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cumstances pointed out in our friend's and we wish, at present, to offer a few letter, which, as they had previously remarks upon the last. occurred to ourselves, we shall treat That there is anything essentially as our own. We beg of him, however, wrong in hindering persons from anto accept our best thanks for his com- swering for a child at the font till after munication; and to rest satisfied, that they have themselves received the sano exertion shall be wanting on our crament, we are very far from desiring parts to fulfil his expectations. We to assent; the only question is, how beg also to acknowledge the receipt of has the injunction been attended to, a tract by Dr Millar of Armagh, to or rather, how can it be attended to in which we shall give our most atten- the existing state of society? It is a tive consideration.
well-known fact, that if out of a paHaving thus disposed of the remarks rish containing fifteen hundred or of others, we proceed to offer a few of two thousand inhabitants, two huna our own.
dred persons are to be found, who reIn our paper upon the Book of gularly or even occasionally receive Common Prayer, the only notice which the sacrament, the number of com we took of the sacraments, as admin- municants is in that parish very great; istered in the Church of England, had in the generality of parishes we believe reference to the mode of administra. the number to be much less. The tion enjoined in the Rubrick. Speak- average number of christenings, howing of baptism, in particular, we ob- ever, in parishes of this population, jected strongly to the rule in force re- may be taken at one hundred, or one specting sponsors, by which parents hundred and fifty per annum. Now, are positively excluded from answer. as each child requires three sponsors ing for their own children. Our at the least, two god-fathers and one reasons for objecting to this arrange. god-mother if a boy, two god-mothers ment were these, that in consequence and one god-father, if a girl, it is of it, the offices of god-father and clear, that were none but communigod-mother have ceased to be other cants admitted to discharge the office, than nominal ; that persons daily each would find himself called upon pledge themselves to a duty which to undertake the most serious charge they have no means of fulfilling ; and which a christian man is ever called that great inconvenience frequently upon to undertake, twice, if not three arises from the unwillingness of a times every year. Were that man deman's neighbours to connect them- sirous of fulfilling his duty, and did selves so intimately with him and his the law of the land permit him to refamily. These are very weighty ob- deem a pledge so solemnly given, it is jections; but they are not, perhaps, self-evident that the most common the most weighty that may be offered; attention to his own affairs must hinthey certainly tend not, in the same der him from obeying his inclinations ; degree with those which we are now whereas, in the present posture of afabout to enumerate, to hold up our fairs, each communicant, were the venerable establishment to the scorn of canon rigidly enforced, would be remankind as a mass of contradictions quired to perjure himself-that is and absurdities. The following is the all-ever and anon, in order to secanon in force relative to the matter cure for the children of the parish now before us.
the benefits of Christian baptísm. Com“ No parent shall be urged to be municants, however, 1 are, generally present, nor be admitted to answer as speaking, the most serious and rightgod-father for his own child; nor any minded members of the Church. god-father or god-mother shall be They consequently hesitate to undersuffered to make any other answer or - take a charge, which they are quite speech, than by the Book of Common aware it will not be in their power to Prayer is prescribed in that behalf; fulfil; and hence the form, for it has neither shall any person be admitted become nothing better than a form, of god-father or god-mother to any child standing for infants, as it is called, is alat christening or confirmation, before most universally left to men and women, the said person so undertaking hath re- the great majority of whom neither ceived the holy communion.” Of the first know nor care anything about the matclauses in this canon we have already ter. We have ourselves seen an infant said enough to show the impropriety, presented to the priest, and all the custo*mary declarations made, by a man land or Geneva, regard baptism as whose contempt for religion was well valid, only when it has been conferred known, but whom the parent select- by a Priest or Deacon Canonically, ed because he was rich, and because that is Episcopally ordained. Though, he hoped that the rich infidels god- therefore, these gentlemen may, and, son might be remembered in his will. we presume, do, universally encourage
There are very mischievous conse- the hope, that the circumstance of haquences arising out of a regulation, ving been baptised by a Presbyterian certainly not enjoined in scripture Minister will not stand in the way of either by precept or example.
a man's acceptance hereafter, who has Nor does the evil rest here. The laboured “ to work out his own salvaclergy, to a man, feel the impractica- tion with fear and trembling,” we "bility of acting up to the canon ; they presume at the same time, that they consequently seldom scruple about ne- would not willingly admit to the Lord's glecting it. Some do so openly. They table any individual thus baptised. receive parents and strangers indis- This may be called bigotry; but this criminately, and perhaps they do is the doctrine of the Church ; unless, right; but there are others of more indeed, which we by no means contender conscience, over whom the re- ceive to be the case, the Church acflection has considerable weight, that knowledges the validity of lay-bapprevious to this ordination they solemn- tism. How then must the clergyman ly swore to obey the canons, and can- act when the individual dies, whom not therefore violate them with im- in his life-time he never regarded as punity. How do they proceed? Why, a member of the Church, nor consethus: Knowing perfectly well that it quently as his brother ? Why, he dare is the father of the child who presents not refuse to read over his corpse the him, and that he presents him in his very same form of words which he own proper person, they yet affect not reads over the corpses of the most to know this. They presume that he pious and most popular of his own stands as proxy for some absent flock; and the body of a man, which, friend. How much is it to be re. when animated by the spirit, never gretted, that Christian ministers should entered the Church at all, must now be driven to such alternatives, and be carried within its walls, and from Christianity itself exposed to ridicule, thence to the grave, with all the pomp by the pertinacious retention of a law, and solemnity which usually attends erroneous in its principle from the the English burial-service. We look first, and now generally acknowledged upon this as an extreme hardship imto be such.
posed upon the English clergy; but Again, it is distinctly asserted in it is not the greatest hardship to which the Church Catechism, that “ Christ they are subjected. hath ordained two sacraments as ge
It is well known to all our readers nerally necessary to salvation, that is that the Quakers never baptise at all ; to say, Baptism and the Supper of aud that Baptists defer their ceremony the Lord. In the baptismal ser
till after the catechumen shall have vice likewise, certain expressions are arrived at years of discretion. The used, which convey the idea, that dipping of a Baptist must, however, by a due reception of that rite, and by in the eyes of an English clergyman, alms, persons
“ born in sin, and the have exactly the same value with the children of wrath, are made the chil. baptism conferred by a Presbyterian dren of grace.
What the Church of divine. Those, therefore, whose igEngland means by this phrase we norance of the constitution of the take it not upon us to determine; Church, or indifference to it, leads but we presume it has some meaning, them to consider the person baptised and the obvious meaning undoubtedly by a minister of the Kirk, as canonis, that there is no assurance of salva- ically admitted into Christ's Church, tion to any person who has not par- cannot possibly deny the same privitaken of that initiatory sacrament. ledge to the person dipped by the We believe likewise, that such of the Baptists; hence he who experiences clergy of the English Church as know no reluctance to read the burial-serwhy they are members of that Church vice over the body of the first, will rather than of the Churches of Scot- experience none in reading it over the
body of the last. But the Baptist nicated ipso facto, and not restored but may die before he has been dipped ; only by the Archbishop, after his tethe case, indeed, occurs daily. May pentance, and public revocation of this the clergyman refuse to say of him, his wicked errors.” There is not a sect that he "rests in sure and certain hope of Dissenters in the kingdom by whom of the resurrection of eternal life, the above assertion is not made ; yet that “ God hath taken unto himself all are entitled to burial according to the soul of his dear brother?” &c. &c. the forms of the established church. He may refuse, no doubt, if he be so 4. “ Whoever shall hereafter affirm, disposed, but the certain reward of that the form of God's worship in the his refusal will be, not the thanks of Church of England, established by the Bishops and the praise of his law, and contained in the Book of brethren, but the penalty of a pre- Common Prayer, and Administration munire. What must an inquiring of the Sacraments, is a corrupt superage like the present think of all this? stition, or unlawful worship of God,
But we have not yet done with the or containeth anything in it that is reburial-service, as it connects itself with pugnant to the scriptures, let him be the canons and other formularies of excommunicated ipso facto, and not the English Church. Let our readers restored, but by the Bishop of the bear in mind, that one of the penal- place, or Archbishop, after his repentties of excommunication is the denial ance, and public revocation of such of Christian burial to the body of the his wicked errors.” excommunicated person. Let them 5. “Whoever shall hereafter affirm, farther bear in mind, that every cler- that any of the nine-and-thirty articles gyman of the English Church takes a agreed upon by the Archbishops and solemn oath, at his ordination, that he Bishops of both provinces, and the will act in obedience to the laws or whole Clergy, in the convocation holdcanons of the Church, into whose mi- en at London, in the year of our Lord nistry he has entered. Let them keep one thousand five hundred and sixtythis in mind, and then read the follow two, for avoiding diversities of opiing extracts from the book of canons, nions, and for the establishing of conenacted by convocation, sanctioned sent touching true religion, are in any by the King, and still in force. We part superstitious or erroneous, or should apologize for the length of our such as he may not with a good conextracts, did we not feel that the mat- science subseribe unto, let him be exter ought to be looked at connectedly communicated ipso facto, and not reor not at all.
stored, but only by the Archbishop, 2. “Whoever shall hereafter affirm, after his repentance, and public revothat the King's Majesty has not the cation of such his wicked errors. same authority in causes ecclesiasti- 6. “ Whosoever shall hereafter afcal, that the godly kings had amongst firm, that the rites and ceremonies of the Jews and Christian Emperors of the Church of England, by law estathe primitive Church, or impeach any blished, are wicked, anti-Christian, or part of his regal supremacy in the said superstitious, or such as, being comcauses restored to the crown, and by manded by lawful authority, men who the laws of this realm therein establish- are zealously and godly affected may ed, let him be excommunicated ipso not with any good conscience approve facto, and not restored but only by the them, use them, or, as occasion requis Archbishop, after his repentance, and reth, subscribe unto them, let him be public revocation of those his wicked excommunicated ipso facto, and not errors:" Is there a Roman Catholic restored until he repent, and publicly in the empire who does not deny all revoke such his wicked errors. this ? and may a Clergyman of the 7.“ Whoever shall hereafter affirm, Church of England refuse to read over that the government of the Church of him the burial-service? The laws of England under his Majesty, by Archthe land say no.
bishops, Bishops, Deans, Archdeacons, 3.“ Whosoever shall hereafter affirm, and the rest that bear office in the that the Church of England, by law same, is anti-Christian and repugnant established under the King's Majesty, to the word of God, let him be exis not a true and apostolic Church, communicated ipso facto, and so conteaching and maintaining the doctrine tinue until he repent, and publicly of the apostles, let him be excommu- revoke such his wicked errors.' Vol. XIX.
8.“ Whosoever shall hereafter af- his repentance and public revocation firm or teach, that the form and man- of such his wicked errors. ner of making and consecrating Bi- 12. " Whosoever shall hereafter afshops, Priests, or Deacons, containeth firm, that it is lawful for any sort of anything in it that is repugnant to the ministers and lay-persons, or of either word of God, or that they who are of them, to join together and make made Bishops, Priests, or Deacons, in rules, orders, or constitutions in causes that form, are not lawfully made, nor ecclesiastical, without the King's auought to be accounted, either by them- thority, and shall submit themselves selves or others, to be truly either to be ruled and governed by them, Bishops, Priests, or Deacons, until they let them be excommunicated ipso have some other calling to those di- facto, and not be restored until they vine offices, let him be excommunica- repent, and publicly revoke those their ted ipso facto, not to be restored until wicked and anabaptistical errors.” he repent, and publicly revoke such Such are eleven out of the twelve his wicked errors.”
first or leading canons of the English 9. “ Whoever shall hereafter sepa- Church. We have not transcribed rate themselves from the communion them without great pain to ourselves, of saints, as it is approved by the and we venture to say that their peApostles' rules in the Church of Eng- rusal will cause great pain to our readland, and combine themselves together ers,—at least to that portion of them in a new brotherhood, accounting the who, like ourselves, wish well to the Christians who are conformable to the religion of their fathers. It will be doctrine, government, rites, and cere- seen, that they are so framed as to monies of the Church of England, to place under the ban of excommunicabe profane and unmeet for them to tion every sect and denomination of join with in Christian profession, let persons, except such as continue withthem be excommunicated ipso facto, in the pale of the established Church; and not restored, but by the Arch- for an excommunication ipso facto bishop, after their repentance, and needs not a formal pronunciation to public revocation of such their wicked render it effective. Of this Archbishop
Wake, in his “ Appeal in behalf of 10. “ Whosoever shall hereafter the King's Supremacy,” has distinctly affirm, that such ministers as refuse to assured us, where it is plainly declasubscribe to the form and manner of red, that " there is no need, in this God's worship in the Church of Eng- case, of any admonition, as where the land, prescribed in the Communion- judge is to give sentence; but every Book, and their adherents, may truly one is to take notice of the law at his take unto them the name of another peril, and to see that he be not overchurch, not established by law, and taken by it. And, secondly, that there dare presume to publish it, that this is no need of any sentence to be protheir pretended church hath of long nounced which the canon itself hath time groaned under the burthen of passed, and which is, by that means, certain grievances imposed upon it, or already promulged upon every one as by the members thereof before-men- soon as he comes within the obligation tioned, by the Church of England, of it. In other cases, a man may do and the orders and constitutions there things worthy of censure, and yet bein by law established, let them be have himself so warily as to escape the excommunicated, and not restored, punishment of the Church, for want until they repent and publicly revoke of legal evidence to convict him. But such their wicked errors.”
excommunicatio canonis, ligat etiam 11. “ Whosoever shall hereafter af- occulta delicta. Where the canon gives firm or maintain, that there are within sentence, there is no escaping ; but this realm other meetings, assemblies, the conscience of every man becomes or congregations of the King's born obliged by it, as soon as ever he is sensubjects, than such as by the laws of sible that he has done that which was this land are held and allowed, which forbidden, under the pain of such an may rightly challenge to themselves excommunication.” the name of true and lawful churches; The Church of England has been let him be excommunicated, and not severely censured for ever giving her restored but by the Archbishop, after sanction to enactments so dogmatical
or uncharitable. It is not on this class, no serious person can think withground that we are disposed to take out horror. the matter up. No doubt, the canons Every man, without exception, who breathe a spirit very little in accord- wished to qualify, as it is termed, for ance with the liberal temper of the the situation of a member of Parliapresent times ; but of the liberality of ment, a magistrate, or other responsithe present times we are no admirers. ble trust, was originally required to In nine cases out of ten, it expends it receive the sacrament in a parish self in mere words; and in the tenth church, and at the hands of an estacase it runs wild into licentiousness. blished minister, at least twice within The matter to which we are desirous the six months preceding his appointof drawing the attention of the public ment. Among members of Parliament is the positive contrariety—the down- this proceeding is now abolished, an right hostility-between the ecclesias- act of indemnity passing every session tical and common law of the land. -in plain language, the test-law being The Church has declared all sectaries every session repealed; but we are misand dissenters, whether Popish or Pro- taken if the force of that repeal extend testant, excommunicate, and accord- to county magistrates. Be this, howingly unfit to receive Christian burial. ever, as it may, any person, no matter The ministers of the Church swear to what his character may be, who depay attention to that order. Then sires to hold a public situation, may comes the common law, which de- present himself before the altar, and clares, that unless they disregard the demand the sacrament. By canon 26, rules of their body, and violate their however, it is enacted, and most proown oaths, they shall be liable to heavy perly enacted, that “no minister shall penalties. God help poor Church in in anywise admit to the receiving of a struggle so unequal!
the holy communion any of his cure All this is very bad ; but the sub- or flock which he openly knows to ject of which we are now going to live in sin notorious, without repenttreat is a thousand degrees worse. At ance.” Nay, so far does the canon go, the period when the struggle between that even persons having a quarrel the Reformed and Popish Churches with other persons are excluded, till was at its height, or rather just after after such difference shall have been the former had gained the ascendency composed. Can the clergymen obey in these realms, it occurred to the the canon? We fear not.
We are heads of the nation, that the best much afraid, that he who should remeans of preserving that ascendency fuse to comply with the request of the would be to exclude from all share in applicant, applying for the political the government, and indeed from all purpose above referred to, would find public and responsible offices, such no shelter in the scandalous behaviour persons as were not willing to conform of him whom he had rejected. By to the religion established by law. In such rejection the state might lose an its principle the resolution was a wise able officer, and what is the respectaone. It is sheer folly to talk of the bility of the Church when put in comnatural right of every man to enjoy petition with such a misfortune? Noplaces of temporal power and influence, thing at all. The terrors of a premuwithout respect being had to his reli- nire hang over the priest's head, and gious opinions. There is no separate to avoid these he must set the canon ing a man's religious from his political at defiance. principles; and he who owns a foreign We are the last persons in the world master in spiritual affairs, will find it who would desire to stir up animosity a hard matter to persuade us that he between the civil and ecclesiastical godenies to his spiritual master the vernments of the country ; we should right of interference in affairs tempo- be extremely sorry to see the two ral. The soul and the body are not branches of the constitution separated, more closely linked together than a or the Church made entirely indepenman’s religious and political prejudices. dent of the state. Long may the Of the resolution itself, then, we think King of these Islands be "in all causes, very highly; but of the test applied and over all persons, ecclesiastical as of the method adopted for determin- well as temporal, supreme.” But the ing whether or not the applicant for state of utter slavery into which the honour came within the privileged Church has fallen cannot be kept sc