3 APRIL 1880, Page 14



SIR,—In your excellent article, last week, on "The Clergy and the General Election," you have omitted one subject which has probably more to do with the matter than either of those you mention,—Disestablishment and the Public Worship Regula- tion Act. The former of these, if a danger at all, is not a. question for the coming Parliament. And many of us are con- vinced that whilst it is quite possible that the bands of Church and State may one day be loosed as a remedial measure from within, the Church is far too strong ever to have it pressed on her as a penal measure from without. The Public Worship Regulation Act is a miserable affair, but it may safely be left to "stew in its own juice," and is at present almost beneath contempt.

It is the attitude of many Liberals on the education question

which drives so many clergymen over to the Conservative camp ; and considering their belief on that question, and the sacrifices they have made, and are making, for the cause of religious education, it is not to be wondered at. When the

Act of 1870 was brought forward, it was said that its object was not to interfere with existing schools, but to supplement them. And believing this, that Act was welcomed by us, and we did our best to make it law. Nevertheless, there is a section of the Liberal party that openly avows its wish to see all Voluntary schools entirely supplanted by Board Schools,. in which the education shall be secular.

If the Liberals come into power, will they act fairly between Voluntary schools and Board schools, or will they play into the of Birmingham educationists ? Let the Liberal leaders promise us that they will act impartially between Church Schools and Board Schools, and hundreds, perhaps thousands, amongst us will no longer feel ourselves compelled to vote against them.. Especially will this be the case with High Churchmen. The Church is, no doubt, the maintainer of law and order—the Conservative idea, and true, as far as it goes—but she is also the champion of those who have been crushed by injustice and inhumanity, the reformer of abuses, and the counterbalancing force to the weight of money, rank, and power, and all those things that oppress the weak and poor. When once a man grasps this true idea of the Church, lie is always at heart a,