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and if we were obliged to take such a view of the subject, we should be stayed in limine. This difficulty arises from the circumstance that Patrons are in many instances disposed to take the money view of the question ; as it cannot be denied that, if we were to take a Benefice of the annual value of £1000 into the Market it would be considered of much greater worth than two of £500 each; but that is proving the principle against which we would contend. Let it never pass out of our minds that the Patronage is a Trust; a trust in which the interests of those for whom it is exercised should be the main consideration; and if a division, under which that trust can be fulfilled, can be better made to serve their purpose, it ought to be acceded to. We well know that it is not undesirable that in Ecclesiastical arrangements Benefices should not all be of the same material value. We need not argue this point, it commends itself as a sound principle; but it may be carried too far, and it ought not to stand in the way of a confessed want. The only difficulty here would lie with the Patron, and where he does consider his right of appointment as a trust, none, I apprehend, would be raised; it would be simply showing him how his trust may be applied to the greatest profit—to a real profita more extensive and effectual spiritual ministration. To the Patron who regards his rights as not so much a Trust as a valuable property, we have little to say ; with him it is a speculation, and we should have no scruple in throwing him back upon the first meaning and intention of Patronage. To such an one we would say that, as this his extended right can be traced back to the permission of temporal laws, he is under their subjection, and must suffer himself to be dealt with as they shall direct; and that he is bound to submit himself to the advantage of the Community. We might, if we pleased, strengthen this reasoning by the Acts of the Legislature during many years past. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners have been authorized, and are certainly exer. cising the authority, to compel a Benefice, where they have adjudged the value of it to be able to bear a reduction, to pass over a portion of its income for the augmentation of another, even though utterly unconnected with it, and at some distance from it. Now, if a Benefice may be so mulcted, and its proceeds so applied, surely the principle is at once granted that a similar operation may be directed where the proceeds are to be applied to the wants of the particular Benefice. We may say that we do not altogether admit the principle of the method as now acted on; we do not think it by any means fair that individual Benefices should be under this arbitrary single Act. We desire the augmentation of all poor Benefices, and we would rather see it effected by a general tax (a very moderate one would suffice,) enabling all to be concerned in what would be so generally advantageous. But when Benefices are confessedly capable of division, and the division would be of advantage to themselves, let the division be made. We say this concerns Patrons only, and it does so. The interests of the existing Incumbents would be saved, though we must remark that, be the Area what it may, and however large and inconveniently situated the Population may be, from the moment of his entering upon the Benefice, the Incumbent is responsible to the fullest extent, and we may justly expect his cooperation so far as it can be given ; neither have we any scruple in stating our expectation that it will be readily given. We will add, that there need be no delay in dealing with Benefices in Public Patronage; they cannot be deemed in any way as of personal interest, and ought, most of all, as bound to set a good example, to show that they acknowledge that their Patronage is really considered to be, as it indisputably is, for the public benefit. The Bill to which we have referred, brought into the House of Commons in the early part of the last Session, but not proceeded with, we believe, to a Second Reading, proposes to give power to the Bishop, under certain limitations, to license a Clergyman where
additional services are required, or where services are inadequately performed. This is, so far, a right course. It seems to us a step in furtherance of the Seventy-seventh Section (as, indeed, is partially acknowledged in the Bill itself,) of the Act 1 & 2 Vict. cap. 106, by which the Bishop is authorized to appoint an additional Curate. The proposal now before us that “where the accommodation provided by existing Churches, or other Consecrated or Licensed Buildings within the Parish is insufficient in amount for the requirement of the inhabitants of such Parish,” and “where there is a House, or are Houses, containing more than one hundred inhabitants, distant more than one mile from any Church, or from any other Consecrated or Licensed Buildings in the Parishwhen the Incumbent has refused to make sufficient provision for the performance of such offices and services of the Church as such Incumbent is authorized by Law to perform -the Bishop may grant a License in remedy thereof." To this, as a general rule, we do not object; we think it, with proper precautions, to be beneficial in itself, and likely to lead to further advantage. We do, however, object to the means by which the Bishop is directed to satisfy himself of the necessity of the case. As a preliminary, he is to be provided with a due knowledge, either of himself, or through the Archdeacon or a Churchwarden. This is quite right; he is to be assured of his ground before he ventures a step. Having satisfied himself that he is fittingly called into action he shall give six months' notice to the Incumbent of his intention, if good cause to the contrary be not shown, to grant a License as required ; that is, either to meet a case of neglect, or the need of additional services, including in the latter the assignment of a district. The stipend, to be paid by the Incumbent, is according to the direction of the Section referred to in the Act of 1 & 2 Vict. All this the Bishop is empowered to do, subject to Appeal to the Archbishop, without further proofs, unless he shall think fit, or unless he shall be requested in writing, by either the Incumbent, or the complaining party, to issue a Commission of Inquiry. Certain individuals are named as members of this Commission, such as the Archdeacon, or the Rural Dean, or certain other Incumbents, or certain Official Laymen. To all this array we object. We object to the removal of the responsibility of the Bishop, we object to such a mixture as is set forth and which can lead to little else than contradiction and conflict. It would, in our view, be far more proper and effectual, if the Bishop were empowered to call before him the Archdeacon or Churchwarden, whether complainants or not, and also to require the attendance of the Incumbent, the subject of complaint, and having the assistance of his Vicar-General, to decide upon the evidence, and the statements made to him, giving either party a right of appeal to the Archbishop, who should also summon the same parties, if required by either. This is the short and simple way in which we would settle the question. We dislike all Ecclesiastical Commissions, they are seldom or never satisfactory, and always prolonged, tiresome, and expensive. We know very well that they are in great measure favoured in order to remove responsibility from individuals—a bad principle of action ; each member sheltering himself under another. This provision seems to us to be the objectionable point of the proposal, and we hope that before it is again submitted to Parliament, the alteration here suggested may be taken into consideration. There is yet an observation we would take the present opportunity of making, affecting not only this point, but other parts of our Ecclesiastical System. The Bill authorises the Bishop to license a “ Clergyman." This is too wide an expression ; the phrase should contain the addition, “ being in the Holy Order of the Priesthood.” The License is to be granted where the Incumbent is wilfully neglectful, where the Church is insufficient, or where the Area is so situated as to necessitate an additional Minister. In all these cases a person is required who shall be able to perform all the offices of the Church, and such cannot be done by a Deacon ; so that the position, without the condition we state, will be incompletely maintained. It is not without reason we so insist. Deacons ought not to have, as in many instances they do have, “Sole Charge,” leaving, certain wants to be supplied by any neighbouring clergyman who may be willing to give his assistance. This is wrong: it has always both surprised and pained us. We know that the Priest must have the Education of the Deacon, and that it is desirable his experience should be gained under an Incumbent where the work is not small; at the same time we think that, even in this case, the sole assistant ought to a very great extent to be a Priest ; indeed, in all cases where the administration of one is insufficient the duties will be inadequately performed if the assistant be a Deacon only. Where, however, the District or Parish is too large, or too scattered, for the ability of the Incumbent, and a Curate is assigned for service accordingly, very reason demands that he should be a Priest. We offer this suggestion to the notice of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners; they are in the habit, and very properly, in large and extended Parishes where they have interests, of providing stipends for Curates, and they have, by that arrangement, done great service; let us take the liberty of recommending that all such assistance be given on the stipulation that the order of the Priesthood be possessed.
We must now draw to a conclusion. Our subject is a very important one: the welfare of the National Church and the Nation is deeply concerned in it. Sufficiency of means of Religious Worship and Instruction is the right of every one amongst us; sufficiency, we may say, without at all trespassing on the liberty of any, according to the doctrine and rule of the Church which the Nation calls its own. It is notorious that this has not been fully supplied ; and our purpose has been to shew how it may be effected. A personal and individual sense of duty, acting on benevolent