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The truth is, that the existence of the Protestant Establishment in Ireland is the thing most fatal to the success of the Protestant religion; it presents Protestantism to the Irish peasant in the most repulsive form, -as the religion of the conqueror and oppressor. Protestantism is to him what Roman Catholicism would have been to us, if it had been established in this country by the success of the Spanish armada. The creed which is tendered to him as the real religion of St. John is inseparably associated with the memory of past outrages, and too often with the sense of present insult. Worse missionaries than the clergy of the dominant church cannot be imagined. These men are not so blinded to reason as not to be aware that, unless Roman Catholicism is absolutely criminal, their own position must be a crying wrong. And therefore they are led to represent Roman Catholicism to themselves as criminal, and to carry this feeling into all their preachings and discussions. It is obvious that such a method of propagandism is not likely to make proselytes. The Roman Catholic knows very well that the things said by Protestant controversialists as to the practical effects of his religion are false; and he therefore may well refuse to believe that the things said against its doctrines and authority are true. The only chance of winning the hearts and minds of the people is, to begin by acknowledging the element of truth in their religion, and putting yourself as much as possible on common ground. But a clergyman of the Irish Establishment who should try to put himself on common ground with the Roman Catholic, by taking a candid view of the Roman Catholic religion, would be very speedily landed in the conclusion that his own church had no ground to stand on.
We have heard it said by persons who know Ireland, and are prejudiced, if at all, in favour of the Establishment, that the Protestants do not, commonly speaking, even desire to make converts to their church; and that if a Roman Catholic becomes a convert to it, he is apt to meet with any thing but an enthusiastic reception among the professors of his new faith. The truth is, that, from whatever aspect you view it, the Establishment is much more a political than a religious institution. It belongs not so much to a religious community desirous of propagating their faith, as to a political caste determined to preserve a rampart of their privileges and a monument of their victorious pride.
The Tudor sovereigns and legislators who established the Tudor church in Ireland, acted for what they took to be the highest interest of the whole Irish people. They had no notion that their church would be ultimately confined to a small section of the nation. They fully expected that it would within a
calculable time include and be a blessing to the entire race. They had no doubt whatever of their own competency, as rulers appointed of Heaven, to judge of the truth of creeds, and select the best religion. In perfect simplicity of faith, they expected
. that the religion which they in their wisdom had selected for the people of both islands, would soon prevail over error in both islands alike. They knew by practical experience that the minds of men were somewhat froward and perverse; but they did not doubt that these obstacles would in due course of time yield before lawful authority, aiding by the infliction of moderate penalties the native attractions of pure truth. They looked upon dissent, whether Catholic or Puritan, as a transitory phenomenon, which in one or two generations at most would pass away, and leave unbroken unity of faith and worship throughout these realms. Whether they expected that all Christendom would come over to their way of thinking, and embrace the Thirty-nine Articles, the Book of Common Prayer, and the Homilies, we have no means of judging: probably, as their minds were eminently political, they did not look much beyond their own dominions, or take much thought for the unity of Christendom. Their anticipations, however, have not been fulfilled. Their experiment has resulted in signal and decisive failure. After three centuries of blood and discord, the Irish people are as far as ever from being members of the Tudor church. That establishment, which its founders unquestionably destined for the future benefit of the whole nation, remains hopelessly confined to a small part of it; and, instead of drawing every thing else within its unity, is in Ireland, as in England, very far from being at unity with itself. As they were persons of eminent practical wisdom, we may fairly assume that they would have bowed to the sentence of practical experience, and that we shall only be doing what they would have done, if upon the total failure of one principle, we frankly adopt another.
The truth is, that the peculiar form of Protestantism which is embodied in the Tudor church would never, even under the happiest circumstances, have had much success with the Irish people. The number of persons who are converted from the religion of their fathers to a new religion, by pure reason, must always be small, and confined to the most educated class. The mass of the people must be converted, if at all, through religious sentiment. Now the Tudor church, whatever may be its superiority to Roman Catholicism in matters of reason, is not very likely, as a matter of sentiment, to win away the enthusiastic heart of the Irish Celt from a more fervid religion. The services of the Church of England, though moulded to a certain extent by the temperament of the race which uses them, have even to that race, now that its religious feelings have been quickened, begun to seem somewhat wearisome and formal, and they would probably be changed, if it were not for the fear of getting into awkward theological discussions. To the temperament of Irishmen they are utterly and hopelessly unsuited; and, as it seems to us, Birnam Wood will come to Dunsinane again before the Irish people leave the passionate worship of their own church to attend the sober but somewhat tedious celebration of the Order for Morning and Evening Prayer. Even among the Protestant congregations themselves there is an evident listlessness through the Liturgy. The only part of the service for which they care much appears to be the sermon, to which they listen attentively, if it is delivered in the style which suits their tastes, and, generally speaking, does not suit ours.
The Irish Celt is not naturally disinclined to Protestantism, any more than the Welsh Celt or the Celt of the Highlands, provided that it be Protestantism of a fervid and enthusiastic kind. It is by touching on this string that the Irish missions have been to a certain extent successful. Their success is in no degree due to the existence of a Tudor establishment in Ireland. They are alien in fact to the spirit of that establishment. They are essentially private enterprises supported by Protestant enthusiasm, and emanating, to a great extent, not from Ireland, but from this country. Whatever they may be worth (a question which we are not called upon here to discuss), they would go on just as well, or probably better, if the Establishment ceased to exist to-morrow.
As to the character of the Protestant clergy themselves, and of the flocks dependent on their care, it has improved from the very moment when, by the passing of Catholic Emancipation, the Protestant Church lost something of its dominant character; and there is no reason to doubt that it would improve still more if political support were still further withdrawn, and a spiritual community were left still more to rest upon its spiritual merits.
It is almost needless to specify the universal saving clause which accompanies all just measures of change. To touch the incomes of the existing clergy is what nobody has proposed, and nobody would propose. They are the more entitled to have their vested interests scrupulously respected, since, though their church has made no progress towards becoming national, they are themselves unquestionably far better than their fathers. In truth, some of them are so good and so zealous, that we may be pretty sure that the fault lies in the institution itself, and therefore that the case is past hope. Nothing can place the interests of the existing clergy in any peril except so obstinate and prolonged a resistance as might lead to a violent and vindictive revolution.
ART. II.-KINGLAKE'S INVASION OF THE CRIMEA.
The Invasion of the Crimea, its Origin, and an Account of its Pro
gress down to the Death of Lord Raglan. By Alexander William Kinglake. Vols. I. and II. "Edinburgh and London :
Blackwood and Sons. 1863. Lettres du Maréchal de Saint Arnaud. Paris : Michel Lévy Frères.
1855. Letters from Head- Quarters on the Realities of the War in the
Crimea. By an Officer of the Staff. Third edition. London:
Murray. 1858. The Story of the Campaign of Sebastopol, written in the Camp.
By Lieut.-Col. E. Bruce Hamley, Captain Royal Artillery. With Illustrations drawn in Camp by the Author. Edinburgh and
London: Blackwood and Sons. 1855. Précis Historique des Opérations Militaires en Orient de mars
1854 à octobre 1855. “Par A. du Casse, Chef-d'Escadron d'Etat
Major. Avec Cartes et Plans. Paris : E. Dentu. 1857. Atlas Historique et Topographique de la Guerre d' Orient en 1854,
1855 et 1856; entrepris par ordre de S. M. l'Empereur Napoléon III; rédigé sur les Documents officiels et les Renseignements authentiques recueillis par le Corps d'Etat-Major; gravé et publié par les soins du Dépôt de la Guerre, S. Exc. le Maréchal Vaillant étant Ministre de la Guerre, et le Colonel Blondel
Directeur du Dépôt de la Guerre. 1858. MR. KINGLAKE has enjoyed great advantages in the composition of his history. Six years ago Lady Raglan intrusted him with the whole of her husband's papers, including the reports addressed to the commander-in-chief by his subordinates, and his correspondence of all kinds, with sovereigns, ambassadors, generals
, adventurers, and personal friends. Not only would it “seem as though no paper addressed to the English head-quarters was ever destroyed," but all this mass of matter was found to be arranged in perfect order. What, therefore, Lord Raglan knew, Mr. Kinglake knows. This has not been all. Information has " poured in upon him” from all quarters; and nowhere has he found any Englishman who has wished to conceal either our errors or shortcomings. The French wardepartment was, however, not unnaturally indisposed to allow its archives to be examined by “ a gifted friend” of Mr. Kinglake's. To have done so would have been to lend a quasi-official character to his statements; which, considering the temper in which he scrutinises every thing which emanates from the French authorities, would have proved, now that his book has been published, to say the least, extremely embarrassing. But surely the “ most courteous, clear, and abundant answers” which he has received from every French commander whom he has interrogated, and still more, the despatch to this country of an
accomplished soldier” of great experience to make clear to him some of the French operations, might have saved the Imperial government from the charge of “ concealment.” From Russia he received a translation of the narratives of the three generals of division who commanded under Prince Mentschikoff at the Alma. And besides all this, Mr. Kinglake is obviously brimming over with that sort of story which circulates in society on the best authority,--authority which is, of course, anonymous, but may well tremble to learn that it has been recorded by the historian in black and white, and will hereafter be revealed on the house-top as the source of his statements. This vast mass of material, it is needless to say, has been digested into a brilliant narrative, which conclusively proves its author a consummate-rhetorician. It is not meant that he is altogether deficient in the qualities necessary to the historian. Many of the highest of them,-an ardent love of truth and justice, and the power of welding facts into their proper historical connexion, though too often warped and perverted by his violent personal hatreds and partialities,—he unquestionably possesses in a high degree. But these are obscured, overweighted, choked, by his powers as a rhetorician. Thus the principal feature of his book is its style. We are made to feel that we are in the hands of a great master of words. Every thing must be formed into a picture. Every body must be painted with all his accessories; and masterly as these portraits are, they are out of place when the battle of the Alma halts, in order that we may learn the birth, education, life, and even bodily defects, of each officer whom there is occasion to name.
every statement must be placed before the reader in its most perfect form; and as Mr. Kinglake's art is not of that highest kind which conceals itself, even his simplicity,—and his narrative can, when he chooses it, be very simple,-comes at last to seem studied and affected; so that it may well be doubted whether, while there is scarcely a passage in these volumes which, separately quoted, would not seem an admirable piece of writing, they have really been improved by the six years' labour he has bestowed upon them. For all smells of the lamp; and, under the influence of the terror with which he is said to regard the author of Eothen, his style has been polished and decorated, until, unlike Gibbon's in