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the only course, in fact, which, if they the Presbytery of Strathbogie, as well felt their consciences aggrieved, they as other presbyteries, recognising it; could consistently pursue, supposing and it soon appeared that the people them Christians and honest men. were inclined to take advantage of it But they have now changed their in a manner that would make the tone. They have found out that right of patronage nugatory. Soon certain saints of the olden time, after it came into operation, several while they complained of patronage, instances of presentees to churches besubmitted to it nevertheless, rather ing rejected by the irresponsible veto than resign their interest in its loaves of the parishioners occurred ; and in and fishes; and this happy discovery one of these the aggrieved parties has, it appears, proved a sovereign had recourse to the Court of Session, remedy for the pangs of remorse. the supreme court judicatory of ScotWhat unhallowed pretenders to god- land, for redress. That Court found liness! Is conscience to be regulated for the pursuers, declared the new by human example or authority ? law of the Assembly to be contrary And will the sins even of a patri- to the law of the land, and enjoined arch, of a prophet, or of an apostle, the ecclesiastical authorities to projustify us in committing what con- ceed in the case upon which this science tells to be an infringement of judgment was pronounced in accordthe Divine law ?
ance to the ancient practice. Upon But the great day of the Assembly this the General Assembly directed --the day most memorable both for an appeal to be made to the House its words and deeds — was Friday the of Lords, which was accordingly 28th of May. On that day seven done, and the result was a confirmclergymen, members of the Presby- ation of the decision of the Court of tery of Strathbogie, in the Synod of Session. As no doubt of the illeMoray, were summoned to the bar gality of the Veto-act, as it was as delinquents. The crime charged called, could now remain, a prewas disobedience to the mandates of sentee to a parish within the bounds the Assembly,---a heavy offence, no of the Presbytery of Strathbogie, doubt, had not these same mandates who had been rejected under it, been at variance with all reason and applied likewise to the Court of justice. The case of the accused may Session, and obtained from it an inbe briefly stated thus :-Under non- junction to the said presbytery to intrusion influence the General As- proceed forthwith to take the steps sembly had passed what they called which, in accordance with the law of a law of the church, which was in the land, would, if he was found direct opposition to the law of the qualified, terminate in his admission land, inasmuch as it encroached upon into the benefice. The presbytery the rights of patrons, secured to them were now placed between Scylla and by act of parliament, and violated the Charybdis : in trying to escape from compact which the church, at the the one, it was impossible that they foundation of its establishment, had could avoid the other. If they disentered into with the state. The law obeyed the Court of Session, they in question conferred upon the peo- subjected themselves to heavy pains ple, or rather a particular class of and penalties ; a fine which might be the people, of any parish, the power ruinous, and imprisonment if they of rejecting, by a veto of the ma- failed to pay. On the other hand, jority, without reason assigned, any as the majority of the General Asindividual whom, on a vacancy oc- sembly, though they had appealed curring, the patron might present to from the Court of Session to the the ecclesiastical benefice. Now, by House of Lords, and thereby fully act of parliament, it had long ago acknowledged the authority of that been provided that no such rejection tribunal to decide in the matter, by the people could take place, but resolved, on finding the decision upon reasons assigned, and declared against them, to adhere to their to be valid, by the presbytery, or on veto-law, notwithstanding the Presits sentence being appealed from, by bytery of Strathbogie knew well that the General Assembly, or supreme they would incur the displeasure of ecclesiastical court. The new law that majority, if they should obey was carried into effect, nevertheless, the civil court. After mature and
anxious deliberation, however, they resolved -- that is, a majority of seven of them resolved -- to take the lastmentioned course, and proceed to the initiatory steps for the settlement of the presentee, whose application for redress to the Court of Session had brought upon them this crisis of difficulty and peril. No sooner was their determination known, than it brought down upon them a sentence of suspension of sacred functions from the commission of the General As. sembly; which sentence, as being an act of open rebellion against the law of the land and the supreme courts, they very properly disregarded, and ordained and admitted in due form the presentee in question.
Such is a brief statement of their case, and such was the crime for which they were summoned to the bar of the last General Assembly. They disobeyed a domineering majority in the church, when that majority were resisting the law of the land ; and they obeyed the law of the land when the majority in question could afford them no protection from the heavy punishment which the legal authorities had, in case of disobedience, the power to inflict. This was the amount of the crime they had committed — this was the “ whole head and front of their offending" against the faction who rejoice in the name of Non-intrusionists, and style themselves the Church of Scotland.
Well, Friday the 28th of May arrives, the General Assembly is met, and the Strathbogie clergymen appear at its bar. One of their counsel makes a very eloquent appeal in their behalf; and having finished, " the man with the largest head in Europe,” the “ Demosthenes ” of the “Modern Athens,” even the redoubted and redoubtable Dr. Chalmers, places himself upon his legs. And being upon his legs, what does the “ Demosthenes” proceed to do? The “ Demosthenes" takes out his spectacles and places them on his nose, produces a portfolio containing a ready-made speech, looses the strings, opens it, and begins to read. He starts with some stuff about determinate and indeterminate equations, introduced for no other apparent pur
pose than to make his audience aware that to his other mighty accomplishments he adds a knowledge of algebra. Well, he arrives at the conclusion that the case of the Strathbogie ministers is a problem which admits but of one answer; and so is not a cubic, or even a quadratic, but a very easy equation of the first degree. Then he goes into a disquisition on the difference between principle and expediency,-a very useless one, we should think, in addressing Non-intrusionists, who, if we may judge from their proceedings, seem about as capable of understanding what principle is, as a man born blind of comprehending the distinction between blue and yellow. Then he comes to shew that the guilt of the accused does not rest on the question whether the veto is a good or bad law-who ever said that it did ? and introduces an illustration which would be an excellent good one, were it not that it has no more bearing upon the case of the Strathbogie ministers, than the case of the Strathbogie ministers upon the interruption of our trade with China. If France, he says, instigated persons in this country to resist any law passed by the British legislature, would it be regarded as any justification of the rebellion of these persons that the law was a bad one? Might not some Moderate have retorted the illustration thus ? Ought it to be regarded as any justification of the Nons, that they resist the law of patronage on the ground of its being a bad one ? But, in fact, the doctor was here merely indulging in a little twaddle, for ends best known to himself, as every one understood long ago that the guilt or innocence of the Strathbogie ministers hinged entirely upon the question whether or not the General Assembly had power to enact the veto-law, the disregarding of which is the only crime with which they are charged. Next, he tries to perplex the matter, by pretending to doubt whether the General Assembly had disobeyed the law or not ? What, Dr. Chalmers ! did not the highest court of judicature in Britain decide upon this point, and is there, or can there be, any other possible way of solving the problem?
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127 THE SCOTCH CHAMBERMAID
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168 EPISTLES TO THE LITERATI. No. XVIII. R. A. WILL NOTT TO OLIVER YORKE, ESQ.
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184 SCETT'S FUNERAL .........
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GREECE AT THE BREAKING OUT OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR.*
“ We are told by the Father of Ilis- over but a few years, and how tory,” says Mr. Mitchell, in his able changed is the scene! Sparta, the introduction to the Acharnians, "that former ally of the foreigner, holds when Cræsus, king of Lydia, was herself aloof from the East, its preparing to make war upon the temptations and its dangers; whilst mighty monarch of the East, and Athens, by her hasty and ill-advised anxiously looking about for such assistance of the Ionians in their reassistance as might aid him in his volt against the Persian, brings back perilous enterprise, he heard (it would on her own land he horrors of seem for the first time) of two peo- an Eastern invasion, and involves ples on the opposite shore of Greece, the entire continent of Greece in the one of Doric, the other of Ionic the consequences of her indiscretion, race; the latter, with several minor And then with what rapidity do states, submitting to a sort of su- events hurry on! We pass from premacy on the part of the former.” Sardis in flames, to the plains of To this state, as supreme, the Lydian Attica covered with the myriads of king condescended to be courteous, the East ; from the well-foughten as to an equal ; with it he conde- field of Marathon to the narrow pass scended to conclude a treaty, and of Thermopylæ; from Athens, the from it to receive such succours as fair, the beautiful, deserted and burnt, might demonstrate rather the good to the land-locked bay of Salamis, wishes than the power of his foreign
and the homeless Athenians comally. Before, however, these succours mencing in that narrow sea the decould arrive, the Lydian had been struction of. that host, which the defeated by his all-powerful oppo
battles of Platæa and Mycale comnent, hardly rescued from a frightful pleted. What would have been the death, and reduced to the condition Lydian captive's astonishment, as he of an humble follower of his con- humbly followed the footsteps of queror. The sway over the entire Cyrus, had some magic mirror disEast had passed into the hands of closed to him the events which a one king, and he the bravest, the few succeeding years were to bring most politic of his age; whilst Greece, to pass ! Would he have credited once more neglected and despised, that those two nations, of whose exwas bid to look at home, and beware istence he had hardly so much as how she interfered, even in words, heard, would so soon be found meawith the will of The King. Pass suring their strength with the Lord
History of Greece. By the Rev. Connop Thirlwall. Vol. VII. Longman and Co. London, 1840.
VOL. XXIV. NO. CXL.