« PreviousContinue »
APPENDIX, No. V.
RECENT MEASURES OF PRETENDED REFORM OR IM
PROVEMENT-THEIR INUTILITY AND MISCHIEVOUS
In the last section but one of the preceding number of this Appendix, has been presented to the consideration of the sincere Reader an exposure of the Vices under which the system of Excellent Church was regarded as labouring.
In the last section, a compressed sketch of those arrangements, which have presented themselves in the character of remedies: the most conducive to the great ends in view of any that could be found.
Meantime, by the hand of power, the existence of imperfection, in some shape and degree, having been recog. nized, in the character of a system of remedies to such acknowledged imperfections, or, to speak authentically,
a system of measures for strengthening the establish“ ment of the Church of England:” (Speech of the Earl of Harrowby, p. 1.) a set of arrangements of a widely different nature have been devised : arrangements, some of which have already been carried into effect; while others (as hath been seen, p. 266) have in general terms been announced as being still in preparation : a storm,
which, having long been brewing, is, or at least has been, on the point of bursting upon our heads.
A standard of reference and comparison—a standard, by reference to which may be ascertained, in the first place, what, in a system directed, or professed to be directed, to the proper ends, wears the character of vice or other imperfection,-in the next place, what arrangements promise to be best adapted to the removal of these imperfections, having been, as above,-established,—thus it is that, supposing that standard to be what it aims at being, what remains to be performed, of the task of applying to it the several authoritative arrangements in question, need not occupy much ulterior space.
of the government plan, begun upon by the political Saints about twenty years ago, and still pursuing,—the leading measures, will, it is believed, be found all of them referable to one or more of the seven heads following, viz.
1. Increasing, on pretence of diminishing, the number of Non-Resident Incumbents. - 2. Increasing the number of Resident Curates.
3. To that end, out of the pockets of Incumbents and Patrons, taking money, and forcing it into the pockets of Curates.
4. For increasing the value of English Livings, exacting from the population of the three kingdoms the annual sum of 100,0001.
5. Regulating the occupations of agriculture, in the case of a Parish or other Priest.
6. Over Incumbents and Curates lodging desPOTIC power in the hands of Bishops.
7. Announced, and remaining to be executed. From Christians and others, of all persuasions, money to be exacted sufficient to render the number of Church-of
England Churches " commensurate to the whole popu. lation."
The following are the statutes by which the above-mentioned objects have, with the exception of the one last: mentioned, been pursued :
1. The Statute, S6 G. III. c. 83, 14th May, 1796, inti. tuled “ An Act for the further support and maintenance of “ Curates within the Church of England; and for making “ certain Regulations respecting the appointment of such “ Curates, and the admission of persons to Cures aug. “mented by Queen Anne's Bounty, with respect to the 66 avoidance of other benefices.”—Call it for shortness the Act of 1796; or, the first Curates' Act; or, Curate-pampering Act.
2. The Statute, 43 G. III. c. 84, 7th July, 1803, intituled, “ An Act to amend the Laws relating to Spiritual Persons “ holding of Farms ; and for enforcing the Residence of
Spiritual Persons on their Benefices, in England.”—Call it for shortness the Act of 1803; or, if its title to the appellative should be found to have been made good, the first sham Residence enforcing Act; or, the first Non-Residence promoting Act.
3. The Statute, 53 G. III. c. 149, 20th July, 1813, intituled, “ An Act for the farther support and mainte
Dance of Stipendiary Curates.”—Call it for shortness the Act of 1813; or, the second Curates' Act; or, Curatepampering Act.
4. The Statute, 54 G. III. c. 175, 30th July, 1814, intituled, “ An Act to explain and amend several Acts rela“ting to Spiritual Persons holding of Farms; and for " enforcing the Residence of such Persons on their bene“ fices, in England, for one year, and from thence until “ six weeks after the meeting of the then next Session of “ Parliament."-Call it for shortness the Act of 1814; or,
with the proviso above-mentioned, the second sham Residence enforcing Act; or, the second Non-Residence pro. moting Act.
5. By Statute, 56 G. III. c. 6, 22d March, 1816, the last-mentioned Act is continued, without amendment, until the 5th July, 1816.
6. And, by Statute, 56 G. III. c. 123, 1st July, 1816, to 5th April, 1817.
Follows now, under the above heads, a small part of the multitude of observations which have been suggested by the provisions made in relation to them.
$ 1.-I. Giving Increase to the Number of Non-Resident
Of the additions which thus recently, under the head of Licenses, have, by the Act, 1803, 43 G. III. c. 84, being « An Act to amend, &c. and for enforcing the Residence of
Spiritual Persons on their benefices,” been in that shape openly made to the multitude of Non-Residents, and thereby of Sinecurists,-evidence stands already on the face of the official abstracts, as herein reprinted in Section 7 of No. IV. of this Appendix, p. 320. Of the additions which, to an unlimited amount (for the augmentation of Churchof-England decency), have altogether, without warrant, been made to the same goodly fellowship of the eaters of the bread of idleness,-viz. by the so studiously organized, so carefully nursed, and so religiously pursued system of Episcopal connivance,-some account may already have been seen in the 7th and 8th sections of that same number. Nor yet is this the whole, or so much as the most prominent part, of that which, in this same Act, self-styled an Act for enforcing Residence, has been done for the increase and establishment of Non-Residence.
In a still more
straight, direct, and open manner, as well as in a, beyond comparison, more commodious shape than through the medium of a License,-(an indulgence refusable, and not to be granted but upon conditions),--has the same accommodation been afforded and extended, by additions made to the original stock of Exemptions, as established by Henry the Eighth. That, after having done all this for the swelling of the account of Non-Residence, a set of men, or so much as a single man, should, in any situation, be found so intoxicated with uncontroled power, as to conclude with affixing to the Act by which it is done the title of an “ Act for enforcing Residence," presents itself as a matter of fact in its own nature so difficultly credible, that, for the satisfying the Reader that the case is really so, a simple reference presented itself as hardly sufficient. Lest misconception or misrepresentation should be suspected, the following Note gives a reprint of the section (43 G. III. c. 84. § 15.), from which the copy, made by Henry of this part of the Popish system of indulgences, has, in these times of No-Popery! received its enlargement.*
• The numeral figures here inserted are not in the Act: they are inserted for distinction sake, and for relief to the Reader's eye in its travels through the labyrinth :the break by which the first figure is preceded, makes the distinction between the old matter and the new.
“$. 15. And be it further enacted, That no spiritual person having, or 6 holding any office, in such manner as the same under any of the provi. “sions of the said first recited Act, or of an Act, passed in the twenty-fifth
year of the reign of King Henry the Eighth, intituled, An Act that every “ Judge of the High Courts may have one Chaplain beneficed with Cure;
or of another Act, passed in the twenty-eighth year of the reign of
King Henry the Eighth, intituled, The Bill for Non-Residence of Spi“ ritual Men and their Benefices; or of another Act, passed in the thirty“ third year of the reign of ing Henry the Eighth, intituled, An Act for " the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and others to have Chaplains ; “ would exempt such spiritual persons from Residence, or from the penal.