Page images

of the proceedings, by which the Society of invisi. bles will presently be seen to have been formed.-

combined, without reproach or interruption, * from the members of the Establishment. On the other hand the


Note, moreover, that, by this same course support equally effectual might be given to the religion of the Church of Rome,to the religion of Bramah—or to the religion of Mahomet. That by this same course-supposing it to be, with relation to the end it aims at, an effectual one,-any system of religion, or no religion whatever-one as well as any other-might with equal success be forced into the minds of the rising generation—this the authors and sanctioners of this paragraph, whoever they are, cannot deny. That, unless this same course be taken, the Church they are thus labouring to support, will not be able to stand its ground - this they here declare themselves apprehensive of.

[Without reproach or interruption.] Without reproach, viz. from such of the Members of the Establishment as do not reproach them, true :--but not without reproach from such as do reproach them: for example the present Bishop of London: by whom, from the pulpit bis Clerical subordinates, and from the press all who read English, are informed that all tenets different from those of the Church of England are schism, and that all schism is guilt: (Charge, p. 1.) and by whom the system of instruction in question is expressly referred to, in the character of an instrument, and that a most desirable one, for the applying of these principles to practice.-See below § 9, and Appendix, No. I.

Without interruption, yes. But why? Because they chose not to offer it? No: but because they durst not. Witness the Secretary of State, Lord Viscount Sidmouth : who, with Bill in

Date thereupon assigned to the first meeting, 16th Oct. 1811.

members of the Establishment are not only warranted, but in duty bound to preserve that system, as originally practised at Madras,* in the form of a Church of England Education.


hand, offering to commence his course of interruption was, by the Bench of English Bishops, treated, such, notwithstanding the willingness of the spirit, was the weakness of the flesh, treated as Jesus was by the Saint, of whom the Bishops of Rome are successors.

As to power, the only interruption which it was in the power of these Church-of-Englandists to give to the new system of instruction, in so far as carried on upon a principle other than exclusionary principle, they did give to it: viz. a competition set up against il, on the ground of that hostile principle. Not a finger did they stir in aid of it, till, upon the all-comprehensive principle it had been set on foot,--and with such formidable success established, --by Lancaster, and his supporters. Unless the taking of passages out of the Bible for lessons was an exclusion, the Lancasterian scheme put no exclusion upon

Church-ofEnglandists. These Church-of-Englandists, in this their course, have been all along not only anxious, but declaredly anxious, to put an exclusion upon all Non-Church-of-Englandists. The contributions which otherwise would have been given for the support of a non-exclusionary system, they draw off to the support of this their exclusionary system. Thus, all the interruption, which it is possible for them to give, they do give.And the enormous force of their influence considered, is it an inconsiderable one? (Bound to preserte

as ... at Madras.] Destitute of all

[ocr errors]


The friends, therefore, of the Establishment throughout the kingdom are earnestly requested to associate and cooperate, for the purpose of promoting the Education of the Poor in the doctrine and discipline of the Established Church.It is hoped that such co-operation will not be wanting, when the object in view is nothing less than the preservationt of the National Religion, by ensuring to


argument, in their endeavours to produce the effect of argument they are thus forced, or if they please “bound,thus to steal in, as it were, in lieu of argument, insinuations thus obscure and irrelevant. They are bound (say they) amongst other things, for this is what is meant, if any thing,—to teach this their Catechism. Why?-because it was taught at Madras.-What a reason !-But why was it taught at Madras? Why?-only because at Madras, i. e, in the eyes of the inventor of the new system, there could not have been any so much as the faintest hope of temporal reward or encouragement in any shape, on any other condition than that of teaching this same Catechism. By the very nature of their Establishment,—without saying this, because altogether without need of saying any such thing they had thus set the law to Dr. Bell :-and now—such, for want of argument, is their distress-such thereupon their humility-it is Dr. Bell, that by his practice has set the law to them: viz. to the Bench of Bishops. Of the stone, which, for so long a course of years--some thirteen or fourteen years to wit,--these tardy and unworthy builders refused, thus glad are they at length to make the headstone of their corner.

+ [ preservation.] Thus explicitly do they declare, that, in the exclusionary, and “ understanding-and-will-prostrating" system, as above and hereinafter described, they behold an indispensable instrument, for the preservatiou of what they call the National Religion : viz. their own worldly and anti-Christian the great body of the people an education adapted to its principles.

With a view of promoting such co-operation, and with the intent of laying the foundation of a Society, which


power, their own factitious dignities, their own overpaid places, their own useless places, and their own sinecures.

With such an immense mass of the matter of wealth, constantly, in the shape of the matter of corruption, applying itself to the minds of all persons, who, by their condition in life, are rendered susceptible of literary education,-applying itself to them in such manner, as to invite and urge them to throw off the yoke of the law of sincerity, and, by subscription and conformity, to place themselves in the tract of preferment ;-with so enormous a mass of the matter of corruption, thus continually employing itself, not only in the fixing of adherents, but in the purchase of converts ;-to what imaginable circumstance can we look for the source of the so much apprehended danger--the danger, from which the proposed remedy is designed to operate as a preservation? To what imaginable circumstance, unless it be the real worthlessness of this perpetually self-styled Ercellence ?

If to any other circumstances, what can be the hypothesis, on which this notion of danger grounds itself? It must be that a state of universal mental depravation, is the state--not only of all Non-Church-of-Englandists ;-but in short of the great majority of the whole population of the country: that the propensity towards error is so strong and general, that the millions a year, which, after being levied by forced contributions, are employed in the preservation of the doctrine and discipline of the Church from destruction, will still be unavailing, but for the additional 20,0001. or 30,0001. a year, thus raised with the additions thus endeavoured to be raised-by voluntary contributions :-in a word, that-such is the system they are

Next to the above-mentioned matter, and in the same page, (p. 6,) comes a string of numbered Resolutions, fourteen in number, stated as having been come to at two subsequent meetings, held at two specified days, by the same imaginary persons, in the same or some other concealed place, the Bishop of London in the Chair. Of these Resolutions the two first are—“1. That the title of the Society

now constituted, be · THE NATIONAL SOCIETY

shall extend its influence over the whole kingdom, a number of persons, friends to the Establishment,* at a meeting holden 16th October, 1811,

His Grace the ARCHBISHOP of CANTERBURY in the Chair,- -Resolved,

That such a Society be now constituted, and that measures be taken for carrying the same into effect.

That for this purpose the ARCHBISHOP .of CanterBURY, for the time being, be President; and,

That a special Committee be appointed, and requested to meet to-morrow, and on Friday, to consider of Rules and Regulations for the construction and government of the Society, and to make their Report to a general meeting, which is to be holden on Monday next.

thus striving to uphold—no man would embrace it gratis, and upon conviction,-no man would ever embrace it all, if he were not either paid for so doing, or living under the expectation of being paid for it. Thus, in the blindness of their zeal, do these men pass condemnation on themselves.

* Add—but who are afraid or ashamed to shew themselves to any body but themselves.

« PreviousContinue »