Images de page

not be the best, or it may not be tion of his own soul, and the souls capable of universal application; of those committed to his trust, often every minister must in a great mea- banished sleep from his eyes, from sure be left to his own judgment, as a full conviction that greater exerto what is proper or possible to be tions were required, before he could done in his own parish. All that I say that he had done all that he would urge is, that active and pru- could to present his charge to the dent exertion out of the church, as Bishop and Shepherd of souls, or bewellas within its walls, is needed; and fore he could be said to be clear of until this is general throughout the the blood of his parishioners. The kingdom, the increase of Dissent is necessity of more frequent private chargeable on the negligence of the means of spiritual improvement, by Established Clergy. But if we grant the institution of village meetings that, notwithstanding every exertion, for prayer and expounding the Dissent may increase, does it follow Scriptures, irresistibly pressed upon that supineness in the clergy is likely his mind. The example of Him who to arrest its progress ?

went about doing good, who by sea The following is the substance of and land, in the mountains and in my friend's statement.

the wilderness, in the city, village, In a widely extended parish, not or poor cottage, by night or by day, numerous in population, but scat- wherever two or three were gathered tered, the public labours of the mi- together, ceased not his kind labours nister had for many years been exer- for sinners ; His command to his cised by preaching, sometimes thrice, followers to preach the Gospel to on the Sabbath-day ; besides which, every creature; their prompt obeparochial visits were not omitted. dience, in daily ceasing not to preach Year succeeded year, and no visible the Gospel from house to house, alteration took place : the careless and the attendant blessings on their remained careless, and the more vi- labours; the exertions, privations, cious and openly profane remained and sufferings of the noble comthe willing captives of Satan. Dis- pany of martyrs; the self-denial, sent also prevailed to a certain ex- prayer, and watchfulness of many of tent; and the Wesleyan preachers our venerable prelates; with the sowere exerting themselves in the vil. lemn vows, pledged at the time of Orlages.

dination, to do all that in us lies; and, The minister witnessed with above all, the alarming terrors in deeply painful feelings the ruinous God's own word to the careless shepstate of his parishioners ; especially herds, His commands to all, and the when he reflected upon the short- heart-cheering promises to his faithness of life, the certainty of death ful and diligent pastors ;-all these and judgment, opportunities passing holy examples and Divine injuncaway unimproved, souls committed tions called aloud, in language that to his charge dead in trespasses conscience durst not resist, for more and sins, and manifesting but few, ample means of grace than the Sabif any, symptoms of spiritual life. bath duty afforded. The minister The praises of God were seldom accordingly commenced a week-day heard in their abodes, and scarcely evening meeting in his own house, one anxious inquiry, “what must í for prayer and expounding the Scripdo to be saved ; and in very few tures. The poor readily attended, and families was there daily prayer. The received the word with joy. Similar Gospel of salvation was preached, meetings were begun in several vilbut the suffering subjects of sick- lages in the parish. The minister's ness, old age, and mothers confined house soon became too small for the by numerous families, were prevent. congregation, and the meeting was ed hearing its joyful message. The removed to a very large and comanxiety of the minister for the salva- modious room in the village. The

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

Dissenters became attached to these praise in the presence of God for
services and to the Establishment. ever.
Before the expiration of the first year, “The minister, stirred up by the
a Church Society was established, Spirit of God, and thirsting for the
and a considerable number of mem- salvation of sinners, in reliance on
bers were united to it. A part of Divine grace commenced, and by the
these members had for many years blessing of God for several years has
been united to the Dissenters, and continued, and trusts by his grace to
walked agreeably to their profes- end his mortal toil and pilgrimage
sion. Dissent declined, and vanished in the same use of these private in-
into the Church Society.

struments of pastoral usefulness. In
The private meetings of the the beginning he calculated that the
members of the Society are held on Christian minister's portion is con-
the Sunday mornings, at eighto'clock stant labour and crosses, without the
in the summer months, and nine approbation of the world ; and he
o'clock in the winter. Singing, never once shrunk from his laborious
prayer, and Christian conversation on duties, though a distance of many
the spiritual state of the members, miles, almost every evening, calls him
their past trials or temptations, the to his charge of singing, prayer, and
deliverances and mercies of God in expounding the Scripture to those
their behalf, his word and promises, who generally could not attend the
are the usual occupations of these church. The presence of Him whom
meetings; which have been the means his soul loves, and who has owned
in the hands of God of strengthening his poor labours in these means,
the weak, comforting the broken- sweetens his toil, and changes labour
hearted, and subduing the tempta- into rest. Numbers of families in these
tions of the world, the flesh, and the villages now are found in the even-
devil. There is the Church Service, ings engaged in prayer, and singing
with a sermon, in the forenoon, and praises to the Author of all their
again in the afternoon, and in the blessings.
evening a lecture in the large room, “The inhabitants generally are
which continues about an hour and very different to what they were: the
three-quarters; when the villagers, Bacchanalian revels, which at the
from the distance of many miles, re- village feasts or wakes were thronged,
gularly attend, year after year, some- are now almost annihilated; and the
times to the number of three hun- once thoughtless supporters of these

festivities now turn their feet at “ These means of religious edifi- these seasons to the house of prayer. cation have done more towards at- Many happy evenings has the mitaching the people to the Establish- nister enjoyed in his work of faith ment, and have evidently been of far and labour of love, when his body greater service in the reformation of was worn down with fatigue, exthe parish—or, rather, in forming a posed to the frost and snow; but true spiritual church of believers— his soul could rejoice in the prosthan all the efforts before used in that perity of Zion, and in the enjoyment neighbourhood by all parties. The of the evidence of the operation of minister may, with gratitude to God, the Spirit of God. Happier moto whom alone be the praise, be per- ments he never expects to enjoy on mitted to say, that these private this side of eternity. His prayer to means have, by his blessing, brought God is for strength to labour more many out of darkness into light ; abundantly, while the day lasts, and some of whom have entered into that he may finish his course with rest, and others are ripening for that joy. He has abundant cause to blessed country where these transient thank God that he was ever stirred seasons of refreshing shall be ex- up to use these means, and he has changed into a continual sabbath of witnessed the blessing of the Lord

[ocr errors]







of the harvest, who promises suc- is sufficiently apparent, but I fear cess, and rewards the labourers ac- only the neglect of proper precaucording to his promise.'

B. C.

tions against those dangers from within. It has been the ruin of many establishments, that their friends have really considered them as permanently established, whether means

be taken for their preservation or In turning over some old papers, we not: but it is as requisite to guard observed the following among se- the doctrines and practice from the veral non-inserted communications effects of the changes of times and from the late Admiral Sir Charles opinions, as it is to furnish the nePenrose. The aged and worthy cessary repairs to the buildings in Admiral always took our non-inser- which the doctrines are taught and tions in good part ; doubtless consi- the practice inculcated. dering that it must naturally be our Of the manner in which the temwish to give our readers the best we poral concerns of the Church were have to bestow, and that, if we erred managed at the Reformation, I am in the selection, it must be from in- not about to write ; but that its firmity of judgment, not with a view worldly tendency has entailed many to disoblige any writer who favours anomalous evils is not to be disputed; us with a communication. We wer

were and although many of these may be not sufficiently satisfied with some difficult to remove, and some almost of the suggestions in the following impracticable to attempt, with hopes paper to insert it at the time in an of good effect, still apathy should not anonymous form; but it may be ensue on the part of the temporal worth printing at the present mo- and spiritual heads of our Establishment, as a posthumous memento, ment, neither should selfishness opewith the author's name, were it rate in so holy a cause. They only to shew how gravely an aged should not come to, or persist in, a member of a profession not con- determination, that, because all the nected with the Church thought of known evils cannot be removed, it her dangers, and of the importance is useless to attempt the removal of of applying prompt and powerful any ; neither should they rest content remedies.

with the debasing hope that all will

remain secure in their own times. To the Editor of the Christian Observer.

I hope and believe, sir, that the There is a prevailing opinion that effects of the King's Letter for the the Church is in danger; and this Church-Building Society, and the is entertained not only by those who consequent appeals from the pulpit, do not regret that danger, but is will have proved that the Church held by many who honestly and has many friends, earnest in its supsincerely desire that the ministers of port, desirous of extending its benethat church may continue to endea- fits, and to provide that the Gospel vour to save the souls of men till all should be preached to the poor. So are alike called to give an account far as my own means and abilities at the last great day. I profess my- extended, I have from the first been self one of this latter description, a zealous supporter of that Society, truly and zealously attached to the the incorporation of which I heard Established Church of England; and of with sincere pleasure ; and I trust for the sake of the Christian cause that all the members of the Church in general, and the well-being of my will continue to support, and enable own country in particular, I pray its members to proceed at no niggard that it may be efficiently enduring pace in the fulfilment of its import

That there are dangers which ant objects. But, Mr. Editor, I am threaten the church from without, of opinion that the Church itself is peremptorily called upon, at the pre- of the adequate performance of Disent moment, to do more than merely vine worship and the residence of to assist in raising edifices and pro- spiritual pastors in many places. curing personal accommodation for With respect to the second head, its adherents. If rightly appropri. it is well known that many country ated, the funds of the Church are churches were built near some relimost ample, and might so enlarge gious establishment, or a hamlet the means of the newly incorporated where the whole population of the society as to admit of its assuming parish was then collected; whereas, with propriety a more expansive to my own knowledge, many large title, and to effect benefits of more populations reside six, seven, or than mundane importance to the

more miles from their proper place Christian cause. The Society should of worship, and very many are the have in view to gradually effect, meeting-houses which have been among many others, the following erected in consequence of this mis. purposes :

chievous defect. 1. The consolidation of small In reference to the third head, it is livings.

certain that many of our clergy are 2. The causing all churches, and very badly lodged, and many do not the residence of the ministers, to be reside in consequence of this plea. centrical in their respective parishes. I consider the proposal in the

3. The providing adequate resi- fourth head to be essentially necessary dences and glebes, where there is to promote the well-being and permaa deficiency.

nence of the Established Church, the 4. To take measures gradually inequalities of which are in many to equalize clerical incomes, and thus respects mischievous even to absureffectually put an end to every plea dity. It is very material to rememof non-residence.

ber, that the law requires the payIt has happened, in several in- ment of tithes from all alike, yet stances, that new churches and how unequal is the distribution of chapels have been built more in pastoral duties. “ Give them neihope than in certainty that suitable ther poverty nor riches " should be a provision would be found for the petition inserted in the prayer for clergymen who were to officiate in the clergy. There are not wanting them. This has proved a serious brilliant instances where the will and evil, and a subject which those who the act of Christian charity, in its accuse us of want of zeal will not fullest sense, have been equal to the fail to make use of. But it is to be largest means, and the active beneconsidered, that the lay members of volence of the possessor kept pace our Church already contribute largely with the flow of his possessions; but to its support, and it very often hap- long experience and observation has pens that there may be a numerous convinced me, that the clergyman population without the means of pro- who drives about his parish in his viding for adequate church accom- gig is (generally speaking) a much modation. This want must be pro- more effectual servant to his Heavided for from the general source, venly Master, than he who drives and is a case in which the goods of out of it in his chariot. Christians should be in common. It

If the evils I have here alluded to is, however, a case, also, in which had not existed, the greatest number the already ample, but badly divided, of dissensions from our Church would wealth of the Establishment should never have taken place. I write in be zealously and liberally applied. censure of no man, but I call upon

With respect to the first-mentioned my fellow-Christians of the Estahead, I need only call the attention blishment to endeavour to remedy to the deplorable poverty of many of as many of these evils as they can, our clergy, and the lamentable want and not to refrain from an attempt

to remove such as can be removed, increase of income.

For instance, or at least ameliorated, because if an annual clerical income was others are not removable. I parti. more than 5001. and did not exceed cularly call upon the bishops and 7001. per annum, would a deduction pastors of our church to shew that of five per cent. on such surplus be they do not, as some of their oppo- a heavy charge ? If the income nents aver, prefer things temporal to amounted to 10001. per annum, things which are eternal. In read- would a deduction of ten per cent. ing Bishop Heber's instructive Jour- on the surplus above 5001. be too nal through the provinces of the much? And if all who in their seEast, it is curious to observe, that veral stations enjoyed benefices of the want of that which when abused upwards of 1000l. per annum, were is the root of evil, prevented the at- to have even fifty per cent. so detainment of much good; and it is ducted, would not such remaining evident that the improvements I ad- incomes be more than ample for vocate cannot be attained without what should be a churchman's wants? an adequate fund. Whence is this I throw out these suggestions merely to be supplied ?

as a mode of shewing that the wealth I reply, from the zeal of the mem- of our Establishment is great: and it bers of the Church itself, of all deno- is, I think, a fair deduction, that minations, and more especially from poverty should not press on any of the far too rich endowments of its members. If my station in life many of the dignitaries and other and abilities of persuasion were very members of the Establishment. These different from what they are, I would far exceed, not only all that is requi- propose a petition to the King, as site for a liberal support of the high temporal head of our Church, to apstations of the possessors, but are point such a Convocation, consisting clearly injurious to the well-being of both clergy and laity, as would of a Christian church. St. Paul, be capable of forming a correct judgwho, in all concerns which did not ment of what steps could safely be militate against a Christian's con- taken to remove the evils which imscience, was all things to all men, pede the benefits which might be would, if he could now be the re- derived from the better use of the former of our Church, make liberal ample means the Church

possesses. allowance for the usages of the times, As well as the more equal and benebut he would put an end, not only ficial disposition of temporals, I would to the pomp and state, which has pray his Majesty to call the attention too justly given rise to the saying of this assembly to the important inthat “ the pride of the purple casts a quiry, whether the progress of knowstain on the milk-white purity of the ledge, in the course of time, had not surplice,” but so apportion the tem- shewn that some verbal niceties, if poral income, as that none should not errors, the retention of docuremain in want of what is requisite, ments which were produced in the or receive that which was redundant, height of controversy, and some other for the reasonable support of the causes, had been the means of causstations in which Providence had ing schisms which need not have been placed them. I recommend stre- created, and dissensions which would nuous endeavours to establish so- not otherwise have taken place. And cieties in every archdeaconry, in aid I would pray that they should be of the now incorporated Society. I specially charged to consider, wheseriously advise, that the redundancy ther, without deviating from the plain of all clerical incomes above a cer- and simple Gospel doctrines of our tain sum (and, for argument's sake, I Church, and without deteriorating will say 5001. per annum) should the admirable Liturgy used in its be charged with a per-centage, in an practice, means might not be adoptincreasing ratio proportioned to the ed which would prevent further dis

« PrécédentContinuer »