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stantially identical with what is implied in "bringing up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Had, therefore, St. Paul seen more of such mature piety, we may presume, his hopes for the future would have been brighter; but his Epistles tell us, that those not addressed by him were far more generally sincere than grown Christians; consequently, as in the mean time he had but one Timothy, so he did not reckon on the rising of many Timothys in future.
* To this hour, I conceive, the same causes lead to the same consequences. God has, some way or other, kept up his Church; but whatever other means have been used for this purpose, the education of the children of adult converts has seldom yet materially contributed to it. Therefore, in no instance yet, has a providential plan of reinvigoration implied permanence. The warmest piety of the Fathers has undergone a change, if not manifested a declension, in the sons; and in a third generation, little of the religious character has been discernible.
'The truth is, those re-invigorating movements, to which I allude, seem, in general, to have had little other efficacy than in the matter of conversion. Those concerned in them, have seldom understood much beyond this. Individuals have exemplified more; but even these have seldom been able to enforce on others what they felt themselves. The instances of sincere religion, in such cases, therefore, have been numerous; but those of mature religion few: life was widely diffused; but growth has been, comparatively, rare. Such societies have been nurseries, rather than schools. Education has gone on but indifferently in themselves; and, of course, still more indifferently in their children.
'If, then, such defects, so deeply affecting individuals, and so unfavourable to their posterity, have existed, and do exist, even where the best influences, in other most important respects, have been in operation: if this was the case, even in the apostolic time, and still remains to be the case, on every recurrence of like circumstances, what would be our ground to hope for better things, on the supposition of even another Pentecost? To this serious question, I think I see a satisfactory answer, in the slow, but sure progress of another providential scheme; a scheme as profoundly adapted to extended and lasting effects, as the converting energy of Divine Grace has been adapted to personal transformation; a scheme, one and continuous, while converting movements have been numerous and short-lived; a scheme, lastly, which, from being one and continuous, can be expected to evolve gradually; only to keep pace with the advance of society; and, then only, to manifest its perfect operation, when things in general shall be ripe for it, and the great prophetic season shall have arrived; while nothing of this kind could be supposed, in the various instances in which the converting influence has manifested itself; the effect, here, requiring a like operation in the first instance as in the last.'
Vol. I. pp. 174—79.
Every word of this we feel disposed to adopt. The Writer appears to be approaching the very solution of the all-important problem under consideration. We follow him, paragraph after paragraph, with our cordial approbation. We anticipate that he is about to point out the beauty of the Domestic Economy; to shew that the pastoral office was never intended to supersede the parental relation; that the Christian Mother was destined to be the teacher, the regenerator of her children; that every Christian household was meant to be a church; that there is especial encouragement given to parents, to expect the efficient concurrence of the Holy Spirit in thus training up their offspring in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Alas! instead of this obvious and all but irresistible conclusion, to which we seemed to be so naturally advancing, we are turned back by one of the most violent non-sequiturs imaginable. We find ourselves in a logical cul de sac. 'In a word,' says Mr. Knox, 'reason, experience, 'and Holy Scripture seem, to my apprehension, to put it past all 'doubt by their united testimony, that the system of National 'Establishments,—which commenced at the time of Constan'tine, is, in spite of all its imperfections, that very growing 'scheme, by means of which will be finally accomplished that 'general and lasting renovation of human society which we are 'so strongly warranted to expect.' A thousand years has that 'growing scheme' been tested by every variety of experiment— with what result ?' That the great apparatus does not as yet 'appear to vouch fully' what is here ascribed to it, Mr. Knox admits. On what, then, does he found his chimerical expectation, and his scriptural proof, that it will ever subserve a purpose to which hitherto it has been detrimental and hostile? Upon nothing more nor less than a doubtful interpretation of an allegorical prophecy in the Apocalypse! We require argument, and are put off with allegory: we ask for text, and are given mere comment. The proof is worthy of the theory.
We must here suspend our observations, for it will be impossible to do justice to these volumes in a single article. (To be continued).
Art. II.—1. On Natimial Property, and on the Prospects of the present Administration, and of their Successors. Second Edition, with Additions. 8vo. pp. 132. London, 1835.
2. Ireland: The Source of her Troubles; the Policy required. By Lenio. 8vo. pp. 32. London, 1835.
3. Sir Robert Peel's Address reviewed. 8vo. pp.44. London, 1835.
4. Address of Sir Robert Peel at Tamworth.
Y\/"HOEVEIi succeeds to the administration of government at this juncture of affairs, will have no enviable post. Although, through the goodness of Divine Providence, we are at peace with all the world, and enjoy internal prosperity in most of the branches of productive industry, never, perhaps, was the Minister of this country placed in a more responsible or arduous situation. Time was, when the most serious duties of the Cabinet were, to frame a treaty, or plan a campaign, and to raise loans for subsidizing our continental allies. Military tacticians and skilful financiers might then manage to conduct the affairs of State, and might even pass for heaven-born statesmen. The government of Austria or Russia was then scarcely a simpler affair than the government of England by the machinery of loans, borough votes, and the ecclesiastical janizaries distributed over the country. The unintelligent masses of the population gave no trouble to either their teachers or their rulers. The lazy and discontented were drafted off by the recruiting serjeant; the consumption of war took up the redundant increase; and the patronage of the crown, diffused through the infinite ramifications of the fiscal system, gave the Minister a species of political omnipresence and omnipotence. This was the golden age of Toryism; and we cannot wonder that it is looked back to with fond regret as the good old times, the glorious times, when the army, the navy, and the Church afforded unlimited patronage and ample means of provision for all the younger scions of the aristocracy; and there seemed to be no limit to the powers of taxation,—to the taxability and loyal endurance of the people. Church and King was then the standing toast in all good company, with confusion to all Jacobins and Dissenters. Cowper's Satires, Crabbe's Village Chronicles, Hannah More's Letters, and the Newgate Calendar bear witness to the Arcadian purity and happiness of England before Methodists and Reformers rose to trouble the State.
But all that is passed. We have a population that must be governed by quite other means, and on widely different principles. It is not merely that we have four-and-twenty millions to deal with instead of twelve, but that a spirit of intelligence has been imparted to the once inert and passive masses, which renders it impossible to hold them in abject subserviency to oligarchical domination. Never, in any age or country, was there concentrated in one community such a mass of active intelligence, so large a number of thinking beings, taught to think and act for themselves, as in England at the present moment. It is the glory of the British sovereign, that he is the ruler, not merely of free men, but of free minds; that among us, law is the executive sovereign, and opinion the legislator who shapes the law, and guards it; that half the business of other governments is here spontaneously and gratuitously done by the people; that the means of instruction, if they are not adequate to the wants of the population, far exceed the State provision ; that if the people are opposed to existing institutions, it is chiefly by being in advance of them; that the public mind has outgrown the forms in which it has been reared. Such is the state of things, owing to which a review of all our political institutions has become confessedly indispensable, so that even those politicians who have been the most vehemently opposed to any changes, now rest all their claims to public confidence on their avowed intentions to carry on the work of Reform.
'The nation has now arrived,' we are told by the Author of the pamphlet on National Property, 'at one of those periods which 'recur in the history of every free and progressive community, at 'which traditionary routine ceases to be a guide; when the file 'affords no precedents, and we must either submit to act from 'mere impulse and guess, or must recur to the first principles on 'which the theory of government is founded.' We question whether history can be made to furnish any period strictly analogous to that at which we have now arrived. But waiving this point, we agree with the Writer, that the time is come, when, in order either to preserve in security, or to reform with safety, existing institutions, it is necessary to recur to those principles which lie at the foundation, not of any mere theory of government, but of all good government. When minds are to be ruled, it must be by reason. Good laws are always founded upon sufficient reasons; and precedents are good reasons in the absence of higher ones, as opposed to what is merely arbitrary, because to follow them so far, tends to the security of society. But when precedents are at war with higher reasons, they lose their force. It is therefore neither safe nor prudent to rest the obligatory force of law upon simple prescription or tradition. To children, laws are reasons: to men, reasons are laws. When, therefore, society has reached the manhood of full civilization, it is found impossible to enforce bad laws by either the sword, the stake, or the gallows. Opinion will revenge itself upon all these ancient modes of government. Burning has long gone out of fashion; hanging, even for crimes, has become extremely unpopular; the sword lies peaceful in its scabbard, although the Tories would fain have it unsheathed in terrorem. Such being the state of things, we must needs recur to other sanctions of law, and other methods of government; and where are they to be found, but in such reasonable penalties as the common verdict of society will sanction, in the case ofoffences against laws based upon principles of equity, and carrying their own reasons on the face of them.
Strangely do those politicians deceive themselves, who imagine that the present clamour for Reform is the result of a temporary effervescence of popular feeling, and that it will give way to a re-action in favour of established systems. As well might the Jamaica planters dream of a re-action among the negroes in favour of Slavery. Whatever disappointment may be the result of imperfect reforms,—whatever angry dissatisfaction may be felt towards the authors or causes of such disappointment, this feeling can never produce a wish for the restoration of old abuses. Nor is it less absurd to talk of final measures of reform. Reform that stops short of obtaining its end, is irrational. The demand for reform, that rests its plea on mere theory, may indeed be put down by shewing the theory to be fallacious. For instance, the demand of universal suffrage can be met by shewing that it rests upon no natural or moral claim, nor of course upon any legal or acquired right, and that to allow it would endanger the security of property. But reform ought not to stop, till it reaches the point at which it ceases to be improvement; for then it will change its character, and become destruction.
But who is to determine this point? Who is to be the judge of what are abuses, and what are not ?' One gentleman,' says Sir Robert Peel, in his speech at Tamworth, 'thinks the legislative 'union an abuse; another thinks the Church of England an abuse; 'another thinks grand juries an abuse.' If this language were really held by any set of reformers, the Right Honourable Baronet might well ask for a definition of an abuse. But there is not, at the bottom, so wide a variety of opinion upon these points as Sir Robert Peel would seem to imagine. The difficulties of the Minister's position arise not so much from the clashing of opinions, as from the opposition between the old interests and the new principles. Even if no selfish interests were involved in the pending questions, the task of legislation under the present circumstances would require all the knowledge, and experience, and patient investigation which could be brought to the discussion of the various measures that press for consideration. But unhappily, the Government has not merely to arbitrate between different opinions, but to mediate between hostile forces; and ' to maintain 'the free and independent action of every branch of the legislature,' although working in mutual counteraction, and under opposing impulses!
The Reform Bill, it is now admitted by the organ of its most violent opponents (the Standard), 'has been productive of this 'good consequence. It has extinguished for a time all fear of 'making a beginning of change. To our institutions, it has been 'what the fire of London was to our metropolis, the means of 'making room for great improvement.' This is a more apt comparison than appears, for the fire of London purified the city of the plague; and the Reform Bill, by sweeping away the rotten boroughs, cleared the legislature of that source of political contagion. The Reform Bill, however, built up more than it pulled down. It was a constructive, a constituent measure. But our Contemporary is so far right, that, if it has not extinguished all fear of making a beginning of change, it has rendered other changes obviously inevitable; partly, because it has restored to the people their voice