Images de page

dence; residence all the year round, a fund for the other projected re-
or we shall never arrive at the true
idea of a well-regulated episcopal
city. The dean is already in many
cases resident: why should it not
always be so? Let the cathedral be,
as in fact it is, his church; and let
him have no other: he will find ample
work in the frequent preaching, and
general superintendence, and nume-
rous duties which we shall contrive
for him; and where the emolument
is not at present sufficient to support
his high station in a suitable and
liberal matter, let the endowments
of the church make up the required
sum. This also might be easily are
ranged, under such a commission as
we have supposed, or even perhaps
in many cases without it.

forms. Some of the richer class of
stalls being suppressed, the income
might be attached to the higher
offices above mentioned, where re-
quisite, or go into the common fund
out of which they were paid. In all
our calculations we of course include
the crown as well as the cathedral
patronage, and in many cases the
crown patronage alone, well managed
for the purpose, would fill up all the
chasms with scarcely any disturb-
ance to the local interests. The
crown, for instance, might, where
necessary, appropriate its stalls (not
the office but the emolument, the
almost sinecure office being dis-
pensed with) to make up a suit-
able revenue to the poor bishop-
rick, or to the intended resident
archdeacon and chancellor. Next,
the whole mass of sinecures would
be added to the heap; for the object,
we repeat, is to have an efficient
permanently resident cathedral esta-
blishment; and the many hundred
sinecures attached to our chapters
would conduce nothing to that effect.
As fast, therefore, as the holders of
them die off, they should be added
to the common fund. There are
numerous minor stalls in our ca-
thedrals, and also sinecure rectories,
tithes, glebe, and other fragments,
which at present do no good except
to assist the income of those who are
successful enough to obtain them;
but which, added together, though
many of them are individually small,
would form a considerable fund for
the proposed objects, and still be
connected with the cathedral, and
follow the old patronage, whether
public or private, without any violence
or spoliation. For we repeat, that,
while the public were thus bene-
fited, and the cathedral city obtained
a new moral and religious elevation,
no person would be injured; since a
primary object of the united chapter,
as we may call it, would be to aug-
ment its own poor livings, so that as
many clergymen would be thus be-
nefited as were benefited before,
only in a different, and more certain,

We say the same of the archdeacon (we mean the one who takes his name from the diocese) and the chancellor. These officers ought to be habitually resident on the margin of the cathedral; and that they may be so, we would, as before, provide both work and emolument for them. Each of these officers might easily, with a curate, hold one of those small parishes which are usual in our cathedral towns, and which the bishop, dean, and chapter might purchase or take in exchange for that purpose, annexing it permanently to the office, and adding such estates or other remuneration as should make the appointment befit the dignity. Here, then, we have at once the bishop preaching in the cathedral or the parish churches as often as he thinks proper; the dean regularly preaching at least once a week in the cathedral; and the chancellor and archdeacon officiating in adjoining parishes; except when all, or any of them, are in turn engaged at the cathedral.

In regard to the canons and prebendaries (or by whatever name the next class of dignitaries may be called) we would pursue the same course. We must have constant residents, not itinerants. This would at once allow of considerably diminishing the number, and thus leave

[ocr errors]

honourable, and efficient manner. On procuring a poor cathedral living, the owner, we will suppose, now sets himself to eke it out with one or two of these stray luxuries: he gets one of the lesser prebends, for example, with various matters of fines and other temporalities to manage: but would he have been injured if all this had been arranged in the manner we have supposed, and instead of being a care-worn pluralist, with, after all, but a modicum of income, he had been at once inducted to a fairly furnished living, without corpse or fines, or other vexations, to distract his mind and interfere with his parochial duties? We admit that our plan would reduce the number of cathedral sinecures : nor could persons of influence employ a mischievous zeal to heap up emolument upon indolent or incompetent clergymen; for even a prebend would suppose and require both work and ability; but this, far from being against our scheme, is all in its favour; unless we intend at once that the church should be crushed under the weight of its own fallacious ornaments.

But to return to the canons or prebendaries; these, as we have said, we would make constantly resident, having first ascertained what number are adequate to the cathedral duties, and those other duties which we are about to allot to them. These prebendaries we would also remunerate in a manner suitable to their station, and to those works of charity, mercy, and hospitality, which might be fairly demanded of them. For this, the sale or exchange of the sinecures and small stalls would furnish a suitable fund; and in many cases with a large overplus. These dignitaries should take their station at the cathedral in rotation, but each of them should have a parish in or near the city, the parish and the dignity being inseparably united. Those connected with the smaller city parishes might live around the cathedral, as at present; but where a large parish has grown up in the


suburbs, which ought to have its minister in its bosom, there the dignified incumbent might have a parsonage provided for him, his duties at the cathedral being rendered light and compatible with his pastoral engagements. Thus we have provided for some six or ten stantly resident and fairly remunerated dignified clergymen, besides the bishop, dean, archdeacon, and chancellor; and all immediately connected with the diocese as well as the cathedral, and forming a sort of regimental staff, a focus of information and influence, a well-compacted ecclesiastic fabric, a fountain head from which may issue the streams to water and fertilize the whole diocese.

Still all this is but the skeleton; let us now begin to clothe it with flesh. We have a machine; let us set it to work. The problem is to make the cathedral city a centre and a model for the whole diocese. There must indeed be a higher power at work than human agency, if spiritual good is to be effected; and we sigh as we write, to think how mournfully the best devised plans of religious utility often fail in consequence of the sloth and sinfulness of those who are to carry them into execution. But this is not to the present question. We are now speaking only of machinery, not of the soul that is to animate it. If the various officers employed are not faithful servants of Christ, in vain are all plans to render them blessings to the flock: but even good men work at a disadvantage without good plans; and of the plan which we are now proposing, it is one benefit that it would tend to render cathedral offices very little to the taste of indolent or irreligious clergymen. It is in vain to improve the machinery of a capstan, if the men who are to heave the anchor refuse to work it; but their willingness must be taken for granted as an element in every calculation; and this being postulated and admitted, at least in theory, we come to the actual working.

not fulfilled, that the Church of England will die of dignity.

But let us touch upon two or three points, as they arise cursorily to our minds while writing. With regard to cathedral service, we have not a shadow of doubt as to the propriety of continuing it; but the subject having already been noticed at some length in the Visit to a Cathedral, in our last volume, we may abridge our present paper by passing it over. Whatever retrenchments are made, and to whatever purpose the funds of our chapters are to be devoted, we trust that our choirs will for ages to come be permitted to preserve the memory of this venerable and interesting mode of ecclesiastical service. We take this point for granted, without re-arguing it; but we are willing to re-argue it, if any friend will shew us that it is necessary to do If some of the smaller and poorer dioceses cannot afford it, after making those sacrifices which are requisite to improve their insufficient benefices, and to provide for the resident ecclesiastical staff, this may be a reason why they should be helped by richer sees, or by the crown or the public; or two of them be united together to make one navigable river out of two shallow rills; but it ought not to be allowed to set aside the whole system of choral worship, nor will it be permitted to do so, except by such reformers as would have set the Irish labourer's mattock and "tomahawk" at work upon the arches and mullions of the Virgin's Chapel at the foot of the new London bridge, had not the good taste and munificence of the bishop of the diocese interposed a veto.


As little argument need we expend upon the question of retaining the buildings as of continuing the choral service performed in them. We are, however, utilitarians amidst our enthusiasm; and if we were not, some of our readers might be so; and we will therefore suggest one interesting use to which our cathedrals might be appropriated. The edifices themselves, from the vastness of their


We want, then, a model city. The pulpits are to be a model; the parochial management is to be a model; the pastoral visiting, the education of children, the whole system of discipline, are to furnish a model and a stimulus to the diocese at large. Hence is to arise, and to emanate around, every thing connected with the public welfare. Here are to be Christian-Knowledge Societies, and Bible Societies, and Tract Societies, and Societies for the Propagation of the Gospel by means of missionary labour, and Societies for the due Observance of the Lord's Day, and whatever else can be devised for assisting the great objects of the Christian ministry. Here is to be the heart, beating with strong and healthy pulsation, and sending the streams of vitality to the extremities of the diocese. Here the clergy are to have mutual conference; and whatever they agree upon for the extension of religion, is to sound consentaneously from every pulpit, and to be circulated by means of the press; for in such a state of things as we are contemplating, and as might, we are persuaded, be carried into effect, the press would be an important engine of diocesan improvement. We should think, indeed, very lightly of the zeal and wisdom of such a body as we are supposing, did they not make this one of their main instruments of utility; and if a single large sheet with a red stamp at the corner would circulate more freely and rapidly than more voluminous productions, we see not why such small arms should be overlooked, or why the diocesan city, in addition to all its other instruments of utility, should not have its religious newspaper, and exert also a salutary influence upon even the secular vehicles of public intelligence. The friends of religion in the establishment have too much despised what some men may call small matters, but what Lord Bacon pronounced to be great ones. It is well if the Edinburgh Reviewer's prophecy be


size and from their arrangement, are in general ill calculated for the regular services of Divine worship: at the same time there are occasions when great congregations may require a wider area than usual, and the solemnities of our church may demand a scene more ample than that of any parish temple. But there is one specific object to which the aisles and side chapels of our cathedrals might be applied, even at present, with peculiar effect; and the idea is suggested by a passage in the travels of a very accomplished, and, as far as his religious prejudices allowed, a very enlightened writer,-the traveller Eustace. The picture which he gives of the cathedral at Milan, and of the employment to which it was applied by Cardinal Borromeo, is peculiarly interesting. We copy a portion of the passage. "Many of the cardinal's excellent institutions still remain, and among others that of Sunday schools; and it is both novel and affecting to behold on that day the vast nave of the cathedral filled with children, forming two grand divisions of boys and girls, ranged opposite to each other, and these again subdivided into classes according to their age and capacities, drawn up between the pillars; while two or more instructors attend each class, and direct their questions and explanations to every little individual without distinction. A clergyman attends each class, accompanied by one or more laymen for the boys, and for the girls by as many matrons. The lay persons are said to be oftentimes of the first distinction *."

See Eustace's Classical Tour, vol. iii. p. 18. We grieve, however, to add that Popery, which corrupts every thing, has corrupted even Sunday schools; in proof of which, we quote the following passage descriptive of the same scene from the Rev. Daniel Wilson's " Letters from the Continent."

It is not too much to hope that our cathedrals might in the same manner be made the scene of a large and connected system of catechetical instruction. The children and young people from the different parishes in the city, or its vicinity, might be thus collected together, without confusion or disturbance. The parochial clergy, or those attached to the cathedral, might carry on the instruction; and if the exercise was closed with a short and affectionate address from the dean or the residentiary for the time (those officers always being supposed to be what their station in the church demands), delivered from a pulpit placed, as in the foreign cathedrals, in the nave, thousands might be taught at once, and deeply impressed by a discourse delivered under such circumstances. At present there is often considerable difficulty in finding a place and season for general cate

"We returned to our inn, and after our English service we went to see the catechising at the cathedral. This was founded by Cardinal Borromeo in the sixteenth century, and is one of the pecu liarities of the diocese of Milan. The children meet in classes of ten or twenty,

drawn up between the pillars of the vast cathedral, and separated from each other by curtains; the boys on one side, the girls on the other. In all the churches of the city there are classes also. Many grown people were mingled with the children. A priest, and sometimes a layman, sat in the midst of each class, and seemed to be explaining familiarly the Christian religion. The sight was quite interesting. Tables for learning to write were placed in different recesses. The children were exceedingly attentive. At the door of each school, the words, Par vobis, Peace the names of the scholars were also on be unto you, were inscribed on a board; boards. Each school had a small pulpit, with a green cloth in front, bearing the Borromean motto, Humilitas.

"Now what can, in itself, be more excellent than all this? But mark the corruption of Popery; these poor children are all made members of a fraternity, and purchase indulgences for their sins by coming to school. A brief of the pope, dated 1609, affords a perpetual indulgence to the children in a sort of running lease of six thousand years, eight thousand years, &c.; and these indulgencies are applicable to the recovery of souls out of purgatory: the prayers also before school are full of error and idolatry. All this I saw with my own eyes, and heard with my own ears; for I was anxious to see the bearings of these celebrated schools. Thus is the infant mind fettered and imprisoned."-Rev. D. Wilson's Tour, vol. ii. p. 89.

[ocr errors]

chising. The parochial clergy are usually too much engaged on the Lord's day to have leisure or strength for such a service. The congregations are impatient of the delay which is occasioned when the catechising takes place according to the rubric, during afternoon prayers, and the children are embarrassed by the auditory before which they are examined. All these objections might be obviated in our episcopal cities, by devoting the spacious interior of the cathedral to this purpose; nor is it easy to conceive any way in which it could be so profitably employed during the Sunday afternoons.

It has been intimated in a former part of these remarks, that some change in the number of the different chapters, or the members of them, may be contemplated in some quarters as a resource for the poverty of some of our newly formed parishes. There are cases where the poverty of the chapters themselves would not even allow of a resident body such as we have described without assistance from other quarters. There are instances in which the only emolument connected with the offices in them is derived from the living to which it may lead, and which implies residence in another place; and in these, therefore, there is nothing to give up. But in other cases, including all the richer cathedrals, our plan might be carried into effect with little difficulty, and without any greater diversion of property than taking out of the left hand to put into the right. The property would still be cathedral and diocesan property for cathedral and diocesan purposes, and be enjoyed by cathedral and diocesan dignitaries. For these dignitaries we have found an ample and most useful sphere of labour by annexing to their function a local cure of souls, as well as their stated turn of attendance at choral worship. They might also, as at present, as might the archdeacon and the chancellor (whom we have throughout supposed to be a clergyman) preach occasionally at the cathedral. The pulpits of cathedrals, under

the circumstances we are supposing, might become again places in which some of the deeper topics of theology and matters not usually introduced into provincial pulpits might be discussed. Matters of controversy which it may be necessary to handle, but which no one would wish to introduce before an unlettered congregation, might find this field here, and be canvassed with propriety before those who were to be supposed competent to their discussion. A cathedral which was used for this purpose, in the cloisters of which the science of theology was diligently studied, and in which its truths were faithfully preached, (for we throughout suppose that those to whom the whole system is committed are truly men of God, otherwise the whole is but a body without a soul,) would exercise no inconsiderable influence on the feelings of the adjoining country. Men who were inquiring, men whose minds had been shaken by some crude unfounded statement, and who were wishing for guidance, would no longer be left to seek directions according to the means which they possessed, but would naturally flock to the diocesan church for instruction. If every patron exercised a discriminating judgment and conscientious and disinterested feeling in presenting to the vacant stalls, what a blessing might our cathedrals become for distributing valuable theological knowledge through every portion of the community; what sources of spiritual benefit to the whole diocese, to which they would give, as it were, the tone and religious bearing.

But one of the most important uses to which our cathedrals could be devoted, would be that to which we have before alluded; namely, to render them seminaries for specific clerical education. The importance and necessity of such an education we need not repeat, after our recent review of Mr. Raikes's publication; nor is it requisite for us at present to dilate upon the character of the instruction which is requisite; and in truth direct theological instruction is but

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« PrécédentContinuer »