Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

stopped and conversed with me ten minutes. He asked me, if we believed in the Virgin, in England ; observing that he was himself a Christian,' but he thought all these ceremonies and holidays 'a silly thing' (une bêtise). He appeared much pleased with my occupation, said it vas very laudable thus to disseminate correct sentiments, and on my giving away a tract, while we were conversing, to a passenger, he replied to the inquiry, 'What does it contain ?'-Truths!' (des verités.) On parting, he shook me very cordially by the hand. May he prove to be one of that little flock’in France, which rejects Catholicism, and yet cleaves to Christianity! Finished my distribution in a suburb of the town. Here I met one respectably dressed woman returning from church. On my offering a tract, she inquired, how much?' "Nothing; it is a gift. Viewing me with surprise and suspicion, she exclaimed, nothing ! surely no one gives away any thing for nothing" Pointing upwards, I rejoined, Madam, there is another world.' The change of her countenance indicated that she understood me, and, stretching out her hand, she received the book. Distributed two hundred and fifty.'-p. 167, 168.

At the close of the month he returned to Jersey, and from thence to England. From October, 1832, till April, 1833, Mr. Everett resided with a near relative at Bristol. But though compelled,' says his biographer, for a season to inactivity, nothing could divert

his attention from the land of popery and infidelity, which he had • been constrained so early to abandon.'

The last melancholy chapter of this instructive narrative, which every young Christian, and especially every aspirant to the Christian ministry, ought to read and study till he catches the spirit which it breathes, is occupied with accounts of Mr. Everett's fluctuating health, his attainment of comparative convalescencehis second marriage-his settlement at Bristol, in a school, where he carried, for the benefit of his pupils, all his piety, acquirements, and energy; and his death, the effect of a sudden rupture of a blood-vessel, and therefore unexpected, yet to him peaceful and happy, and to his dearest friends consoling and most satisfactory. But we have already quoted more than we intended. We have dwelt the longer on this memoir because it is just now the fashion to give the Biography of saints that might figure very well in a Roman calendar, but who in these times were totally unfit for the labors and ministrations of a protestant church. Mr. Everett is a fair specimen of the kind of men that ensure esteem as pastors of our congregational churches, and which we are in the habit of sending as missionaries to the heathen. Mr. Everett is worth a thousand St. Froude’s. And for our parts, with such practical evidence of the inutility of apostolical succession, we can readily dispense with it, leaving it to those on whom it confers no sanctity, while it involves them in all the guilt of a most fearful responsibility. They are the successors of the apostles, who aim to evangelize the world, and regard success as their noblest reward !

[ocr errors]

Art. IX. l. Glances at the Times, and Reform Government. By

John Wade. London: Effingham Wilson. 1839. 2. A Bill to make further Provision as to certain rights of voting for

Members of Parliament in England and Wales. By LORD JOHN

RUSSELL. 1840. 3. A Bill to amend the Laws relating to the Registration of Voters

in Ireland. By Lord STANLEY. THE publication placed at the head of this article is devoted to

a retrospect of all the reforms, -organic or administrative, civil, military, or ecclesiastical,-effected within the last ten years; the bill placed second, proposes further progressive movement, to perfect and secure those reforms; the object of the last is to back the paddles of the state ship, and return stern-foremost to the point from which we started at the beginning of the eventful epoch referred to. We have arrived at a critical juncture; and before a long period of time elapses, the nation will be called upon to choose between reform or no reform, advancement or retreat, between progress pari passû with the spirit of the age, and a return to exploded principles, ancient corruption, and the bigoted prejudices of former times. Lord John Russell justly as well as forcibly described the quality of Lord Stanley's proposition when he said, " The proposition was to begin a retrograde course, 'to diminish, to restrict the franchise of one part of this united • kingdom ; and thus to show that hereafter it would be their endeavor and the aim of their legislation, to go back from that franchise which the people had obtained from their hands; to make that franchise more difficult; to consider the man who 6 asked for that franchise as a public enemy; and, though at first .by slow degrees, to diminish and destroy that franchise which • as he contended had been most liberally bestowed.'

There is a party in the country like a certain animal that will swim against the stream, when compelled to take the water; and return, when washed, to her wallowing in the mire.

But are the people of this country prepared to go back to Tory principles? Is the tide of intelligence, now swelled by a thousand tributary streams, and rolling on like a majestic river, diffusing blessings to the right and to the left, and gladdening the eyes and hearts of men, to be turned backwards ? Are profligacy and extravagance in all the public departments again to take the place of scrupulous economy and jealous regard to the interests of the people? Are the halcyon days of pensions and sinecures --the former bestowed behind the ministerial curtain on men and women who deserved nothing from their country but contempt, the latter created for the benefit of the Roses, Ardens, Beresfords, Ryders, Bathursts, Seymours, Scotts, and Crokers—to

return once more? Are toleration and a regard for the rights of conscience to be exchanged for the fierceness and pride of a dominant hierarchy? When we see prelates, who during the course of a long public life never voted against negro slavery, and an ex-minister who invariably opposed the efforts in favor of black emancipation, coming forward and joining at the eleventh hour a society for the civilisation of Africa and the extinction of the slave-trade, one would think that we might fairly say, No, to these questions, and confidently predict that nothing could prevent the triumphant march of intelligence. But we cannot close our eyes to strange indications on the political horizon. When we mark the general conduct of the party to which Sir Robert Peel and those bishops belong, we cannot fall into the mistake of imputing the new-born zeal in this cause, to anxiety for the advance of great regenerating principles, rather than to a desire to gain the good graces of the Queen's husband. Every tliing we hear and see convinces us that ere long the people must make their election between a retrograde and a progressive policy-between a liberal and a Tory administration. The enemies of popular rights already are busied in preparations for a return to the position from which they were driven amid the execrations of the whole kingdom; and the programme for the retrograde procession is arranged in the following order :

1. Church extension.
II. Contraction of the franchise in Ireland.

III. National' education administered by the clergy of the established church.

IV. The organization of a general system of bribery, intimidation, and demoralisation at elections.

V. The publication of the claims of the state priesthood to apostolical succession;' and the denial to all Christian ministers beyond the pale of the Episcopal Church of England (saving always Romish priests) of the name or character of true pastors.

DissentERS S'! for relief from compulsory payment to the establishment, de and the destruction of those engines of persecution called the piritual courts, and press upon the country the necessity of mai y church reforms:-Sir Robert Inglis rises and proposes that their claims shall be met by a vote from the public purse to the amount of some few millions for church extension ! Sir Robert treats the Dissenters as Miss Tabitha Bramble treated her maidens. When they grumbled that they were pinched by reason of the scarcity of sugar and butter, that paragon of virgin housekeepers protested that they were pampered with good living, and ordered them to be placed on short commons. Just so, when the children of Israel complained of the grievousness of their tasks, their Egyptian tyrants exclaimed, 'Ye are idle,' and dou

bled the tale of bricks. The Tories hope to make the country forget one wound by inflicting a fresh one :

Atqui
Emovit veterem mire, novus ; ut solet, in cor
Trajecto lateris miseri capitis que dolore :
Ut lethargicus hic, fit pugil et medicum urget !

A new disease expelled
My old distemper : as when changing pains
Fly to the stomach from the head and reins,
Thus the lethargic, starting from his bed
In boxing frenzy, broke his doctor's head.

Lord Stanley legislates for Ireland on the same principle. The Irish petition for reform and a redress of grievances: the member for Lancashire declares he will abridge the privileges which they possess. They ask for food, and he gives them a scorpion.'

It needs no further demonstration, that the inclination of the Tory party tends towards a RETROGRADE course.

A certain class of unscrupulous partizans are very fond of asserting that nothing has been done for the country by a reform government and a reformed parliament; and another class declare that they can see no difference, as far as the people are concerned, between a Whig and Tory government. Mr. Wade's Glances at the Times supply a refutation to these two assertions. We are not amongst those who are prepared to praise every act of Earl Grey's and Lord Melbourne's cabinets who are able to recognise the wisdom and sound policy of all the declarations volunteered by the statesmen who composed them, or who think that they left nothing undone that ought to have been done; still that man can have small claims to candor, or must have an imperfect conception of the business of a government, who can refuse to admit, that within the last ten years a series of political changes have been made, unequalled in extent and permanent value. During the ten years from 1830 to 1840, an absolute revolution has been effected; and no epoch in British history will occupy a more prominent position in the annals of this country, - There • is no instance, perhaps, observes Mr. Wade, of a country achieving so peaceably, yet in the main so efficiently, a

reform of old and inveterate abuses; of effecting so radical a change in every department of her domestic polity, without running the risk and detriment of a revolutionary convulsion.' To estimate fairly what has been effected, we must recollect what were the grievances and abuses, for the removal and correction of which, reformers were accustomed to ask, prior to 1830. Mr. Wade enumerates them as follows: first, corruptions in the representative system; second, a lavish public expenditure, and the

VOL. VIII.

return once more? Are toleration and a regard for the rights of conscience to be exchanged for the fierceness and pride of a dominant hierarchy? When we see prelates, who during the course of a long public life never voted against negro slavery, and an ex-minister who invariably opposed the efforts in favor of black emancipation, coming forward and joining at the eleventh hour a society for the civilisation of Africa and the extinction of the slave-trade, one would think that we might fairly say, No, to these questions, and confidently predict that nothing could prevent the triumphant march of intelligence. But we cannot close our eyes to strange indications on the political horizon. When we mark the general conduct of the party to which Sir Robert Peel and those bishops belong, we cannot fall into the mistake of imputing the new-born zeal in this cause, to anxiety for the advance of great regenerating principles, rather than to a desire to gain the good graces of the Queen's husband. Every thing we hear and see convinces us that ere long the people must make their election between a retrograde and a progressive policy-between a liberal and a Tory administration. The enemies of popular rights already are busied in preparations for a return to the position from which they were driven amid the execrations of the whole kingdom; and the programme for the retrograde procession is arranged in the following order :

1. Church extension.
II. Contraction of the franchise in Ireland.

III. National' education administered by the clergy of the established church.

IV. The organization of a general system of bribery, intimidation, and demoralisation at elections.

V. The publication of the claims of the state priesthood to apostolical succession ;' and the denial to all Christian ministers beyond the pale of the Episcopal Church of England (saving always Romish priests) of the name or character of true pastors.

DissenTERS S'I for relief from compulsory payment to the establishment, de and the destruction of those engines of persecution called the piritual courts, and press upon the country the necessity of mai ý church reforms:—Sir Robert Inglis rises and proposes that their claims shall be met by a vote from the public purse to the amount of some few millions for church extension ! Sir Robert treats the Dissenters as Miss Tabitha Bramble treated her maidens. When they grumbled that they were pinched by reason of the scarcity of sugar and butter, that paragon of virgin housekeepers protested that they were pampered with good living, and ordered them to be placed on short commons. Just so, when the children of Israel complained of the grievousness of their tasks, their Egyptian tyrants exclaimed, 'Ye are idle,' and dou

« ForrigeFortsett »