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several years ago, fourteen of the neighbouring gentlemen proffered themselves as trustees : of these, eleven were land-owners, most of them possessed of large estates or other valuable property ; the remaining three being clergymen. Precisely as in the case recorded above, the gentlemen, with but one exception, (satistied with lending their name as trustees, “became negligent in giving their personal services;” and, but for the voluntary exertions of two out of the three clergymen, and the one excepted layman, not the slightest attention was, from the day of its establishment, ever paid to the arrangement or management of the affairs of the bank, further than, I believe, in one or two instances a signature being annexed to some formal matters of routine business. The two clergymen, however, of whom the writer happened to be one, and the gentleman already alluded to, did take some little trouble, particularly in investigating and auditing the annual accounts. But, in process of time, the other clergyman removed to a distance; and shortly after died. And more than once I was left a solitary auditor, with the tacit confidence of the other trustees, that they were thus exonerated by my acts and deeds. Matters remained thus till, about four years ago, my attention was called to the situation in which I stood, by a bankruptcy in a savings bank in Wales ; in consequence of which, the trustees were held responsible; but, on the plea of non-interference, I believe, or some other technical cause, evaded loss; the greater part of which fell upon a clergyman who, in this as in most other similar cases, had taken the labouring oar. On incidentally alluding to this catastrophe, I found to my surprise and dismay, that most of my co-partner trustees looked upon themselves as perfectly free and irresponsible; and that, supposing our savings bank were to be exposed to similar danger, we two trustees alone, out of the fourteen, were held by them to be solely and entirely liable to the amount of any possible defalcation. It is scarcely necessary to add, that, on ascertaining this to be the prevailing feeling of my nominal coadjutors, though my name, of necessity, remains on the list of trustees, I practically washed my hands of so thankless a concern; with a determination never again to volunteer my services in the management of a savings bank.
It may be said that clause 9 (of cap. 92, 9 Geo. IV.) is a sufficient security. I beg leave to doubt the assertion. In the first place, it is so ambiguously, or cautiously worded, that I have heard sound legal persons give directly contrary opinions as to its interpretation; and iny own belief is, that it is so worded as fully to establish Sir G. Rose's opinion, that, in case of peculation, all trustees are liable by this very clause, if not for their own acts and deeds, by being “guilty of wilful neglect or default;" whilst those most assuredly are who stand entirely aloof, sheltering themselves under the opinion, that he who is doing their business is alone to be the sufferer. It may, however, be again advanced, that if the affairs of the bank are duly and strictly attended to, there is no danger. This is certainly true; but I, for one, shrink from a responsibility, to say nothing of the occupation of time most disagreeably spent, to which I do not feel myself competent. For how many clergymen or country gentlemen are there, I would VOL. V.-Feb. 1834.
ask, who are, in fact, competent to dive into the mysteries, unravel the intricacies, or examine all the details of an extensive savings bank account, if the actuary, in the person of a clever man of business, got into difficulties, and choose to mystify or falsify them.
In the observations I have made, I am far from harbouring the shadow of suspicion regarding the bank I am speaking of. Its money department is in the hands of a wealthy and most respectable individual; and the character of the actuary stands so high, that if any bank is safe, I should say this was that bank. But who, in these days, can be assured that all things will go on smoothly, and that no unforeseen events may not entail difficulties and disasters, in which the contributors may be officially referred by the government (which by the very act of appointing and accepting certain trustees relieves itself from all responsibility) to those very gentlemen, who, having utterly neglected a duty they had taken upon themselves, have allowed peculations and defalcations to ensue; which, at least, might have been checked in progress, if not entirely averted, had they not, by throwing the risk on those only who were willing to work, compelled them, in a manner, to retire; and leave a mass of accumulating wealth to an inferior servant, who may thus be led into temptations to help himself, trifling perhaps at first, but frightful to contemplate in their possible extent.
PRAYERS BEFORE SERMON.
MR. EDITOR,—We have a pretty good choir of singers in our church, for a country village ; and though I make no pretensions to musical skill, I cannot but generally admire both their selection of tunes, and their adaptation of them to the different Psalms. However, within the last two or three months, I had observed that they had introduced some new tunes, which, for some cause or other, did not please my inexperienced ear. A friend, who is on a visit to me, and who has some knowledge of the subject, now tells me that these new tunes are what he calls “ tops and tails”—patched tunes; and, added he (as the last Number of the British Magazine was lying on the table,) “ they put me in mind of a letter here, signed W.F. P., who wishes the clergy to use, before their sermons, prayers made out of the tops and tails of others in the Prayer Book. Like the portions of the tunes, they are beautiful in themselves, and in their original position; but cut out and tacked together, they forın, in my judgment, but a sorry piece of patchwork.” Such was my friend's opinion, which I submit to the consideration of your readers.
I am, Mr. Editor, your humble servant, S. E. Dec. 9th, 1833.
This valuable letter, from one for whose clear judgment and active mind the Editor feels the highest possible respect, deserves immediate attention.
STATE OF THE CLERGY IN BRITISH AMERICA.
Picton, Nova Scotia, Dec. 19th, 1833. MY DEAR BROTHER,—Your last letter gave me much satisfaction. It cannot fail to be gratifying to me to learn that the cause of the missionaries has excited so much interest i among members of our church in England.
The questions which you submitted to me I have endeavoured to answer as correctly as I am able. I. “ What will be your resources at the lowest reduction intended
to be made ?"
35 From the Congregation
30 From Glebe Land
195 My fees are principally derived from marriages, of which I this year have had fifty-eight. Of these only two were solemnized after proclamation of banns. Hitherto the power of marrying by license has been confined to clergy of the established church ; but an Act, authorizing ministers of every denomination, has been framed by our colonial legislature, and, having (if I am rightly informed) received the sanction of his majesty, will be in operation next year. By this Act my fees will be reduced to less than 101. per annum. II. “ What is the extent of your glebe lands ? and what the emolu
ment arising from them ?" There are in this parish, whose limits are at present co-extensive with those of the district, two thousand acres of glebe land; and any emolument arising from these is appropriated to the benefit of the resident clergyman. From these I last year received nearly 51., being the amount of stumpage paid for timber cut off it. We have leased a part of these lands out for fifteen years; but till the expiration of that period, we can expect no rent from them; and, till then, 101. may be stated as the highest sum I could any year receive for stumpage. III.“ What is the extent of your spiritual charge ? and what the
population ?'' Being the only episcopal clergyman in the parish, I am at any time liable to be called in the performance of duty to its remotest corner. The average extent will be, in length, forty miles; in breadth, twenty-five miles. The population is 18000. of these, about 1106 are episcopalians.
IV. “ What are your stated, and what your occasional duties?”
The town of Picton, a central situation, and the place of my residence, principally occupies my attention on the Sunday. There I have two services, at eleven A.M., and six in the evening. The afternoon is devoted to a small Sunday-school, or employed in having a
service about a mile back in the woods, where a few coloured families too destitute to attend the service in town are located. V. “ Have you one church or more ? How many stations for
public worship, and how often service ?” I have only one church, which is in the town of Picton. A schoolhouse has, however, been fitted up for public worship at the Albion Mines ; but, as it is too small for the congregation, will probably never be consecrated. Ground has also been given, and a subscription raised, for the building of a church at River John. My more general stations for public worship are, besides Picton, the Albion Mines, distant nine miles; Middle River, distant ten miles; and River John, distant eighteen miles. At the first and last of these I have service every fourth Sunday, officiating at Picton in the morning. There are many other stations at which I have occasionally officiated. The clergyman, however, performs duty at the outposts of his mission more from incidental circumstances than at stated periods. He avails himself of the opportunity which a funeral or baptism in the country may afford him.
VI. “ What is the annual expense of board, clothing, &c.?”
The amount of expenses thus incurred will in a measure depend on the feelings and habits of the missionary.
I pay for respectable Lodgings and comfortable Board £70
From this it will appear that my future resources are inadequate to meet the expenses I have annually incurred. It may be urged, that retrenchment might be made in some of these items. It cannot be done with proper regard to common comfort, and my usefulness as a missionary... But I can no longer dwell on my own situation when I turn my thoughts to the sad condition of many of my fellowmissionaries. If the withdrawal of the parliamentary grant press
thus heavily on me, how great must be the distress of those who have a partner to provide for, and a family to maintain, which is the case of nearly every clergyman in Nova Scotia. It is painful to me to know that the society are unable to keep those promises they gave me when I entered their service-promises made on the continued support which the society had till then received from his majesty's government, and on the faith of which I was induced to leave my native country, and devote myself to the arduous duties of a missionary in a foreign land. What, then, must be the feelings of those aged missionaries who have long borne the heat and labour of the day, and who never contemplated that their declining years would be disturbed by the anxious thought “What they shall eat, what they shall drink, or wherewithal they shall be clotlied." Most of the inissionaries in this
province are personally known to me, and I feel happy in the opportunity that is now afforded me of bearing testimony to their abilities as scholars, and their zeal as missionaries. But the knowledge that enables me to speak thus, tells me also of the misery and unhappiness which the late reduction in their salaries must necessarily entail on them. We are all disposed to meet with fortitude the evils that have thus gathered round us; but the gloom that now hangs over our nascent church in the colonies is not easily dispelled; still less is it easy for us to bring our feelings and habits to acquiesce in so great a reduction of our salaries. It has been urged, that the colonies are increasing in wealth, and that the congregations under our care might of themselves liberally support their clergymen. The people are, generally, anxious to do what lies in their power; but their utmost exertions would not secure their pastors a respectable maintenance. The Bishop, on his visitation to Prince Edward's Island, at several stations convened the people, and explained the unhappy circumstances in which the society is now placed. By all a desire was manifested, and a hope expressed, that they would meet the deficiency in the missionaries' income. But though something more may be accomplished than has yet been done by the people, it is in vain for us to expect that their most liberal subscriptions can ever place us on our former footing.... You are told, that Nova Scotia does not stand in need of missionaries; that the members of our church in the colonies are comparatively few, while other denominations are amply supplied with spiritual instruction. To this it may be replied, that the members of our church throughout these provinces are enough to awaken in every churchman a lively interest for their welfare, while all denominations are too frequently assailed by “ false doctrine and heresy,” not to demand the sympathy of those who hold “ the truth as it is in Jesus.”. As long as our church maintains her present ground, there will at least be preserved a standard of faith, and a source of sound instruction. Were her merits only of a negative character, still let her be supported; for she is a wholesome check against the introduction and dissemination of those infidel principles which are fast gaining ground in America. We have been charged with weakness and inefficiency. Weak and inefficient indeed we are when you survey the field for exertion that lies before us; but probably our accusers could find no body of clergy who more zealously perform their duty. That we all do the good we might, or may be expected to accomplish, I dare not assert; but, as a body, the clergy of Nova Scotia are both faithful and diligent, while their labours, at best, are difficult and toilsome. They steadily regard the objects of their mission, and strive to perform the work that has been given them to do to seek the lost wanderer from the fold of Christ; but more particularly to rouse the retired settler from that indifference to the claims of religion which emigration and seclusion from the public means of grace are too apt to generate. They interfere not with other denominations, they call not in question the piety or the motives of those who are endeavouring to rear the structure of the church of Christ in a differ