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British goods already imported have met with a good sale, and 'we are expecting more ships from London and Liverpool with • British goods.
It is a favourite argument with the advocates for protecting duties, that they are required, in order to place England upon an equal footing with other countries, so long as other countries impose duties on the produce and manufacture of England. • What! it is said, will you admit the untaxed labour of foreign countries to free competition with the highly taxed * labour of your own country?' We answer, · Assuredly, yes.' In case such a thing as untaxed labour, in the sense here understood, is any where to be found, and in case its produce, being untaxed, is to be had at a lower cost, we would seek out that particular produce and import it in preference to any other, though the result of labour ever so highly taxed. Our object, in short, would be, to get the most we could for our money ; or, to speak more correctly, the most we could for our labour, since money is only the representative of labour. It by no means follows, however, that a high rate of taxation must render the productions of a country dear, or that such productions must necessarily be cheap in the absence of all taxation. It may be easily conceived, and, indeed, shown — how, in a country free from taxation, there would probably exist far greater obstacles to and much fewer facilities for production than are to be found in many highly-taxed communities.
A great use of taxes, and the application of their proceeds, is to give security, — without which no industry can prosper, -and facilities of various kinds, which render labour more effective. One thing, indeed, must be clear upon the slightest examination; that, whenever taxation on the part of the state is heavy, the people can less afford to pay taxes to individuals. And what is it but to pay taxes to individuals, when, through protecting duties, or other artificially created obstacles, the consumers are made to pay higher to the home producer than they would have to pay to the foreigner ?in other words, are made to labour longer and harder, in order to obtain from a fellow countryman the article, which could be procured at a less sacrifice of labour from foreign countries.
We have, it is true, lately seen a member of the House of Commons boldly putting forward the long exploded doctrine, — that a nation becomes rich by the abundance of its exports, and poor through the abundance of its imports. We had thought, until we encountered the arguments of the Member for North Warwickshire, that this notion had died with the late Mr. Alderman Waithnian; and we certainly do not feel called upon seriously to say one word in its confutation. We still profess the contrary belief. And, so believing, we venture to bring forward, as clear proof of our increasing prosperity, a fact established by a return to parliament during the present session. It shows the quantity in tons, of articles the produce of Europe, imported during each of the three years ending with 1847. These quantities were, 1845
1,814,608 tons. 1846
. 2,745,687 Showing an increase of 307,626 tons in 1846 over 1845; of 623,453 tons in 1847 over 1846 ; and an increase in the two years of 931,079 tons. We may be quite certain that these importations did not reach our shores, without an equivalent amount of the labour which they represent being furnished by us in return. If they have come to us untaxed, or but lightly taxed, that equivalent labour will have been less burdensome to us; and unless we can be brought to see that labour is in itself a good, we must continue to believe that cheapness is a blessing. However these imports may have been taxed abroad, it is clear that we have obtained them in increasing quantities, and that we have paid for them by our industry. Either, therefore, we have procured them more cheaply, that is, have procured larger supplies at the same cost of labour; or we have found the means for making our own industry more productive. It does not much matter which of these two conditions is the fact, though we prefer the former. In either case, assuredly we have been able to command a greater amount of enjoyment than before.
We have always been confident, that great good must arise from the liberal measures on commercial subjects, which, begun by Mr. Huskisson a quarter of a century ago, have been, in recent years, more extensively adopted by Parliament. Nevertheless, we should hardly have allowed ourselves to hope that so much could have been realised in the presence of those untoward events, by which the last great changes in our commercial code have been necessarily impeded and overcast. The failure of the cotton crop in America, the destruction of the potato in Ireland, and the great injury sustained by our last harvest over a considerable part of England, - to say nothing of the disturbed state of Europe since the beginning of 1848 - would have justified the plea, if any had been needed, for further time, before we were called upon for a final judgment on the consequences of Free Trade policy. That, notwithstanding these misfortunes, the trade of the country has enabled us to bring forward such facts as we have stated in the foregoing pages, must strengthen immeasurably the confidence of free traders in the soundness of their policy, and should quiet, we think, the doubts and apprehensions of its late opponents.
ART. VI. Corpus Ignatianum : a Complete Collection of the
Ignatian Epistles, genuine, interpolated, and spurious; together with numerous Extracts from them, as quoted by Ecclesiastical Writers down to the Tenth Century; in Syriac, Greek, and Latin ; an English Translation of the Syriac Text, Copious Notes, and Introduction. By WILLIAM CURETON, M. A.,
F. R. S. London: 1849. 8vo. Next to the exact sciences, there is perhaps no branch of hu
man knowledge which has been so assiduously, and upon the whole so successfully cultivated, as the classical literature of Greece and Rome. Ever since the revival of letters in the fourteenth century, the monuments of this literature have been considered of paramount importance - as replete with varied and valuable information, as models of taste and composition, and as furnishing such a salutary discipline to both the mind and character as to be the indispensable ingredients of a liberal education. We are not now going to inquire how far this persuasion may have been carried beyond its just limits; but the effects of it are conspicuous in European literature and education. A great proportion of the choicest intellects of the last five centuries have made it their chief employment to imitate or rival the classical writers; or to render their works more accessible to the public by means of translations, commentaries, and critically correct editions.
The fruits of this diligence are upon the whole satisfactory. Confining ourselves for the present to the material portion of the subject, we may venture to affirm, that the writings of the Greek and Roman classical authors are now well understood, or, at all events, that the means of understanding them are within our reach. Ancient manners and customs, history and geography have been carefully studied, grammatical characteristics and idioms have been successfully investigated, and, what is not the least important, a praiseworthy industry and acumen have been exercised in restoring the texts of authors to their genuine form. A Greek text revised by Gaisford or Dindorf is perhaps not much inferior in accuracy to the copies commonly current in the æra of the Ptolemies; and is certainly more free from ambiguity, and more convenient in every respect than the handiwork of scribes, who had no system of punctuation, and had not even learnt to divide one word from another.
A considerable amount of labour has also been expended upon the writings of the Greek and Latin Fathers of the Church. It may be doubted, however, whether those efforts, considered collectively, have been attended with equally satisfactory results. Though inferior in respect of language and composition to the best classical models, some of them are far from despicable even in an æsthetic point of view; the lights which they throw on civil and ecclesiastical history, and on the state and progress of opinion, are neither few nor unimportant; and they are intimately connected with matters on which, above all others, it is of consequence to be correctly informed, namely, religious belief and practice. Yet, except in particular instances, their works have neither been exhibited in a correct form, nor treated in a truly critical spirit; nor has there been any well-directed systematic attempt to elucidate their language and phraseology. The consequence is, that the student who wishes to attain a competent knowledge of their writings, finds his path beset with numerous difficulties, which nothing but long and severe training will enable him to overcome, unless he is content to rely on guides whose skill or whose honesty he will often find reason to question.
This is an unpleasant state of things. It would lead us too far, were we to enter into a minute investigation of its causes. We conceive, however, that the one which has been the longest and most prejudicially in operation, is the party spirit which began so early, and still continues to prevail in the Church. The restorers of classical literature, and their successors, had definite objects in view; namely, to ascertain what their authors had written, and to put their readers in possession of the true meaning of the text. They acted, therefore, on uniform principles, and with a general unity of purpose; and consequently, if they could not attain perfect accuracy, they were continually coming nearer it. But, Patristic Divinity did not fare so well. When the spirit of ecclesiastical partizanship began to prevail over more simply Christian feelings, the literary champions on all sides acted on the policy of bringing prominently forward what suited their particular views, and of disparaging, stigmatising, or keeping out of sight whatever appeared unfavourable to them. Hence it is next to impossible to get a perfectly fair view of any consecutive period of ecclesiastical history, or a fair statement of the doctrines and opinions of many considerable sects. Every thing is tinged or distorted by the prejudiced medium through which it has passed; and a large amount of valuable knowledge is entirely lost to the world, because those who were once in possession of it did not think it expedient to transmit it to posterity. In process of time, too, the dominant party manifested a disposition to substitute authority for evidence; and to insist upon having its dicta believed, whether it proved them or not. With that party, of course, writings which interfered the least with those pretensions, met with most acceptance; and much which opposed them or did not explicitly support them, was allowed to drop into oblivion, or was corrupted in various ways to make it harmonise with what was called the Voice of the Church. Ample illustration of these positions may be found, in the whole history of the Church from the third century downwards.
It would be difficult to produce a more striking example of the influence of this mischievous party-spirit than is furnished by the fate of Origen and of his writings. It is universally allowed, that few men of his age equalled him in piety and active benevolence; that, in point of learning and industry, he occupied the very first rank; and that a greater amount of valuable knowledge, both sacred and profane, might be derived from his writings than from those of any other ecclesiastical author. He was not exempt, indeed, from eccentricities and errors; but they were in general calculated to hurt nobody but himself; and in consideration of his acknowledged merits, might have been overlooked, or, at all events, opposed with calmness and moderation. And this was, in fact, the course taken by Athanasius, Basil, Gregory of Nazianzum, and other illustrious Fathers. They speak of him with respect, while they combat his errors; and they thankfully bear witness to the benefit which they derived from his works. But, unfortunately, there was an influential party in the Church, composed of men of small capacity, strong prejudices, and a meddling, unquiet disposition, who deliberately undertook to stigmatise and ruin him. The characters and motives of this clique are graphically described by St. Pamphilus in his · Apology for
Origen, of which an abstract has been preserved by Ruffinus. He informs us that the opponents of Origen were partly such as were unable to comprehend his writings, and partly persons influenced by malevolence and prejudice, which they carried so far as to brand with heresy all who even presumed to read him. Many of those who were most bitter against him never saw his books, and did not even understand the language in which they were written. There were others who, having made great use of him in their own lucubrations, studiously affected to decry