[from IoM & Diocese of Sodor & Mann, 1837]
Such was the state of the Manx Church, and such its internal power of maintaining its own discipline, when Bishop Hildersley died. To him succeeded Bishops Richmond, Mason, and Crigan. Somewhere during this period a great blot fell upon the Diocese, and complaints were made, not without good reason, by Bishops in England, that unworthy men, unconnected with the Island, were admitted into Holy Orders, to the great disgrace and injury of the Church at large. When therefore Bishop Murray was appointed by his Uncle, the Duke of Atholl, he found his Diocese suffering under this imputation; one of his chief cares therefore was to retrieve its character in this respect; and this he did most effectually ; and shewed, that it was the fault, not of the peculiar position of the Diocese, but of the Bishop, if any inconvenience arose in England from the ordinations in that Island. Bishop Murray also purified the Ministry of several Priests, whose lives had been a scandal to their holy Order, and to the Church in which they served; this he did by suspending some and degrading others : a necessary discipline, which cannot be enforced in England with the same promptitude, that it is in the Diocese of Mann. The Bishop also upon coming to the See had found great irregularities practised in some of the Churches, and a general carelessness pervading by far too large a proportion of the Clergy; though, as might be expected, in many, the spirit of Wilson was not yet extinct; as witness, for one bright exception, his venerable Biographer, the pious, eloquent, and lamented Rector of Ballaugh, the Rev. Hugh Stowell. These irregularities, and this carelessness, however, when the Bishop was translated to Rochester, had vanished from the Churches, than in which, I will venture to affirm, the services of the Church are not more solemnly performed, or so strictly in conformity with the Rubric, in any Diocese in England. In 1827, the Bishop was translated to Rochester ; and the patronage of the Bishoprick having been in the meanwhile sold to the Crown, Lord Ripon being then Prime Minister, recommended Dr. Ward to his Majesty to fill the vacant See. Concerning what has been done during the nine years of his Episcopate, perhaps the better way would be, to repeat the Bishop's own words in a Memorial, addressed by him last year to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners of England and Wales:-
"It was impossible for the preceding Bishops to find means for the building of Churches, equal to the extraordinary increase of the population, before the attention of the English public had been, as it now is, generally drawn to the subject, notwithstanding therefore the exertions of my predecessors, when I came to the See nine years ago, I found that the population of the Island had increased so rapidly, having more than doubled itself since the time of Bishop Wilson's death, that local means were wholly inadequate to furnish the necessary Church accommodation . I had recourse, therefore, to English charity, and succeeded in raising funds sufficient for the building and rebuilding of eleven new Churches and Chapels.1 A proposition so made by me for a more extensive application of the funds arising from the trust estate left by Bishop Barrow, met with cordial assent, and a vigorous co-operation on the part of my co-trustees, and the principal gentlemen of the Island, the consequence of which was the establishment of a College upon the estate, which his Majesty has graciously permitted to be called " King William's College ;" it already contains nearly 200 students. I mention these circumstances, which refer to myself, because I am well assured, that if any benefits have accrued, or are likely to accrue to the Isle of Mann from any exertions made by me, those benefits are the necessary consequence of my personal superintendence, and freedom from other duties. had I been resident in Carlisle, encumbered with the cares of that Diocese, and with parliamentary duties, none of those works (even had they been projected) could have been carried into effect. The same causes also must have operated to have diminished the exertions of Bishops Barrow, Wilson, Hildersley, and all the other Bishops of that Island, had this annexation taken place before their day. Bishop Wilson's government could not, in that case, have called forth that eulogium of the Lord Chancellor King, that 'if the ancient discipline of the Church were lost, it might be found in all its purity in the Isle of Mann."'
The following statement of Lord Teignmouth, who has lately visited the Island,made with his Lordship's usual accuracy, may serve as a comment upon the Bishop's words.2
" 1829.-The Churches of the Island are notoriously small and poor, usually without a tower. It is stated in a late Appeal to British Christians in behalf of the poor Churches in the Diocese of Sodor and Mann-
That for 4000 of the poor in the town of Douglas, there is not sitting in any church of the establishment, and most of the respectable class, next above the poor, are also excluded. In several of the parishes, containing from 1200 to 1600 inhabitants, there are not sittings in the parish churches for more than 400 or 500 persons ; and some of those churches are in such a dilapidated state, that they cannot long afford even the wretched accommodation which they afford at present. The exclusion of the Isle of Man, from the benefit of the public funds for the erection and enlargement of churches in Great Britain is pleaded in support of the appeal. The present Bishop has already directed his attention to the maintenance and elevation of his church, by endeavouring to remedy the defects in the incomes and education of the Clergy, and in the number and state of the churches. He entertains the hope of procuring from the government a larger portion of the impropriations for the Clergy than the third, which they at present possess, which would at once place them on a footing of competence and comfort. He has addressed the Appeal referred to, to the British public, in behalf of the Churches, and has deputed Mr. Stowell, the biographer of Bishop Wilson, to second, by a mission to England, the efforts which he had himself already made for raising subscriptions for the purpose."
Mr. Stowell collected about £800, the remainder, upwards of £8500, exclusive of later donations, has been collected by the personal unremitting exertions of the Bishop, who from the moment that this " good desire" was " put into his heart" has not ceased to labour daily and hourly, that he might " bring the same to good effect:" how he has succeeded, Lord Teignmouth's note, added in 1836, will best explain-
" The bishop commenced his work of building churches, by procuring the condemnation of some of the old dilapidated ones.--
This can be effected, according to the law of the island, by the verdict of a jury, consisting of two masons and two carpenters.
Each parish is bound by law to build and repair its church ; and many of the edifices thus compulsorily erected are such as barely to protect the congregation from the weather, and so ill-constructed as speedily to need repair, and without any reference to durability.
" The bishop applied his fund judiciously, and has enjoyed the gratification of causing the erection of ten new churches and chapels, including a floating chapel at Douglas, the present of Earl de Grey, when first lord of the admiralty.3 This place of worship is regularly filled by mariners, who would enjoy no other means of attending Divine Service. The bishop has erected, in a sequestered part of the Island, in which there is a population buried among the hills, out of the reach of any place of worship, a chapel and school-house under one roof. The entire structure is of a cruciform shape the chancel and transepts are appropriated to Divine Service the nave is used as the school-room, and divided by sliding doors, from the rest of the building, which are thrown open for public worship. The Bishop proposes erecting additional churches and chapels.-1836."4
Writing in the year 1829, Lord Teignmouth goes on to say, " The Bishop does not despair of executing another project, the foundation of a College for the education of the Manks Clergy. The success, which has rewarded a similar plan of the Bishop of St. David's, affords him much encouragement; and it is hoped, that such a place of education might, from its vicinity, and from the great cheapness of living, attract students from Ireland, and the adjacent parts of England, who could not otherwise afford the expenses of a residence at College; and that Mona may become once more, as in antient times, 'the fountain of honest learning and erudition."'5 Such is his Lordship's announcement of the Bishop's project in 1829, and it is a curious fact, that it is identically the same, almost to the very words in which it has been put forward, with one entertained by the great and good Earl of Derby, who was beheaded at Bolton soon after the martyrdom of Charles 1st. Lord Derby's plan I found only a few days since, detailed in a letter to his son Charles, which is preserved in the " Desiderata Curiosa," a copy of which work is in the British Museum. " I had a design," says the Earl in that letter, " and God may enable me, to set up an University, without much charge (as I have contrived it); which may much oblige the nations round about us: it may get friends unto the country, and enrich this land. This certainly will please God and man. But of this I shall tell you more, when it please the Lord to settle me again in my own." It never did " please the Lord to settle" the noble Earl again in his own; but his son Charles, to whom this letter was addressed, remembered another instruction, which his Father had given him in the beginning of the same letter. " Have this in your thoughts, first, to chose a reverend and holy man to your Bishop, who may carefully see the whole Clergy do their duties." His Son remembering this instruction chose the "reverend and holy man," Isaac Barrow, to his Bishop, who not only saw " the whole Clergy do their duties;" but being, as Sacheverell has said of him, " a man of publick spirit, and great designs for the good of the Church," turned his attention to carry into effect Lord Derby's plan for a College, and laid that foundation upon which has been since built, in 1833, King William's College, a structure in many respects worthy of its noble proto-projector, of its Pious founder, as Bishop Barrow may be called, though dead 200 years before a stone was laid, and also worthy of its Royal Patron ; a structure, which, if not in all respects " set in its state," is worthy of the best attention of those men, "of public spirit," who delight to promote sound religion and useful learning : architecturally it would be an ornament to Oxford; and if it be, as it undoubtedly is, inadequate to the wants of those who have crowded into it, that inadequacy arises only from the want of additional funds to carry out that large plan upon which it was conceived, and has been commenced.
In a note written in 1836, Lord Teignmouth says,-
" It affords me much gratification to state the successful result of the zealous efforts of Bishop Ward, and the other trustees of Bishop Barrow's fund to establish a college for the objects above specified. That worthy prelate's pious intentions have been thus fulfilled, after an interval of nearly two centuries. He was uncle of the famous Isaac Barrow, and was Bishop and governor of the Isle of Man during a few years, about the time of the fire of London. He saw with concern the inefficient ministry of the island, and endeavoured to provide for it by a grant of twenty pounds per annum. This has gradually increased to £480 per annum ; a sum which has been appropriated to the maintenance of the school: and an additional sum of £1000 has resulted from accumulation.
" Bishop Ward conceived the project of establishing a college out of the proceeds of the fund thus arising, and the contributions which it might be in his power to raise, within the Island. The latter amounted to £2000. A builder having contracted to erect the proposed college for the sum of £3000, the work was completed. But the actual cost amounted to nearly double that sum and the trustees have been consequently much in debt and difficulty, from which they hoped to be rescued by the aid of government, the expectation of such aid having been held out to them. They recommend the appropriation of a portion of the crown tithes of the Island, which are worth £700 or £800 per annum, to the purpose ; and this suggestion was favourably received. But as yet nothing has been done.
" The building is painfully inadequate to the requirements of a college and a large school. As, excepting two or three youths destined for the Manks Church, who must be natives of the Island, (or else they are not ordainable from the college by the Bishop,) the rest of the pupils are, in fact, boys from seven to sixteen or seventeen years of age ; and for them the object of the college, or rather school, is to give them, on very moderate terms, an education much the same as they would receive at the large superior grammar-schools of England. The system resembles rather the grammar than the public schools in England. The prescribed course of education, from which no deviation is allowed, embraces the Greek and Latin, mathematics, English grammar and composition, geography and history, writing, and arithmetic. The college fees are (per quarter),-
£ s d
For pupils between 7 and 10 years of age,
1 0 0
10 and 13 years of age,
1 10 0
13 and 18
2 0 0
above . . . .
2 10 0
There is an annual examination, after which prizes are publicly awarded by the governor, Bishop, &c.
" The college opened in the autumn of 1833 : the number of pupils, being 40 at the commencement has increased to 170 ; of whom about 80 or 90 board in the college, under the especial care of the vice-president and his assistants ; about 30 or 40 more board with one of the masters, and the rest with their friends, or in approved lodgings in the town. of the pupils, 70 are English, 50 Irish, 30 Manks, 10 Scotch, and a few from India, sons of missionaries, placed here either by their parents or the Church Missionary Society.
" A chapel is annexed to the college, built by the Bishop, partly out of his church-building fund, and partly out of his private purse ; and two full services are performed in it on every Sunday. The public are admitted to it, and enjoy ample accommodation of free seats. A considerable portion of religious instruction is afforded to the students by the principal and his assistants, both on Sundays and other days.
" Want of funds has prevented the execution of the comprehensive plan originally proposed, of reviving the parochial schools, which are, for the most part, lamentably neglected, and putting the grammar-schools into connexion with the college. Exhibitions from these schools at the college, and at one of the universities from the college, would prove a most salutary species of endowment.
" In addition to the reasons for assistance from government enumerated, it is alleged, that the college confers an important benefit on the Island, inasmuch as it has already caused the outlay within it of £15,000.6
" The above particulars have been communicated to me chiefly by the excellent principal, Mr. Wilson, to whose energy and ability in the discharge of his duties, the amplest testimony is borne, and by John Mac Hutchin, Esq., one of the trustees of Bishop Barrow's Fund, who has afforded Bishop Ward the most zealous assistance in the execution of the scheme.-1836."
Writing in the year 1829, Lord Teignmouth observed,
"The present Bishop has already directed his attention to the maintenance and elevation of his Church, by endeavouring to remedy the defects in the incomes and education of the Clergy, and in the number and state of the Churches. He entertains the hope of procuring from the Government a larger portion of the impropriations for the Clergy, than the third which they at present possess, which would at once place them on a footing of competence and comfort." of these impropriations so much has been said in a former part of this account, that it would be superfluous to say a word more about their history in this place; but, speaking of the present condition and future prospects of his Clergy, the Bishop, in his Memorial to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, says,-
" With regard to the Episcopal revenues' of the See of Mann, -the Board, of course, saw the injustice of alienating them for the benefit of Carlisle: you will also, I think, see the injustice, as well as the impolicy, of scattering those revenues among the inferior Clergy. It is surely impolitic to admit the principle, that if the Clergy of a certain diocese be poor, they may claim the Episcopal revenues, because there is not a diocese in the united Church to to which this principle would not be applicable; and it is dangerous to tempt men with expectations which they ought not to desire to see realized.7 In this case, however, such a measure would be unjust towards the people, even should it, in a temporal point of view, benefit the Clergy. I have already shown the great advantages derived to the people from the residence of their own Bishop among them: their forefathers purchased these advantages for them, by dedicating a portion of their property to his support-to take this portion, therefore, and apply it for; the benefit of any other order of the ministers of the Church, would be unjust, not only to the present, but to all future generations of Manxmen. But to the Clergy themselves this proposed benefit would be more specious than real; they are doubtless very poor, but they would not be compensated by the small portion they could each receive, from the sub-division of the Bishop's revenues, for the loss of the only person of rank or property among them-far from gaining the comforts or the influence of property, they would still remain poor ; while, by this scattering of all its revenues, the Church would lose the important station it now holds in all insular affairs. There is a source indeed, from which the Clergy might receive temporal benefit, without spiritual detriment, either to themselves or the people. I have already mentioned certain impropriate tithes, once the property of the Clergy, but now vested in the Crown: to gain these tithes for the poor Clergy, I have not hesitated to employ the most urgent importunities with every successive government during the last nine years. Could I live to see this boon granted, and the insular Church secured in all her rights and privileges, I should go down to my grave without a doubt of her future welfare and prosperity."8
But Lord Teignmouth, in his note of 1836, says, " The Trustees (of the College) have been much in difficulty and debt, from which they hoped to be rescued by the aid of Government, the expectation of such aid having been held out to them. They recommend the appropriation of a portion of the Crown tithes of the Island, which are worth £700 or £800 per annum, to the purpose. But as yet nothing has been done." Now these two statements of the Bishop and Lord Teignmouth seem to indicate a difference of purpose in the former, as Guardian of the interests of the Clergy, and as a Trustee of the College. In a letter lately addressed by the Bishop to the Clergy in Convocation on the subject of the proposed annexation of the Diocese of Mann to Carlisle, his Lordship explains this apparent difference ; but, as he also alludes to other points detailed in this history, I cannot do better than finish these imperfect and hastily-arranged notices with copious extracts from that letter.
".A letter, addressed to the Clergy of the Isle of Mann, in November, 1837, by the Right Rev. William Ward, D.D., Lord Bishop of Sodor and Mann.
" My Reverend Brethren.-The very great risk, which I should incur to my newly recovered sight, did I cross the sea before next spring, has made my friends and my physicians so urgent in their request that I should remain in England through the winter, that I have been compelled to assent, though much against my own wishes and previous intentions; but when they represent to me, that all the cost of time, anxiety, and suffering, which I have undergone before and since the operation, will, probably, have been expended in vain, should I expose myself to this risk, at a distance from all professional advice, I think that the Providence of God has marked out the line of duty for me in a manner not to be mistaken ; and I am, therefore, resolved to follow it, trusting that my detention in England will be proved to have been ordered for the good of my Church in some manner, which I may not yet fully understand.
" Yet, my Reverend Brethren, while my infirmities keep me from you in the body for a time, in the spirit I am always with you; and, as your watchman-in-chief, I ever keep a wakeful eye, that I may not let pass by any opportunity, which our gracious God may offer me, to guard and advance your interests, and those of the people committed to our care, both in things spiritual and temporal. With what eagerness I shall seize upon such an opportunity, I trust that my past endeavours to serve both you and them, however inefficient they may have been, and however far they may have fallen short, not less of my own wishes, than of yours, will nevertheless not fail to convince you. Already it seems to me that a door is opened for me, and that my presence here is, under God, absolutely necessary, not only to obtain that, which will increase your efficiency as ministers of the Church of Mann, but also to secure our Church against great and grievous injuries.
In order, therefore, that I may lay my intentions and expectations before you in the fullest manner, and point out to you by what means you can best aid my endeavours, I have desired the Archdeacon to assemble you at Bishop's Court, where he will read to You this letter, and beg you to consult with him upon its contents. And may the Holy Spirit rest upon each of you, guiding and directing your counsels, to the end, that whatever is of God in these matters, you may be made the honoured instruments to establish-whatever is of man will come to nought.
* * * *
And now, my Rev. Brethren, I must draw your attention to a subject, which occupies the chief place in my thoughts-the suppression of our venerable Bishoprick, and the indignity cast upon the antient and apostolick Church of Mann, by the proposition to annex it as a small appendage to an English See. It is not indifference on my part, my Reverend Brethren, to your temporal interests, and those of your families, which suffers me to forget those interests in my anxiety for the future spiritual well-being of our church to advance them rather has been my constant endeavour, and shall be to my dying day. One great object of my addressing you upon this occasion is to request that you will support my present application to her Majesty's Ministers for the Crown Tithes in the Island. I have importuned every Ministry since my appointment to the See for the grant of these tithes to the Vicarages; but when, under the government of Lord Grey, I was told, that, though that Ministry would not grant them to the Clergy, yet they might for purposes of general education, I then applied for them for the College,and received repeated promises, that they should be given for this object, but those promises having been, happily perhaps, never fulfilled, I have reverted to my original desire, and I have done this with the surest prospects of ultimate success.
" The question, which has been raised about the Insular Bishoprick, has excited great interest among leading men of all parties in England in behalf of our island generally, but especially on all points connected with the Church. I have not failed to take advantage of this interest to represent, in the strongest possible colours, the very inadequate incomes of my Clergy, and I have been encouraged in the most influential quarters to make publick my intention of increasing the four Vicarages in my gift to £150 per annum, in the full confidence that the Government will in like manner, out of the Impropriate Tithes, increase the income of those Vicarages, of which the Crown is patron.
* * * * *
For your own sakes, therefore, and those of your children, and of your Church, it is of the first importance, that you should unite with me in attaining these most desirable objects-the preservation of the Bishoprick, and the improvement of the Vicarages out of the Episcopal and Crown Tithes.
" I have heard, that surprise has been expressed at the change, which this offer on my part seems to indicate in my sentiments, since I addressed my Memorial to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, in which I deprecated in the strongest possible manner, the idea of scattering the Episcopal revenues among the Parochial Clergy. On this point not the smallest change in my sentiments has taken place. I distinctly spoke of the arbitrary scattering of the whole of the Episcopal revenues, not of a different and voluntary apportionment of a small part. I shall ever deprecate, as most injurious alike to yourselves and the people, any act, by which the Bishop shall be removed, and his present income subdivided among yourselves, or among yourselves and the Bishop of Carlisle. But that the Vicars of those parishes, of which the Bishop is patron, and holds the great Tithes, should receive a portion of those Tithes voluntarily ceded by him, is quite a different thing.
" I am anxious, most anxious, that the efficiency, not less than the domestic comforts of the Parochial Clergy, should be increased by an increase of means. This good end, I am confident, we shall attain by vigorous and united efforts, cordially co-operating together for the common good.
"I have dwelt too long upon these objects of personal and -temporal interest. Let us turn to others of a far deeper interest - to questions, which involve the eternal welfare of all the souls hereafter to be born into that Church, of which we are at this solemn crisis the appointed ministers and guardians. Many of the great benefits, which have resulted to the Clergy and people of the Isle of Mann from the presence of their own Bishop, I have already set forth in a Memorial addressed by me to his late Majesty's Commissioners appointed to consider the state of the Church of England and Wales, which has been laid before you; it would therefore he wholly superfluous for me to dwell upon them here, especially as they must be better known to yourselves, than to me.
* * * * *
I cannot but think, that among you, my Reverend Brethren, the sacred office of a Bishop, as the successor and representative of the Apostles, is held in snob reverence, that you would grieve over the day, that saw his person removed from among you to a distant See, as the most disastrous to the spiritual blessedness of your Church, that has befallen it, since first it reared the holy standard of the Cross in your native land.
" Passing by, then, these motives to exertion upon this question, let me direct your attention to those, which arise from the union of the temporal and spiritual estates in the Isle of Mann. When, as I have just said, the Church first reared the standard of the Cross in your native land, she was represented by, and concentred in, that holy Bishop, who was sent by God, as the Apostle of the North, to call the nations from heathen darkness to the blessed light of His everlasting Gospel. That Apostolic man soon gathered a faithful few about him, and with these few chosen stones he founded an island Church, built upon the one only foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the Chief corner-stone. His sacred mission called him to another land ; but, as a wise master builder, in virtue of his office, he laid his lands upon the holy man, whom he chose to be his successor in the Bishoprick, and left him to build upon that foundation he had laid, 'ad regendum et erudiendum populam in fide Christi.'-Thus did your forefathers, who before were strangers and foreigners, become fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the house. hold of God ; and thus did all the building, fitly framed together, grow unto an holy temple in the Lord. Its first Bishops being guided by that Holy Spirit, Which was within them, were wise master builders, and fitly framed the building together, according to Apostolic rules, and therefore it grew, and increased, till it covered the land, and our island became a holy temple in the Lord ; and He having been ever present with it, we now find ourselves, by His mercy, 'builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.' Such is our Church now ; no part is wanting ; as Jerusalem of old, it is like a city that is at unity in itself, that is compact together ; but your Zion is threatened with the loss of her fairest ornament, her compactness is to be rudely broken, and the beauty of her unity violated ; the corner-stone of this living temple, which is laid upon the Chief Corner-Stone, Jesus Christ Himself, is by the rash hand of man to be removed from its place, where, from generation to generation, for 1400 years, it has kept the building closely knit together, no hand till now having been found so daring, as to touch that, which preserved the ark of God. But to turn from the future, which is God's, to the past and the present, which He has given us to be ours; let us see what have ever been the blessed consequences of the growth of this holy temple, so framed together - the consequences have been, that we have always stood, and now stand, as a witness among the nations, powerful from our faithfulness, of that union, which should exist between a Christian State and the Church, whose sons, the members of that State are. The temporal and the spiritual estates in the Isle of Mann have ever held together in perfect unity; nay more, they have been incorporated the one in the other; they have formed parts of the same body corporate, distinct, and yet one; and this incorporation has been complete : the King, the Lord of the Isle, or his Lieutenant, the members of the legislature, or those who represent the temporal interests of the community, the executive officers in the state also, have been at all times in full and free communion with the Church, whose chief ministers have represented in the same legislature the spiritual interests of the community: thus has the one Parliament or legislative body, faithfully represented both the spiritual and the temporal estates; the State has not sought to encroach upon the liberties of the Church ; neither has the Church forfeited her spiritual character by sending her chief ministers to represent her interests in the State, for those ministers have ever found themselves surrounded by her faithful sons. In all other Protestant nations this beautiful form of Christian unity is preserved only in theory; as a form much to be desired indeed, but Utopian, being practically and hopelessly lost:. while infidel and heretic claim a tyrant's power over the fairest portion of Christ's heritage, Whose last prayer on earth was, that His Church might be one, even as He and the Father are One.
" But among us, my brethren, In our small but favoured Isle, the prayer of our blessed Lord seems to have been fulfilled, for among us our temporal rulers have been in full communion with the spiritual, and the spiritual rulers have brought their advice and blessings to the counsels of the temporal. Thus have those counsels been ever hallowed by the presence of God's ministers and thus has our antient Church been ever One. Each succeeding year do we see a practical illustration of this, when, after antient custom, we assemble to promulgate a new law. this with us is strictly a religious ceremony, and one too in which all unite in a holy fellowship. The Bishop with his Clergy, and the principal laity of the Church, which includes the whole of the Legislative Body; the Governor and his Council, in which are included the Bishop and principal Clergy; and with the Council the antient and honourable House of Keys, all forming one estate spiritual, and one estate tempoiral-before they enter upon the public business of the day, meet for common prayer in the Church; they kneel down before the same Altar, they follow the same rule, they mind the same thing, with one mind and one mouth they glorify God, and with one accord make their common supplications unto Him, I that all things may be so ordered and settled by their endeavours upon the best and surest foundations, that peace and happiness, truth and justice, religion and piety may be established among us for all generations! And can it be, that that goodly fellowship is to be deprived for ever of the presence of its spiritual father ? Surely not, if you, my brethren of the Clergy, or you, my brethren of the Laity, can by God's help keep him among you.
" One point more there is connected with this question, and an important one it is. While our insular Church has been thus incorporated with the State, so that the members of the one have been always members of the other ; the Church, as represented by her ministers, has never yielded any one particle of her spiritual authority. Her internal affairs have been always, regulated by her own Synod. The Bishop, with his Council of Presbyters, ba& antho~ usages, and enacted canons, which the civil powers without question or debate, has also, as in duty bound, made the law of the land. When discipline required it, a Bishop has not hesitated to excommunicate a member of a Governor's family. The Ecclesiastical Courts have a distinct and independent authority from the Civil. The State has never made encroachments upon the Church, but has ever acted towards her, as conscious of the sacred trust, which in a Christian nation is committed to the secular power. Thus with us the Church is free ; while the rulers of too many other Churches, with a compromising spirit of expediency, a spirit of Herodian subserviency, have rendered unto Caesar not only those things, which are Caesar's, but those also, which are God's, and having given themselves and their Churches up, bound hand and foot, as willing slaves, to the kingdoms of this world, have received such a return as tyrants are wont to give, we have never wanted a Bishop of Apostolic boldness to rebuke the proud spirit of the world, before it rose into power. We have never, by a suicidal act, bound ourselves, nor has the secular power sought to bind us. We are free, and they are free ; they encroach not on our liberties, as Churchmen, and we require no test from them as Legislators ; they support, and protect us with the arm of flesh, we bless and further them with our counsels and spiritual ministrations , we are one with them, and they with us. Our State is supreme, and our Church distinct and free ; yet both Church and State are One. From whence then arises this singular happiness to our country?.' Let the history of our country answer, An influence given to the Bishops by the prominent station, which they hold, has acquired for our insular Government much more of an ecclesiastical character, than that enjoyed by other states, whether small or great. Thus has a juster balance of civil and ecclesiastical power been established, than in other countries. The Civil has not acted in temporal matters without the Ecclesiastical ; neither has it attempted to tyrannize in spiritual matters, or in anyway interfere in the sacred internal regulations of the Church. The Church, on the other band, directed by her Spiritual Overseer, has not unwarrantably interfered in temporal matters against the Civil Power ; nor has she ever put her own spiritual freedom in jeopardy. The Church and State, therefore, of the Isle of Mann, as has been well said, I stand as witnesses, small indeed, but faithful, the one to the apostolical doctrine and discipline of the Church, of Christ, the other, to the unity so earnestly to be sought in a Christian nation.' "
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Such is the history of the Civil and Ecclesiastical Affairs, both past and present, of the Isle of Mann: of which, Lord Coke said, " The Isle of Mann bath such Laws, the like whereof are not to be found in any other place: " the the religion of which, in a time of universal confuslon elsewhere, Lord Derby, upon the scaffold bore this testimony, "I die a dutiful Son of the Church of England, as it was established in my late Master's time and reign, and is yet professed in the Isle of Mann, which is no little comfort to me:" of the Ecclesiastical Laws of which Lord Chancellor King said, " If the antient discipline of the Church be lost, it may be found in all its purity in the Isle of Mann which, too, as governed by those Laws, was the only Diocese, which a distinguished living writer could produce, when called upon " to exhibit " his "' principles in action -" he could name in the Anglican Church no " diocese, or place of education, or populous town, or colonial department, ~administered on the distinctive principles," maintained by " Andrews, Laud, Hammond, Butler, and Wilson,": to be the principles of the Catholic Church in its primitive state, but only " the Diocese of Sodor and Mann in the days of Bishop Wilson:" under whose administration the Church in that small Island commanded such respect on the Continent of Europe, that Cardinal Fleury, who wanted much to see him, and sent over on purpose to enquire after his, health, his age, and the date of his consecration, as they were the two oldest Bishops, and he believed the poorest in Europe, not being able to induce his venerable brother to visit him in France, obtained, nevertheless, an order, that no French privateer should ravage the Isle of Mann : which Bishoprick again, when Bingham was writing to propose " an easy and honourable method for establishing a primitive Diocesan Episcopacy in all the Protestant Churches " was the only reformed See he could produce as " conformable to the model of the smaller sort of antient Dioceses in the Primitive Church: one great objection," says that learned antiquarian and divine, when speaking of
" The long-wished-for union of all the Churches of the Reformation in the same model and practice of the Primitive Church, one great objection against the present Diocesan Episcopacy, and that which to many may look the most plausible, is drawn from the vast extent and greatness of most of the Northern Dioceses of the world, -which makes it so extremely difficult for one man to discharge all the offices of the Episcopal function: but there is no certain geometrical rule prescribed us about this, either in the writings of the Apostles, or in the laws and practice of the Primitive Church, any further than that every city, or place of civil jurisdiction,9 should be the seat of an Ecclesiastical Magistracy, a Bishop with his Presbytery, to order the spiritual concerns of men, as the other does the temporal. That this was the general rule observed in the Primitive Church, I think I have made it appear beyond all dispute. Whenever, therefore, any of the foreign Churches of the Protestant communion shall think fit to re-assume again the antient Episcopal form of government among them, they may both with honour and ease frame to themselves such a model of small Dioceses, as will not much exceed the extent of one of their classes, nor much alter its form, and yet be agreeable to the model of the lesser sort of Dioceses in the Primitive church. As this will secure the just authority and veneration of Episcopal superintendency, -whilst according to the rule of Ignatius, nothing is done without the Bishop in the Church;10 so will it be agreeable to the model of the antient Church, which, had many small Dioceses, as well as large ones, particularly in Italy, where many Episcopal Sees were not above five or six miles from one another, and their Dioceses not above ten or twelve miles in extent, and there are some Dioceses at present in the Southern parts of France, which do not very much exceed that proportion. The Bishoprick of the Isle of Mann has now but seventeen parishes, and in Bede's time, the whole Island had but the measure of three or four hundred families. So that, though Dioceses in the Protestant Churches should be thus contracted, yet no other Church can have any just reason to complain of such an Episcopacy as this, so long as it appears to be agreeable to the original state, and exactly conformable to antient practice: they may treat one another with the same Catholic charity as the antient Churches did, among whom we never find the least footstep of ~ dispute upon this foundation."
One of the recommendations of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for England and Wales, appointed to suggest " such measures as might be most conducive to the efficiency of the Established Church," is the following:
We are of opinion, that the Bishoprick of Sodor and Mann may, without inconvenience, be united to that of Carlisle; the Isle of Mann contains only eighteen parishes, over which the Archdeacon, who is resident, and has a respectable income, can exercise an effectual superintendence." Whether this be a recommendation "conducive to the efficiency of the Established Church," is one question., but whether, after the solemn protest, and earnest petitions of the whole Church of Mann, from the Bishop to the poorest Layman, the silent persevering in that recommendation be treating us with "Catholic charity," is another and a further question; yet let that too pass-and rather let us trust in God, who both can and will, for the good of His Church, bring strength out of weakness: trusting in Him, then, and in Him alone to open the heart, and convince the judgment, we will confidently hope soon to see a more reasonable, just, and generous policy adopted; and that I reverence for the most antient of all the Sees established in Great Britain ; gratitude for the untold benefits which the whole Church has derived from the labours of one of its Prelates, the venerable Bishop Wilson; and sympathy for the inhabitants of the Island, thus to be deprived of what true Churchmen must consider as the most valuable of all hereditary privileges," will, together with the "conviction of the extreme inconvenience of annexing the Diocese to an English See," so work upon the minds and hearts of those now in possession of a power, for the exercise of which in the smallest as well as in the greatest points how deeply, awfully responsible they are to Almighty God, none can know better than themselves, that the words of the present revered Bishop may at last " not pass unheeded; but that the Church of Mann uiay even yet be spared, as a memorial of happier days that are passed, and as an earnest of brighter days to come."
1 There are now, and have been for some time, through the blessing of God upon the Bishop's constant exertions, and " personal superintendence," ten active efficient Clergymen working in that small Diocese, in addition to the number which he found there on first taking possession of the See.
2 I will not apologize for thus making public so many particulars of the present administration of the Diocese of Sodor and Mann. This account has been written for the purpose of shewing, among other things, the advantages, both temporal and spiritual, resulting to the people of the Isle of Mann from the presence of their own Bishop within their own shores, and how other advantages result to them, even when he is absent in England, from the fact of his having no other interests to advance, no other people for whose good to exert his influence, and no other Episcopal duties requiring his attention. Since the present Bishop took possession of the See, one-third of his time has been passed in England, to which Country he has been called at one time by family affliction, and on the present occasion by the loss of sight; but he has never yet returned to his Diocese empty handed, although, as he says in his Memorial, he has " always found it exceedingly difficult and inconvenient to exercise an efficient control over" his "Diocese during" his occasional absence in England; " yet being " intimately acquainted with all its peculiar circumstances, and free from all other Episcopal duties, " his zeal, of which I would not have spoken unless driven to do so by circumstances, but which has never relaxed or deviated one iota from its single object, the elevation of his Island Church ; his zeal, I say, has had its free course, which it would not have had, had his mind been burdened with the Episcopal cares of two whole Counties, such as compose the Diocese of Carlisle ; and had his attention, moreover, been distracted by the important responsibility of representing the interests of the Church in Parliament. of all this he himself must be the best judge; and he declares publicly, " I am well assured, that if any benefits have accrued, or are likely to accrue, to the Isle of Mann, from any exertions made by me, those benefits are the necessary consequence of my personal I superintendence,'and freedom from other duties. Had I been resident in Carlisle, encumbered with the cares of that Diocese. and with Parliamentary duties, none of those works (even had they been projected), could have been carried into effect."
3 The present of the Admiralty having been the very first act of Earl De Grey in his Office, in kind compliance with, a request personally made to him by the Bishop.
4 Funds are already raised, and, preparations made for the commencement of two additional chapels immediately on the Bishop's return : could he have been in the Island himself, they would have been long since built and consecrated. Funds are also raised in part for a third ; and the Bishop does not despair, either of restoring the antient Cathedral of St Germanus, now in ruins, or of laying the foundation of a new one. The lands and ruined walls, too, of Rushen Abbey, at this present moment offered for sale, do not stand unnoted. Small additional funds only are required to put that consecrated ground, the resting place of good Kings and holy Bishop-,, once more into the possession of the Church : having been, as Dugdale says of it, " the last Abbey destroyed by Henry 8th," who ejected the Bishop, for not complying with his measures: it may be the first restored; and its noble Church once more " set apart from all common and profane uses," and again " dedicated to the service of Almighty God."
5 Vide p. ii.
6 It may get friends unto the country, and enrich this land."-Earl Derby to his son
7 How this temptation has succeeded, let the following account testify. Aug. Ist 1836, Lord Melbourne in the House of Lords said: " With regard to the revenues of the See being derived from the Island, it was understood, when the subject was under discussion, that they were to go to the augmentation of the different benefices in the Island, and therefore they will be at least as advantageously distributed as at present." The Marquis of Lansdowne upon the same occasion said, "The Noble Earl opposite, has given the best reason in the world for the expediency of this measure, because he has said that a great portion of the Clergy in the Island are in a state of distress, and therefore there can be no better mode of employing the revenues of the Bishopric, than distributing them amongst those Clergy." Nov 29th, 1837, Lord John Russell in the House of Commons, said, upon the same question, " I would have supported a proposition for transferring the income of the Bishopric, after existing interests were satisfied, to the Archdeacon and Clergy of the Isle of Mann." The report of this last speech arrived, and was read by the principal Clergy of the Isle of Mann; and how did they answer it? Let the words of their own petition to Parliament, forwarded by the next returning Mail, give their answer, and tell their children that the Archdeacon and Clergy of Mann refused to sell their birthright for a price of money. " As to enriching the Parochial Clergy with the spoils of their Bishoprick, your Petitioners dislike the principle, and dread the example : they aixect not, indeed, to conceal, that the Vicars of the Diocese are in straitened, in very straitened, in lamentably straitened circumstances, from which they humbly solicit, and would gratefully accept honourable relief; but they disclaim a wish to procure temporal advantage at the expense of spiritual loss.')
8 The Marquis of Lansdowne's sentiments upon this point are sufficiently singular; so singular indeed, that they must have escaped his Lordship in the hurry of debate without due consideration. " As to transferring a portion of the property of the Crown," said the noble Lord; " I think it would be very unjust, while there are episcopal revenues in the island applicable to such a purpose." Is there now no Nathan in Israel?
9 The present Bishop, in his Memorial to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, has said, " As a distinct people, the Manx are entitled to continue in the enjoyment of this among their other antient privileges: their laws, ecclesiastical and civil, are different from those of England their legislative and executive government is distinct from, and their legislative independent of, the English: the Church, therefore p,ao wel as the State, requires a distinct Govemor."
10 "The deep-rooted attachment of the Manks to the Established Church, which precluded dissent till the arrival of the Methodists, and still binds the adherents of this sect to its ordinances, is attributable to various causes. Among these may be enumerated, their insulated situation, and distinct habits, the tenacious adherence to ancient rites and customs, and reverence for authority which distinguishes them, in common with the other branches of the great family to which they belong; the remarkable combination of strict discipline with perfect toleration in their ecclesiastical code; no religious test being required in the Isle of Man as a qualification for office, nor even license necessary for preaching; the commanding influence of the episcopal office, endowed with elevated rank, civil and ecclesiastical power, and ample wealth, yet from its peculiar constitution, which assigned to it a throne in every parish church, brought into contact with every portion of the diocese." -Lord Teignmough's Isle of Man.