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taker with the altar. But how great was his self-denial! How honourably would he appeal to his own disinterestedness in pleading with the Church! I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel; yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered to my necessities. Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought, but wrought with travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to you; not because we have not the power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you. I preached unto you the Gospel of God freely; I was chargeable to no one; I was not burthensome.'. Such was Paul's glorying!' Yea, and he counted it better for him to die, than that any man should make his glorying void.
" And yet, it is for the contrary of all this that we are assailed, and are most assailable ; for it is here, in which we have most departed from Apostolic purity-in which we have least followed Paul, as he followed Christ.
“ The great body of the parochial clergy may, indeed, not be obnoxious to this charge. They may regret the difficulty in which they are sometimes placed between their duty to a professional interest, of which they are only the life representatives, and their willingness to sacrifice even just claims for the sake of peace. But they are not further responsible for the system, than as they do not protest against its evils, and pray for its commutation.
" It is not so, however, with those, whose disproportionate revenues arrest the public eye, and furnish a perpetual butt for the shafts of infidelity and disaffection; or with those whose multiplied pluralities involve the spoiling of their poorer brethren -who live of the temple at which they have never ministered, and are partakers with the altar, at which they never waited. Alas! it is such blemishes that have done the mischief-that have dealt the parricidal blow-that have eat as cankers into our goodly fabric, and caused it to totter to its fall. For the waters are abroad-the foundations are out of course—the storm is gathering, that is to be on every thing that is high, and on every thing that is lifted up, and that is to root up every plant that our heavenly Father hath not planted.
“Oh! then, that we were wise, that we would understand this—that there were in us such a mind as would lead us to meet this crisis, not in stern defiance or paralysed supineness, but in the spirit of manliness and truth: to correct our own abuses, and reform our own corruptions, and exscind the eye and hand, that are a stumblingblock, and cause of offence. For then might we be a glorious Church, worthy our Apostolic constitution—then might the good work prosper, which has so long slept upon our hands - then might the Dove, the messenger of peace, again visit our shrines, and nestle within our sanctuaries.
“Suffer me, my reverend brethren, thus far; for, in venturing these remarks, I know that I am uttering the sentiments of the wisest and holiest members of our communion,-of all who are waiting for deliverance in Israel, who have long mourned over the desolpus of our Church, and are even now expecting, that, out of our own Zion, shall quan the deliverers who are to turn away iniquity from Jacob. The day for indifferenée did inactivity is past-it is a question now between reform and destruction; and he is now the best churchman, as well as the best patriot, who is the first to acknowledge the abuse, and call for its correction.
“ The necessity of the Society which has brought us together to-day, is itself a proof of the existence of a fault. For, what is it, in fact, but a compensation for injustice a sort of opiate to the conscience of spiritual opulence-a partial prop to a system which is essentially unsound? We are aware that an equal distribution of church property is chimerical; that it would be mischievous, even if it were practicable. But why so disproportionate an arrangement? Why the unseemly anomaly between the excessive, though doubtless overstated wealth of a few dignitaries, and the comparative destitution of many of the most laborious and deserving clergy? Why are some overcharged with the cares and riches of this life, while others want bread ?" pp. 23—26. XXIII.— Reform without Re-construction ; being an Inquiry into the Ad
vantages of a safe and practicable Arrangement for removing, to a great Ertent, Inequalities in the Temporalities of the Established Church, without Legislative Interference, with a Plan for the Compression of the Liturgy; by Uvedale Price, M. A.
Mr. Price thinks Lord Henley goes too far in his interference with Church property. He would himself be willing to render Episcopal translations less frequent, but not to abolish the system. He would annex in perpetuity the first six stalls in Westminster Abbey (worth 15001. a year each); three in St. Paul's (in value 20001. each); six in St. George's, Windsor ; and six in Canterbury, to the worst-endowed bishopricks. He thinks the Welsh Bishops and Clergy ought to know something of the
language and manners of the people over whom they preside-certainly no violent hypothesis—and he therefore proposes disuniting the Welsh dioceses from the province of Canterbury, and making the Bishop of St. Asaph “Primate of Wales." He expressly declines saying much of the disproportioned incomes of the parochial clergy, an evil which certainly cannot be remedied" without legislative interference.” He wishes the Liturgy shortened, chiefly by leaving out the Ten Commandments, which he considers merely Jewish, and not fit to be used in a Christian assembly, especially the Fourth Commandment; the application of either the letter or the spirit of which to Christian times, Mr. Price considers an absurd Puritanical notion, the very thought of which leads him into a zealous denunciation of “factious religionists and persecuting fanatics.” We modern Puritans, who venerate the command, Six days shalt thou labour and do all that thou hast to do, but the seventh is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God," are not very much inclined to listen to the opinions of a writer who considers Archbishop Laud as one to whom the Church of England must ever look back with more than common veneration; one whom she must ever acknowledge as one of the most distinguished of her Prelates ;” and who thinks it the height even of Puritanical absurdities to believe in a special Providence, or to apply the spirit of the Old Testament to modern times.
The author recommends a variety of minor alterations in the Church Service, too numerous for us to recapitulate; but we do not think them in general happy. Why, for instance, omit the word "shortly” in the Burial Service ("shortly accomplish the number of thine elect”), and yet leave wholly unnoticed those other expressions in that service which give extreme pain to many conscientious clergymen ?
We for the present lay down our bundle of pamphlets ; but there is one point which, amidst so many plans for Church Reform, we are anxious should not be forgotten-namely, that we have a church well worth reforming; and with regard to abuses, it is a slander to speak of them as increasing among us. On the contrary, we believe that for a century and a half past there were never fewer, and that they are daily diminishing. The times are more searching than formerly; there is also a wider diffusion of religious feeling ; and hence all improprieties are made more known, and are more keenly felt and animadverted upon. Pluralities, commendams, sinecures, and other things which ought to be amended, were never regarded with greater jealousy than at present; and there is more reason to fear lest some would-be reformers should strip the Church to penury, than that the days will be revived when prelates raised armies, and besieged castles, and captured palaces, and bearded monarchs; and when a Dunstan was not thought less a saint for holding the see of London annexed to his princely Archbishoprick of Canterbury, which had not then suffered the spoliations of modern encroachment. Let us correct abuses ; but let us not exaggerate them. Radicals and infidels, and some who ought to know better, will do that to our hands.
One word, also, to those who are pleased to charge the Church of England with practical Popery, and who see no remedy for abuses but that of subverting all national Ecclesiastical Establishments. With such persons we contend, that the system of the Church of England stands fairly and scripturally between the two extremes of the Papist and the Dissenter. Popery forces the people to regulate their watches by the town-clock, without allowing them to look at the sun; and the hands are never suffered to be altered, let the sun say what it may. Dissent, to avoid this evil, has no town-clock at all. The Church of England keeps a town-clock, but regulates it by the sun, and invites every person to see whether it goes rightly; but forces no man to set his watch to it, unless he is convinced that it is true to the dial, There is much convenience in having a townclock, though the sun is the real and only regulator. Our Church Formu. laries—to drop the figure-are not intended to take the place of the Bible, or of the teaching of the Holy Ghost : they are not the sun : but they are valuable as forms of sound words, compressing much Scriptural knowledge for popular use, and as a standard of what the generality of the town consider to be true time by the authentic gnomon. The clock does not supersede the meridian, and may be corrected at any time by it. A simile, we know, is not necessarily an argument; but we think ours partakes of the complexion of one.
(To be continued.)
OBITUARY. WM. WILBERFORCE, ESQ.
hasty a memoir of such a man. The
chief features of bis public life are, It has been the lot of the Conductors of indeed, already before the world in many the Christian Observer, in the course of forms; and a fuller and more personal more than thirty years, to raise memorials narrative, compiled from authentic docuover the tomb of many eminent servants ments and recollections, and including of Christ and friends of mankind; but, selections from his correspondence, is, without disparagement to any other name, we understand, in contemplation by his however bighly and justly esteemed, never family. There will, therefore, be no dewas their difficulty so great as in en. ficiency of interesting materials with deavouring to express the thoughts and which to combine those reflections and feelings which arise in connexion with statements which may occur to ourselves that of Mr. Wilberforce. He was one of in connexion with the memory of this those remarkable individuals who are beloved and revered friend, and ample raised up from time to time to give a new opportunities will occur for resuming the and permanent stamp to the concerns of subject. In the mean time, and in the large portions of mankind; who have not absence of the full and accredited narpassed through life and left behind them rative which we may hope for, we shall no distinct record of their existence; but transcribe, for the information of those of whose name is traced upon the tablets of our readers who are not acquainted with bistory, and is blended with the affairs of the general outline of Mr. Wilberforce's mighty nations. In the application of this life, a very interesting account of him, remark to Mr. Wilberforce, we do not which has been communicated, appaallude merely to that great question of rently from an authentic source, to the justice, religion, humanity, and national “ Christian Advocate.” There may be a policy, with which he is most currently few minor errors in the narrative, and and popularly identified; but also, and we some of the statements might furnish ocmight say more peculiarly, to the influ- casion for comment; but we transcribe ence of his character and conduct as a the whole as we find it, gratified in layChristian, which affected, to a degree faring before our readers so able and elobeyond what ordinarily falls to the lot of quent a sketch, and doubly gratified at an individual, the moral and spiritual the preference which the writer gives to habits of his contemporaries, and through the religious portion of his friend's chathem of posterity. We shall have occa- racter above those splendid qualities, sion to advert to this matter in the re- and even those amiable and philanthropic marks which we purpose introducing in virtues, which beautifully harmonized relation to him as a Christian Senator, with it, but had been a delusive substiand the Author of the “ Practical tute for it. The following is the narrative: View of the prevailing Religious System “ The loss of private friends is too ab. of professed Christians in the higher and sorbing an event to be immediately ininiddle Classes in this Country, contrasted structive. It is too long before the with real Christianity;" one of the most wounded feelings of the survivors will valuable and useful publications of this permit that calm retrospect, which first or any age, and which, by the blessing of teaches resignation, and then guides the God, has been rendered the instrument of thoughts to eternity. The vivid recol. religious benefit to multitudes of persons, lection of features that we loved, and last who could not be induced to look into beheld convulsed in the agony of apany religious book which came before proaching dissolution; the memory of rethem less strongly recommended.
cent kindness, of domestic enjoyment, We are not disposed to draw up too gone, perhaps never to return; the fond,
endearing associations of a long, united “We have endeavoured to glean a few home, now for the first time severed and facts of the biography of this celebrated dispersed; all combine to raise painful man, to satisfy the anxious wishes of our and tumultuous emotions, inconsistent readers. with that tone of deep and solemn inter- “ His ancestors for many years were est, with which we contemplate the loss successfully engaged in trade at Hull. His of our public men.
great-great-grandfather was a Mr. William “ Few, indeed, could be mentioned Wilberforce, who was one of the Gowhose names are more calculated to ele- vernors of Beverley in the year 1670. The vate the mind to a devotional, as well as grandson of this gentleman married Sarah, an affectionate temperament, than Mr. the daughter of Mr. John Thornton, Wilberforce's. He was intimately con- about the year 1711; and hence, we believe, nected, in the remembrance of every man, originated that intimate connexion with with all that is great and good. He was the Thornton family which continued to a bright star in that galaxy of talent that the end of Mr. Wilberforce's life. There shed a lustre over our political world at were two sons and two daughters, the the end of the last century. He shone issue of this marriage. William, the elder with brilliancy in our senate, even when son, died without issue in the year 1780. men were dazzled with the splendour of Robert, the younger, married Miss ElizaPitt and Fox. He was the ornament of beth Bird; the aunt, as we believe, of society when Burke was in the meridian the present Bishops of Winchester and of his glory, and Sheridan in his zenith, Chester. The late Mr. Wilberforce was and Canning in the spring of his radiant the only son of Mr. Robert Wilberforce.
But honours like these were the There were two daughters, Elizabeth and least that distinguished the course of this Sarah: the former died unmarried; the venerated man. He achieved for himself latter was twice married, first to the Rev. a triumph far more illustrious, even for Clarke, and then to Mr. Stephen, the its earthly value, than all that eloquence, late Master in Chancery. or learning, or wit, can obtain for their “ Mr. Wilberforce was born at Hull in possessors. At a time when religious the year 1759, in a house in High Street, sincerity was not understood in the higher now the property of Mr. Henwood. He walks of life, and piety was stigmatized went to St. John's College, Cambridge, in aristocratic circles with scarcely less as a fellow-commoner, at the usual age, reproach than in the days of the Second and there formed an intimacy with Mr. Charles; when the heat of politics and Pitt, which remained unbroken till his the rage of party almost excluded Chris- death. Mr. Wilberforce did not obtain tianity from sight, and banished her pros academical honours; and, in fact, such fessors from fashionable life; Mr. Wilber- honours were rarely sought at that time force, with a courage and a consistency by those who wore a fellow-commoner's worthy of an Apostle, exerted himself, by gown: but he was distinguished as a man his writings and his example, to work á of elegant attainments and acknowledged moral reform in the sphere in which he classical taste. Dr. Milner, the late premoved : and his exertions were crowned sident of Queen's College in the same with success. He established around him University, was another intimate of Mr. a circle of pious men, which has gradu- Wilberforce, and accompanied him and ally but constantly been extending itself, Mr. Pitt in a tour to Nice. We believe till it has at length included within it Miss Sarah Wilberforce was also of the many, as we hope, of our distinguished party. This little event deserves particharacters in every class of life, political, cular mention, even in this hasty memoir literary, and scientific. With many shades of him; for he has often been heard to of difference in opinion, and even perhaps acknowledge that his first serious impresin principle, there is undoubtedly a large sions of religion were derived from his body of men now existing, who take a conversations with Dr. Milner, during the prominent part in every scheme of bene- journey. Milner was a man worthy of yolence or religious instruction, and who the proud distinction of having thus led have acquired for our country a reputa- Mr. Wilberforce's mind into paths of tion for charitable and pious exertions pleasantness and peace. beyond that of any other nation in the “ Mr. Wilberforce was chosen as the world. We attribute the merit of this, Representative of his native town as soon under the blessing of God, more to the as he attained his majority. We first example and influence of Mr. Wilber- find bis name in the Parliamentary Jourforce, than to any other secondary cause. nals in the year 1781, as one of the ComWhile others have given to bím that missioners for administering the oaths to meed of praise which is justly his due, Members. We believe that he represented for his great exertions in the cause of the Hull for two, if not three parliaments. enslaved Negro, we have always consi. He does not appear to have taken an dered this to be his highest honour, and active part in the business of the House one which will shed a glory on his name when the existence of Colonial Slavery is • Dr. Milner would not have approved amere matter of historical research.
till 1783, when he seconded an address of force. We must hasten on to that great thanks on the Peace. The next occasion question, to which he devoted his best on wbich he came forward was in oppo- powers and his best days; the Abolition sition to Mr. Fox's India Bill, in 1783. of the Slave Trade. It was in 1788 that We have never seen any report of his Mr. Wilberforce first gave notice of his speech: we have heard it mentioned in purpose to draw the attention of the Leterms of approbation, but as marked with gislature to this subject; but indisposition more asperity of style tban generally cha- prevented him from executing it; and, on racterized bis oratory. It cannot but be the 9th of May in that year, Mr. Pitt interesting at the present time, to find undertook the duty for him. A resoluthat in 1785 Mr. Wilberforce spoke in tion passed the House, that it would profavour of a reform in Parliament, when ceed in the next session to consider the that subject was brought forward by Mr. state of the Slave Trade, and the meaPitt. The plan then suggested was in- sures it might be proper to adopt with finitely short of that which has since been respect to it. Even at that early period carried into effect. Mr. Pitt proposed of his life, so well acknowledged were his to suppress thirty-six decayed' boroughs; talents and his character, that both Pitt to distribute their members among the and Fox expressed their conviction that counties; and to establish a fund of one the question could not be confided to million for the purchase of the franchise abler hands. Before the House proceeded of other boroughs, to be transferred to with the inquiry, Sir William Dolben, unrepresented towns. It is worthy of the Member for the University of Oxford, remark, that Mr. Fox, who avowed him- moved for leave to bring in a bill to reself favourable to the principle of reform, gulate the transportation of slaves. The but resisted the plan of purchasing it, bill was lost upon a question of privilege; complained of Mr. Wilberforce for not but, in its passage through both Houses, taking the most conciliatory mode' of evidence at great length was examined, acquiring strength in the cause, and for proving all the horrors of the system. We * reproaching characters of the greatest have been much struck, in the perusal of weight in Parliament.'
the debates, by the identity of tone and “ In the following year Mr. Wilber- sophism between the pro-slavery men of force succeeded in carrying through the that day and their successors in the preCommons a Bill for amending the Cri- sent. Lord Thurlow talked pathetically, minal Law. It was crude and imperfect not of the murder of the slaves, but of in its forms, and opposed by Lord Lough- the ruin of the traders; Lord Sydney borough in the Upper House, principally eulogized the tender legislation of Jafor this reason. It was rejected without maica; the Duke of Chundos deprecated a division. Its principal object was to universal insurrection; and the Duke of give certainty to punishment; but, if we Richmond proposed a clause of commay judge from Lord Loughborough's pensation ! comments upon it, it reflected more credit “On the 12th of May, 1789, Mr. Wil. upon Mr. Wilberforce's benevolent feel- berforce again brought the question before ings than upon his legal skill: nor is this the House, introducing it with one of improbable; Mr. Wilberforce was not a those powerful and impressive speeches man to subject bis enlarged views to the which have justly classed him among the trammels of special-pleading precaution. most eloquent men of his day. He of It is not, indeed, likely, that he was qua- fered a series of resolutions for their conlified by any professional study for that sideration and future adoption; and on petty dexterity which is necessary to adapt the 25th of May the debate was legislation to the correction of abuses newed. The usual evasion of calling strictly legal.
further evidence was successfully prac“ It is instructive to observe the early tised by his opponents, and the further Parliamentary career of this great man. consideration of the matter was adjourned If there ever was a being gifted with more to the following session. Sir William than human kindness, it was Mr. Wil. Dolben's Act, bowever, for the regula. berforce. His tone, his manners, his look, tion of the trade, was passed. were all conciliatory, even to persuasive “ In 1790, Mr. Wilberforce revived the tenderness; yet we have already seen him subject; but, though more evidence was reproved for undue severity by Fox, and taken, and on this occasion before a we next find him tutored in meekness by select committee, nothing effectual was Pitt! In 1787, in a debate on the com- done, and the question was again postmercial relations with France, Burke had poned. In the following year, another provoked Mr. Wilberforce into some acri- committee above stairs was appointed to mony of retort, when Mr. Pitt checked prosecute the examination of witnesses; him for his imprudence, telling him that and on the 18th of April Mr. Wilberit was as far beyond his powers as his force again opened the debate with a cowishes, to contend with such an opponent pious and
energetic argument. Pitt, Fox, as Burke, in abuse and personality.' William Smith, and other members, came
“ We have not space to follow in detail forward to support him; but in vain : slave the Parliamentary history of Mr. Wilber- traders in 1791 were not more accessible