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or tradition had corrupted Christianity. In the language of Chilling. worth, “The Bible, and the Bible alone, is the religion of Protest
The subject of his present lecture, he observed, was the “ Encroachments of Popery and the Duties of Protestants.” That Popery had made vast inroads upon our Constitution, he need hardly stay to prove—that her encroachments, in a variety of ways, were unprecedented, no one acquainted with the case could doubt. The concessions commenced in the reign of King George the Third, when the army, the navy, and the bar were thrown open to them—when the elective franchise was given to Roman Catholics, and Maynooth College legalized, not endowed, for the education of their priesthood, Protestantism had greatly degenerated before this, and other concessions naturally followed. The right of voting given to Roman Catholics, was discovered to bestow the right of returning Roman Catholics as members of the House of Commons. The same feeling which led to the one, seemed to require the other. Admitted to a great variety of privileges, from which their ancestors had been excluded, they very naturally longed for and demanded more. Their appetite for political power and influence increased with that it fed on. Though it was contended that the concessions made would satisfy, that was never found to be the case. Each was made the stepping-stone to another, till, in the reign of King George the Fourth, the full power of sitting in Parliament was given to the Roman Catholics. This, which was to have been the final and healing measure for the wrongs of Ireland—a panacea for all her grievances—which was to have conciliated the regard of Roman Catholics for ever, and to have hushed the strife of contending parties, has been followed by results of a very different nature. It was said, the power thus given will never be great, never available for injurious purposes. Vain delusion ! Their number, though only about forty, yet (so equally were what were then termed the two great parties in the State balanced) gave them a ruling power. That forty, by voting or withholding their votes, could secure the passing of a bad measure, and accomplish the rejection of a good one. So that it practically became a question, not so much, what does Sir R. Peel or what does Lord John Russell wish and intend, but, what will the Romish members do? What are the measures to secure their support, or to avert their opposition ? And scarcely has a session passed from that time to the present, which has not witnessed fresh aggressions made by the Roman Catholics upon us, and fresh favours conferred upon them. They appear thus to have been made an essential element in the system of government, and will be till the electors of this empire return thoroughly sound Protestant representatives to the House of Commons. Such, in some small degree, is the power and influence Roman Catholics have acquired. To what purposes do they turn it ? To the demolition of our Protestant constitution, and the unchristianizing of our nation. Already have they, though the words and meaning of their oath were to the contrary, annihilated several of the bishoprics in Ireland — swept away one-fourth of the incomes of the Irish clergy, obtained possession of the corporations in Ireland, and secured an annual grant of 30,0001. to Maynooth College. Thus they will proceed, if permitted, to the destruction of our own Church and Constitution, and the building up
their own upon the ruins. But shall we permit it ? Will the Christian people of this empire suffer it ? They need not. The power is in their hands to effect the contrary. In our happy country, laws are not made at the will of a tyrant. The consent of the Commons, as well as the Queen and the Lords, is essential.
You help to make that House ; every one having and exercising the elective franchise is, in a greater or less degree, responsible for the laws that are made. Exercise, then, this responsible duty, as you should use every other talent, for the glory of him who gave it, and to whom each one is accountable. Our Reformers handed down to us a purified faith, and a glorious constitution, but we have neglected to maintain the privileges which were ours. The lecturer then proceeded to read extracts from various catechisms and Romish works, which he had with him, and produced to the meeting. From these he pointed out the superstitious and antiscriptural teaching of the Church of Romeits idolatry, its penances, the worship of the Virgin Mary, the manner in which the second commandment is excluded from many of its catechisms, while the tenth is divided into two to make up
the number. Instead of faith in Christ, by whom alone sinful man is saved, and can have access to a Throne of Grace, she inculcates penances and pilgrimages-institutes invocation of saints, and reverences, if not worships, relics of departed men. He then demonstrated the effect of admitting traditions, as superior to, or as joint rule of faith with, the Scriptures, remarking how the Jews had been severely censured by our Saviour, for having corrupted the Word of God by their traditions, teaching for doctrines, the commandments of men. The reading of Holy Scripture was permitted to the laity, in the language of the original, or the authorized Latin translation. Admirable concessions these to the poor working men, and poor women of our country! who, when they know Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, may read the Scriptures ! One Pope, Sixtus the Fifth, had put forward a translation as the authorized and infallibly accurate version, pronouncing anathema and condemnation on all who should call it in question. In spite of this, however, another pope, Pope Clement VIII., afterwards put forth another translation, with many emendations. This gave rise to a book by Dr. James, which he called Bellum Papale, sive concordia discors, i. e., the Papal War, or discordant concord ; an edition of which, in Latin, has been recently published by the Rev. J. E. Cox, and may be had of the Protestant Association. But the Church of Rome, under certain regulations, allows them to read them in the vulgar tongue ; but then she binds them to accept the meaning which she may please to decide shall be affixed to it. The Creed of Pope Pius IV. was as follows :—“I also admit the Holy Scriptures, according to that sense which our Holy Mother, the Church, has held and does hold, to which it belongs to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the Scriptures : nor will I ever take and interpret them otherwise than according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers.” Now, what is the practical effect of this ? Where is to be found the sense which our Holy Mother, the Church (meaning thereby, the Church of Rome), has held, and does hold ? Where is to be found the unanimous interpretation of the Fathers ? It is not to be found. Rome does not possess it ; Rome cannot produce it; it never existed. VOL. VIII. - October, 1846. GG
New Series, No. 10.
Thus, then, to link tradition with Scripture is to impugn the value of the Scriptures ; to make it to be understood only according to Mother Church, and the unanimous Fathers, who were not unanimous, is to give a favour with one hand and to take it away with the other,—to give the Bible, but with a lock upon it. The Romanist (thus permitted the Scriptures) must come to the priest for instruction and submit his judgment and conscience entirely to him. But if thus the Bible could only be comprehended-if the Church of Rome, or the Fathers, or tradition, or the priest, were to be the expounder of Scripture, then that Church, those Fathers, that tradition, and that priest, became of equal importance with the Scripture—without them the Scripture is insufficient. Well, indeed, might Rome fear the Bible. It pronounced her doom. Well might she shrink back from being confronted with the light of truth, and keep her votaries in darkness, lest they should expose her errors. The Bible won the Reformation and the Bible must keep it. Our Reformers drank deeply of that cistern-its refreshing waters cheered them for the contest with error. They honoured God, and God honoured them. They read there the character and the doom of Popery, and ventured their earthly all for the truth. It was remarkable that Romish and Protestant writers agreed that the Babylon of the Apocalypse, is Rome; and Dr. de la Hogue, in one of the Maynooth books, pointed out the same thing. And though they contended it referred rather to Pagan than to Papal Rome, yet the application to the latter is too close, too striking, and too characteristic to admit of such evasion. Our Reformers treated Rome as Babylon, as Antichrist-and knowing the system to be idolatrous and antichristian, and that the wrath of the Almighty was denounced against the individuals and nations who practised idolatry, they exerted themselves to the utmost to free their country from the blight and curse which ever follows where Popery prevails.
The lecture, which was much applauded, occupied above two hours.
CASE OF REV. J. SHORE.—CLERKS CORRECTION BILL, &c. · A Bill is now before us, upon which we have been specially requested to offer a few remarks. True, the Bill is at present a rejected one, but it may be revived next session, and that too with the greater prospect of being passed, unless prompt measures are taken to inform those whom it chiefly concerns of the nature of the Bill, the importance of their being on the watch, and prepared to oppose it.
We refer to the “ Clerks' Correction Bill." The Right Reverend Prelate, on introducing it, stated, we believe, that it was brought in with the approbation of the whole or greater portion of the Episcopal Bench. We trust that such, however, is not the case. We feel satisfied that it ought not to be. Many of the bishops would disapprove of much contained in the
and moreover, if they all agreed, it would but be the agreement of the aristocracy of the Church to bring in a measure for the enlargement and consolidating of their own power, without sufficiently consulting the interests of the inferior orders of the clergy. We are glad,
therefore, that a recess has intervened, and that those who are to be brought under the provisions of this Bill will have time to consider its nature, and by Petitions and remonstrances to protect themselves from many of the intended provisions, which we must regard as in themselves of a severe and arbitrary nature, and which, connected with the recent decision in the case of Mr. Shore, and the prospective endowment of the Romish priesthood, will place the clergy of our own Church very frequently in a most painful and perilous position.
The case of Mr. Shore, as most of our readers will remember, was this :-Mr. Shore had been licensed by the Bishop of Exeter to the chapel of Berry Pomeroy, in Devonshire. He performed the duties of this chapel during the two incumbencies of Mr. Edwards and Mr. Brown; but on Mr. Cosins succeeding to the vicarage, in 1843, the Bishop of Exeter, for reasons best known to himself,
insisted on Mr. Shore having another nomination to the chapel signed by the new incumbent, a mandate, we believe, without a precedent in the annals of the Church. In default of this, the Bishop, in the month of March, 1844, proceeded, without any assignable cause, to revoke the licence he had given, and to monish Mr. Shore not to officiate any longer in the chapel in question.
In the meanwhile, the Duke of Somerset, offended at this, caused the chapel to be registered under the 52d Geo. III., c. 155, as a place of meeting for a congregation of Protestant Dissenters, and on the 16th of March, Mr. Shore, aggrieved by such cruelty and oppression, made and subscribed before a magistrate the oaths and declarations provided by the Registration Act, and continued to officiate in the chapel as before. In May, 1845, the Bishop therefore proceeded against him under the Church Discipline Act, as a clergyman of the Church of England. To these proceedings, Mr. Shore alleged that he had seceded from the Church of England upon conscientious grounds, &c.
This defence having been overruled in the Ecclesiastical Court, Mr. Shore applied to the Court of Queen's Bench for a bill, calling on the Bishop's secretary, Mr. Barnes, to show cause why a writ should not issue to prohibit further progress in the suit instituted in the Ecclesiastical Court. The rule nisi having been granted, the case was argued at great length in Hilary Term, by eminent counsel on each side, and in May last, Lord Chief Justice Denman declared the judgment of the Court. In the course of his elaborate judgment he observes that the only enactment which exempted any party from any penalty was 52 Geo. III. s. 4. Mr. Shore must, however, to bring himself within that Act, shew, first, that he was a Protestant Dissenter; and secondly, that the proceedings had been instituted against him for nonconformity. As to the first, it had been contended that any person who declared himself a Dissenter, became such by virtue of his declaration. The Court, however, could not consent to this. could not so divest himself of the character which had been impressed upon him by his ordination vow, from which he could only be released by the party who had conferred it. Canon 76 declared, that nobody who had been ordained could voluntarily relinquish the character imposed upon him by the reception of holy orders, or ever after use himself as a layman, under pain of excommunication. It was there
fore quite clear there was nothing to exempt Mr. Shore from canonical obedience. On the second point, it was clear from the proceedings that Mr. Shore was not sued for nonconformity, but for breach of the discipline of the Church.
The rule for a prohibition was, therefore, discharged ; and the suit in the Ecclesiastical Court proceeded ; and on Saturday, June 20, Sir H. J. Fust pronounced the judgment of the Court of Arches, expressing his conviction that sufficient had been proved against Mr. Shore to render him liable to ecclesiastical punishment. The only question was the degree. He was not prepared to go beyond the sentence first prayed. If Mr. Shore were guilty of a repetition of his former conduct he would not only be amenable to the Bishop, but he would be liable to be punished for contempt of Court. Being a minister of the Church of England he could not of his own authority secede from it. He was not a Dissenting minister, but a minister in holy orders, and from that he could not release himself. The Learned Judge then pronounced that the articles were fully proved ; admonished Mr. Shore from offending in like manner in the future, and condemned him to the cost of the proceedings. The admonition was to extend to every parish in the diocese of Exeter, or province of Canterbury. Such are the declarations of the most eminent lawyers in our common Law, or Ecclesiastical Courts, as to the law of the case. It is reported on credible authority that the Duke of Somerset will introduce a Bill in the next session of Parliament, to amend the law as to Mr. Shore's
It is, therefore, to be hoped that his Grace will be well supported, and that so nefarious a law as that which forbids the exercise of liberty of conscience to a minister, will forthwith be remedied. One most fearful point is the animus which would seem to have characterized these proceedings against Mr. Shore. The law as it at present stands gives power, and that, too, of a tremendous kind, to the Bishop, so much so that all who have once been ordained ministers of our Church are held to be such as long as life lasts ; and
may be subjected to ecclesiastical censures, penalties, and punishments, of the severest kind, if they act contrary to their ordination vows, and are guilty of breaches of ecclesiastical discipline. But why, it has been asked - why is the law to be enforced against Mr. Shore, and him only? If he has departed to the Dissenters, others have apostatized to Rome. Do our spiritual rulers, then, regard schism as more perilous than idolatry? Why is not Mr. Newman followed, and Mr. Sibthorp, and others of that class ?
But the Bill referred to, viz., the Clerks’ Correction Bill, and that which is to supply its place, would give a more despotic power to the Bishop, and a more summary way of proceeding. We do not say that the law, as it now stands, is not defective, but we say, take care that a greater defect is not created by endeavours ill-timed, or injudicious in their nature. We cannot now go into the various clauses of it, as we had intended, but that portion which gives the diocesan, jurisdiction, not only in cases of breach of ecclesiastical regulations, but in all cases wherein any clergyman shall demean himself in any way unbecoming his sacred office as a minister, gives so wide and dangerous a latitude, as to require strict vigilance to be exercised over the Bill, which