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In defence of the cathedral spoliation scheme, we are told, that such preferments were not intended originally as rewards for the encouragement of learning. Indeed! But may they not be made conducive thereto? It is still asserted that they have not been so employed. Not, it will be readily granted, to the extent to which they should have been; but would not the adoption of some such rule in the future disposing of them be quite as great a proof of wisdom on the part of the commissioners, as the edict which consigns them to extinction.
When it was alleged on the part of the old boroughs which returned members to parliament before the passing of the reform bill, that they were often the means of introducing young men of great talent and small fortune into the legislature, who must otherwise be excluded from it; and also, that they furnished means of a sort of indirect representation to our distant colonies, which often made their voice to be heard, and caused their interests to be attended to, when, otherwise, they might have been disregarded; no one pretended that these were not great advantages, or that they did not furnish a very plausible ground of defence, although it could not be denied that such uses, or such purposes, never entered into the contemplation of those by whom these boroughs were first enfranchised. In like manner we say, that whatever may have been the uses and purposes of cathedral preferments when they were first instituted, it cannot be denied that they have served, and that they may be made still further to serve, as encouragements to the cultivation of learning; and unless it be denied that learning is necessary, or asserted that there are abundant means for the supply of a race of learned ecclesiastics in other endowments, no attempt should be made to divert cathedral funds from so important an object.
But parochial exigencies are 80 great, that some sacrifices must be made to meet them; the useful must always be preferred to the ornamental; and the eternal interests of thousands of perishing souls are not to be put into competition, for a single moment, with the spiritual sentimentalism which alone can suffer when the cathedral establishments are extinguished. Now, we ask, to what extent can the proposed appropriation of cathedral funds supply the spiritual destitution for which it is so desirable to make an ample pro
vision? Would they not be as the loaves and fishes amongst the seven thousand, but without the blessing which caused the miraculous multiplication, by which all had enough and to spare? Would they not be a mockery, rather than a boon? The tantalizing drop of water by which thirst is aggravated, rather than the cooling draught by which it is assuaged? So that while they were destroyed for any purposes of cathedral usefulness, they would be utterly insignificant for that other important object, for the attainment of which such a sacrifice would be made.
But the people will never contribute one single shilling towards such an enlargement of the means of the church, as might enable her to matriculate the whole community, and like the hen, expand her wings, and take in all her people. So says Sydney Smith. So say better men than he, the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol, and the Bishop of London. But we utterly differ from them. We conceive that such a judgment implies a harsh and unmerited libel on the people of England; on that noble people who have never yet been found wanting when any thing great or good was to be accomplished by pecuniary sacrifices. If Sydney Smith mean that they would be very reluctant to contribute their money for the multiplication of that race of amiable ecclesiastics who love a round game of whist, or of greasy, paunchbellied, rosy-gilled jollificators, who take their ease in their prebendal stalls, with just about as much forecast for eternity as the horse has when he stands before his manger, he is right. They neither will nor ought to raise funds for such a purpose. They cannot be easily made to fall in love with those bloated excrescences, those whitedsepulchres, those vampires who derive nutriment to themselves by abstracting its life's blood from the fair form upon which they fasten, and who seldom leave it until the vital principle is exhausted;-who feel the same sort of interest in the preservation of the church which the mite does in the preservation of the cheese-indications, at the same time, of its rottenness and its richness. But do not tell us that the people of England cannot be made to understand, and to appreciate according to their worth, those life-giving ministrations, by which the saving truths of the everlasting gospel are brought home to men's business and their bosoms, by an humble, prayerful, labo
rious, and enlightened pastor, who exemplifies in his life the truths which he preaches with his lips. Do not tell us that an appeal to Christian liberality on behalf of our scriptural church, accompanied by such an exposition of its claims to public support, as might vindicate its apostolic origin, and display its manifold capabilities as the Christian instructress of an enlightened people, could possibly be disregarded. We have witnessed ourselves what Dr. Chalmers, almost alone, has already done for Scotland. He has already, under Providence, been the cause of the building of more than two hundred churches in his native land; and of such a revival of the love by which their establishment was once regarded by his countrymen, as has made voluntaryism, albeit before insolent and rampant, shrink from before it, and will, we have little doubt, cause it to spread and to flourish, until this great and venerable man sees his heart's wish accomplished, by the extension of Church of Scotland services to the entire mass of a rapidly increasing population. And do not tell us that a similar service might not be done for the church of England, by men similarly gifted and similarly inspired undertaking its cause in our manufacturing districts, and exhibiting the blessings of which it must be productive to the myriads who are at present brought up without any adequate sense of their Christian responsibilities, and living, to all intents and purposes, without God in the world. What! Will any man tell us that a case such as might be made out upon such a subject, could be presented to the hearts of the people of England in vain? That noble people have recently shown themselves ready to add an additional burden of twenty millions to their already almost overwhelming national debt, in order to purchase, for West Indian slaves, the doubtful boon of hasty emancipation. And shall it be said that the spiritual and eternal interests of their own countrymen are less dear to them, and touch them less nearly, than the temporal sufferings of the negro whom they have made such a splendid sacrifice to redeem from bondage? They know not the people of England who say so. They know not the intensity of interest which may be accumulated round our venerable Establishment by an adequate exposition of its transcendent excellence, who doubt, for a single moment, that an appeal, on its behalf,
to the wisdom, the sympathy, the Christian charity, of our great manufacturing communities, would not produce returns by which the hearts of its friends would be cheered, and spiritual sustenance procured for the wants of its spiritually destitute bundreds of thousands.
We know nothing more beautiful, nothing more interesting, whether to the philanthropist, the philosopher, or the Christian, than our parochial system fully carried out, so that all its advantages might be realized in every village and every hamlet throughout the country. A community, gathering round a church as their common centre, and taking their denomination from the habitation where they meet, periodically, for the worship of their God; a pastor, whom they respect because of his breeding and condition, and love "for his work's sake," taking that interest in their spiritual welfare which becomes one who is to account for their souls; the rising community duly instructed in the great truths of religion, both natural and revealed, and made acquainted with their own peculiar advantages, in that system of doctrinal truth, and liturgical piety, which had been devised and instituted for their edification ;-this is, surely, an object, which could not be contemplated without a glowing satisfaction by any human being who takes an interest in the welfare of his kind ;and we need not add, that there are many parishes in which such a spectacle may be beheld; and that, if only a suitable provision were made to cause an adequate extension of church ministrations, it is one which might be universal.
But now, instead of peace, we have divisions. Why? Hear the language in which Mr. Colquhoun, the member for Kilmarnock, addressed his constituents at Port Glasgow, and learn from it how the statesman may profit by the wisdom that is from above.
"What," he asks, "is the cause of all this
discontent-this muttering and heaving of the popular masses, betokening the approach of the gathering storm? Why, gentlemen, it is written in characters so plain on the moral aspect of the nation, that he who runs may read. The population, as I have told you, has swelled, in little more than a hundred years, from eight millions to twenty-four millions. Our people are day by day marching forward in increase with the pace of a giant. In our large towns they are annually extending, in
thousands and ten of thousands. And what increase have you made of those institutions which provide for the instruction of the people? Why, the fact is this, that while the population has been thus growing from eight to four-andtwenty millions, the institutions for the instruction of the people have remained stationary! How, then, can any man wonder that there should be thousands of Our countrymen sunk in ignorance and prejudice, when statesmen have done nothing for their moral improvement? If it was wise in statesmen to provide the existing churches and schools for the instruction of the people, when Scotland became connected with England at the Union, surely it must be monstrously unwise in us to have done nothing since that time to add to that provision; and no wonder that these neglected people should have become a prey to the arts of demagogues. We have gone on with our manufactures, we have gone on with our trade and our commerce; but we have not gone on to make provision for the instruction of our people, who have increased along with them. We have run our railways-we have increased our roads and canals-we have extended our shipping-we have built factories; and all this while, the human beings who have been gathering around us have been allowed to remain as ignorant as ever-as uneducated as ever, and yet we have expected they should also remain as peaceable as ever. If they are to be left in this state of ignorance, they will tear society to pieces. Our manufactures cannot stand -our commerce cannot stand, in the midst of an ignorant and prejudiced peo. ple. What course, then, you ask me, ought to be pursued? Our present ministers admit that we must have an Established Church. Why? Not because it is an old institution, but because it spreads religious truth and sound principles amongst the people. For the good of the people that is the reason why an Established Church ought to be upheld. Don't talk to me of its being an old and venerable institution, and that therefore it must be maintained. It was iustituted for the instruction of the people-it is maintained for the good of the people. That is the principle of an Established Church.
Then was there ever such conduct on the part of sane men, as to keep up the Established Church in the same condition in which it was fitted, in 1700, for the instruction of eight millions of people, when that number has swelled to sixteen millions more?- And when this state of things produces its natural effects in the discontent and turbulence of the neglected masses, our ministers express great sur
prise, and wonder what can be the grievance of which they complain. They have left them in a state of ignorance and vice, and yet they wonder why they are not in a condition of contentment and peace. I don't care who the ministers may be ; I am speaking of all the governments who have existed in this country within the period to which I have referred. It is all one to me whether the minister is Sir Robert Peel or Lord Melbourne. I say, when the population is growing up uninstructed, and when the minister sleeps and folds his hands in this state of things, he is like the man who sleeps and folds his hands amidst the dykes in Holland, when they are breaking up, and the water is bursting in upon him. Such is the conduct of the minister who feeds his friends, and distributes his patronage, and enjoys his place, regardless alike of the danger which threatens the national interests, and of the welfare of the people of England and Scotland. Have the ministers done any thing to redress this state of things? They have done a great deal to aggravate it. Lord Melbourne and Lord John Russell were commissioners of the Church of England; and as commissioners they both admitted in their report that the destitution of that Establishment in regard to church accommodation enormous. Have they increased the provision of the English establishment? why they attempted to commit a petty larceny on the Church of England. Instead of endeavouring to extend its provisions, and give the people more church accommodation, they brought a bill into parliament in which they attempted to peel and strip off pieces of the Church of England. And what have they done in the Church of Ireland? They cut off part of that Church, and attempted to cut off still more; and one of the members of the government-one of the confidential advisers of the cabinet-declared last session, in his place in parliament, that the Irish Church must be pulled down. What have they done for the Church of Scotland? They instituted an inquiry, and proved-proved to their own condemnation-by the report of their commissioners, that there are tens of thousands of people in Scotland totally destitute of religious instruction; and instead of proceeding as honest men to redeem their pledge, and apply the remedy, they told us they would give us no remedy whatever. They have attempted the robbery of the Church of England, the spoliation of the Church of Ireland, and the starvation of the Church of Scotland. This is the way they supply the enormous moral wants of this country,
this is the remedy they offer for the increasing ignorance of the people of this
country-this is the provision they make for its wretchedness, and degradation, and growing danger."
Much have we to say respecting church reform, in the true sense of the word; but the space to which this paper has already extended forbids more than the briefest notice of the topics to which we would fain advert at greater length, could we do so without exceeding our proper limits, or disturbing previous arrangements.
And firstly, respecting the appointment of bishops, is it, or is it not desirable that some rules should be laid down respecting the exercise of the prerogative in that particular; seeing that, in the nature of things, the church may now be exposed to a sinister infuence from popish, or radical, or infidel advisers?
Next, respecting their number, ought they, or ought they not, to be augmented, both in relation to the growing population, and as an indispensable pre-requisite for that subdi vision of parishes, which should, undoubtedly take place. No one man can do the work of ten; and that one man is called upon, to do so when he is burdened with the cure of twenty thousand souls?
Then, respecting the manner in which appointments to benefices take place, ought there, or ought there not, to be some regulations adopted which would tend to prevent an abuse of patronage, and be a protection to the patron himself against those domestic solicitations, and those natural partialities, which often pervert the good and "blind the wise" in their discharge of such a sacred duty? And here we cannot avoid expressing the strong disgust which we experienced at seeing the grave question of the extinction of cathedral establishments, for the supply of parochial necessities, converted into a vulgar squabble scarcely superior in dignity to that which takes place between Punch and Judy. Old Sydney Smith contends, tooth and nail, for the sacred and indefeasible right of the corps of a cathedral to the disposal of all their good things, and the reasonableness of regarding them as provisions for their children or connexions. Well may he despair of getting up any force of public opinion in favour of so
stupid an iniquity. The only mode for causing church patronage now to be regarded as sacred, is to show that those who hold it regard it as a sacred trust; and the worthy prebendary may well believe, that if he and his followers misappropriate it for one purpose, the public at large will have little scruple in misappropriating it for another.
Again, respecting the learning of the clergy, ought there or ought there not, to be some fixed provision by which lettered men might be left at ease, to the enjoyment of that quiet and leisure which are so favourable to devotional contemplations; where, to use Hooker's happy words, they may
see God's blessings spring from their mother earth, and eat their bread in peace and privacy ?"
But suffice it for the present to have suggested to our readers these pregnant interrogatories. All men see that the church, as at present situated, is in a position most anomalous. All that influence over it which was safely lodged with the executive, when every man must be a churchman in order to be an adviser of the crown, may no longer be safely lodged there, now that the worst enemies of the church may, at any moment, be called to the councils of the sovereign, and entrusted with the disposal of its highest preferments. This, alone, should cause every true churchman to awaken to a sense of the common danger. Already, in this country, the dreadful consequences of such a state of things is becoming awfully manifest. Baron Fortescue need only go on as he has commenced, and exercise the power entrusted to him by law, in order to work the degradation and the ruin of the establishment in a manner far more complete, than he would have been enabled to do by the most hostile proceedings to which he could be a party in the House of Commons. And if something be not done, and that speedily, to remedy this deplorable state of things, and to give the church the same exemption from hostile influence, and the same protection and the same discretion in the management of its affairs, which belongs to every other denomination of Christians, the time is not very far distant when, as a national institute, it must pass away.
CONTINENTAL GOSSIPINGS, BY HARRY LORREQUER.
CHAP. IV.CRIMINAL LAW IN FRANCE-THE PROCUREUR DU ROI.
Leaving the question of dress, equipage, and cookery to individual tastes, we have entered the lists upon more weighty and important grounds—our representative systems, our monarchies, our commercial productiveness, and our codes of law. With the latter we shall occupy ourselves for the present, reserving some notices of the other topics for a future period.
It is a constant subject of remark by foreigners, that our English laws, framed and based as they are upon our undeviating respect for personal freedom as a birthright, favour the escape of the guilty in many more cases than with them. The privilege of the accused to refuse answering all questions that might tend to his crimination, strikes them as crime is detected, and they scruple not sapping the whole principle by which to call it absurd and ridiculous while they see nothing unfair or unreasonable in the artful cross-examination to which the Procureur du roi submits some poor unlettered and perhaps innocent peasant. Both extremes have their disadvantages; but so long as we esteem it
an axiom in our code that "it were
It is no more than might be expected
better ninety-nine guilty men should escape than that one innocent man should suffer," our practice is not only more humane, but more just. Whatever right we may exercise over the persons and properties of the evil-doer, we have clearly none over the unoffending
It is not upon such principles as these that French laws proceed. The war of extermination against crime gives no quarter. The guilty man, or the "prevenu"-for with them it is the same is surrounded by snares, and encompassed by spies his habits noted, his chance expressions weighed-his looks are studied-his very sleep is not sacred. Meanwhile the law appears to slumber. Rocked into security by the hope of escape or the consciousness of innocence, the suspected man knows nothing of the mine which is ready to explode beneath him. At last the fatal hour arrives; he is committed to gaol, and, after some days' confinement, brought forth to sustain the attack of the public prosecutor for such it really is-who invariably, in his cross-examination, pre-supposes the guilt of