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done. Upon this principle, the clergyman should not be confined to his parsonage-house, but to the precincts of his parish. Some advantage would certainly attend the residence of the clergy in their official mansions; but, as we have before observed, the good one party would obtain bears no sort of proportion to the evil the other would suffer.
Upon the propriety of investing the Bench of Bishops with a power of enforcing residence we confess ourselves to entertain very serious doubts. A bishop has frequently a very temporary interest in his diocese: he has favours to ask; and he must grant them. Leave of absence will be granted to powerful intercession; and refused, upon stronger pleas, to men without friends. Bishops are frequently men advanced in years, or immersed in a tudy. A single person who compels many others to do their duty las much odium to bear and much activity to exert. A bishop is subject to caprice, and enmity, and passion in common with other individuals; there is some danger also that his power over the clergy may be converted to a political purpose. From innumerable causes, which might be reasoned upon to great length, we are apprehensive the object of the Legislature will be entirely frustrated in a few years, if it be committed to episcopal superintendence and care; though, upon the first view of the subject, no other scheme can appear so natural and so wise.
Dr. Sturges observes, that after all the conceivable justifications of non-residence are enumerated in the Act, many others must from time to time occur, and indicate the propriety of vesting somewhere a discretionary power, If this be true of the penalties by which the clergy are governed, it is equally true of all other penal Acts; and the law should extend to every offence the contingency of discretionary omission. The objection to this system is that it trusts to the sagacity and probity of the judge, and exposes a country to the partial, lax, and corrupt administration of its laws. It is certainly inconvenient, in many cases, to have no other guide to resort to but the unaccommodating mandates of an Act of Parliament: yet, of the two inconveniences, it is the least. It is some palliation of the evils of discretionary power, that it should be exercised (as by the Court of Chancery) in the face of day, and that the moderator of law should himself be moderated by the force of precedent and opinion. A bishop will exercise his discretionary power in the dark; he is at full liberty to depart to-morrow from the precedent he has established to-day, and to apply the same decisions to different, or different decisions to the same circumstances, as his humour or interest may dictate. Such power may be exercised well under one judge of extraordinary integrity; but it is not very probable he will find a proper successor. a series of men so much superior to temptation, and to construct a system of Church government upon such a supposition, is to build
upon sand, with materials not more durable than the foundation.
Sir William Scott has made it very clear, by his excellent speech, that it is not possible, in the present state of the revenues of the English Church, to apply a radical cure to the evil of non-residence. It is there stated, that out of 11,700 livings, there are 6000 'under £80 per
annum ; many of those £20, £30, and some as low as £2 or £3 per
In such a state of endowment, all idea of rigid residence is out of the question. Emoluments which a footman would spurn can hardly recompense a scholar and a gentleman. A mere palliation is all that can be applied; and these are the ingredients of which we wish such a palliation should be composed :1. Let the clergyman have full liberty of farming, and be put in
this respect exactly upon a footing with laymen. 2. Power to reside in any other house in the parish, as well as the
parsonage-house, and to be absent five months in the year. 3. Schoolmasters, and ministers bonâ fide discharging ministerial
functions in another parish, exempt from residence. 4. Penalties in proportion to the value of livings, and number of
times the offence has been committed. 5. Common informers to sue as at present; though probably it might
be right to make the name of one parishioner a necessary addition; and a proof of non-residence might be made to
operate as a nonsuit in an action for tithes. 6. No action for non-residence to lie where the benefice was less
than £80 per annum; and the powers of bishops to remain
precisely as they are. These indulgencies would leave the clergy without excuse, would reduce the informations to a salutary number, and diminish the odium consequent upon them, by directing their effects against men who regard Church preferment merely as a source of revenue, not as an obligation to the discharge of important duties.
We venture to prognosticate, that a bill of greater severity either will not pass the House of Commons or will fail of its object. Considering the times and circumstances, we are convinced we have stated the greatest quantum of attainable good ; which of course will not be attained, by the customary error of attending to what is desirable to be done, rather than to what it is practicable to do.
A PERSECUTING BISHOP.
1. An Appeal to the Legislature and Public ; or, the Legality of the Eighty
Seven Questions proposed by Dr. Herbert Alarsh, the Bishop of Peterborough, to Candidates for Holy Orders, and for Licenses, within that Diocese,
considered. Second Edition. London: Seely. 1821. 2. A Speech, delivered in the House of Lords on Friday, June 7, 1822, by
Herbert, Lord Bishop of Peterborough, on the Presentation of a Petition against his Examination Questions ; with Explanatory Notes, a Supplement, and a Copy of the Questions. London : Rivington. 1822.
3. The Wrongs of the Clergy of the Diocese of Peterborough stated and
illustrated. By the Rev. T. S. GRIMSHAWE, M.A., Rector of Burton, Northamptonshire, and Vicar of Biddenham, Bedfordshire. London:
Seely. 1822. 4. Episcopal Innovation ; or, the Test of Modern Orthodoxy, in Eighty
Seven Questions, imposed as Articles of Faith upon Candidates for Licenses and for Holy Orders in the Diocese of Peterborough ; with a Distinct Answer to each Question, and General Reflections relative to their Illegal
Structure and Pernicious Tendency. London: Seely. 1820. 5. Official Correspondence between the Right Reverend Herbert, Lord Bishop
of Peterborough, and the Rev. John Green respecting his Nomination to the Curacy of Blatherwycke in the Diocese of Peterborough and County, of Northampton: Also between his Grace Charles, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Rev. Henry William Nevile, M.A., Rector of
Blatherwycke, and of Cottesmore, in the County of Rutland. 1821, IT is a great point in any question to clear away encumbrances, and
to make a naked circle about the object in dispute, so that there may be a clear view of it on every side. In pursuance of this disencumbering process, we shall first acquit the Bishop of all wrong intentions. He has a very bad opinion of the practical effects of high Calvinistic doctrines upon the common people ; and he thinks it his duty to exclude those clergymen who profess them from his diocese. There is no moral wrong in this. He has accordingly devised no fewer than eighty-seven interrogatories, by which he thinks he can detect the smallest taint of Calvinism that may lurk in the creed of the candidate; and in this also, whatever we may thing of his reasoning, we suppose his purpose to be blameless. He believes, finally, that he has legally the power so to interrogate and exclude ; and in this perhaps he is not mistaken. His intentions then are good, and his conduct, perhaps, not amenable to the law. All this we admit in his favour : but against him we must maintain, that his conduct upon the points in dispute has been singularly injudicious, extremely harsh, and in its effects (though not in its intentions) very oppressive and vexatious to the clergy.
We have no sort of intention to avail ourselves of an anonymous publication to say unkind, uncivil, or disrespectful things to a man of rank, learning, and character—we hope to be guilty of no such impropriety ; but we cannot believe we are doing wrong in ranging ourselves on the weaker side, in the cause of propriety and justice. The mitre protects its wearer from indignity ; but it does not secure impunity.
It is a strong presumption that a man is wrong when all his friends, whose habits naturally lead them to coincide with him, think him wrong: If a man were to indulge in taking medicine till the apothecary, the druggist, and the physician all called upon him to abandon his philocathartic propensities-if he were to gratify his convivial habits till the landlord demurred and the waiter shook his head—we should naturally imagine that advice so wholly disinterested was not given before it was wanted, and that it merited some little attention and respect. Now, though the Bench of Bishops certainly love power, and
love the Church, as well as the Bishop of Peterborough, yet not one defended him-not one rose to say, “I have done, or I would do, the same thing.” It was impossible to be present at the last debate on this question without perceiving that his Lordship stood alone—and this in a very gregarious profession, that habitually combines and butts against an opponent with a very extended front. If a lawyer is wounded, the rest of the profession pursue him, and put him to death. If a Churchman is hurt, the others gather round for his protection, stamp with their feet, push with their horns, and demolish the dissenter who did the mischief.
The Bishop has at least done a very unusual thing in his Eightyseven Questions. The two Archbishops, and we believe every other Bishop, and all the Irish hierarchy, admit curates into their dioceses without any such precautions. The necessity of such severe and scrupulous inquisition, in short, has been apparent to nobody but the Bishop of Peterborough ; and the authorities by which he seeks to justify it are anything but satisfactory. His Lordship states, that forty years ago he was himself examined by written interrogatories, and that he is not the only Bishop who has done it; but he mentions no names ; and it was hardly worth while to state such extremely slight precedents for so strong a deviation from the common practice of the Church.
The Bishop who rejects a curate upon the Eighty-seven Questions is necessarily and inevitably opposed to the Bishop who ordained him. The Bishop of Gloucester ordains a young man of twenty-three years of age, not thinking it necessary to put to him these interrogatories, or putting them, perhaps, and approving of answers diametrically opposite to those that are required by the Bishop of Peterborough. The young clergyman then comes to the last-mentioned Bishop; and the Bishop, after putting him to the Question, says, “ You are unfit for a clergyman," ——though, ten days before the Bishop of Gloucester has made him one! It is bad enough for ladies to pull caps, but still worse for Bishops to pull mitres. Nothing can be more mischievous or indecent than such scenes; and no man of common prudence, or knowledge of the world, but must see that they ought immediately to be put a stop to. If a man is a captain in the army in one part of England, he is a captain in all. The general who commands north of the Tweed does not say, “ You shall never appear in my district, or exercise the functions of an officer, if you do not answer eighty-seven questions on the art of war, according to my notions. The same officer who commands a ship of the line in the Mediterranean, is considered as equal to the same officer in the North Seas. The sixth commandment is suspended, by one medical diploma, from the north of England to the south. But, by this new system of interrogation, a man may be admitted into orders at Barnet, rejected at Stevenage, readmitted at Brogden, kicked out as a Calvanist at Witham Common, and hailed as an ardent Arminian on his arrival at York.
It matters nothing to say that sacred things must not be compared with profane. In their importance, we allow, they cannot; but in in fact, by their intervention, save time, and therefore expense. This may be true enough in the abstract ; but the particular nature of land must be attended to. The object of the man who makes cloth is to sell his cloth at the present market, for as high a price as he can obtain. If that price is too high, it soon falls ; but no injury is done to his machinery by the superior price he has enjoyed for a seasonhe is just as able to produce cloth with it, as if the profits he enjoyed had always been equally moderate ; he has no fear, therefore, of the middleman, or of any species of moral machinery which may help to obtain for him the greatest present prices. The same would be the feeling of anyone who let out a steam-engine, or any other machine, for the purposes of manufacture; he would naturally take the highest price he could get; for he might either let his machine for a price proportionate to the work it did, or the repairs, estimable with the greatest precision, might be thrown upon the tenant ; in short, he could hardly ask any rent too high for his machine which a responsible person would give; dilapidation would be so visible, and so calculable in such instances, that any secondary lease, or subletting, would be rather an increase of security then a source of alarm. Any evil from such a practice would be improbable, measurable, and remediable. In land, on the contrary, the object is not to get the highest prices absolutely, but to get the highest prices which will not injure the machine. One tenant may offer and pay double the rent of another, and in a few years leave the land in a state which will effectually bar all future offers of tenancy. It is of no use to fill a lease full of clauses and covenants; a tenant who pays more than he ought to pay, or who pays even to the last farthing which he ought to pay, will rob the land, and injure the machine, in spite of all the attorneys in England. He will rob it even if he means to remain upon it-driven on by present distress, and anxious to put off the day of defalcation and arrear. The damage is often difficult of detection—not easily calculated, not easily to be proved ; such for which juries (themselves perhaps farmers) will not willingly give sufficient compensation. And if this be true in England, it is much more strikingly true in Ireland, where it is extremely difficult to obtain verdicts for breaches of covenant in leases.
The only method, then, of guarding the machine from real injury is, by giving to the actual occupier such advantage in his contract, that he is unwilling to give it up—that he has a real interest in retaining it, and is not driven by the distresses of the present moment to destroy the future productiveness of the soil. Any rent which the landlord accepts more than this, or any system by which more rent than this is obtained, is to borrow money upon the most usurious and profligate interest—to increase the revenue of the present day by the absolute ruin of the property. Such is the effect produced by a middleman ; he gives high prices that he may obtain higher from the occupier ; more is paid by the actual occupier than is consistent with the safety and preservation of the machine ; the land is run out, and, in the end, that maximum of rent we have described is not obtained ; and not