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qualification of this censure to add that the badness of the principles is alone corrected by the badness of the style, and that this celebrated lady would have been very guilty, if she had not been very dull !
STURGES ON THE RESIDENCE OF THE CLERGY.
(E. REVIEW, April, 1803.) Thoughts on the Residence of the Clergy. By John STURGES, LL.D. This pamphlet is the production of a gentleman who has acquired a right to teach the duties of the clerical character by fulfilling them; and who has exercised that right, in the present instance, with honour to himself and benefit to the public. From the particular character of understanding evinced in this work we should conceive Dr. Sturges to possess a very power. ful claim to be heard on all questions referable to the decision of practicable good sense. He has availed himself of his experience to observe, and of his observation to judge well. He neither loves his profession too little nor too much ; is alive to its interests, without being insensible to those of the community at large ; and treats of those points where his previous habits might render a little intemperance venial, as well as probable, with the most perfect good humour and moderation.
As exceptions to the general and indisputable principle of residence, Dr. Sturges urges the smallness of some livings ; the probability that their in. cumbents be engaged in the task of education, or in ecclesiastical duty, in situations where their talents may be more appropriately and importantly employed. Dr. Sturges is also of opinion that the power of enforcing resi. dence, under certain limits, should be invested in the bishops; and that the acts prohibiting the clergy to hold or cultivate land should be, in a great measure, repealed.
We sincerely hope that the two cases suggested by Dr. Sturges, of the clergyman who may keep a school, or be engaged in the duty of some parish not his own, will be attended to in the construction of the approaching bill, and admittted as pleas for non-residence. It certainly is better that a clergy. man should do the duty of his own benefice, rather than of any other. But the injury done to the community is not commensurate with the vexation imposed upon the individual. Such a measure is either too harsh not to become obsolete ; or, by harassing the clergy with a very severe restriction, to gain a very disproportionate good to the community, would bring the profession into disrepute, and have a tendency to introduce a class of men into the Church of less liberal manners, education, and connection ; points of the utmost importance in our present state of religion and wealth. Nothing has enabled men to do wrong with impunity so much as the extreme severity of the penalties with which the law has threatened them. The only method to ensure success to the bill for enforcing ecclesiastical residence is to consult the convenience of the clergy in its construction, as far as is possibly consistent with the object desired, and even to sacrifice something that ought to be done, in order that much may be done. Upon this principle, the clergyman should not be confined to his parsonage-house, but to the precincts of his parish. Some advantage would certainly attend the residence of the clergy in their official mansions ; but, as we have before observed, the good one party would obtain bears no sort of proportion to the evil the other would suffer.
Upon the propriety of investing the Bench of Bishops with a power of enforcing residence we confess ourselves to entertain very serious doubts. A bishop has frequently a very temporary interest in his diocese : he has favours to ask ; and he must grant them. Leave of absence will be granted to powerful intercession ; and refused, upon stronger pleas, to men without friends. Bishops are frequently men advanced in years, or immersed in study. A single person who compels many others to do their duty has much odium to bear and much activity to exert. A bishop is subject to caprice and enmity and passion, in common with other individuals; there is some danger also that his power over the clergy may be converted to a poli. tical 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. Sturge observes that after all the conceivable justifications of nonresidence 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 £80 per annum ; many of those £20, £30, and some as low as £2 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 parson. age-house, and to be absent five months in the year.
3. Schoolmasters, and ministers bona 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 non-residence 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 £80 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 im. portant 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 prac. ticable to do.
CATTEAU, TABLEAU DES ÉTATS DANOIS.
(E. REVIEW, July, 1803.) Tableau des États Danois. Par Jean PIERRE CATTEAU. 3 tomes. 1802. à 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 trilling 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 anything 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 countrymen to declaim upon commonplace subjects. He goes on, mingling bucolic details and sentimental effusions, 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 de pended upon. He is occasionally guilty of some trifling inaccuracies; but what he advances is commonly derived from the most indisputable authori. ties; 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.
Denmark, since the days of Piracy, has hardly been heard of out of the Baltic. Margaret, by the Union of Calmar, laid the foundation of a monarchy, which could it have been preserved by hands as strong as those which created it) would have exercised a powersul influence upon the destinies of Europe, and have strangled, perhaps, in the cradle, the infant force of Russia. Denmark, reduced to her ancient bounds by the patriotism and talents of Gustavus Vasa, has never since been able to emerge into notice by her own natural resources, or the genius of her ministers and her monarchs. During that period, Sweden has more than once threatened to give laws to Europe ; and, headed by Charles and Gustavus, has broke out into chivalrous enterprises, with an heroic valour which merited wiser objects and greater ultimate success. The spirit of the Danish nation has, for the last two or three centuries, been as little carried to literature or to science as to war. They have written as little as they have done. With the exception of Tycho Brahé, and a volume of shells, there is hardly a Danish book, or a Danish writer, known five miles from the Great Belt. It is not sufficient to say that there are many authors read and admired in Denmark : there are none that have passed the Sound, none that have had energy enough to force themselves into the circulation of Europe, to extort universal admiration, and live, without the aid of municipal praise and local approbation. From the period, however, of the first of the Bernstorffs, Denmark has made a great spring, and has advanced more within the last twenty or thirty years than for the three preceding centuries. The peasants are now emancipated; the laws of commerce, foreign and interior, are simplified and expanded; the transport of corn and cattle is made free; a considerable degree of liberty is granted to the press; and slavery is to cease this very year in their West Indian possessions. If Ernest Bernstorff was the author of some less considerable measures, they are to be attributed more to the times than to the defects of his understanding, or of his heart. To this great minister succeeded the favourite Struensee, and to him Ove Guldberg : the first, with views of improvements, not destitute of liberality or genius, but little guided by judgment or marked by moderation; the latter, devoid of that energy and firmness which were necessary to execute the good he intended. In 1788, when the King became incapable of business, and the Crown-prince assured the government, Count Andrew Bernstorff, nephew of Ernest, was called to the ministry; and while some nations were shrinking from the very name of innovation, and others overturning every establishment, and violating every principle, Bernstorff steadily pursued, and ultimately effected the gradual and bloodless amelioration
of his country. His name will ever form a splendid epoch in the history of Denmark. The spirit of economical research and improvement which emanated from him still remains; while the personal character of the prince of Denmark, and the zeal with which he seconded the projects of his favourite minister, seem to afford a guarantee for the continuation of the same system of administration.
In his analysis of the present state of Denmark Mr. Catteau, after a slight historical sketch of that country, divides his subject into sixteen sections.
1. Geographical and physical qualities of the Danish territory : 2. Form of government : 3. Administration : 4. Institutions relative to government and administration : 5. Civil and criminal laws, and judiciary institutions: 6. Military system, land army and marine : 7. Finance : 8. Population : 9. Productive industry, comprehending agriculture, the fisheries, and the extraction of mineral substances : 10. Manusacturing industry: II. Commerce, interior and exterior, including the state of the great roads, the canals of navigation, the maritime insurances, the bank, &c. &c. : 12. Establishments of charity and public utility: 13. Religion : 14. Education : 15. Lan. guage, characters, manners, and customs : 16. Sciences and arts.- This division we shall follow.
From the southern limits of Holstein to the southern extremity of Norway, the Danish dominions extend to 300 miles * in length, and are, upon an average, from about 50 to 60 in breadth; the whole forms an area of about 8000 square miles. The western coast of Jutland, from Riba to Lemvig, is principally alluvial, and presents much greater advantages to the cultivator than he has yet drawn from it. The eastern coast is also extremely favourable to vegetation. A sandy and barren ridge, stretching from north to south, between the two coasts, is unfavourable to every species of culture, and hardly capable of supporting the wild and stunted shrubs which languish upon its surface. Towards the north, where the Jutland peninsula terminates in the Baltic, every thing assumes an aspect of barrenness and desolation. It is Arabia, without its sun or its verdant islands; but not without its tempests or sands, which sometimes overwhelm what little feeble agriculture they may encounter, and convert the habitual wretchedness of the Jutlanders into severe and cruel misfortune. The Danish government has attempted to remedy this evil, in some measure, by encouraging the cultivation of those kinds of shrubs which grow on the sea-shore, and by their roots give tenacity and aggregation to the sand. The Elymus Arenaria, though found to be the most useful for that purpose, is still inadequate to the prevention of the calamity. t
The Danish isles are of a green and pleasant aspect. The hills are turfed up to the top, or covered with trees; the valleys animated by the passage of clear streams; and the whole strikingly contrasted with the savage sterility, or imposing grandeur, of the scenes on the opposite coast of Jutland. All the seas of Denmark are well stored with fish; and a vast number of deep friths and inlets afford a cheap and valuable communication with the interior of the country.
* The mile alluded to here, and through the whole of the book, is the Danish mile, 15 to a degree, or 4000 toises in round numbers. The ancient mile of Norway is much more consi. derable. It may be as well to mention here that the Danes reckon their money by rixdollars, marks, and schellings. A rix-dollar contains 6 marks, and a mark 16 schellings: 20 schellings are equal to one livre ; consequently the pound sterling is equal to 4 r. 4 m, 14 sch., or nearly 5 rixdollars.
+ There is a Danish work, by Professor Viborg, upon those plants which grow in sand. It has been very actively distributed in Jutland, by the Danish administration, and might be of considerable service in Norfolk, and other parts of Great Britain.