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In reply to a very inconvenient question put by Sir William, the Bishop, less moved by shame than by prudence, said: “I do not wish fees to be paid to clergymen upon the funerals of Dissenters, whose friends choose to bury them in unconsecrated ground; but what I wish to avoid is, holding out a premium to the middle and poorer classes to be buried, being members of the Church of England, in unconsecrated ground, where they would not pay the fees which are usually payable to the clergyman; and, therefore, I should wish, if it were possible, that some fees should be payable to the authorities who regulate the Cemeteries, for all funerals; but fees payable to the clergy should be only for those buried in consecrated ground.” The true character of this project will immediately appear. You and your Committee, however, became either the dupes or the partners of the sagacious Prelate. Among the Resolutions with which your Report concludes, one (the thirteenth) is, “ That no fees from any such burials in unconsecrated ground be payable to any ministers of the Church of England.” Sir, to those who judge by appearances, this mutual view of the Bishop and of your

Committee will perhaps seem just and almost generous. But these words, as used by him and them respectively, were intended to bear a very different signification. As employed by the Bishop, they set forth, not his “ wish,” but his prudence ; he desired more, but he feared he would not be able to obtain it. Your Committee, on the contrary, or a portion of them at least, we believe, were sincere in their recommendation. Were you, Sir? Do you claim to be classed with them? How comes it, then, that this just and most important recommendation, with every other of the same character contained in your Report, was entirely overlooked in framing your Bill? At whose instance were these omissions? You have taken singular care of every recommendation which related to the clergy, and to these added much, of your own free bounty. You empower them to tax the public for the purchase and preparation of Cemeteries; you convert the Cemeteries so purchased and prepared, into freeholds of the clergy; you authorise them (Clause 22) to "fix and settle a table of fees to be paid on interments" and " for the exclusive right of burial," as also for “ erecting and placing any monument or grave-stone in the Cemetery;" you

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amply provide (Clause 33) for the " distress and sale of the goods and chattels” of the Dissenters, if they refuse compliance with clerical exactions; and, should either their principles or their poverty stand in the way of their prompt obedience, you also provide for their committal “ to the common gaol or House of Correction." All this we find copiously set forth in your Bill ; but where shall we look for your clause of exemption from fees on Dissenters' burials to the clergy? You hand over the entire population of the metropolis and of the other cities and great towns of England to the tender mercies of the clergy, to do as they please both with the dead and with the living. In every thing that appertains to the whole system, they are to be absolute. You lay them under no species of control whatever. The parish vestries are as much overlooked as the Dissenters.

But, Sir, to return; what of this recommendation of your Committee for the exemption of Dissenters ? For what cause was it excluded from your Bill? Why did you go in the face of your Committee? Why did you deviate from the course indicated by the Bishop? Was it honest towards the House of Commons, who gave you leave to bring in a Bill, to exclude from that Bill a portion of the main principles on the ground of which that leave was both sought and obtained? Sir, was this the conduct of an honourable man? Was it not a twofold deception, first, of your own Committee, and, secondly, of the legislature of the country? Is it not both an insult and a wrong to the Dissenters of England ? Is it not a flagrant outrage at once against the principles of political justice and of religious freedom ? Sir, is such the legislation befitting the nineteenth century? In the name of, not merely the Dissenters of England, but of the general public, we demand your reasons ! Are you prepared to give them? We call upon you to stand forth in the face of your “ Clan” and of your country, in your place in Parliament, and to defend these your proceedings !

Sir, leaving you a short respite, we will now turn to your mitred master and his associates, the Cemetery Companies, and show how unworthily and how unjustly they have conspired with him to deceive and oppress both Churchmen and Dissenters. In comparison with their conduct, yours appears to advantage. By your Bill, the public will be plundered openly and at noon

day; by the Cemetery Acts, the robbery is effected at twilight and by stratagem. If there were any thing to choose between the two methods of destruction, we should consider yours preferable. You have displayed so little of your country's proverbial prudence, that you are quite outdone by the Bishop of London. The Prelate's problem is, how shall a heavy exaction be made to assume the aspect of justice? In plain practical terms, how may the dust of departed Churchmen and Nonconformists be most heavily, and, at the same time, most safely taxed ? How best may Episcopalians be taxed without complaint, and Dissenters without consciousness? This is the Bishop's “ mystery.” In anticipation of an entire change in the economy of city sepulture, the sagacity of Charles James foresaw, that, if the burial fees of the unconsecrated and of the consecrated grounds were alike, and an enormous exaction added to the latter in the shape of a clerical fee, besides engendering discontent among the wealthy, it would drive multitudes among the middle and lower classes to the unconsecrated ground. Was he wrong in his conjecture? We should like to see the true Churchmanship of the country tested on the principle of pounds, shillings, and pence. The Bishop therefore wished, “ if it were possible, that some fees should be payable to the authorities who regulate the Cemetery, for all funerals !" Oh! the depth of Ecclesiastics ! According to Addison, " there are greater depths and obscurities in an elaborate and well-written piece of nonsense, than in the most abstruse tract of school divinity;" but there are greater depths in some of the heads of the Church than in all the nonsense and all the divinity now extant, in our own or any other language. “I should wish," says his Lordship, “ if it were possible." Possible! He could have told you that it was easily practicable, and actually in full operation, in all the Act-of-Parliament Cemeteries around London.

We will now disclose a state of things of which the public generally were but little aware, and which will not fail to excite feelings of indignation and disgust in the breasts of all upright

We will select our illustrations from the Bishop's Model Cemetery, at Westminster, Let us take a common-sense view of the whole matter. A piece of ground is purchased, walled


round, and then the whole is prepared for sepulture. The onehalf of the enclosure, without another shilling of outlay, is ready for immediate interments; the other half becomes the subject both of an immediate outlay and of a permanent burden. There is, first, the enormous fee—to a small shopkeeper a little fortune-of the Bishop for consecration ; secondly, a permanent parson-tax of ten shillings for every body interred; thirdly, one shilling to the parish clerk; and, fourthly, the salary, of some four or five hundred a year, for the chaplain, who must be a regular clergyman, approved by the Bishop. Such are the comparative costs of the unconsecrated and of the consecrated grounds. How ought these circumstances to bear upon the fees respectively? In the one case, there is no expense for consecration, for clergy, for clerk, or for chaplain, for no chaplain is provided for the unconsecrated portions; the parties are left to procure their own, or to go without. What proportion ought the fees of this part of the ground to bear to that which is consecrated, and which has been prepared and is upheld at an expenditure of nearly thrice the amount? In this, as in every thing commercial, ought not the outlay to regulate the remuneration ? Would not one-third of the sum demanded as fees for the consecrated ground, suffice for the unconsecrated ? But take it even at one-half, if you please, and what are the facts ? They are these; there is no difference as to charge in the two grounds. The poor Dissenter pays just as much for his unblessed bed as the Churchman for his consecrated couch. Here there is either much favour to the one party, or much injustice to the other. Let us take the case of common grave, charged at 11. 5s., as an illustration. When the Dissenter pays this, there is no deduction ; to the Company, it is so much clear money for the mere ground. When the Churchman pays it, there are heavy deductions to be made ; 10s. for the parson, 1s. for the clerk; say, at least, 2s. Ed. for the chaplain; and a penny, a Peter's penny (is that too little ? well, take the benefit of it,) for the consecration. Here, then, is an outlay of 13s. 7d., so that 11s. 5d. is all the clear money that remains to the Company for the ground. How is this? Is the Churchman charged too little, or is the Dissenter charged too much? Commercial justice, we think, requires either that the former should pay


11. 18s. 7d.; or that the latter should pay only 11s. 5d. The Company are enormous losers in the one case, or enormous gainers in the other. How is it? Is it that the clergy, on the one hand, plunder the Episcopalians, and that, to cloak the deed, the Company, on the other, plunder the Dissenters? Well, whichever it be, this is the very sort of thing that Bishop Blomfield wishes to be done in the projected Cemeteries, when he says, “I wish to avoid holding out a premium to the middle and poorer classes to be buried, being members of the Church of England, in unconsecrated ground, where they would not pay the fees which are usually payable to the clergyman.” Oh! cruel purpose! Is it come to this? Must Dissenters of every rank be legally robbed, lest the corpses of even the poorer classes” of Churchmen should descend into the dust without paying one more tax! Yes, even the dead bodies of the flocks of these “ authorised” gentle shepherds, cannot escape their greedy grasp when descending into the silent tomb, to mingle with their mother earth! In such men has poverty, even the deepest, and distress the most unmitigated, at length lost the power of exciting pity ? Even the cold clay, for which the colder hand of parochial charity provides a winding-sheet, a shell, and a hole in the ground, must yield a revenue to these Reverend proprietors of the bodies of their species! Yes, Sir, Dr. Blomfield is consistent in all his pastoral proceedings. In the

very last Cemetery Act passed, namely, that of the “ City of London and Tower Hamlets Company,” he inserted a clause which distinguishes it from all the other Acts we have yet seen. That clause (176) empowers the clergy to levy a contribution of one shilling for every corpse interred at the expense of any union established for the relief of the poor.” Here clerical cupidity has surely reached its climax! Can anything be conceived more shameless, heartless, revolting? But the worst does not, at first sight, appear. We have already recited the Bishop's words relative to it, assigning the poverty of the region as a reason why he had relaxed his demands a little, taking 7s. 6d. and 2s. 6d. respectively, instead of one uniform charge of 10s., as at the Model Cemetery. To make up the loss, these thoughtful men (for the Bishop tells us there was a conference of the clergy about it) set their wits to work to turn even this

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