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to see worldly men, who attend worship to be gratified with fine architecture, music, and oratory, acting on these principles; but when church members say openly, that in the choice of a minister they do not go for the most pious and instructive preacher, but for the good of the society, that is, for the man who will pay best in pew rents, it is time to examine the soundness of the system itself.*
. But either of these methods would be less vexatious to the minister than to be obliged to obtain his salary by compulsory tithes, in the manner of the clergy of the established religion in England. As an offset to the sarcastic grumbling of South, who describes the workings of the State Church system in his day, the playful lines of Cowper present an amusing picture of The Yearly Distress, or Tithing Time," in some "verses addressed to a country clergyman, complaining of the disagreeableness of the day annually appointed for receiving dues at the parsonage." Truly, the « troubles of a worthy priest” in his time were not lighter than in the days of South :
For then the farmers come, jog, jog,
Along the miry road,
To make their payments good.
Is not to be expressed,
The clumsy swains alight,
He trembles at the sight.
Each bumpkin of the clan,
Will cheat him if he can.
“ Come, neighbors, we must wag," —
Each lugging out his bag.
And one of storms of hail,
By maggots at the tail.
In pulpit none shall hear ;
You sell it plaguey dear.”
Or clergy made so fine ?
The real evil which lies at the foundation of this system is, it is a shrewdly devised mercantile plan to raise funds for the support of public worship by offering religion to the highest cash bidder. Instead of conniving at the love of hoarding, like the subscription plan, it presents a lure to the love of show. It tends to separate the rich from the poor, and contravenes the equitable rule ordained by God, that every man shall give as he is able. Churches come to depend so much on the outward accidents, the sights and sounds of worship, that the sword of the Spirit loses its edge, and fails to do its work. The grand principle, that the CHURCH is the body which is responsible for the support and the ordering of the worship of God and the choice of the minister, is overlooked, and the spirit of the world neutralizes its testimony.
It is not maintained that the evils which have been described are the uniform or unavoidable results of the systems objected to, but such are their general tendencies. Either of these systems, or any other, might work well in the hands of intelligent, liberal-souled Christians, or be useful for a time in certain circumstances.
The best method of procuring the funds necessary for the support of public worship, is, unquestionably, that which conforms most nearly to the equitable principle laid down in the Scriptures : “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord thy God which he hath given thee."* This is the principle laid down in the divine law, respecting the pecuniary support of the worship of God. It needs no argument to enforce its authority. It commends itself to the conscience and common sense of every man. It is simple equity. No one but a covetous man, or a fool, can fail to perceive or to acknowledge its justice. The apostle recommends the application of the same principle to the charitable collections of the churches ;t a principle which the church at Antioch had adopted for the same purpose eighteen years before. If this is the true principle to be applied to charitable giving, much more should it be applied to the raising of funds for our own public benefit. In its application to the latter purpose, it is a principle of ecclesiastical law; in its application to the cause of benevolence, it is a principle of duty and obligation, to be urged by the love of Christ, and enforced by the consideration that each will reap in proportion as he sows, after which it must be left to the individual conscience of every Christian.
This principle may be applied by assessing each member, • Deut. xvi. 17. |1 Cor. xvi. 2. Acts xi. 29. $2 Cor. ix. 6.
ing of fun burpose, it is
application blication, to be urgebat each will reap in prima
of benevolel the love o
in practiultless in it is not to
either according to his income or according to the amount of property in his possession. Either of these methods will perhaps approximate as near to absolute justice as the imperfection of all human affairs will allow; for it is not to be expected that any principle, however faultless in the abstract, can be perfectly exemplified in practice, or if it were, that its application would give satisfaction in all cases. But if any church member should refuse to pay his just proportion, it would be so manifest covetousness, as to demand his expulsion from the fellowship of saints.
But notwithstanding all the embarrassments which fall to the lot of Christian ministers, even in this happy land, they may well exclaim, on comparing their condition with that of their brethren in other lands, “ Truly the lines are fallen to us in pleasant places; we have a goodly heritage." In no other country on earth can the ministers of religion say, “ The government lets us alone.” They can preach when they please, where they please, what they please, how they please, and to whom they please, if they can get hearers; no man forbidding, so long as they infringe on no man's civil rights. They can do it without fear of inquisitions, dungeons, racks, or fines. No rude policeman or violent priest dares to break up their assemblies; no ignorant, lawless mob will presume to pelt or hiss them; no bigoted, pampered, national priesthood looks down upon them with scorn; but they have as full access to every class of people as the imperfect state of human society will allow. In a word, theirs is freedom, compared with which the boasted privilege of the denizens of the “Eternal City” was but vassalage.
And what is more, they have not the stolid ignorance of the brutalized hordes of European tyranny to encounter, but each minister may address as numerous and as intelligent audiences as he is qualified to please and to instruct. Never was such a soul-inspiring field spread before the ministers of Christ! If they do not labor with the alacrity of overflowing gratitude, such as in any other work would be counted enthusiasm, they must be blind to the glorious prospect before them! Oh, what would Isaiah, and Jeremiah, and Paul, and. John, and John Wickliffe, and William Tindal, and John Huss, and John Knox, and John Bunyan, and Roger Williams, and Oncken, and a host of apostles and missionary worthies in all ages, have given for this double honor, of holding an ambassador's credentials from heaven, recognized and protected on earth by a government of enlightened freemen! How would their hearts have leaped to improve such perfect
liberty in so rich a field ! Let ministers and private Christians remember their exalted position. “Many prophets and kings have desired to see the things which ye see, and have not seen them.” You ought to be model churches and ministers for the whole world.
ART. VI.-LORD CAMPBELL'S LIVES OF THE CHIEF
The Lives of the Chief Justices of England, from the. Norman
Conquest till the death of Lord Mansfield. By John, LORD CAMPBELL. In two volumes. Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown. 1850.
In this work, and in his Lives of the Chancellors, Lord Campbell has rendered valuable service. After an eminent career as a lawyer and a statesman, he found himself, some years since, without public employment, and, mindful of the debt which every man owes to his profession, resolved to become the biographer of the most eminent magistrates who have presided in Westminster Hall. His first work was received by the public with distinguished favor. The men who have held the Great Seal, have wielded a power so vast and important, that their lives, if written with any degree of fidelity and skill, must contribute materially to our knowledge of the political history of England; and they have been, for the most part, so eminent either for ability or rank, that the social and literary progress of the nation is, to no small extent, connected with their names. Not to mention others, Longchamp, à Becket, Wolsey, More, and Bacon have connected themselves so directly with whatever is worthy of attention in England, that their private history is part of the public renown. The work of Lord Campbell bears evident marks of haste; a frank and therefore not disagreeable egotism is apparent, sometimes in the text and often in the foot-notes; and there is a want of that philosophical spirit which the subject might well employ. But vigorous good sense and industrious research, combined with remarkable power of telling a story with dramatic effect, and a style always graphic and often eloquent, make the seven large volumes as entertaining as a romance, from the beginning to the end.
The description of the former work will apply to the present, although from the nature of the subject this will be less interesting to the general reader, and perhaps more so to the legal profession. We propose, in a few brief notices of some of the marked men whose lives are narrated in these two volumes, to endeavor to interest our readers in the work itself. We shall use freely the materials furnished by the author, and whenever convenient his language, without any particular acknowledgment.
The Anglo-Saxons guarded against centralization in their institutions. They chose to keep their own consciences and manage their own affairs, rather than submit to the absolute guidance of priest or king. This is especially observable in their judicial system. Each subdivision of the territory had its court with civil and criminal jurisdiction. In each county was a tribunal of high dignity over which the Bishop and the Earl jointly presided, and important causes were heard by appeal before the Witenagemote, and decided by the voice of the majority. In Normandy different institutions prevailed, according to the theory of which all power emanated from a central head, and privilege was a gift bestowed upon the people by royal favor. Accordingly, after the Norman Conquest, a grand judicial tribunal was established in England, with jurisdiction over the whole realm. This was called the Curia Regis, and sometimes, from its place of meeting, the Aula Regis. The great officers of state were the judges, and over them presided the Chief Justiciar. This tribunal continued without material alteration for about two hundred years, when, under the forming hand of a wise Prince, the judicial institutions of England took substantially the shape which they have since retained. · The history of the men who, during these two hundred years, held the office of Chief Justiciar, is rather political and military than judicial. They were not much controlled by precedents, and their decisions upon points of law are not often quoted now. Among them were Robert De Brus, who early illustrated the fortunes of that race which afterwards won immortal honor upon the field of Bannockburn, and whose blood gives to the reigning Queen of England her hereditary title to the crown ; Hubert De Burgh, a man of mark in the early history of England ; De Glanville, a soldier, a scholar, and a statesman, whose legal writings are still quoted, and perhaps occasionally read; De Bracton, an eloquent writer and a great jurist, whose thorough knowledge and cordial admiration of the Roman jurisprudence might have been generally emulated by the English bar
manland, Wiuria Regis. The shed the Cheration for of a