« PreviousContinue »
is the land of Englishmen, not of Jews. And in this my German friends agree with me as fully as they do in my dislike to the Protestant Establishment in Ireland, which is the land of Irishmen; and from which we ought to go, and not the Irish, if our consciences clamour against living with them according to justice. So now here is agreement with you and disagreement.
Rugby, May 4, 1836. Your opinion of the Edinburgh Review gave me, as you may believe, very great pleasure ; but I did not think that it would be worth while to print it in a separate shape, because the more I saw of the temper of the Judaizers, the less did it seem likely to persuade any of them from their evil deeds before to-morrow's Convocation; and because, having written once agonistically, I wish next to write in another manner, and to go deeper to work with the root of error, from which all this Judaizing springs. And here I feel sadly my distance from all who might advise and cooperate in such a work. I want to get out a series of “ Church of England Tracts,” which, after establishing again the supreme authority of Scripture and reason, against Tradition, Councils, and Fathers, and showing that reason is not rationalism, should then take two lines, the one negative, the other positive; the negative one, showing that the pretended unity, which has always been the idol of Judaizers, is worthless, impracticable,and the pursuit of it has split Christ's Church into a thousand sects, and will keep it so split for ever: the other positive, showing that the true unity is most precious, practicable, and has in fact been never lost ; that at all times and in all countries, there has been a succession of men, enjoying the blessings and showing forth the fruits of Christ's Spirit; that in their lives, and in what is truly their religion-i.e. in their prayers and hymns—there has
been a wonderful unity ; that all sects have had amongst them the marks of Christ's Catholic Church, in the graces of His Spirit, and the confession of His name ; for which purpose it might be useful to give, side by side, the martyrdoms, missionary labours, &c., of Catholics and Arians, Romanists and Protestants, Churchmen and Dissenters. Here is a grand field, giving room for learning, for eloquence, for acuteness, for judgment, and for a true love of Christ, in those who took part in it,--and capable, I think, of doing much good. And the good is wanted; because it is plain that the Judaizers have infected even those who still profess to disclaim them.
I shall talk this matter over with Hawkins, who has behaved nobly in this matter, but who still, I think, contributed to their mischief by his unhappy sermon on Tradition. I am well satisfied that if you let in but one little finger of Tradition, you will have in the whole monster-horns, and tail, and all. I teach my children the Catechism and the Creed, not for any tradition's sake, but because the Church of England has adopted them. Each particular Church is an authority to members of that Church; but, for any general tradition having authority from universality or antiquity, I do not believe that there is any such ; and what are called such, are, I think, only corruptions, more or less ancient, and more or less mischievous, of the true Christianity of the Scriptures.
I have received your volume of Charges, &c., for which I am very much obliged to you. I have read
I have read your additional remarks on the Jew Bill, and grieve that there should be so much difference between us. In my Catholic Pamphlet, or rather in one place in the Postscript, there is one paragraph which I should now cancel, that which applies St. Paul's rule about husbands and wives of different religions, to men of different religions in a commonwealth. The general argument of the Pamphlet I should perfectly maintain now,—that the Irish being a Catholic people, they have a right to perfect independence, or to a perfectly equal union: if our conscience objects to the latter, it is bound to concede the former. But for the Jews I see no plea of justice whatever; they are voluntary strangers here, and have no claim to become citizens, but by conforming to our moral law, which is the Gospel. Had we brought them here as captives, I should think that we ought to take them back again, and I should think myself bound to subscribe for that purpose. I would give the Jews the honorary citizenship which was so often given by the Romans,-i. e., the private rights of citizens, jus commercii et jus connubii,—but not the public rights, jus suffragii and jus honorum. But then, according to our barbarian feudal notions, the jus commercii involves the jus suffragii; because land, forsooth, is to be represented in Parliament, just as it used to confer jurisdiction. Then, again, I cannot but think that you over-estimate the difference between Christian and Christian. Every member of Christ's Catholic rch is one with whom I may lawfully join in legislation, and whose ministry I may lawfully use, as a judge or a magistrate; but a Jew or heathen I cannot apply to voluntarily, but only obey him passively if he has the rule over me. A Jew judge ought to drive all Christians from pleading before him, according to St. Paul, 1 Cor. vi. 1.
TO SIR THOMAS S. PASLEY, BART.
Rugby, May 11, 1836. I have been waiting week after week, in the hope of being able to tell you something about the new University; but I begin to think that if I wait till the Government plans are decided, I shall not write to you at all before we meet; and I would rather send you a letter with nothing in it, than appear indifferent to the pleasure of keeping up some communication with you,-a privilege which, I can truly say, I value more and more after every fresh meeting with you. I meet with a great many persons in the course
of the year, and with many whom I admire and like ; bat what I feel daily more and more to need, as life every year rises more and more before me in its true reality, is to have intercourse with those who take life in earnest. It is very painful to me to be always on the surface of things, and I think that literature, science, politics, many topics of far greater interest than mere gossip or talking about the weather, are yet, as they are generally talked about, still on the surface; they do not touch the real depths of life. It is not that I want much of what is called religious conversation,—that, I believe is often on the surface, like other conversation;—but I want a sign, which one catches as by a sort of masonry, that a man knows what he is about in life,-whither tending, and in what cause engaged : and when I find this, it seems to open my heart as thoroughly, and with as fresh a sympathy, as when I was twenty years younger. I feel this in talking to you, and in writing to you; and I feel that you will neither laugh at me, nor be offended with me for saying it.
Rugby, May 9, 1836. At last I hope to redeem my credit with you, though indeed it may well be almost irretrievable. I must go back over our hurried meeting of Thursday last, to your two kind letters, and the report which they give of your medical studies, in which I rejoice; as in every thing else,-and even more than in most things that I am acquainted with. What our fathers have done, still leaves an enormous deal for us to do. The philosophy of medicine, I imagine, is almost at zero : our practice is empirical, and seems hardly more than a course of guessing, more or less happy. The theory of life itself lies probably beyond our knowledge; so, probably, is that of the origin of thought and perception. We talk of nerves, and we perceive their connexion with operations of the mind; but we cannot understand a thinking or a seeing or a hearing nerve, nor do electricity
or galvanic action bring us nearer to the point. But coming down to a far lower point, how ignorant are we of the causes of disorder, of the real influence of air, and of its component parts as affecting health, of infection, and of that strange phenomenon of diseases incident generally to the human frame, but for the most part incident once only, such as measles, small-pox, and the old Athenian plague, or incident only after a certain period, as the vaccine infection. Here, and in a thousand other points, there is room for infinite discoveries ;-to say nothing of the wonderful phenomena of animal magnetism, which only Englishmen, with their accustomed ignorance, venture to laugh at, but which no one yet has either thoroughly ascertained or explained. . .
If one might wish for impossibilities, I might then wish that my children might be well versed in physical science, but in due subordination to the fulness and freshness of their knowledge on moral subjects. This, however, I believe cannot be, and physical science, if studied at all, seems too great to be studied lv nagégyp: wherefore, rather than have it the principal thing in my son's mind, I would gladly have him think that the sun went round the earth, and that the stars were so many spangles set in the bright blue firmament. Surely the one thing needful for a Christian and an Englishman to study is Christian and moral and political philosophy, and then we should see our way a little more clearly without falling into Judaism or Toryism, or Jacobinism, or any other ism whatever. All here is going on comfortably, with much actually good, and much in promise ; with much also to make one anxious, according to the unavoidable course of human things. My mind expatiates sometimes upon Fox How, when I see the utter dulness of the country about Rugby, which certainly is beyond the reach of railways to spoil. On Saturday we went, a party of twenty, to Nuneham Wood :-Mrs. Arnold and myself, with eight children, and twelve persons besides.