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FETTER-LANE.-Moravian.

their errors, but without effect, and they soon became estranged from him. At length, matters came to a crisis, and a division was unavoidable. They charged Mr. Wesley and his brother with laying too much stress upon ordinances, and to put the matter out of dispute, one of the members publicly declared, “ That he had used the ordinances twenty years, yet found not Christ ; but left them off only for a few weeks, and then found him ;” adding, “ he was now as close united to him as his arm was to his body.” The last time Mr. Wesley met the society, he publicly denounced their errors to be flatly contrary to the word of God. “I have warned you hereof (says he) again and again, and brought you to turn back to the law and to the testimony. I have bome with you long, hoping you would turn. But as I find you more and more confirmed in the error of your ways, nothing now remains, but that I should give you up to God. You that are of the same judgment follow me.” Mr. Wesley then withdrew, as did eighteen or nineteen of the society, on Lord's-day, July 20, 1740. In the room of this place, Mr. Wesley engaged the Foundery, in Upper Moorfields. *

After the withdrawment of Mr. Wesley, the Moravians retained quiet possession of the meeting-house in Fetter-lane, and received large additions to their numbers. In the year 1742, they received a considerable accession in the person of Mr. John Gambold, a pious Divine of the Church of England, who had been educated at Oxford, and presented by Bishop Secker, to the vicarage of Stanton-Harcourt, in that county. But being convinced, through the preaching of Boehler, he was induced to quit this preferment to join the Moravians. After this, he was for many years minister of the society in Fetter-lane, and in 1754, was consecrated a Bishop of the United Brethren. In the year 1768, he retired to his native country, Haverfordwest, in Pembroke

• Mr. Wesley's Journals.

FETTER-LANE.-Moravian.

shire, where he died universally respected, in the year 1771, He published a variety of works, most of which were intended to illustrate the principles of the people with whom he was connected.* Mr. Gambold was succeeded by Mr. Benjamin La Trobe, a respectable minister, who was also a bishop in the same communion. He died a few years ago, and was succeeded by his son, who is the present minister.

The Moravians are a set of Christians who originally inhabited Bohemia, and for a long course of years, resisted the usurpation of the church of Rome. In an address to the Church of England, in the time of Charles II. they notice their freedom for almost seven hundred years from the encroachments of the Romish see'; and speak of Huss and Jerom of Prague, as their famous martyrs, by whose blood the church of Bohemia had been watered and enriched. Being exposed to persecution in their own country, they obtained permission to withdraw to a part of the King's domaio, on the boundary between Silesia and Moravia, where they formed themselves into church fellowship in the year 1457. The name by which they designated themselves was Unitas Fratrum, the Unity of the Brethren; or, Fratres Unitatis, the United Brethren. At the same time, they bound themselves to a strict church discipline, resolving to suffer all things for conscience sake ; and instead of defending themselves, as formerly, by force of arms, to oppose nothing but prayer and reasonable remonstrances to the rage of their enemies. From this period to the reformation they were severely persecuted, but still preserved their unity. A connexion was also formed between them and the Waldenses, who had for many centuries borne witness to the truth. They had several conferences with Luther, Calvin, and other reformers, and some attempts were made for an union, They approved of the Augsburg confession, but not agreeing

• General Biog. Art. GAMBOLD.

FETTER-LANE_Noravian.

in discipline, they still continued a distinct body. After various persecutions, distresses, and discouragements, during the seventeenth century, they became in a manner extinct. But about the year 1720, a remarkable awakening took place among the posterity of the Brethren in Bohemia ; and as no free toleration could be obtained for them in that country, they agreed to emigrate. Upon application for that purpose, Nicholas Lewis, Count of Zinzendorf, granted them permission to settle on his estates in Upper Lusatia ; and removing thither in 1722, they formed the settlement of Herrnhut. During the first few years they were nearly broken up by dissension, occasioned by some persons of the reformed religion who settled amongst them. But by the exertions of Count Zinzendorf the unity was renened, and in 1727, rules agreed to, by which divisions might in future be avoided. Count Zinzendorf, who from the first was friendly, now became united to them, and in '1735, was chosen to be their bishop.

With respect to their doctrinal sentiments, they in general agree with the Augsburg confession ; and in their preachiug they insist most frequently on the love of Christ, as manifested in human redemption. In their writings they have expressed themselves upon some subjects in a very unguarded manner, so as to be an offence to delicacy; and their earlier disciples in this country mixed with their piety, a large portion of enthusiasm. But this has subsided with time; and it is certain that many of the reports propagated concerning them are destitute of foundation. At present, they are a very meck, inoffensive body of Christians, and the legislature has thought fit to exempt them from some inconveniences to which ather. bodies of Dissenters are liable. The church of the United Brethren is episcopal, but they allow to their bishops no elevation of rank, nor pre-eminent authority; their church having from its first commencement been governed by synods, consisting of deputies from all the congregations, and by other subordinate bodies, which they call

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conferences. The synods, which are generally held once in seven years, are called together by the elders who in the former synod were appointed to superintend the whole unity. The members consist of the bishop, lay-elders, and ministers who have the general care, or inspection, of several congregations in one province; together with deputies sent by each congregation, and such ministers, or missionaries, as are particularly called to attend. At their first sitting they choose a president, and the votes of all the members are equal. In questions of importance, of which the consequences cannot be foreseen, majorities are disregarded, and recourse is had to lot, which they esteem a scriptural method. Besides this general synod, there is another conference of elders belonging to each congregation, which directs its affairs, and to which the bishops, and all other ministers, as well as the lay-members of the congregation, are subject. Their frame of ecclesiastical government consists of bishops, whose peculiar province it is to ordain ; presbyters, who in other respects are equal to the bishops, and preside over congregations ; deacons, who assist the presbyters ; deaconesses, who are retained for the purposes of administering privately to their own sex; and lay-elders, who watch over their constitution and discipline, and attend to the temporal concerns of the community. Formerly the Moravians held all their property in common, in imitation of the primitive Christians; and they still have æconomies, or large houses, where they live together in community; the single men, and single women, widows, and widowers apart, each under the superintendence of elderly persons of their own class. In these houses, every person who is able, and has not an independent support, labours in his own occupation, and contributes a stipulated sum for his maintenance. Their children are educated with peculiar care. In marriage they may only form a connexion with those of their own communion; and as all intercourse between the sexes is carefully avoided, so

VOL. III.

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the marriage union is determined by lot. They do not consider a literary course of education as at all necessary to the ministry, provided there be a thorough knowledge of the word of God, a solid Christian experience, and a well regulated zeal for God. They consider the church of Christ as not confined to any particular party, and themselves, though united in one body, or visible church, as spiritually joined in the bond of Christian love to all who are taught of God, and belong to the universal church of Christ, how much soever they inay differ in fornis, which they deem nonessentials. But the most distinguishing feature of the United Brethren is, their zealous and unremitted labour in attempting to convert the heathen, in which they have far outstripped every other denomination of Christians. Though, of late years, other societies have been stimulated by their example, yet in modesty, meekness, patience, and perseverance in this great work, they still remain without a rival.*

FETTER-LANE.

INDEPENDENT.

In the former article it has been noticed that the Independent congregation now meeting in Fetter-lane, formerly assembled in the meeting-house on the opposite side of the way, now occupied by the United Brethren. The origin of that place has been already traced as far as our information reaches. It now remains to give some account of the Independent church that met there at the time of the Revolution,

• Adams's View of all Religions, Art, MORAVIANS.

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