29 MARCH 1884, Page 13


170 THE EDITOR OF THE " SPECTATOR.") SIR,—It is not to be expected that the Spectator, or any paper, should publish an answer to its reasonings ; but as I believe that the removal of the Bishops from the House of Lords would be a death-blow to the British Constitution, I must point out that not only is Sir William Harcourt perfectly right in saying that the Bishops constitute the chief democratic and representative element of the Upper House, but that no more valuable moral element could be conceived than that of a generally admirable body of men who are identified with the nobler aspirations of the age. It is of far more moment that our Prelates should be large-minded than that they should be perpetually working in their dioceses. The Church of England is not a sect, and wants no sectarian Bishops. She is, doubtless, the national branch of the Church Catholic, and the mother of many Churches ; but she is also the large-hearted and large- minded exponent of godliness, closely knit into the Christian State, in hallowed and I trust perpetual alliance. There is no real danger of her losing needful liberty of thought and action. Without this union, the Peerage would be assuredly doomed, and with it the Monarchy. The greatest of all dangers is the tyranny of one numerical majority. The House of Lords needs to be strengthened by colonial life-peers, lec., for each colony, and for each Indian Presidency—six for the Indian Empire—then we need not fear to bestow the suffrage on all men who are not in receipt of public alms. Do not let us think that we can consolidate by pulling down the work of ages. Doubtless, our Prelates have not been large-hearted enough in their dealings with Nonconformists and their general policy ; but

they are far more so than the general clergy, who are per- petually dragging them down, by pettiness, narrowness, and bitterness. Forgive this burst of honest expostulation from a sincere admirer.—I am, Sir, &c., 7 %Ale Terrace, Oxford, March 25th. ARMIES GURNEY.

[Peers who either neglect their work as peers, or else neglect their work as professional men, do not strengthen the House of Lords.—En. Spectator.]