Page images

the pestiferous compound, let a salutary counter-instruction be given to them :-an instruction how to separate from the poison the wholesome food, and “ feed on it in their “ hearts”-feed on it, “ with thanksgiving” indeed, -but with a thanksgiving, of which a person very different from those their intended corrupters shall be the object.

From first to last, in speaking to your children concerning the instruction thus administered to them, let your discourse be to some such effect as this." The arts themselves which you are learning-(the arts of reading and writing), are in themselves pure, and they are useful beyond all price. Among the notions which they are employed to infuse into your minds—and but for which they would never have been thus taught,—are many which (as you will see in proportion as you see any thing in them), teem with immorality added to absurdity, in a variety of shapes. As the stock of your knowledge, and the strength of your judgment receive their increase, judge—and let the judgment be your own—whether among the assertions, of which these men force you to declare your belief, there be not, in more or less abundance, such as are falseamong the opinions, such as are absurd-among the precepts, such as, in proportion to the obedience paid to them, would be productive--not of good but mischief.”

“Whatever, then, under the name of a Catechism or any other they give you to say, say it-since so it must be : if, among the words thus forced into your mouths, the words I believe should meet your eyes or ears, say I believe accordingly. To the words with which they are accompanied, be they what they may, add (since there is no remedy) these inevitable words, as under the like pressure you would add them to a history of the Arabian Genii, or of the Grecian Gods. After this warning, it will not be matter of much difficulty to you to observe

how different the sense of these much-abused words is, when thus applied, compared with what it is when employed in saying I believe sugar is sweet, and vinegar sourI believe my father and my mother love me, and that it is a pleasure to me to love them. And above all-think not that,--because, under this compulsion, you are justified in saying I believe, where you do not believe,- you would be justified in the utterance of any such untruth where you are free.”

“ As to your Master, by whose hand this compound of lies and nonsense is thus forced into your mouth, be sorry for him as you are for yourself. He, like you, is under a force. To yourself, unless with the unwholesome mixture, the wholesome instruction would never have been administered : to him, unless on condition of offering it thus defiled, the faculty of administering the wholesome food would never have been imparted. In him behold, therefore, not only a friend, but a fellow sufferer. In those, by whom this force is put upon him—in those high-seated and irresistible enemies of virtue, happiness, and of whatsoever in religion there is that is true--in those men, be they who they may, behold his as well as your enemies—his as well as your oppressors.

“ Take then, in these arts, the arms, which in the hope of seeing you employ them, in conjunction with these your oppressors, agairist the cause of virtue, happiness, and true religion,---will be put into your hands. Take them, but with the determination of employing them employing them on every favourable opportunity—and to the utmost of your power--not to any such wicked purpose as that for which they are given to you, but for the generous and virtuous purpose of the rescuing your fellow countrymen from the chains to which you were thus forced to submit your infant hands; to rescue them and yourselves from the shame and thraldom by which you and they are thus oppressed. Serve them-yes : since thus to serve them you will be compelled. Serve them ? yes. But how-even as Baal, as you have heard, or anon will hear,—was served by Jehu.”*

Prepared by timely, and sufficiently repeated warning, to some such effect as above,—the juvenile ear will receive with due distinction the wholesome part of the instruction, -and neither will the head be weakened, nor the heart corrupted, by any poison that shall have been mixt up with it.

And thus too it is--that, at length, in the toils which they have spread for the innocent, the guilty, and none but the guilty, will be caught :--the mischief which they had imagined to do, will remain undone :--the good, which,till the hope of converting it into an instrument of mischief opened to them, they beheld with no other eyes than those of contempt,-or, if not of contempt of fear,-the good which, but for that hope, they would have been the last to think of doing- -this alone will continue to be done.

• To some such effect as the above, by some Clergyman, or other leading Member of each non-established Church--in that particular form which in his eyes shall be best and fittest for the purpose, might not a short warning be drawn up, and delivered to every member of such Church, who, at any one of those Church-of-England Schools has already a child labouring under this yoke, as well as to every other such member, who has a child, by whom in future he might wish to see the benefit of the useful part of the instruction shared ?

Let it not pass unobserved that to the adoption and use of the remedy thus proposed in the present work, it is not necessary that, by him who adopts the remedy, any other part of this same work—10—not that so much as any one other opinion advanced in it-or any one word in it-should be approved. All that is necessary is—that, approving of his own opinions, be disapprove at the same time, in a sufficient degree, the opinions and prac. tices, inculcated in and by any of the Church-of-England formularies.





INTRODUCTION.Under the religion of Mahomet, an auspicious prophecy has long been current-a prophecy by which its downfal is predicted, and can scarce fail to be accelerated.

Under that other adversary, and too successful rival, of the religion of Jesus*—the religion of the Church of England—a similarly foreboding voice has for some time been heard.

In the Quarterly Review has now, for some years past, been seen an instrument of defence-not to speak of of. fence-set up and kept up by the votaries of corruption in all its forms, for the defence of the system, against whatsoever attacks shall peradventure be made on it: made on it from any quarter, but more especially from the sometimes prudently generous, but always calculating and balancing, policy of the Edinburgh Review.

In the Quarterly Review, for March, 1816, may be seen a portrait of the Church, in her present convulsed

Supra. Introd. Part I. $9.

state : the patient in almost her last agony: powder-ofpost the best remedy, which the resources of the Doctor can supply him with.

A picture of disease-of disease radical, mortal, and remediless-is a prophecy of death.

Wellthen, Messieurs Quarterly Reviewers,—uncrowned, but not unpaid “ Defenders of the faith, and so forth,”come and see,—and that a little more clearly than as yet you seem to have seen,-on what substantial ground this prophecy of yours is built.

Service-Pay-Discipline.Under one or other of these heads may be condensed the most practical part of what presents itself in support of the demand for this innovation :-for this crowning super-innovation,—for which the system is quite sufficiently rotten, and for which the times will soon be ripe, -upon the innovation which, under the name of the Reformation, was, about 250 years ago, definitively made in the Church-of-England, by the Crown of England, upon the Church of Rome :--made-half with, half against, the good liking of whatever was good among the people of England: who, looking to see corruption extirpated in England, as it was extirpated or extirpating in Scotland, saw it only shifted in part from hand to hand, and shared between the Mitre, the Crown, and the two Houses.

§ 1.-Plan of this Paper.

Throughout the whole course of this Volume, and in particular in the body of it, viz. in pages from 113 to 148, there has been but too much occasion to bring and hold up to view, this or that particular exemplification of the worthlessness of the system of Church Government of

« PreviousContinue »