Ministers of the Episcopal Floating Church & Sailors' Home

James Hough (1829-30)

Ordained in Carlisle in 1814, and inspired by meeting Charles Simeon the following year, he had worked as a missionary in India from 1816-22, as chaplain to the English garrison at Palayamkottai (writing A Reply to the Letters of the Abbé Dubois on the State of Christianity in India in1822) and again in 1824-26, as Chaplain to the E
ast India Company at Madras - rightly called the second founder of the church in Tinnevelly [Tirunelveli] according to a 19th century commentator - see this article. On his return in 1829 he published Letters on the Climate, Inhabitants, Productions &c of the Neilgherries, or Blue Mountains of Coimbatoor, South India.  But attendances on board the Floating Church were poor, and constant exposure to the river undermined his health, so he moved to become Perpetual Curate of Ham, where among his further writings were The Protestant Missions Vindicated (1837), The Missionary Vade Mecum (1842) and, between 1839-45, a large four-volume History of Christianity in India, from the Commencement of the Christian Era. Here is a detailed contemporary review of the first two volumes, from the British Magazine. A fifth volume, published posthumously (he died in 1847), includes this biographical sketchParts of this monumental work remain in print, and are of historic interest, though the writings of Bishop Stephen Neill (who was Bishop of Tirunelveli from 1939, and became a great ecumenical figure) and others are more authoritative.

John Davis (1830-??)

On his appointment to the Episcopal Floating Church, 1830 - The Christian Guardian and Church of England Magazine
We are happy to hear that the Rev. JOHN DAVIS, late Curate of Chesterfield, is appointed Chaplain of the London Episcopal Floating Church. It is, we understand, this gentleman's intention to devote himself entirely to what may justly be termed the work of a Missionary amongst Seamen; a work obviously requiring great zeal, patience, fortitude, and Christian affection; since he will be called, not merely to preach to those who may attend the Floating Church, but to endeavour, by a regular system of visiting the vessels in the river, in all weathers, to excite attention, overcome diffidence, and secure the confidence and affection of many who have been long neglected and degraded, and for whose souls no man hath cared. To enable this clergyman thus unreservedly to devote himself to the arduous work, it is proposed to allow him a salary of £200 per annum: and as the other unavoidable expenses of the ship, &c.* amount to about £150 per annum; and the present annual subscriptions barely amount to £100, the Committee are compelled to solicit the assistance of the Christian friends of seamen, that this important undertaking may not fail for want of adequate funds. We are happy to observe that the undertaking is patronized by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Bishops of London, Lichfield, Winchester, &c. Subscriptions are received by Messrs. Drummonds, Williams ; Hatchards, Seeleys, Nisbet, &c. and at 32, Sackville Street, Piccadilly.

* These expenses include the necessary repairs, painting, &c. of the ship, the offices of clerk and ship-keeper, a boat and boatmen, for the constant use of the chaplain, &c. On this last article it may be proper to observe, that as the sailors must be sought out and visited on board their own vessels, in all the neighbouring parts of the river, the chaplain will need a boat continually, and must be very much exposed to cold and fatigue, during the cold winds of autumn, and the inclement season of winter.

As Ordinary (= Chaplain) of Newgate: involvement in a case of 'moral insanity', 1847

In 1847 a twelve-year old boy, William Newton Allnutt, was tried at the Old Bailey for the murder of his grandfather Samuel Nelme, by sprinking arsenic on the sugar bowl from which he sprinkled his fruit, in order to steal his gold watch, eyeglass and sovereigns. It was widely reported in the press, and with full summaries in the medical journals, not because of the boy's age (even now the age of criminal responsibility is ten years) but because of the defence offered by his counsel, and of some of the specialist witnesses (one of them for the prosecution) of  'insanity of deranged morals': that he was unable to distinguish wrong from right because he knew, but did not feel, his actions to be wrong, and had no sense of remorse. (This defence had been attempted for Edward Oxford, who several years previously had shot at Queen Victoria, and said when questioned 'Oh, I might as well shoot her as anybody else'.)

Davis was involved because he had told the boy that a coroner's warrant for wilful murder had been issued, and instructed him on his religious duty. As a result the boy wrote to his mother
My dearest Mother.....I know I have sinned against God, and I deserve to be cast into hell; but what is my only comfort is the Bible, for our Lord says, "if ye repent I will forgive you." .... Mr Davis preached a beautiful sermon on Sunday; he took it from Proverbs xvi. If I had only attended to what you were teaching me I should not have come into such a place, but Satan had got so much power over me .... I now confess that I have done what I am accused of. How I got the poison was this: on the 20th of October Grandfather went to his desk for the key to the wine cellar to get some wine up and to look over his accounts, and whilst he was gone I took the poison out, and emptied some of it into another piece of paper, and put the other back; and then after dinner I put it in the sugar basin; and why I did it was I had made grandfather angry with something I had done and he knocked me down in the passage ... and he said next time I did it, he would almost kill me; but in future I will say the truth and nothing but the truth. [I]f I am transported I know it will be the death of me therefore I hope they will pardon me. With kindest love to you and all at home, believe me, ever your affectionate son, W.N.A.

Davis was cross-examined:
  The boy in this letter attributes to you to say, that if he did not confess, God would not forgive him.

Davis: No doubt. I told him that unless he confessed his sin to God he could not expect forgiveness from God - I said confessed his sin to God.
  Taking the greatest possible care that he should not imagine any other confession?

Davis: No other allusion was made - I did not tell him I was sure he had done it ... his mother's name was not mentioned in the interview - what he stated is the imagination of his brain altogether ... he has been guilty of telling a vast variety of falsehoods; they have been denials of his guilt, which he afterwards confessed.
Specialist witnesses followed, and after a summing-up in which the judge was scathing about the defence of 'moral insanity', the jury took 15 minutes to find the boy guilty; he was sentenced to death, with an appeal to the Crown for mercy.

The case is discussed in Joel Peter Eigen
Unconscious Crime: Mental Absence and Criminal Responsibility in Victorian England (Johns Hopkins UP 2003), chapter 5 'An Unconscious Poisoning'.

Davis' 1847 evidence to the House of Lord's Select Committee on the Execution of the Criminal Law, especially respecting Juvenile Offenders and Transportation can be read here (pages 44-48 and 336-414)

In his annual report for 1848-49 he observed The gaol of Newgate, beyond all doubt, has great defects compared with more modern erections; but results from these more perfect prisons do not surpass the metropolitan gaol in this respect, that seven out of eight do not return to us again.

In his annual report for 1858-59 he wrote in support of the shift towards separate (as distinct from solitary) confinement:
I entertain a hope, not the result of theory, but founded on many facts, that good prisons are places where a considerable number of criminals are not only punished for their offences, but reformed in their sentiments and manner of life. Out of all committed to Newgate, more than one half, at the least, never return to any prison; and it is among this large class that the good I speak of is done. Many receive a real, sound, religious impression, which endures, and keeps them out of harm. It does not do to make such persons known ; but, as far as words can express right feelings, or letters describe the state of mind, and a consistent lite confirm the truth of both, hundreds and, thousands demonstrate the happy effects of religious teachings in prisons.

The public notion that a prison is ruin, destruction, demoralization, and hopeless misery, is true only to a certain extent—certainly not true of the majority. I am not unaware that many are kept honest by the shame, disgrace, and irksome-ness of prison-life, perhaps as many as by the real renewal of the mind. Society is satisfied if men keep out of prison: they look no further. But, making large deductions for all these causes, there are many left who receive in the time of adversity instructions of which they thought little or nothing in the day of prosperity; and it is on these our hopes are built of the good done in prisons.

When men begin to think of the responsibilities they are under to another Master, to whom one day they must give a solemn account, there is hope of good. A mere balancing the advantages of right and wrong doing is not a motive sufficiently powerful to effect a thorough reformation. The true reforming thought is the responsibility to heaven. Now, it is not in man's power to create this purity and correctness of thought: we can teach it, encourage, foster, and promote it; and under no circumstances, as far as our efforts are concerned, can this be done for the criminal so well and so effectually as when he is in separate confinement: time and opportunity for reflection are not merely afforded, but almost forced upon him.

The custom practised for many years in Newgate, of having a small portion of scripture read and explained, for the prisoners to meditate upon, was always attended with good results; but, since the prisoners have been kept separately, I find the influence of it far greater. They express themselves with greater indications of thought and reflection ; and, by giving them a good basis for thought, all is done that it is possible to do to lead them to right sentiments. How far such impressions are permanent and sincere must be left to the Searcher of hearts. Ministrations in prisons must in almost all cases be left with a certain misgiving, which shows that, while duty is ours, the result is with the Almighty himself. If, then, the benefits of separate discipline be so great, how strongly does it urge every consistently-benevolent mind to hope that the day is not distant when these advantages will be extended to the female side of the prison, and the unhappy fallen members of so many families will be afforded the opportunity of escaping, while in Newgate, the polluting conversation of old offenders, and have the means of reformation within their reach, if they should be really sincere.

In 1859 he published The Agony of Murder, verses written by a prisoner describing his feelings when under sentence of death and in most imminent danger of execution.

In a letter of 1860 in connection with mail theft he wrote there cannot be less than one hundred servants of the post-office now suffering penal servitude, but this is much under the truth. This resulted in attempts to establish missionary work among letter-carriers and other postal workers.

In 1864-65 he gave evidence to the Capital Punishment Commission. A report summarised his evidence. He had been in office for 22 years and had witnessed 24 executions, and on the basis of his knowledge of incorrigibles was quite sure that it is impossible to avoid capital executions. He said, The Scriptures say, 'Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed'; that is a law to us, and we should obey it.  When asked by the Commission, 'Apart from Scriptural considerations, can a murderer be adequately punished except by death, and will any other punishment deter from the crime of murder?' he said no, and 'stuck to it under every ingenuity of suggestion and interrogation'.

The report continues: He was quite clear that you must hang murderers, if you don't want your prison-warders to be murdered; and he thought it better not to talk much about impending executions to other prisoners, so he had little to say about how they regard the matter. He thought private executions might be tried with advantage
[pointing out that they now had curtains at Newgate executions] - an experiment or two would test public opinion. Such experiments would be painful for the gentlemen obliged to witness them. A new sheriff generally faints, and the witness himself was ill for three days after the first execution which he attended. He thought the mob behave well, generally, at the moment of execution ... and he had never known a man unjustly executed; all criminals within his knowledge who had been hanged at Newgate, having confessed their guilt ...

Mr. Davis made some curious statements, respecting the religious condition of the murderers whom he had known. He had never known an Englishman to die in a state of unbelief, or avowed impenitence; but he had known a Frenchman to do so .... He did not believe that public executions injure the reverence for human life, though he thought it very likely the following story may be true. A young man named Wicks shot his master in Drury-lane, and was hanged at Newgate; shortly before the murder he had seen an execution, and on the very day of its perpetration he had run as hard as he could to be in time for 'a hanging'. He stated that after he had seen it, he snapped his fingers and said, 'It's nothing—it's only a trick'. Then he went home and shot his master.  'Yes, he was a great execution seer', remarked Mr. Davis, who was, on the whole, a very cool, dry kind of witness, with his mind very absolutely made up.

Samuel Smiles Thrift (1875)
The  apostle of 'self-help' (who incidentally was the great-great-grandfather of Bear Grylls) included these observations from Davis in a work published after Davis' death, on the causes of crime among young convicts:
I knew a youth, the child of an officer in the navy, who had served his country with distinction, but whose premature death rendered his widow thankful to receive an official appointment for her delicate boy in a Government office. His income from the office was given faithfully to his mother; and it was a pleasure and a pride to him to gladden her heart by the thought that he was helping her. She had other children--two little girls, just rising from the cradle to womanhood. Her scanty pension and his salary made every one happy. But over this youth came a love of dress. He had not strength of mind to see how much more truly beautiful a pure mind is, than a finely decorated exterior. He took pleasure in helping his mother and sisters, but did not take greater pleasure in thinking that to do this kindness to them he must be contented for a time to dress a little worse than his fellow-clerks; his clothes might appear a little worn, but they were like the spot on the dress of a soldier arising from the discharge of duty; they were no marks of undue carelessness; necessity had wrought them; and while they indicated necessity, they marked also the path of honour, and without such spots duty must have been neglected. But this youth did not think of such great thoughts as these. He felt ashamed at his threadbare but clean coat. The smart, new-shining dress of other clerks mortified him ... He wanted to appear finer. In an evil hour he ordered a suit of clothes from a fashionable tailor. His situation and connections procured him a short credit. But tradesmen must be paid, and he was again and again importuned to defray his debt. To relieve himself of his creditor he stole a letter containing a £10 note. His tailor was paid, but the injured party knew the number of the note. It was traced to the tailor, by him to the thief, with the means and opportunity of stealing it, and in a few days he was transported. His handsome dress was exchanged for the dress of a convict. Better by far would it have been for him to have worn his poorer garb, with the marks of honest labour upon it. He formed only another example of the intense folly of love of dress, which, exists quite as much amongst foolish young men as amongst foolish young women.

Neville Jones (1834-39), then incumbent of St Mark Whitechapel

dunbararmsSir William Dunbar (1839-42)
The sixth Baronet Dunbar of Durn, whose family home was in Aberdeen, had read law at Magdalen College Oxford, graduating SCL. Ordained by the Bishop of Bath and Wells in 1831, he served curacies at Upton (Somerset) and Stoke-on-Trent. He resigned from the Floating Church (where in 1841 he published a book of Puplit Recollections) to become minister of St Paul's Chapel, Aberdeen, where he became part of the 'Drummondite' controversy. Like the Revd D.T.K. Drummond in Edinburgh, a fellow Church of England minister and Church Missionary Society secretary, he refused to use the Scottish liturgy, regarding it as too high church, and rejected the authority of the Bishop of Aberdeen.

There were particular reasons for this. St Paul's was originally a 'non-juring' congregation, driven out of St Nicholas Aberdeen in 1695; they accepted the Act of Toleration in 1718 and became a 'qualified congregation', but had only recently, in 1841, signed a deed of union to bring them back into the Scottish Episcopal Church. Dunbar regarded this deed as void. The bishop excommunicated him, issuing this document:

Aberdeen August 11 1843

Rev sir,—I feel it to be my painful duty, as bishop of this diocese, to direct that the accompanying declaration be read from the altar of every chapel within the same, immediately after the Nicene creed, on Sunday next, being the ninth Sunday after Trinity. And I remain, your faithful brother,
(Signed) William Skinner D.D., Bishop of Aberdeen.

In the name of God, Amen.—Whereas the rev. sir William Dunbar, baronet, late minister of St. Paul's chapel, Aberdeen, and a presbyter of this diocese, received by letters dimissory from the lord bishop of London, forgetting his duty as a priest of the catholic church, did, on the 12th day of May last, in a letter addressed to us, William Skinner, doctor of divinity, bishop of Aberdeen, wilfully renounce his canonical obedience to us his proper ordinary, and withdraw himself, as he pretended, from the jurisdiction of the Scottish Episcopal Church; and notwithstanding our earnest and affectionate remonstrances repeatedly addressed to him, did obstinately persist in that his most undutiful and wicked act, contrary to his ordination vows, and his solemn promise of canonical obedience, whereby the said sir William Dunbar hath violated every principle of duty which the laws of the catholic church have recognized as binding ou her priests, and hath placed himself in a state of open schism: and whereas the said sir William Dunbar hath moreover continued to officiate in defiance of our authority, therefore we, William Skinne,r doctor in divinity, bishop of Aberdeen aforesaid, sitting with our clergy in synod, this tenth day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty three, and acting under the provisions of canon 41, do declare that the said sir William Duubar hath ceased to be a presbyter of this church, and that all his ministerial acts are without authority, as being performed apart from Christ's mystical body, wherein the one Spirit is; and we do most earnestly and solemnly warn all faithful people to avoid all communion with the said sir William Dunbar in prayers and sacraments, or in any way giving countenance to him in his present irregular and sinful course, lest they be partakers with him in his sin. and thereby expose themselves to the threatening denounced against those who cause divisions in the church, from which danger we most heartily pray that God, of his great mercy, would keep all the faithful people committed to our charge, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Dunbar sued for libel, winning £2000 damages [Scottish Court of Session, Sir W. Dunbar v Right Rev. W. Skinner, 1849]. This caused much comment in the church press.The result of his court action was a further period of schism, with St Paul's remaining an English Episcopal Chapel until it finally rejoined the Scottish Episcopal Church in 1898, by which time a new church had been built: it closed in 1966 and was joined to St Andrew's Cathedral. Ironically, Bishop Skinner's successor had problems, of a different kind, with clergy from our parish in relation to St Mary's Chapel in Aberdeen - see Ritualism Riots for more details.

As for Dunbar, after a few years back in London, as minister of St Paul Camden Town (1855) and curate of Kew (1856) he became rector of Walwyn's Castle near Haverfordwest (a Lord Chancellor parish in the diocese of St David's), and then of Dummer, Hampshire, where he died in 1881. In later years he took a keen interest in spiritualism, and was a member of the committee of the Langham Place lectures. His son Sir Drummond Miles Dunbar emigrated to South Africa, where he became town clerk of Queenstown, in the Eastern Cape; he had eight children, and died in 1903, aged 57.

[Three other clergy from the Floating Church and St Paul's Church for Seamen ( Alphonsus Rose, Charles Popham Miles and Charles Besley Gribble), became involved in this arcane controversy. For more see Gavin White's online The Scottish Episcopal Church, A New History, chapter 10 'English Episcopal', and Patricia Meldrum Conscience and Compromise: Forgotten Evangelicals of Nineteenth-Century Scotland (Wipf & Stock 2007) - though she underplays their concern with parliamentary sovereignty, attributing to them the evangelical agenda of later generations.]

Alphonsus (aka Alphonse) William Henry Rose (1842)

A graduate of St John's College Cambridge, he briefly followed Dunbar in 1842, and shared his stance; later that year he became temporary curate-in-charge of St Mary Inverurie for some months, corresponding with Bishop Skinner about the use of the 'Scotch communion office' there and incurring his wrath for decling to attend a Christmas eucharist using this rite. He had previously been incumbent of Lower Darwen, publishing sermons preached in various local churches, including one to a 'fashionable' congregation in Blackburn (Fraser's Magazine for 1839 showed its true colours by adding only think of a fashionable congregation in a manufacturing town!) Against a background of Chartism, it included these words about wealth:

Take the example of a wretch who has scraped together more than an ordinary heap of gold, and who has made fine gold his confidence. Look at him buried in sluggish self-complacency amongst his thousands. See the poor soul, abject in all the arrogance of meanness, despising intellect, and education, and nobility of soul, and all that interposes between man and the brute, and milking a heaven of his houses, his equipage, his furniture, and his plate, and an idol of his heaped-up bags of wealth, like that once erected upon Dura's plain. And when you compare that poor debased object with what he might have been, with what God designed he should be, oh! does not the meanest reptile that crawls the earth expand into beauty in comparison? and is not the sight calculated to draw tears of purest and tenderest pity from every eye, save that of one depraved as the being it gazes on! I own, brethren, 1 have taken an extreme instance; though I doubt not that your own memories can furnish you with many such.

He came to the Floating Church via St John Waterloo [London, not Liverpool], and became chairman of the Tower Hamlets Protestant Association (see Trinity Episcopal Chapel), a committee member of the evangelical journal The Churchman: a magazine in defence of the Church and Constitution [not to be confused with a later journal of the same name], A sermon preached in Tunbridge Wells in 1843 was reviewed as one of the most profound, and at the same time most splendidly eloquent, that we ever remember to have read (though his choice of an obscure publisher - that of The Churchman! - was deemed likely to do him damage). As an example of his writing, here is an 'original paper' published in The Churchman for June 1840 (when he was at St John Waterloo) which curiously applies Philip's words to Nathanael 'Come and see!' to a defence of Anglicanism, which he stresses does not depend on the authority of the church fathers. It ends with a pious rant about the day of judgement.

'Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?'  So said Nathaniel, until he complied with the invitation 'Come and see'. And it is on the necessity of compliance with this invitation, that we would now insist on a few amongst the many instances of those who allow their prejudice to blind them to a knowledge of the things which belong to their peace. We observe, that Philip's reply to the prejudice of Nathaniel is not merely recorded as the only one with which he was capable of meeting that prejudice, but that it contains in it, moreover, a specimen of the manner in which all prejudice must be met, in order to its being effectually overcome and subdued. What is prejudice? just the prejudging of a matter―a passing a judgment upon it beforehand―the coming to a decision upon a point before we have given it a fair and candid examination. Then what more natural reply, where a prejudice is urged against any thing which we deliver as truth, than the simple reply, 'Come and see!' Prejudice is the offspring of ignorance. Dispel, then, the ignorance, and the prejudice must either retire altogether, or wilfully maintain its ground in defiance of conviction―in consequence of a determined wish not to believe.

We may consider Nathaniel's question, 'Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?' as fairly enough representing any prejudice against the truth whatsoever, and we wish now to show, under one or two examples of prejudice, asking this question, in what manner we would put the reply 'Come and see'.

And the first case which we take is that of dissent from the Established Church. The prejudices of Nathaniel, indeed, lay in an opposite direction: though they did not immediately spring from it, they were yet connected with the fact of his being a Churchman. But as it is a notorious fact that the Church, in the present day, is much more in the attitude of a defensive than an offensive party, we shall, therefore, first take the case of ordinary dissent; not that we are to have any reference to mere political dissenters here, for the argument or reply of Philip would remain unattended to by such. Where opposition is plainly from factious motives, to which the pretext of liberty of conscience is only the screen, then Philip's answer to prejudice would fall on unheeding ears. But we take the case, (and we firmly believe that there are many such) of the dissenter who approaches to the character of Nathaniel, the man without guile, the man who right or wrong entertains, at least conscientiously, opinions differing from ours, and which unhappily tend to keep him in a state of schism and separation from Christ's only visible fold. We shall consider him to be a man of sound probity,, confirmed piety and the greatest religious earnestness and sincerity―a man possessed of spirituality of mind seasoned with the salt of Christian charity and liberality―such a man, in fact, as our blessed Lord described Nathaniel to be, when he said, 'Behold an Israelite indeed be said in whom is no guile'. Now if to these qualities he add a sufficient clear-headedness and soundness of judgment―to all his objectionsto the constitution, or ordinances, or discipline of our Apostolic Church, we take up Philip's reply, and say, 'Come and see'. We only want him to give the matter a fair and impartial investigation, in order that his prejudices may be dispelled like the mists before the light of day. The fact is that people―aye, not only dissenters, but those who call themselves Churchmen―too frequently know nothing at all about the Church, are unprepared to give the least reason why they are the one or the other. But the Church desires not that men should thus remain in ignorance; she seeks the light, she desires that her constitution should be studied, her claims to apostolicity of doctrine and discipline narrowly investigated, and every thing connected with her sifted to the bottom. What we want then is, for the candid dissenter to examine the Church's doctrines, and investigate the Church's history: he will there find opened out to him a multitude of facts in proof of her claim to apostolic authority, and in condemnation of himself as a separatist from her pale, of which he probably has not the remotest conception. We do not wish to throw him upon the authority of the fathers, any further than as their testimony is matter of history. We give not the weight of inspiration to their verdicts, but we claim for it the weight of a testimony to facts, and times, and places.

Our appeal is not to the opinions of men, but to the truths of history. To appeal to the opinions of mere uninspired individuals, however great or good they may be, is only a modified form of teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. We care not, therefore, what this man may have said or what that man may have said, except in as far as he speaks as a witness of the things held and enjoined by inspired men or their immediate successors in the apostolic times. Thus we attach to the traditions of the primitive fathers precisely the same species of authority as that which we give to a dictionary:  they cast a light upon what otherwise must have remained doubtful, so long as it remained mere matter of opinion, by testifying to what was actually held upon the subject by the Church as taught by the apostles; and to refuse to hearken to their guidance is to refuse to consult a dictionary when you want assistance in a language with which you are only partially acquainted. We call, then, upon the spiritually-minded and conscientious dissenter to give a candid examination to such questions as this ―Whether for fifteen hundred years after his ascension, Christ, who promised to be always with his Church, could have allowed her to remain in ignorance of her true nature and government? for thus long did she continue under diocesan episcopal authority, until men arose who, not contented with removing those errors of doctrine which had overlaid and incrusted the original edifice, sought to sweep away in addition the solid architectural framework of the original building, and to compound another of the wood, hay, and stubble, of their own imaginations. We would call on the well meaning dissenter further to decide―Whether there is or is not any meaning in our Saviour's solemn petition uttered so shortly before his passion, 'that they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee?' Whether, moreover, it was a probable thing that men, however great or however good, who lived within the compass of the last three centuries, should be better qualified to pronounce authoritatively on points of discipline or doctrine than those who occupied the earlier part of the first three, and who had their teaching from the immediate disciples of St. Paul, and St. Peter, and St. John? We would ask them also to examine whether baptism, as administered by Christ's command, is an idle ceremony; and whether they can be right in undervaluing the baptism of water, and laying their whole stress on the baptism of the Holy Ghost, after our Lord has so distinctly conjoined the two? We would ask them, moreover, to tell us what is the meaning of the word regeneration? These and a multitude of other questions of a similar kind are those which we recommend to the candid and prayerful examination of those who conscientiously differ from us; and with regard to those parts of our beautiful liturgy in which at present they imagine they see error and difficulties insuperable, we fearlessly challenge an examination of them also. With regard to all these things we say 'Come and see!' We do not invite them to take any thing either in Church government, or in discipline, or in doctrine, on our word, although we have divine authority; but what we say is 'Come and see!' Examine for yourself: pray for the guidance of God's Holy Spirit to enable you fairly to 'prove every thing', and then to 'hold fast that which is good'. We ask but a patient, attentive, and prayerful investigation, and then, as a general result (for exceptions there must always be) we have no fear, that ye will see your way clearly into Christ's visible fold. We have observed it to be almost invariably the case, that the more carefully men of unprejudiced minds and unclouded judgments looked into the Church's doctrine and constitutions, the sounder and the more devoted Churchmen did they become.

And in like manner again to apply the same principle to the case of those who doubt or dispute the truth of a revelation. We grant that their prejudices are not wholly destitute of some apparently plausible foundation. There are many things in the present constitution of human affairs which seem calculated to impress the mind with an idea that there is no such thing as an over ruling Providence to protect the good and to punish the workers of iniquity. It does appear strange, that the ungodly should be permitted to triumph―that the vile should be exalted, and the virtuous suffered to be oppressed―and the high minded and the gifted to pine frequently amidst all the heart-sickening weariness of hope long deferred. We grant there are, moreover, in the Sacred Volume, many things hard to be understood, that the ways of the Almighty, as far as presented to us, are often in the deep, and that clouds and thick darkness do beset the pathway of the Holy One. But still, to the candid inquirer into the mysteries of God's moral government, and the truth of his revelation, and the suitableness of the proposed scheme of redemption, we fearlessly summon him to carry his researches into the matter to the utmost boundaries of his powers of investigation. As regards this matter also, we fearlessly say 'Come and see!' We say not so, indeed, to those who carry with them to the enquiry that determined wish to disbelieve, which is, upon all who indulge in it, the assured sign of perdition:  such we must leave in sorrow to the time when the solemn light of the last morning shall flash conviction upon them too late; but to the candid seeker after truth we say 'Come and see!' Come in a humble spirit―come in a prayerful spirit to the enquiry, and your doubts and difficulties shall all vanish and be known no more. Look to the evidences of divine government as already exercised towards beings declared to be as yet only in a state of probation―look at it with a view to the fuller development of those principles under more enlarged prospective conditions of being: look at the evidences of our holy religion; see whether the prophecies so numerous, so minute, so incapable of being accomplished by aught of confederacy or collusion, are not sufficient, and determine that their author is divine.

The only requirement we make is, that with a candid mind ye do 'Come and see!' and we feel assured and are confident that doubt and dissatisfaction must end in your being made wise unto salvation; that thus by coming forward with candour and determination to the enquiry, they shall make the first step of departure of the bondage of corruptions, and of an entrance upon the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Now we have been led to write in these instances, which we have noted of prejudice and its remedy, at so great length, that we are constrained of necessity to overlook some other notable cases which we had intended to set before you, to which the same species of argument advanced in like manner apply.

But though compelled, for want of space, to pass over these the present, there is one case which we can by no means presume to overlook, and that is, the simple yet direct manner in which our argument will apply, in inviting sinners to a Saviour.

'Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?' is still the question which is evermore put by men practically, whenever we hold up Christ to them as the alone way of deliverance from the wrath to come. It is just prejudice that keeps men from closing with Christ, and embracing him as the alone way of deliverance from the wrath to come. They prejudicate the matter. They will not believe that he is such a Saviour as we represent him, and therefore they will not come unto him that they may have life. They may make a profession of coming to him, but they refuse to come in his appointed way. In some, this prejudice is the result of the pride of the natural man―in others of a moral blindness and hardness of heart which leads to contempt of God's word and commandment―in all, of a practical unbelief which prevents them from seeing any beauty in the Saviour that they should desire him. But here we say―We invite they say you to make trial of his love. We tell you that he is not only able, but willing, moreover, to save unto the uttermost all that come unto God by him. We tell you that he is even now waiting to receive you; that he is stretching out the arms of his mercy to embrace you; that he is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance: and if ye still entertain any doubt we say unto you 'Come and see!' Give the Lord Jesus Christ a trial. See whether he is not the great High Priest we represent him: whether he is not the compassionate Saviour which we announce him to be: whether he is not as willing as he is able to redeem you from all your iniquities, by applying to you the virtue of his peace-speaking blood: whether he is not the very Saviour you need: whether he is not exactly adapted to your case, however deep your necessity, however urgent your need. And we know what will be the assured and certain result ―that ye have only to venture your all upon his everlasting care, and ye shall find, in your own happy experience, the fulfilment of his own gracious words―'Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out'. Learn from the case of Nathaniel, that a real sight of Christ can overcome every difficulty, dispel every doubt, allay every fear. And if ye come to learn thus, as Nathaniel did, earnestly desiring the teaching of his Spirit, then may we give you the same assurance which he gave to the guileless Israelite: 'Ye shall see greater things than these'.

'Hereafter', says Christ, not merely to Nathaniel, but to all―'hereafter ye shall see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.' The allusion is evidently to the scene of the patriarch Jacob's vision at Bethel; but we believe that there is, moreover, contained in it an intimation concerning good things to come, which has not yet received its final accomplisliment and completion. We cannot presume to speak clearly or decidedly on that which yet remains curtained beneath the veil of future years―which stands as an unread page in the history of this creation; but this we do know, that we read of 'a gathering together in one of all things in Christ'―of a reunion of the orders of angelic beings with the earthly under the Great Mediator as their common head. We know, moreover, that the glory of the latter day, when righteousness shall flow like a river, is a theme on which the prophets have ransacked the might of imagery to exhibit the coming splendour; and therefore are we prepared to judge largely of the great things and the bright, which may yet await this sin-darkened creation in the-looked for day of her millenian glory. There are various descriptions afforded us of that period from which we should incline to infer, that such, even on earth may be the triumphs of holiness over sin―that through all her plains and amidst all her vallies and over all her mountains shall be shed the bloom of Eden once more―that the interrupted communication of heaven being openly restored, and Christ being gloriously manifested in some mysterious manner to his Church, the visible forms of the cherubim and seraphim may once more be seen to hold converse with earth's renovated millions, and the angels of God be seen literally ascending and descending upon the Son of Man. But whilst we leave much of this as mere possible possible conjecture concerning the period of glory which has yet to burst upon the world, when the enemy is subdued under the footstool of the Son, still do we know that to all who love Christ in sincerity, though it be indeed a great thing that they learn to know him now, and in his strength to fight the good fight of faith below, yet that a day is rapidly hastening when greater things shall burst upon the view―when the once despised Nazarene shall be seen sitting at the right hand of power and coming in the clouds of heaven.

The words 'Come and see', shall then for the last time be uttered to all. But the invitation will then be no more an invitation of mercy, but a summons to judgment. Before the marshalled array of the advent and the pomp of our descending Lord, shall earth's nations awake and listen to the call. Those who have now accepted the invitation shall lift up their heads with joy―shall be calm amidst the expiring throes of Nature and the fleeing away of a scared and trembling universe, and whilst they who would none of his ways shall be awfully dismissed to their doom, the smile of the Judge shall be upon the children of his love, and the pathway of their triumph shall be from judgment to glory.

He was active in the Naval and Military Bible Society (founded 1780) and also a member of the Camden Society (precursor of the Royal Historical Society). By 1844 he was in Glossop, and was prosecuted for an assault on Martha Thornley, aged 11. Perhaps because of that, in 1846 he visited Sydenham (now Owen Sound) in Canada, and returned the following year to establish a church there. His abilities were recognised, and he was moved to Guelph in 1848, though he died in 1850 in Toronto aged 38, leaving land for a permanent church at Sydenham; St George's was built in 1881.

In 1849 Rose published The Emigrant Churchman, by a Pioneer of the Wilderness (2 volumes, ed. Henry Christmas: Bentley 1849), in which he voiced his fears that Roman Catholics would be among the Irish immigrants, and that English institutions would be undermined by Methodist preachers and Yankee settlers, so he called on 'gentlemen emigrants' to help him 'fight the good fight'. He gave this advice to settlers: All pretty-looking tents, camp beds, sets of fishing tackle, and articles of hardware of fanciful invention are just so many traps to catch your stray sovereigns, which you will find far ampler use for when you come out. Farmers should bring along a Cleveland Bay stallion and brood mares or a good Durham bull and cows, but unless they are of the best breeds they might better be left at home, for there was an abundance of mixed blood in the country already. [right: Woodbine Cottage, near Kingston, Sydenham]. These books provide valuable information about early settler conditions.

Charles Adam John Smith (1843-47)

Smith was born 1812; also a student of St John's College Cambridge, he had been curate of Pennycross chapel in the parish of St Andrew Plymouth. Like Rose, he published many sermons, including the following one from his time here (it's not clear whether it was preached at the Floating Church or elsewhere, but if it was preached to seafarers they would have struggled to make any sense of it!). He was involved with the Naval and Military Bible Society. His first wife Lydia died in 1847 (they were living at Mile End), and later that year he became vicar of Macclesfield (he was Mayor's Chaplain in 1850), where he remained until his death in 1878. After the death of his seonc wife Emily he was involved in legal action over a family will of which their daughter Julia was a beneficiary (Grieve v. Grieve 1867).

A sermon for Advent (30 November 1844)
Matt. xxi. 4, 5. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.

The church selects the narrative of our Lord's riding into Jerusalem as the gospel for this Sunday. She sufficiently indicates, by the selection, her own view of that transaction. She regards it in the light of a symbolical representation of our Saviour's advent, and directs our attention to it in that character. Let us meditate, then, upon it in this view, and consider, in humble dependence on God's blessing—

I. The triumphant nature of Christ's advent.
II. The peculiar feature which distinguished it.
III. Its effects.

I. The triumphant nature of Christ's advent.

It was this which was represented by the royal progress which the Redeemer is recorded in this narrative as making towards Jerusalem. Rejoice, says Zechariah, greatly, О daughter of Zion: shout, О daughter of Jerusalem; for, behold, thy King cometh unto thee. He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding on an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. It was, then, the advent of the Saviour which it was the object of this narrative to represent. It accordingly directs our attention to the light in which his humiliation is to be considered. It tells us that, from the womb to the cross, and from the cross to his ascension up to glory — it tells us that, in all the circumstances of his helpless infancy, of his youth's obscurity, of a ministry in the exercise of which he had not where to lay his head, and which he prosecuted amidst taunts and contumely, and terminated amidst the agony and ignominy of a death of crucifixion — it tells us that, in all, he was alike the King of glory, making his triumphal progress towards the throne which was his own, towards those everlasting doors which were ready to fly open at his coming, and admit him to the palace of a glогу not less excellent and infinite than that of the light in which God dwells, and which no man can approach unto.

All the circumstances of his humiliation in our nature were nothing but so many steps by which he was continually ascending into the hill of the Lord, continually rising up into his holy place. Yet, said Jehovah, have I set my King on my holy hill of Zion. And do the heathen rage accordingly, and do the people imagine a vain thing; Do the kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed? They are but lending themselves as an instrumentality for carrying forward a design which they think to counterwork: they are but illustrating and ministering to a glory which they think that they have clouded with a stain which is indelible: they are but swelling the triumph which they think they have converted into the most signal and ignominious of defeats: they are but making a platform for the Conqueror's progress the more elevated and imposing by all the obstacles which they seem to have succeeded in crowding up to heaven in the way of his advance. Ride on, is the word which is still coming from above to him; and every circumstance of humiliation and of suffering does but bring him nearer and nearer to the temple of a glory which is infinite — does but go to swell the train of his disciples — does but gather round him an increasing and increasing multitude of wondering, loving, and confiding followers — does but cause our world to echo to a louder hosanna, and to wave with the palms of spiritual triumph, diffused over a wider circuit, and continually rising in a thicker grove.

That Infant of Days, that poor working Carpenter, that Son of Joseph and of Mary, whose brethren and sisters were known, and all about them; that crucified Being, hanging (under the solemn and judicial sentence of the holy Sanhedrin) in the agonies of crucifixion between two thieves, crucified along with him, on either side one
it is the King of Glory that we witness in each instance — the King of Glory making his triumphal progress through the territory of our bondaged nature, and, in traversing, emancipating, and subduing it — the King of Glory realizing in continually increasing fulness the likeness of the Son of man, preparatory to his coming in that likeness in the clouds of heaven, and coming to the Ancient of Days, and being brought before him, and having given to him dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, instead of being the servants of sin and Satan, should serve him; his dominion, moreover, an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom one that shall not pass away. The Redeemer, brethren, did not bury in our suffering clay the glory of his deity. Hе did just the contrary: he stamped on its meanest condition a dignity that was divine; and, along the path of its acutest suffering, diffused behind him, at each step of his advance, a blessing that was infinite. To the Son of God the carpenter's shop was the Bethel of a communion, and the chamber of a presence the like of which was unknown among the angels; and to him the vегу cross itself (I mean in the moment in which, exclaiming, It is finished, he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost) may be believed to have been the field of an enjoyment which was new and strange and satisfying as no previous pleasure even to himself.

The more that his humiliation deepened, and the more that his sufferings grew exquisite, the brighter about his pathway was the blazonry of deity — the louder the voice that heralded to the nations the coming of their Saviour, and exclaimed to the church of the true Israelites, Behold your King!  For it was proportionately our griefs that he was bearing, and our sorrows; and when, accordingly, after descending from the opposite elevation of a divine glory into the very depths of the valley of our miseries, he was seen climbing again, in his resurrection and ascension, the acclivity of Zion's mount, it was then our feet that stood within thy gates, О Jerusalem! it was our sins which he had buried in the grave from which he was emerging, and the throne of a people forgiven their iniquity which he was thenceforward to assume. Such is the first advent of the Saviour, according to the idea of it suggested by the narrative which makes the gospel of this day. We turn,

II. To direct attention to the peculiar feature of this advent as noticed in that narrative.

It was, we are told by the evangelist, on an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass, that Jesus made that royal progress towards Jerusalem which he designed to be expressive of the character and circumstances of his advent. It was not for want of the means of entering Jerusalem in greater state that he entered it riding on an animal so humble; for even that poor animal was not his own, nor was it the property of any who were friendly to him. And thus the same almighty influence which alone disposed some rude and wondering villagers to part, without a murmur, on the application of a couple of poor strangers, with this little property, could of course as easily have collected around our divine Lord, for the occasion, the wealth, whether of Judea or the universe, could as easily have sent him forward in his progress with the pomp of monarchs and the insignia of command. And why, then, the humble and unimposing animal selected for this service? There was, brethren, a design in the selection. All this was done, says the evangelist, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.

It was the triumph of meekness which the Saviour celebrated in the circumstances of this advent. He came to visit us in great humility. It was not his glory to come to Zion upon this occasion on the milk-white war-horse of the many-diademed prince of the kings of the whole earth, but on the lowly ass of the meek teacher. Pride —  the pride of the first man — had been our ruin: meekness — the meekness of the second man — was to be the salvation and recovery of the ruined. A creature of the dust, the first Adam, was not to be bribed even to obedience by the pleasures of a paradise: the Lord from heaven, the second Adam, is content to do the will of his Eternal Father at the loss of his own heaven, and to the sacrifice, at once, of all that makes the happiness of creatureship. him, to do the will of God is meat and drink; as not even the participation of his sovereignty, as not even the enjoyment of his love and presence and communion with him, is. In compliance with it, he does not part with his coequal glory, and appear among us in the likeness of flesh merely, but of sinful flesh. He has not prepared for him a body merely, but a mortal body. He does not descend merely to the degradation of universal empire, and an earthly monarchy; but to the state of one whose cradle is a manger, whose condition a mechanic's, and his end a cross.

And thus was his progress through our state of being a triumphant one? It was the triumph of meekness which he celebrated in that progress. It was meekness which brought him down into our valley, and meekness which carried him up into our Zion. He rode on, because of the word of truth, and meekness, and righteousness. He exhibited an example of depending upon God, divinely glorious in its manifestation, and eternally momentous in its consequences and results. He celebrated a triumph; but that triumph was the triumph of indomitable meekness. It was meekness his dying for our sins: it was the reward of meekness his rising again for our justification; and the world, which was destroyed by the pride of the first man, had a Saviour given to it through the meekness of the second.

We notice —

III. The effects which attended our Lord's advent. They are studiously comprehended in the circumstances of the narrative; for

1. Jesus, we are told, went into the temple, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple; an act typifying the fulfilment of that prophecy of Zechariah (xiv. 21): There shall be no more the Canaanite (which is by interpretation the 'trader' — those who buy and sell) in the house of the Lord. And here is, accordingly, brethren, the immediate effect of our Lord's advent.

All the approaches which we naturally make to God, or think to make to him, are made on a footing of traffic and self-interest. We have not any heart for God; but we know of his existence, and we are willing to cheapen his favour, to pay a kind of black-mail for exemption from the effects of his displeasure and hostility. It was to this principle of our fallen nature that the legal dispensation was adjusted. It admitted the Canaanite into the house of the Lord. Not, indeed, that God was to be served, in fact, by those whose service was a calculating and a carnal one; but that he was pleased to meet them in a way of bargain, in order that, by the terms that he proposed to them, he might teach them to despair of being saved by their own works; in order that, from the blood of bulls and goats, which could never take away sin, their thoughts might be carried forward towards that Lamb of God who was indeed to take away the sin of the world. In the meanwhile the Canaanite was in the house of the Lord. Those that bought and sold had access to his temple, and seemed to have a shelter for the selfish traffic which their fallen nature prompted them to carry on under the cover of its roofs. But this abuse was one that had not a shadow of countenance afforded to it from the period of Christ's advent. Christ's advent was the casting out the bondwoman and her son. It was the setting the stamp of an authoritative condemnation on all carnal service. It was the separating the precious from the vile. It was the rescuing from the desecrations of an abused law the service of the sanctuary. The buyers and sellers were cast out of the temple as the effect of our Lord's advent. It disentangled principles that were previously intermingled and confused. It made the doctrine of faith no longer matter, as it were, of remote inference, but of immediate intuition. It wrote it with a sunbeam, though in characters of blood, on the cross of the Lord Jesus. It denounced all traffic in God's temple. It put an authoritative and indignant ban upon the entrance there of any except those of whom it could be said, Behold, he prayeth. It pronounced, as in a voice of thunder, that, except a man is born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. It drove as thieves and robbers out of the family of God all those who had climbed up into the fold of it by works, and to serve sinister and carnal objects of their own, instead of coming in at the door of faith in a divine Redeemer, and, accordingly, in the marriage-garment of his loving and meek Spirit. And, accordingly, notice —

2. Another effect of our Lord's advent. For the blind and lame, we read, came to him in the temple; and he healed them. We are all, indeed, naturally Canaanites in the house of the Lord; but some of us become Rahabs in his family. We become persons who feel our Canaanitish extraction and relations as our misery. Our carnality is felt by us as we should feel a natural misfortune, such as blindness or lameness, falling on our persons; we are intent on the removal of it; we are alarmed about the consequences which it threatens; we regard it as the one thing standing between us and the enjoyment of existence; we want the pardon, we want the cure of it more than we want anything.

Observe, then, that the effect of our Lord's advent is to give us what we want. We have encouragement to go to him in his temple; and he will heal us as the consequence. The blind and lame, we are told, came to him in the temple; and he healed them. And, brethren, if the felt misery of a physical evil was a plea for his compassion, can that compassion fail to be drawn forth towards those who groan under a feeling of their sinfulness? It was for sinners, remember, that he came — sinners that he lived and died and rose again to save. And what sinners, if not those who feel painfully the condemnation lying on their nature and their practice; sinners who, instead of going up to traffic in the temple of the Lord, go to Jesus in that temple, go in faith to him and go in penitence, go to be accepted in their persons through the efficacy of his sacrifice, to be sanctified in their souls by the almighty power of his Spirit?

Are these, brethren, the objects that have brought you into the temple of a Christian profession, or are you the Canaanite in the house of the Lord? Is yours a religion which is intended to compound for the sin which it does not prompt you to forsake? a religion by which you turn the house of prayer into a mart of traffic, by which you seek to make the service of the sanctuary itself subservient to your cupidity and selfishness? How aggravated, were this the case, would be the condemnation in which you would be perishing! How delightful, on the contrary, if knowing that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked, to think that the blind and lame have only to go to Jesus, in his temple, and he heals them! to think that you may buy of him gold tried in the fire that thou mayest he rich, and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear, and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve that thou mayest see! to think that he casts out none that come to him, and that he is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God through him, seeing that he ever liveth to make intercession for them!

And do you trust that he has forgiven all your iniquities, that he has healed all your diseases? Allow me to direct your attention, in conclusion, to a circumstance in the narrative which has not hitherto been noticed. The disciples, we are told, in celebration of Christ's triumph, strewed their garments in the way. They carpeted the platform of his progress, as they could, by lining the road with their own garments. And you, if you are his disciples, brethren, will do likewise. You will devote to him — to the design of glorifying Jesus — whatever you possess. He has clothed you with the righteousness in which you are accepted; and you will cast the crown of it, in honour of him, at his feet. He has given you all things richly to enjoy: your primary enjoyment of them will be using them for him, for his service and his glory. It is little, you may think, that you have the opportunity of doing for him. You will do, however, what you can. You will strew your garments in the way; you will deny yourselves; and you will exult in doing so, to do him service.

What a contrast, brethren, this, to the Canaanitish spirit which is natural to us! Can we doubt our union with our Saviour, if the language of our heart and of our life to him, in the midst of all our many corruptions and infirmities, still is, Lord, thou knowest all things: thou knowest that I love thee? Could we think, on the contrary, that we were Christ's disciples, were all forced, compromising, Canaanitish, in the service that we rendered him?

In the (perhaps unlikely) event that this has whetted your appetite for more, here are some of his other published sermons and writings:

1837: Baptismal Blessing & Obligation (preached while he was a curate in Plymouth)
1838: Discourse on Missions [on Matt. xiii. 38], delivered before the Evangelical Lutheran Ministerium of the State of New York
1850: The Ground of National Consolation and Hope: a sermon on Psalm xxxiii. 12
1852: The Lord gave: and the Lord hath taken away: a sermon preached in the old Church, Macclesfield, on Thursday, Nov. 18, 1852, before the Worshipful the Mayor and Corporation of that borough on occasion of the interment of His Grace the Duke of Wellington
1852: Discourse delivered on the occasion of the Birth of Washington before the National Guards of Easton, Pa 
1852: Christianity the source of Freedom, a sermon on John viii. 36 
1856: Ministerial duty: a sermon preached at the triennial visitation of the Lord Bishop of Chester, Sept. 25, 1856, in the Old Church, Macclesfield
1859: Thoughts on the intercession of Christ (Part I) - Christ's intercession not an 'offering for sin'.
1860: The atonement, considered in reference to Catholic antiquity and existing controversy (Rivingtons)
1862: Anselm scriptural and catholic: a letter (Rivingtons)
1864: Propitiatory Sacrifice and the Sacrifice of Christ: According to Scripture and Catholic Antiquity [reprinted by Kessinger Publishing, LLC] 
1864: National religion: a sermon preached in the Old Church, Macclesfield on Sunday, November 13, 1864

Charles Popham Miles (1837-39 - also curate of St Ann Limehouse)

Born in 1810, he attended Morpeth grammar school and served as a midshipman with the East India Company. He came here after graduating from Caius College Cambridge. He was then briefly 'joint curate' of St Luke Chelsea, and from 1841 of Bishopwearmouth, publishing in 1840/41 two sets of Lectures Expository and Practical on the Book of Daniel, with copious notes (volume 1, with six chapters, is here). The Christian Lady's Magazine said

The time is nearly arrived for the unsealing of Daniel's book! We write it with solemn joy and trembling, but glad expectation of what is even now coming upon the earth. The study of unfulfilled prophecy has of late years forced itself on the minds of God's people in a very remarkable way; and although Satan has often transformed himself into an angel of light, using arguments seemingly of great spiritual import to dissuade them from what he would fain represent as uncertain, unprofitable speculation, and a vain intrusion into things not seen, our Lord has enforced his own command to 'Watch'. and has led his servants more and more to regard the signs of the times with a view to his speedy coming.
These Lectures may be considered as an introduction to what are to follow, and which will, of course, contain more original matter than their precursors, interesting as they are, can be expected to do, being chiefly historical. We trust the author will be directed and assisted from above, in the farther prosecution of his very important and well-timed undertaking. Many false interpretations are abroad, tending to obscure the prophecies that they profess to elucidate; but from our knowledge of Mr Miles we are well assured that he brings to the task a mind deeply imbued with the spirit that animated his revered kinswoman, Hannah More; of which indeed we have sufficient proof in the volume now before us. The notes contain much information ...

...and they found volume 2 (the extended seventh chapter), greatly exceeded the first in interest and power. Having published his farewell sermon at Bishopwearmouth, he became incumbent of St Jude Glasgow, succeeding Robert Montgomery, from 1843-58 (qualifying in medicine while he was there), and like the other clergy mentioned above was drawn into acrimonious controversy with his bishop (Russell of Glasgow) over the Scottish liturgy and his authority over English clerics - more details here, including details of the House of Lords debate. In 1844 he was formally excommunicated (in the same language as Bishop Skinner of Aberdeen had used in relation to Sir William Dunbar):

Whereas, the Rev. Charles Popham Miles, B.A., late incumbent of St Jude's, Glasgow did, on the 16th of June, in the current year, officiate in a place of worship, the minister of which had thrown off his allegiance to the Scottish Episcopal Church; and, whereas, he refused either to express regret for having committed such an irregularity, or to give assurance that he would abstain from similar acts in future; and, whereas, forgetting his ordination vows and his solemn promise of canonical obedience, the said Rev. Charles Popham Miles, in a letter addressed to us, on the 5th day of last October, declared that he had entirely withdrawn himself from the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the diocese of Glasgow; and farther, whereas he declined to attend a meeting of the Diocesan Synod especially held on the 16th day of the month just specified, to hear and decide upon the several charges brought against him: Therefore we, Michael Russell, Doctor of Laws, Bishop of Glasgow, sitting in Synod, this 18th day of December, 1844, and acting under the provision of Canon XLI, do hereby reject the said Reverend Charles Popham Miles, and publicly declare that he is no longer a Clergyman of the Episcopal Church in Scotland.
In connexion with the facts now stated, and in consequence of the sentence just pronounced, we feel it to be our duty, however painful, to warn the members of our Church, as well as the Episcopalians elsewhere, to avoid professional communion with the said Rev. Charles Popham Miles, in public prayers and in sacraments, or in any way to give countenance to him in his present irregular course, lest they be partakers with him in his schism, and thereby expose themselves to the threatening denounced against those who cause divisions in the Church; from which danger we most heartily pray that God. of his great mercy. will keep all the faithful people committed to our charge. through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Extracted from the Minutes of the Diocesan Synod of Glasgow, this 26th day of December, 1844. Wm. S. Wilson, M.A., Synod Clerk.

During his time in Glasgow he and his wife befriended Frank Lewis Mackenzie, the sickly son of a 'Drummondite' friend, before he went up to Cambridge, and on his death in 1857 Miles edited a pious memoir, Early Death not Premature.  Among his publications from this period were The Voice of the Glorious Reformation ('an Apology for evangelical doctrines in the Anglican Church') in 1843; the entry on 'The Church of England' in an 1853 Cyclopædia of Religious Denominations; The Communion Office of the Scottish Episcopal Church Compared with the Liturgy of the United Church of England and Ireland, Etc. in 1857; and, as an early Fellow of the Linnean Society (FLS), he contributed to a report for the British Association for the Advancement of Science 'On the Marine Zoology of the Clyde', for which in 1856 he organised dredging expeditions, described here!

In 1859 he became Principal of Malta Protestant College (MPC) in St Julian's Bay [right]. Initatives by a former Governor of Malta and Lord Shaftesbury twenty years earlier led eventually to its establishment in 1846 to bring religious and social regeneration to the region by training young Orientals as missionaries; but tensions between this work and the 'English college' ethos (with some European feepayers) persisted throughout its 20-year history. Miles introduced written rather than oral examinations, and defended the college against its former Treasurer's charge of capitulating to secular values with 'plausible flashy intellectualism'; Miles stressed that the freedom of worship for non-Protestant students did not prevent the college from fulfilling the purpose of its foundation. His assurances were accepted, but the college closed some time between 1865 and 1867. Its story is well-chronicled here.

Miles returned to England as vicar of St Peter Monkswearmouth until 1883, restoring the Saxon church, when he retired, having become an honorary canon of Durham in 1882. In 1890 he edited and published his father's 1789-1817 Correspondence on the French Revolution. He died the following year on a visit to Great Chesterford in Essex, and was buried there.

Charles Besley Gribble (first minister of St Paul Dock Street and chaplain to the institutions 1847-58)

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