Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

16 erthygl ar y dudalen hon


CORRESPONDENCE. i -..../'-/"')

--....----........ . THE MERTHYR…









THE MEANING OF ESTABLISHMENT. Sir,—As the question of disestablishment and disendowment is so comprehensive and varied in its aspects, and as "Churchman" is so blow witted, that I expect to see the Bill in force be- fore he can gather his thoughts together, per- haps you will allow me to put this letter in be- tween, as it were, to lay down a few elemen- tary truths regarding the meaning of establish- ment in its bearing on the endowments of the Church of England, promising that in my next letter I shall deal with the origin and growth of tithes and endowments in the earlv times. Firstly, a few remarks on the origin and meaning of the Established Church of Eng- land, which has been overlooked in the excite- ment of controversy and the heat of debate. Strictly speaking, tho Church of England as distinct from the Church of Rome, can trace its pedigree no further back than the time or Henry VIII. It is generally acknowledged by the most eminent supporters of establishment, who cannot foresee the legitimate conclusions of their own admissions, that the establishment of the Church of England was brought about by Henry VIII. and the Reformers, and confirmed by the Act of Uniformity, after it was upset by the civil revolution, which establishment means that the King is the head of the Church of England in contradistinction to the Roman Catholic Church and the dissenting bodies. This is the meaning of establishment, and the pecu- liar characteristic of the Church of England. Establishment does not mean that it was at the time of Henry VIII. that the church first came under the control of the State. It was always under the control of the State. Establishment means that the King and not the Pope is the supreme head of the Church. Accord in"- to the British Constitution he is the nominal head of the Church to-day. He has the exclusive right to the appointment of bishops, to assemble and dissolve convocation, to limit its prerogatives, to refer all ecclesiastical causes to himself as the final and supreme authority. But the real head of the Church of England to-dav is Par- liament. The difference between the Church of England to-day and the Roman Catholic Church is the same as the difference between the Church of England from the time of Henry VIII. and the Church of England previous to that time. So that the Church of England in this sense be- gan with Henry VIIL It being clear then that the Church of Eng- land as an established church and as a church which was formed according to English ideas and customs cannot be traced further back than the Reformation, it follows that whatever pro- perty was given to the Church previous to that time was given to it as a branch of the Roman Church, governed by the representa- tive of the Pope, and according to Roman ideals and customs, so when Henry and the Reformers severed their connection with the Roman Pontiff and established the church on independent Eng- lish ideas, the church—to carry the argument of the supporters of private endowments to its logical conclusions—according to all canons of justice and equity, forfeited all right to en- dowments of tithes, first fruits, glebe lands, monasteries, given by patrons of the church, and enforced by Statute law, when it was a Roman institution. The High Court of the House of Lords not long ago decided that the majority of the old Free Church of Scotland in amalgamat- ing with another church and becoming incor- porated in what is now known as the United Free Church of Scotland, forfeited all right to property and endowments originally given to the Old Free Church, the which property and endowments were retained by the minority. Consistently the inference from the argument of private and voluntary endowments advanced by Earl Selborne and Brewer, is that the tithes and endowments given to the church previous to the Reformation and now possessed by the Church of England, legitimately belong to the Roman Catholic Church. This is the logical conclusion of the arguments of those who say that the endowments were Niven to the church independent of the State. But if these endow- ments were given by the State to the church, and given by individual patrons to the church as a part of the State, then Henry and tho Re- formers had a perfect right in retainin- them when the church severed its connection with Rome. This was the view taken by Henry and the Reformers. The great objection to disestablishment is that it lawfully brings with it disendowment as well. If the church could be disestablished without being disendowed, it would be all plain sailing. So that the real opposition to disestab- lishment is not made from a. religious stand- point, but from a property standpoint But, as the "Spectator" reluctantly admits, the only Christian standpoint is the spiritual one, the contention that the spiritual interests of the community would suffer if the church was dis- established. To say that the object of those who support disestablishment is to destroy the church is tacitly to admit that there is not sum- ciant religious vitality in the Church of Eng- land to keep it alive apart from the State. <:> ANTHROPOS.




Physical Culture in Quakers'…

.Whitsuntide at Pontypool."…