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the career of crime and revolution, majority of the nation, a firm constiin preference to that of order and tutional throne, and utterly extinreligion, if they think they can do guished the revolutionary faction. so with impunity to themselves. The It is success which makes such a spirit is strong in highwaymen for faction powerful, because it ranges robbery, and in assassins for the on their side the great but inert mass Fages of blood; in the brutal for in- of the people, ever ready to range toxication, in the lustful for plea- themselves with the stronger side; sure, in the indolent for ease, in the it is the concessions or weakness of sensual for gratification; and if go- their opponents which constitute vernments descend to such classes their real strength. And if Earl Grey for their supporters or directors, is not disposed to listen to so great they will find abundant reason to an authority even as Dumont on such believe tbat the “spirit of the age” a subject, perhaps he may feel more is in favour of the gratification of deference for his favourite political their passions. But if there is in guide, Napoleon Bonaparte. “ If every age a bad, there is also no less Louis XVI.,” said that great man, certainly a good spirit. The majo- “had boldly resisted if he had had rity eren in number, and a tenfold the courage, the activity, the ardour majority in courage, wisdom, and of Charles I., he would have triumphvirtue, are ever to be found who are ed."* not inclined to such indulgences, No doubt, if Earl Grey resorts to who have struggled with the tempt- the corrupted ten-pounders in great er, and come off victorious; who towns——to the spirit.dealers, wine look forward to the future, and pre- vaults, brothels, and alehouses of fer ultimate good to present enjoy. London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birments; the brave, the energetic, the mingham, or Edinburgh-if he takes industrious. They form the basis counsel of the Dissenting interest, or of public prosperity; the pillars on its active and bustling representawhich national honour, and safety, tives in the London Convocationand welfare depend. Catiline de- he will find abundant reason to beclared that the spirit of his age was lieve that the Church is in danger, adverse to the tyranny of the Patri. and that the Govercment itself would cians; and he spoke truly, doubto be in danger, if it attempted to upless, of his companions : but Cicero hold it. So also would he find the found the spirit of the age very dif- London Police in danger among the ferent in the Senate; and Cæsar at flash-houses and dens of iniquity in length demonstrated that it was in the Metropolis-—-or the wealihy and reality favourable only to military industrious part of the community despotism. In truth, the spirit of in danger, among robbers and vathe times, so far from being an irre- gabonds in every part of the world. sistible current, independent of the But where does be find evidence of exertions of human virtue, is liable there being any general feeling of to the strongest possible modifica- hostility to the Church, save in that tion from the effects of courage or single class, the urban ten-pounders, weakness, wisdom or folly, selfish whom he wakened up to political ness or magnanimity, firmness or im- life by the Reform Bill? Is it in the becility. Perhaps never did the House of Peers, where, according temper of the times appear more to his own admission, a great majovehement and unanimous than in rity is constantly ready to crush him, France at the outset of the Revolu. and, on a recent occasion, so overtion; and yet we bave the authority whelming a manifestation of attachof Dumont, the friend of Mirabeau, ment to the Establishment was made? and the author of the Rights of Man, Is it in the educated classes of sofor the assertion that its downward ciety ? Let Cambridge, the centre of progress was chiefly owing to the Whig property and talent-let Oxpersonal weakness of the King, and ford, the long established organ of that a more resolute monarch would the Tory interest, answer. Did he speedily have established, in con- find, in the recent enthusiastic informity with the wishes of a vast stallation of the Duke of Welling
* Las Casas, ii. 213.
ton as chancellor of the latter Uni. work with the elements of power as versity, any very decisive evidence they are now by law established. that the youth of England, the flower The Ministers have declared that of the State—the future Pitts and the pressure from without is too Chathams, Peels and Cannings, El. strong for them-that they must dons and Lyndhursts, Nelsons and yield to the spirit of the age, (i. e. of Wellingtons, have degenerated from the ten-pounders,) or perish; and the the spirit of their fathers ? Is it in they have issued a Commission to Glasgow that he finds it, where so enquire into the situation of the Irish and splendid a manifestation of Conser. Church, with the avowed design of the vative feeling was recently evinced, acting upon the report which may be on occasion of the great Western be anticipated from a body so conmeeting? or in Edinburgh and Leith, stituted, and commencing the ap- en where the Conservatives so stoutly propriation of what they deem the gave battle to the Attorney-General surplus property of the Establish: Nie and Lord Advocate, and at the greatment, to national purposes. To avoid dinner to Mr Learmonth, where misconstruction on so momentous a such a display of patriotic feeling subject, we subjoin the words of the took place ?_The truth cannot be Commission, from the London Gadisguised. The Church never was zette, and a few extracts from the stronger in the affections, the grati- speeches of Ministers on the subject, tude, and the virtues of society gene- taken, for the sake of impartiality, rally; and it neverat any former period from the Times newspaper. The was so deserving of their attachment: Commission are directed to enquire but unhappily that particular fac- into “ the number of members of, or, tion, the ten-pounders, to whom the persons in communion with, the United Reform Bill gave such monstrous Church of England and Ireland, in and undeserved power, is for the each benefice or parish, distinguishmost part adverse to it, because it is ing, in the cases of such benefices as in great part either depraved and comprise more than one parish, the corrupted, or governed by Dissenting number belonging to each parish sejealousy; and it is in them, and THEM parately, and to the Union collectALONE, that Earl Grey finds “ the ively, and also to state the distances spirit of the times," and the “pres- of the parishes in each union from sure from without,” to which he each other respectively; to state the ascribes the necessity of commen number and rank of the ministers becing the work of spoliation.
longing to or officiating within each But let it not be imagined, that benefice, whether rector, vicar, or because the Church is strong in the curate, and whether resident or nonaffections of the King and the Nobility resident, and whether there is a the better, if not the larger part of church or glebe-house thereon; to the House of Commons—the Church, state the periods at which divine the Law, the Army and Navy-be- service is performed in each parish cause it is enthusiastically loved in church or chapel, and the average Oxford and Cambridge, by the great number of persons usually attending est and wisest, the noblest and best the service in each, and to state geof the community-because its bless- nerally whether those numbers have ings are widely felt, and generally been for the last five years increasing, admitted by the landed proprietors, stationary, or diminishing ; to ascerthe tenantry, the rural labourers- tain the number of the several other because all the highly educated places of worship belonging to Roman classes of society are almost unani Catholics or Presbyterians, and other mous in its support—that therefore Protestant Dissenters, and the number it is safe from attack, and may se- of ministers officiating in each, the procurely despise the malice of its ene- portion of the population of each pamies. The British Constitution is rish belonging to each of such persudnot now swayed by the people, but a sions respectively, the periods at which part of the people—not by the wise divine service is performed in each of and the learned, but the vain and the their chapels, and the average number ignorant-not the men of property of persons usually attending the serand industry, but the men of intrigue vice in each, and to state generally and desperation. This was the result whether those numbers have been
the Reform Bill, and we must for the last five years increasing
stationary, or diminishing; to ascer ed by the Protestant Church of Iretain the state of each parish, with re- land was more than adequate to the ference to the means of education, the purposes to which it was originally number and description of schools, the devoted, &c., he would consider the kind of instruction afforded therein, question how that excess of wealth the average attendance at each, and might be best bestowed, not only the sources from which they are sup- for the sake of the Protestant ported, and to state generally when Church, but of the other interests of ther the numbers attending the same
the nation.'' have for the last five years been in This is pretty well, coming from creasing, stationary, or diminishing; the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to enquire generally whether ade- the Colonial Secretary, and another quate provision is now made for the Cabinet Minister in the House of religious instruction and for the ge- Commons. Earl Grey is equally neral education of the people of explicit in the House of Peers. He Ireland; and to report such other expressly said, that, "provided it circumstances connected with the appeared that a surplus existed, it moral and political relations of the might be applied to the other purChurch Establishment, and the reli- poses of the State, as the public exigious institutions of other denomi- gencies may require.” This is just nations dissenting from the Esta-, in effect admitting the principles of blished Church, as may bring clearly the French National Assembly, who into view their bearings on the ge
“ confiscated the property of the neral condition of the people of that Church to the purposes of the State, part of our said United Kingdom and took the clergy,charities, and educalled Ireland.”
cation of France, under the safe. Little doubt can remain as to the guard of the national honour.” We real object of this Commission, are not going quite so fast as our when the expressions quoted in ita more impetuous neighbours, indeed, lics are considered, and it is recol- but following precisely the same lected that it was issued by a Move- road, In vain may Lord Lansdowne ment Administration, in order to declare that he will “ never sanction avoid a collision with Mr Ward's the appropriation of the surplus motion, which was expressly to ap- Church revenues to any other than propriate “the surplus property” of pious and charitable purposes con. the Irish Church, as it is called, to the nected with the Establishment;" service of the State. But all doubt and Lord Brougham, as to the Cais removed by what Ministers said tholic Church having one single on the occasion. According to the fraction of a farthing of the fund, no report in the Times, “ Lord
Althorp noble Lord who sat on the opposite pronounced that it was 'unneces side of the House would more stren. sary for the House to declare an uously oppose such a measure than opinion on the first part of Mr himself;” and “ that the fund is to Ward's resolution,'-namely, that be applied to the purposes of educawhich asserted the power of Parlia. tion and charities belonging to the ment to deal with Church property Established Church.” These declas as the exigencies of the State might rations and restrictions will never alrequire.
ter the nature of the measure which « Lord John Russell avowed that is approaching; they will not dimiit would be absurd to appoint a nish one iota of the danger with Commission, if they were not really which it is fraught. Who is to be to deal with the surplus Church pro- the judge of the purposes to which perty' beyond the wants of the Pro- the surplus fund is to be applied ? testant population, if any such should who is to decide what is a due pro.. be found; and further, that the funds vision to the clergy, and what exof the Irish Church might be pro- tent of the property is to be deemed perly reduced, with a view to the surplus ? who is to decide whether purposes of moral education.' L.48 a-year is not enough for every
"In the reported speech of Mr parish priest, and L.300 a-year adeSpring Rice on the same occasion, quate for every Bishop, as the Conwe find, in substance, the following stituent Assembly did in dealing with words - - If it were proved to his sa the surplus property which they ac. tisfaction that the wealth now enjoy, quired from their greater ecclesias
tical spoliation ? who is to decide themselves unable to resist; and it whether a Protestant clergyman is was to avoid a collision with a manot to be suppressed, unless a jority supporting such a declaration, certain proportion, perhaps three that the Irish Church Commission fourths or four-fifths of the popula- was issued. The danger, therefore, tion are Protestant? Who is to decide is avowed and imminent; a majority what are the purposes of " educa- of the House of Commons, that is, of tion and charity” to which the sure the body holding the public purse, plus is to be applied ? whether it is has declared itself in substance in not to be the cramming the poor favour of the spoliation of the Irish with crude trash called political eco- Church, and an appropriation of nomy, instead of giving them the what portion of its revenues they Bible and the Prayer-book? whe- please to the purposes of the State ; ther a seminary, on the principle of and this intention is loudly applaud“excluding religion,” like the Lon- ed by the Radicals and Revolutiondon University, is not meant to be ists, the ten-pounders and demoset down in every county; and the crats, the Catholics and Dissenters, poor given out of the ecclesiastical the bankrupts and infidels, the profunds the means of reading the fligates and rakes, throughout the Times and the Morning Chronicle, State. It will require the utmost but neither the New Testament nor efforts of the united wisdom and the Liturgy? The answer to all probity, courage and virtue, rank these questions is the same. The and property, energy and activity,
Spirit of the Age,” in other words, learning and genius, of the Empire, the demands of the ten-pounders, to avert the danger, and stop this must be the rule and the measure of first great and decided step in revothe work of spoliation : and they lutionary confiscation. In any formwill soon discover that charity be er period of British history, we gins at home; that the “
purposes should not have had the remotest of the State” are the relief of its apprehension for the result; the now necessities; and that what “the pub- awakened feeling of all the respectlic exigencies require” is an ap- able and intelligent classes, would propriation of the revenues of the at once have given an immense maChurch to the wants of the Consoli- jority to the Conservative side in the dated Fund.
House of Commons, and another To do the Radicals justice, they lease of glory and prosperity would make no secret of their designs; and have been assured to England; but if the work of spoliation begins, and the Reform Bill has thrown these ends in a universal wreck of pri- classes into so obvious a minority, vate property, the rest of the people at least in the principal town consticannot accuse them of concealing tuencies, that it is impossible to contheir ultimate objects. Mr Ward template, without the utmost appre. expressly declared in the House of hension, the means of constitutional Commons, “ that the model of eccle- resistance which are still in their siastical Establishments, that which power, and assuredly it is only by all nations should strive to arrive at the greatest and most strenuous exwas that of modern France, where ertions on the part of all classes, and the clergy of all denominations were a total oblivion of all minor differpaid by the State, and no one could ences, that the victory can be obboast any preeminence over tained. other.” Here, then, we have propo The very act of issuing such a sed for the British people, in the Commission as the present, is utterly outset of their revolutionary move- subversive of any thing like an ecclements, the final issue of similar con- siastical establishment. If an envulsions on the other side of the quiry is to be made into the compaChannel ; and an open declaration rative number of Catholics and Prothat the total abolition of an Esta testants throughout Ireland, with a blished Church, or any peculiar view, doubtless, to the extinction or style of national faith, is the most suspension of the Protestant wordesirable of all consummations. It ship, except where the latter are a was the majority in favour of a mo certain proportion of the former, or tion prefaced by, and based upon to the application of the funds of this declaration, that Ministers felt the Church in such situations to
purposes foreign to religion, on what merly destined to the Catholic reliprinciple can a similar change be gion; that the authority of Govern, resisted in Great Britain ? In those ment transferred them to the Estadistricts where the Dissenters out- blishment of the Protestant faith, and number the Establishment, how, after that the same authority may recon. such a precedent, can their claims to vey them to their original destinabe liberated from ecclesiastical pay- tion. The answer to this is short ments, or have them diverted to the and decisive. The Reformation was endowment of their own pastors, be a complete Revolution in Church and resisted ? How are we to draw a dis- State ; it was ushered in by the most tinction between Tipperary and Hud- frightful acts of injustice, and accomdersfield, Queen's County and Hali- panied by a violent transfer of profax ? And if the possession of a nume-perty; and therefore it cannot be rical majority is to suspend or change appealed to by any party professing the direction of ecclesiastical pay- the remotest regard to order or conments, how soon, in a selfish and cor stitutional authority. If the Church rupted age, may we not expect to see reformers tell us that they take the Dissenting principles generally tri- Reformation for their guide, and „umphant, it it is thought that a libera- found upon its precedent against tion from pecuniary payments is to itself—we answer, that it was begun follow a declaration that they are the by Henry VIII., as Mr Hume has told larger body? It is astonishing how us, by the confiscation of one-third rapidly the unthinking, but sel- of the landed property of the kingfish majority (and they are ever the dom, and the execution of seventylarger part of mankind) discover two thousand persons on the
scaffold what profession of faith is to lead to in a single reign; that it brought pecuniary relief, The principle, in Charles I. to the block, established short, of taking numbers for the the military tyranny of Cromwell, test-of basing ecclesiastical esta. abolished the House of Peers, and blishments on statistical returns, and induced the hideous rule which proendowing or stripping different duced the general delirium of joy churches according to the returns on the Restoration. It was under they can exbibit to a roving Govern- these, the worst symptoms and ment Commission, is utterly fatal to effects of revolution, that the transan Establishment. No Church can fer of the property of the Catholic exist for ten years after such a prin to the Protestant Church took place; ciple is once admitted. The magni- and it is obvious from their bare ficent union of all the people under enumeration, that it was a true reone roof; the oblivion of all tempo. volutionary crisis, a violent convulral distinctions in the sight of Heaven; sion in religion, drawing after it a the noble and truly Christian princi- total overthrow of civil institutions; ple of providing for the gratuitous and that, therefore, it was an event instruction of the poor at the ex- like the battle of Hastings, or the pense of the rich, and setting aside Norman Conquest, in which all law à certain portion of the landed pro- and justice was set aside, and the perty for the endowments of a stern motto, Vae victis, openly inChurch founded on these principles, scribed on the banners of the victois for ever destroyed. Thencefor- rious party. If the advocates of ward the distinctions of the world Church reform adopt such princiwill penetrate into the bosom of the ples, and refer to such precedents, Church; the rich will have one reli- we understand them, we admit their gion, the poor another: the firmest title if they choose to embrace them, chain which unites together the high- and we only wish that they would er and lower classes, will be snapt openly proclaim their intentions. asunder; and the nation, instead of We should like to see them take the being wrapt in the imposing robe of field, with a beheaded King on their uniform faith, will be decked out in banners, a dethroned nobility in a harlequin dress, distracting from their mouths, the confiscation of the variety which it contains-con- half the landed property of the kingtemptible from the divisions which dom openly announced, and the it exhibits.
blood of seventy-two thousand vicIt is said that the Irish, not less tims on the scaffold, rising up in than the English tithes, were for frightful array before them. 'Rę