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Two of the Irish Archbishops, af- acquainted, from the period of their first ter having for years held offices in establishment to the present time. And the Hibernian Bible Society have is your formidable array of forty five bish.
now Sir, to what a little insignificant band lately withdrawn from it; and some
ops reduced ? of forty five bishops, we of the Irisb Bishops bave followed find two, (both since deceased) who on their example. The following is being invited to accept offices in the auxMr. Jay's account of tbis occurrence; iliary society, declined the intended hon
our : and one of these instead of disapand to us it has always seemed to
proving of the principles of the Bible make more in favour of Bible Soci.
Society contents himself with expressing eties than against them.
his preference for those societies which * I have before me, the letter of the are immediately connected with the eslate primate of Ireland, requiring his tablishment; and we find fire who in their bame to be withdrawn from the Society ; charges, object to the Society and advise and in this letter he declares himself “ a their clergy not to join it. Of these, one friend to the circulation of the scrip. refuses to print his charge; another tells tures ;” and expresses the reluctance, and his clergy, that it is a question on woich eved pain he feels on leaving the Society. good nien differ, and that they must act He then assigns as his reasons, the change according to the dictates of their own vhich he thinks has been made in the consciences; and a third the present bishconstitution of the Society; and the im- op of Peterborough, in pointed terms approper topics and expressions introduced proves of the union of christians for the in the speeches delivered at the public diffusion of the s:riptures, without note or meetings.
comment, wherever christianity is pro What stronger evidence can
fessed under a form different from the Esquire than this very letter, of the pric tablished Church ; decluring that the cirmate's approbation of the principles of culation of the Bible unquestionably proBible Societies? are we not expressly givmotes christian knowledge, and that the en to understand, that had not the consti- use of it makes men christians. tution been changed, and had no impro- We are now sir, prepared to judge how prieties occurred at the public meetings, far in opposing Bible Societies, you are ache would gladly have continued his pat- ting " with those in the highest stations ronage to the Society. We have every of the church from which we are descendreason for believing that the reasous as- ed ;'' and how far the nature of your hossigned by the primate, are the same which tility is sanctioned by their example. pp. induenced the other bistops who seced- 27, 28. ed from the Irish Society; and yet their names are included in the forty five, who But we are still farther prepared you inform us do not support the British tor judging in the matter, when, bav. and Foreign Bible Society.
From certain facts which hare come to ing“ reconnoitred our enemies," we my koowledge, I am iuclined to belteie “take an account of our friends and that there were some grounds for the pri. allies," and number the Bishops of mate's complaints, although not to the the Established Church, who have extent he seems to have supposed ; and that the Hibernian Society hall been guilly
borne their testimony in favor of Bi. of some indiscretions, arising rather from ble Societies. This cannot be done that ardency of feeling so peculiar to the better, or more plainly, thau we find Irish character, 'ban from any intention it done by Mr. Jay. to violate the fundamental principles of the Society; and I cannot but allribute It is obvious that the principles of these to the same ar leucy of feeling, the basty associations, whether correct or otherwise, step of the primate in withdrawing from can in no degree be affected by the names the society, without first interposing his by which they are distinguished. If it be authority and influence to correct the er- wrong in Episcopalians to support the sors which offended him. Several of the British and Foreigo Bible Society, it must Irish Bishops belong to the British and be equally wroug in them to support the Foreigo Bible Society, and from that In- Naval and Military Society, or the Hiber. stitution it is not known that any bishop nian Society, since they are all founded has ever withdrawn his name.”--First upon the same principle of universal coLett. p. 27.
operation, for the distribution of the unAfter this recital Mr. Jay adds, commented Scriptures. It is this princi
I have thus, Sir, candidly and honestly ple that you condemn ; and in support of stated every instance of opposition to Bi. your opinion, you give us the names of for ble Societies on the part of the English, ty-five Bishops, who do not belong to the Irish and Scotch bishops, with which I am British and Foreign Bible Society. But
Vol. V1. No. 2. 12
if any of these Bishops belong to other Bi.
Chichester. ble Societies, or have, in any manner
Soda and Man. whatever, declared their approbation of
Litchfield and Coventry. the very principles which you condemn,
Kildare. then, Sir, you appeal to them in vain to
Clogher. sanction your hostility. You have not, it
Derry. is true, asserted that these forty-five Bish
Bristol. ops were opposed to Bible Societies, nor
Landaff. that tbey do not support them; but mere
London. ly that their names “ do not appear among
Clonsert. the supporters of the British and Foreign
Cloyne. Bible Society.” Your prudence in selecting these precise terms is rendered pecul. Members and Officers of the Hibernian Bi. jarly manifest by the singular fact, that
ble Society the dignified name which is placed at the Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of Ire, head of your array of the non-supporters
land. of the British and Foreign Bible Society, Archbishop of Dublin. will likewise be found at the head of my Bishop of Kilmore. list of the Episcopal Patrons of Bible so
Down. cieties. You cannot, Sir, be ignorant, that
Elphin. the Primate of England, the Archbishop
Killala. of Canterbury, has for years been, and still
Raphoe. is, at the head of the Naval and Military
Limerick. Bible Society, which does not in the least
Ferns. degree differ in principle from the British
Killaloe. and Foreign Bible Society ; but only in
Dromore. the more limited sphere of its operations.
Cork. You are also probably aware, that many of the Irish Bishops were satisfied with 'To the above should be added the name patronizing the Bible Society of their own
of Dr. Warren, Bishop of Bangor, who, alcountry, and did not remit contributions though he never, I believe, belonged to to the British Society. Their secession any Bible Society, yet instructed the rural from the Hibernian Society has already
Deans throughout his Diocess, to distribbeen noticed, and we have seen that it arose ute the plans of the British and Foreign from the indiscretions of the Society, and Bible Society, and to solicit contributions pot from any disapprobation of the Bish- to its funds; a pretty strong proof that it cps with the principles on which it was
is possible to refrain from joining a socieprofessedly founded. Yet are the names
ty, without being opposed to it. We thus of some of these Bishops, who have for
find that, since 1804, thirty-two Bishops years been supporters of a Bible Society, have openly supported Bible Societies, and inoluded amoog the forty-five non-support
seven have openly expressed their disapers of the British and Foreign Bible Soci
probation of them.mp. 29–31. ety. As before remarked, the British and
Such, it seems, are the facts, as to Foreign Bible Society was established in
the question of Episcopal patronage 1804, and within the period which has in the Established Church of Engsince elapsed, the following Prelates of the land and Ireland; and we rejoice to Established Church, havennited with their fellow christians in distributing the Scri
find that Mr. Jay has avowedly given tures, without note or comment ; thus in
us all the facts appertaining to the curring, according to the doctrines of your case. In such questions, we like to charge, the guilt of separating “ The be put in possession of the whole Church from the word of God."
ground. It is only in this way, that Patron of the Naral and Military Bible we can“
judge righteous judgment." Society.
Bishop Hobart indeed declares that, The Archbishop of Canterbury.
“the point at issue is, as to what BishMombers and Officers of the British and ops noro support Bible Societies.(a) Foreign Bible Society.
But though we have no fears as to the Archbishop of Cashel.
result, should we confine ourselves Archbishop of Tuam. Bishop of Durham.
to this point, yet it is fit and right St. David's.
that we should know “the whole Salisbury.
truth," as well as nothing but the Norwich.
truth.” For after all that may be said, Gloucester, Meath.
(a) Corrector, p. 44.
the point which will be first and the Church from the Word of God.” mainly in the mind of every one who We confess that we have too high an would enquire thorougbly into the opinion of the Primate to believe subject, is, what amount of Episcopal this possible. patronage and influence bas been en- In a situation not less unpleasant listed, either for or against Bible So. Bishop Hobart places almost the cieties? and to settle this, we want whole of his forty five. For not. to be told what has been said and withstanding all that we have seen, done by Bishops who are now, we he does not relinquish his claim to a trust, sleeping in Jesus, and those mau of them. Let us see how he who still wear the mitre. Nor should aims to establish it. Bishop Hobart object to this. For -6. You speak” says he 6
as if there if Death has called away some of our could be no opposition but that of friends, as Mr. Jay sums them up, it language. The opposition of conhas also called away some of our op- duct is more serious."* So we think; ponents. Of the latter, two out of and we wait to be shown this "opthe seven have been removed. position of conduct.” He proceeds
But let us hear what the Bishop " many of the Bishops have not, in says, wben we find bis host of forty their charges opposed Bible Societies; five, whom he had set in array beside therefore you argue they are not opbimself, reduced down to a band of posed to them. This is a mistake, five. He will surely give up the Mr. Jay has named two Bishops as Irish Bishops, who, although not being opposed to Bible Societies, who members of the British and Foreign, have not opposed them in their charare members of the Hibernian Bible ges. The point which Mr. Jay arSociety? We find not a word of the gues is, that Bishops who have not kind. And what does he say of the manifested opposition ought not to Archbishop of Canterbury? He ad. be set down as opposers. All that he mits that the Archbishop is President asks for is, the application of a rule of the Naval and Military Bible So long since admitted as essential to ciety; and he admits that this Socie. equity in judgment. ty at least, is now the same in prin- De non existentibus et non apparentibus ciple with the British and Foreign. eadem est ratio. But be tells us, on the authority of But not so, the Bishop. He tells Norris, that since the Archbishop took the Presidency of it,"alterations
I consider it perfectly plain, under the bave been made without his appru- circumstances of the case, that Bishops bation, changing materially the char- withholding their support from Bible soacter of the Institution.(6) Then we
cieties, is evidence of their disapproba
tion of them. These Bible Societies como presume the Archbishop, as a consis.
forward, professing the strongest claims tent man, has withdrawn from it?
to patronage, as the most powerful and Nothing of the kind is even hinted efficacious instruments which the world by either Bishop Hobart or Mr. ever witnessed, of propagating christianNorris. That exalted dignitary then, ity. They urge their claims with the if Bishop Hobart is right in claiming and station, and wealth, and zeal and pow
imposing sanctions of numbers and rank, him as of the same opinion with bim- What motives then could ivfluence self respecting Bible Societies, per- a Bishop in withholding his support from mits bis name to stand at the bead of institutions thus recommended, but disan lostitution which is so materially approbation of them ? Corrector, pp. 43, changed in its character since he took the Presidency of it, as to have be
We must again remind the Bishop come “ unsound in principle, and in that by this mode of reasoning he jurious in tendency;" as to be em- will involve many of the most estiployed in the work of "separating mable Bishops he can name, in the (6) Corrector, p. 45.
* Corrector, page 43.
charge of disapproving of societies lieves Bible Societies to be unsound wbich are altogether Episcopal in and injurious ; and has again and atbeir character and tendency. gain publicly warned his church and
There are no “circumstances of clergy against them. We commend the case," wbich he does specify, or his zeal and honesty, though we lacan specify, to authorize the conclu- ment bis error. But what shall we sion that the Bishops who do not be- say of the zeal and honesty of those come members of Bible Societies Bishops who, while they ibink with are of course opposed to thein, which him, decline to act with him? What would not also authorize the same are we to think of their fidelity as conclusion respecting the Society for shepherds over the Lord's heritage, promoting Christian Knowledge: yet who, believing with Bishop Hobart, so late as 1812 there were many that, as it respects Churchmen, "the Bishops who bad not become mem- tendency of Bible Societies is not less bers of that Society ; though it had injurious than the principle on which then existed more than one hundred they are founded is erroneous,”'do neyears. And will Bishop Hobart say vertheless, suffer years to pass away, that withholding their support from without once raising a warning voice it, is evidence of their disapprobation against them, or making a single efof it?
fort to recal those who are led astray The same might be shown con- by them, in great numbers, from cerning other Societies ; and such as among their own focks? must from their nature, have the ap- From the silence of these Right probation not only of Bishops, but of Reverend Gentlemen, Bishop Hoall good men. For ourselves, we bart draws one conclusion, and we know of many, and important socie- another. Whether bis conclusion, ties in our day and land, of which or ours, exhibits them in the more fawe do not appear as the suppor
readers will ters;" but which yet have our best judge. wishes and prayers for their success. We are pleased to find that Bish Nor do we greatly blame ourselves op Hobart has not endeavoured to for supineness in the matter. We add to his strength, by numbering see them conducted happily and any of the Bishops of this country as wisely by those who have the man- our opponents. Indeed when he agement of them ; while God in his looks to this quarter, he finds it very providence has called us to other du- difficult to keep himself from being ties. In the same manner we pre- ranked among the avowed friends of sume may many Bishops reason; and Bible Societies. The voice of the indeed, considering the appropriate American Bishops, as a body, has duties of the Episcopate, and seeing been given most explicitly and dehow long in many instances, they liberately in favour of these instituhave delayed to join some of the
tions. most excellent Institutions in Britain; In their pastoral letter addressed we have been surprized to find so
to their churches in 1814, as we have many of them already enlisted in already shown, they declare with Bible Societies.
express reference to Bible SocieThere is one other view which ties;may be taken of this subject. If Bishop Hobart is right in claiminging on this occasion to the high Juties of
“ We should conceive ourselves want. these forty-five dignitaries as hold
our stations, were we to neglect to hear ing the same opinions with himself, our testimony in favour of this evergetic bow comes it to pass that nearly allof effort, for the disappointment of the wickthem, and especially those most like
ed designs of infidelity, for the extending
of the influence of pure and undefiled rely to beheard, have to this day con
ligion. and finally, for the carrying into eftinued silent on the subject? He be- fect of those gracious promises of heareu,
which will not have been accomplished But had Bishop Hobart no share until the knowleuge of the Lord shall cov.
in these public acts ? When the reer the earth, as the waters cover the sea.”
commendation passed in 1814, the A more faithful and earuest recom- House consisted of Bishops White, mendation of Bible Societies to the · Moore, Griswold, and Hobart; and patronage and support of Episcopal. it seems they were all present at the ians throughout our country, no friend time. Did Bishop Hobart then opof the cause could desire.
pose this full and unequivocal recomgiven too, by the House of Bishops in mendation of Bible Societies ? From their official capacity, as the superi- his own concession in his first reply or court of ibeir church ; and, no to Mr. Jay, it appears that he did not. doubt, was solemnly and carefully He tells us,weighed before it was given. The Admitting (which I presume is the fact) subject was not novel in the chris- that Bi.hop Hobart agreed to that pastotiap world; and in the Episcopal ral letter, it does not follow that he apChurcb especially, it had been large- ficient to obtain his assent to it, that he
proved of every part of it. It was sufly discussed. The chief part of the liked it as a whole; and this general apcontroversy in England was then probation is not in the least incompatible over; and these Right Reverend with dislike to a particular part. In an Gentlemen must have known what
instrument containing so much matter as
a pastoral letter, that unanimity would had been said for and against Bible seldom be attained, which, I understand, Societies in that Church from which, the Bishops, when assembled as a House, as Bishop Hobart declares, they care
are always desirous to secure, if an obdescended." With all these advan.
noxious passage were made the ground
of dissent by any one Bishop, to the whole tages for weighing the matter well production. p. 46. and wisely, they published their offi- Love of unanimity, it seems, then cial recommendation of Bible Socie- kept Bishop Hobart from making ties to the Episcopal Church of any opposition to this letter, when North America. And although the the House of Bishops adopted it. Had House of Bishops has since been in- he acted on this principle throughcreased by the consecration of sever- out, we should have thought there al new members; they have in their was weight in this plea. But after subsequent acts taken care to shew keeping silence in the House of that there has been no change of sen- Bishops, and in silence permitting timent on this or otber subjects this recommendation to pass, and which they had previously present.. all for the sake of unanimity and ed to their churches, as of great im- peace, he repairs to his diocess, and portance.
before the lapse of a year, addresses In their last pastoral letter of May a pastoral letter to the churches un1823, they make an avowal which, der his command, condemning the under all the circumstances of the very Institutions which the House of case, is very pointed and explicit. Bishops had so warmly recommendThey tell the churches—“In our ed; and dissuading his churches from former pastoral letter, we have freely a measure to which the House of delivered cur opinions on the vari- Bishops bad advised them. This ous points which were considered by strikes us as being a most novel way us at the several times as most inter- of maintaining unanimity and peace esting to our communion. They in the church of Christ. One great are still beld by us in the same grade end to be answered by the higher of importance ; but at present we courts of Ecclesiastical Judicature is rather refer to those addresses, as to bring the rulers of the church torecords of the sentiments which we gether, so that by comparing their are still desirous of sustaining, and views on the measures which wisdom of impressing on the minds of all de- and duty suggest, they may send them grees of persons within our church." forth to their churches recommend