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to promote the return of members of So much for the negative side: but, known anti-scriptural sentiments, in op- though we deprecate subversion, we imposition to others of religious character plore amendment; and accordingly, in seand consistent Christian life. We might veral of our Numbers, and especially the mention many other things; but we last, we have suggested several heads of forbear. It may be necessary for us to reform, which it appeared to us very derevert to the topic ; and if we do so, we sirable to embody in petitions to Parliashall not shrink from going into it fully ment; but, considering the great impor. and fairly; but we are unwilling to pro- tance of the subject, we think it will be voke irritation without extreme necessity, useful to expand those heads in a more more especially as many of the most pious distinct manner, as follows. We will supand sound-minded men among the religious pose them embodied in a petition to the Dissenters mourn over these things not following effect.less than ourselves. Most heartily can “Your Petitioners presume humbly to we use, from our inmost soul, the prayer suggest a few particulars in which amend. which was appropriately introduced by the ment appears to them both needful and rulers of our Church into one of the attainable. Fast-Day Services in the beginning of “l. In the first place, they cannot but the late war (we do not recollect whether lament the want of specific professional it was a new prayer, or how often it was and religious education, and due probaused); “ Give us all grace, to put away tion, for candidates for Holy Orders; from us all religious dissension; that which they believe might be provided for, they who agree in the essentials of our as is done in all other Protestant Churches, most holy faith, and look for pardon either by means of theological seminaries, through the merits and intercession of the or by some arrangement with the Univers Saviour, may, notwithstanding the dif- sities. ferences upon points of doubtful opinion, “ 2. With a view to check the entrance and in the forms of external worship, still into Holy Orders of persons not heartily be united in the bonds of Christian charity, disposed to the duties of the sacred office, and fulfil thy blessed Son's commandment, your Petitioners pray for a diminution of of loving one another as He hath loved the temptations to assume that function them ."
merely as a temporal provision and an easy profession; it being manifest, that in
proportion as good discipline is kept up* Our Dissenting friends may remind as pluralities, sinecures, and inordinate us that there are, or have been, churchmen emoluments are curtailed—and as the who would not use this prayer; as was Clergy are expected to reside in their pa, the case with the late Dr. Daubeny, and rishes, and to attend diligently to pastoral the present rector of Mary-le-bone, who duties-persons who are not conscienpreferred violating their ecclesiastical tiously devoted to such employments will obedience to reading it; because it re- be less inclined to enter the Church than cognized some persons as holding the under a more lax system. essentials of our most holy faith, who do “3. Your Petitioners think it indispennot agree with us in external worship. sable to the purity and spiritual efficiency We know, and lament, that such a spirit of the Church, that the holding of two behas been displayed, and that Dissenters have made it recoil upon our Church, which is the farthest possible from being at that place is no church ; the Bishop of an intolerant church. But while the wella London and Dr. Benson are mere predisposed members of the Church of Eng- tenders; while Bishop Reed and the Rev. land have been increasingly anxious to Mr. Atkinson are “The church," the true regard in a Christian spirit "all who agree church, the only church in the place. We in the essentials of our most holy faith, the more readily notice this exclusionism and look for pardon through the merits in connexion with this particular sermon or and mediation of the Saviour;" some of “Charge,” because there is nothing in the the Dissenting ministers of the present discourse itself to offend any Christian day adopt a style of exclusionism which- mind-quite the contrary: it is wholly free to say nothing of its violating truth, from controversy : it does not touch upon
s no honour to their candour. There the matter of Dissent; and it is so full of happen to lie on our table a number of The excellent and scriptural instruction, that Times newspaper, which announces that even the no-bishop of London might have the Bishop of London has been preaching preached it before the no-church of the a charity sermon at Hounslow, and a Episcopalians with great edification to all pamphlet entitled “The Sacred Trust; a parties. Would that we could add as Charge delivered at the Ordination of the much of some twenty recent Dissenting Rev. T. Atkinson over the Church as- publications which we might advert to, sembling at Hounslow, by Andrew Reed.” in proof of all, and more than all, we have Now, what a miserable, narrow-minded ex- said of tbe bad spirit which is afloat clusionism is this; "THE church assembling among a portion, at least, of the Disat Hounslow !" Thus the Episcopal church senting body.
nefices having cure of souls should be to character and attainments, a fair proswholly prohibited.
pect of arriving in succession at a bene" 4. Your Petitioners further entreat, fice: whereby there would be afforded to that every Clergyman may be obliged to pious and industrious curates, or incumreside upon his benefice, having cure of bents with small benefices, that reasonable souls : and as many such benefices are too hope of eventually bettering their temporal poorly endowed to afford a suitable main- condition which is held forth to all other tenance, they pray that they may be aug- public functionaries. mented.
“ 10. Your Petitioners desire to see a " 5. Your Petitioners respectfully urge, salutary system of ecclesiastical discipline, that large and populous parishes should be befitting modern usages and feelings, in divided or subdivided into convenient pas- place of the cumbrous and expensive forms toral districts; and that adequate facilities of the ecclesiastical courts, useless churchshould be given to the building and open- wardens' presentments, and other obsoing of new churches or chapels, wherever lete and unheeded checks. They are annecessary; for though much has been xious for a more effectual supervision of the effected of late years for this end, more is Clergy, and for facilities for the prompt rerequisite, especially as regards the wants of moval of all gross scandals from the Church. the very poor. They would suggest, that, “11. Your Petitioners pray, that, in wherever there is a population needing any large measure of Church Reform, a church room, any suitable buildings may plan may be devised for extending the be permitted to be fitted up and opened ordinances of National Religion to every for Divine Worship, with no other forma- spot where the British flag is unfurled; lity than the licence of the Bishop
that our countrymen, wherever their lot is * 6. Your Petitioners pray for the cast, may find themselves not expatriated speedy commutation of Tithes for land, from the ministrations of the Christian corn-rent, or some other source of equally faith as enjoyed in their native land." permanent and fairly adjusted income, if T hese heads appear to us to comprise such can be discovered; being persuaded, the chief matters of effectual church rethat, without this essential measure, the form; we mean in reference to external Clergy and their Parishioners cannot be arrangements, for we have not included expected to live on those terms of harmony the often proposed amendments of the which are requisite for pastoral usefulness liturgy, for the reasons assigned in our and the promotion of the purposes of a former volumes. Our opinion on this Church Establishment.
matter cannot be better expressed than “7. Your Petitioners respectfully sug- in the words of the preface to the gest the necessity of a better distribution Prayer-book itself, to which we refer our both of the labours and the resources of readers. If we could hope for a revision the Bishops, as requisite for effectual epis- of our church formularies, for such reacopal supervision, and to diminish the sons as are there specified, and in the evil of translations. If it should be found spirit there recommended, we should that any of the sees are too large to allow heartily rejoice in the measure; for what of adequate episcopal superintendence, buman work is faultless? but at present they would submit the propriety of divid. we cannot but entertain considerable fears ing them; and also that the Bishops should as to the result of such an experiment; be relieved, where the public service will unless the proposed amendments could be allow of it, of some of the extra-professional confined to a very few particulars which burdens which at present press upon them; a large number of persons of true piety so as to enable them to cultivate a more and friendly to the Church of England intimate acquaintance with their Clergy, would wish to see modified. and to devote themselves with less dis The chief reason which has led us for traction to the care of their dioceses. so many years, and especially of late, to
“8. Your Petitioners submit, that the write so much upon church reform, where. laws and usages of ecclesiastical patronage ever reform may be required, is, that it is require considerable modifications, so as right in itself, but we might add, as a to subject the parties presenting to greater secondary reason, that it is the best pracresponsibility than at present. They tical answer to Dissenters. Robert Hall would allow the parishioners ready means remarked, as long ago as 1818: “ The of appeal, upon any charge of unsound old grounds of dissent are the true ones; doctrine or unbecoming life, to be decided our recent apologists have mixed up too openly and solemnly by the Bishop upon much of a political cast in their reasonthe merits of the case."
ings upon this subject. Though I should " 9. In regard to the Crown and Epis. deprecate the founding of any establishcopal patronage, which your Petitioners ed church, in the popular sense of that view as held for public, and not private or term, I think it very injudicious to lay political, objects, they submit that a plan that as the corner-stone of dissent. We should be devised for so disposing of it as have much stronger ground in the specific to give to the whole body of the Clergy, corruptions of the Church of England ; under due regulations, and having respect ground which our pious ancestors occu
CHRIST, Orserv. No. 374.
pied, and which may safely defy every yet this begins to be familiarly talked attempt of the most powerful and acute in some of our political circles, as 6 th minds to subvert.” It appears then, only panacea for the troubles of Ireland, that in the opinion of this highly-gifted When we contemplate the convulsed stat and enlightened Dissenter, if the church of that portion of the empire, and th were divested of “specific corruptions," assassinations and massacres which ar the strongest ground for dissent would be becoming so trite as to pass unnoticed a lost. Let churchmen learn a lesson from ordinary occurences, as if the murde this admission, and cleanse their com of a Protestant Clergyman were a meri. munion from every “ corruption." Dis torious act of patriotism and religion, we senters have learned a lesson from it; feel willing to give a great price for peace namely, to fall back upon the “ political ” but there is one price we may not giveargument, so that if the church were ever and that is conscience; and the conscience so pure, many of them would now still of a true Protestant cannot admit any object that it is a national establishment, compromise with Popery. It may yield and therefore unlawful. But if the church equal political rights, but to support an prove true to itself, and to the public, and idolatrous altar were an offence against become as thoroughly rooted as it ought God. What measures are to be pursued to be in the affections of the people, we in regard to the Protestant Church of Ireentertain no great alarm from arguments land, we, of course, know not; but should of this speculative and “political cast.” a national endowment of Popery be proA national religious establishment is not posed, the religious part of the commuonly an institution so scriptural, but so nity of all creeds may and will make a congenial to the wants and feelings of determined stand. It were better far the people of a Christian land, that, pro that the ecclesiastical revenues of Ireland vided it rises to the measure of its high should be at once transferred to the tax duties, it will be acceptable to the public office, than that Protestant England in spite of all that either dissent or infi- should nationalize the corruptions of the delity can urge on speculative grounds Church of Kome. The first would be against it. Masses of men seldom spes simple robbery; the second would involve eulate discontentedly when they are prac- the additional guilt of applying the spoil tically satisfied.
to unlawful purposes. From England we pass over to Ireland, With regard to the clergy of Ireland, where church subversion appears more they cannot well be worse off than they probable than church reform; and seri- are at present, and one of the first duties ously as we think of the forthcoming of the new parliament ought to be to desession, in regard to our own branch of vise prompt and adequate measures for the United Church, we think far more their relief. Our readers will perceive seriously in regard to its more immediately by a paper under our cover, that their exposed offset in Ireland. In our obser: case has become so urgent, that a public vations respecting the former, we said subscription bas been judged requisite for that there are two points for the friends their immediate assistance. The Archof the church to keep in mind ; namely, bishop of Armagh's statement in that reform and conservation : but in Ireland paper will shew the character and vast there is a third ; namely, the great ques extent of the distress ; its severity may tion between Protestantism and Popery. be judged of by the following brief exIn England, if our legislators shall duly tracts from a mass of private letters which feel the importance of a national church, abound in similar details. We pledge and the need of reforming and not de ourselves that the passages are authentic, stroying our own, all will yet be well and that the writers are persons of the but in regard to Ireland, there is likely to highest respectability. arise the question of providing for the 1. “ Mr. assured me that he had Roman-Catholic Clergy, and devoting to just left a Clergyman in his neighbourthis object a part at least of the funds hood so reduced as only to be able to give which belong to the Protestant Episcopal bread to his wife alone, who was in deli
Church. We shall rejoice if no such cate health, and he (the father), and the measure is proposed ; but if it be, it rest of the family, were living on potatoes ought to be met by the most strenu- and water. I heard of several others not ous resistance upon the part of Protestant much better off; some having no firing England. We think nothing compara. for the winter but what they themselves tively of the temporal emoluments of the gathered: and their delicacy in complainchurch; we could submit to much in ing or applying for assistance renders such justice and spoliation, if that should be facts as these little known. the particular trial which God should 2.“ The state of the Clergy in this permit his church to undergo for its puri. diocese is deplorable............ Poor -fication ; but to countenance the corrup and – , and and -, &c. are in tions of Popery, by providing for its mi. a state of great destitution. I have been nisters from the public purse, would be a myself mainly supported by the bounty national sin, of which we trust this Prc. friends for upwards of a year; and have tastant country will never be guilty. And been glad to avail myself, with -- and
of their hospitality. This, how compass of legislation, nor can kings or ever, cannot last long."
parliaments control it, except to aug3. “ The deprivation at this moment, ment the evil by injudicious interference. where the income of the Clergy depends They assume that by the introduction of exclusively upon Tithe, is very universal; poor laws into Ireland, the condition of and there is not one Clergyman in Ireland, the poor would be bettered; whereas it I believe, who does not more or less is demonstrable that, bad as it is, it would suffer."
be deteriorated. Suppose that on board a 4. “ A friend of mine yesterday in- vessel, on short allowance in the Atlantic, formed me of a Clergyman's daughter some passenger under the notion of huwbose father and family were reduced to manity were to get a resolution passed such distress that she absolutely offered that every person had a right to a full diet; herself as a maid-servant to a lady of would this really be wise or humane? my acquaintance."
No, it is replied, because they could not 5. “Many of the Clergy are in actual get more provisions, and must soon starve want; glad to obtain potatoes and milk if they consumed all that they have at for their families."
once. And how does this differ from the It would be unnecessary to add a single case of a nation, unless indeed as a freeword to urge this affecting appeal; it trade importation of corn from abroad, must and it will be met by the warmest might in part destroy the parallel ? Some Christian sympathy, and by such a mea- persons speak as if setting men to work sure of pecuniary aid as will greatly re- of necessity made more food; and as if it lieve the present distress, and prevent were the want of industry that is the chief much actual suffering till government and bane of the poor. No statement can be parliament can take up the matter, which more incorrect; there are of course idle they are bound to do, and we trust will do, protligates in every country, but the poor and prosecute it with firmness to a just and generally speaking in England, Ireland, wise termination. It cannot be that the and Scotland, are willing - nay, anxiousaffairs of Ireland either in church or state to work, and often even beyond their can be allowed to remain for many weeks strength, if they can obtain comfortable in their present condition. Even the stern- food, clothing, and lodging, in return for ness of martial law were more just and their exertions. If by any process we pacific than the reign of terrorism ; but could make every person in the three we believe even yet, that Ireland may be kingdoms do twice as much work next tranquillized without any expedient of year as he did this, (and no more corn repulsive severity, if only Great Britain were brought to market from abroad,) no will do its duty, and throw in its moral person would be better off as regards food, weight, to adjust the balance. There is with the exception of a temporary fragone hope which we fondly cherish as aris. ment wrung from the soil by a new sti. ing out of the agitations of both islands, mulus, but which cannot continue to adnamely, that right-minded, patriotie, and vance, and is at best scarcely worth namChristian men of wbaiever party will for- ing. The only result would be, that with get their private animosities for the publie exhausted health, a man would work good, and unite in a powerful phalanx twice as many hours for a loaf next year against the common disturbers of the na- as he did this; but there would not be tional repose; the common arehitects of one pauper the less. It is a strange national ruin, whether in England or fre fancy that labour is of necessity bread. land. This we are persuaded might be Would it be so in the aforesaid ship? done without any unworthy compromise; Would double hours of toil produce a and the union would be a bright omen for single biscuit? The poor can but eat the national welfare.
what is grown, and we migbt as well Among other projected remedies for affirm that every man has a right to venison the troubles of Ireland, the introduction and claret, as that a nation is bound to see of Poor Laws is again likely to under. that every person is maintained. It is go discussion. The object proposed is to not bound to do so, because it cannot do better the condition of the poor in Ireland, so. Corn cannot be grown upon parchto mitigate distress, and to cut off the ment. A case is said to have been alluded sourees of discontent and disaffection. to, in the last session of parliament, of a
The intention is benevolent; but the person worth 12,0001. a year giving away measure proposed would, we feel assured, nothing in charity. Let us take this exbe neither expedient nor humane. The treme case, and we hope it is a solitary advocates for the proposition assume that one. The sin and the crime of the indithey are urging the claims of humanity, vidual would be great ; to him would apand their opponents those of sordid self- ply some of the severest denunciations of interest. They lay it down as a first God's word; but speaking in a mere ecoprinciple that a legislature is bound to nomical manner, as many persons are find work for every body, and to maintain benefited by the expenditure of the every body; but they might as truly say, 12,0001., in the ordinary modes of life, as that it is bound to see that the sun shines at if one thousand of it had been given in midnight. The matter is not within the noor's rates. If this hard-hearted man
whose crime will be his punishment Divine Providence is inverted, and evil were forced to give one thousand pounds invariably ensues. To benefit Ireland, to the poor rates, he would have but eleven we must educate, civilize, and Christianize thousand left, so that he must curtail his the rude masses of its inhabitants, and expenses by one twelfth, that is, in other open channels to their industry; but words,dismiss one twelfth; of the labourers forcibly to take a part of one man's bread he now directly or indirectly employs; to give to another, so far from benefiting and this twelfth must go for work to the the people, will only add to their imoverseer of the parish, instead of being providence, immorality, and wretchedness. supported in honest independence. But Another important and pressing question is this just or desirable ? Is it humane for legislative consideration, (still confinor Christian? Set a million of paupers ing ourselves to questions directly involvof unemployed persons, next year, in Ire- ing matters of religious duty,) is the best land to work, and give them food for their means of terminating West-Indian Slavery. labour : what have you done? You have Its extinction is a matter settled and irretaken just that quantity of food and work vocable ; and no man who consults either out of the market; so that another million private conscience or public opinion will who were living by their industry will venture to re-open this part of the quesnow be reduced to pauperism: or, to speak tion, the only point that remains for the more correctly, the operation will be legislature to decide upon is the best pracdivided among the whole population, so ticable means of arranging the detail of that not one million only, but many, will emancipation in a spirit of justice and suffer by short allowance ; just as the mercy, both to the master and the slave. whole crew of the supposed ship would, The evidence before the House of Comif the captain gave an extra biscuit to one mons' Committee of last session has fully part of them, while no new supply could established the two following points: be procured. The duty of individual first “that the slaves, if emancipated, charity is quite another matter. Captain would maintain themselves, would be inBligh humanely gave a fainting sailor a dustrious, and disposed to acquire properlittle of the slender stock of wine in his ty by labour ;” and secondly, “that the boat; and humanity is justice: but he did dangers of emancipation are greater from not lay down a law that every man had a freedom withheld than from freedom right to a full glass, when to give one was granted.” An elaborate and most valuable impossible. A rich man does not per- analysis of this evidence has been pubsonally eat or drink all his money: he lished by the Anti-slavery Society. The employs it, or lends it upon interest for evidence before the House of Lords' others to employ: and if any be taken Committee has also been ably and acutely away for poor's rates, there is so much analysed by a writer under the name of the less for other purposes ; so that not Legion, in a letter to the Duke of Richmore, nor in truth so much, work is given mond, the chairman of the committee; and to the poor by poor laws, as by leaving though the writer's style is not to our each person to spend his income in his taste, yet the matter which he details is own way. The claims on every one to of great value. The proposers of that devote as large a portion of his substance committee little foresaw what an exposi. as he can to charity, rest upon other tion they should be compelled to make of grounds. The portion given in voluntary the atrocious system which they had hoped charity does not, any more than that given to whitewash and decorate in holiday in poor's rates, produce a larger accession colours. Of evidence we have now a of work or food to the poor generally superfluity : there remains, therefore, but than if tbe same sum had been expended one duty-to strike off the fetter in the in goods or wages, or even in mere safest and speediest manner possible. But luxuries ; but it assists some particular this last effort will yet require a giant poor man, whose wants are personally arm ; for the bydra of slavery has never known to the individual, and whom he is yielded without a powerful struggle: and peculiarly bound to relieve. The donor so far from thinking that the friends of subtracts something that would have gone the slave ought to sleep at their posts, we to employ and feed workmen, servants, would alarm them to new and unwonted or others in the ordinary course of life, energy ; more especially in urging upon in order to relieve a miserable object the parliamentary representatives in their whom he is specially acquainted with respective vicinities the duty of zealAnd this is a duty, and a public benefit : ously aiding this great work of Chrisand not to do so would be selfish, hard- tian" justice and mercy. The Society of hearted, and unchristian. But laws and Friends are, as usual, active in the cause; lawgivers can only view mankind in and they bave just issued a most immasses, and consult for the general welfare pressive, affecting, and scriptural Appeal upon large principles of wisdom and to their fellow-Cbristians in its behalf. justice. Individuals ought to make per- The Evangelical Dissenters, in the solemn sonal sacrifices, to assist the poor ; but services of the day which they lately set when this is attempted to be done by apart for prayer and thanksgiving to God parliamentary enactments the order of on account of the abundant harvest, and