« AnteriorContinuar »
-- but for us,
these topics, he enlarges with fine powers of reasoning, and with that nervous eloquence which is the reverse of designed oratory, and which comes from the heart of a richly stored speaker in simplicity and holy earnestness: and he brings all to the various points of application with peculiar tenderness
and force. -Welcome, then, the world's hatred! Thou wilt be no affliction to those whom God judges worthy to obtain thee. Aflicting indeed the world's hatred is for—[here the preacher describes various characters of a timid and worldly profession--] if we have not deserved this hatred by improprieties of conduct, by spurious zeal, or by forgetting the proper duties of our ministry; if the world is enraged at us and hates us only on account of the decision of our testimony and the purity of our doctrine ; 0 then, let not our heart be troubled ! Rather let it leap for joy and bless our Lord for having given us this new proof of his love. And above all, my brother, never let us darken the counsels of the Most High ; never let us mutilate the gospel, to escape murmurings or to pacify dislikes. It is not the world that shall command the truth; but it is the truth that shall command the world. The word of God is the eternal rock against which dash the stormy floods of human passions; they strike it with their rolling waves, they cover it with their foam, they lift up themselves and dart forth with their prolonged bellowings, to overturn it. But it stands, the stone which the hand of the Lord has raised. It breaks the pride of the enraged floods. From its lofty grandeur it looks down upon the vast sea of hostile passions roaring around it: and on the top of this rock, millions of mankind enjoy sweet repose, the calm brightness of the sun, a pure air, and joy which shall never end. What a spirit of prayer, what faith, what intimate communion with God, are necessary to a faithful pastor! What force in his preaching, what spotlessness in his manners, what activity in his labours, what prudence in every step that he takes, what devotedness and self-denial in his whole life! And how many struggles has he to maintain, difficulties to vanquish, imbitterings and hostilities to endure ! O, how heavy this burden! O, how great is this responsibility, even before men ; but how much more before God !'- pp. 58, 59, 60.
These few sentences may convey some idea of the Discourse: we cannot make room for more.
But we cannot close this article without one remark. An attentive reader of the productions of the modern French evangelical school, when he compares them with the artificial, ornamented, ambitious style which was formerly a national characteristic, can scarcely fail to be struck with this difference; that they are distinguished by a soberness of thought, a depth of reflection, a solidity and comprehensiveness of reasoning, and a manly plainness of style, which immensely increase their value. This is both a literary and a religious phenomenon, the causes, the probable extension, and the future consequences of which deserve the meditation of the philosopher. National character and style of writing powerfully influence each other. If, in either, a great and abiding change be effected, it will impress itself upon the other. We conjecture that the revolutionary scenes of the last forty years were the initiating causes of this alteration. Notwithstanding the great mass of thoughtless profligates, infidels, and blasphemers; there must have been many reflecting and feeling minds into which habitual gravity was infused by the scenes of affecting change, and often of appalling misery, which took place before their eyes. The universal excitement to political discussions, accompanied as it has been by many evils, may yet have borne its share of contribution to this end. The much increased study of English and German literature, especially of the best authors on sacred subjects, must have been greatly influential.
But we have no doubt that the grand cause lies in the increase of true religion, as freed from human trammels, and based upon Divine authority. Hence has arisen that independence of mind, that habit of profound research, and that cheerful solemnity of expression, which distinguish the chief articles in the Archives and the Sémeur; and which appear to so much advantage in the writings of P. A. Stapfer, Vinet, De Félice, Adolphus Monod, and some others, to whom we look up with honour and love as the blessing of their age and country.
Art. III.--1. An Historical and Statistical Account of New South
Wales, both as a Penal Settlement and as a British Colony. By John Dunmore Lang, D.D., Senior Minister of the Scots Church, and Principal of the Australian College, Sydney, New South
Wales. In two volumes. pp. xiv. 844. Price 21s. London, 1834. 2. Observations on the Colonics of New South Wales and Van
Diemen's Land. By John Henderson. 8vo. pp. xxvi., 180.
Calcutta, Baptist Mission Press, 1832. 3. Two Expeditions into the Interior of Southern Australia, during
the years 1828, 29, 30, 31: with Observations on the Soil, Climate, and general Resources of the Colony of New South Wales. By Capt. Charles Sturt, 39th Regiment, F.L.S. and
F.R.G.S. Two volumes, 8vo. London, 1833. 4. Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London. Vol. I. 8vo.
1831. Second Edition. Art. 1. State of the Colony of Swan River. Vol. II. 1832, Art. 8. Brief View of the Progress of Interior Discovery in New South Wales, by Allan Cunningham,
Esq. 5. The New British Province of South Australia ; or, a Description
of the Country. Illustrated by Charts and Views, and an Account of the Principles, Objects, Plan, and Prospects of the New Colony. 18mo. 28. 6d. cloth. 1834.
6. Remarks on Transportation, and on a recent Defence of the System :
in a Second Letter to Earl Grey. By Richard Whately, D.D., Archbishop of Dublin. 8vo. pp. 172. London, 1834.
THE 'HE British Empire now comprehends an area of four millions
and a half of square miles, or about fifty times the geographical extent of the British Isles; and yet, our Malthusian philosophers are telling us, that we are likely to be overwhelmed by the rapid increase of our population ! He who “ created not the earth in vain, but formed it to be inhabited,”* has constituted man so that he shall, by multiplying, replenish the earth. But it is the boast of the political economist, to have discovered, that, without a preventive check, mankind will soon not have standing room ! Australia and Van Diemen's Land comprise an area of about 1,500,000 square miles with a population of less than 100,000 human beings. Our North American possessions extend over nearly 2,000,000 of square miles with a population of less than 2,000,000. The Cape Colony contains also about one inhabitant to every square mile. It is admitted, that a very large proportion of these immense territories is incapable of supporting a fixed population ; but they comprise tracts of the highest degree of fertility, under every variety of climate. Then, there is British India with its dependencies, comprising nearly another million of square miles, not over-peopled with 120 millions of inhabitants. Divine Providence has consigned all this varied expanse of surface to the government of Great Britain ; and yet, the chief problem which is employing the attention of her political economists is, how they may counteract what they would make to be the improvident appointment of the Creator, and prevent the increase of a superfluous population !
It is surely a circumstance deserving of attentive consideration, that while many of the older nations of the earth are declining in numbers,—while, in some of the finest countries under heaven, the human race is melting away and perishing under the eye
of the observer,'—that nation which is, beyond all comparison, increasing and diffusing itself the most rapidly, has had assigned to it, by the progress of discovery and maritime adventure, the largest portion of the earth's surface that was ever placed under the ascendancy of a single government, with the exception of the Russian. And, if we take into our estimate, the territory of the United States, throughout which the English language, laws, literature, and religion are predominant, we shall scarcely need to make that exception; for the sum total will be nearly 7,000,000 of square miles under the paramount influence of one nation ;-a
* Isa. xlv. 18.
nation originally confined to a small island in the German Ocean, and which, a hundred years ago, could not number as the subjects of the British Crown, so many as 20 millions throughout the world. History presents nothing parallel to this expansion of political power in the annals of empires.
Hitherto, however, the nation and its rulers have seemed blind to the purpose for which the richest kingdoms of the East and the unpeopled regions of the New World have been placed at our disposal; and the absurdities of our political economists have been rivalled by the fatuitous policy of our statesmen towards the British Colonies. Nothing in the annals of human folly exceeds the conduct of Great Britain towards her American settlements, by which they were at length for ever alienated from the Crown. But, indeed, the whole history of our colonial system, if system it can be called, exhibits a tissue of blunders and crimes. The only use of colonies, according to the politicians and merchants of the last century, was held to consist in the monopoly of their consumption and the carriage of their produce; and to the securing of this object, every consideration has been made to give way. Strictly speaking, the British Government has founded no colonies except penal ones : she has but succeeded to the colonies planted by other nations. The New England and other American Colonies were founded by refugees flying from religious persecution or by private adventurers, with the exception of Georgia, which was first colonized by a philanthropic 'association, but, the experiment failing through complicated mismanagement, the trustees resigned their charter to the crown. Thus, then, the only colony founded by the Government of this country, is that which was intended, not as a refuge for honest poverty, but as a receptacle for persons too dangerous to retain at home,—' a drain for the impurities of the mother country.' The British settlements both in New South Wales and in Van Diemen's Land were originally intended to serve as penal establishments for the reception of convicts, instead of the American plantations. The system of transportation dates as far back as the reign of James I. A.D. 1619; and for a long time, the province of Virginia formed the only authorized outlet for the criminals in Great Britain and Ireland sentenced to transportation. On the separation of the Thirteen Colonies, convicts were sent, by way of experiment, to the western coast of Africa; but the mortality which ensued, led to the almost immediate abandonment of this system. At length, after much deliberation, and some discussion in parliament, it was determined to form a penal settlement at Botany Bay, then recently discovered. The first vessels with convicts arrived there in January 1788. On board of the transports were embarked 600 male and 250 female convicts. Forty women, wives of the marines, together with their children, were also permitted
VOL. XI).-- N.S,
to accompany the military detachment intended to form the garrison. The main objects of the British Government in the formation of the proposed settlement, as expressed by the Legislature, as well as by the leading philanthropists and the public press of the period, are thus stated by Dr. Lang.
• I. To rid the mother country of the intolerable nuisance arising from the daily increasing accumulation of criminals in her jails and houses of correction. II. To afford a suitable place for the safe custody and the punishment of these criminals, as well as for their ultimate and progressive reformation. III. To form a British colony out of those materials which the reformation of these criminals might gradually supply to the Government, in addition to the families of free emigrants who might from time to time be induced to settle in the newly discovered territory.
• These, the reader will doubtless acknowledge, were objects altogether worthy of the enlightened legislature of a great nation. In fact, it was the most interesting and the noblest experiment that had ever been made on the capabilities of man: and if there is “joy in heaven among the angels of God over every one sinner that repenteth,” we may well conceive the deep interest which superior intelligences would naturally feel at the establishment of the penal colony on the coast of New Holland, all insignificant and contemptible as it might appear to the great majority of mankind, and the loud burst of joy with which they would have hailed the tidings of its ultimate success.
Vol. I. pp. 23, 24. If so, the angels must, we fear, have been disappointed; for the attempt to blend together two objects so incompatible as colonization and punishment, has had the issue that might have been anticipated. As Archbishop Whately forcibly remarks, 'a • Colony stocked with worthless vagabonds, is in itself bad, as a
colony. A Penitentiary again, in a young settlement at the « Antipodes is, for many reasons, likely to be, in itself, a bad • Penitentiary.
• But each of them becomes incomparably worse, when they are combined; because, in the most important points, two not only different, but even opposite systems of management will be dictated by a regard for the promotion of this object or of that. And thus, besides the other evils inevitably consequent on the pursuit of incompatible advantages, we might also have anticipated (and experience shews with how much reason, the evil of a course of perpetual vacillation and reiterated change of measures, under different governors, according as each may be inclined to look more to the welfare of the Colony or to the efficiency of Transportation. Each, accordingly, has, to a certain extent, good grounds for censuring and reversing the measures of his predecessor as at variance with part of what are, in truth, the contradictory orders given to all.' Whately, p. 16.
There is reason to doubt, however, whether any distinct pro