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ent way; but they unhesitatingly promulge and firmly maintain the principles of their own, for they are churchmen.
Thus have I furnished the information you appeared to desire, and have also adverted to the more popular arguments which are adduced to justify the late Act of the British Parliament. My communication is rather lengthened; but an apology will be found in the interest which the subject naturally creates in a missionary of the society. I beg you to return my best thanks to those gentlemen in our neighbourhood who have so warmly espoused the cause of the society. Believe me your ever affectionate brother. *
THE ELDER “BIRMINGHAM UNION.” SIR,—The following is an extract from a letter to me:-In rummaging the Kinmel Library (Lord Dinorben's) I took down Nalson's Collections, containing tracts and documents, about 1637, when our former rebellion against church and state was brewing. I amused H. R. Highness, as I shall you, with the frontispiece-viz., a Janus, two-faced ;-viz., a Geneva divine, and a Jesuit, his cloven foot (the other, I suppose, was a club foot] on the bible ; and before him lie scattered, “ disjecta membra,” the crown, mitre, and other emblems.
Some verses are added, which are worthy of being communicated to Mr. R.; or the writer, you or not you, who sends to the British Magazine coincidences of those times with the present.
“Now, turn your eyes to the busy saint below
That Brummigham uniter of mankind !
And on the bible stamps his cloven foot.” This is curious. Let me add my doggrel couplets for the benefit of the “ Patriot” and “Advocate" dissenting newspapers, and of such dissenters as are now at their old work; or else, unwittingly, playing the game of papists and infidels, under the colours of true protestantism, by attacking its bulwark—the church of England.
Such were of yore the patriot annealers
Yours, &c., N. C.
ON THE KING'S MINISTERS' SCHOOL INQUIRIES. SIR,_Lord Melbourne, in his queries addressed to churchwardens, respecting schools, asks—“ Is any school confined (nominally or virtually) to the established church ?” Now, what can the church
• The Editor has the name of the author, and has liberty even to publish it; but knowing by experience the vindictive feelings to which the publication of facts (the strongest arguments) always gives rise, he feels it right to withhold it, except to those who may inquire from friendly motives.
wardens answer ? Does the Government imagine, that there is any disguise, or concealment, or prevarication in national schools, that there should exist a necessity for such an inquiry into their religious practice ? If the churchwardens of any place state, that there is a school virtually confined to the church, would not a person be led to suppose, that it was not so by name, but that the clergy had managed to make it so in fact. So, if they answered “there is one nominally confined to the church," it would be supposed, that, from some improper motive, the design was not, or from other reasons, as might be represented by an unfriendly hand, could not be followed up in effect. Now, such language as this is not fitting to be applied to the National Society; but it is the language to be expected from those who are conscious that the proceedings of their friends have not been distinguished by remarkable candour on this point. But what right have the churchwardens to stamp their virtual or nominal ban upon any school? What power of nice discrimination on the religious character of such establishments do they possess ? What business have they to interfere in matters between God and the conscience, and determine whether the school be virtually or nominally what they choose to state? And why does Lord Melbourne use the word confined ? He cannot but know, that all schools united with the National Society are open to every and any child who chooses to attend. Its course of instruction is definite, and public, and notorious. No circumstances, no inducements can lead the committee of any national school to represent to the public, what they do not strictly follow in practice. The word confined is not applicable to the schools of the present day. The caution and foresight of our ancestors have, indeed, in their wisdom, placed some restrictions, as to the admission of candidates for their bounty; and in their endowments, they have, in a few instances, prohibited certain religious professions, which, in their opinion, militated against the church, the state, good learning, and the happiness of society. Therefore it is that we read—“That hereafter no man be chosen in for a trustee (or Master) who is a papist, or popishly inclined, or dissenter from the protestant faith, as it is now professed, and by law established.” Therefore it is, that no one shall be capable of teaching “in my school,” who is “ unsound in the faith, and corrupt in religion, either Papist or popishly affected, or an Armenian, a Socinian, or Anabaptist, or one holding and broaching heresies, and gross erroneous opinions, contrary to the articles of our Christian faith, established of the church of England, and confirmed by public authority of public laws and statutes. But as the general design of the founders of endowed schools was “specially to increase knowledge, and worshipping of God and our Lord Jesus Christ, and good Christian life and manners in the children,” they almost universally required the masters of the schools to be in holy orders, and to instruct the children in the doctrines, discipline, and formularies of the church of England, as the best and only mode of securing their benevolent designs. The National Society was formed to extend the same course of instruction to the increased population, and its schools are now being planted in every district, chiefly by the exertions of the clergy,
for the open and avowed purpose of bringing up their pupils in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. But there is no confining the benefits “ to the use of children of the established church," any more than the dissenters confine their schools to the admission of children only who on entering belong to their connexion. What the use of the question, therefore, is, in its present terms, I cannot conceive ; and surely no legislative measures can be founded on answers which are returned by ignorant, prejudiced, and irresponsible persons, who, with few exceptions, know no more of the nature of scholastic establishments, or their virtual and nominal distinctions, than they do of the man in the moon. Is not an inquiry of such a nature, from such people, at least, unprecedented ?
Whilst the Home Secretary is thus engaged in such wise interrogatories, the Lord Chancellor is represented as presuming upon more sweeping speculations. It is said, that his Lordship has written to the trustees of various charitable institutions, to ascertain whether they are willing to throw in their funds, to form a common hotch-potch stock for “ national education.” I take it for granted that the inquiry is restricted to scholastic charities. The question then arises-on what terms has the school been founded, endowed, erected, or maintained? If the principles of the proposed “national education” be agreeable to the regulations of the existing institutions (such as I have mentioned above), I see no objection to the trustees admitting the consideration of the proposition. But, what are the principles of Lord B.'s scheme? Until these are revealed, no trustee can give any answer to such a question. Surely it cannot be supposed, that men can accept advantages and undertake offices, on distinct and solemn conditions, and for certain declared and limited objects, and then, at the call of any projector, are at liberty to apply the resources delegated to their charge in such a inanner as to produce effects diametrically contrary to the trust they are pledged to uphold in its pure and express line of operation ? Surely they cannot give up to the propagation or furtherance of infidel and sectarian schemes, that property, and those establishments, which the piety of their ancestors or the Christian benevolence of their cotemporaries, has consecrated to promote the glory of God, and the spiritual welfare of man, within the bosom of the church of England ? “To the law, then, and to the testimony !" “ How readest thou ?!! Can we irreverently look upon the pious injunctions and godly provisions which distinguish the munificent founders of many of our scholastic institutions ? Shall we at once contravene and frustrate that scrupulous care, and those Christian laws, which, while no one was excluded, wisely provided for all instruction in religion according to the established church of the country? To whom is the civilized world indebted, under Providence, for the learning, virtue, character, and piety of successive generations ?- To the clergy. Who can adequately trace the effects which the clerical preceptors of grammar schools have had on the station and glory of this country? I scarcely know a grammar school, and not a single national school, which can ever be amalgamated with any scheme of 6 national education' not founded on the national church. On this
point the managers have no discretion; and it is probable, that the Lord Chancellor, in sending his interrogatory, cared but to make a display of his “ liberal views,” in accordance with the wishes of those who desired an opportunity of echoing back their disinterested acqui
R. W. B.
NOTICES AND REVIEWS.
The Truths hidden by the False Witness of Convocation. An Essay. By Charles
Smith, B.D., late Tutor of St. Peter's College, Cambridge, and Rector of
Newton, Suffolk. London : Baldwin and Cradock. 1834. 8vo. pp. 78. Mr. Smith has generally something worth saying, and says it in a striking, though overstrained manner. His great fault, however, is, as mentioned in noticing his last work, the contemptuous manner in which he speaks and thinks of everybody else, and of everybody's plans and knowledge but his own. He alone sees the truth, and he alone is to save the church. Occasionally he happens to see what other people have seen a long time ago, and then speaks with great contempt of all the world for not seeing it, till he pointed it out. The truth, for example, that the church does not mean the clergy only, does not appear to be a very profound one. At all events, for the last two or three years, every second pamphlet upon Church Reform has very properly dwelt upon it. Yet Mr. Smith seems to think that the world has been in darkness on the matter till the publication of his book. All this is much to be regretted. When a man has real ability, and real zeal for the cause of the Gospel, it is a pity that he should make them almost useless by exaggerated views, and by despising everybody else, and shewing that contempt as often as he puts pen to paper.
In the present volume, Mr. Smith is very vehement against convocation, which he accuses as the grave of truth, and the cause of almost all our evils. It is the Popish substitute for national synods, and the revival of them is both necessary and possible. Through the existence and consequent abuse of convocations, have sprung up the wrong views about the proper legislative body for the church, and endless mistakes as to the authority of bishops, and the nature of their position in the House of Lords. In his views of the charch, its proper rights, and the proper functions and dignity of the bishops, and the evils which we suffer from the want of some definite notions on the proper way of legislating for it, Mr. Smith says a great deal which is very valuable, and very true. One thing, too, is quite clear from his and very many other books daily appearing, that there is daily arising in men's minds a strong sense of the degradation and absurdity of a set of men who may be all Papists and Dissenters being allowed to be the sole legislators for the church. Let it be remembered that no opinion is here given whether it is wise or safe to moot these questions now, or whether a revival of church assemblies be practical or wise. It is only asserted that the feeling with respect to these things is becoming every day more strong; and it is clearly the duty of those who see it to point it out. It is the business of others to profit or not by the statement-may one say, warning ?
One word more a3 to Mr. Smith. He talks of the impertinence of rash and irresponsible Magazines and newspapers setting up to be champions of the church, when her own catholic communion is her defence, &c. &c. Now if Mr. Smith will point out any way for ridding the country of magazines, newspapers, and reviews, at once, the Reviewer will gladly join with him. But the
VOL. V.-Feb. 1834.
evils of these things are not their rashness, or their irresponsibility, for they do not profess to have any authority to defend or attack; thr'oniy come forward, just as Mr. Smith does, to propound, perhaps, their own nostrums, instead of his. Suppose for magazines and newspapers one was to read “ former Tutors of Peter House, and present Rectors of Newton, Suffolk,” is not the argument just as good ? Has Mr. S. any particular authority for coming forward in defence of the church, and presenting his particular medicine for its disease ?
And even one word more. Let Mr. S., who really could do great service, consider that he entirely prevents himself from doing so, by exaggerated views of minor matters. He is everlastingly recurring to the wickedness of speaking Latin in the convocation, and other things of the same sort, and really goes to the length of saying that the Papists are more Protestants (of all things) than we, because they speak their mother tongue in their synods! Strange notion of Protestantism! But still stranger to find in so great an argument such trifles dwelt on. These things will not only provoke a smile, but prevent attention to things and thoughts which deserve it.
Memoirs of the Life and Correspondence of C. F. Schwartz. By H. Pearson,
D.D., Dean of Salisbury. London. Hatchards. 1834. 2 vols. 8vo. Not a word need be said on the character of the truly apostolical man whose life the Dean of Salisbury has here given to the world. Any one more like an apostle and a saint, seems not to have lived since the apostles quitted the earth. A history of such a man from the best existing documents, is a great boon to others, as well as a debt of justice to his memory. Every one, therefore, interested either in the progress of Christianity or in its effects on individuals, owes sincere thanks to the Dean of Salisbury for undertaking this task, and for the spirit and feeling in which he has executed it. It is the only standard work on Schwartz's life, and, consequently, also, on what Bishop Heber called the most hopeful part of Christian prospects in India. The Dean of Salisbury is a most pleasing composer, and the tone of the whole work is one well fitted for its subject. A very little condensation in part of the first volume might have been advantageous, though perhaps the Dean has judged rightly in thinking, that every particular should be given which relates to such a man. The letters of Mr. Chambers in Vol. I., and of Mr. Cammerer in Vol. II., describing Schwartz's character and habits, and the effects produced by them, and those of the eminent and excellent Missionaries who describe his death, his Christian patience and hope, are of surpassing interest, and should be read by everybody.
Bibliotheca Classica; or a Classical Dictionary on a plan entirely new. By John
Dymock, LL.D., and T. Dymock, M.A. London: Longman and Co.
1833. 8vo. This is a very valuable school book-quite free from the corrupting matter often found in these works with many conveniences; as, for example, the modern name added to each ancient name of country or city, the quantities marked, &c. &c.
To answer for the correctness of 927 closely printed pages would be absurd, but it is only due to the authors to say, that several trying cases have been investigated, and with every credit to their accuracy.
Consolation in Asiction. Dublin : Wakeman. 1833. 18mo. pp. 246. Ir about a dozen very trashy and faulty pieces were struck out, this would be a most pleasing and valuable selection, of the thoughts of the good and great, on affliction and death.