The treaty and its principle once conceded, the only blunder
of Thursday night was committed, we regret to say, by the Primate, who really gave some show of plausibility to the Rev. J. Baldwin Brown's suggestion,—which we have alluded to before in these columns,—that the Archbishop cherishes a sort of desperate loath- ing of Voluntaryism, such as St. Paul before his conversion felt for Christianity, and expends that surplus of fanaticism which the conditions of an establishment do not permit him to exhale in the form of religious heat, in political denunciation of the Voluntary principle, We are not Voluntaryists, as our readers well know ; but his Grace of Canterbury's remarks seem to us thoroughly intolerant, and all but indecent in the head of a national Church, who is bound to treat all the less favoured religions with courtesy. He spoke of those who desire the Voluntary principle as "infatuated," and grounded his hope for the future of the disestablished Irish Church entirely on the two facts that it is to retain a moderate endowment,. and that "the clergy who will first have to administer the con- cerns of that Church will have been brought up in a totally different system from the Voluntary system." "If," said the Archbishop, with unusual vehemence, "if they had had to start on this voluntary system, I should have despaired for the religion, for the social improvement, and for the political security of the country ; but bred as they have been in a totilly different system, educated, trained in habits of intimacy with the clergy of the English Church, and commanding, as they do, even from a Roman Catholic prelate that tribute to their honour which . . . . shows that they are quite unlike those fostered on the Voluntary system, I
believe they will be able, if any men can, to import into the Free Church something of the spirit they have learned in a nobler, higher, and far better system." Surely his Grace was almost be- side himself? Has he any reason to believe that the first Christian Churches were "quite unlike those fostered on the Voluntary system "? If not, of course our Lord and His disciples would have utterly " despaired " of them. Or, perhaps, Dr. Tait would despair of all merely spiritual help, although divine, without solid money to back it ?