Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

8 articles on this Page

DIOCESAN CONFERENCE. -

Advertising

THE EDUCATION QUESTION.

EVENING MEETING.

News
Cite
Share

EVENING MEETING. BISHOP OF RIPON AND NATIONAL CHARACTER.. ELOQUENT SPEECH. A public meeting was held at, the Music Hall in the evening. Every part of the building ex- cept the top gallery, which was not open, was well filled. The Bishop of Chester presided, and among others on a crowded platform were the Lord Bishop of Ripon (the special speaker for the evening), the Ven. Archdeacon of Chester. Sir Horatio Lloyd, the Ven. Archdeacon of Maoclesfield. the Rev. Canon. Gore, the Rev. Canon Woosnam, Mr. G. B. Baker-Wilbraham. Mr. H T. Brown and other members of the con- ference. A number of ladies also graced the platform gathering, including Mrs. MacGilly- cuddy. Mrs. Gibbons Frost, Miss Jayne, et,c. The Bishop explained that the Bishop of Ripon, who had been announced as the chief speaker, but who had not yet appeared on the platform, would shortly arrive. The King had commanded I his presence at Windsor as Clerk of the Closet, to perform his functions in connection with the doing of homage by the now Bishop of Ely. That ceremony, which, he need not tell them, was, of prior importance to that meeting, had required the Bishop to be at Windsor at one o'clock. He was taking the 4.15 train from Euston, and would be at the station at Chester at 8.30, they hoped, and be with them in a short time. (Applause.) They would have the treat of hearing one of the most genuine orators that it had, at all events, been his (the Bishop's) privilege to hear. They were to have had another distinguished man and welcome speaker with them, General Sir Fredk. Maurice. He supposed many of them knew him for his own servioe and attainments and distinc- tions. Others knew him as the son of an English- man and clergyman, who during the last century left upon the Church and nation of England a ma.rk mof-t profound, and an influence most whole- some and brood-he meant Frederick Dennison Maurice. (Applause.) Sir Frederick Maurice had unfortunately met with a bicycle accident, and blood poisoning of the hand had set in, and and blood poisoning of the hand had set in, and his doctor had forbidden him to leavt his bed. Sir Frederick had sent him (the Bishop) his notes of the speech he intended to make pn the subject of "Tho Church and National Health," and it followed most harmoniously in connection with their discussions that afternoon. (Applause.) The Bishop then read the noi.es of Sir Frederick Maurice, who dwcct on the deplorable rate of infantile mortality of the country. To insist in Cheshire on the grave necessity which lay before us to deal at the present time with that problem of national life would be ind 'cd bringing coals to Newcastle. The chairman of the Public Health Committee of the County Council, earlier than sonae other public men, hud spoken out m unmistakable terms on the facts that were under his eyes. He had said that in oertain towns two to three hundied in every thousand cnildren born died, and there were some mont.us of the year when the death rate of infants amounted in some places to eight hundred per thousand children. That wras the case in many of the smaller towns where it seemed to be no ones business to en- lighten the people. It was not merely the chil- dren who dl ed. whom wo lost. but the vast num- bers who lived at a very much lower standard of life than they might have iived if they had been properly brought up He did not think there was any exaggeration in saying it was a matter of national importance. What would be the state of things at the end of the century? What were the towns going to be liko if some effort was not made to make them different from what they were at present? Sir Frederick Maurice in- sisted that if there was one body rather than another which in its corporate capacity and through its several members did necessarily find that state of things under its observation, that body was. or ought to be, the National Church. The National Church, having such opportunities as still lay in her hands, should give its service for God most primarily to the nation, although he did not state it was possible for the who-I.o of the work to be done by the various corporate bodies which existed under the ffigis of the Church. To support his statements, Sir Fredk. Maurice quoted several statistics compiled by the medical officer of health for the county of Chester. The Bishop said he wondered whether the subject had come before the Quarter Sessions of the county, and as they were so fortunate as to have the Chairman of Quarter Sessions with them he would ask him whether he had anything to add to Sir Frederick Maurice's notes. He admitted that it was a complete surprise to Sir Horatio Lloyd, as he had not given him the slightest hint that ho was going to cail on him. He asked what Sir Horatio said to that. (Laughter.) Sir Horatio Lloyd, who rose amid great applause, characterised the Bishop's call upon him as the most artful way of drawing anyone lie had had experience of. (Laughter.) It was quite true he had been acting as Chairman of Quarter Sessions for nearly thirty years. (Applause.) He was bound to say that this subject had never been dis- cussed by them. They had other duticn to per- form at Quarter Sessions, and they had not gone into these theoretical questions. He had seen General Maurice's paper, and he would see whether the matter could not. be brought. before Quarter Sessions when he was in a position to speak with more authority than he was at that moment. (Hear, hear.) He felt the subject, worthy of consideration by such a body as the Quarter Sessions, and he confessed he was sur- prised somebody had not mooted it before. The Bishop said he had wondered whether the terrible statement by the Chairman of the Public Health Committee of the County Council had come under the notice of Quarter Sessions. Sir Horatio Lloyd said the functions of Quarter Sessions were entirely different from those of the County Council, and they were very jealous of treading on each other's toes. The Quarter Sessions was a very old institution and the County Council was a modem one. (Laughter.) But this was a matter which was too grave to be shunted by considerations of that kind, and both bodies ought to put their shoulders to the wheel to see if they could not do something to remedy the evil. The Bishop caused much merriment by calling upon the Archdeacon of Chester to say something on a meeting which was to be held on the subject of the Church Representative Council, and the Archdeacon was speaking on the matter when the Bishop of Ripon arrived, and was greeted with applause. The Lord Bishop of Ripon, who received an ovation, delivered an eloquent address on national character. He quoted a Frenchman's tribute to the characteristics of the Anglo-Saxon race, and said it was for us to say We are entrusted with a certain amount of responsibility towards ourselves, but also responsibility towards the nation at large, and one thing which surely as patriots and as Christian men and women we ought to be resolved to do is to take every possible care that the nobility of character, the strength of char- acter, that proud humbleness of character which once distinguished the Englishman shall never be stolen away from us in the days that are to come." There was every reason why we should maintain that great and precious possession—our character. The moment he opened the book of history—and history was only the record of the great outwork- ing of the Providential laws-he discovered that one of the biggest impostures which we could possibly bow down to and worship was that idea which had been spoken of in some quarters that nations had their rise, their culminations, and then of necessity their decline. (Hear, hear.) It was not a matter of necessity that a nation should rise to culminating splendour and then decav. There was no necessity for a great nation's periefi- ing, unless it perished as through inward moral rot; and there was not a nation that ho had looked out that did not- bear out the general principle that as long as it possessed moral force, so long would it have power to advance. The very moment moral force passed from a people they became weak and at the mercy of the first foe that came in. There was no more fatal hour for a nation than when the things that the men of the nation ought to do themselves were being done by deputy. There was nothing which he thought waa to bo deplored more than to discover in England that football was practised by the few and not by the many, and that twenty or thirty thousand people looked on to see the few pro- fessionals play the game which they had lost the power of playing themselves. (Applause.) The day the Greeks allowed the games to be carried on by the merely trained professional was the day the very conception of beauty and strength and grace began in partnership to pass away, and so he said That any who looked back upon history found there was certain moral vigour which made for defence, and made for success and made for domination; and the moment they got weakness and luxury in men, and men became content to let anyone do things for them, and mercenary, troopr- took the place of the patriotic citizens, then, he said, THE DAY OF DOOM was already at hand, and the writing was upon the wall. Character lay at tho root of Christian endeavour, just as it lay at the root of national prosperity. The Bishop dwelt on the control of the emotions, the tlaining of which he believed should commence as soon as a child was a. month old. and drew an analogy between the constitution of the State and its development, and the de- velopment of tho individual. Pleading for the proper oontrol of the emotions, his lordship stated that revivals, unless very carefully conducted, made for the ,t of the emotions, because they made people think they were the subject of religious power, but what had happened was that the emotions had been stirred for the moment. We should watch every growth of the emotional power, and recognise that the value of emotion was that it was a working power; but if a man allowed it to go forth and never gave it anyth'ng to do, he was spoiling that power, and the end of that man's condition was great hard. liees of heart. In watching our emotions we watched the raw material out of which character might be formed. Thac whioh made the greatness of the country and tho sweetness of the home was tho sp;rit which breathed through them. The character might be built up, and a man might be a very virtuous man, but. still a very unpleasant man. Character must, have a certain charm about it, and if it had not, it was like the svstem of tho universe with the sun darkened. Just as the Sun was to the system of the universe, so was the spirit to the constitution, and the spirit to the home and the spirit to the man, and here the last and final necessity for religion came in Morals and determination could, build up the character, but useful as that material was. it could not. create character, it could not harmonise it, and it could not, give it its charm We ill;d not create character, and we did not bring it into the way it could be presented perfect, until we had enshrined it in the Christ spirit, until the fire of the Divine spirit had fallen upon it, and the prepared virtues and energies had been drawn into the prepared sacrifice, and it went up to the Most High. Th' perfect character was not the clean, virtuous character that was so angular and disagreeable, but it was the character swept into beautiful harmony, it was the character brought out in its bea.uty, not appealing through tho position of all its members, or from the èwkllOW- ledgment of its humanity, but appealing by the y beauty of its form to the admiration of the soul. Speaking of education, his lordship said let us by a.U means abolish books for a time. Let us remember that the best students of education were reminding us that, we overtaxed our little children with books. (Applause.) We had even little children of two and three years brought into school; but the wise student s were saying that a child of five years of age ought not to be asked to do more, than one hour's work per day. and a child of eight ought. not. to do more than two hours' work. It did not mean that they were not to get education beyond those hours. It meant we must be taking- with the children and playing with the children and walking with the children, and doing in that, way far more to draw out the character of tho child. Let the children know that behind the universe stood God and His love, and that tho Divine love was greater to them and more tender1 than the love of the father and mother. Let them. grow up with the feeling that when God's &un was shining, it was like the smile of lih-oir father. Let them believe the fruits of the earth which sprang up in their season showed the providence of the Father, that that gave to man his meat in due season. Let them go into the world filled with the one idea of tho Divino love. It was in that sort of way that we would breed the kind of citizens with the right enthusiasm about them, for they would be the people who would understand that they wore not brought up in intellectual keenness to out-reach or out-wit one another, but they would under- stand and fully believe tho supreme purpose of their lives was this, that by love they would serve one another. Too Bishop resumed his seat amid enthusiastic applause. Sir Horatio Lloyd moved a hearty vote of thanks to the Bishop of Ripon for his able ad- dress. He said they had listened with interest and pleasure to the remarkable and eloquent ad- dTc-ss by one of the most distinguished prelates of the Church, and one who was known to them as one of tho ablest and most eloquent leaders they had the happiness and privilege of possess- ing. Citron Gore seconded. Ho mentioned that his friendship with tho Bishop of Ripon was possibly the oldest friendship in the room, as it dated from the Bishop's childhood. Alderman H. T. Brown and the Bishop of Chester supported. The motion was carried with hearty applause, and the Bishop of Ripon briefly replied. THURSDAY'S PROCEEDINGS. The oonforenoe was resumed at 10.45 a.m., on Thursday. The Lord Bishop again pre- sided. At the outset the Bishop proposed a. vote of thanks to the hon. sees, of the oonference, to trie hon. treasurer, to the local secretaries and committee, to the friend who had been good enough to play the organ for them, and to all others who had helped, in various ways. The vote was heartily carried. The oonferenoe proceeded to the election of Nix clorgyrnen and six laymen to serve on the oon- ferenoe committee of management. The Rev. Oanon Woosnam moved the followia-Chester Archdeaoonry, the Revs. W. H. Binney, T. H. May aad Hughes, and Messrs. Hairgreaves, Hatt- Oook and Walter Peel; Maoclesfield Arohdea- oonry, the Revs. Canon Gore, W. L. Paige Cox and T. H. Sheriff, and Meeera. Baker WHbraham, T. 0. Horsfall and R. Joyneon.-The motion was carried. The next business was to eleot two repreaenta- tives on tho National Society's Consultative Oom- mittee. The Rev. Canon GOTO moved the elec- tion of Arohdeaoon Maitland Wood and- Mr. Bromley Davenport, M.P. The Rev. J. G. Bird seconded, and it was heartily carried. The Venerable Archdeacon of Maoclesfield moved the adoption of the report of the Diooesan Committee on Foreign Missions, and said he was sorry the Vein. Archdeaoon of Chester, chairman of the committee, was absent through being oalled away from Chester by the death of a near relative. After reviewing the main points of the report, the Archdeacon said there was something radically wrong when nothing was done in a parish for home and foreign mis- sions. (Hear, hear.) He wag told that the ob- stacle in some parishes was the churchwardens, who always wanted money for other nings. Be had never had any experience of such opposition. The Rev. Dr. Binney (Northwich) seoonded. The Bishop said he was perfectly oertain that tihere waa a screw loose in that parish which was not 'hearty in its missionary spirit.—The motion was carried. la the absence of the Archdeacon of Chester, the Rev. J. G. Bird moved the adoption of the report of the Oommittee of the Chester Diocesan Mieflion to the Deaf and Dumb.-The Rev. J. H. Thorpe (Stockport) aaconded, and it was car- ried.-—The Bishop characterised it as an excellent bit of quiet, practical work. "THE PARSON'S FREEHOLD." The Ven. Archdeacon Luoius Smith (Maocles- field) was to have introduced a discussion on the "Parson's Freehold," but was prevented from attending by his doctor's order&-The Bishop, in making a sympathetic allusion to his illness, said they were expecting to know him before long as Suffragan Bishop of Knareeborough. (Ap- plause.)—Mr. Luoius Smith forwarded' a paper on the subject, and asked that Mr. Elstob should read it "as he read so beautifully." (Laughter and heair, hear.) Mr. Elstob readily complied with the request. At the outset the writer ex- plained that the bill consisted of four parts. The first part dealt with the formation of church- wardens councils. In every pariah there was to be a oounoil. The clergy of the parish might attend the meetings and take part in the discus- sions but might not vote. Theoo churchwardens were to possess all the powers at present possessed by the vestries relating to the affairs of the Church or ecclesiastical charities. The second part of the Bill dealt with "The Pareon's Free- hold," and proposed to mafee all benefices tenable for ten years only, instead of for life. At the end of every ten years every incumbent must seek reinstitution, and the Bishop might refuse to re- institute an incumbent for any ground on whifclh he would have been justified in refusing institu- tion in the first inetanoe. If the Bishop refused be re-institute an incumbent on account of age or infirmity, the incumbent might have a pension under the Incumbent Resignation Aota of 1371 and 1887, but the pension might amount to two- thirds instead of one-third of tho value of the benefice. Part III. of the Bill dealt with eoclesi- astioal suits and- public worship. The fourth part of the bill oonnisted chiefly of definitions, and oontained only one very important provision, vie., that the Public Worship Regulations Act, 1874, be repealed. With regard to the "parson's freehold," the Bishop of Birmingham had said that any ordinary sensible man with a decent con- science must see that in the "Parson's Freehold," as it existed at present, we had the transforma- tion of a true principle into an intolerable abuse. The endowments of the Church did not exist to provide a respectable set of blameless and ex- pensively educated gentlemen with a pleasant and secure position for the rest of their lives after they once beoame beneficed. Thy existed to pro- vide spiritual ministratons for the benefit of the community. If they were not doing so in a satisfactory manner they were failing of their object. The writer also quoted the Rev. Dr. Moberley, and said the defenders of the present system would probably ohiefly rely upon the im- portance of securing for a clergyman a position of sufficient security and independence to enable him to constantly speak the truth and boldly re- buke vioe without the necessity of patiently suffering for the truth's sake. Certainly they must feel that it was not desirable that the clergy should be so absolutely at the mercy of the wealthy members of their flock as seemed to be the case sometimes with some of their Nonconformist brethren. It certainly must be pleasantor to 00 under the gentle rule of a kind Bishop at a distance than under the stem dominion of a dea- oon on the spot. (Laughter.) It was only right that an adequate pension should be provided for inoumbents who, through no fault of their own, but because of advancing age and growing in- firmities, beoame unfit to be re-licensed. Opinions would differ as to Lord Hugh Cecil's proposal. Perhaps it would be felt that a strong central pension fund would be a safer a.nd better way of making provision for clergy, who, owing to age or infirmity, were refused re-institution. Lord Hugh Cecil's Bill could not bo a final settlement of the difficulties associated with the subject, but it gave some fruitful thoughts, and afforded a most useful basis for discussion. (Applause.) He moved "That the proposed modification of "The Parson's Freehold" embodied in the pro- visions of Lord Hugh Cecil's Bill merits the grave and sympathetic consideration of Church- people and especially of the clergy." Tho Rev. Canon Gore seconded, and said he believed that tin7) "Parson's Freehold" was one of the gravest question* before the Church at the present time. The pressing interest in the matto:- through past years had been the difficulty of deailing with incompetent and unworthy clergy, who were, however, a very small minority. There were unworthy clergy who brought shame on the Church, and there were incompetent clergy who had done excellent service for the Church in the past, and who saw themselves and knew them- selves to be unfit for the work in the. days to come. They would very gladiy resign and refc'te from their position if it were made at all possible for them to take that step. They must dis- tinguish between the two. Lord Hugh Cecil's proposal, in its present form, was not to his (the canon's) mind tho solution whioh would ultimately be accepted. Lord Hugh Cecil's Bill was some- thing in the nature of a new constitution, at àmy rate for the parishes. When the question oame up. "Shall this ma.n be reinstituted?" troubles might arise which it would be very difficult to aliay for years. (Hear, hear.) That these troubles should recur in each pariah once in every ten years was a very serious question indeed. (Hear, hear.) The Rpv. W. S. Johns (rector of Pleniistall) said that the endowments in England differed from those on the Continent. They were parochial, not diocesan, aad Lord Cecil's BiU struck at a principle ingrained in tho growth of the English Church. If they began with incumbents, would not the principle be extended to dignitaries? The Bishop, he thought, as tho source of ministerial authority, would only be oanonically dealt with, and stood on a different footing. Fixity of tenure was indeed a unique privilege of the clergy, but the incumbents had unique disadvantages, seeing that half the incumbents of the English Church did not rcceivo a "living wage" for tho;r services. Lord Hugh Cecil's scheme of periodical reinstitu- tion was impracticabla His scheme for pensions would not work, and it wouJd be difficult to transfer a clergyman to another parish, seeing that more than half the benefices of the English Church were in private patronage. If an incum- bent and his people could not get on together, a periodical reinstitution would mean a periodical disturbance in the parish, whereas otherwise they might get to understand each other The speaker advocated a thorough reform, whereby the laity would contribute to maintain the clergy, and then justly claim their due privileges whereby the right men would be put in the right place, and a proper provision made for those who had done good work. If we reformed the "Parson's Stronghold" we must carry out other reforms previously or simultaneously in connection there- with. The Rev. T. H. Sheriff said certainly Lord Hugh Cecil's was not the beet proposal, but it was preferable to the present system. The proposed ton years' tenure was contrary to the oonditions

Advertising

[No title]

Advertising

EVENING MEETING.