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The Charge before us is founded on the following piassage in the ordination service of the Church of England : " See that you never cease your labour , care and diligence , until you have done all that lieth in you , according to your bounden duty , to bring all such as are or may be committed to your charge unto that agreement in the faith and knowledge of God , &nd that ripeness and perfectness of age in Christ , that there be no place left among you either for error in religion or viciousness in life . "f
On these concluding words Bishop Ryder comments . ** Though invested with the authority of superintendence , " he disclaims " dominion over the faith or arbitrary control over the conduct '* of the clergy of his diocese ; and , after a solemn , affectionate appeal to their consciences on the responsibility of their office , he proceeds , in the first place , to consider the subject of error in religion . %
Under this head of his Charge he touches on < c the prime fundamental controversy which has ever existed between us , £ the Church of England , ] as chief of the Protestant body , and the Church of Rorne . " § $ It is little creditable to our age and country that the controversy * so designated , has , in this excellent prelate ' s language , ** appeared to revive " during the last four years , " with almost its pristine tone and vehemence . " Such " pristine vehemence" we lament , and deem highly disgraceful at a
period which ought to be a period of great comparative light and civilisation . We are , besides , of opinion that the controversy lias been " revived" and inflamed by factitious circumstances , which cause the theological and ecclesiastical question to be confounded with the subject of the claims of justice and the dictates of enlightened policy . Perhaps the discussion was never so ably and effectually conducted on the Protestant side as towards
the end of the seventeenth century , and at the beginning and in the middle of the eighteenth . Hereafter it not improbably may be resumed with yet more advantage . When Protestants and Catholics shall be placed on exactly the same ground , in point of civil eligibility , then , and not before , the matters , whether of discipline or doctrine in debate between them , may be fairly and beneficially canvassed . Dismissing this topic for the present , with these general observations , we pass to another , in which our interest is
still more immediate and direct . For the next error , which " recent circumstances" induce the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry to notice , and which , ( he remarks , ) " to say the least , is equal in magnitude and danger to the former , [ the creed , &c ., of the Romanists , ] is that which impugns the doctrine of the Holy Trinity , and the atoning efficacy of the death of our Lord Jesus Christ . " ||
We presume < that the ** recent circumstances" here intimated have arisen out of " the attempts" of Unitarian Christians " to obtain parliamentary exemption from the necessity of participating in the marriage ceremony" of the Established Church . A , t least we are unacquainted with any other circumstances , equally recent and public , which could " induce" Dr . Ryder to animadvert officially on the characteristic tenets of that body . If , therefore , we are right / in our conjecture , he again blends a question of civil
? A Charge delivered to the Clergy of the Diocese of Lichfield and Coventry , at the Second Visitation of that Diocese . By Henry Hyder , D . D ., Lord Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry , and Dean of Wells . Stafford : printed and sold by Morgan ; sold in London by Longman ; and Co ., &c . 8 vo . pp . 55 . 1828 . t Exhortation to Priests , J Pp . 6 , 7 . § P . 8 . ) J P . 11 .
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T * HE BISHOP OF LICfiflEIiD ' g CHARGE . *
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1829, page 7, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2568/page/7/