« ПретходнаНастави »
and figure long familiar to Oxford men ; Mr. Wood Warter, of West Tarring, son-in-law to Robert Southey, and editor of his Remains, and Dr. A. B. Evans, Vicar of St. Mary-le-Strand, whose able, though somewhat singular sermons attracted so many hearers.
The Royal family has been invaded during the past year by the death of the ex-King of Hanover, the Duke of Cumberland, in Jume, and more recently, on December 14, the anniversary of her father's death, by that of the deeply lamented Princess Alice, Grand-Duchess of Hesse-Darmstadt.
The roll of political characters remains comparatively intact-Lord Russell, who died May 28, at the age of 854, being rather a survival of an earlier era than a political name of the present, and Mr. Russell Gurney, however respected both in and out of the House, having hardly been a political character, although his name will be long associated with Parliamentary proceedings in connexion with the already decaying fabric of the Public Worship Regulation Act. In like manner it may be said that the death of Lord Chelmsford, though it removes one who had been a Cabinet Minister, scarcely removes a politician or a statesman. And Mr. Whalley, though emphatically a Parliamentary, was certainly not a political character. Art has lost Sir F. Grant; Ægyptology, Mr. Bonomi; and Literature, Mr. G. H. Lewes.
This obituary of the year may, perhaps, be fitly closed with a mention of the chief ecclesiastical appointments, which are as follows :-(1) That of Dr. Maclagan, well known through his work at Newington and Kensington, to succeed Bishop Selwyn at Lichfield ; (2), of Professor Perowne, to the Deanery of Peterborough ; (3) of Canon Allen, to the Deanery of S. David's—an appointment most natural and most deserved ; and (4) that of Mr. Ernest Wilberforce, to the difficult post of the chief of the Mission scheme devised as the memorial to his father, Bishop Wilberforce, and therewith to the Canonry at Winchester, vacant by the death of Canon Woodrooffe. This appropriation of a canonry to the promotion of a great diocesan work is in itself a sign of the times, and deserves to be chronicled, and it is to be hoped that the success of the undertaking may be commensurate with the needs which exist for it in the populous centres in which the Mission is intended to labour.
The retirement of the Earl of Chichester from the Ecclesiastical Commission, and the appointment of the Earl of Stanhope in his place, should also be mentioned, and also Bishop Baring's resignation' of the see of Durham. At the moment of writing his successor has not been appointed.
The events of the year have been so almost entirely political, that its ecclesiastical history has been comparatively unimportant; and considering that, above all things, the Church at the present moment needs rest and quiet to pursue her course of leavening the nation and winning back the masses of the population who have grown up outside her influence, this is not to be regretted. Still the year has had
its ecclesiastical events, although they have rather been such as to be the seeds of things to come than matters of immediate results.
First and foremost should be named the passing of the Additional Bishoprics Bill, which passed its third reading on August 14, thanks to the pertinacity of the Home Secretary, Mr. Cross, whose services in this particular ought to be more widely known and appreciated than, we fear, they are. More than thirty years have now passed since the agitation for this moderate increase of the Episcopate commenced, and if on the one hand it is somewhat discouraging to see how hard it is for the Church to obtain the permission to spend her own members' money in properly equipping herself for her duties towards the nation, still, on the other hand, it is a testimony to the value of unlimited perseverance. Thus far the nineteenth century has added the sees of Ripon, Manchester, Truro, and S. Alban's to the roll of Bishoprics as they stood at the close of Henry VIII.'s strange and eventful reign ; and the Act of 1878 has rendered possible the addition of sees at Liverpool, Newcastle-on-Tyne, and Southwell—an achievement which, if only an instalment of what is needed, is still of the most hopeful augury. We have always held that the career of Bishop Longley in the diocese of Ripon furnishes the highest example of the good done by the subdivision of our huge dioceses. The Church in that part of Yorkshire was almost created during the years of his Episcopate, and we were glad to see in a number of the Quarterly Review of last year some sketch of what was then accomplished : a real, though tardy acknowledgment. The new diocese of Truro appears likely to be about to furnish such another example, and perhaps ere long we may ourselves undertake an account of the prompt and vigorous manner in which its organisation has been effected, and of the work which is being already accomplished. Let us hope that the fortunes of the new sees of Newcastle-on-Tyne and Liverpool, where the need is at least as great as it was in Cornwall, may be as happy as those of Truro.
Next after this extension of the Episcopate, though widely differing from it, the most important of purely home-church matters has been the still further collapse of the unfortunate and ill-starred Public Worship Regulation Act. Its inception set the Church by the ears, its operation has been not so much to rend the Church, as at first was feared, but rather to set the lawyers by the ears. On the whole, the Bishops have shown a wholesome dread of using so dangerous a weapon; and in the very few cases in which it has been employed, the issue has been to array judge against judge and court against court. It is needless here to do more than to refer to the not very edifying way in which we have seen the highest legal authorities belabouring each other in reference to ecclesiastical proceedings. The Lord Chancellor, the Lord Chief Justice, the Chief Baron, and Lord Penzance have all been involved, and some at least of them have seemed as if they were bent on showing that the legal mind, the legal pen, and the legal tongue could outdo the proverbial bitterness of the odium theologicum. What the issue of it all may be time only can show, but, at all events, thus much is clear---the unhandy Public
Worship Regulation Act is hopelessly discredited ; our miserably disorganised system of Ecclesiastical Courts is seen to be what Churchmen have always considered it, and Churchmen need only time and patience to secure some more wholesome state of things in its room. Everything comes to him who knows how to wait. The present dead-lock is educating such of the laity as can learn, faster and better than any words of ours could do it, and it does not need much faith to be convinced that there is a Power which out of this per. mitted chaos will in His own time elicit the wished-for Kosmos. Let any Churchman contrast the feelings with which we were looking upon things at the opening of 1876 with those at the opening of 1879, and we feel that gratitude and hope must predominate. It is true that the . Living Voice' of the Church has not yet found its fully developed organ, but it is a serious question whether as yet we are ripe for its bestowal. Meanwhile, the dioceses are gradually organising themselves; the informal and somewhat irregular Diocesan Conferences are bringing laity and clergy into wholesome contact, and teaching them, if not to act together, at least to understand each other ; they are quickening the perception of diocesan unity, and it cannot be long before, from out of their tentative and local efforts, some mode of central action on the part of the Church at large, in which the spiritualty and the laity can combine with good effect must be developed. The course of the Church Revival has been eminently encouraging : first, the revival of parochial Church life, which may be considered as accomplished ; next, that of Diocesan lise, in the mid process of which we now stand ; thirdly, that of the central and combined action of the whole Church, towards which we are dimly but certainly advancing.
III. But by far the most striking event of the year was the second LAMBETH CONFERENCE, which was attended by exactly one hundred Bishops of the Anglican Communion, namely, the two English Archbishops, and twenty-six English Diocesan Bishops, and three Suffragans, the two Irish Archbishops, and seven Irish Bishops ; seren Scottish Bishops; seventeen Bishops from the United States, and two American Missionary Bishops, together with thirty acting and four retired English Colonial Bishops.
The proceedings were private, so far as the actual discussions were concerned, and this was at the special desire of some, particularly American Bishops, though with the concurrence of all; but we cannot help thinking that on another occasion it may be wiser to have a brief account of each day's proceedings prepared and published, not so much with the view of satisfying mere curiosity, as with that of protecting the Conference from misconception, as otherwise incorrect accounts ooze out which, however misleading, it is impossible to correct. Thus some by no means satisfactory reports did get into the Pall Mall Gazette, and every one remembers that in 1867 the Guardian in like manner had its own accounts of discussions.
With respect to its REPORTS, the first and second were of the most
general importance, as they laid down principles affecting the intercommunion of all the variously circumstanced Anglican Churches. Some change of feeling is apparent since the 1867 Conference in this respect. At that time, partly from the difficulties in the Colenso case, and from an unwillingness on the part of some to recognise the independent authority of the provincial action of Colonial Churches, there was a tendency towards centralisation. This time the truer principle of the liberty and rights of the different Churches of our Communion, when formed into provinces, was inuch more distinctly recognised, and the fact of variety not being inconsistent with genuine organic unity was more distinctly perceived.
At the same time the necessity, which the Church in all ages has acknowledged, of united counsels for the purpose of preserving harmony, alike in principle and in action, was not only confessed, but the gradual development of these Episcopal Conferences into a more truly and definitely representative form is clearly pointed to as the safest solution of the difficulties of the question. The results of this last Conference, as compared with that of 1867, mark a real growth of opinion in this direction, and are hopeful and encouraging. Certainly there has never since primitive times been so distinct a proof given to the world of the fact that the true unity of the Church requires no visible.centre either for its manifestation or for its exercise.
The last Report of the series was that respecting which at the time most anxiety was felt, since under its very general heading questions might have been introduced, and some actually were introduced, of the utmost difficulty and importance, and respecting which there were sure to be the greatest differences of opinion, and this without any notice being given of them, and without any consent of the Conference itself to their introduction. Happily, through the wisdom and moderation which, under the guidance of God's Holy Spirit, directed its counsels, this was not the cause of any disunion, though at one time a division seemed inevitable. But we trust that the experience of the 1878 Conference will prevent the repetition of the perilous experiment. Indeed, the first Report, which refers to the action of future Conferences, suggests a method for the previous choice and arrangement of subjects for discussion which will obviate this danger. The mistake on the last occasion was that a scheme of subjects was prepared by a committee of English Bishops, without any consultation with Bishops of the other Churches, or at least without any power being given to them to introduce subjects. And this scheme was consequently made so vague, especially under 'its last heading, that almost anything might, at the will of the Committee, have been brought in under its terms, without any notice at all.
Among the very important questions introduced under this head was the relation of the Anglican Communion towards the Old Catholic Body, and the practical method to be adopted for aiding it. This is
I See, for example, the difference between the 1867 Report on Central Court of Appeal, which was due in great measure to the influence of Bishops Wilberforce, Selwyn, and Gray, and the Second Report of 1878. clearly a question not merely of such abounding interest, but involving such fundamental principles of Church order, that it ought surely to have had a carefully digested Report to itself, instead of being left to be worked out in its application and details to the Prelates selected for that purpose.
IV. The meeting of the Lambeth Conference leads naturally wo the subject of our Colonial and Missionary Churches. It wants still five years before our foreign Episcopate will have completed the first century of its existence; and if its rate of increase was for very many years so slow as to be nearly imperceptible, of late it has been, perhaps, as rapid as is desirable. The Resolutions of the Conference, if only they are loyally followed, or can be enforced where such loyalty does not yet exist, will do much to consolidate and harmonise these growing Churches, of which scarcely any two are in precisely the same stage of development. We confess that we look with some anxiety to the prospect of the Lambeth Resolutions being quietly ignored in certain quarters.
What has been called a passion for organisation' is but a synonym for that system by which individual Churches, each instinct with life, and possessed by a keen sense of its necessities, are bound together, and find in such organisation and union their surest defence against secularism in its many forms. It is idle, e.g. to boast of our entire sympathy and full communion with the sister Church of the United States, when we sanction a duplicate organisation and a duplicate Episcopate in the same place. We have always regretted to find American and English congregations placed side by side and yet separate, and liable, but for the good feeling of persons concerned, to be more pointedly separate in Paris or in Rome; but the evil of this is magnified when it comes to separate missions to the heathen, each with its own Bishop at its head. We are thinking at this moment of Japan, where the American Church has had a mission with a Bishop at its head for some dozen years. Five years ago, on the appointment of a Bishop of Victoria—the third occupant of that see-the Primate added to his charge--for a diocese in the strict sense of the word does not exist-all British subjects, members of the Church of England, in Japan, distant from Hong Kong 1,500 miles. The Bishop can only visit Japan triennially, and on those occasions his ignorance of the vernacular must limit his efficient ministrations to the handful of English who form the congregation of the Legation chaplain, and at the same time removes him from his proper duties in China. The clergy in Japan, meanwhile, are, with the single exception of the Legation chaplain, missionaries to the heathen ; they form three distinct bodies, the Americans, the Church Missionary Society clergy, and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel clergy. The first-named have their own Bishop, an accomplished Japanese scholar, always with them ; the last-named have been placed under the American Bishop, save in the few weeks of the English Bishop's triennial visit ; the Church Missionary Society's elergy are,