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may walk abroad clothed in purple, and that fuel may be supplied for insubordination and rebellion; and the authors of all this will be looked upon as exculpated by that freedom from restraint, which is the glorious birthright of dissenters.
Thus it will be seen how impracticable it is, even if it were allowable, to hold any religious communion with separatists; for boasting, as they do, of the love of, and desire to, promote civil and religious liberty, they would trammel us churchmen, who cannot think with them, and chain us down to their ideas of liberty. We rejoice in the cords which bind us to articles and creeds, the sanctified symbols of our most holy faith; we believe that by them pure Christianity has been mercifully and providentially preserved from the bondage of perverted reason; and we hold that, to annul subscription to these articles and creeds would be to open the floodgates of irreligion and infidelity. The commandment of God is, that "as we have heard from the beginning we should walk in it." Our faith, and the means by which to uphold and circulate that faith, are plainly laid down in the Bible and the Church; and to alter one iota of that faith, or diminish the authority of the Church, would be a violation of the law of Christian charity which could with difficulty be equalled. It is not kindness, but a false and injurious liberality which refrains from punishing, or remits the just sentence passed upon the traitor, the promoter of sedition, or the man who violates the laws of his country; such punishment being the penalty on "evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well;" nor would his wisdom have many to laud it, who would become the companion of thieves, because they had many praiseworthy qualities of character, that they might become honest through his precept and example.
Nor, in the infinitely more momentous concerns of religion, is it true Christian charity or toleration to abolish the anathemas contained in the law of God, to suit the ideas we may please to have of his mercy, to think of and act towards his Church, which is the kingdom of God upon earth, as the turbulent and rebellious do of and towards the kingdom in which the providence of God has placed them, that they may be obedient to "the powers that be." Nor ought it to be considered true Christian charity or toleration (to compare spiritual things with temporal) to unite with dissenters-separatists, sensual, having not the spirit, schismatics, to propagate Christianity by means which would gain the appellation of infatuated to him who would thus act in the affairs of this world; to send abroad a gospel which is another gospel," rejecting the traditions which they have been taught, sanctioning those who, "like children are tossed to and fro, carried about with every wind of doctrine." ALLEYNE CLERICUS.
OUR Clerical readers, and we dare say all others, will recollect that towards the latter end of the last session of Parliament, a bill professing to have for its object the better enforcing of church discipline was attempted to be carried and to be imposed upon the people; or in truth not upon the people, but upon the clergy, or rather upon two orders of them, the priests and the deacons. That bill was generally called the Church Discipline Bill, but if it had been termed a bill of bitter pains and penalties upon the parochial clergy, and a "heavy blow" upon the Church of Christ in England, it would have been far more correctly designated. Or perhaps it would not have been improperly
termed the Bishop of London's Discipline Bill, for it is generally considered that his Lordship had a considerable share in its concoction; and we confess that the tenor and drift of it go very far to confirm that opinion. And as his Lordship has threatened that the same bill, or one nearly as bad, will be again brought forward on the very first day of this next session of Parliament, and pushed on with all possible speed, we are glad to be able to apprize the clergy of the fact, in order that those who value the apostolical and scriptural constitution of the Church, their own rights and privileges as ministers of God, their usefulness and comfort, we had almost said, their characters, may at once rouse themselves to a sense of their duty to God, to his Church, and to themselves, and oppose the iniquitous measure with all their might before it he too late,— before they feel the iron entering their souls, and themselves and their families suffering under the pains and penalties which it will be calculated to inflict. This Erastian bill is one of the Erastian offspring of that Erastian Commission called the Ecclesiastical Commission, which, previously to the decease of his late Majesty, caused so much dread in the minds of all sound Churchmen who knew any thing of its Erastian, unecclesiastical nature and mischievous operations. The Bishop of London was the most active promoter and the main stay of that ruinous Commission, which would have proceeded in its unhallowed work of destroying the constitution of the Church as a pure branch of the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ, if the sound principled portion of the Church had not bestirred themselves in time, and by their voice and strenuous opposition impeded its progress. Out of that unecclesiastical, un-English and despotic Commission this unecclesiastical and unEnglish and tyrannical bill has arisen. That powerful champion of the Church and the rights of the clergy, the Bishop of Exeter, has throughout most strenuously and determinedly opposed the bill whenever it has obtruded its unseemly presence before the House of Lords; and his Lordship deserves, and ought to receive not only the cordial and active support, but the hearty gratitude of the whole body of the clergy of England and Wales. That support he now requires and asks, and we trust that he will not ask in vain. Let the clergy of every diocese in the land, that of London (not excepted, sign and present addresses to their bishop, and forward immediately petitions to both Houses of Parliament, against the measure, without delay.
The opposition which the Bishop of Exeter has given to this bill has subjected his Lordship to treatment from a certain quarter which he ought not to have received. From a correspondence between himself and the Bishop of London, which is given at the end of his late admirable Charge—a charge which every clergyman in the land ought to read, if he had to sell his shoes from his feet to buy it-it appears that after an intimation from the Bishop of London. on the 25th of July, in the House of Lords, that the bill should not pass in that session, it was actually sent down to the House of Commons, and proposed to be committed on the 12th of August, which was after the Bishop of Exeter had left London. His Lordship saw this in a newspaper, and immediately wrote to the Bishop of London, expressing his "astonishment" and his "unbounded surprise" at such a step.
The Bishop of London, evidently moved, immediately replied,-" My dear Lord, I protest most strongly against the interpretation which you have put upon my speech on the third reading of the Church Discipline Bill;" and further on observes," I have, however, stated to Dr. Lushington, and through him to Lord John Russell, the impression which you state to exist in your mind, and the probability that the Archbishop and the Bishop of London will be denounced to the Clergy if the Bill should be passed," etc. Whether his Lordship of London had any right, or whether it was altogether
courteous, brotherly, or christian in him to state, or to insinuate to anybody, much less to two such men as Dr. Lushington and Lord John Russell, as he acknowledges he did, that the Bishop of Exeter would denounce the Archbishop of Canterbury and himself to the Clergy, we need not determine, whatsoever we, and the Clergy generally, may think of the spirit which such conduct and language betrays. If the Bishop of London can sway the amiable Archbishop of Canterbury, who would be the last personage in the world whom either the Bishop of Exeter, or anybody else who knows his Grace, would denounce, he is not very likely to sway the Bishop of Exeter; nor is that powerful Prelate likely to be deterred from the straightforward course which he has adopted by any of those artifices which certain persons have thought proper to adopt, to silence an enemy to their unworthy if not tyrannical objects. It is in his letter to the Bishop of Exeter, that the Bishop of London intimates that "a Bill, which will probably be the same as to its leading provisions, will be brought into the House of Lords on the very first day of the next session, and pressed on with all practicable speed." With all practicable speed, therefore, we call upon the Clergy to rouse themselves at once to determined opposition to a measure which will be ruinous to the Church, as well as harassing, unjust, tyrannical, and degrading to the capitular and parochial clergy, and to them only, for, we believe, the bishops do not come under its provisions, any more than the laity. If the Papists, and other dissenters, who long for the degradation of the clergy and the destruction of the Church, had contrived this Bill, a more harsh, cruel, and mischievous one it could scarcely have been. It strikes at the very heart and essence of the Church, by attempting to rob the episcopal office of that judicial power which is inherent in it, and indispensable to it, and inseparable from it. By this Bill it is proposed to destroy all the courts of the Bishops, and to transfer all causes to the Court of Arches in London, whither a poor curate is to be dragged from his family and home, which may happen to be in the remotest part of the land, to answer any accusation which some spiteful heretic or schismatic may have laid against him, and to be judged by some layman, who may be in reality no very great friend to the Church. The expenses of a trial in London, with the travelling expenses and maintenance there of any number of witnesses which a poor curate, with a large family and sixty or seventy pounds a-year, may consider necessary to clear his character from the foul aspersions which had been cast upon it by some common persecutor or informer, would be utterly ruinous. We hope, however, that Almighty God will not suffer any such calamity to fall upon His clergy, and that the Bill will be defeated, or so modified as to be unobjectionable. That some measure is requisite, we readily admit, and shall be glad to find that a proper Bill has become law; but to the Bill, as it was left at the end of the last session of Parliament, or to one like it in its leading provisions, every opposition should be now given, before it be too late.
In his Charge, just published, the Bishop of Llandaff says of that measure, "That the Bill was framed without a due consideration of the nature of the episcopal office in the primitive Church, I think cannot be denied;" and his Lordship highly approves of "the timely check which was given by the prompt and able interference of one member of the episcopal bench"-the Bishop of Exeter. Again recommending all our clerical brethren to peruse the full and important Charge of the Bishop of Exeter, we will conclude with a few extracts from it, preferring his Lordship's statements, arguments, and language to our own. His lordship thus commences," Believing as I do that this measure, if carried in any form which it has yet assumed, will be destructive of the Church of England, not as an establishment, but in its true character as a sound branch of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, I have felt it
my duty to oppose it to the utmost. During two sessions that opposition has been successful. The measure, however, will again be brought forward in the next session; and will be carried, unless, with God's blessing, the strong and united expression of the judgment of the great body of the clergy shall avail to prevent it."--"I would rather be proclaimed an agitator in every newspaper and every society in England, than be told by the still small voice within me that I am a traitor to the Church of Christ. Such a traitor I should be, if, thinking of this measure as I do, I were to falter in my course of strenuous resistance to it."-"For centuries before the Christian Church was known to the laws of any state, except as a subject of persecution, Bishops held their courts, exercised their inherent judicial power personally by process in Court.' But, henceforth, if this Bill pass into a law, Bishops will be prohibited from doing this in England-a restraint never before imposed in any Christian country acknowledging episcopacy." After quoting the Thirty-third Article, his Lordship thus proceeds: "How can a layman, receiving his authority merely from the state, be esteemed the Church?' How can he deliver any 'just judgment,' being without jurisdiction delegated to him by the Church? How can he cut off from the unity of the Church? How can he thus bind? or, again, how can he receive into the Church? ' What authority thereunto hath' he? How can he thus loose?" These questions require answers utterly incompatible with the idea of making a layman judge over clergymen. From his Lordship's protest we select the following:-"This Bill, prohibiting in every diocese the exercise of spiritual jurisdiction, so far as any spiritual censure on a criminous clergyman is concerned, except that of the Court of Arches, doth exceed the power of human law, inasmuch as it affects to deprive Bishops of that essential authority and inherent right which appertain to their sacred office by the Word of God, and which they, at their consecration, have promised and vowed that they, by the help of God, will faithfully and duly exercise, by correcting and punishing such as be criminous within their respective dioceses." The episcopal authority, with the judicial process which is essential to it," is prescribed by the Apostles. It was used and practised in the Church for 300 years before Christianity became the religion of any state, or its laws and discipline were enforced by any human government. Its necessity is recognised and asserted by all the soundest and ablest divines of the Reformed Church of England, who have written on the nature of the visible Church; by Bishops Jewell, Bilson, Hall, Bramhall, Stillingfleet, Jeremy Taylor, Beveridge; by Hooker, Field, Hammond, and many other luminaries of that age in which theological learning in England was most diligently and most successfully cultivated, not to mention other authorities of the last and the present centuries." "The only advocate of the Bill who discussed its provisions, admitting in several unimportant particulars that great principles were violated by it, rested its justification solely on the practical benefits sought thereby; thus, in conformity with that fatal policy which has been the bane of our times, proposing to sacrifice, in a matter of this high religious nature, principle to expediency."—"If this Bill shall pass into a law, that most estimable and venerable body of men, the Clergy of England and Wales, will be reduced to a worse condition than any other class of Her Majesty's subjects, being made liable to answer to charges affecting their highest religious and civil rights, their feelings and characters as men, their functions as Christian ministers, before a remote judicature, which, because it is remote, can never inspire confidence, but will be found in practice, at once to prevent the prosecution of real delinquency, and to rob calumniated innocence of that best protection, the known characters of the accused and the accusers, as well as of the witnesses by whom the accusation is sustained or repelled."
Alluding to a remark which fell from the Lord Chancellor in debate, that the Bill, bad, as he acknowledged it to be, was necessary to prepare the way for larger measures of Reform, by destroying the Bishop's Court, the Bishop remarks: "If the Clergy of England deem so highly of the principle of centralization, which is the great favourite with many of the Metropolitan lawgivers of the day, as to be willing to sacrifice to it that episcopal jurisdiction, which (whatever be thought of its sacredness) must be admitted by all to have existed in the Church from the Apostles-they will not give themselves or the Legislature any further trouble in the matter. But if they think, as I avow myself to think, that the constitution of our National Church, as a sound branch of the Catholic and Apostolic Church, is involved in the issue, they will exert all their energies, and adopt every fit and becoming expedient for the purpose of defeating the Bill of last year, if it be revived in next session."
The Bishop of London says, that it will be revived on the very first day of the next session, and there is therefore no time to be lost. Petitions were during the last struggle against the Bill presented from twenty-two of the dioceses out of the twenty-six, almost all of them deprecating it as inconsistent with the constitution of the Church, and not one on the other side. To facilitate the business of petitioning we give the following outline of a petition :
"To the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, etc.
"The undersigned Clergy and humbly petition your Lordships to withhold your consent from a Bill which has been introduced into your Right Hon. House, entitled, 'An Act, etc.'
"They conceive that the suppression of the Bishops' judicial processes is virtually an extinction of that spiritual jurisdiction over their Clergy which has been conferred on them by the Founder of the Church.
"They protest against being made amenable to any Bishop but their own Diocesan, or to a lay tribunal, for offences purely ecclesiastical.
They consider that by making the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council the last court of appeal, the highest authority over the Church is transferred to the hands of laymen, and that the spiritual independence of the Church is thus subverted.
"They also deprecate a measure which will expose them to great hardships, and place them at the mercy of common prosecutors and informers, without hopes of redress.
"But they most earnestly entreat that your Lordships will not allow the Apostolical constitution of the Church to be destroyed, or the Episcopal authority to be infringed, by a measure to which the Church has not consented, and at a time when so much care is required to support and enforce it.
"And your petitioners will ever pray, etc."
THE THIRTIETH OF JANUARY, 1840.
DEAR SIR,-The very general observance of the fifth of November was truly delightful. Had that day been observed, in time past, as it ought to have been, men would have known a little more about Popery than they do now. The Clergy-I acknowledge my own guilt with much concern-have been keeping men in ignorance of what Popery is, and of what Popery has done, and of what Popery will most surely do again, if ever Popery should again obtain that power for which it now so eagerly craves and
But, my dear Sir, there is another day which we are commanded to observe: I mean the thirtieth day of January. On that day dissent shewed its real character; and every action, which led to the dreadful tragedy, points out to us the real character