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to fall into their views in the moment of trial, if they sedulously stand aloof up to that instant, and make no attempt to come to a good understanding ?
Again, if they nominate, at last, some Lord Powerscourt or Lord Jocelyn,-men in whom the Dissenters can have no confidence; how can they expect, that on the single point of Maynooth, the Dissenters should suddenly leave their own friend, and join themselves to the party whom they have been opposing all their lives?
Why not act generously and manfully in the matter? Why not, in Derby and in Bath, and in all similar cases, say to the Dissenters, “ You have possession of the seats for the town, and we will not attempt to take advantage of the Maynooth question, to get these seats for men of our own politics. As you have the seats already, we will leave them in your hands, and not bring forward or support Conservative candidates,-if only you will offer us sound Protestant candidates. Take, then, the matter into your own management. We ask you to dismiss Mr. Strutt from Derby, and Mr. Roebuck from Bath, and to propose good candidates of your own, who will resolutely oppose all Popish endowments. Do this, and we will help you. You shall have all the votes we can give you, and thus success will be both easy and certain."
Now what prevents this? What prevents some such course from being taken in every borough-town where the Dissenters have the seats already in their hands? And with equal frankness the Dissenters ought to say to the Churchmen in such a place as Reading, “ Dismiss Mr. Russell,-bring forward a Protestant Churchmen, and we will support you."
We put the question once, in a plain way, to a Dissenting friend. We said,—" We are willing to support Sir Culling Smith against any follower of Sir Robert Peel,—are you willing to support Sir R. H. Inglis against such a Liberal as Sir W. Molesworth ?”
The answer betrayed what, we think, is a prevalent fallacy among Dissenters. Our friend said, “ Sir Robert Inglis !--that requires consideration. We might agree about Maynooth; but there are many other questions on which we should differ!”
We replied, “What other questions ? Tell us, practically, what other question is there, at all likely to arise,-beyond this one grand question of the endowment of Popery ?” Our friend paused, and was at a loss for a reply.
We believe that this is a fearful blunder which the Dissenters are now committing. They still consider Lord John Russell as their leader, and regard him as one whom they must support, in order to support their own views and their own interests. In this, they seem to us to be putting names in the place of things. 1846,
The Test and Corporation Acts have been repealed, the Corn Law and the Reform Bill are both on the Statute-book, and no one, we suppose, imagines that either of them will be repealed. Thus, all the leading controversies are at an end, except the Church controversy. And are the Dissenters really so blind, as to imagine that Lord John Russell is with them on these questions?
Do they not know,--everybody else knows full well, that Lord John Russell has become many degrees higher in his churchmanship within the last ten years? Do they not know, that he is a regular attendant at Mr. Bennet's Church, St. Paul's Knightsbridge, and is smitten with the rubrical performances there carried on? Do they not know, that on assuming the Premiership, his first step was to have a long interview with the Archbishop of Canterbury, with the tenor of which conversation, his Grace declared himself to be “ entirely satisfied ?" And do they not know that,
—very recently at least,-Lord John entertained a project which would have terrified Sir Robert Peel,-pamely, that of increasing the number of Spiritual Peers in the House of Lords ?
And is it not strange,-all these things considered,—that the Dissenters should still continue to regard Lord John Russell as a sort of leader and champion of their interest !
If men could but clear their minds of all the prejudices and party-attachments which recent events have superseded, and could learn to govern themselves by a regard to the existing state of things ;-if they would rise out of customary forms and habits, and look abroad upon the world as it now stands, the survey would effect a very extensive change in their views and wishes.
Dissenters have been long accustomed to repeat with a kind of scorn, “Popery !-its resurrection at this time of day is simply impossible. After all the discoveries of modern science,-after all the progress of liberal ideas' which has marked the course of the last sixty years, to suppose it possible for Popery ever to lift its head, and to gain its dominion over the minds of men, is down. right Midsummer madness!”
Such has been the current language of Dissenters, even up to the present day. How much longer will they cling to this fatal delusion? How much longer will they shut their eyes to the plainest facts ?
Popery has been rapidly gaining on Dissent,—not on Protestantism merely, but especially on Dissent, for several years past. Have they kept any record, and will they dare to admit the truth)-of how many young Dissenters have entered the Church as ministers since 1830, and of how many of these have gone to the extent of Tractarianism, and some to that of Popery itself?
Or, among their laymen,-how many have gone over to the Church, and have become very high churchmen, or even more?
They were, in 1830,-a great and powerful body in England, the Romanists a despised and inconsiderable sect. Are they now, with all their wealth and numbers, building as many chapels in each year, as the Papists build of mass-houses ?
But take a still clearer view. Are not the Romanists counteracting, ruining, and tearing up, the fairest missions to the heathen, which it has cost the Dissenters so many years to establish ? Where is the Tahitian church, after an expenditure of tens of thousands of pounds, and of many precious lives? And look at China,where the London Missionary Society has long had its two or three missionaries, a number it has since raised to eight or ten. Within the last few weeks, the Romanists have contracted with certain shipowners to carry out for them to China, within the year, one hundred missionaries !
But some are still found consoling themselves with the thought, _"All this is forced and fictitious. They cannot gain the mind of the country ;—they are merely spending money, and making a vain shew.”
Is this so ? Look at facts. Who is the editor of their news. paper ? Frederic Lucas, a man of talent and acuteness, brought up as a Quaker, and accustomed, as a lawyer, to examine and weigh evidence. Yet what is he doing? Giving, in a late number of the Tablet a long and admiring account of the two victims or tools of the Italian priests, the Addolorata and the Estatica, in which “ lying wonder” he evidently believes ! And who is Pugin, their great architect, but another convert from Protestantism?
Where shall we find the mind of the country, if not in the House of Commons ? Yet it was in that assembly that we heard Daniel O'Connell, in May last, boldly eulogize the Jesuits, -as the most learned, most virtuous, most useful, and most maligned body in Christendom ;-daring the whole house to lay a single offence to their charge. Yet the Dissenters had not a man in that assembly, to make even the obvious remark,—that it was strange that these paragons of virtue should have been expelled as dangerous conspirators, not by Protestant rulers, but by the Governments of every Romanist state in Europe !
The Papists themselves now make no secret of their hope, that England may speedily be re-converted to the true faith. Throughout the continent, every Protestant is looking with the deepest anxiety, to the issue of this mighty struggle. The Churches of America know and acknowledge that the same controversy is going on with them; and that the final result is more than doubtful. Only among the English Dissenters is found that highmindedness, which despises the enemy; and sees scarcely reason even for taking precautions.
The establishment of Popery in Ireland as a National Church, will be a vast step towards that ascendancy which Rome covets. Equality must first be realized, before the final step can be taken. But equality, whatever statesmen may imagine, cannot long be naintained. If it be right that Popery should be a Church of Ireland, it is indisputable that it ought to be the Church. And the Church, it will surely be, in a very short period after its endom. ment by the State shall be resolved upon.
As the Church of Ireland, however, it will soon make short work with Protestantism, and especially with Protestant Dissenters. The Austrian government is said to be a paternal government; but no sooner did a few peasants in the Tyrol discover the duty of reading the Bible, and the sin of idolatry, than this paternal government said to them, under the dicta of the priests, “ You must go: you cannot be permitted to live here, except you obey the Church! And so, just now, in Madeira, as soon as a Scotch physician has taught a few of the islanders to read the Bible,—the mob, under the direction of the priests, straightway harry them out of the island. There will be no better fate for the Irish Protestants, 80 soon as Romish sway is nationally acknowledged. . Our conclusion, then, is, that if ever there was a crisis at which it was an incumbent duty on all Protestants to make common cause against the advancing enemy,—this is the moment. And what we would earnestly recommend is, that both parties,—Churchmen and Dissenters, should earnestly set themselves to frame some plan of united action, as the only course by which the common foe can be successfully resisted.
A LETTER TO HIS GRACE THE ARCHBISHOP OF
CANTERBURY, ON THE PRESENT WANTS OF THE
CHURCH. Fourth Edition. London : Seeleys. 1846. The publication of this little pamphlet has proved an event in the history of the Church. The station, character, and carnestness of the writer, have gained for it immediate attention. And, when seriously considered, the case it presented could not be overlooked or trifled with. The following are some of the facts of the case :
“Let us look the evil in the face. We cannot conceal it if we would. Enemies to the Church, for the sake of exposing its defects,-friends, to enlist the public sympathies in favour of their several schemes of improvement, -economists, for the sake of building up some favourite theory with an array of figures and calculations, -have exhibited the principal facts till they have become familiar to us all. Let me give a few as a specimen of a hundred more, showing how completely inadequate is our existing machinery for the spiritual education of the people.
“ The population gathered within eight miles of St. Paul's, is computed at 2,250,000. For the instruction of this vast multitude there are about 500 clergymen, or one for 4500 souls. But the instances are not few in which 10,000 and more are allotted to a single man as his flock.
“It has lately been ascertained that in Lambeth, and the five adjoining parishes, there are no less than 20,000 children without the means of education; and as this is no new evil, the parents, in a vast number of cases, are as untaught as the children. The population of the metropolis, and the suburban parishes, increases at the rate of 30,000 a year. To keep pace with this growth, fifteen churches should be built annually, and two ministers appointed to each. I need not say with all the efforts of the last ten years, since the Bishop of London's scheme was made public, how short the supply falls of this demand. Probably not half the increase has been provided for, and the other half is added to the previously existing mass of some MILLION AND A HALF who are living without any public acknowledgment of the Almighty:
“ Deplorable as this case is, if we take the whole metropolitan population, and divide it amongst the metropolitan Churches and Clergy, it is far worse when particular instances are selected. Many of the City parishes are abundantly supplied. Some of the most populous districts, thanks to the recent zeal for Church-building among the laity, and to the unwearied labours of many admirable Incumbents and Curates who ply their daily task in courts and alleys, are thoroughly explored and faithfully overlooked. But there are others near them, absolutely waste and desert as regards spiritual cultivation, --where the people are so many, and the teachers so few, that the spiritual provision made from public resources becomes a perfect mockery.(pp. 4, 5.) **** Beneath the shade of Westminster Abbey there is a district which every man ought to explore for himself, who wishes to know what the worst parts of London are, and to understand the kind of work which is before us, if we propose to pour the light of Christian truth into all its dwellings. To one of the two parishes which comprise it, a Scripture Reader has lately been sent at the request of the Incumbent. One of the regulations of the Society which employs him requires a weekly return to be made to the Clergyman of the houses visited. To distinguish the religious profession of the several families who inhabit them, the Reader is furnished with a paper divided into four columns. These are headed with the letters C, D, R and N.--C standing for Churchman, D for Dissenter, R for Roman Catholic, and N for a person who owns no brotherhood with any Christian community. Now, of