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order to judge what are the fearful consequences of the opium phrenzy in China, uncompensated, unabated, and upon a scale of awful and unprecedented magnitude.
as a warning to others. They will be found in our Volume for 1837, pages 611 and 634. Truth, feeling, conscience, were all sacrificed at the shrine of this Moloch, who had ruled over his victim for at least twelve years, reducing him to so abject a condition of mind and body, that he found his strongest volitions wholly unavailing, and entreated his friends to place him in a lunatic asylum till he was cured. Mr. Cottle urged him to betake himself to the grace and compassion of the Redeemer; and told him of the mercies of God to the penitent, and of his promised strength amidst man's weakness. Coleridge replies in one of his least despairing letters "I feel, with an intensity unfathomable by words, my utter nothingness, impotence, and worthlessness, in and for myself. I have learned what a sin is against an infinite imperishable being, such as is the soul of man! I have had more than a glimpse of what is meant by death and outer darkness, and the worm that dieth not-and that all the hell of the reprobate, is no more inconsistent with the love of God, than the blindness of one who has occasioned loathsome and guilty diseases to eat out his eyes, is inconsistent with the light of the sun. But the consolations, at least the sensible sweetness, of hope, I do not possess. My main comfort, therefore, consists in what the divines call the faith of adherence, and no spiritual effort appears to benefit me so much as the one earnest, importunate, and often, for hours, momently repeated prayer: I believe! Lord, help my unbelief! Give me faith, but as a mustard seed, and I shall remove this mountain! Faith! faith faith! I believe, Oh give me faith! Oh, for my Redeemer's sake, give me faith in my Redeemer.'
For further particulars we must refer to the statements in our Volume for 1837; but we copy a letter from Coleridge to Mr. Wade, which Lord Ashley might usefully and honourably read in the House of Commons as depicting the effects of opium; and a reclaimed opium-eater's wish that his own awful case should be made public after his death as 66 a direful example."
"Bristol, June 26th, 1814. "Dear Sir,-For I am unworthy to call any good man friend-much less you, whose hospitality and love I have abused: accept, however, my entreaties for your forgiveness, and for your prayers.
It is true that opium is an invaluable medicine; and therefore to legislate that it shall not be sold or grown, were neither just nor humane; and hence it may be said there arises some practical difficulty. But in the case of China, the drug is notoriously used, in the immense quantities in which it is imported, not for medicine, but for intoxication; and it is avowedly prepared in a peculiar manner for this purpose, with a view to the Chinese market. The Chinese government knows this; and with a morality and policy humane, patriotic, and enlightened, with a magnanimous refusal to receive fiscal profit by affixing an impost upon the poison, it forbids it altogether. But English merchants have seen fit to break the laws of China, by smuggling this contraband article into that country; and we have now, by a warfare as sanguinary as it was unjust, forced this much-injured people to negociate with us, after pouring their treasures into our coffers, and ceding to us whatever we chose to demand, at the cannon's mouth, of their hitherto virgin territory.
Under these circumstances, the duty of the British Government, we repeat, is clear. We ought not to attempt to induce China to legalize the traffic; we ought to disclaim it, to repudiate it; and to allow the Chinese authorities to treat
Conceive a poor miserable wretch, who for many years has been attempting to beat off pain by a constant recurrence to the vice that re-produces it. Conceive a spirit in hell, employed in tracing out for others the road to that heaven from which his crimes exclude him! In short, conceive whatever is most wretched, helpless, and hopeless, and you will form as tolerable a notion of my state as it is possible for a good man to have. I used to think the text in St. James, that he who offended in one point offends in all,' very harsh; but I now feel the awful, the tremendous truth of it. In the one crime of OPIUM, what crime have I not made myself guilty of! Ingratitude to my Maker! and to my benefactors-injustice! and unnatural cruelty to my poor children!— self-contempt for my repeated promisebreach, nay, too often, actual falsehood!
"After my death, I earnestly entreat that a full and unqualified narration of my wretchedness, and of its guilty cause, may be made public, that, at least, some little good may be effected by the direful example!
May God Almighty bless you, and have mercy on your still affectionate, and in his heart grateful,
"S. T. COLERIDGE."
British subjects who attempt to introduce it, as smugglers are treated by ourselves. We might even go much further, and ought to do so; for humanity and religion should induce us cordially to aid the rulers of China in their laudable efforts to stave off this demoralizing drug; and sound policy goes hand-inhand, as it always does, with higher motives, since the traffic in opium shuts out the legitimate and valuable commerce which England might command in the Chinese market.
Lord Ashley withdrew his motion, upon Sir Robert Peel's saying that it would prejudice pending negociations. If, however, any portion of those negociations shall be found to embrace a provision for legitimating this banefnl commerce, we doubt not his Lordship, or some other senator, will renew the discussion; and in doing so, he will carry with him the best wishes and prayers of the nation, and the blessings of the Supreme Disposer of all events. Christians in Great Britain are about to adopt extensive measures, with a view to make known in China the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent; and the Bishop of London has done himself, and the Church in which he is a ruler, great honour, by being among the foremost to encourage this good and holy work; but what can the Church of England, or other bodies of Christians among us, hope to effect in China for the extension of the Gospel, if we carry bibles in the cabin and opium in the hold? christian love upon our lips, and unscrupulous cupidity in our hearts? praying to God in our churches, while we are doing the work of Satan in the haunts of commerce, and in the bosoms of hitherto uncontaminated families?
We lament the violent spirit of opposition with which the Education clauses of the Factory Bill are being encountered; because we believe the principles upon which they are founded to be sound and scriptural, and calculated to produce extensive and lasting benefits to the country. The details are susceptible of much improvement, and will probably receive it; but we should mourn for the land, if the measure, as to its leading features, were mutilated or abandoned. We ground our conclusion on such positions as the following:
First, there is a most pressing need for enlarged plans of National Education. To prove this, we might collect innumerable pages of incontrovertible documentary evidence; but the task were superfluous; for no one will deny the fact, who has perused the reports of our
various education societies; the volumes of statistics laid before Parliament; the proceedings in our courts of justice; the evidence of magistrates, clergymen, dissenting ministers, schoolmasters, schoolmistresses, and Sunday-school teachers; and the statements of judges upon the bench, and of senators in the great council of the nation. The appalling facts mentioned by Lord Ashley might decide the question. The mass of demoralization, degradation, and misery which accumulates and festers in our denselypeopled manufacturing districts, is fearful in the extreme; and it is found to be connected with the most deplorable ignorance; for though secular knowledge -or even theological knowledge, as such-is no guarantee for religion or virtue, the converse of the proposition is generally true, that gross ignorance and vice consort together, especially in dense districts, where the temptations to evil are rife on every side. And even in rural or mixed districts the remark applies. Thus we find at the very last Assize for the County of Gloucester, Mr. Justice Wightman stating that out of one hundred and ten prisoners brought before him, one hundred could neither read nor write.
This enormous deficiency of education being admitted, and the evils of that deficiency acknowledged, there must rest a weighty responsibility somewhere, as to the duty of seeking for, and endeavouring to apply, a remedy. It cannot be that any wise and Christian man can contemplate such a state of things with complacency; or be satisfied to regard a vast mass of his fellow beingscreated in the image of God, needing to be restored to it, possessed of neverdying spirits, susceptible of pain and pleasure in this life, and heirs to endless happiness or misery-as if they were brute machines, little better than so many cogs of a steam-engine or bobbins of a loom; mere plowers or neat herds; headers or pointers of pins; living only to vegetate, and then to die and be forgotten. As moral, as rational, as accountable, as immortal beings, they were created for infinitely higher objects; and assuredly something ought to be done to rescue them from their present degradation.
Can the benevolence of private charity supply the defect? It has endeavoured, during a long series of years, to do so; and of late it has been aided by partial legislative grants; and great reason have we to be thankful that much has been achieved, and that matters are not worse than they are; but the little light we enjoy chiefly serves to render the darkness more visible; and it were romantic
to suppose that the machinery now in action is likely to be multiplied to such an extent as fully to meet the exigency. In building churches and schools, we have not only an immense outlying population to overtake; but also to provide for new accumulations, which, at the rate indicated by the last census, exceed two millions in ten years. We owe a large debt of gratitude to voluntaryism, for what it has endeavoured or effected; but the vast extent of our population mocks its feeble efforts.
Surely then the State ought to interpose its powerful aid; making provision to supply the admitted necessity; and justly deciding that it is befitting the public purse should be opened for an object so important and patriotic.
But then comes the question; What is the character of the education which the State ought to endeavour to promote? After all the controversies on this point, we have not any scruple in saying a religious education. No education that is not grounded upon Christian light and truth is worthy of the name, or can remedy the acknowledged evils. But religion is not, and cannot be, a neutral thing; it must take some shape and character; and that form ought to be determined by the inspired Volume, which all Christians believe to contain the records
of infallible truth. The Bible then must be taught; and children must be early trained in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. But then arises the objection that this involves Creeds, Catechisms, and religious worship; and that these must of necessity be sectarian, since all who profess to be Christians do not concur in opinion respecting them. It is further declared to be unjust that all should be taxed to support a system which some, it may be many, do not approve.
We are thus thrown back upon the first principles of civil government; which it would be absurd to attempt to argue upon in a passing paragraph and happily it is not necessary; for all the discussions which have taken place upon it have demonstrated that in society there must be common rules and regulations for the public benefit, which all ought to obey, unless where a man believes his duty to God forbids; and there he must dissent, and bear the inconvenience of being in a minority, till he can get the nation to be of his way of thinking. England is not bound to dismantle her fleets and disband her armies, because the Society of Friends consider a naval and military police unlawful; or to exempt those who think so from bearing their share of the fiscal burdens. The paral
lel applies to churches and schools. The nation is bound to see that the worship of God, and the religious training of children, are provided for ; and this cannot be done without pecuniary levies. The rights of conscience ought to be respected; but it is no violation of them, to make every man pay his taxes, for the appropriation of which the nation, not the individual, is responsible. The rights of conscience of a Roman Catholic are no more violated by a tax to support Bible-schools; than those of a Quaker by a tax on tea, or coffee, or malt, a fraction of which may be expended in dirks or muskets. There would be grievous tyranny in forcing persons to go to church, or to send their children to school to learn what the parents conscientiously disapproved; and if Sir James Graham's proposal went to this extent, or tended in this direction, we should altogether condemn and oppose it. As it is, if there be any portion of it which can be shown to coerce any man's conscience, it ought to be expunged; and our own view goes to the full extent of not making it compulsory upon parents to send their children to school, even for secular education, if they do not choose it. The loss would be a severe misfortune to the poor child; but to do a great right, a legislator is not to do any wrong. The Prussian scheme of compulsion is unjust and un-English; and no trace of it ought to be left upon Sir James Graham's Bill. We fear, indeed, that some parents might not at first appreciate the value of the boon conferred upon their children, or might prefer spending every penny of their gains to allowing a small deduction for their permanent welfare. Compulsion might in such cases be best for the child; but we would sacrifice this benefit, rather than admit the principle. And if we would not force a parent to send his children against his will, even for secular learning; much less for religious instruction. The Bill embodies this exception. The school is so planned, that those parents who desire religious instruction for their children, and approve of the forms with which it is connected, have the full benefit of the school; those who object, may withdraw their children from the religious portion of the training; and even the secular part we would leave to its own merits, so that there might be no pretext for an outcry of oppression, even though the State acted from principles of benevolence, and was a better guardian to the child than its own ill-judging or selfish parent. We would place the school on the best foot
ing; we would try to render it useful and deservedly popular; we would make it cheap, though not gratuitous, supplying the deficiency of funds by parochial taxation; and the rest we would leave, at least in the first instance, to social sympathy, and the desire of the parents to promote the interests of their children. We have said parochial taxation; but we see not that it would be unfair, or any violation of private conscience, to mulet the employers according to the number of children in their establishments. But we touch not upon these, and many other, points of detail; our argument having only to do with the leading principles.
We have spoken of the duties of the State; but we must not overlook the duties of the Church. The Anglican Communion is both a part of Christ's holy Catholic Church (no candid Dissenter will deny this), and also a National Religious Establishment. In its former capacity, it is its duty, upon the principles admitted by the advocates of voluntaryism, to teach both children and adults. Dissenters act upon this principle in their own schools. But besides this, it is the recognized National Church, and hence responsibilities devolve upon it which do not fall upon voluntaryism. It is not a question of power, but of obligation. It is bound, as the Established Church of the land, to endeavour to further, to the best of its ability, the spiritual welfare of the people, both adults and children. And it is also the duty of the State to aid its efforts. The State is bound to provide religious instruction; and in establishing a Church, it provides a channel through which to convey it. The Dissenter objects that this is not the best channel, or denies that any national channel is lawful. Let him urge these opinions wherever he has a right to be heard ; and if he can persuade his countrymen that his arguments are sound, the Established Church, however scriptural and pure, would be disestablished. But as long as it is the national communion, the nation must work with it, and through it. Its machinery is for the public service, and the public has a good right to make use of it. The dissenting minister may be a very good man ; but the nation knows nothing of him as a dissenting minister. But it does know the pastor of the parish. His spiritual title has been acknowledged by the nation to be valid; and he is constituted a public servant, in matters relating to religion, for the common benefit. Every legislator acknowledges this. Lord Brougham did so in his Education
Bill, some quarter of a century ago;how could he do otherwise ?-and the present Bill does no more. Even then upon this lowest ground, that the nation acknowledges an Established Church, it ought to make use of its aid in carrying out a scheme of popular education. As Churchmen, we of course carry the claim far higher; for we have our honest opinions ;-or, if the Dissenter pleases, our prejudices ;-but we wish only to show that there is no injustice, bigotry, or illiberality, in setting forth a scheme of education, grounded upon the fact that we have an Established Church, and that the Church which the nation looks up to for the religious instruction of adults ought not to be unmindful of the lambs of Christ's flock. Invidious assertions have been made that the Education clauses in the Factory Bill originated in the superb assumptions of the Tractarians. far from this surmise being founded in fact, the measure is opposed by Tractarians as derogatory to the Church, both as a spiritual communion and a national establishment; as destructive to ecclesiastical discipline; as a cowardly concession to Dissenters, and a degradation to the clergy, who may be associated with a sectarian churchwarden, and possibly two sectarian trustees.
The Church certainly does submit to some sacrifice by consenting to the scheme; but its best members are willing to do so, if, without sinful compromise, they can promote religious education among vast masses of the most wretched and demoralized portions of the population. One of the arguments urged against the plan is that the new schools will be so much better conducted than the old ones, that they will draw off pupils and ruin them. This we take to be a high prospective compliment. We feel some hesitation respecting their possible effect upon Sunday Schools; for we know not what could compensate for the zealous, affectionate, and Scriptural instructions of the pious and diligent teachers in those blessed institutions: but this objection may be obviated by the amendments which Sir James Graham proposes introducing into the bill. John Russell has drawn up some modifying propositions; but the Dissenters of the three denominations brand them as scarcely less obnoxious than the original clauses. There is likely, therefore, to be a severe struggle; the result of which will prove whether or not the system of "dissent upon principle" has become so strong, that henceforth no measure is to be adopted for the extension of popular education upon Christian prin
ciples, by the use of national machinery.
The explanations in the French Chambers and in the British Parliament, relative to the "Protectorship," as it is called, of Tahiti, by the French, have not abated the feelings of indignation and apprehension with which from the first we contemplated the nefarious transactions which led to that result:indignation at the gross injustice, treachery, violence, and cowardly invasion by which "the most polite nation of Europe" forced its hated domination upon the poor defenceless Queen and her reluctant subjects :-apprehension as to the baneful effects of French influence, and the introduction of Romanist superstition and tyranny, both in that island and the neighbouring clusters; where God has signally blessed the labours of his servants in planting the faith of Christ, which Popery seeks to corrupt, and Infidelity to destroy; cupidity and licentiousnes having opened the way for their aggressions.
The women of Tahiti had learned from the Word of God to be chaste; this gave offence to the French sailors and their officers. France wanted colonies, and her merchants marts; and the South Sea Islands are coveted for both. Hence a convenient lamb-and-wolf quarrel was worked up; and might prevailed over right. As regards the Protestant Missionaries, the words of France are fair and soft-spoken; and M. Guizot seems rather easily to have satisfied Sir R. Peel that no injustice or intolerance will be allowed; and we trust that the earnest manner in which the question has been taken up by the people of England will prevent that pledge being so grossly violated as it might otherwise have been; but the whole transaction is most afflicting, and we feel great alarm for the results. At the same time, as England is not the protectress of Tahiti, we do not discern in what way she can officially interfere, bad as the case is, except by strong representation and energetic remonstrance, and also demanding that the existing rights and privileges of English subjects in Tahiti shall not be violated by French control. For the rest the event must be left with God, who has caused his Gospel to take deep root in the Islands of the Pacific Ocean, and who will not, we trust and believe, allow either Popery or Infidelity to eradicate
The circumstances however call for renewed and enlarged exertion and prayer; and should "persecution arise because of the Word," God can overrule even this to the ultimate advancement of his kingdom.
The contest which has for some time agitated the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel has terminated in the way which, under all the circumstances, was most be desired; that is, without rending asunder this important colonial missionary institution, yet securing solemn pledges that very careful attention shall be exercised in selecting missionaries, that they may be men of sound Scriptural, Anglican, doctrine, and of holy and devoted life. We had written at some length upon the subject; and may still have occasion to print our remarks; but as at present advised, the great object which we have in view will be best served by not at this moment pressing the discussion. We have often expressed our conviction, and no longer ago than in our Number for last November, that the difficulties of the Society arise chiefly from want of confidence, in consequence of the resolution which was passed in 1819, in order to keep out members of the Church Missionary Society. Till the number of Associated Members dies down to 300, (which the Standing Committee takes care shall not happen) no Associated Member can be elected, except by the recommendation of the Standing Committee. Thus the Committee selects its own constituents; and its constituents select it. Mr. Bickersteth and Mr. Pratt, who have been
contributing members," ever since 1819, have been excluded from membership; (for money-paying, without a vote, is not membership) while Mr. Dodsworth, Mr. Oakeley, and many others of their juniors, have found no difficulty in persuading the Standing Committee to elect them. Mr. Perceval of Horsley is an Associated Member, attends the Board, and speaks and votes; while Mr. Close of Cheltenham is denied this privilege; and can only write letters to the Secretary. A Society thus conducted must expect jars. There requires more sympathy and confidence. But we will not enlarge on the subject at present, lest we should impede, rather than aid, any beneficial arrangements which may be in contemplation.
Omega; Clericus Sussexensis; A. W.; C. R. C.; A. A.; J. E.; A. T.; H. J. F.; T. G.; J. R.; Christophilus; Laicus; and M.; are under consideration.