3 JANUARY 1936, Page 23


• - [To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.]

SIR,—In "A Spectator's Notebook" you recently referred to "the very interesting fact" that Dr. Marshall Lang, Moderator of the Church of Scotland, and brother of the Archbishop of Canterbury, preached in Westminster Abbey on Sunday, December 15th. I well remember the father of those distinguished ecclesiastics, Dr. John Marshall Lang, who was minister of the Barony Church, Glasgow, and later Principal of Aberdeen University—indeed, I recall the text of the last sermon I heard him preach, in my boyhood.

You very properly point out that the Church of Scotland is not to be confused with the Episcopal Church in Scotland. In the former the communicants number 1,209,271; in the latter 61,456. Roughly, one-fourth of the population of Scotland are communicants in its National Church as against one-sixteenth of England's population in its National Church.

As regards pulpit exchanges, I fear, as an Irishman once. put it, "the reciprocity has been all on the one side," and the side to blame has not been Scotland. A few years before the War the present Bishop. of Durham, who was then Canon of Westminster and Rector of St. Margaret's, preached in Trinity Church, Glasgow. Not long afterwards I also heard Dean . Inge in the same pulpit, where later I listened to an address by another notable, at. that time a young man of exactly the same age as myself. He had not yet taken orders; and he gave a " statement" (as the minister described it) on the Church and Social problems, not from the pulpit, but from beside the communion table. He was Mr. William Temple, now Archbishop of York.

Trinity Church, Glasgow, was originally a Congregational Church, but at the time I refer to it was (and I think still is) "Independent." Its minister then was the late Dr. John Hunter, who might be described as an extremely liberal Protestant. He was a preacher of outstanding eminence, and a volume of his sermons entitled De Profundis Clamari is, in my opinion, one of the noblest in the language. Dr. Hunter, who was for a time minister of the King's Weigh House Church, London, compiled a beautiful liturgy, and a striking collection of hymns ; one hymn, of his own com- position, is in the Revised Church Hymnary, which is used in the Church of Scotland and seven other churches here and in the Dominions. His son, the Yen. L. S. Hunter, is Archdeacon of Northumberland.—I am, yours faithfully,