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. The Bishop of Ferns.

[MARCH, three grounds, the passage may be injunction, you observe, and I think defended : either that it does not justly, that " whatever may be moassert what is supposed; or that, dern law or practice, the Canons of if it does, a different insect to what the Church never meant to make we construe an ant may be intend- as many religions as dioceses." ed; or, what perhaps is the best and Now though it cannot be expected true solution, that Solomon referred that our bishops and clergy should to a popular opinion. In any case all be lawyers, yet it seems desirable the moral is the same, and the Di. that they should possess as much vine word remains unimpeached knowledge of the law as their par

The modern students of geology, ticular situation may require. When in reconciling their science to the a dignitary of the church permits sacred text, do not adinit of so bis zeal to outrun discretion, some much latitude of interpretation as limit becomes necessary to prevent their opponents themselves assume evil consequences; and for such an in other instances. They do not emergency, in the case in question, say of the Mosaic account of the the wisdom of our law has provided. creation, what every one admits re- The case of Gates versus Chambers, specting the sun's standing still, Clerk, in the Arches Court of Canthat the sacred writer spoke popu. terbury, Trinity term, second seslarly and not astronomically; but sion, June 21, 1824, before the they say that the narrative admits Right Hon. Sir John Nicholl, Knt., of one or more explanations con- shews what is the law in the opinion sistent with fact, whereas the po- of that learned Judge ; and it copular interpretation is opposed to incides with the professional opifacts. The days of creation may nion of Dr. Phillimore, in your last be successive periods of time, or a Number. lengthened interval may have elapsed The case was this :- The Rev. between the creation of the heavens James Chambers, a licensed curate and the earth (Gen. i. 1), and the in the diocese of Lichfield and successive stages afterwards de. Coventry, was requested by a neighscribed ; either of which solutions bouring incumbent of the diocese allows of the geological phenomena, of Peterborough, to do duty for without prejudice to the Mosaic him in his church, on a certain narrative. In all cases truth is Sunday, during his temporary abwisdom, honesty the best policy; sence under peculiar circumstances. and no persons are so well fortified Mr. Chambers did the duty as reagainst infidel objections as those quested, in consequence of which who have early learned that the proceedings were instituted against word and the works of God must him in the Court of Arches, for a invariably agree, and that no truth violation of the forty-eighth canon of Scripture is hazarded by the he having read prayers and preached deepest researches of true science; without licence from the bishop in whereas a prejudiced mind, that whose diocese he was officiating. In strives to bend clear facts to hypo- the issue of this case, the promoter of theses, lives on the very verge of scep- the suit was condemned in the costs. ticism and infidelity. A PARENT.

Sir John Nicholl, among other observations, said: “ The fifty-second canon seems to shew, that to give

a minister in holy orders such an THE BISHOP OF FERNS. authority as that in question, the

licence of the particular diocesan Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. within whose diocese he might

preach was not requisite. And this In your Number for January, in appears from the very terms in allusion to the Bishop of Ferns's which the head of the canon is put,


• strange preachers' (that is the on some occasions performed at language), their names to be noted all, owing to the inability of curates in a book,' that the bishop may to obtain such licenses." understand, if occasion so re- Such then is the law of the case, quire, what sermons are made in which I must presume the Bishop every church of his diocese, and of Ferns was unacquainted with, who presume to preach without a or he would not have attempted to licence; the churchwardens and terrify his clergy with an injunction, sidesmen shall see that the names which, notwithstanding its high, of all preachers which come to their authoritative tone, is a mere brutum church from any other place, be fulmen, and would be laughed out noted in a book which they shall of court, if the bishop should athave ready for that purpose; wherein tempt to prosecule any of his clergy every preacher shall subscribe his for disobeying it. A bishop has name, the day when he preached, certain powers conferred by law, and the name of the bishop of and others belonging to his epis. whom he had licence to preach.'” copal character; and the two ought

“ Now what is the object on ac. never to be confounded. He may count of which he is thus to state the often effect by his “ godly mo. name of the bishop of whom he may nitions," what he cannot by the have received his licence, if it be not arm of the civil power: and least for the information of some other of all are these the days in which bishop within whose diocese he may any friend of the Church of England happen to come? And therefore, if would wish to see the salutary exthe canon had really required the ercise of episcopal authority weaklicence of the minister to be from ened: but when a prelate sees fit to the bishop of the diocese to which appeal from his spiritual influence to he himself belonged, there would the temporal magistrate, he wholly be no occasion for the name of the changes his position, and must not bisbop from whom he had his licence be surprized to find it replied, to be thus set forth, as required by “ Thou hast appealed unto Cæsar; the fifty-second canon. As far to Cæsar shalt thou go." If the therefore as this canon goes in its Bishop of Ferns appeal to Cæsar, collateral bearing on that part of the result is not doubtful : his the question, it does not seem that a wisdom therefore is to withdraw his person needs to have a licence from authoritative mandate, and to apthat bishop specially in whose diocese peal to his brethren by the weapons his particular cure may happen to be. of Scripture and argument; and if And certainly it would be attended he can convince them by these of with singular inconvenience, both the utility of his regulation, and to incumbents themselves, and to induce these from conscience to their friends, who might happen to obey it, he will have gained the be ministers resident in their neigh point which he cannot accomplish bourhood, if the case were otherwise. by threats of prosecution. And, what is still more important,

DELTA. it would be of obvious inconvenience to the inhabitants of parishes : for they, supposing it were necessary REPLY TO A COMMITTEE-MAN ON for Clergymen of this description to MISSIONARY INSTRUCTION. be licensed each of them by the bishop of his own diocese, (which Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. bishop might be absent attending his duties in London, or in some I wish to make a few candid reremote part of his diocese,) might marks on the letter of “ A Comvery probably go without having mittee Man," which appeared in the public service of their churches your last Number, and contained

some animadversions on the preach that honourable company), while ing of that zcalous and indefatigable sitting in our comfortable rooms at missionary, Mr. Wolfe. Few, or home, to detect and condemn the none, I suppose, will be found ready errors of those who are jeoparding to vindicate the prudence of that their lives in the high places of the gentleman, in adopting such a mode field; but let us take care that our of proclaiming his sentiments on the zeal does not carry us beyond the time and manner of the accomplish. limits of charity, and thus injure the ment of prophecies yet unfulfilled. cause which we are desirous to proStill, however, I am disposed to mote. think your correspondent has visited

CANDIDUS. his offence too severely. Mr. Wolfe's peculiarity of expression has excited more than usual attention ; but in THE APOCRYPHAL LESSONS. substance he has done nothing more than what has been done before by Tothe EditoroftheChristian Observer. many writers, respectable both for learning and piety, from the time of I have read, with much satisfaction, Lactantius to the present day. That what has appeared in your pages any of them have shewn their wis. respecting the Apocryphal Lessons ; dom in fixing on particular years but all that yourself and your cor. for the fulfilment of prophecies, I respondents have said, falls short of am far from asserting ; but they the enormity of the case. I earnestly have not usually been arraigned by trust that the present session of partheir more cautious brethren of any liament will not close without strong thing beyond an error in judgment. petitions against this relic of Popery Of this, let Mr. Wolfe stand con: and blasphemy – blasphemy, be. victed with the rest; but let it not cause, being the word of man, they be thought that he is thereby ren- profess to be inspired by the most dered unworthy the countenance of high God. But it is said, and justly, a Christian missionary society. With that our church “ doth not apply the highest veneration for a Swartz them to establish any doctrine," and a Martyn, I do not concur in but only for “ example of life and the implied assertion that every man instruction of manners." I grant must necessarily be wrong who pro. that some of them may conduce to mulgates opinions which they had this effect, though not in the same not received, and perhaps never at way as lessons from the inspired tentively considered. I doubt not page which they thrust out; but the directors of the society with what shall we say of others? Who, which Mr. Wolfe is connected, will for instance, would take his sons and admonish bim in future to abstain daughters to church on the 22d of from publishing any thing on sub. November, to have their minds pų. jects connected with his mission rified by the story of Susanna and without their previous knowledge the Elders? I specify this legend in and sanction; and this I think is all particular, because it seems to be the correction which is called for. a sort of parody upon Solomon's If societies were to dismiss every judgment. But how different from missionary who holds and preaches the original ! Solomon appealed to sentiments on certain controverted the natural instincts implanted by subjects, at variance with the opi- the Creator in the maternal breast, nions of some portion of their sub- and the test was unerring; but Daniel scribers, they would soon have no is made, by the fabulist, to put to missionaries remaining in their ser- death two " elders and judges of vice.

the people,” men of high estimation After all, it is easy for us com for character and veracity, on the mittee-men (for I also belong to sole and single evidence of their

misnaming' a tree. Such a trivial discrepancy might easily happen, REASONS FOR NOT GOING TO without impeaching the integrity of

CHURCH. a witness's statement; they might not have noticed the trees at all, or Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. holm trees and mastics might have grown mingled and close together. BARBARA Gadabout lately gave us Besides, what would the Apocry her reasons for going to church late.; phalist have done if by chance they but these were not so cogent as the had named the same tree ; but this following, which I lately saw in a was not intended to be the story, foreign publication, for not going to and we must not blame fiction church at all. Excuses, it seems, writers for predisposing their plots are much the same under all latito their projected conclusion ; only tudes. let not men receive their fables “Overslept myself-Could not as facts. Shakespeare's Daniel is dress in time-Too cold_Too hot worth a hundred of the Apocryphal - Too windy — Too dusty — Too novelist's, at least in this story; wet-Too damp-Too sunny-Too though in the next, that of Bel and cloudy--Don't feel disposed - No the Dragon, which follows next day other time to myself—Look over my at church, a very good stratagem drawers- Put my papers to rights is devised, namely, the sprinkling of - Letters to write to my friendsthe ashes in Bel's temple, to detect Mean to take a walk-Going to take the footsteps of his priests, and a ride-Tied to business six days their wives and children, who con- in the week-No fresh air but on sumed his provisions. I own there Sundays-Can't breathe in church, was cleverness in this; but the holm always so full-Feel a little feverand mastic tree is a sad failure. If ish-Feel a little chilly-Feel very the nature of the story did not pre- lazy-Expect company to dinner vent my dilating upon it, I could Got a head-ache-Intend nursing easily undertake to prove from in- myself to day-New bonnet not ternal evidence that every line of it come home. Tore my muslin dress is a fiction; yet this and the other coming down stairs-Got a new absurd fictions of the Apocrypha novel, must be returned on Monday are believed, not only by Papists, morning-Wasn't shaved in time but by the poor and illiterate in our Don't like a liturgy, always praying own church, as firmly as the in- for the same thing-Don't like exspired text. My silence, however, tempore prayer, don't know what is enforces my argument ; for can coming-Don't like an organ, 'tis those passages be fit for public too noisy-Don't like singing withreading at church, which cannot out music, makes me nervous even be alluded to in print ?

Can't sit in a draft of air, windows I did not mean to write in mirthful or doors open in summer – Stove so guise, for it is no mirthful subject. I hot in winter, always get a head. lay it solemnly to the consciences of ache-Can't hear an extempore our bishops, and clergy, and laity, sermon, too frothy-Dislike a writthat sin is upon them if they seek ten sermon, too prosing- Nobody not promptly and zealously to de- to-day but our minister, can't al. liver the house of God from the ways listen to the same preachercontamination of these legendary Don't like strangers—Can't keep fables.

awake when at church-Fell asleep AN ANTI-APOCRYPHALIST. last time I was there, shan't risk it

again-Mean to inquire of some sensible person about the propriety of going to so public a place as

church. Will publish the result." Christ. Observ. No. 339.

If all my readers conscientiously zine, the following remarks, intended say they never breathed to them- to correct some statements given in selves any one of these excuses, I will your Number for November, page acknowledge that the enumeration 709, relating to the condition of of them might have been spared; Unitarianism in this kingdom, and but if they learn from this silly ca- professedly taken from an article in talogue of pleas to avoid every spe- the Monthly Repository. What re. cies of tampering with conscience, quires correction is contained in the I shall not have transcribed them in ensuing statements made by you on vain.

the alleged authority of “ the official LETITIA STEADY.

organ of the Unitarian body in this kingdom.” 1. “ The Unitarian Missionary Association, during the

last year, is almost a total failure :" ANSWERS TO QUERIES ON BRIEFS,

's, for which you ought to have written BLACK-LETTER BIBLES, &c.

as you found it in the Repository

“ The missionary labours of the Tothe EditoroftheChristian Observer.

Unitarian Association during the last

year must be pronounced an almost In reply to “A Christian Anti

entire failure." II. You pretend quary,” in your last Number, I beg to inform him, that in my researches

again to quote, “ The spirit of Uni

tarianism is not a missionary spirit :" for Forms of Prayer, not only have

instead of which you read, and I collected the “ Old Briefs and

ought to have written, “ The spirit Exhortations ” to which he refers,

- rerers, of Unitarians in this kingdom is not but many other curious documents

the missionary spirit.” And it deof great rarity, which will all be

serves notice, that in direct opposigiven in the appendix of my collec.

tion to your pretended quotation, tion, whenever the completion of

it is asserted in the running title, my series shall embolden me to

“ Unitarianism fit for making prose.

un bring them before the public.

is lytes." III. “ That of their chapels Your correspondent, “ A Friend

the tale is brief and mournful :" you to Old Times," who inquires “ when

ought to have written, “ of many (of the printing of Bibles and Prayer

their chapels) of both classes, the books for church use in black letter

tale is brief and mournful.” IV. was left off, and the Roman type

“ That their assemblies for public adopted," is informed, that it was

worship are ill attended :" you have in the year 1760 that this change

here, again, asserted that as a getook place in the occasional state

neral fact what, in the Repository, prayers; and, as these forms were

is asserted only of some (I grant then, as they are now, printed by

many) instances. V. “ That they the King's printer, who also then

can with difficulty support a single printed most of the Bibles, it is very

periodical publication.” It is lalikely, that the change in the type

mented, in the article alluded to, that he speaks of took place in that

the Monthly Repository is not adeyear.

J. W. NIBLOCK. quately supported; but not a word

is said of this being the only periodical publication among Unitarians in

this kingdom. In fact, there are three THE CHRISTIAN OBSERVER ON others possessing each an extensive UNITARIANISM.

circulation. VI. You have com

mitted an error similar to the last, Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. when you asserted, that “in India

they are without a missionary, and You will, it is hoped, from a sense unable to keep up a single chapel." of justice, admit into your maga. Had you written Calcutta, instead

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