Imatges de pÓgina

ment urged against the proposition on this head. His right rev. Friend (the Bishop of Oxford), in stating his objections to the general application of the Bill, had based one of those objections on the necessity of keeping up a diversity in the manner of performing the Church services. Now, in his (the Bishop of London's) opinion, so far from it being desirable that there should be a different mode of performing the service in each of several churches, it was most desirable that there should be a greater uniformity; for he believed, without recommending too rigid or strict a rule in this respect, that greater uniformity in the service of the different churches would be calculated to give the Church a greater hold upon the affections of the people. It did not necessarily follow, when the congregations of two churches were united, that in the church which was retained divine service would be performed in a different manner from that in which it had been celebrated in the church which was removed, or that there would not, at all events, be a disposition on the part of the incumbent of the church to which a new congregation was transferred to meet their wishes so far as he could do so consistently with his sense of duty. He looked, therefore, upon the argument grounded upon the assumed necessity for this diversity as being untenable, and, therefore, that there was no substantial reason for continuing supernumerary churches either in the metropolis or in some of the larger cities of the country. As far as he was personally concerned, he would be content that the measure should be confined to the City of London as originally intended; but he had learnt from several right rev. Prelates that in their cathedral cities a similar inconvenience to that existing in London was felt, from there being a superfluous number of churches in particular districts, and a deficiency of church accommodation in other localities, where there was a large population. The object of this Bill was not merely to combine two or three churches into one, but to provide a competent maintenance for the clergy. He thought their Lordships would allow that if there were two or three small parishes, the incumbents of which received incomes of less than 150l. a year each, and 400 or 500 of population, it would be a better arrangement that the incomes should be consolidated, and the churches themselves united into one, and an active incumbent appointed, with one or two curates, who The Bishop of London

would attend to the spiritual wants of the inhabitants of the united parishes more efficiently than the poor incumbents. This he regarded as one of the most important objects of this Bill. His right rev. Friend said this Bill introduced a new principle. Under the authority of the Legislature, however, ground set apart in ancient times, and dedicated to the worship of God and Christian burial, in a particular parish, had been taken, as it were, from the Church's property, and converted to secular purposes, for the promotion of great public improvements. But what could be an object of greater public importance than to make a provision for the spiritual destitution of thousands of perishing sinners crowded in suburban districts where no means of pastoral superintendence or places of public worship existed? As regarded any new principle, he made bold to say that what the Church did under the authority of the Legislature, the Legislature might be considered to do; but he could not for a moment admit that because Parliament gave authority to those most interested in the work of supplying the spiritual wants of the people to carry into effect its wishes, that therefore the Church committed a breach of its trust by acting upon the principle now under discussion. Where the Church desired to do its work more effectually, and to do this had incidentally to remove some of its ancient landmarks, for which it had to call in the authority of the Legislature, he held that no new principle, and certainly no dangerous principle, was thereby introduced. On the contrary, he thought it a great protection, for which the Church had reason to be thankful, that the Legislature did not interfere with its single-handed authority to effect directly the object in view without the intervention of the Church, but authorised the rulers of the Church, with certain checks upon their own discretion, to do what the interests of the Church manifestly required. There were provincial towns to which he considered the provisions of this Bill might be applied to very great advantage. With regard to the city of Norwich, he could speak from personal knowledge; and he had no hesitation in expressing his conviction that in many cases it would be for the interests of the Church if the churches were united ; the clergy would be better provided for, and ample church accommodation secured to the parishioners; and no doubt the ministers would be better able to discharge their duties to the flocks committed to

their charge. As far as he was concerned, however, he only interested himself about the City of London, and he said, so far from this being an iconoclastic proposal, it was eminently a church extension measure, and one to be applied for the benefit of the Church. If, from other sources, they could obtain the means of building new churches where they were wanted, it might perhaps be objected that they were about to interfere unnecessarily with consecrated edifices; but even if they could otherwise obtain the needful means for building the new churches, he was not disposed to deny that it might not be better in some cases to unite the smaller parishes, and introduce a more extended and active ministry into the City of London. A great portion of the population of the City had of late years migrated to the suburbs, and he was of opinion that those persons who were now called on to pay tithes in the City of London, and who were reaping the benefits of the enlarged commerce of that great emporium, ought not to complain if part of the present stipends were applied for the spiritual advantage of their work people, who mostly lived in districts beyond the limits of the City. It had been stated, on a former occasion, by a noble Friend of his, that there was a sufficient number of poor in the metropolis to fill the churches, and that the reason the poor were so seldom seen in them was that the City churches were filled with large square pews, which were locked up, so that the poor could not enter them. He could state that that was really not the case. He had made inquiries, and had received reports from numerous parishes, that there were no pews locked up, and that there was no difficulty in obtaining access to them; that seats were provided for the poorer inhabitants of the parishes more than sufficient to accommodate the whole number of poor resident there. The people who attended church resident in the City of London were very few. The merchants, bankers, and great traders went away every Saturday, and returned on Monday to business. They had few or no domestic servants in the City, and their employés lived at a distance; the only persons left upon their premises were porters, who had charge of the warehouses and shops, and who could not, if they would, be constant attendants at church. It was for this reason that so few worshippers were to be found in many of the City churches on Sunday. True, certain of the City churches were pretty


well attended, and he believed that would always be the case where the parishes were sufficiently large, and where the clergy did their duty; but, however able or active a clergyman might be, he could not have a full congregation of his own parishioners where there were not parishioners to form a congregation. · He said, then, that by assenting to this measure they would consult the best interests of the Church, violate no sacred principle, greatly strengthen the Established Church, and encourage the building of new churches. He would allude to another objection against the measure. It had been asked whether it was likely that persons would contribute to the building of new churches when it was possible that, after the lapse of some years, such churches might be pulled down, and the ground upon which they were erected might be sold for secular purposes. He (the Bishop of London) was not afraid that the churches which benevolent individuals would be likely to build would be erected in places where it was possible that their demolition should happen in any foreseen period of time. If such persons built churches, they would build them in populous districts where more were wanted than already existed; and to talk of their apprehending that the edifices would be pulled down unless the locality was turned into a desert and the population migrated, was really to conjure up a phantom to paralyse the efforts of those who would otherwise contribute to a good work. He had not the slightest apprehension that this measure would discourage church building. The spirit of church building had happily been excited throughout the country, and had manifested itself in numerous instances, not only in his own diocese, but in the manufacturing districts. It might be gratifying to their Lordships to know that he himself had been instrumental in building eighty-three churches in the metropolis, twelve of which had been erected entirely at the cost of private individuals. He hoped, if his life were spared a few years longer, to complete at least his century of metropolitan churches; and he was persuaded their Lordships would render him most important facilities in accomplishing that object by assenting to the present Bill.

THE BISHOP OF LINCOLN concurred with the right rev. Prelate who had just sat down, that great spiritual destitution might be occasioned by the maintenance of numerous inefficiently endowed churches.


The condition of the city of Lincoln, in break down the law, which had worked this respect, closely resembled that of the satisfactorily for fourteen years in the preCity of London. Lincoln contained 17,000 vention of pluralism, but to adopt the inhabitants and had thirteen small churches, Amendment of his noble Friend, and limit the largest of which afforded sittings to the operation of this measure to the cities 600 persons; and the clerical income of of London and Westminster, and those few the thirteen incumbents was 1,380l. a towns and cities where it might be expeyear, or an average of something more dient. If there were places to which the than 1001. each. Those among their provision was applicable, there could be no Lordships who were acquainted with small difficulty in naming them in a schedule. parishes would know under what very The fact was, this was one of those meagreat disadvantages the worship of the sures that were framed for the metropolis Church must be carried on in these cir- and its vicinity, and then extended over cumstances. He conceived that a great the whole of England without sufficient innumber of small churches that were ill quiry as to its general applicability. The endowed weakened the efficiency of the causes of the falling off in the congregaChurch's ministration, while there were tions were often pluralities and the system other overgrown and populous districts of pew-rents; but this Bill called on them suffering under great spiritual destitution. to undo the work of the last fifty years in At the same time it was obvious that few regard to church extension. They ought of the clergy would be parties to the to take care that in their endeavour to obpulling down of superfluous churches, tain a competency for the clergy by uniteven to provide church accommodation ing several livings, they did not destroy elsewhere where it was most wanted, all stimulus to individual exertion, and unless it was done under the conviction check those efforts of private munificence that it would enable them to remedy in church building which the noble Earl at greater evils; and, of course, whenever the head of the Government had illustrated it was done, it should take place under on the previous evening. sufficiently stringent safeguards. It might, perhaps, be questionable whether the checks contained in this Bill were sufficiently stringent, but he thought it most desirable that the operation of the measure should be extended to the few places where interference was necessary. The right rev. Prelate below him (the Bishop of Oxford) had suggested that the experiment should be tried in the City of London before the measure was applied to provincial cities and towns. It had been said, "Fiat experimentum in corpore vili;" but the right rev. Prelate would first try the effects of the Bill upon millions, and afterwards upon the less populated districts; but surely if the experiment was allowable in the metropolis, it was allowable in the few other cases in which it could be adopted. It must be remembered that the provisions of the Bill could not be carried out immediately, for lives must drop in, and other contingencies must occur before parishes and endowments could be united.

THE BISHOP OF ROCHESTER addressed a few words to their Lordships which were inaudible.

THE EARL OF POWIS said, that this proposition was not a new experiment to render the Church more elastic, but a retrogression to the system of plurality prevalent in former days. They ought not to The Bishop of Lincoln

THE BISHOP OF LONDON hoped he had not been misunderstood in what he had said respecting the observations of his right rev. Friend (the Bishop of Oxford) as to the different modes of performing divine service in the Church of England. He had not meant to represent his right rev. Friend as having said that he approved that difference; but what his right rev. Friend had said was, that the taste of persons as to the performance of religious worship varied materially, and that the Church of England allowed considerable latitude with respect to the celebration of divine service. His right rev. Friend meant merely to suggest that fair scope should be allowed for a legitimate diversity, and not that that diversity should be carried to an extravagant length.

EARL FITZWILLIAM said, he considered that their Lordships would act wisely in adopting the Amendment of the noble Earl. He was the more disposed to take that course from what had fallen from a right rev. Bishop (the Bishop of Lincoln), whose addition to the Bench every one in the House must rejoice at, but in whose views he confessed, on the present occasion, he could not concur. That right rev. Prelate had told their Lordships that in the city of Lincoln there was a population of 17,000, and for those 17,000 there were

thirteen churches. He was not quite sure whether the right rev. Prelate had stated it in his speech, but he understood that he looked to a considerable decrease in the number of churches. Unless, however, it could be shown that those churches were so circumstanced as to be ineffective, he did not see that it was desirable to diminish their number. Considering that, if fairly apportioned, there would be 1,200 or 1,300 persons to each church, he must be allowed to doubt whether there was at Lincoln a superabundance of church accom-free, to obtrude on a religious congregation modation. He apprehended that no one would dispute that the City of London would derive great benefit from this Bill; but he did not think it was equally clear that it would be as beneficial to other towns. As it was the intention to trust the provisions of this Bill to the management of the respective diocesans, with the consent of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, he must entertain a doubt whether it would not be better for Parliament to keep the control in its own hands, and inquire into each particular case according as the necessity arose. He was the more inclined to adopt that opinion from what had fallen from the right rev. the Bishop of Oxford, who seemed to think that diversity in the service of the churches was a very desirable thing, and that separate services should be kept up. Now, though he (Earl Fitzwilliam) was a liberal Churchman, he was not prepared to go that length. He should support the Amendment of the noble Earl.

in the administration of the same service; that, in the rubric, for instance, she laid down a certain portion of the service to be said or sung; that one congregation greatly preferred, and thought it increased their devotion, to have it sung; that another congregation preferred to have it read; and that he thought it would be exceedingly unwise in any person-whether the clergyman of the parish, the bishop of the diocese, or other individual—to attempt, in those matters which the Church had left

a mode of service which it disliked. His noble Friend on the cross-benches (Earl Fitzwilliam) said that he was a liberal Churchman; and he (the Bishop of Oxford) ventured to claim for himself, that if in this respect he differed from the noble Earl, it was in being a still more liberal Churchman. In matters indifferent it was his maxim to advise his clergy to endeavour to ascertain the way in which the people wished to have the service performed within the limits allowed by the Church of England, to act with them, and not to violate their opinions. That was his view of this matter, and he had never yet heard any arguments which could induce him to change his opinion. It was because he believed that the doing away with churches would have a tendency to violate these opinions, that he had used the arguments he had offered. To remove a person who had been accustomed to a small church with a quiet service, and that quietness of preaching that commonly belonged to it, to a populous church, with a large congregation and all the adjuncts of music, and a particular style of preaching, was, to him, a serious and real evil; and it was because he desired the utmost liberty within the limits of the Church of England, that he always ventured to use the argument.

THE BISHOP OF OXFORD said, he thought that, as a portion of the remarks he had made had been misrepresented, both by his right rev. Friend (the Bishop of London) and by the noble Earl who had just sat down, it was necessary that he should offer some explanation. His right rev. Friend, with his usual candour, had acknowledged that in the heat of ar- THE EARL OF HARROWBY thought gument he had made a misrepresentation the question involved by the Amendment in some degree of what had fallen from was, whether they would confine the remedy him (the Bishop of Oxford), but as, not- to one place. His noble Friend on the withstanding the explanation of his right cross-benches said he should not like to rev. Friend, that misrepresentation had trust the Bishops with the measure; but, been echoed by the noble Earl, the House in his opinion, the Bishops were far more would allow him to state what he did and likely to carry it out in a what he did not say. He did not say he tive spirit than otherwise. He was afraid desired to see separate services in every that, if they were to carry out this principle elurch, or anything like it; but he said, and of consulting the tastes of individuals, they he repeated it, that the taste of men affect- would have to have several services a day ed them with respect to religious worship in each church. In reply to the argument as well as in other things; that the Church of England allowed a considerable diversity


that the
operation of this Act ought at
first to be confined to the cities of London

and Westminster as an experiment, he said that no experiment was needed, the fact on which it was proposed by this Bill to legislate being well known and ascertained. If, however, it would suit the views of his noble Friend (Earl Nelson), he had no objection, between that time and the time the report came before the House, to embody in the schedule the names of the places to which the principles of the measure should be applied, which, it appeared to him, would do away with the objection.

EARL NELSON said, that this would not satisfy him. The measure might operate very well in London, where they were told that there were many parish churches without congregations, but would it be equally beneficial in other places, such as Lincoln, for instance? They ought to have very strong grounds before they proceeded to destroy any church, and it would not be sufficient to say that it was more agreeable to change a particular church to this or that district. Under all the circumstances of the case, he should press the Amend


On Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause," their Lordships divided:-Content 28; Not content 27: Majority 1.

Clause agreed to; the remaining clauses agreed to; Amendments made; the Report thereof to be received on Friday


House resumed.

House adjourned to Monday next.

Friday, May 12, 1854.

MINUTES.] PUBLIC BILLS.-1° Excise Duties. 2o Registration of Births, &c. (Scotland).

3° ́Raiiway and Canal Traffic Regulation; Wit


country, and corresponding changes had to be made in the grants for Ireland. In the correspondence which had taken place, it appeared that the Board of Trade recommended an increase instead of a diminution of the remuneration for the lectures referred to. There were at present professors of botany, chemistry, geology, and mineralogy, and they were employed in Ireland at a salary of 150l. each. It was now proposed to place these professors under the superintendence of the Board of Trade, and increase their salaries from 150l. to 2001. per annum, and in addition give them a share of the fees which would be received from the students. It was also intended to extend to the provincial towns in Ireland these branches of industrial education.

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MR. STIRLING said, he felt bound to move the Amendment of which he had given notice, that the Bill be read a second time on that day six months. He was compelled to oppose the measure with great regret, because he thought that many of its provisions would have effected a great improvement in the existing law. He, and those hon. Gentlemen who acted with him, had waited upon the right hon. and learned Lord Advocate and upon the head of the Government, and proposed that if the connection between the parish schools and the Church which now existed were allowed to remain, they would support any reasonable reform in those schools, and would not oppose the educational experiment it was intended to try; but as the Government had not agreed to their proposal, they believed that the rejection of the Bill would best serve the interests of education in Scotland, as it would enable the country to

AGRICULTURAL LECTURES (IRELAND) give a more mature consideration to that


MR. F. SCULLY said, he begged to ask the Chief Secretary for Ireland if it were proposed to continue the grant of 500l. for provincial lectures in Ireland, hitherto made through the Royal Dublin Society, and if so, what change was to be made in the distribution?

SIR JOHN YOUNG said, that certain changes had taken place in the administration of the educational grants for this The Earl of Harrowby

important subject. The right hon. and learned Lord Advocate had not given an answer to one important question which lay at the root of all legislation—namely, whether there was any necessity for passing a measure which went to such an extent as this Bill? It was certainly the general opinion that Scotland was a welleducated country; and, although the system of education was not perfect, it was not very defective as compared with that of other countries. In proof of this, he

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