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fpiracy,” let him be very well assured that it is indeed " for the pub. lic interest ;” that he is in the way of his duty; and that the law of his God will bear him out in the undertaking. · 2. This point being secured, and the action of suicide supposed to be (as we apprehend) inulum in Je, then the resolution of the question is clear; we are not to“ do evil that good may come ;' it were better the conspiracy should be discovered than that the man should commit a fin, for the reaton alligned elsewhere by Mr. H. himself, that “ the damnation of one man is an infinitely greater evil than the subversion of a thousand millions of kingdoms.''* Let the man therefore continue in his integrity, and trust God for the event.
3. He who is invited to take a part in a dangerous and desperate enterprize, should consider consequences possible and probable, and weigh well his own strength, beforehand ; and it he suspects himself likely to fail in the day of trial, let him by no means engage.
A case of this kind may doubtless be imagined, which will seem extremely hard ; and mankind will be disposed not only to excuse, but even to honour him who thus falls by his own hand, to save his companions, and his country. The behaviour of some Chriftian virgins in the early ages, who chose rather to inflict death upon themselves, than suffer the violation of their purity by their ruffian perfecutors, has obtained in its favour the fuffrage of the Fathers, as a case excepted from the general rule; and we cannot readily blame those, who, to preserve their honour, despised their life. They committed one fin, to escape another which they deemed greater ; (though, as their will would not have been concerned, they were perhaps mistaken ;) and destroyed the temple, to avoid its prophanation. But these extraordinary instances, whatever may be thought of them, cannot prove that to be lawful, which is in itself unlawful.t.
As to the other case stated by Mr. H. in the same P. 20. that of “a ma, lefactor justly condemned to a shameful death,” there can be no difficulty. It is the duty of him who has transgressed the laws of his country to make the satisfaction they require. The virtues, called forth upon the sad occasion, of repentance, and faith in the divine mercy, consequent thereupon, are of the highest benefit to himself in his most important concerns; while his example at his death undoes, as far as in him lies, the evil perpetrated in his life, and by warning others not to offend, is of eminent fervice to the community.-I am astonithed that Mr. H. 1hould atk, “can any reason be imagined why he may not anticipate his punishment ?” and ailert, that.“he invades the bufiness of Providence no more than the magistrate did who ordered his execution ;” and that “ his voluntary death is equally advantageous to society.”—It is an unparalleled outrage at once upon common sense, the laws, and the religion of his country.
We may now, I believe, venture to conclude, notwithstanding all which Mr. H. has said to the contrary, that suicide is a breach of our duty to our neighbour.
* Essay on the Immortality of the Soul, P. 33.
† Sze Bp. Taylor, ubi fupra.
TO THE EDITORS OF THE ORTHODOX CAURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE.
GENTLEMEN, FROM the brief account which has been published in your useful mis. I''cellany, of the Scotch Episcopal Church, it will, it is hoped, ap. pear to the discerning, that the same purity of principles, the same excellent liturgy, and the same divine authority of the priesthood, which diftinguith so happily the Church of England, distinguish also the Scotch Episcopal Church. The cause therefore of these two churches is, in reality, the fame. And to lead your readers thus to regard it, and to be assured that, when the Epifcopal Church in Scotland is supported, the Church of England is at the same time supported: this was my motive in sending you what is now before the public on the subject of the for. mer, and actuates me in giving this supplementary detail, on the general accuracy of which you may rely. · In the diocese of Edinburgh there are seven presbyters, and six con. gregations; in the diocese of Dunblane and Fife there are five presby. ters, and fix congregations; in the diocese of Dunkeld there are five presbyters, and fix congregations; in the diocese of Brechin there are eight presbyters, and seven congregations; in the diocese of Aberdeen there are nineteen presbyters, and nineteen congregations; in the diocese of Moray there are three presbyters, and fix congregations; and in the diocese of Ross, which includes the Highland districts, there are two presbyters, and about eight congregations.
There are then in Scotland, 6 bishops, 49 presbyters; and, if we take in the congregations, which belong more immediately to the bishops themselves, and which are not comprehended in the above list, 64 congregations.
These congregations are, by no means, all equally numerous. What the precise number of communicants in each is, I am unable to say; but taken altogether, they are supposed to consist of 30,000. :
In Scotland there is another body of episcopalians, whom it is not easy to characterize. To these, clergymen ordained by English or Irish bishops officiate according to the liturgy of the Church of England, without, however, submitting, as episcopal principles require, to the spi. ritual authority of the Scotch bishops, in whose dioceses they officiate. Of such clergymen there are, I think, two and twenty in Scotland.And supposing each of their congregations to comprize 200 communi. cants, which is not too low a calculation, there are 4,400 episcopa. lians, communicants of this description : which number, added to that, of such as are of a consistent behaviour, makes the episcopalians, who are communicants, or of an age to approach the altar, amount in this part of the united kingdom, to 34,400.
Before this subject of the Scotch Episcopal Church is dismissed, it may not be improper to mention, as a fit conclusion of it, that she may be said to be just emerging from that dark cloud in which she has been more or less enveloped, once she was deprived of a legal establishment at the revolution. The success attending the labours of her bishops and clergy, though not inconsiderable in some places, is yet, upon the whole, not such as might be expected. The causes which I would aflign for this matter of just regret are, the indifference with respect to religion in general, which distinguishes unfortunately the age- the diffusion of en
thusiasm among the lower ranks by itinerant and disoyal preachersand what I must call the unprincipled conduct of the Episcopal Clergymen, already noticed. This last cause, however, which has operated against the prosperity of the Scotch Episcopal Church, will, I expect, in a short time cease, since some of these gentlemen have acceded to the proposals of union held forth to them by the Scotch bishops ; and others I would fain believe are disposed to follow an example, fo commendable in itself, and so creditable to their sense of duty, and love of order and unanimity, who set it. The prospect of a termination of the fatal effects produced by indifference, and a sectarian spirit, which threaten the overthrow, even of the Church of England herself, and the extinco tion of true religion in this island, is not, it is to be feared, so near. If ever brought near, it must be by a continuance of such labours as those in which you are engaged-by the zealous inculcation of sound principles, by all who are clothed with the episcopal character, and their clergyand by a life and conversation becoming their sacred fun&ion, and com. manding the respect of the enemies of the church themselves.
That the church of England may enjoy, till time is no more, the blessings which God has bestowed on her; that she may always evince herself deserving the glorious title of the bulwark of the reformation; that she may be the successful champion of the truth against the sons of ecclesiastical republicanism, fanaticism, and civil discord; and that she may never be so far unmindful of her own interests, as' to forget her fifter churches in Scotland and America; these are the sentiments which animate the breasts, these the prayers which arise from the hearts of all true Scotch Episcopalians.
A SCOTCH EPISCOPALIAN,
To The EditoRS OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE,
GENTLEMEN, TF no other person has answered the queries of an “ English Episcopa
lian, the following remarks are offered respecting the Episcopal Church of Scotland.
History. The regular episcopacy given to Scotland by King James in 1610, and detailed by Spottelwood, fell a sacrifice to fanaticism in the following reign. No care was taken during the rebellion, and usurpation of Cromwell, as was the case in England, to keep alive the succeflion; and at the Restoration none of the Scotch bishops were in life, except Thomas Lydserf, bishop of Galloway. Episcopacy was restored a second time to Scotland, by the Church of England, in 1661. Two Archbishops (Sharp of St. Andrews, and Fairfowl of Glasgow) and two bishops (Hamilton of Galloway, and Leighton of Dunblane) were consecrated by the bishop of Winchester, assisted by two other English bishops; the two English archbiMops being expressly excluded, that no pretext might be given for any claim of spiritual authority over Scotland. The jealousy of the Scotch church, in that respect, will be found amply related by Spotteswood. The prelates thus consecrated filled the other vacant fees on their return to Scotland; and at that period the Scotch Epifcopate stood thus:
Bishopricks . Bishopricks. 12. Edinburg (erected by King Dunblane, Charles I. September 29, 1633. Rofs. with precedency next to the twą Caithness. archbithops.)
The succession of bishops has been carefully and canonically continued from the Restoration to the present time. The Scotch church, so greatly obliged by the Church of England, regards her with the highest respect, and warmest affection; and I trust there is no want of good-will on the other side. Indeed, considering the state of the world, they cannot be too closely connected, nor too zealous to support each others interests. The Scotch church, it is true, has not the splendour of an establishment to recommend her to the notice of the world, but the Church of England knows, from contemplating such an example, and from reflecting on her own history, and on that of other churches, even in these days, that no establishment, however well it may be defended, is unaifailable, and may not be broken up; but to hers the Scotch episcopalians say with one heart, and one voice, Esto perpetua !- It has been considered an unfortunate event, that the Scotch bishops did not recognize the title of William III. The church would doubtless have preserved her establishment, but perhaps some important views of Divine Providence have been better promoted by her sufferings.
The refusal of the bishops, to swear allegiance to King William, gave the covenanting party all the advantage it wished for. In 1689 epifcopacy was abolished by act of parliament; and such cruel outrages were committed against bishops and clergy, by the triumphing Presbyterians, as were disgraceful to humanity. Some of these scenes are given in Lejlie's " Rehearsals."
The bishops and clergy displayed the fortitude of martyrs, and continued in the niost prudent manner to administer the sacred offices of religion ; but another act was passed in 1695, prohibiting them from performing baptism, or solemnizing marriage. The treatment they continued to receive appeared at last lo scandalous in the eye of the world, that King William thought fit to interfere, by recommending a more Christian temper to the Presbyterians ; but as that was a thing quite new to them, and lay entirely out of their way, the recommendation had no effect. But relief was granted to the church in 1712, by Queen Anne, who repealed the act against baptisms and marriages, and favoured the episcopalians with a complete toleration, allowing them to exercise their religion in all places without molestation, the parish churches alone excepted; and inflicting severe penalties on those who should disturb them.
Between the revolution, and the palling of the act of toleration, fix bishops had been consecrated in the non-juring church; but in those " perilous times” it was done very privately, and the persons, promoted, known to be bishops only to their own communion, as it was nearly as dangerous then to be a bishop, as it had been in the primitive times. All episcopal titles were dropt, and no more fees were filled up, as they became Vol. III. Churchm. Mag. Aug. 1802. M
vacant, than were sufficient to preserve the succession, and to perform the sacred offices peculiar to the episcopate. Since the revolution there has been no person promoted to the rank of archbishop; the only diftinction known among the Scotch prelates being that of primus, a title much older in Scotland than the other. The dignity of primus is conferred by election among the bishops, commonly on the senior bishop; but he has no more power than the reft, except that of convoking and presiding in synods. As this arrangement was merely prudential, adopted to suit a particular einergency, it is not to be considered as permanent, the conftitution of the church, as it was unalterably fixed after the restoration, being very different. · The act of toleration afforded peace and security to the church. Meeting-houses were built, and the members of the church encreased considerably; but the attempt made in 1715, to restore the Stuart family, brought fresh calamities upon then. Disaffection was naturally implied from a refusal to qualify according to law; and an act was passed in 1719, declaring that no episcopal clergyman should perform divine service in the presence of more than nine persons, without being qualified, under certain penalties. This was a great grievance upon the clergy; but it was in some measure conquered by their great labour, going about from house to house, more apostolico, reading the service, and administering the sacrament.
In a few years the church, through courtesy, obtained greater liberty; but the troubles, which threw the kingdom into confusion in 1745, involved the church in greater misfortunes than ever. The clergy were restricted by an act pailed in 1746, to four hearers, unless they qualified, and registered their letters of orders, by a given day; and every offence was punishable with extreme rigour. But another act, passed in 1748, declared that, though the Scotch clergy had complied with the former act, it would not avail them, unless they had, or would receive their letters of orders from an English or Irish bishop: And it deprived the laity of all. their civil privileges if they attended the ministration of unqualified clergymen. Under the authority of these laws the clergy suffered many hardThips—their congregations were broken to pieces religion was profcribed, and a schism establithed by law, which has been more fatal to religious and moral principle in Scotland than all the former sufferings of the church. Attempts have been made to heal this schism, by inviting the English and Irish ordained clergy to join communion with the Scotch bishops, but they have hitherto resisted, except in two cafes, in which the clergy and their congregations cordially united. For this schilm no apology can be made. Both communions hold the same principles, and no reason can be afligned but that, insensible of their ordination vows, the English-ordained clergy choose to refiit epifcopal authority from a spirit of pride and independence; the evil of which, and the influence it has had, and must continue to have upon religion, may in fome measure be conceived from the effects of thote chapels in England which are extra-purochial, or built and conducted by Subscription.
When our present gracious king ascended the throne, the episcopal clergy “found favour in his fight,” and never were again disturbed under the authority of government; though in some instances private malice, or party-spirit, proved very troublesome to individual clergymen. The voluntary tender of their allegiance to his majesty in 1788, put an end to. these vexations; and in 1792 the penal ttatutes were repealed, and both