Imágenes de páginas

pastor, how he could reconcile his let them not despond ; much less rejection of the agent, with his ac- let them indulge a harshness of ceptance of the Christian? From spirit which could not benefit the this dilemma there was no possible obdurate or insincere, while it would escape. The rector had only a repel and deject the true penitent. choice of difficulties. If the man The minister of Christ must endea. were sincere in reference to God, vour to unite tenderness of heart he was certainly worthy of human with calmness of judgment ; and confidence. If he were insincere, though the purport of the present how came his confessor to give him article has referred chiefly to the virtual absolution ? In either case, importance of the latter, we should the sacramentarian and credulous lament that any reader should infer system discovered its inconsistency that we are not, if possible, still and confusedness.- How the story more anxious for the former. Every ended, is not to our purpose. But death-bed repentance is not necesit is obvious, that if common sense sarily false; nor every symptom of were suffered to guide men in the speedy conversion insincere. Our concerns of religion, we might whole view of the subject, therefore, have been spared the trouble of is well comprised in the well-known shewing, that a divine may possess theological maxim relative to the two rules of conduct, entirely con- thief upon the cross : “ One was tradictory to each other ; one of saved at the eleventh hour, that them subservient to his theological none might despair ; and but one, prejudices; and the other, compel- that none might presume." ling him to disclaim the moral pretensions of an individual whom he had recently admitted, as a sound disciple, to the privileges of Chris. A Charge delivered to the Clergy tianity.

of the Diocese of Llandaff, in A friend whispers in our ear: “I September, 1827, at the Priam persuaded that your view of mary Visitation : By CHARLES these matters is correct, and that RICHARD, BISHOP OF LLANnot a few of the ministers of

1827. Christ of all communions are secretly mourning over immature Fraught with evils as is the sysconversions and death-bed repen- tem of Episcopal translations ; tendtances, so called ; but is it expedient ing as it does to make the clergy, to speak so freely on the subject? whether in the possession of high You offend the friends of the fa- stations, or the expectancy of them, vourite opus-operatum error, and“ time-servers,” politicians rather you no less offend the advocates than ministers of Christ ; severing for sudden conversion, whether on them from attachments which they sick beds or in condemned cells, may have formed; tearing asunder without any opus operatum what- pastoral and episcopal ties; renderever, either on the body or the ing useless the local information soul.” As to the matter of offence, which they have acquired; breaking if truth be offence, we are in sooth up their well-laid plans of diocesan very tranquil; but we should not improvement, or perhaps discoube tranquil, if we did not add at raging them from acquiring such least one line to caution our clerical information, or forining such plans; friends against harshness of decision it has still one compensating merit, in individual cases, and to keep in that it gives an opportunity for their view, as their best Exemplar, advancing to stations of wider inHim who did not “ break the Auence and larger utility those bruised seed, or quench the smok- who have proved themselves emiing flax." Though often deceived, nently faithful and well-qualified in


more retired, and less extensive, private life; but a prelate of the spheres of episcopal jurisdiction. Church of England is so far public Upon this principle we felt the property, that we do not overstep greatest satisfaction in announcing the line of propriety in stating, the translation of such a prelate as from every private, as well as pubBishop Sumner, to such a diocese lic source of information, that never as Winchester. To say nothing of perhaps did a prelate, in so short a the vast extent, the large patron- time, attract to himself a greater age, and the magnificent revenues portion of reverent affection and of this diocese, it is now a matter esteem throughout the diocese comof history, that, during the long mitted to his care; that never were occupancy of Bishop North, it had plans of the highest utility better been most grievously neglected. devised, or more prudently, diliThat prelate rose to his exalted gently, and efficiently, begun to be station, not from his merits, what- carried into effect. The lamentaever they might be, as a theologian tions at Llansanfread, and in other or a pastor, but as the brother of a parts of the diocese of Llandaff, at prime minister of England; and as the departure of Bishop Sumner, all parties, including the bishop have resembled rather the disruphimself, doubtless viewed the ap- tion of the private ties of longpointment as purely political, it is formed friendship, than the technical not to be wondered at, that from it congratulations or condolences of accrued but few fruits of ecclesias- official life. We say nothing of the tical or spiritual utility. Bishop confidence and esteem with which Tomline, though we are no advo- his lordship was regarded by the cates for some of his “elementary” pious and the faithful among his views of Christianity, and no warm clergy ; but it is doubly to his admirers of his episcopal course, was praise that he had remarkably sucstill a man addicted to theological ceeded in attracting, not only the studies, and who was impressed respect, but even the affection of with a sense of the necessity and those--for in every diocese, and in importance of the Christian minis- every pale, such there are-whose try; but he did not arrive at Win- irregularities he was obliged to rechester till his health and energies strain, whose indolence he felt it were too much exhausted to allow his duty to reprehend, or whose of his carrying fully into practice slumbering energies he had endeaany effective plans of discipline voured to stimulate to exertions which he might have formed, or becoming a faithful minister of intended to execute. Bishop Sum- Christ, and a pastor in the pure ner comes, therefore, to this vast and apostolical Church of England. and important diocese, not “to New churches were beginning to enter into other men's labours," but be erected in the more destitute parts to cultivate a soil, much neglected, of his diocese ; new daily schools, to say the best, and, we fear we Sunday schools, and even infant may add, overgrown in many parts schools, all of which were much with unsightly and noxious weeds. needed, notwithstanding all that We rejoice to state that he comes inay have been achieved in referto it in the vigour of life, and after ence to these objects by the two having given, during his brief in- preceding prelates,—were begincumbency at Llandaff, the most ning to spring up on every side: ample proofs of piety, and zeal, and the parishes were beginning to be wisdom, and diligence, and affec- better supplied with resident ministion, in the discharge of his monien- ters and more frequent services ; tous functions. It is not our habit the laity were beginning to feel to trespass upon the personalities, more effectively the salutary spiriwhether laudatory or otherwise, of tual influences of an Established Church operating upon them; he feels, and he makes others feel among the clergy themselves, à also. And this, in truth, is the very spirit was extending, which augured test of useful preaching; for without well for their increased zeal and it, all didactics, even the didactics pastoral activity; and, what may of Christianity itself, fall frigidly on be viewed as a test of all, the ne- the ear, and never penetrate to the cessities of the heathen were not heart. Our French neighbours well forgotten, for by his lordship’s exer- expressed the matter when they tions some of the poorest districts said of Bossuet and Fenelon, “ The were beginning to collect funds to one proves religion; the other makes assist our ancient chartered society in you love it." “propagating the Gospel in foreign We remember the goodly anec.

We notice these circum- dote of a young clergyman applying stances with a view to shew what

some years ago to a prelate, since valuable blessings a wise and faith- deceased, for advice as to procuring ful prelate may confer upon the the just respect of his parishioners. diocese under his charge ; how be- “ You are quite right,” said his neficial an influence, even in these lordship, “to wish to stand well degenerate and lawless days, he with your parishioners: I would, may acquire, notwithstanding the therefore, urge you to be decorous impatience of the public as respects in your conduct, and to cherish a all' ecclesiastical rule. And we proper degree of self-respect. Take mention these particulars with the care also to dress in such a manner more pleasure, partly because we as to keep up their respect. I reknow, though it would be invidious to commend you to wear hair-powder specify names and localities, that si- and silk stockings, for the common milar exertions, attended with simi. people think much of such matters." lar effects, are in progress in other The anecdote, as we have said, and dioceses; partly because we rejoice as the tonsorial portion of the advice that plans and purposes which have indicates, is of some years' standing; been found so beneficial in the and the reader is at liberty, if he West, will now be transferred to a will, to consider it as wholly apofar larger sphere in the South; and, cryphal. But the moral is still not least, because we have reason applicable. “ Decorum and selfto believe that the new prelate of respect," rather than Scripture piety Llandaff is fully prepared to carry and pastoral affection, are often the into maturity the plans of bis pre- substratum of the advice given to decessor ; and, we doubt not, with the younger clergy. The external the same wisdom and diligence decoration of the head is indeed not which have characterised his aca- mentioned; and perhaps credit is demical government, and which have taken for recommending its internal raised Oriel college to the highest furnishing: but even this is but a rank for talent and good conduct small part of a complete clerical of any society in his own or any apparatus ; or rather, we should other university.

say, it is not solely the apparatus But to the charge before us--and which is needed, but the ability and an admirable charge it is. Some the willingness to make use of it for sermons and charges tell men about the glory of God and the salvation religion ;-others, we wish we could of the souls of men. And this, we say the large majority, are calcu- may add, can never be promoted by lated, by the blessing of God, to charges confined to mere matters of make them religious. Of this latter professional etiquette, or professional class is the episcopal address now law and custom, or external profesbefore us. The Right Reverend au- sional propriety. “My son, give thor does not merely prove, or merely me thy heart," is the language of our exhort ; though he doos both--but Creator ; and especially is this first

great sacrifice necessary in a mic and charitable in its verdicts." . His nister of Christ, whose duty and lordship, we fear, may have had adwhose privilege it is to “spend and ditional proof of this last position be spent” in the service of his God since it was penned. He may have and Saviour, and for the temporal, seen how ready are envy and party the spiritual, and the eternal in- spirit to misconstrue motives and terests of his beloved flock.

actions the most pure and laudable; Bishop Sumner opens his charge and how little will even the broad in a strain of conciliating affection shield of character avail to restrain and esteem, very different from the the wanton outrages of a venal procul-esto common-places of offi- press, though happily it will avail to cial condescension. Addressing his prevent the better part of the public clergy as “reverend," to shew his judgment being eventually or extenrespect, and as

“ brethren" to shew sively misled. his heart-felt attachment to them, His lordship, however, does not he trụsts to find “some chord of complain of the Argus-eyed jealousy kindred feeling within their breasts;" with which the clergy are watched. for, says his lordship,

He would not recal the days in “ The obligations of our relative situ- which they were regarded with ations are essentially reciprocal. Weowe superstitious reverence, “Respect," each other mutual love, mutual confidence, he says, “ must be deserved before mutual forbearance. As much as lieth in it can be won ;” and “ it will rarely us, we must share each other's burthens, and aim at interchanging such good and be long withheld where it is fairly friendly offices as are worthy of members due;" but after all, he adds, a miof an household of faith which is at unity nister's great source of appeal is with itself.'' p. I.

to Him who reads the heart; who Having alluded to the advantages knows bis motives and his difficulof episcopal visitations, when rightly ties. “ It is a small thing to be conducted, his lordship adds : judged of man's judgment: he who

Think not, on the one hand, that I judgeth us is the Lord.” come among, you for the purpose of His lordship next adverts to the placing a check on such wholesome zeal as

answers returned to a series of may tend to win souls to Christ; or, on the other hand, that I am desirous of im- questions which he had sent round posing on you new and heavy burthens, to his clergy. These questions, his which neither the order of our church, nor lordship observes, embrace some the pastoral vows into which you have entered, oblige you to bear. The truth is, points not usually noticed, and omit as the clergy of another diocese were told others of a routine nature, with renearly a century ago, .. It is very little in spect to which abundant information my power either to increase or lessen had been already collected. We your duty. Our blessed Master hath fixed have seen these questions, and should it; you have undertaken it: and were I to release you from ever so great a part of it, have long since detailed the sub1 should only bring guilt on myself, with stance of them in

our pages,

had we out acquitting you at all. The injunctions not considered the intercourse beof the New Testament, infinitely stricter tween an individual bishop and his than any of men, would continue to bind you as firmly as ever.""

-Bishop of Ox- clergy as in some measure of a pri. ford's (query, what Bishop ?)' Second vate nature. The chief heads of the Charge to his Clergy, p. 3.

information required will be seen His lordship proceeds to notice from the summary of the details in the peculiar duties which attach to the bishop's charge ; and they are of the clergy, in reference to the pre- great importance in reference to the sent state of public opinion. The moral and spiritual statistics of the diffusion of knowledge, and other parishes in the diocese. The ques. causes, conspire, justly remarks his tions were admirably drawn up, and lordship, to bring the clergy "before would form an excellent basis for a tribunal always keen and search: similar inquiries in other ecclesiasing; but not, I fear, always candid tical districts. To some of them, as, Have you a Sunday school; the parishes. In three parishes, connumber of scholars, &c. ? or, Have taining 936 souls, there are only you a daily school, &c.; or, an infant twenty-two communicants and fifty school, &c. ? his lordship judiciously attendants at church. · In other added, seriatim, the very stringent places the average congregation is interrogation, If not, why?" scarcely a fortieth of the population.

His lordship laments the want In a diocese containing 150,000 of church accommodation in some souls, the communicants are reparts of his diocese, particularly the ported at only 4134, and the churchmining districts, where a large popu- goers at 19,169. The clergy, in lation is often rapidly built up to be their answers to the queries, ascribe almost as rapidly dispersed when this defect mainly to “ the activity the mines are exhausted. To meet of the Dissenters, or the indifference the wants of such migratory neigh- of the people to all religion." But bourhoods, his lordship suggests whose fault is this? His lordship that there should be a fund to main- affectionately, yet plainly, impresses tain a suitable number of clergy- on his clergy, that if the Dissenters men, who might move with the mov- are more active than themselves, ing population. In the mean time, the blame and the punisbment will his lordship had intended to license be theirs, and that in such a case suitable edifices, where necessary, the friends of religion must rejoice, 'for the temporary performance of that notwithstanding every way Divine worship; a measure which, “ Christ is preached," and the souls we doubt not, would prove of great of men are not left utterly to perish utility.

in ignorance and irreligion. On the appalling subject of non-re- His lordship most scripturally sidence his lordship states, that there epitomizes as follows, what he conare but one hundred glebe houses siders to be “ the great truths of in the diocese, of which many are

the Gospel." untenantable by a clergyman. In

“ The corruption of human nature, the consequence, in a great degree, of this gratuitous offer of salvation through the 'inconvenience-added, no doubt, merits of Christ alone, the necessity of to the poverty of the parishes and daily renewal by that Spirit which helpech other less excusable causes – there holiness of heart and action, with all the

our infirmities, the obligations to personal are only ninety-seven parishes with collateral points to which these fundaa resident minister, either incum- mental principles lead, should be, in my bent or curate, while one hundred judgment, the outline of your doctrinal and thirty-seven are destitute of this divinity. Nor will it be sufficient to de

liver these truths in a crude and abstract benefit. We cannot but tremble

manner. They should be pursued through for the church, and mourn over the their practical bearings on human conneglected souls of her professed duct, and urged with a close and faithful members, while we peruse such application to the various relations of life,

by exemplifying the fruits of the Spirit in statements.

the graces of the Christian character, with But the most injurious plurali- all those particular details of which the ties in the diocese of Llandaff, are not Epistles afford so many instances.” pp. those of benefices but of curacies. 18, 19. His lordship had therefore matured From preaching, his lordship a plan, as far as possible to have two passes on to schools.

The detail is Sunday services in every church; painfully meagre. Of daily schools and to allow of no clergyman's there are only thirty-nine, and of supplying more than two parishes. Sunday schools sixty-six. There are He also recommends, in such cases, 141 parishes without schools of any a week-day service.

description. It is an unaccount. His lordship laments the small able fact, that Bishop Watson, number of the congregations and twenty years ago, gave in the recommunicants in many of the port of schools in this diocese, at

« AnteriorContinuar »