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he was made believe that Scotland, generally all over, was Presbyte. rians; but now he sees that the great body of the nobility and gentry are for Episcopacy; and it is the trading and inferior sort are for Pres. bytery: wherefore he bids me tell you, that, if you will undertake to serve him to the purpose that he is served here in England, he will take you by the hand, support the Church and order, and throw off the Pres. byterians.” The Bishop declined acceding to these terms, as he had no instructions from the Bishops in Scotland, by whom he had been deputed to London, and was neither inclined to such terms himself, nor believed that his brethren would agree to them.
The Scottish Church is poor, and offers no compensation to the younger sons of the laird for the small mess of pottage they obtain from the family table ; and as entails are perpetual, this is probably one reason why they are more unpopular in Scotland than in England. They will become more so, when the Treasury is as poor as the Kirk. The general impression, with respect to the justice of this law, may be inferred from the metaphor we use to express our sense of an inveterate evil. We say, such a thing has been entailed upon us : this is always used in a
When we say that Pitt entailed an enormous debt upon the country, no one supposes that he conferred a blessing upon us ; and none but a disappointed corruptionist would apply the word to Earl Grey's Reform Bill.
The true principles of non-conformity, seem to be better understood on the north side of the Tweed than in England, where the corruption of the church is attributed to the aristocratical leaven which its wealth has attracted to it; whereas, the chief objections to the establishment, in Scotland, are to be traced to the system of patronage, which is at once a cause of subserviency, and an infringement of the rights of conscience. Nearly one-third of the whole population are seceders from the kirk; not so much on account of doctrine or discipline, but, because the right of appointment is found to operate against the interests of the community. The poverty of the Scottish National Church has, doubtless, secured Scotland from those abuses which are so injurious to the English people, and so disgraceful to their clergy. By driving the scions of the aristocracy into the arms of commerce, it has given a degree of dignity and respectability to trade, as yet unknown in England; and has thus shown how much the asperities of life would be softened down, and its harmony promoted, by the abolition of those monopolies which have elevated one class by de
ssing every other. Yet, on the other hand, the system of patronage has subjected the ministers of religion to a dependence which must lessen their proper influence over their flocks, or turn it into a political channel ; and thus bring odium upon the establishment, by connecting its offices with party-feelings, and making ecclesiastical preferment a reward for electioneering skill, or a retaining fee for a parliamentary canvass. The public sale, by advertisement, of kirk patronage, will not, if the present feeling on the subject continues, be much longer tolerated.
In Evelyn's memoirs, there is a curious picture of church and state, a parallel to which might perhaps be found in the present day, under the date of March 30, 1684. He thus writes :
“ The Bishop of Rochester (Dr. Turner) preached before the king ; after which his majesty, accompanied with three of his natural sons, the Dukes of Northumberland, Richmond, and St. Albans, (sons of Portsmouth, Cleveland, and Nelly) went up to the altar ; the three boys en.
tering before the king within the rails, at the right hand, and three bishops on the left, viz. : London, who officiated, Durham and Roches. ter, with the sub-dean, Dr. Holder ; the king, kneeling before the al. tar, making his offering ; the bishops first received, and then his majesty ; after which he retired to a canopied seat on the right hand."
The union between the government and any religious institution has a strong tendency to bring both into disrepute. The discontent produced by misgovernment is extended to the Church with which it is associated ; and the dissent which the privileges of an ecclesiastical establishment are sure to occasion, directs its hostility to the political constitution that protects them. The friendship of the one is not less injurious to its object than the enmity of the other. When Scripture is quoted for the purposes of arbitrary power, and the throne is built up.. on the altar, the priest who ascribes the same foundation and the same sanction to moral and political obedience, injures the master he professes to serve, and gives strength to those opinions which it his duty to combat. The disgust which is naturally felt at the discovery of absurd and mischievous notions is transferred, by those who are more quick in resenting deception than in separating truth from falsehood, to those principles with which they have been casually conjoined ; and the “fear of God” is despised, because it is coupled with the “ love of the King.” If such sentiments were received with as much eagerness as they are taught, no security for good government could ever be obtained. The doctrine of “passive obedience,” however, and of “non-resistance,” will never want advocates while the head of the State is the head of the Church. “God and the King,” says Blanco White, in his Letters on Spain, are so coupled together in the language of this country, that the same title of Majesty is applied to both. You hear from the pulpit the duties that men owe to both Majesties.” There is a similar piece of impiety or folly in the appellation we bestow on our monarch; and more absurdity, because Charles II., who first received this title, disgraced even royalty by his vices; and because we pray that spiritual grace may be granted to the same person, whom, at the same time, and in the same place, we call “ most religious and gracious.” The feeling which thus assimilates a fellow-mortal to the Divine Being is universal; and its effects on the mind, in degrading both those who offer and those who accept this fulsome incense, is not confined to any country or time. It was the same base feeling which led Virgil to prostitute his muse by the meanest sycophancy, and suggested to an English prelate to dishonour his religion by applying to his sovereign the language appropriate to his Creator; nor was Augustus more gratified by the compliment, “ Erit illa mihi semper Deus," than was James, when assured that he was “ the breath of his subjects' nostrils." There is no weakness or wickedness that may not be expected from this mixture of sacred and profane things, this joint worship of God and Mammon. Saint Pierre
he was much surprised at Berlin, by the view of several portraits which the King of Prussia had ordered to be put up in the churches in honour of those who had died on the field of battle. Their names, and that of the places where they fell, were, with occasional verses, affixed to the frames, in commemoration of their feats of arms, and as an incentive to military glory. We have not yet adopted this piece of Church and State policy. The head of our inestimable establishment would not condescend to follow the example of his royal brother. We have, however, hung up in our cathedrals the flags we have taken from our
U NO, IX, VOL. II,
enemies ; and religion is instructed to pray to the “ God of Peace" for destruction on our fierce and haughty foes.” How can war cease, when it is thus excited by those who should condemh it ?*
In legislating upon this important subject, any measure to be final must be based upon first principles. Commutation of tithes, equalization of benefices, and abolition of Episcopal translations, are mere palliatives to evils which arise from the exclusive nature of the system, and which are the offspring of an incongruous alliance, the hybrid of an unnatural union. If compensation be awarded, commensurate with the tenure of the usufruct, (and what else is it?) security might be given that the transition from monopoly to freedom should affect neither vested interests nor reasonable expectations. The argument drawn from considerations that would place Church property on the same footing with every other kind, by proving too much, proves nothing. It was granted originally for certain purposes; and who is to judge whether those purposes have been fulfilled ? If the Church would enjoy the estate, while it declines compliance with the conditions, or refuses to the party for whose benefit it exists, the right of deciding upon the, quantum of benefit received, the creature of the State is independent of its maker, and an eleemosynary corporation is equally irresponsible to its founders and its trustees. This mode of reasoning, if valid against what is call. ed spoliation, is valid against those changes which have already taken place ; it is valid against the claim of the Protestant Church itself. The Curates Bill, the Pluralities Bill, the Act for Enforcing the Residence of the Clergy, are all unjust curtailments of a beneficial interest in ecclesiastical property ; the transfer of tithes from the Catholic to the Reformed Church was equally unjust ; and the present establishment is founded in usurpation. What is it like? not the will of the founder, for that has been set aside; not the consent of the nation, for that sanction it now denies to be of any force; not prescription, for that was not allowed in favour of its predecessor; not the authority of Scripture, for that is either silent upon the subject, or opposed to the inference; not the promotion of religious instruction, for that would be begging the whole question at issue; not a grant from the legislature, for that cannot bind its successors. What, then, is the nature of this
*“ Wicliffe,” says Gilpin, in his life of that reformer,“ seems to have thought it wrong, upon the principles of the gospel, to take away the life of man upon any occasion. The whole trade of war he thought utterly unlawful.” It is singular how opposite have been the methods adopted by the different divisions of the Christian world in defending their respective differences of faith, and their similarity of acting. Each sect maintains its own creed by the authority of particular texts, while its adversaries oppose the general tenor of Scripture to the arguments it adduces ; partial interpretation and prejudice against truth are imputed and retorted on all sides. With respect to the legality or illegality of war, on the contrary, there appears to be, with one or two exceptions, a universal consent to overlook the spirit of mildness and mercy, which pervades the whole gospel, and plead the incidental and isolated observations of its founder, in favour of a practice which is directly at variance with the fundamental principles of his religion, and involves the breach of nearly all its practical precepts.
We are told by the 37th Article of the Church of England, that “it is lawful for Christian men, at the commandment of the magistrate, to wear weapons, and serve in the wars." The legality of war is thus put, not upon the justice of the cause, but upon the command of the government. Such a doctrine is better suited to the worshippers of Moloch or the followers of Mahomet, than to the teachers of a religion, the founder of which was sent to proclaim“ peace on earth, and good-will towards men."
mysterious being, which is at once infallible, unaccountable, and eternal? From whom did it derive these extraordinary attributes ?--and why were they given ? These are questions which it requires no metaphysical subtlety to answer. Let us hope that the conduct of the Church will prove an exception to the general rule laid down by Robertson, in his History of Scotland : “ To abandon usurped power, to renounce lucrative error, are sacrifices which the virtue of individuals has, on some occasions, offered to truth. But from any society of men no such effort can be expected. The corruptions of a society, recommended by common utility, and justified by universal practice, are viewed by its members without shame or horror; and reformation never proceeds from themselves, but is always forced upon them by some foreign hand.”
THE PLAINT OF CERTAIN CORAL BEADS.
Θάλασσα Θάλασσα. .
SPOILER of forbidden wealth
Guarded by the hoary waves!
Sorrowing for our quiet caves,
Boast we beauty's gauds to be?
Sooth us like the mighty sea ?
Near the shrine of star-bright eyes, :
Our familiar touch descries;
Through our light embraces swells ;-
Of our dreamy ocean-cells ?
Oft by redder lips he pressed,
Fold us on a dovelike breast,
Is the passion changed or cloyed,
See our mimic worth destroyed !
Pent, with scorned and faded toys,
Sigh we for our early joys !
More than Fancy's dream enchants,
In the mermaid's glimmering haunts.
Under spar-cnchased bowers,
Bending on their twisted stems, Glow the myriad ocean-flowers,
Fadeless rich as orient gems.
Rise the Triton's palace walls.
Twinkle through their crystal halls.
Ever, o'er the curved shells, Wanders with a fitful flow
As the billow sinks or swells.
Wakens from their pleasant sleep
Chanting joyaunce through the deep.
Sorrow,- winter storm, or blight, Comes not near our peaceful clime ;
Nor the strife of day with night.
Scarce his distant rage we know
In the silent caves below.
Thus to deck the fair of earth!
Gave the foam-horn goddess birth!
Sparkles in a lovelier star!
Circling Amphitrite's car? Toiling o'er the shallow page,
Vainly pedants seek the lore Taught us by that Prophet sage,
Whom our azure Thetis bore.
Signs of coming doom to learn.
Drawn from Nereus' sacred urn.
Yield us to the kissing wave, From the daylight's parching heat
In its cool profound to lave. If ye needs must rob for beauty, Earth's abysses teem with booty,
Gems, that love the blaze of day :-
And the strife of man's display;
Give us to our native bay!