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But the acquisition of power too frequently produces rapacity for more, and concession invites encroachment. Such has been the result in the present case ; a sort of prescription is now assumed by the proprietors of Chapels of ease, to noininate for the incumbent the additional Curate, which, in consequence of their erection, he requires; and his cheerful acquiescence in this assumption, in consideration of the new facilities afforded him, by the parties making it, for discharging his pastoral obligations, only encourages the further attempt to debar him the exercise of any controul over the womination, and thus to erect within his ('ure a spiritual power independant of his own--a power which instead of cordially co-operating with him, in the maintenance “ of quietness, peace and love" amongst those committed to their common charge, will too probably becoine. bis competitor for popular favour, and, in the prosecution of the vain-glorious en. terprize, dissever the affections of a previously united neighbour. hood, and involve it in all the evils of animosity and distraction.
The pamphlet before us exhibits all this to the very life. It is the detail of an attempt, persisted in with the most determined perseverance for near a year and a balf, to establish a Mr. Marsh as officiating Minister of a free chapel at Brighton, in opposition to tlie Vicar's negative upon his nomination, given in consequence of an enquiry into his religious opinions instituted by the command of the Bishop. It has this advantage, that it is the defendant's statement of his own case : for it is edited by Sir Thomas Bernard, the chief agent in the enterprise, who declares it (p. 41.) to be printed " as a corrective of the many and gross misrepresentations which had been circulated" of the whole transaction : the Vicar at the same time (p. 49, note) in very decided terms im. peaching its fidelity.
The case, with the narrative of which the pamphlet commences, . is briefly this. ' Sir Thomas Bernard being made acquainted,
during his temporary residence at Brighton, in July, 1812, with the circumstances of a Chapel, undertaken by public subscription, for the purpose chiefly of providing gratuitously for the poor the means of divine worship, but left in an unfinished state from a failure of the resources necessary to the carrying on the building, engages, in concert with four other persons, to furnish the money necessary for compleating it, on condition that the nomination should be vested in them till the liquidation of the debt. It is brought about, whilst these arrangements are in agitation, that Mr. Marsh is very strongly recommended to the bishop by a lady, a common friend of both, as a Clergyman every way qualified to fill with advantage the office of Minister. The Bishop communicates the recommendation to Sir Thomas Bernard, accompanied with an offer of his services to procure Mr. M.'s tes
timonium. timonium, should he upon enquiry meet the trustee's approbation. Enquiry is made, a result, stated by Sir T. B. to be “ satisfactory in all respects,” is obtained : the approval of the trustees is signified to the Bishop, and as soon as Mr. M.'s testimonium, duly signed and countersigned, is procured, lis unanimous election takes place. A month however does not elapse before the Bishop receives some information of Mr. N.'s “ re. ligious tenets,” which induces him to write “ in considerable alarm” to the Vicar, commanding him to make every posible in. quiry into the truth of the report, and in case of existing doubts, to remonstrate against the appointment. The Vicar put his negative upon it within a few days days after the receip of the bishop's communication, shifting from himself upon the Bishop all the odium of the refusal. Sir T. B. upon this seeks and obtains a personal interview with the Bishop, and contrives tallay his fears; but is not so successful with the Vicar; he persveres however in his purpose of fixing Mr. M, in the Chapel as it officiating Minister, in defiance of the Vicar; and bis first letter in a long correspondence which ensues between the Bishop andhimself, closes with this insulting avowal of his resolution,
“Our Chapel is now quite ready, and the inhabitants are so inxious for its opening, that we think we should not be justified in de ferring the good work. We therefore give in to-morrow's Brigiton Herald the enclosed notice for its opening on Sunday next; truting that Sunday fortnight may suit your Lordship to favour us wth a sermon. I have no doubt of all objections speedily vanishing, and of a permanent blessing attending this institution." P. 18.
To this letter, which the Bishop receives only the day bebre the outrage against his authority was to be committed, he repies by expressing much concern that such a measure should be intended " without either the Ordinary's licence or the incumbent's consent:"and" extreme surprise, that in thai anomalous state of a place of divine worship, professed to be on the establishment of the Church of England, he should be desired to give bis sanction thereto, by preaching in a Chapel, where an unlicenced Minister, violating the canon he had engaged to observe, had presuined to officiate," p. 20. and by this temperate rebuke provokes the following rejoinder froin Sir T. B.
« Your Lordship has been so kind and liberal throughout, that a few words (which might, perhaps, be better addressed to the obstructors than to the promoters of the religious duties of the poor) do not shake even for a moment the sincere respect and regard which I feel for your Lordship,” P. 21.
Our readers from this specimen may form a pretty accurate judgment of both parts of this correspondence-of the overbear
ing ing spirit with which the assault is carried on, and of the temper and firmress with which it is sustained by the Bishop, "We deem 'it therefore sufficient to state that it extends to twenty-nine letters; sisteen of which are from Sir T. B. the drift of the far greater part of them being to weary out the Bishop into the li. cencing Mr. Marsh to the Free Chapel at Brighton without the Vicar's onsent, and thus as the Bishop distinctly tells his correspondent p. 32, “ to involve him in a dispute with one of his Beneficiarès, on a point of such acknowledged notoriety that if he were toact in the manner required, he must expose and proclaim his owr ignorance, temerity, and injustice."-_- No small degree of credit s indeed due to his Lordship, especially considering his declinng years and bodily infirmities, for the steadiness with which, whilst endeavouring to conciliate, bé resists the course of argunent employed to subdue his resolution; for reproaches, in sinua:ions, misconstructions and menaces, frequently occur.
Tle pamphlet does not bring the contest to its termination. We barn indeed from it, that a suit was instituted by the Vicar in the Icclesiastical Court against Mr. Marsh, and we observe the Editr cheering himself (p. 52.) with the good auguries of all he mees with as to the eventual success of the cause which he espoues. - We are enabled however to supply this defect in the marative, and for the sake of Church unity we gladly record the issue, that the good augwies so confidently boasted of, soon as. sured an. aspect so compleatly discouraging, that the defendant glaily availed himself of the Vicar's disposition to stay proceedings, on condition that he should retire from the Chapel and pay the costs,But though Sir T. B, was over-sanguine in this particu. lar in two other particulars his predictions appear to have been verified, for at p. 35. he threatens the Bishop that “the Free Clapel, if once shut up by his orders, will most probably never be opened again for the Church of England," and, without pretending to assign the cause, or even surmising any thing so reproachful to an Ecclesiastical Dignitary, as that he had any hand in producing it, we merely state the fact, that up to the commencement of the present year, it had remained closed from the period of Mr. M.'s departure. Again, p. 53. signifying to the Bishop his gracious disposition under specified circumstances, or to let Mr. Marsh resign," he takes occasion to express his confidence that he has w interest elsewhere to obtain for such a man as Mr. Marsh a better thing than the Free Chapet," and accordingly within a short time after his retirentent from Brigleton, the mask is thrown off, and he is openly patronised by the leaders of the party, self-designated Evangelical, is presented by them to a living at Colchesteryone of the pieces of preferment of 1.3. 10... ::::.:
., or: which
which they have the disposal, and is become a travelling orator, conspicuous at Auxiliary Meetings in many parts of the kingdom.
We have entered more at length into the examination of this pamphlet, because a precedent adduced in it, gives ground for the suspicion that this attempt of certain laymen to overbear incumbents from the exercise of a right most essential to the profitable discharge of their pastoral labours, and to obtain the absolute controul over the appointment of Chapel Preachers is systematic; for, to reconcile the Bishop to the unwarrantable step which had been taken of opening the Chapel at Brighton, in contempt of the inhibition of the Vicar, he is reminded, p. 21, of a similar proceeding in his own parish of St. Giles's in the year 1800, when “ an inlicenced and unconsecrated chapel” was opened “without his concurrence," and a sort of constraint was laid upon him, to wave his right of interference in the appointment of the Clergyman, by an intimation that if he attempted it," it might have the effect of shutting of it up," and of depriving the most ignorant and degraded part of the population of bis parish, of the benefit intended for them.
This method of rendering odious the exercise of a right, indispensible to the preservation of parochial unity, by threatening the incumbent with closing the doors of the newly erected place of worship, if he presumes to make objections to the proprietor's nominee, and then raising against him the clamour of depriving his poor parishioners of the benefit intended cannot be held up to public obloquy in terms of too strong reprehension. What the benefit to the poor will really be, if this lay supremacy be esta. blished, a tolerable example is exhibited in the case before us. Where Sir T. B. made his enquiries which were “ so satisfactory in all respects," we cannot pretend to say, but we could point out to hira an obvious source of information to which had he had recourse, a tale might have been unfolded not so satisfactory; not merely justifying the alarm excited in the Bishop of Chichester of Mr. M's. professional irregularities; but making a rather awkward exposure of circumstances connected with the tender of the resignation of Baselden, which occasioned its rejection in a manner not very gracious or complimentary
Of the effect produced in Brighton by this statement of the case of the Trust Governors, Sir T. B. makes this boast, p. 51. " that it had decided many respectable persons, clerical as well as lay, in favourof the Chapel.” Whoever they may be that were so affected by it, we must confess that we do not envy them their discriminating powers; and we are so satisfied that the public will think with us that we are most anxious that the pamphlet should obtain very extensive circulation, and our wish is founded upon the hope which we entertain in common with the Editor,
and which forms, we believe, the only point of contact between us, “ that it inay have the desired effect of more speedily calling parliamentary attention to the subject," the subject we mean of the very inadequate provision which at present exists in all the populous parishes of the kingdomn for the public worship of the inhabitants, though it places in so striking a point of view the manifold evils which Proprietary Chapels and Lay Elderships engender, that it will lead we trust to a very different result to that which he contemplates, and will ensure, as far as circumstances will admit, the division of those large inasses of population, which many of our parishes at present contain, into separate cures, provided each with its own Church and its own Pastor canonically appointed, and together with this too-long-neglected redress of the greatest national grievance which now prevails, will insure also the repairing so effectually the broken-down fences of Pastoral jurisdiction, that the intrusive entrance of any Clergyman into another's labours, may in future be prevented.
Art. XIII. Marion of Drymnagh, a Tale of Erin, in Two
Cantos, by Matthew Weld Hartstronge, Esy. 8vo. p.p. 100. Davison, 1814..
One of those misfortunes which press upon reviewers, in coms mon with their readers, is the difficulty of developing tlie design and detecting the meaning of the author before them. We do not remember to have suffered under this calamity in stronger degree ihan during our perusal of the present poem; nor have we yet thoroughly made up our minds whether the author throughout the whole of his work is in jest or earnest. At one moment we are willing to think that Mr. Hartstronge is desirous of exposing those failings and mannerisms which are too predominant in our favourite Northern bard; and that he bas chosen a burlesque, as the happiest mode of placing these errors and absurdities in the most prominent point of view. At another moment, we are inclined to suspect Mr. H. of the sober sadness of reality, and that his poem is not intended as a burlesque, but a right, real, and most respectful imitation. .
We are desirous however of placing our author in the most favourable point of view, we shall therefore regard Marion of Drymnagh as one of the best specimens of the grave burz, lesque which we recollect. If therefore, from the cool and distinguishing accuracy with which every strange feature in his model is traced, we were at first deceived, and mistook Mr.