« السابقةمتابعة »
is little to be envied, whose patriotism would not gain force upon the plain of Marathon, or whose piety would not grow warmer among the ruins of Iona.'*
Though not strictly, in an earlier period of its history, a Cathedral Institution, the Church of Iona is entitled to be regarded as such, both from its distinctive character, as possessing an independent jurisdiction, and from having subsequently become the metropolitan Church of the Isles. As having annexed to it, accordingly, in both periods, the distinctive duties of a metropolitan Church, and designed to be the promoter and disseminator of learning in general, and more particularly religion, the Church of Iona may be proposed as an appropriate model for the Episcopal Church of this country in its present condition, where, in the providence of God, circumstances appear to favour its revival, untrammelled by civil connexion, as a sacred institution, free and independent, and which, were it properly supported by its members, might prove hereafter the source of the truest blessedness to Scotland, distracted by rival opinions and sects. But if the Scottish Episcopal Church indulges in the hope of carrying into effect more fully her holy mission, than she heretofore has done, she must-and in so expressing ourselves we refer to her members in general-be careful to ground her operations on the primitive Ecclesiastical models, such as the institution of Iona, and others in every part of the Christian world, otherwise she has no warrant to expect similar results to those which, in former times, followed the exertions of St Columba, and the body over which he and his successors presided. By adhering to the primitive system of founding a Cathedral institution, or what might be esteemed tantamount to it, during the residence of the Bishops of the Isles in Man, not only was the Church of Iona, the promoter of religion, civilization, and learning, but became the instrument of sending forth, from time to time, numerous bishops and priests, by whose piety and labours many heathen nations were evangelized, and submitted to the Christian faith. As the promise of our Lord remains unchanged, and retains, as formerly, all its original force, we have no reason to doubt that similar results would follow even now, were the Church and its members to pursue a similar course. In the colonies, which form a portion of our empire, this course has only lately been adopted, and no practical results of any consequence have followed, from the system formerly pursued. Now, however, that bishops have been consecrated * Johnson's Works, vol. viii. pp. 391, 392. 8vo, London, 1806.
to the colonies, and sent forth on their evangelical mission, invested with the proper ecclesiastical functions, and attended by subordinate priests, every prospect is held out of a different result, and a hope is indulged that, in both our own countrymen and heathen fellow-subjects, there will shortly be witnessed the effective operation of a divinely ordained and regulated system. In the colonies, also, as at home, one essential part of the design of the colonial mission consists in the founding of a Mother Church, wholly independent of lay interference and control, in which the pattern of holy things should be strictly maintained and held up for the imitation of parochial Churches, and in connexion with which labourers in the Christian vineyard should be instructed and sent forth as formerly, from Iona, to proclaim the glad tidings of salvation, and call out from heathenism, and a mere nominal profession of Christianity, a holy people ready for the day of God's power. All this cannot be accomplished without such a divine institution and apparatus as an Episcopate, involving in it a Mother and Metropolitan Church, and a proper staff of clergy acting under the sanction, and in obedience to the directions, of the bishop. No commensurate results, at least, have hitherto been produced by the missionary system (which has been hitherto pursued); nor will such a course, however well intentioned, we are persuaded, be attended in general by any practical results. And the same want of progression has been discovered in our own country when no positive active measures have been adopted to carry the divine system of the Church fully into effect. In Scotland, for instance, while the Episcopal Office has been, by God's good providence, retained, the due powers of the Episcopate have been long in abeyance, and partly from former persecution and later depression, the true character and claims of the Episcopal character are neither properly understood or consequently recognised by the lay members of the Scottish Episcopal Church. Were the high powers and authority of the Episcopate fully understood by the Scottish laity, it is impossible for a moment to suppose that their bishops would be left in their present unprovided condition, and be obliged to confine in a great measure their ministrations to some parochial charge, from which they obtain, in most cases, a very inadequate remuneration. In such an helpless, unendowed state, it is vain to expect that the latent divine powers of the Episcopate can be eliminated or exerted, or that the results, which can only be produced by an independent position, necessarily accompanied by the possession of a metropolitan Church, relieved from all lay con
trol, can ever be expected. In short, in the state to which the Scottish Episcopate has been reduced since the Revolution, the only legitimate subject of astonishment has been-and from which may be inferred the protecting care of its divine Head-that there still remains in this country an ecclesiastical body professing to be the Scottish branch of the Reformed Catholic Church, where a variety of circumstances, whether avowed persecution from her enemies, or want of proper support from her own members, have done their best to blot out her existence and remembrance from the earth.
Now, there is no just reason to conclude that a system adopted by the founder of the Church of Iona, or by the founders of all the metropolitan Churches of Christendom, and which has been attended with so beneficial an influence on the civil and religious interests of the countries where it has been practised, should not be again resumed in our own country and times. There surely must be something more than ordinarily effective in a system of ecclesiastical operations which seems, even under a corrupt form of Christianity, to entitle it to maintain its position and influence, and to propagate itself by virtue of its economical arrangements and prescribed course of operation. It cannot be supposed that what has been found available for maintenance and extension of its bounds and influence in a less pure form of Christianity, will fail when employed to diffuse more widely the blessings of the Reformed Catholic Church, still existing-for we may scarcely add, flourishing—in Scotland. Or are we forced to conclude, that the less truth a religious system retains, the more power it possesses to excite the charity and zeal of its members; or that one of the natural consequences of a purer Christianity is, to dry up the sources of that liberality which flowed so freely and bountifully at an earlier period in the history of the Church? We have already had occasion to state that Iona was liberally endowed by some of the ancient Scottish monarchs, and was further supported by liberal and frequent benefactions from other quarters; and as a natural consequence of these endowments, and the pious zeal of its recipients, that this ecclesiastical body were enabled, when placed beyond the reach of poverty and unecclesiastical control, to devote their time, their labours, and their means, to the promotion of religion and learning, and to the advancement in general of those arts which civilize and improve mankind. It is not too much surely to expect that, were the Episcopate and the Metropolitan Churches in this country duly provided for, and not made dependent as at present on contingent, and not very liberal, support,
the paralyzing compression which has hitherto impeded the developement and just exercise of the inherent powers of the one, and the selfpropagating tendency of the other, would disappear, and thus might the successful labours of the ancient Church of Iona be again witnessed, by the blessing of God, in the Episcopal Church of this country. How these results may again be obtained, will now form the subject of our few concluding remarks.
First, then, we would suggest that, in every diocese or united diocese in Scotland, the ancient Cathedral system be restored, and that every diocese should possess a large and appropriate building, to be permanently attached to the see as the Metropolitan or Cathedral Church, designed to serve as the seat or church of the bishop of the diocese for the time being, and of which he is to be made more peculiarly the head.
Secondly, We would suggest that in this diocesan church should be erected the bishop's throne or Episcopal seat, with stalls for the clergy of the diocese, or such of them as may have seats assigned to them, as in other cathedral churches, in virtue of some ecclesiastical office in the said church or diocese, or as marks of distinction.
Thirdly, The service of the Church should be daily read or chanted in the said Cathedral both morning and evening at the prescribed canonical hours, and the Holy Eucharist should be celebrated every Sunday, and, perhaps, also on every festival of the Church. It might further be desirable that the Scottish communion office, as the distinctive office of the Scottish Church, should be adopted at the usual time of celebration; while the Anglican office might be used at an earlier hour in the morning of each Sunday, or monthly, for the benefit of those who, from habit or other predilection, prefer that mode of administering the holy mysteries.
Fourthly, The proper choral service usually performed in other Cathedral Churches should be, if possible, introduced into the said metropolitan churches, and that, with this view, the clergy who usually officiate should be instructed in choral music, and a sufficient number of lay clerks and choristers should be provided from the funds of the Church, and instructed by the organist, &c., in anything appertaining to this most important branch of the Church services.
Fifthly, That a school should be attached to every cathedral church, of which one of the officiating clergy is to be the master, to instruct the choristers, and others who may be disposed to attend, in the usual branches of learning, and more especially of religious knowledge;
and that the said master, assisted by the organist, should give instruction to the choristers and lay clerks in sacred and choral music.
Sixthly, If circumstances should admit of it, that all candidates for holy orders should remain under the immediate eye of the bishop for some time previous to their admission to any ministerial function in the Church, and should receive from him, or some one deputed from him, instruction in the duties of the ministerial office, that they may be better able, when ordained, to comport themselves aright, with gravity and discretion, in the Church of God. All candidates for orders should be further obliged to attend daily the services of the Church, and where the ecclesiastical endowments admit of it, to reside in some building attached to the Cathedral, to learn dutiful subordination to the rulers and discipline of the church.
Seventhly, That one or more clergy be attached to the Cathedral, to act as a missionary or missionaries in the diocese, where either their services may be occasionally required, or for the purpose of extending the limits of the church, and forming congregations, to which they might afterwards be appointed.
Eighthly, That a suitable residence for the bishop be provided as near the Cathedral as possible, and that this building be kept in proper repair from the funds of the Church.
Ninthly, That when the funds of the said diocesan Church admit of it, another residence be provided for persons officially connected with the Church, as the usual officiating clergy while unmarried: an additional sum might be granted to those who do not avail themselves of this residence, from marriage or any other cause.
Tenthly, That due honour and obedience be at all times paid to the bishop, and that on his accession to the Episcopate of the diocese, the clergy renew their ordination vows of canonical obedience. The ancient customary marks of respect, which have been in all ages rendered to the prelates of the Church, to be adhered to by the clergy and members of the Scottish Episcopal Communion, which, though sometimes identical with civil forms of address, are of much higher origin and older date.
Eleventhly, That all the revenues of the diocesan Church, from whatever source they may be derived, be divided into four equal parts, of which one should be assigned to the bishop; a second to the officiating clergy, and in maintaining the service of the Church; a third to the repairs of the Ecclesiastical structures; and a fourth to be set apart for the poor.