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and permanent poverty by which he is surrounded. Besides this there are innumerable claims upon his purse, from institutions and societies for the promotion of various benevolent and religious objects, local, provincial, diocesan, and metropolitan. He must subscribe to the county hospital, the diocesan training school, the Christian Knowledge Society, the Missionary Society, and the National School Society. Besides these necessary things, there will be voluntary offerings expected from him, dependent on his theological party; if he is a Low Churchman, he must contribute for the conversion of the Jews; if a Tractarian, for the conversion of the archbishop. Meanwhile we had almost forgotten that Mr. Christopher Hodgson will summon bim annually to pay the tenths of his benefice to Queen Anne's Bounty Office; and that he will also be compelled to excuse several of his poorer parishioners from the payment of their tithes. If he be a man of average liberality, these various claims will subtract at the least another 1001. a year from his income. Meanwhile his legal brother discharges his conscience and more than satisfies all expectations, by the disbursement of 101. per annum in charitable donations. Thus our fortunate incumbent will have about 5251. of net income, out of which he must pay 291. (the income tax on 10001.) to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and congratulate himself that he has still nearly 5001. remaining for the maintenance of his household and the education of his family.
Such is an accurate account of the professional receipts of the wealthiest among the parochial clergy. But, to appreciate 'the vast wealth of our Church' as it deserves, it must be remembered that there are only 174 livings which amount to 10001. a year; that there are only a thousand which amount
benefices, more than 8000 are below 3001. a year. Hence twothirds of the parochial incumbents receive less than 3001. per annum from their profession, and out of this they are often compelled, by the large population of their parishes, to maintain an assistant; and below these there are nearly 5000 curates, whose salary does not average above 1001. a year. If the clergy are not actually sunk in such poverty as this, it is because they possess, in most cases, a private fortune equal in amount to their professional income, and often far exceeding it.
But some will say that if the parochial clergy are too poor, the dignitaries of the Church are too rich; and that bishops, deans, and canons absorb the revenues which ought to be distributed among their more needy brethren. To this we may reply, in the first place, that the abolition of all these diguities would only put an additional 360,0001, a year at our disposal ; and that, supposing this sum divided among the 13,000 * clergy (incumbents and curates) whose income is below 300l., it would only give each of them 271. a year more than he has at present; an addition which would make no appreciable difference in their position. But again, we deny that the dignities of the Church are unreasonably endowed, as compared with the highest posts in other professions. The 28 f bishops and archbishops have incomes (under the new system) of about 50001. each. Now there are 22 judges in the Courts of Chancery, Queen's Bench, Common Pleas, and Exchequer, with average salaries of about 60001. Moreover the number of barristers (as appears from the Law List of 1853) is below 4000; whereas the number of clergy is above 18,000. So that while more than 4 barristers in 1000 are elevated to the Bench, scarcely more than one clergyman in 1000 attains the mitre. At present the Church and Bar are recruited from the same classes of society, by men who are subjected to the same education, and pass through school and college side by side. We do not see why we should grudge to the heads of one profession the position which no one grudges to the heads of the other. But if the episcopal incomes are not unreasonably large, still less can the secondary dignities, the deaneries and canonries, be thought too highly endowed. The income of the deaneries is fixed for the future at an average of 10001. each. Under these are 4 canonries in each cathedral, averaging at present 6001. each. Besides these are 70 archdeacons, 8 of whom hold canonries, and the rest receive on the average only 1501. each. Compare these emoluments with those of masters in Chancery, bankruptcy commissioners, county court judges, and police magistrates, and we shall again find 'that the Bar has a great advantage, even in nominal emoluments, over the Church.
But to this it may be replied, that the prizes of the Bar are always given, if not to the worthiest, at any rate to the worthy; and that it is scarcely possible to bestow such patronage on a
Besides the 4,885 curates, there are 8,230 incumbents receiving less than 3001. a year ; which makes 13,115 in all with less than 3001. a year.
† Including Sodor and Man.
$ If we compare another profession of similar education, that of Physic, we find (from Dr. Hope's statement in his Life) that a London physician in good second-rate practice makes 40001. a year. The heads of the profession make much more.
By 3 & 4 Vict. c. 113. Four deaneries are to have more than this, but six or seven others have at present less.
barrister totally incompetent; while, on the other hand, the high places of the Church have been too often filled by men who had no claim whatever except political connexion or personal servility. We must acknowledge the truth of this charge as applying to the past ; and it fully accounts for the difference of feeling with which the dignities of the two professions are regarded by the public. But it should be remembered that if Church appointments have been bad, it is the fault of the advisers of the Crown, and therefore the fault of the Parliament and of the nation, which has regarded such appointments not with indignation but with apathy. A better spirit is now aroused, and the appointments made during the last ten years have been, for the most part, highly creditable. There is every reason to hope that the improved tone of public opinion will continue to enlighten the conscience of cabinet ministers, and to purify the fountains of preferment.
But though it be granted that the dignities of the Church are not excessive either in number or in wealth, considered as the prizes of a secular profession, still it may be argued that the existence of such prizes interferes with the spiritual interests of the Church. It is well (it may be said that the labours of the barrister, the soldier, or the physician should be animated by the hopes of wealth and the aspirations of ambition ; but the minister of religion should need no such earthly stimulants to rouse his sense of duty, and his zeal should be kindled at a holier altar than that of Mammon. We entirely sympathise in these sentiments, and freely acknowledge that if the abolition of the high offices of the Church would purify the motives of her ministers, or if, as a general rule, they were induced to enter their profession by the hope of rank and wealth, we should gladly instal Messrs. Bright and Horsman as Ecclesiastical Commissioners, with full powers to abate the redundant opulence of the hierarchy. But, if we examine the facts, we shall find that the supposed motives do not really influence the clergy to any appreciable extent. Much misapprehension has been caused on this subject by one of the cleverest of Sydney Smith's writings, his inimitable Letters to Archdeacon Sin
gleton.' This, like all his works, combines sparkling wit with clear-headed common sense; but the latter quality sometimes overleaps itself, and intrudes into regions where shrewdness is not the supreme arbiter of truth. For too much knowledge of the world may sometimes as far mislead a man as too little ; the motives of the simple may be hidden from the crafty by their very craft; as a lighted candle in a man's hand will blind him to the stars in the heavens. Thus when Sydney
Smith gauges the motives of eighteen thousand country clergymen by the standard measure which he would apply to three or four hundred London barristers, his knowledge of the world does not save him from showing an ignorance of human nature. He starts with an assumption that the clergy are induced to take Orders by the hope of gaining high preferment. They are all competitors in a game of chance, where the blanks are curacies and the prize a mitre. The whole income of the • Church,' he says, if equally divided, would be about 250l. for
each minister. Who would go into the Church, and spend • 12001. or 15001. on his education, if such were the highest
remuneration he could ever look to ? At present men are • tempted into the Church by the prizes of the Church.'* And he compares this to the case of the Bar, where each • man hopes to be a Scarlett or a Brougham, and takes out his * ticket in a lottery where the mass must infallibly lose, trusting
to his good fortune, and believing that the prize is reserved • for him, disappointment for others. So it is with the • Clergy.'t And again he says: “By the old plan of paying by • lottery, not only do you obtain a parochial clergy upon much
cheaper terms, but from the gambling propensities of human nature, and the irresistible tendency to hope that they shall 'gain the great prizes, you tempt men into your service who • keep up their credit and yours not by your allowance, but by • their own capital.' * ** If I was writing in gala and • parade, I would not hold this language; but we are in earnest, and on business. * * * We must get down at once to the solid rock, without heeding how we disturb the turf and the
flowers above.'t Thus it appears that the solid rock' on which the Church is founded, is the love of money, which has erroneously been called the root of all evil. This is surely the most original of all the manifold interpretations of that controverted text, Super hanc petram ædificabo ecclesiam meam.
Now, we freely own that if this were a true representation of the Establishment, we should be exceedingly inclined to echo the battle-cry of Dissent, • Down with her, down with her, even 'unto the ground.' But it requires only a slight acquaintance with the ordinary specimens of clerical humanity, to show that Sydney Smith's view is founded only on exceptional instances. We must, indeed, take his word for it, that he was himself actuated by the motives which he describes; and we may acknowledge that a certain number of able and ambitious men,
in every generation, are brought into the ministry of the Church by similar calculations. But this number is very small, in comparison with those who are attracted by influences wholly different. The prizes in a lottery can excite the hopes of those only who have taken the tickets; and the ticket-holders in Smith's ecclesiastical lottery must necessarily be few. In other words, the great majority of clergymen are ordained with the full knowledge that they cannot by possibility obtain any of the higher dignities. These prizes, so far as they are open
to competition at all, are open only to those who are qualified to compete for them by literary distinction, or by aristocratic connexion. Men who possess either of these qualifications, may be suspected of entering the Church for the sake of its deaneries and bishoprics. But how many are these, out of the 18,000 clergymen of England ? If we said that one in twenty thought himself possessed of such claims, that he would be disappointed if he passed through life without gaining an ecclesiastical dignity, we should greatly exaggerate the number. We cannot doubt, if we look at facts, that the great mass of the existing clergy entered upon their profession with a full knowledge of their prospects. They originally expected and calculated on that lot which they have subsequently obtained.
No doubt, however, Sydney Smith is right in his assertion, that the actual income derived by the majority of clergymen from their profession, is a motive quite inadequate to explain their adopting such a line of life. He says, truly, that the money spent on their education might have been more profitably invested in trade. And he farther calls attention to the remarkable fact (which he was the first to point out,) that the average private fortune of the clergy exceeds their professional income. He takes seven clergymen promiscuously, in his own neighbourhood, and finds that the aggregate of their permanent income, from private sources, amounts to about the same as the aggregate of their clerical income from church preferment. We have ourselves made a similar estimate, and found that in twelve adjacent parishes, the total ecclesiastical income of the incumbents was 4,2001., and the total private income 6,4001. And we believe, that it would be found generally, that Sydney Smith's calculation underrates the usual proportion of a clergyman's private to his professional resources. In order to form a rough estimate of the real circumstances of the case, let any one look round his neighbourhood, and observe how few of the clergy can be considered as living at the rate of less than 5001. a-year. Yet such an expenditure would (as we have seen) be about double the average professional income of a clergyman.
ested in their eline of life, quite inadeity of classertion,