Imágenes de páginas

the non-essentials on which men may safely differ, we at least gain little by the relaxation, for I know of no Church which does not regard as essentials those very articles which our name implies that we reject."

Can we suppose then, I repeat it, that this pious lady would have given her funds for the purpose of promoting and encouraging the preaching of doctrines in opposition to her own opinions in respect to points which have been universally considered, and which, we must presume, she also considered, as essential in matters of religious belief? At least, it would require some distinct evidence, or some reasoning which I have pot heard, and which does not occur to me, to justify us in coming to such a conclusion. All the probabilities and presumptions are the other way; and, as a question of fact, I feel myself compelled to conclude that such could not bave been her view and intention.

But another argument arises out of the Act of Parliament to which the learned Judges have referred, or rather, out of the Acts of Parliament of that period. Those preachers who denied the deity of Christ, were

exempted if they preached from the * benefit of the Act of Toleration—that Act was passed in the year 1688. In 1698, ten years afterwards, and six years before the date of the first of these deeds—the Act against Blasphemy was passed, by which any person, who should deny that any one of the three persons of the Trinity was God, became liable to the severest penalties. Those doctrines were styled impious and blasphemous. To teach them was called a detestable crime. I am not justifying the law-I am making no comment upon it-I am stating only what the law at that time was. Those persons, who by preaching, denied the doctrine of the Trinity -I think the word is “ teach"-whó, either in writing, in teaching, or advised speaking, shall maintain those doctrines, are subject to the penalties of the Act. It was contrary to law, therefore, at that time to preach those doctrines. To give money for the purpose of encouraging and promoting

the preaching of them would also, of course, be illegal.

What is the rule by which the conduct and the language of persons are to be interpreted? The rule is this, and it is a just and reasonable rule, that where a construction, consistent with lawful conduct and lawful intention, can be put upon the words and acts of parties, you are bound to do it, and not unnecessarily to put upon those words and acts a construction opposed to what the law prohibits or enjoins. I cannot, therefore, bring myself to the conclusion, that Lady Hewley intended to promote and encourage the preaching of doctrines contrary to law--that she intended herself to violate the lawit would be contrary to every rule of fair construction and legal presumption so to decide.

It was argued at the bar, that this law was now repealed, and it was supposed that the repeal of the law would make an alteration in the consideration of the case. - It does not appear to me, in the slightest degree, to affect the question :--the question is-What was her intention at the time? What, at the period when she executed this deed, she intended ? Who were the persons whom she meant to include in it? What were the doctrines, of which she intended to encourage and promote the preaching? It makes no alteration in this respect, it makes no change as to her intention at the time, that in the course of a century afterwards the law has been changed, and that that is considered as innocent wbich at the former period was illegal. On these two grounds then, each of which appears to me nearly conclusive first, that I cannot presume that this pious lady intended that her estates should be applied to encourage and promote the preaching of doctrines directly at variance with that which she must have considered as essential to Christianity, and that she could not intend to violate the law. On these two grounds, I feel myself brought to this conclusion,--that she did not intend, under the description of “ godly preachers of Christ's holy gospel," to include persons who

impugned the doctrine of the Trinity; their answer do Mr. Wellbeloved and that she did not intend to promote others of the defendants state to be and encourage the diffusion of those Unitarian opinions ? They say, “ they opinions. With regard to the law believe it to be true that the class of and her respect for its authority, we Christians styled Unitarians do reject find some evidence of it in the second as unscriptural the doctrine that Jesus deed—the deed of 1707 ; for she Christ is really and truly God, and as directs, “ if by any lawful authority such a proper object of divine worthe objects of her bounty, in that ship. They believe it to be true that deed, cannot be carried into effect,” the class of Christians styled Unitathat her trustees shall make a different rians do many of them reject as application of the funds.

unscriptural the doctrine of Original It has been said, and the learned Sin, or that man is born in such a Judges have adverted to it,-it has state tbat if he were to die in the been said, that the religious opinions condition in which be was born and of that day were liberal and compre- bred, he would perish everlastingly." hensive, and that in particular Lady These are the doctrines stated in the Hewley entertained enlarged views answers of Mr. Wellbeloved and upon the subject of religion. All this, several of the other defendants, as however, rests in general statement, being the peculiar doctrines of the and from which I can deduce no Unitarians. precise or satisfactory conclusion, I An observation was made, I think feel bound, therefore, for the reasons by a learned gentleman whom I now which I have stated,--having first see in Court, on the conduct of Mr. established to my own satisfaction Wellbeloved, with respect to his tbat Lady Hewley was, in her reli- answers, stating that they were obgious opinions and belief, a Trinitarian, tained with great difficulty; that they -to come to the conclusion, that she were extorted from a reluctant deuever intended that her charity should fendant; I think I owe it to Mr. be applied for the propagation of Wellbeloved, and the other defendUnitarian doctrines. I am the more ants, to observe that, from the nature satisfied of the correctness of this and delicacy of the subject, they were result, because I came to it in the justified in using much caution; and first instance, without at all knowing if we can fairly refer the conduct of what were the opinions of my two men to proper motives, we are not learned friends, and without having justified in ascribing it to such as are had any communication with them improper.

Mr. Wellbeloved may upon the subject. I formed my have considered that the questions opinion upon a careful consideration were put in such a way as to lead of the case, agreeing not only in my properly to the answers which he conclusions, but in the grounds and successively gave; he may have principles upon which they rest, with thought it his duty to exercise great the learned Judges who have favoured caution on such a subject. But me with their assistance on this leaving this, we have, in addition to occasion.

the answers both from Mr. WellbeThe remaining question then is loved and from Dr. Kenrick, clear this-In what manner, and by whom, and distinct statements of what the bave these funds been administered ? opinions of the Unitarians are upon The trustees are, with one or two the points in question. exceptions, (both the trustees and the I refer to a document which is in sub-trustees,) proved to be Unita- evidence-a sermon preached by Mr. rians. Mr. Palmes is a inember of Wellbeloved, at Huil, in which he the Church of England. Mr. Hey, states his opinions in these terms:wood not proved to be an “ With the doctrines concerning the Unitarian. With respect to the rest, deity of Christ we also reject as as I understand and read the evidence, equally unscriptural those which other they entertain l'nitarian opinions. christian sects bold to be of such vital What are these doctrines ? What in importance, relating to his office and



the design and consequences of his purposes have these funds been apdeath. We see nothing in the pages plied by these Trustees? In what either of the Old or New Testament manner have they discharged the imto justify the doctrines which are portant duty that was entrusted to generally deemed orthodox, relating them? If I am correct in my conto Original Sin.” He thus states that clusions as to the intentions of Lady the Unitarians reject not only the Hewley, the funds have been misapdoctrine concerning the deity of plied, and misapplied for a long series Christ, but that also which relates to of years, and to a very great extent. Original Sin. In another part of the This alone might perhaps be a suffisame sermon he says :" But it will cient ground for removing the Trustees. be said that we deny his deity;" (that But it has been said that the misapis, the deity of Christ.)

66 We refuse plication was onintentional upon their to acknowledge bim as the second part;—that it was an error of judyPerson of the Godhead; we do not ment; that they put a construction allow bim to be one God with the upon the instruments fairly and boná Father, coeternal and coequal, or fide that would have justified their even God of God. We contess," he

But, looking at the evidence in says, “ the man Christ Jesus, but this case, I am compelled to say, and deny. him as that incarnate, suffering, I

say it with reluctance, that I cannot and dying God which he is believed accede to this statement. I do not to have been by all others who bear wish to enter into detail upon the his name. True, we do deny the subject, because I am desirous, as far Jesus of the Athanasian and the as possible, to abstain, on this occaNicene creeds, of the Liturgy, and sion, from every thing that is personal, the Articles of the Established -but I am forced to say, using the Church, of the confessions of faith most gentle terms, that there has adopted by alınost all the churches of been, in my judgment, a strong, Christendom." Nothing can be more undue, and partial leaning, in the clear and distinct than these state- administration of these funds, towards ments, not only as to his own opi- Unitarian doctrines and Unitarian pions, but as to the opinions of those objects. who think with him, and who come I shall not go through the evidence under the class and denomination of with respect to this part of the case, Unitarians.

but shall content myself with referring, Now, as to Dr. Kenrick, another by way of example, to two points. of the defendants upon this record, he How has it happened that almost all says: “ We are convinced that no the trustees are Unitarians ? that the doctrines can ultimately prevail among vacancies have been so filled up as to a people allowed to ihink and exa- make the whole body substantially mine for themselves, which, like Unitarian; as

to place the entire transubstantiation, involve a sensible control of these estates and funds, and absurdity; or, like the Trinity, a the management of the whole Charity, metaphysical contradiction. The sur- in the hands of Unitarian trustees render of their understandings,” he of persons entertaining Unitarian says, " is a price which men will not opinions ? long consent to pay for the belief of Another subject to which I shall any system of theology.” Such are also refer iu illustration of what I have the doctrines stated by two of the stated, relates to the exhibitions to defendants as the doctrines of the Manchester College. Almost all the Unitarians. I consider then, the great exhibitions of late years have been body of trustees and sub-trustees, as given to persons educated at that disbelievers in the divinity; or, to college. Upon a caretul examination use the term of the Unitarians, the of the evidence, I must consider, that “ deity of Christ, and disbelievers in so far as relates to the education for the doctrine of Original Sin." the ministry, Manchester College is

Having stated this, then, the next substantially an Unitarian establish"question is, - How and for what ment. I refer to the evidence, among others, of Mr. Manning Walker, who tion of the funds which has taken was himself educated as an Unitarian, place, and adverting also to the conand was a member of that college. It sideration of the danger of future appears to me strong and decisive abuse,-if persons of one particular upon this point. If it required further class of opinions are to be entrusted confirmation, I might refer to Mr. with the management and entire Wellbeloved's letter, in which he calls control of funds which are to be upon the Unitarian Dissenters to applied for the benefit of persons “subscribe to the support of that maintaining other opinions,--that I establishment for the purpose of main- am bound to decide, that the Vicetaining a succession of well-educated Chancellor was correct in removing ministers, in their class of Dissenters," the trustees. It follows also from obviously meaning (indeed the fact is what I have already stated, that he proved by the evidence,) those of was correct in the declaration he has Unitarian opinions.

made. And the result, therefore, of These circumstances, with others, my judgment, confirmed as to the lead me therefore to the conclusion, principles of it by the learned judges not merely that these parties have near me, and founded as to the misapplied the funds, but that in the further conclusions which I have exercise of their trust they have mani- stated upon those principles, is—that fested a strong and undue leaning in the Decree of the Vice-Chancellor favour of persons of their own persua- should be affirmed. It is not a case sion. I think then, looking at these for costs, and I think the Decree circumstances, and considering the should be simply affirmed. extensive and continued misapplica


CHURCH SOCIETIES. S. P. C. K.- Report of the Brentford, 8c. And the total issue of Bibles, Testa

District Committee, 1835. ments, Prayer Books, Tracts, &c. since The time has again arrived when

the first establishment of the Comthe Committee beg to present to their

mittee in 1822, is 38,358. Friends a Report of their proceedings

The amount of subscriptions for the during the past year; from which they

past year is 69l. 12s. 6d. from which trust it will be evident that they have

the Committee, after discharging the endeavoured to promote, not only the

expenses incurred in the District, will general designs of the Parent Society,

be enabled to forward to the Society but also one of the chief objects for

(for the payment of the differences bewhich all District Committees were

tween the cost price to the Society first established; viz. to enable the

and the charge to the Members,) the

sum of 501. poor to purchase Bibles, Prayer Books, &c. at very reduced prices.

It cannot be expected, nor indeed The account of Books, &c. issued

can it be at all necessary, that argufrom the General Depository, at Brent

ments should be produced from year ford, during the last year, is as fol

to year, in favour either of the usefullows :

ness of District Committees, or of the

Society. There is one point, however, Bibles . .

61 Testaments .

which appears to deserve particular 45

notice. It has been stated by some Prayer Books

154 Psalters.

that there is no further want of Bibles,

12 Other Bound Books 94

Prayer Books, or Religious Tracts, in Tracts.

1966 this immediate neighbourhood; from

one quarter or another it has been Total.

2332 abundantly supplied. In reply to such

a statement, the Committee would beg

to observe, that if the supply were accommodation both to the subscribers equal to the present demand (which and the public. they have just ground to fear is very “They have now the happiness to far from being the case), still it would state, that a depôt is opened in St. by no means follow that further exer- Thomas's Church-yard, in the house tions were unnecessary in a popu- erected for the Sunday School of that lous neighbourhood, the inhabitants of parish; and that Mrs. Lucas, the which are constantly shifting, and with newly-appointed librarian, gives daily fresh objects continually supplied by attendance from ten o'clock in the a very numerous rising generation. morning to four in the afternoon, and

Consistently with feelings of christian is authorised to receive and dispense, charity for the spiritual wants of their orders for books, as also to settle bills more needy brethren, the Committee due, and receive subscriptions, benecannot desire less than that every poor factions, &c. for the Committee. person in the District should be en: This new arrangement naturally abled to read the Bible, by having that causes additional expense; the Comprecious treasure in their possession. mittee are there fore under the necesThey cannot think the field for their sity of rescinding the 10th Resolution, exertions closed, till all shall

feel their which has been acted upon for several want of such sacred instruction, and years past, authorising a reduction in bave their wants supplied. They are the price of books in favour of the convinced that, in their own neigh- Subscribers to the District; but hope bourhood, their past labours are, and still to be enabled to allow two-thirds have been, blessed with good effect; of the subscription to the District, to and their earnest prayers and hope be received in books at the Society's are, that as this hunger and thirst prices, and to supply any demand for aster spiritual food becomes more uni- books over and above those taken in versal, they may, by the cooperation right of subscription on the following and contributions of all zealously dis- terms:-Persons, being Members of posed Christians, find themselves pos- the Parent Society, and subscribing at sessed of more ample means to meet least a guinea per annum to the disthe existing exigency.

trict fund, i.e. double Subscribers, may Rev. John STODDART, M.A. Sec.

purchase books at the Members'prices marked in the Society's catalogue. Those who subscribe to the Parent Society only are charged five per cent.

on the Members' prices; and those S.P.C. K.-Salisbury Diocesan and Dis- subscribing to the District only, are trict Committee for South Wilts. charged ten per cent. on the Members?

prices, to compensate the Committee The Report of the Salisbury Dio- for the expenses of carriage, the shop, cesan and District Committee of the &c. &c. The public, or non-subscriS. P. C. K. for South Wilts for the bers, are charged five per cent. upon last year, is just published. It con- the cost prices' of the Society, for tains a very satisfactory abstract of the same reason. the proceedings of the Parent Society, “ The distribution of religious books, which we recommend to the perusal during the past year, in this District, of our readers; we must content oör- amounts to 12,953, [an increase of selves with the following extract of 4,944 over the year preceding] in the the Report respecting the proceedings following proportions :of this District. * In their Report for the last year


459 the Committee gave reason to hope

Testaments and Psalters. 540

1027 that a depôt would be opened in the

Prayer Books.

Other Bound Books . 781 course of the present one, for the sale of

Half-bound and Stitched 8241 the Society's Books, as also of those of

Cards, Papers, &c. , . 1905 the Committee of General Literature and Education, thus giving greater


12953 VOL. XVIII. NO. V.




« AnteriorContinuar »