AT A very advanced age, and in feeble health, Dr Percival has resigned the See [of Hereford] which he has held for 22 years, and we may be allowed to offer him our best wishes for the happiness of the years that remain to him. None will deny to Dr Percival the courage of his opinions; it is not every bishop who would assert them at the cost of finding himself in a minority of one in his own diocesan conference. His diocese will remember with gratitude many acts of charity, and with sympathy the sorrows which the war has brought to him, as to us all. It is natural that there should be in the diocese and outside it some anxiety as to his successor. The diocese is sometimes, and most unjustly, supposed to reflect Dr Percival’s opinions. Nothing could be further from the truth. Its Churchmanship was moulded long ago by a little group of earnest followers of the Tractarians, including such priests as Sir Frederick Gore-Ouseley and Sir Henry Baker, who impressed upon it a character of moderate High Churchmanship which has never been obliterated. Adverse alike to Latitudinarianism and to Protestantism, the diocese as a whole has maintained itself in successful resistance to Dr Percival’s policy, and since the Bishop presents only to a very small proportion of the benefices his views have but slightly affected it. The recent appointments to canonries have only had the effect of isolating the Close from the life of the diocese, and in spite of all difficulties there has of late years been a very steady advance in the Catholic direction, of which the increase in the number of churches where vestments are in use and the Holy Eucharist is the principal service is evidence. An appointment which did not take these facts into consideration would be very deeply resented.
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