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Church And State: The Oxford University ...
tuencies of Great Britain and Ireland ratified the reconciliation of their statesmen , almost without a murmur of hostility . He will then relate that there was one marked exception to that ratification ; and , however much it may seem to be against a priori reasonings , he will find that one exception to be the seat of learning , the wellspring of religious ministration , the presumed abode of all that is cultivated , generous , and refined . He will set forth how faction and vengeance took refuge in the halls and cloisters of Oxford , and there carried on a conflict , under the banner of a real coalition which , in its want of common
prin-ciple , in its wonderful co-action of extremes , m its cordial union of the bigots of every sect within the Church of England , put all recorded coalitions to shame . He will show how it had its source in personal vengeance ; how it found its weapons in the armoury of falsehood , and its leaders in renegados . He will tell how a Mr . Charles Lempriere went chasing , on a Sunday morning , after a clever young nobleman as a candidate ; and how , to serve his momentary purpose , he perverted the words of that nobleman into the contrary of what they meant ; how a Venerable Archdeacon took up the lowest of electioneering cries , " No Popery "—
" What if his dull forefathers used that cry , Could he not let a bad example die ?"and , while professing tobelievethat a " Churchman should have no politics , " adopted the commonest political tactics of Taper and Tadpole ; how he denounced the construction of the Ministry as an act of " flagrant political immorality , " and then joined openly and shamelessly , glorying in his deeds , in an act which the words " flagrant immorality" but mildly characterize ; how Mr . Bennet , of Frome , a man of almost Uomanist views , felt no scruples in marching in the same ranks with Canon Stowell , a flagrant and intolerant Protestant ; how , to crown all , the active presence of W . B . was visible in the fray , and active at head
quarters , urging clergymen to make a " push and win : and how a tool was found to serve as a pretext for the dirty business , in a gentleman of muddy intellect and extremely confused opinions ; without any kind of ability , or even the statesmanship of an average English gentleman . Such , he may say , were the characteristics of the Election for the University of Oxford in 1853 : begotten in the brain of a Derbyite , branded with disgrace by the House of Commons , the Press , and the People ; fostered by the lowest of the morning journals ; furthered by the prevarication of a Doctor of Law , and consummated by an alliance of all the jarring elements of a distracted Church .
Whatever may bo the issue of this contest , unparalleled in a constituency where all are supposed to be gentlemen , such we imagine will be the verdict of posterity . But to us , who are in the thick of the fight , this contest lias a deep and momentous meaning . Jt could not have boon , engaged in and carried through by branded politicians and political parsons , had there not boon materials of antagonism lying in heaps , within the Church , ready to their hands . Major Beresford and Archdeacon Donison would have found no tools to work with
had the theory of Oxford representation been accordant with the actual relation of Oxford to the Slate , and had the Church been either national or true to herself . And it is in Uioho elements of discord and profound hostility that we see mighty issues . Theoretically the representatives of Ox ford University arc elected by what we may call the purely educational suffrage . Practically , however , the chosen members represent the church . Theoretically a learned institution is called on to send two of'its best men to the Parliament of the State ; not specially to look after any interest , but to perform the Hiime duties an any other member , tho
duties of a member of the National Parliament . But in practice this is not the ease . Churchmen , who Hhould have no politics , are Hot to elect politicians ; and hence the discord . The right of Oxford to representatives rests on a false foundation ; the educational suffrage is the pretext , the real selection iH made almost invariably on the ground of the candidate ' s ehurchmansliip . Ilonee the- infusion of such strong elements of ecclesiastical bitterness into this unnatural content . The only eourao left ; open , in this wtato of . things , lor the honest churchman , in to select the Jiblowt and most conscientious man they can . Mr . ( JUulatono may bo that man , or
not , as next week will show . And as the educational suffrage , bestowed on an exceptional and peculiar constituency , has , by no means , generally fulfilled legitimate expectations in the choice of men , and can no more be relied on than Universal Suffrage , when connected with an interest , it becomes a question how far such constituencies should be maintained . This , however , is the lesser evil ; we merely point it out as one of the questions which will have to be tried in the next issue . between the Church and the State . The great evil is that so
strikingly shown by this election ; and one we have repeatedly stigmatized . It is the radical , shameful discord in the Church itself . No efforts of ours can make it clearer than the doings of Churchmen . It is not thatDenison has joined with Beresford ; it is that he has rowed in the same boat with Stowell , and Maurice , and Golightly , and Wilson ; it is that High and Dry , Low and Moist , Evangelical and Homanist , have been pulling together . It is that , on the other side , we have had quite another section of the Church . It is that this has been made a Church contest ;
and if Mr . Perceval be returned , he will represent some supposed Church interest , but clearly not the whole interest of the Church . In fact , the relation between the Church and the State has crazed the former . She is distracted , not only by doctrinal disputes , but by the leaven of Erastianism which the State designedly infused . Representation in Parliament is only Erastianism in another form . A Churchman who had no politics would not vote at an election for a member of Parliament . It is not in the Blouse of Commons but in the Houses of Convocation that the
true field for a Churchman lies . And as the age increases in morality , and public opinion enforces strictness of concord between profession and practice , we shall find that Churchmen will be compelled either to adopt a totally new relation to the State or to quit the Church . Their true policy would be to mind the affairs of their Church ; to let politics alone ; to carry out with a lofty conscientiousness the principles and polity of their religion ; to co-operate with the State when the path of the two lay in the same direction ; to ignore the State when their paths separated . ; to make the State come to the Church , and not carry the Church to the State . The present Compromise cannot be long tolerated .
The absurdity of any religion being set up as a kind of pillar of the Throne , and house of refuge for aristocratic and episcopal cadets , is becoming more obvious every day ; and the iniquity of a Church calling itself National , yet containing within itself a host of discordant sects , is becoming also more obvious and unbearable . The " flagrant immorality" of the present position of the Church acts upon the nation . Her status in the community is false ; she ia not Avhat she pretends to be ; she is an agglomerate of groups for pecuniary purposes , and a group of separate sections as regards doctrine . Her only chance of escape is into pure ecclesiastical life , and the strict fulfilment of its
imperative conditions , as an attempt towards a practical realization of her gospels ; unworldly conduct in her ministers ; and self government , cost what it may . The theory of the Church of England is not compatible with submission to the State , when the State is not completely one and the same with tlio Church of England ; in fact , under existing circumstances , submission is a " flagrant immorality . "
60 The Leader. _ ¦ [Saturday,
60 THE LEADER . _ ¦ [ Saturday ,
Why Do Wk Want Ambassadors Abroad? Franc...
WHY DO WK WANT AMBASSADORS ABROAD ? FrancescoMaimai is dead , and thoEnglish public in convinced that Protestantism has sustained a heavy blow and great discouragement , by the failure to extricate- him from persecution . But it is really worth while to repeat the question , whether Protestantism was so much at stake in the person of Madiai as it is in the hody of" tho Italian people . Wo believe , indeed , there is no proselytism which Missionaries can effect , half so important as the development of thought in tho
body of an intelligent people thirsting for knowledge ; and tho Italians have shown that they are prepared to emancipate themselves from tho thraldom of spiritual Absolutism . Indeed , the intervention on behalf of Francesco Madiai , meritorious as it was in the mere matter of humanity , had incidentally an untoward aspect , since it must , suggest ; hypocrisy as well as insincerity on the part of tho English people . A great anxiety is felt about that one particular person .
Deputations arrive in Florence from England , to intercede on his behalf . Our journals daily watch the condition of man and wife in their prison ; and yet , when all were done , what would be the great gain of Protestantism in the release of a ooune . r and his wife P , , ,, . \ n The people of Piedmont , led by their Government , have been taking measures exactly like ^ our own , to rescue the institution of marriage from the exclusive control of the priesthood ; a first step in the emancipation of the temporal concerns of th » people from spiritual thraldom , which is nothing more nor less than a genuine
Protestantism . No one will pretend that Protestantism is limited to the followers of Luther or Calvin ; it means nothing different from the assertion of private judgment and individual freedom , as opposed to the infallible dictates of a high priest and the subservience of temporal power to the enforcement of those dictates . It may be said that the bulk of the population of Piedmont is at this moment , and in this sense , Protestant , and that it is prepared to develop its Protestantism from day to day . But in that process it is hindered by the Pope , who is supported by France and Austria , and , be it said with shame ,
by England also . England , therefore , is upholding the great instrument which suppresses the Protestantism of whole States , while our people are making a hypocritical fuss about the fate of two particular recent Biblical converts in Florence . Does not such inconsistency of conduct , such excessive solicitude de minimis , while whole States are given up as a prey to spiritual absolutism , convict us of cant , in addition to insincerity P
But that is not all . We maintain a staff of officers at the principal courts of Europe , chiefly , we might say , for three purposes . As a channel for conveying the sentiments of the English State on the affairs /> f Europe ; as a means of protecting British interests where they are affected , commercially or politically ; as a means of protecting or aiding British subjects travelling abroad . We maintain these officers at a cost of many thousand pounds expended in each city ; with what result it would be difficult to say . Mr . Mather is assaulted ; Mr . Newton is arrested , and
dismissed with a falsehood , which the British Government accepts without inquiry ; the correspondent of the Morning Chronicle is treated like a felon , and put off with a paltry excuse ; and it is only by the most determined insistence , that the tardy and ungracious intervention of the English Minister on behalf of the British subject can be extorted . British subjects feel that they are not safe in travelling abroad , and they are never sure but that the cordial understanding which is said to subsist
between foreign courts and the representatives of England may be kept up by the congenial sympathy of our diplomatists with the court atmosphere in which they live . British commercial interests shift for themselves ; and they get on pretty well , although , as in tho case of fertile states subjected to despotic rulers , wo are practically excluded from valuable fields of commerce . As to the sentiments of England ,
they appear to be perverted in the representation , 'lake an example . It is , upon tho whole , tho desire of the English public mind to lend at least a moral support to Protestantism . We have an ambassador at Vienna , tho capital of that state which overawes Piedmont , and encourages liomo in suppressing Piedmonteso Protestantism . A Minister who had been conspicuously hostile to that same Piedmont , dies , and at his funeral a
mass is performed . Who conducts the music at that Popish ceremony P The Mnglish ambassador 1 Two questions occur to us , which may ho advantageous for England to examine . At a foreign court we have a representative who raises , or does not raise , tho reputation of England for musical taste : but is it such a representation as our tax-paying public is prepared to pay forP Again : Mr . ( Gladstone wrote two lucid and impassioned letters , exposing the cruelty which
the Italians undergo , through tlfc tyrannical Government of Naples . Mr . ( iiladstonomustbe well aware that tho same persecution is rampant in Rome and Lombardy . Jfo addressed tlioso letters to Lord Aberdeen , who sanctioned their publication . Lord Piilmoraton has recorded spirited protests on behalf of Piedmont and tho Italians . 7 \ ll these statesmen have now entered oiliee , and Lord John Russell , Foreign Minister , ia understood to bo perfectly in accord with them .
Leader (1850-1860), Jan. 15, 1853, page 12, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/l/issues/cld_15011853/page/12/