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Art. IX. A Sermon, Preached at the Opening of the Roman Ca.
tholi: Ch.p. 1 of St. Peter, at Cobridge, in the Staffordshire Pot. teries, on Sunday, April 20, 1817. By the Rev. Robert Rich
mond, of Caverswall Castle. Svo. pp. 40. THE text of this singular sermon, is Gen. xxviii. 27. “ This is
no other but the house of God, and the gate of heaven;"from which the preacher proposes to explain what particularly
constitutes a christian church “ the house of God, and the gate “ of heaven ;" and this character he informs us, it derives from the worship of 'Sacrifice performed within its walls.
Though Mr. Richmond assures us that it is neither the form of the building, nor its decorations, which make it the house of God, he appears by no means indifferent to the beauty and magnificence of cathedrals and other churches,' When he therefore remarks, that · The riches of the earth have been exhaust• ed, in order to render these edifices more splendid, and more
worthy of the Supreme Being,' he furnishes us with something very much in the shape of a contradiction. Before be allowed bis pen this liberty, he would have done well had be recollected that “God dwelleth not in temples made with hands," and that the “Godhead is not like unto gold, or silver, or “ stone, graven by art and man's device."
According to Mr. Richmond, it is the worship of sacrifice, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ himself upon the cross, continued among Roman Catholics, which gives dignity to a Christian Church, and essentially forms it into the house of God. He assures his brethren that they can never conduct themselves with the reverence due to God's house, unless they well understand the nature of the sacrifice which is offered within its walls. To correct their errors or prevent their mistakes, be therefore proceeds to describe the nature of the Mass and the tenet of Transubstantiation; and in this service he conducts himself as a true son of the Church of Rome, which has long founded its institutions on the maxim, that ignorance is the mother of devotion. The principal proof of the real presence is, Because such is the doctrine of the Catholic Church! So the Author assures us; and so complete, in his view, is this method of arriving at the truth, that he cannot forbear exclaiming-Ob! what a satisfaction it is to know that we are sure of
professing the truth, if we are careful to follow the direc• tions of the Catholic Church.' What a felicity it must be to follow, with blinded eyes and darkened minds, the guides provided by wicked Popes and Cardinals, and packed councils of lazy and luxurious or wrangling prelates ! 'Mr. Richmond is probably an intelligent man; but the delusions and mummeries of the Catholic Church,' must be kept up, and he labours is
the cause in a manner which would have done credit to the
"The Rev. Robert Richmond assured bis hearers, and now assures his readers, that when Christ said, ' This is my budy,' he really and truly meant that the bread which he held in his hands in the presence of his disciples, was really and truly his own flesh and blood, his proper and substantial body. So, when Jesus said, "I am the vine, it is, according to Mr Richinond's method of interpreting scripture, to be clearly and indefinitely uniterstood that Christ was a vine plant, from which branches proceeded, and which was beariug leaves and grapes : that when he said, “I am the door,' he was literally and truly a door used for passage from place to place. When Jeremiah says, ' Thy words were found of me und I did eat them,' it is, however difficult it inay he, to be understood that be employed his teeth upon words, precisely as he wonld upon bread or any kind of vegetable or animal food! Very probavly these absurdities had all been established dogmas in the Church of Rome, as is transubstantiation, could they bave been ma ie as subservient to the ends of lustful ambition and terrporal dominion. We pity Mr. Richmond and the deluded disciples of those who boast that they are apostles, but are not. Religion can never be a reasonable service, where it is not a worship offered by an enlightened faith.
The contributors to the erection of St. Peter's Chapel at Cobridge, cannot complain of misapplying their noney and labours, if it be true, as Mr Richmond asserts it is, that God will, for their assisting in the completion of a work wbich tends
so much to his honour, and to the salvation of souls,' besto. upon them an immense reward, and an additional increase of • heavenly glory! This, all this, it seenus, in addition to an
hundred-fold' in this lite, is promised by the Father of Mercies, to the benefactors of St. Peter's Chapel, Cobridge, for their contributions upon the present occasion.” We know nothing of such promises: perhaps this may be one of the points which is proved principally by its being a doctrine of the Romish Catholic Church, which can accommodate its doctrines and discipline to every purpose.
Art. X. Anecdotes of the Life of Richard Watson, Bishop of Landaff,
(Concluded from page 236). THE Regency Question, which excited in the year 1798 so
extraordinary a commotion in political parties, and gave rise to so, splendid a conflict of taleot between their respective leaders, was an occasion which imperatively summoned the Vol. IX. N. S.
Bishop to his parliamentary duties, and afforded him a fit opportunity for the manly assertion of his constitutional principles. Mi. Fox had maintained, in the debate which arose on the motion to appoint a committee to search the Jouruals for precedents, that when the sovereign from any causes becomes incapable of exercising his functions, the beir apparent has an indisputable
claim to the exercise of the executive power, although the two • Houses of Parliament were alone competent to pronounce when
he ought to take possession of the right.' Mr. Pitt, in reply, declared this doctrine to be little less than treason to the constitution, and said ' that the Prince of Wales had no more right to
assume the regency than any other nian in the kingdom bad.' These opposite sentiments were supported by the partisans of each side with great heat and animosity. When the business was so far advanced that a Bill was brought in for appointing the Prince of Wales Regent, with certain limitations in the ' exercise of his powers,' the Bishop came up to London for the purpose of delivering the Speech which he has carefully preserved, avowing himself to be desirous, from his confidence that the principles maintained in it are perfectly constitutional, to give it'this chance of going down to posterity.' It is of considerable length, extending to twenty pages, and bears all the marks of his clear and vigorous manner of thinking.
* I begin, my Lords, with advancing a proposition which will be denied by none; the proposition is this,--that the monarchical power of a King of Great Britain is not an arbitrary, but a fiduciary power ; a trust committed by the community at large to one individual, to be exercised by him in obedience to the law of the land, and in certain cases according to his own discretion, but in subserviency to the public good. This proposition is one of the most fundamental principles of our constitution, and of every free constitution in the world. Its truth cannot be questioned, and, its truth being adınitted, it seems to follow as a legitimate consequence, That whenever the individual to whom the community has committed the trust, shall become incapable of executing it, the trust itself ought to revert to the community at large, to be by them delegated, pro tempore, to some other person, for the same common end, the promotion of the common welfare. li might otherwise happen that one man's misfortune might become the occasion of all men's ruin. But if, during the present incapacity of the King, the trust which has been given to him, not for his benefit, but for the benefit of those who gave it to him, does in fact revert to the community, then may the community delegate, till the King's recovery, the whole or any part of that trust to whomsoever they think fit.
• Upon this or some such general ground of reasoning, I presume the proposition has been founded which maintains, that the Prince of Wales has no more right to the Regency, previous to the designation of the two Houses of Parliament, (which may be supposed to repre. sent the community at large,) than any other person.
• My Lords, I conceive this reasoning is not true; it would have been true had the law been absolutely silent as to what was to be eome of the trust, where he to whom it had been given became incapable of executing it: but the law is not silent on this point. case in which the King becomes incapable of executing the trust. committed to him, the law has clearly and positively said, No, the trust shall not revert to the community at large; the community perfectly understand the mischief which would attend such a reversion ; they will have nothing to do with it; it shall go according to an established order of succession, and it shall go entire to the heir. This is the express declaration of law, when the King becomes, by death, incapable of exercising the trust committed to him; and the analogy of law speaks precisely the same language in the present case; it says, No, the trust shall not revert to the community, it shall go pro tempore, and it shall go entire, to the next in succession to the Crown; it shall go to the Prince of Wales, who is of an age to receive, and of a capacity to execute the trust for the public good.
I say not, my Lords, that the Prince of Wales has a legal right to the trust; but I'do most firmly contend that he has such a title to it, as cannot be set aside without violating the strongest and most irrefragable analogy of law; and in what such analogy differs from law itself, I submit to your Lordships' mature consideration.'
After combating the policy of the proposed restrictions, which occupies the principal part, and is indeed the main object of the i speech, his lordship adverts to a distinction which had of late years arisen, and which he regarded as pregnant with inischief, a distinction into King's friends, and Prince's friends.'
• I have no ambition to be ranked among the King's friends, none to be ranked among the Prince of Wales's friends : but I have an am. bition, I have had it through life, and I shall carry it to my grave
with me,-it is an ambition to be ranked among the friends of the 1
whole House of Brunswick : and why, my Lords ? not from any private regard, but because the House of Brunswick is a friend to the civil and religious liberties of mankind; because, if we may augur concerning the future from an experience of the past, the House of Brunswick will ever continue to be friends to the constitution of the country, as defined and established at the Revolution.'
His Lordship's view of the limitation, was, that it amounted to a virtual suspension of a portion of the royal prerogative. The established prerogative of the Crown, he declared to be a part of the common law of the land; and he thought that the two Houses of Parliament bave no more right to suspend the law, than the King has. “The constitution is violated, let the sus-' pension be made by any power short of that which made the 'Jaw. He argued, that if the two Houses might suspend indefinitely, they might abolish perpetually, and abolisis, if any, all the prerogatives of the Crown, nay, the King himself. Speaking of himself, the Bishop asserted, that he wasó no friend to re
publican principles, none to prerogative principles, done to aristucatiu principles, but a warm, zealous, and determined
frieud 10 thai equilibrio of the three powers, on the preserva. tion of which depends the conservation of the finest constitution in the world.'
He adverts, in conclusion, to the question of the arrangement of the household, the intinence attached to which ought not, perhaps, he reinarked, to be permitted to exist at all; but while it does in fact exist, ought not to be dissevered from the executive govertuent.
• It is a great doubt with me, whether the influence of the Crown be not too great : but I have no doubt in saying, that the influence ought not to subsist any where but in the Crown. But I wdl not dwell upon this, for I agree with the noble lord who opened the debate, that we ought not to refer to the characters of the great personages to whom we have occasion to allude ; if this were allowable I would say,
that I think so well of the Queen, as to be under no manner of apprehension that she will ever put herself at the head of a party in opposition to the government of her son.'
Of the part which her Majesty is represented as having taken, subsequent to the King's recovery, the Bishop speaks with a freedom which be would not perhaps have thought it altogether decorous to use in a work to be published at the time, but which, so far as relates to the plain statement of the fact, it would be ridiculous to object to in a narrative like the present, intended to meet the public eye at so remote a period. Facts such as the Bishop adverts to, rauk among the most important illustrations of the domesiic history of a nation, and it is for want of an hopest chronicler like old Landalf, that many an instructive lesson which experience inight furnish, has been lost to posterity. It has been very industriously insinuated, that the Bishop's manuscript contained many exceptionable details relative to certain high and illustrious personages, which it was thought pradent to say press.
We believe this to be idle scandal; we judge so froin the character of the writer, as well as from the nature of the passages which the work contains : these the Editor, had he been actuated by any mean fears of offending, would not have risked; at the same time they seem to carry the appearance of containing the full expression of the Bishop's sentiments, and Jeave no room for suspicion that he was actuated by feelings which could seek gratification by perpetuating slander. The charge brought against him of a disposition to speak against kings aod queens, is a gratuitous calumny. Of the only king of whom ho has occasion to speak, he speaks loyally, though sometimes with a bluff honesty characteristic of the man; and he inserts several anecdotes illustrative of his Majesty's quickness of apprehension and sound understanding, which it was at one time, as he re