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INQUIRY RELATIVE TO THE BAPTISMAL SERVICE.
S To the Editor of the Christian Remembrancer.
I shall be extremely obliged to you, or any of your correspondents, to inform me, through the medium of your valuable Miscellany, how a clergyman of the Church of England ought to conduct himself in the following seemingly important matter:-An infant in my immediate neighbourhood has been baptized by an itinerant Methodist preacher; but its father not altogether satisfied on the point, wishes to have the child regularly christened in the Established Church. Now, in case the child is brought before me to be christened, I am at a loss which service to use, or how to act on true Church of England Principles. An early insertion will very much oblige, Sir, Yours most respectfully, A YouNg Curate.
In reply to this inquiry, we beg to inform our correspondent, that the Book of Common Prayer in itself furnishes him with a guide to his conduct. When the child is brought to be baptized, he is to inquire amongst other things, “By whom was this child baptized ? and if the answer to this or any other of the prescribed inquiries is not satisfactory, he must proceed to baptize the child conditionally, according to the form given. “If thou art not already baptized, I baptize thee, &c." This is at once a safe and unexceptionable mode of proceeding, and gets rid practically of the embarrassing question, whether baptism by an unordained person is valid or not.
An extraordinary instance of a Fanatical Imposture which is now in the course of being practised in the west of England, has been just brought to our notice. It bears indeed melancholy evidence of barefaced deception on the one hand, triumphing over superstitious ignorance on the other, to a degree which would seem scarcely possible in the nineteenth Century. There is at present we understand in the Parish of Staverton in Devonshire a woman, whose real name is Mary Boon, the wife of a shoemaker, and until the last two or three years a pauper of that parish. This woman has assumed the title of “Mary Joanna the Lord is here,” and with the assistance of John Field a stonemason of the same parish, who appears to be the chief actor in the business, has contrived to procure many followers and believers in her pretensions to divine communications. By the success which has attended her gross deceptions, from a pauper she is now become an affluent person, her house is better furnished than those of many respectable persons of the middling class of society; she has her piano, and many other articles of superfluity; she has only to say, (so great is her influence WOL. Wii, N.O. W. s s
among her followers) that “the Lord says, she must have a clock, a silk gown,” or any thing else which she fancies and it is forthwith sent to her. The following anecdotes may shew the practical extent to which the imposture is carried. Her husband was in debt to some tradesman either of Totnes or Ashburton for leather. The tradesmen had tried several times to get his money but without success. He was at last advised to go to the house on the day when her followers are in the habit of assembling, which is Saturday: he accordingly went and presented his bill to the woman seated in the midst of her conclave, she received the bill, and after looking the man full in the face for some minutes, she took a stick which she calls her wand, and going and putting her ear close to the wall, she knocked with the stick repeatedly; after remaining there for some time, she returned to her place and said, “the Lord told her, the bill must be paid, and those who had ten shillings must put down five, those who had eight, four"—and so on down to the lowest shilling. The command, adds our informant, was immediately executed, and thus the bill was discharged. er disciples think themselves exempted through her instruction from keeping Sunday holy, making Saturday their Sabbath. Two of these, day labourers, were found pursuing their respective occupations on the same Sunday, in view of the congregations assembled at two different parish Churches. One of them, on being reprimanded for his conduct, observed, that “he was working by the command of the Lord, and that no person should prevent him from working.” A farmer also, who was once a man of some property, but who, since he has become a victim to the artifices of this pretender to inspiration, has been completely reduced to poverty, sent his boys and horses into a field and ploughed the whole Sunday. The two labourers were summoned before the Magistrates for their misconduct. Our informant says, he shall never forget the scene which ensued. They began by reading from a written paper what they termed the divine communications of this woman, and said she had received a command from the Lord, that they should work on Sundays. When they were told they must be punished, the hysteric laugh of joy which burst from the hard thin countenance of one of them, an old man nearly seventy years of age, because he should suffer for the Lord's sake, quite shocked the spectators. Beth said they hoped the gentlemen would punish them; that they would rather be punished than set at liberty, and a great deal more to the same purpose. They received their proper punishment, and afterwards desisted from the offence. The pretended prophetess, seeing she had gone too far, told them, “the Lord only wished to try their courage, and there was no necessity for their perseverance in it.” Afterwards they only worked privately on Sundays. The old man, mentioned above, continues unmoved by the expostulations of the Clergyman of his parish, who has had frequent interviews with him, and used every argument with him to enable him to see his error. His only answer to the Clergyman is, that “he pities him, and the time will come, when
he and all the world will be convinced, that “Mary Joanna the Lord is here,' is the Lord's handmaid.”
We have also seen a printed paper, “entered at Stationers' Hall," containing the “communications” of this successor to Joanna Southcott, and a medley of more fanatical absurdity we never read. The paper it seems is printed in London, and sent down into the country to gifferent persons, to Clergymen as well as others. The several
communications” bear also the name of the acting man, John Field, the stone-mason, of Staverton, Devon, and it is enjoined at the end, that all inquiries are to be sent post paid.
IMITATION OF THE HYMN “ DIES IR.E.”
S To the Editor of the Christian Remembrancer.
In your volume for 1822, and in the number for August of that vo-
Which shall the world in ashes lay !
What words can speak each bosom's fear,
Lo! to the tomb's recess most lone
Nature and death shall stand aghast,
Then shall be oped the mystic leaves :
Thence shall each deed—each word be tried :
Alas! what shall I make my plea?
My refuge is my Judge alone
Jesu, who didst thy Father's will
Remember, Lord, that for my sake
Me thou didst seek with steps of pain—
Oh then, 'ere yet that day of doom—
Abash'd and guilty would I kneel—
Yet thou, who Mary didst forgive,
No prayers of mine can aught avail—
When sheep and goats before thy face
And when thy voice to endless woes
In accents mild, this welcome doom :
Contrite and lowly thus I pray:
God of mercy, hear the prayer!
MONTHLY REGISTER. ARRIVAL OF THE BISHOPS OF BARBADOES AND JAMAICA.
“ON Saturday morning at eleven o'clock, the Bishop left his Majesty's yacht Herald, under a salute from the shipping, and landed at the upper stepping stones of the wharf, where he was received by a guard of honour of the 35th regiment. Four companies of the Royal Regiment of Militia, under the command of Major Walrond, were also there by order of his Excellency the Governor, and formed a line on each side of the street from Trafalgar-square, leading to the church, through which the Bishop, attended by nearly the whole of the Clergy of the island, with the Rev. Archdeacon Parry, the Rev. Mr. Adam, and the Rev. Mr. Chaderton, (Rector of St. George's Tortola), walked to St. Michael's church. The procession having arrived at the church, the Rev. Mr. Garnett, our Rector, conducted the Bishop to the chair prepared for him on the right side of the altar; his Lordship's Secretary, Mr. Coleridge, read aloud the Royal Commission, and the certificate of the Bishop having been duly consecrated; at the conclusion of which the Rector ushered his Lordship into the Stall, fitted up some time ago by the provident care and attention of the Vestry for his reception. The morning service was then read by our Lecturer, the Rev. Mr. King, with which were joined the Prayers for the 29th of January, being the anniversary of our gracious King's Accession to the Throne of his ancestors. We are disposed to consider this as a peculiarly happy coincidence of events: and, so powerfully were our feelings excited on the interesting occasion, that independent of our joy at seeing the hope, for many anxious months ardently cherished, at last realized, of seeing our own Bishop, we hailed the double celebration of the day as an auspicious omen for our country. An immense crowd of persons, who filled not only the pews but the aisles of the church, were gratified, and we are sure we use no unfit word when we say, they were delighted to hear the Communion Service read by the Lord Bishop. His voice, and his manner
of reading the Commandments, and the beautiful Prayers from the service for the King's Accession, were, beyond comparison, fine and impressive.
Notwithstanding the vast assemblage of persons of every description, the instant that the Bishop's deep-toned commanding voice was heard, the most perfect silence prevailed; and, when he pronounced the blessing, we do believe it penetrated the heart of every one present: every countenance indicated a feeling which words would fail to describe. When we think on the affectionate earnestness, the pious fervour with which he gave utterance to his words, we do indeed feel a conviction that it was with all his heart and soul that this Minister of the Gospel invoked the blessing of the Most High, the adorable Trinity, upon the people of this land. And, oh! that we could, in the prophetic spirit of the Patriarch, repeat “ Yea, and they shall be blessed.”—The Barbadian Newspaper, Tuesday, February 1, 1825.
A deputation from the Clergy having previously waited on his Lordship on board the Herald, and ascertained when it would be convenient to him to receive the body of the Clergy, the Clergy repaired in a body to his Lordship's residence, where they delivered a congratulatory address to him on his landing: after which his Lordship was sworn in as a Member of the Council. The Bishop subsequently visited the schools at Bridgetown, with the state of which he professed himself satisfied, and was about to proceed on a tour through the different parishes.
The Bishop of Jamaica sailed inmediately for Jamaica, where he arrived, on the afternoon of February 11. Shortly after the Herald came to anchor at Port Royal, Vice Admiral Sir Laurence Halstead, with the different Captains of the squadron, and Commissioner Ross, went on board and complimented the Bishop on his safe arrival. Every preparation was made for his reception on landing with the honours due to his rank and sacred office.