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have contributed much less than their just share towards the education of the children of the poor. The statement here given is supported by many examples, the most striking of which obviously is that of the parish of St. Mary le Bonne.
In short, without impeaching in the least the pious intention and beneficial tendency of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and that for the establishment of National Schools, the author gives it as his opinion, that they cannot go far towards protecting the Established Church from the danger which threa-. tens it, unless measures be taken by the legislature to supply means by which their exertions may acquire force and efficacy.
"The Dereliction of Duty, and Non-residence of the Clergy, have also been assigned as chief causes of danger to the Church." The discussion of this subject leads to a warm and manly attempt to rescue that body of men from the general and unde served censure, which has been brought upon the whole by the indiscretions of a few. The matter is taken up as it should be. We all know, that, in the minds of the vulgar, the misconduct. of an individual is apt to fix a stigma upon the whole body to which he belongs, and that the Clergy, more than any other order of men, are liable to this indiscriminate uncharitable mode of condemnation. But even Senators-Senators who are chargeable with this species of injustice-should have felt more liberally than, in a solemn public Act, to confound the tares with the wheat; and to implicate in one sweeping sentence the deserving many and the guilty few.
"The Acts which have recently passed the Legislature, and the discussions consequent upon their introduction, seemed to have been formed upon a view of these exceptions alone. The censure dealt with no unsparing hand, and uusoftened by any notice of the far greater proportion of pious and useful pastors, fell, like corrosive poison, upon the cause of religion; and consequently upon the best interests of the State and of humanity. And the Acts themselves have not produced any of those benefits to the Established Church which their advocates proposed and expected. They may, perhaps, have reached a few instances of delinquency; but have not contributed in the least degree to supply the wants of the Establishment, where those wants are most urgent and most dangerous." p. 120.
"And it now appears absolutely necessary to the stability of the Church of England, and to the security and preservaion of our established Constitutional Government, that a Law should be forthwith enacted, to DIVIDE THE PRESENT LARGE PARISHES into smaller Parishes, each containing an allotted ratio and proportion of population appropriate to the purposes of parochial instruction and superintendence.-To erect, as nearly as possible, in the centre of each of these divisions, not already so provided, a proper edifice for the due celebration of Divine Worship, according to the Liturgy of the Church of England; a sufficient part of the same to be fitted up with proper seats for the accommodation of the lower classes of
the parishioners, and the remainder to be let out to the more wealthy inhabitants: the pew rents thus arising to form a part of the maintenance of the Minister. To provide a proper habitation for a resident Minister. and to secure the appointment of such a Minister under the established Episcopal authority, not only to conduct the Public Worship, but also to reside in and take the parochial charge of the Parish, and perform the nseful and important duties of the pastoral office. And the wise provisions of such an Act might be extended to all new districts of future increasing or changing population, by enacting, that whenever three or four hundred houses are built, the proprietors of the land, and of the improved rents, should allot a proper space for a Church to be erected, and the due parochial duties performed under the regulations of the Act.” p. 27, 28.
Such is the outline of the plan, which Mr. Yates wishes to be presented to the Legislature, for rescuing the Established Religion of his country from an encreasing danger; and which, in the volume before us, he submits "to the public inspection." That the plan will have no opposition to encounter seems hardly to be expected. The enemies of the Church will naturally object to any measure whose object is to encrease and extend her influence; and many even of her friends will be alarmed at the difficulties attending the execution of that which is here so strongly recommended. The utility, however, of the plan is obvious; and we assert, that no plan can be devised, as at all likely to attain the end proposed, unless this be in some way or other combined with it. And if the measure recommended really is essential to the public welfare, "great and " acknowledged difficulties must not be permitted to deter the "comprehensive mind of the judicious and energetic Statesman
(to whom the plan is submitted) from undertaking it." To what we have already said, it will be necessary to add but little respecting the general merits of Mr. Yates's proposal. Let us for a moment suppose the measure he proposes carried into execution; let us suppose that a sufficient number of Churches have been built for the accommodation of all (whether rich or poor) who are desirous, or not unwilling to frequent them; that proper Ministers have been provided for the celebration of Divine Service; and that the proposed division of overgrown parishes, into others smaller and better adapted to the purposes both of God and man, has been effected. Who will say, that we should not, in that case, enjoy in a much greater degree than we now do, the order, the peace, the comfort, the consolations and the ineffable blessings which naturally spring from religious instruction and divine knowledge? Is it credible, that as soon as an opportunity of attending the public worship of the Almighty with comfort and convenience is afforded, the inclination
to profit by that opportunity should vanish? Or can we suppose, that religious instruction, will now, for the first time, cease to have its proper influence on the public morals and welfare? An increased number of Churches, with increased attention to the convenience of congregations, would put the Establishment, in a material point,on a footing with its adversaries; and, at the same time, strengthen the attachment of its friends, by removing a subject of just and serious complaint." The
harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few." And to this deplorable, though sacred truth, every devout member of the Church, but above all, every conscientious member of parliament, will, we trust, readily assent, and following the advice contained in the remaining part of the text,-"Pray the Lord " of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his har"vest." Lord Liverpool has much in his power.
But there are difficulties to be surmounted. The author, however, denies that they are by any means insurmountable. For instance, it may be found rather difficult to make such a division of the overgrown parishes, as not to interfere with the present method of relieving the poor; or with the real or supposed interests of individuals; to provide at once, tenance for the ministers to be appointed to the new Churches, and a compensation to those who must lose a part of their income by the division of their parishes; to provide for the expence of erecting Churches; and lastly, to settle the right of presentation to the new livings.
The dissatisfaction of individuals on the score of property, it is hoped, would be but small. Their conviction of the utility of the measure would do much: a wise exertion of the authority of Parliament, in the manner usual in such cases, would do all the rest. With respect to the division of Parishes, and the provision for the support of the new clergy, we have a few observations to offer. But we must first quote a remark of our Author's on the former of these subjects, which we think well worthy of consideration.
"The alteration which, since the period of the Reformation, hath taken place in the manner of assisting the temporal wants of the poor, renders it now less easy to supply their spiritual necessities by such a division of these extensive districts into smaller parishes, as the purposes of religious instruction absolutely require. But if this difficulty could, by a temperate and discriminating perseverance, be surmounted, the result, by placing the poor under a more direct and personal superintendence of their Parish Minister and Parish Officers, giving them more of a Christian character, and of consequence more industry, economy, and temperance,-might produce a reduction in the present enormous tax now levied for their relief; and thus offer to the wealthier class of the community, advantages
not particularly contemplated in the view now intended to be taken of the subject." p. 130, 131.
This would be an important advantage indeed: an advantage, which, if no other good were to result from the measures proposed, would be sufficient to entitle them to an attentive examination. There is in truth no greater proof of the degeneracy of the poor of this country, than the readiness with which they submit to the degradation of applying to the parish for relief. That spirit of independence, which formerly could not brook being indebted to the assistance of others for that which honest industry could procure; which made even those who were worn down with years and infirmities, endure "the bitterest "gripes of smarting poverty" rather than apply for "charita"ble succour," seems now to have pretty nearly quitted the land-especially in those places where they are most in want of religious instruction. They now without regret and sometimes without necessity, demand as a right that, which to be compelled to sue for, was once considered the greatest wrong which fortune could inflist. It is not impossible, in several populous Parishes, to find instances of families, who have never, for a whole century, ceased to be a burthen upon the public. Thus those funds, which were intended for the benevolent purpose of relieving the wants of those who might be in distress, have, in many instances, served to encourage the evil propensities of persons who are content to eat the bread of idleness, and subsist on the labour of others. And where are these unprofitable servants usually found at those times (we speak of great parishes in great towns) which are set apart for the worship of their Maker? Not always in the courts of the house of their God. Thither they could not often repair without learning, that it is the duty of us all to labour truly to get our own living; " nor could they often hear this precept inculcated without feeling some inclination to put it in practice. The ordinary consequences of an habitual attendance on Divine service, are decency in outward appearance and behaviour; a more regular discharge of moral duties, and an increase of industry and frugality. And if an enquiry were instituted into the characters of those who are accustomed to throw themselves upon their parishes, it would be found that of those who without bodily infirmity, or any real necessity, are wicked enough to sue for charitable relief, very few had ever received that religious instruction, which it is the duty of the Established Church to provide for all.-But, the present enormous extent and population of many of the Parishes, renders it impossible for the parish officers to institute an inquiry into the nature of
every individual case, or to see that their bounty be not abused; and the same cause prevents the minister from effecting the moral improvement of all the poor in his district, either by public instruction or private exhortation. We have, on the whole, good grounds for agreeing with Mr. Yates that, if the proposed division were to take place, the result would be a considerable diminution of the poor's rates; and that the difficulties attending the execution of this part of his plan, would be amply repaid by the advantages it would produce.
The providing of a respectable maintenance for the new ministers, and a compensation to those whose incomes must suffer by the division of their parishes, is next considered:
"This difficulty is the greater, because, in most of the cases, the present Ecclesiastical payments are in no sufficient degree proportionate to the numbers of people, or the aggregate worth of the property receiving the protection of the State, and therefore bound in wisdom and justice to contribute to its preservation. Perhaps the least objectionable, and certainly the most efficient, maintenance for the Parochial Ministers may be found to be the enactment of a small rent-charge in each parochial division, in addition to the established parochial payments and fees, and the rents to be received for a part of the pews in every Parish Church. Under such an arrangement, the present incumbents might each retain their present Church, encircled with a proportionate district, according to its capacity of receiving a congregation; and as this law, if enacted, must be gradual in its operation, the defalcation of income might, under a recommendation from the Honorable House of Commons, be compensated to each of them by one of the Cathedral Diguities, as vacancies occur, compatible with the parochial duties, and giving a life interest, similar to the present possession." p. 135, 136.
The pew rent is an unobjectionable resource; and so will the charge in proportion to the rents of houses be considered, whenever householders shall come to feel somewhat as Mr. Yates does, that their particular interests will be promoted, by enlarging the sphere of general religious knowledge. But the diverting of ecclesiastical dignities into a channel altogether new, is not likely to be much relished by the present body of dignitaries, whether ecclesiastical or civil. The Bishops will think they cannot afford to dispense with any of their patronage; Ministers of State, who are the lawgivers in such cases, will take care to decide, that the interests of the nation require that they should keep all they have. Both will object to the idea of the House of Commons recommending the new clergy to stalls-as they do their own Chaplains; but both, we cannot doubt, will allow that the subsidiary clergy ought to have a share of those dignities proportioned to their numbers. This will be enough: it will be no small inducement to men distinguished for talents and erudition to sue for the incumbency of the