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THE PRIESTS AND THEIR THEOLOGY.
(From the Dublin Evening Mail.) We beg to call the attention of our readers to the following communication:“ TO THE EDITOR OF THE EVENING MAIL.
“Corkhill House, Nov. 6th, 1835. “SIR,-In reading this morning the last Evening Freeman, I find a letter addressed to the editor of that journal, signed W.J. O. Daunt,' in which the writer commences—In my speech of the 6th inst., I adduced some reasons which appeared to me conclusively to prove that Dens, in his persecuting tenets, was never regarded among the catholic clergy of Ireland.' And the writer goes on to observe, “That if Deus's book had been, ever since 1808, the standard of opinion to our clergy, it was wholly unaccountable why none of the priests, who have exchanged the Catholic faith for protestantism, during the long interval from that period to the present, should have so much as once adverted to a system of tuition so odious and so unchristian,' &c.
“Now, for the information and edification of the correspondent of the Freeman, I beg to refer that gentleman to a work published in 1822, entitled, * The Second Part of a Development of the Cruel and Dangerous Inquisitorial System of the Church of Rome in Ireland, by the Rev. L. Minsy, parish priest of Oning and Templeorum, in the diocess of Ossory,' &c., &c. In page 244 of that work, he will find the following statement, —-viz., 'A respectable divine, called Dens, wrote the course of theology; this author is highly recommended by our bishops and superiors to parish priests, and all those who have the care of souls and government of the people; this same author was reprinted in Dublin, by a Roman-catholic bookseller, a few years ago, and distributed among the Romancatholic clergymen throughout Ireland. In his treatise on faith, he explains and inculcates what punishments are, and should be, inflicted on heretics.'
“Who those heretics are, and what punishments ought to be inflicted on such, have been already sufficiently brought before the public. “I remain, Sir, your obedient servant, A. H. IRVINE,
• Curate of Kilskerry, Diocess of Clogher."
LEARNING OF THE CLERGY. (From the Bishop of Gloucester’s Sermon before the University of Cambridge, July 5, 1835.) “ But if we indulge in such reflections as these, amid the burst of triumph and congratulation, a still small voice will be heard to demand— Are these the main objects for which your colleges were founded and endowed?' Truth must confess that the first and greatest object of their institution is the glory of God, and the promotion of the religion of our Redeemer. It will indeed be alleged in justification, that the various studies promoted by the favour and honours of this place do on the one hand exercise and strengthen the faculties of the mind, and on the other enlarge the knowledge, and form the taste of the student, by the constant contemplation of the noblest models of human genius. Nor will it be omitted that the physical sciences reveal the hand of an all-wise and benevolent Creator; while an accurate knowledge of the languages of Greece and Rome is necessary for a full understanding of the Gospel of Life, and of the writings which explain and illustrate the Holy Scriptures. Just and irrefragable as are such remarks upon the studies here encouraged, the question will still recur-whether divinity occupies its proper
ank, and is adequately upheld in your academical course ; and, whether there s not a danger of that which you profess to be the end of all your studies,' being made to give place to such as are followed by prizes, distinction, and emolument. If it be rejoined that of late years an increased attention has been paid to the study of the Greek Scriptures and the evidences of revealed religion, that some knowledge of these subjects is the indispensable passport to a degree, that a small approach has been made to the principle of honouring excellence in this department by prizes of private foundation, and that individual colleges have considerably enlarged their sphere of instruction in elementary theology, I answer, that the church acknowledges this improvement with gratitude, and that the enlarged range of acquirement visible among candidates for holy orders may in some degree be assigned to this cause. But so long as other pursuits are the main avenues to distinction and reward, sacred literature will not hold the station which its importance demands, and the real interests of the university recommend. Courses of theological lectures, however learned, judicious, and appropriate they may be, can never supply the deficiency, or furnish a satisfactory proof that those who attend them are engaged effectually in the pursuits recommended and illustrated by the lecturer. The only substantial test is examination: and until there be established a system of theological distinctions, similar to those which operate upon the classical and philosophical student with such eminent success, that knowledge which deserves the pre-eminence, and to which all other accomplishments are but the handmaids, will experience comparative neglect. An open competition in theological knowledge, at a suitable period after all the other trials of juvenile proficiency, will be found at once the most effectual and the most practicable measure. This university possesses a peculiar and admirable mechanism for the conduct of its examinations, gradually improved and matured by practice, and applicable to every department of competition. In regard to the inclination of young men themselves, I shall merely appeal to the experience of all persons conversant with academical tuition, whether there be any branches of knowledge upon which the student shews more interest, or which he pursues with a keener relish, than those which illustrate the language, the allusions, and the history of the Sacred Volume. The precise and critical accuracy with which students are here taught to examine and dissect the language of the Greek classics will be found eminently useful in furthering the correct knowledge of the New Testament. There is no more fruitful source of error than the imperfect or mistaken acceptation of versions in living languages, where the variation of usage produced by the flux of time unavoidably gives to words and phrases a force and sense different from that in which they were designed by the translator. Nor is it possible that the doctrines of the Gospel can be safely expounded by those who are not able themselves to examine and comprehend in its full force the language of the original."
(From the Bishop of Bristol's Charge, October, 1835.) “And here I hope that my reverend brethren will bear with me a little, if I express myself freely as one who has long reflected upon the subject before us, and has had himself some experience in the duties about to be laid before you.
“Now, although there are many honourable exceptions to the remark I am going to make, and many amongst us who reflect the greatest credit on their sacred profession by their extensive erudition, yet speaking of the elder clergy as a body, I fear we must admit that they are not as conversant in the studies of the closet as they ought to be. I allow that there are important excuses to be made for those who are deficient in this respect. Our avocations are such, and our interruptions so many, that if we are not much upon our guard, year after year will pass over our heads without bringing along with it that improvement in our professional knowledge which alone can make our characters truly respectable. But these impediments in the way of our advancement in knowVOL. VIII.-Dec. 1835.
ledge, as well literary as strictly professional, may be got over by attention, and an orderly arrangement of our time, insomuch that there is not perhaps a studious person who hears me this day who does not recollect seasons of urgent business and unavoidable distraction, which have not through increased vigilance and better management, been seasons also of considerable improvement in the different pursuits in which he has been engaged. And in estimating a clergyman's character, the labours of the study are highly to be esteemed, not only on account of the acquirements sought after, but also on account of the healthy state of mind which they produce, and the aptitude for the due discharge of the higher duties of our profession to which they so directly lead. For without strict and regular application to study, I do not understand how
the priest's lips can keep knowledge, nor how the people can with success seek the law at his mouth. In the early times of the Reformation, the want of this knowledge amongst the reformed clergy was a great hindrance to the spread of protestantism; and, moreover, was the cause of that sectarian spirit which then sprung up, and still continues to divide and disturb the peace of the protestant church; and it was the great proficiency in the various branches of learning amongst the regular orders of the Roman-catholic clergy, which kept up the reputation of their numerous religious institutions long after their ill 'effects were plainly perceived, and their dissolution eagerly sought after. When, therefore, to uprightness of life and true Christian humility such stores of knowledge are united, how bright!y does the character of such a teacher shine, and how great will be his influence in turning many unto righteousness !"
FIFTEENTH ANNUAL REPORT OF HIS MAJESTY'S COMMISSIONERS
FOR BUILDING NEW CHURCHES. In their last report, His Majesty's commissioners stated, that 208 churches and chapels had been completed, in which accommodation had been provided for 279,049 persons, including 153,568 free seats, to be appropriated to the use of the poor.
They have now to state, that four churches and chapels have since been completed at the following places, viz. :—At Bollington, in the parish of Prestbury, in the county of Chester ; at Norbury, in the parish of Stockport, in the county of Chester; at Cross Stones, in the parish of Halifax, in the county of York; and at Spotland, in the parish of Rochdale, in the county of Lancaster.
In these four churches and chapels accommodation has been provided for 4,506 persons, including 2,370 free seats, to be appropriated to the use of the poor. Thus, in the whole, 212 churches and chapels have now been completed, and therein a total provision has been made for 283,555 persons, including 155,938 free seats, to be appropriated to the use of the poor, the number of sittings being estimated according to the scale laid down by His Majesty's coinmisonsiers.
His Majesty's commissioners beg leave further to report, that five churches and chapels are in the course of building, at the following places, viz. :-In the parish of St. Mary the Virgin, Dover, in the county of Kent; at North Shields, in the parish of Tynemouth, in the county of Northumberland ; at Carmarthen, in the county of Carmarthen ; at Tredegar, in the parish of Bedwelty, in the county of Monmouth ; and at Habergham Eaves, in the parish of Whalley, in the county of Lancaster. The state of the works in each of these churches and chapels, on the 10th day of July, is fully detailed in the schedule accompanying this report, marked (A.)
His Majesty's commissioners have further to report, that plans for four other chapels have been approved of, to be built at the following places, viz :At Sheerness, in the parish of Minster, in the county of Kent; at Lough
borough, in the county of Leicester ; at Newport, in the parish of St. Woollos, in the county of Monmouth ; and in the parish of St. John the Evangelist, Westminster, in the county of Middlesex. The buildings, in the two first cases, will be commenced as soon as the contracts have been entered into for the performance of the works; and in the two last cases, as soon as the subscriptions promised are paid to the board.
His Majesty's commissioners have further to report, that they have proposed to make grants in aid of building churches and chapels at the nine following places, viz. :--At Dawley, in the county of Salop ; at Oldbury, in the parish of Hales-Owen, in the county of Salop; in the parish of St. George-in-theEast, in the county of Middlesex ; at Bridgewater, in the county of Somerset; at Staley-bridge, in the parish of Ashton-under-Line, in the county of Lancaster ; at Duckinfield, in the parish of Stockport, in the county of Chester ; at Tipton, in the county of Stafford; in the parish of St. James, Westminster, in the county of Middlesex ; and in the Wilderness, in the parish of Halifax, in the county of York : the plans for which have not yet been laid before the board.
His Majesty's commissioners, annexed a schedule to their last report, containing a list of applications which had been made to them from various places for pecuniary aid towards building new churches and chapels ; a copy of which, and of the applications which have since been made, accompanies this report, marked (B.)
Since the last report, the parish of Wrockwardine, in the county of Salop, has been divided into two distinct and separate parishes, under the provisions of the 16th section of the act of the 58th George III., c. 45.
Ecclesiastical districts, under the 21st section of the same act, have been formed out of the respective parishes of St. Philip and Jacob, in the city of Bristol; Wantage, in the county of Berks; Alfreton, in the county of Derby; and district chapelries have been assigned under the 16th section of the 59th George III., c. 134, to St. Peter's chapel, St. James's chapel, St. Margaret's chapel, St. Paul's chapel, and Shaw chapel, in the chapelry of Oldham, in the parish of Prestwich-cum-Oldham, in the county of Lancaster; to St. Paul's, All Saints, and St. John's chapels, in the parish of Portsea, in the county of Southampton; to St. Mark's and Hanover chapels, in the parish of St. George, Hanover-square, in the county of Middlesex; to St. James's, Holy Trinity, and St. Nicholas's chapels, in the township of Whitehaven, and parish of St. Bees, in the county of Cumberland ; and to the chapel at Saint Day, in the parish of Gwennap, in the county of Cornwall.
His Majesty's commissioners have, since their last report, and without any aid from the parliamentary funds, afforded or expressed their willingness to afford facilities for obtaining additional burial grounds for the parishes of St. George, Stamford, in the county of Lincoln ; St. Peter the Great, in the city of Chichester ; Banbury, in the county of Oxford; Upton-upon-Severn, in the county of Worcester ; Ashton-under Line, in the county of Lancaster ; St. Ives, in the county of Cornwall; and Hinckley, in the county of Leicester ; and also for obtaining sites for new churches and chapels, at Harlow, in the county of Essex; Shildon, in the parish of St. Andrew-Auckland, in the county of Durham ; Eling, in the county of Southampton ; Brightlingsea, in the county of Essex. Brentwood, in the parish of Southweald, in the county of Essex; in the parish or St. Sidwell, in the city of Exeter; in the parish of St. Giles, in the county of Oxford ; Hampstead Norris, in the county of Berks ; Hadlow Down, in the parishes of Mayfield and Buxted, in the county of Sussex ; Appledore, in the parish of Northam, in the county of Devon ; St. Botolph, Colchester, in the county of Essex ; Upton-cum-Chalvey, in the county of Bucks; Shirley, in the parish of Croydon, in the county of Surrey ; at Sarisbury, in the parish of Titchfield, in the county of Southampton (also
the clergy, collectively, have contri 107 28,6771, 10s. 10d.: more than one
for a parsonage-house and glebe); and at Aveley, in the county of Esses, for a parsonage-house.
His Majesty's commissioners have also to report, that, under the powers vested in them by the Church Building Acts, they have, with the necessary consents, re-united the rectorial and vicarial tithes of the parish of Orwell, id the county of Cambridge, and formed the same into a rectory.
Several applications have been made to the Board by persons who have built or who propose to build and endow chapels under the act of 1 and 2 William IV., c. 38; and in the following cases, being within the jurisdiction of the board, His Majesty's commissioners propose granting the perpetual patronage to the person or persons respectively building and endowing the same, their heirs and assigns,-viz., At Bude, in the parish of Stratton, in the county of Cornwall; Fareham, in the county of Hants; Mincham, in the parish of Gnosall, in the county of Stafford; Levens, in the parish of Heversham, in the county of Westmoreland ; Ivybridge, in the parish of Cornwood, in the county of Devon ; Ettingshall, in the parish of Sedgeley, in the county of Stafford ; Brathay, in the parish of Hawkshead, in the county of Lancaster; Southend, in the parish of Prittlewell, in the county of Essex; and Edgbaston, in the county of Warwick. The Exchequer-bills issued to this day, amount to 1,500,0001. W. CANTUAR.
C. J. LONDON.
G. O. CAMBRIDGE.
H. LICHFIELD & Cov.
CHURCH BUILDING SOCIETY. MR. EDITOR,—-Should
you think the following statement of the sums contributed, by our nobility and clergy, to one of the most excellent, (but nevertheless one of the worst supported,) of the societies in connection with the established church, worthy of insertion in your Magazine, you are welcome to it. It is drawn up from the Report of the Church Building Society for 1834, and you may depend upon its general accuracy.
The whole amount of money spent by the society, from its establishment in 1818 to March 1834, is 168,4121. Out of this the nobility of the land have contributed, in donations, 10,9051. 138. : nearly one-fifteenth of the whole. The private clergy have given, in donations, 14,8241. 148. 10d. : nearly oneeleventh of the whole. The dignitaries of the church, (under which name I include bishops, deans, and chapters,) have given, in donations, 13,852. 168.: nearly one-twelfth of the whole. And taking these two last items together, sixth of the total sum expended since And, in addition to this, the two Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and the Royal Colleges of Eton and Winchester, have bestowed upon this society, in their corporate capacity, no less a sum than 83821. 108. :-most of which comes, of course, from the clergy, who form a large majority in these collegiate bodies. The amount of annual subscriptions received during the year, ending in March 1834, was only 3671. 178,: out of which the nobility have contributed 242. 148.: the private clergy 1931. 193. : and the dignitaries 271. 6s.: leaving no more than 1211. 188., arising from other sources. And when we remember that a large proportion