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yet to learn the lesson, that if they are to work for CHRIST, they must be content, aye and thankful, to suffer for CHRIST.
The Church Corporate cannot be said to be in substance other than Establishmentarian,
The Establishment Power is compounded of three things principally :(a.) The negative religion, which is the inheritance of
Century XVI. (6.) Ecclesiastical position, power, place and privilege,
with corporate possessions, value a hundred millions, guaranteed by Common and Statute Law of " Church and State," as being what is left, after the wholesale plunder of Century XVI. The plunder has begun
again, and will before long be consummated. (c.) The vis inertia of Bishops, nominees of the Civil
Power, passing commonly in action into the Compromittendi vis: sometimes, let us say unconsciously,
into the Tradendi vis. The Establishment Power is very far the largest of the two. The conditions of it are unfavourable to the growth of that true and abiding enthusiasm, without which no defence is worth much. We have just had a striking instance.
The assault has in its steady onward course reached the Churchyards.
Fifteen thousand Clergy sign a Declaration in this matter : no more than thirty thousand lay people. This is about as remarkable an evidence of lack of enthusiasm in the cause of the Establishment as could be adduced; so soon does the Temporal begin with failing the Spiritual, and ends in failing itself.
I could not sign the Declaration, because I have no sympathy with a movement which is content that the worst characters in a place, calling themselves Churchpeople, should have a legal right to burial with the full service of the Church, but will not hear of the body of the Nonconformist of the best character being buried in the Churchyard with Nonconformist service.
I am not for allowing the last at all; but the ground upon which I resist it is the “Church" ground, and not the "Establishment” ground. If I have to fight, I prefer to fight with clean hands.
All the fifty years of “defence" tell the same story: it is everywhere “Establishment,” very little “Church.” Negative religion, mixed, shifting, indefinite, contradictory teaching, can never bear fruit in the true and sound enthusiasm which is, under GOD, the life of the Church.
The assault marches on: the defence is not worthy of the name; it is one unbroken series of crushing defeats; it all points one and the same way. A national Church by law established, and a Legislature of all religions and no religion, cannot ultimately co-exist. When the Church of England loses “Establishment” and “En. dowment," it will be because she has been defended as an "Establishment," and not as a “Church."
With regard to the Critical and Scientific Power, it is curious to observe how the poison of free enquiry has crept into the defence, almost as much as into the assault.
Some fifteen years ago, there were several volumes of answers to “Essays and Reviews :" I edited one myself. It struck me forcibly at the time, that the writers were commonly more occupied in giving "quasi-orthodox” explanations of what are called " difficulties in Scripture,” than in rebuking the presumptuous folly of attempting to explain at all “the secret things” of GoDa, lowering themselves thus down to the level of the assailant. If one has his “explanation,” why not the other?
The Authority of the Church, which enjoins us to accept by faith what no amount of criticism or science can possibly explain, appeared to me not to be much taken into account in the matter, as the one all-sufficient and conclusive answer. Scepticism is very rife in England, I believe that we are indebted for it almost as much to
« Deut. xxix, 29.
the answers to “Essays and Reviews," as to “Essays and Reviews” itself.
People in England, well-informed people, talk very glibly about German Rationalism, German Neology, and the like ; and, no doubt, Germany has had a large share in the unholy work of the un-Belief of the last three hundred years, and specially of our own day.
But people who live in a glass-house should not throw stones. In point both of time and substance, England is the parent of the un-Belief of the last three hundred years, Herbert and Hobbes were, next to Socinus, its first fathers b.
Through France the poison passed into Germany. Germany has given it back with interest.
But why Germany more than France ? For France has in like manner returned the gift with interest.
The answer has to be spoken out in the face of the “ Protestantism” of Century XIX. It is because Germany is more generally “Protestant” than France.
Where “Protestantism” has most prevailed, denying the Authority, setting aside the Order; perverting, or disparaging, or both, the Sacraments of the Church Catholic; there, as matter not of à priori anticipation only, but as matter of historical fact and present experience, Infidelity has most prevailed. As a rule, continental " Protestantism " is un-Believing.
The Church of England is not “Protestant:" has been very careful never to call itself “Protestant.” Indeed, what Protestant Church” may mean, I do not know. The noun adjective and the noun substantive do not belong to the same category : cannot be fused into one descriptive appellation.
The Church of England is Catholic.
The term “Protestant” has passed, as it is in the nature of things it must pass, into a negative term only. There
Lelius Socinus, born at Sienna 1525, died 1562. Lord Herbert of Cherbury, born 1581, died 1648. Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury, born 1588, died 1679. Benoît de Spinoza, born 1632, at Amsterdam, died 1677.
is nothing really affirmative about it, save only so much as belongs to every man's affirming upon the ground of his own private judgment and interpretation his own particular religion to be exclusively Truth: and it is now commonly taken as intending all people of all beliefs and of no belief, save only The Catholic Belief.
Beginning with 1832, the assailant had not been idle. On the other side, the “ Church” Power evoked in defence “ Tracts for the Times." The “Establishment" stood upon two things: first, upon possession ; second, upon
political wisdom," as shewn in the surrender of Sacred Trusts bit by bit.
The assaults upon “Church-rate," and upon “Churchschools,” occupy the foreground of the battle of fifty years: if that be a battle, in which one side is advancing steadily, step by step, and the other side, either laying down its arms, or running away. I will touch here, and conclude upon
“ Church-rate," — Church-schools I shall have to return to.
For the history of Church-rate, and the process of its destruction, I should be only repeating myself if I were to do more than refer to my book, "Church-rate, a National Trust," published 1861. I endeavoured to the best of my power to deal with the whole subject exhaustively throughout; and upon looking at it again very carefully, I believe myself to have done it.
In 1866, Church-rate was abolished: the manner of the defence had made any other issue impossible. It was a betrayal, not a fight.
To injury was added insult. A voluntary Rate, that is, a sham Rate, a thing as absurd, if not as dishonest, in conception, as futile in operation, was proposed in place of Church-rate. There is no such thing in the order of human contrivance as a Voluntary Rate: there is such a thing as a voluntary contribution upon the proportion of assessment. But why, except for the purpose of taking in that most gullible of Societies, the British Public, this should have been called a Voluntary Rate, I do not comprehend.
For the character of the general assault, that the nonConformist and the Roman Catholic should combine against the Church of England, is no ground of reproach to either; they are only consistent with all their history. As for some of the allies they are content to be associated with in the work, that is another, and not a pleasant matter. It has a resemblance to something which is going on now in respect of the “ Eastern Question.” The Roman Church cannot abide the Greek Church, and so sides with the Turk against the Russian. When, four hundred and twenty-five years ago, the Turk walked into Constantinople, there was no element of his success so powerful as the quarrel between the Churches.
The ground of reproach is, that plea of religious conscience should be mixed up with picking your neighbour's pocket,-a plea insisted upon by the assailant in his own case, pooh-poohed by the same man in his neighbour's case; but in both cases alike ending with picking your neighbour's pocket.
For Church-rate, assailant said—“You have got something which it hurts our conscience to help to pay for. It is true we have always had the right to the use of it, when we like, and this we propose to retain ; but you shall pay for repair and maintenance of it by yourselves.”
For Schools, assailant said—“ You have got something we are shut out from ; this hurts our conscience, we want to share in it; but it can only be upon our own terms. It is true that those terms cannot be reconciled with your principles and practice : that they are quite as much against your conscience as Church-rate was against ours; but never mind all that, we must share in what you
have got of your own, when we have had it altered to suit us, and you shall help to pay for it, though it will then have become a thing from which your religious conscience revolts, or at least ought to revolt.”
Now, if the assault had been honest in respect of Church - rate, it would have said, — "Relieve us from Church-rate, and we will give up our share of Church and Churchyard."