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of its life-giving doctrines; they know the value of the holy principles which it inculcates; they are unwilling to draw their swords in defence of all that they hold dearest and loveliest ; but their hand is on the hilt--they only need the word of command from some illustrious leader, and their chastened courage shall make the heartless abuser of the name of patriot quail before their sturdy stroke. There is a cry of “ Peace,” “Peace," in the camp of the enemy : “ Peaceful agitation" is their watchword. A few bold spirits, like M•Hale of Tuam, speak out more decisively; they say what they mean, and mean what they say: but the majority are adepts in dissimulation; they defy the power of the law, and then charge the consequences of their defiance on the guiltless Protestant; and members of our British Parliament are deceived by their false colourings, and think it no disgrace to vote with those who, in seeking the injury of the Church as by law established, have violated their oaths, and thrown their promises to the wind. There are—we tremble while we tell it-many such lukewarm Protestants in Ireland. There are many who aim at political and personal aggrandisement, and who cannot attain it without the support of either the high-minded Conservatives, or the destructive Romanists. With such selfish hollow-hearted patriots, the sound and consistent churchmen have no sympathies in common; if they will gratify their desire for thrusting themselves into notice, they must court the influence of the party who despise them—they must sacrifice whatever their supporters demand in exchange for the renown which they hope to obtain. These liberal promoters of “union” " and of “peace" subscribe largely to popish cathedrals; attack the clergy; associate with the priests; oppose every plan that is favourable to the Established church; applaud every scheme which throws power into the hands of the Papists; use their influence as magistrates, as landlords, and as members of the legislature, at the dictate of the rulers of the Romish party; and look with an eye of perfect indifference upon every attempt to purify, edify, and extend the Protestant church. Such Protestants as these are unworthy the name. They are dull, dead, cold, and statue-like things. When they do show signs of life, it is but to wither, with their pestilential breath, every plant of healthy growth. Their only hope of a political existence is by going all lengths with the party which they have espoused; and therefore the honest Englishman, who scorns from his heart such hypocrisy and doubledealing, is astonished that men of sound profession on one side of the channel, can see so differently when they cross to the other. The same men, who dare to do every thing that is degrading and inconsistent in Ireland, and are applauded by the multitude upon whom they fawn, would be pointed at with the finger of scorn in England. Alas! human nature, on both sides of the channel, is the same weak, inconsistent, and fragile thing. The
Protestant in name only, whether you meet with him amid the Neologists of Germany, or the Socinians of Geneva, or at the Educational Board in Dublin, is of the same genus and of the same species. The Protestant at heart, whether he be found among the
of Ireland or the commoners of England,whether among the sturdy descendants of John Knox or the adherents to the creed of the amiable Howe,-is a man who will never yield to the temporal supremacy of Popery, founded, as it is, on spiritual despotism.
Of such there are many among the laity of the Irish church ; and upon these, by God'š blessing, we rest our hopes. We telí the lukewarm Protestant and the infuriated Papist, that the Irish church is daily growing stronger and stronger. Nay, start not, reader, at the paradox. The tithe is not the Church : government may, if they please, combine with its bitterest foes, and “appropriate” its revenues to any party purposes which may suit them; but let them do their worst, they shall not shake, they can only trouble, the Lord's true heritage. Still, robbery and murder are the only weapons by which worldly men can injure the Church in any age. It behoveth every Briton to lift up his voice on high, and cry lustily against the proceedings of the British House of Commons. To this House, Britons have been accustomed to look for protection. But “all things change:” the only witness for the truth in Ireland is to be crippled in its resources and robbed of its possessions on the shallowest of all pretences. We are accused by our adversaries of using such arguments in our zeal, as would lead to the conclusion that our tithes are every thing, and that our Establishment by law is every thing. We may speak strongly on these two points, and for this reason,-they are the only two points on which they can injure
In other respects we are INVULNERABLE. The Romanist can but rob us of the protection of the law, and of the security of property; and inasmuch as these are outward
which are useful when possessed, and to which we have an unalienable right, we naturally struggle hard for what is all but essential. It is necessary, however, at times, to remind Englishmen that these are not the all-in-all of the Irish church. Un-tithe it, if you will; un-establish it, if you will; it will still exist, and it may flourish, in spite of your efforts to crush it. No thanks to the crafty time-serving politician: no thanks to the disciples of a wretched expediency, who hope, by conceding one advantage after another, to keep the few remnants in safety: but thanks be unto Him who hath ensured the victory! There are a few words of our Master which will explain many
The kingdom of God cometh not with observation." Men are too busy at reforms—too occupied with manufacturing corporations—too much eaten up with the pride of power, to see what is really taking place in the church of Ireland. New
life has been infused into it. Its ministers are among the most zealous, self-denying, patient, and laborious pastors on the face of the globe. We know comparatively nothing in England of the privations which they endure, of the obstacles with which they have to contend, and of the perseverance with which they follow out the apostolic model. One must travel in Ireland enter into the minutiæ of every parish-observe the excellent and judicious plans of the bishops--the progress with which truly scriptural schools are blest—the failure of all schemes of education, which are not based upon the Book of life-the way in which the landlords either energetically support, or coldly neglect, all that is valuable and of good report—the conversions which are constantly taking place from among the priesthood of Rome; and thus, and thus only, will the true state of the Irish church be visibly displayed before us. The writer of this article has had this opportunity; and can bear testimony to all that Messrs. Page, Nangle, and Stoney assert. Their writings are not very voluminous; the adverse party dare not grapple with them, and therefore affect to despise and forget them. But this is precisely the reason why we wish to introduce them to the British public; assured, that if the reader be unaccustomed to such details, his hair will stand on end with astonishment, that the abominations recorded can be permitted under an enlightened government, during this boasted nineteenth century. Of these writers we at present take leave. We have avoided entering into any political or statistical details. We shall watch the gress of events; and having thus laid open the leading springs of the two antagonist principles, we leave the subject to the meditation and prayers of our readers, with the hope, that the latent spark of true patriotism may brighten into a living flame, and that they will strain every nerve to preserve the integrity and extend the efficiency of THE IRISH CHURCH.
Art. IV.-1. The Life of Oliver Goldsmith. By James PRIOR,
Esq. Murray. 1837. 2. The Works of Gray. By the Rev. J. MITFORD. Pickering.
IT was once remarked upon seeing an old copy of the Seasons lying in the window of an obscure village inn—" This is true fame!" Such also is the reputation of the two eminent individuals whose names we have ventured to combine, and whose literary and moral portraits we are about to delineate. Differing widely in the leading characteristics of their genius, they resemble each other in the purity of their writings, the generosity of their disposition, and the elegance of their style. No authors in our language, with the single exception of Shakespeare, are so generally known, or--more extraordinary still—so universally
read and appreciated. Milton, Spenser, and even Dryden, repose under the shadows of their names; to the many they are fountains closed, books sealed; few readers in our day ascend with Milton to those jasper battlements to which, in the inspiration of poetry, he had climbed; or walk along the empurpled pavement which he had trod : Spenser's Bower of Beauty is frequented only by the student's feet; the mellow notes of The enchanted Horn, are drowned in the roar of political agitation; and no eye, save of some solitary dreamer, turns to gaze upon the clearest Fountain of English Poetry “ shaking its loosening silver in the sun." But amid these changes of feeling, the charms of Goldsmith and of Gray have suffered no diminution. We still continue to chat with Dr. Primrose, weep with Olivia, and sit with the Hermit in his cell; or muse with the Traveller, or meditate in the ruined garden of Auburn; or moralize with the Citizen of the World, or smile at the adventures of Tony Lumpkin. Gray too, speaks to us from every marble slab, from every little tomb with its osier bands, from every straw-built cottage, and from every village church. Time, also, has acknowledged and ratified their claims. The period has long gone by which Goldsmith considered a decisive intention of a poet's fame; when he affirmed, that an author should never arrogate to himself any share of success, until his works have been read at least ten years with satisfaction. They have both taken their place among the classics of our literature; and in attempting to estimate with calmness and impartiality their relative merits and capacities, we wish to speak with becoming humility and consideration. Goldsmith appears before us a writer of fiction, of history, of miscellanies, and poetry. Of the Vicar of Wakefield, the unanimous opinion seems to be, that no composition of a similar nature in any European language possesses an equal charm. The simplicity of the style, the originality of the characters, the liveliness of the painting, the
purity and force of the moral, have gained for it the suffrages of the wise and of the good; it affects alike the heart of the young and of the old; the one by its pathos, the other by its truth. If we compare it with Rasselas, we shall find a richer vein of poetry, a more elaborate pomp of imagery in the Abyssinian Romance, without the same power of elevating the affections or moving the sympathies. If the Man of Feeling rival it in elegance, it cannot compete with it in vivacity or variety. Nor ought we to forget the high praise due to the author for the moral courage with which he abandoned the fashionable indecencies of the age. Fielding and Smollett presided over Romance; but Goldsmith shook off at once all the influence of example and of reputation, and determined to adhere to Nature. Virtue has rewarded his literary offspring, so devotedly consecrated to her service, with a noble immortality. To dwell upon
the characters of this domestic drama would be an agreeable, but an idle occupation. The Primrose family are familiar to us all. We may, however, be permitted to notice the extreme beauty of the reflections, which are delivered with a graceful simplicity and earnest eloquence rarely equalled. How admirabl is the definition error! “ For the first time the very best may err; art may persuade and novelty spread out its charms. The first fault is the child of Simplicity; but every other, the offspring of Guilt.” The observations upon the communion with our own hearts are entitled to warmer commendation, for the religious sweetness of the sentiment, and the force of the moral. If we would but learn,” he says, ' to commune with our own hearts, and know what noble company we can make them, we should little regard the elegance and splendours of the worthless. Almost all men have been taught to call life a passage, and themselves the travellers. The similitude may still be improved, when we observe that the good are joyful and serene, like travellers that are going towards home; the wicked but by intervals happy, like travellers that are going into exile."
It was Goldsmith's misfortune to write to live, instead of living to write; his necessities drove him into tasks alien from the habits of his mind and the disposition of his genius. One of the Horses of the Sun was degraded into a hack of the booksellers. Of his historical compositions an anecdote has been preserved, which, if true, is curiously characteristic of his carelessness. During the composition of his Grecian history, Gibbon paid him a visit at his chambers in the Temple. “You are the person of all others I wished to see,” exclaimed the poet; “ I am writing a history of Greece, and have been taxing my recollection in vain for the name of that Indian king who gave Alexander so much trouble.”—“Oh! I can settle that point in a moment,” replied Gibbon, with a smile,—" It was Montezuma." Goldsmith, with a little hesitation, adopted the suggestion; when Gibbon, fearing the injurious consequences of so palpable an error, substituted the correct name of Porus. It has been of late the fashion to depreciate these unpretending labours of Goldsmith considerably below their deserts; and a few mistakes, easy of rectification, have been seized on to enforce a general condemnation. He who is desirous of writing a new history, will naturally endeavour to persuade the public of the incapacity or errors of his predecessor. Mitford, in his memoir of the poet, observes, that histories of two nations, like the Greeks and Romans, eminent above all others for their polity, their genius, and their power, are only to be written after extensive research, and the collection of recondite learning, which Goldsmith had neither leisure nor inclination to attempt. He who wrote only to satisfy the cravings of the hour, could not afford to ponder over the mouldering inscription, the long-buried manuscript,