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addresses be made in a style adapted to the understandings and circumstances of his hearers ; —let him not only deliver his exhortations from the pulpit, but let him by his private admonition instruct the ignorant, appal the sinner, and reclaim the wanderer ; -let him not only teach, but familiarily explain, the Catechism to children ;- let him attend to the comfort and orderly behaviour of the poor, and the judicious application of charities ; let him visit the sick and afflicted, and pour the balm of religious consolation into their wounds ;-let him reconcile divisions ;-let him regulate, and even encourage, the occasional innocent recreations of his people ;'-let him banish moroseness from the service of Religion ;- let him prove that her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths peace ;-above all, let his life be a transcript of his doctrine; and he will not fear the inroad of Sectarian principles.
In imitation of our annual visitations, the Sectarian Ministers
The bow must not be always bent, incessant application will weaken and deaden the mental faculties; hence relaxation is as necessary to the mind as to the body. Whenever puritanical austerity has banished innocent recreations from society, morose habits, and a sullen reserve, assumed under the name of seriousness, as foreign to the graces of religion as to the cheerful communications of social life, have disfigured the serene features of Christianity, and broken the moral intercourse of mankind. It is true that amusements have too often been perverted from their proper design; but if we refrain from the moderate use, by the apprehension of the possible abuse, of an enjoyment, the gifts of a beneficent Creator have been in vain dealt out to the world in that rich variety, which invites the taste, gratifies the sense, and claims the sweet returns of gratitude. He alone, who cannot regulate his recreations by the rule of reason and utility, should abstain from them; he, whose soul is in danger of being absorbed in them; he who is tempted to become a lover of pleasures more than a lover of God, should renounce them for ever.*
? A clergyman, who, without being generally called a Gospel preacher, endeavours to deliver the doctrines of Christ with zeal and fervor, undertook for a few months the care of a country parish. He found in it a church with a congregation of less than 100 persons, and a Methodist meeting of more than 500. He made nu public or private allusion to the latter; bul its numbers gradually declined, and in three months it was shut up, and the church
was filled. On another occasion he had for a short time the duty of a church in the neighbourhood of a large town. At his first visit he had the mortification of seeing the road filled with a considerable part of the parish, who were repairing to a conventicle in the town. In a few weeks, he had the satisfaction of overtaking them all on their way to the church.-Thus by proper zeal and attention the wanderers may gradually be reclaimed, and the fold of the Establishment enlarged.
Let me be permitted to refer him, who is in doubt of the propriety of any part of his conduct, to the Address from a Clergymon to his Parishioners, page 121, Fifth Edition, for an infallible test.
appoint frequent conferences, in which they not only attend to the exterior forms and interests of their establishments, but propose new modes of confirming the stability, and extending the number, of their congregations. For the latter object, the clergy of England should frequently hold social, confidential meetings, in order to discuss,-not the patronage of the church,—but the means of preserving their flocks, the modes of conciliating their parishioners, and of turning the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, the discovery and recommendation of useful, and the detection and proscription of dangerous, publications. The clergy should assemble with all their shades of difference; by this communication of sentiments and collision of opinions, the moral preacher would adopt a more evangelical manner of instruction, and the evangelical preacher would lay a greater public stress on moral duties. One of the improvements suggested in this beneficial intercourse would be the establishment of an evening service. It would be found that some clergymen, on their promotion to extensive parishes in towns, observing the afternoon service of the church neglected, and the evening conventicles crouded, have deferred the service till the evening, and have been gratified by a constant influx of devout worshippers. The universal adoption of this plan in populous places would be attended with many salutary effects. It would give an opportunity to those, whose sedentary or laborious employment requires some occasional relaxation, to make an excursion in the country after the morning service. For it should not be forgotten that the Sabbath is not only a day of rest from secular business, and a time dedicated to the service of religion ; but that a part of it should be employed in those sober and useful exercises, which promote the purposes of health and recruit the animal spirits. It is a time, the use of which should give new vigor both to the body and to the soul.
II.-But the zealous labors of the clergy will fail in attaining the
great objects in the view of the Church of England, unless they become universal. To this end, they must be seconded and encouraged by the dispensers of Ecclesiastical patronage. The highest dignities in the church should be bestowed on those, who by precept and example, by their theological learning and practical piety, by their Faith and their Works, have contributed to extend the Kingdom of God and the salvation of mankind. These are the shining Lights, who should be commissioned by the sovereign authority in the state to enlighten the world, to dispel the mists of doubt, to clear the clouds of scepticism, to spread the bright effulgence of Revelation before the wanderer benighted in the gloom of ignorance. In the selection of these, neither
private favor, nor public interest should be permitted to operate. Ecclesiastical patronage should never be subservient to parliament. ary influence. Connexions with the great by birth or domestic habits should not be an introduction to preferment; still less should services of a civil or political nature be rewarded by ecclesiastical dignities. Where high birth is united with spiritual endowments, with scriptural knowledge and exemplary piety, a Minister of State will act wisely in giving it an occasional preference. There are now clergymen of noble families, whose talents and whose virtues claim the highest situations. These qualifications are the brightest gems, which should adorn the mitre. It is not sufficient that a candidate for ecclesiastical honors should be eminent for classical learning. Even a Huntingford and a Burgess would not have deserved the dignity to which they have been so judiciously raised, had they not been distinguished for literary and practical services to the cause of Religion. It is not merely the publication of a few sermons, such as a person of moderate abilities may write, quales ego vel Cluvienus, that intitles him to aspire to the highest honors. The Prelates of the Church of England should combine all the great endowments of the head, and all the good qualities of the heart, which can adorn human nature. They should exemplify the character drawn by St. Paul : they should have a zeal of God according to knowledge ; they should be blameless as the Stewards of God; not given to filthy lucre ;' lovers of hospitality, lovers of good men ; sober, just, holy, temperate ; holding fast the faithful word, that they may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince; they should show themselves approved unto God; they should, in the emphatical words of His late Majesty, “not only preach Divinity, but act Morality."
· Of the generous disinterestedness of many of the Heads of our church, two instances shall be here given, which ought to be universally known. 'Ατάρ σιωπών ταγε δίκαι' ου χρή ποτε.*
One of the present Bishops was informed that arrears to a considerable amount were due from a property, to the tithes of which he was intitled. After much conscientious discussion of the subject, he was convinced that it was his duty to enforce the claim. In consequence of a legal investigation, the sum of near 70,000l. became his private property. He immediately ordered a statement of the small livings in his diocese to be made; and he appropriated the whole of the sum to their augmentation.
Another, now no more, Dr. Moss, Bishop of Oxford, became possessed, by the will of a late dignitary of the church, of a property amounting to more than 10,000l. Finding that the testator had left somne relations, to whom an increase ot income would be acceptable, he divided among them the whole of the property, excepting a small sum, which he reserved as a memorial of the affectionate intentions of his friend.
• Eurip. Fragm.
These strictures are not meant to be confined to the highest dignities. The disposal of all benefices should be founded on the same conscientious, independent principles; it should have no other end in view than the eternal salvation of the souls committed to the care of the Ministers, the prosperity of the Church, and the advancement of the Kingdom of God. If the dispensers of preferment disdained to listen to any plea but that of merit in the candidates, in the exercise of their sacred privileges, men would not enter into the Church because their interest could raise them to benefices and dignities; the application of the reproach of Isaiah to the watchmen and shepherds of Israel would not be extended to us by the enemies of our Establishment. No pastors would be appointed, but those, who do not shun to declare all the counsel of God; who take heed unto themselves, and to all the flock, over which
the Holy Ghost has made them overseers, to feed the Church of God which he has purchased with his own blood.
As the oracles of God are, in a more especial manner, committed to the Bishops, they should be more generally the dispensers of ecclesiastical preferment. Private patronage is one of the causes of the extension of schism; it is an abuse, which calls for redress. Among the Sectaries, a Minister is not raised to a station of eminence by casual connexions with the great, or because he has distinguished himself for his civil or political exertions in favor of a patron ; but because he has by his zealous efforts extended the celebrity, and increased the numbers, of his sect. The spiritual care of their flocks is never exposed to sale, -Private patrons do not consider to what an awful responsibility they subject themselves ; they are not aware that they are accountable to the great Shepherd of our souls for the neglect of the Christian flocks, over whom it is their duty to appoint attentive and faithful pastors.' Patronage in the hands of the laity affords a
1“ If those, who have the disposition of benefices, to which the care of souls is annexed, did consider this as a trust lodged with them, for which they must answer to God, and that they shall be in a great measure accountable for the souls, that may be lost through the bad choice that they may make; if, I say, they had this more in their thoughts, than so many scores of pounds, as the living amounts to; and thought themselves really bound, as without doubt they are, to seek out good and worthy men, well qualified and duly prepared, according to the nature of that benefice, which they are to give; then we might hope to see men make it their chief study to qualify themselves aright; to order their lives and frame their minds, as they ought to do; and to carry on their studies with all application and diligence; but as long as the short methods of application, friendship, or interest, are more effectual than the long und hard way of labor and study, human nature will always carry men to go the surest, the easiest, and the quickest way to work.” Bishop Burnett's Pastoral Care, chap. 7.
melancholy proof that, in this state of imperfection, even the most generous passions of men often introduce causes of corruption in the formation of the most beneficial systems of polity. The secular traffic, which sometimes perverts the institutions of the Church, offers a serious ground of complaint, and a proper object of reform. This private patronage ought to be placed in the hands of the Bishops, who are the best qualified to investigate and to reward the merits of the clergy, and who are the most interested in the prosperity of the Church, and the honor of our holy Religion. But as private property should not be violated, a sum of money should be raised and a fund appropriated for the purchase of livings, the presentation of which should be vested in the natural guardians of the Church.' Perhaps a certain proportion might be taken from the produce of the yearly tenths, increased in a ratio, which has been already suggested, and employed in the gradual completion of a plan, which would be more beneficial to the fundamental interests of the country than the most successful political or financial operation.
These Observations arise from the most disinterested motives of removing every obstacle to the general adoption of the system of the Church of Christ, as it is established in this realm. Holding the most sincere conviction that its internal doctrines are the genuine doctrines of the Saviour of the world, and that its external forms are derived from those, which were prescribed and sanctioned by the Apostles, I would sacrifice every selfish consideration, the hope of the most splendid advancement, to the desire of suggesting one hint, that might tend to promote the honor and dignity of that Church, and vindicate its claim to the perfection of beauty, and the joy of the whole earth.--Its enemies call it presumption to appropriate these titles to an establishment, which is confined to a corner of the world, to England and some of its dependencies. The same objection has been made by Infidelity to the claim of Judea to contain the people of God. But, as once
ehovah did set his King upon his holy hill of Sion, the present appearance of the world gives us ground for the hope that, in this time of general defection from the Faith, the Church of England will be the source, from which the Earth shall be filled with the
Many illustrious instances may, no doubt, be adduced of private patrons, who have been guided by the purest regard to the honor of Religion in the disposal of their patronage. But
few of them, it is hoped, would hesitate to accept an equivalent for that property, in order to promote the general interest of the Church.