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tionary volcano. During the Resto- colours the important effects of Chrisration, the liberal party of Great tianity upon the fabric of society Britain were never weary of extol. in modern Europe. Public misfor. ling the happy condition and bril. tune has righted the human mind. liant prospects of the French people; We no longer meet with the sneers and uniformly held out, that much at religion in the enlightened writers as the violence and horrors of the of France, which disgrace the otherpreceding convulsions were to be wise incomparable works of Hume deplored, their final results had been and Gibbon. Even the lucid and eminently favourable to the interests philosopbic spirit with which Ro. of mankind. The delusion was tbus bertson has reviewed the progress of generally diffused, that Christianity society in modern Europe, yields to formed 'no essential part of public the antiquarian penetration, the enfelicity; that it was possible to rear larged views, with which Guizot has up a happy state of society on the traced, through all the obscurity of · foundation of church spoliation, and the middle ages, the historical blessgeneral infidelity; and that in a re- ings of religious institutions; and generated monarchy, religion might that fervent and enthusiastic defence be dispensed with, and public virtue of Christianity, which for above a supersede the necessity of ecclesias- century had been wanting to French tical instructors. Is there any well- literature, was found within sight of informed man who will now dare to the altar of the Goddess of Reason, maintain the paradox? The revolt in the burning thoughts and gifted of the Barricades, the accession of eloquence of Chateaubriand. the Citizen King, has dispelled the When Napoleon took the field, in illusion : it has disclosed the interior
1815, against the forces of combined of the whited sepulchre, exhibited Europe, he marched in the first the ghastly features of premature instance against the Duke of Weldecay, amidst the triumph of the lington's army : "for if I defeat the revolutionists; held up to public English,” said he," what need I care gaze the extinction of all the ele- for all the hordes which the Austrians, ments of freedom in the first of rege- Russians, and Prussians, are directnerated monarchies; exhibited a ing to the Rhine ?” Revolutionary growth of licentiousness and profli. madness pays the same sincere, but gacy unparalleled in any modern involuntary homage to the Church, in State, and revealed to the world, as every State which it invades: it the certain fruits of irreligious tri- directs its first and strongest attack umphs, the chains, the well-known against the establishments of Chrischains of Eastern despotism. tianity. An unerring instinct tells
“ There are but two eras in human its leaders, that if they can only affairs,” says Madame de Stael, overthrow its bulwarks, they will " that which preceded, and that find it an easy matter to overturn which followed the introduction of all the other institutions of society ; Christianity.” The evident and that when the sentinels at the gates ruinous effects of the extinction of are massacred, the battlements will religion in France, have forced them- soon be in their power. The Church selves upon the observation of the was the first victim of democratic most enlightened even of the liberal fervour in France; and before a party in that fervent country. It stroke was levelled either at the was impossible, that a generation nobility or the throne, the whole could grow up under the practical ecclesiastical property in the State influence of irreligious sentiments, was confiscated; the earliest meawithout the disastrous effects of such sure of the revolutionists in Spain a change forcing themselves upon and Portugal, when they obtained the observation of every impartial possession of supreme power in 1823, observer; and accordingly M. Gui. was to extinguish the whole instituzot, though one of the liberal leaders, tions, and appropriate the whole and by no means guiltless in regard possessions, of the Church; and the to the previous measures of that first use which the reformers of party which led to the Revolution England have made of the extraorof July, has portrayed in vivid dinary triumph of the Reform Bill, has been to direct against the Esta- able and highly educated young men blished Church the whole discon- whom those two noble seminaries tented humours of the State.
annually send forth, strongly im. The assault on the Church, there, bued with Conservative principles ; fore, is not to be regarded as a mere bitterly galled by the obvious fact, isolated menace on a detached inte. that the waters flowing from these rest in the State. It is a direct at- great fountains of knowledge are tack on the whole interests of 80- now purified, and the sophisms of ciety--the first of a series of mea- modern liberalism effectually ba. sures by which the nobility, the nished from the really enlightened throne, the funds, the great estates, classes of society, they have rewill be destroyed. The leaders of course to a lower body. They rethe revolutionary party are well present these venerable institutions aware that the Church is the great as the mere fastnesses of error, prebond which unites the higher and judice, and cupidity, and hold forth, the lower orders; that in its defence as the first of the many grievances unall the greatest and noblest, as der which they labour, the necessity well as the humblest aud simplest of conforming to the Church of Engof the community, are linked toge- land before they can attain any of ther; and that in the feelings of the honours or important stations in common devotion, and the worship the University. This is their first of God under one common roof, feel attack on Religion, the Church, and ings of mutual sympathy are produce the State ; they hope thus to get posed, which are perhaps the only ties of session of the great fountain of affection which, in the present arti- public instruction, and so turn by ficial state of society, unite the higher its source the mighty stream which and the lower orders. All this they has so long opposed a barrier to kpow, and the effects of this union their progress. they fear from the bottom of their As it is obvious what the designs hearts. They are well aware that of the Revolutionists are in making the Catholic Relief Bill, by depri- this inroad, so it would be mere af. ving the Conservative party of the fectation in the Conseryatives to at. vast support which they received tempt to conceal what their motives from the religious sympathy of the are for resisting it. They are fully great mass of the rural tenantry on aware of the importance of religion that important question, did more to society, and deeply impressed to prostrate the defences of the mo. with a conviction, that the Church narchy than any measure since the of England is the form in which its Revolution, and led by natural con- blessings can best be communicated sequence to the Reform Bill, and all to the English people. Believing the catalogue of disasters by which this, they regard Oxford and Camit has been attended. Knowing this, bridge as not merely places of eduand anticipating a similar junction cation, but essentially and chiefly of the Conservative leaders and the places of religious education. Th rural population, in defence of the are persuaded, that unless the ele. Church of England, they are inde- ments of a right faith are early imfatigable in their efforts to heap up planted in the minds of the influenobloquy on its institutions; and an- tial part of the nation--unless the ticipate from its overthrow the dis- truths of Christianity in its purest persion of the last phalanx which re- form are early inhaled by our statesmains between them and the attain- men, our legislators, our instructors, ment of all their selfish and revolu. the institutions, not only of religion, tionary projects.
but of society, are bound together The Revolutionists have begun by a rope of sand, and all the cletheir attack in an artful way. Know- ments of British greatness and freeing the influence of education on the dom will be speedily dissolved by the mind of youth-seeing the noble subtle poison which has proved fatal stand which Oxford and Cambridge to them in the neighbouring kinghave made against the Reform Bill, dom. Believing this, and deeply and all the ruinous measures by impressed with the necessity of prewhich it has been followed ; irritated serving unsullied the great fountains beyond measure at the multitudes of of public thought, they are resolved to resist to the uttermost any mea.. pedient to introduce the firebrand of sures calculated to weaken the as- religious discord, the jealousies of cendency of the Established Church an established and rival church, into in these seminaries, and render the calm retreats of science and their walls the theatre of the di- philosophy ? Has the experience of visions, acrimony, and malevolent mankind shewn that religious strife disposition, which so lamentably per- is so trifling and inconsiderable a vade the dissenting interest in every source of discord, that it can be safe. other part of the kingdom. In doing ly introduced into the bosom of a this, they are not actuated by any ill- peaceful community ? Are no evil will towards that body, adorned by consequences to be anticipated, not many eminent and respectable men; merely to the Church of England, they are merely sensible of the ob- but to religion in general, from the vious truth, that they cannot coexist jealousy, the animosity, and heartin the same establishment, that their burnings of two rival sets of theolosphere of usefulness lies in different gians in one University, each burn. quarters, and that the utility of both ing with zeal for the propagation would be destroyed, if they were of their own set of opinions, and placed side by side in an institution each striving to draw off proselytes, fundamentally framed upon the and students from their antagonist? adoption of one system of religious Is there any example in the world, faith.
in any country really governed by What would the Catholics say, if a religious principles, of such a heteProtestant were to insist not merely rogeneous mixture of discordant theupon receiving the elements of edu- ological principles in a public semication at Maynooth College, but be- vary of education ? Such a system ing declared eligible to its profes- may do very well in regenerated sorships ? or a Jew were to com- and revolutionized France, which plain of injustice, because he were has nearly thrown off the old slough not permitted to become Professor of the Christian faith, and appears of Divinity in a Christian University; now in the parti coloured skin of or a Protestant were to propose that science, profligacy, and despotism; he should be elected to an important but it is incompatible with a sincere situation in the Propaganda of belief in the truth of their principles Rome? In all these cases the absur. by either Churchmen or Dissenters, dity of the demand is obvious, and and could lead to nothing, in a our own Dissenters and Liberals really Christian establishment, but would be the first to point it out, if the fierceness of religious strife, or the it were attempted by any member supineness of sceptical indifference. of the Church of England. But they The able and candid journals in wilfully shut their eyes to the un- the dissenting interest openly avow, reasonable nature of such a demand and publicly glory in, the ulterior when directed against the Establish- objects which they have in view, in ed Church of this country; or rather, thus seeking to force themselves into they distinctly see it and feel it, but the Universities. The Examiner de. obstinately persist in supporting it, clares that the object is of vital imfrom its tendency to advance their portance, for that if once they sucrevolutionary projects.
ceed in possessing themselves of the Nothing but confusion and dis- lever of education, the speedy overcord, envy, 'hatred, malice, and all throw of the Establishment will be uncharitableness, can be expected to a comparatively easy task. They are arise from permitting the point of perfectly right. It will be so; and the dissenting wedge to be introdu- iherefore it is, that not only all friends ced into either of the Universities. to the Church of England, but all They say now, that they wish to be sincere and upright believers in allowed to aspire to scholarships Christianity, should unite their forces and degrees; that is, to become to resist an invasion fraught with members of the University, and have such danger, not only to so vener. a vote in various elections and mat. able an establishment, but such inters connected with academical dis- calculable danger to the progress of cipline. What good is to be derived Christianity over the world. It is from such an introduction ? Is it ex- impossible to estimate the effects which would be produced, not upon And are these glories and this usethese islands in particular, but the fulness matter of historymerely? Must world in general, if the Church of we turn to other days, to the annals England were overturned. What of an earlier age, to the works of an other church has ever so nobly main- infant Establishment, for proofs of its tained the contest, not merely of its continued and undecaying lustre ? own tenets, but of Christianity in ge- No! The present time bears witness neral, as that of England? Where shall to its achievements; the land in which we find, in the annals of any other we live affords testimony of its splenpeople, so stupendous an array of dour. Never in any former age, not learning and intellect, of eloquence even in that memorable one which and genius, of taste and piety? The arose, conquering and to conquer, fervent spirit and poetic ardour of out of the fires of Smithfield, nor in Jeremy Taylor-the learned wisdom that equally momentous period when and practical piety of Barrow-the it set itself to oppose the torrent of pious aspirations and devout feelings licentiousness which overspread the of Hooker-the sound judgment and country on the accession of Charles clear sagacity of Tillotson-the me- II., did the Church of England aptaphysical acuteness and discrimi- pear in brighter and more glorious nating talent of Samuel Clarke, have colours, than now, when, undeterred stamped immortality upon the church by the terrors of a revolution, and to which they belonged. The pro. unseduced by the allurements of phecy of Latimer and Ridley at the power, she maintains her faith inviostake is already accomplished—they late, and preserves in silent courage have lighted a flame which, by the her blissful career. It is on this trygrace of God, will never be extin- ing, this momentous occasion, that guished.
the inherent purity of her prinIf the Democratic dissenters of mo- ciples and dignity of her character dern times were worthy of the land have been most conspicuous. Other which gave them birth, and the sires ages have witnessed the prostration from which they sprang, they would of religious institutions by the fertremble before they laid
vour of sectarian zeal, or the attacks an establishment which has done, of infidel ribaldry; other countries and is doing, such marvellous things. have seen the noble foundations of Greater in its achievements than the ancient piety torn up by the fury of patriotism of antiquity-more glo- modern revolution, but in all such rious in its conquests than the Ro- cases the government at least was man legions, it has subjected, not steady to its duty and its principles, kingdoms, but hemispheres, to its in- and in the hour of trial the throne fluence; and in the admirable Liture and the altar fell together. It has gy by which it has spoken to the been reserved for our age alone to hearts of so many millions, and is witness the Church, in the moment destined to speak to the hearts of so of its greatest danger, bereft of supmany myriads of mankind, establish- port in the quarter where every prinied an unseen dominion, against which ciple of duty and wisdom entitled it the forces of bell shall strive in to expect it; to see the forces of revain. They may root the Mother volution and of the government blendChurch out of the British islands - ed together for the promotion of meathey may annihilate the parentof such sures evidently and avowedly intendunequalled greatness—they may re- ed to accomplish its destruction, and duce the land of Newton and Bacon the whole weight of the prerogative to an infidel state—they may render exerted to force through a revoluChristianity, in this its once favour. tionary change, the first effect of ed ark, hateful by their ambition, or which was openly announced to be contemptible by their divisions, the arraying all the forces of demothey may overturn the British em- cracy at once against its battlemente. pire by their success, but extinguish Assailed thus, in front and rear at the Church of England they never the same time, threatened by the will, till talent has ceased to com- enemy without, deserted by the garmand the admiration, and piety win rison within, it has nobly stood at its the affections, and usefulness secure post, mildly but firmly withstanding the concurrence of mankind. the attacks of its enemies, replying by the lustre of its character to all national religion has ever so effectuthe calumnies with which it was as- ally, resisted all the powers of sailed, and exhibiting an example of wickedness ? -- what other has so usefulness, piety, and benevolence, manfully endured the terrors of a in the midst of a corrupted society, persecuting, or resisted the corrupwhich may well put its antagonists tions of a profligate age?-what to the blush for the obvious bless other bas spread so far and wide ings to which they have been insen- the principle and practice of true sible, and the vast advantages which religion ?-what other has 80 thothey have sought to destroy. roughly engrafted the great duty of
When we reflect on the calumnies Christian charity, not only upon the which the Dissenters have heaped on habits and feelings, but the instituthe Church of England, when we tions of the people? The Poor look back to their history and her Laws, the noblest monument, as history,--when we consider what they were originally conceived, of they are, and what she is, we are lost Christian benevolence and political in astonishment at the audacity and wisdom, that ever was reared by effrontery of their pretensions, and the man, date their origin from the 42d gross ignorance of history, science, of Elizabeth, shortly after the estatheology, and literature, which such blishment of the National Church; diatribes imply in their followers. and but for the steady provision The schoolmaster has been abroad which they have since afforded to to very little purpose ; his instruc- sickness and old age, the institutions tions have wofully darkened the of England could never bare withage, when such misrepresentations stood the shocks arising from the can find a willing reception in any, vicissitudes of employment and subeven the humblest and most preju- sistence, incident to a great commerdiced class of readers. Who are the cial and manufacturing community. great men who adorn and have im. The charitable institutions, and be mortalized the dissentiog churches nevolent establishments of the island, of Britain ? Respectable worthy pas- have since that time been unboundtors they have had, and have ; two or ed, notwithstanding the vast burden threeratheringenious metaphysicians entailed on the State by the subsethey may point out; eminent names quent misdirection of that great in science they may boast; sturdy engine of national pity; and if we supporters of democracy they have add together the legal and the volunproduced: but to compare them to the tary contributions made good by luminaries of the Church of England! English charity and benevolence Where are their Taylors, and Bar- since its first establishment, we shall rows, and Hookers, their Clarkes, find their amount unparalleled in and Cudworths, and Newtons, their any other age or country: Where Sherlocks, and Ogdens, and Paleys, shall we find a National Church their Warburtons, and Butlers, and that has so effectually resisted the Tillotsons, their Hebers, Coplestones, agents of corruption which have Sumners, and Alisons ? What names been so long and actively at work in have they produced which have ac- the British Islands, and preserved quired a European reputation, or the standard of national morals so are known beyond the straits of Do. high, and the adherence to religion ver or the Atlantic, or will survive so general, amidst sources of corrupthe fervour and zeal of the little secttion unparalleled in any country, to which they belong ?
ancient or modern ? Roman virtue Is it in the more silent and un- rapidly yielded to the wealth brought obtrusive, but not less important in by her victorious legions; Conwalks of usefulness, that we are to stantinople soon was corrupted by look for evidence of the benefits of the stream of wealth which flowed a national Establishment? Where into the great emporiųm of Asiatic shall we find such numerous—such commerce; Venetian patriotism sunk overwhelming proofs of it, as in the under the enervating influence of Church of England ? What other Indian opulence : but the English
We except Priestly and Hall; two names of lasting celebrity,