Extraordinary Proposal for a new Secret Society.

601 jesty's Ministers hold a cabinet meet. might multiply instances : but it is ing on Sunday—what has the reli- of the general spirit that I complain; gious world to do with the blame a spirit that tends to tear anew the of this ? do not the whole body of seamless robe of the Redeemer, and persons thus denominated utterly to expose his church, weak and reprobate such a proceeding? But divided, to the assaults of the common the Record does not let them off so enemy. easily. It finds out that Mr. Charles transacted some secular business on the Grant is a member of the cabinet, Lord's day. Now the first duty of any and has also spoken at Bible-Society

candid man would have been, to ascertain

the truth of the charge before publishing meetings. Here, then, is a sufficient

it; and the second, when ascertained, not identification for much good denun- to ground on it any unjust sneer or cenciation. I say nothing of the remarks sure upon innocent parties. But the on the individual, whose oath of se

editor of the Record violates both of these

charitable duties in one sentence, by cresy as a privy councillor would

adding, Perhaps some of the Lord not allow him to defend himself, Mayor's religious (marked specially in even if he had gone to the cabinet italics] friends will confirm or deny the on an errand of undoubted piety, been confirmed before it was published ;

statement.” The statement ought to have charity, or necessity; or with a

but supposing it true, why the sneer at view to deliver his conscience by “the Lord Mayor's religious friends ?” I uttering his solemn protest, week know nothing of the Lord Mayor, or his after week, against such a desecration

“religious friends :" but I can well under

stand the innuendo, and its obvious appliof the Lord's-day, and then retired

cation to " the men who cant about from the unhallowed assembly. But Bibles, tracts, and missions ;” even if I speak of the unfairness of taking the Record had not itself pointed it out, such a fact, as a peg for a severe

when, noticing the shameful violation declaration against the great body Committee, it brought home the charge

of the Lord's-day by the London-Bridge of religious persons in the land, as usual to “ the religious world,” by against the very men who are pro- adding, that it was done " under the sancmoting societies for the observance

tion and authority of the chief magistrate of the Lord's-day, and especially seen presiding at the anniversary meetings

of the city,” “ whom we have likewise against the Bible Society and its of some of the religious societies.” Now, friends, in much the same spirit in instead of its being done under his sancwhich Mr. Norris descanted on the tion, it is possible that he had exerted murders at Wapping, in connexion stated, that so far from participating in it,

himself to prevent it; and it is currently with the operations of that society. he spent that very Sunday in the country So again, because some persons of in retirement from metropolitan bustle, unscriptural sentiments in religion and was seen at church, in his pew, both have the humanity to oppose West- morning and evening. The Record ought,

at least, as a professedly religious journal Indian Slavery, the Record sets itself to have inquired into these facts before to declaim againstour Bible Societies it shot forth its arrows; but, be the and the great body of the most pious,

charge true or false, why the innuendo active, and faithful servants of God about “ the religious societies ?” It is a

just cause for grief and lamentation, in the land, of every name, by insi- where any professed friend of religion or nuating, most unjustly as well as religious societies acts inconsistently with uncharitably, that the Anti-Slavery his profession as a disciple of Christ ; but Society has perverted these devoted ought any person who feels tenderly for

the cause of godliness, to minister to the followers of Christ to look with an

sneers and sarcasms of an ungodly world, eye of brotherly regard upon the by availing himself of every such offence God-denying heresy, and every other

to raise undeserved popular outcry against species of irreligious pravity*. I

the great body of those who are faithful in the land ? A man convicted of horse

stealing is said to have remarked, that he While I was writing the above, the was one of Mr. Romaine's hearers. But, Record for Oct. 7 was laid on my table; replied Mr. Romaine, did I teach him to and the first article I glanced at in the steal horses? I say the same of the answers to correspondents was an anony- Record's stories of the Lord Mayor and mous charge that the Lord Mayor had the “ religious societies.”


Would that a spirit of love were ference, and scepticism ; but, be this more prevalent in all who profess as it may, I am sure it is the very themselves pilgrims and strangers atmosphere of heaven. upon earth, and who are looking

AN ANXIOUS OBSERVER. forward to a world where, after faith and hope are superseded, charity shall survive, for ever blessing and for ever blessed. Who can peruse St. Paul's eulogy on this divine grace

(Continued from p. 554.) (1 Cor. xiii.) and not feel its loveli- My dear friend,—Your Winchester ness? “ It speaks for itself, it speaks antiquaries trace back the origin to our very hearts,” exclaims Dr. of their city to a high antiquity, Doddridge; “ but oh, who must not which it does not become an igmourn that its angelic form is so norant man like me to dispute. I much a stranger to multitudes who believe, indeed, they are not quite bear the Christian name! So that, agreed as to the Trojan ancestry in many instances, it can hardly of Ludor Rous Hudibras, whom pass uncensured; while those ex- some have claimed for its founder: tremes which most evidently violate but they do not seem to entertain it, are often consecrated under ho- much doubt of its having been innourable names, and men build much habited, several centuries before the of their hopes of heaven, on breath- Christian æra, by Celtic Britons ing what is indeed the temper of from Normandy and Brittany; of hell. How many that style them- its original name of Caer Gwent, selves Christians can endure no pro- or the White City, from its chalk vocations, can cover no faults of hills ; of its acquiring the name their brethren, can keep themselves of Venta Belgarum, the etymon of within no bounds, can believe no- its modern name, a century before thing to their advantage against the Christian æra, from a tribe of whom, on party-principles, they have Belgæ, who came from the Rhine; entertained prejudices. They vaunt of its having been subjected to Vesthemselves; they are puffed-up with pasian, who appointed a select comthe conceit of their own wisdom; mittee to regulate its manufactures ; they behave unseemly; they seek of its revolutions in the days of the only their own reputation and pro- Romans ; of its Christianization fit; they believe the worst they can under the British King Lucius, a hear of others, and suspect more

lineal descendant of Caractacus ; of than they hear.” Thus did Dr. the building of its cathedral under Doddridge write long ago, but most this monarch, about the year of our applicable are his words at the present Lord 180; or of the destruction of the moment. “Alas !” adds he, that said edifice in the Diocletian persecuthe dictates of our Divine Master tion, and its restoration by a convent and the genius of our religion are of monks, when Constantine the so little understood, are no more Great restored peace to the church. regarded, and that we so entirely These remote matters I leave to forget the precepts of Christianity wiser men than myself; but about as not to number even those of the fifth century its history begins common humanity. Yet surely if to be well marked; and I have those precepts are wholly forgotten, already noticed a few of its early it is in vain that we remember, or memorabilia. I might mention many contend for, any of its doctrines and others; among which, I ought not principles.” I am aware that there to forget that it was at Winchester are those who will say that all this that was held in the reign of William “canting " about love, candour, and the Conqueror, under the presidency tolerance, is only one of the modifi- of the Pope's Legate, the far-famed cations of liberalism, neology, indif- synod which made the first efficient


attempt to render celibacy binding spiritual or pastoral sense, but poliupon the English clergy. In the ear- tically and ecclesiastically-stands lier ages, though clerical celibacy to them in the place of wife and had been honoured, it had not been children; I had almost said, of God; enjoined or generally practised. In for it they crave, and beg, and amass the unsettled state of the church in mortuary possessions, and too often the primitive age, it was often better keep in check the affections of that those who were to travel over kindred or patriotism, allowing the the world with their lives in their sovereign pontiff to intervene behands should not be encumbered tween themselves and their lawful with a family; yet even then the rulers, or the superstitions of Popery Apostle Paul only spoke of celibacy to alienate them from the dearest and as expedient under present cir- most holy relationships of life. cumstances, not as a religious duty. I have ever viewed it as one of Two or three centuries after we find the most convincing indications of marriage still permitted to the clergy: the determined selfishness and moral but celibacy began to be more highly pravity of the Church of Rome, that honoured; for which Mosheim as- she clings with such obstinate pertisigns a strange reason, that “ it was nacity to this injurious and unnatural an almost general persuasion that institution, which is not of necessity they who took wives were of all connected with any question of docothers the most subject to the influ- trine or religious discipline. It is a ence of malignant demons.” I need matter of undisguised calculating not relate to you the various steps policy; a cold blooded sacrifice at by which the practice became ge- the shrine of Rome of the best affecneral, and the dreadful excesses to tions and interests of the human which it led. The Popes, with a soul. What would Popery give up view to bind the clergy to the secu- as to any matter of theology, any lar interests of the church, and to article of faith or religious practice, the Papal see, were indefatigable in if it relinquished this baneful system? enforcing this bondage, and they Nothing, absolutely nothing ; only summoned numerous synods for the that Rome would lose much of purpose in various parts of Europe; her hold upon her priesthood, and but it was only after many efforts would sacrifice the bulwark of her that they succeeded in generally monastic orders. And for this paltry imposing the yoke, especially in end she perpetuates this enormity. England. The Winchester synod If it were allowed, which I for one decreed that the bishops should not do not admit, that celibacy is favourhenceforth ordain any person who able to pastoral devotion and diliwould not pledge himself to celibacy; gence, the flock occupying the place and this was a decisive step; but of domestic relationships, yet even still it did not venture to divorce this would not counterbalance the those who were already married, unceasing benefits which result to a except they belonged to colleges and parish from the residence of a wellcathedrals, so that no positive crimi- informed, virtuous, religious family; nality was, even up to that date, including the blessings which flow attached to clerical marriage ; but to the poor, the instruction of chil. by degrees the practice became uni- dren, and the comfort of the sick, versal, and with it that dreadful state with all the tender charities of female of morals which helped to lead the solicitude and maternal influence. way to the Protestant Reformation. The demonstration is daily before An unmarried clergy is the master- oureyes in our own church; for, owing piece of Papal policy ; the subjects to the poverty which falls to the lot of it have no ties to draw them off of so many of our clergy, great from their blind obedience to Rome; numbers of them are obliged to contheir church–I do not mean in a tinue unmarried, and this in nume. rous cases in which the individual prehensions of spiritual and temporal was eminently calculated to adorn punishment, without the clearest every domestic relationship. But necessity, is a refinement of cruelty do we find, in point of fact, that the which has few examples among civispiritual concerns of a parish are lized nations. Yet the scandal of more sedulously and affectionately defection is guarded against by fears attended to where the clergyman is that would crush stouter hearts, and thus circumstanced, than where he distract less vivid imaginations than has a wife and daughters to assist those of timid and sensitive females. his labours? Is the Protestant monk's Even a temporary leave to quit the cell, in the wing of a farm-house, a convent for the restoration of decaybrighter focus of light and warmth ing health is seldom given, and never to the parish, than the parsonage applied for but by such nuns as unfire-side, with all its glowing and happiness drives into a disregard of expanding affections? I do not dis- public opinion. I saw my eldest parage, but sincerely pity, those of sister, at the age of two-and-twenty, our clergy whose straitened circum- slowly sink into the grave within the stances do not allow of their attach- walls of a convent; whereas, had ing to themselves a domestic help- she not been a slave to that church meet and sub-curate to assist their which has been a curse to me, air, pastoral labours, and to animate them amusement, and exercise might have to new efforts in behalf of their be saved her. I saw her on her deathloved flock; but to say, that they are bed. I obtained that melancholy therefore the more useful, is to con- sight, at the risk of bursting my tradict plain matter of fact. Yet heart, when in my capacity of priest, if this plea be abated, what has the and at her own request, I heard her Church of Rome to urge in behalf of last confession. Ah! when shall I her rule of forced celibacy?

forget the mortal agony with which, In the case of women, the rule is not to disturb the dying moments of often still more severe than in that that truly angelic being, I suppressed of men; both because women are my gushing tears in her presence ; less formed to bear the rude shock the choking sensation with which of the disruption of social ties, and I forced. the words of absolution because in their case the banish- through my convulsed lips ; the fal. ment is more often involuntary and tering steps with which I left the forced

upon them by artifice or ty- convent alone, making the solitary ranny. I never read without a tear, street where it stood re-echo the sobs and a burst of indignation against I could no longer contain ! the Church of Rome, Mr. Blanco 'I saw my dear sister no more ; White's account of his sisters. Let but another was left me, if not equal me wind up my execrations at the in talents to the eldest (for I have synod of Winchester with the pas- known few that could be considered sage ; and if you will read it to your her equals), amiable and good in no sons and daughters, it will do more inferior degree. To her I looked up to shew them the hard-hearted ty- as a companion for life. But she ranny of the Papal church, than if had a heart open to every noble imI filled my sheet with twenty ab- pression ; and such, among Cathostract arguments.

lics, are apt to be misled from the “ Cruel and barbarous, indeed, path of practical usefulness, into the must be the bigotry or the policy wilderness of visionary perfection. which, rather than yield on a point At the age of twenty she left an inof discipline, sees with indifference firm mother to the care of servants even the chance, not to say the ex- and strangers, and shut herself up istence, of such evils. To place the in a convent, where she was not most sensitive, innocent, and ardent allowed to see even the nearest reminds under the most horrible ap- lations. With a delicate frame re

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quiring every indulgence to support stituted distilled liquors for it; a it in health, she embraced a rule most deadly substitute, as experience which denied her the comforts of has proved; but Temperance Sothe lowest class of society. A coarse cieties, I am inclined to hope, will woollen frock fretted her skin ; her so far enlighten public opinion as to feet had no covering but that of shoes rescue the next generation. open at the toes, that they might Notwithstanding wars, sieges, faexpose them to the cold of a brick mines, and pestilences, Winchester floor; a couch of bare planks was continued to flourish, till Edward the her bed, and an unfurnished cell her Third, in the year 1363, removed dwelling. Disease soon filled her its staple trade to Calais, which seconscience with fears ; and I had riously injured it. But the Protesoften the torture of witnessing her tant Reformation was the deathagonies at the Confessional. I left blow to its greatness. It had lived her, when I quitted Spain, dying upon Popery ; its civil importance much too slowly for her only chance was closely connected with its ecof relief. I wept bitterly for her clesiastical dignity ; its immense loss two years after ; yet I could not revenues were chiefly the produce be so cruel as to wish her alive.” of religious munificence, as religion

Let us now return to Winchester. was apprehended in those days of This city did not want in its day superstition, when a corrupt church for sumptuousness; and in parti- discounted its post-obit bills on etercular, the old historians boast of the nity for gold, jewels, manors, and excellent wines which adorned the other perishable wealth, which the tables of its royal and mitred inha- people were taught was not to be bitants, nay, of its monks, clergy, compared for a moment with the and higher citizens. Robert of value of a Pope's indulgence, or a Gloucester sings in the thirteeeth wonder-working relic, or a mass to century:

deliver souls from purgatory. Though In the country of Canterbury most plenty the civil wars in the days of Maud of fish is,

and Stephen had caused much temAnd most chase of wild beasts about Salisbury I wis;

porary damage and bloodshed in At London ships most, and wine at Win. Winchester, the mine from which chester.

her riches sprang had remained unMatthew of Westminster informs exhausted ; but when the Reformaus, that the wine which rendered tion stopped up its adits, Winchester Winchester so much better a clerical became poor indeed. Think of five residence than either Canterbury religious houses, with all their revewith its fish, or Salisbury with its nues, at once suppressed; the maggame, was Claret; “ Tibi vinum tua nificent establishmentof Hyde Abbey Vascovia ministravit.” There was devastated; chauntry lands confisnot only delicate taste, but sound cated ; rich hospitals crushed at a wisdom in this choice ; for no need blow; St. Cross, Mary Magdalene, had there been of Temperance So- and I know not how many other cieties, if men had been able and well-endowed foundations, put down content, as St. Paul prescribes to or dilapidated; and the priory of St. Timothy, to add to their pure aqueous Swithun itself, the oldest, it was beverage a moderate portion of the said, in the world, utterly extirpated. juice of the grape, as Providence The riches of this priory may be gave it, without those deleterious judged of when it is stated that out mixtures of ardent spirits by which of a fraction only of the spoils, the Northern palates have been vitiated, cathedral, under its new regime, and life and happiness and religion was endowed with a Protestant dean, so greatly injured. The poorer twelve prebendaries, and six minor classes of society, where wine could canons. The Papists look with not be cheaply procured, have sub- horror at these reformations, and

Christ. Observ. No. 358.

4 I

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