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annum, was 1494. Of the remaining 2503 parishes of which the income was not 150l., and where there was no residence either legal or virtual, the officiating clergyman could only have what the incumbent could spare of his own pittance, and that would generally be the lowest price at which he could get the labour performed. The 6, 24 livings on which the incumbents did not reside, were left to the charge of curates. The non-residence of incumbents existing to so enormous an extent, was a serious evil, and seemed to call for a revision of the laws respecting nonresidence and pluralities. This evil would not, he feared, be greatly corrected even by the proposed augmentation of the smaller livings, without some further measures; for though the number of residents on parishes under 150l. was smaller than on those above that sum, yet the difference was not such as to hold out any prospect of material improvement in respect to residence from this circumstance alone. On 3997 parishes with incomes under 150l., the residents were 1494. On 7107 parishes with incomes above 130l., the residents were only 3556. The poverty of the church had been Pleaded for non-residence; but this was clearly not the real or only cause. If it were, the remedy now applied was very singular, for it was the unnecessary increase of the "mber to be supported by that inadequate income. Of the non-resident incumbents, those who were non-resident on one nefice, on account of residence on another, were 1797; those who "sided in a house of their own, or of * Relation, were 152; those who reided near and did duty, were 476. he two latter classes probably had "9 Curates. The former class must top curates, but did not thereby in"tease the number of persons to be "Pplied. There would still remain, "ever, at least 3500 parishes,which, *Lordship remarked, “must either *We no curate at all, which he "ed the vigilance of the church Culist. Observ. No. 11 4.
never permitted; or they must be served by the incumbent or curate of a neighbouring parish, which was next to not being served at all ; or they must be served by a curate of their own, who must be supported by what the incumbent could spare, or thought proper to spare, out of his own income.” If then non-residence be an evil arising from the poverty of the church, it seemed a strange remedy to load it with the burthen of supporting, in so many instances, two persons instead of One. The system of pluralities, to its present ertent, was also stated to be necessary on account of the poverty of the church. If this were true, the pluralists would be found mostly among the poorer incumbents. The non-residents, however, on one living, because of residence on another, were, amongst the incumbents of livings above 150l., 11 13; amongst those under, only 686. What was the result, his Lordship asked, of all these facts? It was a conviction that the poverty of the church was such as to call urgently for pecuniary aid from Parliament, as the only means of effectual relief; but that such aid would not be sufficient of itself for the security of the establishment; that, unless prompt and efficacious remedies were applied, we were tending to that most alarming situation in which the religion of the established church would not be that of the majority of the people; and that it was therefore one of the most pressing duties of the legislature, to give to this subject a full and deliberate consideration. The formation and digestion of a permanent plan for the benefit of the church, would, indeed, be a work of difficulty, requiring the collective wisdom of the legislature: he would, nevertheless, state a few of the ideas which occurred to him upon it. His first object would be, after endeavouring to reduce the number of livings requiring augmentation, by a judicious consolidation, and by 3 E
the improvement of vicarages and perpetual curacies in the hands of ecclesiastical persons, to continue the bounty of Parliament, till all livings should be raised first to 100l., and then to 150l., and those first whose population was largest. His next object would be to revise the laws respecting non-residence. If the object of the act lately passed on that subject was, what its title announced, to encourage residence, that object had certainly been very imperfectly attained; for after it had been in force seven years, there were only 4412 persons legally resident on 11,164 benefices and dignities. He would then proceed to revise the act of Henry VIII. respecting pluralities, limiting the holding of pluralities by a reference to distance and value. The limitation of the distance he thought ought not to exceed ten miles from church to church; but neither on this point, nor on, that of the limitation of value, had he made up his mind. He also thought that some regulations were necessary respecting curates; that no curate ought to be permitted to act as a curate on a living where the incumbent was non-resident, without a licence from the bishop, specifying the salary he was to receive; and that in livings below a certain value, the salary should be the whole income of the living. The present practice was far from creditable to the parties concerned, and served to degrade the church; a non-resident incumbent of a living of 50l., 60l., or 70l. per annum, put into his own pocket a portion of this wretched pittance, and left much less than the wages of a day-labourer for the subsistence of his curate. He knew parishes that were served for 20l., and even, for 10l per annum, and in which all they could know of their clergyman was the sound of his voice in the reading-desk or pulpit once a week or a fortnight. This must also be the case where curates served unore than two churches; an abuse that ought, therefore, to be Prevented.
But supposing all this to have been. effected, much would still remain to be done. In many places, there was a great want of places, of public worship. There was no want, indeed, of religious disposition, for in those places dissenting chapels of every description were rising year after year. There was, however, in the present state of the law, very great difficulty in obtaining leave to erect additional places for worship according to the ritual of the Church of England. The inhabitants, therefore, in many cases, had no choice: “ They might prefer the Church of England, but that church shut her doors against them. They had, therefore, no option, but either to neglect divine worship entirely, or to attend it in a form which they did not so well approve. He was rejoiced, for one. that they should adopt the latter alternative. The consequence, however, was inevitable; their attendance on a place of dissenting worship gradually led to a complete separation from the established church.” In the places where the want of churches was chiefly felt, the increased wealth and prosperity of the places, which had led to an increased population, should supply the means of remoying it; and little more would be necessary than to. devise the means of obviating the difficulties by which the wish toerect additional houses of worship, according to the Church of England, had hitherto, in so many instances, been defeated. In all such cases, also, a certain space should be set apart for the accommodation of the poor. Adequate dwelling-houses. should also be provided for the clergymen. The non-residents on this account were 1098. In all such cases, the livings, on their becoming vacant. should be sequestered, until, by the accumulation of the surplus profits, over and above what was required to pay a curate, funds for the erection or repair of the parsonagehouse should be secured. There were many other points on. which improvements might be sug
gested, and many details which were wanting to explain all his reasons for what he had suggested; but his object at present was merely to throw out hints, not to propose a regular plan. By many he might be thought to have gone too far, and by others not far enough. His Lordship concluded with observing, that no man could be more adverse than himself to plans of merely speculative reform. But when practical evils existed to a great extent, and when practical remedies could be applied, grounded on principles of existing law, it was not the fear of being called a reformer which should deter him from delivering his opiThion. Having thus given our readers as succinct a view of this able and luminous speech, as was consistent with perspicuity, we shall proceed to make a few brief remarks, which have suggested themselves to our minds as we have followed the course of his Lordship's argument. Our readers will perceive that it would have been easy to dilate at great length, on each head of * remark. At a very early period of our laours, we ventured to express an opinion, that the measnre proposed by Sir W. Scott, and adopted by parliament, for encouraging the residence of the Clergy, would have a directly contrary effect”. The event has oilet; verified our apprehensions; and under the operation of that, which we must venture to call an improvident act, the evil has grown to a most gigantic size. Less than one half of the clergy of the Church of England reside on their livings at this moment! Had the bitterest enemy of that church been anxious to devise * measure which, without alarming the clergy, her appointed guardians, should have the effect of undermin"g, and finally destroying, the esta
- s lishment, could he have pursued a
* See vol for 1802, p. 263; also vol. for 1993, pp. 212, 236, 247, and 289.
more efficacious course, than has been pursued in this instance by one who, we believe, is cordially attached to her interests * Would he not have framed a measure which, under the semblance of respect for the clergy, should relieve them from
all compulsory obligation to attend
to their duty The ruin of the church would thus be made the act of the clergy themselves. If we are to suppose that the dissenters and methodists really desire to supplant the clergy on. church of England, we would ask, whether it would be possible for their utmost ingenuity to devise a more effectual expedient for the accomplishment of this purpose, than the non-residence of the clergy P Let the evil only proceed for a few years more, as it has done since the passing of this act, and the work is completed without any direct act of hostility on their parts. They will have entered quietly, and without any opposition (unless, indeed, the noisy but harmless vituperation contained in Charges and Visitation Sermons should be considered in the light of opposition), into the labours of the clergy; they will at least have nearly engrossed their spiritual functions; they will have become the almost exclusive instructors of the great mass of the poor; and the period will have arrived, so justly deprecated by Lord Harrowby, when the religion of the church will not be the religion of the majority of the people. We shall be told, that the view we have here taken proceeds upon a false assumption; that the discretion with respect to residence is not vested in the clergy generally, but in the bishops. We admit it to be so; but if those who are disposed to question the correctness of the foregoing remarks, will turn over the leaves of our two first volumes, they will see that it was then our opinion, as it is now, that to vest such a discretion in the bishops, uncontrouled by the law, would, in the end, lead to evils
nearly as extensive as if no such check had been interposed. For the reasons on which we founded this opinion, reasons which the event appears to us to have greatly strengthened, we must leave our readers to consult the passages referred to in the preceding note. The evils of non-residence are greatly aggravated, as Lord Harrowby very properly argues, by the difficulty which is experienced in erecting additional places for worship accerding to the ritual of the church of En 'land; while the methodists and dissenters experience no disficulty whatever, if they can only procure the necessary funds, in filling the unoccupied space with their chapels and meeting-houses. But the e is another evil to be noticed,of more malignant potency than even that of non-residence, or the want of the necessary accommodation for religious worship; and it is one on which Lord Harrowby has not touched. We mean, the non-efficiency of many of the clergy who do reside. We will not venture to say, because we have no means of ascertaining, what proportion of the 5000 resident incumbents delight more in leaping a gate than mounting a pulpit ; in spending their evenings in scenes of gaiety, than beside the beds of the sick and dying: nor what proportion are careless and indifferent, slothful and lukewarm, in the performance of their pastoral duties: nor yet what proportion of those who are decorous in their external conduct, and punctual in the discharge of the ministerial offices, are at the same time adverse to those peculiar views of Christianity which entitle that dispensation to the emphatical appellation of the Gospel. But this we will say, that the number of active, zealous, conscientious, and enlightened clergymen, though of late greatly increased, and we sincerely bless God for the increase, is still sufficiently disproportionate to the demands of the church, to fill with the most se
rious concern all who have at heart her best interests. This state of things might be productive of no bad consequences, at least in lessening the nominal influence of the church of England, if the dissenters continued as supine and torpid as ourselves. They, however, have become active and vigilant; and while we deeply lament that their exertions have been needed, can we do otherwise than rejoice that they have stept forward to supply our lack of service, and to point to perishing souls the way of life and salvation ? And is it too much to say, that, unless we emulate their activity and vigilance; unless, indeed, we surpass it; it is not to be expected that we should maintain or recover our hold on the af. fections of the people : We consider it as one of the great disadvantages of our situation, that, with a few exceptions, our bishops, the rulers of our church—at least, if we may be allowed to form a judgment of their views of the subject from the complexion of those episcopal charges whicn occasionally issue from the press—seem scarcely awake to the peculiar evils by which her safety is endangered. It certainly is not by the refutation or reprobation of Methodism or Calvinism—by ring: ing the changes on certain hard names, or by eyeing with jealousy and distrust, and discouraging by the whole weight of episcopal authority, such men as may happen to stand distinguished among their brethren by pre-eminence of zeal and laborious usefulness—that the cause of the church of England is to be effectually upheld, or the reviving spirit of religion among her sons is to acquire strength and prevalence. No far different means must be adopted. The consideration of these means we must reserve for a future opportunity; and shall only stop at present to remark, that, whatever be the dangers which assail the church from without, they appear to us to be perfectly
In the press: From the French, Biographie Moderne or Lives of remarkable Characters who have distinguished themselves during the French Revolution;–Strype's Memorials of Archbishop Cranmer, in 2 vols. royal 8vo.;-Dr. Sherlock's Discourses, in 3 vols.;-Tracts, Mathcmatical and Philosophical, by Dr. C. Hutton;–A volume of Letters, by the late Rev. James Hervey, from 1736 to 1752; — A New Edition of Foster's Essays;–and, An Account of the Kingdom of Tunis, by Thomas M'Gill, Esq.
Preparing for publication: An enlarged edition of Dr. Williams's Essay on Divine Equity and Sovereignty, in 2 vols. 8vo, including an Examination of Bishop Tomline's Refutation of Calvinism.
At Cambridge, the Norrisian prize is this year adjudged to the Rev. John Taddy, M. A. late fellow of Trinity College, for his essay on the following subject: “The divisions of Christians are not inconsistent with the trush of Christianity."—The subjects of the prizes for the present year are—for serior bachelors, “Utrum in optima Dialogorum ratione Antiqui Recentioribus sint Prepenendi;”—for middle bachelors, “Studiorum quae in Academia sunt instituta laus et utilitas.” The subject of the Seatonian prize is, “the Sufferings of the primitive Martyrs." From a return presented to the House of Commons, it appears that we imported last year, 1,387,020 quarters of wheat, 503,422 *"t of flour, 533,613 quarters of oats, and 93.226 bolls of oatmeal. Of this quantity * imports were — from France, $34,806 outers of wheat, and 202,922 cwt. of flour; from Holland, 189,016 quarters of wheat; from Germany, 145,186 ditto; and from *land and Prussia, 296,756; from Den** and Norway, 110,935 quarters; from *rica, 34,829 quarters of wheat, and *10,209 cwt. of flour. The following return of commitments and * in Londoa and Middlesex, for five
years, from 1805 to 1809, has been presented to the House of Commons, viz. Committed. Indicted. Convicted. 1805 . . . . 980. . . . 951. . . . . .558 1806 . . . . 899. . . . 855 . . . . . . 475 1807 . . . . 1017 - - - 980. . . . . .542 1808. . . .1110 - - - - 1074. . . . . . 619 1809. . . . 1242. . . . 1197 . . . . .750 The return of trials, &c. for all England, in the year 1809, is as follows: Commit. Infoct. Convict. Exec. Home Circuit . . . .368. • 332. .205..17 Oxford ditto . . . .269. . 262- . 154. .. 2 Western ditto . . . .267. • 253. .152... 4 Midland ditto . . . .223. , 214. -134 .. 4