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are substantially calumnious, or enormously exaggerated. Mr. A. goes on to argue upon the solemn language of the Ordination Service. This is a subject often insisted upon, and which, on the present occasion, we may hastily pass over. There is no doubt that the profession put by the Church into the mouth of the candidate for either deacon's or priest's orders, is such as loads the profane, the inconsiderate, and the interested with a guilt fearful to think of. If it were not that the commonness of this lamentable abuse of the awful terms of Christianity renders individuals insensible to its enormity, no man conscious of being undevout in his habits and temper,—no man who cannot pretend to be chiefly intent upon the glory of God and the edification of the people, could pass through the mockery of ordination, and again shew himself in the company of honest men.

• And shall not God', exclaims our Author, reckon with those who, pretending a motive they never had, and making vows and promises they never intended to fulfil, have thrust themselves into the fold of Christ; not to feed his sheep, but to enrich themselves by the spoils of the church? Yes, fearful indeed must be their account at the last gréat day, who, living by the altar they hardly ever serve, and the gospel they never preach, leave their flocks in the hand of strangers, whose own the sheep are not, constantly exposed to the ravages of the enemy; and thousands perish for ever in their sins.'

Mr. A. then proceeds to complain of a deviation, on the part of many of the clergy, from the doctrines of the Articles and the Homilies. The consequence of this inconsistency between the pulpit and the formulæ of the Church, has been, of course, the departure of the great bulk of the people from the principles of the Reformation.

• In this state weré matters at the time of the appearance of the Wesleys, the Whitfields, and some few other names in the church, worthy to be recorded to the end of time. Those holy, able, and trulydevoted men, seeing the evil in question, sounded the alarm, and called both ministers and people to consider from whence they had fallen. In the spirit of Jeremiah, they proclaimed, “ Thus saith the Lord, stand ye in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.” But how was this met by the bishops and clergy of the day? Were they willing to hearken, to inquire, to see, and to return to the good old way, and to co-operate with them in the great and holy work of cleansing the sanctuary, and in repairing its breaches ? posite was the case. They said, in effect, with the Jews, “ We will not hearken ; we will not enquire; we will not return to the old paths, neither will we walk therein.” They closed their pulpits against them; spurned them ; raised the most impious outcry against them; and manifested a spirit which, had it not been restrained by just and equitable laws, made in former and better times, would have gladly

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chained them to the stake, and destroyed their zeal for God in the martyr's fire. The consequence was, that they drove them and their adherents away; and we see in their descendants, and in others who from the same quarter have joined their ranks, a rival party, which, in point of the number of devoted worshippers, may, perhaps, more than equal the religious establishment of the land.

Had the rulers of the church been as wise and politic as the Pope, they would instantly have taken advantage of the talents, piety, and zeal of these great and worthy men; enlisted them in the best of causes which the human mind can conceive, and turned the whole for the advancement of true religion ; for raising the church from her decayed and fallen state, and making her reflect again something of her pristine glory. It was in their power to have done this. These men whom they hated, persecuted, and opposed, were, from principle, conviction, and education, sincerely attached to the established church. It was with the greatest reluctance that they adopted any measures inconsistent with her union and order, till they were forced, by being absolutely shut out from exercising their ministry in the church that they loved, and which they had sincerely devoted themselves to serve. But their opposers were blind! they were worse than blind! nay, I will go further; I will challenge the contrary to be proved, whether in any one instance, for more than a hundred years, the rulers of the church, or even the state, have ever adopted any measure for her good, which was not forced upon them by the rapid and formidable advances of her dissenting rivals, and then, perhaps, too late.' pp. 59, 60.

In support of his allegation, that a large proportion of the clergy have thus swerved from the line of doctrine to which, in subscribing, they have pledged themselves to adhere, our Author appeals to the evidence of multitudes .who excuse their Dissent altogether, or chiefly, on this ground; that they cannot hear in the parish church the doctrines clearly professed in the articles, liturgy, and homilies. Were we called upon or admitted to arbitrate in the great question at issue between the evangelical and orthodox parties, we should really deem it a satisfactory method of reaching a conclusion, thus to appeal to the common sense of the people;-we mean of that class who pay any attention to what they hear from the pulpit. It matters nothing that there are thousands who quietly land 'the parson's sermon,' let him say what he may; and who would very obediently allow him to preach Mohamedism, unrebuked, if he were so inclined. The question is, whether, when the minds of the people are, by any means, quickened from the death of indifference, and turned actively and with solicitous attention towards the Scriptures and the creeds of the Church, they do not, in the large majority of instances, begin to feel dissatisfied with what is termed by the High-Church party orthodox preaching, and run after what is termed evangelical, wherever they can find it, whether in church or chapel. At the same time, many, or most of those malcon

tents, explicitly and loudly profess their consent with the articles and homilies of the Church, and actually prove their attachment to its forms, by adhering to them if they may be found conjoined with evangelical preaching. This sort of unbribed, popular testimony, abundant as it is, ought, we say, to be received as strong, as conclusive proof of the claim of the evangelical party to be regarded as the true sons of the Church.

But we are travelling a little out of our intended path. We regret that Mr. Acaster has, on this subject, done so in a manner which is likely to prejudice his argument. He has a strong case before him; and would have done well to adhere to what is unquestionable, and unquestioned. For example; the residence of the clergy, which is his next topic, is one upon which much may be said to great effect, without hazarding a sentence that will be controverted among-honest men. Mr. A. asks:1. Has every parish in the kingdom the sole and undivided labour of its minister; and is this labour in strict conformity to the regulations of the church, both as to the nature and quantum of the duties to be performed? 2. Has every parish in the kingdom its constantly resident incumbent? 3. Has every incumbent in the kingdom no more than one benefice with the cure of souls? To these questions, it is obvious, an answer in the negative must be returned. The intentions of the founders of the Church, therefore, have been thwarted, and the religious welfare of the nation set at naught. In calculating the extent of the alleged dereliction of duty on the part of the clergy, Mr. A. rests on the authority of statements advanced by the Bishop of Winchester, in a charge delivered to the clergy of the diocese of Llandaff; and arguing upon these facts as affording an average for the country at large, he assumes, that the in• habitants of something more than seven-eighths of the parishes

throughout the kingdom, have no more than one weekly op'portunity afforded of assembling together in the church for • religious instruction and worship.

We cannot profess an acquaintance with facts extensive enough to justify our calling this statement in question; and, yet, if asked roughly to estimate the proportion of parishes in which service is performed only once in the day, we should certainly bave rated it much lower than Mr. Acaster has done: we sliould even have hesitated in supposing that so many as twothirds are thus lamentably neglected. There is probably a great difference, in this respect, in different districts. In some, the influence of public opinion operates strongly to enforce a decent discharge of duty: in others, it has no power whatever; and the people, willing enough so to be abandoned, are abandoned to the more or less of conscience and honesty that may exist among their parochial ministers. But for the purposes of


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a general argument, it matters little, whether five-sixths, or nine-tenths of the people are defrauded of the spiritual benefits for which they pay of their flock and of their field. Be the number of instances what it may, the fact, to a fearful extent, is unquestioned.

• And what awful reflections', remarks our Author, is it calcu. lated to excite! The people, seeing and knowing this sad neglect of their highest and most important interests, must think lightly of their legal instructors. In what view also, must they regard the scanty instructions they afford? And then, if we add to this, the deficiency both of the matter and the manner in which these instructions are given, we shall not wonder that many have left the establishment and joined the ranks of dissent,—but rather that the great bulk have not adopted the same course of conduct, and left, as in many instances, the parish minister to preach to empty pews and mouldy walls. One reason why this is not the case, is this ; there is still in the minds of a considerable portion of the people, an attachment to the religious establishment of the land ;-they wish to bring up their children after the religious order of the realm : they therefore cling to it, though labouring under all the disadvantages described, in hope that a change for the better will eventually occur. Let the rulers of the church, then, do their duty as men of God; and if they wish to retain their rank, preserve the church, and regain the confidence of the people, let them take advantage of that which remains, and see that they have those religious means afforded, which their wants require, and the law demands. Time was, when a very slight portion of, and attention to religious duties, was considered sufficient by the bulk of mankind. This time, with a considerable portion of the people, is happily gone by: and one great reason why the church is so rapidly on the decline, is, that she has made no effort to meet their wants, at all proportionate to the demands of the age. In this respect she has stood stationary, while every other party is advancing at full stretch. The people do not love to have it so. Deprived, therefore, of that supply which she ought to afford, they have sought it in other channels where it more copiously flows. There they meet with a constant readiness to supply their demands, and often to exceed them. This persuades them that there their best interests are felt at heart ; and where this is not perceived, nothing can convince them that there is any real regard for the salvation of their souls.' pp. 83–85.

And if, with the laudable intention of carrying the means of instruction to those who may be unable to attend the parish church, a zealous clergyman endeavours to collect together in . a private house, during the week, persons of this description (the aged and infirm) living in the distant hamlets of their parishes, for the purpose of affording them some means of

religious instruction and worship',—the irregularity has usually been noticed, and he has been obliged to desist.

* By this interpretation of the law', continues our Author, 'the established clergy of the land are so completely fettered, that, however


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urgent the case, they cannot move; while the Dissenters have full liberty to adopt any means they please, and to hold meetings of this, or any other description, in every house in their parishes, with consent of the owners.

Whatever construction the canon may bear in this particular, -and surely a favourable construction should, if possible, be put upon it,— I really think', says Mr. A., 'the bishops would

be more in character, if they were employed in rebuking and • chastising some of their idle, drunken, and worthless clergy, * than in restraining the zealous efforts of the well-disposed and active, to promote the real benefit of their people's souls.'

Some pointed observations on this subject follow, which we do not quote; not merely because our citations will altogether occupy a greater space than we could wish, but because we are careful not to bring forward passages of a kind which might give ground to the supposition, that we are gladly availing ourselves of the opportunity to make out a strong case against the Established Church, or its rulers. We rather pass on to our Author's statements of simple facts. It rests, he says, entirely with the bishop, whether or not he will enforce the performance of morning and evening service on the Sunday. And can it be deemed otherwise than necessary, that the church should twice be open on the Lord's Day?

· A considerable portion of the inhabitants of every parish are, from necessity, obliged to be absent from the service, by engagements at home impossible to be avoided. These therefore must be utterly deprived of any opportunity of religious worship in the Church, where there is only one service. So that tens of thousands, through the land, have, for many years together, no opportunity whatever for attending the religious instruction and worship of the Established Church. But how is this aggravated where there is only service once a fortnight, or three weeks; and in some cases only once a month?''

Our Author does not blame the people for becoming Dissent ers when thus shamelessly neglected by those who are paid, and who have solemnly engaged, to care for their spiritual welfare. We heartily wish that their filling the meeting-house', were the worst evil that follows from the negligence of the clergy. Alas! the profligacy, and infidelity, and misery of hundreds of thousands among the lower classes, may fairly be traced to the same unhappy source. And surely, debauchery and profaneness are worse things than methodism!

The bishop, it is said, may enforce a second service, but cannot require a second sermon. Be it so :- let him use his authority as far as it will reach ;--and we think it may be not unfairly surmised, that the people will be gainers, rather than losers, by the want of a scrmon, from the man who never preaches, but


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