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well as in promoting their religious edification. Thirty-two Psalms and Tunes may indeed seem to some persons a very inadequate supply, and would certainly be so in many cases; but taking our country churches throughout the kingdom, the average, where there are no instruments and no singers, is probably not one half, perhaps not one third, of that number. In many parishes three or four tunes, and just as many Psalms, are repeated as a solo by the clerk year after year in wearisome succession. The author's wish, however, is merely to suggest a plan which may be put in practice without difficulty, and with good effect, in those churches in which the psalmody has been hitherto wholly neglected ; but by no means to speak of such a first step towards congregational singing as the maximum of what is to be wished for, where more can be effected. On this point, each clergyman must judge for himself, according to the circumstances of the case.
In closing the present division of his subject, the author cannot but express his strong and increasing sense of its great relative importance. Attention to the rites, services, and discipline of the church is not indeed necessarily connected with“ a spirit of devotion;” nor ought " traditions and ceremonies,” which, as the Thirty, third Article affirms,“ have at all times been
divers, and may be changed according to the diversity of countries, times, and men's manners,” to be for a moment put in competi. tion with the irreversible essentials of Christian faith and duty. But, as has been 'already urged in former parts of this. Essay, they are of great importance in their place; and a clergyman especially is bound to pay a conscientious attention to points of this nature. Minute innovations prepare the way for greater ones; so that if a clergyman, how. ever laudable his motive, once suffer himself to relax in his endeavours to maintain the uniformity of that institution which from his station in it he is supposed conscientiously anxious to support, he knows not where the effect of his example may end; besides which, his irregularities, to say the least of them, betray an inconsistency highly unbecoming his sacred profession, if not a direct prevarication with the solemn vows which he has voluntarily taken upon him. A minister of the Church of England is in duty bound to exert vigilant care that the books which he recommends, the institutions which he patronizes, the professional assistance which he procures, shall not be of a kind calculated to weaken the attachment of his people for the church of which he professes himself upon principle a
member and a friend. Some really good men, for want of sufficient attention to such points, added perhaps to negligence in impressing the minds of their flock with just ideas of the claims of the Established Church upon the esteem and affection of its inembers, have inadvertently paved the way for future secessions. It is an unhappy circumstance that many even of our clergy are not properly acquainted with the nature and extent of what may be called the mere ritual merits of the church. To supply this defect the author has sometimes wished that among the other munificent endowments of our universities, there were appointed in each à Ritual Professor, whose duty it should be to give lectures in every thing connected with the external character of the Church of England; to explain, for instance, the origin and intention of her various offices and ceremonies, and to present such general views to the theological student as may render his obedience to her forms and rubrics, and what may be called her bye-laws, a reasonable and enlightened service. Such an appointment, if well conducted, might powerfully, though silently, tend to reduce to a voluntary uniformity, some of those partial, but not always unimportant, irregularities which are apt to prevail in parishes where the officiating minister has not
paid due attention to the ritual duties of his profession; which, though not duties of the highest class, are duties still.
But while a clergyman thus maintains a con. scientious regularity and conformity as regards the observances of his church, he is not less bound to cherish a candid and liberal spirit towards those who differ from him in opinion, especially where he has reason to believe there exists an unfeigned love to God, with faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and true piety in the heart and life. At the same time he must not be surprised if, in the faithful discharge of his duties, he finds enemies on both sides. Those who cannot forgive his church-principles for the sake of his piety and excellence of character, will perhaps view him as a mere bigot, and attribute his attachment to existing institutions, if not to positively corrupt motives, at least to the prepossessions of education or the contractile effects of what may be called the sphincter of professional prejudice. On the other hand, those professed churchmen whose affection for our Establishment is more of a political than a religious kind, who would readily tolerate indolence but are suspicious of zeal, and who would prefer a Dissenter that suffered men to live and die peaceably in their sins to the most orthodox clergyman who should
exert himself to bring them to a really devout and holy life; -falsely-called churchmen of this kind would naturally be offended at the earnest piety and faithful remonstrances of a conscientious pastor, and might even labour to render his very excellences odious in the sight of the world. Such things are however but trifles : they have been the lot of many good men in every age; and a clergyman may be well content to be misunderstood or misrepresented who is conscious to himself that the reproach under which he labours is not for any thing really inconsistent with the spirit of his sacred profession, or with the doctrines and discipline of his church.
viii. By a conscientious discharge of incidental
duties. A truly conscientious discharge of incidental duties on the part of the clergy has a powerful tendency to promote the cause of religion, and to reflect conspicuous lustre upon the church. Such duties cannot of course be enumerated by anticipation; they can be detailed only as they arise, and must usually be provided for at the time by the prompt casuistry of a tender and enlightened conscience. Signing papers, filling up offices, advising persons in cases of difficulty, presenting titles for orders,