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By the same Author. 

Crown Svo. Js. 6d. 


By CHARLES J. ABBEY, M.A., Rector of Checkendon, 
Reading, and JOHN H. OVERTON, D.D., Canon of Lincoln, 
Rector of Epworth, Doncaster. 




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AH rights reserved 


IT was impossible to investigate the history of the English 
Church in the eighteenth century without being carried 
forward into the nineteenth, especially when one loved, and 
believed in, the Church's system, and could not fail to see, 
towards the close of the earlier period, indications of the 
dawn of a brighter day. Hence, the materials for this 
volume have been accumulating for more than twenty years. 
During the whole of that time the subject, though amid 
many interruptions, has never been wholly absent from the 
writer's mind ; and his notes upon it swelled into such a 
vast mass, that they began to be in danger of becoming 
unmanageable. Nearly five years have elapsed since he 
began to put the mass into shape ; and the result is at last 
presented to the public. 

J. H. O. 






French Revolution and war Low state of morals and religion Pluralities 
and non-residence Improvement as years went on Abuse of the 
Church and clergy " The Church in danger " Church unprepared for 
new emergencies The Church in Wales I 



The party had not died out Evidences of its existence Jones of Nayland 
William Stevens Joshua Watson J. J. Watson H. H. Norris 
Christopher Wordsworth C. Daubeny T. Sikes Hugh James Rose 
Sympathetic prelates Other prominent sympathizers Old and new 
types of High Churchmen "... 24 



Charles Simeon Isaac Milner William Farish Other Cambridge resi- 
dents Clapham sect W. Wilberforce H. Thornton Z. Macaulay 
J. Stephen John Venn Thomas Gisborne Abolition of the Slave 
Trade Evangelicals in London Evangelicals in the country Evan- 
gelical bishops Evangelical laity Weak points in the system Views 
of "the world" Views of "the Church" Alleged degeneracy- 
Views of "human learning "Literature and art Strong points 
Summary 51 


William Palcy Samuel Parr Sydney Smith Henry Bathurst Edward 
Stanley The Oriel Noetics Richard Whately Thomas Arnold No 
united action IIO 





Holy Communion Irregularities tolerated Psalmody Preaching Sunday 
evening services Week-day services Want of church accommodation 
Pew system Proprietary chapels The war prevented church-build- 
ing State and voluntary efforts Difficulties about church-building 
Ugliness and costliness of new churches First free church in England 
Squalor of country churches "A Clergyman's Work, A.D. 1825 " . 127 


Evidential writings Practical and devotional works Biblical literature 
Liturgical literature The Calvinistic controversy Baptismal Regenera- 
tion Biography Church history The Roman controversy Religious 
periodicals Religious poetry General Literature Summary . . . 163 



Oxford Cambridge Other institutions public schools Dr. Arnold 
Elementary Education Bell and Lancaster controversy The 
National Society Efforts of the parochial clergy Sunday schools 
Jesus Lane Sunday school Training and infant schools 219 



Society for the Propagation of the Gospel Church Missionary Society 
Sierra Leone India The "five chaplains" Alarm about prosely- 
tizing Lord Tcignmouth Renewal of Company's Charter Bishop 
Middleton Bishop Heber Four lives sacrificed Society for Promot- 
ing Christian Knowledge Society for Suppression of Vice Mixed 
societies The Church and the Bible Society Private religious 
societies 253 



Acts of 1801 and 1802 Acts of 1803 and 1804 Services of Mr. Perceval 
and Lord Liverpool Acts between 1811 and 1819 Roman Catholic 
Relief Bill Repeal of Test and Corporation Acts The case of Queen 
Caroline" The Church in danger " 295 



Ireland Scotland America 313 







THE first thirty years of the nineteenth century naturally 
divide themselves into two equal parts ; the first fifteen, when 
the national mind was occupied with the one subject of the 
war with France ; the next fifteen, when it was adjusting 
itself to the new condition of things which a period of settled 
peace brought about. In no department is this division more 
clearly marked than in the most important of all that of 
religion ; and, therefore, for a right understanding of the 
general state of the Church in the early years of our period, 
the first thing to be done is to inquire how it was affected by 
the all-absorbing topic of the day. 

When the nineteenth century dawned, the eyes of all 
England were turned across the Channel. The ardent 
sympathy which had been felt by many generous minds with 
the earlier efforts of the French to throw off oppression had 
been followed by a violent reaction in the opposite direction. 
It is true that different opinions existed as to the expediency 
of continuing the war with France ; but there were few bold 
enough to own that they objected to the war because they 
approved of the doings of the French in the later stages of 
the Revolution. A very small minority dared to utter such 
sentiments with bated breath ; but the vast majority were in 
favour either of war with France to the knife, or else of leaving 



her to settle her own affairs without interfering in so odious a 
business. This feeling towards France affected the attitude 
of Englishmen towards their own Church in more ways than 
one. It undoubtedly increased their attachment to that 
Church, simply because she was a type of all settled institu- 
tions ; and settled institutions were at all hazards to be 
upheld when the unsettlement of them in France was giving 
so fearful a warning. Not undeservedly was the Church 
regarded as the great bulwark of stability in England. She 
had been inactive ; but there was a vis inertia in her very 
inactivity which constituted an effectual barrier against all 
dreaded change. Moreover, her professional inactivity led to 
her being brought more into contact with the secular life of 
the nation. Her clergy were, for the most part, no separate 
caste, but men who mixed freely in social life ; not perhaps 
giving a high spiritual tone to it, but on the whole influencing 
it for good. The great majority of them were University men, 
better educated than others of the same social status ; and as 
a body they threw themselves enthusiastically into the anti- 
French scale. 

It is curious to observe how the French Revolution 
affected the work of the Church in two diametrically opposite 
ways. On the one hand, it acted as a sort of drag upon her, by 
rendering men suspicious of any improvement, which was apt 
to be regarded as a dangerous innovation, savouring of that 
dreaded thing, Jacobinism. On the other hand, it indirectly, 
but very really, stimulated her to increased activity. The 
revolutionary ideas, which in the later years of the eighteenth 
century undoubtedly leavened the minds of the lower classes, 
and in some cases led to violent disturbances, showed the 
Church how little real hold she had upon the masses. In fact, 
she began to feel rather ashamed of herself for not having 
done more to instil sound principles, which might have pre- 
vented them from becoming the prey of the first charlatan 
who promised them liberty, equality, and fraternity. 

In another way the Revolution affected the history of the 
Church during the early years of the nineteenth century ; 
because the Revolution led to the war, and the war swallowed 
up the available resources of the nation. After all, Church 
work cannot go on without money, and money was not forth- 


coming. And the war monopolized not only the money, but 
also the interest, of the nation. During the whole of the first 
fifteen years of the century men's minds were engrossed by 
the great struggle which was almost incessantly going on. 
The clergy shared to the full the excitement which was 
everywhere prevalent. Their pulpits were always ready to 
stimulate their countrymen to patriotic endeavour, to cele- 
brate a victory, or to pronounce the funeral eulogium upon a 
hero. They were sometimes blamed for acting as fuglemen 
of war when their office was to be messengers of peace ; but 
they would have been still more generally blamed if they had 
acted otherwise, for there is little doubt that the line they 
took was strictly in accordance with the feelings of the 
majority of the nation. A hit at Tom Paine, a side glance at 
Voltaire and Rousseau, a denunciation of Buonaparte, was 
only what was expected ; and bishops and archdeacons in 
their Charges, as well as clergy in their pulpits, were quite 
ready to meet the demand. In fact, the French Revolution 
and the war with France at once aroused men to a sense of 
the need of greater activity on the part of the Church, and 
also, for the reasons above mentioned, were hindrances to the 
exertion of that activity. And this appears to me to explain, 
in part at least, a curious double phenomenon which may be 
observed all through our period, viz. a steadily growing im- 
provement in every department, side by side with a steadily 
growing odium against the Church, which reached its climax 
in the events connected with the Reform Bill. 

The Church had reached low-water mark before the 
eighteenth century closed, and the dawn of the nineteenth 
century synchronized approximately with the turn of the tide. 
Abuses which had been allowed to go on for nearly a century 
without a remonstrance began then, at any rate, to be recog- 
nized as abuses, though, of course, it took some time to apply 
any effectual remedy to them. The fatal soporific of Sir R. 
Walpole, " Quieta non movere," was losing its efficacy, and 
the Church was beginning to rouse herself from her long 

The very first year of the new century 1 witnessed a stirring 

1 Perhaps it would be more correct to say the last year of the old, but the 
effects of the Report of 1800 would not be observed till 1801. 


of the dry bones in the shape of a remarkable document, 
entitled, "A Report from the Clergy of a District in the Diocese 
of Lincoln, convened for the Purpose of considering the State 
of Religion in the Several Parishes of the said District (1800)." 
" It is to be feared," says the advertisement, with only too 
much truth, " that this interesting statement of facts existing 
in the district to which the Report relates will be found, upon 
examination, to be applicable to a great part of the kingdom." 
The Report gives a sad picture of the indifference to religion, 
as shown by statistics about Church services, education, and 
so forth, and then suggests remedies. 

The wail was repeated with melancholy monotony. 
" Loud," writes a reviewer of Dr. Hugh Blair's " Sermons," in 
1802, " are the daily complaints of the irreligion and depravity 
of the age, and we are afraid they are not louder than just" 
(British Critic). The preface to the famous Lenten lectures, 
preached by the Bishop of London (Dr. Beilby Porteus) in four 
successive years, from 1798 to 1801 inclusive, tells us that they 
were delivered because " the state of the kingdom, political, 
moral, and religious, was so unfavourable as to excite the 
most serious alarm in every mind of reflection " with more 
to the same effect. " No crisis," says Bishop Horsley, in his 
Charge to the clergy of the diocese of Rochester in 1 800, 
" at any period of time since the moment of our Lord's 
departure from the earth has more demanded than the present 
the vigilant attention of the clergy of all ranks, from the 
prelate to the village curate, to the duties of the weighty 
charge to which we are called. . . . For the last thirty years 
we have seen in every part but little correspondence between 
the lives of men and their professions, a general indifference 
about the doctrines of Christianity, a general neglect of its 

Such general complaints might be quoted ad infinitum ; l 
and they are certainly justified by the details which have 
come down to us. The disgraceful opposition which Hannah 
More and her sisters met with in their single-minded efforts 
to elevate a degraded people at Cheddar and the neighbour- 
hood, began in the eighteenth century, but did not reach its 

1 See, e.g., the Charges of the Bishop of Rochester in 1803, of the Bishop of 
Hereford in 1792, the preface to Sydney Smith's Sermons in 1801, etc. 


climax until the nineteenth. 1 William Wilberforce, when 
visiting Brigg in 1796, found "no service on Sunday morning, 
and the people sadly lounging about." 2 At Stamford, in 
1798, he records, "This seems a sad, careless place. I talked 
to several common people. I found the butchers' shops 
open [on Sunday]. At church, miserable work. Remnant 
of Sunday school, only eight children. I have seldom seen a 
more apparently irreligious place. A shopkeeper said none 
of the clergy were active, or went among the poor." 3 When 
Daniel Wilson went to Worton, a village near Banbury, as 
curate, in 1804, he found "everything had fallen into sad 
neglect. The curate had been a keen sportsman, and kept 
hunters. The neighbouring clergy were like-minded, and the 
discussions at clerical parties turned chiefly on country sports. 
Very few attended church." 4 When Venn Elliott made a 
pilgrimage, in 1813, to Yelling, the scene of his grandfather 
Henry Venn's later labours, he found the church almost in 
ruins, and the steeple taken down by the clergyman's orders. 5 
Legh Richmond, when he went to Turvey, in 1805, found the 
parish had been greatly neglected before the time of his 
immediate predecessor, Erasmus Middleton, who only held 
the living for a year. 6 Wilberforce writes, in 1809, that he 
had " heard but a very melancholy account of Olney," the 
scene of John Newton's and Thomas Scott's labours. 7 

These accounts all come from members of the Evangelical 
party ; but earnest men of other schools tell the same tale. 
When Edward Stanley entered upon the vicarage of Alderley, 
in 1805, he found that " the parish had, from the long apathy 
and non-residence of the previous incumbent, been greatly 
neglected. The clerk used to go to the churchyard stile to 
see whether there were any more coming to church, for there 
were seldom enough to make a congregation. The rector 

1 See Hannah More, by Miss Charlotte M. Yonge, in the Eminent Women 
1 Series, passim, especially pp. 80-89. 

2 Life of William Wilberforce, by his son, revised and condensed from the 
original edition, p. 155. 

3 Id., p. 193. 

4 Life of Daniel Wilson, Bishop of Calcutta, by Josiah Bateman, i. 120, 12 1. 

5 Life of H. V. Elliott, by Josiah Bateman, p. 31. 

Life of Legh Richmond, by T. S. Grimshaw, p. 112. 
7 Life* P- 304. 


used to boast that he had never set foot in a sick person's 
cottage." This was in a parish containing thirteen hundred 
inhabitants. 1 When Charles Daubeny took the living of 
North Bradley, towards the close of the eighteenth century, 
he found the church "in a state of shameful dilapidation," 
and the " people so barbarous that they opposed all improve- 
ments ; and would pull down the walls [of church and 
vicarage] which were building, and cut down and destroy the 
trees recently planted." 2 When Bishop Burgess was appointed 
to the see of St. David's, in 1803, "the churches," we are 
told, " and ecclesiastical buildings were generally in a ruinous 
condition. Many of the clergy were incompetently educated, 
and disgraced their profession by inebriety and other degrading 
vices." 3 

Many other evidences to the same effect might be given ; 4 
but the point is most forcibly illustrated by the low standard 
which even thoroughly good clergymen took of their duties, 
and the little that was expected of them even by good men. 

Dr. Van Mildert, for instance, was one of the ablest and 
best clergymen who flourished during our period ; and yet, 
in 1807, when he was rector of a large and important London 
parish, St. Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside, he thought it no harm 
to apply also for the living of Farningham, near Sevenoaks, 
"as an agreeable retreat within a convenient distance from 
town ; " and the Archbishop of Canterbury (Dr. Manners- 
Sutton), also an excellent man, thought it quite right to give 
it him for this purpose. 5 

Dr. Valpy, of classical fame, an earnest Christian man, 
was Rector of Stradishall, in Suffolk, at the same time that 
he was Head-master of Reading School, that is, for twenty 
years at the close of the last and the early part of the present 

1 Memoir of Edward Stanley, Bishop of Norwich, by A. P. Stanley, p. 9. 

2 Life of Charles Daubeny, prefixed to the third edition of the Gtdde to the 
Church (1830). 

8 Address of the St. David's clergy to the bishop, on his leaving the diocese in 
1825. See Life of Thomas Burgess, Bishop of Salisbury, by John S. Harford, 
p. 361. 

4 See, inter alia, the account of the diocese of Norwich in Bishop Bathurst's 
time, in the Memoir of Bishop Stanley, p. 31 ; Southey's account of the Lakes, 
given to Wilberforce, Life of Wilberforce, p. 379. 

5 See Memoir of William Van Mildert, late Bishop of Durham, prefixed to his 
Sermons and Charges, by Cornelius Ives. 


century. He salved his conscience by writing to his parish- 
ioners an address of a very plain, practical, sensible character, 
in which he remarks, with delightful naivete, "My absence 
from you for the greatest part of the year was a strong reason 
to induce me to form this engagement. I lament the necessity 
of that absence ; and, though my place is ably supplied, I 
shall receive great comfort from the consideration that this 
address will give me, at least, an imaginary presence among 
you." And so far was he from apprehending any episcopal 
interference in the arrangement, that he had the audacity 
(as we should now deem it) to dedicate the address to the 
very man who should have prevented its being necessary 
the Bishop of Norwich. 

But the fact is, bishops/ as a rule, were not in a position 
to be over-strict ; they were wont in their Charges to make 
some faint general protests against the incumbents' non- 
residence in, and consequent neglect of, their parishes ; but 
it was not likely that their protests would be of much effect 
when some of their own body were among the most glaring 
offenders. 1 Thus the rich living of Stanhope had been held 
by three successive prelates when its rector, Dr. Phillpotts, 
was made Bishop of Exeter in 1830. Bishop Courtenay held 
the living of St. George's, Hanover Square, with a population 
f 43>396, Bishop Pelham a living in Sussex, and Bishop 
Bethell a living in Yorkshire, each with the see of Exeter. 2 
Two such conscientious men as Bishops Ryder and Blomfield 
were both pluralists for a time the one holding the deanery 
of Wells, the other the living of Bishopsgate in commendam, 
in conjunction with his bishopric. Bishop Copleston held the 
deanery of St. Paul's with the see of Llandaff. The arrange- 
ment was not so difficult with many, because their proper 
episcopal duties must have sat very lightly upon them. We 
hear strange tales of one bishop examining his candidates 
for ordination in a tent on a cricket-field, he himself being 
one of the players ; of another sending a message, by his 
butler, to the candidate, to write an essay ; of another per- 

1 This does not apply to the particular bishop mentioned above, for Bishop 
Bathurst was not a pluralist. 

2 See Life, Times, and Writings of H. Phillpotts, Bishop of Exeter, by R. 
Shulte, i. 290. 


forming the difficult process of examining a man while 
shaving, and, not unnaturally, stopping the examination when 
the examinee had construed two words. 1 

At the same time, though to the end of our period there 
was still a very wide margin for further improvement, 
there is no doubt that matters did steadily improve as the 
years of the century rolled on, and that the Church in 1833 
showed a very different record from that of the Church in 
1800. The evidence to this effect is strong and varied. In 
1817 Robert Southey wrote to John Jebb, afterwards Bishop 
of Limerick, " Unless I deceive myself, the state of religion 
in these kingdoms is better at this time than it has been at 
any other since the first fervour of the Reformation. Know- 
ledge is reviving as well as zeal, and zeal is taking the best 
direction." 2 This seems an exaggerated estimate, but it 
must not be lightly passed over, as it comes from one of the 
foremost and most intelligent laymen of the day. A corre- 
spondent of Hannah More, in 1815, contrasts most favourably 
the then state of religion with that of twenty years before, 
"when the poor lived in vicious ignorance, and the rich in 
presumptuous apostasy." 3 A clever, anonymous writer, in 
1824, affirms that "the last twenty years may be termed an 
epocha of a further revival of religion. More has been 
effected for the diffusion of religious knowledge, at home as 
well as abroad, than has ever occurred in the annals of any 
country. A very real increase of piety has manifested itself 
in our Church," etc. 4 Another, in 1827, calls attention to 
" the astonishing advancement of the sacred profession, within 
the last half-century, and the steady and vigorous pace with 
which it is still going forward." 5 Lord Liverpool, in 1813, 
declared in Parliament that " the subject of the efficiency of 
the Church had long occupied his attention, and that he was 

1 The names of all these bishops are given, but I purposely abstain from 
mentioning them, because such stories are apt to be exaggerated, and it would be 
unnecessarily cruel to gibbet individuals except on the strongest evidence. 

8 Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey, iii. 285. 

3 See William Wilberforce^ his Friends and his Times, by J. C. Colquhoun : 
" Hannah More." 

4 A Letter to a Friend^ with some Observations on the Present State of the 
Established Church, by a Layman. 

* British Critic, April, 1827. 


of opinion that, however, some years ago, there might be a 
deficiency in the performance of their duties by the clergy, 
they had of late improved ; that both residence and perform- 
ance of duty among the lower orders of the clergy had 
increased." 1 William Wilberforce, on his return from a tour 
in Yorkshire, in 1827, expressed himself "highly gratified 
with the opening prospects, and," he continues, " I can add, 
who knew the aspect of things forty years ago, with the 
highly improved state of the clergy, especially in the East 
and West Ridings." 2 

Perhaps one ought not to lay too much stress upon the 
utterances of bishops about their own clergy, whom they 
would naturally be inclined to regard in the most favourable 
light, while, of course, the clergy themselves would be on 
their very best behaviour in the presence of their diocesans. 
Still, the testimony of such men as Bishops Howley, Van 
Mildert, and Sumner cannot be lightly passed over. Bishop 
Howley, in his primary Charge to the diocese of London, in 
1814, speaks of his clergy as "respected and respectable as a 
body for piety, for learning, and conscientious attention to 
their pastoral care, and abounding with members distinguished 
in an eminent degree by all the qualifications which bestow 
attraction or dignity on intrinsic worth;" and in 1818 he 
affirms that his " anticipations had been realized by the 
experience of five years." He has " no personal ground of 
complaint against his clergy ; and can regard with satisfaction 
the general complexion of their professional conduct and 
attention to their sacred duties." " A body," he adds, " more 
truly respectable for learning and piety than the clergy of 
this diocese will not easily be found." In 1833 Bishop Van 
Mildert said, in the House of Lords, "I may say of my 
clergy [in the diocese of Durham] in general, that they are 
a valuable body of men, attentive to their duties, and ready 
to adopt any improvement that may be recommended." 3 
Bishop J. B. Sumner, in his primary Charge to the clergy of 
the Chester diocese in 1829 admits, "Such has been the 

1 Memoirs of the Public Life and Administration of the Earl of Liverpool, 
P- 453- 

2 Recollections of William Wilberforce^ by J. S. Harford, p. 187. 

3 Memoir of Bishop Van Mildert^ by Cornelius Ives. 


activity and ability of my predecessors, and so cheerful the 
compliance which has been paid to their regulations, that in 
the administration of the diocese there is no accumulation of 
abuses requiring to be noticed or crying for correction. My 
wishes will be fully gratified if I can maintain and complete 
the system which I find generally established." Not to weary 
the reader with evidences of improvement, which might be 
multiplied ad libitum, let it suffice to end as we began, by 
quoting Robert Southey, who, in 1833, wrote again to the 
Bishop of Limerick, "There is a comfort in knowing that 
the Church of England and Ireland could never at any time 
have been better able to bear hostile inquiry, and to defend 
themselves than now ; " and to John Miller in the same year, 
" Among the many ominous parallelisms between the present 
time and those of Charles I., none has struck me more 
forcibly than those which are to be found in the state of the 
Church ; and of those, this especially, that the Church of 
England at that time was better provided with able and 
faithful ministers than it had ever been before, and is in like 
manner better provided now than it has ever been since. . . . 
No human means are likely to avert the threatened overthrow 
of the Establishment." l 

If we cannot quite agree with Southey that the Church 
was at its best, we can at any rate agree with him when he 
implies that it had reached the climax of apparent popularity. 
For, side by side with its growing efficiency, there was, oddly 
enough, a growing odium against it, and that for just those 
very faults which it was doing its best to amend. When the 
Church was doing next to nothing, it was popular enough ; 
when it began to do something, it was unpopular because it was 
supposed to be doing nothing. This curious paradox was noted 
by several writers besides Southey. " The Church and clergy," 
writes one in 1823, "were never worse spoken of, and never 
less deserved it. The Church, as a body, was never so free 
from secular views ; its clergy, as individuals, never so dis- 
tinguished for general morals, learning, and industry." 2 In 
1831, Bishop Kaye, having shown that the Church was 

Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey, vi. 222. 

2 An Appeal to the Gentlemen of England on behalf of the Church of England, 
by Aug. Campbell, Rector of Wallasey, Cheshire, p. 57. 


denounced not merely as worthless, but as positively injurious, 
as obstructing instead of advancing the interests of true 
religion, adds, " There never was, perhaps, a time when the 
clergy stood in less need of being urged to a diligent perform- 
ance of their duties, when they entertained juster notions 
of the responsibility attaching to the ministerial character." x 
A very abusive book appeared in 1820, entitled "The 
Black Book," the writer of which quite lashes himself into 
a fury when he thinks of the iniquities of the Church. It is 
" that ulcerous concretion," " that foul and unformed mass 
of rapacity, intolerance, absurdity, and wickedness ; " the 
Church Catechism is "this poisonous production;" a "Church 
of England priest " is " a furious, political demon, rapacious, 
insolent, luxurious, having no fear of God before his eyes ; " 
and so forth, and-so forth, in language which, one would have 
thought, would carry its own confutation with it. After the 
lapse of eleven years matters do not seem to have improved, 
the "Extraordinary Black Book," published in 1831, is quite 
as abusive as its predecessor. The charges are absurdly 
exaggerated, and the statistics on which they are founded 
are often false or misleading ; 2 but the books reflect only too 
truly the feelings with which the Church was then regarded. 
In fact, both friend and foe agreed that there was every pro- 
bability of its being swept away, as a national institution, 
by the besom of Reform, when that implement had done its 
work in the political world. One can scarcely now con- 
ceive the state of things when a Prime Minister could tell 

1 See Nine Charges, etc., by John Kaye, late Lord Bishop of Lincoln, edited 
by his son. 

2 For instance, we find among the pluralists gibbeted in ' the Extraordinary 
Black Book, " Chaplin, W. : Raithby R., Hallington R., Maltby C., Haugham V.," 
implying that this clergyman held four pieces of preferment, some of which he would 
be bound to neglect. As a matter of fact, the whole population of the four did 
not exceed four hundred. Hallington consists simply of two farms in the little 
village of Raithby, Maltby of a single farm in the little village of Haugham. 
Raithby and Haugham are two small adjoining parishes, and an able-bodied man 
would scarcely find enough work in both put together to occupy his time. Again, 
" Massingberd, F. C. : Driby R., Ketsby R., South Ormesby C." Here are three 
cures which practically are well within the compass of one man. Driby is one of 
those very small parishes in which Lincolnshire abounds, and which it would be 
absurd to give as the sole work for a man in health and strength ; Ketsby is 
simply a farmhouse in South Ormsby. The writer knew personally both Mr. 
Chaplin and Mr. Massingberd ; both were excellent clergymen. 


the bishops in the House of Lords that they must set their 
house in order ; and when a member of Parliament could 
stand up in the House of Commons and gravely say, " I had 
hoped that these foolish ordinations would terminate. But 
these young gentlemen must bear in mind that, though the 
nation will feel itself bound to make a provision for such as in 
past years have entered into orders ; though it would doubtless 
be unjust that a corporation like the Church, which was set up 
by Parliament nearly three hundred years ago, and is older, 
therefore, than either the East or West India Company, should 
be abolished without adequate compensation to those who 
have wasted their youth in its service ; yet by those who enter 
this body now that it is condemned by the country, when its 
charter is on the eve of being cancelled by the authority 
which gave it, when it is admitted on all hands to be not 
useless only, but absolutely detrimental, neither indulgence 
nor compensation can fairly be expected. They choose to 
invest their time and property in a condemned building, and 
can expect no more pity than the man who bought the 
Borough of Gatton after the publication of Schedule A, or a 
West India estate after Mr. Burton's motion." l Mr. Joseph 
Hume, the utterer of these remarkable words, had not 
exactly the gift of prophecy ; this doomed institution which 
was " older than either the East or West India Company " 
managed to outlive both ; but his forebodings were not more 
ominous than those of several bishops. " When," writes the 
Bishop of Lincoln, in 1831, "in former times, the clergy spoke 
of the dangers impending over the Church, they were charged 
with exciting a cry of which they knew the falsehood, from 
interested motives ; but now that its adversaries declare it to 
be in danger, and exultingly tell us that it is tottering to its 
fall, we cannot be accused of childlike proneness to alarm, if 
we suspect that their confident anticipations are not merely 
the suggestion of their wishes, but that they intend their 
prediction to work its own accomplishment." 2 In the same 
year the Bishop of Durham expressed his opinion that the 
Church had never had to contend with so many open and 
avowed enemies ; and, after quoting some of the violent 

1 Quoted in the Christian Remembrancer for 1841, pp. 422, 423. 

2 Nine Charges, ut supra. 


abuse which was poured upon it, he appeals with proper 
indignation to the laity of Durham, to look and see whether 
their own clergy deserved this abuse. The Bishop of Lichfield 
is all the more depressing because he will hope against hope. 
" I am not/' he says, in 1832, " one of those, even in these days 
of change and innovation, who despair of the safety of the 
Established Church. But that it is a crisis perhaps even a 
fiery ordeal for our Church I will not deny. It may possibly 
prove little less so than it was at those marked and trying 
periods of her history the Rebellion, the Revolution. Four 
years must elapse now before we meet again on a similar occa- 
sion, and I feel that a more than common uncertainty hangs 
over such a prospect. If we are spared thus to meet once 
more in this life, it may be under altered circumstances. But 
whether the outward state of our Zion be prosperous or ad- 
verse, may we ever recollect that our vows of allegiance to her, 
in and through her Divine Head, are upon us, and that we 
have to be followers of her as she is of Christ, whether it be 
through famine, through fire, the sword, or the cross. Her 
altars we cannot desert, her people we cannot abandon." 

The fury of the attack fell upon the bishops, chiefly owing 
to their opposition to the Reform Bill. Some of them were 
burnt in effigy ; the Bishop of Bristol's palace was burnt to 
the ground by an infuriated mob ; the Bishop of London 
was warned that it was dangerous for him to preach in a 
London church, and actually gave up his engagement in 
consequence ; the Bishop of Lichfield was in danger of his 
life after he had been preaching in London ; and the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury was mobbed in his own cathedral city. 1 
The inferior clergy were only less the objects of attack 
because they were less prominent. 

But all this while there was a quiet stream of attachment 
to the Church, which, to the surprise of many, suddenly 
swelled into a mighty torrent, carrying all opposition before 
it. When the fate of the Established Church seemed 
trembling in the balance, a little band of her devoted sons 
made an appeal to the nation, the result of which cannot 
better be described than in the words of one who took a 

1 See Memoir of Bishop Blomfield, p. 169 ; Life of Bishop Samuel Wilier- 
force, vol. i. (by Canon Ashwell), p. 61, etc. 


leading part in it. " From every part of England," he writes, 
"and every town and city, there arose a united, a strong, 
an emphatic declaration of warm and zealous and devoted 
loyalty to the Church of England. The national feeling, 
long pent up, depressed, despondent, had at length obtained 
freedom to pour forth ; and the effect was amazing. The 
Church suddenly came to life. The journals daily were filled 
with reports of meetings, in which sentiments long unknown 
to the columns of newspapers were expressed. . . . The 
Church, to its astonishment, found itself the object of warm, 
popular affection and universal devotion. Its enemies were 
silenced." 1 

We are thus brought face to face with two curious para- 
doxes : first, a growing improvement in the Church side by 
side with a growing odium against the Church ; and then an 
overwhelming and unexpected demonstration of attachment 
to the Church, quite bearing down all this odium, and 
rendering it harmless. How are we to account for the 
phenomena ? 

A closer investigation will show us, first, that the un- 
doubted improvements, in the Church were really the work 
of one or the other of two classes of Churchmen, which, both 
together, only constituted a small minority among her mem- 
bers ; and, secondly, that all this odium against the Church 
was more apparent than real, or, at any rate, that it only 
existed among a small but noisy body in certain great centres, 
and did not reflect the general feeling throughout the country, 
which, when at last called forth, showed itself most strongly 
in favour of the National Church. 

To make good these two points, we must try to throw 
ourselves back in thought, into the state of affairs in which 
the Church found herself at the beginning of the century. 
She was in a position for which, if one may use so homely 
a phrase, she had never bargained. From the accession of 
George III. to the close of the eighteenth century, she was 
in a most prosperous, peaceful, and, to tell the truth, sleepy 
state. The men who were ordained in the early years of the 
nineteenth century expected that they were to go on just as 

1 " The Oxford Movement of 1833," by Sir William Palmer, in the Contem- 
porary Review for May, 1883. 


their fathers and grandfathers had done. But that was not 
to be. A change had come over the spirit of the dream. 
There was a general and " sudden increase of the vital energy 
of the species. Humanity assumed a higher mood ; a deep 
agitation, as if from a fresh discharge out of celestial space 
into the solid body of our planet, shook the soul of the world, 
and left it troubled and excited." l At any rate, to narrow 
the matter a little, it had that effect upon the Church, and 
her officers were brought face to face with the most tremen- 
dous difficulties, the most violent changes, when they were not 
in the least prepared for the emergency. There were only 
two classes that could at all cope with it, and that because 
they both had a strong lever to wield, which the easy-going 
mass had not. The one was the Evangelical party, the other 
that of the distinctly High Churchmen, both of whom had to 
do with the improvements which ultimately occurred ; but 
both together were far outnumbered by the many who were 
neither one thing nor the other ; some inclining to the high 
and dry, some to the low and slow ; some whose creed con- 
sisted mainly in a sort of general amiability ; some who were 
mere worldlings ; some, alas ! who were absolutely immoral. 
The vast majority both of clerical and lay Churchmen fell 
under one or other of these last heads, not of the two first ; 
and it is a great mistake to suppose that they were either 
unpopular on the one hand, or at all a potent spiritual force 
on the other. These facts are brought out quite as strongly, 
though perhaps unconsciously, by their eulogists as by their 
detractors. Take, for example, Mr. J. A. Froude's graphic 
description of the Church in the times immediately preceding 
the Oxford Movement. " As the laity were, so were the 
clergy. They were gentlemen of superior culture, manners, 
and character. The pastor in ' The Excursion ' is a favour- 
able but not an exceptional specimen of a large class among 
them. Others were country gentlemen of the best kind, con- 
tinually in contact with the people, but associating on equal 
terms with the squires and the aristocracy. . . . The average 
English incumbent of sixty years ago [this was written in 
1881] was a man of private fortune, the younger brother of the 

1 Wordsivorlh, Shelley, Keats, and other Essays, by David Masson : "Words- 
worth," p. 19. 


landlord perhaps, and holding the family living ; or, it might 
be, the landlord himself, his advowson being part of the estate. 
His professional duties were his services on Sundays, funerals 
and weddings on week-days, and visits when needed among 
the sick people. In other respects he lived like his neigh- 
bours, distinguished from them only by a black coat and 
white neckcloth, and greater watchfulness over his words 
and actions. He farmed his own glebe, kept horses, shot 
and hunted moderately, and mixed in general society. He 
was generally a magistrate ; he attended public meetings, and 
his education enabled him to take a leading part in county 
business. His wife and daughters looked after the poor, 
taught in the Sunday school ; " and so forth. 1 I have no 
doubt that this picture is drawn from the life ; indeed, I am 
old enough to remember many specimens of the class. And 
the account is fully borne out by others. Mr. Jerram, for 
instance, a good Evangelical, thus describes the Surrey clergy 
of a few years earlier (1810) : "Most of them were branches 
of the aristocracy and gentry with which Surrey abounds ; 
they were, with one or two exceptions, very respectable 
characters ; they regularly discharged their clerical functions ; 
preached against vice and profligacy ; taught the necessity of 
attending to all the decencies and services of religion, and of 
rectifying what was deficient in morality ; and the duty of 
carefully avoiding infidelity on the one hand, and enthusiasm 
on the other. They mixed freely with the gentry around 
them, associated with them in their amusements, and 
generally formed a goodly number at their balls and assem- 
blies. Races never lacked their presence, nor any scene of 
gaiety wanted the sanction of their attendance. Yet on all 
these occasions they maintained that decency of deportment 
which made them careful not to transgress the bounds of 
moderation, and to avoid the imputation of dishonouring their 
profession by those moral delinquencies which disgraced not 
a few of the clergy in other places." 2 

A precisely similar account is given in a thoughtful article 

1 See article in Good Words, by J. A. Froude, 1881. Republished in 
Short Studies on Great Subjects, 4th series^: "The Oxford Counter-Refor- 

2 Memoirs of the Rev. Charles Jerram, p. 262. 

cox I7 


which appeared in Blackivood's Magazine in 18877 
it at all differ from that given by Sir William Palmer, a 
leader of the early Oxford Movement, in his generous defence 
of the old times. 

Now, it is not denied that such men did much good. They 
had many advantages, in being in touch with the laity, which 
are lacking in the more exclusively professional characters of 
their successors. But in times of a great upheaval, when the 
population was increasing with unexampled rapidity ; when 
first principles were being discussed on all sides ; when the 
godless notions imported from France on the one hand, and 
the wildest fanaticism emanating from the extreme left of 
Methodism on the other, were rampant ; when constant 
supervision and a distinct and definite faith were absolutely 
necessary to produce any permanent effect, they had not the 
TTOU orw from which they could move the world. One can 
perfectly well understand how, in an age when everything was 
to be reformed, an outcry would be raised against a Church 
xvhich was manned by such officers ; but one can also perfectly 
well understand how, when serious danger threatened the 
Church, its friends, who under such a regime would be 
numerous, should rally round it. The real spiritual force of 
the Church, however, belonged not to the class just described, 
but to the two classes which will form the subjects of the 
next two chapters. 

But before closing this sketch of the general state of the 
Church, it may be well to say all that need be said separately 
about those four dioceses which lay in the principality of 
Wales. It appears to me to have been perfectly well under- 
stood all through the eighteenth and the early part of the 
nineteenth centuries that these dioceses were as integral a 
part of the Church of England as London or Yorkshire. 
This should be remembered when complaints and perfectly 
just complaints are made of Englishmen unacquainted with 
the Welsh language being appointed to ecclesiastical dignities 
in the principality over the heads of the native clergy. The 
fact is, the dioceses of St. David's, Llandaff, Bangor, and St. 

" The Country Parson as he was and as he is," in BlackivoocCs Magazine for 
September, 1887. The whole of this most interesting and suggestive article 
deserves to be carefully studied. 



Asaph were treated just like any other four dioceses in the 
province of Canterbury. From the historical and ecclesiastical 
point of view, this was right enough ; there was no more 
reason why a Welshman should necessarily be chosen for a 
Welsh diocese than a Yorkshireman for a Yorkshire diocese. 
But practically it was a very different matter. Though eccle- 
siastical Wales was as much a part of the great National 
Church of England as civil Wales was a part of the great 
nation of England, yet, as a matter of fact, the Welsh people 
were of a different race, different language, different habits 
and temperaments; and it was the gieatest source of weak- 
ness to the Church that these differences were so long 
ignored. But it is not in the least surprising that they were. 
In days when, unhappily, men's special fitness for the special 
posts they were to occupy was far less considered than it is 
now, it seemed quite natural that the favoured candidate 
for promotion should succeed, as a matter of course, to 
the next see, deanery, or whatever it might be, that was 
vacant, whether it happened to be on the east or the west 
side of the Welsh border. Indeed, the border was not 
necessarily the dividing line, for of one of the four dioceses, 
part is on one side of the line and part on the other. No doubt 
it was wrong to appoint a bishop or any other dignitary in 
Wales who knew nothing about the Welsh ; but it was 
wrong only in the same sense, though in a greater degree, in 
which it would be wrong to appoint a Londoner, who knew 
nothing whatever about country life, to a purely agricultural, 
diocese. The quickened sense of a duty to be performed as 
well as a privilege to be enjoyed, which, broadly speaking, 
was coincident with the new century, brought about a great 
change of feeling on this point ; and there was no part of the 
country in which the curious paradox noticed in this chapter 
was more conspicuous than in Wales. There, more than 
anywhere else, when the Church was doing next to nothing, 
there appear to have been few complaints ; but when she 
began to do something the complaints were loud against her 
for doing nothing. It does not seem to have outraged public 
feeling very much that Bishop Hoadly should have held the 
see of Bangor seven years without setting foot in the diocese, 
or that Bishop Watson should have accepted the see of Llandaff, 


and then settled himself comfortably "in the beautiful district 
on the banks of Lake Windermere." l But when there 
was certainly a higher standard of episcopal duty, when the 
first really successful attempt was made to raise the character 
of the Welsh clergy, and to render the Church more efficient, 
then the Church received a more serious blow than she had 
ever received in the days of her apathy, by the secession of 
the large and increasing body of Calvinistic Methodists. 
This took place in the year 1811, and the circumstances of 
it remind us painfully of a similar event which took place in 
England nearly thirty years earlier, the only difference being 
that in Wales the logical results occurred at once, while in 
England they were delayed for several years. The Methodist 
movement in the eighteenth century had been, in Wales even 
more markedly than in England, the work of Churchmen ; 
and the man who, apparently against his will, originated the 
secession in Wales was an Oxford graduate, who had been 
duly ordained by the Bishop of Oxford, and had been an 
intimate friend of the leading Evangelical clergy in England. 
This was Thomas Charles, an earnest and active clergyman, 
the father of Welsh Sunday schools, and the cause of the 
foundation of the Bible Society. Having met with the 
opposition which fell to the lot of the early "Methodist 
clergy" in two or three curacies in England, he settled him- 
self at Bala, as a sort of free lance, but still retaining his 
position as a clergyman of the Church of England. Like 
John Wesley, he was induced by pressure from without to 
"ordain" eight lay members of the Calvinistic Methodist 
body in 1811 ; and Calvinistic Methodism became, and has 
ever since continued, a separate organization. 

The history of the Church in Wales during our period is 
certainly not one of which any churchmen need be ashamed. 
She numbered among her prelates some highly distinguished 
men, who strove to do their duty to the flocks over which they 
were called to preside. Let us take the greatest first. Bishop 
Horsley was Bishop of St. David's from 1788 to 1793, and 
Bishop of St. Asaph from 1802 to 1806, and was very far 
from being a rot faineant in either capacity. At St. David's 
he began to do the work which was most of all needed in 

1 See Bishop Watson's Anecdotes of his own life. 


that of raising the status of the Welsh clergy. He 
helped them both by his purse and by his counsel, and 
successfully insisted upon the minimum stipend of a curate 
being raised from 7 to the not extravagant sum of 15 per 
annum. It appears also that candidates for holy orders had 
been accustomed to receive the whole of their training in a 
Dissenting academy ! No imputation is intended against the 
efficiency of this academy in its way ; but how could it possibly 
train clergymen to present the Church's system in its fulness to 
their people ? Bishop Horsley refused to receive certificates 
from Castle Howell, the name of this Carmarthen college, as 
guarantees for the eligibility of candidates ; and surely no 
right-minded Dissenter could blame him for so doing. He 
was in his seventieth year when he was translated from 
Rochester to St. Asaph ; but in spite of his years, the old 
man set himself bravely to do the uphill work of a Welsh 
diocese, and was not content with being a mere cipher. 
Some of his great Charges, which rank among the finest 
compositions of the age, were in the first instance delivered 
in Wales. 

Dr. Copleston, the highly distinguished Provost of Oriel, 
having been Dean of Chester for a few years, was appointed 
Bishop of Llandaff in 1828. It is true that he also held 
with the bishopric the deanery of St. Paul's, and that the 
duties of the two offices ought to have been incompatible ; 
but it was the interests of St. Paul's, not those of Llandaff, 
that were sacrificed. He was a working bishop, setting him- 
self especially to the sorely needed task of bringing about 
the restoration of churches and the erection of glebe houses ; 
twenty new churches and fifty-three glebe houses were built 
during his incumbency. This does not seem a large number, 
according to our modern notions, but, judged by the standard 
of the eighteenth century, it was gigantic. Bishop Copleston 
also set the wholesome example of requiring a knowledge of 
the Welsh tongue from the clergy whom he instituted to 
livings. This was all the more creditable to him, because he 
did not feel so strongly as some did the necessity of the 
accomplishment, arguing that as in Wales all public business 
was conducted in English, most Welsh people could easily 
train themselves to understand the English services. 


Again, Dr. Herbert Marsh, who, in my opinion, ranks, in 
point of ability, next to Bishop Horsley among the prelates 
of the period, occupied the see of Llandaff from 1816 to 
1819, and worked conscientiously in his diocese. But the 
bishop who of all others made his mark upon the Church in 
Wales was Thomas Burgess, who held the see of St. David's 
from 1803 to 1825. Those twenty-two years were really a 
memorable era in one at least of the Welsh dioceses. Nothing 
was more wanted than the supply of a better education, espe- 
cially to the future clergy.' Few of them could afford the 
expense of an English University, and bishops had to be 
content with candidates for holy orders who had gained 
such a smattering of knowledge as the Welsh grammar 
schools could supply. In the first instance, Bishop Burgess 
wisely tried to improve the grammar schools themselves. 
He licensed four of them, and required seven years' study at 
one of them before he would accept a candidate at all. But 
this was, of course, only a partial remedy of the evil ; and the 
bishop set himself, with a dogged determination, to establish 
a college, to be managed on the lines of those at Oxford and 
Cambridge, both for a general and for a specially theological 
training. This was a thing that could not be done in a day 
or in a year. So the bishop regularly set aside a part of his 
own income for the purpose, and persuaded many of his 
clergy to set aside a tenth of their own wretched stipends 
for the same end. The result was that in seventeen years 
; 1 1,000 was collected; and the bishop, being able to show 
what the Welsh had been willing to do for themselves, felt 
justified in appealing for aid to the king and to the English 
Universities. The appeal was not made in vain ; and in 1822 
the foundation of St. David's College at Lampeter was laid. 1 
The college was not ready for opening until 1827, by which 
time Bishop Burgess was translated to Salisbury ; but he still 
took a deep interest in the scheme, and to him above all others 
belongs the chief credit of the first adequate effort to supply 
a higher education to the Church in Wales which had been 
made for more than a thousand years. In other respects 
also Bishop Burgess showed himself a most active and 

1 Mr. Harford, of Blaise Castle, who afterwards wrote a Life of Bishop Burgess, 
gave the site. 


efficient prelate. The very year after his appointment (1804) 
he established a " Society for promoting Christian Knowledge 
and Church Union in the Diocese of St. David's," the aims 
of which were " to raise the standard of classical education, 
to provide English and Sunday schools for the poor, to spread 
religious books, and to found libraries and a superannuation 
fund for the poorer clergy." He was most particular in the 
conducting of his Confirmations and Ordinations ; he refused 
to induct clergy ignorant of Welsh into Welsh-speaking 
parishes ; in fact, he did all that an earnest and energetic 
bishop could do to advance the cause and raise the standard 
of the Church in Wales. 1 

Though all this refers only to one of the four dioceses, 
it must be remembered that St. David's was still virtually the 
metropolitan see of the principality ; that it was almost equal 
in area to the three other dioceses put together; that it claimed 
as its founder the patron saint of Wales ; and that its cathedral 
was by far the largest and most imposing of all the Welsh 
cathedrals. It might, therefore, claim to lead the way and 
give the tone to the rest. 2 

But practically Llandaff was the most important. There 
alone the difficulty occurred which has been noticed in this 
chapter in connection with the Church in England. Wales 
was even worse prepared than England to meet the emergency 
caused by an immense increase of trade, and the consequent 
rise of vast centres of population. The discovery of iron ore 
and coal in the beautiful hills of Glamorganshire changed 
a quiet, pastoral, and sparsely populated district into a busy 
centre of industry, with a population which doubled and 
trebled itself with marvellous rapidity. In its most active 
time it would have been difficult for the Church to keep pace 
with the rapid increase of work which devolved upon it ; but 
the Church in Wales had been as inactive as it had been in 
England, while it was embarrassed in a way that England 
was not, by the bilingual difficulty. This necessitated in 

1 How highly Bishop Burgess's achievements were appreciated in his diocese 
may be seen from an address presented to him on his leaving it, which has been 
quoted on p. 6. See Harford's Life of Bishop Burgess, p. 361. 

2 See Four Biographical Sketches^ by Rev. John Morgan, p. 69. Mr. Morgan 
gives many very interesting details of Church life and work at a rather later period 
than we are concerned with. 


many places a double staff of clergy, one for the Welsh- 
speaking, and the other for the English-speaking, population. 
But it is needless to follow further the history of the 
Church in Wales separately. The history of the Church of 
England is the history of the Church in Wales. They were 
one and the same Church, and had been so for more than 
six hundred years ever since the Welsh bishops gave in 
their allegiance to the Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1172. 
No doubt there are special circumstances in connection with 
the Church in Wales, some of which have been noticed ; 
but so there are in connection with the Church, say, in Corn- 
wall, or in Lincolnshire, or in the Black Country ; but to 
make these the subject of a separate chapter would only be 
to foster the notion that there is a difference between the 
Church on the one and on the other side of the " Marches/' 
and thus to falsify history. 


BEFORE entering upon the subjects of this and the two 
following chapters, it is necessary to explain why the titles 
of them "Orthodox," " Evangelicals," " Liberals" have 
been chosen in preference to the more obvious ones " High 
Churchmen," " Low Churchmen," " Broad Churchmen." The 
choice has not been made without much hesitation, much 
deliberation, and much consultation with those who appeared 
competent to give an opinion. The reasons of the decision 
finally arrived at are as follows : To describe the parties 
treated of in Chapters III. and IV. simply as "Low Church- 
men " and " Broad Churchmen " respectively would be utterly 
misleading. In the nomenclature of the eighteenth and early 
nineteenth centuries the Broad Churchman would be the Low 
Churchman. Burner., Hoadly, Blackburn, and Paley would 
be called Low Churchmen ; but they had very little in com- 
mon with the typical Evangelical. As for the term " Broad 
Churchmen," it did not, so far as my reading enables me to 
judge, exist. " High Churchmen " was, of course, a well- 
known title, and the party which is the subject of the present 
chapter would doubtless fall under that designation. But 
to term them " High Churchmen," in contradistinction to 
" Evangelicals " and " Liberals," would be a cross-division, 
" low " and " broad " being the natural correlatives to " high." 
Moreover, there would be a danger of confounding them 
with the " Church and State" men, who were also called par 
excellence " High Churchmen." The adoption of the term 
" Orthodox," by which they were at least as frequently 
designated in their own day, obviates both those objections ; 
and hence it is, with some misgivings, chosen. 



It is frequently said that the old Orthodox or High 
Church party was fast asleep, if it had not entirely died out, 
before it was revived by the Oxford Movement. But this 
mode of stating the case is far too strong. The High Church 
party had never ceased to exist or even to be active. It had 
suffered a grievous loss far more grievous than the mere 
counting of heads would indicate by the retirement of the 
Nonjurors in 1689 and 1714; but it was beginning to recover 
from that loss before the nineteenth century commenced. It 
suffered, perhaps, still more severely from being mixed up 
with another party, with which it really had only an acci- 
dental connection. There was no reason in the nature of 
things why the true High Churchmen should have been 
specially identified with the maintenance of " our happy 
constitution in Church and State," to use a familiar phrase of 
the day. Indeed, their principles rendered them more in- 
dependent of any connection with the State than any other 
party in the Church could be. If " our happy constitution " 
had been entirely broken up, it would not have made the 
slightest difference to the essential position of the High 
Churchman. This is so obvious to us now that it sounds 
like a truism, but it would have sounded strangely in the 
ears of our forefathers. To them a High Churchman meant 
one who was the strongest supporter of Church and State ; 
and so indeed he was, as a matter of fact. None supported 
the established constitution more ably and consistently than 
the High Churchmen. They were better equipped for the 
task than any other party. Valuing deeply the science of 
theology, they studied it more thoroughly and systematically 
than any other class did. Indeed, strange as it may sound 
to some, I venture to think that the majority of competent 
divines in the early part of this century were what we should 
now call distinctly High Churchmen. 

A few passages selected from writers of note, written in a 
way which shows that they did not regard their doctrines as 
innovations, but such as would command the assent of all 
who called themselves Churchmen, will serve to illustrate 
this. Bishop Horsley was, beyond all question, the ablest 
and most eminent prelate still living at the commencement 
of the nineteenth century ; and this is the way in which he 


expresses his Church principles : " To be a High Churchman in 
the only sense which the word can be allowed to bear as 
applicable to any in the present day God forbid that this 
should ever cease to be my public pretension, my pride, 
my glory ! . . . In the language of our modern sectaries, 
every one is a High Churchman who is not unwilling to 
recognize so much as the spiritual authority of the priest- 
hood ; every one who, denying what we ourselves disclaim, 
anything of a divine right to temporalities, acknowledges, 
however, in the sacred character, somewhat more divine than 
may belong to the mere hired servants of the State or of the 
laity ; and regards the services which we are thought to 
perform for our pay as something more than a part to 
be gravely played in the drama of human politics. My 
reverend brethren, we must be content to be High Church- 
men according to this usage of the word, or we cannot be 
Churchmen at all ; for he who thinks of God's ministers as 
the mere servants of the State is out of the Church, severed 
from it by a kind of self-excommunication." l Next to 
Bishop Horsley, Bishop Van Mildert was perhaps the ablest 
theological writer during our period. In his Bampton 
Lectures (1814), when he was Regius Professor of Divinity, 
he dwells upon what he considers " the essential doctrines of 
the Church," among which he includes " the ordinances of 
the Christian Sacraments and the Priesthood ;" and then he 
adds, " We are speaking now, it will be recollected, of what 
in ecclesiastical history is emphatically called THE CHURCH ; 
that which has from age to age borne rule upon the ground 
of its pretensions to Apostolical Succession." Archdeacon 
Daubeny, again, was a man of considerable mark in his day, 
and his testimony is equally explicit. "If," he says, "the 
title of High Churchman conveys any meaning beyond that 
of a decided and principled attachment to the apostolic 
government of the Church, as originally established under 
the direction of the Holy Spirit by its Divine Founder (from 
whom alone a commission to minister in holy things can 
properly be derived), it is a meaning for which those must 
be answerable who understand and maintain it ; the sense 
annexed to that title, in my mind, containing in it nothing 

1 First Charge of the Bishop of St. David's, 1790. 


but in what every sound minister of the Church of England 
ought to glory." l And again, " I could have wished to see 
the Church described in its independence of every human 
establishment ; vested with those spiritual powers which it 
possesses in itself; in the exercise of which every individual 
ought to be governed by the authority from which alone 
those powers are derived." 2 " To God," writes Archdeacon 
Wrangham, in 1823, "and not to a patronizing Crown or to 
an electing people, we authoritatively refer our origin as a 
ministry. For Christ, we are expressly told in Scripture, 
sent His apostles with a power to send others, thus providing 
an unbroken succession for all coming ages, and promised to 
be with them always, even to the end of the world." 3 

It would be easy to multiply instances to the same effect, 4 
but enough, perhaps, has been quoted to show that the High 
Churchmen had not died out. How is it, then, that the idea 
that they had has so generally prevailed ? 

Perhaps one reason is that, so far from being too diffident, 
they were too confident in their cause. They took it for 
granted that their views would be understood and accepted, 
and that there was no need to do more than simply to state 
them. But, as a matter of fact, this was not so. Englishmen 
recognized, and were proud of, the Church of England as a 
great national institution ; but, as Sir W. Palmer says most 
truly, " the notion of the Church as a spiritual body possess- 
ing a faith and a conscience like other religious bodies, had 
died out." 5 It had died out, that is, among the main body 
of the nation, upon the mind of which the High Churchmen 
had certainly failed to impress their own convictions. Indeed, 
they themselves laid too much stress upon the fact of their 

1 Guide to the Church, i. introd. xliv., 2nd edit., 1804. (The first edition was 
published in 1798.) 

2 Id., i. 307. 

8 Charge to the archdeaconry of Cleveland, 1823. 

4 See, for instance, S. T. Coleridge, On the Constittition of the Church and 
State, according to the Idea of each, pp. 65, 126, 135, 136 j H. J. Rose's sermon 
before the Suffolk Society, The Churchman's Duty and Comfort in the Present 
Time; Life of Bishop Jebb ; A. Knox's Remains, passim ; and, above all, the 
remarkable prophecy of Thomas Sikes, quoted in Dr. Pusey's Letter to the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, 1842, pp. 33, 34. 

5 A Narrative of Events connected with the Publication of the Tracts for the 
Times, introduction to the edition published in 1883, p. 39. 


belonging to an established Church. The circumstances of 
the times tempted them to do so. When established insti- 
tutions were being violently upset in neighbouring countries, 
it was natural that they should dwell upon the duty of 
maintaining in its integrity the great establishment of which 
they were officers ; and hence the higher view of their office, 
though it was never ignored by them, was, as a rule, kept too 
much in the background. There is another kindred reason, 
which is so admirably stated by a thoughtful writer in 1841, 
that I cannot do better than quote his words. " The difference," 
he writes, "between the High Churchmen of the present day 
[that is, after the Oxford Movement] and their immediate 
predecessors, does not consist so much in the formal enuncia- 
tion of doctrine, as in the fact that, just before our own day, 
those Church principles were only held negatively which now 
are put forward positively. Their abettors were then but 
too apt to use them for no purposes but defensive ones. Such 
negative and defensive views never could tell greatly on the 
public mind or produce influence on the heart." * 

At any rate, be the cause what it may, it is to be feared 
that the very names of a number of Churchmen, who were 
not only men of the highest character and attainments, but 
also did practical work, the benefits of which the Church is 
reaping at the present day, are all but forgotten ; and, in 
common gratitude, it should be one of the first duties of any 
historian of the Church of the period to bring such men 
prominently before his readers. 

The year 1800 witnessed the death of one of the ablest 
and best among them. William Jones, Vicar of Nayland 
(1726-1800), never rose to a higher dignity than that of a 
country parson, but he was a man of greater eminence than 
most of the dignitaries of his time. He was the chaplain 
and devoted friend of Bishop Home, who died in 1792, whose 
works he published, and whose biography he wrote. His 
influence was a little impaired by the fact that, like his 
patron, he adopted the views of the Hutchinsonians, who, 
among other things, attempted the hopeless task of upsetting 
the Newtonian philosophy. But these views, though eccentric 
and untenable, did not touch any vital point of the faith ; 

' * Christian Remembrancer, preface to vol. ii., July December, 1841. 


they were, in fact, held by many of the soundest Churchmen 
of the day. Jones's own writings, with the exception of their 
Hutchinsonianism, are most valuable. With considerable 
power of humour, he defended the Church, not only in a very 
able way, but also in a way which caught the popular ear ; 
and personally he was regarded as one of the chief leaders 
of the Orthodox party. Nayland Vicarage became a sort of 
rallying-point for them ; l and their respect for its owner was 
unbounded. Both the life and writings of William Jones, of 
course, belong to the eighteenth, not to the nineteenth 
century ; but it is necessary to notice him because, above all 
others, he gave the tone to the true High Churchmen of the 
later period. It is not without a feeling of righteous indig- 
nation that one hears of such a man being in indigent 
circumstances in his last years. His good friend and 
biographer, William Stevens, kindly came to the rescue, 
taking upon himself the expense of a curate for " the old 
boy," as Jones was familiarly called by his friends, and writ- 
ing to the Archbishop of Canterbury on his behalf. Arch- 
bishop Moore responded nobly. He allowed Jones ^"looa 
year out of his own pocket, and, with rare delicacy, obviated 
any feeling of dependence which the recipient might have 
entertained, by calling it " a sinecure." He was not, however, 
taxed for long. It was in 1798 that Mr. Stevens wrote to 
him, and on the Feast of the Epiphany, 1800, William Jones 
entered into his rest. Posterity has appreciated him better 
than his contemporaries did ; his works are still regarded as 
classics in their way ; at any rate, their reputation is greater 
than that of most of the works published during our period. 
The foremost prelate of the day, Dr. Horsley, paid a deserved 
tribute to William Jones's memory, describing him as "a 
faithful servant of God, of whom he could speak both from 
his personal knowledge and his writings. . . . He was," adds 
the bishop, " a man of quick penetration, of extensive learn- 
ing, of the soundest piety, and had, beyond any other man I 
ever knew, the talent of writing upon the deepest subjects to 
the plainest understanding." 2 

1 See Churton's Memoir of Joshua Watson^ i. 28 ; Stevens's Life of William 
Jones ; Life of William Kirby, by John Freeman, 36. 

2 See Horsley's Charges : Second Charge of the Bishop of Rochester, 1800. 


The death of William Jones was a grievous loss to the 
High Churchmen, and there was no one who could exactly 
take his place. But he left behind him many friends one 
might almost call them disciples and these formed the 
nucleus of by far the most active section of the party during 
the whole of the period with which this work is concerned. 

First and foremost among these was his biographer, 
editor, and one may really add, benefactor, William Stevens 
(1732-1807). Mr. Stevens never took holy orders, thinking 
that he could do the Church better service, and would 
be less suspected of interested motives, by continuing a 
layman. Like Mr. Jones and Bishop Home (whose near 
kinsman he was), he was a Hutchinsonian ; and he un- 
fortunately devotes a considerable space in his " Life " of 
Jones to a defence of Hutchinsonianism a subject which 
has ceased to have even an historical interest in the present 
day. He had, of course, nothing like the literary talent of 
his friend Mr. Jones, but it is wonderful, considering the little 
education which he enjoyed, how good a scholar and theo- 
logian he made himself. He was taken from school at the 
age of fourteen, and apprenticed to a hosier at 68, Old Broad 
Street, in the city of London, and here he found a home for 
the remainder of his life, being taken into partnership in 
1754. It will, of course, be remembered that the social dis- 
tinction between trades and professions was not so marked 
then as it is now ; so there is nothing extraordinary in the 
fact of his mixing, though a tradesman, on terms of perfect . 
equality with the clergy and the gentry. He continued 
"active in business " until 1801, within six years of his death ; 
but this did not prevent him from being also "fervent in 
spirit, serving the Lord." Many of the agencies for good 
which employed the energies of the other High Churchmen 
who will come before us did not exist in Stevens's day ; in 
fact, many of them arose, indirectly but very really, through 
his influence ; but with such as did exist he identified himself 
thoroughly. He was an active supporter of the Societies 
for Promoting Christian Knowledge and for the Propaga- 
tion of the Gospel, and treasurer of Queen Anne's Bounty 
an office which naturally brought before him the poverty of 
the clergy, which he endeavoured to relieve privately in the 


most liberal yet most unostentatious way. The Clergy 
Orphan School was an object of his special support. He 
warmly advocated the claims of the Scotch Episcopal 
Church ; in fact, he was always employing his pen, his 
tongue, and his purse in furthering Church work. A man 
of quaint humour, which was continually leaking out, he 
must have possessed a singularly attractive personality, and 
his great delight was to assemble his many friends around 
him in his own bachelor establishment. When the infirmi- 
ties of age rendered this arrangement inconvenient to him, 
these friends determined to form a sort of club which should 
meet elsewhere, but of which he should be the chief; hence 
the formation of " Nobody's Club," or the club of " Nobody's 
Friends," in 1800. The origin of the name was this. William 
Stevens was wont to give familiar appellations to his friends, 
and he gave himself the name of " Nobody." At the solicita- 
tion of his friends, he collected, in 1 777, his writings into one 
volume, which he styled Ou&voe tpya, and by the appellation 
of "Nobody" he was ever afterwards known among his 
friends. Varying his language, he published a " Defence " of 
his friend Jones under the name of " Ain," the Hebrew for 
"nobody." The original members of the club of "Nobody's 
Friends" and their immediate successors were the backbone 
of the Orthodox party during the whole of our period, and 
the club still remains to keep fresh the memory of the good 
old Churchman who was the occasion of its foundation. 1 

If William Stevens's mantle can be said to have fallen 
upon any man, that man would certainly be Joshua Watson 
(1771-1855). There were some curious resemblances between 
the outer lives of the two men and their surroundings, which 
are well brought out by an intimate friend of both, Sir John 
Richardson, himself one of the Church worthies of the period. 
" It has often struck me," he writes, " that there was a 
remarkable, I might say a providential, similarity between 
the lives, the fortunes, and the characters of the bishop 
(Home) and his cousin (William Stevens) on the one hand 

1 Memoirs cf the late William Stevens, Esq., by Sir James Allan Park. I 
have thought it well to quote the account of the name "Nobody" in the 
biographer's own words, because a slightly different account is given in the 
Memoir of Joshua Watson, i. 32, 33. 


and the archdeacon (Watson) and his brother (Joshua 
Watson) on the other. In each case the first-named was 
destined to the clerical profession, and the last-named to 
mercantile life ; they respectively left school at the same 
age, and became members, two of the University of Oxford, 
and two of mercantile counting-houses in London. The 
most unbroken friendship and the most confidential inter- 
course ever continued ; and when the clerical students 
devoted themselves to the study of divinity, the mercantile 
assiduously imitated their example, and became not at all 
their inferiors in the soundness of their principles, or in their 
devoted attachment to our holy Church. The two mercantile 
men, having succeeded in their respective walks to the extent 
of their wishes, and realized competent fortunes, retired from 
their counting-houses ; but, instead of giving themselves up 
to idle lives, or endeavouring to crown ' a life of labour with 
an age of ease/ continued ever after to devote all the energies 
of their minds, all their knowledge of business, and very 
large portions of their fortunes, towards the prosperity of 
every institution connected with the Church, and other por- 
tions equally large to acts of charity and kindness." l 

But the points of difference between the two men were 
also very marked. The younger, though full of quiet humour, 
was a calm, staid, decorous man, with little of the quaintness 
not to say eccentricity which was characteristic of the 
elder. Though it was quite a mistake, one can understand 
one who did not know him well writing of Joshua Watson 
thus : " I remember so well, as a lad, case-hardening myself 
against the name of Joshua Watson, which I was continually 
hearing quoted as a final authority in all Church matters, 
and I pictured to myself a hard, dry, impenetrable man, who 
had no sympathies beyond a committee-room." 2 So far 
from being hard and dry, he was the most genial and 
lovable of men, with strong domestic affections, and an 
unusual number of attached friends whom he loved ; but it 
is hardly an exaggeration to say that he was regarded as a 
final authority in all Church matters. His calm judgment, 
his absolutely settled convictions, which prevented him, 

1 See Churton's Memoir of Joshua Watson, i. 47. 

2 Memoir of Joshua Watson, ii. 308. 


among other things, from being captivated by the Hutchin- 
sonian theories, as many of his friends were ; his clear head, 
not only for business, but also for literary matters and for 
theology, which caused Van Mildert, one of the best writers 
of the day, to consult him and to defer to his opinion in the 
matter of his very important writings, gave him an influence 
which has rarely if ever been attained in the Church by one 
in his position. In many respects he less resembles William 
Stevens than another no less devoted layman of a hundred 
years earlier. He might with some truth be termed the 
Robert Nelson of the nineteenth century. But the schemes 
which Robert Nelson only devised were, many of them, 
actually carried out, greatly through the influence of Joshua 
Watson. Happily, there was no such barrier to his practical 
usefulness as there was to that of Robert Nelson through 
the Nonjuring dispute. Had there been, Joshua Watson 
would probably have acted as Robert Nelson did ; for he felt 
a deep interest in the earlier Nonjurors, and a strong sympathy 
with them. 1 On the other hand, Robert Nelson did useful 
work with his pen, while Joshua Watson's modesty prevented 
him from attempting much in that direction, though there is 
little doubt that he was quite competent to do it. This, 
however, is not the place to discuss historical parallels ; let 
us be content with seeing what Joshua Watson was in him- 
self. He belonged, as we have seen, to that great middle 
class which is the backbone of England, and was, in fact, 
himself engaged in business as a wine-merchant until he 
reached middle life. But in 1814 he determined to devote 
himself to the practical work of the Church, and for more 
than forty years was incessantly occupied in that work. 
There was no scheme of usefulness conducted on strictly 
Church principles, and scarcely any scheme in which he 
could join without sacrificing any of those principles, in 
which the name of Joshua Watson does not come prominently 
forward. He was one of the founders, and for many years 
the treasurer, of the National Society. He was also treasurer 
of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and took 
a leading part in the marvellous revival of the energies of 
that society which occurred in the early years of the nine- 

1 Memoir, ii. 292. 


teenth century. He was treasurer of the Clergy Orphan 
School, which of all good projects was, perhaps, the one to 
which he was most attached. He was one of the chief 
agents in the foundation of the Church Building Society in 
1817-18, for which, with the aid of his uncle, Archdeacon 
Daubeny, he drew up the first rules. The revived life in the 
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel and the rapid rise 
of the Colonial Church were greatly due to his efforts ; and 
he was on terms of intimacy with almost all the then few 
colonial bishops. His munificence to these and other efforts 
of piety and benevolence was unbounded, and the moral 
weight of his character and his various talents, all devoted 
to the Church's service, were still greater helps. 1 He survived 
our period for more than twenty years, and there is a singular 
interest in the fact that in his old age he had many inter- 
views at Brighton with Dr. Pusey, who afterwards wrote to 
him : " One had become so much the object of suspicion that 
I cannot say how cheering it was to be recognized by you 
as carrying on the same torch which we had received from 
yourself and from those of your generation, who had remained 
faithful to the old teaching. We seemed no longer separated 
by a chasm from the old times and the old paths, to which 
we wished to lead people back ; the links which united us to 
those of old seemed to be restored. It seems hard to wish 
to keep you from a greater rest ; yet I trust you will be for 
some time spared to us, finding rest in diffusing peace amidst 
our troubled waters, and a witness yet further to the prin- 
ciples you have brought down to us." 5 This was in 1843. 
Joshua Watson lived till 1855, and it is fair to add that he 
shared the alarm which, as we shall see, his friends felt at 
the later development of the Oxford school, and especially 
at the secession of Newman and others. But he greatly 
admired Newman's sermons, one volume of which is dedi- 

1 Perhaps one of the best instances of his clear-headedness may be found in 
his memorial to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Manners-Sutton, advising 
that the missionary work of the S.P.C.K. should be handed over to the S.P.G. 
This was done, with great benefit to both societies. Speaking of the committee 
meetings of the great Church societies, Archdeacon Pott declares that Joshua 
Watson was "a thousandfold the best adviser." See Churton, Memoir of Joshua 
Watson, i. 267. 

1 Memoir, ii. 83. 

7- J. WATSON H. H. NORRIS. 35 

cated to him; and Keble's "Christian Year" was his con- 
stant solace and delight. Joshua Watson died at Clapton, 
where he had lived for a great part of his life ; 1 and hence 
the little coterie of which he was the leading spirit was some- 
times termed the " Clapton sect," with reference, no doubt, to 
another coterie of good men of a very different school of 
thought, the " Clapham sect." 

John James Watson, his elder brother, who was for forty 
years Rector of Hackney, and for some time also Archdeacon 
of St. Albans and Vicar of Diggeswell, a small country living 
in Hertfordshire, did not come so much to the front in general 
Church work as the younger ; partly because he was for many 
years an invalid, and partly for the excellent reason that his 
time was fully occupied in his own large parish ; but he was 
an important member of the group. The two brothers always 
lived in perfect harmony, and saw very much of one another ; 
in fact, Joshua Watson took up his abode at Clapton because 
his house was within five minutes' walk of Hackney Rectory. 
The archdeacon died at Hackney, in 1839, and the demon- 
strations of respect which were shown at his funeral prove 
that, though High Churchmanship was not then generally 
popular, it was no bar to a clergyman gaining the love of his 

A far more prominent member of the little band was the 
archdeacon's brother-in law, Henry Handley Norris (1771- 
1850). Like the Watsons, he was the son of a London mer- 
chant, from whom, as well as from his grandfather, he inherited 
a competent fortune, which enabled him to carry out the 
noble purpose of devoting his whole life to the service of the 
Church without remuneration. He served for two years as 
assistant curate to the Rev. John Sawbridge, Vicar of Stretton, 
a notice of whose work will be found on another page, and in 
1810 settled himself at South Hackney as a sort of perpetual 
curate to his brother-in-law, Archdeacon Watson, and there 
he continued, relieving the rector of the south part of his 
large parish for nearly forty years. 2 In 1816 the Bishop of 

1 For some years he shared a house with his friend, Van Mildert, in Park 
Street, Westminster, that he might be nearer to his work on the Church Com- 
mission. Here he lived for sixteen years (1823-1839). 

2 The living was subdivided in his time, and Mr. Norris became incumbent 
of the south part of it. 


Llandaff (Dr. Herbert Marsh) offered him the first prebendal 
stall in his gift. , Mr. Norris hesitated about accepting it ; 
" for," he said, " when I take preferment I cease to be a 
volunteer in the service of the Church, and perhaps it is con- 
ducive to the effect of my service that I should not lose this 
character." But his friends very sensibly represented to him 
the other side of the question. He was already a great power 
in the Church, and it would seem that some foolish persons 
had actually objected that too much confidence was placed 
by men in high quarters in one who, after all, was only a sub- 
altern ; if he were a dignitary, however humble, he would put 
to silence such objections. So he accepted the prebend, 
which was of small value ; and for the same reason, in 1825, 
he also accepted a non-residentiary stall in St. Paul's from 
Bishop Howley, because it would give him a standing in 
London, where most of his work lay. But when the Addi- 
tional Curates Society was founded, in 1837, "I shall," he 
said, "return to the Church, in this her need, all that my two 
dignities have put into my pocket ; " and he did so. 

As Joshua Watson was the most prominent layman, so 
Henry Handley Norris was the most prominent clergyman, 
among the group of Churchmen now before us. The two 
worked shoulder to shoulder, and it is really difficult to say 
which of them was most influential. Norris was called " The 
Bishop-maker," because Prime Ministers were supposed to 
consult him frequently about episcopal appointments. Bishop 
Lloyd of Oxford went further, and was wont to address him as 
"The Patriarch," for "your care," he said, "of all the Churches 
is more than an archbishop's." 1 No man did a more varied 
amount of work than H. H. Norris. He was an active parish 
priest, and never rested until he had a handsome church built 
in his parish an achievement far more^difficult then than now ; 
he was one of the three' founders of the National Society, and 
its first honorary secretary ; he took as regular and active a 
part in the working of all the other great Church societies as 
Joshua Watson himself did ; he was the friend and correspon- 
dent of almost all the colonial bishops ; having succeeded, at 
great expense, in conjunction with Joshua Watson, in rescuing 
the British Critic from what he deemed a not sufficiently 

1 Memoir oj Joshua Watson^ i. 279. 


Church management, he took an active share in editing it, 
though he was not the actual editor, the letters he received 


from Bishop Lloyd on the subject are a positive proof of 
this. 1 He projected, and gathered materials for much literary 
work ; and it is a pity he did not carry it out, for his corre- 
spondence and other remains show that he had not only an 
original mind, but a good literary style ; one work which he 
planned, on the decline and fall of the Nonjurors, would have 
been especially valuable. But when a man does so much, it 
is unreasonable to complain that he does not do more ; and 
few men did more efficient service for the Church than H. H. 
Norris. He was of a more combative spirit than his brother- 
in-law, and we are not surprised to hear that the Hackney 
Dissenters liked the archdeacon better than they liked Mr. 
Norris, 2 who equally objected to Dissent and Romanism, and 
was in the habit of speaking out his mind with remarkable 
plainness. " I scarcely know," he said, " whether from popery 
or fanaticism we have at present [1824] most to fear ; and I 
should not be surprised to see them confederate for the 
accomplishment of their purposes."* Bishop Jebb gives an 
interesting account of the impression which the Hackney 
phalanx, 4 and especially Mr. Norris, made upon him when he 

paid a visit to England in 1820 : "With Mr. N I passed a 

day, and there met the editor of the British Critic? and some 
other High Churchmen. Their minds are too controversially 
bent on one class of subjects, but some of them are amiable 

and estimable men. Mr. N I particularly like. He is a 

very munificent dispenser of a large private fortune, and has 
a disposition full of friendship." A few days later, writing to 
the same correspondent, he describes Mr. Norris more at 

length. " I like Mr. N . He appears a most friendly 

and good-natured man. His notions, in High Churchmanship, 
are, perhaps, rather too rigid ; but I think him a simple- 

1 See Churton's Memoir of Joshua Watson, i. 279-287. 

2 See Religion in England, 1800-1850, by John Stoughton, D.D., i. 100 : " He 
[Norris] was not at all popular with the Hackney Dissenters." 

3 Letter to Archdeacon Daubeny, respecting his Protestant's Companion. 
See Life of Daubeny^ prefixed to the third edition of his Guide to the Church, 1830. 

4 This, like " the Clapton sect," was a name given to the party because two of 
its chiefs lived at Hackney. 

5 Dr. Van Mildert. 


hearted, right-forward man, without any by-end to serve, 
and without any other intention than that of supporting with 
all his power that which he thinks the cause of true religion. 
His private fortune is considerable, his, Church preferment 
next to nothing, and he is princely in his contributions for 
good and useful purposes. As a specimen of the way in 
which he does things, I will just mention that, finding an able 
and industrious young clergyman in want of a library, he pur- 
chased for him a complete one, comprising the most expen- 
sive and valuable works in theology the complete apparatus, 
in short, of a learned divine." l This is a wonderfully accu- 
rate portrait of the man, considering that it is drawn by a 
stranger ; but it is somewhat curious to find one who is 
generally and rightly regarded as one of the chief precursors 
of the Oxford Movement alleging as his only complaint 
against Mr. Norris, that he was rather too High Church. 
Bishop Jebb, however, was a High Churchman of a different 
type from Mr. Norris ; the one was an anticipation of the new 
school, the other a typical representative of the old. 

Among those who threw themselves heart and soul into 
the general Church work of the Hackney phalanx was one 
whose name is in some respects more illustrious than that 
of any of the others. Christopher Wordsworth (1774-1846), 
as brother of the greatest living poet, as chaplain and con- 
fidential friend of the greatest ecclesiastical dignitary (Dr. 
Manners-Sutton, Archbishop of Canterbury), and then as 
head of the greatest college in England, could speak and 
act with an authority which his own personal character fully 
bore out He had all the characteristic features of the 
Wordsworths, a rugged and manly independence joined with 
a guileless simplicity and disinterestedness, and a very 
extensive knowledge of divinity ; a calm and judicial habit 
of mind joined with a courage and outspokenness which 
made him ever ready to combat error and defend truth ; while 
his great experience of parish work both in town and country 
placed him more in sympathy with the working clergy than 
a mere college dignitary could be. Dr. Wordsworth had, in 
common with his son, the Bishop of Lincoln, the rare gift, art, 
or quality one hardly knows what to call it of expressing 

1 Correspondence between Jebb and Knox, ii. 438 and 443, 2nd edit., 1836. 



with the utmost courtesy and yet with the utmost plainness 
his disagreement with what he regarded the mistakes of good 
men, a task which requires much greater courage and tact 
than to rebuke the evil. It is rather difficult to put what is 
meant into words, but an instance or two will illustrate it. 
When he was asked to take part in the formation of the 
Colchester branch of the Bible Society, he was not content 
with simply declining, but entered fully into his reasons for 
doing so, without the slightest disguise and without the 
slightest discourtesy. He showed the same moral courage 
for it is moral courage of the highest sort when some papers 
to be put forth by the S.P.C.K. were submitted to him. In 
that rather peremptory tone, which is also a Wordsworth 
characteristic, he drew attention to " a species of phraseology 
almost new to the society, in which' these papers somewhat 
largely indulge." " We have," he says, " ' members of the 
Established Church,' ' well affected to Church and State,' 
'the friends of the Church,' 'all friends of the Established 
Church,' and 'members of the Established Church,' again 
repeated. Now, I will venture to express myself freely. 
There is a great deal too much of all this. First, the habit 
of our society has been to act, and not to talk ; these profes- 
sions are beneath its dignity. Its principles are well known, 
its character does not need these ostentatious testimonies. 
Pray let us continue, as much as may be, grave and sober, 
and catch as little as is possible of the character and temper 
of this pragmatical, factious, and professive age." And, after 
much more to the same effect, he concludes, " The subject 
is important, and ought not to be treated lightly." 1 

Dr. Wordsworth's services to the High Church party 
were, it seems to me, greater than appeared on the surface. 
In the first place, I have no doubt that he greatly influenced 
his patron, Archbishop Manners-Sutton, in this direction. 
Little circumstances, trifling in themselves, but all pointing 
to the same conclusion, show this. It was, for instance, 
confessedly through Dr. Wordsworth that the archbishop 
was led to place implicit confidence in Joshua Watson ; it 
was through Dr. Wordsworth that he went out of his way 
to preside over a meeting of the S.P.C.K. when a critical 

1 Quoted in Churton's Memoir of Joshua Watson, i. 130, 131. 


question between the Orthodox and Evangelical members 
was to be discussed, and threw all the weight of his great 
authority into the Orthodox scale. 

Again, when Wordsworth was appointed Master of Trinity, 
in 1820, Cambridge was, of all places, the one in which piety 
was most identified with Evangelicalism ; and he set himself, 
with all the Wordsworth determination, to cultivate in his 
own college a spirit of piety of the Orthodox type, which 
might thence spread through the rest of the University. And 
once more, I have little doubt he influenced his brother, the 
poet, and, through him, numbers whom the mere ecclesiastic 
could never have reached. On the death of Bishop Middleton, 
the see of Calcutta was offered to him ; but he declined it. 
He left his mark in many ways and in many places. It is 
to him that Joshua Watson gives the chief credit of setting 
on foot the system of district committees of the S.P.C.K., 
which was the main cause of the great advance made from 
about the year 1811 by that venerable society. It was he 
again, more than any one else, who brought about the custom 
of issuing Royal Letters, which for forty years drew large 
sums into the coffers of the great Church societies. It was 
he who was mainly instrumental in having four new districts 
formed and four new churches built in the great parish of 
Lambeth ; and it was he who helped largely in transferring 
the India Fund of the S.P.C.K. to the S.P.G., to the great 
advantage of the work in India. 

Another important though distant member of the group 
was Charles Daubeny (1745-1827), who, like the Watsons and 
Stevenses, was the son of a merchant, but of Bristol, not 
London. In the neighbourhood of Bristol he lived all his 
life with the exception of his Oxford career, and two years 
at Winchester when he was a Fellow. He then took the 
living of North Bradley, the value of which was 50 a year ; 
but he had a private fortune, and, like H. H. Norris, he deter- 
mined to serve the Church for nothing, or rather, less than 
nothing, for what he spent on North Bradley was far more 
than what he received from it. The restoration of the 
church and rebuilding of the vicarage cost him personally 
^3000. He built and endowed an " asylum " and a school 
in North Bradley, about 1810 ; and a " poor-house " for twelve 




persons, in 1818 ; and in 1824 a church at Road, an outlying 
part of North Bradley, which cost above 1 2,600, more than 
^"4000 being given by himself; and at Bath he brought about 
the erection of the first free church in England, 1 where he 
officiated for fifteen years. The Bishop of Salisbury (Dr. 
Shute Barrington) was a great friend of Daubeny in his early 
ministerial life, and gave him a prebend in Salisbury Cathedral, 
saying, what he probably knew would be an inducement to 
him to accept it, " It is one of the least valuable of my 
prebends." In 1804 he was made Archdeacon of Sarum 
by Bishop Douglas, the successor of Bishop Barrington. He 
was an intimate friend of Joshua Watson, who married his 
niece. His services to the Church cause were chiefly exercised 
by his pen, which was a busy and effective one. His distance 
from London prevented him from taking a prominent personal 
part in the good works of which the metropolis was neces- 
sarily the centre ; but it was a distinct advantage to the men 
of Hackney to have sympathizers like Daubeny in different 
parts of the country. Archdeacon Daubeny is said, like 
several other High Churchmen, to have been a Hutchinsonian ; 
but his Hutchinsonianism does not appear prominently in his 
writings, which were among the most plain and direct exposi- 
tions of Anglicanism, as opposed to Dissent of all sorts on 
the one hand, and Romanism on the other, that appeared 
during our period ; so much so that he was sometimes 
humorously called, after the title of his most celebrated work, 
" The Guide to the Church." 2 

Another outpost of the Hackney phalanx was Guils- 
borough, a country living in Northants, held, for many years, 
by Thomas Sikes (1767-1834), who, although he lived there 
in great retirement, was, in his way, an important member 
of the group. He was the nephew of Daubeny and brother- 
in-law of the Watsons, and his views were in the main 
identical with theirs ; but he seems to have realized more 
vividly than any of them the great defect of the Church of his 
day, viz. its tendency to stop short at the idea of a national 
establishment, or, at any rate, to bring too little into pro- 

1 See chapter on " Church Fabrics." 

2 See Life of Charles Daubeny, Archdeacon of Sarum, prefixed to the third 
edition of The Guide to the Church, by H. Daubeny, 1830, passim. 


minence the idea of a spiritual society, of which establish- 
ment and endowment were, after all, only " accidents," and 
not even " inseparable accidents," to use the terms of logic. 
He was beyond question an " advanced Churchman," in the 
modern sense of the words, and, though his position would 
be perfectly intelligible now, it was not so then. " I pro- 
pose," writes C. J. Blomfield, in 1823 that is, before his 
elevation to the episcopate " going to see Mr. Sikes, brother- 
in-law of Joshua Watson. He is not in very good odour 
here, on account of his very High Church notions. He is 
called in this neighbourhood The Pope. I rather expect to 
find the Norrises there." * It has been suggested that these 
"very High Church notions" (they were not really higher 
than would be held by every one who called himself a High 
Churchman at**all in the present day) arose partly from a 
reaction against the training he had received at St. Edmund 
Hall, then the head-quarters of the few Evangelicals at 
Oxford, and his very retired life did not render it at all 
necessary that he should tone them down. A remarkable 
prophecy is quoted by Dr. Pusey, in his " Letter to the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury," in 1841, as having been uttered by 
Mr. Sikes, some years before the Oxford Movement began. 
It is too long to quote in full, especially as it probably does 
not give the ipsissima verba of the prophet ; but the gist of 
it is that there was a universal want of definite teaching on 
the subject of the Holy Catholic Church, and that as soon as 
ever that article in the Creed should be brought prominently 
to the front, which he thought would not be in his own day, 
but very soon afterwards, the result would be at first endless 
misunderstanding, and one great outcry of " popery " from 
one end of the country to the other. 2 How soon and how 

1 Memoir of Bishop Blomfield, edited by G. A. Blomfield. 1813, i. 94. 

2 Letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury on some Circumstances connected 
with the Present Crisis in the Church of England, by E. B. Pusey, 1841. Arch- 
deacon Churton thinks that Dr. Pusey wrote "from the memory of 'a narrator, 
who probably intended to relate the substance rather than the words, as the 
wisdom of his age seldom indulged in long speeches ; " but he does not in the 
least impugn the substantial accuracy of Dr. Pusey ; on the contrary, he con- 
firms it. " He (Sikes) used sometimes to speak," he says, "in almost prophetic 
terms of the dangerous reaction which he anticipated, and which has since been 
too fully realized, from the kind of zeal and revenge with which men are impelled 
to contend for long-neglected truths." Memoir of Joshua Watson, i. 51, 52. 


literally this striking prediction was fulfilled, it is needless to 
say. Mr. Sikes himself lived just long enough to hear the 
first faint rumblings of the approaching storm, but was called 
to his rest some years before it burst out in all its fury, 
raising such a commotion as had not been felt since the time 
of the Reformation. 

Least of all must we omit to give a prominent place 
among the Orthodox worthies of our period to Hugh James 
Rose (1795-1838). As he was only five years old at the 
beginning of the century, he may seem to belong to a later 
generation ; but he came into note early, and, alas ! was not 
spared to see more than the dawn of that later era which 
commenced with the Oxford Movement. Moreover, he was 
brought into very close relations with several of the older 
group of High Churchmen ; he was the intimate friend and 
frequent correspondent of Joshua Watson ; the assistant- 
curate at Lambeth of Christopher Wordsworth ; the spes 
gregis of Van Mildert in his cherished scheme of a new 
University at Durham ; and the protegt of two archbishops, 
who were, as we shall see, more than friendly to the cause. 
Hugh James Rose seems to me to have done more than any 
single man before 1833 to bring English Churchmen at large 
to a sense of what English Churchmanship is. His four 
sermons at Cambridge, in 1826, "On the Commission and 
Consequent Duties of the Clergy," and still more, the eight 
sermons delivered before the same University, in 1829, in his 
double capacity of Christian Advocate and Select Preacher, 
were perhaps the most rousing and widely influential of any 
preached during our period. Even to read them now in cold 
blood without being impressed is impossible ; but to do so 
must be to gain a very feeble idea of the effect they produced. 
A striking presence, a peculiarly musical voice, and, above all, 
a certain attractiveness about the personality of the preacher, 
enhanced rather than diminished by his obvious ill health, lent 
a charm to them which cannot be reproduced in print. 1 

1 See Burgon's Twelve Good Men ; The Restorer of the Old Paths ; also 
Autobiographic Recollections of Professor George Pry me > whose testimony is the 
more remarkable because his views would not altogether accord with those of 
Mr. Rose. He knew him well, and writes, "It is difficult to convey the full 
effect of his eloquence to those who never heard his sweet deep-toned voice, or 
saw his tall and dignified figure, his calm yet earnest manner," etc. (p. 1/3). 


The " Clapton sect," or " Hackney phalanx " (for it was 
called by both names, from the residences of its lay and 
clerical chiefs respectively), was not wanting in what its 
principles would lead it to regard as of the first importance 
episcopal sanction. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. 
Manners-Sutton, wis more than sympathetic ; he was its 
warm supporter. He chose for his chaplains men who were 
either members of the group or in thorough sympathy with 
its objects. On more than one critical occasion he lent all 
the weight of his authority to it when it was opposed, and 
the party highly appreciated his aid. " Seldom," writes the 
biographer of Joshua Watson, " has any primate presided 
over the English Church whose personal dignity of character 
commanded so much deference ; " 1 and when the arch- 
bishop died, in 1828, Joshua Watson himself bore warm 
testimony to the "extraordinary services he was graciously 
permitted to render to the Church of England." 2 His suc- 
cessor, Archbishop Howley, though, perhaps, less inclined to 
identify himself with the party, was distinctly favourable, 
and chose for his chaplain and confidential friend its most 
distinguished member, Hugh James Rose, who spoke in the 
most enthusiastic terms of the primate's merits. Then, 
again, they could not only claim the full sympathy of the 
ablest prelate of a past generation, Bishop Horsley, but also 
that of the two ablest prelates of their own day, Bishop 
Herbert Marsh and Bishop Van Mildert. Bishop Marsh was 
thoroughly at one with them, though he does not appear to 
have come much into personal contact with their leaders ; 
but Bishop Van Mildert was actually one of the phalanx, 
having joined it long before he was raised to the bench, and 
keeping up his connection with it after he became a bishop. 
He was a member of Nobody's Club ; editor for a short time 
of the British Critic, after it had become the property of 
Joshua Watson and H. H. Norris, in 1811 ; 3 and was one 
of the founders of the Churchman's Remembrancer^ which 
was published expressly to advocate Church principles ; the 
intimate personal friend of almost all the leading members 

1 Churton, i. 254. 2 Id. 3 Id., i. 96. 

4 This was not a Review, but a republication of Tracts, etc., as 7 he Scholar 
Armed had been before it. 


of the party; and, in fact, thoroughly identified himself with 
the movement in every way without reserve. 

The same may be said of TJiomas Fanshawe Mid diet on 
(1769-1823), Bishop of Calcutta, who was an intimate friend 
of the members of the Hackney phalanx, and also for a 
short time editor of the British Critic. Before his elevation 
to the episcopate, he was Rector of St. Pancras, and in that 
large and important London parish was a valuable factor in 
the High Church movement. Nor was it a disadvantage to 
the cause when he was appointed the first Bishop of Calcutta, 
in 1814 ; for the High Churchmen all took a deep interest in 
foreign mission work ; and the appointment of a man who 
sympathized with them, and whose high reputation and 
moral courage enabled him to make his opinions felt in so 
important a centre, more than counterbalanced the loss which 
the party sustained by his removal from home. Another 
prelate who went heart and soul with the High Church- 
men was Charles Lloyd, for a short time (1827-8) Bishop 
of Oxford. As Regius Professor of Divinity, he had been a 
worthy successor of Bishop Van Mildert, and his influence 
was not at all diminished by a rugged and rather eccentric 
humour, which was of a character to make him both popular 
and effective with the young men who were being prepared 
for holy orders. His premature death in 1828 was a great 
blow to the cause. There were several other English bishops, 
who, if they cannot be said to have completely identified 
themselves with the party, were yet more inclined to sympa- 
thize with it than with any other party in the Church. 
This was certainly the case with Dr. John Randolph, Bishop 
of Oxford until 1806, when he succeeded Dr. Beilby Porteus 
as Bishop of London ; his sympathy with the High Church- 
men being emphasized by the fact that his predecessor in 
London had made a nearer approach to the Evangelicals than 
any other prelate had yet done. Dr. Pretyman, again (after- 
wards Tomline), whose episcopate, first at Lincoln and then 
at Winchester, extended over the whole of our period, was 
so far a High Churchman that his able theological works were 
more in harmony with the views of the Orthodox than with 
those of any other party in the Church ; Dr. Kaye, Bishop 
first of Bristol and then of Lincoln, did yeoman's service to 


the cause by the impetus he gave to the revival of patristic 
studies, while his own interesting Charges are of a distinctly 
Orthodox type ; and towards the close of our period two 
bishops were appointed, Bishop Phillpotts to Exeter, Bishop 
Blomfield to London, the former of whom very decidedly, 
the latter more guardedly, showed at any rate great sympathy 
with the High Churchmen. 

Besides these English bishops there were Bishops Mant 
and Jebb in Ireland, and Bishops Hobart, Inglis, and others 
in sister Churches across the seas, who were in full accord 
with the party. 

Descending a step or two in the ecclesiastical ladder, 
we find Archdeacon (afterwards Dean) Lyall, Archdeacons 
Cambridge, Pott, and Baily, thoroughly identifying them- 
selves with the principles and work of the Hackney phalanx ; 
we have Dr. Routh, President of Magdalen, who threw the 
whole weight of his learning and reputation into the Ortho- 
dox cause, and, in words which are now historical, was 
" reserved to report to a forgetful generation the theology 
of the Fathers ; "* we have Dr. (afterwards Archdeacon) 
D'Oyly, the biographer of Sancroft, and joint-editor of 
D'Oyly and Mant's Bible ; we have Edward Churton, after- 
wards Archdeacon of Cleveland, to whom High Churchmen 
ought to be everlastingly grateful, because to him more 
than to any other man, living or dead, they owe that intimate 
knowledge of their predecessors supplied in the "Memoir 
of Joshua Watson ; " we have the three Bowdlers, rather a 
confusing group for more reasons than one. First there 
was John Bowdler the elder, best known as the energetic 
advocate of the claims of the Episcopal Church in Scotland ; 
then there was his son, Thomas Bowdler, writer of a memoir 
of his father, but better known for his meritorious though 
rather hazardous attempt to expurgate or " Bowdlerize " 
Shakespeare ; and, finally, the ablest of the three, John 
Bowdler the younger, another son of the elder John, who 
became curiously mixed up with the Evangelical party, but 
who was from first to last a very pronounced and, indeed, 
advanced High Churchman. He never made the slightest 

1 J. H. Newman's dedication of his Lectures on the Prophetical Office of the 
Church (1837) to Dr. Routh. 


secret of his opinions, and if he had not been prematurely 
cut off in, or rather before, his prime, he would probably have 
been one of the pioneers of the Oxford school. The same 
may be said of Thomas Rennell the younger, who also died 
very young, but not before he had made for himself a great 
reputation as scholar and divine ; he was the son of Thomas 
Rennell, Dean of Winchester, who was also a High Church- 
man. The High Church party can claim two judges, Sir 
John Richardson and Sir James Allan Park ; one of the 
most eminent naturalists of the day, the Rev. William Kirby; 
two very well-known authoresses, Mrs. Trimmer and Miss 
Agnes Strickland ; almost all the Lake poets, who, to say 
the least, had very strong sympathy with them, while the 
most original, if the most faulty of all, S. T. Coleridge, 
shares with Alexander Knox the distinction of anticipating 
the Oxford Movement more than any other man. Of course, 
the list might be greatly extended, but it is already long 
enough to show, it is hoped, that the High Churchmen in the 
early years of this century formed no effete party, but one 
which was respectable even in point of numbers, and much 
more than respectable in point of intellectual attainments, 
moral earnestness, and spiritual activity. 

And yet, in spite of this, it is perfectly true that with all 
their merits they did not exercise a wide, practical influence 
over the Church and nation at large. The views which they 
held about the Church were not held generally. Even many 
of those who valued most deeply the Church of England 
valued it chiefly as a great national institution, the preserver 
of order and decorum, and the home of culture. Inward 
spiritual religion was tacitly assumed by some, loudly pro- 
claimed by others, to be the almost exclusive possession of 
quite another school of thought. To be "serious" meant to 
be a Low Churchman, not a High Churchman. When any 
one professed to be a High Churchman, and was also "an 
enthusiast," people did not know what to make of him. 
The following passage in Alexander Knox's " Remains " is 
almost startlingly true : 

"Those movements of piety, which belong to the mind and 
heart, have been rather suspected and discountenanced than 
explained or cultivated ; until, from its being caricatured by 


vulgar advocates, inward religion is little less than systemati- 
cally exploded. It is in this spirit that the present champions 
for what they think High Church orthodoxy are combating 
their ' Evangelical ' opponents. They involve in their attack 
all that is venerable and valuable, with that which is really 
exceptionable and justly to be resisted ; and, in doing so, they 
preclude all aid to their cause, either from Divine grace or 
from human nature. Were these men acquainted with the 
chain of traditional truth, which Divine providence kept alive 
through the darkest ages, they would discover in the prayers 
which they continually read or hear the well-digested sub- 
stance of that which, certainly in an ill-digested form, they 
combat and vilify. They would find, to their confusion, that 
Gregory, the chief author of those prayers, was what they 
in their ignorance would call a Methodist ; that is, one who 
prized and cultivated and dwelt upon, in all his writings 
and discourses, those interior effects of Divine grace which 
designate their nature to the happy possessor, by a strength 
which no human effort could possess, and by a purity of 
which God only could be the Author. Until our Churchmen 
make this discovery, they will injure what they mean to 
defend." l 

This would not fairly represent the attitude of such 
Churchmen as have come before us in this chapter ; but it did 
represent only too faithfully the attitude of many, perhaps 
the majority, of those who passed under the name of High 
Churchmen. And the day for such a kind of Churchmanship 
was past. With an eye to this class, the same thoughtful 
writer says, with perfect truth, in 1816, " The old High Church 
race is worn out. The conscientious members are too gene- 
rally under an opposite bias ; and the majority are men 
of the world, if not men of yesterday ; and therefore on every 
account caring for none of these things." 2 Two years earlier 
Dr. Copleston had made a very similar remark respecting 
the Oxford High Churchmen. 3 But Copleston was never- in 
any sense really a High Churchman. Alexander Knox was, 

1 Remains, i. 65. " Id., i. 54. 

3 See Memoir oj Edwara Copleston, Bishop oj Llandaft, by W. J. Copleston, 
ch. i. 


though of a very different type from that of the Hackney 
phalanx. In his own day he was almost sui generis ; but he 
was, far more distinctly, the precursor of the later High 
Churchmen trained under the Oxford Movement, than any 
of those already mentioned. As he very conveniently be- 
longed to the sister Church of Ireland, I gladly seize upon the 
pretext thus offered for dwelling upon his position and that 
of his disciple, Bishop Jebb, in connection with that branch 
of the Church ; for it would be really misleading to group 
them with the High Churchmen of an earlier date. Equally 
attached to the Church, they yet looked at it from a different 
standpoint ; and if anywhere " coming events cast their 
shadows before," the shadows of what was coming from 
Oxford must be looked for in the writings of Knox and Jebb 
and S. T. Coleridge, rather than in those of any of the good 
men who have been described in this chapter. The latter 
were survivors of the old, the former antepasts of the new 
type of Churchmanship. The latter have fallen more or less 
into oblivion ; the former come before us with an ever-fresh 
interest. They were never thoroughly understood in their own 
day ; but, studied in the light of after-events, they have all 
the interest which attaches to prophets. It would, however, 
be out of place to treat of them here, when the history of 
the men of the time, rather than of those who anticipated a 
future time, is the subject before us. 

To those who take an interest in the careers and work of 
the good men who represented the best side of High Church- 
manship in the early part of this century, there is something 
very sad in that chapter in Mr. T. Mozley's " Reminiscences," 
entitled " Norris of Hackney." l It describes a meeting of 
the S.P.C.K. about the appointment of a new committee, in 
which Norris's party was beaten, and it speaks of him as 
" a dethroned potentate." This was just after " The Tracts 
for the Times" had appeared, and it was undoubtedly the 
beginning of a new era, in which High Churchmanship, though, 
of course, in essentials the same, was entering upon a new 
phase, in which it gained a hold upon the Church and nation 

1 Reminiscences, chiefly of Oriel College and the Oxford Movement, by the Rev. 
T. Mozley, vol. i. ch. liii. 



which, under the phase we have been regarding it in this 
chapter, it never had gained. But men like Norn's, and the 
Watsons, and Wordsworth, and Daubeny, and Van Mildert, 
did noble work in their day ; and any record of the Church 
of England in the nineteenth century would be most 
imperfect if it failed to give a full recognition to that 



REGARDED purely as a spiritual force, the Evangelicals were 
undoubtedly the strongest party in the Church during the 
first thirty years of the nineteenth century. So much was 
this the case, that spiritual earnestness was in itself a pre- 
sumption that a man was an Evangelical ; and some were 
placed in that category simply because they were spiritually 
minded, though in point of fact they were out of sympathy 
with many of the distinctive tenets of Evangelicalism. 

When the nineteenth century opened, the fathers of the 
Evangelical Revival were fast passing away. Henry Venn, 
Joseph Milner, William Romaine, John Thornton, John Ber- 
ridge, and John Wesley, had all been called to their rest in 
the last decade of the eighteenth century, while William 
Cowper had just lived to see the dawn of the nineteenth. 
Those who still survived were regarded with the veneration 
which is naturally felt for men who have borne the burden 
and heat of the day, and left the fruits of their labours to be 
reaped by a new generation. John Newton was still at St. 
Mary Woolnoth, where he was consulted as a sort of oracle, 
holding meetings of what he used to call, with characteristic 
quaintness, "parsons, parsonets, and parsonettas." 1 Richard 
Cecil was still at St. John's, Bedford Row ; Thomas Scott also 
was still in London, though he soon removed to Aston 
Sandford ; and Thomas Robinson was still at Leicester. 
There were some who were connecting links between the 
first and second generations of Evangelicals. Thomas Scott 
was one of them ; and still more markedly Isaac Milner, 

1 But there are painful evidences that he stayed on too long, and that it would 
have been much better if he had retired. 


William Wilberforce, and Hannah More. As far as date 
goes, this would also apply to Charles Simeon, who was the 
exact contemporary of Wilberforce ; but as his work was 
more connected with the Evangelicalism of the nineteenth 
than with that of the eighteenth century, he must occupy the 
very foremost place in the present sketch. 

Charles Simeon (1759-1836) was in some respects an 
instance of what has been remarked above, viz. that pious 
men naturally gravitated to that party which was, more than 
any other, identified with the spirit of piety ; for it is curious 
to notice, in his own account of his spiritual development, 
how he derived his first serious impressions from sources 
which were not Evangelical, in the technical sense of that 
term. He was first aroused from religious indifference by 
being told that, as an undergraduate at King's College, 
Cambridge, in 1779, "he must attend the Lord's Supper." 
" I thought," he says, " Satan himself was as fit to attend as 
I ; and that if I must attend, I must prepare for my attend- 
ance there. Without a moment's loss of time, I bought the 
old 'Whole Duty of Man/ and began to read it with great 
diligence ; at the same time calling my ways to remembrance, 
and crying to God for mercy. . . . From that time to this, 
thank God, I have never ceased to regard the salvation of 
my soul as the one thing needful." " The Whole Duty of 
Man " was, from the time of the Restoration onward, the most 
valued book among High Churchmen next to the Bible and 
the Prayer-book ; but among the Evangelicals it was con-, 
sidered much too legal and unspiritual, one of their leaders 
publishing a book with a similar title, expressly to correct 
its errors and supplement its defects. 1 Then Simeon became 
a member of the S.P.C.K, because he thought their books 
would be the most useful he could procure, and that he 
might do good to others by the circulation of them. The 
venerable society was, of course, much more in favour with 
High Churchmen than with Low Churchmen, but there is 
not a word to show that he was dissatisfied with it. " The 
first book," he proceeds, " I got to instruct me in reference 
to the Lord's Supper was Kettlewell on the Sacrament ; 
but I remember that it required of me more than I could 

1 The Complete Duty of Man y by Henry Venn, 


bear, therefore I procured Bishop Wilson, which seemed to 

be more moderate in its requirements." John Kettlewell 

and Bishop Wilson were both High Churchmen, but 

Simeon took no exception against either of them on that 

ground. On the contrary, he goes on : " In Passion Week, 

as I was reading Bishop Wilson on the Lord's Supper, I 

met with an expression to this effect : * That the Jews knew 

what they did when they transferred their sin to the head 

of their offering.' The thought rushed into my mind 

What ! may I transfer all my guilt to another ? . . . Then, 

God willing, I will not bear my sins on my own soul one 

moment longer. Accordingly, I sought to lay my sins upon 

the sacred head of Jesus, and on the Wednesday began to 

have a hope of mercy ; on the Thursday that hope increased ; 

on the Friday and Saturday it became more strong ; and on 

the Sunday morning (Easter Day, April 4) I awoke early 

with these words upon my heart and lips, 'Jesus Christ is 

risen to-day, Hallelujah ! ' and at the Lord's Table in our 

chapel I had the sweetest access to God through my blessed 

Saviour." 1 During the vacation he " attended regularly the 

parish church at Reading," and there he " used to find sweet 

seasons of refreshment and comfort," not, so far as he informs 

us, from the sermons of the preacher, Mr. Cadogan, a leading 

Evangelical, but " in the stated prayers." We next find him 

reading James Hervey, the most popular devotional writer 

among the Evangelicals ; but he was " much perplexed about 

saving faith," so he borrowed "Archbishop Sharp's third 

volume, containing his casuistical sermons ; " and " these," 

he says, " I read with great profit. They showed me that 

Hervey's view of saving faith was erroneous ; and from that 

day to this I have never had a doubt on the subject." 2 Sharp 

was one of the very best of the High Churchmen in Queen 

Anne's days. All this looks like the experience of a High 

Churchman in embryo. After his ordination, in 1782, he was 

introduced to John Venn ; and "here," he says, "I found a 

man after my own heart." John Venn took him over to 

Yelling, and introduced him to "his own dear and honoured 

father, Henry Venn ; " and " oh," he exclaims, " what an 

1 Cams' Lift; of Simeon, pp. 14-16. 

2 Quoted in Cams' Lijc, p. 20. 


acquisition was this ! In this aged minister I found a father, 
an instructor, and a most bright example ; and I shall have 
reason to adore my God to all eternity for the benefit of 
his acquaintance." The meeting between Henry Venn and 
Charles Simeon, the Evangelical of the generation that was 
passing away and the Evangelical of the generation that was 
coming on, would form a good subject for a picture. But it 
was not by the Venns nor by any human being that Simeon's 
spiritual character was formed ; that had taken place before. 
" God, no doubt for wise and gracious reasons, had kept far 
from me all spiritual acquaintance ; by which means He 
made it appear the more clearly that the work in me was 
* not of man or by man,' but of God alone." l 

How he undertook the charge of Trinity Church, a 
college living, at a merely nominal stipend ; how he was 
opposed by churchwardens, parishioners, and afternoon 
lecturers ; in what a Christian spirit he bore it all, keep- 
ing constantly before him and frequently quoting the text, 
" The servant of the Lord must not strive ; " how, after 
twelve weary years, he lived down all opposition ; how he 
began to attract gownsmen as well as townsmen to his 
church, and exerted a religious influence over the former 
such as had never been exercised by any clergyman for 
many a long year ; 2 all this belongs to the history of the 
eighteenth century. At the commencement of the nine- 
teenth he had firmly established himself as a real power 
in the University a power which continually increased 
until his death, thirty-six years later. His success is a 
striking proof that pure goodness must tell in the long run. 
For he had other difficulties to contend with besides those 
which "a Methodist" and especially a Methodist in a 
University town must have necessarily found. We have 
manifold evidence from those who knew him there in his 
early days that many little points in his own character were 
against him. Canon Cams quotes Mr. J. J. Gurney's im- 

1 Cams, p. 26. 

2 Bishop Charles Wordsworth is of opinion that Simeon "had a much larger 
following of young men than Newman, and for a much longer time." This will 
probably be disputed by many, but the sentence which precedes it is indisputable : 
" It is a great mistake to suppose Simeon was careless about Church ordinances." 
Annals of my Early Lije (1806-1846), by Bishop Charles Wordsworth. 


pressions : " Like many other good and devout men, he was 
not without his superficial imperfections ; slight symptoms 
of irritability, great particularity about a variety of little 
matters. His manners, though invariably refined and 
courteous, were sometimes so ardent and grotesque as to 
excite in those whom he was addressing an almost irresistible 
propensity to laugh." 1 But others use far stronger language 
than this. " Simeon," writes Mr. Jerram, who knew him in 
the later years of the eighteenth century, " was naturally of 
a haughty, impatient, impetuous temper, and over-punctilious 
of what he conceived to belong to the address and manners 
of a gentleman. He sometimes gave offence by imperious- 
ness. His besetting sin was pride ; he was sensitive and 
excitable, and in his earlier career imprudent." 2 Mr. Dykes, 
who knew him a little earlier, was still more struck by the 
drawbacks to his success. "Among his [Dykes'] first and 
best friends was Charles Simeon. This extraordinary man 
extraordinary in his appearance, his manner, his piety, his 
zeal, and his success was at first deemed by Mr. Dykes (a 
shrewd observer) one of the most unlikely persons to become 
extensively useful he had ever known. He had much zeal, 
but not according to knowledge ; preached the most crude 
and undigested discourses, abounding in incorrect statements, 
and in allusions offensive to good taste. There was an 
apparent affectation of manner, a fastidiousness about per- 
sonal appearance, an egotism and a self-importance which 
seemed likely to bear down the piety of his spirit, or at least 
to neutralize any good effect which might be produced by 
his ministry, especially among persons trained to academic 
modes of thinking." 3 The letters quoted by Simeon's latest 
biographer from those wary veterans of Evangelicism, John 
Thornton and John Newton, addressed to their young 
brother in the first fervour of his ministerial life, bear out, 
when we read between the lines, these descriptions. 4 But 
Simeon toned down with years, and being not only a devoted - 
Christian, but also a thorough gentleman, was able to make 

1 Carus, p. 479. 

2 Memoirs of the Rev. Charles Jerram, by the Rev. James Jerram. 

3 Memoir of the Rev. 7. Dykes, by the Rev. J. King, pp. 8, 9. 

4 See the Rev. J. C. Moule's Simeon (English Religious Leaders Series), 
pp. 40-42. 


a mark upon the fresh young life of piously disposed under- 
graduates such as few clergymen have made before or since. 
He himself notices, with a surprise which we cannot share, 
the ever-growing number of gownsmen who flocked to his 
church, attended his "conversation parties," and submitted 
themselves to his counsel. Nor did his influence over them 
cease when they had taken their degrees. He found for 
them curacies with kindred spirits or Indian chaplaincies, 
corresponded with them frequently, kindling their zeal, but 
checking their indiscretions in the kindliest and quaintest 
fashion. An enthusiastic Churchman himself, he kept them 
firm in their allegiance to their spiritual mother ; and we 
may well understand how true is the remark of one of his 
most distinguished disciples, that "his enlightened and firm 
attachment to the Church of England added, in a degree 
it is difficult to measure, to his weight of character in the 
country." x In fact, his prominent Churchmanship caused 
a slight dissatisfaction to some of his followers. It was said, 
we are told, in the religious periodicals of the day, " Mr. 
Simeon is more of a Churchman than a Gospel-man'' 2 He 
was wont to say, "The Bible first, the Prayer-book next, 
and all other books and doings in subordination to both."' 
One marked feature in Simeon's character, which is not 
found in some reformers, was his uniform respect for digni- 
taries. In fact, he may almost be said to have been a martyr 
to the feeling ; for it was a visit to Ely to pay his respects 
to the new bishop that was the cause of his death. "If," he 
said, " this is to be the closing scene, I shall not at all regret 
my journey to the bishop ; it was of vast importance to you 
all, and I shall be glad to close my life from such a circum- 
stance." Long before his death he had become universally 
respected at Cambridge ; and when the end came, the whole 
University felt that it had sustained an irreparable loss. How 

1 Recollections of Simeon, by Daniel Wilson, Bishop of Calcutta, appended to 
Cams' Life, p. 597. 

2 Recollections of the Conversation Parties of the Rev. C. Simeon, by Abner W. 
Brown, Introduction, p. II. This is an extremely well- written and interesting 
book. Canon Abner Brown saw more of Simeon than most undergraduates did, 
because he was at Cambridge during the vacations as well as term-time from 1827 
to 1830. 

8 /</., p. 12. 


could it be otherwise in any place where all apprecial 
pure, unselfish goodness was not entirely lost ? For, again to 
quote Bishop Daniel Wilson, " Here is a man who labours 
for nothing, for absolutely no emolument whatever, for more 
than half a century. Here is a man who passes by and 
refuses all the livings in his college which in succession were 
offered to his choice, and some of which every other person 
almost that could be named would have accepted as a matter 
of course. Here is a man who, in order to retain his Fellow- 
ship and his moneyless station at Trinity Church, persuades 
his elder brother not to leave him the property which would 
compel him to vacate it." And all this simply for the sake 
of doing good in a place where reform was sorely needed. 

Those who have any idea at all of what Cambridge was 
before Simeon tried to infuse a really religious element into 
it, will indeed be slow to condemn or even to depreciate his 
efforts. At the same time, it is only fair to remember that 
there is no need to go beyond Simeon's own words to learn 
that there was a weak as well as a strong side to his influence. 
He evidently raised a spirit which he could not lay, and was 
at times perplexed and dismayed at what he had done. The 
following account which he gives of his prayer-meetings 
speaks for itself. In 1812 (that is, after he had been at 
Trinity Church nearly thirty years) he writes thus about a 
complaint from the parishioners to the bishop : " One of the 
malcontents, knowing that the prayer-meeting among my 
people was still kept up, had declared publicly that he would 
inform against it. Now, though I did not attend it, the 
obloquy would all fall on me ; it would be in vain for me 
to say that I had repeatedly testified my disapprobation of it 
on account of the evil effects that I had seen arising from it, or 
that I had laboured very earnestly to prevail on my people 
to lay it aside ; it would have been sufficient for my enemies 
to say that I had once countenanced it ; nor would they have 
believed that my influence among my people was insufficient 
to put it down ; the matter would have been brought before 
the public, all manner of odium would have been cast upon 
me and my ministry ; and the bishop would have put an end 
to my evening lectures, if not have removed me from the 
church which I hold only during his pleasure. ... I told 


them that I had long seen and lamented the state of mind 
to which many of them had been brought by means of that 
room ; for instead of merely reading the Scriptures and 
praying, they had become expounders of Scriptures and 
preachers ; and instead of confining the assembly to those 
who had been invited to my societies, they had extended it 
to others, and made the place really and truly a conventicle 
in the eye of the law ; and instead of retaining their original 
simplicity, many of them were filled with a high conceit of 
their attainments and with a contempt for their authorized 
instructors." He told them that they must meet in smaller 
numbers, but they would not consent ; they said he was 
giving way to the fear of man and dissembling with God ; 
God had commanded His people not to neglect the assembling 
themselves together, and they would do it in spite of him. 1 

After this painful account, it is difficult to follow Mr. 
Simeon in what he immediately adds : "What, after all this 
experience, is my judgment in relation to private societies ? 
My judgment most decidedly is that without them, where 
they can be had, a people will never be kept together ; nor 
will they ever feel related to their minister as to a parent." 
Nor is the difficulty at all diminished by what he writes to 
his valued friend Mr. Thomason shortly after, in the same 
year : " I found that five of them [the young men in his 
societies] were still in the toils of Mr. , who is indefati- 
gable in his exertions to pervert and embitter their minds. . . . 

There is such a self-sufficiency in Mr. , and such an 

obstinacy in Mr. , and such a rooted determination in 

both to make divisions in the Church, that there never can 
be union amongst us again till God shall be pleased either 
to change their dispositions, or to separate them from us." 2 
It is fair to add that, six years later (1818), he writes to the 
same correspondent : " Those who greatly disturbed and dis- 
tressed me are gone, and my Church is sweetly harmonious." 8 

But his private societies were not his only difficulty. We 
have his own word for it that he sometimes involved himself 
in great embarrassment with regard to the young men who 
were being trained, or who had been trained, at Cambridge 
for the ministry under his auspices. He writes to Wilber- 

1 Carus, pp. 238-240. 2 7</.,p. 247. 3 Id., p. 346. 


force in 1814, complaining that many used his name whom 
he did not sanction, and then adds, ' The truth is, that young 
men act very imprudently, and in a very bad spirit, and compel 
the bishops to proceed against them, and then they call it 
persecution ; and having destroyed their character among all 
who know them, they use my name as a passport. This must 
be checked, and I feel the more need to check it, because I 
feel more than ever the necessity of being sober-minded'' l 
His correspondence is full of such " checks," or, to use a more 
significant term, " snubs " to young men. " Why," he asks 
one, " should you stand out about the hymns ? You are very 
injudicious in this. You should consider that, when a storm 
is raised, you are not the only sufferer. Pray study to main- 
tain peace, though you make some sacrifices for it. I stated 
that your pamphlet was 'somewhat objectionable ; ' but, if I 
had not been afraid of wounding your feelings, I should have 
said ' very objectionable ; ' " and then he gives the young 
clergyman some excellent advice. 2 To an undergraduate 
he writes, " It is evident that you have been in the habit of 
writing in the books of the College Library. This, not to 
speak of the presumption, is a most flagrant breach of con- 
fidence, and deserves the most serious reprehension. . . . You 
are not at all aware how contrary your conduct in this matter 
has been to the modesty that becomes a young man, and a 
religious professor in particular." 3 To a curate who had 
been requested by his incumbent to leave him : " As an 
abstract question, I think that for a man professing piety 
to force himself upon his principal against his will is no very 
Christian act. There are a set of people in the Church who 
would recommend and encourage such a step ; but they are 
not the most humble and modest in our flock." 4 To another : 
" I know you will forgive me, if I say that the very account 
you give of yourself, in relation to controversy, is a dissuasive 
from embarking in it." 5 And so one might go on ; but it 
will be sufficient to quote a passage from his own " Inward 
Experience," which shows, not only his particular attitude 
towards individuals, but his general impressions : " My joys 
are tempered with contrition, and confidence with fear and 

1 Carus, p. 283. 2 Moule, pp. 182, 183. 3 Id., p. 185. 

4 Id., p. 188. 5 Carus, p. 445. 


shame. I consider the religion of the day as materially 
defective in this point ; and the preaching of pious ministers 
defective also. I do not see, so much as I could wish, an 
holy, reverential awe of God. The confidence that is generally 
expressed does not sufficiently, in my opinion, savour of a 
creature-like spirit, or of a sinner-like spirit." l 

Simeon himself was absolutely free from the spirit which 
in the above passage he so properly condemns, and the 
counsel he gives to those whom he thought possessed by it 
is uniformly excellent ; but one cannot add with confidence 
that the course he pursued did not tend to produce it. It is 
not an unmixed advantage to gather, at a place like Cam- 
bridge, young men into cliques, which from the nature of the 
case keep them more or less aloof from the general life of 
the University ; still less so, when they come to fancy that the 
reason why they hold aloof is because they are the pious ones, 
while all the world around them lieth in wickedness. It is 
no use disguising the fact that outside their own circle the 
" Simeonites," or " Sims," were looked down upon ; and the 
mischievous result was that many who regarded piety and 
Simeonism as synonymous terms were repelled from religion 
altogether. 2 

But in spite of these drawbacks Simeon's work at Cam- 
bridge was a noble work ; it influenced for good not only the 
many who came into contact with him, but, through them, 
untold numbers. The spiritual father of such men as Henry 
Martyn, Daniel Wilson, Venn Elliott, etc., would indirectly 
affect thousands whom he never saw or heard of. " As for 
Simeon," writes one, whose testimony is all the more 
significant because, personally, he had not the slightest 

1 Carus, p. 364. 

2 " At that time" (about 1808-10), writes the biographer of Professor Schole- 
field, "there was a sort of stigma attached to frequenting Trinity Church, and he 
had not overcome the feeling of shame at being seen to enter it, and used to look 
every way before he ventured to pass the gate. This feeling was far from being 
uncommon with many who really valued Mr. Simeon's ministry." Of a few years 
later (about 1816), when Scholefield was Simeon's curate, a Mr. Chatfield, Schole- 
field's first pupil, writes, " He used to take me with him to dear old Simeon's 
church ; and often, as we walked with him thither, we heard the coarse abuse he 
met with from the idle undergraduates, who rejoiced in nothing more than hooting 
at Simeon and his curate." Memoir of Professor James Scholefield, by his widow, 
pp. 18, 19, 27. 


sympathy with Simeon's views. " if you knew what his 
authority and influence were, and how they extended from 
Cambridge to the most remote corners of England, you would 
allow that his real sway over the Church was far greater than 
that of any primate." 1 As to his personal character, we may 
echo the words of one who was no more a disciple of Simeon 
than was Macaulay himself, and say that he deserved to be 
called " St. Charles of Cambridge." 2 

Cambridge was a great centre of Evangelicalism. It was 
the home of the men who formed the intellectual backbone 
always rather weak of the system. First and foremost 
amongst these men stands the burly figure of " the Dean," as 
he was called par excellence Isaac Milner (1750-1820), who 
divided his time between Carlisle and Cambridge, being dean 
of the former, and president of Queen's College in the latter. 3 
Isaac Milner was a sort of Evangelical Dr. Johnson, whose 
mind, like his body, was massive and powerful, and who also, 
like the doctor, concealed under a rough exterior a singularly 
warm and tender heart. He had been in the confidence of 
all the great men of the first generation of Evangelicals, and 
was naturally regarded as a tower of strength to their cause 
by the men of the second generation ; a sort of Deus ex 
mackind, to be summoned when any dignus vindice nodus 
occurred. Full of bonhomie, an admirable conversationalist 
(again like Dr. Johnson), "in wit a man, simplicity a 
child," an Evangelical of Evangelicals, but withal a man of 
the world, in the good sense of the term, he was in some 
respects the most striking of all the figures in the Evangelical 
group. He was regarded by some as an indolent man ; and 
the fact that he did not write very much, or take any 
prominent part in the many works of piety and benevolence 
which were originated and carried out by the Evangelical 
school, lent colour to the charge. But he was ready to come 
to the front when any great occasion required it, and could 
do battle when a foeman worthy of his steel such as Dr. 
Herbert Marsh appeared on the field ; and during his 

1 Lord Macaulay, quoted in Sir G. Trevelyan's Life, i. 67, note. 

2 Sir James Stephen, Essays on Ecclesiastical Biography, ii. 375. 

* For an account of Isaac Milner's early life, see the chapter on " The Evan- 
gelical Revival " in The English Church in the Eighteenth Century. 


residence he preached regularly and with tremendous effect 
in Carlisle Cathedral. Grotesque as it may sound, I believe 
it is true, that this great,"strong man strong in every sense 
the only dignitary and the acknowledged intellectual Cory- 
phaeus of the party, was deterred by nervousness rather than 
indolence from taking a more active part in its work. In a 
letter, written in 1813, to the Bishop of Carlisle (Dr. Good- 
enough), with whom he was on the most intimate terms, 
though the two did not agree on all points of theology, he 
describes his feelings in reference to his controversy with 
Dr. Marsh : " Your lordship admires my nerves. I will tell 
you how that is. With great appearance of strength, I am as 
poor a nervous being as ever existed ; and were I to ruminate 
on contentious matters, I might bid adieu to sleep and 
appetite. But the fact is, I endeavour to form my resolution 
as carefully and on as good grounds as I can, and when that 
is formed, I go straight forward without talking to any one 
about it. It is the talking to busybodies and the listening 
to tittle-tattle of all sorts that keeps the mind in a perpetual 
heat and fret. Never before in my life was I in a controversy, 
except the petty business with Dr. Haweis ; and I have been 
remarkably slow to enter this." l To this another reason 
may be added an extreme dislike which this hearty, genial 
man had to be at enmity with any. " I abominate," he said, 
" fendings and provings they make me miserable ; so does 
the least alienation of mind in the case of those with whom 
I am anxious to stand well." 2 Alas ! when one excepts all 
the controversial divinity which comes under these heads, 
how much remains ? 

The fact that Isaac Milner was president, of course 
attracted to Queen's College numbers of the young men who 
were sent to the University wholly or partly by the help 
of such societies as the Elland, Dunham, etc. ; but I doubt 
whether Sir James Stephen is quite accurate when he says 
that "under the shelter of his [Dean Milner's] name his 
college flourished as the best cultured and most fruitful 
nursery of Evangelicals." 3 The description would apply at 

1 Life of Isaac Milner, by Mary Milner, p. 328. 

2 Id., p. 324- 

3 Essays on Ecclesiastical Biography : "The Evangelical Succession." 


least as well to Magdalen College, where many Evangelicals 
who afterwards came to the front were educated. 1 Of one 
of them, Thomas Dykes, of Hull, his biographer tells us that, 
" after taking advice of Joseph Milner, he went (1786) to 
Magdalen College, Cambridge, which was then the general 
resort of young men seriously impressed with a sense of 
religion." 2 A leading Evangelical, William Parish (1759- 
1837), was tutor of Magdalen and Jacksonian Professor of 
Chemistry. Professor Farish had almost as high a reputa- 
tion for abilities and attainments as Dean Milner himself. 
Both had been senior wranglers, and both continued their 
mathematical and other intellectual pursuits all through their 
lives ; and, curiously enough, both were connected with 
Carlisle Milner as dean, and Farish because it was his 
native place. He was son of the Rev. James Farish, 
lecturer at the cathedral, and was born in the prebendal 
house just opposite the deanery. He received the whole of 
his education at Carlisle until he went to Cambridge, in 
1765 ; and there he remained until his death, that is, for more 
than sixty years. The mere fact of his long residence in the 
University gave him great weight there : for he did not, as 
some resident Fellows did, sink into a mere vegetable ; on 
the contrary, the older he grew the more active he seems to 
have become. Next to Simeon longo sed proximus intervallo 
he perhaps exercised more influence than any man over 
the evangelically disposed undergraduates. Milner was a 
sort of Grand Llama at Queen's, ruling the college strictly, 
but, from the nature of his position, being brought into 
comparatively little contact with the young men ; but Farish 
was their guide, philosopher, and friend. Like Simeon, he 
took the charge of a parish in Cambridge, being Vicar of St. 
Giles'. In this he worked on the same lines as Simeon, and 
with almost equal success. " Professor Farish," writes Simeon 

1 Mr. Henry Gunning, in his Reminiscences of Cambridge, groups the two 
colleges together in a passage in which he pays " the Dean " rather a doubtful 
compliment : "Among the moderators and examiners of that day Milner had, and 
continued to have during many years, a prodigious influence, and was frequently 
called upon to settle the places of men in the higher brackets. . . . Except -when 
a man of his own college or Magdalen was concerned (!), I do not recollect to have 
heard any well-founded charge of partiality brought against him " (pp. 92, 93). 

* Memoir of the Rev. Thomas Dykes, by the Rev. John King, p. 6. 


to Thomason in 1817, "is doing great things. He has built 
two schoolrooms, one for four hundred boys, and another for 
three hundred girls ; and is now enlarging his church, so that 
it will seat as many as mine." x Simeon had a great respect 
for Parish, and submitted his compositions on critical 
occasions to the professor's judgment 2 Like Simeon, Parish 
had some of those little peculiarities which men who pass all 
their lives in college are apt to contract. " He was," writes 
the biographer of his pupil, Thomas Dykes, "a man of 
singular simplicity of manners, often of ludicrous absence of 
mind, but of astonishing mathematical powers, joined with a 
benevolence of heart which won the esteem and confidence 
of all, and a fervour of piety which glowed more brightly as 
he advanced in age." 8 Like many men who are conspicuous 
for their modesty and simplicity, Professor Parish was firm as 
a rock when he thought principles were at stake, and manfully 
supported the promoters of the Church Missionary and Bible 
Societies at Cambridge when both were unpopular, and when 
some who were friends to them at heart hung back. He was 
a thorough partisan, but a most amiable and large-hearted 
one, and his schemes for doing good were by no means 
confined to those which belonged exclusively to the Evan- 
gelical school. Perhaps his most active exertions were in 
behalf of the education of the poor. Such a man was a tower 
of strength to the Evangelical cause, not only in Cambridge, 
but in all parts of the world where his Cambridge disciples 
were scattered abroad ; and we may fitly conclude this notice 
of the good man by a quotation from a sermon preached by 
a Cambridge clergyman in a Cambridge church on the 
occasion of his death : " The children taught through the 
late Professor Parish's influence ; the young men encouraged 
to go forth to arduous labours and services, notwithstanding 
misgivings and difficulties ; those whose path has been 
cleared by his counsel, and whose hands have been strength- 
ened by his interposition, and whose faith and charity have 
been enlivened by his example and his patience, have already 
borne testimony that he was a good man, and full of the 
Holy Ghost ; while the beneficial effect of his labours, his 

1 Carus, p. 329. 2 /(/., p. 201. 

3 Memoir of Dykes, by King, p. 6. 


counsel, his prayers, is doubtless far greater than we can 
estimate." * 

Several other Cambridge residents of high standing in 
the University threw themselves heart and soul into the 
Evangelical cause. Among these may be mentioned Thomas 
Thomason, Simeon's curate and lifelong friend, who entered 
at Magdalen in 1792, was fifth wrangler in 1796, and was 
then elected Fellow of Queen's, where he was for some years 
a college tutor, being also curate to Simeon ; he is best 
known for his noble work in the mission-field, but his earlier 
work at Cambridge as a pillar of the Evangelical cause must 
not be forgotten. Another eminent resident who thoroughly 
identified himself with the Evangelicals, and was a power at 
Cambridge both among graduates and undergraduates, was 
James Scholefield (1789-1853). He was ordained in 1812, 
before he took his degree, as assistant curate to Simeon at 
Trinity Church, and in 1815 was elected Fellow of Trinity 
College. In 1823 he became Incumbent of St. Michael's, 
and in 1825 Regius Professor of Greek. Though a more 
formidable and less accessible man than Simeon or Parish, 
he attracted, like them, gownsmen to his church, where he 
presented to them, more than either of the other two, the 
intellectual side of Christianity, in a manner "calculated," 
says a reviewer of his life, " to arrest and keep the attention 
of a cultivated mind. In a congregation composed so largely 
of intelligent young men, the rising hopes of our Church, who 
were preparing for future usefulness, he occupied a position 
the most interesting and important to which an able minister 
of the New Testament can be called. He thus fell into the 
very niche of the temple which, by his piety, learning, and 
eloquence, he was best fitted to occupy." 2 The two Jowetts, 
Joseph Jowett (1752-1813) and his nephew William Jowett 
(1787-1855), were also leaders of the Evangelicals at Cam- 

1 Sermon preached at St. Botolph's, Cambridge, January 22, 1837, on occasion 
of the death of the late Rev. William Farish, B.D., Rector of Stonham Parva, 
Suffolk, Vicar of St. Giles', Cambridge, and Jacksonian Professor of Chemistry in 
that University. By Thomas Webster, B.D., rector. 

Professor Farish accepted the little living of Stonham shortly before his death, 
and retired and died there. 

2 Christian Observer for July, 1855. See also the Memoir of Professor James 
Scholefieldy by his widow. 


bridge. The former, who is the hero of the delightful epigram 
on "the little garden that little Jowett made," was Fellow 
and Tutor of Trinity Hall and Regius Professor of Civil Law 
He was the intimate friend of Dean Milner, who regularly 
spent two evenings in every week alone with him until his 
death. The latter was Fellow of St. John's a noted writer 
in his day, and the first English clergyman who undertook 
foreign mission work for the Church Missionary Society. 
Finally (though the list might be further extended), among 
those who acquired both an academical and an evangelical 
reputation, must be noticed William Dealtry (1775-1847), 
who was resident Fellow of Trinity until 1813, when he 
succeeded John Venn as Rector of Clapham. Friend and 
foe concur in bearing testimony to the high repute in which 
Dr. Dealtry was held by his co-religionists at Cambridge. 
Simeon speaks with rapture of his " electrifying a whole 
congregation by his preaching," and frequently alludes to 
him with respect ; and Herbert Marsh, his antagonist in the 
matter of the Bible Society at Cambridge, complains with 
some bitterness (1812) that " the very circumstance that an 
argument is used by Mr. Dealtry is regarded by many as a 
presumption in its favour, and this presumption is height- 
ened by his confidence in himself and contempt of his 
adversaries." x 

The mention of Dr. Dealtry reminds us that it is time 
to go on to another great centre of the Evangelicals. The 
" Clapham sect," or the " Claphamites," became a name for 
the whole party. This is misleading, but there was some 
pretext for the nomenclature ; for most of the schemes of 
piety and benevolence which distinguished the second 
generation of Evangelicals either originated from Clapham, 
or found their strongest supporters there. The names of 
Wilberforce, Thornton, Teignmouth, Stephen, Macaulay, and 
Venn are all closely connected with Clapham. Most of them 
lived there, and all worshipped, more or less regularly, at its 
parish church. 2 The scene is vividly brought before us in 

1 An Inquiry into the Consequences of neglecting to give the Prayer-book with 
the Bible: interspersed with remarks on some late speeches at Cambridge, and 
other important matters relative to the Bible Society, by Herbert Marsh, Margaret 
Professor of Divinity, 1812. 

* Lord Macaulay said truly that " Thackeray introduced too much of the 


a word-picture drawn by one who knew them all. "On 
Sunday they [the Thorntons] sit in the old church with the 
Wilberforces' and Macaulays' and Stephens' pews close to 
their own ; and in the front gallery the Teignmouths ; and 
listen to the wise discourses of Venn, or sit enchanted under 
the preaching of Gisborne." 1 

William Wilberforce (1/59-1833) was unquestionably the 
central figure of the group. 2 He had many advantages 
which none of the rest possessed in an equal degree. Gifted 
with extraordinary powers both of oratory and of conversation, 
he was calculated alike to shine in public and in private life. 
He had become a real power in Parliament in days when 
Parliamentary eloquence was at its zenith, and was able to 
hold his own with men like Pitt, Fox, Sheridan, and Burke. 
He won the admiration of men who were very far from 
sharing his religious views. Of his many eulogists, not one 
was more enthusiastic than Lord Brougham, who describes 
him as in some respects more illustrious than Pitt or Gren- 
ville. 3 It was not among the least of his powers that he 
could, when necessary, use with tremendous effect weapons 
which were frequently employed against the party which he 
represented. To sneer or laugh at " the saints " was a very 
common, but very improper course ; and on one occasion 
when, in this spirit, a member of the House of Commons 
with execrable taste designated him as " the honourable and 
religious gentleman," Wilberforce answered him in a strain 
of sarcasm which none who heard it could ever forget. Sir 
Samuel Romilly remarked, " It is the most striking thing I 
almost ever heard." 4 

Dissenting element into Clapham in The Newcomes" The leading people were, 
as Sir G. O. Trevelyan remarks, all staunch Churchmen, though they worked 
with Dissenters. See Life of Lord Macaulay, i. 62. Otherwise, the account of 
Sophia Alethea Newcome is wonderfully lifelike, doing full justice to the real 
goodness, generosity, and self-denial which, in the midst of their affluence and 
narrowness, certainly characterized the Claphamites. 

1 William Wilberforce, his Friends and his Times, by J. C. Colquhoun, 
p. 309. 

2 For an account of Wilberforce's early life, see the chapter on " The Evan- 
gelical Revival " in The English Church in the Eighteenth Century. 

3 See Statesmen in the Time of George III.: "Mr. Wilberforce," vol. i. 
p. 96, etc. 

4 Id., p. 99- 


No less striking were his conversational powers. Pre- 
judices vanished during a personal interview with him, like 
dew before the sun. His son's account of his marvellous 
gift of fascination might be suspected of filial partiality 
(though he quotes several instances which could have been 
immediately contradicted if untrue), 1 but what he asserts is 
fully borne out by quite independent witnesses. Bishop Jebb, 
for instance, who belonged to quite a different school of 
theology, writes in 1809, "We had the happiness of meeting 
Mr. Wilberforce, not only the worthiest and ablest, but the 
pleasantest of men. There is something to me peculiarly 
delightful in the almost boyish playfulness of a great and 
good mind ; and this I never saw more fully exhibited than 
in Mr. Wilberforce. He absolutely overflows with vivacity ; 
and the easy current of his most fluent conversation, every 
now and then, is diversified by flashes of eloquence, or by 
classical allusions, or poetical imagery ; and the whole is so 
clearly the emanation of a guileless and benevolent heart, 
that not to be charmed with him, I at least conceive to be 
impossible." 2 Reginald Heber was distinctly prejudiced 
against Wilberforce, but when he saw him he said, "An 
hour's conversation can dissolve the prejudice of years." 3 

In fact, so great were Wilberforce's advantages, personal 
and adventitious, that there was a little danger, especially in 
his later years, of his being spoilt by adulation ; and perhaps 
it was well for him that Nemesis (" the goddess of retribution, 
who brings down all immoderate good fortune, and checks 
the presumption that attends it") haunted him by making 
him, more than most men, the butt of gentle raillery and 
depreciation among those who disliked the Evangelical 

When such gifts as Wilberforce possessed are combined 
with a boundless liberality, to which great wealth enabled 
him to give full scope, a devoted attachment to what he 
believed to be the truth, a dogged perseverance in carrying 

1 Life of William Wilberforce, p. 417. Among others, the writer quotes Sir 
James Mackintosh, who certainly had no sympathy with Wilberforce's peculiar 

2 Life of Bishop Jebb, by the Rev. C. Forster, p. 164. 

3 William Wilberforce, his Friends and his Times, by J. C. Colquhoun, 
p. 170. 


out his purposes which no difficulties could daunt, and an 
absolute disregard for all personal advancement, it need not 
surprise us that he should have been a most mighty engine 
for the spread of Evangelicalism. 

That is, so far as he was an Evangelical ; but here again 
we have an instance of one who joined the party because it 
seemed to him to be the most in earnest about spiritual 
things ; for from some of its most distinctive characteristics 
Wilberforce differed. For example, the Evangelicals were 
decidedly, though moderately, Calvinistic ; Wilberforce was 
as decidedly anti-Calvinistic. 1 The Evangelicals were 
opposed to the doctrine of baptismal regeneration ; Wilber- 
force appears to have advocated it. 2 The Evangelicals 
were Protestant to the core, and opposed, as a body, to any 
favour being granted to Roman Catholics ; Wilberforce was 
a friend, and, from his position in Parliament, a very powerful 
friend, of Roman Catholic Emancipation. But, in spite of all 
this, the Evangelicals may fairly claim William Wilberforce 
as their own ; and though it is not quite correct to term him, 
as Lord Brougham does, " the head, indeed the founder, of 
a powerful religious sect," 3 he was unquestionably the most 
influential layman who belonged to the party. 

Next to William Wilberforce come his kinsmen, the 
Thorntons. John Thornton, the father, belonged to an earlier 
generation, but his mantle fell upon a worthy son, Henry 
Thornton. The Thorntons were wealthy London bankers, 
and their princely liberality in behalf of all those objects 
which the Evangelicals had at heart rivalled that of Wil- 
berforce himself. Henry Thornton was, like Wilberforce, 
a member of Parliament, and both represented powerful 
constituencies ; the one Yorkshire, and the other Surrey. 

; ' You and I who are no Calvinists, ' is an expression which occurs re- 
peatedly in his letters," says Canon Ashwell, Life of Bishop S. Wilberforce, i. 38, 
note. " Disputed with Milner about final perseverance," is an entry in his 
diary for August 25, 1799. 

" Papa defended most strongly baptismal regeneration against the two 
clergymen [Daniel Wilson and Cunningham of Harrow, both leading Evangelicals]. 
His ground was that we are told that no man can see God without a change of 
heart. We believe that infants do see God, and therefore he did not doubt that their 
hearts were changed at baptism." Letter from Henry Wilberforce to his brother 
Samuel, quoted by Canon Ashwell in his Life of Bishop S. Wilberforce, \. 46. 
3 Statesmen in the Time of George III. : "Mr. Wilberforce." 


Thornton rendered valuable service to his religious friends in 
Parliament ; for though he had none of the oratorical powers 
of Wilberforce, he had great talents, was an excellent man 
of business, and won that respect which perfect rectitude of 
purpose and a stainless private character seldom fail to 
command. The father and son were good representatives, 
respectively, of the first and second generation of Evangelicals. 
John Thornton belonged to the period when they were almost 
forced to fraternize with Dissenters, who welcomed them while 
their own Church looked upon them with suspicion as mere 
Methodists. In Henry Thornton's time the Evangelicals had 
become recognized as a power in the Church. They were still 
stigmatized as Methodists in some quarters, but the line of 
demarcation was more distinctly drawn. At any rate, those 
who, like Henry Thornton, desired to keep closely within the 
pale of the Church might easily do so without finding any 
lack of sympathizers. Indeed, the men themselves were more 
exclusively Churchmen than their predecessors had been. 
These facts may explain a remark made by one who never 
spoke without knowing what he was saying, but which other- 
wise might be difficult to comprehend. " I have often 
thought," said John Bowdler, on Henry Thornton's prema- 
ture death in 1814, "it was almost an evidence of the 
Christian religion that so commanding a mind as his, pre- 
judiced as it was in early life, by a Methodistical circle in 
which he lived, against enthusiasm of all kinds, should quietly 
and soberly examine the subject for himself, and end in 
becoming not only convinced of the truth of religion, but one 
of its most warm and devout followers. How we are to go 
on without him, I cannot understand ; as a standard to look 
up to he was invaluable ! " The last sentence is very strong, 
but hardly too strong for the facts of the case. Henry 
Thornton was Wilberforce's right-hand man in the crusade 
against the Slave Trade ; he was one of the chief founders of 
the Church Missionary Society, and its first treasurer ; he 
was the life and soul of that cherished project, connected 
with both, the foundation of the colony at Sierra Leone ; he 
was one of the first promoters of, and a most voluminous and 

1 William Wilberforce, his Friends and his Times, p. 532. John Bowdler 
himself died within a fortnight of uttering these words. 


valued contributor to, the Christian Observer ; and the first 
treasurer of the British and Foreign Bible Society. In fact, 
there was not a scheme that was dear to the Evangelical mind 
in which he did not take a leading part. 1 

Another member of the group was Zachary Macaulay, 
to whom a special interest is attached as the father of a 
still more illustrious son. He was editor of the Christian 
Observer after the first few numbers, and managed it for 
fifteen years with singular tact, prevailing upon persons to 
write in it whom none but he could have persuaded. 2 Like 
the rest of his party, he took the deepest interest in the 
foundation of the Church Missionary Society, and especially 
in the Sierra Leone project ; was an ardent abolitionist, and 
one of the original founders of the Bible Society. A more 
complete contrast than that between Zachary and Thomas 
Babington Macaulay it is difficult to conceive. The father 
was a silent, severe man, with more of the old Puritan in 
him than most of the Evangelicals had ; a man of no great 
brilliancy, but of great strength of character and rectitude of 
purpose. He was not, perhaps, adapted to be a leader, but he 
made an admirable lieutenant, and was an important member 
of what has been termed Wilberforce's " interior cabinet." 3 

A somewhat similar role was played by Macaulay's friend 
and neighbour, James Stephen, who was also the father, and 
we may add the grandfather, of men more brilliant than 
himself. But Stephen introduced a new and an important 
element into the Clapham councils. He was a lawyer, and 
his legal acumen was of great service to the cause which he 
espoused, especially in its relation to the abolition of the 
Slave Trade, to which branch of the work, above all others, 
he devoted himself. The fact that he was an intimate friend 
of a Prime Minister (Mr. Perceval) did not tend to diminish 
his influence. 

Lord Teignmouth, first president of the Bible Society, and 
formerly Governor-General of -India, may fairly be reckoned 
as a member of the Clapham sect ; for he was an occasional 

1 Colquhoun, p. 253. Id., p. 182. 

3 There is a vivid account of Zachary Macaulay in Mr. J. Cotter Morison's 
very able monograph on Macaulay in the English Men of Letters Series ; also, 
of course, in Sir George Trevelyan's Life of Lord Macaulay. 


resident of Clapham, worshipped at its parish church, from 
which he could not be allured even by the preaching of 
Robert Hall, and rendered valuable service to one of the 
causes which the Claphamites had at heart, the propagation 
of the gospel in India. His Indian experience stood him in 
good stead when that object was violently attacked. Nor 
must we forget Granville Sharp, an abolitionist even before 
Wilberforce, 1 the inheritor of a name which is noted for 
piety and benevolence all through the eighteenth century. 
He was not a man of Clapham, but his deep interest in the 
abolition of the Slave Trade, and also in the Bible Society, 
at the first meeting for the foundation of which he was 
chairman, and his general though not perhaps entire sympathy 
with the views of the Evangelicals, led him frequently to this 
Evangelical centre. To a similar extent, Thomas Babington, 
a pious country gentleman of Northumberland, may be 
regarded as a Claphamite ; while Simeon and Milner were 
also occasional visitors and constant advisers among the 

Among a body of men who were brought together chiefly 
by their agreement in religious matters, of course the clerical 
element was of vital importance. To their credit be it said, 
the Claphamites do not seem, like some amateur theologians, 
to have wasted their time and temper in disputes with their 
clergy. Of course they took all the pains they could to have 
a clergyman of their own school, otherwise it would have 
been miserable both for them and him. They were peculiarly 
fortunate, in more ways than one, in having for the Rector of 
Clapham John Venn (1759-1813), the worthy son of a worthy 
father. The very name of Venn would be sufficient to 
command respect, for had not Henry Venn stood in the first 
rank of the early Evangelical fathers ? John and Henry Venn 
were very different types of men ; but for the position which 
he had to fill at Clapham the son was decidedly better adapted 
than the father. This, if one reads between the lines, appears 
in the characters of the two, as drawn by two Evangelicals, 

1 "It ought," said Bishop Porteus, "to be remembered, in justice to one no 
less remarkable for his modesty and humility than for his learning and piety, 
Granville Sharp, that the first publication which drew the attention of the 
country to the horrors of the African Slave Trade came from his pen." See 
Hodgson's Life of Bishop Beilby Portetis, p. 218. 



who both evidently thought the father the better man. " John 
Venn," writes Mr. Jerram, " possessed his father's talents, but 
not in all their splendour ; partook of his piety, but not of its 
fervid character." 1 "John Venn," writes Mr. King, "the 
excellent Vicar of Clapham, son of the still more celebrated 
Vicar of Huddersfield, . . . possessed a remarkable soundness 
of judgment, combined with a rare intellectual power, which 
was duly appreciated by such men as Wilberforce and Henry 
Thornton, as well as by the large assemblage of rank and 
talent which met together in the spacious church at Clapham, 
and which might have been far more extensively felt but for 
a certain diffidence of character, which often caused him to 
shrink from services which few persons were more competent 
to discharge than himself. " 2 

John Venn at Clapham was the right man in the right 
place. Such a congregation as his did not so much require 
to be roused from spiritual apathy that had been done 
already as to be edified or built up in their holy faith, to 
be instructed, to be guided. Now, John Venn, besides being 
a very earnest, was also a highly cultured man, and was 
particularly distinguished for his clear, calm judgment, and, 
if one may use such an expression, sanctified common sense. 
This comes out very strongly in his admirable management 
as chairman of the first meeting, in 1799, which led to the 
establishment of the Church Missionary Society, or, as it was 
at first called, " The Society for Missions in Africa and the 
East." More than any single man, he may be termed the 
father of the society, and the detailed account of his doings 
and suggestions fully justifies the glowing eulogy which is 
passed upon him in the Jubilee volume of the society (1849) 
" a man of such wisdom and comprehension of mind, that 
on that memorable occasion he laid down before a small 
company of fellow-helpers those principles -and regulations 
which have formed the basis of the society." From the 

1 Memoirs of the Rev. Charles Jerram, by the Rev. James Jerram, p. 270. It 
is a pity, by the way, that this most interesting volume is not better known j it 
contains one of the best accounts extant of the Evangelicals of the second genera- 
tion. A similar description of the relative merits of the two Venns is given in 
The Later Evangelical Fathers, by M. Seeley, pp. 30-38. 

2 Memoir of the Rev. Thomas Dykes, by the Rev. John King, p. 7. This, too, 
is a book well worth reading. 


nature of the case, it is of course impossible to adduce similar 
proofs of his wisdom in managing his almost unique parish ; 
but we may well conceive how invaluable his well-balanced 
mind would be, not only for informing, but also for checking 
any excesses into which earnest laymen, who have not made 
any special study of theology, are apt to fall. The Clapham 
congregation seem thoroughly to have appreciated the merits 
of their pastor ; not one word of complaint do we hear from 
any quarter, but we are expressly told that " in purely 
ecclesiastical matters Wilberforce always consulted John 
Venn or Simeon." John Venn died at the comparatively 
early age of fifty-four, in 1813, having been Rector of Clapham 
for twenty-one years, succeeding another noted Evangelical, 
Dr. Stonehouse, in 1792. It was an anxious crisis for the 
men of Clapham, but they found the very successor they 
desired. " The parish," writes Zachary Macaulay to Simeon 
after John Venn's death, " to a man are hoping and praying 
for Dealtry." And their hopes were realized and their prayers 
heard ; for Dr. Dealtry, who, as we have seen, stood in the 
first rank of Evangelicals at Cambridge, was appointed, and 
continued to minister to them until he was made, by Bishop 
Sumner, Chancellor of Winchester and afterwards Arch- 
deacon of Surrey. "Clapham," writes Mr. Colquhoun, "was 
highly favoured, as both in John Venn and his successor, Dr. 
Dealtry, they possessed clergy of zeal and wisdom, with the 
special characteristics of their Church, learning, earnestness 
and a wise moderation." 1 

But there was another clergyman connected with Clapham,, 
who, to judge by contemporary report, made a greater 
sensation than either of its two rectors. This was Thomas 
Gisborne (1758-1846), who was what would now be vulgarly 
called a " squarson." He lived at Yoxall Lodge, in Need- 
wood Forest, where he undertook the charge of the populous 
village of Barton, and worked diligently among the poor. 
His appearance in the Clapham pulpit was always looked 
forward to as a rich intellectual treat, and the rapturous 
terms in which he is spoken of would lead us to regard him 
as one of the greatest geniuses of the age. Thus Sir James 
Stephen, who had, no doubt, often seen and heard him, when 

1 William Wilberforce, his Friends and his Times, p. 323. 


he was a boy at Clapham, writes, " He contributed largely 
to the formation of the national mind on subjects of the 
highest importance to the national character. He was the 
expositor of the ' Evangelical ' system to those cultivated 
or fastidious readers who were intolerant of the ruder style 
of his less refined brethren. He addressed them as a poet, as 
a moralist, as a natural philosopher, and as a divine. His 
sermons were regarded by his contemporaries as models in 
a style of composition in which the English has scarcely 
a single specimen of excellence." 1 One is tempted to ask 
whether the writer had ever read South, Jeremy Taylor, 
Barrow, or, to come nearer his own times, Horsley ; and, if so, 
whether he found in them no specimens of excellence, and 
whether he seriously thought Mr. Gisborne was superior to 
them ? Even when he adds, " Mr. Gisborne approached more 
nearly than any Anglican clergyman of his time towards the 
ideal of that much-neglected art," one cannot help thinking 
of Van Mildert, Mant, Isaac Milner, and many others, and 
feeling half amused, half provoked, at the extravagance of 
the estimate. For, unfortunately, Mr. Gisborne's sermons and 
other writings are still accessible to those who will take the 
trouble to disinter them from the dusty shelves in which they 
repose. Like much of the Evangelical literature, they are 
very disappointing from an intellectual point of view ; though 
the sermons are plain, sensible, and spirited, and would pro- 
bably sound better when heard than they appear when read. 
It is only fair to add that there were others, and those 
highly competent judges, who formed the very highest opinion 
of Mr. Gisborne. " Gisborne," writes Henry Thornton to a 
young friend, " is the man of almost all others whom I could 
wish you implicitly to follow. The longer we live, the more 
shall we discover the value of his sobriety, candour, openness, 
and kindness." Alexander Knox, when speaking of the 
want of " unction " in English sermons, declares that any 
preacher who has it will be called Methodistical, "as," he 
adds, as if it were a monstrous supposition, " I dare say, when 
I inquire, I shall find to be the case with the excellent Mr. 
Gisborne." ' Reginald Heber, in a letter to John Thornton 

1 Essays in Ecclesiastical Biography : " The Clapham Sect." 
Remains of Alexander Knox \ iv. 104. 


the younger, in 1809, after praising highly, but not at all too 
highly, the very striking pamphlet entitled "Zeal without 
Innovation;' asks, " Is Gisborne the author ? " as if no one 
else was worthy of the authorship. 1 " The appearance," we 
are told, " of a new volume [by Mr. Gisborne] was hailed by 
Hannah More, and other persons of taste, as a spiritual and 
intellectual treat." 2 If the virtue appears now to have gone 
out of this once admired writer, it is perhaps because the 
present generation does not know the man, about whose 
personality there must have been something singularly 

Before we quit Clapham a word must be said about the 
numerous schemes of piety and charity, the success of which 
was mainly due to the good men who were connected with 
that place. It may seem to be a grovelling view to take of 
the matter ; but, after all, in this work-day world of ours, 
money and business talents are very important elements in 
the successful carrying out of practical projects for good. 
The men of Clapham possessed both. Clapham was not 
then, as now, a part of London, but it was near enough to 
make it a very convenient home for business men. The 
Claphamites were able and willing to spend almost any 
amount of money on the projects which they had at heart ; 
but, as men of business, they liked to have their money's 
worth for their money. They were not worldly men, but 
they knew perfectly well what they were about, in dealing 
with matters in which a knowledge of the world makes all 
the difference between success and failure. And so they 
could contribute, not only money, but what would make 
money effective for their objects. Wilberforce contributed 
his eloquence, Thornton his monetary experience as a banker, 
and both their Parliamentary influence ; Stephen his legal 
knowledge, Lord Teignmouth his knowledge of men as 
governor of a great province; and these, added to their 
money, made them irresistible. 

The most conspicuous and arduous of their achievements 
was the abolition of the Slave Trade in 1807, and the abolition 

1 Life of Bishop Heber, by his widow, i. 359. Mr. Gisborne was not the 
author of Zeal without Innovation. It was written by Mr. Bean. 

2 Colquhoun, p. 203. 


of slavery itself in 1833. For, while we must give full credit 
to the assistance which they received from men who were not 
Claphamites, such as Henry Brougham, Bishop Porteus, and, 
above all, Thomas Clarkson, it must yet be admitted that a 
thoughtful modern writer has hardly exaggerated the matter 
in saying, "The men who with the hard labour of twenty 
years won from England the abolition of slavery, a step which 
cost so much in actual expenditure, and by which the nation 
ventured nobly upon a great sacrifice of effort for abstract 
right with doubtful results, belonged without exception to 
this straitest of religious communities." * We may go a step 
further, and say that they not only belonged to this com- 
munity, but that they derived from it the stimulus which 
urged them, and the fulcrum which supported them ; speak- 
ing broadly, it was not only Evangelicals, but Evangelicalism, 
which abolished the Slave Trade and emancipated the negro. 
The testimony quoted above is all the more striking, because 
it comes from one who is very far from being an indiscriminate 
eulogist of the Evangelicals ; and the same may be said of 
another, whose vivid account of the magnitude and unselfish- 
ness of the work I cannot possibly improve upon, and will 
therefore venture to borrow in full. " The Slave Trade 
Association," writes Sir Erskine May, 2 " was formed to 
forward a cause of noble philanthropy, the abolition of the 
Slave Trade. It was almost beyond the range of politics. 
It had no constitutional change to seek ; no interest to pro- 
mote ; no prejudice to gratify ; not even the national welfare 
to advance. Its clients were a despised race, in a distant 
clime, an inferior type of the human family, for whom 
natures of a higher mould felt repugnance rather than sym- 
pathy. Benevolence and Christian charity were its only 
incentives. On the other hand, the Slave Trade was sup- 
ported by some of the most powerful classes in the country 
merchants, shipowners, planters. Before it could be 
proscribed, vested interests must be overborne, ignorance 

1 Literary History of England in the End of the Eighteenth and the Beginning 
of the Nineteenth Century, by Mrs. Oliphant : " The Evangelicals," p. 370. 

3 Constitutional History of England, vol. ii. pp. 128-130. It is fair to add 
that the Slave Trade Association did not originate with the Evangelicals ; but it is 
no less true that if the Evangelicals had not taken the matter up, it would never 
have succeeded. 


enlightened, prejudices and indifferences overcome, public 
opinion converted. And to this great work did Granville 
Sharp, Wilberforce, Clarkson, and other noble spirits devote 
their lives, Never was cause supported by greater earnest- 
ness and activity. The organization of the society compre- 
hended all classes and religious denominations. Evidence 
was collected from every source, to lay bare the cruelties and 
iniquity of the traffic. Illustration and argument were inex- 
haustible. Men of feeling and sensibility appealed, with deep 
emotion, to the religious feelings and benevolence of the 
people. If extravagance and bad taste sometimes courted 
ridicule, the high purpose, just sentiments, and eloquence of 
the leaders of this movement won respect and admiration. 
Tracts found their way into every house ; pulpits and plat- 
forms resounded with the wrongs of the negro ; petitions 
were multiplied ; ministers and Parliaments moved to inquiry 
and action. Such a mission was not to be soon accomplished. 
The cause could not be won by sudden enthusiasm, still less 
by intimidation, but conviction must be wrought in the 
mind and conscience of the nation. And this was done. 
Parliament was soon prevailed upon to attempt the mitigation 
of the worst evils which had been brought to light ; and in 
little more than twenty years the Slave Trade was utterly 
condemned and prohibited. A good cause prevailed, not 
by violence and passion, not by demonstration of popular 
force, but by reason, earnestness, and the best feelings of 

It is not necessary to dwell here upon the painful con- 
troversy which arose, on the publication of the " Life of 
William Wilberforce," about the respective shares of William 
Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson in the great work of the 
abolition of the Slave Trade. Let it be granted that Mr. 
Clarkson and Mr. Granville Sharp were first in the field, 
it can still scarcely be denied that but for the work of the 
Clapham sect, with Wilberforce as " the Agamemnon of the 
host," 1 and James Stephen, Zachary Macaulay, and Henry 
Thornton as his lieutenants, the grand result would never 
have been effected. And if, in the later work of abolishing 

1 Sir J. Stephen's expression : "The Clapham Sect," in Essays in Ecclesiastical 
Biography, p. 298. 


slavery, Wilberforce gave place to younger men, notably Sir 
T. Powell Buxton, 1 his was still the name to conjure with ; 
and there is a certain dramatic propriety in the fact that 
one of the last public utterances which reached his ears was 
the announcement, in 1833, tnat tne British nation had spent 
a sum of twenty millions of pounds, and that from August 21, 
1834, slavery was to cease. 

How large a share the men of Clapham had in the 
institution of the Church Missionary Society, the British and 
Foreign Bible Society, the Indian Episcopate, and other 
agencies for good, has been already hinted at in the notices 
of individuals, and will appear more at length in a future 
chapter. But these large general undertakings do not by 
any means exhaust the list of their labours. In the words 
of one who knew them well, " schools, prison discipline, 
savings banks, tracts, village libraries, district visitings, and 
church building, each for a time rivalled their cosmopolitan 
projects. In short, they, if any men could, might bear the 
test, ' By their fruits ye shall know them.' " 2 

Making a short journey from Clapham, we find the metro- 
polis itself an increasingly important centre of Evangelicalism. 
Perhaps the most prominent and important post was the 
proprietary chapel of St. John's, Bedford Row. The high 
reputation of its minister, Richard Cecil, who was the most 
cultured and refined of the early Evangelical leaders, and 
who lived on, an honoured veteran, through the first ten years 
of the nineteenth century, made it a natural rallying-point 
for the party, and attracted rising men for assistant-ministers. 
On Cecil's death, in 1810, he was succeeded by a no less 
distinguished Evangelical, Daniel Wilson, under whom the 
traditions of the place were fully kept up. In his time St. 
John's throve wonderfully. " Among the regular attendants," 
we are told, " were John Thornton and his sons ; Charles 
Grant and his two distinguished sons, one of whom afterwards 
became Lord Glenelg, and the other Sir Robert Grant, 
Governor of Bombay; Zachary Macaulay and his son." 3 

Sir T. Fowell Buxton was also an Evangelical, who owed his religious views 
to the Evangelical preacher Josiah Pratt. 

2 Sir James Stephen, "The Clapham Sect :" Essays, etc. 

3 Life oj Daniel Wilson, Bishop of Calcutta, by Josiah Bateman, p. 178. 


There is .something rather puzzling in this account ; for 
John Thornton the elder died twenty years before Daniel 
Wilson's incumbency, and the Thorntons and Macaulays 
worshipped, as a rule, at Clapham. The statistics of St. 
John's remind us of the figures of the present day, in the 
number of communicants, and the amount of the contribu- 
tions to religious and charitable objects. 1 But it had more 
than a local interest. "The vestry of St. John's Chapel," 
says Mr. Wilson's biographer, " is a place from whence 
numberless schemes of benevolence and Christian charity 
have emanated. It was the head-quarters of T/ie London 
Clerical Education Society, formed for the purpose of carrying 
young men of promise and piety, but of straitened means, 
through the University, by defraying their expenses in whole 
or in part. Daniel Wilson was secretary. There, also, a 
society assembled for many years, called The Eclectic 
Society, which will be noticed in a future chapter. 

At the beginning of the century there was a sort of 
antiquarian interest to Evangelicals in the parish of St. 
Mary Woolnoth, where good old John Newton had been 
working for more than twenty years, and where he still held 
on, though his day was nearly done ; but after his death, 
in 1806, St. Mary Woolnoth does not appear to have been 
prominent among Evangelical centres. It was otherwise 
with the chapel of the Lock Hospital, where Newton's 
spiritual son, Thomas Scott, remained for the first two 
years of the new century. This chapel had been founded 
by Martin Madan, an early Evangelical, and always remained 
in the hands of the party. Scott's successor was Mr. Fry, 
a man of some eminence in his day, but long since forgotten. 
Clerkenwell, again, had among its clergy one who had not 
only a reputation in himself, but was interesting as being 
a link between the first and second generations of Evan- 
gelicals. This was Henry Foster, who had formerly been 
an assistant to William Romaine, and still continued to 
be a great friend of Richard Cecil. Charles Jerram gives 
us an interesting account of an interview with Mr. Cecil 
and Mr. Foster, to whom, after having been accepted as a 
candidate for help at Cambridge from the Elland Society, 

1 Life of Daniel Wilson, pp. 182, 183. 


he was sent " for examination as to fitness, in piety and 
talents, to receive the benefits of the society's patronage." 1 

Links with the Evangelicals of the past might also be 
found in two other London churches St. Ann's, Blackfriars, 
and Bentinck Chapel, Marylebone. The rector of the former 
was the Rev. W. Goode, who had been curate to William 
Romaine, and succeeded to the living on the death of that 
Evangelical father in 1795. There he remained until his 
death in 1816. The committee meetings of the Church 
Missionary Society were all held in his study, and its 
anniversary sermons preached in his church. 2 At Bentinck 
Chapel was the Rev. Basil Woodd for no less a space than 
forty-six years (1/85-1831), a most active parish priest, 
who worked on what we should now call distinctly Church 
lines, laying great stress on the fasts and festivals of the 
Church, on the duty of public catechizing, and of supporting 
the old Church societies, but at the same time casting in his 
lot decidedly with the Evangelical party. 3 

Josiah Pratt (1768-1844) has been already mentioned, 
but he was far too distinguished a man among the Evangelical 
clergy in London to be dismissed with a passing notice. 
In all the distinctive works of the Evangelicals he took a 
leading part. He was one of the founders of the Bible 
Society, and its first Church of England secretary ; the main 
projector of the Christian Observer, and its first editor, 
though he only held the office for a few months ; and one of 
the originators of the Church Missionary Society, of which 
he was the most effective secretary for many years. He had 
been engaged in business with his father at Birmingham 

1 Memoirs of the Rev. Charles Jerram, p. 47. 

* Memoir of the Rev. William Goode , by his son, Dean Goode, especially 
pp. 47 and 61. 

3 See Memoir of the Rev. Basil Woodd, late Rector of Dray fan Beauchamp, 
and Minister of Bentinck Chapel^ Marylebone, by the Rev. S. C. Wilks ; 
reprinted from the Christian Observer, 1831. Mr. Wilks was for thirteen years 
the curate, and then the successor, of Basil Woodd at Bentinck Chapel. To his 
interesting memoir of his chief the reader is specially referred, because it is felt 
that justice is scarcely done in the text to the memory of Basil Woodd. The writer 
would fain have dwelt longer on the history of this good man, but space is limited, 
and the number of exemplary Evangelical clergymen so great, that it is absolutely 
necessary to exercise self-restraint in dealing with those who were not obviously 
in the first rank. 


before he received Holy Orders ; and, like many of the 
Evangelicals, he showed great business talents, which were 
most valuable in the management of their various projects. 
He was a man of a singularly unobtrusive character, and was 
rather forced by circumstances, than led by his own choice, 
into prominence. We shall find more than one instance 
of his being content to labour and see other men entering 
into the fruits of his labour. Without at all approaching 
to the stature of a really great divine, he had a very com- 
petent knowledge of divinity, and was a pleasing writer. 
But his forte was practical wisdom, and it was in no slight 
degree owing to his management that the Church Missionary 
Society's business arrangements were placed on that excellent 
footing which they have never lost. Though distinctly a 
party man, Josiah Pratt was not narrow-minded, a remark- 
able instance of which was shown in 1819, when a royal 
letter was obtained for the Society for the Propagation of 
the Gospel. Mr. Pratt's sympathies were, of course, all with 
the sister we will not say rival society, but he took infinite 
pains to bring together a selection of passages taken from 
the S.P.G. reports, and especially the anniversary sermons 
for more than a century, in order to inform the public 
(which did not then know much about missionary work) 
of the merits of the society, and to stimulate their zeal in 
its behalf. In the same spirit he successfully used his 
influence to persuade his own society (C.M.S.) to make a 
munificent grant towards the Bishops' College at Calcutta, 
though he would not agree entirely with the High Church 
views of its founder, Bishop Middleton. His connection with 
the bishop was of earlier date, for he resided in the parish 
of St. Pancras when Archdeacon Middleton was vicar : 
"The archdeacon and he had always been on the most 
friendly terms ; at the vestry meetings of the parish Mr. 
Pratt was one of the main supporters of his vicar, for whose 
talents and active benevolence he entertained the highest 
regard." When it is remembered how shamefully Middleton 
was thwarted in his attempts to do good at St. Pancras, a 
special significance will be attached to this account. Josiah 
Pratt was quite one of the best in every way of the Evan- 
gelical clergy in London, and it is not to the credit of the 


dispensers of Church preferment that he remained unbeneficed 
until he had reached the mature age of fifty-eight. One 
hears with a feeling akin to indignation of the heavy hack- 
work (no milder term will express it) which this good and 
able man had to go through. " His ministry," said a brother 
clergyman, " was such as might fully have occupied many. 
At one time he preached in the morning of the Lord's day 
at Wheler Chapel, in the evening at St. Mary Woolnoth, 
and on Wednesday at St. Lawrence, Jewry. Besides all this, 
he was occupied in the missionary work at the Missionary 
House, often from ten in the morning till after ten or later 
at night." 1 He was Cecil's curate till 1804, when he became 
Newton's curate at St. Mary, Woolnoth, where, as John 
Newton was quite worn out, he had to do all the work. In 
1809 he was appointed, through the influence of his friends, 
to the incumbency of Wheler Chapel in Spital Square ; and 
it was not until 1826 that he was presented to the living 
of St. Stephen's, Coleman Street. Even for this tardy piece 
of preferment he was indebted to that very unsatisfactory 
method of appointing an incumbent by the votes of the 
parishioners. For once the method worked well ; and it is 
something to set against the many scandals which the system 
of popular election has caused, that it enabled a measure 
of justice to be done to so excellent a clergyman as Josiah 
Pratt. 2 

Another London clergyman, who was most popular both 
as a preacher and as a devotional writer, was Henry Blunt 
(1794-1843), who, after having, like many of the Evangelical 
clergy, distinguished himself both as a mathematical and a 
classical scholar at Cambridge, lived in the country village 
of Clare, in Suffolk, dividing his time between parochial work 
and private pupils. In 1824 he took the curacy of St. Luke's, 
Chelsea an extensive and laborious charge ; and in 1830 was 
presented to the new church of Holy Trinity, Upper Chelsea 
Though his health was always delicate, he was an indefati- 

1 Funeral sermon, preached at St. Mary, Coleman Street, by Rev. John 

2 See Memoir of the Rev. Josiah Pratt, B.D., late Vicar of St. Stephen's, 
Coleman Street, and for twenty-one years secretary of the Church Missionary 
Society, by his son, Josiah Pratt, Vicar of St. Stephen's, Coleman Street, and 
John Henry Pratt, Chaplain to the Bishop of Calcutta, 1849. 


gable worker. He is said to have " drawn around him the 
most influential congregation in London or its neighbourhood. 
Nobles, peers, commoners, tradesmen, and the poor alike 
hung upon his fascinating discourses." l His writings passed 
through many editions, and are still quoted by collectors of 
devotional extracts. He was also a good parish priest ; and 
it is not surprising that his feeble frame prematurely gave 
way under these multifarious labours. A short time before 
his death he was appointed Rector of Streatham ; but it 
was at St. Luke's, and afterwards at Trinity Church, Sloane 
Street, both in Upper Chelsea, that he made his great 

Another proprietary chapel in Marylebone, St. James's, 
Welbeck Street, or, as it was generally called, Welbeck 
Chapel, was also in Evangelical hands. In the early part of 
the century we find at Welbeck Chapel Claudius Buchanan, 
an Evangelical to the core, whose noble efforts in after-years 
were the chief cause of the interest taken in the Christianiza- 
tion of India. Dr. Jennings, afterwards Archdeacon of Norfolk, 
ministered at Welbeck Chapel during the later part of our 
period, and " by his faithful and evangelical discourses in- 
structed and edified large and attentive congregations." But 
for seven years from 1826 to 1833 there was an assistant- 
minister of greater fame than Dr. Jennings. This was 
T. Hartwell Home, the well-known author of the " Introduc- 
tion to the Critical Study of Holy Scripture," and other 
works. It is his description of Dr. Jennings, whom he calls 
"my kind and eloquent friend," that has been quoted above. 
He adds, " The most serious portion of the aristocracy were 
at that time attendants at Welbeck Chapel. Among these 
were Lord Teignmouth, president of the Bible Society, Mr. 
Wilberforce, and, for a time, Sir Edward Parry." 2 It was 
while he was at Welbeck Chapel (1829) that Hartwell Home 
published his " Manual of Parochial Psalmody," which was 
adopted in many churches, with the sanction of several 
bishops, including the primate, Dr. Howley. Though inferior 
to many modern collections, it was, at any rate, superior 
Tate and Brady. Hartwell Home left Welbeck Chapel 

1 Funeral sermon by the Rev. F. Close. 

2 Reminiscences of T. Hartwell fforne, p. 55. 


1833, on his appointment to the rectory of St. Edmund-the- 
King with St. Nicholas-Aeons, in the City of London. 

1824 is an era in the history of Evangelicalism in London, 
for in that year Daniel Wilson became Vicar of Islington, and 
made it, what it has been ever since, a stronghold of the 
party. It was high time that something should be done to 
stir up spiritual life in that vast parish ; for in 1824 Islington 
had thirty thousand inhabitants, and only one church and one 
chapel of ease. Even the one church was not overburdened 
with work, for there were but two services on the Sunday- 
one in the morning, for which the vicar was responsible, and 
the other in the afternoon, which was supplied by a lecturer. 
This was not a state of things that Daniel Wilson was used 
to at St. John's, Bedford Row, and he soon began to inspire 
life into the dry bones of Islington. By 1828 he had established 
"three full services in the church on Sundays and great 
festival days, and one in the week, besides morning prayers 
on Wednesdays and Fridays and saints' days. An early 
sacrament at eight, in addition to the usual celebration, had 
been also commenced." Then, "for an expenditure of 
1 2,000, the parish was enriched by three large and noble 
churches, which had in reality cost 30,000. " 1 The Low 
Churchmen were, after all, better Churchmen than the No- 

It is, of course, impossible to enumerate all the Evangelical 
clergy in London during our period. There was, for instance, 
Thomas Dale, Vicar of St. Bride's, Fleet Street, who rose to 
great eminence at a later date ; there was Mr. Budd, of whose 
efficiency Edward Bickersteth, when he lived as a layman in 
his parish during the early years of this century, gives us a 
pleasing impression ; 2 there was Cornelius Neale, father of a 
still more distinguished son, John Mason Neale, a clergyman 
in Conduit Street ; there was Edward Bickersteth himself ; 
there was Gerard Noel, for a few years Incumbent of Percy 
Chapel, another proprietary chapel in Evangelical hands ; and 
his brother, Baptist Noel, who took the lease of St. John's, 
Bedford Row, in 1826. 

But enough has been mentioned to show that the 

1 Life of Daniel Wilson, Bishop of Calcutta, pp. 266 and 232. 

2 See Memoir of Rev. . Bickersteth, by Rev. T. R. Birks, i. 163 and passim. 


metropolis was no unimportant centre of the Evangelical 
party ; we must pass on to other places. 

Oxford, unlike its sister University, was never a stronghold 
of Evangelicalism. Of course there were Evangelicals there, 
as there were in all parts of the country, but there was no 
Simeon or Isaac Milner to lead them ; they made no mark 
in the schools, 1 and there was no college with Evangelical 
traditions, except the humble little St. Edmund's Hall. The 
principal, Dr. Crouch, was decidedly Evangelical, and he 
attracted thither men of the same way of thinking ; but the 
hall had no standing in the University. It rose a little when 
Daniel Wilson became assistant-tutor in 1804, and still more 
when he became vice-principal and sole tutor in 1809; an d 
his successor, Mr. Hill, kept up the reputation of the place. 
Perhaps also, towards the close of our period, Wadham was 
beginning to be, to a certain extent, an Evangelical college, 
owing to the known sentiments of its sub-warden, Dr. 
Symonds ; and the fact that Dr. Macbride, the principal, 
was highly respected by the Evangelicals, may have led them 
to think Magdalen Hall a safe place. But, after all, Evange- 
licalism took no real root in Oxford the genius loci was 
against it ; and it would be hardly too much to say that a 
man who went up with an Evangelical bias would probably 
lose it before long. 

But the popular watering-places, inland and marine, were 
strongholds of the party. Cheltenham (where Simeon found 
" almost a heaven upon earth " 2 ), Brighton, Bath, Hastings, 
Tunbridge Wells, were all great Evangelical centres. Many, 
again, of the best and ablest of the Evangelical clergy were to 
be found in the great centres of industry. Hull was particu- 
larly favoured ; Thomas Dykes, John Scott, John King, and 
William Knight were stars of the first magnitude, and the 
traditions of Joseph Milner still hung about the place. Liver- 
pool had its McNeile and Falloon ; Manchester its Hugh 
Stowell ; Halifax its Coulthurst and its Samuel Knight ; 

1 Dr. Mozley, who was by no means prejudiced in favour of St. Edmund's 
Hall, says that it had a good reputation in the schools. But surely the class lists 
are the test of this, and it will be found that in them the names of St. Edmund's 
Hall men are conspicuous for their absence. 

2 Carus, p. 551. 


Leeds its Miles Atkinson ; Colchester its William Marsh ; 
York its John Overton and its William Richardson ; Leicester 
its Thomas Robinson. 

The party is said to have made not much way in country 
places ; but, at any rate, some of its most prominent leaders 
were country clergymen. There was, e.g., Mr. Pugh, Rector 
of Rauceby, at a well-known clerical meeting in whose 
rectory was broached the very first idea which afterwards 
expanded into the conception of the Church Missionary 

Again, Legh Richmond (1772-1828) was a country clergy- 
man all through his ministerial life first in the Isle of Wight, 
where he had the charge of two villages near Ryde, Brading 
and Arreton ; and then at Turvey, in Bedfordshire, where he 
laboured with conspicuous success for more than twenty years 
(1805-1827). Legh Richmond, like many of the Evangelicals, 
must have been a man of a singularly lovable character. 
This appears not only from the testimony of his admiring 
biographer, who might be suspected of partiality, but from 
known facts, and from the spirit which breathes through all 
his writings. He was a man of varied accomplishments a 
musician, a mineralogist, and, what was rare in his day, a 
keen appreciator of the beauties of nature. He seems to 
have been almost adored in his own family, and was (again 
like so many of the Evangelicals) a most entertaining com- 
panion. Dean Burgon, who could have had very little 
sympathy with his religious views, evidently conceived a most 
favourable impression of the man from what he had heard at 
Turvey Abbey, the home of " Charles Longuet Higgins, the 
Good Layman." The dean speaks of him as " an excellent 
specimen of the school " (Evangelical) ; as one who " could 
not fail to exert a powerful influence over the inmates of 
Turvey Abbey;" as being "a very entertaining person, 
besides being a sincerely pious man." 1 Everything we read 
points to the same conclusion. Legh Richmond will come 
before us again in connection both with the literature and 
with the missionary work of the period. It will here suffice 
to say that the presence of such a man in a country neigh- 
bourhood must have tended to throw light all around him, 

1 Lives of Twelve Good Men : " C. L. Higgins," ii. 359, 360. 


and also to commend strongly the Evangelical cause, to which 
he attached himself heart and soul. 1 

The same maybe said of Edward Bickersteth (1786-1850), 
who in 1830 was presented to the country living of Watton, in 
Herts, by Mr. Abel Smith, M.P., a leading Evangelical layman, 
and one of Mr. Bickersteth's hearers at Wheler Chapel ; 2 but 
as Mr. Bickersteth's life as a country clergyman only covers 
three out of the thirty-three years of our peried, and as, like 
Mr. Legh Richmond, he will come before us again in con- 
nection both with missionary and with literary work, his holy 
and blameless life must not be dwelt upon here. 

Several other country clergy might be named, but to the 
general reader they would be but like " the brave Gyas and 
the brave Cloanthus," names and nothing more ; so it will be 
better to pass on to a class of men who, from their position at 
any rate, if for nothing else, require a word of notice. 

The growing strength of the Evangelical cause showed 
itself, among other ways, in the sympathy which it began to 
call forth from the Episcopate. Till the close of the eighteenth 
century there was only one on the bench of bishops who at 
all sympathized with the Evangelicals, and he only in a very 
guarded and general way. Up to that time, and indeed for 
some years later, there was scarcely a bishop who did not feel 
bound to charge his clergy against the Methodists, taking 
care to make it plain that he included in that term those 
who would now be called Evangelicals as well as Methodists 
proper. But Dr. Beilby Porteus, Bishop of London, though 
cautious, went, in many points, heart and soul with the 
Evangelicals. He was one of their most cordial and effective 
supporters in their crusade against the Slave Trade, and an' 
early patron of the Church Missionary Society and the Bible 
Society, which were crucial tests of Evangelicalism ; he 
supported Hannah More in all her good works ; laid great 
stress upon the observance of the Lord's day, patronized 
Sunday schools, and, in short, threw the weight of his in- 
fluence into most of the schemes which the Evangelicals held 
dear. His sympathy was valuable, for, apart from his high 
station, he was deservedly respected as a good, consistent man. 

1 See Grimshaw's Life of the Rev. Legh Richmond, passim. 

2 See Birks' Memoir of the Rev. E. Bickersteth^ passim. 


He was the most amiable of beings, but he had also a vein of 
satirical humour, which on more than one occasion enabled 
him, in a telling way, to retaliate upon those who loved 
to make a joke against Methodism. It was a grievous loss 
to the~ Evangelicals when, upon his death in 1809, he was 
succeeded in the influential see of London by Dr. Randolph, 
Bishop of Oxford, who always had been, and still continued 
to be, an uncompromising opponent of " Methodism " in every 
shape and form. 

Another prelate who gave a dignified and qualified support 
to the cause was the amiable and highly aristocratic Bishop 
of Durham, Dr. Shute Barrington. He, too, joined the 
Church Missionary Society and the Bible Society, and made 
himself generally agreeable to the Evangelicals ; and they, in 
their turn, duly appreciated his condescension. Among other 
things, he took a deep interest in week-day and Sunday 
schools, and was a liberal supporter of both. None were 
more prominent in educational matters than the Evangelicals, 
and this furnished a point of contact between them and the 
Bishop of Durham. There is an interesting letter from 
Wilberforce to Hannah More which illustrates this so forcibly 
that it is worth quoting. It appears that Mrs. More had 
been invited to assist the bishop in his design of establishing 
schools in his diocese, and that she hesitated about leaving 
her work at Cheddar. So Wilberforce wrote, " Though no 
one can prize your services in Somerset more than myself, yet 
I believe it would be right for you to pay a visit to the 
prince-bishop. Go, then, to Auckland, and may the grace of 
God go with you. I am convinced that, on many accounts, 
you would be able to do far more than myself, or any other 
person living, with this primary planet, which is surrounded 
with satellites. It is more ; it is a very sun, the centre of 
an entire system. I will meet you there, if possible. The 
bishop has often invited me and Mrs. Wilberforce." l It was 
another distinct loss to the Evangelicals when Bishop 
Barrington died, in 1826; for though his successor, Bishop 
Van Mildert, belonged to that nobler and more spiritual 
section of the High Churchmen, which was by no means 
inclined to condemn indiscriminately all the Evangelicals as 

1 Life of William Wilberforce, p. 194. 


Methodists, he was of course far from being in sympathy with 

Bishop Burgess, first of St. David's, then of Salisbury, was 
another prelate who greatly sympathized with many of the 
objects which were most dear to the Evangelical mind. He 
was, indeed, according to his biographer, " cavilled at as an 
exclusive patron of Evangelical clergy ; " x but he does not 
appear to me to have completely identified himself with 

In fact, upon none of these three good men could the Evan- 
gelicals quite reckon as their own ; they respected all three, 
and always wrote and spoke of them in the high terms which 
they deserved. But it was not until the Hon. Dudley Ryder 
was promoted to the see of Gloucester, in 1815, that they 
could really feel that they were represented on the episcopal 
bench. Then, indeed, there was rejoicing in the Evangelical 
camp. His elevation was anticipated some time before the 
event. As Dean of Wells he had been a prominent man, 
and the Evangelicals watched him with great satisfaction as he 
became more and more sympathetic with them. " How delight- 
ful it is," exclaims Simeon, " to see dignitaries in our Church 
thus coming forward, and disciples springing up in Caesar's 
household ! " 2 not at all a happy use of a text, for it would 
imply a resemblance between dignitaries of the Church and the 
heathen household of a heathen emperor. The good man 
did not, doubtless, mean this ; but it was just one of those 
phrases which gave not unreasonable offence, and which are 
far too common in Evangelical writings. Wilberforce " highly 
prized and loved Bishop Ryder as a prelate after his own 
heart, who united to the zeal of an apostle the most amiable 
and endearing qualities, and the polished manners of the best 
society." 3 

The two brothers Sumner, the one Bishop of Winchester, 
the other of Chester (afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury), 
were both warmly welcomed by the Evangelicals. They both 
gave their preferments far more extensively than any other 
prelates had done to clergymen of Evangelical views. It was 

1 Life of Thomas Burgess, Buhop of Salisbury, by J. S. Harford, p. 341. 

2 Carus, p. 264. 

8 Recollections of W. Wilberforce, p. 68. 


to the Bishop of Winchester that Dr. Dealtry owed the small 
dignities which were tardily conferred upon him. The same 
prelate was also the friend of Charles Jerram, and gave him 
the living of Witney ; and the Bishop of Chester was at 
least as favourable to the Evangelical cause. 

With the exception of the good men of Clapham, most of 
the Evangelicals who have been noticed were clergymen ; but 
it must not be supposed that there were not many leading 
Evangelicals among the laity besides the Claphamites. 
Hannah More herself was, of course, a tower of strength. 
She was a link both between the Evangelicals of the first and 
the second generation, and also between the latter and the 
world without. Of her eighteenth-century life I have written 
elsewhere ; x but she lived all through the first thirty-three 
years of the nineteenth century, and this was the happiest 
and most influential part of her life ; for then she began to 
see the battle against vice and ignorance which she had long 
been waging, if not single-handed, at any rate with the 
support of a very few, carried on by a large and formidable 
army in all parts of the country. The reputation which this 
estimable lady enjoyed for piety, talents, and, it may be 
added, agreeableness, was extraordinary, extending far be- 
yond the Evangelical circle. Her house at Barley Wood, 
where she resided with her four sisters, all of whom were her 
helpmates in her benevolent schemes, was really a sort of 
Mecca, whither pilgrims of all sorts resorted. 2 We hear of 
Southey, Wordsworth, Alexander Knox, Bishop Jebb, and 
others, who certainly did not belong to the Evangelical school, 
visiting the sisters, and most of them coming away in rap- 
tures. But, of course, it was with the Evangelicals that she 
was most at home ; and their expressions of respect (one 
might say reverence) for her personally, even apart from her 
writings, are most striking. When her writings, which will 
be noticed in their proper place, are also taken into account, 
it is hardly too much to say that she was the most influential 
person certainly the most influential lady who lived at the 
time. 3 

1 See English Church in the Eighteenth Century. 

2 See, inter atia, Mrs. Sherwood's Autobiography , p. 217. 

3 At Clifton she was called " The Queen of the Methodists." 


Among other influential laymen who favoured the Evan- 
gelicals were Mr. Spencer Perceval, the Prime Minister, whose 
sad death in 1811 was a great blow to the cause ; the Duke 
of Kent, "in whom," writes the Evangelical Mr. Grimshaw, 
"every religious and benevolent undertaking found a powerful 
friend and patron," 1 and whose bias is shown by the fact that 
he made Mr. Legh Richmond his chaplain ; the Earl of 
Harrowby, elder brother of Bishop Ryder ; Sir T. A. Acland ; 
Mr. Abel Smith, mentioned above ; Sir T. Fowell Buxton ; 
and Mr. Carus Wilson, for some time M.P. for Pontefract 2 
But without wearying the reader with a long list of names, it 
may be said generally that, during the first quarter of the 
present century, there was a rapid increase in the strength of 
the Evangelical party till it became, beyond all question, the 
dominant spiritual force in the Church. What Mr. Jerram 
tells us of one particular district is true, more or less, of the 
whole kingdom. Referring to the early years of the present 
century, he writes, " A report had been spread that a person 
who took a prominent lead among the sect called Evan- 
gelicals had been appointed to the livings of Chobham and 
Bisley, and a stronger feeling could scarcely have been 
excited if it had been published that a pestilence had visited 
those unhappy villages. There was only one clergyman who 
had the least claim to that distinction, or who would not have 
recoiled from the imputation." 3 Referring to a later period 
(1822), he says, " At the time at which my narrative has now 
arrived, a great change had taken place throughout the whole 
kingdom in the state of religion. Instead of here and there 
a few scattered clergymen who preached the doctrines of the 
Reformation, and who were almost everywhere looked upon 
with suspicion, and treated with neglect, if not with scorn, 
there were great numbers in every part of the kingdom, who 
advocated them with boldness, and were received with respect 
and affection." 4 

If the rise of the Evangelical party was rapid, equally so 

1 Life of Legh Richmond, p. 343. 

2 i.e. Carus Wilson the father ; the best-known Carus Wilson, the son, was of 
course a clergyman, and belongs to a later period. 

8 Memoir of the Rev. Charles Jerram^ p. 262. 
4 /</., p. 295. 


was what in one sense may be called its decline. It is very 
necessary to insert this qualifying clause, "in one sense," 
because in another sense there has never been a decline. 
So far as Evangelicalism means simply a revival of spiritual 
religion on distinctively Christian principles, it can never die 
out. For giving life to the dry bones of barren orthodoxy 
and cold morality, the Church of England is greatly indebted 
to the Evangelicals, and should never forget her obligation. 
But the form in which essential truths were presented and 
the accretions which grew around them are different matters ; 
and the Church, having assimilated the essence, gradually 
threw off the accidents ; and this is all that is meant by the 
decline of Evangelicalism. Moreover, the Church began to 
realize that there was another side of religion besides that 
presented by the Evangelicals an objective as well as a sub- 
jective side. 

Perhaps what is meant will be most vividly brought 
before us if we consider the attitude of the Evangelicals 
of our period to the Church and to the world. What is 
the Church ? What is the world ? The answers practically 
given by them to both these questions are answers which have 
been less and less generally accepted by members of the 
Church of England ever since the rise of the Oxford Move- 
ment, and not only by those who identified themselves with 
that movement. 

There must always be to the Christian an antagonism 
between the Church and the world, but the Evangelical 
theory about both Church and world can hardly be regarded 
as a logical one. To take the last question first, What is 
the world ? Now, one can quite understand the line taken 
by a St. Jerome in his cave, or a St. Simeon on his pillar, or a 
sour Puritan setting himself against all the amenities of life, 
in regard to the world. But the Evangelicals of whom we 
have been treating in this chapter took quite a different course 
from any of these. In all sincerity they strove to renounce 
the world ; but their theory of what " the world " was, was 
surely a very arbitrary one. It consisted mainly of certain 
recreations, which, though liable perhaps peculiarly liable 
to abuse, seem to the ordinary mind to be in themselves 
absolutely indifferent. But, putting aside these recreations, 


the typical Evangelical managed to make life exceedingly 
comfortable ; nobly, indeed, doing his duty towards his fellow- 
men, but leaving a wide margin for enjoying himself after his 
own fashion. Instead of living in a cave or on a pillar, he 
might live in a luxurious villa at Clapham or elsewhere. He 
might keep a most abundant table, and at that table might 
be found some of the best table-talk of the day. It is curious 
to observe how frequently bonhomie and conversational 
powers of a high order were predicated of the Evangelicals. 
Wilberforce was of "a most gay and playful disposition ;" he 
"touched life at so many points;" lived "in perpetual sun- 
shine, and shed its radiance all around him." l " The Dean " 
must have been perfectly delightful ; few subjects would 
make a prettier picture than Isaac Milner laying himself 
out to amuse the young Macaulay, as the latter so graphically 
describes the scene. 2 Legh Richmond was "exceedingly 
good company." 3 Robinson of Leicester was "a capital 
conversationalist, very lively and bright." 4 This is the way 
in which two acute observers from the sister Isle describe 
the impressions made upon them by the English Evangelicals. 
"We have already," writes Bishop Jebb from London, in 
1809, to a friend in Ireland, "met some of the religious world 
at the house of a Mr. Pearson, 5 where we were most hospi- 
tably entertained. Among the company were Mr. and Mrs. 
H. Thornton. You may have heard that he is a great friend 
of Mr. Wilberforce, and one of the party in the house whom 
they call 'the saints.' . . . We are pressed to dine with 
Mr. H. Thornton next week." Next comes a letter written, 
probably, after the dinner-party at Mr. Thornton's which 
describes his delight with Mr. Wilberforce and with " the j 
saints " generally. 6 We have a similar account, some years 
earlier, from Alexander Knox. He, too, went from Ireland, 
and was introduced to the English Evangelicals. He " drinks 

1 Life, pp. 408, 417. See also Life of Bishop Jebb, ii. 164, where he gives 
an account of Wilberforce which more than bears out what is said about him in 
the text. 

2 See Morison's Macaulay. 

8 Burgon, Lives of Twelve Good Men, ii. 360. 
* Memoir of the Rev. Charles Jerr am, p. 148. 

5 A leading Evangelical clergymin, afterwards Dean of Salisbury. 

6 Life and Correspondence of Bishop Jebb, ii. 162-164. 


coffee with Mrs. Hannah More," and finds that she "far 
exceeded his expectations in pleasant manners and inte- 
resting conversation." He pays her another visit, and writes, 
" At Mrs. More's we met a serious, well-bred, well-informed 
gentleman, an intimate friend of Mrs. More's and Mr. Wilber- 
force's Mr. Pratt, with whom we dine to-morrow. You're 
not to suppose, when I use the word ' serious,' I mean dis- 
consolate or gloomy. On the contrary, I have met with no 
people further from everything of the kind ; " and so forth. 1 

Now, there was absolutely nothing inconsistent with the 
Christian profession in this mode of life this mild hospitality, 
this cheerfulness and agreeableness. On the contrary, it all 
adds a grace to their beautiful Christian characters. But it 
does seem difficult to see on what logical grounds men who 
were certainly in their way enjoying the good things of this 
life should condemn others who were only enjoying them in 
a slightly different manner. 2 Stated bluntly, it came to 
this. If a person was enjoying a well-spread feast at Clapham, 
with all the charms of the conversation of Wilberforce or 
Milner which to many people would be infinitely more 
entertaining than most of the so-called entertainments pro- 
vided by the " world " he was doing right, and was, so far as 
outward surroundings went, on the way to heaven. But if he 
was reading one of Miss Austen's novels, which came out at 
this period, 3 or at a dance or a concert, or at a card-table 
(not necessarily gambling), or seeing one of Goldsmith's 
delightful plays acted, he was doing wrong, and, so far as out- 
ward surroundings went, in plain words, on the way to hell. 

One of the worst features of this theory was, that it was 
like those prophecies which have a tendency to bring about 
their own fulfilment. When certain amusements are assumed 

1 Remains of Alexander Knox, iv. 64, 67, 68. 

2 The unconscious inconsistency is admirably pointed out by Mrs. Oliphant, in 
her Literary History of England in the End of the Eighteenth and Beginning of 
the Nineteenth Century, iii. 369-373 : " The Evangelicals." 

3 Admirers of Miss Austen that is, all persons blessed with brains and culture 
will remember how she complains in Persuasion of the stigma which was 
attached to novels. It is well known that T. B. Macaulay and his sister used to 
"cap quotations" with one another from Miss Austen's novels, and that they 
were inveterate novel-readers. " Zachary Macaulay disapproved of novel-reading ; 
but his family read more novels and remembered them better than any in the 
kingdom." Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay, by Sir G. O. Trevelyan, i. 61. 


to be fit only for the immoral and irreligious, those who 
provide them will be tempted to cater only for their own 
public. The supply will answer to the demand, and the 
providers will be inclined to retaliate upon the " unco' guid " 
by running into the other extreme, and pouring ridicule upon 
the good altogether. There can be no question that some 
of the novels and plays in fashion at the beginning- of this 
century were quite unfit for the entertainment of Christian 
people. But let such people demand a pure article, and, 
depend upon it, they will be supplied. "Abusus non tollit 
usum " is a maxim which the Evangelicals of the time never 
succeeded in grasping. 

Another evil arising from this indiscriminate condemna- 
tion of things in themselves indifferent was that it indirectly, 
but very really, led people into sin. In this way. If you 
at once forfeited your title to be accounted a Christian by 
countenancing any of these things, well, to use a vulgar 
phrase, you might as well be hanged for stealing a sheep 
as a lamb, so you had better plunge at once into the grossest 
dissipation. Hence the fact, too patent to escape notice, 
that the children of Evangelical parents so frequently turned 
out ill. It was not merely that their good parents drew 
the rein so tightly that it snapped. It was also that a wider 
culture taught those who had been brought up in this school 
to doubt whether many things from which they had been 
debarred as wrong were really wrong ; and when a man's 
standard of right and wrong becomes unsettled, he is very 
apt in pejtis mere. Sometimes, instead of going wrong, 
they highly distinguished themselves, but by pursuing a very 
different line of thought and action from that of their parents.. 
It is only necessary to mention the names of Wilberforce, 
Macaulay, Neale, and Stephen as illustrations of this. But 
though the result was far more satisfactory, it equally 
illustrates the fact that these Evangelicals of the second 
generation 1 failed as a rule to keep their children within 

1 The failure does not appear in the Evangelicals of the first generation. 
Their children followed, as a rule, the course of their parents, only with a wider 
range of ideas and more savoir faire. See on this point some excellent remarks 
by Sir James Stephen, Essays on Ecclesiastical Biography : " The Clapham 
Sect," pp. 308, 309 ; also the Autobiography of William Jay, pp. 175-177. 
Mr. Jay knew personally the men of both generations. But perhaps the most 


their own lines of thought. Indeed, the failure is even more 
striking than in those melancholy instances in which they 
went morally wrong : for in the one case it might be urged 
that they merely gave way to the depravity of human nature 
without thinking at all ; in the other they certainly did think, 
and their thinking led them to an entirely different conclusion 
from what their fathers had drawn. 1 

In the answer to that other question, What is the 
Church? the Evangelicals of the second generation seem 
also to have taken up an illogical position. On the one 
hand, you may hold with the Liberals, and almost every sect 
of Dissenters, and, we may add, with many of the first 
generation of Evangelicals, that any society of Christians 
which professes a belief in Christ is a Church in itself ; or, on 
the other hand, you may hold with the Greeks, the Romans, 
and the Anglicans, that there is one Holy Catholic Church, 
a visible, not an invisible one, and that when the expression 
" Churches " is used, it is used in a strictly geographical 
sense. But it is difficult with any consistency to blend the 
two theories, and this is what the Evangelicals virtually 
attempted to do. They were far stricter and more exclusive 
Churchmen than their fathers had been. They clung in all 
sincerity to the Church of England ; they loved her Liturgy, 
they pinned their faith to her Articles, and yet, like their 
fathers, they manifestly agreed with the Dissenter's, not with 
the Anglican's, theory of the Church. This is .admirably 
brought out by Dr. R. W. Dale, the Congregationalist (of all 
men in the world !). "Nor," he writes, "were the Evangelical 
clergy zealous supporters of Episcopacy ; their imagination 
was not touched by that great though, as we believe, false 
conception of the Church which fired the passion of the leaders 

interesting of all is the account given by one who was grandson of a leading 
Evangelical of the first generation, and son of a leader of the second. See sermon 
on the death of Josiah Pratt by H. Venn, appended to his Retrospect and 
Prospect of the Operations of the Church Missionary Society r , 1865. Henry Venn 
the younger was a marked exception to the rule that the sons of Evangelical 
parents went off at a tangent, either spiritually, morally, or intellectually. 

1 Sir George Trevelyan remarks with perfect truth, " There could have been 
nothing vulgar, and little that was narrow, in a training which produced Samuel 
Wilberforce, J. Stephen, and Macaulay." Life of Lord Macaulay, i. 63. Certainly 
not ; but the writer will hardly contend that any of these eminent -men were 
Evangelicals like their fathers. 



of the Tractarian Revival. . . . The Evangelical Movement 
encouraged what is called an undenominational temper. It 
emphasized the vital importance of the Evangelical creed, 
but it regarded almost with indifference all forms of Church 
polity that were not in apparent and irreconcilable antagonism 
to that creed. It demanded as the basis of fellowship a 
common religious life and common religious beliefs, but was 
satisfied with fellowship of an accidental and precarious kind. 
It cared nothing for the idea of the Church as the august 
society of saints. It was the ally of individualism." ] This 
is more glaringly true of the first generation of Evangelicals 
than it is of the second ; but the latter put no intelligible 
theory in its place. So it is not in the least surprising that, 
coincident with the rise of Evangelicalism, there was a vast 
increase of all kinds of Dissent, which many of the Evangelicals 
themselves observed with dismay. But really one is inclined 
to say, " Tu 1'as voulu, Georges Dandin ; " for in point of fact 
the Evangelical was more in sympathy with the Dissenting 
than with the Church principle, except in the one single 
point of establishment, which is, after all, an accident, not 
of the essence of the matter. The Evangelicals loved their 
Prayer-book ; but it was a hard matter indeed to reconcile, 
as some of the party gallantly endeavoured to do, their 
distinctive tenets with the plain teaching of that book. 
Some, indeed, instead of attempting the hopeless task, 
frankly owned that they tolerated it in lieu of something 
better. But as soon as men began to study the "Prayer-book, 
and especially the history of the Prayer-book, more deeply, 
it was inevitable that the old Evangelical teaching should 
lose ground. 

And this applies to the study of theology generally. 
Thoughtful Churchmen would naturally turn to the standard 
divines of their own Church as their best guides ; and 
Hooker, Barrow, South, Jeremy Taylor, Bingham, Butler, 
Sherlock, and Waterland would teach them divinity, but not 
Evangelicalism, so far as it differed from the old-fashioned 
Church teaching. 

Still more powerful in the same direction would be the 
influence of the general literature of the period. The early 

1 The Old Evangelicalism and the New, by R. W. Dale, LL.D., pp. 16, 17. 


part of the nineteenth century witnessed an outburst of 
poetry which had not been equalled since the days of Queen 
Elizabeth ; and though the two schools of poetry which then 
arose differed violently and diametrically from one another 
in almost every conceivable point, they agreed in this : they 
were both opposed, to a man, to the Evangelical system. 
Whether men read and admired Wordsworth, Coleridge, 
Southey, Scott, De Quincey, and Landor on the one side, 
or Byron, Shelley, and Keats on the other, they would in all 
cases be reading anti-Evangelical literature. 

Another cause of the decline of Evangelicalism has been 
so frequently alleged, and upon such high authority, that one 
cannot with any modesty affirm that there was no force in it. 
It is said that the Evangelical party grievously degenerated in 
the years immediately preceding the Oxford Movement ; but 
I feel bound in common justice to add that I can find no 
traces of this degeneracy in the lives of its leaders. In point 
of real goodness and spiritual activity, Simeon, Bickersteth, 
and Legh Richmond will bear comparison with Newton, 
Romaine, and Cecil. Henry Thornton, John Venn, and 
John Scott were not degenerate sons of John Thornton, 
Henry Venn, and Thomas Scott ; and, in point of numbers, 
the later Evangelicals who attained more or less distinction 
were as ten to one compared with the earlier. l At the same 
time, one can well understand that when the Evangelical 
became the popular instead of the "calumniated" party (to 
use Hannah More's epithet) it might contain among its rank 
and file a much larger number of unworthy members. For 
it was extremely easy to catch the tone and phraseology of 
Evangelicalism. Its whole teaching was compressed within 

1 The following passage from the Memoir of the Rev. Basil Woodd, who 
was a link between the first and second generations of Evangelicals, and knew 
intimately the leaders of both, is worth quoting : " His general estimate from the 
comparison [between the two generations] was, that scriptural piety is not only 
far more widely diffused in the present day [1831] than it was forty years since ; 
but that, with some unhappy exceptions which he bitterly lamented, the doctrinal 
views of that portion of the clergy with whom he was usually classed were more 
sound, sober, practical, and scriptural than those of some whom he had known 
in early life ; that they were consistent Churchmen and useful parish priests, and 
were chiefly defective in those deep spiritual attainments, that fervent communion 
with God, and that 'blessed unction from above,' which characterized some of 
the fathers of his youth "rather a grave defect. Wilks' Memoir, p. 26. 


a very narrow compass. The repeating of a very few 
shibboleths, the abstaining from a very few tabooed practices, 
the occasional attendance at the proper kind of church, the 
investment of a very small sum of money in support of 
the right sort of societies, was enough to stamp a man as 

But, after all, the real weakness of Evangelicalism was not 
so much on its moral and spiritual as on its intellectual side. 
It produced many good men, but no really first-rate writers. 
It is most interesting and profitable to study the lives and 
characters of those who were trained under this system, but 
who ever thinks now of reading their books ? Even in the 
department of biblical exegesis, in which one would have 
expected them most to shine, they produced nothing of 
really permanent value. They read the Bible devoutly, but 
they threw little or no light upon the meaning of that sacred 
book. Scott's Commentary is the one solitary treatise of 
which even the reputation has survived ; and that Biblical 
student must be easily satisfied who is content with Scott's 
Commentary. 1 Even their preaching power, in which they 
were supposed especially to excel, has to be taken upon trust ; 
for the very best of their printed sermons which have survived 
are but " as water unto wine " when compared with those of 
the really great preachers of the English Church. 

And yet, in one sense, the Evangelicals were assuredly not 
deficient in intellectual capacity. Almost all the leading 
men who have been mentioned in this chapter were decidedly 
above the average in point of abilities and attainments. The 
defect lay, not in their mental powers, which have been too 
much depreciated, but in their way of looking at and treating 
religious and secular subjects, and the relationship between 
them. "The Evangelical school," writes Principal Tulloch 
most truly, "with all its merits, had conceived of Christianity 
rather as something superadded to the highest life of humanity, 
than as the perfect development of that life ; as a scheme for 
human salvation authenticated by miracles, and, so to speak, 

1 I have not forgotten Hartwell Home's Introduction; but (l) that book 
scarcely comes under the head of biblical exegesis ; (2) there is nothing distinctively 
and exclusively Evangelical in it ; (3) Hartwell Home, though more attached to 
the Evangelical than to any other party in the Church, can hardly be reckoned as 
a pronounced Evangelical. 


interpolated into human history, rather than a divine philo- 
sophy. Philosophy, literature, art, and science were conceived 
apart from religion. The world and the Church were severed 
portions of life divided by outward signs and badges ; and 
those who joined the one or the other were supposed to be 
clearly marked off." x This thoughtful writer illustrates what 
he means by instances from Newton and Romaine ; but it 
would be equally easy to find illustrations from the Evangelicals 
of the next generation. " There are persons," says the 
biographer of Isaac Milner, "who secretly, if not avowedly, 
associate the ideas of piety and imbecility ; and who, however 
illogical such a conclusion may be, do not hesitate to decide, 
that he who professes to be governed by Christian principles 
must be deficient in natural understanding." 2 This notion of 
the alienation of piety from intellect was a most mischievous 
one to go abroad, and it is not quite just to the Evangelicals 
to say that they were responsible for it. On the contrary, 
they could, and they did, point with pardonable pride to 
members of their body in whom piety was combined with 
great intellectual eminence. It was partly with this object 
that the sermons of Isaac Milner were published immediately 
after his death. " There have not been wanting," it is said in 
the preface, " men ready to assert that pure and vital godliness 
has not ranked among its advocates many who have been 
distinguished for the strength of their minds and their 
intellectual superiority. It seems, therefore, desirable, when 
a bright instance occurs to the contrary, that his religious 
sentiments should be handed down to posterity." 3 And yet 
it must be confessed that the Evangelicals did not quite go 
the right way about the task of disabusing men of this idea. 
They sought human knowledge " because of the present dis- 
tress," not because they valued it. Claudius Buchanan, who 
was sent to Cambridge at the expense of Mr. Thornton, 
admits this with great naivett. " They are desirous that we 
should excel in the studies of the place that we may (as it 
were) shed some lustre (in the eyes of men) on that gospel 

1 Movements of Religious Thought in Britain during the Nineteenth Century, 
P- 13- 

2 Life of kaac Milner, by his niece, Mary Milner (1844), preface, p. iv. 
1 Sermons by Isaac Milner (2 vols., 1820), preface. 


which the learned despise. The grand argument which we 
use against infidels, who deride the truth as being only 
professed by men of weak judgment, is to point out some 
learned Christian (if such can be found)." * In very much the 
same spirit Charles Jerram speaks of attending Simeon's 
meetings, " which," he says, " served to keep alive the spark 
of personal religion, which was in danger of being quenched 
by the uncongenial pursuit of mathematical subjects, or the 
impure mythology and profane poetry, which constitute the 
daily routine of study." 2 A still more memorable instance of 
the Evangelical tendency to regard the pursuit of knowledge 
as, at best, a necessary evil, may be found in the relations 
between Zachary Macaulay and his brilliant son. The father 
positively discouraged and disliked the successful efforts 
which the young Macaulay had, even in those early days, 
made to distinguish himself in literature ; and it has always 
seemed to me that the markedly unspiritual tone which 
pervades Lord Macaulay's writings may be traced to the 
revulsion against the rigid school in which he had been 
brought up. 3 

What has been said of literature is equally true of the fine 
arts. Mrs. Cecil records with evident approval how her 
good husband, who had been an accomplished musician and 
an admirer of good pictures, " cut his violin-strings and never 
afterwards replaced them," and " determined never to frequent 
the exhibition" [of the Royal Academy?], because such 
tastes interfered with the one thing needful. 4 Edward Bicker- 
steth's sole reflection, after he had seen Lincoln Cathedral, 
and calculated that it would cost .500,000 to build, was, 
" Well, the religious societies of England are doing far 
better than if they built such a cathedral every year, in 
raising that sum to scatter in every direction the light of 

1 Memoir of the Life and Writings of the Rev. Claudius Buchanan, by the 
Rev. Hugh Pearson, i. 67. 

2 Memoir of Charles Jerram, p. 84. 

8 See Morison's Macaulay ( English Men of Letters Series) on this point, ch. i., 
especially p. 16. Sir George Trevelyan, however, tells us that though Zachary 
Macaulay was so distressed at his son's writing in Knighfs Quarterly Magazine 
that the son promised to do so no more, yet he afterwards wrote with his father's 
approval. See Life, i. 115. 

4 See Memoir prefixed to Cecil's Remains, xcviii. 


Divine truth. This will do far more for the honour of God 
our Saviour, and the salvation of our fellow-creatures." 1 
Legh Richmond warned his daughters against reading, not 
only novels that goes without saying but poetry, and 
against all music except sacred music. Charlotte Elizabeth 
writes with bitter compunction of having been tempted to 
read Shakespeare, as if she had committed a deadly sin in 
so doing. 2 

It is curious to observe how very generally such views as 
these have been now discarded. Some of the severest critics 
of the Evangelicals of the past are to be found, not among 
High Churchmen, but among those to whom, one would have 
thought, their slender Churchmanship would be a recommen- 
dation rather than an offence. Two such critics have already 
been quoted ; 3 let me finish the ungrateful but necessary 
task of pointing out the weaknesses of really good men, by 
quoting a third. Dr. Stoughton, whose desire to be fair all 
round is beyond praise, writes, " The defects of the early 
Evangelicals 4 are manifest. They were destitute generally 
of any great taste for literature and art, and used a somewhat 
peculiar religious dialect ; intolerant of other men's opinions, 
questioning the religion of those pronounced unevangelical, 
and one-sided in their theological system ; and they did not 

1 Birks' Memoir of Edward Bickersteth) ii. 53. 

2 " I was permitted to read . . . The Merchant of Venice. I drank a cup of 
intoxication under which my brain reeled for many a year. The character of 
Shylock burst upon me, even as Shakespeare had conceived it. I revelled in the 
terrible excitement that it gave rise to ; page after page was stereotyped upon a 
most retentive memory without an effort, and during a sleepless night I feasted 
on the pernicious sweets thus hoarded in my brain. . . . Oh, how many wasted 
hours, how much of unprofitable labour, what wrong to my fellow- creatures, 
what robbery of God, must I refer to this ensnaring book [Shakespeare generally!] 
. . . But for this I might have early sought the consolations of the gospel. Parents 
know not what they do when they foster in a young girl what is called a poetical 
taste. Those things highly esteemed among men, are held in abomination with 
God ; they thrust Him from His creature's thoughts, and enshrine a host of polluting 
idols in His place." Personal Recollections of Charlotte Elizabeth^ pp. 26, 27. 
After this, we are not surprised to find the good lady, after she had ceased to be 
"a young girl," writing, " I exclude from my book-shelves all the furniture of a 
worldly library." Id., p. 64. 

8 Principal Tulloch and Dr. R. W. Dale. 

4 That he means those of the second as well as of the first generation is evident 
from his reference to Bishop Herbert Marsh. Besides, his subject is, Religion in 
England ', 1800-1850. 


clearly distinguish between scientific theology and spiritual 
religion. The inferences of eminent divines amongst re- 
formers, amongst Puritans, and even amongst themselves, 
were too often confounded with the teachings of Scripture. 
. . . They repudiated all authority but that of the Bible, yet 
they were powerfully influenced by their own favourite 
authors. . . . Perspective was neglected in their theological 
pictures, the relative proportions of certain doctrines being 
almost overlooked, and an undue importance attached to 
minor points in details of belief. Of course, it was not 
possible for them to anticipate the results of modern criticism. 
Perhaps they scarcely appreciated the value of what was 
being accomplished by Herbert Marsh and others. A dislike 
to the theology of such men interfered with a due estimate of 
their biblical researches." 1 

What gave the Evangelical party its vitality, in spite of 
these weaknesses, was 

1. The spiritual earnestness and activity of its leaders, 
including those of the second quite as much as those of the 
first generation. Their lives were " an epistle read of all 
men," who do not care now to read anything that they wrote. 

2. The admirable organization of the party. The business 
talents of the men of Clapham and others were turned to 
good account in the management of their religious affairs. 
There was always plenty of money at the disposal of the 
Evangelical leaders, for they faithfully and very rightly im- 
pressed upon their wealthy followers the Christian duty of 
giving ; and that money was not wasted. Large sums were 
spent by the Thorntons, Simeon, and others in purchasing the 
advowson of livings, the special ones selected being generally 
the great centres of activity, which formed effective/^/.? cTappui 
for the party ; the patronage was vested in trustees, so that in 
" the multitude of counsellors " there might be " wisdom," and 
that all jobbery might be guarded against. Societies were 
founded at various places which furnished pecuniary assist- 
ance to young men, who were piously and evangelically dis- 
posed, but of straitened means, in their University course, 
after a searching examination into their circumstances, piety, 
and attainments by the ablest men of the party. The young 

1 Religion hi England, 1800-1850, by John Stoughton, D.D., i. 113. 


men thus helped were not left to their own devices at the 
University ; they were placed under the careful supervision 
of such men as Simeon, Milner, Parish, Jowett, Crouch, or 
Daniel Wilson ; their colleges were chosen for them Magdalen 
or Queen's 1 at Cambridge (King's was, of course, not avail- 
able), St. Edmund's Hall at Oxford ; when they had qualified 
themselves for Holy Orders, curacies were found for them 
where their Evangelical training would still go on, or Indian 
chaplaincies for those who had a mind to go abroad. The 
missionary and other societies connected with the Evangelical 
party were well managed and very prosperous. The party 
presented a united front to the outer world ; and, after the 
Calvinistic controversy had subsided, was not much torn by 
internal dissent. In short, everything that could be done was 
done, in the way of organization, to perpetuate and extend 
the system. 

3. The real, practical work of Christian piety and charity, 
about the desirableness of which most good people, to what- 
ever school they belonged, would agree, largely contributed 
to keep up the credit of the party. Men who cared little 
about abstract doctrine, could, at any rate, appreciate the 
merits of those who devoted themselves to the work of 
founding schools, establishing libraries, ameliorating prison- 
discipline, building churches, and, above all, abolishing the 
Slave Trade and ultimately emancipating the negro. 

4. The Evangelicals reaped great advantages from the 
infatuation of their adversaries, many of whom played most 
effectively into their hands. Nothing could be more condu- 
cive to the spread of the system than the indiscriminate stig- 
matizing of everything which was really a part of spiritual 
religion as methodistical and unorthodox. There is a 
passage in one of the early numbers of the British Critic 
which so exactly expresses what is meant, that it had better 
be quoted. "The most discreet and orthodox Christian," 
says the writer, " shall not fail to be branded with the indis- 
criminate, opprobrious denomination of Methodist, merely 
for showing a becoming regularity as to sacred things, and 

1 To these may be added, at one time, Trinity Hall. When Isaac Milner was 
president of Queen's, and Joseph Jowett was tutor at Trinity Hall, and much 
under Milner's influence, Trinity Hall used to be called a fief of Queen's. 


leading, in a word, a Christian life. We have more than 
once protested against this most shameful, yet most prevalent 
abuse of terms ; and we intreat those who feel or affect a 
regard for the Church, not to pay it so ill a compliment as to 
place all persons in the class of sectaries who live as every 
Christian ought to live. It originates, doubtless, in a desire 
to countenance that general relaxation of manners which has 
long endangered our whole system of morality and religion." l 
Not altogether, I venture to think. There was a real con- 
fusion in the minds of some of the honest assailants of Evan- 
gelicalism ; they mixed up two quite different classes of men, 
as is pointed out in a remarkably able and thoughtful 
volume or pamphlet (it comes between the two) which has 
been already quoted. "There exists," says the writer, "a 
distinction between those who are called Evangelical 
ministers ; there are sober thinkers as well as enthusiasts, 
orderly clergymen as well as irregular ones, lovers of peace 
and union as well as litigious controversialists. Of this dis- 
tinction it appears to be the endeavour of some writers to 
obliterate every mark by which it might be discovered. The 
character of the pious clergyman, devoted to the prosperity 
of the national Church and the welfare of his flock, cannot be 
greatly affected, among his parishioners, by this procedure. 
Those who * know the man and his communication ' will 
not confound his assiduity with the zeal of a proselyting 
sectary, . . . nor will they be persuaded so far to distrust their 
own senses as to believe that, on the affirmation of nobody 
knows who, in that place of worship which they constantly 
attend, there are means used to propagate anything different 
from what the Church of England requires of her members, 
if it be not really so." 2 Let any one apply these remarks 
to men like Legh Richmond or Josiah Pratt, and he will 
perceive how true they are ; the abuse of such men by those 
who knew nothing about them would be sure to produce a 
strong feeling in their favour among those who knew them. 

It was, no doubt, sufficiently provoking to men of real 
learning and goodness to be told, as they incessantly were 

1 Review of a Sermon on the General Thanksgiving^ June i, 1802, by Sir A. 
Gordon, in the British Critic, 1803. 

2 Zeal without Innovation^ preface. 


told, that they knew nothing of the real nature of Christianity ; 
that "the gospel was not preached in the national pulpits," 
as the phrase went We can well understand the indignation 
with which, in the early part of the century, bishops were 
wont to repudiate the imputation in their Charges ; l and how 
it was made the special subject of two remarkably able and 
interesting courses of Bampton Lectures, in 1803 and 1812 
respectively, 2 as well as of innumerable parochial sermons. 
But, after all, in spite of much crudity, the Evangelicals did 
meet a real want which their adversaries did not supply. It 
was quite against the spirit of the times to inveigh against all 
enthusiasm. The quiet, old-fashioned view of religion which 
had suited the eighteenth century was out of date in the 
nineteenth, when the spirit which had stirred up the French 
Revolution was rife, though happily in a different form, 
throughout England. The crowded and enthusiastic services 
and meetings so vividly described by Legh Richmond and 
Edward Bickersteth in their accounts of their missionary 
tours in all parts of England, 3 or at Carlisle Cathedral when 
Dean Milner preached, 4 or at Warton under the ministry of 
Daniel Wilson, 5 or at Cambridge under Simeon and Parish, 
or at Birmingham, where "crowds turned away from the 
doors," when the evangelical Dr. W. Marsh preached, 6 were 
indices of the popular feeling. It was in vain that sober 
divines declaimed against the love of excitement and the 
bane of fanaticism. The movement which the Methodists 
proper had raised among the lower classes was spreading 
upwards, and the Evangelicals were the only men who could 
satisfy the craving. 

1 See, inter alia, the Charges of the Bishop of Oxford (Dr. Randolph) in 
1802 and 1805 ; Bishop Horsley's Charges, passim, especially his Charge to the 
diocese of Rochester in 1803 ; the Charge of the Bishop of Lincoln in 1804, etc. 

* Religious Enthusiasm considered, the Bampton Lectures for 1803, by G. F. 
Nott ; and An Appeal to the Gospel, etc., the Bampton Lectures for 1812, by 
Richard Mant. 

1 See Grimshaw's Life of Legh Richmond^ pp. 234, 238, 243, 263 ; and Birks' 
Memoir of Ed-ward Bickersteth, i. 220, 369. 

4 See Life of Isaac Milner, p. 360, etc. ; and Life of William Paley, vol. i. 
p. 152, which shows that Milner's admiring biographer did not at all exaggerate 
the fact. 

5 See Bateman's Life of Daniel Wilson, p. 126. 

8 Life of the Rev. William Marsh, D.D., by his daughter, p. 145. 


(5) The very name "Evangelical" told greatly in their 
favour. Unlike that of " Methodist," it was not given as a 
term of reproach ; it sprung up, we scarcely know when or 
how. 1 One of the bitterest and most frequent complaints 
against the party was that " they arrogated to themselves the 
title of Evangelical," and thus cast a tacit slur upon their 
Christian brethren, who, if not Evangelical, were hardly worthy 
of being termed Christians at all. The accusation was so 
far unjust, that the Evangelicals never formally, in so many 
words, gave themselves the exclusive title ; on the contrary, 
they invariably disclaimed any such presumption. 2 But they 
did hold that the gospel consisted of a certain rigorous 
system, which they, and they alone, presented in its fulness ; 
and therefore they certainly left it to be implied that they, 
and they alone, were truly Evangelical. And the fact that 
a name, to which every Christian ought to lay claim, was 
exclusively applied to them, had not a little to do with the 
prosperity of their cause. 

To bring this long chapter to a conclusion. If it be thought 
that too much space has been devoted to the Evangelicals, the 
apology is, that they constituted by far the most prominent 
and spiritually active party during the greater part of the 

1 The following passage illustrates the feeling of earnest-minded laymen, who 
were not trained to appreciate the niceties of ecclesiastical distinctions, on this 
point: "To men thus orthodox in their principles, affectionate to the national 
Establishment, of unblemished morals, and exceptionally assiduous in the discharge 
of their pastoral duties, do a certain number of their clerical brethren apply the 
epithet of Evangelical ministers (in whatever way this application may have 
originated) as a term of reproach. Do these clergymen who thus endeavour to 
excite a prejudice against their brethren, to weaken their influence, and obstruct 
their success, wish the world to understand that they themselves are not Evange- 
lical ministers ; or, in other words, that they do not preach the gospel of Jesus 
Christ, which they received an express commission to teach at their ordination ? 
Such an imputation would doubtless be repelled as calumnious ; it would be 
resented as unjust and highly offensive ; and with good reason, since no charge 
could be more serious against the Church of England than this, that her ministers 
in general are not Evangelical ministers. A great misunderstanding must exist 
somewhere " (Life of William Hay, by John Pearson, ii. 50). Yes I there must j 
but I am bound to say that the misunderstanding exists on the part of the good 
surgeon, Mr. Pearson, himself. The prejudice against the Evangelical clengy 
was not because they were Evangelical, but because they were supposed to have 
assumed the exclusive title. 

2 " The body of men called Evangelical clergymen (I do not say who gave 
them that name /did not)," writes Thomas Scott. Life, by his son, John Scott- 


period before us. They were the salt of the earth in their 
day, and the Church owes a debt of gratitude to those holy 
men whose names have come before us in this chapter, which 
it will never forget so long as personal piety and the spiritual 
side of religion are valued at their proper worth. 




IT is extremely difficult to find any positive bond of union 
which would connect together all those whom it is desired 
to bring before the reader in the present chapter, and which 
would at the same time differentiate them from the " Ortho- 
dox " on the one hand and the " Evangelicals " on the other. 
But, negatively, the term "Liberals" will answer the pur- 
pose ; for they would all have considered both the Orthodox 
and the Evangelical platforms too narrow for them. They 
would not have agreed with the former in holding that there 
is but one visible, Catholic Church, the sole representative of 
which in this country is the Church of England ; and they 
would not have agreed with the latter, as to the narrow limits 
within which they confined "the gospel." In short, they 
would have claimed to be more " liberal " than either party ; 
but, when we have said this, we have said all that can be 
predicated of them in common. It has been suggested to 
me that " the distinctive, or a distinctive, feature of the Liberal 
theologians of 1800-33 was their Erastianism ; " and I have 
been reminded that "it was this that excited Newman's 
alarm." This is quite true so far as the Liberals proper are 
concerned ; but I doubt whether all those whom it is desired 
to include held the theory that the Church is a mere depart- 
ment of the State ; for under the title of " Liberals," in 
default of a better, it is purposed to treat, first, of men who, 
without committing themselves to the distinguishing tenets of 
either High or Low Churchmen, were yet prominent thinkers 
or workers in the Church in their way ; and, secondly, of a 
party which arose in the later part of our period, and which 


promised for a time, though only a very short time, to be the 
dominant party in the Church of England. 

Among those who deserve special mention under the first 
head is William Paley (1743-1805). He retired, indeed, from 
active service with the beginning of the new century ; but 
he lived on for five years, and during that time wrote per- 
haps the most valuable of all his works. His writings will 
be discussed in a future chapter. 1 Suffice it here to say that 
he was distinctly a Liberal, " adopting," his biographer tells 
us, " for his model Sherlock, Clarke, and Hoadley ; the latter 
of whom he calls ' the excellent Hoadley.' " Sherlock would 
scarcely have felt it a compliment to be bracketed with the 
other two ; but this by the way. 2 

With the name of William Paley one naturally associates 
that of Samuel Parr (1746-1824), because the two used 
frequently to be coupled together as glaring instances of the 
way in which merit was overlooked in the distribution of 
Church patronage. 3 Whether either Dr. Paley or Dr. Parr 
would have made quite an ideal bishop at least, according 
to our modern ideas may be open to question ; but the 
Church of England certainly owes a debt to both for having 
contributed to keep up that high standard of learning which 
has ever been traditional in her. As Paley was the greatest 
theological writer, so Parr was the greatest scholar of his day. 
Dr. Parr was not, like Dr. Paley, a Liberal in the strict sense 
of the term. On the contrary, so far as his theological views 

1 See infra, chapter on " Church Literature." 

2 Life of William Paley, D.D., prefixed to his Works. It does not appear 
whether William Sherlock the father, or Thomas Sherlock the son, is meant ; 
but the remark in the text would apply to both, though more strongly to the son. 

3 " How painful," writes Sydney Smith of Dr. Parr, " to reflect that a truly 
devout and attentive minister, a strenuous defender of the Church Establishment, 
and by far the most learned man of his day, should be permitted to languish on a 
little paltry curacy in Warwickshire ! " To which the following note is appended : 
" The courtly phrase was, that Dr. Parr was not a producible man. The same 
phrase was used for the neglect of Paley." S. Smith's Works, i. 9. " Some 
dared to say," writes Dr. Parr's biographer, "that there were insuperable 
obstacles to his being promoted to the episcopal Bench, and Lord Grenville is 
said to have apologized for not raising to the Bench the greatest scholar of his age, 
who was also a man of the most unblemished character, on the plea that this 
divine was not popular among his brethren." Life, prefixed to Works, p. 589. 
Paley was more than satisfied with the preferment he received. See his dedica- 
tion of his Natural Theology to the Bishop of Durham (Dr. Shute Barrington). 


appear at all, they were decidedly of a High Church cast j 1 
but it has been thought best to refer to him in the present 
chapter, because his merits lay not in the domain of theology, 
to which he contributed little or nothing, but in his classical 
and metaphysical works, and in his conversational powers, 
which rivalled those of Dr. Johnson himself. By them he 
shed a lustre upon the Church of which he was a learned and 
consistent member ; and he was appropriately indebted to 
one of the most learned and scholarly of our bishops, Dr. 
Lowth, for the only piece of ecclesiastical preferment of any 
value that he ever enjoyed, a prebend of St. Paul's. 

There is no doubt about the Liberalism of another member 
of the cathedral body of St. Paul's, the Rev. Sydney Smith 
(1771-1845). Unlike Dr. Parr, he was a writer whose works 
will continue to be read so long as Englishmen retain any 
sense of humour ; and they are all, more or less, connected 
with ecclesiastical, if not exactly theological, subjects. Sydney 
Smith had, after his own fashion, a very real sense of religion, 
and he did good service to the cause of toleration, which 
certainly required in those days a champion. The Church 
never has been, and never will be, in a really more prosperous 
or influential position by being hemmed round with privileges, 
which put others under an unfair disadvantage ; she is quite 
strong enough to fight her own battles, and requires nothing 
more than a fair field and no favour. She need, therefore, owe 
no grudge to Sydney Smith because he took up the then 
anomalous position of a Liberal clergyman ; he is never tired 
of advocating, in his own bright and piquant way, the repeal 
of all laws which bore hardly upon Roman Catholics on the 
one hand and Protestant Dissenters on the other ; he laughed 
out of their prejudices men who could not be argued out of 
them ; and the Church has been the stronger, not the weaker, 
for the removal of those so-called safeguards which no man 
had a greater share in abolishing than Sydney Smith. But, in 
another way, his liberality, like that of many other liberal 
divines, did not at all extend to those who disagreed with 
himself. The highest of High Churchmen was not more bitter 
than he was, in his youth and middle age, against "Methodism " 
in all its forms ; and the lowest of Low Churchmen was not 

1 See Life, p. 827. 


more bitter than he was, in his old age, against " Puseyism." 
Lady Holland tells us, in her biography of her father, that " he 
thought the highest duty of a clergyman was to calm religious 
hatred and spread religious peace and toleration ; and dreaded 
as the greatest of all evils that the golden chain reaching from 
earth to heaven should be injured either by fanaticism or scep- 
ticism." ] Whether such choice expressions as " the nasty 
and numerous vermin of Methodism," " a canting, deluded, 
Methodistical populace," 2 " the low mischief of the Christian 
Observer^ "the odious vigour of the Evangelical Perceval," 4 
were altogether calculated to "calm religious hatred and 
spread peace/' may be doubted. His equally violent denun- 
ciation of the Puseyites, of course, belongs to a much later date, 
and, therefore, happily does not come within our province. 

Another leading Liberal of the day was Henry Bathurst 
(1744-1837), Bishop of Norwich. Unlike Sydney Smith, he 
recognized the good points in the Evangelicals, 5 "being 
convinced that their zeal and piety, when under due regu- 
lation, were productive of very great good." 6 But Sydney 
Smith was so delighted with his liberal views generally, that 
he wrote of him in the early part of his episcopate (1808) in 
wildly extravagant terms of praise : " The bishop is incom- 
parable ! He should touch for bigotry and absurdity ! He 
does honour to the times in which he lives, and more good to 
Christianity than all the sermons of his brethren would do if 
they were to live a thousand years." 7 In politics Bishop 
Bathurst was, as he himself says, " a sincere Whig," and he 
carried his liberal ideas into the domain of theology. He was 
a consistent advocate of the claims both of Roman Catholics 8 

1 Memoir of the Rev. Sydney Smith, by his daughter, Lady Holland, i. 29. 

2 Article on " Methodism," in the Edinburgh Review, 1809 ; reprinted in Sydney 
Smith's Works. 

8 Article on " Indian Missions," Edinburgh Review, 1808 ; also reprinted. 

4 " Peter Plymley's Letters," Works, vol. iii. p. 427. 

5 See his First Charge to the Clergy of the Diocese of Norwich, 1806. 
' Letter to his son about Mr. Simeon's disciples, 1817. 

1 Works, vol. ii. p. 36. Letter to Dr. Reeve. 

8 The following story is told, much to his credit : " When the Ministry of the 
day were stiffly opposed to concessions to the Roman Catholics, and Dr. Bathurst 
was informed that, if he advocated them in Parliament, he would be left in that 
miserably poor see [Norwich], whereas his silence might facilitate a translation 
that must needs be for the better a thing which his very large family rendered 
desirable enough the intimation only increased his zeal ; he spoke most energeti- 



and of Dissenters ; one of the earliest and most ardent 
among the episcopal supporters of the Bible Society, which 
he calls "that most excellent of all human institutions ;" and 
in the educational controversies of the day was alike the friend 
of Bell the Churchman, and Lancaster the Quaker. But he 
thought *' the National Society would have been more useful, 
and have had a better right to be called National, had it 
received with open arms the children of all who acknowledged 
the Bible as the standard of faith and rule of practice." 1 His 
own theological views were so broad that he incurred, unjustly 
perhaps, the charge of Socinianism. In his later years he 
stood almost alone among his episcopal brethren as an 
advocate of the Reform Bill, and this gave him great popu- 
larity with the multitude. 2 But his general amiability rendered 
him far too .lax in the administration of his diocese, and his 
long episcopate of thirty-two years was not a success. 

Bishop Bathurst's successor at Norwich, Edward Stanley, 
(1779-1849), did not commence his episcopate until after the 
close of our period, but he was well known as a liberal and, it 
must be added, most earnest and energetic clergyman many 
years earlier. In fact, he became Rector of Alderley, a family 
living, in the very year that Dr. Bathurst was appointed to 
Norwich (1805). He there worked a moral revolution, pre- 
senting a marked contrast to the neighbouring clergy, of 
whom his son's account exactly tallies with what has been 
already said of the general lives of the clergy at the close of 
the last and the beginning of the present century. The name 
of Stanley, of course, carried great weight at Alderley and 
through Cheshire generally ; both his parishioners and his 
brother-clergy would bear more from the reforming rector 

cally in favour of the measure. The peer who sat next him said, ' I am happy to 
find the air of Norwich agrees so well with your lordship ; you don't seem in- 
clined to change it.' To which the bishop meekly replied, ' My lord, whatever 
I change, I trust I shall not change my principles.'" Personal Recollections, by 
Charlotte Elizabeth, pp. 61, 62. 

1 Charge, 1820. 

2 The Rev. F. Trench gives an instance in a scene of which he was an eye- 
witness. " 1831, November. Meeting in Lincoln's Inn Fields to form a London 
political union. The Bishop of Norwich happened to pass through the crowd in 
the midst of the speeches. At first, simply as a bishop, he was violently hissed and 
hooted. Some one cried out, ' Bishop of Norwich, a Reform bishop ! ' Hootings 
at once converted into loud applause." A Few Notes from Past Life, p. 266. 


than they would have done from a stranger ; and, from his 
biographer's account, Edward Stanley succeeded in bringing 
about a great reform both at Alderley and among the neigh- 
bouring clergy. It is a bad habit, to which clergymen, 
like other mortals, are prone, for a new-comer to depreciate 
the work of his predecessor ; tales of parishes neglected 
before the reformer appears on the scene, whether they occur 
in biographies or are told vivA voce, should be regarded with 
grave suspicion and be sifted narrowly ; and all the more 
so when, as in the present case, the tale is that of an admiring 
son. But the biographer himself a much more distinguished 
man than his subject has wisely fortified his own testimony 
by quoting that of Chancellor Raikes, of Chester, a man well 
known and of high repute in his day, who says of the Rector 
of Alderley, " The rector did not do what other rectors did ; 
and though he never censured in public nor rebuked in 
private, his conduct testified to a difference of views, and some 
were dissatisfied with him because they became dissatisfied 
with themselves while seeing how he lived." l The same un- 
impeachable witness testifies to Edward Stanley's enlightened 
views and unselfish exertions in the matter of the education 
of the poor. On such burning questions as the Test Act, 
Roman Catholic relief, and Church Reform, Mr. Stanley, of 
course, took a different side from that taken by the vast 
majority of the clergy ; and it is impossible to help admiring 
the moral courage which he showed in adhering to what was 
then regarded a most unclerical position. There is a curious 
resemblance between the circumstances in which Edward 
Stanley and his friend Sydney Smith found themselves 
placed, though a more complete contrast than that which in 
other respects existed between the two men it would be 
difficult to conceive. Both received Holy Orders in deference 
to the wishes of their respective fathers, while both had a 
strong bias in favour of other professions ; both, when they 
became clergymen, threw themselves, to their credit be it 
said, into their work with energy and earnestness ; both lived 
for a great part of their lives in country places, where they 
found themselves entirely out of sympathy with the views of 

1 Memoirs of Edward Stanky, Bishop of Norwich, by Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, 
P- J 9- 


their clerical neighbours ; both held their own in this difficult 
position manfully and successfully ; and both combined very 
decided views on what may be termed the negative duties of 
Christianity the duty of not persecuting others, not living 
immoral lives, and so forth with very vague and indefinite 
views of dogmatic truth. Hence their influence negatively 
was good, but positively they made very little impression ; 
for, as far as one can gather, they had very little that was 
positive to impress. 

Among others who would, more or less correctly, fall 
under the heading of this chapter may be reckoned the 
learned Dr. Croly, a fine, manly character, and much admired 
in his day, both as a preacher and a writer, but one who did 
not develop any particular views until the Tractarian Move- 
ment ranged him in strong opposition to it ; 1 Henry Hart 
Milman, who in the earlier part of the century was chiefly 
known as a poet, but before the close of our period startled 
the religious world by the publication of a work which verged 
upon what would now be called rationalism ; the two Hares, 
Julius and Augustus, both of whom, but especially Julius, 
were profoundly influenced by the philosophical rather than 
the theological side of S. T. Coleridge's later teaching ; 2 
Richard Watson, Bishop of LlandafF, who was essentially a 
man of the eighteenth century, but who survived for some 
years into the nineteenth to be a connecting link with a past 
generation ; and Connop Thirlwall, a still abler man, who 
lived on to be a connecting link with a future generation ; 
Reginald Heber, who has been claimed both by High and 
Low Churchmen, but, on the whole, seems to me to find his 
more fitting place under the present heading. As the names 
will show, there were among them men of far more than the 
average talent and culture ; men who thought out great 
questions for themselves, and men who showed themselves 
most zealous and successful parish priests ; but they never 
combined to propagate their views, and so, as a body, their 
influence was unimportant. 

1 See Personal Recollections of Dr. Croly, by R. Herring, passim. Dr. Crol] 
attempted the very unpromising task for a clergyman of writing a Persons 
History of George IV. (in 2 vols.), and executed it remarkably well. 

8 See Memorials of a Quiet Life, passim. 


Meanwhile, however, there was arising what promised to 
be a very compact party indeed, and one which seemed likely 
to hold in its hands the Church of the future. It emanated 
from the same spot from which shortly afterwards arose 
"the Oxford School," that is, the common-room of Oriel. 
This was not a strange, but a very natural coincidence ; for 
in the first quarter of this century Oriel was the centre of 
intellectual life in the University ; and the same mental 
activity which made some " Noetics," made others " Tracta- 
rians." The term " Noetics " will not convey much meaning 
to the general public, but to students of Aristotle's " Ethics," 
as, of course, the Oriel men were, it conveyed a very definite 
meaning indeed : a Noetic was a man who exercised his 
highest faculties, as opposed to those who let them lie 
dormant ; and the description certainly applied to those to 
whom the title was given. Edivard Copleston (1776-1849), 
in virtue of his position as the very successful provost of the 
college and of his very high reputation as a scholar, was the 
natural head of the party, so far as he belonged to it at all, 
but that was only in a very limited sense. Mr. J. B. Mozley, 
indeed, who, if any man, ought to have known, tells us that in 
1830 "a speculative liberalism had been the growing element 
for some time, even in Oxford and in Oriel, under the foster- 
ing patronage of Dr. Copleston, and Dr. Whately's vigorous 
and argumentative training ; " 1 and Whately himself writes 
to Copleston (1846), "From you I have derived the main 
principles on which I have acted and speculated through 
life." 2 But Copleston himself declares, in a letter to his 
father in 1814, the year when he became provost of Oriel, 
that he was really more of a High Churchman than those who 
were then so called at Oxford. 8 And, on the other hand, 
Charles Simeon, of all people in the world, having dined with 
Copleston at Oxford in 1822, "and held most profitable con- 
versation," says, " He accords more with my views of Scripture 
than almost any other person I am acquainted with." 4 
Copleston, on his part, was evidently no less struck with 

1 J. B. Mozley, Essays, vol. ii. pp. 27, 28 : "Dr. Arnold." 

2 See Principal Tulloch's Movements of Religious Thought in Britain during 
the Nineteenth Century, p. 45. 

Memoir of Ed-ward Copleston, Bishop of Llandaff, by W. J. Copleston. 
4 Quoted by Mr. Moule, Life of Simeon, p. 236. 


Simeon, to whom he writes the same year, " I consider it no 
slight proof that my services are likely to be of some use, 
when they obtain the approbation of one who has laboured 
so long and so ably in the same cause, and whose life 
has given the strongest evidence of disinterestedness and 
sincerity." l The fact is, it is impossible to label Copleston 
as belonging to any party, and it is only his friendship with 
the Noetics which his position at Oriel brought about that 
renders it necessary to mention him in this connection at all. 
When he left Oxford, on being raised to the see of Llandafif 
in 1827, he disappears from the scene. 

Far different was it with Richard Whately (1787-1863), 
who calls himself the disciple of Copleston, but was in fact 
a man who thought out great questions for himself, and was 
really a disciple of nobody. His clear, cold, penetrating 
intellect, which was not tempered by any sympathy with an 
emotional religion of any kind, caused him to be more in his 
element when he was engaged in destructive than in con- 
structive work ; but it is a great mistake to regard him as 
an irreligious man. He had a very firm belief in the funda- 
mental truths of Christianity, and rendered valuable service 
to the Church by his masterly confutations of unbelief in its 
various forms ; but he could never be mistaken for a High 
Churchman or a Low Churchman ; theologically as well as 
politically he was a Liberal of Liberals. And yet, strange to 
say, it was Whately who first gave Newman the true idea of 
the Church as a substantive body, and fixed in him " those 
anti-Erastian views of Church polity which constituted one of 
the most prominent features of the Tractarian Movement." ^ 
Here Whately's clearness of intellect came in ; it was im- 
possible for him to rest satisfied with the too prevalent idea 
of the Church as a mere creature of the State ; if it was only 
that, it was not worth contending for ; but he showed, in his 
" Letters on the Church," 8 that he had thoroughly grasped 
the conception of the Church as a great spiritual society, 

1 Moule, Life of Simeon, pp. 207, 208. 2 Apologia pro Vitd Sud, ch. i. 

3 Letters on the Church by an Episcopalian, 1826. Internal evidence, apart 
from the general opinion, and the fact that he never denied the authorship when 
taxed with it, is quite enough to show that " an Episcopalian " was none other 
than Whately himself. They were reviewed by Whately's friend Arnold in the 
Edinburgh Review, and referred to in Arnold's Life, p. 68. 


which might or might not be connected with that other 
society, the State. This, however, does not imply that he 
had the slightest sympathy, except on this particular point, 
with the High Church party, either in its old form which was 
passing away, or in the new form which it was so soon about 
to assume. He had neither the respect for authority nor the 
eye for the beautiful which were two chief ingredients in the 
composition of the character of the typical High Churchman. 
But still less had he any fellow-feeling with the Evangelicals, 
except so far as the bond of a common Christianity must 
unite all believers to a certain extent together. He had 
a great too great contempt for their intellects. Perhaps 
he did not see the most favourable specimens of the class 
at Oxford ; but if he had done so, his whole tone of mind 
was so totally different from theirs that there could never 
have been any real sympathy between them. It is one 
of those grotesque anomalies which the changes in men's 
mental histories sometimes present, that the chief barrier 
between him and Newman, when they were together at 
Oxford, was that Whately thought Newman leaned too much 
towards the Evangelicals. Whately was beyond a doubt the 
leading spirit of that rising party which never rose, but 
which for a short time appeared likely to do for the Church 
what Earl Grey and his friends did for the State. He was 
listened to as an oracle in the common-room at Oriel, and 
wherever else Church reformers mostly did congregate. The 
very oddity of his manners and habits, setting at defiance 
as he did all the conventionalities which had long been de 
rigueur at Oxford, increased rather than detracted from his 
influence. The old order was to change, giving place to 
new, and it was as well that even in things indifferent old 
prejudices should be set at nought, as Whately, tutor at Oriel, 
and still more, Whately, principal of St. Alban's Hall, took 
a delight in doing. Stories about his eccentric sayings and 
doings were plentiful as blackberries ; and then, to the amaze- 
ment of everybody, came the startling announcement, in 1831, 
that he had been made an archbishop ! Was it a grim joke of 
the same premier who told the bishops in the House of Lords 
that they must set their house in order ? Was it a reductio 
ad absurdum of the episcopate by an enemy of episcopacy ? 


Was it a deep-laid plot to ruin the poor, weak Church of 
Ireland ? Or was it, as some few friends thought, the 
beginning of a better day the firstfruits of a new and 
happier state of things for both countries? We need not 
now follow Whately across the water. Whether, if he had 
remained in England, he would have increased, or even 
retained, the influence he undoubtedly possessed in the days 
preceding the Oxford Movement, is very doubtful. He does 
not seem to me to have had anything sufficiently positive and 
definite to offer, in lieu of the Evangelicalism on the one side, 
which he did his best to upset, or the High Churchmanship 
on the other, from which he drifted further and further away. 
At the same time, it is surely a mistaken, not to say suicidal, 
policy of the defenders of Christianity to persist in regarding 
him as an enemy, and not as an ally, and a very effective 
ally, as far as he went. In the literature of the period, his 
works occupy a prominent place ; and, as will be shown in 
a future chapter, they are all on the side of belief versus 
unbelief ; and a time which was by no means rich in apologetic 
literature can ill afford to reject the sincerely proffered aid 
of one who possessed one of the most luminous and powerful 
intellects of the day. 

Far inferior intellectually (as it seems to me), but far 
superior in moral weight, was Whately's friend, and in some 
respects one might almost say disciple, Thomas Arnold 
(1795-1842), who must be reckoned among the foremost 
of the old Oriel school. One who, like the present writer, 
was educated first at Laleham, under Dr. Arnold's brother- 
in-law, and then at Rugby, under his coadjutors and most 
devoted disciples, finds it difficult to deal dispassionately 
with the influence of that remarkable man. What is said 
here, therefore, should perhaps be taken cum grano. It is, 
however, said without any prejudice in favour of Dr. Arnold's 
peculiar opinions indeed, with a strong conviction that 
many of his theories will not bear criticism for a moment. 
Take, for instance, his theory of the Church, as being most 
germane to the subject of this work. He held that Church 
and State were not two societies, but one so far he had 
Hooker and other great divines with him ; that it was an 
utter mistake to look upon the clergy as the Church where, 


again, he would of course have all thinking persons with 
him ; that, as the laity were a real and substantive portion 
of the Church, they ought to have their share in the adminis- 
tration of its affairs and here, again, he will carry all sensible 
people with him. But then the question arises, What share ? 
And in his answer to this question, many indeed, all well- 
read Churchmen would part company with him. For he 
would have had the laity admitted, not only into friendly 
conferences, but into clerical synods. He would have had 
them commissioned, not only to preach, but to administer 
the Holy Communion itself under certain circumstances and 
conditions, thus to all intents and purposes obliterating 
all distinctions between clergy and laity. He would have 
made the Church so wide as to admit within its pale 
Dissenters of all kinds Roman Catholics, Quakers, and 
Unitarians excepted without any compromise of principle 
on either side. How all this was to be brought about does 
not appear very clearly. But as he did not carry with him 
even his own friends such men as Whately, Augustus Hare, 
Cornish, Thirlwall, 1 and Hawkins expressing their disapproval 
(the latter going so far as to hint that he was writing on 
subjects which he did not understand, and which were not 
within his proper province) and as his scheme of making the 
Church a sort of theological omnibus never took any definite 
shape, it is not necessary to dwell upon it. 

The fact is, it was not Arnold the writer, nor Arnold the 
thinker, but Arnold the man, who was the real power. He it 
was who more than any other man helped to bridge over the 
gulf which separated intellect from piety. It is a sad fact, 
admitted while it is deplored by the Evangelicals themselves, 
that piety had come to be associated in men's minds with 
intellectual weakness. The "union of religious earnestness 
with intellectual activity," which Dr. Arnold himself remarks 
as characteristic of the Oriel Noetics, was conspicuous in his 
own pupils, and the many who were influenced by them. It 
was the best part of the admirable work he did at Rugby, 
and though the full fruit of it was not reaped until after the 
time with which this volume is concerned indeed, it is being 

1 See Thirlwall's letter to Bunsen, in Letters Literary and Theological oj Connop 
Thirlwalt, edited by Perowne and Stokes, p. 107. 


reaped still yet the seed was sown during our period. In 
the eloquent language of his biographer, himself a notable 
instance of the influence exercised by Dr. Arnold in moulding 
character, "pupils with characters most different from each 
other's and from his own often with opinions diverging more 
and more widely from his as they advanced in life looked 
upon him with love and reverence, which made his gratifica- 
tion one of the brightest rewards of their academical studies ; 
his good or evil fame, a constant source of interest and anxiety 
to them ; his approbation and censure, amongst their most 
practical motives of action ; his example, one of their most 
habitual rules of life. To him they turned for advice in every 
emergency of life, not so much for the sake of the advice 
itself, as because they felt that no important step ought to 
be taken without consulting him. An additional zest was 
imparted to whatever work they were engaged in by a con- 
sciousness of the interest which he felt in the progress of 
their undertaking, and the importance which he attached to 
its result. . . . His very presence seemed to create a new 
spring of health and vigour within them, and to give to life 
an interest and an elevation which remained with them long 
after they had left him, and dwelt so habitually in their 
thoughts, as a living image, that, when death had taken him 
away, the bond appeared to be still unbroken, and the sense 
of separation almost lost in the still deeper sense of a life 
and a union indestructible." l To appreciate the extent of 
this influence, it should be remembered that those over whom 
it was exercised were, many of them, like Dean Stanley him- 
self, no ordinary men, but great centres of influence in their 
turn. That higher and nobler idea of life, for which so many 
were indebted to Dr. Arnold, continued long after his pre- 
sence was withdrawn, and communicated itself to others who 
had not come under his personal spell. We shall perhaps 
realize best what it was by studying his sermons. They 
have a sort of unconventional ring about them which differen- 
tiated them, in a way difficult to describe, from the general 
run of sermons in that day. Among other things, they helped 
many to realize the beauty, the attractiveness, the unique 
character, of Jesus Christ, who had been rather repelled by 

1 Stanley's Life of Arnold, p. 142. 


the form in which many good men had been in the habit of 
presenting to their readers and hearers that unspeakably 
important subject. The intense earnestness of Arnold's own 
personal faith in, and love of, Jesus Christ prevented him 
from falling into that vague and colourless soi-disant Chris- 
tianity which is the peculiar danger of those who are ready 
to sacrifice dogmatic truth for the sake of a shadowy unity. 
What further development his views would have undergone, 
if his valuable life had not been prematurely cut off, it is 
impossible to say. He lived long enough to see a serious 
divergence between himself and some of his Liberal friends ; 
for the separation of education from religion, which was one of 
their objects, was abhorrent to his highest feelings ; and other 
points of disagreement must have arisen. He could never 
have harmonized with the Evangelicals. Like his friend 
Whately, he had a very mean opinion of their intellectual 
calibre ; he thought their general tone of mind was cramped 
and narrow ; and they, on their part, cordially reciprocated the 
antipathy. But with neither Liberals nor Evangelicals was 
he so fundamentally at variance as with the rising Oxford 
school, with the leaders of which he had been personally 
on the friendliest terms. His article in the Edinburgh 
Review, under the significant title of " The Oxford Malig- 
nants," was too strong even for his most sympathizing friends, 
and perhaps he himself regretted afterwards that he had 
written it ; but it was characteristic of his eager, impulsive, 
and chivalrous temperament to rush into the fray without 
much consideration. 1 It is fair to remember that he only 
knew " Tractarianism " (so-called) in its earlier and cruder 
stage ; but he could never have been in sympathy with the 
movement, except by a volte de face, which he was the 
last man in the world likely to execute. But it is no use 
speculating what Dr. Arnold might have done. What he did 
do was to effect on a much larger scale throughout the 
country what he aimed at in the little world of Rugby, where 
"the fruit which he above all things longed for was moral 
thoughtfulness the inquiring love of truth going along with 
the devoted love of goodness." 2 No amount of disagreement 

1 See the admirable article on Dr. Arnold in Professor J. B. Mozley's Essays. 
* Stanley, p. 103. 


with his theological views ought to make us forget the good 
he did in this direction. 

Other members of the old Oriel school were R. D. Hamp- 
den, a name which a year or two later became exceedingly 
notorious in connection with Church matters, but was as yet 
only known beyond the walls of his own college by his 
Bampton Lectures on " The Scholastic Philosophy considered 
in its Relation to Christian Theology" (i832),~preceded by 
two or three articles on similar subjects; 1 Blanco White, 
who gave a further impetus in the Liberal direction to men 
already sufficiently inclined to Liberalism ; and John Davison, 
a Noetic, but one who in no way identified himself with the 
Liberals except in so far as he was personally friendly with 
them. One speaks of these as a " school " for want of a 
better name ; but they never became what is popularly 
termed " a school of thought." 

Indeed, it is very difficult to construct any coherent and 
definite system which could at all be said to represent the 
views of the Liberals generally at any time during our period. 
There was no Liberal party. There were, no doubt, many 
estimable clergymen, and more laymen, who agreed negatively 
in holding aloof alike from High Churchmen and Low Church- 
men ; but when we inquire what were the positive opinions 
which differentiated them from the others, and bound them 
to one another, the answer is not forthcoming. The Oriel 
Noetics, as a party, soon vanished into thin air. Copleston 
subsided into a worthy but rather tame bishop in the wilds 
of Wales ; Whately went off to Dublin, and threw himself 
into Irish affairs ; Arnold's real work was done at Rugby, 
and the minds he formed there did not come to maturity till 
a later day ; Davison, having enriched theological literature 
by his great work on " Prophecy," never again came to the 
front ; poor Blanco White passed through various phases of 
belief and unbelief, and quite ceased to be a power as a 
Liberal Churchman. 

In fact, the whole history of Liberal Churchmen during 
our period is simply a history of individuals, most of them 
men of great talents and culture, whose works will form a 
conspicuous feature in another chapter, but who never formed 

1 See Mozley's Reminiscences, vol. i. ch. Ivi. pp. 354, 355. 


a united body. Had they done so, there was assuredly a 
great opportunity for the exercise of their force. For 
Liberalism was in the air. The swing of the pendulum 
had gone back from the violent reaction against all innova- 
tion which the horrors of the French Revolution had caused 
during the early years of the century. The same spirit which 
in the domain of politico-ecclesiastical questions brought 
about the abolition of the Corporation and Test Acts, the 
emancipation of the Roman Catholics, and the Reform Bill, 
existed also in reference to theology and to innovations 
within the Church. But among Liberal Churchmen there 
was no united action ; indeed, there could not be, for there 
was no united theory which could lead to action. 

There was a party of Liberals who had very definite 
opinions indeed on theological matters ; but this would be 
a source of embarrassment rather than encouragement to 
Liberal Churchmen. It was the party of which Jeremy 
Bentham and the two Mills were the extreme representatives. 
It sought to reform the nation by a system from which all 
dogmatic theology was carefully eliminated. The West- 
minster Review \ founded in 1824, was its organ in the press 
to propagate its views among the more intellectual classes ; 
the Penny Magazine, to suit the masses. The Society for the 
Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, the London University, and 
the first Mechanics' Institutes were some of the results of its 
activity. If this were a general history of the time, or a 
history of religious thought during the time, it would be 
necessary to dwell longer upon this phase of Liberalism ; but 
as this work is confined to the Church of England, and as, to 
use the mildest term, the efforts of the party were not founded 
on a Church basis, it would be wandering away from our 
proper subject to dwell upon them further. 

Nor does it quite come within our limits to touch upon 
that group of Liberal Churchmen which was growing up at 
Cambridge, chiefly under the inspiration of Julius Hare and 
Connop Thirlwall, during the later part of our period. The 
most noted of these, such as F. D. Maurice, John Sterling, and 
Charles Kingsley, were still in statu pupillari ; and therefore 
whatever is said about the movement will come in better in 
connection with University life than with the general life of 


the Church. But, turning from Cambridge to Oxford, are we 
to place the great name of E. B. Pusey in his early days 
among the Liberals ? He was a Liberal in politics, and in the 
domain of theology he certainly opposed one of the chief 
champions of orthodoxy ; an objection was alleged against 
his appointment to the Hebrew Professorship in 1828 on the 
ground that his orthodoxy was doubtful, and he withdrew 
from circulation the work which caused him to be suspected. 
But, in spite of all this, it is doubtful whether to group him 
with the Liberals would not be to mistake his position. That 
position will best be understood by those who are best 
acquainted with the state of religion, in Germany and in 
England respectively, in the eighteenth and early nineteenth 
centuries. Pusey had studied, on the spot and as few English- 
men had done, the rise of Rationalism in Germany ; and he 
had come to the conclusion that it had arisen from a reaction, 
on the one hand against an overstrained pietism, and, on the 
other, against a narrow and barren orthodoxy which he 
termed " orthodoxism." He thought he saw traces of the 
same causes at work in England ; and when Mr. H. J. Rose 
published his " Discourses on the State of the Protestant 
Religion in Germany" he wrote in reply, "An Historical 
Enquiry into the Rational CJiaracter of German Theology" 
which delighted the Germans and the English Liberals more 
than the Orthodox. He thought Rose had misunderstood, or 
not quite done justice to, some of the German writers ; and 
while stating his points strongly, he ran, as young men are 
apt to do, into an opposite direction, and advanced state- 
ments which it would be difficult to justify on Church 
principles. But he differed from Rose on the causes rather 
than on the dangers of Rationalism, to which he was a foe, not 
a friend ; and when the tendency of some of his remarks 
was brought home to him, he suppressed his work, and ever 
expressed a deep regret that he had published it. Hence he 
must be regarded as, at most, only an unconscious, not a 
conscious, Liberal. 1 

1 See Canon Liddon's Life of Dr. Pusey > i. 72-177. May I also refer to an 
account of German theology in The English Church in the Eighteenth Century, 
vol. i. pp. 244-268, published in 1878, which shows my views fifteen years before 
I had the privilege of reading Canon Liddon's work ? 




THE readers of the foregoing pages will be prepared for a 
somewhat depressing account of the Church services and 
their adjuncts during our period ; but he will also be prepared 
to find a slow but steady improvement in this, as in other 
matters, as the years rolled on. 

In treating of the Church services, we must, of course, 
begin with the highest of all, the Holy Eucharist. 

" Four celebrations in the year are the very fewest that 
ought to be allowed in the very smallest parishes. It were 
to be wished that it were in all more frequent." In these 
words the ablest prelate of the day, a distinct High Church- 
man in the best sense of the term, addresses the clergy of one 
of the most populous and central dioceses in the kingdom at 
the dawn of the new century. 1 As bishops in their Charges 
naturally take a high standard which they hardly hope will 
be reached by all, it must be confessed that the prospect is 
not very promising; and to judge from a letter written 
towards the close of our period, matters do not seem to have 
improved as to the frequency of celebrations in country 
churches. " In many country villages," writes a correspondent 
to the British Critic in 1832, "the sacrament of the Lord's 
Supper is administered four times a year Easter, Whitsunday, 
Michaelmas, and Christmas. I would suggest at each of 
these seasons the sacrament may be administered twice 
Christmas Day and the Sunday after, Palm Sunday and 
Easter Sunday, Whitsunday and Trinity Sunday, and on 
Sundays before and after Michaelmas Day. By this arrange- 

1 Second Charge of the Bishop of Rochester (Dr, Horsley) in 1800. 


ment the husband and wife of every family may be able, if 
they please, to attend at least four times in the year." To 
which the editor appends a note : " This is the habit at many 
country places. In one large village, known to the editor, 
there is an early sacrament at eight o'clock, as well as at the 
usual hour, on the great festivals." 

On the other hand, Edward Bickersteth, when a young 
man in London in 1806, had the opportunity 'of communi- 
cating every week, and used to avail himself of it. 1 At 
Turvey, not a very large village, Legh Richmond had a 
monthly celebration from 1805 onwards, preceded by a 
monthly communicant class on the Saturday evening ; and 
he exercised a very strict discipline in the admission to that 
holy ordinance. 2 

The number of communicants was more satisfactory, at 
least in many places. At St. John's, Bedford Row, under its 
successive incumbents ; at the parish church, Islington, under 
Daniel Wilson"; and at Whitechapel, under Bickersteth, the 
numbers were very large. Simeon notes with special thank- 
fulness the vast increase in the number of communicants at 
Trinity Church, Cambridge, since the time when, in his early 
manhood, he communicated there with only three others ; 3 
and there is a most remarkable account of the number of 
communicants at Stretton, a country village in Suffolk, which 
tells of there being already 153, with a hope that they may 
be raised to 244, in a population of 610. The clergyman of 
this wonderful parish was the Rev. J. S. Sawbridge, a friend 
of Joshua Watson and Thomas Sikes, and the incumbent who 
gave H. H. Norris his title to Holy Orders, in short, to all 
intents and purposes a member of the Hackney phalanx. It 
was natural that among such men the Holy Sacrament should 
hold the highest possible place ; but, strange as it may sound, 
it is certainly true that, next to them, the Evangelicals laid 
the greatest stress on the Holy Communion in those days. 
One is really quite startled sometimes at their expressions 
on the subject. " I will lead my child to the altar of our 
Eucharistic Sacrifice." " Blessed Lord, I am now about to 

1 Memoir of the Rev. E. Bickersteth, i. 34. 

2 See Life of the Rev. Legh Richmond, p. 131. 
8 Cams, p. 554. 


partake of Thy Body as broken, and Thy Blood as shed for 
me. Oh, enable me to resign myself to Thee ! At Thy 
Altar may I renew my dedication." These are riot the words 
of a Thomas Sikes, but of an Evangelical of Evangelicals, 
Daniel Wilson. 1 The Evangelicals made a great point of 
communicating, and drew together a large number of com- 
municants. It was the large number, no doubt, which led 
to the objectionable practice of "communicating rails full" a 
practice which was very prevalent in large towns until the 
influence of the Oxford Movement made itself felt 2 The 
followers, also, of John Wesley added largely to the numbers 
of communicants. The counsels, or rather the commands, 
of their great leader had not yet lost their force ; good 
Methodists still made a point of communicating at their 
parish church, as they still made a point of holding no 
services of their own during Church hours. 3 In fact, the duty 
of communicating was very much more generally recognized 
then than it is now ; but it was too often put on a low foot- 
ing. It was sometimes regarded more as a legal obligation 
than as a blessed privilege a view which the existence of 
the Test and Corporation Acts would foster. A man could 
not be a sound "Church and State" man unless he was at 
least an occasional communicant. Others regarded it as 
merely a commemorative act a higher and more religious 
view than the former, but still a miserably inadequate one. 
It was this view, no doubt, which led to the survival all 
through our period of the notion which had been rife through- 
out the eighteenth century, that of all days the day on which 
a celebration was. most appropriate was Good Friday. This 
is not, as it may seem, inconsistent with what has been said 
above about the four times a year, of which Good Friday was 
not one. The Christmas, Easter, Whitsuntide, and Michael- 
mas celebrations were regarded as the legal ones, the Good 
Friday one as a counsel of piety. 

With regard to the other Church services, it is to be feared 
that they were too often performed in a very slovenly and 
irregular manner. Some clergy had even the audacity to 

1 See Bateman's Life of Daniel Wilson, pp. 157 and 284. 
8 See Remains of Bishop Copleston, with Reminiscences by R. Whately. 
3 See Report from the Clergy of a District in the Diocese of Lincoln, etc. 



mutilate the Liturgy. In 1814, Bishop Law, of Chester, in 
an otherwise rosy-coloured picture of the state of his diocese, 
speaks sternly on this point : " The whole of the Liturgy 
must be read without alteration, substitution, or omission." 
In 1818, Mr. (afterwards Bishop) Blomfield added some 
notes to a sermon he preached at Saffron Walden at a visita- 
tion of Bishop Howley an occasion on which a man would 
naturally be careful not to make random statements ; and in 
these notes he reprobates " the irregular practice which pre- 
vails amongst some of the clergy, who embrace the peculiar 
tenets of Calvin, of curtailing and mutilating the service of 
Baptism, so as to bring it somewhat nearer to their own 
notions of regeneration." 2 Another pretext for curtailing 
the Liturgy was the exigency of time. When a clergyman 
had to serve several churches on the same day, he was 
obliged, not only to hurry over, but to cut short the service. 
Stories of the indecent haste with which an officiating minister 
would rush off from one church to another are too numerous 
and well authenticated to admit of any doubt. One, which 
came under the writer's own personal knowledge, may be 
given as a specimen. A clergyman served three churches 
at a considerable distance from each other, living at a central 
point between the three. As one Sunday service was con- 
sidered sufficient, there was no difficulty about giving a 
morning and an evening service alternately at the two out- 
siders ; but the middle church had to be content with a sort 
of sandwich service, interpolated in the long ride between 
the two others, at midday. The bishop at last insisted that 
this middle church should also have an alternate morning 
and evening service, which looked like a death-blow to the 
happy arrangement. But the ingenious divine was equal to 
the occasion ; he had only to arrive at church one Sunday 
at five minutes before twelve and take the morning service, 
and the next at five minutes past twelve and take the evening 
service and the thing was done ! 

In the country all sorts of irregularities were tolerated. A 
very common one was the reading of the ante-Communion 

1 Charge to the clergy of Chester, by Bishop Henry Law, at his Primary Visita- 
tion in 1814. 

* See Memoir of Bishop BlomfieU, i. 64. 


Service at the prayer-desk a practice which the wretched 
state of many chancels made convenient. Even so good a 
Churchman as Richard Mant, when he was a young curate 
at Buriton, was guilty of it, until he was shamed out of it 
by a parishioner with whom he was remonstrating for en- 
couraging cricket on Sunday evening. " The old gentleman, 
while acknowledging his error, retorted on the curate for a 
breach of rubrical conformity. He had followed a custom, 
very common at that time [1804] in country churches in 
England, particularly when there was a long chancel, of read- 
ing the Communion Service from the reading-desk instead 

of the Lord's Table ; and when Mr. B pointed out to 

him the irregularity of so doing, he at once acknowledged 
his mistake, and corrected his practice ever after." x 

Another bad habit was that of the whole congregation 
sitting down during the singing. Bishop Mant's remarks on 
this point, and indeed on psalmody generally, disclose a state 
of things which it is difficult to realize at the present day. 2 
In the first place, he seems almost to despair of congregational 
singing. "Amongst a variety of people," he writes, "part of 
them with bad ears, and most of them with untaught voices, 
there will be some who had better totally abstain ; only 
attending to the sense, as well as the sound of what is uttered 
by the rest." He then makes some suggestions which can 
scarcely be thought unreasonable : " If we will not employ 
our lips in the service, we may still fix our minds upon it ; 
at least we should not hinder others from doing either. And 
particularly we should abstain from giving the bad example 
and the offence of indecently holding conversation at that 
time, for which there cannot surely be so pressing an occasion 
but that it may very safely be deferred till after church, if not 
altogether omitted." The only thing that can be said against 
this excellent advice is that it is too gentle ; it is shocking 
to think there should have been any need of it at all. " In 
the singing of psalms," the writer goes on, " different persons 
use different postures. The prose psalms, so far as we know, 

1 Memoir of Bishop Richard Mant, p. 65. 

2 As Bishop Mant was an Irish bishop, it may be necessary to state that he is 
not referring to the Irish Church especially in these remarks, which occur in his 
notes on the Book of Common Prayer. 


are and ever have been repeated by all persons everywhere 
standing. In the verse psalms we all stand at the Doxology." 
And then he proceeds to show that it ought to be the posture 
all through, but adds a passage which shows that, so far from 
this being the case, it would attract attention, and that 
allowance should be made for those who shrank from doing 
so. "Were it more uncommon than it is, it would be far 
from a dishonourable singularity. But still, as very many in 
most congregations have by long habit been prejudiced in 
favour of sitting, or, though they disapprove the custom, feel 
a difficulty of quitting it unless every one did, they should 
not be censured for a practice by which they mean nothing 
amiss, but kindly encouraged to an alteration in this point, 
which we may thus hope will gradually become general." 1 
We hear of one clergyman using an amusingly effectual 
method for inducing his congregation to stand up during the 
singing. After speaking of " the irreverent posture of sitting 
down," he added, " For the aged, the diseased, and the infirm, 
in retaining their seats every apology is to be offered ; " and 
at the next psalm all who did not desire to be classified 
under any of those categories stood up. 2 

Whether we consider the words or the music, psalmody 
was generally in a very unsatisfactory state. As to the words, 
the ill-educated parish clerk was left to make his own selec- 
tion from the meagre stores of Tate and Brady. There was 
a strong prejudice against hymns as being Methodistical. 
Even so enlightened a prelate as Dr. Herbert Marsh inveighed 
strongly against them in his Charges, actually using the 
same argument which William Romaine had been so merci- 
lessly ridiculed for using in the University pulpit half a 
century before, viz. that it was exchanging the Word of Gpd 
for the word of man. No doubt there was something to be 
said for his prejudice, inasmuch as some hymns used were 
highly objectionable ; but there were also many that were 
not. 8 If he had deigned to look at the hymns of the Wesleys, 

1 Bishop Mant's edition of the Book of Common Prayer, abridged from his 
larger edition, 1824, vol. i. pp. 133, 134 : " On Psalmody." 

2 Review of Dr. E. Barry's Works in the British Critic, vol. xxviii., July to 
December, 1806. 

a See Charge of the Bishop of Peterborough at his Primary Visitation, 1820, 
especially the Appendix. Also his Charge in 1823. 


he would have found many, not only free from bad taste, but 
also of a far more distinctly Church tone than the lucubrations 
of Tate and Brady. Even so moderate a man as Reginald 
Heber, after he had compiled a hymn-book for the use of 
Hodaet Church, " felt," he says, " some High Church scruples 
about using it." 1 Nothing shows more strongly the prejudice 
which the " orthodox " had against hymns, than the fact that 
though this collection was made on distinctly Church lines, 
being " intended to be appropriate to the Sundays and prin- 
cipal holidays of the year," Heber applied in vain in 1820 to 
the Archbishop of Canterbury (Dr. Manners-Sutton) and the 
Bishop of London (Dr. Howley), both more or less High 
Churchmen, for an authorization of its use. He dwelt with 
great force and reasonableness on " the powerful engine which 
hymns were among the Dissenters, and on the irregular use 
of them in the Church, which it was impossible to suppress 
and better to regulate ; " 2 but, being a loyal Churchman, he 
would not publish them without being authorized, and it was 
not until after his death that they appeared. The intro- 
duction of hymns into Church was chiefly the work of the 
Evangelicals. The accomplished writer of the article on 
" Church of England Hymnody " in Mr. Julian's " Dictionary 
of Hymnology" speaks of our period as one of the most 
prolific in hymns ; and an examination of the names of the 
compilers and editors will show that the majority of them 
were well-known Evangelicals. In fact, the introduction of 
this attractive feature into public worship was one of the 
auxiliary causes of the life and vigour of Evangelicalism. 
How popular it became may be judged by the fact that the 
sale of Edward Bickersteth's "Christian Psalmody" (1833) 
soon reached a hundred and fifty thousand copies. The 
attempts to stop hymn-singing was one of the many vain 
attempts by which their opponents really played into the 
hands of the Evangelicals. 

Turning from the words to the music, we find here too a 
general testimony that an unsatisfactory state of things pre- 
vailed, as a rule, in town and country alike. Bishop Beilby 
Porteus, who in many respects was in advance of his age, 

1 Taylor's Life of Bishop Htber, p. 90. This was in 1819. 
8 See Julian's Dictionary of Hymnology, p. 503. 


complained of it bitterly before the nineteenth century began, 
and justly reprobated an effort to improve it in London, which 
was a glaring instance of the way how not to do it. " Of all 
the services of the Church," he writes, " none had sunk to 
so low an ebb as our parochial psalmody ; especially as Dr. 
Burney, in his ' History of Music,' had very injudiciously 
taken great pains to ridicule and discredit the use of psalmody 
in our churches, and to introduce in the room of it cathedral 
music. In consequence of this, many churches and chapels 
in London had already adopted his ideas ; and at their charity 
sermons professional singers, both male and female, were 
brought from various places of public entertainment to sing 
hymns and anthems for the benefit of the children. Nay, in 
one or two churches there had been musical entertainments 
upon Sunday evenings without even prayers or a sermon. I 
thought it highly necessary, in order to prevent our places of 
public worship from being converted into concert-rooms, to 
endeavour to check this musical madness, and, if possible, to 
bring back our psalmody to its ancient purity and simplicity." l 
Even professional music does not appear to have been attrac- 
tive, for the author of " Zeal without Innovation " tells us, in 
1808, that "with numerous attendance of ministers, and the 
finest specimens of Church music by professionals, the seats of 
St. Paul's were seldom half filled." As late as 1827, a writer in 
the British Critic complains that " with all the facilities for 
excellent psalmody powerful organs, numerous congrega- 
tions, and often a multitude of charity children some of the 
London churches contrive to convert this joyous spiritual 
exercise into a positive infliction." He then mentions some 
honourable exceptions, "especially the present Bishop of 
Chester at St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate, the psalmody of which 
is known to be an object of his lordship's anxious and constant 
attention " which would have been highly creditable to his 
lordship, did one not feel that "his lordship's anxious and 
constant attention " 2 ought to have been concentrated on a 
large sphere of labour two hundred miles away from St. 
Botolph's, Bishopsgate. 

In the country the psalmody was a very great difficulty, 

1 Hodgson's Life of Bishop Beilby Porteus, pp. 108, 109. 

2 British Critic for April, 1827; Art. x., "Ecclesiastical Discipline." 


even to those who had everything in their favour, when trying 
to reform it. No one, for instance, would presumably have a 
better chance of success than Reginald Heber at Hodnet. 
Son of the lord of the manor and patron of the living, of an 
old family which had been long connected with the place, 
with a name which would carry weight, a most attractive 
personality, and a high University reputation (which counts 
for more even in a village than is generally supposed), one 
would have thought he could have done anything he wished. 
And yet his biographer tells us that " he made several vigorous 
efforts to reform the psalmody in his parish, but had the 
mortification to find that they were almost entirely ineffec- 
tual." 1 Local musicians are a stubborn race, and they would 
not easily forego the privilege of bringing into the gallery 
their violins, bassoons, hautboys, or whatever their favourite 
instruments might be, and using them with a will. Some of 
the country clergy cut the Gordian knot by having no singing 
at all a convenient arrangement for those with whom time 
was an object because they had to rush off to take another 
service elsewhere. Archdeacon Bailey, in his Charge to the 
clergy of the archdeaconry of Stow (which takes in a fair 
slice of Lincolnshire), in 1826, implies that the absence of sing- 
ing was common. " Sacred music," he says, " is an essential 
part of the Liturgy ; it is the very life and soul of every new 
method of Dissenting worship. Why, then, is it so rarely in- 
vited to impart a solemn interest to our parochial services ? 
Does it not argue a want of taste, or rather a want of zeal, 
among us, that, whilst every conventicle is made to resound 
with hallelujahs, the courts of the temple alone should ever fail 
to repeat the strains of the sweet Psalmist of Israel ? 2 that 
whilst all creation, everything that hath breath, is summoned 
by the voice of nature and of inspiration to sing praises unto 
the Lord, we only, the favoured sons of the Church, should 
at any time seem to maintain an ungracious and indolent 
silence? " To the same effect an anonymous writer in 1832 : 
" I believe it to be a matter of regret general among my 

1 Taylor's Life of Bishop Heber, p. 50. 

2 Archdeacon Bailey was a High Churchman, a friend of Joshua Watson and 
the rest of the " Clapton sect ; " hence he contemplates only the singing of psalms, 
and ignores hymns. 


clerical brethren, that while almost every Dissenting con- 
gregation cultivates sacred music as a part of their public 
worship, it is altogether neglected in so many of our country 
churches." 1 

Perhaps some country clergymen might think that no 
music at all was better than such as is amusingly described by 
Ambrose Serle in his " Christian Remembrancer" 2 "I can- 
not," he writes, " but shake my head when I hear an officer of 
the Church calling upon people to sing to the praise and glory 
of God, and immediately half a dozen merry men, in a high 
place, shall take up the matter, and most loudly shout it away 
to the praise and glory of themselves. The tune, perhaps, 
shall be too difficult for the greater part of the congregation, 
who have no leisure for crotchets and quavers ; and so th< 
most delightful part of all our public worship shall b( 
wrested from them, and the praises of God taken out ol 
their mouths." 3 

One finds, however, here and there, glimpses of light 
among the darkness. Sydney Smith, for instance, who, in 
spite of his buoyant light-heartedness, generally takes the 
gloomiest view of everything connected with the Church, isyel 
"very glad to find we are calling in more and more the aid ol 
music to our service. In London, where it can be commanded, 
good music has a prodigious effect in filling a church ; organs 
have been put up in various churches in the country, and, as I 
have been informed, with the best possible effect." 4 Legh 
Richmond, on one of his missionary tours in 1812, describes 
the singing at Manchester Collegiate Church as " magnificent, 
almost beyond precedent. There was the ' Hallelujah Chorus ' 
to conclude with. Hallelujahs rang in reiterated peals from 
every part of the immense congregation. The organ was 
finely played ; an excellent trumpet was in the band, and 
added much to the brilliancy of the effect." At Bolton, in 1815, 
he found the "singing grand and impressive in the highest 
degree. Anthems and choruses were sung, and accompanied 

1 British Magazine for 1832, vol. i. 

2 Not to be confounded with the periodical of that name. 

8 See selections from the writings of Ambrose Serle by the Rev. E. Bicker- 
steth, The Christian Remembrancer, chap. xx. 

* See Lady Holland's Memoir of the Rev. Sydney Smith, p. 87. 


by trumpets, horns, etc., in a very fine style indeed." 1 The 
testimony is the more valuable because Mr. Richmond him- 
self was a musical man. But it is exceptional. The general 
evidence is that the music was a weak point in the services of 
the Church. It was something, however, that the weakness 
was recognized, for that was the first step towards an improve- 
ment. Among other suggestions, Alexander Knox made one 
which was a sort of adaptation of his favourite theory of the 
via media to psalmody. "In psalmody," he writes (1823), 
" a few persons who might be found capable and willing, 
should be taught to accompany, or perhaps rather supersede, 
the clerk. I am no admirer of the whole congregation making 
an effort to sing, indocti doctique. But the drawling of a soli- 
tary clerk is, if possible, a worse extreme. The medium of a 
few taught in some measure to sing, and the rest listening, 
appears to me to be in the appropriate spirit of the Church of 
England, as akin to choir singing; while the congeniality of 
congregational singing, rebus sic stantibusjs at least disputable. 
. . . Festina lente is a capital maxim." 2 

Church-people could scarcely complain that they had 
too many sermons inflicted upon them. In those days the 
clergy, as a rule, were not very attentive to the rubrics ; but 
there was one rubric which many of them religiously observed, 
the one which prescribes a sermon in the morning and makes 
no allusion to any other sermon. In those country churches 
where there was only one service, there could of course be 
only one sermon, morning or afternoon, at whichever time 
the service might be ; but where there was a double service, 
the second one frequently consisted of Evensong without 
sermon. Many of the bishops in their Charges urged a 
double sermon, and not without effect ; for the afternoon 
sermon, or catechizing, or exposition, became more and more 
the rule as the years rolled on. 

Sermons have been from time immemorial regarded in 
some quarters as a legitimate subject of abuse. It would, 
therefore, be most unfair simply to make a collection (for 
which the materials are only too abundant) of the various 

1 Grimshaw's Life of the Rev. Legh Richmond, pp. 243, 263. 
8 Thirty Years 1 Correspondence between Bishop J, bb and Alexander Knox, 


complaints against the sermons of the period, and to estimate 
their quality by that standard. 

Equally unfair would it be to take the printed sermons 
of the time as a true measure of pulpit eloquence. Every- 
body knows how a sermon which is most effective when 
delivered orally may be very flat and disappointing when 
read in cold blood. This is especially the case with sermons 
chiefly addressed to the feelings, as those of the Evangelicals 
mostly were. It is not, therefore, among the famous Evan- 
gelical preachers of the day, the Gisbornes, the Milners, and 
the Daniel Wilsons, but among men like Hugh James Rose, 
William Van Mildert, and John Jebb, all of whose sermons 
read admirably, that we must look for the best specimens of 
the preaching of the day. 

It has been seen that much indignation was expressed 
against the Evangelicals for their supposed assumption that 
the gospel was not preached in the " national pulpits " except 
by themselves. But we do not find that the chief complaints 
against the preaching of the day come from the Evangelical 
leaders, who are remarkably reticent on the subject in their 
writings, but from men of quite a different bias. Thus it is 
Southey, the High Churchman of the old type, who com- 
plains that " bad sermons are among the many causes which 
have combined to weaken the Church of England," with 
much more to the same effect. 1 It is Alexander Knox, the 
High Churchman of the new type, who affirms that "the 
clergy have lost the art of preaching," and so forth. 2 It is 
Sydney Smith, the Broad Churchman, who, descanting upon 
"the low state of pulpit eloquence," says, "Preaching has 
become a byword for long and dull conversation of any kind ; 
and whoever wishes to imply, in any piece of writing, the 
absence of everything agreeable and inviting, calls it a 
sermon." 3 And again, "The great object of modern 
sermons is to hazard nothing ; their characteristic is decent 
debility; which alike guards their authors from ludicrous 
errors, and precludes them from striking beauties. Every 
man of sense, in taking up an English sermon, expects to 

1 ee Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey, vii. 90. 

2 Remains of Alexander Knox, iv. 105, et seq. 

3 See La;ly Holland's Memoir of the Rev. Sydney Smith, p. 81. 


find it a tedious essay, full of commonplace morality." 1 It 
is dangerous to assert a negative, but it certainly would be 
difficult to find such severe strictures on sermons in the 
writings of those who were accused of maligning the Church 
by maintaining that the gospel was not preached in it. 

Turning from the matter to the manner of preaching, we 
find the same Sydney Smith repeating a complaint which 
was at least as old as the days of Queen Anne, 2 and pouring 
forth the vials of his wrath and of his wit against the 
apathetic delivery of sermons, which was especially affected 
at this time by the orthodox clergy to distinguish them 
from the excited and exciting Methodist. " Is it," he asks, 
" wonder that every semi-delirious sectary who pours forth 
his animated nonsense with the genuine look and voice of 
passion should gesticulate away the congregation of the 
most profound and learned divine of the Established Church, 
and in two Sundays preach him bare to the very sexton ? 
Why call in the aid of paralysis to piety ? Is sin to be 
taken from men, as Eve was from Adam, by casting them 
into a deep slumber ? Or from what possible perversion of 
common sense are we all to look like field-preachers in 
Zembla, holy lumps of ice, numbed into quiescence and 
stagnation and mumbling ? It is theatrical to use action, 
and it is methodistical to use action ? But we have cherished 
contempt for sectaries, and persevered in dignified tameness 
so long, that while we are freezing common sense for large 
salaries in stately churches, amidst whole acres and furlongs 
of empty pews, the crowd are feasting on ungrammatical 
fervour and illiterate animation in the crumbling hovels of 
Methodists." 3 

The same witty writer took a very decided line on the 
vexed question between written and unwritten sermons and 
not quite the line one would have expected from him ; for it 
was one of the distinctions between the " Orthodox " and the 
" Methodist," that the former, as a rule, preferred the manu- 
script, while the latter did not. " Pulpit discourses," he says, 

1 Article on "Dr. Rennell" in the Edinburgh Review t 1802; reprinted in 
Sydney Smith's Works, vol. i. p. 10. 
8 See Spectator. 
3 Lady Holland's Memoir^ p. 85. 


" have insensibly dwindled from speaking to reading a prac- 
tice of itself sufficient to stifle every germ of eloquence. 
What can be more ludicrous than an orator delivering stale 
indignation, and fervour of a week old ; turning over whole 
pages of violent passions, written out in German text ; reading 
the tropes and apostrophes into which he is hurried by the 
ardour of his mind, and so affected at a preconcerted line 
that he is unable to proceed any further ? " 1 But there were 
men who not only practised but defended the habit of 
preaching from manuscript. No less a personage than the 
Christian advocate at Cambridge in 1805 (W. Cockburn) 
boldly argued that any other kind of preaching was actually 
immoral. " I now enter my protest," he says, " against all 
extempore preaching. Many, indeed, of our communion 
adopt this custom ; but I humbly conceive that it must be 
wrong, because it is deceitful. We know by experience that 
the common people, the major part of every congregation, 
consider the power of preaching without any assistance to 
be an especial gift of God. This opinion of theirs is absurd ; 
but still it is their opinion. You know, and are convinced, 
my Christian brethren, who preach extempore, that these 
people follow you and attend to you because they believe 
this talent to be a plain proof that God's Spirit resides in 
you and speaks from your mouth. Unless, then, you take 
pains to convince them that your fluency of speech is the 
consequence only of human exertion (which yourselves know 
to be the fact), you acquire a spiritual dominion over thei 
by deceit." 2 The British Critic highly approves of thes< 
sentiments. 3 Reginald Heber, in a letter to a young clergy- 
man in 1819, advises him to "avoid singularities," and speci- 
fies among them "the High Churchman who shuffles in a 
pompous tone through his nose, and the Evangelical minister 
who preaches extempore." 4 

1 Sydney Smith's Works, \. 12. 

2 Address to Methodists, etc. The course recommended in the last sentence 
was actually adopted by an old clergyman whom I knew well in my boyhood. " I 
love to hear you preach without the book, sir," said a parishioner to him, "for 
then I feel you have the gift of the Spirit." *' My good woman," he replied, " yoi 
quite mistake the matter ; it is not the gift of the Spirit, it's the gift of the gab 

3 Vol. xx vi., July to December, 1805. 

4 Life of Bishop Heber > by his widow, i. 552. 


As a general rule, sermons in parish churches were read 
from manuscript, and the majority of congregations seem to 
have preferred that they should be so. 

But, whether written or unwritten, and in spite of many 
complaints, there is little doubt that the sermon, in those 
days when there was little to attract in the mode of conduct- 
ing divine service, and when the sacramental system was 
most imperfectly understood, was the chief attraction to the 
church-goer ; and it would have been wise on the part of the 
Church to give the people their sermon, as the Methodists 
did, at the time when it was most convenient to them. That 
time was the evening. A change had come over the habits 
of the nation in the matters of rising and going to bed. Both 
were later than they had been in the eighteenth century, and 
the consequence was that something was required to fill up 
the long Sunday evenings. The question of Sunday evening 
services was much agitated during the early years of the 
present century. The clergy were, as a rule, against them, 
partly because they considered them an imitation of Metho- 
dism, partly on the more rational ground that they encouraged 
young people to be abroad in the dark to the detriment of 
morality, and partly from a general dislike of all innovation. 
The British Critic, in 1802, curtly dismisses a work which 
earnestly advocated Sunday evening lectures in the parish 
churches of large towns, 1 with the single remark that it is 
"a serious and temperate plea for Sunday evening lectures, 
which, however, neither enumerates many of the objections 
against them, nor satisfactorily answers those which are 
enumerated." It was, however, useless to resist the spirit of 
the times, and Sunday evening services in large towns became 
more and more common. The Evangelicals, as usual, led the 
way. In the closing years of the eighteenth century, Simeon 
had evening service at Trinity Church, Cambridge, and "the 
novelty," he tells us, "attracted some attention. In the 
college chapels it was no novelty ; but in a parish church it 
conveyed the notion that it must be established for the 
establishment of true religion, or what the world would call 

J " A Summary View of the Nature and Tendency of Sunday Evening 
Lectures in the Parish Churches of Large Towns," etc. See the British Cntic 
for 1802. 


Methodism " l another instance, by the way, of this good 
man using an expression which was calculated to cause 
unnecessary offence. In Marylebone, about 1807, Lord 
Teignmouth, who was a strong Evangelical, but a stiff Church- 
man, persuaded the rector, Archdeacon Heslop, who consulted 
him much about parochial matters, to introduce evening 
services into the different churches of that extensive parish ; 2 
and by 1824 the prejudices had been so far overcome that 
" in many large towns, and in London itself, the practice had 
been adopted with very general success." 3 

It will be noticed that the Sunday services have been 
spoken of as- if there were no others. This was, of course, not 
literally the case, but it was painfully near to being so. Even 
in London week-day services were dropping out of use. 
There is a sad contrast between the ample supply of such 
services enumerated by Mr. Paterson in his " Pietas Londi- 
nensis" in 1714, and the meagre' list given in a similar publi- 
cation in 1824. When daily service was held, it was evidently 
rather a survival of the past than an instance of present 
energy. A delightful story is told by the biographer of 
Joshua Watson, commencing with the ominous words, " Daily 
prayers in some London churches was not yet [about 1800] 
discontinued " which evidently implies that it soon was 
discontinued " and he [Joshua Watson] was a constant 
attendant at St. Vedast, Foster Lane." He met there Mr. 
Sikes one day, when there was no other congregation, and 
said, as they went out, " Never mind ; if you will not tell of 
me, I will not tell of you." 4 There was just this excuse for 
the discontinuance that people absolutely declined to fre- 
quent them. It became so much a matter of course that 
there should be none, that in 1832 an excellent Church 
periodical, the British Magazine, gravely urged the following 
plea in favour of cathedrals : " Is it nothing that cathedrals 
are the only Protestant churches in England which preserve 
the daily offering of supplication and thanksgiving ? " as if 
it were a thing unheard of that it should be found elsewhere. 

1 Quoted by Carus, p. 69. 

2 Memoir of Life, etc., of John, Lord Teignmouth, by his son, ii. 153. 

8 Quarterly Review, No. Ixi., December, 1824; Art. xiv., "New Churches," 
4 Churton's Memoir of Joshua Watson, i. 30. 


Indeed, it would appear, from Bishop Horsley's Charge to the 
diocese of Rochester in 1800, that even the most marked 
days in the Church's year were in danger of being ignored. 
" The festivals and fasts of the Church," he says, " are, I fear, 
not without some connivance of the clergy, gone too much 
into oblivion and neglect. There can be no excuse for the 
neglect of the Feast of our Lord's Nativity, and the stated 
fasts of Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, even in the 
smallest country parishes ; but in towns and the more popu- 
lous villages the church ought certainly to be opened for 
worship on the forenoon at least of every day in the Passion 
Week, of the Mondays and Tuesdays of Easter Week and 
Whitsuntide, on the Epiphany, and on some, if not all, of the 
other festivals." 

The undoubted revival of religious earnestness which arose 
about the beginning of the century found its expression in 
private prayer-meetings rather than in the more regular 
services of the Church. The clergy had not much encourage- 
ment to establish week-day services, for there was little 
demand for them. W T hen Richard Mant became Vicar of 
Great Coggeshall, in 1810, he was frequently invited "to go 
to extemporaneous prayer-meetings." He always declined, 
but " offered to have prayers according to the Liturgy more 
frequently in church if the parishioners desired it." 1 It does 
not, however, appear that the parishioners accepted his offer. 
This preference of prayer-meetings to regular services was 
attributed to the influence of the Evangelicals. " By their 
preaching," says the thoughtful writer of "Zeal without 
Innovation" "while they revived an attention to some 
neglected truths of the first importance to mankind, they 
brought on a mean opinion of the form of religion. To this, 
as one cause, we may perhaps ascribe the almost entire 
desertion of our churches on prayer-days, though more to the 
increased disregard of all religion." It is, however, only fair 
to add, that when one does find week-day services established, 
it is almost always in places where there was an Evangelical 
clergyman. There is a significant silence about them in the 
biographies of several non-Evangelical clergymen when their 
admiring biographers are enumerating the good works their 

1 Memoirs of Bishop R. Mant, p. 70. 


heroes did in their respective parishes. But of Legh Richmond 
we do read that when he was at Brading he established daily 
services in Holy Week ; and that when he went to Turvey, in 
1805, he had on every Friday evening "a lecture in church, 
the prayers for Evening Service being previously read." 1 The 
only prelate who leaned towards the Evangelicals in their 
early trials (Bishop Porteus) was also the only prelate who 
really exerted himself to any effectual purpose to bring about 
a better observance of the neglected season of Lent. His 
Friday evening lectures at St. James's, Piccadilly, begun in 
1798 and continued for four successive Lents, created quite 
a furore, attracting crowds, and among them many of the 
most fashionable people in that fashionable neighbourhood. 2 
It is observable that the bishop set up this service, not only 
for the benefit of the congregation who attended it, but 
" hoping it might be the means of drawing a little more 
attention to that holy but too much neglected season [of 
Lent]." 3 The effort, we are told, " produced the most eminent, 
substantial, and salutary advantages." 4 When Daniel Wilson 
became Vicar of Islington, in 1824, he at once set himself 
to increase the number of Church services on week-days as 
well as Sundays, and that in a perfectly right direction. By 
1828 he had established "three full services in the church on 
Sundays and great festival days, and one in the week, besides 
morning prayers on Wednesdays and Fridays, and on saints' 
days." 5 The Evangelicals were, after all, better Churchmen 
than the laissez-faire clergy and laity, who were continually 
opposing them in the name of the Church. 

Turning from the Church services to the fabrics in which 
those services were conducted, the first thing that strikes us 
is the glaring insufficiency of accommodation for worshippers 
which they afforded. Figures are dry reading, but the 
mention of a few statistics is the only way to give the 

1 Grimshaw's Life of Legh Richmond, pp. 73, 114. 

2 " The Bishop of London," writes W. Wilberfbrce in 1798, "preaching every 
Friday in Lent. Crowds to hear him ; fine people and gentlemen standing all 
the time." See Life of W. Wilberforce, by his son, the Bishop of Oxford, p. 187. 

3 See Hodgson's Life of Bishop Beilby Porteus, pp. 133, 134. 

4 Review in the British Critic fon 1802 of the "Lectures on the Gospel of 
St. Matthew " in St. James's, Westminster, in 1798-1801, by the Bishop of London. 

5 Bateman's Life of Daniel Wilson, Bishop of Calcutta, p. 264. 


reader an adequate idea of the dearth that prevailed. In 
the Parliamentary debates of 1818 that is, when a Royal 
Commission had been appointed to inquire into the deficiency 
of churches we find the Chancellor of the Exchequer giving 
the following startling facts. Liverpool, with a population 
of 94,376, could only accommodate 21,000 ; Manchester, with 
a population of 79,459, only 10,950; while in London and the 
vicinity there was a population of 1,129,451, of whom churches 
and Episcopal chapels could only contain 151,536, leaving an 
excess of 977,9 15. 1 Even this must have been better than it 
was a few years earlier, if we may judge by one parish. For 
in 1818 the Chancellor of the Exchequer specifies Maryle- 
bone as having a population of 75,624, with church accommo- 
dation for 8700 ; whereas a letter addressed to Mr. Perceval 
in iSii (just before his death) declares that "the parish of 
Marylebone is said to contain 60,000 inhabitants, while its 
church will not accommodate more than 900 ; z and St- 
Pancras is in the same predicament." 3 The last clause is 
more than borne out by Dr. Middleton, who, when he became 
vicar in 1812, found St. Pancras in an even worse predica- 
ment. " He found himself," says his biographer, " in his new 
cure, the spiritual guardian of nearly 50,000 persons. The 
church was an ancient edifice capable of accommodating 
about 200. At Kentish Town there was a chapel of ease 
which contained about the same number." 4 John Bowdler 
the elder, in a letter to the Bishop of London in 1814, declares 
that " not a tenth part of the Church of England population 
in the west and east parts of the metropolis, and in populous 
parts of the county of Middlesex, can be accommodated in 
our churches and chapels." 5 In a famous pamphlet, of which 
more will be said presently, 6 we are told that in London 
953,000 souls were left without the possibility of parochial 
worship. And we can easily believe it, if it be true that, in 

1 That is, excluding the City, where there was an excess of churches. 

8 Proprietary chapels do not seem to be included, but something will be said 
of these presently. 

8 Letter quoted in the Quarterly Review, May, 1811 ; Article, " State of the 
Established Church." 

4 Le Bas' Life of Bishop T. F. Middleton, i. pp. 25, 26, 

8 See Memoir of the late John Bowdler, Esq. 

6 The Church in Danger, by the Rev. Richard Yates, 1815. 



spite of the vast increase of population, " during the long 
period from the commencement of the reign of George III. 
almost to its close, there were not (including St. Alphege and 
St. Mary's, Whitechapel) six churches erected in the metro- 
polis." 1 And yet we are told that the want of church accom- 
modation was more noticeable in other parts of the kingdom 
than in the metropolis ! 2 

But, appalling as are the figures quoted above, they do 
not cover the full extent of the evil ; for even the scanty 
accommodation which they denote was by no means all 
available for the general worshipper. The pew system was 
flourishing almost universally, and, worst of all, the system of 
faculty pews. "When," says a thoughtful writer in 1824, 
" alterations in the church, by no means of an extensive 
nature, might add materially to the general comfort and 
accommodation, it is inconceivable how great difficulties are 
thrown in the way of the clergy by old prescriptive rights 
and faculties granted by the injudicious facility of the eccle- 
siastical courts whenever the fees are to be raised. A large 
portion of the area is secured perhaps by enclosure, and 
jealously preserved for the temporary accommodation of 
some family not always resident in the parish ; but the right 
is maintained with a strictness which neither conciliation, 
argument, nor the duty of sacrificing personal convenience 
to the general good, can induce the owner to abandon." 8 
Evidences of the evils of the pew system are only too 
numerous. "The people," writes Charles Simeon about 1784, 
" almost universally put locks on their pews [at Trinity 
Church, Cambridge], and would neither come to church them- 
selves, nor suffer others ; and multitudes from time to time 
were forced to go out of church for want of necessary accom- 
modation." And five years later, " The greater part of the 
pews still continued shut." 4 Bishop Sumner, in his Primary 
Charge to the clergy of Winchester diocese in 1829, descants 

1 Charles Knight's History of London, v. 202. 

8 See A Letter on Toleration and the Establishment addressed to the Right Hon. 
Spencer Perceval, 1808. 

3 Quarterly Review for December, 1824, No. Ixi. ; Art. xiv., "New Churches 
Progress of Dissent." 

* Cams' Memoirs of the Life of Charles Simeon, pp. 39, 54, 


upon "the flagrant abuses which prevail with respect to 
pews," and complains that " a system of sale and hire has 
become inveterate in many places." Thomas Gisborne, though 
the Evangelicals as a rule were not prominent in any crusade 
against the pew system, strongly inveighs against "the dis- 
tinction of churches into pews." " This custom," he says, " of 
comparatively modern prevalence, goes at once in its very 
nature to the exclusion of the poor. ... I could point to a 
village in my own neighbourhood [Needwood Forest] in 
which the church, were it still in open seats, as it was within 
the memory of some of its present inhabitants, would be 
amply sufficient for the accommodation of the parish." 1 And 
the anonymous writer of the letter to Mr. Perceval (1808), 
already quoted, says, " The pews in parish churches being 
usually appropriated to the higher and middle ranks, and 
reserved at all times for them, whether they attend or not, the 
churches afford but little accommodation to the lower ranks." 
If this was the case with parish churches, much more was 
it so with proprietary chapels, the accommodation afforded 
by which is presumably included in the statistics quoted 
above. When proprietary chapels were managed as St. 
Mary's, Brighton, was managed by Mr. Venn Elliott they 
were an unmixed blessing ; but it is to be feared that all 
proprietors and incumbents were not Venn Elliotts ; and the 
temptations to less high-minded men were very great. The 
evils of the system are well stated by Mr. Yates in his 
" Church in Danger." " The chapel system," he writes, " as it 
is at present permitted to operate, though it supplies the 
means of public worship to many rich people, does harm to 
the church ; indirectly, by the appearance of supplying in 
some measure the defect which would otherwise impress 
itself more strongly upon public notice ; and directly, by 
withdrawing from ecclesiastical uses into private and secular 
channels those resources which might be used for supplying 
proper ministers. The chapels are built and conducted 
wholly as pecuniary and commercial speculations. The first 
object of the proprietor is to get the highest rent for pews ; 
and the poor are excluded." Proprietary chapels were, as a 

1 Note on a passage in a sermon on "Christian Patriotism illustrated by the 
Character of Nehemiah," in Gisborne's Sermons, vol. iii., 1810. 


rule, strongholds of the Evangelicals, and it must have been 
like a bolt from the blue to some of these good men when 
they found the system condemned by their own special organ 
in the press ; nevertheless, so it was. " The proprietary chapel 
system," says the Christian Observer in 1829, when the plan 
had been tried for some time and found wanting, " is utterly 
at variance with clerical efficiency and parochial instruction," 
with much more to the same effect. 1 

If the " broad-bottom chapels? which Archdeacon Daubeny 
describes in his " Guide to the Church " as " a sort of extra- 
parochial, extra-episcopal congregations intended to do away 
every distinct idea of Church communion," ever flourished 
to any appreciable extent, and if the accommodation they 
afforded is taken into account in the figures cited, this would 
make matters still worse ; but as the archdeacon speaks of 
them rather as a scheme in the air than as actually existing, 2 
and as I can find no trace of them elsewhere, let us hope 
that they need not be reckoned with. 

It would be unfair to blame either the Church or the 
State at any rate, the Church or the State of the nineteenth 
century for all this spiritual destitution. On the contrary, 
great credit is due to both for the vigorous exertions which 
they made to remedy it when the opportunity occurred. But 
how was it that it was allowed to grow to so gigantic a 
height before the remedy was applied ? The answer to this 
question is an illustration in detail of what was said generally 
in the opening chapter about the state of the country during 
the early part of the century. The war allowed neither 
attention nor money to be devoted to church-building. 
There was an enormous increase of commercial prosperity, 
which, to use the words of the Bishop of London (Dr. 
Howley) " caused a transference of large masses from districts 
well planted with churches to places altogether without 
means of public worship." 3 But men's eyes were fixed, not 

1 See a review of the Bishop of Winchester's (Sumner's) Charge in the 
Christian Observer hi 1829. 

8 " I understand that the plan from which the greatest success is expected 
against the Establishment, is that of setting up what are called broad-bottom 
chapels, ".etc. Daubeny 's Guide to the Church^ ii. 438. 

1 Charge to the Clergy of London^ by Bishop Howley, 1818. 


on the teeming populations of London, Liverpool, Man- 
chester, Nottingham, Leeds, Sheffield, etc., but oil the brave 
soldiers in the Peninsula, or the brave sailors oh the wide 
ocean. When war-ships had to be built, ther^was nothing 
left for building churches ; when soldiers had to . be main- 
tained, there was nothing left for the maintenance of addi- 
tional clergy. Indeed, it would have been difficult to find 
additional clergy ; for, as Bishop Kaye said, " in consequence 
of opportunities of employment in the army and navy 
afforded to young men during the war, the number of 
candidates for Holy Orders was not equal to the demand 
for curates. During the first ten years of this century, the 
number of young men who annually graduated as B.A. in 
January at Cambridge averaged little more than a hundred ; 
it now [1852] averages more than three hundred." 1 Men 
might reasonably argue, What is the use of building churches 
when there is no one to serve them ? Not that the matter 
ever reached this stage. It was tacitly admitted that every 
halfpenny was wanted for the war, and there was an end of it. 
It should be remembered, too, that the war was considered 
by many as essentially a holy war. Churchmen took 
the deepest interest in it, not only as patriots, but as 
Christians. It was not merely a question whether French 
rulers should dominate over English bodies, but whether 
French principles, which were identified with atheistical 
principles, should dominate over English minds. It is true 
that many scorned and bitterly resented this view of the 
case ; 2 but these were not Churchmen. If the question of 
church-building on any extensive scale had been raised, the 
answer would in effect have been, " Why build churches when 
the Gaul is at the gates? If the gates are stormed, the 
country will be ruined, and Christianity itself will fall amid 
the ruins." Here is a specimen of the sort of language which 
was used, and which expressed the feelings of thousands. 
Speaking of Buonaparte and France, an eloquent preacher 

1 Charge of the Bishop of Lincoln in 1852. See Nine Charges to the Clergy 
of Lincoln > and some other Works, by J. Kaye, late Bishop of Lincoln, edited by 
his son, Archdeacon Kaye, 1854. 

2 See, for instance, The Black Book> p. 273 ; and S. T. Coleridge's early prose 
writings, passim. 


said, " This prodigy is gazed at by every eye. It dwells on 
every tongue. It equally interests and agitates the rulers 
and the people. Shall there be none among us to view it 
with the eyes of a Christian ? " l 

Simultaneously with the cessation of the war, the current 
in favour of church-building at once set in, increasing in 
volume as it went on, and carrying all before it ; so that the 
last seventeen or eighteen years of our period will, in this 
respect, compare favourably with any similar period in the 
long history of the Church of England. The war, as we all 
know, ended in 1815 ; and in 1815 the trumpet was sounded 
by an obscure clergyman, the Rev. Richard Yates, chaplain 
of Chelsea Hospital, in the form of a letter to Lord Liver- 
pool, bearing the title of the old, old war-cry, " The Church 
in Danger." This pamphlet at once awakened an activity 
in the Church and nation that never flagged until it had to 
a great extent wiped out the stigma which was attached to 
both Church and nation of neglecting adequately to supply 
men's spiritual needs in their National Church. Funds were 
provided from two different sources. Mainly through the 
efforts of the Prime Minister, Lord Liverpool, to whom Mr. 
Yates had addressed his " Letter," and who was a good friend 
of the Church, a Parliamentary grant of a million pounds was 
voted for church-building. On January 27, 1818, the subject 
was mentioned in the Speech from the Throne ; and on 
March 16 the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Vansittart, 
moved that one million sterling, to be raised by the issue of 
exchequer bills, should be applied to the erection of addi- 
tional churches in the metropolis, and in other large towns 
in which the population greatly exceeded the church accom- 
modation provided. This was followed by another grant of 
half a million in 1824. A remission of duty on materials 
employed in building the churches further helped on the 
work. All this was, of course, inadequate to what was 
required ; but it was a great aid, and would have been a 
greater if it had been judiciously employed. It was, in fact, 
far more than has ever been done by Parliament either before 
or since. 

1 The Ways of God vindicated by the Word of God ; a sermon preached by 
Dr. O'Beirne, Bishop of Meath, in 1804. 


But, side by side with these State efforts, another effort 
was being made by purely voluntary exertions. This was 
done through the Church Building Socitey, which was also 
founded soon after the Peace. The society, like so many 
other good works, seems to have originated with that little 
band of High Churchmen of whom Joshua Watson was the 
most prominent. But the project had been agitated for some 
time before it took a definite shape. As early as 1814, four 
laymen Sir J. Allan Park, John Bowdler, C. H. Turner, and 
W. Davis had written a stirring letter to the Bishop of 
London (Dr. Howley) on the subject. "We," they said, 
"who travel much about the country, are thoroughly con- 
vinced that the great majority of the people of this land are, 
notwithstanding all that has been said to the contrary, 
strongly attached to the Church of England, and that one 
great cause of the apparent defection from the Church, and 
of the increase of sectarism and Methodism, is the want of 
places of worship upon the Establishment. We are now 
rejoicing at the end of the war. Let us show our thanks by 
immediately dedicating to God's honour a number of free 
churches and chapels, sufficient to supply the wants of all 
God's faithful worshippers in the Established Church of 
England." 1 The good men were a little premature in 
assuming that the war was at an end ; they shared the 
general impression that when Napoleon had retired to Elba, 
and the allies had entered Paris, all was over. But in 1815, 
when the war was really ended, they returned to the charge. 
A memorial was presented to the Earl of Liverpool, framed 
by John Bowdler and signed by about one hundred and 
twenty laymen, expressing " extreme alarm at the danger to 
which the constitution of the country, both in Church and 
State, is exposed from want of places of worship, particularly 
for persons of the middle and lower classes." They then 
referred to the " noble efforts made by the National Society," 
and expressed an opinion that these labours would be lost 
if churches were not provided ; and then they quoted 
statistics similar to those which have been given above. 
This probably helped to bring on the proposal of the 

1 The letter, signed J. A. Park, J. Bowdler, C. H. Turner, and W. Davis, is 
quoted in the Memoir of John Bowdler^ Esy., published 1825. 


Parliamentary grant. But those who were anxious about 
church-building were not content with applying to Parlia- 
ment. In 1817 various meetings were held, in which Joshua 
Watson, John Bowdler, Sir T. D. Acland, William Cotton, 
and others took part, to talk the matter over ; and the result 
was that at a meeting held at the Freemasons' Tavern on 
February 6, 1818, with the Archbishop of Canterbury (Dr. 
Manners-Sutton) in the chair, the Church Building Society 
was founded. Joshua Watson, aided by the counsel of his 
relative, Archdeacon Daubeny, seems to have been mainly 
instrumental in drawing up its original regulations. 

One great benefit conferred by this voluntary society, 
besides the very essential one of raising funds, was that it 
helped to dispel the foolish notion that an Established Church 
must do everything through the State. It is difficult now 
to realize the undoubted fact that it was once considered 
beneath the dignity of the National Church, and worthy only 
of Methodists and other fanatics, to raise money by voluntary 
contributions, 1 and that such a course would tend to place 
the Church on the level with Dissent. And the State en- 
couraged such ideas by passing Acts of Parliament for objects 
for which it would not now be thought at all necessary to do 
so. Thus, when a spire was erected in 1807 at St. Nicholas' 
Church, Yarmouth, an Act was first obtained for the purpose ; 
when the obviously necessary work of erecting a new church 
for the overgrown parish of St. Pancras, London, was pro- 
jected, a Bill was first prepared, introduced into Parliament, 
and, after some delay, passed. And a most dismal failure it 
was ; for even when armed with this indisputable authority 
(as it was thought), the good and able vicar could not carry 
out his object 2 The Parliamentary briefs for such purposes 
had been so unsuccessful, and even in some cases so shame- 
fully abused, that they were on the point of being abolished. 
Then the Church Building Society stepped in, and showed 
what could be done without such adventitious aid, or rather 
such vexatious hampering. Its success was very marked. 

1 As late as 1818, Sir William Scott argued in the House of Lords that "it 
was unworthy in the Church to depend on private funds for its increase and 
support." See Hansard's Debates, April 30, 1818. 

3 See Life of Bishop Thomas Fanshaw Middleton, i. 25, 26. 




It would be cruel to inflict upon the reader another 

figures. Let it suffice to say that, roughly speaking, in the 
first fourteen years of its existence, it raised and spent about 
as much money as the Parliamentary grants. 1 So that we 
have a total of at least three millions ; and this must be, 
perhaps, nearly doubled ; though on this point it is impossible 
to speak at all accurately, because the spirit of church-building 
which had been raised found a vent in numberless acts of 
private benevolence, which no statistics of Parliaments or 
voluntary societies account for. 2 A sum of at least six 
millions may fairly be supposed to have been spent on church- 
building during the last fifteen years of our period ; that is, 
infinitely more than had been spent during the whole of the 
hundred years immediately preceding. 

The result was all the more 'remarkable because there 
were difficulties to be contended with which have now to a 
great extent disappeared. The old laissez-faire feeling which 
had been dominant for a century did not die out without a 
struggle. "The principle generally inculcated," says a con- 
temporary writer, " was Let things alone. I have frequently 
heard this maxim delivered with an oracular gravity, a nod 
of the head intended to silence all schemes of improvement." 8 
When the oracle was also the obstructive incumbent, what 
could be done ? Intrenched within his impregnable fortress 
of freehold rights, he can defy everybody. There he is, and 
there he will remain. Like ^Eolus 

" Sedet seternumque sedebit." 

Opposition, however, came more frequently from recalci- 
trant parishioners than from recalcitrant incumbents. A sad 
instance has already been noticed in the parish of St. Pancras. 
The vicar was most anxious to supply the crying want of 
church accommodation, and he had "the cordial support of 
many of the most honoured and respected names in the 
parish ; " but an opposition was raised which for the time was 

1 By the expression " raised " I mean to include the money raised by private 
subscriptions to meet the grant from the society. 

* For example, Archdeacon Daubeny must have spent nearly ,10,000 on his 
churches. Thomas Dykes spent or raised thousands at Hull for church-building. 
Dr. Christopher Wordsworth did the same at Lambeth. 

3 Christian Remembrancer for 1841 ; Article, " Prospects of the Church of 


fatal. 1 Archdeacon Daubeny found the same difficulty at 
North Bradley, and many more instances might be given. 

Another difficulty arose from the painful fact that opposers 
could argue with some plausibility, " You are too late ; the 
ground is occupied." The almost insuperable obstacles 
which had stood in the way of church-building in the first 
fifteen years of the century did not exist to the same extent 
in the case of Dissenters. And that, for many reasons. In 
the first place, they were, as a body, opposed to the war. 
They were hampered, therefore, by no scruples about divert- 
ing money from the patriotic and, as most Churchmen 
thought, truly Christian object of repelling infidel assailants. 
Nor did any foolish feeling of dignity make them hesitate to 
procure money where they could. And, again, to run up a 
cheap meeting-house was a far less formidable task than to 
erect a costly church. And, lastly, they had no prescriptive 
rights, either of obstructive incumbents or of selfish pew- 
owners,' to contend with. Man's religious instinct must be 
satisfied somewhere ; and if it cannot find satisfaction in one 
place, it will seek it in another. Hence the projector of a 
Dissenting place of worship had the double advantage of 
knowing that he could combine a pious Christian work with 
a promising commercial speculation ; for it was often a more 
profitable adventure to build a chapel than to build a house. 

And it must be confessed that some, though by no means 
all, of the most prominent party in the Church played into 
his hands. " I am not at all particular as to the place of 
worship you attend, so as it may be under a serious preacher, 
and so as you attend regularly." " I do not much heed to 
what place of worship you go, so as you are but a serious 
and regular attendant." Thus wrote Henry Kirke White, 
when he was preparing for the ministry of the Church ; and 
though it may be said that the opinions of a mere boy do 
not count for much, yet it must be remembered that he was 
a phenomenal boy, and that he was under the direct influence 
of leading Evangelicals at the time, and would presumably 
reflect their sentiments. 2 " Some of the most lively and pious 

1 Life of Bishop Middleton, i. 26. 

2 See the Remains of Henry Kirke White, with an account of his life by R. 
Southey, passim. 


Christians I know," writes Edward Bickersteth in 1810, "do 
not hesitate to go wherever they can get benefit." 1 Well 
might Bishop Jebb write to his friend Knox in 1815, "As 
to the religious world, it would seem that Churches are more 
and more assuming a Dissenting tendency" ! 2 

Once more, it might be argued, and was argued with 
terrible force, " You are asking us to build new churches, but 
are the existing churches rilled ? " There is only too much 
evidence that they were not. The very first chapter in that 
striking work, " Zeal without Innovation," bears the ominous 
title, "On the Visible Decline of Attendance on Public 
Worship ; " the contents may be guessed. And the title of 
the next chapter, " On the Increase of Dissent," suggests 
one cause. Sydney Smith is full of complaints about the 
emptiness of churches, some of which have been already 
quoted. 3 One of the objections raised several times in 
Parliament against the million grant was that the present 
churches were not filled. 4 

That in spite of all these difficulties and objections so 
much could be done in the way of church-building, is a very 
remarkable and creditable fact ; but whether the money was 
always spent in the best way, is quite another question. The 
fact is, that while from the practical point of view this church- 
building era came too late, many of the sheep whom it was 
desired to pen having strayed into other pastures, from an 
architectural point of view it came too early. They built thei r 
churches first, and began to study the principles of church 
architecture afterwards. There are probably no churches 
which are more of a puzzle and a despair to architects and 
clergymen than the churches built in the early part of the 
nineteenth century. Unmitigated ugliness and hopeless in- 
convenience are their chief characteristics. 5 The last great 

Birks' Memoir of E. Bickersteth, i. 160. 

Thirty Years' Correspondence between Bishop Jebb and A. Knox, ii. 282. 

See supra, p. 139. 

See Hansard's Parliamentary Debates. 

When it was too late, people began to realize with dismay the ugliness of the 
structures they had erected. In the debate in the House of Commons on the 
new churches in 1824, Mr. Grey Bennet " asked the name of the architect who 
built the new church in Langham Place. Everybody who saw it shrugged up his 
shoulders, and asked who invented such a monstrosity." Others took up the same 
strain of abuse, and no one had a word to say in favour of the building. 


era of church-building, that which extended from the Fire of 
London to the death of Queen Anne, did at least produce 
a distinctive style of its own. Sir Christopher Wren and his 
disciples are surely to be admired. Many the present writer 
among the number see with a pang any obliteration of their 
work. But who could even affect to raise a sigh of regret at 
the demolition or transformation of churches built during the 
period before us? Specimens are only too numerous in 
every part of the country. They have not even the merit of 
originality in their ugliness ; they are either absolutely non- 
descript or sham Gothic. Still less have they the merit of 
cheapness ; they were very expensive indeed. Dr. Stough- 
ton calculates that, between 1801 and 1831, five hundred 
churches were built at a cost of three millions ; that would 
mean 6000 on an average for each church. This costly 
estimate is more than borne out by other evidences. Bishop 
Sumner, in his Primary Charge to the diocese of Winchester 
in 1829, while bearing grateful testimony to the good work 
done by the Parliamentary grants and the Church Building 
Society, tells us that "in one parish of Surrey more than 
94,000 have been expended within the last ten years in the 
erection of five additional places of worship," and that "in 
another parish in Hants two new churches, containing four 
thousand sittings, had been recently built at an expense of 
nearly 30,000." This would imply that these seven churches 
would cost on an average nearly 18,000. In Daniel Wilson's 
time Islington was "enriched with three large and noble 
churches, which had in reality cost 30000." l We learn from 
Dean Burgon that the sister of Dr. Routh, Mrs. Sheppard, 
built at Thrale a church which cost 26,000, including the 
parsonage house. 2 

We have only to look at St. Pancras, finished in 1822, to 
form an idea of how the money was spent ; and we can well 
understand the reasonableness of the complaint made about 
its neighbour St. Marylebone. 8 "If," says an anonymous 
writer to the Bishop of London in 1818, "new churches are 

1 See Life of Bishop Daniel Wilson, p. 266. 

2 Lives of Twelve Good Men : " Master Joseph Routh," i. 53. 

1 It seems almost incredible, but I believe it is true, that the cost of the two 
churches actually amounted to more than ^150,000. 


to be erected on the costly and perverted plan of the new 
one in Marylebone, if the solemnity and sobriety of ecclesi- 
astical architecture are to be converted into the flaunting and 
theatrical character of that, very few can be built." 1 More 
were built than the writer anticipated ; but that was because 
far more money was raised than the most sanguine could 
have hoped. 2 

Another objection to the expenditure of the money was 
that the poor were not properly provided for. " Only about 
one-third of the sittings in the churches erected out of the 
Parliamentary grants were free. The rented pews were three 
feet from back to back, and the free seats only two feet four 
inches." 3 

To Archdeacon Daubeny belongs the credit of erecting 
the first absolutely free church in England. As this marks 
an epoch, and as the example was happily by degrees 
followed by many others, the account of it is worth quoting. 
" For several years Mr. Daubeny was anxiously engaged in 
promoting a plan, which originated with himself, to erect a 
free church in Bath, where accommodation for the lower 
classes was grievously wanted. The first stone was laid in 
1795, and in 1798 a handsome building, containing free 
sittings for 1360, exclusive of the galleries, was consecrated 
by Dr. Moss, Bishop of Bath and Wells, and called Christ 
Church. It was the first free church that ever was erected 
in this country ; he officiated in it for fifteen years. The 
example was followed in many parts owing to its success." 4 

1 Letter to the Bishop of London (Dr. Howley) on the Society for Church 
Building, 1818. 

2 The lavish expenditure of money arose from a right feeling that God's house 
ought to be handsomely built. In a debate in the House of Lords, May 20, 1818, 
on the clauses of the Bill which limited the powers of the Commissioners " to 
building churches so as to afford the greatest possible accommodation to the 
largest number of persons," Lord Grenville said very properly that, "while he 
deprecated all useless splendour in building of churches, he thought it of impor- 
tance that that mode should be adopted which was best calculated to inspire 
devotion, and which was characteristic of the Established Church, and that there 
should be a decent decoration." The Earls of Liverpool and Harrowby spoke to 
the same effect. See Hansard. 

3 Church Quarterly Review for January, 1885 ; Art. iv., " The Church in East 
London," an article which is full of most interesting and accurate information. 

4 Life of Charles Daubeny^ Archdeacon of Sarum, prefixed to the third edition 
of the Guide to the Church, 1830. 


Among others who were much impressed with the success 
of Christ Church, Bath, was John Bowdler, one of the chief 
founders of the Church Building Society ; he also thought 
" it set an example in style simple, chaste, free from all 
useless or expensive decoration ; yet such that no passer-by 
can mistake its character." His biographer adds that "he 
looked to the Church Building Society to correct a vicious 
taste, and encourage a plainer and less expensive method." J 

What has hitherto been said applies chiefly to the great 
centres of population. It was, perhaps, on the whole a happy 
thing that men's minds were so much taken up with providing 
accommodation for the teeming masses in large towns that 
they did not meddle much with the old country churches. One 
trembles to think what would have been the result of a rage 
for the " improvement " of these old Gothic edifices if it had 
arisen before the study of Gothic architecture had been revived. 
Looking at the matter from an artistic point of view, we may 
certainly be thankful that the later part of our period was a 
period of church building, not of church restoration. What 
might have been expected may be gathered from the follow- 
ing ludicrous account written in 1841: "The last rector of 
the parish in which we write was as kind-hearted, good a 
man as ever lived ; but he knew no more of architecture than 
he did of Sanscrit, and had no more taste in church matters 
than his old coach-horse ; the consequence was that, having 
resolved, one fine morning, to beautify his church, he cut up 
an old ornamental chancel-screen, and fronted his pew with 
the tracery ; half of the little stained glass that remained 
in the windows he gave to a neighbouring peer, who was 
decorating his paternal mansion ; an ancient doorway, on 
the north side of the church, surmounted with a bas-relief, of 
St. Michael, he destroyed, and put an abominable modern 
window in its place ; pulled down a splendid altar-tomb of 
the fourteenth century, clapped the sides round the chancel, 
and set the recumbent figures upright, building them into the 
window. The churchwardens made no objection." 2 Similar 
handiwork may be found in other places, suggesting that after 
all King Log was better than King Stork. 

1 Memoir of the late John Bawdier, Esq., 1825. 

2 Christian Remembrancer, vol. ii., July to December, 1841. 


Nevertheless the reign of King Log was very grievous, 
and it is lamentable to reflect what the state of our country 
churches, as a rule, was. From what the elders among us will 
themselves remember, they will easily believe that there is 
no exaggeration in the following passage, written in 1827 : 
" Let any one make a circuit of the villages throughout a con- 
siderable portion of these realms, and what is the spectacle 
which in too many instances will salute his eyes on entering 
the churchyard ? On looking at the exterior of the church, 
he will often find it half buried beneath the mould, which 
has been suffered to accumulate round it for ages, and to 
spread a gradual decay throughout the walls and foundations. 
On entering it, he will find that everything answers faithfully 
to the promise without ; and that the external provision for 
perpetuating dampness and discomfort within has succeeded 
to admiration. The walls will appear decorated with 
hangings of green ; a carpeting of the same pattern often 
partially covers the floor ; and the very first and last thoughts 
which are excited by the whole appearance of the building 
are those of ague, catarrh, and rheumatism." 1 

Another writer, a few years later, puts the matter in a 
very striking and original way. " The traveller," he writes, 
" through these islands, whose lot it was to have before his 
eyes the evidence of the gradual substitution of Christianity 
in the place of Druidical superstition, or Roman, Saxon, 
or Danish idolatry, could hardly perhaps have found among 
the decaying fanes of Jupiter or Woden, scenes of more 
dismal ruin and dank desolation than are to be seen at the 
present moment in some of the houses of God in our rural 
districts ; and the reason why so little is said about it, seems 
to be that we are so accustomed to see our churches generally 
in a dilapidated condition, that we have altogether ceased to 
find anything remarkable in it. But if dirt and damp, if 
crumbling rafters and tottering walls, if systematic neglect 
and wanton mutilation, were to be found in the one case, 
most assuredly they are in the other ; the owls and the bats 
have been permitted to dwell in both ; and at the very porch, 
the long rank grass (itself well-nigh choked with hemlock 
and nettles) has testified in both that the paths of entrance 

1 British Critic for April, 1827 ; Art. x,, " Ecclesiastical Discipline." 


are no longer thronged by daily worshippers, and that either 
the power or the will is wanting that maintained them in 
their ancient honours. . . . Many of the churches in small 
parishes of the rural districts are more like monuments of 
some effete and almost forgotten superstition, lingering only 
in the prejudices of a rude and ignorant peasantry, than 
edifices meet for the service of the most high God." x 

Specific accounts amply bear out these general strictures. 
Bishop Copleston complains in 1827 that in his diocese of 
Llandaff "the churches are, many of them, in a state of 
squalid neglect" 2 When Venn Elliott, in 1813, made a 
pious pilgrimage to Yelling, the living of his famous grand- 
father, Henry Venn, he found the church almost in ruins, and 
the steeple taken down by the vicar's order. " The church 
walls were overgrown, as well as the churchyard, with weeds 
and nettles, and the inside presented a picture that asked in 
piercing accents, * Could this have been the loved and fre- 
quented house of God not twenty years ago ? ' " 3 Richard 
Cecil, looking upon such churches with an artist's eye, seems 
rather to like the squalor ; but his testimony is to the same 
effect. "The very damp," he says, "that trickles down the 
walls, and the unsightly green that moulders upon the pillars, 
are far more pleasing to me from their associations than the 
trim, finished, classic, heathen piles of the present fashion." 4 
But really there is no need to multiply details ; for there are 
many now living who have seen for themselves, or whose 
fathers have told them, of the abject condition of the 
generality of country churches before the Oxford Move- 
ment ; or perhaps, in this connection, it would be more correct 
to say the Cambridge Movement, for it was at Cambridge, 
not Oxford, that the revived interest in church architecture 
had its origin. 

The following verses, kindly sent to me by the Rev. 
R. H. Whitworth, strikingly illustrate what has been said 

1 Christian Remembrancer, July to December, 1841 ; Article on "Churches 
and Churchwardens." 

2 See Memoir of Edward Copleston, Bishop of Llandaff, by W. J. Copleston, 
p. 132. 

3 Life of the Rw. H. V. Elliott, p. 31. 

4 Memoir of R. Cecil, prefixed to his Remains, p. civ. 

"A CLERGYMAN'S WORK, A.D. 1825." 161 

above about the Church services. The writer was the Rev. 
W. Good acre. 


This journal of the eighth of Ma)', 
In eighteen hundred twenty-five, 

Is penned to show that after all 
The night is come and I'm alive. 

My breakfast done, at half-past eight 

I left my home and took my way 
Towards Mansfield Woodhouse, where began 

The labours of this toilsome day. 

The Sunday schools, to teach the young 

Their duty both to God and man, 
I first inspected, and approved 

The faithful labourers and their plan. 

At half-past ten to church I went, 

Said prayers and preached, four pairs did ask, 
A woman churched, and half-past twelve 

Completed saw my morning task. 

I mounted steed, to Skegby rode, 

Imparted to a female ill 
The Holy Eucharist, as before 

She had to me expressed her will. 

At this plAce, too, I prayed and preached, 

And set the congregation free ; 
Then mounting steed to Sutton hied, 

And reached the church just after three. 

Two children here I first baptized, 

Then prayed and preached as heretofore ; 
Seven couples published when the hour 
Exceeded somewhat half- past four. 




Two children more I christened then ; 

Ten minutes, too, in vestry stayed 
Among the teachers of the school, 

To hear some plans that they had made. 

Again to Mansfield Woodhouse went ; 

A corpse in waiting there I found : 
The last sad rites, 'mid weeping friends, 

I read, and dust gave to the ground. 


A fourth time then I prayed and preached, 
And, this performed, the hour drew nigh 

Whereof the kirk-hammer 'gainst the bell 
Eight hours would sound to passers-by. 

Two children more I then did name, 
In private manner as allowed 

By Holy Church tho' not approved 
But 'tis the humour of the crowd. 


A person sick who wished my prayers 
I called to see, as I was bound ; 

And after giving some advice, 
My duty done with joy I found. 

Bestowed with welcome by a friend, 
Some food I ate with eager zest, 

Which, dinner or my supper call, 
Or any name that you like best. 


I sat awhile as loth to move ; 

But, knowing I was not at home, 
I sallied forth, and safe arrived 

Beneath my humble, peaceful dome. 

This scrawl complete, the hour of " twelve " 
Brings my day's labours to a close. 

The past fatigue secures my rest ; 
To you I wish a sound repose. 



THE early part of the nineteenth century witnessed a great 
revival of interest in theological questions, but it was not an 
age of great theological writers. This is all the more strange, 
because in some other departments of literature it was the 
greatest age since 

" The spacious days of Queen Elizabeth. " 

But the Church of England still kept up the traditions of a 
learned Church ; and if she produced no theological giants, 
she yet produced some whose stature was above the average, 
and whose writings may be read with pleasure and profit at 
this day and in all days. 

Perhaps her two greatest divines were survivals of the 
eighteenth century, who just lived on to see the dawn of the 
nineteenth. The first of these is Samuel Hors ley (1733-1806). 
He had demolished Priestley, and preached most of his 
grand sermons, before the new century began ; but his later 
Charges, as bishop, first of Rochester and then of St. Asaph, 
belong to our period. He was a very powerful writer, but 
not a voluminous one ; and it is much to the credit of the 
new generation that it showed its appreciation of intellectual 
power, though not lavishly exercised, by warmly recognizing 
the merits of the veteran. He is "our ablest modern 
prelate," J " the one red leaf, the last of its clan, with relation 
to the learned teachers of our Church," 2 " the first episcopal 
authority (if learning, wisdom, and knowledge of the Scrip- 

1 So Bishop Jebb called him in 1818. See Fojster's Life ofjebb, p. 408. 

2 S. T. Coleridge. See introduction to Essays on his own Times. In his 
early Radical days, Coleridge had a violent antipathy against Horsley. 


tures be any foundation for authority)," 1 " the light and glory 
of the Established Church." 2 Horsley, however, was essen- 
tially an eighteenth-century man, and we cannot in this 
volume claim him as our own. 

The other veteran was William Paley (1743-1805), the 
close of whose active life exactly coincided with the close of 
the eighteenth century. But though his bodily weakness 
prevented him from taking any active part in Church work, 
his mind was as vigorous as ever ; and it was in the nine- 
teenth century that he wrote what his biographer rightly 
terms "his last, but the most original and entertaining of 
his works" his "Natural Theology " (1802). The vastness 
of the subject, which this chapter very imperfectly attempts 
to cover, renders a subdivision necessary ; and, both in point 
of date as well as, in some respects, of merit, Paley's " Natural 
Theology " claims the first place under our first head. 


The history of Paley's " Natural Theology " is interesting, 
and cannot be better told than in the writer's own words in 
his grateful dedication of the work to his patron and diocesan 
the Bishop of Durham (Dr. Shute Barrington), who gave hii 
the living of Bishop Wearmouth. "A weak," he says, "an< 
of late, a painful state of health, deprived me of the powei 
of discharging the duties of my station in a manner at al 
suitable, either to my sense of those duties, or to my anxiou; 
wishes concerning them. My inability for the public functions 
of my profession left me much at leisure. That leisui 
was not to be lost. It was only in my study that I coulc 
repair my deficiencies in the Church ; it was only throu^ 
the press that I could speak. These circumstances entitl< 
your lordship in particular to call upon me for the onb 
species of exertion of which I was capable, and disposed m< 
without hesitation to obey the call in the best manner the 

1 Isaac Milner in his later life (see Life, p. 212) a very unexceptional 
testimony, for Horsley had no sympathy with the Evangelicals. 

2 John Milner's End of Controversy, prefatory address another unexception- 
able testimony, for Horsley had as little sympathy with Roman Catholics as with 


I could." What the parishioners of Bishop Wearmouth 
thought of this arrangement we are not told ; but people 
were not so particular about parochial activity in those days 
as they are now ; and the Church at large was certainly a 
gainer from the fact that the rector of the large parish of 
Bishop Wearmouth was disabled for parish work. The plan 
of the " Natural Theology " was a continuation, or rather a 
carrying back, of earlier works. The writer says (again to 
quote from the dedication), " The following discussion alone 
was wanted to make up my works into a system ; in which 
works, such as they are, the public have now before them the 
evidences of Natural Religion, the evidences of Revealed 
Religion, and an account of the duties that result from both. 
It is' of small importance that they have been written in an 
order the very reverse of that in which they ought to be 

It is rather too much the tendency of the present day 
to depreciate Paley a tendency which has probably been 
increased rather than lessened by the fact that he still is a 
text-book in his own University for the humblest yet most 
indispensable of her examinations. But the "Natural The- 
ology," with which alone the present volume is concerned, 
still appears to me to be, within its limits and from its writer's 
point of view, a most lucid, powerful, and unanswerable 
defence of Divine truth. The whole book is an illustration 
and amplification of the famous simile of the watch, with 
which it commences, and which, by the way, was by no 
means an original idea of Paley's. A watch is found. The 
machine demonstrates, by its construction, contrivance and 
design. Contrivance must have had a contriver ; design, a 
designer. But every indication of contrivance, every mani- 
festation of design, which existed in the watch, exists in the 
works of nature ; with the difference, on the side of nature, 
of being greater, and that in a degree which exceeds all 
computation. This is the gist of the whole book ; but it is 
worked out with a wonderful wealth of illustration, and with 
great ingenuity. Mr. Leslie Stephen, who of course does 
not agree with Paley, is yet candid enough to own that the 
work is " a marvel of skilful statement." l 

1 See English Thought in the Eighteenth Century, \, 403. 


Paley lived before the days of Darwin, and therefore we 
cannot be surprised that he does not grapple with the theory 
of evolution. He probably knew nothing about German 
metaphysics, which were then just beginning to exercise an 
influence upon English thought. He was simply a plain, 
common-sense Englishman, not at all likely to commend 
himself to the mystical mind of a man like S. T. Coleridge, 
fresh from the study of the great German writers. " The 
watchmaker's scheme of prudence" seemed to Coleridge 
grovelling and inadequate. The majority of Englishmen, 
however, were not Coleridges, but plain, commonplace people, 
and the arguments which Paley uses are just of the sort that 
would come home to them ; and his plain, downright, lucid 
style, without any rhapsody or superfluous ornament, is just 
the style to suit them. Of course, if any one stops short at 
the " Natural Theology," he gains a very poor conception 
of the whole field of religious truth ; but it is his own fault 
if he does so, not the writer's, who fairly tells him what a 
very little way he is carrying him. 

Books on the evidences are numerous during our period, 
as antidotes to the unbelief introduced into England through 
the French Revolution. But all that can be attempted here 
is to select a few of those which seem to be most notabh 
Among them a high place must be given to a little anony- 
mous brochure which appeared in 1819, and which in its wa; 
was a singularly effective contribution to evidential literature. 
It was entitled "Historic Doubts Relative to Napole 
Buonaparte" and was so popular that in thirty years il 
passed through nine editions a large number considering 
the nature of the work. The writer was Archbishop Whately, 
then a young Fellow of Oriel, and his object was to show 
that the same doubts which were alleged against the Scriptui 
might be applied to the history of one whose name had been 
in everybody's mouth, and in whose existence they had had 
only too good reason to believe ; for Napoleon Buonapart( 
had been the plague of Europe, and of no part of it more so 
than of England. Whately's cool, unimpassioned, logical 
mind enabled him to treat his bizarre subject more effectively 
than perhaps any man living could have done. He applies 
to it very cleverly the arguments used by Hume in his 


"Essay on Miracles.' 1 "We entertain," argues Hume, "a 
suspicion concerning any matter of fact, when the witnesses 
contradict each other ; when they are of a suspicious character ; 
when they have an interest in what they affirm." Whately 
shows that the newspapers, from which nine-tenths of the 
people derive all they know about Napoleon, are liable to 
all these objections. The newspapers " fail in all the most 
essential points on which their credibility depends, (i) We 
have no assurance that they have correct information ; 
(2) they have an apparent interest in propagating false- 
hood ; (3) they palpably contradict each other in the most 
important points." Hume argued that it was contrary to 
experience that miracles should be true. Whately shows 
that Napoleon's rapid victories were quite contrary to ex- 
perience. He puts the emperor's career very cleverly into 
scriptural phraseology "And it came to pass, etc.," and 
then asks, "Now, if a free-thinking philosopher were to 
meet such a tissue of absurdities as this in an old Jewish 
record, would he not reject it at once as too palpable an 
imposture to deserve even any inquiry into its evidence ? " 
The value and influence of this little book were out of all 
proportion to its bulk. 

Another work of an evidential nature, very different from 
the one last mentioned, but very able and effective in 'its way, 
was Thomas Rennell's "Remarks on Scepticism, especially 
as it is connected with Organization and Life" The writer 
was son of another Thomas Rennell, Dean of Winchester 
and Master of the Temple, who survived him for many years. 
His "Remarks" were published in 1819, and quickly passed 
through six editions. He wrote them because he saw 
" medical science made the handmaid of irreligion, the doctrine 
of materialism paving the way for infidelity and atheism ; " 
and his object was " to reconcile the views of the philosopher 
and the Christian." In his capacity of Christian Advocate at 
Cambridge, he also published another evidential work, entitled 
" Proofs of Inspiration, or Grounds of Distinction between the 
New Testament and the Apocryphal Volume ; occasioned 
by the recent publication of the Apocryphal New Testament 
by Hone," 1822. Rennell won early a very high reputation 
for learning and ability, and his premature death in 1824 was 


a great loss to the Church, which sorely needed at that time 
men of his calibre. 1 

Among his numerous avocations, Daniel Wilson found 
time to publish a work on " The Evidences of Christianity 
stated in a Popular and Practical Manner " (2 vols.). They 
were " a course of lectures delivered in the parish church 
of St. Mary's, Islington, in the years 1827-30." The lectures 
were an amplification of some previous lectures which he had 
delivered in 1819, when he was minister of St. John's, Bedford 
Row ; and, as was natural, having been addressed to a 
congregation, they aimed at combining the two objects of 
instruction and edification. The writer very properly con- 
sidered that "evidences of Christianity included internal as 
well as external evidences," and that a work on the subject 
which excluded either would be incomplete. He did not 
underrate the difficulties of the task, as an amusing letter to 
Hannah More shows ; " but seriously," he says, " I have a 
notion in my head that something of argument and practice 
might be conjoined ; " and he manfully set himself to conjoin 
them. It was not only a hard thing "to combine close 
reasoning on the evidences with strong appeals to the con- 
science," but, when done, there was the dilemma which is 
thus pointedly put by his biographer : " Those who need the 
evidences will disregard the appeals, and those who value the 
appeals will not need the evidences." 2 However, considering 
its difficulties, the work was well done, and it remained for 
some time very popular with the Evangelical school, the 
special teaching of which is strongly brought out in it. 

1 Among those who highly appreciated his intellectual powers was Dr. Samuel 
Parr, an excellent judge in such matters. In defending Dr. Rennell, Dean of 
Winchester, against Dr. Milner, the author of The End of Religious Controversy, 
he remarks in dignified terms, " He has a son not quite unworthy of such an 
illustrious father ; not quite unable to wield the choicest weapons of lawful war- 
fare, when confronted by so sturdy and well-disciplined a champion as yourself. 
My authority is good, Dr. Milner, not only from common fame, but from th< 
general consent of scholars, and my own personal observations, when I say with 
equal confidence to Protestants and Romanists, that by profound erudition, by 
various and extensive knowledge, etc., the son of the Dean of Winchester stands 
among the brightest luminaries of our national literature or national Church." 
Works of Dr. Samuel Parr, edited by J. Johnstone, vol. iii. p. 461. Letter to 
Dr, Milner on his End of Religious Controversy, June, 1819. 

2 Bateman's Life of D. Wilson, p. 168. 


Two more works of a directly evidential nature require 
special notice, viz. : William Van Mildert's Boyle Lectures 
(1802-1805), "On the Rise and Progress of Infidelity!' and 
John Bird Sumner's "Evidence of Christianity" (1825). It 
is a striking instance of the general apathy which pervaded 
the Church of the eighteenth century, that when the former 
work appeared, no Boyle Lectures had been printed for more 
than twenty years, and that for many years before that time 
they had been published very irregularly. When Van Mildert 
wrote his Boyle Lectures he was a young man, and had not 
reached that maturity of style and thought which he after- 
wards showed in his Bamptons and his " Life of Waterland." 
They consist of twenty-four long sermons, twelve in each 
volume. The first volume is virtually a proof of the fulfil- 
ment of the prophecy, " Thou shalt bruise his heel," which 
the writer explains, " Thou shalt be the cause of bitter 
sufferings to the Redeemer Himself, and to His faithful fol- 
lowers." He illustrates his point by giving " a detail of the 
most remarkable instances in which the hostility to the 
gracious design of man's redemption has been manifested." 
He shows this historically, referring to Jewish history before 
Christ ; to pagan theology before Christ ; to the opposition of 
the Jews to the first propagation of the gospel ; to that of the 
heathens, first up to the reign of Constantine, and thence to 
the end of the sixth century ; to the rise and progress of 
Mahometanism ; to infidelity during the Middle Ages and at 
the Protestant Reformation ; to the origin and progress of 
deism, to the French philosophy at the time of the Revo- 
lution ; and finally to the infidelity of his own time. This, 
which it will be seen covers a wide ground, fills the first 
volume. The second is occupied with a defence of revealed 
religion, of the usual type. 

The full title of Dr. Sumner's work is, " The Evidence of 
Christianity derived from its Nature and Reception" The 
writer argues that a religion like Christianity could never 
have existed unless it had been introduced by Divine 
authority. " It could not have been invented ; it would not 
have been received." He dwells on the originality of the 
doctrines introduced by its Author ; their originality both in 
His own nation and in the world, while at the same time "they 


received confirmation from many singular facts, singular 
enactments, and minute prophecies contained in the Jewish 
Scriptures ; " he points out the " internal evidence of the 
Christian writings to be drawn from their language, their 
anticipation of conduct subsequently developed, and their 
general wisdom ; " he calls attention to " the peculiar cha- 
racter formed under the influence of Christianity, its excel- 
lence in individuals, its beneficial effects upon mankind, its 
suitableness to their condition as dependent and corrupt 
beings;" he points out the rapidity of the spread of Chris- 
tianity, and other phenomena, which (he argues) nothing 
except the truth of the religion can adequately explain. The 
whole work is written in a very lucid, scholarly style, and de- 
serves to rank high among the evidential works of the period. 
It may seem strange to place under the category of 
evidential literature a book popularly known as " Bishop 
Middleton on the Greek Article." It would appear to belong 
rather to that class of purely scholastic works which appeared 
from the pens of dignitaries in the age of "the Greek-play 
bishops." But, as the full title of the book is, " The Doctrine 
of the Greek Article applied to the Criticism and Illustration 
of the New Testament" (1808), the reader will readily per- 
ceive that such a work might touch some vital points of 
Christianity. And so, indeed, it did ; and most opportunely. 
Mr. Gilbert Wakefield had published some years before a 
new translation of the New Testament, in which, whenever 
the definite article was not prefixed to such terms as moc Qtov 
and Uvfi/ma "Aytov, he translated them, "a son of God," "a 
holy spirit ; " implying, according to his avowed principles, 
that the blessed Saviour was only one out of many sons of 
God, and the Holy Spirit only one out of many holy spirits. 
On the other hand, Mr. Granville Sharp had propounded, 
and on the whole made good, a most valuable principle, which, 
stated shortly, was that when two substantives were coupled 
together, and the definite article preceded only the first, those 
two substantives always referred to one and the same subject. 
Thus 6 0oe KOL Swrrjjo must mean, " He who is our God and 
Saviour ; " rou Xpivrov /ecu 0oi), "of Him who is Christ and 
God," wv and OVTOQ being in each case understood. Gilbert 
Wakefield and Granville Sharp were both good general 


scholars, but they were not specialists. Middleton was far 
superior in scholarship to both ; and he came in as a crushing 
adversary of the former, and a valuable but discriminating 
supporter of the latter, who also received most important aid 
from Christopher Wordsworth, afterwards Master of Trinity. 
A passage from Bishop Middleton's preface (p. xli.) will 
illustrate the latter point, and also explain the object and 
gist of his work. " The subject has of late acquired additional 
interest from the controversy occasioned by a work of Mr. 
Granville Sharp. . . . The interpretation maintained by 
Mr. Sharp became the more probable from being sanctioned 
by the excellent editor of Dawess Miscellanea Critica, the 
present Bishop of St. David's. The same interpretation was 
also powerfully confirmed by the elaborate researches of Mr. 
Wordsworth, who has proved that most of the disputed texts 
were so understood by the Fathers. If anything remained 
to be done, it was to show that the same form of expression 
in the classical writers required a similar explanation, and 
also to investigate the principle of the canon, and to 
ascertain its limitations : this I have attempted in some of 
the following pages." Middleton divides his work into two 
parts. Part I. proves by innumerable instances the various 
principles on which the article was used by classical authors, 
and vindicates successfully the application of rules founded on 
classical usage to the diction of the sacred writers. Part II. 
consists of " Notes on the New Testament," in which the writer 
applies his principles in detail to every book, from the begin- 
ning of St. Matthew to the end of the Revelation of St. John 
the Divine. Incidentally, this second part is a valuable com- 
mentary on the New Testament, and, in this light, comes also 
under the head of biblical literature, to be noticed presently ; 
but its main object was evidential, and, therefore, it is more 
fitly treated under the present heading. The work was 
stamped with the approval of another excellent Greek scholar, 
Hugh James Rose, who put out a new edition of it in I833, 1 

1 Dean Burgon says, "It belongs (according to Miller) to the year 1831 " 
(Lives of Twelve Good Men, i. 145) ; but I can find no traces, either in the 1833 
edition or elsewhere, of any earlier edition put forth by Hugh James Rose. Nor 
did the dean himself, for he adds, "The only editions with which I am 
acquainted bear the dates of 1833 an d 1841." 


nine years after the bishop's death, with some valuable " Pre- 
liminary Observations " of his own. 

Are we to include Hannah More among the evidence 
writers of the period ? If the object of evidential works is to 
convince people of the truth of Christianity, there is a general 
consensus of testimony that Hannah More did effect that 
object in a very remarkable degree. Many of the writings 
against Christianity, which were, directly or indirectly, the 
product of the French Revolution, were addressed, not ad 
clerum, but ad populum. This was notably the case with 
the writings of Thomas Paine, who, as Bishop Porteus said 
with characteristic quaintness, "rendered irreligion easy to 
the meanest capacity." To such works answers which flew 
above the heads of the people would be no answers at all ; 
and it is the peculiar merit of Mrs. H. More that she suc- 
ceeded in catching the ear of the people, while she more than 
satisfied the requirements of the learned. Such titles as 
"Village Politics by Will Chip," "Cheap Repository Tracts," 
"The Shepherd of Salisbury Plain," and so forth, do not 
carry with them the idea of great evidential works ; but in 
such a case we must judge by results, and there is no doubt 
that- they produced an amount of conviction which the most 
learned and elaborate treatises would have failed to do. And 
the appreciation of them by men of culture is very striking. 
Bishop Porteus, for instance, is not a man whose opinion is 
to be lightly passed over ; and his estimate of Mrs. More's 
writings is extraordinarily high. " I look upon Mr. Chip," he 
said, " to be one of the finest writers of the age." * When she 
published anonymously " An Estimate of the Religion of the 
Fashionable World," in answer to a pamphlet by the Duke 
of Grafton, the bishop's remark about the unknown author 
was, "Aut Morus aut Angelus." When he read her ballad, 
"Turn the Carpet," "Here," he said, "you have Bishop 
Butler's 'Analogy 1 all for a halfpenny!" And he not onlygave 
praise, but substantial coin, to promote the admired writer's 
circulation. 2 Legh Richmond, who was no ignoramus, wrote 
to his sister on her marriage, " Let me beg of you to buy the 

1 Hodgson's Life of Bishop Beilbv Porteus, p. 126. 

2 See Hannah More, by C. M. Yonge, in the Eminent Women Series, edited 
by J. H. Ingram, pp. 88, 89, 109, HI, 115, etc. 


new edition of Hannah More's Works [1802], and invariably 
read them once a year." 1 An anonymous writer in 1815, 
quoted by Mr. Colquhoun, attributes the great religious im- 
provement he had witnessed in twenty years to two causes 
Mr. Raikes' Sunday schools, and the writings of Hannah 
More. 2 Sydney Smith, in his sarcastic apology for venturing 
to treat her as an uninspired being, implies that in some 
quarters she was regarded as a writer almost above criticism. 3 
And finally, Bishop Jebb, who would certainly not agree with 
Mrs. More on every point, writes to Miss Jebb in 1805, "Get 
by all means ' Hints for a Young Princess.' It is by far the 
best book which has, for a considerable time, issued from 
the press. The Bishop of Exeter (preceptor to the Princess 
Charlotte, for whose use it has been written) declares that he 
has derived more information from it, on the important sub- 
ject next to his thoughts, than from all his reading ; and he 
is both a learned and a good man." 4 But though Mrs. More 
may, in one sense, justly claim a place in the very first rank 
of evidential writers, she belongs more properly to our next 


Among these there can be no doubt about placing the 
works of Hannah More. And those of them which belong 
to the nineteenth century are, in point of style, a great im- 
improvement upon those which belong to the eighteenth. 
When she began to write for the multitude, she had sense 
enough to see that she must write simply. Hence with 
"Village Politics" she ceases to write Johnsonese and begins 
to write English. The sale of her works was enormous. Two 
millions of the " Cheap Repository Tracts " were sold in a 
year. The first edition of " Ccelebs in Search of a Wife," pub- 
lished in 1805, was s ld off in a day, and thirty more editions 
before the close of the author's life, twenty-four years later. 5 

Grimshaw's Life of Le*h Richmond, p. 56. 

See William Wilberforce, his Friends and his Times, by J. C. Colquhoun : 
"Hannah Move." 

See Edinburgh Review. 

Life of Bishop Jebb, vol. ii. (Correspondence), p. 55. 

See Hannah More, by C. M. Yonge, pp. 121 and 154. 


Her "Practical Piety " ;(i8i i) and her "Christian Morals" 
(1813), if not so extraordinarily successful, were yet very 
popular. It would be wearisome to the reader to give even 
the titles of all her works ; suffice it to say that they may all 
be found in a new edition, published in eleven volumes, in 
1830. Perhaps the boldest experiment she made was to 
publish, not only a novel if novel it can be called but even 
a volume of " Sacred Dramas." When we remember in what 
abhorrence both the novel and the drama were held by the 
school to which Hannah More was supposed to belong, we 
may realize how great the weight of her name must have 
been to have allowed even the faintest approach to such 
objectionable ground. At the same time, one can well un- 
derstand how delightful a thing it must have been to "the 
religious world," to whom all light literature was strictly 
tabooed, to find a writer with whom it was not only an allow- 
able, but even a creditable, thing to be entertained. The 
greatest credit is due to Hannah More, as the first among the 
Evangelicals who dared to enlist the novel and the drama on 
the side of virtue and religion ; and she reaped the due reward 
of her hardihood in the almost unparalleled popularity she 
achieved, and, what would be much more highly valued by 
so good a woman, in the widespread influence for good which 
her writings exercised. 

As a popular tract-writer, Legh Richmond will bear com- 
parison even with Hannah More. The " Annals of the Poor " 
generally were as successful as the " Cheap Repositoi 
Tracts," and "The Dairyman's Daughter" and "Jam, th< 
Young Cottager," in particular, as " The Shepherd of Salisbui 
Plain." Four million copies of " The Dairyman's Daughter " 
are said to have been circulated in the nineteen languages 
into which it was translated. 1 Legh Richmond is a vei 
pleasing writer ; his style is plain and pure, and he commends 
himself to the reader by his appreciative way of describing 
natural scenery a somewhat rare gift in his day which h( 
may have partly acquired through his residence in the beau- 
tiful Isle of Wight. When he undertook a more ambitious 
work than the " Annals of the Poor," consisting of voluminous 
extracts from the Reformers, whom he terms the Fathers oj 

1 See Life of Legh Richmond, p. 319. 


the Church, he was not so successful ; and we may really be 
thankful that he was not, for the title, and of course also the 
work itself, encouraged the popular but utterly untenable 
theory that the Church of England only dated from the 
sixteenth century a theory from which we are now happily, 
but very slowly, becoming emancipated. 

Edward Bickersteth was a more strictly devotional writer 
than either of the two last noticed. Some of his works, 
especially those of a controversial nature, belong to a later 
period, after he had settled down at Watton, and after the 
rise of the Oxford Movement had stirred him to take up his 
parable in defence of the Evangelical school. But several of 
his devotional works, such as "A Treatise on Prayer" (1818), 
" Scripture Help " (1819), an d others, 1 come within our limits. 
They found so ready a demand that the sale of them materi- 
ally assisted him to educate his young family ; and their great 
popularity, like that of Hannah More's and Legh Richmond's 
works, is partly an illustration of the dominancy of the 
Evangelical school, and partly helped to keep up that domi- 
nancy. Henry Blunt, Josiah Pratt, William Jowett, Basil 
Woodd, 2 in fact, almost all the leaders of the Evangelical 
party, were writers of devotional works, which have shared 
the inevitable fate of the vast majority of such works, and, 
having served their purpose in their day, passed into oblivion. 

But the instability of fame is most markedly illustrated by 
the fate of the works of Thomas Gisborne, which at one time 
seemed destined for immortality. They mostly consist of 
sermons, though they were largely used as devotional works. 
Their general object is to promote morality from the Evan- 
gelical point of view. " Of late years," says the writer in the 
preface to his first volume (1802), "it has been loudly asserted 
that, among clergymen who have showed themselves very 
earnest in doctrinal points, adequate regard has not been 
evinced to moral instruction." Mr. Gisborne thinks that, 
though the defect had been greatly exaggerated, there was 

1 e.g. A Treatise on the Lord's Stipper ; Christian Truth, a Family Guide to 
the Chief Truths of the Gospel. 

2 Basil Woodd's Brief Explanation of the Church Catechism passed through 
forty-six editions; and his Tractate on Confirmation, thirty-six apparently in the 
writer's lifetime. See Wilks' Memoir, sub fine rn. 


some real ground for the charge. Hence the tendency of 
his own writings, which have already been touched on in the 
chapter on the Evangelicals ; it is only necessary to add here 
that they have suffered from the inevitable reaction against 
the absurdly overrated value which was once attached to 

Something of the same kind may be said of another 
very popular devotional writer in his day, Ambrose Serle, 
(1742-1812), a pious layman, whose " Horae Solitariae " (2 
vols.) were once quite a classic in Evangelical circles. His 
other books, viz. " The Church of God," " The Christian 
Remembrancer," "Christian Husbandry," " The Christian 
Parent," " Charis, or Reflections on the Office of the Holy 
Spirit," and " Secret Thoughts," written in the last year of 
his life, were not quite so well known, but were still much 
admired. As an instance of the esteem in which the writer 
was held, it may be mentioned that when the living of Turvey 
became vacant by the death of Erasmus Middleton in 1805, 
the patroness, " Mrs. Fuller, an eminently pious lady," wrote 
to Mr, Serle, saying that she was much indebted to his 
writings, and would present to Turvey any clergyman of 
similar sentiments with himself whom he could recommend. 
Mr. Serle was a constant worshipper at the Lock Chapel, 
where Mr. Legh Richmond was then officiating as an assistant 
to the chaplain, Mr. Fry, and he immediately fixed on Mr. 
Richmond as the proper man. Ambrose Serle's work* 
seemed to have died a natural death, until they were gal- 
vanized into a sort of fresh life by the publication of " Selec- 
tions " from them in 1833 by Edward Bickersteth, whos( 
name was sufficient to call attention for a time to their merit* 

From devotional works generally we pass by an e 
transition to a particular class, the highest of all, in which th< 
devotional element was blended with the didactic. It is th< 
class which may be grouped under the head of 


In regard to this most important department of theology, 
the century opened in the midst of a storm. Herbert Marsh 
was one of the very few Englishmen of the day who had 
any acquaintance with the great writers and thinkers of 


Germany. He had studied at Leipsic under J. D. Michaelis, 
and corresponded with Griesbach on the text of the New 
Testament; and in 1793 he startled English theologians by 
publishing the first volume of a translation of Michaelis' 
" Introduction to the New Testament," with notes and 
dissertations of his own. Three more volumes followed in 
succession, the last in 1801. This appears as a separate 
work, under the title of " The Origin and Composition of 
the Three First Canonical Gospels" Marsh was at once 
attacked, among others by Dr. Randolph, Bishop of Oxford, 
who in 1802 published anonymously " Remarks on Michaelis 
and his Commentator" in which he stigmatized Marsh's 
work as "derogating from the character of the Sacred Books, 
and injurious to Christianity, as fostering a spirit of scepti- 
cism." Marsh, who enjoyed controversy, and was an adept 
in it, was not slow to reply ; and a lively war of pamphlets 
ensued. The reader will find the whole matter in one 
volume of Dr. Marsh's works, in which five tracts are bound 
up, the titles of which tell their own tales. 1 It seemed as if 
Marsh was about to anticipate the impetus given to the 
study of German theology a few years later by Julius Hare 
and Connop Thirlwall ; but this was not the case. I am 
inclined to think that the tendency of Marsh's work was 
misunderstood, and that it was in reality a valuable contribu- 
tion to biblical criticism ; as also were his lectures delivered 
as Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity, to which office he 
was appointed in 1807. The titles of these sufficiently 
indicate their contents. 2 

Considering the supreme importance which the Evan- 
gelicals, then by far the most active party in the Church, 
attached to Holy Scripture, it might have been expected that 
our period would have been peculiarly rich in works of 

1 Letters to Author of "Remarks on Michaelis and his Commentator" 1802 ; 
Randolph's " Remarks on Michaelis' Introduction to the New Testament" 1802 ; 
Illustration of the Hypothesis proposed in the Dissertation on the Origin, etc., of 
our Three First Gospels, 1803 ; Randolph's Supplement to " Remarks on Michaelis' 
Introduction," 1804; Defence of the "Illustration, etc." 1804. 

2 The History of Sacred Criticism, 1809 ; The Criticism of the Greek Testa- 
ment, 1810 ; The Interpretation of the Bible, 1813 ; The Interpretation of Prophecy, 
1816 (all published in I vol. in 1828) ; The Authenticity of the New Testament, 
1820 ; The Credibility of the New Testament, 1822 ; The Authority of the Old 
Testament, 1823. 



biblical exegesis ; but this assuredly was not the case. The 
most important work on the subject, and that not a very 
important one, emanated, not from the Evangelical, but from 
the Orthodox school. This was " D'Oyly and Manfs Family 
Bible? published by the Society for Promoting Christian 
Knowledge in 1817. Archdeacon Churton tells us that as 
early as 1811 some such work was projected by Joshua 
Watson, Christopher Wordsworth, William Van Mildert, and 
Richard Mant, and that it was afterwards committed by 
the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Manners-Sutton, to his 
two chaplains, Dr. D'Oyly and Mr. Mant. 1 A fuller, and 
rather different, but not inconsistent, account is given by 
the biographer of Bishop Mant. " At a meeting," he writes, 
"of the S.P.C.K. in 1813, March 16, a report was pre- 
sented by Van Mildert relative to the society's adoption of 
a Bible with notes and commentaries, collected from the 
writings of divines of the Church of England. The report 
arose out of a communication from the Coventry District 
Committee, that many persons were found taking in Bibles 
published in numbers, with notes and explanations by 
Dissenting teachers ; some from want of an authorized 
edition of the Bible in a similar form, others thinking the 
notes were by Churchmen. So they suggested that the 
society should afford their patronage to some convenient- 
sized edition, in numbers, and at a moderate expense, 
with familiar notes, etc., by divines of the Church of England, 
to meet the increased demands among the middle classes for 
publications of that description." 2 

A Family Bible was recommended. Then at a committee 
meeting Mr. Norris communicated a letter from Mr. Mant, 
expressing his readiness to undertake the selection of notes 
and commentaries. A committee was formed for the revision 
of the notes, consisting of Archdeacons Pott, Cambridge, 
Middleton, and Van Mildert, and H. H. Norris ; and a 
request was made to the Bishops of London (Dr. Randolph) 
and Lincoln (Dr. Tomline) " to permit the revised portions of 
the projected edition of the Bible to be submitted to their 
inspection before publication." It is a question whether 

1 Memoir of Joshua Watson, i. 126-129. 

2 See Life of Bishop Richard Mant, by Archdeacon Walter Mant, p. 100, etc. 


there were not too many hands at work. There does not 
appear to have been any subdivision of labour one divine 
undertaking one book, and another, another. All seem to 
have given their opinions on the work generally, and the 
result was certainly a disappointment From the first there 
were few who were really satisfied with " D'Oyly and Mant." 
At the same time, it seems to me a distinct improvement 
upon previous commentaries. Neither Thomas Scott's nor 
Matthew Henry's, the most popular commentaries then in 
use, can be regarded as an adequate guide to Churchmen. Of 
course, also, it must be remembered that the " Family Bible " 
was meant to be an essentially popular work ; no attempt 
whatever was made at originality, and it was intended at 
least as much for edification as instruction. 

In respect to instruction, it is certainly inferior to another 
contribution to biblical literature made during our period- 
Thomas Hartwell Home's " Introduction to the Critical Study 
of Holy Scripture'' It was published in 1818, when the 
writer was yet a layman ; but in consequence of its publica- 
tion he was ordained by Bishop Howley, who wrote to him 
thus about his book : " It contains, I believe, more than any 
other work in our language on the subject, with much in- 
formation drawn from sources not accessible to ordinary 
scholars." 1 This is high praise from one who always 
measured his words, and who was, though he wrote little 
himself, a remarkably competent judge of literary work, 
particularly in the domain of theology. And it was not 
undeserved. Home's " Introduction " still holds a high place 
among works of its kind ; bui: it is very lengthy, filling four 
stout octavo volumes, and rather heavy reading. It is 
certainly creditable to the public that it should have rapidly 
passed through several editions, for it owes its success to 
sound, sterling merit, not to any attractiveness of style. 

Far otherwise is it with another work which deserves 
special notice under our present head, viz. Dr. Van Mildert's 
Bampton Lectures for 1814, "An Inquiry into the General 
Principles of Scriptural Interpretation'.' Since the death of 
Bishop Horsley there had been no divine of the calibre of 
Van Mildert, and it may be doubted whether there was his 

1 See Reminiscences of T. Hartwdl Hornc^ p. 31. 


equal during the whole of our period. Unlike some of the 
Bamptons, Dr. Van Mildert's lectures are eminently readable 
by others than specialists. Written in a clear, pure, and 
scholarly style, they lay down principles of scriptural inter- 
pretation of a markedly Church character ; and they would 
well repay perusal even at the present day, when a flood of 
light is supposed to have been shed upon the subject. 

The sister University of Cambridge also produced a contri- 
bution to biblical literature which was as valuable in its way, 
and far more popular than Van Mildert's Bampton Lectures. 
In 1828 appeared the first of a series of volumes by J. J. Blunt, 
in which he extended the argument from undesigned coin- 
cidences applied by Paley to the Epistles of St. Paul, to 
establish the veracity of all the historical books of the Bible. 
It was entitled " The Veracity of the Gospels and Acts of 
the Apostles argued from the Undesigned Coincidences to 
be found in them when compared (i) with each other, and 
(2) with Josephus." It was the substance of a course of 
sermons preached at Cambridge in 1827. In 1830 came 
another volume, also the substance of University sermons, 
entitled " The Veracity of the Five Books of Moses argued 
from the Undesigned Coincidences to be found in them when 
compared in their Several Parts ;" then, in 1832, the Hulsean 
Lectures for the year 1 83 I," The Veracity of the Historical Books 
of the Old Testament, from the Conclusion of the Pentateuch 
to the Opening of the Prophets, argued from the Undesigned 
Coincidences to be found in them when compared in their 
Several Parts," etc. ; and finally, in 1833, the Hulsean Lec- 
tures for the year 1832, "Principles for the Proper Under- 
standing of the Mosaic Writings stated and applied, together 
with an Incidental Argument for the Truth of the Resur- 
rection of our Lord." It was not till 1847 that the substance 
of all the volumes appeared in one, as the " Undesigned 
Coincidences " we all know so well. 1 

If profundity of subject were a test of merit, something 
would have to be said about the profound studies, or rather 
conjectures, into which some of the weaker vessels among 
the Evangelicals plunged in connection with unfulfilled pro- 

1 See Memoir of J. J. Blunt prefixed to Two Introductory Lectures on the 
Study cf the Early Fathers, and the article on J. J. Blunt in the Dictionary of 
National Biography. 


phecy, especially in its relation to the restoration of the Jews 
to their own land, the millennium, and Christ's personal 
reign which was to precede it. (It may be noted, by the 
way, that, metaphorically speaking, the weaker the vessel, 
the deeper and vaster the sea in which it loves to embark.) 
The Evangelical leaders were far too sensible men to en- 
courage such crude speculations, against which we find 
Edward Bickersteth, 1 Thomas Scott, 2 and, above all, Charles 
Simeon, 3 lifting up their voices. It was rather in the pulpit 
than in the press that these interpreters of prophecy in the 
first instance aired their views ; but they were often per- 
suaded by admiring and injudicious hearers to give the world 
at large the benefit of their speculations in print. It is 
almost needless to say that this class of literature was abso- 
lutely worthless ; but it seems to have given occasion for the 
publication of one of the most valuable works on the subject 
of prophecy in the English language. 

John Davison (1777-1834) was a great name at Oriel in 
Oriel's palmiest days. He had been the highly respected 
tutor of some of her most brilliant sons ; but he did nothing 
with his pen to justify his high reputation, until his appoint- 
ment as Warburtonian lecturer, when his twelve sermons, 

1 He writes in 1829, " I find the prophetical spirit doing injury to some. Men 
get full of their own views, and press them as all-essential, and speak as positively 
as if futurity were as open to them as the past" (see Life, i. 437) ; and in 1831, 
" Things are most dead and cold here [the Midland Counties] ; the good men 
are all afloat on prophesying, and the immediate work of the Lord is disregarded 
for the uncertain future." Id., ii. 45. 

* " So you are become a dabbler in prophecy, as almost every one is in these 
days." Letter to Rev. J. Mayor in 1821. See Life, p. 511. 

3 " You speak of your having now got views of prophecy relating to the Second 
Advent ; and you tell us that you are unfolding them to your hearers. But I wish 
you to remember what was the exclusive subject of St. Paul's ministry not Jesus 
Christ reigning- upon earth, but Jesus Christ and Him crucified, etc., etc." Letter 
to a clergyman in 1829. See Carus, p. 440. 

To a friend who asked him to attack the work of a clergyman who denied 
the restoration of the Jews to their own land, hoping that he would "answer him 
and knock him down," " I have neither taste nor talent for controversy ; nor do 
I on the whole envy those by whom such tastes are possessed. . . This is a day 
of trifling ; all these things are about religion, but they are very little to do with 
religion itself." Carus, p. 445. 

1830. On the study of prophecy. To Miss E. E. : " Men are led aside from 
Christ crucified to Christ glorified personally upon earth ; from a doctrine which is 
both the power of God and the wisdom of God to a doctrine which is neither the 
one nor the other " with much more to the same effect. Carus, p. 460. 


preached in the chapel of Lincoln's Inn, formed the substance 
of the well-known "Discourses on Prophecy? in which are 
considered its structure, use, and inspiration. The writer 
possessed all those qualities in which the many dabblers in 
prophecy who favoured the public with their views were con- 
spicuously deficient modesty, scholarship, general culture, 
and intercourse with the most highly trained intellects of the 
time. " Davison on Prophecy" is worth all the sermons on 
the subject, which were so plentiful during our period, put 
together. In fact, we must cross the Irish Channel to find 
any treatise on prophecy that can for a moment be compared 
with it In 1808 Dr. William Hales published the " Dis- 
sertations on Prophecy^ expressing the Divine and Human 
Character of our Lord Jesus Christ" As the titles indicate, 
the two works do not interfere with one another, and Dr. 
Hales' learned work still retains a special value of its own. 
The subject of his next work, however, he made more ex- 
clusively his own. In 1809 appeared the first volume of his 
"Analysis of Chronology" and in 1811 and 1813 the second 
and third volumes respectively. The Irish divine's writings 
made him many friends on this side the Channel, including 
Bishops Burgess and Middleton, Mr. Perceval, Lord Ellen- 
borough, Archdeacons Daubeny and Churton, Dr. Kennicott, 
and Mr. Hartwell Home all men whose praise was worth 

Judging merely by the title, it would seem strangely 
out of place to group such a work as Milmaris " History of 
the Jews" under the head of biblical literature. But, after 
much doubt and deliberation, it appears to me on the whole 
most correct to describe it in this connection ; for it was, to 
all intents and purposes, a new reading of, or comment upon, 
the Old Testament Henry Hart Milman had long been 
known as a scholar and a poet before he startled the English 
world by his new work. In point of composition and research, 
the " History of the Jews," which appeared in 1828, was quite 
worthy of the high reputation already achieved by its author ; 
but we can hardly be surprised that it created alarm. There 
was an evident tendency to reduce everything in the history 
of the chosen people that could be so reduced to the level 
of reason, and to explain away, when it was at all possible 


to do so, the supernatural element in it. Men were shocked 
to find Abraham treated as an ordinary Arab sheik, and the 
appearance of the manna and the quails attributed to natural 
causes. The book came out as one of a series called " The 
Family Library," and caused such dismay that the series was 
stopped. The learned writer was probably a little misunder- 
stood. In the interests of truth and reality, it was desirable 
for some one to bring out the human side of the history of 
the most remarkable people the world has ever seen ; and 
Dr. Milman's later career, which was even more brilliant from 
a literary point of view than his earlier, seems to indicate 
that he had really no desire to depreciate the Bible. He lived 
quite long enough to regain his character for orthodoxy, and 
perhaps also to show men that his " History of the Jews " was 
not quite what people thought it. But taking the work 
simply by itself, there is certainly some reason for regarding 
it as a precursor of a class of works with which in our day 
we are very familiar, but which were then unknown that is, 
works in derogation of revelation from the Christian side. 

A new field of biblical criticism was opened to the English 
in 1825 by the publication of a translation of Schleiermacher's 
" Essay on St. Luke," with a remarkable introduction, by 
Connop Thirlwall) largely aided by his friend, Julius Hare* 
With the exception of S. T. Coleridge (whose reading, though 
extensive, was very desultory), Thirlwall and Hare were at 
that time probably the only Englishmen who had made a 
real study of the literature of Germany. 2 Judging by after 
results, it may be thought a questionable benefit to have 
introduced into England German speculation, and especially 
the speculations of Schleiermacher. For Schleiermacher was 
the spiritual and intellectual father of Strauss, and the ortho- 
dox Christian may well hold that English Christianity was 
not furthered by Strauss's " Leben Jesu " and other works, 
nor, indeed, by the writings of Schleiermacher himself. At 
the same time, they were eminently thoughtful and suggestive. 

1 "Of the Schleiermacher," writes Thirlwall to Hare in 1824, "nobody has so 
good a right to dispose as yourself, to whom I am indebted for the knowledge of the 
book itself, and for almost all the materials of my Introduction." Letters Literary 
and Theological of Connop Thirlwall^ edited by Perowne and Stokes, pp. 74, 75. 

2 It was in the same year, 1825, that Dr. Pusey was persuaded by Dr. Lloyd to 
go to Gottingen "to study at once the German and the theology." Life, i. 72. 


What may be called " the ostrich policy " is never a whole- 
some one ; and if such speculations as those of the German 
professors were going on, it was as well that they should be 
known and answered. The particular work in question did 
not give rise to nearly so much controversy as another Ger- 
man work, introduced by the same two friends, Thirlwall 
and Hare, two years later. This was their translation of 
Niebuhr's " History of Rome," the first instalment of which 
appeared in 1827. It was severely handled in the Quarterly 
Review, on the ground that the application of the principles 
of Niebuhr to biblical criticism would undermine men's 
belief in the literal truth of the early Bible history. Hare 
defended what he had done in a pamphlet entitled "A 
Vindication of Niebuhr" (1829); and Thirlwall annexed a 
postscript, signed " C. T.," in which he declares that " there 
was nothing inconsistent with their profession in giving pub- 
licity to an historical work containing two or three specu- 
lations not sanctioned by the most approved commentators 
on the first ten chapters of Genesis." 1 The two friends were 
not deterred by hostile criticism from continuing their labours, 
and the whole translation was accomplished in 1832. 


Next to his Bible, the Churchman values his Prayer-book ; 
but the tone of thought during the early part of the nine- 
teenth century was not of a nature likely to produce much 
on this important subject By far the most valuable work 
in this department was done by William (afterwards Sir 
William) Palmer, in his " Origines Liturgicce" The history 
of this great work, as given partly by the writer himself, is 
interesting. The idea was suggested to him by the course of 
study prescribed when he was a candidate for Holy Orders 
under Bishop Jebb at Limerick. Mr. Palmer came from 
Trinity College, Dublin, to Worcester College, Oxford, be- 
cause he thought Oxford was a suitable place in which to 
pursue his favourite studies ; but he there found that the 
Bishop of Oxford, who was also Regius Professor of Divinity 
(Dr. Lloyd), was engaged in a similar work ; so he abandoned 

1 See Letters, etc., of Thirlivall, ut supra, p. 90. 


his design. But, on the premature death of Bishop Lloyd 
in 1829, he was requested by Dr. Burton, the bishop's suc- 
cessor in the divinity chair, to resume his work, and to incor- 
porate with it the results of Bishop Lloyd's labours. Mr. 
Palmer accordingly did so, and in 1832 his book was pub- 
lished by the University Press. It was warmly praised by 
the learned Dr. Routh, who could speak with authority on 
such a subject. It certainly marked an era in the Church, 
being one of the chief factors in the preparation for the 
Oxford Movement. Being, as the title implies, an inquiry 
into the sources from which the Prayer-book is derived, it 
gave Churchmen quite a different idea of the book from that 
which had been ordinarily taken ; and it also led them to 
make further inquiries for themselves, " of which the Church 
is reaping the beneficial results at the present hour." 1 

The only other liturgical work which seems to require 
any special notice is Dr. Manfs " Prayer-Book" which began 
to come out in numbers in 1819, and which, when completed, 
filled two thick octavo volumes. It may be regarded as a 
sort of companion to the " Family Bible." Like that work, 
it aimed at combining edification with instruction ; and, like 
that work, it did not profess to be original. Much of its 
information is taken verbatim from Wheatley, Comber, and 
others ; while the notes on the Psalms seem to be transferred 
bodily from the pages of Bishop Horne. 


This controversy, an unhappy legacy from the eighteenth 
century, produced a certain amount of soi-disant theological 
literature, but the greater part of it has no permanent interest. 
Oddly enough, it is almost all on one side ; for, very unlike 
their predecessors in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, 
the so-called Calvinists expressly deprecate any controversy 
on the subject, and explain away that part of their teaching 
which raised the most opposition. According to their enemies, 
the Calvinists were rampant everyv/here. " Here in England," 
writes Southey in 1806, "Calvinism is the popular faith." 2 

1 Burgon's Lives of Twelve Good Men : " Hugh James Rose," i. 160. 

2 Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey ', iii. 18. 


The British Critic, in reviewing the work of a Calvinist, 
remarks, " That his doctrine is indeed popular, we have long 
known and deeply regretted." 1 "Is it not wonderful," asks 
Alexander Knox in 1806, " that the strongest Calvinists now 
in England should be the serious clergy ? " 2 And the same 
assumption runs through all the anti-Calvinistic writings. 
But when we turn to the writings of the leading Evangelicals 
(who were all called Calvinists), we find a very different 
story. "Let me speak the truth before God," writes Simeon. 
" Though I am no Arminian, I do think that the refinements 
of Calvin have done great harm in the Church ; they have 
driven multitudes from the plain and popular way of speaking 
used by the inspired writers, and have made them unreason- 
ably and unscripturally squeamish in their expressions." 3 
And in a singularly beautiful passage in the preface to his 
" Horae Homileticae," " he [the author] bitterly regrets that 
men will range themselves under human banners and leaders, 
and employ themselves in converting the inspired writers 
into friends and partisans of their peculiar principles. . . . 
One thing he knows, viz. that pious men both of the Calvinistic 
and Arminian persuasion approximate very nearly when 
they are upon their knees before God in prayer ; the devout 
Arminian then acknowledging his total dependence upon 
God as strongly as the most confirmed Calvinist, and the 
Calvinist acknowledging his responsibility to God, and his 
obligation to exertion, in terms as decisive as the most 
determined Arminian. And that which both these individuals 
are upon their knees, it is the wish of the author to become 
in his writings." 4 Edward Bickersteth, an Evangelical of 
Evangelicals, writes in 1825 respecting a pamphlet which 
had appeared against him : " I have been charged with being 
an enemy to the free, sovereign, and everlasting grace of God, 
and that the principle I maintain is man co-operating as in 
joint free partnership with God, to do good." 5 A similar 
charge was made against Hannah More's " Practical Piety " 

1 Review of "Plain Truths; or, The Presbyter's Reply to all his Anti- 
Calvinistic Opponents," in the British Critic ', vol. xxvii., July to December, 

2 Remains of Alexatider Knox, iii. 182. ' 

3 Carus, p. 218. * Id., p. 369. s Life, \. 405. 


(iSii). 1 William Wilberforce, the lay leader of the Evan- 
gelicals, declares over and over again in his letters that he is 
no Calvinist ; 2 and Bishop Porteus, the first prelate who 
favoured the Evangelicals, "would never admit the Calvinistic 
interpretation of the Articles to be the true one." 3 

It would really seem from all this that the writers against 
Calvinism were fighting with an imaginary foe. But the 
great names of those who were leaders of the fray forbid such 
a supposition. Bishop Herbert Marsh, of Peterborough, for 
instance, was one of the ablest prelates of his day, and not at 
all the sort of man to fight with shadows. Yet he was so 
alarmed at the progress of Calvinism, that in 1822 he framed 
eighty-seven questions for his ordination candidates, on pur- 
pose to exclude those who held Calvinistic views. It is fair 
to add that when the matter came before the House of Lords, 
the bishop declared that this was not his object ; but the 
official correspondence between the bishop and the rector 
of Blatherwycke, and the Rev. J. Green, who desired to be 
ordained to the curacy, leaves us in little doubt that if this 
was not the object, it was the practical result. Bishop 
Tomline, who was a very clear-headed man, with a large 
experience of the clergy, distinctly implies in his " Refutation 
of Calvinism " that its tenets were very generally held ; and 
the same conviction runs through all the writings of Alexander 
Knox, Bishop Mant, Archdeacon Daubeny, and others whose 
competency to judge it is impossible to deny. 

The explanation of the apparent discrepancy is indicated 
in the charges against Bickersteth and Hannah More which 
have been quoted above. While the leaders of the Evan- 
gelicals either held Calvinistic views in a very modified form, 
or so guarded them that they were not liable to abuse, the 
rank and file of the party expressed them in a much more 
unguarded and extravagant fashion. 

But one at least, who from his abilities and character 
deserved to be a leader, had no scruple about avowing his 
Calvinistic opinions in the most outspoken fashion, and, more 

1 See Hannah More, by C. M. Yonge, p. 159. 

2 See, inter alia, Life of Bishop S. Wilberforce, vol. i., note by Canon Ashwell, 
p. 38 ; also Life of William Wilberforce, p. 210 and. passim. 

3 See Hodgson's Life. 


than that, declared point-blank that those were no true 
Churchmen who did not do so. This was John Overton, 
Vicar of St. Crux and St. Margaret's, York, who in 1801 
published a work entitled " The True Churchman ascer- 
tained ; or, An Apology for those of the Regular Clergy 
of the Establishment, who are sometimes called Evangelical 
Ministers : occasioned by the publications of Drs. Paley, Hey, 
Croft ; Messrs. Daubeny, Ludlam, Polwhele, Fellowes, the 
Revieivers, etc'' The alternative title shows that the writer 
was prepared to meet opponents from all quarters ; and he 
was not disappointed. His book, which is, beyond all ques- 
tion, a most able, honest, and manly work, but exceedingly 
combative, created a great sensation and called forth many 
answers. He boldly carried the war into the enemy's country, 
and instead of assuming an apologetic tone, and deprecating 
opposition to his views, he claimed for those views the credit 
of alone properly representing the Church of England. " We, 
then," he concludes, " are the true Churchmen, and, in a very 
fundamental and important sense, Mr. Daubeny and his 
associates are Dissenters" * 

Mr. Daubeny was not at all the kind of man to sit still 
under such a challenge, and there very quickly appeared his 
" Vindicice E celestes Anglicance" (1803), a direct reply to Mr. 
Overton. It was a sort of sequel to his more famous rt Guide 
to the Church," published in 1798, the appendix to which 
was directed against another Calvinist, Sir Richard Hill, 
brother of the preacher, Rowland Hill. Mr. Overton, how- 
ever, though less known, 2 was a far more able writer than Sir 
R. Hill ; and he and Mr. Daubeny were well matched. The 
latter dwells especially on Mr. Overton's argument that 
Calvinism was not only a permissible but a necessary 
doctrine for all true Churchmen ; and affirms with perfect 
truth that " neither Calvinism nor anti-Calvinism, abstractedly 
considered, constitutes the precise standard by which true 
Christian characters ought definitively to be ascertained ; 
because most conscientious and exemplary Christians have 

1 True Churchman ascertained, p. 397. 

2 That is, less known now. From a number of private letters now before 
the writer, it is evident that Mr. Overton's book was widely known and highly 
appreciated when it first came out. 


been, and doubtless still are to be, found under each descrip- 
tion. It is only when Calvinism, as seems to be attempted 
in the present day, is made the criterion by which sound 
divinity is to be ascertained, that we complain. This is, as it 
were, to throw down the gauntlet of public challenge ; and 
there never will be wanting, among the faithful sons of our 
Church, those who will feel themselves called upon to take it 
up. But all controversies on this subject are to be depre- 
cated ; as they tend, generally speaking, more to diminish 
charity than to increase knowledge." The sentiment of the 
last sentence is most laudable ; but unfortunately, from the 
early days of Whitefield and Wesley, sixty years before, 
good men on both sides were constantly expressing such 
sentiments, and then plunging into the hopeless and inter- 
minable controversy with renewed vigour. 

Mr. Daubeny found a very powerful champion in Dr. 
Tomline, Bishop of Lincoln (soon afterwards of Winchester), 
whose " Refutation of Calvinism " was partly intended, it 
would appear, as a contribution to the Daubeny and 
Overton controversy. 1 What is now the first chapter, " On 
Universal Redemption," was originally the Charge delivered 
by the bishop to the clergy of his diocese in 1803. He went 
on with the subject in his Triennial Charges in 1806 and 
1809, but deferred publishing them until the whole was 
completed, that is, until 1811. Tomline's "Refutation of 
Calvinism " was unquestionably an able work, and it was also 
a popular one, as is shown by the fact that it had reached 
an eighth edition by 1823. It paints the effects of Calvinistic 
teaching in the very darkest colours. For example : " Men 
who fancy they have received this second birth consider 
themselves full of Divine grace, are too often regardless of 
the laws both of God and man, affect to govern themselves 
by some secret rules in their own breasts, urge the suggestions 
of the Spirit upon the most trifling occasions, and pretend 
the most positive assurance of their salvation, while perhaps 
they are guilty of the grossest immoralities " (p. 94). " Those 
who listen to the enthusiasts of the present day, too often 

1 At least, he refers pointedly to the True Churchman ascertained, and takes 
up the cudgels for Mr. Daubeny, who was quite strong enough to fight his own 


suppose themselves the chosen vessels of God, and are 
persuaded that no conduct atrocious, however unchristian, 
can finally deprive them of eternal felicity" (p. 171). " They 
not only delude their unlearned congregations, and encourage 
vice and immorality among their followers, but they really 
delude themselves, and fall into opinions and assertions 
totally inconsistent with the spirit of our holy religion " 
(? 1 77)- All this seems more applicable to the teaching of 
some " Trusty Tomkins " in the seventeenth century than to 
that of a Simeon, a Venn, or a Legh Richmond in the nine- 
teenth, and we are not surprised to find that an answer ap- 
peared from the pen of that veteran Evangelical, Thomas Scott, 
who published in 1817, "Remarks on the Bishop of Lincoln's 
' Refutation of Calvinism' " The significance of Scott's reply 
is emphasized by the fact that his own sermons show that 
he was fully alive to the dangers of ultra-Calvinism ; in 
fact, the burden of many of them is a warning against these 
dangers. But the old man had known too much of the 
saintly lives of many who would be classed as Calvinists, 
to allow so sweeping an attack upon the whole system to 
pass unchallenged. 

The controversy about Baptismal Regeneration, which 
produced a certain amount of literature, such as it was, 
is really a part of the Calvinistic controversy. For the 
Calvinists held that no man was in a justified state until 
he had a conscious sense of pardon and peace with God. 
The " Orthodox," on the other hand, held that all bapti; 
Christians were in a justified state, and that there was n< 
such thing as a second birth after that which took plac 
in the Sacrament of Holy Baptism ; they made, of coui 
a marked distinction between regeneration and conversioi 
and laid stress upon the daily renewal by God's Holj 
Spirit which most Christians in their present imperfect stat< 
required. 1 

The question of Baptismal Regeneration came to 
front mainly in consequence of Mr. (afterwards Bishop) 
Mant's Bampton Lectures in 1811, the sixth and seventl 
of which were devoted to the subject of regeneration anc 

1 ''Grant that we, being regenerate and made Thy children by adoption ar 
grace, may daily be renewed by Thy Holy Spirit." Collect for Christmas Day. 


conversion. The writer, of course, strongly advocates the 
doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration, adding, " This doctrine 
is virtually at least, if not actually, denied by some ministers 
of our Church ; and it is denied in terms which charge the 
maintainers of it with blindness and ignorance ; with in- 
novating on evangelical truth ; with being opposers of the 
doctrines of the gospel, and patrons of a heathenish supersti- 
tion." The lectures made a great sensation ; and the Salop 
Committee of the S.P.C.K. passed a resolution "that it would 
materially serve the interests of genuine religion and of the 
Church of England if the Rev. R. Mant could be induced 
to print the two excellent sermons of his Bampton Lectures, 
viz. the sixth and seventh, on Regeneration and Conversion, 
in a form calculated for circulation amongst the community." 
The result was that the sermons were published by the 
S.P.C.K., under the title of " Two Tracts on Regeneration 
and Conversion" But Low Churchmen as well as High 
Churchmen belonged to the S.P.C.K. ; and it is not surprising 
that the former looked with dismay on the publication of 
the two tracts, which contained a direct attack upon their 
party. John Scott, of Hull, the son of the commentator, and 
T. J. Biddulph, of Bristol, both leading Evangelicals, had 
written pamphlets in reply to Mr. Mant's strictures before 
the S.P.C.K. had committed itself to his views. When the 
tracts were put on the list of the society, Daniel Wilson 
published a pamphlet entitled " A Respectful Address to 
the Society on certain Inconsistencies and Contradictions 
which have lately appeared in some of their Books and 
Tracts" The High Churchmen were not slow to reply. 
Among others, Dr. Christopher Wordsworth defended the 
society in print. Excited meetings were held, at one of 
which the Archbishop of Canterbury (Dr. Manners-Sutton) 
and the Bishop of London (Dr. Howley) were present, and 
threw all the weight of their authority into the High Church 
scale. 1 A committee was appointed to examine the matter 

1 Daniel Wilson writes: "February 10, 1816. The meeting of S.P.C.K. 
took place last Tuesday, all the world there." And of the next meeting : " We 
expected nothing. But what do you think? There was the Archbishop of 
Canterbury in the chair, and by him the Bishop of London. Mr. Dealtry presented 
his letter. It was read twice. The archbishop followed, and condemned it 


thoroughly and to report upon the society's works ; and the 
somewhat feeble conclusion was that a new edition of Mant's 
tracts was published, in which the most obnoxious expressions 
were expunged or modified. One of the ablest writers on 
the High Church side in this'controversy was Alexander Knox, 
who in 1810 published a treatise on "Justification," addressed 
to his friend Mr. Parkin, editor of the Eclectic Revieiv, who 
would of course hold very different views. Mr. Knox's 
trumpet gave no uncertain sound. " In the judgment," he 
says, " of the Church ancient and Anglican alike every 
one baptized in infancy commences life in a justified state." 
In 1820 he published a more elaborate work, entitled " The 
Doctrine respecting Baptism held by the Church of England" 
in which he contends that " all infants who are baptized 
infallibly participate in the inward and spiritual grace which 
the Sacrament of Baptism is intended to convey." 


Under this head we have, in the first place, the lives of 
the early Evangelical leaders, which naturally came out 
during our period. One of the best executed and most 
interesting of these is the "Life of Thomas Scott" by his 
son, John Scott (1822). It is written in excellent taste, with 
filial appreciation, but without any undue filial partiality. 
The "Life of John Newton" was also written well, as, indeed, 
goes without saying, when we remember that the writer was 
his old friend Richard Cecil, the most refined and cultured 
of all the early Evangelicals. The " Life " is prefixed to the 
first volume of Newton's works, published in six volumes, ii 
1 808. Cecil's own life was briefly but gracefully written 
his widow, and prefixed to the " Remains," edited by his 
friend Josiah Pratt in 1810. There is a singularly patheti< 
interest attached to the "Life of Joseph Milner" written b] 
his brother Isaac, and published in 1814. Isaac felt that h< 
owed everything in life to his brother, who was premature!] 
cut off in his prime, and he throws his whole heart whicl 

strongly as self-willed." Life of D. Wilson, p. 143. Archbishop Manners-Suttc 
admired Mant's Bampton Lectures greatly, and is said to have made the writt 
his domestic chaplain in consequence. See Life of Bishop JR. Mant, pp. 97, et se^ 


was a very large one into his work. The strong man was 
bowed down by his loss, and he takes the public into his 
confidence. Henry Venn, Thomas Robinson of Leicester, 
Claudius Buchanan, and other leading Evangelicals were also 
the subjects of biographies, more or less interesting, written 
during our period. But there is yet another are we to call 
him an Evangelical leader or not ? who furnished material 
for a " Life " of far wider and more enduring interest than any 
yet named. In 1820 appeared Southeys "Life of Wesley" 
one of the few jcr^uara t e att which the biographical art has 
given to the world. In spite of the innumerable works on 
the same subject, some of which 'are much fuller and more 
accurate, while some give far truer estimates of the aims and 
personal character of the great reformer, Southey's " Life " 
has never yet been really superseded. In point of literary 
finish, the only biographical work of our period that can at 
all compare with it is Bishop Van Milder? s " Life of Daniel 
Waterland" prefixed to the bishop's admirable edition of 
Waterland's works, in six volumes, 1823. Whatever Van 
Mildert's pen touched, it adorned ; but he is especially in his 
element when writing about a great divine and scholar, and 
his book is a model of biographical skill. Another great 
English divine was also brought before the public by another 
bishop. Reginald Heber published a "Life of Jeremy 
Taylor? in 1822, and an edition of his works; but neither 
life nor edition was a model of its kind. Lives or memoirs 
of Granville Sharp (1827), John Bowdler (1825), Bishop 
Middleton (1831), Thomas Rennell (1824), Charles Daubeny 
(1830), all have an interest of their own ; and more amusing, 
if not more edifying, is the sort of autobiography of Bishop 
Watson, published by his son in 1818, under the title of 
" Anecdotes of my own Life'' There were also two works 
which, as partaking of the nature of biography, come under 
our present head Dr. Christopher Wordsworth's " Ecclesi- 
astical Biography? and the Rev. Erasmus Middleton 's " Bio- 
graphia Evangelical The former is a sort of hagiology of 
the Orthodox, the latter of the Evangelical, school. Both 
authors were well qualified for their task, and both were 
themselves worthy representatives of the schools about which 
they respectively wrote. But as Mr. Middleton (who was the 



predecessor of Legh Richmond in the living of Turvey) died 
in 1804, his " Biographia " has the drawback of not including 
many of the most brilliant specimens of the Evangelical 
party, which did not reach its zenith until after that date. 
Dr. Wordsworth, as the exponent of the old historical Church 
school, had the advantage of having his greatest heroes in 
the far past. His biography is a collection of lives not 
written by himself, but " arranged in chronological order from 
the Reformation to the Revolution, the authors having been 
contemporaries of their subjects." The work was a most 
seasonable one at the time when it appeared, for this reason : 
piety and Evangelicalism were then almost convertible terms ; 
and Dr. Wordsworth drew attention to the fact that there had 
been men, whose piety none could doubt, but who were of a 
very different type from the modern Evangelicals. It is a 
curious illustration of the way in which " establishment " was 
then considered as almost an essential of the Church, that 
Dr. Wordsworth does not include a single Nonjuror among 
his subjects ; though it would be difficult to find men more 
suitable for his obvious purpose than Thomas Ken, John 
Kettlewell, Robert Nelson, or William Law. 


The best known, if not the most valuable, work on this 
subject which appeared during our period, is SoutJieys 
"Book of the Church" (1824). The work was well received. 
The Bishop of London, among others, wrote to thank the 
author for it ; and, as has been hinted before, there were few 
men whose praise was better worth having on theological 
literature than Bishop Howley's. Southey writes from the 
point of view of a high and dry Churchman of the old- 
fashioned type, and his sentiments were all the more stiff and 
unbending owing to the violent reaction which followed in 
his case, as in that of many others, from the wildly extrava- 
gant liberalism, not to say scepticism, which he had imbibed 
in his youth from his sympathy with the French Revolu- 
tionists. The charm of his literary style and the substantial 
soundness of his views combine to make his book still a 
classic ; but there are few competent people in the present 


day who would be thoroughly satisfied with his conclusions. 
The horizon has become widened on all sides ; and while the 
number of those who, like Southey, are enthusiastic admirers 
of the Church of England has been immensely increased, 
the vast majority of them take a broader and truer view of 
the functions and position of that Church. No one can read 
Southey's " Book of the Church " without pleasure and profit, 
but most people will feel that it wants supplementing and 
modifying in many respects before it can at all satisfy the 
larger intelligence of the present day. It is, however, only 
fair to remember the humble object which Southey had in 
view. He never intended his " Book of the Church " to be a 
full and satisfactory account for advanced students. It grew 
upon his hands, and is now sometimes cited for purposes 
for which it was never meant. This will appear from the 
writer's own description of the origin of the work. " Upon the 
first institution," he tells us, " of the National Society for Pro- 
moting the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the 
Established Church, and after the initiatory books which are 
used in its schools had been prepared, my excellent friend, 
Dr. Bell, asked me to compose a summary view of Church 
history for the elder pupils. I easily promised what, for the 
moment, I thought might be presently done. But, upon 
considering the matter, I soon perceived that it would be 
both easier and of more utility to extend the design, and 
compose such a compendium as might be a fit manual for 
our English youth ; that is, for those (still, happily, the 
great majority) whose good fortune it is to be bred up in 
the principles of our twofold constitution." 1 " The ' Book of 
the Church ' was avowedly composed for the youth of this 
kingdom, that they might be trained up in the way they 
should go, and made in time to understand from what 
corruptions and evils the Reformation delivered their fathers, 
and how dearly the blessed deliverance was purchased." 2 It 
is absurd to measure a book, written under such circumstances 
and for such purposes, by the standard of an exhaustive history. 

1 Vindicia Eccksia AngHcana. Letters to Charles Butler, Esq., comprising 
Essays on the Romish Religion and vindicating the "Book of the Church." 

' Id., p. 43- 


Southey's "Book of the Church" was soon followed by 
two similar works, viz. " A History of the Church of England 
to the Revolution!' by the Rev. J. B. S. Carwtthen, in three 
volumes, which came out at intervals from 1829 to 1833; 
and another work, in two volumes, with exactly the same 
title, by the Rev. T. Vowler Short, afterwards Bishop of 
St. Asaph, in 1832. Bishop Short's book became by far 
the more popular in fact, it still holds its ground as a 
text-book ; but, in my opinion, Mr. Carwithen's is the 
better book of the two. The writer is a sounder Churchman, 
and he writes in a stronger and better style. But an 
obscure country clergyman had hardly a chance against 
a tutor at the largest and most famous college at Oxford 
and an embryo bishop. Bishop Short, though accurate 
enough in detail, falls into the fatal error of giving the 
reader the general impression that a new Church was set 
up in the reign of Henry VIII. Such expressions as, "the 
Church of England dated from the divorce " (p. 86), are an 
upsettal of all history. He also entirely ignores all that was 
done for the conversion of England by the Scottish mission 
under St. Aidan and his successors. In fact, he fosters the 
old, old fallacy that the Church was Roman Catholic before 
the Reformation, and Protestant after. No history written 
on such a principle can be trustworthy, and Short's " Histoi 
of the Church of England" is fast becoming one of th< 
authorities that have been. Trojafuit. But all three writers 
deserve the gratitude of Churchmen for opening out a field 
which had been untouched since the days of Thomas Carte 
and Jeremy Collier. They, at any rate, awakened a desire 
in English Churchmen to know something about their own 
Church, if they did not altogether satisfy that desire. As 
dealing with a part of the same subject, we may also mention 
here Professor J. J. Blunfs deservedly popular " Sketch oj 
the Reformation in England" which appeared in 1832, as on< 
of the volumes of Murray's " Family Library," and which has 
since passed through a vast number of editions. 

A much more ambitious essay in the sphere of Church 
history was undertaken by the Rev. George Waddington, 
afterwards Dean of Durham ; but at the time a resi- 
dent Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. Waddington^ 


" Church History? which appeared in 1833, undertakes the 
gigantic task of giving the history of the Church of Christ 
in all parts of the world for fifteen centuries ; that is, from 
the time of the Apostles to the Reformation. To complete 
such a work adequately would take up many, many volumes ; 
but the future dean did it in one ! It is true, it is a very 
bulky volume indeed ; but, even so, the information had to 
be so closely condensed that it is very heavy reading. The 
work had the doubtful advantage of coming out under the 
auspices of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge ; 
and considering the avowed object of its sponsor, it is 
wonderful how little there is in it to which a Churchman 
can object. It remains master of the field, for the simple 
reason that no other human being ever has, or is ever likely 
to embrace so vast a subject in anything like so small a 

Strictly speaking, Milner's " History of the Church of 
Christ," in its finished form, belongs to our period ; but this 
book has been already described in a work dealing with the 
century in which it first appeared. 1 

Works of a very different type from those hitherto 
mentioned, but in their way most valuable contributions 
towards the knowledge of Church history, were published 
during our period by two very learned divines, Bishop Kaye 
and Dr. Routh. In 1826 Dr. John Kaye, then Bishop of 
Bristol, published the first of his valuable patristic works, 
under the title of " The Ecclesiastical History of. the Second 
and Third Centuries, illustrated from the Writings of Ter- 
tullian;" and in 1829, "An Account of the Writings and 
Opinions of Justin Martyr'' There was a seasonableness 
about these publications which enhanced their intrinsic merits, 
great as these were. It was high time that, amid the 
confusion and strife of tongues which the late religious 
movements had caused, the attention of Churchmen should 
be turned to long-neglected studies, which after all were 
indispensable to sound theology. To Bishop Kaye, above 
all other men, the credit is due for having aroused a revival of 
interest in the study of the ancient Fathers, which was never 

1 See The English Church in the Eighteenth Century, vol. ii. ch. ii. pp. 


more needed than in the early days of the present century. 
His later works in the same direction do not come within 
our limits. The first instalment of Dr. Routh's long and 
learned labours in the same direction came out in two 
volumes, in 1814, under the title of " Reliquiae Sacrce : 
sive Auctorum fere jam perditorum sectmdi tertiique sceculi 
post Christum natum, qiice super sunt"^ To the very few 
who then took an interest in the theology of the second 
and third centuries, Dr. Routh's labours were invaluable ; 
but they were "caviare to the general." Even the majority 
of what was called "the religious world" knew little and 
cared less for the "sacred reliques of authors" not "nearly 
lost " belonging to those bygone ages ; so, of course, they 
would not be vitally interested in the rescue from oblivion 
of " reliques " which were " nearly lost." As a living influence 
upon the Church of his day, Dr. Routh's effort may not 
count for such ; but as a work of permanent value, and as 
a monument of the tradition of learning which had not quite 
died out in the learned Church of England, it deserves special 
notice. Like Bishop Kaye, Dr. Routh extended his labours, 
and gave the results of them to the world for many years 
after our period closes, though he had nearly reached the 
age of fourscore when the Oxford Movement began. 


Though in one way this was the most prominent and 
bitter of all the religious controversies of our period, yet the 
form it took was not of a kind to produce much theological 
literature. It turned not so much upon doctrinal questions 
as upon the very practical one, whether the Roman Catholics 
were to be relieved of their civil disabilities. This question ' 
produced abundance of printed matter ; but it was in the 
form of sermons and pamphlets, which could be quickly 
and easily read, and were only of an ephemeral interest, 
not in that of formal, elaborate treatises. Two works, 
however, appeared on the Roman side, which required and 
received more extended answers. The one was Bishop 
Milner's "End of Religious Controversy" (1824), which 

1 "Oxford University Reform," by Goldwin Smith, in Oxford Essays, 1858. 


attacked the position of bare Protestantism with telling effect. 
" It is an absurdity," argues the writer, " to talk of the 
Church or Society of Protestants, for the term PROTESTANT 
expresses nothing positive, much less any union or association 
of persons : it barely signifies one who protests, or declares 
against some other person or persons, thing or things ; and 
in the present instance it signifies those who protest against 
the Catholic Church. Hence there may be, and there are, 
numberless sects of Protestants divided from each other in 
everything except in opposing their true mother, the Catholic 
Church. St. Augustine reckons up ninety heresies which had 
protested against the Church before his time" (p. 124). In 
days when, as Thomas Sikes complains, few men had any 
definite notion what they meant when they said, " I believe 
in the Holy Catholic Church," such arguments were difficult 
to answer. The bishop seems to have had an inkling that 
the Church of England had something more to say for 
itself than that it was " protestant," for he adds, " I grant that 
your Communion [the Church of England] has better 
pretensions to the marks of the Church than any other 
Protestant Society has" (p. 125). The other book was by 
a layman, Mr. Charles Butler, and was entitled " The Book 
of the Roman Catholic Church." 

Among the answers to both, one was written by that 
doughty champion Dr. Henry Phillpotts, afterwards Bishop 
of Exeter, in a volume entitled "Letters to Charles Butler, 
Esq., on the T/ieo logical Parts of his ' Book of the Roman 
Catholic Church' " Though it professes to deal only with 
Mr. Butler, it also grapples with many of the arguments 
used by Bishop Milner, to whom the able writer frequently 
refers by name. But long before Dr. Milner's or Mr. Butler's 
books appeared, the watchful eye of Archdeacon Daubeny 
detected rocks ahead in the direction of Rome. In his 
Charges from 1813 onwards he dwells much upon Romanism, 
and it is needless to say that he defends his own Church 
on positive grounds, not on the negative ones of mere 
Protestantism. In his Charge of 1819 he intimates that he 
is becoming more and more alarmed. "Time was, and not 
very long since, when any cry of alarm on the score of popery 
in this country would have been considered too ridiculous 


to have merited the attention of a thinking man. But I 
have lived to see a wonderful change of public opinion on 
this subject." In 1824 he wrote an anti-Roman treatise, 
entitled " The Protestant's Companion" for which he was 
warmly thanked by the Bishops of London and Winchester. 
There were also, of course, many other writers on the subject ; 
but it was not one which from a theological point of view 
was very prominent during our period, and it need not, 
therefore, be dwelt upon further. 


The rise of religious periodicals was a notable feature in 
the history of the Church at the beginning of the nineteenth 
century. Before that century began they had hardly existed 
at all, except among the Methodists ; but with the com- 
mencement of the century both the two great parties in the 
Church provided themselves with an organ in the press. 

The British Critic was one of the results of the formation 
of a short-lived " Society for the Reformation of Principles," 
originating among that little group of High Churchmen 
whose centre was Nayland Vicarage. It was preceded by 
a publication entitled The Scholar Armed, which consisted of 
an exceedingly well-selected number of extracts from the 
works of standard divines. This was an extremely useful 
work ; but, from the nature of it, it soon came to an end- 
sooner, indeed, than it might with advantage have done. 
But on its ruins arose and throve the British Critic, which 
lasted for many years. One generally hears Mr. Jones of 
Nayland called its originator, but this is only so far true 
that the seeds from which it sprang were sown at his house, 
and by his friends, or rather disciples. But he never was the 
editor, and never wrote a single word in it. In fact, he was 
marked for death by the time that the first number appeared. 
At first it was conducted on distinctly High Church lines ; 
then, for a time, under the editorship of Archdeacon Nares, 
its principles were not so distinctive ; but about the year 
1812 it was purchased by Joshua Watson and Henry Handley 
Norris, for the express purpose of restoring it to its original 
intention. It had some of the ablest divines of the day for 


its editors, including William Van Mildert (for a very short 
time), Thomas Fanshawe Middleton, and Thomas Rennell ; 
and, as any one can see who turns to its pages, it com- 
manded a staff of extremely competent writers. In 1824 it 
was changed from a monthly into a quarterly. As it survived 
our period for several years, the story of its extinction does 
not fall within our limits. 

The Christian Observer was almost coeval with the British 
Critic, and continued for many years to be the monthly 
organ of the Evangelical party. As early as 1798 we find 
an entry in Wilberforce's diary : "Much occupied with a plan 
for setting up a religious publication." A little more than 
two years later the plan took a definite shape in the Chris- 
tian Observer, the first number of which is dated "January, 
1801." Oddly enough, a similar error has prevailed about 
its editorship as about that of the British Critic. The first 
editor was not, as is often said, Zachary Macaulay, but Josiah 
Pratt, who may really almost be called the projector as well 
as the editor. 1 But Josiah Pratt had not sufficient time at 
his command ; moreover, he was a remarkably retiring man, 
and that is not a virtue which is useful for the floating of 
a new periodical. So he withdrew almost immediately in 
favour of Zachary Macaulay, who was the ideal man for the 
post. He held it for nearly sixteen years, and the success 
of the Christian Observer was largely due to his efforts. To 
enumerate its early contributors would be to enumerate 
almost all the Evangelical leaders of the second genera- 
tion. William Wilberforce, Hannah More, Henry Thornton, 
Thomas Scott, John Venn, Legh Richmond, Thomas Gisborne, 
William Parish, Henry Martyn, Claudius Buchanan, Josiah 
Pratt, Charles Simeon, Lord Teignmouth, John Overton, 
John Scott, and, outside the strictly Evangelical circle, 

1 The biographer of William Hey claims for his hero a large share in the 
introduction of the Christian Observer. "In 1800 and 1801, Mr. Hey reflected 
on the advantages of a monthly publication, to oppose the inroads of infidelity 
and heresy, support the doctrines and discipline of the Church of England, and 
promote piety. He commenced a correspondence with persons in different 
parts ; promised his own assistance, and best efforts to procure aid of learned and 
pious men ; and it is to be ascribed, in a great measure, to his zeal and activity 
that the Christian Observer was introduced to the world." Pearson's Life of 
William Hey, i. 198. 


Bishop Heber, Bishop Burgess, and John Bowdler the 
younger, all wrote for it. It passed through none of the 
vicissitudes which, as we have seen, overtook its rival, but, 
on the other hand, it never reached the high intellectual 
level of the British Critic in its best days. 

Weekly newspapers hardly come within our province ; 
otherwise we should have to notice the appearance of the 
first religious newspaper, the Record, in 1828 a paper which 
still exists, but which has happily improved as much in 
ability as in Christian charity. But there are two periodicals, 
both emanating from the High Church party, which should 
be mentioned. 

It is generally supposed that the Christian Remembrancer 
rose on the ruins of the British Critic. But, in point of fact 
there was an earlier Christian Remembrancer, which was 
started, mainly through the efforts of Joshua Watson and 
H. H. Norris, not so much to advocate Church principles as 
to stimulate the clergy to take a livelier interest in theological 
studies generally. "The country clergy," said Norris, "are 
constant readers of the Gentleman's Magazine, deep in the 
antiquities of the signs of inns, speculations as to what 
becomes of swallows in winter, and whether hedgehogs or 
other urchins are most justly accused of sucking milch-cows 
dry at night." Feeling that they should be raised to higher 
interests, he persuaded the Rev. F. Iremonger to start the 
Christian Remembrancer, the first number of which appeared 
in January, 1819, and was issued quarterly for eleven years. 
Van Mildert, a very competent counsellor, advised the editor 
to give "succinct and careful abridgments of standard theo- 
logical works by the best English and foreign divines ; " 1 and 
a glance at the earlier numbers of the Christian Remem- 
brancer will show that an effort was made to follow this 
advice. Though its main object was to encourage theological 
study generally, there is no doubt about the standpoint from 
which it desired the study to be conducted, as the following 
sentence in the introduction to the first number will show: 
" We seek not to conceal our alliance with those who see 
little or no prospect of extending the influence of Chris- 
tianity except through the instrumentality of the Church." 

1 See Memoir of Joshua Watson, \. 277. 


In almost all the early numbers there is an article bearing 
more or less on Calvinism and Antinomianism, against which 
it waged internecine war. 

Another periodical arose under distinctly High Church 
auspices in March, 1832, with the title of The British Magazine. 
The British Critic had by this time become a Quarterly, and 
the Christian Remembrancer (also a Quarterly) was not 
exactly extinct, but in a state of suspended animation. It 
was thought that a monthly paper consisting, not of long 
essays and reviews, but of short articles, poetry, and general 
intelligence, was a desideratum. No periodical could have 
been started with a fairer promise. Its originator and first 
editor was Hugh James Rose, then by far the most brilliant 
and prominent man among the High Church party. Among 
its contributors were Keble, Newman, and Isaac Williams, 
who first published in it the exquisite hymns which after- 
wards appeared in the " Lyra Apostolica." Its second editor, 
Dr. Samuel Maitland, if a less brilliant, was quite as able, 
and certainly a more learned man than the first. And yet 
it was very short-lived, being swept away, probably, in the 
excitement caused by the Oxford Movement. 


With one marked exception, the age before us was singu- 
larly weak in what may strictly be termed religious poetry ; 
and yet it was the great poets of the day who tended more 
than any other writers to affect men's attitude towards 
religion. For the first quarter of the century there were 
religious men who wrote poetry of a higher order than any 
that had appeared since the days of Milton, but there was no 
religious poetry of any real mark, with the exception of hymns 
for public worship. To explain this apparent paradox it is 
necessary to enter into details. The last great religious poet, 
William Cowper, died with the old century, and left no 
successor behind him. The two religious poets of the next 
generation who are best known were Bowles and Heber ; but 
posterity has not at all confirmed the contemporary verdict 
upon their poetry. Bowles was rather a religious man who 


wrote poetry than a religious poet. Reginald Heber is a 
name still fresh in the hearts of his countrymen ; but it is not 
for his " Palestine" or for any of his writings, except one 
or two hymns, but for his personality and his career. In the 
words of a thoughtful writer, " men gazed delightedly on so 
fine a combination of the scholar, the gentleman, and the 
Christian, and gladly seized on circumstances which half 
warranted them in adding, the martyr." 1 Henry Hart Mil- 
man at one time seemed likely to be the rising poet of the 
day ; but he soon devoted himself to prose, and his prose has 
lived, while his poetry is well-nigh forgotten. George Crabbe 
was another clergyman who wrote poetry which has lived, 
but it cannot be called religious poetry. In fact, from the 
death of Cowper in 1800 till the year 1827, there is no one 
who can properly be called a religious poet of any real mark. 
But in 1827 John Keble published " The Christian Year" and 
the effect is rightly described in words which have now 
become classical : " When the general tone of religious litera- 
ture was so powerless and impotent as it was at that time, 
Keble struck an original note, and woke up in the hearts of 
thousands a new music, the music of a school long unknown 
in England." 2 

Keble's " Christian Year " was partly the cause, but partly 
also the index, of a change of feeling which had been going 
on for some time ; and among the chief producers of that 
change were four great writers, all of them poets, though 
perhaps only one of the four can be said to have made his 
poetry the chief organ of the influence which he exercised. 
These four were Sir Walter Scott, S. T. Coleridge, William 
Wordsworth, and Robert Southey. 

Let us take the most popular and voluminous of them all 
first. Of the early life of Sir Walter Scott, we read the old, 
old story, repeated a thousand times during our period, of a 
strong reaction against a narrow and over-strict religious 
training. Happily, in Sir Walter's case, this reaction did 
not lead, as it did in the case of many others, to scepti- 
cism, irreligion, or immorality. Retaining the kernel of the 

1 Christian Remembrancer, vol. i., January to June, 1841 ; Article, "The 
Religious Poets of the Day." 

2 Newman's Apologia pro Vit& Sua, p. 77. 


religion he had been taught, and only throwing away the 
husk, he found a congenial home in a religious system which 
appealed alike to his love of antiquity, to his refined literary 
taste, to his sense of the beautiful, and to his calm, equable 
temperament. The more he saw of the Anglican Church, the 
more he liked it ; but the narrowness and gloominess of the 
system in which he had been brought up repelled him from 
the first, and he never shook off that feeling. He always 
seems to have taken an interest in theological questions, and 
once actually perpetrated a volume of sermons which was 
about as incongruous a performance as " The Christian Hero " 
of poor Sir Richard Steele. But, in his way, he was the most 
effective preacher of his day, and his preaching was all in 
favour of the old faith and the old system of the Church of 
England. He possessed the priceless advantage of catching 
the public ear. Thousands upon thousands eagerly drank in 
his words ; and when a new tale from his pen appeared, it 
made all other books a drug in the market. But while his 
countless readers were charmed with the humour of Andrew 
Fairservice, or the powerful description of Balfour of Burley, 
they were, all unconsciously, imbibing sentiments which tended 
to undermine the predominant theology. The Evangelicals 
knew their enemy, and suspected him from the first. It is 
true that they were not directly concerned in his representa- 
tion of the Covenanters, which called forth the wrath of some 
of his compatriots ; for they would probably sympathize with 
the Cavaliers rather than with the Roundheads. But none 
the less is it true that his way of looking at things was not 
their way. To begin with, he broke down once and for all 
their assumption that novel-reading was essentially evil. So 
long as " Tom Jones " and " Humphry Clinker," or even 
" Pamela " and " The Castle of Otranto," were regarded as 
the type of novels generally, there was something to be said 
for the view that novel-reading could not possibly tend to 
edification ; but unprejudiced persons revolted from the idea 
that "Waverley" and "The Heart of Mid-Lothian" were 
demoralizing. Sir Walter's inimitable biographer claims for 
his hero, with perfect justice, the credit of having taught 
Christian morality in a most captivating form ; and no one 
can gainsay him when he dwells upon the healthy, manly 


tone of the great novelist's writings. Bishop Van Mildert 
was no flatterer when he told Scott that "he could reflect 
upon the labours of a long literary life, with the consciousness 
that everything he had written tended to the practice of 
virtue, and to the improvement of the human race." Perhaps 
Scott was thinking of the bishop's words when he said a 
little before his death, " I am drawing near to the close of my 
career ; I am fast shuffling off the stage. I have been perhaps 
the most voluminous author of the day ; and it is a comfort 
to me to think that I have tried to unsettle no man's faith, 
to corrupt no man's principle." His satisfaction was well 
grounded, if we understand by " faith " the broad, general 
views of Christian truth ; but if we understand by it the 
popular theology as held by " the serious," the case is different. 
The High Churchmen of .the generation that was coming on 
saw clearly enough that he had been preparing the way for 
them. The long essay which John Keble wrote upon him for 
the British Critic, evidently con amore, is a witness of this ; and 
as it would be impossible to express what is meant in better 
language, an extract from that very remarkable essay may 
be permitted. " It is not perhaps too much to say that never 
did a single writer exert a greater influence on his age. No 
slight benefit was the substitution of his manly realities for 
the flimsy, enervating literature which peopled the shelves of 
those who read chiefly for amusement. In verse he had noble 
coadjutors, but the reformation of the novel was exclusively 
his own work. . . . But it was for far more than an improvement 
in such things for which this generation is indebted to him. 
Whatever of good feeling and salutary prejudice exists in 
favour of ancient institutions ... is it not in a good measure 
attributable to the chivalrous tone which his writings have 
diffused over the studies and tastes of those now in the prime 
of manhood ? His rod, like that of a beneficent enchanter, 
has touched and guarded hundreds, who would else have been 
reforming enthusiasts. His writings are all against the cold, 
supercilious tone of the age, and the great temptations to 
utilitarian views. . . . What if these generous feelings had 
been allowed to ripen into that of which they are undoubtedly 
the germ and rudiment? What if this gifted writer had 
become the poet of the Church, in as eminent a sense as he 


was the poet of the Border and Highland chivalry ? " If it 
were not too presumptuous, I should certainly be inclined to 
answer these questions in a different way from that in which 
the writer intends them to be answered. Sir Walter Scott 
seems to me to have done his part better by writing as he 
did, than he would have done if he had attempted to do, as 
a poet, the work which Mr. Keble himself and Mr. Isaac 
Williams did, or, as a tale-writer, that which was so well 
done by Mr. Paget and Mr. Gresley. But instead of venturing 
to demur to Mr. Keble, it will be better to fall back on an 
authority equal to his own. Dr. Newman, referring to his 
famous article in the British Critic in 1839, when he touches 
upon the causes which led to the movement of 1883, writes : 
" First I mentioned the literary influence of Walter Scott, 
who turned men's minds to the direction of the Middle Ages, 
The general need of something deeper and more attractive 
than what had offered itself elsewhere, may be considered to 
have led to his popularity ; and by means of his popularity 
he reacted on his readers, stimulating their mental thirst, 
feeding their hopes, setting before them visions which, when 
once seen, are not easily forgotten, and silently indoctrinating 
them with nobler ideas, which might afterwards be appealed 
to as first principles." 1 That was Sir Walter's proper work ; 
he was a most effective pioneer, but he would have been only 
an indifferent teacher of what followed. 

We next come to the Lake poets -Coleridge, Wordsworth, 
and Southey. Far more than any professed theologians of 
their age, these three, or at any rate the two first of them, 
seem to me to have influenced the public mind, though perhaps 
slowly and indirectly, in its attitude towards religion. All 
three, in their early years, sympathized with the vague but 
generous aspirations after liberty and truth awakened by 
the French Revolution ; all three suffered the same rude 
shock of bitter disappointment when liberty degenerated into 
licence, and the most cruel tyranny took the place of the 
glorious freedom they had dreamed of; all three, by a violent 
reaction, became, instead of democrats and sceptics, the 
staunchest supporters of the British constitution in Church 

1 See Newman's Apologia pro VitA Sud ; also Canon Liddon's Life of Dr 
Pusey, i. 254, 


and State. But in the case of Wordsworth the change was 
not so marked as in the other two, because he had never 
drifted away, as they had done, from the faith, but had 
confined his liberalism to politics. 

But let us begin with that one of the three whose own 
character was the most imperfect, whose writings were the 
least voluminous and the least complete, but who, strange to 
say, had the most influence of them all Samuel Taylor 
Coleridge (1772-1834). From his earliest years his mind was 
constantly running in the direction of theology. As a mere 
schoolboy he had revolted against the hard, dry, utilitarian 
view of religion prevalent in the eighteenth century. He 
does not seem in early life to have come into contact with 
the then rising Evangelicalism ; but when he did, it did not at 
all commend itself to him. His experience at college (Jesus, 
Cambridge) only confirmed the impressions he had formed 
at school (Christ's Hospital). He passed rapidly through 
the downward steps from orthodoxy to Socinianism ; from 
Socinianism, through a vague sort of Pantheism, to Unita- 
rianism ; from Unitarianism to something very like downright 
scepticism, not to say atheism. He then passed through 
exactly the same stages upwards, and finally found his 
permanent home in the Church of his baptism, a most firm 
believer in all the doctrines of the Church, and a most ardent 
admirer of our great divines, especially those of the seven- 
teenth century. From first to last he was thoroughly in 
earnest, and, one may even say, spiritually minded. But his 
downward and also his upward progress is perfectly intelligible 
and perfectly consistent. His mental history is simply the 
history of a truly pious soul painfully groping its way until it 
at last found the right way, from which it henceforth never 
swerved for one moment. Before he had found the light, he 
describes his case in his own exquisite language 

" Thrice holy faith ! Whatever thorns I meet, 
As on I totter with unpractis'd feet, 
Still let me stretch my arms and cling to Thee, 
Meek nurse of souls through their long infancy." ! 

It is no part of the present work to discuss his frailties, the 

1 " To an Infant." Written in 1794. Quoted by Mr. Abbey in The English 
Church in the Eighteenth Century ) ii. 346. 


root of which lay in physical rather than moral or intellectual 
sources. It was latent disease which caused him to be a 
confirmed opium-eater, culpably negligent in providing for 
his family, and morbidly averse from any sustained intellectual 
exertion. His heart was always in the right place, and his 
weaknesses should move pity rather than blame. But it is a 
fair subject of inquiry, How is it that this indolent, desultory 
man, who in his religious views almost boxed the theological 
compass, whose life stands out as a warning rather than an 
example, whose writings consist more of beautiful fragments 
than of any great consecutive work, who glaringly contra- 
dicts in his later life what he had written with vehemence, 
not to say violence, in his earlier, who did not earn enough 
by his pen to maintain himself, much less his family, yet 
exercised an influence which few other men did over the 
minds of his countrymen? Was it the magical power of 
genius, which turns everything it touches, however slightly, 
into gold ? This, no doubt, may account for much, but not 
for all. Coleridge was a true prophet as well as a true poet. 
He had the courage of his convictions, and his convictions 
were far in advance of his age. It quite startles one to 
observe how at one time he exactly lays his finger upon the 
weak point of a position, how at another he hits the very 
centre of the bull's-eye. Just one fragmentary remark of his 
is sometimes more fertile in suggestion than whole chapters 
and whole volumes of other writers. Those who are fond of 
historical parallels might find an interesting subject for 
speculation in comparing S. T. Coleridge with Alexander 
Knox. Both were recluses more or less ; both quitted the 
world without leaving any magnum opus behind them ; 
both acted as a sort of fr^ii ( an ^ at Ver 7 nearly the same 
time), which spread and spread till it leavened a large mass ; 
both were admirable conversationalists ; and both were sought 
out in their respective retreats by men of thought and culture 
who came to hear the oracle speak. 

The very truth of Coleridge's sayings in prose and verse 
renders it difficult to appreciate their originality. They have 
proved so true that they sound like truisms ; and only those 
who have thoroughly saturated themselves with the mind of 
England in the early part of the present century can realize 



how powerful a solvent they are of deeply rooted ideas and 
prejudices. To give instances would be like presenting a 
brick as a specimen of a building. A man must go through 
a course of Coleridge before he can realize what his teaching 
was. 1 Let it suffice to quote the testimony of one of his most 
distinguished disciples on the point. " Of all recent writers," 
says Julius Hare, " the one whose sanction I have chiefly 
desired is the great religious philosopher to whom the mind 
of our generation in England owes more than to any other 
man, and whose aim it was to spiritualize not only our 
philosophy, but our theology ; to raise them both above the 
empiricism into which they had fallen, and to free them from 
the technical trammels of logical systems." 

But Coleridge does not stand alone ; he must be taken 
closely in connection with Wordsworth ; for the one was the 
complement of the other. 

" Every great poet is a teacher ; I desire to be considered 
either as a teacher, or nothing." So said William Words- 
worth (1770-1850) when reviewers were scoffing at, and the 
world was ignoring, his immortal verse. But he had his 
desire. By slow degrees men began to see, what his 
friends had seen all along, that a great poet, and therefore 
a great teacher, had been among them, and they knew 
it not There is something truly heroic in Wordsworth's 
dogged determination to fulfil his mission, in spite of ridicule 
and in spite of neglect. Without attacking, as his friend 
Coleridge attacked, popular beliefs or prejudices, he quietly, 
and perhaps unconsciously, undermined them by pointing 
out what he considered the better way. It was not new- 
teaching, but a return to the old, though it seemed new to a 
generation which had quite lost sight of the old. One can 
quite understand the enthusiastic admiration which John 
Keble felt for Wordsworth ; but Keble was a mystic, and 
mysticism was an unintelligible jargon, not only to the 
survivors of the prosaic eighteenth century, but also alike to 
the popular pietists and to the utilitarian reformers of the 
nineteenth. The blending of religion and philosophy, the 

1 If any reader happens to have read an article in a leading periodical on 
" The Religious Opinions of S. T. Coleridge," and observes here any repetition 
of the sentiments there expressed, he will perhaps guess the reason. 


sacredness of nature as the outward expression of God, 
the sacredness of childhood, the sacredness of common, 
homely life, these were the truths he had to teach to those 
who had eyes to see and ears to hear. His teaching led 
some in the direction in which Keble and Newman and Isaac 
Williams carried them further ; it led others in a different 
direction, in which they were guided onward by such men as 
the two Hares and F. D. Maurice. But to the Evangelicals, 
on the one hand, and the Whig reformers on the other, it all 
seemed worse than nonsense. Lord Jeffrey's now historical 
exclamation, " This will never do ! " is perfectly intelligible. 
No ! it would never do for men who felt that their business 
in life was to make war against Corporation and Test Acts, 
game laws and steel traps and spring guns, Lord Eldon and 
the Court of Chancery, to have held out to them as an ideal 
one who felt 

"A sense sublime 

Of something far more deeply interfused, 
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, 
And the round ocean, and the living air, 
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man ; " 

one whose 

" Daily teachers had been clouds and hills, 
The silence that is in the starry sky, 
The sleep that is among the lonely hills ; 

one whose 

" Soul was like a star, and dwelt apart." 

The Evangelical found, not poetry, but flat heresy, in such 
lines as 

' ' Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting : 
The soul that rises with us, our life's star, 
Hath had elsewhere its setting, 

And cometh from afar : 
Not in entire forgetfulness, 
And not in utter nakedness, 
But trailing clouds of glory, do we come 
From God, who is our home." 

Wordsworth and Coleridge, as has been said, must be 
taken together. Let me conclude the notice of these two 
great men by quoting the testimony to their influence of two 


very thoughtful writers, the one an outsider, the other belong- 
ing to the esoteric school. " If," writes Mr. Walter Bagehot, 
" all cultivated men speak differently because of the existence 
of Wordsworth and Coleridge ; if not a thoughtful English 
book has appeared for forty years without some trace for 
good or evil of their influence ; if sermon-writers subsist upon 
their thoughts ; if 'sacred poets' thrive by translating their 
weaker portions into the speech of women ; if, when all this is 
over, some sufficient feast of their writing will ever be fitting 
food for wild musing and solitary meditation ; surely this is 
because they possessed the inner nature ' an intense and 
glowing mind,' ' the vision and the faculty divine.' " l Julius 
Hare, in his dedication of " Guesses at Truth " to William 
Wordsworth, writes, " You and he [Coleridge] came forward 
together in a shallow, hard, and worldly age an age alien and 
almost averse from the higher and more strenuous exercises 
of imagination and thought as the purifiers and regenerators 
of poetry and philosophy. It was a great aim, and greatly 
have you both wrought for its accomplishment. Many, among 
those who are now England's best hope and stay, will respond 
to my thankful acknowledgment of the benefits my heart and 
mind have received from you both." 2 

All this is strong language, but not too strong for the facts 
of the case. Wordsworth and Coleridge have exercised a 
deeper and a stronger influence an influence that is increasing 
rather than decaying upon the more thoughtful part of 
their countrymen than any other writers who have come 
under our notice in this volume ; and, what is more to the 
point, the Church of the future was largely being moulded, 
not at Lambeth and Bishopthorpe, but at Rydal Mount and 
Highgate, by men who little dreamed that they were doing 
anything of the kind. 

1 Literary Studies, i. 28: "The First Edinburgh Reviewers." This was 
written in 1855. It illustrates, by the way, another great change which has taken 
place in the estimate of another poet, who was in one sense a disciple of Words- 
worth. In the clause about "sacred poets thriving by translating the weaker 
portions of Wordsworth's poetry into the speech of women," the writer refers 
especially to John Keble, as another passage in his very able Studies shows 
beyond a doubt. Would any writer in 1892, of equal calibre, now write of 
Keble as Mr. Bagehot wrote in 1855 ? 

* Guesses at Truth, 2nd edit., ist series, 1838. 


The influence of the third member of the great trium- 
virate upon the Church was far more simple and direct, but 
far less potent in the long run. Unlike Wordsworth and 
Coleridge, Robert Southey (1774-1843) was essentially a man 
of his own time. There is nothing complicated either about 
his character or his writings. When he had once settled 
down, after his early escapades, into a steady, old-fashioned 
orthodoxy, he simply expressed the sentiments of hundreds 
and thousands (only in much better language than they could 
have used), in fact, one might almost say, the sentiments of the 
majority of his countrymen. For, though its enemies were 
blatant and noisy, I believe the Church of England, after all, 
reflected the feelings of the nation of England. Southey's 
poetry counts for little, at any rate in this connection, but his 
prose was excellent in fact, in its way, the best that was then 
written ; and it was always on the side of Church and State. 
Perhaps he went a little too much in one rut, and could ap- 
preciate no good outside it. There was some truth in the 
reproof which he received on the publication of his " Life of 
Wesley " " Thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is 
deep." Coleridge, by the way, who admired his friend's book 
enthusiastically, was quite alive to this weakness. But it was 
no slight advantage to the Church, always to have on her 
side, as a warm and conscientious defender, one of the most 
charming and industrious writers of the day ; while his 
own spotless and nobly unselfish life would have been a real 
credit to any religious community to which he might attach 

Before quitting the great writers in general literature who 
made the first thirty years of the nineteenth century one of 
the most brilliant of all eras in literary annals, special notice 
should be taken of a point to which attention is drawn by a 
thoughtful writer in 1841. It is what he calls "the increasing 
tendency of true poets among us to the Christian religion." 
" To detect this," he proceeds, " we need not have recourse to 
works professedly religious. With the exception of Byron, 
Shelley, and Keats, no poet of any consideration has ap- 
peared in England this century whose works, taken as a 
whole, have a tendency to alienate men from the faith. . . . 
Their poetry is on the side of God and of good, not of the 


devil and evil." 1 Not only is this perfectly true, but the im- 
portance of the exceptions all melts away when we look into 
their history. Byron, Shelley, and Keats all died young. 
The longest-lived of them, Byron, only reached the age of 
thirty-six, Shelley only thirty, Keats hardly twenty-six. 
Why, at that age, Coleridge was prophesying that " the age of 
priesthood would soon be no more, and the torch of super- 
stition be extinguished for ever ; " railing at " the dear-bought 
grace of cathedrals," and "the supple dulness which loses 
half its shame by wearing a mitre where reason would have 
placed a fool's cap ! " Southey's religious views were in a 
vague and unsettled state. Writing of the latter at the age of 
thirty-two, his son and biographer has a passage which is worth 
quoting, as it bears upon others besides Southey. " His reli- 
gious views during middle life were settling down into a more 
definite shape, and were drawing year after year nearer to a 
conformity with the doctrines of the Church of England. . . . 
Many whose mental and social qualifications he most ad- 
mired were unsettled in their faith, though almost without 
exception in later life they sought and found the only sure 
resting-place for their hopes and fears." 2 Now, this is just 
what none of the three great poets before us had a chance of 
doing, for they never reached that " later life ; " but to one of 
them, at least, Southey himself anticipated that the change 
would come. " Here," he writes to his friend Grosvenor 
Bedford in 1812, "is a man at Keswick who acts upon me 
as my own ghost would do. His name is Shelley. ... At 
present he has got to the Pantheistic stage of philosophy, 
and in the course of a week I expect he will be a Berkeleyan, 
for I have put him on a course of Berkeley. I tell him that 
all the difference between us is that he is nineteen and I am 
thirty-seven." 3 Scott anticipated a similar change in Byron. 
" Our sentiments," he writes to Moore, " agreed a good deal 

1 Christian Remembrancer, vol. i., January to June, 1841, No. ii., Article, 
" The Religious Poets of the Day," p. 159. 

2 Lije, etc., of Robert Southey, iii. 6. 

s Life, iii. 325, 326. Mrs. Oliphant remarks on this: "Excellent Southey! 
He did not suspect how absolutely out of all possibility of resemblance were his 
own well-ordered conservative character and this wild spirit." Lit. Hist, of 
England, iii. 47, 48. But, as will appear below, a brother-poet (Robert 
Browning) thought differently. 


except upon the subjects of religion and politics, upon neither 
of which I was inclined to believe that Lord Byron enter- 
tained very fixed opinions. I remember saying to him that 
I really thought that, if he lived a few years, he would alter 
his sentiments. He answered rather sharply, ' I suppose you 
are one of those who prophesy I shall turn Methodist ? ' I 
replied, ' No ; I don't expect your conversion to be of such 
an ordinary kind. I would look to see you retreat upon the 
Catholic faith, and distinguish yourself by the austerity of 
your penances/ " l Robert Browning was of opinion that, had 
Shelley lived, he would have ranged himself finally with the 
Christians. 2 It is, of course, impossible to say how far such 
anticipations might have been verified ; but it is also impos- 
sible to attach any importance to the opinions on religious 
subjects of men even of the greatest genius, who had mani- 
festly not studied those subjects with any real, serious appli- 
cation. A poet may be born, not made ; but a theologian is 
made, not born. With respect to Keats, it is doubtful how 
far he is to be classed among unbelievers. In the words 
of Professor Masson : " In religious belief, he had no wish 
to disturb existing opinions and institutions, partly because 
he had really no such quarrel with them as Shelley had, 
partly because he had no confidence in his ability to dogma- 
tize on such points." 3 And a very wise diffidence it was. 
It is really absurd to spend time in discussing what the 
religious views of a youth of twenty-five, who had never made 
any special study of the subject, may have been. " Religion," 
writes another biographer, "unless in certain pictorial aspects, 
took little hold of him ; " and this being so, we may apply to 
his religion with tenfold force what the same writer most truly 
remarks about the whole man : " It is madness to speak as 
though Keats had found his highest life or expression. To 
be as we find him at twenty-five years of age is mystery 
enough. God did not give him ' the years that bring the 
philosophic mind.' " 4 

1 Lockhart's Life, i. 325. 

2 See Professor David Masson's interesting volume, Wordsworth, Shelley, 
Keats, and other Essays : " Shelley," p. 118. 

8 See Masson, ut supra t p. 170. 

4 Introductory sketch by John Hogben to the 1885 edition of The Poetical 
Works of John Keats, pp. 32, 33. 


One direct outcome of the teaching of Coleridge and Words- 
worth was the singularly thoughtful work of the two brothers, 
Julius and Augustus Hare, entitled " Guesses at Truth" which 
first appeared in 1827. Augustus died young, but Julius 
followed up this early effort (he was only thirty-one when it 
appeared) by a number of other works which do not come within 
our period. It was " the more spiritual theology and philo- 
sophy" ( to use their own words), derived from Coleridge and 
Wordsworth, which distinguished the writings of the Hares 
from those of the rising Liberal school to which, broadly speak- 
ing, they belonged. It has been noticed in a former chapter 
how, during the ten or twelve years immediately preceding 
the Oxford Movement, this seemed likely to become the pre- 
dominant party in the Church. It was exceedingly active 
among other ways, in literary work, which was generally of an 
able, and sometimes of a rather startling, character. Richard 
Whately, after having won his spurs as a defender of 
Christianity by his " Historic Doubts " already noticed, was 
chosen Bampton Lecturer in 1822, and, very characteristically, 
created a flutter in the ecclesiastical dove-cot by taking as 
his subject " The Use and Abuse of Party Feeling in Matters 
of Religion" and treating it in a way which certainly would 
not commend itself either to High Churchmen or to Evangel- 
icals. This he followed up in 1825 by a work " On Some of 
the Peculiarities of the Christian Religion" which his old- 
fashioned readers would, no doubt, consider very peculiar 
indeed; and this in 1828 by another, "On Some of the 
Difficulties in the Writings of St. Paul" which directly tra- 
versed the Evangelical interpretation of St. Paul's Epistles. 
In 1827 the then comparatively unknown R. D. Hampden 
published his first work, entitled " The Philosophical Evidence 
of Christianity" the true aim of which was not perhaps fully 
realized until the publication of his Bampton Lectures for 
1832, on ""Scholastic Philosophy and Christian Theology;" 
his general purport in both seems to have been to show that 
the theology grew up under the influence of the philosophy a 
theory not likely to find acceptance with either High or Low 
Churchmen. Then came, in 1829, H. H. Milmans "History 
of the Jews" about which, as it has been already noticed, it 
need only be added here that it so far harmonized with the 


other writings we are now considering, that it was calculated 
to raise alarm in Orthodox and Evangelical breasts. How 
far Dr. Pusey's first publication, "An Historical Enquiry into 
the Rational Character of German Theology" can be fairly 
said to belong to the same category, has already been discussed 
in an earlier chapter. Dr. Arnold had published the first 
volume of his admirable " Sermons preached at Rugby School" 
before our period closes, in which only those who can read 
between the lines will detect anything to which either High or 
Low Churchmen could object ; and his pamphlet on " Church 
Reform" which to many minds seems adapted to reform the 
Church from off" the face of the earth, just comes within our 
purview, being the very last work of any mark on a theological 
subject before the Oxford Movement began. 

To sum up this long chapter. When Bishop Hobart 
visited England in 1823-4, he "spoke "to Thomas Sikes "with 
much admiration of the varied acquirements, learning, and 
science of the English clergy ; but he complained that they 
were too often defective in the peculiar science of their pro- 
fession he found very few accomplished theologians." x The 
keen-sighted American undoubtedly hit a blot. Churchmen, 
lay and clerical alike, were as a body highly accomplished 
men in many subjects, but not, unfortunately, in theology. 
One reason of this may undoubtedly be found in the fact that 
the circumstances of the age did not call forth the exercise 
of the highest intellectual powers in the service of theology. 
There was abundance of infidelity to grapple with, but it was 
flippant and shallow, and its confutation was better adapted 
for the pen of a " Will Chip " than for that of a Butler or a 
Waterland. Evangelicalism was a moral and spiritual rather 
than an intellectual force. The Roman controversy turned 
rather upon the question as to whether Roman Catholics were 
to have a vote at elections than as to whether their doctrines 
were true. If Church literature did not reach a high mark, 
anti-Church literature certainly reached a still lower one. 
Cultured men turned their attention to scholarship rather 
than theology ; it was the age of the Greek-play bishops. 

Still, the rapid sketch which has been given will, it is 
hoped, show that the land was not quite so barren as it has 

1 See Churton's Memoir of Joshua Watson, i. 245. 


been represented. If there were few really great theologians, 
there were at least many pious and cultured men who kept up 
the tradition of the Church of England as a learned Church. 
It was not an empty boast, but a real truth, which Alexander 
Knox uttered, when he wrote in 1825, " It is in the Church of 
England, in which due and proportioned provision is made 
for both understanding and imagination, that the closest and 
most unreserved and most cordial union has existed between 
minds of the first order and the Christian religion." 

2I 9 



IN no department of her work was the increased energy of 
the Church more conspicuous than in that of education in 
all its branches, from the highest to the lowest. Let us begin 
with the highest. 


It need scarcely be said that during the whole of our 
period the two great national Universities were exclusively 
connected with the national Church. What was done in 
them, therefore, may be regarded as part of the work of the 
Church in the most literal sense. 

Oxford had reached her nadir in the eighteenth century. 
Professors who never lectured, tutors who never taught, 
students who never studied, were the rule rather than the 
exception. Very eminent men were still to be found among 
her sons; some were pious and hardy enough to defend 
their Alma Mater ; others indignantly complained of her 
neglect of her children. The few defences and the many 
complaints need not be specified, for they do not belong to 
our period. But an Oxford man must own with shame that, 
with some honourable exceptions, his University was no 
credit to the nation during the eighteenth century. But the 
very commencement of the new century gave a promise of 
better things. In 1800 examinations began to be made 
public; by the new examination statute of 1801, honours 
were to be awarded to those who offered themselves for a 
stricter examination than the ordinary one ; and the first class- 


list appeared in 1802. The examinations for degrees had 
degenerated into the merest farce ; they had been conducted 
in private, and the most ludicrous stories (not worth quoting) 
are told about them 1 The changes were regarded with 
suspicion and dislike : the " old regime thought it the era 
of an alarming revolution." 2 But the new system was soon 
well taken up, as is shown by the mere fact that in 1802 only 
two men took honours, and in 1832 one hundred and seventy- 
three. Everybody who has had anything to do with the 
training of young men knows that at a place like Oxford 
idleness means mischief; so that if Oxford had done nothing 
more than offer fresh incentives to study, it would have 
incalculably raised the moral tone of the place. The colleges 
followed the lead of the University ; indeed, at least in two 
cases, they gave the lead. Oriel and Balliol had already 
made college work a reality before the University examina- 
tions had become realities ; and to the heads of these two 
colleges, Dr. Eveleigh, Provost of Oriel, and Dr. Parsons, 
Master of Balliol, in conjunction with the Dean of Christ 
Church (Dr. Cyril Jackson), belongs the chief credit of giving 
the stimulus to the University. 

We have evidence, both positive and negative, of the 
improvement which took place. In 1817 Bishop Jebb paid 
a visit to Oxford, and was so impressed with what he saw, 
that he wrote to Mr. Butterworth, "The Oxford system of 
education has certainly received great improvement of late 
years ; to religious instruction, both in the separate colleges 
and in the public University education, considerable atten- 
tion is paid. Studious habits are the fashion ; scarcely a 
young man is to be seen in the streets or in the squares of 
the colleges before two o'clock each day " with much more 

1 Mr. G. V. Cox, writing of the year 1799, after having referred to the farce of 
examinations at that time, says, "Well might such a state of things expire with 
the expiring century. The ' New Examination Statute ' was already on the anvil, 
and being worked into shape ; Dean Cyril Jackson, 'Dr. Eveleigh, and Dr. Parsons 
were labouring hard for the revival of scholarship and the credit of our Alma 
Mater. Nothing was talked of but the forthcoming statute." Recollections of 
Oxford, by G. V. Cox, p. 37. 

2 Memoir of Bishop Copleston, p. 1 10. Copleston was a warm supporter of the 
reform, but he most ably defended the Oxford system of a classical education 
against the attacks of the Edinburgh Review. 

OXFORD. 221 

to the same effect. 1 Henry Handley Norris wrote to Bishop 
Hobart in 1820, "Our Universities, Oxford especially, have 
been repairing the decay of discipline, and of the requisite 
knowledge for their degrees ; and a competent knowledge of 
the evidences and principles of Christianity is made indis- 
pensable to every one." 2 The glimpses we have in the lives 
of Arnold, Keble, Ward, Newman, and many others, give a 
wholly different impression of the University from a study 
of earlier lives. 

It is only, however, in comparison with its low condition 
in the eighteenth century that Oxford can be regarded as in 
at all a hopeful state in the early part of the nineteenth. It 
was not yet to any adequate extent availing itself of its 
unique opportunities as an educator, and least of all as a 
religious educator, of the flower of the English nation. A 
vast amount of bigotry and obstructiveness which had been 
dispelled elsewhere still lingered in its cloisters. A vehement 
attachment to the Church as it was, was not incompatible 
with a low standard of religious life. It is to be feared that 
there is too much truth in Copleston's description of it in 
1814 (the year of his election to the Provostship of Oriel) : 
" This place is the head-quarters of what is falsely called 
High Church principle. . . . But the leading partisans appear 
to me only occupied with the thought of converting the 
property of the Church to their private advantage, leaving 
the duties of it to be performed how they can." 8 Bishop 
Charles Wordsworth, writing of the Oxford of 1826, says 
that "religious worship and instruction, however it might 
wear a fair appearance of formal routine, was essentially 
deficient, and in no respect satisfactory." 4 A very sad tone 
runs through all the famous sermons of John Miller, of Wor- 
cester College, published in 1830; and though they are not 
exclusively confined to the state of things at Oxford, it is 
obvious that he had his own University especially in view. 
The bad old habits of intemperance had not been rooted out. 

1 See Forster's Life of Bishop Jebb and Letters, ii. 302. 

2 Life of Bishop Hobart, by John M' Vicar, D.D., p. 492. 

3 Letter to his father, quoted in Memoir of Bishop Copleston^ by W. J. 

* Annals of my Early Life, 1806-1846. 


Evangelicalism had produced very little effect at Oxford, and 
there really was no definite system of faith which at all laid 
hold of the mind of the University generally. Its religion 
was a political religion. It could lash itself into a fury when 
any of the outworks of the Church appeared to be in danger, 
as it did when Lord Grenville was elected Chancellor in 
1814 against Lord Eldon, who had almost all the residents 
on his side; or when it turned out Peel in 1829 for his conduct 
in regard to Roman Catholic Emancipation ; but of spiritual 
activity it had very little. 

Perhaps, on the whole, Cambridge was not in such crying 
need of reform as Oxford was ; the mere fact that she had 
begun to make her examinations a reality, and to offer 
inducements to study in the shape of honours some time 
before Oxford did, is an indication of this. But, after all, 
there was not very much to choose between these two Uni- 
versities in the eighteenth century. The melancholy tale 
of Gray the poet is taken up by his brother-poet, William 
Cowper, and then by Mr. Gunning, and then by Professor 
Pryme ; l and Simeon's early experiences confirm the impres- 
sion they all leave, that Cambridge was almost as hopeless 
an Augean stable as Oxford. The history of our period at 
Cambridge, no less than at Oxford, is the history of an 
attempt to cleanse it. 

It was partly an advantage, partly a very great disad- 
vantage to Cambridge, that from the first it was a great 
centre of Evangelicalism, which Oxford never was. On the 
one hand, it could not but be beneficial to any place, and 
most of all to a place whose very raison d'etre was to foster 
Christian piety as well as sound learning, to have in its midst, 
and indeed among its leaders, men of such true religious 
earnestness as Dean Milner, Charles Simeon, Professors 
Parish, Jowett, Dealtry, and Scholefield. On the other 
hand, just in proportion to the very goodness of these men 
and their followers, was the extent of the mischief that was 

1 Among other things, Professor Pryme says, " When I first went to Cambridge 
[about 1800] the habit of hard drinking was almost as prevalent there as it 
was in country society " (Autobiographic Recollections, p. 49) ; and two pages 
later, " There was throughout their parties an endeavour to make each other 


done by the violent prejudice raised against them. 1 But 
this point has been fully explained in the chapter on the 

It must not, however, be supposed that the Evangelicals 
monopolized all the religion of Cambridge during our period. 
There were two other religious movements which, while they 
had much in common with one another, were both quite out 
of sympathy with Evangelicalism. One was that of the old 
High Church party, which had no more died out at Cambridge 
than it had anywhere else. In the earlier part of the century 
the ablest leader of this party was Herbert Marsh, afterwards 
Bishop of Peterborough. As Margaret Professor of Divinity, 
he used the influence which his position gave him against 
the Evangelicals ; he was, beyond all comparison, their most 
formidable opponent, but his opposition was not of that 
blind, unreasoning sort, which vaguely stigmatized all 
spiritual religion as Methodism. His work was eminently 
<:<?7zstructive as well as destructive ; he strove, not altogether 
in vain, to bring his University back into the old paths in 
which the great Anglican divines of the seventeen^ century 
walked. He was the one man who roused that slumbering 


lion, Dean Milner, from his repose. The Dean hated con- 
troversy much, but he loved the Evangelicals more ; and he 
felt it necessary to draw his sword to meet an adversary well 
worthy of his steel. Marsh was a man of real learning, a 
clear writer, and an adroit disputant. He was also a man 
whose personal character was calculated to commend his 
opinions. Professor Pryme, having told us that he differed 
from him in politics and theology, adds, " But his amiability 
and benevolence in private life attracted the admiration of 
all who had opportunities of observing him ; " and, as an 
illustration of the reputation and influence which he had at 
Cambridge, he continues, " When he was elected Lady 
Margaret Professor of Divinity, so many persons were 
desirous of hearing his early lectures, that he obtained leave 

1 "A young man," writes Charlotte Elizabeth, " could not with impunity be 
a Christian at either of the Universities." Personal Recollections, p. 57. The 
biographer of Henry Venn the younger writes concerning the Cambridge of 1814, 
" The distinction between a ' religious man ' and one who was not was in those 
days very sharply marked, the former being commonly known as Simeonites." 
Memoir of Henry Venn, Prebendary of St. Paul's, etc. t by W. Knight, p. 21. 


to give them from the pulpit of Great St. Mary's, and his 
audience, including some ladies, nearly filled the church." 1 

During the later years of our period, we have Christopher 
Wordsworth, Master of Trinity, J. J. Blunt, W. Le Bas, and, 
above all, Hugh James Rose, among the most prominent of 
those who were keeping up, or rather spreading, the traditions 
of the High Church party, which, until the rise of the Tract 
Movement, was perhaps stronger at Cambridge than it was at 

The other movement may be directly traced to the in- 
fluence of S. T. Coleridge and W. Wordsworth, who were 
among the many distinguished men who left Cambridge 
without any distinction. The leading spirit of this movement 
was Julius Charles Hare, who was resident as tutor at Trinity 
from 1822 to 1832. Among those who were more or less 
affected by it at Cambridge were W. Whewell, R. C. Trench, 
and F. D. Maurice. It was not a large body, but it numbered 
some of the most thoughtful young men at the University. 

These special religious movements would not much affect, 
at least directly, the great mass of the students, but they are 
significant as indications of the stirring of the dry bones 
which was going on. 

At both Oxford and Cambridge, however, there was much 
greater reality in the work both of professors and tutors in 
the early part of the nineteenth than there had been in the 
eighteenth century, and much more intellectual activity on 
the part of the undergraduates. Among other symptoms 
of the latter was the foundation of the " Unions," or debating 
societies, at both Universities during our period ; in these, as a 
rule, the ablest, and afterwards most distinguished students 
took the most prominent part. Again, scholarships and 
fellowships began to be given by merit rather than by favour ; 
and though the " close foundations " were still undisturbed, 
yet when fairness of selection was exercised within the 
prescribed limits, competent men could generally be found. 
Indeed, the evils of the close system seem to me to have 
affected the country generally more than the Universities 
themselves. At Oxford, as one of its most distinguished 
sons has observed, " Middlesex was almost excluded, while 

1 Autobiographic Recollections of Professor George Pry/me, p. 155. 

. ^ ST. M M?Y"5 COLLEGE 


Lincolnshire was gorged." 1 This was hard upon Middlesex, 
but not so hard upon Oxford as might have been expected- 
It is astonishing how many good men were found even in 
the English Boeotia when (though it must in fairness be 
admitted that this was not always the case) merit was really 
made the sole qualification. 

The weakest part of the Church's work at both the 
Universities, as, indeed, throughout the country, was her 
public services. There were, of course, the show services, as 
they may be called, at Magdalen and New, Oxford, and at 
King's, Cambridge ; but I can find no attempt whatever to 
make the ordinary services in the college chapels at either 
University attractive or effective. 2 This seems all the more 
strange because compulsory attendance was rigorously en- 
forced ; and one would have thought that the church, with 
her revived life, would not have neglected so powerful an 
instrument for good. At Cambridge the more piously dis- 
posed undergraduates appear to have found their spiritual 
sustenance at the parish churches rather than at the college 

Besides our two great Universities, several institutions 
for the religious education of those who were past school 
age, date from our period. Good Bishop Burgess during his 
incumbency of the see of St. David's (1803-1825) founded 
a college at Lampeter for the education of the future clergy 
of Wales an institution which happily still exists and thrives. 
The establishment of the London University, from which all 
distinctive religious teaching was to be excluded, led to the 
foundation of King's College in 1828. It is said to have been 
first suggested in a letter to Mr. (Sir Robert) Peel on the 
subject of the London University by Dr. D'Oyly, and was 

1 Gold win Smith, Oxford Essays. 

9 With regard to Cambridge, Connop Thirlwall writes in 1834, "With an 
immense majority of our congregation it [College Chapel] is not a religious service 
at all, and to the remaining few it is the least impressive and edifying that can 
well be conceived." Letter to the Rev. Thomas Turton, D.D., on the admission 
of Dissenters to Cambridge, quoted in Letters Literary and Theological of Connop 
Thirlwall^ edited by Perowne and Stokes, pp. 114, 115. But his brother-tutor at 
Trinity, W. Whewell, demurred to this statement ; and the master, Dr. Words- 
worth, was so annoyed at the "Letter," that he requested Thirlwall to resign his 



intended to supply the Church element which was lacking 
in that institution. In 1825 the Islington College for the 
training of missionaries was founded by the^ Church Mis- 
sionary Society ; and towards the close of our period, a 
scheme which " had been elaborated by the provident wisdom 
and munificence of William Van'Mildert," 1 for the education, 
especially of the future clergy, in a new University at 
Durham, took definite shape. It is impossible here to enter 
into a detailed account of these institutions, but they are 
mentioned as a proof that the higher religious education was 
a subject that engaged the attention of Churchmen. 


The dissatisfaction with things as they were, and the 
eager desire for reform, which were the ever-growing 
tendencies during the whole of our period, were nowhere 
more conspicuous than in the feelings towards our public 
schools. These great institutions were represented as 
nurseries of vice, where, beyond a little Latin and Greek, 
the youth of our upper classes learnt nothing but evil. The 
deterioration of our public schools seems to me to have been 
grossly exaggerated, especially on the intellectual side. The 
fact remains that a very large proportion of the most highly 
cultured men who flourished during the first half of the 
present century, received their education at these much- 
abused institutions. We think of the Cannings, and H. H. 
Milman, and J. T. Coleridge, and E. C. Hawtrey, and W T . M. 
Praed, and Arthur Hallam, and G. C. Lewis, and W. E. 
Gladstone at Eton ; of Byron, and Peel, and Palmerston, and 
the Drurys at Harrow ; of S. T. Coleridge, and C. Lamb, 
and T. F. Middleton at Christ's Hospital ; of Page Wood, 
and G. Moberly, and" the Wordsworths at Winchester; of 
Butler and his brilliant scholars at Shrewsbury ; of R. Southey 
at Westminster ; of Thirlwall, and Julius Hare, and Grote, 
and the Waddingtons at Charterhouse ; and of countless 
others ; and we feel at once the absurdity of supposing that 
no education worthy of the name was given at our public 
schools. The curriculum was undoubtedly much narrower 

1 Burgon's Lives of Twelve Good Men : " Hugh James Rose," i. 181. 


than it is now ; but it is a great question whether it did not 
gain in depth what it wanted in breadth, and whether a 
thorough knowledge of ,a few subjects is not a better mental 
training than a smattering of many. The life was undoubtedly 
rougher than it is now, both among the boys themselves 
and in the relationship of the masters to them ; flogging 
was universal, and was at least as often applied for the 
correction of intellectual as of moral offences ; so essential 
to discipline was it thought, that Southey was expelled from 
Westminster because he called it, in print, an invention of 
the devil. But life was rougher in every department, not in 
schools only ; and this rough training produced some won- 
derfully good results. The weakest part of the public-school 
system was its directly religious training. Evidences of this 
are only too strong and numerous. " It seems incredible," 
writes Mr. Maxwell Lyte in his " History of Eton College," 
"that there should ever have been an entire absence of 
religious teaching at the greatest school in Christian 
England ; yet such, from all accounts, must have been the 
case at Eton until about fifty years ago." * This was written 
in 1875. The present Dean of Ely, Dr. Merivale, gives an 
equally unsatisfactory report of the religious state of Harrow 
from 1818 to 1825, and adds, " Let me contend, however, for 
the undoubted fact that the low state of feeling at Harrow 
in my time was shared by the public schools generally 
throughout the land." 2 Harrow ought to have been in better 
case ; for at the very time of which the dean begins to 
write (1818), Mr. Cunningham, a leading Evangelical, became 
vicar of the parish, and was soon afterwards appointed a 
governor of the school ; and at least two other good Evan- 
gelicals, Mr. Batten and Mr. Phelps, were popular house- 
masters. Indeed, Harrow was in consequence the only 
public school against which the Evangelicals did not steadily 
set their faces at least, for a time; but about 1825, Harrow, 
which had been very prosperous at the beginning of the 
century, began to decline, one of the reasons given being 
that " the religious world, as represented by Mr. Wilberforce 

1 A History of Eton College, 1440-1875, by H. C. Maxwell Lyte, p. 370. 
8 See Harrow School and its Surroundings, by Percy M. Thornton, pp. 


and his associates, had declared against the prevailing 
system." 1 

So many dreary details have been given in a former 
chapter of the unsatisfactory state of public worship gene- 
rally, that it is not necessary to inflict upon the reader a fresh 
list in connection with public schools. Just one testimony 
may be quoted, to which it may be added most truly ex uno 
disce omnes. The writer is referring to a period a few years 
later than that with which this work is concerned, but what 
he says applies a fortiori to the earlier period, 2 for matters 
certainly had grown better, rather than worse, in his day. 
" Words cannot describe," writes Mr. Beresford Hope respect- 
ing Harrow in the thirties, " the dreariness of the worship 
offered to us in my days. One rustic, battered gallery filled 
up the west end of the rear of Harrow parish church, and 
served for the upper boys ; another stifling and cavernous 
gallery was hitched into the north aisle for the lower boys. 
The worship took no account of the needs and peculiarities 
of schoolboys, but was merely the parish worship of which 
they were casual spectators. The worship, too, was con- 
ducted under pronounced Low Church influence, and was far 
from attractive." 3 

This want of what may be called " the plant " was the 
rule, not the exception. When Dr. Arnold went to Rugby 
in 1828, it is mentioned, as an exceptional case, that he found 
not only "commodious buildings, but (what was not then 
usual) a chapel." 4 The other religious provisions were of 
a piece with the provisions for public worship. We are told 
on all hands that religious instruction was not only infrequent, 
but of the driest and dullest description when given ; and 
the complaint is fully borne out by a glance at the few 

1 Harrow School and its Surroundings, p. 248. 

2 In fact, an even worse account is given by the Dean of Ely in the passage 
referred to in the preceding note. 

8 Letter to the writer inserted in the Life of Bishop Christopher Wordsworth 
(ist edit.), p. 84. 

4 Article on Dr. Arnold in Dictionary of National Biography. Mr. Percy 
Thornton dwells on the disadvantage which Dr. Joseph Drury, a really good 
man, who exercised great influence over his pupils at Harrow, laboured under, 
from having " no pulpit of his own from whence to deliver the teaching which 
experience bade him impart." Harrow School and its Surroundings, p. 206. 


school-books dealing with divinity which still remain, of the 
date of the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century. A 
little before our period, S. T. Coleridge's master at Christ's 
Hospital (Dr. Boyer) could devise no better expedient for 
dealing with his pupil's precocious infidelity than to flog it 
out of him ; and Coleridge declares, not at all ironically, that 
it was the only just flogging he ever received. The method 
was a thoroughly characteristic one up to the time of the 
revolution wrought by Arnold. It was no part of a boy's 
duty to think for himself; he was simply to follow in the 
beaten track, and if he diverged from it, why, of course, he 
was to be flogged, and there was an end of it. With the 
same unreasoning obedience, he was to go through the pre- 
scribed course of the Established Church, but there was no 
need of any special preparation. The late Bishop of St. 
Andrew's (Dr. C. Wordsworth) tells us that when he was 
confirmed at Harrow, in 1824, he had had "no preparation." 
" All that my tutor did for me was to ask whether I knew 
my Catechism. In no case," he adds, "so far as I can 
remember, was Confirmation followed up by the reception of 
the Holy Communion ; in short, as regards the school, it was, 
I fear, a thing unknown." 1 An opposite, but quite as objection- 
able an arrangement appears to have prevailed at Winchester, 
as we learn from a curious letter from the Master of Trinity 
to his son, Christopher Wordsworth, which implies that the 
elder boys were expected to communicate at the rare cele- 
brations, whether they were confirmed or not. " Till you 
have been confirmed," he writes in 1823, "it is more correct 
that you should not receive the sacrament ; and 1 have 
written, therefore, to Dr. Gabell, to beg him, if it be not 
wholly inconsistent with the rules of the school, that he 
will dispense with your attendance." 2 For other instances 
of the unsatisfactory state of religion at our public schools, 
the reader must be referred to the professed histories of those 

It is surely not the mere partiality of an old Rugbeian 
which places in the very forefront of the reformers of our 
public schools the name of Thomas Arnold. His claims to 

1 Annals of my Early Years, by Bishop Charles Wordsworth, p. 21. 

8 See Life of Christopher Wordsworth, Bishop of Lincoln, p. 23 (1st edit.). 


this pre-eminence are so manifest that it is quite unnecessary 
to exalt him, as has been sometimes done, at the expense 
of others. We can well understand, for instance, Mr. Glad- 
stone, with his recollection of what Dr. Hawtrey had done at 
Eton, writing, "The popular supposition is, that Eton (from 
1830 onwards) was swept along by a tide of renovation due 
to the fame and contagious example of Dr. Arnold. But 
this, in my opinion, is an error. Eton was in a singularly 
small degree open to influence from other public schools." 1 
And Bishop Charles Wordsworth : " As Stanley's ' Life of 
Arnold ' is widely read, I must qualify the impression which 
Moberly's letter conveys in justice to other school reformers, 
and not least to Moberly himself. The truth is, there was a 
general awakening, which in many instances, as with us at 
Winchester, partook decidedly of a Church character, such as 
Arnold's teaching and example did not." 2 But without draw- 
ing any invidious comparisons, let us see what Arnold's work 
was. When he was a candidate for the head-mastership of 
Rugby in 1827, his friend, Dr. Hawkins, prophesied of him in 
his testimonial that if he were elected, he would " change the 
face of education all through the public schools of England ;" 
and it was mainly on the strength of this prophecy that he 
was, though very late in the field, elected. This fact is signifi- 
cant, as showing how the need for a change was recognized. 
In fact, Arnold was not only the right man in the right place, 
but also the right man at the right time. The fields were ripe 
and ready for harvest, and it only remained for the proper 
sort of reaper to enter in and gather the harvest. Reform 
was in the air ; let the reformer come, and he would be met 
half-way. The place, too, as well as the time, was suit- 
able. Rugby was already a sufficiently important school to 
allow him ample scope for his experiment ; but it had the 
advantage of not being hampered by ancient traditions which 
it is exceedingly difficult to break through, while there was no 
other authority strong enough to thwart him. We have only 
to compare Dr. Arnold's efforts at Rugby with those of Dr. 
Hawtrey at Eton while Dr. Goodall was provost, to perceive 

1 Quoted by the Rev. F. St. John Thackeray in the Dictionary of National 
Biography, under "Hawtrey, Edward Craven." 

2 Annals oj my Early Life, by Bishop Charles Wordsworth, p. 278. 

DR. ARNOLD. 231 

the difference. A biographical notice of Dr. Arnold by one 
of his most distinguished pupils remarks on the simplicity of 
Arnold's method. 1 But simplicity is often a mark of genius ; 
and, simple as it seems, it was a stroke of genius to show, as 
Arnold began by showing, confidence in the boys, and to 
utilize the system of monitors, or, as they are called at Rugby, 
praepostors, and turn the elder boys from the natural enemies 
into the most valuable friends of the masters. But Arnold 
could never have afforded to place implicit confidence in the 
boys unless he had won their confidence. The transparent 
honesty and reality of the man, his ardent piety without a 
tincture of cant in it, his thorough knowledge of boy-nature, 
his happy combination of strictness and tenderness, impressed 
them, and they came to regard him with a feeling almost akin 
to worship. It has been asserted that the Arnold of Dean 
Stanley was an ideal Arnold, not the real man ; but such an 
idea could only have come from those who knew him as a 
friend or acquaintance, not from a pupil. Quite apart from 
the glamour which his most fascinating biographer has thrown 
over him, we have only to consider his own words and deeds, 
and the testimony nay, the very existence of such men as his 
many distinguished pupils became, to realize the power of the 
man. Arnold in the common-room at Oriel, and Arnold in 
the big school, or the school-chapel, or the school-house, or 
above all, in the sixth-form schoolroom at Rugby, were dif- 
ierent men. Dr. Arnold's work must not be limited to his own 
pupils ; he was not only a trainer of boys, but a trainer of their 
trainers. If Rugby did not affect so much the older founda- 
tions like Eton and Westminster, it was certainly the mother 
of many younger institutions which have become almost as 
large and as important as their parent. At Marlborough, 
Clifton, Haileybury, and many other schools, the influence of 
Arnold at second-hand might be distinctly traced. And it is 
difficult to exaggerate the importance of that influence. It 
was, as it were, purifying the life of the nation at its source. 
The public-school system, in spite of its detractors, has too 
firm a hold upon Englishmen ever to be displaced. The 
public-school boys of one generation are the leading men of 
the next. And as the Duke of Wellington said the Battle 

1 Mr. Theodore Walrond, in Diet. Nat. Biog. : " Arnold, Thomas." 


of Waterloo was won in the playing-fields of Eton, so the 
great battle of life is fought, and won or lost, by those whose 
character is formed, for good or evil, at our public schools. 

The grammar schools, and private adventure schools, 
which supplied the education of the great middle-class, from 
the lesser gentry a race that has almost died out to the 
small tradesmen, were more closely connected with the Church 
than they are now. The head-masters of the vast majority 
of the endowed grammar schools, and in many cases the 
" ushers " also, were ex-officio clergymen ; and the masters 
of a great number of the private adventure schools were 
either the incumbents or the curates-in- charge of the parishes 
in which they dwelt. The Vicar of Doncaster which was 
even then a considerable town kept a very flourishing 
academy during the later part of our period, and long 
after. The restoration of our churches has swept away 
an interesting relic of the connection between the grammar 
school or the private academy with the church ; but many 
are old enough to remember how in old-fashioned churches 
there used often to be a square space marked off, different 
from the ordinary pews, and seated with forms, for the boys 
of the grammar or other schools of the place. The Holy- 
days of the Church were often the whole holidays of the 
school ; whether the modern arrangement of giving a holiday 
in honour of a mayor, or some local celebrity, instead of an 
Apostle be an improvement, need not here be discussed. 
Both the grammar schools and the private schools were rela- 
tively far more important than they are now ; the centripetal 
force which railways have naturally brought into action has 
affected no institutions more than these schools. 


The first really systematic attempts to educate the children 
of the poor only date from the early years of the nineteenth 
century. There had, indeed, been many laudable efforts long 
before that time. The Charity Schools, almost all founded 
by Churchmen, and conducted on strictly Church lines, had 
flourished all through the eighteenth century, though, like 
most Church work, more vigorously in the earlier than in the 

. .GO 'LLafO 


later years of that period ; catechetical instructiohs;nChurch, 
and, later on, Sunday schools, had in some 
supplied the want ; individual clergymen, either personally 
or by deputy, had educated their poorer parishioners to a far 
greater extent than is commonly supposed ; nor should we 
quite ignore the humble dames' schools, which furnished 
some sort of mental pabulum in most towns and villages 
throughout the land. But it is no derogation to these various 
sporadic efforts to say that they did not, and could not, all 
put together, effect what was required. , It was, indeed, a 
gigantic task to do so ; and our forefathers in the eighteenth 
century were not exactly the men to set their hands to gigantic 
tasks of this kind. 

Probably the revived energy of the Church would have 
led her under any circumstances to make some special effort 
in what has from time immemorial been recognized by her 
as her duty, the Christian education of the poor. But just 
about the beginning of the century special circumstances 
arose which both forced, as it were, her hand, and also 
greatly facilitated her task. These circumstances arose out 
of the once famous " Bell and Lancaster controversy," which 
it is necessary to describe at some length. In 1787 Dr. 
Andrew Bell went out to India as an army chaplain at 
Madras. He there offered his gratuitious services as super- 
intendent of the education of the boys at the Military Orphan 
Asylum at Egmore, near the city of Madras. He had so 
many boys under his charge that he did not know how to 
deal with them. On one of his morning rides he happened 
to pass by a Malabar school, where he saw a number of 
children seated on the ground writing with their fingers on 
the sand. He went home and told the usher of the lowest 
class in his own school to teach the alphabet in the same 
way. The man neglected to do so ; and then the happy 
thought occurred to the doctor to employ one of the elder 
scholars to teach the younger in this fashion. The plan was 
so successful, that he thought what had been done with the 
alphabet might be done throughout the school. The first 
boy, John Friskin his name deserves to be immortalized as 
the first of the goodly company of pupil-teachers had been 
chosen for his aptitude both to teach and to learn, and also 


for his good character ; and the others were selected on the 
same principles. The effects were rapid and marvellous. 
Not only was there a great improvement in the instruction, 
but the moral tone of the school rose ; for the pupil-teachers, 
being invested with a sort of authority, and being chosen for 
their goodness as well as their cleverness, exercised a whole- 
some influence out of school, and prevented bullying and 
immorality. In short, as Dr. Bell's biographer puts it, "the 
boys managed the school under Dr. Bell's superintendence, 
who made it the great business and pleasure of his life." ] 
The masters did not at once enter into the scheme. One 
resigned. Another said Dr. Bell was "a very odd kind of 
gentleman, and very fond of abusing and quarrelling with 
the teachers." However, the school prospered in spite of 
recalcitrant masters and its irascible superintendent. It had 
only been opened in 1/89; boy-teachers were introduced in 
1791 ; and in 1792 Dr. Bell wrote to an old college-friend, 
Dr. Adamson of St. Andrew's, "The conduct of the school, 
which is entirely in my own hands, is particular. Every boy 
is either a master, or scholar, or both. He teaches one boy, 
while another teaches him. The success has been rapid." 
We have not to take the latter assertion merely on Dr. Bell's 
own word. In 1796 ill health obliged the doctor to return 
to England ; and the authorities of the asylum resolved, 
"That under the immediate care and superintendence of 
Dr. Bell, and the wise and judicious regulations which he has 
established for the education of the boys, this institution has 
been brought to a degree of perfection and promising utility, 
far succeeding what the most sanguine hopes could have 
suggested at the time of its establishment " and then follows 
a vote of thanks. All friction with the masters, too, seems 
to have been smoothed down ; for they wrote, " We, the 
masters of the asylum, who have had the honour of being 
under your direction during the time we have been emptoyed 
as teachers, being apprised of the loss we must shortly sustain 
by your declining the arduous task of the tuition of this 
school, which you have so long upheld by your indefatigable 
attention in establishing the gentle and pious order which 
now subsists throughout the whole " another vote of thanks. 

1 Southey's Life of Dr. Bell, vol. i. 


Immediately on his arrival in England, Dr. Bell published 
in 1797 an account of what he had done in Madras. " I have 
printed my essay," he wrote to General Floyd, " on the mode 
of teaching at the Male Asylum, and have now a design of 
publishing it. By the end of the next century I hope it will 
be generally practised in Europe ; but it is probable that 
others will fall upon the same scheme before this be much 
attended to." To the printer he wrote, " You will mark me 
for an enthusiast ; but if you and I live a thousand years, we 
shall see this system of education spread over the world." 
He sent copies of his " Report " to influential persons, and 
" members of societies for promoting Christianity," and was 
soon engaged in superintending schools on what was long 
known as the Madras System, in various parts. One of the first 
thus organized was at St. Botolph's, Aldgate, which was said 
to be " the oldest Protestant parochial school in London." 
Then followed the schools in Whitechapel, Gower's Walk, 
the schools of industry at Kendal, and in 1807 the Royal 
Military Asylum at Chelsea. In 1811 regimental schools 
were established by general orders of the Government, on 
the Madras System, " after the experience " (it is said in the 
orders) "of its most complete success at Chelsea." The 
Barrington School at Auckland, founded and munificently 
endowed by the Bishop of Durham, and many others adopted 
the system ; and nowhere was it more successful than in 
Dr. Bell's own parish. In 1801 he received the rectory of 
Swanage from a private patron, Mr. Calcraft, and, after 
some 'difficulties, he established the Madras System there. 
"Enthusiastic as I am," he writes to a friend in 1806, " I am 
astonished at the event. ... It is like magic ; order and 
regularity started up all at once. In half an hour more 
was learned and far better than had been done the whole 
day before." 

This was all very smooth and delightful ; but, surgit 
amari alifilid. Dr. Bell's prophecy that " others would fall 
upon the same scheme before his was much attended to,'* 
was fulfilled. In 1798 a poor Quaker lad, barely twenty 
years of age, named Joseph Lancaster, obtained from his 
father the use of a room in the Borough Road in the city 
of London, in which he might keep a cheap school for the 


poor in the neighbourhood. Scholars came in abundance, 
but money did not He could not afford to pay an assistant. 
" This compelled him to make use of the services of his pupils 
to teach each other as monitors ; and this practice, the sheer 
offspring of necessity, ended in the demonstration and 
definition of the power of one master to teach hundreds." * 
This, it will be seen, was some years after Dr. Bell had hit 
upon the same plan indeed, after he had published in England 
an account of his experiment in Madras ; but there is not 
the slightest reason for supposing that Lancaster borrowed 
the main idea from Bell. He did borrow several hints from 
Dr. Bell's account, as he himself gratefully owns. A most 
friendly intercourse arose between the two educational 
reformers. In 1804 Lancaster wrote to Bell asking advice, 
and received a reply which he characterized to Dr. Bell 
as " thy most acceptable letter." He then went to Swanage 
to have a personal interview with the doctor ; and said to 
the first person he met there, " I would go to Madras to see 
him." The next year Dr. Bell published a second edition 
of the Madras Report of 1797, and sent Mr. Lancaster fifty 
copies of it ; whereupon Mr. Lancaster " sent a deputation 
of his scholars to wait on him and return him thanks." 2 

But this was the last of the friendly relations between Bell 
and Lancaster. The apple of discord between them was 
thrown in this very year (1805) by Mrs. Trimmer. She wrote 
to tell Dr. Bell what she was going to do, and then appeared 
a work whose title tells its own tale : " A Comparative View 
of the New Plan of Education promulgated by Mr. Joseph 
Lancaster in his Tracts concerning the Instruction of the 
Children of the Labouring Part of the Community ; and of 
the System of Christian Education founded by our Pious 
Forefathers for the Initiation of the Young Members of the 
Established Church in the Principles of the Reformed 
Religion, by Mrs. Trimmer, 1805." Mrs. Trimmer, it should 
be remembered, was an educational authority. She was 
editor of the Guardian of Edtication, and probably knew 

1 Epitome of Some of the Chief Events and Transactions in the Life of Joseph 
Lancaster, containing an account of the rise and progress of the Lancasterian 
System of Education, and the author's future prospects of usefulness to mankind ; 
"written by himself, and published to promote the education of his family > 1833. 

2 Southey's Life of Dr. Bell. 


very much more about the subject generally than either 
Bell or Lancaster did. It is not in the least surprising that 
she should have objected to the Lancasterian System on some 
points of vital importance ; and if she objected it was her 
bounden duty to make a public protest. For Mr. Lancaster's 
system was raising a greater sensation than Dr. Bell's. As 
early as 1803 his institution in the Borough Road had 
" become a place for strangers to visit as one of London's 
wonders." 1 In 1805 King George III. and the Royal 
Family took him under their patronage, and his schools 
were called " The Royal Free Schools, Borough Road." 
The powerful Edinburgh Review supported him, and he was 
mentioned in Parliament. Some very eminent clergy, such 
as the Dean of Westminster (Dr. Vincent), the Bishop of 
Norwich (Dr. Bathurst), and Archdeacon Wrangham patron- 
ized him. The Lancasterian system was introduced into 
parish schools with the sanction of the clergy at Hodnet, for 
instance, by Reginald Heber. Now, it was of the essence 
of Joseph Lancaster's system that distinctive religious 
teaching was to be excluded from his schools. "Above all 
things," he writes, "education ought not to be made sub- 
servient to the propagation of the peculiar tenets of any 
sect beyond its own number." It was not to be irreligious, 
but it was to be strictly undenominational. This was quite 
contrary to the views of Churchmen, and Mrs. Trimmer 
sounded the warning note. Lancaster said she was " a bigot, 
and having set up to herself that golden image, the Church, 
she wanted every knee to bow down to it." This really was 
the question at issue between Dr. Bell and Mr. Lancaster, 
though it often went off at a tangent into side issues. It 
is not of any real importance to know how far Lancaster 
borrowed from Bell, or how far Bell was stimulated by 
Lancaster ; and it is quite unnecessary to awaken the echoes 
of a bygone controversy which has long ceased to have any 
interest. But it is a matter of living interest as to whether 
education is to be conducted on the basis of a definite faith, 
or whether it is not. As a matter of history, what Mr. 
Lancaster thought to be the weakness of Dr. Bell's plan, 
proved to be its strength. " My hat," he writes, " would not 

1 Epitome, etc., ut supra. 


hinder my entering any house or any nation ; but Dr. Bell 
is tied down to a burden beyond his strength. He is com- 
pelled to push a massive old church before him, and to 
drag a mighty old steeple after him." But it was the 
massiveness of the old church and the mightiness of the old 
steeple which were towers of strength to Dr. Bell's designs ; 
and, on the other hand, it was the happy discovery of Dr. 
Bell which enabled the massive old Church to see its way 
to doing, on a large scale and in a systematic fashion, that 
which it had long been attempting to do spasmodically and 
unsystematically. Lancaster's efforts resulted in the forma- 
tion of The British and Foreign School Society, Bell's in The 
National Society. The former was first in the field, 1 but 
the latter very soon followed. Churchmen were no doubt 
stimulated to action by the progress of the British Schools. 
They would not have been true to their principles if they 
had not been. For it should be carefully remembered that 
Mr. Lancaster's system was quite different from that now 
in use ; it did not leave religious instruction optional ; it was 
on a distinctly religious basis, and it was of its essence to 
inculcate upon the children that different forms of Christianity 
stood upon the same footing. The Church Catechism, the 
authorized formula for the instruction of young Church- 
people in the rudiments of the faith, was absolutely excluded 
from the Lancasterian schools. 2 It was no unworthy spirit 
of jealousy, but simply the logical result of their most 
elementary principles, which led Churchmen to institute, not 
so much a rival system, as a system which would at least 
allow them to teach what they believed to be essential to 
a proper education. The pupil-teacher arrangement was not 
the only new feature of the Madras System, but it was the 
most distinctive, and the one which, above all others, tended 

1 That is in fact, though not in name. " The Royal Lancasterian Society " 
was the name of the first society founded for the spread of schools on Lancaster's 
system ; this was practically the same as that now called " The British and Foreign 
School Society." The following dates will make the matter clear to the reader: 

1808. Royal Lancasterian Society founded. 

1811. National Society founded. 

1814. British and Foreign School Society founded. 

9 See Instructions for forming and conducting a Society Jor the Education oj 
the Poor according to the General Principles of the Lancasterian or British Plan, 


to simplify the task. Language hardly seemed strong 
enough to express the value which was attached to it. It 
" gives to the master the hundred eyes of Argus, the hundred 
hands of Briareus, and the wings of Mercury ; " it is " the 
lever of Archimedes transformed from matter to mind ; " it is 
" the steam-engine of the moral world." 

We may now dismiss the once famous controversy, about 
which it was said that " as -much ink had been shed in 
the wars between Bell and Lancaster, as blood was shed in 
the civil wars between the Houses of York and Lancaster," 1 
and turn at once to the foundation of the National Society. 
And, first, a word must be said about the name. In 1808 
Dr. Bell published a work entitled " A Sketch of a National 
Institution for training up the Children of the Poor." On 
June 13, 1811, Dr. Herbert Marsh, then Margaret Professor 
of Divinity at Cambridge, preached a sermon at the meeting 
of Charity School children at St. Paul's, which he entitled 
" The National Religion the Foundation of National Educa- 
tion." There is a singular interest in this sermon, apart 
from its intrinsic merits (which are great), partly because it 
forms a sort of link between the old ideas of education 
and the new for it was preached for the Charity Schools 
(the old system), and just on the eve of the foundation of the 
National Schools (the new) ; and partly because the title 
was taken up as the watchword of the new society. In 
the very first Report of the National Society the principle is 
set forth " that the national religion should be made the 
groundwork of national education." Some desired to make 
the work a department of the S.P.C.K. ; others showed 
a nervous apprehension of the name " national," on the 
highly characteristic ground that it might be supposed to 
be borrowed from the odious French nomenclature ; but 
happily the counsels of neither prevailed. There is, indeed, 
one objection to the name ; it might lead in fact, has led 
to misconception. " The word ' national,' " it has been 
argued, " implies that the schools belong to the whole nation, 
not to the Church, which is certainly not, as a matter of fact, 
though you may think it ought to be, coextensive with the 
nation." This idea is not altogether exploded even yet. 

1 See Epitome, etc., ut supra. 


The National Society traces back its origin to a meeting 
of three friends, Joshua Watson, Henry Handley Norris, and 
John Bowles, at the house of Mr. Watson in London. After 
much correspondence, a preliminary meeting was held, October 
1 6, 1811, with the Archbishop of Canterbury (Dr. Manners- 
Sutton) in the chair. The Prince Regent and one at least of 
the Royal Dukes had promised their patronage a matter of 
great importance in those days, when the Church thought 
she could do nothing without the help of the State. 
Another meeting was held on October 21, at which the 
archbishop again presided, and the rules by which the new 
society was to be governed were framed. The archbishop 
then issued a circular to those who were elected on the 
committee. Joshua Watson was the first treasurer, Henry 
Handley Norris the first secretary ; but when the society 
was organized, the latter resigned in favour of the Rev. T. T. 

The most prominent names among the founders of the 
society were just those which are familiar to the reader of 
the second chapter of this work John Bowdler, Christopher 
Wordsworth, Archdeacons Cambridge and Watson, Sir John 
Richardson, Sir James Allan Park. All the bishops were to 
be ex-officio vice-presidents and members of the committee. 
A very great share in the success of the undertaking is to be 
attributed to Archbishop Manners-Sutton. He was much 
more than a mere figure-head, who would look well on the 
prow of the good ship ; he in many respects acted rather as 
an able and judicious pilot, who guided it safely through rocks 
ahead which it met with in its course. His services, though 
now forgotten, were warmly recognized at the time. The 
biographer of Joshua Watson, in speaking of the markedly 
Church character which was impressed upon the institution 
from the very first, adds, " It may be that the personal dignity 
and authority of the then archbishop made it easier for him 
to do this than it would have been for another in the same 
position." 1 Archdeacon Cambridge, writing of a painful 
dispute which had arisen at a meeting, the details of which 
do not appear, adds, " The manly, firm, and judicious manner 
in which our president spoke will perhaps prove a sort of 

1 Memoir of Joshua Watson, i. 112. 


rallying-point among us ; " l and Dr. Bell himself ascribed 
"the extraordinary prosperity of the institution to the steady 
and uniform support of the late primate" (Dr. Manners- 
Sutton). 2 This " extraordinary prosperity " will be illustrated 
by the following figures. Bishop Howley, in his Charge to 
the clergy of London in 1818, tells us that at the first 
annual meeting of the National Society in June, 1812, there 
were 52 schools, containing 8000 children in union with it 
a goodly number considering that the society had then existed 
for little more than half a year ; in 1813 there were 240 schools 
with 40,000 children ; in 1818, 1249 schools with 180,000 chil- 
dren. " This," he adds, " does not include schools not formally 
united to the society, but following its principles, and, in most, 
its mechanical practices, the number in such schools exceeding 
50,000." Six years later we find no less than 3054 schools in 
connection with the society, and 400,000 children instructed 
in them ; while there were no less than 800,000 educated 
through the medium of the Church of England. 3 In other 
words, in one year the work of the society increased five-fold, 
within the next five years five-fold again, and within twenty 
years from its foundation not very much less than a hundred- 
fold indeed, including its indirect work, quite a hundred- 
fold. Such wonderfully rapid development it would be hard 
to parallel in the annals of any institution. All this while, 
it must be remembered, the national schools had received no 
help whatever from the State, for it was not till 1833 that the 
Government doled out its first small grant. 

The efforts of Churchmen to promote education thoroughly 
deserved the success they met with. They were well repre- 
sented at both Universities. At Cambridge Professor Herbert 
Marsh, one of the ablest writers then resident, was indefati- 
gable. His position gave him access to many whom others 
could not reach ; and he " most effectually recommended the 
design to the bishops and leading divines of his own University 
by letters and personal applications." 4 At Oxford, it is interest - 

1 Memoir of Joshua Watson^ i. 119. 

* See British Magazine for 1832 ; Article, " Church Reform.' 
8 See a most amusing and instructive paper in the British Magazine for 1832, 
vol. i., entitled "The Idle Church." 
4 Memoir of Joshua Watson, i. 106. 



ing to note that the two men who, above all others, were 
instrumental in rendering the highest branch of education 
efficient, were also the two who, above all others, threw them- 
selves heart and soul into the improvement of its most ele- 
mentary department. These were Dr. Eveleigh, Provost of 
Oriel, and Dr. Parsons, Master of Balliol. They both corre- 
sponded with the Bishop of London (Dr. Randolph), and were 
supplied by him with the latest intelligence about the scheme ; 
and Dr. Parsons is said to have framed, conjointly with 
Joshua Watson, the terms of union for district committees 
and the trustees of provincial schools. 1 The Hackney 
phalanx, it is almost needless to say, presented a united 
front, and fought most manfully and effectively for education, 
religious and secular, conducted on Church principles. Some 
of the greatest celebrities of that extraordinarily brilliant 
period of literature used the magic of their pens on its behalf. 
Southey wrote it up in the Quarterly Review and elsewhere ; 
Coleridge almost deified Pr. Bell ; and though Wordsworth, 
with his eye for the picturesque in humble life, mourned over 
the displacement of the cottage dame by the trim but rather 
prosaic figure of what he called " Dr. Bell's teacher in petti- 
coats," he was (as the devoted brother of the Master of 
Trinity could hardly fail to be) thoroughly on the side of 
religious education. Dr. Bell himself took an active part in 
founding and superintending schools. At a meeting of the 
general committee of the National Society in St. Martin's 
Library, January 22, 1822, it was resolved "that Dr. Bell be 
requested to act under the direction of this society as super- 
intendent in the formation and conduct of the central and 
other schools, to be established by this society, in the metro- 
polis and its vicinity " etc. But, after all, the real secret of 
the success of the effort was the quiet, unobtrusive help of 
the parochial clergy in their respective parishes. We have 
abundant evidence of this, both generally and in detail. 
We hear of Richard Mant, when he was Vicar of Great 
Coggeshall, being " active in the superintendence of daily 
schools, whose efficiency he greatly promoted by establishing 
them upon the Madras System, then lately introduced by 

1 Memoir of Joshua Watson, i. 119. 


Dr. Bell and adopted by the National Society ; " * of Edward 
Stanley being equally active at Alderley, 2 and Reginald 
Heber at Hodnet. 3 The bishops did their best to impress 
this duty upon the parochial clergy, and, in one instance at 
least, set them an excellent example. The Bishop of Carlisle 
(Dr. Samuel Goodenough) "did not content himself with 
merely establishing the Carlisle Diocesan School. He rode 
over from Rose Castle for the purpose of attending the school 
every Thursday and Saturday. . . . He conscientiously paid 
to the school most sedulous attention ; giving it his personal 
superintendence, and spending in it several hours every week." 4 
Joshua Watson, whose long and intimate connection with the 
National Society from the very first enabled him to speak 
with more authority than most men on such a point, wrote 
in 1828, "I had seen how deeply the cause of national 
education was indebted to the parochial clergy." 5 But 
perhaps the most striking testimony of all is that of Mr. 
(afterwards Lord) Brougham. He had been one of the 
warmest and ablest supporters of Lancaster versus Bell, the 
articles in the Edinburgh Review on that subject being doubt- 
less from his pen. Hence he was the last person in the world 
to regard with a favourable eye the efforts of the clergy, who 
were, of course, as a body, for Bell versus Lancaster. But 
in 1818-19 ne was chairman of the Education Committee, 
and in that capacity was put in correspondence with the 
whole body of the clergy, and had to investigate closely the 
state of elementary education throughout the country. The 
result was that he was converted temporarily from an in- 
different, if not actually hostile, attitude to one of the most 
enthusiastic admiration. Those who know what he was 
before, and what he was after, can only gasp with amazement 
when they read the language which he used in Parliament in 
the debate on the education of the poor, June 28, 1820. But 
there it stands, in black and white, in the pages of Hansard : 
" Before he proceeded further, he felt it his duty to return his 

Memoir of Bishop Richard Mant. 

Memoir of Edward Stanley, Bishop of Norwich, p. 10. 

Taylor's Life of Bishop Heber , p. 45, etc. 

Life of Isaac Milner, Dean of Carlisle, etc., by Mary Milner, p. 285. 

Memoir of Joshua Watson, i. 296. 


most cordial thanks to those reverend gentlemen, without 
whose assistance they [the committee] could not have ad- 
vanced a single step towards that part of their labours at 
which they had arrived he meant the whole of the clergy of 
the Established Church. It was, however, quite impossible 
that any words of his could do justice to the zeal, the honesty, 
and the ability with which they had lent their assistance 
towards the attainment of the great object which had been 
proposed as the result of their inquiries. . . . Another proof 
of the good will to the cause which he was embarked in was 
this that if any one would look through the digest he would 
find that in many cases a foundation was supported entirely 
by the charity and exertions of the incumbent himself. When 
he said this, he spoke of the working parish priests of those 
meritorious individuals who, to their great honour, devoted 
to this laudable purpose a portion of their money and their 
time. He did not speak of the more dignified prelate, who 
could not, of course, be expected to reside upon the one par- 
ticular spot ; nor of the pluralist, who could not, if he would, 
reside there ; but he meant the working parish minister the 
true and effective labourer in the vineyard. In making this 
remark he meant no compliment to those reverend gentlemen. 
It was merely an act of justice towards them. He said thus 
much in order to make out his case for entrusting the clergy- 
men of the Establishment with the execution of the proposed 
plan rather than any other body of men in the kingdom." 1 

It will be seen that, like other converts, Mr. Brougham 
retains some of the old Adam after his conversion he cannot 
resist a gibe at the dignitaries and pluralists ; and, a little 
later, an inconveniently accurate gentleman pointed out to 
him that many of these dignitaries and pluralists, whom he 
excepts from his panegyric, were, in fact, among the most 
liberal and powerful supporters of the educational cause. 2 But 
this is a detail. The broad fact remains that Mr. Brougham's 
investigations showed him that, after all, the clergy were the 
best friends of elementary education, and he had the honesty 
to own it. " That was the most unkindest cut of all " to his 

1 Parliamentary Debates in Hansard, June 28, 1820 : " Education of the Poor. " 

2 See A Letter to H. Brougham, Esq., on his Durham Speech, and Three 
Articles in the last " Edinburgh Review " on the Subject of the Clergy, 1823. 


Dissenting friends, with whom he had acted in the Bell and 
Lancaster controversy ; they succeeded in throwing out his 
bill, but they could not obliterate his words. 1 

At the commencement of the nineteenth century, the 
Sunday school had become a part of the regular organization 
of almost every well-worked parish. It was then a far more 
serious affair than it is now ; for, where there was no week- 
day school, it supplied secular as well as religious instruction 
to the children. In fact, the Sunday school took up a con- 
siderable part of the day. " I should think," writes Bishop 
Porteus towards the close of the eighteenth century, and 
his remarks would apply equally to at least the first twelve 
years of the nineteenth, " that four, or at the most five, hours 
would be confinement fully sufficient for children engaged 
during the week in trade or manufacture. In villages, where 
they are of course more in the open air during the whole 
week, a little more time may be taken for instruction in the 
morning and evening." This accounts for a fact that might 
puzzle the uninitiated. The generosity of those who provided 
Sunday schools at their own cost is a frequent subject of 
praise. To institute a Sunday school, according to our 
modern idea of it, does not seem to involve a very ruinous 
outlay. But when it meant tuition for five, six, or even seven 
hours in the day, it would naturally cost money ; for volunteer 
teachers could not be expected to devote all that time during 
their day of rest. In the early part of the nineteenth century, 
however, it began to be a question whether this combination 
of secular with religious instruction in the Sunday school 
should be continued. One of the pioneers of the educational 
movement was John Poole, a Fellow of Oriel and cousin of 
Thomas Poole whose name is so closely connected with 
Coleridge and Wordsworth. In 1803 John Poole took the 
living of Enmore, in Somersetshire, and at once set himself 
to the work of elementary education. " He had," we are told, 
"everything to do himself; and he seems to have begun with 

1 Full details of the early work of the National Society will be found in 
Schools for the People, by George C. T. Barclay (see especially pp. 52-54). The 
reader is referred to this work rather than to many others which were written from 
a distinctly Church point of view, because its writer cannot be suspected of any 
undue partiality to the Church, his sympathies apparently lying in a different 


a Sunday school only, where children were taught, not only 
to read, but even to write and reckon such as had already 
existed for some years at Over and Nether Stowey." He 
began his day school in 1810 ; that is, more than a year before 
the National Society was instituted. But in a most interest- 
ing work, entitled "The Village School Improved," he still 
defends the practice of teaching children to write and reckon 
in the Sunday school evidently implying that the custom 
had been impugned. And he does so on grounds which are 
only explicable by the fact that the Sunday school lasted 
very much longer than it does now. " It is not possible," he 
writes, "and, if possible, would not be wise, to confine a 
child's attention through the whole day to the subject of 
religion. To preserve his mind alert and active, and in a 
disposition to profit by instruction, there must be variety in 
his occupations." 1 The present writer, when he first took a 
country living in 1860, found several old persons still alive 
who had received their only education, secular as well as 
religious, in the Sunday school, where they had been taught 
by a hired teacher. 

The Bell and Lancaster controversy exasperated a dis- 
pute which had existed long before their times. The dispute 
was, whether the children of different religious sects should 
be educated in one school with Church children, and be con- 
ducted thence to their separate places of worship. In 1791 
we find the Bishop of Norwich (Dr. Home) protesting against 
the practice in weighty words. " How can you," he asks, 
" bring them all up in a catholic way unless you have one 
catholic, that is, universal, general, common religion in which 
to bring them up? To be of a catholic spirit is to unite in 
that one religion, not to jumble together the errors, inconsis- 
tencies, and heresies of all. This must end in indifference. 
It may bring the people of the Church nearer to the sects ; 

1 Thomas Poole and his Friends, by Mrs. Henry Sandford, vol. ii. p. 127 
an admirably written book, full of the most interesting information, not only 
about Wordsworth and Coleridge especially poor Coleridge but also about 
village life generally at the close of the eighteenth and the beginning of the 
nineteenth century. We find in this book an illustration of what has been said 
about the expense of keeping up a Sunday school in those early days. Thomas 
Poole writes to Dr. Majendie, Rector of Over Stowey, thanking him for the great 
and unprecedented liberality he had shown. 


but the present times do not give us any hope that it will 
bring the sects nearer to the Church." His successor took a 
different view twenty-two years later (1813). " No inconveni- 
ence whatever," says Bishop Bathurst, " can (as it strikes me) 
possibly arise to our Establishment from the mixture in those 
schools of the children of Churchmen with those of Dissenters, 
if proper care be taken that all children indiscriminately are 
obliged to attend some place of religious worship approved 
by their parents or guardians." A most interesting discussion, 
conducted in a very courteous, Christian spirit, took place in 
the previous year (1812) between the Bishop and the Dean 
of Carlisle, the bishop (Dr. Goodenough) maintaining that 
the children ought to go to church, the dean (Dr. Isaac 
Milner) contending that they should be allowed to go to the 
place of worship which their parents preferred. 1 The con- 
troversy on the point had by this time reached its acute stage, 
as it formed one of the chief questions at issue between the 
advocates of the Lancasterian and those of the Madras System. 
Mr. Lancaster had made the most elaborate arrangements 
for settling this matter in his own way. " On being admitted 
into the school the children of Churchmen should be registered 
as such, and the children of Dissenters as such. On Sundays 
they should assemble at the school in the morning and after- 
noon, previous to the hour for Divine service, and the children 
of each denomination should be conducted from thence to 
their respective places of worship." It was part of the 
rules that " they are to attend places of worship, and two 
inspectors are to attend every Sunday, morning and after- 
noon, to see they do." 2 

An alarm was raised about Sunday schools, which one 
would have been inclined to set down as a mere bugbear, had 
it not been that one of the ablest and coolest divines of the 
period evidently thought there was some ground for it. 
Bishop Horsley was the last man in the world to speak with- 
out the book, and we cannot dismiss his distinct assertion 
that they were in danger of being made nurseries of Jaco- 
binism as a mere groundless alarm. In his Charge of 1800 

1 See Life of Isaac Milner, p. 278. 

2 Instructions Jor forming and conducting a Society for 'the Education of the 
Poor according to the General Principles of the Lancasterian or British Plan. 


he says, " In many parts of the kingdom new conventicles 
have been opened in great numbers, and congregations 
formed of one knows not what denomination. The pastor 
is often, in appearance at least, an illiterate peasant or 
mechanic. The congregation is visited occasionally by 
preachers from a distance. Sunday schools are opened in 
connection with these conventicles, and there is much reason 
to suspect that the expenses of these schools and conventicles 
are defrayed by associations formed in different places. . . . 
It is very remarkable that these new congregations of non- 
descripts have been mostly formed since the Jacobins have 
been laid under restraint of two most salutary statutes known 
by the names of the Sedition and Treason Bill ; a circumstance 
which gives much ground for suspicion that sedition and 
atheism are the real objects of these institutions, rather than 
religion. Indeed, in some places this is known to be the 
case." Looking down with lofty contempt upon these poor 
sectaries from the serene heights of the Episcopate, the 
great prelate may have been inclined to exaggerate the 
danger ; but that he wholly invented it I cannot for a moment 
believe. Sunday schools might easily be made a convenient 
pretext for inculcating principles which could not have been 
safely proclaimed in more suspected quarters. But the best 
way of meeting the danger was by furnishing counter-attrac- 
tions. This the bishop felt, and so he urges his clergy "by 
all means in their power to promote the establishment of 
Sunday schools in their respective parishes." He indignantly 
denies that he had, as had been reported, " spoken in the House 
of Lords with disapprobation of all these institutions." " I 
spoke of them on that occasion as I have always spoken, and 
always shall speak, as institutions that may be very beneficial 
or very pernicious, according as they are well or ill regulated, 
and placed in proper or improper hands." This was a great 
relief to the friends of Church Sunday schools, for Bishop 
Horsley's was a great name. " Have you," writes Mrs. 
Trimmer (one of the ablest and most energetic workers in 
the Sunday school, as well as the week-day school field) to 
William Kirby, the excellent Vicar of Barham, 1 "read the 
Bishop of Rochester's Charge ? It gave me particular pleasure 

1 See supra. 



to find that he had been misrepresented in respect to his 
enmity to Sunday schools." l Bishop Horsley did not stand 
alone in his apprehensions. Even Bishop Porteus, who was 
justly regarded as the great patron of Sunday schools, was 
cautious about joining the movement. " He did not," writes 
his biographer, "give it his public approbation till time and 
experience and more accurate inquiry had enabled him to 
form a more decided judgment of its real value and probable 
effects." 2 The alarm, however, about Sunday schools foster- 
ing Jacobinism or any kind of disloyalty, soon passed away. 
They were regarded, at any rate, as harmless, though some 
still doubted whether they provided the best means of doing 
the Church's duty towards the young. 

It would be invidious to select any individual Sunday 
schools for special comment ; but there was one of so ex- 
ceptional a character that it may be noticed without casting 
any slur upon the rest. This was the famous Jesus Lane 
Sunday school at Cambridge, founded in 1826 or 1827, the 
speciality of which was that it was entirely managed and 
supported by undergraduates, who elected a committee and a 
superintendent out of their own body. -This school gave an 
impetus to the cause which extended far beyond the limits of 
Cambridge. It formed, in fact, a sort of voluntary training 
college for clerical teachers. The undergraduates who took 
part in it became, almost to a man, clergymen in due course, 
and so went forth to their various parishes thoroughly aufait 
in one most important branch of clerical work ; in many a 
town and village throughout the length and breadth of the 
land the influence of the Jesus Lane Sunday school was felt. 
The history of its rise cannot be given better than in the 
language of its historian, the Rev. C. A. Jones. 3 "In 1827 a 
small party of undergraduates, chiefly members of Queen's 
College, used to attend the Sunday and Thursday evening 

1 Life of the Rev. William Kirby, by John Frewen, p. 212. 

s Life of Bishop Beilby Porteus, by the Rev. R. Hodgson, prefixed to a new 
edition of the bishop's works (6 vols.), p. 93. 

8 A History of the Jesus Lane Sunday School, Cambridge, by C. A. Jones, 
1864. A new edition was published in 1877, with revisions and additions by the 
Rev. R. Appleton, Fellow, Senior Dean and Tutor of Trinity, and the Rev. E. 
Leeke, now Chancellor of Lincoln Cathedral (son of W. Leeke, one of the original 


services at Trinity Church, and they often returned together 
to the rooms of one of their number to talk over Mr. Simeon's 
sermon. . . . One bright Sunday morning in spring, Wright 
and five others were in a summer-house at the back of 7, 
Tennis Court Road, where Wright lodged, and he remarked, 
' It seems a pity that we do not spend some part of our time 
in Sunday school teaching ; ' and he put it to the others 
whether there was any parish in the town where teachers were 
required. One replied in the negative, adding he had gone 
round to all the churches, offering his services, but they had 
been declined. It was then remarked, ' Barnwell is a sadly 
neglected place, and near enough ; why not try to do some- 
thing there ? " It was then determined that a school should 
be held in Cambridge, and the Barnwell children invited to 
attend. A meeting-house belonging to the Society of Friends 
in Jesus Lane was mentioned as a suitable place if it could 
be obtained. One of the original teachers writes of the parish 
which the school was intended to benefit, " It was in a most 
neglected state ; there were no schools whatever, except, I be- 
lieve, a very small one in connection with the Methodist chapel 
in Wellington Row." A number of zealous undergraduates, 
several of whom were more than usually advanced in life, 
occasionally heard of and visited cases of unheeded sickness 
and distress. The heathenish and dissolute state of the parish 
was thus forced upon their notice. The young men went out, 
two and two, to canvass Barnwell for scholars. The University 
was canvassed for teachers, and the school commenced with 
two hundred and thirty-two children ; the number of teachers 
soon increased to thirty-two, the majority being supplied by 
Queen's College. The first superintendent was James Wright, 
of Queen's, who, according to the foregoing account, originated 
the idea. It is doubtful, however, whether that honour does 
not belong to William Leeke, who, in a letter inserted in the 
history by Mr. Jones, claims the first idea of establishing a 
gownsman's Sunday school. It is always difficult to settle 
a question of priority in such a case, but at any rate we shall 
be safe in attributing the institution of the school chiefly 
to Wright, Leeke, J. M. and Abner Brown, Carr, Harden, 
Colley, and C. L. Higgins. Permission was obtained from 
Professors Scholefield and Parish for the children to attend 


their churches, St. Michael's and St. Peter's ; and it is worth 
noticing that there never seems to have been any collision 
with the clergy. This is illustrated by the fact that the 
introduction to the history of the school was written by the 
Rev. J. H. Titcomb, who became Incumbent of St. Andrew 
the Less, the proper name for the parish commonly known as 
Barnwell, and that he writes in the highest terms of the good 
work that was done by the school. It may be added that 
though the school obviously arose from the Evangelical party, 
the originators being, as we have seen, " Simeonites," and the, 
college which supplied the lion's share of the teaching staff 
being that stronghold of Evangelicalism under the rule of 
Milner, Queen's, the teachers were by no means confined to 
that school of thought. One of the early superintendents 
(1834) was Spencer Thornton, a Rugby disciple of Dr. 
Arnold ; and many names will be found among the later 
teachers which do not belong to the Evangelical school. 
Dean Burgon, in his delightful account of " Charles Longuet 
Higgins," shows that the school really began in 1826, and that 
" the good layman " was one of the original founders. We 
learn also that the founders " took counsel with dear old 
Mr. Simeon," and other colleges as well as Queen's were well 
represented. 1 

Before quitting the subject of elementary education, men- 
tion must be made of its extension at both ends of the scale, 
in the form of training schools for teachers, and infant schools 
for those who were too young to enter into the regular curri- 
culum. The training of masters and mistresses formed part 
of the original scheme of the National Society ; the adoption 
of the Madras System rendered this work peculiarly necessary; 
for pupil-teachers, unlike poets, are made, not born ; and the 
teachers have the making of them. Up to 1816, the teachers 
in connection with the National Society were trained at the 
central school in Baldwin Gardens, the proportion of masters 
to mistresses being about four to one. These central or 
model schools were established in the larger provincial towns 

1 J. W. Harden belonged to St. John's, C. L. Higgins to Trinity, James 
Colley to St. John's. See Dean Burgon's Lives of Twelve Good Men : " Charles 
Longuet Higgins," ii. 369-372 (ist edit., 


on the principles of the central school in London. 1 Infant 
schools began to be established in England about the year 
1818, and by the close of our period had become very general 
and efficient They took up by degrees the work which had 
before been done in the dames' schools. They were the 
only part of the new educational plans which met with the 
full approval of Bishop Jebb. He took a great interest in 
them, and so did John Davison, the tutor at Oriel in its 
palmiest days, who thus became acquainted with education in 
its most advanced and its most rudimentary stage. 2 Finally, 
it may be noticed that our period just extended long enough 
to commencement of State aid, the first education grant 
a very modest one of .20,000, " to encourage the building 
of school-houses " being made in i833. 3 

1 See The Schools for the People, by George C. T. Barclay, p. 440. " Infant 
Schools and Dame Schools," p. 401. 

2 See Forster's Life and Correspondence of Bishop Jebb, i. p. 256. Bishop 
Jebb wrote to his friend, Mr. J. H. Butterworth, in 1818, "For the lowest class 
of life, we have everywhere established those Lancasterian and national schools ; 
admirably constructed in material discipline, but, it is to be feared, quite destitute 
of that discipline which is mental." Id., ii. 315. 

3 See History of England from the Conclusion of the Great War in 1815, by 
Spencer Walpole, iii. 485. 





IT was said at the beginning of the last chapter that the 
revival of Church energy was in no department more con- 
spicuous than in that of education ; but the advance was 
almost as marked in the department of mission-work. 

The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign 
Parts had gone bravely on, through all the discouragements 
of the eighteenth century, doing what she could ; and, 
considering how she was thwarted on all sides in that time 
of spiritual torpor, it is wonderful how much she did effect. 
Without derogating from the work done by other agencies, 
it ought in common fairness to be noted that, from the nature 
of the case, she has a claim upon the gratitude of Churchmen 
which later agencies cannot have. For it was she who kept 
alive the flame amid the darkness, when there was no other 
light burning. 1 It is surely a popular error to suppose that 
her work was intended to be confined to British colonists ; it 
is true that the first object referred to in the charter of the 
society is " the providing of learned and orthodox ministers for 
the administration of God's Word and Sacraments among 
the king's loving subjects in the plantations, colonies, and 

1 Some of the Evangelicals themselves felt this, though of course their warmest 
sympathies were with the Church Missionary Society. Thus we are told that the 
Rev. Basil Woodd "ever spoke with the greatest veneration of those two institu- 
tions (the S.P.G. and the S.P.C.K.), as the oldest of our religious societies, and as 
honourably engaged in promoting the work of Christian philanthropy while all was 
darkness and coldness around." Wilks' Memoir of the Rev. Basil Woodd, p. 43. 
Josiah Pratt seems to have felt the same. 


factories beyond the seas belonging to the kingdom of 
England;" but it is added, "and the making such other 
provision as may be necessary for the propagation of the 
gospel in those parts." And this has always been understood 
by the society itself to cover the propagation of the gospel 
among the heathen. 1 

It might have been anticipated that the foundation of a 
new Church society for the conversion of the heathen would 
affect injuriously the older institution ; but the very reverse 
was the case. The progress made by the S.P.G. during the 
first" thirty- two years of the nineteenth century was marvellous 
and unprecedented. In 1800 there were 197 subscribers; 
the annual subscriptions were 457 16^. ; altogether, the 
income of the society, including legacies, interest of money 
in the funds, etc., amounted to 4983 2s. Sd ; it maintained 
forty-three missionaries and thirty-two catechists and school- 
masters. In 1832 the society raised seventeen times as much 
money, had thirty-seven times as many subscribers, and 
employed four times as many missionaries as it did in i8oo. 2 
In the same year (1832), Dr. Croly, a cool observer, in 
preaching on behalf of the S.P.G. at Northfleet, called 
attention to the fact that " within a single generation the 
number of the society's missionaries, catechists, and school- 
masters had been increased tenfold" Its work in India alone 
was enormous ; but that had better be noticed separately, 
because it worked there in conjunction with other agencies. 
But one point should be noticed, which applies with especial 
force to India, though it also extends generally to all mission- 
work. The even then venerable society rendered, perhaps 
unconsciously, a service to the cause of Christian missions 
which it is difficult to put into words, but which was of the 
very last importance. It was this. The cuckoo cry of 
Methodism was raised with considerable effect against the 
increased efforts made from the commencement of the nine- 
teenth century for the conversion of the heathen. The S.P.G. 
alone was above suspicion on this score. It was impossible 

1 This point is well brought out in the Rev. J. S. M. Anderson's History of the 
Colonial Church, vol. iii. p. 27, etc. (2nd edit., 1856). 

2 See a striking article in the British Magazine for 1832, vol. i., entitled 
"The Idle Church." 


for the keenest scent to detect in it any traces of that hated 
thing, Methodism ; so when the society threw the aegis of its 
protection upon the new efforts, it stamped them, as it were, 
with the mark of respectability. The enemy might say that 
the workers were enthusiasts, but could not deny that they 
were Churchmen ; whereas the Churchmanship of those who 
were connected with other agencies was in the eyes of many 
a very doubtful quantity. 

What has been said about the wonderful progress of the 
S.P.G., which was essentially a High Church society, as high 
Churchmanship was then understood, may appear inconsistent 
with the assertion of an honoured veteran in the field of 
literature, whose authority it would be indeed presumption to 
dispute. "The young," writes Miss C. M. Yonge, respecting 
the period now under consideration, " will hardly believe how, 
in spite of the existence of the S.P.G. and the periodical 
Royal Letter for it, any real active interest in missions to the 
heathen seemed to be confined to the Evangelical party." x 
Perhaps the discrepancy may be in part explained by the 
fact that the Evangelicals were not unfriendly to the old 
society, though of course their chief interest was centred in 
the new society, which arose with the beginning of the new 
century under their auspices. 

The Church Missionary Society was the outcome of an 
agitation that had been going on for some time. The idea of 
making fresh exertions for the conversion of the heathen had 
been, in various ways and places, a subject of discussion 
before it took definite shape in the formation of a new 
Missionary Society. In 1783 the Eclectic Society was formed 
in London "for religious intercourse and improvement," and 
it made a special exception to its strict rule against the 
admission of visitors in favour of missionaries. In 1786 it 
proposed the following question : " What is the best method 
of planting and propagating the gospel in Botany Bay ? w"ith 
a view to the Rev. R. Johnson [a missionary with strong 
Evangelical views in New South Wales] whose company is 
desired for the next meeting." In 1789, February 6, the 
discussion was, " What is the best method of propagating the 

1 Musings on " The Christian Year " and " Lyra Innocentium " (1871), introd. 
p. xl. 


gospel in the East Indies?" In 1791, October 14 and 
November 7, "What is the best method of propagating the 
gospel in Africa ? " the Rev. Melville Home, chaplain at 
Sierra Leone, being present as a visitor. In 1795 the London 
Missionary Society was formed, in which the Evangelical 
clergy joined with Dissenters ; but the union was not altogether 
satisfactory, the clergy holding that " their missionary opera- 
tions ought to be carried on in direct connection with, and 
under the sanction of, the Church to which they belonged." 
In the same year (1795, May 6 and 7) an important advance 
was made at a clerical meeting held at Rauceby, in Lincoln- 
shire, the incumbent of which, Mr. Pugh, was a leading 
Evangelical. Three pillars of the Evangelical cause, Thomas 
Robinson of Leicester, Samuel Knight of Halifax, and Charles 
Simeon of Cambridge, were present. Mr. Pugh announced 
that a sum of ^4000 had been left to him by a clergyman of 
the name of Jane, " to be laid out by him to the best advantage 
to the interests of religion," and the opinion of the meeting 
was asked, whether the money might be most advantageously 
given to any scheme already in progress, or to any new object 
at home or abroad ? If to the last, " the thing desirable 
seems to be, to send out missionaries." The question was 
adjourned to the next meeting, September 30 and October i, 
1795, when it was fully discussed in different shapes. One 
who was present at the first of the Rauceby meetings tells us 
that it was agreed that Simeon and Robinson should consult 
leading laymen such as Wilberforce and Grant, and he adds, 
what has been repeated by many, that " the first idea of 
forming a Church Missionary Society was suggested at 
Rauceby." l This is so far true that from that time the 
subject began to take a more tangible form ; but, on the one 
hand, the idea of making fresh efforts for the conversion of 
the heathen had, as we have seen, been broached some years 
before ; and, on the other, nothing definite was decided at 

1 See Memoirs of the Rev. Charles Jerrvm, p. 147. It is evidently the spring, 
not the autumn meeting at Rauceby, to which Mr. Jerram refers, because he says 
that Mr. Robinson was present ; and Mr. Henry Venn the younger expressly 
states that Mr. Robinson was not present at the autumn meeting, and that he was 
at the spring one. See appendix to Funeral Sermon on the Rev. Josiah Pratt. 
which gives a most clear, full, and concise account of the origin of the Church 
Missionary Society. 


Rauceby. On February 8, 1796, the subject was again brought 
before the Eclectic Society by Mr. Simeon ; a discussion 
arose, and, according to Mr. Basil Woodd, who took notes of 
what occurred, " this conversation proved the foundation of 
the Church Missionary Society." But it was really not until 
April 12, 1799, that the society was actually formed. The 
matter had been carefully gone into at the meetings of the 
Eclectic (February 18, March 18, and April i, 1799), and then 
"on the 1 2th of April a meeting was held at the Castle and 
Falcon Inn, Aldersgate Street, ' for the purpose of instituting 
a society amongst the members of the Established Church 
for sending missionaries among the heathen.' The Rev. 
John Venn was in the chair, and detailed the object of the 
meeting. Sixteen clergymen (nine of them belonged to 
the Eclectic Society) and nine laymen composed the 
meeting." * 

From what has been said in a former chapter, the reader 
will see that no man could be fitter to preside on such an 
occasion than John Venn. To him more than to any one 
else the rules on which the society was worked are due. He 
had submitted them all to the important meeting of the 
Eclectic Society on March 18 ; and, as is gratefully ac- 
knowledged in the Jubilee volume of the Church Missionary 
Society, he was " a man of such wisdom and comprehension 
of mind, that on that memorable occasion he laid down 
before a small company of fellow-helpers those principles 
and regulations which have formed the basis of the society." 
He suggested, among other things, that it should be " con- 
ducted on the Church principle, but not on the High Church 
principle," thus differentiating it from the London Missionary 
Society on the one hand, and the S.P.G. on the other, though 
it was not intended to come into collision with either. Ap- 
plication was then made to the Archbishop of Canterbury 
(Dr. Moore), who declined to identify himself with the 
society, but promised " to watch its proceedings with candour." 
The Bishop of London (Dr. Beilby Porteus) was also cautious, 
but he went a step further than the primate, promising to 
ordain young men from the Elland and other societies who 
were recommended to him, for missionary work ; and this 

1 Rev. H. Venn, appendix, ut supra. 



was perhaps as much as could be expected, even from a 
prelate with Evangelical proclivities, in those days. 

Although the formation of a new society was agreed to 
in 1799, the society itself was not actually established until 
the spring of 1801 ; and even then it limited its functions to 
one quarter, and was called simply " The African Institution," 
or " The Society for Missions in Africa and the East." The 
wider title, " Church Missionary Society," was not given to it 
until 1812. The first secretary was Thomas Scott, who also 
preached the first anniversary sermon, and is justly regarded 
as one of the fathers of the society. But shortly afterwards 
he left London, and the secretaryship devolved upon Josiah 
Pratt. Here, again, the reader of a former chapter need not 
be told that Mr. Pratt was emphatically the right man in the 
right place. He had the full confidence of the Evangelical 
party ; his piety was unquestioned ; he had a clear, calm 
head, and would do nothing rashly ; he was a man of culture, 
had wide sympathies and a conciliatory tone, and, what was 
of the utmost importance for the post, was an excellent man 
of business, having been trained in his youth for mercantile 
pursuits. The society owed not a little of its success to this 
combination of qualities in Josiah Pratt, who was its secretary 
for no less than twenty-two of the most critical years of its 
existence. He was well supported by his assistant, Edward 
Bickersteth, who became his successor in 1824. 

The lay element was always strong in the Church 
Missionary Society, and from the very first it received 
invaluable aid from William Wilberforce, Henry Thornton, 
Zachary Macaulay, James Stephen, Thomas Babington, 
Granville Sharp, the three Grants, and other prominent 
Evangelical laymen. They had a peculiar interest in it, 
because it just fitted in with their own favourite project, the 
abolition of the Slave Trade. For the purpose of providing 
for those liberated slaves, who, by the law of our land, gained 
freedom when they touched the British shore, and who were 
rather an embarrassment to their friends, 1 a colony had been 
established at Sierra Leone, chiefly through the efforts of 
Henry Thornton, whose work is thus described by one who 

1 See on this point Sir G. O. Trevelyan's Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay, 
i. n, 12. 


had an intimate acquaintance with the Evangelical leaders 
of the time : " During the long struggle [against slavery], 
while he reflected calmly on the best mode of civilizing 
Africa, he selected colonization as the most effective instru- 
ment. He hoped, by the contact of industrious settlers, to 
stimulate the native mind ; and by opening channels of 
legitimate trade to withdraw the natives gradually from the 
traffic in human flesh. Thus rose the colony of Sierra Leone. 
In this labour Thornton had the assistance of Wilberforce, 
Babington, Granville Sharp, Z. Macaulay, and others ; but 
he devised the plan, formed the company, collected the 
capital, and arranged the constitution, etc." x " Of Granville 
Sharp's countless schemes of benevolence," writes one who 
also knew the mind of the man from personal acquaint- 
ance, "that which he loved best was the settlement at 
Sierra Leone of a free colony, to serve as a point cfappui in 
the future campaigns against the Slave Trade." 2 We can 
thus well understand how Sierra Leone was selected as the 
first field for the operations of the new society. It was not, 
however, until 1804 that a mission was commenced there by 
sending out two Lutherans, English clergymen apparently 
not being available ; and for some years this was the only 
mission of the society. The close connection indeed, the 
identity of the abolitionists with the principal supporters of 
the Church Missionary Society rendered the choice of Sierra 
Leone a desirable one for some reasons ; but for others it was 
an unhappy one. The climate was so unhealthy that few 
Europeans could bear it, and it was called "The White Man's 
Grave ; " and the material upon which the missionaries had 
to work was singularly unpromising. On these points it will 
be well to quote the testimony of a true friend to the society. 
" Nearly twelve years had elapsed since the society had sent 
its first missionaries to the shores of Africa. These years 
had been a season of trial and disappointment. Many 
labourers had fallen victims to the deadly climate, and no 
remarkable success attended the efforts of those who were 

1 William Wilberforce, his Friends and his Times, by J. C. Colquhoun 
(1866), p. 286. 

2 Sir James Stephen, Essays on Ecclesiastical Biography : " The Evangelical 
Succession," p. 317 (2nd edit., 1850). 


left. The natives, whose only intercourse with Europeans 
had been through the medium of the Slave Trade, were com- 
pletely debased by its pernicious influence. They desired 
nothing but gain and traffic from the missionaries who came 
to offer them instruction. These discouragements had so 
disheartened them, that they had almost given up preaching 
to adults, and confined their attention to the schools in the 
settlement." 1 Then Mr. Bickersteth went out in 1816 to 
inspect the mission, and infused so much new life into the 
work, that " the scenes in West Africa recalled the primitive 
days of Christianity." 2 

The next mission-field of the society was New Zealand, 
which was occupied in 1809. The reason why this field was 
chosen was that a devoted Evangelical, Samuel Marsden, 
held the appointment of chaplain in New South Wales. 
Then began the work in India ; but that must be considered 
separately, because it was a work in which both the great 
Church Societies^ and other agencies outside both, had a 

The Church had always recognized her duty both to 
supply the means of grace to the British residents in India, 
and also to evangelize the native races ; but in both depart- 
ments she had been checked by causes over which she had 
no control. The early years of the nineteenth century 
witnessed a marked change in public opinion as to both 
duties ; and the credit of bringing about the change is 
greatly due to the Evangelical party, though at the same 
time it was precisely because Churchmen of a different type 
took the matter up that the changed feeling towards mission- 
work in India became permanent and widely influential. 
This apparent paradox will be best explained by a statement 
of facts. 

In 1786 a Cambridge graduate named David Brown 
went to Bengal as a chaplain under the East India Com- 
pany. He was at once placed in charge of a large orphan 
house at Calcutta, was appointed chaplain to the Brigade at 
Fort William, and had the care of the mission church ; and 
in 1794 he was made presidency chaplain. In these various 
spheres he acquired great influence at Calcutta and the 

1 Life of Edward Bickersteth, i. 274, 275. * Id., p. 311. 

INDIA. 261 

neighbourhood, which was enhanced by the respect felt for 
his personal character. He had been from his boyhood 
trained by the rising Evangelical school, having been 
educated first at the Grammar School, Hull, under Joseph 
Milner, and then at Magdalen College, Cambridge, a strong- 
hold of Evangelicalism. He was deeply influenced at Cam- 
bridge by Charles Simeon, but it does not appear that Simeon 
was the means of his obtaining the Indian chaplaincy. But 
just about the time when Brown went out, Simeon did begin 
to exercise a great, almost a paramount, influence in the 
appointment of East India chaplains. A strong Evangelical 
element began to be infused into the directorate of the East 
India Company. This was chiefly due to the Grants, one 
of whom is said by Lord Macaulay to have afterwards " ruled 
India from Leadenhall Street." In 1787 an address was sent 
to Simeon, signed by David Brown, Charles Grant, and two 
others, asking him to become " the agent at home " for a pro- 
jected mission to the East Indies. The scheme fell through, 
but from that time forward the appointment of East India 
chaplains was virtually in the hands of Simeon for several 
years ; and the Evangelical element in India was still further 
strengthened when Sir John Shore, afterwards Lord Teign- 
mouth, succeeded Lord Cornwallis as Governor-General. 
Chaplains suited Simeon's purpose better than avowed mis- 
sionaries, for missionaries were in some quarters looked upon 
with suspicion, and had no such definite status as chaplains 
in the East India Company's service enjoyed. Meanwhile, 
William Wilberforce was doing his part at home in his own 
sphere. In 1793 he succeeded in passing through the House 
of Commons a resolution "that it is the peculiar and bounden 
duty of the Legislature to promote by all just and prudent 
means the interest and happiness of the British dominions 
in India ; and for these ends such measures ought to be 
adopted as may gradually tend to their advancement in 
useful knowledge, and their religious and moral improve- 
ment ;" also that "sufficient means of religious worship and 
instruction be provided for all persons of the Protestant com- 
munion in the service and under the protection of the East 
India Company in Asia, proper ministers being from time to 
time sent out from Great Britain for these purposes." But 


this resolution remained nugatory, the Company successfully 
opposing any practical effort to carry it out. However, in 
1797, tne Court of Directors issued an order for building 
churches in the Presidency of Bengal ; but this, too, lay 
dprmant for twenty years. 1 Before the beginning of the 
nineteenth century, Lord Wellesley had founded a college 
at Fort William, intended, according to Dr. Buchanan, " to 
enlighten the Oriental world." " Our hope," writes the doctor 
to the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1805, "of evangelizing 
India was once founded on the college of Fort William." Of 
this college David Brown was made provost and C. Buchanan 
vice-provost in 1800. The East India Company had made 
some little provision for supplying the spiritual wants of their 
European servants by the establishment of a few chaplains 
at each of the three Presidencies ; 2 and these chaplaincies 
had, as we have seen, fallen to a great extent into the hands 
of Simeon. In the mission-work in India a very important 
place must be assigned to the memorable " five chaplains " 
in Bengal David Brown, Claudius Buchanan, Henry Martyn, 
Daniel Corrie, and Thomas Thomason. All were avowed 
Simeonites, and all but the first owed their appointment 
directly to Simeon. David Brown was like a father to the 
rest, receiving each into his house when he first came out to 
Calcutta, and guiding him as to his future work. Of Claudius 
Buchanan more will be said presently ; of Daniel Corrie it 
may suffice here to say that in a quiet, unpretentious way 
he was, according to a shrewd and competent observer, " per- 
haps the most useful man of the Established Church who 
ever set foot in India." 3 The same writer thinks that " his 
character was one which the Christian world never thoroughly 
appreciated as it really deserved ; " but this was written when 
Corrie was still an obscure chaplain. He afterwards came 
into far greater prominence. Three times he was placed in 
the trying position of having to take, as far as he could, a 
bishop's place when he was not yet a bishop ; and he was 
afterwards most deservedly appointed first Bishop of Madras. 

1 See Memoir of John, Lord Teignmouth, by his son (1843), v l- " PP- 109-112 ; 
also Moule's Simeon, p. 114. 

8 Memoir of Claudius Buchanan, by Hugh Pearson, i. 310. 

3 Mrs. Sherwood. See her Life (chitfly Autobiographical), edited by her 
daughter, Sophia Kelly (1854), p. 382. 


Thomas Thomason was one of the most intimate, trusted, 
and beloved of all Simeon's friends ; and his work in India, 
in which he was nobly aided by his devoted wife, fully justified 
the high expectations which his patron and quondam vicar 
at Cambridge had raised concerning it. Henry Martyn re- 
quires a longer notice. He has been termed " the one heroic 
name which adorns the annals of the Church of England from 
the days of Elizabeth to our own." 1 This was written more 
than forty years ago, since which time the Church can claim 
many heroic names. But even then it depends upon what 
we mean by " heroic " whether the sweeping assertion is in 
any sense true. If we mean simply a brave Christian, there 
had been many such. But if we mean by it a man whose 
character and career strike the imagination like a hero of 
romance, then, if not the one, his is perhaps the most heroic 
name which the hagiology of the Church can produce. His 
actual services to the Church in foreign lands consisted chiefly 
of his very valuable work in translations of the Holy Scrip- 
tures ; for he was called to his rest before he reached his prime, 
and before he had time to make much progress in the way 
of evangelization. But there is a dramatic interest about his 
whole life which at once arrests attention, and which has 
done more than almost any other life has done to stimulate 
missionary zeal in others. Leaving the prospect of a brilliant 
career at home for he was Senior Wrangler, First Smith's 
Prizeman, writer of the Latin Prize Essay, and Fellow of 
St. John's College, Cambridge ; leaving also the prospect of 
domestic happiness fpr his romantic love of Lydia Grenfell 
was not the least conspicuous feature in his life he went 
forth, fired with an ardour which was then comparatively 
rare, and with a full conviction that the time had come when 
the earth should be filled with the knowledge of the Lord 
as the waters cover the seas. Mrs. Sherwood, the popular 
authoress, was introduced to him at Dinapore when he first 
went out to India ; and he produced a different impression 
upon her in some respects from that which his own some- 
what gloomy journal, and, still more, that of Lydia Grenfell, 
would convey. Those journals quite harmonize with what 

1 Essays on Ecclesiastical Biography, by Sir James Stephen: "The Evan- 
gelical Succession," p. 336. 


Mrs. Sherwood writes in the following passages : " The con- 
version of the natives and the building up of the kingdom 
of Christ were the great objects for which alone that child of 
God seemed to exist then, and, in fact, for which he died. . . . 
Henry Martyn was one of the very few persons I ever met who 
appeared never to be drawn away from one leading and pre- 
vailing object of interest, and that object was the promotion 
of religion. He did not appear like one who felt the necessity 
of contending with the world and denying himself its delights, 
but rather as one who was unconscious of the existence of 
any attractions in the world, or of any delights which were 
worthy of his notice." But then she goes on : " When he 
relaxed from his labours in the presence of his friends, it 
was to play and laugh like an innocent, happy child, more 
especially if children were present to play and laugh with 
him. . . . Mr. Martyn is one of the most pleasing, mild, and 
heavenly-minded men, walking in this turbulent world with 
peace in his mind and charity in his heart." l He is the 
fascinating gentleman as well as the saint. He presents that 
curious combination which we have noticed in many others 
among the Evangelicals. Look at him from one side, and he 
appears to be "hampered by a narrow and gloomy spirit, 
made morbid by incessant self-introspection and a dread of 
everything bright and cheerful." 2 Look at him from another, 
and he seems to have a bright, sunny nature, tempered and 
mellowed rather than obscured by his creed. His aspirations 
were high and his hopes sanguine. He thought that the 
threefold translation of the Bible into Persian, Arabic, and 
Hindustani would be " the downfall of Mohammedanism," if 
properly done ; and it was to the Mohammedans especially 
that he desired to make the gospel known, having more hope 
of them than of the Hindus. He set himself to the work of 
translation ; completed the Hindustani New Testament in 
1810, lived to add to it the Arabic and Persian versions, and 
made such progress in the Hindustani Old Testament that 
his work has proved helpful to later translators ; all this was 
done in five or six years, in the midst of incessant active 

1 See the Life of Mrs. Sherwood (chiefly Autobiographical], by her daughter, 
Sophia Kellv, pp. 339- 34 1- 

2 See Under his Banner, by H. W. Tucker, p. 24. 


work, and when the seeds of the illness which proved fatal 
to him were already sown. He was, in the strictest sense of 
the word, a martyr to his work, for it was with a view to per- 
fecting himself in the language that he went to Persia on his 
way home in iSi i. There, " at Tocat, on the i6th of October, 
1812, either falling a sacrifice to the plague, which then raged 
there, or sinking under that disorder which, when he penned 
his last words, had so greatly reduced him, Henry Martyn 
surrendered his soul into the hands of his Redeemer." 1 The 
dramatic element which is seen all through Martyn's life is 
visible also in the last scene. He died in absolute solitude 
spiritually. " Where he sank into his grave, men were 
strangers to him and to his God ; " but it had not always 
been so. For Tocat is the ancient Comana, near to which 
St. Chrysostom died and was buried fourteen hundred years 
before, and where Basil and his saintly sister, Macrina, were 
brought up, and where they were both buried. The brief 
and romantic career of the saint and scholar we may almost 
add martyr made Martyn's a name to conjure with more 
than that of many who did a greater actual work for the 
mission cause in India ; more, for example, than that of the 
last of the five famous chaplains, Claudius Buchanan, who 
of all others stirred most the public mind on the subject of 
Christianity in India. 

Claudius Buchanan was sent to Queen's College, Cam- 
bridge, at the expense of Henry Thornton, having been 
previously "brought to the feet of Christ by a sermon of 
John Newton's, preached in St. Mary Woolnoth." 2 At 
Cambridge he of course joined the Simeon party, and went 
out to India as one of "Simeon's chaplains" in 1796. He 
became vice-provost of the college at Fort William ; and in 
1803 he conceived the idea of proposing "certain subjects for 
prize competition, connected with the civilization and moral 
improvement of India, to the universities of the United 
Kingdom." He carefully avoided mentioning the name of 
Christianity, and certainly seems to have acted with caution 

1 Notice of Martyn's death, quoted in an extremely interesting sermon on 
Martyn translating the Scriptures^ preached by Canon Edmunds in Truro Cathedral 
on October 16, 1890. 

3 Charles Simeon, by H. C. G. Moule, p. 146. 


as well as liberality (the sum he offered was 1600), for he 
consulted the Governor-General of India (Lord Wellesley) 
and the Episcopal Bench at home. The Bishop of London 
(Dr. Beilby Porteus) took a warm interest in the matter, and 
at his suggestion Dr. Buchanan wrote a "Memoir of the 
Expediency of an Ecclesiastical . Establishment for British 
India " a book which created a great sensation and raised a 
violent opposition. He was encouraged, however, not only 
by the Bishop of London, but also " by subsequent commu- 
nications with the Marquis Wellesley/' to call the attention 
of the nation to this subject. The book was published 
in England in the autumn of 1805. Meanwhile his offer of 
prizes, though declined by Oxford on a point of form, was 
accepted by Cambridge and some of the public schools ; and 
in 1805 another offer of 500 was accepted both by Oxford 
and Cambridge. The plan drew out the energies of men 
who afterwards became eminent ; among others, Thomas 
Rennell, Charles Grant, Francis Wrangham, John William 
Cunningham, all of whom have been already mentioned in 
this work, and Hugh Pearson, afterwards Dean of Salisbury 
and the donor's biographer. Buchanan's letter to the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, in 1805, * s worth quoting. " It is," he 
writes, "the opinion of intelligent men in India that the 
formation of an extensive ecclesiastical establishment is a 
measure which, during the present revolutions of Europe, will 
tend greatly to confirm our dominion. . . . The toleration 
of all religions, and the zealous extension of our own, is the 
way to rule and preserve a conquered kingdom. It is certain 
that men are ruled virtually by the Church, though ostensibly 
by the State, in every country. The seeds of moral obedience 
and social order are all in the Church. . . . One observation 
I would make on the proposed ecclesiastical establishment.' 
A partial or half-measure would have no useful effect. A 
few additional chaplains could do nothing towards the attain- 
ment of the great object in view. An archbishop is wanted 
for India ; a sacred and exalted character, surrounded by his 
bishops, of ample revenue and extensive sway ; a venerable 
personage whose name shall be greater than that of the 
transitory governor of the land ; and whose fame for piety, 
and for the will and power to do good, may pass throughout 


every region. We want something royal, in a spiritual and 
temporal sense, for the abject subjects of this great Eastern 
empire to look up to." ] 

In 1806 Buchanan visited a colony of Syrian Christians 
the Christians of St. Thomas, a body which had existed in 
Travancore, in South India, for nearly fifteen centuries and 
this visit confirmed his most sanguine anticipations. 

Unfortunately, during the same year (1806) a mutiny had 
broken out among the natives at Vellore, and their disaffection 
was attributed, by men who had been hostile enough to the 
evangelizing plan before, to their fears lest they were going 
to be Christianized by force. 

In 1807 appeared a "Letter to the Chairman of the 
East India Company ', on the Danger of interfering in the 
Religious Opinions of the Natives of India, and on the Views 
of the British and Foreign Bible Society as directed to 
India" The pamphlet certainly contained a view of the 
case which was not to be lightly set aside. " A convulsion," 
it argued, " from religious sources no human efforts may be 
able to subdue. The natives think as much of their religion 
as we of our constitution. As long as we continue to govern 
India in the mild and tolerant spirit of Christianity, we may 
govern it with ease ; but if ever the fatal day shall arise when 
religious innovations shall set foot in that country, indignation 
will spread from one end of Hindostan to the other, and fifty 
millions will drive us away." The first edition of the pamphlet 
was anonymous ; but the second, which was called for within 
a year, came out under the name of " Thomas Twining, late 
senior merchant of the Company's Bengal Establishment." 
The pamphlet was immediately answered by Mr. Owen, 
secretary of the Bible Society, and by Bishop Porteus, who 
replied with great effect in that vein of irony, instances of 
which have already been given. 2 

1 Quoted by the Rev. Hugh Pearson, in his Memoirs of the Life and Writings 
of the Rev. Claudius Buchanan (i. 377), from which much of the information in 
the preceding and following pages is derived. 

2 Bishop Porteus' work was published anonymously, under the title of A Few 
Cursory Remarks on Mr. Twining 's " Letter to the Chairman of the East India 
Company" by a member of the Bible Society ; Mr. Owen's was entitled, Address to 
the Chairman of the East India Company, occasioned by Mr. Twining 's " Letter" 
by J. Owen. 


Mr. Twining was followed by Major Scott Waring, who 
attacked Dr. Buchanan and his friends still more fiercely in 
two pamphlets, entitled respectively "A Vindication of the 
Hindoos from the Expressions of Dr. Claudius Buchanan ; 
with a Refutation of his Arguments for an Ecclesiastical 
Establishment in British India: by a Bengal officer;" and 
" Observations on the Present State of the East India Com- 
pany ; with Prefatory Remarks on the alarming intelligence 
lately received from Madras as to the general disaffection pre- 
vailing amongst the natives of every rank, from an opinion 
that it is the intention of the British Government to compel 
them to embrace Christianity : by Major Scott Waring'' 
The latter speedily passed through four editions. It boldly 
recommended a clean sweep. " If," says the writer in his 
preface, " India is worth preserving, we should endeavour 
to regain the confidence of the people by the immediate 
recall of every English missionary, and by prohibiting every 
person of the Company's service from taking a part in circu- 
lating the translations of the Scriptures in Hindostan." Dr. 
Buchanan and Mr. Brown in Bengal, and Dr. Kerr in Madras, 
were the chief objects of the writer's attack. "These three 
gentlemen are clergymen of the Church of England, but 
classed under that description of our clergy who are termed 
Evangelical" "Subsequent" he says, " to the religious meeting 
at Vellore, I can affirm, from undoubted authority, that in 
every quarter of Hindostan the increase of English mission- 
aries, and the gratuitous circulation of such parts of the 
Scriptures as are already translated, have caused the greatest 
alarm." He strongly reprobated Dr. Buchanan's visit to the 
Syrian Christians in Travancore, declaring that "the time 
chosen for visiting them was most impolitic and inopportune 
soon after the religious meeting at Vellore ; and as if we 
were determined to increase the alarm of the people of India 
as to our future designs, Dr. Kerr, a Madras clergyman, was 
sent upon a mission to the same district." All this is in the 
preface. In the pamphlet itself he attacks Dr. Buchanan's 
proposal of " an ecclesiastical establishment, to consist of an 
archbishop, three bishops, and an indefinite number of clergy." 
" The British subjects in India," he says, " are only thirty 
thousand; so two clergy at each capital, and twelve chaplains 


for the army, the present establishment, are quite enough ; 
but his object is to convert fifty millions to Christianity. 
He thinks that if his plan were adopted, India would con- 
clude that, if they could not be reasoned out of the religion 
of their forefathers, they would be compelled to embrace 
Christianity. If the natives were to see a number of clergy- 
men spread over Hindostan, paid and encouraged by the 
British Government, they would feel the most serious alarm." 
And then he has recourse to the argumentum ad crumenam. 
" The expense would amount to 200,000 a year. The arch- 
bishop would be next in rank to the Governor-General, with 
a salary double that of his Grace of Canterbury ; the bishops 
could not have less than 1 5,000 a year each; and the 
inferior clergy could not be expected to leave England at 
less than ;i6.oo a year." 

This pamphlet has been quoted at some length, because 
it represents the views held by many. It is astonishing how 
soon a reaction arose; but in 1808 Major Scott Waring was 
a representative man, and required answering. He was 
answered, very effectively, by Lord Teignmouth, who, as an 
ex-Governor-General, could of course write with authority on 
the subject. Lord Teignmouth's " Considerations on com- 
municating the Knowledge of Christianity to the Natives 
of India " is not the work of a visionary enthusiast, but a 
very sensible, moderate, and well-written work, calculated to 
carry conviction to reasonable minds. " I was not," he says 
in his Advertisement, "surprised, after perusing it [the 
' Observations,' etc.], to find that it had made a considerable, 
though different, impression on the feelings of various readers. 
But I was astonished and concerned afterwards to learn that 
his recommendation for recalling every English missionary, 
and for prohibiting the circulation of the Scriptures in India, 
had become the subject of serious public consideration." In 
the body of the pamphlet, he wisely grasps his nettle. The 
sting of the indictment undoubtedly lay in the Vellore 
incident. " It appears," he writes, " by a proclamation of 
the Madras Government in December, 1 806, that many of the 
native troops under its authority had given credit to malicious 
reports, circulated by disaffected persons, that it was the 
wish of the British Government to convert them by forcible 


means to Christianity. The object of the proclamation was 
to compose an existing ferment, which in the preceding 
month of July had exploded in a meeting at Vellore." But 
he affirms later on that "in all the inquiries made at Fort 
St. George into the causes of the mutiny at Vellore, in the 
course of which great numbers of the native troops were 
examined, the increase of missionaries, and the circulation 
of the Scriptures, religious tracts, and pamphlets, were never 
once mentioned by any of them." One more passage from 
this valuable pamphlet may be quoted, as showing the 
reasonableness of the writer as well as his ability. " If," he 
argues with convincing force, " Major Scott Waring's repre- 
sentation of the case could be made out, it would prove that 
we have been guilty of this act of violation, ever since we 
possessed the dominion of India, by tolerating missionaries 
and the circulation of the Scriptures, both which we had 
the power to prevent." And then he admits, " Anxious as I 
am that the natives of India should become Christians, from 
a regard for their temporal and eternal welfare, I know that 
this is not to be effected by violence, nor by undue influence ; 
and although I consider this country bound by the strongest 
obligations of duty and interest, which will ever be found 
inseparable, to afford them the means of moral and religious 
instruction, I have no wish to limit that toleration, which 
has hitherto been observed with respect to their religion, laws, 
and customs. On the contrary, I hold a perseverance in the 
system of toleration not only as just in itself, but as essentially 
necessary to facilitate the means used for their conversion ; 
and those means should be conciliatory under the guidance 
of prudence and discretion. But I should consider a pro- 
hibition of our Holy Scriptures and the recall of the 
missionaries most fatal prognostics with respect to the 
permanency of the British dominion in India." Lord 
Teignmouth acted throughout in this moderate spirit. 
Though he was heartily in favour of Dr. Buchanan's views, 
he did not approve of the methods the impulsive doctor took 
for carrying them out. His extensive knowledge of India 
made him doubt the practical wisdom of provoking public 
discussion. He advised Mr. Pearson to omit from his prize 
essay an intended recommendation to institute a college 


similar to that afterwards founded by Bishop Middleton, on 
the ground that the public mind was not then (1805) ripe 
for such an institution, and he wrote to Mr. Owen, secretary 
of the Bible Society, expressing his regret that the conversion 
of the natives of India had been put forward so conspicuously. 
" That Christianity may be introduced into India, and that 
the attempt may be safely made, I doubt not ; but to tell 
the natives that we wish to convert them, is not the way to 
proceed." 1 On the side of the opponents of Indian missions 
was the powerful Edinburgh Review, in which Sydney Smith 
wrote a violent article when the controversy was at its height, 
in 1808. 

After that date, the subject seemed to be dying out of 
the public notice, though there is no doubt that the efforts 
of Dr. Buchanan, Lord Teignmouth, and others had made 
an impression. In 1812 the approaching renewal of the 
Charter of the East India Company seemed to offer a favour- 
able opportunity for renewing the efforts for an " ecclesiastical 
establishment" (to use the language of the day) in India. 
Great pressure was brought to bear upon Parliament from 
the outside ; nine hundred addresses from all parts of the 
kingdom, imploring the interference of the legislature in 
behalf of the moral and religious interests of India, were 
presented. The indefatigable Dr. Buchanan was very busy 
with his pen. He published a work entitled " Colonial 
Ecclesiastical Establishment : being a Brief View of the State 
of the Colonies of Great Britain, and of her Asiatic Empire , 
in respect to religions : prefaced by some considerations on 
the national duty of affording it." This was extensively 
circulated, particularly among members of both Houses of 
Parliament, and made a strong and general impression 
throughout the country. Later in the same year (1813) 
appeared from the same pen "An Apology for promoting 
Christianity in India : containing Two Letters addressed to 
the Honourable East India Company concerning the Idol 
Juggernaut, and a Memorial presented to the Bengal Govern- 
ment in 1807, in Defence of Christian Missions in India. 
Printed by Order of the House of Commons" By this 
time, as may be inferred from the title-page, the battle 

1 Life of Lord Teignmouth^ p. 131. 


had been won. There was a long debate in the House of 
Commons, in which William Wilberforce spoke with his usual 
eloquence, and J. Stephen and W. Smith with their usual 
business talent ; and the upshot of it all was that the Act 
which renewed the Charter of the Company (1813) erected 
their territories into one vast diocese, with an Archdeacon 
to be resident at each of the three Presidencies Calcutta, 
Madras, and Bombay. It was a miserably inadequate 
provision ; but the wonder is that any provision should 
have been made at all, for the majority of Anglo-Indians, 
whose voice in such a matter would of course have great 
weight, were probably against it. When the letters patent 
were granted, Parliament seemed almost ashamed of what it 
had done. Dr. Thomas Fanshawe Middleton was consecrated 
first Bishop of Calcutta, May 8, 1814; but the consecration 
took place in private, and the consecration sermon was not 
allowed to be printed. 

Perhaps, however, it was this very timidity which brought 
about in one respect a singularly happy result. It has been 
seen that one strong objection to the work of Christian 
missions in India generally, and the establishment of an 
Indian episcopate in particular, was that the projects originated 
with " a narrow and ignorant party " in the Church ; that 
they were, in short, a part of that hated thing called 
" Methodism." It was probably on this account that the 
first bishop was one whose "orthodoxy" and scholarship 
were beyond suspicion. Thomas Fanshawe Middleton had, 
as we have seen, thoroughly identified himself with the 
" Hackney phalanx ; " figuratively speaking, he hailed from 
Clapton, not from Clapham. His character was irreproach- 
able ; he had been a most active parish priest, and he was 
one of the first scholars of the day. In short, he was just 
the man to make the movement respectable. The Evange- 
licals themselves saw this, and bore with a Christian spirit 
what must, one would have thought, have been rather a 
disappointment to them. Bishop Middleton was the last 
man in the world to be afraid of showing his colours. " He 
went out to India," writes his biographer, "as he entered 
the Church of England, with the profound conviction that 
episcopacy is, not merely one of many convenient forms of 


governing the Church of Christ, but that it is the form 
which was originally instituted by the Apostles, and which 
without interruption or question had been continued from 
generation to generation, from the apostolic times to the 
days of Calvin ; " and therefore he would make no concession 
on this point. 1 One can hardly help reading between the 
lines of this account. All who believe in Christ are naturally 
drawn closer together when they are surrounded on all sides 
by those who do not believe in Him ; and in India, men 
who had nothing to do with episcopacy were deservedly 
held by all Christians in the highest esteem, as the success- 
ful pioneers and first workers in the mission-field. Mr. 
Simeon's chaplains, with their many excellences, were not 
exactly the men to put forward that view of the Church 
which Mr. Le Bas describes ; in fact, they would not hold 
it themselves. But one of them, Daniel Corrie, probably 
expressed the feelings of all when he rejoiced at the 
appointment of Bishop Middleton. " He thought," writes 
his biographer, " that the bishop gave mission-work exactly 
that kind of sanction it required. To labour for the moral 
improvement and conversion of our heathen fellow-subjects 
used to be regarded as characterizing a party in the Church, 
and as proceeding from a kind of fanaticism that would 
endanger the stability of our Oriental empire. But the interest 
which Bishop Middleton had taken in the missionary cause 
gave reason to believe that official dignity, combined with a 
high reputation for sound judgment and secular learning, were 
not incompatible with the conviction that our rule in India 
had everything to hope for from the spread of Christianity." ? 
Of course, the esteem of the marked Evangelical for the 
marked High Churchman was a little qualified ; he thought 
the new bishop " in some respects a valuable man ; " but, 
on the whole, he was quite satisfied. So also were the 
Evangelicals at home, if William Wilberforce may be 
regarded as their spokesman. " The Bishop of Calcutta," 
he writes in his journal for 1814, " Teignmouth, and C. Grant 
dined with me. Long and highly interesting talk with 
Bishop Middleton. He seems very earnest, and pondering 

1 See Le Bas' Life of Bishop Middleton, ii. 335. 

2 Memoirs of Daniel Corrie, First Bishop of Madras, by his brother, p. 344. 



to do good ; hopes for Churches in different parts of India ; 
favourable to schools and a public library, and a college with 
discipline." l 

The bishop, on his part, was not slow to recognize the 
merits of such men as Corrie. In fact, none of the difficulties 
which might have been anticipated from placing a High 
Church bishop over a set of Low Church clergy appear to 
have occurred. 

It has not, so far as I am aware, been observed elsewhere, 
but it seems to me that one of the causes of this happy 
result was the wide and varied experiences of men of different 
lines of thought through which the bishop had passed. It is 
a curious omission on the part of his excellent biographer, 
Mr. Le Bas, that he does not notice Middleton's friendship 
with S. T. Coleridge in the early stage of that extraordinary 
man's mental history. The two were schoolfellows together 
at Christ's Hospital. Many years later, Coleridge wrote of 
Middleton as " my schoolfellow, who had been my patron 
and protector, the truly learned and every way excellent 
Bishop of Calcutta." 2 Mr. Gillmore, who knew Coleridge in 
his later years better than any man did, says that " Middle- 
ton was to him, while at school and college, what the polar 
star is to the mariner on a wide sea without compass his 
guide, and his influential friend and companion." 8 Like 
Coleridge, Middleton seems to have passed through a phase 
of theological liberalism, 4 and, like Coleridge, he found his 
spiritual and intellectual home in a very different quarter 
from that into which he appeared to be drifting ; but his 
early experience may have stood him in good stead when he 
had to deal with men who did not take precisely the same 
views with himself; he would naturally have wider sym- 
pathies than if his thoughts had always run in the same 

Be this as it may, he proved an admirable bishop. His 
very presence in India gave a new stimulus to mission-work. 

1 Life of William Wilberforce, by his son, the Bishop of Oxford, p. 352. 

2 Biographia Literaria. 

* Life of S. T. Coleridge, p. 56. 

4 Professor Brandl says that Middleton wrote a favourable review of Priestley, 
the famous Unitarian, for the British Critic. See Samuel Taylor Coleridge and 
the English Romantic School (Eng. edit.), by Lady Eastlake, pp. 50-56. 


In 1815, the year after his appointment, the C.M.S. began 
its mission in Calcutta, and in 1818 the S.P.G. did the same. 
The bishop saw the need of good vernacular schools, and the 
S.P.G. established three circles of mission schools in the 
immediate neighbourhood of Calcutta. In 1820 he laid 
the foundation-stone of Bishop's College, Calcutta, in the 
first instance "for instructing both Mussulmans and Hin- 
doos in every branch of useful knowledge, and for educating 
native and European Christians in the doctrines of the 
Church, and for the reception of such ministers as might be 
sent from England before they were appointed to their 
stations,'"' l but with the ultimate object of being the nursery 
of a native clergy. 2 The real originator of Bishop's College 
was undoubtedly Bishop Middleton ; he started the idea ; 
he drew up all the plans himself ; gave four thousand rupees 
from his own private income, and induced the great societies 
to help most liberally. But he did not live to see its com- 
pletion ; his anxiety about it is thought to have hastened his 
end ; he died suddenly, after a few days' illness, in 1822, 
being in his last hours, at his own request, ministered to by 
Daniel Corrie. 

The amiable and accomplished Reginald Heber, who suc- 
ceeded Bishop Middleton, had shown great interest in mission- 
work. The most popular, perhaps, of all missionary hymns, 
" From Greenland's icy mountains," was composed by him 
for an S.P.G. service at Wrexham, in 1819 ; the year before, 
he had attempted to effect a union between the C.M.S. and 
the S.P.G. ; and his high reputation as a literary man gene- 
rally, as well as an excellent clergyman, pointed him out as 
a proper man for the bishopric. Of course, his appointment 
was warmly welcomed by the Evangelical clergy, who were still 
dominant in India ; for though he certainly did not identify 
himself with the Evangelical party, he sympathized with 
them in many points. D. Corrie hit the mark when he 
said, " Our bishop is the most free from party views of any 
man I ever met with." 3 A little later he reports, " You will 
have heard of the favour the bishop shows generally to the 

1 T. Taylor's Life of Bishop Hebsr, p. 166. 

2 Under His Banner, by Rev. H. W. Tucker, p. 28. 
a Life of Bishop Corrie ; p. 362. 


righteous cause. Of the natural amiability of the man, it is 
impossible to convey an adequate idea ; " and a little later 
still, " The Church is advancing. In our bishop we have all 
we can have in one man to unite us, and to help our work 
by its various instruments." * The friends of Bishop Middle- 
ton do not seem to have been quite so pleased with his 
successor. 2 They thought his antecedents were not quite 
those of a man likely to fill so responsible a position, and 
perhaps also they were not so convinced of his firm Church- 
manship. But Heber, though a moderate, was not a colour- 
less man. He took a decided line of his own, and his 
amiability did not prevent him from being firm on occasion, 
as the two following instances in different directions will 
show. He very properly insisted that the missionaries sent 
out by the C.M.S. should be as much under his jurisdiction 
as those sent out by other Church societies, and he succeeded 
in carrying his point, though the rule was not formally recog- 
nized by the society. Perhaps this very proper insistence 
upon his power led some who were hostile to the Evan- 
gelicals to hope that he might be induced to exercise it 
zV/zproperly. He was known to be a strong Arminian, and 
a vain attempt was made to induce him to exclude Calvinists. 
He was a very active bishop. He took up heartily Bishop 
Middleton's project of Bishop's College, and brought it to a 
successful completion in 1824. He made a visitation which 
ranged through Bengal, Bombay, and Ceylon, the not un- 
natural result being that he was prostrated by fever. Nothing 
daunted, he began a second visitation in Madras ; but, on 
April 3, 1826, he was found dead in his bath at Trichino- 
poly. His tragic end, following his devoted life, threw a 
halo of romance over his whole career which impressed the 
imagination ; and, better still, contributed to the practical 
result of bringing about a subdivision of his unwieldy diocese. 
There seems little doubt that the first two bishops of 
Calcutta were practically killed by overwork. In the graceful 
language of the biographer of the first, " the dust of two 
English bishops, we might almost say two English martyrs, 
has now mixed itself with the soil of Hindostan. Let us 

1 Life of Bishop Corrie, pp. 369, 376. 

2 See Memoir of Joshua Watson, i. 240, etc. 


hope that their remains have given a sort of consecration to 
that vast territory, and marked it out, in sight of men and 
angels, as a portion of the Redeemer's inheritance." 1 They 
were certainly two very remarkable men, though of a 
different type. In 1827, during the interregnum after Bishop 
Heber's death, Bishop Blomfield preached a sermon on the 
state of the Church in India, in which he said, with perfect 
truth, " It was the peculiar felicity of that Church, rather, I 
should say, it was of God's providential appointment, that 
its first rulers were two men singularly gifted and qualified 
for the work which it fell to their lot to perform." After two 
such men had sacrificed their lives to overwork, one would 
have thought that, for very shame, a further provision would 
have been made to avert another such catastrophe. But it 
was not. It is positively shocking to think that, within six 
years, two more valuable lives were sacrificed in the attempt 
to manage the hopelessly unwieldy diocese. In 1829 Bishop 
Heber's successor, Dr. James, " the much-respected Bishop 
of Calcutta," fell " a victim to the labours and anxieties of a 
diocese that ought to be divided into four;" 2 and in 1832 
his successor, Dr. Turner, died in the prime of life (set. 45), 
" worn down with the anxious responsibilities of his office, 
and the fatigues of his late laborious visitation of his 
diocese." 8 A memorial had been presented by the S.P.C.K. 
to the Court of Directors, after the death of Bishop Heber, 
praying for the appointment of more bishops ; but it was 
not complied with until some years after our period, when 
Corrie, the Archdeacon of Madras, was most deservedly made 
its first bishop. In 1832 Daniel Wilson was appointed to 
Calcutta, and held the see for twenty-six years. 

There can be no doubt that the establishment of the 
episcopate in India gave an enormous impetus to mission- 

1 Le Bas' Life of Bishop Middleton, i. 353. 

2 Christian Observer, 1829. 

3 Brief Notice of Dr. John M. Turner, late Bishop of Calcutta, by the Rev. 
S. C. Wilks. He is described as a man of " exemplary piety." He was educated 
at Christ Church, Oxford, where he was a favourite of the dean, Dr. Cyril Jackson. 
He was afterwards successively Vicar of Abingdon and Vicar of Wilmslow. He 
was examining chaplain to the Bishop of Chester. He was recommended by 
Lord Ellenborough for the bishopric of Calcutta, and many instances are given of 
his zeal in that capacity. 


work. New centres were formed in all parts, and far more 
way was made, especially in Madras, than in any previous 
corresponding period. 


This oldest of Church societies, like its first offshoot the 
S.P.G., also made wonderful progress during our period. In 
1832 it had seven times as many subscribers, and nearly 
seven times as much money subscribed, as it had in 1800; 
while it distributed thirty-three times as many Bibles and 

The general impetus which was given, about the begin- 
ning of the nineteenth century, to all works of piety and 
charity, may account to some extent for the marked advance 
made by the venerable society. But there is evidence from 
all quarters to show that it was specially stirred up to 
renewed vigour by the formation of the British and Foreign 
Bible Society. The very raison d'etre of the younger society 
was a sort of challenge to the older. There was need, it was 
said, of a new society, because the old one was unable to 
meet the demand for Bibles in Wales. The old society 
distinctly denied its inability to do this, and girded itself 
up at once, so that there might not be the faintest suspicion 
of its inadequacy for such emergencies in the future. There 
certainly seems to have been some need of an awakening, 
for, by the admission of some of its most ardent supporters, 
it was little known. Now, the want of publicity in an insti- 
tution which depended upon the public for the very con- 
tinuance of its existence, to say nothing of its extension, was 
an obvious defect. We can understand, indeed, the feeling 
which prompted those who did know it to admire its 
"unforced dignity," "the silent unostentatious manner in 
which all its proceedings were carried on." " True chanty," 
it was said, " is never ostentatious ; this excellent society has 
made no noisy appeals to the passions or feelings of mankind 
on its own behalf." 1 No doubt this was the more excellent 
way, if only it was followed with success. But the very 
next sentence shows that it was not. " So far has this for- 

1 Enquiry into the Claims of the British and Foreign Bible Society, by the Rev. 
J. H. Spry. 



bearance been carried that its very existence is unknown 
even to many of the Established Church, and some of the 
clergy have been induced to connect themselves with the 
Bible Society merely because they believe it to be the only 
institution which could furnish them with Bibles at a reduced 
price for distribution among the poor." The Bishop of 
London, Dr. Randolph, was " disgusted at the pomp and 
parade with which all the proceedings, and indeed all the 
meetings, of the new society were set forth in the public 
papers, and the more so when he contrasted it with the 
simplicity and modesty of the old society ; " l but if the 
result of this simplicity and modesty was that the very 
existence of the olcl society was unknown to many of that 
very class which would naturally be most likely to know 
about it, it really was time that it should show itself a little 
less simple and modest in its operations. 

It must not be supposed, however, that it was jealousy 
of a new agency doing the same work which it professed to 
do itself, that roused the S.P.C.K. to fresh efforts. It was 
not a case of two rivals in the same field. The real question 
at issue was, whether Churchmen ought to be content with 
helping to circulate the Bible alone, without the Prayer-book 
which is to them the authorized interpreter of the Bible. 
This was the point which was pressed with great force by 
Dr. Christopher Wordsworth, Archdeacon Daubeny, and, 
above all, Dr. Herbert Marsh, whose powerful and luminous 
statement will give the reader the best view of the question 
as it appeared to High Churchmen of that day. " The 
S.P.C.K./' he writes, "is the most ancient Bible Society in 
the kingdom, and was employed in the distribution of Bibles 
to the poor more than eighty years before any other Bible 
Society existed among us. Its title is well adapted to its 
object ; for Christian knowledge is unquestionably promoted 
by circulation of the Bible. But as this society does not go 
by the name of a Bible Society, it has been strangely inferred 
that they who supported this Bible Society in preference to 
any other Bible Society are enemies to Bible Societies in 
general. Now, as I decidedly prefer the distribution of the 
Bible by this Bible Society to its distribution by means of 

1 Bishop Randolph's Letter to the Colchester clergy, 1804-5. 


any other, I will briefly state to you the reasons of my 
preference. Though the use of the Bible makes us Chris- 
tians, it is the use of the Prayer-book also which makes us 
Churchmen. The Bible is the sole azithority on which Pro- 
testants found their articles of faith ; whereas members of 
the Church of Rome found their articles of faith on fat joint 
authority of Scripture and tradition. But when this maxim, 
which is true in respect to the authority of the Bible, is 
applied, as it has been, to the distribution of the Bible, the 
maxim is totally false. Though the Prayer-book has no 
authority but what it derives from the Bible, Churchmen 
must attend to its distribution with the Bible. Take away 
the Prayer-book, and, though we remain Christians, we cease 
to be Churchmen. Christians of every denomination appeal 
to the Bible in support of their faith and worship, however 
diversified that faith and worship may be. Our form of faith 
and worship is that which is prescribed in the Prayer-book, 
and as we have reason to believe that the faith and worship 
there prescribed is consonant with the tenets of the Bible, we 
must consistently, as good Churchmen, as good Protestants 
(whatever has been said to the contrary), regard the Prayer- 
book as a proper companion for the Bible. Now, the Bible 
Society which I recommend to your attention is the only 
Bible Society in this kingdom which distributes the Prayer- 
book, and it is chiefly on this ground that, as a faithful 
Churchman, I have earnestly laboured in its defence." 1 

This passage is interesting incidentally because it marks 
the difference between High Churchmen before, and High 
Churchmen after, the Oxford Movement. Of course, the 
latter would have agreed with Bishop Marsh, as against his 
opponents, but they would not have based their arguments 
on the same ground that he based his. The passage is, 
however, quoted here simply to show how the foundation 
and rapid success of the British and Foreign Bible Society 
gave an enormous stimulus to the S.P.C.K. The supporters 
of the latter could say to Churchmen, "You are asked to 
join a Bible Society of a mixed nature; but you have a Bible 
Society of your own, which, in loyalty to your Church, you 
are bound to support in preference." The appeal, though of 

1 Charge of Bishop Marsh at his Primary Visitation at Llandaff, 1817. 



S.P.C.K. .281 

course it came home most closely to High Churchmen, yet 
touched others. Sydney Smith, for instance, though he 
thought " nothing could be more ridiculous than the whole 
contest " an odd remark from a clergyman yet agreed that 
"to a particular body of men [Churchmen] it was right to 
say, 'You are bound in consistency to circulate the Scrip- 
tures with the Prayer-book in preference to any other 
method.'" 1 S. T. Coleridge 2 and Southey 3 took quite the 
same view ; and even Bishop Ryder, who was always 
reckoned as the first bishop who really and fully represented 
the Evangelicals, and was an early supporter of the Bible 
Society, distinctly and emphatically declares that " in cases 
where very contracted means would permit a parochial 
minister to subscribe only to one society, he should choose 
that which would enable him to provide the Liturgy as well 
as the Bible for his own people." 4 

One of the chief means by which the S.P.C.K. acquired 
additional support was through the establishment, in 1812, 
of district committees. Bishop Law, in his Charge to the 
diocese of Chester in 1814, says that before the formation 
of diocesan and district committees " the good which had 
been effected by the parent society was but little known in 
the more distant parts of the kingdom," and thinks that 
their formation is "an era that will be remembered." It is 
hardly necessary to say that the men who belonged to the 
44 Hackney phalanx," notably Joshua Watson, Christopher 
Wordsworth, and John Bowdler, were most energetic in 
working up the S.P.C.K. generally, and the district com- 
mittees' scheme in particular. 5 

The early part of the nineteenth century might be termed 
the age of societies. The National Society, founded in 1811, 
has already been noticed in connection with the subject of 
elementary education, and the Church Building Society in 

1 See Lady Holland's Memoir, ii. (Letters), 112. 

2 See his Lay Sermons, etc., published in 1817, the same year in which Bishop 
Marsh delivered his Charge. 

3 See Life of Southey, iii. 329. Southey thinks Marsh's arguments are 

4 Primary Charge delivered to the clergy of the diocese of Gloucester in 1816. 

5 See Memoir of Joshua Watson, i. 94, 95 ; Life of Bishop Middleton, i. 18, 
19 ; Memoir of John Bowdler, p. 247. 


connection with that of Church fabrics. But there still remain 
many others which date from this period. There was, for 
instance, a sort of minor missionary society called The 
Society for the Conversion of the Negroes in the West Indies, 
whose energies hardly came into operation before the com- 
mencement of the nineteenth century, though its actual 
foundation took place in 1794. It arose as follows. In 1691 
the Hon. Robert Boyle left a sum of money " for pious uses," 
part of which, under the direction of the Court of Chancery, 
was applied to "the advancement of the Christian religion 
among infidels in Virginia." At the separation of the United 
States from the mother country, it was decreed by the same 
court that the fund should be applied to the conversion and 
religious instruction of negro slaves in the British West 
India Islands. The decree appears to have been made at the 
instance of Dr. Beilby Porteus, who, as Bishop of London, was 
a trustee for the property, and, when the society was founded, 
became its president. The spread of the colonial episcopate 
extended to the West Indies ; and in 1825 the Bishops of 
Jamaica and Barbadoes arrived in their respective dioceses 
and gave a great impetus to the work of the society. It came 
slightly into collision with the abolitionists ; but the dispute 
was of a temporary nature, and need not here be noticed. 

Another society, of which Bishop Porteus was a chief 
promoter and the first president, was The Society for the 
Stippression of Vice. This, too, was founded before the 
eighteenth century ended, but did not come into working 
order until the nineteenth century had commenced. Its 
object was to enforce the king's proclamation against immo- 
rality and profaneness ; and the means it took to effect this 
object were by inducing persons of rank arid character to 
associate for putting the laws in force and convicting offenders. 
In this respect it exactly resembled those societies for the 
reformation of manners which had been founded a century 
before ; but, unlike them, its members were exclusively con- 
fined to the Church of England. It fell into the same odium, 
and was liable to the same real abuses, as its predecessors. 
" It was, of course, assailed," says a writer in the Quarterly 
Review (March, 1812), "by low buffoonery and coarse abuse." 
Whether this was a hit at the great rival Review, I cannot 


say; but certain it is that in the Edinburgh Review (1809) 
Sydney Smith had directed the pointed shafts of his wit 
against the society. Unfortunately for it the attack has 
lived, while the defence has virtually perished. It must be 
admitted that the witty canon hits some blots which were 
almost inevitable in such an institution. From the days of 
the sycophants in Attica, informers have always been an 
unpopular race. " Private informers," says the reviewer, " are 
bad enough, but bands of them are worse." " The real 
thing," he goes on, " which calls for the sympathies and 
harrows up the soul, is to see a number of boisterous artisans 
baiting a bull or a bear ; not a savage hare or a carnivorous 
stag, but a poor, innocent, timid bear ; not pursued by 
magistrates and deputy-lieutenants, and men of education, 
but by those who must necessarily seek their relaxation in 
noise and tumultuous merriment, by men whose feelings are 
blunted and whose understanding is wholly devoid of refine- 
ment. The society details with great complacency the 
detection of a bear-baiting in Blackboy Alley, Chick Lane, 
and the prosecution of the offenders before a magistrate. A 
man of 10,000 a year may worry a fox as much as he 
pleases, and a poor labourer is carried before a magistrate 
for paying sixpence to see an exhibition of courage between 
a dog and a bear." But it is hardly an answer to those who 
were trying to check the demoralizing effects of the illegal 
recreations of one class, to say that the recreations of another 
class were cruel, though not illegal. And, at any rate, Bishop 
Porteus was never accused of hunting a savage hare or a 
carnivorous stag ; nor yet was the excellent John Bowdler, 
who took up the cause of the society when it " had fallen 
very low through several unfortunate circumstances ; was 
greatly instrumental in increasing its funds and the number 
of its active members ; and greatly rejoiced in its successful 
endeavour (far beyond what its means would seem to admit) 
to check the alarming progress of infidelity and profaneness." x 
Many of the societies of the period were connected with 
the Evangelical party. Among these was The London Society 
for Promoting Christianity among the Jews, founded in 1809. 
To this society Simeon " was pre-eminently attached. In 

1 Memoir of John Bowdler ; p. 251. 


truth, he was almost from the commencement the chief stay 
of that great cause ; " 1 and one of the last things he wrote, 
or rather dictated, on his dying bed, was an address on the 
subject. In spite of his attachment, however, he was quite 
alive to one of its weaknesses, viz. the undue petting of con- 
verted Jews. " It was the want of caution," he writes with 
his usual quaint humour in 1830, "in the Jewish society at 
first, which brought such odium upon all its plans and upon 
all its promoters ; and I would very earnestly recommend 
that as little as possible be said of our early converts. . . . 
Pharaoh was not more cruel to infant Hebrews than we are 
to adults. He drowned his victims, and we hug ours to 
death. Why are they to be introduced into higher company 
when converts from the ungodly world are not? It is a 
grievous mistake to imagine that the baptizing any by 
a bishop is at all likely to advance their spiritual welfare." 2 

So ardently was the cause taken up, that we actually hear 
of a weekly Jewish society meeting at the house of Mr. Budd, 
the London Evangelical clergyman whose church Edward 
Bickersteth attended when he was a layman in London, in 
i8n. 8 Some of Mr. Legh Richmond's most triumphant 
missionary tours were in behalf of this society. In 1812 he 
records how at Manchester Collegiate Church " the con- 
gregation was estimated at more than five thousand by the 
best judges," and adds, "the interest and popularity which 
the cause and preaching excite exceed all calculation ; " 4 and 
many more such entries occur in his diary. The Duke of 
Kent became a patron of the society, through the influence, 
no doubt, of Legh Richmond, who was his chaplain. 

Other societies especially connected with the Evangelical 
party in the Church of England were the Prayer-book and 
Homily Society, founded in 1812, in the first instance "to 
supply a deficiency in distributing Prayer-books in the Navy," 
but also because Prayer-books were frequently published 
without " the Articles, which are the appointed standard of 
doctrine and guide to her worshippers," and because " the 
Book of Homilies could not be obtained through the medium 
of any existing society in the Church of England ; " 5 the 

1 Cams' Memoir, p. 597. 2 Id., p. 458. * Birks' Memoit, i. 190. 

4 Grimshaw's Life of Legh Richmond, p. 238. 5 Id., p. 234. 


Irish Society ', the object of which was to distribute Bibles, 
Prayer-books, and other works in the Irish language, and to 
diffuse Churchmanship of an Evangelical type throughout 
Ireland ; the Newfoundland School Society, which was intended 
to spread " Evangelical " in place of " Orthodox " views in 
that distant country ; and the various Clerical Education 
Societies, for the purpose of helping young men of straitened 
means to pay the expenses of a University education, with 
a view to their becoming Evangelical clergymen. The first 
and most famous of these was the Elland Society, in York- 
shire ; another was founded at Little Dunham, in Norfolk, 
by John Venn ; another at Bristol ; another in London ; and 
another at Creaton, in Northamptonshire. 

Besides these societies, which were confined to the Church 
of England, the Evangelicals also supported some of a mixed 
nature. First among these in point of date was the Eclectic 
Society, which was instituted in 1783 by a few London clergy 
"for mutual and religious intercourse and improvement, and 
for investigation of religious truth." John Newton, Richard 
Cecil, Henry Foster, and Eli Bates (a layman) were the 
original members. The first meeting was held at the Castle 
and Falcon Inn, Aldersgate Street, and afterwards the meet- 
ings took place fortnightly in the vestry of St. John's Chapel, 
Bedford Row. According to the original design, two or three 
laymen and Dissenting ministers were to be admitted, but by 
degrees the Dissenting appears to have swamped the Church 
element. A most interesting work, entitled " Eclectic Notes," 
was published by Josiah Pratt, which gives the fullest account 
of the Society's proceedings. The Eclectic Review, which 
was the organ of the society, having existed for ten years 
(1804-1814) as the joint production of Churchmen and Dis- 
senters, came out in a new series in 1814, as the exclusive 
production of the latter. 1 

Next came the Religious Tract Society, founded in 1799 
by members of the three denominations (Presbyterians, 
Independents, and Baptists), on the principle that there should 
be " nothing of sectarian shibboleths, nothing to recommend 
one denomination or to throw odium on another." It was 
almost from the first largely patronized by Evangelical 

1 See Advertisement to vol. i. of the Eclectic Review, new series, 1814. 


Churchmen. Legh Richmond accepted the secretaryship 
of the society, thinking "that he might promote the interests 
of his own Church by preventing the circulation of tracts 
hostile to her opinions, as well as advance the common cause 
of true religion." " He required," adds his biographer, " a 
guarantee to this effect, and then accepted the post, and to 
the day of his death had no reason to complain that the 
engagement was violated in a single instance." 3 

Out of the Religious Tract Society sprang a far more 
extensive institution the British and Foreign Bible Society. 
This was actually established in 1804, but the scheme was 
formed gradually. In December, 1802, Thomas Charles, of 
Bala, who was really, what many were called falsely, "a 
Methodist clergyman," first proposed "a contribution in aid 
of a plan for printing and distributing the Scriptures among 
his countrymen," the Welsh. At a committee-meeting of 
the Religious Tract Society, it was suggested by Joseph 
Hughes, a Baptist minister, that " as Wales was not the only 
part where the want might be supposed to prevail, it would 
be desirable to stir up the public mind to a general dispersion 
of the Scriptures." Mr. Hughes was " desired to prepare in 
writing an address, containing in more digested form the 
substance of his unpremeditated observations." Accordingly 
in May, 1803, he presented to the society an essay, entitled 
"The Excellence of the Holy Scriptures an Argument for 
their more General Circulation," in which he represented " the 
importance of an association of Christians at large with a 
view exclusively to the circulation of Holy Scripture." On 
March 7, 1804, a meeting was held at the London Tavern, 
Bishopsgate Street, Granville Sharp in the chair. This was 
followed by another meeting on March 12, at which Mr. 
Hughes was suggested as secretary of the new society. But 
Mr. John Owen, afterwards the historian of the society's early 
years, objected, because " it was desired to olftam the patron- 
age and co-operation of the Established Church," and sug- 
gested the name of Josiah Pratt. The result was that Josiah 
Pratt and Joseph Hughes were appointed joint secretaries, 
and Mr. Steinkoff foreign secretary. But on April 23 Josiah 
Pratt resigned, and John Owen succeeded him as clerical 

' Life, p. 366. 


secretary. At the instance of Bishop Porteus, Lord Teign- 
mouth was elected as first president of the society, and among 
the vice-presidents were the Bishops of London, Durham, 
Exeter, and St. David's. The society increased rapidly, 
throwing out by degrees various offshoots, which did much 
to strengthen the vitality of the parent stock. For instance, 
as early as 1805 people began to form themselves into volun- 
tary associations for aiding the cause of the society. Glas- 
gow, London, and Birmingham were the first places in which 
this was done ; but the first regular formation of an Auxiliary 
Bible Society was at Reading, on March 28, 1809; and its 
establishment was chiefly due to one whose name will awaken 
bitter recollections in the minds of some readers Dr. Valpy, 
author of the " Delectus " and other school-books, at that 
time head-master of Reading Grammar School. The first 
Juvenile Bible Society is said to have been established at York 
in 1812, and the first Ladies Auxiliary Bible Societies at 
Westminster and Dublin in the same year. In 1811 arose 
the first Bible Association at High Wycombe, for "distributing 
the Holy Scriptures among the lower orders of society chiefly 
through their own agency," though the principle had been 
recognized from the first indeed, before the formal estab- 
lishment of the society at all. These subsidiary organiza- 
tions, though they were objected to by some Reginald 
Heber among others wonderfully strengthened and enlarged 
the parent society. Indeed, the society obtained so firm 
a footing that, before it had been in existence ten years, its 
ablest opponent, Professor Herbert Marsh, said in reply to 
its ablest defender, Dean Milner, " I have long since aban- 
doned the thought of opposing the Bible Society. When an 
institution is supported with all the fervour of religious enthu- 
siasm, and is aided by the weight of such powerful additional 
causes, an attempt to oppose it is like attempting to oppose 
a torrent of burning lava that issues from Etna or Vesuvius." * 
This was in 1813. In the same way Archdeacon Daubeny, 
in his " Reasons for declining Connection with the Bible 
Society" (1814), constantly refers to its great popularity. 
Among so heterogeneous a group as the Bible Society 

1 Quoted in the History of the Origin and First Ten Years of the British and 
Foreign Bible Society^ by the Rev. John Owen, ii. 560. 


brought together, internal difficulties naturally arose ; but it 
is wonderful how easily they were settled. 

First came the controversy about the Apocrypha. It 
may seem strange, considering the source from whence the 
society sprang, that the Apocrypha should ever have been 
included in the Bibles circulated by it ; but the reason is 
indicated by the name " British and Foreign Bible Society." 
It had always been the custom on the Continent to print the 
Apocryphal with the Canonical Books. This " course of 
proceeding, at first imperceptibly adopted by the society, 
at length grew into a rule ; " * and the foreign Protestants 
were " not prepared at once to relinquish the practice." 2 
Scotland objected to the plan even more than England, and 
in 1825 it was resolved "that the funds of the society be 
applied to the printing and circulation of the Canonical 
Books of Scripture to the exclusion of the Apocrypha." 3 
But the conclusion was not arrived at without arousing very 
bitter feelings ; indeed, before it was settled, many of the 
Scotch Auxiliaries had seceded. 4 

In 1831 a very serious question arose as to whether all 
Socinians should be excluded from the management of the 
society, and also as to whether meetings should be opened 
with Scripture-reading and prayer. The two questions were 
closely connected, because any prayers would naturally end 
in a way which Socinians could scarcely accept. The pro- 
posal to institute a test to try the soundness of members on 
the doctrine of the Trinity was rejected by a large majority ; 
but the minority seceded, and founded another society, termed 
the Trinitarian Bible Society. 

So far as the Church of England was concerned, the 
controversy about the Bible Society brought to a head, more 
than any other question had done, the real point at issue 
between the " Evangelicals " and the " Orthodox." It was not 
merely a question as to the setting up of f& rival society to 
the venerable S.P.C.K., nor as to whether the distribution of 
Prayer-books ought always to accompany that of Bibles, 

1 Memoir of the Life and Correspondence of John, Lord Teignmouth, p. 459. 

2 Owen's History of the Bible Society, p. 195. 
8 Life of Lord Teignmouth, p. 461. 

4 See Life of Edward Bickersteth^ ii. 30. 


nor even whether Churchmen could consistently join with 
Dissenters in circulating the Holy Scriptures. Beneath all 
these questions lay a still more fundamental one. The 
famous dictum, " The Bible, and the Bible only, is the religion 
of Protestants," again came to the front. The Evangelicals 
to a man held this view, and supported the Bible Society, 
heart and soul, accordingly. But on the part of High Church- 
men and Broad Churchmen there was by no means the same 
unanimity. Of course, as a rule, the High Churchmen held 
aloof; but their attitude is curiously illustrative of what has 
frequently been observed in these pages, viz. that during our 
period they did not make generally clear their own position, 
as the Evangelicals certainly did theirs. For instance, when 
it was objected that the Bible Society was "dangerous to 
the Establishment," the obvious answer was that the Establish- 
ment existed for the sake of religion, not religion for the sake 
of the Establishment, to say nothing of the fact that the 
Establishment was perfectly safe, Bible Society or no Bible 
Society ; when it was urged that the new society was calcu- 
lated to injure the older and more Church-like one (S.P.C.K.), 
the convincing reply was that, as a matter of fact, it did not 
injure, but greatly helped the older one, by stirring up its 
energies, and rousing syrnpathy in its behalf. Nor is it very 
easy to see the force of the distinction which was drawn 
between the home and foreign work of the society ; as if the 
latter was tolerable, the former intolerable. 1 There was more 
force in the objection that the principle of the Bible Society 
assumed that the Bible was intended to teach itself, and that, 
as a necessary consequence, the work of learned interpreters 
was superfluous. But, after all, the real point was hit by 
Archdeacon Daubeny, and, so far as I am aware, by few 
others on the High Church side at least, in so direct and 
unmistakable a way. "As every sect," he writes, "appeals 
to the Bible for the standard of its religious views, therefore 
every sect (so far, at least, as the parties in question are 
qualified to judge) has the authority of that Bible for the 
creed which it promulgates ; and consequently, instead of 

1 This distinction was urged, among others, by Dr. Christopher Wordsworth 
the elder, in his Reasons for declining to become a Member of the British and 
Foreign Bible Society , and was answered by Lord Teignmouth. 



the one only apostolical Church established in this country, 
from the lips of whose priests, as authoritatively commissioned 
for the purpose, the people are directed to seek knowledge, 
there are as many Churches as there are different meetings 
of associated religionists to be found among us. The obvious 
inference from this circumstance in uninformed minds will be, 
that God has left every man at liberty to make his own 
Church and his own religion, or, to make use of the absurd 
language of the day, ' Every man has a right to worship God 
in his own way/ " 1 Of course, there were other High Church- 
men who took the same grounds, notably Dr. Christopher 
Wordsworth, whose memorable letter, dated from " Lambeth 
Palace," 2 first stirred up the controversy ; Dr. Randolph, 
Bishop Porteus' successor in the see of London ; and Arch- 
deacon (afterwards Bishop) Middleton ; but none seem to me 
to have given so direct an expression to the real question at 
issue as Archdeacon Daubeny. 

Outside the distinctly marked circles of the Evangelicals 
on the one side, and the pronounced High Churchmen on the 
other, there was a great divergence of opinion on the subject 
of the Bible Society. Alexander Knox, for instance, tells 
his friend Jebb in 805 that he was busy with "an answer 
to a terrible kind of pamphlet against the Bible Society," 

1 "The Substance of a Discourse at the Abbey Church, Bath, March 31, 
1814, giving a Churchman's Reasons for declining a Connection with the Bible 
Society," by Charles Daubeny, Archdeacon of Sarum, published in the 
Pamphleteer ; vol. v., No. ix., February, 1815. 

2 Dr. Wordsworth was very severely criticized for dating his letter from 
"Lambeth Palace;" but the criticism seems to me to have arisen from an 
entire ignorance of the characteristics of the Wordsworth family. " Lambeth 
Palace " was supposed to have been inserted to give " an adventitious import- 
ance " to the letter. I doubt whether the Dean of Becking, the future Master of 
Trinity, and the brother of the great poet, would have considered the fact of his 1 
being with the archbishop on duty as domestic chaplain would give his letter any 
adventitious importance. Except in point of office he was a stronger man than 
the archbishop, and was much more likely to influence ^he archbishop than the 
archbishop was to influence him. It is not at all a Wordsworth characteristic to 
think that any adventitious prop is necessary to support his own opinion. On 
the other hand, courtesy and habits of business are Wordsworth characteris- 
tics ; and as the letter was a reply to one which had been received three weeks 
earlier, it was necessary to explain the reason for the delay in answering. The 
heading " Lambeth Palace " and the first sentence of the letter do explain the 


and calls the pamphlet "an effusion of High Church bigotry; M1 
but, in later years, he clearly changed his opinion ; for in 
1816 he writes to the same correspondent on "the utter 
hopelessness of bringing home religious principles and truth 
to the mass of the people by the distribution of Bibles, which 
was the popular panacea for all spiritual ignorance ; " 2 and 
when it was urged that the famous " Appendix to Bishop 
Jebb's Sermons" (in the composition of which Knox took 
a leading part) tended to excite doubts about the Bible 
Society, he owned that, though " its object was far deeper," 
yet " there was certainly no wish to preclude such an appli- 
cation, and that he himself could take no part in the Bible 
Society chiefly on the grounds set forth in that Appendix ; " 
and then, assuming his favourite attitude of the calm and 
dispassionate observer, he adds, " But I have not the slightest 
wish to enter the lists against it. On the contrary, I am 
anxious to see it go on to the end of its course, and accom- 
plish all it can. It is in my view a most interesting experi- 
ment ; and though I am inclined to think it will not, in any 
respect, answer the purpose of its originators, it will assuredly 
serve some deep purpose of overruling Providence ; for the 
sake of which, I should humbly think, the impulse was at 
first given, and the movement so long sustained and so 
surprisingly extended ; " 3 a line of defence, one would 
imagine, more exasperating to the advocates of the society 
than the most violent attacks upon it would be. Bishop 
Bathurst called it " that most excellent of all human institu- 
tions," 4 and wrote to Lord Teignmouth in 1811, that he had 
promoted to the utmost of his power the institution of an 
Auxiliary Society in his diocese ; 5 while, on the other hand, 
his devoted admirer, Sydney Smith, was against Churchmen 
supporting it. 6 Bishop Otter, who was a sort of quasi-High- 
Churchman, was in favour of it, and wrote a pamphlet in 

1 Thirty Years' Correspondence between Bishop Jebb and A. Knox^ i. 21 1. 

8 See the article on "Alexander Knox and the Oxford Movement," by 
Professor G. T. Stokes, in the Contemporary Review for August, 1887. 

3 Remains of A. Knox, iv. 296. 

r * Charge to the diocese of Norwich, 1820; quoted in Memoir of Bishop 
Bathurst, ii. 68. 

See Life of John, Lord Teignmouth, ii. 185. 

6 See Lady Holland's Memoir , p. 112. 


reply to Dr. Marsh in its defence ; l but S. T. Coleridge, who 
may perhaps be similarly described, vehemently scouted the 
notion of distributing the Bible and the Bible only without 
note or comment among the poor, 2 on the ground that this 
was making light of "all the learning, sagacity, and unwearied 
labours of great and wise men, and eminent servants of 
Christ, during all the ages of Christianity ; " and Bishop 
Maltby was against it on similar grounds, saying that " out 
of sixty-six books which form the contents of the Old and 
New Testaments, not above seven in the Old, and eleven in 
the New, were calculated for the study or comprehension of 
the unlearned." 3 Reginald Heber, though in many respects 
he acted with the High Churchmen, supported it ; so did the 
British Critic in the interval between its earlier and its later 
High Church stage ; and so, unless he very much altered his 
opinions in later years, did William Palmer, afterwards one 
of the chief precursors of the Oxford Movement. 4 


were during our period part of the equipment of an Evange- 
lical clergyman's parish. When they were formed for some 
definite and practical object, such as those mentioned by 
Edward Bickersteth as existing in London under Mr. Budd 
and Mr. Pratt, 5 and such as Simeon formed at Stapleford, 
they were probably an unmixed good ; 6 but when they were 
merely synonyms for prayer-meetings, that is, assemblies in 
which private Christians exercised their gift of extempora- 
neous prayer, they were liable to grave abuses, as some of 
the Evangelical leaders found to their cost. Simeon, as we 
have seen, sometimes found his societies at Cambridge quite 

1 See Life of John , Lord Teignmouth, ii. 201. This was some years before 
Otter became Bishop of Chichester. 

2 See his Lay Sermons, 1817. / 

3 Thoughts, etc., on the British and Foreign Bible Society, etc., 1812. (Dr. 
Maltby was not then a bishop.) 

4 See the almost rapturous account of the enormous good done by the Bible 
Society in Palmer's Narrative of Events connected with the Publication of the 
Tracts for the Times. This account occurs in the introduction, written in 1883, to 
the republication of the original Narrative, which was written in 1843. 

See Birks' Memoir, etc., i. 171. 
6 See Cams' Memoirs, p. 128. 


beyond his control, and complains bitterly of the self-conceit, 
the emulation, the lawlessness they engendered, though he 
winds up by saying that, after all, he considered them abso- 
lutely essential. 1 Thomas Scott condemns them point- 
blank, without any qualification whatever, and instances the 
evil effects which they had produced at Olney. 2 Legh Rich- 
mond, on the other hand, "formed a society at Brading 
which proved an occasion of much benefit." 3 Claudius 
Buchanan seems to have had a "similar experience at Ouse- 
ham ; and Edward Bickersteth writes gratefully of the 
advantage he derived from belonging to a society when he 
was a young layman in London. 4 

Outside the Evangelical circle they found no favour 
whatever. Reginald Heber writes very warmly against such 
societies as were formed only for the purpose of holding 
prayer-meetings. 5 Charles James Blomfield lifted up his voice 
against them in a visitation sermon at Saffron Walden in 
i8i8. 6 Richard Mant steadily set his face against them at 
Great Coggeshall. 7 

It is characteristic of the two periods, that while in the old 
religious societies, originated by Dr. Horneck, Mr. Smythies, 
and Bishop Beveridge towards the close of the seventeenth 
century, the Church element was predominant, and the 
absolute control of the parish clergyman was enforced, the 
societies of the early nineteenth century were guarded by no 
such rigorous precautions. The result was that, while the 
earlier societies were a source of great strength to the Church, 
the later too often tended to weaken her hold and embarrass 
her work. 

To sum up. The period before us seems to have been in 
danger of being a little over-stocked with societies. " I am 
not over- friendly," writes Bishop Jebb in 1824, "to the 
strong excitations of this age of societies." 8 It was not so 

Cams' Memoirs, pp. 238-240, 247, etc. 

Grimshaw's Life, etc., p. 43. 

Pearson's Memoirs, etc., ii. 218. 

Birks' Memoir, etc., i. 254. 

See the British Critic for January, 1830, Art. iii. 

See Memoirs of Bishop Blomfield, p. 79. 

Memoirs of Bishop Mant. 

Forster's Lrje and Letters of Bishop Jebb, ii. 414. 


much the "excitations" that were at fault. After the long 
torpor of the eighteenth century, the age required " excita- 
tions." The danger was lest this great multiplication of 
societies might result in their interfering with one another. 
However, it is better to have too much than too little of a 
good thing ; and, on the whole, it must be hailed as a hopeful 
sign of reviving energy that the age could justly be termed 
" the age of societies." 




THE relations between Church and State were far more 
intimate in the early part of the nineteenth century than they 
are at the present day. On the one hand, the Church 
looked to the State to support her in every way ; there was 
a foolish sort of feeling that it was beneath the dignity of an 
"Establishment" to work through voluntary effort that 
was what the " Methodists " did ; and therefore she applied 
to the State in matters in which she would never dream now 
of making such application. On the other hand, the State 
still felt it its duty to stand by the Church as its natural 
ally. The argument that any measure would be injurious 
to the Church was one which was frequently used and 
always told. The State was proud of the Church, and in a 
vague kind of way felt the great advantage of having her in 
its midst. It regarded " Westminster Abbey as part of the 
British Constitution," as Mr. Croker said to Mr. Southey. 
At least, the party to which Mr. Croker belonged so regarded 
it ; and his eloquent explanation of what he meant by his 
bon-mot^ expresses what was generally felt at the beginning 
of the century, though far less generally in 1825, when he 
wrote it, and less generally still at the close of our period. 

1 " I do not mean the mere political connection of Church and State, but that 
mixture of veneration and love, of enthusiasm and good taste, of public liberty 
and self-control, of pride of our ancestors and hopes for our posterity, which 
affects every patriot and Christian mind at the contemplation of that glorious 
system which unites in such beautiful association and such profitable combination 
our civil and ecclesiastical constitutions, our ambition and our faith ; the one 
thing needful and the all things ornamental ; our well-being in this world and 
our salvation in the next," with much more to the same effect. See let'er from 
J. W. Croker to R. Southey, January 3, 1825, in The Croker Papers, i. 277. 


For the history of Church and State during the first thirty- 
three years of the nineteenth century is the history of a growing 
alienation between the two, till at last the relations became 
so strained that it was almost universally believed that the 
Church, as a national establishment, must soon cease to 
exist How the Church, deprived of her natural ally and 
thrown upon her own resources, more than recovered her 
hold upon the nation, does not fall within our province to 
record ; but it may be said generally that the reverse of the 
Psalmist's utterance in this instance proved true, and that 
those things turned to her wealth which seemed to her an 
occasion of falling. The intimate connection between Church 
and State occasioned a very confused and often erroneous 
notion of what was the proper province of each. And that, 
far more so in the early part of the nineteenth than in 
the eighteenth century, for this very good reason. It was 
equally believed in the eighteenth century that what the 
Church did she must do through the State ; but in that 
sleepy period she did very little at all. When she began to 
awake from her slumbers, and to be up and doing, events were 
of course perpetually occurring which affected the relation- 
ship between the two powers. Archdeacon Daubeny, who in 
this, as in many respects, was in advance of his age, made a 
wise and much-needed remark, when he wrote, just before 
the century began, " The jurisdictions of Church and State 
are like two parallel lines, which, so long as they are con- 
tinued in their appointed directions, may be extended in 
infinitum, without the possibility of interfering with each 
other." 1 One of the great defects of the time we are 
considering was that the lines did not run parallel, and in 
consequence were constantly running into one another. At 
the same time, the State did make many laudable attempts 
to help the Church and render her work more effective, for 
which Churchmen ought to be grateful. f 

The first Act of Parliament which directly concerned the 
Church in the nineteenth century was one passed in 1801, 
enacting that in future no one in priest's orders should be 
a member of the House of Commons. 2 The subject was 

1 Guide to the Church, ii. 93. 

2 It would be wearisome and unnecessary to give references to Hansard's 

ACTS OF 1801 AND 1802. 297 

brought forward in consequence of the persistent efforts of 
Home Tooke, the famous clerical agitator, who, having twice 
contested Westminster in vain, obtained in this year a seat as 
member for Old Sarum through the influence of Lord Camel- 
ford. William Wilberforce has an entry in his diary on the 
subject : " Sad foolish work about the motion concerning 
clergy sitting in Parliament. More stir at Cambridge about 
clergy's ineligibility than ever before." 1 But the subject 
seems after all to have caused only a very slight and tempo- 
rary excitement. The only publication on the subject with 
which I am acquainted is a foolish " Letter to Lord Porchester 
on the Degraded State of the Clergy," their degradation 
being chiefly their exclusion from Parliament. 

Far more interest was taken by the clergy and by the 
Church generally in two Acts which, after much discussion, 
were passed in 1802, and which at least showed a laudable desire 
to elevate and purify the Church. One was w\" Act for 
restraining clerical farming ; " the other an " Act for enforcing 
the residence of incumbents on their cures, and encouraging 
the building of churches." As both Bills were introduced by 
Sir William Scott, M.P. for the University of Oxford, which 
was then an exclusively Church constituency, it may be pre- 
sumed that they were not unacceptable to the Church at large. 
There was, however, considerable opposition to both. It was 
contended that " in this country the parish priest is, by the very 
constitution of his office, in some degree an agriculturist. He 
has to take care, undoubtedly, that the ecclesiastic shall not 
merge in the farmer ; but the moderated and subordinate 
practice of farming supplied many means of cheap subsistence 
for the clergyman and his family ; " 2 and so forth. One' is 
carried back in thought to the times of Dr. Primrose and his 
son Moses, who worked in the fields from sunrise to sunset 
without causing any offence to the good doctor's little flock ; 
and to times when even a Parson Trulliber could be tolerated. 
But what did well enough in the easy-going days before the 

Parliamentary Debates for the discussions in Parliament on the various Bills 
noticed in this chapter. They will all be found there under the dates of the 
different years. 

1 See Life, p. 220. 

2 See, inter alia, a tract entitled Observations on the Speech of Sir William 


French Revolution, became unbearable when that event had 
cast a firebrand not only into its own, but into its neighbour's 
land. The fatal consequences " of permitting the clergy to 
hold farms," " of degrading the clergy into a set of dirty, 
puddling farmers," were never dreamt of when Goldsmith 
and Fielding wrote ; but men were now beginning to take a 
higher standard of clerical duty. Still, there was something 
to be said about the hardships of both Acts, if their provisions 
were too rigorously enforced. The non-residence Act was 
really a revival of the statute of 21 Henry VIII. a statute 
which, according to its adversaries, required to be revised, not 
revived ; for " nothing could have concealed the vices and 
infirmities of this statute, but its having been consigned by 
almost general consent to almost general inefficiency, ever 
since its birth, till within the last two years, when it has been 
made the commercial bank of two or three trading attorneys." l 
Now, theoretically, it is quite right that the clergy should 
be required to reside on their cures, and to devote them- 
selves exclusively to their proper work ; but if so, their 
incomes should at least be raised above starvation-point 
But this level was certainly not reached, if it be true that 
" after all the augmentations of Queen Anne's Bounty, there 
were still a thousand livings in England and Wales which 
did not on an average exceed ^85, while a very large 
proportion did not amount to ^30." 2 There was certainly 
some reason for the contention that the impoverished state 
of the Church prevented the literal obedience to a "law 
which demanded universal residence under one uniform 
penalty ; " and the more so when that law was supplemented 
by another, which forbade the poor parson to eke out his 
scanty subsistence by one of the few employments which were 
open to him. It was also objected that the Bill gave too 
much power to the bishops ; and some of the bishops them- 

1 Observations, etc., ut supra. See also Anguis in Herba : a sketch of the 
true character of the Church of England and her clergy ; as a caveat against the 
misconstruction on the subject of a Bill for the revival of certain ecclesiastical 
statutes concerning non-residence, by James Hook (who, by the way, was himself 
a glaring pluralist). Also a tract by Dr. Sturges on the same subject, entitled 
Thoughts on the Residence of the Clergy, which had the distinction of being highly 
praised by Sydney Smith in the Edinburgh Review, 1803. 

2 Observations, etc. , ut supra. 

ACTS OF 1803 AND 1804. 299 

selves felt that an invidious duty was imposed upon them 
which they often could not fulfil without inflicting great 
hardship. The Bishop of London naturally felt this most, 
because he would have greater difficulty in enforcing residence 
in an expensive place like London. He therefore brought in 
a special Bill on July 19, 1804, called' The London Clergy In- 
cumbents Bill, in introducing which he said, " Many London 
clergy had no house on their livings ; others had houses not 
habitable, fit only for greengrocers and cobblers. It was his 
duty to enforce residence within the city. From the popula- 
tion, and the value of houses, a clergyman could not get a 
house for less than iSo or 150 a year. How was this to be 
done with their incomes ? It was all that most of them had. 
And once more, if the Act were strictly enforced, a number 
of worthy men would be thrown out of employment. What 
was to become of the stipendiary curate, who would be no 
longer required when the incumbent himself came into 
residence ? " 

This last consideration drew attention to the position and 
circumstances of stipendiary curates generally, and led to the 
passing of two Bills in the autumn of 1803. One was called 
The Stipendiary Curates* Bill ; it was introduced by Sir 
William Scott, and was intended to encourage the residence 
of stipendiary curates ; the other was The Curates' Relief 
Bill, by which a sum not exceeding 8000 was granted 
for the relief of such curates as should be deprived of their 
cures in consequence of the Bill compelling the residence of 
the incumbents. The Earl of Suffolk might well complain, 
when the Bill came up to the House of Lords, that it did 
not go far enough, for the amount granted was but a drop in 
the ocean for the purpose for which it was intended. 

In 1804 a Bill was very properly passed which enacted 
that " no person should be admissible to the sacred orders of 
deacon and priest till he should have attained his twenty- 
third or twenty-fourth year respectively." Of course this had 
previously been the canonical law of the Church, but it had 
not always been carefully adhered to, and the sanction of the 
legislature was desirable. The only complaint that can be 
made against the Bill is the inadequacy of its title, Priests 
Orders Bill ; but that is a minor matter. The debate on the 


subject in the House of Lords, on April 13, was valuable as 
eliciting from the Bishop of St. Asaph (Dr. Horsley) a much- 
needed reminder that " the sacerdotal character could not be 
done away by the secular power ; the sacerdotium Catholicum 
was that which no secular power could either give or take 
away ; it was derived from a higher source." Obvious as 
such truths may seem now, they were but scantily recognized 
in the early years of the nineteenth century. 

The Clergy Residence Act of 1802-3 proved only a very 
partial remedy for the evils of non-residence. Another 
Clergy Residence Bill, therefore, was passed in 1808, through 
the exertions of Mr. Perceval. This was, no doubt, a much- 
needed and, in the end, successful measure ; but it bore very 
hardly at first upon the existing clergy, many of whom had 
to build a residence before they could possibly comply with 
its requirements. For "one-third of the parsonages in England 
had gone to decay ; and by the effects of this Bill, one gene- 
ration of clergymen were compelled suddenly to atone for 
the accumulated sins of their predecessors." 1 Thus writes 
Lady Holland, whose father, Sydney Smith, was one of the 
first sufferers from the Bill. He was compelled to bury 
himself in a remote village in Yorkshire, and it is for this 
reason, among others, that he is perpetually vilifying Mr. 
Perceval. Mr. Perceval leaned to, if he did not actually 
identify himself with, the Evangelical party ; hence we hear of 
" the odious vigour of the Evangelical Perceval ; " 2 " that man 
who, instead of being a Methodist preacher, is for the curse 
of us become a legislator and a politician ; " 3 " the little 
Methodist." 4 

In the same year (1808) Mr. Perceval also introduced a 
Curates' Salary Bill, which Sydney Smith also attacked in 
the Edinburgh Review, declaring that "a very great pro- 
portion of all the curacies in England were filled with men 
to whom the emolument was a matter of subordinate impor- 
tance," and that "unless Mr. Perceval would raise an addi- 
tional million or two for the Church, there must be poor 
curates and poor rectors also." Mr. Perceval was not for- 

1 Memoir of the Rev. Sydney Smith, by Lady Holland, i. 153. 

8 " Peter Plymley's Letters : " Works, iii. 427. 3 Id., p. 385. 

4 Letter to Earl Grey in 1810, quoted by Lady Holland, ii. 53. 


getful of the poor rectors any more than of the poor curates ; 
for, having carried a Bill for the improvement of curates' 
stipends, in the next year (1809), having meanwhile become 
Prime Minister, he successfully piloted through Parliament 
a measure for granting ; 100,000 a year to the governors of 
Queen Anne's Bounty for the augmentation of livings under 
^"150 a year ; and this grant was continued for several years. 
He was only prevented by his tragical death, in 1811, from 
bringing before Parliament the duty of making a better pro- 
vision for public worship by the erection of new churches. 

In treating of the relations between Church and State in 
the early years of the nineteenth century, it would be unjust 
not to express a grateful recognition of the services rendered 
to the Church by Mr. Perceval, both in his private and in his 
political capacity. We may not be able to go quite so far as 
S. T. Coleridge, who declares that he is " singular enough 
to regard Perceval as the best and wisest minister of this 
[George III.'s] reign;" 1 but a Churchman must own that 
he was a true and faithful friend to the Church, according 
to his lights, and gave a stimulus to the State in its laudable 
desire to help her, the effects of which continued to be seen 
some years after his death. "The attention," said Bishop 
Ryder in 1819, "which has been paid to the best interests of 
the Church, and the benefits which have been conferred upon 
her by the legislature during the last ten years, have ex- 
ceeded all that had been accomplished for that object during 
the preceding century ; and all these measures may be 
ascribed in their origin to him [Mr. Perceval].". 2 This may 
seem sweeping language, but those who are acquainted with 
the history of the Church in the eighteenth century will admit 
that it is literally true. At the same time, justice should be 
done to Mr. Perceval's successor in the Premiership, the Earl 
of Liverpool, who was an ardent and attached Churchman, 
and therefore quite ready to carry into effect all the projects 
which his predecessor had conceived. 3 The interval between 
Mr. Perceval's assassination in 1811 and the date of Bishop 
Ryder's Charge (1819) was indeed a busy time in the annals 

1 See Biographia Literaria^ written in 1817. 

2 Second Charge to the clergy of the diocese of Gloucester. 

* See Memoiis of the Public Life, etc., of the Earl of Liverpool, sub finem. 


of ecclesiastical legislation ; and though some Churchmen 
did not think so at the time, experience has shown that 
the measures passed were in the end beneficial to the 

For instance, the Act of 1812, which virtually repealed 
the old Conventicle and Five-Mile Acts, was undoubtedly to 
the advantage rather than the disadvantage of the Church. 
No one had ever dreamt of putting them into force for many 
years, and the only effect of retaining them in the Statute- 
Book was that it perpetuated the appearance of a persecuting 
spirit-when the reality did not exist. Nor was it at all advan- 
tageous to the Church that the obsolete penalties which 
attached to those who denied the doctrine of the Blessed 
Trinity, and were, therefore, not included in the Toleration 
Act of William III., should be retained as a mere brutum 
fulmen. The Bill to remove them was passed without a 
debate in i8j 2, the Archbishop of Canterbury very properly 
reminding the House of Lords, on the third reading, that " it 
had not been called for by any attempt to inflict penalties 
upon, or to impede the worship of, Unitarians." l 

In 1813 the irrepressible questions about curates' stipends 
and non-resident clergy reappeared. A Bill for the Augmen- 
tation of Curates* Stipends was introduced in the House of 
Lords by the Earl of Harrowby, and carried after much 
opposition. The debate brought out an argument which was 
painfully characteristic of the time. It was urged that if the 
Bill passed, the " subordination of different ranks, so neces- 
sary to the well-being of ecclesiastical government, would be 
destroyed ; that the curate would be at variance with the 
incumbent, and an interference of the lower with the higher 
orders of that class of clergy would be perpetually recurring ; " 
as if the difference of orders consisted of incumbents and 
curates, and not of priests and deacons ! And the Bishop of 
London, good Churchman though he was, used this argu- 
ment ! On this occasion occurred one of the first of those 
tirades against the clergy which, towards the close of our 
period, were the stock-in-trade of orators, inside and outside 
of Parliament. The speaker was Lord Redesdale, but he did 
not carry the House with him. This Act materially con- 

1 See Annual Register for 1813. 

ACTS BETWEEN 1811 AND 1819. 303 

tributed to the residence of incumbents owing to the increase 
of expense in providing a substitute. 

But the attempt to enforce their residence by the Act of 
1803 had produced an effect which was not intended. The 
law was taken advantage of, among others, by a Mr. Wright, 
who had been secretary to three bishops and had thus learnt 
the ins and outs of ecclesiastical business, to institute a very 
serious persecution against many of the clergy. This led to 
the passing, in 1814, of The Clergy Penalties' Suspension Bill. 
The Bill of 1803 does not appear to have been drawn up 
with sufficient care at any rate, the nature of residence had 
not been defined with sufficient accuracy ; and the consequence 
was that an unscrupulous person could, under the law which 
enacted very severe penalties, ruin an innocent man. " The 
Bill," said Sir William Scott, "had for its sole object to 
relieve the clergy from prosecutions under the Act of Henry 
VIII." It was unquestionably necessary, but the necessity 
was a most unfortunate one ; for non-residence was still a 
crying abuse, and nothing tends more to perpetuate an abuse 
than an abortive attempt to remedy it. As a matter of fact, 
in spite of law after law, and warning after warning in bishops' 
Charges, non-residence continued to be a blot upon the Church 
almost up to the time of the present generation. 

It will be better to finish the account of this wearisome but 
most important subject at once. So, passing over two years, we 
come to the Clergy Bill of 1816, which Bishop Herbert Marsh 
describes as "of greater consequence than any ecclesiastical 
law which has been made since the Reformation." " Bishops 
and clergy," he goes on, " will now find in one single Act a 
complete body of law, from which they may learn to regulate 
their conduct in everything relating to the residence of the 
clergy, the performance of their spiritual duties, the extent of 
their temporal engagements, and the payments to which the 
beneficed clergy are subjected when their duty is performed 
by a curate."^ He then- proceeds to give a full and most 
luminous account of this Act, which might well be called an 
"Act of Consolidation" or ^Consolidated Act;" for, as the 
bishop shows, it embraces what had been attempted by a 
great number of Acts in previous years. Finally, we have an 

1 Charge of Bishop Marsh at his Primary Visitation at Llandaffin 1817. 


"Act to restrain and regulate the holding of a plurality of 
dignities and benefices by spiritual persons" which passed, first 
in the Lords, and then in the Commons, in 1832. This was 
the last Act during our period that was rendered necessary 
by the unfortunate Act of Mr. Bragg Bathurst in 1803, which 
has been so frequently referred to in these pages. After the 
repeal of the disabling clause of Act 21 Henry VIII., of 
the clauses of the same statute enabling certain persons to 
purchase dispensations, and of so much of the Act as enabled 
certain spiritual persons to accept any number of benefices, etc., 
it enacted that any spiritual person, having one or more 
benefices, and who shall obtain a licence or dispensation for 
the purpose, may hold another, provided the distance between 
them shall not exceed three miles, etc. 

Enough has been said in the last chapter about the Act 
of 1813 for renewing the Charter of the East India Company, 
when provision was made for a bishop and three archdeacons 
for India. It need only be added that the debate in the 
House of Lords gave occasion for a noble utterance on the 
part of Lord Erskine. " Do not," he said, " forget, my lords, 
that this country holds her Indian provinces by the sole 
tenure of Christianity. And if she neglects to impart its 
blessings, she may lose them ; and that tremendous storm 
which has burst upon Europe, from which we have mercifully 
escaped that we might propagate the Christian faith, may 
cross the Channel and fall on our guilty heads." 

We come next to the most liberal instance in the whole 
history of the Church of England of help afforded to her by 
the State. In 1818, largely through the influence of Lord 
Liverpool, a Parliamentary grant of one million pounds was 
voted for the erection of new churches ; in 1824 a further 
grant of half a million was made for the same purpose, and 
Exchequer loans were also given to about the same amount ; 
and, finally, help was rendered by a remission of duty on the 
materials employed in sacred structures. 

It may seem strange that this liberality should have been 
shown just at the time when the outcry against the Church 
generally and the clergy in particular was beginning to wax 
louder and louder, until it reached its height about the period 
of the Reform Bill. But, in point of fact, the liberality and 


the outcry were to a great extent due to the same cause. 
While the great war was going on, the nation had neither 
money to spend on building churches, nor leisure to devote 
to abusing the Church and the clergy. But the restoration 
of peace opened alike its purse-strings and its mouth. 

We must now make rather an abrupt transition to a very 
different subject. The claim of the Roman Catholics to the 
full rights and liberties of citizens, or, as it was called, by 
an absurd misnomer, Catholic Emancipation, was a subject of 
agitation which was inherited from the eighteenth century, 
and continued until the final settlement of the question in 
1829. It does not come within the province of this work to 
describe in detail how statesman after statesman took the 
matter up: Pitt in 1801, Canning in 1812, Grattan in 1813, 
Sir Francis Burdett in 1825, on the last occasion the Relief 
Bill being actually passed by the House of Commons, but 
thrown out by the Lords. Up to the death of George III. 
the question was complicated by a feeling of loyalty to the 
good old king, who from first to last steadily set his face 
against Relief. So, for the matter of that, did his successor ; 
but respect for the father did not extend itself to the son. 
Apart, however, from the royal disapproval, the measure was 
undoubtedly unpopular throughout the country; and the 
result of the attempt in 1825 was one of the few occasions on 
which the rejection by the Lords of a Liberal measure sent 
up to them by the Commons met with popular sympathy. 
So far as English Churchmen were concerned (and with 
these alone we have to do), opinion was curiously divided. 
Men who on most questions were agreed, now found them- 
selves in opposite camps. The Evangelicals, for instance, 
generally presented a united front, which was one source of 
their strength. But on the Roman Catholic question there 
was a great divergence of opinion among them. The majority, 
as being sound Protestants, were, no doubt, against Relief; 
but some of their ablest leaders were " unsound " on the 
matter. William Wilberforce, for example, was sorely exer- 
cised when he felt himself bound to go against his party. 
"Meetings," he writes in 1813, "against Roman Catholics in 
all parts of England. I am very doubtful which way is right. 
Lord, direct me ! All the religious people are on the other 



side, but they are sadly prejudiced. It grieves me to separate 
from the dean and all my religious friends ; but conscience 
must be obeyed." l " All the religious people," however, 
were not on the other side, or, at least, did not continue so. 
Daniel Wilson was at first with the majority, but went over 
heart and soul to the enemy, sacrificing some valued friend- 
ships by so doing. The Grants and Dr. Dealtry, all pillars 
of the Evangelical cause, were in favour of Relief. It was 
the same with other Church parties. Archdeacon Daubeny, 
perhaps the ablest and most prominent representative of the 
older form of High Churchmanship, was strongly against 
the measure ; Alexander Knox, the precursor of the High 
Churchmanship of the future, was as strongly in its favour. 
Even among the Liberals, Bishop Copleston was against the 
Bill, 2 though as a rule his party was in its favour Dr. (after- 
wards Bishop) Stanley, Bishop Bathurst, and, above all, 
Sydney Smith, being among its conspicuous champions. 
One of the most brilliant productions of the latter was a 
slashing article in the Edinburgh Review against Bishop 
Tomline's Charge against the claims of the Roman Catholics ; 
and " Peter Plymley's Letters " are half filled with ridicule of 
the opposition to the Bill. Then, to make the entanglement 
complete, Mr. (afterwards Sir Robert) Peel, the chosen repre- 
sentative of the Oxford Tories and High Churchmen, who 
had long been an uncompromising opponent of the measure, 
executed a complete volte deface, passed it as a Government 
Bill in 1829, and lost his seat at Oxford in consequence. 

The relief granted in one direction was preceded by relief 
in another, viz. the Repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts 
in 1828 ; or rather, as Bishop Kaye very properly pointed out, 
not the repeal of the Acts themselves, but of those clauses 
in them "by which all persons admitted to offices of power 
and trust in corporations, and to civil offices in general, were 
required to receive the Lord's Supper according to the rites 
of the Church of England." 8 The Test Act, indeed, had been 
originally passed to exclude Roman Catholics ; but, like the 

1 Life, p. 336. 

2 But Bishop Copleston can only be called a Liberal in a very modified sense. 
* Charge to the clergy of the diocese of Lincoln at Bishop Kaye's Primary 

Visitation, 1828. 


Corporation Act, it pressed chiefly upon Protestant Dissenters. 
The measure of 1828 had not, like that of 1829, been a bone 
of contention all through the century, and its passing did not 
produce the same practical effects. For the clauses repealed 
had long been a dead letter, owing to the annual passing of 
an Indemnity Act which had virtually given the Dissenters 
all the privileges which in 1828 they received legally. Such 
being the case, it was desirable on all accounts that the 
disabling clauses should be expunged from the Statute- 
Book ; and it is not at all surprising that many of the clergy 
should, for their own sakes, have desired to see them 
expunged. For if it was a grievance to the Dissenter to 
do violence to his conscience by communicating, simply in 
order to qualify for office, it was certainly no less a grievance 
to the conscientious clergyman to have to administer the 
Sacred Symbols to men whom he knew to have presented 
themselves from this motive. And so, again to quote 
Bishop Kaye, "the Repeal of the Sacramental Test was a 
concession, not exclusively to the feelings and wishes of our 
Dissenting brethren, but also to the conscientious scruples of 
many sincere Churchmen." 1 Sydney Smith, indeed, declared 
that he had " never met a parson in his life who did not 
consider the Corporation and Test Acts as the great bulwarks 
of the Church ; " 2 but if he had extended his clerical acquaintr 
ance, he certainly might have met a few. Indeed, if we may 
judge from the debates in the I^ouse of Lords, many of the 
laity were less liberal than the clergy. To the infinite disgust 
of Lord Eldon and those who followed his lead, some bishops 
not only voted for the Bill, but also spoke in its favour from 
a Church point of view so admirably that their words deserve 
to be quoted. The Archbishop of York, premising that he 
expressed the Archbishop of Canterbury's opinion as well 

his own, said he " felt bound, on every principle, to give 
lis vote for the repeal of an Act which had, he feared, led in 
too many instances to the profanation of the most sacred 
>rdinances of our religion. Religious tests imposed for political 
mrposes must in themselves be always liable, more or less, 

endanger religious sincerity." " I should," said the Bishop 

1 Charge of 1828, ut supra. 

* " Peter Plymley's Letters : " Works, iii. 407. 


of Lincoln, in words which deserve to be written in letters of 
gold, "feel it my bounden duty to resist the Repeal if I 
thought the safety of the Church of England would be com- 
promised by it I entertain no such apprehension ; the best 
security of the Church of England is the hold which it 
possesses on the esteem and affections of the people. The 
legislature may, undoubtedly, contribute essentially to its 
stability and well-being ; not, however, by throwing around 
it the external fences of restrictive laws, but by defining 
more accurately the privileges which belong to it as an 
Established Church, by improving its internal polity, and by 
providing it with less expensive and less circuitous modes ol 
administering its discipline." The Bishops of Durham and 
Chester were equally explicit. 

At the same time, it is fully admitted that throughout 
the Church at large there was great opposition to all these 
measures ; and we cannot wonder at it, when we remember 
the animus in which they were passed. In fact, in the 
discussion of almost all the questions which have been noticed, 
even when they seemed to be most favourable to the Church, 
a growing bitterness of feeling against her had been displayed. 
The question of the non-residence of the clergy of course 
afforded an obvious opportunity for displaying this feeling ; 
but no less did the debates on the augmentation of small 
livings, on the regulation of curates' stipends, and even on 
the grants for church-building. On these occasions there 
was a fine scope for orators to draw an invidious contrast 
between the wealthy pluralists, or drones, and the working 
bees of the hive, who did all the hard labour but got none 
of the honey ; to exhibit through a strong magnifying-glass 
the enormous wealth of the Church and its unequal distribu- 
tion ; to dwell on the growth and popularity of Dissent, and 
the decay and unpopularity of the Church, and so forth, and 
so forth. 

The very closeness of the connection which then subsisted 
between the civil and ecclesiastical powers sometimes tended 
to increase the unpopularity of the latter, by placing the 
Church, through no fault of her own, on the unpopular side. 
This was notably the case in the unfortunate affair of Queen 
Caroline, wife of George IV. The history of this painful 


case furnishes a curious instance of the change of parties 
which, however, is easily explained. During his father's life- 
time, the Prince Regent was on the side of the Whigs, and 
in opposition to the Tories or " Church-and-King " men. 
Hence, in his early matrimonial troubles, the Whigs took 
the side of the Prince, the Tories that of the Princess. 1 But 
on the accession of George IV. to the throne, one of the first 
royal orders was that the name of the Queen Consort should 
be expunged from the Liturgy. As matters stood, it is 
difficult to see how the clergy could possibly have disobeyed 
the order, but they were furiously abused for not doing so. 
By this time " Hamlet and Laertes had changed rapiers." 
It was the Dissenters who were the stoutest advocates of the 
Queen ; the Churchmen who, as a rule, were her opponents. 
But when Churchmen were on her side, as some were, what 
could they do ? Dr. Parr made an interesting record in the 
Prayer-book of Hatton Church after the required erasure : 
" It is my duty as a subject and an ecclesiastic to read what 
is prescribed by my sovereign, as head of the Church, but 
it is not my duty to express my approbation." 2 It should 
be remembered that there was then no such thing as Con- 
vocation, except in name ; and to what other authority could 
a clergyman appeal ? 

The odium against the clergy came to a head in the famous 
Durham episode. On the death of the Queen in 1822, the 
clergy of Durham were violently attacked by a local news- 
paper, because " in an episcopal city containing six churches 
besides the cathedral, not a single bell announced the depar- 
ture of the magnanimous spirit of the most injured of Queens." 
" Thus," the writer goes on, " the brutal emnity of those who 
embittered her mortal existence pursues her in her shroud. . . . 
It is such conduct which renders the very name of our estab- 
lished clergy odious till it stinks in the nostrils, that makes 
our churches look like deserted sepulchres rather than temples 
of the living God. ... It is impossible that such a system 
can last ; it is at war with the spirit of the age, as well as with 

1 See this point well brought out in Lockhart's Life of Sir Walter Scott (in 
2 vols.), i. 185. 

3 Life of Samuel Parr, LL.D., by John Johnston ; prefixed to the first 
volume of Dr. Parr's Works, p. 767. 


justice and reason, and the beetles who crawl about its holes 
and crevices act as if they were striving to provoke and 
accelerate the blow which, sooner or later, will inevitably crush 
the whole fabric and level it with the dust." After the lapse 
of more than seventy years, it is impossible to judge fairly 
what ought to have been done. There may have been local 
circumstances which would alter the whole complexion of 
the case ; and certainly great allowance ought to be made for 
change of times. But, speaking generally, one would have 
thought it wiser if the clergy had passed over the attack in 
dignified silence. However, they thought otherwise ; and one 
is not surprised that they did so, when one finds that Henry 
Phillpotts, afterwards Bishop of Exeter, the very last man to 
sit down tamely under an insult, was then the ruling spirit 
among the Durham clergy. They prosecuted Mr. John 
Ambrose Williams, proprietor of the Durham Chronicle, in 
which the attack appeared, for a libel, in the Court of King's 
Bench ; and, to the general surprise, gained their cause. But, 
so far as the popularity of the Church went, the victory was a 
Cadmean victory, worse than a defeat. The popular sym- 
pathy was, as in a law case it generally is, against the parsons. 
The counsel for the defence, Mr. Brougham, carried the people 
with him, though he could not carry the jury ; and, moreover, 
when he was beaten, he still had a terrible weapon in reserve, 
the Edinburgh Review, which published in its next number 
a fierce attack upon the Church in general, and the Durham 
clergy in particular. It was answered, and very ably answered, 
by .many pens j 1 but the writers could not gain the ear of the 

1 Letter to H. Brougham, Esq., on his Durham Speech, and Three Articles in 
the last ''Edinburgh Review" on the Subject of the Clergy, 1823 ; An Appeal to 
the Gentlemen of England on behalf of the Church of England, by Augustus . 
Campbell,- Rector of Wallasey, Cheshire, 1823 ; The Seventy-fourth Number of the 
" Edinburgh Review's " Attack on the Church of England, answered by the Rev. 
Francis Thackeray, 1823 : supplementary to his Defence of the Church of England 
(1822); A Vindication of the Church and Clergy of England from the Misrepre- 
sentations of the " Edinburgh Review," by a beneficed clergyman, 1823 ; A Letter 
to F.Jeffrey, Esq., reputed Editor of the "Edinburgh Review," by H. Phillpotts, 
Rector of Stanhope ; A Defence of the Established Church, by Alma Lux ; A 
Voice from St. Peter's and St. Paul's, being a few Plain Words addressed to M.P.'s 
and Lords on the accusations against the Church Establishment, particularly those 
contained in No. 74 of the Edinburgh Review, by a member of the University 
of Oxford. 


public, as the formidable Review could, and there is no doubt 
that this little episode added much to the already existing 
odium against the Church. 

But the hostility to the Church in the political world did 
not rest upon any isolated episode. There was rising into 
power a political party whose vital principle was the destruc- 
tion of the Church as a national establishment. This party 
was composed of men who were influenced by such writers as 
Jeremy Bentham l and James Mill, 2 who appealed to the more 
educated classes; while William Cobbettby his "Register" did 
the same kind office among the less educated. " I question," 
writes Dr. Stoughton, " whether in the present day any attacks 
on any institution are to be compared with those in reference 
to the Established Church between 1820 and 1830." 3 The 
Acts of 1828 and 1829 encouraged the assailants to hope that 
the days of the " Establishment " were numbered. The out- 
works had been taken ; it only remained to take the citadel 
itself. "The year 1830," writes Dr. J. B. Mozley, "ushered in 
what was perhaps the most memorable and alarming struggle 
between the Church and her political and Dissenting opponents 
that had been seen for a century." 4 Friends were as de- 
spondent as foes were exultant. Dr. Miller, in his preface to 
his very striking sermons (1830), complains that it was scarcely 
possible for the friends of the Church to correct its abuses 
" by reason of the fierce, ungenerous clamour round about the 
sanctuary, and the variety of enemies all ready to rush in and 
build up their own visionary schemes, or schemes of selfish- 
ness, upon its ruins." 5 The bishops, as has been shown in a 

1 See Bentham's Church-of-Englandism, etc., etc. 

* "Next to an aristocracy, "writes John Stuart Mill, " an established Church , 
or corporation of priests, as being by position the great depravers of religion, and 
interested in opposing the progress of the human mind, was the object of my 
father's greatest detestation." 

* Religion in England, 1800-1850, by John Stoughton, D.D., ii. 10. 

4 J. B. Mozley's Essays, vol. ii. : " Dr. Arnold." 

5 Sermons intended to show a Sober Application of Scripture Principles to the 
Realities of Life. With a Preface addressed to the Clergy. By John Miller, late 
Fellow of Worcester College, Oxford, 1830. To the same effect Connop Thirl- 
wall wrote to Bunsen in 1832: " The Church of England contains many dis- 
interested and devoted friends, who perceive its defects, and would wish to remedy 
them. But the present animosity about its temporal relations to the State so 
completely engrosses all other subjects connected with it, that it would be absuid 


former chapter, began to " despair of the Republic." In fact, 
it was no cuckoo cry, as it had been in the eighteenth century, 
that " the Church was in danger ;" and that danger was appa- 
rently increased tenfold by the passing of the Reform Bill in 
1831. The clergy as a body, and the bishops in particular, 
were against it, while the great majority of the nation were in 
its favour. The episcopal vote in the House of Lords seemed 
to fill up the measure of the Church's iniquity. 

Unfortunate as it may seem to us that the Church should 
have set itself against the State in this critical conjuncture, it 
can scarcely be a matter of surprise. The Reform Bill gave 
great power to just that class which was most hostile to the 
Church and most favourable to Dissent, which has always 
found its strongest supporters, not among the higher or the 
lower, but among the middle classes. It might justly be 
argued, that when the reform of the State was complete, the 
reform of the Church would come next ; and that the reform 
of the Church by a reformed Parliament meant simply destruc- 
tion. It was no imaginary fear that the next move would be 
fatal to the Church as a national establishment. But the 
thunder-clouds rolled harmlessly away, which at the period 
when this history closes seemed likely to burst, and to sweep 
away the most venerable part of the British constitution. 

in any one to propose any scheme of internal reformation. The Church remains 
powerless for any new good, and at the utmost only able to preserve itself from 
ruin." Letters Literary and Theological, p. 103. 




IT may not be strictly correct at least from the statesman's 
point of view to speak of the Church of Ireland as a " sister 
Church," because the same Acts which made England and 
Ireland, from January i, i8or,one united kingdom, made also 
the two national Churches one united Church ; but inasmuch 
as the union of the two Churches lasted barely seventy years, 
inasmuch as it was effected solely by the Acts of Parliament, 
or rather of both Parliaments, English and Irish, without any 
sort of reference to synod or convocation, that is, without 
consulting the spiritualty of either kingdom, 1 it is at least 
pardonable, as it is certainly more convenient, to speak of 
" the Irish Church," instead of using the awkward periphrasis 
of "the Irish branch of the United Church of England and 
Ireland." So accurate a writer and so sound a Churchman as 
Dr. Christopher Wordsworth, Bishop of Lincoln, makes no 
scruple about denominating it the Irish Church when he 
writes both during and concerning the time when the union 
was in force ; and Bishop Wordsworth's is a good name for 
a Churchman to shelter himself under. 2 

Irish Churchmen, as a rule, anticipated with pleasure the 
closer connection with their brother Churchmen across the 
Channel which the union seemed to promise ; nor were they, 
at any rate until the last year or two of the period, dis- 

1 See The Reformed Church of Ireland, by the Right Hon. J. T. Ball, p. 223 ; 
and The Church of Ireland, by the Rev. T. Olden (National Churches Series), 

P- 393- 

3 See Wordsworth's History of the Church of Ireland, passim. 


It is a remarkable fact that, although the Oxford Move- 
ment found few sympathizers in Ireland, not a few of its most 
obvious precursors were connected with the Church of Ireland, 
It is, for example, an admitted fact that Dr. Percy, who was 
Bishop of Dromore from 1782 to 181 r, contributed indirectly to 
the movement by the publication of his " Reliques of Ancient 
English Poetry," which drew men's attention to antiquity, 
and led them to be dissatisfied with modern systems. 1 Dr. 
Richard Mant, who also became Bishop of Dromore in 1820, 
was unquestionably "a Puseyite before Puseyism ;" and as he 
was a very able and somewhat voluminous writer, his works 
must necessarily have drawn men in the same direction. 
Much more was this the case with Dr. John Jebb, Bishop of 
Limerick, who lived all his life in Ireland. His sermons, in- 
cluding the famous " Appendix," were naturally recommended 
by the early Tractarians, as one of many evidences that their 
views were not novelties ; and the name of Bishop Jebb is 
generally cited as furnishing one of the links which connected 
the Oxford with the Caroline and the Nonjuring divines. 
Moreover, it was, as we have seen, to Bishop Jebb's ordination 
examination at Limerick that we owe a work which, beyond 
doubt, helped to prepare men's minds for the reception of 
the Tractarlan tenets, viz. Palmer's " Origines Liturgicae ; " 
William Palmer is thus another name which connects Ireland 
with the Oxford Movement But the most effective pioneer 
of all was Jebb's guide, philosopher, and friend, Mr. Knox, an 
Irishman born and bred, who never, except for an occasional 
visit across the Channel, left his native country. 

All these, however, were exceptional cases ; the general 
tone of the Church of Ireland was decidedly Evangelical ; and 
this being so, it is somewhat strange that there was so little 
intercourse between the Evangelical Churchmen in England 
and those in the sister island. One of the most prominent 
among the latter was a clergyman named Walker, a Fellow 
of Trinity College, Dublin, and a man of great ability. He 
was an uncompromising Calvinist, and defended Mr. Overton's 
" True Churchman Ascertained." He had a considerable 

1 See, inter alia, Cardinal Newman's Apologia pro Vitd Sud. The researches 
of Joseph Ritson, which were more accurate and extensive than those of Bishop 
Percy, though his works never became so popular, would lead in the same direction, 

IRELAND. 3 '5 

following, and his followers were called " Walkerites ; " but 
neither he nor they ever separated from the Established 
Church. Another able Evangelical clergyman was Dr. O'Brien, 
afterwards Bishop of Ossory, who wrote in defence of the 
doctrine of justification by faith. 1 But, as a body, the markedly 
Evangelical clergy of Ireland appear to have been, like their 
brethren in England, more distinguished by their piety and 
earnestness than by their intellectual power. 2 

A remarkable testimony to the excellence of one Evan- 
gelical household is given by Mr. J. A. Froude, who resided 
in it for some time. "Christianity," he says, "was part of 
the atmosphere which was breathed ; it was the great fact of 
our existence, to which everything else was subordinated ;" and 
much more to the same effect. 3 The once popular authoress 
who wrote under the name of " Charlotte Elizabeth " gives 
an equally enthusiastic account of a clerical household in 
Ireland which she visited in 1821 that of Dr. Hamilton, 
incumbent of Knocktopher, county Kilkenny. His father 
had been bishop of the diocese ; and he himself is described 
by Charlotte Elizabeth as " a man of fine mind, deep erudition, 
unbounded benevolence, and Christian sweetness that en- 
deared him to every one." He was rich, and " expended a 
large proportion of his income in works of charity ; equally 
judicious, liberal, and impartial. He had under his roof 
thirteen poor girls, who were educated, maintained, taught in 
all the requisites of good household servants, and finally 
placed out in the families of his friends. Mrs. Hamilton 
seemed to have her heart in this school, over which a very 
competent mistress presided ; and a more beautifully ordered 
little nursery of valuable domestics I never saw. Besides 
this, large benefactions were distributed in fuel, clothing, and 
other necessaries among the poor of the parish, without 
any regard to religious distinction; and as the Romanists 
amounted to above twelve hundred, while the Protestants 
could not muster one hundred, and the former were infinitely 

1 See Ball's Reformed Church of Ireland, pp. 250, 251. Dr. O'Brien's Ten 
Sermons upon the Nature and Effects of Faith were not published until 1834, but 
they were preached in the chapel of Trinity College, Dublin, in 1829 and 1831. 

2 Mr. Olden mentions the Revs. B. W. Matthias and P. Roe as prominent 
Evangelical clergy in the early days. 7 he Church of Ireland, p. 393. 

' See Short Studies on Great Subjects, iv. 295. 


more necessitous than the latter, of course nearly all went 
to them." 1 There is no reason to believe that these were 
exceptional cases ; but, on the other hand, strong negative 
reason to believe that they were not. For it is a significant 
fact that amid all the complaints about the injustice of main- 
taining an endowed and established Church for the rich 
minority, while the poor majority were alienated from it, not 
one word of reproach, so far as I am aware, was uttered 
against the personal characters of the clergy as a body ; they 
were generally recognized as blameless and benevolent 
Christian gentlemen. Nor were they deficient in learning. 2 
Dr. Graves' (Dean of Ardagh) writings on the Pentateuch 
(1807), Dr. Magee's (afterwards Archbishop of Dublin) on 
the Atonement (1801), Dr. William Hales' on Prophecy and 
on the Chronology of the Bible (already noticed, p. 180), 
all became classics, and were all widely read and highly 
appreciated in England as well as Ireland. But, after all, by 
far the most interesting works bequeathed to us by Irish 
Churchmen of this period are the "Remains of Alexander 
Knox" and the " Correspondence between Knox and Jebb" 
The latter commences with the beginning of the century, 
and is continued up to the time of Mr. Knox's death in 1831. 
It therefore covers almost the whole of our period ; and besides 
being full of acute remarks (many of them being anticipations 
of a later school of thought), and containing unconscious 
pictures of two very striking men, it gives us some glimpses 
of the state of the Irish Church. It brings out both the 
strong and the weak side of the "Establishment" question, 
which soon afterwards became a burning one. It would be 
quite easy, on the one hand, for the agitator to find in this 
correspondence telling arguments in favour of disestablish- 
ment and disendowment. " Here," he might say, " you have 
a man with a professional income of 1000 a year, who, 
on his own showing, has little or nothing to do for it. Then 
he is transferred to a bishopric, from which he is frequently 

1 Personal Recollections of Charlotte Elizabeth, pp, 146, 147. 

5 That is, the Irish clergy generally. I do" not think that any of the three 
mentioned below were decidedly Evangelicals, though Dr. Magee's work on The 
Atonement was most favourably reviewed in The Christian Observer, if I remember 


absent for months together." That is one side of the ques- 
tion ; but there is another. The residence of a highly 
cultured Christian gentleman in a remote part of Ireland 
could not fail to be beneficial to the whole neighbourhood, 
and ;iooo a year was a cheap price to pay for it. The 
influence of John Jebb as Rector of Abington was very 
remarkable. In 1821, "while the whole surrounding country 
became a scene of fire and bloodshed, Abington continued, 
like Gideon's fleece, the only inviolate spot. A coachman 
passing through the village said to a barrister who was a 
passenger, ' That house is the residence of Archdeacon Jebb. 
The parish in which it stands is the only quiet district in 
the country, and its quiet is entirely owing to the character 
and exertions of the Protestant rector.' " 1 And so far from 
its being an undeserved honour when Archdeacon Jebb was 
promoted to the see of Limerick, it was most decidedly an 
honour to the see of Limerick (as it would have been to any 
see in England or Ireland) to have such a man as John Jebb 
to preside over it. 

But so far as thought and intellect went, was not Jebb 
the mere puppet of, which Knox pulled the strings? I am 
inclined to think that this view of their relationship has 
sometimes been stated a little too strongly. Jebb had a 
distinctly marked mind and character of his own ; and 
though he was, of course, as he repeatedly owns, the disciple 
of Knox, he could do in some respects what his master could 
not do. He was more capable of sustained effort, more 
patient and painstaking, though a far less original genius. 
The admirable way in which, in his " Sacred Literature" he 
works out Bishop Lowth's theory of parallelisms in Hebrew 
poetry, and the infinite pains he evidently took in the 
composition of his printed sermons, are witnesses of this. 
And we must also not forget that if we had had no Jebb, 
we should probably have had no Knox ; for Jebb was the 
whetstone on which Knox sharpened his intellect. 

On the other hand, it is fully admitted that if we had had 

1 Life of Bishop Jebb , by the Rev. C. Forster, i. 214. See also Correspondence 
between Knox and Jebb, ii. 461, where Jebb writes to his friend Knox a similar 
account of the quiet of Abington and its riotous surroundings, but does not agree 
with the coachman that the result is solely due to himself. 


no Knox, we should almost certainly have had no Jebb ; 
that is to say, Jebb was one of those good and able men 
who do excellent work in their generation, but have not 
originality enough to preserve an undying name to posterity. 
It is in the " Remains " and the " Correspondence " and the 
" Appendix " (which was really Knox's work) that Jebb lives. 
It would be out of place, however, to say more about Knox 
in connection with the Irish Church ; for he was cosmopolitan 
rather than Irish in his writings, and his recluse life kept him 
quite apart from the active side of Irish Church affairs. Far 
otherwise was it with his friend, Bishop Jebb, whose Charge to 
the clergy of the diocese of Limerick gives us so clear an insight 
into the state of the Irish Church, that it is worth quoting at 
some length. It should be premised that the circumstances 
of Jebb's life had made him equally acquainted with the 
north and the south of Ireland ; for he was born and educated 
in the north, and there began his ministerial work ; and then 
laboured for twenty years in the south before he became a 
bishop. It is so difficult for an Englishman to realize the 
strongly marked line which separates the north from the 
south, that his observations on this point are peculiarly 
valuable. He does not give a very favourable impression of 
the theological attainments of the clergy of the south. " I 
am pained to say, after no short or superficial acquaintance 
with the clergy of the south of Ireland, that, while many are 
most laudably diligent in other professional pursuits, some 
are but too apt to mistake the conclusion of their academical 
course for the completion of their theological studies. . . . 
While I rejoice to think that several individuals have derived 
incalculable benefit from the impulse given in the Divinity 
School of Dublin, I am obliged to state, from my own actual 
knowledge, that some who came forth from that school, 
clothed in its first honours, had, in the space of one short 
year, retrograded rather than advanced, and betrayed a 
degree of ignorance which it is painful to think upon." x But 

1 To the same effect he writes about the whole of Ireland in his Biographical 
Memoir of William Phelan, D.D. (1832) : " It must be confessed that hitherto, 
from unhappy circumstances, there has been in Ireland but little opportunity 
and, if possible, less encouragement for theological learning. . . . The flippant 
pamphlet and slight brochure (of merit, very different, indeed, from the slightest 


he gives a much more favourable impression of their good- 
ness and activity under trying circumstances. " The acknow- 
ledged smallness of our congregations in the south of Ireland 
has given rise to an imputation, most industriously circulated, 
that the established clergy are supine, inefficient, and super- 
fluous. A less substantiated charge, or one which betrays a 
greater unacquaintance with the existing state of the country, 
cannot readily be imagined. . . . Bold as it may seem, I 
shrink not from saying that, in several important respects, 
the established clergy of the south are by no means a less 
useful, and incomparably a more influential body, than their 
brethren of the north of Ireland. What are the circum- 
stances ? In the north there is an .affluent and educated 
resident gentry ; an intelligent, industrious yeomanry ; a 
general diffusion of knowledge through schools liberally 
maintained. In the south, the great aristocracy and the 
hereditary proprietors of the soil, absentees ; a starving, ill- 
educated, unemployed, and most redundant peasantry ; bad 
schools ; and the clergy have the mejancholy pre-eminence 
of being, I had almost said, the single class to whom the 
people look up for relief in their distresses, for counsel in 
their difficulties, and, in too many districts, for common 
honesty and civility in the ordinary transactions of life. 
Thus situated, their influence is of necessity very consider- 
able ; and in most parishes the poorer inhabitants feel that 
the rector is to them the most important individual in the 
neighbourhood. In the vast majority of instances our 
clergy are left alone and unsupported, with every unfavour- 
able circumstance to counteract their exertions and to cripple 
their powers ; and at this disadvantage are not only expected, 
but feel themselves conscientiously bound, to bear the whole 
burthen and heat of the day. 

" I feel myself perfectly safe in the assertion that, while 

efforts of Mr. Phelan) have been generally thought a far more marketable com - 
modity than any solid work of genius, piety, and learning" (p. 36). In a speech in 
the House of Lords, delivered June 10, 1824, he gives a reason for the dearth 
of theological learning : " In Ireland we have unfortunately not abounded in 
magnificent patrons of learning. We have but one College, one Provost, and 
twenty-five Fellows, for the education of about fifteen hundred undergraduates. 
These twenty-six very learned men, thus occupied, have little time for the pleasures 
and the pains of authorship. " 


the clergy in the north of Ireland yield, perhaps, to no 
established clergy throughout Christendom in the efficient 
discharge of their pastoral duties, they have a compara- 
tively narrow field of economical exertion ; and that while 
the clergy in the south have, in most instances, but few 
claims upon them of a strictly professional kind, they are 
furnished with inexhaustible sources of employment, in 
supplying the wants, soothing the feelings, softening the 
animosities of a people redundant almost to mutual ex- 
tinction. . . . 

" If the enemies of the Church succeed in their unholy 
efforts, the people of this country will soon learn who have 
been their best benefactors." 1 

But such considerations would be little likely to have 
weight against the tangible facts which might be alleged 
against the Irish Church, when reform was in the air. There 
were churches practically without congregations ; there were 
many clergy non-resident, though a publication of the 
"Abstracts of Numbers of Resident and Non-resident In- 
cumbents, and Total Numbers of Curates in each Diocese in 
Ireland for 1829 and 1830," shows that there had been gross 
exaggerations and misstatements on that score. " The 
Reform Bill," it has been said, " placed three-fourths of the 
representation of Ireland in the hands of the priests and 
demagogues, whose power was based on the hostility to the 
religion and government of England ; " and it is not surpris- 
ing that one of the earliest acts of the Reformed Parliament 
was a drastic measure against the Church of Ireland, by 
which ten out of its twenty-two bishoprics were to be swept 
away. The immediate cause of the measure was this : The 
charge of maintaining the fabrics and providing for the 
expenses of Divine worship had been defrayed by an assess- 
ment imposed at the vestries, and to this assessment Roman 
Catholics and Protestant Dissenters had to pay. This was 
thought unjust, and therefore it was arranged by the Act of 
1833, which was called the Church Temporalities Act, that 
henceforth the fund was to be provided from the property of 

1 Charge to the Clergy of .the Diocese of Limerick, at his Primary Visitation, 
in the Cathedral Church of St. Mary, June 19, 1823, by John Jebb, Bishop of 
Limerick, Ardfert, and Agbadoe. 


the Church. The money was to be forthcoming by the 
reduction of the archbishoprics to two and the bishoprics to 
ten, 1 which left a sum of about 60,000 a year disposable for 
the purpose. 2 

It is a curious instance of the irony of fate that this very 
measure, which was supposed to be one of the first direct blows 
levelled against the Church, was really the occasion of a 
complete turn of the tide in her favour. The measure was, of 
course, passed, and "created the Oxford Movement." 3 Its 
immediate result was the formation of the " Association of 
the Friends of the Church," which called forth the real but 
latent sympathy with the cause of the Church to an extent 
which astonished her friends at least as much as her foes. 
To add to the anomaly, the framer of the measure was Mr. 
Stanley, who afterwards, as the Earl of Derby, was the 
trusted leader of exactly the opposite party to that of the 
reformers. The history of all this, however, belongs to a 
later period. So also does the episcopate of Archbishop 
Whately, who, to the dismay of many, was appointed to the 
archbishopric of Dublin in 1831. 

But the episcopate of Bishop Mant comes well within our 
period, and as it gives us an interesting and characteristic 
illustration of the state of the Church in Ireland, strikingly 
confirming what has been quoted from Bishop Jebb, a few 
words on the subject will not be inappropriate. Richard 
Mant, who had already won a high reputation in England, 
was appointed, through Lord Liverpool, to the bishopric of 
Killaloe and Kilfenora in 1820. He found that there had 
only been one general confirmation in the diocese for the 
last sixteen or seventeen years, and in his Primary Charge, 
delivered August 3, 1820, he tells us that he finds from the 
reports before him that in most churches only a single Sunday 
service was performed, and he admits that "often more may 
not be practicable." The custom of having children baptized 
at home prevailed to a very great extent. There was a monthly 

1 See Ball's Reformed Church of Ireland, ch. xvi. p. 229. 

2 See Spencer Walpole's History of England from the Conclusion of the Great 
War in 1815, vol. iii. p. 152. 

3 A Narrative of Events connected with the Publication of the Tracts for the 
Times, by W. Palmer, Introduction (published in 1883), p. 45. 



celebration in some parishes, but in others only four times 
a year ; the number of communicants, however, compared 
favourably with England. " The fact," he proceeds, " is no- 
torious that a very large proportion of our population in this 
diocese is in a state of separation from the Church of Ireland ; " 
and he forthwith impresses strongly upon his clergy the duty 
of exposing the errors of the Church of Rome. This part 
of his Charge gave offence in high quarters, and was one of 
the reasons why he was not sooner promoted to a better see ; 
for " that," says his biographer, " was a time of conciliation, 
and it was the policy of the rulers of the State to discourage 
whatever was calculated, even remotely, to offend a Romanist." 
This was rather hard upon Bishop Mant, for "I was sent 
hither," he says, " as the Archbishop of Canterbury distinctly 
told me, to assist in infusing a more professional spirit in the 
clergy ; " and how he was to do this without urging them to 
set forth boldly the principles of their Church, and to combat 
that which was the chief obstacle to its extension, it is difficult 
to see. The other reason which the Prime Minister (Lord 
Liverpool) alleged for not translating him has more force in 
it. Disturbances broke out in 1821, and the Established 
Church was an object of special attack. The bishop's life 
was threatened, and he retired for a while to England. No 
doubt it would have been more heroic if he had remained at 
his post ; but he soon returned to it, and braved the danger. 
In 1822 the country was still in a state of alarm; outrages 
were frequent ; there was one on a glebe-house close by, and 
soldiers had to be sent to the See-house itself to secure its 
safety. But in 1823 the bishop was, to his great delight, 
translated to Down and Connor. Here he had to do battle 
with the prevailing Presbyterianism of the north, instead of 
with the prevailing Romanism of the south. " He observed 
in the clergy rather a tendency to conciliate unduly the 
Presbyterians." An instance which he gives certainly bears 
out his observation. "Yesterday," he writes, December 26, 
1823, " I preached at a church in - , my practice being 
constantly to preach in some of the churches in my diocese. 
After I had read the Nicene Creed, what must the clergyman 
do but give notice of a charity sermon to be preached next 
Sunday at the Presbyterian meeting-house, and, in order to 


give his congregation the power of attending, added that 
' there would be no sermon at the church.' This was done 
in the perfect simplicity of his heart." After the service the 
bishop, not without reason, remonstrated with him. It would 
perhaps have been well for the Irish Church if it had had more 
bishops of the type of Bishop Mant. The Roman Catholics 
understood perfectly well their position, and the Presbyterians 
theirs. It was highly important that the Established Church 
should have some firmer ground to stand upon than its 
establishment. There was such ground, and Bishop Mant 
stood upon it ; but if he did not stand actually alone, there 
were, at any rate, few who made their position so clear as he 
did his. 


At the beginning of the nineteenth century the Episcopal 
Church of Scotland was an object of the deepest interest to 
one class of English Churchmen, because they saw in it a 
practical exemplification of a truth which they were most 
anxious to impress upon their countrymen. In the eighteenth 
century " the Church " and "the Establishment " were regarded 
as almost convertible terms ; and we have already seen how 
Bishop Horsley, Archdeacon Daubeny, and others protested 
against this strange confusion of ideas. In order to see how 
forcible an illustration of their meaning Scotland supplied, 
we must go back to the period preceding our history. The 
very existence of the ancient, native Church of Scotland had 
become almost unknown across the border. After the Revo- 
lution of 1688 it had refused to recognize the Parliamentary 
title of William III. to the throne, and had thrown all its 
sympathies into the cause of the exiled Stuarts. It was 
deprived of its legal establishment as the national Church ; 
and, after 1715, suffered severe persecution, which increased 
as years went on. 1 The Jacobite rising of 1745 led to the 
enactment of penal laws, which were nothing less than "an 
attempt to extirpate a whole communion by rendering their 
worship illegal." 2 It was enacted that " from and after the 

1 For a full account, see Mr. Abbey's English Church and its Bishops (1700- 
1800), ii. 175-185. 

2 History of the Church in Scotland, by the Rev. Michael Russell, ii. 404. 


1st of September, 1746, every person exercising the function 
of a pastor or minister in any Episcopal meeting-house in 
Scotland, without registering his letters of orders and taking 
all the oaths required by law, and praying for his Majesty 
King George and the Royal Family by name, shall, for the first 
offence, suffer six months' imprisonment, and for the second 
be transported to some one of his Majesty's plantations for 
life." Every house in which five or more, besides the family, 
met for worship was declared to be a meeting-house within 
the meaning of the Act, and no letters of orders, except such 
as had been given by some bishop of the Church of England 
or of Ireland, were allowed to be registered after September I. 
Another Act was passed against laymen worshipping in an 
Episcopal meeting-house, and in 1748 still more stringent 
enactments were made. It is fair to add that the Church of 
England, as a body, had no share in this deliberate attempt 
to stamp out a sister Church ; on the contrary, all the English 
bishops voted, and three of the most eminent of them 
(Sherlock, Seeker, and Maddox) spoke against the Bill of 
1748, but in vain. The result was that "all appearance of 
public worship was avoided, and the clergy visited families in 
private, where a few met to celebrate the rites of the Church 
in the utmost secrecy ; " and, outside its own body, the native 
Church of Scotland dropped out of notice, until a memorable 
event in 1784 called attention to it. 1 That event was the 
consecration of the first American bishop, Dr. Seabury. 
The consecration was canonical in every respect, and it not 
only drew the attention of English Churchmen to a depressed 
and struggling Church, but also made them feel that they 
owed to that Church a deep obligation for what she had done. 
There were difficulties in the way of consecrating an American 
bishop in England which did not exist in Scotland. The 
War of Independence was still fresh in the minds of the 
Americans, and made them regard with jealousy any English 
interference in the affairs of America. Oaths were required 
of every one who was raised to the episcopate through the 

1 Dean Luckock, however, says that " on the accession of George III., though 
a long time elapsed before the penal laws of the previous reign were erased from 
the Statute Book, their stringency was immediately relaxed." The Church in 
Scotland (National Churches Series), p. 278. 



English Church which an American could not take. Then 
the Scotch Church stepped in as a Deus ex machind, and 
cut the Gordian knot. The step had a most beneficial effect 
upon the English Church ; it broke the hard crust of Eras- 
tianism which had long overlaid it, and supplied a want 
which good Churchmen had long felt, but knew not how to 
meet. No wonder the bold step which the Scotch bishops, 
chiefly through the influence of Bishop Skinner, took, made 
their southern brethren inclined to regard their Church with 
a favourable eye ; and an opportunity soon occurred of 
enabling them to repay the obligation. The death of the 
last Stuart claimant to the throne in 1788 made all but the 
most fanatical and unreasonable of Scotch Episcopalians feel 
that they might now with a safe conscience pray publicly for 
the reigning family in the terms of the English Liturgy. This 
was accordingly done in all the chapels in Scotland except 
three. And now that they were loyal subjects, might they 
not fairly ask for a repeal of those penal laws, which had 
reduced them almost to the condition of those early Chris- 
tians who had to worship in the dens and caves of the earth ? 
So, in the spring of 1789, Bishop Skinner, who had taken the 
leading part in the matter of the consecration of Bishop 
Seabury, and was now Primus of the Scotch Church, was sent 
with two other bishops, Abernethy Drummond and Strahan, 
on a deputation to London to plead the cause of their op- 
pressed communion. They had many good friends both in 
England and Scotland ; a little knot of High Churchmen, of 
whom William Stevens, Jonathan Boucher, Dr. Gaskin, the 
Bowdlers, and James Allan Park (then a rising young lawyer) 
were the most prominent, were, and had long been, ready to 
help them with pen, tongue, and purse ; they had a powerful 
ally in Henry Dundas, afterwards Lord Melville, who was so 
influential with the great premier, especially in Scotch affairs, 
that he was called "the Minister for Scotland," and who, 
though he himself belonged to an old Presbyterian family, 
threw himself heart and soul into their cause. Indeed, the 
Established Kirk generally, so far from being jealous of their 
pretensions, helped them actively, especially some of its most 
noted members, such as Principals Robertson and Campbell, 
and Drs. Beattie and Gerard. The English prelates were 


certainly not unfriendly ; they were courteous, though 
(bishop-like) with one or two exceptions cautious. With 
these advantages it is no wonder that their case seemed to be 
progressing favourably and rapidly. The Bill for the removal 
of their disabilities passed all its readings in the House of 
Commons in fifteen days. But when it reached the House 
of Lords, it met with an apparently insurmountable obstacle 
in the determined opposition of the all-influential chancellor, 
Lord Thurlow. It is sad to think that mere petty, personal 
jealousy should have been sufficient to thwart an act of public 
justice ; but it is more than probable that the fact that the 
Bill had been introduced in the Commons by the first- 
lieutenant of his rival and enemy, William Pitt, was at the 
bottom of the chancellor's hostility. At any rate, the depu- 
tation had to return to Scotland re infectd, for the Bill was 
thrown out, and the Scotch Church had to wait for three 
weary years before it could obtain relief. It had, however, 
one friend on the English Bench, who was not faint-hearted 
in the cause, and was not afraid of the formidable chancellor 
himself. This was the greatest bishop then living, Samuel 
Horsley, who thoroughly understood (what few Englishmen 
then did) the position of the Scotch Episcopalians, and threw 
into their scale all the weight of his reputation and abilities. 
When the Bill came on for debate in 1792, he supported 
it in one of the greatest of his many great speeches, and it 
was probably to a large extent through his influence that it 
was carried. Another able supporter of the Scotch claims 
among the English prelates, Bishop Home, had gone to his 
rest before the matter was settled. 

The repeal of the penal laws was, after all, only a half- 
measure. It fully relieved all laymen from restrictions on 
their worship ; but it left the clergy, in one respect, in worse 
plight than they were in before ; for one clause provided " that 
no person exercising the function of a pastor in the Episcopal 
communion in Scotland should be capable of taking any 
benefice, curacy, or spiritual function in England and Wales 
unless ordained by some bishop of the Church of England or 
Ireland," whereas they were previously eligible to cures in 
the Church of England. The clergy were also still liable to 
penalties unless they took the oath of abjuration, which they 


could not, of course, do without casting a reflection upon their 
own past conduct, and that of their predecessors. Nor were 
they yet quite prepared to sign the Thirty-nine Articles, as 
they were required to do. 1 

All these matters, however, had begun to adjust them- 
selves by the time when our history commences. A most 
important meeting, convention, convocation, or synod (it is 
called by all four names), was held at Laurencekirk in 1804, 
which affected permanently and beneficially the relations 
between the Scotch and English Churches. "The purpose 
of this meeting," as the circular stated, was "in the most 
solemn manner to exhibit a public testimony of our con- 
formity in doctrine and discipline with the Church of Eng- 
land, and thereby to remove every remaining obstacle to 
the union of the Episcopalians in Scotland." To understand 
the force of this, it must be remembered that though the 
native Episcopal Church of Scotland had been all but stamped 
out, there had always been numbers of Episcopalians in 
Scotland. These had worshipped under ministers of English 
and Irish ordination; they were called "qualified congrega- 
tions " and their ministers " qualified ministers ; " and it is 
said that " the only active and declared opponents of the Bill " 
for the abrogation of the penal laws " belonged to the 
qualified Episcopalians in Scotland." 2 Their position was 
a most anomalous one ; they were Episcopalians without a 
bishop, and their clergy were Episcopal clergy without the 
recognition of the proper Episcopal authority in the land 
where they ministered. It is no wonder that, after the repeal 
of the penal statutes especially, the better instructed and 
more right-minded among them should be dissatisfied with 
their status ; and yet, what were they to do ? They were 
members of the Church of England, and the Church of 
Scotland had not yet adopted the confessional of that Church. 
So, in 1803, the Rev. Daniel Sandford, one of the most weighty 
and distinguished of the English clergy in Scotland, suggested 

1 The "disabling clauses," as they were called, were insisted upon by 
the Lord Chancellor, Thurlow. See Luckock's The Church in Scotland, pp. 
287, 288. 

2 Life and Times of John Skinner, Bishop of Aberdeen and Primus of the 
Scottish Episcopal Church, by the Rev. W. Walker, LL.D., p. 82. 


to Primus Skinner that " were the Thirty-nine Articles made 
the permanent confessional of the Scotch Church, the con- 
tinuance in separation of the English clergy could not be 
justified on ecclesiastical principles." 1 Hence arose the 
synod of Laurencekirk, at which, after some discussion, espe- 
cially about the Seventeenth Article, all the forty-four 
clergy signed the Thirty-nine Articles. 2 A few weeks later 
(November 19, 1804) the primus received the submission of 
Dr. Sandford and his congregation at Edinburgh, Dr. Sand- 
ford declaring that it was " the happiest day in his life when 
he anji his flock, without one dissentient voice, agreed to 
unite with the venerable Church." His example was followed 
by others, notably by the congregation of Cowgate Street 
Chapel, Edinburgh, of which Sir William Forbes was the 
main pillar. To Bishop Skinner on the one side, and Dr. 
Sandford and Sir William Forbes on the other, the much- 
needed union between the native Church and the English 
congregations was chiefly due. The indefatigable primus 
determined to settle the matter by bringing about the ap- 
pointment of an English clergyman to a Scotch bishopric ; 
and shortly afterwards, when Dr. Abernethy Drummond 
resigned the bishopric of Edinburgh, Dr. Sandford, chiefly 
through the influence of Bishop Skinner, was elected to the 
vacant post. His acceptance of it caused some dismay to 
his English friends, who anticipated complications which 
never arose. The appointment highly gratified the qualified 
congregations, and caused no offence to the Scotch. Primus 
Skinner addressed a circular letter to the bishops of the 
English Church and two Irish archbishops, intimating " the 
progress made and making in the happy work of Episcopal 
union in Scotland, and the advancement to the Scotch 
episcopate of one of the English ordained clergymen in 
charge of a congregation in Scotland." 3 Some of the 
qualified congregations still held out in a state of separation, 
but they met with no sympathy from the best friends of 

1 Remains of Daniel Sandford^ Bishop of Edinburgh , with a Memoir by the 
Rev. John Sandford, i. 47. 

2 See an account of this synod in Dean Luckock's The Church in Scotland, 
p. 288. 

1 Walker's Life of Bishop Skinner, p. 216. 


Scotland across the border. Bishop Horsley, whose words 
carried weight with all parties, deliberately declared that 
"the clergymen of English or Irish ordination, exercising 
their functions in Scotland without uniting with the Scotch 
bishops, were, in his judgment, doing nothing better than 
keeping alive a schism." 1 Archdeacon Daubeny expressed 
himself to the same effect ; 2 and, at any rate among English 
High Churchmen, this was the general opinion. Apart from 
the theoretical anomaly of having tw.o Churches, an English 
and a Scotch Church in one land, the arrangement worked 
exceedingly ill in practice. " Sometimes," writes the bio- 
grapher of Bishop Gleig, "in a small town two small con- 
gregations one English and one Scotch existed side by 
side, and personal antipathies or incompatibilities prevented 
their union into one strong congregation. Stonehaven had 
two : one, no doubt the qualified one, presided over by an 
old clergyman, a Churchman only in name ; the other, the 
native Scotch." 3 When the repeal of the penal laws was 
being agitated, and the qualified congregations opposed it, 
Bishop Horsley "desired to be furnished with instances of 
persons being actually ordained by English bishops in order 
to officiate in Scotland ; " to which Bishop Skinner promptly 
replied that " within the last forty or fifty years a great 
number of candidates for Holy Orders have gone from this 
country and obtained ordination in England, with no other 
view but that of officiating in Scotland," and illustrated it 
by a case which came very near home. " He himself, being 
collated by Bishop Gerard to the charge of an Episcopalian 
congregation at Ellon, two gentlemen wished to have a 
qualified clergyman set up in opposition. With this view, 
they agreed with a Mr. Blake, then a Presbyterian school- 
master, who proceeded to London, and was ordained by the 
Archbishop of Canterbury ; " and then he gives many other 
definite instances. 4 

The acceptance of the English standard of doctrine, the 

1 Remains ', etc., of Bishop Sandford, i. 48. 

* See Annals of Scottish Episcopacy from 1788 to 1816, by John Skinner, of 
Forfar, p. 293. 

3 Walker's Life of Bishop Gleig, p. 285. 

* Annals of Scottish Episcopacy, p. 172. 


appointment of an Englishman to the bishopric of Edinburgh, 
and the vigorous efforts of the Primus, soon began to tell. 
The " twenty-four congregations in a state of separation from 
the Scottish Episcopal Church, and supplied by clergymen 
of English or Irish ordination," were reduced to five by the 
close of Primus Skinner's administration that is, by 1816. 
At the same time, all was not smooth sailing in the Scottish 
Church ; and as the storms arose very much in connection 
with its relations to the English Church, it will be necessary 
to notice them. There had long been, not exactly two 
parties, but two rather different lines of thought and action 
in the Scottish Church itself; the one being chiefly prevalent 
in the north, having Aberdeen for its centre, the other in the 
south, with Edinburgh for its head-quarters; the one "hold- 
ing firmly by the principles of the English Nonjurors, and, 
in matters of ritual, deviating considerably from the English 
Book of Common Prayer ; " the other " holding generally the 
views of the then English High Church party, and in worship 
aiming at conformity with England and uniformity at home." 1 
At first the northern party was by far the strongest, both 
numerically and intellectually ; but the absorption of the 
qualified congregations, which would naturally have a leaning 
towards England, and still more the influence of the English 
High Churchmen of the Stevens and Bowdler type (who had 
a clear right to have a say in the matter, inasmuch as they 
had not only been Scotland's best friends in the time of her 
deliverance from persecution, but were still liberally supply- 
ing her with money), tended greatly to strengthen the 
southern party. In the early years of the present century 
the divergence between the two parties was exemplified by 
the different attitude which they took up in regard to the 
use of the Scottish Communion Office. The native Church 
naturally preferred its own native Office, which, apart from its 
associations, it considered as in itself superior to the English 
Office. Bishops Skinner and Gleig, who were not always in 
harmony, thoroughly agreed in this ; but the English con- 
gregations and the Scotch of the south, who came under 
English influence, were all in favour of the English use. It 
was the indomitable perseverance of Bishop Skinner which 

1 Walker's Life of Bishop Gleig, p. 206. 


succeeded in preserving the optional use of the Scottish 
Office. But all the English congregations were not satisfied 
with this ; " though never called upon to use the Office, they 
held that, by union with a Church that tolerated it, they 
made themselves responsible for it." 1 The High Churchmen 
in England (Bowdler, Park, etc.) viewed with some dismay 
the publication of the Scottish Office not, probably, because 
they objected to it, but because they feared it might alarm 
"the moderate men" whom they had persuaded to help the 
struggling Church in Scotland. " I told him [Dr. Dampier, 
Bishop of Rochester]," writes Bowdler to the primus in 1806, 
"every English-ordained clergyman who joined the Com- 
munion of the Scotch Episcopal Church had his option to 
use the English Eucharistic Liturgy, if he preferred it. The 
bishop said he thought it a sufficient answer." And so surely 
it was. At any rate, the primus insisted upon his point. He 
would not consecrate Dr. Gleig to the bishopric of Dunkeld, 
in 1808, without imposing a test upon him that he would 
" strenuously recommend, by his own practice and by every 
other means in his power, the use of the Scotch Office " a 
test which the new bishop could abide with a safe conscience, 
for it accorded with his own sentiments and practice ; and 
he steadily set himself against the Anglicizing junior clergy 
at Aberdeen, who would have given up the Office. In 1811 
the matter was settled in a way which must have satisfied 
the native Church. By the fifteenth canon of the code, passed 
in a synod at Aberdeen in that year, the Scotch was put 
above the English Office, being made the primary and autho- 
rized Office, while the English held only the position of a 
tolerated one ; and, oddly enough, it was two English digni- 
taries, one of them being the son of Scotland's best and most 
powerful friend, Bishop Horsley, who drew up the canon. 2 

There was, however, a very strong religious party in 
England, which would naturally view with anything but 
satisfaction what was going on over the border ; and a few 
years later great excitement was raised by the appearance 
in Edinburgh of some clergymen of the Evangelical party, 
now at the climax of its reputation and influence. The first 

1 Life of Bishop Skinner, p. 221. 

2 See Luckock, ut supra, pp. 289, 290. 


two were a Mr. Noel and a Mr. Craig, both said to have been 
eloquent and earnest men, who secured a following. "The 
Scotch Episcopalians," said Mr. Craig, " were perishing for 
lack of knowledge ; they had looked for the bread of life in 
the pulpit ministrations of their own Church, and had not 
found it." This was the beginning of a controversy which 
did not reach its height until after our period closes ; the rise 
of the Oxford movement in 1833 naturally tending to widen 
the breach between those who reflected the views of the old 
Nonjurors, and those who at all sympathized with the views 
of the - Evangelicals in the Scotch Church. But the history 
of all this happily belongs to the forties, not the twenties or 
the thirties ; so it need not here be dwelt upon. 

The interest which English Churchmen took in the 
ancient Church of Scotland was intensified by the fact that 
there happened to be, during jour period, among the Scotch 
bishops three exceptionally remarkable men, all of whom 
were, in different ways, brought into close relationship with 
England. These three were John Skinner, Bishop of Aber- 
deen ; George Gleig, Bishop of Brechin ; and Alexander Jolly, 
Bishop of Moray and Ross : the first, the greatest adminis- 
trator ; the second, the most variously accomplished ; the 
third, the saintliest character the Scotch Church perhaps 
ever produced. The first attracted the attention of English- 
men by the leading part he took in the consecration of Bishop 
Seabury, in bringing about the repeal of the penal laws, and 
in uniting the qualified ministers and their congregations with 
the native Church of the country ; the second, by his numer- 
ous and very able contributions to several English periodicals ; 
the third, by his profound learning, apostolic simplicity, and 
purity of life, r to which men of such different types as Dean 
Stanley, Dean Hook, Bishop Kaye, Bishop Hobart, and Dr. 
Routh bear testimony. 

Into the details of the lives of Bishops Skinner, Gleig, and 
Jolly it is unnecessary to enter, as their biographies, all written 
by the same able hand, are easily accessible ; but it was a happy 
accident shall we not rather say, a providential arrange- 
ment ? that at a time when many Englishmen were only 
just beginning to be conscious of the very existence of Scotch 
bishops, there should have come to the front three men who 


would have been ornaments to any episcopate in any age of 
the church. There were others, such as Bishop Torry of 
Dunkeld, and Bishop Drummond of Edinburgh, who were 
more than worthy of their position ; but these three stand 

It should be added in conclusion that, though the average 
Englishman had been strangely ignorant about the ancient 
Church of Scotland, well-read divines were not in such 
Cimmerian darkness. Dr. Routh paid it the compliment, 
which was highly appreciated, of dedicating the first volume 
of his " Reliquiae Sacrae " " to the bishops and presbyters of 
the Episcopal Church of Scotland." Bishop Home, in very 
early days, made the memorable remark that if St. Paul had 
been on earth, and had had to select the religious community 
to which he should belong, he would have chosen the Scotch 
Episcopal Church, as most like what he had been used to ; 
and, of course, Bishop Horsley knew all about its struggles, 
and thoroughly realized the strength of its position. 


It is impossible for an English Churchman to look back 
without a feeling of shame to the wrong-headed and suicidal 
course which was taken by England in regard to ecclesias- 
tical affairs in America in the eighteenth century. It seems 
almost incredible that any man of sense, not to say states- 
man, should have thought that the proper line to pursue was 
to encourage indeed, practically to establish one particular 
communion, and yet to deny that communion the one office 
which distinguished it from other communions. To a Church- 
man, a Church without a bishop is a body without a head ; 
and yet in this headless condition did those who professed 
to be friends of the Church, obstinately keep the Church in 
America until the closing years of the eighteenth century. 
As there was thus no centre of unity, no differentia, it is 
not in the least surprising that, after petitioning the mother 
country again and again for the boon which she could not 
supply herself, the American Church should have gradually 
dwindled away until she almost reached the vanishing-point. 
How the episcopate first came to America has already been 


told. When it did come, it seemed at first as if it had come 
too late. It came just at a time when the complications and 
embarrassments of the Church were apparently hopeless. 
There can be no doubt that in the American struggle for 
independence the sympathies of the vast majority of Church- 
men were in favour of the loyalists, and against the popular 
party. There can also be no doubt that royalty and episco- 
pacy were inseparably connected in the American mind ; 
and that an Episcopal Church in a republic seemed to it an 

In justice to our predecessors, it is only fair to remember 
the real difficulties under which they laboured. Many of 
them certainly felt the obligation of the mother Church to 
supply her eldest daughter with that which was necessary 
to rescue her from her strangely anomalous position. The 
learned Dr. Lowth, who, as Bishop of London, was supposed 
to hold the impossible office of diocesan of the whole Church 
in America, was not only in favour of an episcopate, but one 
of the most eloquent and forcible pleaders for it. 1 But what 
could he, or what could the Archbishop of Canterbury, to 
whom, as Primate of all England, application was made, do ? 
The law forbade distinctly the consecration of any bishop 
who would not take the oath of allegiance ; and it was, of 
course, absolutely impossible for citizens of the United States 
to do this. An attempt was made to obtain a special Act 
of Parliament to dispense with the obligation. Every one 
knows how tedious and cumbersome a process this is under 
any circumstances, but under the existing state of things it 
was all but impossible ; for the English people were then 
smarting under the loss of their greatest colonies, after a 
fruitless struggle in which they had lost much money and 
many lives, and they were by no means in the frame of mind 
which would incline them to stretch a point in favour of " the 
rebels." The king's ministry refused to consent to such an 
act without an official assurance that it would not be offensive 
to the new government in America. It probably would have 
been offensive, if not to the government, at any rate to the 
people of America; for the prejudices against bishops were 

1 See his Twelve Anniversary Sermons before the Society for the Propagation 
of the Gospel. 


very strong. We have an amusing instance of this forty 
years later, by which time one might have hoped that the 
prejudice would have been dispelled. But it was not so- 
Mr. Caswall, in his interesting book on " America and the 
American Church," tells us that when he was working in the 
diocese of Ohio under the excellent bishop, Philander Chase, 
he went about as an advocate for a sort of Church Bible 
Society in 1828 ; an old man, with whom he was pleading its 
cause, "when he found that the bishop was ex-officio its 
president, grew quite furious, and swore that the bishop 
wanted to make himself a king, or at least to introduce 
English power into Knox county." The bishop had lately 
been in England, and collected there more than 6000 for 
Kenyon College, an institution he had established for the 
education of American clergy ; the old man " stated his firm 
conviction that the college was designed for an English fort ; 
the bishop's object in going to England was, that he might 
make his own arrangements with the despotic government 
of that country. It was impossible that the English should 
have sent such vast sums to assist the bishop without a 
sinister motive ; and he concluded by charging me with 
being a spy in the service of the British government, as well 
as an emissary hired by the bishop to make proselytes to 
his new religion." 1 If this sort of feeling lingered on in 
1828, when the soreness of America had presumably had 
time to heal, what must it have been in 1783? "Episco- 
palians," writes Mr. Caswall, "were regarded with great 
dislike, being supposed to possess monarchical predilections." 
He is referring especially to Ohio, but there is no reason to 
suppose that the dislike was stronger there than in other 

It is a remarkable fact, however, and creditable alike to 
both parties, that the strained relations between England and 
America do not seem to have affected seriously the regard 
which the daughter paid to the mother Church. She never 
seems to have forgotten that it was to the Society for the 
Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, founded and 
sustained by English Churchmen, that she owed almost her 

1 America and the American Church, by the Rev. H. Caswall, p. 47. 


very existence and continued life. 1 Nor does the fact that, 
when American Independence was finally recognized by 
Great Britain, the society was compelled by the terms of its 
charter to withdraw its grants to missionaries in the United 
States, and thereby to cause much temporary distress, appear 
to have shaken the gratitude of Churchmen for past favours. 
Judge Hoffman represents the feelings of the American 
Church generally towards the society when he writes, " The 
story of its abundant labours and countless blessings is a 
proper theme for the historian ; and when from the altars 
of the American Church the utterance of praise and prayer 
arises in the stately and flowing language of the Liturgy of 
Edward, let us remember that chiefly to that society we owe 
the inappreciable gift." 2 Of course, there was a little feeling 
of soreness in America at the failure of the attempts to gain 
that boon from England which it had succeeded in gaining 
from Scotland, and a disposition to contrast the conduct of 
the depressed Catholic remnant on the north of the border 
with that of the more powerful and wealthy Church on the 
south of it 3 But it is surprising how soon this feeling seems 

1 " It would be more than ungrateful, it would be inexcusable, to omit here the 
recognition of the agency by which, under God, it came to pass that there were 
in what had been the colonies of Great Britain, and were now independent States, 
those who sought the episcopate as essential to the full organization of an autono- 
mous Church. That agency is found in the venerable Society for the Propagation 
of the Gospel in Foreign Parts a society to which American Churchmen must 
always look with undying gratitude ; for to its noble labours they largely owe all 
that they were when Seabury was sent upon his mission of faith, and much of 
what they enjoy to-day. It was no fault of that society that there was not, 
in America, an episcopate before the war of the Revolution. Had the godly 
counsels and the strong appeals of the bishops, clergy, and faithful laity who 
shared in its plans and operations been listened to, American Churchmen would 
have had no need to seek the apostolic office outside the limits of their own 
country. ... It is worthy of notice that where the labours of the society had 
been the most abundant, and its missionaries most numerous, then the need of 
the episcopate was most deeply felt, and the call for it was loudest." Bishop 
Williams' sermon at the Seabury Commemoration at Aberdeen, October 7, 
1884: Seabury Centenary ', etc., p. 158. 

2 Quoted by Mr. Caswall in his work on The American Church and the 
American Union, pp. 65, 66. 

8 On August 3, 1785, when Bishop Seabury held his first ordination, the clergy, 
in their address of welcome to their new bishop, said, "We hope that the suc- 
cessors of the Apostles in the Church of England have sufficient reasons to justify 
themselves to the world and to God [for not consecrating Dr. Seabury]. We, 


to have passed away. We have many indications of the 
kindly feelings of the American Church towards the mother 
from which she sprang. In the Preface to the American 
Prayer-book it is declared that "this Church is far from 
intending to depart from the Church of England, to which, 
under God, she is indebted for her first foundation, and a 
long continuance of nursing care and protection, in any 
essential point of doctrine, discipline, or worship, or further 
than local circumstances require." In a Church meeting at 
New York, in 1784, it was agreed, among other things, " that 
the Episcopal Church of the United States shall maintain the 
doctrines of the Gospel as now held by the Church of England, 
and shall adhere to the Liturgy of the said Church, as far as 
shall be consistent with the American Revolution and the 
constitutions of the respective States." At the first General 
Convention held at Philadelphia in September, 1785, it was 
resolved that " though Dr. Seabury's consecration was doubt- 
less valid, the succession should be sought from England 
rather than Scotland ; " and the Convention addressed the 
archbishops and bishops of England, stating that " the 
Episcopal Church of the United States had been severed by 
a civil revolution from the jurisdiction of the parent Church 
of England ; " acknowledging " the favours formerly received 
from the Bishop of London in particular, and from the Society 
for the Propagation of the Gospel ; " declaring their desire 
to perpetuate among them the principles of the Church of 
England in doctrine, discipline, and worship ; and " praying 
that their lordships would consecrate to the episcopate those 
who should be sent with that view from Churches in any 
State respectively." 1 Accordingly, in 1786, Dr. White and 
Dr. Provoost sailed for England, and on February 4, 1787, 
were consecrated at Lambeth by the two archbishops, and 
the Bishops of Bath and Wells and Peterborough ; and in 
1790 Dr. Madison was consecrated in England, as the first 
Bishop of Virginia. Still more markedly was this regard for 

however, know of none such, nor can our imagination frame any." Of the Scotch 
bishops they said, "Wherever the American Episcopal Church shall be men- 
tioned in the world, may this good deed which they have done for us be spoken 
of for a memorial of them." See Seabury Centenary: Connecticut, p. 118. 
1 See Caswall's American Church and the American Union, p. 133. 



England shown in the case of Dr. Bass, who was elected 
Bishop of Massachusetts, and, as there was now a sufficient 
number of bishops in America, might have been consecrated 
by them ; but Bishop White " conceived that he was pledged 
to the archbishop to hand on the English line unmixed;" 1 
the consecration, therefore, was postponed " until this engage- 
ment should have been relaxed," 2 and Bishop Bass was not 
consecrated until 1797, when there were three English-con- 
secrated bishops to take part with Bishop Seabury. And 
once more ; the proposed alterations in the American Prayer- 
book (many of them very undesirable 3 ) were submitted to the 
English prelates, and at their desire some of them were 
withdrawn and others modified. 

Many good Churchmen in England were ready to meet 
the advances of America half-way. They were always ready 
to give American prelates, and American Churchmen gene- 
rally, a warm welcome when they visited the mother country, 
and helped them liberally with purse as well as counsel ; as, 
indeed, they were bound to do, for their appeals were often 
in behalf of a population which consisted to a great extent of 
British emigrants. 4 But the way in which the English Church 
helped the American most effectively was by imbuing her 
with her own true principles at their best. In other words, 
it was not so much living Churchmen, as those who lived 
only in their writings, who gave the true life to the Church 
in America. This appears in the history of that man who, 
above all others, was the real reviver, we might almost say 
the real establisher, pf the American Church. 

It must be confessed that the immediate results of putting 
the Church on a proper footing were rather disappointing. 

1 This was before the consecration of Bishop Madison ; but there were still 
three Seabury, White, and Provoost and the hesitation arose from the fact of 
Bishop Seabury having been consecrated in Scotland. 

* Wilberforce's History of the American Church, p. 232. 

3 But some quite the reverse. In accordance with a promise to the Scotch 
bishops, Bishop Seabury procured that in the Communion Service the "Prayer 
of Consecration " should follow the Scotch model ; and his successor remarks on 
this, " In giving us the primitive form of consecration, Scotland gave us a greater 
boon than when she gave us the episcopate." See Luckock, pp. 285, 286. 

4 This was notably the case with regard to the appeal of Bishop Philander 
Chase, which, as we have seen, was nobly responded to. See Wilberforce's 
History of the American Church, p. 318, et seq. 


The twenty-five years which followed the consecration of its 
first bishop were the time when the Church reached its 
nadir. The present Bishop of Connecticut (Dr. Williams), 
in his " In Memoriam " sermon on Bishop Lee, of Delaware, 
who was born in the early part of this century, writes, "He 
was born at a time when our Church in these United States 
was reaching its lowest point of depression, and, as it seemed, 
hopelessness. That point was not touched, as is not unfre- 
quently supposed, at the close of the war of the Revolution. 
At that period there were many who remained faithful to the 
order, doctrine, and worship in which they had been trained. 
But, as the years rolled on and these passed away, few came 
to fill the places they had left, and decrease rather than 
increase seemed to be the inevitable law." History fully 
bears out these remarks ; and when we come to look into 
the matter, there is really nothing at all extraordinary in it. 
The inevitable result of the struggle for independence was to 
weaken men's attachment to that Church which was regarded 
as the symbol of British rule ; the mere fact that it was 
spoken and thought of as the English Church was enough 
to set people against it, and it required time and tact to 
overcome the prejudice. Bishop Seabury had gone to his 
rest before the nineteenth century began, and therefore 
does not, strictly speaking, come within our range ; but it 
may be permitted to say that, until late years, justice has 
scarcely been done to the great work he did in preparing 
the way. He certainly had a firmer grasp of Church prin- 
ciples than most of the early bishops in America ; and that 
was above all what was needed, though of course it did not 
add to his popularity. Readers of Bishop Wilberforce and 
Mr. Anderson should certainly correct any unfavourable 
impression of Bishop Seabury they may have derived from 
those sources by reading Dr. Beardsley's "Life of Samuel 
Seabury," and "A Report of Commemoration Services, with 
the Sermons and Addresses at the Seabury Centenary." 
In fact, Bishop Seabury was the only American bishop before 
Bishop Hobart who represented the old historical school of 
English Churchmanship. Bishop Madison was a cultured 
scholar, but a man of no very definite opinions. Dr. William 
White, who lived to be a most interesting link between the 


ante-revolution and the post-revolution Church, was an 
excellent and lovable man. His long episcopate of forty- 
nine years was of immense benefit to the newly constituted 
Church ; no man tended more by his conciliatory spirit and 
attractive character to dispel the prejudices against the name 
and office of bishop. His mild wisdom, his unselfishness, 
and his firmness on occasion were invaluable in the critical 
conjuncture ; and he had the advantage of having been from 
the first a consistent republican. He had been chaplain to 
the Congress during the war ; and George Washington 
(who was a consistent Churchman) had regularly worshipped 
under his ministry. 1 But he had not a sufficiently firm 
grasp of Church principles. Bishop Benjamin Moore, of 
New York, is said to have been distinguished for his 
" piety, simplicity, discretion, meekness, and love," 2 admirable 
qualities in themselves, and calculated to advance the cause 
of the Church ; but still compatible with a lack of that 
combination of qualities which was then needed. The 
man who above all others possessed this rare combination 
was Bishop B. Moore's successor, John Henry Hobart, 
who was appointed to the see of New York in 1811, and 
who found, as it were, his complement in Bishop Griswold, 
who became Bishop of " the Eastern Diocese " 3 in the same 
year. It is not at all too much to say that the appoint- 
ment of Bishop Hobart was " a turning-point in the history 
of the Western Church." 4 He made, in fact, nothing 
less than a great revolution ; and that, as much by his 
destructive as by his ^wzstructive work. He it was who more 
than any man, more even than Bishop White, dispelled the 
mischievous notion that episcopacy and monarchy were 
inseparable, and that therefore a patriotic American could 
not be a good Churchman. For he was himself an ardent 
republican ; and partly to the dismay, partly to the 
amusement of his English friends, he had not the least 

1 Since the above was written, a Life of Bishop White has appeared in the 
" Makers of America" Series, which brings out these points more fully, and to 
which the reader is referred. 

3 Anderson's History of the Colonial Church, iii. 472. 

3 This included at that time all the New England States except Connecticut. 

^ Wilberforce's American Church, p. 295. 


scruple about ventilating his republican sentiments in the 
heart of England, so it may be imagined that he would 
not be reticent about them in America. 1 He, again, it was 
who, both by precept and example, helped greatly to dispel 
the still more mischievous notion that "enthusiasm" (in other 
words, spiritual earnestness and activity) was inconsistent 
with Churchmanship. People hardly knew whether to call 
him a Methodist or a High Churchman. 2 In point of fact, 
he was both ; that is to say, he had all the ardour and 
elasticity of the Methodist without his irregularities and extra- 
vagances ; and all the defmiteness of faith and sense of order 
of the Churchman without the cold, prim formalism of which 
some so-called Churchmen were not unjustly accused. And 
Hobart learnt his lesson in the English school. He had all 
the really great Anglican divines at his back ; that gave him 
his strength. It was not his originality, but rather the want 
of it, that made him the force he was. " The gospel in the 
Church," "Evangelical doctrine combined with apostolic 
order," these were Hobart's watchwords ; steadily acting on 
these principles, he was sure to make his mark. This is not 
the place to dwell on his excellent business habits, on his 
influence over young men, on his establishing successfully 
at New York a theological seminary for training clergy for 
the American Church. 3 These are details ; the main, broad 
fact to be insisted on is, that he knew what he meant, and 
taught others to know what they meant which was just what 
the American Churchmen, and perhaps other Churchmen, 
needed to learn ; hence the period of his episcopate, from 
1811 to 1830, was the period in which the real foundations 
of the American Church were laid. It need only be added 
that Hobart was on intimate terms, first by correspondence 
and then by a personal visit, with Churchmen of a similar 
type in England, such as H. H. Norris, the Watsons, and 
Hugh James Rose. 

1 "Oh, it was funny," wrote Mr. Sikes, of Guilsborough, "to see honest 
democracy and sincere episcopacy fast yoked in the man's mind, and perpetually 
struggling for his heart." "The good bishop," said Joshua Watson, ''always 
avowed in this country the sentiments [in favour of a republic] which he published 
on his return." Churton's Memoir, i. 244, 246. 

2 Curiously enough, people were exactly in the same perplexity about Bishop 
Seabury. See Beardsley's Life, etc. 

3 See Life of Bishop Hobart, by John M' Vicar, D.D., passim. 


In attributing this importance to the work of Hobart, 
it is not meant to ignore that of others. Bishop Philander 
Chase, who may be regarded as the pioneer of American 
Church missions, and whose nobly unselfish life is beyond 
all praise; Bishop Richard Channing Moore, whose evangelistic 
labours were extraordinarily successful, and who made the 
Church in Virginia a reality ; Bishop White, who, though 
a much older man, survived Hobart for nearly twenty years, 
and many others contributed their share ; and if this were 
ever so slight a sketch of the history of the American 
Church, they would require more than the mere passing 
notice which is all that can be afforded to them in a 
chapter which only professes to touch upon the relationship 
between the Church of England and other Churches in 
communion with her. But the real epoch-making bishop 
was J. H. Hobart. 

The general result of this survey is that a great advance 
was made in the range of English Churchmanship during 
our period. Looking back from our present standpoint, it 
may seem that we were still very insular ; but looking forward 
from the standpoint of the eighteenth century, it will appear 
wonderful that we made the progress we did ; and so this, 
the last of our subjects, gives one more illustration of the not 
sufficiently acknowledged fact that the early part of the 
nineteenth century was a period, not of stagnation, but of 


Aberdeen, synod of (1811), 331 

Acland, Sir T. A., 92, 152 

Act for excluding clergy from Parlia- 
ment (1801), 296-297 

Act for restraining clerical farming 
(1802), 297-298 

Act to restrain and regulate pluralities 
(1832), 304 

Acts for enforcing residence of incum- 
bents, 297-300 

" African Institution," the, 258 

Alderley, parish of, 5, 114, 115 

America, Church in, 333-337 

American Prayer-book, 337 

" Analysis of Chronology " (Hales), 182 

"Anecdotes of my own Life " (Bishop 
R. Watson), 193 

"Annals of the Poor" (Legh Rich- 
mond), 174 

Ante-Communion Service from Prayer- 
desk, 130-131 

Apocrypha, in connection with the Bible 
Society, 288 

Apostolical succession, 26 

Appendix to Bishop Jebb's sermons, 
291, 314, 318 

Architecture of new churches, 155-156 

Arnold, Dr. Thomas, 120-124, 228, 

"Association of the Friends of the 
Church," 321 

Atkinson, Miles, 87 

Augmentation of Curates' Stipends, 
Bill for, in 1813, 302 

Augmentation of small livings in 1809, 

Austen, Miss Jane, 95 

Auxiliary Bible Societies, 287, 291 


Babington, Thomas, 72, 258, 259 
Baily, Archdeacon, 46, 135 

Balliol College, Oxford, 220 
Bampton Lectures, Hampden's, 124, 

216; Mant's, 107, 190, 191; Nott's, 

107; Van Mildert's, 26, 179-180; 

Whately's, 216 

Baptismal Regeneration, 69, 190-192 
Baptismal Service, mutilations of, 130 
Barrington, Bishop Shute, 41, 89, 164 
Bass, Bishop E., Massachusetts, 338 
Bates, Eli, 285 
Bathurst, Bishop Henry, 7, 113-114, 

237, 247, 291, 306 
Bathurst, Bragg, M.P., 304 
Bell, Dr. Andrew, 114, 195, 233-239, 

241, 242 
Bell and Lancaster controversy, 233- 

239, 246, 247 

Bentham, Jeremy, 125, 311 
Bentinck Chapel, Marylebone, Si 
Bible Associations, 287 
Bible Society, British and Foreign, 39, 

64, 71, 114, 267, 278, 286-292 
Bickersteth, Edward, 85, 88, 99, 102, 

107, 128, 133, 175, 176, 181, 186, 

258, 260, 292 
Biddulph, T. J., 191 
" Biographia Evangelica " (Erasmus 

Middleton), 193-194 
Biographical literature, 192-194 
Bishop's College, Calcutta, 82, 275 
"Black Book," II 
Black-wood's Magazine ', 1 7 
Blomfield, Bishop, C. J., 7, 42, 46, 130, 


Blunt, Henry, 83, 175' 
Blunt, Professor J. J., 180, 196, 224 
" Book of the Church " (Southey), 194- 

J 95 
" Book of the Roman Catholic Church " 

(Butler), 199 
Bowdler, John, the elder, 46, 145, 151, 

152, 158, 193, 240, 281, 283, 331 
Bowdler, John, the younger, 46, 70, 202 
Bowdler, Thomas, 46 
Bowles, John, 240 



Bowles, Samuel, 203 
Boyer, Dr., of Christ's Hospital, 229 
Boyle Lectures, Van Milder t's, 169 
Bradley, parish of North, 6, 40, 154 
British and Foreign School Society, 238 
British Critic, /he, 36, 37, 44, 45, 127, 

134, 140, 141, 186, 200, 201, 206, 292 
British Magazine, The, 142, 203 
Broad-bottom chapels, 148 
Brougham, Henry, Lord, 67, 69, 243- 

245> 310 

Brown, Canon Abner, 56, 250 
Brown, David, 260 
Buchanan, Dr. Claudius, 84, 101, 193, 

201, 262, 265-269, 271, 293 
Budd, Mr., 284, 292 

Burgess, Bishop Thomas, 6, 21-22, 90, 

202, 225 

Burgon, Dean (" Lives of Twelve Good 

Men"), 43., 87, 156, 251 
Burton, Professor, 185 
Buxton, Sir T. F., 78, 92 
Byron, Lord, 214-215 

Calcutta, bishopric of, 272 
Calvinistic controversy, 185-190 
Calvinistic Methodists in Wales, 19 
Calvinists, 69 

Cambridge, Archdeacon, 46, 178, 240 
Cambridge architectural movemenj, 160 
Cambridge Evangelicals, 52-66, 222 
Cambridge University, state of, 222-224 
Caroline, case of Queen, 308-311 
Carus, Canon W., 54 &&& passim (" Life 

of Simeon ") 
Carwithen, J. B. S., 196 
Catechizing in church, 2^3 
Cecil, Richard, 51, 79, 102, 285 
Charity Schools, 232, 239 
Charles, Thomas, of Baia, 19 
" Charlotte Elizabeth," 103. 223 ., 315 
Chase, Philander, Bishop of Ohio, 335, 

" Cheap Repository Tracts " (H. More), 

172, 173 

Christ Church, Bath, 157 
" Christian Morals " (H. More), 174 
Christian Observer, The, 71, 81, 148, 


Christian Remembrancer^ The, 28, 44, 


Christian Year, The " (Keble). 35, 204 
Church accommodation, want ol, 144- 


Church and State, 295-312 
Church-building after the war, 150 
Church-building, difficulties of, 154 
Church Building Society, 34, 151-153, 


Church, Evangelicals' views of the, 


Church history, 194-198 
" Church History," Waddington's, 

" Church in Danger, The " (Yates), 145, 

147, ISO 

Chuich literature, 163-218 
Church Missionary Society, 64, 66, 70, 

73, 81, 82, 226, 255, 275, 276 
" Church Reform," Arnold on, 217 
Church services and fabrics, 127-162 
Church Temporalities Act (Irelan..)> 

Churton, Archdeacon E., 46 and passim 

(* Memoir of Joshua Watson ") 
"Clapham sect," the, 35, 66-79 
" Clapton sect," the, 35, 44 
Clarkson, Thomas, 77, 78 
Clergy Orphan School, 31, 34 
Clergy Penalties Suspension Bill in 

1814, 303 
" Clergyman's Work in 1825, A," 161- 

Clergymen excluded from Parliament, 


Clerical Education Societies, 285 
"Ccelebs in Search of a Wile" (H. 

More), 173 
Coleridge, S. T., 47,49, 116, 166, 183, 

208-210, 213, 224, 229, 242, 274, 281, 

292, 301 

College chapel services, 225 
Colonial Church, 34, 282 
Colquhoun, J. C., 74, 173 
Communicants, numbers of, 128-129 
Confirmations at public schools, 229 
Consolidated Act of 1816, 303 
Conventicle and Five-Mile Acts, Re- 
peal of, in 1812, 302 
Conversation parties, Simeon's, 56 
Copleston, Bishop E., 7, 20, 48, 117- 

118, 124, 160, 221, 306 
Correspondence between A. Knox and 

J. Jebb, 316 and /ayj-zV;/ 
Corrie, Bishop Daniel, 262, 273, 275 
Country churches, squalor oJ, 158-160 
Crabbe, George, 204 
Croker, J. W., Right Hon., 295 
Croly, Dr., 116, 254 
Crouch, Dr. (Principal of St. Edmund's 

Hall), 86 

Curates' Relief Bill (1803), 299 
Curates' Salary Bill (1800), 300 

"Dairyman's Daughter " (Legh Rich- 
mond), 174 
Dale, Dr. R. W., 97 



Dale, Thomas, 85 

Dames' schools, 233 

Daubeny, Archdeacon Charles, 6, 26- 

27, 34, 40-41, 148, 152, 157, 188, 

199-200, 279, 287, 289, 296, 306 
Davison, John, 124, 181-182, 252 
Dealtry, William, 66, 74, 91, 106 
" Discourses on Prophecy" (Davison), 

"Dissertations on Prophecy" (Hales), 

" Doctrine of the Greek Article " (Mid- 

dleton), 170-172 
D'Oyly, Dr. , 46, 225 
" D'Oyly and Mant s Family Bible,," 178 
Drummond, Abernethy, Bishop of 

Edinburgh, 325, 328, 333 
1 )rury, Dr. J., of Harrow, 228 n. 
Dundas, Henry (Lord Melville), 325 
Durham clergy and death of Queen 

Caroline, 309-311 
Durham University, 226 
Dykes, T., 63, 64, 86 

East India Company and Indian Mis- 
sions, 261, 267, 271, 304 

" Ecclesiastical Biography " (Chris- 
topher Wordsworth), 193-194 

Eclectic Review, The, 192, 285 

Eclectic Society, The, 80, 255, 257, 285 

Edinburgh Review, The, 123, 237, 283, 

Education grant, first, 252 

Elland Society, the, 80, 257, 285 

Elliott, Venn, 5, 147, 160 

" End of Religious Controversy " 
(Bishop J. Milner), 198-199 

English clergy in Scotland, 327, 328, 
33 -332 

Erskine, Lord, 304 

"Essay on St. Luke " (Schleiermacher), 


Eton College, 227 
Eucharist, the Holy, 127-129 
" Evangelical," the name, 108 
"Evangelicals," the, 15, 51-109 and 


Eveleigh, Dr., Provost of Oriel, 220, 242 
" Evidence of Christianity," etc. (J. B. 

Sumner), 169-170 
" Evidences of Christianity " (Daniel 

Wilson), 168 

Examinations at Oxford, 219-220 
"Extraordinary Black Book," n 

Parish, Professor W., 63-65 

" Fathers of the Church " (Legh Rich- 
mond), 174-175 

Festivals and fasts, neglect of, 143 

Fine arts, Evangelicals on the, 102 

** Five chaplains " in Bengal, the, 262- 

Foreign missions, 253-278 

Fort William College, Calcutta, 262, 

Foster, Henry, 80, 285 

Free Church, the first, 157 

French Revolution, the, I, 2, 107, 125, 
172, 194, 207 

French War, the, 2-3, 148-150 

Friskin, J. (first pupil-teacher >, 233 

Froude, Professor J. A., 15-16,315 


German theology, 126, 17^-177, 183- 

Gisborne, Thomas, 74-76, 147, 174- 

176, 201 
Gladstone, Right Hon. W. E., 226, 


Gleig, Bishop (Dunkeld), 329, 331, 332 
Glenelg, Lord, 79 
Goode, W., 8 1 
Goodenough, Bishop S. (Carlisle), 62, 

243, 247 

Good Friday Communions, 129 
Grammar schools, 232 
Grant, Charles, 261, 266, 273 
Grant, Sir Robert, 79 
Graves, Dean, 316 
Grenville, Lord, 222 
Grey, Earl, 1 19 
Griswold, Bishop A. V. ("Eastern 

Diocese "), 340 
"Guesses at Truth" (A. and J. Hare), 

212, 216 
" Guide to the Church " (Daubeny), 

41, 148 
Gurney, J. J., 54-55 


Hackney, parish of, 35 

" Hackney phalanx," the, 37, 38, 44, 

128, 242, 272, 281 
Hales, Dr. William, 182 
Half-million grant of 1824, 150, 304 
Hamilton, Dr., of Knocktopher, co. 

Kilkenny, 315 

Hampden, Bishop R. D., 124, 216 
Hare, Augustus, 12 1, 216 



Hare, Julius, 125, 183-184, 210, 212, 

216, 224 

Harrow parish church, 228 

Harrow School, 227-228 

Harrowby, Earl of, 92, 302 

Hawkins, Dr. E., 121, 230 

Hawtrey, Dr., 230 

Heber, Bishop R., 68, 75, 116, 133, 

135, 140, 193, 202, 203-204, 237, 

243, 275-276, 287, 293, 298 
Heslop, Archdeacon, 142 
Hey, William, 108 
Higgins, C. L., 250, 251 
High Churchmen, 15, 24-50, and 

"Hints for a Young Princess" (H. 

More), 173 
" Historic Doubts Relative to Napoleon 

Buonaparte," 166-167 
' ' History of the Church of England to 

the Revolution " (Carwithen), 196 

(Vowler Short), 196 

" History of the Jews " (Milman), 182- 

Hobart, Bishop J. H. (New York), 46, 

217, 340-342 
Holland, Lady, 113, 300 
Hope, Right Hon. Beresford, 228 

" Horae Homileticse" (Simeon), 186 
" Horse Solitarise " (A. Searle), 176 
Home, Bishop, 28, 31, 246, 326, 333 
Home, Hartwell, 84, 100, 179 
Home, Melville, 256 
Horsley, Bishop, 19-20, 25, 26, 29, 
143, 163-164, 247-249, 300, 326, 

329, 333 
Hostility to the Church (1820-1833), 


Howley, Bishop, 9, 36, 44, 133, 148, 

179, 191, 194, 241 

Hughes, Joseph (Sec. Bib. Soc.), 286 
Human learning, Evangelical views of, 


Hume, Joseph, 12 
Hutchinsonians, 29, 30, 41 
Hymns, prejudice against, 132 

India, the Church in, 260-278 

Infant schools, 252 

Inglis, Bishop, 46 

' ' Introduction to Critical Study of Holy 

Scripture" (H. Home), 100, 179 
Ireland, Church of, 120, 313-323 
Iremonger, F., 202 
Irish Society, the, 285 
Islington, parish of, 85, 128, 144 
Islington College (C.M.S.), 226 

Jackson, Cyril, Dean of Christ Church, 


Jacobinism, 2, 247-249 
James, Dr., Bishop of Calcutta, 277 
Jebb, J., Bishop of Limerick, 8, 37-38, 

46, 49, 68, 94, 155, 173, 184, 220, 

252, 293, 314, 316-320 
Jennings, Archdeacon, 84 
Jerram, Charles, 16, 55, 73, 91, 92, 

104, 256 n. 
Jesus Lane Sunday school, Cambridge, 


Jewish converts, 284 
Johnson, R. (missionary), 255 
Jolly, Alexander, Bishop of Moray and 

Ross, 332 
Jones, William, of Nayland, 28-29, 


Jowett, Joseph, 65-66, 105 n. 
Jowett, William, 65-66, 175 
Julian's " Dictionary of Hymnology," 

J 33 

"Justin Martyr" (Kaye), 197 
Juvenile Bible Societies, 287 


Kaye, Bishop John, 10-11, 45-46, 14, 

197, 306 

Keats, John, 215 
Keble, John, 35, 204, 206, 210 
Kent, Edward, Duke of, 92, 284 
Kenyon College, Ohio, 335 
Kerr, Dr. (missionary), 208 
King, John (of Hull), 73, 86 
King's College, Cambridge, 52 
King's College, London, 225 
Kirby, William (naturalist), 47, 248 
Knight, Samuel, 86, 256 
Knight, William, 86 
Knox, Alexander, 47-49, 75, 94. ! 37> 

1 86, 192, 209, 218, 290-291, 3^6, 

314, 316-31-8 

Ladies' Auxiliary Bible Societies, 287 
Lake Poets, the, 207 
Lampeter, St. David's College, 21, 225 
Lancaster, Joseph, 1 14, 235-239 
Lancasterian system ot education, 237, 


Laurencekirk, synod of, 327 
Law, Bishop E., 130, 281 
Le Bas, William, 224, 273, 274 
Leeke, William, 250 
Lent, neglect of, 144 



Lenten lectures, Bishop Porteus's, 4 
"Letters to C. Butler, Esq." (Phill- 

potts), 199 

"Liberals," the, 110-126 andflassim 
Life of Thomas Scott, 192 ; John 
Newton, 192; Joseph Milner, 192; 
John Wesley (Southey), 193 ; Daniel 
Waterland (Van Mildert), 193, 213 ; 
Jeremy Taylor (Heber), 193 
Liturgy, mutilations of, 130 
Liverpool, Earl of, 8, 150, 301 
Llandaff, diocese of, 20, 21, 22-23 
L'oyd, Bishop Charles (Oxford), 36, 

45, 184 

Lock Hospital Chapel, 80, 176 
London Clerical Education Society, 80 
London Clergy Incumbents' Bill (1804), 


London Evangelicals, 78-86 
London Missionary Society, 256, 257 
London Society for Promoting Chris- 
tianity among the Jews, 283-284 
Lowth, Bishop, 112 
Lyall, Dean, 46 


Macaulay, Lord, 61, 71, 94, 95 ., 

102, 261 
Macaulay, Zachary, 71, 74, 79, 95 ., 

102, 201, 258, 259 
Macbride, Dr. (Magdalen Hall), 86 
Madison, Bishop J. (Virginia), 337, 339 
Madras system of education, 233-235, 

Magdalen College, Cambridge, 63, 

105, 261 

Magee, Dr., on the Atonement, 316 
Maitland, Dr. Samuel, 203 
Maltby, Bishop (Durham), 292 
Manners-Sutton, Archbishop, 6, 38, 

39> 44. J 33i 152, 178, 191, 240 
Mant, Bishop R., 46, 131, 143, 185, 

242, 293, 314, 321-323 
Marsden, Samuel (missionary), 260 
Marsh, Bishop Herbert, 21, 36, 44-45, 

62, 66, 104, 132, 176-177, 187, 223, 

224, 239, 241, 279, 287, 303 
Marsh, Dr. William, 87, 107 
Martyn, Henry, 201, 262-265 
May, Sir Erskine, 77-78 
Merivale, Dean, 227 
Methodist, nickname of, 48, 54, 70, 

75, 88, 105 

Methodist communicants, 129 
Michaelis' "Introduction to the New 

Testament" (H. Marsh), 177 
Middleton, Erasmus, 176, 193 
Middleton, Bishop T. F., 40, 45, 82, 

170-172, 178, 193, 201, 272-275, 290 
Mill, James, 311 

Millennium, speculations about the, 180 
Miller, Dr. John, 221, 311 
Million grant of 1818, 150, 155, 304 
Milman,DeanH.H.,ii6, 182-183, 204 
Milner, Dean Isaac, 61-62, 72, 94, 

101, 10572., 192, 223, 247, 287 
Milner, Bishop John, 198-199 
Milner, Joseph, 63, 197 
Moberly, Bishop G., 230 
Moore, Archbishop, 29, 257 
Moore, Bishop B. (New York), 340 
Moore, Bishop R. C. (Virginia), 343 
More, Hannah, 4, 76, 88, 89, 91, 95, 

172-174, 201 


Nares, Archdeacon, 200 

National Society, 33, 114, 151, 195, 

238, 239-243 

"Natural Theology" (Paley), 163-166 
Nayland Vicarage, 29, 200 
Neale, Cornelius, 85 
New churches, ugliness and costliness 

of, 155, 156 

New Zealand Mission, 260 
Newfoundland School Society, 285 
Newman, Cardinal, 34, 46 ., 118, 119, 

Newton, John, 51, 55, 80, 83, 192, 

265, 285 
Niebuhr's " History of Rome" (Thirl - 

wall and Hare), 184 
"Nobody's Friends," club of, 31, 44 
Noel, Hon. Baptist, 85 
Noel, Hon. Gerard, 85 
" Noetics," the Oriel, 117, 121, 124 
Nonjurors, the, 33 
Norris, Henry Handley, 35-38, 49, 

128, 178, 200, 202, 221, 240, 341 


O'Brien, Bishop (Ossory), 315 

Obstructive incumbents, 153 

Oliphant, Mrs., 95 . 

Olney, parish of, 5, 293 

Organs in churches, 136 

Oriel College, Oxford, 117, 220 

"Origines Liturgicse " (Palmer), 184, 


" Orthodox," the, 24-50, 223-224 
Otter, Bishop, 291 
Overton, John, 87, 188, 201, 314 
Owen, John (Sec. Bib. Soc.), 267, 271, 

Oxford Movement, the, 25, 28, 38, 

42-43, 49, 93, 185, 314, 321 
Oxford University, the state of, 219- 

222, 306 



Paley, Dr. William, in, 164-166 
Palmer, Sir Wm., 14, 17, 27, 292, 314 
Park, Sir J. A., 47, 151, 240, 325 
Parochial clergy's services to education, 

Parr, Dr. Samuel, 111-112, 168 ., 

Parsons, Dr., Master of Balliol, 220, 


Pearson, Dean Hugh, 94, 266, 270 
Peel, Sir Robert, 222, 225, 306 
Perceval, Right Hon. S., 71, 92, 145, 

300, 301 

Percy, Bishop (Dromore), 314 
Periodicals, religious, 200-203 
" Peter Plymley's Letters," 306 
Pew system, 146-147 
Philadelphia, Convention at, 337 
Phillpotts, Bishop H., 7, 46, 199, 310 
Pluralities and non-residence, 6-8 
Poetry, religious, 203-204. 
Poole, John, 245-246 
Poole, Thomas, 246 n. 
Pott, Archdeacon, 34 ;/., 46, 178 
Porteus, Bishop Beilby, 4, 45, 77, 88- 
8 9> 133-134, 144, 172, 187, 245, 
249, 257, 266, 267, 282, 283, 287 
Poverty of clergy, 298 
"Practical Piety" (H. More), 174 
Pratt, Josiah, 79 ., 81-83, 95, 175, 

192, 201, 258, 285, 286, 292 
Prayer-book to be distributed with 

Bible, 280-281 

Prayer-book and Homily Society, 284 
Prayer-meetings, 57-58, 143 
Preaching extempore, 138-141 
Pretyman, Bishop, 45. See " Tomline " 
Priests' Orders Bill (1804), 299 
Private religious societies, 58, 292-294 
Proprietary chapels, 197 
" Protestant's Companion, The " (Dau- 

beny), 200 

Provoost, Bishop S. (New York), 337 
Pryme, Professor ("Autobiographical 

Recollections"), 43 n., 222, 223 
Psalmody, 131-137 
Public schools, 226-232 
Pugh, Rector of Rauceby, 87, 256 
Pupil-teachers, rise of, 233-234, 238- 

Pusey, Dr. E. B., 34, 42, 126 

Quarterly Review, 242, 282 
Queen Anne's Bounty, 301 
Queen's College, Cambridge, 62, 105, 

Raikes, Chancellor, 115 

Randolph, Bishop J., 45, 89, 177, 178, 

242, 279, 290 

Rationalism in Germany, 126 
Rauceby Rectory, 87, 256 
Record newspaper, 202 
Redesdale, Lord, 302 
Reform Bill, 13, 114, 311, 320 
" Reformation in England, Sketch of 

the" (J. J. Blunt), 146 
" Refutation of Calvinism " (Tomline), 

187, 189-190 

Religious Tract Society, 285-286 
"Reliquiae Sacrae " (Routh), 198, 333 
" Remains of Alexander Knox," 316 

and passim 

" Remarks on ' The Refutation of Cal- 
vinism ' " (T. Scott), 190 
" Remarks on Scepticism, etc." (Ren- 

nell), 167 

Rennell, Dean Thomas, 47, 167 
Rennell, Thomas, the younger, 47, 167- 

l6s > 193, 201, 266 
"Report irom Lincolnshire Clergy" 

(1800), 4 

Revolution, French, 1-2 
Richardson, Sir John, 31-32, 240 
Richardson, William, of York, 87 
Richmond, Legh, 5, 87-88, 92, 94, 

99, 107, 128, 136, 172, I74-I75> 

176, 201, 284, 286, 293 
Robinson, T., of Leicester, 51, 87, 94, 

193, 256 

Roman Catholic Relief Bill, 305 
Roman controversy, the, 198-200 
Rose, Hugh James, 43, 44, 126, 171, 

203, 224, 341 
Routn, Dr. M., President of Magdalen, 

46, 156, 185, 197-198 
Royal Free Schools, Borough Road, 


Royal Letters, 40 
Rugby, Arnold's work at, 121-122, 

Ryder, Bishop, 7, 90, 281, 301 

" Sacred Dramas" (H. More), 1/4 

Saints' days, 144 

St. Ann's, Blackfriars, 81 

St. Asaph, diocese of, 20 

St. David's, diocese of, 19, 20, 21-22 

St. Edmund's Hall, Oxford, 42, 86 

St. John's, Bedford Row, 79- 8o > I28 > 

St. Nicholas', Yarmouth, 152 

St. Pancras, London, 82, 145, 152, 153 



St. Mary Woolnoth, 80, 83 

Sandford, Bishop D. (Edinburgh), 327- 


Sawbridge, John, 5, 35, 128 
"Scholar Armed, The," 200 
Scholefield, Professor J., 05 
Scotch Episcopal Church, 323-333, 336 
Scott, John, of Hull, 86, 99, 191, 192, 

20 1 
Scott, Thomas, 51, 80, 99, 100, 108 ., 

181, 192, 201, 258, 293 
Scott, Sir Walter, 204-207, 214 
Scott, Sir William, M.P., 297, 303 
Scottish Communion Office, 330, 338 . 
" Scripture Help" (Bickersteth)/i75 
Seabury, Bishop S. (Connecticut), 324, 

332, 337, 338, 339, 34i 
Serle, Ambrose, 136, 176 
Sermons at Rugby (Arnold's), 217 
Sermons, character of, 137-140 
Sharp, Granville, 72, 78, 170-171, 193, 

258, 259 286 

Shelley, Percy Bysshe, 214 
"Shepherd of Salisbury Plain, The" 

(H. More), 172 
Sherwood, Mrs., 263-264 
Short, Bishop T. Vowler, 196' 
Sierra Leone, colony of, 70, 258-259 
Sikes, Thomas, of Guilsborough, 41-43, 

142, 199 
Simeon, Charles, 52-61, 72, 99, 117, 

141, 146, 181, 186, 201, 251, 256, 

257, 261, 283-284, 292 
Simeonites, 60, 223 ., 251 
Skinner, Bishop (Aberdeen), 325, 328, 

33 2 

Slave Trade, 70, 71, 72, 76-79, 105, 258 
Slavery, abolition of, 77-79, 105 
Smith, Abel, M.P., 88 
Smith, Sydney, 112-113, IX 5 J 3 6 ' J 3 8 

139, 281, 283, 300 
Society for Conversion of Negroes in 

West Indies, 282 
Society for Promotion of Christian 

Knowledge, 30, 33, 34, 39, 52, 82, 

178, 191, 278-281 
Society for Propagation of the Gospel, 

30, 34, 253-255, 257, 275, 335-336 
Society for Reformation of Principles, 

Society for Suppression of Vice, 282- 

Southey, Robert, 8, 10, 138, 185, 213, 

214, 227, 242 
Stanley, Bishop Edward, 5, 114-115, 

243, 306 

Stanley, Dean A. P., 122, 230, 231 
Statute of 21 Henry VIII., 298, 303, 


Stephen, James, 71, 76, 258, 272 
Stephen, Sir James, 62, 74-75, 96 n. 

Stevens, William, 29, 30-31, 325 
Stipendiary Curates' Bill (1803), 299 
Stoughton, Dr. John, 103-104, 156 
Stretton, parish of, 128 
Strickland, Miss Agnes, 47 
Sumner, Archbishop J. B., 90, 169 
Sumner, Bishop Charles, 90, 146, 156 
Sunday evening services, 141 
Sunday schools, 245-251 
Swanage Rectory, 235 
Symonds, Dr. B., of Wadham, 86 
Syrian Christians of St. Thomas, 
Travancore, 267, 268 

Teignmouth, John, Lord, 71-72, 76, 

142, 201, 261, 269-271, 287 
" Tertullian " (Kaye), 197 
Test and Corporation Acts, Repeal of, 

Thirlwall, Bishop Connop, 116, 121, 

125, 183-184 

Thomas, T., 58, 65, 262-263 
Thornton, Henry, 69-71, 75, 76, 94, 

99, 101, 201, 258, 259 
Thornton, John, 55, 69, 79, 99 
Thurlow, Lord Chancellor, 326 
Tomline, Bishop, 45, 178, 306 
Tooke, Home, 296 
Torry, Bishop (Dunkeld), 333 
Training-schools for teachers, 251-252 
"Treatise on Prayer" (Bickersteth), 


Trimmer, Mrs., 47, 236-237, 248 
Trinitarian Bible Society, 288 
Trinity Church, Cambridge, 54, 128, 


Trinity College, Cambridge, 46 
" True Churchman ascertained " 

(Overton), 188 
Tulloch, Principal, 100-101 
Turner, Bishop (Calcutta), 277 
Twining, Thomas, 267 


Unfulfilled prophecy, writers on, 180- 

Union of England and Ireland (1801), 

3 T 3 

Union societies at Oxford and Cam- 
bridge, 224 

Universities, state of the, 219-225 

Valpy, Dr., 287 

Van Mildert, Bishop W., 6, 9, 26, 33, 



43, 44, 89, 169, 178, 179-180, 201, 
202, 206, 226 
Vansittart, Chancellor of Exchequer, ! 


Vellore, mutiny at, 268, 269-270 
Venn, Henry, the elder, 53-54, 72-73, 

99, 160 
Venn, Henry, the younger, 223 ;/., 

256 ;/. 
Venn, John, 53, 72-74, 99, 193, 201, j 


illage Politics by Will Chip" 

(H. More), 172, 173 
" Vindicise Ecclesise Anglicanae " (Dau- j 

beny), 188 
Vitality of Evangelicals, five causes of, | 



Waddington, Dean G., 196-197 
Wakefield, Gilbert, 170-171 
Wales, the Church in, 17-23 
Walker, Fellow of Trinity College, 

Dublin, 314 

Walmsley, T. T. (Sec. Nat. Soc.), 240 
War with France, 2-3 
Waring, Major Scott, 268-270 
Washington, George, 340 
Waterland, Daniel, Life of, 193 
Watson, Archdeacon J. J., 35, 240 
Watson, Joshua, 31-35, 39 H 2 , 1 S 2 > 

200, 202, 240, 243, 281 
Watson, Bishop R., 116 
Welbeck Chapel, Marylebone, 84 
Week-day services, 142-144 
Wellesley, Marquis, 262, 266 . 
Wesley, John, Southey's Life of, 193 
West Indies, Church in, 282 

Westminster Review, 125 

Whately, Archbishop R., 118-120, 121, 

124, 166, 216, 321 

Wheler Chapel, Spital Square, 83, 88 
White, Blanco, 124 
White, Henry Kirke, 154 
White, Bishop W. (Pennsylvania), 337, 

339-340, 343 
Wilberforce, William, 5, 9, 52, 67-69, 

74, 76, 94, 187, 201, 258, 261, 272, 

273> 297, 305 

Williams, Bishop (Connecticut), 339 
Wilson, Carus, M.P., 92 
Wilson, Bishop Daniel (Calcutta), 5, 

56, 57, 79, 80, 85, 86, 128, 144, 168, 

191, 277, 306 
Woodd, Basil, 81, 99 ., 175, 253 ;/., 

Wordsworth, Bishop Charles, 221, 229, 

Wordsworth, Dr. Christopher, Master of 

Trinity, 38-40, 43, 171, 191, 193, 224, 

229, 240, 279, 281, 290 
Wordsworth, William, 207-208, 210- 

212, 224, 242 
Wrangham, Archdeacon F., 27, 237, 

Wright, James, 250 

Yates, Richard, 150 
Yelling, Church of, 160 

"Zeal without Innovation," 76, 106, 
134, 143, 155 



Date Due 

L. B. Cat. No. 1137