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presentative on earth of our Supreme Moral Governor. They strongly condemn the doctrines of the fifth-monarchy men, and of the ancient Jews, who held the saints were not subject to any earthly society, especially when it consisted of heathens, because they had one only King in heaven.” He subsequently speaks of God's “ declared will for the perfecting of human society, &c.” It is much to be regretted that the learned Doctor did not favour us with the name of the book, chapter, and verse in which God has declared that he has willed that human. society should be perfected by the manifest laws of his providence : but, not having done this, we beg leave, in the civilest though plainest terms, to give a flat contradiction to Dr. Arnold; and assert, on the other hand, that human society never is to be perfected by any laws of God's providence; that, on the contrary, He will send his Son in the clouds of heaven to destroy it for its wickedness; and that then the Son shall take upon himself the governance of the world, and teach men a lesson, of which Dr. Arnold is ignorant, namely, that He, and not society, is the supreme power on earth.
We pass over the absurdity of saying, that the Christian Scriptures condemn the doctrines of the ancient Jews : and enter the lists against the fundamental assertion, that society is the supreme on earth ; that magistrates act in the name of society; that they are the officers of society, and have no right to rule contrary to the will of that society, or to exercise any greater power than it may authorize. It is scarcely necessary to remind our readers, that the sentiment here expressed by the learned Doctor, whose work is so widely circulated by the Evangelicals, is precisely that which used in the good old times of George III. (and no longer ago-so that Lord Plunkett need not be afraid of having the Old Almanack brought out for his amusement) hardly to escape a charge of high treason: it is the old Jacobin sentiment of the people the source of legitimate power;” it is that which excited the scorn, indignation, and wit of Mr. Canning, in the poetry of the Anti-Jacobin, when the Duke of Norfolk gave it for a toast, in a fit of radical madness at an electioneering orgy, as
The sovereign, The Many;"
A toast I'll give-a thing I'll say
As yet unsaid by any:
“ His MAJESTY, The Many." And here we have it again propounded, not by a drunken duke, but by a sober divine; not in the turmoil of politics, but from the quiet of his study; not in a paroxysm of revolutionary delirium, but insolently foisted upon us as a grave maxim of Christian duty. Thus have we lived to see the principles of Tom Paine com
pletely triumphant. The charge brought against the house of Judah by the Prophet Ezekiel, as the cause of God's judgments coming upon them, was, that they said “ the Lord hath forsaken the earth” and there cannot be a more perfect proof that such is the opinion or maxim held by the present rulers of England, than the fact, that the very same doctrine which so few years back was broached only by the offscouring of political violence, is now hailed as the orthodox creed by our Evangelical Bishops and most learned divines.
We shall now shew, by the greatest authorities, that the maxim of society being the supreme power on earth, and that magistrates are but the officers of that body—that is, the people being the source of the authority of the rulers—is as repugnant to universal law as it is to revelation. De la Bruyère, in his Caractères, after enumerating various difficulties of the kingly office, says, “When I reflect.....that he (the king) is accountable to God, even for the felicity of his people; that good and evil are in his hands, and that 'ignorance is no excuse; I cannot forbear asking myself this question, Wouldest thou reign ?” De la Bruyère knew nothing of being accountable to the people, but felt the awful responsibility of being accountable to God.
Selden (Titles of Honour, p. 158) says, “ As the supremacy of princes and their government is delegate from the Highest, their judgments being also called His; so in a general name they are titled gods, even by God himself, because here on earth they should for their power be his imitators. And therefore they may also in that sense be stiled divi, or dii. · Divi Christiani reges, saith Contzen, the present professor of divinity in Mentz,' vocari possunt eo modo quo dii, quia Dei sunt vicarii, et Dei voce judicant.'
Puffendorf frequently refers to the revealed will of God, as modifying the respective duties of the sovereign and the subject. But this mode of treating the question is more unsatisfactory than that of denying the Divine delegation of rulers altogether; since, if God has revealed his will at all in the matter, that will must be followed wholly, or “he that offends in one point is guilty of all.” The sovereign is not at liberty to say,
This part of God's revealed will is fit to be followed, and that part is not; this part is conducive to the welfare of my subjects, and that is not.” Locke indeed argues, that God has never given to any one man authority over the religion of another; and he was the first writer of eminence who carried the doctrine of toleration to the extent of indifference to all truth and falsehood, which now is universally adopted. Barbeyrac, who adopts Locke's opinions in his notes to Puffendorf, nevertheless makes exceptions, and says, that, in certain cases, the sovereign must interfere, and punish erroneous religious opinions.
The greatest of all authorities upon this subject, and who pre-eminently united in his own person the divine, the philosopher, and the lawyer, is Lord Bacon. “A king," says he, “is a mortal god on earth, unto whom the living God hath lent his own name, as a great honour......He must make religion the rule of government, and not to balance the scale ; for he that casteth in religion only to make the scales even, his own weight is contained in those characters, Mene, mene, tekel upharsin : He is found too light, his kingdom shall be taken from him. And that king that holds not religion the best reason of state, is void of all piety and justice, the supporters of a king.
We would recommend this last sentence to the particular attention of Dr. Arnold, and of all others who coincide with his opinions : and although these authorities are sufficient to shew, that, in the estimation of the greatest of men, the maxim that kings are delegates of God, and not of the people, is perfectly clear and obvious; we are astonished that the contrary should ever have been maintained, by any one of higher pretensions to the faculty of reasoning than the most noisy demagogue at a popular election. Our reason for so thinking is, that the very essence of rule seems to consist in there being an inherent and necessary disposition in mankind to do evil, to throw off subjection, and to commit various excesses, not only against God's laws, but against each other. God will bless his own ordinance of degrees of rank, so long as those in the highest rank remember that they owe their elevation to Him, and use its influence for the promotion of His glory: but there cannot be an act of more determinate insubordination, than for the rulers themselves to say that they owe not their elevation to God, but to their fellow-creatures; cease therefore to make God's will the rule of the exercise of their power, and make the people's will the rule instead ; “ worshipping,” in the most literal sense of the passage, “ the creature, in the place of the Creator.” Dr. Arnold, in conformity with his view, maintains, as we have seen, that “ magistrates, who are but the officers of society," have no " right to rule contrary to the will of that society, or to exercise any greater power than it may authorize :" which is perfectly true, if his major be granted : we beg, however, to paraphrase the sentence, and say, “ Magistrates, who are but the delegates of Christ, have no right to rule contrary to the will of Christ, or to exercise any power, or to suffer any power to be exercised, other than for the well-being of his church.
When Louis XVIII. returned to France, it was proposed to him that he should remount his throne in virtue of an act of the senate, wh ch, after the abdication of Napoleon, carried on the executive government, and negociated with the allied sovereigns.
To this proposition Louis peremptorily refused to agree. He founded his title to the throne upon the appointment of God, and he would not consent to receive it as the appointment of the people. In vain did the ambassadors of the senate remonstrate ; in vain did they insist upon the inviolability of their charter; in vain did they insinuate that he wished to re-establish the former abuses of his forefathers. He replied, that he was willing to concede to them all the rights that any charter could secure to them; that he was as little inclined to be a tyrant as they were to submit to one; that he had no objection to return to his exile in England; but that he would never accept that, which was to be held for God, as a gift from the people.
It is hard to discover upon what grounds Dr. Arnold confounds deprivation of power to do an injury to another, with persecution. “ The plea of religion,” he says, “ is wholly foreign to the question, except upon such grounds as would authorize direct persecution. If the believers in a true religion claim a title to restrain those who are in error from the enjoyment of their natural rights, in order to have a greater chance of converting them to the truth; then also they may pretend to persecute them directly with the same object; and there is no doubt that a thorough persecution will generally root out the doctrines against which it is directed. Or if they claim a natural superiority on account of the truth of their religion, so that they are fitted to govern unbelievers, or heretics, on the same principles that men govern children; this is a pretension far less reasonable than if we were to claim dominion over those nations whose constitutions were unfavourable to the welfare of their people, or whose moral character we might judge to be inferior
What human power can pronounce authoritatively upon the truth of a religion, when every nation will with equal zeal maintain the truth of its own? Or does Christ authorize his servants, as such, to assume the office of judging the world, until the day when he shall himself appear to pronounce the judgment?"
The term, those who are in error, is an ominously slender phrase for Popery, coming out of the mouth of a Doctor of Protestant divinity. And where could he have discovered that Papists were restrained in order to convert them? A tiger is not restrained in order to convert it into a lamb, but in order to prevent its doing mischief. And Dr. Arnold's other mode of conversion is by eradication, or rooting out. To put a man to death, is, to say the very least of it, a very Irish mode of converting him. But the most extraordinary sentence in this passage is, that no human power can pronounce authoritatively upon the truth of a religion; and the reason assigned scarcely less
to our own.
extraordinary, namely, because men are obstinate in maintaining falsehood. So, after all, there is no such thing as truth; it is all a matter of opinion; and the Turk or the Bûdhist may afterwards turn out as right, nay, more right, than the Christian! Truly Dr. Arnold is a marvellous instructor in “ Christian duty.” Since if he cannot pronounce upon the truth of religion, we are at a loss to discover the grounds upon which he pretends to teach the duty that flows from it. Now, we beg to inform him, that it is his duty to pronounce authoritatively upon the truth of religion: that, as a responsible being, he is bound to know the truth ; and that he will be justly condemned for not knowing the truth. To deny this, is to promulgate that there is no revelation from God to teach men his truth, but that every one is to make a religion for himself out of his own brain. Above all, it is the duty of a king to know God's will, and to teach that will to his people; to make them act, according to that will, in obedience to him, and in peace towards each other. If those who are enemies to God's will take advantage of the peace, security, and other blessings, which he has always bestowed as concomitants upon that nation which seeks first His face; and if such persons will reside under the protection of that sovereign ; he is not bound to inflict any bodily injury upon them, but he is bound not to allow them to exercise power over God's people, who are in a most especial manner entrusted to the protection of Christian princes. So that the line between toleration and persecution is perfectly clear and distinct, and is never confounded, but for the purpose of perplexing men's minds upon the question. Out of this duty of the sovereign grows, also, the only right which he can have for teaching any thing whatever under the name of religion to his people. Dr. Arnold is very anxious that the Church of England should remain with all her power and property just as she is (page 50); but the sovereign authority of England has no right to take from the wealth of the whole community in order to pay the priests of one particular sect, unless it be that the
sovereign can authoritatively pronounce that the creed which these priests teach is truth. This opinion of Dr. Arnold's, that no human power can pronounce authoritatively upon the truth of religion, is pure unmitigated infidelity : it is the very ground upon which all the infidels in England are honestly endeavouring to take the church property and convert it to the exigencies of the state; and we are decidedly of opinion, that, if Dr. Arnold's assertion be true, then the infidels are right, and that no church establishment ought to stand. Indeed, for what purpose is it to stand ? What can be the use of the rulers of a people teaching a creed upon the truth of which they cannot pronounce ? They may have been teaching the wrong one at last, and so destroy