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NATIONAL ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION IN FRANCE.
APRIL 5. Three Counsellors of State, Portalis, Regnier, and Rega naux, being introduced into the Legislative Body, with music and military honours, the first addressed the Assembly in a very long speech upon the subject of religious worship and ecclesiastical establishments; after which he laid before them copies of the following Convention, or Concor. dat, entered into with the Pope, and of the Organic Articles of the forms of worship
“ The government of the republic acknowledges that the Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman religion, is the religion of the great majority of French citizens. His Holiness equally acknowledges, that this same religion has received, and at this moment expects, the greatest benefit and eclat from the establishment of the Catholic worship in France, and the particular profession which the Consuls of the Republic have made of it. In consequence of this mutual acknowledgement, they have resolved, for the benefit of religion, and for the maintenance of interior tranquillity, upon the following articles :
I. The Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman religion, shall be freely exercised in France. The worship shall be public, conforming to the regulations of police, which the government shall judge necessary for the public tranquillity.
II. A new division of the French dioceses shall be made by the Holy See, in concert with the French government.
III. His Holiness shall declare to the titular French bishops, that he expects from them, with firm confidence, every kind of sacrifice, even that of their fees, for the sake of peace and unity. After this exhortation, if they shall refuse this sacrifice, commanded by the welfare of the church (a refusal which his Holiness nevertheless does not expect) new Bishops shall be provided for the government of the bishoprics of the new di. vision in the following manner :
IV. The First Consul of the republic shall present, within three months after the publication of his Holiness's bull to the archbishoprics and bishoprics of the new division. His Holiness shall confer the canonical institution, according to the forms established in France before the change of government.
V. The nominations to the bishoprics, which shall afterwards become vacant, shall also be made by the First Consul; and the canonical inscicution shall be conferred by his Holiness.
VI. The bishops, before entering upon their functions, shall take from the hands of the First Consul the following oath :-" I swear and promise to God, upon the Holy Evangelists, to preserve obedience and fidelity to the government established by the constitution of the French republic. I promise also to have no intelligence, to assist at no council, to maintain no connection, either within or without, which shall be contrary to the public tranquillity; and if, within my diocese or elsewhere, I shall leam that any thing is designed for the prejudice of the state, I will make it known to government."
VI). The ecclesiastics of the second order shall take the same oath from the hands of the civil authorities appointed by government.
VIII. The following form of prayer shall be recited at the end of divine service, in all the Catholic churches of France : Domine, salvan fac rempublicam. - Domine, salvos fac consules.
IX. The bishops shall make a new circumscription of the parishes of their dioceses ; which shall not take effect till after the consent of government.
X. The bishops shall appoint the parish-priests. Their choice shall fall or persons accepted by government,
XI. The bishops may have a chapter in their cathedrals, and a seminary in their dioceses; but government does not undertake to endow them.
XII. All the metropolitan churches, cathedrals, parochial, and other churches, not alienated, necessary for worship, shall be placed at the disposal of the bishops.
XIII. His Holiness, for the welfare of the church and the happy establishinent of the Catholic religion, declares, that neither he nor his successors will disturb in any manner the possessors of alienated ecclesiastical effects; and that in consequence, the property of those effects, the rights and revenues attached to them shall remain unchangeable in their hands, or in those of their assignees.
XIV. The government will secure a suitable maintenance to the bishops and parish-priests, whose dioceses and parishes shall be included in the new division.
XV. The government will also take measures for permitting French Catholics to make, upon their own choice, endowinents in favour of churches,
XVI. His Holiness acknowledges in the First Consul of the French republic, the same rights and prerogatives enjoyed with respect to his Holiness by the ancient government.
XVII. It is agreed between the contracting parties, that in case any of the successors of the First Consul shall not be a Catholic, the rights and prerogatives mentioned in the above article, and the appointments to bishoprics, shall be regulated, with respect to him, by a new conrention.
The ratifications shall be exchanged at Paris within forty days.
Done at Paris, the 26th Messidor, of the gth year of the French
Joseph Archiep. Corinthi.
F. Carolus Casselli. Organic Articles of the Convention of 26 Messidor, Year 9. Under this head we find 77 articles, of which the following are the chief:
No bulls, decrees, or other writings from Rome, can be circulated in France; no papal-legate, or coinmissioner received, or acts of foreign councils published ; and no French councils held without the permission, of governinent. Appeals may be made to the council of state against abuses by ecclesiastics, as well as against those by whom they may be molested in their worship or liberties.
Bishops must be natives of France, and not less than thirty years of age ; shall bring, before nomination, attestation of good conduct from the bishop in whose diocese they shall have exercised the functions of priest ; and shall be examined as to their doctrine, by a bishop and two priests apo pointed by the Chief Consul. They cannot leave their dioceses without his permission ; and shall each year make a visitation of some part, so as to include the whole within five years. They are to organize their seminaries by rules submitted to the First Consul, and to send each year to the council of state the names of the persons educated in them. Ne person can be ordained before attaining the age of twenty-five, or without possessing property to the annual amount of 300 livres.
Curates are to take the cath prescribed from the hands of the prefects. They are bound to reside in their parishes. No foreigner can exercise any ecclesiastical function, without the permission of government. No priest can leave his diocese to serve in another, without permission from his bishop. One liturgy and one catechism are to be used in all Catholic churches: No curate can order extraordinary public prayers, without special permission from the bishop. All ecclesiastics shall wear the French dress, in black, bishops only excepted; who may add to it the pastoralcross and purple stockings. Only one forin of service can take place in
one church. Civil and military officers are to have distinguished places in cathedrals and churches. Sermons and similar addresses from the pulpit can be delivered only by special authority froir the bishop. Curates shall pray for the prosperity of the French republic, and of the consuls. The nuptial benediction shall be given only to those who have entered into the marriage contract before the civil officer. Sunday shall be a day of rest to all public functionaries. The republican calendar to be preserved.
Archbishops are to reccive incomes of 15,000 livres each ; bishops of 10,000 ; Curates of the first class, 1500; of the second, 1000. Curates may receive offerings, in addition to these sums, if circumstances require. The councils are authorized to provide suitable dwellings for bishops and curates. In parishes where shall remain no building which can be appropriated to public worship, the bishop and prefect shall provide one. There shall be in France ten archbishoprics, and fifty bishoprics.
Organic Articles of the Protestant Religion. Frenchmen only can exercise the functions of this worship, holding no connection with any foreign power. They shall pray for the prosperity of the French republic and of the consuls. No doctrinal decisions can be published, without permission from the consuls ; no change of discipline can take place without the same authority. The council of state will take cognizance of all dissentions between ministers. Endowmenis may be made in the same manner as those of Catholic churches, and govern. ment will provide for their maintenance; taking into consideration, however, the property now belooging to their churches, and the amount of offerings. There will be two seminaries in France for the instruction of minist:rs of the confession of Augsburg; and one at Geneva for the reformed churches. Professors in buth to be appointed by the First Consul. Ministers shall have s'udied a certain time in one of these seminaries, and have a certificate of their capacity and manners.
Reformed churches are to have pretors, consistorial places, and synods, there being a consistorial church for every six thousand persons of that communion, and a synod for every five churches. Churches of the confession of Augsburg are to have pastors, consistorial places, and general consistories, according to the same population. Five of the latter, churches form the district of onę inspection, to be composed of a minister and two laymen, chosen by the district, and confirmed by the Chief Consul. There will be three general consistories : one at Strasbourg, one at Mentz, and one at Cologne, to be appointed by the Chief Consul, and assembled with his permission.
HOME INTELLIGENCE. On Sunday, the 11th ult. a Sermon was preached at Christ-church, Newgate-Street, for the benefit of the “ Society for the Support and En. couragement of SUNDAY SCHOOLS in England and Wales,” by the Rev. Samuel Crowther, A. M. vicar of the said church.
From the commencement of this Institution in the year 1785) the Society has distributed 155,780 Spelling-Books, 36,607 Testaments, and 6359 Bibles; which have been disposed of to 1819 schools, containing 174,760 scholars; besides the sum of 402 11. 6s. 5d. which have been granted to such of the said schools as required pecuniary aid.
On the oth of February last, Mr. W. Sinart was ordained, by the Associate Presbytery of Glasgow, to the pastoral care of a congregation ar Paisley.
We have also received accounts of the ordination of the Rev. Mr. Perkins at Luton ; Mr. Cobbin at South Molton; and Mr. Dury at Dakham; with the ineering of associations, and the opening of a place of Worship; all which are nccessarily deferred to our next.
On reading the following Inscription
PRAYER. on the front of Guildhall, London :
“FATHER of light and life! thou
" Good Supreme ! DOMINE, DIRIGE NOS!
“O teach me what is good ! teach me Directus, Lord !" Important pray'r,
" Thyself! How suited to our state of care,
“Save me from folly, vanity, and vice, Anxiety, and grief!
“ From ev'ry low pursuit ! and feed my Daily do I direction necd, Fervent before thy throne I plead,
“With knowledge, conscious peace, and O hear and send relief!
“ virtue pure !
" Sacred, substantial, never - fading Direct me, Lord, to truth divine!
Thomson. May truth upon my conscience shine
With sanctitying light ! Preserve my soul from Error's wiles, GREAT and Eterval, God! whose Where Satan's suares the mind beguiles,
piercing cye Which close in endless night! Surveys the dark recesses of the soul !
Who canst command the spacious earth When intricate and dark my way, Direct me, Lord, or else I stray And at a single glance embrace the From happiness and thee;
whole, For of myself I cannot find The road to bliss,
may my thoughts, each fresh reFrem darkness is set free.
Impress'd with gratitude, be rais'd to Direct me, Lord, to paths of peace ;
Thee ! Let me from strise and discord cease, And, O! do Thou my humble thanks And listen to thy voice :
receive, “ Herbut would free bis aays from pain,
Oft as I risc from drowsy slumbers From evil must bis lips refrain ;
free! And good musi be bis choice.” Great Guardian of my inexperiene'd With guilt and sin my mind's cpprest,
Do thou still make me thy peculiar Humbly would I once more request, Direct me, O my Lord !
Do Thou still lead me thro' each vary. Guide me to Christ, the only road That leads to happiness and God;
And crown with mercies each revolv. And guide me by thy word!
ing year! When I shall tread Death's gloomy vale, And when I sha!I my fleeting breath Direct me, Lord ! nor let me fail
resign, Thy kingdoin to attain !
O may I join the seraph choir above Be then my strength and portion too ; There, with thy saints, my highest My fainting soul with life renow;
strains combine Then ease my ev'ry pain ! To praise eternally thy endless love! Thy promise in thy word I read,
Dian Street, Southwark.
The footsteps of the blind ;
Gently flows the stieam of life
Soft along the flow'ry vale ; “O'may thy counsels, mighty God,”
Or, impetuous down the clit, Direct me is the dang’ious road
Rushing, roars when stor.zis assail. Thro' which my journcy lies ! Tis God alone can set me right,
'Tis an ever-vary'd flood, And turn my darkness into light,
Always rolling to its sea ;
Slow, or quick, or mild, or rude,
Tending to eternity. W. B.C. Westminster.
G. Auld, Printer, Greville-Street, Hatton Garelun, London