Sivut kuvina

blossom ripens and brings forth fruit unto life eternal. Many know this, thoughtful, humane, believing people—and they have invented and are supporting Infant Schools.-Pp. 501, 502.

It is perhaps to this practical character that is owing what strikes us as the chief defect in this volume, a somewhat sparing exhibition of the privileges of Christians. Men require to be encouraged and (may we add,) allured, as well as urged ; and Scripture contains so much to cheer the drooping pilgrim on his path, that it can hardly be said to be “rightly divided,” if this balm-drop is neglected in the administration. Few things are more admirable in the inspired epistles, than the way (in human compositions, we should say the judicious way) in which duty, consolation, and encouragement are mingled. Archdeacon Bather has not omitted this part of the preacher's duty, but has not, perhaps, given it space so large as it occupies in the Word of God. We advance this opinion, however, with deference and hesitation ; and should it prore correct, we have but pointed out a trifling deficiency in a volume of sound, able, and highly useful discourses.

Art. III.- A Charge delivered June 16th, 1840, and three following

Days, al Skipton, Leeds, Wakefield, and Halifax. By CHARLES Musgrave, D.D. Archdeacon of Craven, Vicar of Halifax, and formerly Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. Published at the Request of the Clergy. Halifax : Whitley and Booth. Leeds:

Robinson. London: Parker. Among the other changes which within the last few years we have witnessed in matters relating to the Church, we may very properly mention the increased number of visitation charges annually delivered, and annually published in various parts of the kingdom. We regard this as one of the favourable signs of the times. These addresses are valuable not only in correcting many popular errors, and disseminating much useful information, but also in creating on behalf of the Church an interest, which is already producing very beneficial effects. Were it necessary to bring forward evidence of these facts, we need not go far to seek it : but the assertion will not be disputed: and we have much pleasure in speaking of the charge before us, as likely to contribute its full share to these important objects.

The more solemn questions concerning the spiritual duties of the clergy, the Archdeacon forbears to discuss, as belonging rather to dignitaries of higher station. The subjects to which he turns his attention are of a subordinate kind, connected chiefly with the external circumstances of the Church : the duty of the state to aid churchextension, and of the members of the establishment to assist in that work by petitions to the legislature: church-rates, with the judgment lately delivered on the Braintree Case, and the doings of Mr. Thorogood; the Ecclesiastical Duties and Revenues Bill : the intended Church Discipline Bill: the Education Scheme: and the prospect, since happily realized, of some arrangement by which the Church and the state may, in the prosecution of this great design, go on harmoniously together. On all these topics the Archdeacon offers observations well worthy of attention ; and discusses the several points with the judg

ment and candor which his former publications would lead us to expect from him.

We shall limit ourselves to a quotation, in reference to church-rates :

The recent decision of the Braintree case might seem to put it beyond further dispute that it is not with the church wardens to lay a rate on their own authority: a decision in which, if confirmed (I say if confirmed--for proceedings have been commenced with the full sanction of the Heads of the Church for an appeal from the judgment of the Queen's Bench, by writ of error, to the Exchequer Chamber, where it will be heard before the fifteen judges of the land) whatever seeming triumph it may give to the opponents of church-rates, I can as cheerfully, and as unaffectedly, acquiesce as themselves.

It is not fitting that so invidious a duty should be imposed on these officers, or the responsibility of its exercise be left to their discretion.

Is it then by mandamus from the Queen's Bench, as in the case of other similar burdens, the repair of a highway or a bridge ?

“ For purposes guaranteed by Act of Parliament to be levied in that form," as where, under the recent Church-building Acts, the parishioners have borrowed money on the credit of the rates for building a new church; a mandamus would issue. But this is a special, not a general case : and no way applicable to the making of an ordinary rate.

Where the law has established no other remedy, the court will grant a mandamus. Were therefore the Ecclesiastical Court without means to enforce the law within its own cognizance, the Court of Queen's Bench would act in aid by granting a mandamus. The very fact of its granting a mandamus to make a church rate is thus conclusive argument, not only that it is matter of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, but that it may be enforced by ecclesiastical authority.

Is it then by proceedings against the church wardens for neglect of duty ?

But they have done all which the law imposes on them when they have duly summoned a vestry to consid the propriety of making a rate. They are under no obligation either of law or conscience to lay out their own money. And any proceedings against them in the Ecclesiastical Court when they have no funds, and after all due pains can obtain none, might immediately be stayed, as in all reasonableness they should, by a prohibition from the Queen's Bench.

But are we therefore to conclude, because those several means are inapplicable to bind the parishioners to their duty, that there are no others more availing ?

I am fortified by the opinions of two eminent civilians, whom I have separately consulted with a view to this visitation, in saying that such is not the case.

Two modes are pointed out.

The one by Articles against any individual parishioners, for refusing to make, or concur in making, a rate-a sufficient rate; for the repairs, &c. required : a mode of proceeding like an indictment at common law for a misdemeanor, in the absence of any statutory sanction for enforcing what is enjoined, or for restraining what is forbidden.

The other is by a monition to the church wardens to call a vestry; and to the parishioners, to meet: which monition would be personally served on certain of the inhabitants. “ If they disobeyed, and shewed no sufficient cause, they would be in contempt. Their contempt would be signified into the Court of Chancery: and a writ would issue, by virtue of which they would be attached, and committed”—. .. that so, as in parallel cases at common law, " the collective body of the parishioners might be reduced to obedience by proceedings against individuals.

These are the remedy, which, not on any independent judgment of my own, but on the credit of more than one amongst the highest living authorities, I have felt myself officially bound to point out as applicable to the case of wilful, contuinacious, refusal. Nor let it be supposed that this liability is escaped by what the Attorney-General himself calls that "shallow device" of twelvemonths' adjournment. Such an adjournment, or any adjournment, with a clear intent to refuse a rate, is identical with refusing it, and punishable through the same process. Nor again is the law to be evaded by one or more of the churchwardens declining to join his brother officers in convening a vestry. I am assured by the same high authorities as before, that the law is competent to its own vindication here : that we have but to monish all to join in the call, and to article those who refuse : a proceeding, which, duly carried out against one contumacious individual, would expose the viciousness of a practice so inconsistent with the duty of church wardens and their solemn declaration on entering office.- Pp. 11-14.

The law we presume to be clear : but the fulfilment of the churchwarden's obligation, when he meets with an organized resistance, backed by a society established for that purpose, is attended with one great practical difficulty. The agents and disciples of the church-rate abolition system appear to have no apprehensions on the ground of expense : they possess at least this confidence in their resources, and in the expectation of proving “true to one another,” that they are ready to seize upon objections which ordinary men would deem privations, and sometimes are said to avow their determination to accompany these objections, if necessary, and at whatever expense, to all the courts where they can get a hearing. The church warden stands in a different position. He has no funds for warfare: he must take upon himself even in limine some personal responsibility: without more knowledge as to forms than generally falls to his share, he may commit some error which is fatal : with the best possible cause he may, or fears that he may, lose his suit. Besides this, he is pointed at by every thing that is liberal in the parish, as the supporter of an oppressive tax: and if a man, in prosecuting his resistance to church-rates, be thrown into prison for contumacious disobedience to the court, who is it that deprives him of his “ civil and religious liberty," but the church warden? The man may fare sumptuously every day; may fare as he never fared before : he may be visited by sympathizing persons, who never would have looked at him, while working honestly at his calling: he may be immortalized as a martyr, by such immortality as newspapers and picture-shops can give, and be raised in a few months by the contributions of the haters of creeds and priestcraft, and dominant sects, to a degree of opulence which would otherwise never have been his : and in the very prospect of these things, he may have found a strong motive for the cause which has led to such an eminence : still the churchwarden is not less to be exhibited as the oppressor, or the willing tool of oppression; and he is a bold, as well as an honest man, who will stand alone in the face of so great a probable storm, and of much trouble, and especially of undefined expense. We have far too good an opinion of the moral courage of Englishmen to imagine that churchwardens would often shrink from their duty, through the fear of highsounding words or liberal vituperation : but personal expense, it is unreasonable and unjust that they should incur ; in many cases family considerations absolutely forbid it: and the knowledge of these facts fosters and excites opposition. Let the churchwarden only be borne out in the necessary expenditure: and surely the friends of the Church can in this respect do as much in giving effect to the law as its enemies can do for defeating it: let him only have that confidence in his resources which is enjoyed by his opponents, and there can be little doubt and little delay as to the result. The law is distinctly in favour of church-ra:es: and till that law shall be abrogated, it can always be enforced.

Art. 1V.-A Voice from a Picture. By a Female Artist of the

Present Day. London: Booth. 1840. Pp. 53. It can hardly be alien from the purposes of the Christian Remembrancer to notice this little volume. In the first place, the Arts may fitly be regarded and honoured as being, naturally, the handmaids of Religion. In the days of ignorance and idolatry, it is true, their ministration was some-times little better than a pitiable prostitution; yet even in those dark times, a purer and better inspiration would occasionally descend, and give birth to many of the grandest and most beautiful creations of human genius. And it is well known to all how gloriously the arts of painting, and of music, and of architecture, have subsequently flourished under the patronage of christian devotion. Besides, what blameless work of the imitative faculty is there that may not justly be considered as, in some sort, an act of adoration towards that Supreme Intelligence, which alone is the fountain of all sublimity and beauty? The very enthusiasm with which these ennobling pursuits are often found to aniinate their votaries is of itself a sort of religion ; a religion which may, indeed, degenerate into idolatry, but which, under due control and care, may surely coalesce with the purest influences of faith, and hope, and love.

The days in which we live, it must be confessed, are anything but favourable to these lofty and majestic views of the imaginative arts. Utility is now our idol, our cloud-compelling Jove-or, it might be called our Juggernaut--which rolls over the land in its thundering steamdriven chariot; and clouds of Stygian vapour form the incense of its altars; and its cast-iron countenance frowns grimly upon all the works of man that minister not to the wants of our mere earthly nature; and the chiefest of its victims are they whose heresy it is to abjure the worship of a coarse terrene materialism, and to contemplate devoutly the forms of excellence which are the workmanship of the one true and living God.

And, in truth, the martyrdom frequently endured by these faithful ones is often of a kind from which the flesh and heart of man may well be forgiven from shrinking. The wretchedness and the destitution endured by many a meritorious, but unpatronised and friendless, artist, are more cruel than, perhaps, will be credited by our close-handed and tough-hearted Mecenates. Our “ Female Artist,” we suspect, must have witnessed-perhaps she may have tasted-something of that “ sharp misery" which paralyses the hand and withers the heart of genius. She has embodied her experience in the form of a fictitious narrative, in which a Picture is supposed to relate the story of its progress, from an obscure corner of the exhibition-room, through many dismal vicissitudes, to the mansion of nobility; a Picture, of which the author starved in a jail, but whose name, after he had perished, became, as it were, a

4 x



profitable legacy! Would that the wealthy and the magnificent would listen for a while to this melancholy “ Voice.” We can afford space only for a specimen of its parting utterances. Pictura loquitur :

If, by my voice, I can awaken a more general feeling for the Arts, and be the means of diffusing a more unlimited patronage among many suffering Artists unknown to fame; if it can be proved that their support will not only produce better pictures, but add honour to a country distinguished for commerce and arms; and, by thus doing, can ameliorate difficulties of a class of society, whose intellectual capacity adds refinement to a nation, and softens the asperities of life ;—the dignity of the patron will be enhanced by the support of the artist, and the Voice from a Picture will not be raised in vain.-P. 42.

Art. V.- A System for the Education of the Young, applied to all the

Faculties; founded on immense Experience on many Thousands of Children, in most Parts of the Three Kingdoms. With an Appendir and Plates. By SAMUEL WILDERSPIN, Inventor of the System of

Infant Training. London: Hodson. 1810. Pp. 487. MR. WILDERSPIN says, in his Preface to this volume, the "author is afraid that something like egotism may appear in some parts of the work." The author is not afraid without good reason. His fear might have gone farther, and taken a wider range. In every part of the work, there appears to us not only “ something like egotism,”something very like it indeed—but the thing itself in its grossest and most offensive form. The very title-page, with its “ Samuel Wilderspin, Inventor, &c.," and its immense experience on many thousands of children,” foc., is a sufficient indication. And the character of the book is true to the character of the title. But Mr. Wilderspin thinks, -as thousands before him have thought about themselves, and thousands after him will think,—that justice has not been done him by the public. His plea is, “that many have borrowed largely from him without due acknowledgment." "Some, too, have given Mr. Owen the credit of originating the Infant System.Strange and startling language ; and yet, we almost apprehend, likely to be more exactly applicable, and more literally true, than Mr. Wilderspin intended, when we contemplate the full development of Mr. Owen's fearful doctrines about marriage. However, let that pass : as Mr. Wilderspin only means, in his simplicity, a system of infant education.

Now, in the commencement of infant schools, Mr. Wilderspin, though not, we believe, their actual originator or inventor, was unquestionably of much use. We are far from wishing to decry or underrate his legitimate claims. He


be assured, that no one but himself can ever make us either forget, or dislike to remember, his services in such

Let him only try to be modest and moderate ; and other persons will have no desire to cancel the obligation. But he should remember, that gratitude, most of all things, should be unforced : and many a debtor has been tempted to refuse payment, or has been most reluctant to acknowledge his debt, because perpetually reminded of it with exaggerated pretensions on the part of the creditor. He should also remember, that he, like the rest of mankind, is probably an extravagant appraiser of his own merits; and he must not expect the world

a cause.

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