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lasting fire," " which always has been burning, and always will be burning, with a living, permanent, and unchangeable flame, against all manner of evil, so long as there is evil to be destroyed.”* If Mr. Wilson goes on to speak of times and seasons (and we cannot see that he does), if he asserts that no human being can persist in an infinite resistance to the Divine Will, he is clearly determining, on his own authority, points on which the Bishop of Natal will not venture to dogmatise. But the Athanasian Creed does not say that all who are committed to the everlasting fire shall abide in it for ever. The words of it will never yield a proposition which is a mere inference, and therefore, according to the rule laid down in the Gorham case, not to be forced on the consciences whether of the clergy or the laity.

We must speak still more plainly. It may have been the belief of those who drew up the Athanasian Creed, that all sinners must undergo an endless punishment. But whether by accident, or by the overruling providence of God, who is using the Church of England as a special instrument for preaching the whole Gospel of Christ to every creature, the notion cannot be found distinctly enunciated in any of her canons, her articles, or her formularies. It is of course possible that a dominant section may succeed in forcing this doctrine upon her. Such a victory may be fatal to herself; it cannot affect the belief of those who are sure that God is true, though every man may be a liar, and who reject this dogma “as a blasphemy against the name and character of the High and Holy One.”

It is the one great question of the age. All other doubts, perplexities, and fears, are merged in it and bound up with it. It will not be possible for any to ignore it much longer. There are numbers both of the clergy and among laymen who have not analysed their own belief about it. Ten years ago the Bishop of Natal had not done so. It is now his mission to vindicate the justice of God in the sight of Christians and heathen, to tell both alike that there is something higher than Church authority, something more enduring than ecclesiastical systems.

Yet, not for a moment must it be admitted, that the Church of England has hitherto sanctioned a dogma which would make the whole moral creation a waste howling wilderness; not for an instant must it be allowed, that the inferences of Dr. Lushington are warranted by the “plain, literal, and grammatical meaning" of any statements in the Athanasian Creed. With singular calmness and moderation, the author of the admirable tract on “Forgiveness after Death” has shown how utterly the words of the Creed are opposed to the popular theology of

Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, p. 215.

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teachers like the Bishop of Oxford and the Dean of Westminster,—how strictly, on this point at least, they harmonise with our conceptions of eternal righteousness.

But we must fulfil our promise of using all plainness of speech. The Church of England has not fettered her clergy to any definite statement on the endlessness of future punishment; but if such were her dogma, if she asserted clearly that all who do not die in the faith and fear of God, are tormented by him for ever and ever, then that dogma must be rejected with an indignation decper and more vehement than that with which Teutonic Christendom rose up against the worst abuses and delusions of Latin sacerdotalism. The coarsest development of the doctrine of transubstantiation, the wildest absurdities of Manichæan fanatics, were not so thoroughly opposed to the first principles of justice, law, and truth, as a dogma which draws no distinction between a perjured tyrant and lying child. Such a reformation is happily not needed now in the Church of England; if ever it be made necessary, men will not be wanting to carry it out. But it is sorely needed elsewhere. Is it too much to hope, that the Church of England may be the appointed instrument for hastening that mighty change which shall sweep away the deadly bondage of an ancient and groundless superstition?


BLOCKADE. Commercial Blockades considered with reference to Law and Policy.

By Jobn Westlake. Ridgway, 1862. Commentaries on International Law. By Robert Phillimore. Vol.

III. 1857. We have no intention of dragging our readers through wearisome quotations from Grotius, Vattel, Puffendorf, Bynkerschöck, or even Wheaton, or of asking them to follow us in any subtle or theoretical disquisitions as to the foundations or technicalities of international law. We shall detain them only to speak of matters of immediate and practical concern to our own citizens; and we shall detain them for a very short time.

The dogmas of international law have not the same precision or absolute authority as those of municipal law. They have grown up gradually; they have undergone many modifications; several of them have been frequently and consistently disputed by various maritime nations; some have been framed by arbitrary force; some have been abandoned by special treaty. Time, commercial necessities, scientific progress, advance in civilisation, and altered circumstances, are perpetually qualifying or changing them. In fact, the International Code as it exists now-or rather, as it existed at the close of the last great European wars—is a mixture of judge-made law and of the law of the strongest; and as such is not, in all its decisions, either universally recognised as binding, or interpreted by all nations alike.

It is, in truth, a sort of system of compromise which has grown up between the demands of belligerents and the remonstrances of neutrals. While wars were frequent, and involved most of the great nations of the world, the code was very harsh and stringent, because it was dictated mainly by the interests of belligerents. But as commerce spread, as peace became more general, and as neutrals became more powerful, the code has been gradually modified; and all such modifications have been in the interests of neutrals.

At the close of the Napoleonic wars, the following may be said to have been the state of the law of nations as regarded maritime warfare and the rights of belligerents and neutrals as affected thereby,-on the two points which we are about to consider in the following paper, and to which we propose strictly to confine ourselves.

1. The merchant ships of either belligerent country were liable to capture and confiscation by the other, with their cargoes, unless the cargo belonged to neutrals, in which case the ship was forfeited, but the cargo was restored to the neutral owner.

2. The goods of a belligerent, though carried in neutral vessels, were liable to seizure; and neutral ships might be lawfully stopped on the high seas and searched for such suspected cargoes, which were liable to confiscation.

3. A neutral vessel carrying to either belligerent “contraband of war,"—that is, articles considered or declared to be warlike stores or warlike materials,—was liable to capture; and sometimes the vessel and cargo, sometimes only the cargo, were liable to confiscation, according to the peculiar circumstances of

each case.

4. It was competent for a belligerent to declare any of the ports or special portion of the coast of the enemy in a state of i blockade;" in which case, any neutral ship attempting to enter, or leave such port or place, or bound for such, was legally liable to forfeiture, provided this blockade was known to her captain, and had been duly notified to the world. The reach of this law was always more or less a matter of dispute; belligerents often insisting that they might blockade a whole coast, or insist on the recognition of what is called a “paper blockade;" while the neutrals insisted that, to be valid, à blockade must be limited in its area and “ effective"- that is, that the port or coast must be really guarded by a squadron of sufficient force to prevent access to it in ordinary weather. The belligerents, too, claimed the right of capturing a neutral ship that was bound for or from the prohibited port, or intending to go there, though she might, at the time of capture, be a thousand miles away ;the neutrals usually denying the right of capture unless the vessel was actually attempting to run the blockade, or hovering in such close vicinity that such a design might be confidently attributed to her. The usual interpretation given to the law of blockade, however, appears to have been (though with certain fluctuations), that the blockade to be valid must be more or less efficient and material; but that a vessel bound for, or escaping from, a validly blockaded port might be captured any where " during that voyage."

All vessels captured under any of the above circumstances must be brought before a recognised “ Admiralty” Court for condemnation, but these courts were almost always, naturally, those in the country of the captor.

These regulations received at least one very important modification by the Convention of Paris, in the year 1856; but unfortunately, as the United States at that time withheld its consent, the modification cannot yet be considered as forming part of the law of nations, though it is considered binding upon the three great maritime powers who adopted it,-viz. England, France, and Russia. They agreed not only to renounce privateering, and to admit and recognise no blockade that was not really and truly efficient,—“that is, sufficient to prevent access to the prohibited port,”—but to recognise and adopt the principle that “the flag covers the cargo :"—in other words, that enemy's goods in neutral bottoms are exempt from capture, unless "contraband of war" or endeavouring to run a blockade. America refused to agree to these modifications (though for the two last of them she had always contended) unless “all private property at sea”-i.e. all merchant ships and cargoes, to whomever belonging—was exempted from capture. To this she subsequently appended another condition, viz. that no ports should be liable to blockade unless they were fortified places, and were besieged also on the land side.

Thus the matter stands at present. It is true that, as the Southern Confederacy has virtually accepted the doctrine that a neutral flag shall protect enemy's goods, and as the United States have since offered to abandon the right of privateering and accede to the Convention of Paris, we may assume that, when the present war is over, both sections of that Republic will agree to the new interpretation of the law of maritime capture as now adopted by the great European powers. But out of the modification we have alluded to, and out of the vast extension which commerce has taken of late years, aided by the increasing power of neutrals, and the increasing desire of great nations to remain neutral when they can, and to profit to the full by the privileges of neutrality, has arisen the question, whether it will not be wise to alter international law still further. It is suggested that, in order to bring this law, as far as it regards maritime warfare, into harmony with itself and with the dictates of sound sense, it is advisable

1. To exempt all private property and boná-fide merchant ships at sea from capture.

2. To make no exception in regard to contraband of war, but to make cargoes of gunpowder and swords as exempt from capture as cargoes of iron, blankets, coffee, or any other article of merchandise.

3. To abolish commercial blockades altogether; that is, to forego the right of stopping access to any harbour, unless it be a fortified town and is besieged on the land side.

The effect of these three regulations, if adopted, would obviously be, to allow the trade of and with belligerents to be carried on during war as uninterruptedly as during peace. This is what the reformers of the law of nations contend for. Some demand all three modifications. Others demand the first and second, as we do. Others, as Mr. Cobden, ask for the first and third. Let us consider each in turn.

I. During all our great wars, and up to the year 1856, the recognised doctrine of international law and the practice of all nations was not only to subject the ships and cargoes of belligerents to mutual capture by each other's cruisers, but to inflict the same liability on the goods of belligerents found in the vessels of neutrals, and under the protection of a neutral flag: that is to say, merchandise belonging to the enemy was lawful prize wherever found on the high seas, and sailing under whatever flag. The object and justification of this stringent regulation of course was to enable each combatant to inflict ihe maximum of injury upon each other, and in fact to interrupt or stop each other's commerce according to the measure of their maritime power and activity,- with a view of crippling the resources of the enemy, and terminating the war as soon as possible. The result of it was, that any nation which was supreme or very powerful at sea couldl succeed in nearly destroying the trade of its antagonist, inflicting upon it severe privations, and greatly impoverishing its revenue, while at the same time sti

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