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verty itself. Nor does this opinion militate against the calculations of a consummate judge (Mrs. H. More), who somewhere says, that the most exalted piety in individuals is to be found in the two extremes of society. This is not denying, that taken mass for mass, the middle classes morally excel both the highest and the lowest. How many cottagers, and abject paupers, could I name, whose souls seem to be embittered against the Gospel of Christ Jesus, to a degree which some persons suppose exclusively to exist, in the minds of metaphysical infidels' Oh, I could tell them, that Christ appears to be crucified afresh by beggars loathsome with wretchedness, and dying by inches beneath the combined pressure of hunger, nakedness, and disease; and under all this misery have I heard them justify their crimes with the readiness and dexterity of a practised sophist, as though they were as tenacious of their sins as of their lives. The supposed popularity of evangelical instruction has been argued from the circumstances usually consequent upon the residence of an evangelical minister in a parish, where the preceding clergyman spent the summer with his fishing rods, and the winter with his dogs. The new minister generally in
creases the congregation, because
his doctrine meets the taste of the major part of the parishioners. Such at least is the current mode of drawing conclusions. I allow the increase of the congregation at first, as a thing arising, in the absence of other causes, out of the fourth and fifth causes above adduced. But in country parishes, particularly where the clergyman is in effect a squire, or a half-squire, you must take into your account the operation of the ertra causes concurrent with such as are more properly spiritual. I refer to the interest taken by the evangelical ministers in the instruction of poor children, which they personally superintend and pay
for; to their pastoral visits; acts of charity; readiness to give assistance, and protection, in cases where the unaptness and ignoranceof the parties themselves expose them to losses; and, to their upright methods of transacting secular business, Could we look into men's hearts, how great a share of some clergymen's local popularity would be seen to proceed (forgive this bluntness) from the attractions of halfcrowns, kitchens, cellars, and gardens! The objects of a pastor'sbounty will swell the numbers of his con5...", and, with cheap and reundant expressions of gratitude, promise much; but (poor self.de. ceivers') whatever they do, they will not return him the only thing he wants, namely, that they should “repent and be converted, that their sins may be blotted out.” Little do they suspect, and no persuasion will convince them, that the wo dom of winningsouls is all the who exercising itself to gain theirs. Some indeed are won; but the rest receive the Sunday sermon and the week-day donation with one and the same feeling ; I mean, as far alth, reception of either confers a spiritual. benefit. Among the absentees from the church of such a clergyman, will be found men who cannot be allured thither by any bait saw that of worldly interest. For example, substantial farmers, who aro constant hearers up to the Sunday immediately preceding the Tuesday or Friday when the tithes are to be finally settled; and who hope, by to timing their attendance, to sootho a new incumbent into a low compo" sition. As he seeks “ not theirs but them,” so they seek not him, but his. But no moderation on his part can draw these wanderers book again. The rocks will not smil: when the Sabbath appears; “ and the sound of the church-going belo will be heard without emotion houses situated within a few grave" length of the church itself. To inhabitants were perhaps found in their pews, not seldom in the *
clergyman's first quarter's residence; but when it was found out that he really meant what he said; and seriously designed, under the agency of the Holy Ghost, to “convince men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment;” when the seceders saw that, according to his scheme, something was actually to be done, “a cup to be drunk of.” and “a bap
tism to be baptized with,” they
would leave him to “go out into the high ways and hedges, and gather the poor, lame, and blind.” Them he might “compel to fill his house;” but themselves “will not taste of his supper.” There are certainly exceptions to this part of my statement, even at this day. The picture, however, which Addison painted of a country church”, like other originals of the great masters, is seldom well copied. I confess, indeed, that the only thing in the original which I ever admired was the number and external regularity of the congregation. All the rest is doubtless a passably faithful representation of nature; but nature has her deformities, and many of them sufficiently repulsive. Whatever there was in Coverley church, church-yard, and clergyman, there was no religion. Neither, it will be said, was there any evil. This is asserting a great deal. I want to know, whether Christianity allows the existence of a something which she can neither praise nor blame; and whether a clergyman can preach, and a layman hear, a sermon, which leaves them both precisely as it found them. Christ's words are, “ he that is not with me is against me.” In the reign of Anne, the recollection of the Establishment's struggles, first with the Non-conformists, and then with the
* Spectator, No. 112. See also No. 106.—Either the character of the English yeomanry and peasantry is radically changed since the days of Addison, or his account of the chaplain's influence over the tenantry is a false picture. Mr. Crabbe seems to have characterized mankind with greater accuracy,
Papists, and its outward triumph over both, was sufficiently fresh to cause, in the bulk of the people, such a predilection in favour of the church, as
persuaded them to attend its services
with a degree of personal interest. Victrir causa placuit. . Yet of the rustics of Coverley it must be said, that they were either drawn to church by the baronet's influence, or they went thither because they went. A century is just elapsed since those days. The populace do not seem now to have a more natural prejudice in favour of religious observances than their superiors. How matters stand among the Dissenters, I know not; and l wish that some competent person among them would inform us, whether, in their congregations, the indigent members exceed in numbers or spiritual excellence the more affluent. You would not, Sir, I presume, refuse to admit his statement, bearing, as it would do, upon the great subject of our “ common salvation,” and tending to ascertain the degree of acceptance which evangelical preaching now obtains in the various divisions of the Christian world, and specifically among the poor. However episcopalians may disapprove of the discipline of the separatists, yet all practical believers will range under one banner, when the Gospel itself, the acknowledged hope and consolation of all, is opposed, as such, to the craft and violence of the world at large.— The matter is certainly very serious. Machiavel himself, I have been told, regarded the popular desertion of public worship, and the neglect of the Sabbath, among the marks of a declining empire; and, on this consideration, advised even atheist legislators to maintain the exterior forms of religion. Napoleon appears to have adopted the Florentine's policy. Should he become (as Mr. Walsh suggests) the prophet as well as the emperor of the west, this ultimate reach of despotism may be ventured with a view to secure the conquests of the sword by the firmer triumphs of a new faith. He may know, what Pascal has taught us all, that men never do evil so cheerfully and effectually as when they do it upon a false principle of conscience. NićANDER.
P. S. Since the above was written, l have referred to the Review of Ingram in your volume for 1808; and perceive, that on several points, my opinions are coincident with those expressed by the critic and his author. However, on so wide an expanse of subject, the most inexperienced adventurer may discover objects, either accidentally overlooked, or regarded as comparatively unimportant, by such as have traversed the same level, far better able than himself to measure its length and breadth, and to ascertain its relative bearings.
HINTs RELAtive to The DUTY AND MODE OF MAKING A WILL,
[Concluded from p. 425.]
If a parent survive, and need the assistance of a child, it is unquestionably the first of his duties to take care of that parent. It may be right to remark here, that, in case of intestacy, a parent cannot inherit the landed property of a child. This would pass to an uncle rather than to a parent. But, on the contrary, a father is the representative of a child, with regard to personal property; and, in case of the child's intestacy without off. spring, he would enjoy the whole of it. . But a mother would only take a share of this property, in a similar proportion to that which would be enjoyed by each of the brothers and sisters of the deceased child. With regard to brothers and sisters, if there be not a will, the el. dest brother is the heir to the landed property of all of those that do not leave children; but the personal property is divided equally among the survivors; the children of a deceased brother, or sister,
dividing among them, by the statute of distribution, the share that would have been taken by their parent. A testator, however, is not bound by this rule, and though he be at liberty to distribute his property in whatever way he may think right, a sense of obligation to the parents from whom brothers and sisters mutually spring, independent of the affection which they naturally feel, or ought to feel, for one another, will, it is presumed, induce a testator to advance their interest in preference to that of other persons. The share that shall be given to each must be regulated by a variety of circumstances; such as the favours and attentions that have been received by the testator; the professions or promises that have been made by him to them ; and the need in which the individual stands of the testater's help. It may not be improper to remark here, that though, in case of intestacy, the eldest brother, or his eldest male descendant, is heir to the landed property of all the brothers and sisters that do not leave children, and though brothers succeed each other according to seniority in their heirship, yet if all of them die without children, and leave several sisters, these sisters will not inherit the estate in succession, but the inheritance will be divided equally between them as coheiresses. It is also not unworthy of remark, that brothers cannot inherit a landed estate unless they be of the whole blood; that is, unless they be descendednot only from the same father but from the same father and nother. Forinstance; if a fatherdie and leave two children by different mothers, in case the first of these die, during the life of the father, the second wiii succeed as heir to the father; but if the father die first, and then the eldest son, the second will not succeed to the inheritance, because he is only of half blood with the eldest ; and the estate will pass to the father's brother in preference to him. *
With regard to personal property, however, brothers and sisters of half blood take their shares of it, equally with those of whole blood. These peculiarities are mentioned in order to shew the niceties of the law, and the necessity of taking good legal advice, in making a testamentary distribution of property. Those who wish farther information on the subject of title by descent are referred to the commentaries of Sir William Blackstone, in which it is ably and fully discussed, vol. ii. page 200. Nephews and nieces come next within the notice of a testator; and here it may not be improper to observe, that though nephews and nieces take the share of their deceased parent in any interest in personals that might descend to that parent in consequence of the intestacy of their uncle, yet the children of these nephews and nieces do not take any share of such division in case their parent die before them. A testator, however, is not bound to regard such a law, and will perhaps think it right, if he have no children of his own, to consider the children of a nephew or niece among his next of kin, and as holding the place of their deceased parent, still proportioning the share of such grand-nephew, or grandniece, according to the different circumstances that operate more or less in favour of one or other of them, compared with those of others, in a similar degree of relationship. The claims of these disferent persons are derived from the obligation of the testator to the ancestor, which they have in common with himself; and, therefore, the further this common ancestor is removed, the weaker the obligation necessarily becomes, and the more open the testator is, by nature as well as by law, to consider the claims that other persons have upon him. The relationship of cousins is so Chaist. Observ. No. 1 16.
slight, that it seldom operates on the mind of a testator, unless other circumstances are blended with it. First cousins, however, descending from a common grandfather, may naturally be supposed to feel an attachment to each other, of no small degree of force. Their intimate and familiar habits, especially in the early part of life, naturally lay the foundation for a friendship and affection which of ten have considerable force through the remainder of it; and, when no nearer relations intervene, cousins very properly claim considerable attention in the posthumous disposition of a testator's property. Poor relations again have a claim to be remembered, in preference to other necessitous persons; for this strong reason, that, if relations do not provide for them, they have no reason to expect that others will: “mankind,” as Dr. Paley observes, “by a kind of established consent, leaving the reduced branches of good families to the bounty of their wealthy alliances”.” A married man should consider not only the claims which his own relations have upon him, but those also which may be justly made by the relations of his wife. And if the wife be dead, her relations ought not to be forgotten ; especially in those cases, which are not unfrequent, where no inconsiderable part of the property has been either acquired by the assistance, or preserved by the seconomy, of this wife. This remark will apply with equal force, when a widow has property to bequeath, which property was either acquired, or increased by the exertions and care of a deceased husband. A second marriage has too often obliterated the recollection of those obligations which were incurred by that which preceded. It is to be hoped, that when this has happened, it has proceeded from forgetfulness rather than from deliberate and in
* Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy. o i. page 227. 3 w
tentional injustice; since it cannot be doubted, if near relations do not intervene, that such interesting connections have a just claim on a testator's recollection. Next to those persons who are related by blood and alliance, perhaps none have a greater claim on the remembrance of a testator than trusty old servants : to their attentions all are more or less indebted, and from them many derive, without thinking upon it, a very considerable share of their ease and comfort. Legacies to servants ought not to interfere with the higher claims of relations; but not unfrequently, a handsome token of regard, and sometimes an annual allowance for life, may be spared from the testator's effects, for one, or even for several such valuable domestic friends, without essentially interfering with the provision that relations have a right to expect. A difference, however, may justly be made between the conduct of a testator who bas no wife, and one who has. wife survives, to whom the servants are equally valuable, and with whom, after the death of the testator, the same establishment will probably be continued as during his life, it may be a question how far the provision for such servants should be left to her discretion. But if there be no wife, there cannot, I think, be any doubt of the just claim which old and trusty
servants have to a handsome notice.
Servants are not the only persons in this class of a testator's connections, who prefer a claim to his remembrance. If there be children of servants, or poor neighbours of any other kind, whose comforts have been increased, or whose misfortunes have been mitigated, either by the regular or occasional benefactions of the testator, such persons ought not to be forgotten; but, as far as other circumstances render. prudent, a provision should be made for continuing those kind acts, either in part or in the whole; and, * nearly as possible, in the same
way in which the assistance was afforded during the life of the testator. Benefactors are of two kinds; such as, by their rank in life, are above the need of a return for the assistance they afford ; and such as, though able and willing to do a kind action, are so situated as to require, when a proper opportunity offers, a return either of the same services, or of those of a similar sort. To the first, a respectful token of remembrance is often valuable, not so much on account of the intrinsic value of the legacy as of the testimony it affords of the grateful feelings of the testator. To them it cannot be necessary to leave such a portion of the property as shall in any degree interfere with the claims of relations. But with regard to the latter, the degree of benefit conferred upon the testator should be well considered; and if this has been important, justice as well as gratitude require that the token of remembrance should bear some proportion to it. Most men belong to a profession; and this forms a line that regulates much of their manners, both in thinking and acting; a great part of their lives being of course spent among those whe are engaged in a similar pursuit. If, therefore, the interest of the profession itself can be promoted, or that of those who pursue it be benefited, either generally or in particular instances, without interfering with higher claims, it must afford satisfaction to every liberal mind. Institutions formed for the relief of persons who have been less fortunate in their exertions, or for their necessitous widows and orphans, have a particular claim on the recollection of those who have been more successful; particularly if these latter are indebted to the profession for no inconsiderable part of their affluence ; and still more