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make out, is required of them ; no reference, no testimonials. But “it is hoped that no one will apply whose conscience does not testify that he may, in some humble measure, lay claim to all the above qualifications !" Imagine a man who comes forward and says—" My conscience testifies that I am of a catholic, humble, and loving spirit; of deep piety, of evangelical sentiments, good education, able to labour, and capable of addressing, to edification, numerous assemblies. I am able to prove, from Scripture, whatever I assert to be the mind of Christ, and to defend the truth against infidels, deists, socinians, Roman catholics, &c."! His humility must, indeed, be a striking feature of his character. Thus, the superintendent's qualifications are to rest on his own testimony, or on the testimony of his own conscience! And perhaps it is just as well. For when the chief mover and speaker confounds a church and an establishment, and has no idea of the difference, what good could come at least of his examining the superintendents, and pronouncing them fit to defend the truth against Roman catholics? Such, then, is the scheme and plan of this society. Its work is to be done by persons never educated or trained for it, who are probably, in nine cases out of ten, people who can find no other employment, superintended by a man who answers for his own qualifications! It is really fearful to see such things going on, such work committed to such agents! Will the real and sober-minded Christian people of this great city not see that this is an additional call on them not to leave things as they are, but to come forward to rescue their helpless and ignorant brethren at once from their ignorance and sin, and from such mischievous and incapable teachers as these?
11.-DESTITUTION OF GREAT CITIES,
(From a Correspondent.) The importance of immediately providing the means of religious instruction for the immense masses of population which, in all our large towns, have sprung up, and are rapidly springing up, in total ignorance and destitution, has hitherto been urged by this Magazine upon the most obvious, because the highest, grounds. But it is perhaps right to regard it in another light. If we are contented that one clergyman shall minister unassisted among tens of thousands of our Christian countrymen ; that it should be esteemed a sound, a Christian principle, that one educated and ordained instructor, or even two or three such, (and in most cases our overgrown parishes are supplied with curates,) are sufficient to lead onward to everlasting life the thirty, fifty, seventy thousand immortal souls solemnly committed to their care, then how can we deny that spiritual guides are lavished in need, less abundance on our better supplied districts ? How can we consistently answer our modern reformers when they proceed to apply to England the rule lately proposed for Ireland, and to cut off, as needless encumbrances to our ecclesiastical system, some hundreds, or even thousands of parishes, too small to require the exclusive charge of a resident minister ? Nay, how can we at this moment acquit of indolence those who (like the writer) find employment amply sufficient in the religious care of a parish containing about six hundred souls ?
That this is no imaginary danger is plainly shewn by the following passage, extracted from an article on “the State of the Irish Church, which appeared in the “Edinburgh Review” for July 1835:
“ The reviewer admits that the existing church revenues of Ireland are not greater than is required for the actual number of clergy; but be asks, why so many? The real ground of objection is not so much that the revenues are excessive in proportion to the present number of clergy, as that the clergy are more numerous than, as compared with the existing provision for religious instruction in England and Scotland, the protestants * of Ireland can be presumed to require.".
He then proceeds to argue from the actual population of the diocese of London, and that of the district proposed by the English church commissioners to be erected into a new diocese of Manchester, that “one archbishop and three bishops would be amply sufficient for the whole of Ireland." He proceeds
“ As for the parochial clergy in the two countries, the proportion which they bear to the population in towns will best admit of comparison, becauset the density is, in such instances, everywhere nearly the same; and such a comparison, Ireland with England, will shew how much the clergy preponderate in the former. Ten parishes in Dublin, containing 47,813 members of the established church, have forty-six resident clergymen,or one to less than 1100; in St. Finbarr's, Cork, containing 1826 of the established church, there are three ;t in St. Mary Shandon, Cork, with 1666 of the established church, there are two. There are three in the Deanery, Waterford, containing 2688 members of the established church ; and two in St. Patrick's, in the same city, containing 1597. Now turn to England:- From the report of the church revenue commission we learn, that in Bethnal Green, to a population of 62,018, there are only four clergymen; to St. George's in the East, with 38,505, there are two ; to St. Giles in the fields, with 36,432, there are three; to St. Andrew's, Holborn, with 35,599, three ; to St. Leonard's, Shoreditch, with 33,000, two; to Stepney, with 51,200, three; to St. Luke's, with 46,642, two ; to St. Mary's, Whitechapel, with 30,000, only one; in Liverpool, in two parishes, having together a population of more than 34,000, there are four clergymen ; in Macclesfield, three to more than 23,000; in Oldham, four to 32,000; in Birmingham, sixteen to 107,000; in Leeds, nine, 71,000; in Sheffield, nine to more than 73,000.” These lines hardly require, or even admit of, comment.
Who can fail to see the awful (must one not fear the judicial) hardening of heart which leads a party, self-styled, in the words of the same article, “the most judicious friends of protestantism in Ireland,” to refer to the dreadful destitution of the means of grace in our recently-erected towns as a model for imitation ?-a model, too, to be imitated not only by continuing to leave districts with a similarly accumulating population, with no other means of grace than were provided for them by our fathers when they contained only a few peasants, but by removing, as needless, all additional means of advantages from better supplied parishes. Because 30,000 English men are committed to the care of one pastor, therefore it is an abuse to be noted in italics, and stigmatised marks of admiration, that one clergyman should be left (not placed, be it observed,) among 1100, or 900, or 800, or 600 members of the establishment (not inhabitants merely) in Cork or
* The reader, of course, will perceive the principle here assumed, on which, how. ever, it would be foreign to our present subject to dwell.
+ The real object of this candid writer being, doubtless, that although many rural districts are ill supplied, none are so flagrantly neglected as the towns which he proceeds to mention.
The italics are in the original.
Dublin! Such are the principles of the modern “friends of the church”—such the enlightened Christian who addresses us as unpractical men - who answer us, μακαρίζοντες το απειρόκακον υμών ου (ndowpev tò áopov, when we urge the claims of justice and good faiththe laws of man and of God. But may one not ask, what answer can we consistently make to these men, when they proceed to ask (and who can doubt their will to do so ?) with regard to England, as now of Ireland, “What need of so many ?"-What need of one clergyman to 1000, or 1500, in our cathedral towns ?-What need of one to a 1000, 500, 300, or less, in some of our villages ?-What need of one clergyman at all?—for surely the spiritual oversight, the moral influence, the religious instruction which one man can afford to a population of 30,000, if it is to be made the precedent, as now proposed, to which other places are to be conformed, would soon appear to be so small, that without loss, and without blame, we may dispense with it altogether. *
TABLE IV. Comparative View of the English Dioceses, in respect to Church-room. N.B. The first number affixed to each diocese indicates the number of benefices
from which the commissioners received a return. The second denotes the
No. of Returned. Destitute
Returned. Destituto Parishes.
Parishes, St. Asaph .......
45 Bath and Wells... 430
613 Canterbury 346
15 Carlisle. 124
7 630 Lich. and Cov.... 610
59 Chichester....... 267 16 Lincoln...... 1,251
31 ( To be continued.)
• It is perhaps worthy of remark, (because it shews the perfect spirit of fairness and candour in which the article above quoted is written,) that in the same number of the “ Edinburgh" there occurs the following passage--speaking of the effects of the possession of coal :-“While the towns in the southern counties, such as Canterbury, Winchester, Exeter, Salisbury, &c. have remained nearly stationary, or increased by slow degrees, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Paisley, and many other towns, some of them but of recent origin, and all of them, at no distant period, inferior to those in the south, have risen to be immense cities, having more than quadrupled, or quintupled, their population and wealth since 1770. The progress of Lancashire has been extraordinary :-In 1700, its population amounted to about 166,000; in 1750, it had increased to 297,000. During the next half century. the population rose to 672,565 persons . . .; in 1831, to 1,336,854 persons. This shews that the population of Lancashire is at present about eight times as great as at the commencement of the last century No such astonishing increase has occurred elsewhere in Europe. If it be equalled in any part of the world, it is only in Kentucky or Illinois.”
From such a district it is that the honest editor seeks the precedent to which to conform the church of Ireland. Why not go to Illinois at once, with its bishop, two priests, and one deacon?
No. 2.-DIOCESE OF BANGOR.
Sittings. No. of Persous to
each Sitting Amlwch
1,000 Llanfiangal Bachallaech 1,211
6+ For convenience in future reasoning and references, it may be well to divide the chestitute parishes into three classes :1st Class of Destitution......
S Those parishes in which there are more
than ten persons to each sitting. 2nd Ditto
Those parishes in which there are more
than six persons to each sitting. 3rd Ditto
Those parishes in which there are more
than three persons to each sitting. It will be observed that the cases in St. Asaph and Bangor chiefly belong to the 2nd class.
It may now be permitted to refer to the valuable communication on the subject of church accommodation which was sent to the “ British Magazine” of last month, by Mr. Bedford, of Sutton Coldfield. For the correction supplied by that document to some of the results arrived at by the compilers of these tables, none can feel more grateful to Mr. Bedford than the compilers themselves. If he will do them the favour to refer to the “ British Magazine” of December, he will find that they had already anticipated that all their care to attain secure documentary accuracy would still leave them liable, in many cases, to errors which can be checked only by that local information which residence upon any given spot supplies. They therefore take this opportunity to invite every further possible scrutiny and correction of their labours, being conscious that the more the subject of the want of church-room is examined, the more apparent will become that " fearful amount of guilt which has already been incurred from negligence in this matter."
N.B. It will be seen that in Table II., as to Birmingham itself, the church-room is not far wrong. They have observed the chief source of their error in regard to the neighbourhood. There are one or two places in Table III. where the ecclesiastical report gives a large population to one church, a part of which is, doubtless, accommodated in other churches and chapels. These are Heapley, and Mottram and Stayley-bridge, the two last of which are in Longdendale parish.
REGISTRATION AND MARRIAGE ACT. The following abstract of the Bills proposed on this subject, with some sensible remarks on them, is taken from that excellent paper, the “ Cambridge Chronicle:"
“ Lord John Russell obtained, last week, leave to bring in two bills; one to regulate the registration of all births, marriages, and deaths, and to make it a civil affair entirely; and the other to allow dissenters to be married in their own chapels, when licensed for the purpose, and by their own ministers.
“ The machinery of the former bill is as follows:
“ The poor law commissioners shall appoint the relieving officer, or any other person whom they may think fit, to keep the register of a certain number of parishes ; and the auditor of the union, or his clerk, or any other person appointed by the poor law commissioners, shall superintend the register of that part. There is to be a general registry office in London, and a subordinate one in each county. In whatever house a birth or death may take place, the occupier is to give notice of such event, within eight days, to the registrar, (in whatever part of the union he may then be, we suppose,) and within twenty days the registrar is required to call at the house to obtain the name of the child, or of the person deceased, together with other particulars. With regard to the expense of working this bill, Lord John Russell stated that it would amount to about 80,000l. per annum; and that he should propose, that, for the present, a clause should be contained in the bill, empowering the Lords of the Treasury to pay the expenses; but that the future expenses be borne by the parishes in the country, according to the number of entries supplied by each.'
“ So, then, the fees of the registrars, and other expenses, amounting to 80,0001. per annum, are to be paid out of the poor-rates.
“ The chief provisions of the marriage bill are shortly these. The registrar appointed by the poor law commissioners, who may be the relieving officer, is to keep the account, not only of all the births and deaths, but of all marriages also intended to be contracted. After the names of the persons who intend to enter into the married state have been inscribed in his book, open to inspection, for twenty-one days, he is to grant a certificate, which will enable members of the church to be married, according to the existing rite, without banns, and dissenters to be married according to any rites, and by any minister they may choose,-provided the ceremony takes place in a chapel licensed for the solemnization of dissenters’ marriages, and in the presence of the registrar himself!
“ Any chapel may be licensed for the solemnization of dissenters' marriages, if twenty householders apply in writing for such a licence. We need hardly observe, that great abuses must necessarily arise under this provision of the bill, unless it be most distinctly laid down, that no application for a licence shall be entertained, unless the subscribing householders be of undoubted respectability.
“Is there not the germ of a new' grievance' in the circumstance of requiring the presence of the registrar at all marriages of dissenters, and not of members of the church of England ? [Is this so? Ed.]
“ We hardly think, too, that clandestine marriages can be effectually prevented by Lord John's bill, as he himself explained its provisions. The register of intended marriages, necessarily kept some miles from the majority of persons interested, will, we think, hardly ever be consulted by any one, unless a parent's suspicions be roused. If, on the other hand, as intended, its contents be constantly submitted to the eye of a prying and meddlesome curiosity, the annoyance and irritation that will be caused by it will be excessive. The marriage by licence remains, except that notice is to be given to the registrar eight days instead of twenty-one.