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such a case to think that you did at their funerals number them amongst the elect, and in the face of the whole parish declare they were buried in a sure and certain hope of a blessed resurrection. The rubric of the Burial Service orders that “no persons excommunicate, or unbaptized,” shall be buried with Christian burial.
Now who are persons excommunicate? Why those who are so pronounced in the Bishop's Court, persons who have not paid the fees to the Proctors, or who have been declared excommunicate by canonical law,
The Canons of the Church of England are very fond of excommunicating people, as for instance, " Whosoever shall hereafter affirm that the Church of England, by law established under the King's Majesty, is not a true and Apostolical Church, teaching and maintaining the doctrine of the Apostles
that the form of God's worship in the Church of England established by law, and contained in the Book of Common Prayer, is a corrupt, and superstitious, and unlawful worship of God, or containeth anything in it repugnant to the Scriptures—that any of the Thirty-nine Articles are in any part superstitious or erroneous, or such as he may not, with a good conscience, subscribe unto, let him be excommunicated, ipso facto, and not restored but only by the Archbishop, after his repentance and public revocation of such his wicked errors.”
Such wicked wretches as these and unbaptized babies cannot be buried “in a sure and certain hope of a blessed resurrection;" in fact, they are not in the number of the elect; they are cut off and cast away as abominable branches, whilst all the drunkards and prostitutes, the thieves and the rogues, are buried with better hopes and more splendid privileges.
FROM THE SAME TO THE SAME,
BEFORE the clergy of the Establishment are allowed to regale themselves with the provender of tithes, they are well yoked and harnessed with numerous protestations,* abjurations, declarations, and oaths-a heavy weight, indeed, for any but clerical shoulders--and it is this consciousness of these trappings, I presume, which emboldens them to assume the bovine character, by preaching against the “sin of muzzling the ox that treadeth out the corn. Part of this harness is the following declaration openly read before the congregation, after the Morning and Evening Service, on some Lord's day within two months after the possession of a benefice: “I, A. B., do hereby declare my unfeigned assent and consent to all and everything contained and prescribed in and by the Book of Common Prayer and Administration of Sacraments, and other rites and ceremonies of the Church, according to the use of the Church of England, together with the Psalter or Psalms of David, pointed as they are to be sung or said in the Churches, and the form or månner of making, ordaining, and consecrating of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons."
* A Vicar makes at least twelve solemn attestations before he is duly settled in his vicarage ; should he have been previously licensed to a curacy, he will, in the whole, have made sixteen declarations. A Bishop, gradually raised to the bench through minor degrees, will be found to have taken at least thirty oaths,
There is something quite droll in the tyranny of this attestation; for, besides “the unfeigned assent and consent,”-a terrible two-edged sword that must wound every clergyman's conscience somewhere, if he has any conscience at all,-it is, as it were, putting a fool's cap on the victim by making him swear to accept the Psalms “ as they are pointed in the Prayer Book to be sung or said.” The object of this ridiculous oath is, I believe, to secure two points-first, singing of Psalms in cathedral fashion, and secondly, an approbation of the vicious translation of the Psalms found in the Prayer Book.
Now, on turning to these Psalms, as they are “pointed to be sung or said” in the Prayer Book, I find two black spots in the middle of every verse; these are singing points, or gabbling stops, if I may so term them, to check the chaunters when they are gabbling full drive, and to make them wind up in that place with a cadence. Thus, Psalm xxxii., “ Beati quorum,” verse 10, “Be ye not like to horse and mule, which have no understanding: whose mouths must be held with bit and bridle, lest they fall upon thee.” At the ominous
words no understanding,” the chanters are to make a cadence, and having done that, to gabble on to the words “upon thee,” when another cadence takes place, and so on through every Psalm ; and so important is this arrangement in the eyes of the Church of England, that it is made matter of solemn engagement to every beneficed clergyman within the kingdom.
This engagement, moreover, secures the approbation and use of the Prayer-Book Psalter, and prevents the poor clergyman and his parish from turning to the word of God for the Psalms. Thus, the vicious translation of the Prayer Book is tied like a mill-stone round the neck of the Church of England, and thus are its worshippers compelled to make use of that which is not Scripture, but Scripture garbled. The Psalms in the Prayer Book were printed as they were first translated from the Vulgate in the reign of Henry VIII.; and as it was supposed that the people had become accustomed to them, the Bishops declined inserting the corrected translation of our authorised Bible published in the reign of James I. Hence, the Prayer-Book version of the Psalms is doubly vicious, for not only is it taken from the Vulgate and Septuagint, and not from the Hebrew, but the Vulgate translation is itself not by the hand of Jerome; for when he translated the Scriptures, he did not think it safe to change the old popular version of the Psalms already in use, and therefore left this part of the Scriptures as he found it.