In the small islands round our coast increase has ceased for some decades. The vital statistics of these islands furnish an excellent illustration of automatic adjustment to a state of supersaturation.
BISHOP GORE AND THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND
The strength and the weakness of the Anglican Church lie in the fact that it is not the best representative of any well-defined type of Christianity. It is not strictly a Protestant body; for Protestantism is the democracy of religion, and the Church of England retains a hierarchical organisation, with an order of priests who claim a divine commission not conferred upon them by the congregation. It is not a State Church as the Russian Empire has a State Church. That is a position which it has neither the will nor the power to regain. Still less could it ever justify a claim to separate existence as a purely Catholic Church, independent of the Church of Rome. A community of Catholics whose claim to be a Catholic and not a Protestant Church is denied by all other Catholics, by all Protestants, and by all who are neither Catholics nor Protestants, could not long retain sufficient prestige to keep its adherents together. The destiny of such a body is written in the history of the ‘Old Catholics,’ who seceded from Rome because they would not accept the dogma of Papal infallibility. The seceders included many men of high character and intellect, but in numbers and influence they are quite insignificant. The Church of England has only one title to exist, and it is a strong one. It may claim to represent the religion of the English people as no other body can represent it. ‘No Church,’ Doellinger wrote in 1872, ’is so national, so deeply rooted in popular affection, so bound up with the institutions