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est justice and impartiality, with all the strength which just principles of action would give it; but with all the vigour and resolution of a determined purpose to enforce fair play, and to repress disorder of every sort on the instant of its manifestation.

3. An entire reform in the administration of justice, civil and criminal; an inflexible enforcement of all legal authority; an appointment, at least for a time, of persons removed from all internal faction or national partialities, as the administrators of local law. Justice has long been a stranger at the tribunals of Irish justices; and it is doubtful with me whether, for a time, it would not be necessary to send English stipendiary magistrates of respectable character into most districts. Every county might for a time be furnished with a strong and able board of supervision of every thing conducive to the perfect administration of justice.

4. The representation should be placed exactly on the footing of the English; not that the English does not want amending, but equality is highly important, and both may proceed to amendment together. The present system of tributary electorage, though at the moment stimulated into becoming an organ of national retribution, must, in the long run, form a herd of slaves to the aristocracy, and can never be looked to as the healthful organ of a country's freedom and independence.

5. In all towns and cities where the exclusive system has been enabled, by a bad distribution of elective authority, to monopolize power, and make it the instrument of faction, such a moderate remodelling should take place as should allow the fair voice of public opinion to be heard, and should put an end to oppression on the one side, and smother discontents on the other.

6. The present Protestant Church Establishment is the fruitful source of endless dissension. It is not proportioned to the station and comparative importance of its professors, and the nature of its revenues occasions perpetual discord. It, in fact, exists in direct defiance to real Protestant principles. Those who wish to strengthen it, should endeavour to proportion it in some degree to the obvious justice of the case, and should at least remove, as much as may be, of the causes of offence in the management and collection of its revenue. All parties have been afraid to speak plainly on this subject, but it must be met. Although the possessory rights of no individuals need be affected by any judicious reform, the feelings and prejudices of too many, perhaps, are involved to render it easy to have recourse at once to any such principles of impartial justice and policy as would, no doubt, guide any one who should sit down for the first time to provide for a church so situated; but many glaring anomalies might be removed; cures might be provided for on equalized principles; and tithes (the perpetual source of discord) might every where be commuted for land or corn

rents.

7. In a country so situate, policy and justice, I think, require that a legal provision should be made for such a church as the Catholic church must be. If there be a justification for supporting any religious worship from public funds, the Catholic worship is one which should be decently provided for in every Irish parish. This should be provided, for all at least who chose to receive it, through some public institution founded and conducted on fair principles. The Protestant establishment ought to furnish the fund from its excrescencies. The tithes, or their value, are, no one can doubt, enough in amount for both, and the public have no right to pay twice; but

if such a resource be found unmanageable, the fund should be provided elsewhere. One would think that at least the bishoprics of Ireland could be placed on a scale of extent and endowment equal to the duties to be performed. Measure both by a fair English average; and it is certain that such an arrangement would (at the same time that it strengthened the Protestant Church, by making it more just and respectable) furnish ample funds for the decent support of the Catholic hierarchy.

8. The Government, having based itself on just principles, might, by legislative authority, provide and strictly enforce all such regulations as might really be necessary for repressing any action of its Catholic subjects tending to civil disorder, or any consequences of discipline, foreign or domestic, which should be found inconsistent with internal tranquillity. Catholic governments find no difficulty in this; and there is no reason why Protestant authorities should be weaker. The Duke of Wellington very properly observed, that what is to be done on this head is much better done by legis lation than by negotiations, which only embarrass and compromise both parties. When once, however, it was the policy of the Government to render all the business and discipline of the Catholic Church as overt as possible, (by furnishing it with the means of conducting its affairs openly, and with decent state and order,) and thus to bring every thing under the control of public opinion, instead of drawing it into a sort of smuggling trade, we should hear very little of the necessity of securities, though, to please the old ladies, it might be politic to make some provisions.

9. A provision in the nature of our poor laws, duly regulated, should be established. The principle that the poor must live, though the landlord may choose to spend their earnings in a foreign land, should be enforced; that it may be made the interest of the rich to improve the condition of those whom they must otherwise maintain, instead of driving them over to impoverish England.

To these matters of primary necessity I should add, that public improvements should be zealously encouraged, till security for person and property has drawn capital into the country. In Dublin, and, if necessary, in every county, special commissions of public improvements, in arts, commerce, agriculture, and internal administration, should for a time be put in action, with ample powers to do what can be done promptly, liberally, and at once. The renovation of the frame of society should, with the truest economy, be well pushed at first.

I cannot but persuade myself that if the government were once seen to be rigidly just, and being just, became strong, vigilant, and inflexible, in its purpose; if equal laws were administered; if religious distinctions and consequent party factions were abolished; if the sources of a thousand petty heart-burnings were removed; if it were made the interest of the aristocracy which forms the curse of the land, to become its blessing,-the seeds would be sown which a little fostering care would soon ripen into an abundant harvest, and Ireland would at last have some chance of possessing a powerful, united, and happy people.

A DISSENTER.

THE BISHOP OF LICHFIELD'S CHARGE.*

THE Charge before us is founded on the following passage in the ordination service of the Church of England: "See that you never cease your labour, care, and diligence, until you have done all that lieth in you, according to your bounden duty, to bring all such as are or may be committed to your charge unto that agreement in the faith and knowledge of God, and that ripeness and perfectness of age in Christ, that there be no place left among you either for error in religion or viciousness in life."t

On these concluding words Bishop Ryder comments. "Though invested with the authority of superintendence," he disclaims "dominion over the faith or arbitrary control over the conduct" of the clergy of his diocese; and, after a solemn, affectionate appeal to their consciences on the responsibility of their office, he proceeds, in the first place, to consider the subject of error in religion.

Under this head of his Charge he touches on "the prime fundamental controversy which has ever existed between us, [the Church of England,] as chief of the Protestant body, and the Church of Rome."§

It is little creditable to our age and country that the controversy, so designated, has, in this excellent prelate's language, "appeared to revive" during the last four years, "with almost its pristine tone and vehemence." Such "pristine vehemence" we lament, and deem highly disgraceful at a period which ought to be a period of great comparative light and civilization. We are, besides, of opinion that the controversy has been "revived" and inflamed by factitious circumstances, which cause the theological and ecclesiastical question to be confounded with the subject of the claims of justice and the dictates of enlightened policy. Perhaps the discussion was never so ably and effectually conducted on the Protestant side as towards the end of the seventeenth century, and at the beginning and in the middle of the eighteenth. Hereafter it not improbably may be resumed with yet more advantage. When Protestants and Catholics shall be placed on exactly the same ground, in point of civil eligibility, then, and not before, the matters, whether of discipline or doctrine in debate between them, may be fairly and beneficially canvassed. Dismissing this topic for the present, with these general observations, we pass to another, in which our interest is still more immediate and direct.

For the next error, which "recent circumstances" induce the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry to notice, and which, (he remarks,)" to say the least, is equal in magnitude and danger to the former, [the creed, &c., of the Romanists,] is that which impugns the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and the atoning efficacy of the death of our Lord Jesus Christ."||

66

We presume that the "recent circumstances" here intimated have arisen out of the attempts" of Unitarian Christians "to obtain parliamentary exemption from the necessity of participating in the marriage ceremony" of the Established Church. At least we are unacquainted with any other circumstances, equally recent and public, which could induce" Dr. Ryder to animadvert officially on the characteristic tenets of that body. If, therefore, we are right in our conjecture, he again blends a question of civil

• A Charge delivered to the Clergy of the Diocese of Lichfield and Coventry, at the Second Visitation of that Diocese. By Henry Ryder, D.D., Lord Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, and Dean of Wells. Stafford printed and sold by Morgan; sold in London by Longman, and Co., &c. 8vo. pp. 55. 1828.

+ Exhortation to Priests.

Pp. 6, 7.

§ P. 8. || P. 11.

rights and expediency with questions simply theological. Yet, whatever the season or the occasion of his expressing his judgment of those who impugn the received doctrines of the Trinity and the Atonement, it was perfectly competent to him to introduce such a theme; and we sincerely respect his motives, while truth and duty call on us to weigh his statements.

"The controversies arising from this heresy (the bishop adds) would, we might have hoped, have long since been exhausted by the refutations which have emanated from time to time from various quarters, and especially from our own church."

Thus, in his lordship's judgment, the religious belief of Unitarian Christians is a heresy. Let him not be displeased if, with his own phraseology, and his own sentiment concerning us, we compare part of a well-known apologetic address.+ Bishop Ryder will recollect who it was that said, "After the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers.' Here we might safely leave the accusation, though we may be further permitted to remind the accuser that, agreeably to the scriptural definition and illustrations of the terms,+ Unitarian Christianity is not, cannot be, heresy, nor are Unitarian Christians heretics.

The bishop's manner of accounting for the obvious fact, that the controversies of which he now speaks have not long since been exhausted, is the following:

"But pride of reason and self-righteousness, and a generally inadequate sense of the requirements of the divine law, of our own transgressions of that law, and of our moral inability to fulfil it, with our consequent ignorance of our need of a perfect vicarious sacrifice, are sufficient to maintain, even in minds fully accessible on other subjects to the light of evidence and sound learning, this deplorable blindness to the clearest, most prominent, and most influential truths of Holy Writ."

Previously to our examination of the clauses of this sentence in detail, we will suppose (the supposition is perfectly just and natural), that some amiable and estimable prelate of the Catholic church, some Fenelon of his country, age, and district, lays before his assembled clergy his own solution of the difficulty, that a truth so "clear," so "prominent," so "influential," as TRANSUBSTANTIATION, fails of being embraced by several men, whose minds are fully accessible on other subjects to the light of evidence and sound learning. He is astonished that the controversies arising from this branch of Protestant heresy have not long since been " exhausted," &c. The cause, he thinks, is "pride of reason," and a certain unhappy state of the will and judgment, which indisposes some men to acquiesce in God's revelation, and in the doctrines of his holy church.

Dr. Ryder would hardly be satisfied with such an attempt to solve the problem. He would not admit this to be quite a pertinent, a fair and equitable proceeding, on the part of any Catholic prelate or writer. It would be natural for him to say, "The controversy respecting transubstantiation should be determined by evidence, and by evidence alone: the appeal must be made exclusively to the Scriptures." He would even censure, firmly, however mildly, the substitution of a reference to motives, Pp. 12, 13.

+ Acts xxiv. 14.

The word heresy, or heresies, will be found in only nine passages of the New Testament [Greek]; and in these, with three exceptions, it bears no unfavourable sense. There is but a single text, (Tit. iii. 10,) where we read of a heretic: the verses which follow clearly shew how little the name has been understood, and how indiscriminately applied.

and feelings, and religious character, for inquiry and argument. No man, we are persuaded, is more desirous than the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry of being just and candid to all around him. Upon reflection, he may perhaps be sensible, that what he would reprehend in the supposed conduct of a Catholic writer towards himself, Unitarian Christians must discern, not without regret, in a few paragraphs of his Charge. Whether transubstantiation, or the received doctrines of the Trinity and atonement, be under consideration, there is, thus far, no difference in the cases.

"Pride of reason," he intimates, has prompted our rejection of the tenets of which he is the advocate. Bishop Ryder does not appear to censure or to withhold the exercise of reason upon subjects of religion; for he animadverts, in this very Charge, on a class of "the Papal champions," who, he tells us, "cast a veil over all that startles our reason and shocks our prepossessions."* Evidently, then, his own reason is startled-his own prepossessions are shocked, by some of the dogmas in the creed, and some of the pretensions in the Church of Rome. Probably he might even adopt the language of one of his predecessors in the see of Lichfield and Coventry, and exclaim that "reason stands aghast" at such offensive notions," and "faith herself is half confounded."+ Nevertheless, in so delivering his judgment, not, be it remarked, of the truths of revealed religion, but of human statements and human fancies, he is sure to encounter from Romanists the accusation of being influenced by " pride of reason."

May there not be danger, lest, in imputing to any of our fellow-christians and fellow-men " pride of reason," we indulge an excess of selfpartiality? Let us analyze the imputation and the phrase. May not our meaning be simply this, that what other men take to be "the light of evidence," of sober reason, of "sound learning," leads them to reject, not the word of God, but our interpretations of the word of God? How is it that we can even speak of reason being startled at certain things in the creed of Romanists, while it does not occur to us that other persons may be startled, and, possibly, on as good and firm ground, at articles in our own? Is reason an excellent gift only when we find, or think we find, it on our side? In this case exclusively, is it sober, and modest, and safe; while in those who "follow not with us" it is a blind guide, and a proud and arrogant usurper

?

Unitarian Christians readily submit their judgment to what they consider as scriptural evidence. Can any around them say more, without laying claim to inspiration? Bishop Ryder does not prostrate his understanding, does not surrender his reason, to what he views as being altogether the doctrines of men. Let him refrain from blaming us, if we continue to take the course which he himself pursues; to act on the principle which, as a Protestant, he recognizes and approves.

"of self

We are sorry that such a man beholds us as guilty of pride, righteousness," and thinks that we have "a generally inadequate sense of the requirements of the divine law, of our own transgressions of that law, and of our moral inability to fulfil it." Is there then no other and "more excellent" way-none more consistent possibly with truth and candour, and the absence of all pretensions to "self-righteousness"-of explaining the fact that many individuals, of "minds fully accessible on other subjects to the light of evidence and sound learning," do, nevertheless, reject certain opinions embraced by the Bishop, and by numbers beside, as most clear,

* P. 9.

+ Bishop Hurd's Sermons at Lincoln's Inn [1785], Vol. II. p. 287.

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