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to ascribe it to fear, and manifests a disposition to swell the extravagance of its preten
sions in proportion to our willingness to re
sede from our just fights.
GREAT BRITAIN," **
Parliament was dissolved on the 29th of of September. The greatest part of the elections has since been concluded—in general, without any of those tumultuous proceedings which we apprehended might occur. Even in the open and more populous boroughs, the stream of popularity does not appear to have run veheinently in favour of the more democratic candidates. Considerable pains were taken to inflame the public mind, by the most exaggerated and insidious statements of parliamentary corruption; and a long advertisement of Sir Francis Burdett, which seems intended to give the tone to his party, and to furnish them with convenient topics of declamation at such a crisis, appeared a few days after the disso}ation, which we cannot but consider as libellous, in the proper sense of that word, being both injurious and untrue.
The first article in the long indictment, which Sir Francis Burdett presents against the late Parliament, is, the alleged fact, that Lord Arden is in the possession of a sinecure office, the euoluments of which amount to 38,500l. a year, and which would maintain many poor families. Now, supposing this statement to be true, which it is not, in what respect, we would ask, is the late Parliament to blane for the existence of such an abuse? The patent office held by Lord Arden, that of Register of the Admiralty, has existed for centuries; he himself was possessed of it many years before the late Parliament had an existence; and the profits of it have arisen from a cause that could not well have been anticipated, viz. the state of war in which this country has been placed for the last twenty years. One would imagine, that the late Parliament had created this place; or at least had improvidently bestowed it anew, when it might have regulated or suppressed it. No such thing ; nay, it was this corrupt Parliament which brought the facts of the case to sight; which, with a view to the regulation or suppression of such offices, whenever there should be a fair opportunity, forced Lord Arden to disclose to the public the nature and extent of his emoluments. “It is by means of the "discoveries made by that very Purliament, and published to the world, with a view-to-econajuical reform, that Sir F, has acquired his know
war has been declared, and letters or marque and reprisal issued, by our Government against America. :*
ledge of Lord Arden's place, which he now converts into an engine for degradiug Parr liament in the eyes of the nation. . There is a singular dexterity in thus snatching from Parliament the very weapons of its defence, and employing them for its destruction. , But Sir Francis Burdett roundly affirms, that the emoluments of Lord Arden's office amount to 38,500l. This he learns from a Report of the late House of Commons. But mark the sequel! The very same Report, may, almost the same line of that Report, makes a deduction from this gross suum, of 25,000l. for the expenses of his office, viz. for the numerous clerks and other persons efficiently comployed in transacting the business of it, and for the other necessary charges connected with it; leaving to Lord Arden an income derived from this place of not more than 14,000l. a year. Now is it to be believcd that this state of the case should not have been known to Sir Francis Why, then, did he not represent it truly 2 Is it not then a misrepresentation, to say the least of it, to make the income derived by Lord Arden from his office, 38,500l. a year, when it stands recorded on evidence the most satisfactory, on evidence which Sir Francis cannot dispute, on evidence with which he himself ought to have been acquainted, that it amounted only to 14,000l. 2 The question, at present, is not whether 14,000l. a year be not too much for Lord Arden to enjoy for doing little or nothing, but whether Sir Francis is a man to whose statements implicit credit ought to be given; and whether, in this very statement, exaggeration and intlammation have not been more consulted than truth. “But 14,000l. a year! Why did not Parliament at once put an end to this abuse 2" Parliament has done what it could justly and reasonably be expected to do. It has taken measures for the reform of this office, as soon as the existing interest in it, namely, that of Lord Arden, shall terminate. Sir Francis, however, gives Parliament no credit for this. He would have had an immediate abolition of the place and its profits. But would this have been honest, as between Lord Arden and
bargain, is he at liberty to plead the advantage gained by the other party in bar of the fulfilment of his engagement? When Mr. Palmer, the institutor of mail coaclies, was promised an annual per centage for life, on the improved revenue of the Post-office, would it have been fair, supposing him to have faithfully performed his part of the contract, to have made the largeness of the sum derived from that percentage, a ground for the non-performance of the engagement? The same principle, we apprehend, must govern every similar case: however improvident may have been the bargain, common honesty requires it should be fulfilled; nor can we discover any ground on which Lord Arden can be deprived of his patent office,
of Register of the Admiralty, so long as he shall perform his part of the original contract, which would not go to affect the validity of every pecuniary transaction in private life. We have selected this case of Lord Arden, both as being the first in the long list of charges which Sir Francis Burdett has exhibited against the late corrupt Parliament. and as serving very happily to illustrate the morality of the uew school, by which effect is made of more moment than truth, and considerations of convenience, expediency, &c., are made to supersede the plainest principles of justice. The whole of his advertisement would fairly admit of a similar comment.
Rev. M. Mapletost, Rector of Easington, Cleveland, Yeddingham W. Yorkshire. Rev. Thouas Wingfield, Seaton R. Rutlandshire. Rev. John Tryon, Bulwick R. Northamptonshire, vice Wingfield, resigned. v. George W. M. A. Osmundeston, alias Scole R. Norfolk. Rev. Richard Corfield, M. A. Pitchford R. Shropshire. Rev. William Pugh, Bottisham W. Cambridgeshire. Hon. and Rev. Richard Bruce Stopford, M.A. to a Prebendal stall in St. George's Chapel, Windsor, rice Hallam, deceased. Rev. Werne Peter Littlehales, M.A. to a $. or Prebend of Durham, founded on the collegiate church of Southwell–Hon. and Rev. Thomas A. Harris, M.A. to the Prebend of Osbaldwick, in York Cathed.— Rev. W. W. Childers, M. A. Beford R. York-Rev. Joseph Drury, D. D. to the
Prebend of Dultincot, in Wells Cathedral; —all vice Dr. Jackson, Bishop of Oxford.
Rev. Henry Barry, M. A. Upton Scuda. more R. Wilts, vice Owen, deceased; and to Draycott Cerne R. Wilts, vice Windsor, resigned.
v. Charles Burne, Chaplain to his Ma
jesty's ship Temeraire.
#. James Beresford, M.A. Kibworth Beauchamp R. Leicestershire.
Rev. John Josias Conybeare, M.A. of Christ Church, Professor of Poetry in the University of Oxford, vice Copleston.
Rev. T. Gaisford, Greek Professor in the University of Oxford.
ev. John Joseph Goodenough, M.A.
Head Master of Bristol Free Grammar School, vice Lea, deceased.
Rev. Robert Watkinson, Second Master of the Charter House school.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
A Constant Reaper's Hints on disputed Points, cost us a heavy postage. Pastor; O. P.; J. U.; O. G.; the Sabbath, a Poem; M-n ; CANTAr; B.S.; Kourraw; R. B.; B. B.; P.; Q.; Oassavaton; and Puila Thes; have all been received, and are under consideration. We are much obliged to R. H. S. for his hints, but we cannot help being of opinion, that a good paper loses both in interest and effect by being broken into fragments. We regret the necessity we are under, of postponing much valuable Religious Intelligence.
Mr. Sixson's Annwers to the Remarks made on his Sermons on the iters, will appeat. - - *
[No. 11. Vol. XI.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer.
ON The Low e Of God.
I the concurring experience of all ages has established any fact respecting our common nature more certainly than another, perhaps it is this, that when we desire to induce men to make considerable efforts for the attainment of an ob-, ject, it is wise to engage their feelings as well as to convince their judgment. The principle is so familiar to us that a writer would be thought to trifle with our understandings who should employ any elaborate reasoning to establish or enforce it. Yet it is most certain that a truth, universally received and acted upon in als the common affairs of life, has been beheld with suspicion, and even absolutely rejected by many, when applied to our religious concerns; and the only object of pursuit which can worthily engross all the thoughts and desires and energies of an immortal being, it is imagined may be best secured by suspending the most active principle of his nature. Indeed it is exceedingly remarkable how different is the wisdom of man and the wisdom of his Creator. God has told us that we are fallen, depraved, unworthy beings; and has made the knowledge and confession of this truth the very basis of true religion. But men say, To persuade people that they are wicked is the sure way to make them become so: teach them first to respect themselves, and they will soon feel a pride in being truly respectable.—God has said, “ Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved;” and he has published CHRIST, Obsefiy. No. 13i.
aloud justification by faith to a rebellious and sinful world. Men say, To assure bad men that they shall be pardoned if they will only believe, is to offer a premium for iniquity.—Christ has said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and all thy soul, and all thy mind, and all thy strength; this is the first and great commandment.” Men call the religious exercise of the affections enthusiasm and mysticism ; , and contend strenuously, that it becomes us to offer to our Maker a reasonable service. Here, indeed, we are at last agreed. We, too, are desirous to offer to our Maker a reasonable service ; a service such as his perfections call for, and the nature which he has given us may fitly render. Is it not, then, in the highest degree reasonable to admire and adore Him who is unspeakably excellent;-to overflow with gratitude to Him who has given us life and all its enjoyments; who has blessed us in prosperity, and comforts us in sorrow; who has abounded continually towards us in all long-suffering and . goodness;—to love Him with our whole hearts, who loved us when we were enemies, and has redeemed us to himself even by the blood of his dear Son? If it be reasonable to experience the most unmerited mercies without being affected by them; to receive blessings innumerable without a single emotion of thankfulness; and to contemplate perfect goodness with as much indifference as if . it were an abstract theorem ; then, indeed, the service of the affections is irrational. But if our very instincts tell us, that such a . “pro” is absurd and abomi4. "
nable; if the basest nature can scarcely endure, and the noblest abhors it; we have little reason to fear, that in yielding the whole heart to God we can be justly chargeable with weakness or folly: for how can he attract towards himself any of our affections, without commanding them all ; or with the least colour of equity possess the faintest influence upon our hearts, without reigning triumphant in them * It is a noble saying of Cicero, in the person of one of his philosophical disputants”; Pietas est justitia ergo Deos; “Piety is justice towards God.” If our moral obligations grow out of the condition in which we are placed, surely it is abundantly manifest that to the highest relation must belong the highest duties; that He who has given us every thing we possess, must be entitled to whatever return he will deem acceptable. Those then are greatly in error who think that usefulness and benevolence towards our fellowcreatures form the sum of morality; unless they can prove, what no man certainly is able to prove, that these constitute the only service which can worthily be rendered to our Creator; and I have always thought the modern theory of expediency chiefly objectionable, because it presents the system of social relations so continually, and (to every practical purpose) so exclusively, to our attention, that they occupy the whole sphere of vision. In the darkness of Paganism, indeed, it might be possible to doubt whether a being so sinful and unworthy as man, should presume to approach his Maker with the incense of gratitude and love. But God has himself dispersed that night of shame and bondage. He has called us of his free mercy to the adoption of children in Christ Jesus. What the wisest and best of the heathen world saw darkly and hoped faintly, he has fully revealed and distinctly commanded. He invites, he requires us to love him; * De Natura Deorum.
and this blessed precept, though in the form of an injunction, is, in truth, at once the surest pledge of his reconciliation, the most powerful inducement to holiness, and the consummation of all felicity. The love of God, whatever difficulties may sometimes have been raised respecting it, is surely to an honest heart exceedingly easy of comprehension. It is a natural affection in its highest exercise, and directed towards its noblest object. The human soul is capable indeed of entertaining many sacred feelings. We reverence the majesty of God; we admire his perfections ; we are grateful for his mercies; we have confidence in his goodness. These all are doubtless excellent, and highly acceptable to our Maker. But love is yet more elevated and more perfect. Every other religious sentiment seems but to prepare and lead us up to this. Every other religious sentiment is comprehended in it. It is therefore with great justness that the Apostle pronounces love to be “the fulfilling of the law.” In its exercise towards God, it embraces every devout affection; as, in exercise towards man, it fills the circle of the social duties. The love which we owe to out Redeemer, seems (so far as it is possible for us to have accurate notions on such a subject) to be exotly the same with the love which we owe to God. It is difficult even to separate the idea, though the adorable Persons to whom it is directed are, for purposes the most wise and gracious, presented to us separately in Holy Writ. Whatever is true of either, is true of both. The work of redemption was the work of God in Christ; and Christ is “ over all, God blessed for evermore.” The identity which the Scriptures attribute to God and Christ, both in perfection of nature and the exercise of goodness towards us, is so complete, that the love which that perfection and goodness awaken seems, in like manner, scarcely capable of divsion. So that we seem to be justified in saying, that we must love God with all our hearts, and Christ with all our hearts; that we must love God above all things, and Christ above all things. The metaphysical embarrassment indeed is great, but there is no practical disficulty. However, though it seemed needful to touch upon this point, it becomes us all to think and speak upon it with a modesty suitable to the dignity of the subject and our exceeding weakness. Love is one of the simple affections of our nature; and, as such, necessarily incapable of definition. But God, who knows our blindness, and how ready we are to deceive ourselves, even where the deception Heads directly to our ruin, has most wisely provided that the truth of those feelings, which we profess to cherish towards him, shall be realised by the evidence of our actions. “He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me.” “If a man love me, he will keep my words.” “He that loveth me not, keepeth not my sayings.” These, and similar declarations, are nothing more than authoritative assertions of a fact in itself most incontestible, and constantly assumed in our intercourse with each other. Who does not smile at professions of friendship, which evaporate in empty words? Who does not know instinctively, that it is in the nature of a strong affection to take possession of the man, and be visible in the general tenor of his actions * Would any one think it necessary to believe the most solemn asseverations of attachment which should lead to no practical consequences : God has established exactly the same test of our devotion to him, which we all habitually apply towards each other. And most wisely and graciously is it established; for if the love of him be necessary to our happiness, have we not great reason to be thankful, that the criteria of its reality which he has chosen are such, that even the blind
ness and carelessness of man can scarcely mistake them But though the love of God, wherever it exists, will unquestionably be visible in the fruits of holiness, these fruits, it must be remembered, are only its attendants. Thoughts and actions are proofs of our existence, but they are not existence. And this distinction, though it may seem abstract, is of great practical importance; for man is so little disposed to love a being of perfect purity, that there is a strong disposition in our nature, to evade the first and great commandment, under the notion of complying with it by general obedience. It is not necessary to investigate this error. God has called upon us, to love him. He demands our hearts, without reserve, without equivocation. It is at our peril if we refuse. And oh! what insanity is it to endeavour to escape, by the subtleties of a false casuistry, from that blessed precept which bears with it our highest glory and happiness! The evidence of love is in all the fruits of holiness. Yet there seems to be one quality or temper of mind, which is pointed out, both by the language of the Scriptures, and by the constitution of things, as more peculiarly and inseparably attached to it, spiritual-mindedness; a sister grace of the same blessed family, and hastening to her everlasting home. “ Set your affections on things above; for where your treasure is,” said our heavenly Master, “there will your heart be also.” “Our conversation is in heaven,” said the Apostle, “ from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus.” The same truth is plainly and awsully implied in the following passages: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. He that loveth the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” “ Ye cannot serve two masters; ye cannot serve God and Mammon.” The love of God, where it is sincere, carries the mind above the little vanities of this