Baring, George

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, 13 December [1815]

Those misguided Clergymen I named to you with Baring and at their head, are I fear sadly extending the cause of Schism. They will have many followers among the young the hot headed, and the lovers of Novelty. I have read a correspondence between Mr. Baring and good ; the latter wrote a most admirable letter to the other, deploring, exhorting, intreating. He begged him if he had any objections to the Establishment to withdraw himself quietly and without the presumptuous idea of forming a new Sect, to pass at least a year in retirement, meditation and prayer. The Answer I presume was composed by the whole Conclave, for it was artfully and, on their principles very well done. Mr. Baring locked /up/ his Church, sent the key to with the resignation of his Living.* The Bishop returned an answer that as he was but a young Divine he hoped he might come to a better way of thinking, he would therefore give him six months for reflection before he would accept his resignation. He has ill rewarded this candor by setting up a Chapel for his own heresies in Salisbury under the very nose of the Bishop. They* are also buying chapels in various places, for the dissemination of their pestilent doctrines, for I think this is not too severe an epithet to express Antinomianism. Of one thing I am glad; they have it seems bought the Chapel of in London the late focus of Antinomian doctrines*, by this I trust they will identify themselves in the public opinion with this obnoxious Man. I am sadly grieved at this unhappy business Baring and Snow I thought would be very useful Men; and so they would had they confined themselves to their respective stations – but Men bred to business, without learning, and who have but a few years began even to read the Bible, might have contented themselves with being hearers without aspiring to be teachers. I pressed this strongly on Snow, telling him that we wanted pious Bankers and Merchants much more than pious Clergymen of which we had so many.

To Lady Olivia Sparrow, 2 October [1817]

You have doubtless heard of ’s Eccentricities. He has formally renounced the Church, and is setting up a religion of his own, if it can be called his own which is so identified with the doctrines of Baring & Co.* He has published his ‘Reasons for quitting the Church,’ in an ill written inconsistent Antonomian Pamphlet.* I am glad at any rate to get such doctrines out of the Church, but I am sorry for this misguided Man. His principal friends have forsaken him. His inferior Adherents are getting Subscriptions for building him a Chapel, but are not so successful as they expected.* They came to me and I had an hour’s conflict in justifying my refusal to subscribe. I assured them it was not to save a few Guineas for I had a personal kindness for Cowan, but I could not answer it to my Conscience to give any support to a plan which was intended to be subversive of the Establishment, and to propagate doctrines hostile to her principles.