Skip to main content

Full text of "Our bishops and deans"

See other formats


-co 
[CD 



:CO 



/%v/- : wS33HE5 






I 

I 




FROM-THE- LIBRARY-OF 
TRINITYCOLLEGETORDNTO 




Fran the Library of 

Brian Heeney 
Given by his Family 




I 3 





VOL. I. 



OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 



BY 



THE REV. F. ARNOLD, B.A. 

LATE OF CHRIST CHURCH, OXFORD. 



IN TWO VOLUMES. 
VOL. I. 



LONDON: 
HURST AND BLACKETT, PUBLISHERS, 

13, GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET, 
1875. 

./// Hif/htt Resened 





FEB 



6 1535 



TO 



THE REV. HERBERT TODD, M.A. 



My Dear Todd, 

I do not suppose in dedicating this work to 
you that you will endorse all its opinions. On 
the contrary, I imagine that when next we meet, 
in travel or at home, there will be some 
keen discussion on sundry matters connected 
with these pages. But you, at least, will under 
stand how thoroughly I have striven to be 
Catholic and impartial, and that this work on 
contemporary Church history should be free 
from all party bias. My object has been to give 
a view ofjhe present state of the Church of 
England, its condition and its prospects, the 
great names and the remarkable movements 
that have emerged within its borders. I have 
sketched out a kind of Episcopal history since 



VI DEDICATION. 



the days of the Reformation, doing so at greater 
length as we enter on the present reign, and 
meet with some great men whose careers will 
strongly mould ecclesiastical history. For this 
reason I have especially dwelt on the careers of 
Bishop Philpotts and Bishop Wilberforce. From 
this point I have advanced to a survey of the 
present aspect of the Church of England. . I 
have endeavoured to give sketches of our pre 
sent bishops and deans, so far as they illustrate 
the ecclesiastical and literary history of our day, 
and the remarkable phenomena of Ritualism and 
Rationalism. I had prepared various notes on 
the Irish, the Scottish, and the Colonial Episcopal 
churches, but, " spatiis inclusus iniquis," I have 
forborne to trespass too far on the attention of that 
general reader, immemorially courteous and kind, 
to whom I have addressed myself in these pages. 
The trouble has often been not so much to say 
things s as to leave them unsaid. I have ventured 
to avail myself of various social and anecdotic 
matters suggested by my subject. Written amid 
the incessant occupations of a curate s life, and 
amid many further calls on my time, the work 
may not be adequately ample and complete, but I 
trust that it may be found of some use in elucidat 
ing contemporary history, and perhaps may have 
some little part in promoting necessary reforms. 



DEDICATION. Vll 

It seems to me that of the three orders of the 
Church Bishops, Priests and Deacons the 
great body of the priesthood or presbytery is in 
an eminently sound condition, and efficiently 
doing its great work, but that both in the 
diaconate and episcopate, the Church suffers harm 
and loss. At present the deacon s office is practi 
cally divided only by a line from the priesthood, 
and one great want of our day is the restoration 
of the lay diaconates, as the best way of coping 
with the necessities of the time. On the other 
hand, we have almost lost sight of the original 
idea of the Episcopate, the actual overseeing by 
a chief pastor, of the clergy and their flocks. 
We have substituted for the Primitive Catholic 
idea an abnormal exaggeration, that of the baronial 
mediaeval prelate. A very large increase of the 
Episcopate in which rank and income shall be 
regarded as quite secondary to the extension of the 
office and a large extension of the diaconate, so 
that it shall not be simply a clerical diaconate, 
appear to be necessary to carry out the idea of 
a National Church, and to meet the national wants. 
I venture to think also that a large Ecclesiastical 
Reform Act, dealing with the practical evils of the 
Church, will be necessary if we are to avoid 
an ecclesiastical revolution. 

I will ask you to accept this work according to 



Vlll DEDICATION. 

the good old fashion of dedications, in recollec 
tion of old days and old kindnesses. I sometimes 
gratefully think that Providence has been very 
good to me, in an anxious and laborious life, in 
giving me the sympathy and companionship of 
many friends, and there is none of whom I feel 
this more gratefully than in reference to yourself, 
true priest and poet. 

Yours ever, 

FREDERICK ARNOLD. 



CONTENTS 



THE FIRST VOLUME. 



CHAPTER I. 

THE VICTORIAN ERA OF THE CHUECH. 

Page 

The Church of England under Queens . . 1 

Three Movements of the Victorian Era ... 4 

The Old Arminian Controversy . . .6 
The Tractarian Movement .... 

Ultramontanism . . . . . .11 

Keble and Newman . . . . . 11 

The Evangelical Party . . . . . .14 

Their Practical Labours . . . . . 17 

Their Eloquence . . . . . .18 

Missions at Home and Abroad .... 22 

The Broad Church Movement . . . . .23 

Coleridge, Arnold, Julius Hare, Manning . . 25 

Dr. Manning s Secession to Rome . . . .26 

John Frederick Denison Maurice . 27 
Modern Rationalism .... 

The Liberal Clergy .... 33 

Modern Ritualism . . . . . .34 

A Bishop on the Ritualists and the Ritualists on Bishops . 37 

The Series of Controversies . . . .39 



X CONTENTS. 

Page 

Bishops and Deans not the Real Leaders of Theological Thought 40 
Increase of the Episcopate . . . .43 

A Debate in Convocation .... 45 
Speeches of the Bishop of Norwich, the Bishop of Llandaff and 

others ....... 47 

The Evangelisation of the Masses, the Object of a National 

Church . 49 

CHAPTER II. 

GENERAL COURSE AND HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY, ESPECIALLY IN 

ENGLAND. 

The Doctrine of Episcopacy . . . . .50 

" Presbyter " and " Bishop " originally the same . . 53 

The Ignatian Epistles . . . . . .54 

Episcopacy emerges after the Destruction of Jerusalem . 56 

Canon Lightfoot s View . . . . .57 

Dean Field s View ...... 58 

Spread of Episcopacy through the Church . . .60 

The Question of the Appointment of Bishops . . 62 

Martin Marprelate . . . . . .64 

Lord Bacon on Episcopacy . . . . . 66 

Contrast between Elizabethan and Victorian Episcopacy . 67 

Usher s Scheme of Moderated Episcopacy ... 70 

The Smeetymnuan Controversy . . . .73 

Biographical History of Episcopacy. ... 74 

Lancelot Andrewes . . .75 

Corbet ....... 86 

Joseph Hall ....... 90 

Bull . 107 

Thomas Wilson of Sodor and Man . . . .115 

Joseph Butler 118 

Swift s Archbishop . . .129 

Lord Bristol, Bishop of Derry 131 

George Home . . . 134 

CHAPTER III. 

EMINENT PRELATES OF THE REIGN. 

Archbishop Howley . 140 



CONTENTS. XI 

Page 

Archbishop Sumncr . 142 

Bishop Sumner of Winchester . . . .152 

His Private History. . . . . 15 G 

Connection with Geneva . . . . .158 

Edits Milton s " Doctrines of Christianity" . . 160 

Archbishop Longley . . . . .161 

His Treatment of Romish Practices . . . . 163 

On Privy Council Judgments . . . .166 

Archbishop Whately . . 168 

Whately and Newman . . . . . .169 

Whately and Pusey . 170 

M. Guizot on Whately . . .170 

Whately on Gladstone and Thackeray . . . 174 

Bishop Blomfield . . .176 

His Charge of 1842 . . . . .178 

Bishop Philpotts of Exeter . .180 

Birth and Education ..... 182 

His Preferments in Diocese of Durham . . . .184 

Feud with the " Edinburgh Review " . .185 
At Stanhope ....... 187 

Controversy with Charles Butler . . . .188 

Correspondence with Macaulay . . . .189 

His Dubious Conduct on Catholic Emancipation . . 195 

Appointment to Exeter . . . . . 1 97 

Controversy with Lord John Russell . . 198 

The Gorham Case ... . 200 

He excommunicates Archbishop Sumner . . . 202 

His Opinion on an Exeter Jury. . . . 204 

His Last Years . . ... 205 

Bishop Lonsdale . . . . . .206 

Correspondence and Anecdotes .... 208 

Bishop Stanley of Norwich . . . .211 

Bishop Hamilton of Salisbury . . . 213 

CHAPTER IV. 

BISHOP W1LBERFORCE OF WINCHESTER. 

His Many-sidedness of Character . .219 

William Wilberforce 220 



Xll CONTENTS. 

Page 

Sussex and Yorkshire . . . . . .221 

His Rapid Preferment . . 224 

Dean of Westminster Bishop of Oxford . . .227 

Seeks to make his Diocese a Model Diocese . . . 228 

Anecdotes . . . . . . .229 

His Opinion on Vestments . . . . . 230 

His Writings . . . . . . .232 

His Oratory. . .... 240 

His Parliamentary Career ..... 243 

His Policy on the Irish Church . 249 

His Pulpit and Platform Work. . 251 

His Mode of Working . . . 257 

His Episcopal Charges . . . . .259 

His action in Revival of Convocation . . . 261 

Supposed to have incurred the Hostility of the Court . . 262 

His Diocesan Work. . . . . .264 

Connection with Robertson of Brighton . . .264 

Anecdotes ....... 266 

At the London Library . . . . .268 

With Bishop Boone . . . .269 

His Sincerity ....... 271 

His Disappointments . . . . . 272 

Promoted to Winchester ..... 273 

His Sudden Death ...... 274 

His Last Words in the House of Lords. . . .277 

His Condemnation of Ritualism .... 278 

CHAPTER V. 

ARCHBISHOP TAIT. 

His Education and Reminiscences .... 281 

The University of Glasgow the Old College . . 282 

Modifications of Scottish Presbyterianism . . .287 

The Influence of his Early Training. . . . 289 

At Oxford The " Union " . . . . .291 

At Bonn ....... 292 

Applies for the Greek chair at Glasgow . . . 294 

Draws Attention to Tract 90 . . . . 296 

Appointed Head-master of Rugby . 298 



CONTENTS. Xlll 

Page 

Dean of Carlisle . . . . . .299 

Bishop of London ...... 302 

His Primary Charge ..... 303 

His Sermons and Speeches ..... 304 

Bishop of London s Fund ..... 308 

His Administration of Patronage . . . .311 

His Bill for the Regulation of Public Worship . 312 

Convocation and Legislation . . . . .313 

CHAPTER VI. 

ARCHBISHOP THOMSON. 

At Lincoln s Inn Chapel . . . . .316 

His Eminence as a Preacher . . . . 320 

His References to Contemporary Literature . . . 322 

Sermon at Buckingham Palace Chapel . . . 324 

Oxford Career ....... 328 

Provost of Queen s . . . . .329 

Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol . . . .332 

His Writings ...... 333 

Made Archbishop of York . . . . .335 

Archiepiscopal Experiences . . . 337 

As a Controversialist ...... 338 

CHAPTER VII. 

BISHOPS OF LONDON, WINCHESTER AND DURHAM. 

Fulham Palace . . . . . . .340 

Gardens, Buildings and Associations . . . 343 
Bishop Porteous first speaks of the Spiritual Arbitration of the 

Diocese ...... 344 

Character and Extent of the Metropolitan Diocese . . 345 
Connection of the See of London with America, and English 

Churches on the Continent .... 347 

Bishop Jackson s Village and University Sermons . . 349 

At St. James s, Piccadilly ..... 350 

Religious Life in London . . ... . 351 

Bishop Jackson s Farewell Sermon at Lincoln . . . 353 



XIV CONTENTS. 

Page 

Winchester Cathedral and Farnham Castle 357 

Bishop Harold Brown s Farewell of Ely Cathedral . 362 

His Work on the Articles . . . . .363 

Speech on the Public Worship Bill . . . .365 

Edits the " Speaker s Commentary " . 367 

The Old Catholic movement . . . . .370 

The Bishop of Durham . . 372 

An Avowed " Party " Man . . . 372 



ERRATA. 



VOL. I. 

Page 16, line 3, for " primitive " read " privative." 
Page 52, line 4, omit " was." 
Page 72, line 6, for " eaxmple " read " example." 
Page 74, line 22, for " Byrne " read " Prynne." 
Page 87, last line,/or " cottage" read "college." 





VOL. II. 

Page 3, line 13, for " synchronically " read " synchronistically: 

Page 62, line 32, for " offended " read " affected." 

Page 146, line 12, for " Tertidlian " read "Tertullus." 

Page 151, line 12, for " he " read " the youthful curate." 

Page 316, line 19, for " on the " read " an." 

Page 317, line 8, for " with " read " within." 

Page 318, line 12, for " factors " read " fautors." 

line 18, for " attend " read " reform." 

line 27, omit " that." 
Page 319, line 13, for " contrast " read "contact." 



OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

CHAPTER I. 

THE VICTORIAN EEA OF THE CHURCH. 

T^NGLAND loves Queens, and during the reigns of 
-Ld her Queens, the land has been free, glorious and 
prosperous. The epochs of Queen Elizabeth, Queen 
Anne, and Queen Victoria, have been ever of intensest 
life and activity in Church and State. Already the 
Victorian era, thanks to the gracious Providence that 
has so long continued a happy reign, has its distinc 
tive magnificent place in the records of the human 
race, in the progress of intellectual life, in the 
magnificent development of all national resources. 
The religious history of the reign is inseparably 
intertwined with its art, literature, politics and great 
popular movements. A whole generation of mankind, 
as we count generations, has passed away since our 
Queen came to the throne, and it is by looking at 
this nearer history that we may best comprehend the 
signs of the present times. 

In the present work, I endeavour to sketch out a 
view of the contemporary history of the Established 
Church, on the biographical method of dealing with 
those who, from their position, appear to be its na- 

VOL. I. B 



2 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

tural leaders, and who are more or less identified 
with those schools of thought, those progressive or 
retrogressive ideas, those mutations of opinion and 
fashion, those alterations and expansions of the An 
glican system ; those religious, political and literary 
questions with which the religious history of the 
Victorian era is occupied. It is a difficult and 
delicate matter to discuss living people in connection 
with contemporary history; but all such discussion 
will be rigorously confined within the limits con 
ceded to contemporary writers. On the other hand, 
it may be an advantage to exhibit and tabulate results 
as they stand at present, to exhibit the living influence 
while it is still present with us and to project on the 
busy religious life around us the illumination that 
may be derived from the past years of this generation 
up to the present day. We shall endeavour, with the 
utmost impartiality, and from a mainly literary and 
historical vantage ground to give a view of current 
ecclesiastical history. We are well aware that at 
the present moment we cannot make large generali 
zations from ecclesiastical facts, so as to measure our 
own age with past eras ; we cannot stand back from 
our own times so as to survey them in their entirety. 
Our knowledge of current history is necessarily 
loose and imperfect, for it is only the lapse of time 
that throws open the secret archives of public life. 
But even with these limitations and drawbacks we 
address ourselves to the task of delineating some 
features of our time. We shall perhaps best lead up 
to it by discussing some governing aspects of our 
own time, by surveying episcopacy in the past, and 
by speaking of some great dignitaries who have 



THE VICTORIAN ERA OF THE CHURCH. 3 

passed away during the Reign, before we come to the 
present and vanishing names which occupy the fleet 
ing moments of the current day. We shall also 
have to deal with some other names, as potent as 
those of the highest dignitaries, in giving shape and 
colour to the human destinies of the Church. 

Speaking roughly there are now about a hundred 
and fifty bishoprics in the world belonging to the 
Anglican Church. The enormous expansion of the 
Episcopal system is one of the most remarkable 
features of our age. This expansion, however, has 
been, not in the Mother Church but in the daughters. 
When the Church desired a new bishopric in the see 
of Manchester, Archdeacon Hare thought that they 
might just as well ask for fifty bishops while they 
were about it. Unfortunately they did not ask for 
fifty, and the time for such asking, at least, in the 
present condition of things, in the present unmodified 
form of Episcopacy, has gone away. The earnestness 
of the Church in promoting Episcopacy in our Colonial 
Empire may eventually have a reactionary influence 
in the increase of the Episcopacy at home. The 
great landmark in this movement is the year 1841 ; 
for the previous attempt in the erection of a 
Bishopric of Calcutta in 1811, stood all alone for a 
generation. The question of Episcopacy has now 
assumed a larger form and presents problems that 
press for a solution, and though some sporadic 
bishoprics may be carved out, or suffragan and coad 
jutor bishops may be appointed, probably a new 
settlement of the institution belongs to the Church 
of the Future. 

There had been a long period of comparative calm 

B 2 



4 OUR BISHOPS AND DRANS. 

before the great questions were sharply defined 
which make the conflicts of the day. It might 
almost seem that the Church of England itself 
seemed specially to deprecate any attempt to 
destroy the harmony that prevailed. Her heart 
seemed fixed on the idea of quietude and repose. 
In her Liturgy she prays that we being hurt by no 
persecution may evermore give thanks, that we may 
serve God with a quiet mind ; and again in the third 
Collect for Evensong that " we being defended from 
the fear of our enemies may pass our time in rest 
and quietness." Often in the mellow afternoon when 
the spirit of deep peace seemed brooding over the 
village church, when the rustling of the leaves out 
side harmonised with the silvery cadences of the 
white-haired clergyman s voice within, did this 
supplication seem to breathe the very spirit and 
aspiration of the Church. But, alas, the Church 
may have to learn collectively what, as individuals, 
we so often find to be true, that trial, and strife, 
and warfare, are, after all, often the healthiest 
discipline for us. And yet again it may be possible 
for all of us to learn that there is such a thing as 
central peace subsisting at the heart of endless 
agitation, and whatever may be the storms of an 
unfriendly world, the Church has that peace which 
the world cannot give or take away. 

Speaking broadly, there have been three principal 
movements in the history of the Victorian era. These 
are the High Church movement, the Broad Church, 
and the Ritualistic.* The two latter have in the 

* High, Low, and Broad is a rough and ready, though convenient 
classification. Mr. Conybeare, in his memorable Essay, points out 



THE VICTORIAN ERA OF THE CHURCH. 5 

course of time proceeded to an exaggerated and 
abnormal form. Ritualism is something very diffe 
rent from the Oxford movement, and the Broad 
Churchism of some London sensational pulpits at the 
present day is almost a caricature of the intellectual 
system of Hare and Arnold. In point of time the 
Oxford era is earlier than the commencement of this 
reign ; but the outcome of the Oxford movement in 
the perversions to Rome did not take place till a few 
years after the Accession. To use a phrase of Julius 
Hare s, men had ogled and flirted with the Church of 
Rome, while submitting with a sigh to the bond 
which tied them to the Church of England. The 
ogling and and flirtation had now gone to the extent 
of an actual elopement. We may now, as it were, 
step back a few paces from the scene and contem 
plate the whole past movement in its entirety. 

One good effect was, as Bishop Thirl wall has 
pointed out, that it gave rise to more valuable writings 
in theology than had been known for many years. 
The enormous extension of the Episcopate has been 
due more to the High Church than to any other 
body of men. The multiplication of churches, chapels, 
services, and clergy is mainly to be ascribed to them. 
The mind of the Church sympathized greatly with the 

that each is susceptible of a triple division. His enumeration is 
A, Low Church () normal type "Evangelical" () exaggerated type, 
Recondite (y) stagnant type (Low and Slow). B. High Church () 
normal type, " Anglican," (0) exaggerated type " Tractarian" (y) stag 
nant type " High and Dry." C. Broad Church () normal type (/3) 
exaggerated type, i.e., concealed infidels (y) stagnant type, C. (ft) is put 
interrogatively as only about a score, and the " Mountain Clergy," 
calculated at one thousand are unclassified, as if such distinctions 
were too refined for them. 



6 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

movement until the era of the perversions set in. 
It is now true that the High Church has become 
two houses, one division retaining its former nomen 
clature, while the other division, is known by its 
opponents and not disowned by itself, as the Ritua 
listic party. To this length proceeded that loyal 
Oxford School whose great and moderate tradition had 
been a steadfast adherence to the constitutional prin 
ciple of Church and King. To give a formal date to 
this party we may say that the modern Anglican 
system was inaugurated by an able knot of writers 
who met in 1833, and solemnly pledged themselves 
to revive Anglican principles, and for .this purpose 
commenced the famous " Tracts for the Times." A 
distinctive position was held by that famous founda 
tion, Oriel College, Oxford. 

The glory of Oriel has now, to a great degree, 
passed over to Balliol ; but Balliol will probably never 
have that famous position in the progress of thought 
which was once well held by Oriel. A little knot of men 
who cared to hold high debate in the college common- 
room, or lingered in converse or meditation in the 
leafy cloister of the Broad Walks, or the parks by the 
banks of the Cherwell and the Isis, have gone far 
silently to revolutionize the ecclesiastical character of 
our times. The system of throwing open the great 
college prizes to the highest merit in the University 
had renewed the life of Oxford, and as its reward Oriel 
had gained Pusey and Newman for its common-room, 
the recognized leaders of what is known by the narrow 
name of Puseyism,or the broader name of Anglo-Catho 
licism. The history of the Oxford movement has often 
been discussed, but it may here be as well to take a 



THE VICTORIAN ERA OP THE CHURCH. 7 

general view of it. It appears to have had, at the 
outset, rather a political than a religious cause. The 
ecclesiastical atmosphere had been calm since the 
time of the Nonjurors, and had hardly been disturbed 
by the great Wesleyan Revival. Indeed, it appeared 
doubtful in what direction the storm might burst that 
should next disturb the heavens. According to all 
the laws of storms, a cyclone must burst out in some 
direction shortly. The old troubles seemed asleep. 
Jacobite and Nonjuror were even as Trojan and 
Tyrian. The standing controversy in all clerical 
homes was concerning Arminianism and Calvinism, in 
which the disputants were often more Arminian than 
Arminius, more Calvinistic than Calvin. The Church 
of England that had once been decidedly Calvinistic 
became decidedly Arminian, and now contained both 
hemispheres of opinion. That obscure problem 
which emerged in philosophy long before it emerged 
in Christianity was one that, in those placid days was 
found to yield sufficient exercise to heart, intellect, 
and temper. Even young ladies would exchange 
essays and letters on this interesting subject, which 
would act as a gentle stimulant, or a gentle sedative. 
This unsettled, this insoluble problem was now to 
give way to one that should throw it, at least tempo 
rarily, into the shade. There were two sets of social 
circumstances especially which rendered agitation 
possible, after a vigorous and incessant fashion. These 
were the cheapness and the improvements that had 
been imported into travelling and the postal system. 
Railways and cheap postage, in many respects, altered 
the entire face of the country. The clergy were a 
class whose activity would be greatly heightened by 



8 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

these facilities ; they are now as remarkable for loco 
motion as they were once for being stationary. That 
kind of agitation which Lord Macaulay and other 
historians have described as occurring in the days of 
the Exclusion Bill and the Trial of the Seven Bishops 
was now rendered possible at any time, and almost 
on any occasion. Such a spectacle as that presented 
annually by a Church Congress would have been im 
possible under the old conditions. There was a kind 
of historical unity in the subject that now so promi 
nently emerged. It was a recommencement in a new 
form, and under new conditions, of the old conflicts of 
Elizabethan and Carolinian days. The High Church 
man exhibited many of the characteristics of Laud s 
Anglican and Charles s Cavalier, until he pushed his 
views to that extravagant extreme in which his faith 
and liberty were handed over alike to Ultramon- 
tanism. 

The first of these celebrated tracts appeared on the 
9th of September, 1833. It was the first movement 
of the ecclesiastical reaction against the predominant 
Liberalism that resulted from the wave of revolution 
which had passed over a great portion of Europe. The 
writer complained that the times were very evil, and 
yet that no one spoke against them. The first note 
sounded was that of Apostolical Succession. Dr. 
Newman tells us that he had been some years in 
Oxford before he was taught the doctrine by a friend 
as he walked with him once in the college garden ; 
and he heard it with impatience. Bishop Blomfield 
contemptuously remarked that Apostolical Succession 
was a notion that had gone out with the Nonjurors. 
As an historical probability, the argument in favour of 



THE VICTORIAN ERA OP THE CHURCH. 9 

Apostolical Successions appears to be exceedingly 
strong. If it cannot be demonstrated, it nevertheless 
appears to have powerful grounds for moral belief. 
The question nevertheless arises, as Macaulay acutely 
puts it, that supposing you have proved Apostolical 
Succession, what does Apostolical Succession prove? 
In this very first tract the hypothesis of Dises 
tablishment was strongly put forward. The language 
loses nothing of its force at the present day. " Should 
the government and the country so far forget their 
God as to cut off the Church, to deprive it of its 
temporal honours and substance, on what ? will you 
rest the claims to respect and attention which you 
make upon your flocks ? Hitherto you have been up 
held by your birth, your education, your wealth, your 
connection ; should these secular advantages cease, on 
what must Christ s ministers depend ?" The writer 
proceeds to argue that the Church is distinct from the 
State, anterior to the State, separable from the State, 
and is, in fact, strongly of the opinion that the separa 
tion would be a good thing. " Give us our own and 
let us go !" was their exclamation, echoed on all 
sides. Neither, for the last forty years, have they 
swerved from their principles ; and many a sound 
Dissenter who detests Prelacy as much as Popery 
has been astonished to find himself in strong politi 
cal alliance with men whose theology he detests, 
and whose office and work he vilipends. 

If we look at the great religious and intellectual 
movements of the era it can hardly be said that 
they have derived much impulse from our great 
dignitaries. In the earlier years the Oxford move 
ment predominated, and we have the great names of 



10 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

Newman, Pusey, and Keble, not to mention Ward, 
Maskell, Palmer, and many others fortisque fortisque 
Cloanthus. The influence of Mr. Keble has been, 
perhaps, the most salutary of our age. It is, perhaps, 
a singular way of putting it ; but there is hardly any 
campaign in history, with its expenditures of thousands 
of lives and millions of treasure all so rapidly absorbed 
in the sands of time, that has left such fruitful and 
enduring results. When all other forms of greatness 

o o 

pass away, literary greatness survives. To Mr. Keble 
the stateliest monument of our age is erected, greater 
than the Wellington Memorial, greater than the Prince 
Consort Memorial, the erection of one more stately 
College, to rank among the institutions of the Middle 
Ages. No peer or prelate ever offered Keble any pro 
motion ; he was never asked to be bishop, but he will 
be enshrined in grateful hearts long after the mob of 
dignitaries has been forgotten. Such prelates as 
Bishop Blom field and Bishop Philpotts were remark 
able men in their way, but their influence is pale and 
thin by the side of such a man as Mr. Keble. 

In spite of all disclaimers, it is evident that there 
was some kind of unconscious fusion and understand 
ing between the Tractarians and the Ultramontanes. 
Lord Houghton speaks of the extravagant expectations 
of the Catholics based upon the Oxford movement. 
He says of Cardinal Wiseman : " With some of the 
Tractarian party he had friendly relations, and he had 
been one of the first of the authorities of his Church 
to approach them with a sympathetic interest, and to 
attract them to what he believed the only safe conclu 
sion by a kindly appreciation of their doubts and 
difficulties." It is interesting to compare the simul- 



THE VICTORIAN ERA OF THE CHURCH. 11 

taneous movement which was going on in England 
with that in France, headed by such men as Monta- 
lembert and Lamennais. The movement for a revival of 
Catholic truth in France, had its point of resemblance 
with the Oxford movement, only England was in pos 
session of that Catholic truth which has well-nigh died 
out in France. Montalembert exaggerated the nature 
of the Anglican movement, and was greatly surprised 
that so few joined the Roman Church. It appears 
to us that Keble himself stayed in our Church 
simply because on the balance of probabilities it 
appeared to him that it might be safest to do so. 
Butler s argument was always Keble s favourite mode 
of reasoning, as we see in his memoirs and in some of 
his poems. In the fourth of his " Tracts for the 
Times," Keble argues that adhesion to the Apostolical 
Succession is the safest course. His question was not 
so much " Which is the best Church ?" as, " Shall I 
be safe where I am?" 

It is impossible almost for the gentlest nature to 
avoid some approach to the odiuiri theologicum. We 
find even Keble writing, " As things get more per 
plexing, I keep saying to myself it ought to make me 
more charitable, and then the next minute I go away 
and rail at those unhappy .... without mercy." 
We suspect we may supply the ellipse by the words 
** Protestants" or " Recordites." His learned and 
venerable biographer confesses that he feared for 
him the growth of a controversial spirit. Great as 
was Mr. Keble as a poet, most thinking men will 
agree with the Bishop of Bath and Wells in declining 
to guarantee his more private opinions. Although 
Keble stayed in the Church of England when so many 



12 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

of his friends went out, it would seem that he stayed 
by a very insecure tenure, that would be unsatisfying 
if this period becomes better known, as modern 
to most men. 

As time passes on, as the inner history biographical 
literature increases, we are able to see how the 
effect and character of the movement were watched 
and guaged by the best opinions of the time. 
For the popular prejudices arrayed against it we care 
little. It is one of the misfortunes of Protestantism 
that it has always been so easy to enlist a mob-cry in 
its favour. There were ignorant Protestants who 
actually chalked upon the walls, " No forgiveness of 
sins !" " No Virgin Mary !" exhibiting a Protestantism 
that was simply Atheism. There were, however, acute 
and religious minds that could do full justice to the 
good effected by the Tractarian movement, but at the 
same time could estimate and criticise its effects. 
Take, for instance, the language of Sara Coleridge, 
the daughter of that great genius and thinker, whose 
mantle had in no small degree fallen upon her. Her 
admiration for Newman is great, but she clearly indi 
cates what she considers party spirit and errors. 
Now, when I speak of leaguing together, of course 
I do not mean that Mr. Newman and his brother 
divines exact pledges from one another, like men on 
the hustings, but I do believe that there is a tacit but 
efficient general compact among them all. Like the 
Evangelicals whom they so often condemn on this very 
point, they use a characteristic phraseology; they 
have their badges and party marks; they lay great 
stress on trifling external matters ; they have a stock 
of arguments and topics in common. No sooner has 



THE VICTORIAN EEA OF THE CHURCH. 13 

Newman blown the Gospel blast, than it is repeated 
by Pusey, and Pusey is re-echoed from Leeds. Keble 
privately persuades Froude, Froude shouts the doc 
trines of Keble to Newman, and Newman publishes 
them as Froude s Remains. Now it seems to me 
that, under these circumstances, Truth has not quite 
a fair chance. " The truth is," she writes to her friend, 
Mr. Aubrey de Vere, " you may talk as you will about 
your highness, but you are not very high according to 
the Tract standard, which places height in this ex 
altation of the outward in reference to religion, with a 
proportionate depression of the acts of the intelligent 
will in the individual mind. Not but they would like 
reason well enough, if she declared in their favour, 
but they hate her as the angry king did the prophet, 
because he always prophesies against and not for 
them that is, against their priest-exalting system." 

Newman left the Church, left it with language of 
scathing eloquence and reproach, which might well 
cause the rulers of the Church to inquire carefully, 
what measure of justice his passionate lamentations 
may contain.* The Bishops, as a rule, have not been 
the originators of any great movement, and, histori- 

* " 0, mother of saints ! O, school of the wise ! nurse of the 
heroic ! of whom went forth, in whom have dwelt, memorable names 
of old, to spread the truth abroad, or to cherish and illustrate it at 
home ! 0, thou, from whom surrounding nations lit their lamps ! 0, 
Virgin of Israel ! wherefore dcst thou now sit on the ground and keep 
silence, like one of the foolish women who were without oil at the 
coming of the Bridegroom ? Where is now the ruler in Sion, and the 
doctor in the Temple, and the ascetic on Carmel, and the herald in the 
wilderness, and the preacher in the market-place? Where are thy 
" effectual fervent prayers, offered in secret, and thy alms and good 
works coming up as a memorial before God ? How is it, 0, once holy 
place, that the land mourneth, for the corn is wasted, the new wine 



]4 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

cally speaking, have looked coldly upon enthusiasm. 
If this has saved us, as indubitably it has, from some 
errors of fervid natures, it has also to a considerable 
degree chilled the warmth of religious life. 

O fj 

What may be called the Low Church or Evangelical 
party has gone through no such phases as the High 
Church party in its partial development first into 
Tractarianism and then into Ritualism, or as the old 
Liberal element, first into the Broad Church and then 
into Rationalism. As a party it first took its rise 
about the first year of the present century, perhaps 
the darkest and unhappiest year for England that the 
present century has witnessed, when a small number 
of clergymen, with still fewer laymen, met together to 
concert plans which should arouse the religious life of 
the country and scatter the Scriptures broad-cast upon 
the world. There never has been a period since 

is dried up, the oil languisheth. . . . Because joy is withered away 
from the sons of men ? Alas for the day ! . . . how do the beasts 
groan! the herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pas 
tures, yea, the flocks of sheep are made desolate. " Lebanon is ashamed 
and hewn down ; Shar"on is like a wilderness, and Bashan and Carmel 
shake off their fruits. 

" 0, my mother, whence is this unto thee, that thou has good 
things poured upon thee, and canst not keep them, and bearest children, 
yet darest not own them ? Why hast thou not the skill to own their 
services, nor the heart to rejoice in their love ? How is it that what 
ever is generous in purpose, and tender or deep in devotion, thy 
flower and thy promise, falls from thy bosom, and finds no home 
within thine arms? Who hath put this note upon thee, to have a 
miscarrying womb, and dry breasts, to be strange to thine own flesh, 
and thine eye cruel towards thy little ones. Thine own offspring, the 
fruit of thy womb, who love thee and would toil for thee, thou dost 
gaze upon with fear, as though a portent, or thou dost loathe as an 
offence ; at best thou dost but endure, as if they had no claim but on 
thy patience, self-possession and vigilance, to be rid of them as easily 
as thou raayest. Thou makest them stand all the day idle, as the 



THE VICTORIAN ERA OF THE CHURCH. 15 

England was England, since the time when the light of 
religion first permeated our islands, that an Evangeli 
cal element has been wanting. Just as the political 
Liberal party is not supposed to monopolize the real 
liberality of the country, so it is not to be supposed 
that the theological Evangelical absorbs and concen 
trates the primitive, Catholic Gospel. The word, 
however, serves as a useful label, however we may 
regret the necessity for such labels, to designate a 
body of men, an order of opinions, a method of work 
ing. It may be said of this school, that with some 
exceptions, ignoring or hardly laying due stress on the 
intellectual and esthetic sides of religion, it has 
addressed itself in the most direct and practical way 
to the hearts and consciences of men, dealt plainly and 
strongly with the temptations and difficulties of life, 
and urged upon the natural man the childlike recep 
tion of supernatural truth. 



very condition of thy bearing with them; or thou biddest them be 
gone, where they will be more welcome; or thou sellest them for 
nought to the stranger that passes by. And what wilt thou do in the 
end thereof? .... 

"And, 0, my brethren, O, kind and affectionate hearts, 0, loving 
friends, should you know anyone whose lot it has been, by writing or 
by word of mouth, in some degree to help you thus to act ; if he has 
ever told you what you knew about yourselves, or what you did not knoiv ; 
has read to you your wants or feelings, and comforted you by the very 
reading ; has made you feel that there was a higher life than this daily 
one, and a brighter- world than that you see ; or encouraged yvu, or sobered 
you, or opened a way to the inquiry, or soothed the perplexed; if what be 
be has said or done has ever made you take interest in him, and feel 
well inclined towards him ; remember such a one in time to come, 
though you hear him not, and pray for him, that in all thing he may 
know God s will, and at all times he may be ready to fulfil it." We 
have added Newman s striking personal reference because it has given 
an admirable description of the work of a good pastor or a good bishop. 



10 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

The chief position of this party is its Protes 
tantism, meaning by Protestantism not that mere 
negative and primitive idea which those who 
disclaim Protestantism love to attribute to it, but 
the great body of religious truth defined by the 
Reformers of the sixteenth century in articles and in 
formularies. For a long time the party had almost a 
missionary character ; it was regarded with suspicion 
and dislike by the easy churchmanship of the old 
school. It is touching and amusing to see how the 
grave old clique of Evangelicals congratulated one 
another when some Bishop could be got to be vice- 
president of some of their great societies, not reflect 
ing that the society did honour to the Bishop as much 
as the Bishop to the society. In time the Evangelical 
party could count a large quota of prelates among its 
members, it rose to influence and power, and at the 
present time is perhaps the largest element in the 
religious life of the nation. At the same time, men 
who are Evangelical in spirit are becoming increasingly 
slow to call themselves Evangelical in party. It 
might have been true at the commencement of the 
present century, but it has ceased to be true now, that 
men of this party are mainly the depositaries and 
teachers of Gospel truth. Whatever is simply party 
name and party spirit is bad, and increasingly eschewed 
by earnest men. Such men will rejoice if by any 
teachers, or in any way, Christ is preached. If the 
Low Church party has not undergone the violent and 
marked alterations of other religious bodies, it has 
manifested some silent and remarkable changes. 
While their principles have triumphed, their adherents 
have diminished. Those who would once have called 



THE VICTORIAN EEA OF THE CHURCH. 17 

themselves Evangelical, now call themselves Moderate 
Churchmen. Moreover, the whole level of the party, 
as a party, has materially risen. Just as the London 
of the present day is built upon London after London 
that has passed away, and is many feet higher than 
the primitive " city of ships" conquered by Julius ; so, 
while the whole nation has been rising by the purify 
ing, elevating influence of feeling, thought, music, 
literature, the Evangelical party has been rising in 
sensibly and simultaneously. Many things are now 
accepted almost without question which might have 
been abhorrent to such men as Cecil and Newton. 
Still the party has been ever true to its fundamental 
principle. It has always looked upon questions of 
ritual with a view to their relation to questions of 
dogma. Rites and ceremonies were the outworks 
and bastions of the heart of the citadel. In 
some remote districts there may be ignorant, 
prejudiced people who are frightened away from 
churches by preaching in the surplice, chanting the 
psalms, and by reading the Offertory sentences. But 
Evangelicals increasingly regard this as of little ac 
count, except, as through particular circumstances, 
they are related to questions of doctrines. Most of 
them would probably agree with Mr. Gladstone on 
Ritualism, if by Ritualism is simply meant the beauty 
and order of Church services. But they are adaman 
tine in resistance, when the whole significance of the 
rite depends on the doctrine which the rite is supposed 
to teach. 

From a variety of circumstances, just as Belgium 
was once the cock-pit of Europe, so the Church 
of England has come to be the great arena of 

VOL. i. c 



18 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

theological conflicts. It is indeed good for the Church 
and for the world that in the balance of forces there 
should be a party that stands firmly on the old lines of 
the Reformation. The lines of the great Evangelical 
party are not drawn so rigidly as they were aforetime. 
There is a growing disposition to look rather at what 
a man is and does than at any personal or party body. 
Many men, who in other days would fairly take their 
places in the ranks of the so-called Evangelicals, are 
intensely Evangelical in the best sense, while standing 
fairly aloof both from the name and spirit of party. It 
may be fairly urged on their behalf, as a body, that they 
not only contend earnestly for purity of faith, but that 
they are eminently zealous for good works. They may 
not have daily services, nor weekly nor daily celebra 
tions, but in the thorough organisation and working 
of parishes their work is admirable. In large parishes, 
where there are two or three daily services, the ten 
dency is that parochial house-to-house visitation gets 
overlooked. Their teaching uniformly is earnest, 
simple, practical. In the whole field of missions, 
whether home missions, continental missions, or mis 
sions to the heathen or the Jew, their activity and zeal 
are intense. According to their last Report, the Church 
Missionary Society raised more than a quarter of a 
million. The other great Missionary Society of the 
Church would not be far from half that amount. That 
list of good works of every kind, and designed to meet 
every sort of evil is immense. There is a percentage to 
be deducted for a certain amount of mistake and mis 
management. Sometimes interested cliques have 
sought to shape and direct a party management, and 
sometimes committees, in their zeal for cash receipts, 
have overlooked the weightier matters of justice and 



THE VICTORIAN EEA OF THE CHURCH. 19 

mercy ; but the list is truly imposing, of all the great 
objects that are aimed at, and in a considerable mea 
sure achieved by the great Evangelical party. Evan 
gelicalism is often sneered at, and Exeter Hall has 
passed into a by-word and a proverb, but any one who 
will honestly endeavour clearly to understand the one, 
and accurately to judge the results associated with the 
other, will obtain a view of the greatest machinery and 
the highest results known in the Church. 

In contrasting these men with " Broad" and " High," 
we come to a different class of mind and to a different 
order of activities. They have not that poetic heart, 
those deep gifts of the elevated imagination, the pierc 
ing intellect that characterise such men as Keble and 
Newman. It will probably be argued that, as a rule, 
they have scarcely possessed the culture, refinement, 
breadth that have characterised some of the men who 
have been conveniently described as Broad Church 
men. But in the intellectual gifts of oratory they 
have probably left Broad Church and High Church 
equally behind, although considerable attempts have 
been made at the present day to restore the balance. 
Exeter Hall is almost a phrase of contempt, and St. 
James s Hall is fast becoming a synonym with many. 
Still some of the best-spoken eloquence of the age has 
been heard at Exeter Hall. Lord Macaulay spoke of 
" Exeter Hall setting up its bray," which was very 
ungracious of Lord Macaulay, as his first London ex 
periment in oratory was to set up a bray of his own 
on the Slavery question. The old giants of the Strand 
are well-nigh extinct, and the new giants coming on 
are by no means so gigantic. The time when Exeter 
Hall was at its palmiest was when such men as Stowell 

c 2 



20 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

and McNeile poured forth a flood of eloquence, which 
is now a tradition with their followers. The Hall 
would be besieged for hours before the business of the 
societies began, and those who attended simply as an 
intellectual enjoyment, and desiring to understand the 
possibilities of elocution, admitted that the rapt out 
pouring of oratory surpassed the most sanguine ex 
pectations. We have astonished some of our greatest 
critics in oratory by pointing to some of the noblest 
passages that may be found in the eloquence of Low 
Church clergymen. In every direction earnest Evan 
gelical preaching was characterised by a force and 
directness that had little prevailed in other instances. 
Henry Melvill was, after the two eminent names we 
have given, the third great orator of the Evangelical 
school, although, unlike the others, he had a constitu 
tional avoidance of platform speaking, and concentrated 
his great powers in sermon-making. Vigorous ex 
hortation was the characteristic of this school, and it 
was seconded generally by vigorous spiritual life. It 
was popularly said that their energies were directed 
too much to the heathen abroad, and that they did 
very little for the heathen at home. This is, however, 
altogether a popular fallacy. It is found by experience 
that the people who do nothing for work abroad are 
those who do nothing for the heathen at home. It is 
the impulse of a great idea, such as the Evangelisation 
of the whole world, that seems to lift people out of the 
ordinary groove of life, and elicits, almost more than 
any other impulse, the dormant energies and fervour 
of a Church. 

For a long time the High Church appeared to have 
abdicated any great pulpit efforts. The institution 



THE VICTOEIAN ERA OF THE CHURCH. 21 

seemed to have been somewhat discredited among 
its leaders. The idea was that a sermon should be 
made brief, dry, essaical, moral or mystical. " You 
must not preach about doctrine," said an elder in the 
ministry to a younger brother ; " you should give us 
a nice little essay about patience or something of that 
sort." Dr. Pusey s sermons often resembled the style 
of the more mystical portions of St. Augustine, though 
with nothing of that impressive liveliness and eloquence 
that belonged to St. Augustine himself. They seemed 
to set the fashion all through the country. Young 
curates of the Tractarian type adhered to one 
quarter of an hour, and were as " churchy" in their 
style as might be. The idea was to avoid everything . 
that looked like popular preaching, and we are bound 
to say that the idea was extremely well carried out. 
Of recent years, however, a change came over the 
spirit of the dream. Both the High and the Broad 
Church have become alive to the intense importance 
of preaching, and have cultivated it with extreme 
assiduity. The orators in the High Church party pro 
bably now take the van in this direction.* We have 

* Indeed the High Church preachers now combine with their dis 
tinctive doctrine some of the elements that have made preaching popular 
among the Wesleyans, and even among the Banters. The old plan of 
crying in the pulpit is now almost obsolete. We have heard of one 
gentleman who by dexterously turning off the gas at an exciting portion 
of his sermon contrived to make a sensation. Another, by gently 
fainting away in the course of his remarks, has earned a very high 
degree of temporary success. The modern system of Missions gives an 
opportunity of exhibiting the most varied resources and the highest 
eloquence of the party. The eccentricities of oratory, which historically 
have wrought so much, have been used. " He loves you, my pretty 
dear, He loves you," coming from the venerable lips of the late Mr. 
Aitkin was doubtless a touch of nature that went at once to the hearts 
of a youthful auditory. Those who are acquainted with the Mission 



22 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

by universal consent no more eloquent preacher than 
the avowed High Churchman. 

This preaching, which is the great function of the 
working Church, that once in breadth and energy was 
well-nigh monopolised by the Evangelicals, has now 
been vehemently taken up both by the High Church 
man and the Ritualist, the Left and the Mountain. In 
the same way the Evangelical party led to the deve 
lopment and improvement in Hymnology ; the High 
Church long contended for Sternhold and Hopkins, and 
is now parallel with, if it has not outstripped, the other 
side. The main burden of Missions for many years 
lay on the Evangelicals, but now the great High Church 
Society, resuscitated into vigorous life, bears a noble 
rivalry, in which it is not left so very far behind. 
Similarly when any new cause is brought before the 
public, its merits are earliest appreciated by the vigour 
and zeal of the Low Church. The " High" is some 
what languid and suspicious at first, but if the cause 
is good it is generally taken up, though probably under 
a new name and different organisation. 

In speaking of the Broad Church, there was one lay 
influence which was of paramount importance. We 
need hardly say that this was Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 
Some persons go so far as, not without good grounds, 
to speak of " the great Coleridge era." How many, 
both lay and cleric, trace up their religious and intel 
lectual ancestry to him ? He was the leading inter 
preter between the mind of England and the mind of 
Germany. From time to time we meet men with 

work are aware that there is now a sensational style of pulpit eloquence 
within the Church of England, compared with which all former styles 
are tame and old-fashioned. 



THE VICTORIAN EEA OF THE CHURCH. 23 

whom it is the happiest recollection that they attended 
now and then one of Coleridge s soirees, that they were 
privileged to listen to him in his chamber at High- 
gate, or sometimes listened in London dining-rooms 
to what seemed to the uninitiated unintelligible and 
interminable jargon. A small London surgeon gave 
him the effectual aid and countenance which peer and 
millionaire might have been immortalised by bestow 
ing. One of the most enlightened of his disciples 
was Julius Hare, the frankest and ablest of the ex 
ponents of the origines of the so-called Broad Church. 
It is remarkable that with Bunsen and Hare, as with 
Luther before them, it was the actual personal know 
ledge of Rome which made them revolt from Romanism. 
By far among the most eminent men who laid the 
foundation of what may be called Liberal Theology 
in England were Dr. Arnold and Archdeacon Hare. 
The influence of Coleridge was chiefly felt at Cam 
bridge, and it is not too much to say that Coleridge 
acted on the mind of Cambridge much as Oriel acted 
on the mind of Oxford. Hare s description of Cole 
ridge might be paralleled with the description which 
Alcibiades gives of the eloquence of Socrates : "At the 
sweet sound of that musical voice men seemed to feel 
their souls teem and burst as beneath the breath of 
Spring, while the life-giving words of the poet-philoso 
pher flowed over them." Hare dedicated his great work, 
which has been a help, consolation, and turning-point 
in many lives, " to the honoured memory of Samuel 
Taylor Coleridge, who, through dark and winding 
paths of speculation, was led to the light, in order 
that others, by his guidance, might reach that light 
without passing through the darkness," and described 



24 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

himself as one of the many pupils who had, by his 
writings, been helped to discern the sacred concord 
and unity of human and divine truth. Side by side 
with Coleridge he placed the benign influence of Wil 
liam Wordsworth, who, while many of our contem 
porary stars are paling, is probably now only on the 
threshold of the vast influence he will wield over the 
better English mind. 

If we take Hare and Arnold as the leading repre 
sentatives of the Broad Church school, it is certainly 
to be said that these men stand out in marked contra 
distinction to many of those who claim to be his fol 
lowers. Arnold was a man of singularly earnest, fair- 
minded, and Catholic nature ; he was saturated with 
the literature of Germany, but his Germanism is in 
reality quite free from the taint that might alarm the 
orthodox. He was learned, he was eloquent, and the 
intensity of his hatred of moral evil was a central 
flame to give heat and light to those around him. 
Canon Liddon thinks that the Latitudinarianism of 
Arnold might have progressed further, and speaks of 
* the germs of that riper unbelief from which the gifted 
Head-Master of Rugby was saved by an early death. 
But a great leader of the Evangelical party, Edward 
Bickersteth, takes a kinder, milder view : " He did not 
wax worse and worse, bat better and better, and his 
last days were his best days." The Broad Church 
has produced many eminent men, but its latest and 
most extreme phase has shown a party disloyal to the 
Church of England, and that which is infinitely greater 
the Church of Christ. 

I would venture, indeed, to take the life of 
Julius Hare as one of an eminently typical and 



THE VICTORIAN ERA OF THE CHURCH. 25 

representative character, one that was Catholic with 
out being Ultramontane, Broad without degenerating 
into Latitudinarianism. His life, whether in col 
lege-rooms or in the retirement of his Sussex rec 
tory, was emphatically the life of the student and the 
thinker, but of late years quite a broad flare of light has 
been thrown upon his quiet oratory.* He was the last 
Hare of Hurstmonceaux, of that ancient family who had 
for centuries inhabited the ancient place whose ivied 
ruins are regularly visited by tourists from Brighton 
and St. Leonard s. Many men s writings are greater 
than themselves, but Hare was greater than his writings. 
Above all, in these heated days of controversy, his 
example had an ethical and religious value of its own. 
It was impossible to move Hare from his attitude of 
perfect fairness and Catholicity. The dwelling-house 
of his soul had each window unbarred and free, and 
was everywhere swept by the clear sunlight and the 
living breeze. By the structure of his intellectual and 
moral nature he seemed to go a certain way with each 
party, and to be coloured by its influence. But there 
was no place for vulgar party in his mind. When he 
appears to be taking the more advanced Liberal side, 
he presently falls back on the most constitutional lines 
of orthodoxy. In his teaching he is alike most 
Catholic, most Evangelical. He had the most earnest 
sympathies with such a man as Henry Venn Elliott of 
Brighton, with such men as his own kinsman, Arthur 
Stanley. The contemporary who most perpetuated 
the influence of Coleridge, and his own tastes and 

* By Dean Stanley ("Quarterly Eeview," July, 18C8); Professor 
Pluraptre (Memoir prefixed to " Guesses at Truth) ; Mr. Augustus 
J. C. Hare (" Memoir of a Quiet Life.") 



26 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

feelings was Bishop Thirlwall, while through his curate 
Sterling he had alliance, though he would have little 
sympathy with the most advanced school of Liberal 
theology. 

Great indeed was the shock when it became known 
to him that Archdeacon Manning was about to go over 
to the Church of Rome. It seemed to help to shatter 
his failing health. Thus he wrote to his clergy, and 
some such words have been often sorrowfully re 
echoed on similar occasions, how " we have to 
mourn over the defection and desertion of one 
whom we have long been accustomed to honour, 
to reverence, and to love of one who, for the last 
ten years, has taken a leading part in every measure 
adopted for the good of the diocese ; of one to whose 
eloquence we have so often listened with delight, 
sanctified by the holy purposes that eloquence was ever 
used to promote. I can only wonder at the inscrutable 
dispensation by which such a man has been allowed to 
fall under so withering, soul-deadening a spell." A 
few years afterwards he passed away. With eyes 
raised to Heaven, and with a look of indescribable 
brightness, his last words were " Upwards, upwards !" 
He verified one of his own guesses, guesses that so 
often guessed right. " Children always turn to the 
light. Oh that grown-up men would do likewise !" 

Then there are words worth recording of that great 
and good man, Julius Hare, to his coadjutor, Arch 
deacon Manning, which have since acquired an un 
happy significance. " Unity, the unity of the Church, 
is of all things the dearest to your heart, at least only 
subordinate to, or rather co-ordinate with truth, with 
out which you well know all unity must be fallacious. 



THE VICTORIAN ERA OF THE CHURCH. 27 

If I may, without presumption, apply words which 
were spoken of wiser and holier men, may the survivor 
of us be enabled to say, as Archbishop Bramhall said 
of himself and Usher, who in like manner differed from 
him on sundry points of opinion and feeling : I 
praise God we were like two candles in the Levitical 
temple, looking one toward another, and both toward 
the stem. We had no contention among us, but who 
should hate contention most, and pursue the peace of 
the Church with swiftest paces. 

In John Frederick Denison Maurice we had the 
pupil of Coleridge, the ally of Julius Hare, a leader 
of Liberalism, and one of the most kindly and accom 
plished of English thinkers. Mr. Maurice was both a 
philosopher and a theologian, and in an unusual degree 
he gave a philosophical colouring to his theology, and 
a theological tone to his philosophy. He was in his 
youth a member of that remarkable society of young 
men at Cambridge, known as the " Apostles," who 
have encouraged high thinking in England, perhaps 
to a higher degree than any similar association that 
can be named. He had been litterateur, novelist, 
scholar, but, most of all, he was a philosopher. Mr. 
Maurice had also family affinities with some of the 
most remarkable writers of the day. He had not that 
patristic learning or familiarity with German exegesis 
that enabled such men as Trench and Alford so pro 
minently to set their mark on the clerical mind ; but 
Mr. Maurice seems to have been superior to both these 
eminent men in philosophical culture and in breadth 
of intellect. His distinctive principles were only few, 
but he surveyed the whole world of thought in their 
illustration, and he was sometimes almost lost in the 



28 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

illimitable fields over which he wandered. His mind 
was essentially of the Socratic cast ; Plato-like, he 
would delight in the dialogues of Search and Negation ; 
and the intellectual process of inquiry was as welcome 
as any of its results. He was one of those who were 
brought within the living influence of Coleridge, and 
in a transmuted form transmitted the great philoso 
pher s esoteric teaching to a new public. Mr. Maurice 
had an extraordinary power of concentrating abstract 
thought on contemporary history. We have heard 
him spoken of, in the 48 times, as the Christian 
Socialist, and be would not then have disdained the 
title of Communist, if permitted to give his own defi 
nition of the term. His best sympathies, his best 
energies were with working men, nor would he greatly 
care for speculations which were untranslatable into 
action. His nature vibrated to every wave of current 
history, as he was consumed by the love of Truth and 
Freedom. Mr. Maurice gathered round him a band 
of earnest and attached disciples. His friends often 
loved him with a passionate enthusiasm, and looked 
upon " the Prophet" as an ancient school of Prophets 
would look on the mighty Prophet of that time. The 
preachership of Lincoln s Inn, one of the great prizes 
of the Church, was at one time occupied by a rhetorical 
nonentity, while the humbler post of chaplain belonged 
to the ardent philosopher who often drew together 
the best minds of London. How many of us there 
are who recollect those afternoons of long ago, how 
we saw the light through the illuminated windows, 
touching, as with a glory, the noble face and brow of 
the preacher ; we used to hang on his rich tremulous 



THE VICTORIAN ERA OF THE CHURCH. 29 

eloquent accents, which has left on so many an in 
effaceable impression. 

Mr. Maurice was in those days the centre and focus 
of wide spiritual and intellectual interests. His con 
flict with Principal Jelf, on the import of the word 
eternal, lost him his chair at King s College, but 
perhaps deepened and extended his popularity. Never 
theless, when the First Commissioner of Works 
transferred him to Vere Chapel, he did not seem to 
retain the same hold on a more mixed assemblage which 
he did on the more select audiences of Lincoln s Inn. 
It is a comment on the popular distaste for high 
thinking, that one Summer morning, when we were 
there, about thirteen people were counted fast asleep. 
Subsequently Mr. Maurice surrendered this position, 
and fixed his abode at Cambridge. In early life he 
had been a Cambridge man, but had migrated to 
Oxford, partly from circumstances of his history, and 
partly, perhaps, because he had like tastes and 
sympathies with the Oxford course and the corre 
sponding type of mind. His first University, however, 
claimed her alumnus, and he reflected immense lustre 
on the philosophical chair which he was called to fill, 
in which he succeeded perhaps a sounder thinker, the 
late Professor Grote, and is succeeded by a writer so 
clear and sincere as Mr. Birks. 

Mr. Maurice himself was a writer of the chiaro 
scuro order. In fact, he had two styles : one 
eminently transparent, the other involved and obscure. 
When he had to present philosophy in historical forms, 
he was remarkable for clearness and precision. His 
four volumes on the " History of Philosophy," are 
perhaps his most useful and permanent writings. 



30 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

On philosophic-religious subjects, invested with some 
degree of mysticism, some degree of metaphysics, it 
was often extremely hard to detect his real point of 
view. "We have gone through some of his writings, 
pencil in hand, and could only very rarely, as lighting 
upon a definite opinion, underline a passage or turn 
down a page. The thought was often so vague and 
subtle as to elude fixity, and there are various interest 
ing subjects on which we should be glad to be assured 
what Mr. Maurice s real opinions were. The intellect 
was splendid and lucid, but perhaps not without an 
alloy of what was crotchety. We confess that for 
ourselves obscurity of style generally augurs obscurity 
of thought. 

Mr. Maurice s wonderful influence was to a great 
extent a personal influence; none of his writings have 
the simplicity, charm, and tenderness of his conversa 
tion. The eagerness with which he sought to promote 
practical, intelligible ends was fully understood by the 
working classes, who might be incompetent to follow 
the drift of his teaching. He threw himself with 
peculiar energy into the cause of woman s education. 
In the progress of our days, his efforts to procure the 
highest intellectual training for woman will always be 
gratefully recollected. Ho also gave some of his best 
teaching to working men s colleges, calling all the 
philosophy of history to throw light on the political 
question which might affect their condition and pro 
spects. He was one of those public men assuredly 
not too many who threw all their wealth of sym 
pathy and intellect into the side of those who were 
overweighted in the conflicts of life. 



THE VICTORIAN ERA OF THE CHURCH. 31 

As the High Church has partly passed into 
Ritualism, so the Broad Church has in part lapsed 
into Rationalism. There has been a considerable 
advance among the " Liberals" from the views even 
of Mr. Maurice, and of Robertson, of Brighton. 
Mr. Froude says, " the clergyman of the nineteenth 
century subscribes to the thirty-nine Articles with a 
smile as might have been worn by Samson when his 
Philistine mistress bound his arms with the cords 
and withes." This may have been true of that dis 
tinguished historian when he took Deacon s orders, 
and of a small body of other clergy ; but it is certainly 
not true of the mass of the English clergy. There 
are some who may be said to possess revolutionary 
views in theology ; but their small though intellectual 
and energetic party seem constantly to be under 
going a process of elimination. Now that Archbishop 
Tait has carried his proposals for cheap and speedy 
justice in cases of errors of ritual, it might be plausibly 
urged that there should be some extension of it 
for the purpose of putting down errors in dogma. 
There is a large amount of passive unbelief outside 
the Church, which is not unrepresented within the 
limits of the Church itself. Theological philosophy, 
or rather anti-theological philosophy is a subject that 
turns up every now and then. The Times headed a 
review some time ago of a publication of the 
Duke of Somerset s, with the title " Fashionable 
Scepticism." Every now and then scepticism becomes 
exceedingly fashionable, especially when demi-semi- 
sceptical books are issued by a bishop, or a work 
directly negativing Christianity, by a duke ; Lord 



32 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

Russell too is ready to propose a Reform Bill for 
theology, and might be ready to do as much for the 
heavenly bodies themselves. Such a work as 
" Essays and Reviews," or " Ecce Homo" has an 
immense run; the circulation rivals that of the last 
sensational novel ; a man is thought a barbarian if 
he has not read it ; edition after edition is issued 
with startling rapidity. Then the rage dies off as 
suddenly as it came on ; the copies lie as lumber on 
the shelves ; they are cheapened to the last degree, 
they are exported, they are burnt up as manure. In 
the meantime the steady sale of sound religious 
works is never diminished, and more publications are 
issued in theology than in any other department of 
literature. Now what are we to say to books of 
this class, which are to administer the coup de grace to 
Christianity, as Lord Bolingbroke and various other 
persons of quality or no quality have attempted to 
do in other days. It is simply an error, constantly 
refuted by facts, that theology is going down, and 
must be rejected by all persons of sense and educa 
tion. Strangely enough this opinion seems sometimes 
to be held within the clerical order itself. A great 
deal of this infidelity both in the Church and the world 
is more apparent than real. There are a few earnest, 
intelligent unbelievers, but their words are echoed by 
those who hardly understand them, by, those who 
seek a cheap reputation for earnestness and ability, 
through trading on the efforts of earnest and abler men. 
We question if many of those who parade at second 
hand the conclusions of Dr. Darwin and Mr. Huxley, 
could pass the most elementary paper examinations on 
what those conclusions really are, or the scientific 



THE VICTORIAN ERA OF THE CHURCH. 66 

evidences on which they are based. Still in the 
fashionable scepticism of these times, there are those 
of the clergy who have a full share. There is one 
clerical acquaintance who revives the heresy of 
Hymenseas and Philetus in saying that the Resurrec 
tion is passed already, and another who places Isaiah 
on a parallel with Merlin. There are those whose 
opinions may be called Voyseyite though they have 
never been ejected like Mr. Voysey. These individuals 
have not been prosecuted, are unlikely to be pro 
secuted, had better not be prosecuted. But such men 
have no moral or legal standpoint in the Church. 
The number of them is, we have every reason to 
believe, extremely small. Even some of these may 
be accredited with motives which, however mistaken, 
are different from the coarse, base motives of merely 
personal aims. Some may imagine that they are 
serving great political ends, by indicating the extreme 
limits of freedom within the church. No one who is 
acquainted with some clerical societies, and with the 
tone of conversation in some circles can be doubtful 
of the considerable infidelity that exists, in variously 
modified forms, in ordinary society, not altogether ex 
cluding the clerical. These may of course go altogether 
beyond the limits of the devout Liberal clergy. 

These Liberal clergy, to a considerable degree, 
abdicate the formal notion of a sermon. Often there 
is no text. One of them announces, for instance, 
the wreck of the Northfleet for his subject, and 
steps at once in medias res ; another, who might be 
called the Coryphaeus of this set, gives a set of lec 
tures on English poets, such as Blake, the child-man, 
or discusses Shelley or Byron. Another " convert, 

VOL. I. D 



34 OCR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

pervert, and revert" discourses concerning Prince 
Bismarck. Indeed, as we glance down the columns 
of the Times that advertises the sustenance of the 
Sunday, we are tempted to suppose that the religious 
mind of London is thoroughly athirst for novelties of 
religion, and expects that the subjects of the pulpit 
should be placed on the same level with those of the 
lecture-room and the discussion forum. We are re 
called, however, to the right bearings of the case 
when we recollect the hundreds of churches with 
overflowing congregations, where the clergy do not 
rack their brains for sensational topics, and their 
flocks find enduring sustenance in the word of Life. 
We have turned away from St. George s Hall, nearly 
empty, where the men of science have been endea 
vouring to feed the people with science, to some 
larger and well-thronged edifice, where the attempt 
has been " to preach simple Christ to simple man." 
Either the merely sensational or the merely scientific 
element is altogether out of place in the pulpit. 
That clergyman is more or less discredited who 
obviously desires to turn his church into what is 
familiarly known as " a preaching shop." It is in 
variably recognised that " praying s the end of preach 
ing." Religion died out in France amid a blaze of 
popular preaching, and the servant of Christ, however 
the people may clamour for stones, will seek to give 
them bread. As a rule we find amid our great digni 
taries points of stability that withstand the unset- 
tledness of the times, but we have at least one or 
two of them whose discourses always seem to wear 
the ad populum air, or who seem to desire to make 
themselves tribunes of the people. 



THE VICTORIAN ERA OP THE CHURCH. 35 

The latest and most remarkable of Ecclesiastical de 
velopments is that of Ritualism. What is very remark 
able in the history of Ritualism is its sudden growth- 
The causes and history of the phenomenon have never 
yet been explored and explained. All at once, in more 
than a hundred churches, there suddenly appeared 
coloured vestments ; candles lighted during the Com 
munion in the morning, and during the Magnificat in 
the afternoon ; a new liturgy interpolated into that 
established bylaw; prostration, genuflexion, elevations 
never before seen ; the transformation of the worship 
of the Church of England into that of the Church of 
Rome so exact as to deceive Roman Catholics them 
selves in the momentary belief that they were in their 
own places of worship. We might add that some of 
the cultivated Hindoos now in London might readily 
believe that they were in a Buddhist Temple. 

When we wish to define and describe this latest de 
velopment of our times we go to the language of one 
of the most thoughtful of our prelates. 

" Ritualism," says Bishop Ellicott, " was probably at 
first only sensational and aesthetic. It arose, appa 
rently, from more than one imperfectly-defined source, 
but perhaps mainly from a desire to do outward honour 
and reverence to Almighty God in our services, and 
to raise public prayer and praise into worship and de 
votion. At first it met with but little direct sympathy. 
The elder and leading members of the High Church 
party not only gave it no encouragement, but even to 
some extent discountenanced it. If my memory serves 
me rightly, a dignitary of the Church, who is now one 
of the most enthusiastic supporters of it, wrote 

D 2 



36 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

publicly, at the time I am alluding to, in anything but 
terms of approval. Definite doctrine, however, in 
reference to the Lord s presence in the Holy Eucharist, 
was soon associated with the outward and aesthetic ; 
and then, gradually, many respected names in the 
Church connected with the Oxford school, directly or 
by sympathies, either joined the movement or gave it 
their tacit support. Combined with this influence, 
arising from Eucharistic teaching, there was and had 
silently existed for some little time in the Church a 
deep desire for union, as far as possible, with the 
sundered Churches of the East and the West, and with 
it a natural readiness to conform more and more with 
usages which were common to these Churches, and to 
exhibit the inward desire by outward manifestation. 
This I ventured to put forward in a sermon preached, 
and which I have lived to see, sadly verified in many 
particulars. There was one sentence which perhaps 
I may be excused for reproducing, as it illustrates 
seriously enough the present aspects of the movement. 
I stated my persuasion that there was then develop 
ing a clear desire to supplement the Prayer-book, to 
rehabilitate the principles of the Reformation, and to 
modify to some extent that ever-recurrent reference to 
the personal and subjective faith of the individual 
Christian, which was the principle that our forefathers 
in Christ most solemnly vindicated for us, which they 
illustrated by their lives and their teaching, and which 
they sealed with their blood. Such was what then 
seemed to be the future of Ritualism a future which 
the recent petition to Convocation in favour of strange 
supplements to the Prayer-book and of licensed con 
fessors shows to have already come, and to be fast 



THE VICTORIAN ERA OP THE CHURCH. 37 

passing into still more serious developments. The 
present, indeed, involves more than the desire merely 
to rehabilitate the principles of the Reformation. The 
desire now is plainly to reverse them. Associations 
have been silently formed, and combinations fostered. 
What is, or rather has been called, the Ritualistic 
movement, has now passed into a distinctly counter- 
Reformation movement, and will, whenever sufficiently 
sustained by numbers, and perfected in organiza 
tion, reveal its ultimate aims with clearness and pre 
cision." 

We have taken the opinion of a Bishop concerning 
Ritualists. It will be interesting to compare the 
opinions of Ritualists about bishops. " The chief execu 
tive officers of the Establishment have either forfeited, 
or fail to secure, the confidence of those over whom, 
without any expressed choice being permitted, they 
are placed. This fact is sorrowfully owned by those 
who believe in the office, but not in the person, of a 
bishop ; is avowed by those who think highly of the 
person and little of the office ; is perceived by those 
who hold neither in estimation. Catholics, Low 
Churchmen, and Erastians agree in this, that as 
bishops of the Church, the chief executive officers of 
the Establishment have lost their influence with those 
immediately in subordination to them. Such loss is 
real. In whatever way the fact may be accounted for 
by those who either possess an interest in standing 
well with bishops in general, or whose views and line 
of action accord with the wishes and opinions of some 
particular bishop, and however much it may seem be 
coming in an episcopal charge to deny the situation, or 
admitting its truth to explain it away yet it is a fact 



38 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

that an almost impassable gulf severs the episcopate 
from those whom it terms the inferior clergy." Many 
hard things have been said against bishops in the pre 
sent age, but none harder and of tener than by the Ritu 
alistic clergy, who combine a belief in the divine right 
of bishops with a very human practice of scolding 
them. It has so happened that the famous legal de 
cision, which was supposed to rule questions of Ritual, 
was given in an undefended case, and is understood to 
have been seriously impugned by great lawyers. This 
has prevented the law from being binding on the 
consciences of many, and the result was a practical 
insubordination to bishops, which caused them to fly 
to Parliament for power to put the laws into execution. 
A certain violence often has been characteristic of the 
school that contains so many high-minded, able, and 
earnest men. Exaggerated feeling and language are 
unfortunately characteristic of this school. One writer 
tells people " that documents, hidden from the public 
eye for centuries in the archives of London, Venice, 
and Simancas are now rapidly being printed, and every 
fresh find establishes more clearly the utter scoun- 
drelism of the Reformers." To such language only 
a frank, full denial can be given ; so far as these docu 
ments are made known to us in the passages of such 
writers as Mr. Fronde and Mr. Motley, the accusation 
is utterly unsubstantiated. It reminds us of the cruel 
slander against his missionary brethren made by the 
same writer. Of course, we are not surprised to hear 
that Edward the Sixth was a " tiger cub," and that 
Cranmer was arrested in his wicked career by Divine 
vengeance, and that he will not speak of the depths of 
infamy into which he descended. This intrusion of 



THE VICTORIAN ERA OP THE CHURCH. 39 

passion and controversy into the domain of history is 
much to be deplored.* 

On the controversial history of these days we do 
not dwell. We deal with such controversies on the 
literary and historical, and not on the polemical side. 
All through the reign there have been a series of con 
troversies the Tractarian controversy, the Hampden 
controversy, the Gorham controversy, the " Essays 
and Reviews" controversy, the Colenso controversy, 
the Bennett Judgment controversy, the Purchas Judg 
ment controversy. Just as all London omnibuses are 
known by the names of public-houses those public- 
houses whose evil architecture caused Mr. Euskin to 
leave Denmark Hill in despair so the progress of 
Church is defined from stage to stage by those bitter 
waters of strife. We may now sum up the general 
results of all these controversies, and say that, on the 
one hand, the Church of England is considerably 
widened and liberalised, and that, on the other hand, 
her limits have been accurately defined. It has been 
well said that our Church should have all the compre 
hension, all the elasticity which, in the language of the 
Ordination service, " the will of our Lord Jesus Christ 
and the order of this realm" will permit. But there 
has always been an optimist view that all these con 
troversies ended in the happiest way possible, that 

* A clergymen of this party was walking with a friend through a 
great manufacturing town. As they passed a large and ugly building, 
"How frightful," said his friend, "that St. Matthew s Church is!" 
" Church !" exclaimed the other, " is it a church ? I always took it/ for 
a Dissenting chapel, and treated it as such. I hope I may be par 
doned." " What do you mean P" inquired his friend l>y treating it as 
such T "Why," replied the first, "whenever I pass a Dissenting 
chapel I cross myself, spit upon the ground, and say get thee behind me, 
Satan. This gentleman subsequently joined the Church of Home. 



40 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

Bishop Pbillpots came to understand and like Mr. 
Gorham, and that the late Bishop of Salisbury, on the 
whole, preferred Mr. Wilson to most men. The most 
perfect kindness and courtesy may exist, and the 
culture of such a disposition is always to be sedulously 
attended to, side by side with a deep-rooted moral 
disapprobation. Despite occasional exceptions, such 
as we have indicated, it is increasingly felt that undue 
differences of opinion should never be met with the 
language that ought to be reserved for the condemna 
tion of moral evil. In the present day controversial 
weapons are of keener temper and should be used 
courteously and sparingly. We echo the aspiration of 
a German divine that as the Catholic Church has 
passed, as it were, through the Petrineand Pauline 
stage, so we may be entering a Johanna3an period of 
comprehension and love. 

It will be seen from this rapid survey of our great 
ecclesiastical parties that many of the real leaders of 
the Church are those men who have never been dig 
nified by stall or mitre. Looking at the past records 
of Episcopacy, it is to be seen that often the merely 
" safe men" of the Church have been promoted, while 
such men as Keble and Maurice have been overlooked. 
This is but a sample of what constantly happens 
throughout the Church. Laudatur et alget describes 
the lot of many of her most learned and meritorious 
sons. Constantly we find men, through birth, or con 
nexion, or accident preferred to rich preferments, 
though destitute of ability, learning, and spiritual 
earnestness, while saints and scholars have been 
allowed to become grey-haired on country charges, 
and have been held in contempt by a world " of whom 
it was not worthy." 



THE VICTORIAN ERA OP THE CHURCH. 41 

Our bishops and deans might, in the exercise of 
their patronage have sufficed to sweep away such a 
reproach, but they have not done so. The crying 
necessity of our times is a sweeping Ecclesiastical Re 
form Bill, and unless reform is adopted we shall have 
Revolution or Destruction. We honestly believe that 
episcopal and cathedral patronage has been adminis 
tered at least as well as any other kind of patronage 
although there is at times a tacit exchange of good 
offices between episcopal and court appointments 
better probably than that of the Lord Chancellor or 
the Prime Minister. But this has not been from any 
plan or principle, but from sheer accident or the excel 
lence of individual character. Private patronage may 
present insoluble difficulties, but public patronage, the 
patronage of Government and certain corporate bodies, 
might be settled, mutatis mutandis, in a mode analo 
gous to that in which the civil patronage of the 
country is administered. The question arises respect 
ing our prelates, Quis custodiet ipsos custodes. The 
most pressing reforms are those which relate to the 
Episcopal bench itself, and refers mainly to the Epis 
copate and the subdivision of dioceses. 

The great necessity is the christianising, purifying, 
elevating the masses of the people. The union be 
tween Church and State exists, not that the Church 
may be political, but that the State should be religious. 
If Episcopacy be really for the good of the Church and 
land, it is a primal necessity that it should exist in its 
simplest, most vital, most energising shape. Episco 
pacy is not a direct ordinance of the scripture of truth. 
It is, however, the outcome of apostolic, or at least 
of subapostolic times. In an inconceivably short time 



42 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

it spread over the whole of Christendom. There was 
a consensus in its favour of all the primitive Churches. 
A constant tradition has assigned it to the Apostles 
and to the Master. The very notion of Episcopacy, the 
fatherly oversight of each presbyter, and the " care of 
all the churches," is one that is essential to good order 
and commends itself to every intelligent mind. The 
question is whether our modern system is conterminous 
with the line of genuine primitive Episcopacy, whether 
our modern facts are consistent with the original ideas, 
and whether any real effectual personal oversight can 
be exercised within such wide geographical areas, and 
under circumstances of social distinction and political 
consideration. There have been Bishops who have 
habitually absented themselves from the House of 
Lords, and if the spiritual and temporal functions 
came into collision it is as clear as daylight that the 
temporal ought to go. 

Bishops, as a rule, though with some remarkable 
exceptions, are hardly in favour of any subdivision of 
dioceses, or in favour of anything that would detract 
from power, prestige, and patronage. We know of 
one Bishop who honourably said that he did not care 
to give up a large county that might easily have 
been detached from his overgrown diocese, because 
it would take from him a valuable part of his patron 
age. For the same reason they retain a patronage 
of some seventy thousand a year for diocesan officials 
who live on these pickings and pluckings of the 
clergy. Archbishop Tait, when Bishop of London, 
said that he did not find that the cares of that over 
grown diocese were at all too much for him. It all 
depended on what amount of the cares he might 



THE VICTORIAN ERA OF THE CHURCH. 43 

think fit to devolve on himself. If it was only a 
certain number of State duties, attendances at Court, 
clerical levees, filling up preferments, or triennial 
charges, ordinations and confirmations, the pro 
gramme could be soon arranged, and the conditions 
easily fulfilled. We can only wonder that any one 
with a living idea of the true theory of Episcopacy, 
could think that he could fully discharge the work 
of a real father in God over the multitudes of clergy 
in the diocese of London. 

The question of the increase of the Episcopate has 
been very anxiously debated among the Bishops 
themselves. Bishop Wordsworth has pressed for 
it very strongly. He quoted the words of his own 
predecessor, " If I were to desire to visit every parish 
in my diocese, and if I were to desire to spend a 
Sunday in each parish, it would take fifteen years to 
make the circuit," and stated that that state of things 
was substantially unaltered. But while Dr. Words 
worth was in favour of a large increase of the Epis 
copate, he thought the Bishops should retain their 
large incomes and their large houses. The predecessor 
alluded to, the present Bishop of London, was not 
at all in favour of a large increase of the Episcopate. 
He would like a moderate increase, but he thought 
that twenty or thirty would be " an extravagant 
demand." Yet Cranmer asked for twenty when the 
population of the country was hardly one-fifth what it 
is at present. Dr. Jackson, with great good sense, 
hit the exact point. If we had palaces and incomes 
only for our own sakes, he argued, let them go for 
heaven s sake. " One thing is perfectly clear that 
two classes of Bishops a rich Bishop and a poor 



44 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

Bishop, a Bishop who is a member of the legislature, 
and a Bishop who is not could not long exist to 
gether." Now this is the key to the whole problem. 
The question is whether the Bishop can be so per 
fectly certain. Could not the present Bishops remain 
with their seats in Parliament, albeit with abridged 
incomes, and another set of Bishops exist with smaller 
incomes and without seats ? Would the difficulty be 
lessened if the Bishop of what would then be the 
Old Foundation should always be selected from the 
Bishops of the New Foundation, just as Archbishops 
are now almost invariably selected from the Bishops ? 
But if there is no half-way house as Dr. Jackson in 
sists, then if the theory of Episcopacy be really worth 
anything, if it be a desirable thing in the interests of 
the Christian Church that Bishops be multiplied, 
let house and land, let coin and peerage go, so that 
the spiritual interests of the Church of Christ are 
advanced. We should then be abandoning the 
medieval and baronial, and reverting to the primitive 
system of the Catholic Church. 

Those who want new bishoprics with large incomes 
and are unwilling that the present large incomes should 
be diminished, have devised various expedients for 
raising funds. It was suggested in several quarters 
that pious laymen might befriend the Episcopal 
order and endow bishoprics. Something like an 
order of Mendicant Bishops was suggested. Now if 
there are any laymen prepared to advance large sums 
of money for Church purposes, let them be entreated 
to weigh carefully other claims that might be brought 
before their notice before they exhaust their elee 
mosynary powers in favour of bishops. We will 



THE VICTORIAN ERA OF THE CHURCH. 45 

engage to say that there are to every diocese, although 
their Bishops may not know much about them, hard 
working and learned men to whom a measure of help 
might be offered with much more judgment and 
generosity. No one can think of the vast amount 
of clerical poverty and unhappiness ; no one can 
carefully watch the struggling life of so many 
excellent institutions, and hear with any patience 
the suggestion that large sums of money might 
be devoted to the creation of further English 
Bishoprics. Another proposition much dwelt on 
in Convocation was the recommendation of the 
Cathedral Commissioners that in certain cases the 
office of Bishop of the diocese and Dean of the Cathe 
dral should be confined in one person. The late 
Bishop of Winchester was apparently in favour of 
this proposition, but as one Bishop after another rose 
to fling cold water on the suggestion, his courage 
failed, and he eventually asked leave to withdraw his 
motion. The Bishop of London did not see, " sup 
posing that Deans were useful anywhere," how their 
duties could be transferred to the Bishop. The 
Bishop of Salisbury " delighted with his whole heart 
and soul" in cathedral music, and would not have 
the strength of a Cathedral Establishment diminished 
by a single person. The Bishop of Bath and Wells 
had made himself merry with some returns of Rural 
Deans who had expressed a desire for the increase of 
the Episcopate. To the question whether it was 
desirable that there should be an addition of new 
bishops, the answer of one was that if the new 
bishops were to be like the present bishops, it was 



46 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

very undesirable that there should be any more. To 
the next question how they should be appointed, the 
answer was that the new bishops should be as unlike 
as possible to the old ones ; and that for the Crown 
to appoint the new bishops would be most undesi 
rable. On the whole it was fully agreed that it would 
never do to touch the Deaneries. 

Then the Bishop of Norwich uprose with the most 
daring proposition of all, that the Bishops should 
touch and tax themselves. " We believe," went the 
terms of his resolution, " that by a moderate reduc 
tion of Episcopal incomes, considerable help would be 
afforded towards providing endowments of new Sees ; 
and the want of such Sees is so urgent as to warrant 
such a reduction." The resolution was manfully 
seconded by the Bishop of Lich field. But there arose 
a chorus of objections, and in less than half a column 
of the Guardian the motion was satisfactorily disposed 
of in the negative. The Bishop of Llaudaff went into 
details. " If from the commencement of my Episco 
pate I had been put in a small house in the town of 
Cardiff at which I lived, not with these housemaids as 
Archdeacon Allen supposes, for I at least have not got 
them, but with one housemaid and with one footboy, and 
everything in proportion to a small house in the town 
of Cardiff, I think I should very well have been able to 
give a fair proportion of my income, supposing it had 
been 1000 instead of 4200 a year." Here the ex 
cellent Bishop just hinted at that sublime sort of 
self-abnegation which would so raise the Episcopal 
character. If St. Paul was content for the sake of a 
high purpose to work with his own hands, might not 



THE VICTORIAN ERA OF THE CHURCH. 47 

a successor of St. Paul condescend to a small Louse 
with one housemaid and one foot-boy. But the 
Bishop says that if he is expected to " receive his 
clergy," &c., he could not do with a less income. It 
was at Llandaff that a publican applied for a spirit 
licence on the ground that candidates for Holy Orders 
lodged with him at the time of ordination. The 
example has not spread to Llandaff of a Bishop 
entertaining the candidates at his own house. Other 
Bishops followed on the same side though not with 
the same particularity of detail. The Bishop of 
Norwich replied, manfully maintaining his principles. 
It was his wish " to express an opinion that though 
the incomes of our Sees have been reduced from what 
they were, and are not at all more than adequate to 
meet the present demands upon them, still the wants 
of the Church for increased Sees are so great as to 
warrant further reduction." The Bishop was not, 
however, willing to divide unless he received general 
support, which was not at all likely. Finding the 
self-denying ordinance unpopular, the motion was 
" by leave of the house" withdrawn. So the Bishops 
having looked at the subject of the increase of their 
order all round, returned a sublime non possumus. 

In spite of the non possumus, however, we feel sure 
that the day cannot be remote when we shall have a 
large increase of the Episcopate by the subdivision of 
dioceses. The new Convocation that has met simul 
taneously with the new Parliament will, we feel as 
sured, take vigorous steps in this direction. Although 
there is no hope of a large, well-defined scheme for 
the restoration of the Episcopate corresponding with 
its true ideal and the necessities of the country, we may 



48 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

well believe that some move will be made in the right 
direction. Very probably Lichfield will be divided into 
three dioceses of its three counties. St. Alban s might 
be carved as a diocese out of Rochester, Westminster 
out of London, and the long-contemplated division of 
the see of Exeter may take place at last. It might be 
suggested that in double dioceses, such as Gloucester 
and Bristol, Bath and Wells, there should be separate 
bishoprics, and a large income would be secured, very 
little short of the present incomes, if the office of Dean 
could be held simultaneously with that of bishop. To 
those who doubt might be commended the words of 
Bishop Bedell. His own words in his letters to Dr. Des- 
potine to satisfy him in the thing were these : " That the 
example of holding two bishoprics was not canonical, but 
justifying the holding of many benefices by one person ; 
that it was an unreasonable thing of him to seek to re 
form heapers of benefices, being himself faulty in having 
two bishoprics ; that he was sensible of his own disability 
to discharge the office of a bishop to two churches, yea 
even to one. And whereas it was objected by the 
doctor that by parting with one of his bishoprics he 
should shorten his means, his answer was, that still he 
should have enough to live on, and leave his children more 
than was left him; and Domini est terra et plenitude 
eius." The protest against moneyed prelates comes 
everywhere. The President of the Congress of Old 
Catholics at Cologne said, " they did not want a 
Church prioce, a Roman grandee, but a shepherd and 
overseer. Once a high-minded dignitary said to me, 
what is a Bishop in the eyes of the people ? He is 
a very great man who has a few thousand florins to 
spend, and who goes to town with six horses and ten 



THE VICTORIAN ERA OF THE CHURCH. 49 

servants. Such a Bishop they did not require/ In 
America Episcopacy is a living institution in constant 
alliance with our own Church, to whom it is indebted 
for its origin; and our Colonial Empire shows how 
easily our Episcopacy adapts itself to the modified 
circumstances of the present time. It has unhappily 
been the reproach of the Church of England that it 
has conciliated to itself so much of the cost and world- 
liness of the world. Dollinger says that in England 
the Church is the Church only of a fragment of the 
nation, of the rich, cultivated, and fashionable classes 
the religion of departments, of gentility, of clerical 
reserve. In its stiff and narrow organization, and all 
want of pastoral elasticity, it feels itself powerless 
against the masses. 

We read such language with shame and regret, 
acknowledging that there is a real element of truth, 
but at the same time believing that in a large measure 
such a reproach is being swept away. The message 
to the Apostles was " Preach to the people the words 
of this life," and whatever may be said of Sectarian 
bodies the existence of a National Church can only be 
justified by its seeking the Evangelization of the masses 
of the population. Every one who watches the broad 
current of church life must be convinced of its intense 
activity and fruitfulness, in word and deed, of its in 
tense anxiety to do its duty in this generation ; and, so 
far as may be, to overtake the neglect of past genera 
tions : but in order to do this in the most vigorous and 

O 

perfect way it may be necessary to review and revive 
the functions of its organization, and to aim at a re 
casting of its present Episcopal system. 

VOL. I. E 



50 



CHAPTER II. 

ON THE GENERAL COURSE AND HISTORY OP EPISCOPACY, 
ESPECIALLY IN ENGLAND. 



history of Episcopacy occupies a very important 
-L chapter in the History of England, we might say 
in the general history of Europe. The Bishops have 
helped to provoke some of the great crises of our 
history ; their names are for ever associated with 
great civic troubles, and none have been more deeply 
troubled than themselves. It is historically true that 
at such a season their Christian patience and modera 
tion are most conspicuous, and they never show better 
than when under a cloud. They have been, as it were, 
the stormy petrels of the political waters ; when they 
appear conspicuously, the vision is ominous of trouble; 
or, to adopt another ornithological image, we are some 
times reminded of Lands^er s picture of the swannery 
attacked by sea-eagles, when we recollect how the 
lawned prelates have again and again been fiercely 
attacked by crowds that were not sane, and crowns 
that were not just. 

Into the theological arguments respecting the posi 
tion of bishops, it is not our intention to enter. They 
will be found in all the great text- books of Anglican 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 51 

theology. As loyal Churchmen we feel satisfied with 
the Divine basis of the threefold orders of bishops, 
priests, and deacons. Speaking more accurately, a 
bishop is not ordained, but consecrated to his office, 
chosen a priest among priests, for the discharge of 
high governmental functions in the Church. Any 
supposed grace of orders relates to their functions, and 
not to their persons and characters. I am especially 
anxious that in some unavoidable criticism on the 
office-bearers I may carefully keep in view the reve 
rence due to the office. Here the Master Himself 
pointed out a distinction. He taught that the Scribes 
and Pharisees possessed functions that were entitled 
to reverence and obedience. " The Scribes and 
Pharisees sit in Moses seat. All that they bid you, 
observe and do." But this high honour given to the 
office did not save the office-holders from the most 
awful censures. We write with reverence for the 
divine office, but with freedom of the very human cha 
racter of the office-holders. 

When we have asserted the doctrine of Episcopacy, 
the inquiry arises to what does this Episcopacy really 
amount ? In the earliest chapter of ecclesiastical 
history, the Acts of the Apostles, the word occurs, 
and in no sense that is analogous with the modern 
sense. It is sometimes urged that the Episcopate is 
an extension of the Apostolate. But the idea of the 
Episcopate is localized authority; that of the Aposto 
late is evidence to the human history of Christ. In 
an analogical way, and in a very limited and restricted 
sense, this may be courteously admitted, and it is only 
by a violent handling of the sacred text that the theory 
can now be pressed any further. St. Jerome says, 

E 2 



52 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

" The Bishops should know that they are superior to 
Presbyters rather by custom than by any ministry of our 
Lord s ordinance, and they ought to govern the Church 
in common." The late Dean Alford was a divine of 
great good sense and fairness, on whose judgment 
most readers would feel disposed to place very con 
siderable reliance, says* : " The Apostolic office 
terminated with the Apostolic times, and by its very 
nature admitted not of continuance ; the Episcopal 
office, in its ordinary sense, sprung up after the 
Apostolic times, and the two are entirely distinct. 
The confusion of the two belongs to that unsafe and 
slippery ground in church matters, the only logical 
refuge from which is the traditional system of Rome. 
He shows that in the Acts the elders or presbyters 
received the title of bishops or overseers, and is angry 
that a commentator, contrary to the sacred text, should 
endeavour to draw a distinction between them." So 
early did interested and disingenuous interpretation 
begin to cloud the light which Scripture might have 
thrown on ecclesiastical questions. Our version has 
hardly dealt fairly in this case with the sacred 
text, in rendering tKiffzovov? verse 28, overseers, 
whereas it ought there, as in all other places, to have 
been Bishops, that the fact of elders and bishops 
having been originally and apostolically synonymous 
might be apparent to the ordinary English reader, 
which now it is not. The question has now been 
exhaustively discussed and settled in Germany by 

* Acts xiii 2 v. and xx 18 v. In support of his view Alford says, 
"See the remarkable testimonies cited by Gieseler i. p. 115 note, from 
Jerome on Tit. i. 7 v., and Aug. Epist. cxxxii, and Hieron, 33, vol. ii, 
p. 290. 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 53 

such a man as Roth, and in our own country by such 
writers as Dean Alford and Canon Lightfoot. 

It may be taken therefore as absolutely true, as a 
matter on which no honest divine could cast a doubt, 
that the same church officer is called indifferently 
Presbyter and Bishop. The word " Bishop" or " over 
seer" (lirtffxoKog) , was a well-known title among 
the Greeks, signifying " a commissioner," or " in 
spector." It is a word used by Aristophanes. It is a 
word frequently employed in the Septuagint version of 
the Old Testament, in almost identical senses. In the 
New Testament we have the word " presbyter" or 
" elder," the root of the notion being the distinction 
of old age, as in the Gerousia of Sparta, the Senate of 
Rome, the Signoria of Florence, the Alderman of 
England. In the Apostle s time " presbyter" and 
" bishop" are used as exchangeable terms, and no 
sacerdotal meaning attached to either term. They 
were the servants and officials who represented the 
priesthood of all Christian men. Episcopacy, as dis 
tinct from presbytery, does not belong to the region 
of the New Testament, but to an early and obscure 
chapter of ecclesiastical history. The earliest traces 
of an institution which afterwards overspread the" 
whole face of Christendom, are scanty and indistinct. 
The patristic argument in favour of Episcopacy, to 
say the truth, does not amount to very much. By 
skilful manipulation we may often read a modern 
sense into an ancient writer, when that sense would 
not be naturally suggested to those to whose eyes or 
ears such language would be first addressed. Few 
literary controversies have been so pertinacious as 
that respecting the genuineness of the Ignatian Epistles, 



54 OUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

and the secret of this literary litigation has been the 
Iguatian view respecting Episcopacy. A recent writer* 
has carefully brought together all the passages rightly 
or wrongly attributed to Ignatius on this subject, that 
the highest possible view of Episcopacy may be fairly 
stated. The interest and importance attaching to St. 
Ignatius was so strong through the touching tradi 
tion that he was the little child whom the Saviour took 
up in his arms, and the undoubted acts of the martyr 
dom that his statement might almost be considered 
final on any subject of primitive practice. But nothing 
that Ignatius says amounts to more than the state 
ment that the Bishop is the chairman of the Presby 
tery or Council of Presbyters. The famous Epistles 
really say nothing to which Usher and Hall might not 
have subscribed on the one hand, and the famous 
Smeetymnnus confederacy on the other. His idea 
seerns to have been that the present Episcopal sympa 
thies, by giving a distinct headship to each church, 
would be a help to the maintenance of Christian unity. 
He says nothing in favour of autocratic and irrespon 
sible prelacy. His sentiment echoes that language of 
St. Peter which we have so often to recall when read 
ing prelatical history, that men ought not to be 
" lords" over Christ s heritage. 

This is how the case lies, accepting the authenticity 
of the famous letters. But there is a very grave 
suspicion that these passages are interpolations made 
in the interests of Episcopacy. "We are aware, as a 
simple matter of fact," writes Mr. Mossman, " that 
there is nothing in the way of forgery or falsification, 

* " History of the Catholic Church to the Middle of the Second 
Century." By T. W. Mossman, B,A. 1873. 



ON THE HISTOEY OF EPISCOPACY. 55 

which some writers, both ancient and modern, would 
shrink from in support of his darling institution, 
thinking the while that, by thus acting, this were 
doing God service." Many patristic passages in 
favour of Episcopacy are of no greater worth than the 
forged Decretals of Isidore. The Tubingen school 
would reject the whole of the Epistles, but the proba 
bility is that they are genuine enough except for 
forged interpolations in the Episcopal interests. One 
great argument in the earliest Church history that the 
" seven angels" are seven Bishops, is of doubtful 
weight, and even if so, the seven " Bishops" of locali 
ties in close neighbourhood is something altogether 
different to our vast territorial prelacies. 

Episcopacy appears, then, to have gradually grown 
up in a providential order, and in the course of the 
development and evolution of the Church. In the 
Jewish branch of the Christian Church we may recog 
nise the Bishop in St. James, who presided over the 
mother-church of Jerusalem. But it is not till past 
the era of the destruction of Jerusalem that we find 
anything of the kind in the Gentile Church. Perhaps 
that very event evidenced the necessity, and brought 
forward the constitution of another order in the 
organization of the Church. For many years after 
that dread event, the Church annals were confused, 
but when the darkness lifted a little we find traces of 
Episcopacy which henceforth multiply upon us. In 
the " Shepherd of Hermes" we find a passage well 
worthy of Episcopal attention, where he speaks of 
" hospitable bishops, who at all times received the 
servants of God into their houses cheerfully, and 
without hypocrisy," where the word begins to hold its 



56 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

latter signification. " The sequence of bishops," 
writes Tertullian, " traced back to its origin, will be 
found to rest on the authority of John. There is no 
reason to doubt that he acted as Bishop of Ephesus, 
and went about establishing other Bishops, thus con 
solidating churches, and appointing depositaries of 
truth. But before the time of St. John, very late in 
the first century, there is no trustworthy trace of 
Episcopacy in the Gentile Churches. Canon Light- 
foot, in his remarkable Essay on the Christian Ministry, 
distinctly argues thus : 

" While the Episcopal office thus existed in the 
mother-church of Jerusalem from very early days, at 
least in a rudimentary form, the New Testament 
presents no distinct traces of such organization in the 
Gentile congregations." Again : " It is the con 
ception of a later age which represents Timothy as 
Bishop of Ephesus and Titus as Bishop of Crete. St. 
Paul s own language implies that the position they 
held was temporary." Once more : " As late, 
therefore, as the year A.D. 70, no distinct signs of 
Episcopal government have hitherto appeared in 
Gentile Christendom." Again : " To the dissen 
sions of Jew and Gentile converts, and to the 
disputes of Gnostic false teachers, the development 
of Episcopacy may be mainly ascribed." " In this 
way, during the historical blank which extends over 
half a century after the fall of Jerusalem, Episcopacy 
was matured, and the Catholic Church consoli 
dated." 

He holds that the Episcopate was formed, not out 
of the Apostolic order by localization, but out of the 
presbyteral by churches, and the title, which was 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 57 

originally common to all, came at length to be appro 
priated to the chief of them. According to him, 
Episcopacy was a new idea, which took root and re 
ceived a rapid development, but was an institution 
variously developed in different localities. Even at a 
comparatively late date the Bishop is spoken of as a 
Presbyter. A Bishop is a Presbyter, though a Pres 
byter is not a Bishop in the secondary sense which 
the word Bishop came to bear. Even in the time of 
Popes and Councils, a Bishop would address Pres 
byters as " fellow-Presbyters." And the Bishop is 
exhorted to give the utmost heed to his Presbytery. 
They are a spiritual coronal, a divine council, the 
chords to the lyre. 

Many persons, however, would be dissatisfied with 
the theme of the lateral development of Episcopacy 
from the Presbytery, and rest simply on the Apos 
tolical Succession. The answer is, that in one case 
we are on safe historical ground, we have an induc 
tion of facts ; in the other case we have a theory which 
forms no part of the original deposit of facts, is no 
matter of re.velation. On the other hand the arguments 
and evidence for Episcopacy dating from the college of 
Apostles, are exceedingly strong, and are of the highest 
degree of probability. The question is virtually this, 
whether the Ministry should emanate from the mass 
of the people, or be regarded as an office emanating 
from the Master. It is the tradition of the Church 
that during the Forty Days in which Christ spoke of 
the things concerning the Kingdom of Heaven, that 
system of Church order was indicated which would be 
in accordance with the Divine mind. Those nearest 
to the age of the Apostles recognize the Apostolical 



58 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

Succession. The question is whether people may 
elect themselves into a Ministry, be elected from those 
who will be beneath them, or if they must be appointed 
by authority from some constituted powers above. 
The one is the theory of Episcopacy, of the Latin, 
Greek, and Anglican Churches ; the other is the theory 
of Presbyterianism and various forms of Dissent. It 
may be possible for us to give a clear unwavering 
adhesion to the doctrine of Episcopacy, that is to say, 
to be satisfied that the Church, having authority, did 
claim this form of government, or directly derived it 
from her Head. It is another question how far 
Modern Episcopacy represents the Primitive Epis 
copacy. Even when we have satisfactorily established 
that doctrine, we must be very careful not to attach 
to it too great a degree of importance, or to draw from 
it unsafe results. It is simply outrageous to hear 
persons denounce non-Episcopal churches as heretical. 
No one could forbid baptism, as we read in the sacred 
text, where the Spirit had been received, and none 
can deny the validity of any Ministry, where the gifts, 
and grace, and fruits of the Divine life are to be wit 
nessed. 

To go back to old English divinity this is the view 
which is expressed by the famous Dean Field, in his 
great work on the Church. Of him old Fuller quaintly 
said, " whose memory smelleth like a Field the Lord 
hath blessed," and James the First said, " This is a 
Field for the Lord to dwell here." The king passed 
him by for promotion, however, and when he heard of 
his death said, " I should have done more for that 
man 1" Field s views are mainly given in the twenty- 
seventh chapter of the fifth book of his great work. 



ON THE HISTORY OP EPISCOPACY. 59 

As the friend of Richard Hooker and Sir Henry Savile 
he probably represented the views of the more learned 
and thoughtful divines of his time. Field controverts 
the high views of Episcopacy set forth by the Romanist 
Bellarmine. He regards it as a convenient arrange 
ment of Church government. " The Apostles, in set 
tling the state of their churches, did so constitute in 
them many Presbyters with power to teach, instruct, 
and direct the people of God ; that yet they appointed 
one only to be chief pastor of this -place, ordaining 
that the rest should be but his assistants, not presum 
ing to do anything without him ; so that though they 
were all equal in the power of order, yet were the rest 
inferior-rated men in the government of the Church, 
whereof he was Pastor; and they but his assistants 
only. The dumb beasts, saith Hierome, and wilde 
heards have their leaders, which they follow ; the 
bees have their king ; the crows flee after one another 
like an alphabet of letters. There is but one Emperor, 
one judge of a province. Rome newly built could not 
endure two brethren to be kings together, and there 
fore was dedicated a parricide. Esau and Jacob were 
at war in the womb of Rebecca ; every Church hath 
her own Bishop, her own Arch-Presbyter, her own 
chief Deacon ; and all ecclesiastical order consisteth 
herein that some do rule and direct the rest. In the 
ship there is one that directeth the helm. In a house 
or family there is but one master. And to conclude, 
in an armie, if it be never so great, yet the direction 
of one general is expected. We make not the power 
of bishops to be princely, as Bellarmine doth, but 
fatherly : so that as the Presbyters may do nothing 
without the Bishop, so he may do nothing in matters 



60 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

of greatest moment and consequence without their 
presence and advice, whereupon the Council of 
Carthage voideth all sentences of Bishops, which the 
presence of their clergy confirrneth not. Touching the 
pre-eminence of Bishops above Presbyters there is 
some difference among school divines ; for the best 
learned of them are of opinion that Bishops are not 
greater than Presbyters in the power of consecration 
and order, but only in the exercise of it ; and the 
power of jurisdiction, seeing Presbyters may preach 
and minister the greatest of all Sacrament, by virtue 
of their consecration and order, as well as Bishops .... 
For the avoyding of the peril of schism it was or 
dained that one should be chosen who should be named 
a Bishop, to whom the rest should obey, and to whom 
it was reserved to give orders, and to do some such 
other things, as none but Bishops do."* 

Very soon the Episcopacy is found to be dominant 
throughout the whole Christian Church, sometimes in 
eccentric, abnormal, and exaggerated forms. Eccle 
siastical history is full of errors of government as 
well as errors in doctrine. In the earlier ages of 

* The late Dean Goode (" Doctrine of the Church of England on 
Non-Episcopal Ordination") has shown that the views of the modern 
extreme school were not held by the chief divines of the Church of 
England, even by those known as " High Churchmen." And he quotes, 
in proof, the language inter alias of Bishops Abbey (1560), Pilkirigton 
(1563), Jewell, Archbishop Whitgift, Whitaker j(Reg. Prof, of Div. 
Cambridge), Hooker, Hadrian Saravia (quoted however by Keble as 
maintaining the opposite), Bishop Cooper (1589), Dr. Eichard Cosin 
(Dean of the Arches, 1584), Bishop Cosin, Archbishops Bramhall, Ban 
croft, and Usher, and Bishops Hall, Davenant, Morton, and Tomline. 
Dean Goode s successor in the Deanery of Ripon, Dr. McNeile, has 
much reason on his side when he claims that the largest measure of 
obedience to Bishops is rendered by Evangelical clergymen, althougn 
they do not hold " High" doctrine about Episcopacy. 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 61 

Christianity there is no land, no period where the 
Episcopal form of government does not prevail, 
whether we look at Western or Oriental civilization. 
When we look at Palestine and its neighbourhood, 
Egypt, Syria, Africa, Asia Minor, Italy, Evangelical 
Episcopacy is the accepted form of Church govern 
ment. The institution marks a definite stage in the 
progress and development of the Church. Very soon, 
as might be expected from human frailty, the tares 
are springing up among the wheat, and the institution 
becomes vitiated by the love of pride, and pomp, and 
power. Before long Episcopacy becomes interwoven 
into the web of temporalities and royalties. It is re 
markable that in Rome, where all the elements of 
evil eventually culminated, Clement, whom universal 
tradition strongly affirms to have been Bishop, never 
alludes to the existence of any bishopric at Rome, 
where he was writing ; or at Corinth, whither he was 
writing. In some such sort of way did the territorial 
jurisdiction of Bishops grow up. Guizot shows that 
during the fourth and fifth centuries the right lay with 
the people to elect the Bishops, and it was only after 
the conquest of Gaul by the Franks that the kings 
frequently nominated them. For the first three 
hundred years, according to King, the clergy and 
laity jointly elected the Bishops. Even in our own 
Church of the Future the question of the appointment 
of Bishops must arise. Practically the present system 
may have worked as well or better than any other 
system that could be devised. But doubtless we have 
had profligate, worldly, unbelieving statesmen appoint 
ing Bishops again and again ; and this incongruity 
may come to the point that the bitterest enemy of the 



62 OUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

Church may nevertheless appoint its prelates. The 
Old Catholic movement has given us the example of 
the true method, and of primitive practice. Bishop 
Reinkens was chosen by lay as well as clerical votes ; 
the draft of the constitution was drawn up the same 
way, and the constitution of the Church provided for 
the due mixture of orders in synods and committees. 
In the olden days Bishops were much more of a spiritual 
than of a temporal function. In the book " On the 
Glory of Regality," which Mr. Buckle quotes in his 
Common-place Book, the author says : " On the whole 
it appears that, whatever may have been the usage of 
later reigns, the doing of homage by Bishops was not 
a practice of antiquity." Only very gradually was pre 
lacy brought into connection with royalty, and that 
alliance sprang up between the two which has so very 
rarely wavered, and which has, at times, assumed such 
a secular character. It is, however, the tendency of 
the Church, as it is the tendency of the human form, 
to revert to the primitive type. Episcopacy is only a 
means which has from age to age vindicated its use 
fulness, and should be remodelled after its primitive 
type ; if, as in the bishopric of Rome, it should come 
between the individual life and the one great Shepherd 
and Bishop of souls. 

The author of that quaint learned book " The 
Broad Stone of Honour," has collected some very 
touching and graphic notices of some phases of 
Episcopacy. He says : " Nor can we omit mention of 
that beautiful system of degree which gave rise to 
such humility in the higher ranks, and to such faith 
ful submission to the lower," a system of degrees, 
however, which has often exhibited arrogance on 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 63 

the one side and servility on the other. In the Council 
of Carthage (4 Can. 34) we read, " Ut episcopus, 
quolibet loco sedens, stare presbyterum non patiatur." 
When Francis Castello said to St. Antoninus, Arch 
bishop of Florence, whose secretary he was, " Bishops 
were to be pitied, if they were to be eternally engaged 
as he was." The saint replied, " To enjoy interior 
peace we must always reserve in our hearts, amidst 
all affairs, as it were, a secret closet, where we are 
to keep retired within ourselves, and where no busi- 
of the world can ever enter." Kenelm Digby goes on 
to speak of the virtuous actions of good Bishops. 
" Think what a spirit St. Nilamon had, who died with 
terror as they bore him to an Episcopal throne. What 
simplicity in St. Charles Borromeo and Cardinal Ximenes 
to visit their diocese on foot without attendants, and 
in the Great Cardinal of Lorraine to be constant in 
ardently catechising the most simple of his diocese." 
He is particularly struck with the virtues of one Don 
Bartholomew de Martyribus, " What an edifying 
spectacle to see him resist, till he was forced under 
pain of excommunication to accept the Archiepiscopal 
throne of Brazes, when he walked to Lisbon to pay 
his respects to the Queen ; to see him full of sorrow 
and shame when shown the magnificent palace pro 
vided for him, inhabiting one room with bare walls, 
a deal table, and a mattress ; eating of but one dish, 
giving the rest to the poor ; rising at three in the 
morning to study the Holy Scriptures and the 
Fathers till eight; visiting his diocese in the depth of 
winter mounted on a mule ; falling at the feet of a 
great lord, beseeching him to repent, choosing rather 
to sleep in a cabin with his people, than in the prin- 



64 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

cipal house of the village called the Castle ; his re 
peated and at length successful efforts to resign his 
mitre ; his visiting the neighbouring villages on foot 
to teach the children their catechism and to relieve 
the poor." 

We pass to the consideration of modern Episcopacy 
since those days of the Reformation that never disturbed 
its continuity. When Prelacy emerged into the wider, 
healthier air of Protestantism, it became exposed to 
very free handling, and the adverse movement was 
quickened as the Church of England became less 
Calvinistic and decidedly more Arminian. Martin 
Marprelate makes his ominous appearance. He brought 
forward the controversy respecting the theory and 
practice of Episcopacy more clearly than ever before. 
It was never known who the original Martin Mar- 
prelate was. He had a secret press which was set up 
in one place after another in England, until it was 
eventually seized. Martin spoke very highly of his 
own position. " I have been entertained at the 
court, every man talks of my worship. Many would 
gladly receive my books if they could tell where to 
find them." He was a great scourge to the prelates ; 
he was especially severe on the famous Bishop Aylmer. 
This unfortunate Aylmer had once in his youthful 
days written a book in which he had spoken very 
sharply of Bishops. It is thus that the future Bishop 
spoke of the Episcopate : " Howl and wail, not for 
the danger you stand in of losing your Bishoprics and 
benefices, your pomp and your pride, your riches 
and wealth, but that hell hath opened his mouth 
wide and gapeth to swallow you . . . Come down, 
you Bishops, from your thousands and content you 



ON THE HISTORY OV EPISCOPACY. 65 

with your hundreds ; let your diet be priest-like and 
not prince-like." Those prelates must have been 
delighted to have unearthed such language from a 
Bishop of London. For once the aspiration was 
satisfied, " Oh that mine enemy had written a book !" 
" Hear, Brother London," he exclaims in glee, " I 
think you would have spent three of the best elms 
which you had cut down at Fulham, and three pence 
half penie besides that I had never met with your 
book." There are as odd stories about this Bishop 
Aylmer as about any Bishop of Clogher or Derry. 
He is said to have cut down the elms at Fulham to 
the extent of 6000, an enormous sum in those days. 
He ordained his blind gate-keeper, and gave him the 
living of Paddington, as a means of providing for 
him. The Bishop had a son-in-law, a drunken worth 
less clergyman, and on the plan of adjusting diffe 
rences in a saw-pit, the Bishop closeted himself with 
his son-in-law, and taking a good stout cudgel gave 
him a hearty thrashing. Some valuable cloth had 
been stolen from some dyers in Thames Street. It 
was on the Bishop s lands, and the unfortunate 
thieves before they were executed had admitted the 
identity of the cloth. The owners applied for it, but 
the Bishop refused to surrender it except on satisfac 
tory proof of ownership. In the opinion of his Lord 
ship the proof was never sufficiently satisfactory. 
" The Bishop," says Martin, " knew as well as the 
owners to what good uses it could be put. It is very 
good blue and so would serve well for the liveries of 
his men ; and it was very good green, fit to make 
cushions and coverings for tables. Brother London," 
he continues, " you were best make restitution, it 
VOL. i. F 



66 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

is plague, theft, and horrible oppression. Bonner 
would have blushed to have been taken in the light of 
it." 

The Martin Marprelate Tracts have been attributed 
to Penry, whose unrighteous execution is so great a 
blot upon Queen Elizabeth or rather upon Whitgift. 
Penry s great desire was that the Gospel should be 
preached among his Welsh countrymen. He objected, 
not without reason, to Bishops as being utter failures 
in Wales, and certainly Wales is the district where 
the least can be said for Episcopacy. 

It is extremely interesting to find Lord Bacon taking 
part in these questions about the Bishops. Bacon 
was a man who thought deeply on religious matters, 
although it is to be feared that his life was hardly in 
harmony with his opinions. He approved of Epis 
copacy, but he did not hesitate to blame the Bishops. 
He did not sympathise with the Puritans, but at the 
same time he told the Bishops that their conduct 
towards the Puritans could not be justified. He 
wished the word " priest" to be laid aside. It was, 
indeed, only an abbreviation of the old word " Pres 
byter," but it was a word that might be confounded 
with the sacrificing priest of the old dispensation. He 
was of opinion that the Bishop possessed far too great 
a superiority over the rest of the clergy. " There be 
two circumstances in the administration of Bishops 
wherein I never could be satisfied ; the one, the sole 
exercise of their authority. For the first, the Bishop 
giveth orders alone, excommunicateth alone, judgeth 
alone. This seemeth to be a thing almost without 
example in good government, and therefore not un 
likely to have crept in in the degenerate and corrupt 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 67 

times. . . . Surely I do suppose that ab initio nonfidt 
ita, and that Deans and Chapters were councils about 
the sees and chairs of Bishops at the first ; and were 
unto them a presbytery or consistory, and inter 
meddled not only in the disposing of their revenues 
and endowments, but much more in jurisdiction eccle 
siastical. But it is probable that the Deans and 
Chapters stick close to the Bishops in matters of profit 
and the world, and would not lose their hold, but in 
matters of jurisdiction (which they accounted but 
trouble and attendance) they suffered the Bishops to 
encroach and usurp ; and so the one continueth and 

the other is lost We see many shadows still 

remaining, as that the Dean and Chapter, pro forma, 
chooseth the Bishop, which is the highest point of 
jurisdiction, and that the Bishop, when he giveth 
orders, if there be any ministers casually present, 
calleth them to join with him in the imposition of 
hands and some other particulars." 

It would be interesting to compare the era of the 
Elizabethan with that of the Victorian Bishops. Such 
a comparison would disclose some curious points both 
of likeness and unlikeness ; but, on the whole, the 
Victorian Bishops would have abundant reason for 
gratitude. In the posthumous works of the late Mr. 
Buckle we have some collections of facts which give 
much information on the subject. His collections have 
the drawback, which is apparent in many ways, of a 
strong bias against the Church on the part of the 
collector.* The correspondence of Burleigh shows 

* Mr. Buckle writes : " My ambition seems to grow more insatiate 
than ever, and it is perhaps well that it should, as it is my sheet anchor." 
Perhaps he regretted at Damascus that he had left " the unknown aud 
invisible future" to take care of itself. 

F 2 



68 OUR BTSHOPS AKD DEANS. 

the shortcomings of many prelates, and such a candid 
writer as Bishop Short is severe upon the Bishops of 
the Elizabethan period. Queen Elizabeth seems 
systematically to have sought to humble both spiritual 
and temporal peers. Within the first twelve months 
of her reign she greatly diminished that Episcopal 
power which, under her sister, had developed into 
inordinate proportions. Her hand was felt so heavily, 
that even Parker said : " It is our misfortune to be 
singled out from the rest of mankind for infamy and 
aversion." Archbishop after Archbishop complained 
grievously of the treatment each had received. Parker, 
according to ancient precedent, used to fell timber in 
certain woods. Elizabeth commenced a raid against 
him which brought him to subjection. Archbishop 
Whitgift says, " The temporalty sought to make the 
clergy beggars, that they might depend upon them." 
Archbishop Sandys says, " Our estimation is little ; 
our authority is less." And again, " We are become 
in your sight and used as if we were the refuse and 
parings of the world." When Archbishop Grindall 
was unwilling to suppress the " Prophesyings," the 
Queen imprisoned him in the house, and brought him 
into abject submission. So too the Bishops. The 
Bishop of Winchester says his older is treated with 
" loathsome contempt, hatred, and disdain." The 
Bishop of London complained " that the authority of 
the Church signified little; that the Bishops them 
selves were sunk and lamentably disvalued by the 
meanest of the people." The Bishop of Ely complains 
" whether it was not troublesome enough that Her 
Majesty s priests everywhere were despised and trodden 



Otf THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 69 

upon, and were esteemed as the ofFscouring of the 
world." 

In spite of such language, however, we find the 
Bishops employing a great many serving-men, and 
making large purchases of land. We find, however, a 
Bishop of Carlisle writing to Elizabeth s minister, 
Lord Shrewsbury, " I profess unto your honour, before 
the living God, that when my year s account was made 
at Michaelmas last, my expenses did surmount the 
year s revenues of my bishopric 600." Some other 
notes may be added. In 1574, it was brought as a 
reproach against Grindall that he was called Lord. 
He replied that, however the title of lord was applied 
to him and the rest of the Bishops, he was not lordly. 
In 1579, one of the Puritans taunted the Bishop of 
London that " he must be lorded, as it please your 
lordship," at every word. Elizabeth appears too much 
to have taken a hard, dry, secular view both of 
" bishops and curates." She thought that three 
preachers were quite enough for any county. Towards 
the Bishops she seems to have entertained feelings of 
absolute savagery. The Archbishop of Canterbury 
and some other prelates came to see her on her death 
bed. " Upon the sight of them she was much offended, 
cholerically rating them, bidding them be packing, 
seeing she was no Atheist." Mr. Buckle characteris 
tically explains that she " hated them for their med 
dling inquisitorial spirit, for their selfishness, for their 
contracted and bigoted minds." He goes on to say that 
at the time of Elizabeth " the inordinate pretensions 
of the Bishops were at length reduced to something 
like a rate ot reason. But the process was slow and 
onerous. There is a concentrated energy in Ecclesi- 



70 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

astical power, which renders it so tenacious of life that 
when at all supported by public opinion, nothing but 
the most resolute conduct of the civil authority will 
prevent it from gradually arrogating to itself the en 
tire function of the State." Such language may seem 
very little applicable to our own days, but Papacy and 
Patriarchate have shown to what a diseased height 
Episcopacy may extend, and the writings of some of 
the greatest saints exhibit to what servility, even in 
noble natures, it may give rise. 

It was Bancroft s famous sermon that, in this 
country, first claimed an Apostolic character for 
Episcopacy. Laud followed Bancroft s steps to some 
extent in the theory of Episcopacy. In the civil 
troubles the throne supported the Bishops, and the 
Bishops supported the throne. There is reason to 
believe that Charles himself did not hold the high 

o 

Episcopal views which were prevalent in his time, and 
which ever rose higher and higher, as the fortunes of 
the Church fell lower and lower. Politically the divine 
right of Kings, and the divine right of Bishops ran 
together, but Charles was not unwilling to accept 
Usher s scheme for a Moderated Episcopacy. Accord 
ing to Usher s scheme of Moderate Episcopacy, the 
Bishop became the president of a College of Pres 
byters, differing from them in rank, not in species 
(gradu non ordine). and would act in ordination or 
jurisdiction by their concurrence. 

But certainly the Bishops never fell so low as in the 
time of Charles the First. A contemporary writer 
says : " All are for the creating of a kind of presbytery, 
and for bringing down the Bishops, in all things 
spiritual and temporal, so low as can be done with 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 71 

any subsistence; but their utter abolition, which is the 
only aim of the most godly, is the knot of the question." 
It should be mentioned, however, that it is asserted on 
the other hand, that the major part of the Parliament 
arians, and even of the Puritans, was in favour of 
moderated Episcopacy. Charles the First was ulti 
mately willing to concede the scheme of a Moderated 
Episcopacy. One of the earlier acts of the Long 
Parliament was to carry the second reading of a bill 
for the abolition of Episcopacy. A whole dozen of the 
Bishops were sent to the Tower at once, by order of 
the Long Parliament. We hear a great deal of the 
seven Bishops who were committed to the Tower by 
James the Second, but we hear in comparison very 
little of the twelve Bishops who were committed there 
by the Parliament. The Lower House had encouraged 
mob passions and popular outbreaks against them to 
such an extent that the Bishops were unable to attend. 
They accordingly protested against all that should be 
done in the Upper House during their absence. " A 
protest," says Mr. Hallam, a great Chief Justice of 
history, " not perhaps entirely well expressed, but 
abundantly justifiable in its arguments by the plainest 
principles of law." The whole House agreed that they 
should be charged with treason, except one gentleman, 
who said he thought them only mad, and proposed 
that they should be sent to Bedlam instead of the 
Tower. They were not even admitted to bail. 
Ultimately, through the Solemn League and Covenant, 
Presbyterianism became for several years the esta 
blished religion. The persecution of the Bishops was 
impartially extended to the clergy. More than a fifth 
suffered ejection from their benefices. " The bio- 



72 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

graphical collections furnish a pretty copious rnartyr- 
ology of men the most distinguished by their learning 
and virtues in that age. The remorseless and indis 
criminate bigotry of Presbyterianism might boast that 
it had heaped disgrace on Walton, and driven Lydiat 
to beggary ; that it trampled on the old age of Hales, 
and embittered with insult the dying moments of 
Chilliugworth." 

Thus Mr. Hallam. Take the eaxmple of Chilling- 
worth. One winter he had gone down to Arundel 
Castle. The health of the great scholar had grown 
enfeebled, and few men had suffered more than he had 
in those evil days. He had hoped that the mild 
breezes of the Sussex downs would recruit his shat 
tered strength, and that he might continue undis 
turbed in the calmness and security of the palace- 
fortress. These hopes were fallacious. The opera 
tions of war were suddenly transferred to Arundel 
Castle. The place was given up to the Parliamentary 
forces. Some indulgence appears to have been shown 
to a captive so illustrious as Chillingworth. As his 
health was so feeble, he was not sent up to London 
with the other prisoners, but was allowed to retire to 
the Bishop s palace at Chichester. In this dangerous 
state of health a worthy man, whose zeal unfortunately 
was not much tempered by discretion, sought him out, 
and attempted to argue with him on those various 
secondary points which have always divided the 
opinions of good Christian people. But the great 
controversialist felt that his days of controversy were 
numbered. He was fast going to his home, where all 
controversy will be lost in unclouded light and love. 
" I pray you deal charitably with me," he said ; "for 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 73 

I myself have always been a charitable man." But 
although his opponent states " that he ever opposed 
him in a friendly and charitable way," there appears 
reason to fear that the closing days of Chillingworth 
were harassed, and perhaps shortened, by the rancour 
of the times. Yet the last notice of Chillingworth 
reminds us of the substantial Christian unity which 
underlies the apparent differences of Christian men. 
The day before Chillingworth s death was Sunday, 
and his opponent desired that he might be mentioned 
in the public prayers of the day ; and to this the dying 
scholar most willingly consented. 

The great Episcopal controversy of the time was 
that which arose between Bishop Hall and the Smec- 
tymnians. All the abstract arguments for and against 
Episcopacy may there be read at length. Hall appears 
to have shared in the views of Bancroft and Laud on 
the subject of the Episcopacy, but otherwise he was 
divided from such men by a whole hemisphere of 
thought. Hall was very angry with a certain Bishop 
of Orkney, who had renounced his Episcopal office and 
begged pardon for ever having assumed it. He was 
angry with all Presbyterians and all Independents, for 
which last " no answer was fit but dark lodgings and 
hellebore." Hall admitted that in the New Testament 
the words Bishop, Presbyter and Deacon were promis 
cuously used ; still he thought he had a case both from 
tradition and the Scriptures. This, however, was a 
point which, although admitted by a few tolerant and 
large-hearted Nonconformists, has always been hotly 
contested by the great body of Irreconcileables. 

Hall was answered by five Presbyterian divines, the 
initials of whose names tnade up the word Smec- 



74 DUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

tymnnus.* These men would not object to be moderate 
Episcopalians, but they would not admit that Episco 
pacy was a Divine Institution. They confidently 
asserted the negative position that negative which ifc 
is so proverbially hard to prove ; that Liturgies and 
Episcopacy find no place in the Apostolic times. If 
Hall had admitted, they argued, that Bishop is not 
discernible from Presbyter in the New Testament, 
how could he argue that Bishops existed in the 
Apostle s times? Where were their. dioceses? where 
could they find the first trace of parishes ? Does not 
St. Paul, at Miletus, call the elders of Miletus bishops; 
and could that term be interpreted in the modern 
sense ? The whole case against Episcopacy is fully 
and powerfully stated in this work. Bishop Hall 
answered by "A Defence of the Humble Remon 
strances against the Frivolous and False Exceptions 
of Smectymnnus." The Smectymnians answered 
Hall, and then Hall made rejoinder to the Smec 
tymnians ; and at this stage the subject appeared to 
be thoroughly exhausted. William Byrne he of the 
cropped ears resumed it in 1636, in his treatise " The 
Worshipping of Timothy or Titus. Timothy," he 
argued, " never was a Bishop; if so, would St. Paul 
have asked him * to carry his clothes-bag, his books 
and parchments after him ? He was a very young 
man. The Apostle told him not to rebuke an elder, 
and warned him against his susceptible disposition ; he 
went about with St. Paul, or was sent about by him 
according as there was work to be done. 

It would not be difficult to construct a biographical 

* Stephen Marshall, Edmund Calamy, Thomas Young, Matthew 
Newman, and William Spurston. 



ON THE HISTORY OP EPISCOPACY. /O 

history of the Reformed Church of England, con 
structed on the acknowledged memoirs of its prelates. 
This is, no doubt, the most human and intelligible way 
of writing ecclesiastical history, and insofar as this 
has been very rarely attempted, the most profound 
and interesting of any kind of history has been over 
laid by obscure and difficult discussions, and has had 
only a very slight degree of interest for general readers. 
We will briefly examine a very few biographies in a 
consecutive series, which will give us some idea of 
personal character and of public interests. We shall 
examine either side of the picture with perfect impar 
tiality, believing that a measure of good is to be gained 
even from the imperfections of the best men. 

There is no worthy, to adopt a 

BISHOP ANDREWES. . 1 . 

_ 605 laminar and expressive term, among 
the great " worthies" of his age, 
whose memory shines with purer and serener lustre 
than Lancelot Andre wes. His life commanded the 
special reverence of Lord Bacon, and his death has been 
commemorated by the early muse of Milton. Unfor 
tunately neither his life nor his writings have much 
chance of being familiar to the general reader. His 
writings are vigorous, impressive, and learned to the 
highest degree, and have been described as " a very 
library to young divines, and an oracle to cor.sult at, 
to laureate and grave divines." They still form a 
favourite study of careful and diligent theological 
scholars, but at present those pages can be scarcely 
popular which abound with quaint conceits and over 
flow with learned quotations. 

In the year 1555, the terrible time of the Marian 



76 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

persecution, Lancelot Andrewes was born in Thames 
Street, London. His father was a member of the 
Trinity House, and owned some land near Chelmsford, 
which subsequently came to his son. A worthy grocer, 
sheriff in his day, had some time back founded a free 
school at Stepney, for the education of sixty children 
of poor parents, and had attached to it an almshouse 
and chapel. Here Mr. Ward, the schoolmaster, was 
struck wit i his abilities, and persuaded his parents to 
continue his studies, and fit him for one of the learned 
professions. It is pleasing to hear that when the little 
boy became a powerful prelate, he took care of the 
son of his old schoolmaster, and gave him promotion. 
He afterwards went to Merchant Tailors School, and 
in due time to Pembroke College, Cambridge. He 
was a studious young man, and his chief exercise and 
amusement was a solitary walk, or the walking com 
pany of some friend with whom he might discuss his 
different studies. He used, as he himself says, to 
have no love and no practice in ordinary games and 
recreations. He became Fellow, and at three o clock 
in the afternoons of Saturdays and Sundays, the hour 
of catechising, he used to read lectures on the com 
mandments. Many came to hear him, both from 
other colleges and from the country. 

We next find him travelling with the Earl of Hun- 
tington, the Lord President of the North. He at 
tracted the notice of Walsingham, the Secretary of 
State, who thought it would be a great pity if so 
much learning was buried in a country place. 
Andrewes lot, indeed, proved to be something very 
different. We soon find him vicar of St. Giles, Crip- 
nlegate. In the memorable year 1588, we find him 



ON THE HISTORY OP EPISCOPACY. 77 

preaching at the Spital, on 1 Tim. vi. 17 19. There 
is something rather curious about these Spital ser 
mons. They were preached at a cross in the church 
yard of the Augustinian Priory in Spital Fields. A 
bishop, a dean, and a doctor in divinity preached on 
the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of Easter 
week. The Roman controversy was very strong at 
this time, and Andrewes eloquently vindicates the 
Protestantism of this day from the accusations of the 
Romanists. He praises the liberality of the city of 
London, and makes this interesting remark : " I will 
be able to prove that learning, in the foundation of 
schools, and increase of revenues within colleges, and 
the poor in foundation of almshouses and increase of 
perpetuities to them, have received greater help with 
in this realm in these forty years last past, since the 
reforming of ours from the errors of theirs, than it 
hath in any realm Christian, not only within the 
selfsame forty years, but also than it hath in any 
forty years upward, during all the time of Popery : 
which I speak partly of my own knowledge, and 
partly by sufficient grave information on this behalf. 
This may be said, and said truly." It was the cus 
tom of Andrewes, while he held this place at St. 
Paul s, to walk on stated days in one of the aisles of 
the cathedral, that he might give spiritual advice and 
comfort to any who would come and converse with 
him. His obligation to Walsingham in no degree 
impaired his independence. When Sir Francis, from 
state reasons, wished him to advocate some particu 
lar views, we are told " that be was not scared with 
a councillor s frown, or blown aside with his breath, 
and answered him plainly, that they were not only 



78 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

against his learning, but against his conscience." 
On Ash Wednesday, 1590, we hear of his first 
sermon before Queen Elizabeth, an honour and a 
duty which henceforth he had frequently to discharge. 
On another occasion, in preaching before the Queen, 
he set before her the pattern of the Divine govern 
ment, the gentleness with which the great Shepherd 
of Israel led his flock. His labours in his parish and 
at St. Paul s were so great that his health was 
seriously affected. His friends even feared for his 
life. His charities also were numerous and extensive; 
he did not fail to attack the selfishness of the age and 
the growing luxury in dress, living, and habitation. 
Some of these sermons were preached at Whitehall. 
The former Chapel was burnt down; the present is 
the old banqueting hall. 

In 1601, he was made Dean of Westminster. He 
always took the liveliest interest in Westminster 
school. We have an interesting mention of him at 
this time in that famous old work, Hacket s " Life of 
Archbishop Williams." Williams asked Hacket every 
thing concerning Andrewes. " I told him how strict 
that excellent man was to charge our masters that 
they should give us lessons out of none but the most 
classical authors ; that he did often supply the place 
both of the head-master and usher for the space of a 
whole week together, and gave us not an hour of 
loitering time from morning to night ; how he caused 
our exercises in prose and verse to be brought to him. 
to examine our style and proficiency; that he never 
walked to Chiswick for his recreation without a brace 
of this young fry ; and in that way having leisure, 
had a singular dexterity to fill those narrow vessels 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 79 

with a funnel. And, which was the greatest burden 
of his toil, sometimes thrice in a week, sometimes 
oftener, he sent for the uppermost scholars to his 
lodgings at night, and kept them with him from eight 
till eleven, unfolding to them the best rudiments of 
the Greek tongue, and the elements of the Hebrew 
grammar ; and all this he did to boys without any 
compulsion of correction, nay, I never heard him 
utter so much as a word of austerity among us." He 
adds that this good and great prelate was the first 
that planted him in his tender studies and watered 
them continually with his bounty, and on Bishop 
Duppa s monument in Westminster Abbey, it is stated 
that he learned Hebrew of Lancelot Andrewes, at 
that time Dean. If any deserving scholar was not 
successful in obtaining an exhibition to the Univer 
sity, he liberally supported him there. 

It, is noticeable that Andrewes thrice previously 
refused a bishopric, and afterwards he thrice -received 
a bishopric ; so remarkable was his promotion. 
Christian IV., King of Denmark, came over to Eng 
land to visit his sister, Queen Anne, and Bishop 
Andrewes preached a Latin sermon before the two 
sovereigns at Greenwich. At this time he was busy 
in writing his great book against Cardinal Bellarmine, 
one of the most famous controversial works in exis 
tence. We have Dudley Carleton mentioning it in 
one of his letters. " The Bishop of Chichester s 
book is now in the press, whereof I have seen part, 
and it is a worthy work ; only the brevity breeds 
obscurity, and puts the reader to some of that pains 
which was taken by the writer." This great work, 
the " Tortura Torti," is a most noble defence of Pro- 



80 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

testantism against the misrepresentations of the 
Roman Catholics. 

At this time the learned Casaubon came over to 
England, after the assassination of Henry IV. of 
France, to whom he had been chaplain. King James, 
who, with all his faults, was a true patron of learning, 
invited him to this country. This great scholar had 
married the daughter of Henry Stephens, the great 
printer. He was delighted to form a friendship with 
Andre wes, and in his letters we find several notices 
respecting our prelate, Andrewes lent him the manu 
script of his work, and Casaubon was greatly de 
lighted with its method and spirit. One pleasant 
summer the two friends took an excursion into the 
country. The Bishop took Casaubon down to Cam 
bridge. From Cambridge he accompanied Andrewes 
to Ely, to which diocese the Bishop had now been 
translated. They attended Divine service in the 
cathedral daily. Very early in the morning the 
Bishop took his guest out and showed him over the 
place. A few days later they went on to the Bishop s 
residence at Downham Market, passing through 
Wisbeach on the way. At Wisbeach, the Mayor and 
a great company on horseback met the Bishop on his 
entry into the town. One day, we are told that 
they went out on horseback to inspect the dykes. 
They lost their way, and, to add to the misfortune, 
the Bishop s horse threw him, fortunately without 
any harmful results. Next day, after reading 
some psalms together, as was their custom, they 
went over to the assizes, where, according to primi 
tive custom the Bishop presided. A visit was paid 
to the quarry near Ely, and they rode out together 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 81 

to see the country in the neighbourhood. Later in 
the season they went down to Royston to see the 
King. Casaubon relates how constantly he was with 
Andrewes, and the immense use which the great 
learning and the great kindness of Andrewes proved 
to him. 

In 1611, the present version of the Holy Scriptures 
appeared. Andrewes was one of the translators. 
He belonged to that division to which was allotted 
the translation of the Old Testament from Genesis to 
the end of the Book of Kings. Next year we have 
another curious trace of bygone manners. Casaubon 
dined at Ely House on Maundy Thursday, and after 
dinner the feet of some poor men were washed. 
Going down into the country, Andrewes was attacked 
with an aguish fever from being in the open air too 
late in the evening. An old biographer speaks thus 
ot his illness. " He was not often sick, and but once 
till his last illness in thirty years before the time 
he died, which was at Downham, in the Isle of 
Ely, the air of that place not agreeing with the 
constitution of his body. But there he seemed to be 
prepared for his dissolution, saying oftentimes in 
that sickness, It must come once, and why not 
here ? And at other times, before or since, he 
would say, The days must come, when, whether 
we will or will not, we shall say with the preacher, 
* I have no pleasure in them. When he recovered 
he wrote to Casaubon, inviting him to come with his 
wife and revive his spirits, and exchange the great 
heat of the metropolis for the cooler air of Downham. 
He tells him to see on his way the renowned fair of 
Stourbridge, and what would be a more potent lure 
VOL. i. G 



82 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

for the great scholar, tells him that he can see the 
Hebrew copy of St. Matthew. Casaubon, however, 
was too much occupied to be able to come. But, 
though the Bishop recovered, his friend, the amiable 
and learned Casaubon became the victim of disease. 
Bishop Andrewes has given a short account of his 
last days. 

The Bishop always made it a point to give promo 
tion to deserving men. He instructed his chaplain 
and friends to inform him of such young men at the 
University as stood in need of assistance. Among 
others, he gave a stall in the Cathedral of Ely to the 
learned Boys. " At the vacancy of the prebend, he 
was sent for to London," says his biographer, " by 
Lancelot Andrewes, then Lord Bishop of Ely, who 
bestowed it upon him unasked for. When he had 
given him, as we commonly say, joy of it (which was 
his first salutation at his coming to him) he told him 
that he did bestow it freely on him without anyone 
moving him thereto ; though/ said he, some pick- 
thanks will be saying they stood your friends herein. 
Which prediction proved very true." 

In Izaak Walton s " Life of George Herbert," we 
have a most interesting mention of Bishop Andrewes 
in connection with Herbert. " The year following, 
the King appointed to end his progress at Cambridge, 
and to stay there certain days ; at which time he was 
attended by the great secretary of nature and all learn 
ing, Sir Francis Bacon (Lord Verulam) and by the 
ever memorable and learned Dr. Andrewes, Bishop 
of Winchester, both which did at that time begin a 
desired friendship with our Orator (Herbert). And 
for the learned Bishop it is observable that at that 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 83 

time there fell to be a modest debate betwixt them 
two about predestination and sanctity of life ; of both 
which the Orator did not long after send the Bishop 
some safe and useful aphorisms, in a long letter 
written in Greek ; which letter was so remarkable for 
the language and reason of it that, after the reading 
it, the Bishop put it into his bosom, and did often 
show it to many scholars, both of this and foreign 
nations, but did always return it back to the place 
where he first lodged it, and continued it so near his 
heart till the last day of his life." 

Andrewes was now admitted a member of the 
King s Privy Council. For politics, however, he had 
no taste and always withdrew, as much as possible, 
from all state affairs. He would come to the council 
table, and ask, " Is there anything to be done to-day 
for the Church ?" If the reply was in the affirmative, 
he stayed ; if in the negative, he went away. Subse 
quently he was promoted to the see of Winchester. 
It seemed also not unlikely that he might execute the 
functions of the Archbishop of Canterbury. For a sad 
accident had befallen Dr. Abbott, the worthy Arch 
bishop. While on a visit to Lord Zouch, he unwit 
tingly wounded one of the keepers. The wound was 
only a slight flesh wound, but the poor man, being 
under the care of an unskilful surgeon, died next day. 
So many friends gathered around him, that the Arch 
bishop was considered a happy man in his unhappi- 
ness. Nevertheless it became a serious question 
whether Abbott, by this casual homicide, had not 
subjected himself to serious disabilities. There were 
some persons who were desirous of making this an 
occasion for deposing Abbott, and making Andrewes 

G 2 



84 DUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

archbishop in his stead. To this, however, Andrewes 
himself would be no party. There had been a serious 
misunderstanding between himself and the Archbishop, 
and it might have been expected that he would have 
taken an unfavourable view of the case. He, however, 
showed himself the Primate s firmest friend, and man 
fully opposed such a project. A commission was ap 
pointed to examine into the matter, and Andrewes 
brought them over to a favourable decision. King 
James was delighted with this. He told the Arch 
bishop to regard Andrewes as the sole person to whom 
he owed his escape from deprivation. 

Andrewes was indeed inflexibly just. He chose 
rather to suffer great legal expenses than perform 
any official act of which his conscience did not ap 
prove. He was always careful to maintain a most 
noble hospitality. He dined at noon, and gave his 
mornings to prayer and study. He was a great hus- 
bander of time. * He doubted they were no true 
scholars that came to speak with him before noon. 
In the afternoon he would sit for some hours con 
versing with his friends, or transacting the business 
of his diocese. He then retired to his study, where 
he stayed till bed-time, unless some friend took him 
off to supper, which with him was always a frugal 
meal. 

In the year 1600 the great Hooker died, and he 
keenly felt his death. We find him writing to Dr. 
Parry. 

" I cannot choose but write, though you do 
not ; I neyer failed since I last saw you, but daily 
prayed for him till the very instant you sent me this 
heavy news. Alas for our great loss ! and when I 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 85 

say ours, though I mean yours and mine, yet much 
more the common ; the less sense they have of so 
great damage, the more sad we need to bewail them 
ourselves, who know his works and his worth to be 
such as behind him he hath not that I know left any 
near him. . . . Mr. Cranmer is away, happy in that he 
should gain a week or two before he knew of it. 
Almighty God comfort us over him, whose taking away 
I trust I shall no longer live than with grief remember ; 
therefore with grief, because with inward and most 
just honour I ever honoured him since I knew him. 
Your assured, poor loving friend, 

" L. ANDREWES." 

On March 27, 1625, while the sermon was being 
preached at Whitehall, news came that James I. was 
dead. The King, in his last illness, had desired the 
presence of Andrewes, but the Bishop through illness 
was unable to be with him. The character of the new 
monarch had of late been a subject of much solicitude 
to Andrewes and other far-sighted men. King James 
had permitted his son Charles to make a romantic and 
profitless journey into Spain, with the view of marry 
ing the Infanta. Such a Roman Catholic alliance 
would in the last degree be distasteful to the king 
dom, and might possibly result in the perversion of 
the king. Andrewes, in prophetic spirit, said that he 
should be in the grave, but others would live to see 
the day when there would be a question of the king s 
life and crown. Hitherto the influence of Andrewes 
at court had been most beneficent. His gravity so 
awed King James that in his presence he refrained 
from that mirth and license to which he was so prone. 
That influence was now ended. New councils and 



86 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

new councillors took their place around the youthful 
sovereign. It was the Bishop s earnest wish and advice 
that no innovation should be attempted, and no contro 
versies stirred. This did not suit the restless spirit of 
Laud, and Andrewes found himself superseded. The 
year of Charles s accession, as had been the case with 
his father, was a year of plague, in which one-third 
of the inhabitants of London died. Andrewes was 
now well stricken in years, and his health was break 
ing up. He died in the September of 1625. 

One of the most cheerful Bishops 

BlSHOP COKBET. 

15221635 on recor( * was -Bishop Uorbet, ot 
Oxford, of whom some anecdotes 
are told not very much in accordance with the Epis 
copal character, but we venture to hope that they do 
him an injustice. Aubrey s stories, from the Ash- 
molean Museum, are well known, especially those 
about his friends Dr. Stubbins and Dr. Lushington. 
" Dr. Stubbins was one of his cronies ; he was a jolly 
fat doctor, and a very good housekeeper. As Dr. 
Corbet and he were riding in Love Lane, in wet 
weather (it is an extraordinary deepe dirty lane) the 

coach fell, and Corbet said that Dr. S was up to 

the elbows in mud, and he was up to the elbows in 
Stubbins. His chaplaine, Dr. Lushington, was a very 
learned and ingenious man, and they loved one 
another. The Bishop would sometimes take the key 
of the wine-cellar, and he and his chaplain would go 
and lock themselves in and be merry ; the first he 
layes down his Episcopal hood : There layes the 
doctors ; then he puts off his gowne, There lays the 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 87 

Bishop; then twas, Here s to thee, Corbet; Here s 
to thee, Lushington. This story has a somewhat 
scandalous look, to speak in the mildest way, but we 
may trust that there is some exaggeration. Corbet 
was not a bad man, despite his exuberant animal 
spirits. Aubrey had heard that " he had an admirable, 
grave, and venerable aspect." Old Fuller, who is not 
given to compliments, says that " he was of a courteous 
carriage, and no destructive nature to any who offended 
him, counting himself plentifully repaired with a jest 
upon him. He used to give away large sums to needy 
clergymen." In a charity sermon of his there is a 
very just observation : " For the king or for poor as 
you are rated you must give and pay. It is not so in 
benevolence. Here charity rates herself; her gift is 
arbitrary, and her law is the conscience. He that 
stays till I persuade him gives not all his own money ; 
I give half that have procured it. He that comes 
persuaded gives his own, but takes off more than 
he brought." The brass in Norwich Cathedral 
says : 

" Ecclesize Cathedralis Christ! Oxoniensis 
Primum Alumnus, deinde Decanus, exinde 
Episcopus, illinc hac translatus et 
Hinc in coelum." 

Corbet was the most poetical of contemporary 
Bishops, and his poetry is familiar to the lovers of the 
literature of the seventeenth century. One of them, 
the " Iter Boreale," written in imitation of Horace, a 
journey from Oxford to Worcestershire, has some 
curious touches of the ecclesiastical times. They rode 
thirty miles before dinner, and twelve after, to the 
house of a cottage tenant. His wife 



88 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

" Pleased as well, but yet, her husband better 
A hasty fellow and a good bone-setter. 
Now whether it were providence or lucke,. 
Whether the keepers or the stealers bucke 
There wee had venison ; such as Virgill slew 
When he would feast ./Eneas and his crew." 

They proceeded to Daventry, which was both market 
day and lecture day. A sergeant with mace chal 
lenged one of the two clergymen to deliver a 
lecture. 

" The sermon pleased, and when we were to dine 
We all had preachers wages, thanks and wine." 

They proceeded to Lutterworth with the pious design 
of finding out all they could about Wycliffe, the morn 
ing star of the Reformation. 

" Yet for the church sake, turne and light we must 
Hoping to see one dramme of Wickliffe dust ; 
But we found none : for underneath the pole 
Noe more rests of his body than his soule. 
Abused martyr ! how hast thou been torne 
By two wilde factions ! first the Papists burne 
Thy bones for hate ; the Puritans in zeale 
They sell thy marble and thy brasse they steale." 

The parson of the place guided them on to Leicester. 
Here Corbet protested that they were cheated in their 
reckoning, and hoped that they will not be thought to 
have drunk all the liquor they paid for. " Sure your 
theft is scandalous to us." At Nottingham they 
stayed at an inn where the Archbishop of York had 
stopped, and if they objected to anything, the Arch 
bishop was thrown in their faces. 

" Hee was objected to us when wee call 

Or dislike ought, my lord s grace answers all : 
He was contented with this bed, this dyet, 
That keepes our discontented stomackes quiet." 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 89 

They got on to Newark, where they were mightily 
pleased with their reception. The landlord was more 
desirous of praise than protest, and the Puritans would 
" let the organ play" if the visitors would tarry. From 
Newark they could discern Belvoir and Lincoln, but 
their horses were tired and their money was running 
short. Resuming their journey, they lost their way, 
but a chance guide conducted them to Loughborough. 
Next day they again lost their way in Chorly Forest, 
but they encounter a keeper, who brings them to 
Bosworth Field. Thence to Warwick and Guy s Cliff, 
and Kenilworth Castle. At Warwick Castle they were 
received by Sir Fulke Greville. 

" With him there was a prelate* by his place 
Archdeacon to the byshopp, by his face 
A greater man ; for that did counterfeit 
Lord Abbot of some convent standing yet, 
A corpulent relique. 

For us, let him enjoy all that God sends, 
Plenty of flesh, of livings and of friends." 

From Warwick they went on to Flore, being just 
able to make the ends meet those non-elastic ends 
which have often such difficulty in meeting. Thence 
to Banbury, where they found that their inn was a 
scene of sad desecration. 

" The Puritan, the Anabaptist, Brownist, 
Like a grand sallet : Tinkers, what a town ist !" 

From Banbury they get back to Oxford, but with their 
resources exhausted, 

" Just with so much ore 
As Rawleigh from his voyage and no more." 

* The prelate in question was an archdeacon. The word had not 
attained its more limited signification. 



90 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

It should be added of Corbet s poems that they were 
written before he attained the Episcopate, and were 
never intended for publication. 

The life of Bishop Hall has always 
JOSEPH HALL. 

1574_1656 anc ^ deservedly been a favourite one 
among the readers of religious bio 
graphy. His voluminous works are repeatedly re- 
published in various forms. The authorities for the 
bishop s life mainly consist of two autobiographical 
tracts published after his death. The one of these is 
entitled " Observations of some Specialties of Divine 
Providence in the Life of Joseph Hall, Bishop of Nor 
wich ;" the other *" Hard Measure," being an account 
of his sufferings at the unhappy period of the breaking 
out of the Civil Wars. Some further particulars are 
to be gleaned from an examination of his writings, and 
from contemporary history. It is thus that Bishop 
Hall records his reasons for writing about himself. 
" Not out of a vain affectation of my own glory, which 
I know how little it can avail me when I am gone 
hence, but out of a sincere desire to give glory to my 
God, whose wonderful providences I have noted in 
all my ways, have I recorded some remarkable pas 
sages of my fore-past life. What I have done is worthy 
of nothing but silence and forgetfulness ; but what 
God hath done for us is worthy of everlasting and 
thankful memory." 

Joseph Hall was born July 1, 1574, at Briston Park, 
Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire. He tells us that 
his father held an office under the Earl of Huntingdon, 
president of the North, and had the government of 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 91 

the market town of Ashby, the chief seat of the earl 
dom. With especial love and gratitude he speaks of 
his mother Winifred, a person " of rare sanctity" and 
" saint - like life and death." Not a day passed in 
which she did not learn for herself and teach her child 
religious truth. 

From the first it had been the desire of his worthy 
parents that he should be devoted to the sacred call 
ing. For this purpose Joseph Hall was sent to the 
public school at Ashby, where, he said, that he " spent 
some years not indiligently under the ferule of such 
masters as the place afforded." When he was grow 
ing up in years, the means whereby he should be ad 
mitted into the ministry, became an object of anxious 
consideration. It so happened that an elder brother 
of his made a visit to Mr. Nathaniel Gilby, a fellow of 
Emmanuel College, Cambridge, a gentleman, who was 
a near relation to the good minister whom we have 
already mentioned. This gentleman greatly interested 
himself in his visitor s younger brother, being a fel 
low-townsman, and had had opportunities to form 
a good opinion respecting Joseph Hall s abilities. 
They both thought it a thousand pities he should enter 
the Church in an obscure and indirect way, and not 
enjoy the great advantages that could be obtained by 
a residence in the University. The elder brother, 
witnessing the halls, libraries, and chapels of Cam 
bridge, its pleasant gardens and waters, its learned 
leisure, and great renown, was " won to a great love 
and reverence of an academical life." Upon his return 
home, this good and loving brother, even upon his 
knees, begged his father not to deprive his brother of 
a university education, as had been the intention, and 



92 



OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 



besought him to sell part of the land which he would 
in course of nature inherit, rather than his brother 
should be deprived of such an excellent opening. His 
father accordingly sent him to Cambridge, where he 
continued for two years. The expense, however, was 
still too much for his father, " whose not very large 
cistern was to feed many pipes besides his." A gentle 
man of Derby who had married his aunt, seeing how 
low-spirited he was at this alteration of life, gene 
rously offered to defray one-half of his expenses at the 
University till he should be master of arts, " which he 
no less really and lovingly performed." Very joyfully 
did Joseph Hall return to his beloved college, and con 
tinued there for some years in the pleasant paths of a 
learned and religious life. 

When he was twenty-three years of age, he pub 
lished his famous work " Virgidemiarum" (a bundle of 
rods), six books of Satires, the first three being en 
titled, "Toothless Satyres;" 1. Poetical. 2. Aca 
demical. 3. Morall; and the last three called " Byting 
Satyres." Hall is the first example of any note in 
English literature of this description of poetry, 
and claims this distinction for himself in his Pro 
logue : 

" I first adventure, follow me who list, 
And be the second English satirist." 

Pope and Gray are perhaps the best examples of 
men, in English history, who have alike been great 
poets and great critics. Each of them held Hall s 
Satires in high estimation. Pope esteemed them the 
best poetry and the truest satires in the English lan 
guage, and Gray speaks of them as being full of spirit 
and poetry. The celebrated critic, Warton, who has 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 93 

given a masterly analysis of these satires, says that 
" the poet is better known than the prelate or the 
polemic." This, however, is a very great mistake. 
There are multitudes who are familiar enough with the 
Meditations and Sermons of Bishop Hall, but have 
never read the Satires, and perhaps do not know that 
they were ever composed. It is noticeable that Bishop 
Hall, in the autobiographical portion of his writings, 
never alludes to this early work. 

Sir Edmund Bacon, the grandson of Lord Bacon } 
the brother of Lady Drury, who had presented him 
with his living, earnestly requested his company " to 
the spa in Ardenna" that is, to the celebrated water 
ing-place in the forest of Ardennes. There was an 
excellent opportunity of going, as they could travel in 
the suite of the English ambassador, the Earl of Hert 
ford. Hall had an acute and active mind, and was 
eager to see and think for himself, desirous of that 
valuable knowledge which travel always brings to ob 
servant and thoughtful men. He, however, subordi 
nated his travels to the service of his sacred profes 
sion, being desirous of seeing the real working of 
popery on the Continent. What he saw in his travels 
confirmed him in his affection for the pure reformed 
faith, and deepened his aversion to the Romish system. 
For this portion of Hall s life the autobiography should 
be carefully collated with the epistles. Popular and 
familiar as published letters were in France, this 
species of letters had never before made its appearance 
from the English press, and Hall had the merit of 
originating that splendid series of epistolary works 
which contains the famous letters of Pope and Cowper. 
The first of these letters is addressed " to Jacob 



94 DUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

Wadsworth, lately revolted in Spain" that is, aposta 
tized to the Church of Rome, and who appears to have 
been with him at Emmanuel College. " I saw her," 
he says, " at the same time in her gayest dress ; let 
my soul never prosper, if I could see anything to com 
mand affection. I saw, and scorned ; you saw, and 
adored. Would God your adoration were as free from 
superstition as my scorn from impiety. That God 
judge betwixt us whether herein erred; yea, let 
men judge that are not drunk with Babylonish 
drugs." 

In order to travel with greater safety, Mr. Hall ex 
changed his sober clerical dress for the silken robes 
and gay colours of a gentleman of fashion. He was 
unable, however, to restrain his zeal for truth, and 
was always ready to engage in eager controversy with 
monks and friars, where the excellence of his Latin 
and the superiority of his divinity must have excited a 
measure of suspicion. In that age, in that country, 
an Englishman, both an avowed and zealous Protes 
tant, might incur the imminent hazard of martyrdom. 
Hall would never admit the boasted unity of the 
Church of Rome. In another of his letters he triumph 
antly quotes Cardinal Bellarmine, who enumerates 
m less than two hundred and thirty contradictory 
opinions concerning doctrine among Romish divines. 
At Antwerp he tells us that " the bulk of a tall Bra- 
banter" saved him from the evil consequences that 
might have attended his want of reverence for a reli 
gious procession. He says that he was taught and 
delighted by everything he saw. At Brussels he saw 
some Englishwomen taking the veil. " Poor souls !" 
says Hall, in his pithy manner, " they could not be fools 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 95 

enough at home !" Ghent commanded reverence for 
its age, and wonder for its greatness. " At Namur, 
on a pleasant and steep hill-top, we found one that 
was termed a married hermit ; approving his wisdom 
above his fellows, that could make choice of so cheer 
ful and sociable a solitariness." Thence they passed 
up the beautiful scenery of " the sweet river Mosa" 
(Maas), and thence to Liege, crowded with cloisters 
and hospitals. Then they came to Spa, or, as he likes 
to call them, the Spadane waters, " more wholesome 
than pleasant, and more famous than wholesome." 
The country surrounding Spa was then wild desert, 
abounding both with wolves and robbers. He then 
came down by the fair broad river of the Scheldt to 
Flushing, and being at Flushing he was anxious to 
visit " an ancient college" at Middleburg. This ex 
cursion proved a great loss to him. When he came 
back, he had the misfortune to see the ship by which 
he was going in full sail towards England. The wind 
had suddenly altered, and the master, hastily calling 
all hands on board, set sail. He had to make a lono-, 

O 

sad stay before he could return home by " an incon 
venient and tempestuous passage." Hall was not a 
good sailor, and he thus expressed his opinion on the 
ocean : " The sea brooked not us, nor I it ; an unquiet 
element, made only for wonder and use, not for plea 
sure." He wonders why men will trust themselves to 
fickle winds and restless waters while they may set 
foot on steadfast and constant earth. 

In 1612 Mr. Hall, with his family, removed to Wal- 
tham. Not long before this Sir Thomas Sutton, one 
of the wealthiest merchants of the day, founded Charter 
House. Fuller relates that this gentleman used often 



96 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

to retire to a private garden, where he was once heard 
to say, " Lord, thou hast given me a large and liberal 
estate, give me also a heart to make use of it." One 
of Hall s epistles is addressed to him, as the title says, 
" to excite him and in him all others to early and 
cheerful beneficence, and to show the necessity and 
benefit of good works." About the time of his re 
moval to Waltham, Hall took his degree of Doctor of 
Divinity. For two-and-twenty years Hall continued 
at Waltham. A numerous young family grew up 
about him, of whom three became ministers, and one 
of the three a bishop. In his " Balm of Gilead" he 
speaks of the cares of parents for their children, and 
gives the following personal anecdote : " I remember 
a great man coming to my house at Waltham, and 
seeing all my children standing in the order of their 
age and stature, he said, e These are they that make 
rich men poor. He strait received this answer, Nay, 
my lord, these are they that make a poor man rich ; 
for there is not one of them whom we would part with 
for all your wealth. 

Just before he came to Waltham, he had an oppor 
tunity of preaching before Henry Prince of Wales. 
On several other occasions he preached before the 
" sweet prince," who was desirous of always retaining 
him in attendance, but Dr. Hall thought it his duty 
to hold close to his village charge. The early death 
of this pious and exemplary Prince was a grievous 
disappointment to the whole nation, which had formed 
the fairest hopes of the happiness which would result 
from his reign. On New- Year s Day, 1613, Hall 
preached before the royal family, and spoke at length 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 97 

of the grievous blow that had happened to them and 
to the country. 

The long residence of Dr. Hall at Waltham was 
interrupted by three important travelling expe 
ditions. To the subject of travelling Dr. Hall paid 
great attention, and has published many of his 
thoughts. 

The first of these occasions of leaving Waltham for 
a time, was when he accompanied Lord Doncaster, 
the English ambassador, to France. Here he had a 
severe illness, and in travelling was obliged to creep 
into a litter, " in which," wrote his friend, Dr. Moulin. 
" you appeared to me to be carried as it were in a 
coffin." Having returned as far as Dieppe, he went 
aboard ship, but his former ill luck at sea accompanied 
him. After tossing about for a night and a day they 
were driven back to the bleak haven from which they 
started. The old " complaint returned upon me, and 
landing with me, accompanied me home." On his 
return, he found that King James, during his 
absence, had nominated him to the deanery of 
Worcester. 

King James, a weak and ill-judging man, in whom 
speculative religion appears to have been little accom 
panied by vital godliness, was foolishly anxious to 
bring the kingdom of Scotland into literal conformity 
with the Church of England. In order to effect this 
object, in 1617 he made a journey into Scotland, and 
was pleased to command the attendance of Joseph 
Hall. The good clergyman appears to have been 
received with great attention and respect by the Pres 
byterians of Scotland, and this unhappily occasioned 
VOL. i. H 



98 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

a good deal of envy in the minds of some of bis own 
communion. These persons tried to prejudice the 
king against him, but it would seem without much 
effect. Dr. Hall s stay was only short ; he sought and 
obtained permission to return home before the rest of 
the court. To his catholic and tolerant mind, this 
unhappy attempt at proselytizing must have been 
little pleasing. Nor did he shrink, when a proper 
occasion came, from bearing impartial witness to the 
merits of his Presbyterian brethren. " For the 
northern part of our land beyond the Tweed," he 
said, in one of his sermons next year, " we saw not, 
we heard not, of a congregation without a preaching 
minister, and though their maintenance generally hath 
been small, yet their pains have been great and their 
success answerable ; as for the learning and sufficiency 
of those preachers, our ears were for some of them 
sufficiently witnesses ; and we are not worthy of our 
ears if our tongues do not thankfully proclaim it to 
the world." 

A third and very memorable journey was that under 
taken by Dr. Hall to the Synod of Dort in J618. 
Four English divines were requested to attend this 
synod, and of these, Dr. Hall, then dean of Worcester, 
was one. The object of the Synod was to settle the 
differences that prevailed between the Calvinists and 
Arminians, or, as in the language of the time they were 
called, the Remonstrants and Counter-Remonstrants. 
Dr. Hall s own opinions were strongly Calvinistic, 
but he loved to dwell on those points on which good 
men agree, rather than those on which they differ. 
In a sermon preached before the Synod, he cautioned 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 99 

his hearers strongly against the refinements common 
in the theology of the day, and exhorted them earnestly 
to Christian peace and unanimity. "What have we 
to do," said he, " with the disgraceful titles of Remon 
strants and Counter-Remonstrants, Calvinists and 
Arminians ? We are Christians, let us be like-minded. 
We are one body, let us be of one mind. I beseech 
you, brethren, by the awful name of God, by the 
sacred and cherishing bosom of our common mother 
(the Church), by your own souls, by the most holy 
mercies of our Saviour Jesus Christ, seek peace, 
brethren, and ensure it." Dr. Hall has some mention 
of his own health at this time, and in reference to this 
very sermon. " By the time I had stayed two months 
there" [at Dort] " the unquietness of the nights in 
those garrison towns, working upon the tender dis 
position of my body, brought me to such weakness, 
through want of rest, that it began to disable me 
from attending the Synod, which yet, as I might, I 
forced myself to, as wishing that my zeal could have 
discountenanced my infirmity. It is well worthy of 
my thankful remembrance that, being in an afflicted 
and languishing condition for a fortnight together in 
that sleepless distemper, yet it pleased God the very 
night before I was to preach the Latin sermon to the 
Synod, to bestow on me such a comfortable, refreshing, 
and sufficient sleep, as thereby my spirits were re 
vived, and I was enabled with much vivacity to per 
form that service, which was no sooner done than my 
former complaint returned upon me, and prevailed 
against all the remedies that the counsel of physicians 
could advise me to." In consequence of this illness, 

H 2 



100 DUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

Dr. Hall left Dort for a season, and repaired to the 
pleasant and famous village of the Hague, the seat of 
the Dutch Court, encircled by woods, and stretching 
down to the sea. His health not improving, he was 
compelled to return to England. The English 
divines were throughout treated with marked con 
sideration, and on his retirement the Synod presented 
him with a gold medal struck to commemorate 
their assembly. Hall wrote a treatise entitled "Via 
Media," by which he fondly hoped to make peace 
between the conflicting parties. The blessing of the 
peace-maker belonged to Hall, but he was unable to 
accomplish his noble and benevolent object, and, as 
is oftentimes the case, an attempt was made to put a 
wrong construction upon his endeavours. He says, 
" I was scorched a little with this flame which I desired 
to quench, yet this could not stay my hand from 
thrusting it into a hotter fire." This last refers to 
his controversies with the church of Rome, to which 
he was always a zealous and consistent opponent. 
Many of his writings on popery have been charac 
terised as " among the ablest we possess," among 
which may be mentioned his memorable treatise " No 
Peace with Rome." 

In 1624, the see of Gloucester was earnestly proffered 
to him, but humbly declined. Three years later, the 
bishopric of Exeter, a very poor one, was offered to 
him and accepted. Dr. Hall saw a particular provi 
dence of God in this occurrence. Some letters which 
the royal favourite of unhappy memory, the Duke of 
Buckingham, had sent from France, would have had 
the effect of hindering his promotion, but the appoint 
ment was made three hours before they arrived. Thus 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 101 

humbly and sinecerly does he speak of his elevation. 
" For me I need not appeal to heaven ; eyes enough 
can witness how few free hours I have enjoyed, since 
I put on these robes of sacred hononr. Insomuch 
as I could find in my heart, with holy Gregory, to 
complain of my change : were it not that I see these 
public troubles are so many acceptable services to my 
God, whose glory is the end of my being. Certainly, 
if none but earthly respects should sway me, I should 
heartily wish to change this palace, which the provi 
dence of God and the bounty of my gracious sovereign 
hath put me into, for my quiet cell at Waltham. But I 
have followed the calling of my God, to whose service 
I am willingly sacrificed." He also tells us of the 
unkind prejudice and suspicion which he had to en 
counter from those who looked upon him as too great 
a favourite of the Puritans. While he was at Exeter, 
he addressed to the clergy of his diocese his work, 
" Henochismus; or a Treatise on the Manner of Walk 
ing with God." In his preface, he says, " 1 am utterly 
weary of, and sorry for, those wranglings by which the 
Christian world is miserably agitated ; and I wish it 
could be possible to appease them by any means in 
my power. I say not by my prayers, sighs, or tears 
only, but by any labour or fatigue of mine, or even at 
last by my blood. .... It is heaven we seek, but 
heaven will never be attained by contests and disputes, 
but by faith and a godly life. The articles of faith 
which are necessary to be believed by every Christian, 
in order to his salvation, are very few, nor are they 
difficult to be understood." 

It was during his episcopate at Exeter that King 
Charles unhappily revived the " Book of Sports," 



102 DUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

which his father, King James, had foolishly issued 
some fifteen years before. This was a declaration to 
be read in churches, encouraging public dancing, 
diversions, and games, upon Sunday, after the hours 
of Divine service. Severe penalties were denounced 
against all the clergy who should omit to read the 
declaration, and a great number of the clergy, who, 
from conscientious motives, disobeyed the royal com 
mand, were punished by being silenced, or by being 
deprived of their livings. No one was thus punished 
in Bishop Hall s diocese ; and Fuller probably refers 
to him when he mentions a bishop in the west who 
on this occasion had said, " I will never turn an 
accuser of my brethren." He refused also to require 
his clergy to take an oath which was unjustly imposed 
upon them. In November, 1641, notwithstanding his 
puritanical leanings, Dr. Hall was translated to the 
see of Norwich. The King probably thought that this 
appointment might tend to disarm the suspicion and 
dislike which had attended his ecclesiastical prefer 
ments. 

A dark cloud was to gather over the evening of the 
days of " the old man eloquent." He had scarcely 
become Bishop of Norwich when the Long Parliament 
met, in the memorable November of 1641. Popular 
agitation against the episcopal order at that time ran 
higher than has ever happened before or since. Tu 
multuous crowds beset the Houses of Parliament, and 
the bishops stood in great dread of personal violence. 
Under these circumstances, they resolved to absent 
themselves, and issued a protest against the validity of 
anything that might be done in their absence. It was 
an ill-advised and unconstitutional step. The popular 



ON THE HISTORY OP EPISCOPACY. 103 

party were not slow to take advantage of this mistake, 
and twelve bishops were at once impeached. It was 
about eight o clock, one dark December evening, and a 
bitter frost was over the land. At such a time ten 
venerable bishops, among whom was Hall, were com 
mitted to the Tower, two more, on account of age and 
infirmities, being kept in the milder custody of the 
Black Rod. Bishop Hall thus speaks of this unhappy 
circumstance : " We, who little thought we had done 
anything to deserve a chiding, were called to our knees 
at the bar, and charged severally with high treason ; 
being not a little astonished at the suddenness of this 
crimination, compared with the innocence of our own 
intention." 

He turned this imprisonment, as might be expected, 
to holy and profitable uses. He would preach in the 
Tower, as he had opportunity on Sunday, and also 
wrote a small treatise on the occasion, entitled " The 
Free Prisoner; or, the Comfort of Restraint." He 
shows how the soul is imprisoned in the body, even as 
the body was imprisoned in the Tower, and pities the 
unhappy case of those who are worse prisoners still, 
fettered by lust and sinful desires. There has also 
been published " A Letter sent from the Tower to a 
Private Friend," in which he speaks of his unfortunate 
situation : " My intention and this place are such 
strangers that I cannot enough marvel how they met. 
But, howsoever, I do in all humility kiss the rod 
wherewith I smart, as well knowing whose hand it is 
that wields it. To that infinite Justice who can be 
innocent ? But to my king and country never heart 
was or can be more clear ; and I shall beshrew my 
hand if it shall have, against my thoughts, justly 



104 OUR EISHOPS AND DEANS. 

offended either." He acknowledges that he was 
indeed a deep sinner before God ; but, as respects man, 
he appeals to his well-known innocency and blameless- 
ness in the discharge of his episcopal duties. He 
declares that he had always been as a brother among 
his clergy, teaching them and working with them as 
such, doing what he could for the " sons of peace 
that came with God s message in their mouths." 
When had his hand been idle? when had he desisted 
from constant preaching? when had he shown any 
regard for earthly pomp ? He appeals to Him st who 
shall one day cause mine innocence to break forth as 
the morning light, and shall give me beauty for bonds, 
and for a light and momentary affliction an eternal 
weight of glory." 

For some months Bishop Hall continued a prisoner 
in the Tower, with this preposterous but weighty 
charge overhanging him. When, however, the bishops 
were deprived of their seats in Parliament, and of the 
larger part of their revenues, they were liberated on 
giving bonds to appear when called for. Upon his 
release, Bishop Hall went down to his diocese, where 
he preached to large audiences, and was treated with 
marked respect. Shortly, however, the hand of per 
secution was again busy. The details are melancholy 
enough, but they should be recorded, if only to teach 
us a lesson of gratitude for the settled peace and order 
which our land now enjoys. His property was confis 
cated, his goods were sold, even down to the cherished 
pictures of his children, and but for the help of a 
pious woman whom he had never known or seen, 
and for a good clergyman, his hard condition would 
have been much harder still. The sequestrators of 



ON THE HISTORY OP EPISCOPACY. 105 

his property first made him an allowance, but before 
any payment was made, this was peremptorily counter 
manded ; eventually, however, a pittance was granted 
to his wife. He was repeatedly exposed to cruel 
insults by the rabble and the military. Early one 
morning, for instance, the soldiers threatened to break 
down his gates, and insisted, with absurd pretences, on 
searching his house. They took away his estates, and 
yet made him pay the heavy taxation to which they 
were liable. Finally, he was ordered to leave his 
home, and would have been turned into the streets, 
had not a kind neighbour quitted his own dwelling to 
give it up to the Bishop s family. Without unkind 
feeling, and without exaggeration, Bishop Hall in 
his " Hard Measure" details these cruel proceedings. 
To add to his griefs, his loved and venerated 
partner was now taken from him by death. He was 
enabled, however, to glory in tribulation, and to 
hold fast an unconquerable trust in the goodness 
of his heavenly Father. On this last occasion he 
wrote his beautiful little tract entitled " Songs in the 
Night." 

We have now no longer the guidance of any auto 
biographical writings, but a few more notices are to be 
found, chiefly in the sermon preached upon the occa 
sion of his funeral. He lived for his few remaining 
days at the hamlet of Heigham, on the western side of 
Norwich. He used to preach in the Norwich churches 
until he was forbidden, and afterwards effectually dis 
abled by disease. The lame old bishop might then be 
seen now, alas ! solitary trudging with the help of 
his staff to church, where the learned, eloquent, and 
famous prelate would meekly and diligently listen to 



106 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

the youngest preacher, and seek to profit by his teach 
ing. His heart and hope were fixed in heaven, and he 
had learned to take joyfully the spoiling of his goods. 
Poor as he now was he had something to give to those 
who were poorer still. To his dying day he gave a 
weekly sum of money to some poor widows, and " his 
bodily alms were constant and bountiful." He would 
often lament the misfortunes of others, but hardly ever 
would make any allusion to his own. He was a 
grievous sufferer in health, and men remembered how 
on his sick-bed, like Jacob, he would strengthen him 
self to bless those who sought his blessing. As his 
end approached, he duly " set his house in order." 
He died at the advanced age of eighty-two, and, 
according to his express desire, was buried without 
funeral pomp. Of the circumstances of his death 
we know nothing, but the preacher of his funeral 
sermon says that when his time drew near that he 
should die, he " much longed for death and was ready 
to bid it welcome, and spake always very kindly of 
it," 

A large number of eminent men might be cited 
during the last half of the seventeenth century. The 
Carolinian divines are especially conspicuous for holi 
ness and learning. Perhaps the brightest period of 
the learning and holiness of the English Church was 
at the very period of the Restoration, when all the 
floodgates of sin and folly appeared to be thrown 
open. Good men and good deeds abounded as if the 
very wickedness of the times elicited in such sharp 
days of spiritual conflict a purifying flame of good 
ness. We take one exemplary instance. 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 107 

The life of a great scholar is fre- 
BISHOP BULL. . , 

16341709 quently obscure and uncomprenenaed. 

When it has happened that he has 
written on profound subjects, that most of his writings 
are contained in a dead language, that he has addressed 
himself not so much to his contemporaries as to the 
learned audience of Europe, that he has lived a life of 
retirement remote from cities, the reward of such a 
life, as to literary reputation, soon fades away. The 
learned theological works of Bishop Bull, issued from 
the Clarendon Press, are especially held in reverence 
by the University of Oxford. It is no wonder that 
they are not much heard of beyond an audience " fit 
though few." They are indeed remarkably destitute 
of all the elements of popularity and general service- 
ableness, but nevertheless, they will always retain a 
distinguished place in the library of theology, from 
their sound judgment, deep piety, and profound eru 
dition. We obtain eminently pleasing glimpses of a 
man of primitive simplicity, thoughtful and studious 
in the extreme, and withal wise, patient, and chari 
table. 

From the very first, his parents devoted him to the 
special service of God. When he was taken to the 
font, his father declared his intention and hope of 
bringing up his son for the ministry. This good 
father, however, died before his little son was more 
than a few years old. He was a man of good family 
and extraction, but as the pious biographer of Bishop 
Bull says : " Let the family be ever so conspicuous, 
the learning and piety of any branch of it addeth more 
to its true lustre and glory than it is capable of giving 
by any blood it can convey." His son was left under 



108 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

the care of guardians, with a fair patrimony. In due 
time, he left school and went up to Exeter College, 
Oxford. Bishop Prideaux was then resident there. 
This was the good bishop who in his last will said that 
he left no legacy to his children, but pious poverty, 
God s blessing, and a father s prayers. He took great 
notice of the young scholar, and by kind advice and 
encouragement sought to bring him forward in his 
studies. The execution of King Charles I. caused 
young Bull to leave Oxford. An oath of a republican 
character was then generally exacted, and he preferred 
to give up the university rather than take it. He 
retired, in common with some others and their tutors, 
into a country village, where they were allowed peace 
fully to pursue their studies. This proved a happy 
season to the young man. He was thrown a great deal 
into the company of a sister, a sensible and pious 
woman. He applied himself with the utmost diligence 
to his studies, and determined that he would take holy 
orders. After preparation, he went to one of the 
ejected Bishops. Those were times of great trouble 
and difficulty, and many cases were necessarily treated 
in a somewhat irregular manner. Mr. Bull was made 
deacon and priest the same day, when he was only 
twenty-one. The Bishop was so pleased with his 
examination that he said the Church wanted persons 
qualified as he was, and that he could not make too 
much haste. 

A little living, near Bristol, worth only thirty pounds 
a-year, was offered to him. The value was so small 
that he thought he could accept it safely. Even in 
those troubled times he imagined that, under these 
circumstances, he could hardly be prosecuted or dis- 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 109 

possessed. He devoted more than the whole of his 
stipend to the poor, and by constant preaching and 
visitation sought to do the best for his people. It 
was hard work. Many of his parishioners were pre 
pared to ridicule and harass him. A curious circum 
stance is related, which helped to extend his influence. 
He used to preach from notes written on little slips of 
paper. When he was preaching one Sunday, in the 
act of turning over his Bible, his notes flew out into 
the middle of the church. The congregation consisted 
chiefly of wild seafaring people. While the quiet 
elderly people remained silent, and some of them col 
lected the notes and handed them up into the pulpit, 
the rougher sort of people raised an irreverent laugh, 
and expected to enjoy the discomfiture of the preacher. 
Mr. Bull took up his notes, which were handed to him, 
and putting them into his Bible closed the book. He 
then, without their aid, continued his sermon with 
great earnestness, so that those who waited were at 
length affected by his words. His influence was much 
extended, but he was still exposed to persecution. 
One day, a man called out to him in the church, 
" George, come down ; thou art a false prophet 
and a hireling." Mr. Bull only mildly expostu 
lated with him, and vindicated himself from such a 
charge. 

The lodgings he had taken were in the near neigh 
bourhood of a powder-mill. The squire of the parish 
and his wife, making him a visit one day, pointed out 
to him the danger to which he was exposed, and 
begged him to come to them and make their house 
his home. After repeated importunity, he accepted 
this obliging offer. He had not removed many days 



110 OUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

when his former residence was blown up, and at the 
very time when he always used to sit working at his 
books. The passion for study grew more and more 
upon him. Regularly once a year, he used to go up 
to Oxford for the purpose of consulting the public 
libraries. Living in the country, he was afraid his 
mind might rust, and so took each year two months 
hard study. 

A lady who had a great respect for the clergyman 
who had become Mr. Bull s father-in-law, procured 
him the rectory of Siddington St. Mary, in the 
neighbourhood of Cirencester. By-and-by he also 
obtained the living of Siddington St. Peter, close by. 
He was able to help his aged father-in-law in his 
decaying years, by taking his duty for him. The 
united value of his two livings did not exceed a 
hundred a-year. In the neighbourhood of Siddington, 
lived a lady named Nelson, with her son, to whom Dr. 
Bull gave regular instruction. This boy afterwards 
became an eminently pious man, a good writer, and 
the biographer of his kind tutor. " I have often heard 
him with great pleasure and edification," says Nelson. 
. . . . " He enlivened his discourse with proper and 
decent gestures ; and his voice was always exerted with 
some vehemency, whereby he kept the audience awake, 
and raised their attention to what he delivered, and 
persuaded the people that he was in earnest, and 
affected himself with what he recommended to others. 
By these means he laboured many years in teaching 
the ignorant, in confirming the weak, in quieting the 
scrupulous, in softening the hard heart, in rousing the 
sinner, and in raising the pious soul to a steady and 
vigorous pursuit of eternal happiness." 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. Ill 

For twenty-seven years he was rector of Sidding- 
ton : diligent in all ministerial duty preaching, cate 
chising, visiting. His own mode of life was a model 
of simplicity and order. If any of his servants could 
not read, he assigned the duty of instruction to some 
member of his own family. Always kind to his house 
hold, one thing alone provoked him any absence 
from family prayer. On Sunday evening, after a 
goodly fashion, he added to these devotions a chapter 
out of the " Whole Duty of Man." For himself, he 
took very little sleep, rising early and going to bed 
late, and devoting this time to study and prayer. Often 
when his family were gone to rest, they heard him in 
his study singing psalms and hymns. Then through 
the silent hours of night he pursued his studies with 
an unwise constancy that eventually shattered his 
health. His chief delight was in his books, and his 
study was the scene of his most exquisite pleasures. 
He used to declare that in the pursuit of knowledge he 
tasted the most refined satisfaction of which the pre 
sent state of nature was capable. Even the only inno 
cent pleasure he allowed himself was intellectual 
agreeable conversation with his visitants. His hos 
pitable temper was free from any tincture of covetous- 
ness. In visiting the poor, his prayers were always 
accompanied by his alms. One of his favourite ways 
of doing good was to keep the children of the poor at 
school. Kind and charitable to all, there was one 
class the especial objects of his care and concern the 
widows and orphans of the clergy who were left 
unprovided for. To these he gave much, and he 
sought in every direction to obtain help from others. 
He used to say that in doing good to others we 



112 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

did good to ourselves, and that it was well to obtain 
an interest in the prayers and benedictions of the 
poor. 

During the twenty-seven years that Mr. Bull thus 
continued at Siddington, he has mentioned that he 
buried ten persons whose united age amounted to a 
thousand years : two of them were a hundred and 
twenty-three years each. During nearly all these 
years his clerical income did not exceed the scanty 
limits we have mentioned. He found it necessary to 
spend several hundred pounds on learned books for 
his library, [n the course of time there were clever 
children to be supported and educated. He had some 
severe private losses, and added to this, he was not a 
sufficiently good man of business to manage the re 
mainder in the best way. We are told that all this 
brought him into great straits : so much so that he 
was compelled to sell his patrimonial estate. The 
Church, as is too often the case, quite failed to provide 
an adequate subsistence for her worthy son who did 
so much in her service. Yet he was never heard to 
trouble the world with any complaints, and was never 
known to give way to discontent. 

His reputation now began to enlarge its bounds, and 
his name became known among the learned of Christ 
endom. Lord Chancellor Nottingham made him a 
prebend of Gloucester Cathedral, and in gratitude he 
dedicated to him his Latin work in defence of the 
Nicene Creed : the great man died, however, on the 
eve of its publication. A better living was also con 
ferred on him. It so happened that, when the rectory 
of Aveuing became vacant, he was staying with some 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 113 

friends at a watering-place. One of them was the 
patron of the living ; and when he heard the news, he 
told his friends that he had a very good living to dis 
pose of, and described the kind of person whom he 
should like to appoint. Mr. Bull was present, and 
everyone perceived that Mr. Bull was, as it were, 
sitting for his portrait. He had, however, a great deal 
too much humility to take home the description to 
himself, and presently left the company for a walk. Mr. 
Sheppard, the patron, then declared that he had given 
those hints that Mr. Bull might apply for the living if 
he wished ; but finding that his modesty was too great 
for him to take that step, he should offer it to him, 
" since he had more merit to deserve it than assurance 
to ask for it." This preferment doubled the amount of 
his clerical income. It was, nevertheless, a heavy draw 
back that he had to rebuild the parsonage, part of 
which had been burnt down just before his incumbency. 
The parish was so large, and his health was so much 
impaired by his night studies, that he was now obliged 
to have a curate. He proposed to his curate that they 
should agree to tell one another, in love and privacy, 
what they observed amiss in each other ; this would 
enable him to regulate the conduct of his own life, and 
without offence, in the exercise of their natural liberty, 
to improve his friend. 

Subsequently; Mr. Bull was promoted to the arch 
deaconry of Llandaff, by Archbishop Sancroft. He 
found he had much to contend with in his new parish ; 
especially the annual village wakes, which were con 
ducted in a most disorderly manner, and these he suc 
ceeded in suppressing. While here, he could not but 

VOL. I. I 



114 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

be gratified by the language of the famous Bossuet, 
Bishop of Meaux, who caused to be communicated to 
him the congratulations of all the assembled clergy of 
France, "for the service he had done the Catholic 
Church, in so well defending her determination of the 
necessity of believing the divinity of the Son of God." 
This acknowledgment by Roman Catholic divines of 
the service he had rendered to their common Christi 
anity, did not hinder his publishing a vigorous little 
work on " The Corruptions of the Church of Rome," 
in which he says of Bossuet himself, " I wonder how 
so learned a man as Monsieur de Meaux can, with a 
good and quiet conscience, continue in it." The Uni 
versity of Oxford also about this time gave him a doc 
tor s degree. 

Merit so conspicuous as Dr. Bull s could not be 
ignored. It was felt that it would be a reflection on 
the Government if he were not elevated to the bench. 
This did not take place till his seventy-first year, and 
then he was raised to St. David s, one of the poorest 
sees. He himself felt his health declining, and was 
unwilling to accept the charge. One reason, however, 
that prevailed with him, was the great assistance which 
he expected to receive from his eldest son. He was a 
clergyman of thirty-five, for many years resident in 
Oxford, and one of its brightest hopes. It pleased 
God, however, to remove from him this staff of his old 
age, this learned and pious son dying of the small pox. 
He duly took his seat in the House of Lords, where 
he made, on one occasion, a short but sensible speech. 
He then went down to his diocese and applied himself, 
as energetically as his health and age permitted, to the 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 115 

duties of his office. The following passage from one 
of his charges is curiously illustrative of the state of 
things in Wales. 

" What shall be done in those poor parishes where 
there are as poor ministers, altogether incapable of 
performing this duty of preaching in any tolerable 
manner ? I answer that, in such places, ministers, 
instead of sermons of their own, should use the 
Homilies of the Church, which ought to be in every 
parish. And they would do well also, now and then, 
to read a chapter or section out of The Whole Duty 
of Man, which, I presume, is translated into the 
Welsh tongue. I add that it would be a piece of 
charity if the clergy of the neighbourhood to such 
places, who are better qualified, would sometimes visit 
those dark corners, and lend some of their light to 
them by bestowing now and then a sermon on the poor 
people, suited to their capacities and necessities. 
They have my leave, yea, and my authority so to do ; 
and they may be sure the good God will not fail to 
reward them." 

It is easy enough to find huge over- 
BISHOP WILSON. J 

16631755 grown dioceses ; they are all huge and 

overgrown ; but Sodor and Man is 
the only standing instance of a small manageable 
diocese. There are many parsons of an old-fashioned 
type who object to an increase of the episcopate, on 
the ground hardly tenable, we, should think, that the 
bishops do not leave them sufficiently alone, and that any 
further interference would be intolerable. In a very small 
bishopric there might be a danger of over-legislation 
and an excessive amount of oversight. The danger of 

I 2 



116 DUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

microscopic dioceses is, however, exceedingly remote. 
In the life of Bishop Wilson of Sod or and Man, 
bishop for more than half a century, we have an 
example of the kind of episcopal government which 
may exist in a slender episcopal territory. Its popu 
lation was only fourteen thousand, very much below 
that of many large parishes. Bishop Wilson s cha 
racter was eminently saintly and beautiful, and has, 
doubtless, been studied by many episcopal readers. 
He could be a little severe upon his own order, as 
when he observed that ecclesiastical estates seldom 
remain above three or four generations in the same 
family. We are told that he could never be induced 
to sit in the House of Lords, though there is a seat 
for the Bishop of Man, detached from the other 
bishops, and within the bar, saying, " That the 
Church should have nothing to do with the State; 
Christ s kingdom is not of this world." 

The great idea of Bishop Wilson s episcopacy was 
the enforcement of discipline in his diocese. This 
idea had a great fascination for the late Mr. Keble, 
and probably prompted him to produce his ponderous 
life of Wilson, and we see in his biography how 
he longed to reproduce it at Hursley. The wisdom 
of his procedure seems questionable. It is difficult 
at times to read of his pains and penalties without 
a smile. The primitive people of the little island 
seem to have been as violent, immoral, and dishonest 
as if they had belonged to the purlieus of the great 
metropolis. There appears to have been a zeal for 
raking out all offences against continence that must 
have had a somewhat prurient effect. Even husband 
and wife had to do public penance for misconduct 



ON THE HISTOEY OP EPISCOPACY. 117 

before marriage. The favourite punishment for frailty 
was to drag the offender at a boat s tail through the 
sea. Nor was this all. He had to pay fees. He had 
to suffer imprisonment. He had to stand bare 
headed, bare-footed, in the porch of the church after 
church, year after year. Sorcery was also severely 
visited. One Alice Knahill had to do three Sunday s 
penance in neighbouring churches, and in each to 
make a solemn renunciation of such diabolical prac 
tices for the future. Such ecclesiastical regimen as 
making a notorious scold wear a bridle in her mouth 
might, perhaps, be advantageously revived in the 
present day. If the Church and the World were con 
terminous, the revival of such discipline might be 
much to be wished. But it brought Bishop Wilson 
into serious collision with the secular arm, and would 
be altogether impracticable in any diocese of the 
present day, whether of small or large dimensions. 
It seems scarcely credible that in the last century a 
Christian bishop should be committed to prison for 
nine weeks for thoroughly conscientious proceed 
ings. This piece of tyrannical persecution happened 
to Bishop Wilson, who in a damp cell lost the use 
of the fingers of his right hand, and may suffi 
ciently prove to us that the persecuting spirit is not 
laid, though, the opportunities of persecution rarely 
exist. 

Two respects may be named in which Dr. Thomas 
Wilson afforded a bright episcopal example. In the 
first place he was a large benefactor, and in later 
years he devoted one-half of his income to pious and 
charitable uses. When one takes up the reports of 



118 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

our great Church societies, and perceives the contribu 
tions by prelates of a single guinea, a sum often 
exceeded by very humble curates, one may consider 
that this antiquated custom is not followed in modern 
times. Still more remarkable was his conduct towards 
candidates for Holy Orders. He would take such 
young students into his house for a whole year, and 
they would daily read the Greek Testament with him 
and hear his remarks. This would rather be too 
much of a tax upon our prelates, but many of them 
receive their candidates as guests during the pre 
liminary examinations for Orders. This, however, is 
not universally the case. Wilson s character stood in 
such estimation in France that the French Ministry 
gave orders that no privateer should commit ravages 
on the Isle of Man. He disinterestedly refused pre 
ferment, and so Queen Caroline addressed a mob of 
bishops at her Court, directing attention to Wilson, 
who happened to be present. " Here, my lords, 
comes a bishop whose errand is not to apply for 
a translation, nor would he part with his spouse be 
cause she is poor." Queen Caroline s husband, George 
the Second, used to say that all his bishops were 
Atheists. 

. Bishop Butler was one of the 

BISHOP BUTLEK. 

16921752 greatest and most original thinkers 
that the world has ever known. He 
ranks side by side with Bacon and Newton and Locke. 
The study of his writings forms an era in a man s 
intellectual life. No author who has written so little 
has achieved so much. A voluminous literature has 
gathered around writings which are easily contained 



ON THE HISTORY OP EPISCOPACY. 119 

in a single volume ; many illustrious writers have 
done themselves honour by becoming his commen 
tators. It is not surprising, therefore, that men have 
eagerly searched for any discoverable incidents of that 
simple and studious life. These, such as they are, we 
now propose to bring together. 

The father of Joseph Butler was an honest tradesman 
carrying on a substantial business as a linendraper in 
the town of "Wantage, in Berkshire, a place memorable 
as the birthplace of King Alfred. Thomas Butler had 
eight children, of whom Joseph was the youngest, and 
at the time of his birth had retired from business, and 
occupied the Priory, at the end of the town, which 
is still shown to those who are attracted thither by 
veneration for the great author. The town of Wantage 
curiously possesses two churches in the same church 
yard. The smallest of these was used as a grammar 
school, where the future author of the " Analogy" 
successfully pursued his studies, being designed by his 
father for the Presbyterian ministry. From thence 
he was sent to a dissenting academy at Gloucester, 
kept by Mr. Samuel Jones, " a man," says the present 
Bishop Fitzgerald, " of no mean ability or erudition, 
who could number among his scholars many names 
that might confer honour on any university of Christen 
dom." Among these names were Seeker, the future 
archbishop, Jeremiah Jones, the writer on the canon, 
Lardner, the apologist, and Chandler, author of the 
" Life of David." Mr. Jones subsequently removed 
from Gloucester to Tewkesbury. Of all his companions 
Seeker seems to have been Butler s most intimate 
friend, and their warm affection continued till it was 
dissolved by death. When Butler was still at Tewkes- 



120 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

bury, where he continued so late as his twenty-first 
year, he first exhibited his extraordinary metaphysical 
genius. The famous Dr. Clarke had recently published 
his " Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of 
God," and the young student, believing that he had 
detected some flaws in the reasoning, addressed the 
author on the subject. He was modestly anxious to 
conceal his name, and his friend Seeker undertook to 
walk over to Gloucester to post the letters and receive 
the answers. Of these letters Sir James Mackintosh 
says that they " are marked by an acuteness which 
neither he nor any other man surpassed." In one of 
these letters he uses this noble language, " I design 
the search after truth as the business of my life." 
Clarke was much struck by the ability, modesty, and 
earnestness of his anonymous correspondent, and sub 
sequently published the letters as an appendix to his 
treatise. After much thought he determined to enter 
the Ministry of the Church, of England. His father 
scarcely approved of this, but finding that his son had 
firmly made up his mind, and that not lightly, yielded 
his assent. He was accordingly entered at Oriel 
College in Hilary Term, 1714. At Oxford we find 
him carrying on another correspondence with Dr. 
Clarke, and this time in his own name.* He does not 
seem to be very well satisfied with Oxford, and enter 
tained thoughts of migrating to Cambridge. " We 
are obliged to misspend so much time here in attend 
ing frivolous lectures and unintelligible disputations 
that I am quite tired out with such a disagreeable 
way of trifling," and he proceeds to make inquiries 

* Mr. J. E. B. Mayor, in "Notes and Queries," points out these let 
ters in the " European Magazine," for 1802. 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 121 

about a college and a tutor. He entertained the idea 
of having Mr. Langton for a tutor, and of taking at 
Cambridge the degrees of B.A. and B.C.L. Finding, 
however, that it was very doubtful whether he would 
be allowed at Cambridge the benefit of his Oxford 
terms, he gave up the plan. 

At Oxford, he formed an intimate friendship with 
Mr. Edward Talbot, a son of the Bishop of Durham, a 
circumstance which had a considerable influence on 
the events of his future life. It does not appear at 
what time he took orders, but in 1718, owing to the 
influence of his friends, Edward Talbot and Dr. Clarke, 
he obtained the honourable appointment of preacher 
at the Rolls Court. His income, however, was for 
some years so inconsiderable that he was obliged to 
receive support from members of his family. In 1720, 
his friend Talbot caught the small-pox, of which he 
died. On his death-bed this amiable young man 
earnestly recommended to his father his three friends, 
Butler, Seeker, and Brown. The very next year he 
presented Butler with the living of Haughton, near 
Darlington. His friend Seeker found him very busy 
over the dilapidations of the parsonage of Haughton, 
and about to rebuild it in whole or part, and fearing 
lest Butler should become embarrassed in his under 
taking, begged the bishop to provide him with a better 
living and a suitable house. The good bishop, remem 
bering the warm affection which his deceased son bore 
to Butler, and aware of the^ growing esteem in which 
the young clergyman was held, presented him to the 
important benefice of Stanhope, 

Soon after this, Butler resigned his appointment as 
preacher at the Rolls, and on this occasion he pub- 



122 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

lished his " Fifteen Sermons," preached at the chapel 
of the Court, and dedicated the volume to Sir Joseph 
Jekyl " as a public mark of gratitude for the favours 
received during his connexion with this Society." 
They are taken almost indifferently from sermons 
preached over a period of eight years : many more 
were most probably wrought up into the " Analogy," 
and many he burnt, the loss of which must be con 
sidered a serious misfortune. Respecting these 
sermons he makes a remark which may be applied 
to all his writings. " It must be acknowledged that 
some of the following discourses are very abstruse and 
difficult ; or, if you please, obscure : but I must take 
leave to add that those alone are judges whether or 
no or how far this is a fault, who are judges whether or 
no or how far it might have been avoided those only 
who will be at the trouble to understand what is here 
said, and see how far the things here insisted upon, 
and not other things, might have been put in a plainer 
manner ; which yet," he modestly adds, " I am very 
far from asserting that they could not." He proceeds 
to make a remark eminently characteristic of a close 
thinker, but which would scarcely hold good in general 
application. " I have often wished that it had been 
the custom to lay before people nothing in matters 
of argument but premises, and leave them to draw 
conclusions themselves." He laments the proverbial 
want of attention and thoughtfulness in language, 
which, we fear, has lost none of its meaning in the 
present day. " The great number of books and papers 
of amusement which, of one kind or another, daily 
come in one s way, have in part occasioned, and most 
perfectly fall in with and humour this idle way of 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 123 

reading and considering things. By this means time, 
even in solitude, is happily got rid of without the pain 
of attention : neither is any part of it more put to 
account of idleness, one can scarce forbear saying is 
spent with less thought, than great part of that which 
is spent in reading. Thus people habituate themselves 
to let things pass through their minds, as one may 
speak rather than think of them. Thus by use they 
become satisfied merely by seeing what is said, with 
out going any further. Review and attention, and 
even forming a judgment becomes fatigue ; and to lay 
anything before them that requires it is putting them 
quite out of their way." 

At Stanhope he continued for seven years. There 
still remain faint traditions respecting him in that 
place. He is described as "riding a black pony, and 
always riding very fast." The life he led was very 
secluded, and moreover very charitable, so much so 
that he was completely pestered by beggars, and to 
get rid of them he was often obliged to return to the 
rectory without completing his ride. People have 
sometimes regretted that Butler continued so long in 
this village obscurity. But it is such retirement that 
is oftenest visited by great thoughts, and great plans 
are therein often conceived and carried out. It was 
thus that Warburton wrote the " Divine Legation," 
and Cudworth the " Intellectual System," and Jeremy 
Taylor the " Ductor Dybitantium." 

" And Wisdom s self 
Oft seeks to sweet retired solitude; 
Where, with her best nurse, Contemplation, 
She plumes her feathers, and lets grow her wings, 
That in the various bustle of resort 
Were all too ruffled, and sometimes impaired." 



124 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

Butler was so far forgotten that Queen Caroline 
asked Archbishop Blackburn whether he was not 
dead? " No, madam," was the witty reply, "he is 
not dead, but he is buried." This seclusion began to 
prey upon his spirits, as did also the death of his 
father. The brother of his dear friend, Talbot, was 
now Lord Chancellor, and dragged him from his 
retreat to London, and made him his chaplain. The 
good Queen Caroline, who loved philosophers and 
divines better than courtiers and statesmen, appointed 
him clerk of the closet, and commanded " his attend 
ance every evening from seven till nine." After the 
"Analogy" was published, it was perpetually in the 
Queen s hands. 

It was in 1736 that the " Analogy of Religion to 
the Constitution and Course of Nature" was first pub 
lished. The language of approbation has been ex 
hausted in reference to this wonderful work. " I 
have derived greater aid from the views and reasonings 
of Bishop Butler than I have been able to find besides 
in the whole range of our extant authorship," writes 
Dr. Chalmers. " The most original and profound 
work extant in any language on the philosophy of 
religion," says Sir James Mackintosh. " The most 
argumentative and philosophical defence of Christianity 
ever submitted to the world," says Lord Brougham, 
in his " Discourse of Natural Theology." It would be 
easy to multiply these testimonies to an indefinite 
extent. At the time when the " Analogy" was pro 
duced the nation seemed to be in a state of universal 
spiritual lifelessness. " I have lived to see," said 
Bishop Warburton, " that fatal crisis when religion 
hath lost its hold on the minds of the people." One 



ON THE HISTOEY OP EPISCOPACY. 125 

living man there was indeed destined to work a great 
revival in the land, but he was now far away in 
Georgia, unconscious of his noble destiny : this man 
was John Wesley. Infidelity in its positive and nega 
tive form everywhere abounded. Some of our greatest 
English writers had either openly or covertly at 
tacked revelation, Hobbes, Shaftesbury, Bolingbroke, 
Hume ; while the coarse infidel publications of such 
men as Woolston, Tindel, and Collins, were widely 
disseminated among the people. Thus writes Bishop 
Butler in the advertisement prefixed to the first edi 
tion. " It is come, I know not how, to be taken for 
granted, by many persons, that Christianity is not so 
much as a subject of inquiry, but that it is now at 
length discovered to be fictitious. And accordingly 
they treat it as if, in the present age, this were an 
agreed point among all people of discernment, and 
nothing remains but to set it up as a principal subject 
of mirth and ridicule, as it were by way of reprisals for 
its having so long interrupted the pleasures of the 
world." In the same language of sober irony he pro 
ceeds to indicate that his book may show, in reference 
to religion, " that it is not, however, so clear a case 
that there is nothing in it." This immortal work not 
only fully combated the spirit of unbelief then pre 
valent, but in deep critical power meets those charac 
teristics by which in all time the spirit of unbelief may 
be discerned. It has, indeed, with startling power 
not only proved to those who are utterly sceptical 
about religion, that there is much more in it than they 
supposed, but it has a much greater than the merely 
negative value which has at times been attributed to 
it. To the deist, who in his melancholy system admits 



126 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

the fundamental truth of the existence of a God, if he 
is of that " fairness of mind" on which Butler always 
lays such stress, the book proves with the irresistible 
conclusiveness of demonstration the truth of revela 
tion. The elder Mill fully admitted the force of the 
reasoning, and could only meet it by denying the pos 
tulate of the work, the existence of God. 

The calm majesty of the work is very observable, 
and though written in a controversial age, and with a 
controversial design, iit is in itself free from every 
trace of controversy. He does not even mention the 
name of the writers he is refuting, and it requires 
some acquaintance with the literature of those times 
to recognise the books which he has in his mind s eye. 
It is this freedom from temporary discussion which 
has done much to give the book its permanent value. 

Lord Kames, the author of " Evidences of Natural 
and Revealed Religion," had some correspondence with 
him, and requested an interview. This was declined 
in a manner very characteristic of his caution and 
modesty : " On the score of his natural diffidence and 
reserve, his being unaccustomed to oral controversy, 
and his fear that the cause of truth might thus suffer 
from the unskilfulness of its advocate." Lord Kames 
advised his kinsman, David Hume, to procure Butler s 
opinion on his work on Human Nature. " Your 
thoughts and mine," says Hume, " agree in respect to 
Dr. Butler, and I should be glad to be introduced to 
him." The introduction, however, never took place. 
To this universal value attached to Butler s writings 
one of his own family showed an exception. The 
Bishop had given a copy of his "Analogy" to a 
nephew, a rich and eccentric man, who, very much 



ON THE HISTOKY OP EPISCOPACY. 127 

liking an iron instrument belonging to a neighbour, 
and his neighbour liking his book, promptly proposed 
and effected an exchange. 

In 1747 Butler was asked to become Archbishop of 
Canterbury. This he refused, and the state of matters 
at the time looked so gloomy that he said that " it was 
too late for him to try and support a falling Church." 
His nephew John, the one who had exchanged his 
work for an iron vice, could not at all understand this 
refusal. He thought that a want of ready money 
must be the reason, and implored his uncle to take it, 
offering to let him have twenty thousand pounds, if 
necessary. His nephew returned to Wantage greatly 
dissatisfied by his persistent refusal. Some years after 
wards he accepted the important Bishopric of Durham. 
The feeling with which he did so is thus described in 
a letter to a friend : " Increase of fortune is insignifi 
cant to one who thought he had enough before ; and I 
foresee many difficulties in the station I am coming 
into, and no advantage worth thinking of, except some 
greater power of being serviceable to others; and 
whether this be an advantage entirely depends on the 
use one shall make of it ; I pray God it may be a good 
one. It would be a melancholy thing in the close of 
life to have no reflections to entertain oneself with, but 
that one had spent the revenues of the Bishopric of 
Durham in a sumptuous course of living, and enrich 
ing one s friends with the promotions of it, instead of 
having really set oneself to, do good, and promote 
worthy men." 

The course of his life was consistent with this lan 
guage. He lived in a most frugal and unostentatious 
manner, and spent his income in the support of public 



128 OTJB BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

and private charities. He once invited a man of 
fortune to dine with him, and appointed a time. When 
the guest came there was a simple joint and a pudding. 
The Bishop apologised for the plain fare, but said it 
was his way of living ; " that he had been long dis 
gusted with the fashionable expense of time and money 
in entertainments, and was determined that it should 
receive no countenance from his example." So far 
was he from showing the slightest favouritism that one 
of his nephews once exclaimed, " Methinks, my lord, 
it is a misfortune to be related to you." One day a 
gentleman called on him to lay before him the details 
of some projected benevolent institution. The Bishop 
highly approved of the object, and calling his steward, 
he asked how much money he then had in his posses 
sion. The answer was, " Five hundred pounds, my 
lord." " Five hundred pounds 1" exclaimed his 
master ; " what a shame for a bishop to have so much 
money ! Give it away ! Give it all to this gentleman, 
to his charitable plan." He died worth less than half 
a year s income. 

Of his appearance and behaviour as Bishop of Dur 
ham we have three distinct accounts. " From the 
first of my remembrance," says Miss Talbot, " I have 
ever known in him a kind, affectionate friend, the 
faithful adviser, which he would condescend to when I 
was quite a child ; and the most delightful companion, 
from a delicacy of thinking, an extreme politeness, a 
vast knowledge of the world, and a something peculiar 
to be met with in nobody else. And all this in a man 
whose sanctity of manner and sublimity of genius gave 
him one of the first ranks among men." " During the 
short time," says Surtees, " that Butler held the see 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 129 

of Durham, he conciliated all hearts. In advanced 
years he retained the same genuine modesty and native 
sweetness of disposition which had distinguished him 
in youth and in retirement." " He was," says 
Hutchinson, author of a history of Durham, " of a 
most reverend aspect ; his face thin and pale ; but 
there was a divine placidness in his countenance, which 
inspired veneration, and expressed the most bene 
volent mind. His white hair hung gracefully on his 
shoulders, and his whole figure was patriarchal." 

One of his portraits shows an expression of painful- 
ness, and he seems to have been subject to much 
melancholy and depression. He had an oval face, 
regular and delicate features ; his forehead was ex 
pansive, his eyes full, and remarkable as expressive of 
extreme abstraction. His looks had a sweetness and 
benignity which always won affection and veneration. 

The Bishop used to reside at times in London, that 
he might attend Parliament. He had a house at 
Hampstead, which once belonged to the celebrated Sir 
Harry Vane, adorned with painted glass representing 
scriptural subjects. Here he and his beloved friend 
Seeker used to dine together every day. He attended 
the House of Lords regularly, but was never known to 
speak. He was extremely fond of music, and when 
he was not employed in necessary employment he 
would ask his secretary, Mr. Emm, to play on the 
orean, and found it a grateful relief to his mind, after 
severe application to study. ^ 

It must not be imagined that Prelacy could not 
exhibit a very different picture. Look at the letter 
which a certain Archbishop wrote to Dean Swift- 
Swift the Yahoo, who was almost made an Archbishop 

VOL. I. K 



130 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

himself : " I conclude that a good bishop has nothing 
more to do than to eat, drink, grow fat, rich, and die, 
which laudable example I propose for the remainder of 
ray life to follow ; for, to tell you the truth, I have for 
these four or five years past met with so much 
treachery, baseness, and ingratitude among mankind, 
that I hardly think it incumbent on any man to en 
deavour to do good to so perverse a generation." An 
Archbishop so ungrateful to Providence must himself 
have been marked with treachery, baseness, and in 
gratitude. 

It is thus that a bishop s son writes of the bishops 
of a generation ago : " The popular notion, justified 
by the habit of many who occupied the bench, was 
that of a stately gentleman, of dignified demeanour, 
and ample income, who appeared in public on solemn 
occasions of confirmations and visitations, passing the 
rest of his time either in retired leisure, or in the 
society of London, or perhaps in fulfilling the duties 
of some other preferment which he held in conjunction 
with his bishopric, and whose name was remembered 
in his diocese rather from the circumstance of so many 
of the cathedral dignities being filled by those who 
bore it than from any permanent benefit which he 
had conferred upon the district of which he had the 
spiritual oversight." Still more severe was the 
language of Bishop Horsley of the clergy in general : 
" We make no other use of the high commission we 
bear than to come abroad one day in the seven, dressed 
in solemn looks, and in the external garb of holiness, 
to be the apes of Epictetus." 

The sad case of the Bishop of Clogher may be men 
tioned from some striking points it presents. I am 



ON THE HISTORY OP EPISCOPACY. 131 

not aware of any other clergyman against whom such 
fearful crimes have been brought home. There is one 
peculiar feature of horror in his case. His sin had 
been detected by a poor man in his employ. He had 
denounced it, and, being convicted of perjury on 
perjured evidence, was publicly flogged most cruelly 
through the streets of Dublin. This Prelate was 
deprived, and might have suffered from the common 
law of the country.* 

Another singular episcopal history may be briefly 
glanced at. We find one of our English Prelates re 
markably distinguished by curious relations with no 

less a personage than Alexander von 
LOBB BKISTOL, Humboldfc< TW wag Lord BHstol 
BISHOP OF DERRY. 

the Bishop of Derry. Gothe has 
some very unfavourable remarks about this Prelate, 
and he is briefly but emphatically characterised by 

* " In a letter from the Rev. C. H , is the following remarkable 

account of the late Bishop of C , who died at Edinburgh under the 

name of T. W . In 1820 he fled the country to save his life. About 

eight years ago he introduced himself to the Rev. J. F , under the 

assumed name of T. W . Mr. F was somewhat startled at the 

contrast between his personal appearance and mode of address. He 
had all the manners of a person of rank, which he seemed to wish to 

conceal. He frequently asked Mr. F how far the mercy of God 

would reach ? Did Jesus die for the very chief of sinners ? By some 
means "The Sinners Friend" had fallen into his hands. This little 

work (he told Mr. F ) roused him from a deathlike sleep in siu, 

and he saw himself in colours that made him miserable, and terrified 
him into reflection. One night, about -three years and a half ago he 

broke his thigh. Mr. F found him in extreme agony of body and 

mind, crying lamentably for mercy. ^He lived a few months after this 
accident, and at last found peace. " The Sinners Friend" was his 
constant companion and he was always speaking about it, blessing God 
that it had come into his hands. After his death it became known to 

Mr. F for the first time that T. W was no other thau the once 

Bishop of C ." Sinner s Friend, an Autobiography 

K 2 



132 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

Gothe s biographers as " a bold free-thinker and 
votary of pleasure."* Humboldt, with the frankness 
of friendship, used to call him the " mad old lord." 
His Ecclesiastical bonds had sat very lightly upon the 
right reverend Prelate. Although a free-thinker, he 
was attended by an orthodox chaplain. He had visited 
Greece, and spent many years in Italy, and at Rome 
he had made the acquaintance of Hirt, the archa3ologist, 
court-counsellor at Berlin. He invited Hirt and Alex 
ander von Humboldt to accompany him in an expedi 
tion which he projected to Upper Egypt. He also 
invited his chere amie et adorable Comtesse de Lich- 
tenau, and the Countess Dennis, remarking to the 
former, " Jamais un voyage ne sera plus cornplet tant 
pour 1 ame que pour le corps." The Bishop of Derry, 
writing to Hirt, says : " We shall have two large 
spronasi with both oars and sails. La Dennis et M. 
le Professeur Hirt are to accompany the dear Countess 
in her boat. M. Savary, the author of the charming 
Letters upon Egypt, will be in mine. I intend to take 
with me two or three artists, not only for the rivers 
and the grand points of view, but also for the costumes, 
so that nothing shall be wanting to render the journey 
agreeable. Dear Hirt, will not this be an expedition 
worthy of your profound knowledge and your inde 
fatigable industry ? What splendid drawings may we 
not expect from our artists ! what a magnificent work 
will not our united efforts furnish for publication !" 
The Countess says herself that this was the most 
loolish journey ever projected, and the King of Prussia 
would never have allowed her to go to Egypt. 

The episcopal expedition was projected on a most 

* Gothe s " Sammtliche Werke," vol. x. p. 367. 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 133 

liberal and luxurious scale. The Bishop guaranteed a 
kitchen and a well-provided cellar. He would have 
his own yacht, his own sculptors and artists, and no 
armed men. They were to go as far as Syene, and 
return by way of Constantinople and Vienna. Hum- 
boldt seems to have thought that the only thing dis 
agreeable in the expedition was the last. " You 
might possibly think the society of the noble lord 
objectionable ; he is eccentric in the highest degree. 
I have only once seen him, and that was during one of 
the expeditions he used to make on horseback between 
Pyrmont and Naples. I was aware that it is not easy 
to live at peace with him. But as I travel at my own 
expense, I preserve my independence, and do not risk 
anything. I can leave him at any time if he oppose 
me too much." This last clause is not quite consist 
ent with a letter to another friend, in which he says 
that he was to be free of expense throughout, and that 
such a proposition was not to be declined. 

It was destined, however, that the expedition should 
not come off. It was rumoured everywhere that the 
French intended to take possession of Egypt, and in 
that case an English bishop with suite would certainly 
not be permitted to go up the river. Lord Bristol s 
trip did not escape the eagle eye of Napoleon. A 
political motive, of which we may be sure that the 
bishop was quite innocent, was attributed to him. 
It was thought that his trip up the Nile was to create 
an agitation in favour of England against the French. 
Humboldt, who had been working most eagerly to 
gratify him and to gain all the advantages which 
might be expected from such a trip, was greatly dis 
appointed, but his work was splendidly utilized for 



134 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

subsequent and more important expeditions. As for 
the mad old bishop he came to much sorrow ; when 
at Milan he was seized by the police, and was kept 
a prisoner for eighteen months. He sought, after 
his liberation, to renew friendly relations with the 
Countess, who seems to have had the art of inspiring 
many persons with affection and respect, but it was 
impossible. He was suspected of having given in 
formation respecting Germany to the French. Once 
he had written thus, " Mon cceur est un grand, et 
j ose dire, vaste chateau dont le corps-de-logis est 
tout a vous seul consacre* ; chaque appartement 
meuble de votre nom, de votre charmante figure, et 
de*core de votre physionomie tendre et spirituelle." 
When these friendly relations were at an end, all the 
Bishop s regard was changed into hate. We do not 
pursue any further this singular history, but hasten 
to place in relief the spotless career of one of our 
saintlier prelates. 

There are few persons who are 
familiar with the sweet and solemn 

l/oo. 

literature of our English sacred 
writers who do not hold in peculiar love and regard 
the memory of George Home, the good Bishop of 
Norwich. The author of the most favourite " Com 
mentary on the Psalms " was not only celebrated for 
his great knowledge and great attainments, but re 
markable, also, for his gentle spirit and his cheerful 
piety. His happy, quiet lot was cast in uneventful 
days, and spent almost entirely in the college cloister 
and the cathedral close. No biography of him has 
been written that really deserves the name. 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 135 

The life of the Bishop, so far as we are able to 
judge, seems an uninterrupted career of peace and 
prosperity. His father was a country clergyman 
residing at Otham, in Kent, a man of great learning, 
and remarkable for " the integrity of his mind against 
all temptations from worldly advantage." At Otham 
his illustrious son was born in the year 1730. His 
father, a man of very mild and amiable disposition, 
would arouse his little son from sleep by playing 
upon the flute, that the child might wake up in a 
gradual and pleasant manner; and as he grew up 
he had " a tender feeling of music, especially that of 
the church." At Oxford he soon gained the friend 
ship of such of his contemporaries as were of good 
learning and good manners. During his under 
graduate course the boy grew up into the young man, 
and was noted for his handsome appearance; but he 
was always so shortsighted as to be quite lost without 
the help of his glasses. He was not very strong, and 
was indisposed for active exercise ; he used to take 
horse exercise sometimes, but so awkwardly that some 
amusing stories are told respecting him, and he used, 
with much pleasantry, to tell them against himself, 
having " the rare and happy talent of disarming all 
the little vexatious incidents of life of their power to 
molest by giving them some unexpected turn." 

After a time he was elected Fellow of Magdalen 
College. We can well imagine him, as Addison before 
him, in those pleasant and renowned walks, embowered 
by the elms overarching shade, and bordered by the 
murmuring Cherwell. Here he added to his classical 
knowledge the persevering study of Hebrew, and with 
friends of congenial disposition devoted much atten- 



136 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

tion to music. The famous Dr. Parr was one of his 
contemporaries, and has given some description of 
him. He describes him as a man of great learning 
and dignified manners, who never showed the least 
ill-humour himself, and would gently repress it in 
others. He had a great deal of natural pleasantry, 
and as an instance it is narrated that when an under 
graduate asked leave of absence, saying he was going 
to Coventry " Better to go than be sent," said 
Home. People would watch the good man in the 
pulpit while the psalm was being sung just before the 
sermon in the University church, joyfully beating time 
with his hand and joining in the strain. 

Among the incidents recorded of him is the follow 
ing. A poor man lay in Oxford jail condemned. He 
was a bad man, who had committed many robberies. 
This man had heard of Mr. Home s high character 
for piety and humanity, and sent to beg him to come 
and see him. This Home accordingly did, and found 
in the criminal an Irishman of gentlemanly appear 
ance and address. The case of this wretched man lay 
heavily on Home s mind. Night and day he used 
anxiously to think how he could best address the 
unhappy criminal, for, while sensible and ready on 
ordinary occasions, he found him deplorably destitute 
of all religious knowledge. To a man of his kindness 
of mind these circumstances proved a severe trial, and 
considerably affected his health for some time. Those 
who are acquainted with Oxford will recollect that in 
the first quadrangle of Magdalen there is an elevated 
stone pulpit inserted where the preacher in the open 
air used to address an open-air congregation. Ac 
cording to college custom, he there preached before 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 137 

the University on the day of St. John the Baptist, on 
which occasion, according to an ancient usage, the 
quadrangle was furnished round with a fence of green 
boughs, that the audience might be reminded of St. 
John in the wilderness. These customs have been for 
some time discontinued, not without the complaints 
of those who fondly recollected them, and knew our 
forefathers were not afraid of a little wind, or sun, or 
rain. Home was concerned to hear on this occasion 
that his hearers considered that he had " a very fine 
imagination ;" he would have greatly preferred that 
they had indeed entered into the spirit and the truth 
of what was said ; he found that they were better 
critics than doers, and in a private letter he laments 
this. 

He used to regret that he knew so little of the world 
that he found it very difficult to discover proper ob 
jects for his beneficence, and would say, " Let any 
body show me in any case what ought to be done, and 
they will always find me ready to do it." His alms 
were given away with such secresy that people little 
imagined how extensive they were, but after his death, 
when his pensioners had to look about for other means 
of support, it was discovered how many pensioners he 
had quietly maintained. 

He thus speaks of himself in 1788 : " I have been 
more than ever harassed this year, for four months 
past, with defluxions on my head and breast; they 
have driven me to take the benefit of the Headington 
air this charming season, which by God s blessing will 
enable me to get clear for the summer, I believe : but 
as I grow older 1 shall dread the return of winter." 
Such was the state of his health when he was pressed 



133 OUK BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

to become Bishop of Norwich. He by no means felt 
inclined to undertake so weighty an office, but he 
eventually complied. He survived his elevation for 
little more than half a year. The Bishop s palace at 
Norwich is entered by a large flight of steps. " Alas !" 
said the good Bishop one day, " I am come to these 
steps at a time of life when I can neither go up them 
nor down them with safety." His chaplain persuaded 
him to take an early walk in his garden every morning. 
One day he said to his chaplain, in his usual pleasant 
manner, " Mr. William, I have heard you say that the 
air of the morning is a dram to the mind ; I will rise 
to-morrow and take a dram." In the midst of these 
infirmities he derived some benefit by visits to Bath on 
two occasions ; and was on his third journey when he 
was struck down by a paralytic stroke. He was, how 
ever, able to complete his journey. One who was with 
him to the last thus writes : " Had you seen him 
bolstered up, blessing his children and speaking com 
fort to his wife, in the hope and trust of their meeting 
again, you would never have forgot it. I am sure I 
never shall ; nor do I wish it." 

It has been said of Dr. Home that so rich was his 
conversation, that if some friend had followed him 
about with pen and ink to note down his sayings and 
observations, they would have furnished a collection as 
good as Boswell s " Life of Johnson," but frequently 
of a superior quality, because the subjects which fell in 
his way were occasionally of a higher nature. A col 
lection of these " Aphorisms and Opinions of Dr. 
Home" has been of late years published. Here is one 
anent episcopacy : 

"An Italian bishop, who had endured much per- 



ON THE HISTORY OF EPISCOPACY. 139 

secution with a calm, unruffled temper, was asked by 
a friend how he attained to such a mastery of himself? 
* By making a right use of my eyes, said he ; I first 
look up to heaven as the place where I am going to 
live for ever ; I next look down upon earth, and con 
sider how small a space of it will soon be all that I 
can occupy or want; I then look round me, and think 
how many are far more wretched than I am. 

So rapid is the flight of the ages, so few are the 
necessary links that connect generation to generation, 
that we come to the prelates who have passed away 
during the present happily prolonged reign. 



140 



CHAPTER III. 

THE EMINENT PRELATES OF THE REIGN. 

WHEN Her Gracious Majesty ascended the throne 
the Archbishop of Canterbury was the mild silver- 
voiced Howley. He was a retiring, gentle-minded 
man, whose episcopacy has been looked upon as a 
golden age, and he himself regarded as the patriarch 
of the time. Old Queen Charlotte and two Princesses 
had attended his consecration to the Bishopric of Lon 
don in 1813. This was his first see ; for the first time 
since the Restoration an immediate appointment was 
made to the Metropolitan See the precedent has been 
repeated in the case of Dr. Tait. His memory carries 
us back to the times that are now historical. His 
name was linked with the private history of the royal 
family and many great transactions of the reign. He 
had been entrusted with the education of the young 
Prince of Orange, when the plan had been formed that 
the young man, subsequently Prince of Orange, should 
be the husband of the Princess Charlotte. Again and 
again he was present at the dying beds of the large 
family of King George and Queen Charlotte ; he bap 
tised and married them, he performed royal funerals 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OF THE REIGN. 141 

and royal coronations. He was of the old High school, 
and when he opposed the Catholic Emancipation Act 
he did so, " dreading the designs of the Papists more 
than the consequences which might result from a re 
fusal of their claims." He was a man who had his 
private sorrows and his public trials, but nothing im 
paired the even quietude of his days and the sweetness 
of his disposition. He lived in those old days when 
the Ecclesiastical Commissioners had not laid hands 
on the revenues of the see of Canterbury, and Dr. 
Howley was one of the greatest of our modern prince 
bishops. His hand was open as the day, and he spent 
at least a hundred thousand pounds on Lambeth and 
on Addington. A living American divine recently in 
this country, Dr. Tyng, of New York, wrote an account, 
while the Archbishop was still living, of an interview 
which he had with him : 

" The Archbishop crossed the room to meet me, 
and shaking hands with me in a very cordial manner, 
handed me a chair with so much meekness and kind 
ness of manner as at once to cast off all reserve, and 
make me feel entirely at home with him. The distinct 
ive traits of his manner and appearance are meekness 
and cheeriulness. He is so perfectly unassuming; and 
I was unconsciously detained in a conversation which 
I might have reasonably feared would have been an 
intrusion in a perfect stranger. I was surprised, con 
sidering his age, station, and occupation, at the know 
ledge he had of many minute and subordinate matters 
among us. There was a remarkable moderation of 
sentiment in all his conversation, and nothing which 
savoured in any degree of an encouragement of the 



142 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS, 

strange doctrines which the men of Oxford have 
brought, into the Church." 

The Times, in its Memoir, brought the Primate into 
personal relations with the Queen. " He had baptised 
the Queen ; he had solemnised her marriage ; he had 
placed the crown upon her head ; he was the first 
ecclesiastic in the realm, and when it appeared to him, 
as well as to other distinguished members of the hier 
archy, that in the palace of the Sovereign Sunday was 
observed rather in accordance with the gaiety of Con 
tinental taste than with the quiet reserve of English 
and Protestant habits, he did not hesitate to call her 
Majesty s attention to the subject ; and it has been 
stated that more than once during the Melbourne 
Ministry he respectfully tendered to the Crown advice 
not quite in accordance with the wishes of those who 
at that time surrounded our youthful and inexperienced 
Sovereign. Though a man of remarkably mild and un 
assuming manners, he was by no means deficient in 
moral courage, nor likely to be deterred by any set of 
courtiers from discharging a duty due to his Sove 
reign, or to the Church of which that Sovereign is the 

O * ^3 

head. 

We pass now to his successor, 

AKCHBISHOP SUMNER. John Bird Sumner. He was a man 
who held his own place deep in the 
affections of the great Evangelical party, and indeed 
of all sections in the Church. People complained at 
times that there was a great absence of state in the 
old gentleman who, umbrella in hand, would come 
across Westminster Bridge to attend to his business at 
the House of Lords. But when that good grey head 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OP THE EEIGN. 143 

was at last laid low, there was none that did not offer 
a tribute of veneration and regard to the spotless 
memory of this truly Christian bishop. For as he 
himself would say, he did not for himself seek this 
high office ; he took it as God s appointment ; he be 
sought the prayers of Christians that he might be 
strengthened in its faithful discharge, and he ever 
humbly and perseveringly sought to approve himself 
a useful minister in the Church of Christ. He appears 
to have been one of those elevated natures whom the 
searching heat of prosperity serves but to purify, so 
simple and unaffected was he in life, so pure and 
fervent in faith, so apostolic in practice. 

His father was the Rev. John Sumner, vicar of 
Kenilworth and Stoneleigh, in the county of Warwick, 
and formerly fellow of Eton College. His mother was 
the daughter of a London merchant, a venerable lady, 
who lived to see two of her sons bishops, and who 
died in 1846, at the advanced age of eighty-eight. 
For generations the family of the Sumners had been 
connected with Eton, and a list of their names is 
carved in the " Lower School Passage." More than a 
hundred years ago now, his grandfather, Dr. Sumner, 
had been Head Master of Eton. John Bird Sumner 
was sent to Eton at the usual age, and continued there 
for a number of years. In 1798, he proceeded to 
Cambridge as scholar of King s College, the post 
awarded to the first of his year at Eton College. Those 
were the old days of the Eton Montem, and a con 
siderable sum would be subscribed for the benefit of 
the scholar going up to Cambridge. That beautiful 
college, King s College, with its cathedral-like chapel, 
and stately grounds stretching down to the margin of 



144 OOR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

the Cam, was then regarded by university men as im 
parting a peculiarly happy lot to its inmates. For the 
scholars became fellows as a matter of course, without 
any further labour and competition, and in due time 
succeeded to the enjoyment of other advantages. In 
the year 1800, Mr. Sutnner obtained one of the few 
University distinctions then open to undergraduates of 
King s College, namely, the Brown Gold Medal for the 
best Latin ode, " a prize once considered in the Uni 
versity as the blue riband in the Latin poetic field." 
The subjects of these odes frequently bore reference 
to contemporary political events, and the present was 
an instance of this. Our renowned Duke of Welling 
ton, then Colonel Wellesley, had recently signalized 
himself and delighted the country by his capture of 
Seringapatam, the capital of Mysore, in which the 
debased and faithless tyrant of the country, Tippoo 
Saib, fell. The subject was Tippoo s death (Mysorei 
Tyranni Mors), and the young Latinist descanted on 
the subject in a tolerably fair imitation of Horace, 
characteristically concluding by reminding his readers 
that the lowly olive branch of peace might be fittingly 
blended with victorious laurels. In 1802 he obtained 
the Hulsean prize, and the same year took his degree 
of B.A. 

The year following he was nominated Assistant 
Master of Eton College, and thereupon resigning 
his fellowship, he married. In 1810 he produced 
his first public work, entitled, " Apostolical Preaching, 
considered in an examination of St. Paul s Epistles." 
This work has gone through nine editions, and has 
also been translated into the French, and will most 
probably take a standard place in the library of the- 



THE EMINENT PEELATES OF THE EEIGN. 145 

ology. On the title-page of the book he took as his 
motto the lines of Cowper : 

" Would I describe a preacher such as Paul, 
Were he on earth, would hear, approve, and own, 
Paul should himself direct me." 

Upon this lofty exemplar the apostolical preaching 
of St. Paul the good Archbishop always sought to 
model his own religious teaching. In 1815, according 
to the will of Mr. John Burnett, of Deas, Aberdeen- 
shire, ] ,200 was given as a first prize, and 400 as a 
second prize for the best treatises on "The Evi 
dences." Such treatises were to show forth " the 
evidence that there is a Being all-powerful, wise, and 
good, by whom everything exists," and should seek to 
" obviate difficulties regarding his wisdom and good 
ness." The first prize was obtained by an unknown 
Scottish minister, and the second by Mr. Sutnner. In 
1817 he published this under the title of " A Treatise 
on the Records of the Creation, and on the Moral At 
tributes of the Creator." He especially points out that 
Moses could not have invented the doctrine he taught, 
nor yet have derived it from the Egyptians. This work 
has been thus characterised by a friendly critic : " This 
treatise of Mr. Sumner s is well known as being in 
advance of his time on scientific points ; and no less 
an authority than Sir Charles Lyell has appealed to it 
to show that revelation and geology are not necessarily 
discordant. It has gone through a great many editions, 
and is a most masterly performance, the one, too, on 
which Mr. Sumner s fame as an author is most likely 
to rest. He bases his evidence on the credibility of 
the Mosaic records ; he occupies half the space with 

VOL. I. L 



146 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

proofs of the existence of a God ; and in the second 
and third part discusses with much scientific ability 
the attributes of God, and his wisdom and goodness, 
with their influences on the moral and political con 
dition of mankind." 

Many eminent men, including several Cabinet 
Ministers, were in his house while he was one of 
the masters at Eton. In 1817 he obtained the com 
parative leisure of an Eton fellowship, and it became 
part of his duty to preach to the v boys. We can well 
imagine the affectionate earnestness with which he 
would address his peculiar auditory in the bright 
morning of their youth. 

In 1818 he succeeded to the valuable Eton living of 
Mapledurham, near Reading, and in the county of 
Oxford. The next year a still higher distinction was 
bestowed on him. Dr. Shute Barrington, the Bishop 
of Durham, a man of great virtues and abilities, and 
also a great discerner and rewarder of literary merit, 
gave him a prebendaryship, and the next year one of 
the " golden stalls" of Durham, which last he retained 
till his elevation to the Primacy. In 1821 Mr. Sumner 
published his " Sermons on the Christian Faith and 
Character," which he dedicated, as a mark of gratitude, 
to Bishop Barringtou, a work which has been over and 
over again reprinted. Many of these sermons had 
been preached in the chapel of Eton College, and must 
have been equally beneficial to masters and boys. In 
1824 he published an important work on the " Evi 
dence -of Christianity derived from its Nature and 
Reception." 

In 1825, Mr. Sumner preached the anniversary ser 
mon for the Church Missionary Society. " We well 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OP THE EEIGN. 147 

remember," says a certain writer, " that this was called 
a very bold step. Bishops and great men did not at 
that time favour the Society. John Sumner, it was 
said, might have looked for preferment, but now he 
could never rise; it was great self-denial, it was 
added, in him to have so committed himself." On the 
21st of May, 1826, he preached another memorable 
sermon. This was on the consecration of his younger 
brother, Charles Richard Sumner, ten years his junior, 
to the Bishopric of Llandaff. 

In 1828 his brother, the Bishop of Llandaff, was 
translated to the Bishopric of Winchester. The same 
year the Government of the Duke of Wellington and 
Sir Robert Peel appointed John Bird Sumner 
to the Bishopric of Chester. The conge d elire was 
issued Aug. 5, 1828. The Chester local paper (the 
" Courant") described their new prelate as " a most 
amiable man, with a strong bias in favour of those 
doctrines called Evangelical, and consequently a friend, 
and it may be a patron, of Bible and Missionary So 
cieties." He was consecrated at Bishopsthorpe, near 
York, September 13th, and enthroned by proxy the 
following November. It was a time of great religious 
excitement on the Roman Catholic question, and the 
good Bishop took great pains to disentangle what was 
religious from what was purely political in these dis 
cussions. He addressed a letter to his clergy in 
which he endeavoured to calm the apprehensions 
which many good people- then entertained res 
pecting the Emancipation Act. " What," he asked, 
" could even fifty Romanists do to hurt the Church 
against six hundred Protestants ? Let them hope 
charitably of the Romanists. The condition of Ireland 

L 2 



148 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

was deplorable. The upper class, the Protestant 
minority, were endeavouring to keep down the lower. 
What idea of Protestant truth was conveyed to the 
Roman Catholics by the favourite phrase " Protestant 
ascendancy ? Protestants mistook party feelings for 
religious zeal, and when Orangeism was too much 
accustomed to pass for Christianity, who could won 
der if Protestantism was generally confounded with 
Orangeism ?" 

The diocese over which the new Bishop was called 
to preside was one of enormous area. It extended 
over the whole of Cheshire, a great part of Lancashire, 
and even reached into Wales. His labours and re 
sponsibilities were enormous. The state of spiritual 
destitution among the teeming manufacturing popula 
tion was appalling. Although his predecessor, Bishop 
Blomfield, had worked with herculean energy, com 
paratively little impression was made upon the enor 
mous mass. For twenty years Bishop Sumner proved 
himself a preaching and a working bishop. His energy, 
activity, and zeal were everywhere felt throughout 
his vast diocese. He consecrated, it is said, more 
than two hundred churches in the course of his 
Chester episcopate. So great were his labours that 
Sir Eobert Peel in memorable language alluded to 
them in the House of Commons. Having eulogized 
the labours of the Bishop of Kipon (the new Arch 
bishop of Canterbury) he added, " Here also it would 
not be just were I not to express in the strongest 
terms my admiration of the conduct of the Bishop of 
Chester, who has effected so much improvement in 
the diocese which has the fortune to be under his 
charge, and to witness his example. It is impossible 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OF THE KEIGN. 149 

for any one to read the charge of the Bishop of 
Chester without entertaining sentiments of the deepest 
respect for that venerable prelate." 

Early in 1848 Archbishop Howley died. It was 
known at the time that the Premier, Lord John 
Russell, hesitated in his selection of a successor be 
tween the Bishop of Chester and Dr. Lonsdale, the 
late Bishop of Lichfield. His resolution was soon 
taken. On the 15th of February, Bishop Sumner 
received a royal message to go up to London at once. 
On Friday, the 10th of March, he was confirmed at 
Bow Church, Cheapside. As he was leaving the 
church after the service, and passing through the 
crowd, a stranger emphatically exclaimed, though in a 
low tone, " God bless the Archbishop of Canterbury !" 
His Grace immediately paused, and said in a most 
impressive manner, " I thank you ; I indeed need all 
your prayers." He was the nineteenth Archbishop, 
the see being founded A.D. 596, " by Divine provi 
dence," the style of all other prelates being " by 
Divine permission." We may add that in two other 
instances, and in only two others, have two brothers 
been respectively Archbishop of Canterbury and suf 
fragan bishop. In the time of James I. the two Abbotts 
were respectively of Canterbury and Salisbury ; and 
in the twelfth century Radulphus and Saffredus, of 
Canterbury and Chichester. In no other cases have 
two brothers been bishops at the same time, in the 
course of English history. ^ 

In his primary charge to the clergy of the diocese 
of Canterbury he feelingly alluded to his own advanced 
age, in speaking of the character, courtesy, and wisdom 
of his predecessor. " Nothing remains for me except 



150 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

to endeavour that, during the much shorter career that 
I can expect to run, I may act in the same spirit, and 
acquire the same confidence of the clergy over whom I 
am placed, by a faithful attention to the great interests 
which we are all concerned to maintain." As primate 
of all England and metropolitan, he showed the same 
qualities which shone so brightly in his long episco 
pate at Chester. During his primacy some remark 
able events occurred that caused much trouble and 
discussion in the Church of England ; and though the 
Archbishop was not remarkable for really brilliant 
talents, or really deep learning, he had more success 
than could have been hoped for with more able men. 
His calmness and gentleness invariably tranquillized 
the surrounding atmosphere. His meek and holy 
demeanour everywhere conciliated; and during his 
time Lambeth Palace was utterly divested of all the 
unbecoming state and sumptuous splendour by which 
at one time it was surrounded. 

The speeches of the venerable prelate in the House 
of Lords would well repay a careful perusal. To the 
dexterity of the debater he made no pretence, and 
would probably consider that such was unworthy of 
his character and office. Still less were they con 
cerned with any personal or political object. But 
they show no ordinary amount of experience, sagacity, 
moderation, and holiness, such as went far to dignify 
the debates in the House of Lords in which he took 
part, and commanded the instinctive respect of all who 
heard him. We may give a quotation or two from 
these speeches. Thus wisely he speaks in advocating 
the omission of the political services in the Prayer- 
Book of the Church of England. After speaking of 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OF THE EEIGN. 151 

the duty of a nation s acknowledgment of events of 
great importance to the national weal, he proceeds 
thus : 

" The providential discovery of a plot which might 
have endangered our Protestant confession, the res 
toration of legitimate government, the establishment 
of a free constitution, all these were events which 
could not fail to rouse the strongest emotions of which 
the mind is capable. You cannot be surprised if 
prayers and thanksgivings composed under such cir 
cumstances partook of the feelings of the times and of 
the composers if they were not only vehement, but 
passionate, and sometimes savoured of politics as 
much as of religion. I hold it to be impossible, even 
if it were desirable, that we at distance of two or three 
centuries should entertain the feelings or sympathize 
with the expressions which are found in those services. 
It is very inexpedient that the people should be invited 
to offer up prayers and thanksgivings in which their 
hearts take no concern. Praise or prayer which does 
not issue from the heart is mockery. No doubt it is 
from this conviction that those services have fallen 
into desuetude ; and it is more seemly that they 
should be regularly abolished than irregularly dis 
regarded." 

When the Government of India Bill was passing 
through the House of Lords, the good Archbishop 
made an earnest speech in. reference to that Mis 
sionary cause which was so dear to his heart : 

" Surely, my lords, we ought to look forward to the 
time when, under the Providence of God, India shall 
form no exception to the multitude of countries in 
which truth has prevailed against falsehood, and the 



152 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

gospel has triumphed over idolatry and superstition ; 
and we shall know why a remote country like England 
should have been allowed to have dominion over the 
vast territory of India." 

Again, when in the House of Lords a peer attacked 
the Exeter Hall services, in which the bishops and 
others bore part, the Archbishop said he would only 
just ask whether it would be wise, even if it were 
possible, to check these innovations. " He could not 
imagine that any greater reproach or disparagement 
could be cast upon the Church than to suppose it was 
incapable of accommodating itself to the changing 
necessities of the age, or allowed its dignity to inter 
fere with its usefulness." 

One more appearance in the House of Lords ought 
to be mentioned. In 1847, when he appointed one of 
his sons to a prospective registrarship of the Preroga 
tive Court, His Grace clearly showed that, on the doc 
trine of chances, the value of the office was not equal 
to that of the stamp ; and Bishop Tait informed the 
House that when the most lucrative registrarship, 
worth many thousands a year, became vacant, the 
Archbishop gave it to a perfect stranger, on condition 
that he personally performed the duties of the office. 
Might it not have been better if the two prelates had 
concurred to obtain the abolition of the office, or, at 
all events, curtail it of its excessive, unwholesome 
gains r We have heard it said that to be a con 
nection of his was nearly a disqualification for pre 
ferment. 

Nothing can be conceived more pleasing than the 
private life of the Archbishop. He lived in the quiet, 
frugal manner of a country clergyman. We have been 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OF THE EEIGN. 153 

told that he would rise early in the morning, light his 
own fire, and finish his important correspondence 
before breakfast. Pomp and show he especially 
avoided ; with a princely income, always appearing a 
plain, simple man. In all relations of life son, 
father, grandfather, brother he was tender, affec 
tionate, and engaging. He used to take the chief part 
in the quiet family services in Lambeth Chapel. On 
Sundays he was generally employed in pleading for 
some religious or charitable cause. One Sunday every 
month he was accustomed to preach in the morning at 
the parish church of the pretty village of Bromley, 
Kent, where we have listened to his simple and affec 
tionate addresses. He baptized all the junior members 
of the royal family, and confirmed them all ; he mar 
ried the Princess Royal, and but for illness, would 
have married the Princess Alice. It was also his lot 
to bury the Queen s mother and the Queen s husband ; 
and it is understood that, on more than one occasion, 
his presence was sought and welcomed by Her Majesty 
and the Prince Consort. In her " Sunny Memories," 
Mrs. Beecher Stowe relates how, in 1858, the Primate 
invited her to breakfast at Lambeth, and on that occa 
sion, for the first time, he ascended Lollards Tower to 
amuse his visitor. 

One of his last labours was to issue a new edition 
of his work on the " Evidences of Christianity derived 
from its Nature and Reception." He designed this as 
the contribution of his old age to the defence of the 
faith against the innovating flood of modern doubt. 
The design was occasioned by the publication of the 
" Essays and Reviews," and the work is throughout 
" revised with reference to recent objections." It 



154 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

shows abundant evidence of carefulness and thought 
continued to the very last. 

Up to May, 1861, the Archbishop, though eighty, 
had shown few of the symptoms incident to so ad 
vanced an age. His first attack then occurred, from 
which he speedily recovered. The death of his 
youngest daughter proved a very trying affliction to 
him. He bore part in the opening of the Exhibition, 
being the commissioner ranking next to the Duke of 
Cambridge, and it is understood that the excitement 
was too much for so aged a man. Nevertheless, up 
to the 13th of August, he was able to transact busi 
ness with the regularity for which he was always so 
remarkable ; but he knew his days were numbered, 
and in calm, childlike faith awaited his end. 

A few words may here be added respecting Arch 
bishop Sumner s brother, the retired Bishop of Win 
chester, who has so lately passed away. He was not 
one of those prelates who by the force of character 
and achievement impress their name upon the history 
of their Church and land. His great title to distinc 
tion is this, that, as one of the first five prelates of 
England, he-onee- sat in the high seat once held by 
Lancelot Andrewes. Adopting Shakspeare s classifi 
cation he was not born to greatness, neither had 
he achieved greatness; but he had a great deal of 
greatness, with very gentle violence, forced upon 
him. He was not one of those prelates whose lustre of 
character and renown is such that an office, however 
dignified, only imparts an adventitious splendour to 
their names. Dr. Sumner, if he had not been Bishop 
of Winchester, would have held a very modest and 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OF THE REIGN. 155 

unpretending position of his own, but the Bishopric 
of Winchester stands for a very great deal. In this 
high office, he appears to have carefully and sedulously 
sought to fulfil his manifold important duties. The 
needs of his diocese seemed constantly before him, and 
according to the measure of his power he sought to 
supply them. It is perhaps to be regretted that 
while Presbyterians were thankful for the sympathy 
which they have received from him, and he was will 
ing to act in conjunction with Dissenters and others 
on the widest possible platform, the great Church 
movement in this country received from him only 
a very languid measure of support. Indeed, both 
within and without the Jerusalem Chamber, he was 
noted for his steady opposition to the revival of 
Convocation and the synodal action of the Church. 
This has been, perhaps, the most marked feature of 
the Bishop s public life. We should refer, however, 
to the annual appearances which he made at the May 
Meetings at Exeter Hall, in which his presence might 
be considered to impart a degree of solid weight to 
any proceedings in which he participated. In private 
life the Bishop was a pleasant and genial English 
clergyman and gentleman, whose extreme urbanity of 
speech and manner, which was carried to a proverbial 
degree of polish, would be flattering to all his curates, 
if not rather delusive to some of them. His private 
tastes were so admirably carried out, that they would 
reflect credit on any private individual. He was a 
keen floriculturist and orchid grower, his conserva 
tories were splendid, and we understand that he was 
quite an authority on ferns and tropical plants. These 
pleasant tastes were not allowed to interfere with 



156 OUR, KISHOPS AND DEANS. 

those higher duties, to which they furnished a graceful 
relaxation. 

During the Bishop s life there was a curious story 
constantly whispered respecting the origin of his 
fortunes, which was openly told in the newspapers 
after his death, with a great deal of inaccuracy and 
exaggeration. The story was, that he saved a noble 
pupil from a mesalliance with a foreign young lady by 
the simple process of marrying her himself. In grati 
tude, the husband of Mile. Maunoir was introduced 
to court by the powerful Marchioness of Conyngham, 
who lived a life of scandal, and died in the odour of 
sanctity, and was thus started on his episcopal career. 
A somewhat cruel publicity was given to supposed 
facts which in reality rest only on the thinnest founda 
tion. It does not appear that the young nobleman in 
question, Lord Mount-Charles, then little more than 
a boy, was ever attached to the young Swiss lady, or 
that Lady Conyngham had ever promised him that if 
he would solve the difficulty by marrying the young 
lady himself, his future interests should not be dis 
regarded or forgotten. Sir John Coleridge has stated 
that he himself was at Geneva in 1816. It is just 
half a century since this little bit of ecclesiastical 
romance happened, and it was he who gave the in 
troduction to the Maunoirs. The parents of the 
pupil were in fact somewhat annoyed by the derange 
ment of their plans consequent on the engagement 
and marriage of their tutor. So far from any promo 
tion being given in consequence, Mr. Sumner, after 
holding a ministerial charge at Geneva, continued for 
five years in the modest position of a curate taking 
pupils. One of those pupils was a brother of Lord 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OF THE EEIGN. 157 

Mount-Charles ; another was Frederick Oakley, who 
says in the Times that he kept up a constant personal 
and epistolary intercourse with him till it was be 
coming more or less interrupted by his secession to 
Rome. The original story, if correct, would have left 
a slur on the late Bishop which all good Anglicans 
will rejoice to find removed. In 1821 Mr. Sumner 
visited the Conynghams at Brighton, and was intro 
duced to the King. George the Fourth wished to 
appoint him a Canon of Windsor, but Lord Liver 
pool refused to ratify the appointment. The refusal 
had nothing to do with any gossip or ill-natured re 
port, but it struck the Prime Minister as an ano 
malous thing that a curate should be promoted to a 
canonry. It might be difficult to arrange precedent 
between a canon-curate and his incumbent. The 
Premier stated that something of this kind was his 
only objection, but that he would recommend him for 
preferment as soon as there was -ae- an opening. He 
was accordingly soon preferred to the living of Abing- 
don and a stall at Worcester. Five years later he 
was made Bishop of Llandaff, a see whose scanty in 
come was eked out by the Deanery of St. Paul s. The 
new Bishop expressed his grave disapproval of the 
pernicious custom of translations, at the present time 
almost abolished by Act of Parliament. Within a 
twelvemonth he was himself translated. Dr. Prety- 
man-Toulman for under a double name does this 
choice constellation shine passed away gorged with 
the spoils of Lincoln and Worcester. A late Cabinet 
Minister used to tell the story that when the news 
arrived the King exclaimed, " This will please the Mar 
chioness." And so Charles Sumner passed to the see 



158 OUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

considered, we believe inaccurately, the richest in 
England, certainly with the most splendid palace and 
deer-park, which he held for forty years. 

The early ministerial connection of the Bishop with 
Geneva it was his good fortune to renew in advanced 
life. At the present day, every great town and water 
ing-place of the Continent has its English minister 
and its English congregation. The Continental and 
Colonial Church Society has led the way, but the 
venerable Society for the Propagation of the Gospel 
is following, as is most necessary, in the same direc 
tion, but with unequal steps. Things were very dif 
ferent in the year 1814, when the long wars of Na 
poleon had hardly ceased, and the thunders of Waterloo 
were brooding in the distance. Then it was that 
Charles Sumner had first gathered together one of the 
earliest congregations of the Continental English. 
In 1853, a beautiful little church, familiar to very 
many, especially by the disgraceful episode of the per 
secution of its last minister, was opened in Geneva, 
on land granted by the Swiss Government, the site of 
former fortifications. In 1853 the church was conse 
crated and opened by the Bishop of Winchester, who 
also opened the neat little church at Chamouni. On 
this occasion an entertainment was given to the Bishop 
by the committee, and the pastors of the Swiss Church 
sympathised and coalesced with the Bishop, and re 
minded him of his early connection with this town. 
But there was that in all this which must occasion 
grave regret. Was the Bishop aware of the tainted 
character of the Church of these pastors? Did he 
not know that the most illustrious divines of Switzer 
land, such men as Merle D Aubigny, and Gaussen, and 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OF THE REIGN. 159 

Caesar Malan had left that Church on no light pretext, 
but on account of its Arian character ? Is it true, as 
stated at the time, that he was informed of this 
serious matter, and therefore knew that there was no 
real union at Geneva, and that the best and holiest of 
the clergy had conscientiously absented themselves 
from this gathering ? We quote a few remarks which 
have a sort of autobiographic interest : " What, then, 
must be my feelings when, after a period of thirty- 
eight years, I am again, under such peculiar and ex 
citing circumstances, in the scene of my former labours, 
in the place where I first entered upon my public 
ministry ? It causes me feelings of joy and humilia 
tion of joy at being again in scenes of so much inte 
rest to me at such a happy moment, of humiliation 
because I fear that in my first ministry I may not have 
done all the good which I might have effected. It is 
pleasing to recollect that amongst our old reformers 
who were in this city, and in other parts of Switzer 
land and on the Continent, there was unity of feeling 
on all the great points of faith which characterise our 
religion." The Bishop quite ignored the fact that the 
want of this unity was notorious at the time when he 
was speaking. 

We have no occasion to discuss the Bishop of Win 
chester as an author, as he can hardly be said to have 
appeared in that character. In the vigorous, intel 
lectual literature of the Church of England he has 
borne no part. In the House of Lords he hardly 
ever spoke. It is unnecessary to quote from his 
sermons, and one or two other publications 
of the sermon kind. In dedicating these to the 
King he begged to " avail myself of this opportunity 



160 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

to express my gratitude for Your Majesty s gracious 
protection and condescending kindness towards me." 
He had become domestic chaplain to the King after his 
brief tenure of the vicarage of St. Helen s, Abingdon. 
It was while he was connected with Windsor Castle 
that the event occurred which, by a solitary link, con 
nects his name with the general course of English 
literature. This was the editing of that recovered 
manuscript of Milton s, on which young Macaulay of 
Trinity founded his first splendid contribution to the 
" Edinburgh Review." The circumstances are related 
in the first paragraph of that brilliant series of essays 
which has became a locus classicus. Among the archives 
of the State Paper Office was discovered Milton s lost 
treatise on the " Doctrines of Christianity," which he 
is known to have completed after the Restoration, and 
to have entrusted to his friend Cyriac Skinner. How 
it found its way to its ultimate resting-place can only 
be conjectured. George IV. entrusted the editing of 
this precious document to his domestic chaplain. " Mr. 
Sumner," writes Macaulay, " who was commanded by 
His Majesty to edit and translate the treatise, has 
acquitted himself of his task in a manner honourable 
to his talents and his character. His version, indeed, 
is not very easy or elegant ; but it is entitled to the 
praise of clearness and fidelity. His notes abound 
with interesting quotations, and have the rare merit of 
really elucidating the text. The preface is evidently 
the work of a sensible and candid man, firm in his 
own religious opinions, and tolerant towards those of 
others." It is singular that the retired Bishop of 
"Winchester should thus have been connected with 
those great names in English literature, Milton and 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OF THE REIGN. 161 

Macaulay. In ages far distant, when Bishop Summer s 
name is utterly forgotten, save for its casual mention 
on the roll of the Bishops of Winchester, Macaulay s 
brief sentence will be a voucher to posterity of the 
honourable repute in which the first editor of Milton s 
lost work was held. 

Dr. Longley was not a man in- 
ARCHBISHOP LONGLEY. ^ ee ^ w j lo by any conspicuous action 

THE THIRD PRIMATE OF .. . 

THE REIGN. or a uility has won a place in the 

annals of this country. He was 
not an author, like some of our prelates ; or a great 
orator as others, although his pulpit addresses ear 
nest, affectionate, and simple achieved the chief ends 
of sacred oratory ; neither has he specially identified 
himself with any of the great practical movements 
of the age, although, at the same time, Dr. Bicker- 
steth, his successor in the see of Kipon, has 
given an account of various great services which 
Dr. Longley rendered to the diocese. But he always 
performed his laborious duties with the utmost 
care and assiduity. His father was one of the police 
magistrates of London. The son went up from 
Westminster School to Christ Church, Oxford, as a 
student on the foundation. In his quiet scholarly 
career he achieved the best honours which could be ob 
tained at the University, and in due time took his post 
in the cycle of college and university honours. He 
became tutor and senior censor of Christ Church, and 
his portrait is a conspicuous ornament in the great 
hall. He was ordained by the then Bishop of Oxford, 
and like various other tutors of Christ Church, he pre 
sently became perpetual curate of Cowley, in the im- 
VOL. i. M 



162 CUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

mediate neighbourhood of Oxford. He was afterwards 
appointed Whitehall preacher. For a single year he 
held the living of West Tytherley. In 1 829 he ob 
tained the dignified and influential office of head master 
of Harrow. 

In 1836 the new diocese of Ripon was formed, and 
Dr. Longley was consecrated its first bishop. In Mrs. 
Gaskell s " Life of Charlotte Bronte," we find a letter 
from the popular authoress, in which she describes a 
visit paid by Bishop Longley to her father s modest 
little parsonage of Haworth. " The Bishop has been, 
and is gone," writes Charlotte Bronte. " He is cer 
tainly a most charming bishop ; the most benignant 
gentleman that ever put on lawn sleeves ; yet stately 
too, and competent to check encroachments." Then 
we have a glimpse at the unavoidable state of a country 
parsonage at such a bewildering event as a visit from 
a Bishop. "It is very well to talk of receiving a 
bishop without trouble, but you must prepare for him. 
The house was a good deal put out of its way, as you 
may suppose. All passed, however, quietly, orderly, 
and well. Martha waited very nicely, and I had a 
person to help her in the kitchen. Papa kept up, too, 
fully as well as I expected, though I doubt whether he 
could have borne another day of it." Mrs. Gaskell 
adds, apparently from a communication received from 
the Bishop, that Dr. Longley was agreeably impressed 
with the gentle unassuming manners of his hostess, 
and with the perfect propriety and consistency of the 
arrangements in the modest household. 

The new diocese of Ripon was one of a peculiar 
character, and requiring special energy and pains. It 
would present a striking contrast to the scholarly at- 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OF THE KEIGN. 1G3 

mosphere, quiet and subdued, of Harrow and Oxford. 
The dense population engaged in mining and manufac 
turing ; the thinly scattered hamlets on hills and 
wolds ; the hard-headed, hard-handed character of the 
people; the rapid development of the resources and 
industries of the country, were all circumstances that 
would render the first Episcopate peculiarly arduous 
and anxious work. " His services," writes a friend 
who is in a condition to speak with peculiar authority, 
" great and valuable as they have been to the diocese 
of Ripon, were far more appreciable when they were 
rendered, nearly thirty years ago, than they would be 
now. His work can hardly be described in a mere 
narrative of acts such as are in the present age fami 
liarized to us in the practice of the majority of the 
dioceses of England. None but those who witnessed 
his labours can really measure the amount of toil, and 
courage, and wisdom, and administrative talent which 
was required to carry them to a successful issue." A 
very remarkable episode occurred during his Episco 
pate, in the matter of St. Saviour s, Leeds. There 
were a number of Romish practices at this church, to 
which the Bishop was steadily opposed, and he refused 
to consecrate the church until an alteration was made. 
Although there was at first a formal compliance with 
the Bishop s wishes, yet subsequently a system of dis 
ingenuous evasion was adopted, and the Bishop was 
compelled to say " that their study seemed to be how 
far they could evade their bishop s known wishes with 
out violating the letter of the law. . . . Exemplary 
conduct cannot blind me to the peril of the course 
they have been pursuing. Again and again have I 
warned them of its probable issue, but in vain. I de- 

M 2 



164 OUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

plored their infatuation, and the consequences which I 
knew must ensue from their self-will and insubordina 
tion ; and I can, with truth, say that the execution of 
these acts of necessary discipline has cost me more 
pain than any I have ever been called upon to exercise." 
The worst fears of the Bishop were realized by the 
fact that the incumbent and four of the clergy of St. 
Saviour s, Leeds, went over to the church of Rome. 

Another case, which occurred in the diocese of 
Eipon, where the Bishop refused ordination to one of 
the candidates, excited a good deal of public attention 
at the time. Some of the clergy addressed a remon 
strance to him on the subject. Opinions will always 
differ on the point raised, but no one can peruse Dr. 
Longley s language without being strongly impressed 
with his earnestness and sincerity. The expression of 
his personal feelings has a strong autobiographical 
interest. 

" I have long enough gone in and out among you to 
justify my appeals to your convictions that it is from 
no love of power and its exercise, but from a stern and 
imperative sense of duty alone, that I have acted as I 
have done in the case on which you have addressed 
me. I felt that a solemn responsibility rested upon 
me, from which I had not been absolved, and that I 
was bound to execute it as in the sight of God and of 
his church. I could, indeed, have been well content 
to have still pursued that tranquil course which it has 
pleased God to permit me for so many years to tread, 
studying to be quiet and to do my own business in 
this remote part of the kingdom without attracting 
notoriety ; but tranquillity may be purchased at too 
dear a price, if it be at the sacrifice of one s own 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OF THE REIGN. 165 

intimate convictions, and I can truly say that I would 
rather forego all the worldly advantages with which 
Providence has so richly blessed me, and begin life 
again at the age of nearly three-score years, than T 
would bear in my bosom to the grave during the few 
remaining years of my life the corroding consciousness 
that, through favour or affection towards some, or 
through fear of others, I had ever, knowingly, dealt 
unrighteous judgment." 

When Dr. Longley thus wrote, he could little have 
anticipated that he would be called to the charge of 
three successive dioceses. For many years he con 
tinued iu the comparative retirement of Ripon Palace, 
close to the shades of Studley Park and the beautiful 
scenery of Fountains Abbey. He worked hard, espe 
cially in the direction of church extension, and a 
diocesan fund, raised for this object, is still called 
Bishop Longley s Fund. Subsequently he was pro 
moted to another northern diocese, that of Durham, 
and subsequently to York, the Archiepiscopate of the 
north. His experience and authority on the religious 
state of the north were now necessarily of the amplest 
and most extended character. As Archbishop of York 
he continued his career of diligent supervision and 
care. On one occasion we recollect his visiting a con 
demned murderer at York Castle, and the earnest 
ness of his ministrations with the wretched criminal. 
When the lamented death of the venerable Archbishop 
Sumner occurred, in 1862, he went up one more step in 
Episcopal rank, and became Primate of All England. 

In the Archbishopric of Canterbury the details of 
diocesan work must be considerably less than they 
are in the northern provinces. But, on the other 



166 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

hand, the Archbishop of Canterbury is the most 
influential exponent of the mind of the church of 
England, so far as that expression is allowable. He 
is especially charged with the care of the doctrinal 
integrity and practical interests of the church. The 
publication of that unhappy and notorious work, 
" Essays and Reviews," brought eventually to the 
Archbishop a duty of peculiar gravity and difficulty. 
He was, by virtue of his office, one of the judges of 
the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council before 
whom came the appeal from the Court of Arches. 
The decision that condemned " Essays and Reviews" 
was reversed, but the two English Archbishops were 
unable to acquiesce in the view adopted by one other 
bishop and by the law-lords. It was understood that 
among the judges the Archbishop had expressed his 
views with an eloquence, learning, and earnestness 
which had excited marked attention, and even caused 
some astonishment. He was precluded, however, 
from delivering his sentiments by the rules of pre 
cedent. The Archbishop, however, could not be 
content to be silent in a matter of such paramount 
importance. He issued a pastoral letter to the clergy 
of his province, and a similar letter was issued by 
the Archbishop of York to the clergy of the north. 
A few brief extracts from this important letter will 
hardly fail to be instructive. " The church has a 
right to know my mind on matters of such solemn 
interest to each of her members. ... I must claim to 
myself the privilege of giving expression to opinions 
formed prior to the delivery of the judgment, and 
wholly irrespective of the terms in which it is couched. 
... I conceived that I was bound by the most solemn 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OF THE EEIGN. 167 

obligations to maintain, at its exact level, the estima 
tion in which Holy Scripture is held by our church, 
as shown by the tenor of her Articles and Liturgy, 
and to beware lest I should seem to sanction a de 
cision which would detract one jot or tittle from the 
authority with which it is invested according to their 
language." 

The public appearances of the Archbishop were, of 
course, exceedingly numerous. He did not often 
speak in the House of Lords, but, when he did, his 
observations were always received with marked atten 
tion. Having been head -master of Harrow, and a 
prominent member of the Oxford University Commis 
sion, he spoke with peculiar authority on the subject 
of education at the university, and in our public 
schools. 

The Archbishop s speeches at that most interest 
ing of all London dinners, the dinner of the Royal 
Academy, had both a great deal of brevity and 
a great deal of wit. A picture of Mr. Millais s 
gave rise to a. felicitous allusion. " I would say 
for myself, that I always desire to derive profit as 
well as pleasure from my visits to these rooms. 
On the present occasion I have learnt a very 
wholesome lesson, which may be usefully studied, 
not by myself alone, but by those of my right 
reverend brethren also who surround me. I see 
a little lady there (pointing, to Mr. Millais s picture 
of a child asleep in church, entitled My Second 
Sermon ,) who although all unconscious whom she 
has been addressing, and of the homily she has 
been reading to us during the last three hours, 
has in truth, by the eloquence of her silent slumber, 



168 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

given us a grave warning of the evil of lengthy ser 
mons and drowsy discourses. Sorry indeed should I 
be to disturb that sweet and peaceful slumber, but I 
beg that when she does awake she may be informed 
who they are who have painted the moral of her story, 
have drawn the true inference from the change that 
has passed over her since she heard her first sermon, 
and have resolved to profit by the lecture she has thus 
delivered to them." 

We remember his holding a meeting at Lambeth 
to promote church extension among the poor who 
cluster at Lambeth so thickly around the archiepis- 
copal towers, and he entitled the curate s humble 
work as the highest, expressing his regret that his 
own range of duties excluded him from equal partici 
pation in curates work. 

Whately at Oxford was a more 
ARCHBISHOP WHATELY. , , ,-, -m-i , - 

interesting man than Whately at 

Dublin. He was certainly sur 
rounded by a brilliant galaxy of friends at Oxford, 
who were only faintly reproduced at Dublin. His 
history is chiefly to be read in the works which he 
published when at Oxford, which relate to his mental 
history, the most interesting part of any man s his 
tory, and which subsequently brought him his pre 
ferment. There is a pause in his Oxford career, 
between his tutorship at Oriel and the principalship 
of St. Alban s Hall, when he settled down as a married 
man, on a country living, where before long he be 
came non-resident. St. Alban s Hall had been known 
as a retreat for elderly undergraduates, who were 
designated at times Albani patres. Whately did 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OF THE REIGN. 169 

much to raise the character of the institution, and 
found it necessary to build additional rooms. Among 
his friends were Newman and Pusey, who were sub 
sequently, in some measure, alienated from him, 
through the wide divergence in their opinions. " As 
to Dr. Whately," says Dr. Newman in his " Apologia," 
" I owe him a great deal. He was particularly loyal 
to his friends, and, to use a common phrase, all 
his geese were swans. While I was still awkward 
and timid in 1822 he took me by the Jiand, and acted 
the part to me of a gentle and encouraging instruc 
tor. He had done his work towards me, or nearly 
so, when he had taught me to" think and use my 
reason. His mind was too different from mine for 
us to remain long on one line." It is interesting to 
know that, when at Halesworth, Mr. Keble visited 
Mr. and Mrs. Whately, and read aloud to them the 
manuscript of his " Christian Year." Whately 
strongly advised its publication, but this must have 
been before his mind fossilized into its subsequent 
indurated state. Writing to his curate about prepa 
rations for sermons and lectures "I would think 
over what I had to say sometimes two or three 
days before and that often, while I was digging or 
shooting ; different ways of studying, but no one can 
do his best without study." In fact, when Whately 
was indulging in any corporeal extravagances, he 
was, in fact, working out some knotty matter in his 
own mind. 

In a letter to Mrs. Arnold, of Fox How, he gives 
some particulars of Dr. Arnold s election to Rugby, 
which might be admitted advantageously into the 
next edition of Dean Stanley s famous Life of Arnold 



170 OUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

Criticizing the " Life," Whately says, " It might be 
as well to mention that he had withdrawn his name 
from the list of candidates, at the instance of a friend 
who persuaded him that it was hopeless to make 
head against the powerful interest that others could 
command ; that I, having learned that Sir H. Halford 
was resolved to induce, if he could, the other trustees 
to disregard interest altogether, urged him to conie 
forward again, and to convey to Sir H. Halford my 
full conviction that they would not find any one so 
well qualified. This made him the last in the field." 
It was at Dr. Arnold s that a letter came to him from 
Earl Grey, offering him the Irish primacy. The Earl 
had previously had no personal knowledge of him. It 
happened the same morning that Whately s climbing 
dog, who is rather a conspicuous personage in the 
earlier annals, was trotted out for exhibition before a 
visitor. The animal performed as usual, and when 
he had reached his highest point of ascent, and was 
beginning his yell of wailing, Whately turned to the 
stranger, and said, " What do you think of that?" 

Visitor : " I think that some besides the dog, when 
they find themselves at the top of the tree, would 
give the world they could get down again." 

Wliately : " Arnold has told you ?" 

Visitor : " Has told me what ?" 

Whately : " That I have been offered the Arch 
bishopric of Dublin." 

Visitor : " I am very happy to hear it ; but this, I 
assure you, is the first intimation I have had of it ; 
and when my remark was made, I had not the re 
motest idea that the thing was likely to take place." 

Thus Whately climbed to the top of the tree, and 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OP THE KETGN. 171 

found that, in point of fact, it was an extremely unde 
sirable locality. It was suggested that he should ex 
change for an English bishopric ; but, without deny 
ing that an English bishopric would be much nicer, 
Whately s intrepid mind revolted from the idea of thus 
turning back on his troubles. Various circumstances 
conspired to give him great unpopularity at the outset. 
Before his arrival he had succeeded in directing 
against himself a good deal of general prejudice. It 
so happened that the system of national education was 
first brought into action in Ireland in the very month 
of his appointment, and it became a wide-spread, 
though most erroneous idea, that he had been sent to 
Ireland for the purpose of carrying it out. His active 
part on the Board greatly alienated the minds of his 
clergy, and nothing more conciliated the minds of his 
people towards him than his tardy withdrawal from 
the Board when he found that the directors had not 
scrupled to break public faith. When he created a 
Professorship of Political Economy in the University 
of Oxford, even this was construed to bear a reference 
to party politics. He did not possess, either, what is 
popularly called good manners ; his absence of mind 
caused him to commit blunders ; at his own table he 
would confuse a guest by his violent dialectics and sup 
posed conversational triumphs ; while men who 
thought it worth while to study his character, and 
make social capital out of his weaknesses, continued, to 
a considerable degree, to monopolise his favours and 
attention. 

Yet Whately was, in truth, one of the noblest and 
most generous-minded of men. Those who most 
bitterly opposed him must have undergone a strange 



172 OUR BISHOPS AXD DEANS. 

revulsion of feeling at the revelations which his 
biography contained of his inner character and motives. 
The Archbishop said, one day, that he had given 
forty thousand pounds away in charity, but never six 
pence to a beggar. Only a man thus munificent in 
benefactions could have been justified in making that 
hard-hearted speech. If he had added some qualify 
ing clause, such as without inquiry, the sentence would 
have been perfect. Such a principle, without such a 
qualification, would overlook many cases of severe 
and sudden distress. It seems that this forty thou 
sand pounds would only very imperfectly indicate the 
extent of his Christian liberality. His daughter, 
through a very proper feeling, passes over in the 
biography which has done such ample justice to his 
memory this topic as lightly as possible. But it is 
only just to the memory of a great and good man, 
whose cross it was that he should be much misunder 
stood in this life, and who was refused that sympathy 
for which he instinctively yearned, that his acts of 
practical self-denying goodness should be commemo 
rated to his honour, and be held up to our imitation. 
In the Irish famine he gave away about eight thousand 
pounds. He was anxious to strip himself of part of 
his revenue to endow a theological college. He fre 
quently gave away from one hundred to one thousand 
pounds at a time. He often paid a curate for a poor 
rector, and gave hard-worked clergy the means of 
recruiting their health by a holiday. His agent re 
ported that entries like these were common : " To a 
clergyman, two hundred pounds ; to a gentleman, one 
hundred pounds; cash given away, fifty pounds." In 
fact, he appears to have given away the whole of his 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OF THE REIGN. 173 

revenues, except what was needed for the expenses of 
his office, and at his death left his family nothing but 
insurances, the premiums of which he had paid out of 
his own private income. However illogical it may be, 
men will judge of his character much more by his 
good deeds than by his amplitude of argument. 

M. Guizot, in his " Memoirs," has an interesting 
mention of Whately : " II devait parler le 13 Avril a 
la Charnbre des Lords, contre 1 archeveque de Can- 
torbery et 1 eveque d Exeter, dans la question des 
biens a reserver pour le clerge* au Canada. { Je ne 
suis pas sur, me dit Lord Holland, que dans son in 
discrete since rite il ne dise pas qu il ne sait point de 
bonne raison pour qu il y ait, a la Chainbre des Lords, 
un bane d eveques. This really was his opinion, 
as expressed in a letter to Mr. Senior. He met his 
old friend, Dr. Pusey, at Brighton. His daughter 
complains that various false accounts have been given 
of this interview, and she gives the true one. " They 
met as old college associates on the most friendly 
terms. Dr. Pusey, in the course of the interview, 
asked the Archbishop s permission to preach in his 
diocese. The Archbishop told him candidly he 
dreaded his introducing novelties. Not novelties, 
replied the other. * Well, if you will, antiquities, said 
the Archbishop. Dr. Pusey requested him to name 
some of these * antiquated novelties, and he instanced 
the practice lately introduced of mixing water with 
wine at the Communion. D. Pusey excused the prac 
tice by observing that at the early communions com 
plaints had been made that the wine affected the heads 
of the communicants. The Archbishop exclaimed, 
4 Oh, Pusey, you cannot be serious ! and at last he 



174 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

added, in his own account of the conversation, c I 
fairly made him laugh. We are not told, however, 
in this account whether the Archbishop did or did not 
commit the incredible outrage of forbidding Dr. Pusey 
to preach. 

To the late Earl of Derby, when Mr. Stanley, he 
wrote on one occasion as follows : " Permit me to 
express the great satisfaction I feel in reading the 
reports of your speeches, which appear to me more 
uniformly the result of strong sense and right feeling 
than almost any others, however oratorically beautiful. 
The testimony must always be worth something of a 
man who has nothing to look to that any Ministry can 
give, and who, when poor and unfriended, was well 
known to have never deigned to flatter." Even Lord 
Derby himself would have been glad to receive such 
testimony. It is curious to compare with this his 
impressions of Mr. Gladstone. He says he always 
neutralises his own reasoning, as the doctor who 
ordered ice to be warmed. It is of Gladstone, also, 
we think, that he complains that his mind was full of 
culs-de-sac. Thackeray he regarded with intense dis 
like. Speaking of the slave trade, he says : 

" Mr. Thackeray was saying at a party where I met 
him, that the cases of ill-usage are only here and 
there, one out of many thousands ; and that Mrs. 
Stowe s picture is as if one should represent the Eng 
lish as a humpbacked or a clubfoot nation. Wonder 
ful people are the Americans ! In all other regions 
it is thought at least as likely as not that a man en 
trusted with absolute power will abuse it. We jealously 
guard against this danger, and so do the Americans. 
I think the only excuse for Mr. Thackeray would have 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OF THE REIGN. 175 

been the supposition that he was so very favourable in 
his judgment of human character as to reckon men 
much better than they are ; but in his works he gives 
just the opposite picture." 

The following is a valuable remark, and is as acutely 
put as anything by Thackeray himself : 

" I think some censure should have been passed on 
Thackeray s sneer against piety and charity. He 
might have been asked whether he knew many in 
stances (or any) of a person utterly destitute of all 
principle, and thoroughly selfish, being * the fast friend 
of the destitute poor. Such will, on some grand occasion, 
make a handsome donation, and join, when solicited, 
a bazaar; but a life hdbUuatty devoted to such works 
is not consistent with such a character; at least, I 
never knew an instance. And he implies that it is 
quite common and natural." 

Archbishop Whately would frequently give an amus 
ing story in illustration of some knotty point. In this 
he was right, according to the wise saying, that though 
reasons may be the pillars of an argument, yet illustra 
tions are the windows which let in the light. The 
argument would be forgotten, but the illustration 
would be remembered. And thus the Archbishop 
won the dubious reputation of a maker of the newest 
jokes the archiepiscopal Miller. For a very sensible 
man perhaps the most sensible man that ever lived 
since Solomon the Archbishop made an extraor 
dinary number of mistakes. A collection of the 
fallacies of Dr. Whately would not be an inappropriate 
supplement to the next edition of the " Logic.." Com 
mon sense is a faculty which is perhaps too indiscri 
minately praised by the great mass of people, who 



176 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

flatter themselves that they are extremely sensible. 
Its natural tendency is to mediocrity, and it frequently 
curbs and limits higher qualities. Only when allied 
with sympathy and comprehensiveness, originality and 
insight, is it the leading characteristic of mental great 
ness. Whately s wonderful sense was unallied with 
sympathy, imagination, or much originality, and so his 
mind was not perfectly balanced, nor yet of the highest 
order. His general tone is hard, dry, and unloving ; 
and this is the more remarkable because no words are 
less fitted to describe the real character of the man. 
He was, with all his leonine boldness, as tender-hearted 
as a child. 

But there were men of far greater 
intellectual force and calibre than 
the Archbishops we have named, 
even than Whately himself ; men who were really 
princes and great men, and have left an impress on 
Church and State much deeper than those who have 
occupied archiepiscopal thrones. Such men of a 
somewhat heroic type, and who in comparison with 
the men of our time look through the mist of inter 
vening years " larger than human," were Charles 
James of London and Henry of Exeter. Blomfield 
was the most remarkable of a set of bishops who are 
called " Greek Play Bishops." The " Greek Play 
Bishops" often were men of a more robust nature than 
the Courtier Bishops. The Greek play was his earliest 
distinction, but it was not his latest or his best. His 
hard work at Cambridge recalled the tradition of what 
Paley had done when he suddenly abandoned idle 
ways, and settled down into the steady work which 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OF THE EEIGN. 177 

made him Senior Wrangler. Blomfield constantly 
read twelve, or fifteen, or eighteen hours a day. He 
injured his health for life, but he obtained everything 
that he wanted. His natural powers were stupendous. 
He gave some attention to mathematics in order to 
qualify himself for the Chancellor s Medal and came 
out third "Wrangler. He was one of a set of scholars 
who succeeded to the vacant places of Person and 
Parr. Some of his contemporaries became Greek play 
bishops like himself. Such a one was Maltby, who 
loved Blomfield because Blomfield loved Greek. He 
took him into his house as a pupil without pay, and 
coached him in all the best ways of learning. Another 
man was Monk, who succeeded Person in his chair, 
and was subsequently Bishop of Gloucester and 
Bristol. These were among the dozen men in England 
who really studied the minutiae of Greek scholarship. 
The great German scholars wrote him Latin letters, 
and if he took private pupils he might charge each 
four hundred a year if he liked. We regret to say 
that the learned bosoms were sometimes torn with 
animosities, reminding us of the mediaeval scholar, 
who exclaimed to another, " God forgive you your 
theory of the irregular verbs." When the erudite 
Tate published his diatribe on Greek metres, our 
future Greek play bishop writes to another future 
Greek play bishop 

" O Tate, tute, what canst thou have said ? 
With club of Greek I ll break Tate s tete or head." 

A great broad-minded, jovial, hearty man was 
Bishop Blomfield, odd and generous to rashness, 

VOL. I. N 



178 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

somewhat imperious, but with a delicate mind, a 
sensitive conscience, God-fearing, law-abiding. There 
is more individuality about his character, more stories 
indicating a frank genial nature about him than 
about any other prelate of the era. His life, by one 
of his sons, is one of the best ecclesiastical biogra 
phies in the language. He had many faults and 
errors, there are some fierce passages in his life, but 
he was emphatically a good man and of as truly 
statesmanlike mind as any since the days of Cardinal 
Wolsey, to whom he was not unlike. 

Episcopal charges are, as a rule, extremely un 
exciting. To hear them is technically to " undergo 
a visitation," and in that serious light they are 
generally regarded. But Bishop Blomfield s charge 
in 1842 was one of the most remarkable events, a 
landmark in the modern history of the Anglican 
Church. The great sensation excited by the charge 
is still a tradition among the Metropolitan clergy. 
Reading this charge at a distance 9f thirty years, it 
strikes us as a wise, moderate, and fair charge. At 
the present day its language would seem to err on 
the side of tenuity and moderation. But the fact is 
that the whole surface has been raised to a higher level 
within late years. Bishop Blomfield s view, which 
was assailed with obloquy at the time, is probably 
that safe and moderate one to which the Church of 
the future will most closely approximate. It does not 
however follow that the protest, unnecessary in our 
day, might not have been necessary at an earlier day. 
Those who looked upon the charge as Ritualistic would 
now regard it as of a pale and negative character. 
No congregation would now be thrown into convul- 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OF THE REIGN. 179 

sions by so mild an innovation as the use of the 
surplice. The Bishop s charge was intensely rubrical. 
He thought the surplice ought to be worn by preachers 
during the morning sermon, with several other like 
matters of anise and cummin. It would have been 
a better policy for the Bishop, and have saved 
him much unhappiness if he had pointed out the 
unimportance of such a matter, and had left it to the 
discretion of each clergyman and his parish as to 
what should be done. He laid down a hard and fast 
line which it was really not worth while to do, and 
he found himself obliged to retreat from it. He 
desired to impose a rigid uniformity, which was not 
possible and hardly desirable. The Islingtonian 
clergy demanded that they should not be obliged to 
read the prayer for the Church Militant, and to make 
collections through the offertory. Under the cir 
cumstances which they alleged he gave them an 
exemption, which broke down the hard and fast line, 
and which was resented by the clergy who punctually 
obeyed his instructions. There was something like a 
hurricane in the diocese, which was only assuaged by 
a wise moderate letter from the mild Archbishop 
Howley. 

The Evangelicals of that day charged the Bishop 
with being a Tractarian ; up to a certain point this 
was the case. He thoroughly, sympathised with that 
zeal to do all things decently and in order, which the 
Oxford school had so thoroughly identified with their 
system. He was of the opinion that the Low Church 
system had weakened the Church and strengthened 
the Dissenters. On the other hand he thought that 

N 2 



180 



OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 



the Tractarians had strengthened the estimate of the 
Church s authority and office, and had shown that it 
rested on better authority than mere Act of Parlia 
ment. Coming to a still more vital point, he would 
declare that the Tractarians were corrupting the sim 
plicity of the Christian faith. He held with them 
formally the Doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration, 
and entrenched himself behind the impregnable posi 
tion that this is the doctrine of the Church, as 
evidenced in the language of the service. In any 
discussion of this kind, however, it is always regarded 
as absolutely necessary that the meaning of this phrase 
should be accurately defined. But he thoroughly 
opposed those who would engraft whatever they 
could of the Romish system on the Anglican Church. 
He was himself loyal to Articles and Liturgy, and 
declared of others that they were disloyal. He would 
rather that they went over to Rome at once than dis- 
honestly continue as they were. 

There is no one who has filled a 
BISHOP PHILLPOTTS. more prominent place in the annals 
of our modern ecclesiastical history 
than the late venerable Bishop of Exeter. There are 
few names that will suggest such mixed and angry 
memories. Even at this late day, many persons find 
it difficult to speak calmly about Bishop Phillpotts. 
And, truth to say, the Bishop did not lead a calm- 
life. He was a man of war from his youth ; the most 
militant member of the Church Militant. His whole 
career has frequently been made the subject of un 
mixed reproach and invective. Certainly, in his time, 
he exhibited a greater amount of fiery churchmanship 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OF THE REIGX. 181 

than has, perhaps, been manifested since Hildebrand. 
His name has been very far dissociated from the idea 
of quietness and peace. It has been his fault, or his 
fate, to have been mixed up with all the disturbant 
and controversial elements of modern theology. To 
some he was one that troubleth Israel ; to others he 
was Athanasivs contra Mundum. Every detail of his 
public life has been subjected to pertinacious scrutiny, 
and has been construed with perverse uncharitable- 
ness. He was one who himself admitted many 
faults, chiefly faults natural to an impetuous and 
ardent temperament. He rallied around himself both 
an energy of hatred and an enthusiasm of friendship. 
In the minds of multitudes such a load of prejudice 
was attached to his name that he most probably looked 
to a distant generation for a calm and exact measure 
of justice. That stormy career had a long sunset of 
calm. That episcopal life covers the whole of the 
long and anxious period that has elapsed since the old 
Reform days and his death. It may even be said that 
the study of that career is essential for the due com 
prehension of- the history of England during a 
generation of three and thirty years. We desire to 
look back upon it, remembering the language of his 
last years and his best. But in passing this career in 
review, very different language is recalled, a very 
different figure rises in the mind s eye. It is best to 
dwell fearlessly and justly on each portion of a public 
career; but perhaps both the most accurate and the 
most generous estimate is obtained when it is ex 
amined in its twilight light and its latest utterances. 

The " Bell Hotel," at Gloucester, is the largest and 
most celebrated tavern in that fair and ancient city. 



182 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

It is celebrated in Fielding s great work. Two cele 
brated men, leaders of men in diverse directions, 
have identified their names with the " Bell." Here 
George Whitfield was born. Here Henry Phillpotts 
was in part brought up ; he was born in 1778, 
at Bridgewater, hard by the memorable field of Sedg- 
moor. His father, an energetic man, followed in 
succession the calling of brickmaker, innkeeper, 
auctioneer, land-manager. At the end of the last 
century he was land-agent to the Dean and Chapter 
of Gloucester. This latter proved a most fortunate 
connection to his family. From such lowly begin 
nings, greatly to the honour of the country where 
such things are possible, infinitely to his own honour, 
did the poor man s son win his way to a foremost 
place in the House of Lords and on the Episcopal 
Bench. 

At Oxford he was the Boy Bachelor. Educated at 
the college school of Gloucester, under Arthur Benoni 
Evans, a name which still enjoys provincial celebrity, 
he was only thirteen when he matriculated at Corpus 
Christi ; he then obtained an open scholarship while 
he might be said to be yet in his jacket. He was 
only seventeen when he became Fellow of Magdalen. 
Such early promise and attainment pointed to the 
highest future advancement. There was no point 
which might not be reached by one of such industry 
and such ability. The President of Magdalen 
College was then Dr. Routh. Between the President 
and the young Fellow the greatest intimacy sub 
sisted. 

He became connected, through marriage, with Lord 
Eldon, having married Miss Surtees, Lady Eldon s 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OF THE REIGN. 183 

niece. A shower of benefices rained down upon him. 
The Crown bestowed upon him a living in the diocese 
of Bath, and the year following, another in the 
diocese of Durham. Shute Barrington, the renowned 
Bishop of Durham, would be no stranger to the 
academic fame of this new acquisition to his diocese, 
who would also be provided with other and perhaps 
more powerful introductions. The Bishop made him 
his chaplain, an appointment which he held for 
twenty years, and proved the main architect of his 
splendid career. He soon fleshed his maiden weapon 
in controversy, by writing in defence of his patron 
against Dr. Lingard, who had anonymously attacked 
the Bishop of Durham s charge. This was the com 
mencement of the prominent part taken by Dr. Phill- 
potts in the Roman Catholic question. Meanwhile, 
the Crown and the Bishop vied in conferring on him 
their richest benefices, and he continued to accept all 
favours with a grateful heart. The Crown substituted 
for the Bath and Wells living a more convenient 
appointment in the diocese of Durham, and the 
Bishop preferred him to the important parish of Gates- 
head. The importance of this parish can hardly be 
exaggerated. It is the southern suburb of Newcastle, 
and has a population of many thousands, chiefly of 
the very poor. We should have been glad to have 
discovered that Dr. Phillpotts incumbency was ren 
dered memorable by gigantic attempts to cope with 
the spiritual destitution of the place, such as he 
subsequently exhibited at Plymouth and Devonport. 
This, we regret to say, has not been the case. The 
Bishop soon preferred him to a good canonry at 
Durham, and the good canonry was soon exchanged 



184 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

for a better. Nor was this all ; a living fell vacant 
in the city of Durham itself. Its value was only three 
or four hundreds a year, and the minor canons re 
garded it as a peculiar claim of their own. Nothing was 
regarded as too minute for the voracious appetite of 
the great dignitary ; all was grist that came to 
the mill. A certain minor canon, in particular, 
was greatly disappointed, and probably missed a 
home of rest and repose. A possessor of flocks and 
herds is generally looking after some little ewe 
lamb. 

Mr. Phillpotts now appeared on a wider field. He 
commences his literary and public labours. He justi 
fies the extraordinary load of preferment to which he 
has attained. He does not, however, apply himself 
to the extraordinary practical difficulties presented 
by the overgrown parish of Gateshead. Neither, it 
is hardly necessary to observe, does he champion the 
cause of hard-worked and poorly remunerated minor 
canons. The astuteness of that well-trained intellect, 
the subtleties of that lawyer-like nature, were appro 
priately displayed in reference to the difficulties and 
perplexities of the Poor Law question. 

The Roman Catholic question emerged as the great 
question of the day. Dr. Phillpotts threw himself 
vehemently into the controversy. It was certainly an 
ecclesiastical question, but the religious interest was 
subordinated to the political interest. In his opening 
letter to Lord Grey, in that peculiar tone which sub 
sequently reached its highest note in the celebrated 
letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, he assured 
the Earl that he had " yet to learn what the pure 
spirit of Christianity is." Other political events of 



THE EMINENT PEELATES OF THE EEIGN. 185 

very painful celebrity occurred, which gave him an 
opportunity of doing something for the government 
which had done so much for him. In the evil days 
of 1819, fierce riots occurred in the distressed manu 
facturing districts. Mr. Hunt, with the natural 
sedition of a popular agitator, was haranguing a vast 
multitude, when the yeomanry cavalry, with sabres 
drawn, dashed among the unarmed crowd, and, in the 
cutting down, some were killed and many wounded. 
A very painful sensation was excited throughout the 
country by this unhappy butchery. It was certainly 
not the day when " crowds were sane and crowns were 
just." We ought to remember both the real distress 
of the people and the real inability of the government 
to remove the distress. Many great cities, the Com 
mon Council of London leading the way, denounced 
the deed, and a great county meeting at Durham en 
dorsed such a condemnation. It is with great regret 
that we look back upon the course taken by Dr. Phill- 
potts at this time. A strong primd facie case, in the 
opinion of the country, was made out against the 
yeomanry. A clergyman might be supposed to have 
something better to do than to mix himself up with 
the defence of this unhappy shedding of blood. Dr. 
Phillpotts gave his name to a famous declaration in 
favour of Ministers, and followed it up by a letter to 
the freeholders of the county of Durham. An article 
on this letter in the " Edinburgh Review" was the 
commencement of a life-long feud which subsisted 
between Dr. Phillpotts and this powerful periodical. 

The question of the divorce of Queen Caroline was 
another subject which convulsed the nation. Here 
again Dr. Phillpotts took a prominent part, not much, 



186 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

we imagine, to the advantage of his office and work. 
We do not ask whether he took the right side or the 
wrong side. Most probably he took the right side. 
But the subject of adultery would be as little congenial 
to a clergyman as the subject of murder. When the 
county of Durham had very emphatically expressed an 
opinion in favour of the queen, Dr. Phillpotts took a 
large share in drawing up a declaration in favour of 
the king. This ultimately led to a cause celebre, in 
which Williams was indicted for a libel on the clergy 
of Durham, and Mr. Brougham made one of his 
greatest forensic efforts. These circumstances brought 
him into sharp collision with Lord Grey and the 
" Edinburgh Review." In one of these legal contests 
Mr. Brougham insisted that if Williams had committed 
a libel on the clergy of Durham, they also had com 
mitted a libel upon Williams. " A Mr. Phillpotts," 
says Brougham, " publishes a pamphlet in which he 
describes Mr. Williams as a miserable mercenary who 
eats the bread of prostitution, and panders to the low 
appetites of those who cannot or who dare not cater 
for their own malignity ;" an early example of that 
peculiar style which Dr. Phillpotts subsequently 
brought to a very high degree of perfection. 

In 1820 he was appointed to the rectory of Stan 
hope, we believe (with the exception of Doddington) 
the most valuable rectory in England. Formerly the 
prince Bishops of Durham used to hunt the adjacent 
forests, and the tenants were- bound to provide for 
their huntsmen and hounds. At the present time it is 
chiefly peopled by miners, and is best known for the 
value of the living and the illustrious men who have 
held it. The ancient church is a very plain one ; but 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OP THE REIGN. 187 

a lasting memorial of its celebrated rector is to be 
found in the spacious rectory, which he built at great, 
and his own, expense. Doddington and Stanhope are 
now both subdivided into parishes. The last three 
occupants of the living had all become prelates, 
Bishops Butler, Keene, and Thurlow, and there was 
no reason why the Bishop of Exeter also should not 
arrive at this desirable consummation. Each of these 
prelates had also held the living in commendam with 
the see. In Dr. Phillpotts case, however, this was 
not allowed by the government of the day. The in 
habitants presented a petition, the details of which 
will not bear examination ; but in those days it was 
easy to raise, and difficult to resist, a clamour against 
a clergyman; and so when, ten years later, he was 
elevated to the bench, this appointment severed his 
connection with the parish of Stanhope.* 

* The following extract from a letter of the Bishop of Exeter to Arch 
deacon Goddard, relating to Stanhope, is very interesting, both as a 
specimen of the Bishop s admirable epistolary style when not engaged 
in a controversial correspondence, and for its brief but very valuable 
notice of Bishop Butler : (a) 

"Exeter, January, 25, 1835. 

" My dear Sir, I earnestly wish I could justify the report made to 
you by the Provost of Oriel, that I could supply you with several 
anecdotes of Bishop Butler. The truth, however, is, that although 
tantalized by seeming opportunities of acquiring some information 
respecting the private life and habits of one to whom I have been 
accustomed to look up as the greatest of uninspired men, I have been 
mortified by my almost entire failure. In the rectory of Stanhope I 
was successor to him after an interval of eighty years, and one of my 
earliest employments there was to search for relics of my illustrious 
predecessor. I was assured that an old parishioner, who with a 
tolerably clear memory had reached the age of ninety-three or ninety- 
four, recollected him well. To him I frequently went, and in almost 
all my conversations endeavoured to elicit something respecting 



(a) See Bartlett s " Life of Butler," p. 76. 



188 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

In 1825 he produced the " Letters to Charles Butler, 
Esq., on the Theological Parts of his Book of the 
Roman Catholic Church," which still continues to be 
the most important work that he has written. In 
future days, when the Oxford movement had brought 
forward the Roman Catholic question under a very 
different aspect, the Bishop was able to draw the at 
tention of his clergy to that work as the true indica 
tion of his real sentiments. The work was written 
during the agitation on Roman Catholic matters, when 
it was the beginning of the end. Dr. Phillpotts was 
not prevented from entering on this employment " by 
an apprehension that I may be thought desirous of sup 
porting one side of a great political question by the in 
direct influence of a theological argument." The next 
year a further letter was published to Mr. Butler. 

Rector Butler. He remembered him well, but, as I ought perhaps to 
have anticipated, could tell me nothing. For what chance was there 
that one who was a joiner s apprentice of thirteen years of age when 
Butler left Stanhope, could fourscore years afterwards tell anything 
about him P That he was respected and beloved by his parishioners, 
which was known before, was confirmed by my informant. He lived 
very retired, was very kind, and could not resist the importunities of 
common beggars, who, knowing his infirmity, pursued him so earnestly 
as sometimes to drive him back into his house as his only escape. I 
confess I do not think my authority for this trait of character in Butler 
is quite sufficient to justify my reporting it with any confidence. 
There was, moreover, a tradition of his riding a black pony, and 
riding always very fast. I examined the parish books, not with much 
hope of discovering anything worth recording of him, and was unhap 
pily as unsuccessful as I expected. His name, indeed, was subscribed 
to one or two acts of vestry in a very neat and easy character. But if 
it was amusing it was mortifying to find the only trace of such a man s 
labours, recorded by his own hand, to be the passing of a parish 
account authorizing the payment of five shillings to some adventurous 
clown who had destroyed a fourmart, or wood martin, the martin cat, 
or some other equally important matter." 



THE EMINENT PEELATES OF THE EEIGN. 189 

These volumes belong to the library of the Roman 
Catholic controversy, to which they are a valuable 
addition. The letters are entirely free from any per 
sonal acrimony, and Mr. Butler sought the acquaint 
ance of his opponent. 

A few additional words may here be said respecting 
the literary character of the Bishop. It has been said 
that every man is a debtor to his profession, and the 
saying is commonly supposed to mean that he ought 
to add something to those stores of literature from 
which he has derived so much. It cannot, however, 
be said that this debt has been adequately discharged 
by the Bishop. With the exception of the letters to 
Mr. Butler, Dr. Phillpotts, except indirectly, has not 
contributed to the literature of his profession. A very 
remarkable correspondence ought, however, to be 
noticed, which passed between the Bishop and Lord 
Macaulay after the publication of the first two volumes 
of the history. It forms part of the rather consider 
able literature which has grown up on the subject of 
Lord Macaulay s work, concerning which we will 
venture to say that when the whole of that ad 
verse criticism is collected and sifted it will impose, 
in the judgment of careful readers, a very sensible 
check on the popular view of that remarkable 
history. We must say that we think the Bishop 
carries his urbanity to excess. We do not think that 
many students of Macaulay will fully endorse such lan 
guage as the following : " Your highest merit is your 
unequalled truthfulness. Biassed as you must be by your 
political creed, your party, and your connections, it is 
quite clear that you will never sacrifice the smallest 
particle of truth to these considerations." To those 



190 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

who know how constantly and how unfairly Lord 
Macaulay was biassed in all his politico-historical state 
ments and opinions, this somewhat adulatory sentence 
will hardly be pleasing. Neither do we like the way 
in which he surrenders Archbishop Cranmer. " Of 
Cranmer himself, I am not much disposed to quarrel 
with your character, severe as it is." We trust the 
Bishop afterwards learned to concur in Mr. Froude s 
eloquent vindication of Cranmer. The Bishop s stric 
tures mainly relate to Mr. Macaulay s view of the 
Church of England at the time of Cranmer. He con 
cludes one of his letters with a personal invitation : 
" Permit me to say that I should deem it a high 
honour, as well as gratification, if I were ever to 
receive under this roof, the only one beneath which 
will be my home, a man so distinguished as yourself 
by genius, and by qualities without which genius is 
contemptible, and its influence pernicious." 

Mr. Macaulay replied in a very characteristic 
manner : " I beg you to accept my thanks for your 
highly interesting letter. I have seldom been more 
gratified than by your approbation, and I can with 
truth assure you that I am not solicitous to defend my 
book against any criticisms to which it may be justly 
open. I have undertaken a task which makes it neces 
sary for me to treat of many subjects with which it is 
impossible that one man should be more than su 
perficially acquainted law, divinity, military affairs, 
maritime affairs, trade, finance, manufactures, letters, 
arts, and sciences. It would therefore be the height 
of folly and arrogance in me to receive ungraciously 
suggestions offered in a friendly spirit by persons who 
have studied profoundly branches of knowledge to 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OF THE REIGN. 191 

which I have been able to give only a passing atten 
tion. I should not, I assure you, feel at all mortified 
or humbled at being compelled to own that I had been 
set right, by an able and learned prelate, on a question 
of ecclesiastical history." Mr. Macaulay, however, 
resembled those pious people who are very willing to 
own that they are miserable sinners in the aggregate, 
but who will never confess to any sins or errors in 
detail. " I really think that it is in my power to vin 
dicate myself from the charge of having misrepresented 
the sentiments of the English Reformers concerning 
Church government." Again, the following is highly 
characteristic of Macaulay : " I should be most un 
grateful if I did not thankfully acknowledge my obli 
gations to your lordship, for the highly interesting 
and very friendly letters with which you have honoured 
me. Before another edition of my book appears I 
shall have time to weigh your observations carefully, 
and to examine the marks to which you have called 
my attention. You have convinced me of the propriety 
of making some alterations. But I hope you will not 
accuse me of pertinacity if I add that, as far as I can at 
present judge, those alterations will be slight ; and 
that on the great point in issue, my opinion is un 
changed." 

It was about the year 1822 or 1823 that a commu 
nication was made from high quarters to Dr. Phillpotts, 
inquiring whether there was any see in Ireland which 
he could be induced to take. The richest see in Ire 
land was then vacant. The revenue was immense, 
and generally set down at 14,000 a year. The last 
occupant, the Honourable Percy Jocelyn, had recently 
been deprived and deposed. The offer was understood 



192 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

to come from Lord Liverpool, and though it does not 
seem to have been an absolute offer, appears to have 
been tantamount to such. Dr. Phillpotts was informed 
that the Government wanted, not his rich preferment 
of Stanhope, but himself. The rector of Stanhope de 
clined. The Stanhope 5,000 a year was quite suffi 
cient for his modest needs. 

Between the " Edinburgh Review" and the Bishop 
of Exeter, there was a permanent feud. The 
" Review" early singled out Dr. Phillpotts by name, 
and Jeffrey found an equal match in the clergyman 
whom he assailed. His letter to Jeffrey is a fine - ex 
ample of invective : " After an interval of three years, 
being again assailed in the same journal with equal 
grossness, and as I have proved with equal falsehood, 
I now tell the editor before the world, that on him will 
light all the ignominy of this second outrage. I tell 
him, too, that he would rather have foregone half the 
profits of his unhallowed trade than have dared to 
launch against any one of his brethren of the gown 
the smallest part of that scurrility which he has felt 
no scruple in circulating against Churchmen. To you, 
sir, I make no apology for addres.sing you on this 
occasion. If you are not what the public voice pro 
claims you to be, the editor of the Review, you will 
thank me for thus giving you an opportunity publicly 
to disclaim the degrading title. If you are, it is hence 
forth to me a matter of indifference what such a person 
may think or say." Nevertheless, the " Edinburgh" 
spoke generously of Dr. Phillpotts in reference to his 
first letter to Mr. Canning. Of this letter Mr. Canning 
himself said, in a letter to the late Lord Lyndhurst, 
that it was a " stinging pamphlet." The " Edimburgh*" 
* March, 1827. 



THE EMINENT PEELATES OF THE EEIGN. 193 

declared of Dr. Phillpotts that he had certainly always 
been quite consistent, that he had always stoutly de 
livered his sentiments on one side, and had justly 
acquired the credit of being about the ablest of those 
who espoused that side. But when Dr. Phillpotts 
changed, or appeared to change, his sentiments, it of 
course considered that all chances of reconciliation 
were over, and that its opponent had forfeited its 
praises. The enmity of the "Edinburgh" attained its 
culmination in 1852, when an article of deadly import 
appeared, characterized by great ability, and with a set 
purpose to take away the Bishop s good name for all 
time. The Bishop himself did not read the article, 
and all must be glad that he spared himself that pain ; 
but informed of its purport he wrote a letter to Sir 
Robert Harry Inglis, which must be considered as his 
formal apology for this much disputed portion of his life. 
Even with the light which the Bishop has thrown 
upon the transaction, it remains difficult altogether to 
explain or understand it. The odious charge made by 
the " Edinburgh Eeview," in all its native coarseness 
and malignity, need not be discussed. " His bishopric 
was not obtained without a more arduous service. The 
government which carried Catholic Emancipation was 
a Tory government, and Tory statesmen naturally de 
sired to avert the loss of that clerical support on which 
their power had so mainly depended. Accordingly, 
the conversion of Dr. Phillpotts was effected at this 
critical juncture. He wrote^in favour of the bill, and 
he voted for the author of the bill at the memorable 
Oxford election of 1829. Those who are old enough 
to remember that exciting contest will not have for 
gotten that some of its most amusing incidents were 
VOL. i. o 



194 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

connected with the name of Phillpotts ; they will re 
member how the print shops were crowded with 
caricatures of the future prelate ; they will remember 
the indignant aspect of the rustic pastors as they 
crowded fast and furious to the poll; and how, one 
after another, when he had registered his vote against 

* the traitor Peel, rushed off to the engraver s for a 
picture of the great rat to carry home to his parish. 
Nor can they have forgotten that impudent under 
graduate who deliberately stopped the Dean of Chester, 
who was walking down the High Street, accosting 
him with extended right hand, and his exclamation, 

* Rat it, Phillpotts, how are you ? 

So far the Edinburgh Reviewer. There can be, no 
difficulty in disposing of the coarser charge. It had 
long been Dr. Phillpotts decided opinion that Catholic 
Emancipation could not be withheld; but he insisted 
very strongly on securities, and he republished a 
very able letter to Lord Eldon, in which, with great 
political wisdom, he sketched out what these secu 
rities ought to be. He was closeted on the subject 
with the Duke of Wellington, and we all know that 
very agreeable results are wont to flow from such in 
terviews with Premiers. The candidature of Mr. Peel 
for re-election by the University of Oxford brought 
matters to a practical test. It was generally supposed 
that a vote for Mr. Peel meant a vote for Catholic 
Emancipation, and a vote against Mr. Peel meant a 
vote against Catholic Emancipation. Dr. Phillpotts 
tried to combine these discordant views. He voted 
for Mr. Peel, and at the same time he declared that he 
could not support an Emancipation Bill unless it was 
accompanied by very strong securities. The securities 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OF THE EEIGN. 195 

were never given, and Dr. Philpotts explicitly told the 
Duke that the measure in its adopted shape did not 
commend itself to his mind. Why, then, did Dr. 
Phillpotts vote for Mr. Peel ? He discarded the great 
question which was then agitating the minds of all 
men, and from the most abstract considerations on the 
general character of a university seat, and the general 
character of Mr. Peel, recorded his vote in favour of 
the attempted re-election. Most religious men felt 
that a great national issue was at stake far superior to 
any personal consideration for Mr. Peel, and although 
they might feel the highest respect for the great states 
man s character and abilities, gave their votes against 
him as their way of settling the great issue pro 
pounded to the University. Dr. Phillpotts evaded this 
direct issue, and tortuously gave his vote upon a side 
wind. Dr. Phillpotts, in a published letter to 
Dr. Ellerton of Magdalen, said that if he was dis 
satisfied with the terms of the bill, " I shall not be 
backward in joining in any fit mode in expressing 
dissatisfaction." "We may inquire if that promise was 
ever redeemed. Dr. Phillpotts distinctly told the 
Duke of Wellington that the securities were not 
sufficient, and that he should oppose the bill. This 
was the statement made by Sir Henry Hardinge in 
the House of Commons, and by the Duke of Welling 
ton in the House of Lords. A great injustice was, 
therefore, done to Dr. Phillpotts; that, whereas he 
had formerly opposed the measure, he had now ratted 
and supported it. A false issue had in fact been 
raised. The popular cry of ratting was a wrong one, 
and the Bishop reaped the benefit which, sooner 
or later, meets the man who has been persecuted by 

o 2 



196 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

a mistaken cry. But when qualified and stated in 
different terms, there still remains a specific charge 
against the Bishop, which we at once say we do not 
see can be met, and which afforded some justification 
for the outcry raised against him. Did he oppose the 
bill in the only way in which the bill could effectually 
be opposed, by voting against the author of it ? Did 
he agitate against the bill, as he declared to Dr. 
Ellerton that he was prepared to do ? or did he not 
altogether desist from that agitation in which he had 
borne so great a part, while he was on the same side 
with the Duke and Sir Robert ? He ceased to write 
and speak against a measure which he cqndemned, 
and the public not unnaturally assumed that, having 
received a deanery for his agitation, he subsequently 
received a bishopric for his quiescence. Some stress 
has been laid upon the opinion of Lord Eldon, and 
certainly the judgment of that wise and venerable 
magistrate would be of the greatest value on con 
temporary events. Here again, in the heat and un 
fairness of controversy, the simple facts are lost sight 
of, and the common result is obtained, that each side, 
by trying to prove too much, does in reality prove 
too little. We believe that the case stands thus. 
Lord Eldon did not approve of Dr, Phillpotts pro 
cedure. It has been stated that this was notorious at 
the time ; the Bishop appears to admit it. " For a 
year or two," says the Bishop, " no intercourse did in 
fact take place. I was in the country, and he did 
not write to me. When I became a bishop, and 
therefore resided in London, in 1831, I have no 
recollection of actual estrangement." On the other 
hand, it is quite clear that the illustrious kinsmen 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OF THE REIGM. 197 

became fully reconciled, and at the last were on 
affectionate and intimate terms. 

In 1830 Dr. Phillpotts was appointed Bishop of 
Exeter. His episcopal letters were mostly dated from 
Bishopstowe, a handsome and well-placed Italian 
villa, a few miles from Torquay, close to the famous 
Anstis Cove. This is still one of the most beautiful 
portions of the Devonshire coast, and suggests still 
that seclusion of woods, and waters, and downs in 
which poets and painters so greatly delight. The 
Bishop laid out the glen with paths, and furnished it 
with seats and steps on which he would himself often 
sit and watch the sea. Dr. Phillpotts stated, in one 
of his letters to Lord Macaulay, that Bishopstowe is 
the only place which he considered his home. Three 
months of the year, also, the Bishop made his resi 
dence at Durham, as Canon Residentiary. 

In 1833, he delivered his primary charge. He 
commenced by alluding to the gloom and darkness 
overhanging all established institutions. It was the 
year which witnessed the first meeting of the reformed 
Parliament, when political expectations of sweeping 
changes had reached the highest point, and when it 
was well understood that the legislature was about 
to deal with the temporalities of the Church. The 
Bishop s visitation tour, however, inspired more 
cheering views than those which we meet in the 
charge itself. In a note to his published charge, the 
Bishop has a sharp remark v on Earl, then Lord John, 
Russell, who had been speaking at Teignmouth of the 
necessity of a more equitable distribution of Church 
revenues. "I cannot but refer to the case of the 
vicarage of Tavistock. It is well known that the 



198 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

tithes and other ecclesiastical revenues of the parish 
nay, by a rare, perhaps singular assumption, the 
vicarage itself are impropriated to the noble lord s 
father, who enjoys them as part and parcel of the 
vast possessions which once belonged to the rich 
Abbey of Tavistock, granted by Henry VIII. to the 
same Lord John Russell, and which are thus the 
means of enabling the noble lord to hold up to the 
indignation of the freeholders of the county of Devon 
the enormous abuses of Church revenues." Plurali 
ties was another subject on which the Bishop spoke, 
speaking, to a certain extent, leniently on the subject, 
and then again using a measure of severity which was 
very edifying in the case of one of the greatest 
pluralists of the age. In his next charge, the Bishop 
uttered a truly Johnsonian sentence about the measure 
affecting English ecclesiastical revenues, which he 
characterized as " a bill for seizing on the revenues of 
the Protestant Church in Ireland, and applying them 
to some undefined purpose of teaching morality with 
out religion, and religion without a creed." 

In the affair of the nomination of Dr. Hampden to 
the see of Hereford, the Bishop of Exeter took a very 
prominent and memorable part. On the 9th of Decem 
ber, 1847, the Bishop received Lord John Russell s 
pert answer to the memorial, signed by thirteen 
prelates, remonstrating against the contemplated 
appointment. The very next day the Bishop wrote 
his celebrated letter to the Premier. The letter is a 
perfect model in the literature of controversy and 
invective. Against Dr. Hampden stood the stain of 
the recorded judgment of the University of Oxford on 
the unsoundness of his doctrine. Dr. Hampden had 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OP THE REIGN. 199 

never altered the views on which that judgment was 
founded. " I retract nothing that I have written, I 
disclaim nothing," was the language which he used. 
The Bishop s famous peroration was, " Forbear, 
my lord, while you have yet time ; persist not in your 
rash experiment. The bands of your vaunted statute 
will snap asunder like withes, if you attempt to bind 
with them the strongest of all strong men the man 
who is strengthened with inner might against the 
assailant of his Church," 

In the year 1851, the Bishop adopted the plan of 
issuing a pastoral letter, a course which he also 
adopted in 1854 and 1857. " I venture to think," 
he wrote in 1854, " that you will not think any ex 
planation necessary. It will enable us to enjoy what 
every Bishop meeting his clergy must wish to enjoy, 
the comfort and blessing of partaking together of the 
Holy Eucharist. In another particular I do not follow 
the precedent of my last visitation. I do not invite 
you to follow it with a diocesan synod. My reason is 
a personal one, consideration of my own physical 
inability to encounter the fatigue of such a meeting. 
Permitted to reach the advanced age of seventy-six, 
I must not only be thankful for the measure of 
strength still vouchsafed to me, but I must also be 
cautious not to overtask it. Certainly nothing in the 
experience of our last synod could have made me less 
anxious to repeat what can no longer be called an 
experiment, but a great success." 

That which will most and longest affect the reputa 
tion of the Bishop of Exeter, that which shook the 
Church of England to the foundation, and is one of 
the great landmarks of its history, is unquestionably 



200 OUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

the Gorham case. The Bishop of Exeter adopted a 
strongly marked line on behalf of the Oxford party, 
in which, according to the judgment of some, he may 
have advanced a step too far in the debateable ground 
which lay between the extreme Tractarian and the 
Ultrmontanism of Roman Catholicism. The Bishop 
himself unquestionably sought to abide in the via 
media, and was ever ready to notice and check any 
deviation on the right hand or the left from the path 
defined by the Church of England. Without a doubt, 
the sympathies of an impetuous and high-souled man 
were very thoroughly on the side of the High Church 
party, and enlisted very thoroughly against the Low 
Church. But this sympathy never resulted, as in so 
many lamentable instances, in any disloyalty to our 
mother, the Church of England. He moreover 
sought to do justice with an even hand. In the case 
of Mr. Maskell, to whom he appears to have been 
bound by strong affection and by close ties, the 
Bishop admitted and took action on his errors ; and 
Mr. Maskell vindicates the justice of the Bishop s 
procedure by his unhappy perversion to the Church 
of Rome. The Bishop s actions were guided, without 
favour or partiality, by rigid justice. In one of his 
letters, in the very outset of the Gorham troubles, 
the Bishop says : " Looking back on more than 
seventeen years, during which I have been permitted 
to be your bishop, while I have rarely had reason to 
lament any want of kindness or respect on the part 
of any of my clergy never before of such an instance 
as Mr. Gorham s, I at the same time hope that I 
may with confidence appeal to your experience of me, 
whether it be likely that, in my conduct towards any 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OP THE REIGN. 201 

of you, I should show myself imperious, unkind, 
jealous of office, eager to lay hold of involuntary or 
light delinquency ; above all, forgetful of what is due 
to those whom I am bound to regard as my equals, 
many as my superiors, in all respects, excepting that 
which invests me, however unworthy, with authority 
over them in the Lord." Our own notion is, at the 
same time, that Dr. Phillpotts considerably over 
stepped the line and example exhibited by Bishop 
Blomfield, who encountered in his time the wildest 
storm of reproach and obloquy, but whose conduct 
will cause his name, as Mr. Gladstone has truly said, 
to be blest to the latest generation. Mr. Maskell 
affords an instance of the manner in which the Bishop 
dealt, certainly most tenderly, with extremes on the 
one side ; and Mr. Gorham how he dealt, certainly 
most rigidly, with extremes on the other side. 

It is both beyond our space and our province to 
enter into the details of the Gorham case, the judg 
ment on which, combined with the later cases of 
Archdeacon Denison and Messrs. Wilson and Williams, 
clearly establishes that the Church has no proper 
tribunal in matters of heresy, and that her sons may 
wander from Dan to Beersheba within her border. 
The absolute necessity for the Bishop to refuse to 
institute Mr. Gorham, in consequence of his denial 
of the doctrine of baptismal regeneration, may best 
be illustrated by the language of Bishop Blomfield, 
who was not at first disposed to consider that Mr. 
Gorham had overstepped the latitude permitted by 
the Church. When in obedience to Her Majesty s 
commands," said the Bishop of London, " I attended 
the first meeting of the Judicial Committee, I had 



202 OUR EISHOPS AND DEANS. 

not read Mr. Gorham s published account of his ex 
amination by the Bishop of Exeter, nor was I aware 
of the extreme opinions he avowed. I went into the 
inquiry with the expectation that he had not trans 
gressed the bounds of that latitude which had been 
allowed or tolerated ever since the Reformation. Had 
such proved to be the case I could have acquiesced in 
a judgment which, while it recognized that latitude, 
should have distinctly asserted the doctrine of bap 
tismal regeneration, in the proper sense of the words, 
to be the doctrine of our Church. But having read 
with great attention Mr. Gorham s publication, I 
found that it contained assertions wholly irreconcila 
ble, as it appears to me, with the plain teaching of 
the Church of England and of the Church universal 
in all ages." A wide consternation overspread a 
great part of the country when the decision of the 
Privy Council was made known. The Bishop of 
Exeter issued his famous pamphlet. Of this, no fewer 
than four editions were sold in a single day. He 
formally renounced communion with the Archbishop. 
He accompanied his excommunication with language 
of satire and disrespect which it is not pleasing 
to peruse, and which did not serve his own or the 
Church s cause. From individuals, from deaneries, 
from dioceses protests poured in ; St. Martin s Hall 
and the .Freemasons Tavern were crowded with 
monster meetings of dismayed and excited Church 
men. Many wavered in their allegiance to the Church, 
and sought to make the judgment a pretext for going 
over to Rome. No one would have felt more keenly 
than the Bishop of Exeter the bad logic and the bad 
faith of this last step. " To leave a Church," wrote 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OP THE EEIGN. 203 

Bishop Blomfield, " which is defective, it may be, in 
discipline, for one which is notoriously heretical in 
doctrine, is a strange and indefensible inconsistency." 
Bishop Phillpotts, while acquiescing in the declared 
law of the land, has lent the whole weight of his 
influence and power of his office, to cleanse his diocese 
of what he considers evil leaven. 

The administration of his diocese, indeed, has 
afforded great scope to his energies, and correspond 
ing employment to local and general critics. That 
part which it is most difficult to reconcile with the 
received ideas on such subjects is the course which 
the Bishop has pursued, very much upon a system, 
of allowing the legal time to pass away before con 
firming institutions, and then claiming the patronage 
for himself by reason of lapse. A colourable pretext 
was not wanting for each of these occasions. The 
insulting language used towards the Bishop in the 
House of Lords, and elsewhere, has been quoted as 
an ex cathedra judgment on his character. We cannot 
so regard it. There is a sort of practical justice in 
the fact that the Bishop who in his time has ad 
ministered so many hard knocks should, in return, 
have experienced so many. Anything more unfounded, 
unjust, and ungentlemanlike than some of these 
attacks cannot be conceived. Especially it is diffi 
cult to read, without the strongest feeling of indigna 
tion being stirred up, of the uncandid, contemptuous, 
and selfish treatment pursued towards him by the 
then Lord Seymour. Unable to punish him by law, 
the Bishop took the ill-advised course of proceeding 
against Latimer, the publisher, in which an adverse 
verdict was recorded against the Bishop. A great 



204 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

deal of stress has been laid upon the verdict of the 
jury in the case of the King versus Latimer. The 
Edinburgh Reviewer (supposed to be Mr. Conybeare) 
was very exultant on that verdict, and still more 
exultant on the fact that the Bishop did not dare to 
go before a jury of his own cathedral city of Exeter. 
It is unnecessary on the present occasion to descend 
to any bathos on the subject of a British jury, and we 
are sure that any person acquainted alike with law 
procedure and popular passions would attach much 
greater weight to the opinion of a judge than to the 
verdict of the local jury. The following was the 
remark of the judge when an application was made 
for the defendant s costs, and by the judge refused. 
" I do not think you would like a new trial; you were 
exceedingly lucky in getting the verdict. How it 
was given I do not understand quite. I thought it 
was a very wrong verdict, I assure you. Unless the 
jury were misled, one cannot understand it. You 
have a right to keep all you get, aud no more." 

The remarks of the Bishop of Exeter on the jury 
were very interesting, as must be the remarks of such 
an astute observer on all points of law. The jury has 
been the palladium of liberty, but now we have more 
danger to fear the tyranny of the mob than the 
tyranny of the Crown. His words point strongly in 
this direction. " If a new trial should be granted, 
was I prepared to go again before an Exeter jury ? 
Had I reason to hope that another set of jurors there 
would be found less prejudiced, less ignorant, or less 
wilful than those who had pronounced against me on 
the trial ? The very plain and glaring strength of my 
case the very strength of the observations of the 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OP THE EEIGN. 205 

judge upon it, showed, unhappily, how little confidence 
could be placed in such a jury. Let me not be mis 
understood. I should be sorry to be supposed to be 
lieve that the majority of the citizens of Exeter are 
unfit to be entrusted with the sacred duty of adminis 
tering the best and highest privilege of the subjects of 
a free State. But this I say, that in the present state 
of society in England, the English trial by jury, in any 
case in which party spirit can enter, is one of the very 
worst expedients for eliciting a true judgment." 

In that unhesitating, unswerving adherence to a 
rigid system, in that direct following out of dogma to 
its practical and logical conclusions, in the keen impa 
tience of the results arrived at by other minds, the 
Bishop appears to us to have exhibited not those 
statesmanlike qualities which we would desire to see 
associated with the episcopal character, nor yet that 
comprehensiveness, toleration, and catholicity which 
we humbly conceive to have been set before us in the 
words and the actions of our Lord and His apostles. 
But he was true to the ideal set before himself, and, 
through evil report and good report, has steadfastly 
pursued what commended itself to his mind as holy 
and righteous ends. In some respects he appears to 
have modified his views, and, like all men who have 
lived a crowded existence on a busy stage, would at 
last, perhaps, acknowledge some errors, retract some 
opinions, regret some action s. In his venerable old 
age his life and example shone with peculiar and win 
ning lustre. His care for his diocese, the surrender 
of a large part of his savings to the Ecclesiastical 
Gtllege, the gift of his noble library, were practical 



206 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

deeds of which the most worldly and callous will 
acknowledge the worth. 

Those who abandon ease and learned leisure, and 
the placid dignity of place and power, to vindicate a 
shaken cause, and write their name on the memories 
of a Church and nation, may, indeed, experience some 
stain in that fierce heat and conflict, and bear a more 
chequered fame than men of meek and holy memory, 
but they have at least greatly suffered, greatly dared, 
greatly achieved, and may attain, even here, to a happy 
sunset from a stormy life, and may find that both their 
evil and their good have been cleansed and overruled 
to the accomplishment of what was, through all, their 
highest and purest aspirations. 

We will rapidly refer to three representative bishops, 
Broad, Low, and High ; Bishop Lonsdale, however, 
rather belonged to the very small party of those who 
have no party at all. 

He was one of the best scholars 
BISHOP LONSDALE. that Eton ever possessed, and to the 
last he could not hear any insinuation 
against that immaculate institution. Dr. Goodall said 
he was the best scholar he ever had, and his academic 
reputation, especially for his Latin, would, without a 
mitre, have been permanent. He was a man of a fine, 
broad, healthy mind, full of kindness, simplicity, and 
cheerfulness. He owed his elevation at the hands of 
Sir Robert Peel, a statesman to whom he was deeply 
attached, entirely to the high character he had gained 
in previous employments. Sir Robert s letter, offering 
him the employment, was handed up to him one Sun 
day morning while preaching at the Savoy Chapel. 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OF THE REIGN. 207 

He used to laugh at his right reverend brethren who 
owed their seats to political connexion, and had to 
hurry down to the House because they received notes 
from the Treasury. No notes from the Treasury ever 
came to him. 

In early life the Bishop was fond of shooting ; to 
the last year of his life he continued to fish. He 
relished a theatrical entertainment, and saw no reason 
why clergymen and even bishops should not enjoy 
it. "But so long as the world thinks it safer for 
young ladies than for bishops to take their chances of 
being corrupted by the theatre, he would by no means 
offend the world." When he studiously entered 
memoranda at the end of his pocket-book, these were 
chiefly the names of flowers which he had seen in his 
visits, and meant to order for his own garden. He 
was a man with great capabilities for enjoyment, and 
who always looked upon life on its sunny side, with a 
keen sense of humour ; one who liked and could tell a 
good story. And yet he was a man of boundless 
charity and self-denial; a man of deep and real 
sanctity of character. 

His work was enormous. His son-in-law, who 
wrote his biography, calculates that he wrote some 
one hundred and twenty thousand letters during his 
episcopate. They relate to all kinds of subjects. 
One clergyman writes to him repeatedly concerning 
his scruples about the Baptismal service. Another 
clergyman, living in a rectory, wrote six sheets of 
paper to complain that the rector had not left sheets 
for his bed as he had promised. The specimens of 
correspondence given in the biography are remarkably 
meagre. We are, however, by no means surprised at 



208 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

this. Comparatively speaking, in very few of these 
letters would he ever turn over the first page of his 
sheet of note-paper. We ourselves have seen various 
of the Bishop s letters ; they have a common cha 
racter, and when one or two are printed we really see 
them all. The Bishop excelled in writing a particular 
kind of letter. It was the short letter, semi-friendly, 
semi-official, always terse and definite to the matter 
in hand, and expressed in a graceful, complimentary, 
and even touching way. He seems to have had a kind 
of gratification in writing letters of this kind, similar 
to the gratification of penning longs and shorts in his 
Eton days. The letters at last became a tremendous 
drag on him, but he could not be persuaded to relin 
quish them, although we should think that they were 
just the kind of letters which a secretary would dash 
off" by scores at his dictation. He was a man of 
singularly catholic and tolerant views ; he was free 
from party spirit himself; and this was also very 
much the case with his diocese. He conciliated an 
immense amount of personal esteem and affection. 
One of his last public acts was his presiding, with 
singular efficacy and good taste, at the Wolverhamp- 
ton Church Congress ; and one of his last conversations 
with his son-in-law related to the controversy between 
the Bible and Science. The Bishop was not a scientific 
man ; in fact, he carried his disregard of science to a 
regrettable extent; but, as Mr. Denison truly says, 
" though he did not profess to understand science, no 
man knew better than he did the difference between 
sound and unsound reasoning." 

Lonsdale was originally intended for the bar, of 
which there are other extant episcopal instances. He 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OF THE EEIGN. 209 

had some friendships with great lawyers, and he was 
often to be seen at the high table at Lincoln s Inn. 
He was a sound lawyer ; not such a keen lawyer as 
the Bishop of Exeter, who might have been lord chan 
cellor, but probably a much sounder one. Even among 
the lawyers he often showed himself the best man in 
company, socially. Here is a story which he particu 
larly enjoyed. " A blustering man in a railway carriage 

said, I should like to meet that Bishop of , I d 

put a question to him that would puzzle him. Very 
well, said a voice out of another corner, then now 

is your time, for I am the Bishop of [it may 

easily be guessed who]. The man was rather startled, 
but presently recovered, and said, Well, my lord, can 
you tell me the way to heaven ? { Nothing is easier, 
answered the Bishop; you have only to turn to the 
right and go straight forward. 

We will ourselves mention, from our own resources, 
a fragment of episcopal ana which may be taken as a 
contribution to the biography of the unnamed prelate. 
We guarantee the anecdote, which we could give with 
names and locality. One day the Bishop and his Arch 
deacon, in the course of an episcopal tour, came to the 
house of a country gentleman, where they were most 
hospitably received. We are sure of the hospitality, 
for our own legs have reposed beneath that excellent 
mahogany. At dinner the Archdeacon was to be ob 
served engaged in a little cosy chat with the lady 
of the house. The Bishop, with the complaisant and 
graceful badinage of which he was a master, insisted 
on being allowed to participate in the apparent secret. 
The Archdeacon informed the Bishop that their good 
hostess, Mrs. R , was famous for the composition 

VOL. i. p 



210 



OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 



of cake, and that she generally furnished him with one 
when he came upon his travels. Whereupon the pre 
late, with most winning smiles, professed himself to 
be a great lover of cake, and begged to be allowed to 
become a petitioner for the same. That most kindly 
lady assented with the greatest pleasure, and she and 
her maidens were busied in preparing one of their 
choicest cakes for the illustrious diocesan. The next 
morning, as the Bishop s carriage rolled away from the 
ancient residence, the right reverend foot came into 
collision with a parcel in the carriage. " What s this ?" 
cried the bishop ; " that woman s cake, I suppose." 
And leaving the unknown language to the imagination 
of the reader, I can only say that the unlucky cake 
was contemptuously hurled through the window to 
the earth. It so happened that the park was not 
cleared at the time when this act was done, and the 
hospitable lady was able to ascertain the fate of the 
kindly-meant present. I need scarcely say that there 
were no more hospitalities there for the Bishop, and 
the story will hardly ever be forgotten in that part of 
the country. 

His biographer discusses the subject of good Bishop 
Lonsdale s exercise of his patronage. He greatly 
praises it, and yet withal he takes exception to it. The 
Bishop laid down a rigid rule not to promote any man 
who had not served in his diocese. The result of this 
was that he was unable to promote a man who was 
worthy of being promoted, and whose promotion he 
desired. This was a mistake. To wise men rules are 
aids and helps, but they do not make themselves the 
unreasoning slaves of rules. In other respects the 
Bishop s patronage seems to us to have been unsatis- 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OP THE REIGN. 211 

factory. He had a weakness for men of family and 
wealth. We remember a case where the Bishop passed 
over the laborious and poor curate of a parish to give 
the incumbency to a young man of great social qualifi 
cations. The latter became a regular absentee, and all 
the work was done by the poor curate. Dr. Lonsdale 
probably had the notion, which is said to be strong 
with some bishops, that they support the church by 
giving their preferment to wealthy men. Bishop 
Lonsdale most completely illustrated the wise motto 
of his predecessor, Hacket : " Serve God, and be 
cheerful." 

" Little do they guess," wrote 
BISHOP STANLEY. Bishop Stanley, " how engrossed I 
am altogether on one sole object the 
spiritual and temporal welfare of the diocese. By 
night, in my many working hours, the work of my 
mind is how and what can be done by us to promote 
the end for which I accepted a situation for which, in 
every other point, 1 feel myself so unqualified and unfit. 
I accepted it with a determination not to make it a 
source of profit to myself, or patronage for others, it 
being my unshaken determination to expend not only 
the whole proceeds of the emoluments on the diocese, 
but the greater part of my private fortune also ; saving 
little or nothing more than it was my wish to do at 
Alderley : that, with regard to patronage, no motives 
of private interest, or mere connexion or formal friend 
ship, should sway me in giving preferments; and that 
the names hitherto on my list consist of individuals 
known to me only by respectability and fitness for the 
situations to which 1 could appoint them. Such are 

p 2 



212 OUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

the feelings with which I accepted the office of a 
bishop, on such I have acted hitherto ; and God grant 
that nothing may induce me to depart from principles 
which will alone justify me in entering on a line of life 
and arduous responsibilities, drawing me away from 
pursuits and tastes with which my habits were far 
more congenial." 

Such were the views, now happily more common 
than they were forty years ago, with which Bishop 
Stanley entered upon the labours of his enormous 
diocese. Many still recollect the demoralized con 
dition of things that prevailed during the rule of 
Bishop Bathurst. Bishop Bathurst had left a great 
deal of special work as an inheritance to any eccle 
siastical Eeformer, but beyond that Bishop Stanley 
went in for special work as a Liberal bishop. " I 
came into the diocese," he said, "not with the expec 
tation of finding it a bed of roses, but rather a bed of 
thorns ; but my greatest trials arose from those of the 
clergy who are loudest in their cry of The Church 
in danger, but who never do anything to keep it 
from danger." Bishop Stanley truly said that his heart 
was in his diocese, and he used to say that a bishop 
should always be at his post in the chief city of his 
diocese. He refused to take a pleasant retreat a few 
miles from Norwich, and was always working away 
among the schools and poor of the great city. He 
would go amid the back yards and alleys and talk with 
the poorest of the poor. Lord Shaftesbury says that 
he was the first bishop who took up the cause of the 
Eagged Schools. One night there was a gathering of 
ragged children in the depths of Lambeth, and the 
Bishop of Norwich came in and sat down by his side. 



THE EMINENT PRELATES OF THE REIGN. 213 

" I saw your name," he said, " on a placard, and I in 
stantly determined to attend for wherever you go I 
will go too." The Bishop made himself famous by 
entertaining Jenny Lind when she came to sing at a 
Norwich concert. When Jenny Lind retired from the 
operatic stage it was generally asserted that she had 
been induced to do so by Dr. Stanley.* It was a 
great instance of his liberality when he preached a 
funeral sermon in Norwich Cathedral on the unbap- 
tized Quaker, Joseph John Gurney. " The funeral 
service of the chief of English Quakers was virtually 
celebrated, not at the time or place of his interment, in 
the retired burial ground of the Gilden-croft, but on 
the preceding Sunday, in the stately cathedral which 
he never frequented, and with the muffled peals and 
solemn strains of which he condemned the use. And 
his funeral sermon was preached on the same day, not 
by any favoured minister amongst his own admiring 
disciples, but by a prelate of that Established Church 
which he had through life, so far as his gentle nature 
permitted him, opposed and controverted." 

We hardly know a more beautiful 
BISHOP HAMILTON, portraiture than that which Canon 
Liddon gives us of the late Bishop 
Hamilton of Salisbury. * Our Bishop, sir !" said a 
resident, " lived here so long that he is less like a 
bishop than one of ourselves." In troubled times the 
Bishop used to say that, however men might speak of 
him elsewhere, the Salisbury people would never mis 
understand him. By a natural gradation which has 
more of practical justice about it than generally falls to 

* "Musical Kecollections of the Last Half Century." 



214 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

such arrangements, from canon and bishop s chaplain 
he became bishop himself. A friend of his says, 
" Once before, taking leave for a longer time than 
usual, I remember going with him by moonlight into 
the cathedral and there praying that God would 
supply what was wanting in the Church among us, 
and preserve her from the perils that must beset her." 
It was his practice on Sunday to invite six or eight 
poor people to dinner. About a hundred poor people 
were invited to dinner on some day near to the Feast 
of the Epiphany, an occasion to which the Bishop and 
his family looked forward with delight, as they rejoiced 
to wait upon these humble guests. He was essen 
tially the bishop of the poor. He recognized that they 
had the first claim upon the servants of Christ, and 
he considered that the aristocratic character of the 
Church, was in truth one of her misfortunes. He 
never left his cathedral city, unless for a short 
Autumn holiday, except, of course, when called 
away by diocesan business. The Bishop was occa 
sionally very much perplexed as to the degree in 
which he ought to allow his diocesan work to be in 
terfered with by duties in the House of Lords. It is 
unnecessary to say that he regarded the temporal 
decorations attached to his See by the State, as a 
mere adjunct to the great spiritual commission which 
he held under Christ our Lord ; and that his imagina 
tion was never for one moment dazzled by the social 
and worldly prestige which may attach to a seat in 
the Legislature. But it was a vexed question with his 
conscience how far he ought to sacrifice other claims 
to the opportunities which were thus placed within 
his reach. As a matter of fact he seldom or never 



THE EMINENT PRELATES Otf THE EEIGN. 215 

appeared in the House of Lords, except when the 
interests of religion or morals appeared to him to be 
at stake. There was no danger of mistaking his 
house for a nobleman s residence. People thought he 
showed an excessive indifference to the social respect 
of his position. After the first year or two of his 
episcopate he gave up his carriage. His hospitable 
door always stood open to clergy and laity. While 
the Bishop abstained most carefully from making any 
outlay upon objects which might savour of personal 
ostentation, he carried his simple unrestricted hospi 
tality to the very verge of imprudence, if not beyond 
it. 

Very touching is the account of the way in which 
high preferment came to him. Before" he passed 
away, Bishop Denison dictated a message to Lord 
Aberdeen, who was at that time Prime Minister, to 
the effect that in the judgment of a man, now almost 
in the act of dying, Mr. Hamilton would be of all 
others best able to carry on the work of Christ in the 
diocese. Lord Aberdeen felt that to yield at once 
might create a precedent which would interfere with 
the free exercise of the Crown s choice as patron. 
He passed a sleepless night; it was impossible to 
entertain Bishop Denison s petition. The See was 
accordingly offered to the Rev. J. H. Blunt, the 
eminent Margaret Professor of Divinity at Cam 
bridge. Professor Blunt was three times urged to 
accept the position, but he declined on the ground 
that, although then in fair health, he was too old to 
make an efficient bishop for more than a short while. 
The Premier then felt himself at liberty to do that 
which he would have done in the first instance, if his 



216 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

sense of duty to the Crown had permitted it ; and 
Bishop Denison s dying message was obeyed. " Cer 
tainly to no one did that summons cause surprise 
more complete, or more unaffected and keen distress, 
than to the man who was concerned. The interval of 
painful deliberation the determination to say No 
at once the influences which were brought to bear 
on him that agonizing walk up and down in front 
of Lord Aberdeen s house the final yielding; all 
these he has often described, even with tears, to 
friends who could sympathise and understand." 

We now come to one more prelate, whose work and 
position in the Church were so remarkable that he 
claims a chapter to himself. 



217 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE LATE BISHOP OF WINCHESTER. 

future historian, who shall endeavour to give 
-L some conception of the career and character of 
the most celebrated Anglican bishop of the last two 
centuries, will assuredly be embarrassed, not by the 
scantiness, but by the multiplicity and variety of the 
materials. Bishop Wilberforce was in truth a many- 
sided man. In that active and crowded career 
several distinct careers are virtually comprised. 
In the management of two very important dioceses 
he exhibited an administrative ability and an energy 
of character which, as a rule, have not often been 
paralleled in the English episcopate. In the House 
of Lords he gave an attention to politics using 
the word in the highest and most favourable sense 
which, has been exceeded by few of our hereditary 
legislators, and not by many of our trained and 
veteran statesmen. As a writer, his active and ver 
satile pen was constantly challenging the attention of 
the English public. As one of the most prominent 
members of our English society, whether on the 
public platform or in the private drawing-room, he was 
a great social power. Corresponding to this variety of 



218 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

characters, are those multiplied departments of cur 
rent public life in which men continually recognised 
his presence. He published more than one volume 
of sermons preached before the Queen, in those early 
days after her accession, when his influence must 
have been considerable on the royal mind. He 
preached many sermons before the University, where 
many hundred men, the very crown and flower of 
English youth, hung upon his lips. If you make a 
point of studying Hansard, or even of running over 
the Parliamentary reports, you see how large a space 
he occupied in the government of the country. Now 
he was speaking at great public entertainments, such 
as the dinners of the Literary Fund or of the Royal 
Academy. Again, as the Squire of the village of 
Lavington, he was pleasantly haranguing the rustics 
on the green or in the tent. Now he was addressing 
on a week-day crowds of labourers in a church or 
under a railway shed. Presently he was away in the 
north, in Yorkshire, opening that gorgeous fane with 
which the zeal and piety of Mr. Akroyd have adorned 
Halifax. Again, he was down in Kent, preaching twice 
on a Sunday, at the opening of a humble district 
church. Again, he was busy, with superhuman energy, 
in his diocese, learning the details of every parish, 
studying the character of every clergyman, entertain 
ing them at Cuddesden, or meeting them in Conference 
at Oxford. He was the lion of the great dinner party. 
He was the leading speaker at the public meeting. He 
was the ruling member of a Church Congress. He was 
the most active member of the Convocation of his 
province. He was holding a confirmation in Paris. 
He was consecrating a church in Brussels. In the prin- 



THE LATE BISHOP OF WINCHESTER. 219 

cipal newspapers, in the reports of societies, in blue- 
books, in correspondence, in pamphlets, in current 
literature, in all contemporary history, we again and 
again meet him. That comprehensive mind was equally 
familiar with the greatest principles and the slightest 
details. At one time he was aiding in the attempt to 
uphold or destroy a ministry, or stamping the impress 
of his character on the debates and legislation of his 
country; at another time he was objurgating dull-headed 
churchwardens, or demolishing a libellous alderman. 
He was a kind of universal Bishop, an untitled metro 
politan. His labours in correspondence were of a 
truly tremendous character. All kinds of people 
wrote to him, and every correspondent seemed to 
receive a full and careful answer. He would dictate 
seven letters at a time, resembling the marvellous 
chessplayers who can play seven games at once blind 
folded. Few men, speaking metaphorically, lived more 
in the open air than Bishop Wilberforce. He was 
essentially a public man, and his history is to be read 
in public documents. Wherever Christian work was 
most animated and intense wherever the conflict of 
opinions was keenest wherever debate was most ex 
cited wherever bold and burning speech and prompt 
action were most needed, there the form of this bril 
liant prelate was most prominently to be discerned. 

It would be difficult, with facts at will, to invent a 
more illustrious pedigree for the Bishop than that to 
which he was heir. We all remember the noble lines 
of the poet Cowper, a man of splendid lineage 

"My boast is not that I deduce my birth 
From loins enthroned and rulers of the earth, 
But higher far my proud pretensions rise, 
The son of parents passed into the skies." 



220 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

No accidental distinction of birth could be so grate 
ful and honourable as to be descended from a man 
whose memory will evermore be venerated and beloved 
throughout Christendom, "William Wilberforee. The 
student of the " Life of Wilberforce " will remember 
some touching letters addressed to his sons, among 
which a comparison of dates will enable us to recog 
nize those to the future prelate. Thus, on one 
occasion, does the "old- man eloquent" express his 
aspirations : " My course must be nearly out ; though 
perhaps it may please God, who has hitherto caused 
goodness and mercy to follow me all my days, to 
allow me to see my dear sons entered upon the ex 
ercise of their several professions, if there are several. 
But how glad shall I be, if they all can conscientiously 
enter the ministry, the most useful and honourable of 
all human employments." His father gave him a 
name designing that, in the fullest sense, he should 
be dedicated to the Master s service. At least in 
respect to one of these, howbeit for a season there 
rested a darkness over the career of others, this 
wish received an ample accomplishment. At all 
seasons the gifted son was true to the memory 
of his illustrious and holy father. Ever and again in 
the spoken words of that son we meet, as well we 
may, with exultant allusion, which is allowable 
enough, and the absence of which would be passing 
strange. Who else was there in England who could 
say amid the testifying acclaims of an excited audience 
" He who then led in every such question of 
humanity and of truth my own honoured and be 
loved father ;" or again in the pulpit of his University 
" History must speak what a son s reverence would 



THE LATE BISHOP OF WINCHESTER. 221 

rather muse upon in silence who had learned to live 
for others, and had received from God s hands the 
clientship of tortured Africa." It is an association to 
be added to the Pitts and Cannings, those fathers and 
sons, worthy of the glorious hall and of the sacred 
abbey ; his father the great ornament of the House 
of Commons, and the son the great ornament of the 
House of Lords. 

We have mentioned the " Life of Wilberforce by 
his Sons," and those who would desire to learn those 
particulars of family and ancestry which are proper 
to a regular biography, such as we do not profess to 
furnish, will find some interesting particulars in that 
work, e.g., that the line was one of an old untitled 
English stock settled for centuries at the village of 
Wilberfoss, in Yorkshire. And though Sussex be 
came the county of his adoption where his private 
estate was situated the Bishop still claimed to be a 
son of that mighty county which is no inconsiderable 
kingdom in itself. " It is a great pleasure to me," 
once said the Bishop at Brighton, after distributing 
the prizes at a university local examination ; " it is 
a great pleasure to me, as, through the dispensation 
of Providence, I am by adoption a Sussex man, to 
know that in these examinations Sussex has been 
once at the top of the tree, and has been three times 
second in the order of merit. But yet you must let 
me have a Yorkshireman s feelings when you talk 
about Sheffield. I am a Yorkshireman, bred from 
generations of Yorkshiremen, and can therefore 
sympathize with those sharp, struggling, hard-work 
ing, masterly Yorkshiremen." He was a native 
neither of Sussex nor of Yorkshire, but was born at 



222 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

Clapham. It would be tempting to speak of what 
may be called that really great and historical Clapham, 
in which his youthful days were cast, but Sir James 
Stephen has fully done all that in his admirable 
"Essays in Ecclesiastical Biography." At Oxford, 
when a young man, he took high double honours, 
and became Fellow of Oriel at a time when to be 
Fellow of Oriel was one of the sublimest of University 
distinctions. Among those unacknowledged orders 
of eminence of which the University takes no official 
cognizance, but which are none the less real and 
acknowledged by University society, Wilberforce of 
Oriel took also foremost rank. He was one of the 
great lights of the Union, in those palmy days which 
have become historical. In the reports of that noble 
society you see the subjects on which he spoke and 
those which he brought forward, and the training in 
eloquence obtained at Oxford seldom fails a man in 
more advanced life. His father had carefully prepared 
him for public speaking in much the same way as the 
elder Pitt had prepared the younger Pitt. There is 
no subject that crops up oftener in University de 
bating clubs than the question of the Great Rebellion, 
and of the execution of Charles the First. The 
Oxford feeling, as I well recollect, was always un- 
mistakeably loyal. William Wilberforce, against the 
popular feeling, spoke in favour of Hampden and 
against Charles the First. He also became a member 
of that debating club which Mr. John Stuart Mill 
formed on the model of the Speculative Society at 
Edinburgh, which became a great arena for " Tory 
lawyers" and " philosophic Radicals." In those days 
Wilberforce would rank as a " philosophic Radical," 



THE LATE BISHOP OP WINCHESTER. 223 

although ultimately his practical genius moved him 
far from any alliance with doctrinaires. A brilliant 
political career might have been possible for one of 
so many talents, and of such powerful connections. 
But he entered the Church, and so satisfied the 
longing of his aged parent. He was ordained by 
Bishop Lloyd of Oxford, and his first curacy was 
thus in his own future diocese, at the remote village 
of Crittenden, " where his name is still remembered 
with affection by the aged poor." It so happened 
in this exceptional case that the path of duty and 
devotedness was compatible with some of the most 
splendid human distinctions. 

While with the great mass of our clergy life is very 
much a matter of unvarying routine, removed far 
from the large hopes and large excitement of the 
senate and the bar, often enough a struggle on petty 
means for petty interests, of course considered apart 
from those supreme interests and supreme considera 
tions which dignify the littleness and console the 
tmhappiness of a laborious and harassed life, other 
Churchmen there are who meet with as sudden and 
splendid gradations of fortune as can be encountered 
in any path of secular life. They rapidly become 
Very Reverend, Right Reverend, and Most Reverend ; 
happy, indeed, if such a one is prospering as his soul 
prospers. It is a consoling thought, it is a sign that 
the Holy Catholic Church is ruled and governed in 
the right way, that, as a general rule, in this our 
age of our Church, those attain her wealth and rank 
who seem best fitted to withstand the heat of that 
fierce sunshine. The subject of this remark is an 
instance of such rapid advancement. Passing from 



224 CUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

the living of Brightstone in the Isle of Wight he 
obtained the wealthy living of Alverstoke ; he became 
Canon of Winchester, Archdeacon of Surrey, then 
Dean of Westminster, and then Bishop of Oxford. 
Prescription made him Chancellor of the Most Noble 
Order of the Garter, and the favour of his Sovereign 
Lord High Almoner. His University made him 
Bampton Lecturer and Select Preacher. But he first 
comes very prominently before us as a public man 
when he relinquished his country living for the 
Deanery of Westminster, to be exchanged in the 
course of a few months for the Bishopric of Oxford. 

His early work in the diocese of Winchester 
was very interesting, and it is remarkable how in 
his last days he gathered up the broken thread of 
his earliest. His Alverstoke work, though least 
before the public, was that which was most fertile in 
effort and most remarkable in his own history. He 
had just lost his wife, Emily Sargent, the heiress of 
Lavington, and fresh from this loss he threw himself 
with intense earnestness into his parish work, and 
his public duties as Archdeacon. On Sunday after 
noons crowds of people would pour into Alverstoke 
Church to hear the eloquent rector. The old colours 
of the 44th regiment, cut to pieces during the Afgha 
nistan war, now hang upon the monument where his 
pen has recorded the sufferings of the regiment, and 
in his last years he held an ordination here as bishop. 
New churches rose in his neighbourhood ; there was 
a great church revival in Portsmouth, Portsea, and 
Gosport ; men were anxious to become his curates ; 
he had two future archbishops among them, and 
candidates for holy orders came around him to watch 



THE LATE BISHOP OF WINCHESTER. 225 

his work. Amongst many memorials of him the 
painted east window of Alverstoke church will have 
a peculiar interest. 

On the occasion of his nomination to the Deanery 
of Westminster, he delivered a parting charge to the 
clergy of the Archdeaconry. The relationship between 
them had lasted for six years. He drew a contrast 
between different churches which it had fallen to his 
lot to visit. " It is indeed a cheering sight to find, 
as we may in some parts of this country, in the 
midst of the deep recesses of agricultural seclusion, 
a village church, which itself the inheritance received 
from early piety, has been duly prized and cared 
for by succeeding generations. Never does such a 
monument of present care stand alone; in such a 
parish the village school ever borders on the church- 
way path, and the surrounding cottages are still fit 
to be the dwelling-places of an English peasantry." 
But in opposition to this was the unfavourable state 
of matters which prevailed in other portions of the 
diocese, especially in Lambeth, and Archdeacon Wil- 
berforce dwelt practically and earnestly on the need 
of Church extension in these districts. It is gratify 
ing to hear that after the charge the Southwark clergy 
assembled and took steps for carrying on a good work 
in the direction indicated. It was the same great 
work that he took up with renewed energy a quarter of 
a century later. He had not intended to have de 
livered his charge this Spring, as the Bishop would 
that year address them, and he had also charged them 
as Archdeacon so late as the preceding Autumn. He 
now took on this occasion an affectionate adieu, and 
could speak gratefully of the universal kindness and 

VOL. I. Q 



226 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

sympathy which he had received at the hands of his 
brethren the clergy. It is from this point of time 
that the Bishop of Oxford strides prominently into 
the arena, and makes his hereditary honours most 
truly his own. It is said that this rapid promotion 
was owing to the favour in which he stood with the 
youthful Queen and Prince before whom he preached, 
so frequently and so faithfully, at Claremont, at Wind 
sor, and at the Palace. We have heard it said that he 
originally attracted the notice of the Prince by the 
speeches which, at different times, he delivered on 
educational subjects. And the Prince who thus, ac 
cording to his keen wonted vision, appreciated the 
preacher, was in turn understood and appreciated 
aright. And although in the course of time his name 
for years was much more rarely brought into con 
nection with the Court, yet there are two remark 
able sermons published which renew the old rela 
tionship, one of which was preached in the Royal 
chapel of Windsor on the Sunday previous to the 
marriage of the Prince of Wales, and one, a few 
months later, at the consecration of the chapel at 
Wellington College, in which the Prince Consort had 
taken such careful interest. Thus affectingly does the 
Bishop speak of that second memory now entwined in 
the memorials of the College with that of the great 
Duke : 

" He who so justly realised the original design ; he 
who was its first president ; who nourished with such 
a royal magnificence and such a wise care its first 
beginnings ; who planned all the details of its execu 
tion ; who selected even the statues which were to 
look down from its niches; who designed its avenues 



THE LATE BISHOP OF WINCHESTER. 227 

and planted the trees which are to grow in them ; he, 
too, is taken, and the College of his care, and espe 
cially this chapel, the foundations of which, as one of 
the last acts of his life of ceaseless beneficence, he him 
self laid, have become a commemoration of the great 
and good Prince, for whom this land has wept, as it 
weeps most seldom, and for very few." 

From the lips of the Bishop of Oxford these words 
would fall with peculiar meaning, and have been in 
stinct with many memories ; for his knowledge of the 
Prince had ran parallel with all his high preferments, 
and was indeed well-nigh co-extensive with the period 
of his episcopate ; he had been, too, his private chap 
lain, and had been selected by him to supervise the 
education of his child heir. It is from that time, then, 
when the favour of royalty sent him to Westminster 
and to Cuddesdon, that the public career of the Bishop, 
as one of the most potent voices in Church and State, 
begins, and henceforth his name is hanging on the 
lips of men. In his case the words of the poet are 

true : 

i 

" Fame with men 

Being but ampler means to serve mankind, 
Should have small rest or pleasure in herself, 
But work as vassal to the larger love 
That dwarfs the petty love of one to one. 
Use gave me fame at first, and fame again 
Increasing, gave me use." 

It is on that prolonged and versatile career we now 
proceed to comment. We do so neither as censors 
nor as apologists. God forbid we should judge it, 
least of all a father of the Church, whose office is 
rather to judge others. That career has been com 
mented on with the most extravagant admiration and 

Q 2 



228 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

the most unblushing invective. To urge against this 
prelate mistakes, blunders, wiliness, faults, is only in 
concrete terms the abstract proposition that he is 
a mortal ; but we do not envy the man who can be 
familiar with his writings and his presence, and not 
acknowledge that a great and a good man is here. 
We believe that there has been much miscomprehen 
sion concerning the public character of the Bishop. 
He has been called the leader of the High Church 
party ; and such an expression, though open to criti 
cism and objection, has a rough general value of its 
own. It is often truly said that the leader of a party 
is not necessarily himself a zealous partisan. And the 
Bishop was often marked by a catholicity, and tole 
rance and charity, which we sometimes desiderate 
among those who seek to approximate to his standard. 
He has, in his time, exhibited as much spirit and pas 
sion as most men in the strife of parties and opinions ; 
but in his most deliberate moments, and in his most 
careful publications, and in his latter and best years, 
there seemed to be a wider charity of wisdom, an 
increasing tenderness of love. His old Oxford repu 
tation had been greatly strengthened by his Bampton 
Lectures. His sermons at St. Mary s had been as re 
markable in their way as those of Newman himself. 
When Dr. Wilberforce had been appointed Bishop, in 
the interval between the nomination and conse 
cration, Mr. Newman and Mr. Oakley had been 
received by Dr. Wiseman into the Communion of the 
Eoman Catholic Church. The great Evangelical 
party had been thoroughly aroused by the frequency 
and facility of the remove from Oxford to Rome, and 
also by Sir Robert Peel s grant in aid of Roman 



THE LATE BISHOP OP WINCHESTER. 229 

Catholic education at Maynooth. He became the great 
leading High Church bishop, watched by the Evan 
gelical party with an incurable and not altogether 
unnatural suspicion, especially as they witnessed the 
repeated perversions in his own family. The Bishop 
had perhaps a greater toleration for the Evangelicals 
than the Evangelicals had for him. A young man 
was once on the eve of ordination at Cuddesdon. 
" And to what party in the Church," said the Bishop, 
blandly, " do you propose to attach yourself, Mr. 

P ?" " To the Evangelicals, my Lord," stoutly 

replied the young man. " Ah, how nice," said the 
Bishop. I do so love the Evangelicals" The Evan 
gelicals gave him credit for a design of eliminating 
them from his diocese, and as a matter of fact, they 
increasingly disappeared, and those who remained 
never gave him their confidence. One of them tells 
us that the Bishop once came to him and said softly, 
" My dear sir, are your people simple-minded?" The 
country parson thought that perhaps his people might 
ask, "IsyourBishopsimple-minded?" Andwhatanswer 
would he have to give ? Bishop Wilberforce s notion 
was that he would make his diocese a model diocese ; 
and to a very great extent he certainly succeeded. 
The diocese itself had only recently been formed into 
its present state, Berkshire having been taken from 
the diocese of Salisbury, and Buckinghamshire from 
Lincoln. Of this enlarged diocese Cuddesdon was the 
real centre from which radiated an enormous personal 
influence over clergy and laity alike. He probably 
restrained a great many young men from going over 
to Rome. As Sir Robert Peel advised brilliant young 
men to work on committees, so Bishop Wilberforce 



230 DUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

induced his lively curates to stick to parish work. 
The astute Bishop knew that, when the mind is 
occupied with theological problems, there is nothing 
like hard work for clarifying the thought and getting 
rid of mental fumes. The Bishop, however, placed 
himself in close sympathetic relationship with all his 
clergy, and there were those among them who clung 
to him as chivalrously as ever did the Old Guard to 
Napoleon. He did as much by his personal tact as 
by his wise rule and splendid eloquence. In 1860 
about five hundred of the clergy there were then 
about six hundred parishes in the diocese signed an 
address of confidence to him. There was, indeed, 
something Napoleonic about the Bishop at least, to 
the extent that his was a kind of autocracy, however 
beneficent but the working of the diocese under him 
appears to have depended rather upon " personal" 
than " constitutional " government. He always 
thoroughly identified himself with, and stood up for, 
his work. Once when they were attacked at the York 
Church Congress, he defended the " boys" most 
heartily. At the same time he gave them sound ad 
vice and admonition. Passages from the Bishop s 
writings, might, without difficulty be multiplied, 
in which he has given emphatic warnings against 
injudicious zeal, and forcibly protests against " the 
falsehood of extremes." Take matters of cere 
monial, how he speaks of Ritual before the days of 
Ritualism : 

" Vestments in the sanctuary, and the adoption in 
our service of rites which, however they may be jus 
tified by the letter of long-sleeping laws, are strange 
and novel in the eyes of our people. I have no hesi- 



THE LATE BISHOP OF WINCHESTER. 231 

tation in saying to you, that it is better in this matter 
to acquiesce for a while in a long-established custom 
of deficiency than to stir our people up to suspicion 
and hostility by the impetuous restoration of a better 
use. More harm has, I believe, been done amongst 
us by such attempts to restore bits of a ritual to which 
our people are unaccustomed than by any other single 
error. Depend upon it, my brethren, we must, as to 
these matters so trifling in themselves, so momentous 
as indications of a drifting current inwardly and out 
wardly manifest ourselves to be men of quietness and 
peace." 

And again : " Many a young clergyman who might 
have preached Christ, and spread the life of his Church 
throughout a parish around him, has marred all his 
usefulness, and raised a host of enemies, by the 
straightness of his collar or the length of his skirt." 

This moderate and sensible language, if universally 
attended to, would do away with an infinity of preju 
dice in the popular mind, and is one index of a certain 
comprehensiveness of mind, to which we shall probably 
again find occasion to revert. 

In the crowded and active career of the Bishop of 
Oxford, literature has occupied a considerable space. 
The list of the Bishop s works is of some length, and 
includes subjects of different kinds and varying im 
portance. With his wide accomplishments and in 
herent genius there can be no doubt that Dr. Wilber- 
force might so have written something to after ages 
that they would not willingly let it die. But as a rule 
literature is not satisfied with a half-service. From 
those who would attain to her foremost ranks, and 
permanently mould a nation s thought and language, 



232 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

she requires a concentration of energy and purpose. 
Two paths lay before Bishop Wilberforce. He might 
become a great writer, or he might become a great 
actor on the busy stage of the world and church. To 
that active and brilliant mind it appeared that the two 
careers might be compatible. They can only be so to 
a limited extent. The point is soon reached when the 
two paths diverge. For a time the Bishop could be 
both a man of action and a man of speculation, prompt 
on the platform with his tongue, and in the study with 
his pen, endowed wich a restless activity for all the 
possibilities of practical good, and at the same time 
with thought, observation, and wide grasp of mind 
gathering in the materials for some future opus mag- 
r.um. But non omnia possumus omnes. This is a truth 
in which the eager spirit of man is forced reluctantly 
to acquiesce. How large a margin must we allow to 
the wear and tear, the worry and friction, of human 
life ! How few are those aspiring natures who can 
count on attaining to one-tenth of the objects which 
they propose to themselves ! A man entertains ideas 
respecting many plans, which his powers and educa 
tion render perfectly feasible and justifiable, but as 
time rolls on he feels that he must confine his election 
to a few, and this narrow circle is again narrowed, 
and it often happens that of two careers only one must 
be taken, and the other left. 

We think, then, that the Bishop of Oxford might 
have been a great writer. But slowly and surely he 
unfitted himself for such a consummation. He came 
essentially to belong to the order of those who live 
history, and not to those who write it. That great 
administrative ability, that great oratorical ability, 



THE LATE BISHOP OF WINCHESTER. 233 

that great political ability, were all fatal to his literary 
renown. And yet the case might have been so dif 
ferent. Those very powers which might have made 
him a great author, diverted into other channels, refuse 
to be at the service of his pen. The brilliancy and 
cogency, the pathos and humour, the imagination and 
eloquence, which have made him a prince among the 
great talkers of the age, comparatively desert him in. 
the solitude of his study when he quietly addresses the 
world through pen and ink. Run over in your mind 
the list of the volumes which he has edited or com 
posed. Two charming little volumes are first called 
to mind. We, of course, remember " Agathos, and 
other Sunday Stories," followed afterwards by the 
companion volume of " The Rocky Island." But be 
it remembered that these were composed at the outset 
of Bishop Wilberforce s career, when it was still pos 
sible to hope that their author s great powers might 
produce some permanent additions to our literature, 
and his restless and crowded public career had not yet 
opened fully before him. Were ever Sunday stories 
more beautiful than these ? The youngest child may 
hang in breathless interest over the narratives, and 
the oldest man, sadly looking back upon the story of 
his well-nigh closed life, might find consolation and 
instruction in their sweet and serious wisdom. We 
know Canon Kingsley s "Greek Fairy Tales for my 
Children," an admirable work of its kind, and which 
approximates most nearly" to these Sunday stories. 
They are indeed more elaborate, more of a work of 
art, but as respects direct serviceableness, and teach 
ing, expanding, kindling the mind of Christ s little 
children, they do not enter into the comparison. The 



234 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

happy father himself told these stories to his children 
at his own hearth ; " the eldest has been fully in 
terested by the simplest narratives, and the youngest 
has understood the most difficult." The answers to 
the questions are in some cases the very answers 
which he received from his children. The powers 
shown in these stories are not inferior to those ex 
hibited by the great masters of Allegory, and which 
are perhaps found in the highest perfection in the 
" Vision of Mirza." What a beautiful allegory is that 
of the boys playing in the garden on a Spring morning, 
and that classification of the names Agape, Edone, 
Argia, Astathes ; how well they map out human life 
and character ! Is not this imagery worthy of Ad- 
dison and Bunyan : 

" Just at this time Agape was reaching the golden 
gates ; the sun had not quite set, but it hung just over 
the top of the far hills, and shot a red, golden bright 
ness over everything. Kich and beautiful did these 
gates shine out before the glad eyes of happy Agape. 
Now he could see plainly multitudes of heavenly crea 
tures passing about within ; wearing light as a garment, 
and crowns that looked like living fire. At times, too, 
he could hear bursts of ravishing music, which the 
garden seemed always to be sending up on high, and 
some few notes of which strayed out even into the 
pathway of the plain. And now he stood before the 
gates ; full was his heart of hope and fear ; a pleasant 
happy fear, as if too much joy lay close before him. 
Now all the troubles of the way were over, and as he 
looked back, it seemed but a little moment since he 
left the beautiful but deceiving in the morning, and all 
his troubles seemed light. The scorching of the sun, 



THE LATE BISHOP OP WINCHESTER. 235 

the weary hill-side, the gin-set forest, and the lion s 
paws, all these seemed little now ; and he only thought 
of them to thank the King who had brought him so 
safely through all. As he lifted up his eyes to the 
door, they lighted upon a golden writing, which was 
hung over the gate. So he read the writing, and it 
was Knock, and it shall be opened ! Then did he 
indeed draw in a deep breath, as one does before doing 
some great thing, and knocked with all his force ; and 
so, as soon as he knocked, the golden door began to 
open, and the happy boy entered the garden. What 
awaited him there is not given me to tell, but from 
the blessed sounds which fell upon my ear as the gate 
rolled back, I may not doubt that he was entirely 
happy, for it was as if the sound of a sea of heavenly 
voices suddenly swept by me." 

One work, and one work only, can be fairly com 
pared with this, " The Addresses to Candidates for 
Holy Orders," in many respects a work of matchless 
value. The Bishop never appears to greater advan 
tage than when associating with those young clergy 
men and those candidates for the ministry to whom 
his kindly counsel and countenance are of the utmost 
value. The Bishop by no means concurred in the 
general complaint that a sufficient number of men 
from the Universities cannot be found for the ministry, 
and has stated that in his own diocese the number of 
candidates has not appreciably been diminished. " If 
the standard of our Church s love and faith is main 
tained high and pure, we shall not, I am persuaded, 
lack candidates for her ministry of the right sort. The 
more abounding temptations of the world, its large 
bribes of riches and luxuries, will draw off some who 



236 OCR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

would have joined us, but we can bear the loss of such." 
We are afraid, however, that the prevalent complaint 
is well founded, and that the Bishop of Oxford s case 
was an exceptional case. Other things being equal, 
there were multitudes of young men who would have 
preferred being in the diocese of Oxford to being in any 
other diocese. There were many such who entertained 
an enthusiastic admiration for the character of the 
Bishop of Oxford, and who would have willingly and 
anxiously put themselves under his pastoral care. All 
that the Bishop did for Cuddesdon College in its foun 
dation and constant supervision, shows how well he 
understood the peculiar needs and cares of his 
younger brethren of the clergy, and the interest and 
affection with which he watched over them. The prac 
tical value of the " Ordination Addresses" is very great. 
The effect which they must have had upon the minds 
of those who originally listened to them must have 
been vast and enduring. We have heard at least of 
one affecting instance of the results with which they 
have been attended, and that effect is scarcely modified 
on a perusal, or rather on that repeated perusal which 
the merits of the work demand. These merits consist 
not only in the religious value and devotional tone of 
the work, but in the broad wisdom, the ripened expe 
rience, and the very considerable degree of literary 
talent which it represents. Looking back upon those 
books which are the memorable books of one s 
reading, there are not many which we would classify in 
the same list with this, not many which we would 
with equal hope and cheerfulness place in the hands 
of one we love, and bid him study it and think over it. 
But passing away from these, and looking down 



THE LATE BISHOP OF WINCHESTER. 237 

the list of the Bishop of Oxford s other publications, 
our recollections are mainly disappointing. Let us 
faithfully recall our impressions. Take the " History 
of the American Church." How singularly dry and 
unattractive does a great and interesting subject 
become ! There is no greater testimony to the intrin 
sic interest of this most worthy theme than the fact 
that the Bishop s work has attained a third edition. 
He has singularly failed both in the conception and 
the execution of an historical work. He has neither 
background nor foreground. It is difficult to say to 
what historical school he belongs. In fact, he be 
longs to no school at all. He does not belong either 
to the pictorial school of Macaulay or the philosophi 
cal school of Gruizot. There is no broad conception 
of the history, or vivid development of details ; no 
pictures which haunt the imagination, no happy 
phrases which linger in the memory. It may also be 
very much questioned whether the Bishop s book 
would have seen the light if it had not been for Dr. 
Caswall s work on the same subject. The one work 
almost subsisted on the other. Take again the volume 
of * Replies to Essays and Reviews," where his name 
is on the title page, and the publishers speak of the 
Bishop as the editor. Those who have examined the 
work will note the vast general inferiority, both in 
tone and treatment, of this volume as compared 
with the " Aids to Faith." >In what sense the Bishop 
of Oxford is spoken of as the editor of this volume 
it would, in fact, be very hard to determine. The 
Bishop had contemplated writing something which 
should be caretul and critical, but he found no time. 
The publishers selected the different writers of the 



238 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

different contributions. The Bishop did not even 
revise them. When he wrote his preface to the 
different articles he had not even read the articles. 
This is certainly the most unworkmanlike fashion of 
editing with which we are acquainted. But when 
the work was published, the Bishop had ceased to be 
an independent author, and generally confined him 
self to writing little prefaces to little books. The 
Bishop s fate with his publishers was singular. 
From the hands of Mr. Seeley, the representative of 
one extreme school, he passed into the hands of Mr. 
Burns, who represented another extreme school, and 
became a Roman Catholic pervert ; his publications 
are now in the safe and orthodox care of Mr. Parker. 
Again, take his preface to Mr. Carter s (of Clewer) 
biography of Bishop Armstrong. It is difficult to 
say what that preface contains, or why that preface 
was written, unless for the simple purpose of bring 
ing the Bishop of Oxford s name into the title page, 
where it occupies a space out of all proportion to the 
merits of the performance. Again, take his editor 
ship of the " Life of Mrs. Godolphin." Though the 
preface is of no importance, yet the valuable frag 
ment thus edited is of the highest degree of interest. 
But that interest would have been greatly and indefi 
nitely increased if the Bishop s historical knowledge 
had enabled him to add something to our notions of 
the state of religion in English society in the days of 
Charles the Second. The ordinary notion, which, 
speaking roughly, is accurate enough, represents the 
age as one of unbounded profligacy and unbelief, and 
yet there were many thousands " who had not bowed 
the knee unto Baal ;" personal religion shone most 



THE LATE BISHOP OF WINCHESTER. 239 

brightly in most numerous instances, and it is re 
markable that Charles s own ecclesiastical appoint 
ments may, on the whole, contrast very favourably 
with those of most other reigns. Lastly, the " Life 
and Correspondence of Mr. Wilberforce," though a 
popular and successful work, by more careful hand 
ling might have been rendered still more popular, and 
still more successful. Moreover, in the opinion of 
those competent to judge, it is liable to the imputa 
tion of a most serious blemish. For it is contended 
that this life is hardly a fair transcript of the life and 
opinions of the great opponent of the slave trade and 
the great reformer of manners, and that facts or 
documents were so treated as to give not so much 
Mr. Wilberforce s own point of view as the point of 
view from which his son and biographer wrote. We 
believe that the " Lives of the Archbishops of Canter 
bury," now undertaken by Dean Hook, were origi 
nally undertaken by the Bishop. We only add 
further, we believe one or two little poems of his are 
to be found in the "Lyra Apostolica," under the 
signature of Epsilon. 

To these must be added the series of Essays which 
he contributed to the " Quarterly Review." That 
renowned periodical states that he was " a frequent 
and regular contributor." He began to write in 
1869, on a subject on natural history, and his last 
article, a few months before his death, was on a 
similar subject.* He dropped writing after his first 

* One of these Essays, a very characteristic one, " The Church of 
England and her Bishops." He there does not hesitate to cover him 
self with praise, which, since Dr. McNeile called himself " a great and 
good man," has hardly been paralleled. He says of Bishop Blomfield 



240 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

paper, for many years, and resumed it in 1860 by a 
review of Darwin s " Origin of Species." The volume 
of Essays gives a heightened view of the Bishop s 
literary works ; but the reviewing of books is generally 
journeyman s work preparatory to the writing of books. 
That life of restless and almost fevered activity, the 
flying from house to house, from engagement to en 
gagement, even writing letters in a railway carriage, 
conveying the impression that he was to be seen semper 
ubique et ab omnibus, and making his friends draw up 
admiring diaries of his performances, unfitted him for 
the prolonged study and quiet thought which should 
characterize any great work by a great Christian 
bishop. 

Has, then, the Bishop so scanty a title to perma 
nent literary renown ? We believe that renown will 
in some measure be his, certainly not, however, by 
reason of his literary undertakings, but in spite of 
them. No one can diligently peruse the oral efforts 
which have been committed to publication without 
being impressed by the conviction that they frequently 
attain the highest point of literary excellence. 
The misfortune is that, though broadcast over the 
land for a day, these wonderful speeches frequently 
die in their birth, and their first breath is their last. 
Here is a magnificent specimen of Christian oratory, 
from a speech delivered in Manchester : 

" Will you, by your Church s own instrument, ac- 

that " he had not indeed the tenacious grasp and iron logic of the 
Bishop of Exeter or the sustained eloquence and varied resources of the 
Bishop of Oxford. The words are omitted from the collected edition of 
the Essays. They were probably inserted to draw away attention from 
the real authorship of the article. He wrote of himself in the same way 
that Sir Walter Scott once reviewed himself. 



THE LATE BISHOP OF WINCHESTER. 241 

company the march of your nation s civilization with 
the blessed seed of the Word and the Sacraments of 
the Church of God ? Can you, as a people, expect to 
be maintained in your greatness, if you are unfaithful 
to your trust ? Can that which you so give to God by 
any possibility be lost or wasted ? You will tell me, 
perhaps, that the results are not commensurate with 
your expectations, and that they justify your coldness. 
If the time would serve, I think I could answer those 
charges. Instead of being less than anything we 
had a right to expect, I think I could prove to any 
thoughtful man that the blessing of God, as given to 
our labours, is infinitely greater than anything we 
had a right to expect, if we measure those labours 
by the true measure of their simplicity, their single 
ness, and their self-denial. Men are led astray, so 
far as that argument goes, in this way. They see the 
spread the gospel has made throughout the earth; 
they see it does not make the same spread now ; but 
they forget that they are comparing, perhaps an 
interval of ten to fifty years with an interval of 
eighteen hundred years, through which the gospel 
has been spreading on the earth. So far from its 
having been a slow, I believe that in many parts of 
India, for instance, it has been an unexampled spread, 
and that if men at the beginning had judged by the 
same standard, they would .have turned back from 
barbarian Phrygia, and never visited distant Britain 
with the healing sounds of Christ s truth. But even 
if it was not so if we did not see the result that 
should make no difference in our work. We work 
not for the results, but we work for God, and we 
leave the results in His hand. And when man, in his 

VOL. I. B 



242 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

littleness, looks out and says, I do not see the 
fruit, and so I will give up, it reminds me, my 
friends, of what we see even in nature. We look at 
some mighty estuary which the retiring tide has left 
bare of the water. We go to one of your own Lan 
cashire shores, and we see there a vast expanse of 
sand and mud, with little trickling rivulets wearing 
their scarcely appreciable way through the resisting 
banks of that yielding ooze ; and the man who knew 
not the secrets of the tide, and the influences by 
which God governs nature, would say. How can 
you ever expect to see that great expanse covered ? 
Look at those sand-banks those mud-heaps ; how, 
possibly, by any contrivance are you to cover them ? 
You had better give up the thought, and acquiesce 
in- the perpetual sterility and the enduring ooze." 
But high in the heavens the unseen Ruler has set the 
orb which shall swarm in her time the tides of the 
surrounding ocean, and when the appointed moment 
comes noiselessly and unobserved, but suddenly and 
sufficiently the whole is covered by the rejoicing 
water ; and again it is one argent surface, sandless 
and mudless, because the Lord hath willed it. And 
by the self-same power, when the appointed hour 
comes, His work shall be wrought in the heathen 
mind, and these trickling rills of a struggling Chris 
tianity which we have scarcely maintained through 
the mighty ooze of the opposition of fallen humanity, 
shall, under the unseen influences of the heavens 
above, so spring into a rejoicing tide, and cover 
with the wave of God s truth the regenerated earth. 
Blessed in that day above men shall the servant be 



THE LATE BISHOP OF WINCHESTER. 243 

whom his Lord, when He cometh, shall find working 
for the result." 

Well might the Times speak of this speech as " such 
eloquence as, in former days, roused nations to a 
sense of their independence, or sent myriads across 
the habitable world to the rescue of a shrine." There 
are often in these speeches an abundant imagery, a 
wealth of energy and phrase, an energetic logic, an 
impassioned rhetoric, which may compare favourably 
with the efforts of the greatest masters of ancient or 
modern eloquence. Careful editing might produce a 
volume which would find a permanent place in English 
literature. 

Let us now endeavour to attain a view, necessarily 
rapid and imperfect, of the Parliamentary career of 
the Bishop of Oxford. It will be observed how the 
follower of Sir Robert Peel gradually became an ally 
of the Earl of Derby. In the memorable session of 
1846 the Bishop of Oxford first made his appearance 
in the Imperial Parliament. It was the year in which 
Sir Eobert Peel abolished the Corn Laws, and thereby 
for ever abdicated political power. The maiden speech 
of the junior Bishop was made early in the session. 
Maiden speeches form in themselves an interesting 
kind of literature, and to be really successful require 
much thought and care. It is a great mistake for 
such a speech to be ambitious ; it will be recollected 
how Mr. Disraeli sat down speechless amid the jeers 
of the House of Commons. On the other hand, such 
a speech ought to possess substantial merits ; other 
wise no expectations are entertained, and no definite 
opinion formed of the orator. On the present occa- 

R 2 



244 CUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

sion it was not an Oxford graduate, fresh from Christ 
Church, and with the bloom of his college honours 
fresh upon him, but a man of mature years, who, 
humanly speaking, had forced his way to the House 
of Lords by the stress of superior ability and force 
of character. And the Bishop s first address was 
marked by characteristics which his speeches never 
lost. Here was one who was not speaking for any 
purely political, still less any merely personal 
object. The love of one s country, a zealous desire 
for the interests of true religion, the earnest endeavour 
to ameliorate existing states of unhappiness and sin, 
are always discernible in these remarkable speeches. 
Their manifest sincerity, the manifest feeling that 
they are delivered under an awful sense of justice and 
responsibility, beyond any effect of eloquence heighten 
their impressiveness, and must raise the character of 
the debates in the House of Lords. He spoke on 
this occasion against the existing system of transport 
ation, and forcibly depicted the evil state of matters 
in Australia. The venerable Marquis of Lansdowne, 
who succeeded him in the debate, spoke in words of 
courteous welcome of the new arrival in the House : 
he was extremely happy to have in support of his 
views the testimony and arguments of the Right 
Reverend Prelate who had, with so much eloquence 
and force, and in a manner so becoming, adverted to 
the topics of the debate. The first little warmth 
in controversy was not long in displaying itself. 
The Government had introduced the Religious 
Opinions Relief Bill. The object was to sweep 
away from the statute-book the remnants of the 
penal laws affecting the Roman Catholics. The 



THE LATE BISHOP OP WINCHESTER. 245 

Bishop of St. David s had complained that his Right 
Reverend friends had received the measure coldly, 
reluctantly, and unworthily. Somewhat indignantly, 
the Bishop, on behalf of himself and others, repulsed 
this imputation. He would rejoice heartily in the 
passing of the just and salutary parts of the Bill, but 
was staggered at some of the details. In the mean 
time the House of Commons was being torn by the 
fiercest political storms which had happened since the 
days of the Reform Bill. In due season the minis 
terial measure was carried up to the House of Lords. 
In the course of the debate on the Corn Importation 
Bill, the question was discussed how far the interests 
of the clergy would be affected by Sir Robert Peel s 
legislation. The Bishops of St. Davids and Exeter 
both spoke on this subject. The Bishop of Oxford 
rose later, and both spoke on the special subject and 
addressed himself to the general merits of the Bill. 
He showed himself a vehement Free Trader. It was 
as a working clergyman that he was for the abolition 
of the Corn Laws. I know that the clergy of this 
country believe that the state of the great mass of the 
labouring population and the peasantry of England is 
such that they cannot desire it long to continue as it 
is. They do not wish to see them and their families 
suffering from physical want, and from moral and 
religious destitution ; they do not wish to see them 
living in cottages from which the decencies of domestic 
life are necessarily banished, and where their children 
are looked at in their up-growth only with the anxious 
feeling that there are so many, while the difficulties of 
obtaining food are daily increasing. Now the clergy 
see these things practically, and, looking round for a 



246 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

remedy, they believe it will be found in anything that 
increases the prosperity of the country." His remarks 
on the condition of the agricultural labourer have an 
important bearing on the present condition of things. 
His picture of the labourers drinking the landlord s 
health out of empty glasses was very good. 

The following was the peroration to this remarkable 
speech : 

" Beware, my lords, of disappointing those just and 
righteous expectations. Show the people of this 
country that your decision of this question is based 
on the broad, enduring principle of justice to all, not 
on the narrow and uncertain one of advantage to the 
few. In coming to this decision on these grounds, 
you will establish on the firmest foundations the 
authority of this assembly. In this assembly, I be 
lieve, is laid the main groundwork of religious liberty. 
Let not, I beseech you, the sure foundation be 
shaken by your decision here. Show that you are 
ready to make any sacrifice if sacrifice there be of 
that which has been only given to classes for the 
benefit of the people around them. Your power is 
indeed great; but there are some things which it 
cannot effect. It cannot stand, my lords, against the 
rising tide of a great nation s convictions. Do not be 
deceived, therefore, by the whispers of flatterers to 
think that even you can set your curule chairs on the 
edge of the rising waters, and bid them, on a prin 
ciple of hereditary prescription, recede and fall back 
wards from your feet. Do not, my lords, let it be 
said of the House that the same body which repre 
sents the hereditary wealth, prosperity, and rank, 



THE LATE BISHOP OF WINCHESTER. 247 

does not also represent the hereditary justice, wisdom, 
and virtue of this mighty people." 

In the course of this debate, some personalities 
in execrable taste were directed against the Bishop 
of Oxford. Some noble Lord was indignant that 
the junior bishop, in his opinion a very junior 
bishop indeed, should thus powerfully enter the 
armed lists of debate. The Bishop tersely de 
clared, if he was old enough to be a bishop, he was old 
enough to form and explain his opinions on the im 
portant subjects which came before him as a legislator. 
On various other occasions he spoke that session, and 
the session did not close without its becoming perfectly 
clear that the new spiritual peer, by his statesmanlike 
views, his breadth of mind, and his parliamentary in 
fluence, was becoming a new influence and power 
in the House of Lords. From that time, in the pages 
of " Hansard," his name is continually to be met in 
the debates of the House. At that date the Earl of 
Derby was unquestionably facile princeps among the 
debaters of his day, and perhaps the second place was 
due to the Earl of Ellenborough. But probably there 
was no one who, in parliamentary eloquence, ap 
proached nearer to them than the Bishop of Oxford. 

We can only rapidly glance at a few of the many 
particulars of this parliamentary career. He acquiesced 
in the removal of the political services of the Church 
of England, but he was sure they would all " refuse to 
entertain this motion if they thought that, by so doing, 
they in any degree whatever were denying, or losing 
sight of, or were ashamed of owning, their continued 
belief in God s superintending Providence over this 
nation, or were unmindful of any remembrances of his 



248 OUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

mercies to them in times past, or of humiliation for 
national sins in times long gone by." The measure 
for admitting the Jews into Parliament was not passed 
without final and vigorous opposition. By voice and 
vote he steadily opposed the bill as heretofore, and 
gave the House, by his own example, a silent lecture 
on their inconsistency. He opposed also, and 
more successfully, the legalising of marriage with a 
deceased wife s sister. " God s law is positive," said 
the Bishop, at the close of an exhaustive speech on 
the subject, " and those who take God s law for a 
guide can have no hesitation in saying to the advo 
cates of these marriages, f We refuse you a fatal pri 
vilege, which may bring down God s curse upon you. 
Among other sharp collisions, the Bishop was once 
brought into direct conflict with the lay leader of the 
opposite section of the Church, the Earl of Shaftes- 
bury. He spoke of " The indecency of his endeavour 
ing to steal a march upon us by having the bill read 
a first time last night, when no one was here who 
knew what it was : a bill which, I believe, will en 
tirely set aside the fundamental principle of the 
parochial system of the Church of England. This is 
the way in which the noble Earl thinks it perfectly fit, 
decent, and becoming to deal with such a subject in 
his own aristocratic wisdom." We should have thought, 
however, that Lord Shaftesbury s high character and 
great services to humanity might have saved him from 
so severe a rejoinder. He offered throughout the 
steadiest opposition to Lord Westbury s law for mak 
ing divorce cheap and common. In this speech he 
made use of a sentence which gives the Anglican view 
of the Reformers : " The minds of great and honest 



THE LATE BISHOP OP WINCHESTER. 249 

men, in the first mastery of new truths, were almost 
intoxicated by the greatness of the draught ; in cast 
ing away a multitude of errors they were in great 
danger of losing hold of a multitude of truths." In 
this debate a controversy arose between the Bishop 
and Lord Lyndhurst respecting some passages in St. 
Augustine, and the aged law lord showed a remarkable 
familiarity with this important department of patristic 
literature. The Bishop characterised the bill as a hap 
hazard piece of legislation, which changed great insti 
tutions without seeing the end of what it proposed. 
He uttered ominous words which it almost appears 
the unhappy current of society will ratify and confirm. 
" It might be long before the public would take ad 
vantage of the new law, for such changes seldom ap 
peared in their full effect all at once ; but slowly, step 
by step, it might change the whole moral aspect of 
the nation, and deteriorate the temper of the people." 
He always showed himself decidedly in favour of an in 
crease of the Episcopacy by a sub-division of dioceses. 
He steadily resisted Lord Ebury s proposed relaxa 
tion of the Act of Uniformity. He attempted 
with some success an improvement of the Law for the 
Protection of Women. Hardly any speech is more 
magnificent than that against the Palmerston Govern 
ment on the war with China. 

We had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Wilberforce de 
liver his great speech on the Suspensory Bill. It was 
in answer to the Duke of Argyll, and we remember how 
characteristically he brought out the remark that over 
all there was writ large the word Presbyterian. The 
Bishop and the Duke constantly were pitted against 
each other, and were foemen " worthy of each other s 



250 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

steel." This may be considered the last great speech 
that the Bishop ever delivered. His speech next year 
in committee was brief and languid in comparison. 
Reading it over in print and you never quite take in a 
parliamentary oration until it appears in print the tone 
appears a little too broad and farcical for such a high 
occasion, in which such solemn interests were con 
cerned. But no one knew the art of debating better 
than did the Bishop, how a pungent phrase must 
flavour an argument, or a witty story illustrate it. 
It was a lovely afternoon at the end of June, before 
the dinner hour, that he made this masterly address. 
It was in the true debating style, the grand talk of the 
man of the world, who knew how to make his points, 
and elicit the cheer. 

The attitude which the Bishop took up next year 
was very remarkable. He did not take part in the 
discussion on the Second Reading, " shut out by the 
accident of debate." A resolute and earnest opposi 
tion would take care that no accidents of debate should 
prevent itself from being felt. The Bishop of Peter 
borough took up the clientship of the doomed Church, 
and its cause was no loser from the fact that he who 
had hitherto been the most eminent member of the 
Episcopal bench was silent. The disestablishment 
of the Church was acquiesced in by the Bishop with 
resignation, not to say alacrity. It is, indeed, some 
what difficult to reconcile the language of the two 
speeches. In the first speech the great argument was 
that the time of endowment is the time of a nation s 
youth, and that you cannot expect in a late period of 
history true temporal help will be largely given to 
wards a spiritual mission. " You might just as well, 



THE LATE BISHOP OF WINCHESTER. 251 

when you see a man cutting from off an ancient oak a 
certain part of its branches, tell him to go and plant 
it in the ground and it will grow up another oak like 
that which sprung from an acorn, as say to me now 
in its age, Disendow the Irish Church, and trust to 
the vitality of your religion to re-endow it. It is 
interesting to compare with this speech the language 
of the Bishop in Committee. " There is one thing of 
which I am convinced that, while an Establishment is 
to a particular Church in many ways a blessing un 
speakable, no Church which cannot stand without an 
Establishment is worth being established. ... I shall 
believe she will prove herself to be the true Catholic 
Church of Ireland, raising, in the greatness of her love 
and learning, more than she has ever yet done, the 
bulk of the population." Whenever we begin to 
" Hansardise," not bishops themselves are exempt 
from the consequences. A great deal must be put 
down to the cause of perorations. Whenever a man 
begins to perorate, his periods lengthen, the imagina 
tion is fixed, all possible vistas are opened up, and the 
orator who has so far made language his instrument, 
when he perorates, becomes its slave. 

In Parliament and on the platform the Bishop, in a 
popular point of view, was, perhaps, seen to the 
greatest effect as one of the most accomplished, ver 
satile, and eloquent speakers .of the day. His Chris 
tian oratory probably attained its highest culmination 
in the pulpit, where a very eminent measure of suc 
cess is at the same time most difficult and most rare. 
Incessant demands were made upon the Christian kind 
ness of the Bishop in multiplied requests that he would 
officiate in various churches ; nor was this to be won- 



252 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

dered at, since the presence of the Bishop frequently 
had the effect of doubling the amount of the offertory. 
And these requests were so frequently complied with, 
as far as human ability could extend, that most persons 
have a tolerably clear conception of the character of 
these sermons. They do not abound with those pas 
sages which the author of the " Dialogue on Oratory," 
perhaps Tacitus, calls lumina and senteniice, bursts of 
eloquence, or carefully constructed paragraphs which 
are the different centre s of a discourse whither all the 
other portions converge. But from first to last these 
sermons are intensely emotional, marked by intense 
energy and feeling, which are suggestive of vast and 
indefinite energy and feeling beyond that manifested, 
only held in leash by strong self-command, and a de 
sire to allow to argument a predominance over feel 
ing. 

The wonder is how perfectly Bishop Wilberforce 
adapted his oratory to the various audiences he was 
called upon to address. His peers in Parliament 
might be instructed and delighted by his preaching, 
and assuredly have had to listen to the most plain- 
spoken language of reproof, to the most emphatic 
warnings against sensuality and selfishness, and indo 
lence and pride, all that fungous growth of sin which 
is the accompaniment of a high state of civilization. 
Again, the Bishop was a favourite preacher before the 
University. That wonderful power of suasion, which 
is the true secret of true rhetoric, is as visible here 
as elsewhere, but rhetoric alone will never rivet the 
attention of a University audience unless it rests upon 
the substantial support of sound learning and sound 
sense. We wish those who so often harshly judge 



THE LATE BISHOP OF WINCHESTER. 253 

and speak of the Romanizing tendencies of the Bishop, 
would study those sermons which he has expressly 
preached against the errors of Romanism. One of 
these is on the " Blessings of the Reformation," which 
we would commend to those English clergymen who 
speak of Protestantism with contempt, and lament 
the Reformation as the schism of the sixteenth century. 
Read also that remarkable sermon on the last Roman 
dogma of the " Immaculate Conception." Read these 
noble words 

" We must protest anew against this monstrous 
effort to corrupt by man s additions the revealed 
truth of God. We may not lawfully accept such new 
dogmas. On us, in our day, as having inherited the 
pure deposit ; on us, as witnesses and guardians of the 
ancient faith ; on us, as solemnly set to interpret 
God s Word as from of old it hath been interpreted, 
the duty is imperative to declare that this is not what 
God s Word reveals ; that it is not what apostles 
taught ; that it is not what the Church hath learned ; 
that it is another gospel. And so this day, from the 
bosom of this ancient University, as the Bishop of 
this Church, set in trust with this guardianship, in 
God s name, and with you all as witnesses, I solemnly 
denounce it." 

Surely this is a magnificent passage. We can 
hardly recall any passage of any sermon that exceeds 
its magnificent simplicity and energy. Again, once 
more, there was no one who was more emphatically the 
poor man s preacher than the Bishop of Oxford. On 
one occasion at least, a poor man having heard him 
preach, " made so bold " as to ask him to come to 
Derby and preach to a number of poor men, which 



254 OUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

the Bishop promised to do, and was accordingly as 
good as his word. 

" We were ourselves present," writes a friend, "on 
one occasion in St. Pancras Church, at a special 
Wednesday evening service for the working-classes. 
The intimation that the Bishop of Oxford would 
preach of course crammed the church. The whole of 
the spacious floor was filled, mostly with the class for 
whom the service was intended ; the galleries were 
set apart for others. Men in their working dresses 
were there by hundreds, and in all it was calculated 
that there were more than three thousand people in 
St. Pancras that evening. The Bishop ascended the 
pulpit ; there was evidently a feeling of curiosity on 
the part of his rough audience, but the result was 
one of the greatest triumphs of real, simple, hearty 
eloquence that it has ever fallen to our lot to witness. 
For about an hour and a quarter did the Bishop 
continue his address, and during the whole of that 
long time one might literally have heard a pin drop in 
that vast church.. His language was as plain and 
simple as could be ; there was not a word that the 
most uneducated could have had a difficulty in under 
standing ; but the secret of his powerful charm we 
have already stated it was evident earnestness, the 
manifest heartiness and sincerity with which he 
preached to his hearers the message which he was 
commissioned to deliver." Before passing from the 
sermons of the Bishop, we must be allowed to give a 
last extract. It is from a sermon preached in the 
chapel of Windsor Castle on the Sunday before the 
marriage of the Prince of Wales, and published by the 
command of Her Majesty. It both glanced at the 



THE LATE BISHOP OF WINCHESTER. 255 

coming joy and dwelt on the grievous loss. The text 
was (Rom. xii. 15), " Rejoice with them that do 
rejoice, and weep with them that weep" 

" Now, startling as this may look at first sight, 
how deeply human is it when we gaze into it more 
closely ! For first, how are these blended always in 
this world ! Where can we ever find the one without 
the other? Where is the house of feasting in which 
there are not in some lone chamber or other the 
bitter herbs and the unleavened bread ? Where is the 
blessed sunshine without the dark neighbourhood of 
some weeping cloud ? Even if they seem in any life 
to be for awhile parted, how inevitable is the union ! 
The sparkling cup of joy is followed evermore in sad 
succession by the cup of tears ; and it comes surely 
round to each one in his appointed turn. Where is 
the rich inheritance of earthly love without sooner 
or later the deep anguish of separation ? Where does 
not the brightness of the festal dance change, even 
as it is lengthened out, into the slow procession of 
the veiled mourners ? 

" Nor is this all. Even beyond it, there seems to 
be in ourselves, as we are here on earth, a hidden 
sacramental union between joy and sorrow, even at 
the same time in the same heart. This may not 
indeed be perceived in the frivolous, who weep childish 
tears, which dry as soon as they are shed, and laugh 
with an idle surface merriment in which the soul 
scarcely seems to join. But it is plainly marked in 
the working of deeper spirits. In them these highest 
fountain-heads of emotion lie close beside each other. 
In them great joy is a very solemn strain, and often 
finds its truest utterance in a sigh ; it is a trembling 



256 DUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

mystery, which declares itself outwardly rather by 
the welling over of the tear of delight than by the 
shallower acts of a noisy laughter. In them, if God 
has given to them the grace to yield themselves to his 
will, and to lie passive in his hands, a deep abiding 
grief is, not unfrequently, the best possession which 
life as it advances has left to them ; for like the aroma 
which is shed around from the crushed leaf of the 
spice plant, with the bruising of their heart is mingled 
evermore in the stillness of their resignation the 
fragrance of undying recollections, and the sweet 
breath of expectant hopes." 

The Bishop often spoke to his clergy on the 
subject of preaching, and he was certainly not one of 
those who are likely to exaggerate the importance of 
the ordinance, and to give it an overweening measure 
of prominence. It must have been interesting to 
listen to the instructions of so great a master of the 
sacred art. Foolish preaching and the foolishness of 
preaching are two very different things. The Bishop 
forcibly contrasts the too frequent dulness and mono 
tony of the pulpit with the care and vigour which 
characterize the leading article of the newspaper. 
He has expressed his opinion that simple idleness is 
the principal cause of poor sermons ; according to 
the caustic saying, " the sermon which has cost little 
is worth just what it cost." Idle preachers and idle 
hearers go together. With the greatest leaning 
towards ex tempore preaching (if indeed that can be 
called ex tempore preaching which has exacted the 
most careful preparation) he dwells strongly on the 
importance of writing one s sermon. For many years 
one sermon a week ought to be written. It would be 



THE LATE BISHOP OF WINCHESTER. 257 

well to write a sermon carefully, and then preach 
from mere notes. The Bishop dwells strongly on 
those chief necessities of prayer and study ; on the 
necessity of a clear statement of any theological 
formula involved, of reality, and of earnestness. In 
an image of clear poetic beauty, he teaches a precious 
truth : " In secret meditation and prayer that love 
which is the life of ministerial power must evermore 
be nourished, as, on the mossy mountain top where 
the seething mists distil their precious burden, are 
fed the hidden springheads of the perennial stream 
which fertilizes the lower vale." 

Some of the Bishop of Oxford s hints on preaching 
possess, in point of fact, an autobiographic interest, 
inasmuch as they are hints manifestly drawn from his 
own experience, and he himself best illustrates their, 
use and value : " If any thoughts strike you with 
peculiar power, secure them at once. Do not wait 
till, having written or composed all the rest, you 
come in order to them : such burning thoughts burn 
out. Fix them whilst you can. I would say, never, 
if you can help it, compose except with a fervent 
spirit ; whatever is languidly composed is lifelessly 
received. Rather stop and try whether reading, 
meditation, and prayer will not quicken the spirit, 
than drive on heavily, when the chariot wheels are 
taken off. So the mighty masters of our art have 
done. Bossuet never set himself to compose his 
great sermons without first reading chapters of Isaiah 
and portions of Gregory Nazianzen, to kindle his 
own spirit. Study with especial care all statements 
of doctrine, to be clear, particular, and accurate. 
Do not labour too much to give great ornament or 
VOL. i. s 



258 OUfi BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

polish to your sermons. They often lose their 
strength in such refining processes. Do not be the 
slave of your manuscript, but make it your servant." 
Beyond the sermons there are several other direc 
tions in which the Bishop in his episcopal character 
has made religious addresses most deserving of con 
sideration. Such as (a) Addresses to candidates for 
holy orders ; (b) Confirmation addresses ; (c) Charges 
to the clergy of his diocese. Of the first we have 
already spoken, and expressed our opinion of the 
great and permanent value which belongs to the"m. 
To us there is something always peculiarly interesting 
in a confirmation address. We think that this is 
generally the case ; and almost invariably in his 
charges the Bishop dwells on the momentous impor 
tance of this epoch in the life of the young that 
favourable sowing time which, haply, may yield here 
after a most abundant harvest. In one of his charges 
the Bishop was able to give an affecting proof of 
this : " A Crimean chaplain tending, after a battle, 
the dying inmates of the army hospitals, found one 
and at that time but one of the wounded men whose 
soul was manifestly filled with the love of Christ ; 
and he traced all his religious life to the labours and 
the grace of a confirmation in this very diocese." 
We would especially direct attention to some of the 
confirmation addresses delivered to the Eton boys. 
Once we heard the Bishop deliver a double confirma 
tion address in Paris. We say a double address, 
inasmuch as the Bishop addressed the candidates 
both before and after the rite " my sons and 
daughters," as he called them in earnest and affec 
tionate terms which produced a visible effect. If we 



THE LATE BISHOP OF WINCHESTER. 259 

may judge from the Paris instance,, not only the 
female candidates, who always muster in goodly 
numbers, and seem sensitively alive to the solemn 
teaching they then receive, but the boys showed 
somewhat unusual signs of a good work in them 
selves. 

The charges of the Bishop must have been listened 
to with peculiar attention by his clergy, and may be 
turned to good purpose by clergy and laity at large. 
Almost prophetically, in his primary charge, the 
Bishop guarded himself against future misapprehen 
sion, and besought a charitable construction of his 
actions. The charge generally gives a summary of 
all diocesan work, and a clear unwavering opinion on 
the most important subjects which at the time were 
arising in the Church. Each charge was constructed 
on the system that in the first division of it there 
should be a complete diocesan report of all the work 
done before the usual discussion of controversies and 
movements in the Church at large. In all there are 
eight charges. It has been truly said that if anyone 
will compare these charges with the contemporary 
charges of the Bishop of St. David s he will be able 
to gain a very complete view of the history of Church 
movements and Church thought in the present day. 
The final farewell charge was. given in 1869, and 
there the Bishop sums up his work. The amount 
raised during his Episcopate in the three archdeacon 
ries for churches, church endowments, schools, 
houses of mercy, and parsonage houses, amounted to 
a total of two millions one hundred and thirty-three 
thousand) six-hundred and thirty-two pounds. The 
total number of churches restored during the quarter 

8 2 



260 DUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

of a century was two hundred and fifty. The new 
or rebuilt churches were one hundred and twenty-one. 
The number of new or restored churches was more 
than half of the whole number in the diocese. Nor 
was the Bishop less active and successful in other 
kinds of work, which it would be difficult to state 
under a statistical form, or display in a balance 
sheet. 

Some of the personal touches in these charges 
abound in interest and pathos : " One other master 
feeling is present, and must find utterance, one of 
deep thankfulness to you, with whom the providence of 
God has connected me in the rule and government of 
His Church, for unnumbered acts of kindness. As I 
look around me at these gatherings of laymen and of 
clergymen from centre to centre in the diocese, I am 
moved to wonder, and to doubt whether other dioceses 
can yield to their bishops such a body of kind per 
sonal friends and warm-hearted and able coadjutors 
as God s goodness has granted to myself." At the 
triennial November gatherings the voids made in the 
ranks since the previous visitation are carefully and 
feelingly noticed : " Our business, even more than 
that of other men, will not brook delay. From our 
hands surely the King s business requireth haste. 
Thus speaks the Bishop on one of these occasions : 
" With increasing earnestness, if I know anything 
of myself, do I desire to be a fellow-helper of the joy 
of every one of you ; to rule, for so God has willed, 
as a brother amongst brethren ; to love all, to be 
loved and prayed for by all ; to help you all without 
distinction or difference in your work for Christ, that 
so, through His grace, I and you may finish our 



THE LATE BISHOP OF WINCHESTER. 261 

course with joy, and the ministry which we have 
received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of 
the grace of God." In the charge of 1863, this is 
his solemn and affecting language : " The greater 
knowledge which time gives me of the diocese ; my 
better acquaintance with its clergy and laity ; my 
largely increased affection for so many of them ; the 
disappearing from amongst us of honoured and be 
loved faces (twenty-eight of our incumbents gone since 
last we met) ; the more detailed knowledge which I 
have of the difficulties and disappointments as well as 
of the successes and blessings of our common minis 
try; an increasing sense of personal imperfection, 
and a growing expectation of the end of my ministry ; 
all deepen greatly the broad lines of care, anxiety, 
and solemn reflection with which season after season 
I meet you." 

One of the Bishop s greatest services to the Church 
was the revival of Convocation. The service would 
have been greater if he had given, so far as in him lay, 
a fairer constitution to Convocation. It is remarkable 
that he never would form diocesan synods, probably 
thinking of his own diocese. L etat c est moi. 
Perhaps he was warned by the example of the Bishop 
of Exeter, who had fought for the diocesan synod so 
stoutly and abandoned it so readily. He was the 
first bishop who urged the revival of Convocation, 
and, as his manner was, he one by one brought 
round the other bishops to his opinion. One by one 
Convocation has regained its rights, saved itself from 
premature prorogation, obtained leave to deliberate, 
obtained " letters of business." In the Upper Cham 
ber, the drawing-room where some elderly prelates 



262 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

address some half-dozen reporters, his influence was 
supreme ; nothing was done till he came, and he 
practically to a very great extent guided the delibera 
tions of the Lower Chamber. He used to hold 
Convocation breakfasts, in which he would gather 
all sorts of people about him, and talk them over to 
his opinions. No one better knew the diplomatic 
purposes to which a breakfast, that most conversa 
tional of meals, could be adroitly turned. At the 
same time Convocation was never in favour in high 
places, Lord Lansdowne had denounced it as novel, 
far-fetched, and dangerous, and the Court was bit 
terly hostile and greatly excited against the proposal. 
Strong words were used as to persistent exclusion 
from preferment of all who favoured the movement. 
The Bishop was probably aware that he was sen 
tencing himself to be nothing else than Bishop of 
Oxford all his days, but he took his stand on this 
great question and adhered to it through good report 
and evil report. 

That diocesan work on which the Bishop so re 
peatedly reports ought to be glanced at in order to 
give any degree of completeness to this chapter. That 
work embraces such a multiplicity of details, and such 
admirable organization, as to go far to make the 
diocese of Oxford a model one among the dioceses of 
England. The Diocesan Theological College at Cud- 
desdon has attained so high a character that its mem 
bers are eagerly sought for throughout the country, 
and can only fractionally satisfy more than one half of 
the demands made upon it. The system at Cuddesdon 
is of the best type of an English college, and, so far 
as we can discover, does not merit that unfavourable 



THE LATE BISHOP OF WINCHESTER. 263 

criticism which has sometimes been applied to these 
theological colleges. The Diocesan Training, at Cul- 
ham, is either all but self-supporting or altogether so ; 
its standard is raised, its numbers are overflowing, its 
usefulness is generally appreciated. The schoolmasters 
which it sends out, and who are now instructing many 
.thousand scholars in different parts of the country, the 
various Lenten services in Oxford and in other chief 
towns of the diocese, have brought multitudes within 
the teaching of the most earnest and most enlightened 
of our clergy. Again, look at the Houses of Mercy, 
the Sisterhoods, established in the diocese at Clewer, 
Wantage, and Oxford. Or take the report of the dif 
ferent dioceses. It would be quite worth a man s while 
to purchase and study the " Diocesan Calendar," pub 
lished by Mr. Parker, in order to obtain a bird s-eye 
view of the vast machinery for good in the three 
counties of Berks, Oxford, and Buckingham. There 
is the Church Building Society, the Spiritual Help 
Society, and an admirable society for raising the in 
come of all small livings to two hundred a-year. 
There is a great work of Church education going on. 
There ought also to be mentioned the great assist 
ance which the diocese renders to the leading religious 
societies of the empire. There is a constant action of 
the Ruridecanal Chapters ; there is an annual gather 
ing at Cuddesdon of rural deans and unpaid school 
inspectors. The Lent Missions which he and his 
company of preachers established in one place after 
another throughout the diocese were the precursors, 
the most remarkable precursors of the present Mission 
system. For four years there has been an annual 
gathering of the clergy first at St. Peter s College, 






264 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

Radley, and afterwards at Exeter College, Oxford 
" for communion, worship, brotherly intercourse, and 
addresses upon some leading questions of theology, to 
be followed by free discussion on the subjects so 
opened." The scheme worked admirably, and an annual 
volume was published, with a preface by the Bishop, 
giving a tolerably full account of the sermons and ad 
dresses. The Church Congresses at Manchester and 
Cambridge were an expansion of this, in which the 
Bishop of Oxford had his share, and related his Con- 
nemara experiences, and thus has come to pass the 
established institution of the Church Congress. 

One of the pleasantest souvenirs of the Bishop s 
life must have been his connection with Robertson, of 
Brighton. Robertson had known him at Winchester, 
and coming back from a stay on the Continent asked 
him for employment. Bishop Wilberforce offered him 
the curacy of St. Ebbe s. It was rather odd that a 
man like Robertson should have gone to a man like 
the Bishop. He had maintained an internecine war 
with Tractarianism ; and at a crisis of his spiritual life 
he writes, " Even the Tractarian heresy has vanished 
from my mind, amid the stormy conflicts with worldly 
passions and pure Atheism !" It is not to be won 
dered at that Robertson should go to the Bishop and 
frankly tell him that he did not hold and could not 
preach baptismal regeneration. The Bishop answered, 
" I give my clergy a large circle to work in, and if 
you do not step beyond that I do not interfere. I 
shall be glad, however, to hear your views on the 
subject." After an hour s conversation the Bishop 
said, " Well, Mr. Robertson, you have well maintained 
your position, and I renew my offer." Robertson ac- 



THE LATE BISHOP OP WINCHESTER. 265 

cordingly went and refused his promotion to Brighton. 
At last he left the matter entirely in the Bishop s 
hands, and the Bishop told him to go. 

This restless activity of the Bishop s will long re 
main a tradition in the Church of England. Of no 
other public man were the appearances so various and 
numerous. As a conversationalist he was unrivalled, 
unrivalled as a speaker, impromptu or prepared. He 
had all the newest anecdotes, and had read all the 
newest books. Occasionally he seems to have read 
new books in manuscript. How often a good anecdote 
would be embedded in his remarks ; we will just cull 
a few. He was speaking of a man who objected to 
definite religious teaching. " A friend was walking 
round this man s garden one day, and he saw one spot 
which was eminently qualified to serve as a straw 
berry-bed, but it was grown over with weeds nearly a 
yard high. His friend, being of an economical turn 
of mind, said to him : Why do you let that beautiful 
ground, which would do so well for a strawberry-bed, 
lie waste ! Being a man of conscientious views he 
replied : Because I did not think it right to prejudice 
the ground in favour of strawberries. But not pre 
judicing the ground in favour of strawberries led to an 
immense crop of perfectly useless weeds, which took 
great pains to seed themselves and grew again time 
after time. So in all attempts to teach children, if 
you do not prejudice their minds in favour of straw 
berries, weeds will come in very great abundance." 
It is impossible to read his speeches without culling 
many a golden saying, many a brilliant illustration. 

But as one who knew him well writes, " We do 
not care to quote bon mots. It was his whole con- 



266 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

versation that charmed. There was such an astonish 
ing variety about it theory, argument, disquisition 
all poured out together, and all transfigured by his 
exquisite diction and his wonderfully flexible voice. 
Bishop Blomfield, Bishop Thirlwall, all the best 
Oxford men, lions brought down from London or 
elsewhere (once we met Rajah Brook), he drew out 
all as a conversationalist he surpassed all. Blomfield 
was all but supreme as a storyteller. Samuel Wilber- 
force added a superior charm of grace which makes us 
put him first. Then those Cuddesdon College anni 
versaries, and the sunshine which he seemed to 
diffuse around him over the hundreds whom he 
brought together." It must be said, however, that 
the hospitalities of Cuddesdon were often diffused 
over too wide a surface. Like other great country 
houses, there was often a stream of visitors pouring 
through it, and the life became too much mere hotel 
life. The guests had sometimes reason to complain 
that they saw nothing of their distinguished host. 
They might listen to the stream of eloquence and 
anecdote, but they found it impossible to penetrate 
beneath the glittering, polished surface, into that 
quiet, earnest home-talk that they would desire to 
have. Again and again have I met with persons who 
spoke of their intercourse with the Bishop as a great 
disappointment. I once heard the story of a young 
lady whose whole nature had been deeply impressed 
and moved by the Bishop s teaching, whether by 
speech or publication. It was the darling wish of her 
heart that she might meet the great Master in Israel 
and receive from him some measure of direction and 
consolation. To her great joy, a letter came one day 



THE LATE BISHOP OF WINCHESTER. 267 

from a friend, saying that the Bishop was about to 
stay at a certain house, and inviting her to make a 
visit at the same time. It was one of the Bishop s 
flying visits one of the pleasantest sorts of visits 
the dress day, rest day, and guest day. He was to 
preach on the Sunday, and be gone on the Monday or 
Tuesday. He came, and as usual, saw and conquered. 
All the little society clustered round the brilliant orb. 
A stream of anecdote, repartee, and illustration flowed 
forth from a very ocean of information 

tarty OaXacraa, rig $1 viv KarafffllaEi ; 

there was no suspicion of the exhaustion of such a 
vein. He spoke on all things, down to the " hyssop 
on the wall," and being a great naturalist, he would 
be particularly fertile on the subject of the hyssop. 
But there was no religious reference in all that con 
versation, no opportunity of ministering to an anxious 
and burdened mind. Sunday came, and brought with 
it a sermon of unexampled fervour and eloquence. 
Still there was no pause in the restless, eager stream 
of conversation ; every subject had its place except 
the one subject which overshadows all others. The 
anxious lady thought she would try one last chance. 
The Bishop was leaving very early the following 
morning, long before the usual breakfast-hour, and 
the young lady arranged with her hostess that she 
should come down and give him his coffee. She had 
then the great privilege of a tete-a-tete with the Bishop. 
The same meteoric conversation streamed and flashed 
before her. She strove to attain to a deeper tone, but 
was unsuccessful. There seemed to be no opportunity 
of showing him her burden of anxiety and care. At 



268 OCR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

last the Bishop s horse was brought round to the 
door. With an uncontrollable impulse she advanced 
to the horse s head, and said, " My Lord, are you 
always thus ? Are you always so brilliant and clever 
and amusing ? Is there any time when sorrowful 
people may speak to you about their souls troubles ?" 
The Bishop started back in sudden amazement. His 
colour went from him. But then leaning forward, he 
was his best self again, and in words inexpressibly 
touching, he gave her to understand how in his posi 
tion the world was ever about him, but gave her also 
to understand, that, though he might not have shown 
it, he was full of deep sympathy for such a case as 
hers. And then he rode away.* 

On one occasion I remember his taking the chair at 
the annual meeting of that excellent institution, the 
London Library. The ordinary business had been 
transacted very rapidly, and there seemed every pro 
bability that the proceedings would come to a swift 
termination. Then a member rose to bring forward a 
motion to the effect that the Society should employ a 
pony and cart for the purpose of conveying books to 
the residences of members. Apparently there was no 
seconder, and the Bishop seemed very eager to close 
a discussion on this trivial point. There was almost 
a look of despair on his face when somebody or other 
said, " I second the motion." Then ensued a long 
and animated debate on this important subject of 
keeping the pony-cart. The poor Bishop suffered 
dreadfully during this infliction. He kicked his legs 
restlessly about, until at last we settled that we would 

* I give this anecdote on authority that quite satisfied me without 
vouching for the exact form I have given io. 



THE LATE BISHOP OF WINCHESTER. 269 

do without the pony-cart. His only way of beguiling 
the time was by taking stock of his auditory and in 
cessantly inquiring who this or that individual might 
be. 

This circumstance was illustrative of the Bishop s 
wonderful knowledge of faces and his masterly manner 
of building up personal influences. His knowledge of 
individuals was something extraordinary. The indi 
viduals themselves were often astonished by it. A 
dear friend of mine, a London curate, went down into 
Berkshire to fulfil a few weeks duty as a locum tenens, 
that kind of office which has made almost a new order 
in the Church of England. He happened to go to an 
evening gathering where he met the Bishop. Bishop 
Wilberforce at once took him by the arm and play 
fully said, " Now what do you want, coming here into 
my diocese?" The Bishop knew all about him. 
I remember once meeting the Bishop at a friend s 
house in Paris. An American friend was with me, 
the late Bishop Boone. Bishop Boone asked me to 
introduce him. The thought of introducing two 
bishops to each other was really too much for my 
feelings. I realized Boswell s feelings in introducing 
Johnson to Paoli, that he was an isthmus uniting two 
great continents. I went to our host, and requested 
him to make the introduction. When Bishop Wilber 
force advanced with his beaming eye and benignant 
manner that would give a friend the notion that he 
had been his waking and sleeping thought for months 
before, he greeted his Episcopal brother as an old 
acquaintance. Bishop Boone declined the soft im 
peachment. Bishop Wilberforce appeared to insist 
that he knew him well. " My lord," said Bishop 



270 OUE, BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

Boone quickly, "I live in China" It was impossible, 
however, to disconcert the Bishop, who immediately 
rejoined, " Ah, yes ; I know you by correspon 
dence ! 

The Bishop was, perhaps, not free from the draw 
backs that attend a great social popularity. To his 
many claims on the sympathy and kindly consideration 
of the Church, the Bishop added that of the sanctity 
of sorrows. "We intrude on them only so far as the 
facts are before the world. He lost the wife of his 
youth. He lost his son, dying where a father might 
least grudge such a death, while fighting in the service 
of his country. He had the keen unhappiness of 
seeing one beloved relative after another abandoning 
the communion of the Church of England for that of 
the Church of Rome. He himself spoke of flagging 
spirits worn down by deep grief. Incessant work 
told upon his health ; and in his latter years he him 
self felt thoroughly the insecurity of his tenure of life. 
Yet when the Bishop went abroad for rest, much of 
his time of relaxation was devoted to arduous work. 
The Paris Correspondent of the Guardian gave an 
account of a sermon which the Bishop preached at the 
chapel of the Avenue Marboeuf : 

" Every unengaged seat was occupied nearly an 
hour before the usual time of service, and standing 
room was no longer to be had at a later period .... 
Unfortunately, as the preacher s feelings rose, and 
his voice with them, the latter failed, having been 
evidently overtasked, and it seemed at one moment as 
if he would be unable to proceed. By an effort, which 
I fear must have greatly aggravated the evil, the 
Bishop forced himself to continue to the end ; but the 



THE LATE BISHOP OF WINCHESTER. 271 

edification gained by his auditors was at the price of 
very severe exertion to himself. Nothing could be 
more forcible or more in season than the word 
spoken on the great subject of the day, or than the 
allusion to the perils and distraction of foreign resi 
dence." 

No imputation has been more frequently made upon 
the Bishop than the want of personal sincerity. Quite 
a collection of passages might be adduced, in which 
the " courtier-like " qualities of this distinguished 
prelate have been impugned. Many of these have 
been written with a disgraceful acrimony and person 
ality which have rendered them as harmless as value 
less. The subject is not an agreeable one, but it has 
unhappily acquired a degree of prominence which 
requires some remark. We are not certain that some 
of the Bishop s own admirable qualities the suavity 
of manner, the hearty sympathy, the ready intelli 
gence are not partially the cause of this fundamental 
misapprehension of his character. The Rev. Rusticus 
Expectans meets the Bishop, and like all the world is 
charmed with that frankness, courtesy, and kindness 
of manner. He thinks he is thoroughly understood 
and appreciated in a quarter where the appreciation 
may help him towards that bettered clerical position 
which is an object of legitimate ambition. And con 
sequently when the living of Foot-in-Clover falls 
vacant (val. " 480 and ho."), Rusticus Expectans 
thinks that his chances are better than the chances of 
other people, and when these are frustrated, thinks 
that he has a right to feel neglected and injured. We 
sincerely believe that our supposed example, R.E., 
represents only an infinitesimal minority of his clergy. 



272 ODE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

Like many men of generous and impulsive nature, the 
Bishop might at times employ more kindly language 
than he afterwards, in point of fact, found himself able 
to carry out practically. A parallel has sometimes 
been drawn between the Bishop and the late Sir 
Robert Peel. We should be sorry to suppose that 
this parallel holds entirely good. Sir Robert Peel, 
beyond his great historical fame, was a man of great 
virtues and great sacrifices, yet seems to have suffered 
from some obliquity of moral sense which is likely 
permanently to chequer his fame. Some such acts, 
as the procedure in the case of Dr. Harnpden, which 
the present Bishop of Gibraltar so energetically con 
demned at the time, will remain a matter of contro 
versy among those who study the character and career 
of Bishop Wilberforce. 

But we are afraid that, on the whole, the Bishop 
was a disappointed man. He was a Bishop, indeed, 
but he must have felt and known that he was one who 
deserved to be Archbishop, and would give a higher 
character to the see of Canterbury than a man of 
safe and golden mediocrity. A sudden and extra 
ordinary flush of prosperity was succeeded by a sta 
tionary position, that probably fretted him at times. 
In the days when he was the most popular and suc 
cessful of country clergymen two curates had come to 
him. Each of them was a singularly accomplished 
and earnest man. Each, however, was destitute of 
the higher honours of his University. Each probably 
regarded it as a point of professional honour and suc 
cess to be associated with such a renowned rector. 
The names of these curates were Richard Chevenix 
Trench and William Thomson. Not without a kind 



THE LATE BISHOP OF WINCHESTER. 273 

of irony each curate became an Archbishop, and so 
far distanced the famous rector and famous prelate. 
Dr. Trench, after a long interval, had succeeded him 
at the Abbey, and it was sometimes said that in his 
reading he imitated his former rector s style. But 
Bishop Wilberforce, with characteristic generosity, set 
this misconception right, and said he used to consider 
Trench one of the best readers he had ever heard, and 
had rather sought to imitate him. By marriage the 
Bishop had become connected with an enterprising 
Scotchman whom a Snell exhibition had sent to 
Balliol, and whom he lived to see Archbishop of Can 
terbury. There is no doubt that he would have greatly 
wished to have been Archbishop of York. Yorkshire 
had been his cradle, the county for many years had 
been associated with his illustrious father, and many 
of his keenest sympathies must have been with the 
masterful northern folk. He had reason to hope that 
this high preferment would have been his, but he was 
disappointed. The disappointment must have been 
very general on the part of all his friends. He was 
perhaps too brilliant, too original, too masterful to be. 
a safe Primate of All England, but the northern 
primacy was not more than the due of the foremost 
prelate on the bench, and a new vast field of labour 
would have given full scope to his vast powers and a 
welcome change from the old well-beaten paths. 

The desired change was, however, years and years 
in coming. He did wonders during his brief tenure 
of Winchester, during which Farnham and the full See 
never came to him ; but the public had hardly learned 
to leave off speaking of him as the Bishop of Oxford 
when he died, and as Bishop of Oxford he will always 

VOL. I. T 



274 CUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

be best remembered. Since the time of the great 
Bishop s death there has been little else than a pagan 
of praises on his history and his work. About the time 
of his death died also his great opponent in the House 
of Lords, Lord Westbury, probably the keenest and 
cleverest lawyer in England, but whose legal wit did not 
prevent him from blundering his testamentary arrange 
ments, leaving as chequered a fame as his predecessors, 
Verulam or Macclesfield. It is remarkable how 
such an event as this was quite dwarfed in comparison 
with the mighty loss which the country had sustained 
in the sudden death of the Bishop of Winchester. That 
brilliant star of Church and State had been quenched 
so awfully on the ill-omened Evershed Roughs. The 
death of Sir Robert Peel by an accident almost pre 
cisely similar, a brute s careless tread, had not aroused 
a greater sensation of astonishment and sorrow. For 
the moment the country had little attention to give 
for any meaner loss. It was indeed a good sign for 
England that the loss of so much moral and spiritual 
power, such earnest intellectual life, was reckoned as 
something infinitely deeper than that of the wealthiest 
and cleverest lawyer of the age. A key-note was then 
struck of heart-felt sorrow, generous appreciation, 
hearty condonation of errors, which has ever since 
prevailed, and which almost makes it appear an 
unmanly and sacrilegious act to detract in anything 
from that supposed perfection of nature. 

The Bishop must have known that he had won his 
place in the history cf his Church and land, and he 
would least of all desire his niche to be unduly mag 
nified or his character exaggerated by uncritical 
praises. His influence, intense and powerful while it 



THE LATE BISHOP OF WINCHESTER. 275 

lasted, was not of the permanent type. His powers 
were chiefly exerted in the society in which he moved, 
the public life in which he played so prominent a 
part, and with the fading recollection and the passing 
away of that society his fame will vanish into a tra 
dition. In that social life there had always been an 
undercurrent of stern criticism on the Bishop, imput 
ing to him worldliness and insincerity. He was one 
who, in courtly polished speech, had often let his yea 
be more than yea, and his nay be less than nay, who 
had made or implied promises which, though sincerely 
made at the time, were perhaps incapable of ac 
complishment. No great struggling cause will be asso 
ciated with his memory. No work of his, if we except 
the children s books which he produced in his country 
cure, will permanently take its place in our national 
literature. Everything he did had an immediate effect, 
and produced pleasure and praises. But little will 
remain as the permanent result of so much feverish 
activity. He will live for ever in the hearts of those 
who were brought within the magic of his eloquence, 
his courtesy, his wonderful charm of address, that 
combined the wisdom of innumerable serpents with 
the softness of innumerable doves. A still nobler and 
more enduring effect will be found among those crowds 
who were brought within the ratige of his spiritual 
influences, whose hearts were warmed, elevated, 
purified, and their lives amended by his utterances 
when most sacred and unselfish, at his highest and 
his best. These will endure, when the alloy caused by 
incessant contest with the world is forgotten. But for 
subsequent generations the legend will be true, magni 
stat nominis umbra. For us, however, in our own day 

T 2 



276 OUR BISHOPS AND DEA.NS. 

his name is one of pathos and of power, for the most 
brilliant and thrilling recollections of his achievements. 
Tn the earlier part of his career it was plain sailing, 
comparatively speaking, with the Bishop. He tho 
roughly understood the whole Roman Catholic con 
troversy, as it stands in many a tome of Anglican and 
Romanist theology. But he could not, in the same 
way, precisely understand the new signs of a new 
time, the new heavens studded with new constella 
tions. The Rationalist controversy and the Ritualist 
controversy had assumed new, vast, and imposing 
aspects since the days when his theological ideas had 
crystallized into their permanent shape. To combat 
them, as he might have combated them in early life, 
required new weapons, new armour, which he had not 
proved. To the last, in the opinion of those who 
knew him best, he never fully understood the exact 
character and dimensions of those new phases of un 
belief which are disturbing the Church and the world. 
He would mistake men for windmills, and windmills 
for men. He was perfectly satisfied with the great 
objective truths of Christianity, and firmly believed 
that Christianity was almost identical with Angli 
canism. He fought vehemently, and at times ran 
domly, against the new heresies which perplexed his 
soul. He was late in making up his mind about 
Ritualism, but at last he took up a firm and decided 
attitude. For a time he seems to have regarded it as 
a pardonable efflorescence of Anglicanism. It might 
even be said that he was not without some degree of 
sympathy and appreciation for a movement whose 
variegated blossoms might perhaps indicate real fruit. 
In these hopes he was bitterly disappointed, and after 



THE LATE BISHOP OF WINCHESTER. 277 

hoping against hope, he was prepared to throw the 
whole force of his vigorous nature into the attempt 
to counteract the growing evil. The very last words 
that he uttered in the House of Lords were to the 
effect that he utterly abhorred the attempt to Romanize 
the Church of England. 

It so remarkably happened that only a few days 
before his awfully sudden death there had been a 
meeting of Archdeacons and Rural Deans at Win 
chester House. He spoke with great freedom on this 
Ritualist question, and conveyed the impression that 
the future days of his Episcopate might present some 
marked differences from its earlier portion. Several of 
the clergy took notes, and a collation of notes has 
yielded pretty well the ipsissima verba. The Bishop 
seems to have spoken with the utmost plainness of 
speech, and with interesting touches respecting his 
own personal experience. He thus speaks of the 
Confessional : 

" Then in families, it introduces untold mischief. It 
supersedes God s appointment of intimacy between 
husband and wife, father and children ; substituting 
another influence for that which ought to be the 
nearest and closest, and producing reserve and es 
trangement where there ought to be perfect freedom 
and openness. 

" And lastly, as regards the person to whom con 
fession is made, it brings in a wretched system of 
casuistry. But far worse than this, it necessitates the 
terrible evil of familiar dealing with sin, specially with 
sins of uncleanness, thereby sometimes even tending 
to their growth, by making the horrible particulars 
known to those who have hitherto been innocent of 



278 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

such fatal knowledge, and so poisoning the mind of 
priest and people alike. A fact which has of late 
been very painfully brought home to me." 

" Secondly, in regard to Ritualistic observances. 
There is a growing desire to introduce novelties, such 
as incense, a multitude of lights in the chancel, and so 
on. Now these and such things are honestly and 
truly alien to the Church of England. Do not hesitate 
to treat them as such. All this appears to me to in 
dicate a fidgety anxiety to make everything in our 
churches assimilate to a foreign usage. There is a 
growing feeling, which I can only describe as an 
ashameduess of the Anglican Cburch, as if our grand 
old Anglican communion contrasted unfavourably with 
the Church of Rome. The habitual language held by 
many men sounds as if they were ashamed of our 
Church and its position ; it is a sort of apology for the 
Church of England as compared with the Church of 
Rome. Why, I would as soon think of apologizing for 
the virtue of my mother to a harlot ! I have no sym 
pathy in the world with such a feeling. I abhor this 
fidgety desire to make everything un-Anglican. This 
is not a grand development, as some seem to think. 
It is a decrepitude. It is not something very sublime 
and impressive, but something very feeble and con 
temptible." 

He thus speaks on the subject of Non-Communicat 
ing attendance, on which so much stress is laid by the 
Ritualists : 

" Then what a dangerous consequence results in 
non-communicating attendance. Pressed not even for 
physical reasons, it brings us back to the great abuse 
of coming to the sacrament to be spectators instead of 



THE LATE BISHOP OP WINCHESTER. 279 

partakers, and so we feave the condition of things 
arising in our communion which already prevails in 
the Church of Rome. I heard of a Roman Catholic 
priest triumphing greatly in the fact that he had two 
male communicants. I went to the Church of the 
Madeleine, at Paris, at 5.30 a.m. several times, in 
order to observe what was the practice. It was always 
the same thing, the priest communicating alone, or 
one or two women occasionally joining him the 
whole attendant congregation satisfied to remain look 
ing on. 

" That this custom is creeping into our Church is 
not an accident ; neither is it brought in for the pur 
pose of making children better acquainted with the 
service. That would be a great help. I have found 
the benefit of it myself when my own father used to 
take me to church and leave me in his seat to read 
hymns which he had selected for me, while he himself 
communicated. That, I say, was to me a very great 
help. But this is recommended under quite a different 
impression. It is under the idea that prayer is more 
acceptable at this time of the sacrifice ; that you can 
get benefit from being within sight of the sacrament 
when it is being administered. It is the substitution 
of a semi-materialistic presence for the actual presence 
of Christ in the soul of the faithful communicant. It 
is an abomination, this teaching of non-communicating 
attendance as a common habit." 

Those who are not utterly blinded by the worst 
rancour of religious party in looking back upon this 
wonderful career, will acknowledge that seldom a 
good man has been so great, or a great man has been 
so good. The public character of a great man ought 



280 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

to be dear to all of us, and rank among the richest of a 
nation s possessions. Let us guard such jealously. 
Let us judge it charitably. Let us view it generously. 
Differences of opinion must needs arise, but how often 
does an invisible unity underlie the visible difference. 
The blessed sunshine of heaven is heaven s light all 
the same, although variously coloured according to 
the medium through which it streams, whether it 
falls through the oriel on the tesselated floor in the 
hues of purple, orange, or gold. It has been no 
part of our duty to concern ourselves with heated 
controversies or acrimonious personalities. It has 
rather been our effort to bring clearly forward the in 
tense reality and activity of this distinguished prelate, 
and the great practical good which, under God, we may 
trust it has effected. No one can follow the manifold 
traces which the late Bishop of "Winchester has every 
where left upon our current history, without being 
struck with his untiring energy, his devotedness, his 
great legislative, his great administrative ability the 
power, the eloquence, the lore. Such a career will 
earn for itself a page in the history of England a 
page in the human history of the Holy Catholic 
Church. 



281 



CHAPTER Y. 

THE AKCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY. 

IN the moderation and many-sidedness of his charac 
ter, Dr. Tait has the main requisites for an 
archbishop of our modern days. The days are passed 
when the Church required in an archbishop a strong 
motive-force that would change the aspect of society 
and shape the destinies of a country. She has no 
further need of an Anselm or a Lanfranc, a Beckett 
or a Cranmer. Such names indicate the steps and 
stages by which the Church has climbed into that 
happy estate in which it is " hurt by no persecution," 
and its learned chiefs enjoy the repose won by more 
powerful and less tranquil minds. All the elements 
that make up the " safe man" meet in the Archbishop. 
On the solid groundwork of essential Christian charac 
ter he has based the catholicity and toleration of a large 
nature, the power of sympathy with many varying 
orders of mind and schools of thought, and a liberal 
cast of tone and taste which harmonizes very 
thoroughly with the modernism of the nineteenth 
century. 

Dr. Tait is one instance out of many instances of 
the progress and prosperity of Scotchmen south of 



282 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

the Tweed. Scotland at least will never raise a cry 
of Home Kule. She settles all her own affairs in a 
sort of quiet vestry in the House, and is able to 
secure in every department of public life the best 
prizes that England has to offer. A little while ago we 
had together a Scotch Prime Minister and a Scotch 
Archbishop of Canterbury. They occupied the seats 
nearest to the throne itself. We expected very much 
from Scotland, but we hardly expected to find it a 
nursery of archbishops. 

On one or two occasions Dr. Tait has shown him 
self autobiographical. He once told the story how 
as a child he was grievously lamed, but was cured 
by a man who might vulgarly be called a quack, but 
in effect proved an admirable practitioner. His father 
combined the character of laird and lawyer, being 
both a country gentleman and " Writer to the Signet." 
His grandfather was for many years Lord President 
of the Court of Session. We are told, also, that he 
was brought up on the paternal estate of Harriestown, 
in the picturesque neighbourhood of Stirling Castle. 
.His boyish studies and he was long Dux was at 
a school renowned throughout Scotland, which has 
furnished many good scholars to the universities, the 
Edinburgh Academy. From thence, as is often the 
practice with the most promising boys of the High 
School and the Academy, he was transferred to the 
University of Glasgow. 

It is hardly possible that many of our readers 
are unacquainted with Glasgow. The first general 
impression of Glasgow is a miscellaneous one of 
mist and smoke, and ignores the palaced terraces 
of its west end, and the interesting antiquities of 
the old city. But anyone whose acquaintance 



THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY. 283 

with Glasgow was at all minute, knew well the old 
college, which extended its sombre frontage of im 
posing length down a considerable part of High 
Street. Once the High Street was opulent and im 
posing enough, and some of the tenements might still 
befit merchant princes ; but society has floated away 
westward, there as elsewhere, and left some few of 
the respectabilities stranded high and dry in their 
accustomed habitudes. The college has followed the 
example, and has been rebuilt in the Champs Elysees 
of Western Glasgow. Let me recall that old college as 
it once was. You entered beneath an arched gate 
way, over which was an oaken wainscoted common 
room, superior to most of those at Oxford and Cam 
bridge. A wide balustered stone flight of steps led 
to this. The first quadrangle was the Divinity Quad 
rangle, which led into a second, where were the class 
rooms of Natural and Moral Philosophy, Logic, and 
Mathematics. A passage conducted you into a third 
quadrangle, if we may so term a space which was nofc 
entirely closed, in which were the class-rooms of Greek 
and Humanity (the last being the quaint old name for 
Latin), and one side of which was the fine Hunterian 
Museum. The buildings also contained a fine hall and 
a library of stately proportions. On one side was a 
kind of square, devoted to the residences of the pro 
fessors. Behind was the college green, as described 
in Rob Roy, of comparatively vast extent, which 
kept the country alive in the heart of the crowded 
city. So early as half-past seven in the morning in 
those days (modern degeneracy has now made the 
hour later), the Greek and other class rooms were 
open; and long before that time, hosts of students 



284 DUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

were cutting their way to the college through the 
palpable fog. Their bright scarlet cloaks, and the 
eager faces of the wearers, might be distinguished by 
the abundant gas-light. It was very striking to see 
that large assemblage in mediaeval garb, which 
modern degeneracy is also going far to abolish, 
waiting for the doors to be opened, while night was 
still overhanging, or the stars were beginning to wane 
in the first flush of dawn dimly breaking through 
the mist and smoke of Eastern Glasgow. 

Student life at Glasgow is wholly unlike student 
life at the English Universities. The life is totally 
diverse, both educationally and socially, and for the 
most part the comparison is very much to the disad 
vantage of the Scottish system. In some respects 
the Glasgow system is very like that of continental 
universities. The professorial system is exhibited 
with a completeness and energy to which Cambridge 
can furnish no parallel, and Oxford only of late years 
a measure of parallel. Lectures on similar subjects 
are delivered almost daily for nearly six months every 
year at Glasgow by scholars no less learned and distin 
guished. But there is no regular system of periodical 
examination by which the studies of a period are 
gathered into a focus, and the men classified in their 
relative position. Neither are the students subjected 
to any supervision or control ; they are all of them 
commorantes in villa, scattered through the great city 
in private lodgings or with their friends. They 
decide the prizes by their own vote, and, though a 
flagrant exception now and then occurs, this custom, 
as a whole, works very fairly. They also have 
the privilege of electing their Lord Rector (why 



THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY. 285 

don t they elect Archbishop Tait ?) and the long roll of 
the rectors contains many of the most illustrious men 
whom the country has produced. The Glasgow 
system works very well for those who purpose em 
bracing the Presbyterian church, which is the largest 
element among the students. The time and attention 
which they are obliged to give to Latin and Greek are 
extremely limited, but they have the vigorous intel 
lectual training so congenial to the Scottish mind, and 
then they pass through the curriculum of divinity. 
The result of all this training is that Scottish clergy 
men are trained scientific divines, and that a Scottish 
sermon in which there is a want of close thought 
and biblical knowledge is well nigh an impossibility. 
The position of the students indefinitely varies. 
Some are the sons of merchant princes of Glasgow, 
and a few the sons of territorial magnates in the 
country. Sometimes there is a great notable, and ib 
may be told you with conscious pride that the late 
Marquis of Breadalbane was a student here. A great 
proportion consists of those who are striving to 
struggle into a profession from a lower stratum of the 
social system. Young men study through the Winter 
who live very much like hedge teachers in the Sum 
mer, and we have heard an odd story that a learned 
professor recognised in a coalman, who was depositing 
a load at his country residence, a student who had 
been exemplarily diligent in attending his sessional 
prelections. 

The University has been comparatively barren of 
great scholars. Of Greek scholars it has had but few, 
but always a respectable body of really good Latinists. 
Of late years it has furnished Cambridge with some of 



286 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

its most distinguished wranglers. There is, how 
ever, always a knot of students who, differing from 
the mass of their contemporaries, study Greek and 
Latin year after year, and who make the university 
answer, as far as it can, the purposes of an English 
public school. ..There are certain glittering prizes 
which are the great attractions to these. There are 
ten Snell exhibitions from Glasgow University to 
Balliol College, Oxford. They are of great value. No 
English school is able to boast of such. They are of 
the unusual amount of a hundred and thirty pounds 
a year. They are tenable for the unusual period of 
ten years. They have given many an able man a lift 
into fame and fortune, and enabled him to plant his 
foot firmly on English ground. Such were Lockhart 
of the " Quarterly," Sir William Hamilton, and 
various others. To this list was added the name of 
Archibald Campbell Tait, the future Archbishop. 
We have met with strenuous Presbyterians who 
grievously bemoan this state of things. You take 
away the flower of our youth, thus argued Presbyter 
Amicus with us, and send them to Oxford and 
sometimes to Cambridge, where they at once renounce 
the church of their fathers for your prelatical and 
Erastian institution. It was first of all a matter of 
convenience for them, and they end by really liking 
and even vehemently espousing the Anglican system, 
and I think it very wrong and unfair. Thus argued 
Presbyter Amicus with us, in the days when Plancus 
was consul ; and we rejoice to think of a certain 
letter which P. A. when wiser and older he was a 
Presbyterian minister wrote to us, and exhorted 
that we should cling fast to the dear, grand old 



THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY. 287 

Church of England. Nothing is more delightful to 
our mind than to contemplate how the progress of 
Christian love, and knowledge, and tolerance, and 
catholicity is abolishing theological feuds and party 
spirit, and gradually bringing all Christian men on 
each side of the border into real unity, and even 
approximating them towards a visible uniformity. 
How astonished would be the old Presbyterians who 
raised the Edinburgh riots, which were the first step 
towards the Great Rebellion, if they could see the 
present state of their churches in Glasgow and Edin 
burgh ! The rich decorations are dimly visible in the 
mellowed light of stained oriels ; various preachers 
very closely approximate to a liturgy and make no 
scruple of affirming the correctness of the principle ; 
the abomination of a written sermon, for which a 
pious clergyman would have beeu " rabbled" in the old 
days, is of frequent occurrence, and Glasgow Cathe 
dral has been actually and ecclesiologically restored ! 

We do not know whether in those days the young 
Greek prizeman was Presbyterian, or whether he 
belonged to the Episcopalian Church of Scotland, 
which, hardly reformed to the same extent as our 
own, flourishes, a most important body, in vigorous 
and inherent life. In our point of view it is quite 
immaterial to inquire. One remark may, however, 
be offered. We are all of us, more or less, the 
creatures of our antecedents ; more so than, with all 
our candour, we should like to acknowledge, and 
with all our self-knowledge we are likely to be really 
aware of. The decided tastes given us. in our youth 
cling to us with the closest tenacity through advancing 
life. The High Church party in London, or rather, we 



288 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

should say, such of them as have discussed this matter 
with us, complained that the Archbishop does not fully 
like, or understand, or sympathize with them. This 
was the case before the "Archbishop s Bill," and more 
so now. " For my own part," said the Archbishop on 
one occasion, " I greatly desire that all might agree 
with myself in loving a very simple ritual ; and when 
they undertake self-denying works for the Lord Jesus 
Christ s sake, in doing this work in the very simplest 
and least eccentric form. But if there be minds which 
love those very forms in things indifferent, which I 
dislike, and yet love God and Christ far more, I dare 
not seek to make my own tastes the measure of the 
Church s liberty." These are noble words. But the 
reflection certainly arises, that had Dr. Tait s younger 
experiences been southern instead of northern, con 
tinental instead of insular, or rather had he been 
brought up in Episcopal England instead of Presby 
terian Scotland, he would have been able to place 
himself in the position of the High Churchman, and 
to realize the point of view he takes, and his tastes 
and sympathies and aspirations, in a manner and 
degree which his early associations, according to the 
mental laws which control character, have now ren 
dered impossible. Nothing is more admirable in 
the Archbishop than the kindly and compre 
hensive manner in which he is able to reproduce for 
himself the thoughts and position of others, to under 
stand their difficulties, and to make allowance for 
their exaggerations. With a total absence of the 
odium theologicum he can comprehend the feelings and 
motives of rationalists, and while earnestly contending 
for the faith against their errors, can speak with 



THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY. 289 

tenderness and leniency of the men themselves. The 
discussion of all kinds of intellectual difficulties is 
natural enough to one of Dr. Tait s training. He can 
find abundance of common ground with Noncon 
formists, and with .regard to what is at present a 
large section of the Church of England, the Low 
Church, were it not for certain " broad" tendencies, 
he might, for his intense sympathy with their earnest 
ness and effort, be looked upon as their chief and 
representative. It appears to us, and we are simply 
giving our own impressions, to be taken at their 
worth, that his Scotch training has left a decided 
influence upon his character, an influence which in 
many respects has been happy and beneficial, but 
which has gone some way towards incapacitating him 
for a thorough appreciation of anything which at first 
sight might appear Romanistic, however unjustly 
such a term might be reproachfully applied. Broad, 
historical views, and a philosophical study of the 
complex nature of the human mind, more especially 
of that imagination and feeling to which Revelation so 
graciously condescends, will always aid in the better 
intellectual comprehension of those whose system 
differs materially from our own. But the Venusian 
adage is true how the generous wine evermore retains 
the early flavour which was accidentally imparted 
to it. 

The names of the professors under whom Mr. Tait 
studied will always be recollected in Scotland Mr. 
Buchanan, the late Professor of Logic, whose great 
ability in his chair it would be impossible to ex 
aggerate ; and the late Sir Daniel Sandford. Sir 
Daniel K. Sandford is only not celebrated sacro quia 

VOL. i. u 



290 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

vate caret. He used to kindle the enthusiasm of his 
student for the Greek language to an extent which it 
would be impossible to reproduce. During his lectures 
his class-room would be crowded with excited listeners, 
and it was the ambition of the Glasgow ladies to know 
something of that declamatory scholarship. It was 
the ambition of Sir Daniel to exhibit his splendid 
abilities in Parliament. The facile gods have over 
turned whole houses at their owners wish. He was 
returned member for Renfrew. A great speech proved 
a great failure. Sir Robert Peel, the last man to be 
affected by the eloquence of a Greek rhetorician, 
vouchsafed him a very cold measure of attention or 
regard. Sir Daniel did not long outlive the disap 
pointment of his political hopes. In many respects 
he reminds us of a very clever, but also very over 
rated man, W. M. Praed. Each, brillant and versa 
tile, sought and obtained a seat in Parliament ; each 
made a great failure ; and each died not very long 
afterwards. Sir Daniel might have rested content 
with the great and merited reputation he possessed as 
Professor of Greek at Glasgow. Mr. Tait was one of 
his favourite and most distinguished pupils. It is 
impossible to over-rate the eulogium which such a 
statement conveys. The work to be expended on the 
Greek language to one who would do full justice to 
the Glasgow course, is of a very heavy description. 
If my readers should ever meet with a book, " Memoir 
of Halley," he will see how ardent young Scottish 
students, under the influence of such a professor as 
Sandford, will work and work on until they drop, and 
learn a quantity of Greek and obtain a familiarity with 
it which is astonishing. 



THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY. 291 

Mr. Tait obtained the valuable and much-coveted 
Snell exhibition. It is not given away as the result 
of a competitive examination, but is decided by the 
votes of the Professors. Although personal considera 
tions may at times influence these, yet the comparative 
merit of the candidates is a consideration to which 
great weight is deservedly attached. The young 
scholar speedily vindicated their choice. Within a 
month of his matriculation he obtained an open 
scholarship. "We may briefly sum up that brilliant 
academic career by stating that in 1833 he took his 
first, and in 1835 became Fellow of Balliol. 

He was a prominent member of the Oxford Union 
Club, and, if we recollect aright, became President. 
At present the debates of the Club are held in their 
own magnificent room, which, we believe, Mr. Ruskin 
considers one of the finest in the world, the walls of 
which are nobly adorned with paintings illustrative of 
the Arthurean cycle of romance. They were then 
held, we think, at the large room at the " Star." 
People in the country are sometimes confused about 
this famous club. A local newspaper writes : 
" Boards of Guardians sometimes do strange things. 
The Oxford Union has been discussing the financial 
policy of Mr. Gladstone." We have heard it remarked 
that the debates at the Union are quite as good as 
those in Parliament, only much shorter and consider 
ably more animated. The modicum of truth contained 
in such an exaggeration is this, that those who make 
a great figure at the Union generally do very well in 
Parliament, if they can get there ; but in most cases 
youthful enthusiasm is replaced by the senatorius decor. 
Bishop Tait illustrates these remarks, as also some of 

u 2 



292 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

his compeers at the Union at this time the late Lord 
Herbert, the late Lord Elgin, the Duke of Newcastle, 
Mr. Cardwell, Mr. Lowe, Mr. Gladstone. It is a 
curious incident that he was once fined for irregular 
conduct at the Union. A jeu d esprit commemorated 
the circumstance, 

" with thund ring sound 

Tait shook his tassell d cap, and sprang to ground, 
(The tassell d cap by Juggins hands was made, 
Or some keen brother of the London trade, 
Unconscious of the stern decrees of fate, 
What ruthless thumps the batter d trencher wait), 
Dire was the clang, and dreadful from afar, 
Of Tait indignant, rushing to the war. 
In vain the chair s dread mandate interfer d, 
Nor chair, nor fine, the angry warrior fear d. 
A forfeit pound th unequal contest ends, 
Loud rose the clamour of condoling friends." 

In the course of his further details of this curious 
episode in the history of the Union, we are told that 
next term Tait appealed to the House against his 
fine, but could not obtain its remission ; and the late 
Chancellor of the Exchequer can boast to his dying 
day that he has made the Archbishop of Canterbury 
pay twenty shillings for disorderly behaviour. 

What greatly raises the character of the debates at 
the Union is, that men speak who have completed 
their academical course, often with the highest honours 
the University can confer. Mr. Tait gave further 
completeness to his academical career by spending 
some time at a third university, at Bonn on the Rhine. 
A residence on the German ground can hardly fail to 
give greater interest and reality to the study of 
German theology, which has done so much to enrich 
our own theological literature, and to furnish and 



THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY. 293 

equip the minds of some of our best writers in Divinity. 
Dr. Tait, in his " Suggestions Offered to the Theo 
logical Student" (1846), protests against the notion, 
which, though the offspring of sheer ignorance, has 
not yet been altogether abolished, that the writings 
of all German divines are tainted with Rationalism. 
Thus it is he writes, years after his residence at 
Bonn : " The author of the present volume is deeply 
sensible of the very limited range of his own acquaint 
ance with the divines who are thus looked upon with 
suspicion ; but he has thought it a duty, in order to 
protest against this prejudice, as well as for other 
reasons, to refer distinctly to the few of whose assist 
ance he has availed himself. For it is of much 
importance that English readers, if they do not know 
it already, should learn that Germany has to boast of 
writers, in almost every department of theology, who 
unite the deepest learning with a sound and earnest 
Christian faith ; and that it is to such writers we shall 
be mainly indebted if the infidelity which is commonly 
associated with the name of their country be smitten 
and overthrown." 

Mr. Tait had now taken holy orders and a curacy. 
In his case we may be quite sure that this was done 
not only with that high resolve and sacred feeling 
which we would fain hope is well-nigh common to all 
candidates for holy orders, but after those broad in 
quiries, and that intelligent thoughtful deliberation, 
and that acquaintance with different churches, which 
necessarily can only be the case with a comparatively 
limited number of ordained persons. A list might be 
drawn of illustrious men, who, with every inducement 
and every desire to enter the ministry of other religious 



294 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

bodies, have, as the result of deliberate judgment 
and comprehensive inquiry, entered the service of the 
Church of England. Such a list would be headed by 
those two illustrious school-fellows, Bishop Butler and 
Archbishop Seeker. We understand that Dr. Tait s 
step of entering the English Church some years later 
ensured the disappointment of what must have seemed 
his fairest and most cherished hopes in life. Mr. 
Lowe, when Chancellor of the Exchequer, stated 
that he experienced a similar disappointment. In 
1838, through the death of Sir D. K. Sandford, the 
Professorship of Greek at the University of Glasgow 
became vacant. It is a post of great honour and 
emolument. The duties are not heavy, and its value 
must not be very far from fifteen hundred a year. It, 
moreover, leaves the Professor at the most absolute 
liberty for six months of the year. Mr. Tait offered 
himself as a candidate ; there was a peculiar appro 
priateness in his so doing, and the chances of his 
election must have been, if not certain, very con 
siderable. But the state of the law interposed a diffi 
culty. It was questionable whether a Clergyman of 
the Church of England could become a Professor of a 
Scotch university. And in this way the candidateship 
came to nothing, and the appointment went to a Cam 
bridge man instead of to an Oxford man. This was 
one of those marvellous brothers whose mastery over 
Greek is so extraordinary that as babes they must 
have lisped in Greek Iambics. It must be a matter 
of regret that this unrivalled scholar has not yet pro 
duced any learned or original work which would give 
him a wider and more permanent fame than he now 
enjoys. It is to Professor Lushington that Mr. 



THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY. 295 

Thackeray pays one of the highest of his few compli 
ments in one of his works, and of whom Mr. Tennyson 
sings : 

" And thou art worthy, full of power, 
Though gentle, liberal-minded, great, 
Consistent, wearing all that weight 
Of learning lightly as a flower." 

His native country being thus, in a measure, closed 
against him, Mr. Tait devoted himself anew to the 
England of his adoption : he did manful work for his 
University and his Church. In conjunction with his 
illustrious friend, Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, he issued 
a pamphlet on the " Revival of the Professorial Sys 
tem." He had work to do as tutor of Balliol, and 
those who know to what a splendid state of efficiency 
the tutors of Balliol have raised their college, will be 
able to appreciate this. In 3841 he was Public Ex 
aminer. In 1842 he took his D.C.L., and we are not 
aware that he has ever taken a degree as Doctor of 
Divinity. But he was now even more active as a 
clergyman than as a scholar. Those were the days in 
which the Oxford movement was busy and came to a 
culmination, the days of Newmanism, as it was first 
rightly enough entitled, although an absurd nickname 
has since been given, derived from a most learned and 
venerable canon of Christ Church. The present gene 
ration of Oxford men hardly realise the excitement 
and controversy which shook Oxford. It was the 
" Essays and Reviews" furore concentrated in a local 
focus. But let Dr. Arnold state the case against 
Newmanism : " It is because my whole mind and 
soul repose with intense satisfaction on the truths 
taught by St. John and St. Paul, that I abhor the 



296 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

Judaism of the Newmanites ; it is only because I so 
earnestly desire the revival of the Church, that I abhor 
the doctrines of the priesthood. The moral fault, as 
it appears to me, is the idolatry, the setting up some 
idea which is most kindred to our own minds, and 
then putting it in the place of Christ, who alone can 
not be made an idol and cannot inspire fanaticism, 
because He combines all ideas of perfection, and ex 
hibits them in their just harmony and perfection. But 
it is clear to me that Newman and his party are 
idolaters ; they put Christ s Church and Christ s 
Sacraments and Christ s ministers in the place of 
Christ s Himself." Dr. Arnold even thought that 
some of them deserved hanging. By-and-by New- 
manism produced its numberless perversions. " Alas !" 
writes Bishop Tait, " the age in which we live has 
produced miserable examples of very many persons 
trained in the pure gospel teaching of our Apostolic 
Church, led away by excited feeling, some in the vigour 
of health, some in the languor of sickness and ap 
proaching dissolution, to a miserable worship of human 
saints, and of the Lord s human mother, into which in 
their sober moments they could not have believed they 
could ever fall." 

Mr. Tait, we believe, was one of the four Oxford 
tutors who pointedly drew the attention of the 
University to Tract 90 and procured the con 
demnation of its doctrines. Ever earnest in his 
defence of the truth, Mr. Tait was always the most 
courteous of opponents, and for him controversy was 
deprived of its normal bitterness. Dr. Arnold relaxed 
towards the last something of the vehemence with 
which he opposed these errors. It is the inevitable 



THE AECHBISHOP OF CANTEEBURY. 297 

misfortune of controversialists that, while keenly 
analysing the errors of the party they oppose, they 
are apt to overlook that measure of the truth and good 
which is mixed up with or underlies that error. We 
are persuaded that had Dr. Arnold s valuable life been 
spared he would materially have modified the language 
which we find in his Correspondence. The so-called 
High Church party have outgrown many of their 
extravagances. Before the Ritualistic phase com 
menced there had been an elimination from their ranks 
of those who could not conscientiously remain in 
the communion of the Church of England. If we 
have now many more churches, and in those churches 
many more services ; if there has been an increase of 
clergy, and an increase of the episcopate ; if patristic 
literature is more thoroughly and generally studied ; 
if there has been a growing return to primitive faith, 
reverence, and obedience ; if men have cheerfully 
given the best of their lives and substance in the 
lavish and unselfish adornment of the House of God, 
rather than of their own habitations, all these have 
been essentially evolved by the Oxford movement. 
But all these are quite consistent with the simplest 
forms of Christian faith, and dependent on them and 
sanctioned by them. Surely it is not impossible that 
minds of comprehensive Christianity may arbitrate 
between conflicting and apparently irreconcilable 
difficulties. 

On the morning of the 12th of June, 1842, Dr. 
Arnold died. The account of his death is the most 
striking chapter in the most perfect biographical work 
which this century has produced. He had been four 
teen years the head-master, and raised Rugby to the 



298 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

height of its reputation, and created for himself a 
pure fame, which time, as it rolls on, strengthens and 
confirms. Mr. Tait, by the excellence of his testi 
monials, the one thing which originally procured the 
appointment of Dr. Arnold, was appointed head 
master by the trustees. The lamented death of 
Arnold had happened just at the conclusion of the 
half year. On the first Sunday of the next half year, 
the school re-assembled in the chapel under the new 
head-master, and that inaugurating Sunday was fit 
tingly observed with funeral service. It was only 
a few Sundays before that the most illustrious of 
English schoolmasters had been stricken down by 
sudden death. That chapel is especially associated 
with his revered memory. He had claimed the right 
to minister there on the most precious and real of his 
duties, he had contributed to it its richest adornments, 
and he is the only head master who is there interred. 
Rugby sermons are now an integral part of our theo 
logical literature. Dr. Arnold s sermons rank first 
and highest. Dr. Tait has also published his Rugby 
sermons. Dr. Goulburn s various volumes of sermons 
have doubtless, to a considerable extent, a Rugby 
origin. Lastly, Dr. Temple s Rugby sermons have a 
special interest and value. Dr. Tait has an interesting 
allusion to his predecessor under " Gospel Facts and 
Doctrines."* " As it is sometimes implied that Dr. 
Arnold favoured such a view of the unimportance oj 
correct belief, I think it right to record my conviction 
that had that great man been now living, he would 
have been in many ways admirably suited to destroy 
this most mistaken system. Few men who ever lived 

* See " Dangers and Safeguards," p. 121. 



THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY. 299 

have had a more ardent faith in those doctrines which 
he deemed essential, or have more clearly understood 
or illustrated how Christian doctrine, if really believed, 
must affect practice. Any one who reads his sermons, 
or follows the record of his daily life, must see that 
his whole soul would have revolted from a Christianity 
which was to furnish no positive Christian truth." In 
the year 1846, he published the book from which this 
is an extract, with a preface dated from the school- 
house, Rugby. The great school flourished under his 
days far more than under the days of his immediate 
successor. The incessant duties of the school, com 
bined perhaps with a somewhat anxious temperament, 
brought on a serious illness, which led to a termina 
tion of his connection with Rugby. There were some 
remarkable scenes at the time. It is not often that a 
master leaves his school with such marks of affection 
and honour as Dr. Tait received in 1849. 

Dr. Tait is now Dean of Carlisle. Lord John 
Russell conferred the appointment on the promotion 
of Dr. Hinds to the see of Norwich. Dr. Tait has 
subsequently stated in the House of Lords that he 
was a certain number of years in finding out what the 
duties of a dean of the Church of England might 
happen to be. The " Saturday Review " glibly pro 
ceeded to give a full explanation of the duties of a 
dean mainly to study hard, and write great books. 
But it is hardly supposable that some forty deans 
would simultaneously become illustrious authors. It 
is certainly desirable enough that learned clergymen 
should be advanced to that position of ease and inde 
pendence which would enable them to continue those 
studies which have already earned them fame, and 



300 OUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

occupied the best part of life. Such persons, how 
ever, as often miss as hit the mark of a deanery. But 
the appointment of distinguished scholars is not in 
every case enough. A dean, from his position of 
dignity, ease, and affluence, may be of inestimable use 
among the clergy of a populous city, active among the 
foremost in all good words and works. The Dean of 
Carlisle soon found himself abundance of work to do. 
His successor, Dr. Close, has declared that he found it 
hard work to keep pace with his predecessor in all 
that he had been doing for Carlisle. In addition to 
all this, Dr. Tait was busy as a member of the Oxford 
University Commission, to which his friend, Dr. 
Stanley, was secretary. 

We always think that Carlisle, " the City of the 
Army by the Wall," must be a peculiarly interesting 
city to reside in. The deanery itself is an interesting 
residence. Writers on ecclesiastical architecture speak 
with admiration of its roof, erected nearly four 
hundred years ago, of its curious square head oriel 
of the fifteenth century, and of its tower. The cathe 
dral, formerly the abbey of a monastery of Austin 
canons, is rich in beauty and association, and, thanks 
mainly to Dr. Tait, is now found in renovated splen 
dour, very different to what it was described in 1639 ; 
" like a great wild country church, outwardly, so was 
it inwardly, neither beautiful nor adorned one whit. 
The organ and voices did well agree, the one being 
like a shrill bagpipe, the other like the Scottish tune, 
the sermon in the like accent. The communion was 
received in a wild and irreverent manner." 

As Dean, one of Dr. Tait s first cares would be con 
nected with the sacred fabric of which he was the 



THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY. 301 

principal custodian. Great restorations were effected, 
and about 15,000 were in this manner expended. 
The first view of Carlisle Cathedral is very disap 
pointing. It has no nave, and this heavy loss 
irretrievably mars the whole. Nevertheless, a re 
peated and more intelligent examination discloses that 
though the exterior is unfinished and unprepossessing, 
the richness and delicacy of the choir is remarkable. 
Dean Tait and his allies did their best. The tran 
sept roof was raised, a decorated window was inserted 
in the north wing, Bishop Appleby s unique roof was 
opened and coloured under the direction of Owen 
Jones, and water power was applied to the organ. In 
the course of these repairs, a cross of the seventh 
century was discovered built into the transept. Dr. 
Tait, however, would be the last man to occupy him 
self entirely with the work of ecclesiastical restoration, 
important though it be, and to lose sight of the still 
greater object of building up the " temple of living 
stones." At Carlisle there is a large population of 
poor artizans, and the Dean addressed himself to their 
improvement in true missionary spirit. Additional 
pulpit service was secured for the poor, the visitation 
system was improved, every good educational work 
aided and advanced. We are informed that it was 
mainly through his exertions that the grammar school 
of the city was rebuilt, and its system of education 
extended and improved. 

It pleased God to visit the Dean with domestic cala 
mities of peculiarly poignant nature, which throughout 
the country, from our Queen to her lowliest subject 
who heard of them, excited heartfelt sympathy. Thus 
beautifully has Dr. Tait alluded to them : " The 



302 CUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

trials of life greatly affect our mental vision ; rightly 
used, they make us more sympathizing, more con 
siderate, more tolerant, but they also more deeply 
convince us of the priceless value of truths which have 
been our soul s only stay in terrible emergencies. 
Few mortals pass any great length of time without 
sickness and sorrow ; and if a man has looked death 
in the face, or, while well in his own bodily health, 
has been stunned in mind by seeing fond hopes 
vanish, he will naturally cling with a firmer tenacity 
to the great religious truths which bore him up when 
all else failed, and will be more jealous of any attempt 
to tamper with those truths than he was when he 
defended them in earlier life on grounds of mere 
speculative orthodoxy, having not yet learned to prize 
and love them through what must be to each prac 
tically the surest test their tried value to his own 
spirit." It has been said that Her Majesty s personal 
sympathy for Dr. and Mrs. Tait led to the elevation 
to the See of London. If this was the case it was 
only incidentally so. For one who had been in suc 
cession Fellow of Balliol, head-master of a great 
public school, and dean of a cathedral, to be promoted 
to a bishopric was very much a matter of course, 
especially in the case of one whose labours in the 
Oxford University Commission would alone have quite 
sufficed, to bring prominently into notice. 

Upon the passing of the " Bishops of London and 
Durham Retirement Act," in 1856, the vacant See of 
London was conferred upon Dr. Tait. The appoint 
ment was received with general satisfaction, which 
widened and deepened as the character of the new 
bishop became better known and appreciated. His 



THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY. 303 

Episcopal career has been one of incessant usefulness 
and activity, varied only by well-earned seasons of 
travel or repose. In 1868 he was raised to the 
Primacy. 

The Archbishop appears, like Dr. Arnold, to regard 
the divisions of the Church as irreparable, the restora 
tion of the Church as almost impracticable, and to 
"cling," as he expresses himself in one of his letters, 
" not from choice but from necessity to the Protestant 
tendency of laying the whole stress on the Christian 
religion, and adjourning his idea of the Church sine 
die."* Or rather, we should say, he refuses to regard 
the Church under any lower definition than " the 
blessed company of all faithful people." The primary 
charge of the Bishop was delivered in November, 
1858. It was a day which will not soon be forgotten. 
The charge must have been a heavy trial both for 
those who heard and for him who delivered it ; it 
occupied no less than five hours. It treated exten 
sively the most pressing ecclesiastical matters of the 
day. It excited great attention everywhere through 
out the country. The Bishop everywhere did the 
work of an Evangelist : one day we find him preaching 
in the open air in Covent Garden market ; another 
day he is preaching to the Bethnal Green weavers, 
who met on a week-day evening in their working 
clothes ; on another day he is addressing the London 
omnibus-drivers and cabmen in a stable-yard at 
Islington. In the meanwhile the Bishop developed 
administrative talents of the highest order, although 
it may be an open question, as in the case of St. 
George s-in-the-East, how far their particular appli 
cation was fully successful. 

* Stanley s "Life of Arnold." 



304 . OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

As a preacher, the Archbishop of Canterbury hardly 
calls for any special remark. But even in a critical point 
of view, Dr. Tait has one distinguishing merit, which 
may ensure more substantial good than mere showy 
qualifications. When Demosthenes said that the first, 
second and third requisite for an orator was action, we 
apprehend that what Demosthenes meant, was not 
action, in our modern notion of the word, but 
earnestness. And this earnestness the Bishop 
possesses to the fullest extent ; it overflows in tone, 
manner, language, and never fails in being impres 
sive, never fails in producing that effect of reality 
which mere rhetoric would be powerless to produce. 
Hardly subject to enthusiasm himself, he is hardly 
capable of arousing the enthusiasm of others, and we 
should be surprised if those who ask for his willing 
aid in preaching a sermon for a charitable purpose, 
succeed in the object of obtaining a very full congre 
gation or a very full collection ; and if he is reading 
his sermon to a hardly average congregation, the 
sermon would be considered, if men were discussing 
a less distinguised dignitary, as decidedly monotonous. 
This objection would be modified, if not totally 
obviated, if in the supposed case the Archbishop was 
delivering not a written but an extemporaneous dis 
course. There are, however, certain occasions on 
which the sermons of the Archbishop, both in matter 
and manner, rise to an unusual and very remarkable 
degree of excellence. We are thinking of the special 
services held in St. Paul s Cathedral or in West 
minster Abbey. The inspiring associations of the 
place and scene, the solemn gathering of listening 
thousands, possibly the knowledge that next morning 



THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY. 305 

the press will be scattering a precis of his sermon 
wherever the English tongue is spoken, most cer 
tainly the prospect of doing much good on a large 
scale, have caused the preacher to give most careful 
preparation to his sermon, and to evince an earnest 
ness that produces the best effects of absolute 
eloquence. And on these occasions the preacher 
addresses himself not only to the heart, but directly 
to the intellect, the information, and the good sense 
of his listeners. The sermons then become really 
model sermons, which every preacher might study 
with advantage. They do not exhibit the mistakes 
of many well-meaning but imbecile persons, whose 
sermons are a miscellaneous collection of tracts 
strung together by obvious truisms. Least of all do 
they exhibit the mistake or sin, much less frequent 
and far more pitiable, of ambitious language and 
oratorical display, out of mere vanity. The robust 
sense, the interesting reference to past or current 
history, the close logical argument that makes men 
think, the kindly and pointed appeal which makes 
men feel, all are found in the better order of the 
Archbishop s speeches and addresses. 

Extremely unaffected, but exhibiting more learning 
and elaboration, are the sermons preached before the 
University of Oxford. These may be found in a 
volume published in 1862, entitled " Dangers and 
Safeguards of Modern Theology," dedicated to the 
Master and Fellows of Balliol College, " in remem 
brance of much kindness received, and many years of 
pleasant intercourse." The immediate cause of the 
publication of this volume was the " Essays and Ee- 

VOL. i. x 



306 ODE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

views." " Of two out of the seven Essayists it is ir 
possible for him to speak without affectionate regar 
connected as he is with them by a friendship of mo 
than twenty years." The " Essays and Review! 
produced a literature of their own ; the number 
books and pamphlets connected with them may 1 
stated in round numbers at a hundred. Few of the 
will attain a prominent place in the library of theolog 
and the " Dangers and Safeguards" will scarcely 1 
among the number. Critics and practised reade 
would naturally be impatient of a work of which tl 
more important part was published fifteen years befo 
the controversy, and the remainder of which simp 
consisted of miscellaneous sermons. The work has 
certain positive and constructive value, but in tl 
same way that " Scott s Commentary," or Leslie 
" Short Way with the Deists" possesses such; they i 
of them supply a teaching which, if faithfully receive 
may be a " Safeguard" against " Dangers ;" but tl 
Archbishop s work has only this indirect value 
reference to the difficulties for which, according 
its letter, it would seem to arbitrate. 

The Archbishop has not uufrequently spoken in tl 
House of Lords, where he at once obtained a sea 
These speeches have been almost entirely ecclesiastica 
such as the Exeter Hall services, subscription, tl 
burial service, the condition of the clergy, union 
benefices, church extension, and latterly there hi 
been much speaking on the Public Worship Regulatic 
Bill. These are subjects on which he of course speal 
with authority; but, firm, sensible, and practical, tl 
Archbishop would on any question make an exceller 
debater. He has a great variety of offices and duties I 



THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY. 307 

attend to, and he does his work well, apparently de 
lighting in it. He is of course a Privy Councillor, 
which at times has imposed onerous duties. It fell to 
his lot as Bishop of London, to decide judicially on the 
appeal in the " Essays and Reviews" case. As a judge, 
he coincided in the decision that reversed the judgment 
of the court below. It has excited considerable criticism 
and comment the fact that Dr. Tait did not unite in 
the protest of the then Archbishops. We do not believe 
that the Archbishop has any sympathy with the views of 
such writers ; but it has been his lot to be intimate 
with men of many and most varying sentiments, and 
to be familiar with this conflict of opinions in a degree 
greatly beyond the lot of most men. He is friendly 
to the utmost freedom of thought and decision, and 
looks mainly to the personal element in each case, the 
real earnestness, purpose, and prayerfulness of a man, 
and, when these are present, does not so greatly re 
gard the logical consequence of theological specula 
tions. This tenderness and leniency contrasts, how 
ever, somewhat forcibly with the unhesitating judg 
ment in any cases in which " Puseyite" preachers are 
concerned. As in the instance of St. Barnabas, it will 
be remembered that, when he preached the consecra 
tion sermon of "All Saints," Margaret Street, his 
sermon, singularly able and faithful in many respects, 
refrained from the least expression of sympathy with or 
congratulation on the energy and self-sacrifice and 
devotion of the heart to God which had raised that 
sumptuous pile merely expressing a hope that the 
church might prove " a fresh help to those whose 
tastes it gratifies." 

It is in the direction of practical labour indicated by 

x 2 



308 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

such a sentence that Dr. Tait s strength mainly li< 
His great scheme (one in which our Royal Family 
taking a warm interest) for raising a million of mon 
within ten years, or rather three millions, for suppl 
ing the spiritual destitution of the diocese of Londc 
was the great event of his career, and his best title 
remembrance. Bishop Blomfield had been indefati 
able in this good work, and laid the foundation of 
that was to follow. The subject was mooted in t 
primary charge, and we believe it was in 1860, wh 
his physicians had confined him to his room in coni 
quence of illness brought on by overwork, and had i 
terdicted all ministerial duty, that Dr. Tait framed a 
issued his address to the laity on the subject of pi 
viding additional church accommodation, especia" 
for the poor. Since then the scheme has grown, a 
is now one for the complete organisation of 
church system in London, which, so far as the in 
vocable past will allow, will atone for the neglect 
ages. 

There are many insulated points in Archbish 
Tait s career that might be taken up for discussio 
We will briefly quote a remarkable speech which 
made at a meeting of the Society for the Propagati 
of the Gospel, which was made remarkable by t 
vigorous response which the Hindoo gentlemen ma( 
That very answer, however, served to give force a 
point to the Archbishop s remarks : 

" It is now almost easier to go to a distant heath 
land than it was in the days of our grandfathers 
travel from Carlisle to London. The whole world h 
been brought wonderfully near. In old times if y< 
wished to stir up men s zeal for the missionary cau 



THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY. 309 

knowing that the sight was far more powerful than 
what we merely hear of it might be necessary to 
send them to distant lands that they might see speci 
mens of the heathen. But now, take a return ticket 
to London in the middle of the season ; go either to 
Her Majesty s leve"e or the Lord Mayor s banquet, or 
walk even through the streets, and what do you see ? 
A cavalcade of some six carriages bearing the Bur 
mese ambassadors absolute heathen, who have come 
to do their homage to the greatness of England in the 
centre of England. Go to the Temple, where the 
familiar sight of our barristers with their peculiar cos 
tume used formerly to be the only thing we saw, and 
we find some sixty Hindoos members of the Temple 
or Lincoln s Inn, still remaining Hindoos and heathen, 
in the centre of English civilisation. Go, again, to an 
other quarter of the city to the East end of London 
to what is called the Oriental Home, where every 
specimen of the heathen of the East is gathered to 
gether in consequence of our merchandise with the 
East, living here for months, mixing with our people ; 
or follow Mr. Dickens into the Chinaman s shop, and 
see there men smoking opium as if they were in the 
centre of China ; or go elsewhere and meet a whole 
troupe of Japanese, and you will see that a man no 
more requires to go to the extremities of the earth to 
be convinced of the claims which the heathen have 
upon us, and that in our own metropolis we are 
brought so near heathenism of the worst class that, 
unless we take some steps, instead of converting the 
heathen the heathen will be converting us. For this 
is not merely an imaginary idea. I am almost afraid 
to say it, but I cannot help thinking that this great 



310 OUK BISHOPS AND DEANS. 



proximity of the East to ourselves has somehow < 
other infected the philosophy on which the your 
men feed in our great seminaries of learning, and th 
men of learning, from rubbing shoulders with me 
who altogether disbelieve in Christianity, have mo] 
toleration for that denial than they had in the oldt 
times ; and that systems which have existed for cei 
turies in the extreme lands of heathenism are findin 
some sort of echo even among the literature ar 
philosophy of this Christian country." 

It will be recollected how Dr. Tait overworked hie 
self, and brought on an attack of dangerous illness. ] 
the life of Dean Alford there is an interesting letter fro 
the Archbishop to Dean Alford, dated from Menton 
w r hich only arrived at Canterbury a day or two befoi 
the Dean s funeral : " I write to beg you to gii 
yourself immediate and lengthened rest. Let my e: 
ample be a warning to you. But I suspect yoi 
literary work has been a greater strain than my nece 
sary occupations of business in London, and in n 
first nine months of Lambeth and the Cut. I earnest 
hope that we shall soon hear that you are quite we 
If you have never read, read at once Sir B. Brodie 
Psychological Researches, and see what amount 
literary work he thinks the human frame can stan 
I think you are severe on St. Remo, which, if T 
could only have found beach walks, we should ha 1 
greatly enjoyed. We stayed there a month, and hi 
many most lovely drives. Will you not come he 
and refresh yourself at once ? What can we look fo 
ward to before it is time to turn our faces towar< 
England ? The fear of passing through France o 
presses us. The French who are here seem resolv< 



THE AECHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY. 311 

not to believe that any real evil can happen to Paris, 
and bear as good a heart as possible on the sad state 
of things. "Would that the love of Christ had so taken 
possession of men s hearts that wars were impossible." 

Everyone who knows anything of Archbishop Tait 
speaks heartily of his pleasant, courteous, kindly ways. 
Amid all the gravity and care that his high office has 
brought him, he has still the keen perception of wit 
and sense of the humorous. There is a singular be 
nignity and whole-heartedness about him ; a more 
Catholic-minded man does not exist. Some measure 
of criticism might be bestowed on his administration 
of patronage. He is a man who always takes care of 
friends ; he is devoted to them, and, as a con 
sequence, they are devoted to him. Chaplain after 
chaplain has been made bishop, or has had a 
bishopric offered to him. Livings have been distributed 
to all within the charmed circle. He not only takes 
care of his friends, but of his friends friends. Some 
times he puts round pegs into square holes, and square 
pegs into round holes; as when he has sent men of 
severe learning and retired, studious habits into the in 
cumbencies of vast poor parishes, as the readiest means 
of providing for them. Sometimes he has made the 
popular appointment of nominating to a parish a curate 
of many years standing to succeed its deceased in 
cumbent. But we are not aware of any instances in 
which the Archbishop has sought out any scholar of 
eminence, or curate of prolonged services, unless a 
a popular cry or powerful interest had been brought 
to bear on the selection. 

The most remarkable point in the career of the 
Archbishop, by which he will be longest recollected is 



3J2 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

his origination of the famous Bill for the Regulation 
of Public Worship. He was much criticised for the 
scanty reverence he bestowed on Convocation. But 
the somewhat Erastian Archbishop thought that 
even in such matters Convocation must not necessarily 
have a priority over Parliament. The weak point in 
the Archbishop s plan was that he proposed to ad 
minister a law that is itself uncertain and ill-defined. 
The Ritualistic party maintain, and allege high legal 
authority for the assertion, that had the Purchas 
case been fully argued out, there would have been a 
different kind of decision. Anyhow they do not appear 
to consider that it is a judgment that is binding on 
their consciences. We are afraid that any kind of 
judgment that condemned their proceedings would 
equally fail to bind their consciences. Still it is 
clear that a new judge and a new tribunal have 
to administer an unsettled law. The Archbishop s 
strong point lay in his personal narrative of the 
thousands of pounds spent, and the many years con 
sumed in the ordinary course of ecclesiastical litiga 
tion. His case rests on the fundamental axiom that 
the administration of the law ought to be cheap and 
speedy. He took great pains in explaining to an eccle 
siastical conference the simplicity and honesty of his 
aim, so supplementing anything left unsaid in his 
place in Parliament. One criticism that arises is, 
that this bill was originally expressly levelled against 
the Ritualistic Ministry in the Church, and was not 
intended to apply to all parties ; and another adverse 
point was that it dealt with offences against form, and 
not against morality. If it be truth that the adminis 
tration of law should be cheap and speedy, it is equally 



THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBUEY. 313 

true that the law itself should be clear and unam 
biguous, so that whosoever runs may read. The ques 
tion really narrows itself to this : should you attend 
first to your tribunal or your laws ? have a judge to 
administer the law, or is the law for a judge to ad 
minister ? will you put the cart before the horse, or 
the horse before the cart ? If it be settled that we 
must first ascertain and define the law, it will then be 
agreed that the law should be settled by Church and 
State, by Convocation and by Parliament. This 
brings before us that much-contested subject of Con 
vocation. It cannot be said that Convocation repre 
sents the Church in the same way that Parliament 
represents the country. Convocation does not repre 
sent the parochial clergy, who are swallowed up in 
the vast preponderance of the cathedral clergy. The 
curates, who form the great mass of the working 
clergy, are not represented at all. Once an eccentric 
Archdeacon opposed their admission, but, consistent 
in his uniform inconsistency, he voted against his own 
motion. Convocation, until there is some sweep 
ing measure of reform, cannot be held to repre 
sent the voice of the Anglican Church. The reform 
of Convocation is practically the key to the whole 
position. When Convocation fully and adequately 
represents the Church, then it will frame the legisla 
tion which will meet the Church s needs, and which will 
obtain Parliamentary sanction. If the Archbishop 
had worked upon the line indicated, he might have 
met the just views of all parties, and have framed the 
legislation that would have settled the peace of the 
Church for centuries. A decided movement is made 
in this direction by the letters of business which 



314 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

authorize a Revision of Rubrics by Convocation. But 
Convocation itself stops the way. Until Convocation 
is reformed, its legislation must prove unsatisfactory. 

It must be a matter of great congratulation that a 
sufficiently distant date has been fixed for the opera 
tion of the Bill, to afford the hope of some settlement 
of rubrical law, and that the main criticism to which 
it was exposed is to a considerable extent obviated. 
When it is generally understood we hope it will be 
generally obeyed, and that the law-abiding instincts 
of the clergy will do away with the scandal that has 
generally attached to their colourable disobedience. 
The Bill, such as it is, will set the Archbishop s mark 
upon his time, and show that, while mild and moderate, 
he is not to be reckoned among the prelates who 
are merely mild and moderate, and have made the 
seat of St. Augustine a golden sinecure, or a least, a 
place of dignified repose for the first subject in the 
kingdom. Sagacious, polished, experienced, with a 
love of work, and an enjoyment of leisure, he is one 
of the most successful and famous of the northern 
legion who have wandered to the south of the Tweed, 
and carried away fame and fortune among the 
Southerners. 



315 



CHAPTER VI. 

AECHBISHOP THOMSON. 

A SSUREDLY there is no " upper chamber" con- 
J.JL secrated to the services of religion more beautiful 
and beloved than the little chapel of the learned and 
honourable society of Lincoln s Inn. In bygone years 
it was the duty and delight of this present writer, in 
flying visits to town, to attend these services. We 
enter on Sunday mornings through a postern gate 
from the largest and most renowned of London 
squares, into the green lawn, islanded amid " the 
dusky purlieus of the law." Then you ascend a stone 
staircase, as if about to consult some learned counsel, 
and find yourself at the entrance of the vmguov the little 
chapel, as indeed you might gather by the burial 
tablets of distinguished lawyers. The atmosphere is 
dim, and your first impressions are indistinct. Every 
one of the windows is of painted glass ; the religious 
gloom is perfect, and magnificent radiations of colour 
play over the chancel and above the bowed heads of 
the worshippers. Behind you is a noble organ, worthy 
of the magnificent voices which you will recognize 



316 OUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

among the white-robed choir. Those ancient carved 
oaken pews, that fine old pulpit, that falling echo, 
harmonize well. It is as a little college chapel, as a 
section of University life, settled down " hard by roar 
ing Temple Bar." The lawyer from the Universities 
easily realizes the fine lines of our poet 

" And heard once more in college fanes 

The storm their high-built organs make, 
And thunder-music rolling shake 
The prophets blazoned on the panes." 

And when Mr. Preacher ascends the pulpit he is Mr. 
Preacher here, just as the head of the bar is Mr. 
Attorney, and the head of the chapter is Mr. Dean 
the old University impression continues strong. 
We listen to the noble bidding prayer," only we 
miss the customary formula : " And, as in private 
duty bound, I desire your prayers for the ancient and 
religious foundation of Queen s College," with the 
enumeration of pious founders and benefactors. It 
is just possible, too, that the very sermon you are 
listening to, you have heard already in the University 
pulpit of St. Mary s. And if this is the case, you are 
really very glad ; it is the very thing you could have 
wished ; your chained attention had hardly been able 
to take in fully the whole of what you had heard 
before, and you would willingly gather up completely 
all the points of that remarkable discourse. It has 
been a full cathedral service, the anthem most nobly 
given, only the prayers have been read and not in 
toned, and you perceive that our cathedral service 
bears this alteration very well. But then the reading, 
in the days of which I speak, was the magnificent 
reading of Mr. Maurice, so singularly earnest and 



ARCHBISHOP THOMSON. 317 

impressive, and Lincoln s Inn Chapel was renowned 
indeed at the date of which I speak, when Dr. Thomson 
was its preacher, and Mr. Maurice its chaplain. 
Dr. Thomson preached in the morning during term 
time, and Mr. Maurice in the afternoon ; and the 
full congregation included some of the most dis 
tinguished, and thoughtful, and learned men in 
London. 

Mr. Preacher has left his pew opposite the reading- 
desk, and has ascended the pulpit. In those days he 
was a man still young, dark, and rather heavy -looking, 
until his face became lit up with characteristic ex 
pression. His pulpit characteristics have never 
wavered. Quiet, with very little action, with not 
much force of delivery, but grave, earnest, devotional ; 
such is the general and never-failing impression he 
conveys. There is no doubt in the world about his 
meaning. Each clear sentence gives a clear sense ; 
and the sermon is deeply and definitively impressive. 
It is always a practical sermon, and always one nicely 
adapted to his auditory. Here is an educated man 
addressing educated men. He takes a good deal for 
granted. He need not hesitate about alluding to a 
Greek author, or combating some new dogma in 
philosophy. He assumes a certain mental equality 
between himself and his hearers. But whatever may 
be the general mental direction of the sermon, and 
some have a relation to historical and some to mental 
science, it is evermore a practical sermon. Here is a 
dying man speaking to dying men. Here is a com 
pany gathered together, and whatever may be the 
social and intellectual grade of each, they all are alike 
in sinfulness, in liability to temptation, in responsi- 



318 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

bility, in eternal hopes and fears. And all that may 
concern Christian faith and practice, either the nicest 
intellectual difficulty that may beset Christian faith, 
or the most flagrant sin that might violate Christian 
practice, come within the domain of preaching, and 
of this preacher, and are touched upon in the clear 
final language of authority and plain speaking. And 
so whatever may be the secondary and subordinate 
impressions left by the sermon, the leading idea is 
essentially practical and direct. The auditor is struck 
by the rare command of epithet and phrase ; by the 
marshalled array of arguments and facts ; by the 
logical exposure of fallacy and sophism ; and often the 
music of some beautiful and perfectly constructed 
sentence lingers in the memory, but first and chief, 
above and beyond all, is the manifest attempt to lead 
men in the paths of prayer and faith and holiness. 
Dr. Thomson is a master of keen, robust reasoning ; 
he belongs to that school of which Bishop Butler is 
the most conspicuous example, and the late Arch 
bishop Whateley the most memorable recent instance ; 
and like them, his power lies in his logic, and does 
not, as with Mr. Maurice, extend into the domain of 
metaphysics. United with these solid and substantial 
excellences is the great and rare literary excellence 
that Dr. Thomson has in reality achieved, and created 
for himself his own peculiar and independent style. 
Archbishop Thomson has himself, in one of his 
speeches, drawn attention to the importance of style, 
and to the fact that all great authors have their dis 
tinctive style. His own writings are an excellent 
commentary on his own words. I think it is Buffon 
who says that the style is the soul of a book ; it is 



AKCHBISHOP THOMSON. 319 

certainly not only the dress of thought, but the body 
of thought. A perfect style is like the atmosphere of 
some southern heaven which makes all things visible, 
and is invisible itself. Now Dr. Thomson s style very 
nearly conceals his style, although there are abundant 
indications that the accomplished writer on Logic has 
a strong natural affinity for Rhetoric. He has a 
horror of exaggeration in language and style; his 
business is with his work, and with the language which 
instrumentally will best do his work. It is in this 
respect that Dr. Thomson differs from such an elo 
quent and admirable pulpit orator as the late Mr. Melvill. 
He has an earnestness that amounts to eloquence, 
but not that kind of spoken eloquence which causes 
oratorical fame, and never even approximates to those 
examples of eloquence, worthy of Bossuet and Bour- 
daloue, which we so often find in Mr. Melvill s 
earlier sermons. But Mr. Melvill s style is not 
free from the imputation of rhetorical artifice; he 
trained his hearers to look anxiously to each customary 
climax, and his fixed principle of making the text his 
climax sometimes causes him to give the text an 
untenable meaning or application. Those who have 
studied these most splendid specimens of the modern 
eloquence of the English pulpit will, we believe, be 
induced to concur in this stricture. The Archbishop 
is beyond a suspicion of anything of the kind. Never 
theless, this very defect probably helped Mr. Melvill 
in arriving at his remarkable and almost unparalleled 
popularity. Presbyterian ministers have tried to 
obtain a " call" by preaching without acknowledgment 
these wonderful sermons ; and we have been informed 
that even members of Parliament have industriously 



320 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

trained themselves upon his model. To hear Mr. 
Melvill was almost to produce a Melvill fever, and an 
impatience of hearing any one else. " I would not 
wish one preacher to disgust us with all others," says 
Fenelon ; " on the contrary, I seek for a man who 
shall inspire me with such a love and respect for the 
Word of God that I should be but the more disposed 
to hear it everywhere." We believe that Mr. Melvill s 
sermons have in their time accomplished an infinity of 
good; but Dr. Thomson, with some likeness to him, 
has avoided that fault of mannerism, for such it 
ultimately becomes, which is not an excellence, but 
a blot upon excellence. Dr. Thomson in his style, 
habitually toned down and grave, to which his manner 
harmoniously corresponds, affords only a faint parallel 
to Mr. Melvill s magnificent declamation. The re 
semblance lies in this. In each we have an example 
of what I believe the critics consider the most finished 
style of oratory, where there is a union of the closest 
and really scientific reasoning with a certain measure 
of imagination and poetry. This has been the 
characteristic of the greatest masters of written or 
spoken eloquence, such as Bacon and Burke. Thus 
flowerets grow upon the brink of Alpine precipices, 
and rose-flushed lights bathe the cold crowns of Alpine 
snows. 

These " Lincoln s Inn Sermons" of Dr. Thomson 
have been gathered up into a volume. A second 
volume of sermons, which includes some published in 
the first volume, has lately been added. We imagine 
that many of our readers have placed it on those 
favourite shelves on which are laid the bright and 
favourite volumes of our best modern writers. We 






AKCHBISHOP THOMSON. 321 

recognise one or two that we have heard, and miss 
one or two that we would willingly have seen printed. 
They gain upon a perusal, and even more upon a re 
peated perusal. We had intended to have quoted our 
favourite passages, but we have pencilled so many 
favourite passages, and turned down so many pages, 
that all limits of fair quotation would be transcended. 
We have lately been reading Biingener s well-known 
work " The Preacher and the King," an admirable 
work, evidencing the same knowledge of his period 
as that possessed by Victor Cousin or St. Beuve. 
It is the work of a man who has failed to attain to 
any particular success as a preacher in the Reformed 
Church of France, but who has the soundest and most 
enlightened conception of his subject, which is, 
virtually, sacred eloquence. He takes the phrase of 
Cicero as the true theory of the sermon, " Effloruisse 
penitus videatur ; let it spring from the text as the 
stem of a flower springs from the centre and depth of 
the plant." Again, " St. Bernard compared God in 
relation with man, to a writer or painter who guides 
the hand of a little child, and only asks one thing of 
it that it will not move its hand, but will allow it to 
be guided. Here is the image of the evangelical 
preacher." Archbishop Thomson fully complies with 
these requisites, and shows that the exhibition of the 
simplest evangelical truth is not inconsistent with the 
highest mental power and the best mental culture. 

We are not writing a " Retrospective Review," and 
therefore can hardly venture to comment on this 
volume with the fulness that would be desirable on 
some grounds. Here are a pair of sentences which 
remind us of the audience to whom they were ad- 

VOL. I. T 



322 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

dressed : " That in the nineteenth century, in the 
midst of the monotony of our civilisation, here in 
London, here in this little chapel, the presence of the 
same divine spirit in those who love God is as sure as 
the presence of the air they breathe, as the light 
wherewith they see one another ; this is a proposition 
which has something startling even for us who profess 
to admit it." "With many of us the calls of a hard 
profession may consume our days and nights, and the 
time we give to it and that which we give to our 
spiritual concerns, may bear no proportion to each 
other. And yet we know that the passions of suitors 
are matters of a moment, and the words in which we 
try to do them justice, eloquent and ingenious words, 
fall dead without an echo, whilst the soul is an heir to 
eternity. But so has our Maker allotted us our share 

of duty Compare the great realities that we 

have been looking at to-day with the all-engrossing 
business that draws our attention off them. The 
subtlest tongue will be silent before long ; the most 
eager strife will cease ; the wisest decision will be 
quoted no longer at most than the kind of right 
it relates to shall subsist. But we must all appear 
before the judgment seat of Christ ; and at that bar 
the issue that is decided is for eternity. May He that 
judges us, plead our cause also." In these sermons 
there is a vein of literary allusion, slight but of ex 
quisite kind, which for many must possess a great 
charm and great impressiveness. " There was a city 
visited by the plague long since; and whilst death 
was busily visiting every household, a few frivolous 
men and women sought out a pleasant retirement, and 
there they spent their days in weaving love-tales and 



ARCHBISHOP THOMSON. 323 

playing with compliments, and while the plague was 
cutting off hundreds at their gate. Just so do we 
act under our greater plague. Oh, my friends, it is 
not by hiding our heads, like a silly bird pursued by 
hunters, that we can escape the keen eye of our pur 
suer." The Archbishop has read the " Decameron" 
to better purpose than most men. Dr. Thomson does 
not scruple to make use of the theologians of other 
countries, such as Julius Miiller and Athanase 
Coquerel. We have occasional reference to current 
systems of philosophy, and to the more thought 
ful passages of our great modern poet. Here is 
the briefest and most complete refutation of Mr. 
Buckle s " Law of Averages" with which we are 
acquainted. " This average, which is supposed to 
rule the will like a rod of iron, is itself the most 
variable. It yields under the hand like tempered clay. 
It is not the same in London and in Paris ; it varies 
even in the adjoining counties ; it alters with time 
and circumstance. We ourselves may alter it. We 
are doing so in teaching our poor, in finding them 
employment, in protecting female chastity, in check 
ing male intemperance. I do not see how that which 
our will is now acting upon, which varies in different 
countries because the will of man has made different 
laws there, can be conclusive against the doctrine of 
free will. The average of human conduct is only the 
expression of the results of many human wills ; we 
have made the giant which, according to this in 
genious writer, is to fall and crush us. The study of 
the law of averages, so far from paralysing philanthropic 
exertions, will only assure us of the wide scope 

allowed us for success, and if it shows us a resrularitv 

/ 

Y 2 



324 ODE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

and certainty in the recurrence of evil, it will en 
courage us to think that the same regularity will ap 
pear in the good results that may follow from honest 
endeavours after good." 

One remarkable sermon was preached before the 
Queen at Buckingham Palace, in 1858, entitled " The 
Night cometh." If, as is sometimes said, there has 
been strong Palace influence in favour of Dr. Thomson, 
such a sermon enables us to perceive how worthily it 
has been obtained. It is a kind of sermon which, we 
may believe, is peculiarly attractive to the Royal 
mind. It very much resembles the famous sermon 
" Religion in Common Life," which Professor Caird 
preached before Her Majesty at Balmoral. A sermon 
containing very much that Professor Caird said, is to 
be found among the sermons of Dr. Arnold, and this 
one of Dr. Thomson s may compare favourably with 
Dr. Caird s. But Dr. Caird gave his royal listeners 
one of his old sermons ; we have heard him preach it 
a long time before, and were of the opinion that in 
several particulars it was inferior to others of his 
sermons. Christian activity is the subject both of 
the English and Scotch divine. "No one," says 
Dr. Thomson, addressing his Palace audience, " but 
will pardon a few plain words on a subject which, if 
it has been handled by ten thousand preachers, can 
never, so long as the safety of souls is knit up with 
it, be thought obsolete." Let us quote a few sen 
tences, as examples of truthful speaking, some of 
which have now a significancy of which the preacher 
could have hardly thought. " That friend or neigh 
bour with whom we take sweet counsel, let us learn 
from him all we can, let us pour out for him all the 



ARCHBISHOP THOMSON. 325 

truth we know, and let heart strengthen heart, as 
iron sharpeneth iron ; for we may see him again no 
more for ever, and in his stead nothing but recollec 
tions shall remain overshadowed with the night of a 
grievous loss. Teach the child while he is spared you, 
for the angel may gather that flower into one of his 
sheaves to plant him again in the radiance of the 
Divine Throne, leaving you to the trial of a numbed 
and benighted affection. . . . God has placed us 
upon this narrow island of time with the waters of 
eternity all around us ; and every inch of ground is 
more precious to us than gold or rubies ; for, as our 
dealings with time are, so our choice of immortality 
will be. And we can make no terms with Him to 
grant us a longer season to finish the work He has 
sent us to do. The night cometh, and it shall over 
take the thinker before he has matured his discovery, 
and the ruler in the midst of plans of order and im 
provement." 

Two years after the delivery of this sermon, Dr. 
Thomson was made Chaplain in Ordinary to the 
Queen. From 1855 to 1862 were "the seven good 
years" during which he attained to more numerous 
and rapid promotions than we remember in any 
similar instance. The commencement of those seven 
years saw him the fellow of a college, the repute of 
which was at low ebb, and lately a diligent provincial 
curate ; the end of the seven years found him Primate 
of England. One Holy Week he paid a visit to his 
birth-place, Whitehaven, on the Cumberland coast. 
The town did honour to the prelate who had done so 
much honour to the town. A congratulatory address 
was presented. The Volunteers formed a guard of 



326 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

honour. The Archbishop acknowledged all this in 
his usual kindly and honest language. He might 
indeed have indulged a very allowable feeling of gra 
tification. It rarely indeed happens that a man in 
the prime of his years and strength returns to the 
obscure locality of his birth, father and friends yet 
living, having attained to one of the highest distinc 
tions to which it is in the power of a subject to 
aspire. 

He was born at Whitehaven in 1819, where his 
father was engaged in the local commerce of the 
place, and was one of the directors of the local bank. 
He received his education at the renewed school of 
Shrewsbury, but his name is not found in the Sabrinae 
Corolla. " I do not consider him to have been a 
clever fellow at school, when I was there," has re 
marked a clerical friend. But our friend who belongs 
to a rustic parish and whose mind has partially run 
into turnips* may not be the best judge of such a 
point, and perhaps forgot that many of the best 
minds flower late. As a North countryman, Queen s 
College offered the best prospects to a scholar who 
came from Whitehaveu. A worthy ecclesiastic, Con 
fessor to Queen Philippa, pitying the unhappiness 
and disorganization into which the long warfare 
between English and Scotch had thrown the border 
counties, founded this college to make atonement, in 
the best way which suggested itself to his mind, for 
the injury which the youth of Cumberland and West 
moreland had sustained. Secure in the rigid legal 
construction of a certain cceteris paribus clause in the 
Founder s Statutes, the Cumberland and Westmore 
land men snugly succeeded to close fellowships. In 



ARCHBISHOP THOMSON. 327 

the present instance the old close system worked well. 
For the modest degree of third class attained in this 
case would hardly, in the present position of things, 
have secured him who gained it that University status 
which is the starting point for distinction. But in 
those days the fellows of Queen s rarely took more 
than thirds, and it was rather creditable if even so 
much was secured. But from such a one as " Thom 
son of Queen s" something better might be ex 
pected. 

It is certainly remarkable that Dr. Thomson s class 
was no better than a third. Nevertheless, a list 
might be drawn up of really learned and brilliant 
men, to whom the good sense of their friends has 
instinctively assigned a first class, and yet who have 
not obtained it. We believe that in nothing did the 
future prelate fail more signally than in his Logic 
papers. Now here is the noticeable point. It is by 
no means remarkable or uncommon that a young 
man of great talents and attainments should fail to 
satisfy the University Examiners in his Logic paper. 
He might be a very clever man, and moreover an 
exceedingly good reasoner, for all that. But it is very 
remarkable that the young bachelor of arts, instead 
of making a holocaust of Logic books and papers upon 
taking his degree, as is very commonly the case, should 
set to work and produce a book upon logic, which is one 
of the best books on the subject extant. This is the 
Archbishop s " Outlines of the Laws of Thought," 
of which the publishers have issued repeated 
editions. It is a book which, for the purposes 
of the schools, Oxford men hold in high value. I 
remember finding myself in a room full of under- 



328 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

graduates, some of whom were about to go through 
their Moderations, which various others had passed. 
Various experiences, cheerful or dismal, were related. 
" Look you here, you fellows," said one philosophi 
cal undergraduate, " I will tell you how to get a 
second in Mods. You can learn enough logic in a 
fortnight to be up to the logic work of a second in 
Mods. I began my logic just a fortnight before I 
went in, and took my second. I got up my Whateley 
all right ; and then I worked away through Thomson s 
Logic, nothing like it, and got my second." All 
listened with admiration, and rushed away to get the 
celebrated " Laws of Thought." 

He took a curacy at Guildford, and for four years 
was busily engaged in the practical work of the 
Church. Then his college recalled him to Oxford. 
There was, we are told, an absolute dearth of men 
who by their learning and character were suitable for 
the office of college tutor. Queen s was at a very low 
ebb in those days, a position which its new tutor did 
much to retrieve. His appointment as Bampton Lec 
turer made his name better known, and gave him a 
position of greater influence. He continued at Oxford 
until he married the daughter of our consul at Aleppo, 
with whose family the Earl of Carlisle has made the 
public acquainted by his " Diary in Turkish and Greek 
Waters." Then came his appointment to the living 
of All Souls, Langham Place, through Lord Carlisle, 
we believe. His fellowship was of course vacated by 
his marriage and his preferment. His connection, 
however, was not to be severed with Queen s College, 
but to be drawn closer in his year of grace, the extra 
year which the benevolent custom of many colleges 



ARCHBISHOP THOMSON. 329 

accords to fellows become Benedicts. He was a 
metropolitan rector for only a few months. His 
preaching was considered of a much more genial 
character than that of his predecessor, and was 
greatly liked. We are told that he became very 
popular among the many lawyers that attended the 
church at Langham Place, and these ultimately se 
cured his election to the Lincoln s Inn preachership. 
He had only held the living for a part of his year of 
grace when the Provost of Queen s College died, and 
to the vacant headship he was elected. By and 
by the office as preacher at Lincoln s Inn be 
came vacant. This has always been a coveted 
appointment. The preachership of Lincoln s Inn 
has often been the high road to a bishopric. It 
may be remembered that Reginald Heber was 
preacher of Lincoln s Inn when the See of Calcutta 
was offered to him, and his friend, Mr. Wynn, who 
offered him the appointment thought that he had 
better prospects in England that an English mitre 
was within his reach. One or two interesting notices 
respecting the preachership of Lincoln s Inn occur 
in Heber s " Correspondence." " I hope in my 
anxiety to obtain the preachership of Lincoln s Inn, 
the idea that I may be useful in such a pulpit, and 
with the sort of audience which I may expect to see 
round me there, has been no inconsiderable part. I 
feel by no means sanguine of success, as Maltby is, 
in all respects, a formidable opponent. ... I do 
not exactly know whether Maltby s Whiggery is for 
or against him. It may, and doubtless will, deprive 
him of several votes; but on the other hand, the 



330 



OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 



Whigs are numerous and mighty in the list of 
benchers now lying before me ; and a man of their 
own party has claims upon them, which I, who have 
no party character at all, can only oppose by private 
friendship and interest. I trust the decision will be 
made during this term, as even defeat is more endura 
ble than suspense." Heber gains the preachership, 
and afterwards gives his friends some description of 
it. " The chambers appropriated to the preacher 
here do not, indeed, lay claim to the character of a 
house ; they are, however, more convenient than I 
expected to find them, and, though small, will hold 
my wife as well as myself very comfortably during the 
Summer terms. The two others I shall come up as a 
bachelor. The situation in all other respects, of 
society, etc., is a most agreeable one. ... I am 
now at work on my sermons for next term. I fore 
see already that, if I mean to do any good, or to 
keep whatever credit I have got at Lincoln s Inn, I 
must take a great deal of pains, and bear in mind 
that I have a very fastidious audience." We imagine 
that such extracts embody pretty accurately the 
experience of any Lincoln s Inn preacher. The 
preacher at Lincoln s Inn ranks socially as one of the 
benchers. 

It was at first said that Dr. Thomson would hold 
both his London living and his Oxford headship. This 
he promptly disavowed, and remained at Oxford until 
Lincoln s Inn again gave him a metropolitan pulpit. 
With the undergraduates of his college, and some 
others, he was hardly popular ; nor is this to be won 
dered at. There was disagreeable work to be done, 
and it was done without shrinking. New reforms had 



AECHBISHOP THOMSON. 331 

to be carried out, and discipline, which had grown 
somewhat lax, to be effectually restored. The Uni 
versity made him select preacher. There is no better 
criterion of the estimation in which a man is held than 
the audience which gathers to hear him in the church 
of St. Mary s. With " the awful auditory of the Uni 
versity," as good Bishop Hall calls it in his autobio 
graphic sketch, the Provost of Queen s College always 
stood well. The gallery devoted to the undergraduates 
was generally crowded. Once or twice indeed he 
might preach to empty pews, but this would only be 
the result of accident. Such an accident might arise 
thus. Some one else might have been announced to 
preach, and at the last hour something might lead to 
this arrangement being altered, and the select preacher 
would take his place. Every clergyman who is M.A. 
knows that after the lapse of a certain time he may 
be called upon to preach before the University. A 
clergyman, of not much intellect or culture, who may 
have been accustomed for years to minister to the 
bucolic mind, may be called upon in his turn to preach 
before the University. If he is a sensible man, he will 
give some simple, earnest, practical sermon, which is 
never out of place for any description of audience. 
But if he has any spark of clerical ambition, that spark 
is inflamed. A discourse, magnificent, or meant to be 
magnificent, is produced; at the last moment the 
preacher becomes very nervous, or makes himself 
very ill : and in this way it comes to pass that a 
punctual undergraduate, who laudably makes it a 
point of conscience to attend every University sermon, 
may go to St. Mary s expecting to hear a preacher of 
no celebrity, and instead of that listens to a preacher 



332 DUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

of the greatest celebrity. I remember sucli a one 
telling his friends how much they had missed. He 
had gone expecting to hear a stranger, and the Provost 
of Queen s had given a sermon which had impressed 
him very greatly. 

On the translation of Dr. Baring to the see of 
Durham in 1861, Dr. Thomson was appointed to the 
vacant see of Gloucester and Bristol. He was only 
ten months in that diocese, but during that period he 
won golden opinions. Extreme men might be annoyed 
by the incident of his ordering the removal of a floral 
cross before he would proceed with the consecration 
of a church, but notwithstanding this, the new bishop 
stood aloof from all party. None more than the can 
didate for holy orders had reason to appreciate the 
thoughtfulness and kindness of the Bishop, who exer 
cised freely the truly episcopal virtue of hospitality, 
and gave them admirable hints and instruction for 
their preaching, which his own experience would make 
of great value. 

Of all the bishops on the bench, Dr. Thomson best 
merits the character of a literary man. He is not 
indeed a great historian, like the late Bishop of St. 
David s, or a great philosopher, like the late Bishop of 
Hereford. But he has read, thought, and written 
much on mental science, and has assiduously devoted 
himself to the cultivation of the literature of his sacred 
profession. We have already mentioned the " Laws 
of Thought," the " Bampton Lectures," and at greater 
length the " Lincoln s Inn Sermons." We would now 
speak of some other publications. In 1855 the first 
volume of the " Oxford Essays," shortly followed by a 
companion volume of " Cambridge Essays," made 



AECHBISHOP THOMSON. 333 

its appearance. In this design Dr. Thomson, then 
simply Fellow of Queen s, co-operated. The series 
continued for four years, and then ceased to appear. 
He only contributed to the first volume, and his con 
tribution is by far the shortest in the book. It is a 
paper on " Crime and its Excuses," which may still be 
read with interest and instruction. He especially 
deals with the question of unsoundness of mind in 
criminal cases. He makes a large use of " the fasci 
nating pages" of the " Journal of Psychological 
Medicine." Here is a striking sentence : " Before the 
throne of Zeus, says Hesiod, Dike weeps whenever the 
earthly judge decides wrongly. No wonder that in 
genious sculptors, on county halls, represent her with 
bound eyes she has gone weeping-blind." His argu 
ment goes to a length which would acquit a criminal 
where the intellect is in no wise or hardly impaired, 
but where the moral perceptions are wrecked. There 
would certainly be great difficulties in the application 
of such a principle, inasmuch as all great crimes, by 
their very nature, indicate a wreck of moral percep 
tion. There is throughout the paper a vein of charac 
teristic philanthropy. 

Dr. Thomson separated himself from these allies. 
In time he took up a position of decided antagonism 
to them. For the Oxford and Cambridge Essays 
eventually resulted in the Essays and Reviews. In 
numerable were the pamphlets and articles which that 
unhappy work elicited. After a brisk and incessant 
discharge of musketry, the heavy cannonade began. 
That is to say, that various heavy controversial works 
were published in reply. Amid that voluminous litera 
ture there was one volume, and one volume alone, of 



334 DUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

very conspicuous merit, which will probably attain a 
standard place in the library of theology. This was 
the "Aids to Faith," a series of essays by several 
writers under the editorship of the then Bishop of 
Gloucester and Bristol. The plan of the work is very 
admirable. We rarely find the weapons of con 
troversy, and they are very sparingly used. To this 
rule the editor himself is the chief exception. The 
plan adopted was that each essay should assume the 
form of an independent treatise, and thus, by a syn 
thetic, constructive method, a right view of a subject 
should be asserted, from whence the opposing errors 
might be clearly discovered and definitely answered. 
The editor s own essay gives in a simpler, clearer form, 
stripped of the critical apparatus of learned authorities, 
and perhaps with more definite expression, the sum 
and substance of the " Bampton Lectures." 

In one other literary and theological undertaking, 
the result of multifarious learning and the product of 
many minds, Dr. Thomson has taken a conspicuous 
share. All his articles possess an essential unity of 
treatment and design, and we should be glad to see 
them disengaged from the literary strata in which 
they are imbedded, and published in a separate form. 
It is to be regretted, in reference to " Smith s Dic 
tionary of the Bible," that the great learning and 
piety by which that magnificent work is characterized 
should be indefinitely marred by the inefficient editorial 
supervision which has admitted within its pages some 
papers of a very contradictory description to those of 
the great bulk of the volume. We suspect that the 
Archbishop of York has only a scanty sympathy with 
some of his coadjutors. 



ARCHBISHOP THOMSON. 335 

Dr. Thomson has been successful, with others, in 
effecting some great benefits for the University and 
country. He has done much for promoting that in 
telligent study of the Word of God which is the best 
foundation of knowledge and character. It had been 
the plan of the University of Oxford to refuse her 
honours to those who did not possess the required 
knowledge of the Bible, but not to reward any pro 
ficiency that might be displayed in the same way that 
she rewarded other kinds of excellence. This pro 
cedure was unquestionably founded on the unwilling 
ness of the University to make sacred subjects a 
matter of gain and advancement, but at the same 
time it was manifestly unjust that men who had given 
a careful instead of a hurried attention to these sub 
jects, should be the losers by this disposition of their 
time. This has been now amended, and the marks 
now obtained in this way count up in the general 
result of the examination. It has been the same 
with the middle class examinations. Dr. Thomson 
strongly urged, and in a measure brought about the 
present state of affairs, by which the Bible is made an 
integral subject of study, and obtains a substantial 
recognition in the distribution of honours in the in 
stitution of a theological school. 

On the death of the venerable Archbishop Sumner, 
Dr. Longley naturally " went up a step," and the 
archiepiscopal see of York became vacant. After a 
long delay, the appointment was conferred, contrary 
to all precedent, on the youngest bishop on the bench, 
on one who had not yet been a twelvemonth bishop. 
It is unnecessary now to discuss any of the contro 
versies which the appointment then evoked. The 



336 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

Archbishop has, however, assuredly vindicated the 
selection by arduous practical work. Like most 
literary bishops, he has ceased to write. There was a 
Pope who flung away the crutch after it had gained 
him the tiara. As we are only concerned with the 
literary aspect of the Archbishop s character, our re 
marks cease now that it has become merged in a 
public career. 

The Archbishop has given the public some of his 
episcopal experiences : 

" There is no doubt, in the regular education many 
of us have received, a great advantage; but this I 
know, and I do not exaggerate, and I speak from 
papers that have passed under my own eye, and I say 
again, that the papers in divinity which I have read 
from boys of sixteen, seventeen, and eighteen, would 
have done credit to any undergraduate of the Uni 
versity, who has spent his whole time in the most 
careful education; and I will go further now, with 
my present experience, and say they would have done 
credit to any candidate for holy orders, and I should 
not have been sorry to have kept by me some of the 
best of those papers, and produced them and said, 
Now you see what a schoolboy can do ; you who are 
going to teach others must go beyond that. 

We believe that bishops do not unfrequently feel 
this. We were one day talking to a young lady, who 
told us that a distinguished clergyman, now also one 
of our archbishops, had been examining her class at a 
good London boarding-school. " In the Bible, of 
course," I said; " and were you very frightened at the 
great man?" "A little; but the great man seemed 
rather frightened at us also; such a lot of girls 



ARCHBISHOP THOMSON. 337 

seemed something quite new to him." " I hope, 
young lady, that you and your friends pleased him." 
" Indeed we did," was the answer. " He told us that 
he was examining chaplain to a bishop, and would be 
very glad indeed if you men from Oxford and Cam 
bridge would give as good answers to his questions 
in Bible history as we school-girls did." 

He thus remarks in his last charge : " Seven 
years of labour are now completed ; who, in my posi 
tion, would be so hardy as to reckon on seven more ? 
Through your ready help, they have been fruitful 
years. To God on high be the thanks and the praise. 
But whilst we are allowed, for our encouragement, 
to take note of what has been done, we must not pause 
too long in the retrospect, for the time is short, and 
the ways before us long and steep. I will say, for 
myself, that during the past years I have endeavoured, 
as my strength would permit, and sometimes a little 
beyond it, to show myself servus servorum Dei, the 
servant of God s servants in doing the work of our 
Lord." 

The Archbishop is a man who fairly puts his mind 
to any great question of the day that may emerge, and 
argues out his case vigorously and acutely. He took 
a considerable part in the Public Worship Regulation 
Bill, and all heard with regret that he was suddenly 
called away from his Parliamentary duties to the bed 
side of a dying brother. 

Once in speaking on public education the Archbishop 
used some rather strong language. The Dissenters 
did not at all appreciate being called " bats and owls" 
from Birmingham. A prelate is an object of attrac 
tion or rather of perturbation to the Nonconformist 

VOL. I. z 



333 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

r 

mind, and . a Dissenting review regretted that this 
mode of speaking prevented the Archbishop from 
doing the services which, from his ability and position, 
he ought to render to the cause of truth. But a 
further procees of vilipending might be resorted to. 
" No one who has ever seen Dr. Thomson can suppose 
that he will ever sacrifice an iota of the consideration 
and authority which he is entitled to claim." The 
periodical also considered that he " lacks both origin 
ality and sympathy. He is a hard worker, but he is 
nothing more. . . He has an exalted idea of his 
episcopal authority. Those who have watched him 
closely have marked a perceptible change in his tone 
and deportment since his accession to his present 
high dignity. ... If we are to judge from his public 
addresses, we do not think the Bench has improved 
him. Perhaps there are not many men whom it 
really does improve. All their surroundings are 
against it." It is a true proverb, Fas est et ab hoste 
doceri, but at the same time there is a manifold spite- 
fulness in the criticism. 

So far from Dr. Thomson not rendering the services 
which he might to the cause of truth, there is no 
prelate who has rendered more distinctive service. 
He manfully entered the lists against the wide-sweep 
ing doctrines of Huxley and Darwin, pointing out the 
gaps in their chain of evidence, and the great sweep 
ing deductions which have been built up on uncertified 
theories. He has been covered with abuse in the 
Fortnightly and kindred periodicals ; but those who 
have followed the controversy with care, will probably 
think that his keen vigorous logic had the best of it. 
The Archbishop s lectures show how thoroughly and 



ARCHBISHOP THOMSON. 339 

earnestly he has followed the whole ramifications of 
the modern materialistic argument, and he is by no 
means devoid of a keen sympathy that enables him to 
realize the intellectual and moral standpoint of earnest 
unbelief. The unbelief that is ear nest is very different 
from the unbelief which has only the affectation of 
earnestness. Any man who is really troubled by the 
doubts and problems of modern days, and simply 
desires in a frank teachable spirit to search out the 
absolute truth, will find himself greatly helped by 
such papers as those which the Archbishop read before 
the Christian Evidence Society. In the labours of 
that active useful modest association, an organization 
which seeks to deal with the whole gamut of unbelief 
throughout the length and breadth of the land, the 
Archbishop has taken a leading part, so that he not 
only seeks to combat scepticism and secularism on their 
speculative side, but also with the instinct of his 
strong practical character, he directly combats the 
growing mischief which he deplores. He is the one 
prelate on the bench, before any other, who is 
familiar with all the intellectual phenomena of unbelief, 
and encounters them with honesty and sympathy and 
real intellectual force. 



z 2 



340 



CHAPTER VII. 

THE BISHOPS OF LONDON, WINCHESTER, AND DUKHAM. 

AT that point where London fades 
into the country and indicating 
pretty exactly the point of demar 
cation, is Fulham Palace, connected with some stirring 
epochs in English history and with various associa 
tions of great and good men. From far remote days 
it has been the seat old authors called it " the summer 
residence" of the Bishops of London. It better de 
served this last title once upon a time than it does 
now. In the Tudor days it may have been merely 
an old manorial dwelling, a veritable " moated grange," 
embossed in its elms, and fronted by the then 
" silver" Thames. In the hush of a calm day there 
might come almost indistinguishable murmurs from 
the old city in the distance, dimly echoing beyond the 
village which is now Charing Cross, and the meadows 
which are now Oxford Street and Piccadilly. But 
now suburban villas and busy thoroughfares and 
driving trade bind Fulham to London with continuous 
links. If the overgrown city thus continues to expand 
westward, Fulham Palace will indeed be rus in tirbe 
a country domain amid a wilderness of brick houses. 
The pleasant illusion of the old country days is, in 



BISHOPS OF LONDON, WINCHESTER, AND DUEHAM. 341 

many respects, still retained. Walking the Bishop s 
Walk or the Bishop s Avenue, or musing amid the 
lawns and gardens, there is such quiet and repose that 
we might imagine that the long arms of London had 
not reached Fulham, and that things remained even 
as they were in " the spacious times of great Eliza 
beth." 

The Palace and grounds are situated near the old 
parish church of Fulham, very near also to the wooden 
bridge. If you go directly up the lane, you will come 
to the large gates adorned with the armorial bearings 
of the See, fronting the avenue. Or you may turn 
aside to the left, and passing along a shady walk 
between the moat and the river, so reach the porter s 
lodge. Near the lodge is a row of limes of great age, 
which were very probably planted by Bishop Compton 
soon after the Revolution of 1688, which he had taken 
so active a part in bringing about. It was then the 
fashion to plant long avenues of limes according to 
the Dutch mode which William III. introduced into 
England, and with which Londoners are so familiar 
from the examples at Hampton Court. Several of the 
bishops have lavished great pains and great expendi 
ture on the security and adornment of their little 
territory. Thus they raised the embankment against 
the Winter rains, and beautified it with extensive 
shrubberies. The land consists, an old topographical 
writer tells us, " of about thirty-seven acres, including 
the garden and the large field called the Warren, and 
the whole is surrounded by a moat, over which there 
are two bridges." The present edifice is in various 
respects comparatively modern. About a century and 
a half ago, Bishop Robinson sent in a petition to 



342 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

the Archbishop of Canterbury, setting forth that his 
palace was grown very old and decayed ; that part of 
the building was absolutely ruinous, and the whole 
too large for the revenues of the bishopric. Some 
commissioners were accordingly appointed to examine 
the premises, among whom were the illustrious Sir 
Christopher Wren and Sir John Vanbrugh. The com 
missioners reported that after a considerable amount 
of demolition there would remain fifty or sixty rooms 
besides the chapel and hall. A license was accordingly 
obtained, and the other buildings pulled down. The 
principal entrance into the great quadrangle is on the 
west side, through an arched gateway. The building 
is of brick, and consists of two courts. As we enter 
the old quadrangle, we see a kind of resemblance, only 
something homelier, to a smaller college of Oxford or 
Cambridge. It was built by Bishop Fitzjames in the 
reign of Henry .VII., as appears by the bishop s arms 
on a stone over a door, leading from the offices in the 
south wing. The palace is, however, of a much further 
antiquity than this date ; although in the course of 
ages the building must several times have perished 
and been renewed. In the year 1141, during the war 
between King Stephen and the Empress Maud, 
Geoffrey de Mandeville, the King s general, came to 
Fulham, and seized Robert de Sigillo, Bishop of 
London, then " lodging in his own manor place." 
An old writer says that Henry III. was often at this 
palace. In the early part of the fourteenth century 
Bishop Baldock was Bishop of London ; and, accord 
ing to the custom of those days, also held the high 
office of Chancellor. From old official documents we 
learn that this bishop discharged many of his public 



BISHOPS OE LONDON, WINCHESTER, AND DURHAM. 343 

acts at Fulham. The last bishop who thus held a 
high state office was Juxon, Bishop of London. He 
was appointed Lord Treasurer, apparently much 
against his own wishes, through the overweening 
interest of Laud, his predecessor in the See, and then 
both Archbishop and virtual Premier. Lord Claren 
don, in his " History," tells, us how greatly this 
alienated from the King the minds of that class from 
whom the holder of such high office is generally selected, 
and formed one of the preludes that led to the civil 
war. He was himself a humble, unambitious man, 
and we have no doubt happy enough when the time 
came to lay down the weight of his secular office. 
His name will always be associated in history with his 
unfortunate master, Charles I., with whom he stood 
on the scaffold, on the sad morning of the execution, 
when we trust that the words then spoken were ful 
filled, that he passed " from a corruptible to an incor 
ruptible crown." 

Several of the bishops have, so to speak, left their 
personal impress on the present structure. Osbal- 
deston bequeathed a thousand pounds for repairs. 
Part of this money was devoted by his successor to 
the enlarging and embellishing of the chapel on the 
north side of the inner court. A new and beautiful 
chapel was erected in the time of Bishop Tait, in great 
measure through contributions made by clergy or 
dained in the diocese. There is some very fair painted 
glass at Fulham, and on the different windows are the 
various coats of arms of different prelates ; the win 
dows also contain other and sacred subjects. The 
" Hall," a noble room, is especially associated with 
Bishop Sherlockj whose arms are over the chimney- 



344 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

piece. In one of the rooms is placed a bust of "Wil 
liam Pitt. The great statesman was a near relative 
of the Bishop of London, having a villa at Putney on 
the other side of the Thames. Fulham Palace, from 
its vicinity to London, must often have been the scene 
of gatherings of illustrious men. In the Memoirs of 
Hannah More we see that the good lady was often a 
guest at Fulham while Dr. Porteous was Bishop. She 
wrote a little poem on an incident which occurred at 
Fulham. There used to be a great wooden chair in 
the palace, and the tradition ran, that on this chair 
Bishop Bonner used to sit when passing sentence on 
the heretics. Bouner is reputed to have belaboured 
the heads and ears of the obstinate Protestants brought 
before him. His chair was removed into the shrub 
bery, and good Hannah More wrote her little poem 
about it. There were a great many traditions about 
Bonner. I believe it is true that he used to carry 
heretics off to Fulham and turn them to profitable ac 
count by making them work on the grounds. I have 
only heard of one tradition which is at all to Bonner s 
credit. It is said that he afforded an asylum to John 
Byrde, one of the deprived Protestant bishops. " Upon 
his coming," says old Wood, " he brought his present 
with him, a dish of apples and a bottle of wine." I 
should like to see this story confirmed ; Byrde, we are 
told, was the last provincial of the Carmelites, and 
this may have had something to do with it. 

Hannah More s friend, Bishop Porteous, is the first 
bishop, so far as I am aware, who has left on record an 
account of the enormous spiritual destitution that 
prevailed in his diocese. Nearly a hundred years 
before, Addison had drawn attention to the same thing 



BISHOPS OP LONDON, WINCHESTER, AND DURHAM. 345 

in the Spectator. In one of the delightful Sir Roger 
de Coverley papers, the good old knight takes the 
water, and looking at London from what has been 
called the noblest of London streets, remarked how 
fifty more churches would mend the prospect. This 
allusion is probably connected with a parliamentary 
measure in the reign of Queen Anne, by which a con 
siderable sum was voted in aid of fifty new churches. 
I have close by me the Bishop s " Lectures on St. 
Matthew." He is speaking of the centurion, " who 
loveth our nation and hath built us a synagogue," and 
thereon subjoins a note. " There is a most dreadful 
want of this nature in the western part of this great 
metropolis. From St. Martin-in-the-Fields to Mary- 
lebone Church, inclusive, a space containing about 
two hundred thousand souls, there are only five parish 
churches St. Martin s, St. Anne s, Soho, St. James s, 
St. George s Hanover Square, and the very small church 
of Marylebone. There are, it is true, a few chapels in 
terspersed in this space ; but what they can contain is 
a mere trifle, compared with the whole number of in 
habitants in those parts, and the lowest classes are 
almost entirely excluded from them. The only mea 
sure that can be of any essential service, is the erec 
tion of several spacious parish churches, capable of 
receiving very large congregations, and affording de 
cent accommodation for the lower and inferior, as well 
as the higher order of the people." I do not know if 
Bishop Porteous did much towards remedying the 
evil which he deplored. I believe he left behind him 
a very large fortune two or three hundred thousand 
pounds which in itself almost forbids the hope that he 
did much for the wants of his diocese. Much, however, 



346 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

has been done since his time, and much yet remains 
to do. The two last Bishops and the present Bishop 
of London have been indefatigable in the same cause. 
I regret that Thackeray has attacked Porteous 
in his " Lectures on the Four Georges," for flattery 
to George III. ; unjustly, inasmuch as Dr. Porteous 
only expressed the feeling which pervaded the whole 
nation about the good king. 

There is an excellent library at Fulham, bequeathed 
by Bishop Porteous. It is the heirloom of the See, 
handed down to bishop after bishop. There were 
also " manuscript treasures" preserved, hardly, we 
imagine, of the same extent and importance as those 
at Lambeth, but still of much interest. Part of them 
relate to the old jurisdiction which the Bishops of 
London used to exercise in spiritual matters over the 
colonies. This jurisdiction was of an informal and 
almost inoperative character, and very scantily sufficed 
to foster, control, or encourage the Episcopalians of the 
American " plantations." In 1685 the then bishop of 
London sent out one Dr. Blair as his commissary to 
Virginia, who continued in that position for more than 
half a century. Many interesting letters are preserved 
at Fulham, giving an account of the state of religion 
in the early history of America. How the Bishops of 
London came to exercise this jurisdiction is quite un 
certain. In a legal point of view, no form of religion 
was established in America. It most probably origi 
nated in the hearty concurrence of the Bishops of 
London in the plans formed by the Virginia company 
for the promotion of religion among the settlers. 
Thus their first clergy were nominated from Fulham 
or London House, and thus there grew up a some- 



BISHOPS OF LONDON, WINCHESTER, AND DUKHAM. 347 

what indefinite notion that these American clergymen 
belonged to the diocese of London. In the Fulham 
manuscript, as quoted by Bishop Wilberforce in his 
" History of the American Church," we find Bishop 
Compton writing thus : " As the care of your churches, 
with the rest of the plantations, lies upon me as your 
diocesan, so, to discharge that trust, I shall omit no 
occasions of promoting their good and interest." 
When Dr. Gibson became bishop, he suspected that 
this notion was insubstantial. He was told that an 
order in council, in the reign of Charles II, made the 
colonies a part of the See of London. Upon investi 
gation, however, no such order in council was dis 
coverable. Bishop Gibson consequently declined to 
exercise any jurisdiction. Under these circumstances, 
a special commission was issued by the crown, con 
ferring this authority upon him. The good bishop 
resolved faithfully to exercise the pastoral charge over 
his distant people. 

It seems, however, that any official connexion be 
tween Fulham and the American States came to an 
end long before the epoch of the Revolution. Yet we 
find constant evidence of the Bishops of London taking 
the most earnest interest in the spiritual condition of 
America, and vehemently urging lipon the government 
of the day the necessity of taking measures to provide 
for the religious welfare of the people. The Bishop of 
London, we should here say, includes in his diocese 
all the clergy labouring on the continent of Europe. 

In an American writer we find a notice of a visit in 
former days to Fulham Palace : " When we returned 
from the chapel," says Jacob Bailey,* " we were con- 

* Quoted from " Life of Bishop Boss of Massachusetts." New York, 
1859. 



348 DUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

ducted into a vast large hall, entirely composed of the 
finest marble. It was arched overhead, and was at 
least twenty feet high. All the walls, as well as the 
grand canopy, were covered with the most striking 
figures, so that this spacious apartment might be truly 
said to be fine without hangings, and beautiful with 
out paint. In the middle stood a long table covered 
with silver dishes. We sat down with his lordship of 
Rochester, the Bishop of London s lady, and several 
others, in all twenty-one. We had the servants to 
attend us, and were served with twenty-four different 
dishes, dressed in such an elegant manner that many 
of us could scarce eat a mouthful. The drinking 
vessels were either of glass or solid gold." We imagine 
that there is a little transatlantic exaggeration in this 
sketch of such unapostolic display. The days, we 
trust, are for ever passed away, when a display of 
worldly grandeur and wealth were considered indis 
pensable to the character of a Christian bishop. 

We have thought it worth while to make these notes 
on the metropolitan Episcopal palace. When we 
have mentioned the time-honoured connnection with 
America, the peculiar tie that connects the Bishop of 
London with Anglican clergy on the Continent, and 
the great effort made to christianize that vast me 
tropolis, compared with which every other metropolis 
is only a provincial city, we have summarised the 
great duties and interests that belong to the See of 
London. The Bishop of London has a political and 
ecclesiastical importance only second to that of the 
holder of the See of Canterbury. However quiet and 
retiring, such a man has greatness forced upon him, 
his acts deal with the largest interests ; his words have 



BISHOPS OF LONDON, WINCHESTER, AND DURHAM. 349 

a judicial weight. Dr. Jackson is not a son of Boa 
nerges ; he has not the oratorical or statesmanlike 
powers of Blomfield, or the instigated force in his 
successor Dr. Tait; he seems to rest on the bene vixit 
qui bene latuit theory ; but the holder of such a see is 
necessarily a power in Church and State. 

On two occasions only have I been privileged to 
hear the Bishop of London. It was when he ruled 
the diocese of Lincoln. The two occasions combined, 
gave a very fair idea of the calibre of the man. On 
one occasion he was preaching before the University 
of Oxford ; on the other occasion, he was addressing 
some young children who had just been confirmed in a 
remote village in Nottingham. The Bishop exactly 
and evenly filled his place on each occasion. The first 
address was thoughtful and learned ; the second was 
simple and practical. You could hardly have imagined 
that the erudite academic divine could so have under 
stood and adapted himself to the hearts of youthful 
villagers ; you would hardly have thought that one 
who with such sweet persuasiveness addressed these 
villagers, could have so impressed " the awful auditory 
of the University." 

I have heard that Dr. Jackson s elevation was quite 
accidental, if we may with propriety apply the term 
" accidental" to such circumstances. The living of 
St. James s, Piccadilly, which has so often proved the 
avenue to a bishopric, fell vacant ; and it was offered 
by the then Bishop of London to a clergyman who 
esteemed himself too old for the appointment. But 
he advised the Bishop to step round to a neighbouring 
church to hear the Rev. John Jackson, and so pleased 
was the Bishop with the preaching and demeanour of 



350 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

the strange clergyman, that he speedily gave him the 
living which led to the bishopric. The Bishop keeps 
up the great state of Fulham in the olcl seignorial 
fashion. He does not often appear in public life, but 
he is noted for the firmness, wisdom, and moderation 
of his rule. 

The Bishop is not to be found among those who take 
a part in great movements, who place themselves at 
the head of vast organizations, and who interest them 
selves in the political and philosophical discussions of 
the day. But he has his own earnest quiet say on the 
matters that come nearest to the very springs and 
sources of Christian life and character. St. James s 
Church, Piccadilly, is the parish church of the Bishop 
of London, and under the auspices of its kindly in 
cumbent, immense congregations have been drawn to 
listen to such teachings as those of Dr. Liddon and 
Dr. Jackson. There is perhaps no more useful and 
popular books than those which contain Dr. Jackson s 
sermons on Repentance and Little Sins, dealing with 
those infirmities of character, those vexities of the re 
ligious life, on which all earnest men have to ponder 
solemnly and often, and where they gladly welcome 
any real help to aid them in their progress over per 
plexed and thorny ground. What gives the main in 
terest to this enormous diocese is the reflection that 
London is the great focus, the seething centre of reli 
gious thought and energy. It is very important that 
we should have an accurate knowledge of what is 
really done in the diocese of London. Several attempts 
have been made to guage certain religious work done 
in London, both on the orthodox and on the unortho 
dox side. But a degree of attention has been given 



BISHOPS OF LONDON, WINCHESTER, AND DURHAM. 351 

to the unorthodox side entirely disproportioned to the 
real measure of its importance. We may just take some 
examples of this. The Unitarians are the most intel 
lectual of Dissenters, and the Church may well grudge 
them such ministers as Mr. Martineau and Mr. Bland. 
Their theology is always coloured by the current 
philosophy of the day. Many persons embrace Uni- 
tarianism who are, in fact, Deists, or belong to that 
very narrow debateable tract between Deism and 
Atheism, but who still wish, from inferior secondary 
motives, to profess to maintain some form of creed. 
On the other hand, there are many who are only 
divided from orthodoxy by the same line as Arius of 
old. It can hardly, however, be said of modern Uni 
tarians that they possess a creed; and they always 
speak and write of the orthodox as a body separate 
from themselves. They have been utterly unable to 
arouse in London the same enthusiasm that the 
Arians once did in Alexandria. They have not got 
many chapels in London, and their influence is a 
declining influence all over the country. The Quakers 
are decidedly a moribund body. Their numbers in 
London are perceptibly thinning. In the course of the 
last century and a half they have . showed a progres 
sive decline, both in this country and in America. 
One of their leaders has frankly admitted that if other 
Churches had declined as we have done, Christianity 
must have died out. And when Christianity has been 
supposed to die out, and a teaching of human know 
ledge has been substituted, one may see a few sporadic 
audiences drawn together to listen to a Gradgrind 
gospel of facts and figures. 

London is a world in itself, and has a collection 



352 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

of all the Churches and all the sects. Some of them 
are noticed in the press in a way altogether dispro- 
portioned to their importance. If we may judge by 
advertisements, they absorb the parish, but as a 
rule the Churches do not advertise. The results 
shown by these eccentric bodies are so trifling and 
insignificant that they are not worthy of any formal 
enumeration. 

There are minor sects and extreme secularists, 
" advanced religionists" and " schools of thought," 
as I believe the slang goes, which have perhaps their 
solitary chapel, a chapel not half filled, or filled 
with a very low order of persons, which have no 
organization for the promotion of good works, and 
where there is generally a tariff of prices for admis 
sion, extending from twopence to half-a-crown, with 
a reduction if tickets are taken by the course or by 
the year. It is curious to observe how the penny 
papers will dwell on all those abnormal develop 
ments of " religionism" as something of great mo 
ment, and even class the most devout and orthodox 
Dissenters under the title of Unorthodox London, as 
if to represent a depth and variety of revolt against 
the received doctrines of religion which, as a matter 
of fact, does not really exist, while of that vast con 
stant quantity, the working of the Church, hardly any 
account is given none that represents the full, deep, 
humble, devout life of those who have grown up or 
numbered themselves in the faithful ranks of the 
Church. There has been more mention made in the 
newspapers of Mr. Yoysey s queer conventicle than 
of a hundred parish churches, each with its thousand of 
worshippers and carefully-tested organization. Quiet, 



BISHOPS OP LONDON, WINCHESTER, AND DURHAM. 353 

healthy, vigorous life is generally ignored by the 
journal whose professed work it is to notice what is 
abnormal or diseased. We do not say, using that 
rough-and-ready money taste, which, after all, is not 
an unsafe one, that the Church in London, as evi 
denced by the returns of Hospital Sunday, does all 
that it ought to do, does anything like that which is 
done by Presbyterian congregations in Scotland, or 
Calvinistic Methodist congregations in Wales, but it 
did by far the larger part of what was done. All this 
vast reputable body of Episcopalians acknowledges 
the Bishop of London as its titular head. It is thus 
that he is as much removed from any individual 
Churchman as if he were Patriarch of Constantinople, 
but still the occasion may arise for any one when he 
is to be seen, to be heard, and to be talked to, and 
on such occasions a Churchman feels that there is 
something real and valuable in Episcopacy. 

It is very interesting to glance at a farewell sermon 
which Bishop Jackson delivered in Lincoln Cathedral 
when he was leaving his old diocese for the diocese 
of London : " It is much more than fifteen years 
since I first took my seat in this cathedral and preached 
from its pulpit. It would not be humility, but ingra 
titude, to look back over this period without thank 
fulness albeit a very humbling thankfulness ; for 
there is the strong contrast which the Apostle so 
often draws between man s feebleness and God s work. 
On the one hand there rises only too readily to 
memory a long array of imperfections, errors, short 
comings, of duties neglected or only half performed, of 
opportunities lost, of faults of temper, of misapprehen 
sions and hasty judgments, of timid shrinkings from 

VOL. I. A A 



354 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

what was right, and a dwarfed and unstable standard of 
ministerial obligation and labour for all which I en 
treat you, brethren, to ask pardon for me when we 
kneel together. On the other hand, the retrospect 
shows progress and life in the Church and its work 
for which we may well thank God. Twenty-four new 
churches and seven mission-houses built, sixty-one 
churches rebuilt, and more than two hundred restored, 
at a cost of above four hundred thousand pounds, 
bear testimony to no small amount of liberality and 
self-denial ; while the greater care and reverence with 
which Divine worship is conducted, witnesses, while 
it assists, the growth of more devout habits. Single 
services on the Lord s Day, once so common, have 
become almost confined to certain benefices having 
two churches the very few exceptions having the 
excuse, if not the justification, of very small popula 
tions, of illness, or old age. The frequency of the 
administration of the Holy Communion has greatly 
increased, although in too many parishes still below the 
duty of the pastor and the needs of his people. 
Schools have multiplied in number and improved in 
efficiency ; a stimulus and aid is afforded by a system 
of voluntary but able inspection ; and an excellent 
Training Institution provides for a supply of well- 
taught and well-principled mistresses. The secondary 
causes of this progress are not far to seek. There 
was the long and patient tillage of my predecessor, 
whose wise and gentle administration continued to 
bear fruit long after he had been called to his rest and 
reward. There was the gradual but certain opera 
tion of the statutes which his prudence assisted to 
frame, under which the evils of non-residence and 



BISHOPS OP LONDON, WINCHESTER, AND DURHAM. 355 

plurality have all but disappeared. There has been 
the remarkable development in our couutry of a taste 
for music and architecture which has found suitable 
scope for its exercise in the fabrics of our churches 
and the worship of the congregation. There has been 
the onward march of a great theological movement, 
which, whatever conflictsit may have occasioned, and 
whatever evils may have accompanied it, has broken 
up the slumbers of uninterested routine, and has made 
multitudes think and act who might otherwise have 
been content to do nothing for themselves and others. 
And without instituting any boastful comparison with 
our predecessors, who have often left us examples of 
simple habits, quiet faith, and high-toned piety which 
might be profitably followed in these days of ceaseless 
questioning, of display and unrest, there has been a 
wider and deeper sense of ministerial responsibility 
issuing in a healthy growth of ministerial activity. 
And above all, employing or overruling all these 
causes and influences, there has been the living Spirit 
of God blessing man s efforts far beyond his deserts, 
and breathing into His Church a life and power which 
it owes only to Him. 

" This is not the place to speak of closely-knit 
family ties which must hereafter be stretched by dis 
tance, nor of the pain of leaving scenes endeared by 
years of tranquil happiness, and spots hallowed by 
lasting though hopeful sorrows. But many other 
bonds of union have been woven by the work and 
companionship of above fifteen years, which need not, 
I trust, be severed, but must needs be weakened now : 
friendships cemented not by respect merely and 
esteem, but by affection and brotherly love. A 

AA 2 



356 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

bishop s office, brethren, at least in these our days, 
must ever be an office of anxiety and difficulty ; but 
never surely did any one on whom this burden has 
been laid, find it so lightened as I have, by kindness, 
patience, forbearance, ready sympathy, and active, 
self-denying co-operation. 

" There is enough before me, brethren, to make me 
earnestly desire your prayers in my behalf. Labours, 
more heavy and various than in other dioceses pro 
bably, to be undertaken in advancing years and with 
failing strength ; the spiritual oversight of nearly two 
millions of souls ; the Church of the metropolis, in 
which must necessarily be exhibited on the largest 
scale all the good and the evil which is found 
elsewhere the manifold forms of ill with the warfare 
of the gospel against them ; the various schools of 
thought and sections within the Church, pushed 
more often to their extremes; and without, indiffe 
rence, scepticism, and hostile sects, armed with the 
keenest weapons of educated intellect ; a position 
exceptionally exposed to observation, in which errors 
must be most mischievous, misapprehensions most 
frequent, and incapacity most certain to be detected ; 
all this constitutes a charge from which anyone 
might be pardoned from shrinking, and which, if 
ever charge did, requires the daily guidance and the 
grace of God. 

"Nor, indeed, am I sure that it would be right to 
ask your prayers, were such a post self sought, or 
assumed under the inducement of the social advan 
tages which it possesses, or may be supposed to 
possess. To seek responsibilities uncalled is very 
near the sin of tempting God. But if it be allowable 



BISBOPS OF LONDON, WINCHESTER, AND DURHA.M. 357 

to think that a clergyman, like a soldier unless 
some physical or other serious obstacle interpose 
is to go where he appears to be sent, notwithstanding 
that the post is difficult or rather, perhaps, becauso 
it is difficult then let me earnestly ask your prayers, 
brethren, as we take our farewell, first, that if I 
have mistaken God s will, He will in His mercy par 
don me, and not permit my involuntary error to be 
hurtful to the Church or to myself; and then, that 
in the untried duties which lie before me, He will 
never leave me to myself, but will hold me by the 
hand, and guide me with that pure and gentle wisdom 
which cometh from above." 

Such a passage as this appears to us to be truly 
valuable, so to speak, it enables us to see the Bishop s 
inner mind, it gives us a clear rapid view of Church 
progress in one of the largest of English dioceses, 
it shows the character and principles of action of 
one of the chief rulers of the Church. Bishop Jack 
son is not a man who, to use an expression which 
might be applied to some other bishops, wears his 
heart upon his sleeve, and Londoners who have read 
this touching farewell sermon gain a touching insight 
into the character of the Bishop of London. 

Not the least remarkable features 
BISHOP HAROLD . 

BROWNE * "* 6 diocese of Winchester are that 
it owns such a magnificent cathe 
dral, and such a magnificent episcopal abode as 
that of Farnharn Castle. Winchester, one of the 
great historical cities of England, and for some space 
of time its metropolis, has a cathedral that might 
well rejoice the heart of its bishop. From more than 



358 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

one point seven chantries and chapels are visible, and 
seven great prelates repose therein. Horace Walpole 
has mused on this episcopal memento mori " How 
much power and ambition under half a dozen stones ! 
I own I grow to look on tombs as lasting mansions, 
instead of observing them for curious pieces of archi 
tecture." The first of the chantry chapels is that of 
Bishop Edingdon, who has recorded the grateful 
experience of many opulent prelates, and though 
" Canterbury be the higher rank, yet Winchester has 
the deeper manger." 

From the cathedral to the episcopal palace, to 
which Bishop Browne has just succeeded, is a natural 
transition. There are now abundant popular asso 
ciations with Farnham, from its vicinity to Aldershot, 
and the abundant hop plantations of jocund memory. 
But the most numerous and the highest class of asso 
ciations cling to the ancient episcopal castle. The 
terraced lawn, shadowed by its cedars, in front of the 
ancient keep, looks far -and wide on a noble English 
landscape, with valleys and wooded hills, the river 
Wey wandering through its midst, and the old town 
of Farnham climbing its opposing banks. The Park 
is one of the most stately and beautiful in England. 
Formerly there was a Great Park, as well as the New 
or Little Park. The former has been disforested 
since the days of the second Charles, and parcelled 
off into farms and homesteads ; but the so-called 
Little Park has nearly three hundred acres, and is 
nearly three miles in circumference. On the north 
east side is a noble avenue of elms, extending three- 
quarters of a mile. The present modern arrange 
ment is greatly due to Bishop Brownlow North, 



BISHOPS OP LONDON, WINCHESTER, AND DURHAM. 359 

whose fine statue by Chantrey is the greatest orna 
ment of that renowned Lady Chapel in Winchester 
Cathedral, which was the scene of the ominous nup 
tials of Philip of Spain and Mary of England. The 
shattered keep was apparently hexagonal, and being 
now entirely unroofed the area has been laid out as a 
flower-garden, in which a veritable tea-tree flourishes 
in the open air. In some parts the keep is covered 
with luxuriant ivy, and there are indications of 
some dungeons, to which we descend by very old 
steps. The servants hall, with its circular pillars, is 
part of the ancient structure. The house itself is 
modernized, of red brick. The library is a long, low, 
narrow room. The chapel is small, and which is 
hardly an ecclesiastical adornment has festoons of 
fruit and flowers carved by Gibbons. The outer walls 
of the castle used to be fortified with square bastions, 
which still partly remain, and were surrounded by a 
wide and deep moat, which is now a path for cattle, 
and where fine oaks and beech-trees flourish. 

The episcopal castle has always been a favourite 
with English royalty. We have even heard a rumour 
that there was once an intention to take measures to 
convert it into one of the abodes of Queen Victoria. 
When another great Queen once visited it, Queen 
Elizabeth, she met the Duke of Norfolk at the dinner 
board just before Babington s conspiracy, and while 
plotting his own marriage with Mary Queen of Scots. 
The Queen pleasantly but ominously advised him to 
be careful on what pillow he laid his head, a speech 
prophetic of the block. This place was the delight 
of James the First. It has its own eventful history 
in the time of the civil wars. It was taken and re- 



360 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

taken, and became the head-quarters of four thousand 
troops. Hither came King Charles on his last melan 
choly journey from Hurst Castle to London, and was 
received with great humanity. But Farnham has 
its recollections of still more illustrious visitants. 
Hither came holy Ken to console the last moments 
of the illustrious and munificent Bishop Morton, who 
after the Restoration built up the waste places which 
Puritanism had destroyed. Once a bishop, while 
addressing candidates for orders, quoted some lines 
of this illustrious inmate of the Castle, Bishop Ken 
lines which admirably describe the offices both of 
bishop and priest : 

" A father s kindness, a shepherd s care, 
A leader s courage, which the cross can bear ; 
A ruler s awe, a watchman s wakeful eye, 
A pilot s skill the helm in storms to ply. 
A father s patience and a labourer s toil, 
A guide s dexterity to disembroil ; 
A prophet s inspiration from above, 
A teacher s knowledge, and a Saviour s love." 

The following description of Farnham Palace refers 
to the days of the long Episcopate of Bishop Sumner : 

" Some five and twenty miles from the cathedral 
city stands the Bishop s Palace, a building, in all its 
features, still bringing back to remembrance its 
Norman origin, in the depth and massiveness of its 
towers, walls, and windows ; although the hand of 
successive generations has been busy with its front 
and gables, its rooms and chimneys. Placed upon a 
swelling eminence, it looks abroad upon a park, studded 
with giant trees of a remote date, whose forked heads 
and hollowed trunks, together with long and fantastic 
arms, bared at the end and twisted, give truthful evi- 



BISHOPS OF LONDON, WINCHESTER, AND DURHAM. 361 

deuce that they saw the day when the bishop trod 
upon the neck of princes; and have survived until 
princes tread with impunity upon the neck of bishops 
.... This is the Saturday Evening, the Ordination 
is the next day. The small town, with its picturesque 
church, lies in a hollow, poorly planted out, and poorly 
protruding itself upon the Episcopal mansion ; while 
the broad battlemented tower of the church will be 
seen as though it had a right to frown its mediseval 
frown upon the lawn sleeves and simple college cap of 
an Anglican bishop. . . . The grim old Norman 
tower frowns even more gloomily on the Sunday 
morning, although the peal of bells rings merrily, and 
swings a Sabbath music over the valleys to the distant 
world, where the shepherd listens to its bidding and 
wonders why on Sundays the stillness of that soli 
tude should seem more still ; or when broken by the 
continuous vibrations of these soft bells, why it should 
seem to partake more of heaven than earth. The 
parishioners are walking through the avenues of yews 
into the western porch; while the Bishop, his two 
chaplains, his lady and family, his household, and 
twenty-three candidates for ordin.ation, are seating 
themselves in that same private chapel which, attached 
to the palace, has witnessed the daily clippings of the 
Prayer-Book. . . . The chapel is plain in its furniture, 
with an untidy air in the hassocks, curtains, and 
prayer book ; a seraphine stands in a convenient 
place, no doubt in this instance as directed by the 
ordinary. The spirit of the Church yields to the 
savour of the Conventicle, and the unhappy Oxonian 
goes home to his flock with a thorn rankling in his 
bosom." This extract is taken from a now forgotten 



362 OUR BISHOPS AND DEAXS. 

work, Speculum EcclesioB, and not unfairly represents 
the view which would naturally be taken under similar 
circumstances by many minds. It must be stated, 
however, that the writer speaks of his discontented 
Oxonian going over to Rome. 

It so happened that just about the time that Dr. 
Browne was exchanging Ely for Winchester, a great 
occasion arose in the diocese ; there was a great cele 
bration in the Cathedral that very fitly closed the 
chapter of his Ely episcopate. This was the twelve 
hundreth anniversary of the foundation of a monastery 
at Ely by Saint Etheldreda. The occasion was a 
memorable one, of a most suggestive character; and 
its full import was admirably worked out by the dis 
tinguished men who took part in the services. The 
accomplished and learned Dean made an address redo 
lent of the scholarship and historical genius for which 
he is renowned, and reached some of the highest tones 
of sacred eloquence. The Bishop of Peterborough 
poured forth one of those resistless tides of eloquence 
which make his oratory a marvel and a delight. Canon 
Kingsley, as was his wont, was pathetic, earnest, and 
picturesque. But no sermon showed more nobleness 
and intellectual power than the Bishop s, the very last 
sermon which he preached in Ely Cathedral, as Bishop 
of Ely. As an historical argument and discussion it 
might have adorned the best days of any of our best 
periodicals. But at such a time the Bishop s autobio 
graphical references must have been of the deepest 
interest to his auditory. On one occasion the Bishop 
alluded to a kind of work which, it is hardly too much 
to say, he has made peculiarly his own, which is in 
strict accord with the best spirit of our modern days, 



BISHOPS OF LONDON, WINCHESTER, AND DURHAM. 363 

and which the Church of England must maintain if 
she would maintain her existence as a Church. " Above 
all, I have had it at heart to promote greater unity, 
and to break down that isolation, that wall of separa 
tion, which divides one clergyman from another ; and 
the clergy in general from the laity of the Church." 
The Bishop also alluded to his efforts in establishing 
Deaconesses in his diocese, one of the most interest 
ing and important of our modern Church movements ; 
and the employment of Mission women. Every kind 
of affection and friendship was, on this occasion, 
manifested towards the departing Bishop. " You have 
been so kind," he said, " as to remember what little 
I have been able to do for the interests of the Church 
in this diocese ; but what I have most in mind are my 
own shortcomings and failures. I feel that a man of 
more power, of more physical and mental strength, 
would have done a vast deal more than I have been 
able to effect." 

The Bishop of Winchester s great work is that 
on the Articles. The ninth edition (1871) of 
this bulky work is now before us. It may be said to 
have superseded every other, and even to have thrown 
such a work as Key s into undeserved neglect. This 
is, in many respects, the most thoughtful and con 
siderable work in theology that has been produced by 
any bishop of the Victorian bench, and one on which 
we should chiefly rely for the credit of pure divinity 
in England. The work is perhaps chiefly used as a 
text book for clergymen, but it also deserves a place 
among those books which no gentleman s library 
ought to be without ; books which, we are afraid, are 
as a general rule the most neglected of all. Any his- 



364 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

torical student might read with interest and profit the 
section on the " History," which is prefixed to the 
discussion of each article. The work is dedicated to 
Bishop Thirlwall, "in affectionate gratitude for un 
sought and unexpected kindness, and with deep respect 
for profound intellect and high Christian integrity." 
The general reader will hardly advance beyond two 
dozen pages of the introduction ; but it is to be hoped 
that he will at least read that much to become ac 
quainted with the writings of a foremost prelate of our 
Church, and to know something of a work which, in 
its own way, has obtained a unique degree of success. 
The last lines of that Introduction may be cited as an 
example of the tolerant, and, at the same time, the 
devout orthodox spirit in which the Bishop writes : 
" To sign any document in a non-natural sense seems 
neither consistent with Christian integrity nor with 
common manliness. But, on the other hand, a national 
Church should never be needlessly exclusive. It 
should, we can hardly doubt, be ready to embrace, if 
possible, all who freely believe in God, and in Jesus 
Christ whom He hath sent. Accordingly our own 
Church requires of its lay members no confession of 
their faith, except that contained in the Apostles 
Creed. In the following pages an attempt is made to 
interpret and explain the Articles of the Church which 
bind the consciences of her clergy, according to their 
natural and genuine meanings, and to prove that 
meaning to be both Scriptural and Catholic. None 
can feel so satisfied, nor act so straightforwardly, as 
those who subscribe them in such a sense. But if we 
consider how much variety of sentiment may prevail 
among persons who are, in the main, sound in the 



BISHOPS OF LONDON, WINCHESTER, AND DURHAM. 365 

faith, we can never wish that a National Church, which 
ought to have all the marks of Catholicity, should 
enforce too rigid and uniform an interpretation of its 
formularies and terms of union. The Church should 
be not only Holy and Apostolic, but as well One and 
Catholic. Unity and universality are scarcely attain 
able where a greater vigour of subscription is required 
than such as shall ensure an adherence and conformity 
to those great Catholic truths which the primitive 
Christians lived by and died for." We may compare 
with this the language which Dr. Browne wrote about 
himself in a letter to the Bishop of Melbourne : " I 
call myself an old-fashioned English Churchman, and 
I find more to repel me in any one of the extreme 
schools in England than I do in anything I have seen 
or heard of the Old Catholics. Now I do not wish to 
expel from my own communion any of the adherents 
of the three schools within it. The Church ought to 
hold them all, or it will become a sect. A fortiori I 
would gladly welcome to Christian brotherhood men 
so much to be loved and honoured as Dollinger, and 
those who have escaped from errors for which I 
fear some within our own body have too much 
sympathy." 

In the recent debates on the Public Worship Bill, 
the Bishop of Winchester took a considerable part. 
He especially took an active part in the discussion at 
the end of the Session on the Commons amendment 
that there should be a power of appeal from the 
bishops to the archbishops. The two archbishops 
naturally voted in favour of giving themselves very 
large additional powers, and such of the bishops as 
voted were quite as naturally adverse to the implied 



366 OUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

slur on their judgment and authority. The arch 
bishops took a somewhat Erastian view, but the High 
Church prelates, who clung together in a cluster, took 
the high jus divinum view of Episcopacy. They urged 
that Episcopacy was a divine institution, but, as for 
the making of Metropolitans, that was only a human 
institution. On this occasion Dr. Harold Browne used 
some remarkable language, in which he clearly defined 
the points at issue in respect to the theory of Episco 
pacy, and showed how acutely he felt the practical 
consequences which flowed from the doctrine. He 
asked the assent of their Lordships to the proposition 
that the Episcopacy was a Divine institution. There 
was as strong scriptural authority for the government 
of a bishop in his diocese as there was historical 
authority for the fact that Ca3sar governed Rome. If 
he did not believe that the Episcopacy was a divine 
institution he would give up his episcopate, and 
trample his robe on the ground, because unless there 
was Divine authority for the Episcopacy, it would be a 
most schismatic act for the Church of England to 
maintain it when large religious bodies had felt 
themselves obliged to give it up, and now looked upon 
it as being unlawful. Unless the Church of England 
believed the Episcopacy to be a divine ordinance she 
was acting now schismatically when, by throwing it 
off, she might bridge over a gulf which was between 
her and many other religious bodies. We believe the 
Bishop afterwards wrote to say that he had used, or 
intended to use, the word " historical" instead of 
" scriptural." This is, in point of fact, placing the 
question on that historical basis for which we con 
tend. Sir William Harcourt answered this language 



BISHOPS OF LONDON, WINCHESTER, AND DURHAM. 367 

very vigorously in the House of Commons. But 
Bishop Browne s language appears in a way that was 
not noted to be likely to lead to some confusion of 
thought. We hold it to be strictly scriptural that 
there should be overseers, tvtffzo Trot, who should take 
oversight, that is, exercise Episcopacy over the 
churches. But the question remains whether the 
Episcopacy of the Divine thought is the Episcopacy 
of the English State-Church. It can hardly be urged 
that it was the Scriptural doctrine that bishops should 
hold seats in Parliament by a baronial tenure. It can 
hardly be urged that it is Scriptural doctrine that 
the bishops should be lords over Christ s heritage. 
Bishop Wordsworth, who followed him, truly enough 
said that Episcopacy was an institution of God him 
self, independent of statute law. But the comfortable 
human accident of Episcopacy was the result of 
statute, and it is rather an ingratitude to speak dis 
paragingly of that statute law which has made such 
splendid arrangements for prelates. 

It is now a number of years since the late Lord Ossing- 
ton, then Evelyn Denis on, suggested the idea of the 
" Speaker s Commentary." It was some seven years 
afterwards before the first volume appeared. The 
first portion of the first volume was the composition 
of the Bishop of Winchester. It will be well indeed if 
the rest of this gigantic work corresponds with this 
commencement. Dr. Harold Browne s portion con 
sisted of the general introduction to the Pentateuch, 
and the Book of Genesis, with Introduction, Com 
mentary, and Notes. The chief interest of such 
writings for the general reader will be that this 
ground is the stage of conflict between supposed state- 



368 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

ments in Scripture and the conclusions of modern 
science and criticism. We believe it will be a com 
fort to many persons to read the Bishop s extremely 
careful and moderate language. His point of view 
was " that a miraculous revelation of scientific truths 
was never designed by God for man. The account of 
the Creation is given in popular language ; yet it is 
believed that it will be found not inconsistent with, 

though not anticipatory of, modern discovery 

Let us suppose that it had pleased God to reveal to 
Moses the fact that the earth revolves round the sun, 
a fact familiar now to children, but unknown to astro 
nomers for more than three thousand years after the 
Exodus. The effect of such revelation would probably 
have been to place the believer and the astronomer in 
a state of antagonism. The ancient believer would 
have believed the truth ; yet the observer of the 
heavens would have triumphantly convicted him of 
ignorance and error. We can see plainly that the 
wise course for both would have been to suspend their 
judgments, believing the Bible, and yet following out 
the teaching of Nature. A Galileo would then have 
been not feared as a heretic, but hailed as a harmonist. 
There appears now to some an inconsistency between 
the words of Moses and the records of Creation. Both 
may be misinterpreted. Further researches into 
science, language, literature, and exegesis may show 
there is substantial argument where there now appears 
partial inconsistency. It would evidently have served 
no good purpose had a revelation been vouchsafed of 
the Copermcan system, or of modern geological science. 
Yet there may be in Scripture truth popularly ex 
pressed concerning the origin of all things, truth not 



BISHOPS OF LONDON, WINCHESTER, AND DURHAM. 369 

apparent to us because we have not yet acquired the 
knowledge to see and appreciate it. Certainly as yet 
nothing has been proved which can disprove the 
records of Genesis, if both the proof and the records 
be interpreted largely and fairly." 

We have some very sensible language addressed to 
candidates for orders which go a great way in 
reconciling ecclesiastical and secular society, and 
would prevent the obvious danger of the clergy be 
coming a mere caste : " The skilful artist knows that 
he can never take a true portrait unless he can catch 
the subject of that portrait off his guard. And every 
layman, not least the poorest of our parishioners, is in 
this repect an artist by nature A firm acquaint 
ance with secular subjects with which your parishioners 
have much acquaintance, helps to make them es 
teem you and to give just opinions weight with 
them in all things. Especially try to be in some 
measure men of business. Ignorance of common 
business often brings clergymen into difficulties, and 

not unfrequently into debt To young men 

with any degree of refinement some measure of shy 
ness is almost inevitable. Shyness is one of those 
inexplicable defects of our nature which belong almost 
exclusively to the civilised, the educated, the refined, 
generally the amiable. A young man who is wholly 
without it, should have some very sterling qualities 
instead of it, to save him from being utterly odious. 
It is generally most apparent in the society of the 
rich ; but it is the most misconstrued by the poor. 
.... The peasant has often as clear an appreciation 
of what is really good breeding as the prince. If you 
wish the poor to respect you, you must respect them. 

VOL. I. B B 



370 OUE BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

They deserve your respect. Honour all men is a rule 
that is general ; but honour the poor is a rule which 
may be equally deduced from the teaching, if we have 
it not in the words of Scripture. When you enter a 
peasant s hut, do not keep on your hat, do not use 
any of the airs of a superior ; speak always kindly, 
even if you should be bound to speak sometimes 
sternly ; shake him by the hand as an equal ; sit at his 
table, or, if he be sick, by his bed, as a friend. You 
will never find that he takes undue advantage of such 
actions. He will honour you because you have 
honoured him." 

The Bishop is very noticeable for his intense in 
terest in the Old Catholic movement in Germany. 
He wishes Englishmen to understand, appreciate, and 
support the movement. The Bull of 1870 was the 
logical outcome of the doctrine of the Immaculate 
Conception, promulgated in 1854 by the See of Rome. 
Pius the Ninth has now established an absolute 
ecclesiastical Ca3sarism. The Pope is a Perpetual 
Dictator. He was even styled " the third incarna 
tion of the Deity." When the small yet influential 
minority of the Vatican Assembly yielded to pressure 
there were still some learned, thoughtful, and influen 
tial men who resisted, chief of whom was Dollinger, 
the darling of Munich. They considered that they 
represented the true old Catholic cause. They had 
not so much departed from the Papacy, as the Papacy 
had departed from them. Therein was the true 
Catholicism. Those who admitted the new decrees 
had in truth departed from the Council of Trent. 
We need not tell the reason how the Old Catholic 
resistance moulded itself into an ecclesiastical body, 



BISHOPS OF LONDON, WINCHESTER, AND DURHAM. 371 

and obtained Episcopal consecration for Dr. Reinkens, 
from the old Catholic Church of Holland, better 
known by the title of the Jansenist Church, a 
term of which they assuredly need not be 
ashamed. They have now held two great con 
gresses, at Cologne and at Bonn in 1874. " I 
was present," said Bishop Browne, " only on the 
first day of the meeting at Bonn ; but I can testify 
to the general good feeling and sober piety which 
pervaded the whole assembly, and especially to the 
learning, wisdom, gentleness, conciliatory and yet 
decided spirit of the grand old man who presided 
over our councils." These two councils have exhibited 
the greatest practical steps towards the unity of 
Christendom that have been known for ages. They 
have cultivated friendly sympathies not only with 
the Greek and Latin Churches, but with Anglicans, 
Americans, Scandinavians, and the Lutherans, and 
Evangelicals of Germany, France, and Switzerland. 
They have succeeded in awakening a thrill of genuine 
Christian sympathy throughout Christendom. There 
was a time when the Anglican Church was pointed 
to as of all Christian bodies the fittest to serve as 
an instrument of unity. But our own aggravated 
dissensions," says the Bishop, " and the suspicion 
with which Continental Roman Catholics regard all 
Continental Protestants (clubbing Anglicans with 
them) as being only infidels in disguise, make our 
position increasingly less hopeful." The Bishop of 
Ely, like Dr. "Wordsworth on other occasions, made 
a manful exhibition of his sympathy, for which he 
has had to endure some amount of sharp criticism. 
"Hitherto they have made a noble stand against 

BB 2 



372 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

tyranny and falsehood, and have not been hurried 
into error and unbelief. All Christendom stands in 
jeopardy; all faith is on its trial, all churches are 
shaken. Surely it is the part of wisdom, of charity, 
and of piety to give a fair field to those who are 
throwing themselves into the thick of the battle, 
and hazarding the loss of all things for the truth and 
love of Jesus Christ." The Old Catholics simply 
adopt the three creeds as their faith, and even yield 
the Filioque clause, which was the main cause of the 
separation between Church and State. 

Bishop Baring appears to have 
BISHOP BARING, set the evil precedent of being the 
bishop of a party rather than of a 
diocese. He never disguises the fact that he is a 
party man, and that all his prejudice and patronage 
go alike with a particular class of men. We have 
heard the story that when he first went to Gloucester, 
the citizens accustomed to the stately ways of old 
Bishop Monk, were scandalized by seeing the Bishop 
carrying his own carpet-bag from the terminus to 
the palace. It would be well if there were no more 
serious stricture than on manly simplicity of charac 
ter. But Durham is fast winning itself the character 
of being the most perturbed diocese in the country. 
The good point in itself that the Bishop, although from 
a merely intellectual point of view, he has singularly 
falsified the expectations excited by a brilliant career 
at Oxford is a singularly earnest, devout man, bent 
on fulfilling with all his energies his own conceptions 
of his duty. But the remark has been made, well 
illustrating the nearness of extremes that the Bishop 



BISHOPS OF LONDON, WINCHESTER, AND DURHAM. 373 

has constructed a sort of theory of Episcopal Infal 
libility. One of the grave defects of our present 
laws, one of the matters that vehemently call for 
Church Reform, is that the Bishop possesses a tyran 
nical power over the curates of his diocese, whom he 
can dismiss and inhibit, without any cause shown, by 
a wave of the hand, a stroke of his pen. This power 
is generally _allowed to lie dormant, but it is at 
any time liable to be executed in a vindictive and 
indiscreet way. Unsatisfied by the immense power he 
possesses, the Bishop has aimed at its expansion by 
demanding written pledges both from incumbent and 
curate, which they are unable to give. The Bishop 
then lays the parish under an interdict, refusing the 
aid it urgently requires, and coolly remarking 
" that it is almost invariably the result of any trans 
gression of the law that the innocent are involved in 
the consequences, and often suffer more severely 
than the offender." The Bishop would say, and also 
some other like bishops who have arrived at a similar 
determination, that this is almost their only weapon 
to restrain clergymen who will not listen to their 
admonitions, and refuse to obey the law. 

The Bishop of Durham in the course he has pur 
sued has been able to conciliate for himself an extra 
ordinary amount of sympathy and support among the 
laity of his diocese. This has taken the unusual 
practical turn of presenting him with a guarantee 
fund of upwards of seven thousand pounds, and 
knowing what is known of the extraordinary expenses 
of ecclesiastical suits, it is hardly likely that the sum 
expended will fall short of the sum guaranteed. 
The sum was raised by a very large number of 



374 OUR BISHOPS AND DEANS. 

persons, between three and four thousand laymen in 
the diocese. It may be added as a new indication of 
woman s rights, that amid all the gentlemen there 
was just one lady who insisted that her name should 
be put down, and would take no denial. Bishop 
Baring has very honestly said that he is a party man, 
and does not claim to be anything else. He 
is perhaps the most distinct Low Church Bishop 
on the bench ; but there are distinct High Church 
Bishops as well, although the avowal may not be so 
frankly made, and there is great value in such a 
representative man being found on the Episcopal 
bench. 



END OF THE MRST VOLUME. 



London: Printed by A. Schulze, 13, Poland Street. 



BX ARNOLD 

5197 OUR BISHOPS AND 

,A7 DEANS 

VOL - 1 118151 



Bv 



ISSUED TO 



.AT 

\Jo\.