Stonewalling in a Chapel.
An extraordinary scene was witnessed on July 20ch, at the Strict Baptist Chapel of Chelmondeston, a village about six miles from Ipswich. For some time past the minister (the Rev. J. Cordle), has been at variance with some of the leading members of his congregation, tt is said that the dispute began with the singing at a Sunday school meeting of some of Sankey's hymns which were m the pastor's opinion heretical. However this may have been, the result was that 10 or 12 of the old members were practically shut out from the church fellowship. Two of these members, who were formerly deacons, gave notice of church meeting for Sunday morning after Divine worship, and were accordingly present •with a considerable following of friends. Directly the service" was concluded, however, the paster read a statement to the effect that he had taken legal advice and that all persons guilty of riotous behaviour would be dealt with according to law. The senior deacon thereupon asked whether the service was concluded. The ,pa3tor, who evidently considered that he was legally safe so long as service was m progress, replied that it was not. By way of bridging over the interval between twelve and two o'clock (the latter being the hour for the afternoon service), he called down the school children, catechised them, and induced them to sing a, number of hymns on the promise that they should hereafter be rewarded with a treat of tea and cake. In about three-quarters of an hour the children were dismissed, and the minister fitted a prayer meeting, several members led the congregation m prayer, and m the meantime the deacons and their friends were sending out for bags of biscuits and buns to make up for the dinner they were sacrificing, 'When tfte prayer meeting was over, the minister said they would spend a few quiet moments and then he would give them an address. The announcement aroused intense indignation among the hungry dissentients, more especially as the minister spent! 1 his few quiet moments m munching biscuits. One of the deacons called out "shame "with great emphasis, and an old lady quoted the text, " Vongence is mine saith the Lord, and I wiil repay it," adding, "And I believe he will." The minister took for his text, however, the words, "I am the good shepherd and know my sheep, and am known of mine," and preached at the old members for three-quarters of an hour. He was frequently interrupted, and on each occasion he took an ostentatious note of the words used. At two o'clock the dissentients went home to dine, leaving -a funeral service to proceed qu|etiy, but they returned m force wfycji ijt' w^s over, and a scene :soas shameful disorder fpsp.wedv A'resolution was passed calling upon Mr Cordle to resign because of the low condition of the church, and the brethren, after making many appeals to each other's Christian generosity, fell out all round, some calling their brethren "sneaking slinks, liars, and rogues," m the midst of the hubbub ttie minister went after the yWhgq jwuliemaii, but that functionary^ refused'to iiiterfere, and the squaybje'cbiitimued for "nearly an hour, the disputants adjourning from the chapel to the vestry, and winding up m
I the burial ground. The villagers ami ! school children gathered around m large < numbers. The end of it was that Mr Cordle locked up the building directly the chance occurred, and threatened to take immediate legal proceedings against the offenders.
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Stonewalling in a Chapel., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2520, 17 September 1890
Stonewalling in a Chapel. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2520, 17 September 1890
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