Sidor som bilder
[ocr errors]

since zezes - free any immoral propensity, and is attended

spriests resurrection and a future state of retribution, as scried a the Gospel

Vitosti te infervace which might be fairly drawn frs Dele cucian of faith, that these were the only pude e le sue a certainty attainable, we have reaSex bs ke dd Dot terminate here. In a subse

: ko te the Date of Grafton, who thought himself Du me arus perdas the fullest exposition of his sentie mii de Dore striking, is some respects, as being

ASXsaa, sitbough it is very far from being satisfr.

sve veze saved by gloomy apprehensions of death, nen masse sise, even in death, preserve us?

TVR aire (cpeither you por I can, I trust,

IR v N Nuute s: the hunan race, in falling from erNetzeare of God. Are we not assured, 2.2 Gir surea in its fallen state—that world 1.Gİ STR. 2 Rut, meresat 3 a mass of corruption vitis'. PRETH as Sie beröre its existence, to everlasting, HE IS Aut pezent,) that he gave his only "are sent ce bo be ieveth in him may not perish

. ' & MANN o persee the subject further. Bishop

Na vs WE * wll dear, a liberal may, and a candid maa. . ut sa intestices and of unaffected siöcerity. his linii sis were, in part the effect of indecision of me wie S grounded on false reasoning, RAME RY me sis to add, igaorance of religion. His *** s nastavna biasli, conveys the idea of a ma**. I. Niserer si to arrive at the knowledge * FRI, ARRIT tiare he was a teacher of others, la NR1 raw is the first principles of the As long x erea si de clase of life had be got Aries who ER AN u reproving the Hebrews, ranks A very stati tra ise resuitzetion of the dead."

Nei Niken fron the rise and prudent! * RIWR marre beauur one of another, as. ***R e dei The Raid, bar they have entered the school

The Canisty is to transmigrate A

sua Hin Pinsir: and notbing should **** *t minder as muc Ai the period of his apSpring, De toer, by his own con

van reitill reasonably be expected PURE & trek aan had been directed to, and ***v vine de verre end in otier pursuits! But

za startaded his care', and ia pre-* * Share And we sure cookidence of success,

[ocr errors]

in which he had successively engaged in the study of the Greek and Roman classics, had sought for fame in mathematical know

ledge', and, during seven years, had immersed himself in the pursuit of cheinical discovery, he entered upon the study of theology, to qualify himself for the office to which the unanimous voice of the University bad raised him. In this new pursuit, however, he soon feit himself strangely baffled: that persevering attention which had enabled him to penetrate the arcana of science, and to conduct the most abstruse process of mathematical reasoning, here seemed to be of no avail. At the very threshold of the Temple he stood repelled and bewildered, as if unable to discover the entrance. The first measure he adopted, was, indeed, a wise one. He knew that if there was such a thing as theological science, it must rest upon the certainty of fact, that facts must form the principles of the science, and that these facts were to be sought for only in the Holy Scriptures. In discarding, therefore, all the speculations of uninspired human wisdom, he acted the part of a philosopher: these he knew, had no pretensions to certainty, and could be of no use to lim, as materials, in arranging a system of theology that should deserve the name of science.

But when he proceeded to investigate the Bible for himself, it was inevitable for him to perceive, that an order of facts are there alluded to, relative to the moral condition of man and the state of the heart, which had no existence in his own consciousness, and the appropriate evidence of which was derivable from no other source. To a man who had too much good sense and honesty to get rid of a plain text by a false gloss, or an improved reading, there are several declarations of the kind we allude to, which must have tended very much to repress the confidence with which he set out on the inquiry. What, for instance, could be more embarrassing to a mind not conscious of having undergone the spiritual change they describe, nor dissatisfied with its own righteousness, than to read, that “ Christ came not to call the

righteous, but sinners to repentance ;" that “ the whole need " not the physician ;” that “except a man be born again, he

Cannot see the kingdom of heaven;" that “the natural man perceiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, neither

can be know them :" positions which evidently intimate, that a peculiar state of heart is absolutely indispensable as a pre-requisite to the right understanding of the Gospel. The doctrine of religious conversion would be, to such a man, far more unintelligible and mysterious, than the Incarnation, or than Predestination itself, the more so, as the appropriate evidence of its truth consists, in part, in its accordance with experience. With this species of internal testimony, which, in the affairs of life, is held to be a legitimate source of evidence, a solid basis of certainty, our Professor bad little or no ac

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


quaintance; and since all knowledge rests upon evidence, from this imperfection in the foundation resulted a corresponding deficiency in the superstructure; and he must have felt as he confesses he felt on some other points: 'I bave read voluines

on the subject, but I know nothing.' Nor were these the only class of facts which must have appeared enveloped in mysterious darkness, owing to his not being in possession of the clew to discovery. The harmony of the various parts of the Christian system, its adaptation, as a scheme of recovery, to the actual condition of human nature, the moral necessity of the revealed expedient for reconciling the world to its Maker, and the ilJustrations which the Gospel exhibits of the Divine perfections, which altogether form a body of internal evidence most satisfying to the believer, were considerations in bis mind of little force, since he had not learned the first principles, by the help of which alone he could work the problem. With regard to those truths which could not have been known had they not been revealed, fuith in the Divine testimony is the only means of knocledge, because that testimony is the only possible evidence of their truth. We feel warranted by our Author's confession, in saying, that lie was disqualified by his habits of mind, for the perception of this species of evidence; he was not in a moral condition to submit to the witness of God, as the law of belief; and hence arose his complaint, that in theology he did not meet with that certainty which accompanies mathematical reasonings ; a complaint which a habit of prayer, and a meek dependence on the illumination of Divine teaching,-which, in other words, an experimental insight into the spiritual nature of religion, and of the facts on which its doctrines rest, would most assuredly have obviated. “If any “ of you lack wisdom," says St. James, “ let him ask of God. “ But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering." For with regard to a man of this description, it is added, “ Let him not " think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double“ minded man is unstable in all his ways.” To be assailed with doubts, sometimes of the most painful description, is the trial of many a sincere believer ; but that state of total hesitancy, in which the Bishop confesses that he remained through life, is chargeable, not on any deficiency in the evidence with which Christianity is accompanied, but on causes which had their existence in bis own temper and character. “If any man among you “ seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool that si be may be wise.” “ This is a hard, saying" to Regius Professors, and Heads of Colleges : “ Who can hear it?" .

The Anecdotes relating to Bishop Watson's political life, will occupy the remainder of this Article.

(To be concluded in the next Number.)

[ocr errors]

Art. II. An Inquiry into the Abuses of the Chartered Schools in Ire

land: with Remarks on the Education of the Lower Classes in that Country. Second Edition. 8vo. pp. 206. Price 68. Lon

don. 1818. WE

E bave scarcely ever called the attention of our readers to

a subject of more awakening interest, than is that of the volume before us. Ireland, the younger sister of the British empire, which has every capability of being rendered our strength and our glory, and which ought, upon every principle of reason and right, to have been made to bless the day of its union with this country, has been for ages our perplexity and reproach. With a rarely failing punctuality we have acted up to Franklin's picture of our politico-national character: "I have but one rule to go by in judging of those people, which is, that

whatever is prudent for them to do, they will omit; and what his most imprudent to be done, they will do it.'

It would seem as if Ireland had been the field of experiment, for the agency of weakness and wickedness in the cultivation of crimes and miseries. Overwhelming proofs of this are adduced in the present work. A system of education for Ireland, pretending to be national, and supported by an annual grant from our taxes of forty thousand pounds, in addition to an income of twenty thousand a year from vested property, -is, in fact, a perfidious mockery of the public, a frand on the Government, an insult to England, and a curse to Ireland! This may seem extravagant language ; but it is fully borne out by the facts of which we have here a melancholy detail, supported by official papers.

From the signature of the Dedication to the Committee of the House of Cominons on the Education of the Poor, we find that the Author is Dir. Robert Steven, a gentleman well known among the body of London merchants, for bis probity, benevolence, and public spirit. We are sure that he has volunteered this service to humanity and patriotism, and has taken upon him the deep responsibility of his averments, without the slightest personal interest or influence of connexions, and from no earthly motive but the love of virtue, and the hope of serving the best interests of our sister island. We cordially wish him success in this generous work ; and most devoutly we trust that the grief and indignation which this exposure will raise in every honest mind, will rise to the proper quarter, and lead to a remedy of the crying evil.

From the time of Elizabeth to that of George I. a variety of methods were employed by Government, for improving the condition of the Irish, and for promoting the Protestant religion among them. Had these methods been the device of an enemy, in order to counteract in the most effectual manner their avowed purpose, we sbould say that they were well colt

[ocr errors]

trived. Of these Afr. S. gives us some brief notices, before he arrives at his principal subject.

• From the reign of Henry the Eighth it became a favourite object with the English Government, to eradicate the Irish language. The statesmen of that day, and even of later times, did not under. stand, that the destruction of a living language by force, even of a conquered country, could only be effected by the extermination of the people.

• Every attempt served only to attach them more fondly to the language of their forefathers, and induced them to cling with more enthusiastic affection to the last relic of their ancient independence. About the year 1537, a law was passed, to render general the use of the English language, babit, and order. English schools were to be opened, and the children compelled to learn that foreign tongue, The road to spiritual preferment was confined to those who c:uld speak English. As might have been expected, the English language made little way. What was done by the Government in the way of cducation was more from political mojivcs, than any wish for the moral im, provement of the people. Accustomed to consider the existence of the Irish language as hostile to the interests of England, they carried their antipathy so far as to order, that when no n:inister could be found capable of reading the Liturgy in English, it should be read in Latin.

Who can look back on the condition of Ireland at that time, without the deepest regret ? Several millions of our fellow-subjects, age after age, shut up in the grossest ignorance and sup •rstition ! No Protestant ministers, no Protestant schoolmasters, who could instruct them in their own language, were provided for them. Thus they were left to the devious impulse of an untutored mind, the influence of the priest became doubly augmented, whilst that of the Protestant teacher was proportionabiy diminished. In proof of this, I need only state, that those counties which are properly Irish, where the English is rarely spoken. are considered as consisting chiefly of Catholics. There the proportion of Protestants is very small.

• Had the Highlands of Scotland been treated in a similar manner; had the same mistaken policy obtained there; had Protestant ministers refused to instruct the people in their own language, and had the Gaelic been confined to the missionaries of Rome ; wno, that is acquainted with the Highland character, does not perceive what would have been the consequence? Happily for Caledonia, her sons, in their own tongue, wherein they were born, have heard their instructors declare the wonderful works of God. pp. 2–4.

· The Chartered Schools originated in the year 1733, when King George the Second incorporated by charter a Society for the encou-ragement of Protestant Schools throughout Ireland. The professed object was to put down Popery, and extend the Protestant rigion ; but its actual operation went to the kidnapping of children of Catholics above six years of age, and afterwards at the age of two years, and removing them from their parents to the distant provinces of the king, dom, the better to prevent all communications with their relations." p. 7.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »