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T is somewhat unfortunate for this Bill, that it has been introduced by the Bishop of London. His lordship's ill treatment of certain curates, and his evident desire to acquire greater power over incumbents are so well known, that any measure emanating from him will naturally be regarded by the clergy with suspicion. And certainly, in this particular instance, their suspicions will not be unfounded. The Bill is a decided attempt to get more power over the beneficed clergy;. and there is no pretence of disguising the fact it is plain and outspoken enough. The Bishop appoints Archdeacons and Rural Deans, and these, with his sanction, are to appoint a surveyor, who is to be under the influence of the Bishop. It is to be the business of the surveyor to visit every benefice once in five years, and to report what works are to be done, and to fix a time for their completion. If an incumbent should venture to appeal against this report, the Bis
hop is to appoint a referee, whose opinion is to be final; and if adverse, the incumbent must pay the costs of his appeal. He would be a bold man who would dare to appeal under these conditions, which are totally opposite to the ordinary customs of business men. What is the use of a referee, acting alone, and appointed by the party appealed against? What, too, is the use of taxing costs, when the Bishop is to nominate one of his own officials for the purpose?
There is no grievance proposed to be remedied by this Bill, but it creates a greater. What is the inconvenience now to an outgoing or incoming incumbent, compared with a quinquennial inspection and a compulsory outlay at, perhaps, very inconvenient times ? It is mere maudlin sentimentality to say that incumbents wish to relieve their widows and children of one visit of the surveyor by periodical visits and annual taxation. Do they? If they do, we can suggest a much more simple plan; though we must not be supposed to be recommending it. Let a diocesan surveyor, without salary, be appointed, and if any incumbent wishes to relieve himself of responsibility, let him, with the consent of the patron, call in the diocesan surveyor, execute the works recommended, pay the fees and commission, and receive an A 1. certificate of exemption from liabilities for five years.* Anything
*This was done in the Ecclesiastical Dilapidations Act of 1871, but the fees are overwhelming and prohibitory. The fees in the diocese of Winchester, under all sections, amount to thirty guineas.
rather than taxation, accumulated funds, and a band of extensive and costly officials.
If we examine the parsonage houses through the length and breadth of the land, and look at the air of comfort and stability which reigns everywhere, the Bill seems entirely uncalled for. There is at present sufficient machinery, in the shape of Archdeacons and Rural Deans, to do, in a gentlemanly manner and without cost, all that this Bill proposes to do by an arbitrary and expensive means. The exceptions to good parsonage houses, as a rule, are so very rare, that in these few cases it will be much better to let them fall into decay along with their possessors, as remnants of a past age, than spend. ruinous sums in propping up falling houses, and accumulating funds for a second Ecclesiastical Commission and numerous Episcopal nominees. We all know what an accumulating fund means, with all its jobbery and sinecures ; and the proposed Bill does not provide for anything out of it but the payment of salaries. Under the new régime, the Archdeacon's periodical inspection of chancels, &c., would be dispensed with; but where this visit takes the form of a lunch at the rectory, and an iconoclastic view of the chancel afterwards, the omission would not be regretted.
Next after incumbents, patrons are the persons most interested in the matter; and yet, strange to say, with one exception, the rights of patrons are entirely overlooked, that single exception being when it is a
question of pulling down, instead of building up. We cannot but regard this as a most fortunate slip on the part of the promoters, as it will infallibly lead to the rejection of the Bill in either House where private patronage is so well represented. Whichever way we look at it, it must be regarded as another attempt to oppress the clergy and put them more under the power of the Bishops. Thank goodness, it is but an attempt; the eyes of all are too alive to the agressive policy of some of our Bishops, for such an attempt to succeed at the present time. Even the Times makes no secret of it, and calls it "an unprecedented interference with private property, out of all proportion with the evil it proposes to repair, which must infallibly lead to perpetual quarrelling and chronic ill-blood." Nor, indeed, is there any valid reason why the clergy should be subjected to such interference more than any other tenants for life or any who hold property on repairing leases.
THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD.
[Church Review,' September 20, 1862.]
HE interests of the Church and the World
hostility of the enemy, and the underhand working of the well-meaning but worldly-minded. The latter is, perhaps, most to be dreaded, for the friendship of the world is still enmity, and we must ever take heed to the caution of our Blessed LORD, and beware when all men speak well of us. We have a curious illustration of the peculiar sort of friendship the world holds out to the Church in one section of the newspaper press, while we have its enmity in another. In a recent instance, one treats of the dead, the other of the living. One, in a satirical sketch of the Bishop of Exeter's life,* seizes upon those points for especial vituperation which the good and consistent Church-man looks upon with the most satisfaction, as showing that there is at least one Bishop who does exercise