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The Essay entitled "The Influence of the French Revolution on English Litera ture" will be left at the Publishers, as the author desires. The " Young Shepherd" must really be a tender-hearted swain, much addicted to the melting mood; the production of his "beloved kinsman," which affected him so much, is every whit as silly as we were going to allude to a certain performance of an OLD Shepherd ;" but really we must not be cruel at the commencement of the year. The "Lines by an Invalid” are inadmissable." Luther, a fragment," won't do." A Lament for the Balladers" has some good things in it, but lacks deplorably the novissima cura." The Journal of my Voyage curtailed" might really have been interesting, if the author had ever been at sea: but there is a slight difference between a voyage to the Parliament House, and one round the Cape.-The work to which C. calls our attention has already gone, we sha'n't say where.-The able article entitled the "Edinburgh Pulpit" is inadmissable, and for this reason, which we hope will prove satisfactory, that the author, not afraid to blame, has been too parsimonious of his praise. We cannot afford to expose ourselves to every species of misrepresentation and obloquy by publishing it. "Great is Diana of the Ephesians"-Great is the "Triton of the Minnows!" We have no time to notice a multitude of flying leaves, the productions of embryo sonneteers and weanling rhymsters. In the next edition of his able System of Chemistry, Dr Thomson means to class them among the "supporters of combustion."
At the cominencement of another year, we beg leave to offer to our friends and the public our most cordial felicitations, coupled with hearty acknowledginents for the liberal support we have received from both, and which cannot fail to prove a motive for additional efforts on our part to merit the continuance of the favour and patronage we have already experienced.
PLURALITIES, AND DR. MACFARLANE
I AM decidedly of opinion, in spite of all that Burns of Paisley has so forcibly urged to the contrary, that, previous to the sentence of the Supreme Court upon any one subject of appeal or reference, all public and er parte discussion or pleading is an evil. It is at once unconstitutional and inexpedient, inconsistent with the great ends of justice, and calculated to form a very dangerous precedent. Yet, notwithstanding this decided and unmodified opinion, as to the great point of expediency, it so happens, that, in a free country, and under the blessings as well as inconveniences arising from a free press, such a suspension of discussion and opinion is not practicable. The Periodical Press of the day, unless expressly and constitutionally interdicted, reports the proceedings of Inferior Courts, adding various commentaries and statements. The matter at issue, particularly in cases where the interval betwixt the original agitation and the final decision is protracted, becomes, of necessity, a subject of general conversation and discussion; and even those who were, by law, constituted as judges in the case, are exposed to all the biases arising from party pleading and partial statements. In such a state of things, which is the actual one, and which, though not the best, has still its advantages, it becomes the
duty of every Judge, of the Supreme Court in particular, to hear both sides, and to endeavour, betwixt those two extremes into which special pleading is apt to run, to strike a kind of moderate or balanced decision. "I cannot avoid," a member, for example, of the ensuing General Assembly may say, "I cannot altogether avoid hearing and reading the statements and views which are now, and have been, for some time past, in circulation, respecting the case of Double Livings,' in its application to Principal MacFarlane; and thus situated and circumstanced, my best plan is, to put myself, by all possible means, in possession of the whole facts and pleadings."
It is with the view, therefore, not of prejudging this interesting question, which I am neither entitled nor disposed to do, but of giving, in all humility, and with unfeigned deference, to the awards of the venerable Assembly of the Church of Scotland, about to meet in May next, what appears to me a fair and an unprejudiced statement and argument of the case, its leading and essential facts and bearings, that I have brought myself, in the absence of a more qualified pen, to the resolution of addressing you upon the subject.
In the first place, then, I pledge myself, to discuss the subject at least with charity and temper. Re
Although the term Pluralities, on the South of the Tweed, is generally understood as implying two or more clerical livings, its acceptation, in the following discussion, is more general and popular, including the Union of Professorships with Church Parochial Charges in particular.