Imatges de pÓgina
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606 Penal Laws which aggrieve the Catholics of Ireland.
but of such inhabitants and occu. new church. They may also con.
piers as happen not to be Cath. vert a parish church into a cath.
olics.

edral church: and, vice versa, a
The powers of a parish vestry cathedral into a parish church:
are various and extensive. To and levy any rates for those pure
incur heavy expenses on the part poses. By stalute, also, arch.
of the parish, to levy large sums bishops and bishops may erect
of money upon the houses, lands, new churches, as they think fit;
and persons of the inhabitants at and new parishes may be attached
large; to apportion those sums to such new churches, in case the
upon individuals, and to apply former parish churches be thought
them at their discretion, unex. too small or too distant (of which
amined and uncontrouled; to the Protestant parishioners are to
transact generally the local busi. be sole judges).
ness of the parish : these are The form of imposing parish
amongst the powers, vested in rates is as follows: the church.
such persons as legally constitute wardens and Protestant parishion.
a vestry. They are authorised, ers assemble together, pursuant
and indeed bound, to repair the to notice posted upon the church
whole church; to provide seats door only. This meeting consti-
and benches, communion table, tutes a vestry, competent to
pulpit, reading desk, chalices and make any rate. But, if no pa-
other vessels for the communion, rishioners attend, pursuant to the
basin for the offeriory, font, bells, notice, or if the vestry assembled
biers for the dead, bibles, large will not make the rate, the church.
and small, books of common pray- wardens alone may make it. If
er, register book, and various the rate be not made, and conse.
other books and accommodations : quently the repairs not done, the
to fence and preserve the church. church wardens are cited and pun.
yard; to provide a yearly salary ished by the spiritual court.
of 201. for the parish clerk, &c. Nexi, this rate is to be applot-
&c. By common law, if an old ted: that is to say, the vestry pro-
church is to be rebuilt, or a new ceeds to decide upon the precise
.church is so small as to need being sum, or sbare of the sum total,
enlarged, a parish vestry (having which each parishioner is to pay.
first received the bishop's consent, This applotment is made, either
and meeting upon due notice) - by the churchwardens or by other
may make a rate at their discre- persons named by the vestry: and
tion, for rebuilding or enlarging it is examinable by the Protestant
it, as they think proper. By sta parishioners alone. They may
tutes, the lord lieutenant and pri. alter, add to, or new model it, as
vy council, archbishops or bishops, they think fit. When finally set.
may order new churches to be tled, it is subscribed by the minis.
built in better places: and when ter, churchwardens, and three of
the site is to be so changed, the con. the Protestant inhabitants then
sent of the majority of Protestant present; and delivered to the
parishioners, in vestry assembled, churchwardens to be levied. But,
is sufficient to assess any raté by a recent statute, the subscrip-
without limit, for building the tion of the churchwardens is ren.

1

dered unnecessary: possibly lest piers of all, or nearly all, the they should happen to be Catho. land in the parish; whether tillage lics, or otherwise intractable. The or pasture, bog or mountain; enchurch wardens must then collect cumbered already with a rack. the sum applotted; and, if neces. rent of perhaps 31. per acre, paysary, levy it by distress and sale able to some absentee landlord; of goods, nnder a warrant signed subject also to tithes, to grande by two justices. The genera! jury cesses and county charges, principle of such applotments, in continually increasing --- together theory, is this : that every inha. with the odious and oppressive bitant, &c. ought to be rated tax of 3d. per pound, recently imaccording to his ability; which posed upon the gross rents paya. ability is estimated, in a country ble by the poorest occupiers. parish, by the value of the lands Six, eight, or more Protestant pahe huias in that parish: in a town rishioners meet together in vestry, by the value of the house he in. and applot considerable sums, unhabits. But this value is also to der the specious title of “neces. be estimated by Protestants. The sary repairs, buildings &c. for the actual occupiers (not the landlords church," To accommodate the or owners) are to be deemed the carpenter, new seats, doors, and inhabitants, and chargeable with other wood work, are voted: to every cess for repairs and taxes. the mason, repairs of walts, or This is confirmed by statute in perhaps a spire, bellfry, or other Ireland, which declares, that the subject of employment: to the occupying lessee shall always pay glazier, new windows; to the clerk, the rate.

a salary, &c. Thus this vestry, From this statement it appears, like an Irish grand-jury, creates that according to the laws now lucrative presentments' tor its subsisting in Ireland, the Protes. members; and the amount is le. tant parishioners alone are in every vied rigorously upon the defencecase mvested with a full and dis. less Catholics. The rate thus cretionary power, under the name struck is generally an acreable one: of a vestry.

it varies, annually, from 6d. per Numerous instances exemplify acre to any higher sum, In the the oppressive exercise of this county of Dublin 18. 3d. per acre power. We shall, however, only is a common rate.

In many select a supposable case, viz. A places it amounts to 2s. per acre; certain parish contains 4,000 and it lies wbolly within the pru. acres of land. It is inbabited by dence and conscience of the vesabout 20 Protestants, and 2,000 try, whether the rate may not une Catholics. The Protestants (as day be advanced to 10s. per acre may happen) consist of the minis. or more. The rate upon 4,000 ler and bis curate-lhe petty jus. acres, at only 1s. 3d. per acre, tice, the parish clerk, (perhaps amounts to 2501 yearly. Now, the justice's steward) and i be Pro. some farms in the parish may not testant tradesmen, artizans, &c. be intrinsically worth more than who may be also the permanent 1l. per acre. Moreover, the far. constables, policemen, publicans, mer's clear yearly profit from any &c. The Catholics are the occu. land in the parish, upon the avea

608 Penal Laws which aggrieve the Catholics of Ireland. rage of one year with another, tant churches, glebes, &c. to an may not amount to 10s. per acre, amount so amplo, as to render perhaps not to 55.-- or possibly to these church-rates wholly unneces. one penny. Yet he may be thus sary. From the year 1760 !0 1800, forced to pay 18. or 28. per acre, various suins of public money, at the command of his neighbour. exceeding 150,0001. bave been ing Protestant tradesman: and (as granted by Parliament to the coman aggravation) for pretended re- missioners of First-fruits of Ireland pairs, or needless ornaments, of for building or repairing Protes. the Protestant house of worship. tant Churches. During the same

The Catholics are also incapa- period, a farther sum of 100,0001. citated from voting in vestries, has been granted for building glebe upon any question “ respecting houses. These donations

are the demising or disposing of the continued annually, pursuant to parish income or estate ; or for the Act of Union, which stipulates, the salary of the parish clerk; or " That all grants for pious inat the election of any churchwar. stitutions in Ireland shall conti. den." By this interdiction the legis• nue for iwenty years to come, at Jature has secured, to the Protes- annual sums not lower than the tant inhabitants in every parish, the annual average sum to be taken for power of nominating the churchthe next six years preceding the warden-so as uniformly to be- Union.” The average in these two slow the office upon a Protestant, cases appears, from the statuies, where it is an office of protit or to bave been 10.0001. yearly, (viz. patronage, as in Dublin, Cork, for churches 50001, and for glebe &c. and to infliet it upon a Catbo. houses 50001.) and has according. lic, where it is an office of expense, ly been so paid ever since. We risk and labour, as in Kilkenny, may therefore estimate the aggre. &c. For the Catholic, if nomina. gate fund, subject to any expented, is compellable to execute tbis ditures made within the last ten office in person, and does not par- years, as consisting of the follow. take of the indulgence (which the ing sums, at a rough calculation; law grants to the Dissenters) of viz. executing it by deputy.

1. Of the unapplied Balance,

remaining unappropriated in There already exists a magni. the Reverend Treasurer's hands, ficent fund, if duly husbanded, for

in 1800, (as appears by a Scatute
of 1803 about

£20,000 building, rebuilding, repairing and 2. Th: Parliamentary grant of embellishing, all the Protestant 1803, to the board of First-fruits 50,000 churches of Ireland, for twenty 3. The annual grants aforeyears to come. For, to say no.

said, (10,cool, from 1800 to
1811, inclusive)

110,000 thing of the present amount of the

4. The annual revenues, arisvalue of church lands, episcopal ing from the First-fruits' fund, Tents, annual tithes, &c. or of benefices, &c. since 1800, taken the prodigious encrease which they at a very moderate computation 20,000 have experienced of late years, it

£200,000 is perfectly notorious, that the legislature bas granted regular Surely, then, this splendid tund, funds for the support of Protes. annually augmented by an addi.

tional grant of 10,0001, ought to shew) an average sum, not less place the church establishment of than 2001. for every family that Ireland far above any occasion of frequents the public service of the resorting to such powers, as are established church; or in other exercised by parista vestries, un- words, each of these families now der the present laws.

costs to the people an average The people of Ireland already sum of 2001. yearly, for its relipay, (as a plain calculation will gious worship!

[To be continued.]

MISCELLANEOUS COMMUNICATIONS,

on

On Passages in Mr. Belsham's, gation refused to invite Dr. Asha

Memoirs of Mr. Lindsey. worth whom he recommended as
Sir,

August 7, 1812. his successor both in the pulpit In Mr. Belsham's Memoirs of and in the academy, and whose Mr. Lindsey, I observe a remark,, sentiments were in perfect unison p. 116, the conduct of with his own, and chose a gentle. some Dissenting congregations, man, a very worthy person, but who upon a vacancy occasioned whose orthodoxy was of a much by the death of a minister, make higher tone than that of his prechoice of a successor whose doc- decessor.” Now, Sir, the tact trinal sentiments are materially was, the congregation at Northdifferent from his, in consequence ampton, at least the great majority, of his not having been sufficiently would gladly have received alr. explicit in stating and defending Ashworth as their pastor, but they them. The remark is just, as to objected to Mr. Clark as his asthe fact itself, and perhaps as to sistant, who could not be disa the frequent cause. But that missed on account of bis impera specified is not the only cause. I tant services in the academy. I have known instances of a person must add, that ibe person they being chosen to succeed a deceased chose, viz. Mr. Gilbert of Oak ham, minister of sentiments widely dif. was not so much more orthodox ferent from his, though he had than Dr. Doddridge, as is supposd. fully and frequently stated them, I have beard him preach, as well as and had often warmly defended read some printed sermons of his, them. In some cases the succes. from whence I should conclude, sor has been more Calvinistical that his sentimenis were far from than his predecessor, and in others being “ of a higher tvåe:” and it less so.. But without now inquir. is certain that bis manner was not ing into the reasons, for which near so popular. Indeed, bis de. several may be assigned; I beg livery was so stiif and heavy, that leave to correct a mistake into some people have wondered ai bis which Mr. Belsham has fallen in ever being chosen to succeed so the case which he adduces in bis popular a preacher as Dr. Dod. note on the above passage. He dridge. And this attords another says, “Dr. Doddridge's congres remarkable instance of the incon

SIR,

610 On a Passage in Mr. Belsham's Memoirs of Mr. Lindsey. sistency of Dissenters in the choice (as had been the case at Sudbury,) of ministers.

his voting differently from them at Before I close, it may not be the election of a member of Paramiss to notice another passage liament, So inconsistent have in the Memoirs, which seems to often been the professed friends of need explanation. Page 264, liberty! note

"In Northamptonshire," Mr. Belsham will excuse the says Mr. Belsham, (speaking of the freedom used by power claimed by Independent A DAVENTRY PUPIL. churches,) "I recollect another instance, in which a venerable On a Passage in Mr. Belsham's minister, of irreproachable charac. Memoirs of Mr. Lindsey. ter, of most amiable manners, and unimpeached orthodoxy, was dis I have just read Mr. Belsham's missed from his office by the truly interesting Life of the late church, under some trifling pre- venerable Mr. Lindsey, a work, tence, in opposition to the sense the execution of which, does equal of by far the most respectable credit to the head and heart of part of the congregation.” The the worthy and learned author. person referred to, doubtless, was But there is one passage in that Mr. Hextal of Northampton, for. work, which may, contrary to the merly of Sudbury. The fact was, intention of the writer, produce that he was a much higher Cal- an unfavourable effect on the vinist than Dr. Doddridge or Mr. minds of some persons towards a Gilbert, or the person chosen to suc. popular institution, notwithstand. ceed him. But what Mr. Belsham ing he mentions it in terms of high styles “a tribing pretence” was, commendation. Speaking of dif. -that he was a man of enlarged ferent Unitarian Societies, bc ob. charity, and would not anathema. serves, (page 308 & 9) “ But the tize and expel certain worthy per. society which at present bolds sons, whose sentiments were ob. the foremost rank, and engages noxious to some narrow-minded the most general and the warmest and bigoted people, who had support of the Unitarian body, is been thorns in the sides of Dr. that which is called the Unitarian Doddridge. These people inter. Fund Society," &c. The account preted his great candour as a is coo long to transcribe, but after proof of bis heterodoxy, and were explaining the nature and praisso zealous in propagating the idea ing the object of the institution, it of his departure from the truth, concludes thus, “ How far the that the majority of the subscribers, venerable patriarch of Unitarian. if they had been allowed a vote ism would have patronised a soci. would have given it against bim; ety of this description cannot now for it is certain that the number be ascertained.” This last sen. of those who remained, exceeded tence seems incorrect. It is per. theirs who espoused this worthy fectly known to several persons man, and went with him to his that he highly approved of the sonew chapel. It must not be ciety, and felt the greatest satisfac. omitted, that what excited the tion in its success. He was one violent opposition of some was, of its earliest and warmest patrons.

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