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The Clergy and Gambling.

The Canterbury Diocesan Conference, with the Archbishop of Canterbury in tho chair, assembled at Lambeth Palace, on July 12, to discuss the question of gambling and betting. Archdeacon Smith introduced the subject. The ovils of gambling and betting were many, he said. First, the practice was contrary to the general idea of duty towards oneself, and it was a risk of property, of character, and sometimes of J family life and happiness, while it gave rise to a morbid desire for unearned gain. It took the heart out of plodding labor, and led to extravagance ; and, as things were constituted in England, gambling and betting brought people into association with not the best class of mankind. It was for that conference to endeavor to obtain legislation to check those increasing evils. Lord Hardingc, who next spoke, however, expressed a doubt as to whether legislation could check tho evil. He pointed out that the other day, when tho police made a raid on a gambling hell, all the people arrested got off, t-xcept the man who kept the place. Ho could not say, he added, that there was less gambling amongst tho upper classes ; round games were played in most country houses, and often for high stakes. Ho himself once played whist with an eminent bishop, who did not think it wrong, and he (the speaker) did not think it wrong, because he was playing with a bishop.—(Laughter.) There was no doubt, however, that betting was

very prevalent. The recent tuvf scandals had revealed painful circumstances. People said the turf would bo purified. Ho did not believe anything of the sort. The turf would bo nearly as bad as ever, and malpractices would still go on. No doubt the members of the Jockey Club were all honorable men, but they were powerless to check these malpractices! What were the remedies ? The Legislature would never do much. The influence of the pulpit should bo used to expose these vices, and parents should set a good example to their children; and when the clergy preached against it they must not minco matters, but call a spade a spade.—(Cheers.) Gambling was dishonest, and the man who stood to lose money which he knew he could not pay was as dishonest as the man who Btole a leg of mutton from a butcher's shop. The Bishop of Gibraltar said that the tyranny of gambling was aa great as the tyranny of drink. Ho himself had refused to allow an English church to be built at Monte Carlo, as a protest against this gigantic system of pandering to human vice and folly.—(Cheers.) Archdeacon Smith moved : " That this Confcrenco recognises the terrible and apparently growing evils of betting and gambling, and its members pledge themselves by precept and example to discountenance this practice, and to instil, especially in the young, those Christian principles which are the most powerful antidotes of this national evil.''

Earl Stanhope, in seconding the resolution, expressed a belief that the evil of gaming was growing more with the lower than the upper classes. There was hardly a society club in Loudon in which high play was not allowed ; but, unfortunately, it coa d now bo denied that gambling hells did exist. Tho Archbishop said that there was no doubt that the practice of gambling was creeping like a heath fire. Legislation could not go far enough, and nothing could be constituted for the church's teaching of duty. The resolution was then agreed to.

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Bibliographic details

The Clergy and Gambling., Issue 8011, 13 September 1889

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The Clergy and Gambling. Issue 8011, 13 September 1889

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