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From the Catholic Church, the Romish Church, which he accounteth Catholic, hath varied and dissented many years past, as the blindest that this day do live, may well see and perceive, if they will not purposely wink and shut their eyes.”

CRANMER.

“ Threats which the unthinking only can despise,
Perplex the Church ; but be thou firm, be true
To thy first hope, and this good work pursue,
Poor as thou art."

WORDSWORTH.

А

SERMON,

&c.

Acts xi. 29, 30.

Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, deter

mined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judea: which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

Our text refers to the very first collection that ever was made in the Christian Church for a charitable purpose.

From that day to this eighteen hundred years have passed away, and have become to us as the years before the flood; yet, in all those eighteen hundred years, it may be doubted whether any appeal has ever been made to Christian benevolence more worthy of attention than that which, at the present time, awakens the sympathies of our countrymen, and which will not, I trust, be made in vain to the congregation I now address. In soliciting your contributions for the relief of the Irish Clergy, an appeal is

B 2

made in behalf of your starving fellow-creatures, and to such an appeal whose is the heart that refuses to respond? An appeal is made to you in behalf of your fellow Christians, and if you are ready to do good to all men, where is the Christian heart which is not especially ready to do good to them that are of the household of faith? An appeal is made to you in behalf of those ministers and stewards of the mysteries of God, who, however they may be thought scorn of by the profligate and profane, will always by the true Christian be esteemed very highly in love, for their works? sake; an appeal is made to you, always calculated to quicken the throbbings of a really English heart, in behalf of men suffering under persecution,--and persecution for what? simply for believing as you believe, and for teaching as you are taught.

It has been the misfortune of Ireland from an early period, to be the arena of contending factions'. It was owing to the violence of contending factions that Henry II. first gained a footing in that island, it was owing to the existence of these factions that all the measures of the English

That the great source of Irish misery has been not the power of England, but its want of power, to put down the various factions of that country, is very ably shown by Dr. Phelan, in his “ History of the Policy of the Church of Rome in Ireland.”

government (especially the wise and benevolent designs of the first James) for the welfare of the people, were rendered abortive; it was owing to the existence of powerful factions, and of chiefs exercising power little short of despotic, that the greater part of that country (all except what was included within the English pale) was for so long a period not misgoverned but perfectly lawless. Of late years, all these rival factions have mingled their discordant elements into one harmonious whole, and having combined against the Church of their forefathers, have had recourse to every art the most refined policy could suggest, to effect its overthrow as an establishment. The mode of attack has varied according to circumstances, but still it has been systematic. At one time there were spread abroad the most exaggerated statements as to its enormous wealth, for the double purpose of gaining to the side of its enemies those who hoped to share in its spoils, and of exciting the envy, hatred, and malice of others who wish to see the pastors of a wealthy country reduced to beggary, in order to bring religion into contempt; and referring to the poverty of the twelve Apostles, forget that the laymen, at the period to which they allude, instead of consecrating a portion of their goods for the maintenance of God's service and his ministers, brought all their wealth and laid it at the Apostles' feet. This report of the Church's wealth, the present appeal to your benevolence sufficiently disproves ; for if the incomes of the clergy had been what they were represented to be, it is not possible that they could have been reduced, in the course of a few years, to their present destitution.

But the strongest contradiction may be found in the Parliamentary documents, from which it appears that if the property of the Church were equally divided among the clergy,it would give to each very little morethan 225l. a year'; no very exorbitant sum for those who before they can be ordained must receive an expensive education; no very exorbitant sum for the maintenance of those who are commanded by Scripture (which in delivering the command presupposes their future competence) to be given to hospitality, and who are ever found to be foremost in all subscriptions to charities, parochial or otherwise. This mode of attack, however, answered its purpose,-it brought moderate men to the conclusion that something ought to be done with respect

1 “ The whole income of the Church in Ireland has been stated by Sir Robert Peel and Sir Henry Hardinge-men who have a character to sustain, and who have access to official documents-not to exceed 450,0001. a year. 'I positively declare, says Sir Robert Peel, that I believe it to be under that sum,' In Ireland are about 1400 benefices ; so that if the whole were divided equally among the 2000 clergy, each would receive about 2251, a year.”Important Facts, p. 8.

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