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" (COPY.) « MY LORD, Norfolk Crescent, Bath, Nov. 19, 1817.
“I am requested by the Committee of the Church of England Missionary Society, to solicit the honour of your Lordship’s patronage to the formation of an Auxiliary Association in Bath, to aid the charitable efforts of the Parent Society. The Bishop of Gloucester has kindly condescended to promise to explain the nature of this Institution from the pulpit of the Octagon Chapel, on Sunday morning, Nov. 30th, and preside at a public meeting on the following day. Your Lordship will confer much honour upon the Association, as well as materially benefit its success in Bath, by kindly undertaking the office of patron. “ In the name of the Committee,
I have the honour to be,
CONOLLY COANE." “ To the Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells."
“ And the following answer was received :
“ (COPY.) 66 Rev. SIR,
“ Palace, Wells, Nov. 21, 1817. “ I lose no time in acknowledging the receipt of your letter; and request the favour of you to inform the Committee of the Church of England Missionary Society, with my respectful compliments, that I beg leave to decline the office of Patron of the Auxiliary Association in Bath, to which they have done me the honour of offering to appoint me.
“ I am, Rev. Sir,
B. of BATH and WELLS.” “ To the Rev. Conolly Coane."
" It is unnecessary for the Committee to remark, that the Bishop declined accepting the office offered him in the handsomest and politest manner; nor is there a word of objection or disapprobation of the measure.
“ The next step taken was to depute two officiating clergymen of the place, the Rev. Mr. Richards and the Rev. Mr. Player, to wait on the Archdeacon of Bath, and solicit his countenance and support to the intended Association. The Archdeacon received these gentlemen in the most warm and friendly manner; and though he appeared to decline taking any part in favour of the Society, yet he certainly signified no express disapprobation of it; nor did he say to either of them, as officiating ministers in his archdeaconry, a single word on any impropriety in their belonging to such an
Institution. The rectors of Bath, Walcot, and Bathwick, with other officiating clergy of the town, were either personally waited on, or addressed by letter on the subject. The Rector of Walcot behaved in the mildest, most candid, and gentlemanly manner; and the same was the case with regard to the Rector of Bath.
“ The Committee have deemed it necessary to enter into this detail of their proceedings previously to the formation of the Institution, both to show that they were not deficient in any mark of attention and respect to the bishop or clergy of the place; and, though they had to lament that want of concurrence which would have been so highly desirable in a cause which appears to them equalled calculated to promote the best interests of the church and the Gospel, yet that it was impossible for them to contemplate from any quart active hostility or opposition. Some judgment, then, may be formed of their surprise, and, we would add, grief also, when the Archdeacon appeared at the Meeting in the manner he did, and delivered his Address; though the Committee will venture to say, that none, but those who were present, can adequately enter into the sensations excited at hearing that Address at the sentiments it contained, as well as the spirit in which it was conceived, or the tone and manner in which it was delivered. As the Archdeacon will probably publish this Address, the Committee forbear entering on this part of the subject at present: they only hope it will be given literally to the public as it was delivered, without curtailment or alteration; and then the public will have to judge for themselves.
“ The Committee, however, cannot conclude this Address, without adverting to one point of most material import, not only to themselves and the Society they have recently formed, but to every similar Society throughout the kingdom, and to the rights of Englishmen at large. The Archdeacon, in the opening of his address, talked of coming there by right, as Archdeacon of Bath; and in the course of it, he permitted himself to say, that he would, if he pleased, call'in the peace officers to dissolve the Meeting. The Committee would wish to ask the Archdeacon, what ecclesiastical power or controul he conceives himself to have over a Meeting convened, in the usual form, by public advertisement, and assembled under the protection of the civil law, and at the Guildhall, with the permission of the chief magistrate of the city? The Meeting was either legal or illegal. If legal, what possible right had the Archdeacon to interfere;--or, .whence does he draw any such right of interference or controul over the proceedings of such a Meeting? If illegal, is
such a meeting amenable to ecclesiastical jurisdiction; or have the lay members of the church no power to assemble, for any charitable purpose, but under the direct sanction of ecclesiastical power? If such be the constitution of the Church of England as by law established, they desire that it may be distinctly pointed out. The Archdeacon was, indeed, heard by sufferance, even to the end of his most extraordinary Address; and that by a Meeting whose proceedings were interrupted without leave or apology, and where he was not entitled to speak, unless in conformity to the advertisement, by which friends only were invited: he was heard, though professing to come there in support of a presumed ecclesiastical authority; and whilst he himself was at the same time violating all ecclesiastical discipline, by insulting a bishop of his own church, and a superior in the same diocese, who listened to him with a patience and calmness which could be derived only from one source.
“ As this is the first, so the Committee trust it will be the last time they shall have to address the public on this occasion: they more gladly and cheerfully return to the discharge of their proper duties, and look with confidence for the support of a Christian public, in the great and glorious undertaking in which they are engaged.
“ In the name of the Committee,
J. O'BRIEN.” “ Bath, Dec. 4th, 1817.”
The words of the Archdeacon are
“ I said that this Society tends to the subversion of ecclesiastical order; and to promote and augment divisions among the members, and especially the clergy of the Church of England. Can a stronger proof of this assertion be offered than is, at this moment, exhibited before your eyes? Here you have the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Gloucester presiding in the chief city of the diocese of Bath and Wells, over the formation of a society which the Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells disclaims. Does the Honourable and Right Reverend Vice Patron of this Church of England Missionary Society know this fact? If not, by what rule, not of apostolical authority, but of common propriety, does he invade the province of his venerable brother? By what right does he come hither, thrusting his sickle into another man's harvest? Perhaps he thought the husbandmen asleep! I trust that he will find us waking and watchful. But if his Lordship did know the sentiments of his venerable diocesan as well as mine (for the Dean of Wells is as much under canonical rule as any other clergyman), I ask, if his Lordship did know the sentiments of his venerable diocesan as well as mine, could he give a more decisive proof of his indifference to the dignity of the high office to which he has been but a few years consecrated, as well as of his contempt of ecclesiastical order?”-Protest, pp. 6, 7.
The following abstract of the Charter incorporating the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, will show, that it is in no degree formed for the object of converting the Heathen World, though some of its Missionaries and Schoolmasters on the extreme Stations may have an intercourse with a few tribes of American Indians.
“ King William III. was graciously pleased, on the 16th of June 1701, to erect and settle a corporation with a perpetual succession, by the name of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign 'Parts; for the receiving, managing, and disposing of the contributions of such persons as would be induced to extend their charity towards the maintenance of a learned and an orthodox clergy, and the making of such other provision as might be necessary for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, upon information, that in many of our Plantations, Colonies, and Factories beyond the seas, the provision for ministers was mean; and many other of our said Plantations, Colonies, and Factories, were wholly unprovided of a maintenance for ministers, and the public worship of God; and that, for lack of support and maintenance of such, many of his loving subjects wanted the administration of God's word and sacraments, and seemed to be abandoned to atheism and infidelity, and others of them to popish superstition and idolatry.”
The peculiar interest taken by King George the First, in the primary endeavour to evangelize the Hindoos, will appear from the following letters addressed to the missionaries by his Majesty.
“ George, by the Grace of God, King of Great Bri
tain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith,
&c. To the Reverend and Learned Bartholomew Ziegenbalg, and John Ernest Grundler, Missionaries
at Tranquebar in the East Indies. .“ Reverend and beloved,-Your letters, dated the 20th January of the present year, were most welcome to us; not only because the work undertaken by you, of converting the heathen to the Christian faith, doth, by the grace of God, prosper, but also because that in this our kingdom such a laudable zeal for the promotion of the Gospel prevails.
“ We pray you may be endued with health and strength of body, that you may long continue to fulfil your ministry with good success; of which, as we shall be rejoiced to hear, so you will always find us ready to succour you in whatever may tend to promote your work and to excite your zeal. We assure you of the continuance of our royal favour.
Given at our Palace of Hampton Court, the 23d
“ GEORGE R.
The King continued to cherish with much solicitude the interests of the mission after the death of Ziegenbalg; and in ten
years from the date of the foregoing letter, a second was addressed to the Members of the Mission, by his Majesty.
“ Reverend and beloved,– From your letters, dated Tranquebar, the 12th September 1725, which sometime since came to hand, we received much pleasure; since by them we are informed not only of your zealous exertions in the prosecution of the work committed to you, but also of the happy success which hath hitherto attended it, and which hath been graciously given of God. We return you thanks for these accounts; and it will be acceptable to us, if you
continue to communicate whatever shall occur in the progress of your mission. In the mean time, we pray you may enjoy strength of body and mind for the long continuance of your labours in this good work, to the glory of God, and the promotion of Christianity among the heathens; that its perpetuity may not fail in generations to come.
“ Given at our Palace at St. James's, the 23d February, 1727, in the 13th Year of our Reign.
“ GEORGE R."
The following is the translation of a letter of Archbishop Wake.
“ To Bartholomew Ziegenbalg and John Ernest
Grundler, Preachers of the Christian Faith, on the
Coast of Coromandel. " As often as I behold your letters, Reverend Brethren,