« AnteriorContinuar »
still love to visit the old house “at home.” | penalties, and many a struggle, but it has Windsor and Westminster are not forgotten gradually been lessened and removed, and we in the capitol of Washington; and I believe now begin to see the end in view. The writ that our beloved Queen has more of American de hæretico comburendo. was, for the last goodwill and affection than any of their own time, executed on the bodies of two Arians Polks or Pierces. The consequences, how- in the reign of James I. (AD. 1611.) Corever, of these tendencies and feelings is poreal persecution for dissent ceased some greatly to embarrass reform. We cannot 170 years ago, on the advent of the Prince rebuild until we have first unbuilt, and we of Orange; disability after disability has dare not proceed with vigour lest we should since been removed; Toleration and Emanbring our good old house about our ears. cipation acts have been passed; Test and The inferior workmanship of the past is Corporation acts have been repealed, in removed piecemeal, and one little party wall favour of religious freedom. The Dissenter after another is destroyed by inches. Our may now sit in the House of Commons and neighbours the French, whose impetuosity at the Privy Council Board, and may hold will brook no delay, have had so many any civil office in the land. Exclusion, in downfalls in their specious political archi- short, is confined in civil matters to the tecture, that we seem to have been frighted universities, and has been partially banished into unreasonable timidity. We scarcely. from thence this very year. But still, so dare propose to break out a window to let thoroughly is the State Church system built in light and air: a host of F. J. L.'s, and into our social constitution, that we are comH. D. L.'s, as so many political oilmen and pelled to struggle for this last boon; we tallow-chandlers, will be ready to raise a cry scarcely dare even yet openly and directly against us. Sunlight is no sooner sug- to attack the root of all this mischief-the gested,
unchristian and impolitic connection between “ Than straight the established lanthorns
religion and the civil power—the unholy Are mored with hate of day,
alliance of Church and State. Alas! that And loud the lawful rushlights
we should be compelled to retrace the crooked Against the change inveigh."
path of error with such slow and painful The present debate not unnaturally sug- steps, and to unbuild the untempered wall gested the above thoughts, and they in with such wearisome caution. return appear to illustrate the debate. Our One would imagine that few persons could forefathers, like ourselves, had many a hesitate to pronounce judgment in favour of struggle for religious liberty, but unfor- opening the universities to Dissenters, after tunately they only succeeded in changing five minutes' reflection upon the outline external for internal persecution. The peo- sketch of the progress of toleration given in ple of England early and steadily opposed the foregoing paragraph. The Church has the pretensions of the church of Rome, and, evidently no excuse for denying this last except when betrayed or discouraged at boon: it has either gone too far in its conhome, they always opposed them with successions to Dissent, or else not far enough. cess. Henry III. had the active sympathy It is all very well for H. D. L. to glory in of the nation, until, by the unfortunate mur- the tolerance of his church at the present der of A'Beckett on the steps of the altar, day, but be surely must perceive the utter he brought himself under the ban of popular inconsistency of an established religion with superstition. John was supported in his any such toleration. When Henry VIII. opposition to Innocent, whose papal interdict established the essential doctrines of popery was set at defiance by the nation at large; as the national creed by " the Bloody Law and when the pusillanimous monarch yielded of the Six Articles,” and threatened all imin abject fear, his barons stood aloof for pugners thereof with the stake or halter, he awhile, and then hurled him from the throne. was consistent; every subsequent act of But, alas! the crafty and unscrupulous relaxation has been an absurdity. When Henry VIII., who ended this lengthiy strug- Edward VI. (5 and 6 Edw. VI., c. 1) made gle, made himself an English pope, and Nonconformity a penal offence, and enacted established himself as the head of a State that anyone attending religious services Church. This mischief has cost us heavy other than those appointed in the Book of
Common Prayer, should suffer imprison- would then perceive the deep truth of that ment, and for the third offence imprisonment utterance of Divine wisdom-“My kingdom for life; and again, when Elizabeth (1 Eliz., is not of this world, else would my servants c. 2, sec. 14) enacted that a fine of twelve- fight;" they would see that the idea of a pence should be levied by the churchwardens tolerant State church is at once an insult to on all those who failed to attend some" place their own understandings, and an attempt where common prayer shall be used” on to falsify the words of Christ. To place Sundays and holidays, they simply acted religion in the seat of power—to make her up to the theory of an established church;* a kingdom of this world, and then to strike the present acknowledgment of Dissent, on the civil sword from her bands, is a bitter the other hand, is a pitiable self-contradic- mockery which can only be paralleled by tion. To establish a creed, and then allow the conduct of those who arrayed Christ in people to believe it or not, is no whit more the crimson robes of empire, and bending sensible than to impose à tax and leave the knee before him, saluted him with the people the option paying or refusing to pay. irony of malice—“Hail, King of the Jews !” Establish a religion, and allow the Dissenter I am not Quixotic enough to feel any very equal civil rights;—we might as reasonably sanguine hopes of the conversion of F.J. L.; pass a toleration act to except professed but I hope the foregoing remarks will suffice smugglers from the penalties of the customs'.to awaken some Churchmen to a sense of the
Establish a national church, and allow untenable position which the Establishment her members to withdraw with impunity now holds, and thereby induce them not only from her communion ;-we might as well to concur in the freedom of the universities, legalize desertion in the army, or mutiny in but also in the further attempt to sever the the
navy. Establish a national religion, and union of Church and State. We wish to then repeal the test acts, by which it was see this great end accomplished rather by fenced, in favour of Dissenters;—we might as internal revolution than by external contest: consistently modify the oath of a cabinet we dread the embitterinent and antagonism minister, for the express purpose of admit- of a long political contest,—but, by one ting red-republicans to power. Proclaim means or other, the Church of this country the Queen “ Defender of the Faith," and must sooner or later cease to be a State then persuade her to allow the Dissenter to church ; until then, there is no security for teach and preach contrary to that very faith; the Dissenter. I need only turn to F. J. L.'s -the genius of Shakspere supplies the article to show that I have been arguing no only parallel to such absurdities.f Would imaginary theory. In p. 302 he says, “ If, that Churchmen could be brought to view then, the nation, as such, profess a religion, these things in their true light, and they it should use every means, direct and indi
rect, short of actual persecution, for its fur* The reader will perhaps be surprised to hear therance and support.” I beseech the liberal that these statutes (though fallen into neglect) were a part of English law eight years since; Churchman to study the sentence. If to they
were repealed in 1847, by the 9 and 10 Vic., shut the Dissenters out from the advantages c. 59. This fact should induce H. D. L. to of the secular teaching and fellowships of moderate the jubilant tones in which he sings the Universities, is “short of actual persethe tender mercies of his church. + “ Dogberry.
This is your charge;
cution," of course it cannot be “actual perYou are to comprehend all vagrom men; you are secution" to shut them out from State emto bid any man stand in the prince's name. ployment, from civil preferment, and from
2nd Watchman.—How if he will not stand? municipal office ; we may therefore at once Dogberry.—Why then, take no note of him, but re-enact the Test and Corporation Acts. If
dissent unfits a man to receive edụcation, Dogberry.-*** Well, you are to call at the much more must it disqualify from commuale houses, and bid them that are drunk get nicating education; we may therefore forbid them to bed. 2nd Watchman.-How if they will not? any Dissenter to teach in any kind of school.
Dogberry:-Why then, let them alone till they How much further F. J. L. would curtail are sober; if they make you not then the better religious freedom, I know not ; but in view answer, you may say, they are not the men you of the sentence just commented upon, I took them for."-Et seq., Much Ado about No. thing, Act III., Scene 3.
pointedly call upon him to define, with the
let him go.
utmost logical precision, the exact meaning tics, and our army and navy ought to exert which he applies to the phrase, “ actual per all their powers of destruction for the extensecution," and also clearly to distinguish the sion and increase of Anglican Christianity. principles (if any) which will justify exclu- Certainly we think that Nicholas might find sion in the universities, and yet banish it an apology for his Te Deums over the ruins from parliament. The idea that a youth in of Sinope, in the pages of Mr. Gladstone's his teens is to be tabooed from the study of work. "Render unto Cæsar the things science and philosophy at Oxford, unless he which are Cæsar's, and unto God the things believes in the doctrines of the Church, but which are God's,” is here represented not as that a confirmed Dissenter of mature age an eternal truth, but as a temporary policy, and judgment may share in the deliberations to suit the exigencies of the time at which of St. Stephen's, and join in a debate on it was uttered ; and thus the Establishchurch property and other ecclesiastical mentarian makes Deity the author of decepsubjects, is surely the most preposterous tion, and translates the words of Christ by folly which ever the brain of man conceived. opposite language.
· Render," I might here leave the “ Establishment” unto Cæsar the things which are God's;" question with the reader, but I cannot help i. e., place religious faith and worship in craving his attention, for a moment, to the Cæsar's custody,-and render unto God the lame defence of a national religion offered by things which are Cæsar's; i. e., put Cæsar's F.J. L., p. 302: “By such institutions,” we sword into Religion's hand. Now I maintain are told, the heart of a nation is made that the words of Christ, in their simple imsound. ... an improved moral atmosphere is port, forbid any connection between civil diffused. ... virtue and honesty are publicly power and religion ; and further, that if encouraged, and vice is publicly discouraged." | Christ could have been guilty of reserve, I accept the challenge here thrown down. double entendre, and equivocation, he would The Papal States, Naples, Russia, and Spain, have been an impostor, his gospel a falsehave national churches, while the United hood, and his followers dupes. Again, States has none ; I demand, therefore, from J. F. L. thinks (p. 332, col. 2) that a naF. J. L. an explicit reply to the question- tional church is as reasonable as a private Which of these nations stands highest in missionary society, but the idea is mere respect to honesty, virtue, and moral sound folly ; he commits the same absurdity as
Which is the better principled and the advocates of the Maine Law, who argue better governed — Washington or Rome? that because a certain part of the nation, Compare Naples, where Francesco and Rosa who are teetotallers, tbink it a great good, Madiai linger in a dungeon for reading the that therefore it ought to be enforced ! These Bible--where Miss Cunningham is arrested benevolent individuals, having broken our for distributing tracts, and where the enor- decanters and taught us our catechism, mities of priestly power drew forth an indig- would probably in due time direct what nant pamphlet even from the chief advocate books we should read, forbid us to cultivate of establishments (Mr. Gladstone) - with cucumbers for fear of cholera, regulate the England, where the national church is consumption of beef, and establish a national scarcely more numerous or more powerful pattern for our outward adorning. We imathan its opponents! Again, F. J. L. tells gine, however, that free-born Englishmen us that “All power should be used with will demur to this theory in all its ramificareference to God's will," and these words are tions ; in fact, it is nothing less than a explained to mean that a government ought scheme for turning society into a gaol, and to establish and support a religion at home; making Government chaplain, doctor, and but why should we stop there ? “All turnkey to the establishment. power ” must include the machinery of the Lastly, on this head we notice F. J. L.'s Foreign Office as well as of the Home Office assertions that the voluntary system is "mi
-of Portsmouth and Woolwich as well as of serably ineffective” and “utterly inefficient.” Scotland Yard and Downing Street. Our Now I have already shown that Voluntaryism ambassadors, according to this Gladstonian is four and a half-fold more efficient than logic, ought to negotiate in favour of the State aid, even within the pale of the English Church as well as of English poli- | Church (see p. 389); and Mr. Mann (Cen
sus, pp. 131, 140) states that the increase clined to trust the confident assertions of of Church accommodation during the period writers like F. J. L., may probably imagine 1801-1851, amounts to 1,028,032 sittings. (as I believe he, in all good faith, does) Dividing these between private benefaction that they are ecclesiastical corporations. and State aid, in the above proportion of The question, however, has long ago been four and a half to one, we find that in the decided in our courts of law in the opposite Church Voluntaryism has provided about manner ; the case of Rex v. Cambridge, Vice840,000 sittings where State aid has pro- Chancellor, 3 Burr. 1656, laid it down that vided 188,000. Again, Mr. Mann inforins the two universities are civil lay corporations, us that Dissent, during the same fifty years, of the same character therefore as the colhas provided 4,013,408 new sittings; adding leges of physicians and surgeons. Surely, to these the 840,000 provided by Episco- then, the Dissenter has as much right to the palian Voluntaryism, we find that the “ut- privileges of the former as to those of the terly inefficienti” voluntary system has pro- latter. Will F.J. L. or H. D. L. pretend that vided 4,853,000 sittings where State aid has the medical profession should be confined to provided 188,000; in other words, the vo- members of their own church? But, indeluntary system provides a seat in God's pendently of these considerations, it is to be house for twenty-five and a half persons, remembered that a corporation is a creature wherever State aid provides for a solitary of the law, to which certain powers and priworshipper !! Now, I call upon F. J. L. vileges have been granted (as, e. g., the power either to declare the census tables to be a of framing laws which shall bind individual gigantic fraud, -or to deny the common rules members); for the effectual carrying out of of arithmetic, and maintain that twenty-five the purposes for which it was instituted. is less than one-or to confess the untruth of If, therefore, a corporation fail to accomplish his former assertions, to retract them, and to the end for which it was intended—if it enact offer such apology to the injured majesty of bye-laws contrary to the law of the land, or truth, and to the brethren whom he has manifestly unreasonable and inconsistent with misrepresented, as his own conscience shall the public welfare, Government has a right, dictate.
both morally and legally, to interfere. The The article of H. D. L. mainly consists of universities we have shown to be civil lay a reply to Rolla ; it is therefore not our corporations; to enact a religious test, as the place to remark on his arguments. But in condition of entrance, is to contravene this concluding this article we must notice the character, and to change them virtually into extraordinary delusion (which he professes ecclesiastical corporations : hence Government to maintain, p. 392) that the universities is bound interfere. accordance with are "private property.” F. J. L. is too these remarks, it has been held that a byecautious to make the same avowal openly, law, enacted by a trading corporation to limit but it evidently lies at the root of his asser- the number of apprentices which each memtion that there is “ no difference between the ber should take, is illegal; how much more, universities and other church property," and then, ought parliament to interfere when of his whole reasoning, pp. 303 — - 306. bye-laws (to which in an age of tyranny it Happily we have no need to argue this ques- had given legislative sanction) limit the tion; we can appeal directly to competent class of individuals who may participate in authority. I presume that most readers are the educational advantages of our universiaware that the two universities, together ties. Oxford and Cambridge are civil lay with the colleges in connection with them, corporations, public institutions ; to pretend are corporate bodies ;* but those who are in that they are, in any sense, private, is an
untruth in fact, and an absurdity in theory. 5. * Universitas and collegium are the Latin law terms for "corporation."
MR. EDITOR,—In common with your nu- | pages on this important subject; for although merous readers, we have read with deep in- Parliament has recently discussed it, and terest the debate which has appeared in your pronounced legislatively upon it, the people
of England have no faith in the infallibility of B. S. next notices the question of Church any order of men, and are prepared on all versus Chapel goers, and appears to delight occasions to think and speak for themselves. in placing them in unfriendly juxta-position; It may be decreed that the universities shalt then, after going into the subject of the recent be open to persons of all religious opinions, census, he at length comes to the real quesor of none, but the “ought" of the question tion at issue; but here, with an inconsistency remains untouched. We were glad to find unworthy of himself, he coinmences by taking H. D. L., in your last number, pouring a for granted that which ought to have been little water on “Rolla’s” fearful looking fire- his great object to prove. Availing himself brand, and maintaining his position with the of the assertion of the Oxford Commissiondignity of a Christian gentleman. We cannot ers that the universities are national, and of but regret the acrimony which was introduced the admission of F. J. L. that they are so into this debate by the opening writer on “in every fair and proper sense of the term” each side, also the strong tendency which in the same sense as the Established has been manifested thus far to make it a Church is said to be the National Church dispute between Church and Dissent, instead he overlooks the distinction so properly of a question of simple equity and coinmon pointed out by H. D. L., viz., that “they are justice. We were somewhat surprised and private property supported by the State, and pained to find your able contributor B. S. in this sense national; but they are not public doing this, for his articles we have in general property supported by the State, and in this greatly admired.
He commences as an sense not national.” With as much consis“individual Dissenter," rather than a pa- tency as our friends exhibit in seeking to triotic Englishman. Now we would have throw open the universities, might men of it distinctly borne in mind that the question all religious opinions seek to enter the is not merely one respecting the admission Church of England, and become possessed of of Dissenters to the universities, but the ad- its property and revenues, on the plea that mission of persons of all religious opinions, it was the National Church, and they formed including, of course, Roman Catholics, infi- a part and parcel of the nation. Surely dels, and even idolaters, if they choose to our opponents would not go thus far; if apply. Now we think every sincere Protes- they would, let them openly declare it. tant will be prepared duly to consider this B. S., continuing in the erratic course in fact before he sanctions the surrender to our which he commenced, asserts that the unienemies of these important positions, which versities. were designed not for religious but have hitherto been held by our friends. Re- secular instruction. This assertion he does specting this part of the subject it has been not further attempt to prove than by saying ably said :-“ Those who think that Popery that, as the Church is for the religious eduis unfavourable to the moral and intellectual cation of the people, the universities must be liberty of mankind, will appreciate the gravity for the secular instruction of the commuof the practical difficulties which the intro- nity,” forgetting that the latter might have duction of Roman Catholics into Oxford been designed to be subsidiary to the former. -would create. In the present temper of As to the statement that the Church is to men's minds respecting religious questions, train the moral being; the universities the both at Oxford and in the country at large, intellect of the nation; he forgets that it —whilst angry controversies are still raging, would have been contrary to the Anglo-Saxon and the battle between the churches is still genius, as well as to true philosophy, thus to at its height, a fatal blow would be dealt to separate religion from science, and to divide the peace and studies of the university, if those branches of human knowledge which the Roman Catholics were allowed to break ought ever to go together hand in hand, in upon the inmost life of an institution in blessing our race. which almost every building and every en- In proof of our position we may quote dowment would supply unfailing materials from a document prepared as far back as the for irritation and contest. Scenes might time of Archbishop Laud, in which every take place at Oxford little less disgraceful undergraduate is required to have a tutor, than the Stockport riot, or the ancient battles whose duty it is “to imbue his pupils with in Logic Lane,
good principles, and instruct them in approved