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such interference of Parliament, and then turned off to show that his opinion in the matter was warranted by history and sustained by precedent. Such proof only tends to show that churchmen have the law and constitutional usage on their side, not that they have a conscience. Of course we admit that His Grace had a right to judge of the gravity of the case, and may draw a distinction between a mere rubric which directs the worship and the formularies of which it consists. But in the popular eye the Prayer-book is viewed as a whole, and if a rubric be touched with impunity, any stand made on the rest of its contents would lose that force which is publicly acquired from consistency. Nor should we mistake the drift of feeling in Parliament on such questions. They who find that secular legislation is allowed to mutilate a rubric without rousing the conscience of churchmen, will certainly not stop there. The precedent will be urged, the wedge will be driven remorselessly. They will pare at the nail till they reach the quick, and will go on paring still. The lectionary, the burial, the baptismal, the communion services, will each in turn be made the subject of a series of experiments on the consciences of the clergy. This is, humanly speaking, as certain, on the hypothesis that the step contemplated by Lord Shaftesbury be not opposed on conscientious grounds, as any forecast of events can be. We only put off the evil day and render any resistance to its evil less effectual when it comes. We shall be in the unheroic condition of the man whose personal treatment, if he had been kicked down one step more, would have 'roused' within him the spirit of the British Lion.'
Of course it may be the case that the Archbishop may really intend to resist for conscience sake, the imposition of parliamentary rubrics, but did not in his place in the House on that occasion think fit to say so. If this was the feeling with which he spoke, we can only say with respectful regret that we consider such reticence to be a mistake. It would be a specimen in fact of undue deference where deference is not due, and the dictatorial tone assumed by Lord Shaftesbury, is a specimen of what we meant by being kicked.' Nothing will abate the erastian insolence of these amateur directors of the Church, but the boldness of men who dare all for conscience' sake. It is
use saying, “How harsh | how unconstitutional! how oppressive to our conscience such a course on the part of Par* liament!' To such an ebullition of epithets not the slightest attention will be paid. The only thing that will be listened to for a moment is the strong tone of independence. They who shrink from this had better prepare their backs for the smiter. Nothing else will induce a modern House of Commons even to
pause and give ear to the complaints of the spiritual body. They must stop and listen to this. But then those who
it must stick to it. There is no occasion for complaints of being
dragged through the dirt of Parliament.' By speakers standing in the public eye in the Church's cause, such phrases are better forborne. But the fortiter in re is an essential for the absence of which whole honeycombs of the suaviter in modo will never atone.
But the decided line once taken up must be adhered to. The clergy inust be prepared to take their chance among the bulls
of Bashan,' and the beasts of Ephesus.' It may be tearing and goring will come of it, it may be only bellowing and starnping, and lashing of tails. But whatever comes of it, they must be prepared to go through with it. You cannot show that you have à conscience to those who disbelieve it by anything but by suffering for it. It is no use citing the Synodalia and the statutes at large-quite beside the point, in fact. It reminds us of the envoy who
quoted Wicquefort And Puffendorf and Grotius,
And proved from Vattel,
Such a derd would be quite atrocious.' Let the clergy make it plain to all men that they have a conscience in the matter first; they may, when that is established, perhaps be listened to as an estate of the realm, but not till then.
No Church indeed has any right to expect exemption from persecution, more especially when she has entangled her organization with that of the State, to the extent to which our Church has done. The utmost which the State can now-a-days do is to dis-establish the Church and confiscate her revenues, but the full measure of what it can do it may be expected to do, if resisted, or this at least is the only calculation which it is safe to make. We may perhaps reckon on wholesale spoliation and robbery, desecration and confiscation, as the more probable issue of our counsels. No scruples of justice, save to the life interests of individuals, will impede the moveinents of the erastian and secularizing party for a moment. The fact that large and costly gifts have been made to the Church by private munificence, which have cost the State nothing, and from which all her citizens have derived nothing but advantage, will not be considered as constituting any bar to the hand of the Parliamentary Doeg. Possibly the Church's fabrics may be left her from the difficulty of putting them to any other purposes, and from the popular feeling which it might be dangerous to arouse by pulling them down. The village
rustics might think upon her stones,' and it might 'pity them to see her in the dust. But that is the uttermost which the Church could reckon upon as likely to survive the looting. This is what we may possibly be called upon to face, and in the determination to face it manfully, and rather go forth to meet it than seek to shrink from it, or stave it off, lies the only chance of escaping it.
Una salus victis nullam sperare salutem. The power of inflicting penalties lies entirely on the side of those who commit the injury, the perpetrators for nearly two centuries of a deliberate and calculated wrong; and, as usual, those who commit the outrage are_unforgiving. We give our counsel then to the Church of England and her clergy, if the temporal power presume to tamper with the Book of Common Prayer, boldly to resist the law, as the Nonconformists did before them, and leave to her enemies, or rather her false friends and traitorous protectors, the odium, which time will surely bring, of putting it in force by penalties. Let them plead the compact broken, the wrongs and grievances of two centuries unredressed, and the higher law absolving the conscience from obedience to the lower; let them constantly speak the truth, and patiently suffer for the truth's sake.' But we speak to men whose habits and traditions have been for generations moulded in the groove of compliance, who, with their fathers before them, have for centuries seen the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Ten Commandments set up beneath the gilded pageant of the royal arms, and probably we speak in vain.
As regards any compact or concordat of any kind, none can ever be trusted. It is plain that no truce can bind the faithless tyranny of the civil power. It arrogates everything, and leaves the Church nothing, save the power of resisting and suffering for it. There never was a more glaring case of solemn securities broken, and the faith of treaties blown to the winds, than that manifested in the dealings of the Privy Council office with the Church, and her accredited agent, the National Society. What enhances the shamelessness of the whole proceeding is, it is only with the Church of England that such barefaced violations of pledges are attempted. The same 'management clause,' which was forced upon that Church in 1846-9, was never attempted with the Roman Catholics. They were allowed to place their schools under the sole guardianship of their clergy and yet receive the State's assistance. The same right was denied to promoters of Church of England schools with regard to their legitimate pastors; and a similar double-dealing course is now being pursued with regard to the so-called 'conscience clause.' We cannot construe these instances as accidental.
They represent a studied policy, not only to defraud the Church, but to humiliate and insult her in the face of her enemies; and this too on the part of an office which, in 1839, was only rescued from extinction by the minister of the day, Lord John Russell, solemnly declaring on its behalf, that its grants would be administered in conformity with the rules of the National Society. So far as this conscience clause' is enforced, Church of England school promoters are defrauded of their share in a grant out of taxes which they help to pay ; but it is as idle to expect, from this office, justice, much less generosity, to the Church, as it would be to expect Malay pirates to show mercy to their prisoners. We dwell the rather upon this, because it will sensitively touch thousands of churchmen who supinely accept the royal supremacy as incapable of doing wrong, over whose heads the argument about their spiritual liberties, and the solemnly guaranteed rights of Convocation explode like blank cartridge fired high in air, or
Like a tale of little meaning, tho' the words are strong,'
but who still regard the cause of religious education as a sacred thing.
The question of what rights the civil legislature may have in matters of religion, has been much perplexed in recent discussions, but admits of a perfectly simple statement: That legislature may enact anything it pleases. It is absolutely unlimited. There is no reason why it may not, next session, proceed in a root-and-branch method with church-rates, tithes, church fabrics, clerical revenues, and education trust properties ; pounce upon and sell off the whole stock and plant of all voluntary religious associations, and apply the proceeds to endow the London University, or the Kensington Museum, or to provide a new International Exhibition. It may pass a short act to suppress the Bible and Prayer-book at once. It may establish, instead of the Church, Quakerism, or Positivism, or Mormonism, or may forbid all devotion of property to any religious uses.
But of spiritual capacity it is utterly void. It can attach penalties to any profession of faith, but it cannot alter one iota of a Creed. It may repeal the Act of Uniformity, and pass another containing a mutilated Prayer-book, and imposing penalties on all who refuse to use it; but it cannot unmake the Book of Common Prayer, nor alter a letter of it. It might as well pass an Act to abolish the axioms of Euclid, and fine or imprison all who ventured to teach them. It might enact that all privy councillors or all members of either House of Parliament be empowered to officiate as priests or deacons, and prohibit every man, whose name is in the Clergy List, from assuming those functions, and so on through an endless catalogue of possible absurdities. It has just the same power to alter rubrics, collects, articles or creeds. It is equally powerful as regards the sanction of law, equally powerless as regards the spiritual essence of every such matter. Tbat spiritual essence lies as far beyond it as the law of gravitation or the truths of mathematics. The spiritual essence of the Church's Prayerbook is derived from the agreement and consent of her members to use it. If in any case a statute of the realm has presumed to enact that it shall be altered, that statute is, spiritually, null and void, until those eame members, at any rate tacitly, agree to use it as so altered. Until the Test Act was repealed, a good deal of such alteration might or may have been tolerated. So long as there was hope in the powers of the Crown, and in the good will of its constitutional advisers towards the Church, a good deal might be tacitly acquiesced in. But that game is played out. Parliament is, spiritually speaking, a miscellaneous Babel of sectaries. The Crown is powerful only as a fulcrum for the lever of parliamentary oppression. Its ministers are the humble servants of the majority; and the Church is called upon by some to allow the enactments of such a body to be her rule and guide! A majority composed of such elements says to her, · Bow down, that we may go over,' and she is expected to lay her body as the ground and as the streets' to them. It is open to Parliament to select committees of either House, from the avowed enemies of the Church among its members, to sit upon the Prayer-book, and to enact off-hand whatever it may seem good to those committees to recommend. There was a time, within recent memory, when the consent of the Crown might have been reckoned on as likely to be refused to such an enactment; but who would value that probability at a feather's weight now? There is no help for the Church in princes, or in any child of man.' A spiritual body which should consent to the dictation of such a temporal body, or which should not rather gladly accept persecution as the alternative, would deservedly earn the contempt and aversion of united Christendom.
In the face of these arguments it seems to us comparatively idle to discuss whether any particular edition of the Prayerbook had the authority of Convocation before it received the sanction of the temporal law by parliamentary enactment. The deliberate acquiescent use of the Church is far greater than any special canon of both Convocations. At the same time, from the solemn declarations repeatedly made by the Crown, and concurred in on some occasions by Parliament, the expressed