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same reason that the promise was required, not only, as in the Roman Pontifical, from priests, but from deacons also.
The more specific promise which is exacted from a parish priest had a different origin. For a parish priest usually had another superior besides his bishop. As a rule, churches had been built upon private property, and endowed with a portion of a private estate. Neither churches nor the lands which formed their endowment were necessarily alienated from their original owner. Like other property, they might be sold or transferred; the only limitation which the law imposed was that in any such sale or transfer the church must not be destroyed.* When grauted as beneficia, they might be granted to laymen or women: a reservation being only made in the first instance that " baptismal" churches must be administered by none but presbyters.f Accordingly, when a presbyter held a parish church, he ordinarily held it as a benejicium—i.e., not as a freehold, but as a conditional, and, in the first instance, revocable grant from its owner. It constituted a particular kind of benefice—namely, a beneficium, or feudum, ecclesiasticum. The grantor was the presbyter's feudal lord —" senior" or "patronus," terms of identical meaning, which have survived to modern times, the one chiefly in municipal, the other in ecclesiastical law, the "seigneur" of France, the "padrone" of Italy, the "patron'' of both France and England. J The entry ou an ecclesiastical benefice, like the entry on an ordinary fief, was in the form known as "institutio," or "investitura;" and the holder of such a benefice, like the owner of an ordinary fief, was sometimes under the obligation of paying an annual rent to his lord.§ It was natural that, under these circumstances, the lay owners of ecclesiastical benefices should make no distinction between them and the rest of their property, and that they should grant the one, as they granted the other, for money. The scandals which arose out of this practice formed the subject of a long struggle, which resulted in the establishment of the principle formulated in the Roman synods of 1059 and 1063: " Ut per laicos nullo modo quilibet clericus aut presbyter obtineat ecclesiam nee gratis nee prelio."* The feudal character of a benefice remained, but the feudal lord was not the "patron" but the bishop. The presentation of a clerk to the bishop, which was at first only an incident of the grant—an assertion of the rights of the Church, wrung from the owners of benefices by dint of successive struggles, became the only remnant of the ancient rights of ownership. The bishop stood, and still stands, in the owner's place. The "institution" and "induction" to a benefice are survivals of the recognition of feudal lordship, and the oath of canonical obedience, which is required before institution, is the oath of a feudal vassal.!
* Of many proofs the briefest is the Frankfort Capitulary of A.d. 794, c. 54:' ccclesiis qua; ab ingenuis hominibus construuntur licet eas tradere, vendere. tantummodo ut ecclesia non destruatur." Pertz, " Legum," i. 76; Boretius, i. 78. The policy of the Popes, however, ran from early times in an opposite direction.
t Capit. Generate, A.t>. 783, c. 2.
J "Senior," e.y., in Kinhart, Epist. 34, ap. JaflV, "Monumenta Carolina," p. 4(14; Capit. Aquifgran. A.d. 817, c. 10, ap. Pertz, "Legum," i. 207. " Patronus," in t.g.. Hincmar, Cap. Presbyteris data, c. 5, ap. Mansi, ''Concilia," xv. 497. The equivalence of the two words is expressly mentioned by, e.g., Itatherius of Verona, "Prwloquia,'1 lib. i. tit 10, ap. Mijrne, "Patrol. Lat." exxxvi. 105.
§ The amount of rent to be so paid was sometimes determined by the bishop— Capit. do Presbyteris, A.d. 809, c. 3, ap. Pertz, i. 161. Sometimes it was specified in the grant of the benefice—t.y., in an Italian grant of A.d. 776, where ten silrer shillings are mentioned: ap. Muratori, "Antiq. Ital.," ii. 776.
It will appear from this historical sketch, which admits of more proof in detail than can conveniently be given here, that the duty of obedience to a bishop does not flow from anything inherent in the bishop's office. The obligation is that of a contract. On the one hand, all clerks have entered into a certain contract at their ordination; but that contract is defined and limited by its terms; it is a promise of submission, not to a bishop as such, nor to any purely spiritual authority, but to the "ordinary"—that is, the judex ordinarius, whoever he may be, whether chancellor or vicar-general, bishop or king. On the other hand, all beneficed clerks (except in the few cases in which "institution" is not requisite) have entered into a second contract, by which they have given to their bishop the same promise of obedience which they would in feudal times have given to any other feudal lord; but this obedience is limited by the adjective "canonical," and by the phrase, "in all things lawful and houest." The conception of a bishop as being entitled to obedience, and that an almost unlimited obedience, on the part of his clergy, by virtue of the spiritual character which his consecration has conferred upon him, is as much at variance with ecclesiastical history and present fact as it is with the great currents of Christian opinion which are already shaping the policy of the Churches of the future.
* This became the maxim of the Canon Law: "Per laicos" 20, cans. xvi. qu. ~. But the struggle between patrons and bishops for the right of instituting clerks to benefices long outlasted the formulating of this principle; it was part of the general contest about investitures in the twelfth century; and the claims of patrons required to be repressed by special enactments so late as the fourteenth century; see, e.y., Paschal, II. Epist. 38, ap. Jaffc, "Mon. Mogunt.," p. 385; Alexander III. Epist. 28, ad omnes Episc. Angl, ap. Uarduin, " Concil." VI. 1398; Cone. Vienn., A.d. 1267, c. 11; Cone. Salmant., A.d. 1335, c. 4.
t The legal form of the oath in the Church of England is—" I, A. B., do swear that I will perform true and canonical obedience to the Bishop of C , and his successors, in all things lawful and honest." A mediseval form of the oath may be gathered from, e.g., the charter of Odo, Bishop of Paris, A.d. 1202, given in Guerard, "Cartulaire de l'egUse Xotre Dame de Paris," No. lxxxiii. vol. i. p. 84. The identity of the homage which Tos given to a bishop for a secular fief and for a cure of souls is clear from ibid. pp. M, 171.
THE London Standard of the 9th December last, the day after the late Liverpool election, contained a leading article commenting upon that event, from which the following is an extract:—
"Either the Conservatives believed themselves so sure of winning that they did not think it worth while to record their votes, or they deliberately judged the 'Democratic Tory' candidate to be unworthy of their confidence. For our own part we believe that the latter hypothesis offers the real solution of the problem.
"Candidates of Mr. Forwood's type are happily rare on Conservative
platforms. He announced himself as a Tory Democrat He was
prepared to support household suffrage in the counties, the redistribution of Church endowments, universal and compulsory Sunday closing, abolition of grocers' licences, extension of the 'Employers Liability Act,' and a number of measures professedly conceived in the interest of the working
classes If such opinions were adopted, we should soon have a fifth
party in the House of Commons—a party of Tory Democrats hardly distinguishable from the Radical section of the opposite benches We
cannot say we regard the programme with satisfaction. We are not for any rigid uniformity; but we like to know what a man means when he calls himself a Conservative, and if Mr. Forwood's example were ever extensively
followed, we certainly should not be able to do so He was an
unpopular candidate with an unpopular, and, we may add, unprincipled programme. For these reasons and no others he was beaten by Mr. Smith."
These bold criticisms, based in a large measure upon most incorrect premises, have found an echo in the country. They have afforded a text for the provincial press, and for a certain class of speakers, to comment upon the election, and its so-called lessons. Misquoting my remarks, ignorant of the local matters involved in the contest, the Standard makes an unjust and ungenerous personal attack. What, however, is of more consequence, it misleads the country in reference to what was no doubt considered an important contest from a national point of view. I therefore propose to place before the readers of this Review a few observations upon the local aspects of the election, and also upon the views I enunciated during the contest, and to consider whether the latter were, in the words of the Standard, "an unprincipled programme," and whether that newspaper correctly gauges the Conservative opinion of the day by its implied advocacy of a policy of blind resistance.
The traditions of Liverpool are eminently Conservative. Prior to the Municipal Reform Act, the chief men who directed the growing mercantile and commercial enterprise of Liverpool were Tories. Freemen themselves, their sons and apprentices acquired the same electoral qualifications. That sound public policy which founded the Liverpool Docks, constructing them under a public trust, exempt from any private claim or interest, was directed by Tory freemen. It was under the same auspices that the Corporation became possessed, by purchase, of a real estate that to-day produces to the ratepayers a rent roll of .£130,000 per annum, and redeemed from a private family the town dues, which to-day give an annual income of about a quarter of a million to the Dock Estate.
The first act of the electors newly enfranchised by the Municipal Reform Bill of 1835 was to overthrow the Conservative control in the borough. The reformers pushed their newly-acquired powers to an extreme: old officials were superannuated to make room for political supporters, and a monopoly was claimed of place and power. In the public elementary schools, supported by the Corporation, the reformers, always eager advocates of secular education, stopped the reading of the Bible. This was a turn of the political screw which aroused the clergy; and a crusade, headed by the late Dean McNeile, resulted in 1842 in the return of the Conservatives to power in the Town Council, a position which they have practically maintained ever since.
Another element affecting the political complexion of the city was the enormous Irish immigration immediately following the potato famine. In one year alone some 70,000 hunger-stricken people found a refuge in Liverpool. No proper house accommodation existed for such an influx, and unsuitable abodes were hastily erected. To this cause is due much of the distress and misery that has at times been so marked in Liverpool. This inroad of strangers introduced a severe competition into the home labour market, and a race prejudice sprang up, which time has not obliterated. The new body of inhabitants ranged themselves on the Liberal side. It happened that about the time of their arrival the Maynooth grant and the appointment of the Roman Catholic hierarchy in this country had aroused very earnest opposition in the Conservative ranks, which in Liverpool number a large body of thoroughly loyal and pronounced Protestant North of Ireland men. Free trade and the Navigation Laws disturbed for a time the Parliamentary representation of the town. In 1867, however, the Conservatives regained their control, and held it until the recent election.
Questions have arisen as to whether the result of the recent election indicates a change of political opinion in Liverpool, or whether, as the Standard suggests, the views I expressed in the course of the campaign were unacceptable. There is no ground for either inference. The result is distinctly traceable to totally different causes.
Both candidates were local men. It was the good fortune of Mr. Smith, the Liberal candidate, to have taken no prominent part in public affairs, either municipal or political. He had excited no sectional prejudices, and provoked no selfish hostilities. On the contrary, by an unobtrusive liberality in works of philanthropy and public benevolence, he had gained very general esteem and good-will. My lot, however, had been somewhat dissimilar, for I had been prominently engaged for many years in public affairs, and had taken a very active share as a member of the Municipal Council in promoting various undertakings, to the present and future advantage, as I believe, of the city. These, in many cases, were not carried without exciting keen local prejudice. It was also my fortune to be called to a prominent place in the Conservative party. For upwards of fourteen years I have been the honorary secretary or chairman of the association. During that period many a severe battle has been fought, and many a noble victory won, but not without hard knocks being given and received.
At the outset of the campaign my opponent's strength was underestimated, and the Conservatives were not only most sanguine of their success, but the Liberals openly acknowledged the probability of their defeat. They explained that the contest was entered into in deference to the wishes of an extreme section of their party, and to prevent the latter bringing out upon its own responsibility a candidate of advanced views.
It was, distinctly and eniphatically, this feeling of over-confidence that was at the root of the loss sustained by the Conservatives—a result they never conceived to be within the range of possibility, or the poll would have shown different figures. The anticipation of a close fight generates enthusiasm, whilst a certainty, or a so-called "walk over," induces lethargy, and affords no spur to individual exertion. So strong was the sense of security, that voters refused to vote where doing so involved personal inconvenience. Another important factor in the contest was the anomalous position a third Conservative two-. member would occupy in the event of a general election. Only1^ Conservatives could then be returned, and the question raised was— Who should then retire? The danger to which this question would give rise I foresaw, and endeavoured to forestal it by avowing myself