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practice could be admitted into the hand into boiling water, and drawing laws of a Christian people.
The it back unhurt; how these and other custom seems unquestionably of prodigies were perforined from day Northern origin, a rempant of ma- to day in the ordinary administra-gic imparted to their English sub. tion of justice ; and before the eyes jects by the Danes. A ready belief of an intelligent people. The true was accorded to it by the superstition solution, probably is, that they never of those times, and the Popish doc- were performed at all, and that the trine of the sacrament, which was accounts of them which are banded rapidly gaining ground, may have down to us were the fictions of a been engrafted upon the old Scan- much later day. dinavian enchantments. It is not The same judgment may safely absurd to suppose that the Corsned, be pronounced upon the other great or sacred morsel, which is said to miracle of the age of the Confessor, have choked the great Earl God- viz. the cure of the king's evil by win, consisted of a piece of the the application of the royal hand. transubstantiated bread to which This story is not vouched for by supernatural sanctity would of contemporary writers, but was first course be ascribed. And when the broached by William of Malmsbury people believed that God was pre- at the distance of nearly two censent at the trial, conscious guilt turies. When we remember how would generally shrink from the in- long and how firmly the effect of vestigation. This hypothesis, how. touching for the evil was credited ; ever, goes but a little way to and that even Collier contends with explain the phenomena, and the earnestness for the reality of the historian and the philosopher have cures, we feel less surprised at the yet to discover how the miracles of success of the Ordeal, and the walking blindly but securely over Corsned. heated plough-shares, plunging the
To the Editor of the Remembrancer. actual or probable effect of a de
parture from any rule or custom, SIR,
although it relate to mere externals, When every thing connected with which has heretofore been deemed the discipline of the Church and beneficial or expedient. It is the the character of the Clergy, is duty, therefore, I apprehend, of made a subject of severe scrutiny, every sincere well-wisher of the if not of unjust reflection, it may Church of England, fearlessly to become necessary to look to matters point out the ill effects which he not essential, perhaps in themselves, may observe to arise from inatten. and in more indulgent times scarcely tion to whatever has been once conworthy of regard, which, however, sidered of importance by all Churchassume a greater consequence ac- men, and may still be so by some, cording to existing circumstances. although the general opinion reThe prevailing habits of society, and specting it may, in the present day, the feelings which local or acci. be changed. dental causes may excite in the This persuasion must constitute minds of the Laity towards
the Mi. my excuse for troubling you with nisters of the Established Religion, the following remarks: must be taken into account when I am far from supposing that a we endeavour to estimate the state of things requiring the utnost
caation, and the most exemplary the protection which it derives from conduct in those who have volunta- the British constitution. rily devoted themselves to a sacred If it be but prudent, then, to profession, is by any means unsalu- render, by every honest means, the tary; or that the great interests of Church Establishment' as estimable, Christianity, or of the venerable as it ought to be, in the eyes of the branch of the Catholic Church to community; and the means which which we belong, are at all in dan. present themselves be not necessager from that jealous spirit which rily confined to the more important is now abroad, and which pervades points of a boly and virtuous life, not only the large body of those and an active discharge of profeswho dissent from the doctrines, and sional duties, we may be allowed disapprove of the constitution of the to look a little further and enquire Church, but is sufficiently active whether there are not some things amongst the lay members of our own comparatively trifling, which might, communion.
if attended to, produce a favour. Little danger is to be appre. able impression on the minds of the hended from the watchful eye of an people, and at the same time bave adversary, or of a tov rigid friend, a beneficial effect upon the Clergy if we be aware of the constant scru. themselves. pulous examination of our actions, Among minor matters I do not and be thus enabled to defeat the know any one which is more worthy inimical purposes of the former, and of serious consideration than the avoid giving occasion to the latter public appearance of the Clrgyto withdraw his esteem and soliei- ihe dress and outward deportuent tude for our welfare. But very of the Ministers of Religion. alarming is the stale opposed to It is only of very late years that this--one of apathy and disregard the Clergy have gradually, as a of public opinion, into which all body, dropt all distinguishing marks establishments are liable to fall, so of their profession. It is now only long as they continue in undoubted a few, of the higher ranks in the security, and have no cause to sus. Church, who can be distinguisbed pect that there is any secret hostility from members of the other classes towards them, or any silent prepa- of society; and it would appear rations for attempting their subver. that even this small proportion is sion.
diminishing. Whether this be or be Few, however, will assert that not an alteration of habits for the there is no reason whatever for better, is fairly a subject of discusalarm with respect to the security of sion. the Established Church amidst so Formerly in this country, and up many open and concealed enemies to the present day in all, or nearly as now surround it ; who either de- all, other Christian countries, even sire its complete destruction, or the the most humble members of the substitution of some new-modelled Ministry have been distinguished by form of worship, together with a some peculiar badge, or mode of different confession of faith, in dress ; and that not only when in place of its Liturgy and Articles. the exercise of ministerial functions, Few will deny that there is some but also in the coinmon intercourse cause for extraordinary vigilance, of private life. though they may put great trust in The Lxxiv. Canon of our Church, the intrinsic excellence of the prin in which “ decency of apparel," is ciples upon which our Church po- enjoined to Ministers, is sutlicientiy lity is founded, in the character and esplicit on this head; and, though numbers of its supporters, and in it be not contended that a literal obedience is due to that which the readily recognized as the Ministers Rulers of the Church have tacitly of God, and outwardly distinguished permitted to become obsolete, and from members of the secular proto which no oath, as in cases of fessions. This appears to me to be Rubrical direction, binds him who as obviously reasonable, as it has enters into holy orders; yet the been universally acknowledged. But, principle on which the Canon rests it may be said, Halitus non facit is not mutable, like the fashion of Monachum, and a Clergyman is not the garments which it prescribes ; the less a distinct character, be. and therefore it deserves to meet cause he does not wear a peculiar with such aitention as is paid to garb. He is equally responsible as other canonical injunctions, where a Minister of Christ, and as a percompliance with the spirit, if not son subject to ecclesiastical autho. with the letter, is plainly practi- rity. How then can it be of any cable. The Canon runs thus : importance either to the public or “The true, ancient, and flourishing to himself, that when he is not in Churches of Christ, being ever de- the act of officiating, he should be sirous that their Prelacy and Clergy known to belong to any particular might be had as well in outward profession? reverence, as otherwise regarded I should reply, that the advanfor the worthiness of their ministry, tages attending the practice of disdid think it fit by a prescript form tinguishing from the Laity, not only of decent and comely apparel, to all who have a cure of souls, but have them known to the people, the Clergy in general, seem to me and thereby to receive the honour not a few, or of trifling magnitude. and estimation due to the special If the elder and the beneficed messengers and ministers of Al Clergy were always outwardly dismighty God : we threrefore following tinguished, they could not but feel their grave judgement, and the an- conscious, at all seasons, of the cient custom of the Church of Eng- great obligations which lie espeland, and hoping that in time new. cially on them, of preserving the fangleness of apparel in some fac- sanctity of manner and Christian tious persons will die of itself, do dignity of demeanour becoming their constitute and appoint,” &c. Then conspicuous station. They would follow certain modes of attire for the be constantly aware that all classes different grades of clerical persons, of their parishioners, looking upon to be worn in public and in private. the badge of their sacred profesWith any such particular forms of sion, would expect from the wearer dress I have nothing to do, because an uniform and consistent piety, authority may most wisely dis- and an exemplary course of con, pense with, or custom conveniently duct. They would take a pride in change, things so indifferent as the being personally known, as the quality and shape of garments, shepherd of their flock, to all who which were well adopted to the might desire their assistance or ad. manners of the times in which they vice; an honest pride which would were prescribed, but would not now lead them to the performance of accord with the habits of society. many a good work, as the friend of The principle which the Canon af- the poor man, and the counsellor firms may, however, be respected of the rich. Whatever tends to without an adherence to any objec. draw closer the bonds of union tionable style of dress; and need which do, or ought to, exist bekot therefore be abandoned. It is tween the parish Priest and his laid down as a thing desirable, that parishioners must be deemed a va. those who are set apart for the ser. luable accessary at least to the cause vice of the sanctuary should be of Religion, and highly beneficial
to both parties. Experience will, I lish Clergy, both old and young, a think, convince us of the necessity of simple unostentatious distinction attention even to the prejudices, often could hardly be in any way objecwell founded, of the lower ranks, if tionable to them; more especially we seriously mean to be of use to as it comes recommended to them them either spiritually or temporally. by the Fathers of the Reformation, And the common people will gene. on the ground of its having always rally respect their pastor in propor. obtained in the Christian Church. tion as he respects his own office, In many cases it might defend them and seems to be devoted to it. By against that which they have now distinguishing himself from the Laity frequent cause to lament. It would he assuredly affords one evidence serve as a check upon the licentious of regard to his calling, and, ac- freedom of conversation, which they cording to the Canon, will “ be had are sometimes constrained to en. in outward reverence," an enviable dure; upon the liberal remarks advantage, which does not fall to prompted by a spirit of levelling all the lot of every parish Priest, even distinctions, which are sometimes though he may in most particulars introduced with malignant ingenuity deserve it.
when the utterer is not obliged 10 To the younger Clergy it would know that an object of them is in surely be of incalculable advantage, company. that they should never be able to As respects the community, the mix with the crowd, without being above-mentioned advantages of cleassured that they have the eyes of rical distinction would unquestion. all men upon thein, and that if they ably be reciprocal. By whatever should be guilty of any indecorous means the Ministers of the Gospel levity, or join in any unfit pursuit, are raised in the estimation of ihe they cannot escape observation ; people, the latter cannot but be and must injure not only their own benefited ; because they will be led character, but that of the Church to esteem more highly the ordi-, to which they belong. The con- nances of Religion, and to embrace sciousness of being known might more firmly the doctrines and prenot, indeed, subdue an immoral cepts which they receive through propensity, which was not to be the ministration of their Clergy, conquered by higher principle ; but when they have a confidence in the in outward deportment and associa- sincere and holy character of their tion with the world, it would fur- spiritual guides. nish an additional, and a very strong, After all, it is by no means easy to motive to sobriety of manners and discover the cause of the great apconsistency of conduct.
parent desire to get rid of clerical No man, one should suppose, distinctions, for we cannot believe would object to wear something in- for a moment that any unworthy dicative of his holy profession, but objection to their being known as a he who needs concealment, and Clergyman can actuate many who prefers darkness to light; he who do entirely lay aside all such dishas a dangerous wish to be as much tinctions. No one, I presume, will at liberty in all things as the Laity, acknowledge that he is ashamed of in order that he may freely partici. being remarked upon as a Minister pate in worldly pleasures and occu- of Religion. This were, indeed, a pations, or he who indulges a false most shameful desertion of a post delicacy with regard to being ex- of highest honour. Without at posed to public observation. tempiting, then, to account for this
Eminently respectable, of unim- new fashion, it may be permitted to peached morality and sincere piety, point out some of the evils which as are the great majority of the Eng- arise from its prevalence.
Those who think lightly of our that he ought to have something Establishment, and every body con- better to do than to assimilate himnected with it, must doubtless be self to the fopperies of fashion. confirmed in their prejudices when It will, I am aware, be urged, they see the elder Clergy giving up that English Clergymen are mostly those outward tokens, which have English geutlemen, that they live ever since the, Reformation . been in the best society, and that it is considered as honourable signs of necessary for them to conform to ecclesiastical dignity or parochial the habits and appearance of other charge. If there be nothing to de- gentlemen. It will be said, that note the Minister of the Church, our Church is remarkably different however worthy he may be of re- in this respect from inost others, verence, the stranger can feel none that its Ministers are not separated for bim. The old man in the black from society in the same degree coat may be a very estimable man, with those, for instance, of the Robut he receives no honour on ac- man Catholic; whose Clergy having count of his office, because he bears no domestic ties, are more secluded no certain mark of it; he may be, and less affected by temporal cares, for aught the colour of his coat It is true, and happy is it, in denotes, a respectable tradesman; many respects, for the country, or any thing not at all respectable. that the Clergy are not taken out of
If the younger Clergy will con- society, but form a constituent part form to all the absurd fashions of of it; that they are intimately conthe day; if they will sedulously nected with every rank, and that a avoid every thing in outward ap- large proportion belong to, and live pearance which may draw on them amongst the highest : but this does the dreaded remark, “ there goes a not oblige them to make any conParson !" they surely subject them. cessions which can lessen the reveselves to many temptations, and to rence due to their office, nor does many improprieties to which they it require them to assume the exteought not, for the sake of their call. rior of those with whom they assoing, ever to be liable.
ciate, whenever they are not in acTo carry the vanities of dress tual duty. Why should the Clergy into the desk or pulpit, is so grossly of the lower ranks, any more than indecorous as always to excite dis- their superiors, lay aside every disgust or ridicule. To indulge in them tinction the instant they have tinishat any time is utterly unworthy of ed the service of the Church? Why any one whose obligations are such should they not, in their several as those which are embraced at or- stations, wish to sustain with prodination,
priety the character, of which they Amongst the higher classes, few cannot dispossess themselves, of will be found to express more re- something more than that of gentle. spect or esteem for a young Clergy- men? Surely it would attach to man, because he employs a fashion- the profession in general somewhat able tailor, or makes himself look of greater sanctity in the minds of as much like other men as possible. others, if we were constantly reAmongst the lower, in whom much minded by some visible token, that strong sense of propriety and keen- we are not only to conduct ourness of discernment are called into selves according to the rules of action, whenever they observe on good breeding, but that we have the
persons who are their spiritual another character to sustain, as guides; amongst the lower ranks Christian Ministers, of a more unthere is scarcely any one who is pretending, modest, and sedate deso generally despised as a fashion- scription, than is usually considered able Clergyman; for they well know popular in society. Though the