« PreviousContinue »
obedience is dae to that which the readily recognized as the Ministers Rulers of the Church have tacitly of God, and outwardly distinguished permitted to become obsolete, and from members of the secular proto which no oath, as in cases offessions. This appears to me to be Rubrical direction, binds him who as obviously reasonable, as it has enters into holy orders; yet the been universally acknowledged. But, principle on which the Canon rests it may be said, Halitus non facit is not mutable, like the fashion of Monachum, and a Clergyman is not the garments which it prescribes; the less a distinct character, be. and therefore it deserves to meet cause he does not wear a peculiar with such attention as is paid to garb. He is equally responsible as other canonical injunctions, where a Minister of Christ, and as a percompliance with the spirit, if not son subject to ecclesiastical antho. with the letter, is plainly practi- rity. How they can it be of any cable. The Canon runs thus : importance either to the public or “ The true, ancient, and flourishing to himself
, that when he is not in. Churches of Christ, being ever de the act of officiating, he should be sirous that their Prelacy and Clergy known to belong to any particular might be had as well in outward profession? reverence, as otherwise regarded I should reply, that the advanfor the worthiness of their ministry, tages attending the practice of disdid think it fit by a prescript form tinguishing from the Laity, not only of decent and comely apparel, to all who have a cure of souls, but have them known to the people, the Clergy in general, seem to me and thereby to receive the honour not a few, or of trifling magnitude. and estimation due to the special If the elder and the beneficed messengers and ministers of Al. Clergy were always outwardly dismighty God: we tirerefore following tinguished, they could not but feel their grave judgement, and the an conscious, at all seasons, of the cient custom of
the Church of Eng. great obligations which lie espeland, and hoping that in time new. cially on them, of preserving the fangleness of apparel in some fac- sanctity of manner and Christian tious persons will die of itself, do dignity of demeanour becoming their constitute and appoint,” &c. Then conspicuous station. They would follow certain modes of attire for the be constantly aware that all classes different grades of clerical persons,
of their parishioners, looking upon to be worn in public and in private. the badge of their sacred profesWith any sach particular forms of sion, would expect from the wearer dress I have nothing to do, becarise an uniform and consistent piety, authority may most wisely dis- and an exemplary course of conpense with, or custom conveniently duct. They would take a pride in change, things so indifferent as the being personally known, as the quality and shape of garments, shepherd of their flock, to all who which were well adopted to the might desire their assistance or admanners of the times in which they vice; an honest pride which would were prescribed, but would not now lead them to the performance of accord with the habits of society. many a good work, as the friend of The principle which the Canon af the poor man, and the counsellor firms may, however, be respected of the rich. Whatever tends to without an adherence to any objec. draw closer the bonds of union tionable style of dress; and need which do, or ought to, exist beRot therefore be abandoned. It is tween the parish Priest and his laid down as a thing desirable, that parishioners must be deemed a va. those who are set apart for the ser. luable accessary at least to the cause vice of the sanctuary should be of Religion, and highly beneficial
to both parties. Experience will, I lish Clergy, both old and young, a think, convince us of the necessity of simple unostentatious distinction attention even to the prejudices, often could hardly be in any way objecwell founded, of the lower ranks, if tionable to them; more especially we seriously mean to be of use to as it comes recommended to them them either spiritually or temporally. by the Fathers of the Reformation, And the common people will gene. on the ground of its having always rally respect their pastor in propor. obtained in the Christian Church. tion as he respects his own office, In many cases it might defend them and seems to be devoted to it. By against that which they have now distinguishing himself from the Laity frequent cause to lament. It would he assuredly affords one evidence serve as a check upon the licentious of regard to his calling, and, ac- freedom of conversation, which they cording to the Canon, will “ be had are sometimes constrained to enin outward reverence,” an enviable dure; upon the liberal remarks advantage, which does not fall to prompted by a spirit of levelling all the lot of every parish Priest, even distinctions, which are sometimes though he may in most particulars introduced with malignant ingenuity deserve it.
when the utterer is not obliged to - To the younger Clergy it would know that an object of them is in surely be of incalculable advantage, company. that they should never be able to As respects the community, the mix with the crowd, without being above-mentioned advantages of cleassured that they have the eyes of rical distinction would unquestionall men upon thein, and that if they ably be reciprocal. By whatever should be guilty of any indecorous means the Ministers of the Gospel levity, or join in any unfit pursuit, are raised in the estimation of the they cannot escape observation; people, the latter cannot but be. and must injure not only their own benefited ; because they will be led character, but that of the Church to esteem more highly the ordia to which they belong. The con nances of Religion, and to embrace sciousness of being known might more firmly the doctrines and prenot, indeed, subdue an immoral cepts which they receive through propensity, which was not to be the ministration of their Clergy, conquered by higher principle; but when they have a confidence in the in outward deportment and associa- sincere and holy character of their tion with the world, it would fur- spiritual guides. nish an additional, and a very strong, After all, it is by no means easy to motive to sobriety of manners and discover the cause of the great apconsistency of conduct.
parent desire to get rid of clerical No man,
one should suppose, distinctions, for we cannot believe would object to wear something in- for a moment that any unworthy dicative of his holy profession, but objection to their being known as a he who needs concealment, and Clergyman can actuate many who prefers darkness to light; he who do entirely lay aside all such dishas a dangerous wish to be as much tinctions. No one, I presume, will at liberty in all things as the Laity, acknowledge that he is ashamed of in order that he may freely partici. being remarked upon as a Minister pate in worldly pleasures and occu of Religion. This were, indeed, a pations, or he who indulges a false most shameful desertion of a post delicacy with regard to being ex. of highest honour.
Without at. posed to public observation.
tempiting, then, to account for this Eminently respectable, of unim- new fashion, it may be permitted to peached morality and sincere piety, point out some of the evils which as are the great majority of the Eng- arise from its prevalence.
Those who think lightly of our that he ought to have something Establishment, and every body con- better to do than to assimilate himnected with it, must doubtless be self to the fopperies of fashion. confirmed in their prejudices when It will, I am aware, be urged, they see the elder Clergy giving up that English Clergymen are mostly those outward tokens, which have English gentlemen, that they live ever since the Reformation . been in the best society, and that it is considered as honourable signs of necessary for them to conform to ecclesiastical dignity or parochial the habits and appearance of other charge. If there be nothing to de gentlemen. It will be said, that note the Minister of the Church, our Church is remarkably different however worthy he may be of re- in this respect from most others, verence, the stranger can feel none that its Ministers are not separated for him. The old man in the black from society in the same degree coat may be a very estimable man, with those, for instance, of the Robut he receives no honour on ac. man Catholic; whose Clergy having count of his office, because he bears no domestic ties, are more secluded no certain mark of it; he may be, and less affected by temporal cares. for aught the colour of his coat It is true, and happy is it, in denotes, a respectable tradesman, many respects, for the country, or any thing not at all respectable. that the Clergy are not taken out of
If the younger Clergy will con. society, but form a constituent part form to all the absurd fashions of of it; that they are intimately conthe day; if they will sedulously nected with every rank, and that a avoid every thing in outward ap- large proportion belong to, and live pearance which may draw on them amongst the highest: but this does the dreaded remark, “ there goes a not oblige them to make any conParson !" they surely subject them. cessions which can lessen the reveselves to many temptations, and to rence due to their office, nor does many improprieties to which they it require them to assume the exteought not, for the sake of their call. rior of those with whom they assoing, ever to be liable.
ciate, whenever they are not in acTo carry the vanities of dress tual duty. Why should the Clergy into the desk or pulpit, is so grossly of the lower ranks, any more than indecorous as always to excite dis- their superiors, lay aside every disgust or ridicule. To indulge in them tinction the instant they have finishat any time is utterly unworthy of ed the service of the Church? Wby any one whose obligations are such should they not, in their several as those which are embraced at or- stations, wish to sustain with prodination.
priety the character, of which they Amongst the higher classes, few cannot dispossess themselves, of will be found to express more re- something more than that of gentlespect or esteem for a young Clergy- men? Surely it would attach to man, because he employs a fashion- the profession in general somewhat able tailor, or makes himself look of greater sanctity in the minds of as much like other men as possible. others, if we were constantly reAmongst the lower, in whom much minded by some visible token, that strong sense of propriety and keen we are not only to conduct ourness of discernment are called into selves according to the rules of action, whenever they observe on good breeding, but that we have the persons who are their spiritual another character to sustain, as guides ; amongst the lower ranks Christian Ministers, of a more unthere is scarcely any one who is pretending, modest, and sedate deso generally despised as a fashion- scription, than is usually considered able Clergyman; for they well know popular in society. Though the
Clergy are not called upon to refrain lessness of pastoral connection, from innocent association with the there is no doubt, but that the world, or to live as if they were smallest hint coming from autho. totally to differ from it, yet ihere is rity, would remove all difficulty. no occasion for their obliterating all Or if any considerabile body of the the boundary lines which separate Clergy, such as the members of between the sacred and secular pro. Sion College, the City Rectors, fessions.
were to come to a resolution not to But admitting the fact that the appear in common but in some such Clergy of the present day are much dress as might distinguish them less distinguished from the Laity from the merchants and shop. than they were formerly, and that keepers who inhabit their respective evil arises from this want of distinc. parishes; and were to recomiend tion to both parties; it will be the same object to their curates; asked, How is it to be remedied? if some such step were taken, there How can the Clergy in general be would be very little reluctance in ivduced to wear any thing which the Clergy of London and Westshall distinguish them? Will they minster to follow their example ; not consider it as a matter altogether and the change would soon be per. beneath their notice, and reject ad. ceptible throughout the country. vice on such a subject, come from Surely a better period for revir. whom it may ?
ing a good old custom cannot be I am persuaded, Sir, that if the proposed, than this, when attempts attention of the beneficed Clergy are daily making to vilify the were once fairly directed to the pro- Clergy, and when the few who perbable effects, they would, without severe in retaining the clerical aphesitation, returu to the good old pearance cannot walk the streets way, and by universally adopting without being insulted. the same style of dress, which soine occurrence of a Clergyman old fashioned men, especially in the being seen with any thing about country, have never cast off, they him to attract notice gives occasion would not only regain some of the to impertinent remarks on any one respect from the lower ranks, the who dares to be singular; but it the loss of which is justly deplored, singularity were done away by the but they would receive much more general adoption of a peculiar habit, attention from the higher classes ; so numerous are the Clergy in Lonand above all, they would set an don that they would cease to be obexample to their younger brethren, jects of observation. which would assuredly tend to Still, it may be said, that I have make them dread less the imputa- attached too much importance to a tion of singularity, and induce them matter that is indifferent, and ought to conform to the character of their to be left to private judgment. profession in outward appearance; If I were proposing a novelty I perhaps, to take as much pride should most willingly admit tirat I in professional distinction as they had formed an exaggerated opinion might justly take without any dis- of its importance; but the uovelty credit or disadvantage to them. consists in the omission, not in the selves.
adoption, of a distinctive clerical I do not presume to say that habit; and as I am not aware of what may be deemed by some a any positive objectiou to it, or any very trivial matter, merits episcopal reason for its disuse that can be interference; but if it should hap- placed in competition with the reapen to be regarded as involving sons for its re-assumption, I am insome more important points, such duced to beg that you will do me as general habits of laxity and care- the favour to give this letter inser
tion in the Christian Remembrancer, paragraph of a Sermon delivered in in order that the subject may, at the Parish Churches of St. James's, any rate, be brought under the ob- Clerkenwell, and St. Antholin's, servation of those who are most inte- Watling-street, London, by the exrested in it, and are most competent press Desire of Mr. G. J. Furneaux, to decide upon the expediency of who shot himself at White Conduitpaying some little attention to the house, Sept. 19, 1821. By the Rev. Canon, which has, I trust, fully S. Piggott, A.M. of Oxford, Curate authorized these suggestions. and Lecturer of St. James's, ClerkI am, Sir, enwell, and St. Antholin's, Watling
street, &c. &c.
The third is reprinted from a hand
bill recently circulated in the Parish LECTURERS.
of St. Michael, Queenhitbe, by the “ If there had been no lecturers which Rey, H. C. O'Donnoghue. succeeded the friars jo their way, the
No. I. Church of England might have stood and " I say nothing in palliation of the flourished at this day."
crime committed by the persons alluded to. “ Lecturers do in a parish Church, what It was alike a violation of decency as of the friars did heretofore, get away not only religion. It ought not, however, to be the affections, but the bounty that should imputed to me, who had been honourably be bestowed upon the minister."
elected to the Lectureship, bat to those " Lecturers get a great deal of money, whio, in violation of my right, and the pri. because they preach the people tame as a vileges of the parishioners, prevented me man watches a hawk, and then they do from taking possession of it.” what they list with them.” Selden's Table “ Upon his enquiry if I intended to atTalk. Title, Friars and Lecturers. tempt a forcible possession of the pulpit,
Such are the declarations of Sel. &c. I replied, such a line of conduct was den. He was no friend to the Church farthest from my thoughts : nay, I added, if of England, but lived to witness and you and all the officers were to request it,
I would not enter the pulpit, becanse to regret the triumph of its Purita
none but the Incumbent can grant me the nical enemies. Could Selden appear privilege. again on this busy stage, he would " To conclude: the Friend of the recognise many symptoms of the Established Church would have no Lecolden time, more especially that tureships. To say nothing of the loss of revival of the lecturing system, people, what is to become of those who
the only ecclesiastical privilege of the agaiost which he has solemnly take holy orders, and are without pawarned those who condescend to tronage Our country is celebrated for take a lesson from experience. having its highest offices in Church and
To give our country readers a State open to merit. If this first step is little insight into the principles and annihilated, I do not know how any man practices of popular London Lecture is to reach the second. ers, we insert the following extracts
“ He wishes, also, that to prevent such from their various publications. shall be appointed by the Incumbent of
horrible proceedings in future, Lecturers The first is to be found in the the parish. The Incuinbent may appoint New Times of Saturday, Dec. 16, now: there is no law against it; only if 1820; being part of a Letter the Incumbent appoint, he must pay. No, from the Rev. Isaac Saunders, to
the better remedy will be to make the the Editor, in which that gentleman pulpits free, so that all licensed Clergymen endeavours to vindicate himself from elected to any Lectureship within their
own diocese shall have the unobstructed the charge of baying fomented the
use of the pulpit. In that case there will riot in St. Margaret's Church, for be no confusion, and the Church will rewhich Mr. Hatchard has been sub- tain its members." sequently punished by the Ecclesias
No. II. tical Court.
« Thus, my dear brethren, have I enThe second forms the concluding deavoured to improve this truly awful REMEMBRANCER, No. 48.