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Uitcrarg 5arietírø.





THE BISHOP OF BATH AND WELLS AND THE CHURCH. The Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells, on the occasion of his vacating the See of Oxford, has returned the fol- lowing reply to the farewell address presented to him by the archdeacons, rural deans, and clergy of bis late diocese TO THE ARCHDEACONS, RURAL DEANS, AND CLERGY OF THE ARCHDEACONRY OF OXFORD. My Dear and Rev, Brethren,—I hare read with feQlings of deep emotion the address whlch you have transmitted to me. To have received sueh a document from my clergy would, under any circumstances, have been a high and lasting satisfaction to me, and one which would have gone far to cheer me under the prospect of a separation from those from whom, during a period of 16 years, I have received more marks of respect and kind- ness than usually fall to the lot of an indi vidual; but when I consider the temper of the present time, the grievous conflict of opinions which agitates us, and the mulual doubts and suspi- eions which have alienated from each other many who formerly were of one heart and mind, I feel that to have recpÏ\"ed an address so worded and so signed, is an event the most gratifying that could have occurred to me, For that addre3s I now beg you to accept my best and warmest thanks. I thank you for the expressions of your personal regard, and interest in my temporal welfare I thanl, you for the kind and generous con- structions which you have put upon my past actions I thank you for your good wishes for my happiness in my future sphere of duty; but, above aU, I thank you for the assuranre of your prayers, that God would give ml- grace in my declining years diligently to execute the work anù mmlstry of a bishop unto the flock of Christ, 808 that in the day of final account I may find acceptance with Him, When, indeed, I look back upon that career, of which YOU have 8poken with such undeserved eom- mendation, I can. see nothing but a record of much weakness and manifold infirmities, both in jud,1Ilent and action; and, if in any degree I have seemed to come up to the favourable opinion which you have expresspd of me, it is no false müÙesty to say that your piety and zeal have made my labour3 easy, and your ready co-operation and willing obedience have insured my suc- cess, Under sueh an OTerwhelmmg sense of my own insuffici- ency, it is an unspeakable comfort to me to feel that he who is named as my successor is one not less eminent for his high attainments, his earnest piety, and his Christian gentleness and discretion, than for his unwearyinll energy and zeal. Never- theless, how inadequately soever I may have discharged the duties of my office, my heart's desire has ever been to promote the eternal welfare of that portion of the Lord's flock which has been committed to my trust; and how much soever I may have erred in judgm<,nt, the object which I have steadily set before me from first to last has been the faithful maintenance of the doctrine and discipline of the Church of which we are minis- ters, And now, since the present is the last occasion on which I can address you as a body, I feel it due to us both that my affectionate farewell should be mingled with one word of earnest exhortation, suggested by the events in the midst of which I leave you. We part at a time when heavier grief and scandal have fallen on our Church than she has known for many gene- rations and they who have wounùed her have been those whom she has nurtured from their youth up, Our faith, indeed, tells us that eventual good is ever working out of apparent evil; and, convlllced as we are that ours is a true and living branch of the Holy Catholic Church, we may not doubt that Christ is in the midst of her. We therefore feel our loyalty unshaken, and that our allegiance is inalienable. Still we are full of sorrow and grief for our brethren's sake anù for our own. We see that our sins have caused our miserable divisions, and that our divisions have caused the truth to be spokeu against, and the Church's adversaries to triumph. Let the past then be a warning to us all, and let the distressing events of the last few years satisfy us, that when even good men, and men influenced with the best intentions, allow themselves to act as a party, instead of simply and seyarately following oul the principles of obedience to the Church, their efforts on the Church's behalf are sure to be marred. "At this ud juncture what the Church most needs is relt, Time and quiet alone can restore the confidence of our people. Let me, then, implore you to show to the Church and to the world, that Ihere is no intention on your part to keep up a party, Let uothmg be done by you which earnes wlth It the appear- ance of agitation. Let us say little and do much. Let there be less discussion and mofe action; fewer harsh censures on our neighbour8, and more careful looking to ourselves. Let us not suspect one another, nor judge one another, nor condemn one another as we have of late; but let us love one another, and torbear and forgive one another, seeking to be led into the way of truth and to hold the faith in unity of spirit, in the boud of peace, and in righteousness of life. And now, my dear bre- thren,'fare well. Called as I am to preside over another diocese, 1 cannot hope to meet many of you again in this world, even if my own days should be prolonged; but I have the comfort of your assurance that I shall be remembered in your prayers, and you will not doubt that you will be ever remembered in mine, May the God of peace that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, bless you and the Hocks committed to your charge. May He make you perfect in every good, work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing III Hi* tight, throughJQ8U1I Christ, w whom be glory for ner aad tVW, J fc«., R, OXFORD.





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