Project Canterbury

Church Reform in Spain and Portugal

A Short History of the Reformed Episcopal Churches of Spain and Portugal, from 1868 to the Present Time.

By H. E. Noyes.

London, Paris, Melbourne: Cassell and Company, 1897.

Chapter III. Madrid.

SOON after his Grace the Archbishop of Dublin began to take an interest in the Spanish Reformers, he became convinced that a central building in Madrid, including a church, a residence for the Bishop, a training college for students, and schools for the young, was a pressing necessity. The event has shown how true to the facts of the case this conviction was. The room in which the services had been held was most unsuitable. The street (the Madera Baja) was a side one, narrow and of minor importance, and although it had become fairly well known, it offered no attractions to any passers by who were not impressed with the need of the Gospel. The building was old--formerly a printer's shop--small, and incommodious, and, being next door to a bathing establishment, very damp. In summer the heat was almost unbearable; in winter the cold was so severe that, as Señor Cabrera used to say, the preacher's hands and feet were benumbed as he stood in the pulpit. The roof was so bad that in wet weather the water would trickle down upon the heads of the worshippers. Yet the rent of this miserable substitute for a church was £160 a year, and the proprietor refused to make repairs, or to provide any means for heating it in winter. In Light and Truth, the organ of the Spanish and Portuguese Church Aid Society, for February, 1881, Lord Plunket made his first appeal for funds to purchase [38/39] a site and to build a church. It was a great undertaking, for some £3,000 was required to purchase the site alone. The effort was, however, made in prayer and faith, and all felt that, with the name and influence of Lord Plunket, and, more than this, the untiring perseverance which characterises any work of the kind taken up by his Grace, there was good hope of success. The result has shown that such confidence was not misplaced.

In the spring of the year 1881, the Archbishop paid his first visit to Spain and Portugal to examine for himself the details of the work, and was shown by Señor Cabrera a site which seemed specially suited for the object in view. In giving an account of this visit his Grace wrote: "On arriving at an open space I was informed by Cabrera that we were standing on one of the sites of the autos da fé, which were held here in the days of the Inquisition. Not many years have passed since a cutting was made through this part of Madrid for the purpose of constructing a new road, and a ghastly spectacle was disclosed. As the excavations were being made, alternate layers of dark ashes and light sand were successively revealed to sight. The ashes were the calcined remains of martyrs, who 300 years before had been faithful unto death. The sand was the covering strewn about the place of execution to hide the deed of shame, or rather to prepare for the next tragedy that was to follow. Few of us can forget the words of thrilling eloquence in which Castelar, the great Spanish orator, referred at the time to this horrifying disclosure. . . . It is a proof of the honourable revulsion of feeling with which Spaniards now regard the intolerance of [39/40] former days that the street which has been cut through this place of burnings has been named after Carranza, one of Spain's greatest reformers. . . . Here, let me say, would be a noble site for a church in connection with this new Reformation movement. One plot was, indeed, offered here for sale not many months since, which Señor Cabrera was most anxious to secure for that purpose. To have purchased such a site, or, indeed, any suitable site in a city where building space is so exceptionally dear, it would have required a large sum--it may be some £2,000. But would it not have been worth it? A church built beside the ashes of the martyrs, wherein might be preached the truths for which the martyrs died, would have been a noble tribute to their faithfulness. . . . But it is now too late to secure the particular piece of ground which Cabrera sought. . . . It has since been snatched up by another purchaser, and I saw some other work of building in progress upon it already. But it is not too late to purchase some other equally suitable site. . . . Perhaps someone who reads these words may be ready to say in his heart, 'I will claim for myself this privilege, and my freewill offering shall be a church--or at least a churchsite in Madrid--for the faithful band of reformers who, with God's help, are now struggling to make known among their fellow-countrymen that truth for which their martyr forefathers nobly witnessed at the stake.'"

Although the importance of this work was fully realised, friends of the Society felt that it could not be pressed immediately. The Society seeking to aid the Reformers was nearly crushed by a heavy debt, the accumulation of former years, when more work had been undertaken than was consistent with the funds at the [40/41] disposal of the committee. The first necessity was the extinction of this debt, and noble sacrifices of time and money were made by Lord Plunket and other friends to this end. It was not, however, till 1887 that it could be said that this burden was lifted off. In the same number of the periodical in which the glad news was announced there appeared a fresh appeal from the Archbishop on behalf of the Madrid Church, and in the beginning of the following year an acknowledgment was made of a generous promise of £500 from Mr. C. H. Bousfield, who had already done so much for the Reformed Church in Spain. Soon after a lady, encouraged by the example of Mr. Bousfield, sent another £500. Smaller donations began then to flow in, and the prospect brightened. The Archbishop put out another appeal in view of the then approaching Lambeth Conference, and the total was ere long £1,500. In January, 1889, a statement was published, showing that only £150 was then required towards the £3,000 necessary for the site. To use Lord Plunket's words on that occasion, we were "nearing land." Shortly afterwards a site was put up for auction in Madrid by the War Department, which was in every respect exceptionally suitable, and a bid for it was made. After much suspense and anxiety--for there was much opposition--the question was settled and the site secured. What with legal and other expenses there was, however, only about £200 left towards the building, and the amount required was very large--over £6,000! What was to be done? It was felt that to attempt all the necessary buildings at once would not be wise, and so it was decided to first build the schools, then the Pastor's house, and finally the church. "Let us rise and build," wrote the indefatigable President of the [41/42] Society, "although we must needs go by easy stages." Plans were drawn by an eminent architect in Madrid, donations for the "Building Fund" began to come in, and at the close of 1890 we were actually at work. The following is an account of the laying of the foundation stone, translated from El Christiano:

"On the 19th of March [1891] we had the great pleasure of being present at the laying of the foundation stone of a beautiful Evangelical church, which the Congregation of the Redeemer (Calle de la Madera Baja) are going to build in Madrid. The ceremony was very simple, but highly interesting. Very few persons were present, as we did not wish to give our adversaries a pretext for saying that we had broken the article of the constitution forbidding public demonstrations on the part of the Dissenting Church. We Protestants try to set an example of respect to the law, as the authorities could testify in all parts if they wished to speak sincerely. Assembled, then, a little group, headed by the Bishop-elect, round the place where the stone was to be placed, prayers were offered to God, thanking Him in the first place for allowing the believers in the pure Gospel the privilege of seeing the beginning of His work, putting it afterwards under His direction, and asking His blessing for all those who, directlyor indirectly, have promoted, and who sustain and defray the costs of the work. Immediately afterwards a bottle containing the record of this ceremony was placed in the hollow, and the Pastor of La Madera and some members of his vestry, with other Pastors assisting, helped in the placing of the stone, all hoping that the year will not close before the prayers and praises of the Gospel will have sounded in the place, and that the good news of [42/43] salvation by grace may there be preached. We afterwards examined very carefully the plans of the new building, and must say they pleased us very much. The site is divided into three parts, the central being intended for the church, the architecture being in the style of the sixteenth century. One side is to be for the rectory house and college for students, and the other for schools, library, meeting-room for synod, etc. What has greatly pleased us in the plan of the edifice is the excellent light the church will have, surrounded by two large courtyards, which might indeed be gardens; and the freedom that the schools for both sexes will have, such as few in the capital enjoy. We congratulate the Pastor and brethren of Madera Baja and ourselves, and earnestly hope the building will be happily finished."

This important event, however, was not to pass without public notice. A gentleman well known in the literary world of Spain was among the few invited to witness, the laying of the stone. He was not a Reformer, but, like many of his fellow-countrymen, strongly in favour of religious liberty. An editorial article appeared a few days afterwards in El Eco Nacional from his pen, entitled "An Era." At the risk of my story becoming largely a compilation, which, indeed, is well-nigh unavoidable, I will quote in full this striking article, which itself indicates the progress which liberty of conscience is making in Spain. He writes: "The triumph of liberty of conscience has become at last a clearly defined fact in our country. On the afternoon of the 19th of March we were kindly invited to attend the solemn ceremony of laying the first stone of a building which an Evangelical or Protestant [43/44] Congregation is about to erect in the Calle de la Beneficencia. For the first time in the capital of Spain, in the capital of the nation called by antiphrasis, Catholic, the nation which till very recently has been one of the strongest bulwarks of all intransigent and intolerant principles--for the first time, after centuries of horrible persecutions, sacrifices, scaffolds, gags, and sanbenitos, the ministers and believers of a Nonconformist religion were gathered together, openly, in full daylight, although professing a religious faith and teaching which are not traditional in Spain, to lay the first stone of a new temple, which after all they are allowed to raise freely to the God of their emancipated consciences. This ceremony carried out in full daylight, and yet! without causing the world to shake or the universe to tremble, means, we repeat, in our country--once the country of Arbues and Torquemada--the triumph of liberty of conscience, the most solemn consecration of religious toleration--a liberty and toleration which may indeed seem to some quarrelsome and atrabilious characters a clear token of decadence and disintegration as regards the faith of our ancestors, but which to well-tempered and truly religious souls cannot mean anything else but a real victory of the true spirit of Christianity, revived by the humanising ideas introduced through the workings of civilisation in our present age! The peaceful co-existence of different religious denominations has been taught by example to those connected with the various Churches as the practical lesson learnt by those nations which faced boldly the crisis of the Reformation. In these nations the mutual respect due to the rights of conscience was soon recognised, and the continuance of social [43/44] intercourse rapidly smoothed away the asperities which present themselves wherever an exclusive and dogmatic doctrine comes into contact with what are considered rival opinions.

"As we were left behind in the march of civilisation,and were pushed on by the mechanical force of political circumstances rather than by the virtue of national energy, we have been towed, so to speak, into the general movement of those countries which are at present in the van of progress. But we are in at last! This is a fact, and it must not be understood that this tolerance and respect for the belief of others is a mere concession to be regarded in the light of a favour. Rather, it is a tribute paid to those rights and privileges of 'conscience' whereby alone we can establish a reign of peace between those various religious communities which as a fact, and in accordance with law, are now established throughout Spain. We have entitled our article 'An Era,' because the 19th of March, 1891, will be a memorable era in the history of religious liberty in Spain. To understand better the full significance of what then took place, let everyone who entertains a sacred respect for conscience come back with me three centuries, and let us try to recall one of those scenes of savage intolerance--one of those solemn autos da fé which for the sake of the splendour of the church, and with a view to excite the religious feelings of our forefathers, the 'holy' tribunal of the Inquisition deemed it necessary from time to time to hold. Let us, in imagination, regard ourselves as assisting at one of those public burnings instituted for 'the greater glory of God,' for the strengthening of faith in 'pious' souls, and for the purifying with fire the pestilent atmosphere of heresy. Let us recall, I say, this spectacle [45/46] so edifying and so useful for cauterising with fire the morbid cancer of doubt and unbelief. Yes, let us revive in our memory to execrate it, to curse it, one of those horrible scenes of fanaticism in which a man appears burning another in the name of God--in the presence of God--and (oh! what a sarcasm!) praying to God for him! Ah, if it was thought necessary to destroy. to utterly abolish, the power of consciences prone to question the power of the Church, it was considered necessary to limit the power of thought always inclined to deviate from the Church; it was necessary, in a word, to seal with a red-hot iron those heretic lips always ready to say something the Church had not said! And no one dared to protest then even in thought, no, not in the innermost recesses of the mind, nor in the most sacred shrines of the heart. No one dared to protest, not even in secret, in solitude, or in silence, because such protest might reveal itself in a look, in a movement of the face, in a respiration of the breath, in the print of a foot, and be discovered by that odious tribunal, that infamous power, which, having a spy to watch every conscience, and an ear open to every secret, could discern the rumour of thoughts and the noise of ideas, holding its examination 'in darkness,' and executing its sentence in the light,' with the executioner on one side to kill, the fire on the other to extinguish, and the cross above to blot out every responsibility! Oh, my God! what a multitude of horrors, of infamous crimes, have been committed in Thy Name, and under the shadow of Thy Cross--that Cross that was once consecrated by the most signal example of tolerance and pardon the world has ever known! There, on the Quemaderos (burning places) the materials are being heaped up for a fire to be [46/47] lit in the Name of the God of Calvary for the purpose of consuming with infernal tortures the bodies of some unfortunate persons who have been declared 'herejes' (heretics) by the dark tribunal which in derision, no doubt, of the most sacred rights of the conscience was called 'holy.' Fools! you can only burn bodies, but not ideas! When the flames go up, the ideas which you intend thereby to destroy go up also! Never are doctrines better propagated than immediately after a martyrdom--after some sacrifice whereby the expansion of those ideas can be more clearly manifested! It seems as though an invisible genius were scattering abroad from conscience to conscience those thoughts which ascend upwards when the parting sigh escapes from the scaffold, together with the last. sparks of the heresy-destroying fire. Oh! if flames will gain ground, although the first spark which lit them may be extinguished, so surely ideas are like unto fire. They will multiply and extend themselves, although the head which first engendered them may be reduced to powder. Even in the hot ashes the spirit of the victim still remains--'heretic' more than ever, active and free more than ever to proclaim and to propagate far and wide his thoughts! And meanwhile the black smoke surrounding the pile prevents the martyrs from uttering their cries of supreme suffering, and their executioners from uttering their horrible imprecations, all the more horrible because of the prayers they are offering for the heretic souls! Let us shut our eyes upon these execrable scenes, upon these saturnalia of intolerance, and let us contemplate with thankfulness this present age of blessed liberty and true religious progress, when, in the Name of God, we can only bless and not curse; when, in the [47/48] name of religion, we can only love and forgive, not burn, or erect scaffolds, or dress with sanbenitos, or fix gags!

"Everything tends to show that the time of religious wars and persecutions is gone for ever. The present generation does not mark with the stigma of 'reprobate' those who differ from the dogmas and beliefs of the traditional religion. The Catholic of to-day, no longer fanatical and irreconcilable as before, stretches forth his hand with kindness to the Protestant as well as to the Freethinker, the Rationalist and the unbeliever, and instead of insulting them by word and deed, as if conviction could be enforced by dictation or torture, tries to persuade them with the truth and the holiness of his faith. The ardent believer of to-day, instead of taking part, full of self-satisfaction and religious unction, in the burning of heretics, attends, on the afternoon of the 19th of March, the ceremony of laying the first stone of the new building which is being erected to God by the descendants of those who were burned with so much fruition by our parents in the sixteenth century.

"Yes, the Catholic and the fervent believer of to-day, instead of fleeing from the intercourse of the heretic, as he would have done yesterday, comes on the 19th of March bareheaded, and, together with the ministers and believers of a religion which is not his, prays from the bottom of his heart to the Heavenly Father of all beings for such a blessing on the works of the new temple about to be erected in His name as may ensure for it at the last a safe completion!

"What a beautiful contrast! What a magnificent picture of love and tolerance! Yesterday the heretic was burnt; to-day one prays with him. Yesterday he [48/49] was hated; to-day his hand is grasped with kindness. Yesterday it was cursing; to-day it is blessing. Glory to progress!--the religious frontiers have disappeared."

These are remarkable words from one who is nominally a Roman Catholic, and it is a striking feature of the times that such an article was allowed to appear in the daily press of Spain.

To give in detail all the incidents marking the collection of the necessary funds would require too much space; suffice it that, owing to many sacrifices by rich and poor, the money was raised, and that the work was never stayed for lack of funds from the laying of the foundation stone until the whole edifice was completed. It is a simple record of Christian generosity and devoted work on the part of those who had the welfare of the Reformers at heart. On the 27th of September, the same year, part of the building was ready, and it was decided to remove the service from the Madera Baja to the new building. The Sunday previously, September loth, the last service was held in the old place. It will be readily understood that it was a very solemn and moving occasion, as that building is connected with so many memories both of the Reformers in Madrid, and, indeed, of all Spain. How many had there heard the good news of the Gospel! How many times from that pulpit the truth of the Gospel, and the necessity of a consistent life had been preached! There for a long time the voices of Ruet, Carrasco, Astray, Alonso, Castro, Cruellas, and Cabrera had been heard. Most of these have passed away, but their names will never be forgotten by Spanish Christians. Many who are now at work in the wider field have been there instructed, and there many [49/50] once sat who desired to see this day and did not see it. No, the place will never be forgotten. The Bishop-elect was much moved as he related these facts in his last sermon. He was speaking, he said, to some who, having heard and accepted the Gospel twenty-two years before, had attended the services ever since; to young people who had been baptised and educated there; to some who had been married there; and he had in remembrance not a few "who had gone to be with Jesus."

But in spite of these holy memories, no one regretted to leave the place, for every heart was filled with hope that the new building would bring a fresh blessing both to its own congregation and to many as yet holding aloof.

The first service in the new building on the following Sunday was a happy occasion. It was a date to be remembered. All those who were present showed in their faces a glowing satisfaction as they realised to some extent the long-cherished hope of the congregation. Hearty were the prayers and thanksgivings, and loud were the responses and earnest the words spoken by the preacher. The church was not yet built, and for some time the services were held in what is now the Synod Hall, a commodious room, and one well suited and arranged for temporary occupation on Sundays.

In November of the following year (1892), notice was given to the Society in London that the church building was completed and ready for the opening, and Lord Plunket decided to visit Madrid for the consecration. I was privileged to act on that occasion as his Grace's chaplain, and as I then wrote the accounts of what happened, I shall give here the copy of what I sent to the press.

"In the middle of the night of November 30th, [50/51] at the important junction Medina del Campo in Spain, there was a remarkable and somewhat unique gathering of many who for a long time have been working on behalf of a Reformed faith in Roman Catholic countries. Some had never met before, and after the purpose of this meeting is accomplished may never meet again. I had travelled from the frontier station with Père Hyacinthe Loyson, Count Enrico Campobello, the Rev. Ugo Janni (San Remo), Mr. and Mrs. W. McCall, and Mr. W. Smith, engineer from Oporto. At Medina del Campo, on looking out, I saw the well-known form of Lord Plunket, and with him the Bishop of Clogher, the Rev. J. B. Cabrera, Canon Meyrick, and the Rev. A. Robertson (Venice). The meeting was most cordial, and if the night's wind blew coldly, hearts were warm, and warm were the greetings of brothers long separated. The difficulties of languages were great, but it was remarkable to see how they were overcome. It seemed as if, indeed, we had a Pentecostal blessing, for in different tongues each was telling to the other of the blessings of God upon his work. I learned from Lord Plunket of very interesting visits paid by him and the Bishop of Clogher to Villaescusa, Salamanca, and Valladolid. At the former place, quite 400 people gathered to the service, and forty of the young people were confirmed. At Salamanca 125 people had been present at the service in the evening. At the Holy Communion service in the morning there were twenty-five who partook. At Valladolid there were 120 people present at an evening service, and fourteen young people were confirmed. I give these statistics because some very erroneous statements have gone forth as to the attendance in these places.

[52] "The afternoon of the next day I attended the meeting of the Synod of the Reformed Church, presided over by the Rev. J. B. Cabrera, Bishop-elect. The meeting was held for the first time in the New Synod Hall, a commodious room, and nicely arranged. Round the walls are copies of the famous pictures by Ribera of the twelve Apostles, painted by a daughter of the Rev. J. B. Cabrera. There were twenty-three pastors and delegates present from different parts of Spain. The visitors occupied seats on the platform, and at the close of the preliminary business Lord Plunket and the Bishop of Clogher both addressed the Synod, a translation of their words being given by Señor Cabrera. Père Hyacinthe also gave an eloquent address, which was received with much enthusiasm.

"On Saturday (3rd) we heard rumours of some technical difficulty that had arisen with the authorities, and great was our anxiety, which, as the next day proved, was not without cause."

On Sunday evening (4th) I communicated to the Record, and other English and Irish papers, the following account of what had happened: "We have had a very exciting day, and one that will be marked in the history of the Reformed Church. Owing to political disturbance, and the resignation of the Alcalde, it was impossible to obtain legal permission to open the church, and the idea had to be given up.

"It was decided, however, to hold the Ordination and Confirmation services in the Synod Hall, which had been used for the past fourteen months. The hour fixed was 11 o'clock. I left the hotel at 10.30 with Père Hyacinthe, Count Campello, and other friends, for the church. When we got to the corner of the Calle Beneficencia, we were astonished to see a large crowd [52/53] of people gathered in front of the church, and a number of the civil guards at the door.

"We found, to our dismay, that an order had come from the Government that no service was to be held in any part of the buildings, and no one was allowed to pass into them. What was more inexplicable than all was the order that no one was to enter the private house of Señor Cabrera, and that no one could come out and re-enter. Thus the Archbishop of Dublin, the Bishop of Clogher, and Canon Meyrick, who were the guests of Señor Cabrera, were practically prisoners in the house. I shall not soon forget the Archbishop opening the window, and calling to me that he was to all intents a prisoner, and sending me with a message to the British Ambassador, asking for an interview. Great indignation was expressed by the crowd at this invasion of the rights of the citizen, and this violation of the sacredness of a private house, which is happily rare, even in Spain. One continually heard someone in the crowd say, 'It appears as if the Inquisition had come back again.'

"In order to see the Ambassador, as requested, Lord Plunket packed his luggage and left the house, coming to my hotel. It was arranged eventually, after much consultation, that the Ordination service should be held in a building kindly lent for the purpose by Mr. Jameson, agent of the British and Foreign Bible Society, and the hour fixed was three o'clock. I need hardly say that this quite unexpected difficulty has been sorely felt by the congregation of Reformers, but the wise words of the Archbishop kept a storm from rising. Señor Cabrera was much affected by the occurrence.

"At three o'clock, in the Calle Leganitos, the scattered congregation re-assembled, and notwithstanding the [53/54] difficulty, one was glad to see some 200 people had braved the matter and gathered for the service. The clergy present, who were all robed, consisted of the Archbishop of Dublin, the Bishop of Clogher, Canon Meyrick, Dr. Noyes, Père Hyacinths, Count Campello, the Revs. Ugo Janni, A. Robertson, J. B. Cabrera, F. Palomares, V. Baquero, J. Vila, J. J. Riall, E. Martinez, D. Regaliza. The clergyman to be admitted to the, priesthood was the Rev. D. Regaliza, pastor at Villaescusa, who wore the white stole crossed, white being the colour adopted by the Reformed Church, after the ancient Mosarabic rite. The Rev. V. Baquero read the first part of the Ordination service, the Rev. J. Vila the gospel, and the candidate was presented by the Rev. F. Palomares. The service was of a most solemn character, and many present were moved to tears. The Archbishop of Dublin gave the address, in which he said: 'Dear brethren in the Lord, before we proceed to invoke the aid of the Holy Spirit in that ancient hymn which has come down to us from primitive times, and before I proceed to the solemn rite which we are to celebrate to-day, I desire to say a few words with regard to the position I occupy to-day. I wish it to be clearly understood that I claim no jurisdiction or authority in this Reformed Church beyond that which this Church has invited me to assume. Nor do I come here to obtrude my services upon you contrary to the canons of the ancient Catholic Church. According to those canons a bishop, before undertaking duties outside of his diocese, is bound to consult the bishops of his province, and to act in accordance with them. I have consulted with the bishops of the Church to which I belong, and I am to-day acting with their sanction.

[55] "'These canons also require a bishop not to undertake such duties without request having been made to. him. I come to you to-day at the earnest invitation of your Church, to undertake the duties which you cannot at present carry out for yourselves. I did not think it necessary to consult the bishop of the territorial diocese of Madrid, for I would not do so much injustice to his Christian charity and his common-sense as to suppose that he would claim jurisdiction over those who are practically excommunicate from his fold. In the cause, then, of religious liberty and of Christian charity, and at the request of the Reformed Church, I am here to perform this office.

"'I also wish to say that I do not desire to do anything contrary to the laws of this country. I am thankful for the measure of toleration which now exists, and if difficulties have appeared, I feel convinced that they have been caused by some misunderstanding, and that the authorities, when they find that they have been under a mistake, will desire at once to set matters right. Our brother who is to be admitted to the priesthood to-day will be ordained under exceptional circumstances. Upon his head will be laid the hands of representatives of different Churches and of many races, who thus manifest their unity in Christ.'

"The ordination service was then held, during which about ninety persons partook of the Holy Communion, and sixteen were confirmed."

It was a significant fact that the well-known Señor Emilio Castelar called at the hotel the following morning and remained to breakfast.

The next day El Globo, a leading Liberal journal had an editorial article upon the subject, in which the [55/56] writer said: "It is disgraceful that the Archbishop of Dublin should return to his country, and there bear witness to the intolerance which rules here. But it is, above all, unjust and illegal to ignore a sacred right which the Protestants invoke in order freely to hold their religious services under the shelter of the constitution."

Thus the consecration of the church was postponed. Great was the disappointment to the Reformers, and yet there was something to encourage them. The facts above related called public attention to their work, and, no doubt, greatly stimulated its progress. For nearly twelve months the dedication was necessarily delayed, but the day came when not only was their church consecrated but their Bishop also, and that without let or hindrance. The account of this is given in another chapter. One vexatious order still remains unrescinded. The main door at the west of the church-opening upon the street is not allowed to be opened; the congregation must enter by a side door. Let us hope that this restriction will soon be taken away. Thank God, all is finished now and paid for, and this beautiful block of buildings raised to the glory of God will doubtless be, for many a year to come, a centre of strength to the Reformers in Madrid, and in other parts of Spain. Too much cannot be said of the self-sacrifice of his Grace the Archbishop of Dublin, who by his perseverance and generosity secured the necessary funds. The church and site is being transferred to a company formed in London, with power to hold property in Spain for the use of the Reformed Church.

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