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of the present Bishop of Sodor and Man, to annex his diocese to the see of Carlisle, your petitioners beg leave humbly to represent that, in their judgment, such an annexation would be inconvenient and injurious, not to say uncalled for and unjust. With great inconvenience would the Bishop of Carlisle receive so burdensome an addition to his duties, and be obliged, most probably, in advanced age, and with a large family and establishment, to cross and recross continually a wide channel, confessedly one of the most stormy and dangerous near the British shores. With equal inconvenience would his clergy and laity be able to communicate with him, either personally or by post, during two-thirds of every year, on those numberless matters in which, as bishop of their insular church, head of its council, and leading trustee of its college, schools, and various charities, he would have to be consulted. Hence your petitioners are fully persuaded that embarrassment to all classes in the island, from its legislature down to its poor, and consequences injurious to their temporal and spiritual welfare, would inevitably arise from a non-residence of its bishop, so large, necessitated, and authorized, as must follow from the annexation of this see to Carlisle.
Such an arrangement, therefore, they earnestly deprecate being carried into effect; the rather, as it appears to them uncalled for by any serious ecclesiastical advantage. To remove an ancient landmark—to sink an independent bishopric almost coeval with Christianity itself
, they would deem, under any circumstances, a grave measure, justifiable only from the extreme exigency of the case; but here the exigency seems all the other way. The Isle of Man is rapidly increasing in population and importance, and in consequent requirement and employment of a resident diocesan. Never were his presence, advice, and ministrations in the church and council of his people so urgent as in the present day. To secure his services and benison, independent islanders of a former age, at the same time that they enjoined his residence by statute law, rendered it easy and honourable by baronial dignity and liberal emoluments. Having made this provision for an independent bishop of their own, that their posterity should be deprived of him, in their hour of greatest need, your petitioners humbly represent would at least be hard, they even venture to think unjust. Their constitution would be infringed, their statute law would be broken, England's compact with them would be violated, and their own episcopal revenues would be either abstracted from the soil, or converted to other ends than those for which they were plainly given. And for risking all these evils, your petitioners humbly submit that no imperious neCessity has been shewn, or can be made out. A diocese which tilled the hands of an apostolic Wilson, cannot reasonably be deemed 100 small, especially when its population is more than doubled since his day; the duties of that diocese could not with propriety and adequacy be discharged by the archdeacon; and as to enriching its parochial clergy by the spoils of their bishopric, your petitioners dislike the principle, and dread the exumple; they affect not indeed to conceal that the vicars of the diocese are in straitened, in very straitened, in lamentably straitened circumstances, from which they humbly solicit, and would gratefully accept, honourable relief; but they disclaim a wish to procure temporal advantage at the expense of spiritual loss. And they beg respectfully to suggest, that there seems an opening by which, without trenching on the independency of their bishopric, themselves and their large families might be placed in comparative comfort through the benevolent intercession of your lordships with the crown. Would her Majesty be graciously pleased to increase the value of the ten vicarages in her Majesty's gift to 1501. a year out of the insular crown tithes at her Majesty's disposal, * since the present bishop would increase the four in his gift
• The “crown tithes at her Majesty's disposal” were once the property of the clergy. The revenue of the Manx church was formerly set out after the most ancient manner-viz., “one-third of all the tithes to the bishop for his maintenance, the second to the Abbey of Bushen for education of youth and relief of the poor, the third portion of the tithes was given to the parochial priests for their subsistence.' Bushen Abbey was the last suppressed in these kingdoms; but two years before his to the same amount, and the like arrangement might be made with his successors, the whole body of the parochial clergy in the island would be placed more nearly in that situation of temporal disembarrassment which is so all but indispensable to their integrity and usefulness. If, therefore, by an act of your right honourable house, the apprehended evils to this island could be averted, and the boon here suggested procured, your petitioners would rejoice, and thank God, and ever pray, &c.*
INCORPORATED SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING THE ENLARGEMENT,
BUILDING, AND REPAIRING, OF CHURCHES AND CHAPELS. A Meeting of this Society was held at their chambers, in St. Martin's Place, on Monday, the 18th December ; the Lord Bishop of London in the chair. There were present the Bishops of St. Asaph and Hereford ; the Honourable Mr. Justice Park, Rev. Dr. D'Oyly, Joshua Watson, H. J. Barchard, William Davis, James Cocks, N. Connop, Jun., John Round, William Cotton, Esqrs. &c.
Among other business transacted, grants were voted towards building a gallery in the church at East Horndon, Essex ; building a chapel at Mirfield, Yorkshire ; rebuilding and enlarging the chapel of St. George, Kendal, Westmorland; increasing the accommodation in the church at Everton, Huntingdon; increasing the accommodation in the church of St. Andrew, Droitwich, Worcester; building a church at Clee Hill, for the parishes of Cainham and Bitterley, Salop; building a chapel at Cleve, in the parish of Yatton, Somerset.
death, Henry the Eighth vested in himself and his heirs all its lands and tithes ; these tithes James the First granted to William, Earl of Derby, Lord of the isle, and his heirs. Bishop Barrow, coming to the see in the reign of Charles the Second, found those poor vicars, the tithes of whose parishes were in the hands of the lord, in the greatest destitution, having lost the aid which the abbey out of its ample revenues es. tended to them and others. Bishop Barrow therefore, by great exertions, found means to purchase a lease of these tithes for 10,000 years of the Earl of Derby, as the
“ All and singular tenths and tithes of corn and grain yearly renewing, growing, and increasing within the rectories abovementioned ;' and, “ as a collateral and further security for the quiet enjoyment of all the said tithes," the earl granted to the bishop certain farms in Lancashire, to be held by the earl and his heirs, “ until the said bishop (who held them in trust for the clergy) should be in. terrupted in the quiet possession of the tithes by the said earl, or any lawfully claiming under bim.” The Duke of Atholl, in 1739, did lawfully claim under him, and the law allowed his claim, and ejected the clergy from the quiet possession of these tithes; they came upon the collateral security, but Lord Derby offered to commute at twenty-five years purchase ; this commutation was forced upon the clergy, and they received a fixed sum for tithes, which had been purchased as a revenue yearly growing and increasing ; this sum was fixed when the tithes were worth 6001. per annum; they are now worth 1,6001. per annum ; half have been sold to private individuals, the other half to the crown. The clergy therefore receive a fixed sum, an average of 6001. per annum, as an equivalent for what is now 1,6001. The crown is by purchase the heir of the Duke of Atholl, and is in possession of 6001. of these very tithes, which the clergy now beg of the royal generosity.
* There is a petition also from the Manx Bar for the same object, but it arrived too late for insertion. A small pamphlet, giving a history of the see, is already printed, and just about to be published, and will, it is hoped, be very generally circulated.
SERVICE FOR NOVEMBER THE FIFTH.
Toe editor has great pleasure in publishing the following letter from Alpha, in reply to an article “ On the Service for Nov.5," in the last number. To the tone of Alpha's letter no possible objection can be made ; and it does exactly what was asked in the article referred tothat is, it gives the writer's reasons for not using the service. Besides which, it enables the editor to set himself right on two points—first of all, as to the convocation, in 1689, having revised the service. He understood Gibson's words to mean that this was so. Gibson mentions at length the revisal of 1662 ; and adds, that there was “a new revisal” in 1689. This, together with Dr. Elrington's assertion of the fact, left no doubt on his mind at the time. It is, however, certain, that Gibson's words may not mean that the new revisal was by convocation, although he mentions no other revisers. Like Alpha, the editor (not having the means at present to ascertain the point) will be glad to have it ascertained by others as a fact, though, for reasons to be assigned presently, he thinks it of no consequence to the argument. The article again said, that there was the authority of convocation for the service. This word ought not to have been used, for reasons which will be assigned. But as those same reasons will shew that the convocation had (and ought to have) no authority as to the liturgy, the argument against those who did not use the service, instead of being weakened, is in fact strengthened, by this admission.
The arguments offered by Alpha are very ingenious, whether sound or not. His objections rest on the language used about William the Third, and then he alleges that there is no authority but that of the crown for this part of the service. It is hardly doubtful that, of those who omitted the service, it was a very small number indeed which omitted it on his grounds of objection, whether they might defend themselves by his arguments now or not, for his objections really are to the doctrines and practices of the glorious or inglorious Revolution of 1688, which he conceives to be virtually recognised by the part of the service relating to this period. In short, very few, it may be asserted, dislike the service because it tends to too liberal views.
It is happily needless to discuss the political questions of 1688 here. Happily, too, it will be found, that the real question between Alpha and the editor is, in fact, a special not a general one; that (whatever may seem to be the case at first) it involves no church principle whatever. Very difficult and wide questions might be raised, no doubt, on this point. It might be easy, from considerations involved in it, to raise the whole question as to the limits of the authority of church and crown in religious matters. But assuredly there was no intention of touching on such points in the article in the last Number. The whole argument went to this point, that there was authority (i.e., the authority usually exercised and admitted,). for this service, not as to what is good authority for the use of any service. And, as the matter stands, it will appear that the real question proposed for discussion in Alpha's letter is no other than this—that is, a very limited one indeed. Alpha allows the validity (so to speak) of the service of 1661, because it was revised by convocation; and disallows that of 1689, because revised, as he thinks, by some other authority. Now, at first sight, it would appear that the matter rests on this ground, that convocation represents the church in each province, and is therefore the body which has a right to deal with such matters as liturgy, &c.; that its acts are good in these matters, while those which have not received its sanction are not good. But when we look a little closer to this matter, this view must be given up altogether. Convocation neither did interfere, nor pretended to interfere at all, proprio jure, in the matter of the liturgy; but ministerially only. Let us look to the Act of Uniformity, and see what it says. It says, that the king, first of all, commissioned “ several bishops and other divines" to review and prepare alterations and additions to the Book of Common Prayer, and then authorized the convocations to undertake the same task, and exhibit what they had done to the king " for his further allowance or confirmation"; that they have done so, that the king approves and allows, and has recommended to parliament that this shall be the book used everywhere, “ under such sanctions and penalties as the houses of parliament shall think fit.”
In the proceedings of this convocation, (at least of the upper house, session 56,) it appears that the act of parliament for establishing the Common Prayer Book as revised was the subject of discussion. We may therefore assume it as certain (whether right or wrong) that the king, by virtue of his prerogative, claimed the right of saying that the liturgy should be revised, the right of appointing the proper persons to revise it, and the right of approving and allowing what they did—that convocation and parliament were alike cognizant of all this, and assented to it—that convocation actually accepted his appointment of themselves as the revisers, and then submitted their work to him for his approvaland that it was considered to be the business of parliament not to approve or allow, but by appointing such sanctions and penalties of that which the king had approved and allowed as seemed fit, to give it the force of law. From the king's authority alone such sanctions and penalties could not proceed, (although it might have ordered the use of the liturgy,) and these sanctions and penalties were deemed quite necessary.*
Thus the legal authority of the Book of Common Prayer does not rest on the fact of its having been prepared by convocation, but on two distinct grounds—the one, the royal approbation; the other, the sanction of the supreme legislature. Nor can its obligation on the conscience possibly rest on the fact of its preparation by convocation, because they did not pretend to have anything to do with it, from their right as a church body ;--that is, they did not merely feel that they must wait (although being the proper body for the task) for the
* With the inferences from these facts, and with passing any judgment on them, the writer has nothing to do. He only states them as facts.
authority to proceed, but they did not claim to be the proper body, nor was there any such notion prevailing. For they were only resorted to when a previously commissioned body had failed. Indeed, the convocation at that time, however far, like other convocations, they might have been inclined to push their claims, probably knew church history too well to have thought of making such a claim as that. They knew that convocation had usurped this and that power before the Reformation; and they knew that afterwards, as it was the ecclesiastical body sure to be summoned, because it gave the crown money, which was its only business at first, it was convenient for the crown to refer to it, by commission, the highest ecclesiastical matters, rather than create a necessity for summoning another body ; but this would not (at least it certainly ought not to) have led them into the monstrous notion of vindicating to such a body as convocation rights which it never did possess, and never ought to possess, whether we look to the primitive history of the church catholic, or the early history of our own branch of it, and which provincial synods of bishops exercised before the throne was Christian, and often exercised, either alone or in conjunction with it, long afterwards.
They, then, who throw themselves back on convocation to justify their using the common service in the liturgy instead of the special service, throw themselves still, in fact, on the royal prerogative, and nothing else. Whether the King, or the bishops, or the clergy alone, ought to order things, as to the liturgy, is quite another question, which we do not arrive at here. They rest on what was actually done by the convocation, and the acts of the convocation rest, not on its own authority in this case, but that of the King. Of what avail, then, can it be to them to argue, that the service of the 5th of November rests only on the King's authority? The obligation of the liturgy on their conscience rests on nothing else; for the act of uniformity only establishes the penalties &c. to be inflicted, if people do not use it. Indeed, if they chose to make this act of parliament the ground of obligation, (in the teeth of the fact that parliament does not, in the act, pretend to have the right of allowing and approving, but simply of making that law which the King recommends, and exactly in the form in which he does recommend it,) they would not help their cause.
For instead of any church authority, they would have the King's authority for one service, and, at the best, act of parliament for the other. But, in fact, they would not have act of parliament on the other, for there is no doubt whatever that the two do not conflict, nor were intended, or supposed to do so. Why? For this plain reason—that at the end of the liturgy, so revised by convocation, so allowed by the King, so sanctioned by parliament, came out the Forms for Nov. 5, May 29, and Jan. 30, revised by the same ministerial aid, and allowed and sanctioned by the same royal authority. Can it be supposed, all the parties in these transactions being the same, that any conflict was conceived to exist ? or that, if even a shadow of doubt had subsisted, it would not have been remedied, as twosentences in the act would have done thoroughly? The services not being intended to be perpetual, probably was the reason of their not being included with the liturgy. Thus, in fact,