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bitants under those three letters alone. We apprehend, therefore, that if we were to say that there are 900 parishes in England with that population we should not be above the mark. Lord Ashley speaks of about 500 additional incumbents as being adequate to the supply of the spiritual necessities of the country. We still refer to the report of his speech in introducing the measure for dividing parishes containing more than 4000 people. We apprehend that here also, the real state of things is not correctly stated. We do not know on what data such statements may have been founded, but we feel satisfied that they present far too flattering a view of our position.
We will state the reason for this belief-Lord Ashley proceeds in his measure on the assumption, that all parishes with more than 4000 inhabitants ought to be divided. He therefore holds that 2000 people, or thereabouts, are sufficient for the care of an incumbent. Now, we have gone to work on this supposition; and taking 2000, or thereabouts, as the standard, we have examined in the Clergy-list all the parishes, 41 in number, under the letter L, containing more than 4000 people. On examination, it appears to us, that on this estimate, 156 additional incumbents are required for these 41 parishes. We find under the letter T, 22 parishes requiring 48 additional incumbents. As far as we can see from the examination we have instituted, it appears that the number of parishes containing more than 4000 inhabitants ought to be multiplied by three, in order to approximate to the number of additional incumbents wanted on Lord Ashley's own principle. When this has been done, it will appear that the real number of incumbents required, is not 500, as Lord Ashley has stated, but 2700; which approximates to Mr. Colquhoun's statement of the case. The amount of destitution, is, in short, five times as great as Lord Ashley states it to be.
Of course, we cannot pretend to strict accuracy in this statement, as we have only partially gone into details; but it is absolutely certain, that it is a great mistake to suppose 500 new incumbents sufficient for the wants of the country, if every parish containing 4000 people ought to be divided into two.
We greatly wish that some member of Parliament would move for a return from the bishops of all places in which the population exceeds 4000, and of the numbers of additional incumbents and churches which need to be provided. Could this be obtained, there would be more certain grounds to go on, than any that now exist. We should be sorry to exaggerate, in any way, the wants of the Church, but we do not think it advisable to conceal their real amount, or understate them.
Supposing, then, that we require, not 500, but 2000, or 2500
new incumbents, of course the funds at the disposal of the Church will only go a short way. Supposing the scale of income (3007.) proposed by Lord Ashley, to be adhered to, (and it certainly is a very moderate one,) we should only have means to provide for about 1000 incumbents, even on the most favourable view, when we want more than double the number. We do not
say this, with the slightest inclination to offer any opposition to, or to cause dissatisfaction with the plans proposed; but simply from a desire that the truth should be known, and that men should not buoy themselves up by too sanguine expectations.
Mr. Colquhoun observes that he has been considered to have exaggerated our wants in stating that 3000 additional clergy are now required." We feel assured, that those who think so, have not examined the subject. We know that large amounts like this are easily set aside as exaggerated, when men will not, take any pains to inquire into their correctness. We have seen enough to be satisfied that Mr. Colquhoun's estimate does not exaggerate in any degree the real state of things.
We would suggest, therefore, to the friends of Church extension, the expediency of acting at once on the principle contained in the fifth head of the Plan above referred to, which suggests that periodical returns should be made of the spiritual wants of each diocese." Let the bishops be applied to at once to make such returns, and then we shall know better where we stand. should like to see a return from the Bishop of London, or from the Bishops of Manchester, Ripon, Lichfield, or the Archbishop of York. We are mistaken if the Bishop of London alone might not make a return of 500 additional incumbents as requisite for his diocese.
There are some remarks of Mr. Colquhoun's on the subject of the patronage of the new churches to be endowed out of the increased means of the Church, which we do not feel certain that we can agree with in one point. They are as follow:
"It is necessary that those who are inclined to build new churches, should be certain of obtaining easily the right of nominating to them. Great injury was done to the Church by the precautions which treated the new district as an invasion of the old parish. The zeal and judgment of one of our prelates have removed many of these hindrances; but it is well that the subject should be carefully revised. I do not think that we yet turn to the fullest use that disposition to build from private means, which has been the greatest source of the endowments of our Church. I doubt the wisdom of interfering with this, by the attempt to obtain the patronage of the Church for official persons, which we trace in Sir Robert Peel's Act and in other Acts. No doubt the claim of patronage on behalf of the Crown, or the bishops, may be
reasonably urged; but it is very fatal to voluntary efforts: if we would extend the Church largely and quickly, it is a great practical blunder. The true policy is, that the State should offer a part of the endowment of the new church, without any condition, except that individuals should complete the endowment, and build the church. Let these parties vest the patronage as they please; keep it for themselves; place it in trustees, or transfer it, (as many would) to the bishop. It is true that part of the endowment comes from the property of the Church, under the sanction of the State, but the best return which the heads both of the government and of the Church can receive, is the rapid increase of the Church, and the supply of the wants of the people. I venture to dwell on this topic, because it is material, and has been too much lost sight of."
We perfectly concur in the observations made on the difficulties sometimes thrown in the way of the formation of new district parishes; nor do we dissent from the proposition of aiding private individuals to endow new churches; but we do very decidedly object to the system of trustees of churches. It appears to be calculated to foster and keep alive party-spirit, and we should be sorry to see any encouragement held out to it. Let charitable and liberal individuals be aided in their objects from the Church's funds, but do not let a farthing of their funds be applied to keep alive dissensions in her own bosom, by strengthening the hands of the Simeon Trustees, or any other voluntary association for the purchase or acquisition of Church patronage. We think that a very jealous eye should be kept on any scheme of Church Reform, with a view to prevent its abuse in this way.
We now come to a feature in the Plan which should especially commend it to the notice of all Churchmen; we allude to the recommendation which it contains of an increase in the episcopate. We must quote at some length the remarks of Mr. Colquhoun on this point, which are most excellent in all points of view. The Plan, as we have seen, recommends the creation of a sufficient number of bishops in addition to the present episcopate, with salaries of 20007. per annum, and houses of residence, but without seats in Parliament. We must now refer to Mr. Colquhoun's explanation of the grounds of this recommendation :
"On this head allow me to offer you a brief explanation. We had these facts before us :
"Within the present century the population of England and Wales has increased more than eight millions.
"Within the last quarter of the century a large addition has been made to our churches and clergy; especially within the last ten years. If some practical efforts to extend the Church are now made, a further, and, we may hope, a large increase of clergy will take place.
"These facts suggest the propriety of an addition to the highest order of the clergy. Let us take the most common examples. An increase in our universities demands more tutors; in our public schools, additional masters; new courts require new judges. If we add to our constabulary or our military force, an increase of superintendents and of officers is indispensable. The reason is clear. Where there is need of personal and constant supervision, the number of officers must grow with the ranks. We should expect this to hold true in the Church; and there are special reasons why more bishops are required. The peculiar duties of the bishop involve this necessity, if we rightly appreciate them. I have seen indeed, and on high Parliamentary authority, the duties of the bishop narrowed to the routine functions of his office, as if he had nothing to do but to exercise acts of Visitation, Confirmation, Consecration, and Ordination: go through these as a Recorder gets through his trials, and brush off, currente calamo, his formal correspondence. Even these duties, grave as they are, are not light; and care should be taken not to multiply them until the bishop is unable seriously to discharge them. But this, I take to be no just measure of episcopal duties; against this, I feel persuaded, every earnest bishop would protest. He would tell us, that he not only holds the high functions of his office, but that, as the chief pastor of his diocese, he has a wide cure; a cure, better guaged by those who know the crushing labours of a populous parish, than by us who observe them at a distance. For, as the bishop's cure comprehends all the parishes of his diocese, and the clergy as well as their people, and as, to all of these, he stands, from his position, as an example, open to their remarks, and accessible to their call, his duties are both manifold and delicate, such as, perhaps, it is not easy to define, but very hard conscientiously to fulfil. For, it must be observed, that they are not duties which, to be well discharged, can be performed hastily, or with the rough hard hand of a mere man of business; they deal with very sacred feelings, and require, as it would seem, very delicate handling, much cost of time, still more of thought and feeling.
"To a bishop, who holds those friendly relations which should exist between himself and his clergy, scarce an incident of gravity in their pastoral life can occur which does not lead to some application, or appeal for his help. A new church-an unwonted call-a doubt-an opening -all bring the clergy to one whose experience they feel to be greater than their own, on whose kindness they know they may rely. We indeed cannot but notice that, in most subscription-lists which concern the Church in a diocese, the bishop's name appears. But this every clergyman knows is no measure of his help. For, in numberless cases where he was not expected and would not be allowed to give money, he has given of his time, and advice, and sympathy; matters not to be tabled in a statistical return; but of vast service in the manifold toils of a clergyman's life, and often of the highest value, to stimulate and guide the efforts of the laity. So that, I believe, it will be found in the case of an earnest bishop, that these undefined and informal duties fill
more of his time than the ostensible functions of his office. I venture to say this because I am fearful that we may be misled into an inaccurate estimate of episcopal duty; and, I say it the more anxiously, because we have seen bishops in the height of their usefulness, worn down (just when their wisdom and piety were matured) by those innumerable calls, which their office, in a wide diocese, prescribed, but to which their strength was unequal. It is not well to overtask the
"It is, indeed, perfectly true, that the bishop may go through his formal functions, and get through them with little pressure to himself. Then, I admit, his work becomes light. But is this desirable? Is this, the Church's scandal, to be the bishop's standard? Does this conduce to the efficiency of the Church? and, if we would turn it to its best uses, is this a prudent policy? Yet, if we heap on the bishop a mass of official work which it takes most of his time to master, we, in fact, preclude him from those various duties which he should discharge, and leave him without time except for official routine.
"Therefore it is, my Lord, that we felt that, as many churches and clergy had been added, an addition to the episcopate was necessary: the more needful when we contemplated a further large addition to the clergy. If the suvervision of the bishop should be close, and his connexion with his clergy constant, his diocese should be brought within narrower limits. But as it is plain that such an alteration of dioceses should occur rarely, because it disturbs many arrangements; so it seemed to us, that this was the fit season to make it, when we may hope that by some of the measures suggested, there is about to be a large increase of clergy and congregations.'
The whole of this argument appears to us to go to one point→→→ that something more is wanted than the mere division of two or three dioceses; that three more bishops would be insufficient for our wants. In fact, we suppose that almost any earnest bishop would be glad if his diocese could be divided, as it would enable him to do his work much more satisfactorily and completely than he now does. The Bishop of Ripon has expressed his earnest wish for the subdivision of his diocese, which was itself constituted only a few years ago, and which does not contain as many parishes as the average number in each English diocese. All the hierarchy, without a single exception, that we are aware of, and including men of various political views, and even of different religious schools, are agreed in wishing for an increase in the episcopate. They have also accepted the principle of such increase not involving any additional seats in Parliament. The Plan before us is a very valuable testimony to the general desire which exists for such a measure. The leading men in this movement have never been reckoned amongst those members of the Church who are considered to rate the powers of the episcopate VOL. XI.-NO. XXI.-MARCH, 1849.