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cannot then prevent the loss of harmony between abuses,” the hour will arrive when “ correction will the shepherd and his flock, the loss of his influence be applied with no sparing hand?” over their affections, the contempt of the clergy, and the decay of religion, from Tithes. You must It has frequently been said, that the “church is in amend the civil institution, or you cannot prevent the danger.” What is meant by the church? Or what religious mischief.
is it that is endangered? Is it meant that the Epis
copal form of church government is endangeredReviewing, then, the propositions and arguments that some religious revolution is likely to take place, which have been delivered in the present chapter- by which a Christian community shall be precluded propositions which rest upon the authority of the from adopting that internal constitution which it parties concerned, what is the general conclusion ? thinks best? This surely cannot be feared. The If Religious Establishments are constitutionally in- day is gone by, in England at least, when the abolijurious to Christianity, is not our establishment pro- tion of Prelacy could become a measure of state. ductive of superadded and accumulated injury? One community has its conference, and another its Let not the writer of these pages be charged with annual assembly, and another its independency, withenmity to religion because he thus speaks. Ah! out any molestation. Who, then, would molest the they are the best friends of the church who endea- | English Church because it prefers the government vour its amendment. I may be one of those who, in of bishops and deacons to any other? Is it meant the language of Lord Bexley, shall be regarded as that the doctrines of the church are endangered, or an enemy, because, in the exhibition of its evils, I that its liturgy will be prohibited ? Surely no. have used great plainness of speech.
But I cannot Whilst every other church is allowed to preach what help it. I have other motives than those which are doctrines it pleases, and to use what formularies affected by these censures of men; and shall be con- it pleases, the liberty will not surely be detent to bear my portion, if I can promote that puri- nied to the episcopal church. If the doctrines fication of a Christian church, of which none but the and government of that church be Christian and prejudiced or the interested deny the need. They true, there is no reason to fear for their stability. who endeavour to conceal the need may be the ad. Its members have superabundant ability to defend vocates, but they are not the friends of the church. the truth. What then is it that is endangered. Of The wound of the daughter of my people may not what are those who complain of danger afraid ? Is be slightly healed. It is vain to cry Peace, Peace, it meant that its civil immunities are endangered when there is no peace. What then will the reader, that its revenues are endangered? Is it meant that who has noticed the testimonies which have been its members will hereafter have to support their offered in this chapter, think of the propriety of such ministers without assistance from other churches ? statements as these ? The “establishment is the Is it feared that there will cease to be such things firmest support and noblest ornament of Christian- as rich deaneries and bishopricks? Is it feared that ity."* It “presents the best security under heaven the members of other churches will become eligible to for the preservation of the true apostolical faith in the legislature, and that the heads of this church this country.”+ “ Manifold as are the blessings for will not be temporal peers? In brief, is it feared which Englishmen are beholden to the institutions that this church will become merely one amongst of their country—there is no part of those institu- the many, with no privileges but such as are common tions from which they derive more important advan- to good citizens and good Christians ? These surely tages than from its church establishment."| Espe- are the things of which they are afraid. It is not cially what will the reader think of the language of for religious truth, but for civil immunities : It is Hannah More !-- Hannah More says of the esta- not for forms of church government, but for politiblished church, “ Here Christianity presents herself | cal pre-eminence: it is not for the church, but for neither dishonoured, degraded, nor disfigured;" the church establishment. Let a man, then, when he Bishop Watson says of its creed, that it is “a moto joins in the exclamation, The church is in danger! ley monster of bigotry and superstition.” Hanrah present to his mind distinct ideas of his meaning and
“ Here Christianity is set before us in of the object of his fears. If his alarm and his sorher original purity;" Archdeacon Blackburn row are occasioned, not for religion, but for politics 7s, that "the forms of the church, having been -not for the purity and usefulness of the church, righed in the balance of the sanctuary, are found but for its immunities--not for the offices of its eatly wanting.” Hannah More says, “ She has ministers, but for their splendours-let him be at en completely rescued from that encumbering load peace. There is nothing in all this for which the ader which she had so long groaned, and delivered | Christian needs to be in sorrow or in fear. om her heavy bondage by the labours of our bless- And why? Because all that constitutes a church, A reformers; "S Dr Lowth says, that the reforma- as a Christian community, may remain when these ion from Popery "stopped in the midway." Han- things are swept away. There may be prelates jah More says, “We here see Christsanity in her without nobility; there may be deans and archwhole consistent character-in all her fair and just deacons without benefices and patronage ; there may proportions—as she came from the hands of her be pastors without a legal provision ; there may be divine author;" Dr Watson calls her creed “a a liturgy without a test. scarecrow, dressed up of old by philosophers and In the sense in which it is manifest that the Popes." To say that the language of this good phrase, “the church is in danger," is ordinarily woman is imprudent and improper, is to say very to be understood that is, “ the establishment is in little. Yet I would say no more. Her own lan- danger"--the fears are undoubtedy well founded : guage is her severest censurer. When will it be the danger is real and imminent. It may not be sufficiently remembered that the evils of a system immediate perhaps : perhaps it may not be near at can neither be vejled nor defended by praise? When hand; but it is real, imminent, inevitable.
The will it be remembered that, if we “contend for establishment is indeed in dan yer; and I believe
that no advocacy, however zealous, that no support, • Dr Howler, Bishop of London : Chargr, 1814, p. 25.
however determined, that no power, however great, ! On the Nature of Schist, by C. Daubeny, Archdeacon of will preserve it from destruction. If the declaraSarum, p. 153.
tions which have been cited in this chapter be true First words of Southey's Book of the Church, Moral Sketches, 3d edit. p. 90.
--if the reasonings which bave been offered in this
OF VOLUNTARY PAYMENT
and in the last be just, who is the man that, as a church, one truth, however, must be added ; and it Christian, regrets its danger, or would delay its is a solemn truth— The increase is not attributable fall? He may wish to delay it as a politician ; he to the state religion, but has taken place notwi bir may regret it as an expectant of temporal advan- standing it is a state religion. I appeal to the es. tages; but, as a Christian, he will rejoice.
perience of good men: has the amendment been the Supposing the doctrines and government of the effect of the establishment as such ! Has the polichurch to be sound, it is probable that its stability tical connexion of the church occasioned the amend. would be increased by what is called its destruction. ment or promoted it! Nay-Has the amendment It would then only be detached from that alliance been encouraged by those on whom the political with the state which encumbers it, and weighs it connexion had the greatest influence ? No: the down, and despoils its beauty, and obscures its reader, if he be an observer of religious affairs, brightness. Contention for this alliance will even- knows that the state alliance is so far from baving tually be found to illustrate the proposition, that a effected a reformation, that it does not even regard nian's greatest enemies are those of his own house- the instruments of that reformation with complahold. H is the practical enemy of the church who
cency endeavours the continuance of its connexion with the state : except indeed that the more zealous the endeavour, the more quickly, it is probable, the connexion will be dissolved; and therefore, though such
CHAPTER XVI. persons mean not so, neither do their hearts think 80,” yet they may thus be the agents, in the hand of
OF LEGAL PROVISION FOR CHRISTIAN TEACHERS God, of hastening the day in which she shall be
UNPAID YIpurified from every evil thing ; in which she shall arise and shine, because her light is come, and because the glory of the Lord is risen upon her.
Compulsory payment America-Legal: provision for one Let him, then, who can discriminate between the
church unjust-Payment of Tithes by dissenters-- Tithess church and its alliances, consider these things. Let property of the church"- Voluntary payment The syeten him purify and exalt his attachment. If his love to
of remuneration-Qualifications of a minister of the gospel
-Unpaid ministry--Days of greater purity. the church be the love of a Christian, let him avert eis eye from every thing that is political ; let his If some or the observations of the present chaphopes and fears be excited only by religion; and let
ter are not accurately classed with political subjects, his exertions be directed to that which alone ought I have to offer the apology that the intimacy of their to concern a Christian church, its purity and its connexion with the preceding discussions, appears to usefulness.
afford a better reason for placing them here, than an
adherence to system affords for placing them eiseIn concluding a discussion, in which it has been
where. “ The substance of method is often saeri. needful to utter with plainness unwelcome truths, ficed to the exterior show of it." and to adduce testimonies which some readers may wish to be concealed, I am solicitous to add the conviction, with respect to the minis'ers of the English
LEGAL PROVISION. Church, that there is happily a diminished ground of
By one of those instances which happily are not complaint and reprehension—the conviction that,
unfrequent in the progress of human opinion from wbilst the liturgy is unamended and unrevised, the
error to truth, the notion of a divine right on the number of ministers is increased to whom temporal
part of any Christian teachers to a stated portion of things are secondary motives, and who endeavour to
the products of other men's labours, is now nearly be faithful ministers of one common Lord : the con
given up. + There was a time when the advocate of viction too, with respect to other members of the the claim would have disdained to refer for its found. church, that they are collectively advancing in the ation to questions of expediency or the law of the Christian path, and that there is an “evident exten- land. And he probably as little thought that the tension of religion within her borders.” Many of divine right would ever have been given up by its these, both of the teachers and of the taught, are advocates, as his successors now think that they have persons with whom the writer of these pages makes fallacious grounds in reasoning upon public utility. to pretensions of Christian equality-yet even to Thus it is that the labours of our predecessors in the these he would offer one monitory suggestion- They cause of Christian purity have taken a large portion are critically situated with reference to the political of labour out of our hands. They carried the outalliance of the church. Let them beware that they works of the citadel; and whilst its defenders hare mingle not, with their good works and faith un
retired to some inner stronghold, it becomes the feigned, any confederacy with that alliance, which
business of our day to essay the firmness of its walls. will assuredly be laid in the dust. That confederacy The writer of these pages may essay them in vain; has ever had one invariable effect-to diminish the Christian brightness of those who are its partizans. • Bishop Warburton. It will have the same effect upon them. If they are
+ Yet let it not be forgotten that it is upon this exploded
notion of the divine right that the legal right is founded. The desirous of superadding to their Christianity the
law did not give Tithes to the clergy because the provision privileges and emoluments of a state religion—if was expedient, but because it was their divine right. It is they endeavour to retain in the church the interests
upon this assumption that the law is founded. See Statutes
at Large ; 29 Hen. VIII. c. 20. Mem. in the MS. of both worlds-if, together with their desire to
“ The whole was received into a common fund, for the four. serve God with a pure heart, they still cling to the fold purpose of supporting the clergy, repairing the church, advantages which this unholy alliance brings—and,
relieving the poor, and entertaining the pilgrim and the stran.
ger."-" The payment of Tithes bad at first been voluntary, contending for the faith, contend also for the esta
though it was considered as a religious obligation. King Ethel. blishment--the effect will be bad as the endeavour will wolf, the father of Alfred, subjected the whole kingdom to it be vain ; bad, for it will obstruct their own progress
by a legislative act." Southey's Book of tho Church ; c. 6. Mem. and the progress of others in the Christian path ; Wickliffe s followers asserted, * tbat Tithes were purely and vain, for the fate of that establishment is scaled. eleemosynary, and might be withheld by the people upon a In making these joyful acknowledgments of the delinquency in the pastor, and transferred to another ac plea
Brodie's llistory of the British Empire. Introduction increase of Christianity within the borders of the Mem. in the MS.
in the MS.
but he doubts not that before some power their de- neral tax for the support of a board of physicians, fenders, as they have hitherto retired, will continue should it deem that step conducive to national health.” to retire, until the whole fortress is abandoned. Far other-No man's Christian liberty is invaded, no Abandoned to the enemy? Oh no.
0.—He is the friend man's conscience is violated, by paying a tax to a of a Christian community, who induces Christian board of physicians; but many a man's religious principles into its practice.
liberty may be invaded, and many a man's conscience In considering the evidence which Christianity may be violated, by paying for the promulgation of affords respecting the lawfulness of making a legal | doctrines which he thinks Chrictianity condemns. provision for one Christian church, I would not refer Whither will the argument lead us! If a Papal to those passages of Scripture which appear to bear state thinks it will promote piety to demand contriupon the question, whether Christian ministrations butions for the splendid celebration of an auto-da-fé, should be absolutely free: partly, because I can add would Protestant citizens act rightly in contributing! nothing to the often urged tendency of those pas- Or would the state act_rightly in demanding the sages, and partly, because they do not all concern contribution ! Or has a Bramin state a right to imthe question of legal provision. The man who thinks pose a tax upon Christian residents to pay for the Christianity requires that those who labour in the fagots of Hindoo immolations ? The antecedent gospel should live of the gospel, does not therefore question in all these cases is— Whether the immolathink that a legal provision should be made for the tion, and the auto-da-fé, and the system of doctrines, ministers of one exclusive church.
are consistent with Christianity! If they are not, One thing seems perfectly clear—that to receive the citizen ought not to contribute to their practice from their hearers and from those who heard them or diffusion; and by consequence, the state ought not, a compulsory payment for their preaching, is not to compel him to contribute. Now, for the purtotally alien to all the practices of the apostles, and poses of the present argument, the consistency of any to the whole tenor of the principles by which they set of doctrines with Christianity cannot be proved. It were actuated. Their one single and simple motive is to no purpose for the Unitarian to say, My system in preaching Christianity, was to obey God, to do is true ; nor for the Calvinist or Arminian or Episgood to man; nor do I believe that any man ima- copalian to say, My system is true. The Unitarian gines it possible that they would have accepted of a has no Christian right to compel me to pay him for compulsory remuneration from their own hearers, preaching Unitarianism, nor has any religious comand especially from those who heard them not. We munity a right to compel the members of another to are therefore entitled to repeat the observation, that pay him for promulgating his own opinions. this consideration affords evidence against the moral If by any revolution in the religious affairs of this lawfulness of instituting such compulsory payment. country, another sect was elevated to the pre-emiWhy would not, and could not, the apostles have nence, and its ministers supported by a legal provi. accepted such payment, except for the reason that it sion, I believe that the ministers of the present ought not to be enforced? No account, so far as church would think it an unreasonable and uuchrisI perceive, can be given of the matter, but that, tian act to compel them to pay the preachers of the the system is contrary to the purity of Christian new state religion. Would not a clergyman think practice.
himself aggrieved, if he were obliged to pay a PriestAn English prelate writes thus : " It is a question ley, and to aid in disseminating the opinions of Priestwhich might admit of serious discussion, whether the ly?—That same grievance is now inflicted upon other majority of the members of any civil community The rule is disregarded, to do as we would be have a right to compel all the members of it to pay
done by. towards the maintenance of a set of teachers ap- Let us turn to the example of America. In Ame. pointed by the majority to preach a particular system rica the government does not oblige its citizens to of doctrines.' No discussion could be entertained pay for the support of preachers. Those who join respecting this right, except on the ground of its themselves to any particular religious community Christian unlawfulness. A legislature has a right to commonly contribute towards the support of its impose a general tax to support a government, whe- teachers, but there is no law of the state which comther a minority approves the tax or not; and the pels it. This is as it should be. The government bishop here rightly assumes that there is an ante- which obliged its citizens to pay, even if it were left cedent question-whether it is morally lawful to to the individual to say to what class of preachers oblige men to pay teachers whom they disapprove his money should be given, would act upon unsound It is from the want of taking this question into the principles. It may be that the citizen does not apaccount, that enquirers have involved themselves in prove of paying ministers at all ; or there may be fallacious reasonings. It is not a question of the no sect in a country with which he thinks it right to right of taxation, but of the right of the magistrate hold communion. How would the reader himself be to oblige men to violate their consciences. Of those situated in Spain perhaps, or in Turkey, or in Hinwho have regarded it simply as a question of taxa
dostan? Would he think it right to be obliged to tion, and who therefore have proceeded upon falla- encourage Juggernaut, or Mahomet, or the Pope ! cious grounds, the author of the “ Duties of Men in But passing from this consideration : it is after all Society” is one. He says, If a state thinks that said, that in our own country the individual citizen national piety and virtue will be best promoted by does not pay the ministers of
the state religion. I am consigning the whole sum raised by law to teachers glad that this seeming paradox is advanced, because of a particular description—it has the same right to it indicates that those who advance it confess that to adopt this measure, as it would have to impose a ge- make them pay would be wrong. Why else should
they deny it? It is said, then, tbat persons who pay • See Quarterly Review, No. 58.
tithes do not pay the established clergy; that tithes u There was a party in the nation who conceived that every are property held as a person holds an estate ; that man should not only be allowed to choose bis own religion, but if tithes were taken off, rents would advanco to the contribute as he himself thought proper towards the support of the pasts whose duties be exacted. The party, however,
same amount; that the buyer of an estate pays so does not appear to have been great. Yet let us not despise the much the less for it because it is subject to tithes~ opinion, but remember that it has been taken up by Dr Adam and therefore that neither owner nor occupier pays Smith himself as a sound one, and been acted upon successfully in a vast empire, the United States of America."--Brodie's
any thing. This is specious, but only specious. The History of the British Empire, v. 4, p. 365. Mem. in the MS. landholder“ pays" the clergyman just as he pays the
tax-gatherer. If taxes were taken off, rents would I state religion inexpedient, can hardly think it wrong advance just as much as if tithes were taken off; And if he do not think it wrong, why should he be and a person may as well say that he does not pay so zealous in opposing it, or why should he expec taxes as that he does not pay tithes.- The simple the church to make concessions in his favour! If, oi fact is, that an order of clergy are, in this respect, in the other hand, he sacrifices his conscience to his the same situation as the body of stockholders who fears. it is obvious that, before he reprehends the live upon their dividends. They are supported by establishment, he should rectify himself. He should the country. The people pay the stockholder in the leave the mote, till he has taken out the beam, form of taxes, and the clergy man in the form of tithes. Perhaps there are some who, seriously disapprov. Suppose every clergymau in England were to leave ing of the state religion, suspect that in Christian the country to-morrow, and to cease to derive any integrity they ought not to pay to its support—ard income from it, it is manifest that the income which yet are not so fully convinced of this, or do not so they now derive would be divided amongst those who fully act upon the conviction, as really to decline to remain—that is, that those who now pay would ceas pay. If they are convinced, let them remember their to pay. Rent, and Taxes, and Tithes, are in these responsibility, and not know their Master's will in respects upon one footing. Without now enquiring vain. If these are not faithful, where shall fidelity whether they are right, they are all payments-- be found ? How shall the Christian churches be something by which a man does not receive the purified from their defilements, if those who see and whole of the product of his labour.
deplore their defilements, contribute to their conThe argument, therefore, which affirms that dis- tinuance ? Let them show that their principles are senters from the state religion do not pay to that worthy a little sacrifice. Fidelity on their part, religion, appears to be wholly fallacious; and being and a Christian submission to the consequences, such, we are at liberty to assume, that to make them might open the eyes and invigorate the relipay is indefensible and unchristian. For we repeat gious principle of many more: and at length the the observation, that he who is anxious to prove they objection to comply with these unchristian demand: do not pay, evinces his opinion that to compel them might be so widely extended, that the legi-lature to pay would be wrong.
would be induced to withdraw its legal provision; There is some injustice in the legal provision for and thus one main constituent of an ecclesiastical one church. The episcopalian, when he has paid his system, which has grievously obstructed, and still teacher, or rather when he has contributed that por- grievously obstructs, the Christian cause, might be tion towards the maintenance of his teacher which by the present systein becomes his share, has no As an objection to this fidelity of practice it has more to pay. The adherent to other churches has to been said, that since a man rents or buys an nstate pay his own preacher and his neighbour's. This for so much less because it is subject to tithes, it is does not appear to be just. The operation of a legal an act of dishonesty, afterwards, to refuse to pay provision is, in effect, to impose a double tax upon them. The answer is this that no dishonesty can one portion of the community without any fault on be committed whilst the law esacts payment by distheir part. Nor is it to any purpose to say, that the traint; and if the law were altered, there is no plane dissenter from the episcopalian church imposes the for dishonesty. Besides, the desire of saving money tax on himself: so he does; but it is just in the does not enter into the refuser's motives. He does same sense as a man imposes a penalty upon himself not decline to pay from motives of interest, but from when he conforms to some prohibited point of Chris- motives of duty. tian duty. A papist, two or three centuries ago, It is, however, argued that the legislature has no might almost as well have said that a protestant im- right to take away tithes any more than it has a posed the stake on himself, because he might have right to deprive citizens of their lands and houses; avoided it if he chose. It is a voluntary tax in no and that a man's property in tithes is upon a footing other way than as all other taxes are voluntary. It with his property in an estate. Now we answer is a tax imposed by the state as truly as the window that this is not true in fact; and that, if it were, it tax is imposed, because a man may, if he pleases, would not serve the argument. live in darkness; or as a capitation tax is imposed, It is not true in fact.-If tithes were a property, because a man may, if he pleases, lose his head. just as an estate is a property, why do men complain
But what is he who conscientiously disapproves of of the scandal of pluralities? Who ever hears of a state religion to do? Is he, not withstanding his the scandal of possessing three or four estates? judgment, to aid in supporting that religion, because | Why, again, does the law punish simoniacal conthe law requires it? No: for then, as it respects tracts ? Who ever hears of simoniacal contracts him, the obligation of the law is taken away. He for lands and houses? The truth is, that tithes are is not to do what he believes Christianity forbids, regarded as religious property. The property is because the state commands it. If public practice legally recognised, not for the sake of the individual be a criterion of the public judgment, it may be who may possess it, but for the sake of religion. concluded that the number of those who do thus The law cares nothing for the men, except so far as believe respecting our state religion, is very small; | they are ministers. Besides, tithes are a portion of for very few decline actively to support it. Yet | the produce only of the land. The tithe-owner cannot when it is considered how numerous the disscnters walk over an estate, and say of every tenth acre this from the English establishment are, and how cm- is mine. In truth he has not, except by consent of phatically some of them disapprove the forms or the landholder, any property in it at all; for the doctrines of that establishment, it might be imagined landholder may, if he pleases, refuse to cultivate it that the number who decline thus to support it -occasion it to produce nothing; and then the would, in consistency, be great. How are we to ac- tithe-owner has no interest or property in it what. count for the fact as it is? Are we to suppose that
And in what sense can that be said to be the objections of these persons to the establishment property, the possession of which is at the absolute are such as do not make it a case of conscience discretion of another man! whether they shall support it or not? Or are we But grant, for a moment, that tithes are property. to conclude that they sacrifice their consciences to Is it affirmed that whatever property a man posthe terrors of a distraint ? If no case of conscience sesses, cannot be taken from him by the legislature! is involved, the dissenter, though he may think tha | Suppose I go to Jamaica and purchase a slave, and
bring him to England, has the law no right to take formable with the dignity of the Christian ministry, this property away? Assuredly it has the right, with its usefulness, or with the requisitions of the and it exercises it too. Now, so far as the argu- Christian law. ment is concerned, the cases of the slave-holder and And here I am disposed, in the outset, to acknowof the tithe owner are parallel. Compulsory main-ledge that the question of payment is involved in an tenance of Christian ministers, and compulsory re- antecedent question—the necessary qualifications of tention of men in bondage, are both inconsistent with a Christian ininister. If one of these necessary Christianity; and as such, the property which con- qualifications be, that he should devote his youth sists in slaves and in tithes, may rightly be taken and early manhood to theological studies, or to stuaway-unless, indeed, any man will affirm that any dies or exercises of any kind, I do not perceive how property, however acquired, cannot lawfully be the propriety of voluntary payment can be disputed; taken from the possessor. But when we speak of for, when a man who might otherwise have fitted taking away the property in tithes, we do not refer himself, in a counting-house or an office, fur procuto the consideration that it has been under the sanc- ring his after-support, employs his time necessarily tion of the law itself that that property has been pur- in qualifying himself for a Christian instructor, it is chased or obtained. The law has, in reality, been indispensable that he should be paid for his instrucaccessory to the offence, and it would not be decent or tions. Or if, after he has assumed the ministerial right to take away the possession which has resulted function, it be his indispensable business to devote from that offence, without offering an equivalent. I all or the greater portion of his time to studies or would not advise a legislature to say to those persons other preparations for the pulpit, the same necessity who, under its own sanction, have purchased slaves, to remains. He must be paid for his ministry, because, turn upon them and say, I am persuaded that sla- , in order to be a minister, he is prevented froin mainvery is immoral, and therefore I command you to taining himself. set your slaves at liberty ;-and because you have no But the necessary qualifications of a minister of moral right to hold them, I shall not grant you a the gospel cannot here be discussed. We pass on, compensation. Nor, for the same reasons, would therefore, with the simple expression of the sentiI advise a legislature to say so to the possessor of ment, that how beneficial svever a theological educatithes.
tion and theological enquiries may be in the exerBut what sort of a compensation is to be offered ? cise of the office, yet that they form no necessary Not surely an amount equivalent to the principal qualifications ;—that men may be, and that some money, computing tithes as interest. The com- are, true and sound ministers of that gospel, withpensation is for life interest only. The legisla- out them. ture would have to buy off, not a freehold ut an Now, in enquiring into the Christian character annuity. The tithe-owner is not like the slave- and tendency of payment for preaching Christianholder, who can bequeath his property to another.ity, one position will perhaps be recognised as uniWhen the present incumbent dies, the tithes, as versally true--that if the same ability and zeal in the property, cease to exist-until it is again appropri- exercise of the ministry could be attained without ated to an incumbent by the patron of the living. payment as with it, the payment might reasonably This is true except in the instances of those depio- and rightly be forborne. "Nor will it perhaps be disrable practices, the purchase of advowsons, or of any puted, that is Christian teachers of the present day other by which individuals or bodies acquire a pecu- were possessed of some good portion of the qualitiniary interest in the right of disposal.
cations, and were actuated by the motives, of the first The notion that tithes are a "property of the teachers of our religion, stated remuneration would church," is quite a fiction. In this sense, what is the not be needed. If love for mankind, and the“ ability church! If no individual man has his property
which God giveth," were strong enough to induce taken away by a legislative abolition of tithes, it is and to enable men to preach the gospel without payunmeaning to talk of “the church” having lost it. ment, the employment of money as a motive would
It is, perhaps, a vain thing to talk of how the be without use or propriety. Remuneration is a conlegislature might do a thing which perhaps it may trivance adapted to an imperfect state of the Chrisnot resolve, for ages, to do at all. But if it were to i tian church :- nothing but imperfection can make it take away the right to tithes as the present incum- deedful; and, when that imperfection shall be rebents died, or as the interests of the present owners moved, it will cease to be needful again. ceased, there would be no reason to complain of in- These considerations would lead us to expect, even justice, whatever there might be of procrastinating antecedently to enquiry, that some ill effects are atthe fulfilment of a Christian duty.
tendant upon the system of remuneration. RespectWhether a good man, knowing the inconsistency | ing these effects, one of the advocates of a legal proof forced maintenance with the Christian law, ought vision holds language which, though it be much too to accept a proffered equivalent for that maintenance, strong, nevertheless contains much truth. “ Upon the is another consideration. If it is wrong to retain it, voluntary plan," says Dr Paley,“ preaching, in time, it is not obvious how it can be right, or how at least would become a mode of begging. With what sinit can avoid the appearance of evil, to accept money cerity or with what dignity can a preacher (lispense for giving it up." It is upon these principles that the truths of Christianity, whose thoughts are perthe religious community who decline to pay tithes, petually solicited to the reflection how be may indecline also to receive them. By legacy or other- crease his subscription ! His eloquence, if he pos. wise, the legal right is sometimes possessed by these sess any, resembles rather the exhibition of a player persons, but their moral discipline requires alike a who is computing the profits of his theatre, than the refusal to rec ive or to pay.
simplicity of a man who, feeling himself the awful
expectations of religion, is seeking to bring others VOLUNTARY PAYMENT.*
to such a sense and understanding of their duty as That this system possesses many advantages over may save their souls.-He, not only whose success a legal provision we have already seen. But this but whose subsistence depends upon collecting and does not imply that even voluntary payment is con- pleasing a crowd, must resort to other arts than the
acquirement and communication of sober and profit• “Thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise,
able instruction. For a preacher to be thus at the and perverteth the words of the righteous."-Exod. xxii. 8. Mem. in the MS.
mercy of his audience, to be obliged to adapt his doc