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world, the Established Church ought to have a Representative in each of her principal Provinces; a Bishop in some places; in others, an ecclesiastic of inferior dignity, who should be invested with authority to protect the interests of Christianity in his province, to report officially to Government on its state, and to suggest and superintend measures for its extension. The State has its Representatives in every quarter. The Church has no Representative in the most conspicuous and important situations; just as if she did not exist at all. Nor is it known by our native subjects in some parts of the world, that she does exist.
We do honour to the interests of COMMERCE, by appointing persons to superintend and promote it in different parts of the world. If the extension of Religion had been a subject of general and national interest (as it now begins to be) a similar honour would have been done to CHRISTIANITY. Our Church would have had her representatives in all parts of the world, to watch over her interests; to translate the Scriptures into new languages; to suggest plans for her enlargement; and to call forth labourers into the vineyard.
An impediment to the Establishment of Epi
scopal Superintendance abroad, has probably been the impression arising from the state of Episcopacy in England; viz. That a Bishop must necessarily be possessed of considerable revenues, and hold a very high dignity among his brethren. This idea of the Episcopal character is certainly at variance with that of the primitive institution, and is very injurious to the extension of Christianity. It is surely sufficient, that the Bishop be in circumstances somewhat superior to those of the clergy of the place where he presides, and equal to those of the civil Magistracy of the same place. The apostolic representation of a Bishop is, That he be the chief or superintending Presbyter. This state of superintendance may be considered as implying some superiority in temporal circumstances, as well as in spiritual qualification.
The Church of Rome manifested a wisdom in this respect (derived from early ages) which is worthy of our imitation. Though her Bishops at home (in Europe) were possessed of great temporalities, her Bishops abroad were ordained generally on a very slender endowment. They were exhorted to look for further aid to the sanctity of personal character, and to its effects on the minds of the people among whom they exercised their spiritual office.
A GENERAL COLONIAL ECCLESIASTICAL
A CHIEF object of this Work, is to suggest the expediency of a General Colonial Ecclesiastical Establishment for Great Britain. Those por
tions of our dominions abroad, the condition of which, in regard to religious instruction, requires the attention of Parliament, and which seem to need Episcopal superintendance and the labours of a regular clergy, as much as any part of England, are the seven following:
1. The West Indies.
2. Bengal; or North Hindostan.
3. Madras; or South and East Hindostan.
4. Bombay; or West Hindostan.
5. Ceylon the Insular Diocese, including Java, &c.
6. South Africa.
7. New South Wales.
At the following places, a Representative of the Church (Archdeacon) is required, with a suit-able clergy:
1. Java and dependencies.
2. Isles of Mauritius and Bourbon.
3. West Africa; (Sierra Leone, &c.) 4. Malta.
The only necessary expense on the part of Government, in the accomplishment of this scheme, will be the allotment of a suitable revenue for the seven Bishops and the Archdeacons. The subordinate clergy will, in most cases, be maintained by the Christian inhabitants of the place, at least in the King's dominions: with the aid, during the first years, of the three Societies in Britain belonging to the Church*; whose duty it
The support of clergymen by the Societies of the Church, here suggested, is strictly in conformity to the spirit and letter of the Charter, granted by Government to one of the Societies. In the Charter of the "Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts," his Majesty (King William III.) sets forth, as the ground on which the Charter was given, "That in many of the plantations, colo"nies, and factories, beyond the seas, the provision for mi"nisters was mean, and many colonies were wholly unpro"vided of a maintenance for ministers and of the public "worship of God; and that, for lack of the support and "maintenance of such, many of his loving subjects wanted "the administration of God's word and sacraments, and "seemed to be abandoned to atheism and infidelity, and "others to popish superstition and idolatry."
Apply this to the new Colonies and Possessions of Great Britain, instead of the old, and the representation will be perfectly correct.
For such reasons, his Majesty was pleased" to erect and settle a Corporation, by the name of the Society for
will be, to investigate their wants, and supply them with properly qualified instructors.
Parliament having performed its part, in providing for the permanent existence of a Christian ministry and the ordinances of religion; an appropriate body of clergy will afterward be gradually formed (some of them natives of the country) as circumstances shall require. It is not politic to impose a body of clergy on a people. Nor is it favourable to the object of Christian instruction, to offer strong inducements to go abroad, by the prospect of a lucrative cure. But it is just,
"the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts;' for the
receiving, managing, and disposing of the contributions of "such persons as should be induced to extend their cha"rity towards the MAINTENANCE of a LEARNED and "ORTHODOX clergy, and the making of such other provi"sion as might be necessary for the propagation of the Gospel in foreign parts."
Wherever, then, there is no suitable provision made by Government for the administration of the word and sacraments in the King's dominions abroad, it is the province of the Societies of the Church to contribute to the "maintenance of a learned and orthodox clergy," according to their ability.
This is the principle on which the above section has been written,