25 DECEMBER 1880, Page 1

A letter on the Ritualist troubles, written by the Bishop

of Manchester to the Rev. John Bone, Vicar of St. Thomas's, Lancaster, and published in last Tuesday's Times, hardly shows Dr. Fraser's usual grasp of the difficulties of a practical situa- tion. He expends his force on showing that, as regards the con- stitution of the Judicial Committee and the abstract principle of the relation of the Church to the State, no change of any im- portance has occurred of late years. But all that may be at once admitted. What has occurred of late years which seriously alters the relation of a section of the Clergy—and one of the most hardworking sections, though we do not admire either its principles or its logic—is the determination to enforce the eccle- siastical law against one party and for one purpose, and against that one party and for that one purpose only. The Public Worship Act was avowedly brought in to " put down Ritualism," and it has been used for that purpose, and that purpose only. Again, the deci- sion in the Ridsdale case was a decision not only against theRitual- ists, but against former decisions in their favour, supported on critical points by statements of fact which are now almost universally admitted to have been erroneous. If the Ritualists did not feel this condition of things a great hardship, they would hardly be men, to say nothing of Churchmen. But all these

critical points Dr. Frazer's letter wholly ignores. Therefore, while agreeing with much that it does say, we cannot regard it as quite worthy of Dr. Fraser's manly and candid intellect.