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plain when the Chartists work out, consistently, your own grand principle, and in the hope of immediate gain, convulse society to its roots, and scatter the rights of property to the winds.
There is another favourite notion of some modern liberals, which peeps out here and there in this pamphlet, and shews the loose texture of the religious faith of the compilers. It is the view of religion as a matter of taste and convenience, which may shift and vary with the spirit of the age or country. Thus we are told (p. 20) that the Scotch system of religious education, though with numerous imperfections, is in many respects, adapted to the genius of their nation." So, again, we are told, that when Gustavus Vasa, in Sweden, diffused the Lutheran doctrine over the whole country, "this change in the religious institutions of the country harmonized with the wants and character of the people of that age." Following out this sage maxim, it will appear, with the same clear evidence, that Christianity" harmonized" with the wants and character of the first century, Popery and Mahometanism with those of the sixth and seventh, Protestantism with the sixteenth; and, perhaps, therefore, the nineteenth may require some deep tinge of liberal infidelity to "harmonize with the character and genius" of the people of this age.
We do not deny that there is a deep and solemn meaning which may be extracted out of such statements. It is true, on the one hand, that God prepares the soil for every revival of his holy truth; and on the other, that his Providence never suffers any delusion to have free scope and course, till the secret perverseness of man has paved the way for the righteous visitation. But the natural tendency of the expressions is, to insinuate a most dangerous falsehood. They bring down religion from its high aspect of eternal truth, and place it on the footing of a mere popular taste, like the amusements of the theatre, or varieties of national costume.
But we must draw these remarks to a close. The conclusion from the whole strikes us as very plain and simple. The present Government, and the liberal majority of the Commons who approve their scheme, are, in the only just and Christian view of sound education, uneducated themselves. Judging them by the fairest evidence their plans, their speeches, and the pamphlet put forth in their defence-they have no lively sense of man's immortality, no deep reverence for the Word of God, no fixed views of Christian doctrine, and the mighty energy of its motives. And from all these causes combined, they are ignorant of the very aim and purpose of all true education, and utterly unfit, therefore, to preside over its course, or to control
its operations. With their present standard of faith and laxness of profession, we may apply to them the words of the Prophet,their strength is to sit still." The best thing they can do at present, in the matter of Education, is to do no mischief. While their views remain such as are here deliberately expressed, the Church of God, in the training of her members, must reject the intrusion of their control as an alien and adverse influence. How, indeed, should those who put selfish theories of economy on a level with Divine truth be fit to guide the instruction of a Christian people? How should those whose hearts have been chilled down by the icy selfishness of trade, till they coolly vote that "it does not seem advisable to abandon so important a revenue" as one really derived from smuggling poison into a vast Empire, and who afterwards demand indemnity at the cannon's mouth, when the poisonous drug has been righteously destroyed,-how can such men dare to take upon themselves the moral training of the members of Christ and children of God! The bare attempt to do this, in the present state of our Commons' majority, seems little short of a direct insult on the Majesty of Heaven.
While however we protest from the heart, against State interference with Education, in its present form, we would be far from denying, nay, we would earnestly maintain the high office of Civil Rulers, once awake to their true dignity, and sufficiently qualified for its performance. Let our Government cast off the trammels of popish influence from without, and an infidel philosophy within, and return with hearty allegiance to God's living Word, and we will gladly own their authority-an authority coordinate with that of the rulers of the Church, in this great and holy work. We know how well it becomes their office, as the ministers of God for good, to lend the weight of their influence to this noble cause, and to assist in training the citizens of the State for citizenship with the Church triumphant, and the possession of a higher and unfading inheritance. We have no sympathy with the proud assertions of the desirableness of Ecclesiastical independence, whether their voice be heard in the noisy clamours of low railers against our Church, or in the fervid eloquence of her deceived, but sincere and conscientious opponents, or whether they reach us in devout and solemn whispers from her own cloistered retreats. The adversary of man, before his first temptation, has been finely described as circling the world in darkness,
"Four times he crossed the car of night From pole to pole, traversing each colure."
So too the spirit of delusion that is now compassing the ruin of
our Church, may be traced at the most distant poles of our Ecclesiastical universe. For ourselves, we abide cheerfully, and from deep conviction, by the statements of our formularies. We recognise, in Christian rulers, "that prerogative which we see to have been given always to all godly princes in Holy Scripture by God himself, that they should rule all states and degrees committed to their charge by God, whether they be ecclesiastical or temporal, and restrain with the civil sword the stubborn and the evildoers." We long for no Acheloïdes to be cast up by the ocean, where priestly arrogance, like the genius of Arabian tale, unchecked by the seal of Solomon, the wise and righteous restraint of kingly power, might rear itself amidst the cloud of growing superstitions, into its own vast and gigantic dimensions. One grand experiment of this kind the Church has seen; but the lesson will never be lost upon her true children, and neither God nor man will suffer the portentous spectacle to be repeated again. No! the hopes which we cherish are of a different kind; the ideal after which we aspire beams, as we think, with a softer and yet a nobler beauty. We picture to ourselves a State, where the Prince and the Priest are joined in a covenant of peace, and rejoice in a common submission to the supreme authority of God's most blessed Word. We see the rulers of the State yielding a due reverence, far removed from the slavish prostration of the confessional, to the chief Pastors of the Lord's flock, and lending a glad and willing ear to their wholesome and godly admonitions. We see the Bishops and Overseers of Christ's Church submitting cheerfully to the powers ordained of God, and owning and honouring in the Civil Rulers the earthly delegates of Him whose title is Prince of the Kings of the Earth. We figure them bending their joint efforts to promote the welfare of the people intrusted to their charge, with a continual eye to His glory who has exalted them to their high office, and given them authority to discharge it in His name. We view them prospering in their great and holy work,-blasphemy repressed, anarchy quelled, disaffection shamed into silence, the truth encouraged and diffused, the ordinances of the Church honoured and observed, and a halo of sacred dignity encircling and enshrouding the favoured land. We see the education of the people, not treated with cold neglect, not a signal for the strife of faction, not viewed as an engine of Government police, but undertaken in the fear of God, pursued in the light of His truth and by the guidance of His Holy Word: and while ensuring a thousand present fruits of social peace and union, yet never suffered for one moment to sink below its true aim and purpose,
the training of innumerable souls for a purer and higher state of unfading blessedness. We paint before our eyes, in all their hues of beauty, the effects of true religion spread through the land-a religion far removed from dreamy, lifeless, ascetic superstition, and further still from the earth-born theories and schemes of a coarse and vulgar expediency;-a religion that would guide every thought and action to the good of its fellowmen, and yet hallow the meanest and commonest pursuits by a supreme regard to the glory of the Most High. Would that such a vision might soon be realised, and shame back into their native darkness those mists of superstitious fancy and liberal delusion, which are now threatening our Church and country on either hand. Then should we see National Education resume its true dignity and native grandeur. And while its noble fruits of peace, wisdom, and social union were blossoming and ripening on every side, surrounding nations would look on with wonder, and strive to copy the bright example; the angels would renew over the favoured land that song of peace, with which they once greeted our Saviour's birth, and a blessed foretaste would be given to the nations here below of the glory which awaits the triumphant Church in the Paradise of God.
ART. III-A Practical Arrangement of Ecclesiastical Law. By FRANCIS N. ROGERS, Barrister-at-Law, Q. C. London. 1840. 1 vol. 8vo.
2. Bacon's Abridgement of the Law-Title Simony. Seventh edition. By Sir H. GWILLIM and CHARLES H. DODD. London. 1832.
3. Codex Juris Ecclesiastici Anglicani. By EDMUND GIBSON, D.D. 2 vols. folio. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1767.
THE occurrence of the word "Simony" in the preamble of the statute passed in the 31st year of Elizabeth, and the definition of the common law crime of corrupt presentation, contained in the enacting clauses of that act, have led very many persons to suppose that this statute actually overruled the canonical law regarding that crime, abolished the ecclesiastical jurisdiction over it, and created a new offence under the old name, henceforth cognizable by the common law courts alone. Carrying out this view of the case, the same persons very naturally believe, that from the date of that enactment to the present time, no promise or contract for presentation ever has been or can be simoniacal, or contrary to the "Institution Oath," which is not provided for or defined by the Elizabethan statute; and that consequently any clerical
person who has not committed such an offence as would subject him to an action under the provisions of that act, may safely take the "Institution Oath" against simoniacal contracts without any fear of perjuring himself. Such an opinion is not only contrary to the strict tenor of the present, and the clear language of former oaths, but to the received notions of the Church of England; of those of her prelates and dignitaries who have explored the mazes of ecclesiastical law, and of those judges of the common law who have been called upon to decide on cases of simoniacal contracts, brought before them under the provisions of the statute of Elizabeth.
An oath against simony, and all manner of corrupt presenting to ecclesiastical dignities, was, from the earliest times, strictly enjoined on our clergy, and fully set forth in the constitutions of our Church. In the decrees of the Council held at Westminster, in the year 1138, it was declared that every clerk, on his investiture, should swear, "Se nihil propter hoc, vel per se, vel per aliquam aliam personam, dedisse alicui vel promisisse." Extensive as were the provisions of this oath, men were found wily enough to elude them; and, after a short period, the increase of the crime was so great as to compel the Council at Oxford, in the year 1222, to extend to bonds and contracts the provisions of the oath, and to decree that no clerk, who should resign his benefice to another, should receive the vicarage in return: "Quia vehementer possit presumi, quod talia fiant per ilicitam pactionem."*
It may seem strange that any one should choose to be a vicar rather than a rector; but as there might, in some particular cases, be other reasons for it, so there was one very apparent reason, namely, that the Lateran Council, under Innocent III., had forbidden the holding two churches, that is, two rectories, but not two vicarages, or a rectory and a vicarage. For though the Lateran Canon against pluralities was not yet put in execution here, yet the clergy were apprehensive that this would soon be done.
The crafty worldliness of patrons, and the ingenuity of lawyers, soon contrived new methods by which the gain might be to the patrons, and the loss to the Church. Benefices were granted as dowers, and annuities were secured to patrons out of the annual proceeds of the living. The former of these schemes was foiled by the decree of Richard Archbishop of Canterbury, in the fifteenth year of Henry III., which enacted that no one
* Promulgated by Stephanus Archbishop of Canterbury in the sixth year of Henry III. "Inhibemus, ne quis Ecclesiæ suce renuncians, a sibi substituto recipiat Vicariam ejusdem, cum vehementer, &c."