Obrazy na stronie

Knowledge cannot afford. Why, then, object to a new institution, which proposes to remedy this defect as it respects the Prayerbook (the wide distribution of which Dr. Marsh deems so essential to the very exist ence of the Establishment); which proposes to bring into activity, with this view, funds that probably would never find their way into the coffers of the old society? We repeat it, if the fears of Dr. Marsh are realif he really trembles for the Establishment on account of the neglect of the Prayerbook-he ought to rejoice in such an institution as this.

But this is not all. There are many important objects to which the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge has refused to furnish any aid, in the way of Prayer-books. The following fact will throw light on this subject. The Governor of Senegal applied, last year, to a friend in this country, for a supply of Bibles and Prayer-books for the garrison of that place, consisting of 300 men, almost all of whom had been taken from the Hulks or from Newgate. A representation of their case, and of their peculiar claims on the liberality of the society, was made to its worthy Secretary, accompanied by a request for Bibles and Prayer-books. Thisrequest was refused, partly on the ground that the society had not been accustomed to extend its aid to the army, and partly on account of the low state of the society's funds. A second application was made, in which, after stating that the Bibles could be procured elsewhere, the applicant, a member of the society, solicited at least a gift of a few Prayer-books for these 300 convicts, but with the same success.

Now, we do not blame the society for adhering to their rules; but if those rules are so unbending as not to admit of their administering relief in such a case as that now stated in the case of a garrison consisting of convicts banished to a distant and unhealthy settlement, where life is perhaps not worth three years' purchase, with a governor over them who is anxious to procure for them all the means of religious instruction in his power-it surely is high time that some other means of relief should be provided. That this is not a singular case, the Secretaries of the Naval and Military Bible Society can testify.

We have hitherto spoken only of the Liturgy. We have said nothing of the Homilies, which it is also the object of the new society to distribute. To this distribution it seems that Dr. Marsh has strong objections, chiefly, as he alleges, because the Homilies

would not be understood by the poor. He is of opinion, indeed, that they should be studied by clergymen, and, with this view, the volume of Homilies has recently been placed on the list of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge; but he is decidedly averse, and so, we presume, are the leading members of that society, from any general distribution of the Homilies, iu separate tracts, among the poor. Those who think differently from Dr. Marsh on this subject, and who wish to see the Homilies in every cottage of the land, will of course feel, that the new society is indispensable to the attainment of this object: if they are to be distributed at all in a cheap and circulable form, then there seems to be no alternative.

But, says Dr. Marsh, the Homilies are not intelligible to the poor. Has he, then, tried whether the poor can understand them or not? If he has not, he certainly has not followed the orders of the church, for the church "judges them to be read in churches by the ministers, diligently and distinctly, that they may be understanded by the people." Let him at least make the experiment, and we will venture to say, notwithstanding the opinion which he and the Bishop of Lincoln have given on the subject, that the Homilies will be more intelligible to the poor than nine-tenths of the sermons which they hear from the pulpit.

Wheatley defines the word Homily to mean a plain sermon for the poor; and to this definition the framers of our Homilies have certainly adhered with remarkable care. The Homilies of the Church of England, be it known unto all, are plain and familiar sermons intended for the poor. These Homilies, however, Dr. Marsh would withhold from the poor: he even censures those who would make the poor acquainted with them.

But though the Homilies contain plain and familiar expositions of Christian doctrine, yet the style, it is alleged, has become obsolete. The style of the Homilies is, unquestionably, somewhat antiquated: so is the style of the Bible, and of the Book of Common Prayer. But are they therefore unintelligible? Are they not rather, on that very account, more level to ordinary capacities, as well as more venerable and imposing? The Homilies, we do not hesitate to say, will appear far more antiquated to refined ears, than to those of the poor, for "they abound in the genuine idioms and radices of the English tongue, and have contributed their aid to the English Bible

[ocr errors]

and Liturgy in resisting injurious refinements, and in preserving the original nerve and purity of the English style."

Dr. Marsh says the Homilies are unintelligible to the poor. We deny the fact: we deny, that is to say, that they are less intelligible to the poor than the mass of modern sermons. We will venture to say, that they are more intelligible. We should be glad to bring this point to the test of experiment. We should be glad that Dr. Marsh would first read to a country congre'gation his own Sermons on Justification by 'Faith, and afterwards the Homilies on the same subject, and then make the inquiry, which of these had been best "understanded by the people."

"It was mentioned by one clergyman, at the meeting held for the formation of this "society, that he had often read them to attentive congregations; and by another, that he was in the habit of reading them on Saints ́ ́days with such acceptance from his parishioners, that they frequently consulted their almanacks for the return of a red-letter day, when they might again enjoy the gratification of hearing a Homily." We have "ourselves known several instances of the same kind: and we have never heard that the poor have complained that the Homilies 'were unintelligible.

The present clamour which is attempted to be raised against the distribution of the Homilies, we confess we were not prepared for. A very sagacious friend indeed, re'marked to us, on first hearing of the intended plan, that he was persuaded it would be represented, in certain quarters, as the severest blow that had yet been aimed at the Church of England. We gave no credit to his anticipations: he does not appear, however, to have judged very erroneously.

An opposition, however, having thus unexpectedly been excited to the Prayer-book and Homily Society, and in the same quar-ter from which the strongest opposition to "the Bible Society has proceeded, we only hope that it may be successful in precisely the same degree in the former as in the latter case; that is to say, that every fresh attack may only serve to root the society more "deeply, and to spread its branches more widely.

“It is stated by one writer, as a powerful argument against this society, that the bishops had refused to patronize it, and that, though apprized of this refusal, the society was never theless formed. It is true the bishops declined the invitation which was addressed to them to patronize the society. But this invitation

was obviously intended as a mark of respect to them, and as an expression of deference to their rank in the church, and could not be construed as implying that it would depend on their answer, whether such a society should be formed or not. The answer of the bishops was, in fact, an admission that the objects proposed by the new society were, in themselves, not only legitimate, but laudable: for the reason assigned by them for not patronizing it was, that they already belonged to an institution which pursued the same objects. They may decline, on that account, to give their support to the new society; but surely the reason is one which cannot affect those who either think that the Bartlett's Buildings' Society have not provided sufficiently for the distribution of the Prayer-book and Homilies; or who, being excluded, or conscientiously excluding themselves, from that society, still wish to enjoy the means of circulating these compositions at an easy rate; or who, being members of the Bartlett's Buildings' Society, are nevertheless desirous of encouraging, by their direct countenance and contributious, every proposal which may promise to bring into efficiency the whole zeal of the members of the Church of England in favour of its own institutions.

We are now obliged to close this discussion for the present, which we shall do with laying before our readers, and pressing on their notice, the following extract from a circular letter, signed by the Rev. II. Budd, the Secretary of the Prayer-book and Homily Society.

"The eightieth canon, promulgated more than forty years after the first publication of the Homilies, requires, that, if any parishes be yet unfurnished with the Bible of the largest volume, or with the books of Homilies allowed by authority, the churchwardens shall, within convenient time, provide the same at the charge of the parish.' On the first publication of the Homilies, a royal visitation was undertaken by a committee of divines and laymen, who divided the kingdom into six circuits, and distributed a copy to every parish. The volume was thus deposited in every parish church, and, like the Bible, was publicly offered to the general perusal of the people.

"Most of the copies, thus, placed in churches, have long since fallen into decay : nor is there any suitable edition now to be procured by such persons as wish to replace them, and thus to comply with the injunction of the canon, and to perpetuate the laudable practice of our ancestors. It is one great wish of the present society to supply

this defect. It is therefore proposed to publish a very handsome folio edition of the Homilies, in one volume, on a large type, which will be sold at what it may cost the Society, to such clergymen and church-war dens as may wish to renew the practice enjoined by the canon, and enforced by the example of their predecessors. It is estimated that each copy of this work will cost the Society one guinea, well bound in rough calf. Those persons, who may be inclined to avail themselves of this offer, are requested to forward their names to the secretary, the Rev. H. Budd, Bridge Street, Blackfriars, London; appointing payment to be made in town, on the delivery of the work. The volume will be put to press, as soon as a sufficient number of names are received to satisfy the Committee that it will be acceptable to the public. The Society will feel its exertions rewarded, if it shall be the means of opening this volume before the eyes of thousands of the poor throughout the empire, in these times of dangerous errors and turbulent principles. The population of the empire is very rapidly be coming a reading population; and if they are not amply supplied with wholesome truth, too many are lying on the watch to poison them with pernicious errors. To make the Homilies, therefore, more generally known, both in the entire volume, and by the distri bution of them as single sermons, at a cheap rate, will be wisely to avail ourselves of our present enlarged means of instruction, in support of those principles which form the basis of our established Church."

It is added,

"Every member of the Society is entitled, under the direction of the Committee, to pur. chase Prayer-books and Homilies at the Society's prices, which shall always be as low as possible.

"At such reduced prices, each annual subscriber of one guinea, and each clergyman subscribing half a guinea annually, is enti tled to purchase Prayer-books and Homilies, within the year, to the amount of five guineas; and in like proportion for every guinea or half-guinea so subscribed :-a bene factor of ten guineas being entitled to the same privileges as an annual subscriber of one guinea; and a benefactor of fifty pounds to those of an annual subscriber of five guineas.

“A further quantity of books may also be had by members, on application to the Committee, at cost prices.'


We have been desired to insert the follow ing memorandum:


The Incorporated Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, having of late years found great difficulty in prevailing with proper clergymen to go abroad in their service, and conceiving that one cause of this disinclination arises from an ignorance of the whole of the emoluments and advantages annexed to the situation of a missionary in the colonies to which they are sent, think it proper to publish the following more full account than what appears in the general annual abstract of their proceedings.

The colonies to which the Society send out missionaries are these following: Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Upper and Lower Canada, Cape Breton, and Africa.

It may be useful to notice, that before the Society send out a missionary to any new place, the people first petition the Society to do it, and signify that they are able and willing to contribute towards his support. In general, it is required that a church be built, a glebe secured, a parsonage-honse erected, and a subscription entered into by the people themselves, or such engagements made as may induce the Society to establish a mission before they are completed; but where the people have failed in the performance, the missionary has been removed to another station.

Upon the opening of a new mission, the Society grant a yearly salary of 50%. Afterwards, it is increased or diminished according as circumstances may seem to require, the glebe lands being in some places of more value than in others. . Half a year's salary is advanced to each missionary upon his going abroad, and an allowance made towards the charge of the voyage, generally about SOL

Besides this, great aid has been afforded by Government towards carrying on the pious designs of the Society. In the province of Nova Scotia thirteen missionaries now enjoy an annual salary from Government of 701. or 751. In New Brunswick nine missionaries have each 100%. a year. To the missionary at Cape Breton 100l. a year is allotted. And to five missionaries in Newfoundland 501. a year, with some allowance of rations, in addition to the Society's salary of 1001.

The missionaries in Canada huve each of them an annual salary of 100% from Goverument, and no one has less than 501, from the Society. The other growing advantages from glebe, subscription, and other coutingencies, cannot be accurately stated, as they must be subject, from many causes, to variation and uncertainty, and will be go

3 F

verned in some respects by the abilities of the people, and the estimation in which the missionary is held.

In addition to this, it should be observed, that the Society, ever attentive to the necessities of their missionaries, have been accustomed, as occasions required, to reward the diligent for any extraordinary. services, and to alleviate the distresses of those who have been afflicted with sickness, or sustained any unforeseen losses and calamities, by pecuniary gratuities.

The Society allow to four students in divinity at King's College in Nova Scotia, 30l. a year each, during the term of seven years, with preference to sons of missionaries.

There is also some provision from an accumulation on a legacy of Archbishop Tenison (the annual interest of which now ainoants to 300) for “such missionaries, being Englishmen, and of the province of Canterbury, as have been by unavoidable accidents, sickness, or other infirmities of the body, or old age, disabled from the performance of their duties, and forced to return to England." Three missionaries have lately enjoyed the benefit of it.

In future such missionaries as shall be sent from this country, and shall; after the faithful discharge of their duty for ten years, express their wish to return home, will receive a certificate from the governor of the province which will entitle them to 100! per annum, during life, from Government, provided they do not leave their missions till they shall have first obtained permission from the Society,

These, with some other occasional advantages, are the encouragements held out by the Society to such pious and well-disposed elergymen as are willing to enter into their service.


Some very important papers have recently been laid on the table of the House of Conmons, relative to the residence of the Parochial Clergy and other points intimately connected with the welfare of the Established Church, We will endeavour to put our reader in possession of the substance of these papers.

1. An Abstract of Returns respecting Non-residence for the year ending 25th March, 1809.

Of 11,194 incumbents, the total number returned as resident in this year is only 3,836. Of course, the enormous number of 7,358 is returned non-resident. Of these, 105 though not living in the parsonage-house, reside within the parish, and may therefore be considered as resident. There are also

565 who reside in the neighbourhood, and: do the duty of their parishes. But whether they, can do this duty effectually, must of course depend on the distance of their place of residence from the proper scene of their labours: it would make a very material difference whether they resided half a mile, or five or ten miles beyond the bounds of their parishes. The number of exemptions on the score of a plurality of livings is 1240; and the number of incumbents pos. sessing small livings who are licensed tocuracies and endowed lectureships, &c. is 273. The number of exemptions and licences, on the ground of their holding other offices, as chaplains, tutors, schoolmasters, students, librarians, &c. is 670. The livings held by bishops are 26; and the sinecuresand diguities, not requiring residence, 233. The number non-resident, from the alleged infirmity of the incumbent or some part of his family, is 465; from the want or unfitness of parsonage-houses, 944; and from the dilapidation of churches, 23. The number of miscellaneous and unenumerated cases is 1325: the exemptious not notified are 817; and the number absent without li cence or exemption is 671

2. Abstract of the Number of Non-resi dent and Resident Incumbents for the year 1810.

The total number of incumbents in this return differs from that in the preceding return, being only. 10,261 The number of residents is somewhat increased, being 4421: of course, the non-residents amount to 5,840. But to which of these classes the 953. incumbents who appear to have been omitted in the return for 2810 belong, it is impossible to say-probably, however, to the latter, as there is reason to suppose that at least the number of residents is correctly given.. The number residing within the parish, though not in the parsonage, is only 62; and residing in the neighbourhood and doing the duty of the parish, 348. The number of exemptions on the ground of residence on other benefices has risen in this year from 1,240 to 1,846. The number of exemptions and licences, on the ground of being licensed to curacies, proprietary chapels, endowed lectureships, &c., is 214; and on the ground of holding other offices, as chaplainships, tutorships, fellowships, &c. 585. The livings held by bishops are 35; the sinecures and dignities not re quiring residence, 79. The number non-resident, from the infirmity of the incurr bent or of his family, is $89; from the want or unfitness of parsonage-houses, 941 ;from dilapidated churches, S4. The num

ber of miscellaneous and unenumerated led to contemplate, at least to expose, the

cases of non-residence is 63. The absentees without licence or exemption are 650; and the exemptions not notified are 363. The vacancies are 74; the recent institutions, 54; and the livings held by sequestration, 91.

We find a great difficulty in reconciling the returns of these two years: the variations are so considerable as to defeat every attempt to reconcile thom.

3. Abstract of the Number of Resident and Licensed Curates, with the Amount of the Salaries of the Curacies for the year 1810.

The total number of curates of non-resident incumbents is 3,694. The number of these returned resident within the parish,is only 1,587. The number of curates licensed to the parish is 1808. The number of enrates on livinge where the incumbents are non-resident by licence, is 1745. Of these, 45 have 10l. a year; 191 have 20l. a year; 428 have 301. a year; 333 have 401. a year; 293 have 50l. a year; 206 have 601. a year; 144 have 701. a year; 51 have 801. a year; 7 have 901. a year; 41 have 1001. a year; one has 1461., one has 1201., one has 1301., and one has 2501. a year, Seventeen of these have the whole of the -income.

4. Abstract of the total Number of Parishes in England and Wales, with their Population; the Number of Churches and Chapels, with the Number of Persons they will contain; and the Number of Dissenting Paces of Worship


There is a manifest defect in this title.: it ought to be the number of parishes “containing upwards of 1000 inhabitants." The total number of such parishes is 1881: the total amount of their population, 4,937,782; the number of churches and chapels in such parishes, 2533; the number of persons which these 2533 churches and chapels will .contain, 1,856,108; and the number of dissenting places of worship within the same space, 3438.

We wish, for the present, merely to record these returns. We shall probably soon have occasion to refer to them largely. In the mean time, we cannot help expressing our astonishment, that, amid all the alarms excited in the minds of some of our bishops, archdeacons, and divinity professors, for the safety of the church, by Bible societies, Lancasterian schools, methodist chapels, dissenting meeting-houses, enthusiasts within the church and without the church, Gospel preachers, evangelical clergymen, Calvinists, &c. &c., hardly one of them should have been

[ocr errors]

far more urgent danger arising from the non residence of the clergy. Whatever evil there may be in the rapid progress of methodism and dissent, they may unquestionably be considered as deriving much of their prevalence from this source; and the writers to whom we allude may be assured, that until the number of active, laborious, pious, resident clergy is greatly increased, all hope of arresting their progress is utterly vain. To this point, therefore, should their efforts be mainly directed.

Such of our readers as wish to see this important subject more fully discussed, may turn to our volume for 1811, where, in the review of a Speech of Lord Harrowby (p.380), and of Letters ou the State of the Church, addressed to Mr. Perceval (pp..708 and 778), they will meet with a detailed statement both of the facts and arguments which bear upon it.


A letter has lately been received from a gentleman at Petersburgh, dated Jan. 17, 1812, of which the following is an extract :—— "Two of my friends, who are returned from the waters of Caucasus, tell me that they passed a fortnight very agreeably with the Scotch Missionaries in that neighbourhood, The principals are the Rev. Mr. Brunton and Mr. Paterson. During the seven years they have been there,they have suffered much trom the Circassians; yet, all things considered, they have succeeded much better than might, have been expected. Their village is surrounded by Tartars, who befriend them as far as lies in their power. The Missionaries have a small wooden church; a printing-house, with Arabic types cut in England, for printing and dispersing religious tracts in that language among their neighbours. Mr. Brunton has nearly completed the New Testament; which, considering he was ignorant of the language seven years ago, proves him to be an indefatigable man. They have also a cloth manufactory, and as much land allowed them by the Russian Government as they choose to cultivate; from which they furnish the surrounding country with potatoes, tobacco, &c. In their school they have nearly forty children, who are all instructed in the Christian religion: several of them have been sent from Circassia: the rest are Tartars. This has gained them the good-will of their neighbours. They are often applied to as arbitrators," &c,

« PoprzedniaDalej »