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dames, who now turn their thoughts to the pension list! Think of Mrs. Arbuthnot, the Duchess of Northumberland, or Lady Beresford, set off with the Archediaconal hat and cap! - Surely this
“primitive institution” ought to be restored to us; and then, if it be true, according to the decree of the Council of Trent, that an Archdeacon is “ the eye of the Bishop," how much more pleasant would it be for the Archbishop of York to ogle his diocese with these fair dames, than with his present Archdeacons, who, compared with the ladies, can rank no higher than green spectacles.
&c. &c. &c.
FROM THE SAME TO THE SAME.
MY DEAR UNCLE,
The letters you have lately received from me must have prepared you to expect the catastrophe. It must have been manifest to you that in every essential point I am a Non-conformist; and that I consider the Church of England a legacy of Popery; an institution of sinful men ; and very far distant indeed from what the Church of Christ should be.
You will remember that in one of my letters I gave you some information of a small society of under-graduates in this University, who meet together for mutual edification and social prayer. These meetings, I said, varied from about a dozen in number to nearly thirty. All the members of this society entertain views more or less tending to Non-conformity. We had meetings this term to consider the question of Conformity with the rites and ceremonies of the Church of England. We discussed the various points separately; and most of our decisions were such as professed Dissenters would have acquiesced in. The topics for our consideration were,-1. Diocesan Episcopacy. 2. The three orders of Bishop, Priest, and Deacon. 3. The union of Church and State. 4. A secular head of the Church of Christ. 5. A Liturgy in the abstract. 6. The Liturgy of the Church of England. 7. The institution of Deans, Chapters, and all the titular Priests of the Church. 8. The parish form of the Church of Christ. 9. Parliamentary Prelates. 10. Communion with a corrupt Church. 11. Rites and ceremonies, and pontifical habits in the worship of God. 12. The worship exacted in the University of Cambridge. 13. Subscription of articles, oaths, abjurations, and declarations.
The subject of our last discussion but one, namely, “ the worship exacted in the University, put our principles to the test; and as the consequences of this debate were anticipated, only thirteen attended. In the previous debates we never had numbered fewer than twenty. It was agreed by a majority of eleven to two, formity with the worship exacted in the colleges was sinful, and that it is an act of adhesion to the Church of Rome to wear the surplice.”
We met the next evening to consider in what respect we should act upon our decision. Only nine attended, but we agreed unanimously to decline wearing the surplice; to refuse taking part
" that con
in declamations*; and to refuse the Lord's Supper, as administered in the college. We saw very clearly that our trial must first be on the question of the surplice; because we have to wear it here twice a week at least, and sometimes oftener; so that it was requisite to prepare ourselves for the struggle very soon. We had only five days before us, in which time the question must be decided ; and we agreed that it was not only the line of duty, but of wisdom, to meet the difficulty without any further delay. As it was a very serious matter to every one of us, we met twice every day, to consider how we should act with the most prudence; and various were the plans proposed and rejected. In these meetings we endeavoured to anticipate every argument which could be brought against us, either by our friends or our enemies. We appointed one of our party to take the opponents' side, and to urge everything possible against our views. In this way we not only were fortified with arguments, but in some some sort got over the alarm of discussing these matters with our superiors. I should tell you, however, that before the day of trial came, two of our party withdrew from us : they pleaded “ the anger of their parents ; and though they professed to agree with our views entirely, yet they said they could not see their way clear before them in offending their parents on a point of this sort; if it had been a question of denying the faith, they would gladly have gone to the stake," &c. &c. &c.
* Disputations on subjects of profane history, in Latin or in English, which take place in the middle of the evening service in the Chapels of the Colleges.
We afterwards discovered that one of the seceders was an orphan : that the other had only a father living; and that he had been for five years shut up in a lunatic asylum.
A deputation of three first waited on the senior Dean, in whose department is the control of the chapel affairs. John Calvin Thompson (son of your predecessor) was the spokesman; I need not tell you what he said, but, in my opinion, he spoke very well, with proper respect, and yet with sufficient firmness. The Dean was sitting over a bottle of claret with one of the Fellows; they heard our story to the end without saying a word, but when John Calvin had finished speaking, they stared at one another and seemed quite amazed. “Pray, Sir,” said the Dean,“ how many
you are there that have come to this strange resoluton ? “ Seven, Sir ; but many more agree
; with us in our views of this subject, though they decline taking part in our proceedings.” “Seven ! seven !” said the Dean, apparently deeply musing, "I cannot suppose that seven men would all go mad together on one point-that is impossible ; I must, therefore, suppose that the Puritanical fever is once more reviving in Cambridge, after a repose of a century and a half.” We stood silent, waiting for an answer to our petition. The Dean seemed