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Copy of a Letter from the Under-Secretary, acknowledging the receipt of
Whitehall, July 25, 1837. SIR,—I am directed by Lord John Russell to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 24th inst., on the subject of the provisions of the Marriage Act, 1 Vict. 22, $ 36.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant, S. M. PHILLIPPS.
OFFOR'S LIFE OF TYNDALE.
DEAR SIR.-In Mr. George Offor's Memoir of William Tyndale, prefixed to the recent reprint of Tyndale's New Testament, I find the following passage (p. 7)
“ The ordination of William Tyndale took place at the conventual church of the priory of St. Bartholomew, in Smithfield, on the eleventh day of March, 1502, by Thomas, suffragan bishop of Pavaden, by authority of William Warham, bishop of London, and was ordained priest to the nunnery of Lambley, in the diocese of Carlisle,"
I do not intend to criticize the grammar of this passage, which I give exactly as it stands; but I would be glad to learn from you, or any of your correspondents, where Pavaden, the place of which this Thomas is said to have been suffragan, may be. Mr. Offor does not refer to any authority for the fact of Tyndale's ordination, and there. fore I cannot determine whether the mistake, which there is good ground for suspecting, be his own or that of his author.
In Wood's Athene Oxonienses, edited by Dr. Bliss, I find the following extract from Warham's Registry, which is doubtless the original source of the statement, but whether it was that from which Mr. Offor quoted, seems doubtful, from certain slight variations that the reader will at once discover :
“ Will. Tyndale, Carliol. dioc. ad tit. Domus monialium de Lambley, ordinatur presbiter, per D. Thomam Paraden Ep’m auctoritate Lond. Ep'i. xi. Martii 1503."
The letters v and r (especially in MS.) may easily be confounded, and therefore I do not say whether Pavaden or Paraden be the true reading; but I think it is clear that the word is, in either case, the abbreviation of an adjective (as Paradensem episcopum,) and cannot be the name of a place. Mr. Offor would probably have perceived this if he had seen the passage I have quoted from Dr. Bliss's additions to Wood; and as it is not there expressly stated that Thomas was a suffragan bishop, I take Mr. Offor's mention of this circumstance, coupled with the difference of the date, as a proof that he derived his information from some other source.
The mistake of putting Anglicised Latin adjectives for names of places is very common with Fox, and this led me to suspect the Acts and Monuments as the source of Mr. Offor's error ; but I do not find that the Martyrologist has made any mention of Tyndale's ordination.
Assuming Paralensis to be the right reading, the question occurs, what is the place to which this adjective belongs? In the act 26
Henry VIII. cap. 14, where the towns from which suffragan bishops were to take their titles are enumerated, I find a town called Pereth, but where it is, or was, I do not know. The bishop of Pereth, however, might perhaps have signed himself Peredensis or Paradensis, but it would be necessary to prove that this town was the title of a suffragap bishop before the act of Henry VIII., which was not passed for upwards of thirty years after the date assigned to Tyndale's ordination.
It is well known, however, that the English suffragan bishops often took their titles from foreign places, and towns in partibus infidelium ; thus there were bishops of Sidon, and bishops of Philadelphia; and it is remarkable that Thomas Welles, bishop of Sidon, was chaplain to Archbishop Warham, and was promoted to be prior of the church of St. Gregory, Canterbury, in the year 1505, the year after that prelate's translation from the see of London to the primacy.* Perhaps, therefore, this was the Thomas who ordained Tyndale, though how he came to be called Paradensis Episcopus remains to be explained. I remain, dear Sir, yours, &c.,
1. H. T.
ON CHURCH ACCOMMODATION.
SIR,—As the friends of our truly apostolical church have now begun to see the utmost necessity to provide church accommodation for the increased and increasing population, permit one who has deeply considered the subject to suggest an improvement uppon the present system of planning seats. I implore the attention of all interested, for I believe that it is this circumstance—nay, I had almost said, it is this circumstance alone-which causes our poorer brethren to secede from our apostolical church. Does not every person in a higher station of life obtain a seat for himself and family? I ask, then, why should not a poorer person obtain the same, if he be constant to his church ? But it will be immediately said, “Where is the possibility ?" No one can say it is an impossibility. If the dissenter want a pew, there is one at hand immediately. I wish that I could say the same for the churchman.
I have written this, Sir, without the slightest idea of creating any disunion in that best of societies, the Society for Building and Repairing of Churches, but only for the purpose of
furthering its objects, and increasing its annual subscriptions. It is an arrangement in all churches, that a certain number of seats should be left free. Why should it be so, if they can be all engaged? And, if they are all engaged, then is the time to begin building again. I have entered many dissenting chapels, as well as churches, for the purpose of discovering the best mode of arranging seats.
Dissenters have all their hearers facing them; and the people are not looking at each other during the service, except in the galleries, which it is impossible to avoid. This
See Wharton Anglia Sacra, tom. I. p. 790; Strype's Cranmer, p. 51, Oxford, 1812; or p. 36 of the folio edit.
is not the case in some of the new churches ; and in the old churches this fault is nearly universal.
As society is now constituted, it is utterly impossible to have our churches with open seats or benches. I submit it then for consideration, whether it would not be the far better plan of pewing our churches throughout. The pews ought to be not under three feet wide, in order that the proper and primitive posture of kneeling during prayer may be continued, (surely this is an important consideration ;) and the greatest care should be taken that one pew is not better for seeing and hearing than another.
To meet this, I would have, then, the pulpit and desk at the end, either in the middle, or one on each side ; and with respect to pews, the same number might be appropriated as heretofore, and the rest which were left free, why could not these be so far appropriated as to allow families the right of claiming them until the service had commenced? and then, if there are vacancies, the public might consider them as free.
With this plan in view, all pews ought to be made alike, and those not engaged might be left without doors. I believe this is adopted in St. Pancras church. In all new churches, if this system were kept sight of, no one pew would be better than another. The householder might have a pew for himself and another for his servants; the poor man might also have a pew for himself and family. Dissenters always have seats; why should not the members of the established church? Until this can be done, the church of England can never be said to be on fair ground.
Many admirable and unanswerable pamphlets &c. have lately appeared in defence of our apostolical church, but I believe no one has. touched upon the subject of my letter, which is the alone crying evil, I do not exaggerate when I say that nineteen out of twenty churches throughout the length and breadth of the land require new pewing, And this I mention without casting any reflection upon the archdeacons, as their duties only call upon them to see that churches are in good repair.
CONVERTED ROMAN-CATHOLIC PRIESTS. DEAR SIR-As I know there are many who are ready to suspect any one of popery who ventures to express doubt of the orthodoxy or sincerity of Roman-catholic priests that separate from the church of Rome, and as I understand that I have had my share of such insinuations, I have felt really thankful to see the letter of an Irish country curate in your May number. His extract from Mr. Crotty's tract is pretty strong proof of what I had asserted with regard to the loose notions entertained by some of these converts. Since then I have met with a printed letter, entitled “ Birr Reformation : a Letter of the
Vide Letter on the Conversion of Roman Catholics, Brit. Mag., April, 1837.
Rev. Mr. O'Keeffe to the Rev. Mr. Fisher, Galway." Mr. O'Keeffe, it appears, is a converted priest, and his letter contains an account of a Sunday passed in Birr, where he attended divine service in “ the independent catholic chapel,” on the 11th December, 1836, and heard Mr. W. Crotty (who had been his fellow student in Paris) preach a sermon, of which he gives a detailed abstract. Mr. O'Keeffe commences his account of it thus :-“ He took his text from St. Matthew, xviii. 20—- For where two or three,' &c.—and I can safely say I never heard a more instructive or persuasive discourse in my life. Indeed, Sir, I must candidly confess that Mr. Crotty has let in a flood
a of light on my mind, and confirmed me in the views you have already given me of the Christian church.” After some account of the commencement of Mr. Crotty's sermon, Mr. O'Keeffe proceeds :
“ He next shewed that all the Christian churches were equal, down to the seventh century, and that there was no contest for superiority, or for lording it over each other, until Bonaface III. set himself up as pope, or universal bishop. It is true, (said the reverend gentleman,) John, Bishop of Constantinople, attempted, some time before this, to usurp the universal supremacy. He was opposed by Gregory, Bishop of Rome, who says, in one of his letters against John to the Emperor Mauritius, I speak confidently, that whoever calls himself Universal Bishop, or desires to be so called, in the pride of his heart, he does forerun Antichrist.'* It is evident, then, (continued the reverend gentleman,) that the church of Rome has erred in setting up the pope as visible head of the church; and I am sorry to say, that the church of England has not had the advantage of the church of Rome in this respect, for in her thirty-seventh article she acknowledges the king or queen, no matter whether a little boy or little girl, to have the chief management in ecclesiastical affuirs, Now what a caricature (said the reverend gentleman) upon the church of Christ :-what a libel upon the gospel of Jesus! to make a woman or little girl head of the church, and to allow her to make or to unmake priests and bishops as she pleases. St. Paul says, “I suffer not a woman to usurp authority over the man.' And again he says, “I suffer not a woman to speak in the church,' and yet the church of England allows both, [does Mr. Crotty know this statement to be untrue?] and in so doing she has erred and fallen from the faith once delivered to the saints. When Henry VIII. threw off the authority of the pope, he set himself up as pope in his stead; and I am sure it was not very edifying to have witnessed his daughter Elizabeth bearding the Bishop of Ely, and telling him he was a proud prelate, and that it was she that made him, and that she would unfrock him whenever she pleased. I would therefore say, (said the reverend gentleman,) that both churches have erred in setting up a visible headship of the church. The church of Scotland (I mean the presbyterian church) has rejected this error; but she, too, is censurable in receiving her Regium Donum! This Regium Donum connects her with the state, and, what is more, it en
Greg. Mag. Lib. 6. Epis. 30. Voc. XII.--Sept. 1837.
courages Arianism within her pale. It was on this account that the Independents left the church of Scotland. They saw that royal bounties were introducing Arian ministers where they would not be otherwise supported; besides, they considered a religions establishment, or any connexion with the state, as Antichristian ; in this they were perfectly right, for the Saviour says, 'My kingdom is not of this world.' And it is the uphallowed connexion between church and state that has produced all the evils that have for years afflicted this country. When Christ sent forth his apostles, he told them, as we read in Matt. x., to · Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in their purses, nor scrip for their journey, nor two coats, nor shoes ; for the workman was worthy of his meat.' And in Luke, 22nd chap., he asks them, on their return, 'When I sent you out without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked you anything ? and they said, Nothing.' But it seems that the gospel cannot be preached now-a-days without what are termed “writs of rebellion,' without law suits and law costs; without guns and bayonets; without police and military; and without blood and massacre. What a libel upon the gospel of Christ, to witness a clergyman marching at the head of a party of police to collect his tithes, at point of the bayonet! St. Paul tells the Corinthians, Ist epistle, 9th chap., that he laboured with his own hands, lest he should become burthensome to him, and so hinder the gospel of Christ. Would to God (said the reverend gentleman) that the clergy of the establishment would think of this, and renounce a system so subversive of pure religion, and so opposite to the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. They are certainly the best friends the priests have, for the system of violence and oppression they are pursuing has excited frightful prejudices against protestantism in general, and given the priests powerful influence with the multitude.
say, then, the sooner this system is abolished the better; for tben, and not until then, will there be a chance of evangelizing the people, and overthrowing the reign of priestcraft and superstition in Ireland. The people are at present oppressed, and no people while oppressed or persecuted were ever yet evangelized. The Jews have clung to their religion for eighteen hundred years, under oppression and persecution; but now, when the nations seemed disposed to treat them with justice and kindness, we have every reason to hope that their restoration draws near. The black sons of Africa, whilst oppressed and treated like beasts of burden, have not been converted; but now, when the yoke of oppression is removed from them, we have reason to expect the speedy accomplishment of that glorious promise, Ethiopia shall soon stretch forth her hands unto God.' In like manner, (continued the reverend gentleman,) I say, when protestants cease to oppress the Roman catholics of this country, then, and not until then, have we reason to expect their spiritual emancipation,—then, and not until then, will the priests lose their influence with the people, and the people be brought to see the gross abominations, and soul-destroying heresies, that have been for centuries practised upon them by priests.”
Whether your readers may consider this very“ persuasive," I know not, but very instructive it truly is, and calculated to let in a flood of