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passion, in common with other individuals; there is some danger also that his power over the clergy may be converted to a political purpose. From innumerable causes, which might be reasoned upon to great length, we are apprehensive the object of the Legislature will be entirely frustrated in a few years, if it be committed to episcopal superintendence and care; though, upon the first view of the subject, no other scheme can appear so natural and so wise. Dr. Sturges observes, that after all the conceivable justifications of non-residence are enumerated in the Act, many others must from time to time occur, and indicate the propriety of vesting somewhere a discretionary power. If this be true of the penalties by which the clergy are governed, it is equally true of all other penal laws; and the law should extend to every offence the contingency of discretionary omission. The objection to this system is, that it trusts too much to the sagacity and the probity of the judge, and exposes a country to the partial, lax, and corrupt administration of its laws. It is certainly inconvenient, in many cases, to have no other guide to resort to but the unaccommodating mandates of an act of Parliament: yet, of the two inconveniences, it is the least. It is some palliation of the evils of discretionary power, that it should be exercised (as by the Court of Chancery) in the face of day, and that the moderator of law should himself be moderated by the force of precedent and opinion. A bishop will exercise his discretionary power in the dark; he is at full liberty to depart to-morrow from the precedent, he has established to-day; and to apply the same decisions to different, or different decisions to the same circumstances, as his humour or interest may dictate. Such power may be exercised well under one judge of extraordinary integrity; but it is not very probable he will find a proper successor. To suppose a series of men so much superior to temptation, and to construct a system of church government upon such a supposition, is to build upon sand, with materials not more durable than the foundation.
Sir William Scott has made it very clear, by his excellent speech, that it is not possible, in the present state of the revenues of the English Church, to apply a radical cure to the evil of non-residence. It is there stated, that out of 11,700 livings, there are 6000 under 80l. per annum ; many of those 20/., 30l., and some as low as 21. or 3!, per annum. In such a state of endowment, all idea of rigid residence is out of the question. Emoluments which a footman would spurn, can hardly recompense a scholar and a gentleman. A mere palliation is all that can be applied ; and these are the ingredients of which we wish such a palliation should be composed : — 1. Let the clergyman have full liberty of farming, and be put in this respect exactly upon a footing with laymen. 2. Power to reside in any other house in the parish, as well as the parsonage-house, and to be absent five months in the year. 3. Schoolmasters, and ministers bond fide discharging ministerial functions in another parish, exempt from residence. 4. Penalties in proportion to the value of livings, and number of times the offence has been committed. 5. Common informers to sue as at present ; though probably it might be right to make the name of one parishioner a necessary addition ; and a proof of nonresidence might be made to operate as a nonsuit in an action for tithes. 6. No action for non-residence to lie where the benefice was less than 80l. per annum; and the powers of bishops to remain precisely as they are. These indulgences would leave the clergy without excuse, would reduce the informations to a salutary number, and diminish the odium consequent upon them, by directing their effects against men who regard church preferment merely as a source of revenue, not as an obligation to the discharge of important duties. We venture to prognosticate, that a bill of greater severity either will not pass the House of Commons, or
will fail of its object. Considering the times and circumstances, we are convinced we have stated the greatest quantum of attainable good; which of course will not be attained, by the customary error, of attending to what is desirable to be done, rather than to what it is practi. cable to do.
CATTEAU, TABLEAU DES ETATS DANOIS.
Tableau.c des Etats Danois. Par Jean Pierre Catteau. 3 tomes. 1802. a Paris.
THE object of this book is to exhibit a picture of the kingdom of Denmark, under all its social relations, of politics, statistics, science, morals, manners, and everything which can influence its character and importance, as a free and independent collection of human beings. This book is, upon the whole, executed with great diligence and good sense. Some subjects of importance are passed over, indeed, with too much haste; but if the publication had exceeded its present magnitude, it would soon have degenerated into a mere book of reference, impossible to be read, and fit only, like a dictionary, for the purposes of occasional appeal: it would not have been a picture presenting us with an interesting epitome of the whole; but a typographical plan, detailing, with minute and fatiguing precision, every trifling circumstance, and every subordinate feature. We should be far from objecting to a much more extended and elaborate performance than the present; because those who read, and those who write, are now so numerous, that there is room enough for varieties and modifications of the same subject: but information of this nature, conveyed in a form and in a size adapted to continuous reading, gains in surface what it loses in depth, – and gives general notions to many, though it cannot afford all the knowledge which a few have it in their power to acquire, from the habits of more patient labour, and more profound research. This work, though written at a period when enthusiasm or disgust had thrown most men's minds off their balance, is remarkable, upon the whole, for sobriety and moderation. The observations, though seldom either strikingly ingenious or profound, are just, temperate, and always benevolent. We are so far from perceiving any thing like extravagance in Mr. Catteau, that we are inclined to think he is occasionally too cautious for the interests of truth; that he manages the court of Denmark with too much delicacy; and exposes, by distant and scarcely perceptible touches, that which it was his duty to have brought out boldly and strongly. The most disagreeable circumstance in the style of the book is the author's compliance with that irresistible avidity of his country to declaim upon commonplace subjects. He goes on, mingling bucolic details and sentimental cffusions, melting and measuring, crying and calculating, in a manner which is very bad, if it is poetry, and worse, if it is prose. In speaking of the mode of cultivating potatoes, he cannot avoid calling the potato a modest vegetable; and when he comes to the exportation of horses from the duchy of Holstein, we learn that ‘these animals are dragged from the bosom of their peaceable and modest country, to hear, in foreign regions, the sound of the warlike trumpet; to carry the combatant amid the hostile ranks; to increase the éclat of some pompous procession; or drag, in gilded car, some favourite of fortune.’ We are sorry to be compelled to notice these untimely effusions, especially as they may lead to a suspicion of the fidelity of the work; of which fidelity, from actual examination of many of the authorities referred to, we have not the most remote doubt. Mr. Catteau is to be depended upon as securely as any writer, going over such various and extensive ground, can ever be depended upon. He is occasionally guilty of some trifling inaccuracies; but what he advances is commonly derived from the most indisputable authorities; and he has condensed together a mass of information, which will render his book the most accessible and valuable road of knowledge, to those who are desirous of making any researches respecting the kingdom of Denmark.