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Title: Religion and Morality Vindicated against Hypocrisy and Pollution - or, an account of the Life and Character of John Church
Author: Bell, Robert
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Religion and Morality Vindicated against Hypocrisy and Pollution - or, an account of the Life and Character of John Church" ***

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Transcribed from the [1813] R. Bell second edition by David Price, email
ccx074@pglaf.org  Many thanks to the Bodleian and British Library for
allowing their copies to be consulted.

                   [Picture: Public domain book cover]

                            _Second Edition_.

                                * * * * *

                           RELIGION & MORALITY
                        _Hypocrisy and Pollution_;

                            AN ACCOUNT OF THE
                            LIFE AND CHARACTER
                               John Church

                            OBELISK PREACHER,
                      AND WHO HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH
                          _UNNATURAL PRACTICES_
                            IN VARIOUS PLACES.

                                * * * * *

                           TO WHICH IS ANNEXED,

                       _A Fac-simile of a Letter_,
                      INFAMOUS HOUSE IN VERE-STREET.

                                * * * * *

    _Printed by and for R. Bell_, _Proprietor of the Sunday Dispatch_,
                      _Bride Lane_, _Fleet Street_.
     Sold by all the Booksellers and Newsvenders in Town and Country

                                * * * * *


THE following statements will fully explain the motives which induced the
Editor to expose the crimes of the individual who is the subject of them.
The demand for those numbers of the WEEKLY DISPATCH in which they
appeared, was so great, that many hundreds of persons were unable to
procure the papers, as no more could be printed than those which were
called for on the days of publication.  The Editor, therefore, wishing to
extend his efforts in defence of religion and morality as widely as
possible, by holding up to all mankind a true picture of a blasphemous
hypocrite who is a contemner of the one and a violator of the other, has
thought it advisable to publish the whole of his narratives and remarks
in a separate pamphlet; to which are subjoined many additional facts that
could not appear in a Sunday Paper.  The reason this publication has been
so long delayed was, in expectation that JOHN CHURCH would have been
brought to trial in the beginning of June, for an abominable offence with
which he stands charged and committed, but as there is some reason to
suspect that this trial will be put off even at the ensuing Sessions for
the County of Middlesex, the public curiosity cannot be kept any longer

_June_ 30, 1813.


_Extract from the Weekly Dispatch of April_ 18.

AMONG the various duties of a newspaper editor, one of the most arduous
is, that of determining what sort of domestic events it may be useful to
cover over with a veil of silence, and what sort are they, of which the
concealment would operate as an injury to the public.  Occurrences will
often take place in private life, which, on every principle of moral
expediency and justice, ought never to be born beyond the threshold of
the place where the parties reside.  And, on the other hand, there are
certain acts, which, if passed over without notice by civil authority, or
animadversion on the part of the press, may produce evils destructive to
society.  Another laborious task imposed on a journalist is the dilemma
in which his duty to the public and his fear of offending the delicacy of
individuals, frequently places him, when he is about to record events
which cannot be suppressed without doing a serious injury to public
morals. {5}  I am well aware that things must not be related in all that
naked grossness of truth, which a legal tribunal requires for promoting
the ends of justice; and that as much delicacy as is consistent with
correctness of information, is necessary in narrations of the sort to
which I allude.  This has been the principle on which I have uniformly
acted in the conduct of this paper.  But to suppress in a newspaper the
publication of a fact which meets the eyes and ears of all people would
be at once absurd and mischievous.  For instance, in the month of
October, 1810, 6 or 7 miscreants were placed in the pillory in the
presence of many thousand spectators; they were then conveyed through the
most public streets in an open cart, during which time they were pelted
with mud and dirt by an indignant populace: all the inhabitants of the
streets viewed this disgusting exhibition from their windows; and could
it have been possible—nay, must it not have been mischievous to conceal
from any body the crime for which these culprits were then punished?  How
foolish then would it have been for any reader of a newspaper to be
offended at seeing it mentioned in print?

I have thought it necessary to preface with these remarks, the narrative
of facts which I am now about to relate; and which I should at present
abstain from noticing were it possible to give them publicity through the
medium of any court of justice.  But as two eminent counsellors {6} have
given an opinion against the _legal practicability_ of such a procedure,
for reasons which I shall presently state; and as in the mean time the
public morals may suffer;—the press must on this occasion interpose as
their guardian.

The readers will recollect having seen in last Sunday’s Dispatch, a
report of the proceedings before the magistrates at Union Hall, when a
conventicle preacher of the name of Church complained of a riotous mob
having assembly near the entrance of his Chapel at the Obelisk in St.
George’s fields, and attempted to commit violence upon him and his
congregation.  That report was copied from a daily paper, and was very
imperfectly stated.  I have since then, made a full enquiry into all the
circumstances of this case; and I shall now briefly state them from
_authentic documents_, _that are ready to be produced if necessary_.  For
a considerable time past, the person just named has been getting a living
by preaching as a Minister of the Gospel in an obscure conventicle close
to the Surrey Theatre.  In the mean time, reports had gone abroad that he
was addicted to certain abominable propensities, and certain gentlemen in
the neighbourhood, not actuated by any jealousy towards a successful
“rival in the vineyard,” as the Union-hall report falsely stated, but
dreading the disgrace and pollution which Christianity might suffer from
the immoral character of any of its teachers, investigated these rumours;
and the facts I shall now relate came to light.  James Cook, who kept the
infamous house in Vere Street, was released from his two years
imprisonment in Newgate, on the 21st of September last.  In the course of
a few days after, I understand, he accidentally met John Church, and
recognized him as the _gay parson_, whom he had formerly seen at a
certain house in the London Road, and at his own house in Vere Street.  A
friendly correspondence then took place between these two old
acquaintances.  About the 13th of October, Cook received a letter, of
which a fac simile has been published in St. George’s fields, {7} and of
which I have seen the original in Church’s _own handwriting_, (having
compared it with other writings of his).  In this the _Minister of the
Gospel_ offers his assistance to the “Vere Street Culprit,” to enable him
to set up another public house, as the reader will perceive from perusing
the letter itself:—

    Dear Sir,

    Lest I should not have time to call on you or converse with you as I
    shall not be alone to Day I thought it But Right to Drop you a Line I
    wish you all the success you can desire in getting a house fit for
    the Business in the public Line and as you had a great many
    acquaintance, they ought not to fail you if evey one acted right
    according to there ability I am sure you would soon accomplish it.
    As I am By no means Rich, But rather em barrassed I hope you will
    acept my mite towards it 1l. 1s. and you shall have another as
    convenient wishing all prosperity,

                                               I Remain Your’s, sincerely,
                                                                J. CHURCH.

    for Mr. Cook, at mr. halladays Richmond Budgs Dean St.

There is another letter bearing the two-penny post mark of the 20th of
October, which I have also seen.—It is as follows:—

    Dear Sir,

    I received your note this morning in Bed, as I have contracted such a
    Dreadful cold Being wet on tuesday I am very much grievd i have not
    been able to comply with the request concerning Mr. C—  But I shall
    certainly keep my eye upon him and Do him all the Good it lays in my
    power where ever he is he knows my Disposition too well to impute any
    remissness to my conduct But I cannot Do impossibilities as I have
    Lately had and have now Got so many Distressing cases in hand Beside,
    I will Be sure to call on you as soon as I can— But am not able to

                                                   I remain Yours J CHURCH

    32 hercules Buildings

    Badly directed to Mr. Oliver, or (Holloway) No. 6, Richmond’s
    buildings, Dean Street, Soho.

The next document is a letter dated March 7, 1810, from a person at
Banbury named Hall, who says that there was a report there against Church
of a very scandalous nature.  And that the managers of the chapel, after
making enquiries into it, sent him positive orders never to return to
Banbury again.

Then follows a letter from Wm. Clarke of Ipswich, a young man between 19
and 20 years of age, which contains an account of attempts too horrid to
be published in this paper.  I have within the last four days seen the
written confession (frightful indeed it is) of this poor simple young
man, whose mind was bewildered by the canting exhortations of Church; and
I have heard the whole of his statements corroborated by the oral
testimony of a Mr. Wire who resides at Colchester, and knows Clarke very
well.  The circumstances related by Clarke, would have furnished an ample
ground for a criminal prosecution had he made his complaint _immediately_
after the _assault_ was committed:—but suffering under the influence of
ignorance and fear, he kept it a secret too long, and afterwards accepted
of a pound note from Church.  A case was laid before two eminent
barristers, to have their opinion whether such a prosecution could be
carried on with any prospect of conviction.  Their opinion, which I now
have before me in their own hand writing, is, that after the long
concealment of a Charge, a Jury would pay no attention to his evidence,
unless he was confirmed in his story by other evidence.

The peace of this poor lad’s mind however is completely destroyed, so
fatally has the event preyed upon him:—so far so as to fill the bosom of
his aged father with such a spirit of indignation and revenge, that he
actually came up to London with a full determination to be the death of
him who had thus ruined the peace of his beloved son, while the mother’s
mind was not less distracted than that of the father.  In consequence of
this, the father entered J. Church’s meeting house, with two loaded
pistols, one in each pocket, but under the excess of agitation, he
fainted away, and was carried out of the place.

There are various other documents which are too voluminous to notice at
present.  The point to which I now wish to direct the attention of the
public is, the extraordinary circumstance of a man continuing to exercise
the functions of a christian pastor with such heavy imputations as these
hanging over his head.  He knows that the whole neighbourhood rings with
accusations; he knows that some hundreds of publications containing
charges so severe, that my statements compared to then, are “lenity and
compassion,” have been sold in St. George’s-fields; and why has he not
brought his action against the printer in order to let the world see that
they are false.

The printer is a respectable and _responsible_ house-holder residing in
the neighbourhood.  He has sent forth from his press many hundred sheets
of paper filled with direct allegations of criminality against Church:
and I again ask, why does not Church take that step which an honest
_innocent_ man would take in vindication of his character, namely—that of
bringing an action for damages, wherein evidence to their truth or
falsehood may be _legally_ admitted?  Why has he gone to Union Hall with
a counsel at his elbow, and called on the magistrates to do no more than
require the printer to _suppress_ the publication of these printed
papers, which request the magistrates have complied with, on the ground
that such publications tended to a breach of the peace?  I hope that no
person—and I am confident that no reader of the Weekly Dispatch will be
so foolish as to join in any riotous proceedings.  But is Christianity,
in the mean time, to continue suffering under such a slander as that of
being promulgated by a man who is even _suspected_?  A Clergyman of the
Church of England, under similar circumstances, would be immediately
suspended by the Bishop of his diocese.  And is there no power in the
state that can impose a temporary silence on a dissenting minister, until
an investigation shall take place respecting accusation publicly
exhibited against him?  Is not the ruling power of the state as
interested in preserving the morals of dissenters as of any other class
of subjects?

The reader may probably have some curiosity to know what sort of a
preacher this person is.  I have gone to hear him; and I pity his poor
deluded followers.  He does indeed deliver himself in a full, clear,
articulate tone of voice; but to criticise style, or analyse the
_substance_ of his discourse, would be a fruitless labour: it would be
like dissecting a cobweb.  Unmeaning rhapsodies, and unconnected
sentences, through which the faintest gleam of morality is not to be
traced, must, from their evanescent nature, set the powers of
recollection at defiance: they even escape from the lash of one’s
contempt. {11}  In his countenance there is none of that dignified
mildness, none of that subdued expression of piety which one often
observes in Christian preachers whose habits of life are conformable to
their precepts.  His manner is forward and imposing; and his eyes are
continually employed in staring at some person among his auditors.  But
these being people of the very lowest description, and, to all
appearance, wrapt in a cloud of superstitious stupor, scarcely ever
examine the physiognomy of their idol.

I have a word or two, to add on the subject of riotous proceedings.  On
Sunday evening last there was a large crowd of people assembled near the
entrance of the Obelisk Chapel.  There were several groupes of persons
holding arguments on the merits of the preacher, but not the slightest
indication of riot.  And the only noise or disturbance that I observed,
was created by a gang of fellows who rushed through the crowd in the
character of peace officers with drawn cutlasses in their hands.

_Extract from the Weekly Dispatch of April_ 25, 1813.

WHEN the late Lord Chief Justice Mansfield promulgated his doctrine
“_that truth was a libel_,” he went upon this principle,—that no man
could be justified in publishing any thing respecting the character or
conduct of another, which should appear, whether true or false, to be of
so abusive and defamatory a nature as to provoke him to commit a breach
of the peace;—that if the person so defamed had committed any offence
against the law, he should be dealt with according to law; and that no
unauthorized individual had a right to become his judge.  But Lord
Mansfield little thought at that time, that about thirty or forty years
afterwards, a case would occur, wherein, although the “offence was rank
and smelt to heaven,” the arm of the law was powerless; and wherein an
appeal to public opinion became indispensible towards arresting the havoc
which the most destructive of all vices that can exist in society was
making upon the public morals.  We have now before us a case precisely of
this nature.  Here is a man of the most infamous character—a man
notoriously addicted to the most horrible of all vices—a man who has been
in the constant habit of corrupting youth, by the instrumentality and
under the mask of religion—this man is exercising all the functions of a
Christian minister of the Gospel—such as reading prayers, preaching
sermons, baptizing, and administering the holy sacrament;—a man at the
very idea of whose guilt, every body, except his deluded or _sympathetic_
auditors, shrinks back with feelings of disgust and agony;—and yet there
exists no power either ecclesiastical or civil to arrest his career of
blasphemy and guilt!  Under such afflicting circumstances, is the press
to continue silent, because the law tells me that I am not to speak
reproachfully of another, although I should speak the truth?  If I see my
neighbour’s house on fire, am I to look on with cold-blooded
indifference, without trying to save the whole street from being involved
in flames, because a law may have declared it a crime for any man to
stir, until the beat of a drum or the ringing of a bell shall have called
the people together?  If I see that sort of moral contagion that has been
the ruin of Empires, spreading around me while all the engines that were
intended for its suppression, remain motionless, am I to refrain from
raising my feeble voice against it, because I run a risk of offending
against the _letter_ of the law?  The law in this case is, in some manner
at a stand, as will appear from the report I give of the recent
proceedings before the Surry magistrates.  It is supposed be unable to
act here, because it was not called into action when the crime, that has
been sworn to, was perpetrated.  Yet the enormity of the crime not only
remains undiminished and unatoned for, but the criminal is going forward
in the same career, and is in possession of the same influence, that gave
scope to his criminality: and what is still worse, the Christian religion
is suffering under disgrace and pollution!  In such a case then, the
press is the only power that can act: and is that power to be suspended
by cold calculating timidity?  The chief duty of a Journalist is to check
the progress of any public evil, by giving activity and force to the LAW
OF OPINION, when the municipal law cannot reach the same.  This duty I am
now exercising; and I do it without fear, because I feel conscious that I
am serving the public; and because I may be instrumental in saving a
large portion of the rising generation from ignominy and ruin.

That the public feel an uncommon share of interest in this question is
evident, from the great increase of sale which this paper experienced on
Sunday last; and their continued demand for it ever since.  I therefore
conceive that my readers would not be satisfied without some more
information respecting the person to whom I allude; and I now present
then, with the chief incidents of his life, as well as some additional
traits of his character, most of which have come to my knowledge since
last Sunday.  The sketch of his life has been furnished me by a
respectable Gentleman on whose veracity I can rely.  It is as follows:—

    Dr. Jortin, in his _Adversaria_, very justly remarks, that “a sudden
    rise from a low station, as it sometimes shews to advantage the
    virtuous and amiable qualities, which could not exert themselves
    before, so it more frequently calls forth and exposes to view, those
    spots of the soul which lay lurking in secret, cramped by penury, and
    veiled with dissimulation.”

    The Obelisk Parson, John Church, was found, when an infant, on the
    steps, or near the porch, of a church, (some say that of St. Andrew,
    in Holborn): and the overseers of the parish not being able to
    discover who were his parents, or by whom he was thus abandoned, had
    him sent to the Foundling Hospital, where he received that name,
    which bears the nearest analogy to the place near which he was found.
    Here he remained until he was nine years old, when a complaint to the
    Governors having been made against him by the nurses, that he was
    addicted to improper and disgusting practices, it was thought prudent
    to apprentice him out at that early age, to obviate the possibility
    of the contagion spreading among the rest of the boys who partook of
    the bounties of that charity.  From his evident illiteracy, and from
    the badness of his writing, it is certain that he must have quitted
    the Hospital at an earlier age than usual, because, in general, none
    leave it who are not good scholars.  He was accordingly placed out as
    an apprentice to a gilder, in Black friars’ Road.  Before the
    expiration of his indenture, he was married to his present wife, and
    he quitted the service of his master.  Shortly afterwards, he worked
    for a composition ornament maker, in Tottenham Court Road.  This
    immaculate Minister of the Gospel here commenced his religious
    career, and, under the assumed garb of sanctity, took upon him the
    office of a teacher to the Sunday School, at that time established at
    Tottenham-Court Chapel.  It was here too, that he first became
    acquainted with Mr. William Webster, who has been under the necessity
    of holding him to bail, to appear at the next Middlesex Sessions,
    where an indictment will be preferred against him for attempts too
    shocking to be related in print.  Thinking that preaching was a
    better trade than that which he was employed in, this _precious_
    teacher, together with two other young men, who were candidates for
    the gown also, hired a garret in Soho, where they used to learn the
    method of addressing themselves to a congregation.  An old chair was
    the substitute for a pulpit.  He now began (to use his own
    expression,) “_to gammon the old women_.”—Good fortune happened at
    length to procure him the notice of Old Mother Barr, of
    Orange-street, who, being interested in his behalf, allowed him the
    use of a room of her’s, in which he treated her and a few other
    choice labourers in the field of piety, with his rapturous
    discourses.  From this he used to hold forth more publicly.  His
    virtues and acquirements now recommended him to one Garrett of
    notorious memory, who obtained him a _living_ at Banbury.  It was at
    this place that he first became obnoxious.  Having made several
    violent attempts upon some young men while at that place, he was
    driven out from thence, by the trustees of the chapel, in which he
    preached, and ordered never to shew his face there again.  He hastily
    decamped, leaving behind him his wife and children, and the police
    officers having been sent in pursuit of him, their searches proved
    fruitless, and it was a long time before he was heard of.  He once
    more retired into the country, but was called from his solitude to
    use his influence in town, by a man of his own disgraceful kind named
    _Kitty Cambric_, and well known in Vere-street.  It is proper to
    observe here, that some of these wretches assume the names of women,
    and that they are absolutely married together, as will be shewn
    presently from Church’s having been the parson who performed the
    blasphemous mock ceremony of joining them in the ties of “_Holy
    Matrimony_.”  He now settled himself at Chapel Court in the Borough,
    when his old Garrett publicly charged him with a wicked and
    diabolical offence as the law says, “not to be named amongst
    Christians,” and he was obliged to run away from this accusation.  By
    some fortuitous event he at length got possession of the Obelisk
    Chapel, where he began to deliver his doctrines to those who were
    foolish and ignorant enough to attend to his fulsome and incoherent
    exclamations.  Several young men, whose names we are in possession
    of, and who were accustomed to hear him, were obliged to leave him in
    consequence of his having used them in a manner too indecent to be
    mentioned or hinted at.  Mr. E— B— has informed the writer of the
    present article, that this parson—or rather this monster—when he was
    about to preach, would frequently say,—“Well, I am going to tip ’em a
    gammoning story, my old women would believe the moon to be made of
    green cheese, if I was to tell them so; and I must tell them
    something.”—The writer has also been informed, from credible
    authority, that Church was a constant attendant in Vere-street, and
    that the gang of miscreants who met at the public-house there, some
    of whom stood in the pillory about two years and a half since, had
    nominated him to be their _Chaplain_; and that he officiated in that
    capacity.  By virtue of his functions, in this situation he was often
    employed in joining these monsters in the “indissoluble tie of
    matrimony!!!”  They were absolutely wedded together.  One evening,
    when Church visited this infamous place of resort, one of the gang
    observed, “Here is Parson Church.  Aye, Parson, how d’ye do?  Have
    you come to see our chapel?”—Church replied, “Yes, and to preach

In addition to the above account, I have next to mention some
circumstances that have been communicated to me by Mr. E— B—, who is a
respectable young man, and a tradesman, residing in the Borough of
Southwark.  Mr. B— happened, unfortunately, to be an attendant at
Church’s meeting house, when the latter took notice of and formed an
acquaintance with him, commencing as usual with pious exhortations, and
then followed up by disgusting freedoms.  Mr. B—, however, struck with
horror at such conduct, abandoned the place, and then he received two
letters from Church, of which the following are copies.  Had this wretch
received a classical education, one might suppose he had been writing a
paraphrase on Virgil’s eclogue, beginning with the line—_Formosum_ Pastor
Corydon _Ardebat Alexin_.

The thoughts, however, originated in his own polluted mind.  The letters
will serve to gratify curiosity, and give a further illustration of his
stile and character.

                                * * * * *

Copy of a Letter, written by the Rev. John Church, Minister of Obelisk
Chapel, Blackfriars’-road, to Mr. E— B—, Rodney-street, Kent-street,
Borough, dated 3d March, 1809:—

    Dear Ned,

    May the best of blessings be yours in life and in death, while the
    sweet sensations of real genuine disinterested friendship rules every
    power of your mind body and soul I can only say I wish you was as
    much captivated with sincere friendship as I am but we all know our
    own feelings best  Friendship those best of names, affection those
    sweetest power like some powerful charm that overcomes the mind—I
    could write much on this subject but I dare not trust you with what I
    could say much as I esteem you—You would consider it as unmanly and
    quite effeminate, and having already proved what human nature is I
    must conceal even those emotions of love which I feel I wish I had
    the honor of being loved by you as much and in as great a degree as I
    do you.  Sometimes the painful thought of a separation overpowers me,
    many are now trying at it but last night I told persons that called
    on me that let them insinuate what they would I would never sacrifice
    my dear Ned to the shrine of any other friend upon earth—and that
    them who did not like him should have none of my company at all  I
    find dear Ned many are using all their power to part us but I hope it
    will prove in vain on your side, the effect that all this has upon me
    is to make me love you ten times more than ever, I wish opposition
    may have the same effect upon you in this particular but I fear not,
    however I am confident if you love me now or at any other time my
    heart will ever be upon you nor can I ever forget you till death.
    Your leaving of me will break my heart, bring down my poor mind with
    sorrow to the Grave and wring from my eyes the briny tears, while my
    busy meddling memory will call to remembrance the few pleasant hours
    we spent together.  I picture to my imagination the affecting scene
    the painful thought, I must close the affecting subject ’tis more
    than my feelings are able to bear—My hearths full, my mind is sunk, I
    shall be better when I have vented out my grief, Stand fast my
    dearest Ned to me I shall to you whether you do to me or no, and may
    we be pardoned, justified, and brought more to the knowledge of
    Christ.  O help me to sing—

    When thou my righteous Judge shall come
    To fetch thy ransom’d people home,
       May I among them stand,
    Let such a worthless worm as I,
    That sometimes am afraid to die,
       Be found at thy right hand.

    I love to meet amongst them now,
    Before thy gracious feet to bow,
       Tho’ vilest of them all;
    But can I bear the piercing thought,
    What if my name should be left out,
       When thou for them should call.

    Learn these two verses by heart and then I will write two more, as
    they are expressions of mind fears sensations and desires—I must
    close, I long to see your dear face again, I long for Sunday morning
    till then God bless you.

                          I remain unalterably thy dear thy loving friend,
                                                                J. Church.

                                * * * * *

This letter, without a date, was written by the Rev. J. Church, Minister
of Obelisk Chapel, Blackfriar’s-road, to Mr. E— B—, at 3, Rodney-street,
Lenox-Street, Borough; and received by him on or about the 15th day
March, 1809:—

    Dear Sir,

    Is this thy kindness to thy once professed much loved friend, surely
    I never, never did deserve such cruel treatment at you hands; why not
    speak to me last night in James-street when you heard me call, Stop!
    stop! Ned! do, pray do; but cruel, cruel Ned, deaf to all
    intreaties—O why was I permitted to pass the door of Mr. Gibbons when
    you and West were coming out.  Why was I permuted to tramp up and
    down the New Cut after you; I only wanted to speak one bitter heart
    breaking painful distressing word, farewell; I only wanted to pour my
    sorrows into your bosom, to shake hands with you once more, but I was
    denied this indulgence.  I never, never thought you would deceive
    me—O what an unhappy man am I; the thing that I most feared is come
    upon me, no excuse can justify such apparent duplicity; O my distress
    is great indeed.  O my God! what shall I do?  O Christ!  O God!
    support me in this trying hour, what a night am I passing through, I
    cannot sleep, tis near three o’clock; alas! sleep is departed, how
    great my grief, how bitter my sorrows, the loss of my character {20}
    is nothing to the loss of one dearer to me than my thing else.  O let
    me give vent to tears, but I am too, too much distressed to cry, O
    that I could.  I feel this like a dagger; never, never can I forgive
    the unhappy instrument of my distress in Charlotte-street.  Why did
    my dear friend Edward deceive me?  O how my mind was eased on
    Wednesday night; alas, how distressed on Thursday.  I have lost my
    only bosom friend, nearest dearest friend, bosom from bosom torn, how
    horrid.  Ah, dear Suffolk-court, never surely can I see you again.
    How the Philistines will triumph; there, so would we have it; how
    Ebeir, Calvin, Thompson, Edwards, Bridgman, all will rejoice, and I
    have lost my friend, my all in this world, except the other part of
    myself, my wife and poor babes; never did I expect this from my dear
    E— B—.  O for a calm mind, that I might sleep till day light; but no,
    this I fear will be denied me.  How can I bear the piercing thought,
    parted; a dreadful word, worst of sensations, the only indulgence,
    the only confident, the only faithful, the only kind and indulgent
    sympathising friend, to lose you.  O what a stroke, O what a cut,
    what shall I do for matter for Sunday; O that I could get some one to
    preach for me; how can I lift up my head.  O Sir, if you have a grain
    of affection left for me, do, do intreat of God to support me; this
    is a worse affliction than the loss of my character nine months ago.
    A man cannot lose his character twice.  O I did think you knew
    better; I did think I had found one in you that I could not find
    elsewhere; but no, the first object presented to you seen suddenly
    gained your mind, gained your affections; and I, poor unhappy
    distressed I, am left to deplore your loss.  O for submission, but I
    am distressed; woe is me.  O that I had never, never known you, then
    I should never feel what I do; but I thank you for your company
    hitherto, I have enjoyed it four months exactly, but this is over for
    ever; miserable as I am, I wish you well for ever, for ever.  I write
    in the bitterness of my soul which I feel.  May you never be cursed
    with the feelings I possess as long as you live.  What a day I have
    before me; I cannot go out of my house till Sunday morning.  How can
    I conceal my grief from my dear wife? how shall I hide it? what shall
    I say?  I am miserable, nor can I surmount the shock at all.  I have
    no friend to pour out my sorrows to now, I wish I had; I am sorry you
    are so easily duped by any to answer their purposes; my paper is
    full, my heart is worse; God help me; Lord God Support me! what shall
    I do, dear God!  O Lord! have mercy on me, I must close; this comes
    from your ever loving, but distressed

                                                                J. CHURCH.

                                * * * * *

ANOTHER FACT.—It appears from the testimony of George Turner, and James
Russell, of Redcross-street, of Richard Jessop, of Cattle-street, and
William Williams of the Mint; that the _Revd. John Church_, on the 16th
of November, 1809, attended at the funeral of Richard Oakden, a clerk in
the Bank, who was executed before Newgate on the 15th for a certain
horrible crime.  The hearse and coach set out from the Hat and Feathers
public-house, kept by a Mr. Richardson in Gravel-lane, to which place
Church and his company returned to partake of a jovial dinner.  In the
course of the evening the latter behaved with great indecency.

The following bad character has also been given of Church, by Mr. George
Gee and his wife, who keep a cake shop in the New Cut.  I have heard them
both declare it to be true:

    “Mr. Church the Minister lodged at our house a year and a half, and
    left last year at Lady-day.”

    “We were in hopes that we were about to have a godly praying minister
    in our house, and to be sure, the first night he had somewhat like
    prayer, {21} and that and once afterwards, were the only times he
    ever went to family prayer in our house.  Nor could they have any
    prayer as he would be frequently out almost all hours of the night,
    and would lie in bed till ten o’clock in the morning.  Several times
    he and his wife would have skirmishings and fightings between
    themselves, while their children would be left to run about the
    streets out of school hours, and allowed to keep company with
    children, that would swear in our hearing most shockingly.  His
    children were always left to be very dirty, and would be sent
    sometimes three or four times in the morning for spirituous liquors
    of all sorts, as for reading good books or even the Bible, he scarce
    ever thought of it, but would spend a deal of his time in loose and
    vain talk, in walking about, and in fawning on young men, that was
    his chief delight.”

    “Sundays and working days were all alike to them, for they would send
    out to buy liquors and whatever else they wanted, on Sundays as well
    as other days.”

    “The house would be frequently more like a play-house, (I might say a
    bawdy house) than a minister’s house, where a set of young people
    would come, and behave more indecently than ought to be mentioned.
    Even one Sunday morning they made such an uproar, as that they broke
    one of the windows, and after that, they would go with him to his
    Chapel, and after that he would give the sacrament to such disorderly
    people, let their characters be ever so loose.”

    “He was always ready to go fast enough out to dinner or supper, where
    he could get good eating and drinking; but poor people might send to
    him from their sick bed, times and times before he would come to
    them.  Seeing so much of his inconsistencies and shocking filthiness
    in their rooms, (though they always paid the rent,) we were
    determined to give them warning to quit our house, and we do think
    that a worse man or woman ever came into any man’s house before;
    especially as Mr. Church pretended to preach the gospel; such
    hypocrites are much worse than others, and besides this, we never
    heard any man tell lies {22} so fast in all our lives.  It is a great
    grief to us, that ever we went to hear him preach, or suffered him to
    stop so long in our house.”

                                                 “GEORGE AND FRANCES GEE.”

I now proceed to relate and comment upon some remarkable circumstances
that have occurred since my last publication.  During the greater part of
Sunday, my office was beset by _gangs_ of fellows who came in
successively and threatened prosecutions for what appeared in the paper
about Church.  In the morning a constable named _Holmes_ (hired no doubt
for the purpose) was employed with a ladder, in tearing down the bills
that had been posted up, announcing the publication of that morning
respecting Mr. Church.  About noon, a man of the name of _Shawe_, who, I
understand is a sort of an attorney, residing in St. George’s fields, and
who, it appears has also been employed by Church, was standing in the
midst of some persons outside the door of the chapel, with the newspaper
in his hand, and was commenting on the _infamous_ libels, as he called
them, that were published against that _most virtuous character_, Mr.
Church.  He seemed as if he wanted to provoke somebody to speak: and he
soon had his wish; for a Gentleman of the name of Webster, with whom I am
well acquainted, and whom I know to be as peaceable and correct a young
man as any in the world, came up, and feeling indignant at the
recollection of _certain transactions_ which I shall state presently,
declared that every thing stated in that paper (_The Weekly Dispatch_)
was true.  This was the _tremendous_ riot which this most _dangerous_
gentleman committed.  The _peace-restoring_ Mr. Shawe went immediately
for a _peace-officer_—the same fellow of the name of Holmes who for three
hours before had mobs of people collected around him while he was tearing
down my bills, gave charge of Mr. Webster as a breaker of the peace, had
him dragged like a felon to the watch-house, and afterwards conveyed him
to a filthy lock-up-house in the Borough, where he was kept in a state of
imprisonment, from his comfortable house and family all that day and
night, until 12 o’clock on Monday, when he was brought before the
magistrates at Union Hall.  Of the proceedings that then took place, the
following account appeared in the Morning Chronicle of Tuesday:—

RIOTS AT THE OBELISK.—Tuesday, a Mr. Webster, who is employed in the
house of Messrs. Evans and Co. eminent hop-merchants in the Borough, was
charged by a person of the name of Shaw, with committing a riot and
breach of the peace, on Sunday morning, at the Obelisk, in St.
George’s-fields, near the entrance of a chapel belonging to a preacher,
named John Church.  The Magistrates said, that as Mr. Birnie, who had, on
a former day, heard another case similar to this, was absent, they wished
the case might be deferred until next day, and desired Mr. Webster to
attend accordingly.  The prosecutor observed, that it would be dangerous
to allow Mr. Webster to be at large, and desired that he might either be
kept in custody or held to bail.  The Magistrate asked if there was any
person present ready to be bail for his appearance.  Mr. Robert Bell, the
Editor of the WEEKLY DISPATCH, who accompanied Mr. Webster as his friend,
a housekeeper in Lambeth, said he was ready to bail him.  The prosecutor
then said, he had also a very serious complaint to make against Mr. Bell,
for the article which he published in his last Sunday’s newspaper,
respecting Church, and he had one of the papers in his hand.  Mr. Bell
told the Magistrates that he was ready to meet any complaint of this
kind; that he conceived it to be his duty as one of the guardians of
public liberty, and public morals, to send forth the statement in
question; that he could prove the truth of every thing he had written and
published.  The worthy Magistrate then asked Mr. Webster if he would
promise on his honour to attend next day, which Mr. Webster assured him
he would do, and he retired.  It is necessary to mention that Mr. Webster
had been in a state of imprisonment during the greater part of Sunday,
and all Sunday night.—_Morning Chronicle_, _April_ 20, 1813.

This report is very correct, so far as it goes; but the reporter might
have added, that I told the Magistrates I had a volume of documents in my
possession to prove Church to be a most infamous culprit, and that it was
a disgrace to the moral character of the nation, to suffer such a man to
be a minister of the Gospel.  I have now a short comment to make on this
occasion.  I am still at a loss to know what complaint it was that Shawe
intended to prefer against me.  I had committed no riot, nor did I ever
mix in any crowd, (in fact there was no crowd or noise, except what the
associates of Church had created).  Did he mean to complain to the
Magistrates of the publication in my paper?  If so, he must be grossly
ignorant of law, not to know, that the magistrates for the county of
Surrey could take no cognizance of that which I published in the city of
London.  And if they had, did he imagine that I would enter into any such
recognizance as Mr. Theodore Page, the printer, in Blackfriars road, was
obliged to do?  No, Sir; so long as I continue to live in a free country,
I will suffer no Justice of peace to lay an _illegal imprimatur_ on my
press.  Mr. Page, as quiet and discreet a man as ever existed, who was
not seen in any crowd, and who would be the first to get away from any
place where there happened to be the slightest disturbance, is now bound
in the penalty of 100l. to preserve the peace! and for what, because he
printed some hand-bills, giving an account of Church’s infamous
practices.  And now, reader, mark again the conduct of this _immaculate_
preacher.  He adopts no course of proceeding, by which he may be enabled
to falsify the accusations made against him.  No,—he wants to crush and
smother everything by violence; and still continue to levy contributions
on some poor fools who go to hear him; or, perhaps, occasionally to
convert his conventicle into an _accommodating shop_ for the _use_ of

On Tuesday last Mr. Webster again appeared at Union Hall, accompanied by
his father, his brother, and some friends.  In support of the charge of
riot, an old man and an old woman, of the meanest appearance, declared,
that Mr. Webster expressed a wish to set the chapel on fire; but their
evidence was not believed, and they were turned out of the office.  Goff,
the officer, had seen no act of riot.  Mr. Webster being called on for
his statement, said, he had not uttered a word that could provoke any
disturbance.  When he made the reply to Shawe’s comments on the
Newspapers, he did assert, that he could prove Church to be the character
therein described, because, about ten or eleven year, ago he had been
guilty of most abominable conduct toward, his (Webster’s) brother, then a
lad of 16.  The moment the Magistrates heard this, they appeared struck
with amazement.  They stopt all proceedings against Mr. Webster, and
desired his brother to be brought forward.  The office was cleared of all
persons, except the parties immediately concerned; the brother’s
deposition was then taken, and a warrant was issued for Church to appear
there the next day.

On Wednesday J. Church appeared in consequence of the warrant issued the
day before for his apprehension on a charge of abominable practices,
attended by a number of his deluded followers.  Mr. W. Webster having
deposed as to his attempts on him, Church was ordered to find bail for
his appearance at the next Middlesex Sessions and Mr. Webster bound over
to prosecute.  The magistrate observed that from the length of time which
had elapsed since the offence had been committed, he thought a jury would
not feel justified in finding him guilty.  Mr. Johnston, a young
Gentleman of the law, who attended for Mr. Webster, replied, that it was
not the time for them to discuss what was likely to be the verdict of a
jury; that he had recommended Mr. Webster to prefer an indictment against
Church, and Mr. W. had come to that resolution; and that whatever might
be the result of the trial, the evidence relating to the conduct of
Church would be of that disgusting nature as to stamp his name with
eternal infamy and disgrace.  Church’s attorney observed that it was a
conspiracy amongst another sect to ruin Mr. Church’s character.  This Mr.
Johnston denied, and said that it was only a desire to bring him to
merited punishment.  Mr. Johnston also said that if Mr. Church acted like
a man of prudence, and consulted his own interest, he would desist from
preaching until the indictment had been tried, as it would be the means
of preventing a breach of the peace, but this he declined; and Shawe his
attorney said they should follow their own advice.  Mr. Johnston informed
Church’s attorney that it was Mr. Webster’s intention to indict, or bring
an action against him for assault and false imprisonment.

On that very evening (incredible as it may appear) this very man, held to
bail for trial on the most horrid charges given on oath, had the
impudence to go into his chapel and preach to a crowded audience.  But
his is a very _convenient conscience-healing_ system of faith, {27} and
perhaps his followers do not like him the worse for his system of
_practical morality_.

                                                                  R. BELL.

                                * * * * *

_Extract from the Weekly Dispatch of May_ 2, 1813.

The statements published in the two last numbers of the Dispatch
respecting this person have excited a degree of public attention
unexampled in the history of newspapers.  I am rejoiced at the
circumstance; because it serves to shew how large a mass of virtuous
feeling prevails among the people of England, and how much alive they are
to any transactions that appear to violate the morals, or profane the
religion of their country.  It is impossible for any one who knows me, or
is acquainted with my character, to suppose, that I could have felt any
thing like personal hostility against this man.  My sole motive for
sending forth these publications, has been to defend and preserve the
public morals.  In doing so, I have disregarded all risks, and set all
threats at defiance.  The reader may naturally ask whether I have not
said enough on this subject already.  I thought so this day week.  Since
last Sunday’s publication, however, a volume of new matter, respecting
this prophaner of religion and violator of morality has been communicated
to me.

Among the recent communications that have been made to me in the course
of the week, the following are the more remarkable, and ought to be
proclaimed through all parts of the kingdom.  Several persons have been
at a loss to know by what authority this man presumed to take upon
himself the functions of a minister of the gospel.  They have asked how
could a man so profligate—so notoriously criminal, come forth to instruct
others in religion.  The question was natural, and I will answer it.  The
practice among Dissenters is, that when any man feels a strong desire to
become a preacher, he communicates the same to several Ministers, who
make strict enquiry into his qualifications as to piety, learning,
morals, &c. and if they find these established on satisfactory evidence,
they confer on the candidate a sort of ordination, without which he can
have no authority to officiate as a minster of the gospel.  I understand
that Church did receive some ordination of this kind at the town of
Banbury, in Oxfordshire; from which place, as I stated in a former
number, he was driven away for his mal-practices.  Since then he has not
been under the control, and has acted in defiance of all the ordinances
of the Dissenting Church.  He has in fact gone about as a mere isolated
adventurer; and I am informed that no minister will preach in any pulpit
belonging to him.  Yet he continues to preach, in defiance of Christian,
as well as of moral ordinances; because he cannot be silenced by any
legal authority, and because he rejects all ecclesiastical government.
This is the reason why I labour to rescue religion from the disgrace
which he throws upon it.  And I again ask if it is to be tolerated in a
Christian, in a moral country, that a man ordered by the magistrates to
be tried for the basest of all crimes, alleged against him on oath,
should be suffered to collect an assembly of English subjects around him
under pretence of giving them religious instruction?  Is the government
to suffer its subjects to be thus contaminated?  The magistrates of
Sparta and of Rome (which were heathen nations) would have permitted no
such sacrilege as this.

One character peculiar to the person I am speaking of is, that wherever
he has been admitted as a preacher, he has disturbed the religious
system, and upset the order of the place.  No later than Wednesday last,
a gentleman from Colchester called at my office, and told me that he has
done so in that town; that he turned the whole congregation against their
minister, by preaching doctrines tending to encourage licentiousness, and
foster the worst passions.  All persons acquainted with history will
recollect, that this mode of healing the consciences of profligate men
was practised by the Romish Church before the reformation, and when it
flourished in its rankest state of corruption—when indulgences for sins
to be committed, and pardon for sins past, were openly sold for money.
The manner in which the Obelisk Preacher conducts the affairs of his
chapel bears some resemblance to this practice.  In other places of
worship, the practice is, for persons, who have been appointed as
trustees, to take charge of all the money collected once a mouth, and
after allowing a reasonable remuneration to the minister, apply the
remainder to the relief of the poor, and to the repairs of the place.
Hitherto, however, Mr. C— has been in the habit of putting into his own
pocket all the money which he has raised by inflaming the passions and
exciting hopes and fears.  I am informed that for the purpose of
encreasing his revenue, he has even administered the sacrament to persons
who were nearly introxicated with gin!!  At present my pen is unable to
proceed any further on this most disgusting subject.

                                                                     R. B.

_Extract from the Dispatch of May_ 9, 1813.

The promise made in last Sunday’s Dispatch, that a description should
every week be given of some conventicle preacher noted for ignorance and
absurdity, was at the time rather premature, and the fulfilment of it
must be suspended for two or three weeks longer; because I wish to mark
out a boundary of separation, like an impassable chasm, between the
character I have hitherto been developing, and those I intend hereafter
to criticise.  However great may be the mass of folly, ignorance, and
fanaticism, which prevail throughout most of the low conventicles of this
metropolis, and however injuriously they may operate on the human mind,
their effects are innocence and virtue, compared to the influence of that
guilt which I have exposed, and which I am prepared to expose still more
effectually in any Court of Justice.  I believe that the poor silly
visionaries who deal in pictures, in miracles, and monstrous conceits,
are not wilfully or practically vicious, and that they have _lashed_
themselves into a belief, of what they preach; therefore I cannot think
of dragging them forward so close upon the heels of Mr. John Church, as
to hold out an appearance of their belonging to the same society.  Some
interval of time, therefore, is necessary for the distinction which I
wish to draw.  When I come to speak of them it shall be in a spirit of
playfulness, and not with a feeling of abhorrence.  Respecting the last
mentioned person I should have been silent ever since the 18th ultimo,
had he preserved that _silence_ which a sense of common decency would
have pointed out to any other person, except himself.  After having been
held to bail for the purpose of being tried on charges not to be named
among Christians, he ought to have abstained from entering his pulpit,
and shunned the very light, until his character was cleared to the
satisfaction of his congregation, who ought to have deemed it a sacrilege
to be present while he attempted to promulgate the doctrines of Christ in
a place of divine worship.  But one would think there was a congeniality
of sentiment and of _sympathy_ between the pastor and the flock!  Indeed
this latter remark is founded upon something more than conjecture: for a
great number of persons who are in the habit of frequenting the obelisk
chapel, have taken up the cause of their preacher with a zeal that cannot
easily be accounted for in any way but _one_.  They will investigate no
charge; they reject all evidence.  Their _Temple_ is open, and their
_High Priest_ is in as much _favour_ as ever he was.  They are, I am
told, raising money to carry on prosecutions against those whom they call
his calumniators; but it is probable that the money will be expended in
_some other place_, besides Westminster Hall.  I have been threatened
with an action as will appear by the following notice, which was left at
my office last Friday se’nnight, and which for the amusement of the
reader I publish _verbatim_ and _literatim_.

    To Mr. R. Bell the Editor and Proprietor and also—to Mr. Robt
    Barber—the Printer, of a Certain Weekly Publication or Newspaper
    Calld the Weekly Dispatch and to all others whom It doth shall or may

    My name appearing In some of the Above-named Newspapers and In other
    Publication Issued by Some of you or by your Directions I do
    hereby—give you and Each of you, Notice from, henceforth to Desist
    from the further Printing or Circulation—of Such Papers and that In
    Case My Name, or any (thing) Respecting (me) or Tending, to Inflame
    the Public Mind against me, Shall appear In any future Publications
    Sanctioned or Authorisd by you or Under you Direction’s I shall
    Commence Such Legal measures, against you for the Same As the Law
    Enable Me and Counsel shall advise and I Do hereby—give you and Each
    of you further Notice that (as) I am about to Commence—and acxtion
    against you for the Publication above alluded to, that you do not
    Part with or alter, or In any manner mutilate the manuscripts from
    which Publications were Printed.

                                                                 30 Day of
                                                                April 1813
                                                              John Church.

This precious composition (no attorney could write any thing like it)
bears the real signature of John Church which exactly resembles that of
the letter he wrote to Cook of Vere-street.  I now then call on him to
put his threat into execution; I call on him to bring his action against
me; and he may depend on it, I shall be prepared with my _proofs_ and my
JUSTIFICATION.  I repeat what I said in my last, that I bear this man no
resentment of a personal nature, I can have none towards one I never
spoke to, and never saw but once, and then in his pulpit.  My sole object
is to do that which the civil power seems unable to do—to prevent one of
the most horrid of vices, from being propagated through the medium of
pretended sanctity.  The person of whom I am speaking, has called at my
office, and expressed a wish to see me (_this was very like bringing an
action_!) fortunately I was not there at the time; and I now desire that
neither he nor any of his associates may call on me, for I will speak
with none of them except in a Court of Law.

                                * * * * *

                 _To the Editor of the Weekly Dispatch_.

                                                     Banbury, May 5, 1813.

SIR,—In your Paper of the 25th ult. in an article relative to John
Church, you say, “The Magistrates sent him away from Banbury.”  As some
persons might, from this erroneous statement, conceive that the people to
whom he preached then, heard with indifference of his vile propensities;
we beg of you, in justice to them, to correct this error.  It was the
Trustees of the Chapel who gave him his immediate dismission from their
place, on the first intimation of his destestable practices, to which
they could attach any credit.

                               We are, Sir,

                                                     Your humble Servants,
                                                           JOSEPH GARDNER.
                                                           THOMAS GARDNER.

                                * * * * *

_The following are the letters referred to in pages_ 8 & 9.

    Honoured Sir,—In reply to your letter concerning Mr. C.  I can only
    inform you, there was a report against him of a very scandalous
    nature; but how far his culpability extends, it is quite out of my
    power to determine.  He was absent from hence when the rumour first
    spread.  The Managers of our Chapel took great pains to enquire into
    the origin of such reports, and the result was, they sent Mr. C.
    positive orders never, on any account, to return to Banbury again;
    which advice he has hitherto wisely observed.  Now, Sir, after giving
    you the above information, I beg leave to conclude the subject, by
    referring you to your own comment hereon.

                                                         (Signed) S. HALL.

    Banbury, March 7,

The next extract exhibits the confession of Wm. Clarke, of Ipswich.

    Having been called by providence to Colchester, I went to hear John
    Church preach in a barn, was invited to Mr. Abbott’s; was prevailed
    upon to sleep with John Church; I did sleep with him three nights;
    after being enticed to many imprudences, I was under the necessity to
    resist certain attempts, which, if I had complied with, I am fearful
    must have ruined both soul and body; the crime is too horrid to

                                                            WILLIAM CLARK.

                                                           RICHARD PATMORE
                                                                J. ELLISON
                                                                   C. WIRE
                                                                H. T. WIRE

                P.S.  This took place in March last, 1812.

                                * * * * *

The third letter casts still further light on the dark business of the

                                       _Colchester_, _September_ 16, 1812.


    Last evening I had an interview with Clark’s father, who wishes him
    to comply with your wishes.  I mentioned to him respecting Church’s
    conduct, and I find the last night to be the worst.  Likewise that he
    would have committed the act had not Clark prevented him.  The
    particulars I told was when in London, but find them worse than what
    I describe to you.  They are not able to be at any expence; but if
    the Gentlemen wish to prosecute, and to pay Clark’s expences up to
    London, &c. he will have no objection to come, when you please to
    send.  I need only say, I wish you to inform the Gentlemen, and give
    me a line.

                               I am, dear Sir,

                                                                Yours, &c.
                                                                  C. WIRE.

                                * * * * *

The following is the narrative which Cook has given to his acquaintance
with _Parson Church_; and which was taken down from his own dictation by
Mr. E— B—:

    In May, 1810, J. Cook was in company with Mr. Yardley and another
    young man by the name of Ponder.  I found after that the said Ponder
    was a drummer in the Guards; but Cook went to call at a house in the
    London Road, where I saw Mr. Church the first time in my life; there
    was at this house about twelve or fourteen altogether drinking gin,
    and Mr. Church handed me a glass of the same, which I took; Church
    behaved very polite to me, and said what a fine fellow I was, he
    pressed me very much to stop and get tea with them, for he said he
    would call and see me when I was settled in the house in Vere-street.
    I stopped a little while and was about to leave them when Church said
    I should not go before I had tea, and flung down a dollar, and a man
    by the name of Gaiscoin took the money and went for the tea and other
    things but I would not stay, Church came out of the room with me, and
    walked with me as far as the turnpike, there he met another Gentleman
    which I never saw before, and I went on and left him for that time, I
    think it was 6 or 8 days.  I went to live at the Swan, and saw Church
    again, he came about 3 o’clock in the afternoon, and Mr. Yardley
    accosted him, ‘Parson what are you come to see the Chappel?’ he said
    ‘yes, and to preach too:’ Church asked me how I was, I said I was not
    very well, he asked me why I went away in that shy manner, I told him
    he was a stranger to me, and I did not like to be intruding on
    strange people, he said I was shy, he did not know what to make of
    me, he also pressed me very much to take a walk with him, but I
    declined it, he said I must go, but I still declined, and did not go
    with him, he staid some time and joined the company that was in the
    Back Parlour, persons by the name of Miss Fox and Miss Kitty Cambrick
    was among them, and the Queen of Bohemia.  As Mr. C. was going away,
    he came to the bar and spoke to me, and said I must take something to
    drink, which I did, and he paid for it, and left the house for that
    time.  In a few days he called again in the afternoon, and there was
    not many people there, he asked if Yardly was at home, I said he was
    not, he said he was very sorry for it, I asked him what he wanted, he
    said he came on purpose for me to take a walk with him, but I did not
    go, he said he would wait until Yardly came in, Church said I should
    do him a great favor if I would take a walk with him, I would not go,
    he still pressed me very much to go, I said I would if he would wait
    till I had cleaned myself, he waited more than two hours for me, I
    went to steep because I would not go with him, and in the mean time
    he waited so long that he was tired, he sent the waiter to call me,
    which he did, and said the Parson wanted me, and had been waiting two
    hours for me, I said him wait, for I should not come, he returned and
    said if I would but speak to him, he should go away happy.  I found I
    could not get rid of him, I went down stairs, he said well, Sir, I
    hope your nap has done you good, I said I dont know, dont bother me,
    he said I was very cross to him, I told him there was other men
    without me, if he wanted to preach, not to preach to me about
    crossness.  He said well if that was the case he was very sorry he
    had offended me, I told him he had not offended me nor pleased me,
    but as I was not well and the less any one talked to me the better I
    liked it.  He said if I was but friends with him, and shake hands
    with him, he should go away happy.  Mr. Yardly said, I never see such
    a fellow as I was, for I had affronted every body that came to the
    house.  I then shook hands with the Parson, for at that time I did
    not know his name.  He shook hands with me, and we had something to
    drink, and Mr. Church paid for it and went away.  I never saw him
    until I came out of Newgate, I was talking to Mr. and Mrs. Holloway,
    and telling them there was a Parson somewhere about St. George’s
    Fields, but his name I did not know.  He asked me if I should know
    him if I saw him, I said I should, by that I went to the Chapel and
    saw Mr. Church, and then I asked the people what was the Parson’s
    name, they told me his name was Church.  I said he ought to be
    ashamed of himself to preach there, a *** and rascal, and left the
    place, and went home in the greatest pains I ever felt in my life,
    and was resolved to see him, which I did the next day, and give him
    one of the hand-bills, and the manner he received me, was like a
    young man would his sweetheart, I begun my conversation:—Well, Sir, I
    suppose you do not know me.  He said he did not.  I said my name was
    Cook, that kept the Swan, in Vere street.  He said he thought so, but
    was not sure: he said, why did I not call before and shake hands with
    a body.  I told him I did not know where he lived, nor I did not know
    his name until I went to the Chapel and found him out.  He told me
    not to make it known that he ever came to my house, for he and Roland
    Hill had daggers drawn, and that he should be obliged to indite Hill
    to clear up his character, and for God’s sake do not expose me.

                    (_Here the Narrative breaks off_.)


In addition to the above testimonies, the Editor has received a very long
narrative of atrocities committed by JOHN CHURCH while he resided at
Banbury, which has been written by a Minister at that place; but the
facts are too disgusting and shocking to be published.

On the 6th of June 1813, the Grand Jury for the County of Middlesex found
a Bill of Indictment against _John Church_ for his attempt some years ago
on a lad named Webster.

                                * * * * *

          Printed by and for R. BELL, Bride Lane, Fleet Street.


                                                                _July_ 15.

This Pamphlet was printed and ready for publication some weeks since; but
the Editor thought proper to keep it back until the trial of John Church,
which came on at the Middlesex Sessions on Monday the 12th of July 1813;
when he was _acquitted_.  Indeed the Editor never imagined that any other
verdict than one of acquittal, would have been given on that particular
prosecution.  If the Reader looks back to pages 25 and 26, he will find
in the account there given of the proceedings at Union Hall, that this
prosecution was ORDERED by the Magistrates of that Office, and _did not
originate_ with the prosecutor, William Webster, on whom the abominable
attempt was alleged to have been made eleven years ago; that the very
mention of the attempt was a mere incidental circumstance arising out of
another proceeding then before the Magistrates; and that the latter, upon
hearing it, dismissed the first complaint, and obliged Wm. Webster to
become (what he never until then intended to be) a prosecutor against
Church.  Let the Reader also take notice of the following sentence in the
report in page 26: “The Magistrate observed, that from the length of time
which had elapsed since the offence had been committed, he thought a Jury
would not feel justified in finding him guilty.”  This William Webster,
therefore, considered, in all respects, as an unwilling prosecutor, who
was supported only by one counsel of young standing, {38a} and had to
struggle against two of the most able advocates {38b} in the criminal
courts.  The Editor (for he was not present at the trial) understands
that Webster gave his evidence with embarrassment and trepidation, and he
suffered himself to fall into some inconsistencies.  With this _solitary_
and confused evidence, and after a lapse—after a _silence_ of ELEVEN
YEARS, was it possible to suppose that a Jury would have found any man
guilty?  It must here be observed that the decision on this solitary
complaint of eleven years standing, does not in the slightest degree
affect any of the numerous accusation at a more recent date, which have
been made against John Church.


{5}  In the DISPATCH of the 21st ult. the Editor, when speaking of the
publicity given to the evidence respecting the Princess of Wales,
expressed the following sentiments on this question: “There are cases in
which a great deal more injury both to morals and liberty, may arise from
the suppression than the exposure of indecencies.”—“Complaints have often
been made from very high quarters of the publicity given to certain
proceedings in Courts of Justice; and it is but justice to say, that
within the last twenty years, the press has been very cautious in its
manner of relating them.  But it is a matter of doubt with many wise men
whether the suppression of facts in such instances does not, upon the
whole, do more injury to public morals than a complete disclosure of
them; particularly so, if there be any suspicion that facts have been

{6}  Messrs. Gurney and Alley.

{7}  The Reader will find this fac simile accompanying the present

        [Picture: Facsimile of John Church’s letter to James Cook]

{11}  A Correspondent, who happened to attend two or three times at
Church’s Meeting-house, took down the following sentences from his
Sermons.  They may gratify the curiosity of the reader.

    “God is frequently going forth, and we also are often going to the
    window to look for him; The more _vile I am_ made to appear to the
    _World_ the more _God_ will _assist_ me.  Every citizen is a
    free-born.  Many have wondered how I could go thro’ so much trouble.
    There have been a great many that have wished to see me—I can inform
    them I had much rather they had wished to see Christ.  People may be
    laughed at for being fools, but you may depend upon it the more God
    will like them.  All that believe not will certainly be damned.  The
    duties of Christianity are not to be preached to an ungodly world;
    John Church is very much spoken of, but they had much better speak of
    Jesus; the people of the established church feel no spiritual joy.
    Spiritual discourse is enlivening to the senses, &c.  The bread of
    life is not to be given away to _Dogs_.  I am not going to turn
    auctioneer, but I am going to inform you that next Lord’s Day I am
    going to publish a book proving that God the Son, and the Spirit, are
    all one great God.  My sermon will be good news and comfort to all
    poor sinners; Satan and all his spirits never sleeps; the power of
    life and death is only in the hands of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Devils
    are allowed to harrass the people of God day and night—no wonder they
    perplex those they cant destroy.  People are mostly liable to fall in
    their first love into awful heresies and temptation.  All the Lord’s
    people do not see into the glory of my text—’tis like a jewel in a
    rock of Adamant.  The worst sin was the murdering of God’s saints.
    When I sit in darkness the Lord will be a light unto me.  Many men
    laugh at the doctrine of the new birth,—are there not many learned
    Doctors that know nothing of it?  Let a man come under any
    circumstances I will receive him;—Don’t laugh at the doctrine of
    inspiration; he wise, it has often been preached by our church,—I am
    never tired of preaching, and I believe my dear brethren are never
    tired of hearing me.  If every one that is saved should be as bright
    as the sun, what a place heaven must be, where there will be so many
    millions!  Angels beckon me away, and Christ bids me come.  The sight
    of Christ, you may depend on’t, will be worth suffering for.  O that
    I had the voice of an archangel, I would indeed do wonders.  I doubt
    the superiority of one angel over another in heaven—Christ is
    entirely independent, of or with God.  We must have the spirit of God
    before we are his people.  Believe in the predestination of eternal
    life, but not in eternal death; people that suffer were beforehand
    predestined so to do, _by God_.  Bad or horrid is the religion of a
    proud Pharisee.  That religion that is preached by the people of God
    is God himself.  There can be no going forth until the Spirit of God
    has entered.  The MOB is seldom stirred up but thro’ Priests, there
    is now a case of the very kind; when envy bursts forth thro’ jealous
    and envious neighbouring _Priests_, and published by _Deists_, there
    can be nothing to fear; and I verily believe that any thing prayed
    for to Christ will certainly be granted, as has always been the case
    with me.  Let us for ever endeavour to turn every thing, whether good
    or bad, into good.  I do not not believe that God begot Jesus
    Christ—they say too that Joseph was an impostor at this very
    day;—every thing that is done against the church is done against
    Christ; also that which is done against Christ is done against the
    Church; and any thing done against the people of God is done against
    Christ.  It is a most blessed thing that we can throw our burthens
    upon Christ;—I do not care who hears me, whether _God_, or _Man_,
    _Friends_, or _Foes_, _Devils_ or _Angels_, or any thing else, and
    let them call me an Antinomian again if they please.  There must be
    spiritual life in the soul.  The Lord Jesus Christ and the people of
    God are all one.  Christ has no sorrow but the people of God must
    sympathise with him; and the people of God have no affliction but
    that Christ sympathises with them.”

{20}  Alluding to his being turned out of Banbury.

{21}  Before Church got to bed to young Clark, he scoffed at secret
prayer.  What abominable hypocrisy, to hear the same man pretending to
pray before a public congregation, where he can get himself paid for his
devotions! how he must hate and despise himself on account of his own
most odious cant!!!

{22}  A full proof of this has been given, in the falsehoods he has
repeatedly urged, to ward off the charges brought against him in these

{27}  I am informed that Church belongs to that sect called ANTINOMIANS,
which is thus described by the Rev. John Evans in his “Sketch of the
Denominations of the Christian World”:—

    “The Antinomian derives his name from ANTI and NOMOS; signifying,
    against, and a Law, his favourite tenet being, that the law is not a
    rule of life to believers.  It is not easy to ascertain what he means
    by this position, but he seems to carry the doctrine of imputed
    righteousness of Christ and salvation by faith without works to such
    lengths as to injure, if not wholly destroy the obligation to moral
    obedience.  Antinomianism may be traced to the period of the
    reformation, and its promulgator was John Agricola, originally a
    disciple of Luther.  The Papists in their disputes with the
    Protestants of that day, carried the merit of good works to an
    extravagant length; and this induced some of their opponents to run
    into the opposite extreme.  “This sect (say the Encyclopedia) sprung
    up in England during the protectorate of Oliver Cromwell, and
    extended the system of libertinism much farther than Agricola, the
    disciple of Luther.  Some of their teachers expressly maintained,
    that as the elect cannot fall from grace nor forfeit the divine
    favour, the wicked actions they commit are not really sinful, nor are
    they to be considered as instances of their violation of the Divine
    Law; consequently they have no occasion to confess their sins, or to
    break them off by repentance.  According to them it is one of the
    essential and distinctive characters of the elect that they cannot do
    any thing displeasing to God, or prohibited by Law.”

{38a}  Mr. Adolphus.

{38b}  Messrs. Gurney and Alley.

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