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C E R1; 1 < i Y D It UID10…

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THE ENGLISH CIlUliCH: ITS DANGERS FKOM WITHIN AND I WITHOUT. SPEECH OF LORD CARNARVON. I Presiding at the annual meeting of the Leeds Church Institution on Thursday night, the 7th inst., the Eulof Carnarvon said that every institution-no matter what might be its aim, no matter how venerable might be its associations—should show reasonable cause for its exis- tence. In former days, indeed, when every member of the commonwealth, so to speak, was a member of the Church of Ellglallll, and every member of the Church of England was in turn a member of the commonwealth, it was certainly felt unnecessary—at least less necessary —to show that cause. But, as every one knew, all this had changed. England had gradually become divided in religious sentiment 011 many points but yet he said they were all bound to believe that it was just as im. portant, just as necessary now, in their opinion, that this nation at large, divided though it might be on many points of religious feeling, should possess a national church. (Applause.) And 80 at least tlIolIght, the fathers and the early supporters of Nonconformity itself. \Y hen Baxter was standing ou his trial before the Lord Chief Justice, he was able to say, and say truly, that he had been complained of by the Dissenters for the respectful and the friendly terms in which he had spokeu of the English episcopacy. So, too, Wesley would never call his own denomination anything but a society, and a few minutes even before his death he said that he lived and died a member of the Church of England, and that all those who valued his regard and esteem would never separate themselves from that church. (Applause.) Thwse men felt how deep the importance was that the nation as the nation should possess a voice, a representative, an organ, so to speak, of the religious instincts and religious feelings of the country. And let him say more than this. Those men felt also what many religious Dissenters felt at the pre- sent day, and what all might feel, that the Church of Kng1111,1 was in fact the greatest barrier that existed against the otherwise all-absorbing influences of the Church of Rome. (Hear, hear.) For, after all, who could really doubt what would be the alternative if that Church of England to which they all belonged were to be dis-established ? Who could doubt the alternative ? —an alternative of an endless diversity of sects. Who could suppose even that the Church of England herself could long remain, with all that variety of opinion which she now continued ? They saw what the history of the religious denominations had been. It might be summed up in the on3 word of sub-division. The Bap list sect had divided itself into five. The Wesleyan denomination had divided itself into nine. In early days, when the great rebellion took place in this country, they saw how, on the fall of the church, the religious feeling of the nation split itself at once into a variety of ditierent sects. They saw the same process at this moment going on across the Atlantic—in America— where there were a variety of sects rivalling each other in extravagance. He could not, for his own part, con- ceive that there was any one class in this great country who would not suffer, and sutler irremediably, by the absence of the Established Church. They must all be convinced how much the rich and the edusated classes would suffer, if they had no longer such a class as the educated clergy of the Church of England with whom to be brought in contact, with whom they could meet upon equal terms, and who could tell them those truths which it was so important for them to know. But if such a loss would be a fatal one to the richer and the more educated classes, he did not know how to describe the nature of the loss which there would be to the poorer classes. Who could doubt what the result would be to the poor, to the ignorant and the vicious, to the abject classes, if the ministrations of the clergy of the Estab- lished Church—upon whom the responsibility of minis- tering was laid—were to be withdrawn ? And, lastly, in the relations between the rich and the poorer classes, he thought the loss of the clergy of the Established Church would be a greater loss than they could possibly estimate. That church and that clergy formed, as it seemed to him, a common ground of meeting—a ground of meeting all the more important and all the more valuable in proportion as troubles and difficulties and trials might arise. They were, lie thought, the real link of connection that bound the different classes of society in this country with each other. (Applause.) They lived, no doubt, themselves in times of very great change. Change always bad this peculiarity—that change iu one field of thought seemed of necessity, as it were, to engender change in another, and so uowadays they very often lieaid questions asked as to the future lirogress and the future position and relation of the Ksta- (dished Church. The Church of England no doubt shared with every other institution of the present day in many of the difficulties, in many of the eventful circum- stances, of the times. After contending that the duty of moderation was recommended to them on general as well as upon particular grounds, the noble earl remarked that he had no fear for the future. The Church of England had succeeded up to the present day in maintaining to the full the elasticity and comprehensiveness of her sys- teni. Denounced, attacked, caluminated, she yet existed, the grandest type the world had almost ever seen of head and heart combined, of enthusiasm and comprehen- siveness, of faithful and earnest action. What her his- tory had been for generations and generations past they all knew. In fact, her history was the history of England herself. That history was written in such deep, such lasting, such indelible characters that whatever might be the future, that at least could never disappear. Her present life, in its noble efforts at home, in its noble cru- siitle against poverty and ignorance, and her mission abroad to a hundred different lands, her present life re- flected one of the noblest sides of Engl ish character, and if she were even to disappear, to pass away, apart from the great works she had done, her literature alone would iemain an imperishable monument of learning, of devo- tion, of eloquence, greater, and richer, and deeper than the literature almost of any other society the world had ever seen. (Loud applause.) lie must end as he had commenced by remarking that the different forces in the clnuch must be reconciled iu some way or other. And it seemed to him that if they looked hopefully to the future, these forces could only be reconciled by that temper, by that moderation, and by that spirit of com- promise which had hitherto at least supposed to be the unfailing characteristic of Englishmen. It might be that these qualities were not very elevated, were not very ambitious. But let them remember that ambition and zeal were not always the surest guides. Of this at least he was certain, that whilst ambition and zeal- ambition however elevated, aud zeal however pure aud ar(loi)t-iniglit lead men astray into error, charity and tolerance, as the experience of all Christendom showed, never had led, and never could lead, men very far out of the right path. (Loud applause.)


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