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it will be the object of the following remarks to specify a few of the modes in which it appears most capable of being exerted to advantage. The points to which we shall direct our attention are the following :
i. By duly watching over the temporal interests of the church.
ii. By advocating its doctrines, and promoting piety among its members.
i. By maintaining its discipline.
iv. By seeing that the pastoral duties are duly performed.
v. By stimulating the zeal, and enlarging the knowledge of their clergy.
vi. By encouraging learning, piety, and church principles among their clergy.
vii. By the reform of abuses.
viii, By shewing themselves an example to their clergy and the flock.
i. By duly watching over the temporal interests
of the church. This is placed first, not because it is either the highest office of our prelacy, or the ultimate object of an established church, but because it is an indispensable preliminary means for keeping up such an institution; and because the bishops are, and ought to be, the guardians of the church in temporal: as well as
spiritual affairs. The peculiar circumstances of the age render a vigilant attention to this subject of urgent importance. Without an adequate maintenance for the clergy, a national church establishment could not of course be maintained ; yet it is lamentably evident, notwithstanding munificent public and private exceptions, that the world at large are far from being sufficiently impressed with this necessary consideration, and that many interests and prejudices are powerfully operating the contrary way. Among the expedients which the pressure of the times has caused speculative politicians to devise, the revenues of the church, dilapidated as they already are, have always been a favourite subject for new projects; and numerous experiments have been suggested, without any due regard to their probable ultimate effect. Tithes, in particular, have furnished a fruitful topic for urging novel devices; and the depressed state of the agricultural interest has brought the subject before all ranks of society for discussion, in a way which forebodes no good to the church, unless the public shall be taught to take a really enlightened and religious view of the question. It is well that our legislature does not appear inclined to countenance wanton experiments; for should any great change be made, it is not
likely, in the present state of the times, to be generally in favour of the church; and though its effects might not be deeply felt at first, it could scarcely fail to operate most unfavourably on the religious interests of posterity.
The author is not prepared to say, that among these expedients, a really fair commutation of tithes for land would be an injury to the church, at least for some years to come. Indeed, it would certainly effect great good, so far as it relieved the clergy from the odium under which they often unjustly labour, and thus rendered their ministrations more acceptable to the people: but if, on the other hand, it exposed the lands and revenues of the church to frauds, dilapidations, and unskilful management, or to the political rapacity of an irreligious administration, or unscrupulous parliament, or popular faction; or if it induced the clergy to become mere agriculturalists, to the neglect of their professional duties; the benefit would not be without a very serious counterpoise. But the author leaves those who are better informed on such subjects, to settle the merits of this many. sided question.
On the ground, then, that the Established Church is a powerful instrument in the hand of God, for the perpetuation of Christianity in the country, and that its subversion would lead
to the most lamentable results, as respects both the temporal and spiritual welfare of the people, it becomes an indispensable duty of our venerable prelates, however invidious the task, to watch over its revenues with the
eye scientious and wakeful guardians; and more particularly, as the lower House of Convocation, which used to deliberate upon subjects of this nature, is no longer an efficient body.
But a second and far more important way in which our bishops may really benefit the church, is
ii. By advocating its doctrines, and promoting
piety among its members. Their opportunities for so doing are peculiarly favourable; and particularly on account of the respect and veneration attached to their character, which even the levelling principles of the age have not yet destroyed. They have facilities for introducing religion among the higher ranks of society which no other class of persons possesses; their advice and instruction will often be listened to with respectful attention, where other remonstrances are overlooked, or perhaps indignantly rejected; their voice may penetrate where laws cannot reach, or popular remonstrance be heard; so that, to say nothing of their public functions, even their
ordinary conversation and daily intercourse with society, if vigilantly and wisely directed to the promotion of piety, may effect more good, especially in the higher circles of life, than the preaching and writings of many of the subordinate clergy.*. The senate and the press also
* We might refer, among many forcible examples of the truth of these remarks, to the conduct of the late venerable Bishop Porteus, whose efforts to promote religion in the higher walks of life, it is well known were widely and eminently successful. One anecdote of that excellent man may be mentioned, which is peculiarly pleasing, not only as shewing what benefits such a prelate may confer on society by his holy advice and remonstrances, but as representing the character of our present most gracious sovereign in a truly amiable and pleasing aspect.
“ I had for some time past," remarks the Bishop,
o observed in several of the papers, an account of a meeting, chiefly of military gentlemen, at an hotel at the west end of the town, which was regularly announced, as held every other Sunday, during the winter
This appeared to me, and to every friend to religion, a needless and wanton profanation of the Christian Sabbath, which by the laws both of God and man was set apart for very different purposes; and the bishops and clergy were severely censured for permitting such a glaring abuse of that sacred day to pass without notice or reproof. I determined that it should not; and therefore thought it best to go at once to the fountain head, to the person of the highest and principal influence in the meeting—the Prince of Wales. I accordingly requested the honour of an audience, and a personal conference with bim on this subject. He very graciously granted it; and I had a conversation with him of more than half an hour. He entered immediately into my views, and voluntarily proposed that the day should