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ST. MARTIN OF TOURS. SIR,—As I live in the country, and my library is limited, I have it not in my power at once to refer to the books by an appeal to which your correspondent “ H.” justifies the evil character which he has given of the deceased Bishop of Tours. I am constrained therefore, for the present, at least, to leave him in undisturbed enjoyment of his success, in shewing that one whose memory has hitherto heen deemed worthy of respect was really undeserving of it. But may I venture to ask him, whether anything is gained to the cause of Christianity by bringing (gratuitously, and without any, at least apparent, occasion,) evil accusations, even though justly founded, against our deceased brethren, and raking up the ashes of one who has slept in his grave 1400 years, for the purpose of shewing that they are not free from stains of corruption? Will it not be better (except where duty or necessity obliges a different course) to leave the office of “accuser" to him whose name it is? I will say no more than to assure “ H.” that, in what he calls “allusions to himself,” in my former letter, I had, and could have, no intention of any personal disrespect to him. I merely meant it as a general argumentum ad hominem, whoever he might be, certainly, in this case, entirely ignotum mihi.
A RECTOR OF ST. MARTIN'S.
ON ECCLESIASTICAL DISCIPLINE. SIR,-Every one who has turned his attention to the defective state of ecclesiastical discipline in the church of England—the only point of attack which its adversaries can maintain-must be thankful, when they see, by such letters as those of “Miles” and “F. D.," in the February Number, that the minds of others are being awakened to the subject.
I hope your two excellent correspondents will forgive me for suggesting, that the most profitable way in which they can seek to promote the object they have in view, will be by communication with their bishop. They, who are the chief pastors of every parish within their respective dioceses, have the deepest interest, and the highest responsibility, for its state of discipline. If the members of their flocks, both clergy and laity, will but regard them, as they are, the fathers of their flocks, and communicate with them on occasions of doubt and difficulty, the best and happiest results may be expected. But if they are regarded as unapproachable,—which is most erroneous,—they are deprived of the opportunity of doing the good they might. I venture to recommend this course especially to “ F. D.,” because I am sure that he will find his hands strengthened, and his mind relieved, when he shall have availed himself of the advice of one whom God has placed over him, and to whose advice, in all cases of doubt, the rules of the church require him to have recourse.
It may be some satisfaction to “F. D.” to know, that I am speaking from personal experience. I view the point alluded to in his letter precisely as he does; and were I alone, and independent, and the responsible person, should be prepared to act accordingly, and, after due warning, and caution, and preparation, to carry it farther than, I conceive, “F. D.” contemplates. But my diocesan views it differently; and as he is the chief pastor of my parish, and I am bound, by every consideration and obligation, to follow his advice, (where the church has not decided to the contrary,) I feel perfectly relieved of the responsibility, and feel sure that I am but fulfilling the intention of the great Head of the church, by complying with the advice of him whom He has placed over me.
With regard to the arrangement at Keswick, is it not possible that the clergyman there is acting with the advice and sanction of his diocesan? If so, he is not, I conceive, offending against ecclesiastical order. Would it not have been better to have ascertained this point before holding him up as an irregular person ?
DIVINITY FELLOWSHIPS. Sir,--Your correspondent, who signs himself “A Cambridge Man," will be glad to read again, (for I presume I am only refreshing his memory,) that in former days great care was taken in regard to divinity fellowships in both our famous Universities. A book of articles, for ecclesiastical causes, concerning ministers, dispensations, &c., was offered to Parliament in 158+. The bishops answered each article in the book; the fourth of which relates to the point in question. To some of your readers this interesting historical document
be new. It is to be found in the third volume of Strype's “Annals,” and in the fourth of Wilkins's “ Concilia.”
The Fourth Article. " It is here to be provided, that where in certain colleges, and cathedral and collegiate churches, the foundation or statute requires such as are there placed to be ministers, it shall be lawful for such as are known to profess the study of divinity, or otherwise be lawfully dispensed withal, to retain, as before this act they might, any fellowship, or prebend, within the said colleges, notwithstanding they be no ministers.
“ The Answer of the Bishops to this Article :"I. This utterly
overthroweth the foundation and statutes of almost all the colleges in Cambridge and Oxford, being founded principally for the study of divinity, and increase of the number of learned preachers and ministers. And therefore, not only the master, provost, warden, president, &c., by the said foundation and statutes, are bounden to be ministers, but divers others also of such societies are likewise bounden to enter into the ministry by a certain time, or else to yield their places to others.
“II. It will deprive the church of England of the worthiest, best learned, and wisest ministers and preachers. For there is no comparison between such ministers and preachers as the universities continually yield, in respect of such foundations and statutes, and others, being no university men, or not entering into the ministry while they remained there; as at this day is notorious. For although there are divers that can preach, &c., yet they have no substanee of learning in them, neither are they able to stand with the adversary, either in pulpit or disputation-a thing as well required in a minister as exhortation is.
“III. If this device take place, where the universities yield now great number of preachers and ministers, they would not then yield one for twenty. And so the number of preachers, which are now thought to be very few, would then be inuch less; and at length the utter decay of the study of divinity, and the very next way to bring in popery and ignorance again.
“IV. It overthrows the degrees of the university, which are taken in divinity, as the batchelorship and doctorship; for even since the foundation of them both, it hath been perpetually used; and it is by statute required, that none should take any of these degrees, but such as are in the ministry ; and, indeed, it is both inconvenient and absurd that it should be otherwise.
“ V. At this day there are in the university of Cambridge an hundred preachers at the least, very worthy men; and not many less in the university of Oxford ; and the number daily increaseth in both, to the great benefit of the church. But if this (device) might take place within these seven years, there would not be five ministers in either of them.
“VI. It would cause men all their lifetime to remain in the universities, so that there should be no succession.
“ VII. It also overthroweth the foundation and statutes of all cathedral and collegiate churches, and taketh away the chief and principal reward for learned preachers; for the best livings for worthy men are in such churches.
“ VIII. It taketh away the wisest, best learned, and gravest divines, such as do and are most able to withstand, not only papists, but other sectaries also.
“IX. Every one, to keep these places, would openly profess the study of divinity, and secretly study the one law or the other, or physic, or some trifling study, all his life long.
" X. There will be no care of profiting when there is no trial thereof—which is most special by open preaching; which were absurd to be done by no ministers.
“XI. Any which hath been a student may, under pretence of studying divinity, without any trial, obtain deaneries, provostships, &c.”
There are six more exceptions, by the prelates, relating to preachers and the church service. They pronounce the article as intended to overthrow all colleges, and to extinguish the study of divinity.
Thus much as to the divinity fellowships. There is another of your correspondents, in the last Number also of your valuable miscellany, who is desirous to ascertain, from old parish-books and documents, information relating to burial fees. I beg to refer him to such information, in various particulars, throughout the curious volume entitled “ Illustrations of the Manners and Expenses of Ancient Times in England, in the Fifteenth, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth Centuries, deduced from the Accompts of Churchwardens, and other authentic Documents, &c.” 4to. Lond. 1797.
AN OXFORD Man.
ON CLERICAL SPORTING. SIR,—-It gave me the greatest pleasure to find that the subject of clerical sporting was taken up by one of the correspondents in your Number for February; and I trust that a subject of such urgent importance will not be suffered to drop without being fully discussed, and pressed upon the attention of the church. I respect the motive by which your correspondent “Observer” has been influenced in the use of the gentle and almost timid language with which he has introduced this subject; but I think that the exigency of the case is such as not only to justify, but to demand a higher and a louder note. He must be grievously insensible to the state of public feeling, and to its pressure upon the clerical members of the church, not to perceive that our very existence, as a national establishment, requires more than ordinary circumspection, diligence, and self-denial.' I confess that I
am among the number of those who consider “huntings, hawkings, dancings, taverns, and plays” unbecoming the clerical order, inconsistent with their sacred engagements, and at variance with the high and holy calling wherewith they are called.
But even taking lower ground, and supposing, for one moment, that the practices, which even the council of Trent denounced, were not evil, or at least were of a doubtful nature; yet, surely, something is due to public opinion, and it would be no very costly sacrifice to make to the church we love, if, in this hour of her difficulty and peril, her ministers were to lay aside pastimes which cause many of her most devoted friends to mourn, and the great body of her enemies to triumph. Most thankful shall I be if the attention which this subject excites among your readers cause any of our clergy to lay aside the recreations referred to, which are denounced by the large body of thoughtful people among ourselves, and are not tolerated in any other Christian community, and to expend the time and money which they have unprofitably consumed on more holy and more useful purposes.
SIR,—Your article upon CHURCH MATTERS, in the Number for February 1836, contains the following sentence with reference to Dr. Murray's use of the words “a Christian bishop,” as applied to Bishop Monk :-“ Will Dr. Murray honestly and openly say, that he believes any protestant bishop to be a bishop at all ?" Sir, Dr. Murray will not honestly or openly say any such thing—he cannot ; and I will shew him why in a very few words. Bishop Doyle decides the question for Dr. Murray, in his evidence before the House of Lords, on the 21st March, 1835 :
“Do the Roman catholic hierarchy of Ireland acknowledge the ordination in the protestant establishment to be carried on in an uninterrupted succession, as in the church of Rome ?- The ordination of bishops is one thing, and their mission, or spiritual jurisdiction, is another thing. We have some doubt with regard to the validity of ordination of English bishops of the establishment. That doubt does not arise from the manner of ordination, but it arises with regard to the valid ordination of one of the archbishops of Canterbury-I believe, Matthew Parker. It is a matter of fact, about which we cannot be well acquainted, and therefore a doubt remains on our minds. Then as to the mission which a bishop, when validly ordained, has, or has not. We do think that no bishop, outside the pale of the Roman catholic church, has this due mission."
What will Dr. Murray say to this ? Why does he apply a title which he does not acknowledge ? Upon the same principle as that
* This assertion is quite incorrect, in point of fact. Of course, the prevalence of a practice is no defence of it.- Eo.
by which he calls the Bishop of Gloucester to account for the use of language which, in the very same letter, he admits himself to be “persuaded that nothing in this world could have induced the bishop to utter." Effect is to be produced in the one instance by consenting, KPLOEwç kapıv, to charge a man with an imputation, in spite of his own self-conviction in that man's favour; and in another, by according to him, ad captandum, a title which he believes in his conscience that no bishop, “outside the pale of the Roman-catholic church," has a right to.
I subjoin, for more general purposes, the data upon which the doubt of thé Romish church concerning our episcopacy is grounded, from the same evidence :
“ The doubt you have stated respecting the English church rests upon a doubt, whether there was a direct succession ?-Yes, whether the person who undertook to consecrate Dr. Parker really was a bishop or not.
“ Whether there is not a link wanting in the episcopal succession ? -Yes; but we distinguish the succession of order from the succession of spiritual order, or mission. The succession of order we would recognise, were it not for this doubt ; but the succession of mission, or spiritual jurisdiction, in an ecclesiastical view, cannot be admitted by us, without denying the unity of the catholic church.”
Possibly one of your correspondents may have the means of communicating some information as to the state of the case in the consecration of Dr. Parker, who succeeded Reginald Pole in the archbishopric; the succession whereto stands thus :- Thos. Cranmer 1533. Reginald Pole, 1556. Matt. Parker, 1559. * W. F. P.
LAMARTINE'S PILGRIMAGE TO THE HOLY LAND. Sir,—Having, from those specimens of M. De Lamartine’s “ Devo. tional Poems” which have appeared in the “ British Magazine,” been led to form a favourable opinion of that author's religious opinions and feelings, I was much disappointed on meeting with the following most objectionable paragraph in his “ Pilgrimage to the Holy Land :"
“ Altogether the era of the prophets, considered historically, is one of the least intelligible eras of the life of this fugitive people. One perceives, however, and particularly in the epoch of Elijah, the key to the extraordinary organization of the community of prophets; they were evidently a holy and lettered class, always opposed to kings; the consecrated tribunes of the people, exciting or appeasing them with their songs, their parables, or their menaces ; forming factions in Israel, as the press and popular oratory does among us; struggling against each other, first with the weapon of their words, and next with lapidation and the sword; exterminating
The doubt refers to the old Nag's Head story; which, however, Dr. Doyle surely did not believe. Dr. Lingard has given it up. “ W. F. P.” will find the subject fully discussed in Mason's Vindicia, or Le Courayer. It was very well stated, shortly, in the Witness, an able paper, published at Sheffield, a few weeks