18 SEPTEMBER 1880, Page 3

It is announced that the Reverend Stopford Brooke, the author

of the "Life of Robertson," Incumbent of Bedford Chapel, and one of the most popular and effective preachers of our day, has quitted the Church of England, and will either labour independently, or join the Unitarian body. The step will cause much surprise and regret to his friends, as Mx. Brooke, though he belonged to the extreme wing of the Broad Church, was not supposed to have lost his belief in some form of the divinity of Christ. Having lost it, he is, as we conceive, entirely in the right in quitting the ministry of the Established Church, which, upon that subject at all events, is neither uncertain nor double-tongued. There is much to be said for Bishop Hind's argument,—that if all the liberal clergy quit the Church, the Church will never be liberalised ; but there is a limit to that maxim, suggested by common honesty. An Atheist should not preach a God ; nor should a Unitarian utter every day, with the authority of the pulpit, his belief that Christ was, in some sense at all events, very God.