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Would I were a man; and I should shew you what I would do." So, shall Mr. Paget sit "tamely" at Elford, and bury himself in pastoral duties among rustics? No, he will fly throughout the land, from Elford to "Clackington,' upon the paper wings of a covey of novels, to the music of " 'tympans" and "friskets,"—if steam printing has left any-upon crusade to exterminate "Puritanism, Methodism, Evangelicalism, Socialism, and Mormonism." Perhaps he will adopt, in defence of the style of writing which he has assumed, the reply of Sir T. More's facetious friend Heywood, the farce-writer, who, when it was told him that one Pace, a Master of Arts,—we are not sure that he was a Bishop's chaplain,-had demeaned himself by wearing a fool's coat ("My eyes, won't they stare?") answered, "It is less hurtful to the common weal for wise men to go in fools' coats, than for fools to go in wise men's gowns." But then Heywood was a farce-writer by profession, not a Bishop's chaplain; and our rejoinder is, that even if the one vagary be less injurious than the other to the public, it does not follow that it is more creditable to the individual. And, by the way, another association occurs to us respecting this Heywood; for Holinshed the chronicler says of him, "He made a book Of the Spider and the Fly,' black-letter quarto, in verse,
"wherein he dealeth so profoundly, that neither he himself that made it, neither any that readeth it, can reach unto the meaning thereof;" which is precisely what men say of Mr. Paget's volume; for, whether it is "Tractarian," anti-Tractarian, "Orthodox,' Catholic," or what, no person knows; all that is certain being the negative that it is not "Evangelical." He may add a note on "the fly and the spider" to his treatise on geese and men.
We have run into a vein of anecdotal incidents; and must therefore check ourselves at once, or we shall not know where to stop. We will add only one more. Mickle, in his translation of the Luciad, wrote a severe note upon Garrick; but being taken to see him perform King Lear, during the first three acts he uttered not a word, but at a fine passage in the fourth, he fetched a deep sigh, and said, "I wish the note was out of my book." Let Mr. Paget take this best revenge upon us. Let him eschew that unworthy style of writing which it has been our painful duty to expose; and, far more, let him cease from "persecuting" what he too lightly calls "Evangelicalism," "Evangelicalism," and begin to "preach the faith which once he destroyed;" and then we shall say, not with a sigh, but with much rejoicing, "We wish that review were out of our book,-or better, that there had been no occasion for it ever to be in."
THE great council of the nation is about to assemble; "and proud, glorious, and triumphant," as a man of the world would say, but eminently favourable, cheering, satisfactory, and in many respects glowing, as the most guarded Christian lip may express it, will be the statement which Sir R. Peel will be able to embody in the Royal Speech. And yet who shall say, in this
uncertain world, what even the morrow may bring forth? for who can tell at the brightest moment what clouds may suddenly burst upon an individual or a nation? There was one who, perhaps, was confidentially acquainted with the intended topics of that statement, and was rejoicing, both as a Briton and a public servant, that his friends had so many auspicious facts to present to their
countrymen at the assembling of Parliament, when the hand of an assassin precipitated him into eternity. Whether the murder was intended for him, or whether the assassin was another Bellingham, plotting the death of the first executive officer of State, and whether it was a deed of latent madness, or of atrocity unrelieved even by that awful mitigation,-points which the trial of the murderer may cast some light upon -it tells us forcibly that "in the midst of life we are in death," and of the need of being always prepared to meet our God. Indeed, the passing month has been fearfully fraught with such solemn warnings, in the melancholy shipwrecks during the late terrific storms; especially that of the "Conqueror," which was wrecked at the termination of a long voyage, and in sight of home; and all the crew and passengers perished, except one individual.
We have not thought these monitory reflections unmeet for the chastised anticipations of a Christian mind, in regard to the prospects of a single week. We are told, upon Divine authority, that we ought to say, "If the Lord will, we shall live and do this or that;" and when Sir Robert Peel, and his associates and friends, were, perhaps, contemplating an ovation, they have had, and all of us have had, another affecting comment upon the inspired words which precede those just cited, "What is your life? It is even a vapour that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." Forcibly did Edmund Burke exclaim, when his parliamentary associate was stricken by death in the hour of triumph, “Álas! what shadows we are, and what shadows we pursue." If our chequered remarks should seem unseasonable, we would reply in the exordium of Archbishop Leighton to his first Address to the candidates for honours at the University of Edinburgh: "Were I allowed to speak freely what I sincerely think of most of the affairs of human life, even those that are accounted of the highest importance, and transacted with the greatest eagerness and bustle, I should be apt to say that a great noise is made about the merest trifles. I place in the same rank with this philosophical Convention of yours, the most famous Councils, and General Assemblies of princes and great men, and say of their golden crowns, as well as of your crowns of laurel, that they are things of no value, and not worth the purchasing. Even the triumphal, inaugural, or nuptial processions of the greatest kings, and generals of armies, with whatever pomp and magnificence,
as well as art, they may be set off, are, after all, so far true representations of their false, painted, and tinsel happiness, that while we look at them, they fly away, and in a very short time are followed by their funeral processions, which are the triumphs of death over those who have themselves triumphed during their lives. The scenes are shifted, the actors also disappear, and in the same manner the greatest shews of this vain world pass away."
It would not abate from the energy due to the affairs of human life, if both nations and individuals would lay to heart truths like these. How would ambition, cupidity, and party-spirit shrink at the contemplation ! much more that is really good would be done, and in how much better a spirit; and how much evil would be left undone! The good Archbishop could not indeed mean that human affairs, whether in private life, or in the concerns of empires, are unimportant; while man is upon earth, they were intended to be to him matters of moment, since they involve obligations of duty, and relate to his well-being both for this world and that which is to come; and assuredly the aunual meeting of the Legislature of such an empire as that of Great Britain is a spectacle of mighty interest to every patriot and Christian; but the spirit of the holy prelate's monition applies at all times and to all human concerns, and should chastise our minds to a right frame for prayer, for contentment, and for repose in God.
To what party in the State could we look at this moment for a wise conducting of public affairs, but to that now in power? There are obstinate men who would hazard everything by conceding nothing; and the extreme adverse party would subvert everything, in passion, or upon principle. The Melbourne cabinet represented one of the intermediate sections of public opinion, but its fortunes were not happy. The present cabinet is more conservative, without being impracticable; and if men of this character had guided the helm when her Majesty acceded to the throne, we cannot but think it would have been far better for the nation. To mention but one particular; was it politic-to say nothing stronger-that a man of fashion should infuse his own spirit into the British Court; as if, while thousands were pining for bread, the patronage of operas, and other frivolities, should seem the chief business of the royal circle? "The words of Themistocles," says Lord Bacon, "excellently describe and dis
tinguish two very different faculties in those who are at the helm of States. Some, though but very few, being raised to the council-board, the senate, or chief public office, can enlarge a small State, yet have but little skill in music; but many more, who have a good hand upon the harp, or the lute, that is, at the trifles of a court, are so far from enlarging a State, that they rather seem designed to overthrow and ruin it; though ever so happy and flourishing. And indeed those arts and tricks by which many councillors and men of great place procure the favour of their sovereign, and a popular character, deserve no other name than a certain knack of fiddling." Did the Duke of Wellington, or whoever fathered the speech upon him, mean something of this kind when he said playfully (as the tale runs), "What shall we do, Sir Robert, at court? for I have no small talk, and you have no manners." But the topics before alluded to will make a better figure in a Queen's Speech than the most courtly "smalltalk," the most exquisite "knack of fiddling;" and we cannot doubt that Sir Robert Peel will be able, at the opening of Parliament, to exhibit the nation in profound peace abroad, and, upon the whole, in quiet at home; so that we may trust, by God's blessing, a breathing time will be afforded to consider the real welfare of the country, and especially the suffering condition of large classes of the community, with a view to devise suitable remedies.
Among these remedies, the abolition of all impost upon the importation of corn will be strenuously urged. Abstractedly, we do not doubt that the free admission of food, at a moderate, fixed duty, for revenue, and not for restriction, is the sound principle; but when we consider the complicated state of our internal relations; the immense interests involved in British agriculture; and the probability that a vast influx of foreign corn, though it would give a temporary stimulus to manufactures and commerce, would leave us, in the end, where we are, only with a more dense suffering population; we incline to think that the present law is, upon the whole, a fair practical mean between extremes.
The perplexing relations of the Church of Scotland will also be brought before Parliament. The chief difficulty in these
questions appears to us to be this, that the Church of Scotland connects two things which ought to be separated, Patronage and Ordination. The Church makes a call from the people the "title for Orders;" so that the patron loses his civil right if the Church will not give the call; and the Church is coerced in spirituals if it may not ordain on such conditions as it judges right; one of which is, that the call shall be from the people, and not from the patron. All that is required to preserve intact both spiritual and civil rights, is that the people should be entitled to state their objections, if they have any; and that the Presbytery shall consider them; and ordain or not, as it thinks right upon the merit of the case. the Church demands that the people's refusal to give the call, without any reason assigned, shall be an absolute bar to ordination; and hence it is clashing with the civil power and the law of the land; and, as such a principle cannot reasonably, or scripturally, be maintained, we see no alternative, if the spiritual power continues obstinate, but the breaking up, or newly-modifying, of the Church as a national establishment.
The Affghanistan war will afford another important question of discussion. Our disasters were caused, in part at least, by mismanagement, to use no heavier word, and justice to all parties requires that the affair should be seriously inquired into ; as also whether in the hour of success there was not mixed with our triumph a spirit of "revenge which has disgraced our arms and country. One eye-witness, speaking of the capture of Istalif, says: "Not a man was spared, whether with or without arms; they were hunted down like vermin; mercy was never dreamt of." The worse than absurd conduct of the Governer General, in restoring the sandal gates of Ghuznee to a heathen temple, must not be passed over; for he has thereby officially identified England with the patronage of Pagan idolatry.
The Church Extension question will be urged upon Parliament; but lament to say that it has been greatly damaged by Tractarian follies; for there is no class of statesmen who will stand up to defend them, or to ward off the ridicule under which the Church is labouring on account of them.
A. G.; E. C.; J. E.; F. D.; ZENAS; R. B.; J. J.; and several CONSTANT READERS, are under consideration.
ON THE CONNEXION BETWEEN HOLINESS HERE AND
To the Editor of the Christian Observer.
INCLOSE a letter which will explain itself. The subject to which it relates is so interesting and practically important-for it is not a question of barren speculation—that I trust it may be found suitable for publication in your pages.
J. M. H.
I READ your letter with pleasure, indicating, as it does, that your mind is directed to the consideration of the only subjects of real, because of eternal, importance. I cordially join in your regret that you remained so short a time in this parish, and were so suddenly removed; and I regret also that while you did remain your avocations and mine prevented me from having more conversation with you than I had. One profitable use, however, we may derive from all the regrets which the various changes of this shifting transitory scene create they should teach us to avail ourselves speedily of every means of grace which Providence casts in our way, before it be removed: and, as we have opportunity, to do good unto all
The subject of your letter is of deep importance, and one on which it especially behoves us that our views should be clear, correct, and practical. We should study to reconcile, in our own religious experience, those two grand and primary truths which Scripture reconciles but by frequent juxta-position and reiterated assertion, and which are the two great pillars of the kingdom of heaven-first, that through the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified: and next, that without holiness no man can see the Lord. While we abhor the blasphemous thoughts of mixing up anything of our own with the atoning blood of Jesus, in order to our pardon or justification; and even after justification utterly disclaim any thoughts of merit in those good works which we perform, or, to speak more properly, which God hath wrought in us by His Spirit; yet, at the same time, we should clearly and practically recognize the vital importance the indispensable necessity of holiness of heart and life. I cannot, of course, attempt to offer any comment upon a sermon CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 63.
which I have not myself heard or read. But as far as I can collect from your brief notice of it, both the preacher and you are correct in your views; but with this difference, that you view opposite sides of the subject you speaking, and most truly, of the utter insufficiency of any works of ours to our justification; he speaking, most truly also, of the efficacy of the believer's holiness, and growth in grace, in fitting and preparing him for higher degrees of happiness and glory in the life to
But the question here arises, Are there different degrees of happiness, or of misery, in the future state? You seem to doubt this, and may perhaps have been led into this opinion from a superficial view of the parable of the labourers in the vineyard, to which you refer. But this parable relates primarily, as do most of our Lord's parables, to the Jewish church, and is designed, by asserting the sovereignty of God, and the freeness of His grace, to justify IIim in calling the Gentiles into His church here at the eleventh hour; and bestowing upon them equal privileges and means of grace now, and equal blessedness hereafter, as upon the Jews, who had been called early in the morning into the vineyard, and borne the burden of the ceremonial law. This it was for which they murmured against the good man of the house: though-observe well-he was not, in this, taking from them any thing to which they were entitled, or which he had promised them, in order to bestow it upon the others; but merely, in the infinitude of his benevolence, bestowing freely upon those others, from his own exhaustless treasures of grace, the same favour as upon them. Now had they been in a right spirit, so far from murmuring against this, they should have rejoiced at the privileges conferred upon others, and admired the benevolence of the giver.
But the parable may be applied, not to nations only, but to individuals also, and is, blessed be God, daily illustrated in the conversion of sinners, even at the eleventh hour, as by a mighty hand and stretched out arm. Free grace converts a Paul from a persecutor into a preacher of the faith which once he destroyed, and renders him not a whit behind the very chiefest of the Apostles: or, in later days, a profligate Colonel Gardiner into a saint, far outstripping many who had commenced their Christian course long before him; who had been, as it were, sanctified from their mother's womb, and had grown in early, in baptismal grace.
But that this parable is not designed to teach that there is an universal equality of condition in the future state, I think clear, not only from the reason of the case, but also from this, that many express declarations of Scripture teach a different doctrine. That the wicked will be punished according to their different degrees of guilt, is clear from St. Matthew xi. 24, “It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee;"--from Matthew xxiii. 14, "Therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation ;"-from Luke xii. 47, 48, "That servant which knew his Lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to His will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required." And that there are different degrees of happiness and glory, is clearly pointed out by our Lord, in the Parable of the pounds, (Luke xix.) where one is placed over ten, another over five, cities, according to the measure of his improvement of the pound com