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places, as given in Dr. Smith's Letter, I pretend not to determine. But I am not prepared to yield an implicit assent to its alleged correctness ; not only because I happen to know something of dissenting proceedings generally, but because of the facts stated by me, in April last, in a letter to a noble lord, of which letter the following is an extract :
“ From the time when the school returns were moved for, I have laboured, perhaps unjustly, under the suspicion that those returns were sought with the view of attempting to exhibit the Church and its Clergy, as more supine and inefficient in instructing the youth of the country, than their rivals are; and that such an exhibition might be construed into a reason or pretext for a legislative measure, by which the youth of the kingdom might be abstracted from the superintendence of the parochial Clergy, and transferred to the dissenters. That suspicion has been rather confirmed than weakened by subsequent opinions put forth in certain quarters.
" How far any attempts have elsewhere been made to exaggerate numbers on the side of our adversaries, I am not prepared to hazard even an opinion. That such an attempt was made in this village, the following statement, made to me by the overseer, seems to decide. He had received the school return, filled up by the dissenting minister, who keeps a day-school, (There is in the village a national school also.) The return, so filled up, not being quite intelligible to the overseer, he called upon the dissenting minister to have it explained. The number of children returned as being in the school, was forty-three; but the overseer, on calling, saw only fifteen or eighteen present; and twentyfive were made out as the entire number both present and absent ! Upon the overseer's remarking on the irregularity of the return, it was replied by the dissenting minister,* that the return might be sent as it was to London, for it would never find its way back to and in London they would know nothing about it: and, I believe, that the return was so sent. Whether similar practices have in other places been resorted to, to augment the number of children instructed by dissenters, I know not.
"I may be permitted to add, that an impartial investigation of the system and effects of the Sunday School Union, or Lancasterian Schools, under the combined management of dissenters and infidels, in our densely populated districts, would demonstrate that those schools are a greater curse than a blessing to society. I could, I think, adduce something like proof of this assertion.”
In the above quotation I have omitted personal and local names, simply from feelings of delicacy to the overseer ; but in my original letter, I stated names : and my object in writing to Lord
was to bring the subject under proper investigation. The process necessary in doing so, seemed so tedious and expensive that I abandoned it.
That Dr. Pye Smith has in his Letter to Dr. Lee, thrown off the veil of professed regard for the Church of England, I am neither surprised nor grieved: there is less danger from an open than a covert adversary. His late demonstration of hostility will probably cool the ardent
• I should just remark that this man is incompetent to spell the English language, VOL. XVII. NO. IV.
pantings of some semi-churchmen after him, as expressed by such persons, for instance, as write in the British Critic. “ Dr. J. Pye Smith ....... to whom we would willingly say, 'qualis cum sis, utinam noster esses.'” No. XXXIII. p. 252. Again, such dissenting phraseology as, “the various sections of the English Church," p. 229. Various sections of the English Church !!!
I am, Sir, Your's very truly,
Mar. 11, 1835.
SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE. At the Sixth General Annual Meet- being 35l. 148. in annual subscriptions, ing of the Members of the Ripon, 87. 38. 6d., the amount of the differMasham, and Aldborough Districts ence between the Society's reduced Committee of the Society for Promot price, as charged to the Committee, ing Christian Knowledge, held at the and the cost price on books issued to Chapter-house, Ripon Minster, on non-members of the Society, accordTuesday, the 27th of January, 1835; ing to Rule VIII.-2811. 178. 4d. for the Rev. G. H. Webber, M.A., Pre- books sent to the Depository. The bendary of Ripon, in the Chair; the subscriptions and donations to the Report, from which the following is District Fund amount to 581. 1s. This an extract, was read :
statement, deducting the incidental exDuring the past year, the Society penses, leaves a balance of 221. 45.94d. has attained, in both these respects, to due to the Treasurer. The number of a higher degree of prosperity than it books issued from the Ripon Depoever before reached. Its income has sitory, in 1834, was, 312 Bibles; 339 amounted to the sum of 74,0941. 168.5d. Testaments; 781 Common Prayer being an increase upon the preceding Books; 1,096 Bound Books; and year of more than 3,0001. The total 7,278 Religious Tracts; making a number of its publications circulated total of NINE THOUSAND EIGHT HUNduring the past year has amounted to DRED AND SIX, besides a considerable 2,152,079, being an increase of 72,000 number of cards to National, Infant, upon the preceding year. The number and Sunday Schools. This large cirof Bibles distributed was 85,588; culation of the Bible, and other ReliTestaments, 74,485; Prayer Books, gious Books, in the district, shows the 180,143; Psalters, 15,660; Bound good effected by the Committee's Books, 126,300; Religious Tracts, exertions. The Bible here dissemi1,679,017.
nated in our neighbourhood will “ be These statements will be sufficient as bread cast upon the waters, which to show that there is an increasing may be found after many days;" and demand for the advantages conferred succeeding generations will, by the by the Society, both among its own blessing of God, be made wise unto members and the public at large; and salvation, through our liberality and a growing disposition to give it more exertions. extensive support.
Your Committee affectionately inThe Committee refer with pleasure vito all who desire the kingdom of to the labours of their own district, Christ to increase and prosper, to which continues to prosper and spread assist in this great work. The Society, its benefits throughout its own limits which has long been employed as the and the neighbouring parts of the great dispenser of the Word of Lise at county of York. It appears, from the Home, is now prepared to extend its
Treasurers' account, that the sum re- labours to FOREIGN LANDS. The Bible mitted; and now due, in 1834, to the and Prayer Book will now, through its Parent Society, amounts to 3261.58.14d. agency, be circulated to the natives of
DOMESTIC.-The ministry of Sir R. Peel has made considerable progress since our last. The country already sees in excellent train, Church Reform, Law Reform, and Military Reform, and, above all, a noble and disinterested reform in the distribution of what are technically termed “the loaves and fishes."
We cannot, however, participate in the “ Io triumpbi," which has been raised by the enemies of the agricul. tural interest, and the patrons of gin palaces, and ruinous monopolies, at the defeat of the Marquis of Chandos's motion for a repeal of the malt tax, and we much question whether ministers themselves will, in the long run, have reason to rejoice. The numbers were
For the motion . . . 192
of dissenters, with respect to the performance of the rite of marriage, has been received with general satisfaction, not only by the House of Commons, but by the country at large; and we are quite sure that the Clergy will be always ready to sacrifice their own private feelings, wherever christian harmony and peace may be attained, without the compromise of principle.
The anti-protestant party in the Lower House has been defeated on the Irish tithe question. The numbers being
For ministers ... 213
Majority ... 158 The abolition of imprisonment for debt, which has so long disgraced our statute book, is resolved upon.
Mr. Hume's threat of stopping the supplies! has proved a mere cackle of the Middlesex goose.
The ministerial plan for the relief
Majority ... 15 This question, however, is far from settled, for the Irish Church, and every question even remotely infringing upon it, have involved the successive administrations of the country in the most perplexing difficulties, ever since the glorious, pious, and good King William, rescued us from “pope and popery, brass money, and wooden shoes."
With respect to the reformation of the Church of England, we refer our readers to the annexed :
FIRST REPORT FROM THE CHURCH COMMISSION,
AS FINALLY SETTLED, MARCH 17.
TO THE KING'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY.-We, your Majesty's Commissioners, appointed by a Commission under the Great Seal, bearing date the 4th day of February, 1835, to consider the state of the Established Church,
with reference to ecclesiastical duties and revenues, having entered upon the inquiry committed to us, humbly offer to your Majesty this our first Report.
With the exception of a subject to which we shall advert in a subsequent part of our Report, we have hitherto directed our attention to that branch of the inquiry which stands first in your Majesty's Commission-namely, « the state of the several dioceses in England and Wales, with reference to the amount of their revenues, and the more equal distribution of episcopal duties, and the prevention of the necessity of attaching by commendam to bishoprics benefices with cure of souls."
In order to present to your Majesty our suggestions upon this subject in the most convenient form, we have arranged them under the following heads—« TERRITORY," “ REVENUE," and “ PATRONAGE."
TERRITORY. The map of England and Wales, marked according to their present ecclesiastical divisions, will exhibit the great inequality which exists between the different dioceses. This inequality, though diminished, was far from being remedied by the erection of new sees at the Reformation, and the inconveniences resulting from it have been greatly increased by the immense and partial growth of the population.
Although various circumstances render it impossible to establish a perfect equality of dioceses, we are of opinion that the disparity which now exists between them will admit of considerable diminution.
The extent of episcopal duties, while it increases in some degree with the population, is also materially affected by the number and distance of benefices within each diocese. It is not, therefore, to population alone that we deem it right to look on the present occasion;
likewise be paid to other local circumstances.
We are not prepared to recommend any increase in the total number of episcopal sees; but we are of opinion that by the union of certain existing bishoprics, of which the combined duties will not be too onerous for a single Bishop; by the erection of two new sees in the province of York; and by the transfer, in some cases, of a district from one dio cese to another; an arrangement may be made for the general performance of
episcopal duties more satisfactory than that which at present subsists.
The maps and tabular statements, which accompany this report, will exhibit the actual condition of the several dioceses in England and Wales, and the alterations which we venture to suggest.
Under this head we proceed to submit to your Majesty the following propositions, subject to such modifications as, upon further inquiry, may appear to be
1. That two new sees shall be erected in the province of York-one at Manchester, and the other at Ripon ; at each of which places there is a collegiate church, well adapted for a cathedral.
2. That the diocese of Manchester shall consist of those parts of the county of Lancaster which compose the deaneries of Amounderness, Blackburn, Leyland, Manchester, and Warrington; and which now form part of the diocese of Chester.
3. That the diocese of Ripon shall consist of those parts of the county of York which compose the deaneries of Richmond, Catterick, and Boroughbridge, in the diocese of Chester; of the deanery of Craven ; and of such parts of the deaneries of the Ainsty and Pontefract in the county and diocese of York, as lie to the westward of the following districts, viz. the Liberty of the Ainsty, and the Wapentakes of Barkston Ash, Osgoldcross, and Staincross.
4. That to the diocese of Carlisle shall be added those parts of Cumberland and Westmoreland, which now form part of the diocese of Chester-the deanery of Furnes and Cartmel, in the county of Lancaster, and the deanery of Kirkby Lonsdale, in the counties of Lancaster and York, also in the present diocese of Chester,—and the parish of Aldeston, in the county of Cumberland, which is now inconveniently situate in the diocese of Durham.
5. That, further, with respect to the diocese of Durham, that part of the county of Northumberland called Hexhamshire, which now belongs to the diocese of York, shall be transferred to that of Durham; and that a few insulated parishes in Yorkshire, now belonging to the diocese of Durham, shall be transferred to that of York, or Ripon, by which dioceses, under the proposed
• The bishoprics of Chester, Peterborough, Oxford, Gloucester, and Bristol, were erected in the reign of Henry VIII.
arrangement, they will be respectively surrounded.
6. That to the diocese of Chester, re. duced according to the foregoing propositions, shall be added those parts of the county of Salop which are now in the dioceses of Lichfield and Coventry, and St. Asaph; and which must then be included, with the remainder of the diocese of Chester, in the province of York.
7. That the county of Nottingham shall be transferred to the diocese of Lincoln, from that of York, which diocese will then consist of the whole county of York, except the parts which are to be included in the dioceses of Carlisle and Ripon.
8. That the diocese of Lincoln shall in future consist of the counties of Lincoln and Nottingham, which latter county will then be in the province of Canterbury.
9. That the sees of St. Asaph and Bangor shall be united ; and that the diocese shall consist of the whole of the two existing dioceses (except that part which is in the county of Salop), and of all those parishes in the county of Montgomery which now belong to the dioceses of St. David's and Hereford. One advantage which will result from the union of these two sees will be the opportunity afforded of applying a part of the impropriations, which constitute nearly the whole property of the bishoprics, to the augmentation of poor and populous vicarages in the united diocese.
10. That those parishes in the county of Hereford which are now in the diocese of St. David's, and the deanery of Bridgenorth, locally situate between the dioceses of Lichfield and Hereford, shall be added to the diocese of Hereford; that those parishes which are in the county of Worcester and diocese of Here ford shall be transferred to the diocese of Worcester ; and those which are in the county of Montgomery and diocese of Hereford, to the diocese of St. Asaph and Bangor.
The diocese of Bristol presents a peculiarly inconvenient arrangement. It consists of the city of Bristol, with some adjacent parishes; and of the county of Dorset, which is separated from the seat of the bishopric by the county of Somerset.
We recommend, as a more convenient arrangement, that the county of Dorset shall be transferred to the diocese of Salisbury; and that the remainder of the present diocese of Bristol, consisting of the city of Bristol and its adjacent
VOL. XVII. NO. IV.
parishes, shall be united to some other diocese.
Two modes of effecting this object have suggested themselves to us. The first, which is that of uniting the bishoprics of Gloucester and Bristol, involves this objection, that the great and populous city of Bristol would no longer be the residence of a Bishop. The other is that of uniting the dioceses of Bristol and Llandaff, the latter having no house of residence for its Bishop. If this plan be adopted, it cannot be denied that the interposition of the Bristol Channel between the two divisions of the diocese will produce some inconvenience, and that the Bishop will be resident at a considerable distance from the greater part of his diocese; but, under all the circumstances of the case, we are prepared to recommend
11. That the sees of Llandaff and Bristol shall be united, and that the diocese shall consist of the city of Bristol and adjacent parishes, now in the diocese of Bristol, and of the present diocese of Llandaff; with the addition of those portions of the county of Monmouth which are now in the diocese of St. David's and Hereford, and of certain parts of the deanery of Brecon now in the diocese of St. David's.
We further propose
12. That the diocese of Gloucester shall consist of the county of Gloucester (except those parishes which are now in the diocese of Bristol, and that part of the deanery of Campden which lies to the north-east of the chapelry of Snowshill), of the deaneries of Malmesbury and Cricklade, in the county of Wilts, now in the diocese of Salisbury, and of the parishes of Red Marley, Stanton, St. James, Chaseley, Eldersfield, Bushley, Bredon, with Norton and Cutsdean, Overbury, with Washbourne, Teddington, and Alston, Sedgbarrow, and Icomb, now in the county and diocese of Worcester.
13. That the diocese of St. David's shall consist of the present diocese, except those parts which are to be transferred to the dioceses of St. Asaph and Llandaff.
14. That the diocese of Worcester shall consist of the whole county of Warwick, part of which is now in the diocese of Lichfield and Coventry, of the county of Worcester, excepting the parishes transferred to the d and of that part of the deanery of Campden which is to be taken from the diocese of Gloucester. 15. That the diocese of Lichfield shall