[transcription of broadsheet issued by John Cain - original in Manx Museum MM E240]

Mock Trial and Expulsion of John Cain
From the Methodist Society, Douglas, Isle of Man.


Sir I have been associated, more or less with the Methodist Society, since I was a child, having regularly attended the chapel, and having been a Sunday scholar, afterwards a teacher, and joined the Society when about ten years of age, and became a Local Preacher in 1823, in which capacity I have continued ever since. I have many times perceived things which I deemed improper, but, like many others, looked upon our preachers more like angels than men, and thought them incapable of doing anything wrong. I have lived in the affections of the preachers - have loved them and they have loved me, I could mention many names, but forbear; it any of them see your paper, they will easily recognise who is the writer. But ever since the present preacher came among us, we have had comparatively nothing else but commotions and wars. He thought when he came here he had nothing to do but command. and that he would he instantly, obeyed; but he has observed since, "I never suspected that the Manx people were so keen of apprehension, I had no idea that they were capable of taking things up so quickly," but he has been undeceived ; for some time, we lived at peace,. but commencing to usurp undue power over the local preachers, it caused a dispute, which called for that piece which appeared in the Christian Advocate, October 13th, "A Voice from the Isle of Man." Suspicion fell upon me, I have been a marked man ever since that period. I shall not bear entering into details respecting every occurrence from that period until Monday the 29th June, 1835, a day never to be forgotten, being the commencement of Methodistical expulsion in the Isle f Man .Many people would not credit the reports which reached our Island respecting expulsions, thought the accounts were exaggerated, but now they see and are convinced that the statements are correct. Before entering into particulars .respecting the transactions of Monday before referred to, I beg leave to state, that my business is that of a bookseller., bookbinder, and stationer. I sold, in common with other periodical publications (of which I receive a monthly parcel), the Watchman's Lantern. This will account for the whole tragedy. On Monday, after singing and prayer, Mr. Broadbent commenced the business of the meeting. by. stating. that when each member of that meeting was called by name, and his character inquired into, it included three particulars; namely, 1. Moral conduct. 2. Ability for the work. 3 Attention to discipline, All the names passed over with little being said, until my name was called, No. 26 on the Plan. The whole of the Local Preachers are ninety-two in number. There were probably about sixty-two, including Travelling Preachers. One of the local brethren got up, and wished to know whether it was proper that I should be circulating those publications calculated to disturb the peace of the Society throughout the country. After a great deal being said about it, some contending that it was my business, I replied, I had a family to provide for, and it was my duty to extend my business as much as possible. I addressed the Chairman, and asked him, "Can you bring any charge of breach of rule or immorality in my conduct ?" One of the brethren got up (by the bye a spirit seller) and said, "I hear a great deal said in our days about morality and immorality; they seem to make a handle of this, as if nothing wag immoral but what was very glaring." Another member got up, a man of independent principles, who is also a marked man (Mr. Hales), and said, " Really, Brethren, I am at a loss to know, indeed it puzzles me to make the distinction between morality and immorality." Mr. Broadbent replied, "Brother Hales has declared his incapability of making a distinction between morality and immorality ; consequently, is unfit to occupy our pulpits." Mr. Hales replied, "Mr. Chairman, do not misunderstand me; I know very well the difference between the one and the other, by what the Scripture teaches ; but it is our state of morals in Douglas with which I am puzzled, and the state of discipline as at present administered. There, he said. is a proof of my arguments (at the same time throwing a pack of playing cards upon the form). These cards were purchased this morning, from one of our Class Leaders, who is also Society Steward, and Trustee of Castletown chapel. This man boasts that he can sell cards cheaper than any other in Douglas ; and if it be for the purpose of exportation (although a penalty of £20 is annexed), he will sell them cheaper still. Here is smuggling encouraged in addition. Now, Mr. Chairman. is this a proof of the sound state of morals among the members of the Methodist Society ?"

There was a great consternation excited among the Local Preachers, most of whom came from other parts of the Island. However, he

... TBC

 [Index]    Index


Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2001