28 APRIL 1917, Page 16


[To THE EDITOR. OF THE " SPECTATOR."] S:a,—Inspiration is coming just now from the trenches rather than from the pulpits. The Episcopal Bench may be experts in Canon Law, but are they alive to the spiritual impulse which is surging through the Empire? It is of vital importance to the Church of England that her clergy in the future should be respected as men; but her action in discouraging (if not in for- bidding) her younger clergy from fighting is calculated to encourage the shirker to take Orders, and to discourage the manly youth from contemplating the risk of having to face the alternative —either of disobeying his Bishop, or of failing in his duty to his country in her hour of need. God grant that there may not be another great war in our lifetime; but young men of heroic temperament cannot be sure of this, and they know how their elder brothers, who were not clergy, have volunteered and suffered. There are other ways of serving God and one's country than by taking Orders; and the Church of England (almost alone among Churches), at a time when she needs the help of the best of her sons, has forced her younger clergy to stand beside the shirkers. The danger for the future is a very real one, and has been little heeded.—I am, Sir, &c., LATMAN.