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His 'fyttes' of liberalism seem to have, in the estimation of many, a constitutional origin. Cæsar knew the falling sickness. The high churchmen around him often applaud his rotund phrase and fearless challenge in favour of the establishment: it is all that they can wish: yet they feel that it is invariably the harbinger of concession. The metal which is in him (we defend our orthography !) soon cools as well as heats. He can utter sharp rebuke: but, as Moody says of his master, Sir Francis Wronghead, 'He can't haud, he can't haud it."
We only do him the merest credit, when we call him the most disinterested of men. He holds the 'rascal counters' cheap. He is always doing greatly liberal things. He would, we firmly believe, strip himself of his last coin for the mendicant. His benefactions to religion are munificent. He would not crave an archbishopric for its revenues; but he is most ambitious. He is of an unbounded stomach. Nothing he loves so well as to pronounce grave dictates, and to lecture his brethren. He has not yet gained an ecclesiastical step above the beneficed level. He is invested with no pretext to charge. His parish is, however, extensive: a little diocese. The incumbents of its chapelries are independent of him : yet they stand to him, at least, in courteous subordination. He is the chief. With him is the patronage. He must exercise influence. The pulpits open at his claim. Many of his colleagues, if not all, (though only one after another) might be thus superseded. His own clerical staff, another proof of his disregard to money, is always complete. We tremble to think of his weighty tones and devouring words, and lowering brows, if ever venerable' be prefixed to his name, or ever he should deliver himself from a throne. We cannot conceive that he would wear his faculties very meekly. He avows himself the high churchman: why should we except against him, if he would be the highest ?
In private life, all that is amiable and domestic, he has generally commanded the esteem of those who know him best. Uncle Theodore, indeed, only gave him three years before he quarrelled with any friend. This has but partially been veri. fied: he has retained some friends from the first until now. He may be impatient of contradiction, but it is only the effect of that self-reliance which belongs to every active mind. It is understood that he has no scholarship. He is not wanting, nevertheless, in aptitude and facility. He often speaks well, though this is evidently dependent on preparation. He adopts at will the written and the delivered style of preaching. 'Few doctors,' -give him his opinions which, from confusion or some other cause, he could not always give,- preach so well. Solemn in manner, rich in voice, with mellowed composition, with prosodial period,-a countenance, not a worthy frontispiece, lighting up
from natural and forbidding heaviness into life and intelligence,
-few men possess greater elements of oratory or larger means of impression.
His main fault is one we cannot pronounce without offence. We are sorry that truth compels us to cite it. We do not intend, in speaking of it, to convey the moral imputation which very nearly approaches it. It is a sinister method of acting. He is always on his guard. His statements look two ways. He seems to be ever dealing with their possible construction; as if, not knowing the course he may take next minute, he will not bind himself. His phraseology is remarkably loose and dubious. He has talked of nailing his colours to the mast, but he would resemble the wavering colours, rather than the flag-staff from which they flew. He must have 'as large a charter as the wind, to blow on whom he please. He loves not to be bound by others : he will not lock fetters upon himself. We can hardly say that, with all this prudent forethought, he has escaped some painful self-contradiction. His capital blunder is a love of appearing superior to prejudice and party : it is the great snare of his feet. He is constantly smarting for these effusions. He announced himself on his first general introduction at the festal board,-it was spread in honour of her Majesty's accession, to his parishioners, as so candid and unsectarian, that he was good-naturedly called among his friends an ultra-liberal. Some may think that he did not quite act up to this profession, in uniting the different parties under his influence. An early act was to preach at the episcopalian visitation. He entitled his sermon, afterwards published, 'A Call to Union,' logically urging a suspension of hostilities in the duty of every one taking his side; and, on his own privilege, of having his own way, altar, candlesticks, fast stone-tables, piscinæ, and all. Greatly scan. dalized was he that any clergymen should be put up to the vote of a people: he was himself inducted to his cure by the suffrage of twenty-three lay trustees. He pronounced ex-cathedra, 'Hear the Church, a kind of freedom with the sacred text: but Jones, of Nayland, enjoyed the originality of what was so abrupt and curt. He certainly shone in Bill before the Lords,
—there was a concurrent appeal to his people,—for he abandoned all patronage at a moment, and sought the creation of independent vicariats : only at that moment his power to appoint at all was disputed by the purchase, over his head, of the great tithes, and his disposition to do so not a little rendered suspicious by his refusal to sign in favour of an evangelical clergyman, who desired the accomplishment of that act. No one has more entitled himself to be called Prelatist : vet by disobedience and arrogance to his diocesans, none has ever deserved to be regarded more than himself, as mar-prclate. He cau talk
most evenly and radically; he would put away all idea of one clergyman being superior to another, Oh, let us hear no more of it, are we not all equal ?' A few days scarcely close, ere in capacity of 'superior,' he chides and reprimands. He is catholic, to platform, to ethos; he can send word to the Syrian fanatics how free is his tribune to them : he vindicates the BritoPrussian right, rather a pie-bald concordat, to found a new see in Jerusalem, and to supersede the successor of St. James.
My own opinion has long been,' he writes in 1842, 'that no government in this country can succeed in devising a measure for the general education of the people :' in 1846, Voila!
Notwithstanding, we hail him. He is doing service. He has even now caused men to think. He has disarmed himself. His future dint need not be feared. We may penetrate much of his present seeming. We may read some of his motives. We may perceive that he has not quite thrown off himself. Let us do him credit. For his sake we regret that so many of his doublings seem to have respect to passing occasions. He is ever in luck and time. He was not silent and tame when the Mel. bourne ministry was frustrated by the cry against a general edu. cation, to the exclusion of religious tests. Peel has fallen, and never was fall more graceful; and to back him, his reverend admirer raises a cry for general, secularized, education, ere he has quite composed his robe and settled his attitude.
We purpose to consider the question independently of authorship and crisis. Ere we conclude our disquisition, it may be necessary to examine some of the materials and details which the scheme before us embraces,- not for their worth, but because they reveal the animus of the whole.
A national system of education is not now for the first time adduced and argued. We greatly doubt if statesman can of late be found in this country, down to red-tapist underling, who has not in his pigeon-hole some plan of this sort, whose mind, of whatever stamp and type, has not fermented with it. Its idea commands respect. It is the inference of commonly received principles. It diverts attention from doubtful measures. It promises much good. It proclaims enlightened and benevolent consultation. It contrasts with monopoly and war. It seems to mark a new era. Government is supposed to revert to its proper work. There is care for the people. The popular melioration, at last, is projected and sought.
To those who are prepared with well-advised rules and grounds of judgment, these platitudes and plausibilities will offer no attraction. They are brilliant conceits. They can endure no profound analysis of thought: no practical carrying out of application.
In all reasoning, there must be what the Germans call Standpunkt. Our centre of observation, though we would endeavour to command the perfect horizon, some will suspect to be low and diminutive. But we cannot abandon our principles, because they may be decried: they really, and they exclusively, contain the breadth, and give us the elevation, which we need. They are sphere-raised.
Every national system of education, to deserve the name, must coexist with the same territorial area and with the same numerical population. Its apparatus must be organized to this extent. It must be ramified with the nation. We should deprecate all state endowment of education,- all dole and help and pension. Yet that is not the present question. That is legislatively done. It comes as patronage, bonus, premium, aid. We utterly repudiate it; still this is not a system of national training. Whatever is national, can know but the national confines; it must be a universal law and administration. To the question of a national system--not as containing all the truth and all the properness of state-interference, but as the one immediately before us—we restrict ourselves.
Averse from every civil incorporation of Christianity, standing upon this as a rudimental principle, perfect in itself, and guiding to all equally perfect, we stand in doubt of legislative recognition (the only word which our argument will at present permit us to employ) of the educational duty. Let mental discipline be the most disparted from religion, let it be the merest literary scholarship,—when you convert it into law you recognize in it that which is nearest to religion. There may be minds which can keep the ideas distinct, there may not be a case made out for any necessary confusion of them, but the two will soon run into one another. The establishment of religion does now, in the opinion of many, call in consistency for the establishment of education. If it be conceded, an argument is furnished for the religious establishment very tangible, if not quite complete; a strong objection to it is, likewise, quashed. Government has its province, henceforth, in the mind of the people; the moral and intellectual soul is placed under ghostly and civil charge. It will be impossible, as these more and more intermix, to separate them. They must lose their distinction. To preserve them entire, we are sure is impossible. The religion will become educatory, the education will become religious. A compound establishment thus rises up before us, conscience and reason are cast into its dungeons and bound by its chains, responsible and thinking man is immured in its inner crypt and strongest hold, with the gloom of an inquisition and the defiance of a keep. One mighty trust has been surrendered to the state, individual
se, the curriculumasis: the plan must med plan,
prerogative in religion; the power of that state only wants for a perfect tyranny that we betray into its custody the prerogative of mind.
An objection presses upon us, in shaping any plan of national education, which we are anxious to urge at the very first. Groping our way, in the absence of avowed plan,—yet inferring some principles which every plan must adopt, we may assume but one possible basis : the division of the literary from the religious curriculum. More properly representing the necessary case, the school shall be legalized alone. It may be 'supplemented' by religious teaching. But we feel that thus a wrong is done to religion. It is denied all general control and infusion. It is a thing to be kept alone. When taught, it is taught as it may be. It is taught under no sanction derived from the authority, kindness, and persuasiveness of the accustomed instructor. If it be the religious minister of the respective children, they hear him on the sabbath day. When twice again every week he appears before them, for direct indoctrination in Christian truth, we cannot but fear that his task will be irksome. His business will be only religious. Must it not degenerate into formality ? Shut out from the common order of tuition, must it not carry a proscriptive mark? It is staved off: it is under interdiction : silence concerning it for the principal hours is bound in honour, is sworn by oath. To say that this reserve honours its sacredness, is to treat it superstitiously. It asks not this unmixed statuesque : it is a diffusive power. Season every thing with its diffusive influence. Nor do you best approach the youthful heart by exclusive religious doctrine and precept. Blended with lessons, self-educed from facts, how will it commend itself without effort and constraint ! Standing by itself,—all the scholastic motives to excel in it being withdrawn-it will seem to the pupils coldly repulsive. They do not require any adventitious reasons to strengthen the too natural disinclination.
Withal, on the supposed case of a mere secular education to be seconded by a religious department, we may enquire what provision a national system can contain to secure it? It is voluntary or compulsory. If voluntary, it may be attended to or not. The matter could only be left where now it stands. If compulsory, will those Christian pastors, who stand in all their high profession for freedom, submit to an enactment which yokes them to this service? Penalties may not be tried : hire may be proposed. Can they who have flung back each bribe, accept this new one ? Enforced or compensated, it must be as teachers of religion. This is their only vocation. Then are they teachers of religion by the appointment of the state. They are