« PreviousContinue »
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S
READ with much interest the account which was
given in your Magazine, of the life of Archbishop Laud. It tends, I think, to remove the prejudice, which is too generally entertained against that great prelate, on account of his supposed violence and intolerance. Some thing more, perhaps, might with propriety have been said expressly on that subject. It has so often been asserted, 'as now to be frequently taken for granted, that the violence and intolerance of Archbishop Laud irritated the evil spirit, and increased the niischiefs, of that disastrous and disgraceful period of our history, and I lately saw it mentioned in a newspaper, on the occasion of a vacancy in the see of Canterbury, that it has been made a rule, ever since the time of Archbishop Laud, to promote none but a man of known moderation to that see. This, in my opinion, is little less, than a libel on the memory of a man, whom the Church of England is bound to hold in veneration. I am a friend to moderation ; but I wish to have it considered, whether it has ever been very clearly ascertained, that the want of moderation in Archbishop Laud was the real cause of any
consequences. May not all the mischiefs of that time, which can fairly be attributed to the see of Canterbury, with more justice be attributed to the want of zeal and activity in Archbishop Abbott, the predecessor of Laud, though they did not immediately appear? I lately met with a passage in a sermon, preached before Queen Anne, Jan. 30, 1712, which struck me very forcihly with this idea, and my mind immediately embraced it as at least extremely probable. Speaking of the Puritans, the preacher (Paulet St. John) says, “ How far this innovating spirit would proceed, if not seasonably restrained by the censures of authority, was betimes foreseen by the vigilance of a prelate, who lived himself to be a witness of its rage, and to fall at last a monument of its cruelty. Too well he
understood the workings of that spirit, not to see, that the cry for a further reformation in religion, was but a clamour against the present, and even the artifice of those, who had condemned is for reforming. Early he was aware of the leaven of the Pharisees, how it mixed and worked in the scrupulous and the confident, until the whole was leavened into sourness against ceremonies, Cand disgust of the authority, by which they were established. With anger
he beheld the boldness it advanced to under the connivance at least of his 'un active predecessor ; an angel of our Church too like to that of Sardis (Rev. jij! 1.) who had a name only that he lived, and was really dead : how, whilst he stumbered, and slept, the enemy came, and with unpunished liberty scaltered round the seeds of faction and calamity.”, I leave this to the consideration of your readers, and will only add my ardent wish, that the want of zeal for religion, and for the particular religion of the Chureh of Eogland, may perer be considered as any part of the qualification necessary for the see of Canterbury. · March 7, 1805.
Dr. S. CLARKE, Mr. SKELTON, &c.
TÓ THÉ ÉDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S
Samuel Clarke by Mr. Skelion, which is inserted in your number for July 1804, an observation or tivo occurs red to me, which I wish to communicate to you. If my sentiments on the subject should not entirely agree with your's, I persuade myself, that you will not on that account reject them. I entertain a high respect for the whole character and conduct of Mr. Skelton; yet I cannot help thinking, that, in censuring Dr. Clarke for "soliciting the enlargement of Woolston," he has betrayed some degree of illiberality. The abilities and learn- : 'ing of Dr. Clarkę were such, as to demand respect and admiration from every one; and, though I do not agree
in all his opinions, nor approve of every part of his conduct, I cannot but think, that, as he has stated in his excuse, he was perfectly consistent with himself in interfering in favour of Woolston, and that the interference reflected honour on his disposition. Let us controvert opinions as much as we please, but never let ús ušé violence to the persons of those who hold them, “The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God." Nothing can justify the interference of the secular arm in punishing offences, but when the peace and security of society are assailed, or in danger of being assailed; which they seldom if ever can be by the mere effusion of opinions on religious subjects. If the reasoning, which is employed in the propagation of erroneous opinions, be such as is worthy of an answer, let it be answered. This will have its proper effect on the minds of all sensible persons, and the rest will be sure to follow their example. If not worthy, the opinions will soon fall to the ground of themselves. Who, at this time of day, would think of involving honest Will. Whiston in the difficulties and distresses, with which he had to encounter? Knowing his sincerity as we now do, we should respect the goodness of his intention, and pity the weaknes of his understanding: These were the sentiments I entertained, when, during my residence at Cambridge, Mr. Friend was prosecuted by certain members of the University for publishing a pamphlet, long since fallen into its deserved oblivion, entitled, “ Peace and Union.” Though I considered the pamphlet as erroneous, and the author aš blameable, I thought the best way of proceeding in the case would be, for the great majority of the respectable members of the University, or all of them, if they had pleased, to sign a declaration, of their sentiments respecting it, rather than to persecute the person of the author by bringing him to trial. I am of opinion, that, if this had been done, more than all the good effects,fwhichi followed, would have been secured, and all the evil ones, which were not a few, avoided. In short, I cannot but consider this proceeding as reflecting no honour on the University; and I am persuaded, that, now the characters of some of the leading actors in it are better understood, it would be impossible for any thing of the same kind to take place again. March 8, 1805.
On the BURIAL of SUICIDES,
TO THE EDITORS OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S
BEG to make my sincere acknowledgement to your I
Correspondent P. who, in your last number, (p. 126.) is pleased to speak of me in terms far above my very humble deserts.
I would take the liberty to urge, that, if he "confines himself to a literal interpretation of the Rubric,” respecting the burial of certain persons apparently interdicted the service of the church; he must needs err in what regards the burial of those who die excommunicated : for, if
am not much mistaken, I have demonstrated that the literal terms of the Rubric, in thatparticular case at least, must be interpreted by the language of one of the Canonse Now if the literal interpretation be unsafe here ; is it going too far to say that it may be unsafe in the case of those, who “ have laid violent hands on themselves ?” I must here observe, too, that the word “ Suicides," is not found in the Rubric in question. If it were, the matter were no longer questionable; but, in my poor judgment, all vho lay violent hands upon themselves, are not Suicides; any more than that all who kill other men can be deemed Murderers. And this distinction, I am inclined to think, does away the force of the passage which P. quotes from Sir Simon Degge's Book. Such persons
as murder themselves,” (that learned Knight affirms) may not be buried in a Church or Church-yard, with out special licence from the Bishop.” I go further, and, I venture to affirm that the Bishop cannot authorise the burial of a suicide, one who has murdered himself; such a person
is a Felo de se; and must be buried in the crossway. The body of a suicide is never delivered up to be interred according to the rites of the Church. I never have denied that it is unlawful to use the burial service over the body of one who bas murdered himself. The true point in dispute seems to me to be this; who shall determine whether the party laying hands on himself is a
suicide, or no? I say A JURY of his neighbours, summoned by the CORONER; and I think the law of the land, which binds both clergy and laity, says the same. To the law I bow with reverence ; for the New Testament has taught me “to be subject to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake;" and I am not so presumptuous as to set up my private judgment against the verdict of a Jury of my country.
A LONDON CURATE.
March 5, 1805.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMANS
OU who are so well acquainted with the various arts pursuing, and with the greatest success, in almost every part of the kingdom, for the purpose of augmenting their numbers, and extending their influence, will learn with much satisfaction, the measures which have been recently taken, by the friends of the established church in Clerkenwell, in order to overthrow that vile Methodistical system of government, to which that large parish is subjected, and which has been so particularly and justly described by your correspondent Eusebius.
On the 4th inst. a most respectable ineeting of inhabitants of the above-mentioned parish was held at the Crown Tavern, Clerkenwell-Green, when the following resolutions were unanimously entered into.
“This meeting taking into consideration the rapid progress,
which the Methodist interest has of late years made, and is at present making, in this extensive and populous parish ; and the measures which persons of that description have long been actively and systematically pursuing for the evident purpose of getting into their hands the entire and exclusive management of the affairs of the parish, and filling all the parochial offices and trusts with men of their own stamp :