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every advantage of previous deliberation; it is plain that we have a right to expect more than common caution and reserve, a mind well informed on his subject, and arguments sound and perspicuous in support of his assertions. I will not stop to say how totally the Archdeacon has failed in all these respects.
But this is not all. Even if the Archdeacon had erred in judgment, as to the nature of the proposed Society, and the extent of his jurisdiction, the consequence of the mistake would have been quickly remedied, if he had preserved any thing of a right temper in the expression of his sentiments. The intemperate proceeding of forcing himself upon the meeting, was little calculated to sustain the just dignity of bis character, or to effect the object which he professed to have in view. If it was his simple design to prevent what he considered to be irregular, was it not most proper to exert himself first in private? Were there no opportunities of previously remonstrating with the leading persons concerned? Was it decorous—I had almost said, was it honourable, to receive the clergymen' of bis jurisdiction, who waited upon him before the meeting to solicit his favour for the Society, with no single notice of disapprobation-for I
7 See the Address of the Bath Committee, in the Appendix, No. I.
am persuaded that every reader will be astonished to find that this was really the caseand then to come forward with an unexpected and rude claim of interference? Was it just, was it generous, to leave the Right Reverend Prelate who was called to the chair, and the clergy of the neighbourhood, in total ignorance of the intended Protest? Was it decent to insist on delivering this censure before the Secretary had been allowed even to explain the nature of the proposed Institution? Above all, was it becoming; and, to use the Archdeacon's phrase, was it canonical; to insult a most amiable and dignified personage in his own presence? Was it suitable for an Archdeacon to arraign before a numerous assemblage a bishop of the church : Was contumely a necessary part of an interference which, as official, should, of course, have been calm and dispassionate, resting on undisputed authority, and proceeding with dignity? What right had the Archdeacon of Bath to determine, by his mere assertion, what is regular and what is not; to decide, at once, on the supposed conduct of another; to remind, with an air of insult, a prelate of our church, that, as Dean of Wells, he owes canonical obedience to his diocesan, and even to charge him with a breach of the duties of his exalted station?--for it may be necessary to state, that he actually imputed to the Honourable and Right Reverend Prelate in the chair-deliberately imputed to him“ an indifference to the dignity of the high office to which he had been but a few years consecrated, as well as a contempt of ecclesiastical order.” Is this the most natural way to express reverence for the episcopal office? Is this to act as a well-informed member of the Church of England? Is this to conduct himself as an inferior clergyman ought to do towards his superior in the church 8 ?
I press these questions because the conduct of the Archdeacon, even allowing that in point of substance he may have been right, forms the first example in this country of an open and unprovoked insult, offered by a clergyman in a public assembly to a venerable prelate of the Church of England. But when we consider that his view of the case appears to have been radically erroneous when we consider that every one of the data on which he seems to have proceeded was wanting to a conclusion, which all of them together would have failed to authorize-when we recollect also, that the particular occasion of this meeting was to aid in conveying the ineffable blessings of redemption to mankind; a design calculated of all others to kindle the warmest charity of the Christian's heart-and when we add to this,
& See an extract from the Protest in the Appendix, No. IL that the manner and spirit of the Address would have discredited even the best cause then we shall be able to form a just estimate of the conduct of the reverend person on this remarkable occasion. And surely the reader will agree with me, that the unfortunate intemperance of a proceeding which almost reminds us of the conduct and demeanour of the officials of the Church of Rome in her plenitude of power, can only be rivalled by the coolness with which the Archdeacon,-after having forced his unauthorized way into an assembly with which he had no concern, and affronting every single member of it, from the President in the chair to the humblest contributor present, and after having been heard from the beginning to the end of his invective with a degree of patience which no other audience would have exhibitedassumes the tone of AN INJURED PARTY, and declares he did not calculate on being so insulted by a Church Society'. Yet perhaps even
9 It is proper to state, in reference to the Archdeacon's assertion, that “ he was hooted, hissed, and insulted in the grossest manner," that no marks of disapprobation were testified by the assembly, until his personalities and vehe mence of voice and gesture forced from them some involuntary tokens 'of displeasure; which, however, were so 'restrained by the interposition of the Right Reverend Prelate in the chair, who requested an uninterrupted hearing for the reverend speaker, it may be truly said--and for this fact, which has been stated to me on the most incontestable au
all this may seem less surprising than that the Archdeacon, after obtruding himself on a meeting avowedly meant to consist of the FRIENDS of the Society, only to inveigh against their proceedings; and after indulging himself, under the guise of protesting against the irregularity of any such meeting, not only in detailed, and I think I may say declamatory, accusations of the motives, as well as the measures of the Society and its supporters, but in surmises, and conjectures, and questions, concerning which he in terms “professes himself utterly ignorant” --that, after this, I say, without affording one moment for a reply even to his questions, he should indignantly have quitted the Hall, should instantly have proceed to publish his Address in the form of a pamphlet, should have allowed it to be placarded in the very streets of the metropolis, and to occupy the columns of the most popular journals of the empire,-and then should gravely, observe that “ he did not go to the meeting for debate," and that “it is not usual for a person to wait for an answer to his own Protest"!"
But it is time to proceed to the other main branch of inquiry. The Archdeacon, besides
thority, I appeal to the many hundreds present—that the most exemplary patience and forbearance were exercised toward the Archdeacon.
See Advertisement to Protest, Second Edition.