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MR. OWEN.

Why does not the government equalize the livings, and give each clergyman his three hundred a year ?

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There are a great many reasons, but perhaps one will suffice. It is not possible : because half the livings, and those the best, are private property. My own living, for instance, was purchased many years ago by my grandfather; instead of buying for his son a commission in the army, or setting him up in business, he purchased a living. The purchase money was six thousand pounds, the income is about five hun

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Income of Bishops........... ..... 160,114
Cathedrals and Collegiate Churches.. 271,970
10,701 Benefices or Livings........ 3,058,248

Total Church property ...... 3,490,332

Compare with this the national expenditure in other departments. In the year 1827, the duties received upon spirits amounted to 7,043,2441. Ils. 2d. ; this was the duty only, the cost could not be less than ten or twelve millions. The duty on tobacco has often exceeded three millions in the year. “So that it would seem that we thrust up our nostrils, in the shape of snuff, or consume in smoke from the ridiculous cigar, considerably more than is required to furnish a resident clergyman in 10,700 parishes." The army, on its present peace establishment, costs seven millions, the navy six millions, the ordnance two millions and a half.-See Essays on the Church,

dred; which, allowing two hundred a year for the service of the minister, is five per cent. interest for the money laid out in the purchase. Now I would put it to you, as a man of business, whether it would be just to tax my property any more than yours, for the payment of another clergyman whose income might be deficient, or for the endowment of a district where at present there is no clergyman.

MR. OWEN. What you say is reasonable. But still the enormous inequality in Church preferments ought not to be allowed. Is it fit, I would ask you, that the Archbishop of Canterbury should have a hundred and twenty thousand a year, and more than a hundred livings?

Here Mr. Herbert laughed outright at the triumphant gravity of his companion. He knew that such statements had been spread abroad in the Black List, and other mischievous publications, some years ago, but he was not aware that they were still believed.

My good sir, (said he, with a good-natured air of expostulation,) let me assure you that you have been grossly misinformed. The Archbishop's income is little more than one sixth part of what you

state; and, as to his hundred livings, which you seem to suppose he holds in his own hands, they are merely those to which he has the right of presentation. I wonder that an intelligent man should be so easily misled by designing persons. It is due to yourself, as well as to the Church, to ascertain the truth of such statements before you believe or promulgate them. You should do as you would be done by.

This was spoken with such a tone of courteous seriousness, that Mr. Owen could not be affronted, though he was somewhat ashamed and silenced. Herbert, seeing his advantage, dexterously turned the conversation to other topics : spoke of trade, railroads, manufactures, and other subjects, on which his fellow-traveller was really conversant, and made himself so agreeable, that, when they arrived at Birmingham, Mr. Owen parted from Herbert, after a cordial shake of the hand, with a much greater respect for the Church than he had ever entertained before, and a little more accurate knowledge of facts.

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CHAPTER XXII.

THE VESTRY MEETING.

“ They called thee · Merry England' in old time."

6 Can, I ask, This face of rural beauty be a mask For discontent, and poverty, and crime ;

These spreading towns a cloak for lawless will ?

Forbid it, Heaven !-that Merry England' still
May be thy rightful name in prose and rhyme."

WORDSWORTH. HERBERT returned with fresh alacrity to the duties of his parish, and was not a little gratified with the hearty welcomings of his parishioners, when, on the day after his arrival, he passed through the village to his church. Nor was his gratification diminished by the kind inquiries made by all classes, both high and low, after his sister and her infant. “ She was a

kind good lady, God bless her," said the old villagers, and they hoped she would soon come amongst them again.

Beloved, however, and respected as Herbert was, he did not escape those annoyances which are the common lot of the most exemplary clergymen.

In the outskirts of his parish there was a wild and beautiful valley, called Ashdale, formerly inhabited by a few cottagers, who watched their sheep as they browsed on the adjoining hills, or kept a few cows on the narrow slips of meadow land. A clear mountain stream dashed over the layers of rock in a succession of small cascades; and, where it ran more smoothly, the glassy surface was broken in many a circle by the rising of the trout and grayling. Here Herbert, when a boy, used to wander with his angle-rod or his pencil; and often the whole family would pass a summer's holyday amidst the lovely scenery, and spread their repast under the shade of the enormous ash tree from which the valley took its name.

But, alas! a sad change-sad, at least, in the eyes of the lovers of the picturesque—had come over that happy valley. A rich capitalist, with " speculation in his eyes,” had marked its capa

eyes," no. Ich capital.ad come

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