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made to come in, as soon as ever a party can be formed in the public administration; and we find they have been but too successful in persuading the magistrate that his interests are much concerned in these religious differences. Now the most effectual remedy to those dangerous and strong convulsions into which states are so frequently thrown by those struggles, is an alliance which establishes one church, and gives a full toleration to the rest, only keeping sectaries out of the public administration, from a heedless admission into which these disorders have arisen."

Do not current events exemplify the sagacious truth of this last observation ?

We return to the writer in the Westminster.

Persons who use language of this kind, namely, the Church asking not to be plundered of that which is theirs by law, forget that the state is no more justified in upholding an unjust law already in existence, than in suffering an unjust law to be passed."

The word “unjust " is a petitio principii. A law in vigour has at all events prescription in its favour; and the longer a community has tacitly acquiesced in the operation of a legal right, the greater the probability of its being founded on just principles. A civil right to tithes by way of state provision to the Clergy, has lasted in Great Britain upwards of a thousand years. Can the houses of Russell or Lansdowne or Melbourne show a better title to their benefices ?

" As to the empty declamation, that the legislature has no right to interfere with clergy endowment, it is sufficient to say, that if by right be meant power, it is obviously false.”

The legislature may have the arbitrary authority of the suicide and the incendiary, but cannot pretend to an irresponsible dominion. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that, after one mode or another, punishment will light upon the head of an offender, . that sooner or later outraged right will avenge itself. Only Omniscience is Omnipotent. Applied to all finite powers, the term is an hyperbole. In the sphere of the courts, indeed, quicquid rex cum parliamento voluit, RATUM

With a Chatham at the helm, and a Nelson for our right arm, this potency of our parliament and king may be equally predicated, for aught we care to demur, over the whole habitable globe; but applied to England herself, with all her venerable heirlooms, and with all her germs of reversionary wealth, the limitation of the legislative power (right) is not "empty declamation,” but a deep philosophic truth. Power can only be absolute while it goes hand in hand with duty, with justice ; and we do not assume the question at issue when we aver, and notify to the country, that the legislature hath not that power in the case of the National Church.

The Westminster may have yet to learn, that rights, whose exercise is the most foul and odious of all wrongs, can never be equivalent with power, which, like a new coin in the pocket of a child, the legislature may indeed sport in all its gloss, but let it tremble to lay it out. Not to lay any stress on the sovereign's religious oath, which the nation, supreme over the legislature, with an eye to this very point, imposed as a boundary and check, with a view of punctuating, as it were, the arbitrary power of King, Lords, and Commons ... to let that pass, we maintain that as, in the old time, the judges of the land, having an understanding heart of what was congruous and incongruous with the reflex perception of the British constitution, were presumed to possess à tribunitial authority over such acts of parliament as were not adapted to, nor concocted in the tone, keeping, spirit, and design of that model, which the agreement of tradition, usage, and law implied and inferred ; so that potential veto is yet, thank God ! no obsolete thing. It may not be in these times, perhaps, entrusted to the judges of the realm; but it exists, nevertheless, in the general sense and feeling of the community, ... in their insight into what is verily and indeed the lex mater legum. It is this supreme power, . this “viceroy over the king," which, .. until England be abandoned by her good genius, and the noblest idea of a state that the world ever saw gradually develop itself, and work out its inherent energies, be gathered to the tomb of history,... to the great repository of all tongues, ages, and nations thaT HAVE BEEN, ... it is, we say, this supreme power which must be the ultimate appeal, to determine what is dissonant or consonant to the abstract principle, ... the lex mater legum we spoke of, ... which is not indeed law, but above and independent of all law, being the sublimated essence and spirit which permeates and is essential to the BEING, . the vis anime of the British constitution, ... which embodies that finer extract, that hath been aimed at, and kept in mind from the beginning, and will endure, in idea at least, to all ages, whilst the grosser substance (the residuum) sooner or later must pass away, and like other accidents, be lost in the lapse of time. Therefore we argue that the legislature is not possessed of that arbitrary, tyrannic, and irresponsible power, that with the characteristic reasoning of an unimaginative material matter-of-fact school, the Westminster would fain claim for it. There is a something behind ; something ethereal, but which, though free as air, strong as bonds of adamant.

It is this something over all, which cannot be committed to the Tower, which the outstretched arms of the Speaker's warrant cannot reach, which like the principle of life pervades the whole commonweal, ... be it uniform national impression, which when history is silent must be in the right ; or call it the vox populi, which, if it prove not a sudden inflation of Satan,... if it have

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expressed the same thing for centuries, is the inspiration of God,... designate it how we will, this virtual prerogative, apprehended though not defined, as the source of all English customs and usages, and therefore as having existed before all law,... cannot be made the victim of an insensate House of Commons. They may cry for it to dash it to pieces, as it is the trick of vain wilful childhood to anatomize their toys, until knowledge and destruction go together ... They may teach their will dangerous secrets, and

tempt their

powers “ Into the depths of darkest purposes ; " ... They may, as the climax of impious absurdity, insist upon the moon; but what they want is an immortal thing, ..

“ In spirit like a star, and is apart." The legislature has no method of drawing up an indictment against this fine, impalpable, ultimate authority, before which it quails as Mark Antony at the spirit of Cæsar. It is at fault, however ripe to pass sentence. That authority, moreover, demonstrates how the writer of the article we object to suffered his inclination to hurry him too fast to a conclusion.

" The wish was father to the thought.” It places a limit to what the Reviewer is pleased to style “the ever active omnipotence of the sovereign legislature.'

Let the legislature only dare bring its boasted omnipotence to issue, ... let it try the point, ... let it venture to outrage, ay, but in a tittle, the received and understood constitutional opinions of the British nation, ... let it attempt in its lust of rule vim adferre ideæ reipublicæ, and it will find, non obstante charters and deeds and documents, all covered with the hoar of centuries,... despite an evidence-room full of titles, that the bare assertion of its claims is the loss of its suit.

Let not your king and parliament in one,

Much less apart, mistake themselves for that
Which is most wanting to be thought upon ;
Nor think they are essentially the state.
Let them not fancy that th' authority
And privileges upon them bestown,
Conferr'd, are to set up a majesty,
A power or a glory of their own!
But let them know 'twas for A DEEPER LIFE,
Which they but represent-
That there's on a yet auguster thing,

Veiled though it be, than parliament and king." “ In regulating the rights of future incumbents no harm is done, inasmuch as no expectations are disappointed.”

No harm is done, in so far, we are ready to allow; but to pretend that in other respects no harm is done, were again to take for granted what remains to be proved. Harm is not done to the persone ecclesiæ, but to her jures ... her rights... her immunities... her independence; and through her a blow is struck at the well-being of the whole commonweal, who depend upon her for their secular and eternal happiness... Una salus ambobus erit, commune periculum. To all intents the clergyman, generally speaking, is worthy of his hire; and virtually, if not to the letter, employs it as a trust; non quasi suis, sed commendatis; therefore by the robbery of the Church, future incumbents will be doubtless only injured as they constitute individual members of the community. That is a very subordinate view of the question.

“ By leaving the Clergy of all sects to be supported on the voluntary principle, he violates no duty to his own persuasion. By endowing the Clergy of all sects, he gives no sanction to that which he believes to be

error.

Endowing every description of sect is on obvious grounds utterly indefensible, inasmuch as it affords the influence of the nation to the encouragement and support of the very worst, equally with the best, forms of religion. It were to make the Church of Christ resemble Noah's ark, and render it a receptacle for all unclean beasts. Each case should be let rest on its own merits and on circumstances. It may neither be bad policy nor unjust to endow the Clergy of some sects, provided the funds of our apostolic Church be held inviolable,.- . if the procedure do not imply a robbery of Levi for the benefit of Reuben or Simeon; but the indiscriminate endowment of all sectaries were, we repeat, to give the sanction of the state to every wind of doctrine, ... to take under her protecting wing a mixed multitude of denominations. Montesquieu says very wisely-“ As there are scarce any but persecuting religions that have an extraordinary zeal for being established in other places, (because a religion that can tolerate others seldom thinks of its own propagation), it must therefore be a very good civil law when the state is already satisfied with the established religion not to suffer the establishment of another."-L. xxv. c. 10.

“We are quite confident that the fees on ecclesiastical rites, pewrents, and voluntary offerings of the congregation, would afford a sufficient income to Clergymen in this country, if all public endowment was withdrawn from them.”

The precise minimum the Westminster would conceive a sufficient income, we are not seers enough to divine. The result, however, of an innovation they would be glad to effectuate, requires no conjuror to predict. We may safely venture an augury, that in remote country districts, were public endowment withdrawn, there would shortly be no educated clergymen of the reformed apostolic Church to receive any income whatever. At all events, and for our own parts, we should be sorry to be consigned over to the tender economical mercies of the Westminster Review,... or “be the creature of begging-boxes, pew-rents, and anniversaries, wringing out the reluctant sixpences of our masters." *

The being “quite confident” is exquisitely characteristic;... “ Error,” exclaimed Curran, in one of his elaborate outbursts, “ Error is in its nature flippant and compendious; it hops with airy and fastidious levity over proofs and arguments, and perches upon assertion, which it calls conclusion."

“ It is therefore absurd,” continues the Westminster, “ to confound the deprivation of the Protestant Clergy of their present means of support, with the destruction of the Protestant Church : as if the Church meant the Clergy, and as if the Clergy would be discharged as useless unless they were maintained by the state."

It might be “absurd” if the “confidence" of the reviewer were well grounded. The Church, the Ædes Kyriace, we know is not synonymous with the Clergy, albeit the ecclesia (EKKANTOL) i. e. the Evocati ... the being called out of the world into the Church of England, involves and implies the existence of a Clergy. They may not be literally dismissed, but they would soon discover, . their services not being any longer required, . that they were virtually discarded. Did the Westminster never hear tell of a religion dying out of a land ? It might little fret the reviewer if the rites of an extra national priesthood, or the rant of an itinerant fanaticism, were to be substituted for the pure, sublime,. the apostolic formularies of the Church of England, but every far-seeing lover of his country would discern in such catastrophe the token and indication of Almighty wrath. Much as we owe to our insular position, by means whereof custom and law have been suffered to blend themselves harmoniously together, our debt to our pure patriotic Church, which hath sanctified both; in which,. and not as a mere abstraction,. liberty inheres; and which, from the age of Anselm, even unto the present day, hath lent a sacred character to all our institutions, is infinitely greater.

To have preserved that catholic and apostolic Church through all changes and dangers, constitutes the immortal claim of England on the reverential gratitude of Christendom. In fact, the English character would never have been what it is, except it had caught the tone of our ecclesiastical institutions, to which it might be easily proved we owe the substance of our liberty;

* Fraser's Magazine, December 1836.

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