18 DECEMBER 1886, Page 3

Mr. Tom Hughes delivered a very interesting address to the

Oxford Laymen's League for the defence of the National Church, on the last Sunday in November, the Warden of All Souls' (Sir William Anson) being in the chair. Mr. Hughes dwelt on the nation itself as a divine institution, and regarded the National Church as the spontaneous creation of a nation conscious of a divine origin, and anxious to recognise and foster the belief in that divine origin. He laid great stress on the many obligations which the nation imposed upon all its citizens, as a natural conse- quence of the desire to make us "a wise and understanding people." It was for this reason that, in ages when there were no sects, the Church was encouraged, and even required by the nation, to watch over the spiritual interests of the people as Parliament watches over their earthly interests. This was the reason why the Church became national, entrusted with a national duty ; and Mr. Hughes failed to see why it was not as good a reason for a National Church now, as it was when the duty was first imposed.