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Title: Chapter of Autobiography
Author: Gladstone, W E
Language: English
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       *       *       *       *       *


                       CHAPTER OF AUTOBIOGRAPHY.


                    THE RIGHT HON. W. E. GLADSTONE.

      "Blame not, before thou hast examined the truth: understand
      first, and then rebuke."--ECCLESIASTICUS, ch. ii.


                    JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET.


             _The right of Translation is reserved._



At a time when the Established Church of Ireland is on her trial, it is
not unfair that her assailants should be placed upon their trial too:
most of all, if they have at one time been her sanguine defenders.

But if not the matter of the indictment against them, at any rate that
of their defence, should be kept apart, as far as they are concerned,
from the public controversy, that it may not darken or perplex the
greater issue.

It is in the character of the author of a book called 'The State in
its Relations with the Church,' that I offer these pages to those who
may feel a disposition to examine them. They were written at the date
attached to them; but their publication has been delayed until after
the stress of the General Election.


Autobiography is commonly interesting; but there can, I suppose, be
little doubt that, as a general rule, it should be posthumous. The
close of an active career supplies an obvious exception: for this
resembles the gentle death which, according to ancient fable, was
rather imparted than inflicted by the tender arrows of Apollo and of
Artemis. I have asked myself many times, during the present year,
whether peculiar combinations of circumstance might not also afford a
warrant at times for departure from the general rule, so far as some
special passage of life is concerned; and whether I was not myself now
placed in one of those special combinations.

The motives, which incline me to answer these questions in the
affirmative, are mainly two. First, that the great and glaring
change in my course of action with respect to the Established Church
of Ireland is not the mere eccentricity, or even perversion, of an
individual mind, but connects itself with silent changes, which are
advancing in the very bed and basis of modern society. Secondly, that
the progress of a great cause, signal as it has been and is, appears
liable nevertheless to suffer in point of credit, if not of energy and
rapidity, from the real or supposed delinquencies of a person, with
whose name for the moment it happens to be specially associated.

One thing is clear: that if I am warranted in treating my own case as
an excepted case, I am bound so to treat it. It is only with a view to
the promotion of some general interest, that the public can becomingly
be invited to hear more, especially in personal history, about an
individual, of whom they already hear too much. But if it be for the
general interest to relieve 'an enterprise of pith and moment' from the
odium of baseness, and from the lighter reproach of precipitancy, I
must make the attempt; though the obtrusion of the first person, and of
all that it carries in its train, must be irksome alike to the reader
and the writer.

So far, indeed, as my observation has gone, the Liberal party of this
country have stood fire unflinchingly under the heavy vollies which
have been fired into its camp with ammunition that had been drawn
from depositories full only with matter personal to myself. And, with
the confidence they entertain in the justice and wisdom of the policy
they recommend, it would have been weak and childish to act otherwise.
Still, I should be glad to give them the means of knowing that the case
may not after all be so scandalous as they are told. In the year 1827,
if I remember right, when Mr. Canning had just become Prime Minister,
an effort was made to support him in the town of Liverpool, where the
light and music of his eloquence had not yet died away, by an Address
to the Crown. The proposal was supported by an able and cultivated
Unitarian Minister, Mr. Shepherd, who had been one of Mr. Canning's
opponents at former periods in the Liverpool elections. Vindicating
the consistency of his course, he said he was ready to support the
devil himself, if it had been necessary, in doing good. This was a
succinct and rough manner of disposing of the question in the last
resort. I hope, however, that those who sustain the Liberal policy
respecting the Established Church of Ireland, will not be driven to
so dire an extremity. It can hardly be deemed on my part an unnatural
desire, that political friends, and candid observers, should on grounds
of reason and knowledge, and not merely from friendly prepossession,
feel themselves warranted not to believe in the justice of language
such as by way of example I subjoin. I must, however, suppose that the
author of it is persuaded of its fairness and justice, since he bears
Her Majesty's Commission; and his statement is adopted and published
by a brother-officer, who is himself a candidate for Berwick in the
ministerial interest, and therefore (I presume) not particularly
squeamish on the subject of political consistency, although I entertain
no doubt that both are gallant, upright, and estimable gentlemen.

        "There is obviously no need, on the present occasion
        at least, to extend this catalogue of the political
        delinquencies of this would-be demagogue, whom we may
        accordingly leave gibbeted and swinging in the winds of
        the fools' paradise! an object of derision and contempt
        to those at least who maintain that integrity of purpose
        and consistency ought not altogether to be discarded from
        public life."[1]

It freezes the blood, in moments of retirement and reflexion, for a man
to think that he can have presented a picture so hideous to the view
of a fellow-creature!

One thing I have not done, and shall not do. I shall not attempt to
laugh off the question, or to attenuate its importance. In theory
at least, and for others, I am myself a purist with respect to what
touches the consistency of statesmen. Change of opinion, in those
to whose judgment the public looks more or less to assist its own,
is an evil to the country, although a much smaller evil than their
persistence in a course which they know to be wrong. It is not always
to be blamed. But it is always to be watched with vigilance; always to
be challenged, and put upon its trial. The question is one of so much
interest, that it may justify a few remarks.

It can hardly escape even cursory observation, that the present century
has seen a great increase in the instances of what is called political
inconsistency. It is needless, and it would be invidious, to refer to
names. Among the living, however, who have occupied leading positions,
and among the dead of the last twenty years, numerous instances will
at once occur to the mind, of men who have been constrained to abandon
in middle and mature, or even in advanced life, convictions which they
had cherished through long years of conflict and vicissitude: and of
men, too, who have not been so fortunate as to close or continue their
career in the same political connexion as that in which they commenced
it. If we go a little farther back, to the day of Mr. Pitt and Mr. Fox,
or even to the day of Mr. Canning, Lord Londonderry, or Lord Liverpool,
we must be struck with the difference. A great political and social
convulsion, like the French Revolution, of necessity deranged the
ranks of party; yet not even then did any man of great name, or of a
high order of mind, permanently change his side.

If we have witnessed in the last forty years, beginning with the epoch
of Roman Catholic Emancipation, a great increase in the changes of
party, or of opinion, among prominent men, we are not at once to leap
to the conclusion that public character, as a rule, has been either
less upright, or even less vigorous. The explanation is rather to
be found in this, that the movement of the public mind has been of
a nature entirely transcending former experience; and that it has
likewise been more promptly and more effectively represented, than at
any earlier period, in the action of the Government and the Legislature.

If it is the office of law and of institutions to reflect the wants
and wishes of the country, (and its wishes must ever be a considerable
element in its wants), then, as the nation passes from a stationary
into a progressive period, it will justly require that the changes in
its own condition and views should be represented in the professions
and actions of its leading men. For they exist for its sake, not it
for theirs. It remains indeed their business, now and ever, to take
honour and duty for their guides, and not the mere demand or purpose
of the passing hour; but honour and duty themselves require their
loyal servant to take account of the state of facts in which he is to
work, and, while ever labouring to elevate the standard of opinion and
action around him, to remember that his business is not to construct,
with self-chosen materials, an Utopia or a Republic of Plato, but to
conduct the affairs of a living and working community of men, who have
self-government recognised as in the last resort the moving spring of
their political life, and of the institutions which are its outward

The gradual transfer of political power from groups and limited classes
to the community, and the constant seething of the public mind, in
fermentation upon a vast mass of moral and social, as well as merely
political, interests, offer conditions of action, in which it is
evident that the statesman, in order to preserve the same amount of
consistency as his antecessors in other times, must be gifted with
a far larger range of foresight. But Nature has endowed him with no
such superiority. It may be true that Sir Robert Peel shewed this
relative deficiency in foresight, with reference to Roman Catholic
Emancipation, to Reform, and to the Corn Law. It does not follow that
many, who have escaped the reproach, could have stood the trial. For
them the barometer was less unsteady; the future less exacting in its
demands. But let us suppose that we could secure this enlargement of
onward view, this faculty of measuring and ascertaining to-day the
wants of a remote hereafter, in our statesmen; we should not even
then be at the end of our difficulties. For the public mind is to a
great degree unconscious of its own progression; and it would resent
and repudiate, if offered to its immature judgment, the very policy,
which after a while it will gravely consider, and after another while
enthusiastically embrace.

Yet, as it still remains true that the actual opinions and professions
of men in office, and men in authority without office, are among the
main landmarks on which the public has to rely, it may seem that, in
vindicating an apparent liberty of change, we destroy the principal
guarantees of integrity which are available for the nation at large,
and with these all its confidence in the persons who are to manage
its affairs. This would be a consequence so fatal, that it might even
drive us back upon the hopeless attempt to stereotype the minds of men,
and fasten on their manhood the swaddling clothes of their infancy.
But such is not the alternative. We may regulate the changes which we
cannot forbid, by subjecting them to the test of public scrutiny, and
by directing that scrutiny to the enforcement of the laws of moral
obligation. There are abundant signs, by which to distinguish between
those changes, which prove nothing worse than the fallibility of the
individual mind, and man[oe]uvres which destroy confidence, and entail
merited dishonour. Changes which are sudden and precipitate--changes
accompanied with a light and contemptuous repudiation of the former
self--changes which are systematically timed and tuned to the interest
of personal advancement--changes which are hooded, slurred over, or
denied--for these changes, and such as these, I have not one word to
say; and if they can be justly charged upon me, I can no longer desire
that any portion, however small, of the concerns or interests of my
countrymen should be lodged in my hands.

Let me now endeavour to state the offence of which I am held guilty.
_Ille ego qui quondam_: I, the person who have now accepted a foremost
share of the responsibility of endeavouring to put an end to the
existence of the Irish Church as an Establishment, am also the person
who, of all men in official, perhaps in public life, did, until the
year 1841, recommend, upon the highest and most imperious grounds, its
resolute maintenance.

The book entitled 'The State in its Relations with the Church' was
printed during the autumn of 1838, while I was making a tour in the
South of Europe, which the state of my eyesight had rendered it prudent
to undertake. Three editions of it were published without textual
change; and in the year 1841 a fourth, greatly enlarged, though in
other respects little altered, issued from the press. All interest in
it had, however, even at that time, long gone by, and it lived for
nearly thirty years only in the vigorous and brilliant, though not
(in my opinion) entirely faithful picture, drawn by the accomplished
hand of Lord Macaulay. During the present year, as I understand from
good authority, it has again been in demand, and in my hearing it has
received the emphatic suffrages of many, of whose approval I was never
made aware during the earlier and less noisy stages of its existence.

The distinctive principle of the book was supposed to be, that the
State had a conscience. But the controversy really lies not in the
existence of a conscience in the State, so much as in the extent of its
range. Few would deny the obligation of a State to follow the moral
law. Every Treaty, for example, proceeds upon it. The true issue was
this: whether the State, in its best condition, has such a conscience
as can take cognizance of religious truth and error, and in particular
whether the State of the United Kingdom, at a period somewhat exceeding
thirty years ago, was or was not so far in that condition as to be
under an obligation to give an active and an exclusive support to the
established religion of the country.

The work attempted to survey the actual state of the relations between
the State and the Church; to show from History the ground which had
been defined for the National Church at the Reformation; and to
inquire and determine whether the existing state of things was worth
preserving, and defending against encroachment from whatever quarter.
This question it decided emphatically in the affirmative.

An early copy of the Review containing the powerful essay of Lord
Macaulay was sent to me; and I found that to the main proposition,
sufficiently startling, of the work itself, the reviewer had added
this assumption, that it contemplated not indeed persecution, but yet
the retrogressive process of disabling and disqualifying from civil
office all those who did not adhere to the religion of the State.
Before (I think) the number of the 'Edinburgh Review' for April,
1839, could have been in the hands of the public, I had addressed to
Lord (then Mr.) Macaulay the following letter, which I shall make no
apology for inserting, inasmuch as it will introduce one more morsel of
his writing, for which the public justly shows a keen and insatiable

        6, Carlton Gardens, April 10th, 1839.

        DEAR SIR,

        I have been favoured with a copy of the forthcoming
        number of the 'Edinburgh Review,' and I perhaps too much
        presume upon the bare acquaintance with you of which
        alone I can boast, in thus unceremoniously assuming you
        to be the author of the article entitled 'Church and
        State,' and in offering you my very warm and cordial
        thanks for the manner in which you have treated both
        the work, and the author, on whom you deigned to bestow
        your attention. In whatever you write, you can hardly
        hope for the privilege of most anonymous productions,
        a real concealment; but if it had been possible not to
        recognize you, I should have questioned your authorship
        in this particular case, because the candour and
        single-mindedness which it exhibits are, in one who has
        long been connected in the most distinguished manner with
        political party, so rare as to be almost incredible.

        I hope to derive material benefit, at some more tranquil
        season, from a consideration of your argument throughout.
        I am painfully sensible, whenever I have occasion to
        re-open the book, of its shortcomings, not only of the
        subject but even of my own conceptions: and I am led
        to suspect that, under the influence of most kindly
        feelings, you have omitted to criticize many things
        besides the argument, which might fairly have come within
        your animadversion.

        In the mean time I hope you will allow me to apprise
        you that on one material point especially I am not so
        far removed from you as you suppose. I am not conscious
        that I have said either that the _Test Act_ should be
        repealed, or that it should not have been passed: and
        though on such subjects language has many bearings which
        escape the view of the writer at the moment when the pen
        is in his hand, yet I think that I can hardly have put
        forth either of these propositions, because I have never
        entertained the corresponding sentiments. Undoubtedly
        I should speak of the pure abstract idea of Church and
        State as implying that they are co-extensive: and I
        should regard the present composition of the State of the
        United Kingdom as a deviation from that pure idea, but
        only in the same sense as all differences of religious
        opinion in the Church are a deviation from its pure
        idea, while I not only allow that they are permitted,
        but believe that (within limits) they were intended to
        be permitted. There are some of these deflections from
        abstract theory which appear to me allowable; and that
        of the admission of persons not holding the national
        creed into civil office is one which, in my view, must
        be determined by times and circumstances. At the same
        time I do not recede from any protest which I have
        made against the principle, that religious differences
        are irrelevant to the question of competency for civil
        office: but I would take my stand between the opposite
        extremes, the one that no such differences are to be
        taken into view, the other that all such differences are
        to constitute disqualifications.

        I need hardly say the question I raise is not whether you
        have misrepresented me, for, were I disposed to anything
        so weak, the whole internal evidence and clear intention
        of your article would confute me: indeed I feel I ought
        to apologize for even supposing that you may have been
        mistaken in the apprehension of my meaning, and I freely
        admit on the other hand the possibility that, totally
        without my own knowledge, my language may have led to
        such an interpretation.

        In these lacerating times one clings to everything of
        personal kindness in the past, to husband it for the
        future, and if you will allow me I shall earnestly desire
        to carry with me such a recollection of your mode of
        dealing with the subject; upon which, the attainment
        of truth, we shall agree, so materially depends upon
        the temper in which the search for it is instituted and

        I did not mean to have troubled you at so much length,
        and I have only to add that I am, with much respect,

          Dear Sir,
            Very truly yours,
              W. E. GLADSTONE.

        T. B. MACAULAY, ESQ.

       *       *       *       *       *

        3, Clarges Street, April 11th, 1839.

        MY DEAR SIR,

        I have very seldom been more gratified than by the very
        kind note which I have just received from you. Your book
        itself, and everything that I heard about you, though
        almost all my information came--to the honour, I must
        say, of our troubled times--from people very strongly
        opposed to you in politics, led me to regard you with
        respect and good will, and I am truly glad that I have
        succeeded in marking those feelings. I was half afraid
        when I read myself over again in print, that the button,
        as is too common in controversial fencing even between
        friends, had once or twice come off the foil.

        I am very glad to find that we do not differ so widely
        as I had apprehended about the Test Act. I can easily
        explain the way in which I was misled. Your general
        principle is that religious non-conformity ought to be
        a disqualification for civil office. In page 238 you
        say that the true and authentic mode of ascertaining
        conformity is the Act of Communion. I thought, therefore,
        that your theory pointed directly to a renewal of the
        Test Act. And I do not recollect that you have ever
        used any expression importing that your theory ought in
        practice to be modified by any considerations of civil
        prudence. All the exceptions that you mention are, as
        far as I remember, founded on positive contract--not one
        on expediency, even in cases where the expediency is so
        strong and so obvious that most statesmen would call it
        necessity. If I had understood that you meant your rules
        to be followed out in practice only so far as might be
        consistent with the peace and good government of society,
        I should certainly have expressed myself very differently
        in several parts of my article.

        Accept my warm thanks for your kindness, and believe me,
        with every good wish,

          My dear Sir,
            Very truly yours,
              T. B. MACAULAY.

        W. E. GLADSTONE, ESQ., M.P.

Faithful to logic, and to its theory, my work did not shrink from
applying them to the crucial case of the Irish Church. It did not
disguise the difficulties of the case, for I was alive to the paradox
it involved. But the one master idea of the system, that the State as
it then stood was capable in this age, as it had been in ages long
gone by, of assuming beneficially a responsibility for the inculcation
of a particular religion, carried me through all. My doctrine was, that
the Church, as established by law, was to be maintained for its truth;
that this was the only principle on which it could be properly and
permanently upheld; that this principle, if good in England, was good
also for Ireland; that truth is of all possessions the most precious to
the soul of man; and that to remove, as I then erroneously thought we
should remove, this priceless treasure from the view and the reach of
the Irish people, would be meanly to purchase their momentary favour at
the expense of their permanent interests, and would be a high offence
against our own sacred obligations.

These, I think, were the leading propositions of the work. In one
important point, however, it was inconsistent with itself; it contained
a full admission that a State might, by its nature and circumstances,
be incapacitated from upholding and propagating a definite form of

        "There may be a state of things in the United States of
        America, perhaps in some British colonies, there does
        actually exist a state of things, in which religious
        communions are so equally divided, or so variously
        subdivided, that the Government is itself similarly
        chequered in its religious complexion, and thus
        internally incapacitated by disunion from acting in
        matters of religion; or, again, there may be a State in
        which the members of Government may be of one faith or
        persuasion, the mass of the subjects of another, and
        hence there may be an external incapacity to act in
        matters of religion."

The book goes on to describe that incapacity, however produced, as a
social defect and calamity. But the latter part of the work, instead
of acknowledging such incapacity as a sufficient and indeed commanding
plea for abstention, went beyond the bounds of moderation, and treated
it as if it must in all cases be a sin; as though any association
of men, in civil government or otherwise, could be responsible for
acting beyond the line of the capabilities determined for it by its
constitution and composition. My meaning I believe was, to describe
only cases in which there might be a deliberate renunciation of
such duties as there was the power to fulfil. But the line is left
too obscurely drawn between this wilful and wanton rejection of
opportunities for good, and the cases in which the state of religious
convictions, together with the recognised principles of government,
disable the civil power from including within its work the business of
either directly or indirectly inculcating religion, and mark out for it
a different line of action.

I believe that the foregoing passages describe fairly, if succinctly,
the main propositions of 'The State in its Relations with the Church;'
so far as the book bears upon the present controversy. They bound me
hand and foot: they hemmed me in on every side. Further on I shall
endeavour to indicate more clearly in what I think the book was right,
and in what it was wrong. What I have now to show is the manner in
which I retreated from an untenable position. To this retreat, and
the time and mode of it, I now draw attention, and I will endeavour
to apply to them the tests I have already laid down:--Was it sudden?
Was it performed with an indecent levity? Was it made to minister
to the interests of political ambition? Was the gravity of the case
denied or understated? Was it daringly pretended that there had been
no real change of front; and that, if the world had understood me
otherwise, it had misunderstood me? My opinion of the Established
Church of Ireland now is the direct opposite of what it was then. I
then thought it reconcilable with civil and national justice; I now
think the maintenance of it grossly unjust. I then thought its action
was favourable to the interests of the religion which it teaches; I now
believe it to be opposed to them.

But I must venture to point out that, whatever be the sharpness of
this contradiction, it is one from which I could not possibly escape
by endeavouring to maintain the Established Church of Ireland on the
principles on which it is now maintained. I challenge all my censors
to impugn me when I affirm that, if the propositions of my work are
in conflict (as they are) with an assault upon the existence of the
Irish Establishment, they are at least as much, or even more, hostile
to the grounds on which it is now attempted to maintain it. At no time
of my life did I propound the maxim _simpliciter_ that we were to
maintain the Establishment. I appeal to the few who may have examined
my work otherwise than for the purpose of culling from it passages
which would tell in a quotation. I appeal to the famous article of Lord
Macaulay,[3] who says with truth--

"Mr. Gladstone's whole theory rests on this great fundamental
proposition, that the propagation of religious truth is one of the
principal ends of government, as government. If Mr. Gladstone has not
proved this proposition, _his system vanishes at once_."

This was entirely just. In the protest I addressed to the distinguished
Reviewer on a particular point, I took no exception to it whatever.
My work had used (as far as I believe and remember) none of the
stock arguments for maintaining the Church of Ireland. I did not say
"maintain it, lest you should disturb the settlement of property."
I did not say "maintain it, lest you should be driven to repeal
the Union." I did not say "maintain it, lest you should offend and
exasperate the Protestants." I did not say "maintain it, because
the body known as the Irish Church has an indefeasible title to its
property." I did not say "maintain it for the spiritual benefit
of a small minority." Least of all did I say "maintain it, but
establish religious equality, setting up at the public charge other
establishments along with it, or by distributing a sop here and a
sop there, to coax Roman Catholics and Presbyterians into a sort of
acquiescence in its being maintained." These topics I never had made my
own. Scarcely ever, in the first efforts of debate, had I referred to
one of them. My trumpet, however shrill and feeble, had at least rung
out its note clearly. And my ground, right or wrong it matters not for
the present purpose, was this: the Church of Ireland must be maintained
for the benefit of the whole people of Ireland, and must be maintained
as the truth, or it cannot be maintained at all.

Accordingly my book contended that the principle of the Grant to
Maynooth, unless as a simply covenanted obligation,[4] and that of the
Established Church of Ireland, could not stand together. In the House
of Commons, on the question relating to the Grant, I am reported as
having said in the year 1838,[5] that I objected to the Grant because
it was fatal to the main principle on which the Established Church was

And further. The Liberal Government and party of that day proposed,
in 1835 and the following years, the famous "Appropriation Clause."
The principle of their measure was, that the surplus funds only of
the Irish Church were to be applied to popular education, after
adequate provision had been made for the spiritual wants of the
Protestants. This principle, that adequate provision is to be made for
the spiritual wants of the Protestants, before any other claim on the
property of the Irish Church can be admitted, was the basis of the
Appropriation Clause; and is, as I understand the matter, the very
principle which is now maintained against the Liberal party of 1868,
by the (so-called) defenders of the Irish Established Church. But this
principle I denounced in 1836 as strongly as I could now do. I extract
the following passage from a report in 'Hansard,' which, as I remember,
I had myself corrected, of a speech on the Irish Tithe Bill with the
Appropriation Clause:--[6]

        "A Church Establishment is maintained either for the
        sake of its members or its doctrines; for those whom it
        teaches, or for that which it teaches. On the former
        ground it is not in equity tenable for a moment.

        "Why should any preference be given to me over another
        fellow-subject, or what claim have I personally to have
        my religion supported, whilst another is disavowed by
        the State? No claim whatever in respect to myself. I
        concur entirely with gentlemen opposite, hostile to an
        Establishment, that no personal privilege ought in such a
        matter to be allowed.

        "But if, on the contrary, I believe, as the great bulk of
        the British Legislature does believe, that the doctrine
        and system of the Establishment contain and exhibit truth
        in its purest and most effective form, and if we also
        believe truth to be good for the people universally,
        then we have a distinct and immovable ground for the
        maintenance of an Establishment; but it follows as a
        matter of course from the principle, that it must be
        maintained, not on a scale exactly and strictly adjusted
        to the present number of its own members, but on such
        a scale that it may also have the means of offering to
        others the benefits which it habitually administers to

        "Therefore we wish to see the Establishment in Ireland
        upheld; not for the sake of the Protestants, but of the
        people at large, that the ministers may be enabled to use
        the influences of their station, of kindly offices and
        neighbourhood, of the various occasions which the daily
        intercourse and habits of social life present; aye, and
        I do not hesitate to add of persuasion itself, applied
        with a zeal tempered by knowledge and discretion, in the
        propagation of that which is true, and which, being true,
        is good as well for those who as yet have it not, as
        well for those who have it. It is the proposition of the
        noble Lord which is really open to the charge of bigotry,
        intolerance, and arbitrary selection; because, disavowing
        the maintenance and extension of truth, he continues by
        way of personal privilege to the Protestants the legal
        recognition of their Church, which he refuses to the
        Church of the Roman Catholic."

The negative part of this passage I adopt, except the censure it
implies upon Earl Russell and his friends; who, whether their actual
propositions were defensible or not, had the "root of the matter" in
their hearts, and were far ahead of me in their political forethought,
and in their desire to hold up at least the banner of a generous and a
hopeful policy towards Ireland.

In this manner I prove that, while I was bound by the propositions
of my work, I was not singly but doubly bound. I was bound to
defend the Irish Church, as long as it could be defended on the
ground of its truth. But when the day arrived on which that ground
was definitively abandoned, on which a policy was to be adopted by
the Imperial Parliament such as to destroy this plea for the Irish
Establishment, I was equally bound in such case to adopt no other: I
had shown that justice would fail to warrant the mere support of the
Church of the minority; I was held, therefore, not to construct out
of rags and tatters, shreds and patches, a new and different case for
maintaining it on the ground of favour, or, as it is termed, justice,
to Protestants; and, if I had done anything of this kind, I should not
have escaped the responsibility of inconsistency, but should simply
have added a second and (as I think) a less excusable inconsistency to
the first.

The day for the adoption of such a policy as I have described was not
far distant.

Scarcely had my work issued from the press when I became aware that
there was no party, no section of a party, no individual person
probably in the House of Commons, who was prepared to act upon it.
I found myself the last man on the sinking ship. Exclusive support
to the established religion of the country, with a limited and local
exception for Scotland under the Treaty of Union with that country,
had been up to that time the actual rule of our policy; the instances
to the contrary being of equivocal construction, and of infinitesimal
amount. But the attempt to give this rule a vitality other than that of
sufferance was an anachronism in time and in place. When I bid it live,
it was just about to die. It was really a quickened and not a deadened
conscience in the country, which insisted on enlarging the circle of
State support, even while it tended to restrain the range of political
interference in religion. The condition of our poor, of our criminals,
of our military and naval services, and the backward state of popular
education, forced on us a group of questions, before the moral pressure
of which the old rules properly gave way. At and about the same period,
new attempts to obtain grants of public money for the building of
churches in England and Scotland, I am thankful to say, failed. The
powerful Government of 1843 also failed to carry a measure of Factory
Education, because of the preference it was thought to give to the
Established Church. I believe the very first opinion I ever was called
upon to give in Cabinet was an opinion in favour of the withdrawal of
that measure.

In this state of facts and feelings, notwithstanding the strength of
anti-Roman opinion, it was impossible that Ireland should not assert
her share, and that a large one, to consideration in these critical
matters. The forces, which were now at work, brought speedily to the
front and to the top that question of Maynooth College, which I had
always (rightly or wrongly) treated as a testing question for the
foundations of the Irish Established Church; as, in point of principle,
the _Articulus stantis aut cadentis Ecclesiæ_.

In the course of the year 1844, when I was a member of the Cabinet of
Sir Robert Peel, he made known to me his opinion that it was desirable
to remodel and to increase the Grant to Maynooth. I was the youngest
member of that Government, entirely bound up with it in policy, and
warmly attached, by respect and even affection, to its head and to
some of its leading members. Of association with what was termed
ultra-Toryism in general politics I had never dreamed. I well knew
that the words of Sir R. Peel were not merely tentative, but that, as
it was right they should, they indicated a fixed intention. The choice
before me, therefore, was, to support his measure, or to retire from
his Government into a position of complete isolation, and what was
more than this, subject to a grave and general imputation of political
eccentricity. My retirement, I knew, could have no other warrant than
this: that it would be a tribute to those laws which, as I have urged,
must be upheld for the restraint of changes of opinion and conduct in
public men. For I never entertained the idea of opposing the measure
of Sir Robert Peel. I can scarcely be guilty of a breach of confidence
when I mention that Lord Derby, to whom I had already been indebted
for much personal kindness, was one of those colleagues who sought to
dissuade me from resigning my office. He urged upon me that such an
act must be followed by resistance to the measure of the Government,
and that I should run the risk of being mixed with a fierce religious
agitation. I replied that I must adhere to my purpose of retirement,
but that I did not perceive the necessity of its being followed by
resistance to the proposal. Overtures were, not unnaturally, made to
me by some of those who resisted it; but they were at once declined. My
whole purpose was to place myself in a position in which I should be
free to consider my course without being liable to any just suspicion
on the ground of personal interest. It is not profane if I say "with
a great price obtained I this freedom." The political association in
which I stood was to me at the time the alpha and omega of public life.
The Government of Sir Robert Peel was believed to be of immovable
strength. My place, as President of the Board of Trade, was at the very
kernel of its most interesting operations; for it was in progress from
year to year, with continually waxing courage, towards the emancipation
of industry, and therein towards the accomplishment of another great
and blessed work of public justice. Giving up what I highly prized,
aware that

                              "malè sarta
              Gratia nequicquam coit, et rescinditur,"[7]

I felt myself open to the charge of being opinionated, and wanting
in deference to really great authorities; and I could not but know I
should be regarded as fastidious and fanciful, fitter for a dreamer, or
possibly a schoolman, than for the active purposes of public life in
a busy and moving age. In effect so it was. In the month of January,
1845, if not sooner, the resolution of the Cabinet was taken; and
I resigned. The public judgment, as might have been expected, did
not favour the act. I remember that the 'Daily News,' then as now a
journal greatly distinguished for an almost uniform impartiality, as
well as for breadth of view and high discernment, remarked at the
time or afterwards upon the case, as a rare one, in which a public man
had injured himself with the public by an act which must in fairness
be taken to be an act of self-denial. I hope that reference to this
criticism will not be considered boastful. It can hardly be so; for an
infirm judgment, exhibited in a practical indiscretion, is after all
the theme of these pages. I do not claim acquittal upon any one of the
counts of indictment which I have admitted may be brought against the
conduct I pursued. One point only I plead, and plead with confidence.
It proved that I was sensible of the gravity of any great change in
political conduct or opinion, and desirous beyond all things of giving
to the country such guarantees as I could give of my integrity, even at
the expense of my judgment and fitness for affairs. If any man doubts
this, I ask him to ask himself, what demand political honour could have
made with which I failed to comply?

In the ensuing debate on the Address (February 4, 1845), Lord John
Russell, in terms of courtesy and kindness which I had little deserved
from him, called for an explanation of the cause of my retirement.
In a statement which I corrected for 'Hansard's Debates,' I replied
that it had reference to the intentions of the Government with respect
to Maynooth; that those intentions pointed to a measure "at variance
with the system which I had maintained," "in a form the most detailed
and deliberate," "in a published treatise:" that although I had never
set forth any theory of political affairs as "under all circumstances
inflexible and immutable," yet I thought those who had borne such
solemn testimony to a particular view of a great constitutional
question, "ought not to be parties responsible for proposals which
involved a material departure from it." And the purpose of my
retirement was to "place myself, so far as in me lay, in a position to
form not only an honest, but likewise an independent and an unsuspected
judgment," on the plan likely to be submitted by the Government. I also
spoke as follows, in more forms than one:

        "I wish again and most distinctly to state, that I am
        not prepared to take part in any religious warfare
        against that measure, such as I believe it may be; or
        to draw a distinction between the Roman Catholics and
        other denominations of Christians, with reference to the
        religious opinions which each of them respectively may

Now I respectfully submit that by this act my freedom was established;
and that it has never since, during a period of nearly five-and-twenty
years, been compromised.

Some may say that it is perfectly consistent to have endowed Maynooth
anew, and yet to uphold on principle, as a part of the Constitution,
the Established Church of Ireland. It may be consistent, for them; it
was not consistent, as I have distinctly shown, for me. The moment
that I admitted the validity of a claim by the Church of Rome for the
gift, by the free act of the Imperial Parliament, of new funds for the
education of its clergy, the true basis of the Established Church of
Ireland for me was cut away. The one had always been treated by me as
exclusive of the other. It is not now the question whether this way of
looking at the question was a correct one. There are great authorities
against it; while it seems at the same time to have some considerable
hold on what may be termed the moral sense of portions, perhaps large
portions, of the people. The present question is one of fact. It is
enough for the present purpose, that such was my view. From that day
forward, I have never to my knowledge said one word, in public or in
private, which could pledge me on principle to the maintenance of the
Irish Church. Nay, in a speech, delivered on the second reading of the
Maynooth College Bill, I took occasion distinctly to convey, that the
application of religious considerations to ecclesiastical questions in
Ireland would be entirely altered by the passing of the measure:--

        "The boon to which I for one have thus agreed, is a very
        great boon. I think it important, most of all important
        with regard to the principles it involves. I am very
        far, indeed, from saying that it virtually decides upon
        the payment of the Roman Catholic priests of Ireland by
        the State: but I do not deny that it disposes of the
        religious objections to that measure. I mean that we, who
        assent to this Bill, shall in my judgment no longer be
        in a condition to plead religious objections to such a

True, I did not say that I was thenceforward prepared at any moment
to vote for the removal of the Established Church in Ireland. And
this for the best of all reasons: it would not have been true. It is
one thing to lift the anchor; it is another to spread the sails. It
may be a duty to be in readiness for departure, when departure itself
would be an offence against public prudence and public principle. But
I do not go so far even as this. On the contrary, I was willing and
desirous[9] that it should be permitted to continue. If its ground in
logic was gone, yet it might have, in fact, like much besides, its day
of grace. I do not now say that I leapt at once to the conclusion that
the Established Church of Ireland must at any definite period "cease
to exist as an Establishment." She had my sincere good will; I was not
sorry, I was glad, that while Ireland seemed content to have it so,
a longer time should be granted her to unfold her religious energies
through the medium of an active and pious clergy, which until this our
day she had never possessed. My mind recoiled then, as it recoils now,
from the idea of worrying the Irish Church to death. I desired that it
should remain even as it was, until the way should be opened, and the
means at hand, for bringing about some better state of things.

Moreover, it was a duty, from my point of view, completely to exhaust
every chance on behalf of the Irish Church. I have not been disposed,
at any time of life, gratuitously to undertake agitation of the most
difficult, and at times apparently the most hopeless questions. At
the period of the Appropriation Clause, I represented to myself, and
I believe to others, that the true power of the Church as a religious
engine had never up to that period been fairly tried. In name a
religious institution, her influences, her benefices, her sees, were
commonly employed for purposes, which we must condemn as secular, even
if they had not been utterly _anti-national_. Only within a few, a very
few years, had her clergy even begun to bestir themselves; and they had
forthwith found that, from the unsettled state of the law of tithe,
they were in the midst of an agitation, both menacing to public order,
and even perilous to life. I was desirous to see what, after person and
property should have been rendered secure, and a peaceful atmosphere
restored, a generation of pious and zealous men could accomplish in
their actual position. I am still of the opinion that thirty-five years
ago the religion of the Irish Church had not--to her and to our shame
be it spoken--had fair play. From the days of Elizabeth downwards, with
the rarest exceptions, the worldly element had entirely outweighed the
religious one (whatever the intention may have been) in the actual
working of the ecclesiastical institutions of Ireland. Mr. Burke has
immortalised the burning shame and the hideous scandals of those penal
laws which, perhaps for the first time in the history of Christendom if
not of man, aimed at persecuting men out of one religion, but not at
persecuting them into another. I will not be so rash as to enter on the

  "Per quem magnus equos Auruncæ flexit alumnus."

But the time of awakening had come. The Irish Church had grown
conscious that she had a Gospel to declare. Even with my present
opinions I might feel a scruple as to the measures now proposed, but
for the resistless and accumulated proof of impotence afforded by the
experience of my life-time, and due, I believe, to a radically false
position. For the Irish Church has, since the tithe war of 1830-2 came
to an end, had not only fair play--that is such fair play as in Ireland
the Establishment allows to the Church--but fair play and something
more. She has enjoyed an opportunity, extending over a generation of
men, with circumstances of favour such as can hardly be expected to
recur. What has been her case? She has had ample endowments; perfect
security; an almost unbroken freedom from the internal controversies
which have chastened (though, in chastening, I believe improved)
the Church of England. The knowledge of the Irish language has been
extensively-attained by her clergy.[10] She has had all the moral
support that could be given her by the people of this country; for it
was the people, and not a mere party, who, in 1835-8, repudiated and
repelled the Appropriation Clause. Her rival, the Church of Rome, has
seen its people borne down to the ground by famine; and then thinned
from year to year, in hundreds of thousands, by the resistless force
of emigration. And, last and most of all, in the midst of that awful
visitation of 1847-8, her Protestant Clergy came to the Roman Catholic
people clad in the garb of angels of light; for, besides their own
bounty (most liberal, I believe, in proportion to their means), they
became the grand almoners of the British nation. When, after all this,
we arrive at a new census of religion in 1861, we find that only the
faintest impression has been made upon the relative numbers of the two
bodies; an impression much slighter, I apprehend, than would have been
due to the comparative immunity of the Established Church from the
drain of emigration; and, if so, representing in reality, not a gain,
but a virtual loss of some part of the narrow ground which before was
occupied by the favoured religion of the State.

Like others, I have watched with interest the results of those
missionary operations in the West of Ireland which have, perhaps, been
construed as of a greater ulterior significance than really belongs
to them. They were, I understand, due not so much to the Established
Church, as to religious bodies in this country, which expend large
funds in Ireland for the purpose of making converts: an operation in
which the Presbyterians and Protestant Dissenters lend their aid.
Let them not be undervalued. But I, for one, recollect that this
is not the first time when local and occasional inroads have been
successfully effected by Protestants upon the serried phalanx of the
Roman Church in Ireland, and have been mistaken for signs of permanent
or a general conquest. More than forty years ago, Bishop Blomfield--no
mean authority--prophesied or announced, in the House of Lords, that
a second Reformation had then begun. And there had indeed taken
place in Ireland at that time one, if not more than one, instance of
conversions on a large scale to the Established Church, such as was
well calculated to excite sanguine anticipations, though they were
dispelled by subsequent experience. I think we ought now to perceive
that the annexation of the warrant of civil authority to the religious
embassy of the Irish Church, discredits in lieu of recommending it in
the view of the Irish people. I do not mean that we are to put down the
Establishment for the sake of a more effective propagandism. We must
not for a moment forget that civil justice, an adaptation of the state
of things in Ireland to the essential principles of political right, is
that one broad and more than sufficient justification of the measure,
in which all its advocates agree. But, over and above this, they may
also agree in reflecting with satisfaction that the time is about to
come when in Ireland, in lieu of a system which insults the religion
of the majority and makes that of the minority powerless, creeds will
compete upon the level, and will thrive according to their merits. Nor
will they be offended with one another when, in the anticipation of
such a state of things, each man who has faith in freedom, faith in
justice, faith in truth, anticipates a harvest of benefit for his own.

The emancipation thus effected from the net in which I had been bound
was soon after tested. In 1846, it was suggested to me that I should
oppose a member of the newly-formed Government of Lord John Russell.
In my reply, declining the proposal, I wrote thus: "As to the Irish
Church, I am not able to go to war with them on the ground that
they will not pledge themselves to the maintenance of the existing
appropriation of Church property in Ireland." This, however, was a
private proceeding. But, early in 1847, Mr. Estcourt announced his
resignation of the seat he had held, amidst universal respect, for
the University of Oxford. The partiality of friends proposed me as a
candidate. The representation of that University was, I think, stated
by Mr. Canning to be to him the most coveted prize of political life.
I am not ashamed to own that I desired it with an almost passionate
fondness. For besides all the associations it maintained and revived,
it was in those days an honour not only given without solicitation,
but, when once given, not withdrawn.[11] The contest was conducted with
much activity, and some heat. I was, naturally enough, challenged as
to my opinions on the Established Church of Ireland. My friend Mr.
Coleridge, then young, but already distinguished, was one of my most
active and able supporters. He has borne spontaneous testimony, within
the last few weeks, to the manner in which the challenge was met:--

        "Gentlemen, I must be permitted--because an attack has
        been made upon Mr. Gladstone, and it has been suggested
        that his conversion to his present principles is
        recent--to mention what is within my own knowledge and
        experience with regard to him. In 1847, when I was just
        leaving Oxford, I had the great honour of being secretary
        to his first election committee for that university, and
        I well recollect how, upon that occasion, some older
        and more moderate supporters were extremely anxious to
        draw from him some pledge that he should stand by the
        Irish Church. He distinctly refused to pledge himself to
        anything of the kind."[12]

The next Parliamentary occasion, after the Maynooth Grant, which
brought prominently into view the ecclesiastical arrangements of
Ireland, was that of the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill in 1851. I felt
bound, as one of a very small minority, but in cordial agreement with
the chief surviving associates of Sir Robert Peel, to offer all the
opposition in my power, not only to the clauses by which the party then
called Protectionist, and now Tory, Conservative, or Constitutionalist,
endeavoured to sharpen the sting of the measure, but to the substance
of the measure itself. I may be permitted to observe, that for the
representative of the University of Oxford thus to set himself against
the great bulk of the Liberal as well as the Conservative party,
whatever else it may have been, was not a servile or a self-seeking
course. But this is irrelevant. It is more to the present purpose
to observe that, in resisting this measure, I did not attempt to
mitigate the offence by any profession of adhesion in principle to
the maintenance of the Established Church of Ireland; but I spoke as

        "We cannot change the profound and resistless tendencies
        of the age towards religious liberty. It is our business
        to guide and control their application. Do this you may.
        But to endeavour to turn them backwards is the sport of
        children, done by the hands of men; and every effort
        you may make in that direction will recoil upon you in
        disaster and disgrace."[13]

The years flowed on. From 1846 forwards, the controversy of Free Trade
was, as a rule, the commanding and absorbing controversy, the pole of
political affairs. But from time to time motions were made in relation
to the Established Church of Ireland. That question remained as one
asleep, but whose sleep is haunted with uneasy dreams. These motions
were, as far as I remember them, uniformly of a narrow and partial
character. They aimed at what is called getting in the thin end of
the wedge. All honour, however, to each one of those who made them.
The mover of any such proposal was _vox clamantis in deserto_. The
people of England had, in 1835-8, settled the matter for the time.
The reproaches now made against the older leaders and the body of the
Liberal party for not having seriously entered the struggle, appear
to me to be not only unjust but even preposterous. The Legislature
had other great subjects to deal with, besides the Irish Church. Four
years of deadly conflict on such a matter might well be followed by
five times four of repose. But in the mean time individuals, by their
partial and occasional efforts, bore witness to a principle broader
than any which they formally announced. That principle--the application
of a true religious equality to Ireland--was biding its time.

No one, in my opinion, was bound to assert, by speech or vote, any
decisive opinion upon so great and formidable a question until he
should think, upon a careful survey of the ground and the time, of the
assisting and opposing forces, that the season for action had come. The
motions actually made were commonly motions for inquiry, or motions
aimed generally at a change. I did not enter into the debates. When I
voted, I voted against them; and against such motions, if they were
made, I should vote again.

I now arrive at the Government of 1859-65. He who has slept long is
likely soon to wake. After the Free Trade struggles of 1860 and 1861
were over, so it was, I thought, with the question of the Irish Church.
There was a lull in political affairs. They hung, in a great degree,
upon a single life--the remarkable life of Lord Palmerston. It was
surely right to think a little of the future. The calm was certain to
be succeeded by a breeze, if not a gale. It was too plain to me that
the inner disposition of Ireland, relatively to this country, was
not improving; and that, in the course of years, more or fewer, the
question of the Irish Church was certain to revive, and, if it should
revive, probably to be carried to a final issue. My first thought,
under these circumstances, was about my constituents. Anxiously
occupied in other matters, I did not give my nights and days to the
question of the Irish Church. Yet the question continually flitted, as
it were, before me; and I felt that, before that question arose in a
practical shape, my relation to the University should be considered,
and its Convocation distinctly apprised that at the proper time it
would be my duty to support very extensive changes in the Irish Church.
My valued friend, Sir R. Palmer, has done me the favour, of his own
motion, to state in public that I then apprised him of my state of

        "There had been people who had said, 'You would never
        have heard anything about the Irish Church question from
        Mr. Gladstone if the Tories had not been in power, and
        he had not wanted to get their place.' (Hear, hear.)
        To his certain knowledge that was not true. He could
        mention what had taken place between Mr. Gladstone and
        himself, and he did so the rather because it did justice
        to him, and would show them that his own mind had been
        particularly addressed to that subject, to which he had
        paid some degree of attention some years before the
        present time. In the year 1863, at a time when no one was
        bringing forward this question, or seemed very likely to
        do so, Mr. Gladstone had told him privately that he had
        made up his mind on the subject, and that he should not
        be able to keep himself from giving public expression to
        his feelings. How far or near that might be practicable,
        he could not foresee; but, under the circumstances, he
        wanted his friends connected with the University of
        Oxford to consider whether or not they would desire
        for that reason a change in the representation of the
        University."[14] #/

Partly because I felt that this question might come to the front, and
partly because I saw a manifest determination in a portion of the
Academical constituency to press my friends with incessant contests, of
which I was unwilling to be the hero, I was not indisposed to retire
without compulsion from the seat, if it could have been done without
obvious detriment to the principles on which I had been returned. This
was judged to be uncertain. Consequently, I remained. But in 1865, on
the motion of Mr. Dillwyn, I made a speech, in which I declared that
present action was impossible, that at any period immense difficulties
would have to be encountered, but that this was "the question of the
future." I stated strongly, though summarily, some of the arguments
against the Church as it stood. I entirely abstained from advising or
glancing at the subject of mere reform, and I did not use one word from
which it could be inferred that I desired it to continue in its place
as the National or Established Church of the country.

My speech was immediately denounced by Mr. (now Chief Justice)
Whiteside, as one intended to be fatal to the Established Church of
Ireland when an opportunity should arise;[15] and I am told that my
opponents in the University circulated my speech among their portion of
the constituency (as I think they were quite justified in doing) to my
prejudice. My friends, however, stood by me, and resolved to contend
for the seat. An application was made to me by a distinguished scholar,
divine, and teacher, the Warden of Trinity College, Glenalmond, to
give certain explanations for the appeasing of doubts. I did so in the
following letter:--

        "11, Carlton House Terrace, S.W., June 8, 1865.

        "DEAR DR. HANNAH,

        "It would be very difficult for me to subscribe to
        _any_ interpretation of my speech on the Irish Church
        like that of your correspondent, which contains so
        many conditions and bases of a plan for dealing with
        a question apparently remote, and at the same time
        full of difficulties on every side. My reasons are, I
        think, plain. First, because the question is remote,
        and apparently out of all bearing on the practical
        politics of the day, I think it would be for me worse
        than superfluous to determine upon any scheme or basis
        of a scheme with respect to it. Secondly, because it
        is difficult, even if I anticipated any likelihood of
        being called upon to deal with it, I should think it
        right to make no decision beforehand on the mode of
        dealing with the difficulties. But the first reason is
        that which chiefly weighs. As far as I know, my speech
        signifies pretty clearly the broad distinction which I
        take between the abstract and the practical views of the
        subject. And I think I have stated strongly my sense of
        the responsibility attaching to the opening of such a
        question, except in a state of things which gave promise
        of satisfactorily closing it. For this reason it is that
        I have been so silent about the matter, and may probably
        be so again; but I could not as a Minister, and as
        member for Oxford, allow it to be debated an indefinite
        number of times and remain silent. One thing, however,
        I may add, because I think it a clear landmark. In any
        measure dealing with the Irish Church, I think (though I
        scarcely _expect_ ever to be called on to share in such
        a measure) the Act of Union must be recognised and must
        have important consequences, especially with reference to
        the position of the hierarchy.

        "I am much obliged to you for writing, and I hope you
        will see and approve my reasons for not wishing to carry
        my _own mind_ further into a question lying at a distance
        I cannot measure.

          "Yours sincerely,
            (Signed) "W. E. GLADSTONE.

        "Rev. the WARDEN, Trin. Coll., Perth."

The letter has been the object of much criticism upon these three
grounds. First, it contained a statement that the Act of Union ought to
entail important consequences in the formation of any measure relating
to the Irish Church. Secondly, that the question was hardly within
the domain of practical politics. Thirdly, that I felt very uncertain
whether it would be dealt with in my time. The explanation of the first
is as follows:--In contemplating the subject of the Irish Church, I did
not see how to give full effect to the principle of religious equality
without touching the composition of the House of Lords. In this strait,
my personal opinion was that it would be best to retain (though in an
altered form) the Episcopal element from Ireland in the House of Lords,
lest its withdrawal should lead to other changes, of a kind to weaken
the constitution of that important branch of the legislature; and thus
far I was disposed to abridge the application of religious equality to
Ireland. I had not yet examined the question so closely as to perceive
that this mode of proceeding was wholly impracticable, and that the
inconvenience of removing the Irish Bishops must be faced. And for my
part I have not been so happy, at any time of my life, as to be able
sufficiently to adjust the proper conditions of handling any difficult
question, until the question itself was at the door. This retention of
the Bishops in the House of Peers was the important consequence that I
thought the Act of Union would draw.

Among those errors of the day which may be called singular as vulgar
errors, is that which supposes the fifth Article of the Act of Union
with Ireland to refer to the endowments of the Church. Its terms touch
exclusively her "doctrine, worship, discipline, and government." There
is no violation of this section of the Act of Union in withdrawing her
endowments, were she stripped of every shilling. But it may be said
that her "government," as distinguished from her discipline, perhaps
involves the position of her exclusive relation to the State. So I
thought; and accordingly thus I wrote to Dr. Hannah.

The second proposition of the letter was not only in harmony with my
speech, it was simply the condensation of the speech into a brief form
of words. For, agreeing with Mr. Dillwyn as to the merits of the case,
I held, as I have ever held, that it is not the duty of a Minister to
be forward in inscribing on the Journals of Parliament his own abstract
views; or to disturb the existence of a great institution like the
Church of Ireland, until he conceives the time to be come when he can
probably give effect to his opinions. Because the question was not
within the range of practical politics, agreeing with his sentiment, I
voted against his motion.

But, forsooth, it is a matter of wonder that I should have felt
doubtful whether the Irish Church would be dealt with in my time. Now,
I do not complain of this. It is an example of what is continually
happening in human affairs, of the mythical handling of facts, of the
reflection of the ideas, feelings, and circumstances of one period upon
the events of another, and thus dressing the past in the garb of the
present. I abide by this, and by every word of the letter. The question
of the Irish Church was in my view, in the year 1865, what, be it
remembered, the question of Parliamentary Reform seemed to be in the
first moiety of the year 1830--namely, a remote question. Had any man
said to me, "How soon will it come on?" I should have replied, "Heaven
knows; perhaps it will be five years, perhaps it will be ten." My duty
was to let my constituents know the state of my mind on a matter so
important, because the wind was gradually veering to that quarter,
even though I might not believe, and did not believe it to be the
most probable event, that it would reach the point for action during
the life of the Parliament just then about to be elected. But then I
referred to my own political lifetime. On that subject I will only say
that a man who, in 1865, completed his thirty-third year of a laborious
career; who had already followed to the grave the remains of almost all
the friends abreast of whom he had started from the University in the
career of public life; and who had observed that, excepting two recent
cases, it was hard to find in our whole history a single man who had
been permitted to reach the fortieth year of a course of labour similar
to his own within the walls of the House of Commons; such a man might
surely be excused if he did not venture to reckon for himself on an
exemption from the lot of greater and better men, and if he formed a
less sanguine estimate of the fraction of space yet remaining to him,
than seems to have been the case with his critics.

The reasons that, in my judgment, prove the time now to have arrived
for dealing decisively with the question of the Irish Church
Establishment, must be treated elsewhere than in these pages.

So far as Ireland, and the immediate controversy, and my personal
vindication are concerned, I have done. But there is matter of
wider interest, which connects itself with the subject. The change
of conduct, the shifting of the mind of an individual, shrink into
insignificance by the side of the question, What has been, since
1838, the direction of the public sentiment, the course of law and
administration, the general march of affairs?

I have described the erroneous impressions as to the actual and
prospective state of things, under which was urged the practical
application of that system of thought embodied in my work of 1838.
It may be said my error was a gross or even an absurd one. On that
question I need not enter. But I will endeavour to bring into view some
circumstances relating to the time, which may help to account for it.
And here I feel that I pass beyond the narrower and more personal scope
of these pages, if I attempt to recall some of the changes that have
taken place during the last thirty or five-and-thirty years, in matters
which bear upon the religious character and relations of the State.

At that time, Jews, and others not adopting the Christian name,
were excluded from civil office; and though Roman Catholics and
Nonconformists had effected an entrance into Parliament, there still
remained an oath for the former, and a declaration for the latter,
which, if they did not practically limit freedom, yet denoted, like the
mark of chains on the limbs of an emancipated slave, that there had
been a time when it did not exist. The Establishment of Scotland was
still entire, and animated with the strength principally of the eminent
men who afterwards led the Free Church Secession. The attack on the
Irish Church, pushed in 1835 with earnestness and vigour by the Liberal
party, had speedily proved to be hopeless. The State continued to make
to other persuasions certain grants, little more than compassionate,
and handed down from other times; but, even in the case of the classes
especially in its charge, such as soldiers and sailors, or such again
as paupers and criminals, it rarely permitted, and still more rarely
provided for them, the means of religious worship according to their
own religious convictions. In the great province of popular education
in England, nothing was granted except to schools of the Church, or to
schools in which, while the Bible was read, no religion other than that
of the Church was taught; and he would have been deemed something more
than a daring prophet, who should have foretold that in a few years the
utmost ambition of the lay champions, and of the spiritual heads of the
Church, would be to obtain the maintenance of a denominational system
in popular education, under which all religions alike should receive
the indirect, yet not unsubstantial, countenance of the State.

But the most important of all the changes which have taken place within
the interval, has been the change in the condition of the Church of
England itself.

Even for those old enough to have an adequate recollection of the
facts, it requires no inconsiderable mental effort to travel backwards
over the distractions, controversies, perils, and calamities of the
last thirty years, to the period immediately before those years; and
to realise not only the state of facts, but especially the promises
and prospects which it presented. I am well aware that any description
of it which may now be attempted will appear to bear more or less
the colour of romance; but, without taking it into view, no one can
either measure the ground over which we have travelled, or perceive how
strong was then the temptation to form an over-sanguine estimate of the
probable progress of the Church in her warfare with sin and ignorance,
and even in persuading seceders of all kinds to re-enter her fold.

That time was a time such as comes, after sickness, to a man in the
flower of life, with an unimpaired and buoyant constitution; the time
in which, though health is as yet incomplete, the sense and the joy of
health are keener, as the fresh and living current first flows in, than
are conveyed by its even and undisturbed possession.

The Church of England had been passing through a long period of deep
and chronic religious lethargy. For many years, perhaps for some
generations, Christendom might have been challenged to show, either
then or from any former age, a clergy (with exceptions) so secular and
lax, or congregations so cold, irreverent, and indevout. The process
of awakening had, indeed, begun many years before; but a very long
time is required to stir up effectually a torpid body, whose dimensions
overspread a great country. Active piety and zeal among the clergy,
and yet more among the laity, had been in a great degree confined
within the narrow limits of a party, which, however meritorious in
its work, presented in the main phenomena of transition, and laid but
little hold on the higher intellect and cultivation of the country.
Our churches and our worship bore in general too conclusive testimony
to a frozen indifference. No effort had been made either to overtake
the religious destitution of the multitudes at home, or to follow the
numerous children of the Church, migrating into distant lands, with
any due provision for their spiritual wants. The richer benefices were
very commonly regarded as a suitable provision for such members of the
higher families as were least fit to push their way in any profession
requiring thought or labour. The abuses of plurality and non-residence
were at a height, which, if not proved by statistical returns, it would
now be scarcely possible to believe. In the greatest public school of
the country (and I presume it may be taken as a sample of the rest) the
actual teaching of Christianity was all but dead, though happily none
of its forms had been surrendered. It is a retrospect full of gloom;
and with all our Romanising, and all our Rationalising, what man of
sense would wish to go back upon those dreary times:

              "Domos Ditis vacuas, et inania regna"?[16]

But between 1831 and 1840, the transformation, which had previously
begun, made a progress altogether marvellous. Much was due, without
doubt, to the earnest labour of individuals. Such men as Bishop
Blomfield on the Bench, and Dr. Hook in the parish (and I name them
only as illustrious examples), who had long been toiling with a
patient but a dauntless energy, began as it were to get the upper
hand. But causes of deep and general operation were also widely at
work. As the French Revolution had done much to renovate Christian
belief on the Continent, so the Church of England was less violently,
but pretty sharply, roused by the political events which arrived in a
rattling succession. In 1828, the repeal of the Test Act. In 1829, the
emancipation of the Roman Catholics. In 1831-2, the agony and triumph
of Reform. In 1833, the Church Temporalities Act for Ireland. There was
now a general uprising of religious energy in the Church throughout the
land. It saved the Church. Her condition before 1830 could not possibly
have borne the scrutinising eye, which for thirty years past has been
turned upon our institutions. Her rank corruptions must have called
down the avenging arm. But it was arrested just in time.

It would be difficult to give a just and full idea of the beneficial
changes which were either accomplished or begun during this notable
decade of years. They embraced alike formal, official movements, of
a nature to strike the general eye, and those local improvements in
detail, which singly are known only in each neighbourhood, but which
unitedly transform the face of a country. Laws were passed to repress
gross abuses, and the altering spirit of the clergy seconded and even
outstripped the laws. The outward face of divine worship began to be
renovated, and the shameful condition of the sacred fabrics was rapidly
amended, with such a tide of public approval as overflowed all the
barriers of party and of sect, and speedily found its manifestations
even in the seceding communions. There is no reason to doubt that at
that time at least, and before such changes had become too decidedly
the fashion, the outward embellishment of churches, and the greater
decency and order of services, answered to, and sprang from, a call
within, and proved a less unworthy conception of the sublime idea of
Christian worship. The missionary arm of the Church began to exhibit a
vigour wholly unknown to former years. Noble efforts were made, under
the auspices of the chief bishops of the Church, to provide for the
unsatisfied spiritual wants of the metropolis. The great scheme of the
Colonial Episcopate was founded; and, in its outset, led to such a
development of apostolic zeal and self-denial as could not but assist,
by a powerful reaction, the domestic progress. The tone of public
schools (on one of which Arnold was now spending his noble energies)
and of universities, was steadily yet rapidly raised. The greatest
change of all was within the body of the clergy.[17] A devoted piety
and an unworldly life, which had been the rare exceptions, became
visibly from year to year more and more the rule. The spectacle, as
a whole, was like what we are told of a Russian spring: when, after
long months of rigid cold, almost in a day the snow dissolves, the ice
breaks up and is borne away, and the whole earth is covered with a rush
of verdure. These were bright and happy days for the Church of England.
She seemed, or seemed to seem, as a Church recalling the descriptions
of Holy Writ; to be "beautiful as the sun which goeth forth in his
might,"[18] "and terrible as an army with banners."[19]

Of this great renovating movement, a large part centred in Oxford. At
the time, indeed, when I resided there, from 1828 to 1831, no sign of
it had yet appeared. A steady, clear, but dry Anglican orthodoxy bore
sway, and frowned, this way or that, on the first indication of any
tendency to diverge from the beaten path. Dr. Pusey was, at that time,
revered, indeed, for his piety and charity, no less than admired for
his learning and talents, but suspected (I believe) of sympathy with
the German theology, in which he was known to be profoundly versed.
Dr. Newman was thought to have about him the flavour of what, he has
now told the world, were the opinions he had derived in youth from
the works of Thomas Scott. Mr. Keble, the "sweet singer of Israel,"
and a true saint, if this generation has seen one, did not reside in
Oxford.[20] The chief Chair of Theology had been occupied by Bishop
Lloyd, the old tutor and the attached and intimate friend of Peel: a
man of powerful talents, and of a character both winning and decided,
who, had his life been spared, might have acted powerfully for good
on the fortunes of the Church of England, by guiding the energetic
influences which his teaching had done much to form. But he had been
hurried away in 1829 by an early death: and Dr. Whately, who was also,
in his own way, a known power in the University, was in 1830 induced to
accept the Archbishopric of Dublin. There was nothing at that time in
the theology, or in the religious life, of the University to indicate
what was to come. But when, shortly afterwards, the great heart of
England began to beat with the quickened pulsations of a more energetic
religious life, it was in Oxford that the stroke was most distinct
and loud. An extraordinary change appeared to pass upon the spirit of
the place. I believe it would be a moderate estimate to say that much
beyond one half of the very flower of its youth chose the profession
of Holy Orders, while an impression scarcely less deep seemed to be
stamped upon a large portion of its lay pupils. I doubt whether at
any period of its existence, either since the Reformation, or perhaps
before it, the Church of England had reaped from either University, in
so short a time, so rich a harvest. At Cambridge a similar lifting up
of heart and mind seems to have been going on; and numbers of persons
of my own generation, who at their public schools had been careless
and thoughtless like the rest, appeared in their early manhood as
soldiers of Christ, and ministers to the wants of His people, worthy,
I believe, as far as man can be worthy, through their zeal, devotion,
powers of mind, and attainments, of their high vocation. It was not
then foreseen what storms were about to rise. Not only in Oxford, but
in England, during the years to which I refer, party spirit within
the Church was reduced to a low ebb. Indiscretions there might be,
but authority did not take alarm: it smiled rather, on the contrary,
on what was thought to be in the main a recurrence both to first
principles and to forgotten obligations. Purity, unity, and energy
seemed, as three fair sisters hand in hand, to advance together. Such a
state of things was eminently suited to act on impressible and sanguine
minds. I, for one, formed a completely false estimate of what was about
to happen; and believed that the Church of England, through the medium
of a regenerated clergy and an intelligent and attached laity, would
not only hold her ground, but would even in great part probably revive
the love and the allegiance both of the masses who were wholly falling
away from religious observances, and of those large and powerful
nonconforming bodies, the existence of which was supposed to have no
other cause than the neglect of its duties by the National Church,
which had long left the people as sheep without a shepherd.

And surely it would have required either a deeply saturnine or a
marvellously prophetic mind to foretell that, in ten or twelve more
years, that powerful and distinguished generation of clergy would
be broken up: that at least a moiety of the most gifted sons, whom
Oxford had reared for the service of the Church of England, would be
hurling at her head the hottest bolts of the Vatican: that, with their
deviation on the one side, there would arise a not less convulsive
rationalistic movement on the other; and that the natural consequences
would be developed in endless contention and estrangement, and in
suspicions worse than either, because even less accessible, and even
more intractable. Since that time, the Church of England may be said
to have bled at every pore; and at this hour it seems occasionally
to quiver to its very base. And yet, all the while, the religious
life throbs more and more powerfully within her. Shorn of what may be
called the romance and poetry of her revival, she abates nothing of
her toil; and in the midst of every sort of partial indiscretion and
extravagance, her great office in the care of souls is, from year to
year, less and less imperfectly discharged. But the idea of asserting
on her part those exclusive claims, which become positively unjust in a
divided country governed on popular principles, has been abandoned by
all parties in the State.

There was an error not less serious in my estimate of English
Nonconformity. I remember the astonishment with which at some
period,--I think in 1851-2,--after ascertaining the vast addition which
had been made to the number of churches in the country, I discovered
that the multiplication of chapels, among those not belonging to
the Church of England, had been more rapid still. But besides the
immense extension of its material and pastoral organisation, English
Nonconformity (in general) appears now to have founded itself on a
principle of its own, which forbids the alliance of the civil power
with religion in any particular form or forms. I do not embrace that
principle. But I must observe, in passing, that it is not less unjust
than it is common to stigmatise those who hold it as "political
Dissenters,"--a phrase implying that they do not dissent on religious
grounds. But if they, because they object to the union of Church and
State, are political Dissenters, it follows that all who uphold it are
political Churchmen.

The entire miscalculation which I have now endeavoured to describe of
the religious state and prospects of the country, was combined with a
view of the relative position of governors and governed, since greatly
modified; and the two lay at the root of my error. These two causes
led me into the excess of recommending the continued maintenance of
a theory which was impracticable, and which, if it could have been
enforced, would have been, under the circumstances of the country,
less than just. For I never held that a National Church should be
permanently maintained except for the nation,--I mean either for the
whole of it or, at least, for the greater part, with some kind of real
concurrence or general acquiescence from the remainder.

Against the proposals of my book, Lord Macaulay had set up a theory of
his own.[21]

        "That we may give Mr. Gladstone his revenge, we will
        state concisely our own views respecting the alliance of
        Church and State....

        "We consider the primary end of Government as a purely
        temporal end, the protection of the persons and property
        of men.

        "We think that Government, like every other contrivance
        of human wisdom, from the highest to the lowest,
        is likely to answer its main end best, when it is
        constructed with a single view to that end....

        "Government is not an institution for the propagation
        of religion, any more than St. George's Hospital is an
        institution for the propagation of religion. And the
        most absurd and pernicious consequences would follow
        if Government should pursue as its primary end, that
        which can never be more than its secondary end: though
        intrinsically more important than its primary end. But
        a Government which considers the religious instruction
        of the people as a secondary end, and follows out that
        principle faithfully, will we think be likely to do much
        good and little harm."

These sentences, I think, give a fair view of Lord Macaulay's
philosophy of Church Establishments. It has all the clearness and
precision that might be expected from him. But I own myself unable to
accept it as it stands. I presume to think that perhaps Lord Macaulay,
like myself, made, from a limited induction, a hasty generalisation.
The difference was, that his theory was right for the practical
purpose of the time, while mine was wrong. Considered, however, in the
abstract, that theory appears to me to claim kindred with the ethical
code of another writer, not less upright, and not less limpid, so to
speak, than Lord Macaulay himself, I mean Dr. Paley. And the upshot of
it may be comprised in three words: Government is police. All other
functions, except those of police proper, are the accidents of its
existence. As if a man should say to his friend when in the country,
"I am going up to town; can I take anything for you?" So the State,
while busy about protecting life and property, will allow its officer
of police to perform any useful office for the community, to instruct
a wayfarer as to his road, or tell the passer by what o'clock it is,
provided it does not interfere with his watching the pickpocket, or
laying the strong hand upon the assassin. I doubt if it is possible
to cut out, as it were, with a pair of scissors, patterns of policy,
which shall solve for all time and place the great historic problem of
the relation of the civil power to religion.

It seems to me that in every function of life, and in every combination
with his fellow-creatures, for whatever purpose, the duties of man are
limited only by his powers. It is easy to separate, in the case of a
Gas Company or a Chess Club, the primary end for which it exists, from
everything extraneous to that end. It is not so easy in the case of the
State or of the family. If the primary end of the State is to protect
life and property, so the primary end of the family is to propagate
the race. But around these ends there cluster, in both cases, a group
of moral purposes, variable indeed with varying circumstances, but
yet inhering in the relation, and not external or merely incidental
to it. The action of man in the State is moral, as truly as it is in
the individual sphere; although it be limited by the fact that, as
he is combined with others whose views and wills may differ from his
own, the sphere of the common operations must be limited, first, to
the things in which all are agreed; secondly, to the things in which,
though they may not be agreed, yet equity points out, and the public
sense acknowledges, that the whole should be bound by the sense of the

I can hardly believe that even those, including as they do so many men
both upright and able, who now contend on principle for the separation
of the Church from the State, are so determined to exalt their theorem
to the place of an universal truth, that they ask us to condemn the
whole of that process, by which, as the Gospel spread itself through
the civilised world, Christianity became incorporated with the action
of civil authority, and with the framework of public law. In the course
of human history, indeed, we perceive little of unmixed evil, and far
less of universal good. It is not difficult to discern that (in the
language of Bishop Heber) as the world became Christian, Christianity
became worldly; that the average tone of a system, which embraces in
its wide-spreading arms the entire community, is almost of necessity
lower than that of a society which, if large, is still private, and
into which no man enters except by his own deliberate choice, very
possibly even at the cost of much personal and temporal detriment. But
Christ died for the race: and those who notice the limited progress
of conversion in the world until alliance with the civil authority
gave to His religion a wider access to the attention of mankind, may
be inclined to doubt whether, without that alliance, its immeasurable
and inestimable social results would ever have been attained. Allowing
for all that may be justly urged against the danger of mixing secular
motives with religious administration, and above all against the
intrusion of force into the domain of thought; I for one cannot desire
that Constantine in the government of the empire, that Justinian in
the formation of its code of laws, or that Charlemagne in refounding
society, or that Elizabeth in the crisis of the English Reformation,
should have acted on the principle that the State and the Church in
themselves are separate or alien powers, incapable of coalition.

But there are two causes, the combined operation of which, upon
reaching a certain point of development, relaxes or dissolves their
union by a process as normal (if it be less beneficial) as that by
which the union was originally brought about. One of these is the
establishment of the principle of popular self-government as the
basis of political constitutions. The other is the disintegration of
Christendom from one into many communions. As long as the Church at
large, or the Church within the limits of the nation, is substantially
one, I do not see why the religious care of the subject, through
a body properly constituted for the purpose, should cease to be a
function of the State, with the whole action and life of which it has,
throughout Europe, been so long and so closely associated. As long as
the State holds, by descent, by the intellectual superiority of the
governing classes, and by the good will of the people, a position of
original and underived authority, there is no absolute impropriety,
but the reverse, in its commending to the nation the greatest of all
boons. But when, either by some Revolution of institutions from their
summit to their base, or by a silent and surer process, analogous to
that which incessantly removes and replaces the constituent parts of
the human body, the State has come to be the organ of the deliberate
and ascertained will of the community, expressed through legal
channels--then the inculcation of a religion can no longer rest, in
full or permanent force, upon its authority. When, in addition to this,
the community itself is split and severed into opinions and communions,
which, whatever their concurrence in the basis of Christian belief, are
hostile in regard to the point at issue, so that what was meant for the
nation dwindles into the private estate as it were of a comparative
handful--the attempt to maintain an Established Church becomes an
error fatal to the peace, dangerous perhaps even to the life, of civil
society. Such a Church then becomes (to use a figure I think of John
Foster's), no longer the temple, but the mere cemetery, of a great
idea. Such a policy is then not simply an attempt to treat what is
superannuated and imbecile as if it were full of life and vigour, but
to thwart the regular and normal action of the ruling social forces, to
force them from their proper channels, and to turn them by artificial
contrivance, as Apollo turned the rivers of Troas from their beds, to a
purpose of our own. This is to set caprice against nature; and the end
must be that, with more or less of delay, more or less of struggle or
convulsion, nature will get the better of caprice.

But does it follow from all this, that the tone of moral action in the
State should be lowered? Such a fear is what perplexes serious and
sober men, who are laudably unwilling to surrender, in a world where
falsehood has so wide a range, any portion of this vantage-ground
of truth and right. I, who may have helped to mislead them by an
over-hasty generalisation, would now submit what seems to me calculated
to re-assure the mind. I make an appeal to the history of the last
thirty years. During those years, what may be called the dogmatic
allegiance of the State to religion has been greatly relaxed; but
its consciousness of moral duty has been not less notably quickened
and enhanced. I do not say this in depreciation of Christian dogma.
But we are still a Christian people. Christianity has wrought itself
into the public life of fifteen hundred years. Precious truths, and
laws of relative right and the brotherhood of man, such as the wisdom
of heathenism scarcely dreamed of and could never firmly grasp, the
Gospel has made to be part of our common inheritance, common as the
sunlight that warms us, and as the air we breathe. Sharp though our
divisions in belief may be, they have not cut so deep as to prevent,
or as perceptibly to impair, the recognition of these great guides
and fences of moral action. It is far better for us to trust to the
operation of these our common principles and feelings, and to serve our
Maker together in that wherein we are at one, rather than in aiming at
a standard theoretically higher, to set out with a breach of the great
commandment, which forms the groundwork of all relative duties, and to
refuse to do as we would be done by.

It is, then, by a practical rather than a theoretic test that our
Establishments of religion should be tried. In applying this practical
test, we must be careful to do it with those allowances, which are as
necessary for the reasoner in moral subjects, as it is for the reasoner
in mechanics to allow for friction or for the resistance of the air.
An Establishment that does its work in much, and has the hope and
likelihood of doing it in more: an Establishment that has a broad and
living way open to it, into the hearts of the people: an Establishment
that can commend the services of the present by the recollections and
traditions of a far-reaching past: an Establishment able to appeal
to the active zeal of the greater portion of the people, and to the
respect or scruples of almost the whole, whose children dwell chiefly
on her actual living work and service, and whose adversaries, if
she has them, are in the main content to believe that there will be
a future for them and their opinions: such an Establishment should
surely be maintained. But an Establishment that neither does, nor has
her hope of doing, work, except for a few, and those few the portion
of the community whose claim to public aid is the smallest of all: an
Establishment severed from the mass of the people by an impassable
gulph, and by a wall of brass: an Establishment whose good offices,
could she offer them, would be intercepted by a long unbroken chain
of painful and shameful recollections: an Establishment leaning for
support upon the extraneous aid of a State, which becomes discredited
with the people by the very act of lending it: such an Establishment
will do well for its own sake, and for the sake of its creed, to divest
itself, as soon as may be, of gauds and trappings, and to commence a
new career, in which, renouncing at once the credit and the discredit
of the civil sanction, it shall seek its strength from within, and put
a fearless trust in the message that it bears.

        _September 22, 1868._


       *       *       *       *       *


[1] From a placard just published at Berwick.

[2] 'The State in its Relations with the Church,' ch. ii., sect. 71, p.
73. Editions 1-3.

[3] 'Edinburgh Review,' April, 1839, p. 235.

[4] p. 252.

[5] 'Mirror of Parliament,' Monday, July 30, 1838. The passage, which
is full and clear, is more briefly given, but to the same effect, in
'Hansard,' vol. xliv. p. 817.

[6] June 1, 1836. 'Hansard,' vol. xxxiii. p. 1317.

[7] Hor. Ep. ii. 3. 31.

[8] 'Speech on the Second Reading of the Maynooth College Bill,' 1845,
p. 44.

[9] _Ibid._, p. 33.

[10] See 'Life of Archbishop Whately.'

[11] The case of Sir R. Peel, in 1829, I do not consider an exception
to this remark, as he gave back the charge into the hands of the

[12] Mr. Coleridge's speech at Exeter, August, 1868. From the
'Manchester Examiner' of August 22.

[13] 'Corrected Speech on the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill,' 1851, p. 28.

[14] Sir R. Palmer's speech at Richmond, August, 1868. From the
'Manchester Examiner' of August 24.

[15] 'Hansard,' vol. clxxviii. p. 444.--"But I do complain of a
Minister who, himself the author of a book in defence of Church and
State, when one branch of the Christian Church is attacked and in
danger, delivers a speech, every word of which is hostile to its
existence when the right time comes for attacking it."

[16] Æn. vi.

[17] It was, I think, about the year 1835, that I first met the Rev.
Sydney Smith, at the house of Mr. Hallam. In conversation after dinner
he said to me, with the double charm of humour and of good-humour, "The
improvement of the clergy in my time has been astonishing. Whenever
you meet a clergyman of my age, you may be quite sure that he is a bad

[18] Judges, v. 31.

[19] Canticles, vi. 4.

[20] Since these lines were written I have learned, upon authority
which cannot be questioned, that Mr. Keble acknowledged the justice of
disestablishing the Irish Church.

[21] 'Ed. Rev.', April, 1839, p. 273-6.

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