Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

persuasion. But here the fallacy is no less manifest ; for it is of the essence of society to controul and supersede natural rights, so far as they are at variance with the general welfare. On such grounds, however, attempts are often made to procure a repeal of those test laws, which have been hitherto deemed essential to the safety of the Established Church, and which were enacted upon the obviously wise principle, suggested by reason, and founded in the nature of man, that it is incompatible with the safety of a national Church, to entrust the power of the State to persons not in communion with that Church, because such persons may naturally be expected to employ that power, for the subversion of an establishment to which they cannot but be unfriendly, and in promoting the ascendancy of their own religion.

Deeply impressed with a sense of the dangers which thus menace the Church, a society has been formed under the denomination of “ The Society for the Support of the Constitution in Church and State." The immediate object of this society is the defence of the ecclesiastical part of the Constitution. But, as the two parts of this noble fabric are so mutually dependant on each other, that neither can subsist alone, whatever promotes the security of either, must so far conduce to that of the whole. A society formed for the defence of the Church may, therefore, be properly said to have for its object the support of the whole Constitution.

As onion inspires confidence, and produces strength, it is reasonable to hope that the very existence of such an association, will conduce to the safety of the Establishment. What particular exertions may be called for on the part of the new society, must depend upon the exigencies of the moment. · A society formed for the security of the Church, will naturally employ its utmost efforts to prevent a repeal of those laws, which have hitherto been found essential 10 such security. Resistance to the claims of the Roman Catholics will be, therefore, an object of primary attention ; for those claims, besides involving the incalculable mischief, inseparable from the admission of Papists' to the exercise of all functions, legislative and executive, in a Protestant country, lead, by necessary consequence, to an abandonment of the whole system of Test Laws. In a word, no effort to afford security to the Establishment, or protection to its members, in cases where its general interests are concerned, will be foreign to the purposes of this association.

After what has been stated, it can scarcely be necessary to declare, that the object of this association is purely defensive :--it is the preservation of the Church, as an establishment of the country, as an essential part of the Constitution. We feel it, however, due to ourselves to declare, that the motive by which we are actuated, is to promote the true interests of Christianity' itself, which, in our opinion, are inseparably connected, in this country, with the preservation of that pure part of the Christian Church, which is providentially established among us. Nor should it be forgotten, that, by providing for the defence of the Establish ed Church, we consult the safety of the monarchical government, which, us direful expericoce has proved, cannot long survive the dissolution of the connection between the Church and the State. We consider ourselves also as guarding the right of religious toleration, the security of which mainly depends upon the stability of the Established Church.

In pursuit of the object, for which we thus associate, it will be our en, deavour to diffuso just principles, to remove prejudice, to refute error, and to expose misrepresentations, on subjects relating to the Establisbment. Works of acknowledged merit, written at former periods, and calculated to produce such effects, will be reprinted or encouraged. But no publication will be considered as coming within the views of this Socie. 'y, which is not directed to the defence of the Established Church.

Much of the benefit to be hoped from this Society, will be derived from its furnishing in the metropolis, a centre of union to the true friends of the Established Church ; with whom, by means of a committee in London, communications may be maintained upon all matters affecting the general security of the Establishment. Having this security for its sole object, the society will not interfere with any other societies formed for particular purposes, however congenial. For the education of the poor in the principles of the Established Church, the National Society als ready provid». For the distribution of religious works, containing and explaining ihe doctrines of the Established Church the Society for promo. ting Christian Knowledge, already provides. For these purposes, there. fore, no new society can be wanted. But the society Dow proposed has a very different object in view. Though its motives are religious, though it segards the intrinsic excellence of our religion, as the inducement for wishing it to remain an integral part of the Constitution, yet its plan of operation is desigoed, not to instruct the people in the doctrines of our religion (a charge which it leaves entirely to that society which has se long, aod so faithfully, conducted it), but in the constitutional principles of our Church Establishment. It is, indeed, its political Establishment, wbich, at the present crisis, requires peculiar support. The fences and the safeguards of that Constitution are the things which now require to be upholden; we now want to be secured from the danger of losing the pro. tection of the law. And since the state is so connected with the Church, that the defence of the one is the defence of the other, the society thus de fending the establishment will be aptly entitled, the “ Society for the Support of the Constitution in Church and State."

At a meeling holden at Mr. J.J. Stockdale's, No. 41, Pall-Mall, on Satur

day, March 26, 1813,-It was resolved

1. That, holding, as we do, our establishment in Church and State in the highest veneration, and impressed with the deepest gratitude fot the blessings we enjoy under it, and deprecating all change in the essential principles of the Constitution; we, being desirous of promoting its permanent stability, by means specified in the following resolations, do resolve to form ourselves into a society for that purpose, under the de nomination of the Society for the Support of the Constitution in Church and State."

2. That the general objects of this society, are, to promote the security, and support the general rights of the Church ; --and, for these purposes, to form in the Metropolis a centre of union with all friends to the Established Church, on Principles of Charity with all denominations of Chris tians, but of inflexible adherence to the Established Church.

3. That, considering the exertions, which are now making by the Rox man Catholics, for obtaining a repeal of such laws as were deemed by our ancestors necessary for maintaining the Protestant Establishment in Church and State, we consider the danger, which threatens the Church from this source, an object of primary attention.

4. That tbis society, not being formed on the supposition that other societies, friendly to the Established Church, are inadequate to their several purposes, but to pursue objects which do not come within the view of such societies, will, in no respect, interfere either with the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, or with the Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church.

5. That this society, when constituted, will reprint scarce and valuable treatises, tending to show the grounds of our Ecclesiastical Establishment,-ibe aid, which it derives from, and affords to, the State,-the arguments by which the usefulness and necessity of Ecclesiastical Establishments may be defended---the superior excellence of ibat under which we live, as a National Establishment,- the means by which it may be maintained and supported, ---the dangers which immediately threaten it, and the means of averting them, -the origin and extent of its righis and immunities, the true nature of toleration, and the protection whicla religious liberty necessarily derives from the preservation of the Church of England, -the relation which subsists between the Clergy and Laity,-ibe peculiar duties of both at peculiar junctures; and will give an extended circulation to treatises which have these objects in view.

6. That the following form of recommendation be observed for the admission of Members into this society. “We, the an Perwritten, do : Vol. I. [Prof. Adv. April, 1813.]

recommend A. B. to be a Member of the Society for the Support of the Constitution in Church and State, and do verily believe that he is well affected to His Majesty King George and his Government, and to the Church of England as by law established."

7. That persons, members of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, are eligible to be balloted for as members of this Society, without further recommendation, and that a subscription of one guinea, or upwards, annually, or a donation of ten guiocas, or upwards, shall entitle any person, so elected, to be a member of this society.

8. That no ballot shall take place for any new member, without notice has been given at one meeting before that at which the ballot shall take place, and that a minority of one-fifth shall be sufficient to exclude.

9. That this society do not meet from the beginning of July to the be• ginning of December.

10. That this society meet once a fortnight, excepting within the period above mentioned, and that Saturday be the day of meeting.

11. Resolved, That Wm. Wix, Esq. F.R.S. be requested to take the office of Treasurer.

12. Resolved, That the Rev. Samuel Wix, A. M. be the Secretary.

13. The committee meetings of the Society will be held at Mr. J.J. STOCKDALE's, 41, Pall-Mall.

14. Communications to this Society may be addressed to the Rev. SaMUEL W1x, St. Bartholomew's Hospital, Secretary to the Society, or to Mr. J. J. STOCKDALE, No. 41, Pall. Mall.

ERRATA IN OUR LAST.

erroneous.

Page 312.- For “ Lord Viscount Middleton"--" read Midleton.

Page 336.-" The bailiff and inhabitants of Penrhyn, (petitioned Parliament,) with 8000 signatures [to their petition.]"---This statement is

There are not so many inhabitants in Penrhyn; perhaps not more than 3000. The meeting was numerous, and the petition, voted with only three dissentient voices, was signed by the Mayor in the name of those who attended. We make this correction on unquestionable, and most highly respected authority.

Page 329.- For—" The religion of the Papists is superstitious and idoJatrous ; their faith and doctrine erroneous and heretical; their Church, in respect of both, apostolical;"-read, apostatical.

Page 297.-Under the column Rhemish Version, for « read, penance.

MISTAKE CORRECTED. In our last Number, page 335, we observe with surprise and regret, 1 mis-statement of the part which Mr. Tennant took at a meeting held last January in Leeds, upon the Roman Catholic claims. He is there, by some

Repentance"dnaccountable error, made to support Mr. Tottie, who moved a petition in favour of those claims; whereas, every thing he advanced on that occasion was against further concessions. His object was to contravert Mr. Tottie's assertions, declaring his full conviction, that however varnished and softened down the present tenets of the Catholics might be made to appear, they continued the same as they had ever been-and that the same causes now existed which induced our wise ancestors to exclude them from political power.

We most eagerly seize this opportunity to rectify this mis-statement, for we should be very sorry that Mr. Tennant's name should be handed down upon record as one of those liberal-minded and enlightened persons who have so suddenly discovered, that no danger to the Protestant ascendancy is to be apprehended from admitting the Roman Catholics to a share in the Legislative and Executive Government.

To what strange accident this mistake is owing, we cannot conjecture. It is altogether unintentional; and we flatter ourselves that Mr. Tennant will be induced to accept of this apology. Our wish is to stand high in the good opinion of that gentleman.-Editor.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS TO CORRESPONDENTS. Filiolus's favour shall soon appear.

Hibernicus still stands over. His favour is nearly superseded by his countryman's interesting remarks on the Kilkenny Dinner, p. 235.

Britannicus is by no means consigned to oblivion. His directions have been observed. We hope to give the communication bearing this signature in our next.- A Free-thinker is not forgotten.

Erasmus to Mr. Grattan is received.

We refer the writer, distinguishing his paper by X, for an account of the fictitious Pastorini, to p. 204. Our Casuist says this was a Popish forgery, perpetrated by Dr. Walmsley, intended to re-inspirit the worsted Papists; and animate them anew to the contest ;-" Pastorale signum."

P. C. is received. -- An Oxford Protestani's second communication is received. We intend printing it. He might, at Oxford, have had recourse to the fountain head of literary information. His extracts from the Bishop of Galloway's work are curious Bishop Cowper's is a small volume, printed at London in 1613. 12mo. p. 221.

Protestant of the Church of England, who dates from Cambridge, does us great honour. We wish to make our list of petitions complete. We should be happy to be favoured with assistance in this and similar matters. -We hope to hear again from our Hibernian friend the modest and reserved T. C. Jun.-Posthumus has our thanks. We intend noticing the Jetters he mentions. We hope to print his paper in our next.

A. B, is very obliging We wish we had room for the printed copy

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »