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I AM astonished that these Ministers neglect the common precaution of a foolometer*, with which no public man should be unprovided: I mean, the acquaintance and society of three or four regular British fools as a test of public opinion. Every Cabinet Minister should judge of all his measures by his foolometer, as a navigator crowds or shortens sail by the barometer in his cabin. I have a very valuable instrument of that kind myself, which I have used for many years; and I would be bound to predict, with the utmost nicety, by the help of this machine, the precise effect which any measure would produce on public opinion. Certainly, I never saw anything so decided as the effects produced upon my machine by the Rate Bill. No man who had been accustomed in the smallest degree to handle philosophical instruments could have doubted of the storm which was coming on, or of the thoroughly un-English scheme, in which the Ministry had so rashly engaged themselves.
CATHEDRALS AND PARISH CHURCHES.
THE word parochial is a fine deceitful word, and eminently calculated to coax the public. If he means simply that Cathedrals do not belong to parishes, that
* Mr. Fox very often used to say, "I wonder what Lord B. will think of this!" Lord B. happened to be a very stupid person, and the curiosity of Mr. Fox's friends was naturally excited to know why he attached such importance to the opinion of such an ordinary commonplace person. "His opinion," said Mr. Fox, "is of much more importance than you are aware of. He is an exact representative of all commonplace English prejudices, and what Lord B. thinks of any measure, the great majority of Engllsh people will think of it." It would be a good thing if every Cabinet of philosophers had a Lord B. among them.-[Letter to Archdeacon Singleton.]
St. Paul's is not the parish church of Upper Puddicomb, and that the vicar of St. Fiddlefrid does not officiate in Westminster Abbey: all this is true enough, but do they not in the most material points instruct the people precisely in the same manner as the parochial Clergy? Are not prayers and sermons the most important means of spiritual instruction? And are there not eighteen or twenty services in every Cathedral for one which is heard in parish churches? I have very often counted in the afternoon of week days in St. Paul's 150 people, and on Sundays it is full to suffocation. Is all this to go for nothing? and what right has the Bishop of London to suppose that there is not as much real piety in Cathedrals, as in the most roadless, postless, melancholy, sequestered hamlet, preached to by the most provincial, sequestered, bucolic Clergyman in the Queen's dominions?-[E. R. 1826.]
I AM thinking of something else, and I see all of a sudden a great blaze of light: I behold a great number of gentlemen in short aprons, neat purple coats, and gold buckles, rushing about with torches in their hands, calling each other" My Lord," and setting fire to all the rooms in the house, and the people below delighted with the combustion: finding it impossible to turn them from their purpose, and finding that they are all what they are, by divine permission; I endeavour to direct their holy innovations into another channel; and I say to them, "My Lords, had not you better set fire to the outof-door offices, to the barns and stables, and spare this fine library and this noble drawing-room? Yonder are several cow-houses of which no use is made; pray direct
SHEEP AND SHEPHERDS.
your fury against them, and leave this beautiful and venerable mansion as you found it." If I address the divinely permitted in this manner, has the Bishop of London any right to call me a brother incendiary?— [Letter to Archdeacon Singleton.]
SHEEP AND SHEPHERDS.
WE want (and he prints it in italics) for these purposes "all that we can obtain from whatever sources derived." I never remember to have been more alarmed in my life than by this passage. I said to myself, the necessities of the Church have got such complete hold of the imagination of this energetic Prelate, who is so captivated by the holiness of his innovations, that all grades and orders of the Church and all present and future interests will be sacrificed to it. I immediately rushed to the Acts of Parliament which I always have under my pillow to see at once the worst of what had happened. I found present revenues of the Bishops all safe; that is some comfort, I said to myself: Canterbury, 24,000l. or 25,000l. per annum; London, 18,000l. or 20,000l. I began to feel some comfort: "things are not so bad; the Bishops do not mean to sacrifice to sheep and shepherd's money their present revenues; the Bishop of London is less violent and headstrong than I thought he would be." I looked a little further, and found that 15,000l. per annum is allotted to the future Archbishop of Canterbury, 10,000l. to the Bishop of London, 8000l. to Durham, and 8000l. each to Winchester and Ely. "Nothing of sheep and shepherd in all this," I exclaimed, and felt still more comforted. It was not till after the Bishops were taken care of, and the revenues of the Cathedrals came into full view, that I saw the
PROSPECTS OF PREFERMENT.
perfect development of the sheep and shepherd principle, the deep and heartfelt compassion for spiritual labourers, and that inward groaning for the destitute state of the Church, and that firm purpose, printed in italics, of taking for these purposes all that could be obtained from whatever source derived; and even in this delicious rummage of Cathedral property, where all the fine church feelings of the Bishop's heart could be indulged without costing the poor sufferer a penny, stalls for Archdeacons in Lincoln and St. Paul's are, to the amount of 2000l. per annum, taken from the sheep and shepherd fund, and the patronage of them divided between two Commissioners, the Bishop of London and the Bishop of Lincoln, instead of being paid to additional labourers in the Vineyard.-[Letter to Archdeacon Singleton.]
PROSPECTS OF PREFERMENT.
THE truth is, the greater number of the Clergymen go into Church in order that they may derive a comfortable income from the Church. Such men intend to do their duty, and they do it; but the duty is, however, not the motive, but the adjunct.
I have no manner of doubt, that the immediate effect of passing the Dean and Chapter Bill will be, that a great number of fathers and uncles, judging, and properly judging, that the Church is a very altered and deteriorated profession, will turn the industry and capital of their élèves into another channel. My friend, Robert Eden, says, "This is of the earth earthy:" be it so; I cannot help it, I paint mankind as I find them, and am not answerable for their defects.-[Letter to Archdeacon Singleton.]
CHEAP PARSONS.-MOCK TURTLE.
A PICTURE may be drawn of a Clergyman with 130%. per annum, who combines all moral, physical, and intellectual advantages, a learned man, dedicating himself intensely to the care of his parish—of charming manners and dignified deportment-six feet two inches high, beautifully proportioned, with a magnificent countenance, expressive of all the cardinal virtues and the Ten Commandments,-and it is asked with an air of triumph if such a man as this will fall into contempt on account of his poverty? But substitute for him an average, ordinary, uninteresting Minister; obese, dumpy, neither ill-natured nor good-natured: neither learned nor ignorant, striding over the stiles to Church, with a second-rate wife-dusty and deliquescent-and four parochial children, full of catechism and bread and butter; or let him be seen in one of those Shem-Hamand-Japhet buggies-made on Mount Ararat soon after the subsidence of the waters, driving in the High Street of Edmonton,-among all his pecuniary, saponaceous, oleaginous parishioners. Can any man of common sense say that all these outward circumstances of the Ministers of religion have no bearing on religion itself?—[Letter to Archdeacon Singleton.
I ASK the Bishop of London, a man of honour and conscience, as he is, if he thinks five years will elapse before a second attack is made upon Deans and Chapters? Does he think, after Reformers have tasted the flesh of the Church, that they will put up with any other diet? Does he forget that Deans and Chapters are but mock