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language is unequal to characterize: wbich from the first cowardly and convicted lying and diabolical oppressions and kidnappings at Bayonne, through the regular series of complicated infamy, down to Count Suchet's treatment of Tarragona, has exhibited a bare-faced dereliction even of any pretence to justice, or of any other appeal except to vile fraud and unprincipied force, such as never before disgraced the moral turpitude of maukind.

Art. IV. - The State of the Established Church; in a Series of

Letters to the Right Honourable Spencer Percetal, Chancellor of the Exchequer, &c. Second Edition, corrected and enlarged; with an Appendir of Official Documents. Svo.

pp. 151. Stockdale. 1810. We have now before us some letters to Mr. Perceval on the state of the established church; and we have also read a certain pretty, soothing, and well-written lullaby, in answer to these letters. Now, though it may be reckoned cruel to awaken mother Schurch from the sweet slumbers which we conclude she must be enjoying in consequence of the said lullaby, yet our real regard and affection for her induce us to endeavour to disturb that peacefuil repose, which we fear might in the end prove fatal to her. Nor can we by any means admit the validity of the argument founded on the weakness and imperfection of human nature, when it is adduced to excuse a wilful

perseverance

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neglects or abuses, plainly plointed out and as plainly within the power of the offender to remedy. As our author observes in his blunt and magisterial way

“ It is in vain to tell me, that the clergy are but men; that they are subject to all the weakni-ss incident to our nature.

I am willing to grant all, and much more than can be justly claimed on the score of human infirmity ; but as there is no situation in life in which such errors and infirmities (if you call them such) would be admitted, so there is none in which they deserve so little respect. Sleep is natural and necessary to the human frame; yet if the vidette be found sleeping on his post, military execution is instantly awarded. If your at. torney neglects your suit, the court will saddle him with the costs, and perhaps prevent his repeating the offence. Skill is implied in the physician ; and for his ignorance he will be punished. In short, in no state of life is this plea of indolence and inactivity allowed;

much less therefore ought it to avail in that which is instituted to conduct mankind to that eternity, in comparison of which all the wealth, and other enjoyments of this life, are but as an atom to the whole globe itself.” P.66.

There are so many just observations in the pamphlet before us, and it affords so many useful hints for the advantage of our excellent establishment, that we cannot but think that all wellwishers to the church, and more particularly all her professional members, would do well to peruse it with a candid spirit, and to overlook occasional warmth, a too great strength of expression, and a good deal of unqualified assertion, in favour of the honest zeal by which the whole seems to be dictated; in short, we would recommend it to them to pocket the affront, and profit by the advice.

We certainly wish, that the well meaning author had been more temperate in his censures of the conduct of the clergy, particularly in those respects in which they are in general undeserving of blame; though we fear he has in many instances but too much ground for his accusation of them, with respect to their lukewarmness, indifference. and want of that unction, which alone can give efficacy to the powers entrusted to them. He, however, goes so much too far as to state, that a large proportion of the clergy“ betray a dissoluteness of manners, which, while it is most shameful in them, would not be borne in any other state of life;" and he adds,“ Do not our courts of justice teem with their offences? Is there a subject of public corruption and profligacy, the developement of which does not discover its reverend associates ? and do not men of this description daily walk about our streets unsilenced and unchastised ?" Here we think there is an unpardonable degree of exaggeration; the few instances which have occurred, to give a colour for these remarks, by no means constitute the prevailing evil among the clergy; and our author has availed himself beyond reasonable bounds of the licence which in the following passage he has thought proper to grant to his own

“ It is now too late for a public writer to attempt to disa criminate; and if the good should in some degree suffer with the depraved, they have those only to blame, who, placed in high and lucrative situations, for the purposes of prevention, have failed to prevent the conduct we are now called upon to point out.”. But that a considerable number of the clergy are lamentably deficient in the chief requisites for enforcing the truths of the Gospel to the edification and salvation of souls, is we fear but too evident; and this deficiency it is, which is gradually undermining our national church, and upon which her enemies chiefly

VOL, II, NO, ITI..

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build their hopes of rising through superior zeal upon her ruins.

The author of this pamphlet remarks, that as long as patronage is in private hands, it must be liable to an improper distribution; and therefore he suggests the expediency of greater precautions than are at present used, to prevent the ordination of persons, ill qualified for the ministry.

“ Without intrenching upon what are the present requisites at the universities, a knowledge and rigid practice of the duties of religion should be indispensable. All habitual vice and dissoluteness of manners should not only be checked and discountenanced, but should, after a certain limit, be made a positive obstacle to a young man's ordination: which would of course include much greater caution about testimonials than is at present exercised. A preparation and examination for orders should form part of the system of education at college, and not be left entirely to the bishops, and by them to the hurried and contracted attention of their chaplains. A proficiency on this head should be as indispensable as other attainments are towards a fellowship; and this proficiency should include constant and devout attendance on divine worship, and such a performance of the church service as is essential to its due effect upon their future hearers. To attain these objects, it would be requisite (as it is on all accounts highly desirable) that young men intended for the church should declare such intention on their admission to the university.

“ Dismissed from college, greater care than is at present used should be taken by those whose province it is to confer upon candidates for orders the highest and most important office, if duly considered, to which a human being can aspire. Independent of the attainments already alluded to, great circumspection should be exercised, and every inquiry made as to the candidates' views and prospects; so that some check at least should exist to the practice of sending young men into the church upon speculation, or merely to get a livelihood: as it is impossible to intrench upon private patronage, part of the evil arising from it would thus be cured, if no persons were admitted to holy orders but those who are thoroughly qualified." P. 125.

Those whom it may concern will do well, and indeed, appear to us to be strictly bound, to pay attention to these remarks, They include charges, which are in too many instances notoriously true; and point out remedies, which are at least worthy of consideration. But we can altogether dissipate our author's fears of the church being overstocked with young adventurers sent into it "upon speculation to gain a livelihood.” If the reports which have reached us be not exaggerated, the curacies, and other prospects which the church holds out to such persons, re by the pressure of the times now become so very scanty in emolument, compared with the different modes of gaining a livelihood in the civil walks of life, that there is an actual de ficiency of under labourers in the vineyard. We are credibly informed, that at both the universities there are scores of unanswered notices of “curates wanted.”

A striking picture is drawn, and we fear not much overcharged, of the manner in which the services of the church are performed in many country parishes.

“ Where a clergyman has to attend two, three, and sometimes four churches, it may be easily conceived that his manner cannot be very devout and impressive; nor even his appearance such as decency requires; and, as for the time, it is no unusual thing for the only duty which is performed on a Sunday to take place at ten, and sometimes at nine o'clock in the morning; leaving all the rest of the day to revelling and drunkenness, or, what is now more common, to the itinerant enthusiast. The part of the duty thus performed is often not that which is enjoined by the rubrics. A clergyman who gallops to the church, gallops through the service, and gallops away again, is generally too unique in his ideas to conform to the dictates of others, though he has sworn to obey them; and has of course a liturgy and a rubric of his own. Some parts of the service he constantly omits; other parts he either reads or omits, as time or inclination may suit. Having not the least conception (or at all events recollection) of the solemnity of what he is about, he has no idea that the decalogue can derive any weight or importance from distinct and audible delivery at the altar ; but that is generally hurried over in the desk, with as little ceremony as the detail of a fox-chace. This remark, indeed, applies to the whole of the service; which may be readily credited by those who know that the whole morning service in many parishes (including the sermon) does not occupy three-quarters of an hour.

“ The unfrequency of the sacrament of the Lord's supper (that most solemn and important office of religion) is the next topic, sir, to which I would draw your attention. In some parishes the sacrament is only administered twice in the year; in a great many only three times; and in a large majority only four times in a year. I am aware that neither the rubric nor the canons distinctly point out the precise number of times which the sacrament shall be administered in the year; and I think it would be well if some definite regulation were made upon a subject of such infinitę magnitude and concern. Some persons have construed the direction to the minister to read the communion service at the altar, as implying his constant readiness to administer the sacrament every Sunday; as I believe was the case in the earlier ages of the church, and is still so in some of our cathedrals. At all events the twenty-first canon, which directs the laity to communicate “ at least threc times" in the year, is a sufficient proof that the clergy have no au. thority for the unfrequency of this rite, for which there is no true

с.

there are,

reason but the indolence and inactivity which pervades the conduct of many of them; added, I fear, in some instances, to their leading lives very different from that state of preparation necessary for this solemn occasion. The time too in this case calls for our notice. Those who administer it but twice choose the festivals of Christmas and Easter; to which other add Michaelmas: all of them periods of the year when often the aged, the sickly, and infirm, cannot attend divine service. In most parts of the country I believe a sacrament is never heard of between Easter and Michael. mas; and in many, not between Easter and Christmas, though the festivals of Whitsuntide and Trinity are those when persons of the above description would be most likely to attend divine service, with ease, convenience, and safety. The reason given by some of the clergy for this unfrequency of the sacrament is as strange as that the

give any reason at all. They say it is because there are so few communicants! This surely is giving the effect for the cause: for any one who will take the trouble of inquiring why

in many parishes, so few communicants, will find that is wholly occasioned by this criminal negligence of the clergy. There is no measure so calculated to keep the heart and mind in a proper state as frequent participation of the Lord's supper. The preparation necessary for it; the dread of receiving it unworthily; and the consolation which it bestows; all combine to make the man, who frequently receives it, better and happier than those who neglect it. And this state of mind can only be preserved by continual exercise. The thought that he will soon receive the sacrament, deters a man from many vices and irregularities ; while, on the other hand, this benefit once lost sight of, life becomes less pure, and examination more painful, till we at last shrink altogether from the holy table. These, sir, are with me strong reasons for the frequency. In the churches of the metropolis, and in those of large towns, there is generally a sacrament once a month, independent of the great festivals; and there seems to be no sufficient reason why the congregations in other places should not have as frequent opportunities of obeying the last and most solemn command of their blessed Redeemer.” P.60, &c.

We know not in what part of the country the author made the observations, which drew from him these strictures, and it would perhaps be invidious to conjecture; but this we know, that we have ourselves remarked, in one or two extensive counties, especially where clerical sportsmen are in vogue, a lively representation of the original portrait.

There is some humour in his remarks upon Bishop Hurd's declaration of the difficulty and inexpediency of enforcing the residence act.

" Another reason why it is in vain to hope for any voluntary exertion of the dormant authority of the bishops is, that they themselves consider their powers as oppressive, and are unwilling

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