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for human guilt, that the Father might cause our spirits to be enlightened and sanctified at once, and our bodies to pass at once into heaven, without tasting of death, were such his pleasure. But the wisdom which has determined that our victory over spiritual death should be by means of a various and protracted warfare, has arranged that victory over natural death should be through the passage of the grave. Thus a new character attaches to this event, when viewed in connexion with the second Adam, instead of being regarded merely in its relation to the first. From the one, this enemy derives all that power which has rendered him the king of terrors ; by the other, the foe has been deprived of his main strength, and rendered comparatively and ultimately harmless.
Hence the Christian is taught to regard THE SEPARATIONS OCCASIONED BY DEATH AS PARTS OF A GREAT PLAN, THE ISSUES OF WHICH WILL BE ALTOGETHER BENEVOLENT. These separations, we have seen, are many, various in their character, and often painful beyond expression; and it is impossible that we should be satisfied as to the benevolence of their design, unless assured that all their evil will be indeed surpassed by the good to which they lead. The pains of the process must be exceeded by the pleasures of the result. What, then, has religion to place in the balance against separation from the intimate connexions, the endeared possessions, and the much-loved pursuits of the present world? We answer, enough, and greatly more than enough, to turn the scale in its favour. Its design is to prepare believers for a better fellowship, a richer heritage, and more exalted pursuits than can be realized on earth. If the servant of God be taken from the less, it is that he may enter upon the possession of the greater. He has to experience a dissolution of the most tender ties connected with present existence, but it is that he may ascend to the more felicitous relationships of the heavenly world. If taken from much on earth, it is that he may receive to himself a kingdom which cannot be moved. He has to relinquish pursuits, which may have served to beguile his saddest hours, and have ministered not a little of innocent and sincere delight; but it is that his sympathies may be given more entirely to others, the pleasures of which exceed whatever the mind may now conceive. This is the end of his vocation, and the believer would not live for ever at the cost of being for ever estranged from it. Hence the desire of the Apostle to depart and to be with Christ. Hence his exultation-I count not the sufferings of this present life as worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us. These light afflictions, which are but for a moment, work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory!.
· Believers are often strengthened in contending against the fear of death, by learning to view submission to it as AN ACT OF OBEDIENCE, HAVING RESPECT BOTH TO GOD AND MAN. Shall we receive good at the Lord's hand, and shall we not receive evil? If we bless him as having set his glorious kingdom before us, shall we rebel against him because of the way which leads to it? Is it not enough that he has called us to an eternity of greatness and happiness while deserving to perish; but must we murmur because time also is not free from the painful and the humiliating ? Has he saved us from spiritual death, and shall we deem it a severity that we must submit to natural death? Has he rescued us from the sleepless horrors of the lost, and shall we charge him foolishly because of the brief repose allotted us in the tomb? Did he deliver his beloved Son to die the death of the cross, that he might thus testify the evil of sin, even while removing it; and shall we hesitate to go down to the grave, if thereby we may do homage to our great Benefactor, and testify to the same truth?
Among the most obvious of our religious duties is the effort to bring our rebellious nature into willing subjection to the great law of mortality. The astonishment is not that our entrance into heaven must be preceded by a life of conflict, and a death so humbling and painful, but rather that there should be any process, however great its debasement or suffering, that may lead to a result so truly wonderful. The nature which has permitted the afflictions of life, has permitted the reign of death, and both for the same reason, that Christians, by meeting them in the spirit enjoined upon them, may glorify their Father who is in heaven.
• Nor is this an act of obedience having respect to God only. The relation in which we are placed to each other, is such as to make it incumbent upon us to guard against all desire of exemption from this general law. If it be so, that as face answereth to face in a glass, so doth the heart of man to man, it would seem to follow, that if affliction, or death, be made to have their place in the lot of any, they should belong to the lot of all. And who could really wish to be an exception-especially in the latter respect ? Every such wish must be a violation of that law which says, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. It must proceed from that inordinate selfishness which the great law of equity condemns. The greatest men, and the best, have alike submitted to the stroke which separates us from the earth ; leaving no plea to be urged in behalf of our own respite or acquittal, which might not have been better urged in the case of others. The precept which requires us to prefer one another in honour, prohibits the faintest wish to escape from those dishonours of the tomb to which all flesh has been doomed. In this manner, those fraternal sympathies which should bind man to his nature wherever found, and which the spirit of filial submission to the divine will must ever strengthen, all assist in reconciling the mind to an event in itself so grievous and unwelcome.'
pp. 380—384. And now our readers will be able to form their own judgement of the Volume which we have much satisfaction in commending to their notice.
Art. VI. Address to the Land-Owners of England, on the Corn Laws. : By Viscount Milton. Second Edition. 8vo. pp. 46. London.
1832. THERE is no public man of the day to whom the honourable
1 title of patriot more rightfully belongs, than the noble Author of this pamphlet ;--no one whose integrity of purpose, entire sincerity, and excellence of intention will be more readily admitted
by all parties. His opinions may be deemed too liberal,-on some points extreme, or even dangerous. To his own party, if he can be considered as belonging to any, his straight-forwardness, his habit of thinking for himself, with some degree of inflexibility, have sometimes been a little inconvenient. By the Tory party, he is both feared and disliked. But all must acknowledge the virtuous consistency of his character; and few will venture to call in question the patriotic aim of his public conduct. Unlike some champions of liberal principles, who are patriots in the senate, and tyrants in their own territory, Lord Milton is the same man in Yorkshire that he is in the metropolis ; and his private conduct is governed by his public opinions.
His object, in the present appeal to the land-owners of the country, is to shew, that the corn laws are unjust in principle ;that they have not answered the purpose of protecting the agriculturist ;--and that their only result is, 'to confer the fraction
of a benefit upon one, and that, the wealthiest class of the nation, and to do unmixed evil to every other class. Whether he is right or wrong, no one can say that the Heir of Wentworth is biassed by a regard to his own private interests in advocating this view of the subject.
If there be one topic that, more than another, demands to be investigated with dispassionate and impartial attention, it is that of the laws which are supposed to be necessary for the protection of the agricultural interest. But upon no one point have selfinterest and party clamour so completely precluded calm discussion and sober argument. The very word, corn-laws, has something in it inflammatory of the passions. For want of other materials of seditious excitement, the Conservatives are now endeavouring to stir up a reaction against the present administration, (the most aristocratic that has been seen for this fifty years,) by representing its policy as hostile to the agricultural interest, from which, as land-owners, its members derive their revenues. If the corn-laws have the effect of keeping up the price of corn, and thereby keeping up rent, who can have better reason to wish them to be perpetuated, than the great Whig families who are identified with the present cabinet ?
It is not our intention, in the present article, to go at large into this most important and intricate inquiry. Lord Milton's pamphlet is chiefly occupied with the statement of some very startling facts, tending to shew, that the golden reign of high prices was at all events not a time of increased prosperity to the labourer in husbandry.
• Did the period of the so called agricultural prosperity, which is supposed to have reached its highest pitch in the year 1810, really bring comfort into the cottage of the labourer ? Did it give him a greater demand over the first necessary of life? Did it enable him to obtain something beyond the necessaries of life, and thus to raise himself in the scale of society? To those landowners who took advantages of the times, and to those tenants whose landlords did not, I know well that it brought wealth ; but whether it brought comfort to the labourer, except in districts where enclosures, or other improvements, which cannot be repeated, were in actual progress, is a very different question. It is, nevertheless, a question which must be solved, before we can determine whether agricultural prosperity can be truly predicated of that period of our history. Summon, therefore, into your presence, the men who are old enough to remember those times, and who are both able and willing to give you an account of their then condition. Let these enquiries be made in various situations. Make them in districts of old enclosure - make them in districts of open field -make them in the North, and in the middle, and in the South of England, excluding only those particular spots where such improvements were in actual progress, as, when once finished, cannot be repeated. If your enquiries are so conducted, I am much mistaken, if you will not find that the boasted period of agricultural prosperity was, to the labourer, a season of distress--and the one, during which he began to fall from his former station to that lower condition, to which we now see him reduced in many parts of England.'-pp. 13–15.
His Lordship proceeds to substantiate this representation, by comparing the average price of wheat, and the average rate of wages, at different periods; and he shews, that, taking the weekly consumption of wheat in a labourer's family at two-thirds of a bushel, the surplus wages which would remain to the labourer after paying for that requisite portion of food, was the greatest in 1814, when the price of wheat was under 9s. 6d. a bushel, and the least in 1810, when the alleged agricultural prosperity was at its acme, and the price of the bushel was upwards of 138. In the former year, the wages of agricultural labour in Northamptonshire, were 14s.; the price of two-thirds of a bushel, 6s. ld.; leaving the labourer a surplus of 78. 11d. In the latter year, he received only 10s. in wages; the price of two-thirds of a bushel was Rs. 10d.; leaving a surplus of only 1s. 2d. The Writer then compares the average excess of wages, estimated in the same way, during different periods or cycles of five years; and proves, that the period which is uniformly cited as that of the greatest agricultural prosperity, 'was precisely that in which
the surplus income of the labourer was the smallest, and conse
quently that in which the comforts of the agricultural popula'tion were the most abridged.'
We do not see how the general conclusion which Lord Milton draws from these calculations is to be evaded. There is one circumstance, however, which, though it may not materially affect the correctness of the data, must be taken into account in judging of the actual condition of the labourer at the respective pe
wagen consumulhe surplures that reale of web alleged as he was abour in
riods: we refer to the amount which he received in the shape of parochial allowance in addition to his wages. This, it would be very difficult to ascertain ; but it forms an important element of the inquiry.
Having considered the effects of high price upon the great mass of the agricultural population, consisting of labourers, Lord Milton proceeds to expose the situation in which the agricultural tenantry, the owners of farming stock, have been placed since the passing of the Corn law of 1815; the express object of which statute was, to keep the average price of wheat at, or as near as possible to 80s. a quarter. Between 1815 and 1822, the farmer experienced the most extraordinary fluctuations in the price of his merchandize; fluctuations arising in part from the variations of the seasons; in part, unquestionably, from variations in the currency ; but, to whatever cause attributable and we have never seen an adequate and satisfactory explanation of all the circumstances, --shewing the utter inefficiency of the Cornlaws to protect the farmer against too low, or the consumer against too high a price.
. In the Spring of 1817, wheat sold at 120s. a quarter ; in the Winter of 1821–2, it sold at less than 40s. a quarter; the average of the year1817 being 94s., and that of 1822 being 43s. The highest price in Oxford, at Lady-day, 1817, was 148s.; at Michaelmas, 1820, 66s.; at Michaelmas, 1822, 52s. a quarter. The consequence of this state of things cannot have escaped your recollection. Great difficulties had been felt by the agricultural interest in 1814, 15, and 16; but the difficulties of all former years were surpassed by the distress of the Winter of 1821-2. The insolvency of tenants, at this period, was unparalleled in the history of the agricultural classes, and the inefficacy of the Act of 1815 was so universally acknowledged, that an alteration in the law was made in the Session of 1822 ; but the alteration being contingent upon circumstances which never occurred, no permanent practical change took place till the year 1828, when the present system was adopted. During the period, therefore, from 1815 to 1828, the prohibitory system of 1815 was in virtual operation. How far it secured you from a diminution of rental, your tenants from insolve cy, and your estates from injury, every landholder in England can testify. I am here, however, principally entreating your consideration of the effects produced upon the agricultural capital of the country. Year after year, the value of the farmer's produce had been diminishing, till it fell to little more than half the price at which Parliament considered that he could be remunerated for his industry. Year after year, he was deluded by fallacious hopes, excited by the law itself; his rent was paid out of his capital instead of out of his profits, till that capital became insufficient for the proper cultivation of the land, and then you yourselves began to feel the calamity, by which many of your tenantry had been already overwhelmed. Compare, then, the situation of that tenantry, under the protection of the