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gion, and the nation's happiness their civil law. From this line they never departed, no not all the time the race of Stuart intrigued, plundered and slew. This school was one of their latest efforts, and for this they were struggling when the last spark of that direful house went out.
Let it not shock you that they were persecuted. Men, who distinguish between a constitution and the guardians and administrators of it, who ad here to the first, which never varies, and are subject to the last, who often change, such men, being inconvertible, are sometimes in fashion and at other times antique. When the constitution flourishes they are in reputation, when that decays they sink along with it into honourable neglect or disgrace, and this is the case of all, even NOBLE FAMILIES, who are firm to the constitution.
When this school was founded, attempts were making to deprive the dissenters of the natural right of educating their own children. It was their glory not to submit to such a despicable slavery. It was matter of conscience, they therefore digested their plan, and determined to pursue it as usual through evil report, when lo! the good providence of God prevented their fears, dissipated the darkness of the times, and by the accession of the present royal family (whom God preserve !) enabled this school to make their first public appearance in Pinners's Hall on the joyful day of the coronation of his majesty King George the first. So Crosby, in his History of the Baptists tells us.
I think, it would be an affront to attempt to persuade this congregation to preserve this noble monument of the piety of their ancestors from falling into ruins. This city, all the world knows, is the seat of benevolence. Hither the distressed from all parts repair, and here they find liberal relief. This is the throne of commerce, a mine of inexhausted wealth, the seat of politeness and humanity, and in religious matters, I speak it to your praise, you act on enlarged principles, such as become Britons and Christians.
First, you consider, I know what this school cost your ancestors. It is a valuable portion of domestic liberty, which they took at the peril of their lives out of the hand of the Amorite with their sword and with their bow.
Next, you recollect, too, how comparatively easy it is to you to support it. You are freed from expensive fines, imprisonments, and persecutions, by which the property of the old nonconformists was wasted. Your trades have flourished some of you have acquired fortunes. and others are in the way of doing so. You have mercies without end, and, if all be not exactly as you wish, yet you are constitutionally right, and a sound constitution, give it time, will struggle and purify itself.
Lastly, you often contemplate a future state and besides all the pleasures you enjoy in doing good on earth, you see at no great distance, that happy world to which you go, and in which Christ the judge will applaud your liberality. .
With the highest satisfaction, christians, permit me to say, with the highest pleasure do my eyes survey this assembly. I rejoice in your health, prosperity and prospects. Long may you, and your families live happy in possession of every thing that constitutes human felicity! May God hear our prayers for you !........ But after all, after you have gone through all the business of life, and tasted all the pleasures of living, the day will come and you must die......Great God! Methinks it is come...... Now what can constitute your happiness ? Conceive, if you can, a happiness more refined than that mentioned in this chapter. Dead to this world, the disciple of Christ, in his dying agonies, looks into that, to which he approaches -sees the Son of man sitting on the throne of his glory-beholds all nations gathered before himbelieves himself set on the right hand of the judge discovers these poor children, freed by his generosity from ignorance, vice, and misery, in the happy society-hears these transporting words from the mouth of the judge, Come thou blessed of my Father inherit the kingdom. • I was naked and you clothed me--Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me. Thus may each of you ascend to God to render him glory and honour for ever and ever! Amen.
A BRIEF ACCOUNT
At HORSLY-DOWN, SOUTHWARK.
It was a part of the cruel] policy of pagan despots, in times of the most remote antiquity, either to murder the children of their slaves, or to take them out of the hands of their parents, and to educate them so as to fit them for a tame submission to unexamined authority. The apostate church of Rome incorporated the latter part of this policy with a profession of christianity, and thence our ancestors in this country derived it. The reformation which brought to light the doctrines of primitive christianity, lifted along with them the natural rights of mankind into public view: but the right of openly teaching their own children how to worslip God, seized from the papists with a laudable avidity by one party of the reformed, was refused to another party after the first had got themselves established by the secular powers. · Many a long year did the old nonconformists lie under this iniquitous oppression : but not without several humble remonstrances against the tyranny, and some violent struggles for their freedom. Even to this day the letter of the law “ prohibits upon pain of fine and imprisonment, all persons from teaching school unless they be licensed by the or
dinary, and subscribe a declaration of conformity to the liturgy of the church, and reverently frequent divine service established by the laws of this kingdom.” Dissenters, however, do teach school, because our governors have declared for the spirit of the act of toleration against the letter of the act of uniformity.
The first projectors of this school in the latter end of the reign of Queen Anne, were the Reverend Messieurs Maudit, Stinton, Parkes, Killinghall, Wallin and Sladen, whose praises are in all our churches. These gentlemen, all protestant dissenters, were of different sentiments in regard to baptism, three of them held infant baptism, and the other three the opposite. This union produced the generous liberal plan of the present school, in which no narrow bigotted notions operate: hut instruction is open to all. If other parties cannot find how two can walk together except they be agreed in every article of faith and worship, we bless God, protestant dissenters can.
Having digested their plan, they laid it before their friends, and the promise of a subscription of more than a hundred a year was soon obtained.
The subscribers then met, and chose six gentlemen managers, Messieurs Atkins, Hall, Leader, Sweet, Dell, and Valley, most of whose descendants are with us to this day. Mr. Hall was appointed treasurer, and a Mr. Robert Morgan master of the school. A house in Unicorn-yard was provided for a school for the boys, and for a dwelling for the master, a catechism was printed for the