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or with reference to any political party, but for their real worth. We want people who cau be firm and conciliating, else the church cannot be maintained. We want large broad views, or the difficulties will be insurmountable.' While holding such wise views, she was not uninfluenced by her personal likes or dislikes of individuals, and she would rather fill an ecclesiastical office with one who was already agreeably known to her than with a stranger. She was always an attentive hearer of sermons and a shrewd critic of them. She chiefly admired in them simplicity and brevity. Any failure of a preacher to satisfy her judgment commonly proved a fatal bar to his preferment. She was tolerant of almost all religious opinions, and respected those from which she differed; only the extreme views and practices of ritualists irritated her. She was proud of her connection with the presbyterian establishment of Scotland, and, without bestowing much attention on the theology peculiar to it, enjoyed its unadorned services, and the homely exhortations of its ministers.
On Disraeli's resignation the queen at once sent for Gladstone, and he for the first Gladstone prime minister, 1868 time became her prime minister in December 1868. Although she fully recognised his abilities, and he always treated her personally with deferential courtesy, he did not inspire her with sympathy or confidence. Her political intuitions were not illiberal, but the liberalism to which she clung was confined to the old whig principles of religious toleration and the personal liberty of the subject. She deprecated change in the great institutions of government, especially in the army; the obliteration of class distinctions was for her an idle dream. Radicalism she judged to be a dangerous compromise with the forces of revolution ; the theory that England had little or no concern with European politics, and no title to exert influence on their course, conflicted with her training and the domestic sentiment that came of her foreign family connections. The mutability of Gladstone's political views, and their tendency to move in the direction which the queen regarded as unsafe, tried her nerves. During Gladstone's first ministry he and his colleagues undertook a larger number of legislative reforms than any government had essayed during her reign, and the obligation which she felt to be imposed on her of studying the arguments in their favour often overtaxed her strength. New questions arose with such rapidity that she complained that she had not the time wherein to form a judgment. Gladstone, who was unwearied in his efforts to meet her protests or inquiries, had not the faculty of brevity in exposition. His intellectual energy, his vehemence in argument, the steady flow of his vigorous language, tormented her. With perfectly constitutional correctness she acknowledged herself powerless to enforce her opinion against his ; but she made no secret of her private reluctance to approve his proposals. Gladstone's social accomplishments, moreover, were not of a kind calculated to conciliate the queen in intercourse outside official business, or to compensate for the divergences between their political points of view. The topics which absorbed him in his private life were far removed from the queen's sphere of knowledge or interest. Some of Gladstone's colleagues in his first ministry were, however, entirely congenial to her. She was already on friendly terms with Lord Granville, the colonial secretary, and with the Duke of Argyll, the Indian secretary, and she had long placed implicit confidence in Lord Clarendon, who now resumed the post of foreign secretary.The first measure which Gladstone as prime minister introduced was the Her views on the Irish church bill. long-threatened bill for the disestablishment of the Irish church, church bill. She avowed vehement dislike of it, and talked openly of her sorrow that Gladstone should have started 'this about the Irish church' (Wilberorce's Life, iii. 97). In the correspondence with her daughter Alice she argued that the question would 'be neither solved nor settled in this way. In justice to protestants might come of it. The settlement was not well considered.' She told Gladstone how deeply she 'deplored the necessity under which he conceived himself to be of raising the question as he had done.' and how unable she was to divest herself of apprehensions as to the possible consequences. But she was under no illusion as to Gladstone's resolve and power to pass the bill through parliament. She frankly admitted that the House of Commons had been 'chosen expressly to speak the feeling of the country on the question,' and she believed that if a second appeal were made to the electorate it would produce the same result. Common sense taught her that the quicker the inevitable pill was swallowed the better for the country's peace. But she saw that a fruitless and perilous resistance was threatened by the House of Lords. In the previous session they had thrown out the bill suspending further appointments in the Irish church which Gladstone had carried through the House of Commons, and