Page images
PDF
EPUB

1

ders; for it is truly lamentable, that the presumptuous habit of referring to Divine interposition the success of any measure, in support of which, popular frenzy is to be excited, should have received seeming encouragement from venerable authority The phenomenon of the Bible Society's success is, as Mr. F. observes, so far from attording any justification of this language, that a siinple statement of “notorious matters of fact" will ex. plain it, and show, that “the real wonder would have been if the Society had been at all less prosperous than it is.”. Witla this statement, admirably drawn up, he furuishes us, and we give it in bis ein words. --

“ All possible varieties of religious sect and persuasion, however openly or covertly hostile to each other, have discovered one point, in which all can, for a time, co-operate, and be, ostensibly at least, of one heart and one mind. While this unanimity lasts, such a coalition, simply in itself, and without any circumstances auxiliary, must, of necessity, acquire more extensive popularity, and receive ampler contributions, than any one which is partially, however, liberally supportedl,

“ The unequalled, and before un attempted, activity of the zealous supporters of this institution, is a circumstance powerfully promoting its success. Every where and at all times, alive, awake, and alert in its interests ; by themselves, their agents, and subagents, they are instant in season and out of season;' strengthening its phalanx and marshalling its auxiliaries, training its branches, engrafting its cions, leading its very tendrils in every possible direction, till it literally fills the land; canvassing and ransacking every part of society, from the top of the scale to the bottom; catching every contribution, that can be got by solicitation, by suggestion, by management, by influence, from the talent of the prince, down to the pauper's mite; deeming nothing too high ro aim at, nothing too mean to accept ; and sweeping all together into one vast aggregate.” P. €6.

The last passage in the speech of the Bishop, which calls forub Mr. F.'s animadversions is, perhaps, the most extraordinary one ever attributed to such a speaker. We learn from him, that it is a " repetition literally exace” of a declaration published the preceding year under the assumed sanction of the same autliurity. Mr. F. makes several atteinpts to give it an inoffensive meaning; but after all, the premeditated prostration of the Chureh Establishment at the feet of the Bible Society cannot be got rid of, and we are left “ to lament” with him, " that any language purporting to have been used by one of the Fathers of the Church should, at once, be so mortifying to her friends and so Hattering to ber enemies," and that the sois of confusion should be suitered to avail themselves of such high authority, for recon

[ocr errors]

ciling the unthinking part of the community to that state of things, when, as Mr. F. well describes it,

Every individual will be his own priest and his own preacher: when the Bible in his hand will be his church, his pulpit, and his altar; and the whole Christian world (as long as it continues Christian) will be one vast Babel of heterogeneous doctrines."

In concluding our remarks upon this able Pamphlet, there is one part of it of an apologetical nature, intended to protect its anthor from the imputation of officiousness or of other unworthy motives, which appears to us rather unnecessary, and which we observe upou, because it proceeds from a feeling which we fear has prevented the exposure of much of the trick and contrivance of Auxiliary agents in remote places, which it would have been very advantageous to the public to know. Undoubtedly, such men as Mr. F. describes himself to be, (xar' Boxin, a private clergyman,) may be supposed to emerge from their « obscurity and seclusion" with considerable diffidence, to face the public on questions much agitated by practiced and wellknown writers: but in cases like the present such persons are the very men to come forward. Multitudes are gained by local activity and manoeuvring, to whom general discussion never finds its way, and to whom no particular caution is addressed. The proper person to undeceive this numerous class in the community is a private respectable man, of good sense, sound judgment, competent knowledge, and right principles among themselves. Speaking unostentatiously through the provincial press he will be heard, and with attention too, in his own district. commendation therefore is, that “ this defensive warfare" be carried on, in future, in “affairs of posts," rather than in general engagements. We augur well of tbem. · We hope to hear of them in all directions ;-till those marauding invaders,—the resuscitated mendicant orders of the last and worst period of Papal corruption, are no longer able, “ by their good words and fair speeches, to deceive the hiearts of the simple.”

The Pamphlet next in order--the first reply which Mr. Forby's Letter produced, is au anonymous one, and of a mixed character; for in different parts of it we are distinctly told, that upon the subject of Church Missions and Bible Societies, the author has the honour to think with Mr. Forby; that he “ado mits* the justice and excellency of Mr. F.'s remarks on the nature of Missions, and thinks he has well and ably shown, “that Chris. tianity was not intended for savage man;" that his “arguments are such as may profitably be recommended to all who have not made up their minds as to the utility of Church Missionary Asso. ciations;" and that he also "perfectly accords with him in opinion

respecting

Our re

[ocr errors]

a

a

[ocr errors]

respecting the means by which Bible Societies have been enabled to take such strong hold on the affections of the public.” But Mr. Forby is not merely indebted to his respondent for a detailed confirmation of his own sentiments on the important points in debate, and of tire force of argument by which tre supports them, the confirmation extends to the judgment passed by Mr. F. upon both the Speeches, which are the subject of his animadversions ; of the former of which, our author “ confesses,” that “it is a speech, the sentiments of which he cannot bring himself to approve;" and of the latter, that he thinks it “ more indefensible”. than the forıner, which declaration he proceeds to support by enumerating its many untenable positions.

Thus far then Mr. F. finds in his adversary a very abłe advom cate, we now turn to the cause he is professedly maintaining, aud shall set before our readers the nature of his defence. He states his belief, that “ of the genuineness of the Speeches there is no doubt,” and though it gives us great pain to see sich a statement, yet most certainly a persuasion of their_gemuineness cair alone account for an attempt at vindication. This is contained in several short passages dispersed through the pamphlet, and is to the following effect; that on the occasions in question," he (the Bishop) is to be considered merely as a popular orator, and speaking from the warm and impassioned enthusiasm of the moment,--a moment certainly not the most friendly to the origination of calm and correct sentiment;" that " it is not expected of a public speaker to be perfectly accurate in points confessedly im. material;"

;" « that the speech in question was merely a popular address to an anomalous and popular assembly; and not therefore to be subjected to too severe a scrutiny; without recollecting how much others, in equally exalted stations, have, in the opinion of those who differ from them, committed themselves upon this propitious subject;" that “this opinion happens to have been unguardedly expressed, (no uncommon thing in a promiscuous and popular assembly) or incorrectly given, or perhaps not worded in the clearest manner, and but little

divested of its obscurity in the subsequent report;" and lastly, that “ the aforesaid passage, though neither a definition of Dr. Paley's not a definition at all, perhaps for mere popular purposes may come near enough to both.” After all, however, our author seems to give up as hopeless this part of the task he has undertaken, for he closes his defensive labours, with "most sincerely lamenting, that ihe Bishop's speeches should have been so loosely and unguardedly worded as to subject his Lordship to a remona strance, at once insulting in its language, petulant in its invertives, and coarse in its application; and that any sentiments should have escaped such a Prelate as to call forth the unbe

[ocr errors]

а

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

coming bitterness of such an adversary." To which lamentation, as far as it respects the Bishop, we most cordially say, Amen, as we do also to the “ firm belief” which we meet with a few pages afterwards, " that he will eventually find himself in an error respecting the nature of some of his present connections," and in the “ fervent. hope, that he may see the things which belong unto his peace and to the security of the Church, of which, by Iris mildness and tolerance he is certainly an omament, whether by his opinions lie be a bulwark or not, be!ore it be too late.”

We now come to that part of the letter directly levelled at Mr. Forby, and as its writer has admitted that the speeches are " indefensible, and that the positions and arguments advanced against them are sound and good, the manner of couducting the attack is evidently the only point which he has himself left open to reprehension, and to this poiut it is that he directs all his hostility, pouring forth upon Mr. F. and his production every term of opprobrium that can be named, and endeavouring, by a continual contrast of the stile of address with the public station and amiable private virtues of the Bishop, to make Mr. F. an object of general reprobation.

We proceed to Mr. Glover's reply, which commences with a position to which we cordially subscribe, addressing Mr. F.

he says,

« As a public remonstrance from a clergyman to his diocesan you will fully agree with me in the reason I had to look for some strong and imperious ground to be established by it, upon which not merely its expediency but its paramount necessity should rest, because without this it not only loses its value, but it becomes, to use your own emphatic langaage, an act of arrogance, irreverence, ,

, and indecorum ;' it tends to the subversion of that discipline which forms so fair a feature of our Church Establishment, it contributes to throw down the walls of our Sion, and to let in the beasts from the forest, and the wild boar from the wood, to revel in her vineyard,

In nostros fabricata est Machina muros.'" Of course he does not see this “ paramount necessity," aud therefore pronouncing Mr. F.'s scepticism as to the authenticity of the speeches“ a flimsy subterfuge," and his distinction between

a the duly attested and unaccredited judgment of his diocesan, a vain conceit, le pleases himself with the idea that he has made sliort work with Mr. F. in a point upon which it is evideutly very near his heart to remain invulnerable, and declares himself convicted of a breach of that respectful forbearance,' which he sv) strongly impresses upon his readers in the very front of liis publication."

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

« This distant skirmishing about outposts," as Mr. Glover designates it, continues througla eleven pages, in which the same sort of contrast between the personal amiabilities of the Bishop, and the “ unhappy moods" of Mr. Forby, which formed the substance of the former pamphlet, is shifted into every variety of shape to excite odium against the man, and thus to lessen the influence which his reasonings have deservedly acquired on public opinion. At page 12, however, Mr. Glover first obliging the world with the interesting intelligence that he “ thinks and acts with the Bishop both in this and other important parts of his Lordship's public conduct,” and therefore is in some sort identified with his Lordship in the animadversions made upon bim, and of course in all the compliments which he receives, disclaims all intention of further bush-fighting in the defence either of his Lordship or himself, that he may “ pass on to discussions of greater moment, and defend the conduct of the Church Mis. sionary and Bible Societies against Mr. F.'s aspersions," and

particularly refute that monstrous position of his that Christiunity was not intended for savage man."

The testimony of Lardner, which Mr. F. takes as the basis of his argunent, is quickly dispatched; “ Lardner, I should think, never intended”-“ All that Lardner could have meant”. “ Lardner would not have slighted,” reverse, to Mr. Glover's satisfaction, the plain import of his words, though they are the words of a scholar remarkable for his accuracy and his researches and express a conclusion deliberately drawn at the close of as laborious an investigation as the “ state of gentilism" ever underwent.

Mr. Glover now enters upon a consideration of Mr. F's position iu two points of view, viz. “ As resting on opinion, and as sanctioned by experience," and having, in the specious form of questions, insinuated that Mr. Forby has advanced the unqualified assertion, contrary to the express declaration of our Liturgy, that the Almighty wills that no endeavours shall be used to convert the Heathen, and that Mr. F. interprets our Saviour's commission to Iris Apostles as limiting the preaching the Gospel “ to every civilized creature," Mr. G#proceeds to state the grounds by which his

. own opinion is supported, and alleges contidence in the divine assistance to a work having such an object in view, (i. e. to the pilgrim good intent)--the greater congeniality of truth ihan false. hood to the mind of man, (manifested, we venture to surmise, in his " changing the truth into a lie.)". And the better results than past experience furnish, to be reasonably hoped" from Missons under « the better auspices of the Missionary Society," (the very contested point gratuitously assumed)-as “the grounds.

and

a

« PreviousContinue »