5 OCTOBER 1878, Page 2

The eighteenth Church Congress was opened at Sheffield on Tuesday,

under the presidency of the Archbishop of York, who gave a moderate address, faintly tinged with Evangelicalism. The most original thought in his speech was one which he did not work out, that Church Congresses, which influence by impression, and not by legislation, enable the world to know the mind of the Church, which, like the mind of the nation, differs from the mind of any party in it. If that were actually the case, these Congresses would be invaluable, but then can the Archbishop prove his postulate? Do we know, from anything said or done in Sheffield, the general drift of the opinion, or even of the deciding will, of the 20,000 clergymen and millions of laymen who make up the English Church ? If we do, we may dispense with a reformed Convocation ; but it seems to us that it is just because we do not, because we are always hearing a party, and never the Church as a living organism, that a reform in Con- vocation is so needed. We know what the Church has said in times past, but to know what it is saying now, still more, to know What it wants to say, is nearly Impossible. The nearest approach to what it says is the weekly hurtle of the atrardian, but even there one has to shut one's ears to the endless contention of cletical