18 MARCH 1899, Page 15


[To THE EDITOR or THZ "SPECTATOR."] SIR,—Many of your readers may be interested in perusing the late Lord Selborne's opinion of the English Church Union. The lines which I forward are copied from his "Personal and Political Memorials" (Part II.), Vol. I., page 339, written apparently in 1874:— " Many good men, attracted by the word 'Union' and by their sense of the need of mutual support and sympathy, were and are found in the ranks of that Association. But its tendency was not towards union ; it was a disintegrating not a cementing power. It was lay and voluntary in its essential character ; and it set itself by degrees, more and more, against all existing authority in the Church of England, whether of Courts or of Bishops who followed the judgments of Courts; having itself no species of authority. The danger of such an imperium in imperio, and its fundamental inconsistency with Church principles, may have been the reason why such men as Sir John Patteson and Sir John Taylor Coleridge, having at one time joined, afterwards withdrew from it."