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manhood has been sapped, while in Germany, though there is no lack of strength and vigour, the intellectual training of the boy and girl has left untouched the rude coarseness and narrowness of the men and women.
It is the old story of knowledge apart from wisdom. It is wisdom that purifies and refines, and to dissever it from instruction is a fatal thing. Where the teacher of the intellect is not in his degree the guide to faith, devotion, and morality, the three mysterious threads of the human being of the pupil are pulled away, and unequally, and there will be a jar of body, soul, or spirit. Consider this, you who argue that a nonreligious education is not an irreligious education, and that while the intellect is fed at school religion may be a dessert offered by a different hand, while conduct is an extraneous
ART. VII.A BROAD CHURCH BISHOP.
Memoir of Alexander Ewing, D.C.L., Bishop of Argyll and the Isles. By ALEXANDER J. Ross, B.D., Vicar of S. Philip's, Stepney. 1877. (Daldy, Isbister, & Co., 56 Ludgate Hill.)
If there be a country in the world in which Episcopacy is on its trial, that country is Scotland. It is there exposed to the rivalry of a form of the Christian religion which retains the fundamental doctrines of the faith; it ministers to flocks composed of elements identical with those of the various Bodies, Free and Established, around them; and it is inevitable that comparisons should be constantly drawn between the two polities-the Episcopal and Presbyterian. The spiritual results of each will be carefully scanned. The Scottish Church, like all branches of the ancient Catholic organisation, makes a high claim for itself; and the inquiry will certainly be made how far that claim is justified by facts, how far the intensity of spiritual force generated within her pale, how far the spiritual standard reached by her sons and daughters, recommends the claim made in her traditions and formularies to an organisation of Apostolic authority, to a ministerial commission transmitted through successive generations, direct from the Founder of Christianity Himself.
Especially will such a severity of criticism follow the persons and the actions of the Bishops themselves. Upon the Catholic theory to which we have been referring, they are the foremost men of their communion-the élite of its entire ministry. It is true that the 'gift which is in them' does not include personal infallibility, and has never been even supposed necessarily to guarantee learning, or ability, or even holiness of life. It has a strictly defined purpose, viz., to continue the ministry of the Church and to guarantee the grace of the Sacraments. Whatever is not precisely involved in these objects cannot be supposed to be supplied by that which is confined to the attainment of them alone. But, nevertheless, the higher be the conception which is formed of the Episcopate, the more exacting surely will be the tests applied to the men who are to bear and to exercise it; and any Church will be acting with criminal levity and disrespect of the gift committed to its guardianship, which selects, or suffers to be selected, any other than its foremost sons to fill an office so exacting and so august.
The Episcopate may be characterised in fact as the most highly vitalised portion of the Church's organisation, and the motive power of the whole. If even a part of its spiritual force be neutralised by its being committed to unfit men, —men, that is to say, whose natural powers or whose acquired habitudes do not work in harmony with the requirements of their office-men whose want of learning causes it to be lightly esteemed, whose secularity of temper finds a spiritual office uncongenial, or, worse than all, whose want of faith paralyses spiritual energy, and saps with secret decay all the life of the dioceses entrusted to them-then the Church whose chief pastors are such as these will find herself, just in the proportion in which their influence and example extend, unfruitful within her own borders and unable, perhaps even undesirous, to extend those borders; in short, she will have failed in her mission. Of so great importance to a Church are pious and faithful bishops. And in following this train of thought, which the perusal of the memoir before us has aroused in our minds, we by no means intend to prejudge the career of the bishop who is its subject, but merely seek to indicate some of the conditions under which it was run.
Alexander Ewing, first Bishop after its revival of the ancient diocese of Argyll and the Isles, was born in 1814 at Aberdeen, and was therefore a Highlander pur sang. His childhood was not eventful until the loss, when he was but in his fourteenth year, of his father by death, which was followed
in the next year by that of his mother, and speedily afterwards of an only sister, thus leaving him and his brother alone in the world. We need not linger over his youth and early manhood. It was a scrambling kind of education that he got; first at one place, then at another; and for a considerable time not even the pretence of learning was kept up. The two youths received occasional attention from their guardians; but in a general way they seem to have lived where they pleased and done what seemed good in their own eyes. 'It surprised their neighbours somewhat,' says their biographer, 'that two youths, without a tutor or other senior, should be left so entirely without any visible control over their actions.' Well it might!
One consequence of this unrestrained freedom of action was that the elder brother became engaged to be married before he was twenty; but on the whole it answered better than could have been expected. The younger brother, John, was, indeed, afterwards brought under more systematic training at Oxford, was ordained in the Church of England, and is at the present time, we believe, rector of Westmill, in Herts. But with a brief attendance at some of the classes of the University of Edinburgh in 1834-5, Alexander Ewing's status pupillaris came to an end. The deficiency in theological learning, as in power of exact thought, which the inadequacy of his early studies left in his mind, cannot be said to have been ever quite filled up. The miscellaneous gatherings of his subsequent reading, which, however, seems to have lain but little along the severer and more arduous paths of literature, and the powers of a mind rather elegant than massive, enabled him to reach a respectable proficiency in one or two directions. But there was always an amateur air about most of his work. He never at any period of his life had any pretension to have gone below the surface of systematic theology; and the consequence was that he was always more or less at the mercy of theological quacks. What he might have been and have done, had his unquestionable powers been educed and bent to work in youth by serious and continuous training, and his memory stored with the elements of the higher knowledge, it is hard to say. For the present we resume the thread of the narrative before us.
He married in 1835, three months after he was twentyone, and tried to settle down to the tranquil enjoyment of that 'love in a cottage' which so many have dreamed of in their callow youth. He does not seem to have felt the slightest need or desire for a career at this time. We hear nothing
of any whispers of ambition, or any stirrings of latent powers in his nature. 'Here I should like to live all my life,' he says, 'with Katherine and John, and my books and the river.' But his Eden-dream was soon shattered by an attack of illness which came near being a fatal one; and a long tedious convalescence, followed by a change of residence, opened new horizons in his life; and it is at this point that we hear first of an inclination towards the sacred ministry. He was attracted at first towards the English Church. He had discovered,' we are told,' and been attracted by the comprehensiveness of many of her great affirmations on the subject of the redemption of humanity; while life in an English country parsonage seemed to him the ideal of quiet beauty and secluded usefulness.' But we are not surprised to find that he shrank from the labour and excitement of a career at Oxford or Cambridge, although encouraged by the Bishop of Winchester, to whom he applied on the subject, and ultimately he drifted by the force of events towards the ministry of the Scottish Episcopal Church. His biographer relates the circumstances which precipitated his decision at last, in a passage whose curiously infelicitous wording is characteristic, and will meet us often:
'He was led by a special combination of circumstances seriously to entertain the thought of applying for orders in the Scottish Episcopal Church. For there were those, and they too Episcopalians, who seemed to have been of opinion that Mr. Ewing was possessed of ministerial gifts which no ordination by human hands could insure, and on the 9th of March, 1837, a formal proposal was made to him to undertake the charge of the Episcopalian congregation at Elgin. This proposal he declined, chiefly on the ground of his own inexperience; but that it should have been addressed to him while still a layman, and only in his twenty-third year, by his own immediate neighbours, must be regarded as the highest testimony that could be borne by them to his religious character and intellectual endowment; and there is no doubt that this entirely unexpected manifestation of feeling on the part of the Elgin congregation first suggested the question whether there might not be special work for him to do in the Scottish Episcopal Church.'-(p. 35.)
Still more odd are the circumstances that followed. This proposal from Elgin seems to have dropped; Mr. Ewing determined to spend one or two years abroad; and, therefore, 'formed the resolution of applying for admission to the ministry of the Scottish Episcopal Church.' We confess that after all the biographer's elaborate explanations, we are unable to understand the therefore; and we refrain from ascribing hypothetical reasons. The material fact is that he was
ordained deacon by Bishop Low, of Ross and Moray, in 1838, without cure or title as far as appears, and left Scotland a fortnight afterwards to spend some years upon the Continent. On this we must needs observe with his biographer that the determination to give some years to foreign travel 'might have been reason enough for deferring to a future day' this step of ordination. Probably his course was regarded as nothing unusual in the Scottish Church then. We have no reason to suppose that the same Church, in the earnestness of her great revival, would tolerate anything like this now. But in that day of small things in the sister Church it was then more unusual than happily it is now to find men of good family and competent fortune offering themselves for ordination; and they were eagerly accepted when they did come. Still, it is manifest that to treat the ministry as a mere ornament and subordinate adjunct of a country gentleman's life was not to give it its due; and there must have been a certain sense of unreality in a solemn ordination to the ministry which was followed by no corresponding action, and, for the moment at least, was treated as if it were of no account.
He remained abroad at Pisa, Lucca, and Rome about three years, living the usual dilettante life of the English abroad, but growing strong physically, and growing also in mental breadth and stature. His correspondence during this time is much occupied with Italian Art, as was not unnatural.
In 1841 he returned to Scotland, was ordained a priest by the Bishop of Aberdeen, and undertook clerical duty for the first time in the charge of a congregation at Forres. During some four years of quiet work in that charge, Mr. Ewing distinguished himself, as his biographer seems to think, by the part which he took in the controversies of the day. It may, at all events, be conceded that he had taken his line and declared it decidedly enough on two important questionsthe disabilities of the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Scottish Communion Office, to which he thus early declared his hostility. He was now thirty-three years of age; and we are next to find him elected and consecrated Bishop of Argyll and the Isles. The circumstances under which he became bishop were somewhat peculiar.
The office of bishop in the Scottish Church is an onerous one; and apostolic as in other respects, so in this, that it is not burdened with the goods of this world. Bishop Eden, speaking in 1861 at London House on behalf of the Argyll Fund, makes the remarkable statement that 'the Scotch bishops for some years have been living on incomes of £127