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scientious innovators be it narrated, so much as is popularly supposed, at outlived the obloquy and died at least by summary measures, to repeace with his monks and all man- medy the evil, especially as the kind.
local patronage is seldom in his Almost the whole of the faults hands, and old custom has oftenwhich happen to exist in any dio- times built up formidable ramparts cese, cathedral, parish, parsonage, or against the beneficial exertion of his church, are currently ascribed to the authority. Of late years there has neglect or positive sanction of the been a wide-spread revival of relibishop for the time being; but often gion in our church, and the doctrines with great injustice, especially where, delivered from our pulpits are much owing to deaths or translations, a more generally scriptural than was bishop scarcely knows the localities the case a few years since; but I of his see before he yields his place am not sure that all our cathedral to a successor. A bad or indifferent towns have partaken as widely of bishop may easily do much harm; the beneficial influence as some other but the efforts of a bishop who is places. What may be the causes of determined at all hazards to do only the deficiency, I leave those who are good, so far as he has it in his power, better versed in details than myself will be too often vexatiously coun- to decide ; but of the mournful fact teracted on every side. Prejudice I have little doubt. Is it, among and self-interest will combine against other causes, that the spirit of selfhim ; and some of his foes will, satisfied decent formalism which often perhaps, be of his own spiritual fourishes in ecclesiastical vicinities, household. I do not say that a is a more powerful impediment to bishop can do nothing; on the con- the growth of spiritual-mindedness, trary, I believe he may do much, than even the common habits of very much; but, for the most part, ignorance and thoughtlessness in it can only be effected gradually, as popular society ? Or is it, as anooccasions arise, so that it will be ther cause, that there exist peculiar years before he can really permeate difficulties in the allocation to places his diocese. Bishop Mansel of Bristol, thus situated, of any clergyman who wishing to promote Bible Societies is supposed to overstep a certain prethroughout his see, issued, as you scriptive notion of what is just righdoubtless well remember, an admir- teous enough without being righteous able pastoral letter to that effect to his over-much? I am quite sure, howclergy; but his design, though warmly ever, that whatever difficulties may and affectionately followed up by not a exist in these, or other respects, the few of them, was vehemently opposed common people ” in our cathedral by others, and the nucleus of the towns “ hear gladly” the faithful opposition, I am sorry to say, was earnest preaching of the Gospel; in his own cathedral.
and though I fear that, for whatever I know no places in which the in- reason, the clergy are not always habitants are more anxious for zeal- popular in the precincts of our large ous and faithful pastors than in our ecclesiastical establishments, yet sure cathedral towns; or where a clergy- I am that the elements of popularity man who preaches scripturally, lives —rather would I say, of Christian holily, justly, and unblameably, and affection and esteem—are to be devotes himself with diligence and found widely scattered, so that it is humility to the duties of his high their own fault if they do not avail calling, is more venerated. Yet I themselves of them. But I grieve to fear that some of these privileged say, that in some of our cathedral towns exhibit as inefficient samples towns the parochial churches are not of parochial instruction as the most always well supplied, even as regards neglected villages in the kingdom; ordinary clerical efficiency and ca. and a bishop cannot always effect nonical form ; whether it be that the cathedral draws off the best, and is sometimes found ; so that the leaves the parishes the worst; or focus of a diocese, where we might that secular advantage attracts to expect to discern spiritual light and the spot some who view the church warmth in unusual abundance, where and its emoluments not as a means we might hope that our parishes to an end, but as the end itself, and would be best regulated, our pulpits who therefore disturb their minds best supplied, ignorance and prejuas little as possible beyond the bare dice banished, and scriptural truth statutable details of their profession. every where familiar, is often found Such hirelings there are in every to a wide extent formal, frigid, visible Christian communion ; and it and unenlightened, -any thing but is not to be wondered at if the ample a pattern of clerical, pastoral, and endowments, easy life, and agree. parochial discipline and instruction. able society of an ecclesiastical city I some time since was passing a should draw some of them within Sunday in a cathedral town; I say its walls. The consequence is, that not when, or where; and I find in the people too often exhibit a form my pocket-book the following meof godliness without the power; for moranda, which I copy, as they no portion of our poor are—or at may in part illustrate my present least were, till national schools in remarks :part supplied the defect—worse in- " Went to the cathedral at ten. structed than those of our cathedral Was not aware that there was only towns: none are more ignorant of the Litany, Communion Service, and the nature and blessedness of true Sermon, the first service having been religion, while they have a sort of celebrated at seven o'clock; accordsuperstitious feeling of the duty of ing to the old custom, till modern
keeping their church,” frequent- indolence crushed the three services ing the holy communion, and per- into one. Why not return to the forming a few of the external cere- precedent (the hours excepted), in monies of religion. Such at least those of our churches where service was my own experience, as gathered is performed three times in the day? in a pastoral cure, some years since, This would prevent much repetition, in a cathedral town in the West of and reduce each service to a reasonEngland, and I think I have witnessed able length; and so far from being the same elsewhere.
an innovation, it would only be reThe difference, said Sir Richard verting to the habits of our foreSteele, between the Church of Rome fathers, and the original intention and the Church of England is, that of our church. Would there be any the former is infallible, and the latter thing irregular in a clergyman's always in the right. If to entertain making a trial of the plan, reading this notion be the test of a good the first service in the forenoon, the churchman, I fear I shall be proved Litany and Communion Service in a bad one : for, much as I revere the afternoon, and the evening serour beloved church ; pre-eminent as vice in the evening ? According to I consider her among ecclesiastical our present arrangement of hours communities ; grounded, as I believe there might be some adjustments her to be, on the foundation of apostles necessary, especially on communion and prophets, Jesus Christ himself days : but these might be easily arbeing the chief corner-stone; yet in ranged ; and the whole plan would her actual administration and de- be restoration, not innovation. fective discipline, I must rather blush Much interested in the catheand weep than indiscriminately pa- dral service; which was performed negyrize. But the only point that with solemnity, as well as mere mucomes within the scope of my pre- sical effect. To my own mind, nosent remarks is the anomaly, that, thing is more devout than choral where we might look for most, least worship; I find one benefit in partiCHRIST. OBSERV. No. 359.
cular from it, that, while it raises that those who duly avoided such ne-
: Semusical skill. The sermon should condly, by way of satisfaction: Thirdteach sound doctrine and inculcately, by way of merit; meriting thereby heavenly-mindedness, and the pray- grace for us to rise from the state of ers be a practical comment on the sin, to resist temptations and to do discourse. I fear it was not quite so good works meritorious of eternal on this occasion. The preacher did bliss : for all grace (observe this not direct his remarks to the sins of well) is derived from the merits of the congregation before him (myself Christ's passion : Fourthly, by way of as one, for instance), but to those sacrifice, which, of infinite value, was of the rioters and rick-burners; none offered upon the cross for our reof whom, I presume, were present demption.” The third of these items to hear his animadversions, so that vitiates the whole, and is the very much good remonstrance was lost; essence of Popery; yet this is nearly nay, worse than lost, as the infer- the doctrine which one hears in ence from the whole discourse was, some Church-of-England pulpits.
Christ merits grace for us to do “ The rapidity with which the works meritorious for ourselves ;- afternoon service was dispatched, any thing, in short, but Lord, be there was no singing, the clergyman merciful to me a sinner*,'
wore no band or gown, he raced
through the prayers, and preached * While I am transcribing the above only about twelve minutes, and even from my pocket-book, an illustration of this meagre performance was but the truth of my remarks occurs to me in
once in the day; and all this negthe writings of Bishop Ravenscroft, a North-American prelate, recently deceas- ligence and uncanonicalness in a ed, and whose works have just been pub- parish church, in the heart of a calished by the New-York Episcopal So- thedral city !-left me time to attend ciety, as a model of orthodox Church-ofEngland doctrine. Bishop Ravenscroft another service at a neighbouring was a remarkable man: he had lived for church, where I had the satisfaction many years in habits of dissipation, and of hearing a discourse constructed on avowedly viewed Christianity as a fable; scriptural principles, and well calcuand as for the Church of England, and lated, by the Divine blessing, accordits daughter in the United States, he was doubly prejudiced against them, both as an ing to the old definition of a good infidel by choice, and a Presbyterian by sermon, “to humble the sinner, to education. But it pleased God by means exalt the Saviour, and lead to reof affliction deeply to impress his heart with a sense of the importance of religion: pentance, faith, and holiness. What he became a firm believer; a man of
a different scene was this to the one intensely devout habits; and so zealous a I had just left! Instead of eighteen high churchman, that he even exceeded
or twenty impatient attendants, I Bishop Hobart in the strength of his denouncements of Dissenters, considering it found a crowded congregation joinunscriptural and highly dangerous to send ing with heart and voice in the reBibles where you cannot send the sacra- sponses and the singing, and listenments to accompany them; teaching ing with eager attention to a disthat “an honest Unitarian is as excusable before God as an honest Presby
course of considerable length. It terian or Congregationalist;” and above was evident that religion was felt to all, enforcing the power of the keys, be a matter of solemnity and earnestsaying, that “ to be cut off from the visible church upon earth is a virtual exclu- be dispatched as rapidly as decency,
ness, not a mere ecclesiastical form to sion from the church of the first-born, which are written in heaven;
or rather indecency, permitted ; but would be true, if the rulers of the visible a concern of infinite importance to church were infallible in their judgments. every individual present. Strongly
The whole of the writings of this prelate did I feel at that moment what a ca-
day and once or more in the week,
ennis; dreds of Church-of-England pulpits; I but does self-righteousness less truly lurk have myself heard it in various forms in in the unrenewed heart, under some more both our academical St. Mary's, and at specious aspect? Is pharisaim confined to many cathedrals; and it is the practical Popery? Are Protestant altars or deathsystem of tens of thousands of our lay for- beds unconscious of it ? ”
in connexion with all those subsi. beauty and simplicity. Our ecclediary means of spiritual benefit for siastical communion, in this respect, which the present age has invented may be likened to the restorations abundant machinery in its schools, and re-edifications of Winchester daily and Sunday, its Bible, tract, and cathedral. This venerable strucmissionary institutions, its visiting ture had undergone various mutasocieties for the poor, and its plans tions, from the timeof its alleged founfor promoting Christian knowledge dation by king Lucius, A. p. 180 : it at home and abroad.” So far my had been destroyed, it is said, in Diopocket-book : the moral I leave to clesian's persecution; it had lapsed your own reflections.
into a heathen temple, under the It is very much the habit of the West Saxons; it had been restored opposers of the Church of England to Christian uses by Birinus; it had to resolve all her scriptural and edi. been third time built under king fying forms into modified Popery; Kinegils and his son; it had been from the cross in baptism, to the im- next dilapidated by the Pagan Danes, position of hands in confirmation ; and rebuilt by its bishop St. Ethelfrom the ring in marriage, to the wold, whose massy crypts remain ashes to ashes in the grave; fonts, to this hour. Again, another of its rituals, vestments, bells, steeples, bishops, Walklyn, cousin to William organs, chaunting, tithes, orders- the Conqueror, undertook its re-conall are Popery. Now I think you struction, and there is still his great will allow, my friend, that I have square tower, built as if to last till not shrunk from speaking honestly the destruction of the world itself, of the faults of our church, our clergy, over the intersection of the catheor our cathedrals ; but to place them dral and the transepts, to speak to on the same shelf with Popery and his admirable and stupendous labours. its corruptions, is as absurd as it is Next Bishop Edyngton began to reunjust. Protestants in general do build, and was followed by Bishop not know what Popery is, even in Wyckham, the never-enough-to-beits mitigated form as exhibited in admired architect of the greater this country, and much less as it luxu- portion of the present magnificent riates in Spain, Portugal, or Italy. structure. Now Wyckham had the Whatever has been used by Popery, same alternative respecting his buildit is at once concluded must be ing, as the reformers had, some cenPopish. Why did not the reformers, it turies after, respecting the worship is said, pull the whole edifice down, that should be solemnized in it; and and build it up again on a better plan? how did he act ? He might have It is always bad work, patching up razed the whole of the superstructure, an old house, instead of erecting a new and with infinite pains have removed one.
But stop; the conclusion is the foundation itself. But he acted too hasty : for the reformers did more wisely than to incur this superpull down all that was of modern in- fluous labour and expense. He asvention; the foundation they found certained that the foundation was solid; it was based on our common firm and solid, and was capable of Christianity; and they therefore left sustaining the edifice which he proit untouched : many of the arches posed to erect upon it. Why then, and pillars also were as old as he asked, remove it? What would be the time of the Apostles, and were gained by subversion for subversion's in as perfect a condition as ever : own sake? And could he be sure that they needed only that the paint, if he began to lay it again, he could and white wash, and dust of ages lay it better? He was convinced that should be removed; the unsightly he could not; and he therefore deand insecure additions taken away; termined to leave it as he found the rubbish carted off ; and then it. He went farther, and preserved the edifice resumed its pristine whatever might be rendered useful of