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man you can find and get out of his way!' It should be no part of the duties of the governing body to interfere with what may be called the internal affairs of the church and the ministrations of the parson. These should be matters of arrangement between the congregation and their minister. Let the powers and the duties of churchwardens be defined as clearly as may be —let the number of the church wardens be increased if you will, or let the old sidesman be revived ; but let it be clearly understood that the parish is one thing and the congregation is another. Let it be understood that the rector of the parish as a parish officer should be accountable to the governors in so far as they are trustees for the parish reserve fund; but in matters with which only the congregation worshipping habitually in the church are concerned, let no outsider have any locus standi. If in his administrations a clergyman insists on doing or leaving undone certain practices which are hateful to the congregation to which he ministers; if between priest and people things should come to a deadlock; by all means let it be allowable, as it ought to be, for the people to demand redress, and let them ask for that redress with authority and a claim to have their grievances considered. In such cases there would be no need of rushing into the law courts, no spiteful resort to costly legislation to crush or ruin a foolish, obstinate, and ignorantly conscientious clergyman. The congregation-speaking through their representatives, the churchwardens, sidesmen, or whatever other name you might choose to call them by—would lay their complaint before the bishop first, and as an ultimate resort would go to the governing body, and claim that their parson should be dismissed, on grounds which should be, of course, properly formulated.
And this brings us to another matter-viz. the prominence (I do not say pre-eminence) to be given to the congregational element in any readjustment of church regimen at the present time. It is idle to talk as if the Church were co-extensive with the nation, or as if the inhabitants of a parish were all worshippers in the church fabric. If a man now does not like the ritual or the doctrine offered to him in his parish church, he leaves it, and goes where he finds what he wants. It will always be so. There was a good deal of nonconformity in the Apostolic times, and there will be nonconformity as long as men love to bave things their own way. If an apostle were to find himself rector of any parish in England, with an angel to play the organ, and a multitude of the heavenly host to chant the psalms and render' the anthems, would Jannes and Jambres be satisfied ? On the other hand, though it is impossible but that offences should arise (which means that offence should be taken), it is our duty and our interest to minimise the occasion of offence; and it is clearly neither right nor politic that any man should occupy such a position as that he may, if he please, go very far towards making
himself a ' lord over God's heritage,' and by adopting such a course not only lessen his own influence, but commit a serious wrong to the assembly of worshippers to whom, after all, it must be remembered, he is appointed to minister, not to be an irresponsible dictator.
Wherever there is a congregation of faithful men’ regularly worshipping together in any church, the very sign and evidence of life among them is that there is a great deal of mere business to be got through. There are large sums of money raised for various purposes, there are organisations great and small to be looked to, there are meetings to be held, arrangements of very different kinds to be made, and work of all sorts to be done. It must be done, and it can only be done by the incumbent in conjunction and co-operation with the congregation; as long as the two work together all goes on smoothly, if they are at variance friction ensues. It would be preposterous that all the money collected by and through the voluntary contributions and the voluntary exertions of the congregation should be handed over to an outside body such as the governing body we have been dealing with above. Indeed, such a proposal scarcely deserves to be seriously considered; the congregation as a congregation must in all reason be allowed to manage its own affairs. But, inasmuch as no institution in the world can hope to flourish if its manager prove himself incompetent, quarrelsome, and fractious, and when it becomes apparent that the well-being of the institution is being sacrificed only to keep the wrong man in the wrong place, then you get rid of that wrong man, sometimes with joy, sometimes with sorrow. So should it be with our churches. To give the congregations the appointment of their parsons or to arm them with a veto would be to follow a course which all our experience warns us against, and to which-I cannot explain why-all our national habits of thought, convictions, and prejudices are opposed. But, under any circumstances, cases might occur where a reluctant congregation might find itself saddled with a minister who, after a fair trial, should prove himself altogether unsuited to deal with the peculiar conditions, social, financial, or religious—which presented themselves; and where such cases did occur the congregation in its own interests—to go no further-ought to have the opportunity of making its wishes or its objections known. As to graver matters, where a parson's moral character was in question, I do not think it worth while to deal with them. As to the proposal of setting up parochial councils in our country villages, I find it very hard to believe that this can have ever been put forward seriously by any sane man of the world. Surely, surely it can only be the clumsy joke of a dreamer which suggests that we should establish village parliaments for the discussion of matters of ritual and theology among the representatives of a population which sometimes counts by tens, usually by a few hundreds, and very rarely by thousands. In the single diocese of Norwich there are actually one hundred and two parishes in each of
which the population is less than a hundred, including the last baby. Think of a parochial council in the parish of Bittering Parva, where I was once told there are between fourteen and ffteen inhabitants !'
I am quite aware that the questions which still remain to be dealt with in considering any comprehensive measure of what is known as Church Reform are many and difficult, and some of them are of the highest importance. They will come on for discussion, we may be sure, and abler men than I am, and men better qualified to handle such questions, will doubtless engage in them.
In the hands of such men I would gladly leave the serious and difficult problems which are calling so loudly for solution. The power of dismissal of a parson from his cure, for other than moral offences, at once brings us face to face with the question, ‘How are we to provide for aged and broken-down clergy in their time of need?' It also suggests the question, 'In what relations will the governing body stand to the congregation on the one side and the bishop on the other?' The throwing open the benefices to what is sure to be stigmatised as open competition will be distasteful to some, but will result in changes which I am convinced will be, on the whole, of immense benefit to clergy and people, and especially they will tend towards the promotion of the best men to the most valuable cures. Yet here too, when we come to details, it will be necessary to open our eyes to some difficulties, from which, however, we need not shrink, nor will they, I believe, be found so insuperable as may be imagined.
The training, too, of the younger clergy during their term of apprenticeship, if I may use the expression, and the general supervision and periodical inspection of the benefices which has now become the emptiest of forms, will assuredly be called for by all who desire a coherent scheme for the readjustment of matters ecclesiastical. It is hardly to be expected that we should be allowed to go on much longer in the rambling way we do.
If it were only the supremacy of this or that form of doctrine or worship, however dear to us, however sacred, that was at stake, I for one would not willingly embark in the conflict that is before us, or step out from the limits of the humble sphere in which I find myself. I would hold my peace except among my people, and try my best to till the little plot in the heritage of God which His good providence has assigned to me for my daily work. But there is much more at stake than any merely sectarian view of the case would have us believe. It is no mere fight between religious factions and sects and creeds. The question now is whether or not that machinery whereby the schooling of our moral sentiments has been carried on for ages shall be cast from us as a thing of nought, while we surrender ourselves to the private-venture teachers to provide a new machinery by-and-by. Are we to have no functionaries whose remonstrances any one need attend to ? Is there to be no voice speaking with the semblance of authority, bidding the people do the right and avoid the evil ? Is there to be no national worship, no national religion, and of course no national creed? How long can Christian ethics be supposed to last?
For ages the vessel of the State has gone on its way riding through a thousand storms, and buffeted by a million billows; its rudder has been at times unskilfully handled ; at times the course has been set with evil consequences ; at times the steersmen have been rash or blind. But shall we now, in an outbreak of passion or of panic, unship that rudder and cut ourselves adrift, with never a helm to trust to, in the open sea ?
THE SECOND PART OF FAUST.' 1
It is rarely that a continuation or second part of a great poem, whose first part has successfully taken hold of the popular fancy, succeeds in getting itself recognised as of like parentage and full brotherhood with its predecessor. For, whatever its merits may be, one thing is certain—it will not have the attraction of novelty; it is not a new thing, only a new phasis of an old thing; and many whose curiosity has been satisfied with a taste of the original will remain indifferent to the charms of the variation. But there are other considerations, even more powerful, that may act in the same direction. If the work which has achieved a certain roundness in the youth or early manhood of the writer finds its continuation in his advanced age, there may be a diminution of power, or at all events a change in the point of view, and an alteration of the tone, which is sure to come into conflict with the natural anticipations of the reader. Then, again, if the author has managed matters with such dramatic cunning that the first part seems so complete in itself as to leave no demand for a necessary complement or a natural sequence, in this case the author has himself to blame if he shall appear to the public in the attitude of an architect who should heap a rich and pretentious topping on a building which has been already furnished with its proper architrave and pediment. Now all these forces work together to the disadvantage of the second part of Goethe's great German tragedy. The Faust, though not put forth in complete sbape till the author was considerably past middle life, was, both in conception and execution, in the main, the creation of bis full-blooded youth ; while the second part was composed in comparative old age, and not finished till within a few weeks of his death in 1832. There are few men, and these certainly not the biggest, who could carry one idea through such a long stretch of literary activity without suffering some considerable change in the general tone of their art and in their style of handling; but with Goethe, whose Vielseitigheit was characteristic, this progression to a new phase of productiveness from Werther and Götz von Berlichingen down to the West Eastern Divan and the second part of Faust, this change in what the Germans would call his subjectivity, was particu
1 The Second Part of Faust: a Dramatic Poem by Goethe. English by Sir Theodore Martin. Edinburgh and London: Blackwood. 1886.