Page images

ends. By a provident care for the interests of the poorer clergy, they obtain great influence over them. And by judicious regulations respecting the disposal of patronage, they ensure that, in all human probability, the most advantageous disposition of it will be made. The following description of a place-hunting clergy was surely not intended for Russia alone ; nor can it be read without a shrewd suspicion that, even

at the present day, the race is not quite extinct amongst ourselves :

That many


Puseyite movement could not be better described, both in its origin and its tendency, than in these words. A latitudinarianism, whose toleration of sects amounted to intolerance of an establishment, gave rise to grave questionings respecting church principles ; which, when taken up by men of hasty judgments, or heated, narrow minds, ended in subjection to a system of dogmatic belief, which overruled both reason and scripture. sagacious reasoners of the present day should have foreseen such a result, when the fiercest enemies of the Church were freely admitted into parliament, can cause no surprise. But, that such a contingency should have been, as above, distinctly intimated, as the natural and necessary result of a laxity or decline of faith, more than one hundred years before such admission, must surely excite our admiration.

That the Greek Church in Russia would attract the zeal of Romish missionaries, it was natural to conjecture; and Dr. Madden accordingly represents the Jesuits as making great inroads upon the domain of the eastern heresiarchs. Nor is it possible to contemplate what has been done in our day, in obtaining, for the principles of Romanism, admission into the domi. nions of the czar, wherever an excuse for so doing was afforded by a mixed population, without admitting that, to a considerable extent, his conjectures have been verified by results, although not quite so much so as he expected.

The machinery which he conceives to have been set in operation with this view, was, we are fain to believe, intended quite as much to teach his own church how the true faith should be preserved, as to show how, by the Church of Rome, a corrupted faith had been extended.

The instruments employed are able and learned men, all whose powers are concentered upon the one object. These make themselves, in a variety of ways, useful to the autocrat, and win bis respect and confidence. By their advice, seminaries for the clergy are established, which they take good care shall be superintended by their own creatures. Thus, whatever the book lessons that may be learned, the teaching will be sure to subserve their

“There are in all churches, and especially in this, a kind of very managing and managable divines, who pay their court to interest or power whereever they find it; by a servile obsequiousness in prostituting their pens and their pulpits to defend or plode all tenets, as they are convenient and proper for present times, or the present views of their masters. They are a race of creatures who are still mighty sticklers for all seasonable local truths or temporal verities; and are too often found the usefulest tools that ever were set at work by the Machiavels of the world. However, the malice of some envious people nick name them, sometimes, the professors of Engathromythic divinity, and rail at them a little severely as teaching trencher truths ; and writing and preaching from that lower kind of inspiration, which has set so many great souls at work, and fills the head with the fumes of the belly."

To the great ability of many of the Jesuits, and their vast power in sustaining the papal systein, he bears frequent testimony, while the wit of Pascal himself was not more keen and piercing in detecting their sophistry and unravelling their wiles. « Cor. ruptio optimi passima ;" and the more they are capable of good, the less are they excusable in doing evil :

To see,” he says, “such excellent instruments turned to corrupt our morals, and wound religion, and raise factions, schisms, and rebellions in the earth, to serve their own ambition, must raise every one's indignation. "Tis a detestable perverting of wit and reason, and all the powers of the human mind, from the noble purposes they were given us for by heaven, to the worst that could be suggested by hell ; and bears a near resemblance to their practice, who make use of that soul of

vegetation and basis of nutriment, the less than twenty shillings, can be bornitre of the earth, and convert it into rowed, and it must be lent upon suffigunpowder for the destruction of their cient pawns, or city security." fellow-creatures. “ The savage nations in America are

Such an act was actually passed, ensaid to make war on their neighbours, titled, we believe, the “Charitable who do not use the same customs and

Loan Fund Act.” speak the same language; but these

An act for the augmentation of the gentlemen go a few steps farther, and pursue you to death, nay, beyond the

funds, and the increase in the number grave, because you do not think as they of bishopricks- objects which have do (a matter in no man's power), in been partially accomplished by recent speculative points of their own con- enactments. triving and imposing. For, after all, “ A law for new modelling, and farmy lord, they have not only made a ther confirming and enlarging, the two perfect manufacture of this commodity,

ity, corporations of the royal fishery and but a monopoly too; and have managed

the plantation company, and their with their faith, as to the world, as the French king has done with his salt, as

rights, privileges, and premiums, as to his subjects. At first it lay ready in

established in the reign of Frederick every creek-a plain, useful, healthful

the First and George the Third." The commodity, which all that pleased had Hudson Bay Company may be thus for taking up; till, by his absolute characterised, and became chartered power, the king seizes it solely into his and established about the period here own hands, makes it up his own way, indicated. and refines it as he thinks proper ; and “ An act to take away the privilege of then orders every one, on pain of death, parliament, in case of arrests for debt, to take such a proportion of it as he thinks necessary for them, whether they

when the house is not sitting.” We want it or not, or whether they will or

need not add that this subject has been no; and forbids, under severe penal.

recently taken up by some distinguishties, that any that's foreign should be ed men of the legislature, and is at imported, and punishes all that make present receiving the gravest considerause of any other (though ever so much tion. better), that is privately brought in by Nor can we regard the following, strangers."

which professes to describe a regula

tion adopted in Russia, but as intended Of the acts of the British parlia

to convey a hint to the politicians of ment, the introduction of which he

his own country that its legislative enanticipates, many have already been

actment would be desirable. It depassed into laws. Take the follow

scribes, substantially, the act for defin. ing:

ing and limiting the qualifications and

the practice of the members of diffe“An act for translating all our writs

rent branches of the medical profesfrom the old, unintelligible English of

sion, which is at present under the the eighteenth century, into our present

consideration of parliament, and has modern tongue,” &c. &c.

excited so much public attention :This has been accomplished by Sir Robert Peel's revisal and amendment

“And I shall begin with that excelof the penal code.

lent one of prohibiting all apothecaries

to practise, on the severest penalties. “ A bill for ascertaining the fees of

For, besides the want of skill in a proall offices, officers, and counsellors at

fession they can never be supposed to law, and attorneys.”

be masters of, it is certain those gentle

men used to bestow their attention on This, too, has, to a considerable

the poor Russians, merely with a view

to be well paid for their drugs (that degree, been made subject to legal would otherwise have rotted on their regulation.

shelves), just as vintners give a Sun

day's dinner to their customers, proAn act for establishing a public vided they pay for the wine they drink. bank for lending small sums of money After all, my lord, there is, perhaps, as to the poor, at the lowest interest, to good ground for this law, as for one carry on their trades with, such as the we have in Great Britain, that forbids Mont de la Pieta at Rome; but by this drovers to be butchers; it being unreaact no sum larger than ten pounds, or sonable that the same persons who pro

vide the cattle we make use of, should pieces by their senseless divisions, that also have liberty to kill."

England could only be ruined by Eng

land; so we may as truly maintain, that If the following project has not yet our happiness, and (that greatest of been realised, it is not because it would blessings) our liberties, as now settled not have proved very useful. Here under our excellent prince, can never be the Irish Rabelais is again brought to destroyed but by parliaments; and our our rememberance. A royal printing.

Church, as it now stands, fenced in by house is established, with the view and

human laws, and founded on the divine, for the reasons thus described :

can only be overturned by the fathers

of it, the bishops." “Over the great gate there is a large inscription, in a vast marble table, in

Had the raging tide of democracy, which the causes of the foundation are as we now feel it, sounded audibly in declared to be, the service of religion, his ears, he would have learned how the good of the state, and the benefit of parliament itself might be metamorthe learned world. Then it goes on to phosed, until it came to reflect the say, that as the number of books is infi

passions and the prejudices of the nite, and rather distract than inform

populace, rather than the wisdom of the mind, by a mixed and confused read. ing; some being well writ, but ill books;

the people ; and the Church, instead others, good books, but ill writ; some

of being cherished and protected by huddled up in haste, others stinking of

the legislature, be left at the mercy the lamp; some without any strength

of mountebank or• profligate minisof reasoning, others overloaded with ters, and become, like the strong arguments, half of which are insignifi- man in Scripture, sightless and manacant; some books being obscure through cled, the prey and the sport of its enetoo affected a brevity, others perspicu. mies. ous through an unnecessary redundancy Of the rapid decay and extinction of words (like a bright day at sea, where

of the great aristocratic families, he yet there is nothing to be seen but air

would seem to have been as well aware and water); some treating on subjects that thousands have handled better be

as if he had lived to study the statistics fore, others publishing useless trifles,

of the late Michael Thomas Sadleir :because new and unthought of by others; some writing as if they never read any- I have been comparing this last thing, others as if they writ nothing but with the ancient ones that remain on what they read, and then borrowed ;- record with us, and I am struck with therefore his Majesty decrees no book the deepest melancholy when I see so should be printed within those walls but many great and noble families, that once the works of the ancients, and such only made such a figure in our conntry, as should be voted most proper by two- washed away by the devouring flood of thirds of the colleges in the two univer- time; without leaving any more rememsities, and confirmed by the Lord Chan- berance of their vast fortunes, stately cellor and the Archbishop of Canterbury, houses, and magnificent equipages, than for the time being."

there is of the very beggars that, in

their day, were refused the scraps and But there was one thing which Dr. crumbs of their tables.” Madden did not foresee; and that was, the Reform Bill. The sublime wis.

We have now, we trust, enabled our dom which led to that enactment, transcended his limited capacity; and he

readers to judge for themselves whecertainly did not anticipate that the

ther, in our estimate of Dr. Madden's time would ever come, when physical far-seeing wisdom, we have used any

exaggeration. force, under the domination of faction

It will, we think, be admitted by all, and ignorance, should over-ride both

that his was a mind singularly well the aristocracy aud the crown. In

balanced and perspicuous“ Ponderithe following he contemplates the con

bus librata suis." tinued security of our constitutional

The only other writings of this exform of government, in a manner that

traordinary man with which we are seems to prove that his “good genius” acquainted, are “ Reflections and Recould sometime mislead him:

solutions proper for the Gentlemen of “And certainly, as our ancestors Ireland, as to their conduct for the used to say, when they were torn in service of their country, as Landlords, VOL. XXXII.-NO. CXC,

2 L

as Masters of Families, as Protestants, superiority of one side as to numbers, as descended from British Ancestors,

yet the advantages of arms, strength, as Country Gentlemen and Farmers, and power, is so entirely on the other, as Justices of the Peace, as Members

that there is not the remotest prospect of Parliament ;” and “A Letter to

of dangers from that quarter. How

ever, it is certain that our continuing the Dublin Society on the Improving

thus divided, has had very mischievous of their Fund, and the Manufactures,

consequences to the kingdom in general, Tillage, &c., of Ireland.” Strange to as it lessens our natural weight and say, both these productions were als strength, and makes us as spiritless and most as rare as the one to which we inactive as a paralytic body, when onehave called the attention of the reader, half of it is dead, or just dragged about until the former was reprinted for gra

by the other. It often puts me in mind tuitous distribution, and may now

of the poor Italian in London, who had sometimes be found upon our stalls.

a little twin brother that grew out of

his breast, whom he carefully nourished The copy which we have seen is one

and cherished, being sensible that when of the original edition, at present in

his brother died, he could not long surthe library of the Dublin Society. It vive him ; and I have often considered has bound up with it the letter to the the Catholics and the Protestants in this Dublin Society, which does not ap- light, who are closely united, and must pear, as neither does the preface, in as inevitably flourish and decay togethe reprint. Many of our readers ther. With the utmost regard to the may have seen it referred to, with con- welfare and the general good of Ireland, siderable interest, by the gentleman

I must say, that whilst our religious who wrote under the title of " The

differences subsist here (at least on the Times Commissioner," as containing

foot they now stand), we can never be

a thriving or a happy people; and that many valuable suggestions which, even therefore, until the state thinks fit to at the present day, might he acted upon interpose further than they have yet with advantage. One of the resolu- done, and order proper methods for tions which he proposes for adoption converting the poor natives, every Prois

testant gentleman should use his endea

vours to that good end, by his influence “ That we will, as Protestant gentle- and authority, by familiarity and famen in Ireland, do all in our power to

vour, by persuasion and reasoning, and, bring over our countrymen from the de

where they can read, by dispersing prolusions and ignorance they are kept in

per books and tracts among them.” by their Popish priests, as the greatest cause of their misery."

Having described the vast drain of

money caused by the necessity for supAnd had the government or the porting their own enormous ecclesiasgentry of that day been only dulytical system, both at home and abroad, sensible of the importance of such an

and also the vast loss of labour, equiobject, and followed the advice so valent to wealth, occasioned by their ably and honestly given to them, how numerous holidays, he thus proceeds differe would be the present aspect of Ireland!

“But this is not the worst; for it is The following observations are certain that our priests, with their old scarcely less applicable now, than they

thirst for the blood of heretics, were the were then, to the distracted state of

chief authors of the dreadful Rebellion our unhappy country:

and horrid murders in 1641, which swept away near two hundred thousand souls,

destroyed our houses and towns, and “ It is but too well known to the kept us to this day without peace, or world, and too much felt by ourselves, people, or trade; whereas,'had the that this poor kingdom is divided, or happy condition Ireland was then in rather tora in pieces, by two religions ; continued till now, we should have been and, which is ever the consequence of one of the most thriving nations in Edthe other, into two opposite factions in rope. I am sorry to say that the guilt the state. It is true, the terrible con- of the Popish priests herein is too contes's that arise from hence, and which, fest and evident to want any proofs; after spilling oceans of blood, laid waste for the world has seen it fully and undeour country, are, I hope, pretty well niably charged on them in a number of over, and, humanly speaking, can never histories and memoirs of those times; disturb us more; for though there is a and I believe no Papist who has read

them can doubt this fact. Indeed the tions are to be found mingled in strange encomiums given by Pope Urban the confusion with his most felicitous Eighth's Bull (dated May 17, 1642), to thoughts and conjectures, is undoubtthose murderers of heretics, is in itself so glaring an evidence of this miserable

edly true. Nor can this surprise us. truth, that there is no occasion to dwell

On the contrary, it is just what might upon a thousand others which can be

be expected.

Dr. Madden had more produced for it. It is certain that they

of Democritus than of Heraclitus in his had also a great hand in all the troubles composition. He was the laughing of '88, and the slaughters, and ravage,

philosopher, who blended pleasantries and burning of houses which it occa- with his wisdom; and could at one sioned; and though both these fatal time be as sportive and volatile, as he events tumbled, like ill-contrived mines, was, at another, erudite and profound. on their own heads, who set them on

But, that he should have been right in fire, and proved an increase of the Protestant interest, yet the nation has not

so many particulars ; that the then fuyet recovered the loss of blood and spi

ture course of history in Turkey, Rusrits occasioned thereby.”

sia, France, and England, should have

been by him, in its leading features, so It is surely to be lamented that a

clearly foreseen; that he should have genius so rare was not employed upon

intimated, with an emphatic distinct

ness, terrible convulsions in France, at the production of other works, by which, in his day, he might have

a time accurately synchronising with achieved for himself a high repu- change in the system of the papacy

the French revolution; and that very tation, and which an enlightened pos- which is now being realised, as far as terity would gladly recognise as worthy

circumstances will permit of it, by of perpetual remembrance. But, while

Pius the Ninth—all this, surely, indihe was a great benefactor to arts and literature, it was more by drawing ledge of human nature, and a very

cates not only a very profound knowforth the powers of others, than by extensive acquaintance with public exhibiting his own.

affairs, but what is, perhaps, rarer That he should have shrunk, in his

still, a healthy action of all the faculown day, from giving publicity to con

ties, unperturbed and unclouded by jectures and speculations, of which co

faction or prejudice, and a calm serenity pious examples are to be found in the

of contemplative observation and repreceding pages, is not at all so sur

flection, prising as that he should have ever embodied them in a readable form, and

* Above the arrows, shouts, and fears of men," taken so much pains, by passing them through the press, to give them a per- of which we know no more signal manent existence. They could not be

example. read then as we can read them now, by

It is not a little curious, that while the light of events; and must have ap- he speculated so freely respecting every peared the hallucinations of a crazy other country, he has no anticipations visionary, rather than the deeply-pon- respecting his own, in which he was, at dered forecastings of a most penetrat- the same time, strenuously labouring ing understanding. And, as there was

to lay the foundations of future prosng class upon whose sympathy he could

perity? Was it that Ireland then, as calculate --no “fit audience, not even

now, presented a problem to the poli"a few," by whom his speculative ima

tician and the philosopher, the solution ginings would be gravely entertained

of which was not easy? It certainly he shrank, with the instinctive sensi.

did exhibit an aspect from which it tiveness of genius, from the ridicule

would have been very difficult to divine which his published lucubrations would

the future. Liberty secured, and the be sure to provoke

constitution preserved, by the slavery

of a nation, and the triumph of a fac* And back recoiled, he knew not why, Even at the sound himself had made."

tion ; the penal laws in full force ; a

whole people prostrate ; a privileged That he judged erroneously in some few ascendant, and this ascendancy particulars, may be fully admitted ; party contented to be mocked by the and that whimsical and eccentric no- forms of constitutional government,

« PreviousContinue »