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brethren may be assisted in the discovery. There may be some, but we think the number will be few, who will answer to such observations, that they savour somewhat of the visionary, and the more particularly in this, that they, by inference, lead to the conclusion that this dispensation is near its close. If, however, the suggestion, judging from the things around us, that it may be so, be visionary, then is every thinking man of the present day a visionary; for greatly as men differ in all other things, they agree in the one expectation of some great event, which, however diversely they may designate it, the most look forward to with undefined fear, and all with great anxiety; and we know of no events which the Church believes in and looks forward to, answering to this expectation, but those accompanying the consummation of the purposes of God in the dispensation that now
It cannot be concealed that peace and quietude are no longer elements of the pastor's office
: peace, in one sense of the word, every faithful servant of the Lord will find in the faithful discharge of his duty ; but it is the peace which He giveth, and, as such, consists with the suffering of the “ tribulation that is in the world.” As that tribulation increases in extent and intensity, it will leave none unscathed-least of all, the clergy. Mixed up as they are, by the very nature of their duties, with all that is passing around, they cannot, if they would, become indifferent to it; and even those who will not bear the suffering for their Master's sake will be made to taste of the trouble that is in all men's minds, and the disorder that is on all men's fortunes, from their very position in society, as ministers of a Church which, whilst she has been, in difficult times, a blessing (as always) to men, has also been the object of wicked attacks and bitter enmity. In cities and large towns the clergy have long since learned this. The stormy elements of contention, both theological and political, have found and stricken them in their places, which are no longer places of quiet and refuge; and the most retiring have been forced forward, in the defence of God's truth and all right principle, to take positions which they do not naturally desire-to occupy a prominency which is foreign to their wishes. So intimately are the ramifications of conflicting interests interwoven, that no one can be righteously upheld without seeming wrong or displacement of another. Thus the care for the poor and defenceless, which naturally and properly belongs to the pastor's office, sometimes seems to compel a disregard of the difficulties and rights of the rich; teaching of those who are in authority the duties that properly belong to their station, would seem to infer the coun
tenance of disorder and disobedience on the part of those who are subordinate. Moreover, theological truth, and political principles and positions, from the very constitution of society, are so blended together, that it is next to impossible to maintain the one without appearing unduly to meddle with the other. Hence the clergy in large towns have a very arduous and difficult task before them, in the fulfilling of which they must, as matter in course, expect to meet with obloquy and evil judgment from the many, and be content with the consciousness of rectitude which it might please God to vouchsafe to them, and the Christian love of the few whom it may please him also to bless through their labours. And that which has happened in large towns is fast arriving in the hitherto quiet retirement of country parishes. The restless spirit which is abroad to break up and destroy, engendered by the fierce revolutionary movements and the infidel speculations of the last half century, is walking through the length and breadth of the land; and there soon will be no corner that has not owned his baneful presence. The life of a country clergyman, hitherto suggesting in its contemplation thoughts of contentment and peaceful dignity, in such an aspect exists no more. Every village has its contemners of order—its superficial but skilful debater against Church and State—its little political coterie, inoculated with the virus of the day, and sufficiently infectious to spread a moral disease around. The press and the beershop—the Chartist and the Socialist—the political experiments of heartless and designing men, whereby the poor were to gain so much, but whereby they have received so little, save in the increase of their grievances, have each done their work. And the reverent peasant of former days, who thought it a sin to doubt the truth which his pastor taught, and was blessed and prospered in his Christian simplicity, is a character of rare occurrence-a decaying land-mark, as it were, to show what were the ancient boundaries of rural faith and conduct, and how far the mad spirit of the day has broken through and overstepped them. Quiet for the pastor is no more, and indolence, its next door neighbour, almost impossible ; and where there is no real love of God, no real understanding of the nature of office, no longing for the fulfilment of God's blessed purposes, and the salvation of those committed to his charge —where there is only love of ease, or care for gain, the pastor's place and position will be intolerable—an accumulation of trouble upon trouble, without the blessedness of the consolation that the Lord has promised to the faithful and burthen-bearing servants of his household.
Art. VI.-The Factory System. By W. Cooke TAYLOR,
LL.D. London: How. 2. Free Trade, with reference to its Effects upon the Operative
Classes. Briefly considered by HUMANITAS. Dedicated, by permission, to the Society for the Protection of Agriculture.
London: Painter. 1844. 3. The Labourer's Friend. June, 1844.
A POLITICIAN, who indulges in prophecy, is looked upon as unsafe; and the statesman, who governs by experience alone, is considered as incapable of directing the progress of an advancing people, and of meeting emergencies of a character to which past history can supply no analogy. For our own parts, though we do not undervalue political foresight, we are inclined to agree with Burke, that “ to us poor, weak, incapable mortals, the only safe rule of conduct is experience ;" and we may add, that principle best guides its application. At present, we shall not deal in vaticinations—retrospects are more safe, more real, and more useful; and if we can rise up from the view we mean to take with a clear sense that the political horizon has become brighter and steadier, our glance backwards may not only render us more satisfied with our present condition, but even thankful for it, and yet without at all slackening our efforts for improvement. We
go no further back than 1841, nor shall we do more than briefly notice the chief incidents of that and the two succeeding years.
The Whig Government having held office without power— one principle they had, that of self-preservation-unhumiliated by defeat, weakly sustained by a divided party, shackled in their attempts at legislation--now leaning for support on the Great Conservative Opposition, but more frequently trusting to the votes of that Radical section to which they succumbed_having embarrassed the country by a deficit of upwards of seven millions, and involved it in two wars, commenced without precaution and spun out by indecision-still, with desperate tenacity, clung to Downing-street. Their plan was bold: in legislation to pass every measure their opponents sanctioned, and in council to leave every important question an open one, and so hold together, by the charm of office, a disunited Cabinet. Unmoved by the taunts of their adversaries
“ For sufferance was the badge of all their tribe" they exercised, in internal concerns, a rule almost imbecile, and in foreign affairs a power meddling and mischievous. Beaten on their Irish Registration Bill, they brought forward their Budget ;
beaten, after five nights' fighting, by a majority of thirty-six on that, they came down quietly to the house to propose the usual sugar duties, without giving the least intimation of their intention to resign! They had, in fact, ingeniously determined “in the last conjuncture of distress, in their dire emergency of difficulty and despair,” as a piece of tactics, to remain in office until they had inflamed the country by the delusive cry of cheap bread. But they trusted too much to the forbearance of the House of Commons and of the people of England—on the 27th of May the decisive motion of “ want of confidence” was brought forward.
Those who are accustomed only to the ordinary meetings of the Lower House—to see members lounging at full length on the benches, or congregating about the bar, rendering necessary the continual reprimand of the Speaker-would be surprised at the stillness, the attention, and the eagerness which awaited the leader of the Opposition, as he rose, with clear and harmonious voice, to move what the country knew to be a truism, and which even all non-official representatives acknowledged to be the fact. Had the Conservative party confidence in the Ministry? Had the Free-trade section confidence in men who avowed protection, but higgled only at the amount ? Had the UniversalSuffrage, Vote-by-Ballot, Triennial-Parliament advocates confidence in men who held the finality of the Reform Bill? Had the O'Connell and Repeal party confidence in “base, bloody, and brutal” Whigs, who, through Lord Fortescue, had declared that to be a Repealer was a disqualification for office? A very brief experience was enough of Whiggism. The words of Lord Chatham might well have been applied to the Melbourne Ministry-" Confide in you? Oh no-you must pardon me: youth is the season for credulity-confidence is a plant of slow growth in an aged bosom;" and yet, on a division, the majority was but
The appeal to the country was not so dubious: despite official influence-despite the electioneering cry of cheap bread—a cry raised by an expiring party, who used their dying energy to serve their factious purposes—the Whigs met a disastrous defeat. The contempt of the people of England gave place to indignation, and, with accumulatedsc orn, the Melbourne Cabinet were driven from office, who thus were forced to bid
“A long farewell to all their greatness.” These matters of history are not to be forgotten; we have, with a hasty and dark dash, noticed the last days of Whig rule, and now pass on to that of their successors.
At the opening of the session of 1842 the political horizon was gloomy in the extreme. We had an embarrassed exchequer, a continually increasing national debt, severe depression in trade, and consequent acute distress in the manufacturing districts, and but an indifferent harvest. About the severest disaster that ever befell British troops threatened to make the blot which darkly covered our arms in Affghanistan extend to the erasure of our Indian empire ; in China hostilities were dragging on their apparently interminable length; difficult questions had to be adjusted with our encroaching brethren in America ; and in France we had to stifle and drown the insane war-cry of an excitable and mercurial people.
But the people of England had hope in their rulers, and her energies are mighty and buoyant when called forth by those in whom she trusts. The personal characters of the members of the new Cabinet stood high in the estimation of the country, when contrasted with those of their predecessors; and their political ability, their aptitude for business, and their industry, were confessedly great.
The name of the Duke of Wellington carried with it a prestige which almost assured us of success in our military operations; and the country looked to the comprehensive range of Sir Robert Peel's talents as capable of allaying the outcry for cheap food, without withdrawing a due support from agriculture; of imparting a new stimulus to trade, without detriment to interests which claimed protection; of checking joint-stock banking speculations, without depriving the honest trader of the means of obtaining an adequate amount of credit; and, finally, of retrieving the deficiencies of the revenue, without imposing new burdens on industry.
Worldly men expected these results, and they have been fulfilled amply, speedily, and well; we expected more—in Sir Robert Peel's words, we imagined that, “ if he accepted office, it would be by walking in the open light, and in the direct paths of the Constitution” (see Annual Register, 1841, p. 192). We hoped for liberality in Church extension, as well in his ministerial as his private capacity—of his personal munificence we are bound to speak in terms of high praise ; for the advancement of a national system of education; for at least an attempt to improve the physical and moral wants of the inhabitants of the manufacturing towns; for the removal of the most obnoxious details of the Poor Law; and finally, and above all, did we hope for a thorough and unwavering determination to maintain the United Church of England and Ireland, and not to hear even the faintest whisper of yielding, if expediency should suggest that there was an