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Lachrymae Ecclesiae

The Anglican Reformed Church and Her Clergy in the Days of Their Destitution and Suffering during the Great Rebellion in the Seventeenth Century.

By George Wyatt

London: W. J. Cleaver, 1844.

Chapter VIII. Fall of the Monarchy, and the Church cotemporaneous--The lesser wheels in the work of ecclesiastical destruction--The Faction divided into Presbyterians and Independants--Jealousies between them--Equally hostile to the Church--Hugh Peters--Fanaticism in Wales

THE year 1649 was ushered in by that tragical and ignominious event, the murder of King Charles 1st. It will be inconsistent with the object and nature of this present work, to attempt any discussion of his political conduct. But of his affectionate attachment to the doctrines, discipline and constitution of the Anglican Church, there seems to he no rational doubt. At all events, it is undeniable that so long as Ms kingly power and authority existed, and to as wide an extent as he was permitted to exercise it, he was ever [177/178] found to be the unflinching friend and advocate of the Church. Many a heavy blow aimed at that holy institution, was warded off, or greatly mitigated, by either the intervention of his authority, or by the refusal of his countenance to the contemplated mischief. Several instances alluded to in the foregoing pages, have borne ample testimony to this fact. But now that we find him at length removed, by the hands of malicious and scowling regicides, from his earthly throne--now that the tyranny of rebellion sets aside all sound and legitimate authority, and erects itself into a seat of paramount power--now we shall see, that the Church becomes utterly paralized; wholly prostrate at the feet of the destroyer and oppressor. "No Bishop, no King," said James 1st; and a bold aphorism--but not more bold than true--it was, to be uttered before so many who were then fanatical enough to wish to have neither Bishop nor King.

In these deplorable times, however, of the Great Rebellion, it became sufficiently clear, that with the destruction of the monarchy would occur the destruction of the hierarchy also. For the last few years of his life, the kingly power of Charles was reduced to almost a nonentity, So it was [178/179] also during the same period with the hierarchy. And now that by the slaughter of the King there was no longer a recognized monarchy, there was no longer a recognized Church. Both fell together. Rebels, usurpers, and regicides were in full possession of the government, while fanatical and irreverent dissenters, Herod-like, were "stretching forth their hands to vex" and distract the Church and what was even worse, they gloried in such work! In their hatred towards Bishops, they scrupled not to drive the whole nation into anarchy; and in their indiscriminate animosity against the loyal and orthodox clergy, they exercised the same intolerance and tyranny towards them, which they were so ready to condemn in the Popish priesthood. During the few years--and God he praised they were so few--which witnessed the usurpation of Cromwell, this dissenting and puritanical faction were masters of the ecclesiastical field. Such sweeping changes, such crude distortions, such unsparing and merciless persecutions took place in all matters relating to the Reformed Church (as well as the State), that the whole nation might have felt as if deprived of their own ancient land-marks, or removed to some foreign and strange country.

"Her peace destroyed! her hopes a wilderness!
Her blessings cursed! her glory turned to shame!"
[Wordsworth's Ecclesiastical Sonnets.]

The great master wheel of this destructive ma chine was the Parliament, while some of lesser and subordinate power, working in their own appointed spheres, accomplished their own allotted work. The "Committee of Religion" (as it was called) worked in one way; the "Assembly of Divines" in another; the "Covenant" in another; the Lecturers in a fourth. And now we have to mention one or two more, which by the Parliament's sanction, were set on in the great and now popular project of ecclesiastical demolition.

There was a sort of sub-committee appointed, and known as the "Committee of scandalous ministers." The chief object and business of this body was to conduct a system of espionage over the legitimate clergy, dispersed in their several parishes throughout the kingdom to select such as were understood to be zealous and faithful ministers of the Church, or in any way opposed to the Parliament, and the Puritanical movement of the day to summons these ministers, by some arbitrary order, to appear before the Committee, and give an account of their church principles [180/181] to brand them with the then popular imputation of being "scandalous ministers," and no longer worthy of retaining their benefices or their position in the Church. An immediate sequestration of their livings almost always followed an appearance of this kind before the committee. They became marked men before the misguided and excited popu lace, who were also too soon taught to deride them as the "scandalous clergy" an appellation which was now indiscriminately applied to any church minister, however exalted his character for piety, learning, or charity, who happened to be free from any Puritanical bias, or was known to be an unflinching adherent of the Church of England. Lord Clarendon's observation on this head is very interesting. "All the learned and orthodox clergy of England" (he says) "were looked upon under the notion of scandalous ministers; and if the meanest and most vicious parishioner could be brought to prefer a petition against them to the House of Commons, how false soever, they were sure to be prosecuted as such." [History of the Rebellion, Vol. I., book 3. ] and "the Parliament" (as Dugdale also writes) "formed a committee to enquire after scandalous ministers, under which title few of the reverend and orthodox clergy [181/182] did escape"--"honesty and learning" (as Selden adds) "being then considered as sin enough in a clergyman." As a memorable and undeniable evidence of the malicious, persecuting spirit with which the clergy were pursued by this notable "Committee of scandalous ministers," we find that the Parliament caused a public notice to be given, or at least did not forbid such notice being given, of the erection of such a tribunal "where every informer would assuredly be welcome, and every clergyman be as certainly condemned It was therefore earnestly desired by the Parliament, that all ingenuous persons in every county in the kingdom, would be very active to improve the present opportunity by giving a true information of all parishes in their several counties."

Under such sanction and encouragement as this, no ill-conditioned parishioner, no partyspirited enthusiast, no factious demagogue, no schismatic al or troublesome lecturer, no one, in short, who might have any private spite against his parochial minister, could be at any loss for facilities of heaping "sore distress" upon his head, loading him with contumely and reproach, or finally and effectually procuring his ejectment from his benefice. This indeed was sport, as well as spite, with many thousands of the infatuated [182/183] multitude of these unhappy times. And this "Committee of scandalous ministers" became soon so subdivided into smaller sections and offshoots, that not merely every county, but almost every parish, was burdened with one; which of course would render it the more difficult for any parochial minister, especially if loyal and orthodox, to escape their cognizance.

Nor, moreover, was it requisite that any allegations to be laid against any such minister, should be first of all supported by any certain number of names of weight or character, before such charges could be received by the committee. This had been an act of fairness and generosity towards the clergy quite at variance with the spirit of the day. It was sufficient, therefore, for any one parishioner, especially if a friend to the Parliament, to prefer his own single-handed accusations. Seldom did he fail of being favourably listened to by the Committee; seldom did he fail of obtaining the malicious purpose which he had in view.

But to show the distorted judgment and infatuated ignorance, which seem to have guided many of the charges made against the Church clergy, the sentiments of Dr. Nalson are worthy of particular attention. "All those" (he says) "who [183/184] were obedient to their governours in the Church, or thought that God Almighty ought to have bodily worship and adoration in those places where He has put His name, and made them houses of prayer; all those who thought kneeling at the holy sacrament necessary, or any other decent postures, gestures, or vestments, that might outwardly signify inward veneration and homage, lawful and expedient, were upon the slightest accusations voted guilty of innovation, and unworthy of any promotion in the Church."

In truth, it may be said to be almost a decided characteristic of the Puritan, if not indeed of almost all grades or denominations of dissenters, not only to assume a superior degree of sanctity above churchmen as if seriousness and piety were incompatible with church affections and associations but also to look down with almost contempt upon the consecrated forms, rites, and solemnities of the Anglo-Catholic Church. They considered such things as at once idolatrous and profane. They held it as impossible that any pious and godly spirit could be associated with a mode of worship in which so much punctilious and external order, and so much solemn ceremony were to be observed. There was, in [184/185] fact, working in the mind of the Puritan, a sort of religious democracy, which, like political democracy, cherishes a hatred of all chaste government and wholesome discipline. The Church would he held as a great grievance by such arrogant and unruly spirits; and so it fell out, that they determined not like men of sober, discriminating judgment, which could hardly he expected from them, but like men of precipitate infatuation to pursue a course the very reverse of all church order, sentiment, and principle. They would abolish all outward forms and solemnities, how ever impressive, however chaste, primitive, and catholic. They would care little or nothing for discipline or rituals, such at least as the Church would prescribe. They would have, not any primitive or apostolical worship, but one of a new fashion, and of their own invention one that should not trespass long on the attention of the congregation, but should be made subordinate to the main attraction, the exciting and declamatory vociferations of the pulpit. Worship, adoration, thanksgiving, and praise, conducted under systematical order and solemnity in the great congregation, was an exercise too chaste and healthy for the morbid tone of mind in the Puritan. Give [185/186] him a passionate, clamorous, visionary preacher a "painful minister," as it was then the fashion to call such an one and the Puritan was satisfied. [Much approbation is bestowed on such preachers by Mrs. Hutchinson, in her memoir of Col. Hutchinson.]

In their congregational worship there was a cold, meagre, repulsive vulgarity, in which they took the more pride, because it differed so widely from the impressive solemnities of the Church, and appeared of so unidolatrous an aspect. So that from the extreme of pompous show on the one hand, which formed so distinguished a feature in the worship of the Popish church, we have here, in these Puritanical reforms, another extreme of abject, undignified plainness, too mean to be called simplicity, too rude and jejune to be worthy of the house of God's worship. Between these two extremes, the Anglican Reformed Church was pursuing her course, when these bitter and inveterate explosions took place against her. Nothing less, therefore, than the tyrannous and unsparing persecution described by Nalson in the foregoing extract, could be expected for the Church and her ministers from such boisterous enemies. The "Committee of scandalous ministers" [186/187] worked indeed most vigilantly in the sphere allotted to it, and so far it was a wheel, though a subordinate one, yet of immense use to the master wheel which gave it impetus.

Another servile instrument of this description was a committee, known by the designation of the "Committee for plundered ministers." The pretended object they had in view was, to restore such ministers to their benefices as, being found hostile to the King and the Church, had been "plundered" or otherwise maltreated by the King's troops and party. This however, as it appears, was little more than a pretence. Scarcely any of the beneficed clergy had ever been so handled, as was alleged, by the King's party; and therefore under the shadow of such a plea, this committee employed itself rather in seeking out for, and collecting together, such persons of their own Puritanical persuasion, as might be thought eligible to succeed to the many hundreds, if not thousands, of the beneficed clergy who had, in broad reality, been plundered by the authority of the now all-powerful Parliament. The committee had not much trouble in finding people quite to their mind. Like Jeroboam, [1 Kings xii. 31.] they readily "made [187/188] priests of the lowest of the people," and "brought into the sanctuary strangers, uncircumcised in heart, uncircumcised in flesh, to be in God's sanctuary to pollute it." [Ezekiel xliv. 7.]

We have already exhibited specimens of the peculiar eloquence, doctrines, and general demeanour of this new order of ministers, now by the selection of this plundering committee elevated into certain benefices and pulpits from which the orthodox and legitimate possessors had been sacrilegiously ejected. Education, moral character, sound doc trine, apostolical piety, church affections these were matters of little or no consideration in recommending a minister to this committee. If he were ardently affected or well affected in any degree to the "blessed Parliament" if he hated Church principles and Bishops if he rebelled against his King if he were a hot declamatory preacher (however indifferent to the exercise of public worship) he but seldom failed of securing to himself the patronage which this committee had now taken upon itself to dispense. Frequently, it is true, did it happen, that the loyal and orthodox clergy, when standing on the defensive before these [188/189] plundering inquisitors, pushed them with arguments and statements which they could not gainsay or upset. On such occasions the committee were often driven to their last and only available weapon, the omnipotent Parliament. Under this sanction, and by this power, many a measure of ejectment, or spoliation of an upright and unimpeachable clergyman, was effected, in the very teeth of justice, truth, and charity. The case of Dr. Featly is detailed at length by Walker, [Page 75.] and affords us an eminent instance of this mean and dishonest proceeding. He was at first a member of the noted "Assembly of Divines," being "a moderate Calvinist," and somewhat inclined to the Puritanical movement. But the King soon commanded him to withdraw from the assembly, and being much disgusted with the violence and in justice of their proceedings, he the more firmly fixed his affections on the Reformed Church, of which he afterwards became a very worthy and valuable minister. Many articles of accusation were exhibited against him by this plundering committee; but they were soon found to be nothing but the usual trumpery inventions of [189/190] malicious and merciless enemies. No single charge of unfitness, or immorality, or any offence either ecclesiastical or civil was pretended, and therefore his resistance to all which the committee had to allege against him was not only triumphant, but would, had it not been for the tyrannous will of the Parliament, have kept him pretty safe from the committee's plundering intentions.

Walker speaks of Dr. Featly's defence of himself against his accusers, in these terms. "He replied with admirable learning and strength of argument, defending the observances and rights of the Church at large from reason, from scripture, the primitive fathers, and the usages of the ancient church; pleading also the well known laws and canons of our own establishment, and alleging that he was so far from having offended against them, that what he had done was manifestly in obedience to them." To these arguments, Walker adds, "his judges were not able to make any reply, and the chairman was plainly and shame fully non-plussed." The Parliament, however, was not troubled with any shamefacedness of this kind. Even whilst that arrogant assembly admitted the extreme futility and frivolousness of the charges made against Featly, yet they could [190/191] not let slip the opportunity of exercising their scourging power over so eminent an enemy. By an ordinance of Parliament, Dr. Featly was there fore ejected from his preferments, and plundered of a very considerable portion of his property.

The allegations made against this upright and very able minister were, as has been before said, of a very trumpery nature; and it seems now only worth while to recount some of them in order to show the animus of those proceedings, which these turbulent fanatics were now dealing out against their victims. Dr. Featly was gravely charged with "bowing at the name of Jesus," and reproving those who refused to do so with suffering his congregation to stand during the Gloria Patri with removing the communion table to the east end of the church, railing it in, and raising it a few steps from the floor with refusing to give the eucharistic elements to those who would not come up to the rails with discouraging extemporary prayer, and giving less heed to preaching than to worship. Some charges equally grave, and equally frivolous, succeeded these, and as far as we can discover from what has been recorded of this occasion, they formed the only ground upon which the committee could [191/192] demand from him the resignation of his preferments.

Such then was the spirit and character of those proceedings by which so much suffering and in justice of all kinds was inflicted upon the Church and her clergy--clergy, who in a vast many cases had done no other wrong but show their loyalty to their King, their hatred of rebellion, and their stedfast attachment to the doctrines and constitution of the Anglican Reformed Church. The paramount power which had thus managed to subjugate and distract both Monarchy and Hierarchy, has been generally characterized as the Puritanical Faction; a designation which sufficiently, but not too truly, marks its peculiar nature and purposes.

But we have now at length to remember, that this faction, though affecting so much purity and piety, was still divided into two great sections. Some were Presbyterians, and some Independents, both being equally intolerant and bitter against the Church. The former section predominated in the Parliament; the latter in the army. It was the former, therefore, which had hitherto managed so bitterly to distract the Church, and distress the orthodox clergy; to establish the covenant, the [192/193] Directory, and the several subordinate commit tees; the Independants, though equally hostile to the Church, having for a time less influence in the State. At length the scales turn, and immediately after the slaughter of the King, (January 1649,) the Independant party prevails over the other. The Directory, brought out at first by the Presbyterians, is now in its turn scouted and set aside; and a new organ of public worship, more consonant to the notions of the Independants, substituted in its place. This new concoction was called the "Engagement;" and the Presbyterian ministers who had, in such great numbers, usurped the benefices, pulpits, and offices of the now destitute and sequestered clergy, were in their turn dismissed by the Independant party. But this change awakened no better feeling towards the Church the same bitterness against her continued.

In such a state of things, the sufferings of the clergy, and the general distraction and disorder which prevailed altogether both in Church and State, presented a scene, which Bishop Sanderson feelingly describes as a "wilderness of confusion." And as to those misguided and mischievous men who acted the influential part in all [193/194] these misdoings, we shall find no language more appropriate to their case, than what honest Isaac Walton uses in his Life of Hooker, in reference to certain restless agitators and pseudo-reformers in his own day: "They were men" (he says) "whom furious zeal and prejudice had blinded, and made incapable of hearing reason, or adhering to the ways of peace; men whom pride and selfconceit had made to overvalue their own wisdom, and become pertinacious, and to hold foolish and unmannerly disputes against those whom they ought to reverence, and those laws which they ought to obey; men who laboured and joyed to speak evil of government, and then to be the authors of confusion; whom company, conversation, and custom had blinded, and made insensible that these were errors, and who at last became so restless and so hardened in their opinions, like those that "perished in the gainsaying of Cora," that "they died without repenting of their spiritual wickedness." It is not, however, more to the Presbyterian than to the Independant misrulers that these sentiments will apply. Each alike "laboured and joyed to speak evil of government; "each alike" held foolish and unmannerly disputes against those whom they ought to have [194/195] reverenced;" each alike was "blinded by furious zeal and prejudice," except that the Independent Faction, when they became dominant, "found" (as Walker tells us) "but few of the loyal and orthodox clergy unstarved in the nation," and consequently had not so wide a field of opportunity for oppressing the Church, and tormenting the clergy, as the Presbyterian branch of the faction had had before them. With this last-named party, therefore, remains the distinction of having robbed the clergy of their benefices and their homes, leaving them to a precarious subsistence, and an uncertain refuge.

"Their altars they forego their homes they quit;
Fields which they love, and paths they daily trod;
And cast the future upon Providence."

There was moreover one portion of the clergy left which had in great measure escaped the oppressions hitherto inflicted on their brethren, and that portion was found in the remote and secluded parishes of North and South Wales. "That part of the kingdom" (says Walker) "had hitherto, partly by their loyalty, partly by the barrenness of their country, protected the clergy there from bearing an equal share of misery with the rest of their brethren." At length the usual persecution [195/196] of the times overtakes them. What had for many years, in the earlier stages of the Rebellion, been but occasional or partial oppression among the Welsh clergy began now, after the murder of the King and the usurpation by Cromwell, to be an almost universal scourge. There was a man named Hugh Peters, by birth a Cornishman. He was attached to Cromwell's party, and being a hot and restless fanatic in his religion, was dispatched by Cromwell from Ireland to promote as much as possible the Protector's cause, and the demolition of the Church in Wales. Peters and some of his colleagues soon contrived to disseminate their rebellious and schismatical principles among the populace, and by setting up congregational churches of their own invention and persuasion, created a general impression that theirs was the only true godliness, and their preaching the only true preaching of the revealed word.

Experience tells us all, how easy a thing it is for ingenious but wickedly disposed and turbulent men to delude an ignorant multitude; nor can we shut our eyes to the fact, that few mental aberrations grow more rapidly, or are more infectious than heresy and schism. All this, indeed, was much too completely exemplified in the proceedings of Hugh Peters and his friends in Wales; [196/197] and so highly were his labours appreciated by Cromwell and the whole Independant Faction, that he was expressly desired by them to advise what measures it were best to adopt in order to drive on that great design of establishing, what they called, a "preaching and godly ministry" in Wales. "They must sequester," (said Peters,) "all church ministers without exception; and bring the revenues of the Church into one public treasury, out of which must be allowed 100. a year to six itinerant ministers to preach in every county."

This was a candid avowal, however base in principle; but it was too congenial with the spirit of the day to be ill received or ill thought of by the now dominant faction. It was so largely carried out, under the management of Peters, that the Welsh clergy, in a very short time, were made to partake of the same kind of heavy distress and privation, which had been so mercilessly inflicted on their brethren in England. The reformed Church, and her apostolical Liturgy, became, in Wales as in England, the butt of popular derision and contempt; and the seeds of dissent became so deeply and profusely sown among the Welsh populace, that it has since [197/198] grown up into so "large a tree, and hath shot out so great branches, that the fowls of the air seem to lodge under the shadow of it." [Mark iv. 32.]

When the Presbyterian Faction was in power, the Covenant was to be the grand national Shibboleth of allegiance, by which the loyal and orthodox clergy were to be tested. A vast proportion of them spurned this rebellious imposition on their honour and their conscience, and we have already seen what the consequences were which they thereby drew upon themselves.

With the Welsh clergy, however, the case was somewhat different. The remoteness of their situation had hitherto, to a great extent, almost concealed them from this innovation. But by the unremitted and searching labours of Hugh Peters and his companions, the Welsh clergy who might have escaped the ordeal of the Presbyterian's "Covenant," were now to be tried by that of the Independant's "Engagement." One was, in no possible shape, more tolerable than the other; church suppression being equally the object of both. the "Engagement" was as severe a test for the clergy of Wales, as the "Covenant" had [198/199] been for those in England; and the consequence, in regard to the former ecclesiastics, was quite similar to that of the latter; vast numbers of the orthodox clergy, by refusing the "Engagement," were dismissed from their benefices, and the Welsh livings and churches soon became occupied by low, ignorant, and furious fanatics. Peters, indeed, was the great apostle of the Independant section, and however he contrived to press his fanatical and revolutionary measures upon the poor beneficed clergy of Wales, yet his favourite project was, not so much to remodel the parochial possessions and introduce fresh ministers there of his own persuasion, as to establish a system of itinerancy among the Independant preachers, and apply no inconsiderable portion of the revenues of the sequestered benefices to its support.

That the sequestration of Welsh benefices was, however, carried to a very great extent, is unquestionable, whilst any honest and upright application of the money to the purpose of propagating the Gospel in Wales by means of itinerant preachers, or other methods pretended to be pursued by the Faction, is extremely questionable. Neither Peters nor any of his colleagues were men of trustworthy character, to say nothing of [199/200] the sincerity of their zeal for the Gospel, or the reality of their piety. Heavy and vehement harangues to kindle the passions of their hearers in favour of the faction were, it is true, repeatedly made by these restless and disorderly spirits. Violent and inflated aspirations too, in the shape of prayers and protestations, constantly rolled from their lips. Many among the ancient British race, caught and moved by all this exciting pretension to godliness, and ignorant also of the great fundamental doctrines of the Gospel, and of the simple, sober, heart-searching "truth as it is in Jesus," were, in their thoughtless and untaught simplicity of mind, completely carried away into all manner of ignorant extravagance of opinion and doctrine. Nothing, therefore, but a wild religious frenzy was to be met with in Welsh parishes, till at length the privations of the legitimate clergy of that romantic district, and the destitution of their flocks, spread proportionably to a much wider extent than in England.

The Welsh, or Ancient Britons, are characteristically of a vehement and energetic temperament, soon excited and naturally attached to local and circumscribed habits. Their mode of life also, until these more modern times, had been [200/201] exceedingly secluded within their own provinces and associations; so that Dissent, which had been so thickly sown among them in the days of the Great Rebellion, took a deep and expansive root; and we have therefore found, almost down to this present day, in that fine and interesting country, a much more obstinate and wide-spread alienation from the Church, not indeed among the better educated and better conditioned, but among the populace in general, than England itself has ever displayed since these pestilent days of Puritanical misrule and fanaticism. But Wales, in regard to church matters, has long been a neglected, if not also an ill-used, country. Though so beautiful and attractive in her local scenery, yet it is but till of late years that her localities (and those only partially) have been comfortably accessible to visitors, or even to the inhabitants themselves. The livings are, for the most part, extremely in adequate to any decent clerical maintenance, and the clergy themselves, owing to circumstances be yond their controul, have too long been shut out from certain advantages of society and improvement. The Bishops also, in former days, how ever different may be the practice now, rarely maintained any intimate or advantageous inter course with their clergy, and having also generally [201/202] been utter strangers to the language that fine old British language of the people, could participate in none of their national customs and predilections, or take any interest in their national associations and well-doing. [It were ungracious and unjust not to make mention here of one brilliant and honourable exception to this deficiency. The present Bishop of St David s, Dr. Thirlwall, eminent for his classical erudition, as for his Christian piety, has, since his elevation to that episcopate, made himself thoroughly master of the Welsh language, so as to be able to preach, write, and speak in it with sufficient fluency and accuracy for the instruction of his Welsh hearers.] So that both Bishops and Church became but little known and still less cared for in Wales, and an ardent attachment to that system of inflated itinerant preaching and spurious pietism, so vigorously implanted among them by Hugh Peters, and so congenial perhaps with the wild, romantic spirit of mountaineers, had, for many years past, taken root in the breasts of the Welsh populace.

These dismal and depressing clouds, however, seem now to be breaking gradually away, and rays of more genial light to be extending their influence over the principality. In zeal, intelligence, and character, the clergy of Wales are now on a level with their English brethren, and [202/203] consequently church affections, church order and discipline, are decidedly progressing in the hearts of that ancient and loyal portion of our island. So that we have good grounds for hoping, that the day is not so far distant, when the Anglican Reformed and Protestant Church will have to number proportionally as noble an army of attached and enlightened members and friends in Wales as she can ever reckon upon in England. Of the church and clergy, indeed, now circumscribed within the principality, an honorable and well-merited character, which it is gratifying here to refer to, was given within the walls of Parliament by a right reverend prelate on the discussion of that most unrighteous and uncalled-for scheme, the union of the sees of St. Asaph and Bangor. His lordship said, and with great truth, that "the Welsh clergy were steadily advancing in spirituality; that they fully participated in the revival now going forward in the Church, of attachment to her discipline and principles; and were seriously desirous of upholding alike the efficiency and honour of their order, the estimation and dignity of the Church, and the real welfare of the country." [The Bishop of Salisbury (1843).]

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