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Record of Coming Events.



Trinity Church.

[No title]


Newmarket Mixed Choir.



Mr. Inglefield's Complaints…


Mr. Inglefield's Complaints against the Puritans. To the Editor of the Prestatyn Weekly. SiR,—Regarding Mr Inglefield's letter in your last number, I beg your permission to reply to each paragraph seriatim. Your critical correspondent would do well to read my letter over again, and make doubly sure of what I wrote. Before he takes upon him- self to teach the supreme virtue of charity to others, let him be charitable and exact him- self. I never said that gambling and other evils existed in the days of Oliver Cromwell," and I never sought to prove that contention. What I did prove by an appeal to historical data was that these evils existed in the days of Charles 11., which is quite different. Any tyro that reads my letter can see this, and my contention is that these evils (and amongst them gaming and gambling), brought our nation into a sad plight. Your cognominal correspondent is either ignorant of this period or is ungenerous enough to mis-read the purport of my letter. What I sought to prove by an appeal to historical data was better a stern ideal which makes a nation powerful than a lax, gaming, and gambling one which always makes for national humiliation." In the days of Cromwell the Puritan ideal with all its limitations made England the greatest world power of that period, whereas the lax ideal of the period of Charles II. brought the nation down to its knees. And any reason- able man will grant that that contention was more than amply proved. How could I prove that gambling and other evils existed in the days of Oliver Cromwell," when it was essen- tial to my purpose to prove that they existed in the reign of Charles II ? So your corres- pondent has not used the right word here—- his "prodigious" ought to road" prodigious mistake." No, Mr Editor, I do not hold your correspondent responsible for the evils and mal-administration of Charles II. and his merry courtiers. That would be a comedy in excelsis, a height of absurdity too much for frail and mortal creatures of earth. It is enough for any human being to carry his own tremendous responsibilities, without saddling himself with those of the Merry Monarch and his crew. He complains of the narrow fanaticism of the Puritans. But this was the characteristic fault of the age and not merely of the Puritans. For every bigoted act that can be noted against the Puritans, one can easily note a corresponding one against the Anti-Puritans. Has Mr Inglefield read of the bigotry and cruelty of Archbishop Laud, and also of the Cavaliers in the reign of Charles II ? Does he know the story of the Scotch Covenanters and of the Bloody Assize, I wonder ? There- fore, I fling this charge back with scorn. It was the fault of the age and not of the Puri- tans. I should like to ask your correspondent what did the Puritans put down by force ? They put down everything that savoured of kingly tyranny and Popery, and quite right too. They put down everything that made for laxity of morals and national dissipation. And in this we follow their example at the piesent day. Do we not punish by law for swearing, drinking, impurity, &c ? Does any reasonable man wish to abolish these laws ? I trow not. I accept Mr Inglefield's repudiation of the charge of sneering at Dr. Townsend's admiration of Cromwell, but it was perfectly natural for me to draw that conclusion from his letter, and that for the following reasons :-(I) If lie meant to pro- test against Dr. Townsend's condemnation of innocent amusements, as he calls them, what need to refer to Cromwell at all ? To say the least, there was an implied slur on the Puritans in the reference, which was entirely uncalled for. (2) It has become a fashion amongst a certain class of historians bred in Oxford to sneer glibly at the Puritans, and this has been taken up by the smart set and pleasure hunters. But to any one who has read both sides impartially the sneer is a contemptibly cheap one. Knowing this, I took for granted that the reference came from a similar mint. If your correspondent is so much concerned about charity why does he not leave Dr. Townsend, and like minded men, severely alone ? We believe, with hundreds of the most serious minded men of the nation, that whist and bridge parties are symptoms of a gaming and gambling spirit, which always makes for national ruin. They are innocent in themselves as games—no one denies that —but the craving for them to-day reveals a spirit which must be kept within bounds, or otherwise, it will most assuredly lead to national disintegration. Therefore, I must ask your correspondent to be charitable enough to allow us the credit of being honest and conscientious in our belief, and not to insinuate, between the lines as it were, that we are narrow and bigoted. No one is narrow who has the highest good of his country at heart. In conclusion, your correspondent would do well to give up his talk of charity, and reserve his mental power to put on a little more acquaintance with the Puritan period, a little more power to read the inner meaning of history, or a little more discreet silence regarding a period of which he knows very little. His dictating to Dr. Townsend of how he ought to preach on gambling reminds me c) of the famous picture after Landseer, viz, Dignity and Impudence." There is no bitterness at all, Mr Editor, but an intense rapture of one who enjoys a comical situation. Therefore, I am yours still, ANTI-PUT-ON. [Further correspondence on this subject appears on page 4.1