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canery, and malignity of political controversy. The tricks of royal waiting-maids, the insolence of high-church dignitaries, and the jealousies of party leaders—added to the discontents and heartburnings kindled by the ambition of the fallen Stuarts -had brought the minds of the English people into a state bordering on political frenzy. The principles of freedom had triumphed at the Revolution; but the trial of Sacheverell proved how slowly those principles were sinking into the heart of the nation. Oxford raised her querulous protest against the increase of public liberality. The Bangorean controversy threw some light on the principles of religious liberty. The convocation of the clergy died a natural death. The freedom of the press enlarged itself; and by giving more publicity to parliamentary debates, and to political opinions, a great advance was made towards that well-guarded popular government which most men foresee as the probable issue of our national struggles, and which every good man ought to hope and pray for as the perfection of human affairs. Though we rejoice unfeignedly in the results which Providence has educed from these contests, we cannot look over the memoirs and teeming pamphlets and lampoons of that period without a feeling approaching to shame. It is true that the gracefulness of Atterbury's style, the delicate elegance of Addison's humour, the cynical gravity of Swift's sarcasm, and the splendour of Bolingbroke's sounding periods, have regaled the taste of the lovers of polite literature; but these are the gorgeous flowers whose roots were nourished in a soil where all poisonous plants were native. The controversial productions of that Augustan age of English letters abound not only in childish quibbles, in shallow reasonings, and superficial declamations, but in the most licentious personal abuse, and calumnies of the most hateful brutality. It seems never to have occurred to any
of these writers, whether wits or dunces, that the obligations of morality extend to every province of human action, and that no cause is honourably served at the expense of virtue and religion.
The refinement of modern manners, itself one of the remotest influences of religion, introduced decency of conversation and of writing; but we are still liable to the outbreak of the same malign propensities—misled, perhaps, by the imagination of a high though not infallible authority, that “vice itself loses half its evil by losing all its grossness." Nothing is held to excuse the speaker or the writer who in the partizan forgets the gentleman. And ought any excuse to be accepted from him who forgets, in the heat of political dispute, that he is—or pretends to be a Christian ?
We are humbled by the reflection forced upon us in the re
vision of the religious controversies of past times. We sometimes hope that, at the worst seasons, it was humanity in the chiefs of the church which prompted them to try their strength in the war of words, rather than bear down their opponents by the force of ecclesiastical discipline and the terrors of the civil sword. At any rate, it would not be difficult to gather from the disputants of nearly every age from the beginning, the foulest language, the most opprobrious epithets in which contempt and hatred could be expressed. To be called a dog, an ass, a Jew, a Samaritan, a heretic, a madman, a filthy beast, a blasphemer, a devil, was the common lot of men who dared to think, especially to think in opposition to the party which had power. In the controversies into which Luther was dragged, that great Reformer was wont to vent his worst feelings in alliance with his best convictions, and to damage the noblest cause by the coarsest language, -a part of his conduct which he lamented with some compunction in his later days. Calvin was not wanting in the same line. Toplady and Wesley had faults in this respect, which are happily now forgotten. It is only fair to say, that all parties have more or less sinned against each other and against God, in this matter. It is for us to blush over the past, and to watch with earnest self-distrust against the faults from which better men have not been free, and to be cautious, if bound to enter on a career in which, whatever good may have been accomplished, so much evil has been done.
It is one of the usual tendencies of party controversies to magnify the points of difference, and in the same degree to lose sight of points of agreement. This we have already intimated, and we should not here dwell on it but for the sake of two cautions,—that it should be our aim to be wise enough to expect it from others, and self-governed enough to avoid it in ourselves. But the immoralities which spring from this source and others in the workings of a party spirit, and this even among religious men, are often most humiliating. It is grievous in the last degree, that it should be an infirmity of our poor nature to carry its little selfishnesses within the precincts of that blessed religion which teaches men, as its capital truth, that the Saviour died to gather them together; that this disease should have shown itself at the very outset of Christianity, breaking the peace, and preparing for the extinction, of the churches on which the first rays of light and mercy beamed; and that the holy apostles had to pray, and weep, and write against it, with the authority and pathos of inspired earnestness, as a fleshly spirit, presumptuous, hypocritical, indecent, and cruel.' It is one of the sorest afflictions to a man of a devout and catholic temper to see, even at the present day, that these
apostolic warnings are still unheeded. If Bacon had never penned his golden sentences, if Locke had never unfolded his calm and beautiful philosophy, if Jeremy Taylor had never set before us his graphical descriptions, one might have hoped that the piety of Owen, the seraphic dignity of Howe, the burning appeals of Baxter, and the reason and gentleness of Watts and Doddridge, would have done more in some quarters to show the hideousness of this spirit. It sickens the heart to think that all their labours, and the labours of many beside, should seem to have done so little towards exposing effectually the childishness, sinfulness, and misery of these bitter strifes among men who hold alike the essentials of the Christian faith, and who must know that these essentials are the ingots, while those points of difference are but as the gold-dust, of the truth.
But this alienated feeling leads naturally to the further immorality which takes the shape of injustice and unfairness in the treatment of opponents. We discover this temper in that irascible stringing up of the mind which is not meant to catch the harmonies of goodness, from whatever instrument, but to prepare it for launching the arrow of attack in every quarter which shall presume to send forth a different note, a sharper or a flatter key. It sees nothing but absurdity in the most powerful reasoning—nothing but vice in the loveliest virtues, if they happen to be associated with the supposed error against which it wars. Wisely has it been said, by one of the highest and most honourable of the illustrious writers that adorn our modern literature, · Assuredly virtue is not so narrow as to be confined to any
party; and we have, in the case of More, a signal example that • the nearest approach to perfect excellence cannot exempt men • from mistakes which we may justly deem mischievous.* And may we not say, with equal assurance, that sense, and piety, and love of truth, and religious conscientiousness, are not monopolized by any sect? How rare is it, how very rare, to see justice done to the arguments of an opponent? Yet, not to admit
and admire the excellency of all minds for which those who know them love them, not to see that even their mistakes are often the extreme effects of principles and virtues in which they may be seen by others greatly to excel ourselves—to be insensible to all reflections of this nature, what chance can there be, while we thus fail to do justice to our opponent, that we should ever convert him? Is he likely to think the better of our theology from finding it thus divorced from the just and the honourable? Party
* Life of Sir Thomas More, by Sir James Mackintosh.
spirit, in its highest, its most feverish state, is the spirit of the persecutor.
Edmund Burke once said—As a great deal of the ancient furniture of tyranny is torn to rags, the rest is entirely out of fashion.'*
Our philosopher, it will be seen, speaks only of the furniture of tyranny. Ancient bigotry, too, has lost its racks and stakes, and its dungeons are somewhat out of favour in this country; but the spirit is the same. If
cannot burn a man, calumniate him; if you cannot safely attack his private character, whisper insinuations, hint motives, hold him up to suspicion in quarters where your influence will work against him; make him fcel, if not after the manner of the old times, yet as much as possible after the manner of your own time, that he had better not differ from you, or that, if he does, it may be prudent for him to keep unpalatable notions to himself
. In the name of candour, we ask, is not this the tendency of excessive party spirit? And in the name of common sense, we ask, what is this, if it be not persecution? There is the slime of the serpent, the crawl, the hiss, and—all that remains of-the sting.
Gladly would we invoke the power which prevails with good men, and stimulate to the prayer which prevails with God, if we might by any means see this evil spirit' cast out, and a penitent and restored church sitting calmly, and in her right mind,' at the feet of Incarnate Love!
The volume at the head of this article includes Eight Essays on Christian Union, adapted to the present state and obligations of religious parties in Great Britain. They are from the pens of the Rev. Doctors Chalmers, Balmer, Candlish, King, Wardlaw, Struthers, and Symington, and the Rev. J. A. James. The mention of these names will be sufficient to recommend the volume, without any comment on our part.
* Thoughts on the Causes of the present Discontent:
Art. IV. (1.) Debates on the Bill for Regulating Factory Labour,
Session of 1844. HANSARD's Parliamentary Debates. (2.) Factories and the Factory System. By W. COOKE TAYLOR,
LL.D. 1844. (3.) The Factory Question, considered in relation to its effects on the
health and morals of those employed in Factories. And the · Ten Hours' Bill,' in relation to its effects upon the Manufactures of England, and those of Foreign Countries. By ROBERT HYDE
GREG, Esq. 1837. (4.) Inventions and Hours of Labour. A Letter to Master Cotton
Spinners, Manufacturers, and Mill Owners in General. By
William KENWORTHY. 1842. (5.) On the Employment of Children, in Factories and other Works
in the United Kingdom, and in some Foreign Countries. By Leo
NARD HORNER, F.R.S., Inspector of Factories. 1840. (6.) Reports of the Inspectors of Factories to Her Majesty's Principal
Secretary of State for the Home Department. 1834 to 1814. (7.) Facts and Observations relative to the Influence of Manufactures
upon Health and Life. By DANIEL Noble, Member of the Royal
College of Surgeons in London, &c. 1843. (8.) A Letter to the Right Hon. Sir James Graham, Bart. M.P., on the
bearing of the proposed Amended Factory Bill on Education, in the
Manufacturing Districts. By A MAGISTRATE of Lancashire. 1844. (9.) Factories Inquiry. Supplementary Report from Commissioners.
The most important branch of the national industry, after the cultivation of the soil, is the manufacture of the fabrics used for clothing; of which the chief processes are carried on in factories moved by steam or water power.
Familiar at the present day as are these vast collections of machinery, where hundreds of work-people prosecute their labours under one roof, it is difficult to realize the fact, that seventy years since they were wholly unknown. With the exception of the old fulling mills, where a single process of the woollen manufacture was performed with very few workmen,-of a small number of silk mills,—and of the experimental, but unsuccessful establishments of Paul and Wyatt, at Birmingham and Northampton, where the first attempts were made to spin by rollers, with the aid of water power,- the factories of the present day had not even a prototype before the year 1770. The process of spinning was then, as in all former ages and in all other countries, performed on that invariable appendage of the cottage, the one-thread wheel. The process of carding