James H. (James Harrison) Rigg.

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BR 50 .R533 1866

Rigg, James H. 1821-1909

Essays for the times



ESSAYS FOR THE TIMES



ECCLESIASTICAL AND SOCIAL
SUBJECTS.



BY

JAMES H.^RIGG, D.l).

AU'l'HOR OP " MODRRN ANOI.ICAN TH KOIjOOY .



LONDON :
ELLIOT STOCK, 62, PATERNOSTER ROW, E.G.

1866.



LONDON :

PRINTKD BY JAMES BEVERIDOE,

THANET PLACE, STRAND.



PREFACE.



I SEND forth this volume with some hope that it
may assist in bringing Christian thinkers to an agree-
ment on some of the pressing questions of the day.
Whatever may be the worth of the papers here bound
together, there can be no doubt as to the importance
of the subjects with which they deal. Apart from
purely dogmatic or specifically religious questions, and
from strictly political controversies, it will be con-
ceded that the subjects handled in this volume include
most of those which are recognised as of primary and
pressing moment at the present time.

The last two papers were published in the London
Quarterly Review eight or ten years ago. It will be
found, however, that they are as pertinent to present
controversies as if they liad been written in the pre-
sent year. The essay on " Popular Education" bears
difoctlv oil that subject in all its breadth, as dis-



iv PREFACE.

cussed in the recent session of Parliament, and as
sure to be again discussed at the earliest opportunity.
The English, the Irish, and the Colonial systems are
exhibited, in their respective principles, with the
special purpose and reason of each. The essay on
the "Origin, Causes, and Cure of Pauperism," bears
immediately on the question of land-tenure in Great
Britain and in Ireland, and, although written so long
ago, anticipates in its principles and indications the
course of legislation on which Parliament has lately
entered. Of the other papers, some are now for the
first time published, and all are of recent date, except
that on the " Bible and Human Progress," which was
delivered as a Lecture in Exeter Hall in 1858, and
is here re-printed, after revision, by the kind permis-
sian of the Committee of the Young Men's Christian
Association.

All the papers will be found to have a certain unity.
Tiie title of the Lecture indicates the scope of the
whole volume. They are directly concerned with the
question of " Human Progress ;" and they all recog-
nise Christianity as furnishing the laws and the life
out of which the progress of the world is continu-
ally to unfold itself. Hence the primary importance
of sucli rjuestions as that of "the Vocation and



PREFACE.



Training of the Clergy;" hence, the national import-
ance of siicli ecclesiastical controversies as those in
which the names of Pusey and Newman recur. A
less intolerant and exclusive ecclesiastical system is no
truly or directly opposed to the political and moral
well-being of a nation, than is a system of religious
scepticism ; Church superstitions are as pernicious as
philosophical unbelief Moreover superstition con-
tinually provokes and produces infidelity.

What relation m}^ own particular church may sus-
tain towards other churches, and in particular towards
the Established Church, is a matter of minor import-
ance; so far as this volume is concerned, is a veiy
slight and altogether incidental question. Neverthe-
less, it seemed necessary, in order that my readers
might perfectly understand my point of view, and be
enabled completely to appreciate what I have to say
in relation to the Church of Enc-land and to other

o

churches, that I should give some preliminary explana-
tions on this point. This I have done accordingly,
in the first instance and in a few words.

It will be observed that in some of the papers I use
the reviewer's style; while in others I speak in the
first person singular, as I should \va\q iJreibrred to
do througlioul. TI10 oxplMiialion will lie nnticipatod



VI • PEEFACE.



With one exception, all the papers in which the plural
form is used, have been published as reviews ; and in
the case of the one exception, the essay was originally
prepared with a view to its first appearing in the
London Quarterly Review ; but as an unavoidable delay
prevented its publication in April last, it is now first
published in this volume.*

JAMES H. RIGG.

Folkestone, June 10th, 1866.



* I have to ask the reader at p. 10, line 13 from the bottom, to supply the
words of grace after means.



CONTENTS.



V\OK

I. A .FEW WORDS ON THE RELATIONS OF WESLEYAN

METHODISM TO THE ESTABLISHED CHURCH . . 1

II. THE VOCATION AND TRAINING OF THE CLERGY ... 12

III. THE ESTABLISHED CHURCH — DEFECTS AND REMEDIES . 73

IV. THE PURITAN ANCESTORS AND HIGH-CHURCH PARENTS

OF THE WBSLEYS. A SKETCH AND A STUDY.
1630—1750 106

V. KINGSLEY AND NEWMAN 170

VI. PUSEY's EIRENICON 223

VII. ARCHBISHOP MANNING AND DOCTOR PUSEY ON " THE
WORKINGS OF THE HOLY GHOST" AMONG SEPARA-
TISTS AND SCHISMATICS, OR ULTRAMONTANE CHARITY

versus Anglican charity 274



Vlll CONTENTS.

PAGI!

VI fT. THE HISTORY OF HETERODOX SPECULATION . . . 285

I

IX. THE BIBLE AND HUMAN PROGRESS 329

X. PAUPERISM, LAND TENURE, AND THE CLERGY . . . 381

XI. THE ORIGIN, CAUSES, AND CURE OF PAUPERISM . . . 398

XII. POPULAR EDUCATION 461



ESSAYS FOR THE TIMES.



o;»Jo



INTRODUCTORY.

A FEW WOEDS ON THE RELATIONS OF WESLEYAN METHODISM TO
THE ESTABLISHED CHURCH.

In three of the following papers, the first three in order, I
have touched on questions connected with the Established
Church of this country. It will be seen that I have done so
in no spirit of animosity, and with no sectarian view, but
with perfect independence. Being mj^self a minister of the
Wesleyan Methodist Church, I desire to offer a very few
words of explanation in regard to the relations of Methodism
to the Church of England.

There has been a wide-spread impression that Wesleyan
Methodists are barely separated from the Established Church
of England ; that, so far as they are separated, such separa-
tion is in violation of their own original principles ; and that
they might, without any great violence or difficulty, be re-
united with the Established Chfirch. It is high time that
such delusions on these points as have prevailed should be
dissipated ; and I wish to take this opportunity of contributing
to dispel them.

To take these points, then, in the reverse order from that
in which I have stated them. I have no hesitation in saying
that there is not the remotest possibility of the Weslej^an
Methodist Church ever being absorbed in the Church of
England. And I doubt whether, out of the many hundreds



2 ESSAYS FOE THE TIMES.

of Wesleyan ministers, and of the hundreds of thousands of
Wesleyan communicants, there are altogether a score of
persons who would not smile with supreme amusement if
such a proposal were presented to them. Just ten years
ago an article, on this precise question, was published in
the London Quarterly Review* which, it is no violation of
confidence now to say, was from the pen of a very dis-
tinguished Wesleyan minister, the Eev. W. Arthur, who,
there is little doubt, will be elected in a few weeks to the
highest office in the Wesleyan Church, the Presidency of its
annual Conference. In this able and comprehensive article
the whole question is luminously discussed ; and it is
demonstrated that any union between Methodism and the
Established Church is simply impossible ; that such a union
must imply a sacrifice on the part of Methodism of its claim
to be a church, on the part of its clergy of their character
as ordained ministers of Christ, and on the part of all its
adherents, whether ministers or lay members, of all that
is distinctive in its organization and institutions, and of its
very highest and most cherished Christian principles — one
of these being the position of sisterly fellowship and evan-
gelical communion in which it now stands towards all other
Protestant Churches, whether at home or abroad, the
EstabHshed Church alone excepted. In the same article,
also, it is demonstrated that a union of Methodism with the
EstabHshed Church, if that were possible, could not fail to
be injurious, both to the Church of England itself and to
the interests of our common Christianity. What might
happen if (jjer imjMssihilc) the Church of England itself were
altogether remodelled, so as to become a comprehensive na-
tional church,— a sort of Protestant cathedral establishment,
including as it were, under one roof Episcopal, Congrega-
tional, and Methodist " chapels," it is quite idle to speculate.

* July, 1856.



I



WESLEYAN METHODISM NOT TO BE ABSORBED. 3

And as to the second of the points I have mentioned — viz.,
that the continued separation of the Wesleyan Church from
the Church of England is in violation of the original
principles of Methodism, the same article is equally clear
and conclusive. It is shown that Mr. Wesley's adherence
to the Church of England was in his latest years much more
a matter of filial instinct than of conviction, and was in very
important respects exceedingly loose. The Wesleys, in their
life-time, were, for the most part, excluded from preaching in
the churches of the establishment, because, first of all, of
their evangelical doctrine; and, afterwards, of their ''irregu-
larities." It is shown that by his irregularities — his extem-
pore praying, his forming societies, his commissioning lay
preachers, and ordaining ministers — Mr. Wesley himself, in
his life-time, made a virtual separation between himself and
his societies, on the one hand, and the Church of England,
on the other. It is shown that the character of the
clergy was such that, passionately as Mr. Wesley loved
the Church and her services, and utterly as he shrank from
the thought of separation, he was compelled, too often, to
give at least his passive consent to his people's absenting
themselves from church. The reviewer quotes Mr. Wesley's
own words as follows : "My conclusion, which I cannot yet
give up, that it is lawful to continue in the Church, stands,
I know not how, almost without any premises that are to
bear its weight. I know the original doctrines of the Church
are sound ; I know her worship is, in the main, pure and
scriptural. But if 'the essence of the Church of England,
considered as such, consists in her orders and laws ' (many
of which I myself can say nothing for), ' and not in her
worship and doctrines,' those who separate from her have a
far stronger plea than ever I was sensible of."*

Moreover, in the same article, just emphasis is given to

• Wesley's Works, Vol. XIII. pp. 164, 10.5.

b2



4 ESSAYS FOR THE TIMES.

the fact that Mr. Wesley's irregularities, in many instances,
amounted to decisive acts of ecclesiastical independency.
Such were the administration of the Lord's Supper in
Methodist " houses," the appointment of prayers and preach-
ing in church hours, the ordination of some of his
preachers to the administration of the sacraments, and all
pastoral acts and offices ; and, finally, the full organization
of a church government for the American Methodists, under
the hands of " superintendents," or " bishops," who received
their specific orders from him.

In fact, it is very evident that Mr. Wesley was not without
the foresight of what was likely to haj)pen when he should
be taken from the head of his people. He would not do
anything directly or positively to advance this result. He
used all his authority, and his utmost efforts in every way,
at least to retard, if not to prevent it. He loved the Church
of England only less than he loved the work of God. To
have been the head of a separate body would have been
grief and pain to him. He was happy in the latest
years of his life, when the aged patriarch was coming
into extensive honour, to find many churches thrown open
to him. He was persuaded that it was not his vocation to
lead away a separation, or fully to organize an independent
church. In his life-time at least he trusted to be able
to prevent such a consummation. He ordained ministers
to give the sacraments in different parts of England, as
well as in Scotland and America, that he might thus still the
just outcry of the people whom the parish clergy drove from
the Lord's table, or who could not receive the communion
from the hands of openly immoral "priests." By this
measure he put off the inevitable day of avowed separation.
But he only put it off. He was even, in postponing it,
educating both the people and their preachers for the state
of separation and the mutual relations which that state



ME. WESLEY PREPARED THE WAY FOR SEPARATION. 5

would involve. No doubt he saw this. But his plan through
life had been to trust and follow Providence, not anticipating
troubles before the time, nor allowing himself to be deterred
by probable consequences, by difficulties and complications
looming in the future, from doing what he felt to be right
and needful for the time present. He trusted to Providence
the future of the people whom he had been the instrument
of raising up. Was there not a Conference of preachers ?
Were there not among them men of counsel and might ?
Had they not before their eyes the precedent of an inde-
pendent and organized Methodism in America ? Was not
Dr. Coke, who had acted in America as "superintendent," a
member of the British Conference ? And was there not the
same God to guide the preachers in Conference as there had
been to guide him ? *

After Wesley's death the people were no longer restrained
by tender reverence for him from urging loudly and almost
universally what they had so long felt. " The trustees,"
indeed, including many gentlemen of superior position
strongly attached to the Church of England, and many
others who looked with a sense of superiority on the i:)oor,
humble, Methodist itinerant, and did not wish to see him
invested with the character of an ordained minister — "the
trustees," for the most part, opposed the demands of the
members at large. They pleaded for " the Church," and
"the old way." With them was a considerable section of
the preachers, including some men of great eminence. And
for several years the Conference, on the whole, was under
the influence of the trustees and these leading preachers.
Others there were, however, among the preachers, of not
less eminence, who were of a different mind. And, mean-
time, the people were determined to obtain their evangelical
and ecclesiastical " rights," as they considered and called

* See the paper on the " ruritaii Ancestors and High Chiir<.h Parents of the Wesleys."



6 ESSAYS FOR THE TIMES.

their demands. The agitation became more violent and the

feehng more intense every year. Nor was the excitement

lessened by the fact that, as very many Methodists had been

dm-ing many years, so many were still being, repelled by the

clergy from the Lord's table. Accordingly, in 1795, four years

after Mr. Wesley's death, the " Plan of Pacification " was

adopted, by which a way was opened to the " Societies " for

obtaining, each by each as they might insist upon them, the

church privileges which they had so long desired. In virtue

of that '' Plan " the Methodist preachers became " pastors " as

well as " teachers," ministers in the full sense, and Methodism

became manifestly, what it had long been virtually, a separate

church. The next thing was to lay a due basis of church

government, and to acknowledge the right of the societies, as

belonging to a free and voluntary church, to be admitted

to a voice in connexion with its legislature and government.

That point was conceded, in principle, by the Conference

legislation of 1797, which laid the foundation for all that

has been since effected in the way of lay co-operation in

ecclesiastical affairs, and by which Methodism has been

developed into the finest sphere for lay influence in the world.

Such having been the antecedents of modern Methodism,

what its present aspect is towards the Church of England

may be understood without difficulty. There may yet be

some ministers, chiefly, if not exclusively, among the seniors

of the Conference, who retain towards the Established Church

much of that filial instinct of admiration and reverence which

John Wesley cherished to his dying day. In times past

some of these have been like those English of the pale in

Ireland, who were said to be " Hibernis ijjsis Hihcrnlores."

There have been Wesleyan ministers, I am not sure but there

are still a few such, who have felt such a reverence for the

formularies of the Church of England that they would be

more unwilling to consent to any change in them whatever



METHODISTS AND CHUBCH METHODISTS. 7

than almost any Churchman of enlarged and moderately
liberal views. But if any such examples of strong Church
Methodism yet remain, their number must be very small
indeed. All such Methodists would, of course, have strongly
contended for Church-rates. But, besides such as these, if
any such there be, there are at least a few others, who, whilst
they own no allegiance to the Anglican Church, have yet not
been prepared to support any movement for the unconditional
abolition of Church-rates. They look upon the cathedrals
and the ancient parish churches as national edifices ; and,
this being the case, they are unwilling, by leaving them to
be sustained merely by the Church of England, to recognise
them as the property of a sect. This is a point, however,
on which many Wesleyan Methodists, whatever their general
or their ecclesiastical politics, have had to confess themselves
perplexed. Undoubtedly, however, the great majority of
Wesleyans are passively opposed to Church-rates ; they
heartily dislike them, although few of them may have joined
in any agitation against them.

Wesleyan Methodists generally study to " be quiet and to
mind their own business." They have seldom been active
politicians ; perhaps they have taken less interest in poli-
tics than an enlightened Christian patriotism would dictate.
They have commonly a strong Conservative bias. They dislike
political agitation. They have received a maxim from their
founder, of which they are very fond — " Be the friends of all,
the enemies of none." They dissent, as a matter of fact, at
least most of them, from the discipline and dominant policy of
the Church of England. They dissent, also, utterly from High
Church doctrine. But Dissent is no part of their ecclesiastical
creed. They are not educated in it as a principle. They
would like to help to mend the Church of England, if they
saw clearly how ; and, as this is the Church by law endowed
and established, they feel that they have, as every English-



8 ESSAYS FOR THE TIMES.

man must have, an interest and a right in seeing that Church
well organized and well administered. But, until they see
clearly what is to be done in order to its amendment, they
are generally content to sit still and say very little. Few of
them profess to have mastered all the intricacies of law and
equity connected with the question of church establishments.
They cannot see that it is a law of nature, or of morals, or of
the Gospel, that all church endowments are necessarily un-
lawful. And they find it difficult to distinguish specifically
between the endowments of dissenting chapels and a con-
siderable proportion, at least, of the endowments of the
Church of England. For the most part, as I imagine, they
have a sort of obscure idea somewhere posited within, — they
are under the influence of an instinctive feeling, seldom con-
sciously defined,— that the best thing would be, to remove
from the constitution and administration of the Church of
England whatever is unjust in itself, or inconsistent with the
spiritual freedom and efficiency of the Church ; that if this
could be done, and the Church could be brought on the whole
to work manifestly well as a Christian and national institu-
tion, the abstract question of endowments would hardly be
worth discussing ; whereas, if it should become a national evil,
a public nuisance, the sooner the endowments were applied
to some good object the better. Not being educated in the ab-
stract science of the question, that is the practical view which
Methodists generally take of it. Some of them, indeed, who
have paid some attention to the subject, are inclined to
maintain that the question of endowments can never be an
abstract question at all ; that it is altogether a question
of circumstances ; that the question is not one of lawful-
ness, but of good or bad effects, and that that is a ques-
tion of conditions and circumstances; nay, that in certain
circumstances endowments are an absolute necessity, if
Christianity is to take root in a country or among a people.



WESLEYAN METHODISTS AND POLITICAL DISSENTEKS. 9

As to this matter of endowment, Wesleyan Methodists
have one special advantage. They are altogether disin-
terested. They have no endowments themselves. On this
point I have written something in the paper on the " Voca-
tion and Training of the Clergy," which follows these intro-
ductory observations.

In general it may be said that Methodists have no ill feel-
ing against the Established Church as such. Considering how
contemptuously they have been treated, not seldom, but com-
monly, now for a hundred years past, this is very remarkable.
But they remember that the Wesleys were Churchmen ; and
like other Englishmen, they are proud of the greatness, the
wealth, the splendour, the potent organization, and, above
all, the historic celebrities of their national Ghurch. But it is
well that it should be known that, speaking generally'', neither
ministers nor people now acknowledge any allegiance, or any-
thing like a filial relation to the Church of England. We are
as independent of the Church,of England as those are who
call themselves Dissenters, or as we are of the Dissenters
themselves. We have been smitten on both cheeks by both
parties. But we cannot keep up a feud, nor make a prin-
ciple out of our grievances. We desire, in very deed, to
be " the friends of all and enemies of none." If needs
be, we can be independent, but we try to be not unfair or
unfriendly, critics of both. Narrow Methodists may often
have been, — too full of their own system and its praises, — but
no one can attribute to them Ishmael's character. Their
position has been like that of Israel, as described by the
Gentile prophet. " This people shall dwell alone, and shall
not be reckoned among the nations." Like Ishmael, too, in
one respect, it has often seemed as if " every man's hand "
had been "against" them. But even those wiio do not love
them will hardly allege that " their hand " has been " against
every man."



10 ESSAYS FOR THE TIMES.

Such is the attitude towards the Church of England which
is generally occupied hy Methodists at this day. During
the last thirty years, within my own recollection, it has
become very greatly more independent than it was. The
jmhlic eulogies of the " venerable establishment," from the
lips of Wesleyan ministers, which were common thirty years
ago, and which were often so savoury in their simplicity, as
to excite sometimes the wonder of Churchmen, and some-
times their contempt, are now very seldom heard. Metho-
dism has outgrown the fulsome fashions which had been
handed down to it. It has become in this respect at least
more manly than it was. I do not mean to say that in no
respect it has deteriorated, but I confess that as to this point
I think the change is not for the worse.

Speaking generally, the repugnance of Wesleyan Methodists
to join the Church of England is stronger than that of Dis-
senters. Methodism means close and lively Christian fellow-
ship — class meetings and prayer meetings. These are not
to be had in the Church of England. Dissenters, who go
over to the Church, miss only the prayer meetings and the
church meetings; nor are these so great a feature with them
as their special means^' are with the Methodists. The objec-
tion of Dissenters to join the Church of England, at the
present day, is often reduced very much to a question of
ecclesiastical principle. The main difficulty in many cases
is the question of congregational independency as opposed to
endowed episcopaHanism. But this is a matter of opinion,
not of spiritual feeling. There are many Dissenters who
have no strong convictions respecting it. The majority even
of those who attend dissenting chapels have no enthusiasm
on the subject. It is probable that many more persons who
have been educated as Dissenters go over to the Church of



Online LibraryJames H. (James Harrison) RiggEssays for the times : on ecclesiastical and social subjects → online text (page 1 of 45)