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A CHARGE WITH A COMMENTARY. THE Archdeacon of Llandaff has published what he terms a Vernal Charge to the clergy of his diocese. On the prin- ciple that a cat may look at a king, we trust we may be ex- cused for daring to look at this Vernal Charge. Vernal, we think, sometimes means green, and that is a word suggestive of singularly unpleasant associations. But let that pass. Were we now like Falstaff, "little better than one of the wicked," we might say somewhat from such a text. As it is we forbear. 0 Were we to sum up the contents of the Charge, in one line we should slightly alter the Beggar's Petition," and say its drift is to cry- Pity the sorrows of a poor old Church." The Church is poor-very poor—such is the burden of the Archdeacon's Charge. In our young days, before coaches had gone out and railroads came in, we have occasionally met, in the vehicles aforesaid, females in an apparently re- markably salubrious state, who from time to time have in- dulged in a fluid unlike tea, inasmuch as it not merely cheers but inebriates also, under the pretence of a nasty lowness and a sinking," easier imagined than described. Appa- rently well, they in reality 0 were quite. the reverse. The Archdeacon's Church has the reputation of being rich. This is quite a mistake. We had heard of poverty, it is true, in connexion with the Church, but that Church has not been the one which feeds an Archdeacon at Llandaff or, as in a recent case, can boast that one of its bishops drew seventy- five thousand pounds from its revenues to spend in Italy, while his cathedral was in ruins, and his flock were smitten down by disease and death. The Church to which we al- lude was made by no Act of Parliament-it is even too dis- loyal to acknowledge Queen Victoria as its head—the fisher- men of Galilee were its first bishops, and its earliest confes- sors were hunted like beasts from the haunts of men. That was the poor man's Church, for it was the only Church ihat could preach to the wretched and the poor the glad tidings r, In of a happier life to come. But we had always fancied that the Archdeacon's Church was, on the whole, well to do. We had always thought it could boast its silver and gold, and that owing to that it could attract to itself all who had silver and gold—that is, all the holy, and the earnest, and the pure, as the magnetic mountain we read of in the Arabian Nights," drew towards itself all the iron in the ships that came within its influence. The reverse is the case. Like Dogberry, the Church has had its losses, though it has had its two gowns and everything handsome about it." In this archdeaconry alone, out of 111 cures, there are, says the Archdeacon, no less than 30 that have less than a hundred a-year (he does not tell us how many Methodist, and Bap- tist, and Independent ministers there are in the same district, preaching and praying, and visiting the sick and the af- flicted, and labouring in season and out of season, for less). At one time the Church had ample revenues, but it has lost them, and what is the strangest part of all is, that the Refor- mation has done it all C, This is a fact for which we certainly were not prepared. We were aware, for we have heard it times without number, that the Maynooth grant had caused the famine in Ireland —that the cholera came because mail trains ran seven days instead of six-that reading and writing had produced Z, Z!1 Cliartism-tliat the mortality that prevailed amongst cattle was to attributed exclusively to Bin wa destroyed the Constitution—but we certainly were not aware that the Reformation had done much harm to the Protestant Establishment. We certainly did know that what the Archdeacon terms the rude hand of the spoiler was dipped at that time pretty deep into the ecclesiastical pocket, but we thought the damage then done had been done to Roman Catholics—that they were Roman Catholic priests that were many of them reduced to beggary—that they were Roman Catholic revenues that were turned into another channel. In our simplicity we had thought that it the rude hand of the spoiler" not only bestowed part, and a pretty considerable part too, of this money, given by Catholics for Catholic purposes, but actually created Protestantism, and gave to it a local habitation and a name." The facts are against you," said a gentleman to an orator, whose feelings had evidently got the better of his judgment. "So much the worse for the facts," was the cool reply. In a similar manner our worthy Archdeacon grows rmoaniic in narrating that part- of our national history with which every one is most familiar, but a blunder of this kind is excusable in one whose time is exclusively devoted to scriptural affairs. At any rate, the Archdeacon's new reading has the advantage of novelty. Henceforth be it known, that our royal Bluebeard did not create the Protestant Establishment. All he did was kindly to relieve it of its superfluous wealth. To talk about the rude hand of the spoiler is ungrateful at the very least. The Archdeacon is compelled to admit the existence of Dissent. He confesses that somehow or other it has grap- pled better with the spiritual wants of man than die cum- brous machinery of a State Church. He eYideiJ;! V is aware that it has covered our valleys, and peopled our mines wiih moral and religious men who otherwise would have been left to live and die like brutes. But he has a remedy for this evil. A plan is before Parliament, lie says, in densely- peopled districts, to make parishes for ecclesiastical purposes of not more than 4,000. A very common saying about the nearer the Church, &c., of course our worthy Archdeacon holds in merited contempt. Hood also says :— A daw 's not reckoned a religious bird, Because it keeps a cawing from the steeple." But then Hood was no better than he should have been. Very innocently the Archdeacon thinks there is a \irtue in a steeple. He evidently imagines that if every collection of 4,000 human creatures can but see one, their will never enter a conventicle again. We should not be suivrisedif he really believes that Tenterden steeple was the cause of Goodwin Sands. As steeples rise down will go Dissent. This idea for catching Dissenters is worthy the sagacious brain of that eminent naturalist who first recommended sparrows to be caught by pusting salt on their tails. One part of the Archdeacon's Charge we can most cordi- allv commend. It is when he asks the clergy to stir up the I rich in the cause of religion. If that be done, the Church will not long lag behind the age. There will not be then, as now, a church at Aberdarc, in a population of twelve thousand, that can hold but four hurnhvd. Let the Arch- deacon trust to the Volun arv Principle, and he will find that then the Church unfettered by the State, confiding only in truth, and the God of truth, respected even by those who belong not to her communion, will go forth to the world, as did he whose name she bears, the messenger of heavenly peace and love.