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MR. GRENVILLE BERKELEY said,
Secretary for the Home Department would,
important as that of the present Bill could spoliation, although it might be recom-
MR. DRUMMOND said, he could not see much difference between those who declared their intention of utterly destroying the Church root and branch, and those who, by what they called "reform," endeavoured totally to pervert its original institutions, by destroying that which was the very essential of our Episcopal Church. The intention of the supporters of this measure seemed to be, instead of amending an institution which had been ill-administered by devising new machinery to prevent the same abuses from occurring again, to destroy the institution itself. There was no doubt that the bishops, canons, and prebends of the cathedrals did not do, and had not done for many years, the duty for which they were instituted, and the noble Lord's remedy was by the Bill utterly to destroy the cathedral establishments, and to turn every cathedral into a parish church. Now, the cathedral was an essential part of an Episcopal Church-ubi episcopus, ibi ecclesia; parish churches were nothing but chapels of ease for the accommodation of those who lived too far from the cathedrals. The true reform would have been to increase gradually, as the population increased, the number of bishops-every town containing 10,000 inhabitants ought to have had a bishop. Of course, hon. Gentlemen who were not Episcopalians would be of a different opinion. He was not speaking to them, but to Episcopalians. The Church of England was being destroyed, not by the opponents of episco
not long ago there had been an ordination of priests, and it was part of that cere, mony for the bishop to put the Prayer Book into the hands of the person ordained, in which he was desired to give absolution, but immediately after this had been done, up jumped the same bishop, and declared that there was no such thing in the Church of England as the power of granting abso
years ago a young relation of his had gone to another diocese to be ordained, and he asked him on his return how he got on
pacy, not by Dissenters, not by Roman | well as I can; and therefore I shall not Catholics, but by its own members. A interfere." But, as if this was not enough, mass of secular employment had now been laid upon the bishops. The Bishop of London, for instance, if he were not a man of Herculean body as well as Herculean mind, must long ago have been killed by the labours he had to undergo. In this town alone there ought to be at least seven bishops; and, because they would not do what they ought to do, he rejoiced that another bishop had been appointed by an-lution or the remission of sins. Not many other Church. It was their own fault; and would they be like the dog in the manger -neither do their duty themselves nor let any one else do it? Their reform ought to compel the bishops and clergy to do the duty for which they were appointed. When they were first appointed service was going on in these cathedrals from morning till evening, and they ought to be compelled to perform it now, instead of permitting what was called the "month's residence." If they had always resided as they ought to have done, we need not have thrown away the sums of money we had spent in building churches, and the clergy would not have been allowed for their own convenience to lump four services-the morning service, the Litany, the Holy Communion, and the sermon-together. This was what you had done, and this was what you called Church reform." He wondered that some hon. Gentlemen-particularly many whom he saw opposite, whose names were appended to an extraordinary document that he held in his hand-had not told us whether they really and truly had got a Church or not? what it was that they meant by the "Church of England?" He would tell them what he meant by a Church. He meant an institution or dained by God for the due administration of the sacrament. They had had a declaration from an ecclesiastical head of the Church that it did not signify one straw whether a priest of that Church believed in the sacrament or not, and that in either case he was equally a good priest. One felt naturally a good deal of surprise at such a declaration, and one, therefore, applied to the spiritual head of the Church; but he said, "I know nothing about the matter; go and read your Bible." He should like to know if, on any dispute arising between himself and another person, they were to go before a Judge to have it settled, what would be thought of a Judge who said to them-"You are as intelligent men as I am; you can read the Statute-book as
what the bishop had said to him? The reply was, that after he had been ordained he was told there was nothing in ordination, and he said it was a pity he had not been told so before, as he might then have saved himself the trouble of going the distance he had done. The document to which he had referred as containing the names of several Members of that House was a petition which had been presented to the Queen, begging her to take care that the sacramental system, as it was called, in the Church of England was done away with. The petitioners said that one place was not to be considered more holy than another place, nor one person more holy than another person-that was to say, that the parish clerk, or any old woman in a place, might read the Litany and administer the sacrament just as well as the minister. Yet this document had been signed by fifty Members of that House and by forty Peers. What, then, was the Church of England? Was there any meaning at all in this document? Such a document did exist. [Mr. SPOONER: Hear, hear.] It was not a joke, as the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Spooner) seemed to imagine. This Bill was a Bill to destroy the whole temporalities of the cathedrals, so far as diverting them from the intentions of their original donors was a destruction of them; and when they had once been so diverted, he did not see how we could stop. In the present case he ob jected that any portion of the temporalities of the Church should go to the landlords who paid tithes. If one-tenth were to be taken, let the State take it. Ile would not sanction the appropriation by the landlords. But if they were to go on in this way, the only Church which would come to be recognised-and let them not be surprised that men who were prepared to go into more important things than the
payment of money, should take that course was the Roman Catholic; for men would become Roman Catholic, there being no other Church in this country.
MR. HADFIELD said, that questions as to the disposal of Church property occupied a great deal of the time of the House, but he wanted to know what had been done by means of that property in the way of evangelising the country? Without it, nay, in spite of it, the voluntary efforts of the Christian people of this country had done more for the religious instruction of the population, than the Church Establishment, with all its wealth and its powerful influence. The Church itself was learning to act upon the principle of the voluntaries, for they had erected during the last twenty years, without the assistance of the State, no fewer than 2,000 churches, at an expense of 5,500,000l. The great bane of the Church, and the great hindrance to its usefulness, was its property; and it was his decided opinion that the interests of Christianity, and even of those who advocated religious establishments, would prosper infinitely more if that property were resumed. When it was stated that at Oxford only two weeks' instruction were required for the purpose of forming the character of a clergyman of any rank or degree, from the highest to the lowest, the House would surely be of opinion that the subject was one that demanded the most serious attention of all parties. He hoped the House would apply the property to a more useful purpose than the noble Lord (the Marquess of Blandford) proposed to do, and would remove, for instance, that constant bone of contention, the church rates. He should support the Motion for adjournment.
MR. SPOONER said, he rose, in consequence of the allusion which had been made to him by the hon. Member for West Surrey (Mr. Drummond), to explain the character of the document which had been signed by him as well as by several noblemen and gentlemen, and which had been received with approbation by our Most Gracious Sovereign. The document was drawn up immediately after the Papal Aggression, and, after reciting that aggression, it humbly entreated Her Majesty to direct the attention of the primates and bishops of the Church to the necessity of using all lawful means to remove the evil effects of false doctrine with regard to matters of internal discipline and observance, one of which was the manner in Mr. Drummond
which what was called the sacramental system was sometimes carried out by the veneration displayed for the chancels of churches, and, in some instances, by their separation from the body of the church by means of a Popish rood screen, tapestry, &c., and, in connection with that system, the custom of the priest turning his face towards the altar, away from the congregation. He put it to the House, whether there was the slightest ground to justify the extraordinary view the hon. Gentleman had taken with regard to this document. The then Home Secretary (Sir G. Grey), in returning an answer to the Address on the part of Her Gracious Majesty, inclosed a copy of a letter which had been forwarded to the Archbishop of Canterbury, in accordance with the prayer of the petition, requesting him to communicate on the subject with the Archbishop of York and the bishops of his diocese. He thought he had now set himself right with the House with regard to this matter, and he would conclude by suggesting that, as the noble Lord the Member for London and the noble Lord the Home Secretary were now in the House, the Motion for the adjournment of the debate should be withdrawn. He would then, according to what might be stated by the noble Lord opposite, be prepared to give his opinion upon the measure itself.
MR. WALPOLE said that, before either of the noble Lords opposite expressed their opinions upon the question of adjournment, he wished to put it to the Government whether, on the whole, it would not be the best course to agree to that Motion. The noble Lords would bear in mind that the Bill had been already once before the House, and that it involved a most important question as to the future management of the ecclesiastical establishments of this country-a question which ought, in his opinion, to be undertaken by the Government and not by a private Member. For that reason he should press upon them the question of adjournment. He should also do so for another reason. He knew the anxiety which his noble Friend (the Marquess of Blandford) had always entertained upon this subject; he knew the pains which he had taken to mould this measure so that it should prove a benefit to the Church; and he knew that no person was more anxious for the welfare of the Church than his noble Friend. It would therefore be with pain and regret that he should find himself forced to take the course of dividing against him upon any measure
income in money to the bishops, and placed the property of the Church in the hands of the Estates Commissioners, they would not be allowing for the alteration in the value of money which might take place in future periods; and, though they intended to give to the heads of the Church an income equivalent to that which was enjoyed by the heads of other professions, they would by this Bill, as time passed on, defeat their own object, and there would be no means of remedying the inequality. He was far from saying that he would not assent to the proposition that it was advisable to relieve the heads of the Church from as much of temporal duty and anxiety as possible, but, as the present Bill was framed, he could not, for the reasons which There was
affecting the Church, unless he felt constrained by his sense of public duty so to do. If his noble Friend would agree to the Motion for adjournment, there would be no necessity for taking such a course-no necessity for appearing to thwart him in his object of improving the ecclesiastical establishments of the country; the House would not commit itself to the principle of a Bill which, as it stood, was objectionable, although it was capable of amendment, and the Government would be left free to inform the House what course they would think it most desirable to pursue. The main object of the Bill was to put into the hands of the Ecclesiastical Estates Commissioners the management of the episcopal and capitular property of the country; and, in doing that, it purported to reserve the entire he had assigned, assent to it. fee-simple of the estates in the hands of another reason, also, for postponement, the bishop and the cathedral chapters, which he thought was irresistible. The Bill leaving to those dignitaries of the Church related not merely to episcopal, but also to entire leisure for the performance of their capitular property, and it transferred the spiritual duties. While it effected this, latter to the common fund, anticipating the however, it would sever entirely from the mode in which it was to be applied hereChurch its ecclesiastical property, whether after. The Cathedral Commission, howin the hands of a bishop or a cathedral and ever, which had been appointed in 1852 collegiate estate, and would place it en- for the purpose of inquiring into the state tirely under the control of three Commis- and condition of the collegiate churches in sioners, two of whom were appointed by England and Wales, had not yet made the Government of the day. If the House their Report; and if the House now legiswould take the trouble to compare the lated upon this subject, and transferred 4th, 16th, and 30th clauses of the Bill, it what was called the surplus cathedral and would be seen that the two latter militated collegiate property to the Estates Comcompletely against the principle which his missioners, and blended it into one fund, noble Friend had intended to reserve by they would deprive Parliament of the power the 4th section. But that was not all. of considering, when the Report appeared, The Bill purported to preserve to bishops the important question as to how far they and to the members of capitular and col- might dispose of that property in a much legiate establishments the right of claim- more beneficial manner than if it were ing the fixed incomes which they were to thrown into the common fund, for they receive, by means of distress and re-entry would have to consider whether they might in case those fixed incomes should fall into not make it more advantageously appliarrear; but by a subsequent clause that cable to the extension of public worship security was entirely taken away, for if the and religious education, the maintenance property were sold and disposed of, there of ecclesiastical discipline in the dioceses, would be no property upon which the power and the creation of additional sees where of re-entry could operate. The principle the present sees were too large. of the Bill, therefore, which was intended to be proposed was not the principle which was actually contained in the measure before the House; but it severed the Church altogether from the land, so as to leave in a precarious state the incomes which the members of the Church were to receive, and which in the end, if not taken away from them, might be very different from those which were secured to them so long as they held the property themselves. If Parliament now gave by this Bill a fixed
He therefore suggested to the House that it was undesirable to proceed with legislation upon this subject in the absence of the important information which they might get upon it, and the expression of any opi. nion upon the part of the Government.
LORD JOHN RUSSELL: I feel, Sir, that there is very great force in the reasons for postponement which the right hon. Gentleman has now urged. At the same time, there is something due, undoubtedly, to the noble Marquess who has !
undertaken this subject, who has under-matter under discussion, being convinced, gone so much labour in order to bring his measure into a state to be laid before the House, and who is animated by a zeal which no man can doubt for the improvement of the Church. Now, Sir, taking those various reasons into consideration, I agree, in the first place, with the right hon. Gentleman that there is great public inconvenience in discussing a measure of this kind, so vitally affecting the Established Church, upon the proposition of an individual Member of Parliament, not representing the Government or any considerable party in this House, and upon a Wednesday, when it is not usual to have such an attendance as there ought to be upon the second reading of a measure of such great importance. In the next place, I quite agree with the right hon. Gentleman that there are some inquiries with | respect to the Church-more especially with regard to cathedrals and their institution-which are not yet completed, and upon which it would be very desirable that we should have the Report of the Commissioners before we proceed to the consideration of this subject. I admit, likewise, that if we look at the details of this Bill, there are many of them, if details they can properly be called, which are open to very grave objections, and upon which I could not concur with the noble Marquess if this Bill were in Committee. I am of opinion that, whatever arrangements may be made, the revenues of the Established Church ought to be closely connected and bound up with the land of this country, and I think it would be a very great evil, supposing that the income of any bishop or person holding a cathedral dignity were not forthcoming at the proper time, that there should not be a remedy connected with the land and dependent upon the laws which regulate incomes derived from land. I, therefore, think that some of the provisions to which the right hon. Gentleman has referred namely, the 16th and 30th clauses-militate against the provision which the noble Lord laid down most carefully-that the fee simple of the estates of the Church should still belong to the Church, and should not be conveyed to the Commissioners. Seeing, then, these various objections which the right hon. Gentleman has urged, and admitting their weight, I should be very glad if the noble Marquess would consent to defer this measure-if he would be satisfied with having brought the Lord J. Russell
as I think he must be, that it is a subject of too great importance to be allowed to drop, and that if he should not be successful in carrying a measure before a very long time, the Government would feel obliged, when they had all the information before them, to introduce such a measure as they might think consistent with the interest of the revenues, while it afforded stability to the Church Establishment. But, Sir, if the House were now called upon to come to a division upon the principle of the Bill, strong as are the reasons for a postponement, and faulty as are some of the details, I should certainly feel myself obliged rather to affirm the principle than to give a vote against it. I conceive that the main intention of the Bill, which is to give to the Church Estates Commissioners the administration of that property from which the income of the bishops is derived, is very sound in principle, and that it is one which will tend not only to the improvement of that property, but that it will be more consonant than the present system with the dignity of the bishops, and with their giving all the time that is necessary to the discharge of their duties, which are becoming more and more extensive every day in the management of their dioceses. When I was a member of the first Church Inquiry Commission, there was a great deal of discussion upon this subject, and I remember that the Prelates who were on that Commission-the late Archbishop of Canterbury and others—considered that there would be very considerable danger if the principle of property being vested in the bishops were at all infringed on, as it might be if their incomes were made to bear the appearance of salaries rather than of rents derived from land. In order to avoid that consequence, we were obliged to recommend a course which experience has not shown to be very effective. We recommended that, in cases where the income should be greater than the Commissioners thought was requisite, a certain sum should be paid over, and that in other cases a certain sum should be made up to the bishops. It was found in practice, however, that no very good criterion existed by which to judge of those incomes, and that, while several bishops received more than the Church Commissioners thought they should receive, the income of others was deficient. Such being the case, the income of the bishops became precarious, and I think that very injurious