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cessions, in order to labour together more effectually for the end which all alike have in view. We trust that the Committee of the Bishop of London's Fund will accept these remarks, not in the light of hostile criticism, but of friendly counsel. It is only from a sincere desire that the fund should have the fullest possible measure of success, that we have ventured to point out what appear to us to be hindrances to its prosperity, and our object has been, by suggesting their removal, to facilitate the flow of contributions into the treasury at Pall Mall.
We can only add a few words more as to the financial future of the fund. We trust that the Committee will not lose sight of the original idea upon which their great work was based, that of putting plainly before the landowners and employers of labour in the metropolis, as well as the other wealthy residents and occasional visitors, their obligations in reference to the relief of spiritual destitution. There must still be a very large number of persons of ample means who have contributed nothing, or have given most inadequately, towards this great work. We heartily wish that we could suggest any argument or appeal of sufficient cogency to affect them in this matter. We live in a luxurious age, where the claims of fashion are apt to take precedence of all other obligations, and where many who feel themselves bound to keep up a certain style and expenditure persuade themselves that this very circumstance relieves them of all responsibility in relation to their poorer brethren, and especially as regards their spiritual necessities. How can I possibly subscribe,' says such a man,
when I have to keep so many carriages and horses?' not without hope that a movement so important as that before us may in the long run make some impression upon this, unhappily, large class of the community, and thus not only secure their assistance in the present scheme, but awaken in them a desire to take part at other times in works of Christian charity.
But in the matter of raising their funds, the Committee have still a great work before them. The luxury of spending a million cannot be enjoyed without the labour of getting. It is, however, impossible that this can be accomplished from a central office. Here, too, we must fall back upon the parochial system, and we shall find in it, if rightly used, an admirable agency for our purpose.
We must work by parishes, and always, as far as possible, in concert with their respective incumbents. Where the incumbent is not favourable to the movement (but we believe this will very rarely occur), we shall still find some laymen in the parish who will be ready to take the work in hand. The time is now come when the financial prosperity of the fund will almost wholly depend upon arrangements of this kind.
The larger contributions, as we have said before, are probably gathered in, and as yet they form the great bulk of the sum contributed. The report states that the average amount at this time contributed by individual subscribers is almost without precedent in subscription lists. There may, no doubt, be some ground for congratulation in the circumstance, but we confess that to us it appears also to furnish some cause of regret. It shows that we have not yet reached that lower but more extended stratum of society from which, after all, the larger proportion of the fund must be gathered, if it is to be raised at all. The value of small weekly or monthly contributions is not understood among us as it ought to be, although we are learning something about it, from the widely spreading introduction of the weekly offertory in some of the poorest of our parishes. To give, however, but one instance : if even our destitute million could be prevailed upon to subscribe only a halfpenny a week, they would raise ainong themselves every year more than the 100,0001. which is asked by the Bishop of London. It is here that we find the great strength of the Free Church Sustentation Fund. It exemplifies what Dr. Chalmers used to call the power of littles.' It is gathered from the whole body of adherents of the Free Church. From the wealthiest merchant down to the humblest maidservant all are expected to contribute, and, what is more important, almost all are found to do so. The arrangements which would be parochial with us, are necessarily congregational with them. Every church has its elders and deacons, and upon the latter devolves the duty of collecting the offerings of the flock. The system is extremely simple, and thoroughly effectual. We feel sure that something similar has only to be tried among us to secure as complete a success. There is no reason why every congregation in London should not have its body of laymen appointed for this particular work, and it might possibly be the first step towards the establishment of a recognised and commissioned lay agency, such as seems to be thought of in a passage of the Statistical Report to which we have already referred. There is one other suggestion bearing upon the finances which we cannot leave unnoticed. Mr. Kempe, the rector of St. James, Piccadilly, writing in the Churchman's Family Magazine,' has alluded to the system adopted, and with considerable success, by the late Sir Henry Dukinfield when vicar of the parish of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields. He prevailed upon his parishioners to consent to a voluntary rate, with a view to defraying the expenses of the various parochial charities. The poor-rate collectors carried round to each house along with their own bills of assessment a paper stating the amount of the voluntary rate, with a request from the vicar and churchwardens for a contribution of the sum mentioned. The experiment was singularly successful, and this method of collection, which has ever since been continued, still produces a considerable sum. We can very well understand how this should be the case, especially in a parish like St. Martin's, so largely composed of small tradesmen and artisans. These are a class of the population whose names are rarely found in our subscription lists. The conventional guinea is above their mark, and they feel a difficulty in subscribing a smaller sum. But when they are told that what is expected of them is not a guinea but a shilling, or perhaps eighteenpence or half-a-crown at the most, and that they will then be contributing in the same proportion as their own wealthy customers and employers, the difficulty is not only removed, but an inducement is provided which would rarely fail to secure the contribution desired. We thoroughly agree with Mr. Kempe that the experiment is worth a trial on a more extended scale.
In making these remarks we have purposely passed by, although we have never forgotten, the more solemn aspects of the subject before us; but as we draw to a close, we feel them pressing upon us with irresistible power. It is difficult to exaggerate the importance of this noble enterprise when, passing through the outward details of organization, we discern in it a vast effort for the saving of immortal souls. The life and growth of the Church of Christ has been for the most part marked by recurring seasons of awakening and activity. Its course has been more like that of the rising tide than of the flowing river. Its history is a history of great movements, yielding large and permanent results. It may be that through such a period we are now passing, destined to be fruitful in inestimable blessings, not only for the Church in London, but for the Church of England at large. But if so, there is need of much wisdom, of diligence, and of prayer. The work must be done at once, and done wisely if it is to leave a blessing behind. The busy world of the metropolis, with its absorbing occupations and its luxurious habits, has been arrested for a moment by this unusual movement and activity in the quiet camp of the Church. Its interest has been awakened, but it cannot be long sustained. It is one of those golden opportunities of which few, at most, are found in the course of many generations. If once it passes, it may be long indeed before such another is found.
Art. VII.-1. Clerical Subscription Commission Report. 2. Fraser's Magazine, March, 1865. A Speech of the Dean of
St. Paul's, &c. 3. Answer to the Speech of the Dean of St. Paul's against Sub
scription to the Articles of Religion. By the Right Hon. Joseph
Napier, D.C.L. 4. A Letter to the Lord Bishop of London on the state of Subscrip
tion. By A. P. Stanley, Ď.. 1863. 5. Subscription to the Articles. A Letter to the Rev. Professor
Stanley. By the Rev. J. Mozley. 1863. 6. On Subscription to the Thirty-nine Articles. By Ch. A.
Ogilvie, D.D. 7. Notes upon Subscription. By the Rev. E. Hawkins, D.D.,
Provost of Oriel. 8. The Liberty of Private Judgment in the Church of England.
A Sermon by the Rev. E. Hawkins, D.D., &c. 9. Ecclesiastical Judgments of the Privy Council ; with a Preface by the Lord Bishop of London. 1865. COST of our readers
have seen the effect of the stirring of some deep and stately stream by the sudden pouring into it on every side of the thousand freshets which have been awoke by an unwonted fall of rain. There is a rising up of dead and forgotten things from its tranquil depths which might stand for an acted parable of the great final awakening of all departed words, and thoughts, and actions. The present aspect of religious thought amongst ourselves seems to have been subjected to some such law of disturbance. There is scarcely a question of criticism or interpretation--scarcely a faint struggle over a principle, a regulation, or a creed, however deep it may seem to have been buried, however long the quiet waves have flowed over it, and babbled nothing of its presence—which is not being stirred up and brought to the surface of the present seething, eddying tide of theological thought.
There are some who see in all this nothing else than the signs of present vitality and the promise of future progress. Such is Dean Stanley's view, in his paper read at the monthly meeting of the London clergy, at the Rectory of St. James,* in which he seeks to fix the character of what he terms the theology of the nineteenth century; but which we should rather call the Dean's school of opinion. Judging its peculiarity and its promise to consist, as plain people would gather from his words, mainly in the subjection of all objective truth to speculation
* • Fraser's Magazine,' Feb. 1865, pp. 252-262.
-ranging on its side not only its avowed supporters, but, as ' being penetrated to a considerable degree with the modern spirit,' its most distinguished opponents, he finds seven distinct reasons for anticipating its final triumph, one of them being the calmness of its advocates'-a startling assertion to the readers of the debates in Convocation, unless the Dean's name has been inserted by a mistake for that of some fiery advocate of the other side as the utterer of certain recent orations in the Jerusalem Chamber.
To others, the scene suggests very different impressions. They see little beside the muddy slime of the discoloured stream, the passionate whirlpools which disturb whilst they hasten its progress, and the froth and foam boiling around the strange collection of floating substances which for the most part deface the silvered surface that of old had given back the burnished rays of the sun, or mirrored in unbroken outline the encircling heavens. The truth probably lies between these two views of the times in which we live. Such disturbances of long-settled currents of thought are no proof either of depth or of power. They may be accounted for by the sudden rising of what are, after all, but transitory land-springs. There is no proof in such swellings of Jordan that the great depths have been broken up to add new volume to the ancient river. They promise no very magnificent or permanent results, yet they have in them nothing alarming (though the rising waters send abroad a few troublesome beasts of prey who had sheltered in their jungle), unless the river's banks are overhanging and unsound ; and they may even have their utility in sweeping away old accumulations and preparing the cleansed stream for another and a purer calm.
One of these subjects which has now come again to the surface is that of Clerical Subscription. The question has recently been stirred somewhat roughly in the House of Commons. In July, 1863, Mr. Dodson called attention to a petition from certain members of the University of Oxford for the abolition of the requirement of subscription to formularies of Faith as a qualification for academical degrees ;* and in March, 1864, he moved the second reading of a Bill for the abolition of Subscription to the Thirty-nine Articles and to the three articles of the 36th Canon, now required as necessary conditions for the degree of Master of Arts or of Doctor in any faculty.f These debates travelled, as might be expected, over far wider grounds than the mere academical. question, and brought more or less under review the whole question of subscription to any test as the rule of a national Church.
* • Hansard,' Third Series, vol. 172, p. 1369. Vol. 117. -No. 234.
† Ibid., vol. 174, p. 102.