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all other Churches, even against those of its sister Establishment in Scotland ? Dr. Macleod often preaches in Congregational pulpits: never, although the Queen's chaplain, in an Episcopal one. In the Exhibition year, men like Tholuck, D’Augbignè, and De Pressensè, were relegated by their Episcopal brethren to their school-rooms ; their pulpits being forbidden. Do not their ministers, with some noble exceptions, shun all possible intercourse with ministers of other Churches; refusing to enter their places of worship; passing by on the other side when they see them in the streets; often openly denouncing them ?

If some less unchristian clergyman ventures to take a service in a Nonconforming Church the instant probibition of his bishop is the result. Are not Episcopal organs full of the bitterest and most insolent vituperations and sneers ? What is Sectarianism if this is not ? And, as if these notes of Sectarianism, generated, we presume, by the Establishment principle, certainly not by the Voluntary principle, were not enough, the Church is broken up into little sects of its own, more intense in their reciprocal hatreds, more resolute in their mutual avoidance, than any other Protestant bodies in Christendom. Is it not astounding that able and temperate writers like Mr. Byrne can ignore such facts ?

That, in comparison with the clergy of the Establishment, ministers of Free Churches do not suffer for lack of support, will be admitted by all who are competent to pronounce an opinion. "That there are cases of culpable inadequacy in every Church is too certain, but probably the most flagrant are to be found in the Establishment.

A more plausible objection to Free Churches is their alleged inability to supply with adequate religious instruction the poorer sections of large towns, and the rural districts of the country. Of the theory of the parochial system it is impossible to speak too highly; but it can work only under conditions which in England have long been obsolete; and practically it has utterly broken down, especially in towns. The rapid increase of the population, and the growth of Free Churches, have reduced it to an inefficient and vexatious anomaly. Like all broken machinery, it cumbers and does not belp. It has become as unreal as is the territorial rule in England of Roman prelates. Looking at its entire working since the Reformation, it may, we think, without any violation of charity, be said, that it has been more efficient in supplying the clergy with livings than the people with competent pastors. Concerning the adequacy of Free Churches to provide for the poorer populations of the land, we would remark

(1.) They have never yet been fairly tried ; save, perhaps, in large towns. A Free Church, in an English village, is at a great disadvantage side by side with the Parish Church, the endowed

clergyman, and the territorial squire. The true marvel is that they are found so generally as they are. It is therefore scarcely generous for a State Churchman, who for generations has laid a heavy hand upon Nonconformists, and arrayed against him overwhelming social influences, to twit him with a disability that he himself has done his best to inflict. Let there be a fair field and no favour—the concert and emulation of Churches equally selfdependent and free, and then see what will be the result.

(2.) Notwithstanding these disadvantages, Free Churches have so increased in England as abundantly to vindicate themselves against such an objection. It would be difficult to find a village, or even a hamlet, in which they have not a chapel or a preachingroom. The poorest peasantry, even though paying compulsory church-rates, have contributed to the support of a ministry of their own preference; often with a liberality that must have involved much self-denial. Wesleyan Methodism has proved what Free Churches could do for the poorest rural districts. Its multitudinous congregations, and those of its numerous offshoots, are still largely gathered from the lowest classes of the population.

Probably no more impoverished population is to be found in Great Britain than that of the six eastern parishes of London. Special ecclesiastical provision for them was made by Peel's Church Building Act; the Bishop of London's Fund has largely ministered to them; and they surely have had special claims upon the incalculable wealth of the West End and City Churchmen of the most opulent metropolis in the world. What are the facts ? According to the most reliable returns, obtained chiefly, we believe, by the Bishop of London, the accommodation provided by the Established Church is 10-6 per cent. ; by Free Churches, 109. In Stepney, 11,540 sittings are provided by the former, 16,428 by the latter. Wales, again, is by no means the wealthiest part of the United Kingdom ; the greater part of its landowners and capitalists are Episcopalians; yet 80 per cent. of its churchgoing population attend Free Churches provided and supported by themselves. In Scotland, by no means a wealthy country, two-thirds of the people provide their own churches and support their own ministers, and at a higher average than any Church in Great Britain. In Ireland, most impoverished of all, 90 per cent. of the population sustain their own Roman Catholic and Presbyterian worship; and so adequately that, as on the very highest authority we are able to affirm, the Romish clergy reject all proposals of State endowment on the ground that no practical scheme could be other than a pecuniary disadvantage to them. Do State churchmen know that in Free Churches it is almost a fundamental obligation for the strong to help the weak? or how churches are built, ministers subsidized, missions organized, and evangelists sent forth ?

If facts have any force against theories, this objection to Free Churches ought to be heard no more; and the preposterous claim of the parochial Establishment to be par excellence “the poor man's Church” ought, in common candour, to be abandoned. The actual condition of Free Churches is a complete refutation of both; the poor man does not recognise it as his Church, but prefers to provide a Church of his own. Its tone of patronage, its eleemosynary ostentatiousness, are as offensive to his sturdy independence as the provisions of the poor law. The rich man's Church the Establishment may fairly claim to be. In Ireland, in England, everywhere indeed, whoever else may be there or not, the rich are distinctively its worshippers. In no distinctive or even equal sense is it the Church of the poor, as every Nonconformist congregation will demonstrate.

The assertion that the Protestant Establishment is either a bulwark of Protestantism against Romanism, on behalf of the nation, or a preservative from Romanism, on the part of its own members, is a delusion which could come only from an obliquity of perception, that is a psychological curiosity; or from an audacity of assertion which is something far worse. It is so utterly oblivious (1) of the most obvious principles of human nature; and (2) of actual and glaring facts, that it scarcely claims serious refutation. No system probably could be devised that would more effectually array against Protestant arguments the prejudice, the pride, and the patriotism of Irish Catholics. Instead of commending itself by the disinterestedness of its ministers, it provides for them the richest endowment in Christendom, and compels Roman Catholics to contribute towards their own conversion. On the other hand, no system could be devised which more effectually prepares certain classes of its members for conversion to the Church of Rome. From the Reformation the Established Church has avowedly carried in its bosom a Romanising party; two nations have struggled in its womb; and the Romanisers, with an ever-increasing ascendency, of which the events of the last thirty years ought to convince the most incredulous. The Ritualistic party do not now even care to conceal their ulterior purposes. Mr. Orby Shipley, in the “Church and the World," and in “Tracts for the Day," also “The Church News," and other organs of the party, openly urge the maintenance of the Establishment, for the sake of converting the whole nation to the Catholic Revival, and of securing a national sanction for the Romish principles which they avow. Thus, in the third series of “The Church and the World,” p. 52, the ultimate aim of the Ritualists is thus italicised: The restoration, or the full acknowledgment in the Church of England, of every doctrine and every usage common to the Greek and Latin Churches before their schism, and still retained by both.The seven sacraments, including the mass, purgatory, the confessional, prayers for the dead, and indeed all the distinctive doctrines of Rome are included in this avowal, and are specifically contended for by Mr. Orby Shipley and his friends. Evangelicals in the Church do not, as it appears to us, realize the peril with which they are dallying, or which they are vainly trying to arrest with impotent anathemas. Among Free Churches converts to Romanism are almost unknown; from the Established Church alone, during the last thirty years, they have taken place by thousands. We recollect seeing, some years ago, a printed list of several hundred clergymen alone who had seceded to Rome since the publication of “Tracts for the Times.” Even while we write, good Protestants are scandalized by the secession of Mr. Pye, son-in-law to the Bishop of Oxford; and by the denunciation by the former of the very Church in which he has so long ministered. Yet Churchmen make themselves the laughing-stock of the world by upholding their Establishment as the bulwark of Protestantism.” Where Protestantism encounters Romanism on equal terms, as in America, without the heavy disadvantage and discredit of civil establishment and endowment, the latter has no chance. If the principles and laws of Christ's spiritual kingdom hold good, it must be so. If truth, presented to men in the simple beauty of her spirituality, and in the moral strength of disinterestedness and self-sacrifice, cannot win their admiration and conviction, assuredly she will not when armed with the magistrate's sword, elevated to high civil state, and her hands filled with secular rewards. All the mighty forces that have hitherto won the conquests of Christ's kingdom,—the cross and its self-sacrifice “drawing men to Christ;' the missionary and his disinterestedness, “I seek not yours, but you;” the lofty spiritual claims of “the kingdom that is not of this world,”-must be pronounced effete; and be superseded by the very powers and sanctions over which heretofore they have obtained such signal victories. Then truth itself is the strongest thing no longer. Its degenerate power asks the protection of Cæsar's sword; its diminished dignity is content with a seat upon the steps of Cæsar's throne. How disestablishment is to be effected, and upon what con

are questions for statesmen; far too complex and difficult for lay judgment of ours. What the internal order and condition of the Episcopal Church will be when disestablished and disendowed, are matters for the grave consideration of her authorities.

Mr. Bonamy Price says (Times, Dec. 11) that the Church herself will be dissolved. And theoretically he is right. The organized Church is not only the servant of the

ditions,

that many

State ; it has been created by the State. The people, the true Church, have had no voice in either its constitution or its appointments. If, therefore, the State separate itself, the organization will have no appointing authority upon which to rest. But this is an objection in theory merely; practically the people will accept the constitution of the Church, and by their acceptance authorize it. We may, however, confidently predict

of the fears for both Church and State which take possession of fluttered and timid people, may be safely dismissed. No conditions of disendowment would be accepted by any class of Englishmen, and we venture to say by Nonconformists especially, that are not both equitable and safe ; equitable towards the Church, and safe for the State. That disendowment must go with disestablishment may be accepted as an axiom. Endowments are the property of the nation, not of the Episcopal Church. Nor could any wise nation permit the existence in its midst of an uncontrolled ecclesiastical corporation, endowed, according to Mr. Gladstone's estimate, with some seventy or eighty millions sterling, or eight or nine millions per annum. "The safety of the commonwealth would be incompatible with it.

As to the Church itself, it will, doubtless soon adjust itself to its altered relations. That, as some fear, it would be left to the mercy of the convocations of the two provinces, of its bishops, or of its priesthood, there is not the smallest reason to apprehend. Their necessary dependence upon the congregation will soon reduce the vagaries of arbitrary authorities to reason, compel an adequate representation of the laity, and a consideration of the real wants and wishes of the people; and, for the first time since the Reformation, secure to the Church a rightful influence in the administration of its own affairs. That, in a Church unaccustomed to self-goverment and to self-maintenance, there may, at first, be some confusion in the readjustment of things, some awkwardness in their administration, and some lack in pecuniary support, is possible; but remembering the great precedent of the Free Church of Scotland, we should say by no means probable. Of course all changes in the direction of disestablishment will have to be made considerately, and, up to the final issue, gradually; for it is fully to be acknowledged, that it is one thing for the Free Churches of England to have been free-born, and to have grown up from weakness to strength in necessary self-reliance and struggle; and it is another thing for a Church that from its very birth,

and through ten generations, has been nurtured by the State, and provided for by the State with every requisite of building, of ministry, and of worship; and that, therefore, notwithstanding noble examples of individual munificence, bas, so far as the mass of the people are concerned, the very first principles of self-help to learn, to be suddenly cast

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