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· In the year 1794, and to the time of bis death, Mr. Stevens continued to be an annual contributor to a Fund for the Relief of the Widows and Orphans of the Episcopal Clergy in Scotland : giving £20 the first year, and ten guineas every year after, and collecting from three or four other friends five guineas each annually. · It is remarkable that the last great labour of love, in which this faithful servant of his blessed Master engaged himself, was in the service of that depressed portion of the Christian Church; the circumstances of which I am now about to relate. One of the unhappy consequences of the penal laws was, that men of seriously disposed minds of the Episcopal persuasion, who were unwilling to subject themselves to the penalties inflicted on those laymen, who should attend the meetinghouses of the non-juring Clergy, resorted to a plan, so irregular and anomalous, that nothing could justify but the peculiar circumstances of the case. Clergymen ordained in the Churches of England and Ireland were invited to open chapels in Edinburgh and the populous districts of Scotland, where
departed this life on the 13th day of July, 1816, in the seventy-third year of his age, having been a Bishop of the Scotch Church thirty-four years, and of that period twentyeight years the Primus. The author knew him long and intimately, and kept up a regular correspondence with him. During his Episcopate, the Church emerged from that obscurity in which she had so long been concealed; she was then acknowledged, as a Sister Church, by the venerable hierarchy of the Church of England ; the Bishop himself, who presided over her interests, was universally respected and beloved, and was surpassed by no man of his own order, in any Church, in primitive simplicity of manners, soundness of doctrine, or sanctity of life. He was succeeded, as Bishop of the district of Aberdeen, by his youngest son, the Rev. W. Skinner, D.D. of the University of Oxford.
divine service was solemnized, according to the rites and ceremonies of the Church of England. They would not submit to the jurisdiction of the Scottish Bishops--the Prelates of England and Ireland could exercise no jurisdiction over them in Scotland ; and although, by being duly ordained, these Clergymen could administer the Sacraments, and perform all the other functions of the priesthood; yet all Episcopal offices were wanting—their chapels were unconsecrated; the children of their congregations were unconfirmed; and this absurdity and contradiction occurred, that they were Episcopalians, without the superintendence of an Episcopus.'
These gentlemen themselves felt the absurdity as well as the wants of their situation; and rather than yield to the lawful and spiritual jurisdiction of the Bishops, within whose districts the Providence of God had placed them, they were even desirous of violating the Act of Union between England and Scotland, in order to supply the defect which they so sensibly experienced. It is related in the life of Bishop Horne, and I remember the fact, that a Clergyman of Scotland, who had received English ordination, applied to his Lordship, wishing to be considered as under the jurisdiction of some English Bishop. But the venerable Prelate gave no countenance to the proposal, and advised the applicant to acknowledge the Bishop of the Diocese in which he lived, who, his Lordship knew, would be ready to receive him into communion, and require nothing of him but what was necessary to maintain the order and unity of a Christian Church: assuring him at the same time, that if he were a private Clergyman, he should feel himself happy to be under the authority of such a Bishop.
It might have been expected when the penal laws were repealed; and when the laity were no longer subject to severe disabilities, and when every
Clergyman of the Episcopal Church had the 'opje portunity of free and perfect toleration, that this Schism would have been immediately healed: especially as the Bishops of the Scottish Church addressed a pastoral letter to the English and Irish ordained clergy, who officiated in Scotland, inviting, and offering to receive them into full communion, and to give them the right-hand of Christian fellowship. These gentlemen, as a further excuse, replied, that as the Episcopal Church of Scotland had no Confessional, they had given no proof that their doctrines, as they pretended, were the same as those of the Church of England. Accordingly the Bishops held a convocation in October, 1804, in which it was unanimously resolved, to adopt and subscribe the thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England, as their Confessional, and to use them as such in all future times, the Bishops entering it in their Diocesan Registers, as an established rule, not to con fer orders on any one, who shall not subscribe those Articles in the same manner.
Immediately upon this highly proper and important step, one of the most eminent of the English ordained Clergy, officiating at Edinburgh, a Doctor in Divinity of the University of Oxford, of great piety, learning, and exemplary life, immediately published a short, but most able statement to his congregation, of the motives upon which he acted in submitting himself to the jurisdiction of the Episcopal College, to which he argued there could now be no possible objection, inasmuch as the Episcopal Church of Scotland is a true Church, in which the pure word of God is preached and the Sacraments are administered, according to Christ's ordinance; as the doctrine of the Episcopal Churches of England, Ireland, and Scotland is the same; and as the Apostolical succession is the same with that of the Church of England, the present governors of the Scotch Episcopal Church de
eessione d' by Prela 1661. the separaseless sepoffence,
riving their authority in direct and unbroken succession from those Scotch Bishops who were consecrated by Prelates of the Church of England, at Westminster, in 1661. He therefore contended, that the continuance of the separation was wholly causeless. But continues he, causeless separation from a pure Church is the sin of Schism, an offence, of which it is impossible that any pious and enlightened Christian can think lightly * The Rev. Dr. Sandford then proceeds to point out the advantages both to clergy and laity, of an Episcopal body having an Episcopal head; and then concludes his short but powerful address in this energetic manner :-" I have studied this important subject for a considerable length of time, with the utmost attention. I shall be happy to converse with any of my congregation, who may wish to know, in greater detail, the reasons, upon which I have formed my judgment on a question no less interesting to them than to myself. But it is my serious and settled conviction, that it is only by my submission to the Primus of the Episcopal College, the Bishop of Aberdeen, (who, during the present vacancy of the Diocese of Edinburgh, is my Diocesan) that can satisfy my own conscience; that I can act agreeably to the awful responsibility which I bear as a Minister of the Gospel of our blessed Lord and Saviour; or discharge my duty towards those for whose spiritual welfare I am bound, by the strongest obligations, to be solicitous.” The consequences were such as Mr. Stevens had fore
lenge happy may winich I
.*It is contrary to Christian unity to separate ourselves from a Church which follows the doctrine and ordinances of Christ and his Apostles, and answers every good end of Christian worship and Christian fellowship.”
A Short Catechism by the Right Rev. Thomas Burgess, Lord Bishop of St. David's.
seen would arise from prudent, mild, and conciliatory measures; and which, by his regular correspondence with Bishop Skinner, (of which I am in possession by the kindness of that excellent per son) he was always enforcing; for several of the most respectable of the English ordained Clergy, with their congregations both in Edinburgh and other parts of Scotland, acceded to the proposed union of the two Episcopalian parties, and put themselves under the spiritual authority of the Scottish Bishops; and their example has since been followed by almost all their brethren. Another most important advantage arising from this measure has been, that the worthy Bishop, who had presided over the Diocese of Edinburgh for many years, having, on account of his great age, (being upwards of fourscore years) requested leave to resign his Episcopal functions, the Right Rev. Dr. Sandford, above mentioned, has been elected and consecrated to the spiritual office of a Bishop, with the charge of the Diocese of Edinburgh : and the writer has the satisfaction to add, that at the time when he writes this, not above five congregations so far forget the unity so desirable in every Episcopal Church, as to resist the union with those who have the spiritual right to rule over them. I have been the more diffuse in this account, because it must be a matter of great curiosity to the student in ecclesiastical history; because Mr. Stevens was continually consulted upon the proper measures to be adopted; and he was indefatigable in his cons sideration and correspondence upon the subject : and because this very union led to still further exertions of this good man's benevolence, both in his personal labours and pecuniary bounty, for the comfort, and happiness of the ecclesiastical members of that body.
Delightful as it was to all good men, who feel