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So it was in the last election to the Metropolitan See of Montreal; so it was in the most unhappy case of Dunedin; so it was, although in a less degree, in a recent election to Argyle and the Isles. We have no care, wish, or desire to maintain the present modes as perfect. Let it be reformed if possible; but let it not be put forth by Churchmen as a reason for disestablishment. The Church in South Africa is supposed to be completely disestablished, and yet what tremendous difficulties have not been found in filling up the place of its late saintly metropolitan.
But one argument has of late years been brought forward by Diesenters against our present mode of election, which deserves special consideration, for it is specious in itself, and professes to be based upon religious considerations of the highest kind. It has been said that "the Royal letter, the assured obedience enforced if necessary by the threat of a præmunire, associated with a solemn prayer for Divine sanction (that of the Holy Ghost), is a shocking playing with sacred things for political and secular ends."
This objection sounds fair, but even granting to the uttermost that such “ a system were a shocking playing with sacred things for political and secular ends," does it afford any argument for disestablishment and disendowment, rather than for reform in present custom?
But we deny the relevance of the argument. Nay, more, we rejoice that a solemn invocation of the aid of the Holy Ghost forms part of our present mode of election. The congé is not a mockery ; it gives to the Dean and Chapter a real power, which it is conceivable that they might exercise for good, and which would be effectual also if it were backed up by an energetic and truly spiritually-minded Primate. Temporal persecution might be attempted by an unscrupulous Statesman; but neither the religious nor the secular public opinion would permit anything of the kind, if resistance were prolonged. There is, therefore, power left to a Chapter. Twice within the present generation has it been exercised by a minority. Circumstances might arise which would compel a majority to do the same. Therefore a prayer for Divine guidance is surely a most suitable commencement to so solemn and momentous a transaction. To call it a mockery is to misunderstand the real nature of prayer.
(6). The presence of the Bishops in the House of Lords bas 1 Our remarks on this do not commit the Editor or cther writers in the Magazine.
long been a grievous offence to Dissenters; and Churchmen of the present day do not care to defend this privilege, if privilege it be
, very strenuously. The Bishops have had their seats in the House ever since there was a House of Lords, and in times past have done good service therein to the Church ; but it is a question whether those times are not past. If the country desires to relieve them of their parliamentary duties, the Church would be no loser: they themselves would gain increased power in their own proper House of Convocation; they would be less tempted to subject the spiritual to the temporal interests of the Church ; political considerations would exercise much less influence in their election; their relations with the inferior Clergy would be placed upon a more affectionate footing; and a great difficulty against the much-desired increase of their number would be removed. Such legislation as the Public Worship Bill, pressed on hastily by them in the face of the great opposition of their Clergy, expressed formally by the Lower Houses of both the Convocations, and informally by a crowd of petitions, would be then impossible. The union itself would not be impairedpossibly might be strengthened. There are, however, two considerations which may tell in favour of their presence among the Lords, both of which concern the State rather than the
(1.) It is very beneficial in so mixed a society as our own that there should be an order of Clergy so far elevated in temporals above their brethren, as to be able to plead with, admonish, and warn the highest ranks of society upon equal terms. This plea is not without weight, although the same reasoning might be applied to uphold the temporal power of the Pope. (2.
) Efforts are likely to be made to strengthen the House of Peers: its exclusively hereditary character is objected to, and it is thought in some quarters that the introduction of life- peerages would have a beneficial effect. It is a point for politicians to settle
, but in the Bishops we have life-peers, and the only lifepeers as yet, in the House.
One further remark may be made. If any change at all is made it must be thorough. It would be får better to leave
are than to retain the Archbishops and the Bishops of the principal sees, excluding their brethren. Such a plan wonld have shut out Bishop Wilberforce for the greater part of his episcopal life, and Bishop Philpotts entirely,
now to the lower orders of the Clergy: au
matters as they
objection is made that the union has created, and perpetuates, the present system of patronage. Nepotism, political influence, and all other corrupt practices, are alleged against it, while the sale of livings opens to the enemy a grand opportunity for attack.
Patronage as it now exists is the creation of the Union, and certainly would be greatly altered by disestablishment. Would that change be for the better?
The present system has its comprehensiveness to recommend it. Every conceivable mode of appointment to benefices is at work among us. The Crown, as represented by its responsible ministers, the Premier, the Lord Chancellor, and the Chancellor for the Duchy of Lancaster, enjoys a large share. There are also the Bishops, the Deans and Chapters of the Cathedral and Collegiate Churches, the Colleges of the Universities, and some of the Archdeacons. To these must be added some of the Borough Corporations and the London Companies. To some benefices the parishioners themselves present, others are vested in trustees, and an immense number is in private patronage. This variety works for good, for it prevents universal corruption. If one department be corruptly administered, in any generation, there are the others to counteract its evil intluence ; each checks the other. If we had one rigid, inflexible method of appointment, its evils would be stereotyped. If
, for instance, all the appointments were in the hands of the Bishops, what a party character would be given to some Dioceses, and what a temptation to the Clergy to subservience! If they were all in the hands of the Crown, what an opening would there be to political jobbery! But it may be said, the parishioners ought to elect. Besides, the difficulty of deciding between Churchmen, Dissenters, and nondescript, the system of popular election has proved fraught with great evil where it has been tried.
The only real evils of the system are nepotisin, and the sale of livings, which always have existed in the Church, but never in so light a form as at present. By nepotism, of course, is meant undue nepotism. If a patron has a relation in every way qualified, it would be very unfair to make the relationship a bar to his presentation. It is not often that persons glaringly unfit are presented, but this and the other evil can only be remedied by the action of a healthy public opinion.
Some of the most deserving of the clergy owed their promo.
tion to private patronage, such as Keble, for instance; but as long as private patronage exists the sale of presentations must continue possible
. No law forbidding it would put a stop to it; it would only give rise to worse evils by driving into secrecy what is now done openly, and it must be remembered that the practice is not wholly evil
. Theoretically it is entirely indefensible
, but as a matter of fact many a deserving clergy man, who could not otherwise have obtained preferment, has through his rich relations been advanced to a post for which he has proved admirably fitted. This is not said in defence of the practice, but only as a reminder that it is not an unmitigated evil
, and its existence does not give any valid reason for Disestablishment
. Thoughtful men are now striving to lessen the evil
, so far as it is an evil. But no good can follow from wild declamation ; or unthinking talk about simony. Many Churchmen, however much they dislike the present system of purchasing next presentations, would think its abolition dearly acquired at the cost of all private patronage ; and as a matter of fact the two hang more closely together than many have any
A TRIP TO GADDWICK.
BY THOMAS SILIEP,
The short gummer of Lapland, beautiful as it is during the brief periori in which it delights the northern people, is occasionally marted by storm and tempest. The brillian: sky becomes obscured by dark, ominous-looking clouds; the mild, soft atmosphere is disturbed by restless winds that soon ripen into a strong, stiff breeze, and torrents of rain deluge the earth, which has dried under the influence of many weeks' perpetual sunshine. On such occasions it is well to be indoors.
" I'll tell you what,” said --, our host in hospitable Luleå, one summer morning when a bright clear sky and a mild, soft breeze gave every promise of a fine day;“ I want to go to Gäddwick this afternoon. We may as well have the boat out and pull over the bay."
To this proposition there were no dissentients. It was a motion put and carried easily, nem. con. Accordingly, as soon as we had launched, Vicklund, the useful man at Gellivara Lodge, was despatched to get the boat ready and fit her out with rugs and other necessaries of a water excursion.
It was past two o'clock when we went down to embark, and already heavy clouds were massing on the horizon, while fitful gusts of wind occasionally scurried over the surface of the bay, whipping the wavelets as they passed, and disturbing the serene level of the watery expanse.
“It seems a rather doubtful sort of day,” said I, as we approached to the water's edge. “I don't especially admire those black clouds over beyond Mjölkoberg."
"Oli,” replied N--, “they're nothing. We may have a shower; that's all." "All right; but we might drive, perhaps, because
Oh no; we may as well go in the boat no'y we are down here. It's only a couple of miles or so over the tay."
The word of the host settled the matter of course, accordingly at once embarked.