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ON BRIEFS.

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TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX MAGAZINE.
SIR,
Letter in the Gentleman's Magazine having ealled

my attention to the inefficiency of briefs, I trouble you with a few loose hints upon that subject, under the hope that the loss which is evidently sustained by that mode of collecting money for the relief of sufferers by fire, and for the reparation of churches, may lead to a revision of the present system, which froin the

expences attending it, is inadequate to the purpose intended. Among the briefs which I received sometime ago from my church warden, is one for rebuilding the parish church of Adderley, in the county of Salop, the charge of which is 19481. 185. 6d. Before this last brief was applied for, it appears that letters patent had been granted three different times, by which the several sums of 1141. Os. Od.

127 9 11 amounting in the whole to $131. gs. 100.

726 II had been obtained. If this be the only source from which the parishioners of Adderley expect to raise a fund for the re-building of the church, they will require at least eight more briefs, supposing them all to be as productive as the three first, to complete their undertaking; and what is still more important, the sum of 50001. (I use round numbers) will be collected from the public, when only a fourth part of that sum is required by the estimate. As I have no means of ascertaining the fact, I take it for granted, that the charge of suing out a brief as stated in Burn's ecclesiastical law, is correct. That for Ravenstonedale in Westmorland, amounted to 3301. consisting of the following items : 1 Patent charges

761. 38. 6d.
Salary of 9986 briefs

249 13 0
at sixpence eachi.
Additional Charge

5 0
for London.

330 16:00 and I conclude that each succeeding brief is subject to a similar charge: I wish that I may be mistaken in this particular, I shall be happy to learn that the salary for

Vol. VIII. Churchm. Mag. Feb. 1805. P co.licting

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collecting in the second instance is less enormous, but I am afraid from the sums received by the parish of Adderley, that there will be no abatement of charge, even if an unfortunate parish should be obliged to realize my suppositions, and obtain letters patent for the twelfth time. In a circular letter distributed at the last visitation, the non-productiveness of -briefs was stated, and imputed, if I recollect rightly, to the omissions of the clergy and the negligence of the churchwardens, but surely the circumstance I have mentioned must operate very powerfully; for who does not give a shilling with reluc tance, when he knows that not inore than onc fourth of it will be applied to the purpose for which his charity is solicited? As the re-building, and in many instances, the reparation of churches, depends very much upon the funds that are thus collected, it is of extreme importance to endeavour to reduce the heavy charges with which they are attended, and which threaten their annihilation. The salary for collecting amounts upon an average to 25001. per annum. A fifth part of the sum would be an ample compensation for the trouble. I know nothing of the individuals who enjoy this lucrative office; I only wish that they had twice the income from any other source, for I am afraid they will dry up the fountain,

I am,

Sir,
Your humble Servant,

A COUNTRY CURATE.
Feb. 12, 1805.

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Queries to the CHRISTIAN OBSERVER, with a Hint to the

BISHOPS.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S

MAGAZINE.
SIR,

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the Editors of the Christian Observer, to whom it might seem more natural to address them, because I am pretty well assured, that they would neither apswer them, nor insert them in their work. They would no more do either of these, than they would make mention of the. Orthodox Churchman's Magazine;, respecting

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the existence of which, Mr. Editor, you must have observed a marked and deterinined silence in the Christian Observer. The reason of this silence is obvious. The Editors are well aware, that, if their readers in general should get to know much of the nature and design of the Orthodox Churchman's Magazine, there would soon be an end of the Christian Observer. The queries, which I wish to put are these :

1. Do not those ministers of the Church of England, who are distinguished by the term Evangelical, generally neglect to instruct children in the Catechism of the Church of England ?

2. Do not such ministers generally discourage the use of the Church Catechism in the schools, over which they have any controul ?

3. Do not the Editors of the Christian Observer apa prove of this conduct?

4. Is not this hostility to the Church Catechison (the, authorized, and the only authorized form of instructing youth in the principles of religion) rightly accounted for by the fact, that the Catechism contains an artidoie against Calvinism, and particularly against the doctrines of election and salvation by faith only, as they are erroneously and absurdly explained by Calvinistic or Evan gelical ministers?

I do not expect these questions to be answered; but I cannot help thinking, that, if they should be answered in the affirmative, which I fear they must be, if answered truly, it behoves their Lordships the Bishops, to. make particular enquiries, at their next visitations; on the important subject of catechising.

I
am,
Sir,
Your obedient Servant,

SUSPICAK.

Jan. 16, 1805.

DEFENCE OF SIKES'S DIALOGUES.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCIIMAN'S

MAGAZINE

Nov. 15, 1804.

SIR,

YOUR correspondent Juvenis

, I conceive is not pera

fectly correct, in his reinark upon e passage in
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Mr.

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Mr. Sikes's Dialogues on Edification, inserted in your
Review for September. If you will do me the favour to
give a place in your next number to the following ob-
servations, they will probably meet the eye of Juvenis,
and I trust will afford him some satisfaction. Your cor-
respondent considers that Twilight's question, viz.
What is a man to do, whose parochial minister preaches
false doctrine?” is not satisfactorily solved, but by another
question is evaded. As it is, says the writer, it goes' in
my opinion, to oblige persons to abide in their parish
churches, even though Arianism or other false doctrine
be preached therein. I have carefully perused the
Dialogues in question, and must confess, that I have
laid, them down, feeling myself very satisfactorily in-
structed upon these points. « Who is to be judge," is
not an evasion of Twilight's question; for says the mi-
nister, “ There are many circumstances which must be
thoroughly examined before a proper answer can be
given. . In the first place," who is to be judge of the
doctrine you may hear in your parish church?” It is
a preliminary step to be taken before the answer can be
given, not an evasion of the answer; for if we consider
that hitherto in all ages up to the present anomalous
times, it has been the office and prerogative of Councils,
Bishops, and learned Doctors, not of “ any man of
common sense" alone, to decide upon what is, or is not
false doctrine ; if we call to 'mind what extreme
care and anxiety the Christian Church has always ma-
nifested, in allowing an authority to decide in matters
of faith, it seems to ine that'Twilight's question is virtually
almost answered not evaded by this short question,” Who
is to be judge?” In this question the minister seems to
aim first at repressing that spirit of presumption which
now-a-days leads unlearned and unstable men, to give
their decision upon theological questions with more con-
fidence than formerly popes, or councils, have done ;
and then proceeds to instruct his man how to act as a
Christian ought to act in such a case; intimating at the
same time, by thus turning the conversation, that that is
often called false doctrine, which is not, and that he who
commits the decision into the hands of the proper judge,
will not often be pressed by the supposed difficulty.
Much pains are taken by the minister, to shew that

every man of common sense,” as Juvenis speaks, is not a competent judge: my advice, says He; is this: Remember that I have Christ's commission and authority to teach you ; receive my instruction, therefore, as the instruction of bim, whom Christ hath appointed to his office,” and is not the advice and counsel given by the authority of God infinitely preferable to any other ? " Use your senses then," says he, “and confess that an appointed minister of Christ will more probably be a much better judge of true and false doctrine than an ordinary Christian uncommissioned, whose duty it is to hearken to him.”

that

Twilight, like many others, thinks this doctrine a little stiff and papistical : the minister clears it from that reproach and shews that the true Christian steers his course between the errors of the Papist, who is led by his clergy blindfolded, and that of the Dissenter, who will not be led by the clergy at all. The countryman is now made to put his question still stronger;“Suppose,” says he, “the preacher were really to broach heresy and error" And then the minister enters upon the solution of the difficulty, and thus instructs him: “He observes that when this case really happens, it is an hard one; yet it very seldom happens; hut when it does, it must generally be in the sermon.” The minister still anxious to inculcate that it is not for every man to determine what is false doctrine, proceeds to instruct his pupil “what is to be done, if in the preacher's sermon any thing should be advanced which may appear to be heresy. “ He would first tell him his suspicions, and hear wbat he has to say;" if the preacher clears up the matter, all his well, if he does not, then

say's

he, take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses, as our Lord says, every word may be established. If he neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church; for the church is the only competent judge of doctrine.” Twilight is not yet satisfied, but pushes his instructor home upon this point, and asks what a sincere Christian is to do, when a clergyman preaches such doctrine as the church esteems erroneous ?" I see not the least evasion in his following

; " If the man preaches such doctrine as the church condemns, the matter is very soon settled. Tell it to the church and the thing is done. But if he perform • not his duty, in preaching pure church doctrine, yer remember that the minister of a parish is not an hired servant of the people, but the divinely commissioned servant of Christ, and though he neglect his duty; that does not make pull bis cominission to do it; he is still

a seryant

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