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-------POETRY. .





CHURCH REPAIRS. TO THE EDITOR OF TIIE GAZETTE & GUARDIAN. SIR,-A pamphlet, teeming with more than the ordinary quantity of misrepresentation, now so industriously disseminated on the subject ol Church Rates, has been largely quoted, ii not entirely copied, in the Courier, and made ihe staple of a leading article in the Cumbrian of May 27. By a paltry s!lu!fle on the word .( CUlitolO," an effort is made to upset the unanswerable arguments and multiplied proofs of our valued Representative tor the Eastern Boroughs, of Mr Deacon, Mr Hills, ot Chatham, Mr Metcalfe and others; and the writer sits down, with matchless command ot countenance, to shew that a tax, cheerfully paid for the last 800 years, ami recognized both b.v the common law, or IIMmemorial custom of and by the statute law, is "divested of legal foundation, and a modern abuse. Before making a few remarks, *on what your amusing contemporary calls the elaborate investigation of the Tractate," sutler nie io put the question, whether Mr Hills has not mauled ihe argumenr" ofSI r J, Campbell beyuod hn pc of recovery, however bolstered up by the author ot the Tractate, or certain portions of the public press. 1. The Attorney General is pleased to maintain, "that the parishioners are not bound by law to repair the parish church" An opinion, however, contrary to that of all his predecessors, yet of great importance af the present juncture. ■' Antiqius omnibus unnru" Ohjicit." Against this groundless assumption, the following' c ear tnd concise authorities have been iIJledpd by INI" llills, iti lkis Letter to Sir W. Follctf :—" In Bail f.Cr(>ss; Molt, Chief Justice, said, By ihe common law, the parishioners of every parish are bound to repair the So, in Hawkinsr. Rouse, the same judgegaid, 1 It is by the peculijit- law of this kingdom, tbllt the parishioners are charged with the rppairs of the churc; If this is not plain, words have lost their meaning. There are, however, many auihorities to ihe same effect, in every writer on the subject and none against it. What shall we say, then, of the disingenuous trick of dressing- out a Popish canon against these authorities, which canon has been from the fir-it, invalid, and though thrust upon the country by different Romanists, in the dark ages, has yet, by the liberality ann firmness of Britons, always been resisted,sothatnotoneinstance can be found of its operation in this country. Though the Attorney General may, in this inslance, have locked himself ou', he has not taken away the key of knowledge from others; nor can we believe his first position, in the teeth of every precedent of common law, and of the important statutes 13 Ed. 1 mid 25 H. 8. c. 19. The latter of these statutes gave a power to the King, to appoint what canons should be abrogated and what continued by the 85th of those sanctioned iu lC03, the repairs of the church are clearly thrown on the churchwardens and quest men. Their office is as old as the time of Chaucer, at least, who mentions thein as "Church Reves, and for'what other purpose than taking charge of the fabric of the church it originated, no one has pretended to say. 2. The second preposition is, that it is entirely optional with the parishioners, whether they will repair the church or not, and that if they refuse to make a rate, there are no means of compelling them." Any man who will read half the proofs brought for- ward of the error of the ist proposition, will find that this falls lo the ground with it. It is a settled, an invariable principle, in the laws of England, that every right, when withheld, must have a remedy, says Blackstone; therefore,as by immemorial custom, they are bound to repair the sacred edifice, there is a remedy when the parishioners refuse a reasonable rate for that purpose. "No," says the Attorney General, echoed by Mr J. C.Symous, B.A "a man- damus is not issued oil their refusal, and the non- interference proves the act discretionary." But n-hy is not the mandamus issued? The Courtof King's Bench tells all, who have ears to hear, because the Constitution has provided another specific remedy. The statute of 13 Ed. 1. sends the matter to the Ecclesiastical Court for remedy, and the Attorney General overlooking its jurisdiction, asserts that the is optional, that there is no remedy. The Court of Common Lair, in the case of the King, r. Churchwardens of Thetford, declares that the making a Church Rate is "a subject purely of ecclesiastical jurisdiction and, again in another, (4 M,wle ¡¡nd Selw, :50) that it is proper:y of ecclesiastical cognizance, the rights and powers of which are saved by the act." Yet we are told, that there are no such rights and powers to compel a rate, and the argument against us is built on the sup- pression, by the Attorney General, of the reasons assigned by the Courtof King's Bench for det-iiiiiiig to interfere. "Yet," says the Court" we will put in motion their functions in ordine ad, i. e. to assemble, in order loenquire and agree, whether it be fit that a uitc should be made." Can party spirit more sadly. warp a candid and upright mind, than when it leads to this prevarication' and the denial oil such grounds as these, of any remedy at a'l? Well, but admitting that the making- a rate is of ecclesiastical cognizance, what can those Courts do to enforce its being made ? They cannot interdict you from "bell, book and caiidle us it is ur,-ed, to take off our thoughts from what they can do. But, the law of the land says, „iey can ,)inder from being a juror, or a witness in any Court or from bringing an action, real or personal; and'if, after 40 days, you do not,on due notice submit, they may, under the statute 53 Geo. 3 e 121., which is not yet old or obsolete, arrest and imprisoll voa ill the county gaol. This thy can do, (however unwilling to come to an extremity) until you acknow. ledge the arm of the, law stronger than your own, and pay that obedience to lis ralid directioils which your duty to your neighbour aud your God alike enjoin. Further, the churchwardens,if the rate be refused, however ludicrous" it may seem to recusants' riiay make it ivithout then). On ibis head Mr Hills i-elet-s us to Bacon's Abridgement, to Viner's Abridge- ment, and to Gibson's Codex, p. 220. See also. r. Nictioll's letter to Lord Stanley, 1). 32. In a case decided by the Court of King's Bench, reported by Ventris, 1 Vol.307. The Court said, that tbechurch- wardens (if the parishioners were summoned and refused to meet or make a rale) might make one alotie for the repairs of the Church, if needful • because, that if the .repairs were neglected, the churchwardens were to be cited and not the parish- ioners. These are also plain words,and it is certain that no good cause can want to be propped up with quibbling and untruth, If there really he no law in favour of Church Rates, why muster such force to attack them as a grievance? If they be not indeed compulsory on "the wilful and obstinate," as Bacon has it, why mistake a windmill for a giant, and affright their defenders with the slogan, "Ihe Campbell is coming." Now, let us turn to the learned and laborious Mr Symons, of the Cambrian, to whom, "rem mandans iiiaxiiiio lapi(ii :the champion looks for countenance and aid. His countenance may be useful, for it must be greater than his learning Thus he blunders the expression, "Common Law," used by a Canonist, Lyndwood, for the "common Canon Law" of Rome, into meaning the Common Law, or Ancient Custom, of England, which, 011 the subject of Church Repairs, is directly opposed to the Popish canons; and which, making the clergy con- tribute to the State more than is dotieon the coitlitietit, therefore exonerates them from certain burdens. When Mr S. mentions a law, quoted in so common a book as Prideaux, "Directions to Churchwardens," as lately exhumed from the archives of the Hereford Library," he is simply aud exceedingly ignorant, (maugre the Cambrian's praises): but when heblames Mr Venn, for quoting the original law, which said, S00 years ago, that (i all the people (of the parish) ought to contribute to the lepair of the church," and accuses him of cowardice in not joining him (Mr Symons) in the nonsensical trash which he makes, by jumbling together two different quotations in Godolphin's Repertoi ium, we can only rejoice, that he has found, in our neighbourhood, a congenial* Editor,—one who gives his "confusion worse con- founded," the ad vantage of an original and laborious various reading of "the Sth^Canon ot the Synod, held at London. He reads Dei. do mo in su.s pro- prio," i.e. turn the House of God into a pig-stye. The like you have", in ninety-nine Cambrians out of a hundred among Its usua. choice specimens of "modern abuse." Yours, &c. SILENTIARIUS.

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jEntpmal IJatitatiteut. .

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