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MR. WAGSTAFF declined to sign the prescribed document; and gave notice of his intention to appeal against the Bishop of Aberdeen's sentence to the Episcopal Synod; which is the court of last resort in that church. Accordingly he gave in a long and able paper containing his " reasons of appeal,” which occupies 152 quarto pages of print; in which he recapitulates and extends many of the arguments which he had used in his defence before the synod of Aberdeen.
In the case before us, the bishop of Aberdeen was both the accuser and the judge. As accuser he propounded by his deputies the claim of absolute and implicit obedience from all his clergy, to every command whether written, or delivered orally, and under every circumstance. As judge in his own cause he retracted none of the “excessive claims" which as accuser he had advanced ; but rather made them more stringent; and the only relief which the clergy can have is the privilege of appeal to the College of Bishops, who, if this doctrine were established, are entitled to exercise the same despotism both ind vidually and collectively. There is no doubt, in endeavouring to compel Mr. Wagstaff to disobey the canons and rubrics of the church, that the bishop of Aberdeen laid himself open to censure ; but we have no means of knowing whether or not his right reverend brethren did privately rebuke him, farther than the implied censure of the synodical judgment " that there have been excessive claims, unguarded language and other irregularities in various parts of these proceedings, on both sides." As accuser he advanced the doctrine and as judge he confirmed it, that priests are merely the bishops' delegates. To a certain and limited extent this is true; but he went farther, and desired to establish the position that priests are merely the bishops' creatures, removeable at will, and void of any inherent rights of their own, save those only which they derive from the bishop whom they represent. Priests are unquestionably an inferior order to bishops, and
are accountable to them ; but they have a higher and a holier position in the church than mere episcopal delegates, for they represent the person and office of Christ, and are His Ambassadors.
By The 34th canon of the Scottish church, an episcopal synod must be holden every year at such time and place as may be agreed on, to receive appeals from either clergy or laity against the sentence of their own ecclesiastical superior. Accordingly the Episcopal Synod met this year at Aberdeen, in the month of April; and the bishops pronounced the following judgment in this case, .
FINDING by the Episcopal Synod of the Church in Scotland, on the Appeal of Rev. C. Wagstaff against the Sentence of the Bishop of Aberdeen.
THE COLLEGE of Bishops having considered the Appeal of the Rev. Charles Wagstaff against the sentence pronounced on him on the 4th December, 1849, by the Right Rev, the Bishop of Aberdeen, and having heard the parties, and reviewed all the proceedings
FIND, on reference to the First Charge, That in his correspondence with his Bishop, the Appellant has not maintained such a tone of filial respect as became their mutual relation ; and that, though he has in some measure apologized for this, that apology is not sufficiently ample to purge him from the charge of grave departure from his line of duty in this respect. • Find, in reference to Fourth Charge, That in respect of his giving out and ordering an anthem to be sung on the afternoon of the 19th Sunday after Trinity, which anthem the Bishop had expressly enjoined to be discontinued, the Appellant wrongfully exercised his discretionasy power in a matter where he ought to have submitted to the superior controlling authority of his Bishop. ' . .
FIND, with reference to the Final Charge, that the Appellant erred in the same direction by his conduct on the Feast of St. Simon and St. Jude, in altering the usual course of the Service, contrary to the direction of the Bishop.
FIND, that the Appellant has, by such disobedience, incurred the censure of the Church, and the Bishops do hereby censure him accordingly. · Find, that the acts charged against the Appellant, with the exception above specified, are, in some repects, attended with such extenuating circumstances as require some alteration of the sentence passed upon him in the Diocesan Synod of Aberdeen, in consideration whereof they sustain the Appeal, and recall the said sentence. .
Find, with reference to the charges in general, with the exceptions above specified, that the Bishops are disposed to give the Appellant credit for having acted under a misapprehevsion as to duty, rather than from intentional disrespect to his Bishop.
Find, that while redress may be obtained by appeal against any unlawful command of a Bishop, it is unseemly and inconsistent with a dutiful regard for the peace of the Church, for a Presbyter to enter into such correspondence as took place in this case, and much more to print and publish or circulate the same.
Find, that there have been excessive claims, unguarded language, and other irregularity in various parts of these proceedings on both sides ; and having carefully weighed the circumstances of the case, and having due regard for the welfare of the Church, and of the rights and duties of the several parties concerned in this Appeal, the Bishops find it unnecessary to pronounce any farther deliverance thereupon: But they solemnly warn the Appellant in all time to come to show a more careful respect to his Bishop, and to study so to conduct the services in the house of God as to promote the growth of true religion among the congregation, and, so far as may be possible, to avoid giving occasion of offence or stumbling eyen to the weaker members of the flock.
And with these findings, Censure, and Recommendation, they discharge all farther proceedings with regard to the subject matter of this Appeal.
THE BISHOPS sustained Mr. Wagstaff's appeal and recalled, that is annulled the bishop of Aberdeen's sentence, and pronounced his claims of implicit obedience to be excessive ; but the relief to Mr. Wagstaff was merely vominal, and placed him in a worse position than he was in before. He therefore resigned his cure, and returned the deed of institution to the jnnior incumbency of St. Andrew's Church to the bishop of Aberdeen, on April 29, 1850.
CHAPTERS ON CHURCH ARCHITECTURE.
THE FURNITURE OF THE CHANCEL. Tuy altar should be placed upon a foot-pace in the middle of the eastern chancel wall ; raised upon a platform, called the sanctuary, by a flight of steps. The floor of the sanctuary should be paved with encaustic tiles which have a very good effect. The chancel, (as we before mentioned,) should be divided from the nave by a skreen, and from the aisles if there be any by a partition of the same design carried from pillar to pillar. The stalls for the choristers should be fitted to these parcloses, and returned on each side as far as the doorway of the central alley. These doorways should always open inwards and be fitted with a padlock of an ecclesiastical pattern. The sedilia should be of stone especially where there are no aisles, and they are fixed against the chancel wall. If however there be aisles they can be made of oak and fitted to the parclose skreen. The piscina is a drain, into which the water, in which the chalice is rinsed, is poured. It generally consists of a niche, enclosing the drain, and a small stone shelf. The ambrye was a recess used for keeping the chalice and paten : it was fitted with strong oak doors, with massive hinges. The credence table is a small niche or detached table placed in the north-east corner of the sanctuary, as a receptacle for the vessels and elements, previously to the consecration of the latter. In the chancel, also, should stand the faldstool, or Litany desk, as it is, perhaps, more properly called. This should be strictly a stool, and should by no means at all partake of the nature of a pew. The lettern may be of oak, or brass; and may be carved plajn, either for two books or one ; or in the shape of an eagle, which is very elegant, and symbolical of the spreading of the Gospel throughout the world. Its use is to hold the books of the Old and New Testament for the reading of the lessons. The proper position for the Pulpit is at the north-west corner of the chancel, adjoining the north pier of the Chancel arch. It should be low and unpretending, and should have neither door nor seat. The floor should be somewhat lower than that of the Sanctuary. It might be hung with embroidered vestments, as also the Litany stool ; but both should be of a simpler design than those which decorate the altar. Rich vestments should be provided for the holy table. They might be made of various colours to suit the various seasons of the Church's year. For instance purple to be used in common, red, for martyrs' days, and some dark grave colour to be used during Lent. There is a fine example of a parclose skreen with stalls fitted to it, at Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire. Sedilia and Piscinæ at Dorchester Abbey Church, Oxford.