« 上一頁繼續 »
danger of our Ecclesiastical Establishment. But as nothing sufficiently distinct and particular bas, to my knowledge, yet appeared, and as the humblest instrument is sometimes permitted under the blessing of Providence to be productive of good; I have thought I could not better express that deep sense of filial and devoted attachment, which I shall ever rejoice in an opportunity of evincing for our truly venerable and apostolic Church, than by entreating your Lordship’s attention to a circumstance, originating in the defective Legislation, and the rash and intemperatc measures, that unhappily dimined the lustre and lessened the benefits of the blessed and glorious Reformation. A circumstance which from the operation of the causes just noted has now increased to an extent, and assumed an appearance, so threatening and dangerous to the Established Church, that an adequate and effectual remedy can only be supplied by the wisdom of Parliament, which hath hitherto not been efficiently directed to the subject, either from an imperfect perception of the growing evil, or perhaps from a reluctance to touch even with the finger of supposed innovation so august and venerable a fabric.” pp. 11-13.
The alarm respecting the safety of the establishment which has so generally prevailed, has been kept up by the writings of well-meaning •men, by whom various causes of danger have been assigned. The chief of these are Bible Societies, Lancasterian Schools, the active exertions of Sectaries, and the increase of Methodism; and, in consequence of these, the daily defection from the Establishment. Let us state at once, in an abridged form, what the author shall presently express at length, that he does not believe, either that any, or all of these taken together are the cause of the growing evil, or that the suppression of them all would remove it.
“ In the following pages it will be attempted not only to trace out the real cause of this Detection, but also to prove that a controuling power is possessed by the Government, and that upon the due exercise of that power the safety of the Church may depend." p. 16.
“ To remove these prevalent apprehensions from the theoretical and inefficient causes to which they have been assigned; and to ascertain, and fix the attention upon a more real and more decidedly operative source of danger: it is now proposed as a most satisfactory and decisive method, to appeal to the direct evidence of Fact, as deduced from a document of allowed and indisputable authority-the last Parochial Returns of Population, as laid before the House of Commons, and published by order of Parliament.
“ To give the extracts from this work their intended bearing upon the question, in ascertaining the chief ground, and indicating the probable means of averting the apprehended danger, it will be necessary that they should be preceded and accompanied by some illustrative observations, comprizing the following chief Points, to be considered in elucidation of this subject.
« The Mude in which the benefits of the Established Church are educed and communicated.
u The Provisions appropriated for that purpose.
u The Legislative Defect which is supposed to have occasioned the present danger of the Church.
“An induction of particulars from the Parliamentary Reports, showing the injurious effects which appear to bare resulted from that Defect.
« The Inferences from this statement of Facts,-tending to prove
“ That Bible Societies not bein; the chief carce of injury, their restraint or suppression would not remove the danger.
“ That the increase of Sectarian Methodism » Bot the cause, but á Consequence of the present state of the Church.
"That the Suciety for promoting Christian Knowledge, aed the Society for the establishment of National Schools, though admirable auxiliaries, are not, and cannot of theinselves be equal to the task of averting the threatening danger.
“ That the recent Acts relating to the residence of the Clergy, and the employment of Curates, lave not reached or eren lunchto f*n the source and cause of Danger.
" That the proposal for erecting one large Parochial Church in each of the present Parishes must be found a very inadequate remedy.
And that a Legislative enactment prescribing a Distribntime of the Popwation into appropriate Divisions, --supplying the means of public worship,-and providing for the useful and efficient discharge of the Pastoral uffices, in districts not bitherto so provided, is the most ceriain anıl only probable means of securing the stability and prosperity of the Established Church.” pp. 17-19.
The means by which the benefits of the Established Church are to be communicated are, religious instruction, which must be received by the mass of the People chiefly through the medium of Public Worship. But “ to give Public Worship its * full and beneficial effect, the necessary Duty devolves upon “ the State, of providing for a proper Division of the Country “ into Parishesy, a regular Ministry appointed and supported by « Law, and the Erection of sufficient and convenient Structures “ for the celebration of Divine Service."
A ministry appointed and supported by law. What does this mean?' Mr. Yates's usual perspicuity seems here to have failed him. The English clergy are appointed according to law - not by law. But the expression supported by law, is still more ambiguous. Does it not mean protected rather than maintained? If the former, the new clergy will be precisely on a footing with the ministers of private Chapels : if the latter, they must be beneficed ; and who can afford to do this ? 'The consideration of this alternative leads to anothi r consideration, which is of supreme importance, and to which we shall direct our attention before we close this article. It is this : Supposing a great a cession to be made to the number of the officiating clergy, will it be advantageous to the cause of sound religion that they should subsist on permanent incomos graifted by the state, rather
than on such as may annually be derived from those who compose their auditories ?-We go on with our author, whose geneneral object, and whose personal worth, give him a claim to a full hearing
Under the ascendancy of the Roman Catholic form of Religion in this Country, no deficiency in tivese respects appeared ; so lar otherwise, that it became necessary to the welfare of the Community to restrain the niisguided piety and zeal of those ages, and rescue the industry and productive exertions of the country from the torpid and benumbing effects of a superstitious and ignorant devotion, displayed in Expensive and External Forms.
“ But it is much to be lamented that, in applying a remedy to these esident and injurious abuses, an avaricious and sacrilegious violence was suffered to usurp the offices of justice, wisdom, and temperate reformy. The possessions of the Church were torn froin it with such an unsparing and indiscriminating hand, that many extensive Parishes were left totally destitute of the allotted maintenavce and support of Persons and Places necessary for Public Worship.
" And what is suill more to be lamented, the Legislators of that day-in their haste to cast the manule of legal authority over the atrocious excesses of plundering cupidity, and to sanction the spoliation and demo lition of what was then thought the too numerous structures of Religion, totally neglected to make any proper provision to supply the necessities consequent upon any change in the situation, or future increase in rbe Population." pp. 21, 22.
“ An Act was passed in the ninth year of Queen Anne to provide for the building of tilty new churches. But this wise and benevolent law, from some leticiency in the enactments, or rather perhaps from the building, being conducted on too expensive a scale, failed of its intended 'effect, and only about one fifih of the number, even then thought neces 'sary, were completed. Since that period this defect in the original formation of the vational church has been daily becoming more apparent.
“ An increase of habitations and an augmentation of population have heen gradually accumulating around the metropolis, and in many other districts, without any corresponding arrangements to secme for the established church the due administration of its offices. The parishes immediately surrounding the City of London, long after their original boundaries had been given to them, though of considerable extent, contained only a village population of one or two hundred souts, with a village church of sufficient capacity to accommodate the whole, under the care of a rector or vicar, whose personal knowledge of his flock rendered the discharge of his official duties advantageous both to them and to the state ; his instructions beneficial, and his residence a blessing.
“ These parishes remaming, for the most part the same in superficial extent, have increased in population to the almost incredible amount of thiay, forty, titty, and in one instance upwards of seventy thousand
souls, and no concomitant alteration has been made to provide for the instruction and superintendence of the established church." pp. 29–31.
This last paragraph contains a truth every way worthy the attention of the legislature. And here we think that we see much of the cause of that danger which has been ascribed to so many
other causes, and of which so many partialand insufficient remedies have been proposed. To obviate some part of the inconvenience arising from the want of churches, which had long been felt and complained of in almost every populous neighbourhood, the chapel system was introduced.' This system is shown to be in some respects injurious to the established church, and in no tiem spect an efficient remedy of the existing evil.
“ The chapels are built and conducted wholly as pecuniary and commercial speculations. The first object of the proprietors is to obtain the highest possible rent for the pews. Those who can pay liberally are accommodated; the poor are universally and wholly excluded." p. 54.
“The due administration of divine worship and pastoral offices depends more upon the number of the inhabitants than upon the extent of the district, and the ExorMOUS AND INCREASING DISPROPORTION of the numbers of inhabitants to the accredited means of instruction, may be ascertained with sufficient accuracy from the last parochial population returns made to Parliament; and it may give the statement the more satisfactory and undoubted authority, and remove from it every appearance of a confined or partial effect, if the review be extended to the several counties forming a circle of about 100 miles semi-diameter around the metropolis.
“ The average of each county being taken, will supply the easy means of forming a general average of the number allotted to each minister by the Church of England, according to its general practice, in those parishes that have not materially changed their character and circumstances during the last two centuries.” pp. 35—37.
An account of each county would occupy too much space ; but as a specimen of Mr. Yates's method of calculation, and especially as it is necessary to the understanding of what follows, we shall transcribe what he says respecting the county of Middlesex, and then give his recapitulation of the average numbers to one church in each of eighteen counties.
“ Middlesex: the total return is 130,615 houses, 953,976 inhabitants. To afford an idea at all approaching to accuracy, with respect to the proportional provision for public worship, this county must be considered in three parts: one comprising the country parishes; one the City of London; and one the parishes of augmented population, to be separately noticed as forining the increased part of the metropolis district. What may be termed the country parishes are contained in the three hundreds Elthorne, Spelthorne, and Gore; returning 6,106 bouses and 35,660 inhabitants, in 33 parishes : average, 185 houses, and 1,080 inhabitants to each parish.
“ The City of London, within the walls, returns 8,158 bouses, 55,484 inhabitants, in 97 parishes; but six being united to others, only 91 churches; average 30 houses and 610 persons, to each church.
"Recapitulation--Average Numbers to ONE CHuech in each of the 18 Counties of
HOUSES, PERSONS Herts
150 827 Beds
108 570 Berks
“ These nineteen considerable die Bucks
visions of the country taken together, Hants
110 622 give a GeneraI. AVERAGE OF ABOUT Sussex
ONE HUNDRED AND TEN HOUSES, AND Dorse:
Sis HUNDRED AND Forty PERSONS, to Oxford
153 916 one Parish Churck. This may therefore Northampton
469 be taken as the general opinion or rule Rutland.
of the Church of England in its present Huntingdon 73 410 practice, expressing the proportion of Cambridge 109 640 population allotted to one church, one Norfolk
72 405 minister, and one set of parish officers, Suffolk
in those districts where the population Essex
has not been immoderately augmented Kent
since the time of the reformation. Surrey
PP. 42–44. Middlesex
185 1080 City of London 90 610
The next thing is, to show how nearly the average numbers to one church in those districts, where the population has so enormously increased, corresponds with the average he has thus arrived at.
« These new and insufficiently provided districts are to be found in many parts of the country. But my present examination will be directed only to ascertain the extent to which these dangerous effects are produced in the district generally included under the term of the metropolis.
“ This, according to Mr. Rickman's statement in the Appendix to the Parliamentary Enumeration, includes all the parishes whose churches are about eight miles distant from St. Paul's Cathedral. And this circle is estimated to contain, according to the lasť return, including a twentyfifth part added for fluctuating population, ONE MILLION, Two HUNDRED AND TWENTY THOUSAND Inhabitants."
The City of London, he observes, is amply supplied with churches, ministers, and parish officers.
“ The present population, therefore, of the City of London, 55,484, with the addition of one twenty-fifth, making together 57,700, must therefore be deducted, leaving One Million ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-TWO THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED Inhabitants in the surrounding parishes to be the subject of present consideration. “ In this estimation the number of parishes is not specified, bu: it
appears intended to include in this remaining part of the metropolis, the district irregularly divided into the four following compartments :-The Village Parishes not within the Bills of MortalityThe City Parishes without the Walls—The City of Westminster-And the Out Parishes.
* This circle, according to the present distribution, includes sixty-four parishes in Middlesex, twenty-one in Surrey, four in Kent, and four in Essex; making together 93 parishes. This computation extends in