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perfect harmony of the words of Christ and Paul, and also to show how such combinations bring out distinctly to light important views of truth, which may before have been hazy and obscure. And as in this case a thoughtful and intelligent examination leads to the result, that fulfilment in the true sense required abolition, and therefore entire abolition was the very opposite of destruction, so may we confidently hope that in every case the honest student who is stimulated to research by difficulties and apparent descrepancies, will be rewarded for his pains, not only by the removal of whatever perplexed his mind, but by the discovery of truths which he could never have discerned apart from the contradictions and difficulties which he was anxious to remove.
It may be within the recollection of most of our readers, that in the month of July last a deputation of noblemen and gentlemen, headed by Lord Shaftesbury, waited upon the Premier for the purpose of laying before him certain statements purporting to be based upon the return of 'Church-rates Refused,' moved for by Lord Cecil, and presented to the House of Commons in the early part of the present session. Amongst other statements made by the deputation was one to the effect, that only 408 out of 8,672 parishes in England and Wales, or about “five per cent of the whole number, were proved to have refused church-rates. This assertion, when first made, considerably surprised all classes of politicians. It is believed so to have influenced the Premier as to have caused him to reconsider his engagement to bring in a bill for the settlement of this question during the current session. Dr. Foster, on behalf of the Religious Liberation Society, endeavoured to counteract its effect by exposing the imperfection and inadequacy of the returns. The Church party had a perfect 'glorification over it—the “Record' especially treating its readers to a series of articles, written in a ludicrously jubilistic strain on the weakness of Dissent, and the staunch attachment of Englishmen to Mother Church. As to the deputation, they appear to have retired into private life, evidently believing that they had settled the question for ever, and that no one would again dare to lay hands on this great buttress of the Establishment.
Now, we are sorry to spoil a triumph of any kind, but in this instance truth and justice demand it. Since reading the report of the interview of the committee of laymen with Lord Palmerston, we have taken the trouble to go through the whole of 8,672' returns, and we have found them to tell a very different tale to that to which Lord Palmerston listened. The assertions made by the committee of laymen are false in every particular. They have neither given the number of parishes correctly, nor have they stated their case in any
way so as to make a truthful impression. Reading the address of the committee, one would imagine that ninety-five per cent. of the parishes of England and Wales were in favour of church-rates, and that these imposts were still upheld by the opinion of the great body of the people. We find the truth to be in the one case exactly the reverse of this, and in the other so glaringly at variance with the statement of the committee, as to excite the greatest surprise that any respectable body of men could commit themselves to such an assertion. How the case really stood at the date of the church-rate returns will be found from the following summary, in which the parishes are grouped in counties, and the populations of both classes of returns given :
SUMMARY OF RETURN OF • CHURCH-RATES REFUSED,' ETC.
80 110 122 80 89 121
91 132 294 171
269 209 214 134 85 55 284 111 161 376 67
57,932 98,752 83,486 67,225 175,347 215,264 113,113 115,615 239,185
79,034 279,350 201,597 208,035 176,641 61,859 95,512 28,426 364,249 175,336 102,159 226,141 482,162
92,950 133,472 100,612 103,755
15,734 162,259 266,813 197,094 192,799 231,695 151,145 99,935 30, 267 141,416 181,408 631,749
15 12 18 26 28 36
4 18 31 19
7 30 40 19 6 9 12 22 89 13 42 40 10 68 32 11 21 15 1
39,605 21,873 22, 100 37,014 151,994 80,174
4,471 53,079 133,836 29,693 57,105 83,764 121,959 141,216 10,382 17,622
7,996 116,987 1,259,024
70,618 57,738 828,383 74,287 65,461 67,498 123,3-7 113,028 14,228
500 82,100 59,291 322,602 82,519 84,471 76,959 258,994 19,595 22,479
29,80 1,117,020 5,860,301
29 189 341 120 301 101 200 145
46 191 130 523
22 45 45 12 16 28
3 10 16 103
England and Wales
This, as will be perceived, gives a widely different result to that published by the Committee of laymen. Instead of only 408 parishes being returned as having refused church-rates, we find no fewer than 1,130 where they were not levied. These places contained a total population, according to the Blue Book,' of 6,126,151 ; the parishes levying rates containing only 7,081,249. But this is not all the truth. The Blue Book' on which this summary has been based is deficient in returns from three or four thousand parishes, containing a gross population of 4,720,209. We know for a fact that in many of these parishes church-rates have for years ceased to be levied. The returns do not include Leicester; they omit a great part of Reading, the greater portions of Southampton, Bristol, and many other large towns, where public opinion is well known to be against the continuation of this iniquitous system. Indeed, as far as we have been able to ascertain, the omissions are nearly altogether on the side of church-rates refused, so that we are justified in saying that churchrates are levied with the consent of only a small minority of the inhabitants of parishes. The utmost number that the ‘Blue-Book'. accounts for is 7,081,249, the population of England and Wales being 17,927,609. This, we take it, is a little less than “95 per cent!'
The table we have given will be sufficient to indicate the character as well as the number of the parishes ranged on the two sides of this controversy. It will be noticed that the average population of parishes approving church-rates is not quite 1,000; while the average population of those refusing is rather more than 5,000. The intelligence of towns being generally pretty fairly proportioned to their population, it will be seen at a glance on which side of the question the more advanced portion of the community is ranged. As a further illustration of this mode of argument, we subjoin an alphabetical list of the principal towns in the kingdom where church-rates are now abolished. We take them from the Parliamentary Return, where they are arranged according to their counties :Aberdare, Chatham.
Newport, I. W.
Christ Church, Spitalfields.
Mile End Old Town.
St. Philip's, Stepney.
St. George's, Southwark. St. Margaret's, Westminster. These places will be acknowledged to be, without question, the most important in the kingdom. They include almost every county town and large borough, and they represent the greater portion of the religious, the moral, and the intellectual activity of this country. And their political power, as we judge Lord Palmerston will be made to feel, is quite equal to their intellectual ; and, we have no doubt, will be found amply sufficient to carry a bill for the total and unconditional abolition of church-rates as soon as Parliament shall again meet. Meantime, we think it will be advisable, in order to counteract the effect of the statement of the Committee of Laymen, and to strengthen the hands of the advocates of abolition, both within and without the walls of Parliament, to give as wide a circulation as possible to the actual facts regarding the rates now refused.
Christian Fables and Parables.
THE PREACHER AND THE CHANDLER.
The Herr Predigir Gustig was sometimes tauntingly demanded of touching the results of his labours. A chandler, at his counter, as he put up his commodities in coarse whity-brown paper, often jeered at the preacher, and vaunted his scales and weights as the real tests of things. Alas! what could Herr Gustig show?
One day as he went on a solitary ramble, with down-drooping head, a good spirit imperceptibly opened his understanding to understand the voices of nature, and also to interrogate. When, lo! just as the Herr Predigir was awaking up to the sense of this new faculty, he heard the chandler on the other side of the hedge, and so thought of the chandlery taunts that had often pained him. Thus it happened, that when the avoir-du-pois man was gone out of hearing, Herr Gustig demanded in the nature-language, where was the dew of the passed-by summer? What had become of the rain that had fallen last year?
Whither had gone the clouds of the preceding week? What remained of the lark-song of yester morn? What existing trace was there of the manifold fragrances of the spring ? To what end had the appleblossom blushed so maidenly, and the cherry-trees arrayed themselves in vestal white? What sign had the west winds of last month left? What memorial the rainbow ?
The music of the replies filled his soul; and he went home with a brighter eye, a stronger heart, and a more elastic step; and when asked to state the upshot of all his brain-and-heart dew and mind-andspirit exhalations, he only smiled patiently. But it was observed that the thought-and-spirit giver-out no longer sighed and drooped his head as of yore.
Neither did he wish he were able to wrap up solid tokens of money's worth in whity-brown paper.
Mem.--I admit having written this for the English meridian, as it is well known that in the Father-land such a species of demand as the commerce-and-solid-pudding-living English indulge in would never be conceived of. We are accused of being dreamers, but we never dreamed anything like that! Possibly, it is one of the results of the too-exclusively, or at least unduly, cultivated talent for the practical which characterises the worthy islanders.
THE TROUBLESOME BABY. A babe was born in a certain household. Sweet, though pensive, was the welcome-smile of the parents, and great the joy of their heartfriends. But, alas! great also the grumbling of others. “Drat the child! (Der Teufol hole das kind!] said a surly servant. Said another to the youngest child, “There, now, your nose'll be put out of joint! Who dy'e think'll care anything for you, now?' Troublesome brat!' ejaculated a third. To be sure there was a good deal of crying, and much ado; and ever so many new arrangements had to be made, which involved sundry displacements. But the children of the family exulted over their new-come brother, till one would have thought the little stranger was the light of the dwelling, so they left all the grumbling to hirelings, who, having overheard the word "light,' nick-named the little innocent, Neulicht i. e., new-light. But the father said that it was often so in a far more important household' than his; and afterwards he used to ask his friends, why another truth lodged in the mind, or launched into the world, was like a new-born babe. What could the fond house-father mean thereby ?
FORGOTTEN, YET NOT FORGOTTEN, Pa said he liked us to ask him for whatever we wanted, and I asked him yesterday to get me a kite, and he has not got it for me!' said a little, curly-headed grumbler, on a cold, foggy day in November.
Yes; and I asked him to give me a gold watch, and he has never given me one!' said a brother, two or three years older; 'I don't see the good of asking him for things.'
Six months passed by, when, behold! one fine day in the month of