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panegyrics on the beauty of virtue. Had Mr. Ward first renounced his profession as a protestant clergyman, and then published his book, no man would have had a right to impeach his consistency; but, as it is, he has branded his own name with reproach, and never can he efface it. No man who execrates the doctrines and the very name of protestantism, and, at the same time, declares himself in full unison with the whole cycle of Romish dogmas and practices, can honestly remain another hour-honestly, we mean, to the nation, to his conscience, and to the Almighty-the endowed minister of a protestant church. He has avowedly adopted the doctrine of repudiation. The American repudiationists are the only parallels to the Puseyites which modern times have furnished. And we could almost ask, where is the whip of scorpions which so justly scourged the Pensylvanians ? Here are_repudiators who still more justly merit the satirist's scourge
Even if Mr. Ward and others should have openly renounced the church-of-England doctrines, professorships, tutorships, endowments, and all, before these lines meet the public eye, yet they never can wipe off the foul stain of a long series of treasons against the religion of their country. Canonization itself could scarcely do it, peerless as its powers are known to be in making saints.
Art. III. Essays on Christian Union. 8vo, pp. 524. London, 1845.
To lament the activity of party among the politicians and religionists of our country, in the present day, is a sign of imbecility or bigotry, and it is at best a miserable waste of time. In every department of life the strongest thinkers look at the same objects with different predispositions, from different points, and in different lights; and these act on other minds in such a way, that what was at first the conviction of an individual is perpetuated as the symbol of a party. So long as active intellect is combined with personal influence and social attachments, parties will be formed.
The kind of party depends on the object to which the ascendant minds of any time or place have been strongly directed, and on the degree of general interest which that object is likely to create, to which we must add the passions to which the candidates for acceptance respectively appeal. The power of party owes perhaps as much to the passions of both leaders and followers as it does to their convictions. The springing up of parties round
the grand truths developed in the course of civilization, and exhibiting the plastic power by which that civilization has been moulded, is to the thoughtful observer a sign of life, the pledge of a severe, if not a fair, testing of the true, the good, the permanent; and the progress of such discussions allures him with a charm not less strong than that which would have enchanted him in looking at the Olympic games, or listening to the odes of Pindar.
Party in a commonwealth is either the effect or the cause of liberty; for where perfect despotism rules, there must be the silence, or the monotony, or the melancholy unison, of slaves, who utter only what their tyrant likes, and as he chooses that it shall be uttered; but where mind is free, so that rights shall be asserted, opinions expressed, and theories canvassed, the iron touches not the soul: either it has already been flung from the limbs, or there is that in the unshackled spirit which, with the certainty of a law of nature, will finally consume it. The hacknied accusation of the enemies of freedom, by which the weak are frightened, and the selfish fortified, has ever been, that, however beautiful in theory, freedom is fraught with danger; and a thousand tales are told of extravagance and folly, of heresy and insurrection, of plunder and bloodshed, to illustrate the fatal consequences of granting this dangerous power to men, especially in matters so exciting as politics, or so sacred as religion. These tales are not all weak inventions. To the readers of both sides in the civil and ecclesiastical history of Europe, during the last three centuries, it is sometimes entertaining, and always instructive, to see how the great battle of right against wrong, and of conscience against domination, has been made doubtful by the real evils done by the combatants on either side, and still more by the feeble, perverted, and often wicked uses made of these facts by the enemies of right and truth.
Freedom is the absence of restraint and fear; but no man of sense has ever wished or imagined a state of things—society it could not be-in which there shall be no control
vagaries of thought and the impulses of passion. The real question has related to the best securities for the greatest amount of independence to each, compatible with the freedom of all. The public man who does not enter heartily on the career which, to the best of his judgment, leads to that goal, is the enemy of the human species. He and all who unite with him constitute a faction which it is the interest of the whole species to put down. So fully is this truth now established, that few are to be found who are not ambitious to be regarded as the friends of freedom. The question, however, remains—Upon what principles, and by what
methods, shall this professed end be most solidly and permanently secured?
Here is an opening for diversity of opinion, and consequently for the formation of parties professing in common their adherence to the cause of freedom. One man may think he sees securities for general liberty in certain restraints on individual action, which to another man appears to be subversive of all liberty; and on these opposite views of the question two parties may join issue. The enlightened lover of freedom wishes both parties to have fair play, because it is only by the full discussion of the entire question that the truth can be brought out; because it is only among men who enjoy a certain measure of freedom, with whatever present security for its continuance, that such parties could exist, or such discussions have place; and because it has been found that, in proportion as a people are wise and patient enough to forego a transient freedom for that which shall pass down as an ancient inheritance to their children, it is as difficult for sophists to mislead, as it is for demagogues to inflame, or tyrants to enslave them.
Hæc mea sunt, teneo : quum vere dixeris, esto
LIBERQUE AC SAPIENS Not only is the existence of party a sign of liberty—it is an organ of power. As the drops accumulate in the stream, and as mechanical forces acquire more than numerical increase by their combination, so it is with associations of men uniting on a common principle to gain the same object. Mind is strengthened by the sympathy of co-operative minds. There is more light, more firmness, more individual deliberation, more promptitude, more balancing of diverse judgments, more certainty of action, and more probability of success, where men form themselves into a party than when they think and act independently of each other. It is well for us that our social instincts, apart from speculation, urge us to associate; while the coolest reason shows that to follow these instincts is as wise as it is natural. To quench, in detail, the sparks of liberty might seem an easy task ; but to extinguish the flame kindled by bringing all those sparks together in a blazing focus, is a very different affair. Where union is, there is organization; where organization is, there is life ; where there is life, there is resistance-the background of national strength and freedom. As it is by decrying party, and seducing timid and pliable men from their natural confederates, that the enemies of freedom often accomplish their mischievous designs, we would join in the loudest exhortations to every thinking man, and say to him• Make sure, by all the light within your reach, that your party
• is the right one: never leave it till it leaves its principles; and
then-follow the principles with unswerving fealty, through evil 6 and through good report, through poverty, and through shame
and scorn, and defeat, and death. Right principles cannot die.
We hold that the right party is the one which makes the most wise and strenuous efforts to cherish the spirit of real liberty. The best constitution that could be desired for us, is the one which has sprung from the ancient germs of Celtic freedom, guarded by the Saxon laws, shaded by the Norman feudalism, and strengthened by the infusions of modern intelligence, wealth, and union among the commons; and we cannot forget that, whatever other means Providence has used to bless us with this noble constitution, we owe it mainly to that bold and reflecting spirit of freedom which has ever been our boast—that spirit which Cæsar found more stubborn than he had expected, which held out so stoutly against the Saxons, and which the Saxons themselves were prepared by their own institutions to inhale. This spirit of freedom it was that united all parties in demanding Magna Charta from John, and then drew to its own advantage the pride of kings, the turbulence of barons, and the avarice of churchmen, as each of these estates was compelled in turn, while seeking its personal aggrandisement, or strengthening its own faction against the rest, to bow before the growing majesty of a great people determined to be free. This was the spirit which the greatest and the wisest of our monarchs either feared to provoke, or loved to cherish; and in proportion as they respected it was their security in peace or their success in war.
A glance at the reigns of Henry IV., of Edward III., and of Elizabeth, will show that nearly all the splendour that adorns the names of those great princes was derived from the strength of this ancient and indomitable spirit in their subjects; while, on the contrary, the infamy with which history has branded the memory of Richard II., and of all the Stuarts, is chiefly due to the weakness that could not discern this spirit, to the levity that despised it, or to the imperious principles and temper that sought in vain to conquer it. As we know not of any political doctrine more philosophical in the abstract, we know of none more fully borne out by the broad facts, both of ancient and modern history, than this: that under every form of government, by no means excepting the mixed and balanced constitution of these realms, reverence for ancient establishments, and loyalty to the reigning dynasty, will avail us little without that manly forecasting, and jealous spirit of liberty which our fathers felt to be the breath of life. The holders of this doctrine must either be the entire
nation, or a party in the nation. As a party, they may be divided —not on the grand principle, but by the views they take of the wisest means to be adopted for advancing and expressing the spirit which the entire party would have to be deeply, and on the whole robustly, cherished. It is the policy of the enemies of liberty to foment divisions in this constitutional party, to set the most ardent and least reflecting extremes against their brethren whose temperament may be cooler, and their movements less alert, but whose principles reach a larger compass, and are more firmly rooted, while their proceedings are regulated by a deeper calculation of ultimate and lasting good. For this reason, among others not less potent, we cannot repress our anxiety that the liberal party in this nation may be guided by dignified and sober counsels, lest the venerable form of Liberty should turn indignantly from the rude homage of her impatient worshippers, leaving only a shadow in her place.
All the reasons which avail for a strong united party, pledged to the maintenance of liberty in general apply, with equal force, to the existence of a party pledged to the maintenance of religious liberty in particular.
For ourselves, we avow our belief that liberty is dear to us, and ought to be dear to every human being for its own sake. As a part of our religion, we “honour all men.' At the same time, we dare not hesitate to say, that we value liberty chiefly for the sake of religion. We conceive that state of things to be unworthy of the name of liberty, in which every citizen is not placed on an equal footing of right with every other citizen-fairly and honestly, without any quibble or subtlety—in the conscientious profession of his religious faith, and the observance of what he holds to be religious institutions. It does not accord with our views of a free state, that the decisions of the conscience in the things which are God's, should, in the remotest degree, be influenced by the worldly considerations which govern men in relation to the things which are Cæsar's.' The views of government, so elaborately put forth by Hooker, and modified lately with much ingenuity and seriousness by Mr. Gladstone, are objectionable to us, partly because of their incompatibility with a state of perfect civil freedoin, but principally because they are destructive of entire freedom of conscience in religion. So various are the grounds assumed for that interference with religion by the state, which we believe to be, in an equal degree, injurious to the sacred and the secular welfare of the nation; and so many are the interests, and the prejudices, and long-established usages, that lead men to look favourably on that interference; that it appears to us in the highest degree necessary that an enlightened