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bably little less than double what it had been when the attempt, to which he had alluded, was made; and still more from its concen tration in the metropolis, and the large commercial and manufac turing towns. Nothing, in fact, could have justified so long a delay, -a delay which had continued till any effectual remedy began to be despaired of,-but the difficulties with which the state had had to struggle, and the expensive wars in which it had been involved. It should indeed be remembered that, even during the pressure of the severest and most arduous contest in which this country had ever been engaged, Parliament had made liberal grants to promote the comforts of the clergy, and to confer on the public the benefit of a resident-a respectable--and a moderately endowed ministry. But these grants, however important in their object, could not supply the want of Places of Public Worship, of which there existed so melancholy a deficiency.
He believed that, in support of a fact so generally known, he might rest on the ground of public notoriety. He should, however, for the sake of a clear illustration of the subject, take the liberty of referring to the accounts laid upon the table of the House, by command of the Prince Regent. It would appear from those returns, that the proportion between the number of parishes, and that of their inhabitants, varied extremely in the different dioceses of the kingdom.' The Parliamentary Account, No. 1, which com prises only those parishes which contain at least 2000 persons, and in which the Places of Worship are insufficient to accommodate one-half of the inhabitants, would show, that in the diocese of London there were eighty parishes of that description, containing 930,337 souls, and giving an average of 11,629 to a parish ;-in that of Winchester the average was 8789;-in that of Chester 8195;-while in that of Oxford it was no more than 2422: so that the proportionate population of parishes, in the diocese of London to those of the diocese of Oxford, was as more than four to one. From the account he had extracted a list of twenty-seven parishes, in which the deficiency was most enormous, the excess of the inhabitants beyond the means of accommodation in the Churches exceed 20,000 in each. Of these sixteen were in, or about London, and eleven in great provincial towns. In three of them, the excess in each was above 50,000 souls; in four more, from 40,000 to 50,000 ;-in eight, from 30,000 to 40,000; and in the remaining twelve, from 20,000 to 30,000. In Liverpool, out of 94,376 inhabitants, 21,000 only could be accommodated in the Churches, leaving a deficiency of 73,376;-in Manchester, of
Vide Parliamentary Accounts, an abstract of which will be found in the Appendix.
79,459, only 10,950, leaving 68,509; and in Marybone, of 75,624, no more than 8700, leaving 66,924 without the means of accommodation. It thus appeared that in three parishes only there were near 210,000 inhabitants who could not obtain access to their Churches. It was not indeed, in his opinion, necessary that the Church should be sufficiently large absolutely to contain the whole of the inhabitants of a parish at the same time; a large deduction must always be made for infants, and for those who, from age, from infirmity or sickness, or from necessary domestic avocations, were unable to attend. Allowing for these circumstances, and considering the opportunities which the different services performed in the same day might give to different classes of the population, he should conceive that a parish might be considered as not inadequately supplied if the church could contain one-third of the inhabitants at the same time and it would be obviously desirable to provide in the Bill for the performance of three services on every Sunday and the more important festivals, in the new Churches, in order to derive the greatest accommodation to the public, at the most moderate expense. If this were not the case, the deficiency in the larger parishes would appear so enormous, and the expense of providing any adequate remedy so immense, that he could hardly have the courage to propose to Parliament to undertake so hopeless a task. In this respect some objection might be made to the statements of the very useful publications of Mr. Yates, from which he had derived much valuable information, and which he could recommend to every gentleman who might wish to turn his attention to this part of the subject. By comparing the capacity of our Churches with the total amount of the population, and placing the actual deficiency upon such a comparison, in the strongest light, Mr. Yates undoubtedly would lead to a desponding view of the subject: but his work contains accurate abstracts of the returns to the Privy Council, which have since been laid before Parliament; and other valuable documents, besides his own striking and useful observations.
From the returns on the table it appears that the deficiency was greatest in the district of London, lying in the dioceses of London and Winchester; and in those of Chester and York: and he (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) would state the absolute deficiency in each, compared with the whole population, but subject to the observations he had just made. The population of London and its vicinity was 1,129,451; of whom the Churches and Episcopal Chapels can only contain 151,536, leaving an excess of 977,915. This statement, however, excludes the City of London, in which there was a superfluity of Churches, considerably exceeding what the inhabitants required. This not only arose
from a diminished population, occasioned by the great proportion of space now occupied in the City of London by warehouses and workshops, but was also the case in all the other most ancient cities in the kingdom. In Norwich, Lincoln, and the other cities which existed under the Roman empire, the parishes are small and the churches very numerous, and originally of small dimensions, as appears from the few original structures which are still remaining: but in those towns which have been built or greatly enlarged in later times, and especially since the Reformation, the case is very different. In the dioceses of York and Chester, the disproportion of population to the capacity of the Churches, was little less than in the district of the metropolis. In the diocese of York there were ninety-six Churches, which afford room for 139,163 inhabitants-the whole population amounted to 720,091, so that there was a deficiency of accommodation for 580,928. In that of Chester, there were one hundred and sixty-seven parishes, the Churches in which would contain 228,696; but the actual population was no less than 1,286,702, leaving a deficiency of 1,040,006. The deficiency was therefore most striking in London and Chester, but it was very great in some other dioceses. In that of Winchester (part of which was comprised in the London district) there were thirty-seven parishes, of which the Churches could receive 59,503; the population was 325,209, leaving a deficiency of 265,706; more than four-fifths of the whole number were therefore unable to find accommodation. In cases such as these, the impossibility in which the far greater part of the inhabitants were placed of attending divine service even once a-day, was however by no means the only evil. There were many other most important functions of his sacred office which it was impossible for any clergyman, however zealous and laborious, adequately to discharge towards a population of 40,000 or 50,000 souls, or even a much smaller number. He might instance (as Mr. Yates has most forcibly done) the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and the rites of Baptism, Burial, and Marriage. How was it possible for those ordinances to be celebrated in the solemn and impressive manner which their serious and important nature required, in the crowd and hurry unavoidably attending their perpetual and almost ceaseless repetition in such a crowded population? How even could due care be taken to avoid mistakes, and to guard against frauds and impositions affecting the most important civil rights of individuals? He might indeed almost say, that the reformation for which he pleaded, was not less important to the security of property and of the civil order of society, than to the higher considerations of religion and morality. To illustrate this part of his argument, he
would take the liberty of reading one or two short extracts from the valuable work to which he had before referred.
In the first Mr. Yates gives an account of the performance of a Sunday's duty for a friend.
I attended at the Church at nine o'clock: on account of expected marriages, the service was once performed; then the full morning service, the rector preaching the sermon; after the departure of the congregation, the service for churching of women twice performed; afternoon, full service, prayers, and sermon ; after which seventeen children baptised; then seven funerals performed, the burial service read over five times, concluding between seven and eight o'clock in the evening; the whole of which, except the morning sermon, I performed as the duty of a curate; and this was understood to be no more than the average Sunday employment." > The second instance is still more striking.
There are, upon an average, from forty to fifty christenings every Sunday afternoon, besides christenings on the week days; and on some of the great festivals, as Christmas Day, Easter day, and Whit-Sunday, there are generally from one hundred and twenty to one hundred and forty.
"On the first day of the present year, I myself christened ninetythree children. On the 6th of February of the present year, there were twenty-nine couples married. Throughout the whole of the present year, the banns of marriage published every Sunday morning for the first, second, and third time of asking, have seldom been less than one hundred and twenty in number, on one occasion they were one hundred and fifty-six.'
Such instances would give the Committee an idea of the extent of the evil as it now existed, and he should proceed to state, as shortly as was consistent with any clear view of the subject, the outline of the remedial measure which he had it in comtemplation to submit to Parliament.
He intended to propose a grant, to the extent of one million sterling, to be raised by an issue of Exchequer Bills, and applied as occasion might require, under the direction of Commissioners, appointed by the Crown, in a manner analogous to the operations of the Parliamentary Commission, established last year, to give encouragement to public works. He thought this plan preferable to an annual grant, because the Commissioners would have a better guide in framing the regulations under which they would afford assistance; and the different districts requiring it, would be better able to judge of the propriety of making applications when the total extent of Parliamentary aid was known, than if it had been left to annual grants of uncertain amount, and indefinite continuance. The distribution of this grant would require, at least, four or five
years; and the sums raised in each might either, if Parliament should so think fit, be made good in the succeeding years respectively, or in one total sum, at the close of the period when the whole should have been issued.
The measure proposed, was, (except in respect of the mode of raising the money,) similar to that in which a business of the same nature had been conducted in the reign of Queen Anne, and of which an account would be found in the valuable work to which he had already so often alluded.
At that time, thirty-one Commissioners were appointed by the Crown, on whom the whole of the general direction devolved. A tax was imposed on certain articles imported into the port of London, for the purpose of enabling them to carry into execution the building of a certain number of additional Churches in the metropolis, and the sums raised were placed at the disposal of the Commissioners, who were thus enabled to erect eleven Churches out of the number intended.
The Commission appointed in that instance, was instituted for local purposes; but that now proposed was intended to have a much wider sphere of operation. It was to take a general view of the wants of the whole kingdom, and, in granting aid, would be regulated by a combined view of the extent and the population of the different parishes, the want of accommodation in the existing Churches, and the ability of the district to bear the burthen requisite for supplying the deficiency. The public bounty ought only to be given in aid of a fair exertion on the part of the district: where the Commissioners were convinced of the inability of the district to complete the undertaking of itself, they would interfere, but rather with a view to assist, than to support the whole charge. He had already observed, that, in many parishes, not only the population was too numerous, but the extent too great for the pastoral care of one incumbent. It was, on both these accounts, thought desirable, that in such cases a power should be given to the King in Council, with the consent of the patron, to divide the parish with respect to all ecclesiastical rights, as well as spiritual duties, but without interfering with the management of the poor, or other arrangements of a civil nature. The consent of the patron must be obtained, because it was highly important, that in a great public improvement, there should be the least possible interference with private rights. In case, however, the consent of the patron could not be obtained, or if the Commissioners should think the arrangements preferable, as in some cases they might do, it was proposed, that a power should be given to the King in Council, to separate a district from a parish for spiritual purposes only; without affecting the ecclesiastical endowments, either of the present, or any