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Holy Scriptures. But if they reply, been distributed by Bible Societies “ We do not admit him into the in foreign parts, called into exvestry, nor give him any authority istence by the example and enin the affairs of the church;” the couragement of the British and facts already stated will abundantly Foreign Bible Society. prove that such an answer is not in May every one of your readers, point; for the danger arising from the and every friend of the Society, admission of Socinians on the com- unite in giving all the praise and the mittees of Bible Societies is purely glory to the God and Father of our chimerical.
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, The dangers arising from union while they adopt the prayer of Moses with Socinians have been proclaimed the man of God: “Let thy work through every county of England, ac- appear unto thy servants, and thy companied with much to alarm, but glory unto their children: and let little to enlighten. The nature and ex- the beauty of the Lord our God be tent of that union have been misrepre- upon us; and establish thou the sented—I do not say intentionally, work of our hands upon us; yea, and at this moment there are many the work of our hands establish thou persons in the country who actually it!” believe the British and Foreign Bible Since writing the above, another Society to be under the management manifesto from Sackville Street has or influence of Socinians, in conse- appeared, containing four resolu. quence of what they have read in tions of a “special meeting of the the “ Circulars,” “Letters,” and Provisional Committee, held on the “ Records,” which have been so in- 26th of July.” On each of them dustriously distributed. If this com- a few words may not be out of place. munication, and the following sum- It appears that these gentlemen mary statement, shall be the means feel themselves called upon to “proof undeceiving even one of those test” against the decision of the late persons, the wishes of the writer will annual meeting, which they consider be amply gratified.
“ought not to be viewed as the deThe object of the British and Fo- liberate expression of the Christian
reign Bible Society is, exclusively, sentiments of the members of the the universal circulation of the British and Foreign Bible Society." Holy Scriptures.
- Not having been present, I am The constitution of the Society ad- thankful to say, on the occasion re
mits the co-operation of all per- ferred to, my information is derived sons in furtherance of this one only from the published accounts of the object.
proceedings, which, if precedents and Under the blessing of God, the So- general usage have any weight, set
ciety has been the means of dis- the question completely at rest. But, tributing, printing, or translating be this as it may, I should really the Scriptures, in whole or in have thought these objectors would part, in one hundred and fifty- have been thoroughly satisfied by three languages and dialects, in this time, since “ the deliberate exone hundred and four of which pression of the Christian sentiments they had never before been prints of the members of the Society,” be ed.
those sentiments right or wrong, has The total number of Bibles and been so general as to content the
Testaments issued by the Society most scrupulous taste. exceeds seven millions,
millions, being Again, because the Committee of double the number of copies the Bible Society decline to act in estimated to have been in the world open opposition to the recorded judge
at the time of its institution. ment of their constituents, as given at Exclusive of these seven millions, the very meeting which appointed
about five millions of copies have them to conduct the affairs of the
institution according to solemnly re-
(Continued from p. 489.) "feel it to be their imperative duty I have been looking, my dear friend, to re-double their exertions in call for a quiet interval of leisure to reing forth the energies of the Christian public.” Surely this principle
sume my cursory remarks, and have of “agitationing” will not be ap- the distich of Winchester College
more than once mentally repeated proved in a solemn matter like this,
Dulce Domum, however well it may have succeeded
Musa, libros mitte, fessa, in some other quarters, and on other
Mitte pensa dura, questions.
Mitte negotium, If “ the general body of members Jam datur otium, of the British and Foreign Bible
Me mea mittito cura, Society” shall, most unaccountably, that I might enjoy in idea an hour or still persist in their infatuation ; if two in conversing over with you the they shall continue their attachment memoranda of your venerable catheto those simple and scriptural prin- dral. But leisure is more easily inciples which have hitherto governed voked than obtained ; and all I can the institution, and by which, under therefore hope for is, to catch a few the Divine blessing, it has become a
transient glimpses of ages past, as benefit to the world; if they shall they flit by me in a hasty reminisstill resist all the powers and the arts
Thus, therefore, my dear of agitation, and a meddle not with friend, while the gay, the official, them that are (unnecessarily)given to and the curious people are at this change;" then the Sackville-Street moment busily employed, in their seobjectors add, that they will finally veral departments, in the solemnities withdraw from the institution as at at Westminster Abbey, I sit down present constituted.” In this there is in my quiet cell, this memorable sound sense, and scriptural morality; eighth day of September, to talk over and the same advice has been given old matters ;—of kings who in their them again and again. If they can- day were crowned with hallowed not conscientiously continue mem
rites and festive
every bers, they ought to withdraw. look inspired hopes or fears; on
It is one of the fundamental rules whose nod hung the fates of nations; of Auxiliary Societies, that the whole who arbitrarily made peace or war; of their funds, after deducting inci- who grasped the sword of justice, or dental expenses, are to be remitted the sceptre of mercy; who toiled, and to the Parent Society. The Sack- banqueted, and breathed flattery, and ville-Street Committee “unanimous
underwent gorgeous mummery; and ly” “recommend” a different appro- then, after a few brief years of good priation of the funds ; which, till the and evil, were summoned to their Auxiliaries shall change their consti- account-and, oh! how solemn an tution, would not be consistent with account ! common honesty.
As to the intended new society, should it ever be formed, may God I had just fallen into a serious train speed it, if it be His gracious will, of reflections, arising out of the above and make it ten-fold more beneficial remark, when the distant salute of than that on which His blessing has cannon announced that at that moso richly descended ; and may both ment our gracious sovereign had always remember the excellent ad- sealed his compact with a loyal and vice of Joseph and of Moses. affectionate people, and received, as
D. S. C. the legitimate ruler of the realm,
the crown of his ancestors. I can
not at this distance, in my retreat, Christ. OBSERV. No. 357.
hear the joyful acclamations which I what he will, think what he will,
twinkling jewels and gilded coronets. I urge against these grave arguThink of the majestic associations of ments, especially at the present moa coronation in which seven United ment, when the tithe system is not Kingdoms joyfully concurred, after a overburdened with popularity : but long series of years of “ agitation" so it is, that, according to historians and bloodshed, and with not a single of good credit, Ethelwolph, son of O'Connell left to take up the glove Egbert, was the first bona-fide bewhich the champion hurled down in stower of this provision for the Endefiance to all who would dispute glish clergy, and Winchester the the Union, or Egbert's right to pre- honoured focus from which issued side over it. But kings, like private the boon. Ethelwolph was edumen, are not destined to continue cated for the church-he was, in long in one stay; and if O'Connells fact, a monk—and this his early ceased at home, Danes and Normans destination had led him to think of were not wanting from abroad, to the desirableness of a settled provi. break in upon the royal conqueror's sion for the clergy: so that, when he repose. However, after all his toils, came to the throne, he, with the and all his glories, he died in his bed, advice of his council for this purpose and reposed side by side with a long assembled, issued the following race of royal line in Winchester charter, dated at “ Our palace of cathedral, the scene of his proud Winchester, in the year of our triumph. Well said an inspired Lord 855, at the feast of Easter." Apostle, “ Al flesh is as grass, and This charter was solemnly conseall the glory of man as the flower of crated and offered up at the high grass : the grass withereth, and the altar of the cathedral; and an order flower thereof falleth away ; but the went forth for shoals of masses to be word of the Lord endureth for ever.” said or sung for the illustrious donor,
I will not charge your historical living, and his soul, when dead. recollections with the names of the This important muniment runs as long list of kings who, before or follows : “I, Ethelwolph, by the after Egbert, were born, or educated, grace of God king of England, with or died, or were buried, in this illus- the advice of the bishops, earls, and trious city. Connected, however, other persons of distinction in my with some of them, there are remark- dominions, have, for the health of my able incidents, which might well fur- soul, the good of my people, and the nish matter for reflection ; and I am prosperity of my kingdom, taken the particularly at this moment reminded prudent and serviceable resolution of of Ethelwolph, the son of Egbert, granting the tenth part of all the who was crowned in your cathedral lands throughout my whole king. in the year 838, and whose name dom, to the church, and ministers of is memorable as being the alleged religion ; to be by them enjoyed, founder of tithes in Great Britain, with all the privileges of a free Not a word do I say to the dispa. tenure; and discharged from all serragement of that reverend argument vices due to the crown, and all other of their having virtually existed long incumbrances due to lay-fees. This before by Divine right; or to the grant has been made by us to the denial that they ought to have been church in honour of Jesus Christ, duly claimed, and paid, from the very the blessed Virgin, and all Saints, day when King Lucius, in the year and out of regard to the paschal so 165—that is to say, if you believe lemnity, and that Almighty God may old monkish chroniclers, in whom my vouchsafe his blessing to us and our own faith is not very strong-con- posterity.” verted the idol temples of Britain Now, though I suppose, that, in into churches, and founded the ori- our giddily innovating and not very ginal mother church and cathedral scrupulous age, much respect would of Winchester. Not a word would not be paid by nine-tenths of the public to this venerable document, dicals. Our rulers have the right, yet I should, in sober seriousness, be and it is their duty, to amend the glad to know what better title any workings of the tithe system, so far freeholder can shew to his estate, as it has been found to defeat its any peer of the realm to his honours, own proper and intended object; but or any corporation to its charter? to deal with tithes in any manner What right, it may be asked, had that will not secure a fixed, inalienEthelwolph to bestow a tenth of the able, and equivalent provision for the produce of the land after this fashion? maintenance of a parochial clergy, He had just the right that all other would be as unjust as to deprive the monarchs have, to exert their pre- Duke of Norfolk of his domains, or rogatives according to the laws and Lord King of his coronet. Whether customs of the realm; and the grant such an equivalent can be found, it is was ratified by the concurring voices not so easy for me to decide ; but of the several orders of the commu. I trust the venerable heads of our nity convened in solemn council. church may consider and re-consider The fraction given to the church was the matter, lest, in evil hour, the as legally and irrevocably pledged as public, hastily taking offence at some the remaining nine-tenths; and cer- painful circumstances in the worktainly the duties attached to the ings of the tithe system, Ethelwolph's grant, supposing that Popery had Winchester charter should prove but not desecrated them by its supersti- a decayed skin of parchment with a tions and mummeries, were infinitely worn-out seal dangling at the corner. more beneficial to the public, than I do not believe that the great mass the absurd tenures by which so many of the community are at this moof the lay feudatories held their lands; ment averse to a fair, and I would all first emanating, like this grant hope liberal, maintenance for the to the church, from the good clergy: quite the contrary : the unpleasure of the Crown ; but now, in popularity of tithes, therefore, must our own age, grown into an unim- arise from other sources ; and these peachable moral right by long pos- I feel persuaded may be, and ought session, by frequent purchase, and to be, diminished by a wise and other equitable investitures. If we timely arrangement. In all views, are cavalierly to set aside ancient pressed upon as our Church is on royal grants, we may quite as fairly every side, the glory of God, the begin with some of those for which stability of our ecclesiastical estagrotesque suit and service might this blishment, and the moral and spirimorning have been demanded at tual welfare of the people, demand King William's coronation, as this a careful revision of the whole of of Ethelwolph's to the Church of this serious question. If nothing England; then Popish, but now Re- can be done to render tithes less formed, and taking by legislative generally odious, why then I supenactment the political place of the pose our church must sink with this discarded church, only freed from millstone around her neck; but if, its corruptions, and brought back, as I believe, much may and can be in a good measure, to Gospel sim- done, and done justly, prudently, plicity.
and religiously, for the satisfactory My argument does not, however, settlement of the question, then let go to the doctrine that the legisla- not either false security, on the one ture has no right to make salutary hand, or exaggerated fears of the regulations with regard to tithes, for danger of innovation, on the other, the purpose of better securing their prevent those who preside at the helm intended object, so far as that object of church and state bringing forward is not superstitious or unscriptural; a wise and well-digested plan to but I think it decisive against Mr. secure the substantial benefits of the Hume and the whole phalanx of Ra- existing system without its evils. .