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Mr. Selwyn, on the contrary, affirms that no point, either of controversy or of doctrine, is neglected; and our recollections certainly incline us to agree with him, and the extracts he has made from the Examination Papers do not warrant the conclusion of Mr. Thirlwall.
And now we would wish to address a few words to Professor Lee, who, after having made some remarks upon Dr. Turton's statement of the evil consequences arising from the attendance of Churchmen and Dissenters upon the same theological lectures, thus proceeds :
“Now I can find no such provision in this bill; on the contrary, it provides that degrees in divinity shall not be claimed under it, which seems to take for granted that no theological course of reading will be either given or required."
What! a clergyman of the Church of England—nay, a dignitary of the Church-a king's professor too-can he look so lightly upon religious education as to leave it a matter of doubt whether it be given or not? Can he look with complacency on such a system? Can he really urge its adoption?-a system which must place the children of his dissenting brethren for three years,
and years the most perilous--the years when the spirits are most buoyant, the judgment least strong-almost beyond the very pale of religion. 'Is there not in all this something very strange, very monstrous ?
In the picture which Dr. Turton has drawn of the evils arising from the system adopted at the Daventry Academy, the evils are exbibited in gigantic dimensions. The truth of the delineation has been admitted by his opponents, while they deny the faithfulness of the representation with regard to the Universities. We need not thank them for admitting that which it would be a hardihood indeed to deny, and we shall not be induced by their candour to give up one jot or tittle of the argument of the Dean of Peterborough. We allow that he has taken an extreme case, and we are sure he has done wisely in so choosing his ground. We, too, have assumed that the destruction of religion in the Universities will be the ultimate consequence of the admission of Dissenters; because we can see no hope that the question of admis. sion, if granted, will rest as the present advocates of the measure say
it will do; because we foresee that whenever any young men among the Nonconformists become distinguished among their fellow-students in the public examinations, another change must be effected in our collegiate establishments, and Fellowships must be awarded them. Their talents and their situation will then give an influence which will draw to their colleges the Dissenters of their own sect; claims to a share in the tuition cannot be re
jected, and the deformities of the Daventry system will be horribly realized.
But the advocates of the measure have said, that this is but a fanciful chimæra, and a state of things which it is impossible ever should occur. We wish we could believe it. For a moment we will; and then we will tell the Dissenters—and we speak from experience-send not your children to a place of education where the hope of reward is not the stimulus of exertion, and where religious instruction is positively denied them. The love of fame is a mighty incentive to human exertion, but the desire of obtaining the “ glorious privilege of being independent” is a noble one too, and without the hope of this happiness being offered to their grasp, many of the brightest characters which adorn the universities of our land would never have been numbered among
their members. Yet, under the proposed system, the Dissenter will be excluded from the influence of this latter motive; and, without this incentive, we from experience declare, that the education of the Dissenter will be to him profitless. Profitless, however, it will not be suffered to remain; other consequences must and will follow.
And here we conclude our remarks upon this great, this vital question—a question which must never be degraded into one of party politics, but ought to be viewed as we have viewed it, as one of religion only. And we urge its consideration upon all to whom the powers of thinking have been given-whether Churchmen or Dissenters-upon all who hold the principles of pure Christianity; for in this question the very existence of Christianity in this country is at stake. It has been pronounced to us that the Christian religion can never fail; and we have seen it overcome the bigotry of the Jew and the contemptuous persecution of the Roman, and survive the darkening superstitions and frightful tyranny of a false and usurping church; and, under all circumstances, for our own country will we indulge hope. But we can also point to other climes over which the standard of the Cross once waved triumphantly. Need we say how dejectedly and solitarily the Christian, if such there be, walks there now?' But what were the causes of this lamentable change? Let history tell. The reign of vice, the growth of infidelity, the neglect of God's word, the falling off from Christ-causes which we fervently hope may never spread their influence over our native land. The ravages of foreign conquest would not have been permitted, unless there had been also the canker of internal corruption. Divine Providence has never abandoned a Christian country, unless that country had first tampered with its Christianity.
Art. XII.- Report of the Society for promoting Christian Know
ledge for 1833. London: J. G. and F. Rivington. It is with no common feelings of solicitude, that we make the “ Society for promoting Christian Knowledge" an object of discussion :--nor would any consideration have tempted us to the task, but a keen and growing sense of the necessity, upon this, as upon other very important matters, of giving a clear and explicit statement of things as they exist. Nor let any of our readers. wonder, that we rank among very important matters the proceedings of this Society; for to the interests of the Christian church, and even the general wellbeing of mankind, we can discern nothing more important, when we consider the transcendent value, and glory, and holiness, of its design, the number and respectability of its subscribers, the vast extent of its transactions, the great amount of its accumulated funds, the progressive increase of its resources, and the close and anxious attention which is paid to all its operations. Yet, if it be much that many thousands of persons, the most dignified by their character, and the most inAuential from their station, have interested themselves in its prosperity; if it be much, that the income of the last year has exceeded the sum of 74,0001., and that the expenditure has been scarcely less; if it be much, that the diffusion of its spiritual benefits is stretching over the globe, and that the circulation of its books and tracts is to be reckoned by millions; if it be much, that these united causes have made the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge the first association of the religious world, there is still another circumstance which now invests it in our eyes with an even stronger interest than any, or than all, of these remarkable distinctions. It has become an epitome and mirror of the Church of England; the several parties, into which the church is divided, have lately chosen to gather and array themselves upon the platform of its room in Lincoln's Inn Fields; and they can be more accurately marked from their concentrated position, and the smallness of the stage. The conflict of British Theology will, in all probability, be fought upon its arena ; and as the issue is in the Society, so, we think, will the issue be in the national church. On this account it is, that we turn with a peculiar intensity of emotion to the past history and the present state of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge. : It will be our endeavour to regard measures rather than men, things rather than persons; to separate matters of primary and permanent, from minute details of passive and subordinate, interest; and also to observe the utmost candour and impartiality in our re
marks. We confess, however, that we write with a High Church bias;. and let that bias be taken into account.
Our limits. preclude us from referring at any length to the foundation and origin of this Society above a century ago. It is matter of notoriety, that the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge held from its beginning an orthodox and distinctive character. Such a character was attributed to its publications ; such a character was attributed to its members; and, whether in affection or in obloquy, whether as a theme for eulogy or for dispraise, such a character was attributed to the Society itself. From its possession of such a character, its friends were more especially its friends, and its enemies were more especially its enemies. Other societies were founded upon other principles; as, for inştance, the Bible Society and the Religious Tract Society. From the reason of the thing, then, we should have expected, and from actual experience we know, that one class of religionists would forward their subcriptions, and affix their good wishes, to either of these last-named associations; and that the other class of religionists would attach themselves to the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge. . Nor can it be denied that, in point of fact, while the Society promoted Christian Knowledge in a wide and Catholic spirit of Christian charity, it still promoted it in accordance with the views of the High Church section among the members of the Establishment; and from that section in return, chiefly, if not entirely, it derived the sinews of its strength; it flourished from their donations; it was fostered by their bequests; it augmented and consolidated its resources from their liberality. In a word, from its very commencement, and for a long series of years, this Society was a High Church Society, and its funds were High Church funds ; because contributed by High Church men; and, to whatever extent its objects were peculiar and exclusive, contributed for High Church purposes. Such is still the case to a considerable degree ; but some alterations have occurred, and still more are likely to occur, we will not yet inquire whether for the better or the worse, from a diversity of causes which are sufficiently obvious. Within, new shades and modifications of opinion crept into notice : without, the march of events, the novel .channels of secular instruction, and the rapid development among the people of intelligence and intellectual activity, were thought to demand that a fresh vigour should be infused into the exertions of this great Christian body, and that its designs should be placed upon a wider basis. It has happened also that an irreconcilable dissension arose in the Bible Society; and, in consequence, many of its most valuable members seceded from the rival association, and threw themselves into the arms of the Society for promoting
Christian Knowledge. Hence, of late, there has been a prodigious influx of subscribers, coming partly as the reward of past utility, partly from the general growth of religious sentiments, and partly from the schism which had broken out in another quarter. It was plain, that several of these latter accessions would be actuated by feelings and motives somewhat different from those of the original members ; and, besides, that some temporary disturbance would be the natural result of this almost plethoric fulness, flowing, as it were, into the veins of the Society; as also from the ever increasing magnitude and multifariousness of its undertakings.
Hence a new æra seemed to open upon it. The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge has been met on its own ground by the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge. In the standing committee a liberal and middle party gradually assumed the lead, desirous, like all new parties, to organize new schemes: the old party, whose authority was displaced or impaired, could not enter cordially into their views; and, between them, that section of the church, which had hitherto despaired of pressing its own peculiarities of doctrine, began to think that its opportunity was come, and that there was "a tide in its affairs, which should be taken at the flood.”
Thus, mainly out of the success and grandeur of the Society, sprung up some potent elements of confusion and derangement. Thus schisms have arisen, and disputes have grown hot; the large room has been turned into a theatre for angry controversy; and to an unconcerned spectator it might have been a curious and not uninstructive sight to observe the violence of human passion only restrained from intemperate ebullitions by the kindlier strength of Christian impulses. Even now, although the atmosphere has been lulled into a comparative calm, the storm may burst out at any moment, and shake the Society to its centre ; and its managers, we should conceive, can have a position not much more comfortable, than if they sat upon a barrel of gunpowder, into which the dropping of one casual spark might cause an instant and universal explosion.
The blame of this disturbance we are not inclined to lay at the door of any individuals ; for the disturbing forces, we imagine, have been engendered by circumstances far too wide and various for individual control: and the disorder itself may have been an evil inseparable from some concomitant good, and more than counterbalanced by the good. But, having made these admissions, we shall proceed to offer our opinions very freely upon the actual position of the Society, and the parties which it contains.
Our task, however, is no easy one. There are so many mat