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Resolved, “ That it is a duty to counteract, by all fair and just means, a design so injurious to the interest of the established church, and so inconsistent with the proper administration of parochial concerns.
“That in order to rescue the parish from the hands of these men, it is highly to be wished that respectable and independent persons, and such as are thoroughly well affected to the constitution in church and state, would offer themselves for the parochial offices, and that they ought to be strongly and vigorously supported.
* That in order effectually to oppose the overbearing influence of the Methodist interest, it is absolutely necessary to form an association, whose efforts may be directed to support the nomination of such gentlemen as may be fitly and properly qualified to fill parochial offices.”
These spirited and determined efforts, deserve the thanks of every true son of the church of England, who feels as every one must, the imperious necessity of counterbalancing the designs of those modern puritaus as they have justly been called, who are daily, I had almost said, hourly, gaining ground, at her expence. May such well-timed and well directed exertions prove successful, and serve to stimulate others to the like exertions in so good a cause! Transcat in Exemplam.
Amicus EcclesIÆ ANGLICANÆ. March 10, 1805.
ON THE BURIAL OF SUICIDES.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S
Sır, "HROUGH the medium of your excellent miscellany
give me leave to say, (with the greatest deference to the superior talents and judgment of your valuable correspondent, the London Curate,) that I perfectly disagree with him respecting the interment of suicides. I
am of opinion, that the Rubric at the beginning of the burial service ought to be literally interpreted. The Coroner is in no case to direct a Minister when he is to read the burial service and when not: if the Coroner find that the deceased died in consequence of an accident, or by the visitation of God, then bis certificate to that effect satisfies the doubts, of the Minister as to the propriety of reading the service or not; but if the deceased died by his own hands, and; the Coroner's Inquest be lunacy, his certificate is only, that the law does not demand the body to be exposed as an example, by interment in the thigh way, and that the friends of the deceased may dispose of it as they please, which as may naturally be supposed, will be by interment in some part of the church-yard, and in inost, if not all, of the church-yards in the North of England, and perhaps throughout the kingdom, the north side of the yard was, formerly, solely appropriated for the interment of suicides only, and even to this day it continues the practice in many church-yards which I can mention. The Coroner's warraot by no means directs the Minister to read the burial service on such occasions, neither is, he justifiable for reading it. Burn, in his Justice of the Peace, (Vol. II. p. 497), under the article Homicide, says, “ By the Rubric in the book of common prayer, before the burial office (confirmed by Act of Parliament 18 & 14, C. 2. .C. 4.) a person who hath laid violent hands upon himself shall not have that office used at his interment.” He makes no mention of the Rubric being interpreted by the 68th canon.
But the strongest argument why the Rubric and not the Canon is to be contsrued literally, and I fatter myself the London Curate will concur with it, and which, I rather suppose, must have escaped his notice when he wrote his last opinion) is, Dr. Sharp's (on the Rubrics) own words, where speaking of the 68th can. he says, “ from the Minister's being obliged not to refuse burial, except the party deceased were excommunicated majori excommunicatione, and no man able to testify of his repentance, which is all that the Canon enjoins, one would naturally gather that there are no cases in which he
may refuse burial; and that, even in this case he may not retuse it, if it can be proved to him that the excommunicate person was a true pe. nitent. But there is no room left for making a query Vol. VIII. Churchm. Mag. March 1805. Dd
upou cases for absolving thein too, in order to christian burial. Gibs. Cod. - p. 540. Which had been unnecessary, if any poiver had been lodged with the Minister himself.
upon either of these points *, after we have read the Rubric, which forbids not only excommunicate persons to be buried, but also those who are unbaptized, and those who have laid violent hands upon themselves. Neither is there any provision in it about the repentance of an excommu
It speaks indefinitely of all thrat die under the sentence of excommunication, without leaving any discretionary power with the Minister, either to absolve, or to bury as if absolutiont had been obtained +. In these points therefore the Rubries are our guides; and This canon is superseded by them."
With regard' to excommunication, I should suppose that none are considered by the ecclesiastical law'as ex communicated, but those who have undergone that process, therefore, on whomsocver the sentence of majore excommunicatione has been passed, if he bappens to die before it be repealed, or before he be restored into the conmunion of the church, he is still an ercominunicate, although before his death he manifested süre signs of repentance, and had desired to be received again into the bosom of the church; and of course no Minister can justifiably tead the burial service at the interment of any person so 'dying, unless by a special order from the Bishop of the Diocese for that purpose obtained.
I ain of opinion, with your correspondent P. that if two or three fashionable murderers or duellists were-hung, it would put a stop to a custoin so base and dastardly. Humanity shudders at the idea of such a práctice, common sense cries aloud against it, and reason says it is wrong. The Rev. Mr. Ingram's excellent Relections on dnelling, were they to have the good fortune, (which They are highly deserving of) to procure an universal rusal, among the higher orders of the community parti'cularly, would, I am almost certain, prove la care for that ·banefůl practice dueling, alias murder.
Relating to the former part of this canon respecting the non-refusal of baptism to children, otherwise than on Sundaysiand Holidays, discussed in the toriner part of his work, p.27.
+ There. Ive been since the reforination, as well as before, commis sions granted for burial of persons dying excommunicate, and in somne Whether the shocking but too frequent custom of suicide proceeds from a change of constitution in Englishmen, arising from modern habits and modes of living, or from the too great lenity of Coroners, it is hard to say, I am inclined to think that the latter is principally the reason, and if Coroners would ten times oftener than they do give a verdict of felo de se, a little time would determine whether it had the desired effect or not.
Your's respectfully, Middleton, March 11, 1805.
ON KNEELING IN PUBLIC WORSHIP.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S
REQUEST your permission to enter the list of your,
correspondents, although I feel myself very unworthy through the inferiority of my intellectual powers of a place in so valuable a miscellany as your's, of which I am a constant reader and admirer. I have been far removed from the seats of literature for many years, and being the father of no less than twelve children, with an income in the increased expences of these times somewhat straitened, my means will not allow me consistently with the duty I owe to my numerous family, to purchase many of the very valuable publications with which the press teems in this enlightened age. My wish to give my tribute of praise to the letter written by that most exemplary prelate, the Bishop of London to the clergy of his Diocese, upon the subject of kneeling in prayer, wbich appeared in your Magazine for February last, coupled with my past endeavours to bring the people committed to my spiritual charge to a performance of this duty, has induced me to become a correspondent. The great propriety of his Lordship's address to his clergy must be acknowledged by every reflecting mind, and the very ex. cellent manner in which he expresses himself is only to
be equalled by the goodness of the heart from which those sentiments flowed.
I have been for many years past in the habit of noticing from the desk any marks of indecorum which have appeared in the two churches in which I officiate, thinking that possibly the attention of the congregation might be caught by something out of the common way. I therefore brought forward some of the most striking passages from the sacred volume in support of the duty of kneeling in prayer, my parishioners were apparently attentive, but like snow which melts as it falls, my words left no traces on the hearts of my hearers. This expedient failing of its desired effect, I shortly after made the duty of kneeling in prayer the subject of a discourse from the pulpit, and selected these words for my text; " And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down and prayed.” I hope, I proved to my auditors that kneeling in the hour of prayer is a duty highly becoming those who profess Christianity, that it is a mark of humiliation before God, and that if Christ himself who had no infirmities to be healed, no wants to be relieved, no sins to be pardoned, no offended majesty to appease, who came from the very bosom of his father, andwas the express image of his person, if he saw the propriety of kneeling in prayer and countenanced it by his own example, how much more ought we who by nature are sinners, and by continued provocations increase the multitude of our offences, how much more necessary is it for us to worship and fall down and kneel before the Lord our' Maker! I lamented the great concern it gave me to remark that the observations which I had some time since made upon this duty, were not attended to, that considering myself as a watchman set over the parish committed to my care, it became the - sacredness of my function to warn my parishioners against all neglects of their duty, and that they were bound in conscience to hear the word at my mouth; that the intent of preaching was to instruct the ignorant, to reclaim the impenitent, and to rebuke the obdurate; that by virtue of my office I spoke to all without reserve, without partiality, and always hoped to do it without offence, but knowing that if I warned not the wicked from his way that he would die in his iniquity, but that his blood would be required at my band, I was anxious to perform my duty and deliver my own soul.