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accordingly; and so have some others; while not a few are halting in incertitude. Tindal's next step was professedly to come back to the Church of England; but in this we make no scruple of charging him with hypocrisy, and we fear induced thereto by academical honours and emoluments; for he retained his fellowship to his death, in 1733; whereas several of his books are notoriously deistical, and Dr. Hickes published a letter written by a clergyman of the name of Proast, who solemnly deposed in 1708, that Tindal had, some eleven or twelve years before, told him at All Souls' college that "there neither is, nor can be, any revealed religion; that God has given man reason for his guide; and that this guide is sufficient for man's directions without revelation." How it was that he was allowed to retain his fellowship under these circumstances we know not; but the subtlety of his writings might be thought to render it difficult to fix him to decisive propositions. As to what he says in the above letter, about the Church of England's allowing free inquiry, and not setting up papistical claims, he is like a man bred up in a dungeon, and therefore dazzled and perplexed when he beholds the light of the sun; or like a man educated under a tyrannical despotism, who, on making his escape, knows not how to enjoy true liberty, but pushes it to licentiousness. Laudism and Popery both claiming the infallibility of the Church, had taught him to close his eyes, to believe what was affirmed, and to ask no questions; he at length discovered that this notion was not sound; and he discovered further, that the Church of England does not hold it; but he had now become thoroughly unsettled in his principles, and instead of resting in truth, passed over to infidelity. He had not been instructed to weigh the statements of Holy Writ, but had leaned on the crutch of ecclesiastical infallibility; and when that failed him, he made shipwreck of his faith. Absit omen!

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We must now take our leave of the Bishop of Oxford's chaplain, and his beloved May-poles, "merry dance," and "Wake-Sunday,' -the last of which some excellent clergymen have been of late years laudably striving to put down, both as a gross violation of the Lord'sday, and also as being usually attended with riot, drunkenness, and other vices. Nor are they to be accounted hypocritical Puritans and Precisians for their pains; as though the sanctity of the Lord's-day were, as Heylin contends, a fanatical novelty. Bishop Gibson justly remarks (Codex 1761, p. 236):

"From the many laws that were made in the times of our Saxon ancestors against profaning the Lord's-day, &c., our learned Bishop Stillingfleet draws this pious conclusion, that the religious observation of the Lord's-day is no novelty, started by some sects and parties among us; but that it hath been the general sense of the best part of the Christian world, and is particularly enforced upon us of the Church of England, not only by the Homilies, but the most ancient ecclesiastical laws among us. Accordingly (before the Book of Sports had been set forth by King James the First) not only the injunctions of Edward VI. and Queen Elizabeth had specially enforced this duty; but a bill had been provided by the bishops (12 Eliz.) for enforcing the observation of it; and divers bills, for that end, had also been actually brought into Parliament."

For

We omitted to mention that Mr. Paget is a sad plagiarist in his festive recommendations, for many of the wits and wags of the seventeenth century urged his arguments, and almost in his words. instance, in " Pasquil's Palinodia," a poem published in 1634, the year after Archbishop Laud's "merry" Proclamation, there is a magnificent CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 59. 4 S

eulogy on May-poles; a few lines of which we will place beside Mr. Paget's prose. Mr. Paget says, "The May-pole too was not forgotten;" which the poet versifies,

"When every village did a May-pole raise."

Mr. Paget lauds the "potent ale;" and Pasquil in like manner affirms,

"And Whitsun Ales and May-games did abound."

The Bishop of Oxford's chaplain writes, "The substantial yeoman spread his board, and invited kinsman and neighbour to partake of beef, pudding, and potent ale;" which the poet more concisely ex

presses,

"Then friendship to their banquets bid their guests."

Mr. Paget adds, "When he was giving his own feast he did not forget his poorer neighbours;" which is a notable plagiarism from Pasquil, who writes,

"And poor men fared the better for their feast."

Again, the Bishop of Oxford's chaplain says, "The same hands that had decked the May-pole with wreaths and garlands before the sun was high, were joined in the merry dance around it as the shades of evening drew on ;" which Pasquil also explicitly states, adding with more minuteness to whom the said "joined hands" of the "merry" dancers belonged:

"And all the lusty yonkers, in a rout,

"With merry lasses danced the rod about."

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Possibly some Puritan or Precisian, or even some prudent justice, churchwarden, or constable, might think that it would have been as well that "lusty yonkers" and " merry lasses" should have been in their own cottages as the shades of evening drew on," instead of dancing in a rout" at the May-pole; but Pasquil glories that no such squeamishness prevailed in the golden age of May-poles and Sunday evening "rout" dancing under Laud's primacy,

"When no capricious constables disturb them;
Nor justice of the peace did seek to curb them;
Nor peevish Puritan in railing sort,

Nor over-wise churchwarden spoiled the sport."

Pasquil does not mention, as the Bishop of Oxford's chaplain docs, that the morning of the day had been "sanctified by prayer and attendance on the church's ordinances;" but the mention was not necessary, as the Proclamation forbad any person to partake of the sports on Sundays or Saints' day who had not first been to church.

Some of our readers may think that Pasquil wrote ironically, and that he covertly meant that "the sport," especially on Sundays, ought to have been spoiled; but we assure them he is speaking with unaffected joy, and that the passage is a real panegyric upon the popular recreations" sanctioned by the " Book of Sports."

I

MR. LATHBURY'S EXPLANATION ON THE POWER OF

CONVOCATION.

To the Editor of the Christian Observer.

Bath, Oct. 12, 1842.

SIR,-You will, I trust, allow me to offer a remark, in your pages, on your review of my work on the Convocation.

You question the accuracy of my statement that the Crown must recommend subjects for consideration in the Convocation, your own opinion being this, namely, that it is its province only to say Yea or Nay to any proposals adopted by the Synod. Though I could wish that such were the case, yet I cannot but conclude, after a careful examination of the Act of Submission, and from the proceedings of the Government in the reigns of William III., Queen Anne, and George I, that my statement is correct.

My object, however, in writing, is simply to state to the readers of your Article, that, though I conceive that my view of the actual powers of Convocation is correct, I by no means approve of such restrictions. The following sentences from my volume will explain my views on the subject.

"My own view of the matter is, that the Church should have more liberty, and that she should not be restrained from enacting canons for her own regulation: but my business in this work is to detail facts."

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Though we might wish to see the Church restored to somewhat of the power which she possessed previous to the Act of Submission, yet it must not be forgotten that this Act led the way to the renunciation of the Pope's authority in England."

Other passages might be given as an illustration of my own views. Though, therefore, I could wish that the Convocation, when permitted to assemble, had greater power; yet in stating the nature of the laws by which it is governed, I could only give what I conceived to be a correct view of the case. However I should rather see the Convocation assemble under the dictation of the Crown, than not meet at all. In the reigns of William III., Queen Anne, and George I., the questions for consideration were dictated by the Crown.

I may add that I am still of opinion that no danger would be likely to arise from the discussions in Convocation. It appears to be your opinion, that, as at present constituted, it would not represent the clergy. It would, however, represent them as much as it ever did for all incumbents would be represented: and though a curate myself, yet I should be sorry to see such an alteration as would allow all licensed curates to vote in the selection of representatives.

With my thanks for allowing me to communicate my views through your pages, I am, Sir, your obedient servant,

THOMAS LATHBURY.

*** Mr. Lathbury somewhat misapprehends us, or we him. We never said or thought that " It is the province of the Crown only to say Yea or Nay to any proposals adopted by the Synod." So far from it the Crown must permit Convocation to be summoned; must authorise its entering upon business; may suggest subjects for its consideration; and can allow or disallow its canons; and can dissolve it at pleasure if not satisfied with its proceedings.

But Mr. Lathbury had said "The Crown must recommend, and then confirm, before any measure could become the law of the Church." On the point of confirmation there is no question between us; but that the Crown must in every instance recommend, that is, always have the initiative as well as a veto, we thought not correct; and in point of fact numerous questions were taken up by Convocations, and resolutions come to upon them, which were not suggested by the Crown, nay were contrary to its wishes. The massy canons recorded by Overall were not "recommended" by the Crown; and when passed were disallowed by it. What we said was as follows:

"With regard to the basis of the whole, that the crown must recommend, and then confirm, before any measure could become the law of the Church,' so that no subject could be introduced, even for consideration, but what came through the office of the Secretary of State or the Privy Council, it is so Erastian that we must protest against it; for if Convocation is to meet, it ought to do so in the name of Christ, and as the representative of the Church, the national establishment of which does not require the obliteration of its spiritual functions. It ought indeed to make such arrangements with the State, (as the Anglican Church has done) that ecclesiastical legislation may not interfere with the rights of the people or the office of the civil magistrate; and of course its proceedings cannot be legally binding without the confirming sanction of the State; but care should be taken We do not not to give the civil power unscriptural authority in spiritual matters. consider that the Anglican Convocation is thus trammelled. When the king allows it to deliberate, he does not confine its deliberations to certain precise measures; the Convocation considers, and agrees upon, what it judges right; and the king's prerogative is confined to saying whether it shall be nationally received."

The second question, as to whether the Convocation, as at present constructed, "would duly represent the Church," each reader must determine for himself. The Constitution is described in an extract from Mr. Lathbury, at page 616 of our last Number. We did not refer to the question whether the laity ought to be represented, as in the Episcopal Church of the United States; but only to the mode of selecting the proctors for the clergy.

REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.

DALLAS ON THE MISSIONARY CRISIS.

The Missionary Crisis of the Church of England; the substance of two addresses delivered severally at Liverpool and at Leeds, to the friends of the Church Missionary Society. By the Rev. A. R. C. DALLAS, A. M.; Rector of Wonston, Hants; with a Documentary Appendix, 1842.

IT required some discretion to decide whether these addresses should be spoken and published; for they touch upon some points of great practical importance, upon which the members of our Church are divided in opinion, but the bearings of which the contrarient parties have for the most avoided minutely discussing. But the reciprocity in this matter has not been equal. It is very widely imagined that we have

in the Anglican Church, or at least professing to belong to it, two rival Missionary Societies; that these two Missionary Societies are archetypes of two classes of opinion among us; and that, according as any person ranges with the one or the other of these sections of opinion, he will choose his institution; and that in so doing he has his choice between a real Church Society, and a would-be Church Society; and

that if he belong to the one party, he would prefer the one Society, both for its constitution and its actual character; whereas if he belongs to the other, he will be willing, for the good character, as he deems it, of the other Society, to shut his eyes to the fact, that it is not so truly a Church-of-England institution as the former.

There is much mistake mixed up with these popular notions regarding the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, and the Church Missionary Society. In the first place, we have not two Missionary Societies, in the same sense of the word; so that all questions relative to the respective merits of two co-ordinate institutions are set aside, for they are not co-ordinate; their spheres of labourare, by their constitution, diverse, and it is only from incidental circumstances that any collision can occur between them. Further, it is a mistake that the Church Missionary Society is less regular than the other. Neither, properly speaking, is a representative of the Church of England; but both are highly important institutions, which the members of that Church may justly rejoice to aid; and if a balance must be struck between them, taking the corresponding periods of their history as the fair test, it is in favour of the Church Missionary Society. Why some among us evince a distaste towards that Society, is not difficult to be discovered. The late improvement in the code of its laws has not overcome that distaste, nor did we expect it would. That improvement was desirable to meet the more favourable circumstances which the success of its own operations had specially assisted in producing; and it has put more conspicuously in the wrong those who, from a

dislike to its proceedings, still oppose it, though their old objections to its constitution can no longer be urged; but it was essentially from the first, and we trust will be to the end, what it is now; and it is well that Mr. Dallas has had the courage fairly to state its case and claims in respect to certain particulars upon which more is often insinuated than meets the ear. We will quote some interesting and important portions of his argument.

We need not begin with the beginning by shewing that those who have received the blessings of the Gospel are bound to endeavour to communicate them; and to make known the Name of Christ, and his unsearchable riches, to the end of the earth. But how is this to be attempted? Some reply, By the Church in its corporate capacity. True, this duty is incumbent upon the Church; but if, from causes which unhappily involve much guilt, it does not, or cannot, discharge it, those of its members who wish to lend their aid are not precluded from contributing their share of exertion towards the common object. Mr. Dallas, speaking of our own branch of the Church Catholic, justly remarks:

"If there were an authorised assembly, such as the Convocation, in active existence, it would probably make some official arrangement for missionary opeperformed: but the absence of such an rations, by which the duty would be official organ does not remove the responsibility which lies upon every member, individually, to use his best endeavours to send the Gospel to the heathen. The Church is a 'congregation of faithful men,' each of whom, in his character of Christian, is charged with certain duties. It is not (as some have appeared to suppose) a corporate body, having a conventional existence and personification, with privileges and duties of which the individual members in separation are incapable. Any number, full liberty to devise lawful plans by therefore, of individual Christians are at which to accomplish that which is the

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