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for the worship of others from which he dissents, and by which he can profit nothing. He pays twice over: once voluntarily, because he must have religious instruction from his own teachers; and once compulsorily, that others may be instructed who bear no part in the expense of his instruction. That this is a great hardship upon him no one can doubt. It forms the principal argument against an Establishment; nor is it any answer at all to urge, as some inconsiderately do, that the Dissenters have an interest in the Church, because it teaches the people at large, improves their morals, and so increases the security of the whole community, Dissenters as well as Churchmen. No doubt it does; but this advantage the Churchmen enjoy, as well as the Dissenters, and they (the Churchmen) enjoy it along with the benefits of religious instruction to themselves, for one payment—whereas the Dissenters have to pay a second time for their own religious instructions. The hardship, then, is indisputable, and there is no benefit whatever to be sel off against it. But then, if the Dissenter approves of having an Establishment, it seems impossible that there should be one without his suffering this hardship; unless, indeed, some fund existed wholly independent of the State—some fund over which the State had no control-something in the nature of private property, and sufficient to defray the whole expense of supporting the Established Church. If any portion of that expense falls upon the funds of the State, whether local or general --whether raised by rates in parishes, or by taxes on the community at large, or in any way whatever constituting the public purse, the Dissenter must be burdened to support the Established Church, unless a tax were specially levied upon Churchmen and no others, which would be utterly contrary to the very principle of an Establishment.
It seems to us evident that those Dissenters who profess to approveofan Established Church, and yet complain of paying rates, are led away by an indistinct conception of the nature of the funds by which the Establishment is maintained. Let us for a moment consider how this maintenance must of necessity be provided. It can only be in one of two ways—either by some property, some fund having been set apart for the use of the Church, and placed wholly beyond the control of the State; or by taxation, whether directly or indirectly. In order that there may be a particular fund set apart, there must be some body to whom that fund belongs—some corporation in whom the property is vested. But suppose for the present that the Church is such a body (we shall afterwards show the contrary, but admit this difficulty, for argument's sake, to be got over), and that there is a separate fund. It must be one wholly beyond reach of the State, in order to make it a fund in which the Dissenter has no interest. Moreover, it must be adequate to supply the whole wants of the Church, in order to support the Church without any aid from the community; that is, from the Dissenters, who form part of the community. If a shilling be required from the general fund of the State, the Dissenter contributes, and is aggrieved. Again--if the property said to be set apart for church uses is under the control of the State, it is public property, and may be used as the State thinks fit. If so, the Dissenter has exactly the same interest in it with the Churchman. He has precisely the same right to have it applied for the support of his worship that the Churchman has. It belongs to the public as much as the consolidated fund, or any other branch of the revenue. If it is used wholly for the maintenance of the Church, the Dissenter has to pay for his own religious instruction, while the Churchman receives his for nothing. Whether the latter receives this instruction at the joint expense of himself and the Dissenter, or from the fund which the Dissenter never can profit hy, makes no difference whatever in the relative situations and treatment of the two parties. Suppose (to simplify the matter) that there are two Churcbmen and iwo Dissenters, each requiring a hundred a-year to be paid for the support of their respective ministers; and suppose the Dissenters have to pay as much as the Churchmen for the support of the Church minister, while the Churchmen have to pay nothing for the support of the Dissenting minister. Each of the Churchmen will pay fifty pounds a-year, and each of the Dissenters a hundred, or fifty pounds more than the Churchmen. Suppose now that the separate fund pays the hundred for the Church minister, then the Churchmen pay nothing, and the Dissenters pay fifty pounds each—that is, they pay fifty pounds more than the Church men, as before—so that the Church expenses being defrayed out of the separate fund, makes no difference whatever in the relative payments of the parties.
The whole question then comes to this-whether or not the fund is really separate ?—whether it is one in which the community has no share, or one which belongs to the community, and is applied at its pleasure? If it is of the former description, the Dissenter has no right to complain; because his neighbour, having obtained by the bounty of some third party the means of worshipping cost-free, makes himself no worse off. But is the fund called Church property of this description? Is it really something belonging to the Church, and beyond the power of the State?
In one sense, it plainly is not beyond the control of the State, because the supreme power in the community may dispose of
this property as it may of every individuals and every corporate body's properly. But this is only by an act of power; it is an interference with the proprietor's right. Has the State no other authority over the property of the Church than it has over the property of individuals ?—that is to say, no right to touch it, unJess in order to accomplish some object necessary, or in the highest degree expedient for the community at large, and then only upon making the most ample compensation. Surely there can be no doubt that the State has a right to deal with it in a very different manner, and that it has at all times exercised this right. All that has been done with tithe at various times, all that has been done respecting Church lands,- shows that the property of the Church stands on a very different foundation from that of individuals. But in the very nature of the thing there is an essential difference. First, the proprietor is wanting in the case of the Church ; and, secondly, if you admit that there is a proprietor, he holds by a quite different tenure,-a tenure inconsistent with the supposition of ordinary properly.
First, The proprietor is wanting. There is no such thing as a church considered apart from the community. Men argue on this subject as if the Clergy were the Church, and formed a corporate body. Having assumed this, they suppose the property to be vested in it as a body. It is, however, perfectly well known that the clergy are no corporation,—that they have not one of the qualities or incidents of a corporation,-and that the Church is what the Thirty-nine Articles define it to be, 'a congregation of faith' fal men, in which the word of God is preached.' (Article 19). The laity form just as much a part of this congregation as the clergy; and no one certainly has ever gone so far as to maintain that tithe and church-lands belong to the lay and clerical members of the Establishment jointly. Corporations indeed there are of the clergy. Each bishop and each parson is a corporation sole, and each chapter a corporation corporate or aggregate. Then, can it be said that the property is vested in those numerous corporations ? This proposition is much more easily maintained than the other; but unfortunately, it has been whally disregarded at all times by the legislature, which has acted on the assumption that no such proposition could be supported. For if the property of each bishop, chapter, and parson be at all similar to that of lay corporations, or of individuals, how can it be said that the legislature is entitled to take from one bishop or one chapler and give to another, or from all bishops and chapters rateably, in order to increase the income of poor clergymen, that is, to transfer the property from one corporation to another ? And yet this is the thing in part done, and in part recommended by the very men who hold the highest doctrines on the inviolable nature of ecclesiastical property. Four years ago, the legislature abolished ten Irish bishoprics, threw the revenues of those sees into a fund for increasing other incomes, and reduced the revenues of the remaining sees in order to increase the same fund. Did any one ever hear of a bill for the more effectually equalising the incomes of corporate towns? Or, did any one ever dream of abolishing ten rich peerages, and seizing on their estates, in order to diminish the number of the poor nobility ? Those who are the most indignant at any portion of what is termed the Church property being taken for purposes not immediately connected with the Establishment, think that they have solved the difficulty, and preserved their consistency by taking a distinction between diverting and distributing. They deny that there is any right to apply the property beyond the Establishment, but hold that within the Establishment it may rightfully be parcelled out at the pleasure of the State. This is clearly another form of the fallacy which supposes the Church to be one corporate body. Even if it were, the interfering with its property, and compelling it to apply that property in a particular way, though among its own members, would be a dealing with corporate rights wholly unknown in the case of real corporations, with property admitted to be such. But as the Church is only a number of corporations, it is clear that to interfere and distribute the property, is, in reality, not to parcel out the property among the different members of one body; but to take from a certain number of corporate bodies, in order to bestow upon another set of corporate bodies. Nothing, therefore, can be more certain than that this distinction is wholly untenable, and that there is nothing in the case like a proprietor.
But so, secondly, is there also nothing like property. The mode in which we have just observed it to be dealt with shows this sufficiently; but there is another peculiarity which at once destroys all resemblance to property, in the ordinary sense of the word, namely, the conditions upon which it is possessed. It is inherent in, and essential to, the very nature of properly, that the enjoyment of it should be the main object. It is property, chiefly because it is for the use of the owner. But the funds which are enjoyed by the clergy are a remuneration for services performed by them. The main object is the service; and the revenue is a stipend in consideration for the service performed. It is not merely that a property is given and enjoyed, subject to the condition of performing a service; but the service is the principal matter; and a fund is established out of which a provision is made for supporting those who do that service.
We therefore may perceive that there is in reality no possibility of avoiding the position, that Church property is, to all intents and purposes, public property;--a portion of the funds belonging to the State, and over which the legislature has the undoubted right of distribution and of division; and has the duty of applying it so as best to answer the ends for which all public properiy is placed under the control of the legislature-namely, to promote the civil and religious interests of the community. If it is better for these interests that the whole or a portion of this fund should be applied to maintain a Church Establishment, to that it should be devoted. If any other mode of applying it is more advantageous, that mode should be preferred. But no distinction can be drawn between this and all the other funds of the State; and the Church is no more a corporation within the State, having a right to the exclusive possession and management of the funds hitherto destined for its support, than the army or the revenue departments of the public service, are corporate bodies, entitled to the portion of the public income hitherto appropriated to their sustentation. We are very far from putting the Church and these departments on the same footing in other respects. But upon the question of having a corporate existence, and a separate property
-an existence apart from the other orders of men, and the other public functionaries--a property exempt from the control of the State—they all stand in the same position.
It becomes the more necessary to keep these principles steadily in view, because they form the only possible ground upon
which the fund proposed by the Government as a substitute for Churchrates, can be rightfully appropriated to that use.
The plan was this : the lands. possessed by the bishops and chapters are now let upon leases of twenty-one years, in general renewable every seven years for a fine, which may
be varied by agreement between the lessor and lessee; or they are let upon lives paying a fine on replacing each that drops. Take the case of leases for twenty-one years, because the same reasoning will apply to those on lives. For the most part, a very small rent is reserved, but the fine bears a proportion to the real yearly value. It is most usually two, or two and a-half years of that real value. But if the parties cannot agree, it is at the option of either to terminate the contract; that is, the tenant, if he does not choose to pay the fine demanded, may continue to occupy, without paying either that or the next fine at the end of the fourteenth year; and, at the end of twenty-one years from his last renewal, his lease will expire. The bishop, or chapter, in like manner, if they prefer letting the lease run out to receiving the fines, may do 50; and, at the expiration of the twenty-one years, take pos