5 JUNE 1880, Page 1

Lord Selborne's Burials Bill has been printed, and in the

printed form we do not see any power given to the friends of the deceased, except when they give notice that they wish to have some other form of service used than that of the Church of England, to commit the direction of the service to any offici- ating minister they may prefer. Now, in connection with the power given by the Bill to clergymen to dispense with the usual form of prayer, in the case of any one "dying excommunicate or in the commission of any grievous crime," it does seem to us desirable that the friends of the deceased should have full power to choose their own officiating Church clergyman, no less than an officiating minister of any other sect. It is fair to give the incumbent or his curate the right to alter forms they think inapplicable, if the friends of the deceased have had full liberty to go to some other clergyman ; but, without this liberty, it might well happen that a narrow and bigoted clergyman would be in a position to condemn by implication the life of the deceased, without sufficient reason, and without his friends having any alternative, unless they were willing to apply to a Dissenter to conduct the service. This seems to us an obvious defect in the Bill, which it would be at once easy and right to remove.