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FOR DECEMBER, 1815.
Art. I. A Letter to the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of
Norwich, on some Passages in the Reports of Two Speeches said to have been addressed by his Lordship, in St. Andrew's Hall, Norwich, to the Church Missionary Association, and to the Auxiliary Bible Society: By Robert Forby, M.A. Rector of Fincham, in Norfolk. 95. 96 pp. Bacon, Nor.
s wich; Rivington, London. 1815. A Letter to the Rev. Robert Forby, M.A. Rector of Fincham, in Norfolk. ls. 34 pp. Bacon and Co. Norwich; Wil.
1815. A Reply to the Rev. R. Forby's Letter to the Lord
Bishop of Norwich, on the Speeches addressed to the Church Missionary and Auxiliary Bible Societies, at Norwich, October 8th, 1814. By the Rev. George Glover, A.M. Rector of South Repps, Vicar of Cromer, and Chaplain to the Most Noble the Marquis of Buckingham. 2s.62 pp. Stevenson and Co. Norwich; Scatcherd and Letterman, London.
1815. Short Notices of Slight Cavils. By Robert Forby, M.A. 18.
48 pp. Bacon and Co. Norwich. 1815.
Carils. By the Rev. Geo. Glover, A.M. Rector of
son and Co. Norwich; Scatcherd and Co. London. 1815. A Brief Answer to the Charge against the Bible Society, re
cently delivered at Bedford, by the Lord Bishop of Lincoln.
1s.16 pp. Conder, London. 1815. A Letter to the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Lin.
coln, on the Subject of the Attack made by his Lordship upon the British and Foreign Bible Society in his Recent Charge to his Clergy. By a Clerical Member of the So iety 52 pp. Brooke, Lincoln; Baldwin and Co. Loudon, 1875.
Remarks VOL. IV, DECEMBER, 1815,
Remarks upon that Part of the Bishop of Lincoln's late Charge
to the Clergy of his Diocese, relative to the Bible Society, and to the Intercourse of Churchmen with Dissenters. 53 pp.
Combe, Leicester; Longman and Co. London. 1815. THAT " injury and loss to the interests of Christian truth, Christian piety, and Christian charity," of which the Dean of Bocking affectionately admonished the Church members of the Bible Society as the necessary, result of its measures and
proceedings, and as involved in the very principle of its constitution, have marked its progress from the period of its establishment to the present lour-appealing to them in behalf of every thing which they profess to reverence, with a more impressive importunity, at every stage of its career. A mere glance at the tities which form the series prefixed to this article, will, we are persuaded, carry our readers with us in this introductory reflec. tion, and secure us their approbation of the plan which we have adopted for bringing the pamphlets under review, as the one best calculated to exbibit their respective merits, and to carry those convictions to all who it may concern, which they have indeed too long resisted; but which, it is to be hoped, they may yet receive for some better purpose than unavailing self-reproach and vexation.
It is obvious that we are here including in one critical investigation to discussions, which have arisen at remote times and places, and among different persons; but it is equally obvious, that in the occasions which produced them, there is a sufficient similarity. to justify the association, and to promise that a survey so conducted will turn to better account than if they were sepa. rately considered, and no advantage taken of the light wkich the respective disputants reflect upon each other. .
The first tive pamphlets relate to two speeches reported to have been delivered from the chair at the annual meetings of the Norfolk and Norwich Auxiliary Church Missionary and Bible Societies, in September, 1814, by the Lord Bishop of that diocesė, and comprize the animadversions of Mr. Forby upon certain positions attributed to his Lordship; two answers to those animadversions, Mi. Forby's rejoinder, and Mr. Glover's reply. The three last are a successiou of assaults upon the Lord Bishop of Lincoln, for a passage in his charge recently delivered, and published rithout authority in the London and provincial news. papers,
"That our readers may be in possession of the whole subject, vre liere present tiem with the two speeches in question, as they stand cited from the Norwich Mercury in Mr. Forby's apperdix'; intending to supply the remaining document at its pros per place by a similar citation.
" At a numerous anl highly respectable meeting of the Norfolk and Norrvich Association, in St. Andrew's Hall, on Wednesday the 28th of September, the Bishop of Norwich being called to the chair, addressed the meeting as follorus:
« Gentlemen and Ladies--Having never hitherto had the oppor: tunity of making my grateful acknowledgments to the original members of the Norszich and Norfolk Association, for the honour they did me in appointing me their President, I gladly seize the present occasion of returning them my cordial tlauks, for an opportunity which I consider as highly eligible, on account of the very distinguished manner in which it connects me with the Chirch Missionary Society for Africa and the East; an institution, the object of which I cannot but consider as the most pure, the most useful, the most benevolent, and the most truly christian, that can possibly enter into the heart of man, viz. to disseminate, by means of missionaries, the revealed word of God; that is, to diffuse the light of truth over the dark regions of error and vice. There are, I know, some, and those coo, very good and respecte able men, who start at the very name of missionary, forgetful that, the apostles were the first missionaries, as the term apostle of itself sufficiently indicates ; forgetful, that if the same prejudices against missions had existed in the fourth century, which now exist with some, Britain might still have been what Africa and the greater part of India now are; forgetful too, of the express command of our Divine Master, ‘go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Surely this is a cause in yhich every Christian ought to unite ! But still they tell us we must beware of enthusiasts. 1, gentlemen, am no friend to a zeal without knowledge and without discretion. It hardly ever does any good. But those who affect to be so much alarmed at the spirit of enthusiasm which is gone fortlı, may prevent the effects which they apprehend, by joining our ranks, and by moderating that zeal from which they apprehend so many bad consequences. But they also tell us, that there are already two venerable societies in the Established Church. Be it so. I wish there were two hundred ! I wish that every Christian of every denomination was joined in one or other of them. The field is wide enough for all our exera tions. The harvest is great and the labourers are few. Hardly a century has elapsed since the first protestant missionary embarked for India. Owing to his piety and activity, a church was soon established in India, and the first Monarch of the House of Brunswick addressed a letter to him, written with his own hand, expressive of his approbation and esteem. The learned and religious Archbishop Wake did the same thing. Would to God that every future Monarch of that illustrious House, and every present and future Prelate would follow such an example! Whether you meet with the encouragement or not, of those from whom you have, in my opinion, a right to expect it, I hope you will persevere. I I hope you will never cease your endeavours, till the glad tidings of the gospel be preached in every corner of the world, as far as winds can waft and waters roll them.'”
“ Abstract of the proceedings of the Bible Society, held at St. Ane
drew's Hall, on Thursday week, September 29th. “ The Lord Bishop of Norwich opened the business. He said We are met together for the third time on an occasion which can. not fail to interest the affections and understanding of every one who sincerely feels for the private or public happiness of his fellow creatures. The nature and end of the British and Foreign Bible Society, and of those Auxiliary and Branch Societies which, to the honour of this kingdom, are establishing in every part of it, and particularly in Norfolk, are now so well understood by you all, that it would be a waste of time to enter into any explanation of them. I shall therefore content myself with congratulating you áll most cordially on the rapid and almost miraculous success which hath attended this incomparable institution. Recollect for. a moment, what but few years since was merely a cloud, little bigger than a man's hand, is now spread over the whole earth ; enriching with its fërtilizing rains the barren regions of the dreary wilderness. This is no exaggerated: statement; it is a mere matter of fact; as may be seen by any one who will turn to the reports in the hands of you all. And yet there are persons who can object to institutions like this! This is to me a matter of astonishment! and I am still more astonished to hear any well-informed protestant Divine assert, that the union of pious and learned Christians of all denominations, for the express purpose of disseminating the bible, which is the religion of protestants, can be injurious to a Protestant Establishment. I say it surprizing that
any man can be found who holds such language! For my own part, I have before said, and I most solemnly repeat it, that if I could conceive that the union of such Christians, for the purpose of spreading Christianity, could be injurious to that Establishment to which I Belong, and to which I am most conscientiously attached, I should feel it my duty to relinquish that Establishment; and for this plain reason, that I should think it wrong to sacrifice the end to the means. For the Ecclesiastical Establishment, I wish to have it recollected, is nothing more than the best means, as it appears to as, of promoting and propagating genuine Christianity. This is the definition of the most enlightened philosopher and able divine of our time, Dr. Paley. To this definition I adhere. But without entering into discussion on a point of this nature, I contend, that as long as we continue to act in the manner we now do, without strife and vain glory-to acknowledge ourselves coadjutors and not competitors with any old society already established; so long as we kcep to this line of conduct, we may bid defiance to the impotent attacks of a few, a very few individuals, who, notwithstanding our inoffensive and truly christian line of conduct, are determined to call darkness lights, and light darkness.”
The impression made upon Mr. Forby's mind by the perụsal of these specches is that which, we apprehend, will be very generally excited amongst our readers--that they could not have
been faithfully reported, as, besides several positions which seem to bear internal evidence of having been greatly distorted, there are insinuations, couched indeed in general terms, but by obvious implication, passing so severe a censure upon a large body of the Norfolk clergy, that it is scarcely credible his Lord. ship could have uttered them, in such an asseurbly, under any .circunstances, and most certainly not under those which are known to exist in the diocese of Norwich. A more unwarrant.able imputation indeed could scarcely be advanced against those excellent persons, who, unless specially excepted, must all be regarded as ringleaders in the imputed delinquency, or one more in. ) jurious to religion; as the inevitable result of a charge of such *** forgetfulness” must be to lower the Clergy, thus stigmatised, both in the opinion of their own pariskioners and in public estimnation.
“ If such an attack," says Mr. F. “ were made from a hoş. tile quarter, on very good and respectable men,' who would ,
, stand up to repel it with more liberal indignation than your Lordship? But it is not an open enemy that hath done us this dishonour.' We have experience enough to enable us to bear that. We cannot help feeling this blow, whether it come, or only seem to come, from your Lordship’s hand. From no other could it give us equal pain.”
Still, however, the limitations of canonical obedience are not to be broken through ; nor can any course be legitiinately taken to wipe off even such an opprobrium as this, sent forth under the assumed sanction of Episcopal authority, till it can be shewn that the projected defence will involve no compromise of this paramount Clerical obligation. Mr. Forby feels as every . consistent Clergyman ought to feel upon this delicate subject.
" I cannot even proceed,” he says, “ in that introductory statement,” (viz. in what sense and on what grounds he takes upon himself to discuss the speeches in question) with confidence “
“ and satisfaction, till I shall have made one general observation which claims precedence of all others. In my very first page I must strongly mark a distinction, which will pervade every following one; which I shall always carefully keep in view, and which I am anxious that every one of my readers should as constantly contemplate. I am more especially anxious, that your Lordship should bear it in mind throughout the perusal of this letter, should you deign to peruse it. My distinction is this, What I know, or can reasonably believe, to have been actually delivered by your Lordship, as my Ordinary, on any thing pertaining to religion, whether on its doctrines or its duties, I am bound to receive with deference. Perhaps it may fail to convince me. Possibly I may not fully comprehend it. I may be unable to embrace it with cordial assent, but I must treat it with forbearance. To that, which is given to the public, no one knows from what quarter, or