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pestilential activity, and it is here that the emissaries of irreligion find the harvest the most abundant. They are easily instigated to resistance and rebellion in the chance of bettering their condition. Though they may be in fact neither worthy of, nor qualified for a higher allotment in life, the pernicious doctrines they have imbibed, dispose them to envy and hate those, who are more prosperous than themselves. They complain of persecution, simply because they want power to persecute. They demur to the arrangements of Providence, and impute their need as a crime to their fellow-citizens,... an overlooking of their deserts; and deeming themselves capable of filling a more exalted position, they are ripe to enact any atrocity, pointing to that consummation, which the march-of-intellect men may put them upon. These are the classes, who, already of opinion that “the world is not their friend nor the world's law,” are sedulously taught that the physical force is in their hands, till they feel persuaded, that it is only owing to their own want of combination, that the more affluent portion of their countrymen retain the power to oppress and hold them subordinate.
Coexistent with this state of things, is the stimulus produced by the growth of the manufacturing system. The wealth and activity thereby generated throughout the country, have, we apprehend, a deteriorating moral effect upon that most valuable portion of the community of which we are now treating.
The wisdom of this world, ... that we mean which is obtruded by the hurry of business and refinement of society—is counterpoised in some degree to the wealthy by the intellectual cultivation which it superinduces. But with the bulk of the people, on the other hand, the dazzle remains unmitigated, and the evil is aggravated by that perverted knowledge, derived from their vicinity to enjoyments, in which they are not allowed to participate, ... the juxtaposition of their severe privations to almost wilful extravagance; and thus a completeness of intuition with respect to vicious and seductive gratifications, is often found to cohere with a state of moral ignorance, which an inhabitant of Central Africa would deem incredible, and of which he would be ashamed. To such melancholy degradation the labouring classes are peculiarly exposed. Their cupidity is continually excited... their principles often corrupted, and we cannot close our eyes to the dangers with which such a state of society is pregnant; and which, on the first outbreak, would make themselves fatally evident. As we have said, these men are made aware of their numerical strength, and are experienced in all the details of combination. They are under little or no restriction from the laws, administered as they are by the identical individuals, who, by their inflammatory harangues in and out of Parliament, have been for the last few years fomenting the spirit of disaffection amidst a thronged population, and instigating them to the assault of the most venerable institutions of the country; in whose hand the truncheon of authority is weak as a rush,.. and what is worse, is known to be so.
Since, then, the laws afford no security, and that incipient traitors in every direction are encouraged by the pusillanimity of a government, which has almost abdicated its functions, perhaps they may be placed under some moral restraint from the stringent influence of religious principle ? Not in the least. Never was there such extreme moral weakness, such sinfulness in every degree, and throughout all the relations of a society, made up of harsh transitions, contrasted circumstances, and discordant interests. “ The blood of wholesome kindred is infected.” A low and defective standard of christian principle prevails, ... a dead sleep of indifference. Duty is an empty sound throughout all classes. Look to the records of our police, and of our courts of law. Recur to the scandalous trials that are heard there. What proofs of depravity, setting the whole world specific examples of impurity! Who does not feel called upon, as was the prophet of old, to “smite with the hand, and to stamp with the foot, and cry, Alas, for all the evil abominations !" The rich vie with one another in state, and the vainest exhibition of mere worldliness ... the ostentation of an unsanctified prosperity... unmindful of the misery and distress of those, who revolve within the sphere of their influence. But here, is not the usefulness of the Clergy often found wanting in the balance ? Their torpor and indifference to what is going on around them must be overcome. It behoves them no longer to fold the hands in slumber, but to buckle on the whole armour of God. We want a warning voice to cry aloud unceasingly, “Who is on the Lord's side? Who?"... to sound over the high places of the earth; to rouse the opulent, the noble and the mighty to a sense of the awful responsibility involved in the bounty of heaven. Absorbed in the idolatries of this world, they are contracting a guilt deep and damnatory. They are in the condition of the people accursed by Jehovah,--"She did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal." (Hosea ii. 8.)
It is hard to say whether by the daily operation of their example, or dereliction of all superintendence, they most give occasion to that appalling profligacy and abomination, in which the labouring classes, as well in the haunts of the manufacturing districts, as in the metropolis, are deeply immersed. “ This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall
For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy ; without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof : from such turn away.
For the eradication of this train of complicated evils, there would appear to be no other corrective or orvietan than what may be supplied by spiritual self-conceit. The plain and solemn truth must be spoken out, that in default of some extraordinary demonstrations of zeal on the part of the Clergy of the Established Church ... for a manifestation of which on a partial scale we have only space to refer with almost unqualified approbation, to the Report of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge; ...in default of seizing some such opportunity to increase through the land the facilities for attending on the ordinances of religion, in order to stem the vast tide of human depravity, which the vortex of society sets in motion ;. ..in default of carrying out “ The Proposals ” of the Lord Bishop of London, from the furthest extremities to the heart of the empire, we know of no resource, save in calling in the two-edged sword of the conventicle, and trusting to the doubtful and dangerous specific of fanaticism. At all events, the deteriorating process, now going on in the kingdom, must be reversed by the steady intervention of religious feeling; or, however prosperous she may seem to the eye of this generation, her days are as surely numbered, as the glory of Babylon was, when the Mede was at the gate. Fair and entire is the external surface of society, but its moral foundations are silently crumbling from beneath it,
“ Desinat elatis quisquam confidere rebus
Instabilisque Deis, ac lubrica Numina discat."
And then,“ when mischief shall be upon mischief; when the law shall perish from the Priest, and counsel from the Ancient; when the King shall mourn, and the Prince shall be clothed with desolation; and when the pomp of the strong shall cease, Ye SHALL KNOW THAT HE IS THE LO D THAT SMITETH.”
Our plethoric health may be the hectic which precedes dissolution. The canker is already at work. That canker we pronounce to be the infidel and republican doctrines, so zealously promulgated by an irresponsible press.
Every modification of society will work out for itself a correspondent literature, which bears the stamp of its character, and “shows the very age and body of the time, his form and pressure." We have fallen on an age when the wide and cheap diffusion of what are called liberal opinions, .. i. e. opinions incompatible with the existence of Monarchy and a Church Establishment,-is a fiery meteor, like to that which perplexed the nation, as the reign of Charles the Martyr more nearly touched the civil earthquake, that signalized its close. But in these latter days the very general extension amongst the lower classes of the faculty of reading, adds a tenfold awe to the portentous appearance
of the political horizon, “ with lawless horrors bright.
The schoolmaster is indeed abroad, and who shall assign a limit to the pretensions set up by his disciples ? Glamis ! Cawdor! King! However the phases of the world may seem to change, there is in reality nothing new under the sun ! Wickedness is never superannuated, but is always innately the same; the genus is perennial; and the human mind is only a sort of barrel-organ, set to a few definite tunes, so that the history of the times deceased will commonly to the eye of observation figure out the future. Ambition and encroachment, under one modification or another, present the same essential features in every cycle or ellipse of changes. In every age men seem born to be deluded and to delude.
« Le monde est et sera toujours grue autant que jamais.” At one era it has been the sceptre, in another the crozier ; in these latter days, and in this nation of shopkeepers (as Napoleon, we believe, too truly characterized us), perhaps the yard-measure may not unaptly represent the fasces of that most unpatriotic and levelling species of authority, whose triumph we see cause to apprehend, ... in whose favour, after having practically disfranchised the higher classes, and discontented the millions... here creating disgust, there resentment, (raūr' datoriav, Taūt ópyny éxei)* —after having widened the basis of government, and opened the sluices closed by the superior wisdom of our ancestors, we think, like Canute, with a breath,... a trite citation from that Holy Volume, so little heeded, to stay the advancing floods. Having already yielded so far to the sordid spirit of their money-amassing pretensions, who, we should be glad to learn, is to set a limit to the extent of their to forecast the remote consequences of its exercise ?... who to guarantee us against the immediate issue? Is it one of those impious men sensu politico) who, installed on high, are hand and glove with the sworn defamers of all that is dear to England, and which have made her the marvel of the world ? Why, the solemn covenant of the blind destructive instruments, that “ not even wise to do evil, and to do good have no knowledge,” will yield no more fruit for the time to come, than
may be looked for from the “ Titan bully” of an American forest, “ towering in all the dusky magnificence of guilt," which, root and branch, the angry lightnings have withered.
It is to be hoped in charity, that ministers are only essaying their Mithridates upon the patience and simplicity of the people, and that they have no real wish to tamper with the integrity of the constitution. “They do but jest, poison in jest ; no offence i' the world.” But they ought to be told, the marasma that entereth a single limb of the body politic, will eventually
power ?... who
* Demosth. in Philip. IV.
corrupt the entire mass of blood. Beyond a question, by their experiments, de die in diem, they are inuring the country to the perilous opinion, that vested interests are not, per se, sacred and inviolable. By inculcating a contempt of all prescriptive titles, they leave but a step to the subversion of property, whatever its description may be. The laws, which ascertain to each man the fruit of his individual industry,... the laws, by which every gentleman in the land holds the estate transmitted to him by his ancestors, are the title by which the property of the Clergy is secured to them. Our official empirics are, in fact, paving the way for that daring plan of revolution, not only in doctrine and worship, but in the law of primogeniture and inheritance, meditated and concocted in the Radical pandemonium. Indeed, they had better have a care. The spring may be strained beyond its strength, nor can they foretell how far the zeal of republicanism and infidelity may outstrip their own intentions. Poisons are ambiguous agents to work with ;... the expectations and violence of injudicious and impatient assistants may pervert the operation, and their efficacy for destruction may be fatally evidenced by a slight excess in their use. Let the king's advisers recollect, that
Fall on the inventors' heads !" Let them be assured that they are not to be trusted to prescribe, what they may fancy innocuous remedies; and that the health of the constitution, bequeathed us by our ancestors, is too precious a deposit to be subjected to their daily doses of innovation. They are incompetent to take a comprehensive view of the dangers to which the disturbing force of passion and interest expose the Church ; and are so actuated by party spirit, as to be under an incapacity of discerning what she requires at this day of her trial, at the hands of philosophic statesmen. In meddling with great affairs, their imbecility, combined with presumption, have already wrought incalculable mischief; and, unless they speedily find their level, cannot fail to do more. Were they true to that Protestant Establishment, beneath whose venerable shade they were rocked and dandled into legislators, and qualified to construct that parricidal cabinet, whose exalted prestige constitutes their sole distinction, and which alone gives them authority over abler and better men, . were they sincere believers in the immaculate Articles of our Church, of which it is not possible, considering their sacrilegious deeds and omissions, to help entertaining some doubts; even so, their shallow minds are not of a calibre to embrace the necessities of their position. It hath not pleased Providence to endue them with capacities commensurate to the reception of a subject, utterly beyond the grasp of their intellects, and which their