HC Deb 10 May 1899 vol 71 cc231-97

Order for Second Reading read.

MR. CHARLES M'ARTHUR (Liverpool, Exchange)

said that in moving the Second Reading of this Bill he wished to explain to the House, in the first place, the reason why legislation was necessary to cope with the present state of things in the Church of England, and in the second place to explain the nature of the remedial legislation proposed. Having done that, he desired to meet a few objections which had been advanced in reference to this Bill. The condition of the Church of England was so well known to the House that he felt it unnecessary to describe it with any amount of detail. The House was aware that there was a section of the clergy of the Church of England—a considerable section—which was in a state of open revolt, not only against the articles and formularies of the Church, but against the law of the land. That had produced a condition of lawlessness and anarchy, and it had led to violent dissensions which threatened to rend the Church asunder. Now this was the result of a movement called by different names—called sometimes the Tractarian, sometimes the Ritualist, and sometimes the Sacerdotal movement, but which under all these names was one and the same, and the object of which was to undo the work of the Reformation, and to restore the Church of England to the condition she was in prior to that great turning point in our history. He did not think it was necessary for him to endeavour to prove that, but he would read to the House one or two extracts which would help to emphasise this statement. In a volume of essays on Reunion, to which Dr. Pusey wrote an introductory essay, the writer stated:— The first great hindrance that is before us arises from the Protestantism of England. Till this is removed the Reunion of our Church as the Church of England with either the Greek or the Latin Church is hopeless. Lord Halifax had said that corporate reunion is the crown and completion of that great movement which has transformed the Church of England. The Rev. S. E. Cottam, in a work recently published, and dedicated by permission to Dr. Creighton, the Bishop of London, said— The Reformation is generally represented as an unmixed blessing, while the real truth is that it was a great calamity. The writer proceeded to say that the Anglican Church is often called Protestant, but the statement is utterly false. Another clergyman of the Church of England, in a sermon just published, used this expression: I do not admit that the Church of England is a Protestant Church. He thought it was almost impossible at the present day to go into any of these advanced churches without hearing from the pulpit fierce denunciations against Protestantism and against the Reformation. In fact, every effort was now being made to indoctrinate the masses of the people with these sentiments. They had to ask, What was the Reformation? The Reformation, he thought, might be regarded in three aspects—religious, political, and intellectual. In its religious aspect the Reformation was the sweeping away of the corruption which had overspread the face of Christendom during the Middle Ages, and the restoration of the pure and simple religion of the Bible. From the political standpoint, the Reformation was the repudiation alike of the claim of the Papacy and the claim of the clergy to the domination of the Church of England, and the establishment of the Royal supremacy. From the intellectual standpoint, the Reformation was the bursting of those bonds in which priest-craft had enslaved the human intellect, the assertion of the right of private judgment, and the establishment of civil and religious liberty. Now, the Sacerdotal movement assailed the Reformation in each of these aspects. It sought to supersede the authority of the Bible by the authority of the Church and the traditions of the Fathers. It sought to reassert the claims of the bishops to domination in the Church; it sought to deny the right of private judgment, and again to subject the human intellect to priestly domination. He ventured to remind the House that this was no superficial matter. It was a movement that went to the root of their national life. It was a movement which was opposed to that progress towards the higher spirituality which they believed to be the mission, as it was the hope of the race. It was a movement which shook the very pillars of our constitution, and which was calculated to impair our national character by removing front it that love of truth and that law-abiding liberty which had hitherto been the characteristic of Englishmen. They were all proud to know that the Church was a comprehensive Church, and he should be very sorry if anything were done to limit that comprehensiveness. Rather let it be extended, provided that it was extended by constitutional means and extended all round. But he wanted to point out that the advocates of what was called the reunion of Christendom were not really broad-minded men, but were actuated by a spirit of narrow sectarianism and of intolerance, because what they wanted to do was to gratify their preferences and the preferences of a few supporters in a way which would alienate the great mass of the laity from the Church. In illustration of this he would read a passage from the work of Mr. Cottam, from which he had already quoted:— It is a sin on the part of Churchmen to assist Dissenters in any way by attending their chapels or giving them money. They had to recognise that there were two parties in the Church, and those two parties were to be found among the clergy, among the laity, and on the episcopal bench; and it was the object of one to subvert, and the other to maintain, the Protestant Reformation. They sometimes heard of there being two extremes, and moderate Churchmen were besought by those in high authority not to ally themselves with either of these two extremes but to preserve a neutral attitude. What were those extremes? One was the extreme of loyalty; the other was the extreme of disloyalty. One consisted of men who had banded themselves together to destroy the Constitution in Church and State, and the other consists of those who were determined to oppose those efforts. What middle ground was there between those two extremes which any loyal, moderate Churchman could occupy? Were they to sit still with hands folded while their Church and the Church of their fathers was being revolutionised, transformed and destroyed? That was not only unworthy but impossible. They had to say in this matter, "He that is not with us is against us." They found expressions of sympathy for the comparatively few against whom this agitation had been turned, while no expression of sympathy at all was to be found with the hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children of a humbler rank in life, but still of the Church of England, who had been deprived of the Sacraments of the Church and driven out by the acts of these tyrants. He fully believed it was impossible, by any act of the State, to influence those currents of thought and feeling. They were not concerned with any man's religious convictions. If a man wanted to be a Protestant let him be a Protestant; if he wanted to be a Roman Catholic let him be a Roman Catholic. They had no quarrel with the Roman Catholic Church, and if he referred to any particular doctrine of that Church he wished to do so without in any way giving offence or hurting the feelings of his Roman Catholic brethren. A practice might be perfectly legitimate in the Roman Catholic Church, where it was established, where it was to be taught in law and order and sanctioned by tradition, but it might be altogether out of place in the Church of England. It was a question of carrying out the terms upon which the Church of England became the Established Church of this country. The compact between Church and State by means of which the Church became the State Church of this country received Parliamentary sanction. The question before them now was—"How are those terms being understood?" If, as it was alleged, the Reformation settlement was being departed from—if, as it was alleged, the Church of England was being used for a purpose for which it never was intended, then the laity had the right to go to a court of law, and, failing remedy there, to go to the High Court of Parliament in the last instance to adjust matters. The courts of law were practically closed against them. Why were they closed? They were closed because of the enormous costs involved in instituting prosecutions. As an instance, he might inform the House that in three suits the taxed costs of litigation amounted to £7,000, £11,000 and £17,000. In the case of Martin v. Maconochie, in which the costs were £17,000, it took sixteen years of litigation to deprive a lawless clergyman of his position in the Church. He quite agreed with the right honourable Gentleman the Member for West Monmouth—to whom he thought all Churchmen were indebted for the position he had taken up in regard to this matter—that there was plenty of law in the Church of England if they could only get at it. What was the use of a cistern of pure water if they had no means of drawing it? It was said that they ought to trust the bishops. He would not say any word implying disrespect or want of confidence in the occupants of the episcopal bench, or any word of want of belief in the character of those who held the high offices he had named, but he was there as a representative of the Protestant laity, and he felt bound to state to the House that the bishops did not now command the confidence of the laity. In the first place, why had the bishops allowed this crisis to assume its present proportions? It had been going on for sixty years. Surely their inaction did not arise from want of information. Public meetings had been held and complaints had been sent to the bishops time after time regarding these practices, but up to the present time the bishops occupying the episcopal bench had treated those protests and complaints with indifference. Whenever an attempt had been made to carry a case into a court of law it had been met with obstruction. The number of times in which the veto had been exercised since 1884 up to 1890 was—in 1885, ten times under the Church Discipline Act, and eleven times under the Public Worship Regulation Act. While the Bishop of Winchester had commented upon the circumstances under which the veto was exercised, he had not denied in any way the fact that it was exercised. There was another point on which he ventured to think the Bishop of Winchester had been guilty of an inaccuracy.


Order, order. The honourable Member is obviously referring to a speech made in the House of Lords. He cannot thus comment on a speech made in the other House.


said that with regard to the Public Worship Regulation Act the veto was introduced in that Act for the purpose of discouraging frivolous and vexatious actions. Both the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York expressly stated in the House of Lords that that was the object with which they introduced the veto. On August 6, 1874, The Times foresaw the danger of the bishops mistaking the object with which the veto had been conferred upon them and warned them against doing so. The reason why the Protestant laity had lost confidence in the bishops was because they had not only failed to put down Ritualistic practices, but they had discouraged Evangelical practices, such as Evening Communion, and had exercised their patronage to a large extent in favour of the Ritualistic clergy. Men of extreme views who had defied the bishop in one diocese had been promoted to another diocese and during the tenure of the present bishops 276 members of Ritualistic societies had been appointed to livings in the Church of England. Requiem masses for the dead were also allowed to be celebrated in 24 dioceses, and the bishops had allowed themselves by their own action to sanction and participate in illegal practices. He found that five bishops even allowed themselves to be incensed in churches. These things had justified the laity in hesitating about placing confidence in the bishops and even went so far as to justify the opinion that instead of the bishops sitting in judgment upon these matters they should themselves be called to account. He did not think the situation had been improved by the Ecclesiastical Court Opened at Lambeth Palace, and it was a remarkable thing that with regard to that proceeding the Ritualitic clergy had to some extent given their adhesion to that court. No doubt it owed the patronage of Lord Halifax to the fact that there had been an intimation given by the Archbishop of Canterbury that any judgment he might give in that Court would be independent of the decision of the Privy Council. What was the position of matters now? On the one hand the bishops were closing the courts of the State, and on the other they were opening up the courts of the Church, and did not that involve a real danger? There was to be an appeal to the Privy Council, but was coupled with the fact that prior to that appeal the opinion of the whole episcopal bench was to be taken on any question or doctrine. It seemed to him that, although the Privy Council was to be allowed to spin out a miserable existence, it was to be practically strangled by having the episcopal bench under its neck. They could not help thinking that the main policy of the ruling party of the episcopal bench was to sacerdotalise the Church and substitute their own authority for the law. Whether they were right or wrong, he deprecated the suggestion that had been thrown out at the last moment in the Amendment on the Paper that they should wait for the action of the bishops in the matter, and if the bishops would not find a remedy they must seek it elsewhere. They did not look to the bishops for a remedy, they asserted that the bishops were not the right people to suggest the remedy, and they asked for their constitutional rights to bring their grievances to the Throne for judgment. It was no answer to their demand to be told to wait and see what the bishops did. Coming to the Bill itself, he said he only wished to bring before the House the leading principles, because the details could be dealt With in Committee. In general terms the object of this Bill was to secure a prompt and inexpensive means for settling these questions, and the scope of the Bill was confined to ritual offences, including ornaments, with a desire, to reach an ultimate result of uniformity. He directed attention to the words in Sub-section (e) of the first clause, where it was stated that it was an offence to use any practice not subscribed in the Book of Common Prayer, or otherwise legally authorised, because they provided an opportunity of testing the law upon a point of great importance. The Archbishop of Canterbury had ruled that it was not necessary in the conduct of additional services that the actual words of the Bible or Prayer-book should be used, but that anything might be used which in substance ran parallel with them. He ventured to say that that was a most dangerous ruling, which had opened the door for a flood of innovations. It was most desirable that that ruling, which he was glad to say was not concurred in by the whole of the Episcopal Bench, should be reconsidered. By the second clause of the Bill it was provided that any complaint must be brought into court by two members of the Church of England whose usual place of residence was within the diocese. It had been said that under this provision they were introducing the ecclesiastical spy, but he could not see why that term should be so applied. Surely if the law was not to be a dead letter it must be put in motion by somebody. It was said that this Bill ignored the authority of the bishop. He ventured to think that was not the case, because Clause 2 provided that after notice was given to the bishop of the intention to bring forward a complaint an interval of one month was to be allowed during which no proceedings could be taken, and during that time the bishop would have an opportunity of bringing his paternal authority to bear on the clergyman and endeavour to arrive at a settlement. If that interval of one month was not thought to be long enough for the purpose it could be enlarged, but he drew attention to the fact that opportunity really was given to the bishop to exercise his authority even after preliminary steps had been taken. Then Clause 3, which referred to the constitution of the court, provided that it should consist of a judge of the Supreme Court, to be appointed by Her Majesty by letters patent, and who must be a member of the Church of England. It was nothing new in the history of the Church of England for a lay court to be used for such matters. Even from the episcopal point of view it would be far better that the bishops should not concern themselves with litigation but should confine themselves to exercising their moral and spiritual influence, leaving to others the invidious duty of dealing with legal proceedings. Even at the time of the Reformation it was the law that a clergyman departing from the prescribed service should be tried by judge and jury, and that the court might be aided by the bishop, as assessor. So by this Bill it was also provided that the bishop should act as assessor, and he failed to see that that was in any way derogatory to the dignity of the bench. Already under the law three bishops acted as assessors to the Privy Council, and by tins Bill, if the bishop did not care to avail himself of the power, he could appoint his chancellor or a commissary to act on his behalf. Another fundamental point of the Bill was that it abolished the bishops' veto, for which abolition he had already given reasons. It was said that this would open the door to all sorts of actions, but when it was remembered that the complainant would have to give security for costs, and that those costs would be very considerable, there would not be much danger of frivolous or unnecessary actions being brought. If further safeguards were thought desirable the promoters of the Bill would be willing to confer increased powers on the judge. Then supposing a decision was not appealed from, or having been appealed from was confirmed, it would be the duty of the bishop to inhibit the respondent from exercising his functions for three months, or until he had given an undertaking not to repeat the offence. Then if he gave the undertaking the inhibition would lapse, but if he did not make submission he would ipso facto be deprived of his living, and prohibited from holding any benefice or discharging any function in the Church. By that means the old method of imprisonment, which was universally deprecated, was done away with, and inhibition or deprivation substituted. It was said that the Bill established a species of persecution, but he could not admit that to be the case. On the contrary it was only carrying into the clerical profession the rule that prevailed everywhere else—that if a man did not fulfil his position of trust he should be displaced from it. He did not ask the House now to pronounce on all the details of the Bill but rather to affirm its fundamental principles, viz., the maintenance of the supremacy of the Queen's Courts, the abolition of the episcopal veto, and the substitution of inhibition or deprivation for imprisonment. With regard to the criticisms of the Bill on his own side of the House, objection was taken to the provision that to designate any service as a mass should be illegal. He ventured to say the mass was illegal in the Church of England, and therefore any reference to it must be illegal. Prior to the Reformation sacrifices of the mass were offered in our churches and at the altar, but since the Reformation the word "mass" and the word "altar" had been excluded from the Prayer-book, tables had been substituted for altars, and the Communion Service had been transformed from a sacrifice into a commemorative feast. Yet what happened now in the lawless churches such as he had described? Why, they saw the mass revived, illegal vestments worn, the priest standing before an illegal altar, on which were placed illegal ornaments, using illegal actions and words; the very bread he administered to the communicants was illegal bread. When they attended such a service they failed to recognise it as of the Church of England, and began to wonder where they were. Perhaps they would hear something from their own Prayer-book, just to catch on as it were, and then again the service became involved in mystery; there was some kind of secret service going on in the chancel—the mass, as contained in the Roman Missal, was the basis of it, and our Communion Service was merely interpolated in it. [The honourable Member produced an altar-card, on which were set forth, for the use of the priest, opposite the various sections of the Communion Service, the corresponding paragraphs in the Roman Missal.] Not only so, but very many books were published for the very purpose of adapting the Sacrifice of the Mass to the services of the Church of England; for instance, there were "The Book of the Mass," "Ceremonial Altar Guide for Low Mass," and "Aids to Reverently Celebrating the Holy Eucharist." Then there was the curious term "the Children's Eucharist." In some churches little children were taken by the priest and indoctrinated with these illegal views about the "Eucharist." If the House wanted an, exhibition of that, they had only to go to St. Matthew's, Westminster, within a stone's throw of that Chamber. At half-past nine on Sunday mornings there was a large congregation of young children, who were taught by the, aid of a service book, "printed for private circulation," but possessed by every child in the church. The children were taught to repeat the words of prayers after the priest. Of course, there was no Communion, and therefore the service, was fundamentally changed. The sacrifice of the mass was offered up with accompanying incense, and the children were taught to follow and to repeat prayers and responses which they did not understand. So they were indoctrinated with these doctrines. He was not a theologian, but to his mind the book used taught trausubstantiation—at all events it taught a grossly materialistic view of the Lord's Supper. This case came before the Bishop of London, but his reply was that the book was a book for private use, although it was used by every child in that church—that it did not concern a public service in that church, and that although he might personally wish to modify some of the expressions it contained, he could not say there was any language in it clearly contrary to the Book of Common Prayer. How long was this imposture to continue? He trusted that this clause, if it did nothing else, would register the determination of the Protestant laity of the country that they would not have the mass introduced into the Church of England. With regard to confession, they knew that the Church of England service did provide for confession in certain exceptional cases—the case of the sick and the case of anyone having any weighty matters on his mind, prior to desiring to attend the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. But confession in the Church of England had throe characteristics—it was voluntary, it was special, and it was exceptional, because for the ordinary run of congregations the Prayer-book Service contained both public confession and public absolution. Therefore there was no ground upon which to construct a platform upon which auricular confession could be brought again into the Church of England. Still they knew that in many churches in the present day confession was heard two or throe times a week at stated hours. It had been publicly stated that at a Brighton church thousands of confessions had been heard in one year. No words could exceed the condemnation by the present Prime Minister of confession, lie said: We know that it deteriorates the moral fibre and invades the sanctity of family life. He might just mention that at a church in Liverpool where confession was practiced a report had been sent to him by the clergyman of a neighbouring parish, in which he gave various cases in which confessions had been made and questions of a most immoral and disgusting character had been put to young women. He could not read the questions in the House—they were of such a character—but he could quote the words of one young married woman to whom such questions had been put in the confessional. She was a hard working, respectable, modest woman, and she said that If ever she sees Father—comingup the street she goes another way, because she is quite ashamed to meet or see a man who asked her such filthy things. If the clause in the Bill did nothing else it would register the determination of the Protestant laity that they would not have the confessional back into the Church of England at any cost. He ventured, therefore, to ask the House to read the Bill a second time. It might not be a perfect Bill; no Bill ever was; but the House should now sanction its fundamental principles, and then in Committee deal further with it. Only let it be dealt with in some way. Don't let them have any more abstract resolutions that came to nothing. The time for words was past and the time for action had come. He knew that there was a great deal of anxiety by some that the matter should be postponed in some way, and a great hope had been expressed that the agitation would subside. Some had said it was a fire of straw, and would soon die out because there was nothing for it to feed upon. Others thought that the storm would soon pass by, that the fine weather would come again, the stars come out, and that then they could do as they liked. They had very clever men to deal with, and possibly the storm might subside, but he ventured to say that if so it would only be a lull, that the storm would rise again, fiercer than ever, and that its angry front would bear the words "Disestablishment and Disendowment." It was because be and those who promoted this measure were friends of the Church, because they wanted to save the Church from the dangers that assailed her, that she might continue her glorious work of the past, that they brought forward this Bill to make the Church subordinate to the law. The Church of England must east out those people who disobey the law or be herself cast out. For these reasons he asked the House to pass the Second Reading of the Bill.

Motion made and Question proposed— That the Bill be now read a second time." —(Mr. A. McArthur.)


I beg to move— That this House, while not prepared to accept a measure which creates fresh offences and ignores the authority of the bishops in maintaining the discipline of the Church, is of opinion that, if the efforts now being made by the archbishops; and bishops to secure the due obedience of the clergy are not speedily effectual, further legislation will be required to maintain the observance of the existing laws of Church; End Realm. It will not be possible for me in the time which is at our disposal to deal with all the topics mentioned by my honourable friend. Perhaps I may be permitted to say that I do not altogether agree with his history, and that some of his statements were framed in rather too exaggerated language, but I recognise that those who have promoted this Bill have done so with an honest desire to do something for the benefit of the Church of England. No words will fall from me to impute to any one of them that they were not actuated by the best desire to serve the interests of that Church, although I shall have to differ from them. I agree with the honourable Member that this is neither the time nor the place for the discussion of Committee matters, and that we need not trouble about the mere details of the Bill. We should concentrate our attention upon its leading principles, and it is a satisfaction to me to know that in the brief analysis I have been able to make of it and in bringing out what I believe to be its leading provisions I am in entire accord with the honourable Member for the Exchange Division. The Bill involves, as the honourable Member has explained to the House, three main principles. I will venture to add a fourth. The Bill contemplates the enacting, if it be not already law, that certain offences should be offences under the Statute; it establishes an absolutely lay tribunal; it permits unfettered prosecution by any two persons in the diocese, whether they have a grievance or not, and it imposes (and this is the fourth point to which the honourable Member did not specifically refer) punishments of such a rigorous and severe character that I do not think the House ought to assent to a Bill which embodies them. I believe the Bill would open the door to as many prosecutions and proceedings against those whom my honourable friend calls the loyal members of the Church as it would against those whom he called the disloyal members. If it is said that honourable Members who speak in the same interests as he has spoken do not fear that consequence, I am bound to point out at once that the House of Commons has to deal with the subject as a whole, and cannot legislate to put down practices which it assumes are going to be put in force by one set of people and are not going to be put in force by another. I submit that there is a most serious danger from that point of view, because it is upon that principle that proceedings may be taken by two persons without control or sanction, and without having any particular grievance. I agree entirely with the observations of my honourable friend with regard to the use of the word "mass." I believe it to be, I will not say an illegal word—that, of course, depends upon the sense in which it is used—but I do say it is an unnecessary word, and having regard to the construction that may be put upon it by ignorant people I think it is a word that the clergy ought certainly not to use in the services of the Church of England. Though I am not quite satisfied that the provision of the Bill is not really necessary so far as real offences are concerned, yet the language of the sub-section would, I think, be found to involve serious difficulties. I also associate myself with the honourable Gentleman in all he said with regard to confession. If there is one thing I, as a lay member of the Church of England, detest, it is the Confessional as practised, if I might be allowed to say so, in the Roman Catholic Church. I cannot myself be a party to anything of the kind in the Church of England. I would point out to the honourable Member, when he talks about new offences, that the third sub-section goes a great deal further than anything that is necessary for the purpose of detecting the abuses of the Confessional. Assuming confession to be voluntary, I cannot understand why the only person to whom confession ought not to be made voluntarily is a minister of the Church; and I cannot understand, when we know the enormous amount of good that has been done in connection with temperance work by the control of clergymen over those who take vows or pledges, why we should prohibit this practice. Coming to the three sub-sections in the clause which either declare the law or extend it, I will call attention to an extraordinary extension in the fifth subsection— That any body who authorises or assists in or is party or privy to any of the acts aforesaid, shall be deemed to have committed an offence under this Act. I want to know what would be the position of some clergyman who, asked to take part in a service in a church in which he has never been before, and going there with not the slightest intention of breaking the law, suddenly finds that there are some minor technical and utterly harmless and innocent breaches of the law, if I may use this Irish expression. Is such a clergyman supposed to be committing an offence because he takes part in or is privy to the continuance of these acts? It is from the point of view of the dangers of the Bill to persons who have been innocently breaking the law, as much as the Ritualists, that I ask the House to pause before it allows this declaration of offences, with its consequences, to become law. Let me mention some of the very important matters in which I am sure no ecclesiastical lawyer would deny that the law is persistently and repeatedly broken by the Low Church party—I am not blaming them at all at the moment. Take, for instance, the recital of the Athanasian Creed. There is no doubt that that is directly enjoined by the law of the Church, yet it is continually disregarded. Take the prayer for the Church militant. The recital of that prayer was made a point of indignant protest some years ago by Low Churchmen, who said they would not have their militants. There are other matters, such as daily services, services on holy days, evening services, services on Saints days, the Litany on Wednes- days and Fridays, the omission of the commencement of the Communion Service, the omission of the exhortation, the use of the stole or the scarf, the omission to wear a cope in the cathedral services, and the omission of children's services of praise and song. In many of these instances, nobody who has studied the question will deny that breaches of the law have been perpetually and continually committed which might be made the subject of proceedings under this Bill. We are passing a Bill for the whole Church of England, and not for one section of it. We are passing a Bill which it is said is needed in order to put down the extreme ritual to which the honourable Member refers, but there may be men in a few years or months to come, who, wanting to get rid of some clergyman whom they do not like, may be able to prove a technical offence under this Bill, and so make it an engine of oppression. It is because I am satisfied that, in the interests of the peace of the Church, this Bill does open the door to dangerous proceedings—proceedings which might be levelled against those whom my honourable friend calls loyal, as distinguished from those whom he calls disloyal—that I should certainly ask the House to consider that what I have pointed out with regard to offences under the Bill is a serious blot upon it. I now come to the second point urged by my honourable friend, and that is the complaint by two persons resident in the diocese for twelve months. Strangely enough, the only qualification those two persons are to have, apart from residence, which is really nothing, in the diocese—not even the parish—is that they arc to say that they are members of the Church of England. That statement is to be final and conclusive for all the purposes of this Bill. We know what has been done in die past. I do not make any complaint of it, because we must take these risks, but we do know that it has not been infrequent for these proceedings to be taken by those who are not in fact members of the Church, and certainly not communicants of the Church. In the proceedings against the Bishop of Lincoln, if I remember aright, one of the most prominent promoters of the suit was a gentleman who was a leading member of a Nonconformist Church. I make no complaint against that, because it seems to me it may be fairly argued that those proceedings were taken under all the restrictions which at present attach to proceedings of the kind. But there is a broader point of view from which this question should be regarded, and in regard to which I would appeal to the legal learning of the right honourable Gentleman the Member for West Monmouth. What have we been doing in every branch of the law for the last thirty or forty years? We have been endeavouring to cut the comb of the common informer, of the person who has simply walked into court in order to create litigation. The proceedings under this Bill are really in the nature of criminal proceedings. It is really a branch of the ecclesiastical criminal law, because you deprive a man of his means of living, and prevent him. officiating as a minister of the Church of England, and you do in fact put into force against him about as severe a legal jurisdiction as you can possibly contemplate. Every one of the protections afforded in proceedings for libel and in regard to prosecutions under the Sunday Act is swept away by this Bill, and, as was put pointedly the other day, two men living in a remote part of London may walk into a church in the Strand, there see something they do not like, and may institute proceedings; and then, if they can satisfy the court as to costs, nobody can stop those proceedings. If I may say so, I was amused by one reference of my honourable friend to the suggestion that the costs would be a bar to these proceedings, and he read to the House with pathos in his voice a statement as to the bill of costs in three suits. Does he suppose that those costs came out of the pocket of the promoter? We know perfectly well, and it is one of the evils of these prosecutions that the House ought to be most keen to guard against, that these costs are paid not by the promoters, but by associations. I quite agree that it is a right thing that there should be associations for the purpose of preventing illegality, but I do say it is no answer to the objection that these proceedings may be taken by the common informer to say they are obliged to pay costs, because in all cases the costs will be guaranteed by some association, either on the one side or the other. I would remind the House that under the Clergy Discipline Act, passed only in 1892, it was provided with regard to moral offences that if it was thought that the complaint was vague or frivolous the bishop might veto it, and yet I have given instances to the House in which a clergyman might be liable under this Bill for an offence to which no reasonable man would attach any importance, but in regard to which no discretion is to be allowed at all, as to whether or not proceedings should he taken. When we couple with the definition of offences this provision of the Bill which my honourable friend admits to be fundamental, that two persons out of the street, provided they can pay the costs or get someone to provide for them, may be prosecutors, I do suggest to the House that this is a class of litigation that we ought to be very slow to encourage. I now come to the Court. I do not believe that the framers of this Bill wanted to do anything which might be regarded as all affront, but I am utterly at a loss to understand how in such a matter it can be suggested that a civil tribunal should act alone without any discretion. I do not go back to the old courts, but I have never heard any objection raised to the tribunal under the Act of 1840. I would remind the House that under the Clergy Discipline Act of 1892 we sent cases to the Consistory Court, and those cases involved much less questions of ecclesiastical bearing than those raised under this Bill. It is said, and I believe it is honestly said, that there is no intention of offering an affront, but at any rate the Bill suggests a court which it is about as impossible to expect the members of the Church of England to respect as could possibly be devised. In this connection will the House consider the point as to discretion, which is most important as bearing on the question of the constitution of the court? The promoters of the Bill have not been willing to give the bishop any discretion as to whether proceedings shall be instituted. The bishop or his chancellor has to be in. the room, what for I know not, except it be to tell the judge the meaning of things which he could just as easily ascertain from any ecclesiastical dictionary. There is not the slightest necessity under this Bill for the presence in the room of the assessor or the chancellor. But the promoters of the Bill are unwilling to give the bishop any discretion in the matter of trial or any voice in what the decision is going to he. They have not even given discretion to the judge, in whom they profess to have so much confidence. Why not? It is obvious that giving discretion to the judge in such matters could not possibly be approved in this House. We have judges who are Low Churchmen, judges who are High Churchmen, and some who have from time to time been in the course of transition from one faith to another. I do not wonder the promoters saw how absurd and illogical it would be to give discretion on matters of ritual, vestments, and practice to a lay judge having one or other of the qualifications I have mentioned. If the offence, technical, trivial, trumpery, or absurd, is simply brought before the court by two persons, not because they have got a grievance, not because they mind the practice, but because they dislike the man or something else, and they can prove some technical offence against him, the judge must make the order against him, and that order must be carried out. I come to the point which my honourable friend did not mention—that is, the question of punishment. The judge is obliged to make the order, the bishop is obliged to deprive. Neither judge nor bishop has any discretion the man must be deprived, and for a third offence not only deprived, but for ever prohibited from officiating in the Church of England. Has ever such a punishment been suggested for the meanest criminal in the land? Talk about feelings of charity towards the clergy! It is utterly impossible to read this Bill and think that those who promoted it can have appreciated what the consequences of its provisions would be. It is not very long ago that we passed the Clergy Discipline Bill, which is working extremely well, as I have known from those who have been conducting cases on more than one occasion. The House passed almost unanimously the provision in that Bill that though a man might have been convicted of an immoral offence, though a bishop and Archbishop had been obliged to deprive him, yet the Crown might pardon him, or the Archbishop might allow him to take any preferment in his diocese, which he thought it desirable he might hold. Those who promoted this Bill have totally disregarded anything like justice to the accused. So great is the desire shown to enforce a rigid law that justice has been completely and entirely lost sight of. I wish now to say a word or two on this question of veto. I agree with those who think it is possible that the absolute veto may be for some purposes undesirable, but I am not now discussing any question of qualified veto. That is not a matter than can be discussed to-day; but I do respectfully submit to the House, for the reasons that I have urged, there ought to be some restrictions. There must be some restriction if prosecutions of this kind are going to be allowed. I do not go back on what I have said repeatedly. Yon cannot allow these common informers to take these proceedings without some control. Up to this moment no legislation has been passed which allows anything of the kind without some control. With whom is that control to be? Will anybody who studies the question say, looked at impartially and fairly, that, presuming a bishop is an honest, God-fearing man, and anxious to perform the duties of his diocese, the bishop is not the man to exercise control? Will anybody suggest a better official for controlling these proceedings than the man who has charge of the diocese? I do not ask anyone to accept my views of this, question, but I will read to the House an opinion which will be respected, I am sure, and which will appeal especially to the Low Church party in the House:— The Bishop of the diocese cannot, in my opinion, be looked upon merely as a ministerial officer through whose hands process is to pass as a matter of form. He is charged with the oversight of his diocese and with a vigilant attention to its discipline, and if discretion as to proceedings in respect of the discipline of clerks is to he reposed anywhere it is in the Bishop that you would expect to find it. That was the opinion of Lord Cairns, one of the greatest Chancellors England has ever had, and one of the truest of Evangelical Christians. I can give honourable Members the opinions of other distinguished lawyers who have looked at this question impartially, and who have also pointed out that it is impossible to leave the discretion in other hands than those of the Bishop. I have, I hope, demonstrated to the House the injustice of allowing these; free and unrestricted proceedings, and I hope I have demonstrated to the House that there must be some control, and I leave it to the House to say whether they can suggest any better controlling power for prosecutions against trivial, trumpery offences than the bishop, assuming, of course, that he is doing his duty. I claim that the principles of the Bill are unjust, unworkable, and arc such as the House ought not to sanction. These are not points of difference, but they are points which, as the honourable Gentleman in moving the Bill said, were the fundamental principles of his Bill. Coming to the substance of the Amendment, let me say in the first place that I disclaim altogether the slightest sympathy with that section of the clergy, be it large or small, that declines to obey the bishops, if it be necessary. I am aware that some who were present when the oft-quoted resolution was passed, say it ought not to be construed in the way in which it would be viewed by ordinary persons. If there be any class of the clergy who wish to be a law unto themselves, and who will not obey the archbishops or bishops or the tribunal, I have no part or lot with them. You may legislate for them, although you do not in this Bill. But I come to what I believe to be the position of 999 out of every thousand of the working priests of the Church of England. I differ with great respect from the language used by the honourable Member who moved the Bill, that there was a considerable section in open revolt, who desired to undo the work of the Reformation. I believe it to be a small section, a section diminishing daily. But it is not necessary to enter into controversial matters upon that, because I say if there is a section who are determined to disobey the bishops I have no lot with them. But what is the other position? What has been called the crisis in the Church is, I venture to say, an agitation prompted with the very best motives. Since it set in, the bishops have been searching through their dioceses and have been endeavouring to see to what extent illegal practices prevailed. The right honourable Gentleman, the Member for West Monmouth, says the bishops have been misguided in the past, and that they have not done their duty in the past, but I am speaking not of the past but of to-day. No one will get up and charge any bishop with neglect of his duty to-day. If anyone dissents from that, I suggest we ought to have the name of the bishop from those who may not have as much interest in the Church as we have. I take the position that the bishops are endeavouring to put down illegal practices in their dioceses. As to the so-called arbitration tribunal, what the Archbishop said was that he should give an independent judgment; as the Archbishop did. This tribunal has met with the authority of the Bishop of London on the one side and the representatives of the Church who were stated to have broken the law on the other, both being represented by counsel, and presided over by the two Archbishops. I decline to believe that any considerable section of the Church will refuse to obey the award and decision of the tribunal so constituted. I care not whether you call it an arbitration or a legal court. We know perfectly well that the representatives of the High Church—I do not mean the Romanising portion have constantly said they would obey the ecclesiastical authority. The Bishop of Lincoln has publicly "stated that whatever the Archbishops decided he would certainly obey. The bishops are endeavouring to do their best. We are in the presence of a very high ecclesiastical tribunal, who are engaged in deciding some vexed questions, and is this the time when we ought to rush into litigation? Upon this particular point the right honourable Gentleman the Member for West Monmouth and I are entirely at one as to the undesirabilty and the non-necessity at the present time of legislation for dealing with this matter. The House will remember that recently the Archbishops of Canterbury and of York made a pronouncement, and my right honourable friend declared that they "had confessed judgment."

SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT (Monmouthshire, W.)

What I meant was that they made pronouncements, and no obedience was given to them.


Immediately after using that language the right honourable Gentleman goes into print, and wrote a letter to Tine Times on the 29th December, in winch he said: I heartily trust this pronouncement of the bishops may be accepted without resistance. If it be so all will be well. If it is not, the means necessary to give effect to it are not wanting. I have never advocated fresh legislation. I regard it as superfluous. The law as it stands is amply sufficient if it is only properly employed by those whose duty it is to enforce it. The bishops cannot neglect their own prohibitions or veto their own behests. The point which I am making is this, that if we are to assume honesty on the part of the bishops —if we are to assume they did mean what they said a few weeks ago— then the right honourable Gentleman opposite says there is no necessity for further legislation.


That was written four months ago.


Well, we shall, no doubt, have the privilege of hearing the right honourable Gentleman. We have not yet heard from anyone that the state of things is worse to-day than it was on the 29th of December, 1898, and I think many of us are satisfied that in a great many dioceses many things to which exception has been taken have at the request of the bishops been put an end to without any sort of trial at all. There is another leading Low Churchman—perhaps I ought not to call the right honourable Gentleman a Low Churchman; I don't know quite what he is in that respect—but, at all events, one leading Low Churchman, Lord Grinithorpe, has said not only that this is an impossible Bill, but that even a second reading Vote on it will do more harm than good. The honourable Gentleman who moved the second reading suggested that it was absurd to ask for time. Well, we don't ask for time in the sense of palliating the offences or anything of that kind. What we ask is time to see whether the right honourable Gentleman the Member for West Monmouth is not perfectly right in saying that the existing law is amply strong enough to deal with this matter. At any rate, whether we are right or wrong in that view, it is an additional reason for not passing such a Bill as the house is asked to assent to this afternoon. I am aware that in dealing with this case I have not referred to all the arguments that occur to one's mind, but I hope in putting the points against this Bill to the House I have used no expression that can arouse just resentment. If I have done so I am sure I withdraw and apologise for it. May I before I sit down be allowed to say exactly how this matter strikes me, not as an opponent of this Bill merely, but as a Member of this House, and as a lay member of the Church of England. I recognise that this agitation has been largely prompted by the best motives. It is obvious that it has been taken advantage of by some persons who have not got merely the interests of the Church at heart. I am not to-day arguing with those, and I am not going to approach the question from that point of view. It may lie that it has been brought home to some that there exists a section—personally I believe an infinitesimal section who, under the cloak of their orders, are striving to Romanise the Church. No language could be too strong to speak of the conduct of such men. It may have been shown that there is another small section determined to defy the bishops and archbishops, and to acknowledge no law except the law they are unto themselves. From them I have already dissociated myself, and I have shown that I have no sympathy with them whatever. But if these two small sections do exist, I believe the result of this agitation or crisis—whateveryou call it—will be that the Church will lie able to purge itself of those two sections, and from that point of view I, as a Churchman, shall be only too glad of such a consequence; and then, I ant sure, in the purer, brighter light, the beacon of the Church will guide many who have been tempest-tossed to the haven where only they can find rest. It is because I am convinced that this Bill, instead of pouring oil on the waters, will bring about discord and division, and bear as harshly on the loyal as on the disloyal, that I ask the House to reject the second reading, and it is because I believe my Amendment embodies the statesmanlike plan suggested by the true interests of the Church of England, that I ask the } louse to consider it.

Amendment proposed— To leave out from the word 'that,' to the end of the Question, in order to add the words this House, while not prepared to accept a measure which creates fresh offences and ignores the authority of the bishops in maintaining the discipline of the Church, is of opinion that, if the efforts now being made by the archbishops and bishops to secure the due obedience of the clergy are riot speedily effectual, further legislation will he required to maintain the observance of the existing Laws of Church and Realm.'"—(Mr. Attorney, General.)

Question proposed That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question.'

* MR. CHANNING (Northampton, E.)

I venture to traverse the attitude which the honourable and learned Member has taken up, and to traverse it, in the sense of his last words, in the interests of the peace of the Church, in the interest of a settlement of the question, and in the interests of the principles of the Reformation, which the people of this country are looking to Parliament to vindicate at the earliest hour. I am not here to defend or to explain the defects of the I before the House. I ant not prepared, and do not think it necessary, to enter upon ail the legal points which have been raised by the learned Attorney-General; but an experience of thirteen or fourteen years of the House convinces me that if Parliament once accepted the broad principle of a Bill, the House is fully competent to overcome any trivial legal or other difficulties Of detail such as have been pointed out. The honourable and learned Member has referred to the question of costs, and gave away his argument the moment after by admitting that it was the right of bodies of laymen who wish to carry out or vindicate great principles, for which they had made great sacrifices, to meet the costs of prosecutions to vindicate the law of the Church. The Attorney-General has spoken of the Court proposed in the Bill as one that it would be absurd to expect the clergy to consent to appear before. Surely, the honouralde and learned Gentleman, in so saying, was setting a most pernicious example to the people and clergy of this country! Does he not know that at the present time the Crown and the Law Courts had as much behind them the sanction of Convocation as they had the authority of Parliament and the State? The honourable and learned Gentleman, in referring to what he called the arbitration tribunal now sitting at Lambeth, was rather stretching his language when he spoke of it as a tribunal, for it was only two days ago I saw a letter from a parishioner of St. Cuthbert's who laidpplied for a hearing before the Archbishop for those who were aggrieved, and the Archbishop absolutely refused to hear them, while it was well known that Mr. Kensit had been refused a hearing on the ground that it was no court or tribunal. This was a vital question for the people of this country, and I do not think any question has stirred the hearts of people so profoundly within my recollection. The discussion of these questions has been bringing the people to a true sense of their position. Attempts are being made to draw red herrings across their path, but, in spite of this, the people felt the absolute necessity of dealing finally with the whole matter. This is no party question. So far as I am concerned, I would rend all party ties, in order to support the cause which this Bill strives to pro- mote; and I am sure the people of this country will feel profound dissatisfaction that when the House has arrived at a moment when they can come to business, we are asked to depart from what seems the clear line of duty. What did the First Lord of the Treasury say when he went down to Bristol?. I do not know whether he was driven to it by the eloquent letters of my right honourable friend the Member for West Monmouthshire, or the still more eloquent demonstration of the feelings of the people of his own shade of politics all over the country dining the past month, but lie said at Bristol that we were all Protestants, that it was the plain right of every member of the Church of England to have a service in accordance with the Prayer Book of the Church. It was not merely the duty of the bishops, but "We, the Protestant laity of the Church have our responsibilities." It was our duty to see that the law of the Church should be carried out which guarantees the services of the Church of England without interpolation or mutilation or alteration. The laity should do their duty on this question, and the Member for the Exchange Division—whom I heartily congratulate on the extremely able and temperate speech he has made—is manfully doing his duty as a layman of the Church of England in bringing before Parliament this subject, and affording this House an opportunity of making a pronouncement upon this question. The whole of this matter depends upon the actual issues of this Bill. Those issues were broad and simple, and were intended to vindicate the principles of the Reformation. The simplest statement of these principles was that it was the right of the laity, through the Crown, the Courts, mid through Parliament, to have a voice in the settlement of Church affairs, and that the Roman ideas of the Mass and the Confessional should be expunged from the practices and doctrines of the Church of England. We are asked to wait to see if the bishops will vindicate the law. I want to know whether we have any guarantee whatever that the bishops are likely to act in a sense which alone would justify the adoption of the Amendment of the honourable and learned Gentleman. What is the attitude of the Archbishop of Canterbury I was very much struck with the correspondence some months ago between the Archbishop of Canter- bury and a gentleman of whom I know nothing, Mr. Ferryman, who wrote saying that he was not allowed to receive the Communion in the ordinary form of bread, and that wafer bread was forced upon him. He wrote a very proper letter, making a complaint, in respectful terms, to the Archbishop, which was replied to in this sense:— It seems to me that you are making a great deal too much of an unimportant matter. and again to tolerate both sides is a very common mode of putting an end to a quarrel. The Archbishop very naturally went into the historical arguments with regard to the use of unleavened bread, which I will not now bring before the House. There was not one word to indicate that the use of wafer bread was absolutely illegal, according to the decisions of the Privy Council, and could not be allowed in any church, or any recognition that it was the duty of the Archbishop to vindicate the rights of the laity in regard to this matter. This gentleman wrote again to point out to the Archbishop that the decisions in the Purchas and Clifton cases had established the illegality of this practice, and the Archbishop then replied:— In my letter to you I did not enter into the question of legality. It seems to me that there we have exactly the issue which they wanted to raise presented in a clear and concrete form. That is the judicial frame of mind we are invited to trust in the decision of vital and essential questions of Church doctrine and ritual. I venture to say that that is the crucial question of the necessity of a Bill like this. The Member for the Exchange Division spoke of the Children's Eucharists, which have become so great an abuse, of masses for the dead, reservation of the elements, and several questions of that kind. I should like to refer to only one case, and that is the action of the Bishop of London in giving the benefice of St. Barnabas, Pimlico, to the Hon. and Rev. Hanbury Tracy. The Bishops had come to an absolutely unanimous decision that certain acts and practices wore to be condemned and prohibited in the Church. That was done in the month of December, and the Bishop of Bath and Wells endeavoured to enforce those decisions in his diocese. Several of the clergy behaved in a most disorderly and riotous way, and refused obedience to the unanimous de- cision of the bishops against the reservation of the Sacramental elements. One of these clergymen who refused was the Hon. and Rev. Hanbury Tracy, who had directly set himself in defiance of the unanimous decision of the whole bench of bishops, which had only been arrived at a few weeks before. He had to resign his living owing to the position in which he was placed, but he was. afterwards given the living of Sr. Barnabas by the Bishop of London to do as he liked with, although he had defied absolutely and refused to obey the decisions of the whole bench of bishops, to which of course the Bishop of London was himself a, party. The honourable and learned Gentleman opposite has referred to great legal authorities upon the subject, and I wonder why he did not quote the words of Lord Chief Justice Coleridge on the Ritual Commission in 1883, when he declared The active interference of the bishops to prevent the law of the land being enforced against clergymen who had deliberately broken it was indefensible in theory and was becoming intolerable in practice. The late Lord Selborne, one of the most eminent of High Churchmen as well as of legal authorities, again and again dwelt upon the absolute necessity of obedience to the Courts of the land and the right of the Crown, as representing the laity of the country, to deal with these questions and insist upon putting an end to this attitude of general defiance to the decisions of the Courts of the land, unhappily shown by Ritualistic clergy. I have just received a communication from a clergyman whom I respect for his good work, in which he avowed in the frankest possible way that he would pay no attention to any decision of the Courts whatsoever. That no doubt is the attitude of thousands of clergymen at the present time, and, this is being brought about, as the Bishop of Worcester has shown, by the steady Romanising processes in the theological colleges. The real truth is that the clergy of the present day are imbibing their religious doctrines at these theological colleges. The Bishop of Worcester in one of his charges last Autumn referred to a conversation he had with one of these young candidates for ordination. He asked him what he had road, and the reply was "I have read Pusey and extracts from Pusey," and "nothing else." The bishops have been for years neglecting their duty in reference to the education given in these colleges. The late Prime Minister, Mr. Gladstone, and Lord Salisbury have again and again appointed men who had connived at this sort of thing, which had largely brought about these evils in the Church. I do not think my honourable friend is wrong in asking the House to pass a Bill of this kind I think he is quite right in insisting that the time for action should not be indefinitely and interminably postponed. The late Archbishop of York in 1874, when Bishop of Peterborough, declared that he did not believe they could govern the Church by connivance of the bishops, nor did he believe the Church could be governed by a mere feeble Congregationalism. We all remember a recent speech of the First Lord of the Treasury, in which he gave some idea of this system of congregationalism, but I advise him to read again this speech of the most robust arid leanly of English Bishops, who condemned all these feeble, transient, and ridiculous modes of dealing with the difficulties of the Church. I hope on this great occasion—the only occasion this Session on which the House will have the opportunity of dealing with this vital issue, and which the people have implored us to deal with—the House would endeavour to put some pressure even now on the Government to assent to the second reading of this Bill in order to show that this is not a mere question of words, a mere question of time, but that it is a question of absolute loyalty to history, to the law of the Church and to the Constitution, and that we intend to legislate in order to carry out a proper management and administration of the Church. This is an unique opportunity. If it is lost, if the Government persist in the mistaken policy of dwelling upon comparative trifles, which the honourable and learned Member knew he could wipe out of the Bill in half an hour, instead of considering the question on which the people are demanding a decision from that House, the responsibility must rest with the Ministry. Let the Government by this step affirm the principle of early legislation. Let them show that they mean to provide an effective remedy and not acquiesce in the undignified farce now being enacted at Lambeth, and let us have a manly, straightforward vote on the issue whether there should be legislation to check these abuses or not.

* SIR JOHN KENNAWAY (Devon Honiton)

said that whatever was to be the outcome of the debate and subsequent Division, they were all agreed that the voice of Parliament should find expression at the present crisis of the Church as to the course which ought to be pursued. As an Evangelical Churchman it was his earnest hope that the line taken by the Attorney-General would be followed, and that the House would say, however much it sympathises with the motives of those who had brought forward. this Bill, that it was, as pronounced by Lord Grimthorpe, an impossible Bill, and one to which they could not give their assent. Since this crisis became acute, since through the action, on which he pronounced no opinion, of Mr. Kensit, it was evident the matter must be dealt with. Parliament had been asked on three occasions to pronounce an opinion on the matter. Last year, when the proposal was made to include discipline in the Benefices Bill, the House decided that it was not the right time or place. It was brought forward as an Amendment to the Address, when they were asked to say that it was the duty of the Government to bring forward legislation, awl that the Government was to be censured because the subject was not mentioned in the Queen's Speech. The House, however, clearly declined to follow that lead. Again, they had had it on the motion of the hon. Member for Walsall, who departed rather from the motion lie had made but amended so as to affirm the necessity of obedience as a condition precedent to promotion. There was then a remarkable expression of opinion by the House. His noble friend the Member for Gravesend then gave himself over into the hands of his foes, for the House, by an overwhelming majority of 211, affirmed the necessity of the obedience of the clergy to the law. There could be no doubt that the country expected some further steps should be taken, and that day had been kioked forward to more eagerly than any debate on which the House had been engaged this session. Outside, the people had been moved in a most marvellous way, and it was no secret that inside the House hon. Members had never been so much disturbed, perplexed, and he might almost say persecuted by one side or the other, as on the present occasion. There were several classes who had to be considered. There were earnest people who had set their hopes on this Bill, as likely to turn wrong into right, and to purify the Church of England by the drastic measures proposed in it. His sympathies were with their motives. But there was a great body of Churchmen, also much disturbed, who thought that the Second Reading of the Bill would be a great danger, and that the old principles of Church government would be entirely departed from. There was another class—and he was one of them—who had looked forward to that day with intense anxiety, anal who believed that unless they were rightly guided in this matter, friends of the Church would lie found in different lobbies, and great damage would be done to the cause all wanted to advance. Till last night, when the Attorney-General gave notice of his Amendment, there seemed little way out of the difficulty. To vote "Aye" or "No" on this Bill, would be utterly misleading, because many who sympathised with the motives and objects which lay behind it, and were equally alive to the dangers, and equally anxious to find a right way to meet them, would have been obliged to vote against it. He thought the zeal of their friends from the north had landed them in a very great difficulty. He knew of two cases in which they had refused to take counsel with men who would have brought in a Bill which would have commanded the assent of the House. But they chose to go their own way. After this discussion, he thought they might come to something like a unanimous decision. If the mover of the Bill would accept the Attorney-General's Amendment, tire Protestant cause would he helped very greatly, far more than by voting against it. They would strengthen the hands of the Bishops to go forward with the action which he know they were taking in many dioceses by earliest personal appeals. He believed that in many cases the Bishops were earnestly striving to do their duty. He wished to make one correction of a statement his hon. friend passed in regard to the appointment recently made by the Bishop of London. He was informed on the authority of the Bishop from whose diocese Mr. Hanhury-Tracy came that the offer was made to him some time before the protest and act of insubordination to which so much attention had been called. He was sure the honourable Gentleman would accept the assurance. Let the Amendment he accepted as a declaration of the feeling and intention of the House and a pledge from the Government that, given time for episcopal action, legislation must follow. He deprecated litigation as an interruption and hindrance to the real work of the Church, and reminded those who were so ready to resort to law that the decisions of the Privy Council on the question of vestments were conflicting, and asked his Evangelical friends how they would receive a decision that Eucharistic vestments were compulsory. Litigation should be the last recourse. The veto of the Bishops should be modified, not abolished; and on the question of deprivation all that was necessary was to make clear the power of the Court under the Church Discipline Act, 1840. The Privy Council had laid down in the Gorham case that it had no jurisdiction to settle matters of faith or determine particular doctrines, but only to say whether practices were repugnant to the law of the Church; and the Commission of 1881 proceeded on the right assumption that every subject of the Crown who felt aggrieved by a decision of an ecclesiastical Court had an indefeasible right to approach the Queen with a representation that justice had not been done, and of that right no ecclesiastical Court could deprive him. A Bill on such lines would have a very different reception to the Bill which they were discussing. But the real remedy was not to be found in recourse to the Courts, but in the encouragement of a law-abiding spirit. Legislation would never touch the root of the mischief, and ritualistic ceremonies and practices were only symptoms of graver questions behind, only to he dealt with by a higher Power. He earnestly appealed to the promoters of the Bill to he content with the great success they would achieve by the passing of the Amendment, which would not accentuate division of opinion in the Church and which embodied a declaration and pledge satisfactory to earnest Churchmen. Let them not hurry. The matter was too grave to be hurried. Let, time be given to the officers of the Church to do their duty, and as it was admitted that legislation was and must be necessary, the object of the Bill word lie advanced not one step but several steps if the Amendment were Armed by the almost unanimous vote of the House. The opposite result would be that the Protestant party would be split in two. He appealed to honourable Members to remember that they were not merely delegates but loyal men and Churchmen, desiring only what wasbest. It was because he believed that the Bill would disturb and distress beyond measure the Moderate Churchmen, would swell the ranks of the Ritualists, would rejoice the hearts of those who were eager for Disestablishment, and would split their grand old Church asunder, that he would earnestly support the Amendment.

* Mr. J. W. MELLOR (York, W.R., Sowerby)

thought it was desirable that some remedy should be found for the present remarkable state of things. His right honourable friend who had just sat down had said that we ought to encourage a law-abiding spirit; he had always found that the best way to do that was, to provide an effective remedy to prevent it. Then the Attorney-General told them that the Bishops were a very earnest body of men who were searching their dioceses for cases of infringement of the law, and then he went on to say that the Bishops were doing their work well, and he objected to I any interference with their veto, and also said any such interference at the present time would be most detrimental. According to the opinion of the Attorney-General things were going remarkably well; there were a few, he said, who were not obeying the law, but he seemed to think that the Bishops would soon put an end to that. If things were going on so well, how was it that in the opinion of the Government further legislation might lie necessary? If the Attorney-General is right, instead of the extraordinary and vague Amendment they had heard, surely he ought to move that the Bill be read a second time this day six months. What was the legislation that was to be expected if the Bishops did not succeed in their efforts? The Attorney-General never told them or made a suggestion or indeed explained in any sense the nature of the legislation that they were to expect. They were absolutely in the dark. He could not help thinking the Attorney-General and the Government must make a more careful examination of this matter. The Amendment said— That this House, while not prepared to accept a measure which creates fresh offences and ignores the authority of the bishops in maintaining discipline in the Church, is of opinion that if the efforts now being made by the archbishops and bishops to secure due discipline are not speedily effectual further legislation will he required to obtain the observance of the existing laws of the Church and realm At what date did the Attorney-General expect that the efforts that were being made would be effectual? They had had 60 years or more of time in which to secure obedience to the law. Disobedience began in 1834, when it was introduced by Dr. Pusey and Dr. Newman. They had been told over and over again that the Bishops would speedily find a remedy. It is obvious that either the Bishops are unwilling to act or that they want greater powers, and those this Bill affords. What then did the Amendment mean by saying "that if the efforts now being made are not speedily effectual"? Did it mean at the end of this year or at the end of ten years, or was the thing to go on increasing for another 60 years? The number of churches in which the teaching of false doctrine and Ritualism prevailed, had increased from two churches in 1834 to between 7,000 and 8,000 at the present time, and they could see evidences all round that so far from this diminishing, it was rampant. He was sorry to have to say it, but the lawless clergy had succeeded in capturing, not only many of the primary schools, but also many of the boarding schools. He appealed to the House whether in the circumstances some legislation was not necessary. He did not wish to do anything unreasonable, or to drive people out of the Church; he would be sorry to do anything to affect seriously the comprehensive nature of the Church of England; but surely if the Bishops had failed, which it was of no use to deny, was it not time that the representatives of the nation should interfere and endeavour to provide some effectual remedy? Cardinal Vaughan, who was extremely astute, and whose information was probably better than that of the Attorney-General, boasted that from more than a thousand Church of England pulpits in this country the doctrines of his faith were being taught. The remedies against Ritualism at present provided by Parliament were so complicated and expensive that the law-abiding bishops shrank from using them, anti the result was a general disposition to exercise the veto so conveniently provided. The Attorney-General claimed that the veto was exercised with discretion and judgment; but the present Primate, when Bishop of Exeter, had declared that in exorcising the veto he would be hound by no decision and would act absolutely irresponsibly. There were 22 cases in which the episcopal veto had been exercised; in substance they might take it that of late years the Bishops had stopped all proceedings. As had been truly said by the Bishop of Winchester some years ago in Convocation, the very knowledge of the existence of the veto had prevented hundreds of cases from going forward. The Attorney-General was very much horrified because he thought that the Bill recognised the existence of something like the old common informer, but it should be remembered that what created the prejudice against the old common informer was that he received half the penalties, which was not the case in this Bill. The fact that complainants would have to give security for costs to the same extent as in a civil action would be a sufficient guarantee against the bringing forward of frivolous or mere harassing prosecutions. The maintenance of the veto was practically the denial of every man's constitutional right to go into the courts of the Queen for justice. It was true the Attorney-General possessed a power of veto over certain classes of prosecutions, but then there was a difference between the Attorney-General and a bishop. The Attorney-General was responsible to that House for any wrong exercise of his veto, but the Bishops were not. Of the members of the Royal Commission who considered the matter in 1883, Archbishop Thompson of York, the late Lord Coleridge, the Dean of Arches, the Earl of Chichestor, Dean Perowne, Sir J. Parker Deane, Sir Francis Jeune, and the Rev. Chancellor Espin, eight representative men of eminence in the Church, were unanimous that the veto at present enjoyed by the Bishops ought not to be permitted. The Bishop of Worcester had expressed a very strong opinion that the veto could not remain in force; and the veto had also been most strongly condemned by the late Lord Bramwell. They had heard of the money spent in costs under the present procedure. The costs in the case of Martin v. Maconochie—in which fourteen years were taken to deprive Mr. Maconochie—were for the prosecution £10,000, and for the defence £7,485. Then one case under the Public Worship Regulation Act cost about £5,000. With such costs, was it not time that something was done to apply a remedy? There was only one remedy before the House at the present time, and that was this Bill. As he heard the Attorney-General criticise its details, he thought it was never very difficult to criticise any Bill upon the Second Reading; but let the House remember that it laid down some propositions which he thought the great majority of Members would accept. The first proposition was the abolition of the veto. Did anybody suggest that when the Government brought in their promised legislation they could offer the House less? What would be the use of legislation if the Government allowed the veto to remain? Another proposition was to substitute deprivation for imprisonment. As to fresh offences the Bill did not alter the existing law except as to remedy. Every one of the offences mentioned in the Bill had been already condemned in the Ecclesiastical Courts or the Privy Council. Why was the Church of England to be in a different position from every other religious body in the world, and not to be able to get rid of a minister who broke its laws? How long would the Roman Catholic Church allow a priest, or the Presbyterian Church of Scotland allow a minister, to remain who broke the laws of his Church? Then why should not the National and Protestant Church of England have a similar remedy? When the Government brought in their legislation in 10, 20, or 50 years time, would they offer any other punishment than deprivation? The Attorney-General had spoken of the cruelty the Bill might inflict upon some poor Evangelical clergyman who committed some small breaches of the law. The Bill was to stop the teaching and practice of Romish doctrines and ceremonies in the Church of England, and not to punish small or harmless breaches such as he had described; they were quite prepared to take the risk the Attorney-General had mentioned if that was all. The Attorney-General, however, took no notice of the part of the Bill which enacted that before any proceedings could be taken the Bishop should have a month within which he could communicate with the clergyman, remonstrate with him, and exercise his authority. Surely that was long enough. If not they could alter that in Committee. Another part of the Bill provided that the prosecution could only be for an offence committed after the expiration of that month, so that it must be repeated. Moreover, deprivation did not follow as a matter of course, but if the clergyman would sign and file a promise not to repeat the offence there was an end to the prosecution. Was that cruel or unfair? He could only say that the argument that the Bill was disrespectful to the Bishops was one more experience of the extraordinary ingenuity of the Attorney - General. There was nothing novel in the court as proposed. The promoters got their idea of it from the Statutes of Edward VI., which provided that a judge and Bishop should sit together. It was no more derogatory for a Bishop to act as assessor under the Bill to one judge than for a Bishop to sit as assessor to a number of judges sitting in the Privy Council, and such a plan the Archbishops had agreed to formerly. If the Government wished to amend the Bill they, with their majority, were absolutely masters of the situation. They could postpone the operation of the Bill for six months, or a year, if they wished to give the Bishops time, or make any amendment in it they liked. Why, then, was this dilatory Amendment moved? There was not an offence in the Bill but had been condemned alike by the Ecclesiastical Courts and by the whole of the bishops at Lambeth, a short time ago. Was it unreasonable to ask the House to come to the conclusion that such practices should be condemned by the Bill as offences? If they checked the Protestant feeling of the country by rejecting the Bill they would be doing an injury which it would be difficult to repair, and they would make people think they would have to look somewhere else for a remedy than to the Constitutional House of Commons. He hoped the House would reject an Amendment which would defeat the Bill, and gave no immediate prospect of any other legislation.

LORD H. CECIL (Greenwich)

said he desired by the indulgence of the House to begin his observations by one or two remarks which he was aware were not in very good taste. With regard to his own religious standpoint, he was told by people who were in a position to know, and whose information he could not disrespect, that he was supposed to be a very extreme Ritualist. He thought it was desirable to explain that this was not the case. He did not belong to any one of the societies of which they had heard so much in the debate, and he was not an attendant of any church which could be described as ritualistic. When he was in London the most advanced church he attended was St. Paul's Cathedral. Neither was there ground for the supposition entertained outside the House that he represented the views of the Government or of some members of the Government. Nothing could be more untrue. He had spoken several times in the House, and he believed that in the majority of cases he had criticised with more or less hostility the action of the Government, and he thought therefore the suspicion was unreasonable. So far as people might object to the notice that appeared in his name on the Paper, they ought to concentrate their fury on himself; he was not afraid of their Indignation, and they were welcome to do their utmost against him. At any rate, the Government was not responsible, directly or indirectly, and they knew nothing about it. He would not detain the House over what appeared to him to be the less important parts of the Bill. In regard to tile Amendment of which the Government had given notice, he would say frankly that he did not like it. He should greatly have preferred that the issue should have been fought on the notice which stood in his own name or that which stood ill the name of the honourable Member for Walsall, because that, he thought, would have been a much more rational and courageous way of dealing with this matter. Though he did not think the course taken by the Government was a very wise or a very dignified course, he was not put in the position of being obliged to vote against them, because the question was to be that the words proposed to be left out stand part of the question, and as he was very much opposed to the words in the original question, "That the Bill be read a second time," he should have no hesitation whatever in voting against the inclusion of those words. But since legislation was referred to in the Amendment, it would be perhaps as well to say that whenever legislation might be brought forward of the same kind as the present Bill, which aimed at removing the disciplinary authority from the bishops to a ay tribunal, that legislation, from whatever quarter it emanated, would lie strenuously and uncompromisingly resisted. He need hardly assure hon. Members that it was quite impossible for those who took his view of the Church's true character to agree to any further intrusion of lay tribunals, some of which had gone rather far already to destroy whatever authority the bishops now exercised. That would be to make the situation quite intolerable. He would say a few words, not about the new offences which, he thought, were constituted under the Bill, but about the procedure by which it was sought to enforce the law against those offences. That procedure had been described repeatedly to the House. Any two persons professing to be members of the Church of England in a diocese might set the law in motion. The whole jurisdiction would lie with the lay judge, with an appeal to the Privy Council. The bishop was to be present as an assessor to give what assistance the judge required, and to execute the orders the judge might give. He should like to contrast the attitude of the Bill with the language of the Prayer-book about the office of bishop as it was found in the beautiful service for the consecration of bishops. He need nor remind hon. Members of the original preface that had been often quoted from the Anglican Prayer-book, in which it was said— It is evident unto all men diligently reading Holy Scripture and ancient authors that from the Apostles' time there have been these orders of ministers in Christ's Church—bishops, priests, and deacons. He noticed that the hon. Member who moved the second reading regarded it as having a dangerous Romanising tendency that people should appeal to the primitive Fathers. That struck him with amazement. The hon. Member must lie aware of the appeals to the primitive Fathers in so distinctly a Protestant book as Cranmer's Book of the Lord's Supper, for adhesion to which Latimer was burnt.


said what he objected to was not the quoting of the authority of the Fathers, but the substitution of their authority for the Scriptures.


thought no one substituted the authority of the Fathers for the authority of the Scriptures. He would draw attention to the description of the office of bishop as they learnt it from the Prayer-book itself. They learnt, for example, early in the service that he was a person to whom government in the Church of Christ was committed, and the words "admitting any person to government in the Church of Christ" were used. What kind of government was there left to the bishop in this Bill? Then they learnt, after the striking exhortation that followed the consecration, that he was to "be so merciful, that you be not too remiss; so minister discipline, that you forgot not mercy." What opportunity had the bishop under this Bill of showing mercy to any person? But the most conclusive part of the consecration service for the purposes of this discussion was in the question that was put to the bishop in examination, and which was utterly irreconcilable with the view of the present Bill—"Will you maintain and set forward, as much as shall lie in you, quietness, love, and peace among all men; and such as be unquiet, disobedient, and criminous, within your diocese, correct and punish, according to such authority as you have by God's Word, and as to you shall be committed by the ordinance, of this realm? It was clear it was contemplated under this service that the bishop was to have the discipline of the Church, that he was to be able to punish or not punish, Was that recognised in the present Bill? Had the bishop the smallest choice in the matter? Of course he had not; the whole matter was taken entirely out of his hands. The bishop was described as having authority from two sources, having it "as you have by God's Word, and as to you shall be committed by the ordinance of this realm," showing that bishops of the Church of England were supposed to act, as it were, on double authority. In one of the letters of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Monmouthshire that had been so complimentarily referred to, and to the literary vigour of which he cheerfully gave the tribute of his admiration, because it was almost the only merit that he could recognize—in one of those letters the Archbishop of York was severely blamed for saying that he had any authority prior to the law of Parliament. The right hon. Gentleman would observe on reflection that that was precisely the language of the Prayer-book. The bishops were supposed to have an authority quite independent of the law of the land, derived from God's word. That authority, however, was altogether ignored; there was not a Word about it; it was not contemplated that such an authority existed. When they heard accusations of disloyalty against the Book of Common Prayer, he would say that to the Church of England nothing could he more disloyal than such an attitude towards the Episcopal office, because the Church of England did not more emphatically reject the Papal authority than it adhered to the Episcopal authority which was so essential a feature of the Church of England. Then, as regarded the commital of authority "by the ordinance of this realm," the Bill proposed to take away that authority in a manner quite contrary to the meaning and intention of the question in the Prayer-book, so that the question under this Bill would be a mockery in regard to matters of ritual. The Bishop would be obliged to say, "I should be very glad to exercise the authority you speak of, but that authority has gone away from me; it is in the hands of a Judge in the High Court who is stimulated to action by two persons who may have resided for 12 months in the diocese." These might be two convicts recently relieved from Dart moor Prison. Then, finally, the Bishop was reminded that "God hath not given us the spirit of fear, hut of power, and love, and soberness." He did not think that under this Bill a Bishop required any qualities so impressive as that; all that he would need for the purposes of this Bill were the childish virtues of speaking when he was spoken to and doing what he was bid. He opposed this Bill, therefore, first of all because it was fundamentally opposed to the Prayer book conception of the office of Bishop. He should oppose, it not less if it were directed to correct evils greater even than Ritualism; if it were directed to put down Unitarianism, which was supposed to be growing in the Church, he should resist it not less vehemently than he did. The particular opportunity on which this question was raised was of the smallest importance. The Bill itself would overthrow the true spiritual character of the Chinch's primary authority, and that was why those who thought with him, and with his noble friend the Member for Rochester, could not possibly, under any circumstances, assent to its second reading. He was told sometimes that all these arguments were out of place, that they were 300 years too late, and that the Royal supremacy carried with it the idea that the State was to determine all spiritual questions which would arise in regard to the Church's services. That was quite an unhistorical opinion. He could quote the proclamation of Queen Elizabeth herself, who certainly was not disposed to under-rate her own authority, and of whom it could not be denied that she was generally regarded as the typical Protestant Queen. She issued a proclamation in 1570, which was hung in every parish church in England. He would quote from Mr. Froude's history:— Elizabeth admitted that 'the external ecclesiastical policy of England differed in some respects from that which was established in other countries, and occasions had been sought to trouble weak consciences on this ground. Simply, however, she declared that she had neither claimed nor exerted any other authority in time Church than had attached from immemorial time to the English Crown, although that authority had been recognised with greater or less distinctness at different times. The Crown challenged no superiority to define, decide, or determine any article or point of the Christian faith or religion; or to change any rite or ceremony before received and observed in the Catholic Church. The Royal supremacy in matters spiritual meant no more than tins—that, she being by lawful succession Queen of England, all persons born in the realm were subjects to her and to no no other earthly ruler.' How was this Bill consistent with that Royal proclamation? Under this Bill a strictly State court could define every conceivable point of rite and ceremony, and enforce their decision. He knew that people would say that the court in this case only exercised an interpretative power; but really it was important that they should realise that interpretation did change, and necessarily change, the law. Every jurist was, of course, familiar with that fact. All branches of our law depended almost entirely upon a series of judicial decisions which had created the law. Of course in a case like that it could not be said that a lay court would be "interpreting" the law. It merely altered the law every time a decision was made. New precedents were formed, and in substance the distinction between courts of law and the Legislature was this, that the Legislature altered on a large and wide scale, and courts of law only within certain defined limits. Therefore when people said that the court would only "interpret" the law, they were the victims of confusion of thought. But perhaps it might be said that under this Bill things would be no worse. That was not the fact. There were now certain courts which were of a spiritual character. The Bishop's Court had still, he thought, a perfectly spiritual character; but still more important was the power exercised by the bishop hi the matter of his veto. The bishop had a spiritual authority, and that he could bring to bear by the machinery of his veto. Personally, he did not think it was quite an ideal system, but so long as the system went on it was essential to maintain the episcopal veto as the true resource of the spiritual authority which really made that authority a reality. He did not know of a single Christian community in the world—although he did not know the system in Germany or Scandinavia—that submitted its doctrine or ceremonial to the jurisdiction of lay courts, except, in a modified degree, the Church of England. Of course no disestablished body did so. [Opposition cheers.] He knew very well what was the policy of hon. Members opposite. They were anxious to hold the spiritual life of the Church up to ransom. Every footpad knew how to cry out, "Your money or your life!" The Church of England was not in such a position that it needed the assistance of those who were her professed opponents in these matters. She would maintain her spiritual independence. She would obtain doubtless in process of time from the justice of the community any alteration of the law which might lie necessary, but she would never yield, lie hoped, to the unscrupulous policy of those who attacked her established and endowed position—those endowments which the piety of preceding generations had given up for the glory of God and the service of man. They would maintain to the end both their free and their established position. Objection was taken by some to the veto on the ground that it was exercised by bishops in whom they had no confidence. That would be a very good ground for removing the Bishops from the positions which they held; but it was not an arguable proposition to say that, because particular holders of the office did not exercise their authority rightly, therefore the authority of the office was to be destroyed altogether. He should like to ask how long it was since the Bishops became untrustworthy. They had been told that the veto had not been exercised since 1850. Had there been no trustworthy bishops since 1850? The veto was capable of being exercised in the Dioceses of Liverpool and Worcester to-day. Were the Bishops of Liverpool and Worcester Romanisers in disguise? Hon. Members did not seem to realise that the veto would not be exercised by an Evangelical prelate unless there were very good reasons against prosecution—reasons which were altogether fatal to this Bill. The policy of prosecutions was condemned not less by Evangelical bishops, such as the Bishops of Liverpool and Worcester, than by the most High Church prelate on the bench. Passing from the theoretical to the practical aspect of the question, he said he should like to ask hon. Members how the Bill would work if passed into law. Let them follow it out in imagination. They had been told, and it was a most remarkable circumstance—indeed, it deserved the most anxious attention of the House and the country that objection was felt to the whole school of thought which was called Tractarian. Was the programme of the promoters of this Bill to deprive of a cure of souls the whole Tractarian or High Church party? If so, they ought to know. The High Church party had been abjured to make common cause against the extremists, whose practices they severely condemned; but now it seemed to be said, if not avowed, what, indeed, he had always suspected, that the objects of attack were not a few extremists, but 7,000 or 8,000 representatives of the school of thought which began in 1834. Did hon. Members call that their idea of a comprehensive Church in which their first step was to exclude 7,000 or 8,000 of the clergy He had spoken of St. Paul's Cathedral. He imagined the clergy of St. Paul's Cathedral would be amongst those against whom it was designed to use the powers of this Bill. Certainly prosecutions might be initiated against these clergy. Was it conceivable that they could carry out 7,000 or 8,000 prosecutions throughout the country? Had anybody reflected what the condition of the country would he while they were going on with their 7,000 or 8,000 prosecutions? They would have to go against every single High Church clergyman. They would have to face all the legal expenses and obstacles he could throw in their way. They would have to face not only the opposition of the clergyman, but in an enormous majority of cases the violent opposition of the parishioners. Why, before those 7,000 or 8,000 prosecutions had gone on for two months, the Church of England would be broken hopelessly in two, or the House would, in dust and ashes, repeal the Act it had foolishly passed. He therefore conceived that the prosecutions under this Bill would fail in their object. It was quite impossible to deprive so large a number of clergymen as the promoters of this Bill apparently contemplated dealing with. But was there no alternative He believed the alternative was to be found in an appeal to an authority which the whole High Church party looked to—the authority of the bishops. That authority was being exercised at the present time, and exercised with no common measure of success, against what was illegal. He believed the archbishops, in the tribunal they had set up, would come to a wise and independent decision, and he had not the least doubt that the overwhelming mass of the High Church clergy and laity would defer to that decision whatever it might be. Trust, then, the bishops, and they had some prospect of putting a check to extreme practices. Interfere recklessly, and set up a tribunal which not even the most moderate High Churchman would respect, and they united them with the most extreme in one common scheme of resistance against this attack. The true statesmanship, the true policy, was to do what the mover of the Bill supposed to be impossible—to find the moderate men who did not belong to the extremists on either side, and rely on them to guide the Church of England out of the dangers which beset her path. He entreated, therefore, the House to reject the Bill, not for the sake of the Ritualists, not for the sake of the extreme people, but for the sake of the Church of England herself. Was it possible for anyone, even her most pronounced opponent, to contemplate without regret the prospect of the intrusion into her midst of all kinds of bitterness and uncharitableness? He entreated hon. Members to rise to the height of the calling which the laws of this country put upon them. They were the appointed guardians of the Church. Many hon. Members opposite thought they ought not to be so. But they were so. Theirs was a position of trust; they were the appointed guardians of the Church. If they failed in that position of trust they failed in one of the most sacred duties which was laid upon them. They kept the gates of God's vineyard, If they did not do their duty there would rush in those ancient enemies of the Church—bitterness and uncharitableness, bigotry and narrowness—that had so often devastated her work. But if they did their part the Church of England would go on with her evangelical work. She would go on preaching the Gospel which it was her mission to preach, and they would have the satisfaction of knowing that they had stood between good and evil, that they had saved the work of a great religious body from the dangers that threatened it, and that they had done their duty by the Church of which they were the appointed guardians, and which was to some of them so inestimable a blessing.


I very sincerely recipocrate the gracious compliments of the noble Lord, and I can say, in common with all the members of this House, that I always listen to him with pleasure, though I differ from every opinion which he expresses. Now, Sir, I know this is not the time to go into any of these theological discussions; otherwise I think I should be disposed to contravene the opinion of the noble Lord on the lay supremacy of the Crown as governing the Church of this country. Sir, I would rather ask the House, what is the practical situation in which we find ourselves to-day? Nothing, I think, can strike anybody more than the extraordinary change of the attitude of this House in the course of the last eight or nine months. When you recollect what was the tone that was taken up upon the benches opposite upon this question in June and July last, how it was considered that for this House to interfere in these matters and with these grievances was highly improper, and how the question was represented as simply a question of the action of a few extreme men not worthy of notice, and when you see these crowded benches this afternoon, representing, I believe, the anxiety of a great body of people in this country, you will feel that something has happened which deserves the attention of the House. Now, what has happened? Though it was endeavoured to minimise and get rid of this question nine months ago, the question has continued to occupy the attention of the country inure and more. A remedy has been demanded, and, in my opinion, reasonably and justly demanded, for grievances which are widely and, I may say, universally felt. The Attorney-General to-day declined to use the phrase "crisis in the Church," and said this was an agitation of well meaning people. Well, his squeamishness about the word "crisis" is not shared by his colleagues, because the seriousness of the crisis in the Church was declared by the First Lord of the Treasury not long ago at Bristol in a good Protestant speech, and it is not two days ago since there appeared a letter of the Prime Minister's in the newspapers which declared his sense of the seriousness of the crisis in the Church, which the Attorney-General regards apparently with a light heart. Then, Sir, there is another remarkable fact, and it is well worthy of observation. The Amendment put forward by the Government I understand is a Government Amendment, which pledges the Government under certain circumstances themselves to legislate upon this subject, and is a declaration that, unless speedily these grievances and these offences are dealt with, it is the duty of Parliament, under the guidance of the Executive Government, to bring that Parliamentary authority which the noble Lord so scornfully rejects, to bear upon the Government of the National Church for the correction of the offences of the clergy, and to compel them by the highest authority in the realm to obey the law of the land. But that is a declaration which belongs both to this Bill and to the Amendment. It is the assertion on both sides of the House, and I believe by the enormous majority of the House, and the enormous majority of the Churchmen of this country, that the authority of the Crown and of Parliament in the last resort is superior to the ecclesiastics. That is the proposition that underlies both this Bill and this Amendment, and so far, I think, a great step has been taken in the assertion of a principle which is absolutely indispensable to an English Church. Then we have made some progress, I think, since June, 1898. Well then, Sir, what has been the condition of things which has brought about the necessity for this debate? What has brought about the feeling that has aroused the resentment that is felt by the great body of the people of this country against that which has been going on among the clergy? I understand it is the refusal to be bound by the law, the declaration that we have heard from the noble Lord that there is to be no lay authority, the denial of all that which follows from the fundamental fact of the Reformation, the submission of the clergy, and the transference of the authority of the Bishop of Rome to the Sovereign as representing the laity in this country. All that is denied, obstinately, openly denied, by great bodies of the clergy in this country. Here, at least, we are today, whether upon the Bill or upon the Amendment, to absolutely put our condemnation on such doctrines as that. We are here to say that the Crown and Parliament in these matters are supreme, and that what they think fit or do not think fit to deny or assert in this matter, is binding upon the clergy of the Church of England. That is the root principle which we are here to affirm. Well, Sir, how has this disturbance arisen? It is not denied that a great number of practices have arisen in this country that are contrary to the law of the Church and of the realm—that is admitted. The bishops have said so. The authorities to whom the noble Lord refers—the whole government of the Church—have asserted that a great number of these practices are illegal and contrary to the rule of the Church and the law of the land. But why have they been allowed to continue? How did they arise? How have they grown to their present magnitude? Nobody denies that it has been either by the negligence or by the connivance of those who had the power, and whose duty it was to put an end to them. The Bishop of Winchester, a prelate of great sagacity and ability, has admitted that the bishops in times past have been too casual. Then this is a casual negligence which has arisen, and led to a large departure from the law of the land and of the Church. But when attention was called to it in this House, and still more in the country, what has been the course that has been taken? What effectual measures have been resorted to to put an end to this lawlessness in the Church of England? We are asked, practically speaking, in the Amendment of the Government, to place confidence in bishops. Well, sir, I am reminded of the celebrated phrase of Lord Chatham's: "Confidence is a plant of slow growth in an aged bosom" But confidence is a plant, you may depend upon it, of no growth at all in the bosom of most Churchmen in this country. The bishop has yet to earn the confidence of those at least who are attached to the Protestant establishment of this country. How was this matter treated in the first instance? I will take the case of the Bishop of London. His attention was called to the fact that there were gross violations of the law of the Church. His answer was, "If you do not like it, you must go elsewhere." Well, we have got past that stage at all events. We have made some advance in that matter, but the voice of public opinion became so strong that at last it was necessary that the bishops should act. I frankly admit that the bishops in the first place are and ought to be the guardians of the law of the Church. And the whole point that arises here is whether in that capacity they have done their duty. I am satisfied that the bishops ought to enforce the law upon the clergy under their control. The question is, have they done so, and how have they done it? That is the whole question at issue to-day. We had a conference in the autumn at Bradford. Then the seriousness of the matter came to be fully recognised, and the Archbishop of Canterbury admitted the evil. He pledged the bishops in some way or another to put an end to the existing evils, and said they meant to do so. That was in October last. We are now in the month of May, and what has been practically done to remedy these evils, which were then fully acknowledged, and which his Grace pledged himself and his brother bishops to put an end to? Shortly afterwards the Archbishop of Canterbury in his charge pronounced certain things to be clearly unlawful, and which ought to be put an end to. I will mention two only—the ceremonial use of incense and the reservation of the sacraments. These were clearly condemned as being unlawful. Now, that is six or eight months ago, and nobody can deny that at this moment in scores, I may even say hundreds, of churches within the jurisdiction of the Archbishop and the bishops these practices, though openly allowed to be unlawful, are now going on. How is it? Is it said that they have not got the power to put them down if they choose? No. The First Lord of the Treasury, in his speech at Bristol, said, and said truly' the bishops are armed with ample powers to enforce the law. Here are men who, according to the noble Lord (Lord H. Cecil), are the natural guardians of the discipline of the Church, who openly pronounced certain acts to be unlawful, and who are endowed with the power—I have always asserted that they have the power—there is no question that they have the power—to enforce the law against these delinquents, and they have done nothing that is effectual. In that state of things it is rather absurd to say "Put your faith in the bishops and they will set it all right." What is the natural thing to suppose? Having got this power it was only necessary to proceed in a single case against a clergyman who, in spite of the declaration of the archbishops and the bishops, was acting unlawfully, to satisfy the people that the bishops were earnest and sincere in what they were doing. Why have they not done that? That is a question which, if we are to place confidence in the bishops, we ought to have answered. Well, Sir, nobody will deny that under the Clergy Discipline Act it was perfectly simple to institute proceedings against an offending clergyman. There was no question of imprisonment; he would have received an admonition, and if he disobeyed the admonition he would first of all have been suspended, and if he resisted suspension he would have been deprived. Why is that not done? We ought to have an answer to that question before we are called upon to have confidence in the bishops. The Attorney-General undertakes to say what is the position of nine hundred and ninety-nine out of a thousand of the clergy with reference to the orders of the bishops. His estimate is different from the estimate of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who in an address recently said that the offenders were only five per cent. Why is it that five per cent. of the clergy of the Church of England are allowed with impunity to defy the law by the orders given to them by the archbishops and bishops? Now I say that a single action on the part of the bishops in this matter would have given great satisfaction to the public mind and would have induced us to believe that law and order would be restored in one church. The Attorney-General is very strong on the subject of no one except the bishops interfering in this matter. But the First Lord of the Treasury said: The bishops have large powers given them by the ecclesiastical law and by the law of the State to put down a state of lawlessness of the English instincts. It is repulsive that the men who avowedly take the emoluments of one Church should not perform the duties which belong to it. Then the right honourable Gentleman goes on to say: — We, the Protestant laity in this country, have our responsibilities to enforce the plain right of every Member of the Church of England to have a service in accordance with the Prayer Book. But if the bishops do not enforce the law, how is every member to get it except by allowing him to proceed to perform that duty which the Bishop neglects and refuses to perform. The argument of the Attorney-General seems to me, therefore, to be entirely unfounded. We have men who openly avow that they will do as they please, and though they may be ordered to prison they not merely resist but openly announce their determination to continue their actions. That is the cause of the bringing forward of this Bill. At the Bradford Conference there were scattering charges from bishops all over the country forbidding the clergy to do certain things, but the clergy do them all the same. Then, all the bishops thought that it would be a good thing to meet together at Lambeth. They met there, and came to a unanimous decision on certain subjects. An analysis of twelve heads has been made of things which had been forbidden by the bishops at the Lambeth Conference. Has the decision been obeyed? Has it been complied with by the clergy? What becomes of the argument of the noble Lord, that the bishops are the men to govern the Church? They cannot govern the Church. Their incapacity is shown by everything that has occurred since the Lambeth Conference. The Attorney-General did me the honour to quote a sentence from a letter of mine written immediately after this Conference, in which I said that now we have a basis of action and the bishops have forbidden certain things, WC shall see whether the clergy will comply, and if they did not, I took it for granted that they would take the proper measure to enforce their orders. Yes, but that was in December last; now we are in May and they have no measures to enforce the law.


Over and over again they put a stop to any number of these things.


I have no doubt that a good many were stopped, but in the great number of cases the clergy have not complied. Has the noble Lord ever heard the name of Lord Halifax? If he really believes that Lord Halifax and those who accompany him have accepted and obeyed the decrees of the Lambeth Conference, I assure him that he is mistaken. On the contrary, what is the meaning of the transaction going on at Lambeth again? If the archbishops and bishops at the Lambeth Conference told their clergy what they ought to do, why is it necessary that these proceedings should be going on at Lambeth? The Archbishop of York published a pastoral in which all these things were set forth, and in scores of churches at this moment almost everything forbidden in the pastoral is now being practised. The noble Lord thinks that this is not the case, but the bishops met together, and they all agreed that they would forbid certain things. Then this singular circumstance occurred: Within, I think, a fortnight of that unanimous decision, one of these bishops went to officiate in a church where all the things that were forbidden were practised, though he made a personal stipulation to the effect that everybody else could have incense but that he should not be incensed. Thus the noble Lord places implicit confidence in the Government of the bishops when one of their own body is the first person to go and assist in the violation of the matters which had been laid down as forbidden. In these circumstances is it not surprising that confidence is not placed in the bishops, but that Parliament is expected to do something to give effect to the law? I call attention to what is now going on on the part of the bishops. Why is it that these particular proceedings at Lambeth, which some people call a Court, are going on? It is not a Court at all; the Archbishop declared that. It is not a judicial proceeding; under the Rubric it is merely an advisory action on the part of the bishops as to what they ought to do. What is the use of that? You cannot do more than what took place in the Lambeth Conference. It is not advancing the question a step. If they had been in earnest and were anxious to do something after the manner of the action that was taken in the Lincoln judgment, they might have had a discussion in their own Ecclesiastical Court. That would have been a regular proceeding; it might have eventuated in a judgment which might have been enforced; but now no one believes the decision to be binding on anyone. They could also have gone to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, and then the decision would have been binding. Why have they not taken that course? They thought that the object of the veto was to maintain the spiritual authority of the bishops. How is it maintained? By preventing the law of the land from operating and thereby keeping the whole jurisdiction in the hands of the ecclesiastics. That is the object of the veto, and it is for that purpose it has been worked; but this is an entire abuse of the veto and of the intention for which it was given. The veto was given for the purpose of preventing vexatious and frivolous proceedings. It has been used, wrongly used—I was going to say unscrupulously used—for the purpose of preventing the law of the land from operating in the most important cases. I hoped that the Amendment which was moved by the Government meant a great deal more than I can believe it to mean after the speech of the Attorney-General. I must say that the tone of that speech was a sort of disbelief in any real substantial grievance—the disparagement of anything like effectual remedies. The language held on the subject of confessionals and on the veto did very much to destroy the value of the Amendment which the honourable and learned Gentleman moved. What is valuable in that Amendment is the recognition that it is the right and duty of Parliament to interfere in this matter, but when I come to judge from that speech in what direction and to what extent the Attorney-General will interfere, I must say that it is most unsatisfactory. As I say, we have not yet got on the part of the bishops anything like an attempt at effectual action. What is now going on is not effectual action at all, and will not lead to any effectual action against anyone who chooses to resist. Therefore, it seems to me that the time has come when the House of Commons shall take effectual action of one kind or another—that is what we have to look to. We cannot accept this dilatory plea as it is raised in the speech of the Attorney-General. He says "if the bishops do not succeed in what they are doing"; at the rate at which they are going on, they are not likely to succeed. They have abstained altogether from taking any measures which are likely to succeed, or which have succeeded in the past, and therefore the House of Commons will see that some measures on its part are obviously necessary. Can honourable Members opposite, who know as well as we do the feeling of the country, contend that things can be allowed to go on as they are now, with any security to the Church of England, for another twelve months—for that is the practical effect of of the Amendment? If the Government think it right for them to bring forward a Bill on this matter, why do they not bring it forward? What is wanted in this matter, as I have always said, is not so much a change in the law as some means of making the existing law work. You have to remove the obstacles standing in the way of the operation of the existing law, which is sufficient for the purpose. Of course, everybody knows that Mr. Maconochie was deprived and that Mr. De la Bere was deprived. But it is said that that cannot be done except at great cost. I am speaking now on the advice of one who knows more about this point than anyone else when I say that it is an entire mistake that these proceedings need be very costly. I said to this authority that I believed the thing might be done for £500, and he replied that it could be done for £100 with the greatest ease under the Church Discipline Act. Therefore, if people are in earnest to try, only in a single case, the legitimacy or the illegitimacy of these transactions, there is not the smallest difficulty in the way. The last nine months have been absolutely wasted; and the question is whether you are going on for twelve months more, leaving the country in a state of disquiet, as it is, about these practices. I think it would be extremely unsafe to do so. With reference to this Bill itself, there is a great deal in the Bill in which I do not concur at all. I differ from a great many of its provisions, and I agree very much with the criticism of the Attorney-General. But, at all events, this Bill asserts the necessity of some action in this matter. I agree in the necessity of taking action against the establishment of the confessional. I agree in the necessity of removing the veto, or, at all events, of limiting the veto to simply the most trivial and most vexatious things. Because the vote not only may lie used, but has been used, to set aside and paralyse the law of the Church and the law of the land in this matter. Therefore, if we did nothing else but put; a stop to the veto to-day we should be doing that which we ought to do and which would do much to satisfy the mind of the country. Therefore, Sir, when the question is put whether this Bill shall be read a second time—as asserting, in my opinion, the necessity for Parliament to do something in the way of legislation, and to do it at once—I shall vote for the Second Reading of the Bill. It seems to me that it will be perfectly easy to remove from the Bill the ground for the objections which have been made by the Attorney-General, and it seems to me that you might introduce by this Bill—if not such ambitious attempts at reform as it contemplates—some remedy which will give satisfaction to the feelings existing in the country. As regards the Amendment, I have said already that to postpone dealing with the question, to make it dependent entirely on the action of the bishops, is to give the bishops a sort of letter of licence to delay the matter as long as ever they please. I do not think that that would be satisfactory. But certainly, as regards the Amendment, if the Bill should be defeated there is at least this satisfaction—that on the part of the Government there is a recognition that a great evil exists which demands the action of this House, that it is for this House to govern the Church in the last resort, and that it is the business of the clergy to obey the law as it is laid down by the Crown and Parliament. The House must make it perfectly clear that the Church does not mean the Priests. They say "the Church is to make the law." Yes, but the Church is the laity, and the clergy are only the ministers. Therefore, unless we give that authority, unless we see that it is enforced, if we are going to leave this question in the situation in which it now stands it will be finally impossible to maintain the Church of England as a national Church or as an Establishment.


The last five or six minutes of the right honourable Gentleman's speech were nominally devoted to the discussion of the Bill and of the Amendment, and to an explanation of the reasons which induced him to take the somewhat singular course of voting both for the Bill and—if the chance is left him, as I do not doubt it will be—for the Amendment. Yet even now I do not understand why the right honourable Gentleman is going to vote for the Bill, because he did not say a single word in defence of any one of the provisions of the Bill. His only observations on the clauses of the measure were condemnatory, and as for the favour—the somewhat qualified favour—with which he appears to regard the Amendment, I attach very little importance to that, as it appears to me that he has read into the Amendment intentions which the Amendment does not convey, and has given meanings to its language which neither the rules of grammar nor any other rules would justify. Sir, if I had time I should like to criticise some of the historical observations with which the right honourable Gentleman began his speech. I will not do so because I have more practical and pressing matters to deal with. But the right honourable Gentleman never gives this House or the country his views upon the Reformation settlement without falling into historical errors so gross and extraordinary that it is really with the utmost difficulty that I restrain myself on the present occasion from endeavouring to deal with them. But this afternoon at all events, we must leave historical matters on one side, and come to the practical question. How has the right honourable Gentleman dealt with the practical question? He devoted three-fourths of his speech to an attack on the bishops for their conduct since December last. In December last he said that the bishops were in a position to remedy the evils which all acknowledged were present in the Church; and, because the bishops have not, between the end of December and May 10th, done all that the right honourable Gentleman thinks they ought to have done, he is, as I understand him, prepared to pass a vote of condemnation on the bishops and to thrust them aside from their legitimate share in the government of the Church.


I said "for many years past."


It was in December last that the right honourable Gentleman said he still looked to the bishops. And because, since December last, they have not done all he thinks they might have done he has adopted the course I describe. In what is shown the laxity of the bishops? He says that they might have had a prosecution, and that they have had no prosecution. Is the activity of the bishops to be measured by the number of prosecutions they permit or encourage? Prosecutions may be necessary, but when necessary they are a necessary evil, and an evil the magnitude of which every bishop and every Churchman I believe (except the right honourable Gentleman) is prepared to acknowledge. I object to this measure of the activity of the bishops. The right honourable Gentleman's views as to the proper way of governing the Church shows him to be, I think, an indifferent adviser on matters ecclesiastical. Since December last the bishops have, without prosecutions, done an enormous amount by exhortation and advice to check the extreme practices to which objection is so justly taken. And in addition to that exhortation and advice, which has been most fruitful of good results, they have established these tribunals at which I understand the right honourable Gentleman sneers, but the effects of which it is as yet too early to judge, though of those effects I, at all events, entertain the highest hopes. But I suppose it would be a disappointment to the honourable Gentleman who interrupted me just now if the result of the action of the bishops, either by exhortation or through these informal tribunals, was to restore the Church to that position to which he would like to see it restored, if restored at all, only by the bitter scandals of a public prosecution. I fundamentally differ from him. I should regard such a consummation as the greatest evil that could happen to the Church, and I do most earnestly trust that the judicious action of the bishops, the good sense of all the parties concerned, may render such prosecutions unnecessary in the future. I would, not in this respect, imitating the right honourable Gentleman, now ask the House for one moment to turn to the Bill. I do not dwell upon the indirect and unintended hardships which that measure must inflict upon what I may call accidental offenders belonging to all classes of ecclesiastical opinion. That matter was sufficiently dealt with by my honourable and learned friend, the Attorney-General, and I think he convinced every man in the House that these hardships would be an inevitable result of the measure, and are of a character which no mere alteration of phraseology in Committee could remedy or correct. This, however, is not the point on which I wish to dwell this afternoon. I want the House for a moment to face the real facts of the situation, and to ask themselves in all sincerity what is the evil they wish to cure, and 'whether this Bill is likely to cure it. We often hear it said that the evil with which this Bill is intended to deal is the breaking of the law of the Church; that it is intended, and solely intended, to prevent aberrations from the rules of ritual laid down by the Prayer-book, that its object is simply to secure that the Rubrics shall be obeyed. But this is a most incorrect and inadequate account of the object which we all really have at heart. There are a great many infractions of the Rubrics such as those mentioned by my honourable and learned friend the Attorney-General, which may be good or may be bad, but which are not the reasons why, at this moment, this House is crowded with anxious auditors and why the country outside is so deeply concerned with the problems with which we are dealing. It is something different from the mere bare legal question of the maintenance of the precise ritual required of the Rubrics, important as that may be which is agitating the country. Sir, what this House is concerned with at the present moment is the belief, which has a great justification in fact, that a certain number—I believe a very small number—of the clergy of the Church of England are determined, if they can, to pervert the ritual and discipline of the Church of England to something which differs from the ritual and discipline of the Church of Rome, faintly, if at all. That is the fear which moves us, and for that fear there is undoubtedly some justification in the practices and theories of a small body of the Church of England. Let us, therefore, openly state what it is we desire. We desire to prevent this Romanising process. But what does this Bill do to prevent it? I listened with great interest to my honourable friend who moved the Second Reading. He gave us examples of abuses which have crept into the Church, and I thought that this preface was going to lead up to some evidence that the Bill, if carried, would cure the evils of which he complained. But he did nothing of the kind. He mentioned in terms of reprobation—in terms of reprobation not, in my judgment, too strong—the case of a certain Mr. Cottam, who appears to have said, either in a sermon or in some book, that it was a sin to give money to a Dissenter or to go into his chapel. I think that is a preposterous doctrine; yet how would it be touched by this Bill? Of course, it would not be touched. Mr. Cottam might go on spreading this charitable view of the relations between different branches of the Christian Church as much if this Bill were law as he can at the present time. He went on to tell us that at a church near here a large number of children wont as spec- tators to a Communion Service. I do not know the facts of the case in detail, but, judging from what my honourable friend said, it is a proceeding to which I personally should have the very strongest objection. But how would it be cured by this Bill? It will not be touched by the Bill, and if any one wants to have a further illustration of how far the framers of the Bill are from adapting their remedy to the evil of which they complain, let him consider the clause of the Bill which forbids the use of the word "Mass." The use of the word "Mass," in my judgment, indicates a very deep-seated evil. So far as I am acquainted with Anglican literature, there has been in the 300 years succeeding the Reformation no Anglican divine of any importance, to whatever school he may have belonged, who would not have been shocked at the introduction of the word "Mass" as describing the English Communion Service. I believe it would have been as repulsive to Laud as to Tillotson, and that High Church, Low Church, and Broad Church would have concurred in condemning it. And if it is now so employed by any clergyman, that clergyman justly lays himself open to the suspicion that he is not really loyal to that branch of the Universal Church to which he nominally belongs. So far I am in absolute agreement with what I understand to be the views of my honourable friend and the framers of the Bill, but are they not by this clause, as by all the provisions of the Bill, attacking the mere surface indication of an evil without touching the evil itself? You forbid a man under the severest penalties to utter the word "Mass," but this Bill does not prevent him teaching the doctrine of Transubstantiation. This Bill does not prevent him, in covert language, teaching the doctrine of the Sacrifices of Masses—the whole substance of the Roman teaching on the subject of the Eucharist might be, as far as this Bill is concerned, taught after it passes, as well as it can be taught now. My honourable friends' desire is to put an end to a real evil, but in their endeavour to put an end to the real evil they attack merely the symptom of the evil and leave the evil itself absolutely untouched. I do not think there can be a better indication of the hollowness of this attempt, and of the failure to which it is foredoomed. What we object to, after all, is not, solely or mainly, aberrations of ritual. I think, as I have often said in this House, that every member of the English Church, when he goes to an English Church, has a right to have a service in harmony with the spirit of the Prayer-book. But my honourable friends profess to be attacking something deeper than that, and yet they do not touch doctrine in their Bill. I do not say they are wrong, but that only shows that the machinery of the Bill is by its very nature directed to the surface of things, and does not penetrate to those inner realities which are the real source of all the evils of which we complain. If it be true, as I think it is obviously true, that this Bill is open to all the objections urged by my honourable and learned friend the Attorney - General, and to the general objections which I have just stated to the Committee, then this Bill does not do what its promoters desire it to do, and it is open in addition to the charge that it carries in its train inevitable evils, the magnitude of which it is really hardly possible to foresee. Supposing you carry this Bill, you might, at the cost of endless prosecutions, endless scandals, and endless difficulties, secure an external, minute legalism and uniformity of ritual. I presume, if this Bill were passed, every Low Church clergyman would be obliged to minutely conform himself in some particulars in which he does not conform himself now to the directions of the Prayer-book. Every High Church clergyman would be obliged to do the same. All such things as Harvest Thanksgiving would be absolutely impossible, and the Church would be bound to a rigid uniformity, the value of which I do not, I confess, myself see. Would any spiritual unity be gained thereby? Would you thereby prevent the teaching to which you object? Would you thereby defeat the disloyalty of that small section of whose actions I have so often had to speak in terms of censure and condemnation? It appears to me you would leave them exactly where they were. They would be prevented, indeed, from a certain amount of symbolical ritual which expresses doctrines not, presumably, in conformity with those of the Church, but you would not touch their teaching. You would not touch their sermons and their management of voluntary schools. You would leave them in essence wholly untrammelled. You would put the Church into fetters that I think would be very little to its advantage. But you would do much more. You would endeavour to substitute for the government of the Church by the bishops, government of the Church by the Courts of Law. You cannot do that without destroying the Church. The Church is a living organism, and no living organism can be guided and directed by the mere interpretation of documents by a Court, however able those who constitute that Court may be. My noble friend who made a speech just now with his accustomed vigour, indicated to us that those with whom he agrees can never be content with this substitution of dead authority for living guidance. There are a great many who do not agree with my noble friend in the peculiar complexion of his theology who would entirely agree with his views on this point. It surely must appear to everybody as the height of absurdity to suppose that a court of law, supplied with work by common informers, is an appropriate means for governing any assembly of human beings, let alone a spiritual organisation. You cannot manage an office or a company or a nation in that way. You cannot manage any collection of human beings, organised for any purpose whatever; and least all can we attempt to manage by tile litigation and technicalities of a court of law a great spiritual organization which is nothing if it is not animated by spiritual objects and ideals. I admit that there must always be behind every binding system of rules a court of law. That is quite as true of Nonconformity as it is true of the Establishment. But neither Nonconformists nor the Establishment can depend for their daily government, for their management, and their spiritual sustenance on devices given them by the cold hand of a mere legal expert. This Amendment contemplates the possibility that further legislation may be necessary. I earnestly trust we need not go further. I have a firm conviction that the action of the bishops may render such legislation wholly unnecessary. But, of course, it is possible that legislation may be required. I trust that if it is required the difficult problems that will involve will be approached in a somewhat different temper from that which has animated many of those who have taken part in the recent controversy. The Church of England is too complex a body to be dealt with by the rough-and-ready methods which seem to commend themselves to persons of ardent zeal, but very often of defective historical knowledge, who have in some cases taken the lead in this matter. Hut of this I am sure, that if time should show that the existing organization of the Church cannot secure that obedience which ought to exist in the body of every Communion, whatever its character, and if the remedy is such as to practically destroy the Episcopal character of the Church, then I think that will be the beginning of the end of the Church of England. I do not anticipate any such result. I believe that the present law is sufficient. I believe that in the hand of the present Episcopate it will be found sufficient, and I believe that, if it is not found to be sufficient, we could still be able to devise such reforms as might prove to be necessary without impairing that authority of the Episcopate which I regard as absolutely essential to the healthy working of the Episcopal Church. If I look forward with hope to the future—I make no pretence to be a prophet—I admit that there are difficulties and dangers which have still to be met and faced. It will rest with the rulers of the Church and the I members of the Church to shew whether they can display sufficient tolerance of each other's differences, sufficient charity with regard to each other's views, sufficient sense of the great mission to which the Church is destined to enable them to find a remedy which shall not inflict upon the organization of the Church any fatal wound. I do not deny—I do not conceal for one moment my own belief—that if the English Church established or unestablished is to remain the Church of the great majority of the people, it must be that ancient institution as it was remodelled at the time of the Reformation. It is, indeed, the Church of St. Augustine and St. Anselm, but it is something more. It is the Church whose doctrine was purified and whose ritual was simplified in the 16th century; and it is only so long as it retains that character that it can hope to preserve the affections of the English people. But it is because I most firmly and conscientiously believe that this Bill is no sense helps us to attain that great result that I most gladly add my voice to

Abraham, William (Rhondda) Hornby, Sir William Henry Pirie, Duncan V.
Allan, William (Gateshead) Horniman, Frederick John Priestley, Briggs (Yorks)
Allen, Wm.(Newe.underLyme) Houston, R. P. Provand, Andrew Drybargh
Allison, Robert Andrew Hughes, Colonel Edwin Reckitt, Harold James
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C. Richardson, J. (Durham, S. E.)
Ascroft, Robert Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) Rickett, J. Compton
Asher, Alexander Jacoby, James Alfred Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Ashton, Alexander Gair Johnston, William (Belfast) Roberts, John H (Denbighs)
Atherley-Jones, L. Joicey, Sir James Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)
Baker, Sir John Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea Rutherford, John
Balfour, Rt Hn J. Blair (Clackm. Kearley, Hudson E. Samuel, J. (Stockton on Tees)
Barlow, John Emmott Kemp, George Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. Edw. J.
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Kinlock, Sir John George Smyth Seton-Karr, Henry
Billson, Alfred Kitson, Sir James Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)
Blakiston-Houston, John Lambert, George Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Broadhurst, Henry Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool) Sidebottom, T. Harrop (Stalylbr.
Brown, Alexander H. Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cumb'land) Sidebottom, William (Derbysh.
Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Lea, Sir Thomas (Londonderry Smith, Samuel (Flint)
Caldwell James Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Cameron, Sir Charles (Glasgow Leng, Sir. John Spicer, Albert
Cameron, Robert (Durban) Leuty, Thomas Richmond Stanhope, Hon. Philip J.
Cawley, Frederick Lewis, John Herbert Stock, James Henry
Chaloner, Captain R. G. W. Lough, Thomas Stuart, James (Shoreditch)
Channing, Francis Allston Lyell, Sir Leonard Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Clark, Dr. G. B.(Caithness-sh.) MacIver, David (Liverpool) Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.)
Clough, Walter Owen M`Kenna, Reginald Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr
Coddington, Sir William M'Laren, Charles Benjamin Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Colville, John M`Leod, John Tritton, Charles Ernest
Cooke, C. W. Radcliffe (Heref'd) Maddison, Fred. Ure, Alexander
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Maden, John Henry Viscent, Col. Sir C. H. Howard
Crombie, John William Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe Wallace, Robert (Perth)
Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton) Mellor, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Yorks.) Walton, John Lawson (Leeds, S.
Cruddas, William Donaldson Moore, William (Antrim, N.) Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Dalziel, James Henry Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan) Morley, Charles (Breconshire) Warr, Augustus Frederick
Denny, Colonel Morton, Edw. J. C. (Devonport) Wedderburn, Sir William
Donkin, Richard Sim Moss, Samuel Weir, James Galloway
Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Moulton, John Fletcher Whiteley, George (Stockport)
Dunn, Sir William Newdigate, Francis Alexander Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Norton, Capt. Cecil William Williams, John Carvell (Notts.
Evershed, Sidney Nussey, Thomas Willans Willox, Sir John Archibald
Fenwick, Charles Oldroyd, Mark Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Fitzmanrice, Lord Edmond O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsey Wilson, John (Govan)
Gourley, Sir Edward Temperley Palmer, Sir Charles M. (Durham Wilson, Jos. H. (Middlesbrough
Griffith, Ellis J. Palmer, George Wm. (Reading) Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Gurdon, Sir William Brampton Paulton, James Mellor Woodall, William
Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir William Pearson, Sir Weetman D. Wood house Sir. J T (Hudd'rs field
Harwood, George Perks, Robert William Woods, Samuel
Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- Philipps, John Wynford Yoxall, James Henry
Hazell, Walter Pickard, Benjamin TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Hedderwick, Thomas Chas. H. Pickersgill, Edward Hare Mr. Charles M'Arthur and
Holland, William H (York, WR. Pilkington, Richard Colonel Sandys
Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F. Austin, Sir John (Yorkshire) Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J.(Manch'r
Aird, John Bailey, James (Walworth) Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W. (Leeds
Allhusen, Augustus H. Eden Baillie, James E. B. (Inverness) Banbury, Frederick George
Arnold, Alfred Baird, John George Alexander Barnes, Frederic Gorell
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Baldwin, Alfred Barry, Rt Hn AH. Smith-(Hunts

those who, I trust, by an overwhelming majority, will refuse to grant it a Second Reading.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 156; Noes, 310. (Division List No. 133.)

Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor) Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)
Bartley, George C. T. Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Jolliffe, Hon. H. George
Barton, Dunbar Plunket Fardell, Sir T. George Kay-Shuttleworth, Rt Hn Sir U
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Fellowes, Hon Ailwyn Edward Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir. John H.
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol) Fergusson, Rt Hon Sir J. (Manc'r Kenyon, James
Beach, W. W Bramston (Hants.) Field, Admiral (Eastbourne) Kenyon-Slaney, Col. William
Beckett, Ernest William Finch, George H. Keswick, William
Begg, Ferdinand Faithfull Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Kimber, Henry
Bemrose, Sir William Howe Firbank, Joseph Thomas King, Sir Henry Seymour
Beresford, Lord Charles Fisher, William Hayes Knowles, Lees
Bethell, Commander Fison, Frederick William Lawrence, Sir E. Dunning-(Corn
Bhownagree, Sir M. M. FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose- Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.)
Biddulph, Michael Fitz Wygram, General Sir F. Lecky, Rt. Hn. Wm. Edw. H.
Bigwood, James Fletcher, Sir Henry Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)
Bill, Charles Flower, Ernest Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie
Blake, Edward Folkestone, Viscount Leighton, Stanley
Blundell, Colonel Henry Forster, Henry William Llewellyn, Evan H. (Somerset)
Bolitho, Thomas Bedford Foster, Colonel (Lancaster) Llewellyn, Sir Dillwyn-(Swans.
Bond, Edward Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Lock wood, Lt.-Col. A. R.
Bonsor, Henry Cosmo Orme Fry, Lewis Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine
Boscawen, ArthurGriffith- Galloway, William Johnson Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham
Bousfield, William Robert Garfit, William Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Liverpl.
Bowles, Capt. H. F (Middlesex Gedge, Sidney Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller
Bowles, T. Gibson Gibbons, J. Lloyd Lorne, Marquess of
Bowles, T. Gibson (Lynn Regis Gibbs, Hn A. G. H. (City of Lond. Lowe, Francis William
Brassey, AIbert Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans) Lowles, John
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Giles, Charles Tyrrell Loyd, Archie Kirkman
Burdett-Thomas Gilliat, John Saunders Lubbock, Rt. Hn. Sir John
Butcher, John George Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick Lucas-Shad well, William
Carew, James Lawrence Goldsworthy, Major-General Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred
Carlile, William Walter Gordon, Hon. John Edward Macaleese, Daniel
Carson, Rt. Hon. Edward Gorst, Rt Hon. SirJohn Eldon Macartney, W. G. Ellison
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes) Goschen, George J. (Sussex) Macdona, John Cumming
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire Goulding, Edward Alfred Maclean, James Mackenzie
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Graham, Henry Robert Maclure, Sir John William
Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, East) Gray, Ernest (West Ham) M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Green, Walford D (Wednesbury M'lver, Sir Lewis (Edinb., W.)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J.(Birm. Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury) M'Killop, James
Chamberlain, J Austen (Worc'r. Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs) Malcolm, Ian
Chaplin, Rt Hon. Henry Gretton, John Martin, Richard Biddulph
Charrington, Speneer Gull, Sir Cameron Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.
Chelsea, Viscount Gunter, Colonel Maxwell, Rt.Hn. Sir Herbert E.
Clare, Octavius Leigh Haldane, Richard Burdon Melville, Beresford Valentine
Clarke, Sir Edward (Plymouth) Hall, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Halsey, Thomas Frederick Middlemore, J. Throgmorton
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Lord George Milbank, Sir Powlett Chas. J.
Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready Hanson, Sir Reginald Milner, Sir Frederick George
Colston, Chas. Ed w. H. Athole Hardy, Laurence Milton, Viscount
Compton, Lord Alwyne Haslett, Sir James Horner Milward, Colonel Victor
Cook, Fred Lucas (Lambeth) Heaton, John Henniker Monckton, Edward Philip
Cornwallis, Fiennes Stanley W. Helder, Augustus Montagu, Hn. J. Scott (Hants.)
Cotton-Jodrell, Col. Edw. T.D. Henderson, Alexander Moon, Edward Robert Pacy
Courtney, Rt. Hon. Leonard H. Hermon-Hodge, RobertTrotter More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)
Cox, Irwin Edward B. (Harrow) Hickman, Sir Alfred Morrell, George Herbert
Cranborne, Viscount Hill, Rt. Hn A. Staveley (Staffs.) Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford
Cripps, Charles Alfred Hill, Arthur (Down, West) Mount, William George
Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Hill, Sir Edward Stock (Bris.) Muntz, Philip A.
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Hoare, Edw. Brodie (Hampstd.) Murray, Rt Hn A Graham (Bute
Curran, Thomas B. (Donegal) Hoare, Samuel (Norwich) Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)
Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.) Hogan, James Francis Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)
Currie, Sir Donald Holland, Hon. Lionel R. (Bow) Myers, William Henry
Curzon, Viscount Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry Newark, Viscount
Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh Howard, Joseph Nicholson, William Graham
Dalkeith, Earl of Howorth, Sir Henry Hoyle Nicol, Donald Ninian
Daly, James Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil Northcote, Hn. Sir H. Stafford
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Hudson, George Bickersteth O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.
Dixon Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon Hutchinson, Capt. G. W. Grice- Parkes, Ebenezer
Doogan, P. C. Hutton, John (Yorks., N.R.) Pease, Herbert Pike(Darlingtn
Dorington, Sir John Edward Jackson, Rt. Hn. Wm. Lawies Pender, Sir James
Doughty, George Jebb, Richard Claverhouse Penn, John
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick Percy, Earl
Doxford, William Theodore Jenkins, Sir John Jones Philipotts, Captain Arthur
Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V. Jessel, Capt. Herbert Merton Pierpoint, Robert
Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart Johnson-Ferguson, Jabez Edw. Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Pollock, Harry Frederick Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire) Warde, Lient. Col. C. E. (Kent)
Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Simeon, Sir Barrington Webster, Sir R. E. (Isle of W'ght
Pretyman, Ernest George Skewes-Cox, Thomas Welby, Lieut-Col. A. C. E.
Priestley, Sir W. Overend (Edin Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand) Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon
Purvis, Robert Spencer, Ernest Wharton, Rt. Hn. John Lloyd
Pym, C. Guy Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Quilter, Sir Cuthbert Stanley, Henry M. (Lambeth) Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Rankin, Sir James Stanley, Lord (Lancs.) Williams, Jos. Powell-(Birm.)
Redmond, William (Clare) Stephens, Henry Charles Wills, Sir William Henry
Richards, Henry Charles Stewart, Sir MarkJ. M'Taggart Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Richardson, Sir Thos. (Hartlep'l Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M. Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)
Ridley, Rt. Hn. Sir Matthew W. Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath
Ritchie, Rt. Hn. C. Thompson Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath) Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-
Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Sutherland, Sir Thomas Wylie, Alexander
Robertson, Brooke Talbot, Rt. Hn.J. G. (Oxf. Univ. Wyndham, George
Robson, William Snowden Tennant, Harold. John Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.
Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye Thorburn, Walter Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy
Round, James Tollemache, Henry James Young, Commander(Berks, E.
Russell, Gen. F. S. (Cheltenham Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)
Ryder, John Herbert Dudley Usborne, Thomas Younger, William
Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert Valentia, Viscount
Savory, Sir Joseph Verney, Hon. Richard Greville TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard Wallace, Robert (Edinburgh) Sir William Walrond and
Seely, Charles Hilton Wanklyn, James Leslie Mr. Anstruther.
Sharpe, William Edward T. Ward, Hon. Robert A. (Crewe)

Words added.

Main Question, as amended, put, and agreed to.

Resolved— That this House, while not prepared to accept a measure which creates fresh offences and ignores the authority of the bishops in maintaining the discipline of the Church, is of opinion that, if the efforts now being made by the archbishops and bishops to secure the due obedience of the clergy are not speedily effectual, further legislation will be required to maintain the observance of the existing Laws of Church and Realm.