Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/20

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period was addressed to Asa Gray, the American botanist, with whom Church had contracted a warm friendship. They are interesting still from the notices they contain of such books as Darwin's 'Origin of Species' and the Oxford 'Essays and Reviews,' and, again, of such events as the appointment of Dr. Temple to the bishopric of Exeter, showing the fair mind, as far as possible removed from panic, which Church always brought to the discussion of crying questions. He was appointed select preacher at Oxford in 1868, and the next year accepted the post of chaplain to Moberly, when he became bishop of Salisbury, preaching the consecration sermon. He was select preacher at Oxford for the second time in 1876-8 and again in 1881-2. In politics Church, though he describes himself as 'conservative in spirit,' was long a follower of Gladstone. For Gladstone's character and talents he had great admiration, though not without a clear perception of his weak points, and Gladstone's adoption of home rule in 1886 ultimately alienated Church's political sympathies. In 1869 Church defended Gladstone's Irish church policy, and in the same year he declined an offer by the crown of a canonry at Worcester, from a feeling that it might be considered as payment for his defence of the minister; and he thought it important that it should seem possible for high churchmen to support Gladstone's policy disinterestedly. Also he thought he saw signs of a return of 'the old spirit of preferment-seeking 'among the clergy which needed a rebuke. In August 1871 he accepted the deanery of St. Paul's, offered to him by Gladstone on the death of Henry Longueville Mansel [q. v.] A letter (dated 31 Dec. 1882) to Asa Gray puts beyond doubt that Gladstone wished to make Church archbishop of Canterbury on the death of Archbishop Tait [q. v.] The work that engrossed the new dean at St. Paul's for the first years after his appointment was the negotiation with the ecclesiastical commissioners in regard to the cathedral endowment. In this work he was fortunate in having the help of so able a financier as the treasurer, Canon Gregory, who eventually succeeded him as dean. His own interest was more clearly shown in the advances made towards a more dignified worship, and a greater use of the cathedral for public services. Under his auspices also a scheme for the decoration of the cathedral interior was elaborated, with which public opinion has more than once come into conflict. His removal to London brought him into greater prominence as a leading churchman of the high-church party, and he was now constantly appealed to for advice and help on questions of the day. The Public Worship .Regulation Act of 1874 found in him a resolute opponent, although he had little sympathy with excess of ritualistic zeal. He considered the act 'a misuse of law, such as has before now been known in history, and a policy of injustice towards an unpopular party,' and he thought the conduct of the episcopal bench timid and time-serving. In 1881 he put out an address to the archbishop, which was very largely and influentially signed, urging 'toleration and forbearance in dealing with questions of ritual.' He also republished his essay from the 'Christian Remembrancer' (1850) on 'The Relation between Church and State.' When the royal commission was appointed in that year to inquire into the constitution and working of ecclesiastical courts he was offered a seat upon it, but declined on the ground of ill-health. Six years later, when Bell Cox of Liverpool was prosecuted, he wrote a strong letter of remonstrance to Archbishop Benson.

In January 1888 Church lost his only son, Frederick, a young man of great promise, author of a translation of Dante's Latin treatise 'De Monarchia' (1878), and a little book on the 'Trial and Death of Socrates' (1886). After that other losses followed quickly one upon another of such old friends as Asa Gray, Bishop Lightfoot, Lord Blachford, Cardinal Newman, and the dean retired more and more from public life. His strength was now rapidly failing. The last time he appeared in his cathedral was to read the sentences of committal to the grave over Dr. Liddon, his colleague of nineteen years. He died at Dover on 9 Dec. 1890. He lived to welcome Archbishop Benson's judgment in the bishop of Lincoln's case, which he pronounced 'the most courageous thing that has come from Lambeth for two hundred years.' At the time of his death he was putting the last touches to his 'History of the Oxford Movement' (London, 1891, 8vo), a brilliant account of its origin and progress up to Newman's secession. He was buried by his desire in the churchyard at Whatley. On 5 July 1863, at Sparkford in Somerset, Church married Helen Frances, daughter of Henry Bennett, rector and squire of Sparkford. By her he had four children, of whom the eldest daughter, Helen Beatrice, married in 1883 the Very Rev. Francis Paget, dean of Christ Church and afterwards bishop of Oxford, and died on 22 Nov. 1900. A portrait of Church by Mr. E. Miller was lent by Dr. Paget to the Victorian exhibition of 1891-2.

Dean Church had not a few points in com-