21 NOVEMBER 1908, Page 29


Sin,—Last Saturday's deliveries brought me the enclosed circular on the education crisis, signed by Lord Hugh Cecil, the Dean of Canterbury, and Lord Halifax, and the Spectator. "My bane and antidote are both before me" as I write. To the circular I have replied as seemed fitting. But perhaps you will permit me to offer in your columns a few remarks.

(1) The circular asks me, a beneficed priest, to take part in a protest against action which my Archbishop is taking and my own Bishop (a prominent High Churchman) approves.

(2) The signatories apparently think themselves more able to judge than the Archbishop, and better Churchmen than my Bishop. Their attitude is not over-modest. (3) To show their loyalty, these two laymen and the Archbishop's own Dean of Canterbury incite me to threaten the leader of the English Church. This is a deplorable sign. (4) It is still worse that they seem confident that I shall not only do that myself, but ask my parishioners to do so. If I consented, what view would my parishioners take of my loyalty to my Ordination vows ? I should be breaking them in the spirit, if not in the letter. And with what hope of persuading them should I in any future perplexity ask them to trust me or to follow my lead ? (5) I do not touch the larger question,— whether the proposed settlement is good or bad or is the best that can now be reached. But if I thought it as unsound as I believe it to be sound, I should still recognise that the Archbishop was more likely to be right than I, and certainly than these irresponsible circularisers ; and I should feel it my duty to protest against so unwarrantable an interference.—