 its supporters set at naught the laws of Banting,
and made the place bigger. It was approaching a state of solemn
tightness, and for the consolation of the saints, the ease of the
fidgety, and the general blissfulness of the neighbourhood it was
expanded. Cannon-street Chapel has neither a bell, nor a steeple,
nor an outside clock, and it has never yet said that it was any
worse off for their absence. But it may do, for chapels like
churches are getting proud things now-a-days, and they believe in
both lacker and gilt. There is something substantial and respectable
about the building. It is neither gaudy nor paltry; neither too good
nor too bad looking. Nobody will ever die in a state of
architectural ecstacy through gazing upon it; and not one out of a
battalion of cynics will say that it is too ornamental. It is one of
those well-finished, middle-class looking establishments, about
which you can't say much any way; and if you could, nobody would be
either madder or wiser for the exposition. Usually the only
noticeable feature about the front of it--and that is generally the
place where one looks for the virtues or vices of a thing--is a
series of caged-up boards, announcing homilies, and tea parties, and
collections all over the north Lancashire portion of Congregational
Christendom. It is to be hoped that the sermons are not too dry,
that the tea saturnalias are neither too hot nor too wet, and that
the collections have more sixpenny than threepenny pieces in them.

The interior of Cannon-street Chapel has a spacious and somewhat
genteel appearance. A practical business air pervades it. There is
no "storied window," scarcely any "dim religious light," and not a
morsel of extra colouring in the whole establishment. At this place,
the worshippers have an idea that they are going to get to heaven in
a plain way, and if they succeed, all the better--we were going to
say that they would be so much the more into pocket by it. Freedom
of thought, sincerity of heart, and going as straight to the point
as possible, is what they aim at. There are many seats in Cannon-
street Chapel, and, as it is said that hardly any of them are to
let, the reverend gentleman who makes a stipulated descent upon the
pew rents ought to be happy. It is but seldom the pews are well
filled:  they are not even crammed on collection Sundays; but they
are paid for, and if a congenial wrinkle does not lurk in that fact-
-for the minister--he will find neither the balm of Gilead nor a
doctor anywhere. The clerical notion is, that pew rents, as well as
texts; must be stuck to; and if those who pay and listen quietly
acquiesce, then it becomes a simple question of "so mote it be" for

The congregation at Cannon-street Chapel is made up of tolerably
respectable materials. It is no common Dissenting rendezvous for
ill-clad screamers and roaring enthusiasts. Neither fanatics nor
ejaculators find an abiding place in it. Not many poor people join
the charmed circle. A middle-class, shopkeeping halo largely
environs the assemblage. There is a good deal of pride, vanity,
scent, and silk-rustling astir in it every Sunday, just as there is
in every sacred throng; and the oriental, theory of caste is not
altogether ignored. The ordinary elements of every Christian
congregation are necessarily visible here--backsliders and newly-
caught communicants; ancient women duly converted and moderately
fond of tea, snuff, and charity; people who cough continually, and
will do so in their graves if not closely watched; parties, with the
Fates against them, who fly off periodically into fainting fits;
contented individuals, whose gastric juice flows evenly, who can
sleep through the most impassioned sermon with the utmost serenity;
weather-beaten orthodox souls who have been recipients of ever so
much daily grace for half a life time, and fancy they are
particularly near paradise; lofty and isolated beings who have a
fixed notion that they are quite as respectable if not as pious as
other people; easy-going well-dressed creatures "whose life glides
away in a mild and amiable conflict between the claims of piety and
good breeding."

But the bulk are of a substantial, medium-going description--
practical, sharp, respectable, and naturally inclined towards a
free, well got up, reasonable theology. There is nothing inflamed in
them--nothing indicative of either a very thick or very thin skin.
Any of them will lend you a hymn book, and whilst none of them may
be inclined to pay your regular pew rent, the bulk will have no
objection to find you an occasional seat, and take care of you if
there would be any swooning in your programme. Clear-headed and full
of business, they believe with Binney in making the best of both
worlds. They will never give up this for the next, nor the next for
this. Into their curriculum there enters, as the American preacher
hath it, a sensible regard for piety and pickles, flour and
affection, the means of grace and good profits, crackers and faith,
sincerity and onions, benevolence, cheese, integrity, potatoes, and
wisdom--all remarkably good in their way, and calculated, when well
shaken up and applied, to Christianise anybody. The genteel portion
of the congregation principally locate themselves in the side seats
running from one end of the chapel to the other; the every day
mortals find a resting place in the centre and the galleries; the
poorer portion are pushed frontwards below, where they have an
excellent opportunity of inspecting the pulpit, of singing like
nightingales, of listening to every articulation of the preacher,
and of falling into a state of coma if they are that way disposed.

The music at this place of worship has been considerably improved
during recent times; but it is nothing very amazing yet. There is a
curtain amount of cadence, along with a fair share of power, in the
orchestral outbursts; the pieces the choir have off go well; those
they are new at rather hang fire; but we shall not parry with either
the conductor or the members on this point. They all manifest a
fairly-defined devotional feeling in their melody; turn their visual
faculties in harmony with the words:  expand and contract their
pulmonary processes with precision and if they mean what they sing,
they deserve better salaries than they usually get. They are aided
by an organ which is played well, and, we hope, paid for.

The minister of Cannon-street chapel is the Rev. H. J. Martyn, who
has had a good stay with "the brethren," considering that their
fighting weight is pretty heavy, and that some of them were made to
"have their way." Frequently Independents are in hot water
concerning their pastors. In Preston they are very exemplary in this
respect. The Grimshaw street folk have had a storm in a tea pot with
one of their ministers; so have the Lancaster-road Christians; and
so have the Cannon-street believers; and the beauty of it is, they
generally win. Born to have their own way in sacred matters, they
can turn off a parson, if they can't defeat him in argument. And
that is a great thing. They hold the purse strings; and no parson
can live unless he has a "call" to some other "vineyard," if they
are closed against him. On the whole, the present minister of
Cannon-street Chapel has got on pretty evenly with his flock. He has
had odd skirmishes in his spiritual fold; and will have if he stays
in it for ever; but the sheep have a very fair respect for the
shepherd, and can "paint the lily" gracefully. A while since they
gave him leave of absence--paying his salary, of course, whilst
away--and on his return some of them got up a tea party on his
behalf and made him a presentation. There might be party spirit or
there might be absolute generosity in such a move; but the parson
was no loser--he enjoyed the out, and accepted with Christian
fortitude the gift. The Rev. H. J. Martyn is a small gentleman--
considerably below the average of parsons in physical proportion;
but he consoles himself with the thought that he is all right in
quality, if not in quantity. Diminutive men have generally very fair
notions of themselves; small men as a rule are smarter than those of
the bulky and adipose school; and, harmonising with this regulation,
Mr. Martyn is both sharp and kindly disposed towards himself. He is
not of opinion, like one of his predecessors, that he assisted at
the creation of the world, and that the endurance of Christianity
depends upon his clerical pivot; but he believes that he has a
"mission," and that on the whole he is quite as good as the majority
of Congregational divines. There is nothing pretentious in his
appearance; nothing ecclesiastical in his general framework; and in
the street he looks almost as much like anybody else as like a
parson. The education of Mr. Martyn is equal to that of the average
of Dissenting ministers, and better than that of several. He is,
however, more of a reader than a thinker, and more of a speaker than
either. On the platform he can make as big a stir as men twice his
size. His delivery is moderately even; his words clear; and he can
throw a good dash of imagination into his language. In the pulpit,
to the foot of which place he is led every Sunday, by certain sacred
diaconal lamas, who previously "rub him down" and saddle him for
action, in a contiguous apartment--in the pulpit, we say, he
operates in a superior style, and he looks better there--more like a
parson--than anywhere else. He is here above the ordinary level of
his hearers; if it were not for the galleries, minute as may be his
physiology, he would be the loftiest being present; and if he wishes
to "keep up appearances," we would advise him to remain in the
pulpit and have his meals there. Casting joking overboard--out of
the pulpit if you like--it may be said that Mr. Martyn as a preacher
has many fair qualities. It is true he has defects; but who has
not?--unless it be a deacon;--still there is something in his style
which indicates earnestness, something in his language,
demonstrative of culture and eloquence. His main pulpit fault is
that he "goes off" too soon and too frequently. In the course of a
sermon he will give you three or four perorations, and sometimes
wind up without treating you to one. There is nothing very
metaphysical in his subjects; sometimes he wanders slightly into
space; occasionally he exhausts himself in fighting out the
mysteries of faith, and grace, and justification; but in the
ordinary run of his talk you can get good pictures of practical
matters. He is a lover of nature, is fond of talking about the
sublime and the beautiful, conjointly with other things freely named
in Burke's essay, can pile up the agony with a good deal of ability,
and split the ears of the groundlings as the occasion requires. He
can get into a white heat quickly, or blow his solemn anger
gradually--wind it up by degrees, and make it burst at a given point
of feeling. He is a better declaimer than reasoner--has a stronger
flow of imagination than logic. There is nothing bitter or mocking
in his tone. He seldom flings the shafts of ridicule or irony. He
constructs calmly, and then sends up the rocket:  he draws you
slowly to a certain point, and then tells you to look out for "it's
coming." His apparatus is well fixed; he can give you any kind of
dissolving view. His ecstacies are rapid and, therefore, soon over.
The level places in his sermons are rather heavy, and, at times,
uninteresting. It is only when the thermometer is rising that you
enjoy him, and only when he reaches the climax and explodes, that
you fall back and ask for water and a fan. Taking him in the
aggregate we are of opinion that he is a good preacher; that he goes
through his ordinary duties easily and complacently. He gets well
paid for what be does--last year his salary exceeded 340 pounds; and
our advice to him is--keep on good terms with the bulk of "the
brethren," hammer as much piety into them as possible, tickle the
deacons into a genial humour, and look regularly after the pew-

No. IV.


Wesleyan Methodism first breathed and opened its eyes in or about
the year 1729. It was nursed in its infancy at Oxford by two rare
brothers and a few students; was christened at the same place by a
keenly-observing, slightly-satirical collegian; developed itself
gradually through the country; took charge of the neglected masses
and gave them a new life; and today it is one of the great religious
forces of the world. The first Wesleyan chapel in Preston was built
in the year 1787, and its situation was in that consecrated and
highly aromatic region of the town called Back-lane. There was
nothing very prepossessing or polished, nothing particularly
fashionable or attractive about the profession of Methodism in those
days. It was rather an indication of honest fanaticism than of
deliberate reasoning--rather a sign of being solemnly "on the
rampage" than of giving way to careful conviction--and more
symptomatic of a sharp virtuous rant, got up in a crack and to be
played out in five minutes, than of a judicious move in the
direction of permanent good. The orthodox looked down with a genteel
contempt upon the preachers whose religion had converted Kingswood
colliers, and turned Cornwall wreckers into honest men; and the
formally pious spoke of the worshippers at this new shrine of faith
with a serene sneer, and classed them as a parcel of fiercely
ejaculating, hymn-singing nonentities. But there was vitality at the
core of their creed, and its fuller triumphs were but a question of
time. In 1817, Methodism became dissatisfied with its Back-lane
quarters, and migrated into a lighter, healthier, and cleaner
portion of the town--Lune-street--where a building was erected for
its special convenience and edification. It was not a very elegant
structure:  it was, in fact, a plain, phlegmatic aggregation of
brick and mortar, calculated to charm no body externally, and
evidently patronised for absolute internal rapture.

In 1861 the chapel was rebuilt--enlarged, beautified, and made fine,
so as to harmonise with the laws of modern fashion, and afford easy
sitting room for the large and increasing congregation attending it.
The frontispiece is of a costly character; but it has really been
"born to blush unseen." It is so tightly wedged in between other
buildings, is so evenly crammed into companionship with the ordinary
masonry of the street, that the general effect of the tall arch and
spacious porch is lost. Nothing can be distinctly seen at even a
moderate distance. You have to get to the place before you become
clearly aware of its existence; and if you wish to know anything of
its appearance, you have either to turn the head violently off its
regular axis, or cross the street and ask somebody for a step
ladder. The facade of the building is not very prepossessing; the
large arch, which has given way at some of the joints considerably,
and has been doing its best to fall for about six years, does not
look well--it is too high and too big for the place; the stonework
within is also hid; and the whitewashed ceiling above ought to be
either cleaned or made properly black. At present it is neither
light nor dark, and is rather awkwardly relieved at intervals with
cobwebs. There is something humorous and incongruous in the physical
associations of this chapel. It is flanked with a doctor's shop and
a money-lending establishment; with a savings bank and a solicitor's
office. The bank nestles very complacently under its lower wing, and
in the ratio of its size is a much better looking building. The text
regarding the deposit of treasure in that place where neither moth
nor rust operate may be well worked in the chapel; but it is rather
at a discount in the immediate neighbourhood.

A great work in the business of spreading Wesleyan Methodism has
been done by the people and parsons of Lune-street chapel. We know
of no place in the town whose religious influence has been more
actively radiated. Its power, a few years ago, spread into the
northern part of the town, and the result was a new chapel with
excellent schools there; it then moved eastward, and the consequence
was a school chapel in St. Mary-street. In Croft-street, Canal-
street, and on the Marsh, it has also outposts, whose officers are
fighting the good fight with lung, and head, and heart, in a
sprightly and vigorous fashion. Originally, what is termed the
"circuit" of Lune-street embraced places 18 or 20 miles from
Preston; but the area of the sacred circumbendibus was subsequently
reduced; and its servants now find that they have as much on hand as
they can fairly get through by looking after half of the town and a
few of the contiguous villages. There are none of those solemn
milkmen called deacons in connection with Wesleyanism; still, there
are plenty of medicine men, up; up the ears in grace and business,
belonging it. At Lune-street Chapel, as at all similar places, there
are class-leaders, circuit stewards, chapel stewards, and smaller
divinities, who find a niche in the general pantheon of duty. The
cynosure of the inner circle is personal piety, combined with a
"penny a week and a shilling a quarter." All members who can pay
this have to do so.

Beneath the chapel there is a Sunday school, which operates as a
feeder. When the scholars--there are 500 or 600 of them altogether--
show certain symptoms of inherent rectitude and facial exactness,
when they answer particular questions correctly and pass through the
crucial stages of probation consistently, they are drafted into "the
church," and presented with licences of perennial happiness if they
choose to exercise them. The school is well supervised, and if some
of the teachers are as useful and consoling at home as they are in
their classes their general relatives will be blissful.

The congregation of Lune-street Chapel is moderately numerous; but
it has been materially thinned at intervals by the establishment of
other Wesleyan chapels. In its circuit there are now between 800 and
900 persons known as members, who are going on their way rejoicing;
at the chapel itself there are between 300 and 400 individuals
similarly situated. Viewed in the aggregate, the congregation is of
a middle class character both in regard to the colour of the hair
and the clothes worn. There are some exceedingly poor people at the
place, but the mass appear to be individuals not particularly
hampered in making provision for their general meals. Lune-street
chapel is the fashionable Wesleyan tabernacle of Preston; the better
end of those whose minds have been touched, through either tradition
or actual conviction, with the beauties of Methodism, frequent it.
There is more silk than winsey, more cloth than hodden grey, and a
good deal more false hair and artificial teeth in the building on a
Sunday than can be found by fair searching at any other Wesleyan
chapel in the town. A sincere desire to "flee from the wrath to come
and be saved from their sins"--the only condition which John Wesley
insisted upon for admission into his societies--does not prevent
some of the members from attending determinedly to the bedizenments,
conceits, and spangles of this very wicked speck in the planetary

In the congregation there are many most excellent, hardworking,
thoroughly sincere men and women, who would be both useful and
ornamental to any body of Christians under the sun; but there are in
addition, as there are in every building set apart for the purposes
of piety, several who have "more frill than shirt," and much "more
cry than wool" about them--rectified, beautifully self-righteous,
children who would "sugar over" a very ugly personage ten hours out
of the twelve every day, and then at night thank the Lord for all
his mercies. In Lune-street Chapel faction used to run high and
wilfulness was a gem which many of the members wore very near their
hearts; but much of the old feudal spirit of party fighting has died
out, and there are signs of pious resignation and loving kindness in
the flock, which would at one time have been rare jewels. A somewhat
lofty isolation is still manifested here and there; a few regular
attenders appear heavily oppressed with the idea that they are not
only as good as anybody else but much better. Still this is only
human nature and no process of convertibility to the most celestial
of substances can in this world entirely subdue it. The bruising
deacon who said that grace was a good thing, but that that knocking
down an impertinent member was a better didn't miss the bull's eye
of natural philosophy very far. The observation was not redolent of
much Christian spirit; but it evinced that which many of the saints
are troubled with--human nature.

Lune-street chapel contains standing, sitting, and sleeping room,
for about 1,400 people. The bulk who attend it take fair advantage
of the accomodation afforded for the first and second positions; a
moderate number avail themselves of the privileges held out for the
whole three postures. The chapel is not often crowded; it is
moderately filled as a rule; and there is no particular numeric
difference in the attendance at either morning or evening service on
a Sunday. The singing is neither loftily classic nor contemptibly
common-place. It is good, medium, well modulated melody, heartily
got up; and thoroughly congregational. In some places of worship it
is considered somewhat vulgar for members of the congregation to
give specimens of their vocalisation; and you can only find in out-
of-the-way side and back pews odd persons warbling a mild falsetto,
or piping an eccentric tenor, or doing a heavy bass on their own
responsibility; but at Lune-street Chapel the general members of the
congregation go into the work with a distinct determination to
either sing or make a righteous noise worthy of the occasion. They
are neither afraid nor ashamed of the job; and we hope they draw
consolation from it. The more genteel worshippers take up their
quarters mainly on the ground floor--at the back of the central
seats and at the sides. The poor have resting places found for them
immediately in front of the pulpit and at the rear of the galleries.
Very little of that unctuous spasmodic shouting, which used to
characterise Wesleyanism, is heard in Lune-street Chapel. It has
become unfashionable to bellow; it is not considered "the thing" to
ride the high horse of vehement approval and burst into luminous
showers of "Amens" and "Halleleujahs." Now and then a few
worshippers of the ancient type drop in from some country place, and
explode at intervals during the course of some impulsive prayer, or
gleeful hymn, or highly enamelled sermon. You may occasionally at
such a time, hear two or three in distant pews having a delightful
time of it. At first they only stir gently, as if some on were
mildly pinching or tickling them. Gradually they become more
audible, and as the fire of their zeal warms up, and the eloquence
of the minister enflames, they get keener, fiercer, more rapturous;
the intervals of repose are shorter, the moments of ecstacy are more
rapid and fervent; and this goes on with gathering desperation,
until the speaker reaches his--climax, and stops to either breathe
or use his handkerchief. But hardy a scintilla of this is perceived
on ordinary occasions; indeed it has become so unpopular that an
exhibition of it seems to quietly amuse--to evoke mild smiles and
dubious glances--rather than meet with reciprocity of approval. It
must be some great man in the region of Wesleyanism; some grand,
tearing, pathetic, eloquent preacher who can stir to a point of
moderate audibility the voices of the multitude of worshippers. In
Lune-street Chapel, the Ten Commandments occupy a prominent
position, and that is a good thing. It would be well if they were
fastened up in every place of worship, and better still if the
parsons referred to them more frequently.

Respecting the ministers of the chapel in question, we way say that
there are three. None of them can stay less than one, nor more than
three, years. It is a question of "Hey, presto--quick change," every
third year. The names of the triumvirate at Lune-street are, the
Rev. W. Mearns, M.A., who is the superintendent; the Rev. W. H.
Tindall, second in command; and the Rev. F. B. Swift, the general
clerical servant of all work. Mr. Mearns is a calm, rather bilious-
looking, elderly man. There is nothing bewitching in his appearance;
he looks like what he is--a quietly-disposed, evenly-tempered,
Methodist minister. He is neither fussy, nor conceited, nor fond of
brandishing the sword of superiority. He goes about his work
steadily, and is as patient in harness as out of it. He has northern
blood in his veins which checks impulsiveness and everything
approaching that solemn ferocity sometimes displayed in Methodist
pulpits. There is nothing oratorical in his style of delivery; it is
calm, slow, and has a rather soporific influence upon his hearers.
There is more practical than argumentative matter in his sermons;
but, in the aggregate, they are hard and dry--lack lustre and
passion; and this, combined with his stoical manner of delivery, has
a chilling, rather than an attractive, influence. He always speaks
in harmony with the rules of grammar. His sentences, although
uttered extemporaneously, are invariably well finished and
scholarly. His words are well chosen; they are fit in with
cultivated exactitude and polished precision. They will stand
reading; nay, they will read excellently--infinitely better than the
burning rhapsody of more phrensied and eloquent men; but they fall
with a long-drawn dulness upon the ear when first uttered, and
don't, as Sam Slick would say, "get up one's steam anyhow." Mr.
Mearns has a clear head and a good heart, but his spoken words want
power and immediate brightness, and his style is deadened for the
want of a little enthusiasm.

The Rev. Mr. Tindall comes up in a more polished, energetic, and
fashionable garb. He is eloquent, argumentative, polemical. His
literary capacity is good, and it has been well trained. He has read
much and studied keenly. His sermons are well thought out; he has
copious notes of them; and when he enters the pulpit they are made
complete for action--are fully equipped in their Sunday clothes and
ready for duty. His delivery is good; but physical weakness deprives
it of potency; and his contempt of the clock before him renders
people now and then uneasy. His manner is refined; his matter is
select; but there is something in both at times which you don't
altogether believe in digesting. A rather haughty, dictatorial ring
is sometimes noticed in them.  A large notion of the importance of
the preacher occasionally peeps up. He has a perfect right to
venerate Mr. Tindall, and if he is a little fashionable, what of
that?--isn't it fashionable to be fashionable? Only this may be
carried a little too far, even in men for whom pulpits are made and
circuits formed, and it is not always safe to let organ "15" in
phrenological charts get the upper hand. After all we admire Mr.
Tindall's erudition and eloquence. He is free from vulgarity, and in
general style miles ahead of many preachers in the same body, whose
great mission is to maltreat pulpits and turn religion into a
rhapsody of words.

The well-meaning and plodding Mr. Smith succeeds. He is a hard
worker; but there does not appear to be over much in him at present.
More thinking, and a greater experience of life, may cause him to
germinate agreeably in a few years. His style is stereotyped and
copied; there is a lack of original force in him; when he talks you
know what's coming next--you can tell five minutes off what he is
going to say, and that rather spoils the sensation of newness and
surprise which one likes to experience when parsons are either
pleasing or terrifying sinners. But Mr. Swift does his best, and,
according to Ebenezer Elliot, he does well who does that. It would
be wrong to deal harshly with a new beginner, and therefore we have
decided to check our criticism--to be brief--with Mr. Swift and
express a hope that in time he will be president of the Conference.

No. V.


The "right thing" in regard to baptism is a recondite point; but we
are not going to enter into any controversy about it. We shall say
nothing as to the defects or merits of aspersion or sprinkling,
immersion or dipping, affusion or pouring. Opinions vary respecting
each system; and one may fairly say that the words uttered in
explanation of the general theme come literally to us in the "voice
of many waters.", Jacob the patriarch was the first Baptist; the
Jews kept up the rite moderately, but had more faith in its
abstergent than spiritual influence; John turned it into an
institution of Christianity; the Primitive Church carried on the
business slowly, Turtullian kicking against and Cyprian lauding it;
in the fifth century baptism became fully established amongst all
Christian communities; then the Eastern and Western Churches
quarrelled as to whether sprinkling or immersion constituted the
proper ceremony; other small disputes concerning the modus operandi
followed; and from that time to this the adherents of each scheme
have spilled a great deal of water in piously working out their
notions. There was once a time when nobody could undergo the
ordinary process of baptism except at Easter or Whitsuntide; but
children and upgrown people can now be put through the ceremony
whenever it is considered necessary. In Preston, as elsewhere, the
majority of people think well of water when it is required by
children for engulphing or baptismal purposes; but they care little
for its use when the teens have been trotted through. It may be
right enough for the physical and religious comfort of babes and
sucklings; but its virtues recede in the ratio of development. There
are, however, some sections of men and women in the town who,
symbolically at least, have a high regard for water at any time
after the years of sense and reason have been reached.

These are the Baptists. There are four or five chapels set apart for
their improvement in Preston, and the smartest of these is in
Fishergate. In Leeming-street it was in the chrysalis state; in
Fishergate the butterfly epoch has been reached. A dull, forlorn
looking edifice, afterwards taken advantage of by the Episcopalian
party, and now cleared off to make way for St. Saviour's church,
once formed the sacred asylum of a portion of the Baptists; but a
desire for better accomodation, combined with a wish for more
fashionable quarters, induced a change. The dove was repeatedly sent
out, and dry land was finally found for the Baptists in Fishergate.
In 1858 a chapel was erected upon the spot, and thus far it has
steadfastly maintained its position. It is a handsome building,
creditable to both the architect and the congregation, and if its
tower were less top heavy, it would, in its way, be quite superb. We
never look at that solemn tower head without being reminded of some
immense quadrangular pepper castor, fit for a place in the kitchen
of the Titans. In every other respect the building is arranged
smartly; if anything it is too ornamental, and in making a general
survey one is nearly afraid of meeting with Panathenaic frieze work.
On the principle that you can't have the services of a good piper
without paying proportionately dear for them, so you can't obtain a
handsome chapel except by confronting a long bill. The elysium of
antipedobaptism in Fishergate cost the modest sum of 5,000 pounds,
and of that amount about 800 pounds remains to be paid. Considering
the greatness of the original sum, the debt is not very large; but
if it were less the congregation would be none the worse; and if it
didn't exist at all they would be somewhat nearer bliss in this
general vale of tears. Fishergate Baptist Chapel is the only
Dissenting place of worship in the town possessing an exterior
clock; and it is one of the most orderly articles in the town, for
it never strikes and has not for many months shown itself after
dark. It used to exhibit signs of activity after sunset; but it was,
considered a "burning shame" by some economists to light it up with
gas when the Town Hall clock was got into working order, and ever
since then it has been nightly kept in the dark.

Fishergate Baptist Chapel has an excellent interior, and it will
accommodate about twice as many people as patronise it. Long stately
side lights, neatly embellised with stained glass and opaque
filigree work, give it a mild solemnity which is relieved by fine
circular windows occupying the gables. The seats are arranged in the
usual three-row style, and there is a touch of neat gentility about
them indicative of good construction, whatever the parties they have
been made for are like. Fashionably-conceived gas-stands shoot up
and spread their branches at intervals down the chapel; and at the
extreme end there is a broad gallery, set apart for the singers, who
need be in no fear of breaking it down through either the weight of
their melodious metal or the specific gravity of their physique. A
new organ is much wanted, and if a few new singers were secured, or
the old ones polished up slightly, the proceedings would be more
lively and agreeable. Nearly three of the members of the choir are
really good singers; the remainder are what may be termed only
moderate. What Lune-street is to the Wesleyans, so Fishergate seems
to be to the Baptists--the centre of gravity of the more refined and
fashionable worshippers. Very few poor people visit it, and it is
thought that if they don't come of their own accord they will never
he seriously pressed on the subject. The free sittings are just
within the door, on the left hand side, and we should fancy that not
more than 25 really poor people use them. The higher order of
Christians occupy the lower portion of the same range of seats, the
central pews, and those on the right side thereof.

The congregation consists almost entirely of middle-class persons--
people who have either saved money in business or who are making a
determined effort to do so. Good clothes, quiet demeanour, and
numerical smallness are the striking characteristics. Nothing
approaching fervour ever takes possession of the general body.
Religion with them is not a termagant, revered for her sauciness and
loved for her violent evolutions. It is a reticent, even spirited,
calmly orthodox affair, whose forerunner fed on locusts and wild
honey, and whose principles are to be digested quietly. There may be
a few very boisterous sheep in the fold, who get on fire
periodically in the warmth of speaking and praying; who will express
their willingness, when the pressure is up, to do any mortal thing
for the good of "the cause;" but who will have to be caught there
and then if anything substantial has to follow. Like buckwheat cakes
and rum gruel they are best whilst hot. At a night meeting they may
be generously disposed and full of universal sympathy; but they can
sleep out their burning thoughts in a few hours, and waken up next
morning like larks, with no recollection of their gushing promises.

There is accomodation in the chapel for about 400 persons, but the
average attendance is not more than 200; and there are only about 90
"members." Not much difference between the morning and evening
attendance is noticed. The baptismal Thermophylae is generally
guarded by the sacred 90, and looked at by the fuller 200. The pew
rents are very high; but this evil is compensated for by the
comparative absence of those solemn gad flies which come in the
shape of collections. At some places of worship contribution boxes
and bags are seen floating about rapidly nearly every other Sunday,
for either home expenses or perishing Indians; but at Fishergate
Baptist Chapel incidental requirements are blended with the pew
rents; and for other purposes about two collections annually
suffice. That is all, and that ought to make attendance at such a
place rather agreeable.

The primal government of the chapel is in the hands of four deacons;
but they are not very officious like some pillars of the church:
one of them is mild and obliging, the second is wise-looking and
crotchety, the third is disposed to pious rampagiousness in his
lucid intervals, and the fourth is a kindly sort of being, with a
moderate respect for converted dancers and hallaleujah men. Some
theological writers say that there are "evangelists" as well as
deacons in connection with Baptist government. There may be some of
this class at the Fishergate Chapel; but we have not yet seen their
sacred personages. The place is highly favoured with clocks. Not
only is there a specimen of horology outside, but there is one
within, and it may be called a worldly-wise creature, for it never
gets beyond No. I in its striking. Tradition hath it that once when
there was no clock in the chapel, the preacher used to overshoot
most uncomfortably the ordinary limits of time; that the
congregation, whilst fond of sermons, did not like them stretched
too violently; and that they resolved unanimously to purchase a
clock. Probably this story is groundless; but it is a fact
nevertheless that the clock is so situated as to be only fully and
easily seen by the preacher. More than three-fourths of the people
sit with their backs directly to it. And it is furthermore a fact
that, whilst when there was no clock the usual time of deliverance
was passed, the congregation are now released with scrupulous
exactitude. They got into the open air one Sunday evening when we
were there about 16 seconds before eight, and the preacher had
abandoned the pulpit by the time the Town Hall clock gave its
opinion on the question.

In winter there is a Sunday morning prayer meeting at the place; but
in summer the members can't stand such a gathering, either because
too much light is thrown upon the subject, or because the attendance
is too small, or because early prayers are not required at that
season of the year. A prayer meeting is, however, held all the year
round, on a Wednesday night, and it is favoured, on an average, with
about 20 earnest individuals, who sometimes create what might, if
not properly explained, be considered a rather solemn disturbance.
These parties meet in the Sunday school, which is beneath the
chapel. The average attendance of scholars at this school is not
very large. When buns and coffee are astir it may be computed at
200; when ordinary religious instruction is simply placed before the
juvenile mind the attendance may be set down at about 100.

In the chapel and immediately before the pulpit, there is a square
hole, usually covered, which in denominational phraseology goes by
the name of the "baptistery." In the first ages of Christianity such
places were made outside the church, and were either hexagonal or
octagonal, then they became polygonal, then circular, and now they
have got quadrangular. Two of the finest baptisteries in the world
are at Florence and Pisa; that at the former, place being 100 feet
in diameter, made of black and white marble, and surrounded with a
gallery on granite columns; that at the latter being 116 feet wide,
and beautifully ornamented. The biggest baptistery ever made is
supposed to have been that at St. Sophia, in Constantinople, which,
we are told, was so spacious as to have once served for the
residence of the Emperor Basilicus. But there is no marble about the
baptistery in Fishergate Chapel, and no one would ever think of
transmuting it into a residence. It is used two or three times a
year, and if outsiders happen to get a whisper of an intended
dipping, curiosity leads them to the chapel, and they look upon the
ceremony as a piece of sacred fun, right enough to look at, but far
too wet for anything else. This dipping is, indeed, a quaint, cold
piece of business. None except adults or youths who have, it is
thought, come to sense and reason, are permitted to pass through the
ordeal, and it is recognised by them as symbolic of their entrance
into "the Church." Sometimes as many as six or seven are immersed.
They put on old or special garments suitable for the occasion, and
the work of baptism is then carried on by the minister, who stands
in the figurative Jordan. He quietly ducks them overhead; they
submit to the process without a murmur; they neither bubble, nor
scream, nor squirm; and the elders look on solemnly, though
impressed with thoughts that, excellent as the ceremony may be, it
is a rather shivering sort of business after all. After being
baptised, the new members retire into an adjoining room, strip their
saturated cloths, rub themselves briskly with towels, or get the
deacons to do the work for them, then re-dress, comb their hair, and
receive liberty to rejoice with the general Israel of the flock.
Such baptism as that we have described seems a rather curious kind
of rite; but it is honestly believed in, and as those who submit to
it have to undergo the greatest punishment in the case--have to be
put right overhead in cold Longridge water--other persons may keep
tolerably cool on the subject. People have a right to use water any
way so long as they don't throw it unfairly upon others or drown
themselves; and if three-fourths of the people who now laugh at
adult baptism would undergo a dipping next Sunday, and then stick to
water for the remainder of their lives, they would be better
citizens, whatever might become of their theology.

The Rev. J. O'Dell is the pastor of Fishergate Baptist Chapel, and
he is an exemplary man in his way, for be only receives a small
salary and yet contrives to keep out of debt--a thing which a good
deal of parsons, and which many of the ordinary children of grace,
can't accomplish. He is well liked by his congregation, and we have
heard of no fighting over either his virtues or defects. He has
quite a clerical look, and, if he hadn't, his voice would give the
cue to his profession. There is an earnest unctuous modulation about
it, which, as a rule, is acquired after men have flung overboard the
common idioms of secular life. The salary of Mr. O'Dell is about 160
pounds a year, and although he would like more, he can make himself
and Mrs. O'Dell, and the younger branches of the house of O'Dell,
comfortable on that sum. Some pastors gnash their teeth if their
purse strings are opened for less than 300 pounds a year; Mr. O'Dell
would purchase a pair of wings, and sing "'Tis like a little heaven
below," if his stipend was raised to that figure. There is nothing
very extraordinary in the preaching style of Mr. O'Dell. It lacks
the cunning of that rare old Baptist bird, who once went by the name
of Birney, and it is devoid of that learned and masterly eloquence
so finely worked by the last minister of the chapel, who used to
read some of his sermons over to the deacons, before trying them
upon the other sinners in the chapel; still it is sincere, straight-
forward, and theologically sound. It never reaches a point of
raving, is never loudly pretentious, or ferocious in tone. Mr.
O'Dell will never be a brilliant man; but he is now what is often
much better--a good working minister. He will never occupy the
position of a commander, will never even be a lieutenant, but he
will always be a good soldier in the ranks. He has neither a lofty
imaginative capacity nor a dashing ratiocinative faculty, but he has
a clear sense of the importance of his pastoral duties, he goes
easily and earnestly to work, makes neither much fuss nor smoke, and
if he does now and then seem to pull queer faces in his sermons--
give odd twists to some of his muscles--that does not debar him from
preaching fair even-sounding sermons, soothing to his general
hearers and pleasing to those who have to pay him. There are a few
people whom Mr. O'Dell's sermons fail to keep awake; but as such
parties are probably better asleep than in a full state of
consciousness, no great harm is done. He has all sorts of folk to
deal with--men who are pious, and smooth creatures quietly given to
humbug; people who practice what they are taught, and a few so
wonderfully good that if they called a meeting of their creditors
they would begin the business by saying, "Let us pray;" individuals
who follow their duties calmly, and make no show about their work;
and respectable specimens of indifference, who go to chapel because
it is fashionable to do so. But they seem all complacent, and the
"happy family" element predominates. Mr. O'Dell suits them; they
suit Mr. O'Dell; and if he had only a fuller chapel--a better
salary, too, wouldn't be despised by him--he could send up his
orisons with more courage, and preach to the sinners around him with
the steam hammer force of a Gadsby.

No. VI.


"My respecks to St. George and the Dragoon," wrote the gay and
festive showman, at the conclusion of an epistle--penned under the
very shadow of "moral wax statters"--to the Prince of Wales. And
there was no evil in such a benevolent expression of feeling.
George, the particular party referred to, occupies a prominent
position in our national escutcheonry, ant the "Dragoon" is a unique
creature always in his company, which it would be wrong to entirely
forget. The name of the saint sounds essentially English, and it has
been woven into the country's history. The nation is fond of its
Georges. We had four kings--not all of a saintly disposition--who
rejoiced in that name; we sometimes swear by the name of George; and
it plays as good a part as any other cognomen in our universal
system of christening. Nobody can really tell who St. George was,
and nobody will ever be able to do so. Gibbon fancies he was at one
time an unscrupulous bacon dealer, and that he finally did
considerable business in religious gammon. Butler, the Romish
historian, thinks he was martyred by Diocletian for telling that
amiable being a little of his mind; ancient fabulists make it out
that be killed a dragon, saved a fair virgin's life, and then did
something better than either--married her; medieval men, with a
knightly turn of mind, transmuted him into the patron of chivalry;
Edward III made him the patron of the Order of the Garter; the
Eastern and Western churches venerate him yet; Britains have turned
him into their country's tutelary saint; and many places of worship
have been dedicated to this curiously mythologic individual. We have
a church in Preston in this category; and it is of such church--St.
George's--we shall speak now.

In 1723 it was erected. Up to that time the Parish Church was the
only place of worship we had in connection with what is termed "the
Establishment;" St. George's was brought into existence as a "chapel
of ease" for it; and it is still one of the easiest, quietest, best
behaved places in the town. It was a plain brick edifice at the
beginning, but in 1843-4 the face of the church was hardened--it was
turned into stone, and it continues to have a substantial petrified
appearance. In 1848 a new chancel was built; and afterwards a dash
of Christian patriotism resulted in a new pulpit and reading desk.
The general building, which is of cruciform shape, has a subdued,
solemn, half-genteel, half-quaint look. There is neither
architectural maze nor ornamental flash in its construction. It is
plain all round, and is characterised by a simplicity of style which
could not be well reduced unless a severe plainness were adopted.
Its position is not in a very imposing locality, and the roads to it
are bad and irregular. Baines, the historian, says that St. George's
Church is situated between Fishergate and Friargate--rather a wide
definition applicable to about 500 other places ranging from
billiard rooms to foundries, from brewing yards to bedstead
warehouses in the same region. That brightest of all our historical
blades, "P. Whittle, F.A.S.," states that it is located on the
south-west side of Friargate--a better, but still very mystical,
exposition to all not actually acquainted with the place; whilst
Hardwicke comes up to the rescue in the panoply of modern exactness,
and tells us that it is on the south side of Fishergate. These
historians must have missed their way in trying to find the place,
and in their despair guessed at its real situation. There are many
ways to St. George's--you can get to it from Fishergate, Lune-
street, Friargate, or the Market place; but if each of those ways
was thrown into one complete whole, the road would still be
fifteenth rate. Tortuousness and dimness mark them, and a strong
backyard spirit of adventure must operate largely in the minds of
some who manage to reach the building.

The churchyard of St. George's has nothing interesting to the common
mind about it. The great bulk of the grave stones are put flat upon
the ground--arranged so that people can walk over them with ease and
comfort, whatever may become of the letters; and if it were not for
a few saplings which shoot out their bright foliage periodically,
and one very ancient little tree which has become quite tired of
that business, the yard would look very grave and monotonous. The
principal entrance can be reached by way of Lune-street or Chapel-
walks; but when you have got to it, there is nothing very peculiar
to be seen. It is plain, rather gloomy, and in no way interesting.

The interior of the church wears a somewhat similar complexion; but
it improves by observation, and in the end you like it for its
thorough simplicity. No place of worship can in its internal
arrangements be much plainer than St. George's. If it were not for
three stained windows in the chancel, which you can but faintly make
out at a distance, nothing which could by any possibility be termed
ornamental would at first sight strike you. On reaching the centre
of the place you get a moderately clear view of the pulpit which
somewhat edifies the mind; and, on turning right round, you see a
magnificent organ which compensates for multitudes of defects, and
below it--in front of the orchestra--a rather powerful
representation of the royal arms, a massive lion and unicorn,
"fighting for the crown" as usual, and got up in polished wood work.
We see no reason why there should not be something put up
contiguously, emblematic of St. George and the dragon. It is very
unfair to the saint and unjust to the dragon to ignore them
altogether--The Ten Commandments are put on one side in this church-
-not done away with, but erected in a lateral position, very near a
corner and somewhat out of the way. One of the historians previously
quoted says that St. George's used to be "heated by what is commonly
called a cockle"--some sort of a warmth radiating apparatus, which
he describes minutely and with apparent pleasure. We have not
inquired specially as to the fate of this cockle. It may still have
an existence in the sacred edifice, or it may have given way, as all
cockles must do in the end, whether in churches or private houses,
to hot-water arrangements. The pews in St. George's are of the old,
fashioned, patriarchal character. They are of all sizes an
irregularity quite refreshing peculiarises them; there are hardly
two alike in the building; and a study of the laws of variety must
have been made by those who had the management of their
construction. Private interests and family requirements have
probably regulated the size of them. Some of the pews are narrow and
hard to get into--a struggle has to be made before you can fairly
take possession; others are broader and easier to enter:  a few are
very capacious and might be legitimately licensed to carry a dozen
inside with safety; nearly all or them are lined with green baize,
much of which is now getting into the sere and yellow leaf period of
life; many of them are well-cushioned--green being the favourite
colour; and in about the same number Brussels carpets may be found.
There is a quiet, secluded coziness about the pews; the sides are
high; the fronts come up well; nobody can see much of you if care is
taken; and a position favourable to either recumbent ease or
horizontal sleep may be assumed in several of them with safety. The
general windows, excepting those in the chancel, are very plain; and
if it were not for a rim of amber-coloured glass here and there and
a fair average accumulation of dust on several of the squares, there
would be nothing at all to relieve their native simplicity. The
pillars supporting the nave are equally plain; the walls and ceiling
are almost entirely devoid of ornament:  and primitive white-wash
forms the most prominent colouring material. The gas stands, often
very elaborate in places of worship, have been made solely for use
here. Simple upright pipes, surmounted by ordinary burners
constitute their sum and substance. The pulpit lights are simpler.
Gas has not yet reached the place where the law and the prophets are
expounded. The orthodox mould candle reigns paramount on each side
of the pulpit; and its light appears to give satisfaction.

There is no Sunday school in connection with St. George's. In some
respects this may be a disadvantage to the neighbourhood; but it is
a source of comfort to the congregation, for all the noise which
irrepressible children create during service hours at every place
where they are penned up, is obviated. Neither children nor babes
are seen at St. George's. It is considered they are best at home,
and that they ought to stay there until the second teeth have been
fairly cut. The congregation of St. George's is specifically
fashionable. A few poor people may be seen on low seats in the
centre aisle; but the great majority of worshippers either
represent, or are connected with, what are termed "good families."
Young ladies wearing on just one hair the latest of bonnets, and
elaborated with costly silks and ribbons; tender gentlemen of the
silver-headed cane school and the "my deah fellah" region; quiet
substantial looking men of advanced years, who believe in good
breeding and properly brushed clothes; elderly matrons, "awfully
spiff" as Lady Wortley Montague would say; and a few well-disposed
tradespeople who judiciously mingle piety with business, and never
make startling noises during their devotional moments--these make up
the congregational elements of St. George's. They may be described
in three words--few, serene, select. And this seems to have always
been the case. Years since, the historian of Lancashire said that
St. George's "has at all times had a respectable, though not a very
numerous, congregation." The definition is as correct now as it was
then. The worshippers move in high spheres; the bulk of them toil
not, neither do they spin; and if they can afford it they are quite
justified in making life genteel and easy, and giving instructions
for other people to wait upon them. We dare say that if their piety
is not as rampant, it is quite as good, as that of other people.
Vehemence is not an indication of excellence, and people may be good
without either giving way to solemn war-whoops or damaging the
hearing faculties of their neighbours. Considering the situation of
St. George's Church--its proximity to Friargate and the unhallowed
passages running therefrom--there ought to be a better congregation.
Churches like beefsteaks are intended to benefit those around them.
It is not healthy for a church to have a congregation too select and
too fashionable. Souls are of more value than either purses or
clothes. More of the people living in the immediate neighbourhood of
St. George's ought to regularly visit it; very few of them ever go
near the place; but the fault may be their own, and neither the
parson's, nor the beadle's.

The choir of St. George's is a wonderfully good one, and whether the
members sing for love or money, or both, they deserve praise. Their
melody is fine; their precision good; their expression excellent.
They can give you a solemn piece with true abbandonatamente; they
can observe an accelerando with becoming taste; they can get into a
vigorosamente humour potently and on the shortest notice. They will
never be able to knock down masonry with their musical force like
the Jericho trumpeters, nor build up walls with their harmony like
Amphion; but they will always possess ability to sing psalms, hymns,
spiritual songs, and whatever may be contained in popular music
books, with taste and commendable exactitude. We recommend them to
the favourable consideration of the public. In St. George's Church
there is an organ which may be placed in the "h c" category. It is a
splendid instrument--can't be equalled in this part of the country
for either finery or music--and is played by a gentleman whose name
ranks in St. George's anthem book, with those of Beethoven, Handel,
and Mozart. We have heard excellent music sung and played at St.
George's; but matters would be improved if the efforts of the choir
were seconded. At present the singers have some time been what we
must term, for want of a better phrase, musical performers. They are
tremendously ahead of the congregation. Much of what they sing
cannot be joined in by the people. Many a time the congregation have
to look on and listen--ecstacised with what is being sung, wondering
what is coming next, and delightfully bewildered as to the whole

The minister at St. George's is the Rev. C. H. Wood--a quiet,
homely, well-built man, who is neither too finely dressed nor too
well paid. His salary is considerably under 200 pounds a year. Mr.
Wood is frank and unostentatious in manner; candid and calm in
language; and of a temperament so even that he gets into hot water
with nobody. You will never catch him with his virtuous blood up,
theologically or politically. He has a cool head and a quiet tongue-
-two excellent articles for general wear which three-fourths of the
parsons in this country have not yet heard of. He is well liked by
the male portion of his congregation, and is on excellent terms with
the fair sex. He is a batchelor, but that is his own fault. He could
be married any day, but prefers being his own master. He may have an
ideal like Dante, or a love phantom like Tasso, or an Imogene like
the brave Alonzo; but he has published neither poetry nor prose on
the subject yet, and has made no allusion to the matter in any of
his sermons. No minister in Preston, with similar means, is more
charitably disposed than Mr. Wood. He behaves well to poor people,
and the virtue of that is worth more than the lugubriousness or
eloquence of many homilies. Charity in purse as well as in speech is
one of his characteristics; and if that doth not cover a multitude
of ordinary defects nothing will. In the reading desk Mr Wood gets
through his work quickly and with a good voice. There is no effort
at elocution in his expression:  he goes right on with the business,
and if people miss the force of it they will have to be responsible
for the consequences. In the pulpit he drives forward in the same
earnest, matter-of-fact style. There is no hand flinging, hair-
wringing, or dramatic raging in his style. The matter of his sermons
is orthodox and homely--systematically arranged, innocently
illustrated at intervals, and offensive to nobody. His manner is
calculated to genially persuade rather than fiercely arouse; and it
will sooner rock you to sleep than lash you to tears. There is a
slight touch of sanctity at the end of his sentences--a mild
elevation of voice indicative of pious oiliness; but, altogether, we
like his quiet, straightforward, simple, English style. People fond
of Church of England ideas could not have a more genial place of
worship than St. George's:  the seats are easy and well lined, the
sermons short and placid, and the company good.


St. Augustine's Catholic Church, Preston, is of a retiring
disposition; it occupies a very southern position; is neither in the
town nor out of it; and unlike many sacred edifices is more than 50
yards from either a public-house or a beershop. Clean-looking
dwellings immediately confront it; green fields take up the
background; an air of quietude, half pastoral, half genteel,
pervades it; but this ecclesiastical rose has its thorn. Only in its
proximate surroundings is the place semi-rural and select. As the
circle widens--townwards at any rate--you soon get into a region of
murky houses, ragged children, running beer jugs, poverty; and as
you move onwards, in certain directions, the plot thickens, until
you get into the very lairs of ignorance, depravity, and misery. St.
Augustine's "district" is a very large one; it embraces 8,000 or
9,000 persons, and their characters, like their faces, are of every
colour and size. Much honest industry, much straight-forwardness and
every day kindness, much that smells of gin, and rascality, and
heathenism may be seen in the district. There is plenty of room for
all kinds of reformers in the locality; and if any man can do any
good in it, whatever may be his creed or theory, let him do it. The
priests in connection with St. Augustine's Catholic Church are doing
their share in this matter, and it is about them, their church, and
their congregation that we have now a few words to say. The church
we name is not a very old one. It was formally projected in 1836;
the first stone of it was laid on the 13th of November, 1838; and it
was opened on the 30th of July, 1840, by Dr. Briggs, afterwards
first bishop of the Catholic diocese of Beverley. It has a plain yet
rather stately exterior. Nothing fanciful, nor tinselled, nor
masonically smart characterises it. Four large stone pillars,
flanked with walls of the same material surmounted with brick, a
flight of steps, a portico, a broad gable with massive coping, and a
central ornament at the angle, are all which the facade presents.
The doors are lateral, and are left open from morning till night
three hundred and sixty-five days every year.

The interior of the church is spacious, wonderfully clean, and
decorated at the high altar end in most tasteful style. We have not
inquired whether charity begins at home or not in this place;
perhaps it does not; but it is certain that painting does; for all
the fine colouring, with its many formed classical devices, at the
sanctuary was executed by one of the members of the congregation.
The principal altar is a very fine one, and a fair amount of pious
pleasure may be derived from looking at a tremendous pastoral
candlestick which stands on one side. It is, when charged with a
full-sized candle, perhaps five feet ten high, and it has a very
patriarchal and decorous appearance--looks grave and authoritative,
and seems to think itself a very important affair. And it has a
perfect right to its opinion. We should like to see it in a
procession, with Zaccheus, the sacristian, carrying it. Three fine
paintings, which however seem to have lost their colour somewhat,
are placed in the particular part of the church we are now at. The
central one represents the "Adoration of the Magi," and was painted
and given by Mr. H. Taylor Bulmer, who formerly resided in Preston.
The second picture to the left is a representation of "Christ's
agony in the Garden;" and the third on the opposite side is "Christ
carrying the Cross." In front of the altar there is the usual lamp
with a crimson spirit flame, burning day and night, and reminding
one of the old vestal light, watched by Roman virgins, who were
whipped in the dark by a wrathful pontifex if they ever let it go
out. At the northern end of the church there is a large gallery,
with one of the neatest artistic designs in front of it we ever saw.
The side walls are surmounted with a chaste frieze, and running
towards the base are "stations" and statues of saints. A small altar
within a screen, surmounted with statuary, is placed on each side of
the sanctuary, and not far from one of them there is a bright
painting which looks well at a distance, but nothing extra two yards
off. It represents Christ preaching out of a boat to some Galileans,
amongst whom may be seen the Rev. Canon Walker. If the painting is
correct, the worthy canon has deteriorated none by age, for he seems
to look just as like himself now as he did eighteen hundred years
since, and to be not a morsel fonder of spectacles and good snuff
now than he was then. His insertion, however, into this picture, was
a whim of the artist, whose cosmopolitan theory led him to believe
that one man is, as a rule, quite as good as another, and that
paintings are always appreciated best when they refer to people whom
you know.

There are three of those very terrible places called confessionals
at St. Augustine's, and one day not so long since we visited all of
them. It is enough for an ordinary sinner to patronise one
confessional in a week, or a month, or a quarter of a year, and then
go home and try to behave himself. But we went to three in one
forenoon with a priest, afterwards had the courage to get into the
very centre of a neighbouring building wherein were two and twenty
nuns, and then reciprocated compliments with an amiable young lady
called the "Mother Superior." Terrible places to enter, and most
unworldly people to visit, we fancy some of our Protestant friends
will say; but we saw nothing very agonising or dreadful--not even in
the confessionals. Like other folk we had heard grim tales about,
such places--about trap doors, whips, manacles, and all sorts of
cruel oddities; but in the confessionals visited we beheld nothing
of any of them. Number one is a very small apartment, perhaps two
yards square, with a seat and a couple of sacred pictures in it. In
front there is an aperture filled in with a slender grating and
backed by a curtain which can be removed at pleasure by the priest
who officiates behind. On one side of the grating there is a small
space like a letter-box slip, and through this communications in
writing, of various dimensions, are handed. Everything is plain and
simple where the penitent is located; and the apartment behind,
occupied by the priest who hears confession, is equally simple.
There is no weird paraphernalia, no mysterious contrivances, no
bolts, bars, pullies, or strings for either working miracles, or
making the hair of sinners stand on end. Number two confessional is
similarly arranged and equally plain. We examined this rather more
minutely than the other, and whilst we could find nothing dreadful
in the penitents' apartment, we fancied, on entering the priest's
side, that, we had met with something belonging the realm of
confessional torture as depicted by the Hogans, Murphys, and Maria
Monk showmen, and which the officials had forgot to put by in some
of their secret drawers. It was hung upon a nail, had a semi-
circular, half viperish look, and was cupped at each end as if
intended for some curious business of incision or absorption. We
were relieved on getting nearer it and on being informed that it was
merely an ear trumpet through which questions have to be put to deaf
penitents who now and then turn up for general unravelment and
absolution. The two confessionals described are contiguous to a
passage at the rear of the church; the third we are now coming to is
near one of the subsidiary altars, nod looks specifically snug. It
is a particularly small confessional, and a very stout penitent
would find it as difficult to get into it as to reveal all his sins
afterwards. There is nothing either harrowing or cabalistic in the
place; and you can see nothing but two forms, a screen, and a

There are many services at St. Augustine's. On Monday mornings at a
quarter past seven, and again at half-past eight, mass is said; on
Tuesdays and Thursdays there is benediction at half-past seven; on
Fridays and Saturdays and on the eve of holidays there is
confession; on Sundays there is mass at half-past seven, half-past
eight, half-past nine, and at 11, when regular service takes place;
on Sunday afternoons, at three, the children are instructed, and at
half-past six in the evening there are vespers, a sermon, and
benediction. The church has a capacity for about 1,000 persons,
without crushing. The average number hearing mass on a Sunday is
3,290. On four consecutive Sundays recently--from February 14 to
March 14--upwards of 13,100 heard mass within the walls of the

The congregation is almost entirely made up of working people. A few
middle class and wealthy persons attend the place--some sitting in
the gallery, and others at the higher end of the church--but the
general body consists of toiling every-day folk. The poorest
section, including the Irish--who, in every Catholic Church, do a
great stroke of business on a Sunday with holy water, beads and
crucifixes--are located in the rear. It is a source of sacred
pleasure to quietly watch some of these poor yet curious beings.
They are all amazingly in earnest while the fit is on them; they
bow, and kneel, and make hand motions with a dexterity which nothing
but long years of practice could ensure; and they drive on with
their prayers in a style which, whatever may be the character of its
sincerity, has certainly the merit of fastness. How to get through
the greatest number of words in the shortest possible time may be a
problem which they are trying, to solve. The great bulk of the
congregation are calm and unostentatious, evincing a quiet demeanour
in conjunction with a determined devotion. There are several very
excellent sleepers in the multitude of worshippers; but they are
mainly at the entrance end where they are least seen. We happened to
be at the church the other Sunday morning and in ten minutes after
the sermon had been commenced about 16 persons, all within a
moderate space, were fast asleep. Their number increased slowly till
the conclusion. Several appeared to be struggling very severely
against the Morphean deity dining the whole service; a few might be
seen at intervals rescuing themselves from his grasp--getting upon
the very edge of a snooze, starting suddenly with a shake and waking
up, dropping down their heads to a certain point of calmness and
then retracing their steps to consciousness.

There are five men at St. Augustine's called collectors--parties who
show strangers, &c., their seats, and look after the pennies which
attendants have to pay on taking them. Not one of these collectors
has officiated less than 11 years; three of them have been at the
work for 27; and what is still better they discharge their duties,
as the sacristan once told us, "free gracious." That is a
philanthropic wrinkle for chapel keepers and other compounders of
business and piety which we commend to special notice. The singers
at St. Augustine's are of more than ordinary merit. Two or three of
them have most excellent voices; and the conjoint efforts of the
body are in many respects capital. Their reading is accurate, their
time good, and their melody frequently constitutes a treat which
would do a power of good to those who hear the vocalisation of many
ordinary psalm-singers whose great object through life is to kill
old tunes and inflict grevious bodily harm upon new ones. There is a
very good organ at St. Augustine's, and it is blown well and played

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Architecturally the chapel is nothing; and if it were not for a few
tall front rails, painted green, a good gable end pointed up, and a
fairly cut inscription thereon, it would, ecclesiastically speaking,
seem less than nothing. It has just been re-painted internally, and
necessarily looks somewhat smart on that account; but there is no
pretension to architecture in the general building. Between 500 and
600 persons might be accomodation in it; but the average attendance
is below 200. People are not "particular" about what church or
chapel they belong to in its locality; and some of them who belong
to no place seem most wickedly comfortable. There is a great deal of
heathenish contentment in Vauxhall-road district, and how to make
the people living there feel properly miserable until they get into
a Christian groove of thought is a mystery which we leave for the
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
directly afterwards. If he had more dash and less shyness in him,
less learned coolness and much more humour in his composition, he
would reap a better harvest in both pulpit and general life. Mr. Orr
is no roaring will o' the wisp minister; what he says he means; and
what he means he reads. His prayers and sermons are all read. He is
not eloquent, but his language is scholarly, and if he had a freer
and more genial expression he would be better appreciated. If he
were livelier and smiled more he would be fatter and happier. His
style is his own; is too Orrible, needs a little more sunshine and
blithesomeness. He never allows himself to be led away by passion;
sticks well to his text; invariably keeps his temper. He wears
neither surplice nor black gown in the pulpit, and does quite as
well without as with them. For his services he receives about 120
pounds a year and if the times mend he will probably get more. In
the chapel there is a harmonium, which is played as well as the
generality of such instruments are. The singing is only moderate,
and if it were not for the good strong female voice, apparently
owned by somebody in the gallery, it would be nearly inaudible--
would have to be either gently whispered or "thought out." The
services in the main are simple, free from all boisterous
balderdash, and if not of such a character as would suit everybody,
are evidently well liked by those participating in them.


The calendar of the canonised has come in handy for the christening
of churches. Without it, we might have indulged in a poor and
prosaic nomenclature; with it, the dullest, as well as the finest,
architecture can get into the company of the beatified. Barring a
few places, all our churches are associated with some particular
saint; every edifice has cultivated the acquaintance of at least
one; but that we have now to notice has made a direct move into the
general constellation, and is dedicated to the aggregate body. We
believe that in church-naming, as in common life, "ALL is for the
best," and we commend, rather than censure, the judgment which
recognised the full complement of saints when All Saints' was
consecrated. A man maybe wrong in fixing upon one name, or upon
fifty, or fifty hundred, but if he agglomerates the entire mass,
condenses every name into one, and gives something respectable that
particular name, he won't be far off the equinoctial of exactness.
In this sense, the christeners of All Saints' were wise; they went
in for the posse comitatus of saints--backed the favourites as well
as "the field"--and their scheme, so far as naming goes, must win.
There is, however, not much in a name, and less in a reverie of
speculative comment, so we will descend to a lower, yet, perhaps,
more healthy, atmosphere.

In 1841, the Rev. W. Walling, son of a yeoman living is Silverdale--
one of the prettiest places we know of in the North of England--came
to Preston, as minister of St. James's Church. He stayed at the
place for about a year, then went to Carlton, in Nottinghamshire,
and afterwards to Whitby. Mr. Walling was a man of quiet
disposition; during his stay in Preston he was exceedingly well
liked; and when he left the town, a vacuum seemed to have been
created. He was a missed man; his value was not found out until he
had gone; and it was determined--mainly amongst a pious,
enthusiastic section of working people--to get him back again if
possible. And they went about the business like sensible people--
decided not to root out his predecessor at St. James's, nor to
exterminate any of the sundry clerical beings in other parts of the
town, but to build him a new church. They were only poor men; but
they persevered; and in a short time their movement took a distinct
shape, and the building, whose erection they had in view, was
prospectively called "The Poor Man's Church." In time they raised
about 200 pounds; but a sum like that goes only a little way in
church building--sometimes doesn't cover those very refreshing
things which contractors call "extras;" a number of wealthier men,
who appreciated the earnestness of the original promoters, and saw
the necessity, of such a church as they contemplated, came to the
rescue, and what they and divers friends gave justified a start, on
a plot of land between Walker-street and Elizabeth-street. On the
21st of September, 1846, the foundation-stone of the church--All
Saints--was laid by the late Thomas German, Esq., who was mayor of
Preston at that time. The building, which cost about 2,600 pounds,
was not consecrated till December, 1856, but it was ministerially
occupied by the Rev. W. Walling on the 23rd September, 1848, and he
held his post, earning the respect and esteem of all in the
discharge of its duties, till October 10th, 1863, when death
suddenly ended his labours. When the church was consecrated there
was a debt of about 750 pounds upon it; but in a few years, by the
judicious and energetic action of the trustees, it was entirely
cleared off. The present trustees of the church are Dr. Hall,
Messrs. J. R. Ambler, F. Mitchell, and W. Fort. The successor of the
Rev. W. Walling was the Rev. G. Beardsell, who still occupies the
situation; but before saying anything to the point concerning him we
must describe the church and its concomitants.

All Saints' is a good substantial-looking church. It is built in the
Ionic style of Greek architecture; has a massive pillared front; is
railed round, has an easy and respectable entrance, and--getting
worse as it gets higher--is surmounted with a small bell turret and
a chimney. Other things may be put upon the roof after a while, for
space is abundant there. The church has a square, respectable,
capacious interior--is roomy, airy, light; doesn't seem thrown
together in a dim foggy labrynth like some places, and you feel as
if you could breathe freely on taking a seat in it. It is well-
galleried, and will accommodate altogether about 1,500 human beings.
The pews are good, and whilst it is impossible for them to hold more
people than can get into them, they are charged for as if one
additional person could take a seat in each after being full! This
is odd but quite true. In the case of pews which will just
accommodate five persons, six sittings are charged for; those
holding four are put down in the rent book for five; and this scale
of charges is kept up in respect to all the pews, whether big or
little. The rents go into the pocket of the incumbent. At the
southern end there is a small chancel, which was erected at the
expense of the late J. Bairstow, Esq. It is ornamented with several
stained glass windows, and has an inlaid wooden canopy, but there is
nothing startling nor remarkable about the work. Beneath the windows
there is painted in large, letters the word "Emmanuel;" but the
position of it is very inconvenient. People sitting above may see
the name fairly; but many below have a difficulty in grasping it,
and those sitting in the centre will never be able to get hold of
more letters than those which makeup the mild name of "Emma." Names-
-particularly great ones--should never be put up anywhere unless
they can be seen. On each side of the chancel arch then is a small
tablet; one being to the memory of the Rev. W. Walling, and the
other to that of the late W. Tuson, Esq., who was one of the
original wardens. The church is clean and in good condition; but the
windows would stand re-painting. There are about 400 free seats in
the building, and they are pretty well patronised. The general
attendance is tolerably large; between 700 and 800 people frequent
the church on the average; but the congregation seems to be of a
floating character, is constantly changing, and embraces few "old
stagers." Formerly, many who had been at the church from the first
might be seen at it; numerous persons recognised as "fixtures" were
there; but they have either gone to other churches or died off, and
there is now a strong ebb and flow of new material at the place.

The congregation is of a complex description; you may see in it the
"Grecian bend" and the coal scuttle hood, the buff waistcoat and the
dark moleskin coat; but in the main the worshippers are of a quiet
well-assorted character--partly working class, partly middle-class,
with a sprinkling of folk above and below both. The humble minded
and the ancient appear to have a liking for the left side range of
seats; the swellishly-young and the substantially-middle class take
up a central position; people of a fair habilimental stamp occupy
the bulk of the seats on the other side; whilst the select and the
specially virtuous approximate the pulpit--one or two in the
excelsior category get even beyond it, and like both the quietude
and the dignity of the position. The galleries are used by a
promiscuous company of worshippers, who keep good order and make no
undue noises. The tale-tellers and the gossips--for they exist here
as in the generality of sacred places--are distributed in various
directions. It would be advantageous if they were all put in one
separate part; for then their influence would not be so ramified,
and they might in the end get up a small Kilkenny affair and
mutually finish off one another. Late attendance does not seem to be
so fashionable at All Saints' as at some churches; still it exists;
things would look as if they were getting wrong if somebody didn't
come late and make everybody turn their heads. When we visited the
church, the great mass were present at the right time; but a few
dropped in after the stipulated period; one put in an appearance 30
minutes late; and another sauntered serenely into the region of the
ancient people just 65 minutes after the proceedings had commenced.
At a distance, the reading desk and the pulpit look oddly mixed up;
but a close inspection shows that they are but fairly associated,
stand closely together, the pulpit, which is the higher, being in
the rear. There is no decoration of any sort in the body of the
church; everything appears tranquil, serious, straightforward, and
respectable. The singing is of a very poor character,--is slow,
weak, and calculated at times to make you ill. Pope, in his Essay on
Criticism, says--

Some to church repair,
Not for the doctrine, but the music there.

Probably they do; but nobody goes to All Saints' for that purpose.
No genuine hearty interest seems to be taken in the singing by
anybody particularly. The choir move through their notes as if some
of them were either fastened up hopelessly in barrels, or in a state
of musical syncope; the organist works his hands and feet as well as
he can with a poor organ; the members of the congregation follow,
lowly and contentedly, doing their best against long odds and the
parson sits still, all in one grand piece, and looks on. The
importance and influence of good music should be recognised by every
church; and we trust in time there will be a decided improvement at
All Saints'. A church like it--a building of its size and with its
congregation--ought to have something superior and effective in the
matter of music.

We have already said that the Rev. George Beardsell is the minister
of All Saints'. He has been at the church, as its incumbent, about
five years. Originally Mr. Beardsell was a Methodist;--a Methodist
preacher, too, we believe; but in time he changed his notions; and
eventually flung himself, in a direct line, into the arms of "Mother
Church." Mr. Beardsell made his first appearance in Preston as
curate of Trinity Church. He worked hard in this capacity, stirred
up the district at times with that peculiar energy which poor
curates longing for good incumbencies, wherein they may settle down
into security and ease, can only manifest, and with many he was a
favourite. From Trinity Church he went to St. Saviour's, and here he
slackened none of his powers. Enthusiasm, combined with earnest
plodding, enabled him to improve the district considerably. He drew
many poor people around him; he repeatedly charmed the "unwashed"
with his strong rough-hewn orgasms; the place seemed to have been
specially reserved for some man having just the perseverance and
vigorous volubility which he possessed; he had ostensibly a
"mission" in the locality; the people of the district liked him, he
reciprocated the feeling, and more than once intimated that he would
make one or two spots, including the wild region of Lark-hill,
"Blossom as the rose." But the period of efflorescence has not yet
arrived; a "call" came in due season, and this carried the
ministerial florist to another "sphere of action." Mr. Beardsell was
translated to the incumbency of All Saints', and he still holds it.
When Mr. Walling was at this church the income was about 260 pounds
a year; taking everything into account, it is now worth upwards of
400 pounds.

Mr. Beardsell is not a beautiful, but a stout, well-made, strong-
looking man, close upon 40, with a growing tendency towards
adiposity. He has a healthy, bulky, English look; is not a man of
profound education, but, makes up by weight what he may lack in
depth; thinks it a good thing to carry a walking-stick, to keep his
coat well buttoned, and to arrange his hair in the high-front, full-
whig style; has a powerful, roughly eloquent voice; is rather
sensational in the construction of some of his sentences; bellows a
little at times; welters pathetically often; is somewhat monotonous
in tone; ululates too heavily; behaves harshly to the letter "r"--
sounds it with a violent vigour, and makes it fairly spin round his
tongue end occasionally; can sustain himself well as a speaker; is
never at a loss for words; has a forcible way of arranging his
subjects; is systematic in his style of treatment; and can throw
into his elucidation of questions well-coined and emphatic
expressions. He likes perorations--used to imitate Punshon a little.
He has a good analogical faculty; takes many of his illustrations
from nature, and works them out exceedingly well; is a capital
explainer of biblical difficulties; is peculiarly fond of the
travels of St. Paul; piles up the agony easily and effectively; many
times gets into a groove of high-beating, fierce-burning enthusiasm,
as if he were going to take a distinct leap out of his "pent-up
Utica," and revel in the "whole boundless continent" of thought and
sacred sensation; is a thorough believer in the "My brethren"
phrase--we recently heard him use it nineteen times in twenty
minutes, and regretted that he didn't make the numbers equal;
delights in decking out his discourses with couplets and snatches of
hymns; has a full-blown determined style of speaking; reads with his
gloves on, and preaches with them off, like one or two other parsons
we have seen; makes his sermons too long; is a good platform man,
and would make a fair travelling lecturer; has a great predilection
for open-air preaching, and has spells of it to the Orchard; might
with advantage work more in and less out of his own district;
wouldn't commit a sin if he studied the question of personal
visiting; shouldn't think that his scripture reader--a really good,
hard-working man--can perform miracles, and do nearly everything;
can talk genuine common sense if he likes, and make himself either
very agreeable or pugnacious; is an Orangeman, with a holy horror of
Popery; can give deliciously passionate lectures about the
Reformation; considers money a very important article, and is
inclined to believe that all people, particularly parsons, should
stick to it very firmly; will have his own way in church matters;
likes to fight with a warden; has had many a lively little brush
over sacrament money; might have got on better with many of the
officials if he had been more conciliatory; is a man of moderate
ability, of fair metal, of strong endurance, but would be more
relished if he were less dogmatic, were given less to wandering
preaching, and threw himself heart, soul, purse, and clothes into
his own district. Near the church, and occupying good relative
positions on each side of a beerhouse, called "The Rising Sun," are
All Saints' schools. One of them--that now occupied by the boys--
was, according to a tablet at the outside, erected several years ago
by our old friend Captain German "as an affectionate tribute to the
memory of Thomas German, Esq." About five years since, two class-
rooms were attached to it, at the expense of J. Bairstow, J.
Horrocks, R. Newsham, and T. Miller, Esqrs. The other school, set
apart for the girls, was erected after that built by Captain German.
Both of the schools are very good ones--are large, lofty, and
commodious. That used for the boys is, scholastically, in a superior
condition. The master is sharp, fully up to his duties; and,
according to a report by the government inspector, his school is one
of the best in the district. The average day attendance at the boys'
school is 150; whilst at the girls school the regular attendance may
be set down at 330. The schools are used on Sundays, and their
average attendance then is 800. Much might be written concerning
them; but we must close; we have said enough; and can only add that
if all are not saints who go to All Saints' they are about as good
as the rest of people.


We have two places of worship to struggle with "on the present
occasion," and shall take the freest yet most methodistical of them
first. The United Methodist Free Church--that is a rather long and
imposing name--is generally called "Orchard Chapel." The "poetry of
the thing" may suffer somewhat by this deviation; but the building
appears to smell as sweetly under the shorter as the longer name, so
that we shall not enter into any Criticism condemnatory of the
change. This chapel is the successor, in a direct line, of the first
building ever erected in the Orchard. Its ancestor was placed on
precisely the same spot, in 1831. Those who raised it seceded from
the Wesleyan community, in sympathy with the individuals who retired
from the "old body" at Leeds, in 1828, and who adopted the name of
"Protestant Methodists." For a short time the Preston branch of
these Methodists worshipped in that mystic nursery of germinating
"isms" called Vauxhall-road Chapel; and in the year named they
erected in the Orchard a building for their own spiritual
improvement. It was a plain chapel outside, and mortally ugly
within. Amongst the preaching confraternity in the connexion it used
to be known as "the ugliest Chapel in Great Britain and Ireland." In
1834 a further secession of upwards of 20,000 from the Wesleyans
took place, under the leadership of the late Dr. Warren, of
Manchester. These secessionists called themselves the "Wesleyan
Association," and with them the "Protestant Methodists," including
those meeting in the Orchard Chapel, Preston, amalgamated. They also
adopted the name of their new companions. In 1857 the "Wesleyan
Association" coalesced with another large body of persons, who
seceded from the original Wesleyans in 1849, under the leadership of
the Rev. James Everett and others, and the two conjoined sections
termed themselves the "United Methodist Free Church." None of the
separations recorded were occasioned by any theological difference
with the parent society, but through disagreement on matters of

The ministers of the United Methodist Free Church body move about
somewhat after the fashion of the Wesleyan preachers. They first go
to a place for twelve months, and if they stay longer it has to be
through "invitation" from one of the quarterly meetings. As a rule,
they stop three or four years at one church, and then move off to
some new circuit, where old sermons come in, at times, conveniently
for new hearers. The various churches are ruled by "leaders"--men of
a deaconly frame of mind, invested with power sufficient to enable
them to rule the roost in ministerial matters, to say who shall
preach and who shall not, and to work sundry other wonders in the
high atmosphere of church government. The "members" support their
churches, financially, in accordance with their means. There is no
fixed payment. Those who are better off, and not stingy, give
liberally; the less opulent contribute moderately; those who can't
give anything don't. After an existence of about 30 years, the old
chapel in the Orchard was pulled down, in order to make way for a
larger and a better looking building. During the work of
reconstruction Sunday services were held in the school at the rear,
which was built some time before, at a cost of 1,700 pounds. The new
chapel, which cost 2,600 pounds, was opened on the 22nd of May,
1862. It has a rather ornamental front--looks piquant and seriously
nobby. There is nothing of the "great" or the "grand" in any part of
it. The building is diminutive, cheerful, well-made, and inclined,
in its stone work, to be fantastical.

Internally, it is clean, ornate, and substantial. Its gallery has
stronger supports than can be found in any other Preston chapel. If
every person sitting in it weighed just a ton it would remain firm.
There are two front entrances to the building, and at each end red
curtains are fixed. On pushing one pair aside, the other Sunday, we
cogitated considerably as to what we should see inside. We always
associate mystery with curtains, "caudle lectures" with curtains,
shows, and wax-work, and big women, and dwarfs with curtains; but as
we slowly, yet determinedly, undid these United Methodist Free
Church curtains, and presented our "mould of form" before the full
and absolute interior, we beheld nothing special:  there were only a
child, two devotional women, and a young man playing a slow and
death-like tune on a well-made harmonium, present. But the "plot
thickened," the place was soon moderately filled, and whilst in our
seat, before the service commenced, we calmly pondered over many
matters, including the difficulty we had in reaching the building.
Yes, and it was a difficulty. We took the most direct cut, as we
thought, to the place, from the southern side--passed along the
Market-place, into that narrowly-beautiful thoroughfare called New-
street, then through a yet newer road made by the pulling down of
old buildings in Lord-street, and reminding one by its sides of the
ruins of Petra, and afterwards merged into the Orchard. To neither
the right nor the left did we swerve, but moved on, the chapel being
directly is front of us; but in a few moments afterwards we found
ourselves surrounded by myriads of pots and a mighty cordon of
crates--it was the pot fair. Thinking that the Orchard was public
ground, and seeing the chapel so very near, we pursued the even
tenour of our way, but just as we were about sliding between two
crates, so as to pass on into the chapel, a strong man, top-coated,
muffled up, and with a small bludgeon in his hand, moved forward and
said "Can't go." "Why?" said we; "Folks isn't allowed in this here
place now," said he. "Well, but this is the town's property and we
pay rates," was our rejoinder, and his was "Don't matter a cuss, if
you were Lord Derby I should send you back." We accused him of
rudeness, and threatened to go to the police station, close by; but
the fellow was obstinate; his labours were concentred in the
virtuous guardianship of pots, he defied the police and "everybody;"
and feeling that amid all this mass of crockery we had, for once,
unfortunately, "gone to pot," we quietly walked round to the bottom
of the ground, for the crates and the pots swamped the whole _place,
came up to the chapel door, within four yards of the Lord-Derby-
defying individual, and quietly went into the building.

There are about 300 "members" of the church. In the Preston circuit,
which until recently included Croston, Cuerden, Brinscall, Chorley,
and Blackpool, and which now only embraces, Cuerden and Croston--the
other places being thought sufficiently strong to look after
themselves--there are about 400 "members." What are termed
"Churches" have been established at all the places named; Preston
being the "parent" of them. A branch of the body exists at
Southport, and it was "brought up" under the care of the Preston
party. Orchard Chapel will accommodate between 700 and 800 persons;
but, like other places of worship, it is never full except upon
special occasions; and the average attendance may be put down at
about 400. In the old chapel the father of the late Alderman G.
Smith preached for a time. The first minister of the chapel, when
rebuilt, was the Rev. J. Guttridge--an energetic, impetuous,
eloquent, earnest man. He had two spells at the place; was at it
altogether about six years; and left the last time about a year ago.
Mr. Guttridge, who is one of the smartest ministers in the body, is
now residing at Manchester, connected regularly with no place of
worship, on account of ill health, but doing what he can amongst the
different churches. The congregation of Orchard Chapel consists
principally of well-dressed working people--a quiet, sincere-looking
class of individuals, given in no way to devotional hysteria, and
taking all things smoothly and seriously. They are a liberal class,
too. During the past two years they have raised amongst themselves
about 800 pounds towards the chapel, upon which there is still a
debt, but which would have been clear of all monetary encumbrances
long since if certain old scores needing liquidation had not stood
in the way. The members of the choir sit near the pulpit, the
females on one side and the males on the other. They are young,
good-looking, and often glance at each other kindly. A female who
plays the harmonium occupies the centre. The music is vigorous and,
considering the place, commendable. On Sundays there are two
services at the chapel--morning and evening; and during the week
meetings of a religious character are held in either the chapel or
the adjoining rooms.

The present minister of the chapel is the Rev. Richard Abercrombie.
He has only just arrived, and may in one sense be termed the
"greatest" minister in Preston, for he is at least six feet high in
his stocking feet. He is an elderly gentleman,--must be getting near
70; but he is almost as straight as a wand, has a dignified look,
wears a venerable grey beard, and has quite a military precision in
his form and walk. And he may well have, for he has been a soldier,
Mr. Abercrombie served in the British army upwards of twenty years.
He followed Wellington, after Waterloo, and was in Paris as a
British soldier when the famous treaty of peace was signed. His
grandfather was cousin of the celebrated Sir Ralph Abercrombie, who
defeated Napoleon's forces in Egypt, and his ancestors held
commissions in our army for upwards of four generations. Tired of
military life, Mr. Abercrombie eventually laid down his arms, and
for 33 years he has been a minister in the body he is now connected
with. It is worthy of remark that, before leaving the army, he
occasionally sermonised in his uniform, and 35 years ago he preached
in his red jacket, &c., in the old Orchard Chapel. Mr. Abercrombie
is a genial, smooth-natured, quiet man--talks easily yet carefully,
preaches earnestly yet evenly; there is no froth in either his
prayers or sermons; he never gets into fits of uncontrollable
passion, never rides the high horse of personal ambition, nor the
low ass of religious vulgarity--keeps cool, behaves himself, and
looks after his work midly and well. He has two or three sons in the
United Methodist Free Church ministry, and one of them, called after
the general who defeated the Napoleonic forces, is the only man
belonging the body who has a university M.A. after his name.

Very good schools are connected with Orchard Chapel. The average day
attendance is 140; and on Sundays the average is about 350, In the
last place, we may observe that the people belonging Orchard Chapel
are, generally, getting along comfortably in all their departments.
Formerly they had feuds, and fights, and church meetings, at which
odd pieces of scandal were bandied about--they may have morsels of
unpleasantness yet to encounter; but taking them all in all they are
moving on serenely and well.

Passing not "from pole to pole," but from the Orchard to Pole-
street, we come to the Baptist Chapel in that, thoroughfare--a
rather dull, strongly-railed-off place, which seems to be receding
from public sight altogether. About 45 years ago, a small parcel of
Preston people, enamoured of the Calvinistic Methodism which the
Countess of Huntingdon recognised, worshipped in a building in
Cannon-street. In 1825 they built, or had raised for them, a chapel
in Pole-street, which was dedicated to St. Mark. At this time,
probably on account of its novelty, the creed drew many followers--
the new chapel was patronised by a somewhat numerous congregation,
which kept increasing for a period. But it gradually dwindled down,
and a total collapse finally ensued. In 1855 a number of General
Baptists, who split from their brethren worshipping in the old
Leeming-street chapel, struck a bargain with the expiring Lady
Huntingdon section for their building in Pole-street, gave about 700
pounds for it, forthwith shifted thereto, and continue to hold the
place. There is nothing at all calling for comment as to the
exterior of the chapel; and not much as to the interior. It will
accommodate about 900 persons. The pews are high, awkward to sit in,
and have a grim cold appearance. The building is pretty lofty, and
is well galleried. The pulpit is at the far end, and the singers sit
on a railed platform before it. The congregation seems both thin and
poor. Very lately we were in it, and estimated the number present at
84--rather a small party for a chapel capable of holding 900.

The building possesses about the best acoustical properties of any
place of worship in Preston. The late Mr. Samuel Grimshaw, of
Preston, who, amongst many other things, had a special taste for
music, used to occupy it at times, with his band, for the purposes
of "practising." He liked it on account of its excellent sounding
qualities. Once, after some practice in it, Mr. Grimshaw offered a
"return"--said he would give the brethren a musical lift with his
band during some anniversary services to be held in the chapel. His
promise was accepted, and when the day came there was a complete
musical flood. The orchestra, including the singers, numbered about
50, and the melodious din they created was something tremendous.
"Sam" had the arrangement of it. There were tenors, baritones, bass
men, trebles, alto-singers, in the fullest feather; there were
trumpeters, tromboners, bassooners, ophicleideans, cornet-a-piston
players, and many others, all instrumentally armed to the very
teeth, and the sensation they made, fairly shook and unnerved the
more pious members of the congregation, who protested against the
chapel being turned into a "concert-hall," &c. The music after all,
was good, and if it were as excellent now there would be a better
attendance at the place. The present orchestra consists of perhaps a
dozen singers, including a central gentleman who is about the best
shouter we ever heard; and they are helped out of any difficulties
they may get into by a rather awkwardly-played harmonium.

The Rev. W. J. Stuart is the minister of the chapel, and he receives
from 70 to 80 pounds a year for his duties. He has a gentlemanly
appearance; looks pretty well considering the nature of his salary;
is getting into the grey epoch of life; is not very erudite; but
seems well up in scriptural subjects; is sincere, mild, primitive in
his notions; has fits of cautiousness and boldness; is precise and
earnest in expression; has an "interpretational" tendency in his
sacred utterances; is disposed to explain mysteries; likes
homilising the people; can talk much; and can be very earnest over
it all. He has fair action, and sometimes gets up to 212 degrees in
his preaching. We won't say that he is in any sense a wearying
preacher; but this we may state, that if his sermons were shorter
they would not be quite so long. And from this he may take the hint.
We are told that the attendance at the chapel is slightly
increasing; but as compared with the past it is still very slender.
The admission to either the platform or pulpit of the chapel, not
very long ago, of a wandering "Indian chief," and a number of
Revivalists, who told strange tales and talked wildly, has operated,
we believe, against the place--annoyed and offended some, and caused
them to leave. The minister, no doubt, admitted these men with an
honest intention; but everybody can't stand the war-whooping of
itinerant Indians, nor the sincere ferociousness of Revivalists; and
awkward feelings were consequently generated in some quarters by
them. In the main, Mr. Stuart is a kindly, quiet, gentlemanly
person, and barring the little interruption caused by the dubious
Indian and the untamed Revivalists, has got on with a small
congregation and a bad salary better than many parsons would have
been able to do.


To this church a name which is general property has been given. Each
of our religious sects can number its martyrs. In the good old times
cruelty was a reciprocal thing amongst professing Christians; it was
a pre-eminently mutual affair amongst the two great religious
parties in the land--the Protestants and the Catholics,--for when
one side got into power they slaughtered their opponents, and when
the other became paramount the compliment was returned. The church
we have here to describe is dedicated to those English Catholics
who, in the stormy days of persecution, were martyred. It is
situated on the northern side of the town, in a new and rapidly
increasing part of Preston, at the extreme south-western corner of
what used to be called Preston Moor, and on the very spot where men
used to be hanged often, and get their heads cut off occasionally.
"Gallows Hill" is the exact site of the Church of the English
Martyrs. And this "hill" is associated with a movement constituting
one of the rugged points in our history. The rebellion of 1715
virtually collapsed at Preston; many fights and skirmishes were
indulged in, one or two breezy passages of arms even took place
within a good stone-throw of the ground occupied by the Church of
the English Martyrs; but the King's troops finally prevailed.
According to an old book before us there were "taken at Preston"--
amongst the rebels--"seven lords, besides 1,490 other, including the
several gentlemen, officers, and private men, and two clergymen."
And the book further says, in a humorously sarcastic mood, "There
was a Popish priest called Littleton among them; but having a great
deal of the Jesuit he contrived a most excellent disguise, for he
put on a blue apron, went behind an apothecary's counter, and passed
for an assistant or journeyman to the apothecary, and so took an
opportunity of getting off." But all the captured rebels did not
escape so adroitly as our Jesuitical friend Littleton; for several
of them were either hanged or beheaded, and the fate of many was
sealed on the site of the Church of the English Martyrs. On the 5th
of January, 1715, we are told that sixteen rebels "were hanged upon
Gallows Hill, for high treason and conspiracy." In the following
year "42 condemned prisoners of all religions were hanged and
decapitated at Preston;" and amongst them were five belonging
Preston and the neighbourhood. They were "Richard Shuttleworth, of
Preston, Esq.; Roger Moncaster, of Garstang, attorney; Thomas Cowpe,
of Walton-le-Dale; William Butler, of Myerscough, Esq.; William
Arkwright, of Preston, gentleman;" and all of them were put to death
on Gallows Hill the cost being for "materialls, hurdle, fire, cart,
&c.," and for "setting up" Shuttleworth's head, &c., 12 pounds 0s
4d. There can be no doubt that Gallows Hill derives its name
directly from the transactions of 1715-16. Prior to that time it was
a simple mound; after that period it became associated with hangings
and beheadings, and received the name of "Gallows Hill," which was
peculiarly appropriate.

In May, 1817, "Gallows Hill" was cut through, so that "the great
north road to Lancaster" might be improved. Whilst this was being
done two coffins were found, and in them there were discovered two
headless bodies. Local historians think they were the remains of
"two rebel chieftains;" they may have been; but there is no proof of
this, although the fair supposition is that they were the
decapitated remnants of two somebodies, who had assumed a rebellious
attitude in 1715. It is probable that the heads of these parties
were "exposed on poles in front of our Town-hall," for that was an
olden practice, and was considered very legitimate 154 years ago. We
have spoken of the "discoveries" of 1817, and in continuing our
remarks it may be said that "near the spot" some timber, supposed to
have been the gallows, was once found, and that a brass hand-axe was
dug up not far from it, at the same time. The Moor, which amongst
other things embraced the "hill" we have mentioned, was a rough
wildish place--a rude looking common; but it seems to have been well
liked by the people, for upon it they used to hold trade meetings,
political demonstrations, &c.; and for 65 years--from 1726 to 1791--
horse races were annually run upon it. The Corporation and the
freemen of the borough once had a great dispute as to their
respective claims to the Moor, and the latter by way of asserting
their rights, put upon it an old white horse; but the Corporation
were not to be cajoled out of their ownership by an argument so very
"horsey" as this; they ordered the animal off; and Mr. J. Dearden,
who still obeys their injunctions with courteous precision, put it
into a pinfold hard by.

The Church of the English Martyrs was erected not long ago upon that
part of the Moor we have described. Originally the promoters of the
church treated for a plot of land about 20 yards above the present
site; but the negotiations were broken off, and afterwards they
bought Wren Cottage and a stable adjoining, situated about a quarter
of a mile northwards. The house was made available for the priest;
the stable was converted into a church; and mass was said in it for
the first time on Christmas morning, 1864. On the 21st of January,
1865, it was formally "opened;" the Revs. Canon Walker, T. Walton,
and F. Soden taking part in the services of the day. During 1865
preparations were made for erecting a new church upon the same site;
but some of the gentlemen living in the immediate neighbourhood took
offence at the movement, and insisted upon certain stipulations
contained in the covenants, which barred out the construction of
such a building as a church or a chapel, being carried out. There
was a considerable amount of Corporation discussion in respect to
the question, and eventually the idea of erecting a church upon the
land was abandoned. Directly afterwards, "Gallows Hill," in which
both the Corporation and Mr. Samuel Pole Shaw had rights, was
purchased as a site for it. Operations, involving the removal of an
immense quantity of earth--for the place was nothing more than a
high, rough, sandy hillock,--were commenced on the 26th of March,
1866. On the 26th of May, in the same year, the foundation-stone was
laid, with great ceremony, by Dr. Goss, and on the 12th of December,
1867, the church was opened. Mr. E. W. Pugin designed the building,
which externally does not look very wonderful at present; but, when
completed, it will be a handsome place. The original design includes
a beautiful steeple, surmounted with pinnacles; but want of funds
precludes its erection.

The church is a high double-roofed edifice--looks like two
buildings, one placed above the other; and, owing to the absence of
a steeple, it seems very tall and bald. It has a pretty western
gable, which can only be fully appreciated by close inspection. The
centre of this gable is occupied by a fine eight-light window, and
the general work is surmounted by pinnacles and ornamental masonry.
Two angels, cut in stone, originally formed part of the
ornamentation; but during a strong gale, early in 1868, they were
blown down. These "fallen angels" have never regained their first
estate; and as they might only tumble down if re-fixed, and perhaps
kill somebody, which would not be a very angelic proceeding, we
suppose they will not be interfered with.

The church has an imposing, a noble interior. It is wide, lofty, has
a fine calm majestic look, and is excellently arranged. The nave,
which is 69 feet high, is supported by 14 stone pillars. From nearly
any point every part of the building may be seen; the nave pillars,
do not, as is the case in some churches, obstruct the vision; and
everything seems easy, clear, and open. In the daytime a rich
shadowy light is thrown into the church by the excellent disposition
of its windows; at eventide the sheen of the setting sun, caught by
the western window, falls like a bright flood down the nave, and
makes the scene beautiful. The high altar is a fine piece of
workmanship; is of Gothic design, is richly carved, is ornamented
with marbles, has a canopy of most elaborate construction, and is in
good harmony with the general architecture. Two small altars are
near it. One of them, dedicated to St. Joseph, and given by Mr. J.
Pyke, of this town, is particularly handsome; the other, dedicated
to the Blessed Virgin, is of a less costly, though very pretty,
character. Near one of the pillars on the north-eastern side there
stands a square wooden frame, which is called the pulpit. It is a
deliciously primitive and remarkably common-place concern; but it is
strong enough, and will have to stop where it is until money for
something better is raised. There are sittings in the church for 850
persons. On Sundays there are masses at eight, and half-past nine; a
regular service at eleven, and another at half-past six in the
evening. The aggregate attendance during the day is about 1,350. The
assemblage at the first mass is thin; at the second it is good--
better than at any other time; at eleven it is pretty numerous; and
in the evening it is fair. Adults and children from the union
workhouse, of the Catholic persuasion, attend the eleven o'clock
service; and they come in tolerable force--sometimes they number

The general congregation consists nearly altogether of working class
people, and it includes some of the best sleepers we have seen. The
members of the choir sit in a gallery at the western end. Their
performances are of a curious description. Sometimes they sing very
well--are quite exact in their renderings and decidedly harmonious;
at other times they torture the music somewhat. But then they are
young at the business, haven't had so much experience, and have
nothing to rely upon in the shape of instrumental music except the
hard tones of an ordinary harmonium. Organ accompaniments help up
good choirs and materially drown the defects of bad ones. With
better instrumental assistance, the singers at the Church of the
English Martyrs would acquit themselves more satisfactorily, and
with additional practice they would still further improve matters.

There are two priests stationed at the church--the Rev. James Taylor
and the Rev. Joseph Pyke. Father Taylor, the principal, is a
blooming, healthy, full-spirited gentleman. He is a "Fylde man;" has
in him much strong straight-forwardness; looks as if he had never
ailed anything in his life; doesn't appear to have mortified the
flesh very acutely; seems to have taken things comfortably and well
since the day of his birth; has not allowed his creed to spoil his
face--a trick which some professors of religion are guilty of; and
is, on the whole, a genuine specimen of the true John Bull type.
Father Taylor's first mission was at Lancaster, under the late Dean
Brown; afterwards he came to St. Augustine's, Preston, where he
remained four and a half years; then he was appointed Catholic
chaplain at the House of Correction; and subsequently he took charge
of his present mission. He is an active man, and works very hard in
his district. As a preacher he is energetic, impetuous, and
practical--speaks plainly and straight out, minces nothing, and
tries to drive what he considers to be the truth right home. He has
very little rhetorical action, hardly moves at all in the pulpit,
stirs neither head nor hand except upon special occasions; but he
has a powerful voice, he pours out his words in a strong, full
volume, and the force he has in this respect compensates for the
general immobility he displays during his discourses.

His colleague--the Rev. J. Pyke--is a small, mild gentleman,
unassuming in manner, cautious, careful, quiet, precise, and, whilst
attending to his duties regularly, he makes no bluster about them.
He was ordained at the Church of the English Martyrs, in September,
1868. In the pulpit he is earnest, clear, and regular in his
remarks. He makes no repetitions, flings himself into no attitudes,
assumes no airs, but proceeds on to the end steadily and calmly.
Both the priests named live close to the church, in a building which
forms part of the property of the mission. It is intended some time
to have a proper presbytery, near the church:  one is included in
the original plan; but shortness of funds bars its erection. The
work thus far executed--the church, vestries, &c.--has cost about
8,000 pounds, and there still remains upon the buildings a debt of
about 4,000 pounds. There are no schools in connection with the
church; but it is expected that there will be by and bye. The land
formerly used as the cattle market, and situated near the church,
has been bought for this purpose, and collectors are now engaged in
raising money towards the erection of the schools. The church has
two or three "guilds," the female members thereof numbering about
200, and the males 100. In the "district" there are about 3,000
Catholics, including 700 children under 10 years of age; so that the
priests in charge of it have quite enough on hand for the present. A
mission in debt to the tune of 4,000 pounds; a church to internally
complete--for much yet remains to be finished in the one described;
a church tower which will cost 2,000 pounds to raise; a presbytery
to begin of; schools, which are primarily essential, to erect; and
7,000 human beings to look after, constitute what may fairly be
termed "no joke."


Few districts are more thoroughly vitiated, more distinctly poverty-
struck, more entirely at enmity with soap and water than that in
which this church stands. Physically, mentally, and spiritually, it
is in a state of squash and mildew. Heathenism seethes in it, and
something even more potent than a forty-parson power of virtue will
be required to bring it to healthy consciousness and legitimate
action. You needn't go to the low slums of London, needn't smuggle
yourself round with detectives into the back dens of big cities if
you want to see "sights" of poverty and depravity; you can have them
nearer home--at home--in the murky streets, sinister courts, crowded
houses, dim cellars, and noisy drinking dens of St. Saviour's
district. Pass through it, move quietly along its parapets--leaving
a tour through its internal institutions for some future occasion--
and you will see enough to convince you that many missionaries, with
numerous Bibles and piles of blankets, are yet wanted at home before
being despatched to either farthest land or the plains of Timbuctoo.
The general scene may be thus condensed and described:  Myriads of
children, ragged, sore-headed, bare-legged, dirty, and amazingly
alive amid all of it; wretched-looking matrons, hugging saucy,
screaming infants to their breasts, and sending senior youngsters
for either herring, or beer, or very small loaves; strong, idle
young men hanging about street corners with either dogs at their
feet, or pigeon-baskets in their hands; little shops driving a brisk
"booking" business with either females wearing shawls over their
heads or children wearing nothing at all on their feet; bevies of
brazen-faced hussies looking out of grim doorways for more victims
and more drink; stray soldiers struggling about beer or dram shops
entrances, with dissolute, brawny-armed females; and wandering old
hags with black eyes and dishevelled hair, closing up the career of
shame and ruin they have so long and so wretchedly run.

Anybody may see the sights we have just described. We mention this
not because there is anything pleasing in it, but because it is
something which exists daily in the heart of our town--in the centre
of St. Saviour's district. No locality we know of stands more in
need of general redemption than this, and any Christian church, no
matter whatever may be its denominational peculiarities, which may
exist in it, deserves encouragement and support. The district is so
supremely poor, and so absolutely bad, that anything calculated to
improve or enlighten it in any way is worthy of assistance. A
Baptist chapel was built in the quarter we are now describing--it
was erected in Leeming-street, at the corner of Queen-street--in
1783. Fifty years afterwards it was enlarged; subsequently the
Baptists couldn't agree amongst themselves; the parties to the
quarrel then separated, some going to Pole-street Chapel, others
forming a new "church"--that now in Fishergate; and on the 10th of
August, 1859, the old building was bought by certain gentlemen
connected with the Church of England. A young man, named William
Dent Thompson, strong in constitution, greatly enamoured of
Reformation principles, keenly polemical, and brought up under the
aegis of the Rev. Geo. Alker, was appointed superintendent of the
place. He stayed awhile, then went away, and was succeeded by the
Rev. Geo. Donaldson, who in turn left for Blackburn, and was
followed by the Rev. Geo. Beardsell, the present incumbent of All
Saints' in this town. Mr. Beardsell did an excellent business in the
district--worked it up well and most praiseworthily; but he, in
time, left.

For seven months after this, there was no regular minister at the
place; still it didn't go down; several energetic, zealous laymen
looked after it and the schools established in connection with it,
and, considering their calibre, they did a good work. But they
couldn't keep up a full and continuous fire; a properly stationed
minister was needed; and Mr. Thompson, who had in the meantime
entered holy orders, was summoned from Blackenall, in Staffordshire,
to take charge of the church and district. In 1863 he came; under
his ministrations the congregation soon augmented; and in a short
time a movement was started for a new church; the old building being
a ricketty, inconvenient, rudely-dismal place, quite insufficient
for the requirements of the locality. The principal friends of the
new movement were R. Newsham, the late J. Bairstow, J. Horrocks, and
T. Miller, Esqrs., and what they subscribed constituted a
substantial nucleus guaranteeing the commencement of operations. In
1866, the old edifice was pulled down to make way for a new church,
and during the work of re-construction divine service was performed
in Vauxhall-road schools, which were, sometime after Mr. Thompson's
appointment, transferred by the Rev. Canon Parr from the Parish
Church's to St. Saviour's district. R. Newsham, Esq., laid the
corner-stone of St. Saviour's Church on the 26th of November, 1866;
the building was consecrated by the Bishop of Manchester, on the
29th of October, 1868; on the 9th of December in that year, the Rev.
W. D. Thompson was licensed to its incumbency; and on the 16th of
April, 1869, the district was "legally assigned" by the
Ecclesiastical Commissioners.

St. Saviour's--designed by Mr. Hibbert, architect, of this town--is
one of the handsomest and best finished churches we have seen. It
almost seems too good for the district in which it is situated. The
style of it is Gothic. Externally its most striking feature is the
tower. We thought at one time, when the tower had been run up a
considerable distance, that it was positively "going to the dogs."
At each of its angles there is a strange arrangement of dogs; they
bristle out on all sides, and are not over good looking--are thin,
hungry, weird-looking animals, appear to have had a hard time of it
somewhere, and to be doing their best to escape from the stone
whence they are protruding. But the pinnacles placed above have
completely taken away their grotesqueness, their malicious,
suspicious appearance, and the tower now looks beautiful. There are
three entrances to the church--one at the back, another at the
north-western corner, and the third beneath the tower on the south-
western side. If you please we will enter by the door on the last-
named side.

We are within the building--just within; and here we have on the
right a glass screen, on the left a multiplicity of warm water
pipes, and in the centre of the spot a handsome substantial
baptismal font, the gift of Sir T. G. Fermor-Hesketh, M.P. This font
can't be too highly praised; its workmanship is excellent; its
material is most durable; and with care it will last for at least
four thousand years. Behind it are two stained glass windows; one
being in memory of the father of the incumbent's wife; the other in
remembrance of the architect's mother. Adjoining is a plain window
which will shortly be filled in with stained glass, at the expense
of Mr. W. B. Roper, in memory of a relative. Leaving the font, and
the water pipes, and the windows, we move forward, and are at once
struck with the capaciousness, the excellent disposition, and the
handsome finish of the interior. Directly in front there is a
magnificent five-light chancel window--beautifully coloured, well
arranged, containing in the centre a representation of our Saviour,
and flanked by figures of the four evangelists. We have seldom seen
a more exquisite, a more elegantly artistic window than this. Edward
Swainson, Esq., whose works are in the district, presented it. Still
looking eastward, but taking a nearer view and one of less altitude,
we notice the pulpit--a piece of fine carved oak-work, resting upon
a circular column of stone, and given by Mrs. Newsham; then we have
a lectern, of the eagle pattern, presented by the Rev. R. Brown; and
to the left of this there is a most excellently finished, carved-
oak, reading desk, given by R. Newsham, Esq. The communion plate--
most choice and elaborate in design--was, we may observe, given by
the same gentleman. Turning round, we notice a pretty four-light
window in the western gable. This was also presented by R. Newsham,
Esq., in memory of the late J. Bairstow, Esq. The church consists of
a nave and a northern aisle. If an aisle could be constructed on the
southern side the building would assume proportions at once most
complete and imposing. But space will not permit of this. Land
constitutes a difficulty on that side; and the general building is
considerably deteriorated in appearance at present through
"associations" in this part. At the south-eastern end there is a
small wretched-looking beershop, and near it a dingy used-up
cottage. These two buildings are a nuisance to the church; they
spoil the appearance of the building at one end completely, and they
ought to be pulled down and carted off forthwith.

Reverting to the interior of St. Saviour's, we observe that the
northern side is supported by four arches, the central one depending
upon double columns of polished granite, and all of them having
highly ornamented capitals. A couple of stone angels support the
primary principal of the chancel roof, and they bear the weight put
upon them very complacently. The northern aisle is occupied below
with free seats; and above, in a gallery, with ditto. At the western
end there is a continuation of the gallery, filled with free seats.
The church will hold 800 people, and more than half the seats are
free. All the pews are strong, open, and good to sit in. The central
ones on the ground floor are very lengthy--perhaps thirty feet in

The congregation, considering the capacity of the church, is large,
and consists almost absolutely of working people. We noticed during
our visit to this place what we have seen at no other church or
chapel in the town, namely, that many of the worshippers put in an
early appearance--several were in their seats at least a quarter of
an hour before the service commenced. We further noticed that the
congregation is a pre-eminently quiet and orderly one. At some
places you are tormented to death with stirring feet, shuffling,
rustling clothes, coughing, sneezing, &c.; here, however, you have
little of these things, and at times, a positive dead calm prevails.
It may also be worthy of mention that we saw fewer sleepers at St.
Saviour's than in any other place of worship yet visited by us. Only
one gentleman got fairly into a state of slumber during the whole
service; a stout girl tried to "drop over" several times, and an old
man made two or three quiet efforts to get his eyes properly closed,
but both failed. All the other members of the congregation appeared
to be wide awake and amazingly attentive. The free seats are well
patronised by poor people, and it is to such a class as this that
the place seems really advantageous.

The music at the church is simple, hearty, and quite congregational.
The tunes are plain, and the worshippers, instead of looking on
whilst the choir perform, join in the music, and get up a very full
volume of respectable melody. The regular singers have their
quarters at the north-eastern end, on the ground floor, and they
acquit themselves with a very good grace. Near them is a small,
poor-looking organ; it is played well, but its music is not very
consolatory, and its tame, infantile appearance throws it quite out
of keeping with the general excellence of the church. Some money
has, we believe, been promised towards a new organ, and if somebody
else would promise some more, a seemly-looking instrument might be

Two or three "classes" meet every Sunday for instruction in the
church. Formerly, owing to defective accomodation, the members of
them had to assemble in two public-house rooms, where the education
was in one sense of the "mixed" kind, for whilst virtue was being
inculcated above, where the members met, the elegant war-whooping of
pagans below, given over to beer, tobacco, and blasphemy, could be
heard. This wasn't a thing to be desired, and as soon as ever the
church was ready, a removal to it was effected. Educational business
in connection with St. Saviour's is carried on in various parts of
the district. In Vauxhall-road there are day schools with an average
attendance of 220. On Sundays, the work of education is carried on
here; also at the Parsonage-house (which adjoins Lark-hill convent),
where a mother's class is taught by Mrs. Thompson; in Shepherd-
street, where a number of poor ragged children meet; and likewise,
as before stated, in the church; the aggregate attendance being
about 900. The Parsonage-house was purchased and presented to St.
Saviour's by the late J. Bairstow, Esq. Handsome new schools are
being built (entirely at the expense of R. Newsham, Esq., who has
been a most admirable friend to St. Saviour's) near the church. They
will accommodate about 400 scholars, and will, it is expected, be
ready by the end of the present year. The entire cost of the church,
parsonage house, &c., has been about 10,000 pounds; and not more
than 50 pounds will be required to clear off all the liabilities
thus far incurred.

The incumbent of St. Saviour's is plain, unpoetical, strong-looking,
and practical. He was reared under the shadow of Ingleborough. We
have known him for 30 years. On coming to Preston he was for
sometime a mechanic; then he became missioner in connection with the
Protestant Reformation Society, first at St. Peter's in this town,--
and next at St. Mary's. Afterwards he left, studied for the
ministry, and six years since, as already intimated, came to St.
Saviour's as its incumbent. For a time after the church was erected,
he had nothing to depend upon but the pew rents, which realised
about 70 pounds a year:  but fortune favours parsons:  the
Ecclesiastical Commissioners subsequently increased his stipend,
then 1,000 pounds was left by J. Bairstow, Esq., and the income is
now equal to about 300 pounds per annum. Mr. Thompson is not a
brilliant man, and never will be. He is close-shaven, full-featured,
heavily-set, slow is his mental processes, but earnest, pushing, and
enduring. He is an industrious parson, a striving, persevering,
roughly-hewn, hard-working man--a good visitor, a willing worker,
free and kindly disposed towards poor people, and the exact man for
such a district as that in which he is located. If a smart, highly-
drawn, classical gentleman were fixed as minister in the region of
St. Saviour's, the people would neither understand him nor care for
him. If he talked learnedly, discussed old cosmogonies, worked out
subtle theories of divinity, and chopped logic; if he spiced up big
homilies with Plato and Virgil, or wandered into the domain of
Hebrew roots and Greek iambics, his congregation would put him down
as insane, and would be driven crazy themselves. But Mr. Thompson
avoids these things, primarily because he doesn't know much about
them, and generally because plain words and practical work are the
sole things required in his district.

The gentleman under review used to be a tremendous anti-Popery
speaker, and more than once thought well of the Reformation
perorations of Henry Vincent; but he has toned down much in this
respect, like Panjandrum the Grand, under whose feathers he
originally nestled. He is still, and has a right to be, if that way
inclined, a strong believer in the triumph achieved at Boyne Water;
only he doesn't make so much stir about it as formerly. Mr. Thompson
is a determined and aspiring man; is earnest, windy, and clerically
"large;" knows he is a parson without being told of it; has a
somewhat ponderous and flatulent style of articulation; has not the
faculty of originality much developed, but can imitate excellently;
could sooner quote than coin a great thought; believes in stray
polemical struggles with outsiders; used to have a Byronic notion
that getting hold of other people's thoughts, and passing them off
for those of somebody else, was not a very great sin; is a better
anecdote teller than reasoner; can be very solemn and most
virtuously combative; could yet, though he seems to have settled
down, get up, on the shortest notice, any amount of "immortal
William" steam, and throw every ounce of it into a good ninth-rate
jeremiad. Still he has many capital points; he is a most
indefatigable toiler in his own district, and that covers all his
defects; he is not too proud nor too idle to visit everybody,
however wretched or vile, requiring his advice and assistance; he is
homely, sincere, and devoted to the cause he has in hand, and the
locality he has charge of; he does his best to improve it; he has
not laboured unsuccessfully; and no better minister could be found
for such a place. He can adapt himself to its requirements; can
level himself to its social and spiritual necessities; does more
good in it every day than a more polished, or brilliant, or namby-
pamby parson would be able to accomplish in a year; has an excellent
wife, who takes her share of the district's work; attends to the
varied wants of the locality--and there are many in a godless
district like his, with its 5,000 souls--in a most praiseworthy
manner. He is the right man is the right place, and it is a good job
that he is not too learned, for that would have interfered with his
utility, would have dumfounded those in his keeping, and operated
against his success. Mr. Thompson, adieu, and good luck to you.


All over, there are many who consider themselves Christian brethren;
but the number taking up the name specifically, with a determination
to stick to it denominationally, is small. In all large towns a few
of this complexion may be found; and in Preston odd ones exist whose
shibboleth is "Christian Brethren." We had a spell with them, rather
unexpectedly, on a recent "first day"--"Christian Brethren" always
call Sunday the first day. And it came about in this way:  we were
on the point of entering a Dissenting place of worship, when a
kindly-natured somewhat originally-constituted "pillar of the
Church" intercepted our movements, and said, "You mustn't come here
today." "Why?" we asked, and his reply was, that a fiftieth-rate
stray parson, whom "the Church doesn't care for" would be in the
pulpit that day, and that if we wished for "a fair sample" we must
"come next Sunday." We didn't want to be hard, and therefore said
that if "another place" could be found for us, we would take it
instead. Violent cogitation for five minutes ensued, and at last our
friend, more zealous than erudite, conjured up what he termed, "them
here new lot, called Christians."

We had heard of this section before, and at our request he
accompanied us to a small, curiously-constructed building in Meadow-
street. At the side of the doorway we observed a strangely-written,
badly-spelled sign, referring to the different periods when the
"Christian Brethren" met for worship, &c.; and above it another sign
appeared, small and dim, and making some allusion to certain
academical business. Hurrying up fourteen steps we reached a dark,
time-worn door, and after pausing for a moment--listening to some
singing within--our guide, philosopher, &c., opened it, and we
entered the place with him. The room was not "crowded to
suffocation;" its windows were not gathering carbon drops through
the density of human breathing; there were just fourteen persons in
the place--four men, three women, two youths, a girl, and four
children. A Bible and a hymn book--the latter, according to its
preface, being intended for none but the righteous--were handed to
us, and our friend want through the singing in a delightfully-
dreadful style. He appeared to have a way of his own in the business
of psalmody--sang whatever came into his head first, got into all
manner of keys, and considering that he was doing quite enough for
both of us, we remained silent, listening to the general melody, and
drinking in its raptures as placidly as possible.

Prior to describing either the service we witnessed, or the
principles of those participating in it, we must say a word in
reference to the building. It stands on the northern side of Meadow-
street, between sundry cottage houses, retiring a little from the
general frontage, and by its architecture seems to be a cross
between a small school and a minute country meeting-house. It was
originally built in 1844 by Mr. John Todd of this town. He started
it as a chapel on his own account--for at that time he had special
theological notions; and probably considered that he had as much
right to have a place of worship as anybody else. We have been
unable to ascertain the primal denominational character of the
building; the founder of it is unable to tell us; all that we have
been able to get out of him is, that the place "had no name," and
all that we can, therefore, fairly say is, that he built it, and did
either something or nothing in it. Mr. Todd did not occupy it very
long; he struck his colours in about a year; and afterwards it was
used by different Dissenting bodies, including some Scotch Baptists,
on whose behalf the building was altered. Originally it was only one
story high; but when the Baptists went to it a second story was
added, and, having either aspiring notions or considering that they
would be better accommodated in the higher than the lower portion of
the building, they went aloft, leaving the ground floor for
individuals of more earthly proclivities. Two years ago Mr. Todd
sold the building, and about six months since certain Christian
Brethren hired the top room for "first day" purposes, week day work
being carried on in it by an industrious schoolmaster.

Like the Quakers, Christian Brethren are a "peculiar people." They
believe more in being good and doing good than in professing
goodness formally. They recognise some forms and a few ceremonies;
but vital inherent excellence--simple Christianity, plain,
unadorned, and earnest--is their pole-star. They claim to be guided
in all their religious acts solely by the Scriptures; consider that
as "the disciples were first called Christians at Antioch," their
followers have no right to assume any other name; think, baptismally
speaking, that whilst there may be some virtue in sprinkling and
pouring, there can be no mistake about absolute immersion, inasmuch
as that will include everything; think baby baptism unnecessary, and
hold that none except penitent believers, with brains fairly
solidified, should be admitted to the ordinance; maintain that, as
under the apostolic regime, "the disciples came together on the
first day of the week to break bread," Christians should partake of
the sacrament every Sunday; call their ministers "evangelists;" hold
that at general meetings for worship there should be full liberty of
speech; that worship should be perfectly free; and that everything
should be supported on the voluntary principle. Those now
worshipping in Meadow-street are the first "Christian Brethren" we
have had, regularly organised, in Preston. How they will go on we
cannot tell; but if present appearances are any criterion, we are
afraid they will not make very rapid progress. They have about ten
"members" at present; when the "baker's dozen" will be reached is a

The executive business of Christian Brethren is managed by deacons;
but the diaconal stage has not yet been reached in Preston. There
are branches of the body in Blackburn, Southport, Bolton, &c.; but
none exist in Lancashire north of Preston. The brethren here have no
Sunday-school; but the establishment of one is contemplated, and it
may be in time fairly attended. What the number of attendants will
be we can't tell, but this may be fairly said--that if each of the
ten members happens, in the lapse of time, to have 12 children, and
if all are sent to school, 120 scholars will be raised, and that
this would constitute a very good muster for a small denomination.
But we must return to the subject.

After the singing, which our friend so improved--and he continued
"in the werry same tone of voice," as poor Sam Cowell used to say in
his "Station Porter's" song, through every hymn--a bearded,
mustached, and energetic young man (Mr. W. Hindle), originally a
Methodist town missionary, at one time connected with Shepherd-
street Ragged School, Preston, and now an "Evangelist" belonging the
Christian Brethren, labouring at Southport, Blackburn, &c., but
generally engaged for Sunday service at Preston, read several verses
from the Bible; then be prayed, his orison being of a free and wide-
spreading type; and afterwards he asked if any "brother" would read
from Holy Writ. A pause followed, doubt and bashfulness apparently
supervening; but at length a calm, thoughtful gentleman got up, and
went through sundry passages in Isaiah. The singing of a hymn
succeeded, and Mr. Hindle then asked if "another brother" would
read. A gentleman, spectacled, with his hair well thrown back, and
very earnest, here rose, and having put a small Bible upon a little
table in front, and taken up a larger volume which the minister had
been perusing, diced into Corinthians, and gave a tolerably
satisfactory reading. The minister then commenced discussing certain
antithetical points in St. Paul's writings, and next asked if "two
or three brethren" would engage in prayer. Thirty seconds elapsed,
and then one of the brethren made a prayer. The sacrament--bread and
wine--directly followed, and after a purse, suddenly pulled out from
some place by the minister, had been sharply handed round for
contributions, a serious young man gave out a hymn, which the
company genially sung. More speaking ensued:  but the minister had
it all to himself. He said--"Will any brother speak; now is the
time; if you have anything to state utter it; lose no time, but say
on." Never a brother spoke; eye-squeezing and thumb-turning, and
deep introspection followed; and in the end the minister rose, took
his text from three or four parts of the Bible, and gave a lengthy
discourse, relieved at intervals with genuine outbursts of
eloquence, relative to Christian action and general duty. He seemed
to have a poor notion of many Christians, and somewhat fantastically
illustrated their position by saying that they were, spiritually
troubled with consumption and apparently with diabetes!--were
continually devouring good things, constantly wasting away, and
doing no particular good amongst it at all. We felt the force of
this; but we didn't ejaculate; quietness, except on very excited
occasions, being the rule here. His discourse lasted about 30
minutes, and it was well and forcibly delivered. At the conclusion
two or three of the Brethren came out of their circle--they were all
round a table before the parson--and shook hands with us.

We shortly afterwards retired, leaving our "musical" friend engaged
in a hot discussion with the parson as to the propriety of certain
observations he had made in his sermon. How the matter was fought
out we cannot tell. The Brethren assemble every Sunday morning and
evening in the building; sometimes they have a Bible class meeting
on a Sunday afternoon; and occasionally a week night service. They
are a calm, devout, forlorn-looking class; are distinctly sincere;
have strong liberal notions of Christianity; seem to love one
another considerably, and may at times greet each other with a holy
kiss; but they don't thrive much in Preston. In time they may become
a "great people," but at present their status is small. Ten
Christian Brethren up 14 steps may grow potent eventually; but they
may, figuratively speaking, fall down the steps in the meantime, and
so injure the cause as to defy the influence of theraputics.

A few words now as to Brook-street Primitive Methodist Chapel, which
we visited the same day. This is a tiny building, and appears to
stand in a dangerous region. On one side all the windows are
continually shuttered, so as to prevent the mischievous action of
stones, and in front the door is railed in closely so as to
frustrate the efforts of those who might be inclined to kick it. The
chapel, which is also used for Sunday school purposes, was built in
1856. It is a very humble, plain-looking edifice externally; and
internally it is equally unassuming. You get to it collaterally,
through a pair of narrow doors, which bang about very much in stormy
weather. The roof is supported by two iron pillars, with which a
tall stove pipe keeps company. In the centre there are 16 pews, each
capable of holding three persons, and a large pew which will
accommodate six. Rows of small forms run down each side. Those on
the left are used by men and boys; those on the other side are
principally patronised by women and little children, some of whom
are too young to engage in anything but lactary pursuits. Green is a
favourite colour here. The inside of the pews are green; portions of
the walls are green; some of the windows are similarly coloured at
the base; the music stands in the orchestra are green; and there is
a fine semi-circular display of green at the back of the pulpit. At
the south-eastern corner there are sundry pieces of old timber piled
up; at the opposite side there is a cupboard; and over the entrance
numerous forms, colour poles, and a ladder are placed. These
constitute all the loose ornaments in the chapel. About 150 persons
can be accommodated in the place. When we visited it--the time was
rather unfavourable, owing to the roughness of the weather--sixty-
six persons, exclusive of the choir and the parson, were in it.

The congregation is a very poor one, but it is singularly sincere
and orderly--is not refined but devout, is comparatively unlettered
but honest. There is neither silk, nor satin, nor diamond rings, nor
lavender kids, in the place; a hard working-day plainness, mingled
with poverty, pervades it; but there is no sham seen:  if the people
are poor, commonly dressed, noisy--if they effervesce sometimes, and
shout "Hallelujah" with a fiery joyfulness, and pray right out, as
if they were being ship-wrecked or frightened to death, why let them
have their way, for they are happy amongst it. Their convictions are
strong, and when they are at it they go in for a good thing--for
something roughly exquisite, hilariously pious, and consumingly
good. They don't mince matters; are neither dainty nor given to
cant, but shout out what they feel at the moment whatever may become
of it afterwards. Sunday services, prayer meetings, and class
meetings are held in the chapel regularly. The pulpit is occupied by
various persons.

The minister stationed at the place is the Rev. J. Hall--colleague
of the pastor at Saul-street Chapel--but he only takes his turn in
it. A strong-built man, plainly attired, earnest, and not so given
to flights of violent fancy as some preachers, had charge of the
pulpit during our visit. His style was homely, and in his easier
periods he had a knack of putting his left hand into his breeches
pocket, and talking in a semi-conversational Lancashire dialect
style. He dilated for thirty minutes upon the horn-blowing at
Jericho, the siege, the wall-falling, and the sin of Achan; and then
wound up by telling his hearers--drawing the moral from Achan's
fate--that if they did wrong they would be sure to be found out. The
sermon was quite equal to the bulk of homilies given in Primitive
Methodist Chapels, and it seemed to go right home to the
congregation. The plundering of Achan was well told, and when it was
announced that he was stoned with stones, and then burned, the
congregation sent up a mild, half-sighing groan, shaking their heads
a little, and apparently determining to do right as long as ever
they lived.

The music at the chapel was strong, and, remembering the nature of
the place, satisfactory. Three men, three young women, and a boy
managed it. The women sometimes drowned the men; the boy often got
into a shrill mood; but the men finally reached the surface, the
women quietly subsided, the boy toned down his forces somewhat; and
on the whole the singing was well done. After the sermon there came
a prayer meeting. We determined to see it out, preserving that
quietude and respect which one ought always to evince towards those
believing in the great cardinal points of Christanity, however
peculiar may be, the modes of their expression. Only about twenty-
five, who assembled on the southern side of the chapel, joined the
prayer meeting. The proceedings were of a most enthusiastic,
virtuous, hot, and bewildering character. Singing, feet-beating,
praying, hand-clapping, and reciprocal shouting constituted the
programme. One elderly man went fairly wild during the business. He
shook his head, doubled his fists, threw his arms about, ejaculated
with terrible rapidity and force, and appeared to be entirely set on
fire by his feelings. A thorough craze--a wild, beating,
electrifying passion--got completely hold of him for a few minutes,
and he enjoyed the stormy pulsations of it exceedingly. At the end
somebody said, "Now, will some of the women pray?" Instantly a
little old man said, "God bless the women;" "Aye," said another,
while several gave vent to sympathetic sighs. But the women were not
to be drawn out in this style; none of them were in the humour for
praying; they didn't even return the benediction of the little old
man by saying "God bless the men;" they kept quiet, then got up, and
then all walked out; the last words we remember being from a woman,
who, addressing us, said, "Now, draw it mild!"


We have made no inquiry as to the original predecessors of those
attending this church. They may have been links in the chain of
those men who, ages ago, planted themselves on the coast of Malabar,
rejoicing in the name of "Christians of St. Thomas," and struggling
curiously with Nestorians, Franciscans, Dominicans, and Jesuits;
they may have constituted a remnant of the good people whom Cosmas
Indicopleustes saw in the East twelve hundred years since; they may
have only had a Preston connection, knowing nothing of the Apostle
of India--St. Thomas--beyond what anybody knows, and caring more for
his creed than his title. Whatever may have been their history and
fate, it is certain their successors believe in that most
apostolical of unbelievers just mentioned--so far, at least, as the
name is concerned. The church they respect is situated at the
northern end of Preston, near the junction of Moor-lane and
Lancaster-road. It is a small, strong, hard-looking building; seems
as if it would stand any amount of rain and never get wet through,
any quantity of heat and never have a sunstroke; it is stoical,
cold, firm, and very stony; has a bodkin-pointed spire, ornamented
with round holes and circular places into which penetration has not
yet been effected; and its "tout ensemble" is in no way edifying. It
is neither ornate nor colossal. Strength, plainness, and smallness,
with a strong dash of general rigidity, are its outward

St. Thomas's is one of the local churches erected through the
exertions of the late Rev. R. Carus Wilson; and, like all those
churches, it is built in the Norman style of architecture--a
massive, severe style, which will never be popularly pleasing, but
will always secure endurance for the edifices constructed on its
principles. The first stone of this church was laid in August, 1837.
The building stands upon a hill, is surrounded by a powerful stone
wall, can be approached two ways, and has its front entrance
opposite a small street, which has not yet received any name at all.
To a stranger, ingress to the building is rather perplexing. A
gateway in Lancaster-road, leading to a footpath, fringed with
rockery, would appear to be the front way, but it is only a rear
road, and when you get fairly upon it you wonder where it will end--
whether you will be able to get to the interior by it, or only to
some rails on one side and a wall on the other. It, however,
eventuates round a corner, at the main entrance. We recommend this
back way, for the legitimate front road is much more intricate and
harassing; you can only become acquainted with it, if
topographically unenlightened, and bashful as to making inquiries,
by hovering about an ancient windmill, moving up narrow hilly
streets, flanked by angular bye-paths, and then following either the
first woman you see with a prayer book in her hand, or the first man
you catch a sight of with a good coat on his back. The main entrance
is ornamental but diminutive in many respects. There are three
doorways here, the collateral ones, which are very low, and quite
calculated to prevent people from entering the building with their
hats on, being patronised the most--not because there is an
offertory box in the central passage, but because the side roads are
the handiest. During a second visit to the church we went in by the
middle door, the medium course, as the proverb hath it, being the
safest, and seeing the offertory box--a remarkably strong, iron-
cornered article, fastened to the wall--we remarked to an official,
in his shirt sleeves, who was with us, "This will stand a deal of
money before falling." The official replied "It will so," and the
look, he gave us superinduced the conclusion that the offertory box
was not going to fall for some time.

We have seen no more deceptive-looking church than that we are now
at. Viewed externally, you would say that scarcely a good handful of
people could be accommodated in it; it seems so narrow, so entirely
made up of and filled in with stone, that one infers at first sight
it will hardly hold the parson and the sacrament-loving "old woman"
who invariably exists as a permanent arrangement at all our places
of worship; but this is a fallacy, for the building will accommodate
about 1,100 people. The interior consists of a nave, two aisles, and
a chancel. Everything in the building seems strong, clean, and good;
and considering the ponderous character of its architecture a fair
share of light is admitted to it. At the entrance, there is a glass
screen, ornamentally got up and surmounted with a small lion and
unicorn design. Just within this screen there is a curtained pew,
and sitting within its enclosure must be a very snug and select
thing. It is occupied by Mr. Hermon, M.P., and when he draws the
curtains all round--"he sometimes does," said the official
accompanying us--no one can see a morsel of him whilst he can see
never a one in the building, not even the parson, without a special
effort. The nave is broad and quadrangular, is supported by
immensely strong pillars, and has a fine high roof, looking clean
and spacious, but considerably spoiled by several commonplace
awkwardly fashioned beams. The roof of each aisle is similarily
marred. The seats are disposed in six parallel ranges, and the
generality are quite good enough for anybody. Along each side there
is a row of free seats--about 50 altogether--capable of
accommodating upwards of 300 persons. There are also many free seats
in the gallery.

The present incumbent has an idea that he has made some addition to
this accomodation; but people who have known the church ever since
it was built say that the extra "free pews" appropriated for the
poor by him were never charged for. At the end of each aisle there
is a neat stained glass window; that to the right bearing this
inscription--"To the memory of W. P. Jones, M.A., ob. January 29,
1864, aged 77 years," and that on the left these words "To the
memory of Mrs. Fanny Jones, ob. January 27, 1864, aged 75 years."
Mr. Jones was a former incumbent of St. Thomas's. He was a quiet,
mild-minded man, devoid of bombast, neither cynical nor meddlesome,
and was well liked by all. His wife died just two days before him,
and both were interred in one grave in St. Peter's church yard. The
pulpit and reading desk at St. Thomas's are good-looking and
substantial, but both are rather bad to get into and out of--the
steps are narrow and angular, with a sudden descent, which might
cause a stranger to miss his footing and fall, if he had not firm
hold of the side rail. Right above, perhaps 20 feet high, and
surmounting the chancel arch, there is a small ornamental
projection, like a balcony. It would make a capital stand for the
minister; or might be turned into a conspicuous place of Sunday
resort for the wardens; but, then, they would have to be hoisted to
it, for there is no road up, and that would not be seemly. Formerly,
we believe, this balcony was used by the singers, but they were
subsequently transplanted to the western gallery. The passage to the
balcony front is now shut off. A considerable effort at
ornamentation has been made on the walls flanking the balcony
described. But we don't care much for it. Little pillars, quaint
window models, and other architectural devices, are heaped upon each
other in curious profusion, and it is difficult to get at their real
meaning. They relieve the walls a little, but they do the work
whimsically, and you can neither get a smile nor a tear from them.
The chancel arch is strong and ornamental; within it there is
another arch, the intervening roof being neatly groined and
coloured; and beyond there is the chancel--a small, somewhat
cimmerian, yet pretty-looking place. There are five windows in it;
three having sacred figures painted upon them, and the remaining two
being filled in with fancy designs, which don't look over well,
owing to the decay of the colours.

The congregation is tolerably numerous, has in it the high, the
fair-middling, and the humble--the good-looking, the well-dressed,
the rubicund, the mildly mahogany-featured, the simply-dressed, the
attenuated, and the indigent. But there is a clear halo of
respectability about the place; superior habiliments are distinctly
in the ascendant; and orderly behaviour reigns throughout each
section of worshippers. The free seats are very fairly patronised,
and sometimes very oddly. In one part of them we saw nine persons
all near each other, and out of that number five wore spectacles,
whilst three could only see with one eye. At the western end of the
church there is a beautiful circular window, but it has not met with
very good treatment. It has been broken in one part, and every
morsel of it is covered up from general view by the organ occupying
the gallery. Only the organ blower can see it properly, and having
the whole of it to himself, it is to be expected he will derive some
consolation from his special position. If he doesn't, then he
neither gets up the wind nor looks through the window properly. The
organ is a good one, and it is played with average ability, but it
is too big for the place it occupies, and entirely swamps what was
once considered a fine gallery. The singers are rather afraid of
giving vent to their feelings. They discourse the music tastefully,
but they are too quiet, and don't get into a temper, as they ought
to do occasionally, over it. Prior to the advent of the present
incumbent, the choir, considering its numbers, was, perhaps, as good
as any in the town or neighbourhood; but one Sunday morning the
gentleman referred to, having apparently been fiercely stung by a
Ritualistic wasp, blew the trumpet of his indignation very strongly-
-got into a whirlwind of denunciation all at once and without the
aid of a text, regarding Ritualism; and the organist and singers,
whose musical services embraced chants, &c., fancying that the rev.
gentleman was either tired of their presence or performances, many
of which were voluntary, sent in their resignations. Since then the
music has not been very brilliant.

There are religious services every Sunday morning and evening at St.
Thomas's, and on Thursday night a small gathering of the faithful
takes place in the building. The trustees of the church are--Miss
Margaret Ann Beckles, St. Leonard's; Samuel Husband Beckles, Esq.,
of the Middle Temple; the Rev. Edward Auriol, St. Dunstans; the Rev.
Charles F. Close, St. Ann's, Blackfriars; the Rev. W. Cadman,
Marylebone; and Sir Hugh Hill. The Rev. L. W. Jeffrey was the first
incumbent of the church; then came the Rev. W. P. Jones, who died,
as before stated, in 1884; afterwards the Rev. J. T. Becher was
appointed to the incumbency, but he died from typhus fever in five
weeks and was succeeded by the Rev. J. P. Shepperd who still holds
the post and receives from it about 400 pounds a year.

Mr. Shepperd is a man of middle age, and looks after his sheep
fairly, but at times eccentrically. He has a polished, tasteful,
clerical contour; attends well to his hair, whiskers, and linen;
wears a hat half bishoply and half archidiaconal in its brim; is a
good scholar, a clear reasoner, an able-preacher, but repeats
himself often, and gets long-winded on Sunday nights; is highly
enamelled, touchy, and imperial; is lofty in tone, cream laid and
double thick in manner; is full of metal, and there is a stately
mystery about him, as if he were a blood relation of the Great
Mokanna; he is nearly infallible, and would make a good Pope; he is
strongly combative, and would be a vigorous bruiser in stormy
ecclesiastical circles. We fancy no parson in Preston has had more
officials than Mr. Shepperd. In less than half a dozen years there
have been at the place many organists, singers, curates, scripture
readers, and eight or nine churchwardens. Either they have been very
uneasy people or he has been uniquely antagonistic. Mr. Shepperd
resides at a good parsonage some distance north of the church, and
he has a pretty garden adjoining, the walls thereof having been
built at the expense of Mr. Hermon, who has been a capital friend to
the church. In the garden there is a quantity of handsome rockery,
purchased by the late Mr. James Carr (who was at one time a warden),
out of the church funds. This rockery was originally placed in the
church yard, along with that still remaining there; but it was
thought by somebody that the yard didn't require so much ornamental
stone, so a quantity of it was removed to the place mentioned. If
Mr. Shepperd has it set in a circle he may play the Druid amongst
it, reserving the biggest block for a cromlech and the smoothest for
a seat; if it is concentrated in one mass he may stand upon it, defy
all the ex-churchwardens, and quoting Scott, cry out, "Come one,
come all, this rock shall fly" &c. Originally, St. Thomas's cost a
considerable amount of money, and in consequence of improvements
subsequently made, there is still, it is said, a pretty round sum
due to the late wardens and the contractors, and they, are much in
the dark as to when they will get it. The parson can't see the force
of paying it himself, the officers of the church make no move in the
matter, the congregation is apathetic on the subject, the beadle
keeps quiet, and does his central church walk calmly, never thinking
of it. But, if owing, somebody should settle the bill, and the
sooner it is liquidated, the more respectable will the affairs of
the church become. Bother without end has prevailed at St. Thomas's
about money, and until people get their own, and see regular annual
statements of accounts--things which seem to be scarce in these
times--they will continue to be uneasy and, probably, noisy.

Associated with the church are superior schools--one for infants, in
the unchristened street near the church, and two others for boys and
girls, in Lancaster-road. The average day attendance is--boys, 250;
girls, 220; infants, 240. The average attendance on the Sunday is--
boys, 250; girls, 320. The day schools are in a good state of
efficiency, and are of great service to the district. They are well
managed, and with respect to some of their departments Government
reports speak most encouragingly. Worn old grievances with ex-
churchwardens are duly squared, when a greater amount of what is
called "fixity of tenure" exists in respect to the officials, and
when Mr. Sheppard drops his little dogma as to personal immaculacy,
and allows other people a trifle more freedom, his flock will be
fatter, woollier, and quieter than ever they have been since he


In 1827, a little school was opened in a building at the corner of
Gildow-street, abutting upon Marsh-lane, in this town. It was
established in the Wesleyan Methodist interest, and one of its chief
supporters was Mr. T. C. Hincksman, a gentleman still living, who
has for a long period been a warm friend of the general cause of
Methodism. Although begun tentatively, the school soon progressed;
in time there was a good attendance at it; ultimately it was
considered too small; and the result was a removal to more
convenient premises--to a room connected with the mill of the late
Mr. John Furness, in Markland-street:  But the little old building
did not change so much in its character after being deserted by the
Wesleyan scholars; it was still retained for juvenile purposes--
still kept open for the edification, if not improvement, of
youngsters. Old-fashioned sweets were sold in it, and the place was
long known as "Granny Bird's toffy shop." At the mill in Markland-
street, which used to be called "Noggy Tow," the school was very
prosperous; but the accomodation here at length became defective,
and in 1832 the scholars retraced their steps to Gildow-street,--not
to the small toffy establishment, where sucklings, if not babes,
were cared for, but to a building at the opposite end of the
thoroughfare erected specially for them. In 1840 they withdrew from
this edifice and went to a new school made in Croft-street, the
foundation stone of which was laid by the Rev. John Bedford, a well-
known Wesleyan minister, who at that time was stationed in Preston.
In 1858 two wings for class and other purposes, principally promoted
by the late Mr. T. Meek, costing 700 pounds, and opened clear of
debt, were attached to the school, and twelve months ago--scholastic
business still proceeding--the central portion of it was set apart
for regular religious services on the Sabbath.

The building is large, good-looking, and well-proportioned. There is
nothing of an ecclesiastical complexion about either its external or
internal architecture. Substantially it is a school, utilised twice
every Sunday for devotional purposes. The floor of it is well cared
for, and ought to enjoy much fresh air, for there are 18
ventilators, grate shaped, in front of it. When that which formed
the nucleus of the school was started, the neighbourhood was open;
there was a suburban look about the locality; but entire rows of new
dwellings now surround the school; the part in which it stands is
densely populated; all grades of men, women, and children inhabit
it; "civilisation"--rags, impudence, dirt, and sharpness, for they
mean civilisation--has long prevailed in the immediate
neighbourhood; a fine new brewery almost shakes hands with the
building on one side; the "Sailor's Home" beershop stands sentry two
doors off on the other. What more could you desire? A large
industrious population, lots of crying, stone-throwing children, a
good-looking brewery, a busy beershop, a school, and a chapel, all
closely mixed up, are surely sufficient for the most ardent lover of
variety and "progress." The room wherein the Wesleyans associated
with Croft-street school meet for religious duties is square, heavy-
looking, dull, and hazy in its atmosphere. It is ventilated by
curious pieces of iron which work curvilinearly up huge apertures
covered with glass; its walls are ornamented with maps, painted
texts, natural history pictures, &c.; and at the eastern side there
is a small orthodox article for pulpit purposes. There are several
ways into the room--by the back way if you climb walls, by the
direct front if you ascend steps, by the sides of the front if you
move through rooms, pass round doorways, and glide past glass

We took the last route, and sat down near a young gentleman with a
strong bass voice. In a corner near there was a roseate-featured,
elderly man, who enjoyed the service at intervals and slept out what
he could not fathom. Close to him was a youth who did the very same
thing; and in front there were three females who followed the like
example. The service was plain, simple, sincere, and quite
Methodistical; it was earnestly participated in by a numerous
congregation; the responses were quiet and somewhat internal; an
easy respectable seriousness prevailed; nothing approaching either
cant or wild-fire was manifested. Working-class people preponderated
in the place, as they always do; the singing was clear, and plain,
odd lines coming in for a share of melodious quavering; and the
sermon was well got-up and eloquent. The Rev. C. F. Hame, who has
recently come to Preston in the place of the Rev. W. H. Tindall
(Lune-street Circuit), was the preacher on this occasion. He is a
little gentleman, with considerable penetration and power; has a
good theological faculty; is cool, genial, and lucid in language;
and, although he can shout a little when very warm, he never loses
either the thread of his argument or his personal equilibrium. There
are 120 members at this place of worship; the average attendance at
the different services is 250; and the number is gradually

Regular ministers and local preachers fill the pulpit in turns;
there being, as a rule, one of the former at either the morning or
evening service every Sunday. Sometimes both kinds may be present
and ready for action at the same moment; but they never quarrel as
to which shall preach--never get "up a tree," figuratively speaking,
and everything is arranged quietly. The school, wherein the services
we have referred to are held, has been one of the most useful in
Preston; more scholars have probably passed through it than through
any other similar place in the town; old scholars--men and women
now--who received their religious education here, are in all parts,
and there is not a quarter of the globe where some may not be found
who have a pleasant recollection of the school. Its average day
attendance is 240; its average Sunday morning attendance 275; whilst
on a Sunday afternoon the regular number is 425. The school, which
is conveniently arranged and well fit up with every sort of ordinary
educational contrivance, is in a satisfactory state, and, in
conjunction with the "chapel," which it makes provision for, is
doing an excellent work in the district, which is open to all
comers, and will stand much drilling and spiritual flogging ere it
reaches perfection.

"Over the hills and far away"--up the brow of Maudlands, down new
streets on the other side, under the canal, up another brow, through
narrow, angular roads, flanked with factories, by the edge of a wild
piece of land supplying accomodation for ancient horses, brick-
makers, pitch and toss youths, and pigeon flyers, and then turning
suddenly at a mysterious corner in the direction of mill gates you
reach Parker-street United Methodist Free Church. Externally this
church is a very simple, prosaic building. Viewed from the front it
looks like the second storey bedroom of a cottage; eyed from the
side it seems like a long office, four yards from the ground, with a
pair of round-headed folding doors below, and at the extreme end a
narrow aperture, which apparently leads round the corner. It was
built 12 or 13 years ago, for a school, by Messrs. J. and J. Haslam,
near whose mill it is situated, and it is still used for educational
purposes. During the latter end of 1858 and the beginning of 1859
there was a dispute amongst the United Free Church brethren
assembling in Orchard Chapel. Both men and women entered into the
disturbance freely; but they did not follow the plan lately adopted
by some United Methodist Christians, living at Batley, who, having a
grievance at their chapel, "fought it out" in the back yard; what
they did, after many a lively church meeting, was to appeal to the
authorities of the denomination, state their case quietly, and abide
the decision of their superiors. That decision sanctioned a
separation and the establishment in Preston of a second United
Methodist circuit, totally independent of the Orchard-street people,
but responsible to the general executive for its actions. Those
forming the new circuit in Preston--about twenty "members"--had not,
however, a chapel, so Messrs. Haslam, who sympathised with the
movement, permitted them to meet in the school they had built in
Parker-street. The course pursued by the secessionists was approved
of by some United Methodists at Cuerden Green, where the Orchard
brethren had a small chapel, and they left the parent body when the
separation already mentioned took place. There was a fair amount of
goodly squabbling about the Cuerden Green Chapel. Each side wanted
it. For a time the secessionists held it; then the owner of the
building died; and, after various movements, the Orchard brethren
"went in and won," and they have retained possession of the premises
ever since. The second circuit includes no country place except
Brindle, where the denomination has a good chapel.

The "full members" of the circuit number about 90, and 75 of them
are in Preston. There are 25 "on trial" at the present moment, but
as we cannot tell how they will pass through the alembic, it would
be out of place to make any absolute statement as to their fate. The
circuit is increasing in strength; its finances, notwithstanding bad
times, are in a very fair state; a good feeling exists between the
members of both circuits; they have become peaceable and
pachydermatous, thin-skinnedness being considered an evil; and
altogether affairs are satisfactory. The system under which
ministers are appointed to Parker-street chapel is the same as that
prevailing amongst the general body, and as we described at in a
previous article no allusion need now be made to it. The first
parson at the chapel in Parker-street was the Rev. Robert
Eltringham; since then the following have been at it--the Revs. J.
Nettleton, J. Shaw, J. Mara (who is now a missionary in China for
the United Methodist body), W. Lucas, C. Evans, J. W. Chisholm, and
the Rev. T. Lee. The names show that there has been a new parson at
the chapel almost every year. The present pastor (Rev. T. Lee) only
came in August last; his predecessor (Mr. Chisholm), who is a sharp,
shrewd, liberal-minded gentleman, having been removed to Manchester.

Not long ago, after struggling through many far-away streets, we
found ourselves at the corner of a little opening at the top of
Parker-street. "This is the place," said a friend who was with us.
We knew it was, for several yards before reaching the building, the
torrents of a strong voice came impetuously through an open window,
and the burthen of its strains had reference to a revival of "our
connexion." Such a noise as this we thought ought to have aroused
the whole neighbourhood; but we could see nobody about except a
woman right opposite, who was engaged in the serious business of
front step washing, and who seemed to take no notice whatever of the
strong utterances coming through the window. She washed on, and the
good man above prayed on. It was rather difficult to find the way to
the chapel. It could not, we fancied, be by the front door of a shop
which we saw beneath; it could not, we were certain, be through a
window above, for whilst there was a pulley roller in front of it
there was neither rope nor block visible for regular lifting
purposes; neither, we thought, could it be through a large double-
door at the side, for that was bolted, and seemed to have been made
for something taller and broader than the human form. After
sauntering about, the grand rush of words through the window still
continuing, in the interests of "our connexion," we moved towards a
corner at the far end of the side opening, passed up twelve narrow
steps, rushed past a charity box, seventeen hats and caps, and a
small umbrella stand, and then sat down.

We were surprised at the cleanness and neatness of the building, and
at the large number of people within it. Rumour had conveyed to us a
notion that about three persons visited this chapel; but we found
between 100 and 200--all well-dressed, orderly, and pleasant--in
attendance. We also noticed a policeman amongst the company. He was
present, not to keep the peace, but to get some good, for Heaven
knows that policemen need much of the article, and that they have
very little Sunday time to find it in. The policeman behaved himself
very well during the whole service. The building will accommodate
about 200 persons, and the average attendance at the Sunday services
is 120. Three or four middle-class persons, several good-looking
young women, a number of men, including the policeman; a wedding
party, and a numerous gathering of children, made up the
congregation we saw. The service was simple and heartily joined in;
the singing, supported by a small harmonium, went off well; and the
minister preached a fair sermon. But he is far too excitable to last
out long. The speed he goes at would kill a man directly if he were
made of cast-iron.

Mr. Lee, the preacher, is a ten times breezier man than his
vivacious namesake at the Parish Church; he is small like him, dark-
complexioned like him, wears spectacles like him; but he travels at
the rate of 1000 miles an hour, and his namesake has never yet got
beyond 500. The gentleman under review is a pre-eminently earnest
man. We never saw any minister throw himself, head, arms, shoes, and
shirt, so intensely into the business of praying and preaching as
he. Nothing seems to impede his progress. He rushes into space with
terrible vehemence; prays until the veins on his forehead swell and
throb as if they would burst; and when he sits down he pants as if
he had been running himself to death in a dream, whilst sweat pours
off him as if he had been trying to burn up the sun at the equator.
In his preaching he is equally intense and earnest. He puts on the
steam at once, drives forward at limited mail speed; stops
instantly; then rushes onto the next station--steam up instantly;
stops again in a moment without whistling; is at full speed
forthwith, everybody holding on to their seats whilst the regulator
is open; and in this way he continues, getting safely to the end at
last, but driving at such a frightfully rapid speed that travellers
wonder how it is everything has not been smashed to atoms in
readiness for coroners, and juries, and newspaper reporters. As to
his sincerity there cannot be a question. He is not profound, but is
very honest; he has nothing strongly ratiocinative in him, but he
has for ever of earnestness in his composition--indeed he burns
himself up in a great blaze of zeal and blows himself to pieces in a
self-generated whirlwind. If he were quieter he would be more
persuasive; and if he expended less of his vital energy in trying to
brew forty storms in one tea pot he would live longer. "Easy does
it" is a phrase plucked from the plebeian lexicon of life, which we
recommend for his consideration. If he doesn't attend to it we shall
have a case of spontaneous combustion to record; and we want to
avoid that if possible. There is not a more sincere man, not a man
more anxious to do good in Preston than Mr. Lee, only he piles Ossa
upon Olympus too stiffly, and that was a job which the gods couldn't
manage properly.

The building where the Parker-street brethren meet is used for
school purposes regularly--barring the periods when worship is being
conducted in it. On week days about 100 scholars attend it; and on
Sundays about 150. The school and the chapel have done much good in
the locality, and we wish both prosperity. Whatever maybe the
character of the building, and however difficult it may be for
strangers to get to it, those living in the neighbourhood know its
whereabouts, many having derived improvement from it, and if more
went to it, pigeon-flying, gambling, Sunday rat hunting, tossing,
drinking, and paganism generally--things which have long flourished
in its locality--would be nearer a finish.


Long before two-thirds of the people now living were born there was
a rather curious difficulty at the Unitarian Chapel in this town. In
1807, the Rev. W. Manning Walker, who at that time had been minister
of the chapel for five years, changed his mind, became "more
evangelical," could not agree with the doctrines he had previously
preached, got into water somewhat warm with the members, and left
the place. He took with him a few sympathisers, and through their
instrumentality a new chapel was built for him in Grimshaw-street,
and opened on the 12th of April, 1808. It was a small edifice, would
accommodate about 850 persons, and was the original ancestor of the
Independent Chapel in that street. In 1817 the building was enlarged
so as to accommodate between 500 and 600, and Mr. Walker laboured
regularly at it till 1822, when declining health necessitated his
retirement. The Rev. Thomas Mc.Connell, a gentleman with a smart
polemical tongue, succeeded him. Mr. Mc.Connell drew large
congregations, and for a time was a burning and a shining light; but
in 1825 be withdrew; became an infidel or something of the sort, and
subsequently gave lectures on theological subjects, much to the
regret of his friends and the horror of the orthodox.

On the 23rd of July, 1826, the Rev. R. Slate began duty as regular
minister of the chapel, and remained at his post until April 7th,
1861, when through old age and growing infirmity he resigned. Mr.
Slate was a tiny, careful, smoothly-earnest man, consistent and
faithful as a minister, made more for quiet sincere work than
dashing labour or dazzling performance; fond of the Puritan divines,
a believer in old manuscripts, disposed to tell his audiences every
time he got upon a platform how long he had been in the ministry,
but in the aggregate well and deservedly respected. No clergyman in
Preston has ever stayed so long at one place as Mr. Slate; and
Grimshaw-street Chapel since it lost him has many a time had a
"slate off" in more respects than one.

After Mr. Slate retired from his post at Grimshaw-street Chapel, the
Rev. J. Briggs, a young and vociferous gentleman, fresh from
college, given to Sunday evening lecturing, Corn Exchange
serenading, virtuous speech-making, and other--we were going to say
evils--labours of love, appeared upon the stage. Soon after he
arrived a new black gown was presented to him, and if one of the
local papers which recorded the event at the time tells the truth,
he had it donned in the vestry, after which there was a procession
round the church, Mr. Briggs leading the way, whilst the deacons,
including some mythological "Mr. Clinkscales"--that was the name
given--and others brought up the rear. If the town's beadle and
mace-bearer had been present, the procession would have been
complete. In October, 1866, Mr. Briggs retired, with the gown, and
he has since, like Brother Clapham, formerly minister of Lancaster-
road Independent Chapel--"par nobile fratrum"--gone over to "mother

On the 20th of January, 1867, the Rev. Evan Lewis became minister of
Grimshaw-street Chapel, but after staying about a year and a half,
he, on account of ill health, resigned, went south, and died there.
Mr. Lewis was a cautious, cultured person, had very many letters,
which were always coming in a row to the surface, after his name,
was a man of ripe and polished intellect, was clever in brain work,
had good strategic skill, could manage an ill-natured church meeting
well, and would have been a power in his own denomination and in the
town if he had been physically stronger. He was an invalided
intellectualist, well up in everything, but defective in stamina,
muscle force, and lung strength. For about nine months after the
retirement of Mr. Lewis no fixed minister occupied the pulpit.
Sunday "supplies" were tried in the meantime; finally the Rev. G. F.
Newman was selected, and about two months ago he commenced his
ministerial labours.

The building as enlarged in 1817 remained without molestation for
years; but in 1850 it was thought that a better place was needed; in
1856 it was decided to have a better place; soon afterwards the old
edifice was pulled down; and in 1859 the Congregational Chapel we
now see was opened. It stands upon the original site, but is
extended nearer the street than its predecessor. There used to be a
considerable portion of the graveyard in front, but owing to the
enlarged character of the new chapel it was mainly covered over--
built upon; and only a remnant of the old burial ground can now be
seen in this quarter. Two small upright tombstones, immediately
adjoining the chapel, and a few flat slabs on the ground below, are
the only sepulchural indications remaining here. On the southern
side of the building there is a dull and dreary square piece of
ground, railed round, which constituted a portion of the old burial-
yard, and which now contains a few forsaken-looking tombstones. The
new church cost between 3,000 and 4,000 pounds, and it is not
entirely finished yet. At the front it has a one-sided irregular
look; and this is owing to the non-completion of a collateral spire.
In the original design the facade consists of a central elevation
with two flanking towers and spires; but one of the towers, whilst
being constructed, gave way, got seriously out of the perpendicular,
and it was decided to pull it down rather than allow the stone-work
to fall of its own accord. New foundations, ten feet deep, had to be
sunk into the old front burial ground for it, and during the
excavations 33 coffins were taken up and conveyed to a more
peaceable place of sepulture. They literally couldn't stand the
pressure of the tower, and for their sake; as well as the safety of
the building, a change was necessary. Afterwards the tower was
raised to its former elevation, but it is still without a spire. The
re-erection of the tower coat 380 pounds, which was raised by a
weekly offertory.

The chapel, barring the incomplete masonry mentioned, is a well
made, neat-looking building. In front there is a large four-light
window, which had to be taken right out when the tower was being re-
made; on each side there is a long and very narrow window, more for
ornament than use; and below there are two small triangular
apertures of a similar character. Strong rails, intended to prevent
people from approaching the building too closely on week-days,
surround the chapel. There are three arched doorways immediately
adjoining one another at the front, and on a Sunday you are at
perfect liberty to use any of them--to try all of them if so
disposed--and pass through that which appears most agreeable. The
chapel has a large and remarkably clean interior. It is well lighted
with numerous windows bordered with coloured glass, and has a fine
arched roof, supported by four principals, and filled-in centrally
with elaborate designs. Around the building there is a large
octagonal gallery; and whilst all the seats in it run up to a pretty
fair height, those at the western end approach quite an aerial
altitude. It is almost a question of being "up in a balloon, boys,"
when you are perched in the loftiest of them.

All the pews are plain, strong, and without doors. The central ones
on the ground-floor are very uniform in design; those at the sides
are, of various shapes, and are whimsically disposed--seem to be up
and down, straight, diagonal, and semi-circular. The first pew on
the right side was occupied, when we last saw it, with three
brushes, an elderly shovel, and two gas-meters, one of them being a
very full-grown fatherly affair--a sort of deacon amongst ordinary
meters, and looking very authoritatively upon its smaller colleague
and the brushes. The pulpit, at the eastern end of the chapel, is
neatly made, but when the parson sits in it you can't see him from
the front. When we went the other Sunday evening, we could see no
one in it; but after a hymn had been sung, a spring seemed to be
touched, and up jumped the parson, who had been reclining on his
dorsal vertebra for eight minutes at the rear. The pulpit formerly
stood about a foot-and-a-half higher than it does now; Mr. Slate,
who was a little man, would have it a good height; but a hole was
afterwards made in the platform supporting the pulpit, and it was
dropped through it to the level of the ordinary floor, where it now
stands. Six chairs, in Gothic design, with cushions of rich velvet,
are placed upon the platform near the pulpit; in the centre there is
a more patriarchal-looking seat--a sort of pastoral throne; and in
the front of the whole there is a strong table. The deacons and the
minister sit here periodically, feeling grand and furzy all over,
weighing up the universe on special occasions, but endeavouring
always to discharge their executive duties with due propriety and
gravity. We have seen them once or twice on this platform--on those
silk velvet-bottomed chairs, resting upon Brussels carpet--and they
looked majestic. One old gentleman we know, who used to be a deacon
here, never would sit in any of these chairs. He seemed to have
either a dread of the eighteen-inch elevation they conferred, or a
fear that the platform would give way, or a dislike of the
conspicuousness caused by it, and on all occasions when his official
brethren took possession of the chairs, he sat upon an open bench

An ancient-looking organ, of Gothic pattern, and formerly used in a
Blackburn chapel, is placed within an archway in the eastern
gallery. It is a moderately fair instrument, and is decently played,
but it is not good enough for the place, and it is quite time to
sell it to some other chapel, and get a better. The choir contains
about the usual complement of smiling young men and maidens, with a
central gentleman "bearded like the pard," who sits in state in an
elaborately backed chair, and conducts the proceedings with
legitimate authority. The singing of the choir is pretty exact and
melodious; but it is too weak--needs more harmonic energy and
general strength. The congregation do their duty mildly in the
singing portion of the proceedings, and at times, when some good old
tune is started, they rush to the rescue with much dexterity and
thoracic power. There are about 200 "members of the Church" at this
place of worship, and several young people are now, we believe
"ready for admission." The average congregation will be about 300--
not a large number considering the size of the building; but then,
through ministerial changes, &c., the place has had much to contend
with, and it has not had a chance for some time of getting into
proper working order. Peacefulness prevails now at the chapel.

Prior to the advent of the late Mr. Lewis, there were many storms at
the place. The parson never got to literal fighting with any of the
members; the members never threatened to hit him; but one or more of
them have been heard to say that they would put him "behind the
fire" in the vestry, and he in turn has been heard to remark that he
would return the compliment. But all this sort of Christian courtesy
has disappeared--let us hope forever; and the members now nestle in
their seats lovingly, casting calm glances at each other betimes,
and attending duly to the parson, who eyes them placidly, and
encourages their affection. If they had to nestle upon each other's
bosoms during the intervals--properly, and without falling asleep
over the job--he would not grow sullen and angry. On Sundays, there
are a couple of services--morning, and evening--at the chapel; and
every Wednesday evening there is a prayer meeting, but it is not a
very savage gathering; men and women seldom lash themselves into a
foam at it; and nothing is uttered during its proceedings out of the
ordinary run of Queen's English.

The Rev. G. F. Newman, a south of England gentleman, who, during the
past seven or eight years, through delicate health, has spent much
of his time in France, is the minister. He has an income independent
of his clerical stipend. From Grimshaw-street Chapel he gets about 3
pounds per week. It is derived from pew rents, which range from 1s.
to 2s. 11d. per seat per quarter, so that its increase will depend
upon the manner he fills the place. Mr. Newman is about 34 years of
age, is of middle stature, has nothing physically ponderous or
irrelevant about him; is a dark complexioned, moderately-sized
person, of gentlemanly taste, deportment, and expression; knows
manners--"they order this matter better in France," as Sterne would
say; his commingling with our lively neighbours has evidently given
him the direct cue to them; has a temperament of the nervous-bilious
order; is more perceptive than reflective; but has a calm, clear
intellect notwithstanding; is rather fond of the sublime, and likes
a strong dash of the beautiful; believes in good music, and
understands notes a little himself; is an excellent reader--one of
the best we have heard; is an average preacher; has nothing flashy
or terrific in his style, but goes on quietly, tastefully, and with
precision; cares more for short than long sermons; repeats himself
rather often; likes to give his own experience during illustrations;
talks much of France, and never forgets to let his hearers know that
he has been there; takes long, careful pauses in his sermons, as if
he were elaborating his conceptions, or selecting the exact words in
which to convey them most definitely; has a special regard for the
gas pendant on the left side of the pulpit, which he handles
affectionately as a rest; dislikes being interrupted when either
reading, or praying, or preaching; can't stand coughing; doesn't
like a Preston cough--it has a half-harsh half-oily sound, which he
could detect if in London or Paris; believes more in faith than good
works, but respects both; is scrupulous as to punctuality, and is
almost inclined to emulate the incumbent of Christ Church, who once
threatened to lock the doors of that building at a certain time
after business commenced, if all were not in their places;
particularly objects to a lady coming late, because, as a rule, she
makes a great noise with her dress on entering a place of worship,
and, in addition, induces all the other ladies present to turn
round, or look on one side, for the purpose of seeing what she is
wearing; is more of a conversationalist than a speaker; likes chit-
chat; would be at home in a conversazione or al fresco tea party,
where the attendants walk about, gossip merrily, and, whilst holding
a tea cup in one hand, poise with two fingers a piece of delicately-
buttered toast in the other--a continental style quite aesthetic and
refined in comparison with our feeding, and gormandising, and
sweating exhibitions. Mr. Newman promises to be a good minister. His
commencement has been, satisfactory, and his prospects are
encouraging. He is a bachelor, and seems mildly happy; but his bliss
might be consummated--let no lady prick her ears too highly, for Mr.
Newman has cautiousness largely developed--if he would study and
practically carry out that notion expressed at a meeting over which
he recently presided; the lecturer on that occasion saying that
"marriage is essential to the true happiness of man."

The young men at Grimshaw-street are pretty intelligent and
controversial. They have a mutual improvement class, which is one of
the best of its kind in the town, and they discuss the laws of
life,--mental, physical, political, and spiritual--like embryonic
philosophers bent upon rectifying all creation. Their class is
prosperous, and is calculated, if correctly managed, to be of much
importance to those visiting it. All such classes ought to
encouraged, and we hope the Grimshaw-street essayists will go on
rectifying creation--never forgetting themselves at the same time.
For a long period there has been a Sunday school in connection with
the chapel. Several years, in the earlier stages of the
denomination's career, the scholars were taught in the vestry and in
pews at the chapel; but in 1836 a school was erected for them upon a
plot of land adjoining, and in 1846 it was enlarged to its present
size. The average Sunday attendance is about 300. In January, 1868 a
day school for boys, girls, and infants was opened in the same
building, under the conductorship of Mr. J. Greenhalgh. So far it
has been very successful. Its average attendance is about 190.
Government reports speak very hopefully of the place; more prizes
have been awarded to it by the Science and Art Department, South
Kensington, than to any other school in the town; and its present
status indicates a prosperous future. An unsectarian night school is
also held in the building, and its average attendance is about 120.
In addition there is a band of hope society at the place, and it is
better attended than any other similar association in Preston. All
that Grimshaw-street Chapel wants is a fuller congregation. That
would develope every department of it; and energy, combined with
continuity of service, would secure this. Mr. Newman who understands
French, must adopt as his motto, and have it embossed on the buttons
of his own and his deacons' coats, and on the backs of the seven
chairs they use in the chapel, the words "Boutez en avant."


There are nearly 13,000 people in the "district" of this church.
What a difference time makes! At the beginning of the present
century the greater portion of the district was made up of fields;
whilst lanes, with hedges set each side, constituted what are now
some of its busiest streets. Volunteers and militiamen used to meet
for drill on a large piece of land in the very heart of the
locality; troops of charwomen formerly washed their clothes in water
pits hard by, and dried them on the green-sward adjoining; and
everything about wore a rural and primitive aspect. St. Paul's
Church is situated on a portion of land which, 50 years ago, was
fringed with trees and called "The Park;" and this accounts for the
name still given by many to the sacred edifice--namely "Park
Church." The sisters of the late J. Bairstow, Esq., kept a school at
one time on, or contiguous to, this park. A road, starting opposite
the Holy Lamb, in Church-street, and ending near the top of High-
street, formerly passed through "The Park." Years ago a ducking or
cucking stool was placed at the northern side of it, adjoining a
pit, and at the edge of the thoroughfare known as Meadow street.
This ducking stool was intended for the special benefit of vixens
and scolding wives. It consisted of a strong plank, at the end of
which was a chair, the centre working upon a pivot, and, after the
person to be punished had been duly secured, she was ducked into the
water. If this system were now in force, it would often be
patronised, for there are many lively termagants in the land, and
lots in Preston.

The first stone of St. Paul's Church was laid on Tuesday, 21st
October, 1823. Out of the million pounds granted by Parliament for
the erection of churches, some time prior to the date given,
Preston, through Dr. Lawe, who was then Bishop of Chester, got
12,500 pounds. It was originally intended to expend this sum in the
erection of one church--St. Peter's; but at the request of the Rev.
R. Carus Wilson, vicar of Preston, the money was divided, one half
going to St. Peter's, and the other to St. Paul's. Some people might
consider this like "robbing Peter to pay Paul," but it was better to
halve the money for the benefit of two districts, than give all of
it for the spiritual edification of one, and leave the other
destitute. The land forming the site of St. Paul's was given by
Samuel Pole Shawe, Esq. The full cost of the building was about
6,500 pounds. Around the edifice there is a very large iron-railed
grave yard, which is kept in pretty good order. St. Paul's is built
entirely of stone, in the early English style of architecture. It
has a rather elegant appearance; but it is defective in altitude has
a broad, flat, and somewhat bald-looking roof, and needs either a
good tower or spire to relieve and dignify it. In front there are
several pointed windows, a small circular hole above for birds'
nests, two doorways with a window between them, a central
surmounting gable, and a couple of feathery-headed perforated
turrets, one being used as a chimney, and the other as a belfry.
There is only a single bell at the church, and it is pulled
industriously on Sundays by a devoted youth, who takes his stand in
a boxed-off corner behind one of the doors. At the opposite end of
the church there are two turrets corresponding in height and form
with those is front. Two screens of red cloth are fixed just within
the entrance and, whilst giving a certain degree of selectness to
the place, they prevent people sitting near them from being blown
away or starved to death on very windy days when the doors happen to
be open.

The interior consists of a broad, ornamentally roofed nave (resting
upon twelve high narrow pillars of stone), and two aisles. The
pillars seriously obstruct the vision of those sitting at the sides;
indeed, in some places so detrimental are they that you can see
neither the reading-desk nor the pulpit. Above, there is a very
large gallery, set apart on the west for the organ and choir, and on
each side for general worshippers, school children, as a rule, being
in front, and requiring a good deal of watching during the services.
In some parts of the gallery seeing is quite as difficult as in the
sides beneath, owing to the intervening nave pillars. Efforts have
been made to rectify this evil, not by trying to pull down the
pillars, but by removing the pulpit, &c, so that all might have a
glance at it. The pulpit is situated on the south-eastern side, near
the chancel, and one Sunday it was brought into the centre of the
church; but it could be seen no better there than in its old
position, so it was carried back, and has remained unmolested ever
since. If it were put upon castors, and pushed slowly and with
becoming reverence up and down the church during sermon time, all
would get a view of its occupant; but we believe the warders have an
objection to pulpits on castors, so that there is no hope in this
respect. The reading-desk stands opposite the pulpit, and looks very
broad and diminutive. The chancel is plain. A large, neatly designed
stained glass window occupies the end. On each side there is a mural
monument--one being to the memory of Samuel Horrocks, Esq., Guild
Mayor in 1842, and son of S. Horrocks, Esq., of Lark-hill, who for
twenty-two years represented Preston in Parliament; and the other,
raised by public subscription, to the memory of the Rev. Joseph
Rigg, who was minister of St. Paul's for nineteen years, and who
died in 1847. The general fittings and arrangements of the church
indicate plainness of design, combined with medium strength and
thorough respectability. In no part of the building is there any
eccentric flourishing or artistic meandering. The roof, the walls,
and the base of the window niches, which have become blackened with
rain, need cleaning up; and some day, when money is plentiful, they
will no doubt be renovated. The seats are strong, broad, and regular
in shape. All of them, except one, are let, and it would speedily be
tenanted if more conveniently located. There is a pillar in it, and,
in order to get a proper view of the officiating minister, you must
stand up, lean forward, and glance with a rolling eye round the
corners of the obstruction--a thing which many of the more bashful
of our species would not like to do.

The church will accommodate about 1,200 persons, and the average
Sunday attendance may be calculated at 800. The gallery is
patronised extensively by the "million"; the ground floor pews are
occupied by more select and fashionable individuals. The great
majority of the worshippers sit above, and few vacant spaces can as
a rule be seen there. Down stairs the crush is less severe. The
congregation is a mixture of working and middle class people; the
former kind being preponderant. At the sides there are long narrow
ranges of free seats; but they are not often disturbed. On two
successive Sundays we gave them a passing look, and they appeared to
be almost deserted. A couple of little boys seated in the centre,
and engaged in the pleasing juvenile business of swinging their
legs, were the only occupants we saw on the right side during our
first inspection; and when we viewed the range on the other side,
the Sunday after, we could only catch tender glimpses of three
females, all very quiet, and each belonging the antique school of
life. "Where will you sit?" said a large-hearted young man, when we
made our second appearance. "There," was our reply, pointing at the
same time to a well-cushioned and genially sequestered seat at the
north-west corner, and we were ushered into it with becoming
decorum. In two minutes afterwards five women and a festive infant,
dressed in a drab cloak, and muffled all over to keep the cold out,
stopped at the pew door. We stepped out; three of the females, with
the baby, stepped in; the remainder went into the next pew; and
after condensing our nerve power, we settled down in the corner from
which we had been disturbed, quietly lifting one hand over the door
and latching it firmly at the same moment, our idea being than an
environment of five females, with a baby thrown into the bargain,
was quite enough for the remainder of the morning. After an inquiry
as to the christening arrangements at the church, for we fancied
this was a christening gathering, we got nearer the baby, and, in a
delicately sympathetic whisper said--"How old is it?" The maiden who
was holding it blushed, and laconically breathed out the words,
"Three months." We subsequently found out that the seat we were in
was the incumbent's, and that the blessed baby, whose lot we had
been contemplating with such interest, was his, too.

Six minutes before the commencement there were only nine persons in
the body of the church; but nearly 300 were congregated there when
the service began, whilst the gallery was well filled with
worshippers of all ages and sizes. All the responses here are
"congregational"--none of them being in any way intoned. We believe
that St. Paul's is the only Protestant church in Preston wherein
this system is observed. The effect, when compared with the plans of
intonation now so universal, is very singular; and it sometimes
sounds dull and monotonous--like a long, low, rumbling of irregular
voices, as if there were some quaint, oddly-humoured contention
going on in every pew. But the worshippers seem to like the system,
and as they have a perfect right to be their own judges, other
people must be silent on the subject. The music is not of an
extraordinary sort; it is plain, and very well joined in by the
congregation. But the choir, like many others, lacks weight and
symphony. Mrs. Myres, the wife of the incumbent, is a member of the
choir, and if all the other individuals in it had her musical
knowledge, an improvement would soon follow. The organ is a very
good one. It was given by the late T. Miller, Esq., and H. Miller,
Esq., and placed in the church in 1844. Recently it has been put in
first-rate condition, for organs, like the players of them, get
worse for wear, by T. H. and W. P. Miller, Esqrs. The organist knows
his work, and is able to perform it with ability.

At St. Paul's there is morning and evening service on a Sunday; and
every Wednesday evening there is a short service, but like the bulk
of mid-week devotional exercises it is not much cared for, only
about 150 joining it on the average. On the second Sunday in each
month there is an early sacrament at St. Paul's. At no other place
of worship in the town, that we know of, save Christ Church, is
there a similar sacramental arrangement. Since St. Paul's was
opened, there have been five incumbents at it. The first was the
Rev. Mr. Russell; then came the Rev. J. Rigg, who was a most
exemplary clergyman; next the Rev. S. F. Page, who was followed by
the Rev. J. Miller; the present incumbent being the Rev. W. M.
Myres, son of Mr. J. J. Myres, of Preston. Mr. Myres came to St.
Paul's at the beginning of 1867, and when he made his appearance
fidgetty and orthodox souls were in a state of mingled dudgeon and
trepidation as to what be would do. It was fancied that he was a
Ritualist--fond of floral devices and huge candles, with an
incipient itching for variegated millinery, beads, and crosses. But
his opponents, who numbered nearly two-thirds of the congregation,
screamed before they were bitten, and went into solemn paroxysms of
pious frothiness for nothing. Subsequent events have proved how
highly imaginative their views were. No church in the country has
less of Ritualism in it than St. Paul's. Its services are pre-
eminently plain; all those parts whereon the spirit of innovation
has settled so strongly in several churches during the past few
years are kept in their original simplicity; and in the general
proceedings nothing can be observed calculated to disturb the peace
of the most fastidious of show-disliking Churchmen.

Mr. Myres is about 30 years of age, is corporeally condensed, walks
as if he were in earnest and wanted to catch the train, has a mild,
obliging, half-diffident look, wears a light coloured beard and
moustache, each of which is blossoming very nicely; is sharp, yet
even-tempered; bland and genial, yet sincere; has keen powers of
observation, has a better descriptive than logical faculty, is not
very imaginative, cares more for prose than poetry, more for facts
than sallies of the fancy, more for gentle devotion, and quiet
persevering labour in his own locality than for virtuous welterings
and sacred acrobatism in other districts. He has endeavoured, since
coming to Preston, to mind his own business, and parsons often find
that a hard thing to accomplish. Polished in education, he is humble
and social in manner. He will never be an ecclesiastical show-man,
for his disposition is in the direction of general quietude and good
neighbourship. If he ever gets into a sacred disturbance the fault
will be through somebody else dragging him into it, and not because
he has courted it by natural choice. He is more cut out for sincere
labour, pleasantly and strenuously conducted, than for intellectual
generalship or lofty theological display. His brain may lack high
range and large creativeness; but he possesses qualities of heart
and spirit which mere brilliance cannot secure, and which simple
cerebral strength can never impart. We admire him for his
courteousness, his artless simplicity of nature, his earnest,
kindly-devotedness to duty, and his continual attention to
everything affecting the welfare of those he has to look after. Mr.
Myres is greatly respected by all in his district; he has transmuted
the olden ritualistic horror which prevailed in the district, into
one of love and reverence; and all his sheep have a genial and
affectionate bleat for him.

The Rev. C. G. Acworth, a learned young man, whose facial capillary
forces are coming gradually into play, and who seems to have the
entire Book of Common Prayer off by heart, is the curate of St.
Paul's. He is a good reader, a steady, sententious, epigrammatic
preacher, and with a little more knowledge of the world ought to
make a clever and most useful minister. Something, which we do not
think exists in connection with any other Preston church for the
management of affairs, is established here. It is a "Church
Committee." It consists of the ministers, the churchwardens, and a
dozen members of the congregation. They discuss all sorts of matters
appertaining to the district, smooth down grievances when any are
nursed, and keep everything in good working order. The outside
machinery for mentally and religiously improving the district is
very extensive and varied. There are five day and Sunday schools
under the auspices of St. Paul's. They are situated in Pole and
Carlisle streets, and are under the guidance of four superintendents
and fifty-seven teachers. Mrs. Myres (wife of the incumbent), who is
a great favourite throughout the district, is one of the teachers.
The day or national schools are the largest in the town; they have
an average attendance of 934; and that in which boys are taught is
the only one of its kind in Preston which is self-supporting. The
average attendance of Sunday scholars is 800.

Night schools also form part of the educational programme, and they
are well attended. A mutual improvement class--the oldest in the
town--likewise exists in connection with St. Paul's. It was
established by the Rev. S. F. Page, and is conducted on principles
well calculated to regulate, illumine, and edify the youths who mar
and make empires at it. A temperance society, in which the Rev. Mr.
Acworth, who is a "Bright water for me" believer, has taken
praiseworthy interest, has furthermore got a footing in St. Paul's,
and beyond that there is a band of hope society in the district,
which does its share of work. Every Monday afternoon, a "Mother's
Meeting," conducted by Mrs. Myres, Mrs. Isherwood, Miss Wadsworth,
and the Bible woman, is held in a room of the Carlisle-street
school. The mothers are pretty lacteous and docile. In various parts
of the district, cottage lectures, conducted by the curate and a
number of energetic teachers, are held weekly. The district of St.
Paul's is great in missionary work. There are about four-and-twenty
collectors in the field here, and by the penny a week system they
raise sums which periodical efforts would never realise. By the way,
we ought to have said that there are a good many collections in St.
Paul's church--16 regular ones and 14 on the offertory principle--
every year. Those who consider it more blessed to give than receive
should be happy at St. Paul's. The sums collected at the church
range from about 12 to 50 pounds. The Irish Church Missionary
Society receives much of its Preston support from this district.
Lastly, we may remark that there is a good staff of tract
distributors, supervised by a ladies' committee, in connection with
St. Paul's. The distributors are chiefly young women belonging the
schools. Owing to the vastness of the district it is contemplated to
erect as early as possible a school chapel as an auxiliary of the
church. It will be built near the railway bridge in St. Paul's-road.
R. Newsham, Esq., has offered to give a handsome sum towards the
edifice, which is much needed. When opened a second curate will be
required, and towards the stipend of such gentleman, E. Hermon,
Esq., M.P., has offered to contribute liberally. The salary of the
incumbent is about 280 pounds per annum. The generality of the
officials connected with the church and schools have been long at
their posts--a proof of even action and good harmony; everything
seems to be progressing steadily in the district; and if St. Paul
himself had to give it a visit he would shake hands warmly with Mr.
Myres, the incumbent, praise Mrs. Myres and the baby, and throw up
his hat gleefully at the good work which is being done amongst the


"When shall we three meet again?" We can't tell--don't care about
knowing; you have met now; and keep quiet, if possible, whilst being
vivisected. There are worse companions, so shake hands, and sigh for
universal bliss. We shall use the dissecting knife with a kindly
sharpness. The first of the places named is situated in St. Mary's-
street, opposite a very high wall, which we believe is intended to
prevent men from scaling it, and is closely associated with the
arrangements of the House of Correction. One hundred yards off, it
looks like a high, modernised, seaside hotel; fifty yards off, it
seems like a well-arranged gentleman's residence, in the wrong
place; two yards off, it indicates its own mission, and clearly
shows that something embracing both education and religion is
carried on within it. It is a large, well-built, quadrangular
building, with two round-headed ranges of windows in front, and a
good roof above, surmounted with an iron rail, put up apparently for
imaginary purposes. Nobody has yet got over that rail so far as we
have heard; and if the job is ever attempted, nothing will be found
on the other side worth carrying home. The foundation stone of this
building--it is really a school chapel--was laid on Good Friday,
1866, and the place was opened in the same year. The place cost
2,500 pounds, and it is nearly out of debt. Internally, it is full
of rooms. On the ground floor there are nine apartments--all well
disposed, appropriately fit up, and set apart for general scholastic
and class purposes. On week days, some of them are used as school-
rooms, the average attendance of pupils, who are carefully looked
after, being about 120; and on Sundays they are devoted to "class"
business. In a large room above, children are also taught on
Sundays:  the general attendance on those days throughout the place
being about 450. This school-chapel owes its existence to the cotton
famine. During that trying period, when people had nothing else to
do but think, live on 2s. a week, and grow good, Messrs. Wilding and
Strachan generously opened a room connected with their mill in New
Hall-lane, for secular and religious instruction. It was attended
mainly by those belonging the Wesleyan persuasion; in time it became
too little; and the result was the erection of a school-chapel in
St. Mary's-street. We have never seen a better arranged nor a more
commodious place of its kind than this. Its class, and ordinary
scholastic departments we have alluded to. Let us now proceed above-
-into the room used for worship. You can reach it from either the
northern or the southern side, but from neither can you make headway
without ascending a strong, winding series of steps, which must be
trying and troublesome to heavy and asthmatic subjects, if any of
that sort ever show themselves at the building. The room is large,
lofty, clean, and airy, and will hold about 400 persons. Just within
each doorway there is a box, intended for contributions on behalf of
"sick and needy scholars." But both have been put too near the side;
they often catch people's clothes, on entering, and as everybody is
not disposed to stop and exercise the organ of benevolence, whilst
the remainder wish to be judicious about the business and save their
dresses, it has been decided to shift them inwards a little. From
the centre of the ceiling, gas burners, in star-shaped clusters, are
suspended, and when the taps are on they give good lights.

The congregation, which is generally constituted of working-class
people, numbers about 350. The people attending this place are a
quiet, devoted lot, with patches of pride and self-glorification
here and there about them, but, on the whole, kindly-looking and
sincere. Some of them are close-minded and intensely orthodox; but
the majority are wide-awake, and won't pray for fair weather until
it has given over raining. The members of the choir sit on the
eastern side, and if not so refined and punctillious in their
musical performances, they are at least pretty strong-lunged and
earnest. They are located near the wall. The harmonium-player enjoys
a closer proximity to it. He manipulates with fair skill, has a
clock right above him, and ought, therefore, to keep "good time." If
he doesn't, then let the clock be condemned as a deceiver and
incumberer of the wall. The pulpit is a broad, neatly-arranged
affair--fixed upon a platform at the southern end, and environed
with rails of blue and gold colour. Just within, and on its
immediate left, there is a small paper nailed up with four nails,
and containing, is written English, these words, as a reminder for
each preacher during his "supplications"--"Pray for God's ancient
people of Israel." "Does this mean the Jews?" said we to an elderly
man near us, whilst we were scrutinizing with a plaintive eye, the
pulpit, and he replied, "Bleeve it does." That, we thought, was a
bad speculation for a chapel containing two subscription boxes for
"sick and needy scholars." The man who wrote out that exhortation in
the interests of Petticoat-lane men and their kindred, and the
patriot who drove with a fierce virtue the four nails into it
didn't, we are afraid, know clearly how much it costs to convert a
genuine Jew, else more caution would have been exercised by each of
them. A Jew's eye is a costly thing; but a Jew's conversion is much
more expensive; you can't get at the thing fairly for less than
10,000 pounds; and as five good Wesleyan Chapels could be built, in
ordinary districts, for that sum, we advise Wesleyans to go in for
chapels and not for Jews.

If the pulpit had not been a broad and accommodating one, in St.
Mary's-street Chapel, we should have been inclined to think that the
parson might have had a "walk round." There is just space enough in
front of the pulpit for a medium-sized gentleman to pass between it
and the front rails. In a moment of high dudgeon, a thin preacher
with a passion for "action" might easily flank off and traverse it
frontally; but an easy-minded individual would find plenty of room
in the pulpit, and if he did not, presuming he were stout, he would
have to "crush" considerably in order to accomplish a full circular
route. Beyond and in the immediate front of the pulpit rails there
is a circular seat. This we fancied, during our inspection, was the
"penitent form"--it seemed close and handy during a season of stern
excitement and warm eruption; but in a moment we were told it was
for "sacrament people," who patronise it in turns, on particular
Sundays. Two services are conducted on Sundays here by regular and
itinerent preachers; the former coming from Lune-street Chapel, and
the latter being furnished out of the general lay body. Nearly every
night throughout the week, class meetings, &c., are held in the
building, and they are conducted with much rapture and peacefulness.
How the Jew-converting business gets on we cannot tell--badly, we
imagine; but in respect to the ordinary operations of the place they
are successful and promise to be still more so. A chapel whose
members branched off from this place has been established at Walton.
About 12 months ago it was opened. A cottage situated on the road
side leading to the church constitutes the walhallah of Methodism
there, and the support accorded to it is increasing. We have no more
to say as to the St. Mary's-street mission. We hope it will go on
and agreeably grapple with the people in its own district whatever
may become of the Jews.

A mile and a half distant, on the other side of the town, and
quietly resting amongst the desolate premises once occupied by the
Preston Ship Building Company, at the Marsh End, there is a small
preaching place, wherein the Scriptures are expounded and the
doctrines of John Wesley duly inculcated. About two and a half years
ago a couple of cottages in this locality were "thrown into one,"
and arranged so as to moderately accommodate those caring about
religion, and willing to have it in a "good old Methodist" style.
There was considerable briskness of trade hereabouts at that time,
ships were made in the adjoining yards, the bubble of speculation
was being strongly blown, large numbers of strong-armed men, caring
more for ale in gallon jugs than either virtue in tracts or piety in
sermons, resided in the district, the population was rapidly
increasing, a new section of the town's suburbs was being strongly
developed, and there being drinking houses, skittle grounds, and
other accompaniments of a progressive age visible, it was considered
prudent to mix up a small Wesleyan preaching room and school with
the general confraternity of institutions in the locality. At the
beginning of this year, owing to the insufficient accomodation of
the premises, a portion of the pattern room of the Ship Building
Company, which in the meantime had resolved its organisation into
thin air and evaporated, was secured, and arranged in a homely
fashion for the required business. After passing through a small
door in the centre of a large one, leading to the shipyard, then
turning to the right, then mounting 18 steep awkward steps, and then
turning again to the right, you arrive at the place.

The moment we saw it we knew it. It was in this very room where
grand champagne luncheons used to be given after ship launches, and
where dancing and genteel carousing followed. The last time we had
business at this place we saw twenty-three gentlemen alcoholically
merry in it, six Town Councillors helpless yet boisterous in it,
thirty couples of ladies and gentlemen dancing in it, four waiters
smuggling half-used bottles of champagne rapidly down their throats
in it, an ex-Mayor with his hat, thrown right back, looking awfully
jolly, and superintending the proceedings, in it, and in an
adjoining room, now used for vestry purposes, three ladies in silk
velvet, wine-freighted, and just able to see, blowing up everybody
because their bonnets were lost. The place where all this "fou and
unco happy" work was transacted is now the school chapel of the
Wesleyans. The room wherein the congregation meet is bare, plain,
and primitive-looking, with an open roof, whitewashed all round, and
boarded off from a workshop at the southern end. Its "furniture"
consists of eleven forms, three stoves, a pulpit with no back, and a
chair. A strip of wood is placed across a window at the rear of the
chair, which is used by the officiating parson, and this wood
prevents him from breaking the glass if he should happen to throw
his head back sharply. On one side of the room there are 19 hat
hooks, and on the other 24. There are seats in the place for about
100. The members number about 20, and the average congregation,
entirely working people, and of homely, orderly character, will
range from 80 to 100. The room is connected with the Wesley circuit;
every Sunday there are two services in it; a meeting for religious
purposes is held each Thursday night; and the preaching is done by
"locals" and "regulars." The singing is neither good, nor bad, nor
indifferent; but a mixture of the whole three qualities. It is
accompanied by a small harmonium, played by a young lady in
moderately tasteful style. The services are simple and hearty, and
whilst there may be a little plaintive noisiness now and then in
them--a few penitent flutterings--they are generally, and
remembering the complexion of the congregation, respectably

"It's a regular bird nest, and you'll never get to it, unless you
ask the neighbouring folk," said a friend to us whilst talking about
the Revivalists' tabernacle. To the bottom of Pitt-street we then
went, and seeing two or three females and a man dart out of a dim-
looking passage beneath one of the side arches of the railway bridge
there, we concluded that we were near the "nest." Having sauntered
about for a few moments, and assured ourselves that this was really
the place we were in search of, we went to the arch, walked six or
seven yards forward, looked up a dark, tortuous, narrow passage on
the right, and entered it. In the centre of the passage there was a
hole, through which you could see telegraph wires and the sky, on
one side a grim crevice running narrowly to the top of the railway
bridge, and ahead a shadowy opening like the front of an underground
store, with a wooden partition, in the centre of which was a small
square of glass. Theseus, who got through the Labyrinth, would have
been puzzled with this mystic passage. We never saw such a time-worn
and dumfounding road to any place, and if those who patronise it
regularly had done their best to discover the essence of dinginess
and intractibility, they could not have hit upon a better spot than
this. A warm air wave, similar to that you expect on entering a
bakehouse, met us just when we had passed the wooden partition. In
the centre of the room there was a stove, almost red-hot. This
apartment, which was filled with small forms, was, we ascertained, a
Sunday-school. At the bottom end there were some narrow steps,
leading through a large hole into a room above--the "chapel." A fat
man could never get up these steps, and a tall one would injure his
head if he did not stoop very considerably in ascending them.

The chapel is about five yards wide, 15 yards long, very low on one
side, and moderately high on the other. It is plain, ricketty, and
whitewashed. The side wall of the railway bridge forms one end of
it. On the northern side, there is a door fastened up with a piece
of wood in the form of a large loadstone. This door leads to the top
of a pig-stye. The "chapel" will hold about 70. When we visited it,
the congregation consisted of 35 children of a very uneasy sort, 11
men, and five women. Every now and then railway goods trains kept
passing, and what with the whistling of the engines, the shaking
caused by the waggons, the barking of a dog in a yard behind, the
grunting of a pig in a stye three yards off, and the noise of the 35
children before us, we had a very refreshing time of it. The
congregation--a poor one--consists of a remnant of the Revivalists
who were in Preston last year, and it has a kind of nominal
connection with the Orchard United Methodists. The building we have
described was formerly a weaving shop or rubbish store. Its present
tenants have occupied it about twelve months. They are an earnest
body, seem obliging to strangers, are not as fiery and wild as some
of their class, and might do better in the town if they had a better
room. They have no fixed minister. The preacher we heard was a
stranger. He pulled off his coat just before beginning his
discourse. After a few introductory remarks, in the course of which
he said he had been troubled with stomach ache for six hours on the
previous day, and that just before his last visit to Preston he had
an attack of illness in the very same place, a lengthy allusion was
made to his past history. He said that he had been "a villain, a
gambler, a drunkard, and a Sabbath breaker"--we expected hearing him
say, as many of his class do, that he had often abused his mother,
thrashed his wife, and punished his children, but he did not utter a
word on the subject. The remainder of his discourse was less
personal and more orthodox. At the close we descended the steps
carefully, groped our way out quietly, and left, wondering how ever
we had got to such a place at all, and how those worshipping in it
could afford to Sabbatically pen themselves up in such a mysterious,
ramshackle shanty.


In this combination the past and the present are linked. Into their
history the elements of a vast change enter. One is allied with
"saintly days," followed by a reactive energy, vigorous and
crushing; the other is amalgamated with an epoch of broadest thought
and keenest iconoclasm; both are now enjoying a toleration giving
them peace, and affording them ample room for the fullest progress.
Unless it be our Parish Church, which was originally a Catholic
place of worship, no religious building in Preston possesses
historic associations so far-reaching as St. Mary's. It is the
oldest Catholic chapel in Preston. Directly, it is associated with a
period of fierce persecution. Relatively, it touches those old times
when religious houses, with their quaintly-trimmed orders, were in
their halcyon days. After the dissolution, caused by Henry VIII, it
was a dangerous thing to profess Catholicism, and in Preston, as in
other places, those believing in it had to conduct their services
privately, and in out-of-the-way places. In Ribbleton-lane there is
an old barn, still standing, wherein mass used to be said at night-
time. People living in the neighbourhood fancied for a considerable
period that this place was haunted; they could see a light in it
periodically; they couldn't account for it; and they concluded that
some headless woman or wandering gnome was holding a grim revel in
it. But the fact was, a small band of Catholics debarred from open
worship, and forced to secrete themselves during the hours of
devotion, were gathered there.

When the storm of persecution had subsided a little, Catholics in
various parts of the country gradually, though quietly, got their
worship into towns; and, ultimately, we find that in Preston a small
thatched building--situated in Chapel-yard, off Friargate--was
opened for the use of Catholics. This was in 1605. The yard, no
doubt, took its name from the chapel, which was dedicated to St.
Mary. There was wisdom in the selection of this spot, and
appropriateness, too--it was secluded, near the heart of the town,
and very close to the old thoroughfare whose very name was redolent
of Catholicity. Friargate is a word which conveys its own meaning.
An old writer calls it a "fayre, long, and spacious street;" and
adds, "upon that side of the town was formerly a large and sumptuous
building belonging to the Fryers Minors or Gray Fryers, but now
[1682] only reserved for the reforming of vagabonds, sturdy beggars,
and petty larcenary thieves, and other people wanting good
behaviour; it is now the country prison . . . and it is cal'd the
House of Correction." This building was approached by Friargate, and
was erected for the benefit of begging friars, under the patronage
of Edward, Earl of Lancaster, son of Henry III. The first occupants
of it came from Coventry, "to sow," as we are, told by an ancient
document, "the seeds of the divine word, amongst the people residing
in the villa of Preston, in Agmounderness, in Lancashire."

Primarily it was a very fine edifice, was built in the best style of
Gothic architecture, and had accomodation for upwards of 500 monks.
Upon its site now stands the foundry of Mr. Stevenson, adjoining
Lower Pitt-street. The Catholics of Preston satisfied themselves
with the small building in Chapel-yard until 1761, when a new place
of worship, dedicated to St. Mary, was erected upon part of the site
of the convent of Grey Friars. Towards this chapel the Duke of
Norfolk gave a handsome sum, and presented, for the altar, a curious
painting of the Lord's Supper. But this building did not enjoy a
very prosperous career, for in 1768, during a great election riot,
it was pulled down by an infuriated mob, all the Catholic registers
in it were burned, and the priest--the Rev. Patrick Barnewell--only
saved his life by beating a rapid retreat at the rear, and crossing
the Ribble at an old ford below Frenchwood. Another chapel was
subsequently raised, upon the present site of St. Mary's, on the
west side of Friargate, but when St. Wilfrid's was opened, in 1793,
it was closed for religious purposes and transmuted into a cotton
warehouse. The following priests were at St. Mary's from its opening
in 1761 until its close in 1793:- Revs. Patrick Barnewell, Joseph
Smith, John Jenison, Nicholas Sewall, Joseph Dunn, and Richard
Morgan. The two last named gentleman lived together in a cottage, on
the left side of the entrance to the chapel, behind which they had a
fine room commanding a beautiful view of the Ribble, Penwortham,
&c., for at that time all was open, on the western side of
Friargate, down to the river. Whittle, speaking of Father Dunn, says
he was "the father of the Catholic school, the House of Recovery,
and the Gasworks," and adds, with a plaintive bathos, that "on the
very day he left this sublunary world he rose, as was his custom,
very early, and in the course of his rambles exchanged a sovereign
for sixpences, for distribution amongst the indigent."

In 1815 the chapel was restored; but not long afterwards its roof
fell in. Nobody however was hurt, just because nobody was in the
building at the time. The work of reparation followed, and the
chapel was deemed sufficient till 1856, when it was entirely rebuilt
and enlarged. As it was then fashioned so it remains. It is a chapel
of ease for St. Wilfrid's, and is attended to a very large extent by
Irish people. The situation of it is lofty; it stands upon higher
ground than any other place of worship in the town; but it is so
hemmed in with houses, &c., that you can scarcely see it, and if you
could get a full view of it nothing very beautiful would be observed
about the exterior. The locality in which this chapel is placed is
crowded, dark-looking, and pretty ungodly. All kinds of sinister-
looking alleys, narrow yards, dirty courts, and smoky back streets
surround it; much drinking is done in each; and a chorus of noise
from lounging men in their shirt sleeves, draggle-tailed women
without bonnets, and weird little youngsters, given up entirely to
dirt, treacle, and rags, is constantly kept up in them. The chapel
has a quaint, narrow, awkward entrance. You pass a gateway, then
mount a step, then go on a yard or two and encounter four steps,
then breathe a little, then get into a somewhat sombre lobby two and
a half yards wide, and inconveniently steep, next cross a little
stone gutter, and finally reach a cimmerian square, surrounded by
high walls, cracked house ends, and other objects similarly
interesting. The front of the chapel is cold-looking and devoid of
ornament. Upon the roof there is a square perforated belfry,
containing one bell. It was put up a few years ago, and before it
got into use there was considerable newspaper discussion as to the
inconvenience it would cause in the morning, for having to be rung
at the unearthly hour of six it was calculated that much balmy
quietude would be missed through it. Some people can stand much
sleep after six, and on their account early bell-ringing was
dreaded. But the inhabitants have got used to the resonant metal,
and those who have time sleep on very excellently during its most
active periods.

The chapel has a broad, lofty, and imposing interior; but it is
rather gloomy, and requires a little extra light, which would add
materially to the general effect. There is considerable decorative
skill displayed in the edifice; but the work looks opaque and needs
brightening up. The sanctuary end is rich and solemn, has a finely-
elaborate and sacred tone, and combines in its construction elegance
and power. At the rear and rising above the altar there is a large
and somewhat imposing picture, representing the taking down of our
Saviour from the cross. It was painted by Mr. C. G. Hill, after a
picture of Carracci's, in Stonyhurst College, and was originally
placed in St. Wilfrid's church. St. Mary's will accommodate about
1,000 persons. All the pews have open sides, and there are none of a
private character in any part of the church. The poorest can have
the best places at any time, if they will pay for them, and the
richest can sit in the worst if they are inclined to be economical.

Large congregations attend this chapel, and the bulk, as already
intimated, are of the Milesian order. At the rear, where many of the
poor choose to sit, some of the truest specimens of the "finest
pisantry," some of the choicest and most aromatic Hibernians we have
seen, are located. The old swallow-tailed Donnybrook Fair coat, the
cutty knee-breeches, the short pipe in the waistcoat pocket, the
open shirt collar, the ancient family cloak with its broad shoulder
lapelle, the thick dun-coloured shawl in which many a young Patrick
has been huddled up, are all visible. The elderly women have a
peculiar fondness for large bonnets, decorated in front with huge
borders running all round the face like frilled night-caps. The
whole of the worshippers at the lower end seem a pre-eminently
devotional lot. How they are at home we can't tell; but from the
moment they enter the chapel and touch the holy water stoops, which
somehow persist in retaining a good thick dark sediment at the
bottom, to the time they walk out, the utmost earnestness prevails
amongst them. Some of the poorer and more elderly persons who sit
near the door are marvellous hands at dipping, sacred manipulation,
and pious prostration. Like the Islams, they go down on all fours at
certain periods, and seem to relish the business, which, after all,
must be tiring, remarkably well. Considering its general character,
the congregation is very orderly, and we believe of a generous turn
of mind. The chapel is cleanly kept by an amiable old Catholic, who
may, if there is anything in a name, be related to the Grey Friars
who formerly perambulated the street he lives in; and there is an
air of freedom and homeliness about it which we have not noticed at
several places of worship. Around its walls are pictures of saints.
They make up a fine family group, and seem to have gathered from
every Catholic place of worship in the town to do honour to the

There are sundry masses every Sunday in the chapel, that which is
the shortest--held at half-past nine in the morning--being, as
usual, best patronised. The scholars connected with St. Wilfrid's
attend the chapel every Sunday. Each Wednesday evening a service is
also held in the chapel, and it is most excellently attended,
although some who visit it put in a rather late appearance. When we
were in the chapel, one Wednesday evening, ten persons came five
minutes before the service was over, and one slipped round the door
side and made a descent upon the holy water forty-five seconds
before the business terminated. Of course it is better late than
never, only not much bliss follows late attendance, and hardly a
toothful of ecstacy can be obtained in three-quarters of a minute.
The singing is of an average kind, the choir being constituted of
the school children; whilst the organ, which used to be in some
place at Accrington, is only rather shaky and debilitated. During
the past ten years the Rev. Thomas Brindle, of St. Wilfrid's, has
been the officiating priest at St. Mary's. Father Brindle is a Fylde
man, is about 45 years of age, and is a thoroughly healthy subject.
He is at least 72 inches high, is well built, powerful, straight as
a die, good looking, keeps his teeth clean, and attends most
regularly to his clerical duties. He is unassuming in manner, blithe
in company, earnest in the pulpit. His gesticulation is decisive,
his lungs are good, and his vestments fit him well. Not a more
stately, yet homely looking, honest-faced priest have we seen for
many a day. There is nothing sinister nor subtle in his visage; the
sad ferocity glancing out of some men's eyes is not seen in his. We
have not yet confessed our sins to him, but we fancy he will be a
kindly soul when behind the curtain,--would sooner order boiled than
hard peas to be put into one's shoes by way of penance, would far
rather recommend a fast on salmon than a feast on bacon, and would
generally prefer a soft woollen to a hard horse hair shirt in the
moments of general mortification. Father Brindle!--Give us your
hand, and may you long retain a kindly regard for boiled peas, soft
shirts, and salmon. They are amongst the very best things out if
rightly used, and we shouldn't care about agonising the flesh with
them three times a week.

St. Joseph's Catholic Church stands on the eastern side of Preston,
and is surrounded by a rapidly-developing population. The district
has a South Staffordshire look--is full of children, little
groceries, public-houses and beershops, brick kilns, smoke, smudge,
clanging hammers, puddle-holes, dogs, cats, vagrant street hens,
unmade roads, and general bewilderment. When the new gasometer,
which looks like the skeleton of some vast colosseum, is finished
here, an additional balminess will be given to the immediate
atmosphere, which may be very good for children in the hooping-
cough, but anything except pleasant for those who have passed
through that lively ordeal. In 1860, a Catholic school was erected
in Rigby-street, Ribbleton-lane. Directly afterwards divine service
was held in the building, which in its religious character was
devoted to St. Joseph. But either the walls of the edifice were too
weak, or the roof of it too strong, for symptoms of "giving way"
soon set in, and the place had to be pulled down. In 1866, having
been rebuilt and enlarged, it was re-opened. In the meantime,
religious services and scholastic training being essential, and it
being considered too far to go to St. Ignatius's and St.
Augustine's, which were the places patronised prior to the opening
of St. Joseph's mission, another school, with accomodation in it for
divine worship, was erected on a plot of land immediately adjoining.
Nearly one half of the money required for this building, which was
opened in 1864, was given by Protestants. At the northern end of it,
there is a closed-off gallery, used as a school for boys. The
remainder of the building is used for chapel purposes. The exterior
of the edifice is neat and substantial; the interior--that part used
for worship--is clean, spacious, and light. At the southern end
there is a small but pretty altar, and around the building are hung
what in Catholic phraseology are termed "the stations." There is not
much ornament, and only a small amount of paint, in the place.

The chapel will hold 560 persons; it is well attended; and the
congregations would be larger if there were more accomodation.
Masses are said here, and services held, on the plan pursued at
other chapels of the same denomination. The half-past nine o'clock
mass on a Sunday morning is a treat; for at it you can see a greater
gathering of juvenile bazouks than at any other place in the town.
Some of the roughest-headed lads in all creation are amongst them;
their hair seems to have been allowed to have its own way from
infancy, and it refuses to be dictated to now. The congregation is a
very poor one, and this will be at once apparent when we state that
the general income of the place, the entire proceeds of it, do not
exceed 100 pounds a year. Nearly every one attending the chapel is a
factory worker, and the present depressed state of the cotton trade
has consequently a special and a very crushing bearing upon the
mission. A new church is badly wanted here; in no part of the town
is a large place of worship so much required; but nothing can be
done in the matter until the times mend. A plot of land has been
secured for a church on the western side of the present improvised
chapel, and close to the house occupied by the priests in charge of
the mission; but until money can be found, or subscribed, or
borrowed without interest, it will have to remain as at present.

The first priest at St. Joseph's was the Rev. R. Taylor; then came
the Rev. R. Kennedy; next the Rev. W. H. Bradshaw, who was succeeded
by the Revs. J. Walmsley and J. Parkinson--the priests now at the
place. Father Walmsley, the superior, who originally came from
Brindle, is a placid, studious-looking, even-tempered gentleman. He
is slender, but wirey; is inclined to be tall, and has got on some
distance with the work. He is thoughtful, but there is much sly
humour in him; he is cautious but free when aired a little. He knows
more than many would give him credit for; whilst naturally reticent
and cool he is by no means dull; he is shrewd and far-seeing but
calm and unassuming; and though evenly balanced in disposition be
would manifest a crushing temper if roughly pulled by the ears. His
first mission was at the Church of the English Martyrs in this town;
then he went to Wigan, and after staying there for a time he landed
at St. Joseph's. Father Parkinson is a native of the Fylde, and he
has got much of the warm healthy blood of that district in his
veins. He has a smart, gentlemanly figure; has a sharp, beaming,
rubicund face; has buoyant spirits, and likes a good stiff tale; is
full of life, and has an eye in his head as sharp as a hawk's; has a
hot temper--a rather dignified irascible disposition; believes in
sarcasm, in keen cutting hits; can scold beautifully; knows what he
is about; has a "young-man-from-the-country-but-you-don't-get-over-
me" look; is a hard worker, a careful thinker, and considers that
this world as well as the next ought to be enjoyed. He began his
clerical career at Lancaster in 1864; attended the asylum whilst at
that town; afterwards had charge of a workhouse at Liverpool; is now
Catholic chaplain of Preston House of Correction, and fills up his
spare time by labouring in St. Joseph's district. Either the House
of Correction or the poor mission he is stationed at agrees with
him, for he has a sparkling countenance, and seems to be thriving at
a genial pace. Both Father Walmsley and Father Parkinson have been
in Spain; they were, in fact, educated there. Both labour hard and
mutually; consoling each other in hours of trial, tickling one
another in moments of ecstacy, and making matters generally
agreeable. The schools attached to St. Joseph's are in a good
condition. They are well attended, are a great boon to the district,
and reflect credit upon those who conduct them. All the district
wants is a new church, and when one gets built we shall all be
better off, for a brighter day with full work and full wages will
then have dawned.


Not very far from the mark shall we be in saying that if this Church
were a little nearer it would not be quite so far off, and that if
it could be approached more easily people would not have so much
difficulty in getting to it. "A right fair mark," as Benvolio hath
it, "is soonest hit;" but you can't hit St. Mark's very well,
because it is a long way out of ordinary sight, is covered up in a
far-away region, stands upon a hill but hides itself, and until very
recently has entailed, in its approach, an expedition, on one side,
up a breath-exhausting hill, and on the other through a world of
puddle, relieved by sundry ominous holes calculated to appal the
timid and confound the brave. We made two efforts to reach this
Church from the eastern side; once in the night time, during which,
and particularly when within 100 yards of the building, we had to
beat about mystically between Scylla and Charybdis, and once at day
time, when the utmost care was necessary in order to avoid a mild
mishap amid deep side crevices, cart ruts two feet deep, lime heaps,
and cellar excavations. We shall long remember the time when, after
our first visit, we left the Church, All the night had we been in a
sadly-sweet frame of mind, listening to prayers and music, and
drinking in the best parts of a rather dull sermon; but directly
after we left a disheartening struggle amid mud ensued, and all our
devotional sentiment was taken right out of us. An old man,
following us, who had been manifesting much facial seriousness in
the Church, stepped calmly, but without knowing it, into a pile of
soft lime, and the moment he got ankle deep his virtue disappeared
amid a radiation of heavy English, which consigned the whole road to
perdition. For several months this identical road spoiled the effect
of numerous Sunday evening sermons; but, it is now in a fair state
of order. St. Mark's Church, is situated on the north-western side
of the town, between Wellington-terrace and the Preston and Wyre
Railway, and was opened on the 22nd of September, 1863. For some
time previously religious services were held on Sundays in
Wellfield-road school, which then belonged Christ Church, but the
district being large and of an increasing disposition, a new church
was decided upon. The late Rev. T. Clark, incumbent at that time of
Christ Church, promoted its erection very considerably; and when the
building was opened those worshipping in Wellfield-road school
(which was afterwards handed over for educational purposes to St.
Mark's) went to it. St. Mark's cost about 7,000 pounds--without the
steeple, which is now being erected, and will, it is expected, be
finished about the beginning of March next. It will be a
considerable architectural relief to the building, and will be some
guide to strangers and outer barbarians who may want to patronise it
either for business purposes or piety. The late J. Bairstow, Esq.,
left 1,000 pounds towards the steeple, which will cost about 1,250
pounds. In the district there are upwards of 6,000 persons, and not
many of them are much better than they ought to be.

St. Mark's is built in the cruciform style, is mildly elaborate, and
moderately serene in outline; but there is nothing very remarkable
about any part of it. Rails run round it, and on the roof there are
eight boxed-up, angular-headed projections which may mean something,
but from which we have been unable to extract any special
consolation. At each end of the church there are doors; those at the
back being small and plain, those in front being also diminutive but
larger. The principal entrance possesses some good points, but it
lacks capaciousness and clearness--has a covered-up, hotel doorway
aspect which we don't relish. It seems also to be very
inconveniently situated:  the bulk of those attending the church
come in the opposite direction, and, therefore, if opposed to back
door business, which is rather suspicious at a church, have to make
a long round-about march, wasting their precious time and strength
considerably in getting to the front. The church, which is fashioned
externally of stone, has a brick interior.

A feeling of snugness comes over you on entering; small passages,
closed doors, and an amplitude of curtains--there are curtains at
every door in the church--induce a sensation of coziness; but when
you get within, a sort of bewildering disappointment supervenes. The
place seems cold and unfinished,--looks as if the plasterers and
painters had yet to be sent for. But it has been decided to do
without them:  the inside is complete. There may be some wisdom in
this style of thing; but a well-lined inside, whether it appertains
to men or churches, is a matter worthy of consideration. There is an
uncomely, fantastical plainness about the interior walls of St.
Mark's, a want of tone and elegance all over them, which may be very
interesting to some, but which the bulk of people will not be able
to appreciate. If they were whitewashed, in even the commonest
style, they would look better than at present. Bands of cream-
coloured brick run round the walls, and the window arches are
bordered with similar material. The roof is amazingly stocked with
wood, all dark stained:  as you look up at it a sense of solemn
maddlement creeps over you; and what such a profuse and complex
display of timber can mean is a mystery, which only the gods and
sharp architects will be able to solve. The roof is supported by ten
long, thin, gilt-headed iron pillars, which relieve what would
otherwise in the general aspect of the church amount to a heavy
monotony of red brickwork and sombre timber. On each side of the
body of the church there are four neat-looking three-light windows;
at the western end there is a beautiful five-light window, but its
effect is completely spoiled by a small, pert-looking, precocious
organ, which stands right before it. At each end of the transept
there are circular lights of condensed though pleasant proportions.

The chancel is spacious, lofty, and not too solemn looking. The base
is ornamented with illumined tablets, and above there are three
windows, the central one bearing small painted representations of
the "Sower" and the "Good Shepherd," whilst those flanking it are
plain. This chancel, owing to its good architectural disposition,
might, by a little more decoration and the insertion of full stained
glass windows, be made very beautiful. The Church is an extremely
draughty one; and if it were not for a screen at the west end and a
series of curtains at the different doors, stiff necks, sore
throats, coughs, colds, and other inconveniences needing much
ointment and many pills would be required by the congregation. Just
within the screen there is a massive stone font, supported by
polished granite pillars, and surrounded at the base by a carpet
upon which repose four small cushions bearing respectively on their
surface a mystic injunction about "thinking" and "thanking."

The Church will accommodate about 1,000. There are 500 free sittings
in it, the bulk being in the transept, which is galleried, and is
the best and quietest place in the building, and the remainder at
the extreme western end. All the seats are small, open, and pretty
convenient; but the backs are very low, and people can't fall asleep
in them comfortably. The price of the chargeable sittings ranges
from 8s. to 10s. each per year. The average congregation numbers
nearly 600; is constituted of working people with a seasoning of
middle-class individuals; is of a peaceable friendly disposition;
does not look black and ill-natured when a stranger appears; is
quite gracious in the matter of seat-finding, book-lending, and the
like; and is well backed up in its kindness by a roseate-featured
gentleman--Mr. Ormandy, one of the wardens--who sits in a free pew
near the front door, and does his best to prevent visitors from
either losing themselves, swooning, or becoming miserable. In this
quarter there is also stationed another official, a beadle, or
verger, or something of the sort, who is quite inclined to be
obliging; but he seems to have an unsettled, wandering disposition,
is always moving about the place as if he had got mercury in him,
can't keep still for the life of him more than two minutes at a
time, and disturbs the congregation by his evolutions. We dare say
he tries to do his best, and thinks that mobility is the criterion
of efficiency; but we don't care for his perpetual activity, and
shouldn't like to sleep with him, for we are afraid he would be a
dreadfully uneasy bed-fellow.

The organ gallery appears to be a pleasant resort for a few hours'
gossip and smirking. The musical instrument in it is diminutive,
rather elegant in appearance at a distance, and is played with
medium skill; but somehow it occasionally sounds when it should not,
sometimes gives a gentle squeak in the middle of a prayer, now and
then is inclined to do a little business whilst the sermon is being
preached; and a lady member of the congregation has put this
question to us on the subject, "Would it sound if the organist kept
his hands and feet off it, and attended to the service?" That is
rather a direct interrogation from so fair a source, and lest we
might give offence we will allow people to answer it for themselves
in their own way, after which they may, if inclined, communicate
with the vivacious beadle, and tell him to look after the organ as
well as the doors, &c. The singers in the gallery are spirited, give
their services, like the organist, "gratisly"--one of the wardens
told us so--and, if not pre-eminently musical, make a very fair
average ninth-rate effort in the direction of melody. They will
mend, we have no doubt, eventually--may finally get into the
"fastoso" style. In the meantime, we recommend careful reading,
mingled with wise doses of sal-prunel and Locock's wafers. On the
first Sunday in every month, sometimes in the morning and sometimes
in the evening, the sacrament is partaken of at St. Mark's church;
and, comparatively speaking, the number of participants is
considerable. The business is not entirely left, as in some
churches, to worn-out old men and sacredly-snuffy old women--to a
miserable half-dozen of fogies, nearly as ignorant of the vital
virtues of the sacrament as the Virginian old beldame who took it to
cure the rheumatism. At St. Mark's the sacrament takers consist of
all classes of people, of various ages, and, considering the
district, they muster very creditably.

The first incumbent of St. Mark's was the Rev. J. W. Green, who had
very poor health, and died on the 5th of October, 1865. Nineteen
days afterwards the Rev. T. Johnson was appointed to the incumbency
which he continues to retain. Mr. Johnson is apparently about 40
years of age. He was first ordained as curate of St. Peter's,
Oldham; stayed there two years and five months; then was appointed
curate of Pontefract Parish Church, a position he occupied for
nearly two years; subsequently took sole charge of a church at
Holcombe, near Bury; four months afterwards came to Preston as
curate of the Parish Church; remained there a considerable time;
then went to Carnforth, near Lancaster; stayed but a short period in
that quarter; and was afterwards appointed incumbent of St. Marks in
this town. Although not very aged himself be lives in a house which
is between 700 and 800 years old, and which possesses associations
running back to the Roman era. This is Tulketh Hall, an ancient,
castellated, exposed building on an eminence in Ashton, and facing
in a direct line, extending over a valley, the front door of St.
Mark's Church. With a fair spy-glass Mr. Johnson may at any time
keep an exact eye upon that door from his own front sitting room.
Nobody can tell when the building, altered considerably in modern
times and now called Tulketh Hall, was first erected. Some
antiquaries say that a body of monks from the monastery of Savigny,
in Normandy, originally built it in 1124; others state that the
place was made before that time; but this is certain, that a number
of monks from the monastery named occupied it early in the twelfth
century, and that they afterwards left it and went to Furness Abbey.
On the south-west of Tulketh Hall the remains of a fosse (ditch or
moat) were, up to recent times, visible; some old ruins adjoining
could also be seen; and it has been supposed by some persons that
there was once a Roman stronghold or castle here. Tulketh Hall has
been occupied by several ancient families, and was once the seat of
the Heskeths, of Rossall, near Fleetwood. The Rev. T. Johnson has
lived in it for perhaps a couple of years, and seems to suffer none
from either its isolation or antiquity. He thrives very well, like
the generality of parsons, and will be a long liver if careful. He
has what a phrenological physiologist would call a vitally sanguine
constitution--has a good deal of temper, excitability, and
determination in his character. You may persuade him, but he will be
awkward to drive. He has a somewhat tall, gentlemanly, elastic
figure; looks as if he had worn stays at some time; is polished,
well-dressed, and careful; respects scented soap; hates the smell of
raw onions; is scrupulous in his toilet; is sharp, swellish, and
good-mannered; rather likes platform speaking; is inclined to get
into a narrow groove of thought politically and theologically, when
crossed by opponents; is eloquent when earnest; talks rubbish like
everybody else at times; has a strong clear voice; is a good
preacher; is moderate in his action; has never, even in his fiercest
moments, injured the pulpit; has a refined, rather affected, and at
times doubtful pronunciation; gets upwards of 300 pounds a year from
the Church; has been financially lucky in other ways; has a homely
class of parishioners, who would like to see him at other times than
on Sundays; is well respected on the whole, and may thank his stars
that fate reserved him for a parson.

His curate--the Rev. C. F. Holt--seems to be only just out of pin
feather, is rather afraid of hopping off the twig; and needs sundry
lessons in clerical flying before he will make much headway. He is
good-looking, but not eloquent; precise in his shaving, but short of
fire and originality; smart in features, but bad in his reading; has
a very neat moustache, but a rather mediocre mental grasp; wears
neat neck-ties and very clean shirts, but often fills you with the
east wind when preaching. He is, however, a very indefatigable
visitor, works hard and cheerfully in the district, has, by his
outside labours, augmented the congregation, and on this account
deserves credit. He is neither eloquent in expression nor sky-
scraping in thought:  but he labours hard amongst outside sinners,
and an ounce of that kind of service is often worth a ton of pulpit
rhetoric and sermonising bespanglement. At the schools in Wellfield-
road the average day attendance is 310; whilst on Sundays it reaches
470. The school is a good one; the master is strong, healthy, and
active, and the mistress is careful, antique-looking, and efficient.


Some good people are much concerned for the erection of new places
of worship in our large towns, labour hard for long periods in
maturing plans for them, and nearly exhaust their energies in
securing that which is held to be the only potent agent in their
construction--money. But this is an ancient and roundabout process,
and may, as it sometimes has done, terminate in failure. A stiff
quarrel is about the surest and quickest thing we are acquainted
with for multiplying places of worship, for Dissenters, at any rate;
and probably it would be found to work with efficacy, if tried,
amongst other bodies. Local experience shows that disputes in
congregations invariably end in the erection of new chapels. Show us
a body of hard, fiercely-quarrelsome religious people, and although
neither a prophet nor the son of one we dare predict that a new
place of worship will be the upshot of their contentions. We know of
four or five chapels in Preston which here been raised on this plan,
and those requiring more need only keep the scheme warm. It is not
essential that persons anxious for new sacred edifices should expend
their forces in pecuniary solicitations; let them set a few
congregations by the ears and the job will be done at once.
Deucalion of Thessaly was told by the oracle of Themis that if he
wished to renew mankind he must throw his mother's bones behind his
back. This was about as irreverent and illogical as telling people
that if they want more religious accomodation they must commence
fighting; and yet, whilst olden history gives some faint proof that
the Grecian prince was successful, in stone if not in bone throwing,
modern experience ratifies the notion that a smart quarrel is
certain to be followed by a good chapel.

There was a small feud in 1849-50 at Vauxhall-road Particular
Baptist Chapel, Preston, concerning a preacher; several liked him;
some didn't; a brisk contention followed; and, in the end, the
dissatisfied ones--about 50 in number, including 29 members--finding
that they had "got up a tree," quietly retired. They hired a place
in Cannon-street, which somehow has been the nursery of two or three
stirring young bodies given to spiritual peculiarity. Here they
worshipped earnestly, looking out in the meantime for a plot of land
in some part of the town whereon they could build a chapel, and thus
attend to their own business on their own premises. Singular to say
they hit upon a site adjoining the most fashionable quarter of the
town--hit upon and bought the only piece of land in the Belgravia of
Preston whereon they or anybody else could build a place of worship.
This was a little spot on the north-eastern side of Regent-street,
abutting upon Winckley-square, and freed from the restrictions as to
church and chapel building which operated in respect to every other
vacant piece of land in the same highly-spiced neighbourhood. Upon
this land they raised a small chapel, and dedicated it to Zoar.
Whether they did this because Zoar means little, or because it was
fancied that they had "escaped," like Lot of old, from a very
unsanctified place, we cannot tell. The chapel was opened in 1853,
at a cost of 500 pounds, one-fifth of which, apart from previous
subscriptions, was raised during the inaugural services.

As to the outward appearance of this chapel, not so much can be
said. It is built of brick, with stone facings; at the front there
is a gable pierced with a doorway, flanked with two long narrow
windows, and surmounted by a small one; above, there is a stone
tablet giving to the name of the chapel and the date of its opening;
on the left, calmly nestling on the roof, there is a sheet iron
pipe; and on the ground, at the same side, there are some good
stables. These stables do not belong to the chapel, and never did.
There is no bell at the chapel; but the name of Mr. Bell, who rents
the stables, is fixed at one side of it; and in this circumstance
some satisfaction may be found. The chapel has a microscopical,
select, sincere appearance; has no architectural strength nor
highly-finished beauty about it; is bashful, clean, unadorned; and
looks like what it is--the cornered-up, decorous, tiny Bethel of a
particular people. Its internal arrangements are equally sedate,
condensed, and snug. A calm homeliness, a Quakerly simplicity runs
all through it. Nothing glaring, shining, or artistically complex is
visible; neither fresco panellings, nor chiaroscuro contrasts, nor
statuary groups adorn its walls:  if any of these things were seen
the members would scream. All is simple, clean, modest. The walls,
slightly relieved on each side by two imitation columns, are calmly
coloured; the ceiling, containing a floriated centre piece, is
plainly whitewashed; the gas stands have no pride in them; the
pulpit is small, durable, unpretentious. There are 22 deep long
narrow pews in the chapel, and they will accommodate 200 persons. A
small and rather forlorn-looking clock perches over the doorway, and
keeps time, when going, moderately well. In the south-western corner
of the building there is a mural tablet, in memory of the late Mrs.
Caroline Walsh, who gave 50 pounds towards the erection of the
chapel. If she had given 100 pounds probably two monuments would
have been raised to her memory.

Nearly all who visit the chapel are middle-class people. The average
attendance ranges from 70 to 80. There are 34 members at the place.
Half of those who originally joined it are dead. They did not die
through attending the chapel, but through ordinary physical ailment.
The congregation, numerically speaking, is stationary, at present.
Those attending the chapel profess the very same principles as the
Vauxhall-road Baptists, sing out of hymn books just like theirs, and
drink in with equal rapture the Philpottian utterances of the Gospel
Standard--the organ of the body. They have four collections a year,
and the hat never goes round amongst them in vain. Their pulpit is
specially reserved for men after their own heart. They will admit to
it neither General Baptists, nor Methodists, nor Independents; and
however good a thing any of the preachers of these bodies might have
to say, they would have to burst before the Zoar Chapel brethren
would find them rostrum accomodation for its expression. All
classes, they fancy, ought to mind their own affairs; and preachers
they consider should always keep to the pulpits of their own faith.
Although touchy as to preachers they are somewhat liberal as to
writers, and have a great fondness for several of the works of
Church of England divines. They esteem considerably, we are
informed, the writings of "Gill, Romaine, Hawker, Parkes, Hewlett,
and others belonging that church." There is a debt of 150 pounds
upon Zoar Chapel; and if any gentleman will give that sum to square
up matters we can guarantee that good special sermons, eulogistic of
all his virtues since birth, will be preached, and that a monument
will be erected to him in the chapel when he dies.

The first minister the Zoar Chapel people had, after their
secession, was Mr. D. Kent, a Liverpool gentleman who came over to
Preston weekly, for seven years, and preached every Sunday. He got
no salary, was content with having his railway fare paid and his
Sunday meals provided, and he gave much satisfaction. In the end he
had to retire through ill health. Mr. J. S. Wesson, who evaporated
quietly from Preston some time ago, followed Mr. Kent, and preached
for the Zoar folk six years. His successor was Mr. Edward Bates, of
Darwen, who visited the chapel every Sunday for 12 months, and then
withdrew. Since his departure there has been no regular minister at
the Chapel; and whenever one does come he will have to be a "Mr."
and not a "Rev." Particular Baptists don't believe in "reverend"
gentlemen--think none of them are really reverend, and that it is
presumption in any man, however sublimated his virtue or learning
may be, to sacredly oil up his name with any such prefix.

We have visited Zoar Chapel twice. It was exactly twenty minutes to
seven one Sunday evening when we first entered it. The lights were
burning, the blinds were drawn, and there were 23 people in the
place. In a pew on the left-hand side a little old man was holding
forth as to the "prodigal son." It was the first time he had ever
talked in the chapel, and he has never said a word since. He had a
peculiarly free and easy style. Sometimes he leaned over the pew
door, and beat time with one foot whilst talking; at other periods
he would stand back a little, push his right arm up to the elbow in
his breeches pocket, and scratch his leg quietly; then he would turn
half round, and look up; then make to the pew door again; then leave
it, and so on to the finish. He was an earnest, plain-spun sort of
individual, but he got through his parabolical exposition very
satisfactorily. We fancied he would afterwards ascend the pulpit,
which was lighted up; but he kept out of it, and nobody ever went
near it at all, except at the finish, when a man quietly walked up
the steps and put the gas out. We could not exactly see the force of
lighting the pulpit when nobody ever went into it; but others in the
place might, for there are shrewd men amongst them, and they may
have found out some virtue in lighting gas burners when they are not
wanted. The music we heard was moderate; the praying which followed
was mildly exhilarating.

When we turned into the chapel the second time--this was during a
forenoon service--there were located in it an elderly, fatherly,
farmerly man, who occupied the pulpit; eleven middle-aged men, with
subdued countenances; six young men with their eyes and ears open to
every move; nine blushing maidens with their back hair combed up
stiffly and their mastoid processes bared all round; nine matured
members of the fair sex with larger bonnets and more antique hair
arrangements; five little girls; four small boys; and seven singers;
making in the aggregate fifty-two. The person in the pulpit was, we
learned, a Fylde farmer; but he must at some time have lived in the
north, for he said "dowter" for daughter, "gert" for great, "nather"
for neither, "natteral" for natural, and gave his "r's" capital good
exercise, turning them round well, throughout his entire discourse;
and he cared very little for either singular or plural verbs. If he
got the sense out he deemed it sufficient. He spoke in a
conversational style, was more descriptive than argumentative, was
homely, discreet, and neither too lachrymose nor too buoyant. This
preacher, we have been told, was Mr. James Fearclough, of Hardhorn,
near Blackpool, who was the original organiser of the church.

The singers, who collected themselves around a square, conical-
headed table, in a shy-looking corner, gave vent to their feelings
without music books. They had hymns before them, and these they held
to be sufficient. Their performances were rather of a timid
character; but this might be to some extent accounted for by the
fact that the conductor was absent. When they started a tune they
sighed, blushed, held their heads down, and looked up shyly into
their eye lids; but when they had proceeded a little and got the
congregation into a sympathetic humour, courage came to them, and
they moved on more exactly and courageously. About a dozen preachers
have been tried since the pulpit was vacated by the Darwen
gentleman; but the exact man has not yet been found, and until his
advent the congregation will have to solicit "supplies," and be
content with what they can get. None of the members can preach;
nobody in the congregation can preach; and their only hope at
present consists in the foreign import trade. The congregation has a
homely, unpretentious, kindly-hearted, social appearance, and when
in the midst of it you feel as if you were at home, and as if the
tea things had only to be brought out to make matters complete.
There are no loud talkers, no scandal-mongers, no sanguine souls who
get into a state of incandescence during prayers or sermons here. A
respectable, homely, smoothly-elegant serenity dominates in it.

Two services are held in the chapel on Sundays, and on a Wednesday
evening there is a prayer meeting. A Sunday school, opened in 1855,
is held in the building, and is attended by about 50 children. At
present, the general business of the chapel is rather dull; and
there will be no perceptible improvement in it nor in the number
attending it until a regular minister is appointed. Listening to
stray sermons is like feeding upon wind--you may get filled with it,
but will never get fat upon it. We hope the Zoarists will by and by
be successful; that, having escaped to their present quarters, they
will keep them,--an effort has been once or twice made to purchase
the building for a public-house; and that they will never, like the
party who first fled to Zoar, become troglodytes.


With the district in which this Church is situated we are not much
acquainted. With even the Church itself we have never been very
familiar. It is in a queer, far-of unshaven region. Aged sparrows
and men who like ale better than their mothers, dwell in its
surroundings; phalanxes of young Britons, born without head
coverings, and determined to keep them off; columns of wives,
beautiful for ever in their unwashedness, and better interpreters of
the 28th verse of the 1st chapter of Genesis then all the Biblical
commentators put together, occupy its district. Prior to visiting
St. Luke's Church we had some idea of its situation; but the idea
was rather inclined to be hazy when we desired to utilise it; we
couldn't bring it to a decisive point; and as we objected to the
common business of stopping every other person in order to get a
perplexing explanation of the situation, the question just resolved
itself into one of "Find it out yourself." Exactly so, we mentally
muttered on entering Ribbleton-lane; and we passed the thirty feet
House of Correction wall to the right thereof, with an air of
triumph, redolent of intrepidity and independence. To the left of
the lane entered we knew St. Luke's was located; but doubt
overshadowed its precise whereabouts. The first street in that
direction down which we looked contained, at the bottom, six coal
waggons and a gate. Those unhappy-looking waggons and that serious
gate couldn't, we said, be St. Luke's. Another street to the left;
but at the end of it we saw only a tavern, some tall rails, and an
old engine shed. Convinced that St. Luke's was not here, we
proceeded to the head of the third street, and down it were more
rails, sundry children, a woman sweeping the parapet, and the gable
of a mill. At the extreme end of the next a coal office and a gate
met us. Number five street showed up the fading placards of a news
shop, and the cold stillness of a Sunday morning factory. Down the
sixth avenue we peered eagerly, but "more factory" met us. The
termination of its successor consisted of pieces of timber, three
arches, and some mill ends. We had hope as to the bottom of the
next; but it was blighted and withered in its infancy as we gazed
upon 25 tree trunks, a mill, and two tall chimneys. Additional wood,
an office, and an entire mill formed the background of the street
subsequently encountered. Extra mill buildings closed up the career
of the road beyond it; ditto beyond that; partially ditto
afterwards, the front of the picture being relieved by a few thirsty
souls, looking plaintively at a landlord, who stood with a rolling
eye upon door step, anxious to officiate as the "Good Samaritan,"
but afraid to exercise his benevolence. After this there would
surely, we thought, be something like the church we were seeking.
But not so; a swampy wide road and more of the irrepressible mill
element constituted the whole of the scene presented.

It is, however, a long lane which has no turning, and at last we got
to a small corner shop, below which were two clothes props, one
being very much out of the perpendicular, an open piece of ground,
numerous bricks in a heap, and a railed round edifice rising calmly,
sedately, and diminutively. This was St. Luke's--the shrine we had
been looking for, the Mecca we had been in search of. Plenty of
breathing space has the church now:  on three of its sides there is
a wide expanse; but the cottage homes of England are steadily
approaching it, and in time the building will be tightly surrounded
by innumerable dwellings, whose occupants, we hope, will feel the
spiritual salubrity of their situation. St. Luke's has a serene,
minutely-neat exterior; is proportionate, evenly balanced, and
devoid of that tortuous masonry which some architects delight to
honour. It is a meekly-conceived, yet substantially-built little
church, with a rural placidity and neatness about it, reminding one
of goodness without showiness, and use without sugar-coated detail.
A modest spire, very sharp-pointed, rises above the tower at the
western side. At the angles of the tower there are pinnacles,
supported not by monstrosities of the common gargoyle type, but by
pleasant featured angels, duly pinioned for flying. There appears to
have been a "rage" for windows at this said western end. From top to
bottom there are fifteen; four being moderately large, and the bulk
of the remainder remarkably small.

The interior of the church is particularly plain; is stone-coloured
all round; has an unassuming, modestly-serious, half-rural
appearance; has no tablets, no ornaments, and no striking colouring
of any kind on its main walls. It consists of a nave (depending upon
fourteen arches) and two aisles. The centre is pretty high, has a
narrow, open roof, and is moderately crowded with timber. The sides
are small, but in sitting in them you do not experience that buried-
alive sensation, that bewilderment beneath a heavy ceiling
elaborated with hugely awkward prop-work and pillars, which is felt
in some church aisles. Here, as at St. Mark's, there is a strong
belief in the healthiness of red curtains at the various entrances.
The chancel is high and open, and has rather a bare look. Within it
there are three windows, filled in with stained glass, of sweet
design, but defective in representative effect. The colours are
nicely arranged; but with the exception of a very small medallion in
the centre, referring to the Last Supper, they give you no idea of
anything living, or dead, or yet to be made alive. The windows were
put in by the late T. Miller, Esq;, C. R. Fletcher Lutwidge, Esq.;
and J. Bairstow, Esq., and they Cost 90 pounds. At the western end
there are three stained-glass windows, which look well. The colours
are rich, and the designs artistic. Two of them, we believe, were
fixed in memory of the late Mrs. Winlaw. The vestry stands on one
side of the chancel, and in the doorway of it there is a red
curtain, intended to keep out the tail end of whirlwinds and
draughts in general. When we looked into this vestry, the idea
flashed upon us that its occupant must be a specially studious and
virtuous gentleman, for upon the mantelpiece there were 14 large
Bibles, surmounted by three sacramental guides. But earth is very
nigh to heaven, and when we saw a series of begging boxes flanking
the books, and a looking-glass, which must at some time have cost
tenpence, we retreated.

From the centre of the chancel, the church looks very imposing:
indeed, you get a full view of all its architectural details here,
and the conclusion previously arrived at, through what you may have
seen from other points--namely, that the edifice is simple, bucolic,
and prosaic--is entirely changed. The reading desk is a commendable
article, and with care will last a considerable period. The pulpit--
circular-shaped, and somewhat small in proportions--has a seemly
appearance; but it looks only a homely-built affair when minutely
inspected, and might be pulled in pieces quickly by a passionate
man. Two or three curious articles are associated with it. At the
base, there is quietly lying an aged gutta percha pipe, the object
of which we could not make out; and in the pulpit there is another
gutta percha pipe, with an elongated, funnel-shaped top, put up,
probably, for some very useful purpose--for whispering, or speaking,
or sneezing, or coughing--which alone concerns the preacher, and
need not be further inquired into by us. There is a thermometer
opposite the pulpit, which, probably, is intended to test the
atmosphere of the church, but which may, for aught we know, be
serviceable to the minister in moments of extreme mental coldness,
or in periods of high clerical enthusiasm. If he can regulate the
sacred temperature of either the reading desk or the pulpit by this
thermometer, and can, in addition, utilise the gutta percha tubes as
exhaust pipes, then we think he will derive a tangible advantage
from their presence. Near the entrance to the centre aisle there is
a somewhat handsome stone font, octagonal in shape, carved on four
of its sides, and resting upon a circular pedestal, which is
surrounded by eight small pillars. Not far from and on each side of
the font there is an official wand, carried at intervals, with a
decorum akin to majesty, by the beadle.

St. Luke's Church was opened on the 3rd of August, 1859; the cost of
it--land, building, and everything--being 5,350 pounds. The late J.
Bairstow, Esq., was an admirable friend of St. Luke's; he gave 700
pounds towards the building fund, and 6,000 pounds for the
endowment. The church will accommodate 800 persons. Three-fourths of
the sittings are free. The average attendance on Sundays, including
school children, is 250. Considering that there are about 5,500
persons in the district, this number is only trifling. When we
visited the church there were 280 present, and out of this number
160 were children. We fancied that the weather, for it was rather
unfavourable, might have kept many away, but when we recollected
that we had passed groups of men standing idly at contiguous street
corners, discussing the merits of dogs and ale, as we walked to the
church; and saw at least 40 young fellows within a good stone throw
of it as we left, hanging about drinking-house sides, in the
drizzling rain, waiting for "opening time," and talking coolly about
"half gallons," we grew doubtful as to the correctness of our
supposition. If men could bear a quiet drenching in the streets,
could leave their homes for the purpose of congregating on the sides
of parapets, in order to make a descent upon places essentially
"wet," we fancied that moderately inclement weather could not, after
all, be set down as the real reason for a thin congregation at St.
Lukes. The fact is, there is much of that religion professed by the
horse of Shipag in this district--working on week days and stuffing
on Sundays is the creed of the multitude.

The congregation worshipping at St. Luke's is formed chiefly of
working people. In summer the scholars sit in a small gallery at the
west end; in winter they are brought into 28 seats below it. They
seem to be of a rather active turn of mind, for in their management
they keep two or three men and a female hard at work, and continue
after all to have a fair amount of their own way--not, perhaps,
quite so much of it as three youths who sat before us, who appeared
to extract more pleasure out of some verses on a tobacco paper than
out of either the hymns or the sermon--but still enjoying a good
share of personal freedom, which children will indulge in. There is
a service at St. Luke's every Wednesday evening; but it is not much
cared for. Only about 30 attend it, and it is not known to what
extent they enjoy the Proceedings. The instrumental music of the
church has apparently been regulated on the Darwinian theory of
"selection." What it was at the very beginning we can-cannot say;
but towards the commencement it appears to have been emitted from a
small harmonium; then a little organ was procured, and it came from
that; then a large organ was obtained, and from that it now
radiates. Some day a still larger instrument may be procured; but
the present one, which used to do duty in Christ Church, Preston, is
a respectable, good-looking, tuneful apparatus; and it is played
with ability by an energetic, clerical-looking young gentleman, who
receives a small salary for his services. The members of the choir
manifest tolerable skill in their performances; but they lack power,
and are hampered at line ends by the dragging melody of the

The incumbent of St. Luke's is the Rev. W. Winlaw--a grave, sharp-
featured gentleman, who comes from the north, and, like all his
fellow-countrymen, knows perfectly well what time it is. Mr. Winlaw
was originally an Independent minister, and he looks like one to
this day. He was a fellow-student of the Rev. G. W. Clapham,
formerly of Lancaster-road Congregational Chapel, Preston, and now a
minister of the Church of England. Mr. Winlaw was the successor of
the Rev. J. H. Cuff (father of Messrs. Cuff, of this town), at an
Independent Chapel in Wellington. In 1855 he was ordained by the
Bishop of Manchester to St. Peter's, Ashton-under-Lyne. In 1867 he
came to Preston, as curate of St. Paul's, and in 1859 he was
appointed incumbent of St. Luke's. Mr. Winlaw is a slender,
carefully-organised, cute, sharp-eyed man; is inclined to be
fastidious, punctillious, and cold; is a ready speaker; talks with
grammatical accuracy and laboured precision; is rather wordy and
unctuous; can draw out his sentences to a high pitch of solemnity,
and tone them off in syllabic whispers; has an active physiognomical
expression--can turn the muscles of his face in all directions;
shakes his head considerably in the reading-desk and pulpit, as if
constantly in earnest; is keenly susceptible, and has strong
convictions; couldn't be easily persuaded off a notion after once
seeing it in his own light; seems to have smiled but seldom; has
sharp perceptive powers--looks into you with a piercing eye; cares
little for the odd or the humorous--has a strong sense of clerical
dignity; would become sarcastic if touched in the quick; is earnest,
cautious, melancholy, and felt-hatted; has good strategic powers;
can see a considerable way; is vigorous when roused, maidenly when
cool, cutting when vexed, meek when in smooth water; is generally
exact in composition, and clear in style; but preaches rather long
sermons, and has a difficulty in giving over when he has got to the
end. In one of his sermons we heard him say, after a five-and-twenty
minutes run, "In conclusion," "Lastly," and "Finally;" and we had
almost made up our mind for another sermon after he had "finished,"
but he decided to give over without preaching it. Mr. Winlaw, in the
main, is a fair speaker, with a rather eccentric modulation, is a
medium, gentlemanly-seeming, slightly-inflated, polished, precise
minister, who has earned the confidence of his flock, and the
goodwill of many about him. Like every other parson he is not quite
perfect; but he appears to be suitable for the district, and with a
salary of 300 pounds per annum is, we hope, happy. Day and Sunday
schools adjoin the Church. At the former, there is an average
attendance of 180; at the latter of 400. A capital library is
attached to the schools. Orange and other societies for the
maintenance of Protestantism, and the support of "Our glorious
Constitution," exist in connection with the church, and the members,
who are rather of the high-pressure type, enjoy the proceedings of
them muchly.


Preston has been developing itself for several years northwards.
There was a period, and not very long since, either, when nearly the
whole of the land in that direction was a mere waste--a chaos of
little hills and large holes, relieved with clay cuttings, modified
with loads of rubbish, and adorned with innumerable stones--a
barren, starved-out sort of town common, where persecuted asses
found an elysium amid thistles, where neglected ducks held high
revel in small worn-out patches of water, and upon which rambling
operatives aired their terriers, smoked in gossiping coteries, and
indulged in the luxuries of jumping, and running and tumbling; but
much of this land has been "reclaimed;" many dwellings have been
erected upon it; and in the heart of it stands Emmanuel Church--a
building which ought to have been opened some time since, which
might have been opened 90 days ago if two or three lawyers had
exerted themselves with moderate energy in the conveyancing
business, and which it is expected will be consecrated and got ready
for the spiritual edification of the neighbourhood in a few weeks.
The locality assigned to Emmanuel Church used to form part of St.
Peter's district; but that church having enough on its hands nearer
home, it was decided to slice off a portion of its area, and start a
new auxiliary "mission" northwards. Thomas Tomlinson, Esq., of
London, gave land at the end of Brook-street sufficient for a new
church and schools; subscriptions for the erection of the necessary
buildings were afterwards solicited; sums of money were promised;
but enough could not be obtained to carry out the entire work, so
the building committee, acting upon the sagacious plan that it is
easier at any time to lift a pound than a ton, concluded to make a
start by constructing schools. This was in 1865. After the lapse of
a short time the schools were completed, and up to the present (Dec.
1869) worship has been held in them.

The schools are strong and good; the principal room wherein the
religious services are held has a tincture of the ecclesiastical
element in its interior architecture; but either those who attend it
or those who exercise themselves about its precincts are of too
active a disposition, for nineteen squares of glass in its windows
are cracked, and this rather "panes" one at first sight. There were
about 240 persons, 80 or 90 being children, in the building when we
paid our Sunday visit to it.

The congregation was of the working class species. At the north-east
corner seven or eight singers, somewhat vigorous and expert in their
music, were stationed; a female who played a little harmonium was
near them; and in one corner, in a small pulpit run up to the wall
as tightly as human skill could devise, was a condensed Irish
gentleman, whom nobody seemed to know, but who turned out, in the
end, to be an Oswaldtwistle minister, who had exchanged pulpits with
the regular clergyman. He was a cute, well-educated little party;
but awfully uneasy--was never still--moved his head, arms, and body
about at the rate of 129 times a minute (we timed him with a good
centre-seconds watch), talked much out of the left corner of his
mouth; was full of rough vigour and warm blood; would have been a
"boy" with a shillelagh; and yet he got along with his work
excellently. We couldn't help smiling when we saw, during the
preliminary portion of the service, another surpliced gentleman join
him. Just when the lessons came on a stout, plump-featured, and most
fashionably-whiskered young man stepped into the pulpit, crushed the
little Oswaldtwistle party into the north-eastern Corner of it, and
poured out for about twenty minutes a sharp, monotonous volume of
sacred verses. The scene underwent further development when, during
the singing, both stood up side by side. The pulpit, would hardly
hold them; but they stuck well to its inner sides, cast tranquil
fraternal glances at each other, once threw a Corsican brother
affection into the scene, looked now and then fierce, as if feeling
that each had as much right to the pulpit as the other, and finally
marched off with a twinly love beaming in their eyes, to the vestry
adjoining, from which in a few minutes the Oswaldtwistle minister
emerged in a black gown, and entered the pulpit, whilst his
companion followed, in a buttoned-up black coat, to the front of the
communion rails, where he took a seat and became very quiet. The
sermon was briskly condemnatory of unbelief, for ten minutes, then
got immensely pungent as to Popery, and ended in a coloured star-
shower concerning the excellence of "the good old Church of
England." We couldn't help admiring the preacher's eloquence; and a
man who sat near us, and at the finish said, "Who is that fellow?"--
a rather vulgar kind of query--seemed to be fairly delighted with

The Church, in which the services will soon be held, stands close to
the school. It is a curious piebald-looking building; is made of
brick with intervening stone bands and facings; and is something
unique in this part of the country. In the south of England--
particularly in the metropolitan districts--such like buildings are
not uncommon; but hereabouts architecture of the Emmanuel Church
type seems odd. The edifice, although quaint, and rather poor-
looking at first sight, owing to its bricky complexion, will bear
close examination; indeed, the more you look at it and the better
you become reconciled to its proportions. In general contour it is
symmetrical and strong; in detail it is neat and compact; and,
whilst the colour of it may indicate some singularity, and strike
you as being eccentrically variegated, there is nothing in any sense
improper about the character of its materials, and as time goes on,
and familiarity with them is increased, they will cease to look
whimsical and appear just as good as anything else. The general
architecture of the building is of the early English type; the
design, &c., being furnished by Messrs. Myres, Veevers, and Myres,
of Preston. At the west end there is a rather prettily shaped tower,
surmounted at each corner with a strong stone pinnacle; the extreme
height being 100 feet. A few yards above the centre of the tower
there are angular projections--stretched-out, dreadful-looking
figures, a cross between vampires and hyenas--and you feel glad that
they are only made of stone, and in the next place that they are a
good way off. The man who carved them must have tightened up his
courage to the sticking point many a time during the completion of
these uniquely-unbeautiful figures. The principal entrance to the
church is at the western end, where there is a pretty gabled and
balconied porchway, elaborated with carvings, some of which are
being executed at the expense of patriotic youths, who pay for a
yard or two each, as they are in the humour, and expect an
apotheosis afterwards. The doors at this end open into an inner
vestibule, which is well screened from the main building, and may be
used for class purposes, the rendezvousing of christening parties,
or the halting plate of sinners, who go late to church, and hesitate
until they get desperate or highly virtuous before proceeding
further. In a corner at the north-west there is a beautiful
baptismal font, made of Caen stone, ornamented with emblematic
figures and monograms, and supported by four small columns of Leeds
stone. The font is covered up by a piece of strong calico, in the
shape of a huge night-cap, and the arrangement suits it, for however
closely covered down the cap may be, no grumbling of any sort is
ever heard. The building is cruciform in shape, and has a strong,
yet tastefully-finished, galleried transept, approached by
collateral doers, which also give ingress to the church on the
ground floor. The entrances are so arranged that everything in the
shape of that most objectionable of all things--a draught--is
obviated. It is expected that sufficient wind will be brought to
bear upon the question by the organ blower, without admitting
additional currents through the doors.

The church has a solid, substantial, well-finished interior, and the
only fault which can be found with it is, that it is rather low. If
the roof could be lifted a yard or so higher, the general effect
would be wonderfully improved; but it would be very difficult to do
this now; and we suppose the altitude, which was regulated by the
funds in hand during the process of building, will have to remain as
at present. But the lowness of the roof may have some compensating
advantages. If higher the church might have been colder, and its
sounding properties, which are good, might have been interfered
with. At present the space is condensed, and this tends to
concentrate both warmth, and what acoustical gentlemen term,
reverberation. The roof is strongly filled in with diagonally laid,
dark-stained timber, is open and semi-circular, but looks rather
heavy and gloomy. There are no huge ungainly pillars in the body of
the building; an easy, capacious freedom prevails in it; seeing is
not a difficult business; the first sensation which increases as you
remain in the church, is calmly pleasurable and satisfactory. There
is nothing flimsey, nor specious, nor whimsical in the place;
evenness and harmony of proportion; simplicity and solidity of
style, strength and straightforwardness of workmanship, strike you
as its characteristics. The pulpit, which is made of stone, and
approached by an internal staircase, adorned on one side with open
pillars, is most durable, and handsome in style. Every part of the
church can be seen from it; and several parsons might be
accommodated in it and the balcony immediately adjoining. The
reading desk is of carved oak, and, although rather small, has a
tasteful and substantial appearance. T. Tomlinson, Esq., who gave
the font, presented both the pulpit and the desk, and has likewise
given the ceremonial books. The lectern--strong, ornamental, and
weighty--is the gift of M. Myres, Esq. The chancel is tolerably
lofty and cheerful-looking. Good windows are inserted in it; but the
main one is inferior in design to those in the transept, and that at
the western end. Passages of scripture are painted round the arches
of the chancel and transept; the expense thereof having been
defrayed by Mr. Park, decorator, and Mr. Veevers, of the firm of
Myres, Veevers, and Myres. There is a neat dado round the church,
which was made at the expense of Mr. J. J. Myres. The seats in the
church are most conveniently arranged. They are well fit up, have
good sloped backs, and are so constructed as to accommodate either
large or small families in separate sections. Emmanuel Church, the
foundation-stone of which was laid on the 18th of April, 1868, by
Sir T. G. Fermor-Hesketh, M.P., has cost, in round figures, 6,000
pounds. It will accommodate 1,000 people, and all the seats, except
359, are free.

The church, considering its capacity and general finish, is thought
to be one of the cheapest buildings for miles round. Some time, when
the building fund has been replenished, a parsonage house will be
erected at the eastern end of the church. The schools which adjoin
are attended, during week days, by upwards of 220 scholars; and on
Sundays the attendance, including the various classes, with their
teachers, &c., will be about 450. There is a "Conservative
Constitutional Association" in connection with Emmanuel Schools. The
members meet in a building which was once a farmhouse, near the
church; they have for ever of courage; can discuss the great
concerns of the empire with ease and eloquence; are prepared at any
time to administer remedies for all the grievances of the five
divisions of the human race, as classified by Blumenbach; and would
be willing to sit daily, from ten till four, on the highest peak of
Olympus, and direct the affairs of the universe.

The minister of the church is the Rev. E. Sloane Murdoch; and we
dare say if the Cuilmenn of Erin, or the Book of the Uachongbhail,
or the Cin Droma Snechta, or the Saltair of Cashel could have been
consulted, his ancestors would have been found named therein. Mr.
Murdoch is a young man, hails from Derry, possesses a strong
constitution, has small, sharp eyes, and a very round head; has
remarkably smooth hair, brushed close to the bone, and well parted;
and is of a determined, active disposition. Following the example of
many other parsons, he likes a closely-buttoned coat and a walking
stick. He is sharp, quick in resenting aggressions, would soon have
his native blood stirred, is tempted to be a little imperious,
considers that he is a power in the district, has much endurance, is
systematical in thought, wary in expression, hesitates and flutters
a little in some of his sentences, has a strong Hibernian brogue,
but is precise with it; throws more recollection than original
thought into his utterances, visits his district well, is a fair
scholar, is dry and prosaic until warmed up, can feel more than he
can express, has little rhetorical display, seems as if he would
like to shake himself when at a white heat, gets 195 pounds a year--
135 pounds from Emmanuel Church, and 60 pounds for his services at
the workhouse--and would not find any fault whatever if the sum were
raised to 300 pounds. Mr. Murdoch was originally ordained curate of
a parish in the diocese of Kilmore, the father-in-law of the present
incumbent of St. Peter's, Preston, being bishop thereof at the time;
he stayed in the parish about a year; then went into the diocese of
Derry, taking a curacy near Coleraine, which he held for three
years; got a degree at Trinity College, Dublin, in 1858; was then
ordained by the late Bishop of Killaloe; came to St. Peter's,
Preston, as curate, in the spring of 1863; stayed there upwards of
three years; and was then agreeably translated to Emmanuel Church.
Mr. Murdoch is a very useful minister in the district, has striven
much to illumine the sinners thereof, is bringing them now to a very
fair state of enlightenment, and may in time get the whole district
into a bright state of sacred combustion.

At the bottom of Fishergate Hill, in Bird-street, there is a small,
clean-looking, pleasantly-formed building which, since the 14th of
October 1869, has been used as a chapel of ease for Christ church.
It cost 1000 pounds, was built conjointly by Mr. R. Newsham, Mr. J.
F. Higgins, and Mr. W. B. Roper in memory of the late J. Bairstow,
Esq., who left each of them several thousands; will accommodate
about 240 persons; is tolerably well attended; and is one of the
tidiest little places of worship we have seen. No effort at
architectural display has been made in its construction. It has a
brick exterior, has a comely little porch at the west end, is
surmounted in the centre by a turret, has several yards of iron
railing bending in various directions near the front, and will
require considerable protection, if its general health has to be
preserved. None of the windows have yet been broken, but we dare say
they will be by and by, for the neighbourhood possesses some
excellent stone-throwers; the Ribble has not yet flowed into it, but
it may pay one of its peculiar visits some day, for in this quarter
it is no respecter of buildings, whether they be chapels or public
houses. The edifice has a light, simple, unassuming interior. Chairs
seem to constitute the principal articles of furniture. There are
232 for the congregation, and 232 little red buffets as well, 11 for
the choir, one for the organ blower, and two for the parson. At the
top of each chair back there is a thick piece of wood on which is
plastered a printed paper, requesting the worshippers to kneel
during prayers, and to join in the responses. The paper also makes a
quiet allusion to offertory business, the defraying of expenses, and
the augmentation of the curate's salary. The chairs are planted down
the church in two rows, and they look very singular. The organ at
the south east corner is a pretty little instrument. A reading desk
on the opposite side, standing upon a small platform, suffices for
the pulpit. Behind there is a strip of strong blue-painted canvas
bearing a text in gilt letters referring to the Sacrament. Above
there is a three-light stained glass window. At the western end,
just under the doorway, a marble tablet is fixed; and upon it is an
allusion to the virtues of the late J. Bairstow, Esq., and to the
gentlemen who erected the building. The average congregation
consists of about 200 middle and working class people. The services
are generally conducted by the Rev. J. D. Harrison, curate of Christ
Church--a young gentleman who works with considerable vigour, and
never sneezes at the offertory contributions, however small they may
be. Mr. Harding, of this town, designed the building, which is a
homely, kindly-looking little affair--a bashful, tiny, domesticated
creature, a nursling amid the matured and ancient, a baby among the
Titans, which may some day reach whiskerdom and manhood.


"And now, finally, brethren." To the "beginning of the end" have we
got. The journey has been long and tortuous. When we have proceeded
forty inches further we shall stop. Not with the "last rose of
summer," nor with the "last of all the Romans," nor with the "last
syllable of recorded time," nor with the "last words of Marmion"--
the Mohicans are barred out--have we to deal, but with the last
place of worship, fairly coming within the category of "Our Churches
and Chapels." St. Mary's Church is situated in a huge, rudely-spun
district, known by the name of "New Preston." That district used to
be one of the wildest in this locality; "schimelendamowitchwagon"
was not known in it; not much of that excellent article is yet known
in it; and tons of good seed, saying nothing of manure, will have to
be planted in its hard ground before it either blossoms like the
rose or pays its debts. This district was originally brought into
active existence by John Horrocks, Esq., the founder of the Preston
cotton trade. Prior to his time there were a few people in it who
believed that 10s. a week was a good wage, and that Nixon's Book of
Prophecies was an infallible guide; but not before he planted in the
locality a body of hand-loom weavers did it show signs of commercial
vivacity, and begin to develope itself. Handloom weaving is now
about as hopeless a job as trying to extract sunlight out of
cucumbers; but at that time it was a paying air. Weavers could then
afford to play two or three days a week, earn excellent wages,
afterwards wear top boots, and then thrash their wives in comfort
without the interference of policemen. They and their immediate
descendants belonged to a crooked and perverse generation. Cock-
fighting, badger-baiting, poaching, drinking, and dog-worrying
formed their sovereign delights; and they were so amazingly rude and
dangerous, that even tax collectors durst not, at times, go amongst
them for money. Men of this stamp would be much appreciated at
present. The population has thickened, and civilisation has
penetrated into the region since then; and yet the "animal"
preponderates rather largely in it now. Rats, pigeons, dogs, and
Saturday night eye openers--toned down with canary breeding, ale-
supping, herb-gathering, and Sunday afternoon baking--still retain a
mild hold upon the affections of the people, and many of the
youthful race are beginning to imitate their elders admirably in all
these little particulars. A pack of hounds was once kept for general
enjoyment in "New Preston;" but that pack has "gone to the dogs"--
hasn't been heard of for years.

During the past quarter of a century what missionary breakfast men
call a "great work" has been done by way of evangelising the people
in this quarter of the town; and very much of it has been achieved
through St. Mary's Church and schools. For a very long period the
schools in connection with St. Mary's have formed an excellent
auxiliary of the church. Prior to the erection of the church,
scholastic work was carried on in some cottages on the north side of
what is now termed New Hall-lane. The scholars were then in the care
of the Parish Church. When St. Paul's was erected they were handed
over to it. Afterwards, when St. Mary's was raised, a building was
provided for them in a street just opposite, which has undergone
many alterations and enlargements since, owing to the great increase
in the number of scholars. The principal room of the schools is the
largest in Preston, with one exception--the assembly room of the
Corn Exchange. A little cottage-house looking place, up New Hall-
lane, constitutes a "branch" of the schools. The average week-day
attendance is about 900; whilst on a Sunday the gathering of
scholars is about 1,200. At the schools, on Sundays, there are male
and female adult classes; and on week-days a number of earnest
mothers meet therein for the purposes of instruction, consolation,
and pious news-vending. At the schools--we shall get to the church
and Mr. Alker by and by, so be patient, if possible--there is a
"Church of England Institute," under whose auspices innocent games
are indulged in, and periodicals, &c. read. A Conservative
association, established to guard the constitutional interests of
Fishwick Ward, also holds its gatherings in one of the rooms. The
Rev. Robert Lamb, a very energetic man, and formerly incumbent of
St. Mary's, gave the first great impetus to the schools, which are
the largest of their kind in Preston. Mr. Lamb is now at St. Paul's,
Bennett-street, Manchester, and, singular to say, he has worked up
the schools of that church until they have become the greatest in
the city. The late T. Miller, Esq., was a warm friend of St. Mary's
schools, and, whenever any extensions were made at them, he always,
on having the plans and estimates submitted to him, defrayed one-
third of the expenses.

St. Mary's Church stands just at the rear of the Preston House of
Correction. That is better than standing inside such a grim
establishment--any site before the insite (oh) of a prison; and has
for its south western support the store-house of the Third Royal
Lancashire Militia. It forms one of the churches erected mainly
through the exertions of the late Rev. R. Carus Wilson; and like its
brethren is built in the Norman style of architecture, the designer
being Mr. John Latham. The first stone of the edifice was laid in
May, 1836; in 1838 the church was opened; and in 1853 it was
enlarged by the erection of a transept at the northern end. The late
John Smith, Esq., gave the site for it. The building is surrounded
by a graveyard, which might be kept in better order than it is. The
Rev. R. Lamb considerably impoverished himself in enclosing the
ground; and the Rev. H. R. Smith, one of the incumbents, afterwards
spent a sum of money in ornamenting it with shrubs, &c.; but nobody
cares much for it now, and Nature is permitted to follow her own
unfettered way in it. Formerly there was a road to the church from
the west, through some land adjoining the House of Correction; and
it was a great convenience to those living on that side of the town;
but for some reason it was closed; and one of the most roundabout
ways imaginable has been substituted for it. St. Mary's is one of
those churches which can be felt rather than seen. Until you get
quite to it you hardly know you are at it. Approaching it from the
west the first glimmering of it you have is over one end of the
House of Correction. At this point you catch what seems to be a
cluster of crosses--the surmountings of the tower; visions of a
ponderous cruet-stand, of five nine pins, and other cognate
articles, then strike you; afterwards the body of the church
broadens slowly into view, and having described three-fourths of a
wide circle with your feet, and passed through a strong gateway, it
is found you are at the building. St. Mary's has a strong, heavy,
compact appearance. Its front is arched below and storied above; it
has ivy creeping up its walls--trying probably to get to some of the
five nondescript ornaments above the tower--and has a half baronial,
half old hall look at first sight. Some years ago there was much ivy
about the general building; but the "rare old plant" engendered
dampness and had to be pulled down. At each side of the front there
is a small pinnacle, and flanking the gables of the transept there
are four somewhat similar elevations. They are mainly used by

The church can be approached by a doorway at the eastern end of the
transept; but the bulk of the worshippers pass through those at the
southern or front end--three in number, and rather heavy and dim in
appearance. The centre one leads into the body of the building, and
we may as well take advantage of it. We are just within; above there
is a serious looking groined roof, with a lamp suspended from the
middle of it; before us there is a screen, filled in with clear
glass, through which you can see the worshippers who seem thin and
scattered. Formerly the back of a sharply drawn up, dangerous
gallery, for scholars, over which careless children might have
fallen with the greatest ease, occupied the place of this screen,
and a series of hot water pipes--apparently intended for warming the
doorway and the churchyard in front, for they could have been of no
use to people inside the building--were fixed there. In 1866, when
the church was renovated, they were carried about fifteen yards into
the edifice, where they may be seen to this day. We sat close to
eight of them, with a top coat on, one Sunday evening, as a
compensation for being nearly starved to death in one of the back
side wings in the morning, and felt charmingly cooked at the end of
the service. On the left side of the central entrance, and near the
glass door and the screen, there is an elaborately carved box of
Gothic design, intended for missionary contributions; but it is
fixed in such a dim corner that nobody can see it. We have
recommended the beadle to place this box in a more prominent
position, for it is worth looking at as an ornament, even if nothing
is put into it. The aperture in the lid might be closed, and the box
could then be hung up beside the doorway lamp, so that its
proportions might be fairly realised. The interior of the church is
broad and lofty, but through its Norman configuration it is stiff
and coldly ponderous in effect. Massive bare walls, high narrow
windows, and a semi-sexagonal ceiling dependent upon rather ungainly
beams and rafters, like a series of hanging frames, chill you a
little; but on looking northward, to the end of the building, the
chancel and transept arches, which are strong and elegantly moulded,
relieve you, and as you advance the place seems to gradually assume
a finer and more imposing aspect.

The chancel has a calm, goodly look; is, in fact, the best part of
the building, architecturally speaking. At the base, there is an
archway of tablets, upon which nobody ever bestows very close
attention; above, there are three staple-shaped windows; and
surmounting all, there is a round recessed light, which can only be
seen through by people who sit in the gallery. On the left side of
the chancel, there are two windows. There is no stained glass in the
chancel. If the windows were adorned with it, and the walls more
cheerfully painted, a very beautiful effect would be produced. Five
different kinds of carpetting, all very well worn, deck the floor of
the chancel. Within the communion rails, there is a rich carpet, in
needlework, made by some of the members of the congregation, At each
side there is as antique chair, being part of the furniture in the
vestry which adjoins, and which was given by the Rev. H. R. Smith.
It consists altogether of ten pieces--including chairs, bookcase,
looking-glass, dressing-table, chest, &c., and is about 200 years
old. The only stained windows in the building are in the west
transept. They are four in number; two being of the merely
ornamental type, whilst the remainder are of the memorial order. At
the bottom of one of them there are these words--"In memory of Mary
Smith, born 1779, died 1845. Erected by Henry Robert Smith." At the
base of the other window there is this inscription:- "In memory of
John Smith, born 1773, died 1849. Erected by the church, 1855." The
deceased persons referred to were the parents of the Rev. H. R.
Smith, who, as already said, was a former incumbent of the church.
The ends of the transept are very dim, and sometimes you can hardy
tell who is sitting in them.

St. Mary's will accommodate 1,450 persons. The pews on the ground
floor, excepting a few free ones at the entrance and at the top of
the church, are all of the "closed" kind--have doors to them. When
the Church was renovated the pews were cut down about eight inches,
were remodelled, and thoroughly cleaned. Previously they were
painted, and had a gummy, sticky influence rearwards upon peoples
clothes. One or two bits of shawl fringe, &c., drawn off by the old
gluey paint still remain at the back of some of the seats
(notwithstanding the chemical cleansing they got), reminding one of
the saying of friend Billings, that "A thing well stuck iz stuck for
ever." The gas burners hang far down in pendant clusters from the
ceiling, and with their glass reflectors, which would cast off a
better light if cleaner, have a lamp-like effect, putting one in
mind, when lighted, of some Eastern mosque. The font is a prettily
shaped article, is made of fossil marble, and was given by the Rev.
Canon Parr and the wardens of the Parish Church, in which building
it once stood. It rests upon a platform of ornamental tiles bordered
with stone, and looks well. Above it is a carved wooden canopy
surmounted by a dove. The canopy is raised by a descending ball of
equal weight. When the ball falls the pigeon rises. In ordinary life
the ball rises when the pigeon falls; but this is not the case at
St. Mary's, although it amounts to the same thing in the end, for
after the pigeon has ascended three feet the ball descends upon its
back and settles the question.

At the southern end there is a large gallery, overshadowing the
noisiest galaxy of Sunday infants we ever encountered. There are
more infants at St. Mary's schools than at any other place in
Preston, and trouble, combined with vexation of spirit, must
consequently exist there in the same ratio. The bulk are kept from
the church; but a few manage to creep in, and when we saw them they
were having a very happy time of it. Some whistled a little--but
they seemed to be only learners and couldn't get on very well with
tunes; others tossed halfpennies about, a few operated upon the
floor with marbles, and all of them were exceedingly lively. The
gallery above is large, deep, and long; ingress to it is tortuous;
and strangers would have to inquire much before properly reaching
it. There is an old funeral bier in one part of it, and we have
failed to ascertain the precise object of the article. It is not
used when fainting fits are in season; it is never taken advantage
of in the case of people who fall asleep, and require carrying home
to bed; it seems to be neither useful nor ornamental; and it ought
to be either taken off to the cemetery and quietly inurned, or sold
to one of the sextons there.

In the gallery there is a large organ. It is a very respectable-
looking instrument, has a healthy musical interior, and is played
moderately. The members of the choir, to whom several people in the
bottom of the church look up periodically, as if trying to find out
either what they were doing or how they were dressed, are only in
embryo. They are new singers; but some of them have fair voices, and
in spite of occasional irregularity in tune and time, they get along
agreeably. The elements of a good choir are within them, and they
have only to persevere, in order to secure excellence, saying
nothing of medals, and other tokens of appreciation. The whole of
the seats in the gallery, generally used by scholars, are free.

St. Mary's is situated a district containing about 8,000 persons,
and as they are nearly entirely of the working class sort, the
congregation is naturally made up of similar materials. Including 14
militia staff men, the congregation will number, on an average,
without the scholars, about 500. More people appear to come late to
this church than to any other in Preston; they keep dropping in at
all times--particularly in a morning--up to within twenty minutes of
the finish; but they are connected with the schools, visit the
church after they have done duty there, and this accounts for their
lateness. The beadle of this church has the strongest, if not the
longest, official wand in the town, and he is very modest, blushing
occasionally, while carrying it.

The first incumbent of St. Mary's was the Rev. James Parker, a
relative of Councillor Parker, of Preston, who had to retire through
ill health. He exchanged livings with the Rev. W. Watson, of
Ellerburne, in Yorkshire, who required a more active sphere, and
found it at St. Mary's. Mr. Watson afterwards found higher
preferment, and went to the South of England. Then came the Rev.
Robert Lamb, who worked most vigorously in the district. He is now
rector of St. Paul's, Manchester. His successor was the Rev. Henry
Robert Smith, who, after staying a while, retired to St. Paul's, at
Grange, where he still labours. The next incumbent was the Rev.
George Alker, who came to St. Mary's in December, 1857. He is still
at the church; but we dare say he would be willing to leave it for a
rectory, if one were offered, with 500 pounds a year. Mr. Alker is
an Irishman, and is about 42 years of age. He is rather tall; is
genteelly fashioned, has good features, wears an elegantly-trimmed
pair of whiskers, has pompous, odorous, Pall Mall appearance, is
grandiose and special, looks like a nineteenth century Numa
Pompilius, would have made a spicey Pontifex Maximus, ought to have
lived in Persia, where he might have worn velvet slippers and been
fanned with peacock feathers, would have been a rare general
director of either fire-eaters or fire worshippers; is inclined to
run when he walks alone, and to be stately, slow, regal, and precise
when, like Fadladeen, he is in charge of Lalla Rookh. Is a man of
determination, and never sleeps with his clothes on. Is a sharp
debater, a briskly-pompous, eloquent talker, has had a good deal of
trouble at time and time in putting on his kid gloves, which used to
fit so mortally tight that he couldn't stir his thumbs in them;
stands with a fine commanding air in the pulpit, as if about to
shoulder arms; preaches extempore; says "my brethren" more
frequently in his sermons than any minister we ever heard; has a
clear, keen intellect; is dexterous, courageous, impassioned,
imperious; has a lofty, threepence-halfpenny majesty about him; has
been a hard worker, a stiff fighter, and a stinging public lecturer.
After leaving Ireland, he took a curacy in Liverpool. In 1857 he
accepted a similar post at St. Peter's, Preston. Here he organised a
class of young men, 800 strong, and whilst here he set the town on
fire with anti-Popery denunciation; and of him it might, at that
time, have been said--

He comes from Erin's peaceful shore
Like fervid kettle bubbling o'er
With hot effusions--hot and weak;
Sound Humbug all your hollowest drums,
He comes of Erin's martyrdoms
To Britain's well-fed Church to speak.

Yes, he was a regular Mr. Blazeaway, and what he said was equal to
the strongest of the theatre thunder and the most dazzling of forked
lightning. Other Irish curates have tried the same game on since
then in the town, but they have not been so successful; none of them
have yet got into decent incumbencies, and we are afraid they will
have to rave on for a yet longer period ere the requisite balm of
Gilead is found. After piling up the agony for a few months at St.
Peter's, Mr. Alker left for Dublin, stayed there a short time, then
retraced his steps to Preston, and in due time got the incumbency of
St. Mary's--an event which seems to have toned down all his fury
about the "abomination of Rome," and made him nearly quite forget
the existence of Pope Pius. Paraphrasing one of his own country's
poets, we may say,--

As bees on flowers alighting cease their hum,
So settling at St. Mary's Alker's dumb.

Still be has occasional spells of anti-Popery hysteria; he can't
altogether get the old complaint out of his bones; Rome is yet his
red rag when in a rage; and he has latterly shown an inclination to
wind up the clocks of the Jews and the Mahommedans. He may have a
fling at the Calmuck Tartars and a quiet pitch into the Sioux
Indians after a bit. When Mr. Alker first went to St. Mary's his
salary was small; but it has now reached the general panacea of
incumbents--300 pounds a year. He has also a neat, well-situated
parsonage, on the south eastern side of the town, a good garden,
which has been the scene of many lovely sights, and a neat patch of
ground beyond. In his district Mr. Alker has been an energetic
worker, and in connection with the schools particularly he has been
most useful. For his services in this respect he deserves much
praise, and we tender him our share. His influence is hardly so
great as it used to be, still he is the great Brahmin and the grand
Lama of the locality. There have been five curates at St. Mary's--
the Rev. W. Nesbit M'Guinness, clever and ambitious; the Rev. John
Wilson (not of St. James's), an industrious gentleman, who had a row
with the congregation in respect to his marriage, and afterwards
went away; the Rev. R. Close, a pretentious young man, who appeared
to use much hair oil and think well of pious gammon; the Rev. E. M.
David, a Welshman, who couldn't speak plainly enough for the
congregation, and had to retire; and, lastly, the Rev. Bernard
Robinson, who has been at St. Mary's about twelve months, and is
evidently working satisfactorily in the district. We have finished:
all is over; the lime lights are burning, the coloured fires are
radiating their hues, the curtain is falling, and bidding "Adieu" to
all our kind readers, we vanish.


*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Our Churches and Chapels" ***

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