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were still visited in the time of Jerome, and yet later of Porphyry.
The astonishment of Tertullian would have been great had he heard that a Bishop of Rome had assumed the title of the Pontifex Maximus, the head of the great college of pontiffs who regulated all the sacrifices in Rome, arranged the festivals, punished the Vestal Virgins, and presided at marriages; but his wrath would have been yet greater had he heard a Pope usurp the name of Vicar of Christ, which Tertullian uses of the Holy Spirit.* To him the ascetic's mantle was the sign of the stoic or the cynic, adopted by Romans from Greece; white robes were signs of the initiates of Ceres; black of the worship of Bellona ; purple or scarlet cloaks belonged to Saturn. Early Christian writers, like the author of the Epistle of Barnabas,' forbade their followers to lead a hermit's life. The celibacy of the clergy was not recognised by Tertullian, who wrote letters to his own wife. Bishops and deacons alike were married men, and the Council of Nicæa tolerated, if it did not approve, the custom. The old titles, episcopa,''presbytera, and • diaconessa,' were titles of honour for the wives of bishops, priests, and deacons; and though the Pope forbade such marriage in 399 A.D., the custom of celibacy was not fully enforced even in the eleventh century, when English and Welsh priests were married men. Origen condemned the worship of images; Epiphanius destroyed a picture of Christ as contrary to the authority of Scripture and to the Christian faith ; Augustine said that the Church condemned the • worshippers of tombs and images; ' but Gregory II. in 730 A.D. wrote to the Emperor Leo in favour of images, condemning only representations of the Divine nature. Yet there are among us many who believe that the liturgy, the rites, and even the latest enactments of the Church of Rome were handed down from Apostolic days, and are sanctioned by the writings of the Fathers. The history of the wondrous growth of Christianity is not to be founded on mediæval tradition, but on extant writings of the centuries preceding the Council of Nicæa, on the grudging witness of non-Christian writers, and on the scattered monuments, which bear witness to the persecutions of poor and humble converts, to the rites and vestments of pagan religions, and to the original simplicity of Christian practice and belief.
* De Virginibus Velandis, i.
+ De Pallio, iv.
Art. IX.-1. Speech of the Right Hon. the Earl of Rosebery
at Bradford, on October 27, 1894. The Times. 2. Speech of the Right Hon. the Earl of Rosebery at Glasgour,
on November 14, 1894. "The Times.' 3. Speech of the Right Hon. the Earl of Rosebery at Devonport,
on December 11, 1894. The Times.' 4. Speech of the Duke of Devonshire at Barnstaple, on Novem
ber 26, 1894. The Times.' WE E are living in strange days. For the second time
within two years a political issue, large enough to shake to its very foundations the constitution of the kingdom, is before the people. The Ministers of the Queen solemnly assure the nation that under their leadership a great constitutional struggle, hardly less tremendous than the revolutionary movements of the seventeenth century, is about to begin. They implore the people to strain every nerve in their support. Yet throughout the country, from one end to another, perfect calm reigns. Where bye-elections occur the seats are, no doubt, fought for with zeal by the two parties; but a Government of professed revolution on the whole fails to rally to itself even the ordinary support vouchsafed to the Liberal party in less eventful times. Throughout the United Kingdom we look in vain to discover any kind of upheaval of public opinion, any deep stirring of popular passions, such as might naturally be supposed to precede a revolution.
The conclusion is evident. Rightly or wrongly, the people do not take seriously either the Ministry or its revolution.
How is it that the country has reached so extraordinary a crisis-a crisis in which the only rashness of action, the only violence towards the constitution, which men need fear proceed from the statesmen who advise the Queen ?
Only two years ago the country was engaged in discussing in principle and detail a new constitution which Mr. Gladstone was endeavouring to impose upon the United Kingdom. The proposal to separate the parliamentary systems of Great Britain and Ireland, and to establish in the latter island a national executive government, was accepted by the House of Commons and rejected by the House of Lords. With a disregard of all precedent, and with an astounding want of self-respect, the Ministry elected to remain in office, though it had failed to carry out its policy. They manifested no intention to stand or fall with Home Rule. They knew that if they appealed to the people their policy would be condemned, and they themselves would be driven from office. Victory accordingly remained with the House of Lords. As Home Rule statesmen would not fight for Home Rule before the constituencies, it is not to be wondered at that the interest of Liberal electors, never keenly excited in its favour, should become less and less, and that to-day a so-called Home Rule Ministry should withdraw Home Rule from the front place in the party programme, in order to substitute a policy better calculated (so the party managers have advised them), to stir the enthusiasm of the democratic elements of the English electorate.
Once again we are promised at the hands of the Ministry a new constitution, and once more the electors are to be kept in the dark as to its nature, till they bave given carte Vlanche at a general election to a Prime Minister and his colleagues to frame any constitution they may please! We know only that a Ministry which two years ago was infatuated in its admiration of Parliamentary, bi-cameral institutions, that had perfected, according to its lights, such a constitution for Ireland, and was holding out hopes of the extension of a similar boon to Scotland and to Wales, has embarked on an enterprise of very opposite character. ‘Home Rule all round' was the goal to which prominent • Liberal' statesmen and the party organs pointed. The realisation of these hopes would have endowed the United Kingdom with ten legislative chambers, of which five would have been second chambers. Now we gather that our
' one Parliament is, in the meantime, not to be multiplied at all, but it is itself at once to be reduced--virtually, if not professedly--to the dimensions of a single chamber!
We shall consider as best we can what it is that the Prime Minister proposes, and the means by which he hopes to carry his proposals into effect. “It is not the business of 'the Prime Minister of this country,' says the Duke of Devonshire, “to put conundrums to the people. And it is ' nothing less than a gigantic enigma or conundrum which " he has, so far, proposed to us. Yet at that time Lord Rosebery's Bradford speech had been for a month before the country. He had further expounded his policy in a speech at Glasgow. He had announced the intention of himself and of the Cabinet to invite the people to face a tremendous issue.'
Lord Rosebery says that if he had known any stronger word than 'tremendous''he would have used that stronger word. It was the greatest issue that had been put to this country since their fathers resisted the tyranny of Charles I. and of James II. Nearly three months have elapsed since this Bradford speech, since this “tremendous' policy was sprung upon an astonished people, whose history has not hitherto accustomed them to expect invitations to embark upon a revolution from the chief adviser of their Sovereign. As we have seen, the revolution has, so far, run its course tranquilly enough. Indeed, but for the repeated assurances of Cabinet Ministers we should not believe that a tremendous political issue comparable with those that brought about the execution and abdication of two Stuart kings was stirring the passions, or even very deeply occupying the minds, of men. To all appearance the attitude of the people is precisely the same as the attitude of the Duke of Devonshire. They are awaiting with intelligent, yet on the whole patient, curiosity for the solution of the enigma. They are not burning with zeal to discover a second Crom well, to lead an attack upon the Parliamentary constitution of the kingdom.
It would be a mistake to take au pied de la lettre the language of a Prime Minister evidently anxious to pose as the hero of a dramatic situation created by himself. For once Lord Rosebery's sense of humour must have failed him, for he forgot, in what may be termed the histrionic require ments of the moment, the risks which inevitably attach to so near an approach to burlesque. Whether Lord Rosebery at Bradford was perfectly serious has been questioned. He affirms himself that he was in deadly earnest. And there is no question that the situation he has created for his country is serious enough.
The case made by Lord Rosebery for a new constitution consists in the overweening authority over Parliament which he declares is exercised by the House of Lords. It is impossible, he urges, for Liberal Governments to pass Liberal legislation. It is hopeless to attempt to disestablish Churches, to restrict the drink traffic, to reform the registration laws, because the House of Lords blocks the way. The people no longer can obtain the legislation they desire. We are not, in truth, a self-governing people. A chamber of irresponsible legislators have it in their power to resist the will, even if it is unanimous, of the House of Commons. What a singular travesty of the facts! When the nation wished it a
Church was disestablished, and if Lord Rosebery had known as much of the House of Commons as its youngest member he would have learnt that the strength of the publican interest is far greater in that chamber than in his own. The attempts to restrict the liquor traffic have collapsed again and again, not because the House of Lords has rejected the Bills of the House of Commons, but because the latter chamber would not pass any Bills on the subject at all. Lord Rosebery says that the House of Lords is devoted to the liquor interest. He urges in the same breath that it is hopeless for Scotland, with its · Liberal' majority, to expect that its wishes should be respected by a “Tory' majority in the House of Lords. How does it happen, then, that the House of Lords passed a Sunday Closing Bill for Scotland a generation and more ago? Is it due to the House of Lords or to the House of Commons that a Sunday Closing Bill has not been passed for England ? Talk about registration reform! Why, the House of Lords has passed one democratic Reform Bill after another. No doubt the instincts of our second chamber are strongly conservative; yet it habitually in modern times on all the larger questions bows to the declared wishes of the nation.
Lord Rosebery says that in the year 1886 the House of ' Lords changed its character for good or for evil,' though we do not gather that he accuses it of in any way checking legislation proceeding from the House of Commons between that date and the year 1893. In the year 1886 the great majority of Liberal peers no doubt agreed with the ninety or a hundred Liberal members of Parliament who firmly adhered to those Unionist principles which Mr. Gladstone and Lord Rosebery had always professed. They refused to follow Mr. Gladstone in his attempt to destroy the Union between Great Britain and Ireland. Nevertheless in 1886 the House of Lords took no action whatever. The opinions undoubtedly held by the majority of the peers were shown by the general election of that year to be held also by the majority of the electors. At that time, therefore, it is
, impossible to allege that the peers were acting in opposition to the representative chamber, or even that as individuals they held views antagonistic to the prevailing public opinion of the nation.
The difference that arose between the two Houses in 1893 is, in simple truth, the only ground for the attack by the Ministry and their followers upon the House of Lords.' Yet that House in rejecting the Home Rule Bill merely performed