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by opposite repulsions ;- we cannot say, able. We must therefore bring on a like the fabled stability of Mahommed's crisis, the result of which, issue as it coffin, by attractions.
may, cannot but be more favourable to But this vacillating state of things us than our present condition. If we could not be permanent; and it has hold on till we are fully and unequivolong been evident that the Melbourne cally beaten off by common consent, ministry must either be broken up, or or till our forces are melted away by that it must so modify its policy as to increasing divisions, we cannot hope to secure the cordial aid of one or other regain our post; but if we seize a section of its adversaries. Had its mem. favourable moment for resiguing, we bers been united in opinion among them have a whole chapter of accidents in our selves, the latter course might have favour. Should Sir Robert Peel, as is been feasible ; but their intestine dif. probable, take office, and coalesce with ferences of opinion respecting the most Lord Stanley and Sir J. Graham, who prominent questions of political agita quitted the movement party in disgust, tion_such as the Corn Laws, the and carry with him the general body of Ballot, Popular Suffrage, the Church Church and State Conservatives, he and Church-rates, Ireland, the Colonies, will still have to grapple with so and what not-must have rendered such many perplexing questions, and such a measure impracticable without a dan discordancies of opinion, that do what gerous secession from either the move he may, he must meet with most forment or the anti-movement portion of midable opposition. He will not merely their body.
be assailed by Whigs, Radicals, and To bring matters ostensibly to a test, Chartists ; but in ecclesiastical questhey affirmed, upon occasion of the tions he has repeatedly opposed the House of Lords having adopted Lord conscientious opinions of many of the Roden's motion for an inquiry into most zealous friends of religion and the their policy respecting Ireland, that Church ; and in political, of the extreme they were determined to exist no longer anti-reform party. With the present “ by sufferance;" so that if the House House of Commons, he is in a minority; of Commons did not declare itself in so that it is very doubtful whether he their favour, they would resign office. could work with it; and if he dissolved So far, however, from receiving a decla- it, he could not be sure that the issue ration such as would deliver them from would be so triumphant as to leave no their painful state of " sufferance," had doubt of his stability; for though the only twelve votes been taken from their spirit of Conservatism has spread widely scale and thrown into the opposite, the throughout the land, much of it has balance would have turned against arisen from displeasure at the measures them; and this, notwithstanding their of the present cabinet; and Radicals own votes, and the votes of their re- and Chartists have voted for Tories to tainers and dependents, and of the spite Whigs; but the strength of the O'Connell band, and the cream of the movement parties in most of the Radicals. Such another victory would boroughs is very considerable, and in ruin them; they had a still worse on some overwhelming; and the comthe Jamaica question, and accordingly plexity of questions and parties is so relinquished their posts.
great, that no statesman can now hope The Irish debate having left them to secure a very decided house of reprewhere it found them, in precarious sentatives, as in former days, when “sufferance," and their whole course of some three-fourths of the members policy leading constantly to the same were accustomed to vote with the result, it became necessary for them ministry. But most of all, might the either to bring on a decisive battle, leaders of the cabinet whisper, may we when they could choose their own time rely upon the impossibility of any ad. and ground, or to wait till they were ministration but our own being able to attacked in some perilous position, conduct business without such extenwithout the possibility of escape or sive changes within the palace as would rallying. Their leaders would seem, so be distasteful to the Queen, whom we far as the public can judge from the had the good fortune to get into our concurrence of circumstances, to have hands at the opening of her reign, and argued to the following effect:-With to surround so circumspectly with our the House of Lords against us, with the friends and relatives, that she can only Conservatives in and out of Parliament see through our eyes, and hear through against us ; with Chartists and Radicals our ears. against us; and with most even of our Such might be among the motives of Dissenting and Romanist allies only the Melbourne ministry for urging on partially for us; our sufferance tenure the crisis ; but it seems inconceivable is very uncertain, not to say dishonour that they should have done so without some ulterior plan, in the very probable, of Lords upon the question respectand, we cannot doubt, projected, eventing Irish disturbances, when Lord of their return to office. To re-assume Brougham voted with Lords Lyndhurst their posts merely to live as before, and Roden; and in the House of Comfrom hand to mouth, upon the suf- mons, upon the Jamaica bill, wben some ferance plan - being prevented from of the ultra-Liberalists voted with the falling only, like shuttlecocks, by the ultra-Tories. (We use popular terms opposition of antagonist parties - would for intelligibility; though we extremely be so preposterous a proceeding, that dislike party appellations). But such we can scarcely believe they have a temporising course could not last long, adopted it merely for the sake of up or satisfy any party. Then with regard to holding their royal mistress in her attempting to conciliate the Conservarefusal to accept Sir Robert Peel's pro- tives, the present ministry could never, position relative to the ladies of her with the slightest honesty or decency, household. Supposing, for the sake of devise such a scheme; which would reargument, that parliament and the coun- quire, not only the abandonment of try were unanimously to vote that Sir various cabinet measures, but the ejecRobert Peel's proposition was inadmis. tion from office of a large portion of sible; though this might preclude the their own members, some of whom formation of any other Cabinet, even a have expressed upon various occasions Radical one, it would not add the extreme radical opinions; nor even if slightest strength to the present minis. they were willing to submit to such ters in conducting the business of the tergiversation, would the Conservatives country. They would stand but where condescend to coalesce with them ; they were before the question arose ; while the opposite party would overthey would not have secured a single whelm them with a torrent of popular vote in favour of any of their measures. contempt. The scheme of making overUnless they shall either swamp, or practures to the extreme movement section tically nullify, the House of Lords; and is more plausible; and we are by no also gain far greater strength than they means sure that it is not being attemptnow enjoy in the House of Commons, ed. The meeting of Parliament will they must still exist only by sufferance, probably disclose whether, during the destitute of power to work out any Whitsun holidays, negociations for this fixed plan of national policy. Assur purpose have been in progress ; and if edly they must have devised some 80, with what result. A ministry which scheme to meet this exigency; for they has secured the warm support of Mr. have confessed, by their late resignation, O'Connell and his followers, would not that matters cannot proceed upon the be degraded by holding out lures to the footing on which they stood before the English Radicals ; and, so far as these Whitsun holidays.
are represented in the House of ComWe see but three devices to which mons, there is a plausible basis of union they could bave recourse. The first is in their common wish and interest to to make overtures to some of the mo. prevent the growing strength of the derate Conservatives; the second, to Conservative body. The circumstance offer terms to the extreme movement that Lord John Russell intends to party; the third, to dissolve Parliament, bring on the Education Commission and to appeal to the country, either on question, immediately upon the meeting the basis of their present measures, or of Parliament, seems to indicate that with such modifications of them as they he proposes to throw himself upon the shall deem politic, whether to soften good-will of the anti-Church section of Conservatives or Radicals.
the House ; for no measure now in conIt would be preposterous for us to templation is so strongly and justly deattempt to anticipate which of these nounced and deprecated, not only by courses they will select; or whether, Conservatives, as a political party, but after all, they will still give the suffer by every well-judging friend to religion, ance "plan another trial, trusting to who has not been seduced by the falla. casualties to extricate them from their cious and godless liberalism of scepti. involvement. Before these remarks cal philosophy. The debates on this reach the eyes of our readers, Parlia- question and on the choice of a speaker, ment will have re-assembled, and some will probably show the position in light may have been thrown upon the which the Melbourne Cabinet at present subject. They may endeavour to strug- stand in the House of Commons; but gle on for a time upon the endurance whether they try to continue the sufplan, by avoiding interference with ferance plan, which they themselves measures upon which members of the have denounced as unsatisfactory and extreme parties are likely to unite disreputable; or whether they have against them; as happened in the House devised a union scheme by a treaty of peace with the more politic of their · With regard to the Jamaica Bill, it Radical opponents ; or whether they is too palpable, from the whole history are again forced to resign ; or whether, of the Slave-trade and Slavery contest, when hard pressed, they shall deter as well as the insulting and contumamine to appeal to the nation, proposing cious spirit evinced by the Jamaica their plans, and professing to be cham- mockery of a parliament- the represenpions for the rights of the Queen ; there tatives of some 2,000 constituents out is a duty incumbent upon all who be of a population of more than 300,000 lieve that the best interests of the that the planters having pocketed their country are involved in the preservation large share of the twenty millions so of its invaluable Protestant Constitu lavishly and prematurely paid before tion in Church and State, to resist every the work was done, never intended to measure which appears likely to subvert do it; and were, and are, determined or weaken our great national institu to prevent, if possible, its being done by tions; especially our Ecclesiastical the intervention of England. Whether Establishment. Of such measures, the this rebellious and inprincipled conproposed education scheme is the most duct had proceeded so far that all hope fearfully ominous. It is, however, we of effecting the desired end through the trust, too preposterous to be embraced hostile local legislature, had become by either House of Parliament; and the utterly vain; so that no resource renumerous and respectable petitions mained, but for the sake of justice to against it, show how little favour it re. England, and to the great mass of the ceives from the well-judging portion of people of Jamaica, to suspend the functhe nation. The most zealous advo- tions granted to the representatives of cates for an exclusively secular scheme the fraction, and which were abused to of national education have acknow, evil instead of being used for good, is a ledged the impracticability of carrying question which we must leave practiinto effect any plan which includes reli. cal statesmen to decide, as our knowgious instruction, except in connexion ledge of the particulars of the case is with the National Church; but as they far too scanty to allow of our expressing object to this restriction, they wish with confidence an opinion upon the public education to be altogether secu- subject. The point which we are lar. Yet these very persons approve of anxious for is, that the Emancipation the Government plan; as do the Papists, Act should be fully, fairly, and liberally the political Dissenters, and the general carried into effect. If this can be mass of Radicals and Infidels. And achieved without the extreme measure why, but upon the ground that it breaks proposed by the Melbourne cabinet, the down the principle of a National Church plan proposed was unjustifiable ; and Establishment -as does, also the insi- considering the whole of the circumdious provision in the prison bill for stances, we think that Parliament might appointing chaplains of all hues of theo reasonably judge, without making the logy - and therefore aids their common matter a party question, that it was cause. The Infidel, however, has the better to try at least another effort; best cause to triumph ; for to profess to and if Lord Melbourne's cabinet had not introduce the Bible into the schools, and been determined to find an excuse for yet not to provide that the Socinian, or resigning, in order to embarrass their any other heretical, version of it shall opponents, we cannot see why it should not be used instead of the authorised; not have expressed a willingness to and to propose to collect together withdraw the Bill, and to re-open the teachers of all sects and persuasions to negociation, leaving to Parliament the explain it in their Babel varieties of responsibility, and promising to apply interpretation ; thus making the school again for the required powers, if the a hot-bed of religious controversy; and experiment once more failed.. It seems this under the notion of preventing sec- to us impossible that the Jamaica Bill tarianism; must assuredly prepare the should have been made a cabinet quesground for a rank crop of infidelity in tion, had not there been some device succeeding generations.
connected with ulterior objects. We have not gone into the merits of The circumstances which occasioned the question upon which Lord Mel. the resignation of Sir Robert Peel, inbourne's cabinet resigned ; or of that volve difficulties of we fear no tempowhich prevented Sir Robert Peel's ac. rary duration ; but which may continue cepting office; because it was our wish to embarrass her majesty and succesto confine our remarks to the great sive cabinets throughout her reign, as principles of our national policy, rather often as the state of public affairs leads than to discuss the detail of events. to a change of ministry. Lord Mel. We will, however, add a paragraph on bourne's cabinet had filled the court each of these subjects.
with its own personal and political friends, male and female. In so doing We should be glad, if our limits it acted very much after the manner of allowed, to turn from the turmoil of all preceding administrations ; but it political agitations, to the peaceful fes. had peculiar facilities for effecting its tivals exhibited at the recent anniver. object, having been in office at the saries of the religious and charitable commencement of a new reign; and this societies, which adorn and gladden our under a female sovereign, whose court highly favoured land, and carry the required a different adjustment of do provisions of spiritual life and health to mestic officers from that of a king; and distant nations. But if we begin, moreover a sovereign of tender years, where must we end? We rejoice to who could have no experience of so- learn that, for the most part, they are ciety, and could only, for the most advancing hopefully in their benevolent part, follow the advice of her royal pre- and Christian course, and that God has decessor's confidential servants whom been pleased to bless their labours. she found in office. In the case of a Yet compared in the aggregate with king, however young, this would have the capabilities of this mighty and led to no great embarrassment, as the opulent nation, they are our shame turning out of the chief gentlemen of rather than our glory. What have we state is in the usual course of policy; to boast of that we contribute a few but ladies are not constitutionally re- hundred thousand pounds, to Bible, garded as political officers, and the Missionary, Education, Church-buildQueen's ladies are her companions, and ing, and Pastoral-aid Societies, when, she may naturally form attachments as the Bishop of London stated in his among them, and might feel pain in admirable address at the Temperance losing the presence of those she con- Society meeting, we pay in duties on fided in, and seeing others whom she ardent spirits more than eight millions did not regard. At the same time, it of money, which would build and prois perfectly clear that no administration vide a minister for 1700 churches. We could carry on the public business, or regret to find that the income of the at least feel any confidence in doing so, Church Missionary Society has fallen the near relatives and friends of whose off, though its expenditure has largely political opponents and rivals sur increased. This ought not so to be; rounded the Queen in the daily inter and we trust the friends of the Church course of life; especially in the case of will not be slow in largely increasing a sovereign so young and necessarily the funds ; but taking in the numerous inexperienced as her majesty Victoria, church claims during the last year, we whose natal day is being celebrated feel assured that its members have in while we are writing, and we trust with the aggregate done far more instead of innumerable prayers for her best wel less than usual. The Bible Society is fare and happiness, both in this life in a flourishing condition; we regret and that which is to come. There however to add that some of its old seems to have been some misapprehen enemies are again endeavouring to imsion upon the part of her Majesty as to pede its labours. We may have occathe extent to which Sir Robert Peel sion to notice the subject; for the premight exercise the power, had it sent we only say, with the Bishop of been afforded, of displacing the ladies Calcutta in his recent Charge: “ The around her ; but the extent is a minor praise of the British and Foreign Bible question, as the matter turned upon the Society, in circulating the Holy Scripconcession of the principle. The subject tures in the length and breadth of a lost will probably undergo further discus world, is diffused throughout Christension in Parliament; for some under. dom. It claims now, as it has claimed standing must be come to in regard to from its foundation four and thirty all future proceedings.
years since, my warmest support."
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. EVEN CHAD; T. G.; C. W.; J. H.; A. B.; M.Otis; VERAX; P. A.; A. S. F.;
and BIBLICUS DELVINUS, are under consideration.
THE GOSPEL A DISPENSATION ESSENTIALLY MISSIONARY.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. AT the concluding page of your Number for last month, you state
I as follows: “ We regret to find that the income of the Church Missionary Society has fallen off, though its expenditure has largely increased. This ought not to be ; and we trust the friends of the Church will not be slow in largely increasing the funds; but taking in the numerous church claims during the last year, we feel assured that its members have in the aggregate done far more instead of less than usual.” “ But compared in the aggregate with the capabilities of this mighty and opulent nation, our religious charities are our shame rather than our glory. What have we to boast of that we contribute a few hundred thousand pounds, to Bible, Missionary, Education, Church-building, and Pastorial-aid Societies, when, as the Bishop of London stated in his admirable address at the Temperance Society meeting, we pay annually in duties on ardent spirits more than eight millions of money, which would build and provide a minister for 1700 churches."
Every Christian mind must feel regret when the resources of any useful and well-conducted religious institution, especially a missionary Society, are diminished, and its valuable efforts crippled ; and the members of the united Church of England and Ireland must peculiarly lament that any defalcation should have occurred in the case of a Society so peculiarly dear to them, both generally and specially, as the one you mention. I would not reject the partial consolation to be derived from the fact, that our church has not been, upon the whole, less, but more, abundant in labours than heretofore ; and that if the funds of the Church Missionary Society have declined, they have not been lost, but only been diverted by the pressure of other important claims; whether at home, by building churches and schools, and providing, clergymen and schoolmasters for them, and widening the sphere of pastoral efficiency; or abroad, by aiding the efforts of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in our much-neglected colonies, and listening to some of the many urgent claims upon Christian philanthropy which are pouring in from various parts of the world. Neither would I forego the hope which you express, that the friends of the Church Missionary Society will not be slow in largely increasing its · Christ. OBSERV. No. 19.
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