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and substantially by its alliance with that section of English society whose ample revenue and cultivated leisure lie at the foundation of that physical perfection, and that graceful culture, by which it is accompanied-of that chivalry worthy of a Coeur-de-Lion, and that incommunicable spirit and demeanour which constitutes the gentleman. The intimate association of the Church with the infinite diversity of English life, and especially of the cultivated classes, is one of the fortunate distinctions it enjoys when compared with the great Nonconformist bodies in the country, or the potent spiritual organization of Rome.
On one occasion, a great living prelate. an Englishman, but also a prince of the Roman Church, Cardinal Wiseman, speaking of the elevation of one of his countrymen, a member of an old English family, to the cardinalate, observed that it must have been flattering to the gentlemen of England to witness how easily one of their number could step from his private position to a rank which ever made the individual illustrious. Cardinal Wiseman, true to the instincts of the politician, was able to perceive how advantageously such an appointment operated for the Church, quite as clearly as it did for the dignity of the gentleman elevated.
We have seen how considerably Church patronage has been vested in those classes which may be termed the governing classes of England; but in point of fact, even that portion of Church patronage which appears to belong to the Church itself, and to rest exclusively on its own internal control, rests, though indirectly, perhaps, with the classes we have described. Even the spiritual overseers of the Church, the bench of bishops, who hold their place in the “Lords,” belong almost to a man to the gentlemen of England,--are directly and avowedly appointed by the minister of the time. And, indeed, what lover of his country would not prefer to commit the appointment of the chief clergy of a national church to the shrewd, ripe judgment and the consummate knowledge of men for which Lord Palmerston is remarkable, or to the incomparable sagacity and intelligence, combined with the sensitive conscience, of Gladstone; to the graceful and humane, even if narrower Shaftesbury ; to the chivalric and accomplished Derby; yea, or that astute diplomatist and profound political philosopher, Disraeli, rather than to a council of priests, to a bishop who is the creature of the Pope, or to an irresponsible Wesleyan Conference. Is it possible to conceive that a Wesleyan Conference would ever have made a Sydney Smith a Canon of St. Paul's? How would the grim countenances of the Wesleyan Conference have hardened with disdain, or been distorted with apprehension, under the incomparable wit of that most genial humorist. Lord Shaftesbury and his brother bishop-makers are surely as competent to choose wisely as a Wesleyan Conference, whose century of life is an intellectual desolation, barren of every order of greatness, at once the incarnation and apotheosis of mediocrity. We like to imagine the contact of two such men as Sydney Smith and the Reverend Jabez Bunting ; we can fancy the Reverend J. B. listening to the brilliant Sydney ; the square, corpulent Wesleyan, with 80 little appreciation of humour that nothing less than a surgical operation could develop it, chafing under the coruscations of the good canon. The weather being intolerably sultry, our merry clergyman once upon a time observed gravely to an elderly lady in company that he " thought he should take off his flesh and sit in his bones," which our elderly lady regarded as a very “unorthodox proceeding." In any but the Church of England, sustained and refined by a “Church patronage," judiciously, and, on the whole, happily exercised, the wonderful wit and wisdom of such men as Sydney Smith might have been lost to the world, certainly lost to the authority of a genial and tolerable form of English religion.
Parson Adams and the Vicar of Wakefield are happy types of an alluring and tender piety painted by the hand of genius; but they are not more inspiring to us than those grander lives sheltered by the Church and partly created by it, -of such ornaments and bene. factors to their country as Baden Powell, so lately, taken from the priceless labours to which his noble energies were consecrated. And indeed the high domain of literature and science has been constantly and splendidly recruited from the ranks of the Church of England.
In our impatience of authority, and our somewhat blasé contempt for every venerable tradition, intensified as it is by that scoffing temper which it is the fashion to affect, and which is fatal to the noble faculty of reverence, we forget much for which we should be grateful, and sneer at many things to which we might respectfully bend without dishonour. It is well sometimes to remember how powerless individuals are, and how all good things that surround us are the growth of our social organization. The English Church, permeated by the potent secular agencies resulting from its alliance with every order of cultivated society, have been magnificently fertile in the high characteristics which has built up the national greatness and the national fame, and lent permanence to the national glory. Practically speaking, this spiritual fortress is invaded by the high intelligence of each generation, and subdued to the service of the nation. In other words, the Church invites the affluent intellect and ever advancing civilization of England to its hospitable embrace, and inspires it in return with the warmer, and subtler, and more purifying poetry of religious aspiration. Divorced from each other, both would suffer. The operation on the Church of influences springing indirectly from that precious and indispensable secular experience which it is the pride as well as the profession of all churches largely to ignore, would cease. The clergy need the protection of minds of wider cultivation than their own. The unspeakable disparity of importance, alleged to exist between what is termed the merely mundane and ephemeral interests of this life, and that eternal and tremendous existence beyond the grave, may very naturally dispose the clergy to disparage the labours of a life 80 fleeting, with all its little battles, sus small and passionate
ambitions, its poor and wretched trophies withering ere they are won, and all the shows and miserable pageantry which men agree to prize. The clergy are liable to ponder unhealthily on themes like these. The unaffectedly religious mind, concentrating itself on the sum of what is visible to it, brooding over its arithmetic of human bankruptcy, may well grow morbid in this melancholy charnel-house, and losing altogether the dim sight of reason, yield itself absolutely to the sovereignty of the imagination. Secular influence saves the Church from the ills of fanaticism. And more than this, civil liberty is safer. England has groaned more than once under the hoofs of a brutal and despotic bigotry. A rule like that can never return to curse us while English civilization demands from the Church the right of entry. In the main, this contributes greatly to religious as well as to political freedom. Only in the Church of England would the speculations of its highest minds find safety and toleration. The “Essays and Reviews,” struggling with tradition, would anywhere else have exposed its authors to social destruction and perpetual anathema. Free intellect can hardly escape a conflict as it is,-how would it have fared under the pitiless despotism of other Church governments? We have said that civil liberty is safer under the system we defend. The Globe newspaper of the 10th of December recounts an incident only possible under certain forms of the ecclesiastical system. At the first election for Birkenhead, a place recently enfranchised, Mr. Laird was the Conservative (and successful) candidate. It is recorded that “the Catholic priest marched up at the head of 200 Catholics, who all voted for Laird.” It is to be doubted if a spectacle like this could ever find a parallel in a Church which secular common sense, or a judicious system of Church patronage, had ever penetrated,
The Church of England has kept notably free from the contamination of religious revivals. It has taken no part in peopling the asylums with the victims of an appalling and fanatical mania. This is a crime from which it is happily free, and of which it has never been accused. It is an advantage to the Church, and has served to make it tolerable to an age like ours, that the learning of the cloister has been leavened with the genius of progress. The most potential ecclesiastical corporation known to men is at this moment fighting for its life, because it will not suffer the intrusion of secular influences, but insists that the sacerdotal authority shall be absolute. Rome, with its high conceptions of spiritual prerogative, claiming to hold the keys from St. Peter, and basing its authority on the splendid pretence of apostolical succession, may well disdain to share a divinely descended sovereignty with merely secular governments. But it wars with the spirit of the age; it defies modern civilization. The conflict is instructive. It rages under our own eyes, and it may yield the momentous lesson that the wisdom of this world is as much a Divine institution as the wisdom which guides us to another.
C. H. MANCUNIUM. * 1862.
NEGATIVE ARTICLE.-I. WÁAT is Church Patronage? By whom is it exercised? When and how did it originate? These questions must be answered, before we can discuss the further question at the head of this article.
As to the first. Briefly it may be replied, -Church patronage is the legal right and act of presentation to some ecclesiastical benefice. More fully it may be described as the appointment, by certain individuals or corporations recognized by law, of archbishops, bishops, deans, and other cathedral dignitaries, rectors, vicars, incumbents, and other persons who fill offices in the Established Church of England, Wales, and Ireland. With the Kirk of Scotland, differing so widely as it does, in government and in discipline, from its sister Establishment in the south, we have in the present discussion nothing to do.
The patronage is dispensed as follows:- Nearly all the higher dignities of the Church are filled, nominally, by the Crown, really, by the Prime Minister of the day. Virtually, the patronage of all ecclesiastical offices rests with the Sovereign; or the responsible advisers for the time being. The foundation of this right lies in the fact that the Church is, and has always been, regarded by the legislature as much the creature of the State as the army, the nary, or any branch of the civil administration of the realm. By direct nomination the Crown appoints to all bishoprics and archbishoprics; to all deaneries, excepting St. Asaph, Bangor, and Llandaff; and to twenty-seven cathedral canonries. The Crown is also the patron of many livings. It presents, solely, to 118 benefices ; to 6 in alt nation with other patrons; and to 178 benefices constituted unde: Sir R. Peel's Act 76 and 7 Vict., c. 37), in alternation with the bishops of the respective dioceses. The Prince of Wales is the patron of 76 livings. The Lord Chancellor for the time being has the sole patronage of 12 canonries, and of 760 livings ; and he exercises the right of alternate patronage to 21 other livings. The members of the episcopal branch are patrons of 90 canonries ; of most of the cathedral dignities, excepting the deaneries ; and of all the archdeaconries. They have also the right of presentation to 2,029 livings. The deans and chapters present to all the minor offices in the cathedrals, and to 864 livings. The archdeacons present to 45 livings; Eton and Winchester colleges to 63; the colleges of Oxford University to 485; and the colleges of Cambridge University to 309. The Universities also present to the livings in the patronage of Roman Catholic patrons. The whole of the remaining livings are in private patronage ; and of these 1,351 are in the gift of 218 members of the House of Lords, and 1,138 in that of 1,030 clergymen.
It is difficult, if not impossible, to state the aggregate value of the livings in the Established Church. The only sources of information on this point are, to a great extent, unreliable. In 1834, when the Church Inquiry Commissioners made their Report, their value was reported to be £3,055,441 ; but it is known that this sum was far below their real revenues. At present, the “ Clergy List” and the “Church Directory" are the principal authorities on this point; but as the editors of these publications are dependent, to a great extent, upon information received from clergymen and patrons themselves, they cannot be quoted with entire confidence.* Some of the returns in these lists are avowedly made with the salaries of curates, rates, taxes, and other incidental charges deducted. The result is a decrease in the apparent value of ecclesiastical benefices to an extent that can scarcely be estimated with any confident approach to accuracy. But from a careful computation, the amount may be stated in round numbers as £6,000,000 per annum. Besides this enormous sum, the archbishops and bishops receive £200,000; that is to say, this is the value as settled by the Church Reform Act of 1837 ; but the reports of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners record the fact, that a much larger revenue has been enjoyed by many of the prelates.
The above estimate does not include colonial bishoprics and chaplaincies, although many of these appointments should be embraced in the consideration of Church patronage. It will suffice, at present, to confine our remarks to the mother country. The mode in which the kinds of patronage already specified are administered, will presently have to be referred to.
The last of the preliminary questions is a much wider one. When and how did the present system of Church patronage originate? Correctly speaking, it has been a growth, into which various elements have entered. To write its history would exceed the limits of this article. We may refer such as have time and taste for the inquiry, to Bingham's “Ecclesiastical Antiquities," book iv. ; to Father Paul Sarpi's “History of Ecclesiastical Benefices and Revenues;" and to Johnson's “English Canons." Burnet, Strype, Blackstone, and others also refer to the subject. For the benefit of ordinary readers, we will epitomize the history. The Christian Church was three centuries old ere patronage in any
* "I remember an anecdote which may, perhaps, illustrate this point, of a gentleman who was known to have two livings of the value of £1,500 a year, but he returned them to the Commissioners as of the gross value of £150 a year; and, on being examined by the Commissioners, the account he gave was, that his two parishes were at some distance from each other, so that he was obliged to deduct the expense of the horse which conveyed him between them; that his wife was not in very good health, so that she was obliged to drive to church, which obliged him to deduct the expense of the carriage; that a man in his station could not but send his children to a fashionable school; so that, when every expense was deducted, the net income remained at £150 a year." Mr. Horsman's Speech on the Ecclesiastical Commission, December 14th, 1847.
# Many of the facts in this article are quoted from a small pamphlet now in the press, and shortly to be published by Tresidder, of London, entitled, “ Church Patronage: its History, Administration, and Results."