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with them, before the tribunal of Christ. But these truths have been lost sight of by rulers who have laboured to govern men on mere material calculations. Their labour has been abortive, and therefore are we glad of that recent recurrence to the Bible and antiquity which has provoked the derision of the sceptical and the earthly—those who doubt the injunctions of the Bible, or look to mere worldly rules for the regulation and government of men. One favourite theory of “ Young England” is, that the peril of England is not in the increased feebleness of its institutions, but in the decline of its character as a community. Why is the once cheerful loyal peasant a gloomy rick-burner ? Young England” complains that our rulers have mistaken disorganization for insubordination, Laborious and sturdy men, willing to work, weeping with their wives and children for want of food, and the fires in Suffolk and in the very vicinage of royalty, show that there is something sadly wrong, for the cure of which the remedies hitherto applied have signally failed. Why, then, should we sneer, or frown, or look cold upon those who have a new view of our social evils and their remedies to offer?
Mr. Disraeli charges the party in power at the peace with gross ignorance of the real state of this country; and an impartial posterity will complain of the unsatisfactory adjustment, by the Ministers of that day, of many questions, of both foreign and domestic policy, vitally affecting the interests of England.
“ It is always perilous (observes Mr. Disraeli) to adopt expediency as a guide ; but the choice may be sometimes imperative. But the Liverpool Cabinet took expediency for their director, when principle would have given them all that expediency ensured, and much more. This Ministry, strong in the confidence of the sovereign, the Parliament, and the people, might, by the courageous promulgation of great historical truths, have gradually formed a public opinion that would have permitted them to organize the Tory party on a broad, a permanent, à national basis. They might have nobly effected a complete settlement of Ireland, which a shattered section of this very Cabinet was forced, a few years after, to do partially, and in an equivocating and equivocal manner. They might have concluded a satisfactory reconstruction of the third estate, without producing that convulsion with which, from its violent fabrication, our social system still vibrates. Lastly, they might have adjusted the rights and properties of our national industries in a manner which would have prevented that fierce and fatal rivalry that is now disturbing every hearth of the united kingdom. We may, therefore (concludes Mr. Disraeli), visit on the backs of this Ministry the introduction of that new principle and power into our constitution which ultimately may absorb all — AGITATION. This Cabinet, then, with so much brilliancy on its surface, is the real parent of the Roman Catholic Association, the Political Unions, and the Anti-Corn Law League.”
Weighty charges these, and propounded in a lofty, not to say arrogant tone; but we cannot deny that they have a certain foundation of truth to support them. The Ministers referred to were men of routine, who followed precedents without troubling themselves about principle: they went on swimmingly during the excitement and distraction of the war, while the people were too busy to criticize or complain; but when the peace came, and the stimulating influences which had been acting with concentrated force upon this country suddenly ceased, and they had to survey the social elements heaving and tossing around them, they fell into a panic. “ Commerce requested a code; trade required a currency; the unfranchised subject solicited his equal privileges; suffering labour clamoured for its rights; a new race demanded education.”
It certainly required powers of no ordinary kind to meet such emergencies, and unfortunately the Ministers then in place took a single view of these diverse difficulties; they ascribed all complaints to a spirit of discontent; they would not recognize the existence of any real grievance; the Duke of Wellington denied the necessity of any reform; and they punished, as insurgents, men who were the involuntary victims of the disorganization caused by the disproportionate advance of the material civilization of England in comparison with its moral civilization. In sorrow, but in candour, we must moreover write, that these Ministers, for the most part, looked not heavenwards, but earthwards, for assistance in their difficulties. All their maxims, and schemes, and operations, were worldly; respectability was religion; and an assembly, which commences its sittings with the most scriptural liturgy in Christendom, was wont to receive with shouts and laughter any reference to the sacred Scriptures as furnishing any rule of civil polity applicable to modern times. They unconsciously imitated the ignorant and profligate Papist, who only calls for his priest when he believes himself to be dying; they did not take the Bible as a staff to guide their steps in life, but as a viaticum to pass them comfortably through the portals of death. Religion, to adopt the language of those Erastian men, was an affair between man and his Maker-the Bible was to be read in the closet, and the Prayer Book recited in the church ; but to draw maxims for the guidance of legislators and statesmen from such sources was to be hypocritical or absurd. We prefer the temper of the old naval officer, who, after perusing the lucubrations of an eminent political economist on the mischief
ensuing from a redundant population, confessed himself unable to argue with the sophist on his own grounds, but felt sure that he must be wrong, because his doctrines were diametrically opposed to the plain and reiterated declarations of the word of God.
But we must draw our notice of “ Coningsby” to a close. We intimated at the outset that it was not our intention to analyze the tale, but to select such portions as might illustrate the peculiar views of “ Young England,” and indicate the origin of that party. We have not been able to notice all the points we intended, and may perhaps recur to the subject on a future opportunity ; for though we are not prepared to muck and tilt at all we meet” in defence of“ Young England, as the Times, with characteristic vehemence, is doing, we consider the gentlemen constituting that section of public life deserving of more respect than they have received in many quarters. They professedly adopt the Bible as a code whence rules of public policy, and maxims for the regulation of individual conduct, in every conceivable relation of life, may be drawn as safely now as when the inspired penmen had just completed their holy work. This with us covers a multitude of worse faults than any that have been imputed to “ Young England.” We are not oblivious of the abuse of Scripture phraseology by the Puritans, and deprecate its revival ; but it is the pursuance of Bible maxims in act, not the adoption, least of all the puritanic perversion, of its language, which we commend. We ponder frequently in our minds the prophet's symbolical adumbration of the days wherein all things, small as well as great, shall be instrumental in proclaiming God's goodness and glory. “ In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, holiness unto the Lord.”
THE SEES OF BANGOR AND ST. ASAPI. GREAT as is our feeling ofrespect and regard for the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Duke of Wellington, and the various members of the Ecclesiastical Commission, by whom the union of these sees was recommended, we cannot but express our most unfeigned gratitude in the decision of the House of Lords against the measure. It appears to us that the main reason with the archbishop and the other members of the Commission was a wish to benefit Manchester. They could not see how Manchester could have its bishop, unless two of the smaller sees were united. We admit the force of this argument; and we feel, that at the time when the Commission arrived at their decision, it was even more urgent than at present, inasmuch as there was then a Government by no means favourable to the Anglican Church. Circumstances are now altered; and we think that Manchester may have its bishop, even though the sees of Bangor and St. Asaph are not united. So strong is the feeling at present in favour of Church extension, that we have no fears on the subject : we are sure that the same people who see the necessity of erecting churches and appointing additional clergymen to populous parishes and districts, will also see the necessity of either reviving the order of suffragan bishops, or of dividing our more extensive dioceses.
Our objection, to the projected union was very strong, but it related more to the mode by which it was proposed to be accomplished, than to the thing itself, abstractedly considered. We hold that such matters are not properly cognizable by Parliamentary authority: they certainly ought to be settled by the Church, in her own ecclesiastical assembly. Were the Convocation to decide that two small dioceses should be united, while another larger one was divided, Churchmen could not complain, because they would be assured that the interests of the Church were consulted. It is not probable, however, that any such decision would be made by Convocation : and we merely suppose a case, in order to illustrate our meaning, which is simply this—that we should be satisfied were the Church herself to adopt any such measure. That no such plan would be entertained we are convinced; for though our larger dioceses require more bishops, the smallest is quite as much as one individual can superintend.
The House of Lords, then, has decided that no union shall take place—that both Bangor and St. Asaph shall have each its bishop. We are grateful for this decision. The question of Manchester is totally distinct, and must be considered by itself, apart from the union of smaller sees. The funds for the endowment, and the question of the seat in the House of Lords, are the obstacles in the way of an erection of a new bishopric. With respect to the former, we are of opinion that it may be overcome, and that the funds might be provided without difficulty; and as to the latter, we cannot comprehend why any objection should be made. Were a new bishopric to be created, we apprehend that, as a matter of coursema matter settled by the laws of the land—the bishop would take his seat in the House of Lords. Neither the Lords nor the Commons could object any more than to the exercise of the royal prerogative in the creation of peers. We are at a loss, therefore, to comprehend the Duke of Wellington's statement, that the introduction of another bishop would effect an organic change in the House of Lords. How so, we ask, any more than the creation of new peer? In the one case, there is the exercise of the royal prerogative, which is recognized by the laws; in the other, it is only the application of the principle, that the Church is the Church of the nation, which is also recognized by the laws.
The bill introduced by the Earl of Powis repeals so much of the Act of William IV. as relates to the union of the two sees. By that Act it was provided, that the funds derived from the suppressed see should be appropriated to the endowment of a bishopric for Manchester. The funds for the new see must, of course, be derived from other sources.
THE DISSENTERS' CHAPELS BILL. Among the various measures which have been discussed in Parliament during the present session, perhaps the Dissenters' Chapels Bill has given rise to as wide a diversity of opinion as almost any question of a similar character for a very considerable period. We have had the singular spectacle presented to us of petitions from clergymen and Churchmen against a bill by whose operation Dissenters alone could be affected, while few comparatively of the parties actually interested appear to have been much concerned in the business. The clergy who have petitioned against the bill did so undoubtedly on the ground of the principle involved—the countenance which it appeared to afford to the Socinian heresy; and on this ground alone can their proceedings be justified. Taking an abstract view of the matter, it is a question of little importance to Churchmen whether Dissenting endowments are possessed by one party of Dissenters or another, since the principles of all are opposed, though not equally opposed, to those of the Anglican Church. But we admit that there is some danger in this bill. If the Socinian is favoured by Act of Parliament, we cannot tell how far the liberalized feelings of the age may operate in so remodelling our doctrines or our formularies as to admit of Socinians within the pale of the Church. The difference between the orthodox, as they are termed, and Socinian Dissenters, we believe to be this—the former are sound on the doctrine of the Trinity, while it is rejected by the latter; but the former are also violently opposed to the discipline, ceremonies, and government of the Church of England, while the latter would not be pre