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LOCAL INTELLIGENCE.

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LOCAL INTELLIGENCE. THE REV J. BARDSLEY ON THE IRISH CHURCH. The Rev J. Bardsley, Superintendent of the London Diocesan Home Mission, delivered a lecture on the Irish Church, at the Shire Hall, on the evening of Thursday, the 24th ulf. S. Pitman, Esq, was unanimously voted to the chair. There was a very numerous and attentive audience, who gave the lecturer a hearty cheer as he ascended the platform. Mr Pitman (who was loudly cheered) said Ladies and Gentlemen,-I shall best consult your convenience if the remarks I make this evening are confined to the fewest possible words. You have been kept a few moments longer than you ought to have been, and, therefore, I will, so far as I can, make up for the delay by occupying your attention for a few minutes ouly, and confining myself to the simple introduction of Mr Bardsley to you this evening. I may state that the honour of occupying the cbair to-night was unexpected by me; but I do assure you that 1 am very pleased to introduce such a gentleman to the ancient borouzh of Haverfordwest. (Applause.) Icanteil you of Mr IWdslev this much :-that he has been labouring in that vast li iid for usefulness-namelv, the .metropolis of this empire-io i vangelizing the great population there, through that I very great mission under the direction of the Bishop of London: that he has the larsre^t and kindliest feelings towards all men whether in the Church or out of the Church, whose aim and object it is to improve, ameliorate, and evangelize the world at large. (Applause.) I believe I express the feeling of his heart when I say that be would have been the very last man to leave, for any political purpose, that sphere of toil and labour in which it has pleased Providence to place him. (Hear, hear.) He has come forward because he has been asked to do so, and because he believes that the Church of England, under the Providence of God, does its duty in the particular position in which it is placed, in the amelioration of the people of this great country. (Applause.) 1 will say no more than that it is at much expense and great loss of time that he has abstracted him- self from bis sphere of duty. You will hear his arguments you will judge fairly and dispassionately, and if it be desired to afk any question of him, it will afford him thegrea'est pleasure to,give a candid, intelligent and Straight forward response to it. (Applause.) I now beg to introduce the lecturer to you. (Loud applause ) The Rev J. Bardsley then came forward, and was received with great applause. He said Mr Chair- man, Christian Friends—I am quite surf ia ad- dressing you to-night that I shall have your candid and your patient hearing. (Hear, hear) I only ask that you will give me what you would desire I should give you one and all, if you were addressing an assembly like the present, and had travelled some 200 or 300 miles for that purpose—a fair, candid, and patient hearing. I find in a paper published in this town-(for I think I may as well dispose of th's personal matter first)—I find that a local paper has honoured me with a little notice. (Laughter) In the Telegraph it is stated that I am a native of Ireland, and that I am an Orangeman-(laughter) -and among the many good things they say of me, they state that I was an Incumbent of the Irish Church. (Laughter) I will read you what they say of me— We are informed that the Rev Joseph Bardsley, of London, is a native of the Emerald Isle, and that he was an incumbent of the Irish Church, if he is not one at the present time. Perhaps we may be favoured to-morrow evening with some account of his connexion with the doomed establish- ment of his native country. Is it true that he is an Orangeman?" (Laughter) That is what they say of me well now like an Irishman, I will begin at the bottom instead of at the top. (Great laughter) Is it true that he is an Orangeman ? It is not true (great applause)-I never was, and am not an Orange- man. (Renewed applause) Therefore we will dis- pose of that point. They want some information about my connection with the Irish Church. My only connection with the Irish Church is that on account of the services she renders in the dissemina- tion of the Protestant Bible and Protestant Truth, I love her from my heart,—(loud applauee) -but beyond that I have no possible connection with her at the present time. (Renewed applause.) With regard to the next statement that I am an Irishman, I may say that I have been in Ireland twice in my life, and if that constitutes an Irishman, why I can say I am one. (Great laughter) But I never spent more than four or five days there since I was born, and I have not even the privilege of be!onging to that particular country, in the way which an Irishman says designates a man's cou n ti-y namely, that if a man be born in a stable he is a h orse (great laughter) -for I was not even born in Ireland. (Renewed laughter) My parents were English, and my grand- fathers were English, and my ancestors were English far beyond any pedigrfe I possess of them. (Ap- plause) Not having been born in Ireland, not having been educated there, not being connected with Ireland, but only loving the Irish Church as a faithful witness of Truth, I venture to come forward whenever I am asked, and when my strength apart from my duties, will permit me, voluntarily and simply to do my part in defence of one of the noblest institutions of our land. (Loud applause) I suppose the reporter of the Telegraph is present if he is, I hope, having so misrepresented me, they will be good enough to make the collection in their next report. I have no doubt they will do me justice. You will look out for me, and see if.in their report they are faithful in correcting the rumours. They are not very serious ones if they were true, but nevertheless as they are not true, it is just as well they should be corrected and the false impression removed. Well, having done with that little personal matter, I come to our subject the Irish Church:—that doomed establishment as' this paper states, but whether it is doomed remains to be settled It is doomed in one sense if Englishmen, especially if Pro- testants, neglect their duty hut if all who love the 0 truth and value Protestantism, will only come forward, and only unite, and take their stand in de- fence of what they believe to be God's truth, I believe she will come through the ordeal, purified and improved, and rendered more serviceable in the great cause of upholding and disseminating Protestant truth in Ireland. (Loud applause) There are a great number of questions connected with this one great subject. There are many points that under lie j the great question of the Irish Church. The first statement we meet with a great many is, that it is not right that the State should meddle with matters of religion. The State we pre told has no duty in this respect, and it has been said that the State best does it duty in matters of religion when it never meddles with religion at all. I am not of that opinion I believe that a Christian State will not do its duty unless it seeks by all possible and legiti- mate means to place within the reach of all its subjects, the means of religious instruction and wor- ship. (Applause) That is my firm conviction. The State will never do its duty until it does that; but we are met by many conscientious and well in- formed Dissenters with this statement—that a State religion is utterly opposed to God's word they say it altogether and d stinctly disallows the rulers tht light to interfere with matters of religion, or to give or make grants even by official sanction, to extend the interests of true religion among the people. One naturally asks—'Where is the evidence of this from God's word ? I don't say that great and good men have discovered in ages past that it is not there still it is worthy of consideration but I will put it to any candid Dissenter if the question be a doubtful one, if there be room for differences of opinion as to the meaning of certain passages, do you think it is wise to come to a hasty conclusion when your de- cision would be in direct opposition to the great and good men for hundreds of years past ? (Applause) I say for hundreds of years past, for where is there a single commentator, either Puritan or Church of England, until within the last sixty years, that ever held otherwise than that it is the duty of the State to uphold sound Bible truth, and to propagate it among its subjects ? (Applause) It is quite a modern interpretation. (Great applause) You will not find a single writer of Dote-(1 don't say you will not find men that have never been heard of as commen- tators)—who ever held otherwise. Dr Adam Clarke, a noncomformist, and Doddridge, and going back for 200 years, to the fathers, the founders of Non- conformity, they almost to a man held, one and all that it was the duty ofcChristian rulers to place the means of religious instruction and worship within reach of their subjects. (Applause) Some say the State must have nothing to do with religion. What did Dr John Owen say? I single him out amongst the rest because from his great learning, and from the high position he occupied at Oxford during the days of the Commonwealth, he stood bead and shoulders above the rest of his brethren. Indeed so much learning did this great man possess, that it was said he was a man not for a town, not for a city, not for a nation, but a man for the worll. He was a most eminent man. and it has been said that the learning, abilities, and splendour of other great men were all combined in him. Well if so, he must have been a very great man iudeed. What does he say? He is addressing the rulers of the nation and he says—if it once come to that, that you say you have nothing to do with religion as rulers of the nation, God will quickly manifest that he has nothing to do with you as rulers of the nation. (Applause) And then he goes on to argue the question at length. Then I may also mention John Howe who was a great writer among the Puritans. His works have been republished by Nonconformists on account of their great value. Sometimes he is said to he heavy, and one old lady is reported—and I believe truly reported-to have said that the only objection she had to John Howe's sermons was that he was so long- laying the cloth, that she began to donbt he was coming to dinner. (Great laughter.) That indicates that he was so long and so tedious in arranging his heads, that she became weary before she came to the pith and marrow of the sermon. Richard Baxter is a name dear to the heart of every Nonconformist. What does he say on this subject about which Dis- senters now speak so strangely ? He says—let none persuade you are such terrestial animals that you have nothing to do with the heavenly concernment of your subjects, for if some men think thatf the end of your office is only the bodily prosperity of the people, and the end of the ministry is the good of their souls, it will tempt them to prefer the minister before you, as they prefer their souls before their bodies. (Applause) Collins held the same views: Flavell held the same views, and nearly all the founders—the fathers—of the bodies of Noncon- formists now in existence in this country,—nearly all of them held the very views which we Churchmen now contend for. (Applause) We are standing by the old doctrines, by the old I creed, by the old forms of Church government, and when our Dissenting friends tell us that our views are unscriptural, we say, why you have not only dissented from the Church of England, but you I have absolutely dissented from the fathers—the founders—of your own system—(loud applause)—and are now actually farther from them than they were ever from the Church of England. (Renewed applause) I know there are a few texts which are commonly quoted in support of their state- ment, and I may here refer to one which every Dissenter will recognize: this one text-the one text on which they have rung-I was going to say, eternal changes—" My kingdom is not of this world' They say that proves the State ought to have nothing to do with religion—that is officially. My kingdom is not of this world," therefore, they say it is wrong that the State should make grants of money to pro- pagate religion among the subjects. Well, now, I never could see the bearing of this text upon the subject: I could never apprehend how it bears upon it, much less proves the point. My kingdom is not of this world:"—what Churchman ever said it was? (Applause.) Who ever said that Christ's kingdom was of this world ? The point at issue is not whether Christ's kingdom is of this world: the point is alto- gether a different one :-it is whether it is the duty or not of the kingdoms of this world to extend Christ's kingdom among men. (Loud applause.) The point is quite distinct from that which our dissenting friends raise. We never say that Christ's kingdom is of this world: but we do say, with the Old Testament as well as the New in our hands, that God's word clearly authorises and sanctions by example, to say the least, extending over centuries upon centuries, that it is the duty of Kings, it is the duty of Christian rulers, to do all in their power, not only by the exercise of private influence hut by official, public influence, to extend true religion among the subjects. (Loud applause.) I need not dwell any longer upon this point, but will proceed to notice others which lie at the foundation of this subject. Our opponents say—"Granted for argument's sake that it is the duty of the State, and that it has the privilege to make grants of money, and if not to make grants of money, then at least to give official sanction to some particular form of religion, yet they ask is it right?—is it lawful ?-is it consistent?—is it fair ?—that the religion established should be the religion of the minority ? The question is commonly asked—is it right, in Ireland, where the vast majority are Roman Catholics, that the Pro- testant religion, or any form of it, should be the religion established by the State ? That is a fair question. My answer is, it is perfectly lawful: it is I perfectly fair. But let me just anticipate the objections that may be raised let me anticipate an objection, which has no force because it asi-umeswhat is not correct. We constantly hear men ask, is it right that the religion of the minority should bind the majority ? I answer, it is not right; and no Churchman recommends it or professes to do so. (Hear, hear.) We never say that the State has any right to force any system of religion either upon the majority or minority. (Applause.) What we say is, that the State has a right to place within the reach of the subjects of that State the means of religious instruction and worship but having provided that, the State has done her duty, and she must leave the people of that kingdom the right to receive that system, or to reiect it at their pleasure. (Applause.) That is the view which Churchmen take, and when, therefore, people say it is not riyht to force upon them a religion, which the majority do not like, we say we contend for no such thing. (Applause.) Our State does no such thing, and Nonconformists and Roman Catholics in this country, and Roman Catholics in Ireland, are at liberty to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences,-nobody interfering or med- dling with them. (Applause.) You know this is Lbe case, but yet I could give you lecture after lecture of our opponents where that argument is used. It is really raising a false issue (hear, hear) it is helping their cause by unfair arguments, if not by positive misrepresentations. (Hear, hear.) No Churchman I contends for such a thing: I knew that 200 years ago Churchmen may be said to have contended for it, and so did Nonconformists. (Applause.) Therefore, if we must go back to past times, I think, to say the least, you ought to do justice to all parties. (Hear, hear.) If you must go back for 200 years, don't forget what Cromwell and his party did-the Non- conformists of those days. (Hear, hear.) They took possession of the Churches of the Establishment: they ousted the Vicars and Incumbents from their benefices. They said they would allow them one- fifth of the income, which Fuller says was paid by sixes and sevens, and sometimes not paid at all. (Laughter.) They took the parsonages: they took the incomes, and a law was passed in the days of the Commonwealth that a Church rate should be made in everyparish whether the majority approved of it or not. (Laughter and applause.) You never heard of Churchmen doing anything so outrageous as that: therefore, if you go back for 200 jears, I say look at history impartially—look at it on all sides and do justice to all parties. (Hear, hear) I should say myself let bygones be bygones—(loud applause)—but if any of our friends at the close of the lecture would like to go into that matter, I have not the least pos- sible objection to a friendly discussion, in order to bring up this question for your consideration. (Hear, hear.) Very well, you say, about this argument of minority and majority, whatever may be the case in England and Wales—(and taking England and Wales, the Church has a majority over all other denominations put together)—you say whatever may be the case in England and Wales, it ought not to be so in Ireland, where the majority are Roman Catholics. Do you really go in for that principle ? Would you not distinguish between truth and error? (Hear, hear.) Would you not distinguish between national honesty and national perfidy ? (Applause.) Would you not distinguish between loyalty and disloyalty? (Renewed applause.) Would you, because the majority are in error,—because the majority hold false and unscriptural views—would you really, because they do so, help them to propagate that error? (Great applause,) Will you demand that our Sovereign shall take a solemn oath that Romanism involves abominable falsehood, and then argue that the false system is to be propagated by the State of this country ? (Loud applause ) Surely you will not do anything of the kind. Still they are in a majority, you say. So I grant: but I ask you to consider another thing. Will you embrace this argument and carry it out to its legitimate conclusion ? The majority ought to be heard :—the voice of the majority ought to be respected it ought to be decisive, say some. Well, is it not a fact that where you have one Irishman thirsting for the overthrow of the Estab- lished Church in Ireland, you have 10 thirsting for the dissolution of the Union between the two coun- tries? (Loud applause.) Will you, then, follow out your own reasoning to its logical conclusion ? If because the majority of the Irish people-and I grant it is so-demand that the Irish Church shall be dis- established and disendowed, can you, then, con- sistently refuse that still greater demand—that upon which they lay infinitely more stress-namely, the dissolution of the Union of England and Ireland ? (Applause ) Will you set Ireland free to govern herself? (Loud applause.) Will you give her an independent Parliament ? (Renewed applause.) Will you leave her to make alliances with France, with Austria, or any other Roman Catholic country? (Cries of 'No, no.') If you won't, I ask is it consistent to argue in this way ? If your argument is worth anything you must carry it out to its legitimate and logical conclusion. I don't think Englishmen are prepared to do what would be asked of them I don't believe John Bright is pre- pared to do that: I don't believe any leader or party, much less the nation, is prepared to do it; then I say, in the name of common sense and fairness, don't use arguments to serve a temporary purpose, which you won't stand by in regard to more important issues and conclusions. (Applause.) I know some persons would say-oh, as regards the dissolution of the Union; that ought to be treated as an imperial ques- tion, and not as an Irish one. Still I say be con- sistent if you treat the dissolution of the Union as an imperial question, treat the Irish Church as an imperial question. (Applause.) What is the result ? Taking the whole empire, have the Catholics the majority? The Roman Catholics, taking the whole empire, are only six millions as against 24 or 25 millions. You will, then, see if the Church of Eng- land is in a majority. She is in a majority in com- parison with other denominations the Church of England has more members in England and Wales than all other denominations put together. (Applause.) Then, if you say any system shall be established, it must be the episcopalian beyond all controversy. (Renewed applause ) The Church of England, in England and Wales, has 42 worshippers for every 33 connected with all other denominations put together, even including the Roman Catholics. (Ap- plause.) That being so, I ask you to what con- clusion you can come, if you take the question of majorities and minorities ? (Loud applause.) If you make it a question of majorities, then it mnst be with regard to the whole United Kingdom. (Hear, hear.) If you make it, on the other hand, a question of minori- ties, then I say we have you impaled on the horns of another dilemma—then I say you are bound to set Ireland free and leave her at liberty to form her own alliances in Europe. Then what would be the result ? We should have a repetition of the days of James II. She would unite with France, with Spain, with Roman Catholics, for the overthrow of our great and glorious Protestant institutions under which England has become more glorious, and pre-eminently so, amongst the nations of the world. (Loud applause.) I antici- pate the objections which I suppose some of our friends are disposed to make, and I imagine a person, for argument'ssake, saying-g rant your first conclusion —namely, that it is the duty of the State to propagate some system of religion,—and suppose, for argument's sake, they say we grant your second position—that truth must be propagated, though held by the minority of some part of the kingdom—we ask is it fair that the minority should have their religion maintained at the expense of the majority? Is it right that the Roman Catholics should pay for the religion of the members of the Established Church ? Before we argue whether it is right, there is a more impor- tant question to be settled :-ls it a fact? (Ap- plause.) It is all very well to assume the point in debate and then ask is it right ? We ask first —Is it a fact? We will deal with the fact first, and then if there is anything remaining, the fact disposed of, we will come to the justice of the question. (Hear, hear.) Is it a fact that the Irish Church is maintained by four million five hundred Roman Catholics? I say it is not the fact, and therefore don't assume it. (Applause.) It was said of the late Dr Wiseman that if you granted his premises, his conclusions would be almost logical and conclusive but his premises were never true, and of course his conclusions must ne- sarily fall to the ground. So with our opponents. They say that Ireland ought not to pay for the re- ligion of the members of the Established Church. I say it is not a fact, & we must not go on to settle a question" hich is only supposed. They say is it not a fact that tithes are paid by Roman Catho- lics ? Don't the tenants pay them ? I answer it is not the fact ? I know it is every where said that » it is so by our opponents, but I take it for granted 0 that it is for the want of better knowledge. (Laughter.) I don't think (bey do so intentionally, but they make that assertion, and I challenge theta to the proof. When they say it, you should ask them to prove it. Ask them to give you a really respectable authority ior that statement. The income of the Irish Church we have brought before us again by the Royal Commission you find after all deductions have been made in various forms, the amount paid to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for generrJ purposes and many other things, the income may be variously estimated at from £400,000 to £ 5G0;00Oj taking the gross in the one case and the net in the other. Strike the average, and you have £450,000. How much is paid by the Protestants themselves- I don't say paid by them, but it at all event? comes from the land in possession of Protestants in Ireland ? £400,000, out of the £450,000, ac- tually comes from the land of Episcopalian land- lords in that country. (Applause.) Very well, what remains ? There is £ 50,000. You say the principle is just as bad, whether the amount is great or small :—you say if £50,000 is paid by them, that makes no difference, because it is the same thing in principle. We say that the £ 50,000 is not paid by them. (Loud applause.) But supposing: it were, where is the injustice to Roman Catholics? The Roman Catholics and Non-conformists get this sum every year from Government :-the Roman Catholics get £ 30,000 in the shape of the Maynooth grant, and the Non-conformists get £40,000 in the shape of the Regium Donum. (Ap- plause.) If they get £ 70,GOO, and only pay £ 50,000, where is the hardship as a commercial transaction ? Where is the hardship in a pecuniary point of view? I apprehend that the people of Haverfordwest would at any time exchange £ 50,000 for £70.000. (Laughter.) Therefore I don't see where the hardship can be on the Roman Catholics or Non-conformists. Now, although they get £70,000 a year from the country, the Irish Church does not get £ 50,000 from the Roman Catholics. (Applause.) £:37,000 is paid by the Roman Catholics in what is called tithe but that titbe never belonged to the Roman Catholics them- selves. (Applause.) There is no question about which there is so much misconception. The original party who parcelled out the land in Ire. land-and that took place many hundreds of years ago-gave certain proprietors or rather their an- z;1 n cestors, lands subject to a tithe-that is one-tentb- Suppose some of you had been fortunate enough to have an estate bequeathed to you by some generous friend, and in leaving it to you, you were to have nine-tenths, and you accepted the nine- tenths on the condition that you would see that the remaining one-tenth was paid to a party named in the deed of conveyance, do you mean to tell me that it would be very honest either in you or your descendants, some years afterwards, when the parson's collector comes after the onc-tenth-for the tithe—do you think it would be honest to say —'I have got most conscientious objections to pay that one-tenth—(laughter) it disturbs my con- science greatly-(great laughter): why should I pay that parson ? I don't think it is right that I should have to open my pocket in order to main- tain bim and his religion.' (Applause and laughter.) I should be disposed to turn round and say—^on,' you think your conscience is somewhat seared, when you refuse to pay over what never belonged to you?—(applause)—when you received nine- tenths as a free gift, and all that was asked of yOIl in return, was to give the one-tenth to the party named in the deed of conveyance-supposmg there was such a deed. Where is your coiiscielicc ? Don't you think you have a conscientious objec- tion to do what is honest and straightforward ? -that your conscientious objection withholds what is due to another party ? (Applause.) When a man begins to make conscientious objections, r always begin to have some doubt of him* (Laughter.) When a man asks why be should pay it, I would ask —didn't you receive the estate on that condition ? Yes I did: I can't deny it.' WeH> if you won't comply with the condition, give up the estate. (Loud applause.) That is the straight- forward way of dealing with the question. So long as you hold the nine-tenths, don't withhold one-tenth from the parson. (Loud applause.) Where is the man who is going to recommend, 111 the next parliament, that the landowners who re- ceive nine-tenths on certain conditions shall be de. prived of their property ? (Applause.) Oh we are not going to touch theirs that is a differeD thing.' How is it a different thing ? The parso*1 does something whatever may be your views, th6 parson' labours among the people— I think the paIjj sons labour most diligently^ to promote the vve being of the people amongst whom they live, bu the landlords for the most part are absentees certain reasons upon which I need not enter. They render little or no service for their nine-tenths, the parson labours and performs his duties )'° will rob him of the whole of his small amooI1, but you will spare the landowner his riine-teiitbs, though he does not live in Ireland, and does very little for the people in Ireland. (Applause.) t that fair even handed justice? Surely not, Yet that is how it stands. (Loud applause.) „ have all heard of Cobbett:he argues this way the abstract question of tithes connected with Church in this country. He says that many P30Peg say they don't like tithe property but, argu^t Cobbett, farmers don't object to tithe property all. What difference can it make to the fari»er g tenant in paying a certain sum, whether he nine-tenths to the landlord and one-tenth to parson, or whether he pays the whole ten-te11 to the landlord, and nothing to the parson theory it makes no difference, but in practice aI- farmer prefers to live on tithe property, for be though in theory it makes no difference, yet ^e prefers tithe property, because, says Cobbett, finds it an easy matter to cheat the p,ar 0f (Loud laughter.) Now take two houses in olle of your streets we will assume they are exacty^ the same value; suppose they let at £ ]00 a y one of them is subject to taxes to a certain s we will say £ 10, and the other is exempt. tbe don't you agree with me in this, that if you g»c landlord about these houses, you will find one which is taxed to the amount of ;£10 </v.u not let for £10 less rent than the other which Is will subject to taxation? The terms for the o°e be £ 90, and for the other £ 100; and tjje rents & taxes in the one case come to prer;ise^ tbe same amount as in tbe other? So it is matter of tithe property, whether in in England, and when tbe tenant Pa3 _r30n, tenths to his landlord and one-tenth to the P ge,) where is the difference to bim ? turtl Therefore is it honest and straightforwai t0 round and say you will pay the n'ne' (.en1!1, the landlord, but you will not pay the untU to the parson ? Yet that was the Pra^ j jtia'1/ the Tithe Commutation Act passe* j allthor*' squabbles took place, Do yon ji'Cul* ties? Read Mr John Stuart pectfil loch, who is a great writer upon flt^ej- subjects :— read Dr Adam Smn y^ew. ^1. writers who have taken precisely and in lectures byMrVince, of stated Williams, of Southampton, I find 1 aDd it comes out of the toil; labour, n >