Abbildungen der Seite

wait for a good while. In a word, you have got nothing whatever but your lieutenant's epaulette. As to Paulette, she has got nothing either-so that you have nothing, and she has nothing-which added together make a total-nothing. Then, you cannot marry at present. Wait awhile; we shall yet see better days, my friend. Yes, we shall, when I am able to seek them in another part of the world."'-pp. 281–285.

With these quotations, which will give a very fair idea of the importance and value of this work, we shall dismiss the first volume. It is our intention to notice the contents of each succeeding volume as it issues from the press.


ART. X.-The Church Establishment founded in error. By a Layman. 8vo. pp. 219. London: Wilson. 1831.

UPON all sides enemies are rising, we may say in masses, against the church. The House of Commons already has declared itself determined to withhold at a future period the venerable grant to the venerable society for the propagation of the Gospel in foreign parts; the Bishopric of Derry remains still vacant, and will doubtless be subjected to considerable curtailment; and a severe scrutiny is going on in the legislature into the whole of the revenues of the Irish church, we presume with a view to their partial, if not, indeed, their total abolition. Divines complain of the liturgy, and of pluralities, and episcopal translations in both countries, and here we have a layman boldly asserting the English church establishment to be in error; a proposition which he has established so much to his own satisfaction, that he places it as the very front and title page of his pamphlet. He cannot be said, like certain other opponents of the establishment, to be a Papist in disguise, for he condemns the system of the catholic church as much as that of the church of

England. His doctrine is, that enough was not done, in the way of radical change at the period of the reformation, and that the omissions which occurred then, through inadvertence, ignorance, or haste, ought now to be supplied, it being admitted, by one of her own advocates, that "the church of England has gone on from the commencement of the reformation of religion until the present time, a period of almost 300 years, acknowledging and lamenting her own incompleteness in some important particulars, but prevented by some extraneous circumstances from applying the remedy." In the mean time the people, not seeing these faults, have gone on from father to son, supposing the church to be a model of truth, those who dissent from it being occasionally flattered with a relaxation of the penal laws, that in times of excitement were passed against them, and being hitherto contented with the growing liberality of toleration-which, in the author's opinion, is as disgraceful to its authors as to its endurers, and is moreover insulting to the majesty and wisdom of heaven, who has pronounced every man to be a free agent.' He then expresses his be

lief that the period is rapidly approaching when it will become a work of necessity, if not of choice, very much to modify, perhaps altogether to destroy, the connection between the church and state.'

Various causes have been assigned for the turn which public opinion has taken in this direction: some good persons assure themselves that it is entirely owing to the want of a sufficient number of churches! but, strange to say, in proportion as the number of new churches increases, that of the disciples of the church decreases, in something like a mathematical proportion. Some say that it is to be attributed to the press, and to the erroneous notions of their own importance which it circulates amongst the people; while others admit that the chuch requires a few alterations, and that if these were effected, it would, as by law now established, be the best of all other practicable systems for the pure perpetuation of Christianity. Our author ridicules all these notions, and courageously contends that the true cause of the declension of the church, and of the increase of dissent, is to be found in the errors which pervade the establishment, errors which may be traced in its origin and progress, in the hypotheses upon which it is maintained, in its characteristic features, in the sacrifices by which it is upheld, and the evils it inflicts upon the church of Christ, individuals, and society. Not, however, that churchmen may not be saved; on the contrary, our layman excludes nobody but the unjust from heaven, where he hopes to meet the professors of every variety of creed, into which Christianity has yet been divided. So far, it cannot be denied that at least he is an amiable opponent.

The author then proceeds to

give an historical view of the origin and progress of the church of England, comparing it, as he advances, with the simplicity of the primitive church, which certainly did not count amongst its supporters Bishops with principalities at their command, nor pluralities of wealthy benefices. The union of the church with the state let in upon the former the tide of corruption which now overwhelms it, and that union might have been, and, as he insists,


ought to have been broken up at the reformation.' The investiture of the sovereign with supreme spiritual power, was without legitimate precedent, and therefore could not have been necessary to the amicable settlement of the church but the reformers in this act voluntarily remained in the twilight, and the papal power was transferred to the princes of the countries that adopted the reformed doctrine! The fact is true, but the author speaks of reformers, as if what he calls reform began in England with a body of men attached to Christianity. He seems to forget that here it commenced with, and was carried on by the sovereigns of the country, originating with Henry VIII., who took good care to provide that whatever changes took place should tend rather to the increase than the diminution of their authority.

After thus detailing the circumstances and consequences of the union of the church with the state, the author argues that, whatever may have been the regulations. under the Jewish law, no authority was ever delegated to the Apostles to intreat, still less to command the assistance of political institutions; and upon this point we think that his position is unassailable. Such a connection he contends to be one of pagan

[ocr errors]

origin, and indeed he thinks that this is not the only pagan practice which the church of England has adopted. With respect to the support of the clergy, they ought undoubtedly to be decently maintained; but that the subject, whether professing the religion of the state or not, should be compelled to contribute to the support of any body of men, is obviously unjust! The primitive teachers of the Gospel were not maintained in any such manner; their means of subsistence were drawn from the voluntary contributions of the people, made, not from fear of a citation, but from religious motives. The tax becomes a positive injustice when it is imposed upon persons who dissent from the established faith, who believe that it is erroneous, and who are thus prevented from giving to the support of their own religion as much as they could afford, if they had not that unjust tax to pay. The author dwells at considerable length, and reasons with unanswerable force upon this part of his subject, and maintains that the church tax is an unfair premium upon a particular sect, and that to much of the property now in the possession of the Church, it can, even as a sect incorporated with the state, exhibit no claims superior to those of others.

And here,' he pointedly observes, 'it may not be improper to remark, that to a portion of the revenue of the establishment, the favoured party has no greater moral right than any other Protestant denomination. We refer to those possessions, with which the church was endowed by Roman Catholics in olden times, and which produce little less than 550.000 per annum, The donors nents of these property from Papist in dis nuity arises, cannot the system or been less wellas much as thathe successors of

the Puritans, than to those of the chartered sect. When the church of Scotland relinquished Its popish tenets, it also lost its papistical endowments. Such an act of justice ought to be rendered to the Roman Catholics of this country. It does not appear to us that there is even the shadow of justification for so great a violation of the sacred obligation of testamentary bequests, as is involved in the possession of the property in question; and sure are we, that so long as the church of England continues to receive the usurped possessions, she cannot fail to be as obnoxious to the Almighty, as she is opposed to every principle of right.'

We cannot, in a notice, go through the whole of the author's reasoning: it will be sufficient for us to add, that he shows, with admirable force, that the incorporation of the church sect with the state, and the enormous revenue which it draws from the people, is a virtual continuation of penal laws against all dissenters; that the church is a mere secular association; that the secular authority constantly interferes in the appointment of the dignitaries and subordinate clergy, there being in the gift of the king and government 1014 livings, and in that of the lay nobility and gentry, no fewer than 5,030, out of the 13,872 livings which constitute the church of England; that the secular authority also interferes in the spiritual legislation and discipline of the church ; and finally, that it wants the essential characteristics of the Christian church, which are spirituality, unity, identity, and independence. The author maintains many of his arguments with great energy and learning; his language is always free from vituperation and personality; and although on some religious points we differ widely from his

doctrine, we nevertheless feel no hesitation in strongly recommending his pamphlet to the attention of the public, as a most clear and able exposure of the errors of the church of England.

ART. XI.-Manuscript Memorials. 8vo. pp. 208. London: Wilson. 1831.


THERE is a good deal of mind in these memorials, although it must be confessed that they are altogether a most heterogeneous mixture of verse and prose, of sound sense well expressed, and flighty nonsense let off in a madcap style, which has made us sometimes doubt whether the good and the bad be from the same pen. One of his most amusing chapters is an exposé of the errors and anachronisms of poets, painters, and others, which, though many of them have been noticed separately before, have not been hitherto brought together under one view, at least not in so entertaining a Thus he notices a painting observed by Burgoyne in Spain, in which Abraham is seen preparing to shoot Isaac with a pistol! While writing this sentence, we happened to see an engraving from Teniers of St. Peter denying Christ, in the front ground of which is a group of persons playing at cards made with paste-board! At Windsor there is a painting of Antonio Verrio, of Christ healing the sick, in the presence of the artist himself, Sir Godfrey Kneller and Bap May, surveyor of the works, in long periwigs! At Venice may be seen in the church of St. Zacharia, a picture of a virgin and child, to whom an angel is playing the fiddle! A thousand instances these errors might be adduced; but the author does not deal exclusively in these light matters. He qualifies them with fire-side reflec

tions, which are of a much more sober nature, and these again are set off by wild Irish tales, ghost stories, and portraits, and sketches in verse, which combine to make up an agreeable medley.

ART. XII.-Address of Earl Stanhope, President of the MedicoBotanical Society, for the Anniversary Meeting, Jan. 16, 1831. 8vo. pp. 28. London: 1831. WE are always pleased when the time arrives for the periodical delivery of Earl Stanhope's printed address to the Medico-Botanical Society, for the fact itself reminds us of the excellent example of honourable ambition and patient industry, which a nobleman, bred up in the lap of luxury, has set, not merely to his peers, but to every other individual in the country; and further, the contents of those orations generally consist of matter of a very interesting and valuable nature. The noble Earl commences by exhorting the members to be diligent in inquiring into the nature and medical virtues of plants, and he lays before them many happy illustrations which prove the value of earnestly adopting his advice. His lordship then proceeds to notice the most remarkable papers which have been presented during the year. Amongst these are the communications of Dr. Hancock, on the Juribali or Febrifuge Bark Tree, and one of a very important nature from that "distinguished" physician, as the Earl calls him, Dr. Ryan, of Hatton Garden, The paper of that gentleman contains many valuable facts and arguments, tending to show that the Ergot of Rye does not induce the labour of parturient women, but only accelerates it when begun. The noble speaker has some valuable ob

servations on the guaco plant, which has been proposed for the cure of hydrophobia. This discourse, taken altogether, is well worthy the attention of the public; it is free from all declamation, particularly from that elaborate verbosity beneath which is almost always disguised a woful paucity of ideas. It is plain and practical, full of curious facts and pertinent observations, and the whole is set off by a combination of ardour and sincerity in the pursuit, which qualities certainly cannot be more usefully employed than in urging so opulent and influential a nobleman to the study of science. We may mention that the question for the gold medal for the ensuing year (for which all persons are competent to be candidates,) is, "What is the vegetable substance which could be employed with success in the cure of hydrophobia?"

ART. XIII.—The Fossil Flora of Great Britain, or Figures and Descriptions of the Vegetable Remains found in a Fossil State in this Country. 8vo, Part I. By John Lindley, F. R. S. and G. S. and William Hutton, F. G.S. London: Ridgway. 1831.

WE hail this specimen of the Fossil Flora of Great Britain as another proof of the progress of that spirit of improvement, which has now happily insinuated itself into every department of education. If this be, as we conclude it is, a fair sample of the future work, we have no hesitation in saying that we think it will make many converts to the study of geology, and that in itself is a triumph to be envied. The curse of this, as indeed of all sciences, is that it first presents itself to the mind in a fantastic jargon, which at once strikes the student

with despair. Geology in particular is prejudiced by this affectation, and it is because this work offers, not difficult and grotesque names in the first instance, but very beautiful and striking resemblances of the natural object itself, that we are disposed to give it our most cordial snpport. This is effected by means of lithographic plates, which illustrated each specimen ; and from the care and neatness of the execution, they are calculated, quite as well as the originals themselves, to answer every possible end which the student or the curious in geological matters may have in view. The number of plates is ten in the present Part, but several of those plates have more than one figure. The management of the able and scientific editors is a sufficient guarantee for the value and accuracy of the work; and we are certain, when completed, that it will do more than most of the geological publications which have yet seen the light, to popularize that most interesting and truly important branch of knowledge.

ART. XIV.-A Discourse occasioned by the removal into Eternity of the Rev. John Clowes, M. A., &c. By the Rev. S. Noble. 8vo, p. 43. London, 1831. THIS discourse gives us a very interesting account of a very interesting person, whose history, for many reasons, will frequently deserve a solemn reference by his contemporaries and posterity. The Rev. Mr. Clowes was a regular and learned clergyman of the church of England, who, at an advanced period of his life, and whilst in tre full discharge of his duties as rector at Manchester, was induced to read the writings of Swedenborg.

« ZurückWeiter »