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«« 4529. If human life be wasting with that rapidity, how do yon account for the circumstance of the population being augmenting with a greater rapidity than that of Great Britain ? I do not think that the wasting of population in the manner described is a very considerable check to the multiplication of the species ; because, when a child is taken away, or an old or a young man dies, there is room, as it were, made for another; and as we find that in countries sending their children to found colonies, that such drain for the
of colonization, if there be no other check, instead of diminishing augments the population of the mother-country, so in like manner that waste of human life, in the manner that it takes place in Ireland, does not retard the multiplication of the people. However, the children begotten by the poor in that state of society to which the question refers, become of an inferior caste ; the whole character of the people becomes gradually worse and worse; they diminish in stature; they are enervated in mind; the whole energy and character of the population is gradually deteriorated; till at length you have the inhabitants of one of the finest countries in the world reduced to a state of effeminacy which makes them little better than the Lazzaroni of Naples, or the Hindoos on the coast of Malabar.” !!!
Mr. Martin admits, (and the admission is an important one in all its bearings,) that, since the Union, a progressive improvement has taken place in Ireland, as regards the landed gentry, the farmers, the merchants, and the traders and shopkeepers. In fact, the wealth of the church and of the landed proprietors has been prodigiously increased by the extension of tillage ; but the mass of the peasantry have meanwhile been only sinking the lower into abject and helpless poverty. From this, Mr. Martin remarks, no suppression bill, no coercive measures, no cutting down of the over-grown church, no amendment of the grand jury laws, no modification of the law of tenant and landlord, no absentee tax, no repeal of the Union will relieve them ;:-although, with the exception of the last, and of the temporary measures for repressing brigandage and predial agitation, each of these measures would be of important benefit. But that which alone will draw together the bonds of civil society in Ireland, and make the property of the absentee effectually tributary to the general prosperity of the country he has deserted, is a legislative provision for the relief and employment of the labouring classes.
After disposing of the objections against such a measure, Mr. Martin, in his fourth chapter, briefly explains the modifications in the system of settlement, assessment, and relief, which he deems desirable, in application to Ireland. He proposes, in the first place, to make birth the sole ground of settlement; and, to carry the law into effect, suggests that a general registration should take place throughout the island. Secondly, the rate or
* Evidence before the Select Committee, 4th June 1830.
assessment should be levied, not, as in England, upon industry, but upon real property, and be kept distinct from county, highway, or church rates. Thirdly, to guard against abuses in the administration of relief, no money should be paid to the pauper.
• Ireland contains 5,000,000 acres of reclaimable bog land, is in want of roads and canals, &c., and by having large houses of industry built in every city, corporate town, or barony, abundance of labour can be provided for those who must merely receive in return bare subsistence. The plan of the house of industry at Liverpool, which is capable of containing 1,500 paupers, is well worthy of adoption ; taking care to have a large piece of land with each establishment, and dividing the house into an asylum for the aged and maimed, and a temporary shelter for the houseless and destitute.
• In cases where a large family are thrown out to die in the ditch, or to beg their way through the land, if the parents can find daily work, but are unable to support their children, let the children be taken in to the school house; if the husband be unable to support the wife, or the wife unable to support herself, let her be taken into the workhouse; and if the father be still unable to get employment, let him also be provided with work and food, but on no account let there be an addition to wages while the pauper can get employment; he must either enter the house of industry in toto or not at all. The efficacy of this plan has been tried in various parts of England, and abundant testimony can readily be had as to its good effects
pp. 47, 48.
These suggestions are highly deserving of attention, not merely in reference to Ireland, but as respects the administration of the English poor laws.
Mr. Martin has, with commendable discretion, forborne to touch upon the delicate point, how far a portion of the church property may be made available as a fund for the employment and relief of the poor. This was, unquestionably, one of the purposes to which the tithe was originally consecrated ; and the Church and the Poor were for many centuries co partners in the proceeds. The existence of an Ecclesiastical Establishment, without either a civil or an ecclesiastical provision for the poor, is not merely an anomaly, such as no civilized or semi-civilized country exhibits; but carries, on the face of it, the proof of a breach of trust,-involving an unjust and anti-Christian robbery of those who were the wards of the Church, and whose rights were reserved in the original grant upon which her own tenure is founded. It is no excuse to allege, that the aristocrasy has plundered the Church, which has plundered the poor; that the spoiler has been herself spoiled. Wherever an Ecclesiastical Establishment exists, the Church will be found either the antagonist and counterbalance of the aristocrasy, or its creature and tributary. A church established means, in effect, a clergy in bondage. The robbery committed on the Irish poor may, per
haps, fairly lie at the door of the aristocrasy, though done under cover of the Establishment; but the fact of the robbery, wherever the guilt may lie, is palpable; and wherever the property is found, it ought to be made to yield up something by way of restitution, in spite of the interested and hypocritical cry of Spo liation.
Art. VI. A Concise View of the Succession of Sacred Literature, in
a Chronological Arrangement of Authors and their Works, from the Invention of Alphabetical Characters, to the Year of our Lord 1300. Vol. II. By J. B. B. Clarke, M.A. 8vo. pp. 770. London, 1832. THE HE original design of the Authors of this work was, to con
tinue the Succession of Ecclesiastical and Theological writers to the period when printing was invented, about the middle of the fifteenth century. 'In the Volume before us, the work is concluded, and terminates with the year 1299. For this deviation, the present Author assigns reasons which his readers will scarcely fail to regard as valid ones, when they shall have accompanied him in his progress through the catalogue of Writers who lived in the thirteenth and the preceding century, in which but few names worthy of being noticed are to be found. William of Sandwich, Radulfus Bockingus, and Elias of Trickyngham, cum multis aliis, were writers from whom neither instruction nor pleasure could be obtained ; and Mr. Clarke may well be excused from the unprofitable labour of transcribing their names, and marshalling their valueless productions. We should not, indeed, have found fault with him, if he had continued the succession, through the later periods, by a selection of principal writers, without drawing from the obscurity in which they have so long reposed, so many neglected and forgotten Authors. The principal writers of whom and their works an account is given in the present volume, are Augustine, Chrysostom, Cyril of Alexandria, and Theodoret. To these fathers, one hundred and forty pages are appropriated ; and over the remaining pages, amounting to six hundred and thirty, are spread the names of about thirteen hundred authors. From such a catalogue, but little of instruction or of interest can be expected by a general reader, whose obligations to the Author will therefore arise from the value of the information conveyed in respect to the more celebrated writers. Many have heard and read of Augustine and Chrysostom, who are scarcely acquainted with the subjects of their works, and to whom the sketches and analyses contained in these pages will supply a sufficiency of instruction, to enable them to understand the nature of those productions to which they are indebted for their celebrity. Mr. Clarke's work is rendered less inviting by the catalogue form in
which so much of this part of it appears; but, as a useful guide to the student, it could not be superseded by any other extant book in English Literature.
We much doubt, however, whether this or any other work will excite to the study of the Fathers, in such manner as to revive any thing like a general attention to them, even among divines themselves. For the neglect into which they are fallen, many reasons may be assigned. They are no longer the only, or the principal sources from which the materials of theological learning can be drawn; and other and better guides to direct the studies of the inquisitive, are now every where at hand. The disuse of the Fathers was a natural consequence of the freedom acquired at the Reformation from the despotism of the Romish Church, the usurpations of which were, in many instances, and to a great extent, associated with the authority of their names. To that proud elevation, they can no more be raised. Questions of the last importance to mankind, will never again be settled by a quotation from Jerome, or an appeal to Cyprian. Every error, every delusion, every corruption of Christian doctrine, may be traced to the Fathers. And it was on account of the corruptions and the deceptions which they originated and extended, that their authority was maintained. Their real excellences were never of primary consideration in the times when they were most venerated. By their depression, much has been gained to the cause of truth and liberty. An acquaintance with them, however, may now be of great advantage to those who possess the leisure and the means of using them. Among them, unquestionably, are to be found some of the noblest monuments of zeal and knowledge, eloquence and holiness; and of such of them as may be most profitably employed as affording excitements to devotion and religious duties, so pure and elevated, the notices before us are of much value.
It is well observed by Mr. Clarke, that the Greek writers are on every account to be generally preferred, being more free from doctrinal errors, and less pledged to the support of ecclesiastical dominion, than the Latin. Å Dissertation on the Use of the Fathers, was designed as an Introduction to the Work before us; but the size of the book has induced the Author to reserve it. Several works of this kind have already appeared. That of Daille is well known, though now but little read. But, as Mr. Clarke would necessarily adapt his Dissertation to the present state of theological literature, and to readers in these times, its publication might be a real service to the cause of sound learning. The use of the Fathers to which Mr. Clarke would excite, would certainly be a cautious one. It is well,' he remarks, that we are emanci
pated on points of doctrine from the authority of even the pure • Fathers.'' p. 68. And, again, p. 81, ' Those Protestants who • still stickle for the authority of the Fathers upon points of doc
'trine, can scarcely know the snares among which they are walking.
From the account of Chrysostom, pp. 50–104, we shall extract the sketch of his character.
• There is no ecclesiastical writer from whom so much general information can be obtained as from Chrysostom : the manners and customs of the day are frequently introduced into his orations; the superstitions and elegant follies of the times are made subjects of his reprobation; he enters into domestic society, and shews us how it was formed and regulated; the sports of the low, and the amusements of the high, are made fruitful themes for instruction ; contemporaneous history frequently receives light, and there are few events of even a trifling nature, from which he does not shew instruction can be derived. His morality is not of that ascetic cast which renders the manners rough, and the religion revolting, of too many of the holy men of those times ; so long as there was a pure heart and an upright life, Chrysostom did not teach that the soul would perish because sackcloth was not worn, that it could not grow in grace because the body was not emaciated, and that it could not hold communion with its Ġod, unless amid the bleak air of a mountain-top, or the burning desolation of an arid desert: self-denial he considers as an exalted virtue, but total abstemiousness from the use of allowed pleasures, he did not regard as absolutely necessary. He is a strenuous supporter of strict ecclesiastical discipline, and though a high favorer of monkish establishments, he does not represent them as entirely essential to the prosperity of Christianity: most things referring to discipline, or doctrine, or occurrences in the Church, are in some place noticed, from the decrees of councils and words of an established Liturgy, to the oft-repeated interruptions occasioned by the noisy plaudits of a delighted audience.
*As a Commentator, Chrysostom is peculiarly valuable; he has no allegorical flights nor petty conceits, but he confines himself to literal interpretation and practical advice; important passages are proved to have a full signification, by strong reasoning enforced by powerful eloquence, and portions of apparently less moment are made advisers of high and holy things; a word will sometimes be shewn to add unspeakable force, and a common event will evidently contain matter for astonishing and deep consideration.
• The style of this Father is exactly characteristic of his manner of thinking,-clear, and full, and ornate: the diction never shocks the ear by rugged progress, nor by abrupt nor harsh conclusions of sentences : it is Howingly majestic and singularly suited to the majesty of his thoughts; the sentences do not fatigue the ear by length, nor puzzle the mind by involution, and great vividness and interest is (are) given to the subject in discussion, by frequent and unexpected interrogatories, which some of his clumsy imitators affecting, they have discovered themselves by their overloaded disguise: the chief imperfection may perhaps be a sameness of language upon all subjects,--the torrent still sweeps along, whether a mountain or a mole-hill bave opposed its course. The fertility of his imagination is one of the commanding excellences of Chrysostom's writings; he abounds in imagery, and none