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two such existing parishes as range between 2000 and 4000 population. It would be, of course, impossible here to enter into details. The result was, that about 2600 new parishes, with a population of 4,800,000, were requisite in 1831. I further calculated that, in parishes with less than 2500 people in each, about 360,000 souls were unprovided with clerical aid. The population of England and Wales has increased about two millions since 1831, one-half of which we may add to the previous estimate of spiritual destitution. The whole result will then be as follows:
Destitute Population, 1831. In Parishes exceeding 2500 population
4,800,000 In Parishes with less than 2500 population 360,000
Increase since 1831
Destitute population, 1841
6,160,000 It seems probable, then, on the whole, that about six millions of the inhabitants of England and Wales (including the great body of the town and manufacturing population) are beyond any control and guidance of the Established Church with her present means; and that not less than 6000 additional clergy are requisite at this moment to place her in a state of full efficiency.*
We are now to consider a branch of the subject, the importance of which cannot well be overrated ; I mean an increase in the number of our episcopal sees. That there has long been a general wish in the Church for additional bishops is unquestionable. The apparent or real difficulties, however, which have surrounded the subject, especially since the measures for re-distributing the dioceses, have induced a sort of despondent feeling on the subject. I cannot think that the present is a favourable moment for reconsidering the question. The position of the Church is now widely different from what it was in 1833 or 1834, when continual efforts were made to remove the bishops from the House of Lords.
The theory of our constitution recognizes the propriety of additional episcopal superintendence, for an act of Henry VIII, still remains unrepealed which would authorize the bishops and the crown in adding about thirty suffragan bishops to our present
* An Enquiry into the possibility of obtaining means for Church Extension without Parliamentary Grants, by the Rev. W. Palmer. M.A.. pp. 8-13.
number. That power has indeed not been acted on since the time of James I., because it was found that the suffragans thus constituted were not sufficiently under the control of their diocesans; and the whole arrangement was one which seemed difficult, if not impossible, to be reconciled with the general rules of the primitive Church; still the theory of our constitution warrants us in saying, that an increase in the present number of sees is expedient and necessary.
This is confirmed by the fact, that while the population of England and Wales at the passing of that act did not perhaps exceed two or three millions, it now probably amounts to sixteen millions.
If we compare the duties of the English and Irish Bishops, we shall find the latter, after the reduction of the number of the sees by the act in 1833, superintending, on an average, about one hundred incumbents each ; while the English dioceses contain on an average 412 parishes each. If a reformed Parliament judged one hundred parisbes sufficient to employ an Irish Bishop, why should England be so much worse provided for? If we were placed on a footing with the Church in Ireland, we should have 107 sees.
England possesses, in proportion to her population, a smaller number of Bishops than most of the European states. We have only twenty-six for a population of sixteen millions. France, even after ber revolutions, has three times the number of our sees, with twice the amount of population. Before the revolution her episcopal sees were 145, and her population about twentyeight or thirty millions; Spain, with ten or twelve millions, has sixty Bishops; Greece, with less than one million, has thirtysix Bishops; Portugal, for three or four millions, has fourteen bishops; Italy, Sicily, and the adjoining islands, have twentyfour millions, and 263 Bishops, according to the Notizie, published at Rome in 1837. Romish Ireland has thirty Bishops for about six millions. Ancient Asia Minor and Northern Africa, which were perhaps twice or three times as large as England and Wales, contained respectively 400 and 500 sees. Ancient Egypt, Libya, and Pentapolis, which probably never contained a population in any degree approaching to ours, contained 108 episcopal
Looking to the invariable rule of the ancient Church to place a Bishop in every great city for the purpose of giving energy, anity, and consistency to the large body of clergy collected there, it seems strange, indeed, to think that places like Liverpool,
Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield, Derby, Newcastle, Bath, Plymouth, and many other towns of great population and importance, should have been so long left without resident Bishops. Romanism has, with its usual quicksightedness, availed itself of our deficiencies, and fixed the residence of its pretended Bishops in large cities where none of our Bishops are stationed. Birmingham, Bath, Wolverhampton, Liverpool, and other important stations, are thus circumstanced ; and in some of these places Romish ecclesiastics are gradually assuming a position, which can only arise from the want of Bishops in those localities.*
[From MS. Memoranda of the Mediterranean.) A Few days ago I found, among some miscellaneous papers, an anecdote, picked up during a visit to Etna, which gives an account of a remarkable ascent of that mountain by Englishmen. It is not adventurous by reason of toil, of travel, and terrors of volcanic fire, for of these I shall have little to say, but only curious in a national point of view; and should it ever before have appeared in print, we must date the publication some twenty-five years back, when the circumstances occurred. No late traveller whose writings I am acquainted with has told the tale, “the tale that was told to me,” and to about half-a-dozen idle listeners, who, I dare say, have forgotten all about it.
Our little party was composed of naval officers, who had made a forced night-march from Syracuse, on horseback, rested one night at Catania, and then next afternoon proceeded to Nicolosi. Here we passed several hours, most agreeably, with the well-known geologist of Etna, Signor Gemmellaro, biding our time to breast the mountain, and from him I heard the anecdote which I will now attempt to relate. When the Angolo army of occupation first arrived in Sicily, during our war with France, the wooded region of Etna was held by brigands. These outlaws levied severe black mail not only on the curious traveller, but also upon the inhabitants of the many towns and villages at the base of the mountain, within reach of a fell swoop from their eyrie. Few tourists were abroad at the time to which the Signor referred; the political combustion among nations had left even our travel-loving countrymen without leisure or inclina
* Palmer's Enquiry, pp. 26–29.
tion to visit the combustions of the earth. The travellers who visited Etna were also appalled at finding that they must pay more than the price of mules and guides to reach the summit of the burning mountain,—the brigands must be propitiated with the full contents of a tourist's purse, and woe betide the unfortunate man who had not enough therein to satisfy their cupidity; he returned to the plain horribly maltreated, if he returned at all. Thus Etna had not many visitors in those days; but the greater the risk, up to a certain point, the more intense the pleasure, is a maxim with Englishmen. Accordingly, one day, at the hour of noontide and slumber, a party of British officers from the garrison of Catania appeared in the little town of Nicolosi. Some came in carriages, by the high-road, others on horseback straggling up from the byeways of the mountain. It was one of the most sultry days of the season. Mont Rossa shewed its red head in the glare of light, as though its ashes were again glowing ; the green vines at its base were unstirred by a breath of wind, and Etna's towering summit upreared itself in the distance, amid an unclouded sky, like a mighty altar to the god of day. The very dogs slept in the heat of noontide at Nicolosi, and, according to the general remark in sunny climes, it was the exact time at which Englishmen went abroad. The merry party that now braved the sun in its height soon roused the village, to obtain whatever entertainment it afforded. The travellers had news of the war,-yes, here they had much to say, and eager were the listeners. But they had, as well, intelligence of a more domestic and local nature to communicate. Some days before the Englishmen arrived, the finest bull in Nicolosi had roamed from the little herd and disappeared. Whether the cows thought he had enlisted for a soldier in such warlike times we are not informed, but gone he was, and no one could find him. Now the British officers brought news of the runaway. As I before said, they had not all come by the direct road from Catania; those who were mounted had left the carriages behind, and spread themselves over the country. The ladies of the party, with a few faithful knights, continued on the high road, could see the knights-errant now appearing and disappearing, each pursuing his own path up the base of the mountain. At length, as through suddenly engaged in a steeple-chase, all seemed bearing toward one point. What could it be that had so interested their sympathies, concentrating their aim to reach some remarkable spot? The curiosity of the ladies was satisfied at the same time that the villagers were informed of the fate of the missing
bull. While engaged in threading the vineyards and scoria tracks of the mountain, a glow of national feeling suddenly warmed the hearts of the English officers—at least so say the Sicilians, who tell the story. The most exquisite perfume rose on the gale: each rider turned bis horse's head in the direction whence the breath of Araby appeared to come; and the boldest horsemen, if they were not in at the death, certainly arrived at the roasting of the lost bull, wedged in a hot cranny of a ravine beneath Mont Ross. The mystery of the missing beast might never have been discovered, the villagers to this day say, had it not been for the noses of the Englishmen, led by the smell of“ Roast Beef." Not disputing the question with the Nicolosians, we will return to Gemmellaro's story, with respect to which the lost bull is but an episode. Notwithstanding all the British officers heard of the brigands in the village, which more than confirmed the reports at Catania on the same fearful subject, the whole party started that night at the usual hour to gain the summit of the moutain at break of day—ay, even the ladies. British officers had as brave wives and daughters in the old wars of Europe as in the late wars of India. It must be confessed that some of the young officers thought it prudent to ride very close to the young ladies of the party, where the road would admit of this kind of progress; a guard of the seniors kept equally close to the unwilling guides, and another guard brought up the rear; so the advance was in complete military order. The wooded region was reached; the young ladies' hearts beat, and the gentlemen's repeaters sounded midnight! The giant branches of the old trees of Etna held out their arms, but no voice cried “Stand !" to the traveller, or any thing that could be freely translated into stand : thus was much good courage thrown away. There was not a robber to be seen or heard; no earthly sounds to startle; no skulls to stumble over; the whole romance of the brigands had come to an end. After taking rest and refreshment under the "castagno di cento cavilli,” -the sheltering chesnut of a hundred horse power, as an officer of one of her Majesty's steamers has lately translated it—the travellers proceeded on their excursion. I cannot say how they got on ; but I can, from experience, picture them riding till no ridden beast could advance further through the wild waste of scoria, with its deep, and deeper, and deepest snowy crust. I can then imagine their happy progression on foot, in which the legs make their sockets in the slightly frozen snow-beds, and then have to be worked round and round, till you get them out, that another step might be taken, involving the same process.