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ceeded as follows: My Lords, the ques. made in our Prayer Book by the Protestant tion I am about to raise is one of consi- Episcopal Church of the United States. derable importance, and the state of the The right rev. Prelate the Bisliop of House proves that the public regard its London went further, and said, that had I solution with interest. Under these cir-confined myself to the terms of subscripcumstances I regret that the subject has tion, and the rubrics, he thought the not fallen into abler hands ; but it is not result of the Motion would have been differmy fault: I have endeavoured to induce ent. The noble Lord (Lord Lyttleton), who others, whose opinions would have been takes a great and most intelligent interest received with more consideration, especially in these subjects, strongly repudiated the members of the Episcopal Bench, to take notion of finality. Such being the case, I it up, but quite in vain. All that remains thought myself justified in taking further for me, therefore, is to endeavour to per- counsel on this matter ; and, deferring to form the task to the best of my ability, the views of those distinguished persons, I and, at the outset, to beg at your Lord prepared my measures accordingly. Of ships' hands a patient and indulgent con. two Bills which I have laid before your sideration. Having alluded to the right Lordships this Session, the object of one rev. Bench, I think I ought to say, that is to give the officiating minister, in cer. whilst I feel sure that the opinions of tain defined cases, a discretion in the perthat right rev. body will weigh much with formance of Divine worship which the your Lordships, yet, in truth, this question rubric at present prevents his exercising, is rather a lay question than a clerical On that Bill (the Public Worship Bill) one ; for, as the right rev. Prelate who I shall not offer any observations, as it presides over this diocese truly observed is for the present virtually withdrawn ; in a recent speech

but I will proceed as briefly as I can

to endeavour to persuade your Lordships “The ecclesiastical authorities are not to blame favourably to receive the measure which simply and solely the work of Parliament

, and stands for second reading this evening, Parliament alone is responsible for it."

being a Bill for the relaxation of the

terms of subscription imposed by the I will commence by explaining why it is Act of 1662. that I have adopted the present mode of I cannot satisfactorily perform the duty proceeding, after the very small share of I have undertaken without entering a little success which attended a Motion which I into the history of that well-known, but made two years ago of a description so far often not-very-well-understood Act. It is similar that it included the question now neither the first, nor the second, nor the before the House. Your Lordships will third Act of Uniformity which has been remember that on that occasion I moved, passed by Parliament, nor is it the only in the very terms which found acceptance one now in force ; that enacted a hundred in this House in 1687, an address for a years previously (1st Elizabeth) being in Royal Commission (the only method known full vigour, with all those tremendous peto the Constitution for such a purpose) to nalties with which the Legislature of those examine and report upon the changes days was wont to enforce its provisions. which were demanded, and which the lapse Even should my present Bill fail

, it would of two centuries had, in the opinion of be as well that these two Acts of Unimany, rendered necessary, in the liturgy, formity should be reviewed, with the object canons and formularies of our National of making them somewhat more intelligiChurch, including also the Act of Uni- ble than they are at present, and bringing formity of Charles II. I was opposed them into harmony with the more tempeon that occasion by all the speakers but rate legislation of the present times. Two one, not upon the ground that no change Acts of Uniformity succeeded each other was necessary, but because my Motion was within two years in the reign of Edward too extensive and indefinite, and contem- VI. They were repealed by Mary. Then plated the revision of some portion of our came the Act of Elizabeth, to which I formularies involving disputed doctrine, have alluded; and, lastly, that of Charles which was said to be dangerous to the II., which it is the object of the present peace of the Church. The most rev. the measure to amend. It is quite true that Primate, whose absence upon this occasion all these Acts pass equally under the we all in cominon regret, candidly avowed name of Acts of Uniformity. They all his preference generally for the alterations declare that a particular Book of Common

Lord Ebury

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Prayer, and no other, should be uniformly not foresee, and which fearfully verifies the
used in public worship; and with such por. Roman poet's maxim,-
tion of the Act of 1662 the Bill your " —Nec lex hâc justior ulla est,
Lordships are now asked to consider in no Quam necis artifices arte perire suâ."
way interferes ; but the essential differ. It dealt so deadly a blow to the Church,
ence between the Act of 1662 and all its that for a century and a half her arm was
predecessors is this :-Not satisfied with literally palsied, and to this hour she has
enjoining the use of the altered Prayer not recovered from it. The injury inflicted
Book, it makes that book a " test," and on their nonconforming brethren was a
prescribes two different forms of subscrip- mere nothing to that inflicted on their
tion—one of a general nature, the other Church and country. To use the lan-
a form of absolute and unconditional as. guage of Archdeacon Hare-
sent, not to the use only, but to everything " So terribly is the sin of our forefathers, who
contained in and prescribed by the Prayer framed the Act of Uniformity, visited upon Eng.
Book, -in short, to every line and letter land to this day; nor can any human foresight
which belongs to it. Even after all the discern how or when those evils are likely to

terminate. From that day we date the origin of
allowances, the most ample that can be that constituted dissent and schism, which is the
made for the temper of those times—it is peculiar opprobrium and calamity of our Church.”
difficult to understand the state of public and then he concludes with this curious
opinion which could have witnessed -I observation-
will not say with complacency, but abso.

The age which enacted this rigid ecclesiaslutely with applause, the insertion of such tical uniformity was addicted, as might be imaprovisions. That the tide should have set gined, to the practice of uniformalizing all things, strongly against the regicides, against the it tried to uniformalize men's heads by dressing Independents , against the violent sectaries

them out in full-bottomed wigs ; it tried to uni

formalize trees, by cutting them into regular of Cromwell's army, was natural enough ; shapes. It could not bear the free growth and but that all this vengeance should have been luxuriance of nature. Yet even trees, if they discharged upon the Puritans, who were have life, disregard their Act of Uniformity, and strongly attached to the Established put forth leaves and branches according to their Church, who had always belonged to it, clip their excrescences.

kinds, so that the shears have constant work to

None submit quietly exwho had remonstrated bravely against cept the dead.” the trial and condemnation of the King, Even the Episcopal Bench was unable to who had resisted the imposition of the escape from the rage for uniformity thus Covenant, and, above all, who had been described by the venerable Archdeacon. Forforemost in promoting the restoration of merly they wore a kind of cap, with which the exiled dynasty, does appear difficult to the portraits of Jeremy Taylor and other account for. We must not, however, be worthies of that age bave made us famitoo hasty in casting indiscriminate censure liar; and those who have the misfortune upon those who framed this Act of Uni- to be as old as myself will recollect that formity

. It is easy enough to judge their curious headpiece, the episcopal wig, which conduct by the light we have now to guide formerly made it so difficult to distinguish thoi

. It is not so easy to put ourselves in one right rev. Prelate from another, but their places, and to feel quite certain we which the innovations of the present age should have aet ed differently. At that have so far affected, that, however uniforin dire , it is to be recollected, the true prin- may be the votes of the Bench

this evenciples of religious liberty' had scarcely ing, there is no visible uniformity in their ties; and when we find traces of this in- what can be said in favour of the continu

of an at anabove all, when we see that this most day. ° I have made search in histories

, pealed, we should feel thankful that our find I will not say & eulogy, but any disastrous enactment still remains upre. biographies, annals, charges, tracts, to should endeavour, as far we can, to undo Nothing is to be met with but one univerin the of those mischiefs which past legis- sal condemnation. In most cases the prolation has entailed upon us. The effect of pounder of a measure, however confident upon Puritan ministers as the authors of is obliged to arm himself beforehand to il could have desi red; but it had another meet well-known objections, which may be

was quite as severe in the superiority of his own arguments, effeet, which in their blindness they could urged against him ; but here it is next to

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tolerant spirit still

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the Act of Unifor mity

impossible to anticipate a reply, whilst the order to justify these subscriptions, which, arguments in disparagement of the Act of were they introduced into the transacUniformity, drawn from all sources-his. tions of private life, would put an end to tory, philosophy, and the genius of our all confidence between man and man. religion-are so overwhelming, that it is What, then, are the arguments which difficult to make a selection. Although are to be brought forward to induce your the present proposal was made by me on Lordships to reject this Bill? What is it the first night of this Session, I find but that has inflamed the zeal of my noble one petition against it, whilst there are Friend the noble Viscount opposite to many in its favour. If I consult the press, such a pitch, as to have brought him to I find that the organs of the two great the conviction, even before I had opened parties in the Church, the Record and my mouth in defence of it, that the Bill I the Guardian—which do not often agree, propose should be cast out at once? With have both spoken more or less favourably some industry I have collected that, in the of my proposal. In truth, this matter opinion of some persons, the National exactly resembles the case of the pass. Church is in such a state of weakness and port system, of which, when it was abo peril, that these subjects ought not even lished, The Times newspaper justly ob- to be broached at all in Parliament ; whilst served

others, not sharing this opinion, have yet “That we never know the folly of a bad conjured up some phantom of danger likely habit until we get rid of it, and find how easily to happen, should this test, after existing we can get on without it. It was the pecu: a couple of centuries, be withdrawn. “We wrought an infinity of mischief, which was never would be no parties,” they say, “to its contemplated, it proved utterly useless for the enactment; but we dread the effect of object it was presumed to have in view." abandoning it ;" and, lastly, there are And so with the Act of Uniformity. We some who think that this test is the only know that this test was intended to make security a layman has for the orthodoxy a schism in the Church of Christ in this of his minister. I will apply myself to country, and that it was eminently suc. these objections in the order in which I cessful. We know that it was intended have stated them. First, I am sure that to drive out of the Church hundreds of your Lordships will agree with me that our men who would have been its pride and National Church, so far from being in a ornament ; and that it did drive them state of weakness and peril, was never in a out. We know, also, by lamentable ex. greater state of activity and vigour; and perience, that it has kept out thousands that all she wants is to be freed from some of pious men of a like stamp ever since. of those trammels which alone prevent her We know that it has created a perma- being, in reality, what she is in namenent Nonconformist institution, which is the Church of the Nation. Then, as to taking gigantic proportions. But where the danger to be apprehended if we aban. are we to discover any advantages which don, as an evil practice, this ecclesiastical the Act of Uniformity has conferred upon passport system. What, then, do those

Has even within our own re- fear who cannot bring themselves to get stricted pale secured unity or orthodoxy, rid of an evil, because of its having been or even uniformity ? Has it in any way in existence a couple of centuries ? for they contributed to the piety, the wisdom, the admit that it is an evil, saying that they learning, the usefulness of the clergy, or would not have consented to it. Are such the extension of our own Church sys- persons apprehensive that an alteration tem ? I listen in vain for an answer in would let in a flood of heretical teachersthe affirmative. This, however, we know Socinians, Universalists, Essayists, Brownit has done : It has exposed our clergy ists, and God knows what? I pray them to an imputation not only, or chiefly, to calm their fears.

This Bill in no way from Nonconformists, but principally from alters, nor docs it interfere in the smallest their own brethren, of making a solemn degree with, the standards of our Church, declaration before God and the congre. Should any minister, after this Bill passes, gation in a “non-natural sense, and teach false doctrines, he must be tried by with mental reservation ; and I must say the same rules, and judged by the same more-that, in reference to the whole of tribunals, as before. Besides that, if any our subscription, glosses have been put one places any confidence in the value of forth, modes of interpretation resorted to, these subscriptions, there are enough left by men of every party in the Church, in to satisfy the most exacting and timorous

Lord Ebury

us ?

mind. Independent of tests of character in the records of your Lordships' House, and examination at or previous to taking but is an improvement even on thatorders, every one before ordination must “I do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old declare his assent to the Thirty-nine Ar- and New Testament to be the Word of God, and ticles in the terms of the 13th Elizabeth, to contain all things necessary to salvation ; and and must then subscribe to the three I do sincerely engage to conform to the doctrines

and worship of the Protestant Episcopal Church articles of the Thirty-sixth Canon : the in the United States." first of which is the Oath of Supremacy; I hope your Lordships will consider the second, an affirmation that the Book that I have established my position, that of Common Prayer containeth nothing con. there is nothing to fear from the abrogatrary to the Word of God, that it may be tion of this test, whilst there is much of lawfully used, and that he will use the good to be hoped for from it; and that same and none other in his public minis- the Church of England is far too strong to trations ; and the third, another subscrip- fear any such discussions as these. tion to the Thirty-nine Articles. Then,

I am unwilling to trespass on your time on being admitted to a benefice, he has

unnecessarily ; but, at the same time, I again to declare his conformity to the must not leave my case in any part inLiturgy, and bis assent, for the third time, complete. Some persons have imagined, to the Thirty-nine Articles. Surely in all doubtless from not having the facts these subscriptions there is sufficient (if brought specially to their notice, that such defences are of any real value) to keep this test has not been productive of so out everything except a wolf in sheep's much evil as has been said. I do not clothing, against which, as Dr. Vaughan like to trouble the House with too much truly observes, nothing will avail

. And documentary evidence, but I can assure these facts I would also recommend to the third class of objectors—those who are of your Lordships I have in my possession

numerous letters from clergymen, giving opinion that without this stringent sub- very touching accounts of their having scription the laity would not have suffi- been compelled to give up their cures, cient security. To these I may, further where they were otherwise happy and observe, that a great many livings are useful, on account of the stringency of solely intrusted to curates, and that some these terms of subscription. They have remain curates all their lives. No one told me of others who, within their knowever heard that these rev, gentlemen are ledge, have gone through the same ordeal particularly heterodos, and yet they do not of many who, on the same account, make this declaration at all. Happily, we

were compelled to abandon their cherished are not without a very valuable example, desire of dedicating themgelves to the serwhich may safely guide us in this matter, vice of the ministry-of still more, who and which I hope will entirely allay any are Dissenters, who long to join the alarms which may be felt on the subject. Establishment, having no essential difIn a Church which received orders from us, ferences with her. Of such documents which uses our Prayer Book (only sensibly I have selected the following, which I revised, as I had the happiness to think thought were worthy of your Lordships' in unison with the most rev. the Primate), attention : which is in full communion with us, and

Extract of a letter from a Dissenting one of whose Bishops is at this moment

minister doing episcopal duty in Paris for the

“I am a Dissenting minister, much against my Bishop of London-I refer to the Protes. wish. My forefathers were ejected in 1602, and tant Episcopal Church of the United States, I remain excluded for the same reasons for which where no such subscription as that I seek they resigned large livings. Formerly I was conto abolish is to be found. When our North nected (as I was bred) with the Unitarian body,

but was obliged to relinquish the pulpit of one of American colonies separated from Great the old Presbyterian chapels founded by the comBritain, and their Church had to reconsider peers of my forefathers, because I could not its whole position, after very much de- preach the peculiar negative doctrines of the sect liberation and careful consideration they willingly would I have rejoined the Church to

that has got possession of many of those places. did away with the whole of their former which all my sympathies inclined me, and from code of subscriptions, and substituted in lieu which I have no doctrinal difference, but I could of them this very simple and sensible form ; not ‘assent to all and everything,' as required.” it is very like a form proposed by Lord Extract from a charge of the VeneraNottingham and Tillotson at the end of the ble Archdeacon of Northampton, delivered seventeenth century, which is to be found May 5th, 1862

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“What may be the effects of an alteration in | Will you maintain in all its deformities the terms of subscription it is not given me to an Act which has no defender ; or will foresee. For myself, I would, not unwillingly, admit any good man into the ministry who would you expunge from your statute-book a subscribe to the Thirty-nine Articles, and declare provision, the suggestion of intolerance that he approved of tho Liturgy more than of any and persecution, and the offspring of the other book of public prayers, and that he would worst period of our Parliamentary history? consent to use it, and no other, in the public My voice may fail to persuade your Lordin these times, I think, if the declaration we aro ships, but you will not, I hope, turn & now required to make, 'I will conform to the deaf ear to one of our greatest philosoLiturgy of the Church of England and Ireland,' phers and orators, who, although he has were the only one ; we should not then have to passed away, yet lives and speaks amongst regret the departure of so many good men from the Church, To this class, that of poli- us by the imperishable works of his genius. tical Dissenters, the really conscientious Noncon.

« Et si mihi non datis arma, formists do not belong; and of these there is a

Huic date." very considerable body who do not disapprove of It was in the year 1773, that Mr. Burke, deterred from joining our communion only by speaking on the Dissenters’ Relief Bill, some stringent portions of the Act of Unifor- made use of the following remarkable mity.”

language :Extract from speech of Mr. E. Ball, “I would respect all conscience--all conscience M.P., in the House of Commons, on that is really such, and which, perhaps, its very Mr. Bouverie's Clergy Relief Bill, April tenderness proves to be sincere. I wish to see

the established Church of England great and 9th, 1862–

powerful; I wish to see her foundations laid “ Though not himself a member of the Esta- | low and deep, that she may crush the giant blished Church, he recognised its great import-powers of rebellious darkness. I would have ber ance, and would be the last man to impair its head raised up to that heaven to which she constability. He hoped that the Select Committee ducts us ; I would have her open wide her hoswould inquire, not only how clergymen were to pitable gates by a noble and liberal comprebe permitted to leave the Church, but how the hension ; I would have her give a lesson of peace obstacles which now prevented many valuable to mankind, that a vexed and wandering geneyoung men from entering its service could best | ration might be taught to seek for repose and be removed. The latter of these questions was toleration in the maternal bosom of Christianity, much more important than the former, Hun- and not in the harlot lap of infidelity and indifdreds, and even thousands, of young men were ference. Nothing has driven people more into excluded from the ministry of the Established that house of seduction, than the mutual hatred Church because the oath and the other require- of Christian congregations. The hon. Gentlements were so stringent that they could not man would have us fight this confederacy of the conscientiously subscribe them."

powers of darkness with the single arm of the I have now brought my case to a close. Church of England,—would have us fight, not I have endeavoured not to leave out any time, with all other denominations except our

only against infidelity, but fight, at the same thing essential to it, and at the same time own. In the moment we make a front against to avoid overlaying it with extraneous the common enemy we have to combat with matter. I am, however, painfully con- all those who are the natural friends of our scious how imperfect has been the per- cause. Strong as we are, we are not equal to formance of my task. Would that I had included in that of religion, not that of religion

this. The cause of the Church of England is the abilities and the influence of many in the Church of England.” I see before and around me ! Then I could not have failed to impress upon kindness and patience, I beg now to move

With a grateful sense of your Lordships' the House the immense importance of the decision they are about to arrive at.

the second reading of the Bill. The vote they are about to give will de

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2*, cide whether your Lordships will promote

Viscount DUNGANNON said, he apthat best of all things-religious unity, pealed to the House not to agree to the or whether you will continue to foment second reading of this Bill on two grounds; that worst of all evils, and greatest of first, on account of the encouragement it hinderances to the spread of the Gospel- afforded to latitudinarianism; and secondly, religious discord. Whether you will as- because he was convinced that it would sist in enlarging the bounds, in length open the way to other and still greater ening the cords, and strengthening the innovations. "By the law as it now stood stakes, of our National Church-or, whe- it was required that every clergymau ther you will continue to wall her up with should subscribe to the Articles of the in the arrow limits to which, by ill-starred Church, and that he should sign a declalegislation, she has been hitherto confined ? ration that lie assented to the form of

Lord Ebury

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