I begin this evening with a text rather than a title, though I hope my presentation will be more in the nature of an address than a sermon. And I select this text because I believe it focuses very well and very sharply the sort of concerns which you are to address in your conference over this weekend—Practical Parish Problems: Gospel and Order. For how often have I heard this text trotted out in defence of the people getting on and doing what they want to do without reference to all those interfering lawyers who in any case cost a great deal of money! We are perfectly capable of ordering our own affairs thank you very much they say; why this dead hand of the law as it is perceived, which so often apparently stifles the inspiration and the initiative of the spirit?
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