« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
efforts to compass, at once abortive and insincere, only betray to the cognizance of the world. Political coxcombry, and political sagacity, are not convertible terms. If it be difficult, as confessedly it is, to form an effective regiment out of volunteers, who have neither studied the principles nor profited by the practice of war, it were next to impossible to exalt a junta of men into legislators, whose lives are ill disciplined, even where their minds happen to be tolerably stored. We apprehend it to be the case, that certain esprits à facettes have found admittance into the cabinet; but we do not believe there remains a single individual amongst his Majesty's advisers, who, in the present critical position of affairs, foreign and domestic, is gifted, (to use the words of Marmontel,)" avec la facilité à saisir les petits détails ou la capacité pour embrasser l'ensemble."
Let us, however, guard ourselves from any misapprehension. We know well that the world is a scene of changes; so that, in the words of Cowley,
"To be constant in nature were inconstancy."
The mechanism of all human institutions is only calculated to endure for a season, and is obnoxious to perpetual renovation. If those institutions would answer any useful end, they must chime in with the tone of society, accommodate their polity to the successive phases of the universe, and not set themselves in proud and haughty defiance of the progressive tendencies, or even idiosyncracies of the age in which they flourish. A statesman should take example of the Indian, who will turn the feather in which he prides himself to another light, that he may give it the better gloss. It is sorry stubbornness to linger behind the rest of the world, gathering of pebbles on the shoals of time, till the setting in of a spring-tide precludes the possibility of retreat. To be practised in the policy of concession, is the bounden duty of every institution; and it is, to say the least, as incumbent on the ecclesiastical, as on any mere secular establishment, to conform to the irrevocable fiat of events. It were ill-fitting that any church of Christ, where peace and goodwill are meant to be proclaimed to a devout congregation, should present the formidable aspect of a martilla tower,... an armed fortress standing out in a solitude, putting men in mind of the description which the historian gives of the temple of Jerusalem: Templum in modum arcis.'
At the same time it should be borne in mind, that on the nice balance of the two principles of permanency and improvement, suspended often by too slender a thread, depends the quiet and well being of the entire community. If the heads of
*Tacitus, Hist. v. 12.
the Church (infected by panic, or carried away by that mysterious sympathy with the prevalent tendencies of an age, which at times will overcome the strongest minds), disregard the quivering of the equipoise, and permit the former to be wanting in the scale;... if, standing in the breach, they compromise in a single iota the fundamental principles of the constitution, doctrine, or discipline of the Anglican Church, for the sake of currying favour with the multitude, or of strengthening their alliance with the civil government; ... if they cling not to her remaining immunities, or weakly refine away aught that may be a stumbling-block to the foolish, it were to open the floodgates of heresy and schism, and to desert a post,... beyond which they ought to be aware that they will find no footing,... a post, to which they are called by God himself; on the defence of which is staked, in our firm belief, the salvation, temporal and eternal, of unborn millions, and which, therefore, both conscience and duty,... and it irks us to add, common prudence, alike call upon them to maintain.
It is under these circumstances,.. in this awful condition of the country, when millions of our ignorant fellow subjects, by the advancement and diffusion of bookish knowingness, are subjected to the "tender mercies" of an unshackled press, that we cast our humble offering "upon the waters." While Infidel and
Radical writers are scattering with pestilent activity the accursed seeds of treason and unbelief, we purpose devoting ourselves with, we trust, at least equally unweariable zeal to the holy cause of OUR KING, OUR COUNTRY, AND OUR GOD.
The press shall no longer exercise a deleterious influence upon the age we live in, and, like other tyrants, because he carries himself with a high hand, think to escape unquestioned.
We are a feeble instrument in a mighty hand, and by the blessing of Heaven the high heart of England shall no longer be struck at i' the dark. We would have her sit in heaven's sunshine, in other words, under the influence of the Bible. We would have her free, intelligent, and happy, for we have nothing in common with the cosmopolitan affectation of the day. We find the man, who in the abstract assumes to be a philanthropist on a grand scale, will play the tyrant in detail. If we are bigots in any thing, it is in love of our country, and there we are irreclaimable; being a bigotry with which we are inbred, both in blood and in brain, in all our thoughts and in all our feelings.
And therefore it is, that we think foul scorn, that wicked men should conspire night and day to overwhelm her, to reduce her to a spectacle far more deplorable than that of Herculaneum in ruins,... a moral entombment, from which there will be no reviviscence, and which will inevitably be her lot, if she continue not integral in all her British dominions, or if she dissolve her compact structure of CHURCH AND STATE.
Instal the Roman Catholic Bishop of Armagh in his episcopal chair, and repeal the Union," and it must follow as the night the day," that all rules and limitation be henceforth left arbitrary and varying.
The authority and revenues of the Church would soon come to be split amid swarms of Nonconformists, whose several species of government vie with each other in the absurdity of their constitution.
The Picts and Scots, the Principality and Yorkshire, would successively prefer a claim to set up for themselves, till the whole empire, shaken to dislocation, were resolved back into its integral provinces. This may read like mauvaise plaisanterie, but really it would almost seem that British statesmen were actuated now-a-days by a sort of inverted ambition, and that by night and day they were labouring to re-enact the kingdoms of the Heptarchy, such as they were, before St. Augustine landed on our shores. May this be denied them! but unto us be a safe security and speedy deliverance from impending evils!
Μὴ δῆτ, ὦ πάντες θεοὶ, μηδεὶς ταῦθ ̓ ὑμῶν ἐπινεύσειεν· ἡμῖν δὲ τοῖς λοιποῖς τὴν ταχίστην ἀπαλλαγὴν τῶν ἐπηρτημένων φόβων δότε, καὶ σωτηρίαν ἀσφαλῆ.*
For England there is no middle choice between her being the empress of the sea, the bulwark of religious liberty, the arbitress of nations, and taking rank, . ... we will not say below Sicily and Sardinia,...but beneath contempt. If ever that hour of desolation should arrive, we are well convinced that Great Britain will be a wilderness, tenanted, if tenanted at all, by some remnants of tyranny on the one side, and the dregs of wretchedness on the other, who will seem to live, as they do in hell, only to hate and curse each other.
But let us daff aside such unfilial fears. In the words of one of Wordsworth's noble sonnets
"It is not to be thought of, that the flood
* Demosth. de Cor.
Yes, Englishmen must be free or cease to exist. To use the language, which Demosthenes applied to the Athenians, "They are neither willing to be slaves, nor though they were, do they know how; for they have been accustomed to command."* In this conviction it is, that, in humble hope of merited success, we strike in with some of the wisest and most far-seeing of our fellow-countrymen, "faithful found among the faithless," to avert the destruction of all kinds of liberty arising from the decay of religion, and the subversion of our Protestant Establishment.
We trust that the influence of a presiding spirit will always be visible in our pages; that, above all, any want of charity, which we are aware is a most comprehensive word, may never with justice be laid to our charge. And do we deceive ourselves in believing that our respected contemporaries, who hitherto have borne the brunt of the battle against the unholy alliance of spiritual and political libertinism and papistry, will not disdain our feeble co-operation? We pretend not, "officious but not valiant," to say that we come to the rescue; but are solely impelled by an earnest desire to elevate our countrymen above the vapours and the storms which deform and disturb the moral hemisphere. We will transport them to academic bowers, and nooks made holy by sublime associations. We will accompany them
"To regions mild, of calm and serene air,
They shall hold converse with the mighty minds of the departed, with Plato and with Milton, with Taylor and with Bacon, till by long gazing they refine their admiration into the exquisite sensibility of moral instinct, and "Divine philosophy" and vital religion acquire an affinity with their feelings and immediate impulses to action. Then will lawlessness drop its painted veil, and the future be disburthened of its fear. It will be owned that the seat of LAW is the bosom of God. Her voice is that "heavenly harmony" first heard, when "this universal frame began." All things in heaven above, in the earth beneath, and in the waters under the earth, confess her providence and her power.†
"Continuo has LEGES, æternaque fœdera certis
Angels and man, and every crawling creature on this multitudinous globe, with one acclaim, acknowledge her the source of
ὅτι δουλεύειν μὲν ὑμεῖς οὔτ ̓ ἐθελήσετε οὔτ ̓, ἂν ἐθελήσητε, ἐπίστασθε· apxeiv yàp εiwoαre.-Demosth. Orat. de Chers.
"Il est incroyable," says a French writer, tout ce que Montesquieu a fait apercevoir dans ce mot si court, le mot LOI.”
peace and joy. Only let the sound of her voice be no longer audible... let it be drowned in discord and loud uproar...let sedition and tumult, fanaticism and impiety, blow their blasts in our ears, will it not be, as if the beasts and birds in Orpheus' theatre were to give full swing to their natural ferocity, insensible to the soft, sweet and melting airs of his lyre?
We call upon the public, we call upon every man who would preserve, as above all price, the old domestic morals of the land, (and good God! what would Great Britain be but for her ten thousand consecrated hamlets?) to cheer and aid us in our voluntary way,... to come to the rescue of solemn institutions, assailed by the beatings without, and often betrayed by the secret workings within;.. institutions so truly English, wherein our wise forefathers, to guard against shock and mutability, embodied and established the eternal truths of salvation. Let all who feel a regard for the land of their birth, now avouch the mettle of their faith, by introducing to their domestic firesides, THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND QUARTERLY REVIEW.
True religion will beautify every spot, on which she pitches her lowly tabernacle. Such is the highest wisdom, such the departure from evil. We know that where the standard of christian knowledge is unfurled, there ignorance and prejudice, and all their attendant train of evils, cannot prevail
They vanish into air, into thin air.”
Talia si attigerit nihil, Editor amplius optat.
ART. II.-Lectures on the real Presence of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Blessed Eucharist, delivered in the English College, Rome, by NICHOLAS WISEMAN, D.D. Vol. I. Scriptural Proofs. London: Joseph Booker, 61, New Bond-Street. 1836. pp. 277.
SO much having already been written, and so much acrimony having been excited on this controversial subject, we scarcely expected that, in the present advanced state of biblical literature, any work would appear founding the Roman Catholic doctrine on scriptural proofs. We should not be authorized to complain, if these proofs were the results of fair and impartial criticisms; but when we find passages of similar construction forced from their obvious and direct signification, and arguments which are totally inapposite urged, whilst those, which are apposite, are denied without any demonstration of their futility, our duty impels us to submit its leading points to a strict and critical review.
As Dr. Wiseman makes the words of the Council of Trent (Sess. xiii. c. 4) the point which he undertakes to demonstrate,