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new churches, and to discharge their sacred duties with conscientious zeal. Preferment given to a whole class of the clergy, solely because they are in the habit of preaching well, will be a new thing of which all will approve. Paley's maxim about popular preachers was a very good college joke, but nothing more. A man who stands up and holds forth by the side of the high-way will be popular, if he please the ignorant who interrupt their vulgar callings for a nioment to listen to him. But he who addresses an assembly of devout Christians, possessed of taste and knowledge, can render himself popular, only by manifesting a degree of taste and sacred wisdom considerably greater than their own. He must win the heart, he must inform the understanding. But he who can do this is not an ordinary character. He is, however, what we call a popular preacher-a designation necessarily importing high desert. Public speakers, who do not possess and display quali ties somewhat similar, are not preachers.
The expense of building the churches, and of endowing them, (if they must be endowed,) ought to fall upon the nation at large, not upon the parishes in which they are built. The obvious means. of diminishing the expense of building, is plainness in the construction and fitting up of the edifice. It is not essential that churches be highly wrought architectural ornaments of the streets in which they stand; or that they vie in grandeur with those which serve as monuments of the magnificence of our pious ancestors. If they afford suitable accommodation to every class of hearers, it is all that is required. But would it tend to the general interests if, the new churches being unendowed, the minister were left to depend upon his congregation for support? In this, as in almost every other question, "much may be said on both sides." On an impartial examination of the question, we are convinced, that it would be difficult to conceive a less objectionable way of disposing of it, than that presented to our readers in the above extract; according to which, the Minister is made neither wholly dependent, nor wholly independent, on his congregation. A Clergyman may, and perhaps ought, to be dependent on his audience, to a certain degree. A sense of his dependence may stimulate his exertions, let the natural-the general frame of his mind be what it may; and the hope, that his reward will be proportionate to his labors, will at all times enable him to go on his way rejoicing. Divines do not subsist like divinities.
Here a question occurs, upon the answer to which will depend the fate of an objection which will be brought against the
proposal for augmenting the number of churches. What is the reason why so many churches in London are so nearly abandoned on the Lord's Day?-The want of exertion and of ardourthe appalling dread of the imputation of methodism, furnishes, in some instances, an explanation of the sad phenomenon; and the freedom of remark upon the preacher's manner and matter explains it in other instances. It is now a fashion, which was unknown to our serious forefathers, for individuals to travel from one place of worship to another, just as they happen to be allured by curiosity and the love of novelty. Instead of going to church for substantial edification, they meet to sit in judgment upon the preacher, who is applauded or condemned on principles not founded in either reason or scripture.
The mode in which the Minister's income is to be raised, has already been mentioned. The pew rents will form but a fluctuating provision. The number of churches being increased, the demand for pews will be diminished, and a reduction take place in the price of them. One great purpose, also, of the new erections being to accommodate the poor, it would defeat that purpose, if all, or even the greater part of the building were let to the wealthy parishioners. The rental, however, of the seats, which it would be proper to let, though probably insufficient of themselves for the due maintenance of the incumbent, would prove no contemptible addition to an endowment obtained in the way already pointed out. Some small endowment will be found indispensably requisite. For if there were no endowment, and if the rents did not furnish a comfortable subsistence, the Minister would be compelled to have recourse either to other pursuits, which would withdraw much of his time from his pastoral duties; or to the voluntary contributions of his flock. If he prefer the former expedient, some of those advantages would be lost which the new Churches and Ministers were intended to produce; if the latter, he must suffer in point of useful personal dignity. Subscriptions can safely be resorted to only by very popular preachers-and who can fix himself so firmly in the hearts of others as to insure the continuance of his popularity? But if a man happen not to be popular, that is, well liked by those who never yet profited without being pleased, he must submit to the hard alternative of either humouring the prejudices of his audience, or of starving under the operation of their displeasure. A conscientious man cannot do the one, a prudent man will not do the other. We are far from meaning that a Clergyman of the Church of England ought not to be much influenced by the opinions of his hearers. It is his duty,
as well as his interest, to make concessions even to their
"If it be the part of profound and enlightened wisdom to appropriate a class of men to the religious and moral instruction of the country: if the civil and public advantages of such an institution be evident to the slightest reflection, and apparent in the superior civilization, order, and decorum of society: if Christianity be any thing more than a cunningly devised fable: if it be, in fact, a system of truth most conducive to social and individual happiness: if the concerns of Eternity be superior to those of Time: if the influence of things present upon the mind of man be sufficient to weaken and obliterate the impression of future prospects, not frequently placed in view, and pressed upon the attention: if for this highly useful and most important purpose, it be advisable to call in the aid of talent and learning, genius and ability, as well as zeal and industry: then these unanswerable and irrefragable truths will prove the wisdom and necessity of providing a just maintenance for such men, and the importance of a judicious appropriation of the means of securing for them respect and attention.” pp. 215, 216.
Supposing now that other difficulties are surmounted, how is the right of presentation to the new livings to be settled? The only case considered by Mr. Yates, is that which will interfere with the privileges and immunities of certain individuals. Such claims would, no doubt, sometimes occupy the attention. of those to whom the management of the business would be entrusted; but, in most instances, they might be settled without difficulty, by the offer of an equivalent. But after all such claims were determined, there would remain several new rectories, of which the patronage would be to be disposed of. To whom should the Legislature give the right of presentation? to the Crown, or to the Bishops? No additional augmentation of the influence of the Crown is at all necessary at present. Professional merit is not always the principal recommendation to those ecclesiastical dignities, of which the minister has the disposal; and, as it is a matter of high importance that none but competent persons be appointed to such situations, no unworthy considerations should be allowed to influence the selection. The Bishops are, without any doubt, the only persons competent to choose proper ministers; and they are the least likely to suffer their choice to be governed by improper motives.-The people might, it is true, be left to choose their own pastors; but this is an expedient, which could seldom answer any good purpose; while it would certainly produce, on most occasions, a great deal of mischief. Nonconformists, whose
suffrages could not be rejected, would gain an ascendancy; dissentions would be produced among neighbours; and illiter ate men might, through dexterous management, be put in charge of congregations. Besides, it is notorious, that the people do not always continue satisfied with the person on whom their choice has fallen.
The preceding sketch will convey an idea both of Mr. Yates's plan, and of his proposed mode of carrying it into execution. Never, perhaps, did any measure, of such importance and magnitude, present fewer obstacles. Even in its economical views, it is worthy the most serious attention of the Legislature, which will do honor to itself by considering it in a manner suited to its high national utility.
The favorable opinion we entertain of the project, is so clearly expressed in the course of our observations, that further. commendation of it would be absurd.
ART. IV.-Memoir on the Ruins of Babylon, by CLAUDIUS
(Concluded from vol. II. p. 23.)
THE next traveller to the banks of the Euphrates was M. Niebuhr, and from that gentleman's acknowledged erudition, and his acuteness in examining subjects of Asiatic antiquity, it is to be regretted that he passed so rapidly, in his route to Bagdad, through those celebrated remains of Babylonian grandeur. It is well known, however, with how many obstacles, from the jealous suspicion as well as open hostility of the present possessors of those renowned regions, the European traveller, when unattended by a proper escort, has to contend. Such was the case with the learned Dane, whose description of the ruins is of a very general nature; although he confirms all that Della Valle has related respecting the immensity of the piles of ruin scattered over the wide plain of Hellah, and the continual excavation of the ground for the bricks, of a foot square, which formed the foundation of the walls and structures of ancient Babylon. These, it has been observed, are on the eastern side of the river; but Niebuhr also mentions a stupendous fabric which he visited, about six miles below Hellah, on the western.
'Niebuhr's Travels, Vol. ii. p. 296.
side, called by the natives Birs Nemroud. Apprehensions of danger from the menacing Arabs who watched him, prevented his taking the dimensions of this hitherto little nouiced mass of ruins, denominated by the Jews settled in the neighbourhood, the prison of Nebuchadnezzar, but more probably, as D'An'ville observes, his Palace. What, however, he was then prevented from doing, has since been effectually done by Mr. Rich, and our regret is in consequence proportionably diminished. We shall give an ample extract from that portion of his memoir which describes this mighty ruin.
M. Otter, like Niebuhr, passed through this country too hastily to make any minute and accurate personal observations on the remaining monuments of Assyrian pride; but he was informed, that amidst the woods and coppices which now envelope the site of Babylon, vast remains of walls and edifices were to be traced, and thinks it not improbable that some of these very woods, so abundantly dispersed over the grounds and preserved from age to age upon the same spot, may be the remains of the celebrated Hanging Gardens mentioned by Diodorus and Strabo. To this it may be added, that Hellah is at this day celebrated for the extent and beauty of its gardens.2
Whatever comes from the pen of so great a geographer as D'Anville, deserves respectful attention, and on that account, rather than from any clearness of description in the narrative itself, it is proper to mention the manuscript of Père Emanuel, inserted in his Euphrates and Tigris at pages 116, 117, &c., giving an account of a vast ruin seen by that missionary on the western side of the river, the bricks composing which were of such a solid substance, and so closely compacted, that it was scarcely possible to detach them from the mass to which they were united. This was undoubtedly the Birs Nemroud, above alluded to, and so far the account is valuable; but it is accompanied with no detailed particulars with respect either to its extent or to its elevation.
The last account of these ruins that appeared in print previously to this by Mr. Rich, is that by M. Beauchamp, who, in his distinguished office of Vicar General of Babylon, had frequent opportunities of visiting and examining them. His account was given to the public in the European Magazine for May, 1799, being a translation from the French original, and is more minute and satisfactory than any preceding one as to
Otter's Travels, Vol. ii. p. 211.
2 Rich's Memoir, p. 12.