« ПретходнаНастави »
the Church as well as by the Convocation of the Province of Canterbury. Yet without any renunciation, on Dr. Temple's part, of complicity with the general character of the work in question, or any retractation of the positions in his own Essay, which have been objected to, Dr. Temple has been nominated by the Prime Minister to the See of Exeter. It is scarcely possible to conceive a case of the appointment of a Bishop more in defiance of the expressed mind of the Church as to his fitness for the office, unless his clerical character be purged from this stigma. If the Prime Minister has obtained from competent authority any such purgation, he is bound to state it. While the matter remains in its present position, it is a deep injury inflicted upon the Church. Yet we fear that there is no remedy. The election by the Chapter is merely a ministerial act enjoined upon them by Parliament. Their refusal would be simply a violation of the law, and the law has provided that such refusal shall not prevent the appointment. If the members of a Chapter feel themselves aggrieved by being compelled to elect, the alternative is to resign the office to which such ministerial action may be attached : as one of the Chapter of Hereford resigned his stall, an honorary one, after the election of Dr. Hampden.
We deeply regret that this event has been employed as an argument for the disestablishment of the Church ; as if equally grievous injuries might not ensue, in the appointment of bishops, and in a thousand other ways, by the spoliation and disestablishment of the Church of England. A more direct and obvious remedy is, to seek by legislation, if legislation be required, the transfer of the exercise of the Queen's prerogative of nominating bishops to a more suitable party than the virtual leader of the House of Commons, or to give practical effect to the voice of the Cathedral Chapter.
In Ireland the disestablished Church has taken its first steps towards self-organisation with great wisdom and moderation. The clergy of the two Provinces have met in Synod; and the first point upon which all the bishops and clergy were unanimous, was the introduction of the laity into Church Synods and Conventions: in what numbers, and in what mode to be elected, was left to the laity to determine. A second important reform, on which there was a division, was that all the clerical members should be elected. Hitherto, since the 12th century, as in England, Deans and Archdeacons have sat in Synod ex officio. In this Synod, a Dean moved, and an Archdeacon seconded, the exclusion of ex officio members. The votes were 107 to 29; the majority of the Deans and Archdeacons voted for their own exclusion, asking only to be elected if thought worthy. It was proposed that questions of doctrine and ritual should be decided by the clergy alone.
There was, we are informed, an overwhelming majority against this motion, but it was put aside as not properly brought forward. The laity assembled, at the invitation and under the presidency of the Archbishop of Dublin, to the number of more than 400, comprising the most influential peers and laymen of the country; and the two points on which they agreed were, that the number of lay representatives should be twice the number of clerical representatives, in conformity with the practice of many other Churches, and that the votes of the Synods should be taken by orders, as the best means of securing the independence of both clergy and laity. The two Archbishops of Ireland have since delivered their Charges, and we gladly close with the following encouraging words of the Archbishop of Armagh :-"I esteem it a happy circumstance that the laity, from the highest to the humblest, have taken the deepest interest in every proposal or movement for the maintenance and reorganisation of our Church. Had coldness or apathy been evinced, we might indeed have despaired; but where there is zeal and energy and love, we have sure grounds of hope." .
In Spain there have been, in various places, terrible and bloody outbreaks by the partisans of a republic. They have been in every instance crushed, under martial law, by the firm and stern arm of the military under General Prim. But the republican spirit has exhibited a power and wide diffusion which creates some doubt as to the future form of government.
We record with much pleasure and interest a fresh subdi. vision of the diocese of Sydney. A new see, 650 miles in length and 400 in breadth, has been formed at Bathurst, about 120 miles from Sydney. The Bishop recently appointed to it is himself an Australian, a grandson of the excellent Samuel Marsden, who laboured so long and so faithfully in that land for its welfare and for the extension of Christianity to New Zealand. We therefore gladly comply with the request of the metropolitan of Australia, who, from his far distant diocese, seeks to interest the readers of the Christian Observer in the fortunes of the new bishopric. He bears the highest testimony to the “activity, earnestness, and sound judgment of the new Bishop." He commends him as one who “has no sympathy with Ritualism or Rationalism, but is a true son of the Reformed Church of England,” and dwells upon the spirit of self-denial in which he enters upon his labours. Much help is needed, in addition to what has been subscribed in the colony; and we would be glad if this notice were to lead some to interest themselves in a cause so vouched for, and to extend to the new bishop and bishopric “their sympathy and their prayers."
ON CHURCH REFORM. 1. Ecclesiastical History of England. By John Stoughton.
London: Jackson and Co. 1867. 2. Reform in the Church of England. A Letter to the Right Hon.
B. Disraeli, M.P. By a Clergyman. Nisbet. 1868. 3. A Letter to the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, M.P., on the
Increase of the Episcopate, fc. By Rev. R. F. Laurence, M.A.
Masters. 1869. 4. The Admission of the Laity into Convocation. A Speech de
livered on February 23, 1869, on the Convocation of the Province of York. By Edward Prest, M.A., Archdeacon of
Gateshead. 5. Convocation : its Present Constitution, and Requirements for
the Work of the Church. By Rev. S. A. Hubert, B.A., Rector
of St. James', Gateshead. 6. The Chronicle of Convocation. 2 vols. Rivingtons. 1869.
The history of England by Mr. Stoughton, from 1640 to the death of Cromwell, is interesting from its clearness of narrative, and is creditable to its author from its fairness. He brings to his task the bias of a decided Voluntary, and he makes no effort to disguise that these are his opinions. But he is faithful to the facts, he states them frankly, and he is candid to the characters, even when they appear as cavaliers and earnest churchmen. There is value in the testimony of such a writer. When he narrates that the seizure of the temporalities of the Church led to selfish landholders putting their tithes in their own pockets (vol. i. p. 389),-to the unsettlement of public opinion, squabbles, and violence (vol.i. p. 393),—to the wildest schemes of ecclesiastical arrangement,—to arbitrary reference of religious Vol. 68.-No. 384.
TUDO 63-6 up to instrue hoe givering us pleischetes elopm followerstructio maniformitato kn
plans to ignorant men (vol. i. pp. 485—488; vol. i. p. 151),—to the trial of the theology and the morals of religious teachers by a set of insolent persons who relied on testimony confused and contradictory (vol. ii. pp. 104-109, 178),—to sequestration of revenue, spoliation of Church property, and destruction of Church buildings (vol. ii. p. 64),—to the grinding down of the minister to a pittance on which he starved (vol. i. pp. 486—489),-to the abandonment of all outward worship in the poorer parts of the country (vol. ii. p. 120), and to a contention and rivalry of sects, which ended in making Christianity odious and contemptible throughout England, we are warned, by a writer who on this side would not deceive us, what were the fruits of the voluntaryism, which we are now told may safely be substituted for an Establishment (vol. ï. pp. 158, 162, 186, 198, 300, 325, 328, 252, 271).
When we find that the designs of Parliament, had it been permitted to run its course, and not been happily crushed by Cromwell, were to break up our universities, confiscate tithes, turn cathedrals into market-houses, and leave churches (vol ü. pp. 63–65)—"hateful steeple houses," as Fox called them to be given up to owls and bats, we must thank Mr. Stoughton for offering us this instructive admonition as to what we may expect when the schemes of Mr. Bright and his colleagues have reached their natural development.
We observe, indeed, that followers of Mr. Gladstone talk in sanguine vision of the coming destruction of churches, and the levelling down of all faiths to one dead uniformity.* The idea is attractive to feeble minds: it catches those who know nothing of history or men; who dream, in their studies, of vain theories, and tread the superstitious routine of an unreal religion. Such men have never come into real life to observe its social evils and manifold difficulties. They have never seen what, with all our defects, we may see the work done at this day, in countless rural hamlets, by 20,000 moral teachers in England, who reclaim and civilize a rude generation, half of whom would disappear if the endowment, which now feeds them, were withdrawn. The state of the Commonwealth, which Mr. Stoughton accurately describes, was far removed from this dream of modern voluntaryism. Cromwell was too shrewd a man for such unpractical visions. He would not abolish tithes (vol. č. p. 8), he kept them to pay religious teachers (vol. ï. pp. 10–14). He augmented the provision for livings; and, till it was increased, he maintained firmly the old endowment (ib. p. 88). “He should think himself very treacherous if he took away tithes, till he could see the legislative power settle the maintenance of
. See Speech of Lord Rollo at Perth Meeting, August last.
them tior p. 15). ision for profeeleo
ministers in another way. To destroy tithes was to cut ministers' throats” (p. 132; also pp. 209–211, 216–219). He kept the provision for professors and lecturers at the uni. versities (p. 15). He preserved Church-rates, and assigned them for the maintenance of the fabric and the worship (p. 89); and not only Presbyterians, but even Independents, headed by the great names of Owen and Goodwin, accepted gladly a permanent provision (pp. 220—227, 244).
If the state of England under the Commonwealth was one of distraction and disorder, let it be remembered that it was so through the struggle of sects and the prevalence of wild faiths, which grew up, like weeds, over the ruins of the fallen Church. Yet these were kept in some check by the existence of a settled provision. It may teach us what will arise when the spoiler has had his way, and parliamentary license, no longer curbed by a strong hand, sweeps away—as such politicians as Lord Rollo and Mr. Bright would wish-all the endowments both of religion and science. What is now seen and felt in the United States, in the crowd and conflict of the wildest delusions, would be felt ten times more in the dense masses and jostling industry of our crowded island.
But there is one sect which makes its profit out of this confusion. The wilder the weeds, the more easily it creeps in, to sow unobserved its darnel. In the English Commonwealth, Mr. Stoughton shows us the activity and success of the Church of Rome. In the army and the Court-in Ireland, their stronghold--Romish priests were unwearied. In Ireland a bloody insurrection, in England constant intrigues, marked their advance (vol. i. pp. 212, 218, 231, 242, 376; vol. i. pp. 27, 122, 315).
It may teach us what is doing now, when we learn from history what was done then. “In 1646, by order from Rome, above a hundred of the Romish clergy were sent into England.” They were trained in various arts; they learned various languages; they mastered the tenets of “ Presbyterianism, Independency, Anabaptism, Atheism," and were taught to defend these theses by their skilful instructors abroad. Arriving here in 1647, they joined various parties. (We wish the Liberal and Conservative parties in Parliament would learn this lesson.) Some assumed the mask of fierce Loyalists; others were enthusiastic Puritans, and with secret bulls and licenses in their pockets to remove scruples and gain associates, they set themselves to upset the monarchy, and (hear it, ye modern Liberals !) “there was no better design to confound the Church of England than by pretending liberty of conscience.” They were bound, these Romish priests, to send monthly reports to Rome; and in any case of doubt (just as the Roman Catholic peers did