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versy, that the friends and admirers of the Archdeacon raised the monument to which we referred at the commencement of these remarks. He was not alone in his opinions; they were shared by multitudes around him; we may charitably conclude that this common delusion formed the chief, indeed the only plausible justification for his course of conduct.

The whole narrative furnishes a lively illustration of the difficulties which attended the Church Missionary Society for a long period subsequent to its formation. We can, perhaps, now discover some benefit which resulted to it from such blind and furious opposition. The tree planted was tended in its infancy with more jealous care by its friends; it grew the hardier because exposed to blasts and storms, and like the holm oak, of which the poet sings,—

"Per damna per credes ab ipso
Duxit opes animumque ferro."

We can thankfully acknowledge that a wonderful change has come over the spirit of England since these things happened "fifty years ago;" but one may well pause with astonishment at beholding Church dignitaries strenuously contending against the establishment of a Society which liot only has carried the light of God's word into the darkest places of the earth, and gathered converts by hundreds of thousands into the pale of the English Church; but which, without receding one atom from its principles, nay, in strictest conformity with them, was aiding mightily in the establishment of our Indian bishoprics, and has maintained mitred rulers in their sees, who without its aid, as has been gratefully acknowledged by the present Bishop of Lichfield, could not have maintained their position in the distant regions to which the successful labours of the Society's Missionaries invited them. Even, however, at the present day, we fear there are many parishes in England, where a spirit of apathy, if not of intolerance, still prevails, and where, despite Queen's Letters and Bishop's Charges, and all the efforts of ecclesiastical machinery, nothing is done for the extension of the Redeemer's kingdom. A curious illustration of this came under our notice a little while ago. A sermon was preached in a country church for the Church Missionary Society, and the preacher was assured by the vicar and churchwardens that the last collection which had been made in it for any charitable object was for the relief of the wounded after the battle of Waterloo. It would be no ordinary energy, no mechanical agency, however deftly organized, which could overcome such strenuous inertia.

We wish, however, wo could add, that the spirit which influenced the Archdeacon of Bath "fifty years ago" were altogether extinct, but we fear it still lingers in some quarters. Such feelings would unquestionably be most alien to the amiable and accomplished gentleman who so worthily fills that office now; but in many quarters a narrow jealous feeling still survives, which we would gladly see exorcised. It cannot be too distinctly asserted that, to use the language of one of the controversialists on this memorable occasion, "as an Englishman, I am surely at liberty to employ my money in contributing to humanize, civilize, and evangelize my fellow-creatures; and were I a clergyman, my clerical character would not divest me of my civil rights. I am also at liberty to associate with others for an object confessedly laudable; and while a spark of civil and religious liberty remains among us, I cannot be deprived of these rights." Zeal, even in a righteous cause, should ever be tempered with courtesy and discretion, and is the more likely to succeed when invested with such Christian graces; but it would be a grievous mistake and dereliction of duty, on the part of those who look and long and pray for the time when "all the kingdoms of the earth shall become the kingdoms of onr God and of His Christ," if they allowed petty jealousies and unfounded pretensions to interfere with their works and labours of love, where both the laws of the realm and the wisdom of the Church of which they are members have manifestly left them free to follow the dictates of conscience. If they entertain any doubt upon such points, the triumphant issue of the conflicts waged in a former generation, and the futility of such idle opposition, ought to furnish abundant encouragement that "in due season they shall reap if they faint not."

A good deal of mystification, however, is still kept afloat, by which many parochial clergymen, and even some ecclesiastical dignitaries, would endeavour to assume to themselves the office of the golden pipes, which empty the golden oil out of themselves; but there is little, we might fairly say no foundation for such a claim. If they are not clogged, and the oil runs freely through them,'_little harm may result, and they will usually be found convenient channels; but the exclusive right of being the conduits of all the Christian liberality of the parish or the diocese, with the power of dispensing it at their sole will and pleasure, is not a claim to be allowed. The influence of an ecclesiastical ruler, or a parochial clergyman, heartily interested in works of Christian liberality, will always, and justly, be most potential; but just in proportion as little may be assumed, much will usually be conceded. That they should have their individual preferences for certain societies or particular modes of carrying on Christian work, is to be expected; and that they should recommend and urge them, is but natural, and no one would be entitled to make objection to their doing so. But any assumption of ecclesiastical authority and prohibitions in virtue of imaginary official right, can only, if brought to the test, end in discomfiture. If, "fifty years ago," such attempts were powerless and recoiled upon the authors, there is not much in the temper of the present times to encourage a repetition of them. We do not think we are mistaken in asserting that it is just now the true wisdom of the clergy of the Church of England to rally around them every agency which is not inconsistent with the doctrines and discipline of our Reformed and Apostolic Church, and so to appeal freely and fearlessly to the good sense, the feeling, the piety, and the gratitude of the nation. We rejoice to know that multitudes do so heartily, and reap an ample reward from doing so. If troublous times are coming to our beloved Church, much danger will be averted, much love be called forth, by such prudent and conciliatory conduct. But, under any circumstances, nothing whatever must be allowed to impede "the universal diffusion of the knowledge of the mercies of God in Christ Jesus" by all possible means, and by the exertions of all who can anyhow be enlisted in the cause, an object which the Archdeacon of Bath, fifty years ago, declared to be dear to his heart, however strongly he objected to the Church Missionary Society as a suitable agency, and however completely he had held aloof from any other means of accomplishing it.

THE EDUCATION QUESTION WITH REFERENCE TO COMPULSION.

The education of a country is a topic which can never be void of interest to those who wish it well; but by the members of the Christian ministry, so long as they recognize their sacred solemn obligation to feed the lambs of Christ's flock, it ought to be regarded as of the first importance. Even amid the excitement which has attended the passage of the Bill for the disestablishment and disendowment—or, as the poor pithily express it, the destruction—of the Irish Church, there are many indications that the Education question is in our own country assuming greater proportions and rapidly increasing in interest. The Scotch Education Bill, the Sheffield Church Conference, the recent speeches of Members of the Government, and above all, the discussion aroused by the publication of the statistics collected by the National Society,* will serve to illustrate and confirm this remark. The present phase of the

• "Statistics of Church of England Schools for the Poor in England and Wales in 1866 and 1867."

question has been well put in the following words:—" The State cannot now repudiate the aid of the Church, while the Church cannot retain its hold on Education, still less increase it, witholit the aid of the State. The two must work together, unless there is to be a wanton waste of resources, and the problem of th« hour is to find the method- for their full co-operation."* That the solution of the problem thus clearly stated will be found in the present article, is not for a moment presumed. Nevertheless, it is not difficult, after a survey of the field of discussion, to ascertain the direction in which the question is now travelling. After a review of the prominent features of the present aspect of the subject, the author of this paper will not shrink from stating the principles which, in his judgment, will embody the future settlement of the question on terms as favourable as can be expected for our own Church. Though the writer is ready to admit that he values instruction much, education more, and scriptural training most of all; and that he views the question from a denominational as well as a patriotic platform, as a devoted son of the Reformed Established Church as well as a lover of his beloved country; yet he trusts that he will be found to have dealt with this great question on its own merits, apart from prejudice and personal predilection.

Among the prominent features of the Educational question, the first that impresses the intelligent observer is—

I. The Frospect of an Immediate Settlement. The circumstances that favour this immediate settlement are, (a) the general unwillingness to adopt any system involving a radical change. Such a system would naturally entail a vast cost in its introduction, if in any degree adequate to the requirements of the country, and would moreover necessitate the wanton waste of an immense amount of material and organization now in existence. This unwillingness is confirmed by the conviction, that, however complete a new scheme might be on paper, yet, that it would be found by experience, that any scheme which would be adapted to all the national difficulties and requirements, could not be produced entire from the pigeon-hole of some Downing Street official, but must, like the constitution itself, be a matter of growth, {b) A growing disposition to make the best of the existing system, not merely for economical reasons, but from the conviction that it possesses a framework which might be successfully developed and moulded to meet all the requirements of the case; and from the fact, that inasmuch as the imperfections and failings are now ascertained by the experience of many years, the system might now be so mended and extended as to make it acceptable and sufficient, and that thus at length we might "reap the well-ripened fruits of wise delay." (c) The all but universal spirit of conciliation and comproniise. That there is "a religious difficulty" so-called, all admit, but now for the first time there appears to be, -on all sides, such a disposition to deal with the question as augurs the practicability of general agreement. Fiercely as the Secularists have fought their battle, nothing can be more frank and graceful than their confession that the national sentiment is against them.* With the concession of a liberal conscience clause, they are, as a body, prepared to co-operate with the Scriptural party, and that the disposition to grant this is becoming more general, will be readily conceded. The Voluntaryists, moreover, who have " hitherto relied exclusively upon voluntary effort for the support of their schools, are now evincing a readiness to receive the aid of the State," is the statement of one of the most experienced observers on this question.f This generally prevailing spirit is a happy augury; but, on the other hand, when we look around on the growth of democracy and national infidelity, it is to be feared that, if the present opportunity for settlement be permitted to pass, it will never recur, in such a form as the members of our Established Church would desire. Such are the circumstances which favour the immediate settlement of the Education question, and the general interest now awakened on the subject supplies, it may be added, the materials for that hearty, earnest, vigorous, general cooperation, without which no permanent settlement can be effected.

* The Times Newspaper, leading article. Vol. 68.—Xo. 380. 4 D

II. The immense advance already made in removing the educational destitution of the country is the second feature which invites attention, and which on no consideration ought to be overlooked. Instead of feelings of despair, a review of tho past few years' work gives occasion for feelings of strong encouragement and thankfulness. It is most important to make this point prominent, because certain loose sensational statements are in circulation, which might mislead the unthinking. Such a slander as that uttered by Mr. Miall, in his Nonconformists' Sketch Book, that the country owed nothing in the matter of education to the clergy, would scarcely be now repeated by him, as member for Bradford, in theHouse of Commons. Short as has been the official experience of the Right Hon. John Bright, it has been, probably, of sufficient duration to prevent the repetition of a sentiment made only four years ago in reference to Manchester and the large towns generally, that

* For proofs, see speeches of Mr. Bruce, M.P., and Dr. Watts in the " Report of The National Conference on Education," pp. 32—50. t "Notes on Mr. Brace's BUI of 1867," by the Rev. Canon Richson, pp. 1, 2.

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