From The Colonial Church Chronicle and Missionary Journal, No. IV, October, 1847, pages 121-130; No. VI, December 1847, pages 201-209; No. IX, March, 1848, pages 321-329.
IN placing these words at the head of the notice we propose to lay before our readers on this subject, we have no wish to enter into any of the questions which were the ground of so much controversy at the period when the Bishopric of Gibraltar and that at Jerusalem were established. These questions have been long since practically settled, and with regard to the former of these Bishoprics at least, no disposition has been shown to re-open them. We merely wish to give expression to a fact which is undeniable in itself, and of which the consequences, whatever they may be, are unavoidable, and must be dealt with in some way or other; the fact that the Church of England does exercise an extensive and daily increasing influence in all the countries bordering on the Mediterranean, most of all in Italy, and even in the very head-quarters of the rival communion, within the walls of the Eternal City itself.
The circumstances which led to the establishment of the two Mediterranean Bishoprics were of a varied character: we shall confine ourselves for the present to those which caused the formation of the See of Gibraltar with the foreign jurisdiction annexed to it. These were, first, the necessity of providing Episcopal superintendence for the clergy and congregations already existing in various parts of the south of Europe, the Greek islands, and the shores of Asia Minor, previously under the nominal jurisdiction of the Bishop of London; and of [121/122] taking steps to supply the spiritual wants of the large and increasing number of our countrymen dispersed in small communities throughout the same countries, by furnishing additional clergymen and forming new congregations in places at a distance from those already existing;--and, secondly, the desirableness of promoting a better understanding with the Churches of those countries, and especially the Orthodox Greek Church, in the hope of ultimate benefit to those communities, by the removal of error and the promotion of sound theological learning, amongst them. With a view to the latter object, the present Bishop of Gibraltar, at that time Secretary to the Christian Knowledge Society, was sent in 1840 on a mission to the Patriarch and other Prelates of the Greek Church, the result of which was sufficiently satisfactory, and it was ultimately determined to found an Episcopal See at Gibraltar, giving to the Bishop jurisdiction over all clergy and congregations, and in all churches and chapels of the Church of England, in the countries bordering on the Mediterranean, (with the exception of Syria and Egypt, already placed under the superintendence of Bishop Alexander,) and, we believe, on the western coast of Spain and Portugal.
It is just five years since Bishop Tomlinson sailed from England to enter upon this novel sphere of duty, with a territorial diocese limited to the Rock of Gibraltar, (unless indeed the clause above printed in italics may be considered as in some sense an extension of it so far as Malta and other British possessions are concerned,) but with a jurisdiction, undefined perhaps, but scarcely less real than that now exercised by the Bishops in England and Ireland in their respective dioceses, over a flock consisting of, comparatively, a few congregations dispersed often at distant intervals along a line of coast, extending from Oporto to Smyrna and Constantinople; the greater part of them in the countries where the Church of Rome exercises her strongest and till lately most undisputed sway, and the largest of all in the capital of the Papal world.
We have heard it remarked, occasionally in something like a tone of complaint, that the public has heard less, in these five years, of the Diocese of Gibraltar than of the other Colonial Dioceses existing previously or established about the same period; that there have been fewer reports printed, if indeed any at all; that little or nothing has been published of the proceedings of the Bishop or the results of his Mission. That such is the fact is undoubtedly true; but it appears to us impossible, from the very nature of the case, that it should be otherwise. It is absurd to expect that the journals of a Bishop, whose duties compel him to reside a considerable portion of each year [122/123] in two such places as Malta and Gibraltar, almost as it were parts of England; and whose visitations are confined to districts so familiar to all as the shores of the Mediterranean have now become, and where travelling is attended with the least possible peril or inconvenience; should afford materials for publication, as interesting to people at home, as those of Bishops, whose labours are cast amongst heathens and infidels, amongst half-civilized or savage nations, where hardship and danger are the inseparable attendants of every journey, and where the interest of conversions is added to that of the toils and perils undergone in effecting them.
The circumstances of this Bishopric necessarily render it peculiarly barren of such incident as usually forms the subject of interesting reports, more so even than those of comparatively much older date, the Bishoprics in the East and West Indies; but it by no means follows, that the exertions of its Bishop have been unattended with success, or that the fruits of it have been either less, or less important, than were anticipated. It would be as unreasonable to complain that the overwhelming labours of the Bishops of London, or Winchester, or Chester, are of no value to the Church, because a circumstantial report of them would certainly be uninteresting to most readers of our own or other missionary publications. In fact, though the Bishopric of Gibraltar has been in existence no more than five years, all who have had the opportunity of judging are unanimous in bearing testimony to the great effect already visible, both in the improved condition of the English congregations, and what is no less important, and follows indeed as a necessary consequence, in raising the character of the Church of England in the eyes of the other religious bodies with whom she is there brought in contact.
It is not, however, our purpose to write a defence, especially where none is needed, but to give a slight sketch of the English Episcopate in the Mediterranean, and of the present aspect of the affairs of our Church there, so as to enable us, to a certain extent, to judge, from the position she at present occupies, what are the probable results of her increasing influence in this very important, though at the same time perhaps somewhat anomalous sphere of her operations.
First, with regard to our own possessions. The Bishop resides principally, as many of our readers are probably aware, at Malta; where he has a house assigned him by the government, for which, however, he has hitherto had to pay a considerable rent. The advantages of fixing this as his ordinary residence in preference to Gibraltar are obvious; it is the chief station of the Mediterranean squadron, and there is constant communication [123/124] with all quarters by means of English, French, and Italian steamers, advantages which were rightly considered to outweigh the otherwise important circumstance, that Gibraltar is at once his territorial Diocese and his Cathedral town. There were civil as well as ecclesiastical reasons which led to its being so constituted; the Roman Catholic Bishop of Malta, being not only acknowledged but nominated by the British Government. When the Bishop first arrived in the island, in December, 184, the Church, which has been built by the pious munificence of Queen Adelaide, was not completed; the only place of worship for the civil inhabitants, as well as for the wives and families of the garrison, being, as it had been for forty years, the Palace Chapel, a building formerly used as the kitchen of the Grand Masters, and not capable, as then arranged, of accommodating more than one third of those who should have attended it. There was neither organ nor choir, but the singing depended upon the chance services of a military band. The whole duty devolved upon the Chaplain to the government; it was consequently impossible, notwithstanding the inadequate accommodation, that there should be more than two services on the Sunday, from his being, however zealous, wholly unequal in such a climate, to the performance of more. This, in addition to the circumstance that all the pews were appropriated, led to the natural result, namely, that the majority of the people did not go to Church at all, and consequently were regarded by their Maltese fellow-subjects as wholly devoid of religion; a feeling, it may be added, almost universally prevailing with reference to the English, until lately, in Italy, Spain, and Portugal as well. The Chaplain to the Forces, a man indefatigable in his duties, assembled his congregation in a large school-room, and there was besides a small store converted into a chapel, for the use of the persons attached to the dockyard. Things continued nearly in this state until the consecration of the Queen Dowager's Church, under the title of a Collegiate Church, on All Saints' day, 1844. This Church, which contains 700 or 800 persons, was well filled three times every Sunday, from the day it was first opened. An evening service, it should have been mentioned, at which the seats were all free, had been commenced at the Palace Chapel, soon after the Bishop's arrival, and was continued on the same footing in the new Church. A good organ was purchased, the interior of the church handsomely fitted up, and a very respectable choir formed by degrees: daily morning prayers were commenced at the same time. Thus our Church was at length presented to the eyes of the Maltese in a form more calculated to command their respect, and our countrymen were no longer compelled to lament the humiliating position [124/125] she had for so many years been compelled to occupy. Since that time the Bishop has taken means for providing an additional Clergyman, so that the civil Chaplain will not again be left with the entire burden of duties, which in that climate no one man can adequately perform.
The consequences of these changes were soon apparent: the Wesleyans, who had a chapel built some years previously, and a tolerably large congregation, composed chiefly of those members of the Church of England who were unable to obtain seats in their own place of worship, found their numbers so much and so rapidly diminished, that they withdrew their minister, and sold their chapel and mission-house to Presbyterians of the Free Kirk of Scotland, who found means to obtain a footing in the Island owing to the circumstance that nearly two-thirds of the, garrison consisted at that time of Highland soldiers. These are now removed to other stations, and we are informed that the Presbyterian congregation is reduced to less than thirty persons out of an English population of nearly 1,200.
A scarcely less important consequence has been the increased respect of the Maltese for the Church and religion of the English, the natural result of the increased respect shown them by the English themselves, whom formerly they could only have looked upon as ashamed of their faith, or indifferent to it altogether. In speaking thus, we would not be understood as casting any reflection on the clergymen who filled the office of chaplains in the three several departments above mentioned, from all of whom the Bishop experienced from the first nothing but the greatest respect and most cordial co-operation; they no doubt did what they could in the difficult circumstances in which they were placed. There can, however, be no doubt that the Maltese in general look upon the Church of England with very different feelings from those with which they formerly, regarded her: that in the minds of many, especially among the Clergy, there may be something of fear mingled with their involuntary respect, we are not disposed to deny; there are others, and those neither a few nor the least enlightened among them, who are inclined, we believe, to regard her with more favourable eyes, and to contrast the superstitious practices and grosser abuses which they see upheld in their own communion with the solemnity and comparative simplicity combined in the services of the Church of England. It may be remarked indeed, in passing, that there is nothing with which the members of other churches are usually more struck than this; we have ourselves heard many, both Greeks and Roman Catholics of various countries, express the surprise and pleasure with which they have witnessed the silence, the order, and regularity [125/126] prevailing in the services and congregations of the Church of England.
But to return. We do not think it probable that the establishment of our Church on her proper ecclesiastical footing in Malta will have the effect of producing many proselytes from the Roman communion, nor is it to our mind at all desirable that it should. The Bishop has not, we believe, encouraged proselytism, though of course he has not refused instruction or advice to those who have asked it of him. In fact we do not know that, with the exception of one priest, any of the Maltese have forsaken their own communion for that of our Church during the whole of the last five years. A far more desirable result in our opinion, and one which it does not seem chimerical to hope for, would be the gradual awakening of the Maltese to a sense of the superstitions and absurdities which now disfigure their religious system, and so leading them gently to such a self-reformation, as with their strong devotional feelings; for they are essentially a religious people, might make then church "a praise in the earth." How far the recent establishment, under the expressed or implied sanction of Lord Stanley, at that time Colonial Secretary, of a school and college by the Jesuits, contrary to the wishes of almost all the Clergy and then great majority of the laity of the island, may tend to delay or wholly prevent such a result, is a question we will not at this moment enter into.
We confess we are disposed to regard Malta somewhat in the light of a basis of operations (to use a technical phrase) for the Church of England in the Mediterranean. Its military and therefore political importance; the vast number of foreigners from almost all the nations of the earth who constantly meet there; its proximity to Italy, now beginning to be stirred after an unwonted fashion; the easy and rapid communication with Constantinople, at once the head-quarters of the Eastern Church and the capital of the infidel empire of Turkey, now evidently tottering to its fall in spite of the efforts of the powers of Western Christendom to maintain it; the near neighbourhood; of the Mahometan states of Tunis, Tripoli, and Egypt, the two former already crowded with the overflowings of the Maltese population; all these circumstances conspire, we think, to give it an importance possessed by no other British possession of the same territorial extent. An attempt has been, or is just about to be made, to turn to advantage this peculiarly favourable position of the island in a missionary point of view, to which we cordially wish every success. A college has been established under the direction of a Committee in London, of which the Bishop of Gibraltar is Visitor, the object of which is to unite a school of [126/127] the higher description for English and other children, with a college in which natives of the countries bordering on the Mediterranean may receive an education to qualify them as Missionaries of the Church of England to their respective countries. At present the school alone is in actual operation; the latter part of the scheme is suspended, we understand, until the necessary funds can be raised, which it is hoped may ere long be accomplished. The advantages of such an institution under proper direction, such as appears to be secured to it, would be inestimable: a body of Missionaries might be educated at far less expense than would be possible in England, qualified by their knowledge of the languages required, and by being habituated to the climate and customs of the countries to which they would be sent, to preach the Gospel to Jews, Mahometans, and Heathen, perhaps to aid in reclaiming the heretical bodies of the East to the ancient Catholic and Apostolic faith.. We earnestly trust that this design will not fail for want of means to support it: the present state of Western Asia and of the north coast of Africa seem to offer an opportunity for the diffusion of the true light, which, if neglected now, may scarcely occur again for a long time to come. It is for these reasons that we look to Malta with such lively interest, and hail what has been already accomplished there as the beginning of greater things.
We wish we could speak in equally encouraging terms of the state of ecclesiastical affairs in the two remaining places under British dominion in the Mediterranean, Gibraltar and the Ionian Islands. In neither of these, we fear, can the Bishop look with, the same satisfaction at the result of his exertions.
At Gibraltar a variety of circumstances have combined to render his position less satisfactory, and to impede his usefulness. One of these is the nature of the population, consisting in large: proportion of the lowest class of Jews and Spanish smugglers, whose contraband trade is there carried on apparently under the protection of the British flag. The remainder of the lower order is composed chiefly of a mixture of Portuguese, Genoese, Moors from Barbary, &c., with a few discharged English soldiers and their families; greatly demoralized as a whole, and unavoidably so from the materials of which it is composed and the nature of their principal occupation, as well as from other obvious causes. In addition to this it is only since last year that the Bishop has been able to obtain a residence there, notwithstanding that it his See and Cathedral town. A house has now been lent him by the Lords of the Admiralty, previously to which he was compelled to reside while there at an hotel, and had in consequence spent no more than two months there in the first four years.. There are, if we are rightly informed, other [127/128] causes which have contributed much to embarrass him in his endeavours to increase the efficiency of the Church in Gibraltar, but to these we do not wish more particularly to allude. Something, however, has been accomplished. The Cathedral, so created by patent, a large Church in the Moorish style, which has been built several years, has been fitted up in a manner more suitable to its present designation, for which much credit is due to the taste of the Archdeacon who superintended it; an organ has lately been purchased, and a choir is in progress of formation, so that the Church is no longer dependent, as formerly, both there and at Malta, on a military band. The Bishop has also succeeded in providing an additional clergyman, who on Sunday officiates at an evening service in the Cathedral, and has besides a small congregation in the afternoon in a room licensed for the purpose in a distant part of the garrison. The English population of Gibraltar, exclusive of the garrison, does not, we believe, exceed 1,100 or 1,200, of whom a considerable number are Wesleyans and Presbyterians, and some Roman Catholics; but there are besides several families either not speaking English at all, or very imperfectly, who are members of our Church, and whose children have been baptized into her communion. For the benefit of these there is a service at the Cathedral every Sunday evening, at which the Spanish version of our Prayer-book is used, and a sermon preached in the same language by a Spanish clergyman, a convert from the Church of Rome, who had left his former communion a considerable time before the appointment of the Bishop of Gibraltar.
The Government schools, at which a large number of children are educated, are open to all equally, and in these, we believe, no religious instruction is given; there are also schools under the direction of our own clergy which are attended by a considerable number, Spanish as well as English, of both sexes. These, which are of course independent of the military schools, have all been in existence some time.
Much, it is evident, remains to be done; the Wesleyans and Presbyterians have each a pretty numerous congregation; our own people are for the most part but lukewarm in their attendance on the services of the sanctuary: we would hope that with the blessing of God upon the means already in operation, and on the increased pastoral care which will probably henceforth be bestowed upon them, they may be awakened to a fuller sense of their privileges and of the benefits they enjoy above many, of their countrymen in foreign lands.
Far worse, however, is the state of things in the Ionian Islands. These islands have been under the protection, that is to say in reality in the possession, of the British Crown since [128/129] the year 1814, and to this day not a Church or Chapel has been built, nor does there exist one at this moment in any one of them for the accommodation of members of the Church of England.
In Corfu, the seat of Government; the military Chaplain for a long time officiated in an old Venetian storehouse in the citadel, converted into a chapel for the use of the garrison. This, however, has ceased to exist; it was being demolished at the period of the Bishop's first visit to the island in the spring of 1843, before any preparation whatever was made for the erection of a new one, opinions being then much divided as, to the most desirable situation. Since that time a Church has been commenced, and is now in progress of building, but we are informed very far from being completed. In the meantime the garrison assemble for divine worship in the school-room.
The provision for the spiritual wants of the civil inhabitants has been still more neglected. At one time there was a civil Chaplain on the establishment of the Lord High Commissioner, paid by Government: this payment was discontinued during the period that Sir Howard Douglas held that office; it was said at his recommendation; and for some little time the Garrison Chaplain was the only English Clergyman in the island. At length a small salary was raised by subscription amongst the inhabitants for a Civil Chaplain, and though there have been numerous changes, they have not since been left for any length of time, if at all, without one. The only place of worship for him and his congregation is the Senate House of the Ionian Parliament, a large room in the Palace of the Lord High Commissioner, nor is there at present any prospect of a better arrangement; for the new Church, when completed, will be quite unavailable for the purpose, being situated at the farthest extremity of the citadel, at a considerable distance from the town. It is evident, therefore, that another Church is required, though from the difficulties experienced in the commencement of the present one, and the length of time that has been required for its completion, there is little hope of the erection of another for some time to come. If, however, it should be found practicable, the well-known character of the present Lord High Commissioner, Lord Seaton, makes us feel confident that whatever it is in his power to accomplish, will not be wanting for the good of the Church and the advancement of religion.
Under such circumstances, it will readily be supposed, the religious principles and conduct of our countrymen have not in general been much calculated to raise the character of our Church amongst the Ionian Greeks; unfortunately, a mutual ill [129/130] effect has been produced. The general laxity of conduct amongst the islanders, and especially their laws of marriage and divorce, with other causes well known to those acquainted with the Mediterranean, for a long while conspired to engender a state of morals by no means creditable to our country. The causes we allude to have happily ceased to exist; the effects of them, it may be hoped, have in great measure ceased to exist also.
In Cefalonia, the next in importance of the seven islands, there is a military Chaplain who officiates in the school-room. If there were a Church or Chapel in which the families of the resident and the few civil inhabitants could be accommodated, as well as those of the officers and soldiers of the regiment which forms the garrison, one clergyman would, at all events for the present, be equal to the spiritual care of the whole.
At Zante, where there is a detachment and several English families, there is neither Chapel nor Clergyman. The Chaplain from Corfu or Cefalonia goes there two or three times in the course of the year to solemnize marriages, (of the legality of which in the present state of the law there may be some doubt,) and to baptize such children as may have survived their birth sufficiently long to receive that sacrament at the hands of a lawful minister.
The Bishop has been anxiously endeavouring to find means for the establishment of a clergyman in this island, and will, we believe, shortly be successful, if indeed he has not already accomplished it. We see that he has lately visited the islands for the second time, but have not heard with what success as regards these objects.
The four smaller islands are of course in no better condition; each of them is garrisoned by a detachment of British troops, and in most of them a few families are resident, engaged in commerce. Perhaps if one chaplain could be sent there to pass a portion of the year at each in turn, it is as much as could reasonably be hoped for at present.
We hope in a future number to recur to our notice of this Bishopric, and to lay before our readers some account of the effects of its establishment in that part of its jurisdiction which is exercised in countries not under the dominion of the British Crown.
IN adverting, in a former Number, to the affairs of the Church of England in the Mediterranean, we confined our remarks to the three places under British dominion in which the Bishop of Gibraltar exercises spiritual jurisdiction,--namely, Gibraltar, Malta, and the Ionian Islands. We propose now to invite the attention of our readers to the more extensive and not less important sphere of his duty, which extends, as is generally understood, over the whole of Spain, Portugal, and Italy, as well as the entire coast of the Mediterranean, with the exception of Syria and Egypt; the care of these, as before stated, being annexed to the Anglo-Prussian Bishopric at Jerusalem. The extent of this jurisdiction, it must be observed, is not merely nominal--the congregations which he is called upon to visit being scattered, at irregular intervals, from Oporto to Smyrna and Constantinople, including the Adriatic, the coast of Barbary, and one or two of the Greek islands. All of these have, in fact, been visited, with the exception of two or three of the smallest and least accessible; many of the more important twice, and some even three times in the course of the last five years. We shall confine our observations, at present, to the countries subject to the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the See of Rome, and endeavour to give a brief account of the existing state of the English congregations, or, as in too many cases it may be more correctly expressed, the English residents in those countries.
 The greater number of these, particularly as regards Italy, are so well known to most of our readers, either from personal observation, or from the innumerable diaries, narratives, journals, &c. of travellers, that it will not be necessary to enlarge much upon them; we shall, therefore, do little more than point to what has been done to afford to those who already had pastors of their own communion, increased facilities for worshipping God according to the faith in which they had been baptized and nurtured, and to provide spiritual care for those who are destitute of it, and therefore in great danger of falling into absolute infidelity, unless, as the infinitely preferable alternative, they become converts to the religion of those amongst whom they are living,--a result, nevertheless, greatly to be lamented. To the young has been ministered the Apostolic rite of Confirmation, of which they had been so long deprived; and an effort has been made to awaken all to a sense of their duty, as professing themselves members of a purer Church, in the midst of a system full of error and superstition, to show the purity of their faith, not with their lips but in their lives, and not, as they too often did, and in many cases still continue to do, to bring discredit upon the faith they professed, by equalling, and not unfrequently exceeding, the natives themselves in their notorious disregard of the restraints of morality and religion. And here it may be as well to mention, in order to give an idea of the numbers of the members of the Church of England usually residing within the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Gibraltar, that the persons who have received confirmation at his hands from January 1843 to the commencement of the present year, amount to nearly 1,100, and that in these are not included any of the families residing in Spain, circumstances having precluded the possibility of holding confirmations in any of the towns on the eastern coast, although the number of British subjects established in these towns is, as will hereafter appear, very considerable; and notwithstanding that the Bishop has three times passed along the whole extent of it from Gibraltar to Barcelona.
But to proceed to a more particular account, commencing with Italy. In Rome, as is well known, the English service still continues to be performed in what was once a store-room, on the upper floor of a large building, outside the Porta del Popolo. To this last circumstance more importance, we think, has been attached than it deserves. A more convenient situation certainly might be found, though not perhaps without difficulty. The building itself, however, is extremely objectionable, as, independent of its very unecclesiastical character both within and without, it is barely of sufficient size to contain the numbers who [202/203] frequent it, even when inconveniently crowded. Various unsuccessful efforts have, it is said, been made to purchase, or obtain permission to build, a more suitable Church or Chapel; we have heard it hinted, but we know not with what truth, that there has not been that unanimity in the endeavour which was likely to ensure success. We scarcely know whether it is not a matter of regret, rather than congratulation, that a large sum has recently been expended on the present edifice, as it seems to indicate a decision on the part of the committee to acquiesce for a considerable time longer in things as they are. Neither the Chapel nor burial-ground are consecrated, the former, both on account of its unfitness in itself, as well as for other reasons; the latter as being the common property of all the Protestant bodies in Rome, not of the Church of England exclusively, nor confined to those who would consent to its consecration by an English Bishop. While bearing our willing testimony to the ability and discretion of the present Chaplain in his really difficult position,--a position of which the difficulties have been much increased by the ill-judged and irregular conduct of some of the Clergy who occasionally visit Rome,--we are rejoiced to learn that it has been determined to provide him an assistant. This arrangement, which the Bishop has always been particularly anxious to bring about, will insure the continuance of the service throughout the year, it having been heretofore omitted during the four summer months.
At Naples the Chapel, though handsomely fitted up and tolerably spacious, is in fact no more than a room in the Consul's house, and therefore remains unconsecrated. The burial-ground, however, was consecrated at the period of the Bishop's first visit to Italy.
At Florence, where, until lately, the accommodation was miserably insufficient, a new and much larger Church has been built within the last four years, owing in no small measure to the exertions of the Chaplain, the Rev. G. Robbins, whose untiring zeal has also contributed much towards the erection of Chapels, with houses for the Chaplains attached, at Pisa and the Bagni di Lucca. These Chapels have all been consecrated, that at Florence last year. The committee and residents at Florence have set an example, which it is much to be wished may be followed by other congregations, in placing the nomination of the Chaplain, on any future vacancy, in the hands of the Bishop of Gibraltar for the time being,--thus avoiding the serious inconveniences which have resulted in so many cases from a division of opinion amongst the electors, giving rise to the usual evils of a contested election.
The only one of our Churches in Italy which has the [203/204] appearance of an ecclesiastical structure externally is that at Leghorn, which was so built in accordance with the express permission of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, and has been consecrated, together with two burial-grounds--one within, the other without, the precincts of the town. We regret to learn that dissensions and disputes have lately arisen there, not for the first time. The Free Church Presbyterians have established a Mission there; this, and some circumstances, as we arc informed, connected with the recent appointment, or rather election, of a Chaplain, have not contributed to promote unanimity.
The remaining places in Italy and the adjoining territory at which there are Chaplains established are Trieste, Genoa, and Nice, as well as at Palermo and Messina, which may be included as forming part of the Neapolitan dominions. Of these, the Chapel at Trieste is the only one consecrated; at Genoa, Palermo, and Messina, the buildings in which the English service is performed are only temporarily appropriated for the purpose. At the time of the Bishop's visit to Nice, where there are both a chapel and cemetery, difficulties were thrown in the way of their being consecrated--not, we believe, by the local authorities. We have also heard rumours of certain irregularities in the mode of conducting the services, and on some other points, and of discussions taking place there in consequence, which are little calculated to promote the interests of the Church of England in that quarter. We trust, however, that if the report be not incorrect, the Bishop's friendly admonition will be received, as we have heard that it was on a former occasion, and with a similarly beneficial result.
In addition to the places enumerated, the Bishop has been for some time past endeavouring to establish Chaplains at a few other towns; amongst others at Milan and Venice, where the number of English, especially at certain seasons, is considerable. The chief obstacle, it need scarcely be said, is, as usual, want of funds. There are hopes, however, that these will ultimately be supplied, partly by local subscriptions, partly, where there is no consul, by means to which we shall refer more particularly hereafter.
We now turn to the Peninsula. In Spain, as most of our readers are probably aware, there was, until within a very recent period, nothing in the remotest degree resembling toleration for any religious worship whatever, excepting that of the established Church of the country. This was the state of things, from the days of Isabella and Ximenez until the commencement of the late series of revolutions, when religion may be said to have undergone as complete a change as every thing else. In the numerous treaties between the British and Spanish [204/205] governments, no stipulation has ever been made for securing to British subjects the exercise of their own religion on Spanish territory, not even at the conclusion of the late war in the Peninsula, when British arms had replaced the reigning family on the throne. Far different in this respect was the conduct of Cromwell: when informed that the Portuguese refused to allow the English merchants at Oporto to assemble for Protestant worship, his reply was, "We will send a few stout frigates to cruise on the coast." We are as far as possible from desiring to see our faith propagated at the edge of the sword or the mouth of the cannon, but still we think it might fairly have been demanded, in return for the signal services conferred by this country on the Spanish government, that British subjects residing in Spain should be allowed the exercise of their religion, without at any rate greater restrictions than those imposed by the Austrian, Sardinian, Neapolitan, or Papal governments. Yet, this was so far from being insisted on as a general concession (we do not believe it was even asked as a favour), that to this day no Chaplain is appointed to the embassy at Madrid, and until within the last ten or twelve years no Englishman dying in Spain was allowed to receive even what we may call decent burial: at the places on the coast they were buried, usually at night, in the sand, as near as possible to the edge of the water. This, however, is no longer the case; at Cadiz and Malaga land has been purchased and appropriated, with the consent of the authorities, as a cemetery for the English. Both of these have been consecrated; that at the latter place is a beautiful piece of ground close to the town, laid out with much taste and at considerable expense by the late and present consuls, and kept in the neatest possible order. The ceremony of consecration, which took place last year, was quite public; it was attended by all the English, amounting to a considerable number, including the workmen at a large iron-foundry and their families; and there were also a good many Spaniards present, who all remained uncovered during the performance of the service, and showed all possible respect. Still, this is nearly all that has yet been actually accomplished: there is not as yet a single English Clergyman established in any part of Spain, though there would be no longer any difficulty experienced from the civil or ecclesiastical authorities, excepting, of course, some restrictions similar to those enforced in Italy and Portugal, as to the external appearance of the Chapels, and on one or two comparatively unimportant points.
The Bishop has, however, we understand, a prospect of being enabled shortly to provide funds sufficient, with the assistance which he hopes to obtain from Government under the Consular [205/206] Act, to maintain Chaplains at a few of the more important places, such as Barcelona, Alicante, Malaga, Cadiz, and Seville, at all of which the number of English residents is considerable. These, or at any rate some one of them, might visit from time to time the smaller and more scattered communities, administer the sacraments among them, and keep alive amongst our countrymen some feeling of religion and of attachment to their own Church, until a more permanent and adequate provision could be made for their spiritual welfare. The English themselves have, in almost all cases, expressed their anxiety to have a Clergyman settled amongst them, and their willingness to contribute, as far as their means will allow, to his support. At the same time, as a considerable proportion of them are either workmen in the iron and other works along the coast, or employed in the mines in the interior, they are, of course, comparatively poor; and they are, besides, scattered often at considerable distances from each other, so that much cannot be expected from their unaided exertions. The largest number in any one place we believe to be in Seville, where, in addition to several highly respectable families of merchants and others, there is a large pottery established on the opposite side of the river, in what was formerly a Carthusian convent, in which several English workmen are employed. The proprietor of this, though a Roman Catholic, has set apart a certain portion of the churchyard of the convent as a burial-ground for his countrymen, and has also expressed his willingness to contribute to the support of an English Clergyman, and to give up either the old chapel or some other part of the building for the performance of the service of the Church of England, provided the consent of the Dean can be obtained, which is not likely, it is said, to be refused. To the establishment of Clergymen where there are British subjects residing, and to their ministrations, whether public or private, amongst their own people, provided they abstained from proselytism, little or no obstacle would, as we before observed, be opposed by the authorities; nor, we are convinced, would popular feeling create any greater difficulty. The present state of Spain, ecclesiastical and religious, makes it, if possible, more important than ever that our countrymen living there should no longer be debarred from the profession and exercise of their religion, nor compelled to appear, what but too many of those around them really are, utterly indifferent to, and indeed devoid of all religion whatever.
The state of religious belief in Spain, once the stronghold of faith, though a gloomy and superstitious faith, is indeed lamentable; we have ourselves heard Spaniards,--civilians, soldiers, and priests,--express the opinion, that one-third of the entire [206/207] nation are secret or avowed infidels: this may be--we would fain hope it is--an exaggerated estimate; but, at all events, it comes from themselves, and indicates at the best a fearful condition now, and a terrible prospect for the future. There has been no Bishop consecrated in Spain for nearly fifteen years, so that more than one-third of the sees are now vacant. We observe that a concordat has at length been entered into between the Government and the Pope, by virtue of which thirty Bishops are now to be appointed: we trust it may be the means of re-establishing a better state of things than at present exists. The estimation in which the clerical profession is now held may be judged of by two or three significant facts (we speak from personal observation). First, it is a comparatively rare thing to see a young priest;-2ndly, in the southern towns of Spain, the clergy seldom appear in the streets in their clerical dress until it begins to grow dark; this, at least, was their practice until very lately;--and, 3dly, we have seen them begging, even of foreigners, in the streets. Such at any rate, is the case, in Catalonia and Andalusia, and we have reason to believe it is not differently elsewhere.
But to enlarge on the religious state of Spain, past or present, would soon draw us far beyond our limits. We will only repeat, that living in such peril, not now so much of Romanism as of infidelity, it becomes doubly necessary that exertions should be made to secure our countrymen against falling into the fatal vortex. We trust that the Government may be induced to listen to the pressing representations, which we are convinced will be made, and not only consent that a Chaplain shall be appointed at Madrid, which should have been done long ago, but also give some assistance to the British inhabitants in other parts of the country in their endeavour to procure the regular ministrations of our communion for themselves, by extending to them the provisions of the Consular Act wherever it can be done. The Bishop, we know, has been making every exertion to aid them in raising such a sum as would suffice, with that additional help, to support Chaplains, at all events where they are most needed.
There remains for us to mention Portugal, and the coast of Africa.
The beautiful spot which constitutes the English burial-ground at Lisbon, in which stands the Chapel, is probably well known to many of our readers. Both were consecrated at the period of the Bishop's first visit; and so little has that circumstance, or the use to which it is applied, excited the prejudices of the Portuguese, that it is still, as formerly, a very favourite resort. Both here, and at Oporto, the English residents have [207/208] long been allowed the free exercise of their religion; toleration having, as before mentioned, been obtained by Cromwell, a permission which the Portuguese Government has never since, as far as we know, attempted to withdraw.
The Chapel and burial-ground at Oporto are scarcely, if at all, inferior to those at Lisbon, though not nearly so well known. The English community at Oporto enjoys the privileges of a factory; marriages celebrated in their Chapel according to the rites of the Church of England, are of indisputable validity, which ordinarily is the case only with those performed in the house or in the presence of a British ambassador. The difficulties connected with the celebration of marriages in foreign countries, it may be remarked, have given rise in many instances to serious inconveniences; and it is to be hoped that as there are now, by the establishment of so many Bishoprics abroad, greater facilities for preventing irregularities, some alteration may, ere long, be effected in the law on this subject.
We should not omit to notice, that in these, as well as in all other sea-port towns of any importance in the Mediterranean, great opportunities may be found for usefulness amongst the crews of the English merchant-vessels, many of which remain in port three or even four months at a time; a consideration which furnishes an additional reason for placing Chaplains at the principal ports on the eastern coast of Spain, at many of which the number of these traders in the course of the year is considerable. This branch of duty is one which has heretofore been everywhere much overlooked; in most instances unavoidably, from deficiency of time or strength, the want of a suitable place in which to assemble the seamen, the unwillingness of the masters to allow their crews to come ashore, and other similar causes. The subject has, we know, engaged much of the Bishop's attention, and he has already, in some instances, been successful in devising means to remedy the deficiency.
On the north coast of Africa, included by his patent, as we before stated, in his jurisdiction, the number of English at present is very few. Here, however, a wide field is opened of a different character; a legitimate field for strictly missionary operations, among the Jewish and Mahometan inhabitants of Barbary and Morocco; without interfering with the French territory, which has been opened by them to the exertions of the Church of Rome. As yet, little or nothing has been done in this direction, want of funds all but precluding the possibility of making the attempt. Even were these forthcoming, considerable difficulties would be encountered in the obstinate fanaticism both of the Moors and Jews; and a corresponding degree of prudence would be required in conducting missionary, [208/209] labours among them. There is at this moment only one Clergyman of the Church of England on that coast. This gentleman is a Jewish convert, formerly an agent of the Jews' Society, who has lately been admitted to Holy Orders by the Bishop of Gibraltar, and placed at Tangier, where he officiates as Chaplain to the few English families residing there, and to those also of two or three of the Consuls of other nations, who form a part of his congregation; and at the same time he pursues his labours, as far as is practicable, amongst the Jews, who form a considerable portion of the population.
We had intended, in concluding this part of our subject, to have added a few general remarks on the slight sketch we have been enabled to lay before our readers; but having already reached the extent of our limits, we must reserve them for a future opportunity.
HAVING, in two former numbers, endeavoured to give a short account of the operations of the Church of England in the western part of the Mediterranean, in the countries subject to the ecclesiastical authority of the See of Rome, it now remains to notice the position she occupies in those where the Greek is the predominant Church, and which have been placed, so far as the English residents are concerned, under the spiritual jurisdiction of the Bishop of Gibraltar. These are, exclusive of the Ionian Islands which have already been mentioned, the kingdom of Greece; Turkey, including the coast of Asia Minor; and the islands of the Archipelago, subject part to the Christian, part to the Mahometan power.
It may perhaps be known to some of our readers that in the year 1840 the present Bishop of Gibraltar, at that time Secretary to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, was sent on a mission to those countries, bearing letters commendatory from the late Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London to the Patriarch of Constantinople and other Prelates of the Greek Church. The end in view was to ascertain how far it might be possible to cultivate friendly relations with that Church, and thus to afford her assistance in recovering and maintaining her independence amidst the various hostile bodies by whom she is surrounded, as well as in promoting education amongst her people, and especially amongst the clergy, who, it [321/322] must be confessed, stand lamentably in need of it. This being one of the avowed objects of those who promoted the establishment of this Bishopric, the Bishop may be said to occupy, to a certain extent, a twofold position in this portion of his charge; the reception he met with from the eastern Prelates, on the occasion above alluded to, having been such as to encourage the hope that the Church of England might be permitted to assist in arousing to renewed life and activity that long oppressed, and we fear it must be added, degraded portion of the Church of Christ.
In April, 1843, a few months after his first arrival in Malta, the Bishop visited Athens, where, by the united exertions of Sir Edmund Lyons and the late Rev. H. Leeves, at that time Chaplain to the Embassy, aided by the few other British residents and by the liberality of friends in England, a small but elegant Gothic church, in the form of a Greek cross, had just been built on an elevated spot not far from the magnificent columns of the Temple of Jupiter Olympius. It was consecrated on Palm Sunday, in the presence, not only of a considerable number of English and Germans, including the Queen's sister, but of a crowd of Greeks, clergy as well as laity, who filled every corner of the church and a large space without the door; all of whom testified the greatest respect during the ceremony, and many afterwards expressed their admiration at the order and regularity with which the service was conducted; a feeling, as we have remarked on a former occasion, far from unusual amongst members of other communions, who have had the opportunity of contrasting our services with their own. Mr. Leeves, unhappily, did not long enjoy the fruits of his zealous exertions; he died about two years afterwards at Beyrout, on his way to Jerusalem, sincerely lamented by the community placed under his spiritual charge. He was succeeded by the Rev. Mr. Hill, the American Clergyman, so long and so favourably known to all English visitors at Athens: the good effects of whose unwearied labours and judicious management, in the conduct of his large school for Greek children, can scarcely fail of being extensively felt in the improved moral and intellectual condition of the youth of the present generation. While at Athens, the Bishop visited the Bishop of Negropont, President of the Synod of Greece, and the Bishop of Attica, by whom he was kindly, and indeed cordially received, particularly by the latter.
The disturbed, uncertain, and in all respects unsatisfactory state of civil affairs in Greece, cannot fail to exercise an evil influence on those of the National Church, now rendered, for obvious political reasons, independent of, though still in [322/323] communion with, the Patriarch of Constantinople. Education generally progresses but slowly; the theological learning of the Clergy is at as low an ebb as can be imagined, nor is there under existing circumstances any prospect that the deficiencies will be very speedily supplied; still, however, something has been done: at the period of the Bishop's visit the President of the University of Otho, a man of considerable abilities and fair attainments, had commenced regular theological lectures, which were attended by a considerable number of students, amongst whom were many already in orders. These lectures, it is true, were of a very elementary character, and were in themselves a proof of the ignorance of those to whom they were addressed; nevertheless they are valuable, regarded as a beginning, where formerly there was literally nothing; for it is, we really believe, impossible to exaggerate the utter want of education amongst the secular clergy throughout the Greek and Turkish dominions; nor is there any reason for supposing the monastic establishment to be in any better condition. Of books of all kinds there is a great want, which can scarcely be supplied without foreign assistance. An edition of the Septuagint is in course of publication at Athens, under the sanction and bearing the seal of the Synod, at the expense of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. This Society has also printed a translation of our Prayer-book in Romaic; and the British and Foreign Bible Society has published the whole of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament in the same language.
But we must not forget that we are not writing an account of the Church of Greece; we will therefore pass on to the other English Congregations.
At Smyrna the number of British residents has long been considerable; it enjoys, like Oporto and Leghorn, the privileges of a factory; amongst which a very important one is the legality of marriages. There are two consecrated chapels, one in the town, the other at Boodjah, a pretty village about four miles distant, where many of the merchants reside during the summer. To each of these a burial-ground is attached, both consecrated by the Bishop at the same time with the chapels, in 1843. The inhabitants had also for some time past raised funds for the support of an assistant Chaplain, so that they were enabled to have service performed every Sunday at Smyrna and Boodjah, as well as at Bournabat, another village much frequented by the Europeans during the hot months. There were in addition, until lately, two German Clergymen residing there, both of whom had received ordination from the Bishop of Gibraltar. Of these, one was employed by the Jews' Society, the other, we believe, by the Church Missionary Society. One of these [323/324] gentlemen performed service and preached in French, for the benefit of several families of mixed origin, members of and communicants in our Church, but little if at all acquainted with the English language.
We are sorry to add that the English congregation at Smyrna became, some time since, the scene of contentions and disputes of a most unedifying description, arising from a cause more trifling than the generality of such divisions, yet proceeding to such a length that the Bishop found no small difficulty in restoring peace. One result was the loss of that harmony amongst the clergy which had previously existed, and the consequent discontinuance, at all events for a time, of the mutual cooperation described above, which had been calculated to produce the best effects.
It is not for us to say with whom the blame rested, but it is certain that such occurrences cannot take place without seriously affecting the interests of religion, and to a certain degree compromising the character of our Church in the eyes of those external to her communion, who are witnesses of them.
Smyrna is still the see of a Greek Bishop. The present occupant, however, is not one calculated to do honour to the chair of St. Polycarp, It is also an Armenian Bishopric, filled, at the time of which we are speaking, by a man of some learning and considerable reputation amongst his own countrymen, and the author of some theological works a good deal esteemed by them. He has since, we believe, been translated to the [Armenian] Patriarchate of Constantinople.
At Constantinople the state of things hitherto has been far from satisfactory or encouraging. The proverbially immoral character of the Frank population of Pera generally, coupled with certain circumstances to which, as they have ceased to exist, we do not wish to allude more particularly, have not tended to keep alive in the minds of our countrymen, many of whom have been long settled there, any strong feelings of religion, still less of attachment to the Church of their fathers. The chaplain to the embassy, were his zeal and activity ever so great, could but very imperfectly minister to the spiritual wants of those placed under his charge; it being a part of his duty to follow the ambassador during the summer to his residence on the Bosphorus, usually ten. or twelve miles from the city, so that for a considerable part of the year the performance of service in the chapel at Pera must be wholly omitted; unless accidental assistance can be obtained, which must of course be, at the best, extremely uncertain.
The late chaplain, whose powers were much enfeebled by age and infirmity, received much willing aid of this nature from [324/325] Bishop Southgate (of the American Church), and we feel sure that his successor will continue to experience from him on all occasions cordial cooperation. We have not heard whether any one is as yet appointed to this important station; but we have full confidence, from the high character of Sir Stratford Canning, and his known anxiety to promote the interests of religion, that he will have exerted himself to procure the nomination of a person properly qualified to fill it. Still, whatever may be his qualifications, it will, as we have already observed, be impossible for him, unaided, adequately to perform all the duties that will fall to his lot; we trust, therefore, that some means will ere long be found of carrying into effect the Bishop's earnest wish to provide him with permanent assistance. The ambassador's chapel, the sole place of worship for the English, is neither a large nor a handsome building, and affords, as at present arranged, insufficient accommodation; but we understand it is in contemplation, when the new palace is completed, to rebuild or make considerable alterations in it. Of the labours of Bishop Southgate in the cause of Christian truth during the many years he has resided at Constantinople, we need not speak; they arc already, doubtless, well known to our readers. We may remark, however, that the same cordial understanding still subsists between him and the Bishop of Gibraltar, which
has marked all their previous intercourse.
While at Constantinople the Bishop visited the Patriarch, from whom he experienced a friendly reception; he also presented him with the first volume of the Athens edition of the Septuagint, before alluded to. He likewise visited the Armenian Vice-Patriarchs of Constantinople and Jerusalem; the Patriarchs themselves being, the one absent, the other ill.
Syra is the post of a German Clergyman supported by the Church Missionary Society. He has charge of a school, at which a large number of the native children are educated. He also performs service in English for the benefit of two or three English families residing there. A chapel was long ago commenced, but we believe remains still unfinished. Syra is the residence of the Bishop of the Cyclades.
In glancing at the general condition of the Greek Church in these countries, it is impossible not to be struck with the apparent absence of vitality which it displays. The gross ignorance of the clergy, and the entire want of all means of education, almost seem to preclude the possibility of any great improvement arising from within; the impulse, if it comes at all, must come from communication with foreign bodies possessing and developing greater powers of life. At any rate, no movement can be expected to be of any duration, or to be productive of any [325/326] important consequences, unless fostered and encouraged by assistance from without. The position occupied by the Church of England appears to mark her as the body from which such assistance must come; by the Church of Rome it cannot be offered, nor would it be accepted from her hands; the feelings of fear and aversion with which she is regarded by the Greek Church effectually preclude the possibility of it. The prelates of that Church have shown a willingness to receive our assistance, if tendered in a spirit of moderation, and without any attempt to dictate to, or domineer over them. Indeed, we believe that throughout the Levant they look to us for support against the aggressions and encroachments of the Papal see, whose agents and emissaries are constantly at work, there as elsewhere, endeavouring to seduce the flocks from their subjection to their own pastors.
We confess the present moment appears to us full of encouragement for those who long to see the ancient Eastern Church renewing her strength, rousing herself from her long slumber, and shaking off the corruptions which mar the purity of her worship. The tottering condition of the Turkish empire promises, to all appearance, ere long to deliver the Patriarchs of Constantinople from the miserable and degrading slavery under which they have so long suffered. Should the crisis occur, the Church of England, if not wanting to her vocation, may find herself in a position to verify, in some degree, the remark of that acute observer, the late Count de Maistre, though in a somewhat different sense from that which he intended, "that on her will depend, under Providence, the restoration of unity to the Church of Christ."  [(1) Du Pape. We have not the book at hand so as to enable us to quote the passage exactly; but the substance of his observation is as given above. He, of course, was contemplating the reconciliation of the Church of England to the See of Rome.]
ith one or two more remarks, we shall close our notice of this portion of the English Colonial Episcopate.
Although, as we have before stated, the Bishop is understood not to have sought for proselytes, there have already been several individuals, from amongst the regular as well as secular clergy, in addition to some of the laity, both male and female, who, becoming alive to the corruptions of the communion in which they have been brought up, have sought instruction and advice at his hands, and have ultimately expressed their wish to be received into communion with the Church of England. These he has not of course rejected, and there are, we believe, at this moment as many as five or six Italian priests at Malta in this position; and there is every reason to expect that the number will [326/327] increase. The difficulty of finding means of support or employment for them is, as will readily be imagined, very great; the Committee of the Malta College, however, of which mention was made in a former article,  [(1) Col. Ch. Chron. No. IV. p. 126.] have consented, at the request of the Bishop, to annex to their institution an establishment for the reception of such priests, where they may be enabled to pursue their theological studies until missionary or other employment can be found for them, under the direction of the Bishop of Gibraltar. A letter from the Bishop has been published, containing the following expressions:
"I must mention that they [the Italian priests] are very much bent upon commencing a Reformed Italian Church, upon the same general principles as the Church of England; not taking our Liturgy, but using a reformed service of their own. They find that the plan of a National Italian Church, in contradistinction to the Roman or Latin Church, is very acceptable to many Italians, who would not join in attempting to set up the service of our Church in Italian. . . . . . . . I hope the Committee will succeed in raising funds."
This project is understood to have met with the approbation of the late Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London; and we must repeat the hope already expressed, that the design may not fail for want of the necessary funds to maintain an institution from which we cannot but anticipate much good to the cause of Christian truth in the Mediterranean, as well by the conversion of the infidel nations dwelling on its shores, as by arousing other Churches to a sense of the corruptions under which they are labouring, and encouraging them in their efforts to obtain the reformation of which they stand in need. But whatever may be the direct results of this or any similar attempts to awaken a true spirit of religious inquiry in the minds of those who either reject the truths of Christianity, or hold them overlaid with human additions and corruptions, certain it is that a large amount of indirect influence must of necessity be exercised for good by the improved aspect under which our Church is beginning to present herself to the eyes of people who have long been accustomed to view her in the most unfavourable light. What effect the political changes in Italy, probably as yet only commencing, and especially the new and somewhat anomalous position in which the Pope is now placed, will ultimately have on the ecclesiastical affairs of that country, and indeed on the Roman Catholic world in general, it would be hazardous to predict. These events, however, viewed in conjunction with [327/328] the recent movements in Germany, the known state of religious feeling in France and Spain, and the small disposition that has recently been shown in those countries, particularly the latter, to submit implicitly to papal authority, almost force upon us the conviction that we are on the eve of a convulsion, in which some of the old landmarks will effectually be removed. Whatever may be the nature of the struggle, it cannot be but that the Church of England will be compelled to bear some part in it; whatever the issue, it cannot be but that her position will be materially affected by it.
Since the publication of our remarks on the Colonial portion of this Diocese, the Government has adopted the important and unprecedented step of sending to Malta a Roman-Catholic Governor. Great as may be the regret felt at this nomination, we confess we do not anticipate from it any permanent or serious injury to the interests of the Church of England. Of the gentleman thus appointed we know nothing; rumour, however, says that he has commenced a vigorous reform in various departments connected with the civil government--a measure which those acquainted with the island will not be disposed to view with disapprobation. We shall he glad to hear that he has extended his operations to the secular affairs of some of the ecclesiastical corporations as well. The circumstance of his being a Roman Catholic obviously offers him great facilities for effecting this, as he is not likely to be suspected of being actuated by hostility to the Church of which he is himself a member. One point indeed we regard with much interest, as one of the highest importance to the future welfare of the island in a spiritual point of view, and one likely to exercise no slight influence on its political condition--we mean the course he may see fit to adopt with reference to the Jesuits, established there, as our readers are already aware, under the colonial administration of Lord Stanley. Their object is, of course, to obtain the entire control of education; an object which nothing but the countenance of the Governor can enable them to effect against the strong opposition of most of the secular clergy, and of a large number of the laity, including nearly all the best informed and most enlightened, as well as those most favourable to the British rule.
We trust we have been successful in our endeavour to point out the very important position in our Colonial Church occupied by the Bishopric of Gibraltar, and in showing that its results have been such as to answer the reasonable expectations entertained by those who were instrumental in the formation of it. We are well aware that a large amount of deficiency yet remains to be supplied before the spiritual wants of our [328/329] countrymen in the Mediterranean are adequately provided for; and still more before our Church can be enabled to display herself in her true missionary character among the infidel nations with whom she is there, brought in contact. Our readers must pardon us for reminding them, that the chief difficulty in the way of this development is one experienced by the Bishop of Gibraltar, in common, we believe, with most of his brethren in the Colonies--the want of the means necessary for the support of Chaplains and Missionaries in sufficient number for the performance of the work to be done. This want he is anxiously endeavouring to supply, and with that view has established a Diocesan Fund, to which contributions are regularly made by all the congregations throughout his jurisdiction; in some places a portion of the Offertory collection being devoted to it, while in others a special collection is annually made for that purpose. This fund he proposes to employ in assisting to provide spiritual care for the smaller communities, whose resources are not such as to enable them to raise the necessary sums by subscription amongst themselves. To do this in all cases where it is required, would much exceed the means hitherto placed at his disposal, though these have been increased by subscriptions from friends in England interested in the cause. A very large addition to this fund will be necessary before any attempt can be made to preach the Gospel amongst the Jews and Infidels, who constitute so large a portion of the population of the Turkish, and nearly the whole of that of the Moorish territories. We cannot better conclude our observations than by earnestly recommending a fund destined for so important a purpose, to the liberality of those who have such objects at heart.