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THE PROSECUTION OF THE REV.…

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THE PROSECUTION OF THE REV. C. VOYSEY. A fund is being raised for the purpose of enabling the Rev. C. Voysey, vicar of Healxugh, to defend himself against the charge* of heresy alleged against him by the Archbishop of York. In subscribing to the fund, Dr. Stanley, Dean of Westminster, says that, while strongly deprecating Mr. Voysey's mode of treating Biblical nd sacred subjects, he cannot but be aware that it is an exaggeration caused by equally reprehensible exaggerations of another kind, and at the same time he con demns and r. grets n uch that the sermons contain, he recognises in them no It-as a rare honesty of purpose, as well as a humble and devout faith, which seem to him to demand the utmost sympathy for the frame of mind which has led to results in other respects to be lamented. There a-e, however," sayoi the Dean, other and more general rra-ons why I am glad to have this opportunity of pro- testing against a course which appears to me fraught with mischief to the Church ;— "(1.) The questions which Mr. Voysey has stirred are such as agi ate he minds both of clergy and laity in an unusual rla- gree at the iressnt time. They admit of every conceivable shad., n ta--ir mode of exposition and solution. Persons of hiah tank in the Church are known to have entertained them, .ia at times given them utterance without drawing Upon thurnselves legal prosecution, or even considerable bUme. Under tnese circumstances an attempt at an abrupt suppression of their agitation in asmele instance appears to ziie ti e leat desirable conclusion that could be an iverl at (2) Tht-se questions are agitated not only in the Church of England bun, more or Itoss, in all the Churches of Europe. On some of the most important of tnem latitude of thought find expression, at least in theory, is still left. in the Roman Ca hohc and Eastern Churches, is openly allowed in many Piotestant Churches, and has o. been authoritatively res- tiviined in some narrow and liru it" communities. It would be a deplorable issue if such a restraint were to be enforced hy the Church of England, first amon- the historical Churches of Christenoom. "3 In principle, the latitude demanded has been conceded by recent judgments, as is confessed hy those who regard tliefe judgments with alarm All, therefore, that could be ifiVcitd by an adverse decision In this instauce would be a limitaijon in point of detail which would leave a sense of personal hardship, without fu: iiisliing any guide for future action 4.) These are some of the evils which would result if the prosecution were successful. On the other hand, even those who have urged the prosecution must be sen-ible of the evil cousi-qnences if it were successful. Theie are many among the hi.If-educated and uneducited classes who, not being able to distinguish between the form and the substance, the ier er and the spirit, would imagine that if Mr Voysey were i., quitted the Church of England would stand committed to l Ltit the crude or extravagant expressions which he may have u-Hi 1, It would certainly be presumed, with reason, that i e:• "y statement public! ed by him and either tiot .prosecuted S o not condemned is he.no foi ob admissible. It ill obvious tn n this would ietul to an agitation and reaction of the very kiud which the prosecution is intended probably, to avert."

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