Abbildungen der Seite

to our readers." His lordship pot improperly terms the act passed, in a former session, with the professed design of enforcing there. sidence of the clergy—“ A bill for the protection of non-residence !" The apology which his lordship at the same time offered for this, practice is curious: “The state, feeling its own unwillingness, and :"fancying its inability to give the church the means of being what. “it ought to be, was ashamed of demanding from it exertions" " which it would not enable it to make. It made a sort of amends " to the church, for neglecting its pecuniary interests, by not "calling on it for the strict discharge of all its duties; and'it*: " made the same sort of amends to the people for neglecting to pro "vide them with the means of worship, and the opportunities of "instruction, by, abstaining from calling upon them for any pecuni-?". "ary sacrifice !" To this sophistry we beg leave to reply, that when the state thought proper to hire its ecclesiastical servants, it was on the express condition of the due performance of certain services. So far from “ the pecuniary interests of the church having been "neglected, they have been carefully watched, and liberally attended to. No inclosure bills, no improvements, no speculations in agriculture, but the clergy have had their proportionate share, and in many instances, more than their proportionate share of the profit. The value of the tythes of the clergy in general, and of the revenues of the bishops in particular, have very much increased; and if the salaries of the inferior clergy have not increased in proportion, it is entirely owing to the injustice and avarice of their em." ployers. That the clergy “ have not been called upon for the strict". "discharge of all their duties," or in other words, to reside on their livings and to feed, as well as fleece the focks committed to their charge, is disgraceful to the legislature, which has so long connived at the violation of the laws of the church, and has made no attempt to correct the gross inequalities in the payinent of its ministers; and. at the same time affords an addition to that mass of evidence al... ready before the public, of the absolute necessity of a reform of par- . liament, that we may have representatives who will consider it their duty to watch over the revenues paid by the people to the church, as well as those paid by them to the state.t. ;. .

Ce Sun to Vol. V. Page

* See Sup. to Vol. V. Page 480-4. t. At the time of voting the additional grant to the clergy, a petition recently presented by Mr. Whitbread lay on the table, from the Rev. Mt. Humphreys, curate of Sanlay, 'in the county of Derby, stating “ that the "Rector of the parish derived 24001, a year from the same ; und that he " himself had no more than 401. a year for his labour ; and praying for such " relief as the house might think fit."...

The following advertisement lately appeared in several of the public prints :

de 40 ?

As to the “ neglect of the state in providing the people with the « means of worship, and the opportunities of instruction,” there is some reason to believe, that the people do not want the state fur-' ther to concern itself about the matter. The churches already. provided are not in general remarkable for thronged congregations ; and wherever the people have any concern for their religious inle. rests they will with little difficulty find at least as ample and efficient means of instruction out of the established church as in it. The fact is, that the interests of real religiou have been best maintained by those who have never been paid by the state, a single shilling for their services. The late Doctor Priestley affirmed, that: the Methodists, had, during the last half century, done more for ':the civilization of the lower orders of the people, than the whole body of the established clergy! The Archbishop of Canterbury in a late discussion respecting the vast increase of licences, candidly ac. knowledged, the laudable zeal of the Dissenters in providing places of worship in proportion to the increased population. The remark which is so justly applicable to the civil and political interests of the people, is equally applicable to their religious interests ; the more they attend to those interests themselves, and the less they trust them to others, the more advantageously will they be conducted. Religion in particular is a personal concern, and mere state religion, is like the religion of most statesmen, at best useless, and generally hurtful; and in all ages of the world has proved instrumental in enslaving both the bodies and the souls of the multitude.

The system which has been proposed by Lord LIVERPOOL, and Mr. PERCEVAL, so strenuously supported by Lord HARROWBY, and adopted by the legislature, “ in aid of the distressed state of “ the church," is to grant 100,000l. per annum, in augmentation of Queene Anue's bounty in favour of the inferior clergy. This 100,0001. per annum of the money of the people has been granted without opposition in either house. One of the noble lords" was happy, not * to hear of any opposition upon narrow impolitic views of public “ economy, and he did not expect to hear any." The felicity of the noble lord must on the retrospect he was taking of our national

« To be sold by Auction, the perpetuity and next presentation of the " valuable sinecure rectory of the parish of Wimbish, two miles from Saf“ fron Walden, in the county of Essex, of the estimated value of 5761. per “ annum. The rectory is a perpetuity in fee, and nearly equal in value to “ a freehold estate, it being a sinecure, and the only qualification necessary « is being in orders, as there is neither residence or duty required, and is tenable with any other two church livings."

Would not a house of Commons that deserved the title of the representatives of the people, and the faithful guardians of the public interests, have instituted an inquiry into these and various other clerical abuses equally gross, before they had granted the addition above stated?

[ocr errors]

expenditure have been complete! All parties when in place have fully entered into his lordship's enlarged views, and in matters of expenditure, both in church and state, have been elevated above all “narrow views of public economy.” Millions upon millions of the public money have been voted by the two branches of the legislature in as thin houses, as that in which an additional hundred thousand a year has lately been given to the church; and towards the close of a session, when, but for the assistance of the minister to whom is committed what is technically and correctly termed “ the management " of the house of Commons,” the assembling of a sufficient number of members to make a house, would be attended with some difficul. ty. Thus on the day fixed for the discussion of Sir F. Burdett's motion respecting Parliamentary Reform, a few days after voting the grant, above stated, when the Speaker took the chair, 28 members only being in attendance, the house of course adjourned ; and had not the hon. Baronet brought on the motion the next day, without giving any notice, it is probable the same “ management”. would have been repeated, and that no opportunity would have been afforded him of bringing on the motion at all. . .

But the late grant we have reason to expect is only preparatory to still larger grants, or as Lord Liverpool expressed it, a “measure " to answer the exigencies of the moment until time was allowed " to prepare and digest a plan to be permanently acted upon.” We however contend, that before any additional grant had been voted, an inquiry ought to have been instituted into the state of the church, and such a reform adopted, as would have no longer suffered dignitaries and pluralists to live in indolence and luxury, whilst the laborious carate is starving on a miserable "pittance. The present measure, is however, calculated rather to multiply than to diminish the abuses of the church: the value of livings under a cer. tain sum is to be augmented; but no provision is made for the supply of the wants of those who have the most work to do, and who are paid the least for doing it: the great body of the curates are to be kept in their present state of poverty, and have no hopes of an improvement of their situation unless by practising greater hervility to their superiors.*


* Lord Harrowhy does not appear to have stated from whence he derived his information of the value of church livings. If from the usual source of clerical information, the King's books, the sum is much underrated, as the value of the livings has, owing to the increased value of the tythes, considerably increased within these few years. In all subjects of legislation, Bome inquiry is thought necessary; but in matters of expenditure, all inquiry seems to be thought by our senators useless-a mere waste of time !


! The shameful' practice of non-residence, for aught that appears to the contrary, is to be continued. Lord Harrowby styles the list of non-residents laid on the table of the house of Commons" Not a list of delinquents, but of men, who folļowing the example “ of many of the brightest characters which have adorned the “ church, had not executed in person the parochial duties of the “ place from whence they derive the whole, or a part of their in“' come !" That a modern statesman should approve of holding sinecures in the church, as well as in the state, is by no means surprising; but if his lordship had understood the nature of the office of a minister of religion under either the Old or the New Testament dispensation, he would have perceived, that however bright the character of the pluralist, and the non-resident may be in his eyes, such persons are in the eyes of the great head of the church, the Shepherd and bishops of Souls, very lightly esteemed, and will have an awful account to render of their trust another day.

It is not only the corruptions of the established church of Eng. land, but the still greater corruptions of the established church of Ireland which are to remain as they are! Mr. PARNELL lately moved in the house of Commons Ap humble address to his Majesty, that he would order a special commission to be appointed “ to inquire into the state and ratage of tythes in Ireland, &c." Repeated and unanswerable evidence has been presented to that house of the intolerable oppressions which the Irish labour under respecting tythes, Mr. HUTCHINSON charged Lord CASTLEREAGH with baving “ pledged himself to the people for an amelioration of their "condition,” adding " If the noble lord did not wish to be handed

down to posterity as the betrayer of bis country he would redeem « his pledge.” Mr. PERCEVAL however declared, “ he hadi looked

into the subject, and the result of the impression on his mind was,

that nothing could usefully be done : so he gave the motion his « decided negative." We need not add that the house, following the example of the minister, gave it a negative equally decided. Why will our rulers in church and state set their faces against that reform which must sooner or later take place, and which the longer it is delayed the more difficult will be the accomplishment. Will not the experience of ages-Will not the passing events of the present day impress on the British nation the important remark equally applicable to corrupt ecclesiastical as to corrupt political institutions -RUIN CAN BE PREVENTED ONLY BY REFORMATION!

BRANCE AND AUSTRIA, The public have been anxiously waiting during the past month for intelligence respecting the negociation between France and

Austria ; but nothing has arrived to afford them any satisfaction on the subject. In the mean time various reports have been afloat which can only be considered as expressive of the feelings and wishes of the writers. The ministerial prints have " sounded the “ note of preparation" for a rupture of the armistice, and a repewal of the war; but they have been much puzzled to account for what appears to be fact--the resignation of the Archduke CHARLES of the chief command of the Austrian armies, and the appointment of Prince JOHN OF LICHTENSTEIN in his room: this report these writers at first “ hesitated to believe, and anxiously des "precated its confirmation." It has, however, since been confirmed, although the foreign prints assign no other cause for the resignation of the Archduke than that of will health." But the Editor of the Morning Post, states “ with the most poignant feelings of regret " certain circumstances which led him to view the fact of the re" tirement of his royal higbness in a very different lighị to that in " which they had viewed it the day before!" Then follows a pbilippic against their late favourite.“ Unfortunately his royal high"ness," (he whom they had so lately styled the saviour of his country and of Europe, the conqueror of Bonaparte, &c. &c. &c.] "whose former glorious services has entitled him to our respect, " and claimed our admiration, has of late permitted himself to be f influenced by a military cabal, by whom he became surrounded, © and whose baneful advice was the sole cause not only of the

“ victory of Aspern not having been vigorously and successfully · " followed up, but of the ill fated and unfortunate armistice which " his highness had subsequently been induced to propose. Yielding " to the suggestions and advice of this cowardly or traiterous "cabal, Prince Charles, it appears rejected the wise and salutary "counsels' of the gallant and skilful part of his generals who had so " eminently signalized themselves in the different engagements of "the campaign, and actually refused to adopt the necessary mea"sures of vigour for improving the important advantages of the "brilliant victory of Aspern, Prince John of Lichtenstein in par: * ticular, who contributed so essentially to the victory, had ear

nestly implored to have the permission of pursuing the dis. "comfited enemy; but this ardent and brave' officer received the ." cold, the killing answer that it was not the time for pursuit, " From this time it appears the greater part of the Austrian army " became very discontented, the universal sentiment being, that if "the success had been followed, it must have been complete. The * French army was very materially reduced, and in every respect " exhausted; but the archduke, unfortunately yielding to the timid "counsels and false representations of others, rejected Prince John's

« ZurückWeiter »