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to express an earnest hope that the results may correspond with this promise, and that a complete financial reform will be speedily followed by the other no less necessary reforms so often recommended by the Sultan's Allies and proclaimed by the Sovereign himself in the name of humanity, of wisdom, and of justice.
ART. IV.-1. Addresses to the Candidates for Ordination on the
Questions in the Ordination Service. By Samuel Lord Bishop
of Oxford. Third Edition. Oxford and London, 1861. 2. Duties of the Parish Priest. By J. J. Blunt, B.D. London,
embargoes upon cotton, the want of crews to man our ships, and of soldiers to guard our coasts, the dearth of noble minds to elevate the mind of the nation, and of statesmen to guide its counsels—one loss, perhaps, in its possible results the saddest of all, of that domestic support and comfort so needed by a beloved and widowed Queen in her deep anxieties-with all these various forms of national distress England of late years has been familiar. We are now warned, by voices not likely to be mistaken, of another approaching dearth and failure, and one most formidable, which assuredly requires our attention—a failure in the supply of our clergy. More than one Bishop has signalled the approaching dearth, and even without their practical experience no prophet is required to foretell it.
The causes are obvious and various : some calling for cheerful hope and gratitude, and some for sadness and anxiety.
First and foremost stands the extraordinary resuscitation and development of the English Church, by its own spontaneous activity, within the last twenty years, to which there is probably no parallel in the whole course of ecclesiastical history. Perhaps no statistics in this statistical age would convey such a lesson, and exhibit such a picture of moral influence and energy, as a full and accurate view of the exertions and expenditure of the English Church, within that period, in the multiplication, enlargement, improvement, reconstruction, and decoration of churches, in the erection of parsonage-houses, in the creation ad maintenance of schools, in the increase and decorous performance of religious services, and, we wish it could be added, in the establishment of charitable and religious institutions. True, that this work has been wrought by comparatively few hands; that its extent is still wholly inadequate to the real wants of the nation ; that the offerings, though counted by millions, bear but a small proportion to the wealth of the empire, and to the mercies which have been showered upon it. This is not at present the question before us, but only the demand which has thus been created for an increased supply of the clergy.
wholly a living
In the mean time this supply has been even diminished by other causes. New fields of exertion have been opened for active and intelligent minds in India, the colonies, the civil service, and especially the army. And the extent to which this has drained the springs which previously fed the Church is to be measured by the number not merely of minds which have actually engaged in these new fields of labour, but of those which even in boyhood have thus been diverted and tempted from the contemplation of Holy Orders as a profession. The improvement which has taken place in the army alone, and the elevation of a military life, as a profession, by the trials of actual warfare, have attracted -as the experience of the heads of our Schools and Colleges will attest—a multitude of the most active, intelligent, and highprincipled minds among the young who, under other circumstances, would have devoted themselves to the Church.
Thirdly, the recent changes, by which the Legislature has divested our two great Universities of their essentially ecclesiastical character, and altered the character of their studies, and thrown open their endowments to secular competition, have necessarily diminished, to an extent very serious to contemplate, both the encouragement and opportunities for the study of Theology.
And lastly, the lamentable unsettlement of young minds, the shock which all religious faith has received from the strifes, the extravagances, the treacheries, the disappointments, the oscillations, of religious controversy, and, most of all, from the poisonous scepticism now disseminated even by teachers and au orities within the Church itself,--all this has so disturbed, and perplexed, and disheartened the most earnest and acute of young minds, that they dare not devote themselves to the Ministry. Would to God that we could stop here! Would to God there were no grounds to believe a statement recently made by one not unlikely to be cognizant of the fact !
• The doubts,' says Mr. Hughes, which have now to be met, have, as was sure to be the case, taken more hold on our younger men than on any others amongst us. For many years I have been thrown very much into the society of young men of all ranks. I spend a great part of my time with them. I like being with them, and I think they like being with me. I know well, therefore, how rare anything like
a living faith—a faith in and by which you can live, and for which you would die—is amongst them. I know that it is becoming rarer every day. I find it every day more difficult to get them to speak on the subject : they will not do so, unless you drive them to it.'— Religio Laici, by Thomas Hughes, author of Tom Brown's SchoolDays,' &c., p. 9.
Now there is one very awful point of view, in which the failure in the supply of our Clergy will be contemplated by those who see in this world a vast battle-field between the powers of good and the powers of evil, and in the Clergy the chiefs and leaders under whom that warfare is to be waged. But such a view is too solemn for these pages. We propose rather to regard it as it would be regarded by an English Statesman, calm-minded, practical, and sober, but not superficial; one who really understands both the theory and the working of that English constitutional system, under which the vast fabric of the British Empire has grown up and been developed, and maintained upon the foundation of a rock, while all the other kingdoms of the earth have been convulsed or shattered into ruins. Let us consider what is the real work and function which the English clergy (the parochial clergy especially) actually perform in that vast complication of organised machinery by which this nation is really governed and preserved. At the present moment there is a general recognition of its utility. Calumnies and abuse of the clergy have become a less favourite topic for popular oratory. A proposal to expel from our country parishes and our town districts all our Rectors and Curates would meet but a feeble response. And this pause and respite from attack is due partly to the absence of any political antagonism at present between the clergy and the populace, partly to the moderated tone of religious controversy (to whatever cause that moderation is to be assigned), but chiefly to the earnest yet temperate activity of the great mass of the clergy in the discharge of their duties, and to a general recognition of their value and necessity. And this value and necessity, in the view of a sound political philosophy, is probably the following.
The individual man is almost powerless for good. Till he gathers his fellows round him, concentrates, and apportions, and distributes their labours, subordinates them to one direction, and so forms an organic body, he can do nothing. The wealth, the might, the majesty, the liberty of the British empire are due not to the mere aggregation and activity of monads or units of mankind, but to social bodies, to their internal constitution, their multiplication, their adaptation to their ends, their subordination to each other.
And just as the growth of animal and vegetable life germinates and radiates from a multitude of centres, each centre being itself not an atom, but a nucleus of atoms, so the healthy expansion and growth of our political society develops itself from a multitude of points, which serve as centres to the activity of individuals, and organises them into masses.
The liberty, which it is the pride and perfection of the English constitution to ensure for its subjects, is not a licence without law, but a freedom from external restrictions still controlled by an internal morality. If you would dispense with Acts of Parliament and a Police, you must substitute for them the restrictions of conscience. All human activity to be good must be subject to law, but internal and not external.
This, then, is the special function of the English clergy: first, to supply a multitude of centres, dispersed and planted throughout the kingdom, round which, in every parish, the voluntary energies of the citizens may be gathered and organised for purposes of good; and secondly, to infuse into all the operations of the Empire, from the lowest to the highest, that principle of elevated conscientiousness which may render external restriction wholly unnecessary. This is the abstract theory to be kept in view both by the Statesman and the Churchman. The English clergy are essential instruments for the development and moral guidance of the Liberty of Englishmen. They occupy the very opposite position to that which is generally assigned to them by superficial assailants, who represent them to the populace as the enemies of freedom and the allies of despotism. Rather, in their natural and true functions, they are the enemies of despotism, and the necessary allies of liberty. And in this light, while they are to be strictly confined to their true duties, they are also to be earnestly supported and encouraged in them by every philosophical Statesman.
Before we illustrate this general statement by a more detailed outline of the work of the parochial clergy, and gather from this a view of the qualities required in them, the education which they need, and the sources from which they are to be supplied, let us meet at once the suspicions and jealousies with which the State is tempted to regard the power and influence of the Clergy.
No doubt it is a formidable thing to see garrisoned and established throughout the country a vast body of men (the English clergy at present number between 17,000 and 18,000, and that number is sadly inadequate to the work which is before them), claiming, and possessing authority, and power, which is not
derived derived from the State, and therefore may be turned against it. But the English Church is pledged beyond any other to loyalty and obedience, and to abstinence from wrong interference with the secular action of the State. If it abandons these principles, it abandons itself. Its authority must perish.
No doubt it is a formidable thing to contemplate the possibility of foreign leagues, and co-operation between the Clergy of England and the Clergy of other countries, especially when the federal character of the Christian Church authorises and enforces their attraction and cohesion. But the singularly insulated position of the English Church, its Protestant doctrines, its stronglydeveloped nationality, and the fundamental charter of its own liberties, which rests upon the asserted independence of national churches, remove this alarm.
Once more, it is a formidable thing for the State to contemplate, on many occasions, if not a formal antagonism, at least a vast amount of moral resistance to its schemes from the influence of the clergy. But the absence of any strong hand to concentrate and wield their opposition, the separation and independence of the several Bishoprics, the great variety of character and principle maintained in the Episcopate itself by the nature of their appointment, the loose ties by which the whole organization of the clergy is held together, their domestic relations, which keep them citizens and Englishmen as well as clergy, and the variety of classes, and types of education, from which the clergy are supplied—all these conditions, which exist nowhere so fully developed as in the English Church, are an adequate security against any continued, permanent, irrational antagonism of the clergy against the State. Temporary estrangement there may be; occasional remonstrances, even wide-spread agitation at times; but these are the necessary contingencies of a Constitutional System. They can never amount to rebellion, until the English Church abdicates the charter of its power.
Two other perils, less immediately affecting the autocracy of the State, but very seriously imperilling the happiness and freedom of the citizen, may still be imagined ; but each of these is adequately guarded against by the constitution of the English Church.
First, it is essential to the peace and unity of the empire that the spiritual teaching, and moral influence, thus permitted to act throughout the whole frame of society should be regular, uniform, and consistent. Let the Clergy planted in our Parishes break up into schools and factions, distract the public by controversies and novelties, set Parish against Parish, and Diocese against Dio