11 FEBRUARY 1882, Page 15


SIR,—Mr. Barnett's experiment will, I trust, meet with all success. A non-Prayer-book service always, as a rule, attracts those whom the ordinary service fails to affect. Many of us have found this with " mission services," both in towns and the country. But what I wish to point out is this : that, in common fairness, we have no right to encourage what the late Duke of Wellington used to call "fancy services" in one set of men, and at the same time shut up another set in prison for what some of the Judicial Committee call " illegal " or " fancy services " in another direction. Lord Beaconsfield some- where describes forms and ceremonies as representing " the devotional instincts of our nature." Why is the man who has never gone to church or chapel to have his devotional instincts gratified by a service in church in which the Prayer- book is conspicuous by its absence, while the devotional instincts of the Ritualist are forbidden to be exercised under any condi- tions as to time or place, under the penalty of indefinite impri- sonment for the clergy who minister to him ? Surely, every lover of fair-play, every one who desires to see the English Church satisfying the religious instincts of as large a number of persons as possible, will do his utmost to bring the existing disgraceful persecution to an end as speedily as may be.—I am,