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They 'must surely discover a resemblance : for indeed, after the dolorous, lacrymose tone of their proper journals and magazines, we are led to conclude that they would deem it tender treatment, the throwing a dozen or two of them now and then to the wild beasts to make sport withal; they would deem, we say, that most merciful, compared with the unexampled usage they are compelled to receive at our hands. What an eye-sore is a steeple! What a shocking thing for a minister to be so independent of man as to be prepared to preach the word of God regardless of consequences, and however it may be taken! But terrible as it is—and victimized, consigned to the flames, as they are—they ought to understand that free obedience to the law and constitution of the land they live in, is enjoined upon an insignificant, poverty-stricken minority of the people; first, by every sound deduction of that round-about common sense, in which the majority of Dissenters, warped by the prejudice corroding at the core, are so wofully deficient; next, by the injunction of St. Paul, who, addressing his Christian converts, living in the central darkness of a pagan metropolis, says, “ Render to all, all their dues (church-rates), tribute to whom tribute, custom to whom custom ;' next, by the injunction of St. Peter, who, in the like spirit, and addressing the oppressed Christians in the several Roman provinces, says, “ Submit yourself to every ordinance of man, (the payment of filthy lucre included) for the Lord's sake." But they are more especially called upon to defer, and obey cheerfully the institutions of the country where they may happen to be born, by the precept of HIM whose kingdom is not of this world, and by his example, bearing directly upon this very point. Albeit, Dissenters of every denomination, to serve worldly ends, join in league, offensive and defensive, with the banned and denounced of the Apocalypse. Albeit, their very peculiarly constructed consciences will bid them “ go the whole hog,” and “ swallow the camel;" and they have a most profound pecuniary antipathy for the Established Church. And it is to be confessed, it is a shocking church! “ Scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses' chair," " transgressing the commandments of God by their traditions,” and “teaching for doctrine the commandments of men."~" The temple of the Most High we have made a den of thieves." We will grant that these things be so; for to the madness of acrimony-to that insanity, which the “ gall of asps” (malignant discontent) engenders- light is all the same as darkness; the bright sun becomes obumbrated, and the placid moon beams through the night with rays incarnadine. Grant, then, that the perversion of madness presents the true unexaggerated state of the case, how should Dissenters so circumstanced deport themselves? Even they themselves would say, In conformity with the example of the Divine Founder of Chris
tianity. But if they had read his story with that humble heart and loving spirit he inculcates on all who believe in him, they would have learned, that so far from authorizing Agitation Societies, with the view to the abolition of the half shekel for the "service of the tabernacle,"-a service and a temple degenerated, degraded, disfigured, and desecrated, as the texts above cited import, ---so far from countenancing his followers in any pecuniary, nice, tender fastidiousness of conscience, he himself paid the tax; and in order thereto, wrought the miracle at Capernaum, (Matt. xvii.) as a contribution to that very “ tribute money,” which all Jews above twenty years of age, of whatever sect--whether Pharisees or Sadducees, (Romanists or Socinians) --paid every year to the priesthood, for buying the daily sacrifice, and other things necessary to the public worship of a temple,
“ made a den of thieves.' Exod. xxx. 13. Were Dissenters ever so virtuous in the eye of heaven, “ lest
should offend " the authorities, they should follow the example of our Saviour, and “ pay custom and tribute.” They cannot indeed imitate him in working miracles; but “meekness, simplicity, and loving-kindness" is yet within their power.
To return to the “ flattering unction” the nonconformists " lay to their souls.” They pretend that they are desirous of a general national registry, to be established by act of parliament, which will afford authorized documents to certify in evidence, and substantiate the proof of the baptism of their children. Well, through the affability of their dear “circumspect" Lord John, this they are to have ; but until its provisions be in force, they ought not any longer to compromise their characters as men and Christians, by refusing to pay “custom and tribute," legally imposed, for the repairs and other casualties of the Church, above two hundred years before even the parochial allotment of tithes. Must not these men be lost to all shame to act thus, with reason, law, and scripture against them? Is it possible that the principle by which they are governed can be right?
“ It is not, and it cannot come to good. They had better look over their account, and cast it up anew, lest at the last audit they should find themselves sadly in the lurch. They may take our word for it, that something is wrong-a screw is loose to a dead certainty. Alas! they have fed on bitterness from their youth upwards, and habit it is second nature. Their disease is deepseated, chronic, and in many cases hereditary. We know of no earthly remedy. Ratiocination, or the workings of the fanatic spirit, the usual resource, only adds to the virulence of the affliction. They ought, however, to be apprised that they are bound by the tie of RELIGION, if they would but see it,--of LOYALTY, if they knew what it meant,—of country, but they seem to own no chord responsive to that sacred call. They are bound, moreover, by that which they make their cheval de bataille, their stalking
horse on all occasions; namely, their conscience, if it be “ good conscience,” to pay their share for the benefits which they, in common with all Englishmen (and much more so than we fear they are capable of understanding) derive from the Establishment.
It will be time enough when they get their registry,—when they solemnize marriages in their own conventicles, and bury their dead in their own churchyards,-it will be then time enough for us to remind them of the numerous other benefits for which they are deeply indebted to the Church of Englanda church founded by Him whom they profess to follow, and upheld by zealous worshippers (our common ancestors) through weal and through woe for many ages.
Time and space would oblige us to defer what we have further to submit, to another time, if, indeed, we did not consider it advisable to do so on other accounts. Let us wait,-yet a little while, and the operation of the new act of marriage and registration will be before the world, till when, . . We have our own opinion of the issue. Mais nous verrons !
CHURCH PASTORAL AID SOCIETY.
Of the fact of a Society bearing the distinctive appellation of the Church Pastoral Aid Society having lately been organized, we presume that our readers are already aware. It has our most sincere good wishes, and we will humbly trust that it will tend to the benefit of the Establishment. We make no question of the religious zeal with which the members of this board are actuated; but we cannot help thinking that it would evince more wisdom at this time of day to repair the scath which Dissenters inflict on the Establishment,-to reclaim the sheep of her pasture,-rather than open other sluices, the issue whereof no living man can answer for. We confess we have a very vague notion of what is intended; the duty of the " lay agents” not being sufficiently defined. The directors may understand how to deal with them according to the measure of their capacity; but should they broach doctrine not agreeable to the tenor of Scripture, or the immaculate articles of our Church, we do not see how they can be put down. They may multiply schism through the land, and no bar or inhibition will avail, because of their not being in regular orders. It will be vain to think of using each “ lay agent” for an instrument only so long as he answers the purpose of the Society. Having once tasted the honour and repute of officiating, he will never withdraw from the career. In a worldly point of view he may have been raised to a comparatively conspicuous station, and rather than retire into his original obscurity, he will set up minister on his own account; and what is to prevent him? Is not this to introduce,
under the auspices of the Establishment, the small end of a doubtful wedge into the Church of Christ, whither for good or evil the whole engine follows?
For obvious reasons we decline, until we see the workings of the machinery, and are cognizant of its beneficial effects, making further remark upon the subject.
The following are the regulations of the Society :
I. The Society shall be designated the “ CHURCH PASTORAL AID Society.”
II. The object of this Society shall be to promote the religious influence of the United Church, by such methods only as it may be competent to a voluntary society to employ in entire consistency with her discipline and order.
III. That, with this view, authentic and exact information shall be sought relative to such portions of the population as may be most destitute of religious instruction ; and such aid rendered to the Clergy in the discharge of their duties as they may be desirous to accept, and the Society may have it in its power to render; no aid being given except so far as local exertions shall be found to be incompetent to the necessities of the case.
IV. That the assistance to be rendered by the Society shall respect either places of Worship, or labourers, under the direction of the incumbents of parishes or districts.
V. That in destitute places, where no other sufficient means are available, the Society will assist, according to its power, in appropriating as places of worship, and for the administration of the word of God, buildings already erected, or in erecting churches or chapels for that end.
VI. That the Society will contribute such help as may be in its power to the support of additional clergymen in destitute parishes or districts, who shall zealously and faithfully cooperate with the incumbent.
VII. That the Society will assist, as it may be able, in the supply to destitute places of lay agents, whether candidates for holy orders or others, or whether partially or wholly to be maintained. Which lay agents shall act under the direction of the incumbent, and be removable
THE SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING THE ENLARGEMENT, BUILDING,
AND REPAIRING OF CHURCHES AND CHAPELS. What appeal, too strong, can be made in behalf of this Society, or what exertions can be esteemed too great to further its object? It appears from the last report that a district committee of this Society has been formed at Cambridge, from which the sum of 4701. had been received, and that the Durham Diocesan Society had for six years transmitted to the parent Society one-fourth of its receipts. We gather also from the same report that a Diocesan Society has been established at Worcester, as well as an association for the district, which
comprehends Boroughbridge and Ripon. Would that similar associations were more generally formed for the purpose
of cooperating with this Incorporated Society.* The following is an extract from the report, vid. p. 25.
“ The year ending on 31st March, 1835, was distinguished by the greatest number of applications, viz. 170, and by the highest amount of money granted, viz. 21,1711., as well as by the greatest increase of church accommodation, viz. 34,338 sittings, of which 24,990 are free. In the year ending 31st March last there were 146 applications, and the amount of money voted was 17,4171. ; the stipulated increase of accommodation being 30,237 sittings, of which 22,519 are to be free.
“With respect to the objects of the grants voted in the two last years, it may be observed, that in 1835 aid was granted for enlarging 25 parish churches, for rebuilding 14 with enlargement, for building 18 additional chapels, for building galleries and new pewing, and for increasing accommodation in 28 cases. In the last year, though only 15 churches have been enlarged, and 10 rebuilt with enlargement, 26 additional chapels have been built, and accommodation has been increased in 41 cases. It further appears from the table showing the annual operations, that the grants for new chapels, and for the increase of accommodation, have been more numerous in the last than in any
The amount voted in the two years, 1835 and 1836, is 38,5881., a sum exceeding the whole produce of the last King's Letter by 8,000l. ; and, in consequence of this great expenditure, the disposable balance was reduced to 3,0961. 11s. on the 31st March last.
“ By the expenditure of 199,4051., the Society has been instrumental in building, or enlarging, or increasing the accommodation in 1,260 churches or chapels, and in providing 313,550 sittings, of which 233,925 are free and unappropriated."
METROPOLIS CHURCHES FUND. We have spoken elsewhere at some length upon the Bishop of London's proposals for building fifty new churches in the metropolis. We are extremely happy to find that the appeal has been so far answered as to have produced a fund exceeding ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND POUNDS.
THE REPORT OF THE SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN
KNOWLEDGE. We trust, when we have more time and space, to be able to speak somewhat at large upon this admirable Society, and the
* The rector of Stafford, in his sermon preached on the 13th of November, in conformity with the King's Royal Letter, mentioned that a noble lady had announced her intention of contributing the munificent sum of 16,0001. to the Society. Can we believe our eyes ? Are we living in these times of steam, spinning jennies, and political economy? The thought of other days comes over us.