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backwater beside the general cur- tive Methodist Conference differs from rent.

all the rest in having two lay members The layman's claim to "equal rights,” for every minister. The Presbyterian of which the dislike for clerical dress is governing Synod is composed of the a minor symptom, is increasingly ur- minister and one layman from each gent in the sphere of Church govern- congregation, and of the college proment. A kindred instinct has been fessors; so that the ministerial element lately manifested in the Church of En- slightly preponderates. The only congland itself, and must, in the opinion of stitutional change of importance now Nonconformists, lead to considerable under discussion in this denomination curtailments of episcopal and pastoral is one by which the life appointment of authority in that communion. Next to ministers would give place to somethe Anglicans, so far as the power of thing like the Methodist itinerating systhe clergy is concerned, come the Wes- tem. One proposal is that ministers leyans. Twenty years ago the denomi- should as a rule be changed every five nation was ruled entirely by its minis- years; another is that seven years ters. Then laymen were admitted to a should be the limit, with power of exsort of half-membership in the govern- tension for life if the minister and coning Conference. That is to say, the gregation agree. While Presbyterians clergy met first by themselves and set- are thus retreating from one extreme, tled all questions of doctrine and dis- and trying to reduce pastorates to a pecipline and the appointment of minis- riod which will not exhaust the sermonters to the various circuits for the next izing power of an average preacher, three years; and then the lay repre- the Wesleyans are coming to meet sentatives came in to a joint session at them from the other extreme. Conferwhich matters of finance

dis- ence has given a guarded approval to cussed. Ten years ago a further con- a lengthening of the pastoral term cession was made; the pastoral session from three years to six; and the prowas divided into two parts, of which posal is being referred to the local only one was to be held before the rep- synods, quarterly meetings, and trusresentative session. The last step in tees. the direction of equality is now under What to others may seem a far more discussion. A proposal that in future notable innovation is the proposed apthe joint session shall be held first has pointment of Wesleyan bishops. Wesbeen adopted by important con- leyanism, however, is already to some nectional committee—the votes being extent episcopal; and the practical prothirty to five. If this change is carried posal now before the denomination is out, the laymen will come in on the not to increase the episcopal power of first day of Conference, and will take the present district chairmen so much part in the election of the president as to relieve them of the congregational who wields great executive powers dur- or other offices they now hold and allow ing his term of office. The joint session them to give their whole time to episcowill then proceed to settle all questions pal duties. The proposal has not yet into which the financial element enters; obtained the approval of Conference. and this category is so wide that the It is well known that Methodist bishops supplementary meeting of ministers are common in the United States; and may find itself with very little work to although the title of bishop was aboldo. In the Conference of the Methodist ished in Canada a few years ago when New Connection there is equal lay the Methodist Episcopal Church united and ministerial representation. In the with the other Methodist bodies, the of. United Methodist Free Church Con- fice survives in the hands of "General ference the proportion depends on the superintendents.” Among Congregawill of the various circuits represented tionalists and Baptists as at present orand in practice this leads to a large pre- ganized-or unorganized—there is no ponderance of ministers. The Primi- legislative body which can either trans

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fer a minister from one church to an- into play against such evils the other or delegate authority to bishops. gambling habit, intemperate drinking, The grievance caused by pastorates and licentiousness. Sometimes the difwhich have exceeded their natural and ferent denominations unite in mainuseful duration can therefore be only taining Christian work at poor centres, remedied by the individual congrega- and in at least one case already a tion turning its minister adrift. This, church is being built by united effort, in the absence of a general scheme by its ultimate ecclesiastical connection which he could at once find work else- being regarded as an indifferent matwhere, the congregation is loth to do ter. In carrying out plans of visitation until the prosperity of the church is in- each church makes itself responsible jured perhaps beyond repair. In these for an allotted district, which becomes two bodies there is no desire for author- its parish. By this delimitation of itative persons; but there is a distinct "spheres of influence" a check is put desire for some means by which the de- upon the competition of the different nomination as a whole might exercise sects, and upon the overlapping of authority over churches which cannot charitable relief. The multiplication of stand on their own legs without denom- unnecessary chapels may be said to inational support.

have ceased, the sectarian spirit which The net result of these and other called them into existence having bemovements is a remarkable broadening come too weak to be aggressive. and assimilation of opinion and prac- Whether the new federation will be tice among the principal Nonconformist able to undo the mischief by persuadsects. They have come close to ing two or three feeble groups of worgether that nothing seems to prevent shippers to unite in one healthy congretheir union, and union, accordingly, we gation remains to be seen. see in

process of accomplishment. If the term “High Church” were not There are two forms of union-federa- commonly identified with a sacramention and amalgamation. The second of tarian and ritualistic party no better these may, and probably will, grow out expression could be used to describe of the first, and a beginning will very Nonconformity as found in its new fedlikely be made by the Wesleyans and eral councils. While objecting to the other Methodists within a distance State establishment of a sect, Nonconmeasurable by years rather than by formity objects far more strongly to a decades. But a federal union has not State which does not embody the Chrisonly been found practicable without tian spirit in its laws and in its social disturbance to existing organizations, life. The right of the State to control but has been by all the organizations religion is denied, but the duty of religion warmly welcomed. The Na Free to mould the State is affirmed. For this Church Council, as the new federal par- purpose Nonconformists desire to work liament is called, has no more legisla- hand in hand with the Church whentive power than the Church Congress; ever the position of the Church will albut the Council is more formally rep- low; and the Church will obviously find resentative, being composed of properly it easier to work with a federated Nonelected delegates from local councils in conformity, whose position can readily which all the sections of Methodism, be ascertained, than with a number of the Congregationalists and Baptists, Nonconforming items. In South Lonthe Presbyterians, the Quakers, and don a joint committee of Churchmen other evangelical dissenting bodies and Free Churchmen has already been have united. The movement aims at formed, with the Bishop of Rochester creating in every part of the country a for chairman, to carry on rescue work close alliance of hitherto isolated forces, and to stimulate the civil authorities superseding rivalry by co-operation. in campaign against disorderly United missions are undertaken on a houses. At the same time, the federalarge scale; the united force is brought tion of Nonconformists involves a

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strengthening of their resistance to the through the same trunk, the Church of Church of England in its proselytizing the past, and through their many leaves and excommunicating moods. From from the same heaven, the Spirit in one point of view the dissenting de- which they both believe. But the connominations by uniting with each other forming branch-to change the metaemphasize the fact of their division phor-is in possession of the old home from the Church; though the dropping stead, and the nonconforming branch of the term “Nonconformist” shows a has had to build a new house for itself. desire to lay stress the positive The long line of "orders," uniformly if rather than "oppositive" nature of Free superficially transmitted, attracts and Church life. In the more or less dis- awes the genealogical mind. Then tant future it is hoped that Noncon- there is the imposing ceremonial of formist federation will prove a step- Anglican worship. This appeals to ping-stone rather than a stumbling- the æsthetic faculties of many who are block to a larger federation in which Nonconformists by strong conviction. the Church of England will take a noble It appeals with irresistible force to share. But for the present Noncon- those who are only Nonconformists formists are too busy with practical af- by hereditary habit and to those who fairs to discuss the obviously impracti- have few strong religious convictions cable; and the sense of their own in- of any kind. These folks would drop creasing freedom from schisms will out of the church-going habit altogether scarcely incline them to amalgamate if they could not worship where the with a Church torn by the tremendous eye and ear are treated with great conschism which divides the High Church- sideration. Politics have had a little man from the Evangelical.

to do with lapses from Nonconformity. One of the most significant facts in The sharp division of opinion on the connection with this very significant Irish question, though this subject migut movement is that a catechism is being never be referred to in the pulpit, could prepared for the common use of the not but cause a sense of isolation in the Federated Churches, and that by this minds of Unionist Dissenters. More and other means “Free Church” history potent as a repelling influence is the and principles will be systematically growing urgency with which ministers ingrained in the minds of the young. dwell on the connection of religion with In the separated denominations such the problems of poverty, wages, and teaching has been neglected, largely sanitation. Dissent has shed many of because of the disinclination to dwell its most prominent men in the last few on points of difference. This is now years; and when the father shrinks felt to have been a cause of serious from breaking the ecclesiastical conloss. Children whose mental nourish- nections of a lifetime his sons are inment in their most impressionable years fected with a spirit of discontent which includes the story of their stalwart and has no such obstacle to encounter. The often heroic ancestors, and who are genuine if not well-founded sense of taught with clearness-not without injustice caused by the minister's habit charity-the reasons why the ancestral of taking the side of the poor against steps cannot be retraced, will not be so the rich is closely allied with a less easily influenced as the Nonconformist wortliy instinct-an unwillingness to youth of to-day by the temptations to suffer the social disabilities under Conformity. These temptations—the which Nonconformists still labor. The causes of that leakage from Dissent of vicar of a wealthy suburb called on a which a great deal has been heard-are new parishioner the other day. His many. There is the glamour of an- countenance fell when he found that tiquity. To be sure, the conforming the lady was a Congregationalist, and and nonconforming branches of the he exclaimed in evident pity, "I'm Church are in a very real sense of equal afraid you won't have any society!" age; they draw their nourishment The stigma of unfashionableness, of so

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cial inferiority, is keenly felt by the so- the advantage. Nonconformity has its cially ambitious; and there is a common failures and unsolved problems, and proverb that a carriage and pair never plenty of them. So has the State stay with a Dissenting family for three Church-quite enough to make it hesigenerations. It is contended by some tate before claiming superiority for its experienced observers that the tide of methods and monopoly for its divine loss has now been turned, and it is un- ordination. deniable that against the losses from From this sketch of the present the these and other causes must be put reader may draw his own picture of very appreciable gains. A large num- the future of the Free Churches. To ber of Anglicans have taken refuge in one who sees much of the work both of Nonconformist churches from "priestly Nonconformity and of the English assumptions and Popish practices.” Church there seems no reason to supThe exceptionable ability of particular pose that Free Church Christianity is ministers also draws many English doomed. There seems to be good Churchmen into Dissenting places of ground for believing that, when worship.

the Church of England is ready for The net result of all this give-and-take any sort of religious co-operation, the is probably a numerical loss, though Nonconforming half of English Chrisnot a large one, to Nonconformity, and tianity will be found strong, wella financial loss perhaps a little more equipped, and in every way worthy of serious. Nevertheless all the chief so dignified an alliance. Nonconformist bodies are steadily increasing in numbers, and the Methodists and Presbyterians are probably increasing in wealth. The resources

From Les Annáles. of Nonconformists in means and leis

AN INFLUX OF ART. ure are much smaller than those of the We live in an era of Art. The numChurch of England; but the Free bers of unhappy Frenchmen who are Churchmen throw a larger proportion resolved, at all costs, to be great poets, of their resources into their work. They great painters, great musicians, great have many notable successes to encour- sculptors, or great scientists-it matters age them. They have their flourishing not which-will end by rendering Paris suburban congregations of well-to-do uninhabitable. Every person you meet folk, who almost invariably carry on is a genius of some sort. The merely a multifarious mission work in districts clever have quite disappeared. Even too poor to support churches of their talent has become extremely rare, but own. In purely industrial centres they the geniuses swarm. The time is a have gathered large and regular Sun- fearful time for vocations. O Art, Art! day afternoon congregations of men Things have come to such a pass, who a few years ago would have been that if the child of a respectable famreckoned among the "lapsed masses.” ily were to show a decided taste for Even in London, with its vast nomadic commerce, agriculture, or any mild laboring population and its hopeless form of colonization, the father would depths of self-indulgence at both ends be visited by terrible suspicions conof the social scale, you may find a cerning the origin of the monster. lirom parish church manned by six clergy- genuine Latin blood, only artists can men and various lay agents yet at- spring. The child who differs from his tended by fewer people than go to a kindred, in not being endowed by all dissenting chapel with its one minister the muses, must needs be a product of helped by a few lay members in their the new world. I have a notion of scanty leisure. A similar contrast something novel in comedy, a scene, might no doubt be found with the parts say, like the following: reversed, except that in the number of Father.-"Come to me, my son. You official workers the Church always has are now of age, and the voice of Na

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ture must have spoken clearly within passion is returned by the young lady you. Take this palette and these who is herself an eminent painter on brushes and do me a Rubens. I will porcelain, and cannot see a white plate wait."

without dropping a few painted flowers Son.-"I don't know how."

upon it. In spice of the difference of Father.-"Then take this lump of pot position, for the turner is poor and ter's clay, and produce a Michael An- turns in vain, the youth ventures to gelo before my eyes."

propose. “A tradesman in my family! Son.-"I really can't."

Never!” cries the artist in canes; and Father.—“Here is a rhyming diction- he thrusts the young millionaire ary. It is Rothschild's own. Have a through the door on the right while shot at Victor Hugo and bring him enters on the left, a sculptor who has down! Quick!"

not tasted food for a week, and has Son.-"I should be delighted, but- thus become by French precedent, the

Father.—“What is this which I hold son-in-law of his choice. in my trembling hand ? Pincers! Take The despair of the young millionaire them and pull one of my teeth, but is deep. Why should he go back to without pain, mind! Come! I America ? He has realized his visions ready to sacrifice myself!"

in tallow; and besides, he loves France, Son.-"But, papa--"

for though no artist, he was born there. Father.—"Time! You have called me He prefers to remain in Paris, were it father. Am I indeed your sire? That only for the sake of consuming some depends on your vocation. You are a of those artistic products of which Latin, born of a Latin mother. What there is such a vast accumulation, and then is your vocation?"

which nobody ever buys. His resoluSon.-"I should like to make three tion is taken. He will remain there: millions in tallow.”

and, moreover he will become an artist, Father.—“And you claim to be my like the rest of his countrymen and he son! Avaunt! You are not even a will have his girl! Frenchman. Your eleven brothers, all He gives all his fortune to the Tay. belong, more or less, to the Institute, lorian Society to promote the holding the Academy, or at least the chat noir. annual exhibitions. He then climbs up There is not one of them who has not into a garret, and devotes himself to dabbled in water-colors, played the making landscapes in hair, using his Lancers on the piano, or had few own. He will be bald, but he will be fierce lyrics printed by Lemerre. Your famous. It is a new thing. He excels, eight sisters chirrup like birds and an- and lo, and behold, he is a “dear masnihilate Malibran every day of their ter" like all the rest of us! His father lives. Your cousins go into everything. then forgives him. The turner is conThere is not one of your friends or ac- ciliated. The painter on porcelain quaintances who has not won, by his weeps. They are married, and France performance on the flute or the drum, a bestows a benediction on the only right to the title of 'dear master' you species of artist which she had not proare no child of mine. You come from duced before. On the other hand the America, you do! Bourgeois, return sculptor, who had been false to his art thither!"

and taken up a trade, is arrested and And he turns him out of doors. In condemned to the guillotine. Such is the succeeding acts, the young mau, the piece which I propose to bring out. who has disgraced his lineage by not M. Sarcey permitting. Possibly being an artist, gradually amasses an may think the plot slightly exaggerimmense fortune, at Cincinnati or Chi- ated. Let him pay for another, cago, in the tallow of his dreams. He then, and I will dazzle him by the mag. then comes back and falls in love with nificence of my verity. The scene, howthe daughter of a man who makes ar- ever, will have to be laid in Paris; that tistic canes a turning-lathe. His is to say in a city where one cannot

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