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to suppress an intervening clause, even in the work of a dissenter, which only recommends politicians to interweave religion with their laws, I certainly feel startled at such sensitive sectarianism.
Besides, if Mr. Noel justify, as he has done, every denomination he has alluded to, in allowing their piety, disinterestedness, conscience, and sincerity, will it require any greater strength of candour in him to admit the same respecting some of those “unbrotherly" churchmen to whom he alludes, as separating from these societies? I certainly think I hate bigotry as well as schism ; but is it not possible that churchmen who are as jealous about separation from the church of God as Mr. Noel may be about separation from his self-constituted, though they may be valuable, criteria of church unity, may have as great hatred to separation as “pious dissenters” may have to the national church ? and may, in consequence, try to avoid everything that they may fear will tend to its injury? Before Mr. N. can scripturally censure churchmen for separating from his criterion of unity, he ought, in fairness, to convince them that they are duly purged from the society of those of whom St. Paul says, “ Mark and avoid them.”
It may be that there are difficulties connected with this subject which require to be handled with caution, and in deciding upon which one would hesitate to cultivate a dogmatical spirit. I have no hesitation, however, in expressing it as my decided opinion that if “ essays" are written, and “prizes” awarded, in conformity with the sentiments contained in Mr. Noel's “ Tract,” the result will be that, instead of developing, exposing, and rooting out schism from the church of Christ, the schism condemned in scripture will be increased to an extent hitherto unknown; and that instead of there being the peace which Mr. N. so ardently desires, there will be fierce and protracted strife.
Sir,-Several of the clergy having expressed an intention not to give to the registrar any other notice than that they “ have buried a dead body without a certificate,” I request that you will give insertion in your Magazine to the following letter which I have had occasion to address to a neighbouring clergyman. It would give me great satisfaction to be instrumental towards inducing my clerical brethren to reconsider the subject.
A RURAL DEAN. “ Dear Sir,—You apply to me, as rural dean, upon a point connected with the new registration; if, however, you should in this respect be deemed not to have rendered due obedience to the law, it will be a civil rather than an ecclesiastical offence, which makes me the more desirous of putting you in possession of my opinion upon the case stated to me by you, lest a similar case should hereafter be brought before me in the form of an information and complaint for my decision (jointly with some other gentleman) as a justice of the peace, under section 45.
“ By section 27, the registrar, immediately upon registering any death, or as soon thereafter as he shall be required so to do, shall deliver a certain certificate; and in case such certificate shall not be delivered to the clergyman burying any dead body, the particulars stated in schedule E will be a good and sufficient guide with respect
to the quantum of information which the clergyman ought to convey by his notice to the registrar. Combining schedules E and G, the notice might be in this form:
'I, Gilbert Elliott, Vicar of Barming, in the county of Kent, do hereby give you notice, that, on the seventh day of March, 1836, the body of Henry Hastings was buried by me, for which no certificate of registration was delivered to me. Witness my hand, this eighth day of March, 1836. GILBERT ELLIOTT, Vicar,'s
The foregoing will indicate to the registrar the inquiries which he ought to make in order to “ inform himself carefully” of such death, pursuant to the 18th section. This, no doubt, was the meaning and intention of the legislature in enacting the 27th section; but unless the name of the person buried without the registrar's certificate be mentioned, it will, in my opinion, be such an evasion of the law as will induce a liability to the penalty.
But I do not think that it is incumbent upon the clergyman to give all such particulars as the registrar is required to enter; for they are of such a nature as not of necessity to come to our knowledge; the rank and profession, and the cause of death, may be unknown to us, and we have no authority to make inquiries respecting them, if we should be willing so to do; this is the peculiar duty of the registrar, and of him only.
It is true that the act prescribes no specific form of notice for our use; but in each of those annexed to it for other persons, and relating to death, schedules E and F, the Christian and surnames are mentioned, from which our own duty may be inferred.
“ And it has, at different times, been declared in courts of law, that' All acts of parliament, as well private as general, shall be taken by a reasonable construction, to be collected out of the words of the acts themselves, according to the true intent and meaning of the makers of them,' “ The language of an act of parliament is not to be examined with a critical eye, but according to its plain and obvious meaning. If we can find in a statute expressions capable of an intelligible explanation, it is our duty to give effect to them, according to the obvious intention of the legislature, and not according to a critical and literal interpretation.” “ The spirit of the act, and intent of the legislature, ought to be regarded in the construction thereof."
As you ask my opinion, I will candidly add a few observations upon the impolicy of throwing obstacles in the way of those who have the administration of the law in this respect, by withholding from the registrar the name of the deceased, which alone will enable him to make the necessary inquiries. So long the measure remained in the form of a bill, it was open to all the censures of those persons who were hostile to it; but from the moment it received the sanction of the three branches of the legislature, and was thereby made a part of the law of the land, it became the more especial duty of the clergy, in this as in all other respects, both by precept and example, to inculcate subjection unto the higher powers. Nor can resistance on our part now be considered advisable, even for the purpose of trying the question in a court of law; because, complaint having been made before the justices at Leeds against the Rev. Edward Taylor, curate, for having refused to give notice of the name of the person buried without certificate, that gentleman was, on the 13th of September last, convicted in a penalty of five guineas, and gave notice of appeal.
R, D. October 13th, 1837.
TITHE COMMUTATION ACT. SIR, I have read in your number for this month, an article on the Tithe Commutation Act, which the author does me the honour to say was suggested by a pamphlet of mine on the same subject. It appears that the result of the investigation which he lays before
readers confirms the general correctness of the conclusion to which I had arrived-viz., that the operation of the Tithe Act must lead, in the course of years, to the utter destitution of the clergy; but that it does not fully bear me out in the observation which I had made, that vicarages would be more seriously affected by the working of the act than rectories.
Perhaps it may not be uninteresting to assign what appears to me to be the reasons of this apparent discrepancy:
It is, I think, to be referred, in the first place, to the difference of the periods from which the facts have been selected on which our arguments have been constructed. The argument of your correspondent goes to shew what would have been the result had the Tithe Act commenced its operation in 1536; mine to shew what would have been its operation had it been carried into effect in 1705.
It is quite clear that the difference in the quantity of vicarial tithe produce, as compared with great tithe produce, must depend principally upon the system of cultivation pursued. Land cannot produce great and small tithe at the same time. If, therefore, an altered system of cultivation introduce crops which yield small tithe to the exclusion or diminution of those which yield great tithe, it follows that the increased value of the small tithe will be coincident in time with the period at which the altered system of cultivation is introduced.
Now, the altered system of cultivation which tends so much to increase the value of vicarages was not introduced till about the middle of the last century. The turnip was not general as a field crop before 1750, and the potato, the cabbage, and mangel-wurzel not till much later. England had hardly ceased to export corn at the close of the century. We must not expect to find the effect
produced before the cause had time to operate; and therefore if we would put it to the test whether vicarial tithe is or is not increasing in value, in a much higher ratio than great tithe, we should institute a comparison between them from 1750, or thereabouts, rather than from so remote a period as 1536.
This appears to me to be the principal reason why your correspondent's argument does not shew that vicarages will be so much more affected by the Tithe Act than rectories, as I imagine will be found to be the result.
But there is another reason which must be mentioned. Your correspondent's comparison is instituted between a certain number of vicarages and the same number of rectories ; mine between the great and small tithe of the same parish. In his comparison, the difference in the increase of value appears only from the actual increase in the value of the vicarages; for rectories are not diminished in value by VOL. XII.- Dec. 1837.
the increased value of small tithe. A rectory includes the small tithe as well as the great tithe, and what is lost to the great tithe by a change of cultivation is made up by an increase of the small tithe.
But where a comparison is instituted between the great tithe and the small tithe of the same parish, there the difference in the increase of value is seen not simply in the increased value of the small tithe. This shews but one half the difference. The great tithe, in this case, does not, as in the case of a rectory, gain anything from the increased value of the small; but quite contrary. Whatever is added to the small tithe is subtracted from the great. Hence it is, that the difference between the increasing value of small and great tithe becomes much more apparent when the comparison is made between the great and small tithe of the same parish than when it is made between a rectory and a vicarage.
Your faithful servant, H. T. P.
MR. HOUGH AND DR. WISEMAN.
Sir,—In the review of my “Vindication of Protestant Missions," given in your number for the present month, you express surprise at my charging Dr. Wiseman with quoting a statement of mine, from the Reply to the Abbé Dubois, and attributing it to Mr. Townley; for, in your edition of Dr. W.'s Lectures, you state that the passage is as distinctly attributed to me as words can make it. This, you add, is the genuine edition by Booker; and then you very naturally inquire whether I can have used the pirated one? or what is the mistake here?
Being from home when I read this, and not having my copy of the Lectures with me, I could not immediately attend to your query; but returning last night, I lost no time in consulting the work I used, and find it to be the edition published by J. S. Hodson, 112, Fleet Street. The misrepresentation upon which I have animadverted will be found at pp. 119-121, where the passages brought together from different works are all distinctly attributed to Mr. Townley, as stated in my “Vindication.”
I shall have no opportunity to consult Booker's edition of Dr. W.’s Lectures until I go to London, when I hope to find the quotations here mixed together, fairly attributed to their respective authors. In the meantime, I beg to state, that I obtained my copy in the usual way-through my London bookseller, one of the oldest and most respectable houses in town. I considered, therefore, that this was the genuine edition ; indeed, I never heard of any other until I read it in your pages.
The only place where I find the name of Hough in Hodson's edition is at p. 126, where Dr. Wiseman is quoting “the missionary Hough’s” Report of the Mohawks. Having never been among that people, nor written about them, I cannot imagine myself to be the person to whom he refers.
Trusting that you will have the goodness to insert this letter, in your next number,
JAMES Hougu.* Ham Lodge, Oct. 28, 1837.
COUNTRY WAKES. SIR,- It is unnecessary for me to enter into any philosophical disquisition on the origin of country wakes and feasts, for I feel that, notwithstanding a very prevalent misapprehension on this subject among many classes of people, yet that your readers are most probably sufficiently versed in the question. But, Sir, it is a matter of serious moment to know how to regulate them now, so that they shall be partially or wholly shorn of the scenes of extreme licentiousness that are exhibited at their annual meetings.
In the county of Hereford the loss of life has been so frequent, and their continuance, through other causes, is so much to be regretted, that the magistrates have been induced to consider what it is in their power to do; and on their finding that little or no authority is vested in them for their suppression, they will probably petition parliament on the subject, and as it is a question of general and social improvement, in which parties of every complexion must participate, I should hope that it would not in the remotest degree be made a mere instrument of party legislation.
The days are gone by, Sir, when popularity might be upheld on the idle cant of interfering with the sports of the people; for we have only to read Mr. Windham's elaborated speeches in support of bull-baiting, and his argument that because a nobleman had his sports a butcher should enjoy his, and because a greyhound was bred up to his vocation so shall a bull-dog to his, to see how often an untenable position
• The Editor has much satisfaction in giving insertion to this letter—with the protest, however, against being considered reviewer-general of all new books, which he was obliged to make some time ago. Mr. Hough's ignorance of this fact is excusable enough, as he probably does not often read this Magazine ; for if he did, he would surely have mentioned the admirable reply of “ Philalethes Cantabrigiensis” to Dr. Wiseman, as well as those in the Record and Christian Guardian. However, the writer of the review in question begs to add to this note the few following remarks. The question is of little importance, except as a question of character. He thought it injudicious in Mr. Hough to make it of so much consequence, and draw such unfavourable inferences from it, even were the charge true. But, as it now stands, Mr. Hough is the person whose character, as a controversialist, it more peculiarly affects, and it would have been more satisfactory had he written after consulting the genuine edition of Dr. Wiseman's Lectures. The words are certainly attributed to Mr. Hough as distinctly as language can attribute them, and Mr. Hough's recantation of his charges against Dr. Wiseman on this head, as conveyed in his letter, are certainly due to that writer. This will give Dr. Wiseman or his friends a sort of triumph, to which they can have no claim, for it appears that Mr. Hough was quite as guiltless of any intentional misrepresentation, as Dr. Wiseman himself in the instance before us. It is a lesson of caution, however, and may suggest the necessity of greater careful. ness in all such matters, and may shew also how injudicious it is to found grave charges upon slight grounds. Dr. Wiseman is quite right in citing the Report of another Mr. Hough relative to the Mohawks. See Rep. Soc. P. G. F. P., for 1828, pp. 170-175.
Wiseman's Lect. vi. p. 192.