4 SEPTEMBER 1869, Page 1

The Episcopalians of Scotland are about, apparently, to admit the

laity to some share of authority in the Church. In the Epis- copal Synod of Glasgow and Galloway a motion to admit the laity to vote was carried unanimously, with, however, this singular reservation. The laity are not to vote upon any question affect- ing doctrine, exactly as if Members of Parliament were allowed to vote upon everything except legislation. Why is not a layman to vote upon questions of doctrine? Because doctrine is nothing to him? or because it is everything to him ? or because he is tool stupid ? or because he is too intelligent ? or why? The real reason is because he has not previously taken an oath that he will only discuss theology with one motive,—to keep it for ever exactly where it was three hundred years ago ; but that reason will not be avowed till the laity, taking heart, put out their version of their claims. Who are the laity ? All men. Who are the clergy ? Certain persons among them who think themselves qualified to teach theology, and who, on the whole, practise that profession with endurable, though limited success. That is the layman's faith. He pays for it all, and yet he will bear quite tranquilly an announcement that he is prohibited by an exclu- sively clerical decision from voting against his theological agents on any question of doctrine. It is a wise world.