- Museum number
- Object: [The bank of faith, and the new light.]
Pl. from the 'Satirist', ii. 337; title from the explanatory text, pp. 337-43. The interior of a chapel. The hexagonal pulpit (r.), supported on a pillar, is on a level with the crowded gallery running round the building, part of two sides of which are depicted. The congregation (H.L., &c.) on the ground form the base of the design. William Huntington is preaching; the Devil clutches his shoulder, whispers into his ear, and holds up a pair of breeches and books: 'Vill.. Ser..; Village Dialogue; Evangel[ical] Magazine', while he excretes upon a crown, a mitre, and books, one being 'Hint to Public by Barrister', thus setting them on fire. Huntington says: "And behold there was a pair of Leather Breeches". On the pulpit are two bills: 'Methodist Magazine Contents Hypocrisy, Gluttony, Lust, Avarice uncharitableness, Lying &c &c &c' and 'Hawkers and Pedlars License'. The congregation are ugly and brutish, either sanctimonious, stupid, or ill-behaved. In the gallery, on the extreme left., Theodore Hook looks quizzically through an eye-glass; next him is Sheridan (identifications by T. Wright). A man sanctimoniously holding up a book open at 'Thou shalt not steal', picks the pocket of a man using an ear-trumpet and absorbed in the sermon. Below, two children fight. A man holds a bundle of 'Warra[nts for] Bastardy - Orders of Filiation' and a 'Petition.. Babes of Grace' (begging contributions for the support of the bastards). A man holds a bottle of 'Lacrym[ae] Christi', a woman one of 'Brandy'.
1 June 1808
- Production date
Height: 204 millimetres
Width: 361 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VIII, 1947)
A satire on the eccentric preaching of Huntington (1745-1813), who called himself 'S.S.' or 'Sinner Saved', at his Providence Chapel in Titchfield Street, Oxford Market. After many occupations he became a coal-heaver, a prolific writer, and a Calvinist, with a purely arbitrary interpretation of scripture. Having prayed for riding-breeches, a pair was provided by one of his congregation. The way in which this and other material needs were supplied he recorded in 'God the Poor Man's Guardian and the Bank of Faith...', 1784, many editions to 1821. According to the text, the books held by the Devil are 'drafts on the Bank of Faith', and the 'Methodist's and Evangelical Magazine'. The book burnt by the Devil is 'Hints to the Public and the Legislature on the Nature and Effect of Evangelical Preaching by a Barrister' [J. Sedgwick], 1808. After his chapel had been burnt down in 1810, Huntington obtained £10,000 in subscriptions to build a larger one, secured the freehold for himself, and achieved prosperity from pew-rents. See 'D.N.B.' For a favourable view see T. Wright, 'Life of William Huntington, S.S.', 1909. See also BMSat 11083 and G. Cruikshank's 'The Relics of a Prophet...', 1813.
Reproduced, T. Wright, op. cit., p. 192.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number