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ARE CHURCH ESTABLISHMENTS JUSTIFIABLE?* Mr Samuel Morley is a well-known, earnest, and liberal Dissenter. He gives large sums for the spread of the Gospel among the heathen; and still larger for the promotion of the same cause at home. No urgent case of a destitute neighbourhood wanting a chapel or a minister is brought before him withou. finding a ready response. Mr Gladstone is a Churchman, who recently has begun to advocate disestablishment' and disendow- ment.' But he, too, when voluntary aid is asked, is never backward to help in missionary enterprises, either abroad or at home. It might happen to either of these gentlemen to become possessei, by the bequest of some relative or friend, of one of those small islands which are found intheBtitishsras Insignificant as they are, and seldom heard of; but still they have inhabitants, and the land is tenanted, and yields to the owner an income. Mr Morley (or Mr Gladstone) on becoming pos- sessed of this new property, visits it, in order to make himself acquainted with the nature of his new possession. He finds a few hundreds of people, only four or five Gf w iom are in the rank of farmers; and he finds that it will yield him, perhaps, an income of about £1,500 a year. Inquiring into the religious condition of the people, he finds that it h s been little cared for. They have never supposed it poss'ble, that they should have a pastor of their own nor has the education of their children been provideci for. The little that has been done, either for worship or education, has been of the most desultory and insufficient character. Mr Morley siys to himself, I cannot leave these poor people in this state: I must not send missionaries to the heathen in Afr;ca. and yet leave heathenism uncared for on my own property. I must find a proper pastor for these people, and also a school- master. Towards the latter they must do something themselves but for the two objects I will allow ill50 a year, which will be about a tenth of the income I shall derive from this property.' He begins to carry out this plan but, on inquiring further, he finds th it the only sort of belief to which they seem to incline is a kind of Mormonism, which had been preached there a few years back by a mis- sionary of that sect. Some of them say to him, If you send us a minister, pray let it be one of the sort that we have been used to.' But he replies, without hesitation, No, I cannot do that. I am willing to provide a preacher of the truth, but not a preacher of what I know to be falsehood.' Mr Morley carries out his plans; sends to the people a faithful minister, and in his subsequent visits he finds himself rewarded by a steady progress among these islanders, both in knowledge and in morals; and also, in many cases, in still higher attainments. But after a few years he begins to think. Life is uncertain should I be taken away by any sudden illness, I know not what would become of these people. I must try to provide for the permanence of this work. I will make a trust-deed, or deed of gift, settling this jEl50 a year itS a fixed rent-charge, pay able by my agents out of the rents, for the support of this minister and in aid of the schoolmaster.' This would be, we think, a very just and prudent resolve. But we must not overlook the fact that we have here, on a small scale, an Established Church. It was just in this way that the Churches of England aDd Ireland began. Suppose, however, that a Roman Catholic mis- sionary found his way to this island, as Roman Catholic missionaries have done in many cases, as in Tahiti and Madagascar. He might succeed to a certain extent. He might form a party and, after a while, his followers might attack Mr Morley, on one of his visits to the island, with a demand for equality." We are so many hun- dreds, and we ought to be placed on equal terms with the Protestants." Would not Mr Morley reply, I provide a pastor here, not at the people's cost, but at my own. Spending my own money, I am responsible only to my own conscience. 1 cannot, and wiil not, lay out money which I might employ in many other desirable ways, in teaching what I believe to be deadly error. You are taught to pray to a dead woman, who cannot hear your prayers. This is a delusion it is a false hope. You worship, too, a bit of wafer. This is very much like idolatry. I dare not spend a shilling in propagating errors zD so dangerous." This answer would be a sound one but here, too, Mr Morley would only be adopting and avow- ing the very same principle which has been main- tained for three centuries in the case of the Irish Church. Have we misstated, or overstated, or exaggerated the case? We trust and believe that we have not. Instances occur to our memory by dozens, in which Christian men, like Mr Morley, on coming into possession of new property, whether in an island or on the main knd, have immediately recognised their responsibility, and have set apart a certain portion of the annual income to make provision for the worship of God and the religious instruction of the people. Have they done wrong in taking this course ? Ought they to have appealed to the "Voluntary Principle 7" Ought they to have ad- dressed the people, and exhorted them to think of their religious wants, and to make provision for these wants out of their own means? Do they take this course when they go among the heathen abroad ? If not, why should they, when dealing with the heathen at home ? Here, then, we repeat, is the germ, the first principle and the outline in practice, of an Established Church. Here, too, is the distinction, presented in the simplest form, between endowing truth and endowing error.

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