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Report of the Commissioners appointed to consider the state of the Established Church, now before the House of Commons, if passed into a law, will preclude the hope that there will remain a surplus property of the cathedrals and chapters, to be applicuble to the purposes now provided for by church rates, while its prospective operation would tend to establish and perpetuate an ob
jectionable and unconstitutional authority, . On the 22nd of July, the United Committee again assembled, farther to consider the course adopted by Government on this occasion ; when the following resolutions were adopted, and copies forwarded to Lord John Russell, and circulated among members of Parliament :-That it is an infringement of the rights of Dissenters, and in opposition to the
principles of civil and religious liberty, to rompel Dissenters from the Established Church of England to contribute to its support, Thut the Established Church is now possessed of ample revenues to support its ministers and repair
its churches, without taxing the people for their support and repair. That the introduction of the Established Church Bill, and the Ecclesiastical Re· venue Bill, has afforded an opportunity to his Majesty's Government to appro
priate, from the sinecure revenues of the church, à sufficient sum of money to support the ministers of the church, and to defray the expenses of building and
repairing churches, without taxing the people. That this committee views, with the greatest apprehension, the principles on
which those Bills have been framed, on account of their inconsistency with the principles of civil and religious liberty, and cannot but consider the provisions of those Bills as evincing a fixed determination on the part of the Government to perpetuate upon Dissenters the oppression of Church Rates, against which they have often protested.
The deputation are aware that his Majesty's Ministers withdrew the obnoxious measure.
- A deputation from the United Committee, on the subject of Church Rates, having ascertained from Government, early in May last, that Ministers were not prepared to make any communication which would be satisfactory to those Dissenters who insisted on their total abolition, the United Committee resolved to communicate with the friends of civil and religious liberty throughout the United Kingdom, and re-published the resolution respecting Church Rates, of the 6th of October, 1834 ; accompanying it by the following resolution, which was extensively circulated : That this Committee, having reason to believe that any measure which may be
laid before Parliament during the present Session, relative to Church Rates, will have for its object the perpetuating of that unjust impost under a new form, by which, not only England but Scotland and Ireland also will be involved in the payment, as contributing in common to the general revenue of the Empire, deern it their duty to communicate their conviction on this subject to the friends of religious liberty throughout the United Kingdom, that they may prepare to give a strong and united expression to their sentiments, as soon as the measure in question shall have been announced.
Your Committee, in order to promote discussion and diffuse information, as well as to express the opinion of the deputation, respecting the absorbing question of Church Rates, prepared a series of resolutions, which received the sanction of the deputation, at the half-yearly meeting, when it was determined, that petitions founded thereon should be prepared, and presented to both Ilouses of Parliament. By order of the next general meeting, they were re-printed for distribution, and are as follows: That while the religion of the State was Roman Catholic, tithes were applied to
the maintenance of the poor, and of the ecclesiastical fabrics and worship, as well as of the Clergy, both superior and subordinate. That since the Reformation they have been discharged from the relief of the poor, and nearly the whole of the present Church Revenue has been appropriated to the use of the Clergy.
That it appears from the Report of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for England
and Wales, that the net annual income of the Archiepiscopal and Episcopal property is £160,292, of the Cathedral and Collegiate property 1274,754, of the Benefices £3,055,451 ; making a total annual income of £3,490,497 ; a very small assessment on which sum would be adequate to the main
tenance of the edifices and worship of the Established Church. That already in Ireland, by the 3rd and 4th WM. IV., c. 37, has Parliament
enacted a yearly assessinent on the present value of Ecclesiastical Benefices and Livings, in order to provide a fund in lieu of Church Rates, which were by the same Act abolished. That a sufficient portion of the ample revenues of the Church of England
ought to be appropriated to the purposes for which Church Rates have been levied; or the expenses of repairing the Churches, and of defraying the charges of divine worship in them, should be met by the voluntary subscriptions of
the members of that communion. That if, as has been asserted by high authority in the Church, she comprises
within her pale the great majority of the nation, including the hereditary nobility and a large portion of the wealthier classes, in whose affections she is said to live, it is unjust to compel the minority, who do not belong to her communion, or avail themselves of her instructions, but who conscientiously dissent from her rites and ceremonies, to contribute to her support. That there is sufficient reason to believe, that there are in England and Wales
nearly 8000 places of public worship, belonging to Protestant Dissenters of the Presbyterian, Independent and Baptist Denominations, to Wesleyan and other Methodists, and to the Quakers, without any charge upon the national funds for the expense of their erection and repair, for the maintenance of their ministers and worship, and supported by the voluntary contributions
of those bodies of Christians respectively, That, upon a moderate computation, the erection of these buildings cannot have
occasioned the outlay of less than a million and a half sterling; and that the repair of them, the expenses of worship, and the maintenance of the ministers, cannot be less than a million sterling per annum; and that the imposition of any new tax, on persons contributing so largely in augmentation of the means of public religious instruction, in order to provide for the worship of the Established Church, and the repair of edifices appropriated solely
to its use cannot but be felt as a great grievance, and a palpable injustice. That in many parisbes, both extensive and populous, have Church Rates ceased
to be made and collected, in consequence of the determined opposition of the inhabitants; and that any mode for providing either wholly or partly for the expenses formerly included in Church Rates, by an appropriation of the public income of the United Kingdom, will be the imposition of a fresh tax upon such districts, and of a tax upon Scotland and Ireland, for the exclusive
benefit of the amply endowed Established Church of England and Wales. That the exaction of Church Rates has always been regarded, by Protestant Dissenters, as one of the principal grievances of which they have to complain. That the just expectation of the country at large, and of the Protestant Dissenters in particular, which was raised by the abolition of Church Rates in Ireland, will not be realized, until the same principle be adopted with
respect to Church Rates in England. That Petitions to both Houses of Parliament, founded on these Resolutions, be prepared and signed by the Deputies.
Lord Holland took charge of the petition to the House of Lords, and Charles Lushington, Esq. M.P. of that to the House of Commons. Your Committee especially requested the Chairman to convey the thanks of your Committee to Charles Lushington, Esq. M, P., for the able and satisfactory manner in which he presented and supported your petition.
Your Committee cordially approved of the object of the Meeting at the City of London Tavern, on the 17th October, for the formation of “The Church Rate Abolition Society ;" and has expressed its readiness to co-operate with the Committee of that Society for the extinction of Church Rates; and recommends that the Deputation should be prepared with a Petition to the House of Commons for the entire abolition of Church Rates, which shall be presented immediately on the opening of the Session.
Your Committee will conclude its report upon this head, by informing the Deputation that the United Committee, whose protests against the principle and practice of Church Rates have been so often repeated, and whose opinion, that no legislative measure can be satisfactory which does not accomplish their entire abolition, has been so strongly expressed, has lately passed a resolution, congratulating Dissenters on their strenuous exertions to obtain effective redress; and, in order finally to determine on the efforts to be made and recommended before the next Session of Parliament, a Deputation has been appointed to communicate immediately with Lord John Russell, and to request some decisive explanation of the measures which Government intends to adopt in regard to this question.
Secession of some Presbyterian Deputies.. Your Committee has now to recall your attention to the secession of certain Deputies of the Presbyterian denomination, representing eight congregations, who, on their withdrawal, requested your Committee to alter the title of your Society; this request was fully considered by the Committee and the Deputation; and it was determined that its ancient title should be retained. The two vacancies in the Committee, occasioned by the withdrawal of those Deputies, were filled up at the half-yearly meeting, by the unanimous appointment of Mr. William Henry Black, and Mr. Josiah Conder.
Stamp Acts. Constantly watching every opportunity of advancing the interests committed to its care, your Committee appointed a Deputation, on the 6th of April last, to suggest to the Chancellor of the Exchequer the propriety of introducing into the new Stamp Act a clause for exempting from that Act chapels and school-houses, erected and maintained by voluntary contributions. An interview was, accordingly, obtained with that right honourable gentleman on the 13th of April; when the Deputation was informed that, after having deliberated on the suggestion made by your Committee, he could not consent to make the desired exemption. Since that time, however, your Committee is glad to find that Mr. Wilks has given notice, in his place in the House of Commons, that he shall bring forward a motion to effect this object early in the next Session of Parliament.
There is only one case of injurious interference with religious and civil rights, in which your Committee has been requested to interpose, that is considered entitled to a specific reference: of the two cases alluded to in the last annual report, one has been adjusted, and the parties most interested in the other have taken its settlement upon themselves.
Persecution in Jamaica. The Committee of the Baptist Missionary Society requested your Committee, to consider the case of one of the Missionaries, employed by that Society in Jamaica, who had been tried for a misdemeanour in the great court of that island, on the charge of dismissing from church-membership a negro apprentice, who had taken upon himself the office of constable, and had been employed to flog other negroes, one of whom belonged to the same congregation. Your Committee, having read the report of the trial, and considered the documents left with the case, resolved, That this Committee have considered, with much regret, the proceedings that have occurred in the Grand Court in Jamaica, by the prosecution of the Rev. Henry Clarke Taylor, a Baptist Missionary, for a misdemeanour, as those proceedings appear to violate the principles of religious liberty, which should be every where and anxiously maintained; and that this Committee apply to his Majesty's Government to discountenance such persecutions, and to take all measures in their power to prevent their renewal.
The Resolution was transmitted to Lord Glenelg; and the Chairman received the following answer, with which your Committee was highly gratified, and a copy was ordered to be entered on the minutes, as well as forwarded to the Secretary of the Baptist Missionary Society.
Downing Street, 16th August, 1836. Sir, I am directed by Lord Glenelg to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 16th ult. with the resolution therein enclosed, by the Committee of
Deputies from the Presbyterian, Independent and Baptist congregations of the metropolis and its vicinity, respecting the prosecution and conviction of the Rev. H. C. Taylor, a Baptist Missionary in Jamaica, for a misdemeanour. His Lordship has desired me to acquaint you that a copy of your note, and of its enclosure, has been forwarded by his Lordship to the Marquis of Sligo, for his report thereon, accompanied by such instructions as appear to his Lordship best calculated to prevent the recurrence of any such invasion of the religious liberty of the Dissenters from the Established Church in Jamaica, as is represented in your communication to have taken place in the case of Mr. Taylor.
I have the honour to be, Sir, your obedient Servant,
GEORGE GREY. Your Committee cannot conclude its Report, without adverting to the powerful reasons, which still exist, for continued and increasing exertions in the great cause of civil improvement and religious freedom. The nearer the attainment of the object you have in view, the greater is the obligation of re-doubled effort; and the more dishonourable will be the reproach of supineness or relaxation. Many years have elapsed since the repeal of the Corporation and Test Acts; and though a reform in the representation of the Lower House excited the hope of a speedy redress of remaining grievances, yet the only measures of relief are those which were effected in the last Session, and even these measures have been long deferred, and were with difficulty attained. It is evident, therefore, that in order to be successful, the Dissenters must rely upon their own resources; and—by a more vigorous exercise of their just influence,-a more energetic organization amongst themselves, -and a still more active union with the friends of civil and religious liberty, throughout the empire, the cause in which you are engaged, will achieve an earlier and more signal triumph.
İlenry WAYMOUTH, Chairman.
OBITUARY NOTICE AND RECENT DEATH. Mr. John MOORE was a deacon of the Independent church at Tisbury, Wilts, and minister of the Independent chapel, Hindon, under the auspices of the Wilts Association and of the Home Missionary Society, London. Ile had been in the habit of preaching occasionally for several years : but about two years since, became a stated preacher at Hindon. His labours were much prized, and we hope will prove to have been eminently blessed. His usefulness was. beginning to discover itself, and the cause to revive and flourish, when he was suddenly called to leave his earthly labours and to enjoy his everlasting reward. His death occurred on the day of the fatal storm in November last. He had just gone into the garden attached to his little cottage to witness the havoc which the wind had made amongst his trees, when a violent gust of wind severed a branch from a distant tree, and blew it with great violence to the spot on which he stood. It struck him speechless, and almost lifeless to the ground. He survived the stroke only five minutes. His death was deeply lamented by his flock and by his neighbours, who assembled in great numbers, both at his funeral and when his death was improved at Hindon Chapel, by the Rev. R. Ashton, Warminster. A remarkable proof of the high esteem in which he was held, though moving in a very humble sphere, was given on the Sabbath following his death, by several clergymen in the neighbouring parishes adverting to his decease, and speaking most affectionately of him in their different pulpits. We rejoice to be able to add, that a highly esteemed friend, John Dyer, Esq., late of the Admiralty, and now of Chicklade Lodge, attended his funeral and in various ways testified both while Mr. Moore was alive and since his death, the great respect he had for his character, and the deep interest he took in his welfare.
Mr. Moore was about forty-two years of age. He was never married ; but lived with his aged and afflicted father, whom he watched and nursed and provided for with all the assiduity and tenderness of a mother towards her child. His loss to the poor old man is indeed irreparable : for though his wants may be supplied, yet he can never again receive the attention which he had from his son. The filial affection was undiminished to the last, A striking instance of devoted attachment to his helpless parent was given when he was invited to settle over a church a few miles from Hindon: he refused the call solely on account of his father, who expressed an unwillingness to be removed from his old habitation. He thus sacrificed what would have been to him a handsome income and a comfortable parsonage, to gratify his father's wishes.
The piety of this “man of God” was of the bighest order. Ile “ walked with God;" he was “ clothed with humility." His elevation to the pulpit did not exalt him in his own eyes. He felt almost abashed and confounded with the responsibility of his engagements. He viewed himself as the least of God's servants; and as unworthy to be noticed by his fellow Christians. Ilis natural talents were of a very superior order, and had they been properly cultivated, would have rendered him a preacher of considerable eminence. lle had no education in his early days; he was purely self-taught. His reading must have been considerable: he was well versed in Theology and in Ecclesiastical Ilistory. His preaching was of a very interesting and edifying character. His occasional grammatical inaccuracies and his provincialisms, were lost amid the excellencies of his distourse.
Hindon has suffered great loss in his death, since it is difficult to find a successor for such a place. May the Great Head of the Church deign to smile on that once corrupt and benighted borough. Its political disfranchisement has, we trust, been a means of its moral improvement in some degree. But notwithstanding bribery and corruption are at an end, and the gospel has been and is faithfully preached in the church and the chapel, it still remains in a state of deplorable ignorance. True vital religion is but little known and seen. There are “ å few names even in Sardis," but the many are comparatively strangers to God and to his Christ. The patronage and attendance of John Dyer, Esq. at the chapel have increased and still keep up the attendance, and thus good we trust, will be the result. May God arise and have mercy on Zion, and may the unexpected and distressing event now narrated, prove the means of arousing the attention, and of saving the souls of many of the inhabitants of Hindon.
We are deeply concerned to announce the death of the Rev. Jonx BOTEL INNES, pastor of the ancient Congregational Church at Norwich, which occurred on April 6th, after a short illness, at his residence, Thorp Hainlet, and in the 54th year of his age.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS, &c. Favours have been received from the Rev. Drs. Henderson and StylesRev. Messrs. Joseph Morrison-J. Carlile-Josiah Bull---A. Tidman-James Scott-J. Peggs-- Thomas Milner-Richard Knill --William Chambers.
Also from Messrs. J. Phipson-J. R. Bennett, M.D.-William Stroud, M.D. - Joshua Wilson--B. II. C.-An Old Nonconformist.
In consequence of the Editor's absence from London, no communications delivered since the 19th of April are acknowledged. They will be duly noticed in the June number.
As the contents of the present number were sent to press unusually early in the month, several valuable communications are deferred till the next.