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that, if the canons of 1640 had been sanctioned at the Restoration or the Act of Uniformity, the old disputes would have been revived, and, in all probability, would have been kept alive to the present day.
It was during the ascendancy of Laud, that the attempt was made to place candles on the communion-table in our churches. We have already shewn that the Injunctions of King Edward are not binding, and that candles were not authorised by Act of Parliament in King Edward's second year. Since the appearance of our last number, the question has been agitated in various pamphlets, the writers being anxious to shew that the candles on our communion-tables are not only authorized but enjoined. An anonymous writer, in a pamphlet published at Leeds, endeavours to establish this point, that candles ought to be placed in all our churches. He quotes the rubric at the commencement of our Book of Common Prayer, which we have given in our former article: and argues that all ornaments in use in King Edward's second year are still lawful. There can be no doubt of the accuracy of such a conclusion; but the writer cannot prove, nor can any one prove, that the candles were authorised by Act of Parliament. We cannot go again over the ground taken up in our former article, but we think it will be abundantly evident to those who have read it, that this writer's positions are untenable.
Before we conclude this subject, we may notice another error of a like nature into which Dr. Hook has fallen, in his able sermon, "A Call to Union."
In a note (P), at page 149, on the question of Reading-desks, is the following paragraph:-" In the Royal Injunctions still in force (Injunc. 22, Edwd. VI. and 18 of Queen Elizabeth, A.D. 1559) it is enjoined that the Litany shall be sung or said in the middle of the church, before the chancel door, at a low desk,' commonly called the fald-stool. It is so styled in the coronation service." So far Dr. Hook. The language of King Edward's Injunctions is as follows: "The priests, with others of the quire, shall kneel in the midst of the church, and sing or say plainly and distinctly the Litany, which is set forth in English." The words of Queen Elizabeth's Injunctions, A.D. 1559, are exactly similar: "The priest, with others of the quire, shall kneel in the midst of the church, and sing or say plainly and distinctly the Litany, which is set forth in English."* We are fully convinced that Dr. Hook made the above statement inadvertently; but, at the same time, we cannot conceive how he should have fallen into such an error, for a reference
* See "Cardwell's Documentary Annals," I. 15-187; or "Sparrow's
to "Sparrow's Collections" would have set him right. It will be seen that there is no mention in the Injunctions either of the "chancel," or a "low desk:" and, consequently, Dr. Hook's statement is unsupported by evidence.
We have now brought our remarks on these important topics to an end. The subjects are highly interesting. And our labours will not have been misapplied, if any of the members of our Church are induced to pay more attention, than with many has been usual, to the various matters of which, in this and a preceding article, we have attempted to furnish a summary.
ART. IX.-An Apology for the Church of Scotland. By the Rev. JOHN CUMMING, M.A. London: Leslie. 1839.
2. The Liturgy of the Church of Scotland; or, Knox's Book of Common Order, with a Preface, &c. By the Rev. JOHN CUMMING, M.A. London: Leslie. 1840.
3. Letter of the Very Rev. the Dean of Faculty. Murray. 1840.
IN treating of the present anomalous position of the Scottish Establishment, it is not our intention to enter into the question of Apostolicity, to decide on the validity of Presbyterian orders, or to ascertain the Kirk's title to the appellation of Catholic Church. These are questions which are very delicate, and which we, as Anglican churchmen, are not called upon to solve. Those who out-Pusey Pusey, may, if they please, declare that the Scotch Establishment is no part of Christ's Church at all; that she has neither minister nor sacrament, nor any share in the covenant blessings. They may deny her ministers their legal title of "Reverend," and treat the whole communion ❝ de haut en bas," as a body of heretics and schismatics, unworthy of a Christian's notice: with such we have little sympathy. On the other hand, we have still less with that loose and liberal portion of our clergy (a section we rejoice to know rapidly decreasing) who recognize as an authorized minister any well or ill-meaning person who is able to get "a call" from a congregation, and then dubs himself "Reverend;" who too often spends his time in railing against the illiberality, and hurling his anathemas against the pride and intolerance of those among the clergy who do not hail him as precisely on the same footing with themselves. These loose and liberal persons tell us that they prefer the Church of England, because, in their judgment, she is the most scriptural of" religious denominations ;" and allowing, of course, the same latitude to others, justify the popery of the Papist and the schism of the Dissenter. While,
therefore, we do not offer any opinion as to the Apostolicity of the Kirk, we would remember that many great men within our own communion recognize her and consider her, as the "Tracts for the Times" do the continental Churches-" an Episcopal Church, sede vacante.""
Since then, as members of the English Church, we have no business in the matter, it is surely inexpedient to agitate a question which, however settled, must bring with it not a few difficulties. The wiser plan will be to let it remain undecided, and concede, pendente lite, the title Church of Scotland to the Presbyterian Establishment. We have observed that the wiser course will be to leave the question undecided, but it will be necessary to prove a proposition so apparently paradoxical. Whichever way we decide, we are beset with difficulties. If we acknowledge the Catholicity of the Scottish Church and the consequent validy of Presbyterian orders, we then deny the necessity of an Episcopate, even when it may be obtained, which is running considerably a-head of our Reformers; we open the door to an ever-increasing laxity of discipline, for if Presbytery be valid in Scotland, and in Scottish communions in England, it will be difficult to say why it should not be valid among Englishmen; and forthwith the Methodist conference, who stand upon nearly the same Ecclesiastical ground, will put in a claim which can hardly be denied. Again, if these things be permitted, who shall draw a line strong enough to keep out Congregationalism? These are some of the difficulties which beset us if we admit that the Scottish Establishment is a Catholic Church, and her ministers a lawfully ordained clergy. On the other hand, if we deny them these titles, we find ourselves in no less awkward a position, for, as the Presbyterian Kirk is established by the laws of the empire, and the Sovereign is bound by an oath to maintain it, the denial of its claims involves the position that the Monarch of a Christian country is by Christian laws enjoined to support a community of schismatics. We shall, therefore, leave the question, so far as we are concerned, without a decision; but, as a sister Establishment, no member of our Church can hesitate to acknowledge the Kirk; and its present difficulties cannot be contemplated without deep anxiety and unfeigned sympathy. We cannot, nor do we wish to deny that its moral effects have been most important. Whether we regard the well-educated population which Scotland has poured into every country of the world, or the moral glory which sits enthroned upon the hills of Caledonia, or the severe and well-regulated discipline to which
*e. g. Mr. Benson. "Tradition and Episcopacy," p. 110.
the Scottish clergy are subject, we must admit that in practical working, in national influence, the Scottish Kirk will be found far superior to any other non-Episcopal Establishment. We have but to look to the very able and highly interesting preface with which Mr. Cumming introduces the Liturgy of John Knox (a book which, en passant, be it said, ought to be read as a matter of ecclesiastical history, by every English clergyman); we have only to look at those remarks, and the tenor of that Liturgy, to perceive that laxity in point of discipline is by no means a fault to be attributed to the Kirk. We shall now give a brief sketch of the present form of Church government adopted in that Establishment, and then proceed to lay before our readers the circumstances which have led to its present anomalous position.
The lowest ecclesiastical judicature in the Scotch Church is the Kirk-session. It is comprised of the minister of the parish, as Moderator, and two or more respectable laymen, communicants and parishioners, who are his assessors, and form a jury in deciding on questions affecting the character of communicants. Some of these elders or churchwardens, are noblemen and highly-connected commoners, and others are farmers, lawyers, physicians, &c. The next superior court is the Presbytery. This court consist of the Presbyters of the diocese, or bounds over which it extends, and a certain number of the elders before alluded to, who take a part in those matters only which belong to them. The Presbytery exercises an Episcopal control over all the clergy within its jurisdiction. It ordains, inducts to benefices, and institutes to all ecclesiastical functions. The chair is occupied by one Presbyter, selected by his coPresbyters, and by them constituted Moderator of the Presbytery. The Moderator used formerly to be perpetual. Primus inter pares. He is now chosen annually. There are eighty-two Presbyteries in the Kirk which meet at least every month. These Presbyteries are formed into sixteen Synods, which are courts of review, to lighten the labour of the General Assembly. They and the Moderators are both addressed "Very Reverend."
The General Assembly is comprised of representatives from each Presbytery. The Queen in person, or her Lord High Commissioner, occupies the throne in every Assembly and a clergyman selected by the previous Moderators is constituted its Moderator for one year, this being the highest dignity of the Establishment. In this Assembly is lodged the episcopacy and primacy of all Scotland. It is an Archbishop broken into fragments. Its decisions are final; it hears all ecclesiastical appeals, and confirms or reverses the sentences of inferior courts. All these courts are, of course, tied and bound
by the Articles and Canons of the Church. The General Assembly, or Supreme Synod, is addressed as "Right Reverend, and Right Honourable."
From the days of the Reformation, with very slight interruption, clergymen have been presented to benefices by the crown, nobility, and gentry, as patrons, and in the remaining cases by the Universities, the magistrates, or the communicants. During at least a century and a half, the rights of patrons have scarcely been disputed, except by a few of those restless clergymen who are ever in quest of some new grievance, on the back of which they may ride rough-shod to popularity and pre-eminence. The patrons have presented licentiates, whose status is precisely that of our deacons, and the Presbyteries, who exercise the functions of our Bishops, as bound by the original compact between Church and State, have examined the attainments, testimonials, and other endowments of the presentee, and if they have found him in all respects, as they found him on first trial, qualified, they admit him to priest's orders, and induct him to the benefice, if a licentiate, or induct simply if a clergyman previously fully ordained. Occasionally, where a clergyman very unpopular was presented to an incumbency in a manufacturing or commercial city, scenes of resistance and uproar have evolved from the perfervidum ingenium Scotorum;* but in ninetynine out of a hundred cases the settlements in vacant parishes have been most harmonious. Men of distinguished learning, great talent, and strict attention to their clerical duties, have been admitted to the pulpits of the Scotch Establishment. They may not have been men of what are called popular ability, nor does it appear that they have been at all avaricious of this sort of dignity; but the best portions of the theology of Scotland have emanated from their pens, and by them the most powerful impulse has been given to much of that improvement in ecclesiastical character and condition by which the Northern Establishment has been for some time signalized.
In the year 1834, ministers serving chapels of ease (who, prior to that period, were in the position occupied by ministers of proprietary chapels among us) were admitted as a sudden popular influx into the Church-court, and thereby invested with ecclesiastical jurisdiction; the now dominant party then felt that
*It has not unfrequently fallen out that political and party spirit had as much to do in such unseemly occurrences as religion or morality. And knowing, as we do, the many briefless barristers of the North who can be manufactured without delay into representative lay-elders, we may expect that men in such circumstances, if destitute of principle, will stimulate the feelings of the people in order to bring themselves out publicly.