Sivut kuvina

Chester, Norwich, and Llandaff. The men whom he selected for these posts were Drs. Sumner, Musgrave, Short, Shirley, Eden, Hampden, Lee, Jackson, Hinds, and Ollivant. During the same period he sent Dr. Tait, the future Primate, to the Deanery of Carlisle, Dr. Milman to the Deanery of St. Paul's; and he offered Dr. Stanley (the late Dean of Westminster) high preferment. It is needless to add that most of these men were remarkable for the depth of their learning; while all of them were distinguished for the breadth of their views.

It is not impossible that the marked preference which Lord John was displaying for men of comprehensive opinions stimulated the movement which he wished to defeat. The High Church party displayed increased activity; and the Bishop of Exeter declined to institute a clergyman, Mr. Gorham, to a living in his diocese, on the ground that he held heretical views on the subject of baptismal regeneration. The Bishop's decision was upheld by the Court of Arches, and Mr. Gorhan appealed to the Privy Council. This tribunal reversed the judgment of the Ecclesiastical Court (in the language of Pembroke Lodge), 'to the satisfaction of all friends of liberty of conscience. But, however satisfactory the judgment might be to moderate and reasonable people, it was eminently distasteful to a party in the Church. The Bishop of London declared that a question of doctrine should not be decided by a court composed chiefly of laymen. But the following letters will show the Bishop's opinion, as well as Lord John's :

February 25, 1850. MY DEAR LORD,—What I think essential to the Queen's supremacy is that no person should be deprived of his rights unless by due interpretation of law. If the Supreme Court of Appeal in heresy were formed solely of the clergy, their opinions would probably be founded on the prevailing theological opinions of the Judicial Bishops, which might be one day Calvinistic and the next Romish. Especially if three senior bishops and two Divinity Professors were to form part of the tribunal, we might have superannuated bishops and university intolerance driving out of the Church its most distinguished ornaments. If your Lordship will

speak to the Archbishop, he will inform you what I think might be done.— I remain, &c.,


CHESHAM PLACE, March 15, 1850. MY DEAR LORD,- I am much obliged to your Grace for sending me the letter of the Bishop of London. I am sorry to learn that he expects a secession from the Church, more especially on the ground of the late decision given by the Judicial Committee of Privy Council. For that decision, as I understand it, does not oblige any member of the Church to espouse the opinions of Mr. Gorham, and to renounce those of the Bishop of Exeter. It only pronounces that the opinions held by Mr. Gorham, respecting baptismal regeneration, do not disqualify him from holding a benefice in the Church to which he has been lawfully presented. This view of the case induces me to be very watchful in respect to any proposed tribunal to judge of doctrine. For, if such tribunal were to exclude from benefices all clergymen whose doctrines on various matters of controversy did not agree with those of the majority of that tribunal, we should infallibly lose that freedom of judgment on nice points of doctrine which has at all times been the characteristic of our Protestant Church. . . . If for ... the present constitution of the Judicial Committee of Privy Council we were to substitute the Upper House of Convocation with the addition of some learned judges, I fear we should subject the rights and privileges of the clergy, and the patrons of livings, to an ecclesiastical body more intent on theology than on law and liberty; put in hazard the Queen's supremacy over all matters in the Church, spiritual as well as temporal ; and revive those fierce disputes which, at the beginning of the last century, made the meetings of Convocation a scandal and a public nuisance. should be quite ready to concur in the plan of adding any bishops, who may be of the Privy Council, to the present Court of Appeal ; and I am sorry to see that the Bishop of London says that such a plan would ‘be wholly useless and unsatisfactory.' Such being the case, I do not see that anything can be done at present. Indeed, I fear that nothing but the erection of a priestly supremacy over the Crown and people would satisfy the party in the Church who now take the lead in agitation. I request you to give a copy of this letter to the Bishop of London, and remain, &c.,



It is the essential characteristic of faith that it cannot be assaulted by reason; and the position of the High Church party, relying more and more on authority, could not be shaken by Lord John's arguments. But the decision of the Privy Council produced a prodigious ferment, and, throughout the summer of 1850, secessions and threats of secessions from the Church became frequent. Early in the autumn the Pope, restored to Rome, and upheld in the Vatican by French bayonets, thought proper to issue a Bull dividing England into twelve sees, and to appoint Mr. Wiseman, who was made a cardinal, Archbishop of Westminster. The excitement which had been created by the Gorham judgment was almost forgotten in the clamour which was produced by the Pope's action. High Church and Low Church were almost equally indignant at what appeared to be an intolerable assumption on the part of a foreign pontiff; and the Bishop of London, who had contended so strongly against Lord John in the spring, was united with him in the autumn. Private]

PEMBROKE LODGE, October 30, 1850. MY DEAR LORD,—I was much rejoiced to see your Lordship’s answer to the London clergy respecting the Pope's Bull.

It may happen that this step of the Pope may strengthen the Protestant interest in these kingdoms more than anything else. Such men as Mr. Dodsworth and Mr. Bennett must at least declare themselves.

The Attorney-General was desired by Sir George Grey to read the Bull with a view to decide if it contained anything illegal. But I do not myself expect that there will be any plain violation of law found in the document.--I remain, &c.,


It would perhaps have been well if Lord John could have satisfied himself with this letter. Shortly after writing it, however, he received a communication on the same subject from

i The Bishop had written to Lord John on the 23rd to say that in his approaching charge he intended to make some remarks upon the recent assumption of authority by the Pope, and had asked whether her Majesty's Government intended to remonstrate against the proceedings of the Roman Pontiff.

the Bishop of Durham. Dr. Maltby, who in 1850 held the see of Durham, to which he had been promoted on Lord John's own recommendation in 1836, was one of Lord John's oldest and closest friends. He had been his constant correspondent for more than twenty years; he had supplied him with much information for the religious chapters of the 'Affairs of Europe;' and he had been his frequent counsellor on questions affecting the Church, and on the qualifications and characters of the men who were candidates for promotion in it. It was natural, therefore, to Lord John to open his mind freely to the Bishop; and he certainly did so on this occasion,

DOWNING STREET, November 4, 1850. MY DEAR LORD,-I agree with you in considering the late aggression of the Pope upon our Protestantism'as 'insolent and insidious,' and I therefore feel as indignant as you can do upon the subject.

I not only promoted to the utmost of my power the claims of the Roman Catholics to all civil rights, but I thought it right and even desirable that the ecclesiastical system of the Roman Catholics should be the means of giving instruction to the numerous Irish immigrants in London and elsewhere, who without such help would have been left in heathen ignorance.

This might have been done, however, without any such innovation as that which we have now seen.

It is impossible to confound the recent measures of the Pope with the division of Scotland into dioceses by the Episcopal Church, or the arrangement of districts in England by the Wesleyan Conference.

There is an assumption of power in all the documents which have come from Rome; a pretension of supremacy over the realm of England, and a claim to sole and undivided sway, which is inconsistent with the Queen's supremacy, with the rights of our bishops and clergy, and with the spiritual independence of the nation, as asserted even in Roman Catholic times.

1 The Bishop's letter, dated October 30, was primarily to thank Lord John for having complied with an application he had made to him on behalf of a meritorious scholar. He had gone on to say, 'I do not know what your opinion, or that of the Government, may be respecting the late aggression of the Pope upon our Protestant religion. I confess I think it insolent and insidious,' &c.

I confess, however, that my alarm is not equal to my indignation.

Even if it shall appear that the ministers and servants of the Pope in this country have not transgressed the law, I feel persuaded that we are strong enough to repel any outward attacks. The liberty of Protestantism has been enjoyed too long in England to allow of any successful attempt to impose a foreign yoke upon our minds and consciences. No foreign prince or potentate will be at liberty to fasten his fetters upon a nation which has so long and so nobly vindicated its right to freedom of opinion, civil, political, and religious.

Upon this subject, then, I will only say that the present state of the law shall be carefully examined, and the propriety of adopting any proceedings with reference to the recent assumption of power, deliberately considered.

There is a danger, however, which alarms me much more than any aggression of a foreign sovereign.

Clergymen of our own Church, who have subscribed the Thirtynine Articles and acknowledged in explicit terms the Queen's supremacy, have been most forward in leading their flocks 'step by step to the very verge of the precipice.' The honour paid to saints, the claim of infallibility for the Church, the superstitious use of the sign of the cross, the muttering of the liturgy so as to disguise the language in which it is written, the recommendation of auricular confession, and the administration of penance and absolution-all these things are pointed out by clergymen of the Church of England as worthy of adoption, and are now openly reprehended by the Bishop of London in his charge to the clergy of his diocese.

What then is the danger to be apprehended from a foreign prince of no great power compared to the danger within the gates from the unworthy sons of the Church of England herself?

I have little hope that the propounders and framers of these innovations will desist from their insidious course.

But I rely with confidence on the people of England ; and I will not bate a jot of heart or hope, so long as the glorious principles and the immortal martyrs of the Reformation shall be held in reverence by the great mass of a nation which looks with contempt on the mummeries of superstition, and with scorn at the laborious endeavours which are now making to confine the intellect and enslave the soul.— I remain, with great respect, &c., J. RUSSELL.

If you think it will be of any use, you have my full permission to publish this letter.

« EdellinenJatka »