« FöregåendeFortsätt »
countries. Be it also especially remembered, that the voluntary co-operation of Hungary can alone extricate Austria from her state of absolute dependence on Russia; whereas it is clear to all who are acquainted with the character of that country, that no reliance can be placed on such co-operation until its ancient independence shall be restored.
Let those, therefore, who are entitled to proffer their counsel to the government of a State, to the preservation of which they have made the sacrifice of the principle of non-intervention, exert all their influence in favour of international rights, and of the ancient independence of Hungary. Not only does generosity demand, but prudence also prescribes, such a course.
We trust that Austria, and those who, after her example, suffering themselves to be dazzled by the array of bayonets just now at her disposal, are for ever talking of the power of that country, may become convinced, before too late, that Austria can never be powerful until she is able to reckon upon the voluntary support of Hungary, and that the sole means of obtaining this support is to restore to that nation its ancient independence without reserve and in good faith. The attachment of a people resembles the books of the Roman Sybil—it is purchased at a price increasing in proportion as its value diminishes. To grant, therefore, at the right time, and with a good grace, those rights which she might one day be forced to yield, would be the best policy for Austria, and the only means of effectually and really conciliating Hungary.
We should consider it a breach of sincerity, were we, in imitation of the venal journals of Austria, to say that the Austrian Dynasty could now, as formerly, reckon upon the attachment of the Hungarian nation. Austria has lost the affection of that people, and with good reason; but there still remains a motive of interest to secure the sincere co-operation of a nation, sufficiently reflective to make her revenge and griefs give way to her interests. Let Hungarians regain their historical independ. ence, of which a heedless ministry have resolved to despoil them-give them back their country, and they will recover their patriotism. And this is as much the interest of Europe, as that of Austria or Hungary; for the existence of Austria can be an advantage to the other Powers, only as a balance to the power of Russia ; but so long as her system is based on the suppression of the independence of Hungary, she will never occupy that position.
The incorporation of Hungary is as yet only upon paper; since the termination of the war, every day has increased the difficulties of the Government, and the conviction of all the nationalities and all parties in the empire, that they must necessarily choose between centralization and liberty, which cannot
The Austrian Government still hesitates; perhaps, the counsels of those who, during the events of 1848-49, gave incontestable proofs of their desire to preserve the empire of Austria, might decide that Power to desist from a system which will infallibly lead to her ruin. If not, if the Austrian Government is decided on continuing its present policy, and running all hazards, there remains only one means of securing the rest of Europe against the consequences of such a fatal system,-namely, to announce and to follow out the policy which, if pursued in the past would have prevented so many dangers to Europe, and which was expressed by Guizot in 1833, in the debates on the affairs of the East, in the following words :Maintenir l’Empire Ottomane, pour le maintien de l'équilibre Européen, et quand par la force des choses, par la marche naturelle des faits, quelque demembrement s'opère, quelque province se detache, favoriser la conversion de cette province en état independant, qui prenne place dans la coalition des états, et serve un jour, sous sa nouvelle situation au nouvel équilibre Européen.'
Apply these words to Austria, and we see at once the policy which has to be followed toward that Power, unless the future destinies of Europe be abandoned to the chances of revolution. Let those who have the power to avert the evil, and who neglect to do so, reflect upon the responsibility which rests on them.
Sermons. By Joseph Sortain, A.B., of Trinity College, Dublin. THESE sermons, though possessed of some merit, are, on the whole, not very much to our taste; particularly the brief preface-not because it is brief, for that is to our taste, but because it is so personal in its character, and so truly of the nature of a private diary of experience, that the feelings expressed do not belong to, and ought not, in our opinion, to become, the property of the public, Mr. Sortain is grieved that he could not produce better sermons, and begs forgiveness of his Master. We were tempted on reading this to ask, Was he compelled to publish, or required to publish, just these discourses? But we forbear.
Of the volume itself, it is our desire to speak with becoming respect, considering the station of the preacher, and the usefulness which we trust has attended his ministry; and yet we cannot estimate them so highly as could be wished-for, though they might possibly have been fit to preach to a very particular kind of audience, or to be read by a similar class of readers, we cannot think them adapted to accomplish any great end, or to acquire a lasting popularity. They have been written with much care and attention to the rhythm of sentences and the collocation of words. They display considerable ingenuity, are not deficient in manifest feeling, and, with few exceptions, are, perhaps, not wanting in correctness of theological sentiment, though something more of evangelical matter might have been advantageously infused into them. Still, we have no special fault to find in this respect; and are willing to make large allowances for the peculiarities of different minds in unfolding their conceptions of scriptural truth.
The topics chosen are not in general common place, nor are they discussed in a common-place manner. On the contrary, in the construction of the sermons there is considerable ingenuity. We like best the first of the series, on the parable of the Pharisee and Publican; and worst of what we have read (for we will not profess to have read all), the metaphysics of the discourses on the influence of the Spirit in prayer. There are some things, of which this subject is one, that seem to lie beyond the sphere of a full and satisfactory explanation, till we ascend to the regions of perfect light—if, indeed, it will even then be given us to penetrate these mysteries of the Divine government. In the pulpit, at least, these themes should be treated with extreme judgment, and presented chiefly in the way of a plain statement of what the Scriptures actually declare, and what are the duties arising, or the consolations to be derived, from the facts or principles revealed.
Mr. Sortain does not allow himself sufficient space for the exercise of his powers; but, by a needless contraction of his subject within certain limits, compels himself to be superficial. Ministers are often found fault with for being too long; we reverse the charge, and say, both in preaching and printing, Mr. Sortain is too short.
But our gravest objection lies against the frequent want of clear, intelligible statement, arising in part from an aim to be philosophical ; and in part from a degree of affectation in the use of uncommon, and often unauthorized words and phrases. What should be a primary aim of the preacher, but to be understood—that he may be instructive and useful ? At what should he supremely aim, but that the common people should hear him gladly?' Now, we should like to know what they could make, for instance, of the following statement, which but a specimen taken from the mass :- It seems to us so sadly strange, and, if we may use the word, so miserably unphilosophical, to admit the idea of power at all—an idea which we cannot ignore, do what we will-in the physical world, and at the same time to exclude it from the region of moral life. It is true that, in our most scrutinizing analysis of material sequences, we never have detected anything distinct from their proximate antecedents. Nevertheless, we cannot dispossess ourselves of the idea of power, which, as a divine force, passing through the entire series, is but faintly illustrated by a magnetic current. Our psychological inquiries bring us face to face with the fact, that man's purely spiritual will can become an antecedent to a purely material sequent.' To avoid being superficial, it might be well to study Barrow; and to be sure of being intelligible, it would be bene. ficial to peruse the pages of Addison.
Tracts of the British Anti-state-church Association. New Series. Nos.
1 to 5. Tracts for the Million. New Series. Nos. 1 to 13. The increasing energy with which the Anti-state-church Association has conducted its platform operations, has afforded most conspicuous evidence of the practical value of the organization. Through the press it has perhaps spoken less effectively; but the appearance of the above batch of new tracts, better suited, we think, for popular reading than some which have preceded them, may be regarded as an earnest of future efforts by which past deficiencies will be met.
No. 1— Church Property in England and Wales '-affords a great deal of much-wanted information on a subject of practical importance, its object being to determine, as nearly as circumstances will allow, the actual amount of the ecclesiastical revenues of the country, and to indicate the various sources from which they are derived.'
Great care has evidently been bestowed upon it. No. 2—"" It's the Law;" or, the Churchman's Defence of Church-Rates Examined'-meets the advocates of church-rates on that ground which, almost to a man, they are found to occupy, and which they seem to think is quite firm beneath their feet.' It is a curious collection of the many obligations which church wardens and clergymen solemnly take upon themselves by oath, and which they systematically disregard. No. 3— The Church in Chains '-is the contribution of a State-church minister, being an enumeration of a number of cases in which the clergy have been obliged to violate their consciences in the use of the burial service, extracted from a pamphlet bearing the title given to the tract. Of course the moral is supplied by the Association.
No. 4—'Address to Members of the Church of England ;' No. 5– ‘Address to the Wesleyan Methodists of Great Britain and Ireland.' These two addresses were adopted by the recent Conference, and each is excellent of its kind. The first is a calm review of recent occurrences in the Establishment, suited to conscientious men within its pale, who are not altogether blinded by bigotry and ignorance. The second appeals to Wesleyans, in pointed and animated terms, to join a movement for the removal of a system especially hostile to their religions activities. It should be well circulated among the reforming members of the body.
Of the Tracts for the Million,' No. 1 is · The Anti-state-church Movement-its Design and Tendency,' which, in the form of a dialogue, and in simple and perspicuous terms, explains both what voluntaries
wish and disavow. No. 2— Plain Words to Perplexed Churchmen'is a sign of the times, it consisting mainly of extracts from a Puseyite tract for • Plain Englishmen,' in which Anti-state-church principles are, however partially, inculcated with great force ; what is wanting in the text being suitably supplied in the comment. No. 3—' A SideView of the State Church'-gives the sum expended on the Tithe Commission, by which the clergy have obtained larger incomes, and an improved tenure, chiefly at the cost of the poor.'
No. 4–6“ Political Dissenters :" the Cry Examined'-is a spirited protest against a principle, the advocates of which are now far less numerous than formerly. No. 5— Who constitute the National Church ?" is a brief but conclusive argument, proving the right of the people to revenues now enjoyed by the Church. No. 6—A Clergyman's Reasons for leaving the Establishment—is a compilation from Mr. Dodson's honestly written pamphlet. No. 7- The State Church not the Cause of England's Greatness-is a short appeal to history and to common sense in relation to one of the many pretexts put forward in behalf of the Establishment.
No. 8—Questions to Churchmen about Church Rates '—presses the argumentum ad hominem with considerable force, and could scarcely fail to convince, if other elements than those of sound logic did not enter into the case. No. 9— Plain Questions Plainly Answered'supplies, in brief compass, a clear exposition of the views of Anti-stateChurchmen, and a vindication of their reasonableness. Its attentive perusal will remove many misconceptions.
No. 10—A Model Law'-is the act for establishing religious freedom, passed by the Assembly of Virginia in 1776. It is a brief but compendious epitome of principles, expressed in nervous and dignified style, and is an historical document of some value as a practical adoption of what our liberal statesmen are wont to regard as 'an abstraction.'
No. 11-'A Question that Concerns Everybody'-presses on the judgment and conscience an inquiry of the greatest moment, in the practical solution of which Churchmen and Dissenters are alike interested. No. 12— Ought there to be a State-Church? '-gires twelve reasons in support of a negative reply, and should be read by all classes.
No. 13– The Union of Church and State '-is a useful summary (from Mr. Noel's · Essay ') of the evils connected with the union, and the advantages likely to flow from its dissolution.
We observe that the last five of these tracts are also published as handbills, or placards, and that the Model Law' is handsomely printed and mounted, to be suspended from the walls of such as may desire to make all comers acquainted with such a manifesto of their principles. We have specified the contents of each of the tracts, in the hope that Anti-state-Churchmen will be induced to push them into circulation by all available means. Instructive, pointed, lucid, and earnest, they can hardly fail to produce impression on the minds of a thoughtful reader.