Obrázky stránek
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

CAPTAIN FIELI), R.N., The Grove, Gosport.


[ocr errors]

I had no intention of speaking when I came into this room. I came with an un-
prejudiced mind to listen to what might be said on the question, but at the request of
some friends, I am very pleased to intrude upon you for a few minutes. My excuse is
simply this : I am a politician, and I hope a sincere churchman. As a candidate for
Parliament, I thought it my duty to obtain some personal knowledge of our great
colonies, and have recently returned from an extensive tour in India, Australia, New
Zealand, America, and Canada. I have listened with great interest to the excellent
papers of the Bishop of Newcastle, the Hon. Mrs. Joyce, and the Rev. J. F. Kitto,
bat I have endeavoured, and have all along endeavoured, since my return from the
colonies, to look at the question from a political point of view. I do not think the
remedies suggested to-night really meet the difficulty, they merely touch the fringe of
the question. On all hands it is admitted that the population is increasing half a
million a year, and in that period not a quarter of a million leave our shores. We
are told that in forty years' time our population will have increased to eighty millions.
Think of our position then, is nothing is done by our public bodies, or by Parliament,
to meet this state of things. I do not think the Church alone is able to grapple with
the difficulty, but she is doing enormous good in pressing this question on public
attention. I see no proper remedy unless the State grapples with it. Already you
have laws, but few people are aware of it, empowering Boards of Guardians to grant
£10 to assist people to emigrate. I wonder if any Board exercises their powers
under the Act. There is a power, but it is a dormant power, and nothing is done.
I look forward to the newly enfranchised electors pressing this question upon candidates
and members of Parliament, and I trust that the practical effect of it may be the
finding of a real remedy for this increasing difficulty. Some people talk about what
the Church is to do in this matter, but I sail to see that any permanent remedy can be
found, except by legislation and State-aided emigration. Parliament must grapple with
it; the Church is not capable of doing so. On my return from the Colonies, I was
deeply impressed and pained to see the dense masses of poverty in our large towns.
Owing to the congestion of our population, measures are urgently required to lessen the
evil. Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, we may say, are England-you simply
change your domicile by going there, and there is a little strip of water beiween you.
I do not want to say anything against anybody going to Canada. I wish to put all our
colonies on the same level, and let anyone go where his own spirit leads him. Our
proposal is that the State may very properly advance money by way of loan in aid of
emigration. When I was in Australia, the Government of Queensland voted
£250,000, and the Government of New South Wales £150,000, to promote emigra-
tion to those Colonies from the mother country; New Zealand also voted £50,000
for the same object. What is deemed to be lawful and wise in the action of the
executive of a colony, I fail to see can be very wrong or unwise for the mother
country to adopt. I do not advocate paying money to individual emigrants, but the
granting of assisted passages by way of loan, in conjunction with the daughter colony,
it would be a mere matter of account between the colony and mother country. The
authority in the colony would collect the money so advanced by instalments, which
would be paid in most cases within twelve months. Does not the State make grants
in aid of education, why not also in aid of emigration? I see no reason why in every
Union every Board of Guardians should not be the Emigration Committee, the clerk
being the emigration officer, and it ought to be the duty of that officer to furnish every
information to intending emigrants. I do not think it is the clergyman's duty more
than that of the laity to take charge of this matter. I care not what the machinery
is, but machinery there must be to grapple with it, and public opinion must force this
pressing question. The Church and benevolent individuals may, doubtless, do some-
thing to mitigate the evil for a time, by forming parochial committees, and by raising
subscriptions to assist deserving people to emigrate, as is being done already in many
large parishes, but we must look to Parliament and public authorities to deal properly
with a question of this magnitude.

Rev. E. A. SALMON, Vicar of Martock ; Prebendary of Wells,


I am only going to say a few words to plead for the emigrants settled in our colonies. We have heard to-night, and I am sure there is no one in the room not impressed by the facts, of the desolation, and misery, and distress in our manufacturing towns and great cities, and the need of extended emigration ; but what has become of those millions that we have sent out during the last few years, and who have increased and multiplied ? What about their spiritual comfort, and what has the Church of England done for thein? Some of them have settled in places where their spiritual wants have been provided for. Canada has come to the front in this respect ; but still, year after year, we are sending out about a quarter of a million of our people, and we are doing but little in many parishes throughout England to aid the great work of providing for their spiritual necessities. I grieve to say there are many country parishes now where this great work is never brought before the people. Many parishes there are that do little for foreign missions. Many content themselves with working only for the heathen. I have found parishes which have sent out emigrants year after year, and have done nothing whatever to help the societies for their spiritual aid. I think the time has come when we see the great necessity for emigration, and when the Church of England, in every parish throughout the land, should do something more to support such a work as has been brought before us this evening. I would press this matter most earnestly on my brethren, although I hope there are none here to-night who have hitherto done nothing in their parishes for this great cause. I do feel that there ought not to be any; and I think that it is hardly fair that the claims of our emigrants should not at least be brought before our people. In answer to my appeals in this good cause, I have always met with generous responses, and, in many instances, associations have been forined after a sermon or meeting to help on the spiritual work in our colonies. Let us throw aside everything like party questions, everything like minor considerations, and let the great Church of England come to the front in this great work of providing for the spiritual necessities of emigrants. We have heard a great many bitter cries from our great cities, but there is also a cry that comes from the wilderness; from the solitary places in northwest America, and in some parts of Australia, and New Zealand; so let us as Englishmen answer it liberally and heartily, and come to the front manfully in this great cause.

[ocr errors]

Rev. HARRY JONES, Rector of Great Barton; Prebendary of

St. Paul's. As a speaker, I find that I have only five minutes to live, and I will keep strictly within the limits. In glancing back at some of the suggestions for the better spreading of knowledge of emigration, I cannot help thinking that if a respectable workingman is worth twice as much on the other side of the world as he is here, there ought to be the same thing as an international emigration society, whereby he might be able to turn to the nearest post-office, and say, Give me £20, and I will send back £30 in such and such a time." If such an association could be formed, it would put within the reach of working-men throughout the country valuable means for shifting themselves to places where work could be found. With regard to the work of the emigrant, you must recollect that he has to toil hard. He must be industrious and frugal. There is no use in a drunkard's going to the colonies--a drunkard is not much good anywhere. It depends upon the man himself whether he succeeds. With regard to the work of the Church, I wish to emphasise a remark which has fallen from one or two of the speakers with regard to the willingness of emigrants to receive spiritual ministrations. I found when, in the territory of British North America, I was visiting a number of emigrants, that they had a strange, but an unquestionably keen, appetite for religious ministrations. They felt the value of what they under valued when at home. With one more suggestion, I conclude. I do not see why there should not be found among us a number of young clergymen of good physical power, as well as good spiritual faith, who would be willing to go out for a few years and see something of the working of a growing nation, and come back with a far wider and wiser estimate of the English labourer and the English Church.

The Rev. C. ARTHUR LANE, late Rector of All Saints',

Winnipeg, Canada. The Bishop propounded three questions in his opening address: where do our emigrants go, how do we help them, and what shall be their future? They go-to Australasia, South Africa, some to the United States, and most of them now go to Canada. Why comparatively few go to the United States is because the United States does not encourage British emigration. Canada is the principal country for English emigrants. How do we help these emigrants ? We have heard that they are assisted with the ministrations of the Church en route, but they are not assisted in the same spiritual manner when they arrive at their destinations in the far North-West, it may be twenty miles from a railway, or a hundred miles from a place where they can get the same spiritual advantages they have enjoyed at home. Yet these are the classes of people who ought to receive ministrations from the Church. You have heard what care the Roman Catholics and Presbyterians take of their several interests out in those far off places, and that they do all in their power to proselytise, while we are thinking how to act, and losing our sheep. Why should not we, as suggested, send over some capable men as travelling missionaries to correct the mis-statements such make respecting our history, doctrines, and orders? Then you must remember that of these people who go out as emigrants, although some of them remain in towns, a great many work on the farms—sometimes 50 miles from a church. Travelling missionaries could easily visit these within a radius of 20, 30, or 50 miles, and hold meetings in barns and houses, and give lectures during winter months. You may ask why don't the Canadian bishops do this? I answer, because most of them seem to have no earthly idea, but to raise some imposing Cathedral system, such as those which so many dignitaries felt it necessary to apologise for this afternoon.



ADMIRAL RYDER in the Chair.




The Rev. C. A. Row, Prebendary of St. Paul's. The first 36 years of my life constitute the longest interval of peace which has been enjoyed by the European nations since the downfall of the Roman Empire of the West. Such was the effect, which was produced on the public mind by the 21 years of war which followed the First French Revolution. I do not mean that this interval was free from internal struggles which resulted in a certain amount of bloodshed, but that during that time there was no formal declaration of war by one nation against another. But during this interval of peace, another generation, who knew nothing of the horrors of war, and were dazzled

[ocr errors]

with its so-called glories, had grown up; and the result has been, that not only have several terrific wars broken out, which most of my hearers can well remember, but the Christian nations of Europe have gone on so increasing their armaments, that at this moment of nominal peace, little short of 5,000,000 of armed men are ready to engage in the work of mutual slaughter. Let it be observed that this is about ten times the number of the forces which were maintained by the Roman Empire at the height of its power, yet it was a military heathen monarchy, while the nations of Europe are the professed subjects of the King of Peace.

It cannot be denied that this is a state of things which urgently demands the attention of the Church of God. How comes it to pass that since the conversion of the nations of Europe to Christianity, they have been engaged in a continuous state of warfare, only interrupted by very brief intervals of peace? Does Christianity speak on this subject with a faltering voice? Can it be that the Church of God has been doing its duty respecting war during the centuries of the past ? Let us hear the teaching of its Founder.

“ Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." “ All ye are brethren.” “Put up thy sword into its place.” “Love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you, that ye may be the sons of your Father who is in heaven."

Let us hear His Apostles. “ The Gospel of peace.” “The God of peace.” “The fruit of the

” Spirit is peace.” “The God of peace Himself give you peace at all times in all ways.” “ Love one another from the heart fervently." “ He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love.” “Where jealousy and faction are, there is contention, and every evil deed.”

It surely must be a work of supererogation before a Christian audience to extend my quotations. Every reader of the New Testament cannot fail to perceive that its underlying principle is peace, and that it affirms it to be the duty of the Church, and of every individual Christian, to promote peace at all times and in all ways. In truth, the teaching of the New Testament is more opposed to war than it is to slavery; for while its fundamental principles are utterly subversive of the latter, yet it contains no precept directly condemning it, while both its spirit and its letter are condemnatory of war. Why, then, has the Church succeeded in subverting slavery? Because it has boldly pronounced it to be inconsistent with Christianity. Why is it that all it has effected with respect to war is to diminish its barbarity? Because instead of denouncing it in the name of the King of Peace, it has spoken with a hesitating voice, and even not unfrequently taken it under its patronage. With the exception of certain efforts during the middle ages to restrain the work of mutual slaughter by proclaiming what was called the truce of God, it has too often blessed its weapons, consecrated its standards, and thrown the halo of religion over the chivalrous knight, who, while he acted with all courtesy towards his brother knight, bathed his sword without pity in the blood of the townsman or the peasant; and has even sung for socalled glorious victory Te Deums to the God of peace.

Yet what is war ? Let some of the great battle fields of modern Europe speak. Hundreds of thousands of Christian brothers arrayed for the work of mutual slaughter. Thirty or forty thousand lying dead


on the battle field. Double that number wounded. Vast numbers destroyed by disease. Whole districts ravaged. The worst feelings called into active energy, and all the ameliorating influences exerted by Christianity, and the course of civilization stopped. It would be easy to enlarge this terrible list; but it involves what to the Christian ought to be more terrible still, the duty of Christian brothers in opposite armies to do their utmost to kill one another. It has often occurred to me that their meeting in the unseen world must be a strange one. But this is even far from being its worst aspect. If Christianity is true, what, viewed in its light, is the meaning of glorious victory? The sudden hurrying of thousands of human beings, while animated with the fiercest passions, into the presence of their God. Let each who hears me consider for himself what this means.

My position therefore is, that warfare, as it has been practised among Christian nations, is in direct contradiction to the teaching of Christ and His apostles, both in its letter and in its spirit.

But let me not be misunderstood, I do not affirm that all wars are unlawful. There is nothing incompatible with Christianity in a war which is really and truly defensive, for a nation has as good a right to protect itself against invasion as individuals have to protect themselves from burglars. I use the words “really and truly defensive," because nothing is easier than by the aid of a little sophistry, by playing on men's fears, and by standing up for what is called "prestige,” to metamorphose any offensive war into a defensive one. Do not think that I undervalue "prestige,” but let it be the “ prestige ” of exhibiting in our political, social, and individual capacity the principles of Christianity. This will do more to consolidate our empire than all the prestige of force or military glory.

I shall be doubtless told by many that the idea of acting on the principles of the New Testament is no better thau a visionary dream. I have heard it said that if we were to do so our national greatness would be gone, India would be in revolt, and the tradesmen would be ruined. To argue this point with an unbeliever would occupy far more than the space which can be assigned to this entire paper. But with him who professes to acknowledge that the work and teaching of Jesus Christ is not of man, but of God, I can deal very summarily. Jesus Christ claims to rule supreme over the conduct of every Christian, whether it be in his political, social, or his individual capacity. To say that this is impracticable is to deny the validity of his claim, and therefore the truth of His mission.

I have already said that I defend a war which is really defensive on precisely the same principle that I would not hesitate to fire on a burglar who entered my house at night, supposing I could do so safely. Nations often have been and are no better than burglars. Such burglars have been no small number of Kings, Emperors, and even Republics. But let us be careful that the war we are going to wage is against a real political burglar, and not one of our imaginations and our fears, for Christian nations have only been too ready to manufacture such. But in all the usual occasions which impel men to war, it is the duty of a Christian nation to exhaust every means to preserve peace before it draws the sword, for at best war is a great calamity; God only knows how great. I think, however, that the

« PředchozíPokračovat »