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George Burns, His Times and Friends
Chapter XI. English Episcopalians


On the 31st of July, 1843, the Rev. Robert Montgomery sent to Mr. Burns his resignation as Incumbent of the Church of St. Jude’s in Glasgow. Among his reasons were the following :—

That I have now been some six or seven years absent from my native land; that England is my congenial sphere; that each winter my health in Glasgow has grown worse and worse; that a wide sphere of usefulness more connatural to me as an Episcopalian opens before me; that to some extent my peculiar mission in Glasgow is filled up; that I have my feelings and affections and prospects of life as well as my principles as a Christian minister; and above all, that the happiness of a whole family depends on my coming to England. Consider all this, and call to memory how you love a home, a wife’s smile, a hearth-side—do all this, and I am sure you will say ‘You have done right.’

He added in conclusion :—

I am fully aware of the cry which my resignation will, at the first onset, awaken on behalf of some alarmists—‘St. Jude’s is ruined!’ ‘Must be sold!’ etc. I do not, and will not, for one minute yield to such silly and senseless exaggerations. There is the element of a noble congregation now formed; within six months there will be only two Episcopal churches in Glasgow, and if we set to work in faith and prayer, I feel certain that God will send a faithful and efficient man who will rejoice to occupy my place and carry on, with renewed strength and vigour, the work His grace has enabled me to undertake.

Although Montgomery, the popular preacher, resigned, St. Jude's was not ruined. George Burns and his friend William Burnley had pledged themselves to its support, and they were not men to quail before any difficulty.

In the autumn of 1813, the Rev. C. P. Miles was appointed Incumbent of St. Jude’s in succession to Robert Montgomery. Mr. Miles had not been long in his new sphere, before he became acquainted with a state of affairs in connection with the Scottish Episcopal Church which filled him with astonishment, and he at once put himself in communication with Mr. Burns on the matter.

In order to understand the nature of the activities in which Mr. Burns was to be engaged for many years, it will be necessary that we should set forth, as briefly as possible, a few points of Church history generally, and particularly a case which gave rise to the controversy in which he took a leading part.

In the year 1722, the chapel of St. Paul, Aberdeen, was opened for an English Episcopal congregation, and, without being subjected to the superintendence of any Scottish diocesan, received its ministers regularly ordained by English prelates. This was no new thing. It was of common occurrence for Protestant Episcopalians in Scotland to be under English pastors altogether unconnected with Scottish Episcopacy, and, as a matter of fact, the law was at one period so stringent that Episcopalian chapels were not tolerated unless clergymen ordained by English or Irish bishops were appointed to them.

From 1746 to 1792 the English chapels were the only legalised places of worship for Episcopalians in Scotland; hut in the latter year, by mutual agreement, the Scotch Episcopal Church received recognition from the British Legislature, the penalties attaching to a Scotch Episcopal minister, which had hitherto prevented him from taking the superintendence of a congregation, were removed, and he was placed on an equality in the eye of the law with his other Episcopalian brethren.

In 1840, the Scottish Episcopal Church obtained another Act of Parliament, which did not however in any degree alter the position previously occupied in Scotland by the bishops or clergy nor did it confer any privilege or jurisdiction whatever on Episcopalians in that country. The only purpose for which it was granted was to permit ministers ordained by Scotch bishops (as also the Episcopal clergy in the United States of America, to officiate, under limited circumstances, in the Established Churches of England and Ireland.

Whether the Scotch bishops misinterpreted that Act or not, we need not inquire here, but in 1842 they entered upon a course of discipline which resulted in the partial loss of their authority.

When the Scottish Episcopal Church received recognition from the British Legislature in 1792, several English congregations, with a full understanding that they reserved to themselves the liturgy of the Church of England (for the Scottish Church had its own liturgy) inviolate and inalienable, tendered their allegiance to the Scottish bishops. Three congregations, Perth, Montrose, and Aberdeen, determined to adhere to their original character; but in 1841 the managers and constitutional members of St. Paul’s, Aberdeen, decided to place their chapel under the diocesan superintendence of Bishop Skinner, the Primus or chief bishop of the Scottish Episcopal Church.

Soon afterwards, the llev. Sir William Dunbar, Bart., a godly and much respected clergyman of the Church of England, then labouring in London, was invited to accept the vacant incumbency. He at first declined, as he objected to important points in the Scottish liturgy; but on the assurance that the Deed of Union guaranteed to the clergyman of St. Paul’s Chapel the exclusive use of the Anglican ritual, he ultimately consented and entered upon his duties in 1842.

But “how can two walk together except they be agreed?" He was soon asked to preach in the chapel of the Primus ; 'this he could only consent to on condition that he might retire prior to the administration of the Lord’s Supper—an office widely different in doctrine as well as in mode of administration to that required by the rubric of the Church of England.

Then arose a question as to Confirmation, into which we need not inquire : and, finally, a collection on behalf of the Scottish Episcopal Church Society was ordered, which the managers of St. Paul’s would not allow to be made.

Matters having reached this crisis, Sir William Dunbar’s only alternative was to write the following letter :—

The Rev. Sir Wm. Dunbar to Bishop Skinner.

Castle Street, May 12, 1843.

Right Rev. and dear Sir,—After a most anxious and careful consideration of the interview which took place on the 8tli inst. between your reverence and myself, I am constrained to withdraw my reserved and limited subscription to the canons of the Scottish Episcopal Church, which I gave at the time when I accepted from the managers and congregation of St. Paul’s Chapel the ministerial charge over them. That subscription was given in connection with the Deed of Union between the said congregation and the Scottish Episcopal Church, by which deed all the rights and privileges of the congregation, as recognised before the deed was executed, were to be secured to them, and in which deed is the following clause :— ‘None of which rights and privileges shall be infringed upon without incurring the dissolution of the said voluntary union.’ That these have been infringed upon by your reverence is known and felt by the whole congregation; and, as I am threatened with ecclesiastical censure if I do not conform to certain courses, which would have the effect of encroaching still further upon the articles of the Deed of Union, I cannot hesitate as to the proper course for me to adopt. Having never rendered myself liable to ecclesiastical censure while ministering for eleven years under the Bishops of the Church of England, of which I am an ordained minister, I cannot consent to allow my clerical character to be endangered by any threatened rebuke of the Scottish Episcopal Church, with which my conditional association has not been of one year’s duration.

On these grounds I now withdraw my subscription referred to.

I have the honour to be,

Right Rev. and dear Sir,

Your very obedient servant,

"William Dunrar.

A correspondence ensued; the managers and constituent members withdrew from the Scottish Episcopal Church; St. Paul’s Chapel reverted to its original character and condition, and Sir William Dunbar was recognised as its minister.

Two months afterwards, without any previous intimation of the proceedings, Sir William Dunbar received, through the post, his accusation, condemnation and sentence, for renouncing allegiance to the Primus.

As Bishop Skinner’s wit of excommunication is a literary curiosity, breathing the spirit and language of the days when Pom an supremacy and intolerance were at their height, we give it in its entirety:—

In the name of God. Amen. Whereas the Reverend Sir William Dunbar, late Minister of St. Paul's Chapel, Aberdeen, and Presbyter of this Diocese, received by letters dimissory from the Lord Bishop of London, forgetting his duty as a Priest of the Catholic Church, did. on the twelfth of May last, in a letter addressed to us, William Skinner, Doctor in Divinity, Bishop of Aberdeen, wilfully renounce his canonical obedience to us, his proper ordinary, and withdrew himself, as he pretended, from the jurisdiction of the Scottish Episcopal Church ; and, notwithstanding our earnest and affectionate remonstrances repeatedly addressed to him, did obstinately persist in that his most undutiful and wicked act, contrary to his ordination vows and his solemn promise of canonical obedience, whereby the said Sir "William Dunbar hath violated every principle of duty, which the laws of the Catholic Church have recognised as binding on her Priests, and hath placed himself in a state of open schism; and, whereas the said Sir William Dunbar hath moreover continued to officiate in defiance of our authority; therefore, we, William Skinner, Doctor in Divinity, Bishop of Aberdeen, aforesaid, sitting with our Clergy in Synod, this tenth day of August, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-three, and acting under the provisions of Canon XLI., do declare that the said Sir William Dunbar hath ceased to be a Presbyter of this Church, and that all his ministerial acts are without authority, as being performed apart from Christ’s mystical body, wherein the one Spirit is ; and we do most earnestly and solemnly warn all faithful people to avoid all communion with the said Sir William Dunbar in prayers and sacraments, or in any way giving countenance to him in his present irregular and sinful course, lest they be partakers with him in his sin, and thereby expose themselves to the threatening denounced against those who cause divisions in the Church, from which danger we most heartily pray that God of His great mercy would keep all the faithful people committed to our charge, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

This excommunication or “declaration”—applauded by the Tractarian party, deplored by the Evangelicals, laughed at and ridiculed hy the secular press—was published far and wide, and each Episcopalian clergyman under the control of Bishop Skinner was enjoined to read it aloud to his congregation from the Lord’s Table.

Soon after this, the Bev. C. P. Miles accepted the incumbency of St. Jude’s. He was a hater of oppression, and to test the position and show brotherly sympathy for Sir William Dunbar, he determined to preach in his church, and thus give a practical proof of the invalidity of the attempted excommunication. He denied that it was illegal to preach in a place of worship unlicensed by a Scotch bishop, although the synodical sentence warned all faithful people to avoid communion with Sir William Dunbar in prayers and sacraments.

The position then taken by Mr. Miles was this :— he voluntarily retired from the Scottish Episcopal Church, having recalled his subscription to its canons, and on the same day that he renounced the authority of Bishop Russell, his former diocesan, he sent his resignation as incumbent of St Jude’s. The managers, however, fearing that the chapel would have to he closed, and from love and respect to Mr. Miles, invited him to continue his clerical ministrations over the congregation; and to this he consented on the ground that, being a presbyter of the Church of England, from which communion he had not withdrawn, he considered himself legally entitled to the exercise of the sacred office on behalf of Protestant Episcopalians in Glasgow.

When Mr. Miles assumed this attitude, the managers and congregation of St. Jude’s determined to stand by him through thick and thin, and also to separate themselves as a body from the Scottish Episcopal Church. They acted harmoniously and quietly throughout, but warily, and sought advice at every step of their way. In the following letter, Mr. Burnley gives the opinion of Bishop Villiers on the situation.

Christie’s Hotel, Nov. 29, 1844.

My dear Burns,—I had a very pleasing interview with Villiers this morning, whom I had not as yet spoken to regarding our affair. 1 am happy to say he goes with us thoroughly. He suggested one or two names that he thinks might be added to our list for sending pamphlets. I asked him what opinion he would give, as to the course we ought to pursue as managers. His advice was, Do nothing, but stand as firm as Brock.’ He certainly is not a High Churchman, for when I assured him that we regretted not being under Episcopal jurisdiction, but that we valued Scriptural doctrine more, he said, ‘ Why, after all, what are bishops? You may stick a piece of lawn on any man and make him a bishop, but the knowledge of the truth and the love of Christ cannot thus be given.’ He says the contest is about commencing in Scotland with us, and in England by the Bishop of Exeter, and the spirit that animated Luther is what is wanting. I said, ‘I hope the Missionary Society will be more decided this year, as to the line they intend to pursue.’ "What they ought to do,’ said Villiers, 'is to send down a judicious and determined man, and let him preach when he liked.’ I wish he would consent to come down ; he blows the trumpet with no uncertain sound. He said if there was anything he could do to help us in any way, I was to write him.

Yours most sincerely,

W. F. Burnley.

The advice of Henry Venn, the clerical secretary of the Church Missionary Society, was also sought, and he replied as follows :—

With regard to yourselves as managers, do nothing without legal advice and the opinion of counsel. Get legal advice for abrogating your Deed of Presentation, and when you have got everything straight and clear, publish your reasons for leaving the Scottish Episcopal Church, and give the opinions of counsel verbatim. Be cautious how you act, and never put down one foot before you know where to place the other.

This was sagacious advice, and it was duly acted upon.

On the 18th of December, 1844, the sentence was pronounced :—

“We, Michael Russell, Doctor of Laws, Bishop of Glasgow, sitting in Synod, ... do hereby reject the said Reverend Charles Popham Miles, and publicly declare that he is no longer a clergyman of the Episcopal Church of Scotland. We warn the members of our Church, as well as all Episcopalians elsewhere, to avoid professional communion with the said Reverend Charles Popham Miles, in public prayers and sacraments, or in any way to give countenance to him in his present irregular course, lest they he partakers with him in his schism, and thereby expose themselves to the threatening denounced against those who cause divisions in the Church; from which danger we most heartily pray that God, of His great mercy, will keep all the faithful people committed to our charge, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

Some gaps in the narrative may be supplied in the words of Mr. Burns, who says :—

We were living at Brookfield, Greenock, when Miles had the outbreak in connection with Bishop Skinner, of Aberdeen. Skinner had issued an excommunication of Sir William Dunbar, who was under him there, for fraternising with the Presbyterians. Skinner lost much of his authority and influence, but Dunbar was the greater sufferer from the contest, for his uncle was so distressed at the fact of his excommunication, that he cut him off from his inheritance. Miles, while staying with us at Brookfield, said to me that he proposed going to Aberdeen, to preach in Dunbar’s church, because he hated tyranny. I responded cordially, and said that I highly approved of his going. He told me that he would get his place in Glasgow supplied by an excellent man, named Gribble, who had been a fellow-sailor with him in the service of the East India Company. Miles’s proceeding made a great stir in the Scottish Episcopal Church. Bishop Russell came through from Leith expressly to see me on the occasion, and he found me in my office in Glasgow, nearly ready to start in the train to Greenock. He said he hoped that I would use my influence with Mr. Miles to obtain from him an expression of regret for having gone to preach for Dunbar ; and added that he would be satisfied if he would promise not to repeat what he had done. He concluded by saying that he had Instructions from the Primus (Skinner) to take this matter up, and finished by using these words, ‘If I do not proceed, I shall be proceeded against.’ To his great surprise, I told him that Miles had consulted me, and that I had very warmly approved the course he was taking. Bishop Russell walked across with me to the train, talking the whole time about the matter. A number of letters passed between us on the subject, and it was arranged that a meeting should take place between the Bishop, Mr. Miles, and the Vestry of St. Jude’s. They met accordingly, and in course of conversation Miles expressed himself in a moderate and conciliating tone, but not wavering one iota in his views ; whereupon the Bishop expressed his gratification with Mr. Miles’ manner, but lie could go no further. The Bishop, at that meeting, turned to me and said, ‘I hope that you look upon the letters that I wrote to you as strictly confidential, and not to be made use of.’ I replied that he might depend upon my keeping them to myself; and they have not been made public to this day. The episode led at once to the separation of St. Jude’s from the Scottish Episcopal Church, and we coalesced with Mr. Drummond, of Edinburgh, in his separation.

There was a great deal of acrimonious pamphleteering concerning the “unreasonable schism”—as a leading Church luminary described it—which had “deprived the younger portions of several congregations of the holy and apostolic rite of Confirmation, and the consequent benefit of being admitted to the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper according to the practice of the English Church.”

Into the controversy, Robert Montgomery entered on the side of the Scottish Episcopal Church, contending that the proceedings at St. Jude’s were “sad, unscriptural, and schismatic;" that “if it were separated from the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Glasgow, and presided over in this rent and riven state by an unauthorised English presbyter, the church would he schismatical and all connected with it schismatics.”

‘He went full tilt against the action of Mr. Miles, and contended that the main point in the controversy was not whether Sir William Dunbar had been rightly or wrongly treated by the Bishop of Aberdeen ; but whether the uncanonical intrusion of a presbyter Into another bishop’s diocese was justifiable in order to awaken the question.”

He concluded a long pamphlet-letter with the assurance that when he recalled to memory the former peace of St. Jude’s at the time he ministered among them, he was filled with sadness. “When the image of St. Jude’s,” he said, “comes before me, it is associated with sadder feelings than I have courage to describe.”

In May, 1845, it was decided to hold a meeting in Edinburgh of all the English clergy then labouring in Scotland apart from Scottish bishops, and also of delegates from the several English congregations. Concerning that meeting, Mr. Miles wrote to Mr. Bums, who was at the time in London, as follows :—

Glasgow, May 19, 1845. My dear Burns,—I miss yon very much. You are my consulting physician, and, as you give good advice and take no fee, your assistance is invaluable. . . .

The opinions which you expressed in regard to the meeting of clericals and delegates in Edinburgh, coincided most thoroughly with those entertained by myself. You will now be glad to hear that we duly assembled, and that our conference commenced and terminated in harmony. We commenced with the Word of God and prayer. Then certain resolutions and counter-resolutions were proposed, withdrawn, remodelled, and reconsidered, and at length we came to a conclusion that we would love one another ! Now here is an epitome of the proceedings of the first annual meeting of the English Episcopalians dwelling in Scotland ! However, you must understand that some definite resolutions were carried. T think you will be satisfied with them. We were all of one mind in regard to our position, and, unless my ears have deceived me, I do not think that we stand committted for any thing beyond the general principles necessarily cpmpromised by ns as members of the Church of England. It' was settled that these resolutions, if approved by the absent trustees and managers of the English chapels, should be printed and circulated among the several congregations.

My next piece of news is that Sir William Dunbar is to preach at St. Jude’s on Sunday next, two sermons. Collections in behalf of our chapel funds are to be consequent upon each of Dunbar’s sermons.

Yours affectionately,

C. P. Miles.

The position of the English Episcopalians in Scotland was defined at their first meeting thus :—

“That, as ministers and members of the Protestant Church of Christ, established by law in England and Ireland, together with others who are attached to that communion, we express our deep regret, that the doctrines, the spirit, and the discipline of the Scottish Episcopal Church have been recently proved to be of a nature so distinct from the principles of the United Church of England and Ireland, as to forbid our having any connection with the Scottish Episcopate; inasmuch as such connection would involve a dereliction of our duty to the English Church, and a compromise of Protestant principles, thus doing violence to our perceptions of truth, and to our consciences.

“That, as in a recent document put forth Dr Bishop Low, of the Scottish Episcopal Church, a hope is expressed, which had been previously implied in similar documents by Bishops Skinner and Russell, that no bishop of the United Church of England and Ireland, or of the Protestant Episcopal Church in America, will receive any clergymen who have officiated in Scotland, without letters testimonial from the bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church, and as such an expression seems intended to convey the idea that the Scottish bishops have some measure of jurisdiction over English Episcopalians in Scotland, we hereby declare that the idea is utterly fallacious, and that such an assumption on the part of the Scottish bishops has no authority, either in Statute, Common, Ecclesiastical, or Divine Law.

“That, although at present we have not the full advantages of Episcopal superintendence, yet as our position has arisen from necessity and not from choice—a necessity, however, which does not in the least invalidate our standing as Episcopal ministers, and members of the English Church—we desire to express deliberately our sense of the benefit of such superintendence, and our readiness to receive and acknowledge it, whenever, in the providence of God, an opportunity for its proper exercise may arise.”

In the Rev. C. B. Gribble, Mr. Burns found a valuable friend and a zealous coadjutor. Early in life Mr. Gribble entered the East India Service, and rose to be chief officer of the H.C. ship Herefordshire; but, under deep religious convictions, he resolved, after the Company’s charter was withdrawn, to enter the Church. He took his degree at Cambridge, was ordained, and, after holding the curacy of Olney, he went to Canachi as a missionary, and was for two years on the shores of Lake Erie at a time when the country- was still a comparative waste, and each settler was a “hewer of wood and drawer of water.” After his return, in 1843, he became curate of Broseley, under the Hon. and ev. Orlando Forester (afterwards Lord Forester), and, soon afterwards, was associated with his old friend the Rev. C. P. Miles in the work at St Jude’s. Referring to the friendship of these two excellent men, Mr. Burns says :—

Miles and Gribble were fellow-officers in the Company’s service, and were in India together. Miles often told me that, when he was last in Calcutta, in 18B0, Colonel Powney, who was very attentive to all young officers, and had them frequently to his house, had invited him as one of his many guests. The Colonel was a decidedly Christian man, and he employed his visitors, one after Bother, at breakfast, to read prayers. He put the book into Miles’ hand to use it. Miles went on swimmingly as long as he was in smooth water, but at the end of the prayer lie1 came on the words, 'Our Father, etc.,’ and he said, ‘I was completely floored; 1 had not the slightest idea what the etc. included!’ He had entirely-forgotten it during his seafaring life.

One day Miles was ordered to join his ship at the mouth of the Hooghly, and, on leaving Fort William, the Colonel gave him a book, and said, ‘Miles, read that during your homeward voyage.’ It was the ‘Pilgrim’s Progress.’ Miles read it; became interested; was much impressed with the views set forth, and it became the means of leading him into serious investigation, and to a saving knowledge of the truth.

No sooner had Mr. Gribble entered upon his duties, as co-minister with Mr. Miles of St Jude’s Chapel, than he threw himself heart and soul into the controversy then raging, and was especially earnest in his exhortations to sister churches, such as that of St. Peter’s, at Montrose, to refuse submission to the Scottish bishops. He was very plain in his speech upon the doctrinal errors, as he regarded them, of the Episcopal Church. He says :—

In the event of your submitting to the Scottish bishops, your minister must become a party to error; and if he should have received his ordination from a bishop of the United Church of England and Ireland, he must, though perhaps unwittingly, become a party to falsehood. Every clergyman in connection with the last mentioned Church is bound to the English ritual ; but if he unite himself to the Scotch Episcopal Church, he must subscribe to the canon, which declares that the Scotch communion office possesses a primary authority over that of the English Church ; in other words, he must declare that error has a higher authority than truth. The error consists in this :—The Scotch communion office prays that the bread and wine may become the body and blood of Christ; we, of the English Church, believe that, in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, Christ is received by faith into the heart, and not by the lips into the stomach. Such a notion we repudiate as indecent and absurd.

Persistent efforts were made to prevent all English clergymen who visited Scotland from giving any aid to the "excommunicated,” and to close every pulpit ill England against them. Pressure from without was brought to bear upon archbishops and bishops of the English Church, but the attempts signally failed. The sympathies of the Protestants of England were with the excommunicated clergy; English pulpits were thrown open to them freely, and men like the venerable Dr. Marsh of Leamington, Bickersteth, Bishop Gobat of Jerusalem, Hugh Stowell, Dr. Anderson (Bishop of Bupert’s Land), and a host of others, preached in the churches of the censured clergy.

In August, 1845, the Archbishop of Canterbury gave new material for controversy in the following oracular utterance:—

The Episcopal Church in Scotland, he said, is in communion with the United Church of England and Ireland through the medium of her bishops, as, without referring farther hack, will appear from a recent Act of the Legislature, the congregations in Scotland not acknowledging the spiritual jurisdiction of the bishop in whose diocese the chapels are situate, yet calling themselves Episcopalian, we know nothing. In order to prove their right to this designation, they should hi' able to show what bishop in England has authority, by law or by custom, to regulate their worship, and to direct or control their ministers in respect of discipline or doctrine. In default of such proof they cannot be considered as Episcopalian, though the service of their chapels be performed by clergymen who have been regularly ordained by a bishop.

Mr. Drummond, the Minister of St. Thomas’s English Episcopal Chapel in Edinburgh, took up the gauntlet so unadvisedly thrown down by the archbishop. An extract, relating to one point only of the issues raised, may be cited here to show the position taken up by the English Episcopalians :—

It does appear to be very strange, that congregations in Scotland not directly under Episcopal control—from the necessity of the case, and not from their own desire—should be considered by some persons as having on that account forfeited their claim to be Episcopalian. If this be so, what of all the ‘exempt jurisdictions’ in England?—livings held by English clergymen, yet not under the control of any bishop. What of the chaplains of the navy and the army? These have no direct Episcopal control. Are they, therefore, to be considered as beyond the ranks of Episcopalians? What of our two or three missionaries in China? Are not they Episcopalians, though no English bishop exercises jurisdiction over them? An American bishop has been appointed to China. Are the English missionaries and the English chaplain bound to pay canonical obedience to him? ... As to the communion, the question is very easily settled. I respectfully but firmly ask, What bishop of the United Church of England or Ireland can refuse me induction, were I to accept a living in his diocese? Can a presbyter of the Scottish Episcopal Church be thus inducted? The law peremptorily forbids it. During my temporary residence in England, I have officiated in four dioceses, Canterbury, London, Winchester, and Lincoln, and that without the express written permission of the bishop of the diocese. Could a presbyter of the Scottish Episcopal Church do this? If he were to attempt it, he would subject himself and the friend he assisted to very heavy penalties. This is a practical proof—and can any be stronger?—as to which body of Episcopalians in Scotland are in closest communion with the Church of England.

The upshot of the whole controversy was this. The Act of Parliament (10th Queen Anne) gave ample protection to the English Episcopalian chapels and their ministers in the exercise of their privileges; that Act still remained in full force, and every attempt on the part of the Scottish bishops or their clergy to disturb tlie congregations worshipping in those chapels was contrary to law.

And so, despite the harsh and hitter things that were said and written, despite the fiihninations of quasi-bishops, despite the poetic grief of Robert Montgomery, the English Episcopalians in Scotland held on their way.

It was a matter of regret to Mr. Burns that the calls of business took him away from Glasgow during a considerable portion of the time when the controversy was at its height; but there was hardly a step taken of any importance in which he did not have a guiding hand. It was his daily joy to know that, notwithstanding the prevalence of the spirit of controversy, Christian work was going 011 with unceasing activity, and that Mr. Burnley, who was associated with him in every movement, could write to him thus:—

The congregation is. on the whole, increasing. Gribble has commenced his lectures in Anderston. . . . The Sunday school is to he commenced in a small way next Sabbath. . . . Many of the poor might he got to the church if we appropriated a certain number of back seats at low rents. ... Of course the subject of a bishop will come before us. We shall be very cautious before taking any step. . . . Drummond has been applying to several clergymen in England to come as a Missionary Deputation, but without success— the numerous meetings at this season prevent them from leaving-home. . . . We must join together to send men of God to Parliament.

“The question of a bishop must come before them.’' Yes, there was the rub; and how the question was answered will have to be told in a later chapter.


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