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their benevolent zeal, in behalf of this most important object, than by their attachment to the doctrine and discipline of the Church of England. *
* The text was on the point of being sent to the press when, in the person of the Bishop of Norwich, the paper of the day brought to view the cheering spectacle of so illustrious an addition to the declared adversaries of the exclusionary system.
Morning Chronicle, 10th May, 1816.
[Advertisement.] PUBLIC EDUCATION.- The Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Norwich will preach a sermon on Sunday next, at the parish church of St. Botolph, Aldersgate, London, before his Royal Highness the Duke of Kent, the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor, and other illustrious personages who have promised to attend on behalf of the Royal Institution, for the gratuitous education, on the British system, of one thousand children of all religious denominations, within the Wards of Aldersgate, Bassis. haw, Coleman-Street, Cripplegate, and the parishes of St. Luke and St. Leonard-Shoreditch, Middlesex, established in NorthStreet, City-Road.
JOHN WILKS, Secretary. Finsbury-Place, May 7th, 1816.
NATIONAL SOCIETY-GROUNDS FOR REGARDING
THE EXCLUSIONARY ACTS AS SPURIOUS, AND ITS REPORTS AS PURPOSELY DECEPTIOUS.
§ I. Cause and Ground of Suspicion as to
For the hope that the approbation bestowed upon the exclusionary system has not been general, the direct ground has just been seen.
The circumstantial ground is of a very different cast. It involves in it the character of a whole society.- And what society ?-A domineering, an overbearing society-self-designated, as if by a charter, by the imposing and exclusive name of The National Society :-—a society, of which the whole bench of English Bishops form--what?-a part ?—Yes, in appearance indeed but a part : but in effect, as will be seen, the whole.
The ordinances by which all children, whose parents will not suffer them to be impregnated with the matter of the Church of England Liturgy, stand excluded from schools either founded or directed by this society, have been seen.
Of the evidence now to be produced, the tendency is to shew-that of the whole business of this society the conduct has been throughout, and in particular in what concerns the above-explained exclusionary system, a tissue of imposture : of imposture, and if not of direct forgery, something extremely like it, and productive of the same effect : that, of the vast multitude of the members, of whom the society appears to be composed,
and whose minds are supposed to apply themselves, more or less to, and in general, as testified by their contributions, approve of, what is done,-commonly by no more than a minute number, perhaps, in all material instances, and in particular in all instances in which the exclusionary system is con. cerned, by not more than one for a constancy, scarce ever by more than two, unless a dependent Secretary, if not a substitute to both, may be taken for a third, what has been done has been either done or specifically approved.
Should this turn out to be the case, what fol, lows ?- That, by conniving at what is done for the purpose of the exclusion, without taking any publicly apparent part in it, the intolerant part of the Bishops and their adherents, being but too probably the major part, contrive in this way to en: joy the benefit of the wickedness, without standing exposed to the disgrace so justly due to it: while the minority,--feeling their inability to oppose the torrent with effect, and, -sensible that, of any ap,
pearance of dissension, in a body which has, so little reputation to lose, a loss of more or less of that little might be but too natural a consequence, -keep their eyes and ears as fast shut as possible, and leave the whole matter to run on in its own course.
Far be it from this pen to convey any such imputation as shall stretch beyond the proof: and, therefore, it is that this first opportunity is embraced for declaring, that in what the reader will bere see, is contained the whole of the ground in which the suspicions of spuriousness, as here stated, have their source. By particular inquiries to have sought for confirmation or disproof, be. sides danger of betraying the person of the author, would, so far as concerns confirmation, have been mere lost labour. For, what credence could have been expected for anecdotes without a name?
Under these circumstances, what in relation to this subject is here said, is said with the less reserve, because secure, if not against the reproach, at any rate against the guilt, of injustice. In the account given, in the name of the Society itself, of its own proceedings in that document may be seen the ground, and the only ground, of those inferences, of the legitimacy of which the reader will be the judge. Out of their own mouths, and no others, will, if condemned, their condemnation come.
Not even upon the supposition, that the suspi. cions here stated as conceived have been altogether
erroneous,-for that to every thing that has been done the minds of the majority of the Society have, as far as in so numerous a Society could reasonably have been expected, been actually applied and consenting, -not even upon this supposition, will the evidence (the display here made) be without its fruit, any more than without its ground. The fruit will be that of the business of the Society the conduct has been, and, if it be still in the same hands,--still is—in altogether unfit hands : in hands by which, though, by the supposition, without the guilt, they themselves have been exposed_and with them the whole Society of which they are the instruments--to the reproach-nor that, howsoever erroneous, the unjust reproach-of impostors.
$ II. Marks of Authenticity, proper and usual, in
Reports of Proceedings of Public Bodies.
1. Members concurring, as evidenced by their signatures 2. Members present—3. Person or persons officiating as Secretary or Secretaries--4. Place of operation-5. Time of operation Of the proceedings of public bodies in general, and of delegated bodies in particular-under every one of these heads it will be seen to be matter of undeniable use and advantage that entries should be made: and accordingly, under all or most of them,