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incomparably worse than any former! What will the propapistical sophists say now to this ingenuous and honourable confession? What becomes now of the argument, that the Popish side was advocated by all the talent in the country, and that none but bigots and narrow minds took an opposite view of the question ? Behold the candid concession of one, who, nobly indeed, acknowledges his error, but whom certainly nothing but the rigid discipline of truth could have compelled into so bumiliating an admission! All this appeared plain enough to persons of common sense three years ago; but “ genius” and “ information” disregarded and despised the lessons of so humble a quality, and preferred steering by the prophetic visions of the present Bishop of Calcutta, which are so curious, that I cannot forbear to quote them:
Repeal the disabling statutes, and you will see peace and amity gradually (very “gradually” indeed!] restored !
the administration of law purified ! [I suppose, of its coercions] property secured!
the animosity between man and man exchanged for confidence and good-will."
Place this by the side of the Duke of Wellington's pithy conclusion, “ All former excitements were NOTHING, compared to the present state of public feeling in Ireland !"
Genius is not prophecy after all !
But, alas! if we have gained nothing, has nothing been lost? The patrons of the fatal bill admitted that it was an inroad upon the constitution; but, contrary to all experience, they assumed it would be followed by no other. In the short space of three years the constitution has not been invaded, but actually CHANGED! and we have now to apprehend an inundation of Papists in the Lower House, who, with the auxiliary force of infidels, dissenters, and men of no principle at all, are to obliterate every remaining vestige of Protestantism and liberty.
Nor is this all. The present state of Ireland (may I not add of England too?) is the creation of the Popish bill. Had rebellion been put down in 1829 instead of honoured and rewarded, Ireland would now have been as quiet as Ireland can ever be. But once admit the principle, that a mob is to have all it clamours for, and there will never want clamour, while any object of clamour remains.
We were told, that if seats in Parliament were conceded, the papists would be grateful, and seek no more. Common sense pronounced this absurd, and contrary to all experience.— Intellect derided her. Which has been right?
We were told that, if the Papists should rebel after so ample a concession, they might be immediately put down with the best possible grace. I doubt not that they would have had their due, had the Duke of Wellington remained in power. But it is the part of a statesman to provide for contingencies. That a ministry like the present should ever have existed, was not, certainly, very likely. Yet what alone has given that ministry its present means of evil? The violent disruption of political ties and dissolution of public confidence consequent on the fatal mistake of 1829. Had not that event occurred, had not that invasion taken place, the citadel would not now have been at the mercy of the foe.
O may our statesmen, (those I mean with whom the sanctions of so antiquated and illiberal a book may be supposed to have any influence,) suffer henceforward no worldly maxims of expediency to sway them from the great precept, “ Fear God, and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man!"
A CATHOLIC OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
MR. EDITOR, -A very important measure has just been adopted by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, which should be communicated to the public through the channel of your excellent magazine. It having been recommended to the Board to consider of the best means for extending the operations of the Society throughout the metropolis ; after the most deliberate consideration, it has been determined to effect this object by means of Lending Libraries to be united to the National Schools. When this measure was first proposed, it was intended to confine it to the schools of the capital and its suburbs: but, with a generosity beyond all example, the Board has resolved to extend these benefits to the whole kingdom. At a late meeting, it was accordingly determined to present a selection of the Society's books and tracts to the amount of 5l. to any National School, for the purpose of forming a School Lending Library, that would purchase books from its own funds to a similar amount, from the Society's catalogues at their cost prices. When the number of National Schools is considered, this must be esteemed a most munifi. cent donation, and it evidently shews that we have men at the head of our ecclesiastical affairs, who are fully aware of the dangers which surround the Church, and who are manfully preparing to meet them.
These School Libraries are plainly founded on the same principle as Parochial Lending Libraries, the one being adapted to our country parishes, the other to our large and populous towns. The excellence of this measure consists in both its economy and its efficiency. Nothing is here laid out in shops or hired agents--the whole being carried on by the school and the children. So long as the curiosity of the child, and the affection of the parent continues to exist, so long must books which are thus brought home by children to their parents, be read with every prepossession of favour and good-will.
Nothing now remains, but that the National Schools in and near London should extensively avail themselves of this most generous offer. It is for the metropolis to give that example, which may be gradually followed by all our large commercial and manufacturing towns and cities. The result must be of incalculable advantage to ali institutions, both in Church and state.
I am, Sir, yours respectfully,
A MEMBER OF
Soft as the dew His
EDINBURGH REVIEW AND BOWLES'S LIFE OF KEN. Mr. Editor,--Might I request your insertion of a few observations on an article in the last Edinburgh Review, chiefly because you have been induced to speak favourably of my Life of Bishop Ken.
It was written purely in defence. Sweeping accusations had been brought against the spirit of intolerance and persecution of the Episcopal Church in the seventeenth century. In the Life of Ken I published faithful extracts, besides Milton's withering Curse, from printed anti-episcopal sermons, in that period when “toleration was declared to be INIQUITY established by law!" when
“Pulpit, drum ecclesiastic,
Was beat with fist, instead of a stick." when the Calvinistic Puritan, from Presbyterian pulpits, preached MURDER and BLOOD!
What is the triumphant reply to such documents of ruthless intolerance? I am “ treated" with an extract from a sermon of the pious and primitive Saunderson! What! denouncing all other creeds and sects, in the fury of episcopal fulminations ? No! simply shewing the poor good man's ultra ideas of Passive OBEDIENCE.
With the same triumphant success the great Arminius is produced, to prove what ? that the greater Calvin was not a most ruthless Persecutor ? no such thing ! that Arminius called him—"an incomPARABLE INTERPRETER of scripture !” This, at least, is not Oxford logic! “ But I am no Theologian!" Oh! if by Theology is meant the Dogmas of that great Theologian, or any part of the spirit of that “ incomparable interpreter of scripture,” God of MERCY keep me from being a Theologian!
Some impassioned expressions, arising from innate hatred and detestation of all intolerance, and religious persecution, may seem to subject me to the charge of writing intemperately. If I have done so, I retract all such expressions, only saying, the warmth was occasioned by the innumerable passages which lay before me, from Puritanic and Calvinistic sermons, absolutely, as I have said, crying for blood! I equally regret, if I have done injustice to any sect or individuals, of different religious persuasions from myself. But, “I am a Canon residentiary of Salisbury,” therefore my motives in writing must be obvious! I answer in the words of Ben Jonson to Camden,
“ Others of thine this better could than I,
Then for their pow'rs accept my Piety." But, if I wrote one word because I was canon, I should be unworthy to hold a pen. Canon, or curate, my opinions have been the same, having in youth most attentively read the writers on both sides; and if, in my old age, when I have given the result of those inquiries, I am a canon, without being indebted to prince, bishop, or peer, I have been a curate nearly fifteen years without preferment at all; and I should not have veered from one sentiment I ever entertained on the subject, if I had been a curate still, literally
“Passing rich with forty pounds a year.” May I make another remark on the personalities in this criticism on a book ?
“Lord Somers, and Lord Chatham, and Mr. Bowles, were of Trinity College, in Oxford !”—(Edinburgh Review.) Indeed! Did I ever say a word as to a name so humble as mine being linked with names so illustrious ? And this association was brought in, not merely to excite a smile, but to give Mr. Bowles his due estimation, in a Latin note !
The names of Lord Somers and Chatham were appealed to by me in answer to Lord King, who spoke of Oxford as the dry nurse only of such creatures as Sacheverel. I quoted the illustrious names of those Whigs, to whom the country was most indebted, to prove that they had their education in the same high-church university, -where
“ Locke led reason his majestic bride"-where
“A Raleigh, Hamden, and a Somers shone."-WARTON. Lord Chatham and Somers being of the same college.
One word as to the style I have adopted. The Life of Ken, embracing also an account of his patron, Morley, Bishop of Winchester, was intended to be a miscellany of narration, "poetry, dialogue, and digression." But illustration has been thrown on some of the most eventful periods of English history—on circumstances of unknown and delicate interest, which made Bishop Ken so adverse to the government of King William ; on the times of fanatical persecution ; on the characters of Cromwell and Milton, who, I have conceived, suggested the solemn spectacle of a national trial, when Charles I. was a captive. The motto to Milton's “ Ready way to Establish a Commonwealth” is
CONSILIUM dedimus SYLLÆ." The reader will find, moreover, the only information that exists of the origin of the long friendship between poor Piscator Walton, Ken's brother-in-law, and the Bishop of Winchester, Morley.
But now, in Miltonic phrase, hear, reader, what moved me to indite these miscellaneous matters, in a style so various, and, peradventure, which thou, as well as my critic, mightest deem somewhat incongruous with the solemnity of episcopal biography.
It was simply, that in a miscellaneous history I might
From grave to gay, from lively to severe ;" and that I might avoid that most besetting sin of all biography, espe. cially episcopal, which is not unaptly ycleped—“Hum-Drum." To say nothing that fanatical fury might well move alternate scorn and horror," "alternate laugh and tears," the sad eloquence of Clarendon, and the laughter of Hudibras. Moreover, I remembered the interesting digressions of Isaac Walton, the near relation of Ken.
These considerations induced me to adopt the style I have used. But the Life of Ken is before the candid and fair judging, not only critical “skirmishers !" I cannot conclude what is written better than with “Great Tom !” I can smile at this part of the “merry' criticism, as much as any reader of the Edinburgh Review, from Aberdeen to Oxford. But it would have been fair to have given some portion of the context.
“A church-going bell," in the long dismal reign of the puritans, was idolatrous, and all belfries silent. Dr. Fell gave this bell,