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Methodists in his Memoirs. In 1806 he removed from Alvestone to Taunton, the town in which he served his apprenticeship, where he purchased some houses, and expended 30001. in erecting a chapel for the use of the Wesleyan Methodists, to which he added a salary of 150l. per annum for the preacher. In front of this building appears the following inscription :
“This Temple is erected as a monument of God's mercy, in convincing an Infidel of the important Truths of Christianity.
“Man, consult thy whole existence, and be safe.”
The Wesleyan Methodists continued to preach in this chapel. until 1810, when a dispute arose between Mr Lackington and the Conference, respecting the conveyance of the same, according to the Wesleyan scheme of church government, from which the latter could not deviate. The terms upon which the conveyance was required being deemed illiberal by Mr Lackington, he requested the president of the New Connection, named Kilhamites,* to send him a preacher. His request was attended to, and a Mr Henley was despatched to Taunton to preach in Mr Lackington's chapel; and, as he possessed considerable eloquence and abilities, it was much frequented during the year that he officiated. At the expiration of that period, however, being informed that the principles of Mr Henley bordered on Calvinism, Mr Lackington applied once more to the Conference, who sent him a Mr Beaumont, with whom he soon after engaged in a paper war, which at length terminated in the purchase of the chapel by the Wesleyans for 10001. Mr Lackington continued to reside at Taun
* So called from Alexander Kilham, formerly a Wesleyan preacher of some note; but, dissenting from his brethren on the subject of church government, he was expelled the Connection, on which event he raised a society of his own, which has since been called “The New Connection.".
ton for two years longer, when his health declining, he determined to live by the sea-side, and finally chose Budleigh Sulterton, in Devonshire, for his future abode. Here he built another chapel, which cost him 20001., and appointed Mr Hawkey, a retired captain in the army, whose father had been recorder of Exeter, his minister, with a salary of 1501. per annum. This salary, with the use of the chapel, Mr Hawkey was to enjoy for his life, after which, the latter was to fall to the Wesleyan connection, and the money appropriated to secure the salary to be divided among the donor's relations.
Soon after this event the health of the eccentric subject of this little volume rapidly declined, and he became subject to epileptic fits. These were succeeded by apoplexy and paralysis, under the effect of which he survived longer than might have been expected, until at length his decease took place on the 22nd of November 1815, in the seventieth year of his age, and his remains were interred in Budleigh church-yard.
It is easy to find more important autobiographies than that of this pertinacious bookseller, sceptic and methodist, but few are more lively, curious, or characteristic.