« PreviousContinue »
“ Archbishop Laud began to look with a jealous eye on the Feofees for Impropriations, as who in process of time would prove a shorn in the sides of Episcopacy, and by their purchases become the prime pastors for number and greatness of benefices. This would multiply their dependents, and give a secret growth to Nonconformity; wherefore a bill was exhi. bited in the Exchequer against the Feofees, and the Court condemned their proceeding as dangerous to the Church and State *.' One of the charges again them was, that they generally preferred Non-conformists to ebe Lectures of their erection t.'
“ The complexion and tendency of these Lectures may be learnt from the King's instructions to the Archbishops, which direct, that in all parishes the afternoon sermons be turned into catechizing—that the Lecturers read Divine Service before their Lectures in their surplice and hood that where there are Lectures in market towns, they be read by grave and orthodox Divines, and that they preach in gowns, and not in cloaksthat no Lecturer be admitted that is not ready and willing to take upon bim a living witb cure of souls.
“ His Majesty having required an account every year from the Archbishop of their compliance with these injunctions, Archbishop Laud, in his annual account of his province for the year 1633-4, reports, . That the Bishop of Litchfield and Coventry had 'suppressed a Seditious Lecture at Repon. He had likewise put down several monthly Lectures, kept with a Fast, and managed by a Moderator. He had also suppressed a meeting called The Running Lecture, so called because the Lecturer went from village to village, and at the end of the week gave public notice wbere ibey migbe find him for the next exercise. The Bishop of Lincoln complains of the custom of some in Bedfordshire, to stroll from their Parish Churches, and follow preachers of their own fancy.'
“In the Archbishop's account for the year 1635, he reports from the Bishop of Bath and Wells, 'that there was no single Lecture in any Corporation, but a Combination of Divines preached by turns, and the afternoon sermons were turned into catechizing in all parishes.'
In his report for the year 1636, it appears that Dr. Cornelius Burges, in a Latin Sermon before the London Clergy, bad thrown out several insolent passages against the Bishops and Government of the Church, ånd refused to give his Diocesan a copy of the Discourse that one Wharton, a Minister in Essex, had made an indiscreet and scurrilous dis. course inthe pulpit at Chelmsfordmand another complaint in the same Diocese was,
the late dispersing of some factious and malicious Pamphlets against the Government of the Bishops and the Ecclesiastical Constitution, and that the Bishop had good reason to believe these virulent libels were written, or at least countenanced by some of the Clergy of his own Diocese.'. In the Diocese of Norwich, that Lectures were very frequent in Suffolk, and many of them set up by private gentlemen, without consulting either the Ordinary, or observing the Canons and Disa cipline of the Church. The Lecture at Yarmouth occasioned a great deal of misunderstanding in the town, but on that exercise being silenced the place was quiered, and the orders of the Church observed. As for the Lec. tures in the country, ibey generally run riot and live wide of disciplinet.
* Fuller, B. ix, p. 143.
of Ibid. And Neale says, “ that Lady Bowes, afterwards Lady Darcy, gave 10001. per ann, to maintain Preachers in the North where there were none; and all ber Preachers were silenced Non-conformists."-v. ii. p. 149. Hist, of the Troubles of Archbp. Laud.
" When we consider all these combined causes, and trace the steps by which the minds of the people were gradually drawn away from their lawful Pastors, and their affections alienated from the Discipline and Worship of the Church, we cannot be surprised at their ultimate success; that at length the crisis came, when there was such a yiolent clamour against the Clergy, that they could hardly officiate according to the late injunctions without being affronted, nor walk the streets in their habits without being reproached as Popish Priests, Cæsar's Friends, &c.--That the reputation of the Liturgy began to sink, and reading prayers was called a lifeless form of worship and a quenching of the Spirit; that those Ministers who prayed with fervency and devotion in words of their own . conception, suitable either to the sermon that was preached, or the present exigency of affairs, bad crowded and attentive auditories, while the ordinary service of the Church was deserted, as formal, lifeless, and wisbout spirit*.'
“For the manner of their preaching they so framed their countenances and gestures at the entrance into the pulpit, and their pronunciation both in their prayers and sermons, and used the scripture phrase, whether understood by the people or not, that a man unacquainted with such art could never suspect any ambitious plot in them to raise sedition against the State as they had then designed, or doubt that the vehemence of their voice (for the same words with the usual pronunciation had been of little force) and forcedness of their gestures and looks, could arise from any thing but zeal for the service of God t.'
és One of the Divines of that day, who was well acquainted with the character of the times, having been himself among the work. men that were employed in repairing the House of the Lord, complains tható a party is risen up, that monopolizeth piety, pretendeth to transcendent holiness, under which many are misled, many muzzled, as not willing to appear against (as they call themselves) the Godly Party 1.
“ So far from suspecting their designs, or doubting the purity of their motives, the moderate party considered the work they were engaged in as a glorious undertaking, and lent their assistance to purge off error and superstition, and retrieve the purity of religion. And if such pretensions were sufficient to impose upon the understanding of those who were more capable of seeing through the arts and disguises of men, it is not to be wondered that the populace was deluded, and their minds so heated and perverted as to become the ready tools to effect the purposes of their leaders. Accustomed to hear the language of contempt and abuse with which the Clergy were aspersed in all the pulpits to which the Godly party could gain admittance, they were prepared to join in the cry against them, ' to bate them with a perfect batred,' and to take their. part in the scenes which were now ripe for execution.”
I am, Gentlemen,
Your most humble servant, Nov.3, 1803.
* Neal Hist, of Puris, v. ii,391, of Hobbes' Hist. of Civil Wars.
| Hærescomachia, a Sermon prorched before the lord mayor, 1645, þy J. Cranford.
BANCROFT'S HOSPITAL, MILE-END ROAD.
Sir, I cannot belp'thinking that the following address, which was spoken by
one of the scholars at Bancroft's Hospital, at the commencement of the new establishment, (July 31st, 1803) may be deemed worthy a place
your Miscellany. The impression which it made at the time, induced the Court of Assistants of the Draper's Company, before whom it was spoken, to have it printed. For propriety of conduct, their proficiency in useful learning, and particularly in penmanship, the boys reflect the highest credit on the zeal and diligence of their masters.
T. Address spoken by one of the Scholars at Bancroft's Hospital, on the com
mencement of the new establishment, July 31, 1803.
“My deAR SCHOOL-Fellows, “ ON this happy occasion when we are beginning to enjoy so great blessings as those of food and lodging, in addition to the number we have already had the happiness to receive from this benevolent Instie tution, it is highly proper and incumbent on as, to present to our excellent Benefactors to whom we owe these blessings, the humble offering of our dutiful and grateful thanks.
“ We are very young--we know little--but yet we are capable of feeling for goodness, we are capable of gratitude ; and shall we then, my school-fellows, neglect to express (though very imperfectly) our acknowledgment for the unbounded kindness of these liberal Patrons ?-Shall they, who observe us with such favourable and paternal regard, leave us this day unthanked ?-No.
“ I take the liberty of assuring you, Worshipful Governors, for my school-fellows and myself, that we feel your goodness more sensibly than our words declare ; and we resolve and engage to shew you, by our good conduct, by our diligence in our learning, and by our obedience to our instructors, and others set over us, that we are not wholly unworthy of the great benefits you have now conferred upon us. " It shall be our earnest aim and desire to become what
wish to see us-good, industrious, and useful.
“ We will this night, hefore we retire to rest, return thanks to our Almighty Parent, the Giver of all good, for having placed us under the protection of such Guardians as your Worships ; and we will never fail, in our humble prayers, to beseech Him to grant you all health and prospe rity."
WE have the pleasure to acquaint our readers and the public, that in
consequence of the great demand for the smaller edition (12mo) of Thirlwall's English Diatessaron, for the use of schools, and an order of one thousand copies, which has been received for the purpose of gratuitous distribution, and diffusing the knowledge of the Scriptures, that a second Edition of the above work is preparing
for the press.
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
REVIEW of OVERTON and DAUBENY.
(Continued from p. 309.)
CHAP. III. IN this chapter, as Mr. Daubeny observes
, Mr. Overton exchanges the character of an apologist or defender, which he at first assumed, for that of a censor and a judge. He begins his attack by an endeavour to shew, that the divines, whom he opposes, i. e. the great body of the clergy of the Church of England, are defective in making use of the peculiar doctrines of the gospel, and in inculcating the necessity of practical christianity. In order to this, he insinuates, that these divines give the members of the Church to understand, that, in consequence of their aclmission into the Church by baptism, they are sure of “ obtaining eternal happiness, whatever be their characters," p. 102. Afterwards, he more plainly declares, that “ they treat all as real christians, who assume the christian name, and comply with the external forms of religion." p. 107. What the divines of the Church of England really teach concerning the efficacy of baptism, is thus properly stated by Mr. Daubeny :-“ Should the child die in infancy, he is saved in consequence of his spiritual regeneration by baptism. Should he live to years of responsibility, when he has (in the language of St. Austin) propria peccata, his own proper sins to answer for, the ultimate effect of his baptism will depend upon his spiritual condition at the time of his being taken out of the world.”
One of Mr. O's methods of proving, that the generality of the clergy are deficient in preaching the peculiar doctrines of the gospel, is by referring to passages in the charges of some of our Bishops, in which the practice of such preaching is recommended. The particular Bishops, to whom reference is made on this occasion, are Bishops Horne, Horsley, and Barrington. To this Mr. Daubeny replies :" Mr. O. should know, that the truth and usefulness of all general positions depend in a great measure upon the judgment employed in their particular application. The respectable prelates above-mentioned intended to establish a position, which all intelligent ministers of the Church of England, I trust, will readily admit; although there undoubtedly have been, and may be, instances of sufficient attention not being paid to it.” Nothing, indeed, can be more absurd than to conclude from the passages, which Mr. O. has brought forward, that the venerable prelates referred to were of opinion, inat the mode of preaching, which they recommended, was generally and systematically neglected. As well might a foreigner conclude, because there are laws in England against theft and highway robbery, that the generality of the people of England were addicted to those crimes. " The truth of this position," says Mr. Daubeny, " that to inculcate heathen morality, is not to preach Christianity, is in itself incontrovertible; but to justify Mr. O's application of it on this
occasion, occasion, it was incumbent upon him to have first clearly evinced, that the divines, against whom his charge is brought, are truly those apes of Epictetus, Plato, and Seneca,' which these respectable writers had in view, and against whom their complaint was directed.”
With respect to the charge, which Mr. O. brings against Mr. D. in particular, as seeing no difference between the true Church of Christ and the national Church, representing professed membership with this national society, as forming the line of distinction between the world, which lieth in wickedness and a state of condemnation before God, and those wlio are in a state of sanctification and salvation,” Mr. D. makes it very clearly appear, that the whole cause of this supposed error is to be referred to Mr. O, himself, who has represented Mr. D. as saying of the national Church, what he really says of the Christian Church in its general character, design, and properties. See his “ Guide to the Church," p. 171, &c. It requires," as Mr. D. very justly observes, “ no great strength of understanding to distinguish between the privileges annexed to Church membership in general, and the benefit ultimately derived from it to the party in particular; and no great portion of charity to conclude, that no intelligent divine could consider the one to be the necessary consequence of the other.”
Upon the whole, respecting the subject of this chapter, there does not appear to be any difference between Mr. O. and his opponents, but what Mr. O. has himself conjured up by a manifest misinterpretation of their meaning ; " and it will," as Mr. Daubeny observes, " be concluded by every discriminating person, that there can be no great strength in a cause, the advocate for which is obliged first to make his supposed opponents talk nonsense, in order that he may find something to advance against them."
Chap. IV. “ The object of Mr. Overton in this chapter,” as Mr. D. observes, * is to prove, that the divines, on whose professional character Mr. 0. sits in judgment, are equally defective in the doctrine of original sin, as they are in every other part of the Christian system." As divines are greatly divided with respect to the degree, in which the mental depravity of the human race was induced by the fall of Adam, it is evidently unfair, that the opinions of a few particular divines, and those too, who are generally acknowledged as maintaining peculiar opinions on the subject, such as Bishop Law, Bishop Watson, Dr. Paley, and Dr. Taylor, the last of whom was not a member of the established Church, should be represented as the opinions maintained by the great body of the clergy. Mr. D. complains of this mode of proceeding as it respects himself, and certainly with great reason; for, whatever may be the case with respect to the divines above-mentioned, it must be evident to every one, who reads Mr. D’y - Guide to the Church," and his “ Appendix," with an unprejudiced mind, that his sentiments on the doctrine of original sin are exactly those, which are maintained by the Church in her ninth Article, and in her Homilies on the subject; and that, so far from being an espouser of the Pelagian heresy, he may justly be considered as adopting the sentiments of St. Austin himself, who was the great opposer of that heresy, and who yet could say,