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"Omnis generis pietatis officia illinc exuberanter in omnia vicina loca longè latèque dimanent, ad DEI Omnipotentis gloriam, et ad subditorum nostrorum communem utilitatem felicitatemque."

Extract from the Charter of Henry 8th. to the Cathedral Church of Ely.







Transcribed by the Right Reverend Dr. Terry Brown
Retired Bishop of Malaita, 2009

General Preamble (mutatis mutandis) of the Charters given by King Henry the 8th. to his Cathedral Foundations.

"Henricus VIII. Dei gratiâ Angliae et Franciae Rex, F. D. Dom. Hiberniae, et in terrâ supremum caput Anglicanae Ecclesiae; Omnibus, ad quos praesentes literae pervenerint, salutem.

"Cum nuper coenobium quoddam, sive monasterium quoddam, extitit, quod prioratus sive monasterium ecclesiae ----- vulgo vocabatur, atque omnia et singula ejus maneria, dominia, messuagia, terrae, tenementa, hereditamenta, dotationes, et possessiones, certis de causis specialibus et urgentibus, per -----, ipsius nuper coenobii sive.monasterii Priorem, et ejusdem loci conventum, nobis haeredibus et successoribus nostris imperpetuum jamdudum data fuerunt et concessa;

*     *     *     *     *

"Nos utique sic de eisdem seisiti existentes, divinâque nos inspirante clementiâ, nihil magis ex animo affectantes, quam ut vera religio verusque Dei cultus inibi non modo non aboleatur, sed in integrum potius restituatur, et ad primitivam, sive genuinae sinceritatis normam reformetur;

*     *     *     *     *

"operam dedimus, quatenus humana prospicere potest infirmitas, ut imposterum ibidem sacrorum eloquiorum documenta, et nostrae salutiferae Redemptiones sacramenta, pure administrentur, bonorum morum disciplina sincere observetur, juventus in literis liberaliter instituatur, senectus viribus defecta, eorum praesertim qui vel circa personam nostram, vel alioqui circa regni nostri negocia, publice bene et fideliter nobis servierint, rebus ad victum necessariis condigne foveatur; ut denique eleemosynarum in pauperes Christi elargitiones, viarum pontiumque reparationes, et CAETERA OMNIS GENERIS PIETATIS OFFICIA ILLINC EXUBERANTER IN OMNIA VICINA LOCA LONGE LATEQUE DIMANENT, AD DEI OMNIPOTENTIS GLORIAM, ET AD SUBDITORUM NOSTRORUM COMMUNEM UTILITATEM FELICITATEMQUE."



Introductory Letter to W. E. GLADSTONE, ESQ. M. P.     Page 1.


Comparison between the duties of a Cathedral Canon and a Parish Priest. Improvement of the Parochial System as the main purpose of a Cathedral Institution. Expediency of establishing a distinct Order of Cathedral Clergy.


Cathedral Institutions founded upon the most ancient model of Episcopacy. 1. Useful for the extension of the Episcopal authority. 2. A means of promoting Union among the Clergy. 3. A remedy for the absence of the Bishops during the Session of Parliament. 4. Canons, the Examining Chaplains of the Bishop, 5. and his supporters at Ordination, 6. and at Consecrations of Churches. 7. The Canonical Office a preparation for the Episcopal. 8. Obedience to the Bishop required of the Canons. 9. Congè d'elire.


1. The Dean. 2. The Canons, 3. The Minor Canons. 4. The Divinity Lecturer. 5. The Chaplain. 6. The Deacon. 7. The Lay Clerks, Organist, and Choristers. 8, 9. The Masters and Scholars of the Cathedral School. 10. Cathedral Institutions an encouragement to Piety, 11. and rewards of Learning.


1. The Cathedral Sermons. 2. Plan of Canonical Visitation. 3. The Canons interpreters of the Bishop's Visitation Charge. 4. Refuters of prevailing errors of Doctrine. 5. Revivers of the Gospel in neglected Parishes. 6. Preachers of Charity Sermons. 7. Secretaries and Preachers for the great Church Societies. 8. Occasional Assistants of the Parochial Clergy. 9. Models of Pulpit Eloquence. 10. Minor Canons, Incumbents of the City Livings.


Object of the Endowment. 1. Objections to the alienation of Capitular Revenues. 2. Chapters, the best agents for the improvement of the Parochial System, 3. by instructing the Clergy, 4. under the care of the Divinity Lecturer and Archdeacon; 5. by maintaining Probationary Deacons, as a Clergy-Aid Society. 6. Means of Support for this body. 7. Minor advantages of this plan. 8. Class of Missionary Students. 9. General Ordination of Missionaries in St. Paul's Cathedral.


1. Advantages of sending poor Scholars to the Universities. 2. Security against any great change in the temporalities of the Church. 3. Missionary University Scholars.


1. Intention of the Founder to train up poor Ministers. 2. Inefficiency the existing Free Schools. 3. Examination of the best Candidates from National Schools. 4. Prizes in the Cathedral School. Election to Scholarships. Masterships. Testimonials. Apprenticeships. 5. Cathedral School of Singing. 6. Normal Schools.


1. Spiritual Hospitality to the Parochial Clergy. 2. To the young Deacons. 3. Cathedral Mode of Living. 4. Use of the Cathedral Library. 5. Religious Publications kept as Specimens.


1. Objection to the alienation of Patronage. 2. Deans and Chapters well qualified to appoint judiciously. 3. Patronage, the means of inspiriting the whole Cathedral System. 4. Preferment of Minor Canons. 5. Preferment of Parochial Schoolmasters in certain cases. 6. Pensions to superannuated Masters. 7. Retiring Pensions for Lay Clerks, &c.


1. Cause of the disuse of Daily Worship. 2. Main object of the Cathedral Service to promote the glory of GOD. 3. Intercession. 4. Private Prayer.


Increase of efficiency of Cathedral Institutions. 1. Not incompatible with the Episcopal authority. 2. Course advisable to be adopted by Chapters. 3. Advantage of the Parochial Clergy. 4. Object of the Church Commissioners. 5. Use of Cathedral Institutions as a means of adaptation. 6. The Chapters the proper administrators of a plan for that purpose. 7. Virtual abolition of fourteen Cathedral institutions by the Church Commissioners. 8. Dangerous principle of re-construction adopted by them. 9. Sketch of a Cathedral Institution, acting upon the model of Cranmer. 10. Conclusion.






If I were required to give a reason for addressing you on the present occasion, it would be sufficient to say, that, as I am writing from the birth-place of many lasting friendships, and, amongst the rest, of that which has now subsisted between us during fifteen years; the scenes with which I am surrounded naturally remind me of one of my earliest and most constant friends. But, among the many advantages which I have derived from that intimacy, there is no one which I value so highly as the opportunity which it has given me of corresponding with you from time to time on the state and prospects of the Church. In a letter which I received from you in the beginning of the present year, the following passage occurs, which I quote, as containing the suggestion which led me to enquire into the uses of Cathedral Institutions, and as expressing, in few words, the main object of the following remarks:--"With respect to the highly important questions connected with the proposed changes in the Cathedrals, I am much in want of specific information, drawn [1/2] from the Charters themselves, as to the duties contemplated by the wills of the founders. Of course it will be highly necessary to show, that Cathedrals have proper purposes of their own; and also to consider, in defining those purposes, how far they were distinctly, and how far by implication, contemplated in the will of the founder."

When I received your letter, the only Cathedral documents, to which I could obtain access, were the Charter and Statutes of the Chapter of Ely. Of the Charter, as being an unpublished document, I have only ventured to print one or two short extracts, the noble spirit and language of which will, I hope, justify the use which I have made of them. The extracts from the Statutes are made from a printed copy, published in London in 1817. The following remarks may therefore be considered as an attempt to answer your enquiry, so far as a general question can be answered by reference to a particular example. I have reason to believe, that the Statutes of many Cathedral Churches are in substance the same as those of Ely; but on this point I have not been able to obtain any very accurate information. It is probable, that a more complete statement of the uses for which Cathedral Institutions were intended by their founders might be made, by comparing together the Statutes of several of the Capitular bodies. I shall consider my object as gained, if the following enquiry into the purposes for which one Cathedral seems to have been founded should lead to a more extended and general investigation of the whole subject.

Several writers have attempted to shew to what uses Cathedral Institutions might be converted. I would wish to convert them to no use, which is not consistent with the letter or the spirit of their Charter and Statutes. Still less would I wish to divert any portion of their revenues to other purpose; because I feel convinced, that, if the holy intentions of the Founders were carried into full effect, not a single Prebendary could be spared. This is [2/3] a point which has scarcely been sufficiently considered. It is taken for granted that the present Cathedral Establishments are too large, and that therefore, if they were reduced, a fund might be provided for the better maintenance of those who are called the Working Clergy. But is it certain that the Parochial Ministry would be more benefited by the distribution of the Cathedral revenues, than by the complete performance of the duties for which those Institutions were designed? Our forefathers evidently thought differently; and it is worth considering, whether we may not be acting like ignorant architects, and bringing an old Church to the ground, by weakening a part of which we do not understand the use. There is reason to believe, that our ancestors, in Church Government, as well as in Church Architecture, understood the principles of construction better than the present generation: and it would be a poor consolation to a Parochial Clergyman, to find that he had gained ten pounds in the yearly value of his living, at the expense of the general dignity and efficiency of his order. The Clergy generally stand less in need of money, than of effective organization in the details of their Ministry. Their character rests not on the possession of wealth, but on the due performance of their duties. No amount of income can dignify an inefficient Minister. It is therefore by no means certain, that the character of the Parochial Clergy would be raised by the distribution among them of even all the Cathedral revenues. But it is certain, that they must be raised in the public estimation by every thing which contributes to their spiritual usefulness. I shall not take it for granted that the Cathedral Institutions were intended to furnish this assistance to the Parochial Clergy, but proceed to lay before you such extracts from the Charter and Statutes already mentioned, as seem to prove, that the Cathedral Church of Ely was intended by its Founder to be a supplement to the Parochial administration of the Diocese in many essential particulars. The great advantage proposed to be gained by the plan of the Church Commissioners is, the improvement of the Parochial System of Church [3/4] Government. If it can be shown that this was also the object of the founders of Cathedrals, and that they adopted for that purpose a plan, wise, judicious, and comprehensive, and applicable to the present wants of the Church of England, it would then seem, that every argument for the alienation of the Capitular revenues, which the Church Commissioners have grounded on the defects of the Parochial System, is in fact an argument for the preservation of Cathedral Institutions as they are.

As the plan of the following remarks requires that they should be divided into separate chapters, I shall here subscribe myself,


Yours most sincerely,


Eton College,
April 5th, 1838.

[5] CHAP I.



"Omnis generis pietatis officia illinc EXUBERANTER in omnia vicina loca longe lateque DIMANENT, ad DEI Omnipotentis gloriam, et ad subditorum nostrorum communem utilitatem felicitatemque."

Extract from the Charter of the Cathedral Church of Ely.

THE extract quoted above from the Charter of Incorporation given to the Chapter of Ely by King Henry the 8th states, in most striking and comprehensive terms, the general purposes for which that Cathedral Institution was founded; viz. that "works of piety of every kind might be abundantly diffused from thence into all the neighbouring places on every side, to the glory of Almighty God, and to the general advantage and happiness of his Majesty's subjects."

These words prove the unfairness of comparing the duties of the Cathedral Clergy with those of Parochial Ministers. In the one case, the principle of duty is Diffusion; in the other, Concentration. It is true, that at first sight it may seem unreasonable [5/6] that a Parish Church should have only one Minister, while a Cathedral may be provided, as in the case of Ely, with a Dean, eight Prebendaries, and five Minor Canons. But this objection has arisen from the habit of confounding together duties which are essentially distinct. The idea of disproportion will vanish, if we consider a Dean and Chapter, not simply as the Ministers of one Church, but as agents, under the direction of a Bishop, for the spiritual advancement of the whole Diocese. The attendance upon the Cathedral worship is no more the whole duty of a Prebendary, than the performance of Divine Service is the whole duty of a Parish Priest. Therefore, before we can determine how many Prebendaries are necessary for the effectual discharge of the duties of a Cathedral Institution, we ought to be able to know and estimate those wants of the Diocese, for which the Chapter was designed to provide a remedy. Has the plan of the Church Commissioners, for the reduction of every Chapter to the number of four Canons, been founded upon the result of any such enquiry? or has it been adopted merely for the sake of numerical uniformity? The only remaining supposition is one which no friend of the Church will be willing to entertain, that the Church Commissioners have entirely neglected to take into account one of the main purposes of a Cathedral Institution, and that too the very purpose for which the Commission [6/7] itself was appointed; viz. the improvement of the Parochial System. A single year would suffice to restore much of the efficiency of which Cathedral Institutions are capable: but the plan proposed by the Church Commissioners would put an end to their diffusive influence for ever; and transfer their peculiar functions to a Board as variable and unstable as the political feelings of the nation.

As the duties of a Prebendary are so entirely distinct from those of a Parish Priest, it seems to be desirable, that the two offices should not be united in the same person. It is impossible to say (without entering into a longer enquiry than is consistent with the plan of this work) how far the stalls in the different Cathedrals would be sufficient for the maintenance of a learned and efficient Ministry, without the addition of other preferment. It is probable that the emoluments of Prebends and Canonries would in most cases be found to be a sufficient remuneration for men of high character in their profession, if more constant and definite employments were attached to those offices. If the spiritual dignity of the order were more fully developed, there would be the less necessity for a high scale of temporal advantages.

But this is a question upon which it is not necessary to enlarge, because the whole plan of the Church Commissioners rests upon the supposition [7/8] that the Cathedral revenues are more than sufficient for the performance of the duties for which those Institutions were designed. If it can be proved, that the peculiar purposes contemplated by the Founders render it expedient that the Cathedral Clergy should be a distinct body, connected as little as possible with Parochial preferment; and if the range of duties suggested by the Statutes require a longer residence in the present state of the Church, than was necessary when the country was less populous; then it would seem to be the first duty, to provide a Prebendary with such an income as might enable him to reside on his Prebend. It may as safely be said that a Cathedral Institution will be better administered by a resident than by a non-resident Chapter, as that a Parish will be better managed by a resident than by a non-resident incumbent. Some indeed may question the sufficiency of the Cathedral property for the support of such a ministry; but the objectors can scarcely be among the number of those, who recommend the alienation of a large portion of the Chapter revenues: for it seems unreasonable to say that the Cathedrals can afford to contribute to the support of the Parochial Clergy, and yet that they cannot maintain a distinct and independent Ministry for the performance of the peculiar duties required by their Founders.

[9] CHAP. II.

"Decanus et Prebendarii Ecclesiae Cathedralis praedictae, et successores sui, sint, et in perpetuum erunt, Capitulum Episcopatus Eliensis, sitque idem Capitulum praefato Thomae nunc Eliensi Episcopo et successoribus suis Episcopis Eliensibus perpetuis futuris temporibus annexum, incorporatum, et unitum."

Extract from the Charter of the Cathedral Church of Ely.

"Nos, Episcopi Eliensis, qui pro tempore fuerit, fide ac diligentiâ freti, eumdem Ecclesiae nostrae Cathedralis visitatorem constituimus, volentes ac mandantes, ut pro Christianâ fide et ardenti pietatis zelo, vigilet ac gnaviter curet, ut haec Statuta et ordinationes Ecclesiae nostrae a nobis editae inviolabiliter observentur."

Statutes of the Cathedral Church of Ely. Chap. XXXV.

"Omnes, tam Decanum quam Canonicos et alios Ecclesiae Ministros, quoad omnia praemissa, volumus et mandamus ipsi Episcopo parere et obedire:'            Ib. Ib.


CATHEDRAL Institutions seem to have been founded upon the most ancient model of Episcopal government, in which the Bishop was provided with a council of Presbyters, to act as his assessors and advisers. This point was remarked by Dr. Hacket, in his speech in behalf of Cathedral [9/10] Establishments made before the House of Commons in 1641. His words were:--"I shall allege that which is the genuine and proper use of Cathedral Churches, and for which they were primarily instituted: that is, that the Deans and Chapters should be the Council of the Bishop, to assist him in his jurisdiction and greatest censures, if anything be wrong either in the doctrine or in the manners of the Clergy. Some of our reverend brethren have complained unto you, that our Bishops have for many years usurped sole jurisdiction to themselves, and to their own Consistory; and have disused the Presbyters from concurring with them. I am not he that can assail this objection; nor will I excuse this omission, as if it were not contrary to the best antiquity. It is not to be denied, that Ignatius, Cyprian, Hierom, Austin, and others,* [* See Bingham's Antiquities of the Christian Church, Book II. ch. 3. § 9.] have required that some grave and discreet Presbyters should be Senatus Episcopi, and be advisers with him in his Consistory. And as by negligence it hath been disused, so if it be established in the right form. again, it will give great satisfaction to the Church of God. But it seemeth strange to me, that when this reformation is called for, the Corporations of Deans and Chapters should be cried down, who were employed in this work by very ancient institution. What Canonist is there, that doth not [10/11] refer us unto them for this, service especially?"* [* Dr. Hacket's Apology for Cathedral Establishments, republished by Hatchard and Son, 1838.] Without assenting to the objection stated, by Dr. Hacket, to the sole jurisdiction of the Bishops, we may avail ourselves of his remarks in a manner less likely to encourage invidious reflexions. In the present times, it would probably be difficult to bring forward one well-authenticated instance of the tyrannical use of Episcopal authority. We may therefore at once dismiss the consideration of this very improbable, and, as we may hope, very remote contingency.

1. But the words which have been quoted furnish many very important suggestions, of which one of the most striking is that which relates to the discipline of the Church. A very general feeling now prevails among the Clergy with respect to the want of an extension of the Episcopal authority, for the correction of abuses in the Ministry, and the reproof of Clerical offenders.+ [+The merits of his offence enacting by law either deprivation from his living, or deposition from the Ministry, no such sentence shall be pronounced by any person whosoever, but only by the Bishop, with the assistance of his Chancellor, the Dean, (if they may be conveniently had,) and some of the Prebendaries, if the Court he kept near the Cathedral Church. Constit. and Canons Eccles. 122.] It is thought, that if more power were vested in the hands of the Rulers of the Church, the cause of religion would not so often be injured by the negligence or misconduct of worthless Clergymen. But, in the present times, [11/12] if a Bishop be required to act with severity, he ought not to be left to act singly; because it is essential to the well-being of the Church, that its Rulers should be placed above even the suspicion of injustice. It is no longer a light or easy task to inflict the censures of the. Church. A standing Council of Presbyters seems therefore to be desirable, rather as a support and protection to the Bishop, than as a safeguard against the undue exercise of his authority.

2. The remark of Dr. Hacket on the antiquity of this system of Episcopal government, is also well worthy of attention. Some writers of Church History find, in the passages referred to by him, a proof of the usurpation of modern Episcopacy. But it is unjust not to take into account the very perilous state in which the Church then was. A sense of danger would naturally unite and harmonize all orders of the Ministry, in times when a Bishopric was desired chiefly as a passport to martyrdom. In the troubled times of the third century, and in the bloody reign of Valerian, we find Cyprian consulting on every occasion with the general body of his Clergy.* [* Thus, Epist. 24.--"Nihil ergo a me absentibus vobis novum factum est: sed quod jampridem communis consilio omnium nostrum coeperat necessitate urgente promotum est." Again, Epist. 5.--"Deinde ut ea quae circa ecclesiae gubernacula utilitas communis exposcit tractare simul, et plurimorum consilio examinata delimare possemus."] And it is a reason of the same kind, [12/13] which now induces many friends of the Church to desire a more intimate union between the Bishops and their Clergy. It is because the religious Establishment of this country is exposed to the attacks of many powerful and designing enemies, that they desire to see all orders of the Ministry rallying round the standard of Episcopal authority. But if the Bishops consent to the destruction of rights, and privileges, and duties, and responsibilities, which the Cathedral Clergy have sworn to defend, we can predict to the Established Church no other fate, than that of a house divided against itself. This dissension could not have occurred, if the Cathedral Chapters had continued to act, according to the intention of their Founders, as the confidential Councils of the Bishops: and, as far as we may presume to judge of that which is in the hands of Providence, it seems likely, that the stability of the Church Establishment will very much depend upon the restoration of the ancient usage.

3. The Establishment of a Cathedral Council would meet one of the common objections to the form of Episcopacy adopted in the English Church; viz. that the Bishops are interrupted in the performance of their spiritual duties by their necessary attendance in Parliament. On the other hand, it is generally admitted, that the Clergy could not be [13/14] represented in a less objectionable manner. During the Session of Parliament, the Dean and Canons might form a resident Commission, to conduct the general business of the Diocese, with the exception of the higher functions, which, by the earliest usage, belong peculiarly to the Bishop, such as the Ordination of Priests and Deacons, the Consecration of Churches, and Confirmation.

4. Every thing which tends to raise the character of the Clergy generally, contributes to promote the usefulness and efficiency of the Parochial Minister. Such would be the effect of a more searching system of examination for Holy Orders. But, in all professions, the great difficulty which attends the attempt to raise the standard of qualification arises from the supposed injustice of requiring from Candidates a stricter probation than they have had reason to expect. In the Church, the difficulty is greater, because, if a Candidate for Orders be rejected for incompetence, there is no place to which he can be sent for the purpose of more careful study.* [*In the Medical profession, on the contrary, a great additional strictness of examination has been introduced without difficulty, on account of the great increase of facilities for the study of Medicine.] The subject of Cathedral Schools of Theology will be mentioned in another chapter; but the object of the present remark is, to suggest the advantage of recognizing the Canons as the examining Chaplains [14/15] of the Bishop.* [* "Provided, that they who shall assist the Bishop in examining and laying on of hands shall be of his Cathedral Church, if they may conveniently be had, or other sufficient preachers of the same Diocese, to the number of three at the least." Constit. and Can. Eccles. 35.] A stricter and more comprehensive plan of examination for Orders would of course require more time and labour. Perhaps the whole of the Ember Weeks+ [+ See Ib. Ib.] might be profitably employed by the Canons, in ascertaining the qualifications of the Candidates for Holy Orders. Might not the enquiry be made more heart-searching and spirit-stirring, if the number of the Candidates were thus subdivided, and the time of the examination extended?

5. And again, might not the solemn ceremony of Ordination be made still more striking, if the Bishop were to be attended at the altar by the whole body of his Cathedral Clergy?# [# "And that this be done in the Cathedral or Parish Church where the Bishop resideth, and in the time of Divine Service, in the presence not only of the Archdeacon, but of the Dean and two Prebendaries at the least, or in the presence of four other grave persons." Constit. and Can. Eccles. 31.] Would not the heart of the Deacon burn within him, while he was receiving on his knees the blessing from the hands of his spiritual Father in Christ, surrounded by the Elders of the English Church? Would not he go forth to his Ministry, strengthened by the thought of the stability of his Priesthood, convinced more deeply of the reality of his Apostolic unction, and enlightened with a more expansive comprehension of the Majesty of the visible Church of Christ?

[16] 6. Feelings of the same kind would be produced, by the attendance of the Canons on the Bishop at the Consecration of a Church. It was well said by the advocate of Cathedrals already quoted,* [*Dr. Hacket, see p. 11.] that, "after the foundations of Christianity were laid in this kingdom, the first monuments of piety that were built in this kingdom were Cathedral Churches; for Parochial Churches are their minors and nephews, and, succeeded after them." To follow out the spirit of this remark, whenever a new Church is to be opened, it would be an act of spiritual adoption and Christian unity, if the Cathedral Church, as the parent of the Diocese, were to send forth all its family to welcome it, as a new-born child; its Bishop, to dedicate it for ever to the Lord; its Priests, to unite their prayers, that the Gospel might there be blessed with increase; its Deacons, to collect the Corban of the faithful and rejoicing multitude; its Choristers, to raise the anthem of joy and praise for the first time within its walls.
7. The performance of these holy duties would be a preparation for the Episcopal office, to which many of the Canons might expect to be advanced. Very few Clergymen would be appointed to Bishoprics, without having first obtained a practical acquaintance with all the duties of the Priesthood, [16/17] first as Parochial Ministers, and afterwards as Cathedral Canons, acting as the council and assistants of the Bishop. Many would have held preferment successively in several Cathedrals, and in that way would have had the advantage of comparing the results of the plans of several different Bishops. The consequence would be, a progressive improvement in the practical knowledge of the highest Ecclesiastical duties, tending in the end to the establishment of a settled uniformity of Episcopal government in every Diocese.

8. The last point to be remarked on this part of the subject is, the strong injunction contained in the Statute quoted at the head of this Chapter, requiring the Dean and Canons to obey and submit to the Bishop in every thing relating to the administration of the Cathedral. In raising up a dignified and influential body to be the assessors of the Bishop, the Founder of Ely Cathedral evidently intended to strengthen the authority, and sustain the dignity, of the Episcopal Chair. There is not the shadow of a reason for supposing that he wished to establish an independent or irresponsible Priesthood. Even if we had no evidence upon this point, the wisdom which is displayed throughout the whole of the Cathedral system would convince us, that its Authors could not have lost sight of so obvious a principle, as the advantage of union and connexion between all the parts of a Church Establishment.

[18] 9. The ancient usage, called congè d'elire, or the permission granted by the Crown to the Dean and Chapter to elect a Bishop, will be mentioned only as affording a strong proof of the intimate connexion between the Bishops and the Cathedral Chapters. There is no doubt that the usage is supported by the practice of the Primitive Church; but it would be idle to argue in favour of the revival of a system, which, though still existing in the form of a legal fiction, has become practically obsolete, for reasons, which, in the present day, would effectually prevent it from being re-established.

[19] CHAP. III.


"Unus DECANUS." Stat. Cath. Ch. Ely. Ch. i.

"Statuimus et ordinamus, ut Decanus sit Presbyter vitae et famae integrae, nec doctus modo et eruditus, sed doctrinae etiam titulo insignitus." Ib. Ch. ii.

"Quoniam Decanum vigilantem esse decet, veluti ocululli. In corpore, qui reliquis corporis membris haud negligenter prospiciat, statuimus et volumus, ut Decanus, qui pro tempore fuerit, cum omni sollicitudine praesit, et Canonicos caeterosque Ministros omnes Ecclesiae moneat, increpet, arguat, obsceret, opportune importune instet, tanquam excubias agens in reliquum gregem suae curae commissum, et curet ut Divina officia cum decore celebrentur; ut conciones praescriptis diebus habeantur; ut pueri cum fructu instituantur; ut eleemosynae pauperibus distribuantur; ut in universum concedita sibi munera singuli fideliter obeant." Ib. Ch. v.

"Octo CANONICI." Ib. Ch. i.

Volumus autem, ut nullus in Canonicum admittatur, qui non fuerit Presbyter integrae famae, nec doctus modo et eruditus, sed qui doctrinae etiam titulo insignitus fuerit." Ib. Ch. viii.

"Quinque MINORES CANONICI; unus PRAELECTOR THEOLOGICUS; quatuor SACELLANI, (videlicet ad curam Ecclesiarum S. S. Trinitatis et S. Mariae, atque Capellarum de Chetisham et Stuntney;) unus DIACONUS; octo CLERICI LAICI." Ib. Ch. i.

[20] "Statuimus et volumus, ut tam illi quinque presbyteri, quos Minores Canonicos vocamus, quam octo Clerici Laici, ad haec Diaconus, qui Epistolam leget, (quos omnes ad Dei laudes in Ecclesiae nostrae templo assidue decantandas decrevimus) sint, quantum fieri possit, eruditi, famae bonae, et conversationis honestae, denique cantando periti." Ib. Ch. xix.

"Duo Informatores Publici puerorum in Grammaticâ (quorum unus sit PRAECEPTOR, alter SUB-PRAECEPTOR;) viginti quatuor PUERI in Grammaticâ erudiendi." Ib. Ch. i.

"Statuimus, ut unus eligatur, Latine et Grace doctus, bonae famae et piae vitae, docendi facultate imbutus, qui tam viginti quatuor illos Ecdesiae nostrae Pueros, quam alios quoscumque Grammaticam discendi gratiâ ad Scholam nostram confluentes, pietate excolat, et bonis literis exornet. Hic in Scholâ nostrâ primas obtineat, et Archididascalus, sive praecipuus Informator esto." Ib. Ch. xxv.

"Rursum per Decanum et Capitulum volumus virum alterum eligi, bonae famae et piae vitae, Latine doctum docendique facultate imbutum, qui Hypodidascalus, sive secundarius Informator appellabitur." Ib. Ch. xxv.

"Sint perpetuo in Ecclesiâ nostrâ Eliensi viginti quatuor pueri, pauperes, et amicorum ope ut plurimum destituti, ingeniis (quoad fieri potest) ad discendum natis et aptis." Ib. Ib.


THE above extracts contain the titles.and offices of most of the Members of the Cathedral Church of Ely:--

1. The Dean.
2. The Canons.
3. The Minor Canons
4. The Divinity Lecturer.

5. The Chaplains.
6. The Deacon.
7. The Lay Clerks, Organist, and Choristers.
8. The Upper & Lower Masters of the Cathedral Grammar School.
9. The Scholars of the Grammar School.

[21] 1. The Dean is described, in the Statutes, as, the Superintendent of the whole Cathedral Establishment, acting under the authority of the Bishop, as Visitor. He is required to guard the interests of all the Members, as a wakeful eye watching over the safety of the body. It is his duty "to preach the Word, to be instant in season and out of season,"* [* 2 Tim. iv. 2.] to reprove, to rebuke, to exhort, and to admonish, that Divine Service may be duly and reverentially performed; that all the pious intentions of the Founders may be fulfilled; and that all the Members, in their several stations, may discharge their appointed duties with fidelity and zeal. He is required to be a Priest of unblemished character, and a Graduate of distinguished learning.

2. The duties of the Canons need not be here stated, as they will be sufficiently detailed in the course of these remarks. The qualifications for admission to a Canonry are, as before, unblemished character and distinguished learning.

3. The Minor Canons bear the chief part in the performance of the Daily Service, as stationary Ministers of the Cathedral Church. For this reason, in addition to the usual qualification of piety and learning, they are required also to be skilful in singing.

[22] 4. The duties of the Divinity Lecturer will form the subject of a separate chapter.

5. The Chaplains are Ministers appointed to the special charge of some of the neighbouring parishes and hamlets specified in the Statutes.

6. The only statutable office of the Deacon is to read the Epistle. But it seems probable, that he was intended to be a Probationary Minister, to supply any sudden vacancy which might occur in the body of the Minor Canons, that the service of the Cathedral might not suffer by the diminution of the number of Ministers. In the present state of the Church, it might be expedient to maintain a larger number of Probationary Deacons, for purposes which will be hereafter mentioned.

7. The Lay Clerks, Organist, and Choristers conduct the Musical Service of the Cathedral, and are required to be reputable, well-informed, and well-conducted men. A proposal for the establishment of a School of Singing, under the direction of these officers, will be found in a following chapter.

9. The duties of the Master and Scholars of the Cathedral School will be described in a separate chapter. The Masters are required to be learned in the ancient languages, and to be men of [22/23] good character and pious life. The Scholars must be poor children, possessed of a natural aptitude for learning.

10. On reviewing the Statutes relating to the different members of this Ecclesiastical body, we, must observe, that, in all cases, the first great and indispensable qualification is PIETY. From the head of the Cathedral Establishment to the poorest scholar in the Cathedral School, no one can fulfil the intentions of the Founder, without a strict adherence to the principles of the Christian Faith, and to the practice of a holy life. No claim to the advantages, even of the very lowest of all the offices which have been described, can be founded upon any other basis, than a determination to maintain the glory of God, and to uphold His Church, "as a city set upon an hill."* [* Mat. v. 14.] The rewards and honours of a Cathedral Institution were intended to encourage the growth of piety among all orders of men; to elicit, from the household of the peasant, the latent spark of faith; to hallow the learning of the high-born scholar, by the simplicity of the Gospel; to unite the Rulers and Elders of the Church in Christian charity with their poorest brethren; and to write the HOLINESS OF THE LORD in living characters upon the frontlet of the mitre.+ [+ Exod. xxviii. 36.]

[24] 11. The second great qualification for every member of the Cathedral body is LEARNING. The advantages of the Institution are fitted to be rewards of learning, in every degree of excellence, and in every rank of life, from the Bishop, who is "apt to teach,"* [* 1 Tim. iii. 2.] to the Chorister, who "sings praises with understanding."+ [+ Psalm lvii. 7.] The learning, which it was the object of the Founder to encourage, was not the learning of the cloistered Monk, but the active, influential, and fruitful learning of the champions and witnesses of the faith of Christ. His intentions can be fulfilled neither by energy untempered with wisdom, nor by knowledge debased and sensualized by inaction. His system was framed expressly for the developement both of knowledge and fruit.

The words of the Ely Memorial are very forcible on this point:# [# Memorial to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, from the Dean and Chapter of Ely.]

"There is one purpose of Cathedral Institutions, to which your memorialists are most especially anxious to call the attention of the Commissioners; and which, next to the perpetual worship of ALMIGHTY GOD, is perhaps of all others the most important; viz. the maintenance of a learned [24/25] Clergy; by whose labours, in the higher departments of Theological study, the true Christian Faith may be continually defended against all attacks, and error excluded most effectually from the bosom of the Church."

And again, after referring to the fact, that a very large proportion of those works of religions learning, which are the glory of the English Church, owe their origin to Cathedral Institutions; the Dean and Chapter thus write:

"Your Memorialists would refer particularly to one work, the inestimable benefit of which is felt, not only to the farthest extremity of these Kingdoms, but wherever the English tongue is spoken, THE AUTHORIZED TRANSLATION OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. Your Memorialists will be excused for mentioning, with feelings of honest pride, that of the number of those to whom the execution of this great task was committed, there are three whose names stand recorded among the former Canons of the Church of Ely."

[26] CHAP. IV.


"Quia lucerna pedibus nostris est verbum Dei, statuimus et volumus ut Decanus et Canonici nostri, imo per misericordiam Dei obsecramus, ut in verbo Dei opportune et importune seminando sint seduli, cum alias, tum praecipue in Ecclesiâ nostrâ Cathedrali." Stat. Cath. Ch. Ely. Chap. XI.

"Ut minores Canonici, et Ecclesiae nostrae Presbyteri, ministeriis suis diligentius inserviant, iis nullo Ecclesiastico Beneficio gaudendi licentiam damus; Sacellanorum tantum Ecclesiarum S. S. Trinitatis et S. Mariae, et Capellarum de Chetesham et Stuntney, loca supplere permittimus." Ib. Chap. XXI.


OBSERVE the earnest and solemn appeal of the Founder: "I will and decree, yea rather I beseech "you by the mercy of God." The object of this forcible address is to exhort the Dean and Canons to be zealous in disseminating the word of God by public preaching both in their own Cathedral Church, and also in other places.
1. On that part of the Statute which requires the Canons to be earnest in preaching the word of [26/27] God in their own Cathedral Church, it will be sufficient to quote the words of the Memorial presented by the Dean and Chapter of Ely to the Board of Ecclesiastical Commissioners; where the above extract from the Statutes is quoted, as introductory to the following remarks:

"In compliance with this strong injunction, your Memorialists are in the constant habit of preaching to a very large Congregation, assembled in the body of the Cathedral Church. In cases of sickness and infirmity, it has been the custom for one Member of the Chapter to take another's duty; so that there are very few Sundays in the year when the Pulpit is not occupied by the Lord Bishop of the Diocese, the Dean, or some Member of the Chapter."

The plan of these remarks precludes all attempts at graphic description; but it may not be altogether out of place to say, that there are few scenes more strikingly sublime than that which is presented by Ely Cathedral on these occasions; when the Congregations of the Choir and both the Parish Churches are assembled in the area of the majestic octagon, which is formed by the intersection of the transepts with the nave. How deeply do the words of Jacob then impress themselves upon the mind:--

"This is none other but the house of GOD."* [* Gen. xxviii. 17.]

[28] The solemn appeal of the Founder, exhorting the Canons to be zealous in preaching the word of God in other places,* [* "The Dean, Master, Warden, or Chief Governor, Prebendaries, & Canons, in every Cathedral and Collegiate Church, shall not only preach there in their own persons so often as they are bound by law, statute, ordinance, or custom; but shall likewise preach in other Churches of the same Diocese where they are resident, and especially in those places whence they or their Church receive any yearly rents or profits." Constit. and Can. Eccl. 43.] as well as in their own, Cathedral, suggests several practical remarks.

 2. Every reflecting member of the Church of England is sensible of the benefit which is derived from the visitation of the Clergy, and other officers of the Church, by the Bishops and Archdeacons. Might not as great, or even greater advantages be derived from a Canonical Visitation of the People by select Preachers of distinguished eloquence and learning. This is no new plan: it has been long adopted in several Churches in London, among which may be instanced St. Dunstan's, Fleet Street; St. Anne's, Soho; and St. George's, Hanover-square. But this duty is performed chiefly by Parochial Clergymen, who have left their own Parishes for the purpose. The plan, as at present conducted, is so far objectionable, because a Parochial Minister is out of place every where except in his own Church and Parish, where the effect of his exertions depends mainly upon their continuity, and upon the concentration of all his energies upon one definite object. A Parish Clergyman departs from [28/29] his character, in becoming a home-missionary. In some cases, where the plan is now in operation, the Bishop nominates the Preachers; in others, the Incumbent or Congregation arrange the succession. It is so far from being looked upon by the Parochial Incumbent as an intrusion, that in most cases it is valued by him as a very important advantage, both to his Congregation and himself. A plan of a similar kind has been for many years adopted in Exeter. It is probable that this system, which experience has proved to be highly beneficial in London, might be extended, with equal advantage to most of the chief towns of the kingdom, by means of the Cathedral Clergy. Any general cycle of Canonical Visitation ought of course to be regulated by the Bishop of the Diocese.

3. In the prosecution of this duty, the Cathedral Canons might render an important service to the Parochial Clergy, by acting as interpreters of the Bishop's Visitation Charge, to enforce and bring home to the minds of the People the important doctrinal topics, which are often rather hinted at than developed in the press of important matter which is obliged to be condensed into that Address. To take one instance from the present time, viz. the new Law of Civil Marriage, and Registration of Births. The probable effect of these alterations upon the minds of the more ignorant members of [29/30] the Established Church has been pointed out to the Clergy by some of the Bishops; but it would be well, if this suggestion could at once be followed up by a general and forcible appeal throughout the country, in avowal of the sanctity of that union, which the express Word of God has hallowed in man's threefold state of purity,* [* Matt. xix. 4.] of sin,+ [+ Gen. iii. 26.] and of redemption;# [# Matt. v. 32, and xix. 6.] and in proof of the necessity of that Sacrament, without which no name will be written in Christ's book of life.§ [§ John iii. 5. Rev. xxi. 27.] The same system would apply with equal force to the refutation of prevailing errors of doctrine, which are generally briefly controverted in the Bishop's Charge, but which might be more fully refuted before the Public generally in the Visitation Sermons of the Cathedral Canons.

4. There is another class of doctrinal errors, which seldom come to the ear of the Bishop, because they are confined to particular places. These local errors often cause great uneasiness to the Parochial Clergyman; in some cases, when the error is in the bosom of the Church, by weakening the confidence which there ought to be between him and his flock; in others, when the error amounts to Dissent, by alienating from him a large portion of his Parishioners. In both cases, his conscientious [30/31] preaching of what he holds to be true generally fails of its effect. He is said either to be supporting his own peculiar views, or to be preaching against his Dissenting opponent. But the opinion of the Cathedral Canon would carry with it the weight of an independent testimony, and the credit due to his high station and acquirements. Those of the congregation, who had been most certain of the soundness of their own reasons for opposition to their pastor, would be most astonished to find every one of their favourite arguments demolished by an authority which they could not dispute; and the Parish in. general would hear with surprise, that, in spite of all that had been said by the opposite party, their Clergyman after all was right.

5. Another important part of the office of a Cathedral Canon might be to revive the Gospel, and remedy the occasional relapses which Religion suffers, in Parishes where the Clergyman, either from age or other circumstances, is inefficient in the discharge of his Ministry. The preaching of the Cathedral Canon would secure attention to the doctrines of salvation at least once in the stated period of his visitation. The regularity and systematic recurrence of these visits would prevent them from being considered as a personal imputation upon the character of the Incumbent. It is, probable that many Clergymen, from a sense [31/32] of their own infirmities, would desire of their own accord the assistance of the Canon.

6. One of the most frequent wants of the Parochial Clergy is, assistance in their Charitable Collections. It is needless to say, that one Preacher has greater power than another to induce Congregations to contribute liberally. Such is the fact whether it ought to be so, or not, is another question. But taking congregations as they are, it is a great advantage to a Clergyman to be able to secure some eloquent and distinguished advocate, to plead, in behalf of his School, his Dispensary, his Clothing Club, or any other of his Parochial Institutions. The difficulty of obtaining such assistance is well known. But if the Cathedral Clergy were willing to fulfil the intentions of their Founders, by being zealous in preaching the word of God in other places, and by promoting good works of piety of every kind,* [* See Statute quoted at the head of this Chapter. "Omnis generis pietatis officia." See Charter Cath. Ch. Ely, quoted in Chap. I.] this difficulty would be in a great measure removed.

7. A great defect, not in the Parochial system only, but in the Church generally, is the want of a complete organization of the Diocesan branches of the great Church Societies. Many proofs of this might be mentioned; but the present state of that most venerable and Christian Society, the Society [32/33] for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, will be a sufficient illustration of this part of the subject.

The Cathedral Institutions are qualified to supply the remedy for this defect, in entire accordance with the intentions of their Founders. A Chapter, with the addition of as many Laymen as may be found expedient, is peculiarly fitted to form a Diocesan Committee, in aid of the great Societies of the Church. This duty is at present discharged, in a great measure, by the Parochial Clergy; and often to the very great hinderance of their more appropriate duties. A taste for attending Public Meetings is no advantage to a Parish Priest: and it is still less an advantage to him, to be obliged to keep the complicated accounts of a Diocesan Subscription List. And in addition to the aid thus afforded by Chapters, in organizing Diocesan branches of the great Church Societies, they might also assist by systematic and effectual preaching. The claims of those Societies are very imperfectly made known to the people by means of the formal circulars, called Queen's Letters. Many of the Clergy consider them as an incumbrance, and take no interest in the success of the collection. The consequence is, that the sum, thus obtained seems likely to decrease from time to time, and the principles and operations of the Societies [33/34] themselves to be more and more imperfectly understood. The Cathedral Chapters might furnish Preachers of the highest general character, well acquainted with the plan of the Societies by attendance at the District Committees, and by frequent correspondence with the Metropolitan Board, who might diffuse an interest in the- Missionary operations of the Church, at least throughout all the chief towns in the kingdom. Why might not the Church Missionary Society be thus united with the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel? The success of the former Society is mainly to be attributed to a system of provincial organization similar to that which is here recommended.

8. Another inconvenience much felt by the Parochial Clergy is, the difficulty of obtaining occasional assistance. In some Churches, from unavoidable circumstances, Divine Service is occasionally suspended for one Sunday, or even more. At other times, a Clergyman, already sufficiently employed in his own Parish, is obliged to alter the times of his own services, or perhaps to give up a part, in order to assist his neighbour. The Cathedral Clergy might provide a remedy for this, at least in all parts of the Diocese within a reasonable distance, by making it understood, that, in sudden and unavoidable emergencies, they would provide their Parochial brethren with assistance, to the [34/35] utmost of their power. This duty might be performed occasionally by the Canons, but generally by the probationary Deacons, who will be mentioned under the head of 'Divinity Lecturer.'

9. The want of opportunities of hearing good Preachers is another great drawback to the efficiency of the Parochial Clergy. A young Clergyman seldom has an opportunity of correcting his own style, by comparison with the best models of pulpit eloquence. He may go on for many years together, without hearing any preacher's voice but his own, except on the very rare occasion of a Visitation Sermon. If a Chapter of six or eight distinguished Canons were constantly employed in the various ways which have been already mentioned, how much flippancy of declamation, affectation of eloquence, and unsoundness of doctrine might be banished from the Church.

10. The same duty of Public Preaching, which the Canons are qualified to perform, belongs also to the Minor Canons and Chaplains, with this difference, that, by the Statutes of Ely Cathedral, the latter are restricted to the Cathedral City, and a few of the hamlets in the immediate neighbourhood. The proposal of the Church Commissioners, to, annex, in many cases, to Prebendal Stalls the benefices adjoining the Cathedral, falls under the objection which has been already founded on the [35/36] principle of the essential distinction between the diffusive duties of the Canon, and the stationary duties of the Parish Priest. But no such objection exists to the appointment of the Minor Canons to those benefices: on the contrary, the Founder seems to have desired that they should not be so entirely unconnected with Parochial duty, as to be unprepared for the charge of such preferment as they might expect afterwards to obtain. He therefore permits them to hold the small benefices in the Cathedral City and neighbourhood, till they vacate their minor Canonries by promotion to more valuable livings. The same principle would sanction the employment of the Minor Canons as District Visitors and Parochial Assistants to the Clergy in Cathedral cities, where the livings are not in the gift of the Chapter.* [* See Suggestions for a plan of this kind, in a Sermon preached in Westminster Abbey, by the Rev. H. Butterfield, Minor Canon of Windsor and Westminster.]

[37] CHAP. V.


"Unus Praelector Theologicus." Statut. Cap. I.

"Ne ullus totius anni dies Dominicus abeat sine Concione, volumus Praelectorem Theologicum omnibus diebus Dominicis, aliisque diebus solennibus qui neque Decano neque Canonico alicui fuerint assignati, Concionem habere." Statut. Cap. XI.


THE endowment for a Divinity Lecturer in the Cathedral Church of Ely implies the wish of the Founder to encourage the formation of a Divinity School. It seems evident that his office was not merely to preach occasionally for the Dean and Canons, because the words of the Statute quoted in Chap. II, require the Dean and Canons to be diligent in preaching the word of God, especially in their own Cathedral Church. The object of the second extract quoted above seems to be, not to mark out the whole duty of the Divinity Lecturer, but simply to provide for the occasional absence of the regular Preachers; and for this reason it forms a part of the Statute "de Concionibus Ecclesiâ nostrâ habendis." We must therefore deduce [37/38] the duties of the Lecturer in Divinity from the general spirit of the statutes. Common sense indeed would suggest to us, that a Divinity Lecturer must have been intended to instruct a Divinity Class: and though we find no express mention of such an institution, yet the words which are quoted at the head of the next chapter, from the Charter of King Henry 8th, clearly indicate the intention of the Founder: "Bonorum morum disciplina sincere observetur: Juventus in literis liberaliter instituatur." It is scarcely necessary to argue, that the Founder of a Theological Institution could not mean "literae" to be confined to mere grammatical instruction. In the Statutes of Henry 8th, the boys are appointed to be taught the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew languages. We may therefore safely infer, that it would be perfectly consistent with the intentions of the Founder, if a school of Theological Learning were connected with the Cathedral. I need not enter more fully upon this important part of the subject, as it has been developed in the most convincing manner by a writer much more competent to the task than myself.* [* Dr. Pusey, in his work on Cathedral Institutions.]

I shall therefore simply state some of the advantages, which the adoption of this plan would confer upon the Parochial Clergy.

[39] 1. The class of the Divinity Lecturer offers a safe and easy remedy for the evils arising from the disproportion of the incomes of the Parochial Clergy. But as the correction of this evil is the main object of the plan proposed by the Church Commissioners, it will be necessary first to state some of the reasons, which seem to prove the insufficiency and injustice of that measure. It appears to be insufficient, because it does not provide for the changes which must occur in every Parish even during the life-time of one Incumbent; and it appears to be unjust, because it exacts from one class of Patrons of Benefices an Improvement Tax; from which another class is exempt. The effect of the distribution of the Capitular revenues among the smaller livings would not add, in any material degree, to the general efficiency of the Church, because all livings below a certain value must be raised according to a fixed scale, depending upon the value of the living, not upon the comparative wants of the Parish. A Clergyman, whose age and infirmities required him to keep a curate, would receive no more aid from the Church Commission than the young and hearty incumbent, who could do all the duty himself. A small living, with a wealthy and independent population, would receive as much augmentation as a living of the same nominal value, but overburthened with poor. The truth therefore is, that the persons benefited by [39/40] the plan of the Church Commissioners would be the owners of Advowsons, and not the Parochial Clergy generally. And why should the Legislature defeat the intentions of the Founders of Cathedrals, for the sake of a class of Proprietors whom they dare not require to improve their own property, and who will not do it of their own accord? If the owners of Advowsons have other uses for their money, than to improve the livings which are in their own gift, so also have the Cathedral Chapters other uses to which they may apply their property more consistently with the intentions of their Founders, than to the augmentation of livings over which they exercise no patronage or controul.

The words of the Ely Memorial contain what certainly seems to be the only just view of the subject; where the Dean and Chapter state,

"That they would most cheerfully bear a fair and equitable share of the burden of any general measure calculated to raise the incomes of the poorer benefices throughout the kingdom; but they deem it unjust, that large sacrifices should be required from the Cathedral Establishments in particular, in order to meet a general deficiency; and that upon their revenues, exclusively; should be laid the burden of providing for the spiritual wants of a population, whose increase is mainly attributable to the growth of Commerce and Manufactures, to [40/41] the increasing wealth and prosperity of the country at large."

2. Will the distribution of the Cathedral revenues benefit the Parochial Clergy to the same extent as a judicious application of their resources, under the direction of the Chapters themselves? The true objects of our compassion are not poor livings, but poor Incumbents. A poor living maybe held by a rich Incumbent, and thereby cease for the time to require augmentation. But the Church Commission cannot take away the ten pounds which they have added to the yearly value of the living, because the Incumbent is not in want of it. And yet, in the next Parish, Religion may be languishing for want of the aid which the sum thus wasted would procure. But a Cathedral Chapter, acting as a Clergy Aid Society, would abstain from giving, what the law, when it has once given, cannot withdraw. The assistance rendered to the necessitous Clergy might thus be made respective of the wants of the Incumbent, and not simply proportionate to the value of the living.

Whether the Chapters, after providing for their own maintenance, and for the complete organization of their Diocesan systems, could afford any direct pecuniary contribution to the. Parochial Clergy, is a wide question, which cannot be discussed in a [41/42] work of this kind. It is probable that their aid would be most effectually given in the form of Clerical assistance and influential co-operation. The efficiency, thus imparted to the Parochial System, would produce in the Laity an increased willingness to contribute to the erection of Churches and Schools, and to the furtherance, of all other works of Christian benevolence. The nation has never failed to respond to the disinterested exertions of a liberal and enlightened Clergy. The state of feeling, which an old Chronicler describes as existing in the seventh century, may be revived in our own time, by the renewal of the operation, of the same moral cause:* [* The manner in which the appeal of the Bishop of London, in behalf of the spiritual wants of the Metropolis, has been answered, is a most satisfactory proof that this revival has already begun.]

"In these days, the munkes and Clergye of Brytagne set all theyr myndes to serve God, and not the worlde; wherefore they were than had in greate reverence and honoure, so that they were than receyvyd with all worshyp; and as they went by the stretys and wayes, men that saw them wolde ronne to them, and desire them blessynges, and well was hym that than myght gyve unto them possessions, and buyldyd to them houses and Churches."+ [+ Fabyan's Chronicle, Chap. 134.]

[43] We may now proceed to consider the benefits which might be conferred upon the Parochial Clergy by means of the Class of the Divinity Professor.

3. The most obvious of these is, the improvement of the general character of the Clergy, by enabling them to arrive at a higher point of Theological attainment. Very little is done at the Universities in the way of a direct preparation for Holy Orders; nor could a course sufficiently comprehensive for that purpose be introduced, without giving to the Academical studies a character too professional for a general system of Education. The Cathedral Institutions offer the most ready means of educating students specifically for the Ministry. But on this point it is unnecessary to enlarge, for the reason already mentioned.

4. In the plan of the Church Commissioners, it was proposed to annex one entire Stall to the Archdeaconry of the Diocese. There can be no objection to this; because the duties of an Archdeacon have the same diffusive character as those of a Canon. It might also be possible to unite the office of Archdeacon with that of Divinity Lecturer; as the duties of the Archdeaconry do not in general occupy more than a small portion of the year. And as the Probationary Deacons would be chosen from [43/44] the Theological class, it would be desirable that they should remain, after their ordination, under the superintendence of the same person by whom they had been educated in Theology. Thus the Archdeacon would regulate the Diocesan employment of those Probationary Deacons, whom, in his capacity of Divinity Professor, he had instructed as Cathedral Theological Students. Besides this, it would be essential to the effectual working of this part of the system, that the superintendent should have that extensive acquaintance with the Parochial Clergy, which the Archdeacon must always acquire in the discharge of the duties of his office.

5. The Probationary Deacons, thus educated and governed, would form a Clergy-Aid Society, for the general benefit of the Diocese. They might be employed, under the direction of the Archdeacon, an all the subordinate offices of the Ministry, to secure the regular performance of Divine Worship, by officiating for sick or absent Clergymen; and to supply the defects arising from the infirmities of age, or the still greater spiritual wants occasioned by an excess of population, by being attached as regular assistants to the Incumbents, upon the plan of the Society for providing additional Curates. In short, wherever any deficiency of religious instruction might be felt, the Cathedral, in the spirit of the old time, would send forth its ministering Deacon to preach the Gospel to the poor.

[45] 6. The means of support for these Probationary Deacons is one of those pecuniary questions, which it is not the object of this work to discuss. It may be suggested, rather as an enquiry than as a recommendation, whether they might not, in the more wealthy Cathedrals, be supported by the funds of the Chapter. In the poorer Corporations, they might be supported partly by the Chapter, and partly by a fixed remuneration, to be paid by the incumbent receiving their assistance. In the poorest Chapters, they might be supported entirely by the Parochial Clergy, by means of an annual contribution, proportioned to the value of the Livings; by which payment, the assistance of a Probationary Deacon might be secured, in the event of the sickness of the contributing incumbent. It is probable that, in many cases, the Laity would subscribe for the support of Institutions of this kind, in the same Spirit in which they support the Metropolitan Societies which have been established with the same objects.

7. Among the minor advantages which would be offered to the Parochial Clergy by the class of Probationary Deacons, may be mentioned the facility afforded to Incumbents of selecting tried and approved Curates from their number. The difficulty attending this selection is daily increasing; because the diffusion of religious knowledge, and the [45/46] awakening of religious zeal, are gradually raising the standard of qualifications required in a Minister. We may add to this, that the erection of new Churches opens so many new situations for young Clergymen, that it is likely soon to become very difficult to procure the services of an efficient Curate. An additional facility might also be afforded, by permitting unemployed Clergymen to enter their names and testimonials in a book to be kept for that purpose by one of the Officers of the Cathedral. In this way, the very unpleasant necessity of advertising for Curates might be avoided; and a still greater advantage might be obtained, in the entire abolition of the Clerical Register Offices in London.

8. This part of the subject would not be complete, if we were not to suggest the use of the Cathedral Theological School for the education of Missionaries.

The improvement of our Church Establishment is to be desired, not only for our own comfort and satisfaction, but also for the better performance of the diffusive duties which God has entrusted to our Church; not only for the benefit of the millions who are already in her bosom, but still more for the benefit of the hundreds of millions of living souls, who can derive their first spiritual [46/47] nourishment from no other fountain. We have received a vast and almost boundless stewardship of the faith of Christ, of the knowledge of God, and of the blessing of the Spirit; and that faith has been purified, and that knowledge enlarged, by many wonderful and Providential workings of that Spirit in our land. Our first care must therefore be, to diffuse the Gospel into other lands, in the same purity in which it has been conveyed to us. It seems to be a most important part of our duty, to take care that every plan, intended for the improvement of our own Church Establishment, should have also in view the more effectual propagation of the Gospel throughout our own Colonies, and among the heathen generally. It may be presumed therefore, though there is no express mention of the subject in the Ely Statutes, that the addition of a class of Missionary Students to the Theological class of the Divinity Professor would not be inconsistent with the intentions of the Founder. The plan of Education, which would be necessary for this purpose, is too extended an enquiry for the limits of these remarks.

9. The great subject of national responsibility is one which seldom occurs to us in a really practical point of view. It is a work of great difficulty, to expand the mind to a due comprehension of the religious obligations under which we lie, as the [47/48] rulers of so large a portion of the heathen world. Might not a solemn ordination of Missionaries, held at stated periods in St. Paul's Cathedral, have a powerful effect in reminding us of the greatness of the work which God has given us to do? If each of the Cathedral Churches were to send annually its chosen band of devoted and faithful men, to be ordained, by the Bishops assembled in London, to the work of propagating the Gospel in Foreign parts, might not the nation learn to look upon our Metropolitan Cathedral in its true character, not only as one of the noblest ornaments of the English Church, but much more as the fountainhead of spiritual knowledge to a hundred millions of our fellow-men?

A request which has been lately made to the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, for the opening of the Cathedral to the Public, seems to recognize its value, as a means of purifying the taste and exciting the emulation of the People, by the sight of the memorials which it contains of departed genius and virtue. Do we claim too much, in desiring to employ the Cathedral as a means of developing the spiritual energies of the nation; Are we too earnest in pleading the cause of that religion, which, among other hopes of a far higher and nobler character, points out the way by which we may be associated hereafter with the living forms, of which those [48/49] marble statues are but the cold and lifeless effigies Many even of the: heathen looked forward, as to the brightest prospect in the visions of their fabled Elysium, to a reunion with the spirits of the just and virtuous dead. This recognition of one use of the Cathedral suggests a hope, that its other uses may be estimated in proportion to their relative importance. It is not unreasonable to expect that the same enlightened judgment, which values the Cathedral as a monument of human genius, will uphold it still more earnestly as a place of Divine Worship; that they, who acknowledge its effect upon the mind of men, will desire to extend its influence over their spirit; and that they, who would teach the nation how Nelson did his duty to his country, will think it a far higher object to teach them to know what God demands of them, as the Christian conquerors of so large a portion of the unconverted world.

[50] CHAP. VI.


"Hactenus concordat cum Statutis Henrici, sed ibi super haec statuitur quatuor Scholares e Scholâ nostrâ Academiis alendos." Not. Chap. XXXIII. Stat. Cath. Ch. Ely.

"Quae tamen fundatio in irritum abiit, quia terrae, ad Scholares sustentandos destinatae, subtractae fuerunt per R. Henricum." Ib. Ib.

1. The Statutes of Henry 8th suggest the best mode of supplying the class of the Divinity Professor, viz. with Students who have been supported at the Universities by the funds of the Chapter. May those venerable Institutions long continue to be the main feeders of the Ministry! It would be anything but an advantage to a young Candidate for Orders, to be confined to a strictly professional education;* [* See Commemoration Sermon preached in the Chapel of Trinity College, Cambridge, by Rev. J. Blakesley.] and therefore it is impossible to object [50/51] to the resolution which most of the English Bishops have formed, of ordaining no one who is not a member of one of the English Universities. But, at present, this regulation, though founded upon principles of sound policy and expediency, is the means of debarring from the Ministry many deserving poor men, who are unable to meet the expense of an academical education. On the other hand, the pulpit of the dissenting chapel is open to them, without any such qualification. It is certain that many pious and able men are thus lost to the Church.* [* A Society has lately been formed at Cambridge, for the purpose of assisting poor and deserving men through their academical course, with a view to their admission to holy orders.] It is no doubt true, that much is done to remedy this evil, by Exhibitions and Scholarships in most of the Colleges at both Universities; but the Scholars thus maintained are not subject to the same probation which the Students from the Cathedrals might be made to undergo. In taking Ministers from the lower orders, the greatest caution is necessary, to avoid injury to the character of the Priesthood. My fervent prayer is, that the Ministry of the Church may take root downward; that many a rustic mother may feel an honest pride in the profession of her son, and bless the Church which has adopted him into her service. But these must not be Jeroboam's Ministers, "the lowest of the people;"+ [+1 Kings, XII. 31.] but men who, by their [51/52] talents and virtues, have proved themselves worthy of a higher station.* [*Such men are they, who have made poverty honourable in the College of' which I am a member; where humble and retiring merit has never failed to meet with patronage and support; and of which some of the brightest ornaments have been drawn from the lower ranks of society. I may be pardoned for paying here a tribute to the memory of the late Rev. Thomas Catton, for many years Senior Fellow of St. John's College, the friend and patron of the lamented Henry Kirke White. In losing him, St. John's has lost one of those benevolent spirits, who have contributed to procure for it the title' of 'the most paternal College in the University.'] If sufficient caution be used in selecting Ministers from the great body of the people, the Church must be strengthened, and cannot be degraded. It seems to be essential to the permanent efficiency of all the higher orders of men, that they should be recruited from time to time by well-chosen reinforcements from the ranks below them. The Cathedral Institutions have the means of providing such a course of probation in youth, and such a system of encouragement to the deserving in after-life, as might be sufficient, under the blessing of God, to ensure the good conduct of their students in the Universities: and thus, without injury to the character or efficiency of the Ministry, they might become the avenues by which the poorest man of merit might arrive at academical distinction, and pass on to the highest offices of the Church.

2. In considering this part of the question, we are sometimes apt to rely too much upon the continuance of the worldly prosperity of the Church of England. The objection, which is generally [52/53] raised against any plan for drawing supplies of Ministers from the great body of the people is, that there are candidates enough of a Higher rank, who are willing to undertake the sacred office. It might be sufficient to protest once for all against this objection, as involving an exclusive and therefore an unchristian principle. Is it not evident however, that the cause of this plentiful supply of Ministers is, in a great measure, the prosperity of the Church: But, in the present state of political feeling in this country, there is little to justify the expectation, that the Clergy will be blessed with the perpetual enjoyment of their present temporal advantages. This is not to be looked upon as a melancholy foreboding of evils which may never happen, but as a prudential forethought, which must be suggested to every Clergyman by daily observation of the spirit and temper of the times. It is not a gloomy prospect; for the Ministry of the Church, whether in adversity or in honour, must have within itself a comforting and sustaining power, to those who have learned to value its privileges, and have felt the peace and satisfaction which is imparted by the performance of its duties. But it is well to be prepared for the worst, if it were for no other reason, than that we may be the more thankful, if it should please God to preserve us from that extreme. The main point of this preparation is, to strengthen every part of the Church [53/54] Establishment, and especially those parts which connect it with the poorer classes. It may be necessary, and perhaps at no very distant time, to draw largely upon that source for the supply of the Ministry, if any great political change should diminish the number of those, who now embrace the Priesthood as a liberal and dignified profession. In what state will the Church find itself, if it shall then have parted with all its Institutions for the education of the Clergy, upon the improvident supposition, that Candidates for Holy Orders will always be able and willing to educate themselves? We should then be most happy, if we could revive, by public subscription or otherwise, one tenth part of that efficient and comprehensive system, which now lies dormant in our Cathedral Establishments.

3. A second Class of Cathedral University Scholars might be formed, for the education of Missionaries; who might avail themselves of the Lectures of the Professors of Oriental Languages for a shorter period than the whole Academical course. It would be sufficient for them to obtain a general knowledge of the primitive Oriental Languages, without completing the whole routine of a University Education. The peculiar dialects, with which they would require to be acquainted, must of course be acquired after their arrival at the scene of their Missionary exertions. The immediate connexion [54/55] between a plan of this kind, and the main purpose of a Cathedral Institution, is evident from this consideration, that we cannot think of our own Church otherwise than as the centre of a vast field of spiritual labour. What a Cathedral ought to be to its Diocese, the Church of England might be, and in part is, to the world; the diffusive fountain of the Gospel; the promoter of every good and pious work; and the propagator of our most pure and holy faith. But if the labourers be few, even in our own land, how can they be sufficient to gather in the harvest of the heathen world. It is possible to suppose a more cheerful case, than that upon which the foregoing argument was founded. It is possible, that a government may be established in this country, so firmly based upon the confidence of the people, as to be able to set aside the petty rivalry of conflicting opinions, and to determine to act upon a broad and uniform plan for the conversion of its heathen subjects. If the Church of England were required to furnish a supply of' Ministers sufficient for the wants of our Colonial dominions, the demand could not be answered otherwise than by an extensive ordination of the poor. And how could these Ministers be prepared for admission into Holy Orders, if the Church were without establishments for that purpose. If then it be the duty of this nation to instruct its heathen subjects, and that duty cannot be performed without Colleges [55/56] for the instruction of Missionaries, for which Cathedral Institutions afford the only existing means, we must conclude, that the plan of the Church Commissioners, will permanently disqualify the Church of England for the performance of the most extensive, if not the most important, of its duties. The Church of England cannot be worthy of the English nation, if it be not a Missionary as well as a domestic Church. Questionable therefore as is the policy of the Church Commissioners, in their plan for the improvement of the Parochial System in this country, the total omission of all Ecumenical considerations is perhaps still more to be lamented.

[57] CHAP. VII.



"Juventus in literis liberaliter instituatur." Chart. Cath. Ch. Ely.

"Duo informatores Publici puerorum in Grammaticâ (quorum unus sit Praeceptor, alter Subpraeceptor); viginti-quatuor pueri in Grammaticâ erudiendi." Chart. Cath. Ch. Ely. Chap. I.

"Ut PIETAS et bonae literae perpetuo in Ecclesiâ nostrâ suppullulascant, crescant, floreant, et suo tempore in Gloriam DEI, et reipublicae commodum et ornamentum, fructificent; statuimus et ordinamus, ut ad electionem et ad designationem Decani et Capituli sint perpetuo in Ecclesiâ nostrâ Eliensi viginti quatuor Pueri, pauperes et amicorum ope ut plurimum destituti, de bonis Ecclesiae nostrae alendi, ingeniis (quoad fieri potest) ad discendum natis et aptis; quos tamen admitti nolumus in pauperes pueros Ecclesiae nostrae antequam noverint legere et scribere, et mediocriter calluerint prima Grammaticae rudimenta. Atque hos pueros volumus impensis Ecclesiae nostrae ali, donec mediocrem Latinae Grammaticae notitiam adepti fuerint, et Latine loqui et Graece* [* Per Stat. Eliz. statuitur pueros impensis Ecclesiae alendos, donec ornate literas formare, mediocrem artis numericae, ac Latinae et Graecae et Hebraicae Grammatices, notitiam adepti fuerint, necnon Latine loqui et scribere, atque carmina Graeca.Latinaque condere didicere. Stat. Cath. Ch. Ely. Chap. XXV.] scribere didicerint. Cui rei dabitur sex annorum spatium, aut ad summum septem, et non amplius."

[58] 1. THIS Statute has been quoted at great length, because it contains perhaps the most convincing proof of all, that the intention of the Founder was to draw supplies of Candidates for Holy Orders from the poorer classes, to be trained up for the Ministry, under the care of the Chapter. This Statute breathes the same noble spirit as the Charter;--"That Piety and useful learning may in our Church continually spring up, grow, flourish, and, in due season, bring forth fruit, to the glory of God, and to the advantage and honour of the State, &c." This preamble expresses in very forcible words what seems to have been the object of the Founder; viz. to nurture and foster humble merit, at every period of its growth; to select from the children of the poor the youths of greatest promise; to train them in the Cathedral School; to maintain them at the University, by the Cathedral Scholarships; to prepare them for Orders in the Cathedral Class of Theology; to employ them in the subordinate Ministry of the Cathedral and Diocese; and, in the end, to reward them with the Cathedral patronage.

2. It appears therefore quite evident, that the degenerate Free-schools, which are at present attached to some Cathedrals, do not realize the intentions of the Founder. He could not have wished the boys to be instructed in "the Greek, Latin, and Hebrew [58/59] "languages," merely as a qualification for apprenticeships, or other commercial appointments. He could not have desired that the boys should be (as much as possible) such only as had shewn a natural aptitude for learning, if he had intended that, at the age of 17 or 18, the door should be closed against their further advancement. He could not have required them to come to the School, prepared with a knowledge of reading, writing, and the first rudiments of grammar, if he had designed them to fill situations for which those acquirements would be amply sufficient. We must therefore suppose, that the main object of this foundation was the promotion of piety and of the glory of God, by the education of able Ministers for the service of the Church.

We may now go on to enquire, how this part of a Cathedral Institution bears upon the present defects of the Parochial System.

3. Every one who has been in the habit of attending a National School must have occasionally felt some uneasiness, at the thought that most of the boys who compose the first class are in a better state of religious knowledge and moral training, at the age of 14, than they are likely to be at any subsequent period of their lives. What becomes of all those children, whom we have heard interpret scripture with so much spirit and truth? Every [59/60] Parochial Clergyman must have seen many of the most hopeful of his scholars fall away, in consequence of passing into the service of careless and profane masters. Not that they lose their powers of application, or their habits of order; but the sense of Religion and the love of the Scriptures dies within them. These are the scholars whom the Founder of a Cathedral Institution would rejoice to see received into his school. They would bring the requisite qualifications for admission; viz. reading, writing, and the rudiments of Grammar. They would come prepared with a very intimate knowledge of the Word of God. The Church would thus be freed from the imputation of educating the children of the poor up to a certain age, and then losing sight even of her best and most hopeful scholars for ever. The letter of the Statute points out the method by which this plan may be carried into effect. The Dean and Chapter might elect, from the National Schools in the Diocese, such Scholars as, upon examination, might display the greatest natural aptitude for learning, and at the same time could bring sufficient testimonials of character from the Clergyman of their Parish. The course of education allowed by the Statutes, extending over six or seven years, would afford ample opportunity of judging of the talent and disposition of the Scholars. In the event of a boy's progress not answering the expectations formed upon his [60/61] first examination, the Statutes allow of his expulsion, for stupidity or dislike of learning, "that he may not, like a drone, devour the honey of the bees."* [* Quod si quis puerorum insigni tarditate et hebetudine notabilis sit, aut naturâ a literis abhorrente, hunc post multam probationem volumus expelli, ne veluti fucus apum mella devoret. Stat. Cath. Ch. Ely. Chap. XXV.]

4. The School might thus be weeded from time to time, so as to guard as much as possible against the admission of improper or even inefficient persons to the hither advantages of the Institution; which would be the following:--

a. Election to the Cathedral Scholarships in the University, as the prize for the scholars of the highest character in every point of conduct, attainment, and piety.

b. Election to the Missionary Class of Scholars, to be educated at the Cathedral for foreign duty, and to be sent in some instances to the Universities, for a limited time, to perfect their knowledge of the primitive Oriental languages, as a preparation for the study of the modern dialects, and for the work of translating the Scriptures.

c. The certificate of fitness for the mastership of a Parochial School.

This would be by no means contemptible as a [61/62] secondary Prize, considering that the best masterships are of greater pecuniary value than most Curacies; and it is probable that the Cathedral certificate would always have great weight with the local Committees. The difficulty of obtaining a tried and good Schoolmaster is at present very great. The funds of the National Society are inadequate to the maintenance of a normal school, on a scale sufficiently extensive. The training which Parochial Schoolmasters have gone through is seldom more than attendance for a month or two at some central school, to learn the mechanical routine of the system. They have generally learned to be drill-sergeants, and nothing more. And can we wonder that the minds of the scholars are not expanded under such instructors? It must of course be admitted, that there are most honourable exceptions to this general censure. But the Cathedral Chapters would do a very important service to the Diocesan Clergy, if they would furnish from their endowed School a supply of really well-educated masters,--men, not of brilliant talents, but of steady principles and habits of application.

d. Testimonials of character, as a recommendation to the offices of Lay Clerk, Parish Clerk, Accountant, &c. &c.

e. Pecuniary assistance, for the purpose of apprenticing deserving and well-conducted boys, who, [62/63] after one or two years' trial in the Cathedral School, should be found to be deficient in mental ability.

5. The Cathedral Chapters would confer an important benefit upon the rest of the Clergy, if the Scholars intended for Parochial Masterships were instructed in singing by the Cathedral Choir. Psalmody is at a very low ebb in England; and it is not likely to be better, so long as music forms no part of the qualifications of Schoolmasters and Parish Clerks. But the Organist and Lay Clerks of the Cathedrals might very much improve the musical taste of the population of the country, if they were required, or at least encouraged, to open schools of singing, to which candidates for the offices of Parish Clerk or Schoolmaster might have access at a reasonable rate of payment: and it might soon be generally understood, that no such officer would for the future be elected without this qualification.* [* And the said Clerk shall be of twenty years of age at the least, and known to the said parson, vicar, or minister, to be of honest conversation, and sufficient for his reading, writing, and also for his competent skill in singing, if it may be. Constit. and Canons Eccles. 91.] It is not easy to imagine any other mode by which our National Psalmody could be rescued from its present state of inefficiency and contempt.

6. It is presumed that there would be in the Cathedral City a good National Sunday and Daily [63/64] School, and an Infants' School, both conducted upon the best principles, and under the management of first-rate Masters, so as to answer the purpose of a normal or model School, to enable the young Candidates for Parochial Masterships to obtain a knowledge of the practical part of their profession.

[65] CHAP. VIII.


"Novimus hospitalitatis virtutem Deo esse longe gratam, quam ut Decanus et Canonici Ecclesiae nostrae facilius exerceant, statuimus et ordinamus, &c:" Stat. Cath. Ch. Ely. Chap. XIII.

"Decanum sordide parcum coarguet Episcopus: Canonicos vero in illud vitium incurrentes reprehendat Decanus." Ib. Chap. V.

"Porro si quis ex Canonicis sit, qui praeter Ecclesiae stipendia quadraginta libras annuatim certi reditus aliunde non habeat, hunc ad familiam seorsim alendam cogi nolumus; sed apud Decanum aut quem elegerit Canonicum hospitandi permittimus facultatem, modo ad mensam aliquam comedat intra Ecclesiae nostrae ambitum. Quod si hujus conditionis plures fuerint, poterunt apud sui ipsorum aliquem communem mensam sustinere." Ib. Chap. XII.

1. IT is unnecessary to enlarge upon the minor advantages which might be derived from the prolongation of the residence of the Canons. It is self-evident, that a resident Chapter of six or eight Canons might discharge the duties of hospitality to [65/66] the Parochial Clergy more effectually than a single resident. This is true, even if we take the meanest view of the duties of hospitality, and confine it to the simple act of furnishing repasts for the benefit of friends and visitors. But the duty of a Cathedral Chapter involves a spiritual, and not merely a sensual, hospitality. The Canons are fitted by their situation to be the Counsellors of the Parochial Clergy. The most conscientious discharge of the duties of a Country Parish is compatible with the most perfect ignorance of what are called 'the ways of the world.' A Parish Priest is thus led y into petty disputes with his Bishop, on the subject of a Curate, or a Title; with his Parishioners, on the subject of Rates and Dues; or with his brother Clergymen, on the subject of doctrine or discipline. In every case, the Cathedral Clergy are fitted to be mediators. They form a connecting link between the bishop and his Parochial Clergy, as constituting his Diocesan Council, and as being, by the spirit of the Statutes, their patrons and friends: and they are fitted to be the advisers of the Parochial Clergy in every thing relating to temporal revenues, by their more extensive acquaintance with the laws and customs affecting Ecclesiastical property: and they are qualified, by their greater opportunities for study, to arbitrate upon disputed points of Theology, to the exclusion of those dangerous controversies, which so often impair the peace and usefulness of the Parochial Clergy.

[67] 2. The exercise of this spiritual hospitality would be especially valuable to the young men who would be placed under the care of the Chapter. Every Deacon would have his spiritual Father: every Scholar would be Guided in his studies by the mature judgment and enlightened faith of his Cathedral Patron. The poor Minister, who had been educated by the bounty, and rewarded by the preferment of the Chapter, would look upon his Cathedral Church as the centre of kindly influence, the abode of his best-loved and most valued friends.

3. The duty of Hospitality, understood in its usual sense, would also become more incumbent upon the Cathedral body, by the addition of the Classes of Students and Deacons. The words of the Statute quoted above point out the wisest mode of providing for the entertainment of the younger members of the community. A common table would seem, at first sight, the most simple expedient; but, upon a little consideration, the plan proposed by the Statutes will be found to be far more desirable. There is this disadvantage in a common table for the use of men of very different fortunes, that either one party is obliged to live on a scale too frugal for their rank, or the other is put to the expense of a share in an establishment which, is more than adequate to their wants. The Statute permits either the formation of small communities, or the [67/68] maintenance of a distinct household. Upon this plan, the funds appropriated to the support of the Foundation Scholars and Deacons would add to the comforts of the Minor Canons, who might be willing to receive them as boarders; and the Students not on the Foundation, of whom there would probably be many in the class of the Divinity Professor, might find accommodation suited to their means in the houses of some of the less wealthy members of the Chapter.

4. It would be entirely consistent with the spirit of this Statute, if every Chapter were to grant to the Clergy of the Diocese the free use of the Cathedral Library. This is a most important part of that spiritual Hospitality of which we have been speaking. It is impossible to calculate the benefit of such Institutions as the Public Library at Cambridge, and the Bodleian at Oxford. In many Provincial Towns the Clergy are expressing their want of such sources of instruction, by establishing Theological Libraries among themselves. But the Cathedral is the proper reservoir of the learning of the Diocese, as being generally the safest and most central receptacle for a valuable collection. The usual obstacle to the free use of Libraries is the idea that the privilege will in some instances be abused: but then it must be remembered, that the greatest of all abuses of a good Library is the [68/69] not suffering it to be used. The Clergy of a Diocese have some right to complain of a defect of hospitality in the Dean and Chapter, if they find themselves debarred from the use of the Cathedral Library, upon any plea so unsatisfactory as the probability of damage to the books. A Theological Library is like a Cottager's Bible,--every Clergyman ought to like them both the better for seeing that they have been used.

5. In addition to the usual Theological Catalogue, the Cathedral Library ought to contain specimen copies of all the Tracts and other Works published by the Societies, for the use of the Parochial Clergy. Every Clergyman would thus be enabled to select for himself such publications as might seem to him to be most likely to promote the spiritual advantage of his flock, without the expense and trouble of undertaking a journey to London for that purpose.

[70] CHAP. IX.


"Sacerdotia, Rectoriam, Vicariam, aut alia ejus generis Ecclesiastica beneficia, ad patronatum, nominationem, praesentationem Ecclesiae nostrae spectantia, Decanus aut, eo absente, Vice-Decanus conferat, cum consensu Capituli." Stat. Cath. Ch. Ely. Chap. XVIII.

"Senectus, viribus defecta, rebus ad victum necessariis condigne foveatur:" Chart. Cath. Ch. Ely.

"Eleemosynarum in pauperes Christi elargitiones." Ib.


1. THE Church Commissioners have recommended, that, in certain cases, the right of Patronage now vested in the Deans and Chapters should pass to the respective Bishops, for the purpose of "adding to the means which they already possess, of placing laborious and deserving Clergymen in situations of usefulness and independence." It is strange that it should not have been observed, that Cathedral Chapters are qualified to produce precisely the same results by the distribution of their patronage. [70/71] It seems evident, that one of the main objects of the Founders of Cathedrals was, to provide poor and deserving men with the means of access to the Ministry. The course of probation, by which the merits of Candidates were to be tried, consisted of the Cathedral School, the Cathedral University Scholarships, and the Cathedral Divinity Class. The Cathedral preferment is the proper reward of the merit thus developed and confirmed. It seems therefore that the patronage which it is proposed to transfer to the Bishops is in fact vested in the hands of the Dean and Chapter, for the benefit of deserving Clergymen, who have distinguished themselves as active and useful members of the Cathedral System.

2. It is unnecessary to enter upon the invidious question, whether a Bishop be better qualified to bestow preferment than a Dean and Chapter; because it is certain, that, in all cases, where the right of presentation is fettered by no conditions, the goodness of the appointment will depend upon a rectitude of principle and judgment in the Patron; which no Ecclesiastical office can either give or take away. It is sufficient to say, that a Dean and Chapter are peculiarly qualified for the just distribution of preferment, because they might have an almost paternal acquaintance with the character of every Clergyman whom they appointed to a living. [71/72] Their Candidates for preferment might all be trained up from the earliest youth under the shadow of their Cathedral. They might all, like Samuel, 'grow up before the Lord.'* [* 1 Sam. ii. 21.] They might, like Paul, 'be brought up at the feet of' their own Gamaliel,+ [+ Acts. xxii. 3.] and 'taught according to the perfect manner of the law' of Christ.

3. The spirit of the Statutes of Ely Cathedral suggests a most beneficial use of the right of patronage which is vested in the Dean and Chapter. The Cathedral Preferment supplies the means of vivifying and inspiriting the whole circulation of the Cathedral System. No institutions can be expected to work well, except those in which every member is entitled to hope for advancement, in proportion to the length and value of his services. The highest reward on the ascending scale ought to be of such a kind, as to be final and satisfactory; so as to leave the occupant little more to desire on this side of the grave. A Parochial Benefice is a reward of this kind. The office of a Parish Priest is generally a situation, in which domestic tranquillity is united with a healthful exercise of the mind; a calm and peaceful retirement, in which, while he prepares others for their final change, he may be daily exalting his own spirit to a more lively [72/73] perception of its immortal hopes; a secure and noiseless resting-place, in which a good man maybe content to live and die, in the bosom of his own family, and in the midst of his own Christian flock. The most valuable of the Cathedral Benefices, especially rural Parishes with a small population, would afford to the Canons the means of retiring from the busy and active duties of their station, whenever they might begin to feel unequal to the task of preaching in large and crowded Churches, and of travelling frequently to distant parts of the Diocese. They might then devote themselves to those more domestic and quiet duties, which have attached so many Prebendaries to their Parochial Charge, and estranged them from their Cathedral.

4. In the event of a vacant Benefice not being accepted by one of the Canons, the Dean and Chapter would meet, according to the Statutes, to make the appointment. Their election would naturally fall upon one of the Minor Canons, whose length of service and other qualifications might give him the best claim to preferment. The vacancy thus caused in the body of Minor Canons would be filled by the most deserving of the Probationary Deacons; to supply whose place in the order of Deacons, a new Scholar would be admitted from the Theological Class; the numbers of the Divinity Lecturer would be recruited by the [73/74] election of a new graduate from the University; another pupil of the Cathedral School would begin his Academical studies; and lastly, another poor and friendless orphan would be raised from among the people, to begin his hopeful course of spiritual exertion combined with temporal reward.

5. But there is another class of livings, which, from the poverty of their endowments, would not come within the operation of this system. Many of these have at present no resident Incumbent, because the income is supposed to be not sufficient for the maintenance of a Clergyman holding the rank of a gentleman. But they would be most acceptable to that most deserving order of public servants--the Parochial Schoolmasters, whose habits of life are formed on a less expensive scale than those of the Clergy in general. The only question is, whether the Bishops would consider ten or twenty years service under the eye of several Clergymen, as equivalent to an Academical degree. The advantages, which seem likely to arise from the adoption of this plan of distributing the smaller Benefices in the gift of Chapters; are these:--That a Schoolmaster would have a definite object in life, to which he might look forward, as a relief from the exhausting employments of his profession: That he would have a constant reason for improving his own knowledge, in order to be prepared for the [74/75] Bishop's' examination: That he would be anxious that his School should be distinguished for its efficiency: That he would be attached more closely to his Clergyman, in the hopes of obtaining his favourable testimony; and would be willing to assist him in those parts of his Parochial labours, which can be performed by a layman; such as investigating cases of distress, instructing Sunday School Teachers, managing Parochial Charities, &c: That a constant promotion of Masters would be kept up, the village school-masters being promoted to the town and city Schools, from which the election to the small Benefices would be made. In this way many small Parishes, which are now unprovided with Masters, would find young men willing to undertake the office for very small remuneration, in hopes of succeeding to the more valuable appointments; for the distribution of the Church Revenues proves, that a small present income, with hope, has much greater attractions for young men, than a larger present income, without it. It is needless to say, that the activity thus imparted to the minds and habits of the Parochial school-masters would soon display its effect upon the minds and habits of the scholars. A great change in the system of schoolmasters seems to be a necessary preliminary to a general improvement of the national system of Education.

[76] 6. But it is not supposed, that the Livings of this class would be sufficiently numerous to provide for the preferment of all the most deserving claimants. To remedy this deficiency, the extract quoted from the Ely Charter, at the head of this Chapter, suggests a second class of rewards, to be given in the form of retiring pensions to superannuated Masters. No system of National Education can be complete without this provision; because the labour of teaching a large School of poor children is so great, as to require all the bodily and mental powers of a man in the prime of life. It frequently happens, that the youth of a whole Parish grow up in comparative ignorance, because an aged and infirm Master is obliged to continue in the School, for want of other support. The patronage of the Cathedral would be well bestowed, in "cherishing, in a manner suitable to their station, the declining age" of these once useful members of the community; by whose removal, the field of active employment would be opened for the more effective exertions of their younger successors.

7. The third extract quoted above suggests the expediency of providing retiring pensions for the subordinate ministers, who have been employed in. the service of the Cathedral, especially the Lay Clerks, many of whom, for want of this provision; continue to the last to mar the harmony of that Choir, of which in their younger days they were the ornament and pride.

[77] CHAP. X.


"Ut decenter et ordine assidue preces et orationes in Ecclesiâ nostrâ fiant, SINGULISQUE DIEBUS laus DEI cantu et jubilatione celebretur, statuimus et ordinamus, ut juniores Canonici et Clerici, una cum Diacono ac Magistro Choristarum, Divina officia in choro templi nostri QUOTIDIE peragant."

"Porro volumus, ut omnibus Festis principalibus Decanus si praesens fuerit (si commode poterit per negotia sua); caeteris vero festis diebus (exceptis Dominicis), reliqui Canonici quisque suo ordine preces sacras peragant." Stat. Cath. Ch. Ely. Chap. XXIX.

THE changes which have taken place in the religious feelings and habits of mankind, in different ages of the world, would form the subject of a most important and interesting enquiry. Though the relations between God and man have remained the same, since the final developement of the Christian scheme, on the day of Pentecost, yet in no two successive ages has the same rule of Faith and Practice been generally received. This variableness, as it cannot in any degree be attributed to a change in the purposes of God, must be imputed altogether to the indecision and partial ignorance of mankind. A general enquiry into the causes of this want of stability in Religion would lead to a speculative disquisition, which would be inconsistent with the [77/78] practical character of these remarks. But the subject of the present chapter makes it necessary to enter upon a small part of the general question, in order to assign a probable reason for the modern disuse of the public ordinance of Daily Worship.

1. Every Christian recognizes in the act of Public Worship three distinct objects;--to set forth the Glory of God, by acknowledging his Supremacy; to draw down blessings upon mankind in general, by Intercession; and to promote his own personal Salvation, by fervent and earnest Prayer. The next consideration is, to assign to these objects their relative importance. The order in which they have been here stated seems to agree with the positions which they occupy in the Lord's Prayer, in which we are taught, first, to hallow the name of God; then, to pray for the completion of the number of God's elect; and lastly, to pray for our own temporal and eternal welfare. It is probable therefore that every Christian would yield the assent of his understanding to the proposition, that the highest object of Prayer is to set forth the glory of God;* [* "Let us first (with St. Chrysostom) observe the direction we hence receive, in all our prayers, to have a prime and principal regard to the Glory of God; not seeking anything concerning our own good before His praise." Barrow, on the Lord's Prayer.] the next in degree, to promote the general welfare of mankind; and that his own personal salvation is the third object, more limited in extent than the others; and inferior in. degree; but more limited, [78/79] only as the salvation of one soul is less important than the salvation of millions;* [* "The Service which we do, as members of a public body, is public, and for that cause must needs be accounted by so much worthier than the other, as a whole society of such condition exceedeth the worth of any one." Hooker, Eccl. Polit. V. 24. 1.] and inferior, only as the heaven is lower than the heaven of heavens.

But though it is probable, that the understanding of every Christian would assent to the order of precedence in the objects of Public Worship which has been thus stated, yet there is reason to believe, that a practical forgetfulness of this principle is one of the main causes of all modern innovations in religious usages. We are far removed in time, and still farther in spirit, from that age in which St. Paul admonished the Corinthians 'to do all things to the glory of God. '+ [+ 1 Cor. x. 31.] We fall far short of that transcendent charity, which led Moses to pray 'that he might be blotted out of the book of life;# [# Exod. xxxii. 32.] and St. Paul, 'that he might be accursed from Christ for his brethren.'§ [1] [§ Rom.ix. 3.] [(1) It will be observed that no argument is founded on these much disputed passages. Tillotson, Locke, and Macknight explain the words to mean a willingness to endure temporal calamities. Gregory Nazianzen, Orat. I. p.24, D. agrees with the sense in which they have been taken above. On the same side is Lord Bacon, Advancement of Learning, Book 2. "It may be truly affirmed, that there was never any philosophy, religion, or other discipline, as which did so plainly and highly exalt the good which is communicative, and depress the good which is private and particular, as the holy Faith; * * * for we read that the elected saints of God have wished themselves anathematized and razed out of the book of life, in an ecstacy of charity, and infinite feeling of communion." Chrysostom's remark is probably the nearest the truth, that we cannot enter fully into the spirit of the Apostle's words, till we can feel the love of Christ which he felt. all' epeidh porrw thV agaphV esmen tauthV, oude nohsai ta legomena dunameqa. Chrysos. Homil. 15. In Epist. ad Roman. Ed. Paris. Alt. Vol. IX, p. 668.] On the contrary, a religious [79/80] self-seeking of a very high kind has been introduced, by the earnestness with which the value of our own personal hopes of salvation has been enforced. It is not surprising, that the redemption of one soul, an object not unworthy of the sympathy of the sinless hosts of heaven, should be to the Christian an object of the most absorbing and overwhelming interest, especially when that soul is his own; and that, in the contemplation of this wonderful mystery, he should forget his own comparative littleness, as an unit of that countless family of Christ, who will be saved, as St. Paul tells us, to this end, "that the abundant grace might, through the thanksgiving of many, redound to the glory of GOD."* [* 2 Cor. iv. 15.]

The effects of this self-seeking are apparent in the estimate which many form of the advantage of religious observances. They seem to ask themselves but one question,--"Does this edify me?" The changeable temperament of a single human heart is made the test of ordinances, which were intended to have, for their primary object, the setting forth the glory of Him, "with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." To this cause we may attribute the preference which many give to the extemporaneous effusions even of a novice in the Ministry, above the prayers of a Liturgy, which embodies the spirit [80/81] of all Scripture, and the wisdom of the whole Primitive Church. It is owing to the same cause, that many separate themselves from the Church, on the ground perhaps of one slight difference, on a question of Faith or Discipline; and forget that there are far more weighty arguments, which ought to make them desire to set forth the glory of God, and to advance the general welfare of mankind, by the Unity of the Church, and by the harmony of all believers. The same cause has produced the common belief, that sermons form the most important part of the services of the Church; and that Public Prayer, which is not followed by a Sermon, is of little avail.* [* "The Church of Rome hath rightly also considered, that public prayer is a duty entire in itself; a duty requisite to be performed much oftener, than sermons can possibly be made. For which cause, as they, so we have likewise a public form how to serve God both morning and evening, whether sermons may be had or no." Hooker, Eccl. Pol. V. 28. 3.] On the same ground of superior edification, many Christians think that all the respect due from a congregation to its appointed Pastor ought to be set aside, if it should happen, that the preaching of a neighbouring Clergyman, or even of a Dissenting Minister, be more awakening and impressive. In short, it is assumed as a self-evident proposition, that every one ought to worship where he may be most edified, and in the manner which may be most congenial to his own religious feelings and convictions; whether those feelings be the result of mature deliberation, or the offspring of [81/82] some sudden impulse of the moment. The effect of this has been, practically to invert that order of precedence in the objects of Public Worship, which has been already stated. Personal salvation now occupies, in the minds of many Christians, the first place among the objects of prayer; and, for this, reason, Religious Institutions are now estimated, not according to their permanent tendency to promote the glory of God, but according to their present efficacy in edifying mankind.

Cathedral Services have been judged by this rule, and, as was to be expected, they have been found wanting. The present generation have adopted a course of religious practice very different from that in which their forefathers walked with God: and, with a self-complacency arising from their supposed superiority in religious knowledge, they have determined that course to be wrong which is different from their own. The present state of the argument, as stated by the opponents of Cathedral Institutions, is precisely this:--the daily Service of the Cathedral is useless, because nobody will go to it: and the reason why nobody will go to it is, because nobody feels any benefit in going.* [* It would be unfair not to state, that in many instances a desire has been shewn for a return to the ancient usage. An early daily service has been undertaken by the Chaplain of Lincoln's Inn, at the request of many members of the Inn, and with the unanimous consent of the Benchers. Other Clergymen in London had previously adopted the same practice, among whom may be mentioned the names of Mr. Dodsworth and Mr. Thornton. See "The Daily Service, a Sermon preached in Lincoln's Inn Chapel, by Rev. R. W. Browne, on the occasion of the restoration of the early Service."]

[83] 2. It is assumed in this argument, that the present generation are perfect judges of every thing that relates to their own spiritual welfare; and that, in the exercise of that judgment, they have decided that daily Public Prayer is an ordinance by which they are not edified. Be it so: that is a question which must be settled by every man according to his own conscience. But can it be denied, that God is glorified by the Daily Worship of his Church? Is it meet, that the service of the Unchangeable and Immortal Father should depend upon the caprice and fickleness of his wayward children? It is here that the Parish Church most evidently requires the supplementary aid of the Cathedral. The Parochial Minister is too much the Pastor of his flock to be able to be regardless of the sympathy and communion of the souls which are committed to his care. He cannot see his Church empty, without thinking of a change either in the time or the manner of his services. He is desirous above all things of praying with his people; and therefore he is willing, so far as the Bishop will permit him, to meet them at the time which may be most convenient to them. If they will not come on the morning of Wednesday and Friday, he is willing to minister to them on the evening of Thursday. If they will not join him in celebrating the stated Holy-days of the Church, he invites them to join him in hallowing others which are not appointed. In short, as far as he can, the [83/84] Parish Priest is desirous of being "made all things to all men, that he may by all means save some."* [* 1 Corinth. ix. 22.]

But a Cathedral Canon is, in a more especial manner, the Minister of the Eternal God. He is the representative of that Church of Christ, which, like its Founder, "is the, same yesterday, to-day, and for ever."+ [+ Heb. xiii. 8.] He has no cure of, souls; and therefore he is not responsible for the effect of his ministrations upon the people. Their habits, and feelings, and principles may vary; but his priesthood abides continually, for the daily service of Him who can never change.# [# Malachi, iii. 6.] His Cathedral, whether it be attended by few or many worshippers, is still the perpetual temple of the Holy Ghost,--the altar of morning and evening sacrifice,--the oratory of daily and unceasing prayer.

This therefore is the most important respect in which the Cathedral Service is supplementary to the Parochial Ministry; in that it is independent of the variable feelings and dispositions of men, being devoted mainly to the glory and praise of GOD. Experience has proved that we have need of some such safeguard, to preserve religion from the invasion of worldly and selfish habits. Much of the time which: was formerly, dedicated to God has already been alienated, and applied to other uses. [84/85] The practice of week-day prayer has almost entirely ceased in our Parish Churches. The festivals of the Church are scarcely remembered. A portion of the nation, inconsiderable neither in numbers nor influence, is claiming the Sabbath as a day of worldly enjoyment. Where will be the end of these encroachments upon the worship and service of Almighty God? The Parochial Clergy may do much to train their flocks to conformity with the ancient usage, by keeping (in the words used in the Preface to the Book of Common Prayer) "a mean between the two extremes, of too much stiffness in refusing, and of too much easiness in admitting any variation of it:" But the Cathedral Institutions present the strongest bulwark against farther innovations in the national worship. They rest upon this broad principle,--that it is sacrilege to curtail the worship of God. They remain as a standing protest against the modern doctrine,--that man's indifference to his own eternal interests may justify the desecration of holy places, and the abolition of holy ordinances. They seem to say to the fickle and impatient worshippers of the present day,--Your fathers worshipped in this house of God; and not one word of their prayers, not one note of their praises will we diminish, "whether ye will hear, or whether ye will forbear."* [* Ezek. ii. 3.]

We may farther remark, on this point, that the [85/86] Cathedrals are almost the only places in which the Word of God is publicly read on every day of the year. The framers of the Calendar evidently intended to combine, in the services of the Church, the two advantages of a complete perusal of the whole Bible,* [* With the exception of such portions of scripture as have been intentionally omitted in the Calendar; viz. parts of the Levitical Law, of the prophecy of Ezekiel, and of the Book of Revelation.] and of a more particular application of select portions to certain days and seasons. The weekly order of the Lessons answers the one purpose; and the appointed Lessons for Sundays and Holidays the other. The Sunday Lessons are read in all Churches; the Lessons appointed for Holidays, in the Cathedrals, and in a few Parish Churches: but in the Cathedrals almost the whole of the Old Testament is publicly read once in every year, and the New Testament, with the exception of the Apocalypse, thrice. Is it then, or is it not, the bounders duty of beings, who derive all their hopes and blessings from their knowledge of Revelation, to provide for the entire and constant publication of that Word of Salvation which God has mercifully revealed? If so, then the Cathedral Churches perform a service, which, though it has been discontinued in most of our Parish Churches, is doubtless acceptable in the sight of God, and therefore ought to be venerable in the eyes of men. The Cathedral Minister alone continues to read, "day by day, from the first day unto the last day, in the book of the law of God."+ [+ Nehem. viii. 18.]

[87] 3. Next to the duty of promoting the glory of God, by the ordinance of Daily Worship, the most important office of the Cathedral Clergy is Intercession. Not a day passes in which they do not implore the mercies of God for this great and sinful nation, and for every one of the sinners of whom that nation is composed. Do the people sin? The prayer that rises continually to Heaven from within the sanctuary of the Cathedral seems to say, in the spirit of Samuel, "God forbid that I should sin against the Lord, in ceasing to pray for you."* [* 1 Sam. xii. 23.] Does the great council of the nation err? Within the same walls the prayer is daily heard, that God "would be pleased to direct and prosper all their consultations, to the advancement of His Glory, and the good of His Church." Are the Clergy negligent? The same unceasing voice is heard to pray, that God "would send down upon our Bishops and Curates thee healthful Spirit of His grace, and pour upon them the continual dew of His blessing." Are the Laity backward? Again, the same Intercessor offers up his daily prayer to God, that all men "may shew forth His praise, not only with their lips, but in their lives." Does the sin of schism prevail? The Cathedral Minister never ceases to pray, "that all who profess and call themselves Christians, may "hold the Faith in Unity of Spirit, and in the bond of [87/88] peace:" In short, while the Daily Service of the Cathedrals is maintained, the sun can never set upon any national or private sin, for which prayer has not that very day been offered up to Almighty God. This is an advantage entirely distinct from that communion of prayer, which is supposed by some to be essential to the effect of the ordinance. "The prayer of a righteous man," as St. James tells us, "availeth much."* [* James. v. 16.] And this peculiar power of Intercession is well stated by Hooker, "that it is a benefit which the good have always in their power to bestow, and the wicked never in theirs to refuse."+ [+ Hooker, Eccl. Pol. 5. 23.] There must always be least communion in prayer, at the very time that prayer is most needed. Abraham stood alone, when he interceded with God.# [# Gen. xvii. 22.] A sinful world may refuse to pray, but it cannot, altogether set aside the mercy which is obtained for it by the intercession of the faithful. May the time never come, when a single living soul shall be able to say with truth, that prayer is not made "without ceasing of the Church unto God for him?"§ [§ Acts. xii. 5.]

4. The opportunity for Private Prayer, afforded by the daily opening of the Cathedrals, ought not to be here omitted. It is very striking to go into a Roman Catholic Church in foreign countries, and find it occupied at all hours by worshippers, engaged in private meditation and prayer. We have nothing resembling this, except the solemn and still interval [88/89] which occurs, between the opening of the doors of the Cathedral, and the commencement of the service. The Cathedral has then the privacy of a chamber, without the adaptation to the purposes of every day life, and becomes, as it were, a domestic oriel, invested with the dignity of its own sacred and awful character as the House of God. But it may be said,--Is not this loneliness, which adapts the Cathedral to the purposes of Private Prayer, the very circumstance which proves it to be of little use for Public Worship? Why should a grand and heavenly service be performed for the use of the two or three who may be willing to attend it? It may be answered, that, even if there be no worshippers, yet may the service in itself be acceptable to the God for whose honour it is performed: though two or three only be met together, yet may Christ be there: though there be but one, and he perhaps only the aged Beadsman, for whom the charity of the. Founder* [* "Eleemosynarum in pauperes Christi elargitiones." Chart. Cath. Ch. Ely.] has provided an asylum within the Cathedral precincts, yet may that emaciated body be the temple of the Spirit of God, and the soul tha is entombed within that shattered frame may be a living example of the whole mystery of redemption. And can any earthly edifice be too spacious, or any human service too grand, for one, who hereafter, and that perhaps at no distant time, will hear the minstrelsy of Heaven's choristers in the presence-chamber of God himself?

[90] CHAP. XI.


"Nullum opus est adeo pie susceptum, adeo prospere productum, adeo feliciter consummatum, quod non facile subruatur incuriâ, et negligentiâ subvertatur. Nulla tam sancta et firma Statuta conduntur, quia temporis diuturnitate oblivionem et contemptum inveniant, si non adsit continua vigilantia et pietatis zelus." Statut. Eccl. Cath. Elien. Cap. XXXV.

"Divinâ nos inspirante clementiâ, nihil magis ex animo affectantes, quam ut vera religio verusque Dei cultus inibi* [* Sc. In Ecclesiâ Eliensi.] non modo non aboleatur, sed in integrum potius restituatur, et ad primitivam, sive genuinae sinceritatis normam reformetur, &c." Chart. Eccl. Cath, Elien.

THE extract from the Statutes of the Cathedral Church of Ely describes the present state of Cathedral Establishments: The extract from the Charter points out the remedy which ought to be applied. The defect lies in a want of due consideration of the spirit of the Statutes, as indicative of the intentions of the Founders: The remedy is [90/91] to be found, not in the abolition of Cathedral Institutions, but in the restoration of them to that state of efficient co-operation with the Parochial Clergy, for which they were designed. In the words of the Ely Memorial,'--"The increase of population, and of the Clergy, together with the more general diffusion of knowledge, appear most urgently to demand, that the Institutions, which the Church of England possesses for the supply of sound religious learning, should be cherished and maintained, if possible, in increased vigour and efficiency. Without this, your Memorialists are firmly convinced, that the Church of England, whose office it is to minister to the spiritual instruction of an highly educated and intelligent people, will lose, at no distant period, much of that respect and veneration which she at present happily enjoys."

The object of these remarks being to promote union as much as possible between all orders of the Ministry, and at the same time to add one more to the many temperate and respectful remonstrances which the Clergy have presented against the plan of the Church Commissioners, it may be expedient, to avoid misunderstanding, distinctly to state the feelings with which these remarks have been written.

1. And first it is hoped, that nothing that has been said will be construed into a desire to make [91/92] a breach between the Bishops and their Cathedral Councils, or to set aside or curtail the Episcopal authority. The two great principles which it has been the main object of these remarks to uphold are,--Unity and Subordination; Unity throughout all the Members of the Church of England, as well Lay as Clerical; and Subordination throughout all the gradations of dignity which compose her well balanced and temperate hierarchy."* [*Mathias, Edit. Gray, Vol. II. p. 637. 4to.] And if on the other hand it be necessary to prove that Cathedral Institutions were not intended, even if carried into full effect, to supersede the Episcopal authority, it will be sufficient to say, that Cranmer, the author of the Cathedral System, and himself an Archbishop, recommended Henry the 8th to erect six additional Bishoprics,+ [+ "He founded six Bishoprics; he endowed Deans and. Prebendaries, with all the other offices belonging to a Cathedral, in fourteen several Sees,--"Canterbury, Winchester, Durham, Ely, Norwich, Rochester, Worcester, and Carlisle; together with Westminster, Chester, Oxford, Gloucester, Peterborough, and Bristol, where he endowed Bishoprics likewise." Burnet, Hist. Refor. Part I. Appen. p. 301. Ed. 1681. See also Fuller's Church History, Book VI. p. 338. Ed. 1656.] at the same time that he chartered fourteen Cathedral Bodies; six for the service of the new Dioceses of Westminster, Chester, Oxford, Gloucester, Peterborough, and Bristol; and. eight to be attached to the older Sees of Canterbury, Winchester, Durham, Norwich, Rochester, Worcester, Carlisle, and Ely. And it is clear that Cranmer did not form this plan upon any false conception of [92/93] the duties of a Bishop, for we are told by the same authority, that he "advised the king to erect many more Bishoprics, that, the vastness of some Dioceses being reduced to a narrower compass, Bishops might better discharge their duties and oversee their flocks, according to the Scriptures, and the primitive rules.''* [* Burnet, Hist. Reform. Book III. p. I90. Edit. 1681.] Therefore, if Cranmer did not extravagantly over-rate the religious wants of the nation in his time, there must now be ample scope for the active exertions of the present number of Bishops and Prebendaries, considering the vast increase of population which has taken place in our own country; to say nothing of the addition to our empire of countries far exceeding our own in population and extent.

2. The next class of persons, by whom it is hoped that the foregoing remarks will not be misinterpreted, are the Members of the existing Cathedral Institutions. It is distinctly to be understood, that, in speaking of the defects of the present system, no censure of the present holders of Stalls is in any way implied. They discharge the duties which they have received from their predecessors, according to the letter of their Statutes. But, as they have "sworn to defend to the utmost of their power the rights and privileges which they now legally enjoy,"+ [+ Ely Memorial, in fin.] they cannot be content to remain in [93/94] ignorance of the real cause of the danger which seems to threaten to abolish the privileges, and in time to destroy the very existence, of their sacred Order. What has led to so strange an agreement in opinion between Bishops of the Church of England, and Ministers of the British Government, and Senators of different political parties, on the propriety of curtailing the revenues and vested rights of the Chapters? Is it not because they all have taken it for granted, that the Cathedral Canon is a less useful Minister of Christ than the Parish Priest? There seems therefore to be a clear course of action open to the Chapters; and that is, to claim from the rulers both of Church and State the privilege of a more extended and diffusive usefulness. They may demand to be put in possession of the power of developing the capabilities of their holy office, and of restoring their Order to the efficient exercise of its legitimate functions. What those duties were, which they were intended to perform, may be inferred from the foregoing extracts from the Charter and Statutes of Ely Cathedral; the substance of which may be summed up in the following brief statement of the views of Cranmer:

"He hoped upon new Endowments and Foundations new Houses should have been erected at every Cathedral, to be nurseries for that whole Diocese, which he thought would be more suitable [94/95] to the primitive use of Monasteries, and more profitable to the Church."* [* Burnet. Hist. Reform. Book III. p. 190. fol. 1681.]

To expect that Cathedral institutions should be at once raised to the state of dignity and efficiency for which they were designed, would be to indulge in a vain and ridiculous speculation. No great change can be safe, in which vested rights are forcibly and suddenly violated, either by compulsion of public opinion or by legislative enactments. It would be impossible for many of the present Cathedral Clergy to discharge all the duties which have been here detailed, because they could not afford to give up the Benefices which they hold with their Stalls. But the intentions of the Founder might be immediately carried into effect in many important points, and the whole system might be re-established in twenty or thirty years in all the more wealthy Cathedrals. In the poorer Chapters, such as Chester for example, the restoration would require a much longer time, unless the Laity could be induced, by a forcible appeal from the Bishop, to contribute to the endowment of a more efficient Cathedral Establishment in that important Diocese. If this should appear an unreasonable hope, it must be remembered, that the Laity have never yet seen the Cathedral System at work; and therefore we have no means of estimating the probable amount [95/96] of their co-operation. If we may judge from their great readiness in supporting detached Societies, for Church purposes, there appears to be reason to hope, that, by their aid, a permanent Church Building Fund, a Class of Probationary Deacons, Missionaries, and Theological Scholars, and an efficient School, might be maintained in every Cathedral. For the defects of the Prebendal incomes, the best and perhaps the only remedy would be a judicious nursing of revenues by the Chapters themselves; by which, in course of years, the Cathedral property might be made sufficient for the support of a distinct and residentiary order of Ministers.

3. There is little in the foregoing remarks, as applied to the Parochial Clergy, that can require explanation. It is hoped, that all the suggestions which have been here made will be seen to be intended to promote their comfort and efficiency. The only point in which their interests may seem to be affected is, in the recommendation that, in some cases, the Probationary Deacons should be supported by the Parochial Clergy. But it will be observed, that this is proposed distinctly as a voluntary arrangement. If it had been proposed as a more general and obligatory regulation, the excuse might still have been made, that the idea is as old as the Reformation; for we find in the injunctions of King Henry the Eighth to the Clergy, that "every [96/97] "Incumbent that had a hundred pounds a year must give an Exhibition for one scholar, at some Grammar School, or University, who, after he had completed his studies, was to be partner of the cure and charge, both in preaching and other duties. And so many hundred pounds as any had, so many students he was to breed up."* [* Burnet, Hist. Reform. Book III. p. 226.] And on the subject of the discontinuance of the Daily Service in the Parish Churches, it is hoped that the remarks will be considered, not as an imputation upon Clergymen, whom the Author has neither the will nor the right to censure; but simply as an attempt to prove the fact, that the Cathedral Institutions are supplementary to the Parochial System in that respect.

4. It is perhaps necessary, in conclusion, to disclaim the intention of under-rating the suggestions of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. They have at least had the effect of awakening the dormant powers of one essential arm of the Church of England. They have roused into life and energy a spiritual system, which may soon, by its activity, gather round itself that love and sympathy of the English people, which has been lost by its sloth. Still less has it been the intention of the Author to cast any suspicion upon the sincerity of the Commissioners, in asserting that the main object of the [97/98] plan recommended by them was, to "render Cathedrals conducive to the efficiency of the Established Church." The only question is, with respect to the mode in which this most desirable end may be most completely attained.

5. On this question, the following remarks are most respectfully addressed to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners:

The great controversy which now agitates the country is, Whether the principle of a Church Establishment or of the Voluntary System shall prevail? and this is a question which must be decided mainly by efficiency; because ordinary men will only enquire which of the two systems is the more practically useful. The strength of a Church Establishment lies in organization; the power of the Voluntary System, in the facility with which it adapts itself to every moral change in the feelings and circumstances of men. The one has more consistency; the other, greater flexibility: and in both systems the defects are the exact converse of the chief advantages. The Cathedral Institutions contain almost the only power of adaptation which exists in the Established Church; and are qualified to impart to it the flexibility of the Voluntary System, without its attendant insecurity. They form what we may call an army of reserve, in support of the regular force of the [98/99] Parochial Clergy. No other body of men is so well qualified to act as the quaestors of the Church. If therefore the whole, or the Greater part of the Cathedral Revenues were to be merged in the incomes of the Parochial Clergy, the Church would become less flexible, less capable of adaptation to the circumstances of the nation, than it is at present. We should still be liable to see the same disproportion between the increase of population and the increase of the means of spiritual instruction, which has already so deeply injured the cause of religion.* [* The new Law for the Commutation of Tithes will still farther diminish the efficiency of the Church Establishment, by fixing the value of the living for ever according to the present circumstances of the Parish.] The plan of the Church Commissioners is a sufficient proof that the Cathedral Institutions have this power, since they have found in them the means of mitigating the defects of the Parochial System, which have been caused by a century of neglect. Their own argument proves that the Cathedrals are a standing bank, for the continual improvement of the Church Establishment.

6. If therefore the common object of all friends of the Church be, to render Cathedrals conducive to the efficiency of the Established Church; and if that must be effected, by making the Cathedral property a perpetual supply for the deficiencies of the Parochial Clergy; the question, arises, Who are the proper administrators of such a fund? The [99/100] great majority of the Clergy would readily subscribe to the opinion, that, if the Cathedral Chapters were to form in every Diocese a Board of Adjustment, to watch the moral changes of every Parish within their circuit, and administer timely support at the point where it might be most needed, little or nothing would be wanting to the admirable Parochial System at present established. If the Government were to attempt any thing of this kind, by means of a Fund raised out of the Chapter Revenues, it is easy to foresee that the money would soon either be alienated altogether, or applied to the payment of Ministers of all religious persuasions. Besides, the Chapters might do all that is required, not only without violating their Statutes, but even in the strictest accordance with the spirit and the letter of them.

7. It is not denied that the Crown has the power to alter the Statutes of the Foundations of King Henry the 8th. Such a power is distinctly reserved in the Statutes of Ely Cathedral, which are in substance the same as those of all the new CathedraIs.* [* "Reservamus nobis et successoribus nostris plenam potestatem et authoritatem Statuta haec mutandi, alterandi, et, si videbitur, nova condendi." Stat. Cath. Ch. Ely. Chap. XXXV. in fin.] But it will not be sufficient for the advisers of the Crown to alter the Statutes of the Cathedral Bodies, to suit the plan of the Commissioners. It will be [100/101] necessary also to state afresh the leading principle of a Cathedral Institution, and to declare what uses and purposes the foundations of 1838 are to have for the future. The Cathedral Institutions of the 2nd. of Victoria must be essentially different in principle from the Cathedral Institutions of the 31st. of Henry 8th. It is remarked most justly by the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury, "that the Commissioners seem to have assumed, that, in the foundation of all Cathedral Establishments, little more was contemplated than the performance of "'the service of the Churches; and the continual reparation of the fabrics.'"* [* Memorial of Dean and Chapter of Canterbury, quoting the words of the Report of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.] But many more uses are enumerated in the preamble of the Bill which was brought into Parliament on the 23rd. May, 1539; and which Burnet tells us was written by the King with his own hand,+ [+ Burnet, Book III. p. 263. Statutes at Large, 31 Hen. VIII. Cap. 9. Parliamen. Hist. Vol. III, p. 152. This Statute is not printed at length, but the operation of it is detailed in Stat. 34 and 35 Hen. VIII. Cap. 17.] to the following effect:--

"That it was known what slothful and ungodly lives have been led by those who were called religious. But that these houses might be con verted to better uses; that GOD'S word might be better set forth;# [# See Chaps. 4, 10.] Children brought up in Learning;§ [§ See Chap.7.] Clerks nourished at the Universities;% [% See Chap. 6.] and that old decayed servants might have livings;¶ [¶ See Chap. 9.] poor people might have alms-houses to maintain¶ [¶ See Chap. 9.] [101/102] them; readers of Greek, Hebrew, and Latin* [* See page 57.] might have good stipend; daily alms might be ministered; + [+ See Chap. 9.] and allowance made for mending of the highways; and exhibition for Ministers of the Church;# [# See Chap. 4, 5.] FOR THESE ENDS, if the King thought fit to have more Bishoprics or Cathedral Churches erected, out of the rents of these Houses, full power was given to him to erect and found them; and to make Rules and Statutes for them; and such translations of Sees, or divisions of them, as he thought fit." It will be seen, by reference to the first page of this work, that the uses of Cathedral Institutions here enumerated are the same with those which are specified in the general preamble to the Charters given by King Henry the 8th to his new Foundations. The changes proposed by the Church Commissioners will therefore virtually abolish fourteen Cathedral Institutions, which were founded, nearly three hundred years ago, for the purposes above-mentioned.

8. The principle upon which they are to be re-constructed remains to be considered. It will have been seen from the foregoing remarks, that every Cathedral Institution has its stationary as well as 'its diffusive duties. It is proposed to leave, to a reduced number of Canons, the stationary duties of the Cathedral Church, without material alteration; [102/103] and to transfer all their diffusive duties to a standing Commission. But is it to be expected, that the unthinking part of the nation will understand the value of Churches, which are connected neither with a Parochial nor a Diocesan charge? A Church devoted exclusively to the glory of Almighty God, with no parish or congregation of its own, is a noble object in the eyes of the contemplative Theologian; but it is an Institution utterly inconsistent with the practical and utilitarian spirit of the age. Every cry which has been raised in favour of Church Reform has had, for its leading argument, the uselessness of Cathedral Institutions. The Ecclesiastical Commission itself owes its origin mainly to the fact, that the Cathedral Clergy have hitherto performed no other duties than those to which it is now proposed to restrict them; duties, with which the people, in their ignorance, have declared already that they have no sympathy. Thus, the inexpediency of the plan of the Commissioners is proved by the very existence of the Commission. The Cathedrals would soon be despised as sinecures; and the next generation would clamour for their suppression. With respect to the diffusive duties, which are pointed out by the Charters and Statutes of King Henry the 8th, little need be said; because it is obviously impossible for any Ecclesiastical Commission to perform one half of the useful and diversified purposes for which Cathedral Institutions [103/104] were designed. The object in both cases is the same; but the means of accomplishing it are widely different. The Cathedral System already possesses a powerful machinery, which the Church Commission could not under any circumstances expect to construct. The Cathedral System is an integral part of the Church Establishment, upon which the Ecclesiastical Commission must always be an excrescence. The Cathedral System rests upon a settled stability of Chartered rights, and upon a prescription of three hundred years; while the Church Commission can give no prospective assurance of its own future vitality. Finally, the Cathedral System is the System of Cranmer, framed expressly to invigorate and replenish continually the whole body of the Church of England; to impart efficiency to the Parochial Clergy in every part of their spiritual labours; and to supply the means of religious instruction to the increasing population of a great and prosperous country. It will be a strange and melancholy event in the History of Church Reform, if such a System be suffered to degenerate, and ultimately to die away, in a futile attempt to accelerate, in no very remarkable degree, the sure, though tardy, operation of Queen Anne's bounty.

9. It may here be not altogether useless to subjoin a sketch of a Cathedral Institution acting in [104/105] the manner which has been described, to serve rather as an aid to reflection on this subject, than as an exemplar of what such an Institution ought to be.
"The Cathedral Church of ------- was founded in the year 1539, by King Henry the 8th, for the diffusion of religious knowledge and works of piety of every kind throughout the Diocese of -------, to the Glory of Almighty God, and the general welfare of his Majesty's subjects.* [* See Extract from Charter, p. 4.] The Cathedral Establishment consists of the Bishop, the Dean, the Canons, the Minor Canons, the Divinity Lecturer, the Upper and Lower Masters of the Cathedral School, the Probationary Deacons, the Theological Scholars, the Cathedral University Scholars, the Scholars of the Cathedral School, the Organist, the Lay Clerks, and other inferior Officers.+ [+ See Chap. 3.]

The Bishop is the Spiritual Head of the whole Cathedral Establishment; the President of the Cathedral Council; and the Visitor, empowered to require obedience to the Cathedral Statutes from every Member of the body.

The Dean and Canons are men selected for their learning and piety. They are all distinguished as eloquent interpreters of the Word of God, as [105/106] powerful advocates of the cause of charity, and as active promoters of the spiritual welfare of mankind.* [* See Chap. 2, p. 32.] They form the Council of the Bishop, and act as his advisers in all questions of difficulty, as his examining Chaplains, and as his supporters on all public occasions.+ [+ See Chap. 2.] They reside in their prebendal houses the greater part of the year, and hold no livings with their Cathedral preferment.# [# See Chap. 1.]

The Diocese is divided into as many districts as there are Canons in the Cathedral; and every Canon is considered responsible to the Bishop for the effectual diffusion of the Word of God in his own district. For this purpose, he arranges a cycle of visitation, including all the places in which the aid of a powerful and impressive preacher is most needed; and endeavours, by frequent visits, to awaken his hearers to a sense of the blessings of the Gospel; to refute errors of doctrine; and to explain and enforce such Christian ordinances, as may be endangered by the spirit of the times.§ [§ See Chap. 4, p. 29.] The Parochial Clergy are far from considering this as an intrusion, because the Canon is in all other ways their friend and coadjutor. If they are in want of a School Room, or a Chapel, they have only to apply to him; and he is willing, both by preaching and by exerting his influence in the Diocese, to forward their plan to the utmost of his power.

[107] The Canons are also Secretaries of the great Societies of the Church,* [* See Chap. 4, p. 33.]--the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign parts; the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge; the Society for Building and Enlarging Churches and Chapels; the National Society for the Education of the Poor, &c. By their preaching, the principles and operations of those Societies are effectually made known throughout the Diocese, and liberal contributions are obtained. The effect of these frequent visits of the Canons to the Parish Churches in the districts is seen, in the improvement of the general tone of preaching throughout the Diocese.+ [+ See Chap. 4, p. 35.]

The Chapter meet once every fortnight,# [# "Statuimus et volumus, ut Decanus aut, eo absente, Vice-Decanus cum Canonicis praesentibus semel ad minimum singulis quindenis, si fieri possit, et praeterea quoties videbitur expedire, Capitulum celebrent in Domo Capitulari; ibique de negotiis Ecclesiae nostrae pie ac prudenter tractent." Stat. Cath. Ch. Ely. Chap. XXXIV.] as a Clergy-Aid Society, to enquire into the spiritual wants of the Diocese. At this board, all applications for Clerical assistance and Clerical employment went are received.§ [§ See Chap. 5, pp. 44, 46.] In some cases, one of the Probationary Deacons is sent as a regular assistant to an aged Minister in a populous Parish: another is sent to take the duty of a Clergyman during a temporary illness: a third is appointed to officiate for an incumbent during a short and unavoidable [107/108] absence.* [* See Chap. 5, p. 44.] These are supported by the Chapter or the Incumbent, according to circumstances.+ [+ See Chap. 5, p. 45.] Many of the Probationary Deacons become Curates in the Diocese, upon the recommendation of the Chapter. Sometimes, when the population of a Parish has increased so much as to require an additional Church, the influence of the Chapter is exerted to procure the sum requisite for the building; and a Deacon is appointed to do the duty, till a sufficient income has been raised for a regular Incumbent.

The Lectures of the Divinity Lecturer# [# See Chap. 5, p. 37.] are attended by as many of the Probationary Deacons§ [§ See Chap. 5, p. 44.] as are not employed in other parts of the Diocese, by the Students in the Missionary Class,% [% See Chap. 5, p. 45.] and by the Theological Students¶ [¶ See Chap. 5, p. 43.] who have completed their University Education, but have not yet been admitted to Orders. Many other Students, not on the foundation, are admitted into the class of the Professor, upon sufficient recommendation; and prepare themselves for Orders under his direction.

A general examination is held annually by the Dean and Chapter, with the assistance of the Divinity Lecturer and the Masters of the Cathedral [108/109] School:* [* Chap. 7, p. 57.] At this time, the Theological Students are examined, and the best selected, to be presented to the Bishop for Ordination. After this, they become Probationary Deacons. At the same time, the Cathedral University Scholars+ [+ Chap. 6, p. 50.] present their testimonials from the Colleges in which they have graduated, and request to be re-admitted upon the Cathedral Foundation, as Theological Students. The Missionary Scholars also present their Certificates of having completed the required course.# [# Ib. p. 54.] The Scholars of the Cathedral Free School are also examined; and the most promising are chosen to fill the vacancies among the Cathedral University Scholars. A second class is selected for the service of Foreign Missions. Those of inferior talent, but of equally good general character, are recommended by the Examiners as qualified to be Masters of Parochial Schools. Of the remainder, some are apprenticed by the Chapter, others become Lay Clerks of the Choir, and others obtain situations as Parish Clerks, in consequence of their skill in music. It very rarely happens that any Scholar is expelled.

The examination of Candidates for admission into the Cathedral School comes next in order. They are required to be poor, and for the most part destitute of friends; and to come prepared with a [109/110] knowledge. of reading and writing.* [* Chap. 7. pp. 58, 59.] The greater number of the Candidates are sent up from the National Schools in the Diocese, with testimonials from their Clergyman and School Master. Some are the orphan children of Clergymen and other professional men. The best proficients in the knowledge and application of Scripture are admitted into the Trial Class; but their election is not confirmed till the examination of the following year.

When a Cathedral Living is vacant, the Dean and Chapter meet to appoint a new Incumbent.+ [+ Chap. 9.] The names of the Minor Canons and of the Probationary Deacons (whether employed in Curacies, or resident at the Cathedral,) are read over; and the appointment is made with due consideration of the peculiar circumstances of the Parish, and of the merits of the Candidates. If the Living is given to a Minor Canon, one of the Probationary Deacons is elected at the same meeting to supply his place. Livings, which are not accepted by any member of the Cathedral Body, are given to the most deserving of the Diocesan Schoolmasters; who are admitted into Holy Orders by the Bishop upon special recommendation of the Clergy, and serve as Curates of the vacant Benefices during their year of Deacon's Orders.

[111] At all times of the year, the Dean and Chapter devote themselves to the duties of hospitality. The Cathedral Library is open to all Clergymen resident in the Diocese. The Parochial Clergy look upon the. Canons as their advisers in all doubtful cases; and the Probationary Deacons, after they have passed into permanent employment, return with delight from time to time to draw from them fresh stores of spiritual wisdom.* [* Chap. 8.]

Among this variety of employments, the Daily Service of the Cathedral is not neglected.+ [+ Chap. 10.] The value of that Divine ordinance is never forgotten. God is glorified by the daily prayers of his Ministers and people: intercession is made for the sins of the nation, and of all mankind: the book of the revealed Word of God is read day by day: the song of praise and thanksgiving continually ascends to Heaven, as a morning and evening sacrifice."

10. The above sketch of a Cathedral Institution, acting, as it is presumed, in accordance with the intentions of the Founder, may serve to shew, that there are important benefits which the Chapters may confer upon the Parochial Clergy, without any improper alienation of revenues, or violation of Statutes. The plan proposed by the Commissioners has not yet passed into a law; and there is still hope that the Cathedrals may be spared. If it should [111/112] please God to inspire the rulers of our nation with a deeper sense of what is due to His glory, and what is necessary for the spiritual welfare of the people, we may still hope to see the Institutions of our ancestors restored to their ancient dignity, and fulfilling the intentions of their Founders. We may still hope to see every Cathedral acting as the spiritual heart of the Diocese, diffusing its Episcopal and Pastoral influence into every Parish; promoting all works of charity and piety; publishing the glad tidings of salvation by the mouth of its chosen Ministers; distributing the Scriptures into every cottage; building and enlarging the houses of God; propagating the Gospel in foreign parts; and educating the children of the poor at home. The Chapters may then become the foster-fathers of the friendless and the orphan; the patrons of that order from which Jesus chose his disciples; the guardians of every humble soul, in which Christ has quickened the seed of holiness and faith. And, being thus in favour both with God and man, the Cathedral Clergy may be encouraged to carry on their good and useful work; to minister to the increasing wants of the people; to supply the deficiencies of sick and aged Clergymen; to ensure regularity in the performance of Divine Service throughout the country; to furnish the Parochial Schools with a more enlightened class of instructors; and to fill every Parish Church with the melody of harmonious voices praising God. And as they may be the [112/113] friends of the people generally, so also may they be the guides and counsellors of the Parochial Clergy,--the connecting link between the Hierarchy and the Ministry,--the spiritual hosts and patrons of the young and inexperienced Deacon. And, finally, in their own proper and local Priesthood, they may be reverenced as the Ministers of the Eternal God, while they offer to Him their daily tribute of prayer and thanksgiving; in the noblest temples that were ever consecrated to His worship and honour.

It remains to be seen, whether the plan proposed by the Church Commissioners for the reduction of the Chapters will be carried into effect. If it should pass into a law, the functions of the Cathedral Institutions will from that time be necessarily confined to the performance of the Daily Service. This will be a fearful change in the constitution of the Church of England; and one of which it is impossible to predict the consequences. The danger will arise, not so much from the loss of dignity, as from the diminution of efficiency. The dignity of a Cathedral Canon will still rest, as it rests now, upon the performance of his holy, spiritual, and perpetual Ministry, the glories and privileges of which cannot be better described than in the noble words of Abijah:* [* 2 Chron. xiii. 10.]

[114] "As for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not forsaken Him: and the priests, which minister unto the Lord, are the sons of Aaron; and the Levites wait upon their business, and they burn unto the Lord, every morning and every evening burnt sacrifices and sweet incense: the shew-bread also set they in order upon the pure table; and the candlestick of gold, with the lamps thereof, to burn every evening: for we keep the charge of the LORD our GOD."

May God grant, that the state of this nation may never justify the addition of the concluding words:

"But ye have forsaken him."



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