Page:Notes by the Way.djvu/83

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paper which had been started to sustain a Church revival was saved from an early death by its appreciation of physical science. A review, in March, by Church, of 'The Vestiges of Creation,' had previously attracted the notice of Prof. Owen; and in October a vindication of Le Verrier's claim to the first public announcement of the new planet Neptune drew a grateful letter from the astronomer, caused The Guardian to be quoted in The Daily News, and thus brought it into general notice.

Contributors.Among The Guardian's contributors may be mentioned Manning, Henry Wilberforce, Lord Chief Justice Coleridge, Henry Coleridge, Beresford Hope, Chretien (of Oriel), Freeman (the historian), Mackarness, and Stafford Northcote, while he was private secretary to Mr. Gladstone. Its chief success is due to the indomitable energy and perseverance of Martin Richard Sharp, who on July 1st, 1846, succeeded John Fullagar as publisher, in addition to which he took an active part in its direction, afterwards becoming editor, and so continued until his retirement in 1883.

Forster's Bill.
The first number of The Guardian was of the same size as The Saturday Review. It contained only sixteen pages, and was published at sixpence. On the 29th of April, 1846, the paper was enlarged, and has so continued. It is of interest to note the position taken by The Guardian on some leading questions. One of the first public events with which it had to deal was when Cardinal Wiseman announced the reconstitution of the Roman Catholic Church in England by the assignment of local titles to its prelates. The Guardian took the same line as Mr. Gladstone, and opposed Lord John Russell's Ecclesiastical Titles Bill, pointing out the futility of the Papal Bull, and entirely refusing to be a party to any penal legislation against it. The rapid development of physical science, and its effect on theology and the Bible narrative, caused "alarm" and "uncompromising opposition" to many. "These impulses were never shared by The Guardian. It pleaded from the first for an open mind and a fair consideration." As regards the "Higher Criticism," it endeavoured to show that "the direction in which this 'science' also 'is pointing' is one that may be used to help instead of hinder faith." On the question of national education the paper has given "a general support to Mr. Forster's Bill of 1870 in its original form, which, while it insisted on a Conscience Clause, left to the local managers the power of regulating the religious instruction. On the other hotly disputed points, both of which have since been accepted namely, free education and compulsory attendance while we supported the Bill in its refusal to abolish the small fees paid by the parents, we only claimed for the managers of voluntary schools that they should have the same power of compelling attendance which was given to the School Boards."