Page:1902 Encyclopædia Britannica - Volume 26 - AUS-CHI.pdf/250

This page needs to be proofread.



bishop at once set to work to build a cathedral, and the proper instruction than had previously been the case. He efforts which were made to raise the necessary funds did was largely instrumental in the inauguration of the House perhaps more than anything else to draw the whole diocese of Laymen in the province of Canterbury (1886) ; he made together. The foundation-stone was laid on 20th May diligent inquiries as to the internal order of the Sister1880, and the work went steadily forward. The south or hoods of which he was visitor; from 1884 onwards he Benson transept commemorates his episcopate; and on 3rd gave regular Bible readings for ladies in Lambeth Palace November 1887 the cathedral, so far as then completed, was Chapel. But the most important ecclesiastical event of his primacy was undoubtedly the judgment in the case of consecrated. The nave will commemorate his primacy. Archbishop Tait died on 3rd December 1882, and, to the Bishop of Lincoln [Lincoln Judgment], in which the the joy of most church-people, Dr Benson was nominated law of the prayer-book is investigated, as it had never as his successor : his election by the chapter of Canterbury been before, from the standpoint of the whole history of English Church. In 1896 the Archbishop paid a was confirmed on 3rd March 1883, and he was enthroned the long-promised visit to Ireland, to see the working of the on 29th March. It may be said without hesitation that his primacy was one of almost unprecedented activity, and sister Church. He was received with enthusiasm, but the that he bore the lion’s share of all that was done. No work which his tour entailed over-fatigued him. On Archbishop of Canterbury since the Reformation exer- Sunday morning, 11th October, just after his return, cised such an influence outside the British Isles, as he whilst on a visit to Mr Gladstone, he expired in Hawarden Parish Church of heart failure, just as the Absolution was did. Frequent communications passed between him and said at Mattins. . the heads of the Eastern Churches. With their cordial Archbishop Benson left numerous writings, including a approval a bishop was again consecrated, after six years’ interval (1881-87), to have charge over the Anglican con- valuable essay on The Cathedral (London, 1878), and varigregations in Jerusalem and the East; and the features ous charges and volumes of sermons and addresses. But two chief works, posthumously published, are his which had formerly made the plan objectionable to many his Cyprian (London, 1897), a work of great learning, which English churchmen were now abolished. In 1886, after occupied him at intervals since early manhood; and much careful investigation, he founded the “ Archbishop s had The Apocalypse, an Introductory Study (London, 1900), Mission to the Assyrian Christians,” having for its object interesting and beautiful, but limited by the fact that the the instruction and the strengthening from withm of the method of study is that of a Greek play, not of a Hebrew “ Nestorian” churches of the East [Nestorian ChurchJ. apocalypse. The Archbishop’s knowledge of the past An interchange of courtesies with the Metropolitan of was both wide and minute, but it was that of an antiquary Kieff, on the occasion of the 900th anniversary of the con- rather than of an historian. “ I think,” writes his son, version of Russia (1888), led to further intercourse, which “ he was more interested in modern movements for their has already done much to bring about a better under- resemblance to ancient than vice versa! His sermons are standing between the English and .Russian churches. With regard to the Roman Communion his action was very noble, written in a style which is.over-compressed and perhaps less happy. In 1894 the Abbe Portal (who, in often obscure, but full of love, of faith, of large-heartedcommon with many other French clergy, had been led by ness. He was a hymn-writer of a high order, as may be for example, in “ O Throned, O Crowned and The his studies to accept the validity of English orders) was. in seen, Splendours of Thy Glory, Lord,” which he wrote for the England, and an interview was sought on his behalf with Wellington College Hymn-book, which he edited, and m his Dr Benson, in which the question was discussed , of a beautiful version of Urbs Beata. His.“ grandeur in social possible rapprochementthe Papacy. The Archbishop refused to take any part in such a plan, and subsequent function ” was unequalled, and his interests were very events only showed the wisdom of this course. But there wide. But above all else he was a great ecclesiastic.. He less attention to secular politics than Archbishop were many who felt that, then as at other times, some act of paid Tait; but if a man is to be judged by the effect of his courtesy on the part of the English primate might have work, it is Benson, and not Tait, who should, be described smoothed the way for possible action in the future. With as a great statesman. His biography, by his son, reveals the other churches of the Anglican Communion (q.v.) the him as a man of devout and holy life, impulsive indeed Archbishop’s relations were cordial in the extreme, and masterful, but one who learned self-restraint by grew ever closer as time went on. Particular questions of and importance, the Jerusalem bishopric, the healing of the strenuous endeavour. A. C. Benson. Life of Archbishop Benson, 2. yols. bond on, Colenso schism in the diocese of Natal, the organization of 1899 j H Bernard. Archbishop Benson %n Ireland, l®"' native ministries, and the like, occupied no small part of Quarterly Review, Oct. 1897, art. “Archbishop Benson (by his time; and although he held unflinchingly to all the L. T. Dihdin). (W. E. Co.) accustomed rights and prerogatives of his see, he did all Bentham, George (1800-1884), British botanist, in his power to foster the growth of local churches. But was born at Stoke, near Portsmouth, England, 22nd Septemit was the work at home which occupied most of his ber 1800. His father, Sir Samuel Bentham, was the on y energies. That he in no way slighted diocesan work had been shown at Truro. He complained now that the bishops brother of Jeremy Bentham, the publicist, and of scarcely were “bishops of their dioceses but not bishops of inferior ability though in a different direction. Devoting England,” and did all he could to make the Church a himself in early life to the study of naval architecture, Sir greater religious force in English life. He sat on the Samuel went to Russia to visit the naval establishments in Ecclesiastical Courts Commission (1881-83) and the the Baltic and Black Seas. He was induced to enter the Sweating Commission (1888-90). He brought Bills into service of the Empress Catherine II., built a flotia o Parliament to reform Church Patronage and Church gunboats and defeated the Turkish fleet. For this he Discipline, and worked unremittingly for years in their was made, in addition to other honours, a colonel ol a regiment. On the death of the Empress he re behalf. The latter became law in 1892, and the former cavalry turned to England to be employed by the Admiralty, and was merged in the Benefices Bill, which passed in 1898, was sent (1805-07) again to Russia to superintend. the after his death. He wrote and spoke vigorously against building of some ships for the British navy. He attained Welsh Disestablishment (1893) ; and in the following year the rank, under the Admiralty, of inspector-general of A aval under his guidance, the existing agencies for Church Works. He introduced a multitude of improvements m Defence were consolidated, and greater stress was laid upon