Images de page

ment of an additional bishop. The next statement is curious; surely the good man is drawing on his imagination, not on the reminiscences of a Cornish benefice. The sentiments of Dissenters have been distorted by the mists of the fens, and the wish for no bishops has been changed into an almost tiptoe expectation of such a blessing. Imagine, if dissenting imagination can stretch its wings so high as a Right Reverend bishop's, the preparations for hailing this “advent!” Will the Wesleyans secure the services of their orator, Mr. Punshon, to pronounce upon bishops generally, and this new bishop in particular, an eulogium as fulsome as that which he pronounced, a few years ago, over Wesley and Wesleyanism? Will the Independents ask Mr. Miall to present their welcome to the stranger, with a “Hail, Bishop! We hail thee gladly!” Will Baptists rejoice to see such a flood of clerical influence as, this would bring in, and beseech Messrs. Brock and Spurgeon to make peace with the Prayer-Book, and be silent, when the new bishop appears? Here, certainly, the good prelate is at fault.

There can be no doubt, however, even in a Dissenter's mind that the awakened energy of the Episcopate as at present constituted and employed, cannot adequately meet the claims of these three districts. Help must be had somewhere and somehow. If the proposed additions to the Episcopate will satisfy, though tardily, “the wishes which have burnt so fiercely in the loyal bosoms” of those without; will it meet their wants,-a very different thing from their "fiercely burning wishes ?” What else will it do?

Dr. Wilberforce says, in making this proposal, nothing so multiplies the clergy as a multiplication of the bishops." This then is what it will do besides, -it will “multiply the clergy." When the constant complaint is that the universities do not supply a sufficient but a positively diminished number of candidates for holy orders, and that the much despised but most useful class of “literates” do not make up the deficiency-we must “multiply the bishops !” We have heard of an elderly maiden, who, when the people complained there was no water, wondered why they could not drink good beer. Here is a similar sage who says: “there is a dearth of clergy, let us have more bishops.” Sidney Smith used to talk of the prizes in the Church as alluring men into orders. Is this the way in which more young men are to be enticed into saying what they don't believe, and doing what they don't care for, in the most sacred sphere of speech and action—there shall be three more prizes? For the bishops evidently intend the new offices to be equally objects of ambition with the old. Thus again, Dr. Wilberforce says he means by a see, the repetition in a new place of that

to yough tardi, proposed clip, must bequately mestat present mind

“ which now exists in the sees of England—the bishop with his chapter around, with his cathedral church and its services—the centre of worship in the diocese.” They all regard as a thing assumed, the location of the bishop and his palace near a minster, as St. Albans, Southwell, and Truro or Bodmin ; and the only doubt the Bishop of Ely has about the proposal is the propriety of naming the towns. Unfortunately many will have numerous and grave doubts. Will it not be costly, and might not the money be expended more usefully for “the furtherance of the Gospel ?” How will the expense be met? Is all this necessary to meet the demands? What will each of such establishments cost ? The bishop's own income £3,000; the dean's income, £1,000; four canons' income, £2,000; two minor canons' income, £300 ; lay vicars' income, £300; choristers, £100—Total per annum, £5,700. Besides which there will be the bishop's palace to purchase and refit, say £15,000; for what was once only the bishop's place is now the palace. The cathedral will also have to be restored, but as some gentlemen promised £9,000 towards the restoration of St. Alban's, we may expect those “whose wishes burn so fiercely in their loyal bosoms” to meet the current expenses of the fabric. Irrespective of the building then, each see will require the sinking of £15,000, and a regular income of £5,700; this represents in all a capital of £130,000 at least, or in round numbers £400,000 for the whole. We have calculated these amounts at the lowest from the accounts of the Ecclesiastical commission, for it is from the funds of this commission that it is proposed to meet the expenditure; a commission that was appointed by Parliament to remove spiritual destitution. In other words, the funds of the Church which are specially set apart for spiritual destitution, and of which, up to 1861, one-third had been spent on the destitution of the bishops, is to be further drawn upon for the creation of a bishop in a county which “consists in the main of Dissenters and Wesleyans,” and is therefore far from being so spiritually destitute as other districts may be.

But this expense is not necessary. The wants of the Church can be met without it; and if not, the revenues of the commission will be required to prevent the destitution of the clergy, who will be multiplied by the multiplication of the bishops, and, therefore, the cathedral foundations ought to be laid by subscription from the Church, its wealthier clergy, and extensive landowners, merchants, and manufacturers. The appointments might then be hailed by the Dissenters as the workings of willinghood.

There are two ways in which the necessity might be supplied. The dean is often the occupant of a comfortable sinecure, and

might very well be constituted as “coadjutor," to manage the episcopal jurisdiction, either for life only, or with the reversion of the bishopric, on the death of the bishop; or consecrated as “suffragan,to relieve the bishop of his spiritual duties in ordaining, confirming, and dedicating, and hold the office during the bishop's life, or with promise of succession. Special provision was made by an Act of Henry VIII. (26 Hen. 8), which we believe is still in force for the consecration of suffragan bishops, who should reside in towns, not cities. In his declaration, immediately before his restoration, Charles II. says :“ Because the dioceses (especially some of them), are thought to be of too large extent, we will appoint such number of suffrugan bishops in every diocese, as shall be sufficient for the due performance of their work."* "Suffragans have now been disused for many years; and, indeed, they are not now so necessary as they were in the times of popery, the bishops then having much more employment. Nevertheless, suffragans may still be of great use, especially sometimes in the article of confirmation, when the dioceses are very large, and the diocesan perhaps very infirm.”+ There are several members of Convocation, who wish to conform to the practices of the Tudors and early Stuarts. Let them create suffragan bishops, who will be content to serve as well as rule, and put the Church to as little expense, and yet serve Christ as zealously as Dr. Selwyn does in New Zealand, and the Bishop of Melbourne, in Australia. The law separates the temporalities and spiritualities of the Church. Even churchmen acknowledge there was a time when bishops of great influence, such as Timothy, Titus, and the Elders at Philippi, exercised that influence greatly without “the pomp and circumstance of” a modern

“Opener, and intelligencer Between the grace, the sanctities of heaven, And our dull workings."

Convocation should regard this fact. Those, however, whose hands are tied, and can only talk, may shut their eyes without much practical harm. The Bishop of Oxford trusts that “there will go forth from this synod a voice which the Church shall acknowledge as the living and crying voice of the fathers of the Church, for the good of the people whom God has committed to their charge.” And this “living and crying voice” is, “And may it please your Majesty-Three more Bishops !” “For,” says Dr. Tait, who has a “gift” at reminding the Synod of its bonds and weakness, “it would remain with her Majesty's advisers to settle the manner in which the proposed change should be

[merged small][ocr errors]

effected.” Convocation was originally summoned to levy monies for the king by taxing the clergy. Then, happily, for the State, it was powerful. Convocation, at present, tries to spend monies. Now, happily, it is powerless.


“ Kehre wieder, endlich kehre

In der Liebe Heimath ein,
In die Fülle aus der Leere,
In das Wesen aus dem Schein !
Aus der Lüge in die Wahrheit,
Aus dem Dunkel in die Klarheit,
Aus dem Tode in das Leben,
Aus der Welt in's Himmel reich
Doch was Gott dir heut' will geben
Nimm auch heute-kehre gleich!

C. J. Spitta.

“SEEING there be inany things that increase vanity,” according to the witness of the wisest and most prosperous of men, it is a curious fact that one among them all seems by common consent to monopolize the name of vanity ;-to be judged fruitless and unwise above all other forms of human absurdity. Classing many a variety of foolish feeling under one general head, we are used to speak of all inordinate attention to appearances as vanity; and by the expression, “ vain of her looks," "vain of his knowledge,” or position, to imply a state of mind which however much it may differ in different people, is in this respect alike, that its regard for possessions or advantages is determined by their external value. Of their intrinsic value pride takes deeper cognizance, but vanity is pleased or saddened according to their good or bad appearance. It is an unfailing fact in the mysterious nature of man, that on whatever point he fixes his attention, or, to speak more accurately, his love, he finds interest enough to justify it: the will, taking that direction for its exercise, is by exercise intensified, and drawing reason, imagination, and every other faculty into its service, corroborates its own force by their aid. For, as they more and more develop the attractions of its favourite object, there is necessarily a reaction on the will: what had at first seemed merely interesting, gradually becomes allimportant; choice yields to a seeming necessity; and at last consciousness and sensibility seem almost restricted to that one line of feeling. This is the history of both vanity and every other fixed idea.

Let us take an example,—the case of a person who is very desirous to have every household appointment in perfectly correct taste,-to whom an unsightly piece of furniture is a positive distress; an ill-arranged table, a sort of disgrace. Examine the rise and progress of this habit of mind. Perhaps early in life, when every strong impression biassed judgment, this person, already inclined to practise the virtues of orderliness and method, heard some ill-managed establishment spoken of with reprobation or contempt: unobserved at the time, this incident may have given fresh determination to natural tastes. Marriage, we will suppose, while giving means for their gratification, has not deprived the mistress of a new house of leisure ; she devotes it to the praiseworthy effort of making home all that it ought to be; but with appearance uppermost in her mind. A certain style is aimed at, is attained; but every style admits of increasing perfection; new luxuries readily keeping pace with the insatiable demands of imagination; so that when you pay a visit to such a person, though everything in her house may look perfect to you, in her more accurate judgment there are deficiencies,—nay, even worse, there are flaws: the muslin curtains were that very day looped too high on one side (her eye was fretting to set them right all the time she seemed listening to your account of a terrible accident), and worse still-to her feelings—horror! the old chintz cover of an easy chair, only brought into the drawing-room last night for an invalid, had not been removed before people were shown into it to-day. You can hardly conceive this having so seriously annoyed her; that such trifles could burden the mind which is cognizant of the sorrows of bereavement, illness, and loss, seems incredible. It is nevertheless true that from those little oversights she suffers acute chagrin. Her fixed idea is, that in her house every adjustment of comfort should be faultless: in other respects sensible enough, she is, in this, not sane. For while in the house of any other person she would regard slight disorders as unworthy of much attention, and no affair of hers, in her own house, because she is there responsible for them, she fancies that they must shock other people; and with this erroneous notion embitters all her peace. If you were her friend and could remonstrate, you would be surprised at the plausible array of good reasons she could adduce for her ceaseless anxiety. She would speak with such strong conviction of its being an inevitable part of duty, that for the time you would almost share it; and if you still preserved your own opinion, and went away thinking that if reason failed to persuade her, experience surely would, you would be yourself in error, Experience is more apt to confirm than to rectify habitual follies; while it opposes a wrong tendency by circumstance, that very opposition rouses equal resistance of will for its

« PrécédentContinuer »