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HELSGIOUS ASPECTS OF DISESTABLISHMENT…

SUPPLEMENTARY SUNDAY SCHOOL…

"SUPPLEMENT THE WORK OF THE…

THE EVENING MEETING. ----

St. Asaph Diocesan Conference.…

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St. Asaph Diocesan Conference. (Continuation from page 8). FORMING OF CHARACTER IN YOUTH Let them take a no their instance: If we under- stood the term in any worthy sense education waa nothing else than the forming of chartea iji youth. Were they going to ,leave that in the hands of a secular State? How would the secu- lar State understand its duty? It would turn them out efficient citizens, providing technical courses, seeing that its pupils were able to read, write, and think. Was that enough? The late controversy with all its bitterness had answerer* that ^question once for all by ma.king it clear that Englishmen did not wish for a purely secu- ar education.. Here Nonconformists and Church- men agreed, r for they met not as sectarians', but as. Christians. He admitted the inconsistency 0tÍ, the Noiiconformist position. Thoy wanted religious education, but they wanted a secular State. A .eecul-ar State, giving religious educa- tion!. Could, they have a greater contradiction in term?*? He had tried to indicate what a secu- tar.State would mean, some of the losses we should suffer if the establishment fell. If any- one stih hesitated, and thought we could go back fearlessly to what, after all, was the condition of the Church in its .earlier daY8, let him put yet a further consideration before him. There was one great difference between the Roman Em- pire and our own Government. The'Roman Empire was content on the whole, as long as its subjects remained loyal and quiet, to leave them to lead their own lives as they wished. It was not an interfering Government; it was "cry different from our own. The State edu- cated us forced us to be educated—interfered with the fmiry-it regulated our feeding, our housing. And its power was advancing: it was thrusting itself into, every department of our life, so that i,t became difficult at what point it did, not touch us. And if socialism was gQíng" to have. any influence on us—as it must have— the Static would playa larger paift still. Was' this alll-inyading, all-engrossing State to be religious or secular? Before he concluded, h should like to deal in advance with certain oi> i jections which might be made to his argumen p.j A; Nonconformist might say: "Yes; have a rei.wl gious State by all means, but do not establish the Anglican Church." The logical conclusion of such an argument was not to disestablish the Church of England, but to establish by its side other religious bodies. And, further, to view the matter practically, the choice was be- tween the establishment of the Church of Eng- land or no establishment at all, between a secu- lar England or the present conditions of things. Overthrow that, and they would have simply and solely acular State. Finally, he thought the Church of England really represented the reli- gious feelings of most Nonconformists, though they might not accept all its doctrines. He supposed the presence of the Bishops in the House of Lords influenced politics in the diTeetion. of Christianity; they were there prim- arily as Christians, not to represent a party, and so far as they were there as Christians he did not see how Nonconformists could object to their presence,. Again, the Coronation service was a symbol tha.t the King was not a secular but a religious prince. What objection could a Non- conformist reasonably raise to the existence of symbol? So that he felt it would be Taircr to view the establishment rather as a sign that they believed the State-must be a religious institution rather than as a mark of power to a particular denomination. He was afraid that throughout he had been dealing with ideas rather than tangible facts; lie would excuse him- by saying that, though invisible, ideas were strangely powerful things. At any rate, after being so long in the air, let him end by coming to earth. The most powerful objection to the sstab.isihjiient > wa* that though it might have a. hiigh ideal, it rarely lived up tQ it, that after many centuries of existence England was still little better than a secular State, and that we voted, and acted just as any pagan might vote and- act. If someone made this criticism it would be difficult to answer it. Still, though many said "Cut it down," the word had not yet gone forth, and the Master of the vineyard held His hand. And the best answer to tier enemies, and the best defence of the Church was :n her being, exactly what she professed to Be, a tree bearing much fruit.