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sometimes occur, but the occurrence of which it is desirable to prevent as much as possible. For my own part, I always prefer consecrating twice, or three times if necessary, rather than run the risk of leaving more than myself, the clerk, or at most the churchwardens, can easily and without observation consume.
The custom observed in many places of offering the elements at the door of the church seems not amiss, but is not perhaps quite so closely in unison with the rubric.
Before I close I will just add, that I wish the archdeacons, or whoever has the power, would put a stop to the shameful practice of reading the Communion Service in the desk. One bad consequence is, that the space within the communion-rails is in many churches little better than a pigstye in respect of cleanliness, being made a complete lumber room, and cleared out only three or four times a year when the sacrament is administered. Before I was ordained I made a sort of resolution never, under any circumstances, to comply with this custom; and whenever I am called to officiate in any church where the custom exists I always make a practice of going to the altar, and reading the service there from my own pocket Prayer Book.
Are we not also too apt to forget that it is the clergyman's duty to place the elements on the altar himself, and not to leave it to the sexton ? I am, Sir, your obedient servant, A COUNTRY CURATE.
SIR,—There is hardly a diocese in this kingdom in which its bishop does not occasionally, if not constantly, stand in need of assistance in the discharge of those duties which are purely episcopal. And it is matter of surprise, that our church should not have provided for this want by the appointment of suffragan bishops,-a highly useful order of ministers, countenanced and authorized by the practice of the earlier ages of Christianity. In the diocese of Norwich we have long and severely felt this defect in our ecclesiastical establishment. Nothing is further from my intention than to impute blame to our late venerable diocesan; but, considering his great age and infirmities, and the extent of his diocese, consisting, till very lately, of nearly as many benefices as there are in the whole kingdom of Ireland, can any one imagine that his episcopal duties could be so efficiently performed as they would have been had he enjoyed the help of a suffragan residing in his bishopric, and well acquainted with its clergy and its business? The subject has occupied the attention of many friends to the church in this neighbourhood. They once hoped that the return of our East Indian bishops to their native country might in some degree supply the deficiency; and they were prepared, had opportunity been offered, to submit the question to the consideration of our governors in church and state. But, alas! the dreadful waste of life and energies in these pious martyrs cuts off all hope of assistance from that quarter.
My own attention has again been drawn to the subject by perusing
a letter to Sir Robert Peel, very lately published by the Dean of Norwich, recommending certain improvements in our cathedrals, calcu. lated to render them more subservient to the efficiency of our national church. Among other judicious observations, the writer adverts to one of the original and principal objects contemplated in the appointment of deans and chapters ; i. e., to their being a selected by the bishop as counsel and assistants to him.” If the ecclesiastical commissioners should deem the recommendations of the Dean of Norwich entitled to serious consideration, (and in my humble opinion they claim their best attention,) I hope they will not fail to deduce from one of his main propositions a corollary which naturally flows from it, and which it is the purpose of this letter respectfully to recommend. If a diocese wants a suffragan bishop, who so proper to fill that importaut office as the second dignitary in it; especially when by proposed arrangements his services can be obtained without money and without price? To preserve, however, unity in the church, it might still be left to the bishop to decide at what period, how far, and in what particulars, he would avail himself of these services. But it is obvious, that occasions would frequently arise in which they might be employed to the relief and comfort of the bishop himself, and with great benefit to his diocese.
CLERICUS NORFOLCIENSIS, Nov. 25th, 1837.
OBSERVANCE OF THE EMBER SEASONS. SIR, -After reading the Ecclesiastical Intelligence contained in the British Magazine for the present month, I am induced to make a few observations upon that neglect of ecclesiastical order which of late years has been gradually creeping into the church in regard to the solemn work of appointing men to the ministry.
Thus it appears, that in the months of September and October, there were four ordinations holden by four of our venerable prelates; namely, one on Sunday, September 24th ; two on Sunday, October 8th, and one on Sunday, October 15th. It also appears, that the Lord Bishop of Ely will hold an ordination on the 3rd of December, and that the Archbishop of York and Bishop of Hereford will hold ordinations on the 17th of the same month.
Now, from the thirty-first canon, it appears, that there are four solemn times appointed for the making of ministers; and from the general preface to the form and manner of making, ordaining, and consecrating of bishops, priests, and deacons, according to the order of the church of England, it appears, that only on some urgent occasion may a bishop admit any man to the ministry except at the times appointed in the canon.
Such, then, is the canonical law; and as I have hitherto believed that it has been generally obeyed, I have, according to the rubric, invariably read one of those beautiful prayers which are appointed for the ember weeks in behalf of those that are to be admitted into holy orders; but I now beg leave to ask, how can I with propriety comply
VOL. XIII.-Jan. 1838.
with the rubric during the ember season in December next, when my own venerable diocesan will have holden an ordination in the week immediately preceding that appointed by the canon, and when I shall, probably, be ignorant whether any ordination will be holden in any part of England at the lawfully appointed time? Surely, Sir, in the present critical state of our church, we are all, whether bishops or curates, specially bound to remind those congregations which have been, by God, committed to our charge, of their duty in every respect, otherwise we cannot reasonably hope that he will hear our prayers, so as to pour down upon us all the dew of his heavenly blessing. Surely, we are all bound to observe the ember seasons, as well as the other solemn fasts, and also the festivals of our church. And therefore I will, with your permission, take the liberty of referring to the explanation of the term “Ember Days,” &c., as given by R. Nelson, Esq., in his admirable “ Companion for the Fasts and Festivals of the Church of England":
" What are ember days?
“ Certain days set apart for consecrating to God the four seasons of the year, and for the imploring of his blessing, by fasting and prayer, upon the ordinations performed in the church at such times. And this in conformity to the practice of the apostles, who, when they separated persons for the work of the ministry, prayed and fasted before they laid on their bands. It will become us, therefore, to address heaven at this time after the same manner, that God would be pleased so to govern the mind of the bishops, that they may admit none into holy orders but such as are duly qualified for the discharge of that sacred function; and that those who shall be ordained to serve at the altar may, by their exemplary lives and zealous labours, turn many to righteousness.
“ When are these ember days observed in the church ?
“ At the four seasons of the year ; being the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the first Sunday in Lent, after Whitsunday, after the 14th of September, and after the 13th of December; it being enjoined by a canon of the church, that no deacons or ministers be ordained or made but only on the Sundays immediately fol. lowing these ember fasts.”
I am, Mr. Editor, yours obediently, M. Diocese of York, Nov. 11, 1837.
SUNDAY WAKES AND FEASTS. Sir, I am one of those who have too much reverence for antiquity to be pleased with change for mere innovation's sake, and earnestly desire that whatever has had its origin in piety and charity may be preserved so long as it continues to tend to holiness and good will among
The festivals of the church, which the reformers in their wisdom thought proper to retain, were doubtless intended to promote these good ends : and the insertion of the many names of saints and martyrs in the calendar offends me not. I am aware also of the mistake, to say no more of it, that was made by the puritans in their futile attempt to abolish the keeping of many days which the church has ever celebrated as high and holy, and will, I trust, continue to be regarded as such to the end of time. Besides these, there are many little ceremonies attached to times and seasons which are grateful to the eye, and convey a lesson to the heart. I live in a part of England which, being a remote and formerly a border country, still holds to the ob
servance of them. But along with these we have one usage which, though founded in religion, has been perverted to purposes most profane. Corruptio rei optima pessima. The wakes and feasts established in honour of the saints to whom the several churches were dedicated were intended to produce very different feelings and behaviour from those with which they are now celebrated, and have long degenerated into the most immoral and lawless meetings. I speak of them as they are kept here; for I do not travel far enough to know in what way they are kept in other parts. They are now confined to the peasantry, and those whose minds are of the most depraved cast, so that they are become a reproach to the church under whose sanction they were retained ;--for dissenters, I believe, rarely or never are found to attend them. They begin customarily on the sabbath, and in some places continue for several days, scenes of little better than drunkenness, dissolution, and outrage. I am far from wishing that the common people should be debarred from reasonable amusement upon proper occasions, if they could be brought to confine themselves to that which would promote health of body, and wholesome relaxation of mind; but we know by experience how little this is the practice of Englishmen. The poetical hypothesis of these assemblies may be captivating; but the reality is unquestionably most abominable. They are now grown to such a pitch as to be carried on in defiance of all order and law. We have a series of them which begin about May, and are continued to the end of autumn ; and the desecration of the sabbath, the demoralization of servants of both sexes, the brawling and loss of life that they occasion, are hardly to be credited. The spirit in which they are carried on in one respect reminds me of that of the northern borderers in good Gilpin's days. Challenges are previously given and accepted, and old grudges are fought out at these feasts: not unfrequently it ends in the death of one of the parties; and very recently cases have occurred which have approached nearer to murder than manslaughter. The common parochial authorities are overpowered; the clergy who interfere are exposed to insult and assault; and the whole of the well disposed part of the country, who suffer from these meetings, are loud in their complaints against them. Some attempts have been made to procure their abolition, without success. a formal representation was made to the magistrates of one of the districts, who upon mature deliberation declared they had no power to put them down. My object in requesting you to do me the favour of inserting this communication, is to ask some of your correspondents whether in other parts of England where feasts and wakes may continue to be held, the nuisance has been found equal to this,---whether any and what attempts have been made to obtain a remedy,—what is the best method to adopt in endeavouring to obtain it,—and what means have been found in any way most successful for the correction, I should rather say abolition, of such occasions of disorder. I remain, Sir, your obedient humble servant,
SILUR. Nov. 9th, 1837. P.S. I venture to add that early information will be most acceptable.
ON THE MOST APPROPRIATE APPELLATION OF MEMBERS OF THE
CHURCH OF ROME.
SIR, Professors of the Roman communion, the most slenderly informed on the subject of their own faith, must know, that the highest place for importance, honour, and authority, is in their church given to the individual whom they call emphatically the Pope, the Vicar of Christ, the universal pastor and ruler, the sole successor of the Prince of the apostles, the head, the rock, the centre, the sun of their whole system—in one word, the sovereign lord of Christendom. The superhuman, the almost divine, dignity of this personage has been felt, acknowledged, and gloried in, by many of his subjects, even in later times; and they have claimed it as their most honourable distinction, to be named from him. The profession of Baronius, in his Martyrology, Oct. 16, has frequently been appealed to, and is remarkableSint igitur nobis viventibus hæc semper præconia laudum, et post mortem tituli sepulchrales, ut Romani sic semper dicamur atque Papista. Whatever might be the design of those who applied the name, in his own view it was highly honourable, and for the obvious reason. But my principal reason for the present communication is, to introduce to yourself and your readers another declaration to the same effect, far less familiar. The Life of Cardinal Hosius, Bishop of Warmia, and Legate at the concluding sessions of the Council of Trent, was written by Stanislaus Rescius, Apostolic Protonotary, and published at Rome 1587. My edition is that printed Typis Monast. S. 0. C. Olive Anno 1690. In Lib. i. cap. xix. pp. 82, 83, the biographer introduces his hero as answering the observation of the protestant Duke of Brandenburg in a conference, Quantum video, tu velles me facere Papistam, in the following manner : Ego, inquit, profiteor me esse Christianum, postea Papistam, deinde Registam, et si natus essem in ditione tua, non erubescam profiteri me Ducistam. And then, naturally enough, after expatiating in high praises of his great spiritual sovereign, he adds Proinde me non offendi, verum etiam laudi ducere, si quis me vocet primum Christianum, deinde Papistam, postea Registam. Again, Lib. iii. cap. xviii. p. 371, the Cardinal, in his last will and testament, is reported as enouncing—Quicunque tecum, Pie Pontifex, non colligit, spargit ; qui Christi non est, Antichristi est. Qui Papista non est, Sathanista est—and, after a few intervening words,nullum vel gloriosius, vel salutare magis nomen mihi tribui posse persuasum habeo, quam si Papista vocer. Now, I would respectfully request the members of the Romish church, if they really feel hurt by the appellation of papist, to supply us with some other equivalent name; unless they would be understood altogether to repudiate the supreme head of their church, and considerate the imputation of any connexion with him a disgrace and insult. It will not do to say that in this country the name is used opprobriously; for the very individuals cited above were in the same predicament; they knew and asserted that the term was in their time applied by their opponents as a term of reproach. But they did not shrink from it on that account: they, very consistently and honourably, in that respect, came forward with an open