Lists (None yet)

Login to create lists

Tagged (None yet)

Add Tags

Comments (None yet)

Add New Comment

No corrections yet

THE AGAPEMONE AGAIN.

1 ' ' ' (PROM THE TIMES.)

.v The founder of the Agagomone will, weare happy

to say, be compelled to surrender a portion of his ill-gotten gains. Yice-Chancellor Stuart gave judg- ment yesterday in the case of " Nottidge v. Prince," declaring that the transfer of stock belonging to . the late Louisa Jane Nottidge into the name of the

defendant was improperly obtained, and must be - ' «et aside ; that the stock must be transferred to the - legal personal representative of Miss Louisa Not-

tidge, and all the dividends accrued since her death must be paid to the plaintiff; and the defendant must pay the costs of the suit. It is not a phrase of course when we say that we congratulate the public on this judgment. The Court of Chancery . has always been distinguished by a breadth of view . , and a practical good sense in dealing with the

questions which como before it, and never have these qualities been moro conspicuous than in the decision of which weare speaking. It íb not too much to say that a judgment which would have left Prince in possession of the fruits of his blasphemous imposture would have been an encouragement to -, the vilest kind of men to prey on the weakest

kind of women. The knavery and credulity which . reign in the lower sections of the so-called

. religious world surpass, as it is, all belief. Let .any one make it his business for a few weeks to

examine the tenets, tho fancies, and the pre I judiees of the various theological cliques which

divide this community, and he will como to the (inclusion that the tindo of a religious leader is «till one of the most lucrative to which an adven- turer can apply himself. To save the excitable and ignorant from the grasp of such men, to help those who cannot help themselves, and to dis- courage the worst kinds of hypocrisy, is the policy of Ithe State, and forms one of those principles which Equity should engraft on Law.

It is unnecessary for us to repeat a tale so many times told as that of the Agnpemone. Mr. Priuco has been along time before the public, who know all about the Abode of Love, the gardens, the clcscd gates, the bloodhounds, the carriages and four, the hockey, and the three unfortunate sisters who ? fwsjieyed in the Divine mission of the founder.

§u^e iii £p say that "Brother Prince," who eime on C(irih fo close the Christian dispen- sation, and who writes to borrow .£50 in tho phraseology of the Hcbrow prophets, was in his »Hunger days a Clergyman of the Ciiurph of Eng ' j*n4; that he was deprived of his licehso by two djf&rent Bishops, but made the acquaintance of. tho HOttfdgps .during his sgcond curacy ; and niter -'--^ Ij, phppel, which ho .called the " Cav of " AdulTam,'' founded the Agapcmouc,with the three pfsters among his leading disciples. Two of thom ijemaynedto twoofhls'i'úllowérs, and the third, Louisa Jane Nottidge, on being roUmsod from a lunatio asylum, on tho ground that her religions delusions wera incurable and that further confinement would Injure her health, ¿#.âp over her whole fortune, consist- ing' of JJ5,728 Consols, to Prince as a free ¿iff1/ íl¡e .onfy compensation she received being her board ana JAdgiiig ",l the Agapenione until the time of her death, in July,'i'858. This transfer has now been set aside by the Arice.-Cbiii;ce}i,?;'/ with costs

against the defendant Prince.

'' probably no law, no serios of decisions will ever xrr&veikjj religious impostors from endeavouring to , secure io ilieiiiselves the property of their victims ¡ ftilt.it is at least satisfactory to know that when a ßtft ¡g obtained by imposing ou the belief of the ^¿»¿L-miijded such iuipc-wtion vitiates the gift ! «nurdy. It v* hot even necessary that the person

imposed upon should bp of unsound mj.ud, AVhen , ' a man, whether charlatan ¿rfiinátíc/pr, as is oftpji '? poicase, both, uses his spirirual power to iiidupe

¿au individual to part with property, snob an act . jil lield by the Court to bo tainted with fraud, and ¿h# ¿Piínsfcr may be set aside. So much for the prop&ftífM çf ¿ho' \veak, nervous, and ignorant. . Tbeve i» a remedy Qgwue fita gelf-stylcd prophet

of the now sect »s well ns ogalusf; .a priest of Rome or a covetous clergy niau ' of' the Establish- ment. But what seems to us very painful iu these

: jctutt£ ,is that imposture can flourish so long, and

¡bia sricl¿ defiance to the world. For moro than nlteen yejup Prince has asserted himself to be the legitimate successor of Noah, Abraham, and the Saviour; on ,1iíb cross-examination iu this suit he «presented himself to bo iïiè Moly Ghost. These ,do«tf-ines,.if thev may be called so, lie propagated ¡s^'.StokeV where ho first niet the Nottidges ; he ,' «f»(¿aicd then» nt the- "pave of Adullam," ho

vmikiM, t\ie Agapppipno'as the temple of the new relfgiffl), ' and, without any 'authority . having the right to interfere, Jip brought

i these half-witted women under his pomplatp

control. Religious liberty is indeed a, good ber . 'awnd all estimate, and we are willing to .pay for it

ib'e »rice of suffering the Agapenione to exist, Bmvifc jj! a heavy price. Happily for tho

.senses or the Bridgewater people, tho Agapenione ?jwiúi.jDoiindetl only foi- those in comfortable circum ^tau^ei; . Tlio'possétsib'ii of a few thousand pounds i» (Jovsois was a condition pivfiedent to the mis- sionary labours of Air, Prince'. ' A!$" tin's mun is ¡¡enT^ally connected with some jiiuoutî.6"of oduça, tiori, tho /."»tienwnites cannot hopodv manycon tarts. Théy have not bfien au aggressive Churuh. -Sat if fhoy had desired tin» poor, mu) bin! been able |0 awutetbiiufimug material prosperity, they'mjght lúfp bad Sqiuerset/hird jjcewmts, by pio hundred.

m ¡s i)¿ rpasp'n why '" probier Prince" might Bot haye bee« a¿ great a prophet as Joe filiuUh, and ? the AgapomoHD hayoWome a religious metropolis fa tho Great »ivlfc Lake City, f lip'mutter on which . ' f*WtT*0US imposture aail work is always »'«Wy ; the

love'o)'change, tho craving after the wonderful, tho desire of battering the social condition by affiliation fb 4 yoiing "an.ij ardent sect, the strange confidence , WÜton/tiip ")>'ííd assertions of fanatics seem always

'to Inspire-these tilinda give a new religion every chance of hiiceeeding; and tli« wonder is, not that '{fyne is an Agapemone, but that there wo »ot fifty

fnifce country.

' Religious aredulity seems au ineradicable weak ,a*$g of'.tho human Intellect, and especially of our own'race.' Aiiy öuiä yh.o will tako the trouble to .pxamine the religious " expwipimo" of *' Brother -, Jfrjnoe," as described in his'jonriwl, will bo

' fltojpk with tho resemblance betweon the phraiiOr

plogy q( iLhiji, singular production and that which l J,f oomu\oniy til bu met with in tile moro

«rthpdox publications pf tho CiUvinistic school. Prjnpp and the' Agapenione fli'i», indeed, only extreme instances of what is paissiig /uijopg ijspon tinually, TherearoalwaysinthiseouutrysQinóthcai ' sands of people on tho vorgoof religious niaducst, ' fif whom' a portion is draughted into the asylums ?y«jy year. Not tho highest education, nor inter ppnreo with iiiosteiilargediiiinds.canproteetthovio tjujsof this d'spai«. Tt seizes tho bestand most deli Mai« of tho othor sox,uni} pai> |io moro bo eradicated thantWdread of ghosts from tim minds of children. How far it inay ariso from physical pauses ivp " Joavo to scientific men ; but, after all, the difference » , J»etwe<m Prince and somo others who might bo

named is one of degree, mid not of kind. In acuse .| of completed fraud and imposture the Court of

' Chancery may interfere, but it is foi- public opinion

to atar the beginning» of the evil which leads to such Jearfnl consequences,

Zoom

plus
thumb
minus
left
thumb
right
up
thumb
down