« PreviousContinue »
hierarchy,--for deans and chapters, grieved when they reflect that these or for collegiate foundations at Ox- large and excessive incomes are deford, at Cambridge, at Durham, and rived, for the most part, from their elsewhere? Yet this is the simple own impoverishment. truth; and this truth it is that makes That we may not be thought to their condition
once uneasy and make more of this evil than it really degraded.
is, we will state the full amount of it The extent of this evil is but little upon evidence which cannot be quesknown, and yet the facts attesting it tioned or gainsaid. By a Commission are most striking: The following bearing date the 8th of Jan. 1849, a table, which stands upon the most new Board was appointed, whose incontrovertible authority, will pre- designation is, “The Episcopal and sent them in one form.
Capitular Revenue Commissioners."
In their Report dated Jan. 31, 1850, Number of Benefices
and presented to both Houses of Parunder.......... £10 per ann. 11
liament by command of Her Majesty, Ditto, between £10 and £20 19
these Commissioners make the folDitto,
£20 £30 32 Ditto,
-" The whole of £30 €50
lowing statement, -" 235
the tithe commutation rent-charges, Ditto,
£50 £100 1,629 Ditto,
£150 1,602 belonging to the several bodies, into Ditto, £150 £200 1,35+ the management of whose revenues
your Majesty has commanded us to Total number of Benefices not
inquire, now produce a gross annual exceeding £200 per ann. 4,882
sum of £650,000 at the least.” Now
the bodies referred to here are, as But the whole number of benefices, implied by the title of the Commisaccording to the same authority, sion, and as described in the Comamounts to 10,784; the half of which mission itself, “ the Archbishops and is 5,392; so that the number of bene- Bishops, and the cathedrals and colfices not exceeding £200 per annum, legiate churches;" and thus it will be is not very far short of half the whole seen, that the main source of the number existing. This entirely agrees wealth, from which these richly enwith the words of the Archbishop dowed dignitaries derive their incited above, that “many of the clergy comes, is tithe rent-charges, which are in painfully straitened circum- are the parochial funds, rightfully stances.
For what is £200 per an- belonging to the impoverished paronum, the very largest income here chial clergy, and which have been given, for one educated as a clergy- diverted from their proper uses, into man of the Church of England is,-to channels, or rather reservoirs, that bring up a family upon, and to main- ought not to be the recipients of them. tain his own due position in his pa- Should these lines meet the eye of rish ? But let us look at this in any member of the legislature, as I another light. There are nearly 2,000 hope they may, I trust he will not of these whose incomes do not exceed rest satisfied with himself until he £100 per annum; and taking their have obtained a return to parliament, incomes at a high average, these 2,000 shewing distinctly the places whence clergy have not among them £140,000 these rent-charges arise; the impoverper annum.
On the other hand, the ished condition of the clergy in them; members of the hierarchy are only the persons or offices to which they twenty-seven in number, enjoying have been appropriated; the amount, amongst them the sum of £165,000 in each case, of any portion that has per annum.
Can it be matter of sur- reverted to the Ecclesiastical Com. prise, that some of the 2,000 ill-paid missioners; and, finally, as the test of incumbents should compare their in- he manner in which those Commiscomes, not with their labours and sioners misemployed their powers, the talents, but with the incomes of the very small sums that they have altwenty-seven members of the hierar- lowed in any case to dribblę back to ehy, and should feel themselves ag- the parishes whence they flowed so abundantly. Two cases in my own as possible to its original scriptural immediate vicinity, I can give, as ex- simplicity of bishops, priests, and deaamples of the liberality of the Com- cons, all other dignities and titles, as missioners. The parish of Chipping- those of archbishop, archdeacon, dean, norton, with a population of at least canon, prebendary, and the like, to be 3,000 souls, and contributing a large suppressed. A greater number of deasum in tithes every year to the Dean cons to encouraged, who may be and Chapter of Gloucester, has had admitted to that office, without having £12 doled out, to raise its income to graduated at a university, according £150; and the parish of Deddington, to the judgment and discretion of the with a population exceeding 2,000, bishops, and who, “having used the and contributing a much larger sum office of a deacon well,” may thereby than the former place, bas had £15 “purchase to themselves a GOOD DEof its own tithes most liberally be- GREE, and great boldness in the faith stowed upon it, to raise it to the sum which is in Christ Jesus,” 1 Tim. iii.13; of £150 per annum.
And this is the 80 that they may be admitted in time, manner in which the pauperism of and after stated periods of service, to the clergy, after having been made the higher degrees of the ministry; or the stalking-horse for obtaining the upon trial, being not found worthy, powers of the Commission, has been
may, if need be, be removed from their relieved; and this is the meed of jus- office, and restored to their position as tice, equity, and fairness, with which laymen. Thus in this office of deaparochial funds have been dealt. con might many godly persons be
Surely, then, the principle of resti- employed, and trained up to the work tution of parochial funds to the paro- of the ministry in the practice of it. chial clergy, to whom they rightfully ii. In conformity with the rule made belong, is one that cannot be ques- to themselves by the Apostles, when tioned or contested, and the necessity they declined • serving tables, that for which has been made painfully they might give themselves continuevident. I have said nothing, neither ally to prayer, and to the ministry of do l attempt to say anything, about the word,” Acts vi. 4; all bishops, restitution to the Church, by other priests, and deacons, to be relieved parties, of the funds that have been from all offices, employments, or enabstracted from it; for I feel that the gagements, strictly secular; as bishops Church itself is not clear in this par- to be relieved from their labour as ticular, and that it is impossible for it peers of parliament, and from all the to rebuke the world until it has first duties, engagements, and incumbrances reformed itself. But this I do say, that of the same, and thereby enabled not only ought the Church to do this to attend solely to the spiritual and as an act of common undeniable right, charitable duties of their respective but that until it has done this simple dioceses; and all ministers to be react of justice, it will neither be itself lieved from magisterial duties, accordright, nor a right example to those ing to that exhortation of St. Paul to whom it ought to endeavour to re- Timothy, the primitive pattern and form. Until it has removed “the scriptural example of what ministers beam from its own eye, how can it should be. “No man that warreth see clearly to take out the mote from entangleth himself with the affairs of another's eye?"
this life; that he may please him who 4. Having discussed and explained hath chosen him to be a soldier.” the grounds upon which reforms in our 2 Tim. ii. 4. ecclesiastical system are called for, it iii. The present number of dioceses may be well, before I pass on to a con- to be doubled, so that instead of twentysideration of other topics, to combine six there be fifty-two. The population in one view all that at present seems of England, Wales, and the Channel desirable in remodelling the tempo- Islands being more than 16,000,000, ralities, and I will proceed, therefore, this number divided by 52, would to exhibit them.
give an average of more than 300,000 i. The ministry to be restored as nearly to each diocese. But, as in the Me
tropolis, Manchester, Liverpool, Bir- there would no longer be need of mingham, Leeds, Bristol, and other archdeacons, whose separate courts, densely populated places, the labours independent jurisdictions, and interof a bishop would be more easily dis- vening visitations, occasion much charged than when his diocese ex- clashing of interests. It would be far tends over a wider sphere; in such better for bishops to hold visitations places or districts a bishop might more frequently, as every year, and to superintend a larger amount of popu- come more immediately into conneclation. Thus the Metropolis might tion with the parochial clergy; besides be divided into four dioceses, giving that, it is a much simpler system, and nearly 500,000 to each ; while Man- more in accordance with apostolical chester, Liverpool, Birmingham, &c., rule and discipline, than to delegate together with certain districts around to others such important charges as them, might be formed into dioceses the supervision of the ministry, the nearly similar.
overseeing of the preaching of the iv. The incomes of the bishops to be Word, the exhorting to greater vigimaterially reduced from what they are lance and usefulness, and the counat present, so that none shall exceed selling in cases of emergency or diffi£1,500 per annum, as those of the culty in the management of paroMetropolis, on account of the greater chial concerns. charge of living there, as compared vi. Fitty-two bishoprics would allow with that of the country; and so that of four provinces instead of only two, their incomes generally shall not ex- as at present, in each of which there ceed £1,000 per annum; which since should be a presiding bishop, whenthey will be relieved from all ex- ever an episcopal synod should aspences of parliament and the like, and semble for mutual consultation and will have much less labour than at advice. The clergy also should have present, when there are but twenty- their synods for the same purposes, six to the whole of England, will be statedly held within the several diviquite adequate. The present bishops' sions of dioceses that now exist, known palaces to be disposed of; moderate as the Rural Deaneries; and these and suitable houses of residence to be should be called Clerical Synods. The provided out of the proceeds; and the bishops should be elected to their seesby surplus to be applied in endowing the clergy and laity assembled in their populous places ill-provided with mi- synod ; each synod, after solemn prayer nisters. The reductions in incomes, for the aid of the Spirit, through the as stated above, notwithstanding that intercession of the Great Head of the the number of bishops is proposed to Church, proceeding to vote for the be doubled, would cause a saving of several persons commended to them ; more than one-half of the whole sum the majority of all the votes, as taken at present enjoyed by the bierarchy, in each synod, determining the elecso that there would be a considerable tion. sum to provide more labourers in the vii. Church patronage has of late vineyard of the Lord. The amount years been very largely accumulated of incomes at present divisible among in the hands of the bishops. Before the bishops is € 165,000. The amount the changes recently effected by the required for fifty-two bishops, allowing Ecclesiastical Commission, the bishops four at £1,500 per annum each, and had as many as 1,240 benefices in their forty-eight at an average of £1,000, patronage ; but this number has been would be £54,000, which being de- largely augmented by the transducted from £165,000, will leave an ference to them of all cathedral paavailable surplus of 111,000, a sum tronage, and by the many new ensufficient to provide an income of dowments appropriated to them. The £200 per annum each, for as many as cathedral patronage amounts to at 555 additional ministers.
least 1,075 benefices, while the nurnv. The number of bishops having ber of new endowments I have not the been doubled, and the labour of each means of obtaining. Now the power consequently so much diminished, of bestowing patronage is one of the
most dangerous that can be committed be always resident and charged with to men. It is doubly tempting, both the immediate spiritual oversight of to those who have the bestowment, as allotted districts or parishes; and they tending to increase, and unduly to mag might further be most usefully ennify, their influence over the clergy; gaged in training up candidates for and to those who must necessarily the ministry. The Manchester Rectory be the candidates for it, as tending to Bill of last Session, restoring the camake them subservient. Of all men thedral offices to their original duties, the clergy ought to be placed in as is a most valuable measure, as exemindependent a position as possible, so plifying what can and therefore ought that in the exercise of their own judg- to be done in such cases. ment, faithfulness, discretion, and zeal, ix. Having reduced the episcopal they should do the most they can for incomes as above, and also having the improvement of their people. thereby obtained a fund for the inTheirs should be “not eye service as crease of clergymen; having further men pleasers, but singleness of heart, shewn how the cathedral establishifearing God.”
The present system ments may be made more beneficial of patronage in the hands of the bi- in relieving the spiritual necessities of shops, its over increase and accumu- the people; it only remains that we lation, tends rather to the former than observe upon what might be done by to the latter. Besides, patronage is reducing rich livings, and applying really one of the rights of the people, the funds so raised, in other places. and in ALL THE EARLIEST ages of the The late Regius Professor, Dr. Burton, Church was possessed and enjoyed by and others, have recommended taxing them. Where the people have the all livings according to their value for power of election and choice, but not this purpose; I myself drew up, and of dismissal or removal, then may they published in 1837, a scale of resafely and beneficially exercise such a duction, showing how a very large power; safely, because the minister, annual sum might be obtained; but, having bee chosen, will be indepen- however arranged, certain it is that dent of them, and so beyond the temp- some livings are unnecessarily wealthy, tation of courting their favour; bene- while others are much impoverished. ficially, because the having to choose, Now to these the rule of the Apostle gives the people an interest in their might well be applied. “I mean not ininister, his character, learning, piety, that some be eased, and others burand all due qualifications, which must dened, but by an equality, that now excite in them a livelier concern in at this time the abundance of one their own spiritual matters than they may be a supply for the wants of anowould otherwise take. No minister ther, that there may be equality : as should be eligible until he had been it is written, He that had gathered ordained priest ; and as to the bishops much had nothing over; and he that would belong the sole power of ordi- had gathered little had no lack," nation, in their hands would be the 2 Cor. viii. 13, 15. responsibility of admitting to the mi- x. One abounding source of evil nistry fit and proper persons, from to the Church, is the influence which amongst whom the people might the executive government has over it elect.
by means of patronage, perverting it viii. Although the cathedral estab- thereby into a state engine, instead of lishments have already been reduced, allowing it free power as a spiritual and the funds saved thereby have agency. That every state, that is, been applied to the benefit of the every community, whether great or Church at large, by providing more small
, is bound to provide itself with clergymen, they are quite capable of religious instruction, ordinances, &c., further improvement, and of a more cannot be doubted, whatever questions profitable adaptation to the spiritual may arise as to the manner of doing necessities of the people. They might so, whether voluntarily or compulhave cures of souls attached to them, sorily. But this duty of the state, to and each member of a Chapter should provide religious instruction, is a thing
altogether apart from the exercise of these evils is the withdrawal of pacontrol or influence by the govern- tronage from the government, that is, ment of the state therein. A govern- from secular influence, and placing it ment will always use such a power wholly under spiritual. The mode of for its own support, and though this doing this is most simple, as has of course will be done avowedly with already been more than once referred the best intentions, and for the benefit to, nar
namely by giving to the people, of the state, yet temporal rulers do not that is the true members of the Church, always clearly discern what is spi- the power of electing their own minisritually good, and often imagine that ters, so that they would be chosen for their own political designs are neces- their spiritual qualifications, not for sarily religiously beneficial. This mis- political or literary; and allowing mitake leads them to countenance and nisters and people to elect in reality, encourage those ministers who up- not by the mockery of a conge d'elire, hold their system, and thus the Church their own spiritual governors. becomes secularized. The remedy for
A PLEA FOR OPEN-AIR PREACHING. A Letter ADDRESSED to INCUMBENTS, BY TAE Rev. J. H. TitcomB, M.A.
[Continued from page 73.]
The next point which claims our at- make up this vast aggregate I believe tention, with reference to this inte- to be as follows:resting subject, is the following: III. The state of the country re
There are ten stamped newspapers
of an infidel tendency, whose quires it.
annual circulation is
11,700,000 When I say that the state of the
There are six unstamped newscountry requires parochial open-air papers, whose annual circulapreaching, I mean that there is no
6, 240,000 other available agency by which vast Of miscellaneous publications of a masses of our population can be
light and evil tendency, there are 10,400,000 brought within the sound of the Gos- Of the worst class of all
525,000 pel; and that we have no other hope
Total, about 28,000,000 of staying the plague of infidelity and crime, which is at present making such fearful ravages amongst us; I may
In London, some of the statements add also, of resisting the gigantic ex
vhich ha been received by the ertions which Romanism is now
Church Pastoral-Aid Society are truly making among the more degraded appalling. The incumbent of a meportion of our poor.
tropolitan parish lately informed the 1. With regard to infidelity. I know secretary, that adjoining his district not in what terms to speak of this. It there is a manufactory which employs runs like a leprosy over the whole 500 men, and amongst these there is land. Judge of its extent by the fact scarcely one who is not avowedly an that there is a yearly issue from infidel.*. “ Not long since, a sick man London of nearly thirty millions of in the Birmingham hospital stated to copies of infidel and licentious works, the chaplain, that out of 300 men who which exercise a baneful influence on worked in the same manufactory, 100 the minds of large numbers of the were professed infidels.”+ With facts people.” This statement appears in the Jubilee Volume of the Religious
• See last Report. Tract Society, edited by Mr. William
+ See “A letter of Rev. J. C. Miller to Pa
rishioners of St. Martin's, Birmingham, called Jones, secretary. The items which Earnest and Anxious Words."