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to £500 per annum, would require (if all the incomes of the bishops, deans, and chapters of separate dignitaries, of sinecure rectories, were confiscated, and if the excess of all the livings in England above £500 per annum were added to them,) a sum of two millions and a half in addition to the present income of the whole church; and no power on earth could persuade the present parliament of Great Britain to grant a single shilling for that purpose. Now, is it possible to pay such a church upon any other principle than that of unequal division? The proposed pillage of the cathedral and college churches (omitting all consideration of the separate estate of dignitaries) would amount, divided among all the benefices of England, to about £5 12s. 6d. per man; and this, which would not stop an hiatus in a cassock, and would drive out of the
parochial church ten times as much as it brought into it, is the panacea for pauperism recommended by her majesty's commissioners.
"But if this plan were to drive men of capital out of the church, and to pauperise the English clergy, where would the harm be? Could not all the duties of religion be performed as well by poor clergymen as by men of good substance? My great and serious apprehension is, that such would not be the case. There would be the greatest risk that your clergy would be fanatical and ignorant; that their habits would be low and mean, and that they would be despised.
"Then a picture is drawn of a clergyman with £150 per annum, who combines all moral, physical, and intellectual advantages, a learned man, dedicating himself intensely to the care of his parish of charming manners and dignified deportment-six feet two inches high, beautifully proportioned, with a magnificent countenance, expressive of all the cardinal virtues and the Ten Commandments and it is asked, with an air of triumph, if such a man as this will fall into contempt on account of his poverty? But substitute for him an average, ordinary, uninteresting minister; obese, dumpy, neither ill-natured nor good-natured; neither learned nor ignorant, striding over the stiles to church, with a second-rate wife-dusty and deliquescent and four parochial children, full of catechism and bread and butter: or let him be seen in one of those Shera-Hamand-Japhet buggies-made on Mount Ararat soon after the subsidence of the waters driving in the High-street of Edmonton-among all his pecuniary, saponaceous, oleaginous parishioners.
Can any man of common sense say that all these outward circumstances of the minis
ters of religion have no bearing on religion itself?
"I ask the Bishop of London, a man of honour and conscience, as he is, if he thinks five years will elapse before a second attack is made upon deans and chapters? Does he think, after reformers have tasted the flesh of the church, that they will put up with any other diet? Does he forget that deans and chapters are but mock turtle-that more delicious delicacies remain behind? Five years hence he will attempt to make a stand, and he will be laughed at and eaten up. In this very charge the Bishop accuses the Lay Commissioners of another intended attack upon the property of the church, contrary to the clearest and most explicit stipulations, (as he says,) with the heads of the establishment."
interests of a great national institute It is melancholy to think that the like the Established Church, should be exposed to the perpetual tamperings of shallow, prejudiced, incompetent, or unfriendly advisers. What would be said if any other system or any other establishment were thus treated? If the army or the navy, for instance, or the department of the law, were obnoxious to the criticism and the control of churchmen, in the same degree that the church is at the would the public stare if the Archmercy of civilians and soldiers! How bishop of Canterbury brought in a bill for the suppression of second majors? or if the Bishop of London originated those reforms in the court of Chancery, for which, we hope, that sooner, or later, the public will be indebted to Lord Lyndhurst? And yet it is our belief that either of those prelates would be at least as competent to think soundly, and to legislate wisely, respecting the subjects to which we have alluded, as any of the lay noblemen and gentlemen who have busied themselves in ecclesiastical politics, are, or ever will be, to devise projects of safe and thorough reform for an institute, so important, so venerable, so delicate, and so complicated, as the Established Church.
But here we are stopped all at once by an exclamation, that some of our leading church dignitaries are at the head of the commission by whom the plan at present under discussion has been recommended. Softly, reader! Recommended? As how, pray? Why, as Falstaff would say, upon compulsion!" Recommended? Ay, as the traveller is recommended by the high
wayman to hand him the contents of his purse, when he feels that his adviser possesses an insinuating plausibility not to be resisted. We do not undervalue the recommendation of such men as the Archbishop of Canterbury, or the Bishop of London; but at the same time they must not be imposed upon us for more than they are worth. These prelates sat down to the work of reform with a full conviction that the church was in the most imminent danger. They felt themselves, and the establishment over which they presided, in a state of siege; surrounded by rancorous and impatient enemies; and that if something was not done, and that speedily, by which their adversaries might be deprived of popular topics of invective, nothing could avert the sudden and violent overthrow with which it was menaced by those whose cry was "down with it, down with it, even unto the ground." The state of public feeling, when the commission was first appointed, is thus described by the lively prebendary :
"No man at the beginning of the reform could tell to what excesses the new power conferred upon the multitude would carry them; it was not safe for a clergyman to appear in the streets. I bought a blue coat, and did not despair in time of looking like a layman. All this is passed over. Men are returned to their senses upon the subject of the church, and I utterly deny that there is any public feeling whatever which calls for the destruction of the resident prebends. Lord John Russell has pruned the two luxuriant bishoprics, and has abolished pluralities; he has made a very material alteration in the state of the church; not enough to please Joseph Hume, and the tribunes of the people, but enough to satisfy every reasonable and moderate man, and therefore enough to satisfy himself. What another generation may choose to do is another question: I am thoroughly convinced that enough has been done for the present."
Again, in his first letter, we find the following passage, which is not one whit too strong in its description of the fancied compulsion under which the Commissioners acted, nor of the dangers likely to result from what we must call their want of firmness, while others denominate it a want of moderation:
"I cannot help thinking that the Commissioners have done a great deal
too much. Reform of the church was absolutely necessary-it cannot be avoided, and ought not to be postponed; but I would have found out what really gave offence, have applied a remedy, removed the nuisance, and done no more. I would not have operated so largely on an old, and (I fear) decaying building. I would not, in days of such strong political excitement, and amidst such a disposition to universal change, have done one thing more than was absolutely necessary to remove the odium against the Establishment, the only sensible reason for issuing any Commission at all, and the means which I took to effect this, should have
agreed as much as possible with institutions already established. For instance, the public were disgusted with the spectacle of rich prebendaries enjoying large incomes, and doing little or nothing for them. The real remedy for this would have been to have combined wealth and labour; and as each of the present prebendaries fell off, to have anuexed the stall to some large and populous parish. A prebendary of Canterbury or of St. Paul's, in his present state, may make the church unpopular; but place him as rector of a parish, with 8000 or 9000 people, and in a benefice of little or no value, he works for his wealth, and the odium is removed. In like manner the prebends, which are not the property of residentiaries, might have been annexed to the smallest livings of the neighbourhood where the prebendal estate was situated. The interval which has elapsed since the first furious demand for reform, would have enabled the Commissioners to adopt a scheme of much greater moderation than might, perhaps, have been possible at the first outbreak of popular indignation against the church; and this sort of distribution would have given much more general satisfaction than the plan adopted by the Commissioners; for though money, in the estimation of philosophers, has no ear mark, it has a very deep one in the opinion of the multitude. The riches of the church of Durham were most hated in the neighbourhood of Durham; and there such changes as I have pointed out would have been most gladly received, and would have conciliated the greatest favour to the church. The people of Kent cannot see why their Kentish estates, given to the cathedral of Canterbury, are to augment livings in Cornwall. The citizens of London see some of their ministers starving in the city, and the profits of the extinguished prebends sent into Northumberland. These feelings may be very unphilosophical, but they are the feelings of the mass; and to the feelings of the mass the reforms
But who is he who is so active with his water-engine in extinguishing this conflagration, which threatens destruction to our cathedrals, and which has been kindled, he tells us, by meddling and intemperate ecclesiastics? The very man who, during his whole pre
of the church ought to be directed. In this way the evil would have been corrected where it was most seen and noticed. All patronage would have been left as it was. One order of the church would not have plundered the other. Nor would all the cathedrals in England have been subjected to the unconciliating em-vious life, had been most active in acpire and unwearied energy of one man. "Instead of this quiet and cautious mode of proceeding, all is change, fusion, and confusion. New bishops, new dioceses, confiscated prebends clergymen changing bishops, and bishops clergymen -mitres in Manchester, Gloucester turned into Bristol. Such a scene of revolution and commutation as has not been seen since the days of Ireton and Cromwell! and the singularity is, that all this has been effected by men selected from their age, their dignity, and their known principles, and from whom the considerate part of the community expected all the caution and calmness which these high requisites seemed to promise, and ought to have secured."
Having thus ascertained the convic
tion under which such men
project, which could only be consis-
"After all, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London are good and placable men ; and will ere long forget and forgive the successful efforts of their enemies in defeating this mis-ecclesiastical law.
"Suppose the commission were now beginning to sit for the first time, will any man living say that they would make such reports as they have made; and that they would seriously propose such a tremendous revolution in church property? And if they would not, the inference is irresis tible, that to consult the feelings of two or three churchmen, we are complimenting away the safety of the church. Milton asked where the nymphs were when Lycidas perished. I ask where the bishops are when the remorseless deep is closing over the head of their beloved establish
cumulating around and about them the combustibles, which, even if there could be found no rash hand to cast a firebrand, must have, sooner or later, ignited by spontaneous combustion ! He; the redoubted Sidney Smith; the railer against dignities in the Edinburgh Review; the seasoner of profane jests for the banqueters at Hollandhouse; the friend of Whigs and Whig measures; the admirer and promoter of the reform bill; the man to whom, as much as to any man living, it is owing, that the public were seized with that mania for entering upon untried courses in legislation, which, now that he himself is likely to be affected by forcibly deprecates, and so feelingly them in his pecuniary interests, he so deplores! Yes! It is, indeed, Saul to witness the powers which this old amongst the prophets! It is painful man possesses, and to consider how they have been wasted and abused. But it is gratifying to see that, in this one instance, at least, he has made some atonement for the errors of his youth and middle age, by staying, "pro virili," the hand of the innovator, whom he, perhaps, himself may first have stimulated to engage in the work of destruction. Yes; it is pleasant to see the old and wealthy prebend buckling on his armour to defend his right, and the rights of his order, which, were it not for the youthful efforts of that same dignitary, when unbeneficed, and his political associates, would never, in all probability, have been endangered!
Well, indeed, may it be said, "haud tali auxilio, nou defensoribus istis, tempus eget." We venerate our cathedrals. We regard them as the connecting link between ancient and modern times.
They bear upon their aged fronts an impress which connects us with the mighty dead; and we never contemplate them without a feeling of reverence and love for those by whom they were erected. Away with the thought that, rising, as they do, in solemn grandeur, amidst the perishable structures of ephemeral man, they do not answer a spiritual purpose. Deep and strong were the workings of those
mysterious instincts to which they owed their origin, even as deep answereth unto deep; and weighty and haunting were the religious responsibilities of those by whom they were raised and dedicated to the glory of God; nor is it possible for the most casual observer to contemplate them without respect and awe; without a feeling which is calculated to break the charm of the world, and in which time is swallowed up in eternity.*
That these establishments should be assailed by prelates whom we so truly respect as we do the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London, is mortifying enough, without the superadded bitterness that one of the clerical ringleaders of the faction by whom all the institutions of the country have been brought into such imminent peril, should now, for his own purposes, appear as the most prominent of their defenders. Just hear how the well-paid prebendary can now discourse against the rashness of those who are given to change. He is speaking of that notable
scheme of the Chancellor of the Ex-
Frequently did Lord John meet the destroying bishops: much did he commend their daily heap of ruins; sweetly did they smile on each other, and much charming talk was there of meteorology and catarrh, and the particular cathedral they were pulling down at each period; till one fine day, the Home Secretary, with a voice more bland, and a look more ardently affectionate, than that which the masculine mouse bestows on his nibbling female, informed them that the government meant to take all the church property into their own hands, to pay the rates out of it, and deliver the residue to the rightful possessors. Such an effect, they say, was never before produced by a coup de théâtre. The commission was separated
How happily the poet, Wordsworth, has caught, and how beautifully he has expressed the above sentiment, may be seen in the following lines :
"Hail to the state of England. And conjoin
Made to the spiritual fabric of her church;
-Thus, never shall the indignities of time
Spare them, they shall continue to bestow
in an instant: London clenched his fist; Canterbury was hurried out by his chaplains, and put into a warm bed; a solemn vacancy spread itself over the face of Gloucester; Lincoln was taken out in strong hysterics. What a noble scene Sergeant Talfourd would have made of this! Why are such talents wasted on Ton and the Athenian Captive?
"But, after all, what a proposition; 'You don't make the most of your money: I will take your property into my hands, and see if I cannot squeeze a penny out of it: you shall be regularly paid all you now receive, only if any thing more can be made of it, that we will put into our own pockets.' 'Just pull off your neckcloth, and lay your head under the guillotine, and I will promise not to do you any harm: just get ready for confiscation; give up the management of all your property; make us the ostensible managers of every thing; let us be informed of the most minute value of all, and depend upon it, we will never injure you to the extent of a single farthing.' Let me get my arms about you,' says the bear, I have not the smallest intention of squeezing you.' Trust your fingers in my mouth,' says the mastiff, I will not fetch blood.'
"Where is this to end? If Government are to take into their own hands all property which is not managed with the greatest sharpness and accuracy, they may squeeze one-eighth per cent. out of the Turkey Company; Spring Rice would become Director of the Hydro-impervious Association, and clear a few hundreds for the treasury. The British Roasted Apple Society is notoriously mis-managed, and Lord John and Brother Lister, by a careful selection of fruit, and a judicious management of fuel, would soon get it up to par.
"I think, however, I have heard at the Political Economy Club, where I have sometimes had the honour of being a guest, that no trades should be carried on by Go vernments. That they have enough to do of their own, without undertaking other persons' business. If any savings in the mode of managing ecclesiastical leases could be made, great deductions from these savings must be allowed for the jobbing and Gaspillage of general boards, and all the old servants of the Church, displaced by this measure, must receive compensation.
"The Whig Government, they will be Vexed to hear, would find a great deal of patronage forced upon them by this mea
Their favourite human animal, the barrister of six years' standing, would be called into action. The whole earth is, in fact, in commission, and the human race saved from the flood are delivered
over to barristers of six years' standing. The onus probandi now lies upon any man who says he is not a commissioner; the only doubt on seeing a new man among the whigs is, not whether he is a commissioner or not, but whether it is tithes, poor laws, boundaries of boroughs, church leases, charities, or any of the thousand human concerns which are now worked by commissioners, to the infinite comfort and satisfaction of mankind, who seem in these days to have found out the real secret of life-the one thing wanting to sublunary happiness-the great principle of commission, and six years' barristration.
"Then, if there is a better method of working ecclesiastical estates-if any thing can be gained for the church—why is not the church to have it? why is it not applied to church purposes? what right have the state to seize it? If I give you an estate, I give it you not only in its present state, but I give to you all the improvements which can be made upon itall that mechanical, botanical, and chemi, cal knowledge may do hereafter for its improvement-all the ameliorations which care and experience can suggest, in setting, improving, and collecting your rents. Can there be such miserable equivocation as to say-I leave you your property, but I do not leave to you all the improvements which your own wisdom, or the wisdom of your fellow-creatures, will enable you to make of your property? How utterly unworthy of a whig government is such a distinction as this!
"Suppose the same sort of plan had been adopted in the reign of Henry VIII., and the legislature had said,-You shall enjoy all you now have, but every farthing of improved revenue, after this period, shall go into the pocket of the state,-it would have been impossible by this time that the church could have existed at all: and why may not such a measure be as fatal hereafter to the existence of a church, as it would have been to the present generation, if it had been brought forward at the time of the reformation?
"There is some safety in dignity. A Church is in danger when it is degraded, It costs mankind much less to destroy it when an institution is associated with mean, and not with elevated ideas. should like to see the subject in the hands of H. B. I would entitle the print
The Bishops' Saturday Night; or, Lord John Russell at the Pay-table.' bishops should be standing before the pay-table, and receiving their weekly allowance; Lord John and Spring Rice counting, ringing, and biting the sovereigns, and the Bishop of Exeter insisting that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has given him one which was not weight,