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indignant feeling and resolute resistance which has made even its promoters pause.

The Rev. J. G. Rogers, a pronounced Liberationist,' repudiates all responsibility for the Liberationist scheme of which he minimises the importance as embodying only practical suggestions-only * practical suggestions'? Short of a Parliamentary Bill, what could more explicitly propound the intended action than · Practical Suggestions;' and why, if they were not meant to commit Mr. Rogers, has he allowed so many years to pass without publishing his disclaimer and stopping the circulation of these alarming suggestions? Churchmen generally will concur with Canon Curtis in welcoming these tardy disclaimers as very good news which they will be glad to spread (Holborn Temple Conference).

In justification, however, of the vigorous defensive preparation Churchmen have made, it is only reasonable that they should show the evidence upon which their action has been grounded.

Most opportunely a letter from the Rev. J. G. Rogers in the Nonconformist of the 4th of November, 1880, meets my eye. In this letter, prefaced by a disclaimer of hostility to the Episcopal Church and an avowal of admiration for the good men it contains, and of sympathy in its true spiritual work,' Mr. Rogers professes his aversion for endowments of all kinds, and proposing that the National Church should be placed on the same level as Congregational churches, he is unconscious of any desire to do it wrong. Mr. Rogers deprecates the endowment of Nonconformist chapels; he even regrets the zeal which in some cases has discharged the mortgage loan through which the chapel was built, thus lessening the burden on the congregation, for he believes that a church is strengthened and helped by being trained in habits of self-reliance.' Self-reliance is a virtue of which I would not dispute the merit, nor would I detract from the ennobling effect upon a congregation of a constant training in liberality for the sake of religion. I know not a parish in which Christian liberality is not preached on behalf of the Church's work, even although the preacher may be himself adequately endowed through the liberality of former ages, and in virtue of that endowment acquires an independence of temporal provision which enables him without fear to declare the whole counsel of God and to rebuke sin without dreading the disfavour of the rich and powerful.

Mr. Rogers does not perceive how essentially the independence of the clergy is involved in the theory of the Church as stated in No. 62 Leaflet of the Church Defence Institution :

1. That true religion is not a human invention but a Divine revelation. 2. That the Church is a society of which Christ is the Founder and the Head.

3. That the Church has been ever taught and governed—first by Christ's apostles—and subsequently by bishops and clergy acting with the authority transmitted to them by perpetual succession from their Divine Master.

4. That the Church of England, teaching the doctrines of Holy Scripture, holding the true faith, administering the true sacraments, and possessing true orders, is a living branch of Christ's Holy Catholic Church.

5. That the fabrics and endowments of each parish church and ancient cathedral were freely devoted to God's service centuries ago by the then owners of the soil.

6. That the State, as the guardian of the Church's property for the people's sake, preserves it for religious purposes, and protects the clergy in their pastoral ministrations.

7. That the endowments of the Church require constant accessions to meet the spiritual necessities of a rapidly increasing population, but that these accessions have been and are freely made by individual liberality in each generation, and not from the taxation of the people.

The ancient endowments of the Church secure, so far as they extend, the independence of the clergy; and although the necessity of fresh churches in the present century has been too large to permit the clergy to be wholly provided for out of the annual products of invested gifts, yet the principle is always asserted, and the rule is that no church can have a district assigned to it or a minister appointed until a revenue of 150l. a year is secured, and the cost of the fabric is fully discharged. By what caprice is it argued that annual subscriptions are laudable, but their capitalised amount is denounced as “ benumbing and paralysing?? Mr. Rogers may honestly hold these opinions, and consistently he counsels the National Church to strip itself of its properties and revenues, and in its unfettered freedom exert its spiritual powers to the quickening of faith and zeal in all its members. But Churchmen take a different view of the question. They appreciate Mr. Rogers's solicitude for the freer action of the Church, and would welcome his assistance in the removal of the hindrances to her more perfect organisation and action, but they do not perceive how her spiritual influence can be promoted by her being sent forth freed from her burdens, but naked and penniless. No, not quite naked nor penniless. Mr. Rogers would leave the Church in possession of its private property,' if it has any. He proposes only that the State resume the possession of any national property which it now enjoys (wrongfully), and he defines as private property all property which has been given to the Church within sixty or, as some say, seventy years, and as national property all earlier endowments. Now it may save trouble to agree at once with extreme Liberationists that there is no distinction in principle between Church property of the earlier and the later date. History records some two millions as State grants in later times to the construction of churches. With that exception, all Church property, of whatever kind or period, stands precisely on the same footing (Church Defence Leaflet No. 61, sects, 5 and 7).

Whether as ancient or modern endowments, the gifts in buildings, in tithes and glebe-lands, were made not to the nation, but to the Church, in various localities and at various times. The Church, it must be remembered, is not a corporation holding lands or property-. it has no funds of its own ; it is a society knit together by its organisation, its laws of worship, orders, and discipline, but the actual property of the Church is vested in the life-interests of the various occupants of the several dioceses, chapters, and parochial benefices. Of these gifts the State or nation became the trustee; of these endowments it became the guardian.

The endowment once made was irrevocable; neither the patron who made it, nor his successors, nor the State as trustee, could without sacrilege divert to secular uses the property once dedicated to God's service. And this remark applies alike to endowments dating back one thousand years and to one made within a twelvemonth. The proposal to abstain from confiscating recent constructions or endowments is a cunning attempt to purchase, by a promise of their own immunity, the acquiescence of existing patrons and incumbents in the sequestration of the rights of future generations. But the device would assuredly fail; the patrons and clergy of our day would scorn the despicable bribe, nor would any trustworthy historian be found to countenance the fiction that at any period of its existence the structures and endowments given to the National Church ceased to be given to God and assumed the character of private property to be resumed for secular purposes at the will of the donors or their heirs with the gracious permission of the Liberation Society.

Has Mr. Rogers ever thought how impossible it would be to classify churches and parsonages according to their age, so as to satisfy, even if it did exist, the opposition of selfish and personal interest? Within thirty years I built a church in London which I conveyed with its funded endowment to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and transferred the patronage, the clergy-house, and its appendages to the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's. Mr. Rogers promises that the whole of that property shall be respected; will he respect also the church and the parsonage of the parish in which I live? The church dated back some three centuries, and the parsonage, of very ancient construction, I found in ruins. I rebuilt them both; are they to be confiscated in virtue of their ancient foundation, or are they to be respected in virtue of their modern reconstruction ? If the latter, then I must warn Mr. Rogers that the abatements from the structural value of the cathedrals, churches, and parsonages, which constitute so attractive a figure in the Liberationist budget, will be so serious as to leave a surplus value worth impounding peaceably, but not worth fighting for. In the diocese of Oxford some four-fifths of the parish churches have been rebuilt, and the ungrudging restoration of our cathedral3 may be seen exemplified in the adjacent county by the treatment of the glorious Abbey of St. Albans, which is under restoration at a cost yet undefined, but already exceeding 100,0001., of which Lord Grimthorpe alone has, it is said, contributed more than 60,0001.

Mr. Rogers (Nonconformist, November 19, 1885) holds

that when everything had been done that equity requires in the way of disendowment the Church of England would remain the most richly endowed church in Christendom. Modern endowments would be dealt with on an entirely different footing from those which were given when there was really a National Church, when the Church and the nation were one, when, therefore, what was given to the Church was given to the nation. There was a wide distinction in equity and principle between these classes of endowment. ... The change in the position of the Church and State was gradual. In the eye of the law the Church of England included Dissenters. The Church of England, in a legal sense, was the pation.

Mr. Rogers here contends that there was a time when the Church was the nation, and when, therefore, what was given to the Church was given to the nation, and may therefore be dealt with by the nation at its discretion. Not so ; the endowments of old were given to God's service, and were locally assigned in perpetuity to the successive life-tenants of the several religious houses and parochial benefices constituting the office-bearers in the visible society known as the English Church. Of these properties the State, as the source of law and order, became the trustee and guardian for the people's sake ; and I ask, when and by what statute did the religious society known as the Church of England lose its legal designation as the National Church ? The change was gradual,' says Mr. Rogers. Change in what? In its legal designation there has been none. A change in the relative proportion of the number of declared dissidents from its communion there has been, because, with the progress of the spirit of religious liberty and the removal of religious disabilities, the differences of religious thought which had always subsisted, but which had been forcibly suppressed, were openly avowed and generated the formation of organised sects. In all fairness the old National Church must be entitled to retain for the religious use of its present adherents the endowments settled upon it to perpetuate the worship and service of God upon definite creeds, formularies, organisation, and discipline.

These bave remained essentially unchanged. Dissenters from the doctrine and discipline of the Church have, in the exercise of their liberty, founded new sects, but their secession from her public worship cannot justify them in claiming the property of the institution they have deserted.

In what Archbishop Tait called their fanatical hatred' of the Church, Liberationists impeach her nationality upon pleas which contradict each other. • The Church,' they say, 'is not national, because she has ceased to be coextensive with the nation'-i.e. she was national so long as the State suppressed the utterance of religious difference and the consequent formation of separatist communities. She ceased, ergo, to be national when the advance of learning taught a lesson of toleration and permitted religious liberty to develop into sectarian organisms. Religious differences have existed from the very birth of Christianity; but how can the existence of Dissent be a reproach to the Church when its visibility is the assertion of the sacred principle of religious liberty? Of the blessing of religious unity no Churchman doubts; he laments that God should not be worshipped by all men with one mind and one mouth ; but while holding that the path presented to him is the most perfect way, he cherishes no enmity towards Dissenters, and fully believes that, pursuing holiness according to their knowledge, they may be saved through the merits of the one Divine Redeemer of mankind.

Again, the Liberationists insisted that the Church would forfeit her nationality when she ceased to embrace a majority of the population, and to realise this plea of condemnation they made gigantic efforts, by the compilation of unauthoritative and irrelevant statistics, to exhibit results placing Churchmen in a numerical minority, while they frustrated the religious census, which they feared would show a very different result.

In the Nineteenth Century of January 1881 I had exposed these spurious statistics and their irrelevance to the conclusion built upon them by the Liberation Society. In a volume published in 1881, entitled Church Systems in England, the Rev. J. Guinness Rogers thus notices my argument :

When a lay defender of the Established Church attempts to make the right of disestablishment depend upon one of the other Churches obtaining a numerical preponderance over the other, he mistakes or misrepresents the nature of the controversy. 'If any one of the sects,' says the Right Ilon. J. G. Hubbard, member for the City of London, in the Nineteenth Century for January, attained a larger following than the Church, it must, by a general consensus, supersede it as the expression of the religious profession of the country and take its place in the Constitution; but short of such transposition the perpetuation of the mo

monarchy involves the perpetuation of the National Church with which it has been welded by statute with the special object of " securing our religious laws and liberties." If this be the kind of reasoning which contents the mind of an eminent member of the Established Church, himself a Privy Councillor, it is not surprising that there should be such widespread confusion of thought in relation to this controversy. . . . It is singular that any intelligent man could ever entertain the belief that the religious profession of a nation was to be determined by the mere counting of heads. . . . Numbers are not an unfailing test of truth, of righteousness, or of intelligence. . . . Is a Church which sets forth doctrines repellent to the intellect of the age and country, and which insists on a servile submission to the priesthood, inconsistent altogether with the spirit and rights of a free people, to be set up as the exponent of the national faith, solely because it has a larger following than any single church besides, though that following may be composed chiefly of that section of the people who have not yet learned to think or understand as men, and

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