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ends, but often drawn from the right, between the effect of written words, path by strong passions and strong which are perused and reperused in the temptations, have left to posterity a stillness of the closet, and the effect of doubtful and checkered fame.
spoken words which, set off by the graces of utterance and gesture, vibrate for a single moment on the ear. He
finds that he may blunder without much GLADSTONE ON CHURCH AND chance of being detected, that he may STATE. (APRIL, 1839.)
reason sophistically, and escape unre
futed. He finds that, even on knotty The State in its Relations with the Church.
By W. E. GLADSTONE, Esq., Student of questions of trade and legislation, he Christ Church, and M.P. for Newark. 8vo. can, without reading ten pages, or Second Edition. London: 1839.
thinking ten minutes, draw forth loud The author of this volume is a young plaudits, and sit down with the credit man of unblemished character, and of of having made an excellent speech. distinguished parliamentary talents, the Lysias, says Plutarch, wrote a defence rising hope of those stern and unbend- for a man who was to be tried before ing Tories who follow, reluctantly and one of the Athenian tribunals. Long mutinously, a leader whose experience before the defendant had learned the and eloquence are indispensable to speech by heart, he became so much them, but whose cautious temper and dissatisfied with it that he went in great moderate opinions they abhor. It would distress to the author. “I was delighted not be at all strange if Mr. Gladstone with your speech the first time I read were one of the most unpopular men in it; but I liked it less the second time, England. But we believe that we do and still less the third time; and now him no more than justice when we say it seems to me to be no defence at all.” that his abilities and his demeanour “My good friend,” says Lysias, "you have obtained for him the respect and quite forget that the judges are to hear good will of all parties. His first ap- it only once.” The case is the same in pearance in the character of an author the English Parliament. It would be is therefore an interesting event; and as idle in an orator to waste deep meit is natural that the gentle wishes of the ditation and long research on his public should go with him to his trial. speeches, as it would be in the manager
We are much pleased, without any of a theatre to adorn all the crowd of reference to the soundness or unsound-courtiers and ladies who cross over the ness of Mr. Gladstone's theories, to see stage in a procession with real pearls & grave and elaborate treatise on an and diamonds. It is not by accuracy important part of the Philosophy of or profundity that men become the Government proceed from the pen of a masters of great assemblies. And why young man who is rising to eminence be at the charge of providing logic of in the House of Commons. There is the best quality, when a very inferior little danger that people engaged in the article will be equally acceptable ? Why conflicts of active life will be too much go as deep into a question as Burke, addicted to general speculation. The only in order to be, like Burke, coughed opposite vice is that which most easily down, or left speaking to green benches besets them. The times and tides of and red boxes i This has long appeared business and debate tarry for no man. to us to be the most serious of the evils A politician must often talk and act which are to be set off against the many before he has thought and read. He blessings of popular government. It is may be very ill informed respecting a a fine and true saying of Bacon, that question; all his notions about it may reading makes a full man, talking a be vague and inaccurate; but speak he ready man, and writing an exact man. must; and if he is a man of ability, of The tendency of institutions like those tact, and of intrepidity, he soon finds of England is to encourage readiness that, even under such circumstances, it in public men, at the expense both of is possible to speak successfully. He fulness and of exactness. The keenest finds that there is a great difference and most vigorous minds of every generation, minds often admirably fitted His mind is of large grasp ; nor is he for the investigation of truth, are ha- deficient in dialectical skill. But he does bitually employed in producing argu- not give his intellect fair play. There is ments such as no man of sense would no want of light, but a great want of ever put into a treatise intended for what Bacon would have called dry publication, arguments which are just light. Whatever Mr. Gladstone sees good enough to be used once, when is refracted and distorted by a false aided by fluent delivery and pointed medium of passions and prejudices. language. The habit of discussing His style bears a remarkable analogy questions in this way necessarily reacts to his mode of thinking, and indeed on the intellects of our ablest men, exercises great influence on his mode particularly of those who are introduced of thinking. His rhetoric, though often into parliament at a very early age, good of its kind, darkens and perplexes before their minds have expanded to the logic which it should illustrate. full maturity. The talent for debate is Half his acuteness and diligence, with developed in such men to a degree a barren imagination and a scanty vowhich, to the multitude, seems as mar- cabulary, would have saved him from vellous as the performance of an Italian almost all his mistakes. He has one Improvisatore. But they are fortunate gift most dangerous to a speculator, a indeed if they retain unimpaired the vast command of a kind of language, faculties which are required for close grave and majestic, but of vague and reasoning or for enlarged speculation. uncertain import; of a kind of lanIndeed we should sooner expect a guage which affects us much in the great original work on political science, same way in which the lofty diction of such a work, for example, as the the Chorus of Clouds affected the simWealth of Nations, from an apothecary | ple-hearted Athenian. in a country town, or from a minister
mister a yî toll poéquatos, ás lepov, kai oeuvdy, in the Hebrides, than from a statesman who, ever since he was one-and-twenty,
kal tepat@des. had been a distinguished debater in the
When propositions have been estaHouse of Commons.
blished, and nothing remains but to We therefore hail with pleasure, amplify and decorate them, this dim though assuredly not with unmixed magnificence may be in place. But if pleasure, the appearance of this work. it is admitted into a demonstration, it That a young politician should, in the is very much worse than absolute nonintervals afforded by his parliamentary sense ; just as that transparent haze, avocations, have constructed and pro- through which the sailor sees capes and pounded, with much study and mental mountains of false sizes and in false toil, an original theory on a great bearings, is more dangerous than utter problem in politics, is a circumstance darkness. Now, Mr. Gladstone is fond which, abstracted from all consideration of employing the phraseology of which of the soundness or unsoundness of his we speak in those parts of his works opinions, must be considered as highly which require the utmost perspicuity creditable to him. We certainly cannot and precision of which human lanwish that Mr. Gladstone's doctrines guage is capable ; and in this way he may become fashionable among public deludes first himself, and then his men. But we heartily wish that his readers. The foundations of his theory, laudable desire to penetrate beneath the which ought to be buttresses of adasurface of questions, and to arrive, by mant, are made out of the flimsy matelong and intent meditation, at the rials which are fit only for peroratinos. knowledge of great general laws, were This fault is one which no subsequent much more fashionable than we at all care or industry can correct. The more expect it to become.
strictly Mr. Gladstone reasons on his Mr. Gladstone seems to us to be, in premises, the more absurd are the conmany respects, exceedingly well quali-clusions which he brings out; and, fied for philosophical investigation. when at last his good sense and good
nature recoil from the horrible prac-| tical law. It is to be observed, that tical inferences to which this theory Mr. Gladstone rests his case on entirely leads, he is reduced sometimes to take new grounds, and does not differ more refuge in arguments inconsistent with widely from us than from some of those his fundamental doctrines, and some- who have hitherto been considered as the times to escape from the legitimate most illustrious champions of the Church. consequences of his false principles, He is not content with the Ecclesiastiunder cover of equally false history. cal Polity, and rejoices that the latter
It would be unjust not to say that this part of that celebrated work “ does not book, though not a good book, shows carry with it the weight of Hooker's more talent than many good books. It | plenary authority.” He is not content abounds with eloquent and ingenious with Bishop Warburton's Alliance of passages. It bears the signs of much Church and State. “ The propositions patient thought. It is written through- of that work generally," he says, “ are out with excellent taste and excellent to be received with qualification;" and temper; nor does it, so far as we have ob- he agrees with Bolingbroke in thinking served, contain one expression unworthy that Warburton's whole theory rests on of a gentleman, a scholar, or a Christian. a fiction. He is still less satisfied with But the doctrines which are put forth in Paley's defence of the Church, which it appear to us, after full and calm consi- he pronounces to be “tainted by the deration, to be false, to be in the highest original vice of false ethical principles," degree pernicious, and to be such as, and “ full of the seeds of evil.” He if followed out in practice to their legi- conceives that Dr. Chalmers has taken timate consequences, would inevitably a partial view of the subject, and “put produce the dissolution of society; and forth much questionable matter.” In for this opinion we shall proceed to truth, on almost every point on which give our reasons with that freedom we are opposed to Mr. Gladstone, we which the importance of the subject have on our side the authority of some requires, and which Mr. Gladstone, both divine, eminent as a defender of existby precept and by example, invites us ing establishments. to use, but, we hope, without rudeness, Mr. Gladstone's whole theory rests and, we are sure, without malevolence. on this great fundamental proposition,
Before we enter on an examination that the propagation of religious truth of this theory, we wish to guard our- is one of the principal ends of governselves against one misconception. It ment, as government. If Mr. Glad. is possible that some persons who have stone has not proved this proposition, read Mr. Gladstone's book carelessly, his system vanishes at once. and others who have merely heard in We are desirous, before we enter on conversation, or seen in a newspaper, the discussion of this important questhat the member for Newark has writ- tion, to point out clearly a distinction ten in defence of the Church of England which, though very obvious, seems to against the supporters of the voluntary be overlooked by many excellent people. system, may imagine that we are writ- In their opinion, to say that the ends ing in defence of the voluntary system, of government are temporal and not and that we desire the abolition of the spiritual is tantamount to saying that Established Church. This is not the the temporal welfare of man is of more case. It would be as unjust to accuse importance than his spiritual welfare. us of attacking the Church, because we But this is an entire mistake. The attack Mr. Gladstone's doctrines, as it question is not whether spiritual inwould be to accuse Locke of wishing terests be or be not superior in im. for anarchy, because he refuted Filmer's portance to temporal interests ; but patriarchal theory of government, or to whether the machinery which hapaccuse Blackstone of recommending the pens at any moment to be employed confiscation of ecclesiastical property, for the purpose of protecting certain because he denied that the right of the temporal interests of a society be nerector to tithe was derived from the Levi- cessarily such a machinery as is fitted to promote the spiritual interests of that tured, to be robbed, to be sold into society. Without a division of labour slavery, these are evidently evils from the world could not go on. It is of very which men of every religion, and men much more importance that men should of no religion, wish to be protected; have food than that they should have and therefore it will hardly be disputed pianofortes. Yet it by no means fol- that men of every religion, and of no lows that every pianoforte-maker ought religion, have thus far a common into add the business of a baker to his terest in being well governed. own; for, if he did so, we should have But the hopes and fears of man are both much worse music and much not limited to this short life and to this worse bread. It is of much more im-visible world. He finds himself surportance that the knowledge of reli- rounded by the signs of a power and gious truth should be wisely diffused wisdom higher than his own; and, in than that the art of sculpture should all ages and nations, men of all orders flourish among us. Yet it by no means of intellect, from Bacon and Newton, follows that the Royal Academy ought down to the rudest tribes of cannibals, to unite with its present functions those have believed in the existence of some of the Society for Promoting Christian superior mind. Thus far the voice of Knowledge, to distribute theological mankind is almost unanimous. But tracts, to send forth missionaries, to whether there be one God, or many, turn out Nollekens for being a Catholic, what may be God's natural and what Bacon for being a methodist, and Flax- His moral attributes, in what relation man for being a Swedenborgian. For His creatures stand to Him, whether the effect of such folly would be that He have ever disclosed Himself to us we should have the worst possible Aca- by any other revelation than that which demy of Arts, and the worst possible is written in all the parts of the gloSociety for the Promotion of Christian rious and well ordered world which Knowledge. The community, it is plain, He has made, whether His revelation would be thrown into universal confu be contained in any permanent record, sion, if it were supposed to be the duty how that record should be interpreted, of every association which is formed and whether it have pleased Him to for one good object to promote every appoint any unerring interpreter on other good object.
earth, these are questions respecting As to some of the ends of civil go- which there exists the widest diversity vernment, all people are agreed. That of opinion, and respecting some of it is designed to protect our persons which a large part of our race has, ever and our property; that it is designed since the dawn of regular history, been to compel us to satisfy our wants, not deplorably in error. by rapine, but by 'industry; that it is Now here are two great objects: one designed to compel us to decide our is the protection of the persons and differences, not by the strong hand, but estates of citizens from injury; the by arbitration; that it is designed to other is the propagation of religious direct our whole force, as that of one truth. No two objects more entirely man, against any other society which distinct can well be imagined. The may offer us injury; these are propo- former belongs wholly to the visible sitions which will hardly be disputed. and tangi le world in which we live ;
Now these are matters in which the latter belongs to that higher world man, without any reference to any which is beyond the reach of our senses. higher being, or to any future state, The former belongs to this life; the is very deeply interested. Every human | latter to that which is to come. Men being, be he idolater, Mahometan, Jew, who are perfectly agreed as to the imPapist, Socinian, Deist, or Atheist, portance of the former object, and as naturally loves life, shrinks from pain, to the way of obtaining it, differ as desires comforts which can be enjoyed widely as possible respecting the latter only in communities where property is object. We must, therefore, pause besecure. To be murdered, to be tor-fore we admit that the persons, be they who they may, who are intrusted with vating the case of the holders of such power for the promotion of the former creed.” “I do not scruple to affirm,” object, ought always to use that power he adds, “that, if a Mahometan confor the promotion of the latter object. scientiously believes his religion to
Mr. Gladstone conceives that the come from God, and to teach divine duties of governments are paternal; a truth, he must believe that truth to be doctrine which we shall not believe till beneficial, and beneficial beyond all he can show us some government which other things to the soul of man; and loves its subjects as a father loves a he must therefore, and ought to dechild, and which is as superior in intel- sire its extension, and to use for its exligence to its subjects as a father is to tension all proper and legitimate means; a child. He tells us in lofty though and that, if such Mahometan be a prince, somewhat indistinct language, that he ought to count among those means “Government occupies in moral the the application of whatever influence place of tò trâv in physical science.” If or funds he may lawfully have at his government be indeed to râv in moral disposal for such purposes.” science, we do not understand why. Surely this is a hard saying. Before rulers should not assume all the func- we admit that the Emperor Julian, in tions which Plato assigned to them. employing the influence and the funds Why should they not take away the at his disposal for the extinction of child from the mother, select the nurse, Christianity, was doing no more than regulate the school, overlook the play- his duty, before we admit that the ground, fix the hours of labour and of Arian Theodoric would have commitrecreation, prescribe what ballads shall ted a crime if he had suffered a single be sung, what tunes shall be played, believer in the divinity of Christ to what books shall be read, what physic hold any civil employment in Italy, shall be swallowed? Why should not before we admit that the Dutch Gothey choose our wives, limit our ex-vernment is bound to exclude from penses, and stint us to a certain num-office all members of the Church of ber of dishes of meat, of glasses of England, the King of Bavaria to exwine, and of cups of tea? Plato, whose clude from office all Protestants, the hardihood in speculation was perhaps Great Turk to exclude from office all more wonderful than any other peculia- Christians, the King of Ava to exclude rity of his extraordinary mind, and who from office all who hold the unity of shrank from nothing to which his prin, God, we think ourselves entitled to ciples led, went this whole length. Mr. demand very full and accurate demonGladstone is not so intrepid. He con- stration. When the consequences of tents himself with laying down this a doctrine are so startling, we may well proposition, that whatever be the body require that its foundations shall be which in any community is employed very solid to protect the persons and property of The following paragraph is a specimen, that body ought also, in its cor- men of the arguments by which Mr. porate capacity, to profess a religion, Gladstone has, as he conceives, estato employ its power for the propaga- blished his great fundamental propotion of that religion, and to requiresition :conformity to that religion, as an in- |
“We may state the same proposition in a dispensable qualification for all civil more general form, in which it surely must office. He distinctly declares that he command universal assent. Wherever there
is power in the universe, that power is the does not in this proposition confine his
property of God, the King of that universe, view to orthodox governments or even -his property of right, however for a time to Christian governments. The cir-withholden or abused. Now this property
is, as it were, realised, is used according to cumstance that a religion is false does
the will of the owner, when it is used for the purposes he has ordained, and in the
temper of mercy, justice, truth, and faith they neglect to do so, “ we cannot, Tciples never can be truly, never can be per
which he has taught us. But those prinhe says, “but regard the fact as aggra- manently entertained in the human breast,