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and their wants—at least the wants of those whose duties, generally speaking, are the most onerous, and whose charge is most responsible— can no longer be overlooked. The government of the country resolved, under the administration of Lord Liverpool, to devote a million of money to the erection of churches in those places where the increase of population had rendered this accommodation most necessary; and the impulse which was then* given has been followed by other efforts, facilitated by the recent Churchbuilding Acts, which have led to the erection of at least as many more churches or chapels. But the enlightened statesman who introduced this measure was not spared to add to his original plan what was necessary to render it efficient. He carried the measure for raising the fabric, but nothing was done for the endowment. Had his political life been prolonged even as far as his natural existence ran, he would, no doubt, have endeavoured to carry some measure which should have provided for the maintenance of the ministers in the new-built churches; and which would have rescued his original plan from the difficulties under which it labours: but nothing of the sort was done while he lived, and in dying he left the helm to other men, who have never attempted to supply the defect. The churches which were built by the government grant have therefore remained without any public endowment whatever; and the only stipend that can be offered to those who minister in them is derived from the degrading and precarious resource of rent paid for the sittings. Without dwelling on the character of this resource, which makes the pastor dependent on his people, and which always inrolves a temptation to the sacrifice of truth, it should not be forgotten, that these churches were very generally built in the suburbs of our manufacturing towns, — in places where a dense and corrupt population imperiously called for such an
aid, but where, oftentimes, poverty almost precluded the power of paying for a seat, and where irreligion, long seated and habitual, had almost excluded the wish for one. And yet into these places, teeming with vice, sunk in ignorance, and with more than the ordinary concomitants of ignorance, clergymen were to be sent, to collect congregations, and to preach in churches capable of holding from 1500 to 2000 persons. Into these places they were to be sent—often without any of the circumstances which usually add an air of comfort and decency to the clerical life—without a parsonagehouse, a glebe, a garden; sent in some cases to collect a maintenance from those who could hardly maintain themselves, and to live on the contributions of men who hardly knew the purpose of their coming. That clergymen, not only of piety but of learning, of talents, of education and accomplishments, have been found ready to undertake such offices, promises well, we would trust, for the church which has produced them. Its first love cannot have become extinct; the vigour of youth must be in its veins while it can supply such labourers as are many of those to whom we allude for these neglected comers of the vineyard of the Lord; nor will the Lord himself be slow to mark the zeal of those who thus offer themselves for the heat and burden of the day. But in the mean time there is a duty devolving on the state; and if the state refuses to recognize the obligation, it then devolves upon the church, to consider whether means exist by which this frightful disproportion between the toil of the labourer and his hire may be remedied, and the temporal situation of these zealous and faithful ministers of Christ may be suitably improved. It is humiliating on such an occasion to feel compelled at once to pass to the second part of the alternative, and to look to the by-nomeans-immoderate property which the church already possesses as the only resource for the public wants. We do not think that it is so, or ought to be so; and if the whole of our cathedral resources were applied to this purpose they would be but a drop in the ocean. It devolves on the nation to supply its own wants; and in a large majority of towns and parishes this might be done locally, without any onerous pressure; and leave our old endowments intact for other momentous objects. Where new churches have been built, and clergymen appointed to them, it is but reasonable that either the legislature or those who are directly benefited should shew their gratitude for the enlargement of spiritual privileges by making a suitable preparation for maintaining and perpetuating the public service of God. It would be but just if the nation extended over those millions, which have been generated by its commercial prosperity, some measure of that parental care which nature dictates to the animal creation. But if there is nothing to be hoped for from the state, if that false and specious economy which sacrifices gold in saving pence, is to allow an immense population to grow up, destitute of religious knowledge and religious restraint, the church will doubtless gladly curtail its modest splendour in order to meet the exigence, and will part with its few ornaments in order to buy bread for its starving children. On these grounds, it should be repeated, and on these alone, can such a diversion of any portion of our cathedral revenues be justified; and nothing but a necessity similar to that which induced Abimelech to distribute to the followers of David the bread which was reserved for the priests, could authorise such an application of our chapter lands, which, under an improved system of cathedral management, mightbe rendered of eminent service to the cause of religion.
But even the above limit requires limitation; for if any portion of cathedral property is to be transferred to parochial uses, this ought not to be done promiscuously. Durham
ought not to be taxed for Leeds, or Winchester for Sheffield; the livings to be benefited by the sacrifice ought to be those poor ones which belong to the chapter: and this the new act of parliament allows; and it is to be hoped it will be largely and spontaneously acted upon, so that one considerable class of parishes in every diocese will thus reap great benefit, and become a fair remuneration for a resident incumbent, without the shadow of injustice or spoliation. If any thing in the shape of Mr. Greene's bill now before parliament should also pass the legislature, ecclesiastical bodies will be enabled to exchange their advowsons and other property where it may be desirable; and if such a power shall be disinterestedly employed by chapters, so as to possess themselves of parishes where there is a large destitute population, and, having thus made them their own, endow them with a portion of their revenues, here again would be no spoliation, but only a laudable and useful appropriation of their present resources. Such a mode of adjustment might be carried in many instances to a considerable extent with great public benefit, and with no other injury to any party than that the future candidate for chapter preferment with cure of souls must be content with a fair income to have a laborious parish under his charge; which those who think it a hardship may be allowed, without any disservice to religion, to decline.
But these are matters of general church-reform into which it is not our present purpose to enter, the remarks in this paper being intended to be confined to our cathedrals, and points immediately connected with them. Whether it be right or desirable that cathedral property should be alienated, as some propose, to the general purpose of augmenting small livings, is not the question we are now discussing; our object is rather to shew what may be done, without any such alienation, to render it of the highest service in the cause of religion and for the public welfare; fax more so, we sincerely believe, than by any general alienation. We repeat, that chapters ought conscientiously, as they are now by law empowered, to make their property available to the wants of the livings in their own gift: for a rich chapter with an appendage of poverty-struck vicarages and perpetual curacies, is a solecism and a disgrace which ought not to be endured. But we are not inclined to admit the principle of alienation: property is sacred, and whatever alterations may be thought desirable, we should wish to restrict them within these limits: cathedral property should be still cathedral property, but under such regulations as would render it invaluable for the purposes for which alone ecclesiastical bodies or national church-establishments ought to exist. We need not add, that whatever regulations may be made, existing rights and interests ought to be secured, or fairly indemnified; the plan, therefore, could be only prospective, or at least with consent of the parties already personally concerned. We need not repeat this, but it of course pervades all our remarks.
Suppose then that a commission were issued, with powers to carry into effect a plan of cathedral reform. Many most important improvements might indeed be effected without such a commission, and the consideration of these we strongly urge upon all who have it in their power to promote them; but for a uniform national arrangement, a public commission might be necessary. The objects we should propose to such a commission would be such as the following.
We would begin with the bishops. Whether any of the lesser dioceses should be united; whether any of the richer bishopricks should be made to contribute a portion of their emoluments to assist the poorer, or to augment poor livings, either locally in the diocese or generally, or to forward any other objects of a national church-establishment, are not points that come under our present notice.
Christ. Observ. No. 362.
We believe that there would be no injustice in some of the plans which have been proposed relative to these matters, but our present remarks do not embrace them: we are not pleading for alienation, or discussing the merits of equalization. If any prospective diminution of episcopal income is in any case desirable, our observations will shew how the surplus can be disposed of to great advantage, in immediate connexion with the diocese and cathedral: but we can do without it, and shall not enter into the question of such appropriation; though if asked our opinion, it is, that inordinate episcopal revenues are not desirable, as they tend to draw into a church those who had better be kept out of it, and render it a mark for secular ambition, family intrigue, and political contest. Those who think well of the system of Lord Norths appointing Doctor Norths, will not agree with us in this conclusion: but it is not necessary to our present argument to discuss it; we therefore pass it over.
But if the revenues of some bishopricks are too large, others are unquestionably too small and ought to be augmented. The source above mentioned seems the natural quarter to look to for that purpose; and this without introducing parity or equalization, which are so much dreaded; though we know not why they should be more so in regard to a bench of bishops than to a bench of judges, except that such a measure would cut off the system of political translations, which we confess would not to our minds appear any grievous calamity. But we again pass over debated points, to remark, that whereverthe augmentation of poor bishopricks is to come from, it ought not to come in the evil shape of pluralities having special duties, and more especially cure of souls. Whatever funds, dignities, or resources are added to make up the desirable income should be at once detached from all care and responsibility, that the bishop may have nothing to attend to but his duties in his diocese and in parliament, which it may be rea
sonably considered are quite sufficient for the mind and body of any one mortal man. If any lucrative office proposed to be added will not allow of this detachment, and to be made a sinecure, it is not a fit appendage to the episcopate. Then, when a suitable addition, from whatever quarter, is found, let it be henceforth in perpetuity annexed to the mitre of that see. All this might be easily effected, without injury to any party and with benefit to all.
We have now, by the above arrangement, placed a bishop in every diocese, who has no tie elsewhere, except—and a large exception—in parliament. Our object must next be, to cause him to reside within the sound of the bells of his cathedral, which is to be the focus of all that is to be effected in the diocese. The staff at this important post must always be as far as possible complete; it is the head quarters of the whole ecclesiastical army; and till such a system is carried into effect as shall present to us in every cathedral city a resident bishop, a resident archdeacon, with a full equipment of resident canons, prebendaries, and other dignified ecclesiastical officers, —for all of whom we will find ample employment—our idea of cathedral reform will not be complete. We are notattachingblame to individuals, but only pointing out the defectiveness of the system. A bishop may have no residence in the place, and may have a palace to keep up at a distance; an archdeacon or chancellor may be giving his services to the diocese for less than pays his expenses, while he is obliged to retain other preferment, and to live for the most part elsewhere, in order " to provide things honest in the sight of all men;" and the other officers of the cathedral have in general only certain apportioned seasons of residence, and have parishes in the country which require their care. All this we admit; but it does not follow that, because this has hitherto been the system, it is abstractedly a good one, and ought never to be amended.
We have now a prelate liberally provided for as to temporal matters, detached from all but his diocesan and parliamentary duties, and resident in the focus of his influence, patronage, and spiritual supervision. We proceed to make him responsible for all that passes in his cathedral and his diocese; and for that purpose must allow of no co-ordinate jurisdiction. The cathedral must not be a Protestant monastery: the chapter and the bishop must not pull in opposite directions: the great object is to make the whole machine work together for the glory of God, the souls of men, and the spiritual efficiency of the church of Christ established in this land; and this cannot be attained if there is not one pervading mind to direct the whole. We do not mean that the bishop is to be absolute, or that he is to possess irresponsible powers, or to be a lord over God's heritage: but we mean that there ought not to be two interests, two courts, two heads to one body, two thwarting modes of action, or two bodies of rival secular and regular clergy. The chapter and all its dignities and emoluments should become intimately part of the diocese, and the bishop as the presiding officer of the one should be so of the other also, under such regulations as would prevent any abuse or improper exercise of power. As the matter now stands, if the cathedral and all its officers and emoluments were swallowed up by an earthquake, the diocese, as a diocese, would be nearly where itwas. Instead of its thus continuing an offset, a splendid appendage, or, as some would think, an excrescence or encumbrance, we would render it an integral part of the see, and turn all its influence and property into the channel of public advantage. This again might be arranged without much difficulty.
The bishop, dean, and chapter, being thus closely united, the management of the whole ecclesiastical income of the mitre and the chapterhouse and its members should be transacted in one regular official manner. Fines should be abolished; estates should be let at a fair rent; no individual should have a separate interest; but the whole should be managed on a large scale, without any vestige of the present system of risk and lottery, running life against life, and other evils attendant upon the existing practice. All parties would thus have their due share (we do not say of necessity equal shares, though less difference than at present would be desirable) of the revenues without hazard or anxiety; and this would be eventually a larger share than under the present management, which is full of evils to all parties, and ruinous to the character and popularity of the church. A prebendary is thought to receive a great prize when a fine comes in: but the public forget how many years it spreads over; and the farmer would have gladly paid a larger sum in the shape of adequate yearly rent, and the dignitary, in the long run, have received a larger as well as more equable income. What a world of anxiety would be saved by such an official management of episcopal and cathedral revenues.
Having now got all parties together, we must keep them together, and allot them their employments. The bishop will have no reason for wandering, except for a portion of the year to the metropolitan centre of light and heat, whence he is to return to his cathedral with a new accession of both; and such an intercourse may be made of far greater benefit to the church than if bishops were shut out from parliament, and confined all the year to their diocese. London is the only spot where they can all meet and have brotherly conference, and thus secure a uniformity of plan and action throughout the kingdom. The advantages of our prelates meeting periodically in the metropolis are very great: indeed, were it not for this, the disorders and disunions of the church would be greater than they are; there would be no bond of union; each diocese would be isolated; and there would be no
opportunity for discussing the state of the church, and innumerable questions connected with the aspect of religion, ecclesiastical law, and public morals and happiness. It may be doubted whether the most is made of this facility for conference, and whether it is brought to bear sufficiently upon many questions of vital interest; but the opportunity ought not to be lost; and, far therefore from wishing wholly to rusticate our prelates, we think that under any system they should have those opportunities for metropolitan intercourse which are now afforded by means of their parliamentary residence.
To keep the other dignitaries of the cathedral together, we would allot to each of them such local duties and fair emoluments as should take away all ground for non-residence. We would blot out the whole ambulatory system which at present desolates our cathedral cities, and makes the close oftentimes like a caravansera, or a university out of term time; an everchanging scene; faces here to-day and gone to-morrow; none of that spirit to repair and adorn, and spend liberally, and to take an interest in the surrounding scenes, which attaches to a constant residence for many years in the same spot. How can any man enter with due interest into the welfare of a neighbourhood in which he spends only a few weeks annually, sufficient to allow of his signing his receipt, and then gladly hastens away elsewhere to his home? How, also, can he have the minute local information necessary to do much good? Added to both which impediments, as cathedrals are now regulated, these migratory ecclesiastical officers have little or no connexion with the neighbourhood or diocese; no fulcrum for a lever, however anxious they may be to erect one; and are no more reckoned among the influential inhabitants than the swallows or woodcocks with which they arrive or take their flight.
Well then, we must have resi