« PreviousContinue »
don't care for popular clamour, and think it might now taken to preserve the rights and property of the church bo defied; but I confess the gentlemen volunteers of Canterbury: I am quite sure so truly good a man, alarm me. They have unfortunately, too, collected as from the bottom of my heart I believe him to be their addresses, and published them in a single vo- has some line of argument by which he defends him lume !!!
self; but till I know it, I cannot of course say I am I should like to know how many of our institutions convinced by it. The common defence for breaking at this moment, besides the cathedrals, are under no. oaths is, that they are contracts made with another tice of destruction. I will, before I finish my letter, party, which the Creator is called to witness, and from endeavour to procure a list; in the mean time I will which the swearer is absolved, if those for whom the give you the bill of fare with which the last session oath is taken choose to release him from his obligation. opened, and I think that of 1838 will not be less copi. With whom, then, is the contract made by the arch. ous. But at the opening of the session of 1837, when bishop? Is it with the community at large? If so, I addressed my first letter to you, this was the state of nothing but an act of Parliament (as the community our intended changes -The law of copyright was to at large have no other organ)'could absolve him from be recreated by Serjeant Talfourd ; church-rates abo. his oath ; but three years before any act is passed, he lished by Lord John Russell, and imprisonment for puts his name to a plan for taking away two-thirds of debt by the attorney-general; the Archbishop of Can. The property of the church of Canterbury. If the con. terbury kindly undertook to destroy all the cathedrals, tract is not made with the community at large, but with and Mr. Grote was to arrange our voting by ballot the church of Canterbury, every member of it is in de the septennial act was to be repealed by Mr. Wil. cided hostility to his scheme. O'Connell lakes an oath liams--com-laws abolished by Mr. Clay-and the that he will not injure nor destroy the Protestant House of Lords reformed by Mr. Ward; Mr. Hume church; but in promoting the destruction of some of remodelled country-rates_Mr. Ewart put an end to the Irish bishoprics, he may plead that he is sacrificing primogeniture, and Mr. Tooke look away the exclu- a part to preserve the whole, and benefiting, not injur. sive privileges of Dublin, Oxford, and Cambridge ; ing, the Protestant establishment. But the archbishop Thomas Duncombe was to put an end to the proxies of does not swear to a general truth, where the principle the lords, and Sergeant Prime to turn the universities may be preserved, though there is an apparent devia. topsy-turvy. Well may it be said that
tion from the words; but he swears to a very narrow Man never continueth in one stay.'
and limited oath, that he will not alienate the posses
sions of the church of Canterbury. A friend of mine See how men accustom themselves to large and has suggested to me that his grace has, perhaps, for. perilous changes. Ten years ago, if a cassock or a gotten the oath; but this cannot be, for ihe first Pro. hassock had been taken from the establishment, the testant in Europe of course makes a memorandum in current of human affairs would have been stopped till his pocket-book of all the oaths he takes to do, or to restitution had been made. In a fortnight's time, abstain. The oath, however, may be less present to Lord John Russell is to take possession of, and to re- the archbishop's memory, from the fact of his not partition all the cathedrals in England ; and what a having taken ihe oath in person, but by the medium prelude for the young queen's coronation ! what a of a gentleman sent down by the coach to take it for inedal for the august ceremony !-the fallen Gothic him-a practice which, though believe it to have buildings on one side of the gold, the young Protestant been long established in the church, surprised me, I queen on the other :
confess, not a little. A proxy to vote, if you please «Victoria Ecclesiæ Victrix.'
a proxy to consent to arrangements of estates, if want.
ed; but a proxy sent down in the Canterbury fly, to And then, when she is full of noble devices, and of all take the Creator to witness that the archbishop, desorts enchantingly beloved, and amid the solemn swell tained in town by business or pleasure, will never vio. of music, when heart beats happily, and her eyes look late that foundation of piety over which he presides majesty, she tums them on the degraded ministers of all this seems to me an act
of the most extraordinary the Gospel, and shudders to see she is stalking to the indolence ever recorded in history: If an ecclesiastic, throne of her. Protestant ancestors over the broken of the bishop: may expressen opinion rehbibe reforma
Now, remember, I hate to overstate my case. I do bishops should take no more oaths by proxy; but, as not say that the destruction of cathedrals will put an they do not wait upon the sovereign or the prime min. end to railroads : I believe that good mustard and ister, or even any of the cabinet, by proxy, that they cress, sown after Lord John's
bill is passed, will, it should also perform all religious acts in their own per. duly watered,
continue to grow. I do not say that the son. This practice would have been abolished in Lord country has 'no right, after the death of individual John's first bill, if other grades of churchmen as well incumbents, to do what they propose to do ;-I merely as bishops had been made commissioners. But the say that it is inexpedient, uncailed for, and mischie- motto wasvous, that the lower clergy, for whose sake it is pro • Peace to the palaces-war to the manses.' posed to be done, do not desire it,--that the bishop commissioners, who proposed it, would be heartily
I have been informed, though I will not answer for glad if it was put an end tn,-that it will lower the the accuracy of the information, that this vicarious character of those who enter into the church, and oath is likely to produce a scene which would have accustom the English people to large and dangerous puzzled the Ductor Dubitantium. The attorney, who confiscations: and I would not have gentlemen of the took the oath for the archbishop, is, they say, seized money-bags, and of wheat and bean land, forget that with religious horrors at the approaching confiscation the church means many other
things than Thirty-nine of Canterbury property, and has in vain tendered back Articles, and a discourse of five-and-twenty minutes' his 6s. 8d. for taking the oath. . The archbishop resu duration on the Sabbath. It means a check to the ses to accept it ; and feeling himself light and disenconceited rashness of experimental reasoners-an ad. cumbered, wisely keeps the saddle upon the back of hesion to old moral landmarks-an attachment to the the writhing and agonizing scrivener. I have talked happiness we have gained from tried institutions, it over with several clergymen, and the general opiu. greater than the expectation of that which is promised ion is, that the scrivener will suffer. by novelty and change. The loud cry of ten thousand
I cannot help thinking that a great opportunity opens teachers of justice and worship that cry which mas. itself for improving the discipline of the church, by ters the Borgias and Catalines of the world, and guards means of those chapters which Lord John Russell. is from devastation the best works of God
* I only mention Lord John Russell's name so often, beMagnâ testantur voce per orbem Discite justitiam moniti et non temnere divos.
management of the church measures devolves up
on him. He is, beyond all comparison, the ablest man in In spite of his uplifted chess-board, I cannot let my rior, that the government could not exist a moment
the whole administration, and to such a degree is he supe old school-fellow, the Archbishop of Canterbury, off, him. If the foreign secretary were to retire, we should no without barping a little upon his oath, which he has longer be nibbling ourselves into disgrace on the coast of
so anxious to destroy; divide the diocese among the The plan of taxation, therefore,' says the bishop, members of the chapter, and make them responsible being abandoned, it was evident that the funds for for the superintendence and inspection of the clergy the augmentation of poor livings, and for the supply in their various divisions under the supreme control ot of the spiritual wants of populous districts, must be the bishop; by a few additions they might be made drawn from the episcopal and cathedral revenues; that the bishops' council for the trial of delinquent clergy is, from the revenues from which the legislature seems men. They might be made a kind of college for the to have a peculiar right to draw the funds for the gengeneral care of education in the diocese, and applied eral supply of the religious wants of the people; be. to a thousand useful purposes, which would have oc. cause they arise from benefices, of which the patrocurred to the commissioners, if they had not been so nage is either actually in the crown, or is derivative dreadfully frightened, and to the government, if their from the crown. In the case of the episcopal reve. object had been, not to please the dissenters, but to nues, the commissioners had already carried the pris. improve the church.
ciple of redistribution as far as they thought that it The Bishop of Lincoln has lately published a pamph could, with due allowance for the various demands let on the church question. His lordship is certainly upon the incomes of the bishops, be carried. The onnot a man full of felicities and facilities, imitating lý remaining source, therefore, was to be found in the pone, and inimitable of any; nor does he work with cathedral revenues : and the commissioners proceeded, infinite agitation of wit. His creation has blood with in the execution of the duties prescribed to them, tó out heat, bones without marrow, eyes without specu. consider in what manner those revenues might be red. lation. He has the art of saying nothing in many dered conducive to the efficiency of the established words beyond any man that ever existed; and when church.' he seems to have made a proposition, he is so dread. This is very good episcopal reasoning; but is it true? fully frightened at it, that he proceeds as quickly as The bishops and commissioners wanted a fund 10 enpossible, in the ensuing sentence, to disconnect the dow small livings; they did not touch a farthing of subject and the predicate, and to avert the dangers he their own incomes, only distributed them a little more has incurred :—but as he is a bishop, and will be there. equally; and proceeded lustily at once to coufiscale fore more read than I am, I cannot pass him over. His lordship tells us, that it was at one time under -that, of seven chapter memorials addressed to the board. consideration of the commissioners whether they the receipt of one was only acknowledged. should not tax all benefices above a certain value, in manications made to the commissioners as a body, either
• It is strictly within my province to acknowledge conorder to raise a fund for the improvement of smaller directly or through me; and it is part of their general inlivings; and his lordship adds, with the greatest inno-structions to me that I should do so in all cases. cence, that the considerations which principally weigh. • To whatever extent, therefore, the statement may be ed with the commissioners in inducing them not to true, or whatever may be its value, it is clear that it canadopt the plan of taxation, was that they understood not attach to the commissioners, but that I alone am resthe clergy in general to be decidedly averse to it ; so ponsible. that the plan of the commission was, that the greater the midst of my other duties, 10 conduct an extensive cer
• In the execution of my office, I have endeavoured. in benefices should pay to the little, while the bishops respondence in accordance to what I knew to be the feelthemselves--the Archbishop of Canterbury with his linys and wishes of the commissioners, and to treat every 15,0001. a year, and the Bishop of London with his party in communication with them with attention and res 10,0001. a year-were not to subscribe a single farth. pect. ing for that purpose. Why does John, Bishop of Lin. • If, at some period of more than usual pressure, any accoln. mention these distressing schemes of the com
cidental omission may have occurred, or may hereafter ocmission, which we are certain would have been met offer, as I now do, explanation and apology.
cur, involving an appearance of discourtesy, it is for me to with a general yell of indignation from one end of the
I am, sir, your obedient humble servant, kingdom to another? Surely it must have occurred to
"C. K. MURRAY." this excellent prelate that the bishops would have Whitehall Place, Jan. 21." been compelled, by mere shame, to have contributed
TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES. to the fund which they were about to put upon the
• Sir.- A more indiscreet and extraordinary communicabacks of the more opulent parochial clergy; surely a tion than that which appears in your own paper of the sa moment's reflection must have taught them that the instant, signed by Mr. C. K. Murray, I never read. Aprasafer method by far was to confiscate cathedral pro- rct domus intus. It is now clear how the commission has perty
been worked. Where communications from the oldest ecThe idea of abandoning this taxation, because it clesiastical bodies, upon the most important of all subjects was displeasing to the clergy at large, is not unenter
to them and to the kingdom, were received by the greatest taining as applied to a commission who treated the prelates and noblemen of the land, acting under the king's
commission, I should have thought that ansh ers suitable to clergy with the greatest contempi, and did not even the occasion would, in each case, have been dictated by the notice the cominunications from caihedral bodies upon commission; that such answers would have been entered the subject of the most serious and extensive confisca. on the minutes, and read on the board-day next ensuing. tions.*
• Is Mr. C K. Murray quite sure that this, which is done
at all boards on the most trifling subjects, was not done at Spain. If the amiable Lord Glenelg were to leave us, we
his board, in the most awful contiscation ever known in should feel secure in our colonial possessions.
If Mr. England ? Is he certain that spoliation was in no instance Spring Rice were to go into holy orders, great would be the sweetened by civility, and injustice never farnished by joy of the three per cents. A decent good-looking head of forms? Were all the decencies and proprieties, which ought the government might easily enough be found in lieu of to regulate the course of such great bodies, left without a Viscount Melbourne; but in tive min utes after the depar-single inquiry from the commissioner, to a gentleman who ture of Lord John, the whole whig government would be
seeins to have been seized with six distinct fits of colivien dissolved into sparks of liberality and splinters of reform.
on six separate occasions, any one of wbich required all There are six remarkable men, who, in different methods that attention to decorum and that accuracy of memory for and in different degrees, are now affecting the interests of which secretaries are selected and paid ? this country-the Duke of Wellington, Lord John Russell,
• According to Mr. C. K. Murray's account, the only or. Lord Brougham, Lord Lyndhurst, Sir Robert Peel, and der he received from the board was, “If any prependair O'Connell, Greater powers than all these are the phlegin calls, or any cathedrał writes, desiring not to be destroyed of the English people the great mass of good sense and in- just say the communication has been received;" and eveta telligence diffused among them-and the number of those this, Mr. Murray tells us, he has not done, and that no one who have something to lose, and have not the slightest in- of the king's commissioners-archbishops, bishops, mas tention of losing it.
quises, earls-ever asked him whether he had done it * Upon this subject I think it right to introduce the fol-not-though any one of these great people would ha lowing letters, the first of which was published January swooned away at the idea of not answering the most 23, 1838:
fling communication from any other of these great peop
Whatever else these commissioners do, they had b that TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES.
not bring their secretary forward again. They mays, u Sir, I feel it to be consistent with my duty, as secretary wind-bound by public opinion, but they must choose, o ges • to the church commissioners, to notice a statement emana- sacrifice, a better Iphigenia than Mr. C. K. Murray. Dot ting from a quarter which would seem to give it authenticity
• SYDNEY SMI
cathedral property. But why was it necessary, if the , ed with the greatest sharpness and accuracy, they fund for small livings was such a paramount conside. may squeeze 1.8th per cent. out of the Turkey Compa. ration, that the future archbishops of Canterbury ny; Spring Rice would become director of the Hydroshould be left with two palaces, and 15,0001. per an. impervious Association, and clear a few hundreds for nuin? Why is every future bishop of London to have the treasury. The British Roasted Apple Society is a palace in Fulham, a house in St. James's Square, and notoriously mismanaged, and Lord John and Brother 10,0001. a-year? Could not all the episcopal functions Lister, by a careful selection of fruit, and a judicious be carried on wel nd effectually with the half of management of fuel, would soon get it up to par. these incomes ? Is it necessary that the Archbishop I think, however, I have heard at the Political Econ. of Canterbury should give feasts to aristocratic Lon omy Club, where I have sometimes had the honour of don ; and that the domestics of the prelacy should being a guest, that no trades should be carried on by stand with swords and bag.wigs round pig, and turkey, governinents. That they have enough to do of their and venison, to defend, as it were, the orthodox gas- own, without undertaking other persons' business. If tronome from the fierce Unitarian, the fell Baptist, any savings in the mode of managing ecclesiastical and all the famished children of dissent? I don't ob leases could be made, great deduction from these saject to all this; because I am sure that the method of vings must be allowed for the jobbing and Gaspillage prizes and blanks is the best method of supporting a of general boards, and all the old servants of the church, which must be considered as very slenderly church, displaced by this measure, must receive com. endowed, if the whole were equally divided among pensation. the parishes: but if my opinion were different-if I The whig government, they will be vexed to hear, thought the important improvement was to equalize would find a great deal of patronage forced upon them preferment in the English church-that such a mea. by this measure. Their favourite human animal, the sure was not the one thing foolish, but the one thing barrister of six years' standing, would be called into needful-I should take care, as a 'mitred commission action. The whole earth is, in fact, in commission, er, to reduce my own species of preferment to the nar. and the human race, saved from the flood, are deliver. rowest limits, before I proceeded to confiscate the ed over to barristers of six years' standing. The onus property of any other grade of the church. I could probandi now lies upon any man who says he is not a not as a conscientious man, leave the Archbishop of commissioner; the only doubt on seeing a new man Canterbury with 15,0001. a-year, and make a fund by among the whigs is, noi whether he is a commissioner annihilating residentiaries at Bristol of 5001. This or not, but whether it is tithes, poor-laws, boundaries comes of calling a meeting of one species of cattle of boroughs, church leases, charities, or any of the only. The horned cattle say,– If you want any thousand human concerns which are now worked by meat, kill the sheep;
don't meddle wiih us, there is commissioners, to the infinite comfort and satisfaction no beef to spare.? They said this, however, to the of mankind, who seem in these days to have found out lion; and the cunning animal, after he had gained all the real secret of life-the one thing wanting to sublu. the information necessary for the destruction of the nary happiness-the great principle of commission, muttons, and learnt how well and widely they pastu- and six years' barristration. red, and how they could be most conveniently eaten Then, if there is a better method of working ecclesi. up, turns round and informs the cattle, who took him astical 'estaies--if any thing can be gained for the for their best and tenderest friend, that he means to church-why is not the church to have it? why is it eat them up also. Frequently did 'Lord John meet the not applied to church purposes? what right has the destroying bishops ; much did he commend their daily state to seize it? If I give you an estate, I give it you heaps of ruins; sweetly did they smile on each other, not only in its present state, but I give to you all the and much charming talk was there of meteorology improvements which can be made upon ii—all that and catarrh, and the particular cathedral they were mechanical, botanical, and chemical knowledge may do pulling down at each period;" till one fine day, the hereafter for its improvement all the ameliorations home secretary, with a voice more bland, and a look which care and experience can suggest, in setting, im. more ardently affectionate, than that which the mas. proving, and collecting your rents. Can there be such culine mouse bestows on his nibbling female, informed miserable equivocation as to say-I leave you your them that the government meant to take all the property, but I do not leave to you all the improvechurch property into their own hands, to pay the rates inents which your own wisdom, or the wisdom of your out of it, and deliver the residue to the rightful posses. fellow-creatures, will enable you to make of your prosors. Such an effect, they say, was never before pro- perty? How utterly unworthy of a whig government duced by a coup de theatre. The commission was sepa. is such a distinction as this ! rated in an instant : London clinched his fist ; Canter. Suppose the same sort of plan had been adopted in bury was hurried out by his chaplains, and put into a the reign of Henry VIII., and the legislature had warm bed; a solemn vacancy spread' itself over the said,- You shall enjoy all you now have, but every face of Gloucester ; Lincoln was taken out in strong farthing of improved revenue, after this period, shali hysterics. What a noble scene Serjeant Talfourd go into the pocket of the state—it would have been would have made of this! Why are such talents impossible by this time that the church could have wasted on Ion and the Athenian Captive ?
existed at all': and why may not such a measure be But, after all, what a proposition ! You don't as fatal hereafter to the existence of a church, as it make the most of your money : I will take your prop would have been to the present generation, if it had erty into my hands, and see if I cannot squeeze a been brought forward at the time of the Reformapenny out of it: you shall be regularly, paid all you tion? now receive, only if any thing more can be made of it, There is some safety in dignity. A church is in that we will put into our own pockets.'Just pull off danger when it is degraded. It costs mankind much your neckcloth, and lay your head under the guillo. less to destroy it when an institution is associated iine, and I will promise not to do you any harm: just with mean, and not with elevated ideas. I should get ready for confiscation ; give up the management of like to see the subject in the hands of H. B. I would all your property; make us the ostensible managers of entitle the printevery thing; let us be informed of the most minute value of all, and depend upon it, we will never injure
* The Bishops' Saturday Night; or, Lord John Russell at you to the extent of a single farthing.'- Let me get
the Pay-Table.' my arms about you,' says the bear; "I have not the The bishops should be standing before the pay-tasmallest intention of squeezing you.' Trust your fin. ble, and receiving their weekly allowance ; Lord John ger in my mouth,' says the mastiff ; ' I will not fetch and Spring Rice counting, ringing, and biting the soblood.'
vereigns, and the Bishop of Exeter insisting that the Where is this to end? If government are to take chancellor of the exchequer had given him one which into their own hands all property which is not manag-kle, should be standing, with his hat on, and his
was not weight. Viscount Melbourne, in high chuc. * • What cathedral are we pulling down to day?' was
to the fire, delighted with the contest ; and the deans the standing question at the commission.
and canons should be in the back-ground, waiting till
their turn came, and the bishops were paid; and places, utterly useless and uncalled for, take 30001. among them a canon, of large composition, urging from the charity fund to pay them, and they give the them on not to give way too much to the bench. patronage of these places to themselves. Is there a Perhaps I should add the president of the board of single epithet in the language of invective which trade, recommending the truck principle to the bisho would not have been levelled at lay commissioners ops, and offering to pay them in hassocks, cassocks, who had attempted the same thing? If it is necessaaprons, shovel-hats, sermon-cases, and such like ec- ry to do so much for archdeacons, why might not one clesiastical gear.
of the residentiaries be archdeacon in virtue of his But the madness and folly of such a measure are in prebend? If government make bishops, they may the revolutionary feeling which it excites. A govern. surely be trusted to make archdeacons. I am very ment taking into its hands such an immense value of willing to ascribe good motives to these commission property! What a lesson of violence and change to ers, who are really worthy and very sensible men, but the mass of mankind! Do you want to accustom I am perfectly astonished that they were not deterred Englishmen to lose all confidence in the permanence from such a measure by appearances, and by the moof their institutions to inure them to great acts of lives which, whether 'righily or wrongly, would be plunder-and to draw forth all the latent villanies of imputed to them. In not acting so as to be suspected, human nature? The whig leaders are honest men, the Bishop of London should resemble Cæsar's wưe. and cannot mean this, but these foolish and inconsis. In other respects, this excellent prelate would not tent measures are thé horn-book and infantile lessons have exactly suited for the partner of that great and of revolution; and remember, it requires no great self-willed man; and an idea strikes me, that it is not time to teach mankind to rob and murder on a great impossible he might have been in the senate-bouse scale.
instead of Cæsar, I am astonished that these ministers neglect the Lord John Russell gives himself great credit for pot coinmon precaution of a foolometer,* with which no having confiscated church property, but merely remopublic man should be unprovided : mean, the ac- delled and redivided it. I accuse him not of plunder, quaintance and society of three or four regular British but I accuse him of taking the Church of England. fools as a test of public opinion. Every cabinet miurolling it about as a cook does a piece of dough, with ister should judge of all his measures by his toolome a rolling pin, cutting a hundred different shapes with ter, as a navigator crowds or shorteus sail by the ba- all the plastic fertility of a confectioner, and without rometer in his cabin. I have a very valuable instru. the most distant suspicion that he can ever be wrcos, ment of that kind myself which I have used for inany or ever be mistaken: with a certainty that he can years; and I would be bound to predict, with the ul- anticipate the consequences of every possible change most nicety, by the help of this machine, the precise in human affairs. There is not a beiter man in Eng. effect which any measure would produce upon public land than Lord John Russell; but his worst failure is, opinion. Certainly, I never saw any thing so decided that he is utterly ignorant of all moral fear; there is as the effects produced upon my machine by the rate nothing he would not undertake. I believe he would bill. No man who had been accustomed in the small. perform the operation for the stonebuild St. Peter's est degree to handle philosophical instruments could --or assume (with or without ten minutes notice) the have doubted of the storm which was coming on, or command of the channel fleet; and no one would disof the thoroughly un-English scheme in which the cover by his manner that the patient had died-ihe ministry had so rashly engaged themselves.
church tumbled down-and the channel fieet been I think, also, that it is a very sound argument knocked to atoms. I believe his motives are always against this measure of church rates, that estates pure, and his measures often able ; but they are cod. have been brought liable to these payments, and that less, and never done with that pedetenous pace and they have been deducted from the purchase-money. pedétenous mind in which it behoves the wise and And, what also, if a dissenter were a republican as virtuous improver to walk. He alarms the wise liber. well as a dissenter-a case which has sometimes hap- als; and it is impossible to sleep soundly while he pened; and what if our anti-monarchial dissenter has the command of the watch.* were to object to the expenses of the kingly govern. Do not say, my dear Lord John, that I am too se. ment? Are his scruples to be respected, and his tax. | vere upon you. A thousand years have scarce suffices diminished, and the queen's privy purse to be sub.ed to make our blessed England what it is; an hour jected and exposed to the intervening and economical may lay it in the dust ; and can you, with all your tasqueeze of government commissioners ?
lents, renovate its shattered splendour-can you recall But these lucubrations upon church rates are an epi: back' its virtues-can you vanquish time and fate? sode ; I must go back to John, Bishop of Lincoln. All But, alas ! you want to shake the world, and to be other cathedrals are fixed at four prebendaries; St. the thuderer of the scene ! Paul's and Lincoln having only three, are increased to Now what is the end of what I have written? Why the regulation pattern of four. I call this useless and every body was in a great fright; and a number of childish. The Bishop of Lincoln says, there were bishops, huddled together, and talking of their great more residentiaries before the reformation ; but if for sacrifices, began to destroy other people's property, three hundred years three residentiaries have been and to take other people's patronage: and all the found to be sufficient, what a strangely feeble excuse fright is over now; and all the bishops are very sorry it is for adding another, and diverting 30001. per annum for what they have done, and regret extremely, the froin the small living fund, to say, that there were destruction of the cathedral dignitaries, but don't more residentiaries three hundred years ago. know how to get out of the foolish scrape. The whig
Must every thing be good and right that is done by ministry persevere to please Joseph and his brethren, bishops ? Is there one rule of right for them and ano and the destroyers; and the good sense of the matter ther for the rest of the world. Now here are two is to fiing out the dean and chapter bill, as it now commissioners, whose express object is to constitute, stands, and to bring in another next year-making a out of the large emoluments of the dignitaries, a fund fund out of all the non-resident prebends, annering for the poorer parochial clergy; and in the very heat some of the others, and adopting many of the enaci. and servour of confiscation, they build up two new ments contained in the present bill. * Mr. Fox very often used to say, I wonder what Lord
* Another peculiarity of the Russells is, that they never B. will think of this.' Lord B. happened to be a very stu- alter their opinions ; they are an excellent race, but they pid person, and the curiosity of Mr. Fox's friends was nat must be trepanned before they can be convinced. urally excited to know why he attached such importance to the opinion of such an ordinary commonplace person. • His opinion,' said Mr. Fox, is of much more importance than you are aware of. He is an exact representative of all common-place English prejudices, and what Lord B. thinks of any measure, the great majority of English people will think of it.' It would be a good thing if every Cabinet of philosophers had e Lord B. among them,
THIRD LETTER TO ARCHDEACON SINGLE There is in this new bill a very humane clause, TON.
(though not introduced by the commission), enabling
the widow of the deceased clergyman to retain pos. MY DEAR SIR,
session of the parsonage-house for two months after I hope this is the last letter you will receive from the death of the incumbent. It ought, in fairness, to me on church matters. I am tired of the subject ; so be extended to the heirs, executors, and administra. is every body. In spite of many bishops' charges, I tors of the incumbent. It is a great hardship that a am unbroken ; and remain entirely of the same opinion family settled in a parish for fifty years, perhaps, as I was two or three years since—that the mutilation should be torn up by the roots in eight or ten days; of deans and chapters is a rash, foolish, and impru- and the interval of two months, allowing tiine for redent measure.
pairs, might put to rest many questions of dilapida. I do not think the charge of the Bishop of London tion. successful, in combating those arguments which have To the bishop's power of intruding a curate, with. been used against the impending dean and chapter out any complaint on the part of the parish that the bill; but it is quiet, gentlemanlike, temperate, and duty has been inadequately performed, I retain the written in a manner which entirely becomes the high same objections as before. It is a power which, with. office and character which he bears.
condition, will be unfairly and partially exer. I agree with him in saying that the plurality and cised. The first object I admit is not the provision of residence bill is, upon the whole, a very good bill ; the clergyman, but the cure of the parish ; but one nobody, however, knows better than the Bishop of way of taking care or parishes is to take care that London the various changes it has undergone, and the clergymen are not treated with tyranny, partiality, improvements it has received. I could point out four and injustice; and the best way of effecting this is io teen or fifteen material alterations for the better, since remember that their superiors have the same human it came out of the hands of the commission, and all passions as other people, and not to trust them with a bearing materially upon the happiness and comfort of power which may be só grossly abused, and which the parochial clergy. I will mention only a few :—the incredible us the Bishop of London may deem it), bill, as originally introduced, gave the bishop a power, has been, in some instances, grossly abused. when he considered the duties of the parish to be im I cannot imagine what the bishop means by saying, properly performed, to suspend the clergyman and ap- that the members of cathedrals do not, in virtue of point a curate with a salary. Some impious persons their office, bear any part in the parochial instruction thought it not impossible that occasionally such a of the people. This is a fine deceitful word, the word power might be maliciously and vindictively exer. parochial, and eminently calculated to coax the pubcised, and that some check to it should be admitted lic. It he means simply that cathedrals do not belong into the bill ; accordingly, under the existing act, an to parishes, that St. Paul's is not the parish church of ecclesiastical jury is to be summoned, and into that Upper Puddicomb, and that the vicar of St. Fiddlefrid jury the defendant clergyman may introduce a friend does not officiate in Westminster Abbey: all this is of his own.
true enough, but do they not in the most material Ifa clergyman, from illness or any other overwhelm- points instruct the people precisely in the same man. ing necessity, was prevented from having two ser ner as the parochial clergy? Are not prayers and vices, he was exposed to an information and penalty. sermons the most important means of spiritual instrucIn answering the bishop, he was subjected to iwo op- tion? And are there not eighteen or twenty services posite sets of penalties the one for saying yes; the in every cathedral for one which is beard in parish other for saying no: he was amenable to the needless churches? I have very often counted in the after. and impertinent scrutiny of a rural dean before he was noen of week days in St. Paul's 150 people, and on exposed to the scrutiny of the bishop. Curates might Sundays it is full to suffocation. Is all this to go for be forced upon him by subscribing parishioners, and nothing? and what right has the Bishop of London to the certainty of a schism established in the parish; a suppose that there is not as much real piety in cathe. curate might have been forced upon present incum drals, as in the most roadless, postless, melancholy, bents by the bishop without any complaint inade ; sequestered hamlet preached to by the most provin. upon men who took, or, perhaps, bought their livings cial, sequestered bucolic clergymån in the queen's under very different laws; all these acts of injustice dominions ? are done away with, but it is not to the credit of the A number of little children, it is true, do not repeat framers of the bill that they were ever admitted, and a catechism of which they do not comprehend a word; they completely justify the opposition with which the but it is rather rapid and wholesale io say, that the bill was received by me and by others. I add, how parochial clergy are spiritual instructors of ihe people, ever, with great pleasure, that when these and other and that the cathedral clergy are only so in a very reobjections were made, they were heard with candour, stricted sense. I say that in the most material points and promised to be remedied by the Archbishop of and acts of instruction, they are much more laborious Canterbury and the Bishop of London and Lord John and incessant than any parochial clergy. It might Russell.
really be supposed, from the Bishop of London's rea. I have spoken of the power to issue a commission soning, that some other methods of instruction took to inquire into the well-being of any parish: a vindic. place in cathedrals than prayers and sermons can tire and malicious bishop might, it is true, convert afford ; that lectures were read on chemistry, or les. this, which was intended for the protection, to the sons given on dancing; or that it was a Mechanics' oppression of the clergy-afraid to dispossess a clergy. Institute, or a vast receptacle for hexameter and pen. man of his own authority, he might attempt to do the tameter boys. His own most respectable chaplain, same thing under the cover of a jury of his ecclesiastic who is ofien there as a member of the body, will teli cal creatures. But I can hardly conceive such base him that the prayers are strictly adhered to, accord. ness in the prelate, or such infamous subserviency in ing to the rubric, with the difference only, that the the agents. An honest and respectable bishop will service is beautifully chanted instead of being badly remember that the very issue of such a commission read ; that instead of the atrocious bawling of parish is a serious slur upon the character of a clergyman; churches, the anthems are sung with great taste and he will do all he can to prevent it by private monition feeling; and if the preaching is not good, it is the fault and remonstrance; and if driveu to such an act of of the Bishop of London, who has the whole range of power, he will, of course, state to the accused clergy. London preachers from whom to make his selection. man the subjects of accusation, the names of his ac. The real fact is, that, instead of being something macusers, and give him ample time for his defence. If, terially different from the parochial clergy, as the comupon anonymous accusation, he subjects a clergyman missioners wish to make them, the cathedral clergy are to such an investigation, or refuses to him any advan. fellow-labourers with the parochial clergy, outworking tage which the law gives to every accused person, he them ten to one; but the commission having provided is an infamous, degraded, and scandalous tyrant: but snugly for the bishops, have, by the merest accident in I cannot believe there is such a man to be found upon the world, entangled themselves in this quarre with the bench.