Page images

cessary, on account of the extensive pre- of the sick and the dying, to administer parations of the enemy. The time might those consolations which, to persons in come when circumstances would point out those circumstances, can only be afforded the necessity of giving the war a more by the word of reconciliation in the gosoffensive character, and in such a case, pel, and by the means of reconciliation he had no doubt but the population and offered in the sacraments of the church,– spirit of the country would furnish the to assist the penitent in making his peace means of supporting it with honour. For with God. And how are these great the present, he thought it best to direct duties to be performed by a clergyman the attention of the country principally not resident in his parish? My lords, to the means of defence against the vast this is not all; the resident clergyman is preparations of the enemy; for this pur- to maintain the pure-dignified character pose, he relied, not only on the militia, of a clergyman unembarrassed and unbut on the yeomanry and volunteers also, sullied with the low occupations of the as a subsidiary force, in aid of the regular world. army.

My lords, before the statute of Henry The resolutions were agreed to. the 8th, the enforcement of these two

points of ecclesiastical discipline was Debate in the Lords on the Spiritual entirely in the hands of the ecclesiasPersons Relief Bill.] June 10. "On the tical superiors: they were enforced by order of the day, for going into a com- the canons, and by ecclesiastical cenmittee on the bill to amend and render sures and penalties; and the temporal more effectual the laws relating to spi- laws and the temporal courts had noritual persons,

thing to do with either. I mention this, The Bishop of St. Asaph (Dr. Horsley) because upon the second reading, a spoke as follows:-My lords ; upon the noble duke, opposing the principle of the second reading of this bill

, I declared, that, bill, said that it went to take the clergy with an entire approbation of the principle, in these points out of the bands of judges I was dissatisfied with the fabric of it in and juries, and to put them entirely under many parts. In the general view which the bishops. My lords if it were so, this I propose to take of the fabric of the bill, would only be a restoration of things to I cannot avoid saying something upon the the old footing: for judges and juries had principle of it; for, in considering the fa- no concern with these matters before the bric of the bill, I must not only consider statute of Henry the 8th. But, my lords, the connexion of the different, clauses I have no wish that the clergy should be with one another, but the relation of them taken out of the hands of judges and juall to the principle of the bill. My lords, ries: I think, that whoever looks to the the residence of the beneficed clergy upon state of the church, with respect to the their benefices, and the abstraction of the residence of the clergy, will find that it has clergy from all secular occupations, are been much improved since the secular autwo points of principal importance in ec- thority has been empowered to interpose clesiastical discipline. It is impossible in it; and that the statute of Henry the generally speaking, that the parish priest | 8th, with all its vices on its back, has been, should discharge himself of the duty upon the whole, productive of more good which he owes to the flock committed to than harm; and if a motion were made to him, without his personal residence among repeal that statute, without putting some them. The public instruction of the thing more equitable and more efficient in people from the pulpit, the public cele- in its stead, I would oppose it: so little bration of the offices of the church, am I inclined to take the clergy out of are but a part-I had almost said they the hands of judges and juries. But, my are but a small part—of the duty which the lords, this bill goes to no such effect ; it parish priest owes to his parishioners. only remedies the iniquity of the bill of My lords, he owes it to them besides, to Henry the 8th with respect to the penallive among them,-to exhibit in his own lies of non-residence, and the intolerable deportment, and in the good order of his rigour of it in the restrictions upon taking family, the example of a godly and religi- in ferm. The statute of Henry the Sth ous life: He owes it to them, to be pre- punished non-residence by pecuniary pe. sent to relieve the distresses of the poor nalties; which were the same, without by alms proportioned to his means; and any discrimination, whatever the means he owes it to them to be ready, at the call might be of the delinquent to sustaia them; and it was therefore unjust ; for it, which clergymen are interested; because is very evident that a penalty of 501. is a the judges of those provincial courts are much' heavier penalty upon a clergyman themselves clergymen.

When I was whose whole income perhaps is not more bishop of St. David's, I gave one of the than 30l. per annum, than upon another best livings in the patronage of that see whose income may be 500l. And though a rectory in Cardiganshire with a good in the present state of the church, many house upon it, to a clergyman, under the allowable causes of non-residence exist, it most explicit and solemn promises of regave no discretion to judge or jury to mi- sidence. When he was in possession of tigate the penalty: nor indeed can such the living, he represented to me, that he discretion be placed with them, according had a curacy in Glamorganshire (which to the mode of recorering the penalty indeed I knew to be the case); and he which that statute prescribes. Now the hoped I would not so insist upon his

propresent bill remedies this iniquity of the mise, but that I would give him some old bill, by establishing a scale of penalty time to detach himself from his engagejustly proportioned to the degree of the ments there. The request seemed readelinquency and the means of the delin- sonable ; and I told him I would give him quent; and it gives a discretional power half a year. The half year passed away ; to the bishops, of dispensing with resi. and my clerk was still upon his curacy in dence, and relieving from the penalties of Glamorganshire, and seemed to have the statute, in cases in which non-resi. made no preparations for fixing himself dence ought to be indulged. My lords, upon his rectory. I began to suspect that the present bill, like the original statute of he meant to elude his promise. Another Henry the 8th, being intended to enforce half year was consumed in remonstrances residence in all cases in which there is no on my part, and shuffling excuses on his ; reasonable cause of exemption, though it and when I was preparing to come to places the clergy under the coercion of town for the winter season, I sent for him, the secular courts, withdraws them not and after some warm expostulations with from the authority of the bishops: on the him, I said to him “Sir, take notice, that, contrary, it is a farther object of this bill if I do not find you in residence upon your to strengthen the ecclesiastical authority living when I return into the country next with regard to residence. In theory the summer, I shall take measures that may be ecclesiastical authority in this point is very disagreeable to you.” Upon my recomplete. The power of the bishop goes return to my diocese the ensuing summer,

to deprive a contumacious non- I found my clerk was not yet in residence : resident of his benefice. Nevertheless, the and I caused a process to be instituted exercise of this power is so difficult as to against him, in order to his deprivation, render the power itself almost useless. It in my consistory court. He was up to is exercised only in the bishops' courts; the business: he took advantage of all the where the process is so tedious, and may causes of delay which the nature of the run to such an expense, that few bishops proceedings admit; and after a whole are willing or indeed able, if they have twelvemonth's litigation, and some many opulent non-residents to deal with, penseincurred, this unprincipledclergyman, to engage in it. This bill therefore wisely through the connivance of my own court, puts the exercise of this power into the slipped through my fingers; the judge of bishop's own hands, without any interfer- my court being a non-resident clergyman. ence of his court. And, my lords, the This instance shows the expediency of length and expensiveness of the proceed- placing the offence of non-residence unings in our courts are not the only consi. der the coercion of the bishop himself, derations which make it expedient that in a summary way ; as is wisely proposed the power should be placed in ourselves to be done by this bill. personally. In the courts of the arch- My lords, another part of the bill goes bishop, of the bishops of London, Win- to release the immoderate rigour of the chester, Rochester, and all the dioceses statute of Henry the 8th in the prohibition which have their courts here in town, jus- upon the clergy of taking in ferm. The tice, I am persuaded, is as regularly ad. whole principle of the bill therefore conministered as in any of his majesty's sists of three parts: it goes to do away courts in Westminster-hall; but in the the injustice of the statute of Henry the provincial courts, I fear the case is not 8th in the part relating to the residence of quite the same, especially in matters in the clergy, at the same time that it en



hances the penalties upon culpable non- | seech you to remember that this godlike residence; it goes to invigorate the epis- occupation of farming will not be taken copal authority; and to give relief in up by the inferior clergy, if they are althe matter of taking in ferm. The res lowed to engage in it, in the manner in traints of the statute of Henry the 8th in which some of your lordships apply to it, that matter are most unquestionably extra- for your own amusement, for the public vagant and intolerable. Nevertheless, it benefit and to your own great loss ;-they is a matter of the first importance to ab- will apply to it as a business, and for stract the clergyman from those occupa- gain : the country curate, if he turns fartions which would degrade his character mer, will take part in the labours of busin the eye of the laity; it is certainly the bandry: he will wield the sithe and the ancient constitutions, that a clergyman sickle ; he will fodder the kine, and help should be a clergyman, and nothing else. to throw out the dung upon his land; and Far be it from me to join my voice to the thus he would be associated with the labourdespicable cant of puritanism; as if it ing peasantry; even the business of the were the duty of a clergyman to withdraw markets, which he will attend to show bis himself entirely from the commerce and own samples and make his own bargains, society of the world, and that every mo- will mix him too much in familiar habits ment of his time is sinfully employed with the lower farmers, and thus the which is not given up to meditation and whole dignity and sanctity of his character prayer, and studies strictly theological. will be obliterated. The restrictions of M lords, there is no branch of learning the old statute are certainly rigorous in that misbecomes a clergyman: he that the extreme, and require relaxation : but would understand the Bible, in such a when we come to the consideration of manner as he ought to understand it who these clauses, I beseech your lordships to is to expound it, should be deeply skilled, take care that the relaxation is not carried as the writer of a great part of it was, beyond the proper limit,—that the new “ in all the learning of the Egyptians.” bill does not exceed in indulgence as I have not scrupled to tell the clergy, ex much as the old one in severity. I do cathedra, that a clergyman's time is not not say positively that this is the case. It always misspent when he is studying the is a very difficult subject, and I have not proportions of architecture and the divi- made up my mind; but it is a matter to sions of the monichord: for I assert, in be well looked to. And this is all that I contempt and defiance of all the whining shall at present sayupon that part ofthe bill. cant of Puritans, that there is no branch With respect to the clause which enacts of abstruse science or polite literature the penalties of non-residence, I have alwhich may not be useful, which may not ready expressed my approbation of it. I be even necessary, for the illustration of fear indeed that the time of allowed nonsome part or another of the book which it residence is longer than it ought to be: I is our duty to expound. And as to in- think, with a little ingenuity, the three tercourse with the world, I hold that none months will often be turned into six. My can be qualified to instruct the world lords, this penal clause is followed by anwithout it: he who is to teach men their other, containing a very long list of cases duty practically, must know human nature of exemption of absolute exemption, generally, and the particular manners of without any interposition of that discrehis country and his times. But, my lords tional power of exemption which is given the clergy should be kept apart from to the bishops in a subsequent part of the those occupations which would degrade bill. Some such exemptions were given them from the rank which they ought to by the old bill; and it is certainly proper hold in society, and mix them in familiar that they should stand: but many cases habits with the inferior orders from every are specified, which are either already thing indeed which would give them a lay exempted by the general reservation of character. I know that it becomes me to the exemptions of the old bill,--and then speak tenderly of farming, the fondled the enumeration of them nominatim only bantling of the present times. Agriculture serves to swell the list of exemptions to is an occupation for the gods : can the cha- the public eye, and to give the country racter of a country curate be degraded a suspicion that we are inventing all sorts by his addicting himself to those pursuits of loopholes for the clergy to creep out which procured divine. honours to Ceres at; or if they are not so cxempted, they and Triptolemus? But, my lords, I be are in my judgment not entitled to this

absolute exemption : and many others, it would be very hard that he should not are added, which are certainly im- be allowed to remove to that place for a proper. I shall mention one as an ex- time; and if the ill health of wife or child ample. The situation of a minor canon require such assistance, it would be cruel in any cathedral or collegiate church is not to give the husband or father liberty made one of the grounds of absolute ex- of accompanying them. Highly as I emption from the penalties of non-resi- think of the duty of residence, it never dence upon a benefice. It is true the ex- should have divided me from a sick wife emption is only given for the time during or a sick child; and a restraint to which I which the statutes of the cathedral or col. would not submit myself, I would not legiate church require the minor canon's have imposed on otliers. But see, what attendance, and during which he shall ac- may be the consequence of advertising this cordingly bein attendance, and performing as one of the cases entitled to indulgence; his duty there; but, my lords, I am in- see what pretences may be set up on the formed, that the statutes of the church of ground of this advertisement. I suppose St. Paul (and the case may be the same in a clergyman in affluent circumstances, some other cathedrals, though not in all) with a sprightly wife and child, has long require the attendance of every minor ca- been resident on a country living; the non for the whole year; and yet very lady is grown perfectly sick of this releconsiderable livings often fall to the share gation from elegant society in a dull seof these minor canons. Now, if a minor questered situation: slie says to her hus. canon of St. Paul's were to obtain a living band “ My dear, we have been a long of 12 or 1,3001. a year in the diocese of time in this dismal place; surely you London, and the bishop were to say to him might get a licence of non-recidence for that he ought to be resident upon his great some time; I am dreadfully nervous, you living, though it should oblige him to re- know; you are overloaded with bile; and linquish his situation in the church of St. the poor child is ricketty: Bath would set Paul's and to give up the petty emolument us all up: ask the bishop for a licence.” of his office there-is it fit that this minor The husband, perhaps, is a little bashful: canon should have it to say to the bishop he has taken, to be sure, a great deal of of London, “ No, my lord: here I am, a rhubarb ; the lady never goes through the minor canon in your lordship’s cathedral; day without ether : and the child is perI cling to my stall; and without your petually swallowing something to lordship’s permission to be absent from strengthen its limbs; but yet he is conmy living, I defy the penal statute.” My scious that there is no such degree of dislords, in this situation is the bishop of ease among them as would justify him in London placed by this clause with respect a request to be non-resident, especially as to a minor canon of his own cathedral.-- his situation is a very healthy one; he is This clause is followed by another, which unwilling therefore to make the applicagives the bishop of every diocese a dis- tion. « Pho!" says the lady “ you are cretional power of granting a licence of so conscientious! Leave it to me to manon-residence for a certain time, in cer- nage: I will speak to the bishop's lady; tain enumerated cases, but in certain she is as nervous as I am, and will take enumerated cases only. Then follows the my part from fellow.feeling : I warrant clause of enumeration ; which is very full; you we shall prevail upon the bishop, who it contains no case which may not be a is himself a good-natured man, if you fair ground of exemption. But, I do will but get over your foolish scruples, strongly object to this principle of enu- and sign the petition.". The man is premeration. I apprehend, that the enumer- vailed upon: the petition is signed; the ation will have the effect of an advertise- apothecary of the village can, with a very ment to the clergy of all the pretences safe conscience, make affidavit of the iil upon which they may come to the bishop, health of the family; knowivg that he has and tease him for a licence. I will illus. supplied them with medicines in a quantrate this by an example. One of the tity sufficient to make them all sick if they cases in which a licence of non-residence were not so before hand: The bishop is bemay be granted is illness or infirmity of sieged with the solicitations of the lady and body of the incumbent himself, his wife or all her friends, among whom his own lady child ;--certainly a most reasonable case. is one of the warmest; and he must musIf his own health require the assistance of ter up a great deal of resolution to stand the air or water of some particular place, the siege. And all this inconvenience (VOL. XXXVI.)


arises from what I call the advertisement; / archbishop or the bishop who first refused. for, without that, the indulgence might be The very terms in which these circular granted to real ill health ; but these soli- letters are conceived, imply the indepencitations upon the pretence of ill bealth dence of the bishops in the matter ; for the would not have been invited. My lords, archbishop neither commands me to orI would propose that the bishop should dain nor forbids any other to ordain, but have this power of licensing, without any advises every other not to proceed to orenumeration of cases, in every case which dination without a consultation. My

to indulgence. But, much more than to the presentation to a living in my diocese, and clause-itself, I object to the proviso an- I refuse him institution, he has no appeal nexed to it. It is provided, that if, in any to the archbishop. The patron has bis of the enumerated cases, the bishop shall writ of quare impedit in the secular courts, refuse to grant a licence to the clergyman-aud very properly: the clerk has no petitioning for it, the clergyman may ap. appeal to the archbishop, because institu. peal to the archbishop of the province; tion is a branch of the voluntary jurisdicwho is empowered to grant the licence tion in spirituals in which the archbishop which the bishop has thought proper to has no share ; but the patron has his rerefuse.

An appeal, my lords ! from medy in the king's courts, because his what? The licence of non-residence is no temporal rights are affected. In short, my matter of right; it is a favour. I under- lords, there is no instance in which the stand the propriety of an appeal from a archbishop can meddle with the voluntary judicial sentence where rights are in jurisdiction. In the contentious jurisdic, question; but I do not understand the tion in causes between parties agitated in propriety of an appeal when a favour only the bishop's court, an appeal certainly is denied. The clergyman is to go to the lies to the archbishop; and in all such archbishop, and say, “My bishop has re- cases, an ulterior appeal lies to the king fused me a favour which I asked : make in chancery,—and very properly; because him grant it.” My lords, the appeal given all this jurisdiction arises out of the civil in this case to the archbishop, I assert to establishment, and antecedent to estabbe unconstitutional in the highest degree: lishments was not inherent in the spiritual it invests the archbishop with the ordinary society as such; but in the voluntary jugovernment of every diocese in his pro- risdiction in matters purely, spiritual, vince, in matters merely spiritual; in there is no authority in any diocese bewhich he has no right to interfere beyond yond the bishop's; and the attempt to inthe limits of his own proper diocese. Introduce a superior authority, in this inany other diocese, the archbishop's author- stance, is a most outrageous violation of ity is merely visitatorial ; he possesses not the ecclesiastical constitution,-not merely an atom of ordinary jurisdiction; and the particular constitution of the church ought not to be introduced to it. My of this kingdom, but the constitution of lords, I desire to know in what instance the church Catholic, by which every the archbishop is authorized to interfere bishop in his owo diocese is supreme. in the administration of any other diocese And, my lords, this is a matter of no light than his own, in spirituals. If I refuse to consideration. The attempted innovation ordain a candidate for holy orders, he has is most dangerous ; for ecclesiastical hisno remedy by appeal to the archbishop tory bears me out in the assertion, that It is true, it is my duty, in such a case, to the whole superstructure of the papal ty, acquaint the archbishop with my refusal ranny arose out of encroachments and of the candidate, and my reason for refus. usurpations, small as they seemed in their ing him; and to transmit to the archbishop beginnings, of metropolitans and patriall the testimonials of character and pa- archs, upon the independent authority of pers of form that were produced to me: not bishops. My lords, I am aware that upon that the archbishop has any power to this point some of my reverend brethren revise what I have done; but for this pur- have an opinion different from mine. I pose,--that the archbishop may send a know that one very learned prelate, whose circular letter to all the other bishops of deep erudition and great talents are far the province, informing them that such a above any praise of mine, to whom I bear person has been refused by such a bishop, the greatest personal regard, and whose and requesting that no one of them would opinions are entitled to your lordships' ordain him without consulting himself the gravest consideration,-I know or have


« PreviousContinue »